Great Independence

The wrist grips have been released and these arms have turned to wings. The feeling of liberation dings loudly, an anthem of sorts. Let freedom fucking ring!!

Far and few in between are the moments that I think of us and when  I do, I am left with a sour taste in my mouth. I won’t be totally insulting though. I learned much from being bound to you. For instance, the belief that there is much more to life than occupying the days with mindless routine and merely filling a home with tangibles, opinions of life that I had heard and read before, are now cemented within my core. The knowledge the lesson has taught me, is indeed a fact of life and not just an opinion. It is the anchor that keeps me put instead of floating along with just anyone who slyly slithers by, baiting me with materialistic goods. I learned to distinguish they type through the perfectly made example set by you.

I have learned that I cannot save someone, nor can I change them.

You taught me that I cannot erase the demons that haunt a person, nor can I make them fade away if the person is not yet truly ready.

I now understand that if my intuition is whispering , I should not dismiss it as doubt, but head its warning.

You educated me on how easily manipulation can be embedded in the courting process and on how easier it is to be immersed in someone’s trap without noticing the existence of the trap at all.

A beautifully destructive lesson constructed by need is what we were, and although brief, we did obtain what we needed from each other. Could we have made better choices? Most definitely, and because we didn’t we instead got front desk seats at the school of Hard Knocks. I’m not sad of the journey we took. I am grateful. Years from now we will look back on this time of our lives and laugh our asses off. In reality it wasn’t all bad. We shared a few good moments sprinkled throughout our tumultuous relationship. I won’t deny that, but I will just add that I am happy it is over.

We have written our story and have now slammed shut that chapter of our lives.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

The Sacrifice

When you hand over your entire life to someone it takes the sacrifice of your entire heart to say goodbye. Nothing that you ever touch forever lasts. Sometimes I think we tend to forget that. As quick as it began in the same speed it could end and to dive deep into the dark depths of love is a risky game we all love to play.

Life is precious and within that life lies our individuality. We have a course we each run with our own lessons to be learned. We are gifted with many capabilities as well as handicaps and through these is how life lessons are dispensed to us. A shame it is when we come across another soul, one you believe to be that mate for life. You become engulfed in who they are and how to become a part of them that you slowly begin to handover who you are bit by bit, which could quickly lead to an unhealthy relationship.

In an unhealthy relationship there tends to be one who depletes themselves by handing over their entirety, and there is one who is more than willing to take. Materialism, although it is a BIG part of this dynamic, it is not the main issue. It’s all the intangibles. The love, the genuine vulnerability, the emotional giving and taking, the loyalty, the respect, the honesty. These are all the things that count and far beyond more important compared to the purchases made on a Visa or Mastercard. The lack of balance in the area of  what is the intangible is a far bigger debt than that of the materialistic.

To hand over who you are as an individual is a high risk move and you always hope to receive the same back in return. When it doesn’t happen, there is only so much time before the relationship self destructs. In that detonation all hearts get shattered. For the one who emotionally  gave until their well ran dry, they walk away with a shriveled heart. They feel like a failure because their self seemed to not have been enough to get what they deserved back in return. They’ve lost themselves in the other person and hardly remember who they are, what they like, what they hate. Their entire self has become a mirror image of who they came to love. For the other person, the one who took and took, their greed (or maybe addiction?) draining while hardly replenishing, they too hurt. They’ve lost their control. They lost the one thing they have always needed, a heart who gives without really asking for much in return. That’s the ultimate treasure, one that cannot be bought. A priceless gift handed over, to then be taken away? How could that not hurt?

Love has many layers and for each set of souls the layers are different. We can all agree though, when love is lost or even unrequited the pain is like no other. We are each left with the hurt and the question, was the sacrifice worth it? Was it worth the sacrifice of handing over your heart, of letting go of your individuality? I like to always think that no matter how difficult the goodbyes, no matter the pain, to live through such a lesson is always worth it because no  matter the kind of layers the love was made up of, at the core of it all there was of course Love.

 

Bluntly Upon My Sleeves

You are completely mistaken.

It wasn’t because you were doing well and then all of the sudden you weren’t. White Lies. You were never doing well. It just took me a while to figure out that you were badly put together. Taped in lies, out seeped the truth.

The best revenge is that which is written down on paper.

And while neither of us are perfect, never did I try to sweep dirt under the rug. Confronting and communicating is all that I ever tried to do. Giving up is what that led to, for I always found myself speaking alone. All the time alone.

You say that behind curtains I hide but that too is simply not the truth.

Who I wear bluntly upon my sleeves is the heart of who I am. That does not mean that I am not nicked, dented, or imperfect and as time wears on, those who stand beside me find out my deepest stories, understanding each flaw.

Because I was not perfect, as perfect as your eyes betrayed you to see, you retreated in your hermit shell, instead of trying to understand me. Once again running… You ran from who we are as individuals, you ran from who we could have been as a team.

While running you ran into the arms of the exact demons that have kept you in hiding for so long. The Devil’s Brew. There you dance with the devil to the melody of a dangerous song. You have lost yourself over time and now deeper in the hole you seem to be, and although your rants and raves fall deaf to me, through the grapevine your messages have been received. Everything that you say is said because you’re sour. Everything you write is written as a coward because again you hide behind the strength of a bottle.

So yes, disappearing is what I had to do. Why run the risk of coming across this doppelganger you? This venomous character who I am just only now getting to know? Do you now realize that what you reap is too what you sow? All of those uncalled for words have hurt,  so you think I am just going to let it roll, us remain friends, let you say bye to my dog?

You should understand me now enough to know that I refuse to house hostility in my heart. I keep negativity at bay and I always remove any toxins that affect my life. Unfortunately this called for the removal of you.

Someday, once the pain subsides, once your mind is clear, and your soul is back to feeling right, you’ll see and understand why. Until then, if that day were to ever present itself, I wish you well. I pray that you get clear so you can see all that the Universe has for you in reach. I pray for your soul to feel free, and that when you someday choose to shoot for the stars, there you find what you so desperately seek.

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Photo Credit: Angie M. Muse: Natal Galvan

Giving More FXS

For that split second…

for that “flick of two fingers” split of a second he thought to himself,

“What the fuck are you doin’?” It was the perfectly phrased question when thinking about his life. The question only popped up into his mind once while he fucked her. But now every time they hung out, which seemed much more often than he was currently comfortable with, the question danced in his mind.

What was he doing with his life? What were his goals? He’s got dreams and fantasies, but what are his goals? A better question would even be what was he doing with her? Someone so grounded and career driven. A woman, he felt, was way out of his league. Not because he wasn’t “worth” it but because she’d never give him the proper time of day. He could provide a roof over their heads, cover the major bills, and still have enough to go out on the town with friends for some smooth jazz and whiskey. Still, all this without a socially accepted title, is an embarrassment.

For a split second…

for a split “blink of an eye” second he thought about leaving her. He still thinks he just might. Just let her sit there at the table waiting. Her deep red recently polished nails fidgeting with the white linen napkin that sat in her lap. His soul is much more valuable than some swanky new job title he’d now have to accept in order to meet her unspoken standards. He peered at her through the crack of the bathroom door. He had direct view.

She was beautiful there was no doubt about it. That kind of beauty that takes your breath away without registering why first. Her eyes were kind and you knew her soul was full of love, with just a tint of sadness. She was relateable and within seconds she could make friends of strangers. She was that kind of beauty. Yet, because of that very beauty he was almost ready to run past their table and out back towards the kitchen doors.

How horrible would it feel for him to have to live with such judgment, mostly self imposed, and such pressure? How would he measure up in her eyes? Could he ever be her equal? He would most likely feel second at best.. *Push yourself* something internally whispered.

She instantly turns her head towards the direction of where the men’s bathroom lies. He knows she cannot see him but he can see her fully now. That face, that stare, slowly taking his fear away. He snaps out of whatever absurd thought he was in the middle of having and straightens himself up before heading out the very doors he was just hiding behind. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was waiting for him and he could not keep her waiting any longer. Without her knowledge she had injected him with courage and he walked towards her fearless. Anything can happen. She loved him, he saw that in the flicker of her eyes as he approached their table. This story could turn into “happiness ever lasting”  just as easy as it could end in tragic heartbreak, but he gave a fuck and that’s why he won’t be running away. He cares about knowing the outcome to this story. He gives so much of a fuck that he will trek the journey and see to it he strives hard for a positive outcome.

He wont let fear govern his life, nor love, because he wants to live and he wants to love. Simply because he gives a fuck.

Before he reaches his chair, he slowly walks over towards hers. He reaches down, one hand wraps under her chin tilting her head up, and he swoops down like a vulture, taking her mouth in to his. He kisses her passionately but only for a quick beat, and then he lets her face go and goes to sit in his chair, not once taking his eyes off of hers. A slight smirk revealed itself, her red lips still perfectly painted, perking up in the corners. He waved their server over and ordered a second bottle of wine. Their finest, her favorite.

He’s got this….

Getting to Know Frustration

I get back home from work and I am tired and drained. Having to cater to people and their needs truly does take a toll on a person, I don’t care what anyone says. When I get home all I want to do is take off my uniform, pee, and veg out for a little. That is me unwinding. Sometimes I don’t speak very much. Sometimes I just want to sit in silence. There are times that I may crave a beer and drink it (or two or three) while I watch my favorite t.v show. There are times I smoke a little pot. Unwinding and how you do so, I feel, is a personal choice. After living alone for most of my 20’s, I am used to this being my style of unwinding. Even when I was in school and living with my mother, other than the booze and the pot, this has always been my style of unwinding.

Oh how the comforts of unwinding have changed since rooming with someone.

We all get it. Having roommates is hardly ever easy. It’s almost like having a relationship, so many things to consider. So many more people to have to keep in mind. It is a self-inflicted punishment, one that usually arises out of convenience. Yet even though we are aware of the risks involved when deciding whether or not to have a roommate we still always give into the temptation of taking the most instantly gratifying way.

So here I am with a roommate. My usual unwind after work has now taken a turn.

I decide that once home, I was simply going to relax on the couch with my dog for a bit and catch up on a few of my shows that I haven’t had time to watch in the last few weeks. I do my usual routine.  I come home and change out of my uniform. I use the bathroom and after I’m done I get to my favorite spot on the couch and settle in. I begin to channel surf and just as I am about to locate the t.v show I have been waiting all week to watch, in comes my roommate.

“What’s wrong with you? Everything ok?” She asks me and I look up at her questionably.

“Yeah, everything is great. Why?” I answer as I turn and look back at the t.v.

“You just seemed annoyed or agitated.” She walks off and into the kitchen.

“No, well I’m not. Just here relaxing after work.” I smiled more to myself than to her. How did I look agitated?? I literally just sat on the couch and clicked on the tube. How can one misinterpret that into agitation?

“Ok, because if you are annoyed with something you can talk to me.” Lexi walks back into the living room holding a small McIntosh apple and continues the inquisition. NOW is when I begin to get irritated but I still try to keep it to myself.

“Nice, well I’ll surly keep that in mind the next time I’m annoyed or agitated.” I reply while I continue to scan the t.v guide. I’ve realized that at this point I’ve gone through half of the channels without even realizing. Great.

“Sooooo you are annoyed about something?” She was now staring at me from her bedroom doorway.

“What? No. Why? I just said that I wasn’t. I’m literally just trying to relax. I’m tired.” A flicker of annoyance dances across my face and hold onto my words. Who does she think she is ruining my winding down time? Like seriously.

“Well, You just said that you’d tell me the “next time” that you’re annoyed. That would mean that not this time but the next, insinuating that this time you’re annoyed but not willing to talk about it.” Her intention seemed genuine but this conversation had turned so annoying that her genuine concern no longer mattered. I wanted to flick her away from me.

“I honestly was just fine until a few seconds ago. This current conversation just got really annoying.” All of this talk about agitation and annoyance was starting to make me really agitated and annoyed. I was almost tempted to go into my room and curl up with a nice quiet book. Too bad it was a book that I currently didn’t want to read.

FUCK! Could a girl just watch some goddamn t.v without being interrogated?

The conversation didn’t end well. By the end of it I told her how this was exactly why I hadn’t wanted to live with her from the beginning. I felt as though I couldn’t just be myself without her questioning, probing, and prodding.  I had hurt her feelings because I hadn’t sugar coated what I was feeling. It took me a day and a half of meaningless small talk to get her “back to normal”.

I understand now that what I had considered to be an interrogation was just a kind girl giving a shit. Should I have gotten irritated and snappy back? Of course not, but I am only human. If I’m tired, hungry, stressed, or moody… well, who knows what could happen. But am I an asshole? No. I care. I truly do, especially when it comes to good people.

I’ve heard of adults being “stuck in their ways” but I  don’t want to be one of those. Yes, I’m used to my own ways of doing things but that doesn’t mean that I can’t change routine or break it a little. Breaking routine, the way I see it, is living.

As life with a roommate continues, I get to know frustration a little more and I accept it as an obvious part of life. It’s a daily struggle to adapt to living with a person especially one who is so different from who I am. Yet, the struggle is a rewarding one because with each hurdle jumped, our friendship grows a little bit more…..and there is such beauty in that kind of frustration.

 

Pictured Infidelity

Have you ever caught someone cheating on you red handed??

Maybe not in the exact act of betrayal but you discovered evidence that could prove nothing else other than their total infidelity? My friend is going through something of this nature and it inspired me to take a look back into a deep past that I buried long ago.

This story takes place about 8 years ago and at this time I had freshly moved to FL and was dating who had been my HS sweet heart at the time. In the seven years that him and I had dated, never did I ever think that such betrayal between us was possible but with time I soon realized how possible anything in life could be.

He had left in the morning to go to the bank to deposit some of his money from his serving shift the night before. I was killing time waiting for him to get back to start on breakfast when I decided to get on the computer and switch up some pictures on my Myspace (remember Myspace?). I log onto the computer and begin to search some files looking for my new profile picture when I see a file that was left untitled. I found this interesting. What pictures could be in there? Not thinking anything negative, I excitedly clicked on the file folder thinking that I would find pictures he and I had long ago forgotten. When the file opened, my world which seemed so perfect at the time, shattered like fragile glass dropped from a tall building. Picture after picture, I find this strange girl partially naked with her legs spread open, her fingers teasingly in her mouth. Freshly shaved vagina and huge, black, Oreo looking nipples stared me in the face, almost mocking me and my broken heart. She was lying on his bed. There was no denying the bed sheets that I had bought him for Christmas just a month prior to this picture. The date was stamped just a few days after his birthday last year. My mind immediately sailed back to that time and I was bombarded by the memories. That year I had made reservations at a popular Cuban restaurant that had just opened. I made sure that the table had been set up with flowers, balloons, chocolates, and that his favorite drink  sat at the table, awaiting his arrival. That night we had made love in that same bed where just days later he had fucked her. Instantly I was fueled by anger and rage. How was it possible that I hadn’t suspected anything back then? How had I not smelled her on his sheets or had not felt her presence linger in the air? I had been totally blindsided. My best friend had betrayed me in the ugliest way possible.

I left the pictures up on the computer and made my way into the kitchen. If my timing was right, he would be back home shortly and so I had begun making breakfast, for just myself. I was still fuming when he had gotten back home.

“MMMMmmmm babe, it smells sooooooo good!” He said as he walked in through the door, though there was nothing cooking.

“Does it?” I asked as he walked by me, giving me a kiss on the cheek before walking into the bed room. I slightly smiled like a psychopath. I was anxiously waiting for his reaction because once that reaction from him came, that would be the signal to finally let the rage out, full throttle.

I heard him setting his keys on the nightstand. He opened the closet door, probably to hang up his jacket, and then shut it again. Then silence. There was no movement, not a peep coming from the room. I stopped chopping up the green peppers I was to add to my omelet. My hands were shaking so bad there were bits of the vegetable flying onto the floor. I stared at the door frame willing for his image to appear and when it finally did, he looked as if he’d seen a ghost. I said nothing. He said nothing. It felt like an eternity before I irritatingly asked, “So?”

“That was way before me and you got back together!” He tried to defend. The time stamp proved otherwise and so his words had pierced me like hot steel. Luckily I had set down the knife at that point because I felt like throwing it at his face.

“Be a fucking man and tell the truth!! That picture was taken just a COUPLE days after your birthday!!!! We were 100% together!!! How could you do that to me??!! How could you stare me in the face, tell me you love me, after being with her? FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!” I was fuming and it took all I had to not walk over to him and wrap my fingers around his neck and apply pressure. I wanted to punch him. I wanted to make him hurt just as bad as he made me hurt, if not worse. But I couldn’t. The energy I initially had to inflict such damage had drained from my body. He had shattered my heart and at the same time robbed me of my strength. I stormed passed him on wobbly knees and into what had been, up until then, our bedroom. I slammed the door and locked myself in there for fear of what I was capable of doing next.

To make a very long story short, this incident had sent our relationship spinning to a point of no return.  I had lost every bit of faith I had in him. He of course tried his hardest to make things better. It was weeks later when I finally decided to not throw away 7 years together over a one time mistake, when I caught him sending text messages to a stripper he met on a night out with his friends. Destroying now even the want I had to try to work things out and move on, I sent him packing. He moved out, leaving behind nothing but my heart full of pain. Even though this wouldn’t be the end of our story (oh yes, there was more drama to shortly follow), it had been the end of that chapter.

It took me a long time to allow myself to even want fall in love again. He had been my high school sweet heart, my best friend, my entire everything. The only man I thought I could ever marry. No one can ever compare to your first love. It was the first time you really came to see what it was to feel so much for someone that wasn’t apart of your family. That first outsider that you care for unconditionally, and without fear. Pure love placed in your heart and then again into that of another… to later be broken and tossed away by the very same person you wholeheartedly handed it over to.  You never do love the same after that. Of course you love, but it is not as innocent as it once was. You don’t love without questioning, wondering, doubting.

It wasn’t until a few years later that him and I ended up speaking again. I remember one of the things he said to me was how important we were for one another. We had made up so much of each other’s past it was hard to forget. He reminded me of the strong friendship we had had and how even that was something unforgettable. He reminisced as his stare went off into a moment of bliss, enjoying what he was remembering. For me, those moments were what they were, the past, and soon they’d be nothing more than just an old dusty chapter buried in a book, left on a shelf, and long ago forgotten.  Those moments he thought of as beautiful, held no light to those dark memories of betrayal.

To be honest, I couldn’t imagine my life with him. There is more to this story of heartbreak, but it will be left untold for now.  What I will add is the fact that Karma is magnificent and the Universe never goes without issuing out that which is deserved. Going through what I did wasn’t deserved but it was necessary  because I grew and learned from it. I became a little smarter and tougher. I grew independent and this is when I discovered that happiness is a choice and that it shouldn’t be something placed in the hands of another, your happiness being too precious, your destiny too valuable.

I give my friend that cliche advice that if it isn’t working out then it is because it is not meant to be, and that this is all for a reason. I tell her that she’s got something amazing coming her way. I tell her that the Universe is always conspiring in her favor and to trust in it. It all sounds like lines out of a cheesy movie, but it is the truth. I have lived it. I have been there and I have come out on top because with a good perspective and a positive attitude, that’s really all that is needed to rise above.

Another BIG Move

In exactly two months this girl will be moving across the state. It won’t be my first time relocating long distance. I’ve moved from Jersey to Florida, Florida to California, California to Jersey, and Jersey back to Florida again. This time I’m only moving from one side of FL to the other. You would think that after such major moves in the past that this would be quick and easy for me, but it isn’t. Relocating is never easy. It’s hard to leave the comfort of what you’re used to and head into the world of the unknown, even if what you’re used to isn’t making you 100% happy.  Even so, I never let fear determine an outcome. Especially when in pursuit of love.

***Skeeeeert*** All ears and eyes perked up***

Yes, I said love. This time, compared to previous times, I am relocating for Love and boy oh boy have I gotten shit for this. In all honesty it makes me giggle out loud because most of those who comment negatively on my reason in moving have NO IDEA whom they’re talking to. At the age of 30 I can say that this has not been my first rodeo. Unlike my bf, I have been in cohabitant relationship before, and although he is in for the shock of his life, I am not. I know about all the trials and tribulations when it comes to living with your significant other. I fully understand all the highs and lows that come when moving in together and I am prepared.  Hence why I must clarify that although I am relocating to the east side, and that eventually we will be living together, for the first few months my bf and I will NOT be cohabiting 🙂

If you have been following my blog you know that the relationship I have been in for the past few months has been a long distance one, and that it hasn’t been all peaches and cream.  Having to drive two and a half hours every time you want to see your significant other can really put a strain on the relationship. From having to plan even the smallest of dates, to not being able to spend certain holidays together due to conflicting schedules, being apart doesn’t make things easy. Long distance dating pushes back any milestones that “normal” couples hit in a quicker fashion. Although him and I have been dating 8 months, I still don’t feel 100% about moving in with him right away and not because I don’t love him. More so because I do and so I need to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes I’ve committed in the past. I’ve moved in quickly with bf’s before. Before getting to really know them and their quirks. Before getting to know the things that tick them off. Before getting to know the everyday things about them that would allow me to really decide if they were the right man for me or just a learning phase. If I had to guess, I would say that our 8 month long distance relationship is equivalent to a 3-4 month “normal” relationship. Do I feel confidant moving in with someone after 3 months? After my past experiences? No. I mean, would you??

“If you’re so nervous about living with him, shouldn’t you take that as a sign as to not move across the state for him?” I get asked this one a lot once people realize that I’m not moving in with him right away. These are the kinds of people that look at a situation and either see black or white, there is no grey area in between. For me, I don’t take this as a negative sign against my bf. I take this as a positive towards me and my own learning experiences. The way I see it is that I have learned from my past. My past has taught me that you don’t simply move in with someone that you’re dating out of convenience or because it’s the “next step” in the relationship. NO. You do it once you feel it’s right for the both of you. I am ready to make a move out of SWFL. I have been for quite sometime now and if I hadn’t met my bf I would still be relocating. The fact that him and I have been dating for longer than my usual is a sign to me that things between us are moving in the right direction. Am I supposed to make this relationship work from hundreds of miles away?? Of course not. At some point the move has to be made if we’re eventually going to try to get things to the next level.

“Well, why do you have to be the one who moves? You did spend most of the time driving to see him. Isn’t it time he put forth some effort?” This one is usually the next question to follow. Like I said before, I have been wanting to get out of where I live for over a year now. It’s just what I do once I’m bored so me moving was going to happen eventually. The conversation was had and we both decided together that it would be me making the big transition. Yes, I have already put much energy into this relationship in the way of having to drive a few hours a week to see him BUT it is what had to be done. My work gives me the chance to be able to do such things. His job does not. Is that an excuse? Yes, but it’s a good one. A real reason as to why it worked out the way it did, not just some made up excuse to make me feel better.  Should I punish him or make things more difficult for us simply because I was lucky in having a flexible job? What he doesn’t do in driving or relocating he makes up for in other ways. The fact that people look at our situation and think they know the sacrifices we make for each other is astonishing and goes to show the arrogance in their thinking. Plus, when does anyone ever stop putting forth energy into a relationship? Those in unsuccessful relationships, that’s who.

“You’ve seem to have it all figured out. It all sounds good but…. What if it doesn’t work out?” Ahhh yes. The most common question asked. I consider it to be the dumbest, especially if you’re asking me. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Well….. I move on! DUH! I am not one to dwell on anything. I find that dwelling on the things that don’t work out for you is the best way to keep yourself stuck and off track. I like to learn and move on when it comes to the things that don’t pan out for me like I believed they would. Would I be heartbroken? Of course I would, but I’ve never died of a broken heart before. If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out, but at least I gave it a try. At least I didn’t let fear stop me from trying. I am a believer that what happens happens, as well as a believer that the universe is always conspiring in your favor. If the relationship doesn’t work out, it is for a reason. I may not be super thrilled about it not working out, but I will survive, as always.

I’m going into this situation as realistically as I possibly can but with the highest of hopes. Every day is a new day and with each step taken towards my big move it becomes less scary and more exciting. I heard a lecture once by Alan Watts where he speaks about feeling nervous versus feeling excited. The feeling of both is exactly the same. The difference is in your thinking. To feel “nervous” is to think negatively about the given situation. Feeling “excited” is the positive way of thinking about it. I am truly excited about my upcoming move. To be closer to my love will be a breath of fresh air. To be in a new environment sends a sense of thrill through my soul. A new adventure to write about in the story of what is my life. Cheers! To another big move.

DSCF0278 (2)Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Not Friendships. Acquaintances.

Friendships. Some people live for their friendships. I know people who have died for their friendships, and lack there of. It is one of the many things in life that gives a person purpose, comfort, motivation, and even inspiration. Personally, (and I’ve learned this at a very young age) I think that friendships now-a-days are a crock of shit. I feel as though that the word “friend” is thrown around way too often, stripping the title from any real meaning. We can thank FB for this. You meet someone at a party, at the airport waiting for your coffee, washing your hands in the restroom, if you connect with someone, the first thing you do that night or the next day is hunt that individual down on FB and you quickly become “friends” with them. Need I mention that this is NOT a friendship. This person you know absolutely nothing about, nor they know anything about you, is not your friend. For me, friendship goes beyond meeting someone and getting along with them. Friendship takes more work and dedication than that. It runs deeper than a single click on a social media site.

Friends aren’t those who you only see when you go out drinking. Those are your drinking buddies. Those coworkers you get along with so well throughout your work day? You know, the ones that make your work shift fly by? Nope. They aren’t your friends either. Not if you only see and speak to them during work hours. Your friends are the ones that will call you throughout the night when you didn’t make it to the bar. They’ll annoyingly bug you and tease you for not showing up, and will make sure that you don’t miss a moment.. Friends are those coworkers that even if you are no longer working alongside of them, they are still reaching out, making your work days at your new job a bit more bearable. Friends are those individuals that when they find themselves in your neck of the woods, will call you to meet up with them even if it’s for just a quick cup of coffee. Your friends make you feel better when you are sick, even if their remedy is just humor. Friends are selfless. All they want for you is happiness and will support you in your en devours, even if it means that they won’t get to see you as often. Friends are those who maybe you haven’t spoken to in a while simply because life just got in the way, but once you do get a hold of one another it is like not a single day passed by since the last time you spoke.

True friendship isn’t easy. Like anything else that is worth anything, it takes time and effort. A friendship is a two way street. Friends will at times deplete each other but will also replenish the well. You may make an incredibly stupid mistake but a true friend will get you through that moment, while seizing the chance to make fun of you for it. There will be moments where your opinions will collide, but even then, not even your own personal ideologies and way of life will come between you and that friend. Within a true friendship you find unconditional acceptance. You’ll find trust and loyalty throughout even the most uncomfortable situation. You never really have to explain yourself because a true friend will understand you with few words spoken. True friendship doesn’t survive on the materialistic. It survives on the intangibilities of life.

Many people believe that they have a million “friends” simply because their FB status “proves” it to be true.  Many of those people find themselves the most alone when facing challenges. They’re the ones who freak out when someone they considered a friend does something distasteful towards them. In an age where everything is so instant, when it comes to friendship or even love, any relationship really that you want to hold dear to your heart, give it time to unfold and prove itself before you go labeling it to be something more than what it truly is. Remind yourself that just because you may think of something one way, it may not be that way for someone else.

Hold yourself in high regard because you deserve better than whoring around your friendship to those who could care less, because if you couldn’t care less to quickly label them a friend, than they will careless about treating you like a mere acquaintance.

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Photo taken by: Natal Galvan, Location: Downtown Fort Myers, FL

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

 

 

 

 

Caution To the Wind

I put to rest another small and unhappy part of my life today, for I’ve learned from my previous experiences to not let unhappiness hang around for too long.

Today I decided to quit my part-time job.

I won’t lie, walking away from any sort of commitment, whether big or small, personal or professional, it’s always difficult to do. There are always pros and cons, of course. Most times if you’re at the point in which you are weighing out the negatives and the positives of your given situation, the cons will outweigh the pros. But, if you’re anything like me, once you commit, it’s too hard to quit no matter how difficult the situation may be.

Growing up my momma made sure to raise no fool. She instilled in us kids the values and principals of working hard and sticking to what you start, no matter the sacrifice and dedication it took. As kids, there was no such thing as “sick days” unless one was contaminated with something extremely contagious such as the chicken pox. We didn’t take days off of school without an important reason, and once I got older there was no such thing as “calling out” of work either. Think of it like this, in the 30 plus years that my mother has been employed at the casino, she has only called out of work four times, and it was due to snow. You can just imagine the work ethic my mother has and in turn has passed onto us. This is why in today’s time, if I find myself committing to something, be it a job, or project, anything really, I am committed. I am your loyal little work bee until something or someone prevents me from happily doing so.

The key word there was “happily”. I am a HUGE follower of happiness. I believe that happiness is a choice. You either choose to be happy or you choose to not be happy. I believe that while we’re here experiencing this life we chose, we either decide to make this a heaven on Earth, or Hell. Much of what helps us make our decision as to which way we live has to do with listening to ourselves and allowing intuition to direct us. I mean we have feelings for a reason. Feelings help guide us throughout life, and although people listen to some feelings, they don’t seem to consider all feelings. For instance fear is one feeling people tend to not only consider but over indulge in. Yes, fear allows us to avoid many dangerous situations, but at times it also limits people’s ability to experience things outside of their comfort zone.

A follower of happiness cannot simultaneously over indulge in the feelings of fear.  Yes, a follower of happiness can experience fear, but there is no overindulgence because to follow happiness, many times (most times) you must throw caution to the wind and not allow for fear to govern decision making. Happiness is a feeling that not many people take into consideration. Are you happy at work? Do you feel happy in your romantic relationship? Does your friendship bring you happiness? If not, are you willing to go on that pursuit of happiness no matter what it takes, or will you let fear take reign of your life? Many will read this and counter that one cannot be happy in all aspects of life. Those people are Debbie Downers. You CAN be happy in all areas of your life. People do it everyday. It’s a small percentage but there are those individuals that are truly happy in all aspects of their life. You just have to choose to be happy. Sure, it takes time, but if you’ve got the drive and determination, just like with anything else in life, you too can achieve all around happiness.

There is no need for me to say that my part time job wasn’t making me happy. It was no secret. I honestly couldn’t have been more vocal about it, and although I wasn’t there for long, I still feel annoyed with myself that I ended up staying there for as long as I did. There were many days full of anguish and unease that could have been avoided if only I would have left sooner. Yet, I can’t dwell on the past. Or I could, but for what reason? To extend that negative feeling?? Instead I’ll applaud myself for leaving the unhappy situation sooner than I have previously done in the past, merely because I let fear rule over my feeling of intuition.

“You need us as much as we may need you.” My ex-boss said to me as we spoke about our issues. Anyone who is an employee knows these are words that draw a line in the sand. So I either choose to believe that what he spoke is true and stay in a situation that brings me no joy. A situation that I’m in only because I don’t want to let others down. OR  I choose to cross that line and step out and over into the unknown. Where the door to comfort and familiarity closes and the window to new and endless opportunities await.

I chose to cross the line. The minuet I did I felt the greatest weight being lifted off my shoulders and in that instant I knew I did the right thing. Maybe not the right thing in the eyes of others, but for me it was the right decision. Now I’ve got an array of avenues to pursue. I can go this way or that way, while nothing negative is holding me back. In this NOW moment I can say that I am truly happy in all areas of my life and I plan to keep it this way. Yes, there will come a time (many more times) where a feeling of sadness or unrest will try to creep back in, but as a follower of happiness I am committed to myself to always do what makes my soul smile. I choose to pursue that which makes me radiate joy, positivity, and love so I not only continuously live in harmony with the Universe, but so that I can also serve as an example that one can truly achieve and live in overall happiness if one chooses to.

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