Final Month of Autumn

Autumn is my happy time—I thrive for the overcast days that mist the fresh air and amber leaves. It is the perfect time for warm sweaters, tea, and cuddles under a flannel blanket. Outside of my cozy time, Autumn inspires me the most. It is when I head out to the park and just take in my surroundings. When my journals overflow with ideas and I can’t help but be happy.

By now, Autumn has slowly crept into to New York City. I remained patient for the month of September, filled my October with jackets, boots, and Hocus Pocus every day, and I am prepping for my first Thanksgiving this month. This time last year, I was still settling into the fast-paced lifestyle I found myself in. I could not fully enjoy my first fall in The City, because I was incredibly sick and a negative headspace. I still had fall films on repeat, but I was limited on what I felt up for. I did, however, get out of the city for a weekend, and it was my best decision yet.

To ring in autumn, I boarded an early train to Poughkeepsie, New York, to explore Dubois Farm. I was excited to explore their Annual Harvest Festival, and as a Florida girl, I had never experienced apple picking. I came home with pounds of apples, pumpkins, and yummy apple cider donuts. The remainder of October I prepped my home with decorations and lit every fall candle I could find.

My partner picked our outfits this year, based on my affinity for scary makeup and dead costumes. I have a feeling I make him watch Harry Potter a bit too often, but everyone at the bars and parties enjoyed our couple costumes as Moaning Myrtle and Cedric Diggory. I was sad to see October go, but now it is time for my first November in New York. 

I started walking to work this month — the wind kisses my cheeks and turns them a rosy-hue, while I wake up during my morning commute. I know the winter will be cold, but for now, the colors in Central Park make my morning a lot brighter.

This time of year inspires me to give and be thankful so I have decided to host Thanksgiving at my house for my friends, and have volunteered myself to make multiple gâteaus for my work’s potluck. Hopefully, I will find some time to capture everything as I take on this new endeavor, but I am excited for the coming weeks! For now, I am enjoying the final month of Autumn.

 

 

 

 

17 August 2016

I would like to insist that life is accompanied by a user manual. That way our birth certificates can be bound with all of the experiences we could encounter in life. So as we transition we can recognize them while they happen. Love is a verb I struggled to define before I really experienced it romantically.

I came home to my roommate a year ago today and asked when she knew she was in love with her partner. It was deep into their relationship for her, and here I was just two weeks into getting to know a man who had already confessed his love for me and I was thinking I really loved him.

He hit me with a foul ball plummeting from a universe I was so unaware of. I was ready for him to open up about something difficult when he asked me if he could tell me something without me freaking out, but I couldn’t prepare for the feelings he unleashed. I read the words everyone who has had a crush wants to see, hear, and feel. A man loves me!!! He loves me, yet I froze. So much had happened two days prior and our future felt futile, yet there I was thinking about moving away and falling in love. simultaneously.

I stared down those three words—8 letters—a simple construction of subjects and verb to which I was instantly filled with a pulse of electricity. It radiated from my heart down to my fingers and toes as I read them over and over. When it fell into my stomach the upheaval of emotions I suppressed for most of my life twisted at my innards. They were emotions I had never felt at this intensity and I was nervous.

He overwhelmed me.

My thoughts thrashed violently around my head. I had no idea what I was doing.

ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! 

He left me speechless, so that was what I responded with:

“You and making me speechless.”

“Is that bad?”

“No”

Then he started backtracking & attempting to explain himself. I felt like he was filling with anxiety because at that exact moment those words were too heavy for me to throw back in his direction. I began to get anxious. I was so unsure what it was that I felt because I didn’t have my user manual handy. 

Is that what love is? Feeling lighter than air as you float to the heavens while you simultaneously feel a magnet’s pull, that surpasses a human’s tolerance of g-forces, towards another soul? That you want to black out and throw up from the effects love has on the body? Is love a drug that forced its way into my bloodstream? I was scared to simplify it a year ago, but today I know that was how I first felt our love.

It grew to become something I needed. Soon it just became happiness. It filled me and my days with incredible thoughts. I walked around knowing someone loved me. I barely understood affection before him; hugs and kisses, romance, and the meaning I put to love were all different before him. I stepped into this world and had no intention of leaving. I spent my days telling him what I could not put into words a year ago.

Now I feel empty.

I freely share a love with all. The want to radiate it outwards comes naturally to me. However, this love came at a different rate for him. This love knew no depth—it knew only of infinite goals. This love poured out of me for him. I am yet to find the shut-off valve; I bust at the seems and let it flow from my eyes as I forcibly hide it each day. I feel constrained to only suppress it now. That I have no choice but to bury it alone in the darkness when all I want is to let it free. I am compromising for him.

I spoke to him on the phone a while ago and I said it again. I told him I loved him a month after he broke up me. He said nothing except that he doesn’t know what to say to “that”. Life came full circle. I blurted it out like he did a year ago and like me, he didn’t say it back. I never said it to hear it back when we were together, and I didn’t say it that day to change his mind. I just know I can’t spend my life pretending that I am okay with what we are now.

I feel like a liar if I did. 

11 August 2016

I have been known to go the extra mile throughout my journey. Whether it be in my education, relationships, or daily tasks, I have gone further and would continue to seek an above and beyond mentality to better my days where I could. However, I tended to exhibit perfectionist ideals while I strongly believed there was something more I could do, or do differently, because of the extra mile I was and am willing to walk.

I have learned to not let that ideal weigh heavy on me. I am aware that I do not have to be, nor will I ever truly achieve perfection. I have settled with unperfected pieces in school and life even if I shouldn’t have. I allowed first drafts to be seen and I did so to protect myself and my mental state from wavering under the pressure. By doing that, I allowed for mishaps in order to lessen the outcome of stress and have grown in a new direction.

I internalized the bad grades and worked at time management and performance in academics to excel. I noticed where my efforts were needed more and where they could falter a bit for balance and cohesion in life. I became selective with the company I kept. From the imperfections, I saw my strengths and weaknesses under a spotlight and I became a better person because of the lessons I learned.

A year ago today, I was given a lesson on my heart. It was different from the lessons that I became accustomed to. I had not hoped to learn a lesson from it, rather learn and grow with it. I laid the foundation that provided me a way to strengthen my needs, desires, and feelings. I was making sure they were met first by myself and then through others, I had relationships with. I was not aiming to perfect this, but not half-ass it in a way that I had been previously.

I openly discovered parts of myself that had been left overlooked. I used to neglect my needs and did not put enough effort into what made me the happiest. I had a voice, and I used it occasionally, but I also had an internal sense that spoke to my hopes and desires, and I finally had no choice but to listen to it a year ago.

There were often times in the past where I subconsciously did not settle for “unperfected pieces” when it came to partners because internally something felt off. I did not know it at the time, but I was able to keep myself at a distance from them and protected my heart doing so. Together, I and another played Operation and we found the points that made me buzz. Finally, there was someone who encompassed more than what I could have ever expected to find because I found what I deserved with him. 

I literally drove the extra miles to have a chance at this evening, but never could I have dreamt its outcome when we planned the trip. In turn, I left no distance between our souls and by doing that, I found myself. I began to understand why I overlooked everyone else before this moment. I learned why I walked away so often, and I did not question why I felt my feet beginning to firmly cement down. He was not perfect, but he was doing a damn good job at making me feel incredible about who I was.

I still am learning from this evening a year later. I am more in tune with my needs in all variants of relationships I encounter. I have been told to remain single until someone who completely cherishes my compassion comes along. To find someone who regards my intuitive side as a strength and where my care-taker abilities are not exploited. This night I felt thoroughly cared for. I felt an unsurpassable passion then and he was emotional enough to validate me in ways I needed. I stayed single until I met him, and it made all the difference in understanding my heart.

Dating Today

Our society has boomed since the embrace of the technology era. Relationships are still work like I am sure they were before everything was at our fingertips. I don’t believe one generation’s dating times are better than another, but because I only have the knowledge of my own, I don’t want to create an opinion over when it was the easiest to date. Older generations had different struggles with relationships, that we experience in our own ways now, and I am praying for future generations.

We are so plugged in that many forget to step away from the screen throughout the day. I am a bit of a classic chaser myself. I’ll send love letters just as I send birthday cards as opposed to birthday Facebook posts. I would much rather Facetime or speak on the phone instead of text all day to get to know someone. I actually prefer long walks on the beach over going to the movies.

We can reach people on dating apps where before you met people through, well, interacting outside of our phones. We live in a world now that you can know a lot about the person before you even hear it from them through social media dumpster diving. We really can’t hide much if it is out there. You see what everyone is up to through the lens they want you to see it. There is no in between when it comes to boasting or dramatizing lives. You do it, or you don’t, but still, people judge regardless.

Online dating, take it or leave it, we’ve all at least thought about it and formed an opinion on it. I am sure some more than most would admit to it, but we are curious if you can really find love through it. The guys I have come across and had feelings for in the past have been a fifty-fifty split between apps and in personal encounters. I am not going to knack online dating. It comes with ease for sure. When I was living in a new large city you can run into endless opportunities for possibly finding love, I know several who have.

What I loved most was just meeting people—meeting people through the people I matched with mostly. I aimed to use dating apps in the past not to find love, but find answers. I hate to admit that I most likely exploited human attraction to find more in the world. I never let it progress if there wasn’t a deeper connection with the men, but I knew I wasn’t on there to find love which is why I avoid journeying that way again.

I like the idea of mutual friends or even casual encounters with strangers the most when broadly looking at the men I have been attracted to. I don’t mind receiving friend requests on Facebook from men simply because I put my humility on the line and introduced myself to strangers, you know like in the olden days. Obviously, there was something common that brought us together, but human interaction is something I thrive on more than our messaging.

I have struggled in the past with just talking to a phone and reading the words others write. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t do that though… Maybe my elementary school boyfriend? I think back to my middle school crushes and even then I remember staying up late sending nonsense with my T9 keyboard. Everything has lived through technology. I guess I could thank the era for bringing me together with the men I have crushed on, but it really never showed me, love, like physically being with someone.

I have made friendships with some of the men from dating apps that probably should have only ever been friends. I think the constraints around the dreaded friend zone are silly because relationships aren’t confined by a romantic interest or not. I would rather show them their part of my life is important to me and I will strengthen it where I can, but to pretend feelings are there when they may have never existed fails to be worth it for me.

Right now, I don’t see myself trying to find love like I have in the past. I go through stages where I am all about it, or I am trying to hide from it, and right now I am not sure where I fall in terms of love. If there is anything to take from dating today it has to be, you need to love yourself first. That is where dating today leaves me—with a relationship with myself because I deserve my love.

Love will find you when you least expect it, I fully have felt that, but you need to be ready when it does. Loving yourself starts today with you.

30 July 2016

Two months ago, I added an event to the calendar on my phone. I wanted to be reminded of the plan I dreamt up to execute this morning. Earlier this week, I deleted the reminder. 

I envisioned waking up and rolling over to my phone. I would squint at the bright light so that I could spell out Good morning baby and adorn it with a red heart to symbolize the love I felt towards him the second I woke up.

I would then click over to Instagram to create a new post. I’d scroll to the beginning of my camera roll and find the year-old picture of us. The photo would be faded to match my silly aesthetic, but in my opinion, the smile on my face radiated enough vibrancy to capture the feelings I was developing towards him that day.

I could caption it with a thousand words or I could let the photo speak for itself, but I knew I above all wanted to remind him that I see you. Today and all days since this day in 2016, I have seen you.

A year ago, I noticed him for the first time. I purposefully put myself standing beside him all night and for the past year, I stood taller knowing he was the one who held my heart with such delicacy from that moment on. This morning I am hunched over writing this in a hotel room feeling rather nostalgic and somber about our past.

I did not wake up to sweet texts and sent none of my own, today, and all days for nearly two months. During the relationship, it felt like I’d blink and a whole month would pass, now each day weighs heavy as they collect in months apart.

I kept the love we shared between us. I was less than vocal on social media during our relationship because I did not seek the audience’s approval. I was so incredibly happy to be caring for something bigger than myself.

I had no intention to post the photo for it to be “liked” by my peers. I intended to show him that this day in the past made quite honestly the biggest turn around on my well-being thus far. Today, a year ago, I took my first steps in a new direction that would lead me towards unforgettable love. All I currently have is a hole in my heart where we used to take up residency, but I am trying to strengthen myself by filling it on my own with memories of caring about who we were.

I was given a heart of pure compassion. I have borne the weight of others and have been driven by empathy throughout my days, but it felt like he was given to me so I could understand how to be grateful for what was literally sitting at my feet. His love for me felt as if it knew no bounds. My knowledge of love, relationships, and affection grew because of him, but so did heartbreak.

He may have turned away from me a few weeks after I set the reminder for today, but his absence is a daily reminder of how thankful I try to remain while knowing I have felt a love like that in my lifetime.

If you meet someone and feel internally drawn by their presence, don’t let them pass you on. We may have been strangers connected by mutual friends, but I regret nothing by asking to take a photo with him that day.

I knew then I did not want to forget that man, and if my memory failed me one day in the future, then I would have a photo that would speak for itself.

 

 

 

Woman Behind the Words

We all do it—live that is. I mean sure eventually life happens and then ends, but that isn’t what I am blogging about. If there is a blog space after the end, then I am sure you can follow-up on my eternal life there, but until then, here is where I rewind and unwind on my times in this life.

I view the past rather simply: we are built from it, but it does not necessarily define us in our present and future lives. We achieve different goals, overcome obstacles, and transition, if you will, into the person we destined to develop into. I recognize my past, as well as the past of others, to see the person we became because of it, but it isn’t a tool used to judge another.

I have grown, bloomed, and flourished in my days. I am not adorned with perfection, I recognize that my stem has thorns scattered throughout its leaves. There are rough patches that we feel we need to protect from others. We are guarded creatures, afraid of pain and fear that could be derived from complete openness and having someone else abuse the trust.

I learned a very valuable lesson in life, relationships whether they be romantic, platonic, friends, or family relations deserve vulnerability. Distancing ourselves from others can lead to painful moments of feeling lonely and unsure if anyone is truly there for your wellbeing. Understand what is okay to be shared and thrive in relationships that are filled with trust.

I have been there. I am a pusher I tend to distance myself when it comes to dealing with difficult times. It, in turn, leads me to rarely ask for help, but when I do I hope the person recognizes how much I need it if I asked. That isn’t always the case though. Sometimes you fall and feel lost because you need some help, but cannot find it.

I believe you never have to do anything alone if you do not want to. I am consistently evolving into a woman who aspires to share her heart with as many souls that I can because I have become someone who so many have felt inclined to open up to. I encourage you all to write me, reach out to me, and develop a relationship with the woman behind the words.

Time provides for perspective on the past. It really is quite a troubling and complex concept that we have a love-hate relationship with. Either you want time to slow in moments that take your breath away, or you stare in disbelief at how slow a microwave minute actually is.

I find myself setting short-term and long-term goals for myself. I collect dates and reflect back as years past and notice what has changed. I rewind, if you will, and see how I gain a new understanding of where my life is now.

When life happens it is really easy to get wrapped up at the moment, and that is where I need to unwind. You can encounter life changes at any moment during any day. There really isn’t any standard on how to prepare for life, you just kinda have to get through them. As lackluster as that sounds, there are definitely lessons to be learned and tips that can be shared.

My life lessons and tips won’t perfectly match for everyone, but I feel the stories behind it all are worth sharing. I aim to write my thoughts out and dive deeper into myself in the hopes that someone somewhere can relate and feel supported while they encounter life.

I have an expensive piece of paper focusing on mental health and another on societies, and I am pursuing a more prestigious piece of paper, but equally as expensive, that will allow me to combine more disciplines and produce creative outlets from my findings. I have traded sandy beaches, for mountain ranges, and now cityscapes and skyscrapers are my surroundings. I travel and broaden myself by experiencing new cultures whenever I can. I date and get serious with the ones that truly impact my life. I am careful to fall fast but have changed by my past experiences with falling in love.

I venture through life and dabble with vegan/vegetarian/whateverelsegoodfoodismadeoutof from time to time. Everything will find a place on my blog like it does in my life. I end up just writing it all out in a dairy, so an online one isn’t so far out from my norm. I welcome you all to come along and share in all of my trials and tribulations throughout my years.