Before It Could Blossom

In a concrete jungle, they had found love, their eyes first meeting the day she had discovered her neighborhood library. She walked in excited to have found a place where she could feel comfortable and at home. Since her move into the big city, she had yet to feel either. There was always something amazing about being surrounded by stacks and stacks of books. It was as if you were surrounded by so many different lives, being fictitious or not. She entered the library and walk towards the right heading towards the fiction section comma and that’s when she had spotted him. He obviously worked or volunteered there. His ID dangled around his neck while he sorted away the books on each shelf. Her heart jumped a little. Weird how that happened. He was cute …and tall …and mysterious …but there was something else about him. She didn’t know what it was but it was like a magnet.
Whenever she wasn’t at work she was at the library. What was there to do at home anyways? There was no internet and there was no cable, which meant all she had where her books. Some days he was there. Some days he wasn’t. By the second week of her routine visits, they had become friendly. They greeted each other with a warm smile and a nod, and soon it became a full-on wave with a, “Hey how’s it going?!“
Eventually exchanging phone numbers, they began to get to know each other. Their text messages were more silly than they were flirtatious. She absolutely loved that. They chatted throughout the day about anything and everything. It was not only easy to talk with him but it was also exciting. They could go from cracking jokes one second to a conversation on aliens and alternate dimensions the next. This was why, although she ended up finding out he was 4 years her junior when he asked her out to dinner, she happily said yes.
He picked her up in his old school El Camino. Her heart melted and it was from that night that the two were inseparable. Absolute best friends from the very beginning, they couldn’t have been any more compatible with one another. But sometimes, just because the yin had found its yang, that didn’t mean that their coming together would last forever. Throughout the time that they were building what could have been an everlasting and loving relationship, life behind the scenes wasn’t working out too well for her. Life in the big city had been rough and expensive. The jobs she was able to get hired for simply didn’t pay enough to cover her rent and utilities, let alone make enough for food and savings. It was a real struggle to make ends meet and the stress and anxiety would eat her up alive at night when her thoughts would run around her mind like wild horses. It was only when they were together that she felt something other than pain and heartache. He made her feel good.
They were sitting at one of their favorite burger spots. It was a beautifully sunny day and only she knew how sad of a day it was about to turn into. As they waited for their number to be called, he sat across from her telling her all about the first half of his day. They sat there in the booth on his lunch break, him chatting away while she barely listened. All she could hear were the roaring waves of sadness that were ripping apart her heart.
“Babe, are you listening? I know you’re not because that was funny and you’re not laughing.” He grinned at her. Man did she love those dimples.
“I’m moving back home in 2 weeks.” It came out barely a whisper. He just stared at her, at first making her believe that he hadn’t heard her. She didn’t know if she had the courage to say it once again but she soon realized that she wasn’t going to have to. His eyes misted over and as the lady working the counter called out their number, neither of them moved.

*

We never ate the burgers. We never even claimed them. Our hearts sunk deep into our bellies, heartbreak oozing into our souls. We spent as much time together as we could. We revisited our favorite places together. I went with him on his runs at the park (he ran while I waited on the sidelines). We hugged. We kissed. We cried. On our very last night together we laid on his bed in darkness our heads down towards the opposite end, and while staring up into the ceiling, we listened to all our favorite songs. Both of us being such great lovers of Motown, we listened deep into the night and I will never forget the last song we listened to. As if the Universe knew what we were going through, Kiss and Say Goodbye by The Manhattans came on and as if a switch had turned on, tears pooled into the corners of my eyes and overflowed, rolling past my temples and into my hair. The amount of sadness that was burying itself deep within my throat was overwhelming, so much so that it had sent me into a daze. The one last kiss as I left his bedroom, the one last handhold as I walked out of his front door, the one last hug before getting into the car, the last drive I’d take with him in his El Camino and the last time I would watch him drive away as he waved his last goodbye… I can’t even describe the feeling of what it was like to leave that piece of my heart behind.
I heard the song today and just like any other time I hear it, my heart smiled. Although it was so painful to leave before the relationship had a real chance to fully blossom, I love knowing that I got to experience such love in only just a few short months. I got to experience what felt like an entire lifetime in love and the memories of all that we shared will forever be in bloom, my heart a basket containing every petal.

Long Distance Love

Relationships can be difficult and lord knows I’ve had my fair share of tough relationships. I’ve dated them all.. The boring old man trapped in a young man’s body, the starving artist, the substance abuser, the witty business guy… I’ve dated different races, different social classes, men who’ve had completely different political views from mine. Obviously none of these relationships ever got really far, and now looking back although they were difficult relationships, none were the type of difficult as the kind my current love and I are in right now. This relationship is the “Long Distance Relationship” kind or as I will continue to refer to as L.D.R.

No one ever goes out looking for a L.D.R. A romance from afar? How fun could that be? A L.D.R isn’t something you set out to find, it just ends up finding you. I mean it’s like you’re  out one night, minding your own business, and having a good ol’ time, when all the sudden in walks that person, straight into your life. The one who makes your soul smile. How do you say no to that?? I couldn’t just walk away from what could possibly be my shot at true love, right? That’s what love is all about, taking that risk, going for that chance. In trying to decide (which didn’t take me long at all) whether or not this was something I really wanted to invest my heart in, I though to myself, when does love ever arrive all wrapped up in an ideal situation? Never.  So I went for it. I decided I had found love, and although it wasn’t the most ideal situation, I believed we could make it work. Deterred I was not.

We’ve just recently passed the 6mos mark, which in “real relationship” time isn’t very long at all, yet for me it feels like quite the accomplishment. I am crazy in love with my bf don’t get me wrong, but I’d be lying by saying that the journey hasn’t been tough for the both of us.

Just like in most relationships, an L.D.R starts off flaming hot. The chemistry is not only strong but the flame that burns is inextinguishable. Because of the very fact that you don’t see each other as often as “normal” couples do, the “honeymoon” phase seems to last much longer. You get to see one other’s “good” side for a little longer than most normal couples do due to the fact that you see one another a lot less. You often feel that longing for the person, you miss them and so when you do see each other you tend to make every moment count.  A plus when it comes to not seeing each other often is the fact that you can gradually incorporate this other person into your life. You slowly introduce them to your world as you slowly discover theirs. Remember, it’s not easy for two completely different strangers to come together all of the sudden and try to build a life together. You must think, these are two completely different individuals that were raised differently and have been conditioned by life differently. To be in a L.D.R gives you that breathing room to still have time for yourself. It’s much easier to get locked into a situation of suffocating one another when you have the opportunity to see each other all the time. We see it everyday. Couples meet each other and it seems like the first two months they are inseparable. They can’t go a day without seeing each other until one day one of them realizes that maybe they miss their friends, or they miss their hobbies. This is now when the fights commence because one person needs some “me” time and the other person begins to question why all the sudden need for “me” time. Well everyone needs a little “me” time and I get that it’s difficult to remember that when you’ve just met someone you really jive with and the access to this new found love is just a call and a drive away.  In a L.D.R you don’t have the luxury of having your love just a phone call away. Visits need to be planned and when you don’t get to see each other often all you can do is distract yourself with your “me” time. That’s when you do all the things you want to do that maybe the other half wouldn’t be too interested in. This is the time you take for yourself to do the things that make your soul smile, the things you should never ever give up because to do so would be closing away a part of you, and that would no longer make you you. This is often the root to many issues within relationships but that’s for a later post.

Eventually the honeymoon phase does run out and then that is when you become blindsided by all the conflicts and hurdles a L.D.R posses.

Maybe the word “blindsided” is a bit of an exaggeration. We all know what we’re walking into when we decide to date long distance. You’re already aware of the frustrating moments you’ll endure when you, for example, need your date to accompany you on an outing but between your different schedules and living so far from each other it makes it impossible for them to be there. There are holidays that you won’t be able to see one another for, or even just those long days you’ve had at work, when all you want is for your certain someone to pamper you and listen to you,but they’re not there because they live hundreds, or for some even thousands, of miles away. This is the part of a L.D.R that we do know. To go through it fully aware that is was coming sucks. All of that shit is tough, but the really tough part are all the other minor details we don’t think about.

Not seeing each other has its perks, but it too has its huge set backs. There is now a delay added to trying to get to know your other half. It takes twice as long to get to know the other person as it would take in a normal relationship because of the fact that you’re not around the other person as often. This means it takes longer to understand the other person’s likes and dislikes, their boundaries,  their weird corks and their humanly flaws. And because you were so elevated for much longer than usual during the honeymoon phase, the drop back down to reality is hard. You begin to realize that you, them, the relationship, none of it is perfect. You remember about things like compatibility and begin to question everything that is no longer blurred with sugar plums and rainbows.

One thing I  must say that my relationship doesn’t suffer from like most other L.D.Rs do is the fact that jealousy doesn’t apply to us. I have always said that one thing that would bother me most about trying to attempt a long distance relationship would be trusting them to be faithful. Yet not one time throughout the time that my love and I have been seeing each other have I felt a tug of jealousy. Come to think of it, I really don’t find it all that crazy that I don’t worry or doubt his loyalty. I have always held honesty and loyalty in high regard and I would have never entered a L.D.R if I felt at all that I didn’t trust this person. That for me is a serious plus. I also cannot say that he has shown me one ounce of jealousy. He never asks to go through my phone. He doesn’t trace my social media steps. He’s never asking where I am every 20 mins. It’s obvious that the trust is there which aids in allowing for our situation to be just a tee bit easier. One less thing to worry about in an already tough situation.

So if a L.D.R is so hard to maintain, how do you do it? What are some Must Do’s in order to allow for your relationship to grow its full potential? Believe it or not, it is what to do for ANY relationship…

*Communication is paramount. Even if you’re wanting to discuss something small, if it means something to you no matter how big or small the issue is, talk about it. Speak until the issue is no longer there. Resolve it because the last thing you want is to carry resentment with you long distance.  Resentment is a heavy load to carry and all it will do is slow down the progress of your relationship.

*Listen to one another. And I mean like actually listen to what the person is expressing to you. People can always tell when you’re merely hearing them out instead of actually listening to them. When people begin to feel unheard not only does that too build resentment and makes them feel misunderstood, but it also sends a message to the individual that what they have to say doesn’t matter. That later turns into the person shutting down. They’ll no longer want to share, or communicate things with you. Once the communication begins to shut down, you can kiss the relationship good-bye.  When you don’t listen you also tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. To listen allows you to understand and better learn your other half. The more understanding and learning that you do, the less arguing and fighting that will be a part of your daily lives.

*Patience. Patience is important. To blend two lives together isn’t easy. There will be things that need talked about and issues to be worked on. That in any relationship is a given, but remember that it takes time, and time in a L.D.R takes twice as long because you’re hardly ever around one other.  People can’t better their flaws overnight and the fact that you’re not often around one another to see the small steps that are taken towards improving makes it difficult to think that progress is being made. This is why you have to be patient. Give things time to be shown. Give the person time to work on themselves while you take the time to work on yourself. The point is to be patient and supportive of one another. Remember you’re both on the same team so cheer each other on when you do see progress. Communicate to one another as to how much that means. If your relationship lacks any of these three basic fundamentals, you’re relationship will not last very long.

I’ve given you some key elements on things to do to keep the relationship a float, so how about I tell you some key things NOT to do when attempting a L.D.R,

Don’ts:

*Don’t allow for the relationship to go stale. Once monotony and predictability set in it’ll be hard to hold the attention (and for some the heart) of their partner. Remember that you already don’t see each other often so make each time a little special. There’s no need to go over the top each and every time you see each other but little gestures to enhance the moment together go a long way. That goes for you too ladies 😉

*Never stop doing the things that in the beginning captivated the mind and the heart of your significant other. Those are all beautiful moments and gestures that will bring sweet joy to the heart of your love. Even during the dark times of a relationship, it’ll be these moments that they’ll look back on and it could mean the difference as to whether they hold on or let go.

*Never quit getting to know each other, and that means in every aspect. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually. You will one day die and still not know every single little thing about your other half, but the point isn’t to know everything about them. The point is the journey there. It’s what will bond you, fuse you together until death does you part.

*Don’t ever get too comfortable. To get comfortable leads to many negatives like, taking the person and the relationship for granted. It leads to you letting yourself go, so maybe not taking care of your health like you once did, or not worrying about your appearance anymore. It can lead to one not doing the cute stuff you once did for one another, and these are all things that keep a relationship fresh and exciting. When you get comfortable, you lose all of that, and the relationship grows old.

In a few short months my relationship will no longer be a L.D.R. I’ll be taking steps to begin my relocation process in a couple weeks and by the end of July I will be closer to by beau. No.. I won’t be moving in with him right away. I’ve lived and learned and so my comfortability only allows me to take baby steps for the moment. For me, I’m happy to be taking things slow so maybe that’s why the whole L.D.R things has worked so well for me. But I will not lie, closing up the distance between us will make things much easier. Not only that but it’ll allow for us to really see how well this relationship will work. Living closer to one another will give this relationship the chance it needs to either prove that this is love and this is it, that all the hurdles and the stress was to leading up to something greater, or will it be just another infatuation, another fling, just another lesson learned? It will either be one way or the other. It isn’t a pessimistic way of viewing the situation, it’s a realistic way of viewing it. With that said, hope is a flame that forever burns within my heart and even though it’s been a little tough, I’m still happily holding on strong. The most precious things in life are the ones worth fighting the hardest for, no?

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: California Yoga Fest 2015

 

 

 

 

4am Train Love

Nothing normal ever happens during 4 am train rides, especially when you’re pissed drunk.

I had been visiting old friends of mine in Jersey and during this visit we decided to head to Philly for a night of fun. We didn’t wait to get to the city to start the festivities. No. We pre-gamed  at the house, then of course we took some adult beverages hidden within water bottles with us for the train ride.

The night was going to a wild one. There were about 8 of us all together and just by the train ride to the city alone I knew there was to be debauchery in abundance.

We got to Las Vegas Lounge, a dingy, dark and smelly hole in the wall (just my kind of place) and immediately assigned ourselves roles for the night. A few of us crowded the jukebox. They were to be the Djs for the night, there was no way anybody but us were going to be regulating the music for the night. The guys went over and quickly put tables and chairs together, making sure we had plenty of room for all of us to hang together. My home girl and I went straight to the bar. It was time to open a proper tab, Irish car bombs for everyone!

The rest of the night was a hectic haze of bad singing, inappropriate dancing and socially inappropriate jokes. We were raunchy and wild and as we closed the bar down that night we made memories that by the morning we’d forget. We tumbled out of that bar drunkenly disoriented, not caring that most of the world around us had been asleep now for hours. We made our way back to the train station. We may have even gotten a little lost at one point, I don’t know.

There weren’t many of us that were waiting for the train that night. Not including our group there were maybe another 10-15 people? Most looked drunk, the rest had seemed to be either getting out of or going into work. I’m not sure how long we had waited but it hadn’t seemed long.

The train soon arrived and while we all tripped over one another to pile in I caught sight of a cutie already sitting… all.. by.. himself. Well HELLO there!! I thought to myself.  I pushed my way through my friends and made my way to where he was sitting. Once I got close I slowed down as to not give away my hurry.

“Hey, anyone sitting here?” I grin. It may have been a creepy drunk grin. That’s what it felt like so I was surprised when he said, “No, it’s all yours.” BINGO! That’s RIGHT! It is. I sat down next to him and immediately it began,

“OOOOOOOoooooOOOOO Nati…. MeeeeeOOOWWW!” My pals all chimed in in uproar.

“Don’t listen to them. They’re drunk.” I slurred and then smiled.

“…and you’re not?” He asked, jokingly.

“I was. But now I see things crystal clear.” I hiccuped, “We were meant to meet tonight. The universe brought us here on this train to meet..” What the eff was I saying? I was laughing. I was drunk and this was stupid drunk talk. He knew it too because he was laughing. Was it with me or at me? I didn’t know.

We eventually got to our stop, which also so happened to be his. He walked with us until we got to the car where I then scribbled down my number without him even having to ask. “I normally don’t do this but here!! Call me!!” and I folded up the paper and stuffed it in his pocket. We gave each other a hug, an “it was nice meeting you” kiss on the cheek, and off we were.

038-2 Photo Credit: Angie M, Muse: Natal Galvan, Ry Bread, Santi C.

He messaged me that very night asking if we got home OK. From that point on we kept the conversation going until one of us passed out and then restarted it the very next day. It went like this for months. We spoke on the phone almost every night and spent the entire day texting each other. At the time that we met, I was living here in FL and had only been visiting. Still that didn’t deter us from building a good friendship. Then one day he calls me and says how he would love to take a vacation down to where I was for just a couple days. I loved the idea. I never had friends come and visit me really so I was all for it. Plus, I had found him super cute from what I could remember and decipher from the picture texts he sent me here and there. Who knows what this could lead to right?A romance story out of a movie! I was so excited. That was until, he called me to tell me he had booked his trip…and it was for five days.

Was I freaking out? Of course I was! Like seriously? FIVE DAYS? What were we supposed to do for five days? The trip was to be taken in 2 months so I had 60 days to mentally prepare. When the time came, it was only then that I realized, 60 days had still not been enough.

He arrived on Monday and left Friday. These were the longest five days of my life, and most likely of his as well. Monday hadn’t been too bad. The excitement of seeing one another for the second time since we met was still there. He arrived late in the day so after our initial greet at the airport we headed to a bar to have some food and drinks. The plan was to head to Orlando the next day and have a day of fun at the amusement parks. So we spent some time at the bar and once we saw it was getting late we headed back to my place to rest up for the following day.

I’d like to give a shout out to my amazing sister. For if she hadn’t accepted the invitation to be the third wheel on our trip to Orlando (actually through out the entire 5 days), this day of fun at the amusement park would have been instead the most awkward day at the park. She helped fill in moments of awkward silence. She made me laugh when all I wanted to do was rip my eyeballs out and stuff them down my own throat for allowing this to happen.

He was not only not much of a talker, but also didn’t have much opinion on, well, ANYTHING. He was plainer than vanilla ice cream for even vanilla ice cream had it’s own bit of flare. I would say he was like a piece of grilled chicken with absolutely no seasoning on it, as if just boiled in water. Every answer to any of my questions was either “I don’t know” or “up to you.” Whether it was “what ride do you feel like riding next?” or “what do you want to eat?” or….. fucking ANYTHING, those were his only two answers. It was only day two and I was ready to shoot myself. When would he be leaving on Friday? Early?? Please lord, I hope it’s early…. This was my inner dialogue the entire day at the park.

Wednesday we got up and headed to the grocery store. I planned a beach day but after much debate on whether or not he wanted to deal with the sand or not, we decided to make it a pool day instead. We were going to need food and cocktails (for me mainly cocktails). After what seemed like forever at the store (it takes longer to make grocery store decisions alone for three people than it is for one), we arrived back home with sandwiches, chips and other snacks, and of course beer. It only took about two hours and half a case of beer for things to slowly lighten up a bit. But even then it was like pulling teeth to get this guy to loosen up and have a good time. He spent the majority of his time complaining about life even though he was in FL and supposedly on vacation. He was tired. He hated the sun. He couldn’t get good signal so that he could listen to his sports podcast. So I did what I do best and that is that I just kept drinking. Fuck it right?

I keep drinking, I begin to tune out his presence. It’s not like he was saying much so it wasn’t his conversation I was tuning out, it was him in general. I fell asleep for a bit and when I came to, my gaze had fallen onto his foot. There on his big toe he had a band aid wrapped around the nail. “What happened to your toe?” I had assumed that maybe it had happened while I was asleep. I hadn’t noticed it before.

“Nothing. I stubbed my toe a few months ago and I’m still suffering from it. That’s why I have been so iffy about getting in the water.” It made sense. We had been there for hours and he hadn’t taken a dip yet. His normal pale Irish skin was blotchy and red. He was sweating like a whore in church.

He eventually did get in the water. I did a cannon ball on him. We wrestled for a second. That was the extent of the excitement for that day. I don’t know if it was the beer that got him feeling ballsy but he ended up kissing me right before we got out the water. It was like I expected. Bland. Yes, he had taken the step to kiss me but that was all he did. Have you ever tried to kiss a person who doesn’t know how to kiss back?? It’s awkward. You feel like saying,”Don’t just sit there. Do something.” I pull away and he goes, “I’ve been waiting for that.” with a smile. I don’t know why but that turned me off more than the kiss.

We got back to the house and to be honest the rest of the evening is a little foggy. I know we ended up going to bed, together. As in, in my bed we both slept in. I remember him trying to make out with me, but uh uh. I was not having it. I had had enough bad kissing for the day, so I stayed as far left on my bed as I possibly could until the sun came up, alleviating me from this awkward situation.

Thursday. One more day. It was my mantra for the day. Could he tell how I felt? If he did, he hadn’t let on. Anything that I had to do on this day I tried to do as slow as possible in order for it to take up as much time as possible. I wanted tomorrow to get here and quick. I made us some breakfast. I did laundry. I cleaned my apartment that looked like a tornado had just hit. All the while this guy just sat on my couch just watching t.v not once even asking to see if he could help with anything. Not that I would have let him, but still the gesture would have been nice. I mean most of the mess around my apartment was mess HE made, but whatever. I spent the day running between my sisters room and down to the living room, her room being like a “time-out” from his nothingness. “I just don’t know what to do. This is terribly awkward. I just hate this. I can’t wait for him to leave..” I would tell her.

The three of us headed out to dinner that night. He had spent the last four days hating any of the food we had cooked or ordered. He was a super picky eater. He hated veggies and fruits. He couldn’t handle any sort of seasoning (go figure) because either he didn’t like the taste or it upset his stomach. I of course hadn’t known any of this and therefore had spent the entire week making bad choices due to this lack of knowledge. It hadn’t been until the night before when he was drunk by the pool that he let me in on his eating habits. I found his lack of communication extremely frustrating but had agreed that the next night we would go somewhere to eat more his style. We all decided on going to a little Irish bar not far from my house.

We had quite a bit to drink before ordering our food. The time between ordering and waiting for the food to arrive, my sister and I spent goofing around. He would laugh but not really participate much in the conversation. Our food came and we dined.

As we paid the bill he began to speak of how much fun he had while visiting. He described how awesome it was to have met me that night on the train and that he could really see this working out. That’s when things got a bit more awkward. It was obvious that I didn’t feel the same and once he realized the feeling wasn’t mutual he shut down completely. He barely spoke two words to me for the rest of the night (which I was already used to) and as soon as we arrived back to the apartment he began packing up his things and set up for his getting ready in the morning. There was a slight inner relief I felt once I saw him packing up his things. It was almost a reminder that this “situation” wasn’t permanent.

He slept on the couch that night and the next day we both were up early both ready for this to be over. To be honest, I don’t know what time his flight was that day. I hadn’t really asked. All I know is that once we were both ready, I drove him to the airport. I didn’t do my usual “parking in the garage and walking the person to security” deal that I normally do when people visit. I just drove up the curb and dropped him off with a hug good-bye and a “I’ll text ya later.”

The most horrible part of his entire stay at my place didn’t even happen while he was visiting. Or shall I be clear and say that it did happen while he visited but I was unaware of it until days after his departure.

I had smelled a funny odor coming from my bed sheets and although I had just washed them right before my guest’s arrival,  I decided to wash them again. When I pulled off the sheets to my bed the smell was horrid. Had something died in there? I began peeling apart all the sheets and blankets, the smell becoming more and more pungent.  That’s when I saw it. The band aid.

I swear I almost threw up. He had lost his dirty band aid in my sheets, leaving his exposed big toe out and obviously marinated my bed sheets with the funk. With my sister as my witness, I had to wash the bedding twice and even then the smell still lingered, leaving me with no other option than to toss them.

He and I never spoke again. I did try to reach out once. Honestly, I had just wanted him to return a few books I let him borrow. It was no surprise though when he didn’t respond. Sometimes, when something or someone triggers me to think of this memory, I laugh. I’m not sorry that it happened. I do wonder what he’s up to and if life is going good for him. I mean I don’t hate the guy one bit. I would have liked to have been friends but life doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you just meet people for a small period of time. As if they’re tiny extras in your book of life but that hold enough punch to actually teach you something. This situation was a good lesson to be learned. Actually, I learned quite a few. Like, you don’t need five days to figure out whether or not two people click. I say three is good. The one, though, that I preach the most?  Nothing good ever happens after 4 am.

002-2  Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: Rich. R

A Blessing in Your Absence

Two nights ago I decided against staying home. Recently, my social life has been somewhat non-existent and for good reason. Ever since getting myself into some legal trouble a few months ago, I’ve been trying to lay low, more so because I legally have to than out of me wanting to. I broke the rules that were imposed on me due to sheer boredom. I mean you cannot expect a 29 year old, single, female to be OK with just sitting at home every single night for the next 10 months.  What you can expect is for her to go stir crazy.

I get home from running errands and after much debating on whether or not to stay home, I decided that I could at least go out and have me a beer along with some dinner. Living out on the beach I am blessed to have everything at arms reach. I don’t have to drive ANYWHERE so I walk out my apartment, earphones in, and head to one of my favorite places, The Salty Crab. They’ve got a wonderful happy hour from 11-7 everyday, live music, and pretty good food compared to many of the other places you find in this tourist trap of a town. Four songs and a mile later I make it to my destination. I order my beer right away, Summer Shandy which they have on draft, one of my favorites, and within a few mins of getting my beer I place an order for boneless chicken wings dressed in a sesame ginger sauce.

The band that is playing is on break so I pop my headphones in. A few songs later I’m finished my beer, still no wings in sight. I order myself a second beer and within mins one of my favorite servers that works there, J, shows up at the bar. He’s off and wondered in to have a drink. He sits right down next to me and BAM just like that I have a drinking buddy, uh ohh. Well… might as well make the most of this right? Before you know it, we’re each finished with our round of beers and order a next round. This time J decides to add a shot into the mix, “Wanna do a shot with me Nattie?” Although I am not a big shot taker, I decide to go along with the flow. This is the first time J and I have a drink together so why not!? Beers ordered, shots poured, and still no wings in sight, this night is turning out to be something I was totally not expecting, but those kind of nights are usually the most fun. So I don’t fight it.

It was about 20 mins after J got there that another bartender from a few bars down also shows up for a drink. It’s a small town, we all know each other, so instead of drinking alone, he too joins us. Our group is getting bigger. At this point I had forgotten that I had even ordered food. It should not have taken as long as it did. To fry up some chicken and toss it sauce, it shouldn’t take more than a few mins but it took way longer than that. By the time my food came out, I was feeling my buzz and didn’t want to kill it, so I asked for it to be made to-go. Let’s keep this party going shall we?

Having my food made to-go was my second big mistake of the night, the first being me accepting that shot. On this particular day, I hadn’t eaten much. I am one of those drinkers that if I decide to drink on an empty stomach, I will be paying for it the next day. With the amount to drink I had had up to this point, I should have torn those chicken strips up. But I didn’t. Instead, I felt guilty for eating in front of people who hadn’t ordered anything and not wanting to be rude, decided I’d eat my food later that night after I got home.

As the night went on, so did the drinking. We took our mini party elsewhere. We headed to a bar that was a bit cheaper and that stayed open a little later. Another round of beers and shots materialized but by this point the shots didn’t even phase me. Or so I thought.

That night for me are now moments lived through snapshots. I remember breaking the seal and having to go to the bathroom often. I vaguely remember cashing out. I don’t remember my walk home, or even getting home. Next thing  knew, I woke up in my room, still fully clothed from the night before. Every light in my apartment was on, making it seem like it was mid-day vs. 8am, the time it truly was. I was disoriented, I’ll even go as far as saying that I was still drunk. I reached for my phone, which I normally keep on my nightstand, but it wasn’t there. Annoyed at the fact that I would have to actually get up and go looking for my phone, I laid my head back down, and within a fews mins I was fast asleep. When I woke up again, I was ready to go looking for my phone. I rummaged through my purse and nothing. I went into the kitchen and nothing. I looked in the bathroom, again, nothing. Another thing I had noticed was that my to-go chicken strips were nowhere to be found. And then that’s when it hit me…… I had left my phone sitting right on top of my to-go box at the bar. I must have left it there when I cashed my bill out the night before. I must have totally forgotten to grab it before leaving. I immediately washed my face, brushed my teeth, and headed back to the bar, in search of my phone.

“Sorry ma’m. I don’t see it here. If you want you can come back later and talk to the girl that was working last night but I can assure you if she had found it, it would be back here.” said the guy that was bar tending now. I know he believed that. He seemed sincere. But I knew better. In today’s world, if someone finds a smart phone, you’re lucky if you get it back. Especially at the bar I was at. The clientele here weren’t the most trusting of folks. I left the bar defeated. I knew my phone was a goner. Funny thing is, I wasn’t as bummed about it as I thought I would be. The only thing that upset me was that I had recently taken pictures from my sister’s visit with that phone. In all honesty, all of the pictures on my phone I cherished. That was definitely the hardest part of coming to grips with having to get another one.

Long story short, I went to Verizon and filed a claim. I paid my deductible and walked out knowing that another phone was on the way and that I would be receiving it the next day (now today). It has now been a full 24hrs since I last had my phone and let me just say that I thought this was going to be much harder than what it actually has been.

I feel refreshed. I feel liberated. I feel like I was stuck in this weird relationship with my phone and now there are no chains attached. Now, I’m not one to constantly be on my phone. I hear it from my friends all the time of how it always takes me so long to reply to a text or how I never answer a phone call. I always took a little pride in that just for the simple fact that for me that meant that I was living more in the moment than living through my phone like so many others. With that said, I have come to realize how dependent I have become on that little piece of technology. Thank the Universe that this happened on a day off of work because otherwise I would have had to run out and get me an alarm clock to get up for work in the morning. But even for non-important things, I found myself reaching for my phone every 15mins. Whether it was to text my sister, or to take a video of my dog doing something funny, or to record something for Snapchat, I literally would physically go to grab for my phone without even thinking. First thing I did this morning, I reached for my phone before even fully getting my head off the pillow to check to see the time. With each time that I came to the realization of what I was doing, a second of disgust would wash over me for the fact that I couldn’t believe how conditioned even I had been. I couldn’t imagine this happening to someone who was a full cell phone addict. How could they survive? I mean there are times that I would reach for my phone and once I realized I didn’t have it, I would almost feel a moment of relief. I literally had no obligations to my phone and that was a great feeling. Funny how something so tiny like a cell phone can thoughtlessly impose on your life.

I sit here knowing that in a few hours I will have a phone again. I do look forward to having limitless contact with the ones I love but I don’t care to have to set it up like I once did. I don’t look forward to having to upload apps and customize my settings. Right now that seems like a lot of energy being placed into something that shouldn’t have that much importance but either way it will get done. Things for me have changed though. If people thought I was detached from my phone before, I can’t imagine what they’ll think now. I love this freedom. Losing my phone was not losing my life but instead it gave it back. I had almost forgotten what life was like before cell phones and with this incident, it has brought those fond memories back. The times of not having to see how many likes you got on a particular post, or checking to see if someone read your message and if so did they respond? The times of actually having to play a radio to listen to music or look at an actual clock to see the time. The moments of life that you have to fully live and absorb because now there is no way of capturing it unless you have a real camera handy. The conversations one must have with the company you’re with due to having no distractions….

I have always related to what’s classic. I have always admired “back in the day” when things were a bit more personal. For instance, I still read real books. I have always wanted a type writer (no real writer should be without one) and I still go out and buy Cd’s. I write letters to friends and tend to always want to play some sort of board game when company is over as opposed to just turning on a Tv. Cell phones have taken so much away from humanity and people don’t even realize. Just take a look at our socializing skills alone and we see how much cell phones have robbed us from even being able to interact with those around us.

Initially I was going to blame myself and the alcohol for aiding in the loss of my phone and all of its contents. But instead of assigning blame, I’ll simply show a bit of gratitude. For it is always a good thing when life hands you an eye opening moment, when you’re given a chance to really appreciate, the way life truly is.