My Big Bro

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Meet my big brother. His name is Dalton. Today is his 23rd birthday.

Dalton and I are 18 months apart. A lot of people feel that when kids are close in age, they will be close in general. In our case, these people could not be more wrong. My mother claims we were the bestest friends as little kiddos, but once we started school all that changed.

Besides having different favorite things, he and I just went in different directions. I took the path of education: I loved everything about school; learning, friends, clubs, advancement. Dalton on the other hand just wanted to make it to the end of the day (mainly through sleeping lol!). I chose to go to college and he chose to get a full-time job. I am into reading, writing, scrapbooking…. he is into cars, mudding, and alcohol.

For a while my brother and I did not get along. We lived in the same house, but it was as if we didn’t. There were weeks where we wouldn’t see or speak to each other at all. We had just changed so much and I felt that I didn’t like or understand the person he was becoming. I was in a weird place myself, but I mostly kept it to myself, where he likes to publicize how he feels. If you were around last year, you may remember my post about my brother being an ass. I am not proud of that post, but I am all about honesty and he really scared me that night.

I am happy to say that Dalton and I have come a long way in our relationship. I am not going to lie, we are still not best friends or anything, but we can [normally] get through dinner without a fight. We are still headed in different directions, but I hope we will both continue to grow together instead of apart.

Love is patient.
-1 Corinthians 13:4

Another Year Gone

Change

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 21 years old and it seems so surreal. As I wait for the strike of midnight to go out for my first legal drink, I started thinking about where I was at this point last year. This blog chronicles my life up until my 20th birthday almost day by day, but it is crazy to go back and look at how things have changed.

Last year, I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be. I was busy battling what I believed, deciding on my definition of being good, and making all the mistakes I never did in my teens. I won’t lie, it was a pretty monumental time for me that set up the person I am now. I drank and partied and laughed and made memories. As many would be disappointed if they knew what I had been up to and some would disapprove; I wouldn’t change dealing with that for anything.

As tomorrow arrives I am curious as to who will show up to wish me a good birthday. I have lost some best friends since last year and made some amazing new ones. Part of me feels like those friendships aren’t completely over, but if they remember my birthday or send me a simple ‘happy birthday’ I will know our friendship is not dead. I am crossing my fingers that I still have something to work with and time has helped heal our wounds.

But either way, I have been looking forward to tomorrow for weeks now. I have a small two drink thing for midnight with a few best friends, church in the morning, lunch with my family, and then dinner plus party with my friends for the night! It should be a fabulous day filled with fun, smiles, laughter, and silliness. I am so excited and it cannot get here fast enough.

Let’s hope that year 21 treats me better than year 20, but that I learn just as much!

❤ Lauren

Puzzle Piece

The most basic human desire is to feel like you belong. -Simon Sinek

A big puzzle. That is how I picture my family. Every person is a different piece and then somehow we all fit together. Except sometimes I feel like my piece doesn’t fit.

There is no denying that I belong to this family, because I am practically a spitting image of my father with my mom’s hair and coloring. Boom, proof they are mine. That physical proof doesn’t lie, but there are so many other things about me that make me feel like the odd man out.

I like love reading. I write to express myself. I am chill. I am fairly quiet unless I feel comfortable. None of them enjoy any of that. I don’t mind being different, but sometimes it is hard not being able to relate to them. This makes being around them (especially all at once) very difficult for me.

There are times when I feel like my piece was accidentally thrown into their box and they don’t know what to do with me. Like I am an outsider trying so hard to fit into the one place I am supposed to belong. They don’t necessarily treat me like I am different or love me any less, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see it anyway.

❤ a girl

I am one of “those” girls.

 

long distance 6Until last night, I never realized there was a stigma placed on girls who are ok with long distance relationships. Even on girls who are “talking” to a guy who doesn’t live near them. That this was considered a negative thing.

Obviously, I realize that long distance is not for everyone. But to put all of the girls who are outwardly not against it into a box is wrong.

Last night I met up with a co-worker to give him my microwave, because he needed one for his dorm. He asked if we could meet up at Whataburger and grab a bite to eat. I was not opposed to this, because we were friends. He, on the other hand, was under the impression this was some kind of date, but I politely declined his offer to pay for me. Everything was normal at first; we were just talking about school and work, nothing out of the ordinary for a friendly conversation.

Then it took a turn into discussing how his faith reflected his lifestyle. That was strange, but not so weird until he decided to play the “you have no experience therefore you can have no opinion” card. After asking me how many boys I have dated, how many boys I have kissed, how many boys I… (you get the picture) well the answer was none to all of these questions. When he asked — are you currently talking to someone — and I said yes, he looked at little shocked and I grew a little reluctant to continue this conversation.

He wanted to know who and I said that he didn’t live around here and he laughed, actually laughed!, and proceeded to say that I was “one of those girls”. Excuse me, but what does that mean exactly? Well, according to him, girls who choose to pursue long distance relationships are shallow in the fact that they like guys who live far away, because these guys come across more perfect than guys who are in close proximity to them. That by not being able to see how they interact with those around them and inquire with others who know this person, the girl does not know his flaws or what others think, therefore he is more appealing.

Let me just stop and call bullshit on this entire thing!

I am still in shock that he had the audacity to say this to me, but I suppose I have to appreciate his opinion even if I disagree with him. Honestly, I understand his point, but I also don’t think that every girl thinks this way. I believe that every situation is different and you cannot lump them all together. I am also curious what his definition of “talking” or “relationship” is. I can truthfully say that I know plenty (if not most) of my guy’s flaws and hang-ups. We don’t just flirt back and forth or talk about pointless stuff; we ask hard, deep, and meaningful questions.

I was also shocked that he mentioned not knowing what others think. For me, I don’t care what others think. I am not pursuing a relationship with someone for other people, so what do their opinions have anything to do with it. You can’t judge a person based on someone else’s thoughts. If I like talking with him, if he makes me laugh, if he makes me feel special, if he listens to me, if I can see a future with us… then yes, eventually he will meet my family and friends, but their opinion does not determine my feelings and shouldn’t justify whether he is worth it in my eyes.

But plenty of people are in relationships with people in close proximity to them and they barely see or talk to them anyway… so it just depends on who you are as a person, who they are as a person, and what you are looking for. It definitely is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that everyone it is for should be judged.

❤ a girl

My Girl, Elephant.

best friendFriendship is a funny thing.

It’s funny, because there are so many levels to it, but there are also so many types of people. There are those people who can make friends with anyone. There are those people who can’t seem to make a friend to save their life. There are those people who call everyone their best friends, therefore the word loses it’s meaning. There are those people who have a gazillion acquaintances, but only a handful of friends.

I fall in line with those people who have a bunch of acquaintances, a few close friends, a best friend, and a soulmate.

My soulmate is my utter opposite. She is crazy, risky, and the life of the party. I can assure you I am not those things. We met when I got my job at the beginning of last school year. For months we were just coworkers who would exchange a hello or a smile, but then in November she slid her number to me and said I should call her sometime. It was so funny to me, because who does that; especially when you aren’t interested in that person. Well, now I realize that is just her personality. I added her number, but didn’t call her.

Next time we worked together she asked if I wanted to adopt an Angel Tree kid with her for Christmas. It was such an odd yet sweet thing for a broke college student who is barely your friend to ask, but I couldn’t turn her down. I didn’t have very many friends at school yet, so I figured what the heck. After work, we drove to the mall to adopt our child and shop for her. After spending all of five minutes at the mall with her, I realized that she was just as quirky as me and this friendship might have been meant to be.

Little by little she started opening up to me about her family, her relationship, and her background. There were so many differences, yet quite a few similarities. I thought it was so weird that she liked spending time with me, because at the time she was a proud Atheist and I was an open Christian. She is fashionable, I am simple. She is a party animal, I am in bed by 10 o’clock. Well none of that mattered to her. I was a person worth getting to know.

Although we have only been friends for about 8 months, I feel like I have known her my whole life. She stood by me while I began to question my faith. She encouraged me to try new things. She took me to my first party and watched over me as I drank for the first time. She has never once judged me.

Well now it is my turn. My soulmate has become a stripper. There are lots of things she does that I don’t approve of (and I am open about it), but this one is pretty darn close to the top of the list. I am not a supporter of this industry, but it is something she has always wanted to do. She likes it. She makes money. She doesn’t plan to do it forever. She stood by my side as I ventured out into unknown territory, so I will stand by her side as she does the same.

Our relationship continues to crack me up. She is a stripper with a long-term boyfriend; I am a virgin who has never had a boyfriend. She is a party animal who can’t take a shot; I have been to three parties and can do shots all night long. She is sure of herself; I question everything. But I would be lying if I didn’t say we make the best team when we are together full of honesty, laughter, and obnoxious singing!

To be cliche, she is my person in every way and I am so grateful for her, because everyone needs that one best friend!

❤ a girl