Archive for the ‘pittsburgh’ Category
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.
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
If I took a shot every time one of my teachers said, “When you enter the real world next year…” during my senior year of high school, I would have been drunk more times than I was in college. (Okay, probably not entirely true but you get the point.) We all now know that for the majority of us, ‘the real world’ did not start until after college, grad school and/or when we finally moved out of our parents’ houses and changed our permanent address. For me, that new permanent address and real world experience was far from Pittsburgh, PA; however, I cannot say the say for most of my high school classmates. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that at least half of them remain in the same state, if not the same city.
Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that, but will say that I’m not planning on joining the Pittsburgh Residency Club again anytime soon. To tell you the truth, I knew that ever since high school when I would spend my days and nights dreaming of a life outside of here. I imagined living in New York City and working for a popular magazine, or traveling the country as a sports reporter. Other daydreams took me to Florida, California, Hawaii, and any other sunny spot that was far, far away from snowy winters. In essence, I didn’t know where exactly the future would take me but knew it would take me anywhere but here.
Because of this notion, I find myself struggling with trips back home since I know I don’t belong here.
Last night I spent some time with one of my only (remaining) true friends from high school, Matt (MT). As custom after our hangout sessions, I find myself in a juxtapose of thoughts and emotions. My Past vs. My Present/ Future. What’s Made Me vs. Who I Am Today. Most days, as I flicker through Facebook, I struggle to remember those people from my past; and, more importantly, I struggle to remember who I was back then. Or better put, I struggle to figure out if I really am that same girl who once called Pittsburgh ‘home’.
So much has changed these last 10 years. For goodness sake, I’ve changed a lot- or better put, I’ve grown a lot. For starters, I’ve ventured out of the Hampton Bubble and been practically living on my own since then. The friends I had in middle school and high school haven’t been friends since then, and if anything, most of them are nothing more than a Facebook ‘friend’ and someone my mom asks about from time to time. Those former classmates of mine don’t know me anymore, nor do I know them. According to Facebook, most of them are living in Pittsburgh with either a significant other, fiance, spouse and/or child(ren).
And to them, I’m probably just a name from the past that is now living in Chicago and involved in a lot of charity work. Maybe they wonder, or assume, that I have a boyfriend (which I don’t)- although my empty relationship status and lack of photos with guys probably assures them I’m still single. (After all, I’ve always been single. Guess I haven’t changed that much.) And they probably think I’m happy too- as I’ve always appeared to be to those from Hampton. (Happy and very nice is how I’ve always been seen.) To be honest, I don’t remember a time during my teenage years that I was fully happy… which has a lot to do with why I always imagined myself getting out of Hampton in the first place. I just knew there was some other place for me.
But to be fair, there are moments when I wish that I could be one of those people who found happiness in Pittsburgh. Not only would I be closer to my family, but it would be nice to sustain friendships with those who I’ve known since my childhood days. (Thank goodness for Stef and Matt.) But while I could wish and hope sometimes, the truth is I know whole-heartedly that this place isn’t the one for me.
For now that place is Chicago. Chicago is fulfilling those big city dreams of mine, and the people in my life are certainly the friends I’ve been longing to have for some time now. To me, that’s what makes me most content with my life. Sure, I may not be in a relationship, expecting a child, and/or own my place, I know that I’ve living out my dreams. This is something I need to remind myself instead of worrying about what Facebook friends of mine have that I don’t. They may be living out their dreams, just as I’m living out mine.
To be honest, it’s all a blur. I have a hard time believing that tonight has brought the end of another Christmas. Even though I’m sitting here, staring at the lights on the Christmas tree in my parents’ living room, I have to keep reminding myself that another Christmas has passed. But the strangest thing is…it never really felt like Christmas to begin with.
Without any children here to make the holiday a little merrier and brighter, it unfortunately felt like another day with family. It’s not a bad thing, but it just made me realize how much better a holiday can feel when a child is smiling and laughing while running around opening presents and sneaking too many cookies.
The lack of holiday spirit may not merely be the absence of children. Instead it may be the absence of me. While I’ve been feeling more rested since getting home yesterday afternoon, I’m still struggling to get back to my old self again. But I will say that a Christmas gift today gave me a glimpse that things are going to soon change for the better.
So here I am, trying my best to get through this post and noticing I’m failing miserably. Every now and then I’ll glance back up at the lights on the tree in hopes that the Christmas magic will seep into my soul. But while I may feel a bit better, I know I still have a way to go before feeling strong again. A lot has happened since last Christmas- good and not so good. But I have faith that next Christmas will be a different story. The gift that I received today is just one of the reasons why I know this to be true.
I felt my defenses rising as my parents began their inquiry last night on my plans…my finances…my love life (or lack thereof). Wait….my love life? What love life? And did the word ‘husband’ really come from my father’s mouth? Did my mother actually compliment me for being guarded when it comes to guys? Wow…and none of us were even drinking. I’ve never had full-out conversations with my parents about any of these topics, let alone all of them rolled into one. But there was something in the air yesterday because I way was too open about feelings I typically keep hidden within.
The only rationale that I’ve been able to come up with (in regards to yesterday’s openness) is that I’m tired of hiding behind my own lines. The truth is this- I am stressed-out more than I, myself, realized. I am exhausted from trying so hard to take care of myself and everyone else. (Note: No complaining here at all. This is my own fault; it’s just who I am.)
I don’t really know why but I have the hardest time letting others do things for me. Actually, let me turn that around to make the statement more accurate and say, I hardly ever let others do things for me. Take today, for instance. I literally struggled for 20 minutes (if not longer) before finally agreeing to let my mom do something for me; and only gave in because she wouldn’t budge (and it was making me uber-uncomfortable). To be honest, I definitely still feel guilty about her act of kindness and generosity. So if I struggle to let someone (my own mother, for goodness sake) do something for me, how can I possibly allow someone take care of me? How can I let someone love me?
I’m not sure what I’m scared of anymore… or if I’m even scared at all. Personally I worry that I’m so used to being independent and taking care of myself (as well as I can), that I don’t know how to let someone in.
I wish I could wake up tomorrow morning, after a solid night’s rest, and immediately recognize the lightness in my heart. I wish I could sense that over night my walls had tumbled down. I wish that I could take a deep breath and say, “Okay. Today is the day that I’m finally going to let someone else (help) take care of me.”
Maybe tomorrow isn’t the day, and instead perhaps tomorrow is the day after the day that I admit to needing someone to take care of me. At any rate, I hope the day that I let someone take care of me (finally!) isn’t too far behind.
Song of the Moment: Hiding my Heart by Adele
My friend, Jen, just sent me a text, after donating $150 to our friend Dustin’s fundraising efforts in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program. Jen wrote, “It feels so good to give!!”
She’s right. It does feel good to give, especially to a cause that is worth more than money. Your money and support are Saving Lives.
I know you probably don’t know Dustin nor his aunts, who battled Leukemia and non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and serve as two of the benefactors of him lacing up his running shoes in May. And maybe you don’t know me personally…but if you’ve read my blog at least once before, then you do know me well enough to know that I’d only share something (on this blog) if it truly means something to me. I do know Dustin and saw/heard firsthand his passion for supporting this cause in honor of his aunts and the others that are impacted by blood cancers.
I’ll share with you that Dustin is not a pro marathon runner. In fact, he’ll openly admit this and maybe even share his “I’m never running the Chicago Marathon again!” story. Trust me, the story was priceless. The fact that he is running another marathon (but definitely not in Chicago) is a miracle: A miracle that happens when passion & inspiration are in the driver’s seat.
On Monday, I had the honor of spending time with seven-year old Ivy yesterday. Ivy is a Leukemia Survivor, having been diagnosed at the age of 4. On Tuesday, I gave Ivy a big hug and sent her and her family off on a well-deserved trip to Disney World. She is a Cancer Survivor. And She is a Kid. A kid who talks about having leukemia (when she was ‘younger’) and still takes daily medicines and goes for routine check-ups, with hopes that her battle is over.
So, will you do me a favor?
If you know someone who has battled any of the blood cancers (leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic), or really any cancer at all, Think of Him/Her/Them Right Now.
And if you are fortunate not to be affected by this devastating disease firsthand, Think of Dustin and His Aunts or Little Ivy and Her Family.
Now..take a few minutes to:
1. Visit Dustin’s Page and read just why he’s committed to running the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus, OH with Team In Training on May 7, 2011.
2. Make A Difference. Donate Today. Help the thousands who battle blood cancers, such as Leukemia and Lymphoma. Serve the thousands who have lost their life to such illnesses. Support the millions of family members and friends who are affected by the struggles that their loved ones endure when fighting for their lives.
3. Learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training program by visiting www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/ and searching for the Chapter in your community.
To help Dustin raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit his Team In Training page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/coh/columh11/dwoodx#My-Fundraising-Page