Kelly Clarkson recently stated that her happy relationship (and wonderful boyfriend) were ruining her creativity (aka her ‘angry girl music’). Well, in a way I guess I can say the same about me. Since my relationship with Tony began (approximately) two months ago, I’ve found myself failing to find any reason to sit down and write out a blog post. Okay, part of that may be a result of not having much time to myself with all of the guests that I’ve been hosting lately, but still, I think it’s safe to say that my A*MAY*ZING boyfriend has something to do with it to. I mean, honestly, and those that know him will agree, there is nothing bad to say about him and our relationship. Absolutely nothing. And if there was, then it would be that I’m not sure if I’m fully deserving of being with such a wonderful guy… but let’s not go there tonight, okay?
So, since I haven’t really written much about him and our relationship on this little ol’ blog of mine, I can start by sharing our story.
Once upon a time, on a Sunday Funday (or Sunday, April 15, 2012), I found myself engaging in some all-day drinking with a few friends before heading to my favorite Chicago (Sunday country music bar) for dinner and another drink. (Note: This bar is also where I met Cleveland, as well as another former hookup, so it’s been known for shenanigans.) Minutes after our arrival, I began conversing with a friend of Cubby’s while Jenny (one of my best friends) soon started talking to Cubby. (Honestly, I didn’t even remember seeing him.) Now some, or most, of the details are blurry, but I do remember him insisting on buying me another screwdriver after mine was knocked over, and when he went to scout out the server Jenny saying, “He thinks you’re cute. Go talk to him.” So I did…or rather he started talking to me. Again, it’s kinda blurry, but I will say that at one point he asked for my phone number and assured my cynical self that he was going to call me the next day and take me out the following week/weekend. (He followed through.)
Since that night, Cubby has been nothing but incredible. I’d say perfect, but I don’t want him to start slacking off. (He wouldn’t anyways, but let’s play it safe here.) As I sit here and write tonight, I can only hope that I can treat him as well as he treats me.
But I also cannot help but think about all of the times I’ve written about love and relationships on this blog, feeling both hopeful and hopeless. Above all, I remember wanting to experience it so badly, even though I wasn’t sure if I would ever truly be someone’s girlfriend. Despite those uncertainties and the ones I addressed during my last post, I am someone’s girlfriend; and although I’m not the best girlfriend (yet), I’m a very lucky girl to call him mine.
Looking back on the past two months, I’ll say that I really wasn’t (necessarily) looking to be in a relationship; however, I think this blog is proof that I’ve been looking for a guy like Cubby for a very long time. While I don’t know what the future holds for us, I will say that I’m so glad that he came into my life when he did. Like I said, I’m a very lucky girl.
Cubby’s Favorite Song (Seriously): Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
The following post was written for the blog, Peace & Penguins,and tackles the topic of Love & Anxiety- which are two things that I know little and a lot about, respectively.
When Alisha asked me to write a guest blog post on Love & Anxiety for Peace & Penguins, I thought that it would be an easy hour therapy session of rehashing my life stories of insecurity, doubts, and regrets. But unfortunately, for the past week, I’ve struggled to get anything down on paper. So here I am, over a week after telling her that she’d have my piece in no time, trying to figure out exactly what I can say about love & anxiety…which are ultimately the two words that have haunted me during my 28-year old life.
While I’ve questioned how to begin this post, I feel that it is important to start off with the following statement: I’m twenty-eight years old and I’ve never been in a serious relationship. However, and it’s an incredibly big HOWEVER, I’m actually (finally) on the verge of entering one…but more on that later.
Today I came across the following lines in the novel, 50 Shades of Grey, which really struck a chord with me. Here are the lines, and I’ll explain later:
Katherine often teases me that I’m missing the need-a-boyfriend gene, but the truth is I just haven’t met anyone who… well, whom I’m attracted to, even though part of me longs for the fabled trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly moments.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps, I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high. But in reality, nobody’s ever made me feel like that.
Anastasia Steele (50 Shades of Grey)
For the majority of my young adult life, I have relied on excuses and sarcasm to answer the question, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” And when stating my boyfriend-free background and getting stuck responding to the inevitable question, “What do you mean you’ve never been in a relationship? How is that possible?”, I find the anxiety tingles kicking in as I do my best to change the subject. But here and now, I’ll put those insecurities aside and tell you that Anxiety is the answer to both of those questions.
Unfortunately I’ve been plagued by anxiety for a while now, and it’s held me back from many things over the years. But above all, it’s prevented me from experiencing the love that I always dreamed of; from finding the love I always deserved. For years I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me. I thought I wasn’t good enough to be loved. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough to attract the attention of a man. I thought I would always be alone, because frankly being single is all I’ve really ever known.
Sure, there were those “boyfriends” during my early teen years that typically lasted a few weeks, and then a few guys in my twenties that stayed around for a couple uncommitted hook-ups. However, for the most part, I’ve been that girl who finds herself attending weddings without a plus-one and heading home after last call alone in a cab while the other girls leave on the arm of their significant others.
Now, every once in a while, maybe on the night of a full moon or during a road trip back to Ohio, I’d find myself flirting with a seemingly eligible bachelor and hoping that something more than a one-night stand would come out of it. But unfortunately, my anxiety almost got the best of me as daylight hit and my internal enemy asserted, “Are you crazy? He’s doesn’t really like you. He’s going to leave just like all of the other ones.”
But something changed this past year; something that I really can’t quite explain myself. In essence, I’ve lived this year under the motto: I don’t care anymore. See, instead of letting anxiety hold me back, I’ve fought off the doubts and insecurities and strived to live fearlessly. (Note: A little liquid courage usually helped too.) I took some chances…including using a few daring moves and brave one-liners every once in a while. And with each one of those incidences, I noticed my anxiety towards potential love decreasing.
So that leads me to “The Now”. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am on the verge of a relationship. Actually… I’m in one. Yes, the girl who thought she’d always be single is in a relationship. (With a wonderful guy, might I add.) I’m pretty much living in disbelief, as are my friends and family who have heard my “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.” and “I’ll always be a single” lines, but it really is the truth. Even though it hasn’t yet been discussed, I am practically someone’s girlfriend… which means that I kinda-sorta have a boyfriend. Me? Really? Wow.
To be honest, I’m still processing all of this. I’m trying to convince myself that this is really, while also trying to understand why it’s taken me so long to let myself be in a relationship. Why did I let my anxiety hinder my happiness? Why did I let my insecurities get in the way of being someone’s girlfriend? Why did I let my fears prohibit some amazing guy from being mine? While I can ask these questions again and again, I’ll never fully be able to uncover the answers. But I will remember the anxiety I’ve lived with that held me back from being happy all of those years.
Unfortunately my anxiety is something that I continue to live with. It’s something that I think I’ll always live with. But when it comes to love, I’m learning more and more how important it is for me to combat all of my fears and doubts. For starters, I don’t want to miss out on a chance with a good guy like the one I have right now. I’ve held myself back many times before and simply, I don’t want to live with regrets anymore. Sure it’s scary to let yourself be vulnerable and open your heart up, but the risk is worth it. And honestly, I’m at the point in my life where I’d rather know that I took a chance than regret not taking one.
Let me stress that I’m no expert when it comes to love, and in some ways I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever fully understand it. But between you and me, I’m much more open to learning more about it. And that being said, I think I’ll have to start with exploring the whole relationship thing, and maybe officially being someone’s girlfriend.
Sure, it’s not easy and frankly I’m a bit scared, but I’m going to take these chances…starting with this great guy who has seen past my anxieties and boyfriendless past and see what life has in store for me. And hopefully, one day, I’ll be writing a post about love without a mention of anxiety. But for the meantime, I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see what this whole relationship thing is all about.
As I sit in the bedroom of my childhood and adolescent days, I am nearly haunted by the ghosts of crushes past. Gosh, how many boys did I go to bed thinking about in this room? Well, if we could middle school then it may get a little tricky. So scratch that, and let’s only focus on those guys that really caused my head to spin and heart to pitter-patter since my hormonal adolescent days began.
To be honest, I can only remember a handful of real crushes during those days, and some of those leave me questioning if what I was feeling was real or merely part of exploring the world of boys.
But to be fair, I can say that there were probably two or three boys that captured my young heart and filled my dreams- both during the days and nights. However, as I begin to reminisce, more than anything I realize how my feelings for those boys have vanished.
And then there was the love of my life that consumed my heart during those beloved college days. He was the guy that I thought I’d never get over- whether or not we ended up together. For years I truly believed that I would be haunted by feelings for him and therefore, I’d never be able to love another. But here I am now, having to remind myself of him and the fated love I believed we shared.
And over these last few months, I found myself struggling to let go of the feelings I developed for Cleveland. Once again I thought I was doomed to suffer through lost memories of him. I thought my heart was going to broken (again) into millions of pieces without a glimpse of hope to patch it back together.
But here I sit, remembering all the guys that came before Cleveland and how the pain I endured for them, once upon a time. I recall those restless nights where I wondered if s0-and-so liked me to, and those days at school when I hoped my crush would ask me to Homecoming. Though tonight, what I remember the most is how I got over every single one of them, even if I deemed it impossible. All of those guys, from the one I shared my first kiss to the guy I first fell in love, I can honestly say that I’ve gotten over each one of them.
And now, I think I can almost say that I’ve gotten over Cleveland too. Okay, I’ll admit, there have been some moments of daydreams here and there; however, what’s surprised me is how little I’ve been thinking of him. I’m sure it helps that he won’t talk to me, or return any of the few texts I’ve sent in the last couple of weeks. Though, whatever the case may be, I’m left sitting here wondering what I ever felt for him in the first place. Was he another crush? A guy who showed a broken-down girl some attention? Or was it more? Or perhaps, was it ever anything at all?
Even though he’s made it quite clear that we won’t be seeing each other anytime soon, I cannot help but be curious what it would be like if I saw him again. Would the feelings of desire come back? Or would I smile at him with an empty heart? Would I remember those good times that we shared? Or would I look at him and only feel the pain that he caused me as he slowly indicated that he couldn’t do this anymore?
Sometimes I wish we had that extra moment to see what would happen. But then again, maybe it’s better off that we don’t.
Song of the Moment: Glass by Ingrid Michaelson
As soon as I felt the sun on my skin and the breeze through my hair, I knew that it was going to be hard to leave this place. California. Never in my mind did I think I was going to fall in love with California- let alone fall in love at first sight. Heck, until this summer I wasn’t sure I’d ever even see California.
Last Friday morning my friend, Jenny, and I fled the craziness that is Chicago for a four-day weekend in sunny California. After landing and getting our rental car, I found myself taken by the fresh air as we drove to San Francisco with our windows down and sunglasses on. With the sun shining down on me, I had one of those moments of recognition that there was nowhere else I wanted to be.
I could call my weekend in Northern California perfect, but instead I’ll reference it as being exactly what I needed. After a summer of anxiety and a few months of nothing but work-school-sleep-repeat, a weekend of sunshine and freedom was just the ticket. Add one of my best friends and a countryside of vineyards into the mix, and perfection may actually be the best way to describe it.
It is nearly impossible for me to give justice to the beauty that I experienced during my four days in California. Between the exquisite landscapes and the relaxing environment, I found peace. Peace within my surroundings, but most importantly peace within myself. Sure the wine had something to do with it, as did the companionship with Jenny; however, there was so much more to it that words simply cannot capture. In essence, I discovered myself. My true self. The girl without worries. The girl who lives fearlessly with no regrets. The girl who does what she says and says what she means. The girl who is comfortable being single and doesn’t rely on the affection of a man to complete her. The girl who believes she is beautiful- inside and out.
California was truly an awakening experience. Not only did I uncover things about myself, but I came to recognize how important certain things are to me. Within ten hours of my arrival back to Chicago, I was forced to adapt to a changing culture and face a somewhat stressful situation. This last week hasn’t been easy, but fortunately I’ve been able to keep my California sense with me and embrace it all with as much ease as possible. To be fair, if it wasn’t for my four days in California, I’m not certain that I could have handle such a buzzkill. But then again, as they say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
For the first time in a while, I felt free in California. I felt like nothing mattered expect where I was at the present time. Sure I knew that things were bound to change when I returned to Chicago, but then again I remained hopeful that my peace of mind would stay intact. And if not, then at least I had the vivid memories of the sun shining down on me as the wind blew through my hair as I drove through the captivating state of California.
*The title of this post is lyrics from Free by Zac Brown Band.