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

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Self-Care is NOT Optional

Once you’ve lost yourself, it’s incredibly difficult to be found.

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It’s too easy to let life take over and to let go of the progress you’ve made with yourself. While most people would not actively choose to forgo caring for themselves, shit happens. I’ve spent the entire year focusing on improvement and learning to love myself while making positive changes; that shit isn’t easy and it’s a long, difficult path to take, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.

Lately, I’ve been overburdened with two jobs, school, sick family members, stress, lack of a support system, and baby kittens; I’ve felt myself crumble under the impossible weight of these responsibilities and let go of one responsibility that should be my top priority:

Self-Care. 

If you’re struggling to care for yourself and you can feel yourself slipping into a downward spiral, take heart.

Things won’t get easier when you don’t care for yourself. You might feel as though you simply don’t have time to do things that make you feel better; I’ve been there, I get it. You cannot expect yourself to be able to handle everything that comes your way when you’re already feeling rather broken. It just won’t happen, or if by some miracle, you’re able to, you’ll end up in an even worse spot than where you started.

If you don’t make it a priority, no one else will. They won’t feel badly about adding more to your already full plate, because you’re not speaking out and telling them. Don’t expect the people in your life to be mind readers (even the best of them can’t know what you’re thinking), so tell them. Are you scared? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Are you nearing the point of no return? If that means an assignment goes in late or you have to call in; do it. You have to care for yourself. 

There’s no shame in taking a mental health day. So just take it. This is something I still struggle with; I feel as though I absolutely cannot call into work or take a day off from coursework, but I’m working on it. I choose to go to the gym to relieve stress before I feel like I’m losing myself instead of when I’m in the midst of it all.

The best kind of self-care is preventative care. Don’t wait until you’re already on the verge. Don’t wait until you’re so stressed out you feel like crying. Take an hour to yourself; whether you can only take a hot shower, paint your nails, sit in silence, whatever, just do it! You need it and your soul will thank you for it.

It’s not easy to find time to care for yourself, but it’s damn worth it. Write. Read. Take a long bath. Go for a walk. Find your inner peace in whatever way you can. Make time for it, even if that means you have to schedule “me time” for yourself each week. Do it and don’t feel guilty about it. You’re worth it.

-LP

 

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

One Day I’ll Learn

Things I’ve Learned as of Late

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Sometimes I learn things and more often than not they’re confirming things I’ve known to be true but would rather ignore. The last few weeks, I learned some wonderful things. Take a peek:

  1. Sharing is essential. Sure, we’ve all been told “sharing is caring;” I have to say that it was much easier to share my toys as a child than it is to share my feelings now. Maybe it’s from years of attempting to pretend that I can handle it all, or maybe it’s because I’m just attempting to be stronger than I am; regardless, it’s no longer something that comes naturally. That being said, it’s more important now than it ever has been. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to try to brush things under the rug and attempt to put on a smiling face, but ultimately that will fail and leave you feeling less than stellar. Share what you’re feeling; share your thoughts and listen to your partner as they share theirs.
  2. Cats are cutest. Okay, okay, I might have known this all along, but my little kitty is currently snuggled up on my lap and I just can’t focus on anything else. I mean… he’s basically the cutest little snuggle buddy around. His ears are so cute, oh my goodness and don’t even get me started on his little paws!
  3. People show they care in different ways. For instance, I show I care by doing random little things; some people don’t appreciate that, some do. It’s not always easy to know what it is you need from someone, but until you can figure that out, no one can give that to you. It’s easy to feel disappointed in a relationship that feels less than perfect, but remember that no one is perfect and ultimately, your partner will learn and grow with you, if you let them.
  4. Michigan winters will always be my fav. As much as the place I call “home” may change, Michigan will always be my favorite place. Who can beat these winters? What other place will ever feel as much like home as the mitten? I guess we’ll see. Regardless of where I call home, Michigan will always hold a special piece of my heart. C’mon guys, my state is literally waving at you!
  5. Self care is important. It’s so damn easy to allow yourself to fall on the back burner when things get crazy, but don’t let it happen! I’ve spent the majority of the last few weeks stressing out over work, school, my relationship, and other things that are beyond my control; it’s been taking its toll on me and I’ve finally decided to just let my worries go. I don’t know how it is that you relax, but for me it’s face masks, wine, and The Office. Who doesn’t want some Michael Gary Scott in their life?!

What have you guys been learning lately?

-LP

Life Update: Breathing is Necessary

Even if you can’t smell the roses, you should still stop.

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I figured it was time to give you all an update on what’s happening in this crazy life of mine! Stick with me ’til the end.

  1. Homegirl’s got a cold like somethin’ fierce. I’ve been hit by the funk and this train ain’t stoppin’ for nobody. But really though, I’m not quite sure what it is, but everyone at the office has come down with one bug or another. I’m not a fan. I’ve been downing water and taking vitamin C like it’s my job, but I think it’s time to call in for some back up; gotta get those meds on board, because, you know, breathing is necessary.
  2. Little Pebble’s Adventures is going to be getting a facelift! There are a few projects in the works and I’m so damn excited to share them with you. You folks are gonna love them, so stay tuned!
  3. My cat is going to the vet on Tuesday! Any of you fellow cat owners out there know that when you bring out the carrier, those buggers magically become octopuses and do everything within their power to avoid being shut in said carrier. We’re going to see how this goes down. Hopefully it’s not too crazy.
  4. Classes start on March 13th! I have been so damn excited for my classes to start up again, but that means that I’ve got a lot of crap to get done so I can stick with this dandy blog we’ve got here. Keep me in your thoughts, folks; If this cold isn’t gone by then I don’t know how I’m going to handle working full time, a full load of courses, and blogging. We’ll see how it goes! Fingers crossed.
  5. Shane Koyczan released some new, amazing poetry! Anyone who knows me at all, knows that SK’s got a hold on this heart of mine. I finally had a chance to listen to his entire Crush album. I love each and every piece on there and I think you guys will love them too. I love the sweet innocence in “Crush,” take a listen and tell me what you think.

 

Anyway, you’re all bombtastic and I thought I’d give you a little info on what’s going on in the life of good old Lil Peb and a taste of the awesomeness that is Shane Koyczan’s new album. Take some time this weekend to kick back, relax, and enjoy life around you; I know I will.

Have a great weekend!

-LP

Being Strong is for the Weak: How to Handle the Bad Days

I don’t know about you, but sometimes life is just so damn hard.

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I can’t even begin to explain how many times I’ve felt like life is getting the best of me; let’s just say, it happens enough for me to be pretty damn sick of it. But, I must admit, life has been pretty damn near perfection lately. That being said, I totally understand how it feels to be overcome with the feelings of despair and hopelessness. I’ve been there and I know how hard it can be to look on the bright side. Hell, sometimes there just isn’t a bright side!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, or just plain depressed, here are some tips for when the wind just won’t blow away the storm clouds that hover above:

Change it up. I know, I know. Change is basically the last thing you want to do when life is kicking you right in the (lady) balls, but if what you’re doing is not generative, does not make you feel happy, and gives you no sense of joy whatsoever, STOP DOING IT. Plain and simple.

Leave toxic people, thoughts, and situations in the dust. I mean it. If you’re around people who make you feel like crap or are just super negative, it’s not going to help you to feel any better about your situation. You might think that their negativity won’t rub off on you, or that you’re already so damn depressed that nothing can make it worse; you’re wrong. Even if you don’t realize it, their attitudes affect you. People and our surroundings truly affect us in unimaginable ways, so why not surround ourselves with positivity and a support system that is both generative and affects us in a positive way?!

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.

– Robert Tew

Give yourself the “OK” to be sad. You don’t have to be strong every moment of every day. You’re not a robot! And if you are then, hey there, you snazzy robot you, how the bleep bleep bloop is it goin’? Anyway, you’re human (I think) so allow yourself to be vulnerable and accept the fact that being broken is part of life.

As always, if you’re feeling blue or you need someone to talk to, do not hesitate to reach out.

You’ve got this!

-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

Things I Learned this Week 1.1

This week has been quite the adventure!

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I’m grateful that I get to live a life in which every day gives me something to reflect upon and this past week has been no exception. So, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. I learned that sometimes when you think your day is going to be crazy and stressful; it’s really not. It’s a wonderful surprise that you welcome with open arms. This week was looking like it would be crazy and filled with stress, but it wasn’t!
  2. Sometimes your friends kind of suck and sometimes they’re great. It’s so important to have a solid support system as you try to make your way though this crazy life. I’m lucky enough to have one gal pal who I can call at a moment’s notice and know she will always be there, or at the very least attempt to be. We make plans and we put our friendship first because it’s important to us. I mean… who else am I going to watch Grey’s Anatomy with while eating Taco Bell and drinking wine?!? I’ve got another friend who flakes out constantly. We’ve been friends for years, but lately it’s seemed like regardless of how much effort I put in, our friendship falls to the wayside. I guess that’s part of growing up?
  3. Bears are the most adorable creatures to ever exist. The boyf sent me like 6 pictures of little snuggly bears before work one day. It brightened my entire day!
  4. I’m not a good person to come to if you want sympathy for procrastinating. I’ve got a simple solution; don’t do it! I’ve got to learn to be a bit more chill about it, especially with the boyf. He’s a bit of a procrastinator. Don’t deny it, you are!! But I love him anyway, so it is what it is. He’s still the babest babe of all babes.
  5. I love listening to oldies and calming tunes while I’m writing. I need the noise and when I can’t make it out to a cafe or something to get some writing done, music helps. You know what else helps?! Writing crap down on random scrap pieces of paper while I’m working. I came up with some awesome ideas in the middle of the work day, so I scribbled them down and… well… they ended up in the wash so it didn’t really help much that time, but I’m sure it will someday!

Keep learnin’

-LP

Find Your Voice

How cliché is that title?

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Pretty damn cliché, I know, but I’ve been spending the last month or so trying to write in a way that is marketable and not in a way that is genuine to myself. I’ve been editing myself down into this lackluster form instead of allowing this snazzy personality to shine. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t felt motivated to write, so I went to Youtube. I mean, who doesn’t like Youtube? (My mom, but that’s beside the point) I spent the last few hours watching people talk about their successes and failures, plus what you have to have in order to make it as a blogger. Every single one mentioned passion; so I found myself sitting here wondering why I feel like I have absolutely no passion to write, right now?

I know why.

I’ve been trying to sound more professional than like myself. Can’t I be sassy and fun while being a writer worth reading? I think so and if you don’t well… I guess that’s cool, too. You should still stick around and read what I have to say though!

In the last 1.5 months of writing on this little blog of mine, several hours of watching videos on blogging, and lots and lots of inspiration hunting, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. If you’re bored with what you’re writing about, don’t write about it. Pretty damn obvious, right? You’d think so, but when you’re trying to find content, you’ll write about anything! Or, you’ll end up not writing because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. I’ve been using the short story I’ve been working on as an excuse, but in all reality, I just haven’t had much to say lately. It’s been difficult because I have this innate desire to write, to share my thoughts, but trying to change into this strange form of myself has made me feel like an alien at the keyboard. I don’t know how to say what I want to discuss anymore because it feels so… unnatural. No more! I’m going to say what I want when I want and, by golly, you folks are just gonna have to like it. (Please don’t hate me! I’ve just got some sassy attitude brewing beneath the surface today.)
  2. Writing is hard work, even on the days you’re feeling super gung-ho and those fingers are itching to write; it’s still hard! It’s okay for it to feel difficult. It’s okay to feel have doubts and wonder if anyone is actually interested in what you have to say. If you’re not wondering then either you’re a super snazzy, hella popular blogger who just doesn’t give an eff, or you must not really be all that interested in what kind of affect you’re having (and if that’s the case, why are you writing at all?). It’s scary putting your thoughts out there for all of the inter webs to peruse through, believe me, I get it. But buck up, buddy, you can do it and you can do it well!
  3. Believe in yo’ self, foo! Don’t doubt that you can do it. Don’t think that just because you’re currently struggling, that you will struggle forever. You won’t! I promise. Stick with it; see it through. You’ll end up surprising yourself. If you’re willing to put in the hours of hard work, if you can push through this wall that you’re standing in front of; you will be rewarded! You’ll feel pretty damn great about yourself at the end of a hard day of writing. Genius takes time. We weren’t born able to walk let alone run, so why do we just expect to be amazing at any given skill the moment we put our mind to it? Because we’re impatient, imperfect creatures. It’s true, but writing takes practice and revision, then rewriting and some more revision. It’s part of that “romantic” process we all grew up thinking that writing was, but really… actually it isn’t all that romantic, after all.

All in all, be yourself. Use your voice; no one has the exact same view as you or lives the same life as you. You are so damn unique so embrace it and let that shine through in everything you do.

Keep fighting, we’ll make it!

-LP

P.S. Don’t worry, this might be a post about things I’ve learned, but you’re still getting the weekly blog post of “Things I Learned This Week” tomorrow!

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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