In a Year’s Time…

This time last year I was getting out of an awful, unhealthy relationship. My first relationship. It was a hard, eye-opening experience that left me confused and depressed, but it also showed me who I really was and what I really wanted. Through this process, I grew closer to my best gal friend and my best friend turned into the love of my life.

You know how people tell you that difficult or confusing times will turn into stories later on that you can laugh about? Well, I never truly understood that statement until I went through this whole mess. The story of how my best gal friend, my boyfriend, and I became the dynamic three amigos we are now is a fun one, but it was full of confusing and downright messed up twists and turns. As painful as last January and early February was – being broken-up with, spiraling into a depressive episode, and feeling worthless – I wouldn’t trade all the confusion and hurt. For the most part, I pretend like last January never happened. I have struck the happenings of the whole month from my memory, but when I think really hard about it, I am grateful to have had my heart go through such agony, because it showed me the good that was right in front of my face. I knew Jeremiah before choosing to date Q. I tell myself that if I had just said no to Q, I could have been with Jeremiah sooner and would have saved myself all the heartache, but truth be told, I think I would have taken Jeremiah’s goodness for granted had I not experienced being used by Q.

As I was reading through some of my posts from last year, I am appalled at how I let Q get off so easy. He literally used me for company by pretending to be interested in me and then when the guilt finally caught up to him, he couldn’t just admit it, but instead decided to break-up with me and reel me back in three times. It was traumatizing to say the least and really messed with my self-esteem. But as I reflected back, I literally kept saying that I wasn’t angry with him and I didn’t hate him, which I am sure I thought was the correct way to go about it, but I think it would have been okay to claim that I was angry and I did despise him. I said at one point that I would just have to accept that I would always care about him – wrong!I no longer think about him and I definitely do not care about him. And not only is that okay, it is good! It proves that he no longer has a hold over me.

The quote in the image at the top of the page reminded me of this time in my life. This time of trying to regain my confidence after having my heart and mind dragged through the mud. Before Q, I was strong and confident, but afterward I felt betrayed and I felt ashamed that I fell for his tricks. It took time and a lot of patience for me to break out of this shell and to not be fearful of opening up and taking risks. To that I owe a huge thank you to Jeremiah. He was my rock through finding myself, if you will, again. He helped me in ways he will never ever understand, but it was the first time I had felt blind love from someone. Jeremiah didn’t swoop in and try and be my boyfriend, instead he took time to just be there as whatever I needed. He quickly became my best friend and now I love him with every fiber in my being.

In the end, I have come to appreciate slow and messy beginnings. Sometimes the things you think will ruin your life or change who you are, can bring out better things you never imagined!

3 Words & 8 Letters

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Three words. Eight letters. I Love You.

I find the phrase “I Love You” so fascinating! Have you ever actually thought about what this phrase means? Or better yet, what it means to you? Have you ever wondered about the expectations it carries around? Do you toy with the idea of saying it to someone? Do you think about saying it at all?

Before this year, I said “I Love You” to family members and various close friends, but now that I started thinking about it, I realized there were stipulations on those who heard these words from me. I said “I Love You” to my parents as a no-brainer, but I don’t regularly tell my brother that I love him even though I do. Why? I don’t know, but it could be that we do not have a mushy-gushy type of relationship. When it comes to my friends, select few get a “Love You” as I give them a hug goodbye when I know I won’t see them for awhile. I realized that since I cycle through friends so frequently, I don’t say “I Love You” very regularly to those friends I consider close; they have to earn it. Yet I tell my puppy I love her multiple times a day.

It seems as if some love is earned while some is automatic.

But saying “I Love You” comes with a tremendous amount of expectations when used in the romantic world. It is this idea that saying it is a big deal and it has to be the right moment with the right person. Some people think through all this while others just do or don’t, but never consciously think about it. Last year, I talked with Mitten (a boy-interest) every day all the time for about four months. I felt so connected to him, because he listened and talked to me. Yet I never said that I loved him. I dated Carrot for about three weeks or so back in January. I thought we really connected for about a week or two. Yet I never said that I loved him. I never thought about whether I loved them. I never thought about saying that I loved them to draw us closer or fix our relationship. I never thought about whether I should or was supposed to love them. It never crossed my mind. Was it because I knew they weren’t the ones for me? Was it because I didn’t really feel for them? Well I can tell you that I didn’t love either one of those boys and I think it was a good decision that I never made the mistake of using the phrase “I Love You” for any purpose or reason other than to express a feeling.

The first time I ever said “I Love You” to someone who was more than a friend or family was to Penguin. He is my best friend, has been since about December, and we started dating around March. He makes me smile and laugh and drives me absolutely crazy, but I have loved him since the beginning. I loved him because he did more than just try and get my attention; he really listened and understood me! He never made me feel inadequate or insecure. He challenged me and encouraged me. I could go on and on about why I love Penguin, but the thing is that I did not tell him I loved him right off the bat. Did I hold it in because I didn’t want to scare him off? Did I hold it in because I wanted to make sure he felt the same way? Truth is- I never thought about it, shockingly, I never over-analyzed it. One day, I just told him. Ya, I said “it” first and I wasn’t ashamed and it wasn’t weird.

The thing about Penguin and I is that although we have said that we love each other and we both know that love is in the air, we do not say we love each other every time we see each other. We don’t say it every time we say goodbye to each other. We don’t say it every time we call each other. I think what makes that phrase special to us, is that we don’t overuse it. “I Love You” is not a greeting or goodbye for us, it is a sincere feeling that we only say when we are truly feeling it. Yes, we say it when we are being serious and silly, but we never say it just because we know we should or are supposed to.

I think that is important. I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who think about when to say it and who to say it to, but I think you won’t have to when the time and the person is right!

Don’t Flatter Yourself

Strangers With Memories

Last week one of my friends was asking about how Jeremiah and I were doing as a couple. Honestly, he and I are absolutely wonderful. That sounds cheesy and some would brush it off as that first stage in a relationship, but by saying we are absolutely wonderful, I am not saying that we are perfect.

We are both flawed people who have our issues that shine through here and there, but we are also both people who understand the other is flawed. We expect for there to be rough times and disagreements, but that is how we find out if we can work together to work through it. I cherish Jeremiah for his issues and his quirks. I might not always understand them, but I like trying, because through trying, I get to learn more about him and the way he ticks.

Well my friend smiled and said she figured Jeremiah and I had the real thing and claimed she knew we would end up together from the start. Laughing, she told me that some thought he was just a rebound. I asked her who and she was like oh, you know.. really just one person. I didn’t know and she told me Q was claiming Jeremiah was just a rebound from him. Who he was telling, who knows, but who cares. He doesn’t get an opinion about anything. I gave him a chance (only God knows why) and he not only let it go, but pushed me so far away even after multiple chances to redeem himself.

I made a point to make sure my heart and head were in the right place before allowing myself to accept my feelings for Jeremiah. I told him no twice before I decided I was ready, so I would rather someone get the facts before spreading false conclusions. Q is the one who decided he didn’t want me, so he doesn’t get to care about what I do or who I see. I finally took steps to cleanse my room of things of his, because I don’t want to be associated with him anymore.

Jeremiah is amazing, sweet, caring, thoughtful, creative, flawed, and weird, but he is who I want. I can’t even remember ever wanting anyone like I want him. He is my best friend and that is how I always wanted it to be. I smile and laugh so much around him, but he also allows me to cry when I need to. We make an incredible team and I cannot wait to see what is in store for us!

Here’s to choosing not to let false, hurtful words actually hurt us, because it isn’t worth it!

❤ Lauren

No Longer

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Before July my life was simple.

Before July I was that girl who wished for someone to accept her as is and give her the time of day to express herself and show that she was special.

Before July I was that girl who was sad and depressed, because she felt lonely and like no one cared to get to know her.

Before July I was that girl who never did anything not expected of her.

Before July I was that girl who played it safe by never taking any risks or chances.

July.

Because of July I felt accepted, appreciated, and cherished.

Because of July I stepped out of my comfort zone, tried new things, and was open to different perspectives.

Because of July I was sappy, smiley, and chatty.

Because of July I was able to unleash a part of myself I never felt comfortable with.

Because of July I let myself be vulnerable, be hurt.


Before January I was that girl who had never been in a relationship.

Before January I was that girl who was always single and was never pursued.

Before January I was that girl who was afraid of being touched, of letting people get close, of intimacy.

Before January I was that girl who had never kissed, cuddled, or slept over.

Before January I was cautious yet hopeful.

January.

Because of January I felt special, wanted, and attractive.

Because of January I have now kissed, cuddled, and slept over.

Because of January I can no longer identify with the girl who has never been in a relationship.

Because of January my view of love and relationships is skewed and altered.

Because of January I am confused, hurt, and cynical.


Before February I was that girl who was just best friends with a guy.

Before February I was that girl who was lost, confused, and hurt; obsessing over what happened and what went wrong.

Before February I was that girl who would have frowned upon what I am feeling now.

Before February I was that girl who knew what she wanted and would have stood up for it.

February.

Because of February my feelings are all out of whack.

Because of February I am questioning everything.

Because of February I am not sure where I stand in this thing we call friendship.

Because of February I feel I have to contemplate labels and what they mean to me.

Because of February I keep asking what I want, what I feel, and what I think.


Truth is: I just don’t know.

Mixed Feelings

Mixed Feelings

A few days ago when I heard the lyrics about being a certain person for an amount of time, I was feeling pretty over my whole situation. I felt like I finally understood (as much as I could) what happened and was confident that I could move on.

Then last night I got thrown a curve-ball. My friend and I were on our way to Dallas for an art show when she tells me that she had coffee with Q on Friday. I wasn’t necessarily upset, because a) he and I aren’t together anymore and b) they are allowed to be friends, but I was more jealous of the fact that she got to see him and I can’t. She wouldn’t tell me how he was doing besides telling me that he was fine, but that is the worst adjective ever. It just sucks that I care about him so much and now I know all of this stuff he is dealing with and I can’t even grab coffee and see how he is just because I am the ex-girlfriend.

So now I realize that I am not over it, to make matters worse, he texts me that night after I got back from the show. It was so random. He just asked how my weekend was going. This is a good sign that we have the potential to be friends, but it just caught me off guard. I asked how his weekend was going and I find out that he took his dog to the park and went to see Deadpool. This isn’t a big deal either except those were two things we were supposed to do together. It just amazed me that now he has all this time, money, and energy to meet up with friends, get out of the house, and do stuff…… I guess I am more irritated than anything, but it was good to hear from him.

I am still confident I can move on, but I have to understand that I will always care about him, but that doesn’t mean that I like him. At this moment (for the first time ever!) I don’t really want to be asked out, I just want to focus on me and my friendships… if someone wants to flirt with me and engage in witty banter and just be interested in being a good friend of mine, I won’t be opposed, but I just need to get over the other two relationships that are still nagging at me. I totally understand now how life gets so complicated when real feelings become involved.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

❤ Lauren