It’s Over

I know it has been a long time since I posted anything but when the year without dating ended I felt that I had said all I needed and wanted to say but recent events have made me realize there’s so much more that needs to be said so I will say it all here in this post. That being said this will be my last post on this blog, I may start another but who knows…

Recently my last grandmother passed away leaving me with one grandparent left. She used to give me so much advice about writing and staying creative in a world made for left brains and sticking to and stretching out my right brained talents no matter what and to challenge them. She also gave me a lot of spiritual advice as well that really resonated with me. The night before she passed away I had not known she was going to die yet but I was compelled to write in my journal and the things I wrote were as if she was speaking straight to me. The prayer at the end of my journal log was especially scary to read back after I got the news that she had passed because I seriously felt that death was going to happen soon, I just thought it might be me… It’s weird how I wrote things that she had been telling me all along about God and love and life hours prior to her death…anyway here’s what I wrote:

For the first time ever I feel like everything will be alright. I’ve spent my whole relationship with God in fear and worry. I, like Job, have been secretly afraid that God would take everything from me and give me nothing, or, give only to take from me. My whole relationship up until now has been me walking on egg shells, treading carefully along hoping not to break one for fear of His wrath. I could never find peace because I was always afraid; I spent my life waiting for the other shoe to drop because nothing seemed to be good or go well for too long in my life. I spent the majority of my childhood being afraid; afraid to go to school, afraid of my father’s wrath, afraid no one would ever love me. Whenever anything good happened misery came like a thief in the night, stealing any glimmer of happiness I had.

But now everything is going well, everything I’ve asked for I’ve received because as soon as I stopped being scared, as soon as I stopped being worried, as soon as I put all my eggs in the basket of trust for God He gave me everything I ever asked for, everything I ever wanted and everything I ever dreamed.

I spent my life feeling unloved and lost and then one day I fell in love with God. I understood Him as a father to the fatherless, mother to the motherless, husband to the widow, etc.  Whereas before He was the one who gives to take back.  In falling in love with Him I have found peace because I know that even if His plan for my life is different than mine that I would be okay. Once I finally came to the realization that God is all I need and once I really felt that and was happy and content in my heart, He gave me everything I had been praying about; He gave me what literally every need-based prayer was about; He gave me love which I found through Him and I feel whole. What’s funny is as soon as I felt my need for love was filled He pulled a rabbit out of the hat and sent me a man.

I have been dating a friend of mine who has been a close friend for 2 years, after my year of dating was over he confessed his feelings for me and though I had a lot of reservations about whether or not this was part of God’s plan for me I came around after about a month of prayer and talking about it with different people and I know now that I made the right choice.  In addition to this, my family is doing better; my brother’s dreams are coming true right before our eyes, my dad after being laid off for about 5 years has finally landed a job he enjoys and that treats him well and though we still have a lot of bills to pay and though we still struggle I am sure we will pull through by the grace of God, and I am finishing up my last couple of semesters in college and moving on to grad school where I plan to get an MA in IO Psych and an MBA.  This was one of the toughest academic semesters I’ve had to face because I took statistics II and with a lot, a lot, A LOT  of work and prayer I pushed through, I feel unstoppable.

What I’m saying is I’m not happy. Happiness is a temporary state of emotion, I am fulfilled! It took me giving up my struggle to run my own life to finally feel this way. Once I was content and happy with whatever God gave me, once I was able to give Him glory through the storms and the sunshine He gave me extra, He gave me what I didn’t even need but had been asking for just to prove He cares and that He listens and that He hasn’t been ignoring me all those years. When you delight yourself in the Lord He gives you the desires of your heart, that doesn’t mean just pray and read your Bible because if it did every believer would feel the way I do right now and that sadly isn’t the case. What it means is to be content and happy with what you have and pray for what you don’t, in hard times don’t curse God and say He is ignoring you instead understand that His plan is greater than you can fathom and that what you see is a snapshot of a greater picture. Whenever I feel defeated I say the song lyric, “though my heart is torn I will praise you through the storm” and it not only is a prayer to God but a reminder to myself that He sees, He listens, He’s there, He cares, He’s planning and He loves me. This is why people pray but say they haven’t received what they’re asking for, they haven’t delighted themselves in the Lord and He is holding what they want until their heart is  ready to receive what He has to give.

For the first time in my life I am not afraid of the Lord taking everything from me because I willingly give it all to Him. I understand His love for me and not only know but feel now that He won’t hurt me. Job had to learn that lesson the hard way’ the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh  but He gives only when our hearts are truly ready to receive and He takes only when our fear of Him taking away our possessions is greater than our trust, love and glory for Him.

My prayer:

Dear Lord,

I just thank you for everything. Thank you for every little and big thing; thank you for my brother’s opportunities, my parents’ struggles and fights through every obstacle, thank you for Nate being in my life, who would’ve thought that random kid at that party would become so important to me, thank you that things are going well with school. I thank you for everything I’ve gone through; every single struggle, every disappointment, every heart break because it has brought me to this place of fulfillment. Every night and day spent crying, every ounce of abuse I’ve endured I thank you for. Every tear and every hurt has lead me closer to understanding who You are. It all makes sense and  I’ve never seen my life so clear as I do right now. There’s a reason we praise you through the storm, because the storm just means we’re one day closer to the sunshine and clarity of what it was all for. I’m having the kind of clarity that I feel one has before they die and while tomorrow is not guaranteed I know this is only the beginning.

Amen.

 

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This is Unnaturally Natural

In my previous post I said culture, knowledge and travel are more important to me than the possibility of love and a family and I stand by that. There are some people who think that’s sad and don’t understand why I’m not sure I want a family or a traditional one if I do have one. So let me explain.

I basically grew up being afraid of my dad and never wanting to disappoint him. I know there is some controversy on how to discipline a child, I think discipline should be tailored to each child’s personality and that the child should understand what they did wrong and that this disciplinary action isn’t a reflection of how their parents feel toward the child. When I was growing up I didn’t get that, I did get whipped with belts and while that’s not really abuse it did effect the way I felt toward my parents. I grew up feeling like I wasn’t loved basically, I would go to school, get picked on all day, and come home feeling no more sense of belonging than I did when I was at school. I remember getting notes in my lunches that said, “mommy and daddy love you very much” but I remember wrinkling the notes, rolling my eyes and throwing them away. I felt that actions speak louder than words. I’m not saying don’t use belts because like I said every child is different but for me I was terrified because I never got a chance to explain myself when I did something wrong. I was scared of my dad and I hated my mom because I felt she should have stepped in.

Luckily, my parents didn’t have the same discipline styles for my brothers. They just get grounded and get things taken away from them. It makes me happy but it also makes me really angry; happy because my parents have grown as parents and realize how to properly discipline each kid and to know that my brothers won’t grow up afraid, especially the youngest one. But angry because I don’t understand why I had to be the guinea pig. Now I’ve got all this emotional baggage and it could have been avoided if my parents had dealt with their anger issues and taken into consideration different parenting styles and doing more research before I was born. It’s not my fault but now I have to deal with it.

Anyway my mom thinks the way I live and want to live is a bad idea, she wants me to get married, have my own kids and blah blah blah. I have never said I love you to anyone in my family so how am I supposed to find it in my heart to love a stranger and make new strangers with that stranger and love them too?

I know that my parents try their best to give me and my brothers everything we want and I try and focus on that but a part of me can’t let go of that little girl bent over the bed being smacked with a belt, looking at her mother who is just watching and doing nothing and every time they piss me off it all comes back and all I want to do is punch something. I don’t get sad, I get angry and pissed off every time I think about. And I know I’m a psych major and I know I should handle it by making amends or peace but I don’t really want to. I know they didn’t mean it and I know they didn’t know any better but idgaf.

Forward this video to 20 mins

http://www.northpoint.org//messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating/part-4

Is there any question now why I’m not sure a family is something I want? I’m not gracious and frankly, I’m not ready to be gracious. I think that for right now the only way I want to deal with all the negative crap is to never mention it and joke around with my family because that emotional stuff isn’t me.

I remember getting so p/o-ed at church because people would stand there and tell me what a righteous father my dad is and what an amazing woman of God my mother is. All I wanted to do was punch them, who were they to tell me who my parents were, like seriously? Little did they know they were arguing and cursing at each other all the way to church. Then I would be forced to smile and talk to people like the last 20 mins didn’t happen. I hated that, I was not emotional the only deep emotion I felt was anger. We put a lot of emphasis on family when all it is really is a bunch of strangers who share the same DNA and thus are forced to be part of each other’s lives by fate.

Things are much, much better now hence why my parents just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary, thank God. And I think I love my parents but I could never say that because I’m not 100% sure it’d be true. They’re not terrible parents at all though and I greatly appreciate all of the sacrifices they make for me to have a future for sure, I’m not a monster, but emotions have never been part of my family lifestyle. In fact if I cry I’m called irrational so saying I love you would be just words since love is an emotion and my family is emotionally numb.

So, I don’t want to get married and end up having a terrible marriage because I won’t allow myself to open up and be serious. Idk maybe one day when I’m 30 I’ll decide it’s time to address the issues or maybe I’ll realize it’s not important and it was all a distant nightmare. All I know is right now I don’t want to talk to them about it because I know they think they’re great and everything is great. My dad is emotionally unavailable most of the time, my mom is emotionally unavailable most of the time and guess what, I’m emotionally unavailable 99% of the time which means if I had kids they’d basically be robots too. No thank you.

See? Psychologists are not perfect, we’re all a little messed up.

8 Months! IDK About You But I’m Feeling…21

I’m 8 months into the no dating for a year project! Here are this month’s thoughts:

I’m realizing a traditional lifestyle isn’t for me. I like to travel and jump into new things, I don’t like to stay in one place for too long so I realize I don’t want to be in a serious relationship until I’m 30, MAYBE. I’ll date for fun but that’s about it because I’m not one to be tied down and I don’t want to set aside my aspirations for a guy like a lot of girls do. If a guy claims he loves me he can either come with me on my crazy adventures or step aside. In other words, my momma won’t be getting any grand-kids anytime soon lol.

If I could find a guy that’s as much of a drifter as I am then maybe I’ll consider being exclusive with him but I doubt I’ll find that just because the way I want to live my life is so far from the way the average person lives theirs, here’s how:

  • I think instead of having kids I want to be a foster mother and then adopt because there are so many children who need parents and I can’t think of one unselfish reason not to adopt. I could care less if a baby looks like me or has my DNA. But this won’t be until waaay later in life.
  • I am a drifter. I want to live in California for the same amount of time I lived in New York so that will be like 4 months unless I like it then I might stay longer. I want to live in Florida for a while too then I’ll go to France and Italy, do some charity in North Korea and Greece, go to Thailand, Japan, China, and who knows where else
  • I want to date casually. A lot of people my age are starting to get more serious about dating and they want to get married soon and I’m not about that life right now. I don’t want to be exclusive, I don’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend.
  • I have a lot of interests and I explore them all which makes me a little less sure about things. Can you imagine me getting married right now, “do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” “umm, I’m not sure, can I sleep on it?”

I’ve got a bright future and I know I’m going to do great things. If a guy does decide he wants to seriously date me he has to know never to make me choose between him and my aspirations because he’s not going to like the answer. I have an extreme thirst for knowledge, culture and travel and I’m at my prime right now so I’m parched. To me those things are more important than the possibility of love and a family.

I’ve got all my life to settle down but right now I’m 21, I drink beer and yes from a bottle, I’m not going to waste a glass, I’m a thrill seeker, I wear little to no clothing whenever possible, I wear bold things, like motorcycles and fast cars, and a bad boy gets my blood pumping. I’m 21 not 41 and people need to back off and understand that because unlike the store suggests 21 is not forever so I’m going to milk it while I can.

 

7 Months!

It has been a wonderful 7 months without dating; there have been many ups and downs but all in all I’m glad I have been doing this. With my time off dating I’ve come to realize how much the thought and distraction of boys kind of just clouded my judgment and altered my motives. Now that I’m not trying to impress anyone I can decide if I really want to do something. Here’s what I’ve learned on my journey solo so far:

  • I really like watching baseball! I never understood the sport EVER! But I went to a baseball game a couple weeks ago because I organized for the baseball team to wear blue ribbon pins and blue bracelets for child abuse awareness month to spread awareness about child abuse and the One Hope United organization. And I surprisingly had a lot of fun! I usually fall asleep watching baseball on TV with my dad but I had a lot of fun so I went to another one yesterday, again so fun. And I’m going again today! One of my friends asked me if I have a crush on one of the players because usually girls go to the games to support their boyfriends but I really don’t, I just like going. It’s nice to go to a sporting event and not be scouting out cute guys, I was actually able to pay attention to the game instead of the guys playing. I still don’t understand it all but I learn more each time I go. Woohoo for baseball!

306 This is my cousin at one of his northwestern games, he plays in the major leagues now! Woohoo baseball!

  • I know my type. I’ve said this before, but since I’m not dating I’ve had time to think about what I want in a guy and now I know so that I don’t waste anyone’s time in the future.
  • I don’t need a boyfriend. I think now a boyfriend would be…okay I don’t really care either way but before I started this it was always on my mind. A lot of people would tell me I could date any guy I wanted and so if I was single or didn’t have a potential guy I felt that something was wrong with me, that there was a negative rumor (my school is a small private college), or that maybe I just was odd or not pretty. I not only feel like I don’t need a guy but I am a lot more comfortable being alone now whereas before being alone made me so anxious and self conscious but then I realized no one cares that I’m alone and I was just being ridiculous. I’m so much happier now because I’m comfortable with myself.
  • I no longer find my worth in men. It used to be I wasn’t pretty, smart, funny, or fun unless I got validation from a guy and that was an everyday ordeal for me. Now I wake up in the morning realizing how beautiful I really am and I’ve been hanging out a lot more with friends and just having fun being myself with them. I don’t understand why I spent so much time trying to be someone I thought a guy I liked would want. I realize that dating is supposed to be about two people who are similar and want to get to know each other better, no one should be trying to conform to what the other wants. I am pretty, I am smart, and I’m the goofiest person I know. I think I’m pretty great and I know and accept my flaws so I should be with a guy who loves and accepts all of me too. My new philosophy is to be with a guy who loves me as much as I love me lol that’s almost impossible now which I think is the point. I think we’re just supposed to be ourselves and then love will find us.
  • I am so loved! This year has been so uplifting for me because I didn’t know where I fit in, in my groups of friends but it turns out people appreciate and look up to me and trust me. I had THE BEST 21st birthday last month, most people don’t remember their 21st but mine was one I’ll never forget! I should actually put pictures up, I will later but it was awesome and now that the school year is coming to an end I’ve just been hanging out with and really appreciating the people in my life. Whether it’s late night talks with friends about their love lives, picking out dresses for the upcoming busy weekend of baccalaureate, senior boat, and graduation (I get to go because I’m in choir and we sing for baccalaureate and graduation and one of my friends invited me to senior boat! super excited!), listening to engagement stories, going to baseball games, advice giving and advice taking, I’m enjoying spending time with the people in my life instead of worrying about keeping a boy in my life. I’ve learned to appreciate the people I have and not to hold onto the people leaving because the people who stick around are the people who are worth my time.
  • I am wiser. I just yesterday was able to give advice to one of my friends who is also not dating for a year, she started the day after me. She is having concerns about a guy who isn’t Christian but who wants to date her. I’ll go no further than that, but I was able to give her sound advice because of my own experiences with “bad boys” who are sweet and charming. Sometimes you have to follow your brain and not your hormones no matter how sweet he may be to you now, if your morals and lifestyles are different it’s just not going to work out. But I told her to still be friendly and see what happens because God may be working in him through her, he is going to church now so who knows what will happen.
  • I am more spiritually mature. I didn’t really care about my relationship with God, I didn’t even know there was such a thing but now I actually have a relationship with Him and it’s wonderful. I was recently told by a friend that she enjoys being around me because my love for God is contagious. I’ve been told this a couple of times this semester actually. I’m glad other people can see it because that must mean it’s radiating and people should be able to tell you’re a follower by the fruit that you produce, I finally know what that looks like because that’s me now 🙂 so uplifting.
  • I have been able to spend more time with other believers. I so love being around other Christians, I had a bad habit of being into non-christian guys so my relationships were distracting and I’ve been able to see that there are plenty of Christian guys who are my type.

indyc

  • I’m a pretty awesome person! Since I was always looking for validation from guys I always ended up feeling insignificant and not good enough (not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough) to be with the guy I was with or interested in. But since I’ve been consciously by myself for a while I realize just how amazing I really am. And I’m not trying to sound prideful I just think that everyone should feel that way, not that they’re better or worse than others but that they’re just different and they have something unique to offer the world. Now I can date with confidence. My confidence in myself is so completely different.

All in all I guess I’ve just gotten to know myself a lot better and I really like me lol. I’ve gotten to spend more quality time with friends too and figuring out which friends were real friends that I could see myself hanging out with for years to come was very rewarding; I love my friends! A year off of dating was much needed for my mind, spirit, and social life!

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Here are some pictures of my 21st, to sum it up there was shopping, a loooot of food, shopping some more and drinking in moderation, of course

IMG366 IMG368 IMG370 IMG371 20130406235348_47 IMG372 IMG373 IMG375 IMG377 IMG378-1  003 004 005 006 007 008

My Perfect Guy

Since I’m not dating right now I have time to think about my past and what I really want. I need to start dating smarter and instead of dating the guy with the most charisma I need to start dating the guy who embodies what I want. I wrote a list of things that I want, now I’m not saying he needs to be all of these things, but if I could construct the perfect guy for me here’s what he’d be:

  • I want him to be part of my life and I to be part of his. I want to meet his siblings and see them as mine too. I hope it’s as if we were already family but just got disconnected somehow and found each other again.
  • We won’t have to do anything sexual for us to have an intimate connection
  • He’ll take the time to get to know me before he “makes a move”
  • He’ll be a gentleman and the first kiss will feel sweet and timid instead of making me feel like a piece of meat.
  • But, he’ll call me out when I need to be called out and be blatantly honest.
  • When he hangs out with my family it’ll be like he was supposed to be part of our family the whole time and he’ll feel the same about me with his family. He’ll get along really well with my brothers and crack open beers with my dad, he’ll be respectful to my mom and play with my little cousins, niece, and nephews.
  • He’ll be head and shoulders over me and I won’t tower over him in heels! (I’m 5’9 and a half and in my heels I’m like 6’1/6’2, this has been a problem in my dating life)
  • He’ll be even goofier than I am so that we can be dorks together cause seriously, I’m tired of being the dorkiest person I know
  • He’ll care for others and care about helping people just as much as I do
  • He’ll have to have been an athlete and I’m not saying that for shallow reasons, I’m saying that because athleticism teaches you discipline, confidence, how to take care of your body, how to win and how to lose. And if he’s not an athlete he probably won’t mesh well with my family, we love sports and we breed athletes. Case in point, my cousin plays MLB and my brother is a varsity football player and he’s a sophomore and they’re teaching him how to be QB now b/c they want him to be QB next year (apparently that’s a big deal cause when I told that to some guy he freaked) he’s also gotten letters that he’s being watched by colleges, he has been invited to play in tournies in Hawaii and Australia over the summer, and he goes to top gun training for QBs. My other brother is only 11 and he’s close to surpassing me in height, he’s up to the top of my shoulder already! And the doctor says he’ll probably be 6’5! So he plays basketball. My older brother was also a basketball player. My dad played baseball, coached football, and played basketball as well. My mom…well she keeps saying she played volleyball in high school but that was gym class and gym class doesn’t count, she’s the only non-athlete of the family. Anyway, sorry, I like talking about my family, but you get my point, if he’s not an athlete, he won’t fit in.
  • He’ll be as competitive as I am
  • We’ll make each other better people
  • He’ll be intelligent enough to hold a conversation about current issues
  • He’ll look at me as if I’m the only girl in the world and like he has been waiting for me forever and I don’t mean that like in Rihanna’s sexual way
  • He’ll make me feel pretty
  • He’ll try new things and do things just for the hell of it
  • He’ll make me laugh, (as if it’s that hard)
  • He’ll love kids
  • He’ll be my best friend and biggest cheerleader and I his
  • He’ll won’t just tell me all the things I’ve heard before, “you’re special,” “you deserve a good man,” “you have my heart.” NO! He’ll SHOW me, you think I’m special, show me how special you think I am, you think I deserve a good man, be that man, show me that I have your heart; he’ll talk the talk AND walk the walk.
  • He’ll challenge me in every way
  • Most important, our relationship will glorify the Lord and we will build our lives and our family as a reflection of God’s love and grace so that we, like my parents, can have a sign across from the front door so that the first thing people read when they come in is, “the Lord has done this thing.”

I love this song by Adele, she describes the guy I think we all want and at the end she realizes he has been waiting for her too. Love! It’s called “Daydreamer” and it’s at the bottom of this post.

Another song that I’ve been thinking about lately is the song “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple I relate to this song because of the heartbreaks I’ve gone through and how I’ve felt after them: just the feeling that you get when you think someone is what you’ve been waiting for and then you find out they’re not and you had all this hope and then, yet again, you’re heartbroken. I like this song because I relate to trying to be someone I’m not to fit in and be accepted by the guy I want to be with. I think this song is a perfect example about how sometimes we idolize people and it just ends up tearing us down and how we need to accept ourselves for who we are and not think of anyone as higher or lesser than ourselves. And, for me, I always see the guy I’m with as higher than myself which just makes me feel inadequate and that’s not healthy at all. It’s like the story of Jacob and Leah, she was only able to be happy when she realized she needed to stop chasing after the approval of Jacob and instead look to the Lord to fill her void. When Leah was finally able to say, “this time I will praise the Lord,” her relationship with the God was stronger and she was happy because she was no longer looking at Jacob as her lord. I’m beginning to see Lord as Lord and man as man, just like Leah.