Keep Climbing and Don’t Look Up

This was not how I envisioned this going.

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If we’re being honest, I hadn’t expected this year to be such an uphill battle. I figured that, by now, life would have gone back to normal and I’d be working for a company I love, in Finland. Hell, if we’re going to talk about my crazy and incredibly naive notion on how this year would go, we’d be discussing how I had planned on still being in Helsinki and working for a company that was able to hire me on full-time, planning to go back to Michigan any day now.

But that’s not how life works.

Life is messy- I’m pretty sure I’ve said that phrase about a million times on this blog, but it’s still true. After spending the last year and change in an international relationship, you’d think I’d understand how nothing is easy and just seeing each other is the world’s biggest headache, but I’m still not fully grasping the severity of it all. Let me give you guys the low-down on what’s going on:

I am currently working for a start-up company in Helsinki, from Michigan. This company is amazing and I want to be a part of this team like you wouldn’t believe. There is an opportunity for becoming a partner at this company after my initial position has come to its close. So you’d think that would mean I could get a residence permit, right? Nope. So even though I’m an educated and hardworking individual with a job that you’d think would allow me to mosey my way on over, I can’t. Here’s why: because this company is a start-up and we are not making real salaries, in terms of like over a 1000 euros a month, I cannot get a residence permit, so I can’t move to Finland in order to work there, like, you know, full-time. Plus, although I would be in a situation where I don’t have normal expenses like rent and utilities, it’s not a good enough reason to not need to meet their income requirements.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t even be looking into this company or moving to Finland if it wasn’t for my super cool boyfriend who I’d like to actually get to spend time with… preferably without the use of a computer and the internet. So we’ve talked about it, the big M-word, and it’s been a difficult conversation. This wasn’t how we had planned on doing it. Rushing it was never in the cards, but living apart for another year and a half isn’t either. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment and I’m stuck somewhere in the limbo of planning a courthouse wedding and looking for full-time jobs in Michigan for when my contract with the Helsinki based company ends. As the “planner” type, this has been horrible. I’ve broken out with hives every day for the last week and I keep pretending it’s not because of some underlying stressor, even though it is.

I know there’s already been a lot of climbing this year; my arms are a bit tired and my footing is a bit loose, but there’s nothing else we can do but climb and not look up at the rest of the massive mountain in front of us.

-LP

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Grow Fonder

When life feels full of sorrow
And pain comes easily,
Remind me of tomorrow,
Don’t just leave me be.

My words feel so jumbled up,
My pen can’t find the page.
And when I think of the future
My heart turns the lock upon its cage.

It’s too easy to grow distant
Too easy to let go.
And I wouldn’t wish it
On my dearest friend,
Or my deadliest foe.

It’s so easy to grow apart,
So please don’t let me wander.
Hold me to your heart,
Make me grow fonder.

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

Love Can Hurt, Distance Doesn’t Help

I could spend forever with you and it still wouldn’t be enough.

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I’ve been told to write about that which you dwell upon and I guess you could say I’m dwelling on this.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this. I’ve tried writing this post for the last hour and I’m still just swimming in thoughts mixed with distractions, all of which are laced with a painful reminder that I’m here and you’re there. And I just want you here.

I’ve learned a lot these last three months that I’ve spent loving you while simultaneously being in the same country as you, in the same space as you.

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Now that I’ve been spoiled with the knowledge of what it’s like to hug you, kiss you, and do all the things that we’ve done, I can’t forget it. For a year, video calls were enough for us.  Sure, we wanted more, but we knew that it would come and we knew that we would be together. I suppose we still know that, but now the moment we were looking forward to is in the rearview mirror on this road in which there is no U-turn.

I don’t even know where to begin in order to unburden myself of this heartache, but I suppose the beginning is the best.

This past October, I packed my bags and boarded a plane on my way to you. I spent 15 hours traveling and attempting to contain my excitement as I flew across the Atlantic. I had no idea what to expect and honestly I didn’t have any expectations, I just knew within my heart that the next three months would be amazing… and they were.

We’ve experienced so much together, all of which only deepened and strengthened my love for you. From our trip to the cottage in Puumala, to the weekend in Gdansk, and even our day at the zoo, every day started with waking up beside you, and ended asleep beside you. Precious moments turned into memories and I swear it happened all too fast.

I hadn’t realized how quickly three months could fly by, but now we’re here at this phase where we aren’t together anymore because over 4,000 miles separate us. After having my lips against yours every day, this distance feels insurmountable. I feel hollow without you in my life and after returning to a place I had called home with ease, it doesn’t feel like home.

I feel alone in a place I used to feel relaxed in. Your presence in my life is so potent that I can’t help but to wonder how I had gotten on without you before. I can’t even explain why I feel so sad, I just do. I can’t sleep without you anymore; at first I thought it was jet-lag, but now I know it’s more than that.

IMG_2995I was told that when you are away from home for an extended period of time, you’re never really able to fully come back. I hadn’t believed it before, but I do now. This is no longer my home. The time I spent in Finland had felt so natural that now I don’t know who I am or what to do. I spend my days here thinking about going back as quickly as possible, knowing that I won’t be able to for many months. I find myself wondering what we’ll do if the position I have at the Helsinki based company falls through and it terrifies me.

I’m not afraid that we won’t make it. I’m not afraid that the distance will win. I’m not afraid of anything to do with us; I have no doubts about the strength of our relationship, but I just feel alone. I know that it’s not easy on you either. I know that you’re forced to live in our flat alone. You walk to the shop alone and sleep in our bed without me. You’re living our life without me and I can’t even imagine how that feels.

I guess you’re right though, this is the cost of having something amazing. We have something truly amazing. It’s been over a year and I’m not only madly in love with you, but I’m not annoyed by you, and I still crave your presence. All I want is a life with you and I know that’s what you want to.

There’s been a lot of rambling in this post, but it’s just been a way to decompress and let go of some emotions… maybe this will help me stop crying randomly during the day.

-LP

Letting Go of Who You Were: A Beginner’s Guide

Don’t let yourself slip between the cracks.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life is hard. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of our lives and forget to allow ourselves time to reflect and grow. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better, it just means that we’ve got to start that routine today.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself. It’s easy to look back at who we were and want to rip away the parts that don’t seem all that great. Just recently, I spent some time reminiscing on the teenage version of myself and I’m glad to say that I’m no longer that girl. It makes me cringe to think of who I used to be, but I know that 10 years from now I’ll be doing the same when I look at how I am today. It’s alright. We’re learning. Life is a process.
  2. Forgive Yourself. Don’t hold those awkward, embarrassing, painful, or even disappointing moments against your former self. Come to terms with the fact that you’ve made mistakes and realize that we all have. It’s natural and part of growing into a better version of ourselves.
  3. Forgive Others. The worst thing we could do is harbor resentment for those who have wronged us. It’s draining and quite frankly isn’t all that healthy either. Sure, your ex-boyfriend might have been a major mistake and he may have committed some terrible crimes against you; forgive him anyway. Let it go and hope that he’s moved on as well. Wish him well and say goodbye. It’s alright.
  4. Love Yourself Through the Crap. You’re going to keep messing up. You’re going to forget that you’re not meant to have it all together; that’s okay. You might get chubby. You could enter a marriage you were never supposed to be in. You could break a home and a heart, and move across the globe. It’s okay. Love yourself anyway. Love yourself through it all, even the bad parts.

Ultimately, our experiences shape us and without them we would never grow and change so accept the fact that you’re still learning and let go of the old versions of yourself, even the one from yesterday. You’re better than you were then and not as great as you’ll be tomorrow.

 

-LP

 

You’re a World Away

My feet have never stepped upon the ground beneath you.
My hands have never brushed your air.
But my eyes have seen the same sun rise,
And my heart has felt pull of the same moon.
I’ve looked to the sky and seen the same stars as you
I’ve seen them all, without ever knowing;
How could I have lived a life ignorant of your existence?
How could I have not known you were there?
Somehow, I lived my life oblivious to the fact that
Somehow, deep within me I knew.

I swear, you’re not new to me;
Somewhere I met you, many moons ago.
I guess we’re what you call kindred spirits.
I guess we’re more than just a happy coincidence.
Maybe as a child, when dreams took us away,
We’d wander through our new world, eyes wide with curiosity.
That must have been where you found me.
Because I swear, you’re not new.
I know, I’ve never walked the same streets as you.
I know we bumped into each other on accident.
I’ve never been one to believe in destiny.
I’ve always been the kind to take fate into my own hands.
But now, all I want in these hands,
Are yours.

Let fate do what it will.
Let destiny lead me closer.
If that’s what this is,
Then maybe I was wrong.
Maybe I do believe in destiny.
Maybe fate is real.
Because, although my feet have never stepped upon the same ground as you.
And my hands have never brushed your air.
I know that one day, I’ll be standing beside you,
Realizing I was always meant to be right there.

Winter Around My Finger

I remember the moment you slid onto my finger;
Your cold metal sent shivers down my spine.
They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend;
But I swear, you’ll never be mine.
I met you on our last snowy night;
Your beauty reflected the street lights well.
I loved the way you looked on my hand,
Even if it was a lie,
We promised never to tell.
You’ve always been my little piece of winter,
The snowflake that never melted;
I promise you, my little gem,
When I told you, you were beautiful I meant it.
But now I look down at you,
And you’re still just as bright,
Just as clear.
But now all you hold are broken promises;
And now you hold every tear.
You used to fit so perfectly;
We used fit so well;
But now you’re nothing more than a reminder;
Now you’re torment.

You’re hell.

And now you’re too loose on my finger,
And now we no longer fit;
I should have known I’d have to let you go;
The moment I told him, “I quit.”
I was told I should get rid of you,
That’s how you signify it’s the end.
But how can I destroy you?
After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

1 A.M.

You’ll mark the periods of your life as
Before Me and After Me,
As if for some brief moment of time,
Something amazing happened.

Because something amazing did.

I promise you, I felt alive.
I meant it all when I told you I loved you.
I meant it when I said I wanted to stay.
I meant it when I said I couldn’t.

I told you I was broken.

During that brief moment of time
I was your girl,
At least I thought I was;
But all you had was a girl who wanted to let you in,
A girl who wanted to let you love her,

But couldn’t.

Momma Knows Best

My hands reached for books,
Words have filled my head.
Boys like smart girls,
At least, that’s what momma said.

She had her plans,
A life filled with ribbons and pearls.
College is meant to meet boys;
Because after all, we’re only girls.

Momma, I tried,
I swear I never meant to,
But somewhere along the way
I realized I had a brain, too.

Those books gave me thoughts,
Ideas of my own.
And now I long for to do more
Than spend my days in our home.

But now I’m so torn,
Because all of my life,
I always dreamed of being a mother and wife.

So I jumped into it;
I said “I do,”
He said he loved me
And sometimes I thought it was true.

He told me I was pretty,
I was all he had hoped for;
But no one knew what happened behind closed doors.

I longed for more,
But I tucked it away.
I knew I was lying
Each and every damn day.

I know I’m young,
I’ve got so much left to do.
I’m only twenty-three,
And I’ve already disappointed you.

I wore the pretty dress,
Momma, I read the lines.
I tried so hard,
But I also have a mind.

I long to learn,
To explore and discover.
And all these lost years,
Well they’ll never be recovered.

Momma I tried,
I promise you, I really did.
But it turns out boys don’t like girls
With this many thoughts in their head.

Technically, I’m running.
So yeah, I guess you’re right.
But I can’t fix this
And I don’t wanna fight.

I long for my freedom,
For the wind in my hair.
And we both know I could never explore
If I would have stayed there.

So I’m hitting the road,
I’m turning my back on that man.
And I guess I’ve kind of ruined
The future you had planned.

I hope one day you’ll get it,
You look at me and understand.
I’ve always felt like myself,
With a book in my hand.

I know someone will love me,
They’ll want to hear the thoughts in my head.
When we have a daughter,
She’ll say, “that’s what momma said.”

I’ll tell her to think,
To be courageous and be strong.
I’ll tell her thinking for yourself,
Well that’s never wrong.

I’ll look at her dad,
Wrap my hands around his waist.
I’ll tell her running away,
Was the best difficulty I’ve ever faced.

These mistakes led me to him,
And in turn gave me you.
I’ll say, “maybe after all,
That’s what momma knew.”

 

You’re It

Kiss me each morning when you rise.
Kiss me before I’ve wiped the sleep from my eyes.
Kiss me each evening before sleep consumes you.
Kiss me like I’m the only love you ever knew.

Place your lips on my forehead before you walk out the door.
Place your hands on my hips and pull me in for more.
Place your heart in my chest and I’ll trade mine for yours.
Place your hand in mine while we face what’s in store.

Put your lips to mine.
Run your fingers through my hair.
You’ve overtaken my heart
And I no longer care.

I belong to you, yet I belong to me.
Between you and I; there’s a love I can see.
Lace your fingers through mine and tell me of your dreams.
With you by my side, the world’s not as dark as it seems.

Kiss me each morning.
Kiss me each night.
Tell me if I’m wrong,
Because  it all feels so right.