Simma Down Nah

It’s no secret that I absolutely love Instagram. 90% of my posts are related to either food, fitness, or my dachshunds. Today, I posted this picture for #flashbackfriday/#flexfriday/#fitfriday:

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I shared it on both IG and Facebook with the following caption:

From obliterated hot mess to dedicated gym rat. My transformation has been much more than weight loss. My entire lifestyle has changed. I used to be so insecure and depressed that I needed to drink excessively to numb the pain. I was unhappy with my weight, but I just kept living the same destructive lifestyle I had been. Alcohol made me forget. Alcohol made me bold. Alcohol also made me overweight, unhealthy, and more depressed. Fast forward 5 years from that picture on the left, and life is completely different. I’m in the gym 5-6 days a week, I eat healthy, and for the first time in a long time I feel good about myself. I don’t need alcohol, I don’t need complements from men, and I don’t need to party in order to find peace in my life. I have God, I have the gym, and I have faith in myself. I looked for happiness in the bottom of a bottle, but I found it in the gym.

It took a LOT of courage to share that part of my story, because not many people knew about the alcohol problems I had in college. I drank to numb the pain of insecurity, I drank to numb the pain of losing loved ones, I drank to numb the hurt of breakups. My sisters were worried, my family was worried, and deep down I was worried, but I kept drinking. I was dangerously close to being, from a clinical standpoint, an alcoholic.

After posting this picture, most of the comments were incredibly supportive and contained nothing but love and support. However, after refreshing my browser while eating lunch, I found this status from one of my FB friends.

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I honestly feel it’s no coincidence that this was posted less than an hour after I shared my picture and my story.  Alcohol was not the reason I gained all the weight. It was a factor, but so were the poor food choices and making excuses not to go to the gym, along with being too depressed to get out of bed some days. I found this extremely rude and incredibly offensive. I feel it’s stupid to take offense to someone’s personal story of overcoming obstacles like that just because you’re a bartender. I still drink on occasion. I love wine, I love good beer, and I love going to bars with friends. I just don’t drink to get drunk anymore. I drink socially, and I prefer wine tastings and breweries to clubs. That’s what adults do. They drink to socialize, they drink because they love the art and the taste. Alcoholics drink to deal with life and numb the pain they’re too scared to process—alcoholics drink to function. “You don’t need to be sober to be healthy”? I’ve never met a single alcoholic who a doctor could look at and give a thumbs up with a clean bill of health. Devaluing someone’s life experiences in such a hurtful manner is ridiculous.

Sloppy ass mess, huh? I guarantee that even at my most intoxicated I could carry on a better conversation than most people. So suck on that Popsicle, holmes.

And life goes on.

As 2014 flies by at lightning speed, lately I’ve found myself thinking about how much has changed in the past couple years. Things I’ve lost, things I’ve gained, things I’ve learned, and things I’ve experienced—all of them having a major effect on my life in one way or another. Some of them still have a hold on a daily basis, and some of them I’ve learned to let go. That’s life.

And it goes on.

November 3rd, it will be 4 years since my beloved Grandpa went home to Jesus. The struggle is still so very real on a daily basis. I miss him more than words and my heart aches to have just one more day with him. I wonder how our conversations would go about my post-graduate life, who I’m dating, and about my job. I wonder what he’d have to say about my weight loss, and how he’d feel about the fact that I cut way back on the drinking like he wanted. But then, I wonder what he’d have to say about how I coped with his passing. How I drank to numb the pain. How I tried to fill the void in my life with any guy who told me I was pretty. How I almost gave up all the hard work I put into my college career. However, you can’t live with a bunch of “what if’s” lingering over your head. I just hope that, above all else, he’s proud of me. The void will never be filled and I’ll always miss him.

But life goes on

In March, I logged on to Facebook only to discover that my best friend of 20 years had unfriended me. To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but it was a crushing blow to me. We used to be insanely close and then our paths took us in different directions, I guess.

But life goes on.

I look back at all my pictures from college and feel horrible that I let myself get to the weight that I did. I want so badly to be able to proudly display pictures from my 4 amazing years at IU, but I’m so ashamed of how I look in most of them that I only have a few set out. I always wonder how much different my life would have been in college had I not gained the weight.

But life goes on.

If 2014 has taught me anything, it’s been to keep pushing forward regardless of how bleak the journey may seem. I’m looking so forward to what the next year has to bring. Relationship? Engagement? Children? Grad School? Who knows. All I know is that I have my feet rooted in confidence and am ready for whatever 2015 throws at me.

Life goes on, the story unfolds, and the next chapter is on the horizon. Bring it.

10 Annoying Things People Do on Facebook

Annoying Facebook friends. Everybody has them, everybody laughs about their posts, and everyone has moments where they click the “Unfollow all posts” option. Being a Youth Care Worker, I don’t have a LOT of time to be on Facebook, but I see so many hilariously irritating things pop up on my news feed and notifications. So many, in fact, that it’s become blog worthy. The Annoying Facebook Girl meme has become pretty popular in recent months, even having a Twitter account that is absolutely hysterical. Reading through the tweets, I can often say “Yep….see that…..she’s on my news feed….oh my lord, it’s the chick that sat next to me in bio Freshman year….” Thus, I’ve compiled a list.

1)  Girls who post pictures of themselves saying I’m so fat, I’m so ugly, OMG I’m disgusting, etc.

Attention whores: This one is for you.

Seriously. With this being the start of swimsuit season, I’ve seen too many girls with flat stomachs/abs posting pictures of themselves in bathing suits saying “OMG I’m such a chubs”, “I’m soooooo a fatty!”, “Ugh, I still look like crap, I need to work out!”, and so on and so forth. Really? You’re REALLY that desperate for Facebook horndogs to comment on how banging your body is and how you don’t need to change a thing? Bitch, please. If you’re that desperate for this sort of attention, why don’t you go on down to the local Showgirl III and put in an application.

2) People who chronic inviters.

Apparently, some people on my friends list (and by some, I mean too many) have wayyyyy too much time on their hands. I don’t think a day has gone by in the past 3 weeks that I haven’t come home from work to find at least 2-4 game invites. If you need the birthday calendar app to remember when my birthday is, we have an issue. I don’t NEED to play FarmVille; I live in it. I’m beginning to think that the invention of the Facebook game was one of the WORST ideas in the history of social networking—-Zuckerberg, c’mon.

And this doesn’t JUST apply to games. I’ve gotten 150 event invites in the past 2 months and only 20 of them were things I could actually attend. The rest of them were faux iPad giveaways and things of that nature OR to events that were nowhere close to where I live. Oh yeah random dorm-mate from frosh year that I haven’t had a chance to delete yet, I’d LOVE to come to your Gossip Girl party in Scranton, PA….let me drop everything I’m doing in BFE, Indiana and I’ll be right there.

3) People who will post absolutely anything on Facebook.

By anything, I literally mean anything. Airing dirty laundry about their relationships, calling out “haters” in their statuses instead of confronting them one-on-one, asking for likes to win a pair of shoes, etc. It’s like nothing is real unless it hits Facebook. Not in a relationship on Facebook? Not in a relationship in real life. Not posting 10000s of religious photos and statuses on Facebook? You’re not religious and you’re going to hell in a handbasket.

Aside from the people that post 4 statuses in a row trying to bitch about their husbands and their kids and their neighbors’ baby daddy, I cannot STAND the statuses that go as such.

Facebook is going to start charging $40 a month for users. Anyone who reposts this status will be grandfathered in and will not be charged for using Facebook! REPOST THIS STATUS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR FACEBOOK!

or

*With picture* Like+share. This child has cancer and for every like and share Facebook pays 3 cent to this child.

I don’t usually comment on these posts, but when I do, it’s with a link to Snopes.com

Everyone has 1OO or more friends on Facebook, but when it comes to needing a friend how many would actually be there? I guarantee not even 25 friends/people will like this status . “LIKE” this status if you’d be there for me ; Set this as your status and see who’d be there for you

Hoooold up. So, I have to like a freaking status to prove my friendship? I guess that one time I told off a creeper at the bar to ensure your drunk ass wouldn’t get raped didn’t count for anything. Hmm…should have liked the status…..

Reshare in if you love God, in 120 seconds he will do you a favor

Ok, I love Jesus Christ with my entire being, but I’m not going to post a status to prove it. You feel you need to share on Facebook if you love God AND believe that in 120 seconds because of it he’ll do you a favor? Last time I checked, being one of his followers and turning your heart over to him was the way to win him over…..

gurl was walkin 2 skewl wit her bf n they were crossin da rode. she sed “bbz will u luv me 4evr” he said “NO..”…da gurl cryed N ran across da rode b4 da green man came on the sine. boy was cryin and went to pic up her body. she was ded. he whispered 2 her corpse “I ment 2 sey i will luv u FIVE-ever…” (dat mean he luv her moar den 4evr) xxx~*…LIKE DIS IF U CRY EVRY TIME…~*xxx. if u don post dis witin 5 min, u will hav bad luk 4 10 yrs

Um…I’m sorry….Dafuq did I just read? How am I supposed to repost something that I can’t read AND that Microsoft Translator won’t translate….hello 10 years bad luck….? This brings me to Annoying Facebook Point #4.

4) People who post statuses that would kill an English teacher in his/her tracks.

The last status in #3 is a prime example. I mean, um….what? I know kindergartners who can spell better than that. Most browsers have a spell check feature (unless it’s IE….but that’s a backwards shooting pistol and doesn’t count anyway) so this is just nonsense.

Of course, there’s also the there/their/they’re and your/you’re battle that will rage on until the end of time…

 

Other things that fall into this category:

pEoPlE wHo TyPe LyK dIs (yes, yes with like spelled lyk and dis instead of this)

People who put a z where an s should go—example of a real Facebook status I saw on my news feed: “wizhing thingz could be different, it may take a long tyme, but im willing to do watever it takez!!!”

Every single time one of these things pop up, I die a little on the inside.

 

5) People who add absolutely anyone.

No Ram Hashish from Mumbai with no mutual friends, I don’t want to be your friend—-I don’t know you. Same goes for you creeper who sent me a message saying you wanted to lick whipped cream off my body.

6) People who post every detail of their relationship….the TMI-ers

Like I said....every part of it

It doesn’t matter if it’s the high school girl in love after 4 days or the crazy 30 year old newlywed with an entire album of her laying on the floor kissing her husband, you don’t need to post EVERY detail of your relationship on Facebook. Hell, I rarely even announce to Facebook that I’m IN a relationship. Why does it matter? It goes back to the whole “It’s not real if it’s not on Facebook” mentality that most people have somehow acquired. I’ve had 4 friends get married in the past 6 months and it never fails that SOMEONE will post something like this:

OMG! Change your relationship status and your name! You’re a married woman now!

It’s become SUCH a huge deal, that to poke fun of people like this I want to take a moment at the altar, get my phone from my matron of honor, and have the pastor say something about changing your relationship status to married. Unfortunately, I feel very few people in attendance would find it as funny as I do.

7) People who post just to get sympathy

The sad day when u realize that nobody gives a f**k about u anymore

if i go missing…dont try to find me…its u who pushed me over the edge in the first place

just dont kno wat 2 do nemore……jus want 2 go 2 slep an not wake up

*insert random sad song lyrics here*

These are all statuses pulled from my Facebook news feed…..of course the last one is just generalized because there are SO many. People are always looking for sympathy and someone to tell them they’re beautiful/amazing/not lame/not stupid/too good for the ex that left them for cheating/etc. What slays me are the ones who post “im so upset….dont talk 2 me pls” and then comment 3 hours later “Wow…no1 cares?” Um….didn’t you give specific instructions NOT to talk to you?

Finally, there’s always that group of individuals who INSIST on every status being something like this

Sweetheart, they make websites for that—-they’re called dating sites. If the guy above was female, I’m sure after he got into a relationship he would turn into #8…..

8) People who turn into the “Overly Attached/Obsessed Girlfriends”

 

Everybody knows a girl like this. One of my Facebook friends had/has one who is legitimately 10x creepier than this girl. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Overly Attached Girlfriend: IRL: No explanation needed

9) People who would have no ego without 2 things—-narcissism and photoshop

These people will do absolutely anything to boost their egos. First in this category, we have the narcissistic folks. You know, the ones who post pictures with captions like “Sexy as hell”, “Out of your league”, “My body is so bangin” and “OMG I’m SOOO hot!!!” Occasionally, you look at these and yes “Why yes Frank Facebooker, your abs are quite fantastic. Good for you, sir” (Modern Day Translation: “Daaaaayyyuuummmm”). However, 9 times out of 10 it’s someone who is pale as all get out and has the body of a 12 year old boy lifting up his shirt to show his “abs”…..really? You REALLY think chicks dig that? Put your shirt back down and stop blinding us with your paleness.

Next, we have the photoshoppers. Don’t get me wrong, I love Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, and even Portrait Professional 10 (which I use for my pageant headshots). I don’t, however, use them to erase half of my waist, make my booty bigger (it doesn’t need to be….this white girl has a donk already), or make my boobs look like they’re ready to explode. Photoshop has allowed people to morph themselves from what they truly are to what they and other people want them to be. One of my favorite parts of the Interwebs is the Photo Shop Fails.

There are tons more. Seriously, just use the Google Machine and type in “Photo Shop Fails” to see hundreds of pictures of girls asses that are so large they bend the closet doors. Freaking ridiculous.

10) People who are complete hypocrites

A broad topic, yes, but one that is more than qualified to end my first Annoying Facebook People post. There are several types of Facebook Hypocrites.

  • Religious Hypocrites—post statuses about what an abomination it is to use the Lord’s name in vain, but then do it daily. Also, guys who scream from the rooftops that lesbians are the hottest thing ever, but then bash homosexuality calling it a sin.

  • Girls who post they’re not like other girls—–are totally like other girls
  • Pot-Calling-The-Kettle-Black Hypocrites—-you know, those who hate on others for doing exactly what they’ve done/still do

And of course, my personal favorite

  • Girls who complain about how other girls post pictures of their bodies all over Facebook just for attention—but have their boobs all kinds of hanging out in their profile pictures and in just about all of their tagged/posted pictures as well.

This was probably the most fun I’ve had writing a blog entry in quite some time. Oddly enough, during the time I was writing this post my Facebook friends became increasingly intelligent and decided to not post complete nonsense…..luckily, I had already taken screenshots of the ones I needed 😉

Coming soon—Annoying Things People Do on Twitter! #omg #shutup #totespresh

xoxo

***MAJOR thanks to Failbook.com, Memebase.com, epicfail.com, and overlyattachedgirlfriend.com for posting all of the awesome screenshots I’ve posted. All 4 websites are hilarious—check them out!***

To Women Everywhere: It’s Not Your Fault

Today’s blog isn’t going to be about pageants, fashion, sorority shenanigans or job interviews; today is much more serious. A brief warning that this is going to be an intense entry with detailed personal trauma, extreme opinions and shocking statistics. It’s not meant to be insightful, funny, or witty. It’s just something I feel needs to be shared.

September 2007. I was a naive 19 year old college freshman about a week into my first year at IU with way too much trust in the people around me. I lived on a co-ed floor, with one hallway for men and one for women. I had friends on the guy’s side so my gal pals and I frequently visited them. One warm Friday night, I was invited to go to a Playboy themed party on Greek Row with some of my dormmates. I hadn’t been to many fraternity parties before, so I was both excited and cautious to go. I had a couple drinks, danced with my friends and had a great time. At about 1:30 I decided I was ready to go home. I told my roommate and a couple of my other close friends that I was going to head out and when 1 of the guys from our floor offered to walk me home because he was ready to leave too, they thought it was a good idea. I agreed, feeling safer not walking home alone. We talked on the way back about our majors and how we liked our classes so far and where we were from, the usual freshman chit-chat. When we got back to the dorm, I thanked him for walking me home and headed to my room. He was still walking behind me, which I didn’t think anything of because the guy’s bathroom was near the door separating the guys’ & girls’ side of the floor. When he followed me through that door, I started to get an uneasy feeling. I turned around to ask him what he was doing and he asked if we could hang out sometime during that week. I told him my class schedule and told him to just let me know. He turned around and I thought he was heading back to his room.

I was wrong.

I unlocked my door and as I was entering he forced his way in behind me. I told him to get out, that I just wanted to go to bed and he said that “I owed him for leaving the party early to walk me home”. I told him “You said you were leaving anyway….please just get out of my room.” and he shoved me on the bed and locked the door. I tried to push him off of me but he was too big. My first thought was “Oh my God, this isn’t happening….not now, not to me.” It got to the point where I stopped fighting—I just wept. This wasn’t how my college career was supposed to start off. The pain was excruciating. I had only been with one man before this and it had been almost a year prior. It felt like he was tearing me apart from the inside out. When he was finished, he got up and said “Do not tell anyone about this. I’ll be around every corner and you’ll pay for running your mouth. I promise you that.” When the door shut, I curled up in a ball and cried harder than I ever had in my life. I took 3 showers and washed my bedding more times than that. I just wanted to forget this horrible moment.

The following Monday, my best friend from the floor asked me what was wrong when I had missed the class we had together. I broke down and told her everything. Somehow word got back to him that she had found out and he said that I threw myself at him and I had asked him to come back to my room with me. I heard the whispers and felt the stares as I returned from my classes later that week. Less than a month into college  I had already been labeled, and I was terrified to walk alone anywhere for fear he’d be there. I went to counseling, spoke on some panels, and tried to move on with my life as best I could.

I, like 60% of women attacked, did not report my rape to the police. I was scared, ashamed, and somehow felt that in some way it was still my fault. Maybe if I hadn’t gone out to the party, maybe if I had walked home alone, maybe if I had just stayed until one of my friends left then none of this would have happened. I struggled with what-if’s for several months after the assault and battle depression for the next year.

Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim. 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger. 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance. 80% of all victims are under the age of 30, with girls ages 16-19 being 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. In Indiana it was legal to rape your wife until twenty years ago. Only twenty years! And yet, somehow….it’s not the attacker’s fault…..

Yeah….so what about the offenders?

Shocking statistic, isn’t it? In today’s society, women who are attacked feel far too often that it’s their fault. They drank too much, the flirted and gave the wrong idea, they were dressed too provocatively, etc. I saw this picture on Facebook a couple weeks ago and it’s shockingly accurate

I’m choosing to speak up and not be another unreported college statistic. I’m choosing to take a stand and let others know that regardless of what you said, what you wore, or what you had to drink, that rape is NEVER ok. It all goes back to “no means no”. If a man (or woman) forces themselves on you and you say no but they continue, THAT is non-consensual sexual contact and THEY are the ones in the wrong.

I suffered in silence for far too long. It’s time to stand up, fight back, and speak up. I refuse to be a victim any longer—I am a survivor.

Deep Down, I’m Still the Pink Ranger

As I sit here sipping my Venti 8-pump, nonfat, no water chai latte at Starbucks, I can’t help but think about what the next few weeks are going to bring. Lots of life changes for both me and the ones in my life I love most. It seems like only yesterday I was a stupid, naive 18 year old drama queen preparing to graduate high school. Now I’m a 23 year old driven, ambitious post-graduate who can’t seem to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life, only that I want it to be something big. I’ve been lucky enough to have the same people by my side for most of my life, and life as they know it is changing just as quickly.

In 2 weeks, my best friend of almost 18 years will be getting married. Words cannot describe how thrilled I am that she is going to be marrying the perfect guy for her, even though I’m sure he probably drives her absolutely batty sometimes. Most people would assume that being friends with someone since age 5 would automatically warrant the Maid of Honor/Best Man title, but I was beyond honored when she asked me to stand beside her as she said her vows. It’s strange to think back over the past 18 years & everything we’ve been through now that we’re both adults and starting our “real” lives.

Tabby and I became friends on the first day of Kindergarten. I was in my Power Rangers obsession phase (as was the vast majority of my peers) and flat out told my teacher I wanted to be the Pink Ranger when I grew up. Unfortunately for me, everyone else wanted to be the Pink Ranger at recess….but Tabby agreed to be the Yellow Ranger so I could be the Pink. From that moment on, we were best friends. For the next 3 years, we were together all the time and I vividly remember the time she got a nosebleed and I thought she was dying—-I freaked the hell out. When we were in 2nd grade, Tabby’s parents got a divorce and she moved to a different school. I don’t remember many details about this time except for the fact that my best friend wasn’t at West Noble anymore and I was all alone. We still hung out on weekends and for birthday parties, but it just wasn’t the same without her. Our Junior year, Tabby moved back to West Noble and that first day was the happiest day of my high school career. We had our fights, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed after some brief separation—after all, we were just emotional teenagers.

**Sidenote**
I just looked up to see if anyone was going into the Sbux bathroom, and this high school girl in here with her boyfriend assumed I was looking at him and is now awkwardly hanging all over the poor kid. Like I said, to be 18 & stupid again…

Anyway, I really just have been wondering where time went. One minute we’re 18 year old giggling girls going dancing at Lake Tippy Dance Hall on the weekends and the next one of us is a perfectionist college grad and the other is almost there AND getting married. She knows what she wants to do as-a-matter-of-fact: Social Studies teacher. Me? I want to be a professor/lawyer/actress/showband vocalist/trophy wife/racehorse owner/social worker/violinist/Disney princess.

I had an interview last week with the Elkhart County Probation Department, and it went well. I was one of seven people chosen to interview out of an applicant pool of 55+…..not to mention the youngest by at least 10-15 years. Was I scared shitless? You betcha, but I still gave it my all and made sure that they knew, despite my age and experience (or lack thereof), that I was the girl for them.

I believe that 90% of the world’s population aren’t bad people, they just make bad choices. That 10% consists of people like Adolf Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, Timothy McVeigh, etc. Alexander Pope said “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Everyone makes mistakes, whether we admit it or not. My goal in life is to make people understand that they’re not completely screwed over failures just because they made one or two (or fifty) mistakes AND to help them learn from these mistakes so they can become functioning members of society again.

Essentially, that’s what I’m doing now. As a YCW, I help the children and teens at Bashor Children’s Home to work on their treatment so they can live a normal, productive, and crime free life once they leave our campus. Unfortunately, sometimes they wind up back on the wrong side of the tracks, but I still try my hardest every single day I’m there.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life ranging from bad romantic choices to drinking WAY too much. After my grandpa died, I drowned my sorrows with a pool of ex-boyfriends and copious amounts of alcohol. I just wanted to feel wanted so the void that he left would be temporarily filled. Unfortunately, when the next morning rolled around I was left with nothing but fuzzy memories and a killer hangover. I wasn’t an alcoholic; I didn’t need alcohol to function. I did, however, choose to drink more than I should simply so I could cut loose and be who I thought everyone wanted me to be. Bad choices. I’ve made them, you’ve made them, our parents made them, and I’m sure even our preachers have made them. You live, you learn, you let go. I still miss my grandfather terribly every single day, but I learned that filling the hole won’t make things better in the long run—-making him proud by being a successful woman like he wanted me to be is the way to go.

Will I still occasionally drink way too much and make terrible decisions? Probably. Hey, I’m still young and it happens, but I now have these kids to think about. They see me as a role model and I try to set the best example for them possible. I’m completely focused on my job right now because, until recently, I didn’t realize how much I loved it. Sure, it may not give me much time for anything else, but I’m making a difference in the lives of children who society has turned its back on…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However, inside of this philanthropic optimist youth care worker—I’m still the Pink Ranger

Here Comes the Ex

It doesn’t matter how happy you are with your life or current relationship, whenever an ex gets married it just freaking blows. My ex-boyfriend is getting married on Saturday and I’ve been an angry wreck all week because of it. It’s not because I still have feelings for him, because he left me for her or anything of that sort. It’s just the fact that he’s getting married….period. I don’t know why, but it just sucks.

Michael and I met in the late Fall of 2008 through Facebook and a mutual friend and we clicked right away. We began dating around Christmas and he was with me all through my Rush experience. He embraced the idea of dating a sorority girl at first, but then during bid week started getting a little anxious—because of the parties. I assured him that he had nothing to worry about. I had never cheated and I swore to him I never would–a promise I kept the entirety of our relationship.

On Valentine’s Day, he greeted me at my apartment door in a suit with a poem he had written for me. I melted. I had made reservations at Grazie!, a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Bloomington, and we enjoyed an amazing dinner together before returning home to enjoy the rest of our romantic evening. About 3 weeks later, Michael and I woke up early to catch breakfast before I had to go to class. I walked out of my bathroom to find Michael sitting on the side of the bed with a solemn look on his face.

“What’s wrong?” I asked

“What is this….this isn’t mine” he said, holding up a condom wrapper.

“Diana was here for my party a couple weeks ago and had just returned from a weekend with her boyfriend. It probably fell out of her backpack because I know that’s the brand they use. Weird, but yes I do know. I can call her if you want”

He kissed my forehead and apologized for freaking out. After breakfast he dropped me off at class, told me he loved me, and headed back to Columbus. I had a hair appointment that afternoon, so I headed to the salon after class. I got a text from Michael saying “I can’t do this right now” followed by a text from my best friend saying “Oh my God, are you ok? I just saw”. Confused, I said “What are you talking about” only to discover I had been dumped via Facebook……he changed his relationship status without even a warning. To this day, he still thinks I cheated.

We’re still friends, and I maintain my innocence. I look at dating as a basis for marriage–if you can’t stay faithful to someone when you’re just dating them, how are you going to stay faithful for the rest of your life with vows and a legal union? It’s now become a “he said, she said” battle, with my poor best friend Jordan stuck right smack-dab in the middle of it.

As happy as I am right now with life, it makes me want to pull a stunt like Dustin Hoffman did in “The Graduate”….you know, this scene.

“Elaine! Elaine!”

As a friend, I wish him all the happiness in the world. As an ex, I’m going to try to ignore this weekend. Thank goodness Mama’s taking me shopping on Saturday so I’ll have something to keep my mind off of it. I don’t understand why I’m so torn up about this because I have no feelings outside of friendship towards him whatsoever. Maybe it’s the fact that Michael still thinks I cheated making his upcoming nuptials so hard to accept, maybe it’s because I never really got closure, or maybe it’s because it’s a slight twinge of jealousy that he’s getting married and I’m not. Maybe I’ll never know, but it’s one of the perks of being a girl: I get to be emotional over the dumbest things without much judgement.

A Thankful Season

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, what better topic for a new post than being thankful. I do have to admit, though, that it’s kind of sad that we only take one day a year to share everything we’re thankful for. I make sure to thank God on a daily basis for everything I’ve been given in life, ranging from my incredible friends and family to my college education. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing people and opportunities that I can’t even imagine the person I’d be without them.

These past couple days I’ve been the epitome of the Debbie Downer because, well, being dumped does that. I looked so far into what I had lost that I forgot to look around at all I was lucky to have. Nothing like a swift kick in the arse from reality to snap a girl out of her self loathing. So, as I sit here with Makenna watching Team Umizoomi (and getting overly excited that they found a diamond key in a cave around the neck of a lion…..yes, I find ADPi references in children’s shows), I’m remembering everything I’m thankful for this year.

Family–I’ve been beyond blessed with an incredible family who supports me in just about everything that I do. Things have been rough this past year since Grandpa died, but our bond has become stronger and I know he’d be proud of how our lives are progressing. I’m closer with my cousins than most people are with their own siblings. We’re just a big group of fun-loving, crazy, musical towheads and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Friends–I can honestly say that, for the most part, I’ve had the same friends my entire life. My best friend Tabby and I met the first day of kindergarten and the rest is history. I’m so honored that she chose me to be her Maid of Honor and I can’t imagine my life without her. Most people say “Oh, we were friends when we were kids” but I’m lucky enough to say “Oh him? Yeah, we’ve been friends since preschool. We’ve been through just about every awkward stage of life together.” To me, that’s a pretty big deal. And, thanks to the glorious invention that is social networking, I’ve been able to reconnect with childhood friends that moved away as well. *Freddie Mercury Pose* Love it.

Sisters–I grew up always wanting a sister, but didn’t have any until I went to college……and now I have over 100 (Your move, Duggars). I would die without them and I’m so proud of the progress our chapter has made in the past 2 1/2 years. I’m not afraid to wear my letters proudly wherever I may be. I’m an Alpha Delt and, for that, I am beyond thankful. I’ve learned so much in the years since I accepted my bid. Little did I know how much a little piece of paper could change my life—-but boy, am I glad that it did! With the love and support of my beautiful sisters, I was able to make it through some of the darkest moments of my life. OBIC

Opportunities–It’s weird to say now that I’m a college grad, especially because I have the super expensive piece of paper and loan payments to show for it. I was lucky enough to get a job in my field right out of college, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous job and I get sworn at by 8 year olds, but I know I’m making a difference in the lives of these kids when their only other alternatives were being ignored or sent to DOC. Even though they may not always talk to us with the greatest amount of respect, I know they’re grateful for the help that we’re giving them and they’re willing to make a change…..most of the time. Every opportunity I’ve had whether it be pageants, college, jobs, whatever, has helped mold me into who I am today.

Life–Finally, I’m just thankful for life in general. Over the past year and a half I’ve been reminded that being young doesn’t necessarily mean you have a lot of life ahead. I’ve been reminded more times than anyone should that life can change in the blink of an eye and you never know when a day may be your last. Because of this, I live each day to the fullest and pursue my dreams full steam ahead. I have done so much in my 23 years on this earth, and there is SO much more I want to do in the next 50+ years. I want to meet my Prince Charming, get married, raise a family, and grow old with the love of my life drinking sweet tea while sitting in a rocking chair on my front porch. Outside of the big picture, I want to be successful in the job that I have, continue pursuing my career in music, and ideally go back in 5 years or so to get my masters degree in sociology and become a college professor. I’ve been ridiculed on multiple occasions for having my ideal life planned out, and I do realize that things change. However, I don’t give up without a fight and when it comes to something I want more than anything, I’m going to pursue it until I’ve hit the very end.

So, dear friends, this holiday season take time every day to be thankful for what you’ve been given. Tell those around you that you love them, because you never know when that ability may be taken away. Finally, Carpe Diem–Seize the Day. Follow your dreams and remember that there’s no such thing as a dream too big.

Much Love ❤