summary.

So, let’s talk about what I’ve been up to lately. There are barely enough hours in the day to keep up with it all. I’ve been trying to be productive since 2016 started. I think I’ve done fairly well…

Within the past few months I:

  • Applied for my passport to be renewed
  • Finished my three grad school applications
  • Applied for my Ed Tech renewal, which I need for my current job
  • Signed up for the PRAXIS, and studied as hard as I could
  • Took the PRAXIS which took ALMOST FIVE HOURS
  • Paid $500 for my precious baby kitty to have a dental surgery/procedure
  • Found out my mom has a heart problem (on christmas day)
  • Seen my mom go through two heart procedures
  • Found out there are irregular cells on my pap smear and thought I was going to die from cancer
  • Had my cervix biopsied in two places and nearly fainted when I saw all of the blood
  • Visited all three potential grad schools
  • Got accepted to all three grad schools
  • Sprained my thumb really painfully at work
  • Wrote pages and pages in a journal but didn’t quite get to blogging a lot of it due to everything else
  • Been put on an anti-depressant for my anxiety
  • Pretty much been diagnosed with IBS by my new doctor
  • Barely gotten any financial aid from ANY of the grad schools
  • Have been put on an elimination diet to attempt to reduce all the stomach problems I’ve been suffering from (probably due to IBS & stress)
  • Have mostly stopped drinking ever since I was put on my new medication
  • Done everything to avoid my roommate who is making me miserable on a daily basis usually just by being around but also by doing verbally aggressive and passive aggressive things directly to me

So what I realized last night is that: my life is completely ridiculous and my mind is absolutely random but I still have a little bit of faith that maybe it will all work out. 

And it’s this ridiculously and randomness that keeps me writing as much as I can. Welcome to Random Ramblings, people.

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The Waiter.

I am now going to tell you about how stupid I was around seven years ago. When I was a sophomore in college, I went home for winter break to stay at my parents’ house. My singleness was ambiguous and unknown at that time. My boyfriend at the time wasn’t speaking to me and then ended up dumping me. In the midst of all that drama, I met The Waiter.

(Side note: The Waiter actually recently contacted me and I stupidly gave him my phone number when I was trying to figure out what the hell he wanted. He ended up wanting to meet up, and then wouldn’t leave me alone for days and days. I ignored him a lot. I was very slow to respond to his messages and he would not take a hint. I was like dude it’s been seven years leave me the hell alone, in my head, but I also didn’t want to be mean or rude. That just isn’t me, unless it’s absolutely necessary, then the inner bitch in me comes out. A lot of things have happened to me since I dated The Waiter and we were actually on speaking terms. Lots of dark and horrible things that there was no way of explaining to him. So eventually he stopped calling. I think he figured out that us meeting up wasn’t going to happen. I might message him in a few months and check in but I am definitely not interested in seeing him or talking every day.)

I met The Waiter when I went back to work at the restaurant that winter. He was cute, he was new, and he was something resembling a bad boy. He smoked a lot of pot and cigarettes, and I did neither of those things. He enjoyed driving his car really fast while I prefer to go the speed limit, comfortably. He and I did that whole long distance thing for the rest of the school year after I went back up. We had some good times but were very different and the long distance was really hard.

I moved back home for the summer and we kept dating. We both worked at the restaurant together. I wanted to keep our relationship a secret from everyone at work but he had already told everyone, including the managers. Shit was awkward. We were very different, like I just said. When I tried pot for him, trying to keep him interested (yes, very intelligent plan, I know. I was 19 and that was the only time I’ve ever tried pot guys, come on), he dumped me. We stayed broken up for a few weeks but he didn’t give me any space outside of work and I saw him almost every day at work. We ended up back together before summer ended, against my better judgement.

I know you’re clearly thinking that I make some pretty great choices, right? Eventually, The Waiter dumped me again after I went back to school and we did the whole long distance thing, again, even though we already knew that we absolutely hated it. We tried, anyways. It didn’t last long before The Waiter informed me of what we already know: that we are two very different people. He then proceeded to break my heart, again.

Months later, The Waiter basically admitted that he always cheats when in a long-distance relationship so I’m assuming that means he cheated on me, too. It took a long time for me to get over the fact that The Waiter had dumped me twice. I was so mad the second time because he told me he was going to become a tattoo artist and that was one of the reasons we couldn’t be together. That was insulting. I’d never seen the kid draw or make any kind of art. I was shocked. I was absolutely baffled. It made no sense to me. The break-up that time was permanent, thank god. It  helps when you don’t have to see your ex-boyfriend every single day at work. Don’t date coworkers. I can’t stress it enough. I recommend shitting elsewhere. Also, the long distance thing should really be avoided, too.

I just wanted to inform you that The Waiter ended up working in airport security as a TSA shortly after we broke up (instead of becoming a tattoo artist). He recently informed me that he is now a barber and doesn’t work at the airport anymore. I shit you not. The boy that was so adamant that he was going to become a tattoo artist wants to open his own salon. I’m all for chasing your dreams but for someone who drives his car around like a maniac and smokes a lot of pot, a job as a barber makes little sense to me. I find it highly amusing.

Seven years later and he was just as annoying as ever, kind of like when he broke up with me the first time. He would not stop calling me night after night for like a week straight and sending me multiple text messages if I didn’t respond right away. It’s so easy to see why young, naive me was sucked into his cycle several times: he’s wicked persistent! Back then I would have found it flattering, and I obviously did, because I fell for it several times. Now, I’m just a bitch. I don’t respond when I don’t feel like responding and I’ll ignore the shit out of people’s calls, no matter who they are. I was okay with catching up with The Waiter but as soon as he began to want to make plans I was like kthanksbye. Seven-years-later-me is rough and hard, and doesn’t really cry. I sobbed both times The Waiter broke up with me and developed my thyroid and insomnia issues that summer due to all the stress he put me under.

I am so glad that I am not as much of an idiot anymore. I can honestly say that guys who text me too much give me weird feelings now, and not a good weird. I’ve had too many guys who, at first, acted like they were super obsessed and then randomly dropped off the face of the earth. I’m wary of all of you fools.

 

 

resolutions.

Dear me,

I know that most people write a list of new years resolutions that they are going to adhere to (and completely give up on 2 days later) in the new year. I am fully aware of the gratitude that you’ve felt with this coming year, 2016. 2015 was a rough year and you were ready to be done with it, and that’s completely okay.

In 2015, at the very beginning, your aunt passed away. You miss her dearly. It’s not fair that such a wonderful and loving person suffered from pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer for 15+ years. It’s not fair that such an angel was taken from this world way too early. That loss will shape your heart and soul for the year to come.

In 2015, you had your heart broken when someone you wanted to be with more than anything kept talking to you and you had to be the one to pull the plug. It was painful. You’ve spent countless hours missing him and wishing he could have made a different choice. But you did what you had to do.

In 2015, you made a huge mistake. You did something wrong. You tried your hardest to do the right thing, after the fact, and make him pick you. He didn’t pick you. It’s for the better, really. He is stuck in an unhappy relationship and you are single and free. You learned and grew just like he told you to, even though, at the time, you rejected his words.

In 2015, you had a horrible roommate. A roommate who blames you for everything and takes advantage of you in unbelievable ways. You spoke your mind and you tried your hardest but in the end you chose to get the landlord involved. This was a very hard decision and it did not come lightly. After everything that has happened you didn’t want to hurt said roommate since she is also (was) your friend. You don’t deserve to come home every day and feel miserable or to go to work exhausted daily because she woke you up or you woke up 500 times in the night worried that you might get woken up. It’s very important that you put your foot down because no one deserves to get treated how she has been treating you.

In 2015, you took several risks. You applied for a new job and were finally able to leave a job that you had been miserable at for years and years. You’ve been at your new job for two months now, and things are only improving. You have a great boss who you can talk to and several very supportive coworkers. You also took a risk at the end of the year and made a life-changing decision. There are no guarantees about any of it, but you’re ready to move mountains, and that’s what’s important.

In 2015, you became moody for months and months and spent a lot of time coloring and watching tv. You became reunited with watercolor painting and yoga and learned how to spend more time doing the things you love. You took several breaks from writing, missing it the whole time, but not quite knowing how to get back into it. You went rock climbing for the first time, ever, despite your fear of heights and you ran your second 5k, alone and in the rain. In 2015 you checked out several library books, multiple times, and forgot to read them. Your overdue library fines were over $5.00.

In 2015, you finally realized that you are fine just the way you are. You finally realized that being single is okay and it is actually more desirable than being with someone who is absolutely horrible to you. You are better off alone if someone is not willing to move mountains alongside you. Being happy with yourself is a hundred times more rewarding than being in an unhappy relationship. You finally accepted that it gets better. It took so many tiny baby steps but you are here and you are ready for the next chapter to begin.

In 2016, you’re going to take more risks. You’re going to go on dates and put yourself out there romantically. You’re going to hopefully make the biggest decision of your career in the next few weeks, but it will be okay, no matter how it turns out. In 2016 you’re going to run more, do more yoga, and paint your heart out until you can’t stop yourself anymore. You’re going to actually read the books you check out from the library, even if it takes you weeks at a time. In 2016, you’re going to write. You’re going to write so much you practically will have a novel. Mostly, in 2016, you’re going to keep loving yourself and keep surrounding yourself with positive, inspiring people. You are absolutely, positively, more than ready to move some mountains.

Love,

me

napkin.

It finally happened. It really did. That moment, above all other moments that potentially might give me some hope.

And it was all thanks to a wedding and a napkin.

That’s right, a napkin.

You see I have the wonderful side job of being a DJ Assistant to a good friend of mine. I help lift a lot of crap, set up, take down, and stand there, keeping my DJ company. I also, however, end up talking to a lot of people throughout the night.

Yes, I am that person who lets people know that we cannot play the macarena, for the 100th time, because the bride has placed it on the “do not play list”. I am also the person who assures the drunk aunt or mother-in-law, that yes, in fact, we have already played that song by journey, and no I don’t think the bride will like it if we play it again.

I am then that person who also asks the bride if she will let us play that song again, and sometimes she is so drunk that she does not mind. I also am the person who gets approached by old men who mime whipping me and then request “the whip” song. I am that person who has to tell you that we won’t be able to play your request, or that your request is coming up, or do you like another song by that artist instead?

That has been my life on Saturdays for the past two summers, and it is always an interesting time.

However, last weekend, got a little bit more interesting.

We were working a smaller wedding in a sketchy nearby city in a sketchy neighborhood in a building that smelled of old, stale cigarette smoke. The floor was peeling and the bartenders would have greatly benefited from some lessons in customer service and basic manners (but I guess that’s a story (rant) for another time.)

As the wedding started, it became clear that the small wedding party had no idea what was going on, for the most part. I accepted my new role as usher with grace, and got everyone down the aisle successfully, mostly. The bride and groom said yes and exchanged vows and rings and kissed etc. etc. Everything was good.

I have had some odd requests at weddings but this guy was different. He was really bent on making the guests do a circle dance to celebrate the unity of his two friends. I worked with him and made it happen, even when the groom began giving my DJ friend “What the fuck” looks towards the end of the circle dance.

After the dance, I didn’t think I would see him again, but I did. He came up to me several times, his drunkeness heading towards wasted each time, his kindness radiating towards me. He asked me about what my necklace meant (it’s a horseshoe that was given to me when I was having a hard time and my friend thought I could use some luck) and if I was Irish. I am no more Irish than my cat is, but it was a good segway into some more conversation.

At the end of the night he came up to me and said he had really enjoyed meeting me and that maybe we could get some coffee sometime. I suggested that it might be a possibility and in my best flirty tone (which probably just sounded incredibly awkward) told him that I might end up coming to visit him at work sometime, he works in the mall nearby. That’s what I left it at.

He had other plans. I contemplated going up to him and asking him for his phone so I could put my number into it. I strongly considered it, but as I have had terrible luck with men lately, I sat there and pondered it until it was time to take down the equipment.

In the midst of it all, his friend came up to me and handed me a crumpled up napkin.

“I was told to give you this.” She told me, then smiled and walked away.

I opened it in the car later and my friend and I could not stop laughing.

He had given me his Facebook info and email address, no phone number.

“I was wondering if you would want to get coffee sometime. No expectations.”

That’s all it said. We got a good laugh out of it, stalked the shit out of him on Facebook and then I proceeded to add him as a friend.

By the next day, he had accepted my request. It’s been about 4 or 5 days, and that’s all that has happened. I don’t know what the next step will be, for me, and I don’t know if he will message me or anything. I don’t even know if I will message him. I really don’t even know if anything will come out of it. All I know is, whether we end up meeting for coffee, it’s nice to be noticed and to be flirted with.

And there aren’t many things that feel as nice as getting a message on a napkin.

touch.

Relationships of the current era (my generation in particular) have completely lost their touch. Relationships have completely lost all meaning, all purpose, all common courtesies and functionalities. People have become so self-centered that they will fight it completely until it destroys them.

I happen to, sometimes, be one of those self-centered individuals who doesn’t pick the right person to have a functional relationship with. It happens time and time again to me. Crushing on married men, wanting to be with guys who are emotionally unavailable, pushing myself towards guys who show little to no interest. I can’t help but learn these bad habits from myself and others around me.

I grew up being told to marry for money. I was often told to marry someone out of a different ethnic background, someone who comes from a background that is stereotypically well-off or power hungry and therefore would be able to support me financially. I was very confused about what true love was since there were so many adults around me that seemed unhappy in their romantic relationships.

I grew up in the generation where we watched Disney movies obsessively for hours and hours. I grew up believing in both Prince Charming and that I would probably need to marry for money. I grew up believing that you either have to pick money or true love. My generation was taught to take and take and take but never to give, never to be polite, and never to show chivalry. I grew up with parents who had grown up with so little and whose parents had had even less. I grew up being told to appreciate what I have each and every day.

I don’t think we always remember that. There were harder times. There were times where people didn’t know where their next meal was going to come from. Granted, there are people today who still live like that, but I think the majority of our worries are much more trivial. what did that person just post on Facebook? how am I going to find anything to wear? who is spreading rumors about her? how many calories are in a serving of fudge? how many drinks can I have tonight?

People, grow up. Stop sleeping around and learn to be better people. Stop jumping into new relationships when your current one dies. It’s okay to be single for a while. It’s okay to only worry about you for a while. It’s okay to worry about the future or starving people in Africa or women’s rights or other important issues. It’s okay to focus on yourself, learn new hobbies or spend time with just you and your friends. You don’t have to spend every waking moment trying to impress someone. It’s not okay to let someone repeatedly hurt you. It’s not okay to settle for someone who has cheated because let’s face it, they will cheat again.

It’s not okay to settle for someone who physically hurts you, belittles you, or tells you that they are in love with someone else. It’s not okay to settle for someone who will slam the door at 3 am when everyone is trying to sleep. It’s not okay to settle for someone who gets mad when you don’t feel like having sex with them. It’s not okay to settle for someone who wants you to change anything about you whether it’s the things you like to do or the size of your pants. It certainly is not okay to settle for someone who moves across the world without a backwards glance or someone who thinks it’s okay to dance or flirt with others while you are in a relationship. It’s not okay to settle for someone who does many things that make you uncomfortable.

It’s hard enough to just be yourself in this day and age without your significant other being a complete douchebag. I will always say never settle. Relationships need to get their touch back. We need to learn how to treat each other better and stop being so selfish. Open doors for people. Ask people how they are doing. Genuinely thank people. Enjoy being single. Try new things, within reason. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Learn to think about your mistakes for a while instead of jumping onto the next person. Being alone is okay. And for god’s sake, if you find that person who is willing to treat you like a diamond, treat them like a diamond back! The way you treat people is contagious and says a lot about who you are. If you want to attract good people in your life, be good.

Live alone for a while. Never settle for anyone who cheats or lies or takes without giving. Learn to love yourself and be present with the other important people in your life. We need to take back relationships. We need relationships to get back their touch so that people can begin believing in Prince Charming again, and, believing in themselves.

words.

There are 27 letters that make up the English language. This gives us an infinite combination of words that we are able to string together and infinite possibilities to combine these combinations of words into infinite sentences. These sentences can convey many predisposed sentiments.

To make someone proud. To make someone hurt. To express the feeling of being hurt. To make someone smile. To make someone jump up and down. To make someone throw their cell phone across the room out of anger. To spread joy to others.

Just a few letters or words are the difference between doing the right thing or messing up entirely. Or, letting go or staying stuck in one place. The meaning you convey could potentially make someone stay, or cause them to go.

The problem is, when you are typing or saying what you feel, sometimes the words come out all wrong. After all, there are infinite possibilities to say what you need to say. The other problem is, the person who interprets what you’ve said has feelings and words of their own.

The problem is, once you’ve said the wrong thing one time, chances are they aren’t going to let you take it back.

The problem is, that once you’ve messed up one time, they might get it in your head that you’re going to keep messing up.

Humans make mistakes. Humans don’t always get it right. Humans definitely don’t always say the right things. That’s okay. We are far from perfect, and that, I think, is one of the things that makes us so extraordinary.

You can miss that person with all of your heart. You can regret the one time that you got really angry and because you were angry the words came out all wrong. You were just trying to tell the person that the anger was inside of you, not them. You were just trying to tell them that you needed to calm down because you were seeing red from all the stress you were under.

You can wish that the person will someday come back to you. You can pray for them, every night and think about them, every day. You can continue to make the same mistakes over and over, keep trying to tell them how you feel with different words and combinations of sentences, but once they’ve made up their mind to let you go, that is a very hard thing to come back from.

When you finally choose to stop the words, when you finally stop saying what you feel, then your heart can finally be just a little more free.

The biggest problem is, that even though you’ve stopped the words from coming out, you’ve stopped repeating over and over how you feel, the words are still stuck in your heart and soul, and every fiber of your being.

You have more control now. You are holding the words in and not letting them go. No matter how hard it hurts, no matter what distance you have to go before you realize you are okay and that it’s okay to love someone who doesn’t love you back. Just, love yourself more.

lessons.

During the past year (or so) I have learned a lot of things and had to grow up pretty quickly, more than I thought could be possible. I just wanted to share with you..

Random Ramblings’ 30 Lessons of the Mid Twenties

(1) Chivalry is only dead if we let it be so.

(2) Never settle for less than what you deserve in any aspect of your life, whether it be career, relationship, friendships, etc.

(3) Tequila shots are very dangerous, not delicious at all, and may result in you puking all over your hair, floor, and bedding.

(4) The only person who can fight for you is YOU. You may have the support from others, but in the end, all you really have is yourself.

(5) An unhappy career is much worse than a failed relationship.

(6) Meeting people online will always be extremely creepy.

(7) You should never take your youth for granted. It will be gone before you know it.

(8) The people you text when you are drunk are probably the people you have feelings for. If they don’t text you when they are drunk then they probably don’t return the feelings.

(9) If someone is meant to be in your life and you set them free they will eventually come back. Nine times out of ten they will come back when it’s too late for them and you are already in a better place. It will always be their loss.

(10) If someone is too chicken to work on a relationship, then that’s their problem, not yours.

(11) Most people are going to constantly disappoint you. It’s the family and friends who rarely do that are worth keeping around.

(12) Freedom isn’t free. There is always a cost.

(13) Your actions will always have consequences, whether good or bad. The trick is to act and not be stagnant. Not acting leads to your life moving forward without you.

(14) Cheaters are not good friends, partners, or people. Get that negative energy out of your life before it consumes you to the point of drowning.

(15) The more you say “I can’t” the more you won’t be able to do anything.

(16) It is okay to shop moderately. It’s when you can’t go a week without shopping that it is a problem.

(17) Shopping, unfortunately, will always be a simple way to relieve stress.

(18) Avoiding the problem will not make it go away.

(19) Honesty, no matter how difficult, is always the best policy. People who lie, cheat, steal, and hurt and try to get away with it will meet a very nasty end. If you mess up, deal with it in the most honest way that you know how.

(20) People who are too chicken to face their problems or faults will almost always end up alone.

(21) Life is too short not to have adventures as often as you can. Travel, dance, sing, climb mountains, drink with friends. Whatever your adventure is, just do it.

(22) Setting goals means nothing if you don’t try your hardest to meet them. If you don’t meet them, that’s okay, at least you are trying.

(23) Men and women will probably never see eye to eye completely. That’s okay if you’re willing to work at it.

(24) The easy way out is never going to result in anything good.

(25) The level of success is only measured by all the hard work it took to get there.

(26) A guy who sends an unwanted dick pic is unwanted material for your life. Get out and move on.

(27) Coming home to a made bed (even if it’s made poorly) will always be worth the five seconds it takes to pull up your covers in the morning.

(28) If you have the chance to try something new like rock climbing, do it, even if heights are absolutely terrifying. Face your fears whenever you can.

(29) Keep friends with positive energy around you. Get rid of the ones who drag you down, even if it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.

(30) There is NOTHING more important in your life than keeping in touch with your family. Don’t let them slip away and don’t ever keep them in the dark.

ridiculousness.

The complete ridiculousness that is life. The feeling you get when you are with a group of people and yet feel completely alone.

The guy who you thought was cute is hitting on your friend who has 3 guys already interested in her and you have no one. It’s so insulting that it becomes comical.

Across the club, your ex boyfriend hanging out along the wall, standing there alone, watching you while his friend flirts with a woman.

When you come out of the bathroom, there are whispers “it’s her, it’s her.” You can hear them. So you do the awkward thing of course, and hug the friend and ignore the cheating, betraying asshole. But the group of guys you are with followed you and the other girls to the bathroom, making you stuck 4 feet away from your ex boyfriend.

The crack in your windshield that you’ve been meaning to fix along with the broken speedometer. Then your car won’t start and it’s suddenly time to maybe have to purchase a new car.

Waking up on a Saturday morning and watching TV for hours before getting out of bed to have breakfast because your car won’t start and you can’t go anywhere without walking. It will impede your shopping addiction but it really gets in the way of your errands like grocery shopping or picking up your prescription.

The guy your drunk friend was trying to force you to talk to because “you have so much in common because he loves cats. he has five cats!”

The constant opportunities for jobs that you are turned down from but not given any reason other than “you are not a good fit.” No helpful feedback; not even an interview. They think they know everything about you from a cover letter and a resume.

The place that does want to interview you but when you outline your schedule to make a time, they don’t get back to you and then it’s too late.

The coffee spilled all over your khaki-colored trench coat jacket that says “dry clean only” but you are too stubborn and you clean it yourself and now it probably will be permanently stained. You could try and bring it to the dry cleaner but you have no way to get there now.

The yoga teacher who you enjoyed for restorative yoga who is a complete grumpy, judgmental jerk when you actually try a yoga class that is more challenging. “You did really well for this being your first time doing yoga.” No, this is not your first time doing yoga. Did she notice how you knew most of the poses and did not fall down.

The fact that you are trying, despite all of this ridiculousness, to find out who you are and you keep feeling more lost each time you try. You want to paint, to write, to meet people. You want to manage your time better and not spend 4 hours watching TV on a Saturday morning. You want to stop spending all of your money on clothes when you are stressed out.

There’s nothing you can do but laugh at all the ridiculousness. If you keep focusing on the negativity, it’s going to eat you away more than it already has. It’s time to cut the crap. It’s time to fight for yourself because you’re the only one who can see yourself exactly as you are, and exactly as you want to be, somewhere down the road.

regret.

People often ask me if I regret my relationship with my ex.

The answer, honestly, is no. He was the love of my life. He was my best friend. I was completely blind to all of his abusive tendencies, faults, and lies. Absolutely oblivious.

I don’t regret the first year and a half, or so, of our relationship. He was a great boyfriend in the beginning when he was attempting to “woo” me. He held my hand through an immense deal of pain that was caused by my previous ex boyfriend (That- my friends- is another long story, but a major lesson in why no one should ever date their coworkers). So yes, for that first year and a half, I was blissfully happy. I was in love. Straight up, head over heels, talk on the phone until five am even though you have class or work in the morning, true love.

I didn’t know it in my previous relationships, but that has been the only time in my life where I really have experienced true love. From the moment we kissed, everything in my past relationships seemed trivial, like a badly timed joke.

I do regret one huge part of my past with this horrendous ex: staying with him when he chose to go to teach English in a foreign country.

When you have something that is so true, so wonderful, you oftentimes don’t want to let it go. I should have let him go. He chose to go abroad, and I should have chosen to end it.

When six months into the trip rumors floated back to the United States that he was cheating, sparked by his sister, I chose to stay with him. When he continued to blame not talking to me or responding to my emails on a faulty internet connection and his Skype not working properly, or on myself, I still chose to stay with him. When he continued to call me fat, belittle me in public, and be mean and petty during tiny arguments, I stayed.

I was being torn apart from the inside out, and yet, I stayed with him. I can’t even explain why I did this to myself, to this very day.

Skip backwards in time to one of the last times we went out drinking before he left for Europe. We were having that awkward relationship discussion that we kept avoiding. The way he said things caused me to get triggered and have the one panic attack I’ve ever had in my entire life. He didn’t come after me when I ran away, completely panicking.

I hid behind a shack. When I was done panicking, I called him and asked him where he was. He had not come to look for me. He had called up his buddies and was drinking with them at a bar on the other side of town.

That’s my regret. We should have been over and done with in that moment. No one deserves to have a panic attack alone, behind a shed, in the middle of the rain when their boyfriend is only a block away and didn’t have the human decency to chase after them. I regret not going back and saying to him “if our relationship is not that big of a deal to you that you can’t say whether or not you care if we stay together when you go abroad, then we should be done.”

But I didn’t. I experienced almost another whole year of his torture. I experienced the rumors of him cheating six months in, and then the actual evidence that he was cheating, about eight months after that.

I hope that good people out there never go through what I went through. I hope that if you are reading this blog and someone you love is calling you names like fat or what have you and not supporting you the way you deserve to be supported that you end it. Someone who does that to another human being is not worth staying with. Someone who completely denies that they are cheating on you even when their sister has told other people that they are is not worth your time.

Someone who refuses to compromise with you and teach English in a mutually agreed upon country, or walks away when you are in the middle of a panic attack is not worth the pain.

I regret not sticking up for myself in that moment. Yes, it’s hard when you are having a panic attack to formulate the right words to convey your emotions, your feelings. I don’t regret what this feeling of regret has taught me. I was able to find the strength in me to break up, even though he was being a pussy and couldn’t do it himself, even though he chose to cheat and have a relationship with someone else and lie about it.

I’m trying to turn my regret into something productive. I’m trying to help others so that no one else will feel the pain that I have felt. I am trying to better my relationships with my friends, family, and myself so that some day, I can let the door open for a new relationship and I will be able to stand up for myself when I am being wronged.

fear.

She shudders. She waits. She tells herself it is all in her head. In her mind, she knows this to be true. It feels real. It feels like it is presently happening. To her. She can’t control it. She can’t avoid it. She can’t get out.

The room becomes smaller and smaller. The windows are shut. The lights are off and nobody else is home. She can feel the air running out. She can feel her lungs struggling with each and every breath.

When it comes to this moment- the decision to fight or flight– she chooses neither. She chooses nothing. She chooses to ignore the problem and hope that it goes away. It does not stop. No matter what she does, how loud she thinks that she is screaming. She can pray. She can sing softly to herself. Nothing matters, nothing works.

Then, it is as if hands clasp around her neck. The hands begin to tighten their hold on her neck. The hands allow her to still breathe, yet reduce the amount of air.  This causes her breaths to be shorter, to quicken. This causes panic inside of her body. This causes her to feel as if she is choking.

She has to keep reminding herself that she is not really choking. She is not really in this tiny room, either. She is not all alone, although it usually feels that way. She is in a dream reliving a horrible fear. She can’t do anything to stop it when it creeps up upon her. She can’t let go of the pain and then it begins to choke her.

If only the pain was not real, either. She could emasculate the pain. She could create new memories and the old ones would become invisible. The feelings of choking might subside. The feelings of not being able to get out might dissipate. She does not know how to control it. She does not understand the way her mind works. She is aware that it’s all in her head. That it is only the beginning.