Archive for the ‘live with no regrets’ Tag
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.
Tonight, for the first time in at least a year, I got off my Brown Line stop and headed down Diversey to the apartment at roughly a decent hour for a weekday night. (Around 6 pm, I believe.) Actually, after getting off the train and heading home- with a detour through Trader Joe’s first- I wondered,Wait, did I make this whole spring break thing up and should really be in class right now? Yes, unfortunately that’s the truth. It sounds like this spring break arrived at the perfect time.
Anyways, as the evening sky darkened, I found myself experiencing some sort of the deja vu. Soon I found myself recalling all of those previous walks home from the train stop that accompanied my relocation to Chicago more than three years ago. As some know, back in the beginning no one- including me- thought that I would make it through the year without moving back to Columbus. However, here I am nearly 3.5 years later, and all I can think about is how much has changed.
For goodness sake, this past year has been an array of changes in itself. From leaving the job that brought here to beginning a full-time grad school program for Child Life, my daily life has kept me on my toes and clinging to any chance of a social life that I could grasp. To tell you the truth, my social life hasn’t been too adventurous lately; however, overall this past year has allotted a fair share of OMG moments. And the wrap-up of this past year couldn’t go without mentioning the boys that somehow found their way into my life. Yeah, some of those situations should more appropriately be classified as WTF moments. However, even thought I had some luck in the guy department this past year, I can stress that there is neither a ring on my finger nor a bun in the oven. Heck, there isn’t even an “It’s complicated” status for this girl anymore.
But then again, while this year has been somewhat adventurous, it also hasn’t been easy. Along with all the changes, I found myself struggling at different points of the year. (Oh well, enough about that.)
As I lay in my bed, ready to fall asleep at the time that I typically arrive home from class, I find myself reflecting back on my time in Chicago and all of the obstacles that I’ve fought to overcome. Wow. It’s really been a wild ride these past 3.5 years, hasn’t it? And to tell you the truth, when I think about every single challenge that I faced, I also remember the friends- either in or outside of Chicago- that helped me adapt to this new life.
While I’m not entirely sure if I’ve reached the point where I truly see Chicago as “home”, I will say that tonight’s walk home allowed me to see just how much of a life I have made for myself here. I guess it’s best to end this post by saying, “I’m glad I came to Chicago in the first place.”
Song of the Moment: Glad You Came by The Wanted
“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.” I heard this line earlier in the week while listening to an online presentation on vulnerability (link here) and had one of those Time Stops moments. With me writing about this now- days later- it’s obvious that this line has been on my mind. What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful. Do me a favor and think about this line for a moment or two.
Coincidentally on the day after I discovered this line, my friend, Matt, checked in with me and somehow our conversation led to him telling me, “You’re letting yourself be vulnerable.” To be honest, I think he had a more difficult time admitting my vulnerable side than I did. While he’s known me since my adolescent days, quite honestly I don’t think he’s fully able to see the “me” that I’m proud to say I am (now). I say this and openly stress that the “me” he’s always seen me to be never allowed herself to be vulnerable.
The thing about Matt is that he reminds me how far I’ve come- especially when it comes to the vulnerability I’ve been able to accept as of late. To be honest, I cannot pinpoint the moment when I let vulnerability overcome me. Perhaps that’s because there wasn’t (just) one momemnt. Looking back, especially on my last three years in Chicago, I’m pretty certain that many moments led me this recognition. Instead of one Aha! moment, there were several courageous days of guard dropping that brought this realization to me- the one person that needed to see it the most. In fact, the only person that ever needed to recognize and accept my vulnerability is me.
I used to run away. Matt knew it; I knew it; everyone knew it. I’d run so fast and so far that there was absolutely no way to turn back even when the regret set in. To tell you the truth, the running away before allowing myself a fair chance ended up hurting a lot more than any honest expression of feelings ever could. (Remember I said that, ok?)
I really have allowed myself to be quite vulnerable lately, which could be why I found myself struggling these last few months. (I just thought about that.) In two situations, I’ve been only slightly guarded and therefore, found myself being as honest with my thoughts and feelings. I’ve allowed myself to take some chances and put my vulnerable heart on the line. And as scary as it is, I’ve done this while being conscious that I may very well get hurt. But like I said, through the lessons I’ve learned from, it hurts much more to regret the chances you prohibited yourself from taking. So if the only way to live is to be vulnerable, then consider “Vulnerable” my middle name.
In order to write this post to the best of my ability, I must admit that I’ve been watching The Bachelorette this season. Now in mentioning this, it is necessary to remind you that I’ve stuck with my boycott and haven’t watched a single episode of The Bachelor since the Jake-Choosing-Vienna moment shook my guilty pleasure TV-watching world. (Bachelor Boycott Begins post)
Anyways… for those of you who haven’t had the privilege to watch this season of The Bachelorette with me, I’ll tell you that I’m the President of Team JP. Every viewing party can be summarized by me saying, “This show is ridiculous!” and expressing my love for JP: Ashley is crazy if she lets this guy get away. He’s the kind of you always hope to find. Therefore if she doesn’t choose him, then it’s certainly her loss. (Maybe my gain? Wishful thinking…)
Okay, I’m not really love with him; however, this past episode certainly caused my admiration for him to skyrocket. In reference to his previously broken heart, he spoke the most honest words that can only be learned through such a soul-wrenching experience (aka love).
He said, “Unless I completely put myself out there and expose my vulnerability and allow myself to get hurt, there’s no way that we could ever work. I’ve accepted the fact of all of this, if I get completely crushed and heartbroken at least I can walk away saying I gave that everything I had and I was open to everything and it just didn’t work out.”
He’s right, and anyone who has allowed themselves to learn lessons from their heartbreak will agree too. For one, I agree. Now I could come up with a line of my own, but I’m going to borrow Martha Beck’s infamous line instead: “Every instance of heartbreak can teach us powerful lessons about creating the kind of love we really want.” While it takes time and some good cries to figure this out, the ultimate lesson that one learns thru a broken heart is “Take a deep breath, put on a smile and a bundle of confidence, and try again.”
JP’s outlook is one that we should all adopt. Whether you’re going on The Bachelorette (hopefully not), a singleton looking for love (lust) or a rookie in the relationship game, it’s best to have the attitude that you’ll give it all you got and trust that whatever happens, happens. Be Honest with Yourself. Be Open with Others. Live with No Regrets. And most importantly, Don’t Be Afraid to Fall in Love or Have Someone Fall in Love with You.
Yesterday one of my best friends posed an interesting question my way. She asked, “Do you think you were in love with Casey?” I answered honestly and said I believe so because of how much I cared about him- and still do. But that being said, I know that the regrets I’ve had over him are the result of me not putting myself out there. This is also why it took me for-ev-er to get over him. But like I’ve said above, heartbreak tends to be the best way to learn lessons. Afterall, mistakes are the best teacher.
So like my dear JP, I’ve learned a lot from my broken heart. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about myself. And while my confidence level still tends to depend on the day, I can say that I’ve been more comfortable (than I ever could have imagined) taking chances and putting myself on the line. I’ve been exposing my vulnerabilities and allowing myself to dabble in situations to which I could get hurt. If we’re being honest here, I’ll tell you that I’ve been a little scared lately- after learning how vulnerable I’ve let myself become; however, I have no regrets. If anything, I’m so grateful that I’ve grown enough to let myself do so. Because like that cute guy on The Bachelorette said, “…at least I can walk away saying I gave that everything I had and I was open to everything and it just didn’t work out.”
The title of this song is lyrics from For You by Angus & Julia Stone.
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.
“Don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the only thing that matters in life. Fall in love with as many things as possible. Fall in love over & over & over because in the end that’s all that really matters.”
This line from Country Strong is notably one of my most favorite lines ever- for obvious reasons, especially if you know me well. However, in watching the movie on Sunday afternoon I found myself being more taken with another line, spoken by Beau (Garrett Hedlund) to Chiles (Leighton Meester):“Tell me what you want.” Even though she wasn’t able to verbalize her desires, the movie script gave Chiles just what she wanted. 😉
But what about those of us who don’t have the luxury of living life under the direction of a screenplay? What about the rest of us who do not have writers providing us with courageous words and romantic monologues to verbalize our desires? And what about the ones that know what they want… however … aren’t quite sure that they’re capable of having it?
I’ve found myself walking away from situations like this before- ones that required me to go after what I wanted. While other factors contributed from time-to-time, the main reason always remained the same: I didn’t believe I deserved to have what (who) I wanted. Because of that, I never had the courage to say the words I dreamed about saying; nor was I strong enough to override the never-ending doubts with confidence. Instead, I relied on dreams that it would just happen and the hope that someday I would change my ways.
Well kids, even though I still find myself struggling a bit to make some dreams part of my reality, I must admit that this is the closest I’ve ever been to ‘someday’. And let me tell you, the secret is Knowing that You Deserve to Be Happy. Believe that You are Worthy of Loving & Being Loved. Once you learn this, and you are the only one that I truly discover it for yourself, then you have the courage to tell another exactly what you want…and make it yours.
Song of the Moment: Steal You Away by Randy Rogers Band
I woke up thinking about him the other morning. “Him” being that boy that I used to wake up every morning thinking about, not to mention fall asleep thinking about and waking in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, trying not to think about him. From what I remember, he appeared in my dream and I believe his girlfriend did too.
I’m happy to report that I was okay. I really was, and still am. I can’t say the same things for all those other mornings (and nights) in the past, but this time I was perfectly okay.
As I shared with you yesterday I’ve been listening to Someone Like You by Adele; in fact I cannot stop listening to this song. (It’s on right now as I’m typing.) This song is not only beautiful, but Adele sings it with such power & soul that I find empowering…especially for anyone that has ever been the victim of love & heartbreak.
So my friend & former roommate, Mike, used to tell me that I listen to ‘sad white people music’, and I won’t even bother wasting time trying to defend myself because Someone Like You would certainly fall into his category. However, as I continue to listen to this song and notice the direct tie to my own experience with the first real love of mine, I’m not feeling any form of sadness. Knowing that I could look him & his girlfriend in the eyes right now and say, “I wish nothing but the best for you” makes all the pain- as excruciating at it was at times- worth it. Why?
Adele found the right words to explain how I view the respective feelings on my early twenties: Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste.
Bittersweet. When we look back on the past and see where we are today, noting the lessons that we’ve learned along the journey, one can only accurately describe it as ‘bittersweet’. So many things in life prove to be bittersweet….but we don’t tend to realize the ‘sweet’ until we can accept and embrace all the ‘bitter’ components that guide us along our way.
Sometimes Most times that takes a lot of time, and confusion too. I’m not ashamed of my mistakes nor the memory full of regrets that once plagued my mind. They happened. They’re all in the past…and I’m no longer there dwelling in those choices and missteps. I’ve accepted each and everyone since instance of my life that I might have once classified as ‘bitter’ because now I know that were Blessings in Disguise. I’ve embraced that each past love & (coincidential) heartbreak was a stepping stone in the grand scheme of this Little Life of Mine. I may have no idea what’s next nor where I’m truly head, but I’m actually okay with that. Maybe not every second of every day, but I’m okay. And even more so, I’m okay if I ended up making more mistakes along my journey; however, I’m determined to live my life without any regrets.
Now I’m no expert on love, but I really did love him. You know why I know this to be truth? Because with every ounce of me, I want him to be happy. His happiness is what matters to me even though I’m not the one that he’s chosen to make him happy. This may sound ridiculous to some of you and truthfully it would have sounded such to me up until a year ago; however, life has taught me so many lessons and can only be understood by truly loving another.
For most (if not all) of my 7-year crush/love/infatuation with that boy, I thought that I was C.R.A.Z.Y. I felt foolish and devastatingly sad, and the photos from a large portion of those days is evidence (to me, especially) that I just wasn’t quite myself. Those days painted me with regrets and heartache but I can see how bittersweet they really were. “Bitter” because of the pain and anguish I felt- literally- and “Sweet” because of the experience and understanding that was gained.
May I add something else here before ending this post? (Thank you.) As I acknowledged, I have loved before. But this love I experienced was filled with a lot of hurt- before the acceptance & appreciation set in. See, this love may (or may not have been) one-sided, and therefore, there’s a lot about love that I fail to understand. For instance, I don’t know if I whole-heartedly believe that Sometimes it Last in Love…at least for me. This is my new ‘bitter’ that is looking for his ‘sweet’. Like all bittersweet recognitions, only time will tell.