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!

Turn of Events

Direction

Remember last summer, late fall, and early winter? Remember all I could talk about? Remember everything I complained about? Remember what continually made me so happy and then made me very sad? One boy.

Things did not end so well and answers were not received, because the silence was so loud. A couple days ago the silence ended with an apology and an explanation in its place.

At first I was shocked, but relieved. Maybe we had a chance at being friends, but little by little, I began to feel weird about it. It was great to finally have the answers I once felt I needed, but now I realized that I had left that in the past.

My brain didn’t know how to feel or react, because of all the history. I realized that I did not know how to be friends with him or even if I wanted to be. It sounded good, but I didn’t think I could actually do it.

So today, I did something I never thought I would be able to… I told him I did not think we should be friends. I have Jeremiah now whom I love him with everything in me and I will not do anything that could jeopardize what I have with him.

I feel that we are on the same page and have gone our own ways with no hard feelings. I think this is a good thing and I am ready to move forward.

❤ 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.

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

Thankful For Closure

The crickets are gone!

All of my badgering paid off, because today the silence was replaced with words. Wonderful, wonderful words!!

I couldn’t just give up. Sure, I acted as if I was done. I said I had come to terms with everything. I insinuated that I was moving on. Well this was all untrue. I was still periodically messaging and calling every few days. They all went unanswered until today.

Anytime I am dealing with something confusing, I think about my guy, because he always had a knack for helping me see a little clearer. Well I decided to go at it again, because I desperately needed to hear something. I decided to send an email first, but then I chose to torture myself some more and look at our Facebook messages. He was online, so I took the plunge and sent the most honest message I could muster hoping something would get through.

Then it happened, the little ding that occurred when the person has read your message. My hand started shaking, because this hadn’t happened in over 9 weeks. Then the little gray dots appeared and I almost went into shock. Then his reply popped up and a tear escaped my eye.

I took a deep breath and read his words. His words. His words. My guy had finally given me what I had been seeking for so long. He didn’t hate me. He wasn’t mad at me. He just needed some distance to pull his life back together. I slowly let out my breath and let a few other tears escape.

Y’all might think I am crazy, but I don’t care. I wasn’t hoping for nothing. I didn’t believe for nothing. This is progress and I am so so so thankful!! I do not want to be someone who gives up when things get hard or confusing. I want to be patient and understanding and, most importantly, forgiving.

Closure is bittersweet, but welcomed nonetheless.

❤ a girl