Pain Panic Attack

You need to breathe, a small voice said somewhere in the back of my head.

My body had been in pain for weeks now, but this evening seemed like a last straw. I rate my pain on a scale from 1-10 two times a week at PT and lately I had said “8” every time. Tonight was a 10.

I now know what the phrase “put it out of it’s misery” feels like. I had used this phrase growing up when I saw little bugs missing legs or struggling to survive. It had applied to half dried worms on the sidewalk or lightening bugs without any wings in the past. Tonight I felt like it applied to me.

God, WHY did you create me if I am going to live in a life full of pain? PLEASE take some of this burden away. I cannot go on like this.

My heart raced and my jaw felt stiff. I couldn’t cry, but my brain felt like it wanted to — I needed to. I was in so much pain; more than I ever could have imagined someone could be in. I would rather give birth; at least I would be out of pain soon enough after having a child. That thought used to terrify me, now I think the task wouldn’t nearly as bad. At least the pain had an expiration date. At least you got something you wanted out of going though all of that. The only thing I feel like I am gaining is a lesson in patience that I never asked for, lots of frustration, and helplessness.

Death has always been something that kind of scares me. Uncertainty scares me.

In a moment of such intense pain, though, nothing scares you more than a long life feeling like this. This hurts my heart writing this now that I am not feeling so terrible, but it’s really how you feel in the moment when you literally can’t think of anything except how severe the pain inflicting your body is. You put up with it when it’s a long ache you’re used to — even if it is a pretty high level — but when it becomes so sharp and deep to your core, you panic. Your body isn’t made to hurt so badly, and every single organ suddenly freaks out trying to find something to manage the way you feel. All you really can do is close your eyes, pray, and hope God will give you peace and perseverance to press on.

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Moving forward I think pain and illness are things God wants me to talk about more, and I don’t want to forget about some of my hardest experiences just because I am feeling a little better these days. I still don’t know why I got sick, but I have found some of the most difficult parts of my life have been used to help others, so maybe that’s the reason I’ve had to deal with so much with POTS. Today I take my lower pain level for granted, and I want to try to remember to thank God for how much I’ve healed in the last few months. I still am nowhere near “normal,” but praise Jesus I am not in the state I was a few short months ago. God is with us, even in our darkest times, and He is so good.

Fall Date Prep

The air is crisp and it’s perfect sweater weather. I skip joyfully to my closet to select a top. My eyes graze past the dresses hung neatly on the left over to the warmer options. I pretend that I’m going to make a decision, even though my mind is already made up. I touch the new ballerina pink sweater I had purchased a few weeks prior and wonder whether that will be cozy enough for a night of movies and snuggling. I reach to the back of the closet where I had shoved my soft gray v-neck sweater. It pairs well with leggings and kicks, or jeans and ankle boots for an edgier look.

I smile as I slip into my trusty favorite. It’s only a matter of time until my date will pull up to my house in his truck. I hurry to the bathroom to put on my makeup. Taylor Swift is already blasting, and I feel fierce in my oversized sweater and Calvin’s. I am still not fully ready to go out, but right now I’m all about my girly music, makeup, and pretending to be a runway model. Nobody is there to watch, so I can kill it on the bathroom dance floor just like the rest of the Bad Blood squad on my iPhone screen. The best thing about getting ready is that you can be whoever you want to be, even if you have terrible dance moves like myself.

I try to do a sultry cat-eye like Taylor’s, but quickly realize I need to leave my runway fantasy a daydream. It looks a lot more like I had been in the boxing ring with Muhammad Ali and got two mismatched black eyes than the fun look I had been going for.

Makeup remover.

Much better. I hurry to reapply a light layer of foundation, skip the eyeliner all together and opt for a swipe of mascara on my upper and lower lashes. I recognize my inability to paint my face and decide against the brightly colored lipstick in my makeup bag. Tonight I’ll do a natural look which — for a new date — includes foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, mascara, and a light pink shade of lipstick and liner to match… And to think guys sometimes think I’m not wearing makeup when I go with this look. Sigh, it takes a good 20 minutes to put all of this together! I’d at least like to be awarded a compliment for using my paint and brushes from Sephora so effectively.

The finishing touches are made — black jeans and a bracelet with my birthstone  surrounded by diamonds — and a new bright smile is added as the doorbell rings.

My heart skips a beat as I open the door, and I forget everything about the past hour of getting ready. The night is just beginning, and I get to spend the rest of it with my new favorite person.

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This is a decent example of how I would do a more natural look for a first date. Y’all can clearly tell I am wearing makeup, right?!

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Don’t Be A “Fixer”

You know how people sometimes think if something major in their life changes their relationship will automatically get fixed? I’ve always thought this goofy reasoning — until I felt completely trapped in a very unhappy, unhealthy relationship and didn’t know how to end it.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but they* also say love is blind.

Oh, boy, are they right.

I felt like I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders and am pretty self-aware (Yes, I do know I am an over-sharer and write a little too much about love on social media, but what else am I supposed to do with a dating blog?!). I suppose I was even back then, as I noticed the gut-wrenching nausea and overwhelming sadness when I really thought about our relationship, but I shoved the feeling back as best as I possibly could. After all, one day things could be better. It was a long shot, but maybe I was actually the exception to the rule. Maybe it was just the long distance taking a toll on us, or maybe it was just extra stress from having a chronic illness. After all, I reasoned to myself, I wasn’t used to being sick yet. How could my boyfriend be?

Back then I was a “fixer.” Not in the great sense of putting work into a relationship to make it more beautiful, but instead forcing myself to believe that everything in our relationship would be fixed once our circumstances changed. News flash: Anyone who has seen He’s Just Not That Into You should absolutely know they are never the exception to the rule. This is just something we tell ourselves when we are terrified to leave a bad situation.

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Things got so bad that I finally had the thought that at least whenever I eventually had children I would have some sweet little companions who would actually want to spend time with me.

Ugh. I cringe so hard just writing all of this.

What does this have to do with my relationship with this individual? Why in the world wouldn’t I want both a great husband and wonderful kids? You don’t have to choose just one. How would something as difficult as adding little human beings that you have to raise and take care of every single day help make a relationship any better? If anything it can definitely be a (rewarding) strain on a relationship; not something that will glue it back together.

Sometimes relationships that are broken aren’t meant to be fixed. If you haven’t made a lifelong commitment to an individual it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating; you don’t owe them an unlimited amount of time to try and fix things. There might be a very important reason your relationship is so broken — you just aren’t meant for each other.

Now that my head is clear and I’ve learned some very valuable life lessons, I realize that trying to fix someone into being your “perfect match” is a terrible way to live life. If they don’t understand your love language or make you feel cared for, find someone else who will. If your partner doesn’t want to spend time with you or blames everything that is difficult in life on you, find someone who will hold your hand and help you through the rough patches, rather than throw his hands up and complain about them. You deserve to be with someone who knows your worth, and shouldn’t have to fight for someone you care about to love you back.

Today’s lesson: If you feel trapped dating someone, he probably isn’t the right person for you. A relationship is healthy if there are a few disagreements here and there — that’s what makes it real — but your love life shouldn’t be a battlefield. It should be a place you feel safe, secure, and comfortable in, rather than on anxious and on edge.


*Whoever the heck “they” is.

Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

I love a good deal. Having a chronic illness is expensive — especially since it doesn’t give me enough time (Or energy. Or strength.) to have a real job. My catch 22 to this is that I absolutely love buying people presents.

I’ve found a few great money saving hacks for my fellow college and grad students, high schoolers, and whoever likes to save a little money. I figure even if I was rich I would try to save money here and there, as that leaves more to donate or have to spend on little treats that I don’t need!

First, let’s talk cashback. Cashback websites are all about paying you to shop. Yes, that sounds too good to be true, but no, it’s not sketchy. Here’s the lowdown: stores pay these companies to advertise. These companies keep part of that money, and pay you the other part. This kind of advertising actually works really well because even I’ve found myself going to sites that are offering a special cashback deal to see if there’s anything worth spending money on. Here are my favorite sites (And if you decide to sign up, use my links, as we each get bonus sign-ups for the referral!):

Top Cashback: This website is almost always the best one for cashback percentages. They’ll give you money into a Paypal account, Amazon gift card, or American Express rewards card. I usually use the Paypal option, as I just use it again for other online purchases.

Ebates: This website offers great referral bonuses, and they send you a check in the mail instead of the options Top Cashback uses, and often offers bonus offers along with the cashback (Such as a $5 or $15 incentive to shop at a specific store).

Who Should Use These Sites?
Just about anyone who does a decent amount of shopping online or if you’re purchasing something big like a computer, an iPhone, or a television! The purchases really add up, and the way I see it, these checks I get back can go into the “TREAT YO SELF” shopping fund.

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This picture kind of cracked me up because of how hard they tried to hide the numbers on this terrible looking credit card, haha!

Moving on.

Rewards and Subscriptions and Shipping — Oh my!

As I’ve mentioned before, I love giving presents… But I also love getting them, too! There are a few places I really love being a rewards member of, but I would encourage you to ask about any of your frequented shops having a program you could join.

Let’s talk Sephora. Ahh, how I love makeup. I have very high expectations for Sephora’s cyber Monday sale, despite them hardly doing anything for Black Friday (Online at least!). If you plan on shopping at Sephora more than twice this year, you have to join their Flash 2 day shipping. This is such a great secret on their website, and I don’t know how it isn’t really the talk of the town. Basically you pay $10 for free 2 day shipping for a year. A YEAR!!! Like, how could I not sign up?! I have purchased things as little as an eyeliner and gotten it shipped to my house quickly with the free samples they let you choose with any purchase. It’s seriously so amazing. This is the main reason I choose Sephora over Ulta now.

I’m not done with our Sephora conversation, though. Join their beauty rewards program ASAP! Not only do you earn free products, but you also get a gift on your birthday… And they’re usually really nice! This year I believe I will get a Marc Jacobs lipstick and eyeliner. I’m excited to try them out since his makeup is cruelty-free! My birthday is December 3rd, so I’ll definitely be back to talk about that if I love it.

Ulta does have a great rewards program too, as I feel like I’m always getting coupons in the mail. Sign up with the link above or in stores, and they will also give you a birthday gift during the month of your special day. This year I’ll be getting an Urban Decay eyeshadow, which is also a cruelty-free brand… Hooray!

FabFitFun is a new favorite subscription box of mine. I have some exciting news regarding this, but I’ll be sharing that a little bit down the road. Use this referral link to get $10 off your first box (so it is only $39.99), which is going to be kind of amazing. The thing I am most excited about is the Modcloth blanket scarf, which is going to be great to have all winter long. Robert’s family lives up in Massachusetts where it is absolutely freezing (though he assures me it’s “only a few degrees” colder than DC. A few degrees in the winter make all the difference!), so I’m definitely stocking up on some warm clothes for my visit this winter.

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Everyone will get a blanket scarf, necklace, and mug, along with a bunch of other full-sized products!

Not so into makeup or girly subscription boxes? A billion other places have reward programs, but I figured I would just touch on another favorite of mine — Starbucks! I love their mobile app, and get rewarded for all of my purchases. Not only do you get free coffee just for drinking coffee (Or peppermint hot chocolate if you’re a kid at heart like me), but you also get a free birthday drink and random deals Starbucks decides to send your way.

Lastly, my friend Robin has a company that works to help animals in need. She’s offering $5 off your purchase of $30 or more today only, so check out her website here! My favorite item is definitely the anchor toy for pups.

That’s all I’ll touch on today, as I feel like I kind of rambled, but these are some of my very favorite sites I use all the time. Feel free to let me know about others in the comments, or ask any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer! 🙂

Lessons Learned In Love

I’ve had my heart broken a few times and it always feels like a small piece of you goes away that will never heal. At first this seems discouraging. After all, I don’t want to lose any of myself in a relationship. Then I think about what I have gained.

I decided to make a list of what I’ve gained from my exes or even just people I casually dated. I encourage you to do the same, as it offers great wisdom with the way you want your future to look like.


My boyfriend in college taught me that I could completely open up to someone and be loved. He taught me that my flaws were okay, and showed me some of my strengths I didn’t even know existed. He also taught me a very important lesson on giving people a chance, and that a date is just that — a day on the calendar in which you make plans with someone to get to know him better. It doesn’t make you obligated to do anything after that.

The first guy I dated who turned into a jerk taught me that sometimes you can be great to someone who doesn’t deserve it, and that it isn’t always up to him to break things off when they become unfair. He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever realized, and that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean they have to be a part of your life. Through our unhealthiness, he taught me what a healthy relationship should look like. He also taught me to pay close attention to how a man treats his family — because that is likely the way he will treat his wife one day, too.

The first person I crushed on after a bad breakup taught me that I could feel butterflies around new people and that not everyone I like will like me back. He taught me that sometimes people are more interested in a chase than they are in a relationship, and he taught me that I needed to be more careful with my heart.

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One man I casually dated taught me that it’s so important to be with someone who you can have fun with just sitting on the couch, playing board games, or entertaining yourselves with music and conversation. He also taught me that you don’t have to have everything in common with a significant other, but it’s important to have some similar interests. I learned from our relationship that just because someone knows your heart and loves you for it doesn’t mean they’ll never hurt you. He taught me how quickly someone’s actions can change, and he taught me that I can respect myself enough to walk away as soon as someone treats me poorly. This was a big step up from where I began with dating.

My first deep and passionate love taught me that God often has different plans for you than you do for yourself. You can’t always control when or where you meet someone you’ll fall for, and you never know when an acquaintance might just turn into someone who changes your life forever. This man teaches me what it is like to be loved to your core and how to be selfless in a relationship. He doesn’t let a day go by without telling me how much he cares for me, but he also shows me this is true by making me a priority and spending time on me. He respects me, he loves me exactly the way I am, and he takes care of me, even when I don’t need him to. He has taught me what I want in a future spouse, and makes me want to be the kindest, most caring, and loving version of myself.

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Today’s lesson: None of your past was a waste of time. I have made so many mistakes that I sometimes wish I could take back, but they are what made me the person I am today. I am more empathetic, understanding, kind, and accepting because of what has happened in my life. When I really take the time to think about it, I wouldn’t change a thing; now I can write about things that have hurt me and I have done wrong so that others might escape from some of the pain I have endured in my own life. I also may not have the love in my life that I do today had my past not gone the way that it did, and I am infinitely thankful for that.

Facebook Is Actually The Bomb.com

Breakups are hard enough on their own, but when you keep seeing your ex everywhere you go it makes things a lot more difficult. That’s why social media can be tough. Regardless of whether or not you are seeing your ex at work or school, you definitely don’t need him in your house or at the gym with you too!

One thing that can be really dangerous these days, though, is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of those pesky sites can make forgetting about your ex and moving forward with your life a real pain in the butt.

Somehow I’ve never really had a big problem with this when dealing with breakups, though, so wanted to share some of my insight and advice.

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First, block your ex on everything you can possibly think of. Block him from texting and calling you, block him on Facebook (don’t just unfriend — block. Blocking is better because you will not see him on any of your mutual friends’ pages and you won’t be able to send each other messages). Block on Instagram, Twitter, whatever else is out there. As I mentioned in a Facebook status awhile ago, you may need to do it on strange sites you wouldn’t even think of like Spotify and Venmo.

Second, get a bestie to come over and clean up all of your social media that might have things with him left over. For example, I had my best friend save a bunch of sweet voicemails from him “just in case, [we got back together].” I realized pretty shortly after that I wouldn’t need them back, but at the time it is a little easier deleting things when you can get them back again if you want them. Then she “unfollowed” a lot of his close friends and family on my Facebook for me, and untagged our most recent pictures together so I wouldn’t accidentally see any of them pop up anytime soon.

Third, box up all of his stuff, then shove it in the attic! If you’re not fortunate enough to have a tucked away attic you can get creative and use a closet, a cabinet, or whatever else you won’t be seeing at all in your everyday life. For me, this was the guest room. Do not contact your ex asking if they want any of their stuff back — this is just opening a door you do not need and offering another opportunity for both of you to get hurt. You gave him things, just as he gave you some — the only item you are ever really obligated to give back is an engagement ring. If you don’t have that, just call it even and move on.

Lastly, have an accountability buddy you can text whenever you feel like texting him. This has never a big problem for me, as I like to quit things cold-turkey. I do know, though, that even I would get reminders that would be hard or hurt, and enjoyed having a best friend to lean on when times were tough. She was someone I could cry to if I missed my ex, or just rely on her to have a little conversation about why it was good we broke up. Having someone to text instead of him is so important so that you don’t slip up! Real friends will understand this struggle and be more than happy to help — after all, they might need you for the exact same thing one day and will be grateful to you for listening.

Overall the best thing to do in a breakup is be kind and gentle with yourself, even if you do backslide. Ending any sort of relationship is hard, and good for you for deciding you didn’t want to settle for someone who isn’t right for you. Even if you were the one who got dumped, being strong and realizing that there was likely a pretty good reason for the breakup is a great start.

Dear John,

Have you ever heard Taylor Swift’s song, Dear John?

It’s exhausting.

“Long were the nights when
My days once revolved around you.
Counting my footsteps,
Praying the floor won’t fall through — again.”

What makes people so blinded when it comes to love? I give myself an excuse for my first love, but I don’t have any other free passes I want to use. One thing I do firmly believe in is living life without regrets hanging over your head. There isn’t anything I can do about my past, but there sure is a lot I can do to make my future the way I want it to be.

I’ve made so many mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. This blog was created not only to share funny stories in hopes of connecting with my readers and making people laugh, but I was also inspired by my past experiences to share all of the knowledge I have collected about relationships along the way.

A major lesson I learned was that actions speak so much louder than words. You realize how crazy this is for an English student to say, right? Like, my entire job in graduate school is simply using a bunch of words.

It’s so true, though. I had a point in my life where I was so easily comforted by just a little bit of sweet talking. Empty promises rolled off his lips like sweet honey, and I was happy with anything I could get. It was these minuscule moments that mattered to me — I just wanted reassurance in the present that we would be okay. Even if it was just for the day.

Saying one thing and never having the actions to match is a wonderful way to be a master manipulator. Whether this is intentional behavior or one’s nature I’m not really certain, but I am sure that people like this do not make comfortable lovers. Your security is very short-lived and you’ll never be able to get off the roller coaster of emotions that come along with this kind of love. One second you feel high and on top of the world, the next you’re ready to throw up from the shooting adrenaline that is anxiety.

Imagine being on an enormous roller coaster for months. The first few times are fun, new, and exciting. You close your eyes and feel the wind brush against your skin for the first time; your heart is racing faster than it ever had before. You’re thrilled at this new experience and feel like you want to just keep spinning around and around — until you realize that the ride is making you sick. Suddenly you are so twisted about that you don’t know which way is up, and you want to get off… You’re so addicted to the high that is causing your pain, though, that you don’t want to get off. The thought of leaving this thing you once held so dear is terrifying — it’s even scarier knowing you can never get back on this ride again if you give it up. So you stay on and continue to get sicker every second you’re on the wild ride. You completely forget that there are other ones that may not be as much of a thrill, but would never in a million years make you so ill. Whether or not you ever choose to get off is up to you, but I ended up deciding that instead of so many fast ups and downs, I wanted to choose something that would gently hold me, make me feel comfortable, and rock me to sleep when I was tired, rather than constantly jerking me around.

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Today’s lesson: If someone truly cares, they will not only tell you, but show you with actions. If an English student is telling you that she believes actions speak louder than words, it’s probably true. There’s a reason sayings like this are cliche — it’s because they really are tried and true.

A Very Sleepy Friday

I’ve been really tired the past week or so. I think part of it is because I haven’t gotten my B12 shot in two weeks and I’m supposed to get them every single Friday. Whoops!

Having a chronic illness is exhausting in itself, but remembering to do everything to keep myself up and running is also a full-time job. I try to keep writing for my blog on a regular basis too, but life sometimes gets in the way.

I have, however, kept up with my Instagram account! I’ve been doing the “30 days of thankfulness” challenge, which has been pretty entertaining. It’s sometimes hard to come up with an idea and a picture. Today I decided to be a little silly but share a message that’s close to my heart. Being a teenager is one of the hardest things we do in life. You really could not pay me enough to be that age again.

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I think it’s important to share some of the things we’ve learned with people who maybe are still trying to figure things out. Whether that’s sharing your story of a struggle you’ve gone through or talking about how you became successful about something, we can all learn something new from one another. I think that’s one of the coolest things about life; everyone has their own neat little story and you can always find something new to take away from a conversation.

Anyway, this is my little ramble of the day because I wasn’t really feeling any of the drafts I have saved and I’m not in the mood to write about anything super-feelingsy today. Can this just be an acceptable post since this is, after all, a lifestyle blog?

Failing The Stress Test

“Oh no!” he cried from the passenger seat. “That was our exit!”

“Hey, now we have more time to spend together,” I said as I looked at him slyly. I am directionally challenged, so making mistakes on the road wasn’t a new thing for me.

I took the next exit as we laughed cheerfully about some of the details from our date. We finally got back to campus, and he walked me to my dorm before saying goodnight.


A year later things had changed a little.

“Sweetheart, that was the exit we were supposed to take,” he scolded me harshly.

I rolled my eyes to myself. “Oh, it’s not a big deal, I’ll take the next one and Siri will re-route us,” I said calmly. It was strange that this seemed to be one of the many things we fought about lately. We weren’t on any sort of time constraint to get anywhere, so I didn’t understand the severity of my mistake. I was human, after all. He ought to know I am bound to mess up some… Right?

Why was it that every time the word “sweetheart” came from his lips I felt so low? It was supposed to be a word said with kindness for someone you love…


It was raining, but we decided to go out anyway.

“DAMN IT,” he cried in frustration. “You were supposed to turn there! Why weren’t you paying closer attention?”

The word “You” seemed to only be uttered when it was paired with harsh criticism. Sometimes “You are beautiful” would slip from his lips, but I had trouble taking the compliment. Did he think my heart was beautiful, or was this just lust? The timing of it always seemed too strange to be genuine.

Tears hid behind my eyes, but my body was used to working without my heart now. I knew how to turn off my feelings and shut everything down until I was home alone in my room and could cry if I still had the energy to. After all, I knew I would get scolded if I cried in front of him. It was the same cycle over and over again. I would make a mistake — even as simple as missing an exit or a turn — he would scold me harshly, and I would hold back tears. In his eyes I couldn’t do anything right anymore. I didn’t know why he still stayed with me, but he told me that I was lucky to be with a man who respected my boundaries — though I didn’t even feel this rang true anymore. I didn’t think our relationship was normal, but he claimed that we never fought and that most couples had far worse arguments than ours. A small piece of me believed him. That’s what made me stay.

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He didn’t understand why I didn’t feel good when I was with him. It didn’t matter, though, as long as I could pretend I was okay. If I held it together just enough to make it through the day at least he had a chance at being happy. I would rather watch him be happy than feel that way myself anyway. I would do anything to make him happy — even when it was completely wrecking the cheerful girl who used to be so full of life.

I felt so empty; saying I was a shell of my former self would be an understatement. Calling me a robot might be a little more accurate, but at least they can be charged to have energy. I went through the motions every day, but wasn’t really living. Every decision I made was at a sad attempt to make him feel good. Why did he seem so miserable still? Why wasn’t anything I was doing for him making his life any better?

He told me how to make him happy. Sometimes it would be letting him live his life without me by his side, other times it would be compromising my values or my dreams for him.

“Compromise: Noun. An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.”

What the hell was his concession? I followed him to work toward his life goals. I was ready to give up all the people I loved in my life to start a new one with him. I gave away my happiness and I gave away pieces of myself for him. And what did I get in return? Scolded.


“Let’s say your best friend was dating your boyfriend and you knew how he treated her. What advice would you give her?” A close friend finally asked me.

“I would tell her to break up with him and find someone who would treat her so much better,” I replied without hesitation. My best friend deserves someone who loves her more than anything in the world. Someone who will take care of her heart and her well-being as best as he possibly can. He will hurt when she hurts, learn all of the little things that make her smile, and plan a future with her that they are both excited about. He’ll look at her the way my boyfriend once did — like she’s the most beautiful person who has ever existed — but her guy’s love won’t burn out like ours had.

Holy shit. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Instead of feeling pain from the blow, I felt like a heavy weight was lifted from my chest. This was a moment that changed my life. I knew I deserved the same kind of love I wanted for my best friend. After all, I consistently told her when she wasn’t treated right that she would find a guy who would be her best friend and love her the way that every human being deserves to be loved. What kind of example was I setting to the women in my life about what love should look like? To be fair, they only saw the nice little snippets of my social media with him, which consisted of few and far between #TBT pictures or dates, but most of the time the smile in those pictures was only painted on my face. It wasn’t the genuine light that used to shine from my soul.

After months of dealing with so much, this moment showed me exactly what I needed to do. Break up with him.

And that’s what happened. I broke up with the guy who didn’t care about anything except his own happiness and satisfaction in our relationship. As soon as I realized it wasn’t my job to make the most selfish human in my life happy, joy rushed back into my body. I could feel again, I could breathe again, and I even learned to love again.

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Today’s lesson:
Never, ever settle for someone who makes you compromise who you are for them. Be with someone who genuinely cares about your well being — and until you find that person, you can certainly be happier staying single and loving yourself than dating the wrong person.

A Date By Myself

pop. Pop. pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop beeeeeeeeeep!

The smell of butter filled the kitchen so beautifully that the air felt yellow with artificial flavor.

I walked over to the drawer next to the microwave and grabbed a bar of Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate, and held it between my teeth as I snatched the bag of steaming popcorn from the oven.

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Friday nights sometimes just call for a night in by yourself, watching The Office and pigging out on junk food. Tonight was going to be a little taste of heaven.

I sit on the couch in my baggy Army t-shirt and boyshorts and enjoy the silence of an empty house while I select an episode on Netflix. Ten minutes later I’m laughing at Michael Scott with popcorn spilled on my lap and a half-eaten chocolate bar. I reach for the can of Ready Whip I had obtained and squirt a dollop on my tongue.

This is a beauty of being single that is often overlooked. You can pamper yourself with some of your favorite treats and spend an evening alone. I am one of the most extroverted people I know in that I love being around people most of the time. Sometimes I forget to take a break and enjoy my own company, but when I do, I have a really nice evening. Since Robert has been gone and most of my friends are in relationships I do find myself with more free alone time, and I am really glad that I’ve been able to learn how to feel content staying in on a Friday night.

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Dogs also make wonderful company. Macy pouts when I eat popcorn because she loves it, but knows she isn’t allowed to beg. I always give her some in turn for tricks!

Today’s lesson: Cherish life at every stage, even while you’re single. One day you will probably be married and not have the chance to have the house to yourself very often!