Another Time, Another Town, Another Everything

I’ve never been the most adventurous person. When I was young it was typical for me to go to a friends house only to call home around midnight sobbing and scared, wanting the familiarity of my mother and my bed.

I didn’t mountain climb, I didn’t water ski, I didn’t run marathons (or at all). I didn’t take risks.

I remember my parents telling people that I was a homebody, that I would rather be home than anywhere else, that I rarely went anywhere. Hearing that out loud made me not want to be that person anymore. So, I stopped.

When I was young I was deathly shy, always attached at the hip of those I felt most comfortable around, and the list was never long. I got embarrassed easily, so to keep the harsh comments about my inevitably red face away, I rarely spoke up.

Looking back, I think that this took a real hit on me. It’s so important to encourage imagination and creativity and the idea that every single voice matters, and I think that because I was scared of turning red, of someone saying something to me about it, I rarely said anything at all. Don’t get me wrong, my parents did everything in their power to bring me out of my shell. I was just scared, and people were cruel.

I remember vividly sitting in a high school social studies class and my teacher announcing loudly to the class how often my face turned red and asked if I had a skin condition; or if I was blushing because of some boy I liked in that class. I was so, so humiliated. I remember slinking down in my seat and not meeting anyone’s eyes that entire class. I wished I was invisible.

It wasn’t until later that summer when I went to work as a CST at a summer camp, that I finally began to come out of my shell. I remember the freedom that I felt simply being around people who didn’t know me. They didn’t know how shy I was, they didn’t know I turned red, that just being there was a huge leap for me. They just accepted me, and it was that summer that I found confidence. I still have my ID picture from that first week of camp – bright red face and eyes cast to the floor on day one. I have another picture from the end of the summer, and that part of me was no where to be seen. I was caught mid-laugh, my hair turned platinum from the sunshine, and my skin the darkest I think it’s ever been. I was happy.

After that summer I went from Elizabeth to Liz and the old me kind of left. I found happiness and friendships and a boyfriend. I found confidence.

When I think about adventure I find myself thinking of that picture, my first big leap at age 15. I think that in a way, this past year I’ve gone back to that girl from Freshmen year of high school – eyes cast down, nervous, not wanting any attention brought to me at all and I don’t want that. I’ve felt uncomfortable, not the most confident as a result of having to try and prove myself every single day in a new profession, and always wondering if I’m good enough. It’s scary to know that I might not be.

Years later, when I was 18, I had this amazing opportunity to travel to London with my best friend. I had the best time visiting a different part of the world, exploring the city life, venturing out on our own for the first time in my life. I walked through streets crowded with people and spoke with strangers and ate food that I had never seen before. That time of my life changed me, showed me that there’s something different, something more than small town Maine, that crowds or people in lime green taxi cabs and buildings taller than I had ever seen before were actually desirable. I loved it. I went and had the opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be, nobody knew me there. I was free, just like when I was 15.

Maybe that’s what New York is all about for me. It’s a challenge, a leap, a new opportunity. When I leave here, I get to start again. A new city, with new people and buildings and opportunities. I don’t have to be known as the Liz that’s unsure, nervous, a list a mile long of what-if’s and I’m-sorry’s. I can be whoever I want to be, and to me, that’s worth everything.

It’s important to me to make my own way, to always, always, always be a good person, and have standards and dreams. I want to leave a legacy. A good one.

In a perfect world I would always get support from the ones I love, no matter where I decide to go or what I decide to do. I’ve told those close to me what my plans are, that the next chapter of my life will take place in a city a million times bigger than where I grew up. Initially I was upset that I was offered more negative comments than support,  but I’ve had to realize that this is for me. Not anybody else. I’m going to go on this adventure for me, so that I can be happy and live life to the fullest and be proud of me. I don’t need anyone’s support but my own, and I’m going to go regardless.

I think I’ll always be me. I’ll always love watermelon and sunshine, have a weakness for ballet, Starbucks, the Christmas season and guys with blonde hair and blue eyes. I’ll always find myself reading at a bookstore to calm my nerves, watching Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan movies when I’m sick, calling my mother when I’m sad. I’ll always buy flowers for my kitchen table every Sunday, live in dresses and skirts whenever I can, wear flip flops beginning in March. I’ll still be me; have the same values, honor traditions, have the same convictions and conscience. I think that I, more than anyone need to remember that.

And yeah, I still won’t climb icy mountains and jump off of cliffs, but there are still things that I can do. I can walk through Manhattan streets first thing in the morning, take photos of tulips under 100 story buildings and ride a yellow taxi through the pouring rain. I can make new friends, and have new experiences and make new memories. These people don’t know my history, and they don’t need to. When they meet me for the first time that will be it, that will be their very first impression of me, just like I’ll have first impressions of them.

They’ll never know that I’ve never been adventurous before.

Oh, My Life Is Changing Everyday, In Every Possible Way

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had this deep, insane nagging in my chest to leave Maine. I’ve had it for a while, but lately I’ve been really aware of it.

I grew up in a small town; a really small town. One store/gas station, more cows than people, and the local cops who know your parents, aunts, uncles, and all of your friends by first name. Here it’s always smelled like fresh cut grass, tree bark, fresh air and more than not, cow poop. As a kid I thought it was great that I could walk the half a mile to the local store in bare feet so that I could buy penny candy. As a teenager it was the worst thing in the entire world, and in college it was a nice escape from work and drama when I went home to visit, which wasn’t often.

92fc0814cd216792cf34a8c02a8a5747Once I graduated college I moved the next very next week to the only major city in Maine, and for a while I loved it. I loved how different it was from where I grew up; that I could buy a carton of eggs without getting asked about how my parents were doing, or how my brother was liking the Navy, and once my Dad got sick, how his doctors appointments were going and how he was feeling. People mean well, I know that. But I don’t always want to talk about the things I try my hardest to keep hidden.

To me, the city has been an escape. I can go to the grocery store without talking to a soul, cops don’t know me by name, when I make a mistake the whole town doesn’t have to know about it. Nobody asks me about my father. But lately, I’ve felt the excitement over my current city start to dwindle, start to no longer be enough and lately I’ve been wanting more.

I’ve decided that I’m going to move to New York City. I would like to finish up two full years of teaching so that I can be off of probation, (all teachers are on it for the first two years of their career) but after that I know that it’s time for me to officially leave Maine. Next June, my two years will be up.

Maybe that’s why my favorite movie has always been You’ve Got Mail; the buildings and architecture and speeding taxi’s and the people have always fascinated me.

I want skyscraper buildings, yellow taxi cabs, the smell of the rain on pavement, Central Park, a city that never sleeps, and just change. This is a change that I need, and I just can feel it.

Maybe I’ll end up going to New York and hate it. Maybe I’ll be miserable and hate teaching there and I’ll be lonely, but that’s worst case scenario. Maybe not, I hope not. And even if I do hate it, I’m only going to make a year commitment to start with. I can do anything for a year. But even with that being said, I don’t think I’ll hate it, I really don’t. I think I need to go.

d66706a5d1I don’t even want to bring my car, I want to walk everywhere. I want to buy flowers from the street corner, and lay on the grass in Central Park. I want to purchase produce from the Farmers Market in Manhattan and work with inner city children. I want to ride the ferry boat, and run through the city at midnight and stare up at the skyscrapers and feel so, so small. I want the atmosphere, culture, city lights and energy. I feel such an overwhelming need to go there it’s ridiculous, it’s like I’m suddenly obsessed with needing to go to New York and I’m not sure why.

In a way I feel like I’m being selfish; wanting to move when I know that my father is sick and he doesn’t have that much time left. I don’t want to be selfish, but I also want to follow my dreams, and I never want to ever regret anything. I feel like I would regret not moving for the rest of my life if I stayed here. But I still can’t help but feel selfish, that I’m thinking too much about myself right now when it should be about Dad.

I want to pursue my dreams, but I also don’t want to let my family down. I want them to be proud of me, and I also want to be proud of me. But I don’t know if there’s anything in the world that I’ve ever wanted as much as I want this.

Being that close to so many shopping opportunities is also going to be really nice…just saying.

I Twist My Fate, Just To Feel You

I can understand why men get so confused with women, because I often times can’t even figure myself out.

Today I found myself obsessively listening to three songs on one of my old CD’s over and over and over again and I couldn’t figure out why. After about the thirtieth time of playing “I Miss You” by Blink 182 for the third day in a row I realized that they all had one thing in common; they were all songs I loved when I was about 16. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic, or just wanted to remember parts of my past I had buried much too long ago. They seem to be resurfacing lately, no matter how hard I keep trying to push them away.

One of the happiest parts of my life has always been my love of water. I crave it, I always have. My father can’t swim, and I can remember the water always terrifying him. He would even refuse to go into our four foot tall pool as a kid. I honestly don’t know if this was because he was terrified, just doesn’t really like swimming, or because it gave him a break when us kids were all occupied at the same time; maybe a little of all three. My Mom would swim with us every once in a while; these times were a thrill, but we always had to swear upon our lives that she didn’t in fact, look atrocious in her swim suit.

When I was really young, before my uncle had kids of his own, he would tell us kids that after he finished haying the fields on hot days that he would take us swimming. I hated the place that he took us; the rocks were sharp and slimy and I ended up with cuts all over my feet in about 10 seconds flat, but he would say that as long as we pushed off and moved our arms and legs as much as we could then we wouldn’t have to touch the bottom. He would swim way out and tread water while he waited for us to catch up to him, yelling at us the whole time to go, “faster, faster, faster!” We’d swim until the sun went down, and then we’d hop into the back of his truck and drive back to the farm with his dog Ollie, ducking underneath the wind in the bed of his truck. Soaking wet and smiling in the sunset, my whole day was just made.

I loved those days, and even now, when I drive by the lake I can still see us out there.

525777_10150913202658184_721942586_nWhen I was old enough to go to summer camp my mother would always tell me that I was allowed to pick two of the three activities offered, but I was required to take swimming lessons, “no questions asked, no complaints.” I hated these lessons, I knew there were leaches down there, made obvious by the giant block of salt sitting beside the boat house. Repulsed or not, the lessons were forced as my mother didn’t seem to care about the ton of sodium left on the waterfront no matter how much I whined. It wasn’t just the blood sucking slimeballs, but also the required “triangles” that I was forced to swim by my swim instructor while she lounged on the dock and ate McDonald’s chicken nuggets because she hated camp food. Don’t be fooled by the cutesy name, these were hour long drills, usually swam on windy, cold, rainy days that required me to swim strokes like the butterfly (my worst stroke) from both sides of the walkout dock, to the tip of the diving board out at the floating dock. Usually this resulted in me swallowing up half of the lake and sloshing when I walked for the following 24 hours until I had to swim it again.

Regardless, I still loved the water, and went for my lifeguarding certification as soon as I turned fifteen, something my parents really wanted me to do. It scared me, the thought of having to save someone so terrified in the water like I knew my father was, but I went for it anyways. Mostly because a really cute boy I knew was also a lifeguard, and spending more time with him would have been a real shame.

I don’t know what it is about water that is so different from land, so much more appealing to me. It’s like I’m weightless, happier, more able. I was never a fast swimmer by any means, my strokes weren’t fantastic and I wanted to die every time I had to demonstrate my butchered butterfly stroke, but I always loved it anyways. I didn’t do it because I was good at it, I did it because I loved it.
Some of my happiest memories come from the water, so much so that I 10931388_10153031977763184_8981272765777011744_ncontinued to swim all through college while I taught classes to toddlers and four year olds. Aside from not wanting to sing “Way Up High in The Apple Tree” first thing on a Saturday morning I was so happy working at that pool, and even worked at the outdoor pool that summer both because a friend asked me to and also because I needed as much money as possible before student teaching. Sitting in the sun, teaching swimming lessons, and sliding down waterslides was a really rough job.

Someday my dream is to go back to that camp. Maybe one day I’ll be the one teaching swimming lessons again, driving the jet ski while people screech behind me, spending summers back in the water, back at the lake. I’ve been craving it lately, thinking a lot about it, maybe that’s why I listened to those songs so many times. It brought me back there again. Someday I want to be the Waterfront Director, living my summers suntanned, smiling and part fish as “We All Bow Down” and “Awesome God” are heard being sung from the lodge.

I promise you, there is nothing better than laying on your stomach in the middle of the dock while you watch the water lap over the side. I have this feeling, this weird feeling, and maybe it’s because I believe in fate, that I’m going to be experiencing it all again sometime.

I Do This From Time to Time, Where I Can Never Say The Things I Mean

One of my favorite things about life are the people in it. So many people have made such huge impacts on my life, and they probably don’t even know it, because a lot of times I don’t know how to tell them. I mean, how do I say, “you’re a fabulous person, and you’ve made me happier, wiser, grateful, more romantic than I ever thought possible?” 

Honestly, how without sounding like an over emotional sap? Because I’m terrible with feelings and emotions, I really am. And when I finally get up the courage, it’s usually too late. I don’t know why I’m like this, it’s no excuse and I know that. But I need to say things, I need to tell them, because what if some day it’s too late for someone? What if I should have poured my heart out and told them that they’re a fabulous human being and I didn’t and it was too late? I blew it again, for real, when the stakes were higher and I never, ever got another chance?

I know that it’s terribly depressing to think about, but as I sit back and watch all of this stuff happen with my Dad I can’t help but wonder what people’s reactions would be if this were me. Because I’ve seen peoples reactions about my father – I’ve seen my own. I’ve felt my heart breaking for months now. It’s forced me say things that maybe I should have said sooner, and it’s made me think about my own life.

Would I be missed? Would there be people in the church if it were my funeral? Would I be given a second thought, or have I not really made an impact on the people I’ve met? Maybe I have, but maybe it hasn’t been a positive one. 

Would people even have nice things to say about me? Maybe people would be relieved. I know that these are really selfish thoughts, and honestly I don’t mean for them to be. I’m just thinking. 

A couple of months ago I was in a car accident that really scared me. One minute I was listening to Snow Patrol, and the next I was spinning around and around and around and my thoughts just kind of slowed down. Got bigger. Louder. I know you hear about people who tell you that time slows down, but I swear it did, I’m telling you that it did. 

I remember dust and the guard rail in front of my face and looking up to see all of these faces of people I didn’t know smushed up against the glass watching me as they drove past me almost like I wasn’t even there at all. 

I remember being scared, and thinking about those who mean the most to me but I know that I don’t really mean anything at all to them and it made me sad.

I was thinking about him almost wishing he could hear me say, “I love you, I love you, I love you” but I didn’t hear anything back. 

I had nightmares after that for weeks. Of me spinning, silver guardrails, the yellow Penske truck that kept driving like I was invisible, and maybe I was. Faces in windows that gave me fleeting thoughts until exit 12 five miles down the road. Moments like that add perspective to life, and to be honest, maybe I needed it. 

If I could do anything in the world, anything at all, I would choose to be with you. Shouldn’t that mean something? It means everything to me. Maybe it would mean more if I said it in person but I don’t know how and it probably wouldn’t make a difference if I did. You won’t even acknowledge me, it’s like I’m nothing.

I would also choose to explore Europe and lay on the beach in Australia but those come in second and third. I’ll add a ride in a hot air balloon ride over some exotic place as a close fourth.

I guess I’ve been thinking that if that day back in September was it for me, and it could have been, would people have even cared? Have I given them a reason to? I swear I don’t mean to sound horribly depressing because I don’t mean to. They’re just thoughts. 

The nightmares have stopped now, but I’m still spinning.

Just Sneak Out, And Don’t Tell a Soul Goodbye

I can’t stop listening to music from my high school/college days. And, you can temporarily enter my mind for a moment as I list my top songs that I’m currently obsessed with.

  1. Check Yes Juliet, We The Kings
  2. Love Drunk, Boys Like Girls
  3. Like We Used To, A Rocket to the Moon
  4. Belle of the Boulevard, Dashboard Confessional
  5. Bent, Matchbox Twenty
  6. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and the Blowfish
  7. 21+, Butch Walker
  8. I Wanna Get Better, Bleachers
  9. I Need You, M83
  10. Your Guardian Angel, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  11. She Paints Me Blue, Something Corporate
  12. Overjoyed, Matchbox Twenty
  13. I Won’t Let You Go, Snow Patrol
  14. I Wanna, The All American Rejects
  15. Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard
  16. Kiss Me Slowly, Parachute
  17. Stay Close, Don’t Go, Secondhand Serenade
  18. Style, Taylor Swift

The Night the Sky Fell Down

As it turns out, I did not die on an airplane on the way to Florida. Although, things weren’t looking promising on the second leg of the trip after being stranded in Newark for what felt like forever.

10441347_10153120409728184_4361262432414982810_nI had a fabulous time on vacation, and am still grumpy about being back in Maine. Florida, although ridiculously cold, was a break from reality. I went on so many roller coasters I thought I was going to throw up, visited Disney with my niece and nephew, read three books, burnt to a crisp on the only day it was eighty degrees, and spent an entire afternoon pretending that I had been accepted into Hogwarts.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and I flew back to reality on Tuesday afternoon. And have been sulking ever since.

I’ve never handled change well, but I think the change that’s been happening over this past week is going to be really positive. My sister, who has been my roommate for the past year while she began a new job and a new school, is moving out and on her own. This is something that I’ve been wanting for a while now, we both have. One of my friends is moving in in her place, and I’m really excited about it. My sister and I are about as different as you could ever get, and sometimes (all the time) we want to throttle each other. This will help.

I had a conversation with my mom recently about everything going on in my life. The new-way-of-thinking-Liz that’s all about positively and happiness and glittery rainbows. And you know, how I’m desperately in love with someone who doesn’t care about me anymore because I screwed it all up way back when, there’s that too.

I asked her if I was being stupid wanting someone that I can’t have, and what she would do if she were me. She said that she really couldn’t answer that, but assured me that I was not being stupid. (I think Mom’s are supposed to say that.) I asked her how long I should wait before letting go completely and moving on, even though I’m not entirely sure that it’s possible. I mean, I’ve been trying for seven years. Maybe, if there was ever a piece of him that missed me, he thought that nothing was for him here in Maine anymore. I’m here.

I didn’t admit how I was feeling to anyone, even myself, until recently. I think maybe my Mom always knew the truth, my real feelings, even when I didn’t.

She said that I need to wait as long as I feel is right. She told me not to sit around and hope that he will ever come back, especially since it’s a huge possibility that he never, ever wants to even think about me ever again. But that she wishes he would, that she thinks he’s pining for me as much as I am him, but I think she was just trying to make me feel better. Maybe because she loved him too, my whole family did.

She’s right though. He’s with someone else. I can’t just sit around and hope that someday he will miss me. Or that someday he will be single and want to be with me again, that maybe deep down he is somehow still attracted to me, or misses me. Or whatever.

I think I know what I have to do, I think I know my answer.

As much as I don’t want to, I think I need to move on. Or try to. He’s with someone else and I need, and will, respect that. I won’t be that person who ruins something beautiful for someone else. I know that I can be a huge pain in the ass, but I would never want to ruin someone else’s relationship. Especially his. I want him to be happy, even if it’s with someone else, even it makes me feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. And as much as I wish I was in his thoughts, and that he would come home to me every night, he’s not going to and I’m not. I need to accept that. My Mom was right, she said that it was up to me to decide that it was time to move on, so I’m going to at least try. It hurts though, and honestly makes me a little woozy.

I don’t want come across as being pathetic, although maybe I am. It’s just how I feel, and I needed to get it out somewhere. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. It’s kind of consumed me, actually. Music has always been my go-to. Maybe because I have such a hard time vocalizing things, and music kind of says it for me when I can’t.

It’s ironic, he always wanted me to be more vocal, and now I can’t stop talking. Now it’s too late. And I’m here, with an ache in my chest that just will not go away, and there’s absolutely nothing that I can do to make it better.

The very first night he ever called me, sixteen years old at the end of summer, I was laying on the porch swing under the stars. I was listening to “Crazy For This Girl” by Evan and Jaron, thinking about how happy I was.

I’ve listened to it at least one hundred times this week.

I Was So Alive, Never Been More Free

I find something so beautiful about anything new. New jobs, perspectives, clothes, friends, buds on trees after months of being frozen all the way to the bone.

I’m not hugely materialistic, although I do love new things, if for any reason other than being a welcome change. I say I hate change, but that’s not always true. I love new shoes, but let’s face it, new sandals won’t change my daily routine. I enjoy new friends and people in my life, but yet cannot for the life of me venture out to try a new coffee flavor, other than the ones I’ve gotten by accident. Why is that?

I bought new Spring clothes yesterday for Florida this week, all in corals and yellows and colors that are just new. Nothing that I’ve seen for a while as a result of my world being blanketed in whites and browns.

Maybe it’s because I’m scared of changes that actually matter. I mean, coffee isn’t exactly a game changer, it’ll just put me in a bad mood for a morning. But big changes…they are just the way that they sound. Big. Huge. A game changer.

I would love to teach somewhere out of state. Even somewhere out of New England. I love Maine most of the time,  but it’s really all that I’ve ever known. I can picture myself down south, summer dresses, sweet tea and bare feet while watching the sunset and blasting “Springsteen” by Eric Church. To me that sounds a lot like perfection.

But I can also see myself in Colorado. Mountains and hiking and views from great heights. Or California or Seattle or Miami. I would love to see what life is like outside of my normal routine, and maybe I could fall in love with another place with new people and new ideas and a new school.

I was having coffee with a friend yesterday and he asked me why I’m still in Maine when my heart really isn’t. I told him that I’m here because I have to – because of family. He told me that that won’t always be the case. He’s right.

Why am I so afraid of the unknown?

But change is beautiful, even small changes. Even small jumps that are out of the ordinary and little leaps of faith out of nowhere that leave you saying, “I didn’t know I could do that.”

I don’t know if any of you have ever heard the song “I Lived” by One Republic. It’s a song about doing what you want, and thinking of something that you want to do, or go, or someone you want and just going for it. Have you ever seen something; a picture or a movie or maybe even for real, and you though I want that? That happens to me all the time. It’s kind of like when you’re with someone; a best friend, a colleague, a family member, maybe even someone you’re madly in love with and you find yourself completely caught off guard and in awe. And you think, “Oh my God. I just really love this person.” Maybe they’re just reading, or singing, or talking about almost nothing, but it doesn’t even matter because in that moment there is absolutely no where else you would rather be.

Or you see someone Sky Diving on a television commercial about something silly, like Coca Cola, and you think, “why isn’t my life as cool as the random person advertising Coca Cola?” I want to do these things, I do. I want to Sky Dive, and hike the Appalachian Trail. I want to explore castles in Ireland and swim in Greece. I want to look at the Pyramids in Egypt and surf in Australia, and I want to do these things before it’s too late. Even if I have to do them all by myself. I want to be in love with life.

I’ve been working on being horribly straightforward and blunt. Saying, “I love you” when I mean it, and not saying it when I don’t. Telling someone that I like their smile because it makes my day and I feel like they should know that. Telling someone that I think that they’re a great person, spontaneously buying something because I want it, and love it, and for no other reason that it makes me weirdly happy. I’ve been working on going out when I’m asked, having coffee dates because there’s no reason to say “no,” telling people when they’ve had an affect on me.

So, I guess at this point I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to end up. I’m not glued here, there’s nothing really holding me back. I’m single and don’t have anyone tying me down.

I don’t know, I guess that I just want to live and be happy and be free and not regret a single thing anymore. I know that it’s risky to be blunt, affectionate, desperately honest. I know that. But I don’t want to not put myself out there anymore in fear of being rejected. I just think that life is beautiful. That people are magical, and so many people have made such giant impacts on my life and it would be such a shame for them not to know that. It’s a risk being desperately honest, or desperate in general, but I don’t care.

But if I were to die in a plane crash on the way to Florida on Tuesday, I wouldn’t want to regret a single thing, and have a single person not know how I feel about them. No matter how scary, pathetic, desperate, or ridiculous it makes me look.

I know you read this. I just know. And I want you to know that I love you, sometimes I feel like I need you, even though that’s not true. Please know that I’m here, and I miss you and think about you constantly. I know that I messed up, and I’m sorry. But I’m in love with you, and that must mean something. And my heart is on my sleeve and I’m trying to fix things. I’ll be here.

I think that there’s nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

Butterflies, Early Summer

There are times in my life where I have felt invincible, powerful. Like nothing could ever go wrong. Kind of like that feeling in the summer, when the day is perfect and the windows are down and your favorite song comes on and you honestly think, “this couldn’t get any better.”

I haven’t felt like that in a while. Since my Dad’s diagnosis I’ve actually felt the complete opposite, and it’s scary to not be in control. And it’s not just with illnesses, I’ve been recognizing these moments more and more, and maybe it was naive of me to never see them before. By “maybe” I mean it was. Like driving in a snowstorm, and losing control of the car, never knowing where I would end up. In walking through the city at night, knowing that it’s actually not as safe as I once thought that it was. Even at my last job interview where I got so nervous, I’m pretty sure I blacked out; I walked out and had no idea when had just happened inside of that room. In wearing my heart on my sleeve and saying everything that I needed to, in being so, so vulnerable and then being let down. Patience. People tell me I need to work on that, and they’re right. But at the same time, if you have an inkling of a feeling then you should jump for it, just do it. Nothing this important was ever easy. And this is the most important thing, that’s why I jumped.

532335_10151039230248184_2075387113_nThere are things that I have always felt so in control of; my job, my clothes, my hair, and for the most part, my health. In the people in my life, who I spend my time with, even my thoughts (sometimes). If I want to swim at midnight I go, if I want to have cereal for dinner than I do, if I want to drink too much then I can.

With my Dad, well, I’ve always known that he wasn’t the healthiest. As the most accident prone person on the planet, he’s always been in the hospital for something; broken collar bone, ankle, arms, fingers he sliced open with a jack knife while putting up curtains, four wheeler accidents, cancer, severe headaches, and Dementia. There’s nothing that can be done about it, and for a control freak like myself, it’s a tough blow. I want to be able to do something, or say something that could somehow make it better, but there are no amount of bandaids that could possibly make this better.

I’m trying to make as many memories as I can right now, because from here on out, this is as healthy as my father is going to be in this moment. I forget who said that, maybe it was my mother, but either way I don’t want to just make the rest of his time here as great as it can be, but I also want to make my time with him as great as it can be as well. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t, and I’m going to be the one remembering my time with him when he’s left us.

Next week I’m going to Florida with my family; our last vacation with all of us. I can’t wait to see my brother and his wife and the kids, but at the same time I’m nervous. I don’t want to spend the entire week saying, “this is the last…” because that’s no way to spend a vacation. But it is the last, and nothing is going to change that. No amount of planning how to keep him from getting lost, confused, scared is going to somehow make things the way that they used to be.

The thing that I’m going to miss the most when he’s gone is how much of a practical joker that he’s always been. Water balloons to the head when you least expect it, opening the door naked to Jehovah Witnesses, changing the speedometer in my first car so that I thought I was always going faster than I really was, pretending to be Chinese when going through the drive-thru. I’m definitely not as funny as my Dad, (well, I think I am) and it’s something that I’d like to work on, just being able to laugh at anything. I’m more sarcastic and ridiculous than I have ever been hilarious, but I feel like the legacy needs to be carried on, and I can at least try.  

That’s one way to carry on his legacy I think. It doesn’t change how much I’ll miss him though.

And, Baby, Your Smile’s Forever in my Mind and Memory

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by my friend Emma, which is definitely an honor. I love to write, I always have, and it’s neat to be noticed for something that’s a hobby. In turn I have to answer the questions she’s asked me. Thanks, Emma! You’re a beautiful soul.

1. Why did you start blogging?

I began blogging as both a stress reliever and as a hobby. I love to write, I always have, and I was finding that I had too many thoughts and nowhere to put them. I also suck at speaking sometimes, and get too nervous and freeze when I’m with someone face to face. Writing allows me to get my thoughts out anyways. I found that once I started writing instead of keeping everything inside I also started to actually sleep at night versus laying awake and driving myself crazy with “what if’s.”

2. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in my life it would be to erase being 17. Probably one of the worst years of my life filled with regret, mistakes, and myself just being an overly selfish drama queen. I lost someone I really really love because of my mistakes that year, and I’ll have to live with that always. If I could go back I would have stayed instead of ran. I would have told him every single day how amazing he is.

3. What are your goals for the future?

I have no idea. I’m happy with where I’m at right now, but I would like to figure out exactly where I’m supposed to be, wherever that is.

4. Which do you prefer, books or movies?

I love both, but I think books are usually better than movies. Things are usually better in my head, and then I get disappointed when I see the movie.

5. How many kids do you plan on having, if you are thinking about having kids someday?

I’d like at least 2. I love kids.

6. If you could be any animal, which one would you be?

I’d be a duck. Who wouldn’t want to be an animal that looks like sunshine and gets to swim all day?

7. How many posts have you done in total since starting your blog?

Around 120 or so? I’m not completely sure.

8. Who is your favourite singer/band?

I can’t choose just one. I love Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, M83, Joshua Radin and Ed Sheeran. I’ve listened to “Thinking out Loud” by Ed at least a couple hundred times this past couple of weeks.

9. What would your perfect day include? What would you do? Who would you do it with?

My perfect day includes sunshine, summer, iced coffee, summer dresses, forgiveness and eighty degree temperatures. I would be at a lake and I would spend the entire day doing everything I love with the person that I love.

10. When was the last time you had some ‘me time’ to relax?

The last snow day we had.

11. What is your favorite color?

Yellow!

12. What is something that you hate?

I hate being ignored. I hate it. It’s the biggest slap in the face – because it’s more like you’re saying you wish that person didn’t exist. At least when you say you can’t stand someone, or tell someone to “go away” then you’re showing that you still care enough to acknowledge them. When you’re ignored, you can’t hurt them anymore than you are at that moment. There’s not a worse feeling.

13. What is your favorite food?

Watermelon!

I’ve done more self reflecting over the last couple of days then I think I’ve done in my entire life. I’m really hoping that something great, happy, will happen soon.

Or does life not work that way?