big BIG NEWS

Since I am wide awake right now due to a painful blister on my big toe that seriously has me considering an at-home amputation, I thought  it would be the perfect time to address some big news I have…

I am engaged.

JUST KIDDING.

I resigned from my first real job.

That’s not a joke. 

Now, there is immense worry and doubt and fear in my head from making such a risky decision, but it boils down to this-

I want to move to Chicago. I want to work in Chicago. So I am going to go to Chicago.

Did I plan on staying at my first job for only 4.5 months? No. But I do know that life is short and this position was not making me happy and Chicago has been a dream and I have the opportunity to live with one of my best friends and I needed to take the jump now.

I felt like if I never made this big move, the “what ifs” would gnaw away at me for the rest of my life, and I cannot have that.

So, I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have no concrete job or housing plans yet, but I have faith that my safety net will slowly start to reveal itself.

If I fail, I can blame it on being 22 and dumb.

But if I succeed?

It will be a dream come true.

stay tuned…

Playing it safe

I honestly don’t know where to begin.

I have been trying to forget all of adulthood’s problems with binge-watching sessions of Mad Men, but I can’t ignore it  anymore- If I am the pot, my issues are the water, and it is boiling over the edges, pouring into everything around me. My concerns have now demanded my attentions, and I can’t sweep them under the rug anymore.

For the longest time, I have given my mom the hardest time for her poor decision making skills. It seems that she has never been able to just be impulsive and follow her heart. It has always driven me crazy. Countless times, I have wanted to shake her and yell- DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. From the outside, it seemed like the simplest thing in the world- do what YOU want to do.

Well imagine my dismay when I woke up and realized, I am the same way. I AM MY MOTHER.

I guess it is one of life’s inevitabilities that our personality traits are extremely similar to our parents’. It isn’t something we cannot avoid because it is woven into our genetics. It is science. It has to happen.

dammit dammit dammit

My mother (who I love so very dearly) has passed on the horrendous trait of thinking with your brain instead of your heart.

Now, why is this an issue? On the surface it seems like an amazing quality to have, and sometimes it is great. Thinking with my brain has allowed me a great academic career with no criminal record. But sometimes it is the worst. This issue of listening to your brain and not your heart tends to lead to complacency. It leads to always making the safe choice. It leads to blocking out your passions because your brain tells you diving into something new is absolutely insane. Familiarity becomes your safety blanket, slowly cocooning you up until you forget that following your dreams is even a viable option.

This characteristic of my mother’s (and now an admitted characteristic of myself) negates everything a 22 year old’s life is supposed to be- chaotic, risky, dangerous, passionate, adventurous, and lively.

It makes me over analyze everything. It makes me think that “good enough” is enough for me. It leads to a life of doing things that others dictate as good instead of what you deem worthy.

This quality has created a life that is good but not great. I have a roof over my head and food in my fridge. Technically, I cannot complain, but I want to. I want to scream that the fire inside of me is dying and if I don’t go balls to the wall and do something crazy I am going to lose it!

I am so torn though. I feel too obligated to people who wouldn’t feel the same about me. I feel far too comfortable being safe. But I am 22! Is “safe” how I want to describe my early 20s? Do I want to wake up in 60 years full of nothing but regrets? I have no one to worry about but me- shouldn’t I embrace this? And, if I embrace it and do indeed fail, is that the worst thing in the world?

Do what you want to do.

That phrase keeps popping into my head, and it should be the easiest mantra to abide by.

But why isn’t it? Why is it so hard to just do what I want??

The best gift of all

My 22nd birthday is still a week away, but I have decided to give myself an early present. I’m labeling the past 21 years of my life as an experiment.

What does that mean?

That means that the past 21 years were purposefully made full of trial and error.

No longer can I judge myself for any choice I made. No longer can I spend time regretting who I let myself foolishly get invested in or spend time loathing myself for things I didn’t accomplish. NO. The sole purpose of the last 21 years was to make all of the mistakes. The goal was to feel and hurt and love and cry and get pissed off. My life up until now has let me figure out things that I am not and what I don’t want.

Now, in my 22nd year, I have a better sense of self.  These past 21 years have given me a better sense of who I am and what I want to do and who I want to be with. There are still plenty of mistakes to be made and plenty of learning to be done, I am turning 22 not 82, but I feel more sure of my footing.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason- so no matter what has happened or who has impacted me, whether you made my life harder or better- thank you. Thank you to the amazing people who I have met and thank you to the biggest assholes I might ever meet. Thank you for giving me life experience. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for shaping the past 21 years. Thank you for not only bringing me to the end of a chapter, but to the end of a book.

Now, at 22, I am starting fresh.

I am starting a new novel.

I am starting to live for me and no one else.

be ok

I wish I could put into words what I am feeling because then I would know that I am going to be ok. What I have encroached upon is uncharted territory, and I don’t know what to do. When I was in 5th grade, my teacher told me I was very empathetic- that’s why stories we would read in class would effect me so greatly and why I talked to every classmate I had. I know that I have let my empathy get the best of me, but feeling everything instead of feeling nothing has been a risk worth taking. Right now I don’t feel for anyone. I don’t feel for myself. I have become the exact opposite of what I have been forever. I have become apathetic. I feel hollow. I feel void of everything. That should be a good thing, right? At least I am not feeling heartbreak or sadness? This numbness wasn’t the antidote that I thought I needed. Instead, I feel like I am barely existing. Maybe I just need to get used to the transition that comes from leaving your alma mater, but I am not loving where I am at. I have always struggled emotionally, but at least at MU I felt that I mattered. That I was making a difference. Right now, I don’t feel like I am impacting anyone. I have no zest for life because I am not doing anything  significant or of any intrinsic value. I just feel like this shell. I feel like I could just float away and it wouldn’t matter. I hate it. As an idealist, I hate this blandness. I want passion. I want to feel needed and loved and like I am someone’s world and that I matter, and right now I truly feel as if I am of no asset to the world around me. How do I fix that? How do I make myself useful? How can I make myself necessary? Because maybe if I can do that, if I can convince others that I am good and useful and important, I’ll believe that I am. And then maybe, I will finally be ok. I will finally be down with this constant struggle and I can just live and be me and be fulfilled. Isn’t that what we all want?

The Tortoise

Well, in the race to see who moved on first, I came in last. But, I always knew I would. I have lived my life as more of a tortoise as opposed to a hare. I waited 21 years to open my heart to someone; it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to be the one that bounced back quicker. That found someone new to fall in love with.

A lot can be said for the feeling you get when someone you once loved moves on. There is sadness, of course. You’re sad because, if you entered the relationship idealistic and hopeful, you never thought it would get to this place. You thought you would be “the one.” You didn’t foresee a time when you and he wouldn’t be a we.

There is embarrassment. Does everyone think you are a loser because you cannot find someone new? Are you branded with a scarlet letter that no one told you about? Why is he happy and you’re stuck watching Mike and Molly in bed, alone? Are you a human plague?

There is anger. Going off of the feelings that come with sadness, if you’re the type of person that gave your all to someone, witnessing your ex move on really grinds your gears. You want to scream “fuck you- you fucking liar. You cold-hearted prick. Everything you said was fake.”  You want to punch things because you feel betrayed. You feel so hurt.

But there are good things that come with an ex moving on first.

There is relief. You’ve been dreading this day since you broke up. The day that brings all of your darkest fears to fruition. The day that proves that YOU were the one that loved more (and unfortunately, there always has to be that person). And now that day is here. So now you can stop waiting for the blow that comes with the harsh reality and breathe. It happened. You can move on.

There is strength. You survived. Your heart was crushed and now the final step has been completed. The book is truly closed. And guess what? You’re alive. And not only are you alive, you are stronger and wiser and braver and smarter.

And, surprisingly, there is pride. Pride that you gave your all. You didn’t stop caring. You didn’t stop dreaming. You didn’t stop being hopeful. In a cold, tough world, this shitty situation didn’t make you give up on love. This shitty situation might have cracked you, but you persevered. And now, it is a closed chapter. A distant memory. But something else that has shaped you into who you should be.

So be proud of yourself.

I’m proud of myself.

I did come in second to the rebound race. I  don’t have a new beau yet. I am spending weekends eating peanut butter in bed and browsing Buzzfeed for hours, all by myself.

But I did win at something…

When it comes to who cared more and loved deeper, I came in first place.

Guess what? THAT is the actual race worth winning. That is a gold medal I’m forever happy to show off.

emotional rambling, no. 56743

There are so many things I feel that I need to say, but I don’t know how to say them. Or maybe I do, but I don’t want the world to think I am a miserable person. Because for some reason, it seems that someone in touch with their emotions (even if 2/3 of those emotions are negative), is a person that must be depressed and therefore must be judged heavily.

I want to tell you that I may be depressed, but I also can feel happiness. It isn’t as easy to write about joy though because it isolates people. It is much easier to like or feel for a person going through a rough time than it is to be happy for someone else. That is pretty fucked up, isn’t it? I truly believe we live in such a self-centered world that humans feel better about themselves when other humans are failing. If I write about my sadness, it is more well-received because then people can go “at least I am doing better than Hannah…”  If I would have written posts when I was in love and felt on top of the world and had only talked about how great it was to feel adored and cared for, it would have been seen as annoying or obnoxious. I don’t think the majority of people root for the success of other people, and I do not believe I am being “bitter” or “cynical” by saying this; I just think our country puts too much emphasis on SELF success, not group success. It is a very ME ME ME society we live in, and too much discussion of one’s achievements is seen as bragging BUT, I guess too much discussion of one’s life issues can be seen as whining and bitching.

So, I guess you really cannot win.

You are going to have far more people who don’t support you than the amount of people you do, and that is super unfortunate. And sometimes, the people you thought supported you will leave because it is too hard for them to deal with the feelings of another human, because it is really hard to be empathetic. But, it is also really worth it.

Anyway, trying to get back on topic, the point of all of that was to try and express to myself and those who read this blog why I have not been posting nearly as much  as I would like. I have not been posting because I fear what others will think about what I am saying. It is stupid to worry so much about other’s opinions, but it is unavoidable. I want to be real but I do not want to be looked down upon for my realness. I want to be authentic but I don’t want my posts to get too heavy that others feel they cannot breathe under the weight of all of my baggage. I don’t want others to think I am some hopeless case.

I swear to God I am worth it.

I truly feel that I am worth whatever work you have to put into a relationship with me.

It is not my fault that I have been dealt some shitty cards.

It is not my fault that, regardless of past experiences, I have very idealistic dreams for my career and my love life and my future.

So, it is not my fault that this current passion-less state I am in is making me bitter and angry.

I want more. I want more out of my life. And I don’t think that makes me a miserable person. I think it makes me a dreamer. I think that feeling sadness and hate is a good thing because it shows me what I do NOT want. It shows me how to better myself.

So, you might judge me for being so open about my sadness and raw emotions, but I am not going to ever change that. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am an open person. You might not get it, you might not understand and that is fine. But you have no fucking right to judge me or criticize me for it.

Because, while it is hard as hell to feel everything, it is so much better than being a robot. All I ask is that you show me some sheer human decency and bear with me.

National Body Week- My story

I am not going to sit here and act like my issues with my body have been the worst in the world or they’ve gotten so bad that they landed me in the hospital. I have not gotten under 100 pounds or have made myself throw up after every meal. I wouldn’t even say I have an eating disorder. Instead, I would call it disordered eating. Regardless of what it is or isn’t, my experiences with my body, weight, and food have taken up way more time than need be. That is why I am writing this. Because it is Body Week and National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, people need to know that (whether they want to admit it or not) disordered eating/eating disorders are all too common, in men and women alike, and the only way it is ever going to change is if we are educated, aware, and make the conscious choice to stop perpetuating unrealistic body ideals for any human being.

From the ages of 5 to 18, I was told repetitively that I was fat. Who knew one word could be so traumatizing? I heard everything from “beached whale” to “you look like a pregnant woman.” I played sports, I was active, and most importantly I was A CHILD, but people still felt the need to put these awful words in my head. Words that still haunt me to this day. Words that have made me hate myself. Words that have stripped me of a self-confidence that I am still working to put back together.

Like a lot of other humans, I internalized these words, but ironically, the only way I felt comfort was by binge eating. I got up to 200 pounds during my senior year, and was rudely awakened by my weight when I couldn’t find a homecoming dress to fit me. I felt awful and wanted to die. I looked around and saw my beautiful classmates, girls that were noticed by all of the guys due to their physique, and knew that would never be me. I blamed all of my shortcomings and loneliness due to my body weight. I kept telling myself that if I could just be skinnier, all my problems would fade away.

When I came to college, I worked hard to get healthy and, as a result, lost 5o pounds. I did not lose my warped sense of self though. My problems did not just fade away like I had hoped.

Instead, I became obsessive. I thrived off of the “you look so skinny” comments and knew I could never go back. What I ate took up so much of my brain space. If I ate a cookie, I would obsessively do crunches in my room and ridicule myself for being so careless. In my opinion, the worst thing that could happen to me was gaining the weight back and being disgusting again, even though my mind did not even appreciate or recognize my new physique. My clothes got bigger, but I still viewed myself as overweight. I still called myself fat. I was still putting way too much emphasis on my weight and not my inner worth.

My obsession to keep the weight off caused me to abuse laxatives and purposefully throw up. Thanks to my friends though, I was able to realize just how dangerous those habits were and eventually put a stop to them.

All of my concerns didn’t just evaporate though-

It has been a constant battle. It will forever be a constant battle.

I have this idea that my weight is the most important factor in determining my self-worth.

I still obsess over the scale.

I still call myself “ugly” and a “fat ass.”

There will be days when I feel so uncomfortable in my body and wish more than anything in the world that I was someone else.

That will never happen though.

I have been given the body I have been given, and as long as I am making healthy choices, that is all that should matter.

Our society is obsessed with these images of what a female’s body and what a male’s body should look like, and these images are so unattainable for most human beings. Our society thinks it is ok to judge people on their weight and criticize people for having cellulite or stretch marks.

My weight is no one’s business.

My physical appearance is not something that should be criticized.

Women are starving themselves to be seen as beautiful when really all they’re doing is making themselves disappear. Is this what we want? People killing themselves and trying to take up the least amount of space? We are here and we should live our lives with purpose. I don’t want to shrivel up; I want to be seen. We should all be seen. We are all special.

Struggles with body image don’t disappear. They lessen, but they are always present. It is an unfortunate truth. It is a harmful truth.

Let’s try and stop these ideologies. Let’s realize that everyone is beautiful and weight has nothing to do with it. Let’s try and create a world where our children never want to cry and curl into a ball over their pant size or feel unworthy of love and respect due to what a scale says.

Let’s put an end to eating disorders and disordered eating.