Update.

I have barely had time for anything lately, especially writing! I basically just work and work and work since I have two jobs. Now that I have weekends off I have been trying to keep myself busy and distracted and it usually is working… It leaves me little time to get emotional but also has not really given me much time to get back to writing…

On Sunday I turned 29! I literally can’t believe that I am in my last year of my twenties, especially because I practically still look like a 12 year old. I guess somewhere down the road I will appreciate my younger-looking face. A few weeks ago I was at a bowling alley and ordered a drink. The waitress asked me for collateral since the rule is you need it if you are 25 or younger. I told her like 6 times “I don’t need collateral”, but I’m not sure if she even heard me or believed me. And then when she IDed me, she was like “oh wow you don’t need collateral, why didn’t you say anything?” *face palm*

On my birthday, which was overall a decent day, my ex decided that he needed to text me “hey.. happy birthday”. That sent me off on a rampage and has not left me feeling so great this week. Which is horrible since I am on vacation this week. I spent Sunday night tossing and turning and woke up Monday morning feeling like I hadn’t made any progress. My heart felt like it was broken all over again.

But then tinder guy came to the rescue! So far we have been on 3 dates, and all 3 times my IBS has been horrific… I’ve done my best to hide it from him, but I just get so nervous that I’m super uncomfortable. He has been super nice. This week, he is away in DC for work, but when I told him I was in a bad mood, he FaceTimed me all the way from DC. It made me feel a lot better even though he didn’t even know what was wrong. He keeps saying he wants to make me smile because he loves my smile. I don’t know if he’s full of shit or literally actually likes me. I don’t want to say anything to my parents either, what if I jinx it?!

It seems too good to be true. Trying not to mess it up like I usually do.

I have applied for 20 teaching jobs this week, just trying my best to be optimistic! I would literally cry with happiness every day if someone took a chance on me and gave me my own classroom. I would have so much work to do over the summer, but having my dream job would make it all worth it!

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tinder.

Oh man oh man.

I’ve caved into something that I always hated the idea of: online dating. It is a world that promotes hook-ups and all of the things that I think are wrong about society.

However, it has promoted a little bit of hope for me this week. Many of the guys I chat with on tinder disappear randomly or say inappropriate things (and then I disappear). I’ve tried coffee meets bagel, but I find the time limits and how it costs “beans” to like guys very annoying and tedious. (I’m just trying to find cute guys to talk to, it should be free for me to at least talk to them.)

Anyways, I caved this week. I told a guy that I wanted to get to know him more before we actually met and he kept talking to me. And he seemed relatively normal. And it so happens, we figured out, that we live in the same time. So, I caved. He asked me out again, and I said yes.

Because, at the rate I’ve been going lately, why not. I didn’t think that it could make me feel any worse than I’ve been feeling lately. I told few friends where I would be to relieve the creepy stalker factor out of my brain a little bit. It alleviated some of the stress for me, but not all of it.

Let me just say that I am an extremely awkward person by nature, so the whole idea of meeting some stranger for sushi that I met on tinder, was actually quite hilarious to me. I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing this. I couldn’t even handle it.

I don’t know if you know anything about the combination of IBS and high anxiety, but let’s just say the two can be deadly. On the way, I was frustrated that I wasn’t late because I needed more time to mentally prepare. (Damn you, waze!) I would have gotten there right on time but I was actually panicking. I had to find the nearest bathroom to avoid a really embarrassing situation.

Then I drove to the restaurant, since he texted me that he was already waiting for me there. I pulled over across the street from the restaurant, and then realized I had found it. Then I realized there was no way for me to cross the street safely, so I drove up the street and turned around. Then I pulled over next to the restaurant, but still parked on the street. Then I got a “hey is that your car, you can park in the lot, you know?” text. Oops….

Anyways, then we sat and talked for FOUR HOURS. I didn’t realize that it was four hours until he told me yesterday that we had sat and talked for four hours. I was shaking for at least the first hour. I had to go to the bathroom again abut halfway through. I was very fidgety, but we still talked for four hours. I couldn’t believe it was that long. We have a lot in common, and a lot not in common, so plenty to talk about. And he rescues dogs. And owns his own place. On paper, he looks pretty great. But of course, my last ex looked excellent on paper, and look where that got me. So I am extremely cautious.

Unfortunately, he’s going out of town for two weeks to go see his family. I hope he doesn’t forget about me. I definitely wouldn’t like it if he doesn’t text me at all while he’s away…

He’s made several comments about our next dinner or me going hiking with him and his dogs, so we will see what happens.

Mostly, I am proud of myself. I did something that was incredibly hard. INCREDIBLY hard, but it turned out okay. I think things will eventually be okay. I don’t know if I’ll ever completely get rid of my anxiety about being completely abandoned, but I am going to try and work at it every day.

They say the best kind of karma is to be happy and live your life, so that’s what I am going to try and do, even when I’m sad, even when I feel like no one is ever going to love me again. All I can do is try and send out my own positive qi into the world and hope that karma has my back as I do it.

shit.

I feel like total and absolute shit today. I think I’m getting sick, so physically, I’m not doing that great.

Mentally, I’m freaking wiped out.

I’m tired of missing you day after day. It doesn’t do me any good. It holds me back and makes me sad. I want you out of my brain, and out of my heart.

I have these arguments with myself. Maybe he’s waiting to hear from you, too. Maybe he misses you, too. Maybe he realizes he’s made a mistake but is too scared to say anything.

Then where is he? I tell myself that I’m wrong. That no one would say they wanted to be friends and then not act like a friend. That no one would tell someone “at the very least we need to take a break” and then decide “I don’t want a relationship at all”.

I argue with myself that there’s no reason why you’d stay with me for a whole year if you didn’t actually want to be with me. Maybe you’re just too stressed out. Maybe we both made mistakes and are pushing each other away, wrongly.

I don’t understand my brain, or my heart. They argue with each other. I won’t think about you for a while and then BAM you’re there full force and I can’t stop missing my best friend.

Then it feels like it was all in my head because you’re the one who broke up with me and told me that WE DIDN’T FEEL THE SAME WAY. But it was okay for you to stay with me for a year and PRETEND THAT YOU CARED.

So then, I argue, why would anyone pretend that for a whole year. What kind of person does that?

So then, I think how you probably are a good person and probably did want to be with me, or still do, or whatever.

I’m a mess. I’ve never missed someone so much in my entire life.

joy.

They tell you that “time will tell” and that the only solution to your pain will be “time”. I call bullshit. I can’t get behind the fact that plenty of time has passed and you are still on my mind more than I’d like.

Every once in a while, someone comes into your life, and gets to your heart and makes you feel things that you didn’t think you were capable of feeling. They make you feel like you’re finally not going to die alone. They make you feel that all those years of waiting, being single, and feeling like there was something wrong with you are finally over.

And then they leave. They’ve made the decision without you and there’s nothing you can do to change their mind. You fight more than you’ve ever fought before, and why? Because once you finally have it, you can’t seem to let it go. And everyone tells you it’s going to be okay. But it never will be okay.

There will never be anything okay about you pretending to want me for a year. There is no answer that will make it okay. There is no way of knowing if you were just pretending or you really don’t want to be with anyone, or if it’s just me. There’s no way of knowing why you’d just give up on something when less than a month before you said “all that matters that we are together on my birthday” when I asked you what you wanted to do. I have the proof. I save the text message because I thought it was adorable.

Adorable, my ass. If you didn’t want to be with me, then why did you spend a year with me AND THEN tell me “I don’t want a relationship”. What is that? It’s not like we are teenagers. It’s not like we have forever. We are adults. You are thirty. You are supposed to be a grown ass man.

All I feel now is shame. Shame for letting you into my heart and soul. Shame for wasting a year with someone who I am not sure if ever cared about me. As time goes by, I still don’t have the answers. All I have is my broken heart and many more unanswered questions.

They lied. You especially lied. Time does not do shit. Time is as cold as ice, ripping into you, until you are so tired of arguing with yourself and imagining imaginary conversations that you feel like you are blue in the face. Time doesn’t do anything, other than make you feel even more alone.

And then someone tells you that finding joy will make you feel better.

How can you find joy if you are devastated? How can you find joy if time has never been on your side? How do you find joy if you take a personality quiz and find that you are 95% anxiety? How can you ever expect to get better if someone who “cares” about you doesn’t think twice about completely destroying you?

Time. I feel exactly the same as I did when you broke my heart.

21.

It has been 21 excruciating days since you smashed my soul into a billion tiny little pieces. You did this without thinking about the consequences, without planning for the future, because you thought it was the right decision, right now.

21 days where I have been so lost that I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning, but I do it because I have to. 21 beyond painful days where I have had to pretend that everything was fine at thanksgiving, because it’s not.

What is that saying, you don’t destroy the people who you love. You say that you don’t love me, which is a lie, and we both know it is. You lie and say you’ll work on things, but you don’t.

You don’t work on things until you’ve told me ‘you never say never’ but you’re now getting the help that I asked you to get 2+ months ago. And you’re doing it at my expense. Because you destroyed me. And you’ve given me what feels like false hope, but I care for you so much I am hanging on to the tiny little piece where this could truly be that break you talked about; or it could truly be that one exception to the never-rule.

What did I do deserve this pain? I waited for nearly 6 years, minding my own business, and then you came along and made me think that all my waiting had been worth it. Yes, our relationship wasn’t perfect, but no one’s is. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

That’s why I’m so frustrated and tried so hard to fix this an explain to you that it isn’t black and white, but it is also not time to just simply give up. You’re clearly depressed. Hell, I’m depressed, after this shit hole of a year, it’s so hard not to be. And one thing that was getting me through this was the prospect of it all getting better, and that you’d be by my side when that all came true.

I’ve had enough heartache to last a life time. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of being the only single one at family functions and weddings, and even just at the supermarket. I’m tired of thinking of you minute after minute, wondering what you are doing. I want to tell you about all the things that have happened in the past 21 days.

For example, one day, I realized one of the cats had shit in my bed. I don’t know when it happened and it was such a tiny amount of shit, but I freaked out and was stripping my entire bed and myself down after 10 pm at night when I had tried so hard to actually go to bed for once.

Tonight we went out to dinner for my dad’s 60th birthday, and you missed it. We went to that restaurant we went to with my family that one time, I think it was for my birthday or maybe my brother’s birthday? I don’t even remember. I bet you’d remember, but I can even ask you.

I lost my apartment that I was so excited about, which is probably better since it was 5 minutes away from where you live.

And next week, my mom is having a heart procedure called a cardiac ablation. Basically they go up through her groin and shock parts of her heart to try and get it back into a regular rhythm. I’m afraid I could lose my mom, which is probably highly illogical, but you know, since I suffer from anxiety, logic has never really truly been my thing.

21 days and you still can’t give me an answer if this is permanent or not. 21 days that my soul has suffered and I have tortured myself to not talk to you. I’ve caved 3 times. We used to talk every single day, except when I was being a dick and I was mad at you. I wish that this was just a really horrible dream and I could just wake up already.

But reality is one cold hearted bitch.

2017.

I don’t even know where to start. The past year has been one of the loneliest, cruelest years that I can remember. They tell you grad school will be difficult, but they don’t tell you exactly how. With no financial aid, whatsoever, I made it. I have to take one more licensure exam that I missed by 3 points… But I’m nearly there, and after all that, I might not have a teaching job to help pay all of my bills this fall. I might have to settle for a teaching assistant job since the state has not finished processing my paperwork… even though it was sent in June.

Spring 2017 was an extremely rough semester for me. I didn’t think anything could top this Fall where I took 19 credits and worked 4 days a week. But my first student teaching placement was horrible. I have never been in an environment where my anxiety was so provoked (except maybe the doctor’s office). I cried more in those first few months than I have cried in the past 5 years. As someone who really doesn’t cry often, this was incredibly terrible. I eventually moved to a new placement, but it cost me all the hard work I had already put in, and starting over from scratch.

On June 12th, I began my takeover week at my new placement. It was a much better fit and I left feeling successful after that first day. The next morning, I continued my takeover week and was having a great day. At one point, I felt the need to check my phone for some reason. My mother had left a voicemail. In the transcription I read the words “grandmother. important. call me back.”

On June 13th around 7 am I lost the most influential person in my life. My 90-year-old grandmother lost her long fight to congenital heart failure.

I don’t even have the words to describe how I am feeling. All I know is that it just doesn’t feel real and that I am completely lost. I’m glad she didn’t suffer for very long (she fell and broke her pelvis not even a month before she passed). I feel guilty that I didn’t spend more time with her this past year since I was so consumed by grad school. I’m glad my cats were here to keep her company, but I could have done more.

I didn’t do enough.

Frozen.

Have you ever experienced that feeling where the person you are working with/for thinks that you are going to fail, so naturally you completely mess up? That feeling where you are completely lost, losing all memory of what it was you were supposed to be doing. That’s what my student teaching experience has been like. The teacher I was placed with completely immobilizes me, and the people who could make a difference, truly do not understand. It even feels like they might not even care…

I didn’t come to graduate school to be told I should start thinking about other options. I didn’t come to graduate school to be told that I should get my Masters and not my teaching licensure. I came here after years of thinking about this decision and I finally went for it.

First, it was the financial burden. No one tells you that you can get loans to cover your summer credits at my school. No one even offered a scholarship or any other sort of payment plan or additional funding. No one paid any attention to the fact that I would be supporting myself. So I paid them. I paid them the over $7,000 for my summer courses. I paid them the additional $3,0000 in the fall when for some reason my financial aid kept being split up between the fall and the spring and I still owed and had to pay late fees. I paid. I did my part.

Now why is this university completely failing me? They have taken all of my money. They have taken my sanity, because the money that I paid them OUT OF POCKET for my tuition were supposed to be my living funds for the year I was in grad school. I got a job. I’ve worked my ass off despite being completely broke and my school not helping me financially whatsoever. I operated on 5 or less hours of sleep for months.

And now I’m the one who doesn’t get to finish up my student teaching placement this week. I was penalized because my advisor put me with someone that wasn’t a good fit, and didn’t feel right even a few weeks in. But no one listened to me when I asked for help. They waited until it was too late and then offered me a placement that will meet for my summer semester.

Now I am terrified that choosing this profession was all a big mistake, even though it wasn’t. Now I’m terrified that if I don’t make it through this second placement I will be jobless and $50,000+ in debt to a university that couldn’t even do the one job I paid it to do: Get me my licensure.

I know no one is perfect, and I know that everyone has flaws. But when does this end? This was supposed to be my way out of the monotony that was dragging me down in my previous life. This was supposed to mobilize me into my career.

I have about 6 weeks to pass this student teaching. SIX WEEKS. At this point, I don’t care if I get a classroom teaching position in the fall. I’ll sub, I’ll be a teaching assistant again, I’ll keep working in retail.

All I want is to graduate and get my teaching licensure. I could sure use a miracle at this point.

IBS.

For a few years, I knew there was something wrong with me. Normal people don’t need to know the location of every bathroom in every single public place they visit. Normal people don’t plan their whole day around if they will have access to a restroom or not. This is atypical.

It is not normal to feel like and almost shit your pants once or twice every two weeks. It is not normal to have constant aching in your stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. If when you poop, you feel like you can’t get it all out, that’s not normal.

I knew all of these things for several years but continued to have the same issues. It is still a source of constant embarrassment. All my friends would notice my frequent bathroom visits when we were all hanging out. I didn’t want to even think about having sex with anyone because it was such an issue.

I finally got a new doctor last year and she finally listened to what I had to say. None of those things are normal, she agreed. She prescribed me with anti-anxiety meds and encouraged me to try parts of the FODMAPS diet. (No, I do not know what it stands for, you’ll have to GOOGLE it).

I figured out pretty quickly that a lot of my issues were caused by soy. I had a lot of soy in my diet. I love edamame mixed with veggies sautéed on the stove in some basil, garlic, and olive oil. I would eat it practically every day. And I have been a vegetarian since I was 14, although I am technically a pescetarian because sometimes I eat salmon, lake water fish, or shrimp. But now, I can’t eat tofu or veggie burgers or any of the plant-based protein foods that I like. But cutting out soy made a huge difference. So did cutting out yogurt 😦 I still miss it, so much.

I’ve made all these changes. You would not believe how much better I was feeling for a while. Instead of feeling sick every single day, multiple times a day, I switched to feeling sick once or twice a week. If I skip meals, I pay for it. If I don’t eat enough, I pay for it. If I wait too long between meals, I pay for it. I constantly still assess where the bathroom is, but I wasn’t driving to work squirming in my seat every day, trying to think of where the closest bathroom could be or whether I could pull over somewhere, if I absolutely had to.

My issues were better, for a while. Grad school certainly did not help with the take out food and late night meals, but it was better last semester. I just finished my first week of student teaching (!) and it has been MISERABLE this week. I have constantly had stomachaches. I constantly feel like I’m shitting my pants, and then go to the bathroom and nothing is there, and then nothing comes out, and then I’m just constipated. Every fart creates immense fear.

I went to CVS to pick up my prescription the other day and almost starting yelling at the pharmacy tech because she was taking so long. And then I’m starting to feel like I might faint, my face is burning up, and I really have to go. She tells me there’s no public bathroom in CVS, even though I can feel the sweat pouring down my face. Luckily, no one questions me as I run into the bathroom at the restaurant next door. Unluckily, this same situation has happened to me several times, once I even had to pull over and go into a restaurant because I was worried I wouldn’t make it the 2 minutes home.

I don’t know why I needed to tell anyone this at all. It’s a constant issue and it was much better for a while, but it never completely goes away. And now it’s back, in full force, and I have children I have to be responsible for. How am I going to do my two takeover weeks if I am constantly needing to use the bathroom? I am so embarrassed. I feel like everyone can see me squirming and hears the weird noises coming out of my stomach. I feel like when I go out to eat I have to constantly watch what I eat. I feel like I’m constantly tired and exhausted, I’m sore from wiping so much, and that I am having to worry about this issue way too much when I’m around my boyfriend.

I don’t know if anyone who doesn’t have IBS could truly understand. I know I didn’t understand what Ulcerative Colitis truly was like for my brother until I started having my IBS issues.

I know there’s no magic cure. I know that I’m supposed to be relaxing, but that’s nearly impossible with the combination of working, grad school, student teaching, and anxiety. IBS is just another thing I have to constantly worry about.

But if anyone out there knows anything that could help, I would truly appreciate it. I want to be able to sit on my boyfriend’s lap without worrying about this. I want to be able to go on a date with him where I don’t have to rush to the bathroom for fear that I might have an accident. I want to be at my student teaching position and feel okay. I want to be able to go for a walk or run without worrying that there will be no bathroom for a while.

Someone, out there, please help.

Parents.

Guys. It’s happening. I’m in a functional adult relationship with the guy from my math class. I don’t really know how this happened. He like pays for dinner and opens doors for me. We hold hands when we go to the movies and we like go on real dates and stuff. And we make out a lot, in my car. We are like teenage adults…

I am so scared but I am doing my best to put myself out there, despite all my anxiety about being with someone. It’s almost weird to be not single. I mean I catch myself doing things, and I’m like stop. no. you have a boyfriend. A real one. You don’t have to be single anymore.

I mean I have a real boyfriend who plays with my hair without me even having to ask him to. That’s pretty special. I don’t know any of the past guys who would just do that without me having to ask them to.

I’m falling for him, big time. We don’t say the “L” word yet, but I hope we do some day. I have such a hard time NOT imagining the future with him in it. I have so many things I want to plan and do with him in the future.

And today, he’s actually meeting my parents.

Which is a huge deal. The kind of huge deal that kept me up all night hoping everything will be okay.

Because I like him a lot. And I’m not the type of person who loses interest. And he’s actually meeting my parents. It’s happening. TODAY.

Together.

“I have a confession,” I say, trying to be cute.
“Oh yeah?” he says.
“I have a crush on you.” I text back.
“You don’t need to have a crush. We’re together.”

And then my heart smiles with the strength of a thousand suns and is full of colors of planets and stars and all of the rainbows you’ve ever seen in just one lifetime.

I then proceed to laugh, because I had no idea that we are together. None.

You see, life has given me nothing but rotten lemons lately in the love life department. This one though, he could possibly be different. He doesn’t kiss like he already knows how, he kisses like he would do anything to learn how it is right for me.

He doesn’t judge me for my mistakes, only tells me he doesn’t care and that he’s lucky. Lucky? No kidding. I feel like I’m the lucky one.

You see, I haven’t even told him yet about all the horrific ways I’ve been broken. He sees me as strong. He sees me as a hard worker. He tells me not to text him when I’m driving because he really truly cares and could never life with himself if something bad were to happen to me because of him. But it would be my fault for texting him.

It’s hard not to. When you like someone who actually treats you well and says cute things and acts like they are just as confused and awkward as you are. Someone who just knows you are together instead of asking. Someone who wants you to go to hockey games or watch sports, and you just go because it’s a good excuse to spend time together.

Someone who always opens the door for you and never lets you pay for dinner. Someone who tells you it will be fine. Someone who cares about other people and works harder at studying than anyone you’ve ever met before.

This guy is my together. I told him he rescued me. He told me, you were already perfectly strong on your own.

This guy is my math class crush who constantly pushes me to be the best I can be. This guy makes my heart melt, my pulse speed up, and my whole body smile, and we, well we’re together.