Let’s play a little game. I’ll say a word and you say the first word that comes to your mind.
Now some of you may say words such as “apple”, “wine”, or “shoes”.
Others may say “roses”, “hearts” or “lipsticks”.
Me, and Taylor Swift, we would say “Love”.
Love is Red. Red is Love.
Love comes in many shades of red. Red is the light and dark shades of love.
Love is butterflies in the stomach and going weak in the knees.
Love is kissing in the rain and dancing under streetlights to the sounds of the city.
Love is looking into his eyes and forgetting that anyone else is in the room.
Love is lying in bed all day and cuddling under the covers.
Love is drinking in dark empty bars on a Tuesday night, just the two of you and the bartender.
Love is telling your mom that you “met someone”
Love is uneasiness when he hasn’t texted you back, and excitement and relief when he calls.
Love is break-ups and broken hearts.
Love is asking your brother or best guy friend for advice.
Love is pints of ice cream, bottles of wine, and your best friend.
Love is loss, and missing, and trying to forget.
Love is remembering the good and feeling the pain that time never seems to take away.
Love is jealousy, confusion, and frustration.
Love is happiness and sadness, sometimes even at the same time.
Love is smiling and laughing again.
Love is running into him when you least expect it.
Love is thinking you moved on, only to stumble back down.
Love is feeling lost, but knowing that you will find yourself eventually.
Love is beginnings, middles, and ends.
Love is yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Love is patience. Love is impatience.
Love is learning to love another through the good times and the bad.
Love is “I do”, “I will”, and “I promise you”. Love is sometimes “I don’t know how I’m feeling”.
Love is never black or white. Love is shades of gray.
Love is red, but sometimes it can be blue.
Love is taking chances and making mistakes.
Love is doubts, fears, regrets, and uncertainties.
Love is “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”. Love is “I forgive myself”.
Love is learning to love again.
Love is trusting another. Love is trusting yourself.
Love is the best thing that will ever happen, though sometimes it may feel like the worst.
Love is always worth the risk.
Love is fearless.
Love is never giving up.
Red- Taylor Swift
If home is truly where the heart is, then Ohio will always be home.
Lately, as the thirties continue to make me more maternal and sentimental than I ever imagined being, I’ve been realizing more and more that my heart has been stranded there since I relocated to Chicago nearly five years ago.
And after a phone call from one of my best friends tonight, who is now a proud papa, I’m anxiously awake trying to gather my thoughts (by typing them out) and missing my friends back in Ohio.
Now I’m not going to sit here and go on and on about how A*MAY*ZING my college years in Ohio were because I’ve done than dozens of times on this blog before. But rather, I feel myself in being pulled back by my love for Ohio- mainly the people there that I love- and trying to fight the urge to go back to the place I once called home (even though my hometown is technically Pittsburgh, PA).
Here I am, thirty-years old and engaged to a great guy, not to be mention that I am living in one of the greatest cities in the world. That being said, there isn’t a thing I can complain about.
But as I mentioned in my last post, being in your late twenties/ thirties brings about its own set of growing up challenges. Life is no longer about being able to go out until 2 AM (or 4 AM here in Chicago) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Instead, weekends are about visiting with family and friends, catching up on work deadlines, and resting up for the week ahead.
That being said, with the large majority of my (closest) friends living in Ohio and other non-Chicago cities, it’s becoming hard for me to adjust to changes in my life without my friends nearby to join me for the ride.
So here it is, once again: Chicago vs. Ohio. With Cubby’s whole life here in Chicago, not to mention his goals and dreams as well, it doesn’t seem possible that Ohio will be incorporated into our plans.
But, is that what I want?
I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out.
Lately it seems like I’m trying to figure out a lot of things about my life. #cheerstogrowing up #thirties
More now than any other time in my life (thus far), I am completely aware of the transitional periods that life throws upon us. For example, those few months between college graduation and “the real world” presented many challenging moments for me as I tried to figure out those inevitable questions “Who am I?” and “What do I do now?”.
But while those days were rough in their own way, this new phase of life certainly brings up many new ideas and challenges that I’ve really never given too much thought to in the past.
When you’re a single lady, as I was for nearly 28 1/2 years, your ideology is focused on friends, job, bills, and boys. You spend most of your time texting with your friends and Facebook stalking all of those ex-crushes from your past. On the weekends, you daydream over glasses of wine what life would be like with a boyfriend.
Then you find yourself with a boyfriend… and before you know it, you’re in love.
And soon you’re engaged and planning a wedding.
But what no one really tells you is that once the bliss of the engagement wears off, you find yourself stuck in the spotlight of decision-making. Every phone call is asking about dates, venues, colors, and guest lists. Every email is about bridal shows, dresses, flowers, and registries.
To be honest, I keep thinking to myself, Can’t we just get married already? Should we just elope and get it over with? I bring it up to Cubby every other week just to see how he’s doing. I mean we are about thirteen and a half months from the BIG DAY and most days I don’t want to wait! I always tell him, “I would have married you yesterday”.
Okay, enough of the gushy stuff. I still need to take about babies!!
Babies! Babies! Babies!
All over my Facebook feed, people are announcing their pregnancies. People from high school, from college, from past jobs… everyone is having babies! It’s such a beautiful time in life for these people.
With being around kids at least five days a week, and seeing all of these adorable baby pictures, I’ll come forth and admit that I’ve found myself thinking about having babies of my own. Okay, I’ve done more than thinking about it- I’ve actually started making a list of baby names. Crazy, right? What’s crazy is that I’m more worried that someone will take my names before I have these children I’m daydreaming about. (I admit, I really am crazy.)
But seriously, is this normal? Am I normal? Once you’ve set a wedding date, does is the brain programmed to start thinking about babies?
All I know is that the thirties are proving to bring a lot of changes into my life, and I’m actually ready for them. Although, I think I’ll wait another two years (or more) to have a baby.
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. (Nora Ephron)
Sixteen months ago to the day, I found myself on an A*MAY*ZING first date with a guy I met the week before at a country bar on a Sunday Funday. And now, roughly 500 days after we met, we are engaged and anxiously awaiting our November 1, 2014 wedding date.
These past sixteen months have been beyond wonderful, and the day Cubby proposed is a day that I’ll never forget. But more than all of these unforgettable memories, I cannot begin to address how much I have learned about life, love, relationships, Cubby, and myself.
I can also say that life is completely unpredictable! Here I am, turning thirty in a few weeks, and a year ago I never would have predicted that I would be a fiancée before I was thirty years old! Actually, two years ago, I never would have thought that I would have a boyfriend before I turned thirty! But I found a fantastic boyfriend… who turned into a spectacular fiancé… and who will undoubtedly be the best husband.
Reflecting on these incredible changes in my life over the past year and a half, the best advice that I can give anyone is to always say “Yes!” to the opportunities that life brings you. Say “Yes!” when your girlies or buddies ask you to spend a Sunday Funday at the bars. Say “Yes!” to the cute guy who asks you out on a date the following weekend. And most definitely say “Yes!” to love and all of the joy and happiness that comes with it.
A few weeks ago, my dad asked me, “Do you still have your blog?” I answered with a strong “yes”, but then found myself explaining (aka making excuses) that while I have a blog, it’s not necessarily something that I would classify it as an active blog. And for those of you who have read my blog before, you will certainly agree with me.
Thirteen months ago, my life changed when I met my boyfriend, who I have referred to as Cubby, in my favorite country bar on good ole fashioned Sunday Funday here in Chicago. Thirteen months ago was also about halfway through my two-year graduate school program and near the time that my internship applications were due. In addition, it was also around the time that I made the decision to renew my one-bedroom apartment lease for another year, and rationing that it would be the last time since a year later I was planning to apply for positions across the country following my graduation.
But that was then, and this is now. Now I am sitting here surrounded by boxes anxiously waiting for the next three sleeps to pass so I can move into my new apartment with “my keeper” of a boyfriend. Now I am also in possession of a Master’s Degree and the completion of a competitive internship.
Thirteen months ago, I made the decision to go outside my comfort zone and allowed the boy from the bar to take me out on a date. About twelve months ago, I allowed myself to call that boy my boyfriend. And about seven months ago, I allowed myself to my vulnerable with that boy by letting him move into my bachelorette pad of an apartment… and into my life in every way.
The past thirteen months since Cubby came into my life have been a beautiful blur of love and happiness, as well as the stress and challenges that school and relationships bring. But more than anything, these past thirteen months have helped me find the confidence within myself that I had been searching to rediscover for many years now.
What I’ve learned more than anything is how much one can grow when you allow yourself to take a step outside your comfort zone. As far as my story goes, by allowing myself to fall in love with Cubby and allowing him to love me, I’ve learned to love myself.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been telling myself to Just blog it out. That used to always make you feel better. But the truth is, I’ve stared at this screen many nights trying to do just that and absolutely nothing comes out. There’s no image of motivation, or song lyric for inspiration. No title to begin, and no Answer to Life to end on. So instead I’ve tossed and turned nearly every night trying to figure out what’s going on with me. Where is my head at? What’s causing my sleepless nights? Why can’t I just seem to shake the old Something’s Wrong funk off?
This image of a cartoon Dorothy and the whole Wizard of Oz theme really seem to be the only things that seem to hit the spot with how I’m feeling right now. To put it best, for the past few hours I’ve been finding myself thinking, Where I am?, What am I doing here?, and How did I get here?.
Between you and me, I haven’t felt this lost & confused in a while… which is evident from the lack of blog posts from yours truly. While life has been busy this past year, especially with grad school, internship, and boyfriend, it really hasn’t been that bad. But now, with the end of internship and grad school drawing near, not to mention the lease on the apartment that I’ve lived since moving to Chicago over four years ago, I’m really starting to wonder What’s Next?
As exciting as it is, I’m starting to feel the pressures of my old frenemy, The Unknown.
In my strong moments, I have all the confidence in the world in knowing that after proving to myself that I can make it here, I can make it anywhere. I dream about the possibilities of living in a warmer climate and falling in love with a new city and new job. But when I’m hindered by anxiety and uncertainty, the questions begin swirling around in my head. What about your relationship? What about all your friends and networks here? How can you afford to move somewhere else? Can you really move further away from your family? What if no one will hire you?
There’s just a lot of questions right now, and unfortunately I’m not very close to any answers. But despite all that, I’m far from giving up. If anything, this is really that Time before something Amazing happens and then you find yourself wondering why you were worried in the first place.
I’m waiting for my Something Amazing to happen. I’m ready for all the pieces to come together and I can finally understand what all these blog days (and, essentially, the big move to Chicago) were all about.
More than anything, I’m ready to put aside the books and student loans and find my passion again. It’s visited in bits and pieces over the past two years, but I’m really missing it. I need it back again.
No, it was perfect because finally, here he was. The guy who wouldn’t let me get away with anything. I always thought of that as the moment you can into focus. Like, “Oh, there you were.”
Life has been busy for me. Between internship and grad school, there’s been homework and babysitting. But despite the stress and weariness, these past eight months I’ve been lucky enough to have a partner by my side. Yes, Cubby and I are still together, and we actually just hit the eight month mark. Crazy, right? To be honest, it’s pretty amazing…but more on that later.
For the past three years, I’ve been using this blog to contemplate life as a single girl and attempt to figure out what that thing called L.O.V.E. was all about. I’ve written about the boys I’ve met and the adventures that I’ve had. I’ve opened up about my struggles with anxiety and depression and shared some of the most difficult and challenging moments of my life.
But now, I’m writing to tell you that I am very happy and very in love with Cubby.
Yes, this blogger of yours is completely in love with Cubby and honestly, I can’t remember life before his name. (Cue John Mayer song, City Love.) We are in a very good place and everything seems to be getting better and better. Knock on wood. To tell you the truth, it took me a while to fully realize that I was in love with him- mostly because it’s something I’m not used to.
He is A*MAY*ZING. He really is. But above all of his wonderful traits, he is great for me. And from what he tells me, I’m great for him too. We are good together, and we are very happy.
These last eight months have been very challenging for us, as individuals who are both trying to launch their professional careers and overcome the stresses of living life in the big city. But I honestly cannot imagine how I would have gotten through these last few eight months without him. He’s been by my side (literally) during my breakdowns and through a multitude of papers and assignments that sucked the life out of me. He’s been my rock. One of my best friends.
Above all, he has loved me, and allowed me to love him.