A Clean Slate Is What I Need.

I started blogging back in the fall of 2013 when I went off to college. It was scary moving to a new state and being seven hours away from everything familiar to me. Instead of having an amazing experience like most who leave for college, I grew very sad and lonely, so I threw myself into reading. I would read all the time, so I was making my way through more books than ever before and I so desperately wanted someone to discuss them with. This led to The Bittersweet Bookworm; my first blog ever. It started as a book blog and then morphed into a just all around review blog.

Eventually I grew bored of it, but for no reason in particular. So I brainstormed what I wanted to do differently. I thought using a pseudonym would be more fun, so Passionate for Paperbacks, my next blog strictly dedicated to books, was created. Sadly, I lost interest in this blog only after two months. Having a strict book blog is hard work!

Throughout the last couple years, I have created multiple blogs for different things, but they all end up being the same thing. There was Footprints of an Opinionated Ginger, Oh! It’s Lo., Books & Bliss, and Escaping the Raincloud. But for some reason I am never satisfied.

This past February I was going through a hard time and really changing, so one night I just needed to vent to someone who didn’t know me personally, so Just a Precious Penny was born. I loved it and it has been my outlet ever since. I started out anonymous, but little by little I opened up by posting photos of myself and adding my name at some points. I was able to express myself without feeling judged. I wrote about my wavering faith, my friendships, my “making mistakes on purpose” phase, my fears, my insecurities, and my confusing relationship.

I have made some amazing friends through this blog and have grown so much. Through your support and encouragement, I no longer feel like the only person in the world who has these thoughts, feelings, and fears. BUT this blog is secret from my friends, family, and anyone who actually knows me in real life. I so desperately want to express my feelings with no shame to the people in my life, but there are posts on here that I don’t want them to see, but I also don’t want to delete them, because what I wrote on here was true and raw and a tribute to what I was feeling. In the past few months so much of this blog was dedicated to a certain someone I no longer want to think about, to my frustration, sadness, and confusion in relation to this situation. As silly as it sounds, I associate this space with that, so I am finding it hard to grow in my writing, because it is such a reminder.

I want a place that is all mine for growth, venting, truth, excitement, thoughts, feelings, opinions, creativity, and recollection. 

So (yep, you guessed it lol!) I have created a new space for all of the above mentioned. It will be a blank space, clean slate, new canvas. I can start over. This new space won’t have any ties to the negativity that has bogged me down for so long. I want to begin again with a new mentality!

I don’t want to leave y’all behind, because I appreciate y’all so incredibly much and I love getting to know you, so I am going to continue to follow your journeys. If you can forgive me for all of the new blogs I create and leave, I would like very much to continue growing with you in my new space.


 

Beautifully Bowman is where I will be expressing myself publicly to my fellow bloggers, friends, family, and all people who know me. It will be a challenge and an adventure to convey my feelings and thoughts with confidence and without shame, but I am excited to begin!

I, Lauren Bowman, have been the girl identifying with each and every one of you. I started out as a girl struggling with self-love, self-confidence, and self-worth; I am still a girl who struggles, but I want to be a girl who struggles openly and confidently. I am a girl who can proudly say she isn’t perfect, but also that I don’t need to be. I am beautiful and strong with flaws, fears, and weaknesses that do not define me!

So I cannot wait to keep growing with y’all in my space that has yet to be tainted.

Hope Soars High to Fall Short

Lauren, don’t get your hopes up. I am happy for you, but I don’t want to see you get hurt. These were the words I heard or read in some way or another after I told select few friends that I had finally heard back from him.

Of course I assured them all that I was just excited to hear something and that I was going to wait and see how it plays out. Lie. The second I received the first reply I was already done for. My mind was filled with conversations, laughs, smiles, possible reunion of sorts. I had so much hope that everything would go back to normal and be better again. Ha!

I was sifting through my drafts and came across this letter I wrote back on October 20th:

Dear you,

Will you still want me when you come back

and read what I have been going through?

Will you still think I am worth it?

Will you still think I am special?

Will you still think I am just right?

I hope so.

I still want you.

I still think you are worth it.

I still think you are special.

I still think you are the right amount.

Normal is boring anyway.

Or so you always say.

❤ a girl

As it turns out, I believe I already have my answer to these questions.

No. No. No. No.

As painful as it is to accept these no’s, it amazes me how different I feel now. I am becoming accustomed to the silent treatment. There are phases to this: I was in denial I suppose, bundling myself up in hope and faith, but now I am moving to the anger stage. Every time I see that my message has been read and ignored, it pisses me off as opposed to springing tears to my eyes.

I think I will always have a soft spot in my heart when it comes to him, but I have to let my relentless hope go. My friends were right to warn me that this would happen even though I didn’t listen, but I think I am officially ready to say goodbye. I can’t continue to accept this kind of treatment for myself.

The quote: “If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.” keeps coming to mind. I told him that I would fight for him, that I wasn’t done, but I can’t fight for someone who doesn’t want to be fought for. I can’t be attached to any more one-sided relationships. They don’t build me up; they only break me down over and over again. I just can’t handle it and honestly I shouldn’t have to.

I stand by the second half of that letter. Those weren’t lies, but I cannot continue to be as invested as I was. He has to make an effort and step up, because I am worthy of much more than the nothing I am receiving. I have to stand up for myself.

So this is goodbye.

❤ a girl

Aretha Said It Best

respect - Edited

The norms in this world really sadden me. This whole “Netflix and chill” phase just makes me ache for older times when respect and patience was valued. I long for a time when guys came to the door to pick you up or asked for your father’s permission or actually had a date planned out. 

How I have been treated for the past month has really made me sick to my stomach. Remember the guy from the bus and how nice that date was? That was all that was nice about that. From the next day on he would only contact me late at night, ask me if I  was “down to cuddle”, and would ignore me for weeks at a time. I should have anticipated this when he was adamant about getting my snapchat the first day he met me, but I was trying to be open-minded.

A couple days into “talking” (although I would barely call it that), he asked me if I had the opportunity to kiss him, would I? Blatantly, I said no and he obnoxiously sent me a couple crying emojis which was quite weird, but I explained that I am not a physical person and that I don’t just go around kissing random people. Then I had to say no when he asked to come over in the middle of the night. He proceeded to ignore me for the weekend.

He texted me again really late at night literally asking if I wanted to come over, watch Netflix, and chill… I was completely taken aback and refused yet again. I made it very clear that I was not a Netflix and chill kind of girl, because I have values, morals, and respect for myself. He then didn’t contact me for the next week.

At this point I figured he would just leave me alone, but he kept on. On a random Sunday around midnight he snapchatted me a picture of nothing, but the temperature outside. I ignored it. Then I received another one with him claiming he couldn’t sleep. I responded with a picture of nothing and stating why do I care? He then told me that it was cuddling weather. I almost threw my phone across the room. Was this guy really that stupid. No means no. I ignored it, but he pressed on, sending me a message asking if I was down to cuddle. I actually cringed as I typed out no. He then asked me why as if I hadn’t explained three times previously that I was not into being physical in any way. I reiterated what I had already said three or so times. So he then said he was just going to sleep then. Classy.

I was really done dealing with him. He didn’t contact me for another week after that. I was relieved until the next Sunday I received another text from him. It was irritating; I just wanted to be left alone. I asked what he wanted and he wanted to know why I hated him…. ummmm we are not in elementary school!!! I said that I didn’t hate him and he wanted to know if there was still anything going on with us. I said no, because I do not like only being contacted when he wants a late night cuddling session. I felt that my opinions and feelings were not being acknowledged or respected. He then asked me “you wouldn’t wanna come over, have a good time, watch some Netflix, maybe cuddle if it leads to that with me? Just see where things go, relax, and just have a good time. Get to know each other.” DID HE NOT JUST READ WHAT I SAID? So we were back to where we started…

Needless to say this guy was really missing the point. He then asked again why I didn’t want to have fun and see what happens. Honestly, I don’t know why I kept responding; I just had hopes that at some point he would start to understand my point of view. I let him know that I didn’t get why he wasn’t willing to “have fun and see what happens” during the day while doing something. He then says “so would you be comfortable coming over and doing what I suggested earlier?” I said no, that being physical comes later once a relationship is established. (I know other girls might not have these same feelings, but I have made mine extremely clear.) He then asked why AGAIN and told me that I just needed to relax. I told him that I was done arguing, that he either respected me or he didn’t.

He didn’t contact me until yesterday. He wanted to do something, because he was bored. Jerk. I ignored him. Then another one came saying that he was sad we didn’t do something, but that I should text him the next day if I don’t hate him. Seriously. I ignored him. Then today I decided to just make it clear that I was done. I told him not to contact me anymore.

I just couldn’t believe this happened to me. He sought me out on the bus and I was flattered, but now I just feel targeted… I must have come across as a mousy, shy girl who always reads on the bus and that I needed a guy to give me attention. Wrong! I felt violated and uncomfortable towards the end when he wouldn’t leave me alone and accept my answers. He just asked the same thing like he never read what I previously stated. People like that are what anger me about our society.

Where is the respect? Is it really that hard to find a good guy out there?

❤ a girl

Something Borrowed: On the Page vs. On the Screen

At my local used bookstore, I found Emily Giffin’s novel, Something Borrowed, in the clearance section for $1. This was QUITE a steal, because I instantly fell for this book. I finished it in a few days and then ran out to get the movie. As in most cases, I found the book to be significantly better, but both were lots of fun!

something borrowed bookLast summer, I read Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin and wasn’t very impressed, so I was a bit hesitant to pick up another novel by her, not to mention a novel about cheating. BUT I gave in (because it was a dollar!!) and am so glad that I did.

Something Borrowed was a delight to read! The main character, Rachel, literally made me laugh out loud. She was so relatable for any smart, awkward girl, but also I could identify with her, because I have also had multiple best friends who overshadow me and are obnoxious and selfish.

After finishing the book, I decided to read some reviews and was blown away by how many did not like the book. I found it hard to believe they didn’t enjoy it, but was more blown away by the things they said about Rachel and Dex. Most of these reviews were angry with the how things played out, but how could you? The premise of the book is that a woman slept with her best friend’s fiance and then started falling for him…. so that plot is to be expected. I despised the best friend, Darcy. I found her to be an awful friend and a disgustingly self-centered human being. I didn’t like her from the very first page and didn’t feel bad for her in the least.

I’ll be honest, I rooted for Rachel and Dex the entire time. I found him to be handsome and smart and sincere. Yes, he and Rachel were in the wrong and cheating is definitely not something I want to be a part of, but the situation was all kinds of messed up. Yes, Dex should have called it off way sooner, but Darcy wasn’t innocent during this whole debacle which is important to remember.

I really liked the ending (the whole book really!), just swooning and smiling and getting all giddy. I especially loved Ethan and Hillary, who kind of set the friendship into perspective. We all need friends who will just tell it like it is, but also let us make our own decisions.

When you pick up Something Borrowed, you understand the storyline. The back synopsis tells you it is about cheating and a rocky friendship, so don’t act so shocked that it happens. Try and put yourself in Rachel’s shoes… I very much enjoyed this book and will most likely read it again someday!

something borrowed movieThe movie adaptation wasn’t bad, especially for a romantic comedy. The basic plot was the same with some of the finer details left out or changed, but I feel like that really made the movie take a hit, because those were the details that made the book so hilarious.

I felt Ginnifer Goodwin was a PERFECT choice for Rachel, because she plays that innocent, good girl act so well and she is gorgeous! But Kate Hudson was a PERFECT pick for Darcy, because she plays the too-beautiful, obnoxious, best friend character so well (remember Bride Wars?). And Colin Egglesfield was very handsome and very likeable.

One change I had a problem with was the way Marcus and Claire were portrayed. I know I didn’t mention them in the book synopsis, because they weren’t necessarily key characters, but they completely altered their personalities and I found them to be completely unlikeable or relatable and downright ridiculous. They made Marcus into a manchild and someone who Rachel would never go for and they changed Claire into this psycho-obsessive girl… it just didn’t make sense. Ethan, Rachel’s male best friend, was a great add in. In the movie, Ethan’s character was a mix of Ethan and Hillary in the book, but I feel this change really worked. It didn’t really take away from either character and still flowed with the storyline.

If you were to watch it without having read the book, you would probably really like it. Not really one to watch all the time, but it provides a few laughs. It is a fun, guilty-pleasure story, because no one really wants to condone cheating, but in this case you kind of just have to accept it and root for them. Overall, not a bad adaptation.

❤ a girl

1-800-FRIENDS

1800FRIENDS

Hotline: a direct telephone line set up for a specific purpose.

There are hotlines for people who are suicidal, in crisis, depressed, abused, runaways. I think these options are great and I am glad they are out there, but tonight I was feeling a little lonely and I couldn’t help but wish that there was a number I could call to just talk to someone for no reason other than the fact I am in a chatty mood.

So, 1-800-FRIENDS was born. A {imaginary} hotline that anyone can call to just talk about whatever with a “friend”. 

Sometimes it is easier and more fun to talk to a stranger. I love the “getting to know you” stage of friendships, because it is a fresh start and never dull. You don’t yet know everything there is to know about that person, so there are explanations and stories and rants to be had. So imagine you are feeling lonely or chatty one night and all your friends are busy; with the Friends Hotline you could dial and have an available friend pick up to laugh and gab with you.

I haven’t thought out too many details yet, but perhaps when your call goes through you have to pick an age group (so you aren’t a 21 year old female talking to some 45 year old man— unless you are into that I guess lol), but as a way to connect you with someone you could relate to.

Honestly, I am feeling pretty brilliant right about now, but it could very possibly be because of the sleep deprived sugar high I am on. What do you think? Should I become an entrepreneur and somehow create this grand idea?

❤ a girl