I’m Slightly-Dependent and I’m O.K. with it.

The phrase “I am independent” isn’t always a good thing.

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Sure, it’s 2018 and the term “feminist” is now synonymous with strength, power, and independence. Women are where it’s at and men are expected to sit down, shut-up, and only come when called upon. Women are fierce and our supposedly “newfound” strength and independence is neatly embroidered on the sash we wear proudly in public. I mean, we wear hats called “pussy hats” now at rallies and proudly exclaim that “the future is female” as if we didn’t know that already.

I mean, how will procreation occur if there aren’t women? Did men suddenly become asexual? Last time I checked, generally when an XY man peed on a pregnancy test and got a positive result, that was a bad thing.

Bad as in cancer, and I don’t mean the astrological sign.

I’m all for women having equal rights, pay, and the like if we’re being rational on the topic, but the idea that I am a “strong, independent woman who don’t need no man” is not something I’m okay with.

Do I need my guy? Absolutely.

But it’s more than that, I want him too. I like when he’s around and now that he’s over 4,000 miles away I’m a bit at a loss here. I’m at a loss and there’s no one to turn to because we’re not allowed to need a man and if we do, we better not admit it. But holy hell, things are hard and I’m incredibly emotional because my period is coming. Am I allowed to say that? Well, I did.

I’m emotional, irrational, alone, and depressed. 

Life is incredibly hectic right now and, to quote one of my fav men, Bob Dylan, “I can’t get no relief.” Every day seems to be a never ending list of tasks on my To Do List, even when I’m in bed I lay there staring at the ceiling with a sense of inevitable dread.

But I’m “independent.” I always have been and I’ll always probably try to see myself that way, which is why it’s hard to admit that maybe, just maybe, I’m not. Maybe when times are hard, I do need someone else around. I could use a shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to, and someone to love me. I could benefit from having someone wrap their arms around me while it feels like dawn just will not break and I think you’ve probably been there too. So why don’t we talk about that?

Why are we so proud to tell everyone how independent we are? How we don’t need anyone and no one better need us. Why do we pretend to have it all together day in and day out when we feel overwhelmed and under-qualified to face the day?

I guess I can understand it though. It’s like what I was talking to one of my friends about; we only want people to know the best of our lives. If you look on social media you’ll be greeted by the smiling faces of your friends and their perfect lives. Lives that you desperately wish you had; lives that seem so much better than your own. I’m guilty of it too; I know that’s what my pages look like. My closest friends were shocked when they found out my life was crumbling around me 2 years ago because I hid it well. I still hide it pretty well, for the most part. So I guess I have to explicitly state it:

My life is a mess, and I don’t mean the kind of mess you can wipe up with a swiffer. It’s a break-out-the-big-guns-where’s-the-shopvac? kind of mess. I’ve let myself get pulled in so many different directions that I don’t have a place to stand anymore. Sure, galpals are incredible and essential, but sometimes they’re not enough. My family is great and I know that my dad in particular would listen to any problems I may have, but that isn’t what I want nor is it what I need.

What I need is to let go of the emotions that I’ve been bottling up for the last few weeks and just have a nice and long cry fest in a hot bath, followed by wine and ice cream in a fluffy bed with the love of my life next to me while we watch YouTube videos of cats, bad movies, and sassy home cooks. What I need is to know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a flashlight, but the actual sun waiting for me. I need to know this shit-show will end soon. I need to know I can make it.

-LP

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I’ll Pretend to Have All the Answers

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25 Things to Start Doing Today

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and FLOSS. It’s important.
  2. Compliment a stranger. It can brighten their day.
  3. Hold the door open for the person behind you. 
  4. Take responsibility for your actions.
  5. Stop putting your career first. Your career is great, but so is having a life and appreciating time with your family and friends.
  6. Tell the one you love, you love them. Often.
  7. Express yourself with authority. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, no one else will either.
  8. Declutter. You don’t need all of the possessions you’re holding onto. Getting rid of what doesn’t matter and keeping what does will change your life.
  9. Don’t be afraid to travel. Even if that means you’re going to do it broke.
  10. Care about something or someone more than yourself. Yes, cats count too.
  11. Spend time with your loved ones. They’re gone too soon.
  12. Cry when you’re sad and laugh when you’re happy. It’s okay to feel things. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you that, there ya go.
  13. Learn a new word each day and try to use it.
  14. Let go of the past. This includes old partners, bad habits, grudges, and even memories that hurt.
  15. Live in the moment, with a bit if caution. This is not a #YOLO type idea, what I mean is this: if you see a pretty sunrise, stop for a moment and enjoy it. If your family member is sick, call into work and spend the day with them, it’s worth it.
  16. There are a million reasons to not do something that’s a bit scary, focus on the reason you should. 
  17. Love yourself unconditionally, without being conceited.
  18. Love others unconditionally, without being foolish.
  19. Offer support to those around you. You never know how much they may need it and they may never ask for it.
  20. Ask for support when you need it. Life is hard and we can’t go through this alone.
  21. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. Unless you’re actually sorry, don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t apologize for being excited about something or for not knowing the answer, yet.
  22. Count your blessings. Use your fingers and toes.
  23. Say one nice thing about yourself each morning. It gets easier with practice.
  24. Never speak ill of your partner. Don’t let the last annoying thing they did, be your next topic of conversation with your friends.
  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We’re all still learning.

-LP

You’re Babetastic

I’m the kind of gal who knows what she wants.

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I can write all about it. I’ll tell you how to touch me and where my soft spots are. I’ve got a heart and boy, I know how to let you grab ahold of it. It’s never been something that I kept secret, however it’s always been a bit too out of reach for most. I don’t want someone who merely plays the part of the perfect companion. I’m truly not interested in it; what I am interested in is having a person who loves me in a way that I didn’t know I wanted.

I’ve got that now.

I’ve got a guy who loves me in his perfect way. He sasses me back. He makes me smile. His heart is the heart I’m after and the one I want linked to mine. He is just wonderful and I’m feeling hella mushy today so… please excuse the mush overload that is known as this post.

When I met him, I realized I was wrong; having a creative partner is such an amazing and necessary experience. I never thought much of the fact that any person I had shared my time with wasn’t the “creative type.” It wasn’t ever an issue it was just fact. The one downside was that, if I shared anything with them, it always amazed them; now don’t get me wrong, I’m a gal who likes to woo with words, BUT it’s so wonderful to be able to discuss works in progress with my guy. I love that I can go to him with my thoughts or my struggles and he just gets it. He understands what it means to just want to be immediately amazing at your skill because he’s been there. He can vent his frustrations over his mix to me and I can truly sympathize with him. I can’t speak for my guy, but I’m so damn grateful for this creative and wonderful partner of mine.

He has shown me a different side of myself. I can accept that maybe all metal music isn’t half bad. “B” movies are pretty damn amazing to watch. I’m a morning person, at least when it comes to talking to him, I’ll happily wake up an hour earlier than necessary just to have my morning/his afternoon chats. I can push through hard times with a bit of encouragement, and by-golly, he gives it to me. He makes me feel like I can achieve my dreams and that they’re not too far fetched.

He keeps me grounded when times are hard. Just this past weekend I was stressing out over this little blog of mine; wondering if I could do it or not. I’ve been worried about what kind of writer I’m becoming, of what kind of person I’m trying to be… He asked the questions that forced me to reflect on what’s important to me, listened to me, and wrote down what I said to show me that I do know what I want and where I want to be. He does these little things without being asked, somehow he knows what I need.

His voice perks me right up. The sassy ghetto voice he does when he’s feeling silly. His fruity voice he does when he’s feeling a bit saucy. His super deep manly voice when he’s working real hard on asserting that masculinity of his. And his regular, wonderful sounding voice when I first hear it each morning. That initial “Hey, babe” melts my heart and instantly paints a smile upon my face; it makes me want to run out and buy up all the mistletoe I an find just to pull out a sprig anytime he walks by and plant a kiss on his cheek.

Also, he’s pretty damn babetastic. I mean… that doesn’t need any explanation.

Grow old with me, babe.

-LP

I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

Welcome Home

I dream of the simple life.

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When you ask someone about their dream home, generally they’ll tell you how many bedrooms and bathrooms they want. They’ll tell you how they want their bathroom to be dripping with marble; they want walk in closets and cathedral ceilings. Now this isn’t true of everyone, but so many focus on the structure of the home instead of what you feel upon entering. Ask my mother, she could go on for hours about the number of bedrooms and every little design aspect.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some aesthetics in mind; I want a fireplace to curl up in front of in the living room and a window over the kitchen sink to peek out of while the children play outside. I have plenty of little desires when it comes to our home. I’ve always dreamed of a lush peony bush on the side of our cozy home and a front porch to sit on after the sun has gone down. I’ve got those plans, you know, the ones that you’ve secretly been storing away for “someday.” Plans that make your heart smile and you hope are more than wishes; maybe, just maybe, they are premonitions. At least I hope so.

It’s essential to create a home and not simply live in a house. Create a safe haven. Make your home somewhere you want to spend your days in. If you love paintings, hang them. If you can’t spend a single day without listening to music, play it loudly and dance around to it. Do what makes you happy and make your house into a home for yourself. Believe me, we will have Motown playing on Sundays; we’ll have pictures on the wall and fluffy rugs on the floor. You’ll be able to look around and see that the place you just entered is more than someone’s house; it’s a home.

I want that little home; I want it to be filled with love and happiness. I want to decorate the walls with pictures of the happy family that resides within and cover the fridge with drawings that flowed from precious little hands and notes from the one I love. There will undeniably be stacks of books on the coffee table and piles of blankets in little wooden baskets by the sofa we snuggle on. I long to have the kind of home that shows a family lives there. I wish for it to be filled with smiles that broke into laughter, hugs, and bedtime stories. I want soft moments to be a daily experience and for disagreements to be things that bring us together instead of tear us apart. Sure, maybe it’s childish to have these dreams, but I promise you, I’m not walking through life with my eyes closed.

I know life will be hard and days won’t always be as sunny and cheerful as I’d like. I can accept that, but I’ve always had a bit of a childlike side to myself, so I’m going to walk into the future with these dreams and pray they become reality. I’ll get that peony bush one day, I swear.

-LP

An Open Letter to My Future Self:

Hey there stranger,

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I’m writing you because I want you to remember that, once upon a time, you felt confused. I want you to look around your life right now and realize how truly blessed you are. Look in the eyes of those you love today and understand what it took for you to get to this moment. I want you to take in every single second of today and be thankful for it. Remember that not so long ago, you were this 23 year-old girl who diligently grasped at your dreams and decided to be fearless. This girl, the one that you see when you look in old photographs; she is the reason you are surrounded by love and joy.

I want you to remember every scary moment you’ve faced, even the ones that I don’t realize I’m talking about yet. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug; believe me, we both need it. You need to thank the girl that got you to where you are and I need that damn hug. I need to be told that even when frightening situations come my way, we’ll make it through. I need to know that all of these major life decisions that I’m making are not in vain. I know that you already know that; you may have known for quite some time, but on this side of time, I still feel a bit overwhelmed.

If you’re not writing or living life like you want to be, I’m sorry. I did the best I could, sometimes that wasn’t much. Realize that we’ve failed in certain respects, but excelled in others. Are you happy? Does he still have that cute nickname for you? When’s the last time you were kissed? Are you a wife or a mother? Do you own 50 cats? Are you still spunky and outgoing or have you traded in the attitude for something a bit more calm? Can you look back on the time between now and then and smile at the memories? I hope you can. I’m on my knees praying that I’ve given you the best life I can. Please know that. Know that I’m working hard and I won’t give up.  We deserve a life filled with joy and peace; I’ll work diligently until my future /your present is something we can be proud of.

I look forward to meeting you when you pass by a mirror today; the reflection may have changed, but know that I’m still there. This girl who is all elbows and worried thoughts was once the entirety of who you were. Put on some mismatched, colorful socks today and smile at your aged reflection; pretend that it’s me smiling at you from where I am, because it is.

Sincerely,

-LP

Life Update: One of Many

I can’t stop smiling.

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My life has been a bit of a mess the last few years, but lately… man, it’s just been so damn great. I’ve been dealing with a lot of problems and issues that I’ve been working through but even with all that, I’m still happier than ever. It’s just amazing. This path of mine has made its way up mountains, down valleys, and through the thickest of all thickets; all the while I was worried about each decision. I constantly wondered if I was making the right decision. It’s really difficult to know that, you know?

I’ve second guessed myself every step of the way, but I’ve learned -through a bunch of trial and error- that, generally, the first thought that floats through that mind of yours is often the right one. Trust your gut. Seriously. Don’t doubt yourself. You’re smart and most often our first decisions are the ones that our heart truly wants us to follow. I’ve had to make so many difficult decisions in my short life and each decision has been riddled with self-doubt, but I’ve finally made it to the other side of pure clarity. Let me tell you, the fact that I feel secure in my decision doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel the clouds of doubt looming overhead; it just means that I know a gust of reassurance is heading my way and soon those clouds will be gone.

I grew up thinking that earning a degree in English would be wasteful. I thought it would be amazing but not worthwhile; I thought I would be happy just writing in my free time, but I needed a “real job” to pay those bills. I spent years taking courses in education, social work, and nursing, and filling in any opening with courses in literature and writing, I finally got to the point where I had one useless degree under my belt and I was looking for something more. I knew I had always longed to complete an English degree; I had known it for years, but it was always just a pipe dream, something that was just for dreamers- funnily enough, I always called myself a dreamer.

Well folks, yesterday I got my official acceptance letter into the English program and I was able to register for courses. I furiously clicked through classes while slouched into the sofa, excitement building with each press of the button. The list of classes that I had to choose from overwhelmed me with pure joy. I squirmed excitedly in my seat as I read through the courses that I get to take and immediately bought and began reading the required text  upon selecting my courses.  I’ve always loved school, but now I am finally pursuing something I am so beyond passionate about. I know that I’m blessed to be able to at only 23 years old, but it’s been a lifetime of thinking that it just wasn’t practical to follow this dream of mine.

Not only am I able to pursue something I absolutely love, I have the support of someone who encourages me every step of the way. The boyf and I are just two peas in a pod. Honestly. I’ve never had a relationship in which I can be my true self. I’ve often found that I have to give up pieces of myself or push down the things that make me, me in order to be more palatable, but not with him. I can be excited and bouncy or sassy or sweet. I can be who I am every moment of the day. I can love things that I love and appreciate the things that he loves. It’s just spectacular.

Life is grand.

-LP

You’re Sweet. I’m Sassy.

Relationships aren’t always peaches n’ cream.

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I’m sure we all have an idea as to how difficult relationships can be. That being said, it’s important to realize that loving that person shouldn’t be the difficult part. The difficult part should be the outside forces that are working on it. I’ve been in both types of relationships.

I’ve had to force myself to love someone and I’ve had to try to calm my tits about loving another. I have to say, I’m a pretty lucky gal to have experienced (be experiencing) a love like that. But shit still gets hard. You can’t always control your circumstances, but you can deal with the waves as they come. So deal with them.

Put in the work. Wake up early for that person; go to bed late for them. Do little things to show them that you care about their thoughts and feelings. Put yourself out there and show them how much love you have in your heart. You have to fill up their love bank so they’ve got something to hold onto on a rainy day. You are responsible for that. Sure, the modern world tells us that we should find joy in ourselves or things, but it’s not true. It doesn’t make you weak to have a bit of dependence on someone, it makes you brave.

You are brave for loving that person because people leave. They do. It’s not easy when it happens, but quite frankly, without the experience of pure and utter shit, you wouldn’t know what true love and joy feels like. So trust your heart, it might get a bit banged up, but it’s worth it.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with the thought that something is missing, look at yourself. Look at your emotions and how you are perceiving the situation. Don’t blame it on the other person’s inability to be all that you want at every moment of the day; if you do that, you’re bound to be let down. Don’t expect perfection; expect imperfection and love them for it. Love them for trying.

I am so guilty of expecting myself to be perfect all the time and punishing myself when I’m not. It’s not fair to me and, quite frankly, it’s not fair to him. It’s something that I’m working on, but hey, I’m imperfect and hopefully he can love those sneaky imperfections while they morph into some form of a more emotionally stable person.

Life is hard. Once you get used to the idea that everyone is a bit banged up, it makes it easier to forgive yourself for the bumps and bruises you’re trying to mend. If you’re hurting, go lick your wounds. Take care of yourself. Open that Ben and Jerry’s pint and dive right in, the calories don’t count when your eyes are filled with tears, at least that’s what momma always told me.

Shane Koyczan said it best, “sadness is nothing more than the cost of being able to smile once in a while,” and it’s so damn true. You can’t have one without the other. I’m sure you’ve gone through some crap, those experiences might be running through your head right now, but just remember this, if you haven’t found the person who makes you forget about the shit-storm that is life, they’ll be there soon. Maybe their train is a bit late, who knows. Don’t worry though, they’ll show up and when they do, it’s okay to ask them, “what took you so long?” Odds are, they’ll tell you they’ve been unknowingly running in your direction for years.

-LP