An Open Letter to Those Once Loved

When I met you, I knew almost immediately that there was something amazing about you. Something different. I saw more than most did when I fell for your humility, your sense of humor, and the way you always reassured me that I was more beautiful than even I, a self-professed narcissist, saw. For a while,  you let me need you and I got to feel needed in return. We built a life together. A life filled with dinners and inside jokes, of stories and wonderful memories, and at night when we laid down to sleep, we reminded each other how much we cared and held each other for what we thought was just a piece of forever.

We thought that there was nothing that could tear us apart. You and I against the world.

At some point things got hard, as they tend to do, and for a while we managed to work it out. There were fights and tears but usually that was followed by forgiveness and a better understanding of one another’s needs. I’m sorry that I instigated fights and said cruel things. Looking back, I think this was because it was never enough for me. I was selfish and wanted to be everything to you . I’m afraid I’ll always be the person who wants too much. All of those nights you wanted to go home at midnight but I insisted on “one more drink” took a toll on you. I knew that you didn’t want to stay out. I knew but I still fought for those extra minutes. I know I kept us too busy. I realize that I did this now because I finally felt like I had someone to share those adventures and events with. I’m sorry for that too but now memories are all I have and I’m glad I pushed you for that extra time. I also feel bad about picking at your silly habits. I’d once found the way you chewed your food, bit your nails, or were particular about your toiletries endearing but, after a time, they had begun to grate on my nerves.  I see now the times that I blamed you and took stress out on you for things that weren’t your fault. You couldn’t help that I struggled to feel good about myself or that I hated my job but you stuck around even when I was having a full-blown tantrum. Thank you for that  too because not many would have.

I can think back now and see the times you tried your best to fix us before we ended. The compromises you asked for that I was unable to give. You didn’t see it but I was always compromising in my own way. You couldn’t tell but I was giving you everything that I had. I spent hours thinking of cute things to buy you or adventures we could have together. I never thought there was an expiration date on us until it was too late.

I’ll always remember the way you looked at me, like there was no one else in the entire world and I alone kept it spinning for you. Your constant kisses weren’t necessary but always appreciated. I’m glad that I was privileged to be a part of your life, even if I wish I could have kept you longer. Without you, I wouldn’t be there person I am today. Sometimes when I think about losing you, I feel empty because each of you took a piece of me when you left. A piece of my heart that I’ll never get back. But in the end, I’m glad that you left with something. I hope that it makes you a better person and that one day you’ll love someone like you loved me but that this time, it won’t have to end.

Thank you.

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Surviving

First off, I’m sorry if today’s post seems  a little whiny, it’s really not meant to be. Instead I intend to use it therapeutically. I seriously hope that years from now I’ll look back and think about how silly I was. 

In the aftermath of a relationship that I was convinced was real and would last this time around, the lack of closure is all that I can think about. How did we go from looking at places and planning a life to trading things and saying goodbye? My mind is spinning with thoughts of what I could have done differently. I am consumed by self blame and wonder at how everything can be great until one day is just isn’t anymore. Did he ever truly care for me and if he did, how could he leave so quickly with even a backward glance? I gave up a lot to make it work (my celibacy, my heart, my distaste for beards) and in time, I know that I would have given more.

I really wish it wasn’t all that I can think about. I wish I wasn’t spending my work hours thinking about previous contact with him while fighting to hold back tears and feelings of loneliness or regret.

Seems like the first logical step is to find some advice or answers since I’m sure not going to get any from him. Luckily, I’m not the only person who’s ever gone through something like this so there are lots of good places to locate what I’m looking for.

Why? What did I do? And why wasn’t I able to make him happy? 

The first semi-helpful article I’ve found states that “the most important thing is to stop asking yourself why your partner acted the way they did, and start understanding that the problem is theirs, not yours.”

Here’s the page for reference: www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-59182/Surviving-shock-break-up.html

Now let’s look at why Dr. Spurr thinks the Ex-BF might have acted the way that he did.

The Dr says that people who choose to end a relationship with no warning are usually Non-Communicators.  ‘Non-communicators: people who let issues build up without talking about them, to the point where they decide leaving is the only option. In many of these relationships, the partner left without explanation is a good communicator – which is why the break-up is so difficult for them.’

So that means I am, quite possibly, a good communicator! Well that’s fantastic news! Looking back, I can now recall the times we argued and I said to him “I really need BLANK from you to be happy” or “When you speak to me like BLANK, it hurts my feelings”. Apparently this was communicating so I’m silently patting myself on the back right now.

I also found this article about the “Out of the Blue’ breakup:

“People that break up by abruptly and rather aggressively cutting you off with little or no explanation and pretty much act like you never existed, have to do so to avoid any responsibility for the consequences of their actions and their impact on you so they can press The Reset Button. They’re afraid that if they discuss, they’ll get talked into committing themselves to something they don’t want to.”

“The overwhelming likelihood is that they didn’t feel that there was a strong enough reason to pin on you so rather than admit they’re scared or they want out, they announce they’re out and cut off.”

See more at: www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/happy-one-day-chopped-the-next-when-they-breakup-and-vanish/

The first article also included this awesome 5 stop How To guide. I’ve already been doing most of these but it’s always good to create a behavior outline for yourself.

How to survive a shock break-up

1. Don’t blame yourself. Remind yourself regularly that the relationship ended because your partner had the problem with communicating, which was nothing to do with you. You were willing and able to talk about your problems but your partner couldn’t deal with that… which is their loss.

2. Take up something new. It’s important that it’s completely unrelated to your ex, and even better if it’s something they didn’t want you to do! So many people who’ve had these sort of break-ups keep doing the same things they did with their ex, which just increases their pain. Leave those things until much later, when the pain of the break-up has faded.

3. Date for fun. Now’s not the time to look for another meaningful relationship. Enjoy your friends, go out with interesting people, but put all thoughts of a replacement relationship out of your mind.

4. Don’t be a relationship bore. Spend more time with your friends and family by all means, but try not to keep going over the break-up with them again and again. Much as they love you and want you to be happy, even they can’t be expected to stick around if you’re constantly going over the same ground. You need your friends, so don’t scare them away!

5. Work on your ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Even if you do still deeply care about your ex, with practice this will really help speed up your recovery. Focus on all the annoying things they used to do; try to decide what used to irritate you the most. Soon you’ll be amazed to find you really don’t care any more.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-59182/Surviving-shock-break-up.html#ixzz2d5jC7yng

After reading up a little, I feel like I’m slowly starting to grasp the reasons, or non-reasons, that I find myself alone this time. I may not be happy with or ever know his real reasons but with a little hard work and time, who’s to say I can’t be happy again?  NO ONE.

So when will the pain stop? When will I start feeling less empty and ready to face the world? Probably not anytime soon but I know its supposed to get easier eventually, and at least I have some faint idea how to move forward. I just have to keep my head up and rely on the good people in my life more than I’m used to. And I’ve got to remember that

Even though this isn’t my first heartbreak, I can look towards the future and hope that it’s the last.

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Back down to Singletown

About four months ago I met a man who I’d come the call my boyfriend until last night. Our story is a boring “meet cute” story. We met while I was bar hopping for a friend’s birthday and at our second bar of the night, a bar completely full but for one seat, I ended up in conversation with a laid back bearded man who was, in no way, what I considered my type. A couple of bars and one strip club later, we were absolutely inseparable.

So why did we break up? He told me that he needed space, a “week or two”. That he understood that I needed more and right now it was killing him that he was unable to give it to me. Sounds to me like the old “It’s not you, it’s me” routine. I hate that I was blindsided. That he drove all the way to my house to do this when I’d been anxiously awaiting his arrival so that we could grab dinner and catch some tv together. In hindsight, he had been distant the day before but how can less that 24 hours change something so drastically ? Petty fixes and silly, unhelpful thoughts keep popping up. I keep thinking that perhaps I should have just agreed to watch Duck Dynasty, even though I dislike it and even though I was mostly just joking about not watching it.

I’d like to think I took it well. Tears were there but minimal, my defense mechanisms’ hurtful words remained unthrown. It’s not that I’m not sad. I am. Very sad in fact. I mean, I dated someone and had allowed myself to care in way I hadn’t in a long time. Perhaps the reason that I didn’t see this coming is that I tend to wear blinders towards others feelings when dating. Is this my way of avoiding the feelings of failure that come from not being able to make it work? Again?

At the same time, I know that I’m not the easiest person to be with. I’m mean, selfish, have high expectations, and am a walking contradiction. 

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But to me, these are some of my favorite personality traits. I have not always liked myself or understood completely what liking myself meant. If I took anything from my last serious relationship, it had to have been that I’d finally taken the time to get to know who I was and be comfortable with that. Not everything about me is hard. I am smart and witty, outgoing and fun to be around, and I’ve learned this past year that if try hard enough, I can make it through anything.

So it’s easy to say I’ll just get over it, and in time, of course I will. I can tell myself that I won’t be lonely or hope he’ll call or text but the truth is, I put myself out there and ended up burned. I’m absolutely certain that I will put myself out there again, and that will probably hurt too, but one day hopefully I’ll find someone who doesn’t think I’m “difficult” and instead of leaving wants to make things work.

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I can’t wait to find that person. 

Good Vibes Gathering

First off, I’d like to tell you that I certainly do not consider myself a hippie in any way. I do, however, enjoy dressing up in costumes and blending in with the natives.

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“Blending In”

With that in mind, I’d been planning on going to an event in Pine Mountain called The Good Vibes Gathering. Good Vibes is a free music and art festival where everyone is accepted and all work for is done on a volunteer basis.

www.goodvibesgathering.com

After seeing last years’ Facebook profiles of friends in headbands, covered in flowers and dancing, and general wallowing about in the grass, there was no way I was going to miss this year.

Then the rain sky opened up and rain began to fall. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG.

On Sunday I decided that I’d had enough and I hadn’t spent $4 on this headband for nothing so I packed up my waterproof picnic blanket, grabbed my cooler of beer, and prepared myself for whatever I’d discover.

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There weren’t tons of people about but rain has a tendency to put a damper things so I wasn’t completely surprised. I really enjoyed all of the handmade decorations and the ingenuity that went into creating them. As a not very creative person, I found myself amazed by the simple beauty of fabric banners and silk scarf tents. Cute little stations were set up if you found the need for things you’d forgotten and reminded me of a “sharing is caring” point of view that, in this busy world, we tend to neglect.

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There were a few vendors still there selling all types of handmade items. I saw gorgeous pieces of jewelry and headbands, clay-ware and t-shirts, even “soul” readings, as one sign pronounced. Artists brought their wares as well and even invited others to help “create” by adding their own creative juices to a piece. I added a tiny cartoon lion face to the below piece of furniture for the sole reason that I though it needed one. The owner of this awesome exhibit stated the following about it:

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“I also love the symbolism I take from the top right “we still love Good Vibes, even in the rain.”

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this little “hippie” adventure and loved meeting all of the nice people who helped make something like is possible. I’ll just pray next year doesn’t rain so I can spend the whole weekend taking in the “Good Vibes” beneath the sunny sky and lush foliage!

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House on the plantation property Boyfriend had to check out before leaving.  See more about this great property at:

www.sweethomeplantation.com

Event Planning Is Going to Give Me a Brain Aneurysm

Planning this reunion has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

It’s a hard lesson to learn but it is extremely difficult to make everyone happy. Especially when working a full-time job, attempting to do math, appeasing the masses, and trying to look pretty doing it. It’s beginning to seem as if every little thing I’ve done thus far has begun to unravel.  After being stressed  for months over all of the details, I found out this morning that we are around $584 over budget! Definitely not an easy blow to receive at nine in the morning and four days before the actual event.

Honestly, my biggest fear is failure. Failing not only my classmates but also myself. After all of my hard work and dedication towards making this happen, will I be remembered as the girl no one asks to help out again or as the unsung hero of something great that almost didn’t happen?

I’d like to think that if everyone who had RSVPed had bought their tickets, the reunion wouldn’t be in the place it is now. But then again, it’s easy to place blame and much harder to shoulder it yourself. Maybe next time (granted there is one!) I’ll listen less to the complaints of everyone else and lean more towards what I think is practical. After all, when everyone wanted cheaper tickets, the request was obliged, even to the detriment of what is now an event on the precipice of collapse.

For now, I’ll have to try to keep my head above water. Continue sending emails and struggling for a hand-hold. The only good motion is forward motion and I’m bound and determined to make this occasion a reality.

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Friday Night’s Just Desserts

Not a huge fan of sweets myself, I rarely find myself interested in desserts of the confectionery kind. However, Friday night I found myself licking my lips and wandering around this cozy little wine shop.

The Bitter Brick is an adorable little corner shop in The Landings shopping center. Trendy chevron walls, dark wood, and soft candlelight make it a perfect place for a lady’s wine lunch or romantic date spot in the evening. My step-brother, Nicky J, also just so happened to be working the intimate audience with smoothly sung melodies.

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I walked straight in towards chalk-laden menu boards hanging above the bakery cases that showed the types of beers they carried. After quite a few questions, I settled on a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel beer. Apparently it’s made in old bourbon barrels and tasted divine, especially for someone who is not a fan of “weird beers”.

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While waiting at the bar for my brew, I became overwhelmed by the dessert choices that I had no idea that they made. Whoopee pies of all flavors, croissants, and tiny chocolates galore!!

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I settled on the s’mores and a bourbon chocolate and was not disappointed. The melty goodness of the warmed up s’more brought me right back to my childhood! I can’t wait to get by there again soon to try more of the many options!!

Check out their website at:

http://www.bitterbrick.com/

Also, you can receive a free chocolate with your Facebook check it!!

Vietnamese Cuisine or No Thank You, Tripe

A new Vietnamese restaurant recently opened downtown and I’d been dying to try it out. I have this problem, you see. I absolutely LOVE trying new/strange/interesting foods. So far my adventurous palate has only led me astray once (whatever you do, do not order a steak tartare burger when hungover) and I was itching to try something new.

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The egg rolls were heavenly! 

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I’m a huge fan of soups and picked this one out from menu within minutes. I decided to go with a combination of meats, including everything but the chicken and shrimp. The broth was  sinfully savory and the vegetables perfectly complemented it. The meat was thinly sliced and, to be honest, I wished held more flavor. No problem though as someone left a jar of hoisin on our table to help up the flavor. First bite of tripe that I discovered was passed over to my boyfriend for a taste with a few words of encouragement, “Don’t worry! It’s great!”. In hindsight, he took that taste pretty well compared to me.

If you are unsure of what this is, tripe (as defined by Wikipedia) is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals. It was chewy, strangely textured, and looking at it had started to make me slightly green around the gills. After this initial taste, I found myself picking every single bite out. NO THANK YOU.

While it may be a while until I’m ready to place another piece of cow stomach into my mouth, I’m really glad that I was brave enough to try something new.

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Mental Health Days

Once a week I get to enjoy a day off work from the daily grind of my job. A day that I like to call, with only a hint of sarcasm, my “Mental Health Day”.  I’ve worked with companies in the past where I felt overworked and underappreciated so when I took the position I now hold, it was very important to me that I would be strictly working my required forty hours. In a perfect world, I’d have every Saturday off to do as I please and make the best of the daylight I rarely enjoy, but alas, the world is not a perfect place and I must make do with what I am given.

Usually, I try to fill my day off with fun, outdoor activities and adventures usually missed but having no plans until much later, I decided that perhaps the best way to spend the day hours would be relaxing and nourishing myself.

I am so used to my regular work schedule that I woke up only a few minutes later than normal around 8:30. Guess it’s time to wake up and make some yummy breakfast! After scrounging around my kitchen for some sort of edible ingredients, here’s what I made:

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Breakfast! One Eyed Jack, Deviled Egg, & Chorizo

After such an amazing little meal, tiredness overcame me and I relaxed for a late morning late. Hey, it’s my day off and I do what I want!

Around noon it was meal time again and this time I had something a better planned. I’d taken out some steaks last night and couldn’t wait to try my hand and making them. Beer in hand, I marinated in a little Dale’s and threw these bad boys into a cast iron pan. A little water and love later, and viola!

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One super fresh and delicious steak salad!

A couple of movies (and beers) later, it was time to head off to my trainer for some heavy lifting. I do this once a week, usually on Thursday and pay a little too much for the pleasure. I should definitely go more often as I really enjoy meeting with my trainer and the after-burn of hard work being paid off. What I really struggle with, is making enough time. I know that my health should be foremost but it’s not only the 30 minutes that it’s hard to make time for, I also live 45 minutes away from the gym. Then if I want to go out after, I’ve got to locate somewhere to clean up and re-dress.  Enough complaining. So I’m a huge fan of food and not so much the gym.

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Enjoy the Ride

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Tuesday night is Group Ride Night in downtown Columbus hosted by the local bike shop Ride on Bikes. Check out their Facebook to guess how many people will show up. Winner gets a Fat Tire beer!

Every Tuesday at 6:30pm a group of up to about 150 people begin cruising the blocked off streets and historic River Walk for a scenic ride that extends almost all the way to Oxbow Meadows.

I’ve done this ride three times now and no matter how hot, buggy, or rainy it gets, it’s always enjoyable. Bikes are free to rent and usually fill up very quickly so I try to make my reservations at least four days in advance. Just show up in your gear, check in to receive your cycle, and start warming up with a couple of circles around the block before setting out. It can get very crowded so I like to wait a few moments longer before setting off.

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 It’s not easy taking pictures while on a bike!

The scenery along the Chattahoochee is gorgeous and it’s easy to get lost in thought while taking in the river view. Feel free to ride with the pack or take a more leisurely route.

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Afterwards, head up the The Loft where you can enjoy 10% off your bill!

For more information, check out these sites:

rideonbikes.com

visitcolumbusga.com/visitors/attractions/chattahoochee_riverwalk

www.theloft.com