Archive for the ‘Matt (MT)’ Tag
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.
“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.
He asked me if I was okay, and after a few minutes of hesitation and one attempt at a lie I wrote back, “No…but I just wanted you to distract me.” This was the truth. Of course he called me back, even though I really didn’t need him to. He asked what was going on and I answered honestly, “I just didn’t want to lie to you. It’s fine. I’ll be okay.” He called me back an hour later, even after reassuring him again (via text) that everything was fine. But he knows me. He knows my lies & my truths. He knows that if I say “I’m fine” then it’s a 50/50 chance that I’m not; that I’m just saying it so he doesn’t worry. But Matt knows me, maybe too well. He’s been one of my closest friend since I was seventeen years old. He’s seen me through my worst days and stood by my side these last few years as I’ve taken chance after chance, becoming stronger & braver than ever before. He knows that I’ve changed; however, he also knows that I’m still me: Kind-hearted, selfless, hopeful, overthinking dreamer/adventurer.
Proving to be the distraction I requested, Matt and I covered an array of topics that covered the span of our 10-year friendship- including our little tryst at being friends-with-benefits. All you need to know is that it wasn’t too successful, but we had fun and we’re still friends. Isn’t that all that matters now? Moving on… it was through our conversation- even the FWB discussion and my point that we’re better off as friends (so true)– I knew that I had to open up to Matt about what’s been bothering me this week. After all, he already knew the background- which was coincidentally me at my worst.
“I feel crazy… this whole thing is crazy,” is how I started before unleashing the new background details on the situation he once knew as well as anyone else could. Unlike my mother the night before, Matt listened and advised me more than I ever imagined possible. His reassurance was comforting. His wisdom, my guide.
To be honest with Matt, I have to first be honest with myself. So self, I know you know but let me say it anyways: “I’m struggling here. I’m trying to understand why and how. And why…why now?”
It’s taken me awhile to get to the spot where I am comfortable enough to be honest enough to open up completely to others, and, most importantly, myself. Responding “No” to Matt’s initial inquiry was something I never would have done, but I knew I needed to. I knew that I need to let him in. Let him know that I”m baffled beyond belief, and that I’m frustrated. That I’m not afraid of being honest, just as long as honesty is granted to me in return. I’m not afraid of the truth- even if it will initially hurt. In fact, I want to hear the truth. All I want is the truth.
If I run, will you run after me? If I walk, will you wait patiently? If I fall, will you have sympathy? If I run, if I run, will you run after me?
If I Run by The Harters
In the land before blogs there were diaries, or journals as we prefer to call them. If I was a betting person then I’d say that my first journal was written during middle school, as it was the fad of the 90’s girls. Coincidentally, or not, my journaling began as boys entered my life. They quickly became my Muse and my Weakness; my Confidence Booster, yet my Kryptonite. There was so much to say; so much to write. But for some reason, since I opened my first journal at least 14 years ago, I never had luck continually writing entries. In packing up my childhood room in my parents’ house a few years ago, I came across dozens of journals with months of lapses between pages and hundreds of unfilled sheets. On some of those pages I found the remnants of songs. Lyrics. Lines of love. Words of heartbreak. Words. Phrases. Ideas. Songs Unwritten…reminding me how I used to seek comfort in expressing my thoughts & feelings through incomplete songs, as I dreamed of becoming a songwriter. Just one of the many dreams I once had in that bedroom of mine.
Those words, those unfinished songs, told Stories of Boys Past. So many boys; so many stories. Okay, there really haven’t been too many boys but there are definitely a lot of stories to tell. My Stories: Childhood Memories & Teenage Dreams. And while the stories were different, each song had one thing in common. They were all unfinished.
As I wrote that last line I heard Matt’s voice telling me, “You always run away.” Unfortunately he was right at a time and there’s evidence to support his claim; however, before indulging into that, let me first defend myself. I am not a quitter. My will is too strong, perhaps too stubborn, to give up. In fact, I’ve only quit one thing in my life (high school soccer team) and it was something that I analyzed for an entire summer before trusting my gut instict. (Looking back, I still would have quit although part of me wishes I didn’t.)
But… when it comes to the topic of boys, relationships, and whatever else comes in between… I’ve been known to throw in the towel many times and fairly quickly. You can say I have issues, but save your breath because I’ve known that for a while now. That’s besides the point. The fact of the matter is why do I have these issues? Why am I so quick to flee when it comes to crushes and potential relationships? Okay, let’s leave the past in the past for time’s sake. I mean why should I waste my own time rambling on about middle school ‘boyfriends’ that I ‘dated’ for a few weeks? (I was always the dumper; and I’m not bragging about that.) Instead let me explain, or attempt to, how I feel about these unfinished songs of mine.
I’m not sure if I really know what happens (to me), but it happens all the time. Maybe I get anxious…which leads to insecurity… soon doubts about myself….doubts about what I’m feeling… ideas that I’m crazy for thinking that he could possibly ever like me. Soon that feeling takes over and convinces me to let go. Honey, what were you thinking? You never had a chance with him. He’s better off with someone else. I let go; I run away; and one more unfinished song ends without the (right) ending.
But like only one, maybe two, other time(s), something feels different. I haven’t let go yet; I’m still holding on with a semi-tight grip. Something is telling me not to run away this time: Stay. Don’t Give Up. Believe. Be Patient. “He is Good. So Good.” You’re Not Crazy. Believe. Something, whatever it is, makes me feel like this is/could be right. And interesting enough, I’m not the only person who senses it. Elicited by a conversation with my former boss, JD, another co-worker caught me off guard with her inquiry:
Julie: “Are you in love?”
Me: “No.” (Thinking, ‘I don’t think so.’)
Julie: “Are you in like?”
Me: (I couldn’t lie nor could the smile on my face.) “Yes, I like him.”
Between you, whoever it is that reads this blog, and me…I don’t want to run away. Though I worry I will. I worry that I’ll fall back into my bad habits as doubts and insecurity set in- as they’ve always been known to do. But what if the comfort of bad habits lead me to run? Will another unfinished song join the others as I take that first step in the other direction, or will something, someone pull me back…preventing me from running to far…just this one time?
“Come on… give in to me.“
Some people say that “it’s just a kiss”, and as you get older you’ll mostly hear “it’s only sex” and/or “marriage is just a piece of paper“. Do me a favor: Don’t believe these things. If ‘a kiss is just a kiss’, then why do you sometimes find yourself with weak knees and butterflies in your stomach? Explain that, cynics!
On our early morning car ride to Columbus last week, Stef and I found ourselves in a discussion that I’m going to refer to as, Some Girls Do and Some Girls Don’t. Simply put, we were discussing those girls that 1) always seem to have “met the love of my life” and 2) act so carelessly when it comes to boys, relationships, and everything in between. Those are the ones that act like a “kiss is just a kiss”…but what about the rest of us? What about the girls that actually care enough to embrace that first kiss and take pride in calling him “my boyfriend”?
And to be fair, because after all boys have feelings too (!), what about the boys that find themselves asking their girl friends for advice on their latest crush and taking weeks to finally ask the question, “Will you go out with me?” Those guys are out there, and in fact, I know some of them.
But this post is about one specific boy. A boy who has liked a girl for a very long time. A boy who has been very patient with this girl and pretty much accepted that the girl will never feel the same about him. But this same boy recently experienced something special with this girl. On New Year’s Eve, of all nights. Yep, they shared a kiss. After midnight. And from what I’ve been told, there was a little make out session that went on too. Whether or not a third-party (named Alcohol) truly placed a role in this event for a little ménage à trois is yet to be determined, but no matter, New Year’s Eve or not, this incident definitely deserves an explanation for the sake of two friends that shared their first kiss. Like I believe, a kiss isn’t ‘just a kiss”.
Once upon a time…in my early Post-College days, I let myself believe that a kiss was only a kiss. I was Heartbroken. Lonely. Confused. I didn’t know myself well enough to understand this too shall pass. I fell into the trap and soon, while I hate to admit it, I let myself mistakenly believe that I deserved to be in a “relationship” categorized as none other than, “Friends with Benefits“. And as the story goes… I fell victim to the misconception that “it’s just sex“. But I learned my lesson. Many lessons. And yes, I do regret some of the decisions my sad heart allowed me to make, but I am also grateful to have learned these lessons before making them again.
And while I cannot say the same for my friends, I proudly admit that my lips were sealed on New Year’s Eve. Other than the guys I was with, I could not tell you what a single guy in the bar looked like. So, why would I kiss someone just to kiss someone? Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or any other ordinary day for that matter, why kiss for the sake of just kissing? Been there, done that. Quite frankly, the truth of the matters is, there’s nothing better than that first kiss with someone you truly like. Someone that gives you butterflies. Someone that makes your knees go weak when he says, “I really like you.” Someone who makes you feel like you’re the only ones there in a crowded room. Someone who you know is worth waiting for. Someone who deserves you, as much as you deserve him. I know it’s tough, but I promise you that it’s always worth the wait. Just Be Patient.
While I’m extremely bias, I end this post still hoping that the kiss my friends’ shared was more than ‘just a kiss’, but only time will tell.
George and Hazel. Hazel and George. These are the two precious faces that I woke up to every morning last week, and these are the faces that I wished to be woken up my this morning- however, no such luck. I’m back in Chicago, waking up in my little 1-bedroom apartment, with thoughts of Hazel & George dancing through my head. I never thought I’d say this, but I just want to go back to Cincinnati. (Sorry Pittsburgh. At least it’s not Cleveland. See, I know where I come from- sorta.)
Before I express my unconditional love for these two darlings and their parents, I have to begin by declaring that, before last week, I really didn’t think I’d ever have kids of my own (nor adopt). For most of my life, I’ve never given marriage nor kids a second thought, even those I love love love kids and am relatively good with them. Okay, I’m pretty great with them. Anyways, for some reason, I just not thought that it was for me. There’s really no explanation why this thought first entered my mind nor why it’s remained there so long. But being bombarded by love and adorableness in the form of a 2-year old (Hazel) and an 8-month old (George), I, Kristen Medica, admit that I’m not sure if I can imagine not having kids now…one day. Yes, I said it and only time will tell (que sera, sera) but a text from my friend, Matt (MT), confirmed my notion again: It would be a shame if u never had kids. You will make an incredible mother. Mr. Thompson, I actually agree with you on this one. Again, que sera, sera, but after being with Hazel and George for a week I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had a change of heart. They’ve changed my heart.
When I first met Hazel 1 1/2 years ago, it was truly love at first sight. She was the first baby I’d really been around since my cousin, Ryan, about 11-12 years ago. So yes, I was a little out of my comfort zone. But looking at little Hazel and having her look at me with her big brown eyes, I knew I was in trouble. From that moment on, this little girl could do no wrong in my eyes. Her smile lit up more than the entire room. It lit up my entire heart.
(Hazel, our little photographer, took this picture of her baby brother.) And now there’s Georgie too. When I first met him last April he was only a few weeks old and in September he wasn’t too active yet. But now he’s crawling and his cuteness radiates through his irresistible smile. Watch out, future OU ladies! This boy will be a heartbreaker. He’s already captured my heart. George, you little cougar bait.
Enough of this, let’s get to the good parts. I had so much fun with these two and their mom, Rebecca, last week. After our Trick-o-Treat adventures, we settled into their traditional weekday schedule. Unfortunately the kids stayed at their sister’s during the work hours, only providing me with Hazel & George time for a little bit before they left in the morning and a couple of hours when they got back. It’s wasn’t enough! I found myself like a puppy waiting for my “owners” to come home and play with me. And play they most certainly did.
Every moment with Hazel and George, I found myself perfectly content and lost in the enjoyment of their company. There was nowhere else I wanted to be but there with them. How often do we find ourselves in moments like that? In our fast-paced world of endless possibilities we always think about what else we could be doing. We check our cell phones and Facebook just in case so we don’t miss anything. I do it too. But last week, when I was with these kids, I didn’t even know where my cell phone was. Nor did I careless who was ‘in a relationship’ with whom via
stalker net Facebook. Instead, I spent my evenings smiling and laughing as I took part in games of hide-and-go-seek; dinnertime picnics; finger painting; swim lessons; watching Elmo on ‘the little screen’ (my former computer); playing naptime-and-cockadoodledoodle (long story); and my favorite, cuddling on the couch watching Beaver Beaver (aka Leave it to Beaver).
As the week passed, day-by-day, I found myself getting upset about leaving. When Friday morning finally arrived, it was truly bittersweet. But the show must go on. Taking the day off from work left me with a full day of playtime with my BFF, Hazel. In our PJs, we drove Rebecca (mommy) to work and then took George to the sitter. We played games on the way back to Casa di Hazel before having a breakfast picnic with (another DVD watch party of ) Elmo. We got ourselves ready, with me mistakenly giving Hazel my camera (note her photo of me here), and we loaded ourselves – and my bags :(- into the car. With Hazel insisting on taking photos in the backseat, I programmed “Starbucks” into the GPS.
Just our luck, the Starbucks happened to be in a Target. If this Starbucks in a Target would have been in Athens…well, I think only one word would have explained it: PRICELESS. Note: If you haven’t fallen in love with Hazel yet, you are going to in a few seconds. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Let me backtrack a bit and say that earlier in the week, I happened to inform Hazel that Adriana was sad. In her 2-year old Why-stage, she appropriately asked, “Why?” I let her now that Pat’s mommy is sick, which led her to ask, “Is Pat sad too?” (Enter adorableness.) “How can I make them happy?” I love this little girl so much! All week she kept asking what she could do to make Adriana & Pat happy. First we painted and colored for them, but it was my brilliant idea in the Starbucks in Target where I decided to let Little Miss Happy-Maker pick out gifts to make Adriana and Pat happy.
With our Starbucks coffee and OJ in hand, we headed to the $1 bin where Hazel picked up colorful spoons and clips, asking me, “Will this make them happy?” after each. She then decided that gummy bears will definitely make them happy and clutched them proudly in her tiny hands. I informed her that Adriana loves Hello Kitty (like Hazel) and so we headed to find some HK-happiness. Our search eventually led us to the toy section where Hazel chose squishy balls- orange for Pat, pink for Adriana- and then allowed her to pick out cards for each of them- one with two cats on the front for Pat, a purple “this is such a pretty one” for Adriana. Again, I love this little lady. After paying for our happiness treats, we giggled our way to the car, past two men putting up Christmas decorations, and got back in the car. Unknowingly, I let Hazel use markers to colored Pat’s and Adriana’s cards on our way to the Children’s Museum.
After a little detour and a nap (for Hazel), we found our way to the museum. “Are you reeeaaddyy?”, I asked Hazel. “YES!”, she exclaimed. “Are you reeeaaddyy?”, she asked me. And away we went. We played for a few hours, took photos in the photo booth, and then grabbed lunch before heading to pick up Rebecca at work. Before leaving the museum, a woman came up and complimented me on Hazel’s proper behavior. In thanking her and pointing out that she was my friend’s daughter, I found myself with such pride- as though she was my daughter. I would be honored to have a daughter as precious as her. Her kindness is innate and truly a result of the love & care that her family shows her.
After picking up Rebecca and Georgie, we opted to spent the last few hours together at Graeter’s and then the pet store. Best idea ever. These precious moments made me realize just how special these children are and how blessed I am to have them in my life.
It was so difficult to say goodbye to them when the time came. Especially little Hazel. After spending the entire day with her, I didn’t want to leave her now. I wanted to go on Starbucks and Target runs with her all the time. I wanted to let her pick out happy gifts when all of my friends needed them. I wanted to sit with her in my lap every night and watch Beaver Beaver before bedtime. I wanted to be there to protect her from all the sadness and anger in the world, and to make sure she was always happy.
I just got off the phone with my brother and he asked me point-blank: “So (after last week) are you going to give your parents grandkids or not?” I think he was surprised by my “Yes” response, yet very relieved since he doesn’t plan on being the one in our family to do so. I think it’s fair to say that if that does happen and I become a mother one day, my parents, my brother, (my husband/boyfriend/whatever), and me will have to appropriately thank the entire Littleton Family: Nate, Rebecca, Hazel, and George. I love you all!
After telling my brother all about my week at Casa di Hazel & George, I found myself rambling as I tried to explain how it made me feel. While some words relayed my point, I again found it difficult to convey the impact that last week had on me. Do you ever feel that way? Like something is so special, so meaningful that you will truly be the only one who understands? Anyways, I did find a few words to express how I feel about little Miss Hazel and my brother was the lucky one who got to hear them:
“I just want her to be happy. Really happy. Always happy. Her life doesn’t have to be perfect, but I want her journey to be pain-free. I don’t want her to ever question where she belongs or if she’s loved. I don’t want her to deal with bitchy girls or have her heart broken. I want more for her than I want for myself. I want her to always be confident about who she is and go after everything that she wants.”
Song of the Moment: Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift