Archive for the ‘taking chances’ Category
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 soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s interesting how a new guy can make you realize the doubts and insecurities you have. It may take a few days, call it the new crush honeymoon period if you will, but then all of a sudden your mind starts playing those darn tricks on you again. Why hasn’t he texted me? When will I see him again? Does he really like me? Boys. They are put on this earth to drive our already-crazy minds even crazier.
No, but seriously, what’s up with me? I was many hours (and drinks) into Sunday Funday and had no expectations going into the date he proposed. But now, after having a fantastic first date, here I am struggling with all those troubling thoughts that have scarred me over the past several dateless years. GRrrr…come on girl, get yourself together!!
After mentioning my successful date to a dear friend of mine, she responded, “Breathe and trust. Silence those fears.” To be honest, when this message came through I was feeling ridiculously confident and still high from the amazing kissing that concluded our date. (Yes, I kissed him on the first date. Actually, I kissed him before our first date, but that’s a whole different story.) But I found myself thankful for her encouraging words when those fears started surfacing the very next day.
Breathe and trust. Silence those fears. That’s what’s keeping my anxious mind (and heart) from falling victim to the worries. Between you and me, I’ve let my fears hold me back for a very long time- much longer than I’ve ever admitted to on this blog- but I really feel like it’s time to trust myself again- and maybe learn to let myself trust someone else too.
For three seconds, you believe. When you see the word “gorgeous” in his text or hear him speak the word “beautiful” over the line, there’s a three-second delay before the skepticism sets in. For those three seconds, you are worry-free. There are no doubts; no fears. Whatever happened prior to those words entertaining your mindset is gone. For three blissful seconds, you believe you really are the gorgeous, beautiful girl that he said you are.
Those of you in blog world and in my circle of friends (now) know that I’ve been having a difficult time lately. Prior to these last two weeks, I was struggling to get my writing juices flowing and spark some life back into me. As my head spun with anxiety, I felt anything but beautiful. On the inside I was struggling to believe that I was ‘me’, and on the outside I couldn’t fathom anyone seeing me as beautiful. But someone did.
Truth be told, I don’t know what to believe right now. For the last few days I’ve had my share of weak moments and solid epiphanies. Even though I stand strong in my belief of what is right-regarding the situation on my mind- I’m finding that those beautiful’s and gorgeous’s can really get a girl in trouble. Especially when she really wants to believe it’s true.
Song of the Moment: Just Might (Make Me Believe) by Sugarland
Birthday girl, Dina, ironically gave me a gift yesterday in the form of serenity and clarity as she shared this quote: “Be ready for love when it does come. Prepare the field and be ready to nourish love. Be loving, and you will be lovable. Be open and receptive to love.”
First let me say that while my previous post was quite honest with how I was feeling at the time, I’m not sure if it was entirely fair to two people: Cute boy in the green shirt (whose name I’m choosing not to share) and myself. While I’m hesitant to admit it and fall victim again to “The Jinx”, I had a good time on Saturday and glad I took the ballsy route and, dare I say, picked him up. So even though my last post made it sound like my mind is still set on another, it’s not. My heart is as open as it’s ever been, and I say that because I’ve come a long way.
Without rambling much here, I’ll acknowledge that besides battling a broken heart for a few years, my spirit has been broken for some time too. I’m not here to dwell on that but rather state the facts. I closed my heart a long time ago and I think it’s time to (slowly) open it again. Afterall, be loving, and you will be lovable.
So I guess this can be construed as an apology to many people- including all the friends who I failed to trust and those boys who I wouldn’t allow to love me. I also owe myself an apology for holding myself back so many times before. And lastly, to the cute boy in the green shirt who I kissed on the rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field, I promise I won’t play my games with you.
I toyed with the idea of calling this post Oops…I did it again but decided to go in a different direction. However, I will elaborate on yesterday’s antics just a bit and explain the whole ‘Oops… I did it again’ and how it contributes to where my napping-all-day mind is right now. In short, yesterday consisted of a day drinking bar shuffle (crawl) in Chicago’s Wrigleyville with my partners in crime, Sarah, Jenny, and Tom (Jenny’s boyfriend). Good Friends, Sunshine, and Free Drinks definitely set the mood right for some Stress-Free Fun. And then there was a cute guy in a green shirt…
Within 30 minutes of being in the first bar on the crawl, he caught my eye and I noticed him looking at me too. But me being ‘me’ wrote it off thinking that he was drawn to my cute plaid hat and not the girl in it. Well I’m happy to report that both were true. After 4-5 hours and seeing him at 2 other bars, the curiosity and encouragement of friends led me to approaching him, in front of his friends, and apparently said, “Can I ask you something? Have you been looking at me?” Yep, ballsy little me said that, which led to a night in the company of cute boy in the green shirt.
So that was yesterday but what about today? Well after a night of little sleep I have been in recovery mode of naps and laziness. I’ve also attempted to write this post various times but obviously didn’t get very far. To be honest, I don’t know what to say because I don’t know what I’m feeling today. I have absolutely No Regrets about yesterday and if anything, really had a great day with my friends and own antics. I will say that I still find myself listening to Somewhere With You by Kenny Chesney over and over again. “But it’s just a temporary high” is the line I keep thinking about. Last night could very well be another ‘temporary high’ for yours truly. And while I’ll play it off (to friends and on this blog, at some point), right now I’ll admit that I’ve become quite accustomed to the aftermath of those temporary high situations- usually brought on by boys.
Although I haven’t said much of anything on here about it, some of those dearest to me know that I’ve been struggling (to fight) feelings for someone completely A*MAY*ZING for the last few months. (Yes, he deserves an A*MAY*ZING and much more.) What I’ve been feeling for him hasn’t felt like a temporary high, but then again what do I really know? Not to mention I’ve been wrong about this stuff before. (Cough Casey Cough) So while I very much enjoyed my time with a cute boy, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that another wasn’t on my mind- yesterday and today.
But then again, it’s FINALLY summertime in Chicago and as I’ve shared with friends, I really just want to have a carefree few months because once September comes, school starts and my social life doesn’t look too promising.
Everyone has an opinion, and everyone- especially our own mother- feel the need to share their thoughts with you over and over again. When you’re twenty-seven years old like me, you’ve heard the “If it was me…” and “Remember everything happens for a reason” speeches so many times that you’ve grown accustomed to tuning them out even before those ‘words of wisdom’ are spoken.
The truth is I’ve heard the “Everything happens for a reason”
excuse line so many times before that I’ve reached the point where I’m in both agreeance and disagreeance. See last year, my professor opened my eyes by twisting the words around on this theory. He said, “We give reason to why everything happens.” He’s right. Once you adopt this perspective you are giving yourself the greatest gift of life: The Freedom to Live. You are disconnecting yourself from the puppet strings and taking control of your life, freeing yourself from any doubts or insecurities that may have been holding you back before this life-changing revelation. This is YOUR life, so Live It Up!
While sitting outside the dressing room at lululemon a few weeks ago (waiting for Sarah), my social self engaged in a conversation with one of the workers- who happened to be another Chicago-livin’ Ohio girl. As is common for me these days, we found ourselves talking about how important it is to Let Yourself Live Out Your Seemingly Crazy Dreams. She, herself, is taking a huge chance and moving to Thailand in a few months, explaining that she needs a change and therefore, decided to follow her passion. In sharing her thoughts leading up to this decision, she said these words that I currently swear by, “When you throw your hands up in the air and say ‘I don’t care anymore’, that’s when things happen.”
For a few months now I’ve found myself constantly saying (both in my head and out loud), “I don’t care anymore.” Now anyone that knows me know that I care way too much, mostly about other people- friends and family as well as though individuals that need a helping hand. So when I say “I don’t care anymore” know that I’m not talking about that stuff. Instead, what I mean is that I’ve finally gotten to the point in my life where I am going to do whatever I want to do. Follow my heart. Go after my dreams. Take chances. I, Kristen Medica, am just going to Live My Life- once and for all. And because of this, I’m not going to let others tell me what’s right and what’s wrong; nor what’s attainable and what’s unattainable. Sure I’ll listen to (some of) their opinions. But like anything, one must remember that it always come down to what you want; what you need; and what you decide is best for you.
These last few weeks have brought an interesting twist into the lives of some of my favorite girls, Libby and Sarah (who just happen to be second-cousins). And if we’re being honest here, then I should say that I’ve experienced my own twist too. Okay, yes, this ‘twist’ may indicate that a boy has entered and/or exited each of our lives but don’t get too excited here because I’m not diving into story time today. Rather I’m going to tell you what I’ve discuss which both girls, as well as other friends. Be your unique, beautiful self! Let him see your crazy (which really isn’t even that crazy). The best advice anyone can give you is Just Be Yourself.
Song of the Moment: Who Says by Selena Gomez & The Scene
Darlene, one of the loves of my life, always knows the right things to say, even if I don’t know the right question to ask. On Thursday afternoon she knew the right quote to share: Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. ~ William Jennings Bryan. After a short reply of my own, Darlene wrote back: Perhaps because you are making your own destiny, my dear sweet friend 😮
Fate. Destiny.Everything Happens for a Reason. We’ve heard these words a thousand times before and can expect to hear them millions more. And we, ourselves, tend to repeat them too. But what about the words: Do. Take. Go. As in Do What You Want. Take Chances. Go After Your Dreams. Why don’t we use these words more often to instruct & inspire others (and ourselves) about the reality that is known as life?
Today I followed my own words of wisdom by attending Open House for a grad program that would allow me to Do What I Want; Take Chances; and Go After My Dreams. Within the first twenty minutes I found myself overwhelmed with the notion, “this feels right…so it must be right”. Now I say ‘overwhelmed’ because, quite frankly, while everything sounds good and aligns perfectly with my plans, I’m experienced enough to know that life doesn’t always go according to plan. And here I am with Martina McBride’s song, Anyway, playing in my head: But do it anyway. Okay Martina, I will. I’ll take this chance and apply. And I’ll trust that whatever is right, will happen. Whether or not the outcome begins with a “Congratulations!” letter, I have made the choice to do it anyway. Do. Take. Go.
You know, Do. Take. Go. applies to so many other things too. Like Love. While I can surely find reason to argue against love being a choice (ie. fate/destiny), ultimately we do have a choice whom to love. However, we really don’t have a choice over who loves us. In other words, we cannot force someone to love us (back). So what is one to do?
I may not be the best person to answer this question (these days) as I find myself asking others, How do you know if a guy likes you? more times than I’d like to admit. But I’ll try, as much as possible, to tackle the topic from an unbiased perspective. So what is the question again? Oh yeah… what role can we play in getting someone else to like us? There’s only one way to do it: Be Yourself. For some this may be the hardest thing to do, but I believe that it’s easiest when the right person is that hopeful recipient. If you feel like you can be yourself, then, trust me, you know you’ve found the right one.
So to wrap this up (and return back to my application), let me say this: Whether it’s a new job, new boy, or new opportunity, remember that You Always have a Choice. You have the Power to Choose Your Own Destiny. You could spend your whole life waiting…and waiting. But where’s the fun in that? The truth is, Everything Happens for a Reason because YOU make it happen when you take that first step, and then another and another after that.
And one more thing: Those darn butterflies that we love to hate…love them, because they are an indication that something/someone is worth being nervous about. So embrace those butterflies. Do What You Want. Take Chances. Go After Your Dreams.
* I sing * I dream * I love *