Archive for the ‘Phill’ Tag
I’ve shared this on here before but want to start off by saying it again to start off this post. My friend, Phill, used to always begin every voicemail saying, “Hello, Beautiful.” and every so often he would look at me with endearing eyes and say, “You’re so beautiful.” and then continue on like he didn’t just say the best three words a girl can hear. (Okay, one of two best 3-word phrases.) For a moment or two after he’d finished saying the word ‘beautiful’, I believed him. For those few moments, I felt beautiful. I truly believed that I was beautiful. But like all good things, those blissful moments disappeared and soon left me in a sea of self-doubt surrounded by things I perceived as ‘beautiful’.
I’m just going to come out and say it: Why can’t we just believe, once and for all, that we are beautiful? Why do we rely on others to tell us ‘You’re beautiful.’ when we should be the ones who confidently declare it to ourselves every single day? And why do we let foolish thoughts hold us back from finding the beauty within ourselves?
I’ll be completely candid here and admit that my teenage years were filled with struggles, mostly surrounding negative body image. There were days, maybe even weeks, when I would completely avoid mirrors. Other days I’d be stuck in front of one until I was content with what I saw. My point being this: I didn’t think I was beautiful during a time of my life (damn teens) when being beautiful was all that mattered.
Even though I’ve become quite comfortable in my skin (FINALLY!), I still have days when I must grin & bear it even though nothing feels nor looks right to me. There are still moments when I walk past other girls on the street and feel my 16-year old self-loathing kick in wishing that my legs were longer or boobs were smaller. And every once in a while I’ll have mini panic attacks down Michigan Avenue wishing that I, too, could afford to be as stylish with bottomless wallets like those businessmen’s wives and suburban girls with daddy’s credit cards.
Okay, I went off on a little rant there. Oops. Or as Max says, “Uh-Oh“. My point is this: The only person’s opinion that matters is your own. Every single person could tell you that you’re beautiful, but none of that matters if you don’t see it for yourself. Although I’m like every other girl who longs to hear the guy she likes say, “You’re beautiful”, it’s really just words unless you believe it yourself first. So tell yourself “I’m beautiful” and then it will be more wonderful when that guy says it to you too.
Note: Sorry everyone. I’m still not feeling like myself yet. But fortunately it’s not mono, and just a lovely case of exhaustion. Lots more rest, tea, and good friends are filling my next few days so hopefully I’ll be back to my blogging ways soon. Trust me, I am in desperate need to crank out some good soul-searching posts for my own detoxifying means.
Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We all know these words very well as they were first spoken as a lesson to be learned from our parents, grandparents, and/or teachers. As kids we fought off mean words could only be cured with a plate of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk. As teenagers we battled high school cliques and name-calling that bruised our self-image until we were old enough to fully understand the concept of jealousy and bullying. And for some, fortunately not myself, those college years surrounded by ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend drama, as well as the fratastic and sorowhorish (no harm nor ill-will intended!) initiations and (surprise) jealousy again that resonates on the sticky floors and booze-infested air. Unfortunately when you graduate college and must finally admit your adult status, the drama and pettiness is supposed to end. (It doesn’t.) Do the mean words ever stop being spoken? Oh well, sticks & stones…
If we’re supposed to let mean words go in-one-ear-and-out-the-other, what is the route that kind, complimentary words are meant to follow? They’re just words too so should they not have as great of an impact as generous actions? Right? Words are just words, after all. We hear them all the time. We say them ourselves. Some we speak with such conviction, while others merely come out carelessly as soon as we open our mouths.
Why do some words haunt us? They are only words. We hear thousands of them each day. We speak millions of words in year. We do not remember half of the things that we hear nor the words we even say. So then why do certain words stick with us- the good, the bad, and the evil words?
So which is which? How do we know which words are, well, lies, and which are spoken honesty and compassion? Why do we tend to fall for the lies? And more importantly, why is it so darn hard for us to believe those sweets words that people say to us? Why do we question their meaning? Why do we question the person’s intention from which they are spoken?
Where am I going with these words? So this weekend, in a non-sober state, I had two different set of words from two different people (boys) spoken to me that are sticking with me still today- almost 40 hours later. It’s not a broken record scenario, but I do find myself pondering their validity, especially the first set of words- which I’ll mention second.
The words “…you are a gorgeous girl…” were spoken by a sober former friend and friend-with-benefits to a drunken girl on the other end. (Yes, I drunk dialed.) I honestly do not remember most of our conversation, although he did confirm that I was not slurring my words- but I do remember this phrase with emphasis on “gorgeous girl” part. I did not expect it- from him nor anyone- and therefore I most likely had a deer-caught-in-headlights look going on. Like I said, I just didn’t expect to hear those words.
“Beautiful” and “Gorgeous”…what is it about these two words? Why do they carry such a powerful impact? And why do we question the reason behind the speaker who directs these words to us?
My faux Facebook boyfriend, Phill, used to tell me that I was “beautiful” too many times back in my college days. And while I didn’t believe it myself, I still felt such comfort and confidence in hearing this one always unexpected word. In a way it was my drug of choice because I was always high on life, for at least hopefully a few hours, until I torn my self-esteem and body image back around.
“Beautiful” is by far the best unexpected word that one can say and hear. “You are beautiful.” Yes, YOU. You are beautiful.
The first phrase from Saturday that was muttered to me is one that I’ll never forget. It meant so much to me. Not only was in unexpected, but it was honest. As tough as I am on myself and accepting compliments I can not in any way, shape, nor form fight off these genuine words with my own doubts and insecurities.
Out of total respect for the person and the situation in which it was spoken, I will not indulge you with more details. Instead I will share these words with you: “(I told her that) you are the greatest person in Chicago and that she had to meet you.” Even with 2.5 glasses of wine in me at that point, I was sober. I looked at the speaker, whom I’ve only known for a few weeks now, with such compassion and appreciation. What else can you do when someone says that to you? Not even I could find contradictory words to overpower those sweet words and instead I only what I could… I believed them. Sure, there are people greater than me in this city…like Oprah…but knowing that these words came from the heart and were just spoken in a self-serving manner, I let myself believe them.
If you read my post from last night, you know that some words were spoken to me (by my parents) that I didn’t interpret so sweetly. So I responded back with honest words, which led their honesty to come out. In other words, I feel a lot better that we were both able to say what we meant.
We all know people who talk a lot, but how many people really speak anymore? How many people really say something when they talk? How many people make an impact on others by the words they say? How many people make a difference when they speak and/or empower others to?
After acknowledging the impact that certain words have had on me, mentioning the one phrase above, I aspire to say more than just talk. I hope that my words- whether spoken or written- can make a difference in someone’s day. That my words can impact another or, perhaps, inspire them.
I truly believe that people come into your life for a reason- friends, mentors, loved ones. We tend to believe the notion that their actions are what guides us through life; however, I disagree. Sometimes it’s their words that really touch us and make us who we are. Their encouraging words and phrases eliciting our confidence reveal the love and support that we need to become more certain of ourselves. These words help us believe in ourselves the way they do.
The post I wrote on Sunday, October 10th will explain the ideas behind the Unsent Love Letter Mix Tape series, and if it still doesn’t make sense to you, well then, at least it makes sense to me. The writer. The blogger. The girl behind the computer. Call me what you will but these are my letters. Love Letters. Some will be traditional love letters and some will be love letters of another sort. These are my love letters to those that I love…or once loved…or will one day love. Let me point out that my plan is not to send these letters, but to write them as though I was sending them.
Track 2 is written to a long-lost friend. A friend that hasn’t been a friend to me in awhile, and this is the first time that I’m opening up about how much that hurts me. See, this friend didn’t anything wrong, it’s more that he hasn’t done anything at all. I miss our friendship. I miss him. I’ve been talking about friendships with my friend, Kate, and cousin, Trish, today and therefore I think it’s the right time to share my thoughts and write this letter.
Dear Long-Lost Friend,
I miss you. I just needed to say that first because I really want you to know that it is the main intention of this letter. I hope that you miss me. Actually, I just hope that you haven’t forgotten me. I cannot believe I’m even saying that, but let me explain that it’s something that crosses my mind quite often these days.
Again, I have to stress that I miss you and love you. When we first parted ways, you chasing after your dreams in NYC, we used to always end our voicemails and Facebook messages by saying “Miss you. Love you.” I haven’t heard any of those words from you in so long. I haven’t heard any words from you.
I know you’re busy, and I know that you’re not one who always takes time to send “How are you?” notes and “I miss you” letters. And while I know this, I don’t expect it; however, it really would have been nice to get a “Happy Birthday”-something from you on my birthday, or even the day/week after. No such luck. See, it wouldn’t have bothered me that much, because I know you’re busy, but when I saw you that you were sharing YouTube videos and random postings all across Facebookland that day…well…it really hurt me.
Silly, I know. But you mean a lot to me and sometimes it’s these little things that hurt the most. All I needed from you was a simple “Happy Birthday”. Or even a “Like” on someone else’s birthday message. That’s all I needed. But you gave me nothing.
Now I feel thirteen asking you this, so to make it even more childish I’m going to put it in that kind of format:
Are we still friends? Circle One: Yes No Maybe N/A
I’m sorry but I had to ask that. See, I love you so much. I want more for you then I could ever want for myself. I want you to be happy, happier then I could imagine possibly being. I think of you so much, especially when I see anything even remotely-related to pandas and the smiley face on the menu of Noodles & Company.
Do you even think of me anymore? I need you to be honest because I am literally fighting to hold onto you because I know that you are worth the fight. But if you don’t want me to fight, I won’t. If you deem that there’s no reason for me to fight anymore, I’ll surrender.
I’ll still think of you. I’ll still wish that you’re always happy, never sad. But I’ll stop hoping for a random “I miss you” text or a “Hi” wall posting.
I won’t expect anything, but I’ll still miss you.
With love always,
Song of the Moment: Freshmen by The Verve Pipe
For starters I am not going to spend this post talking about the inevitable mess that took place on ABC last night other than to quote a line that I read today from The Carrie Diaries: You know what they say- all guys are assholes and all women are crazy. I think that sums up The Break-Up that was supposed to be a long-lasting reality TV romance, don’t you? Thank goodness I saw this because I really was mentally flirting with the idea of going downtown to tomorrow’s Bachelor auditions. Trust me, the cons outweigh the pros by far, and therefore I’ll be in Skokie tomorrow far, far away from the other hopeful contenders.
While I don’t want to waste my time, nor yours, hashing out the details of the ‘most dramatic interview ever’… I will spent some time referencing last night’s episode of The Bachelorette. As I shared on a post from weekend, ideally called Promise me you’ll never let me go on a reality show, I see a lot of myself in Ali especially when it comes to her skepticism and fears about commitment and true love. I had initially planned on focusing this post after something Ali said last night, but changed my mind because I didn’t really want to make this a love-centric post. However, I do want to share her comment, and not that I’m sure I’ll use in a future post. Ali said (to herself), “Life isn’t a fairy tale, Ali…but maybe love can be.” To comment on this or not to? Hmm…maybe I’ll come back to this and share something else first.
Today’s post on the blog, As Simple As That, was titled Operation Fall in Love in a Coffee Shop. It’s remarkable, says the dreamer/hopeless romantic/ coffee connoisseur that I associate myself as being. After reading it myself I went to leave a comment and was blown away by how many others beat me to it. There are a whole lot of daydreamin’ coffee lovers out there…and foolish me for thinking I was the only one. Before I go on, here is the Landon Pigg song, Falling in Love At A Coffee Shop. This song reminds me so much of Donkey, our favorite coffee shop in Athens. It reminds me of Phill, the boy I fell in love with at our little coffee shop. Those were some of the best moments in college for me. I never knew just what it was about this old coffee shop I love so much…all of the while it was you.
If you’re a dreamer/ hopeless romantic like me then I’m sure you’ve spent hours upon hours daydreamin’ of meeting the man/woman of your dreams in true serendipitous fashion. Trust me, I’ve daydreamed myself through many blissful relationships during my years, and sadly, it didn’t get me anywhere. Playing off of Ali’s comment (see above), let me ask- Can love be a fairy tale? Or are we setting ourselves up for false hope? If we’re waiting for the fairy tale to sweep us off our feet…then that’s our first mistake. Trust me, I know and all I’m left with is a lot of regret, continuous ‘what ifs’, and hours upon hours of wasted time that I’ll never get back. This is not only true for love, but also for life in general. If we sit around waiting for something spectacular to happen, then the only thing we’ll find is disappointment. As I’ve shared, I have spent a lot of time daydreaming- and I’ll probably never stop doing so. But it wasn’t until I acted upon one of my dreams that I began to live. On that day my journey began, and since then I cannot stop myself from putting my dreams into action. It’s a true, A.MAY.ZING. domino effect, and if I can say so myself, that’s really not a bad position to be in.
I hope you read the post I hyperlinked above, but whether you do or you don’t, I want to borrow a few lines from her post. Please note again that these are not my words, but definitely something that resonates with me:
We spend a lot of time building up dreams in our heads. We convince ourselves that happiness exists in a certain place with certain people. That our dream job does not exist outside our dream city…Perhaps, perhaps our dreams are good…but our futures are even better. (Hannah Katy)
Do me a favor and think about this for a minute or two. Maybe come back to it tomorrow, or even better, go visit www.hannahkaty.com to read the entire post. My reason is because maybe this pertains to something going on in your world/ your mind right now…and maybe not. If not today, maybe it will someday- sooner than later.
While I’m worried about jinxing it, I will share that today I went after one of my dreams- a dream that I’ve had for quite awhile. A dream that may or may not come true in the near future, but it’s a dream that I had to take a chance on. A dream that wouldn’t come true if I didn’t. Sure the dream is safe. There’s no pain in your dreams. You don’t have hurt, and your heart doesn’t break. But you always don’t get to feel the joy, the satisfaction, the happiness that a dream-becoming-reality embraces you with.
I can also tell you that I’ve sat back and let a dream stay a dream. A dream that haunts me every day. A dream that causes me to wake up with regret every morning and go to bed with more regret each night. This dream has been reoccurring in my mind for about 6.5 years now. And while the situations change, the true ending never does. It’s always just a dream, and therefore the pain never fully resides.
I’m sharing this with you not for empathy, but rather to make sure that you never wear my shoes. They’re definitely the kind of shoes that hurt your feet. While the movies paint these elaborate pictures of rekindled romance, let me tell you that the reality is that it’s nothing like you see in the movies. The reason is that even if you’re hopefully waiting for your long-lost love to return to you, you still have to live your life. And maybe, one day while you’re living your life, love will re-enter…when you least expect it. Perhaps that is the example of how love can be a fairy tale.
Or maybe that particular love you’ve been waiting for won’t come back…but a new one will. You never know what’s in store for you until you get out there and start living your life by taking chance after chance…
The title of this post is from one of my favorite movies, My Best Friend’s Wedding. Although it pertains to love (in the movie), I used this signify how you should feel about life in general. If you truly want something…if you’re dream, your passion- then go for it. Right now. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. That moment is now.
Song of the Moment: Still by Adam Watts
No matter where life takes me and what’s going on in the little world of K, I find I can always close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine my beloved college days in Athens as though it was just yesterday. For those few moments I am at peace. Lost in the memories of my past, I feel like I’m home. I am me. Unfortunately even the best daydreams must end, just as my college days did. However, last weekend I was able t0 (re)live those days in Athens. I was fortunate to be able to open my eyes and literally see the memories right in front of me. I was home.
Last weekend I traveled back to my college town for the wedding of my friends, Bill and Renee; back to the place where they meant and their love began. A wedding in Athens…what an A.MAY.ZING. affair. Joining me were my friends/ former OU alums, Mike (my date), Jay, Ashley, Ryan, Meghann, and Steve (aka Rook or Snookie). I’ve mentioned some of these friends before, but just to fill you in on my friends, this was part of my Senior Year Crew. Jay and Mike were my roommates; Ryan, Meghann (Ryan’s wife), Steve, and Bill lived across the hall; and Ashley lived downstairs. Yes, it was like Friends.
After taking the overnight Megabus on Thurdsay, I arrived in Columbus and headed straight to Starbucks to work for a few hours (as noted in a former post). Lucky me, I was able to spend some time with my Columbus friends during the day. Jen (Morel) met me for lunch at North Market, and then Elise (friend and former colleague at Children’s Hunger Alliance) stopped by for a chat session. Before I knew it, the infamous Joe Zummo was strutting his stuff into ‘bucks looking as snazzy as ever. With my 40 hours clocked in, Joe, Elise and I decided on an impromptu Happy Hour on the patio of Frog Bear & Wild Boar in the Arena District (my former stomping grounds when I lived in C-bus). Best idea ever! It wasn’t long after that Ashley, Jay, and Mike arrived to take me back to Athens. ♥ Because of the craziness that my life has been lately, and all of the other travel, it really didn’t hit me that I was really going back to OU. But as I drove with my friends, on Interstate 33, through Lancaster… it hit me. I really was going home.
Since I thought that I was going to write this a week ago, the plan was to hash out all of the details and the (blurry) memories from our nights out on Court Street. This is us. Mostly, the Ohio University Class of 2006. Four years ago we spent our last night of college together, up on Court Street. Four years later, we reunited again for more memories on OU alums’ favorite street. Look at us. Some of them I haven’t seen in 2-3 years, but could you really tell from this photo? That’s what I love about my friends. No time nor distance will ever ruin the bond between my friends and me, and this is why I continuously say that I am blessed.
Friday Night: (From Left to Right: Jay, Mike, Ryan, Meghann, Me, Steve (aka Rook), and Ashley) After the rehearsal dinner at the OU Inn, we made our way up to Court Street. The groom did join us for a few drinks on Friday night but this was the crew that made the rounds- Tony’s; The Junction; The Pub; Pawpurrs; and the C.I. There were shots (like Tony’s Hot Nuts and Girl Scout Cookies- both delicious) and lethal drinks (Junction Punches and At the end of the night, and again the next morning, the conclusion was we cannot drink like we used to. Thank goodness for Goodfellas, one of OU students’ favorite late night treats, to help soak up some of the alcohol before bed.
How did we do it back in college? Sadly, we probably all drank (a lot) more back then too then we ever will as alums. Now I won’t directly say that OU is a party school, but there’s definitely a lot of partying going on in that little college town. I did a lot of reminiscing on Friday night. Each bar instigated a surplus of memories. Each familiar face made me think of another friend of mine. I took a lot of deep breaths that night. It felt so great to be back.
Saturday Morning: I woke up early to get a work-out in before the others awoke. Running on the treadmill gave me time to take it all in. Admist all of the traveling and socializing on Friday, I didn’t get much time to myself. But here I was, in Athens. When the troops finally arose we discovered that some were more hungover than others, and unfortunately a greasy breakfast and coffee didn’t help. Still we managed to get everyone together for a trip uptown for some shopping at College Bookstore and Cross Court Cards & Gifts- which I used to love going to so much! It was the perfect place to kill time between classes, and I would stop by (Note: It’s sorta a really small town-version of Target like cards and mementos. Perfect for women.) We didn’t get a chance to spend much time uptown, but I did get a chance to grab a coffee at Donkey (for Phill) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.
Saturday Evening- The Wedding: I have to say that we all look pretty dapper in our wedding wardrobes- even the guys (jk). It was a vast improvement from our usual Saturday afternoon attire of tee shirts, sweats, and flip-flops. The ceremony was in a chuch right off campus, and it was there that we met up with our former roommate, Amanda. I’m just going to say that the ceremony was interesting; a lot different from ones I’ve attended before.
I’ll come clean and admit that I was distracted for much of the ceremony. One reason was because I have always seen Bill and Renee as such a complimentary couple. They just fit so well together. They’ve been together since I’ve known them- getting together during their freshmen year at OU- and I know that their relationship hasn’t been perfect, but they figured out how to make it work. And in my opinion, 1) it’s not easy and 2) the college lifestyle definitely makes it challenging. But isn’t love about overcoming the challenges, proving how strong your love for one another is? Then again, I’m single so what do I know?
During the ceremony I began daydreaming about a wedding in Athens…my own wedding. If I married an OU alum, a particular one for that matter, then I could very well see myself getting married there. Wait, me getting married? And to whom would that be?
Next topic please…
The reception was in the same building as my former dining hall, Nelson, which was on South Green- my stomping grounds sophomore year. After dinner I decided to get some fresh air and go for walk on the infamous catwalk (so many memories). Seriously, part of me felt like I was twenty years old again. It was surreal. I was having flashbacks and thinking of my OUers- one in particular. Should I call him? I called Libby and left her a voicemail. Should I call him? I called Darlene, leaving her a rambling voicemail about how crazy it felt to be back there and how I kept thinking of him, thinking of calling him. (The message didn’t save due to my new phone.) Walking along the catwalk, I made my way to Dougan (my sophomore dorm). Feeling caught up in the moment, and a little tipsy, I went to see if the door was unlocked. It was. Before I knew it, I was on the second floor of Dougan looking at my old mod. (Note: The photos here are from when I took the others back later in the evening, and others during the reception. I love that last photo of the boys!)
During the reception Mike and Jay introduced the game Bros Icing Bros to us ladies. Unfortunately for him, Rook was the likely victim of the game, which continued throughout the night. Icings 2 & 3 were mastered and conquered by me and Ashley, respectively. After all of the years and shit that we put up with, this is how we finally got the respect of Mike and Jay.
Bros Icing Bros: Icing #1 (Photos 1-3, at reception).
Icing #2 (Photo 4, at reception). Icing #3 (Photo 5, at Tony’s).
Saturday Night: After venturing to Dougan for a trip down memory lane (pictures above), we hiked through East Green, up Morton Hill, through College Green, until we came upon Court Street. The walk itself was a trip down memory lane. How many times did I make that walk- sober and not-sober?
I love the intersection of Court & Union. It was love at first sight for me when I first came upon it during my orientation back on July 18, 2003. There’s a diagonal crosswalk in that small little town. I cannot remember seeing another- even here in Chicago. Sometimes I’ll create my own in this one intersection on the back streets in my neighborhood, always thinking of Athens when I do…but it’s not as special. There’s only one diagonal crosswalk that I love.
We made our way to Tony’s, beginning the Court Street Adventure- Night #2 off with a Tony’s Hot Nut, and then a water and coffee for me. The lovely bride and groom joined us for a nightcap, which was quite a site to see as Renee was still in her gown.
I swear I wasn’t that drunk. I promise you. I remember leaving Tony’s and running into another bridal party, which I just so happened to know the groom! (Long story.) After that little occurence, the group went veered off as Mike, Ashley and I headed for some substance at Goodfellas. Then, I believe, we walked down to Courtside but with 2 o’clock approaching we decided to call it a night too. Not being able to reach the 1 cab in Athens (okay, there are 2 cabs total), I was able to talk the kids into walking to the hotel (approx. 20 minutes). That was the best decision that we made. It was a walk that the three of us will never forget. Nothing of significance happened, other than Ashley and Mike deciding to call and order D.P.Dough when Avalanche was closed. Didn’t we just have Goodfellas? My mistake.
Anyways, back to the walk, words cannot describe how remarkable it was. Ashley pointed out that “we can see the stars”, something that none of us typically see in our cities. As funny as it sounded at the time, she was right. There was something so peaceful about that walk home. I, myself, was ‘me’ in that moment. It’s something I am always searching to find (again); something that I always seem to naturally find when I’m back in Athens. I cannot describe it but know what it is because of how I feel when it’s there, within me. I hate to say it, but ‘it’ is there when I’m around (a) certain people too- which is why I am still hoping to find/reconnect with ‘it’ again.
Sunday Morning: I won’t say too much about the morning because I hate saying goodbye to friends and to Athens. We headed back up to Court Street for brunch at Bagel Street and one last stop at Donkey for much-needed caffeine for the ride home. Because of the bus schedule in Columbus, I decided to drive back with Ashley, Jay, and Mike to Cleveland and take Megabus back to Chicago from there that evening. (Yes, it was a long day.) We said our goodbyes to Meghann and Ryan before making our way to the car.
Much to my own surprise, I handled everything fairly well. No breakdowns. No tears. No depressing heart-to-hearts. I love Athens. I always will. But there’s no place for me there anymore. As an alum told me once, while I was still in school, “Athens isn’t about the place, it’s about the people.” Without all my friends there, it’s not just my Athens anymore. My old dorm, house, and apartment are still there, as well as my favorite bars and special spots; however, without the people who made OU so unforgettable for me, they’re just mere buildings and landmarks.
Let me just say this…not like you have a choice. This was probably the 2-3 time in Athens that there was no chance of Casey being there. Every other time I ventured back, he was at least enrolled at OU and therefore he could very well be there. But this time, knowing that there was absolutely no chance of him being there (especially with him residing in Denver now), I found myself wondering, what if he had never been there at all? How different would my life be? He is part of my Athens, the Athens I hold near and dear to my heart. Although I wish he played a different role in my Athens story, and the ending was more happily ever after than maybe, someday we’ll see each other again, I am glad that he was part of my life, and in a way still is. And since I’m down-right exhausted, I can get away saying this: If he wasn’t meant to be in my life for a serendipital reason, then heaven help me, I honestly have no idea what the reason could be.
On that note, I’ll finish this post by saying: Athens, once again, you made me fall more in love with you. I’m not sure how you continue to capture my heart, but I promise that no matter how far I go nor how many cities I see, you will always be ‘the one’ for me.
The title of this post comes from Boston’s More than a Feeling. And here’s the Scrubs’ version of More than a Feeling, that is appropriately dedicated to the Turk & JD of my life, my former roomates/overindulgent airbanders/ forever friends, Mike & Jay.
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.
June 2006. What a month it was. At that time I really didn’t think I’d live to see another June. But four years later, I can look back and see how far I’ve come.
Let’s start with Graduation Day. Much to my dismay, and hope that a whole Disney miracle occurring-preferably me waking up to find myself on the first day of college all over again instead of the last.
Here are some of my fellow Class of 2006 alumni friends. The imfamous Jay and Mike, whom I have the pleasure of venturing back to Athens with this weekend for our friends’ wedding. (They’re lovely and single, ladies. However, they do come in a package deal. Just kidding. Sorta.) And the second photo is of my dear friend and former Facebook ‘it’s complicated’ boyfriend, Phill. Now if this photo doesn’t say, “I graduated from OU!” then I’m not sure any will.
There were two graduation ceremonies that Saturday. A few of my friends, including Joe, Phill, and Rebecca, graduated in the morning and were fortunate to have the better speaker for theirs. The rest of us all gathered in our River Park apartments getting ready for our parents’ arrivals. I was so numb that day. I remember Jay came in and said something to me about being ‘naturally pretty and not needing any makeup and I didn’t even blush. (PS. He tells lies because I definitely need it!) Shortly after the arrival of all of our parents, we took a few photos and then headed to the Convo Center. I remember walking through South Green with Ashley and Jenny Massie in our caps and gowns, the boys tagging along behind us. And I remember seeing a Black Blazer on my way there and thinking of him; wondering if that was in fact him on his way out of town- since he wasn’t graduating until the following year. Heart breaks even more. End scene.
I’m sure some people will say that their college graduation was one of the most memorable moments of their life, and I’m sure my graduation was memorable for my parents. However, I cannot say the same for me. All I remember about the ceremony is sitting next to Mike, near Kat and her boyfriend-at-the-time, Asher, and that Sleepy Sean sitting a few rows behind us (with Alex) determined to be the last graduate to receive their diploma. Unfortunately his plan failed, but A for effort. I kinda-sorta remember walking up on stage…no, I really don’t. I do vaguely remember that my cell phone just happened to vibrate almost immediately after I walked off stage, and it was Joe calling me (back). Joe Zummo. You know, that boy may not be as good of a friend to me as Brandon, but he’s always there for me in a different sort of way. Like so many of my other friends, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He deserves an A.MAY.ZING. just for being, well, Joe. If you knew him then you’d understand why I say that.
I do have a special memory from that day that I hold near and dear to my heart, but unfortunately no photos. My wonderful father brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate this momentous occasion, and he found nothing wrong wtih crackin’ the bottle open in the parking lot. The Medica Family, all four of us since my brother graciously joined in the festivities, were drinking champagne in the parking lot of the football stadium. I actually think he may have even brought wine/champagne glasses, but I could be wrong and we were drinking from plastic cups instead. OU, Oh Yeah indeed!
After lunch with my parents, I headed up to Red Brick to meet with Phill, Rebecca, and our friend, Eric. They were just the group that I needed to see to begin the actual celebration that is college graduation. It’s when the bitter turned to bittersweet. After a few drinks, or maybe even one- we are lushes- we headed down to River Park to join the rest of the graduates in the pre-game festivities. But my dear love, Phill, just so happen to meet a friend that he couldn’t no bring home. The balloon just so happened to be in the trash…yes, the trash. And yes, there’s no way he was sober. To this very day, whenever I see this balloon in stores or in garbage cans, I think of Phill.
We had a great time that night, but to be honest I really don’t remember many of the details. Ashley’s brother, Scottie, fell in love with me…in a fun-joking-drunk way…and I believe we broke up a few times that night as well. He also called me “girlfriend” most of the night, so guessing he didn’t remember my name either. Typically gf-bf relationship.
The highlight of my night was seeing Crazy Drew (best friend to Libby’s boyfriend, Kyle) still in his cap and gown at 2:15 am outside of Goodfella’s chowing down on a slice of pizza. I was then serenaded by the (homeless?) guitar player outside of the Burrito Buggy as he played me Wild Horses. Athens, I miss you!
I stayed in Athens for a week or two after graduation, and some of my friends did the same. As each day went by, so did another goodbye. Although they weren’t easy, I never once cried.
Saying goodbye to Phill was far from easy, especially because I didn’t know when I’d see him next. He was moving to NYC almost immediately upon graduation, and while I’d always dreamed of living there I realized that my dream was just a dream. While we’d been friends since the beginning of my first year at OU, I really fell in love with Phill for the beautiful friend he is during senior year. He was the best boyfriend I’d ever had, and raises the bar extremely too high for any future contenders. I love you, Phill.
In my remaining days in Athens, I went on a lot of walks with friends and alone. That’s one of my all-time favorite things to do in Athens, and Brandon and I use to walk around that town whenever we had the chance. Brandon. He was the final goodbye I had to make before my dad drove me home on that fateful day. I’ll spare the details, but saying goodbye to him broke my streak of not crying as I teared-up at the thought of our goodbye time actually being upon us. As he said the other day to me on the phone, “we were inseparable” at OU. I love you, B, and I couldn’t have imagined OU nor my entire life without you. Afterall, I didn’t make a tee-shirt for anyone else.
My dad and me left shortly after, but before getting on the highway I asked him if he would drop me off over at my old stomping grounds, Dougan- my dorm, my first ‘home’ at OU. I sat on the infamous catwalk for awhile with thoughts and memories running through my head. Part of me was numb, and part of me was under the worst pain imaginable. I called Libby and talked to her for a few minutes, but hung up with the intention to place another call. But I didn’t. Instead I said goodbye to Dougan, and to OU.
As soon as we got on Rt. 33, I balled my eyes out. My poor dad didn’t know what to do, but he did the best thing he possibly could and just allow me to cry. It wasn’t all tears of sadness. I know that now. It was tears of memories; of anxiety; of lost hopes and dreams; of lost love; and mostly, tears of feeling lost and being afraid of the unknown.
That was four years ago, and here I am headed back to that same little college town this weekend. Four years. Wow. At that time, if you would have told me that I would be who I am today (more confident and comfortable in her skin) and where I’m at (living in Chicago), I would have called you craaaaaazzzzy.
I still miss Athens, and mostly I miss my friends and the times I spent with them in Athens. The memories will always be there. I know that. But there are so many days that I wish I could call up Brandon and go for a walk around town. And when Libby posts on Facebook that she’s having a bad day, I just want to be able to walk up to her house on Mound Street with sour Skittles. And then there’s Phill. While I hated how much time he spent at Alden Library, I secretly loved knowing that he’d be there so I could surprise him with Magic Cookie squares and tempt him to take a quick break.
So many memories, and so many good friends. I know that Athens will always feel like home, but as I just emailed Adriana, I also know that it will never be the same without all of my friends there. As an alumni once told me during Homecoming Weekend of my senior year, “Athens isn’t about the place, it’s about the people.”
I arrived in Athens with very few life experience and so much to learn. Each and every person I met, each experience I had, it’s all within me now and is responsible for the person that I am today. College was the best time of my life. Sure I had bumps and bruises, not to mention a broken heart, but I cannot even begin to put into words how special those three years were to me. My OU friends will always hold a special place in my heart. We met as acquaintances, soon became friends, and left as family. Love you all.
Or maybe I’ve been thinking about how to say goodbye to you all week. Maybe I’ve been thinking about how to make those words come out of my mouth every second of the day since I made the decision to leave. Maybe saying goodbye to you is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
You may return here once you have fully come to understand that you are always here. (Eat. Pray. Love. )
Happy Birthday to my love, Phill. You’re twenty-six today and I cannot help but think of the 21st birthday party that we threw for you at our good old 10 Hocking Street house. And then I remember celebrating your 22nd birthday during our senior year…a night that you fortunately took away from the Alden Library- your second home in college.
So many memories, Phill. From the days when I brought you those delicious 7-layer cookies to our sanity trips to Easton. Every time I think of you, I smile- which makes me think of that (damn) you found on graduation day! I have so much love for you, and not only that but I am so proud of the man who you are today.
I am honored to be your (Facebook) girlfriend of four years. I hope that this is an A.MAY.ZING. year for you. You get better with age, Phill, and somehow I love you even more in time. ♥ K