And when this hourglass has filtered out its final grain of sand… I raise my glass to the memories we had.

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Do you know what happened five years ago this coming Wednesday (May 14th)?

I graduated from University.

I find it so strange to think that big chapter of my life happened five years ago. Looking at those pictures, it’s a little overwhelming to think how much has changed. My life has gone through many ups and downs–funerals, and weddings, babies, and new love. I’ve discovered the importance of my health, and for the first time in my life not only do I feel healthy, but I feel strong. It feels like a million years ago I stood in front of my University, head buried into the shoulder of my then boyfriend, scared to even cross the grounds and stand with my classmates for the group pictures they were taking. That’s not me anymore–not even a little bit. But never the less, looking at these pictures, I remember being that girl. I remember buying that dress, and how pretty it was. I remember how obsessed I was with losing ten pounds before, and how sick I made myself. I remember walking down the isle of the church, and seeing my whole family sitting there, proudly watching. And I remember thinking how it was the first day of the rest of my life… how I was in the “real world” now, and how terrified that made me.

Sometimes, it’s so nice to look back and reflect.

Well I guess this is growing up.

So it’s kind of crazy, but I turn twenty seven in one week.

I don’t know why this age is freaking me out as much as it is. It just feels like such a monumental age. The more I think about it, the more I start to think about my life up to this point–the people in my life, and the people who no longer are. I will be the first person to admit I haven’t always made the best choices. For the majority of my life I’ve gone by my emotions, rather than by logic. And while that has lead to some great decisions, it also has meant that sometimes I’ve reacted from my gut.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as my birthday approaches I can’t help but wonder about the people not in my life and almost wish I could make up for whatever reason it is that pulled us apart. Maybe this is being a grown up, I’m not sure. All I know is that for some reason I can’t stop thinking about it. And maybe there is no way to fix the past, to make up for the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe the best thing to do is just let it go. If only life had an instruction manual that could give me the answers. For now I guess all I can do is start from today and try and make sure I don’t repeat past mistakes. You can’t change the past, but you can make sure you don’t repeat it.

Here in this diary I write you visions of my summer… it was the best I ever had.

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To my best friend,

It’s been a year since you moved a straight shot across the country, landing on the opposite coast.

We’ve said since we were kids that no matter what happens, and what life brings us, we will be eighty years old crazy ladies drinking gin from teacups and telling the stories of when we were young. And even with the entire country between us I will never stop knowing that’s true. After 13 odd years of good times, bad times and drunk times our friendship has never wavered. A lot has been changing in the last year, and both of us are no longer the silly tipsy girls who used to get drunk on a pirate ship and stumble through the streets at midnight.  It blows my mind that the next couple years will see us getting married and having babies and starting our futures. But no matter what happens, how many miles between us, I know that you and I will always be a part of each others lives. You’re not just my best friend–you’re my second sister.

I miss you so much. Everyday. But whenever it gets too much all I have to do is close my eyes and remember the good times, never forgetting it’s just the beginning of many more memories to come.

Whoa, 21 and invincible… whoa, can’t wait to screw this up. And woah, 21 and invincible.

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Myself, at twenty one.

Did you know that I’ve been writing in this blog for almost five years this month.

That’s right–five years.

Since I was twenty-one.

A lot has changed in those five years, more than I think anyone saw coming. It’s crazy to look back through old entries and read through who I was at the time. While my posting has waned over the years, sporadic at best sometimes, I’ve always tried to find my way back here, to keep up with the changes, to fill the computer screen with what will someday be nothing more than memories. I started writing here at a particularly rough time, when I was feeling lost, and this blog has watched me grow through the bad times, deal with the devastating, and bounce right back. And for that reason, I could never see me letting it go. Even though I’ve changed, this is still my home, my place to let sort out the troubling things, to geek out over silly things, and gush over the lovely-dovey.

I filled out this survey back in 2009, and although that’s not quite 5 years, I thought it would be interesting to fill it out again, and marvel at the difference.

How old were you 5 years ago? twenty-one.
Were you in school? I was just about to start my last year of University.
If so, what grade? Last. Year. University.
Who were your friends? Ella, Alyssa, Malory, Ashley, Michelle, Nick. But for the most part I didn’t see my friends. I’m a loner by nature–that’s just who I am. It’s something I’m trying my damnest to break out of, but it still lingers there, especially on the bad days.
Do you look different now? Well, I had just cut off my hair into a chin-length style, similar to how I now wear it… so I’m guess I don’t look too, too differently.
Have your music tastes changed? Somewhat. But my iPod is still filled with the same music it was back then, albeit a little more Glee since Glee didn’t exist in 2008.
What about your clothing? I’ve started wearing clothes that are actually my size, and not hiding my body under baggy layers as much as I used to.
How many people have you dated? 3, technically.
Have you been in love? Yes.
What was your best memory? I have so many, it’s hard to chose a favorite.
What was your worst memory? This, too, is hard to pick out one in particular. The night we lost my grandmother stands out in my mind though.
Have you moved? Yes!
Have you had your heart broken? Oh yes.
Did you get a new car? My parents did.
How many people have you slept with? Only a few that mattered.
Do you have more confidence? I do. It’s strange–I’ve been looking through old chat logs on my parent’s computer while I’ve been house sitting and while sometimes when I get down it feels like I’m still that girl, I do think I’ve made some serious strides in having more confidence and being content with who I am.
What’s something you wish you go change? For better or worse, things happened how they were suppose to happen in the end. Do I wish things could have been less strained or hurtful? Of course. But I wouldn’t ever want to go back to being myself at twenty-one. I was a very broken girl. If I could change something I think I would have been more honest with the people who loved me about just how much pain I was in, and how bad things were getting. I know I put a lot of stress on them, and for that I am sorry.
Any regrets? Not being honest when I needed help, and letting the pain grow until it got to an overwhelming level and I lost my head.
Have you lost anyone? Yes.
Have you gained anyone? Yes.
Have you gotten any taller? I don’t believe so.
Have you gained or lost weight? Since August 2008? Both. I’m slightly thinner now then I was exactly five years ago, but over the years I’ve gained and lost about 20 pounds.
Is your hair the same color it was? Somewhat? Maybe darker.
What was your biggest accomplishment? Surviving when I honestly didn’t think I could, or wanted to.
Have you improved at all? I think I have. I’ve grown up, I’ve matured.
What was your biggest downfall? Self harm. And the stubborn belief that I was “fine.”
Is there anything specific that reminds you of the past 5 years? This blog. But I’ll have to go with music, if only because music reminds me of the past more than anything else.
What do you miss the most? From twenty-one? Not much. I miss my grandmother and uncle everyday and wonder what they would see if they saw me now.

I wish there was something i could say… to erase each and every page that you’ve been through… even though it’s not my place to save you.

Most people don’t know this, but six months ago I was set on the idea of packing up the belongings I could, and moving across the country where two of my best friends reside.

Last year wasn’t an easy year for me. Early in the summer, I relapsed back into my patterns of self harm, hard. I was in a dark place, and I took it out on myself. I was hurting myself frequently, barely eating, and making myself sick daily. Topped with periods of binge drinking, I was starting to fall apart. It was only around Christmas when my best friends came home that I finally started to feel a little better. So when my best friend suggested me leaving home, out to her part of the country, I thought: yes! Maybe this will fix everything. And so I decided that leaving, essentially running away, was my perfect solution.

And then something changed.

When the boy and I went on our first coffee date, it was on a whim. He’d been suggesting it for over two years, and I hadn’t yet made myself available for it. We were friends, we talked constantly, and he was such a sweetheart but I was just too scared to jump. Finally, I decided one day to ask him, keen to see what it would be like. We set a date, and I jumped. I was still playing with the idea of moving away, but as we spent more and more time together–and I started to feel like a girl I hadn’t been in a long, long time–the feelings of wanting to run away started to fade away. As did my need for self destruction.

I don’t want to say that he “saved” me. I’ve always been a keen believer in the idea that no one can save you but yourself. Instead he showed me a part of myself that I had long forgotten existed. He knows about my troubling past, and he knows I’m still recovering–something he supports me in unconditionally. He knows I don’t want him to swoop in and try to protect me–and he knows he can’t. Instead he’s there to listen, to tell me he loves me, and keep me strong on the bad days. Six months on, and it feels good. I feel good. For the first time in a long, long time I feel like recovery is possible, that I can do it. I know it will never be easy. But in the end, the things most worth it never are.

I may do it on my own, but I’m never alone.

A long time ago, we used to be friends…

A month or so ago, it was announced that Veronica Mars was finally getting the movie I had dreamed about for the last 6 years, since the show ended. It was exciting news, for sure. And a little surprising, as I thought all hope for a movie had been lost. However, the most surprising thing of all was who revealed this exciting news to me.

Andrew.

I was fairly shocked when the email popped up in my inbox. I’d been at work, about to go on my break, and saw my phone flashing. Picking it up, I hit the middle button, expecting to see a text message from the boyfriend as he always sends me cute messages at work. Instead, I realized, it was an email. That, too, wasn’t all that shocking. I have a habit for signing up for e-newsletters, that I usually delete before even reading. However, when I opened my email it wasn’t La Senza revealing the latest deals on sexy bras, or Forever 21 hyping the newest trends. It was my exboyfriend’s name, followed by two words. VEROINCA MARS, all caps. For a minute I stared at it, and then, overcome with curiosity, I clicked.

In the last three years, the two of us have not talked. Not really. In the beginning, we tried to feign a friendship but as anyone who has tried to maintain a friendship with someone they just broke up with knows, it’s next to impossible. I think a quote from one of my favorite novels, “This Lullaby” by Sarah Dessen, sums it up best:

“Because you can never go from going out to being friends, just like that. It’s a lie. It’s just something that people say they’ll do to take the permanence out of a breakup. And someone always takes it to mean more than it does, and then is hurt even more when, inevitably, said ‘friendly’ relationship is still a major step down from the previous relationship, and it’s like breaking up all over again. But messier.”

The last time I spoke to him, was last Christmas. For a while, I’d been thinking about how I was holding on to too much negativity, and how in order to get rid of it, I wanted to be able to say “I’m sorry.” So, after a little too much to drink, I got on my computer and told him that I forgave him for what happened, that I didn’t hold anything against him, and that I was sorry for how I reacted–that I was wrong to put so much blame on him, even for things that were out of his control. I also told him that I didn’t expect anything from him, that I just needed to get this out in the air. He responded, saying he held nothing against me.

And with that, I figured, that chapter of my life was closed.

So you can imagine my surprise when a year and a half later here I was, seeing an email from him. The truth is, I’ve moved on from the past. Now they’re barely blurry water colored memories, something I look back on with passing observance. The email was simple–eight words, all caps, and a link to the Veronica Mars kickstarter. I stared at it for a second, dumbfounded, then tossed my phone back in my purse, utterly confused. And it dwelled on my mind for the remainder of shift, like a little weight I couldn’t shake. Maybe it was silly, but I just couldn’t understand. So after less than a week of trying to figure what the hell he was thinking, I finally cracked and did the only thing I could do–I asked.

He responded that I was the first person he thought of when he heard the news, that he thought it was weird that we haven’t been in communication, and added he didn’t think it should be weird for us to email one another out of the blue. I wasn’t sure the response I was looking for, but that kind of struck me. And I realized that he was probably right–it shouldn’t have been so weird for me. After all, I’ve managed to maintain an (odd and some somewhat strange) friendship with the High School Ex-boyfriend, so why after three years should it have struck me as so odd when Andrew emails me. And I thought–that’s nice. Maybe we could be friends. So when I responded, I ended by telling him that I would have loved to hear how his life has changed, and what he’s been up to. I’m not the same person, so I don’t doubt that a lot as happened to him as well.

And then nothing. No response. No acknowledgement. Nothing.

I’m going to admit, I was a little confused once again. After all, he’d been the one saying it shouldn’t be weird, and then it’s weird again.

The thing is, after three years I don’t have feelings for him. I’ve moved on, realized what I don’t want, and found the man who I see my future with. I have everything I could have ever asked for, when I wasn’t even looking. But he still remains someone who was, once upon a time, my best friend, my first love, and he’s still the one of the few people that I’ve trusted enough to open up to and he was there for me during some particular hard moments. Granted, that was three years ago, and things have changed for me. But when I thought about this idea about being friends, it struck me as something would be nice. I wasn’t expecting us to be best friends, or anything like that. It’s just that he’s a big part of my history, a defining chapter in the story of my life. And I couldn’t help but think it would be nice.

And maybe that’s the part that just keeps bugging me.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… stand a little taller. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter… footsteps even lighter. Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone.

Two years ago, my life changed completely. In a big way. My grandmother, one of the most influential women in my life, passed away suddenly, and without notice. I remember that night like it was yesterday–it sticks with me, knocking me sideways when I have to realize just how much it shifted everything. I didn’t just lose my grandmother, I lost my innocence. While things around me were already changing in big ways, that was the beginning of one of my darkest periods. But it was also the beginning of my biggest growth.

Now, two years later, things keep shifting.

I’ve never been very good at handling change. I used to run from it, content to sail of a sea of the familiar. And yet, here I am, all grown up (or, so they say). And I’m jumping right in to these new, crazy changes, not even worrying if I’ll sink or swim.

I’m dating someone. I’ve been promoted at work. I’ll be out on my own in a matter of months. These are things I used to be scared–hell, terrified–of, and yet I’m excited for each and everyone. I haven’t dated anyone since I was seventeen, scared shitless at the idea of referring to someone as my “boyfriend” and yet here I am, giddy over a boy who makes me smile, and laugh, with no thoughts on what it could mean or if I might get my heart broken.  I’m jumping into my new role and work, embracing my new found responsibility, excited for this chance to finally prove to the world: you know what, I kick ass. I’m being an adult, cutting ties with those who bring me down, and finally ready to make my grand debut into the real world (if only a little belated.)

And what’s the point of this spiel?

When I look back on that girl two years ago, I had no idea what was to come. I thought losing Granny was by far the worst thing that could ever happen, and oh boy, how wrong I was. But it proved something to me I will forever cherish–it finally showed me how strong I can be. And two years later, I am so grateful that I know now that I won’t crumble under pressure. Every choice may not be the right choice, and I’m going to fail–that’s all part of being human. But it’s what you do afterwards that counts. Because whatever comes after shows you just how strong you truly are.

And change? Well I totally got that.

I talk to you as to a friend… I hope that’s what you’ve come to be. It feels as though we’ve made amends… like we found a way eventually.

When I was sixteen, I got my heart broken for the first time.

I remember thinking–caught up in the belief I was so “in love”–that I would never get over that heart break. Of course, there was more to the story than that, dirty details I still deal with to this day. Looking back on it now, I don’t think I was so much in love with him as the idea of being “in love” or being loved. Even still, I remember it taking me a long time to deal with everything that happened. It wasn’t until I met Andrew, until he helped me heal, that I realized what real love felt like. Even still, the idea I could ever be friends with that boy, after everything that happened, seemed absurd. Whether or not I had loved him, he had broken me.

Cue six years later.

One of the funniest things from the night before Andrew and I broke up was I got drunk. Way drunk. After leaving my girlfriends, I curled up in bed–on my computer–and for the first time in a long time logged into my MSN. I don’t remember exactly what started the conversation, but High School Ex-Boyfriend sent me a message–I think after I changed my status to something telling–asking me if I was having a bad day. We’d chatted a few times, over the years, but this was the first time we started having a real conversation. Being that it was late, and I was angry and confused and drunk, I started spilling about the whole situation. This lead to chatting on the phone at three in the morning, and an invitation for me to come over to his place. I didn’t, of course. Although in my angry state of mind the thought did cross my mind, knowing exactly what it would have meant.

Over the last year or so, HSEB and I have chatted back and forth, but it wasn’t until this summer when I started my new job, that we really started talking regularly. You see, my manager and he are good friends, which is just one of those wow-this-is-a-small-world moments. One night, when I was staying home alone, I came home from working hoping a friend would come over and drink with me. When she bailed, I found myself slightly drunk on tequila and on MSN. HSEB and I started chatting, which lead to an invitation to hang out and drink together. So at 12:30am, I walked down to his place, and the two of us got smashed together. It was one of those funny, if-only-sixteen-year-old-me-could-see-me-now situations I couldn’t help but laugh at. Of course, I got a little too wasted, threw up, and ended up passing out at his place. Waking up the next morning, not only realizing what had happened the night before but that I was still there, I couldn’t help but laugh. Sometimes the world is a funny place. But the funniest part of all? It wasn’t weird or awkward. It was almost comfortable. The most comfortable morning after I had in a long, long time.

Since that night, we’ve hung out once more, and it’s kind of hit me that the two of us–as hilarious as it is–are friends. The irony of that fact–and yet I haven’t talked to Andrew in a year and a half, excluding exchanging some fairly angry messages via email–has not escaped me. Here I am hanging out ever so casually with the first boy who ever really broke me, and yet the boy that put my pieces back together? He’s out in the world somewhere, but not part of mine. But it makes you think I guess. Who knows, maybe seven years down the line, it will be Andrew who I run into, and we can chat as though nothing ever happened as all. Hell, maybe even be…. friends.

Guess that’s called growing up.

It’s a beautiful night…. we’re looking for something dumb to do. Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.

A year ago today, two life changing things happened–one, my little sister got married. And two, my uncle–my mother’s only brother–passed away. Both of these things happened at once, almost instantaneously, leaving my family to be caught up in a wish-wash of emotions. While we wanted to be happy and celebrate the life that my sister and her new husband were creating, we couldn’t help but know that we had just lost someone who meant the world to us. Over the last year, both of these things have affected me in very different ways. My uncle was an incredible man, who lived every day to the fullest. He was a Star Trek nerd, a former motorcycle bad ass, and all around sarcastically awesome. I can only hope that I can be as witty as he was just naturally. And my sister’s marriage, first of, gave me a brother (which, I always wanted), but I also showed me that not all love is badawfulhorribleheartbreaking. Sometimes, fairy tales–though maybe not like the kind I read as kids–can come true. And growing up, well, it’s not all bad.

So in honor of that one year anniversary, I thought I would post some of the pictures from that day. I never did originally, since the day after we immediately left to go to my Uncle’s funeral. But I thought why not celebrate a year–of sadness, and most especially of joy–with a peak back to the day.

August 28th, 2010

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I’m gonna stay eighteen forever… so we can stay like this forever. And we’ll never miss a party… ’cause we keep them going constantly.

Over the last year or so, I’ve filled many an entry with stories and pictures of what I call “weekend madness“.

But trust me, this is nothing new. I’ve always been a bit of a wild child, especially when cheap wine is involved. Last night was spent reminiscing about times past, remembering the silly moments and the trouble we got into–jumping into the lake tipsy on wine, a whole lot of nudity courtesy of one too many games of Dare, and a drunken afternoon involving leftover wedding wine and a jacuzzi filled with bubbles. Back in the day, there was no Facebook for pictures, so usually they disappeared onto someones computer, never to be seen again… until a drunken Saturday night seven years later.

Warning: these pictures are silly, drunken, and are probably only hilarious to those who were involved and remember that silly awesome day. Even still, looking at these pictures I remember that summer, and everything that happened with nothing but a smile, regardless of what has happened since then. Sometimes I wish I could go back to seventeen, if only to relive the silly moments, and to capture that feeling of knowing anything could happen. We were young, in love with beautiful boys, and invincible.

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