Archive for the ‘julie’ Tag

friends say the words your heart says, but the difference is you like the sound of your friends’ voices better than your own.   Leave a comment

Me: “I feel like I can be myself.”

Julie: “That’s how you should always feel.”

For those of you who don’t yet know her, Meet Julie.  The beautiful friend I made during my freshman year at Kent State and one of my dear Ohio ladies that dreams about our joint-return to Columbus…one day (maybe)- and this year I was honored to serve as Maid of Honor in her wedding to one of the greatest guys I know, Ken.

With Juls living in Akron, she plays the (over-casted) role as one of my long-distance best friends that I constantly play phone/text tag with.  However, last night, after postponing a quick afternoon call while I waited for the train, we finally got a chance to chat.  As always, our conversation contained many “I wish you were here to go on a Meijer run” (a familiar activity of ours when we both lived in Columbus) and plans for Ken & her to visit after the new year. 

Yes, visit me in Chicago…in the winter.  I know.  I tried talking them out of it but they wouldn’t have it.  They must really love me.

Getting back to our call, I’ll share that my conversations with Julie always end up being very heart-felt and sincere.  She, like many of my girl friends, are the ones that I feel like I can’t be anything but honest with.  They allow me to be myself with them.  And last night, Julie literally told me exactly that. (Note the lines I shared above.)  With Ken watching football in the background, Julie preached to me one of life’s most important lessons: Be Yourself.  Such simple words, but exactly what one cannot hear enough and hearing them from Julie is quite impactful…because she,too, wears the shoes that I wear.  In other words, Julie has battled the same demons as me: Learning to Love Herself.

Ken has helped Julie so much, which is one of the reasons I admire and adore him.  He’s an Aidan and I’m so happy that Julie can call him her husband.  But while he’s been able to help Juls, he hasn’t fought the battle for her.  As I’ll remind her in times of weakness, she is the warrior that has fought off  the dragons. 

And she’ll tell me the same.  Like last night, she said the words that I needed to hear, reminding me that the struggles are behind me and I’m starting to feel the way I should have felt all along.  The way that I should always feel from now on.

Stef shared this quote with me a few months ago, as it’s quite relevant to our friendship and the shared bond that we have over the obstacles we’ve faced.  Well this also aligns with Julie and our common struggles and personal growth.  Both friends remind me that sometimes you need another to tell you that, “It’s going to be okay,” but that it’s even more beneficial to hear it from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through and can say with understanding, “You’re going to be okay.”

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one ~ C.S. Lewis

drop everything now…meet me in the pouring rain…kiss me on the sidewalk…take the pain away.   Leave a comment

Standing on the platform in Evanston waiting for the Purple Line last night after work, a chill came over me.  All I wanted was someone to put their arm around me.  Is that asking too much?  I tell you this because after having that thought, I immediately had another thought: That’s not typical for me. 

Sure I would have loved for  that someone to be a cute, single guy that likes me best in grey sweatpants and no makeup, but honestly I would have taken the arm of one of my girlfriends, lovely gay boyfriends, or family members.  Someone’s arm around my shoulder, letting me know that everything is going to be okay.  Or perhaps, just showing me that someone is there beside me.

Friends of mine all over the country- mostly in and/or from Ohio- are struggling and I strongly dislike hate that I cannot be there beside them with my arm around their shoulders.  Wiping their tears.  Showing them that there is still beauty in this world and that our friendship is one example.  Instead I am restricted to using my words through emails, Facebook postings, text messages, phone calls, and greeting cards to comfort them in during these rough and never-ending frustrating days. 

Aren’t the Terrible Twenties glorious?

A message from Julie yesterday broke my heart and actually brought tears to my eyes.  A few weeks ago when I visited her in Akron (for less than 48 hours), I was able to hug her worries away.  But now, once again I am resulted to using my words to warm her sad, lonely, and confused heart.  My heart breaks just thinking about her now.  As depression seeps into her soul, I cannot physically shield her.  I cannot drag her on spontaneous trips to Meijer like we used to do when we both lived in Columbus a few years ago.  I cannot accompany her on a day-long hike through the middle of nowhere Ohio until she finds peace in nature.  I cannot spoil her with a sushi date nor laugh hysterically while watching the ridiculousness that is Where the Wild Things Are.  I just want to put my arm around her and tell her everything is going to be okay. 

Adriana has been struggling lately with a laundry list of issues that I wish would disappear at the snap of my fingers.  She’s only been in my life for over a year now but I honestly cannot remember life before her name.  I laughed with irony when she calls me her “little human xanax/prozac”.  Even though we both know that the other is there for us when she cannot be there, it just isn’t always enough.  Fortunately are written exchanges can compensate during our anxiety-ridden days but there’s nothing better than curling up together in our OU sweatshirt blankets with tea/coffee/hot chocolate sharing a bag of Twizzlers.  Fortunately, we get to do that soon when I venture out to Cinci next week (!), but I’m still wishing that I was there right now…forcing her to soothe her worries with my heavenly Starbucks and companionship.  I’ll be there soon, A.  Very, very soon!

I think of Alisha a lot, especially since her life is paralleling mine from (gasp) 6 years ago.  She’s nearing the end of Fall Quarter at my alma mater, Ohio University, and is beginning to have the never-ending questions surround life after graduation exhausting her weary mind.  Having worn those shoes and overcoming the struggles myself, I am honored to give her encouraging words from the lessons that I learned.  However, it’s not enough for me.  As her “Big Sis”, I want to be there to shield her from the negative thoughts, doubts, worries, and fears.  I want to carry her when she feels too weak and too tired to spend another day questioning what’s next?  I want to sit with her at Alden Library; drink coffee at Donkey; buy her a shot of liquid therapy at Red Brick and Cat’s Eye and The Pigskin.  I want to take her to Libby’s and my secret bench on South Green that helped us work through our own problems and walk her around the back streets of Athens as Brandon and I did when we needed a listening ear.  I want to show her that she will get through these tough times and that I’ll always be there to remind her of so.

And listening to Taylor Swift’s new song, Never Grow Up, I thought of Rebecca and her lovely little Hazel.  These lyrics led me to sending the song to Rebecca, indicating that I smiled think of their mother-daughter relationship, as well as the impact Hazel has on me: 

 I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart; And no one will desert you; Just try to never grow up, and never grow up

Rebecca responded with such gratitude, stating that this song put things into perspective again as she’s been run-down as the Terrible Twos continue to hit their household.  I am so happy that I am actually, physically able to be there for them next week!  Though as I feel with all of my friends, I want to be there for them all the time.  Through words I constantly tell Rebecca how much I admire her and how she inspires me to (maybe) become a mother one day.  But I want to show her through a hug, a smile, a girl’s day of pampering how much her family has impacted my life.  I want to be there beside her to take away her stress and remind her to enjoy all the little joys that Hazel and George bring her life and all of ours.

Going back and thinking about yesterday when I was waiting for the train, maybe I didn’t necessarily want someone to put there arm around me.  Perhaps I wanted to put my arm around someone else.  Isn’t that more likely for me?  Afterall I’ve been thinking about all of the people- more than just the ones mentioned above- that need my support these days.  Maybe I just wanted one of them to be beside me, to put my arm around them?  I don’t know.  Remembering that moment, I definitely wanted an arm around me.  Perhaps I’m finally ready to let someone be there for me?

Dating back to my teenage years, I’ve struggled to find people who I could trust and really open up to.  All of these friends that I praise in my blog posts- the four above being included- have really helped me breathe again.  They’ve showed me that not only can some people be trusted, but that I need to be able to confide in others to be by my mind; to let them put their arm around me.  One day, hopefully sooner than later, that arm will belong to a cute guy that does like me for me.  Flaws and all.

are we falling or flying?   4 comments

Maybe I’m homesick? 

I thought this as the possible explanation as I walked down from the children’s hospital last night after volunteering, and again this morning on the way to the train station.  Why do I feel so blah?  Wasn’t I just high on life last week, bouncing around the elementary school covered in paint and tape?  Didn’t I just sing praises for my 3 am alarm giving me the opportunity to send off kids and their families on well-deserved trips far, far away from hospital rooms and doctor appointments?

YES and YES, but back to the harsh reality of, well, reality- also known as the work week.  I know it’s Wednesday, but for some reason that isn’t helping too much.  So what gives?  Am I homesick?  Maybe.  I’m not sure.  Am I stressed out?  Perhaps a little but I’ve been a lot worse before.  Seriously, what’s up with this week?  Am I the only one who feels this way?

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”  That darn line from The Notebook has been in my mind all day ever since I saw a Facebook-friend from high school’s status this morning: Love is patient.  Without thinking, I hit “Like”.  Hours later I’m still thinking about the line, but not in the sense of romantic love.  Instead I wonder for how long one can be patient when it comes to their passions.  How long will you wait, how much time & energy can you exert, for a dream to come true? 

I’ve spent a lot of my life dreaming,  but I’ve never believed in something as much as I do right now.  (Okay, maybe one other thing but this isn’t about him.)  I know my dream, my goal.  I know it’s attainable, but when is it going to work out?  Will I ever lose steam trying and trying and trying to catch a break?  I know it’s worth it, and the kids are worth it.  And as much as I doubt myself, I know that I am deserving and qualified to fulfill such a role. 

But unfortunately when it comes to new opportunities, sometimes we’re just a piece of paper to new eyes.  We have no soul.  No heart.  We are only the letters on the page and the words they form.  How they’re perceived is a mixture of luck, chance, and, well, luck.  The black font doesn’t always show our hopes, our dreams, our beliefs, our talents, our skills, our beauty.  If you know me, really know me, you know all of this is ‘me’- the things a piece of paper cannot always show.

Let me leave you with this thought.  When we fly the coup (ie leave our parents’ house and/or our hometown), we don’t always know our destination.  Okay, some people do so I’ll change that.  When I flew the coup 3 1/2 years ago, I didn’t know where my flight would eventually lead me.  Last night, in a weak moment on my walk home I thought, maybe I should go back to Pittsburgh.  Maybe that’s the best decision for me.  It’s not.  I know that, but at least there I know that three people help me feel like I belong somewhere, as well as the past where I first really learned to fly. 

But did I really learn to fly then, as a child, as a teen?  The world was so much smaller back then.  The sky was full of boundaries and limited opportunities.  That alone makes me realize that my wings were still clipped, hence the reason I couldn’t fully fly and therefore, young birds fall more than soar.  But that was then, and now they’re no longer clipped.  I’m free to fly wherever my wings will permit me to go.

So I decided to ‘fly’ to Cleveland this  weekend to visit Julie & Ken.  Up until a few hours ago, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.  But when something is that important to you, like Juls is to me, you find a way to make it work.  So this little bird is headed back to O-H-I-O for some much-needed R&R, bonding, and Megabus soul-searching this weekend.  This may be the time that I decide not to come back to Chicago…we’ll see.  This bird is ready to fly, and fly she will.  Somewhere, anywhere she belongs. 

 

Are we falling or flying?
Are we living or dying?
Cause my friend this too shall pass
So play every show like it’s your last

~Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Falling or Flying

here in these deep city lights, a girl could get lost tonight. i’m finding every reason to be gone. nothing here to hold onto. could i hold you?   Leave a comment

 Last night after a rejuvenating spinning class with Stef (Thanks again, Stef!), I ran into a former friend from my hometown- right here in the big city of Chicago.  Of course Facebook previously notified me of her arrival and we communicated via a few messages, but seeing her in the middle of the streets was a great surprise.  And being the fact that it was my birthday, it was one of those unexpected moments that reminds you exactly where you came from and how far you’ve traveled– sometimes literally, like in my case.         

My birthday has officially come and gone, and now I sit here wondering what’s next?  What’s in store for me this year?  I’m 27 now.  Where are the fireworks?  Where are the answers?  Why do I still feel like so much is missing?  And then I remind myself that one’s birthday really is just another day and age is only a number.         

Am I allowed to have a weak moment on here tonight?  I’ve already talked to Adriana, Stef, and Julie this evening (thank you ladies!) and now I’m contemplating calling Joe to have some to shoot-the-shit with and calm down my weary mind.  I’m not sad.  Maybe my feelings can be best described as confusion?  Like when you’re on the verge of a change and you’re not quite sure how it all turns out and therefore you end up second-guessing yourself.  Okay, now you’re probably confused too so let me try to explain myself.         

(Just called Joe and left him a voicemail.  I could use his distracting stories and nonsense tonight.)    

Yesterday was wonderful.  It really was.  Other than the disappointing news that began my work day (I’m over it, mostly), it was just how I wanted it to be.  Simple, memorable, and a bit sweaty (Yay for spinning class! Thanks again, Stef!).  Anyways, yesterday I had a mini quarter-life crisis (?) epiphany.  I’m 27 years old now and my life is still practically the same.  Kristin, bless her heart, got to deal with that email and reassured me that I am nowhere near the same person that I was because of the experiences that I’ve encountered from living in The Crazy Windy City these past two years.  She’s right and I know this, but sometimes we all need someone else to remind us when life clouds our ration.  (Thanks Kristin!)  I know I’m not the same girl I used to be, and in fact I have a blog full of posts to prove it.          

So that epiphany I had centered around the idea of adopting a puppy…finally.  If you know me outside of this blog then you know that this is something I’ve talked about for awhile, especially since moving to Chicago.  However, so many factors have contributed to me not following through with these plans (yet).  But yesterday, in my ripe old age of 27, I decided to pursue one of my dreams and take a look a the lovely pet adoption organizations here in Illinois and let fate guide me along my way.  Que sera, sera.         

There’s more behind this decision but I won’t waste your time with all the details.  But I will say that after a playdate with Hazel & George, as well as a summer of Bachelorette Parties, Bridal Showers, Weddings, Engagements, Babies, and Pregnancies, I feel more maternal than I ever have before.  Perhaps it’s the Curse of 27.  Idk.  But whatever it is, I am overcome with the emotions that I want something to hold on to.  Something to be responsible for other than myself.  Something to believe in.  Something to call mine.   

I want to love and be loved, and if that just so happens to be for/from a dog for the mean time, then I’ll just have to accept my fate.  I have so much to give, and give I will.  Even though I’ve been doubting it all evening, maybe I really am ready to adopt a puppy (tomorrow/this weekend/soon).  I always knew that 27 was going to be a milestone year and if this is how it begins, then so be it.            

I could have walked those streets forever last night.  It was just one of those breezey evenings when everything felt peaceful and you’re perfectly content with where you are at the time.  Sure life here in Chi-town isn’t perfect and I really am starting to see truth in Adriana’s theory about Chicago slowly breaking up with me.  There’s not much here to hold on to but still I find myself trying to hold on to something.          

And that’s why I want a puppy.  Not entirely true, but there’s some truth behind that.  In all honesty, I just want to take care of someone(thing) other than myself.  Maybe this is a little too deep but I just want to know, maybe, that I”m worthy of having such a thing.          

Oh well, Mr. Joe Zummo just called me back so it’s time to end this post.  Good night, kids!  I’ll be sure to let you know if a puppy finds his/her way home with me tomorrow.            

          

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt
         

          

The title of this post comes from lyrics of City by Sara Bareillis.  (Stef, add this song to your playlist.)

happiness: a right or a privilege?   Leave a comment

I can pinpoint three times in my life where I was truly happy.  The first was in 7th grade, and other than being on successful basketball and soccer teams; having hot, popular boyfriends; and enjoying the company of a surplus of good friends- or so I thought at that time- I’m not really sure what else was so wonderful about that time in my life.  But when I look back on that time, I know I was happy.

The second time in my life was when I began my sophomore year of college, or better put, my first year at OU.  Damn was I a happy girl!  A beautiful college campus, an abundance of new friends, attention from boys, and most importantly, I had the chance to start fresh.  I think you all know the rest of that story, so I’ll leave it at that.

The third time was within the first few months of living in Columbus, which can probably be calculated to fall 2007.  Yep, Buckeye season in C-bus, so how could you not be happy living in the middle of that?  Reconnecting with friends, making new ones, loving my job, and partying on the weekends was everything I always imagined it being- and much more. 

But unfortunately, each of these times in my life came to an end.  To be honest, I always knew that the bliss of Columbus would but wasn’t sure how.  I know write about this from my apartment in Chicago, over a year and a half after leaving my beloved Ohio for The Windy City.  While there have been days and even weeks of positive moments, most occurring during my days visiting friends in back in O-H-I-O or during their visits here, I write now admitting that I am not happy.  I say it again, this just isn’t me.

Earlier today I was laying out on my rooftop deck (I know, I’m lucky) and this thought came to me: Why is my happiness always temporary?  I’m not throwing a pity party here at all, but rather I find myself wondering why this is so? And what can I do to change that?  On Friday before spinning, I gave Julie a much-needed phone call.  I miss her so much!  And it was so nice to hear that she misses me too!  But even knowing that, it doesn’t make it any easier. 

Through our I miss you’s and general catching up, Julie said what she always tells me, “I can never keep up with all of your friends.  You know so many people.” 

My response, “Yeah, but they’re all back in Pittsburgh and Ohio.  I hardly know anyone here.” 

“I cannot understand how that is so,” Julie replied.

Neither can I, Juls.  Neither can I.  As I said to her, Chicago is just a whole different ballgame and I’m a whole different person- not myself at all.  Or at least I’m not myself now…but can I change that?  These past few weeks I’ve been filling my schedule with volunteer opportunities hoping that I can find myself again AND do things that are important to me.  But those are just temporary periods of happiness for me in the big city.  Everything else has me feeling like donutholes…empty.  (I learned that term on So You Think You Can Dance.)

I have another day of Make-A-Wish volunteering at the Children’s Hospital downtown ahead of me tomorrow, and on top of that, I received my first Wish Granting assignment and my Child Life hospital volunteer is this week too.  Throw in a few spin classes, all to be followed by a weekend visit by my parents and I’d be shocked if all of these don’t heighten my mood.  However, will it only be a temporary fix once again?

june series: because my heart is in ohio   Leave a comment

As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point.  This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School. 

Adventure must start with running away from home.  (William Bolitho)

June 2007 : My dream of moving to Columbus, OH finally came true!  After a year of living in Pittsburgh and selling my soul to The Cheesecake Factory (with I somewhat enjoyed), I accepted an AmeriCorps position in Columbus at a non-profit organization, Children’s Hunger AllianceShout out to my CHAers! 

Since my friend, Tony, was looking for a new apartment at the time, we decided to live together.  Sidenote: Tony and I were once kinda-sorta friends with benefits back in college, but I knew that the roommate line would not be crossed.  (And it never once was, thank you very much.  Will power.)

Anyways, looking back I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I was excited about the job and the opportunity to move to Columbus, just the same.  It was my first big girl job, of course I was naive.  Working for a non-profit that helped kids sounded like a dream come true to me.  It was through this position that I was introduced to Action for Healthy Kids, as my main role was to support the infrastructure of Ohio AFHK.  I loved the role and the people who I worked with at CHA and OAFHK. 

Everything really came together for me fairly quickly, and that has a lot to do with a few friends of mine.  Kristin and Jim, the newlyweds, took me under this wing and showed me around town.  Jim also took it upon himself (with encouragement from Kristin, of course) to set me up.  After a few blind dates/ set-ups, he learned that it was not an easy task.  (Sorry, Jim.)  I had so much fun with them tha summer as we ventured to the Jazz & Rib Fest, Rascal Flatts at the Ohio State Fair (after many margaritas and more), Miranda Lambert and Toby Keith concert (courtesy of CHA), and many late nights at Nyho’s and the Arena District.

This lovely girl, Sarah, is another God-sent friend of mine that helped me adjust and enjoy my time in Columbus.  There is really not enough time or space to write about Sarah.  She’s wonderful!  Sarah brings out a different side of me which allows me to just be free.  There’s no rulebook with Sarah, and usually there is a lot of alcohol during my times with her as well.  We had a lot of fun, that’s all that matters.  (Don’t judge.)  

Moving to Columbus allotted me the opportunity to reconnect with Julie- thanks to Facebook.  Julie, my dear friend from Kent State, was fortunately living back in C-bus with her parents.  I can still remember driving to her house the Sunday afternoon of our fateful reunion!  In a way I was nervous, knowing how much I’d changed since Kent and worrying if she had too.  Of course we had changed!  We were nineteen years old back then, but luckily we were able to pick up right where we left off.  I’m just so glad I got her back in my life!

While living in Columbus gave me the opportunity to connect with college friends, I was also blessed to make many new friends as well.  The summer of 2007 was one of my favorites.  I was so happy to be back in Ohio, and Columbus really felt like home to me.     

Song of the Moment: It Feels Like Home to Me- Chantal Kreviazuk

Sidenote: If you ever have the opportunity to see Miranda Lambert in concert, GO!  Trust me. 

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June 2008: This summer was a lot different from the one proceeding it, and can be explained best by one simple word: Anxiety.  With my AmeriCorps term and lease ending, I was forced to make many decisions.  Where was I going to live?  Should I stay in Columbus?  What am I going to do for income?  Where am I going to work?  I spent a lot of my non-working hours at work, either doing work work or personal work (researching jobs, apartments, and who the heck knows what else.)   On top of all of this I should add that work was insane for me during this time, and I’ll just leave it at that.  Those who know me, know the rest. 

You know what, I’m not going to ramble on with stories from this time.  As you know I’ve been honest about my past struggles and when I say anxiety, I mean cannot sleep-cannot think straight anxiety.  It was bad, but at the time I didn’t realize just how bad it was.  My friends were worried about me and they didn’t even know the half of it- how I felt.  I felt horrible and I looked horrible.  I wasn’t me. 

My friends, April and Billie, really took care of me during that time.  I’m not used to showing my weaknesses but felt comfortable enough doing so with them.  (Thank you both.)  I’ve just always been used to run away or hiding my pain, but this time was different.  I needed someone to be there for me.  I couldn’t shut the entire world out.  My other friends showed their support but I just couldn’t let them in.  I look back and regret it, but fortunately I learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes: If you have good enough friends who want to me there for you in times of struggles and ugliness, let them. 

I’m giving you the cliff notes version to help you understand what happened next.  As I said, I wasn’t myself during this time.  I wasn’t in the right state of mind to get there again.  After spending the summer panicking and running myself down trying to figure out just how I was going to stay in Columbus (where I wanted to be), I was introduced to a new opportunity: A job opening at Action for Healthy Kids in Chicago. 

Trust me, I thought about this for a day before confiding in anyone else- and only a few people for that matter.  I knew I had to take a chance on this, and I really didn’t have a choice.  Although it wasn’t out in the open, the recession had begun and 1-year as an AmeriCorps member translated into young and inexperienced.  Therefore, I applied and decided to ride this wave as far as it would lead me.  Additionally I made my friend Matt promise that he would make sure I said ‘yes’ if offered the position.  Well, you know the rest of the story.

Chicago was never in my plans.  Maybe part of a daydream about living in a big city but nothing more.  At the time I really believed that I’d be a Columbus resident for the rest of my life.  Now, two years later, I sit here wondering when I’ll more back there or if I ever will. 

Life is unpredictable.  That’s just one of the many things I’ve learned when this adventure began two years ago.  To this day, I know that I made the right decision in moving here.  It may not be perfect, but it’s been something I’ll always hold near and dear to my heart.  If I wouldn’t have seized this opportunity, I know that I would have always regretted it, wondering ‘what if’.  Do the thing you’ll regret not doing, has become my motto and the reason I made the decision I did. 

 

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Why did I just spend so much time talking about my friends?  Because they are what Columbus was, and still is to me.  These lovely people made my year+ so memorable and they are the reason it was so difficult for me to leave.  Like Athens, Columbus isn’t just about the place but more about the people. 

june series: it is always the simple things that change our lives. and these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.   2 comments

As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point. This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School.
This graphic is perfect for a few reasons.  For one, June 2003 began my little coffee addiction- however, oddly enough I started off on decaf since I was on the Atkins Diet with my mom.  (No real relevance in expanding on that, so moving on.)  Secondly, the quote- things fall apart so that other things can fall together– well that simply sums up June 2003 for me, but at the time I was a hot mess of emotions as I tried to balance the old with the new.  It was the first time in awhile that I began really questioning who I was.  Yes, I need to rewind.

So in my last post I mentioned that in June 2002 I was a recent high school graduate and enjoying my summer before beginning my freshman year at Kent State University.  What I failed to mention is that I was heading to Kent with 3 other good guy friends of mine.  Now don’t get me wrong, I had a good time during my freshman year; however, Kent just wasn’t the school for me.  I questioned it a few times after hearing from other high school friends how A.MAY.ZING. college was (for them) and I just couldn’t understand why…until I ventured to Penn State to visit Sean and Mercyhurst for a Halloween weekend with Brooks.  Yes, that problem solved.  Kent just wasn’t the right school for me, but like I said, no regrets especially because I probably would have never met Julie. 

Sidenote: Sadly, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I remember listening to this song (on Friday nights) in my dorm room.  Ironically this song is actually quite foreshadowing of the coming year and my new beginning at OU.  John Mayer- Love Song for No One I guess even back then I knew that there was something else out there for me.  (Angelo must have been right.)

I decided to take a chance and apply to OU again and particularly the Scripps School of Journalism.  I made the decision that I would go to OU if I was accepted, and keep the door cracked open if I wasn’t.  To make a long story short, my mom and I toured OU over spring break; I fell in love with the campus (as anyone would); I got rejected from Scripps; I decided to transfer to OU.  And the rest, folks, is history.

Okay, back to June 2003 and where I was going with the line in the graphic.  After packing my bags and saying goodbye to Kent, I headed home for another summer in Pittsburgh with high expectations that it would be even more amazing as the one before.  It started ou that way as I worked many hours at the Pool Snack Shack and hung out with my high school friends; however, the tides unexpectantly…and I’ll take the blame.  It was an example of the age-old questions, Can guys and girls be ‘just friends’? (Blog Post from 5.4.2010.)  Now I’ll say it again, I have always been friends with guys and at this time in my life, most of the people that I hung out with were guys.  It was a time in my life where I was drifting away from high school friends, and looking back I only wish I realized this back then to stop it.

Now I am an advocate for friendships with the other gender, but I also learned to be cautious as well.

For instance, I am not sugar-coating it when I say that I am the girl whose guy friends fall for her. It happened when I was younger, but it really took off in the latter years of high school.  They liked me, but I never saw them that way.  So one-by-one my guy friends admitted their feelings for me (drunk and sober), and unfortunately the last one (a close friend and fellow Kent Stater) was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I freaked out.  I acted so immature and lost a good group of friends because of it.  I just couldn’t keep leading my guy friends on, so instead of handling it (that way I wish I did), I ran away…from it all.

I was ready for a change.  I was ready to go to OU and begin a new life.  Put the past officially behind me and start fresh.  Above all, I wanted to make new friends.  Best friends.  Friends that I could trust with my (new) life, and have fun with.  They say in college you meet your bridesmaids, and that was definitely what I was hoping for.

I made an executive decision to not become good friends with any guys.  Only girl friends for me.  That may sound foolish, and of course it does to me 7 years later, but at the time I just didn’t want to find myself in the same situation all over again.  I just wanted to have friends, have fun, live freely, avoid drama…maybe take part in a few makeout sessions with some cute Ohio boys.

Check on all of the above.  However, life threw a curveball at me and Miss Independent fell in love for the first time.

Knowing what I know now, if I could go back to June 2003 everything would be so different.  But while life is full of second chances, this kind isn’t possible.  Seven years ago is when this little adventure that I’ve been on really began.  Once I broke out of the bubble, a part of me realized that I’d never (permanently) be back.  I told that to my friend, Matt (MT) today, even going as far as to say that I almost wish that I never went to OU because like would probably be a lot simpler.  Would I have ever left Pittsburgh?


Would I have even fallen in love…and had my heart broken by now?