Ghosts of Christmas Past

How is Christmas less than a week away?

Time flies so quickly, and holidays are a good marker to compare where I was in the past.

So, where was I at Christmas in 2013, and how have I changed?

First things first, I was a redhead.

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Changing my hair is one of the few changes I embrace whole heartedly. Doing something different to my hair doesn’t scare me. Doing something different with my life? HA. I like consistency. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut with myself and crave physical change (in hopes that maybe I’ll see myself differently and like myself a little more). So because I can’t afford piercings and tats and other body mutilations, box dyes or scissors are usually the way to go.

Secondly, I was burned by lust. Twice. One after the other.

The thing about me is that I am always so forthcoming with who I am and how I feel. That is just easier for me. I am not afraid to show how I feel. I don’t like games. I try and have good intentions. I assume others do, too.

I am not into casual and meaningless things. No. When I enter a friendship or a romantic thing, I am in it for the long haul. Example? 2 of my best friends have been stuck with me since I was 6. I like longevity. Unfortunately, most people like things to be constantly changing. Temporary. Fun.  I tried entering into a relationship with two different guys who fooled me into thinking we were on the same wavelength. Needless to say, I was left with nothing but confusion.

But, here I am, a year later.

I am done with college.

Let me repeat that, I am done.

And for the first time, I have no plan.

*Cue changing hair out of sheer panic.*

And if you have read my blog, you know I have had some intense life experience,

so I don’t need to touch on that.

BUT.

I am here.

I am a year older. A year wiser. A year into my twenties.

I have learned so much.

I think I am less naive. Less hopelessly romantic. Life isn’t a 50s sitcom; it is real and hard and cruel. And I have grown up. I have evolved.

I just hope others learn from their experiences, too.

It is exciting how much unknown can happen in a year though. It is energizing.

Although I am sure I will inevitably hit some rough patches,

I cannot wait to see where I will be (and what my hair will look like) at next Christmas.

xmas selfie 2014

Happy Friday!

Now I am left with questions…

What do I want out of life?

Now that I am technically done with college, I have been thinking of this question a lot. What do I want to accomplish in my life? What are my hopes? My dreams? I spent so much time thinking of college and what I wanted to do while I was at Manchester. I wanted to be involved, leave a mark, make new friends, do well academically and find love. I did that. But now that is over and done with.

Somedays I wish that my love life would have played out differently and I had someone to plan a future with. I think we all crave companionship, and being in a relationship makes all of the gray area that comes with your early 20s more bearable. It seems safer to start a family ASAP because that is all we know as humans. I am on my own though, and I think it is for the best. I have a lot that I need to do by myself. I have been a pillar for others for too long, and I’ve been crumbling for awhile now. I am slowly rebuilding, and I will continue to help others, but the restoration is a one man job. Not to say that I am shutting myself off but I need to be around others that respect this and don’t criticize me for rough patches. Re-construction takes time and patience. Some people don’t quite get that.

So, I think I just want a life that allows me the chance to continue growing.

Career wise I am not sure what I will do. I do need to have a balance of team-work and alone time. I need to be allowed to be creative and independent and lead. I want to work hard and see my efforts pay off. Selfishly, I want to be appreciated.

I think I want a life where I continue to help others. I feel so deeply and being in a job where I am cold and isolated is a no no. I want to feel good when I go home from a long day.

I think I want a life in which I open myself back up to being loved. Life is no fun when you’re doing it alone, I have a great support system right now, and I think that as time passes, I would be willing to include a man in that support system. Just because I am independent does not mean I don’t need romance and love in my life. I have realized that I cannot plan this though. It will happen as it should, when it should.

This life I crave is in the outline phase, but I know it is going to come together nicely.

I crave and expect greatness. Greatness from myself and others. I don’t think I am aiming too high with this desire. I am a realist, and sometimes lean toward the half-empty side, but for some reason, I have to stay positive about where I am going to go in this life. I think my life is going to slowly reach my version of perfection.

I work too damn hard to expect or deserve anything else.

To Understand Love You Should Know What It Is And Isn’t

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Carmen Jost
Carmen Jost

I remember how it hurt. I remember how it hurt every. Single. Time. No matter how many times I have gone through it, it has not made it hurt any less.

I remember how hard I’d try to fight back the tears and I remember how that would hurt my throat. It felt like a fist was pushing my emotions down my esophagus. I remember how my legs would start to hurt from keeping myself from falling and from trying my hardest not to quiver. Even each heart beat would hurt because it would by then be beating too hard and too loudly.

I remember that in those moments, I’d understand why a heartbreak was called a heartbreak… because you literally feel your heart break at the loss. Like a piece of you was violently pulled out and you suddenly feel the void. Your chest feels hollow…

View original 409 more words

goodbye

College is done.

One of the biggest, most influential, life changing chapters of my life is over and I honestly don’t know how to feel.

Right now, I am experiencing shock, sadness, relief, happiness, pride, fear and worry.

You are 18 when you enter college, and now at 21 (with what seems to be years and years of life experience behind me), I am nowhere near the child I was when I moved into Garver Hall.

High school was rough. I did well academically, I was a cheerleader, and I had friends but I was never happy nor remotely confident. My parents had just split up after 20 some years together, and understandably, my mom was distraught and alone. Our lives flipped upside down. I was miserable and my emotions were never adequately dealt with.

Divorce is no joke. Being poor to the point where you get your lights turned off and have to take a shower by candlelight is no joke. Having no relationship with your father is no joke. I was volatile. I was sad. I was unhealthy. Furthermore, I was not even sure that I was going to be able to go away to school until I got a generous scholarship from MU. It finally felt like things were going to fall into place for me.

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Then, a week after graduating from high school, I discovered I had a tumor on my salivary gland and doctors did not know whether or not it was cancerous. Being 18 and hearing that is absolutely horrifying. I am thankful everyday that it was NOT cancerous, but I still had to get the side of my head cut open and it was traumatizing. Regardless, a month later I was packing up my car and going away to school, with a half numb face and massive scar as the only reminders of my health scare.

Worn down from life, living away from home was not a smooth transition; it was completely jarring. I felt as if my mom and I had become co-dependent and leaving her alone  to take care of my two brothers left me feeling guilty. I tried to keep pushing through, focusing on making new friends and improving my health to distract from the emotions (and ultimately losing a lot of weight in the meantime) but I still was not happy.

During my January session of my freshman year, I was at my wit’s end and was ready to move home. My friends and family insisted that was the wrong decision. That it would be worth it, and I would regret it if I left. I listened, but I knew something had to change. I finally sought out the counseling I so desperately needed and realized I was suffering from depression and anxiety disorder.

Things finally started to turn around for the better.

I continued to lose weight, made more friends and decided to be an English and Comm. Studies double major. I started working for student activities, under a woman who has changed my life, I made some best friends, I became involved and I felt better.

College continued, Classes continued, but my demons remained.

I discovered, to my immense dissatisfaction that-

Losing weight does not equal happiness.

Moving away does not fix familial issues.

College does not reduce stress.

During my three and a half years here, I have had a handful of breakdowns. I have felt not good enough. I have felt useless. I have felt crippling loneliness. I have dealt with horrible humans. I have been let down. I have let my heart care too much. I have experienced heartbreak. I have unfortunately realized that you can’t fix anyone, and you can’t make someone love you.

But I grew, and grew stronger. 

I realized that my friends were my family. I fell in love and loved hard. I felt appreciated and like my efforts were recognized. I became a part of an insane support system. I broadened my horizons. I started to become the woman that I wanted to be.

I became a college graduate.

I am not kidding when I say that Manchester changed my life completely.

Although I will continue to have my doubts and issues for the rest of eternity, I have come to realize that I am an important human deserving of love. I am a good human. I am enough.

College really gives back what you put into it, and throwing my broken, raw self into these past 3.5 years fully has left me with some major gains.

Words cannot ever adequately express the gratitude I feel for this school and the people who have been there for me while here, so all I will say is thank you.

Thank you for making me feel whole.

mu

And now, as I close this chapter, I can honestly say I feel ready for whatever lies ahead.

quick s/o

This post is not going to be poetic nor will it be wordy.

This post is simply me recognizing the amazing people I have in my life.

I appreciate you.

I love you.

Thank you.

I have unfortunately realized that people do leave, and I guess I was shocked by that despair because the majority of the people I love (and have loved me back, UNCONDITIONALLY) have stayed around. I have been spoiled.

So yeah, I am single. And sometimes it is good and sometimes it sucks so hard. BUT I have a shit ton of people in my life who have yet to leave nor have any plans to do so. They could exit my life easily, but they don’t. They haven’t. They won’t.

Those people are truly exceptional, and I am exceptionally lucky and eternally grateful.

xxoo

go hard or go home

I have absolutely no desire to try and understand the heart. It wants what it wants, and it is so powerful that our entire soul and being builds around it.

For awhile now I have wanted to rip my heart out because its beating reminded me of everything that I did not have. It ached and ached and left me exhausted. But sometimes my brain and heart work together and bestow me with these vivid moments of clarity, clarity that makes me happy that I did not cut out my heart nor did someone else tarnish its ability to love and beat for others.

I do not always feel ok. I am a sensitive person, and I know that for the rest of my life I will struggle with the difficulty that comes with allowing your emotions to be all-consuming. But I feel the need to document these happy epiphanies for my sake, to remind me that no matter how volatile and unclear and unfair life can be, I am alive and I am good.

Every experience in my life has come with immense hardship, and I will never know why. I have been beaten down to the point where I seriously did not know if I was going to make it, or why I was even put on this Earth. I felt unnecessary, and maybe I am. Maybe we all are. But you are here. I am here, and I have yet to give up. I don’t know why people act the way they do. I don’t know why some people can’t grow together and instead grow apart; I am still growing though, and that means my heart still has a purpose. I have always picked myself up (or have had friends or family pick me up) and gone on. I can do it again. You can do it again. Humans aren’t porcelain. Instead, I think we grow more beautiful and more kind with every break and wound and scar. It means you have felt. You laughed hard. You loved hard. You hurt hard. You go all in with your emotions and it can be amazing and raw and painful but it is truly the only way to live.

Our hearts are weird.

Love is weird.

Life is weird.

And it is hard. IT IS SO FUCKING HARD.

But that will never change.

As soon as we accept that, as soon as I accept that, accept the things I cannot (nor maybe don’t want to) change, I’ll find even more peace. I’ll have more of these positive revelations. I’ll shine brighter. We will all shine brighter.

erase me

There is nothing I hate more than memories.

You ever hear of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? If not, the plot line consists of a girl erasing all memory of her ex. Crazy? yes. Understandable? absolutely.

Memories are a bitch. Its like they know that you’re hurting, so to be helpful they spruce up only the good memories and diminish the bad ones to limit additional pain. I think it is because your brain want to protect you and prevent you from rehashing traumatic experiences, but in my case, I need the bad. Constantly only remembering the good has me feeling regretful or full of mistakes. It leaves me feeling like I was the only one that wronged people because I can only remember the great things said ex-friend/boyfriend/acquaintance did. “How come I stopped being friends with this person? I remember them so fondly. I must have been the one that fucked up.” This spirals into me feeling like a shell full of bad decisions. Carrying that around is painful.

See my problem? Sweetening up the past is making me wish I was back there. And unless someone has a time travelling machine, it is impossible for me to get back to a prior situation. And no matter how hard I wish or hope, things will never go back to how they were.

Maybe there is a reason for it or maybe life just fucking blows sometimes and it will never make sense to me. Some things I will never know the answer to.

What I do know is that I need to move on. Move on from everything in my life that has shaped me but is also still wounding me.But moving on means letting go. Letting go of what my life was and could have been and should have been and that I am not ready for. I’m not ready to let go because maybe one day, they’ll realize that they messed up. They’ll realize that they had it so good. That I was worth it. That I am worth it.

So in case that day comes, I will hang on tightly to the past. I will continue to wait right here.

Wait for you to change your mind.