The Outcome of 6 Months of Typing and Deleting

I started to write a poem, because that was what I felt at the time. But the more this thought grew, I knew it was a blog post. The funny thing is….I think my last blog post was about the very beginning. I’ll have to go check.

It’s been 6 months and 5 days since my relationship ended. It feels like a lifetime. I’ve come to the keyboard so many times over these months to tell my story, but then I realized none of it mattered anymore. The hows, the whys, the fingers pointed at other fingers. I have done my analyzing, and it didn’t change anything. It’s over. It was over on day 1, to be honest.

You see, as much as these things don’t matter, I have to explain something for you to see the whole picture. He never loved me. Not once in the 2 1/2 years that he said he did. Not when he promised me it would be forever, that I was his life, that we were partners. He tried. That’s ok. It’s ok, because I loved him with every fiber of my being. My soul. I have never loved a human with so much of me in my entire life. And while people may argue differently, I know deep down that this is the absolute truth, no matter what. You might be wondering, how could I possibly think this when the relationship was so flawed and he didn’t even love me back? None of this impeded the ever growing adoration I felt for him. Granted, I didn’t know he didn’t love me until after it ended…but that is besides the point.

I thought I hadn’t found that great love yet. I worried that I never will. But it was there. Just because it wasn’t reciprocated doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. I have felt this great love. The love of my life. I can only imagine the awesome power of that love when it could be reciprocated. Over these 6 months and 5 days….6 days…it’s now after midnight…I have met and dated countless men. At first it served to fill the void…the need for affection and companionship I felt when suddenly my life partner had evaporated. I found some who have made me hope for a new start. False hope, but hope nonetheless. I’ve never been down for long, and this was no exception. But underneath the hope, I realize now that I’ve held onto my great love. It has never left me. It never will. I feel it when I open my pantry and see those damn Kahlua chocolates, or I eat our favorite Dijorno’s pizza. I feel it when I sleep perfectly on my side of the bed like I’m waiting for someone to hop into bed beside me. I feel it when I turn on the computer we built together, see the icons for the games we played. I feel it when our four-legged daughter does something cute and her daddy is not there to share the moment. I feel it in the silent darkness as I open the door to my empty apartment after a long day and there’s no one here to welcome me home. To our home.

I have felt this great love. My sweet, so intelligent, so gentle, so funny love.

It’s been 6 months and 6 days. I still cry. Hell, there are tears now. It’s not the hour long sobbing sessions that definitely spooked my neighbors in the beginning. The pain is still there.

After hearing a story, not so unlike mine, a very important question came to mind. What now? What do you do when you have loved so hard and so brilliantly so young? When you have given your soul to someone already, but an entire life lies ahead of you? What do you do when you have had your love of a lifetime, your white picket fence, so soon? I used to ponder this question out of love for a friend and their future, but now it seems this is my fate too. Although it makes me determined to find an answer, I worry that there is none. Do you wander aimlessly, because none of the faces you see are the face? Do you have hope? Is there even hope? Hope for what? Something less divine than the love we felt? Something beyond belief, dare I say..better?

I’ve run out of words, but I don’t know how to end this..so here is my underwhelming ending. Ta da.

The Raider Diaries: Raider Goes to College

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12 years and 84 dog years later, Raider is finally branching out into the world. And surprisingly enough, after spending his whole life in the backyard, he’s good at it.

My decision to bring Raider to Huntsville was not made lightly. I wasn’t sure I could do it, or if I should. My weeks leading up to the move were filled with excitement and little sleep. I agonized over the details of owning a dog in an apartment with my free time. Even with all of the details perfectly ironed out and the support of my loving boyfriend pictured above (the one without fur), when my parents returned from our Easter rendezvous without him, I began to panic. Raider was finally my responsibility.

Two days in, and I don’t regret a thing. He adapted better than we could ever hope to my college life. He got a nice bath, lots of brushing, and so much love from his new family. As worn out as he was, his first night was a little disappointing. He was still too hyper to settle down while everyone slept, and when 7:30 am rolled around, he made his boredom known to the world. My Monday, which is normally the longest and most exhausting, started much earlier than I had anticipated. There was much grumbling and pushing of butts to get him taken care of and myself out the door. Since then, he’s become an important part of my life. I practically take him everywhere! (With the help of Jared of course.)

Raider’s move has allowed for a huge rise in mental stimulation. He gets to go to so many different places around my apartment and town. He often visits Jared’s house and enjoys frequent car rides as we run errands. No, we don’t leave him in the car unattended. Tonight, he walked around Petco with us as I scoped out good dog food brands (recommendations totally welcome) and tried to find a toy that he will actually like. To my dismay, he doesn’t seem to be a toy loving dog. This, I found out after spending $11 on a Kong toy, only to have him eat the peanut butter out of it then walk away. Never the less, we enjoy bringing him with us through out our day and will begin to show him around campus as things settle down.

A few things I’ve noticed about my new status as dog mom: where as I was always the chauffeur by choice among my friends, I now keep my back seats down for Raider to lay on. My room has been completely de-classified to support his new kennel (which he elects not to use, to my extreme irritation. This shall be fixed shortly, I assure you.) I have taken apart my apartment given dresser and slid it under my bed to make room, which isn’t my favorite way to use it, but absolutely necessary none the less. I can’t put anything on the floor at night. My extra pillows have to be carefully placed somewhere he can’t possibly get them should he feel frisky while we sleep. I’ve already learned that he gets out of character when we don’t exercise him….this, after he tried tearing up my favorite boots. I’m still salty. I have been reduced to putting my homework and other things off for after-dark dog park excursions when Raider is feeling restless. One day we’ll find a rhythm… Finally, my monthly budget and selfish desires have been put on hold in order to make sure Raider has everything he needs. I will not be cheap with him when it comes to his health and well being, so he will always come first. This is definitely a new and welcomed development in my growth as a person. He’s my baby, and I will do anything for him.

We love him dearly, and even though he can be a little asshole sometimes, and doesn’t seem to know anything about authority and right from wrong, I’m very content with my little family. TBC

 

Breaking a Myth

I wasn’t planning on spending my first week back in town by myself in our rather large apartment. I didn’t want to. When I learned everyone else would go back to their lives after our New Years get-together, I instantly dreaded these two days alone. What is there to do in a tiny ghost town with no friends present to accompany you?

Tonight I stood in front of my mirror and silently praised myself for not breaking down and wallowing in my isolated misery. And then I was struck with a lifetime of memories, voices telling me to be alone with myself, get to know myself, be single, etc. I laughed and thought, what could being single have to do with analyzing your person and learning who you want to be? Why do I need to be single to come to terms with the character I’ve been for 20 years?

I started dating my freshman year of high school and I haven’t really stopped since. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a few months as a single person since I started dating. Most call me ‘boy crazy’, some even went so far as to call my ‘church girl’ nature an act and I was really a whore. I call it trying. I was trying in all the wrong places…but I was trying none the less. Through out this time, I’ve been told the “advice” you read above. Because apparently I have too much on my plate when I try to live life while in a relationship. So why stop at the boyfriend? Why not cut out every single person I have a relationship with so I can focus on the all important ME? As if I haven’t spent 20 years staring at ME in the mirror and witnessing first hand the life of ME?

See, I find it very odd that people who have known me for as little as 2 years to 10 years find it their duty to inform me I don’t know myself. My oldest friend has been in my life for around 17 years and even though she has the most right to give me said advice, she has never taken the chance. I could bring in thousands of bible references and what not, but I’m going to leave this paragraph at the word hypocrisy.

Do you ever look at the people around you and wonder if they have the same intelligent thought processes you do? Do you ever wonder what makes them tick, how they think, their motivations, their opinions? I do. I do all the time. This is only a fraction of the miles of forests that would die if my every day thoughts were put on paper. I’m going to be honest….half the time what comes out of my mouth does not reflect what goes on inside. I’m sure that’s a problem most if not everyone has. I don’t need to be single to reflect on past actions, future actions, and life long dreams. I do that every second of every day. I reflect on that embarrassing moment at the dance hall while I do the dishes, I reminisce on interactions with teachers, family, friends, and strangers before I sleep at night. I study my face and body in my mirror as I wash my hands or after my shower, noting imperfections and loving other features. I know myself better than anyone on this planet. The only one who could know me better than I do is God. My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years is still learning what it means to be me.

It’s funny because dating boys helped me to learn about myself and shape my character into someone I was proud of. They never once held me back from growing, because when they did, I left. I’ve always been flighty, but it’s important to making ME.

I’ve become very independent through many experiences, most of them dating related. I’ve had to face a possible future without my boyfriend and I hate it, not because I need him, but because he has become such an important part of my life and I thoroughly enjoy having him. I could stand without him. I would be a little wobbly at first, but I could. Who wouldn’t be wobbly after such a long relationship? When you have someone beside you and suddenly they’re gone, it’s shattering. If this isn’t an indication of my independence and confidence in my being, then I don’t know what is.

I’m sitting on my couch, eating 3 Musketeers Bites, and watching Scandal, and I can’t help but think this is how you get to know yourself. Not by blocking your heart off to love, but being independent and unafraid to meditate. Later I’m going to call my sweet boyfriend and enjoy having a best friend to love me for me.

 

 

A Testimony for the Outsiders

It started when I was born a girl and handed to another family. A very Christian family. It built as I entered school and earned myself a seat in the ranks of quiet onlookers. It continued as boys and girls alike began to understand what little of the world they could when their ages were barely double digits. I was mocked for being a Christian. For carrying a mini composition book in my pencil bag to write my random inspiration in. For being too trusting. For not having an older sister present to teach me how to dress and act.

I was pegged as a target for pranks, games, and teasing. Someone who could take it and would still be your friend.

I always thought I was different. A black sheep in the family and my tight-knit group of friends. It wasn’t because I was adopted, because my sister (who is also adopted) has always fit in quite nicely. I just can’t seem to blend in with the crowd like I so desperately want to.

But I’ve clung to my groups all my life. I needed them. I still need them. All my life I’ve been ridiculed, pinched, poked, and prodded, and I still need them.

The same friends who defended me against the sick boys who laughed at me for being a Christian took up the habit of stealing my lunch and passing it around the table until I only had less than 10 minutes to eat. They often ganged up on me; whatever one said, the other swiftly followed. So, I left my usual lunch table to sit with my best friend who had long abandoned us for her new GT friends. (GT is an advanced program for kids in elementary and middle school who get bored in Pre-AP and regular classes) I had no place there. I was stuck. It was a small table even before I arrived, and I was just a desperate middle school-er taking a regulars spot.

Boyfriends came and went in grade school, monopolizing on my romantic nature and sweet disposition. I was used, abused, and manipulated. I was ridiculed yet again by the people I placed my absolute trust in. One even got bored with me because I wouldn’t Skype him at all hours of the night and left me for a few days to pursue another girl. I forgave him and took him back, only to find out a few days later he had tried to ask out one of my friends. I desperately wanted love. I forgave them. I was infatuated.

My opinion never mattered. Not even in my family. I was so sheltered, I didn’t really know much anyway..only what I had read and analyzed in my books. As I grew I even started sleeping in a tiny ball on the very edge of the bed so as to not bother my sleeping partner. I never got any sleep unless I slept alone. Being the introverted, nerdy, sheltered girl I am, I’ve been attached to the internet for a while. I spent hours on the kitchen desktop, posting to Facebook and exploring the webs while my mom cooked. One time we got a virus that downloaded fake porn apps to the computer, and my mom was furious because she didn’t believe I would never do something like that. In the Chat-Roulette/Justin.TV era, I found people around the world who never teased me like my “true” friends did, but instead talked to me as if I was an actual person who felt things. I was respected. My opinion mattered. My obsession with the internet and the world progressed.

After being the forgotten girl in a crowd of loud Theatre kids in High School, and constantly trying to find validation from parents who just couldn’t sympathize with my ever-growing awareness of the world, I was ecstatic to find a troop of true friends who understood me. I idolized them as gifts from God to make up for the constant struggle. Safe havens. I forgave them every time they pranked me as a collective. I forgave them when they made me feel like a child. I forgave them when they discounted my feelings. Summer came and I was the only one crippled by the separation, despite the shit I had dealt with throughout the year. I tried daily to keep conversations up, because I missed them and wanted to stay in their lives. I realized I was the only one trying. I was the only one trying, and when I did I only got rude remarks back. I stopped trying. It only took a few days of analyzing my past year to understand that recognize the patterns I had lived with my whole life. Even in college, we were still playing childish games, and I was still extremely naive.

I have yet to find more than 3 people who see me as more than entertainment. More than the giggly, blonde girl who is nice to everyone. I study and read to learn about the world. I have opinions. They matter. I contemplate life and enjoy the views and experiences Earth has to give me. 3 people have tried to dive deeper to witness those moments.

If there’s respect, I don’t see it. If there’s understanding, it isn’t being applied. As a Christian trying to follow in the path of Jesus, I’ve tried to live a life full of love and selflessness, and the only thing I get out of it is abuse of that trait. This is my wake up call. If you’re an outsider who can relate to these instances, you should wake up too. My advice? Find reciprocation. It’s draining to give and give without anything in return. You will burn yourself out. I’m burned out. Something needs to change.

The Wonderment Continues!

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Wow! What a day!! And I woke up thinking today was just going to be a sleepy travel day! God is so good and the world is full of amazing, kind people! <- excited, squeaky, probably talking to fast Shelby

First, to Jason of Harsh Reality, I can’t thank you enough. I could only dream of being reblogged one day and you are such a generous man to have given me such an honor! I owe you big time!

Second, to the people who read Jason’s blog and decided to check my little corner out, thank you for stopping by! Your time is very appreciated and I’m so excited to check out yall’s pages now! I am overwhelmed with the love and support I have received today.

Now for story time!

This week I’m giving into my wanderlust and exploring Wyoming! This morning I woke up at 3 am (ugh. why.) to catch a 6:20 flight to Denver, then to Salt Lake City, from which we drove to our final destination. (5 hours of beautiful views and wonderful sleep time!)

Thankfully, I got on the right planes this time, with the help of my travel expert parents. Denver was beautiful as always, and I was in awe of the beautiful view we received because of the cloudless sky. Does anyone like the descent as much as I do? I just like flying. I like taking off, because it feels amazing, I like flying because the views are incredible, and I like descending because coming down and flying over the cities amazes me to no end. Anywho! 2 plane rides, 2 mountain passes, and 1,000 miles later, we settled into our overpriced, extravagant cabin to await the rest of the clan. That’s right, within a few hours this poor house will be crawling with a large family of Texans, ages 10 to 75. What a week this will be!

I keep thinking back to my second flight, when I decided to check my email before we took off. I’m expecting replies from about 5 different companies on whether or not I got the job I applied for this month…no such luck. But that’s ok! Why? Because as soon as my wifi decided to quit being slow, the first of a most wonderful string of emails popped up! Reblogged? by OP??? I’ve known him to be very encouraging to other bloggers, and to have a habit of advertising worthy blogs out of nowhere, but I’ve always considered myself a background admirer! And then I freaked… “Mom! I just got reblogged!” Of course, I had to put a pause on my absolute excitement to explain to her the whole reblogging process and how huge it was to me. And then I checked my email again on the drive up, and out poured 50 billion additional emails spelling out how much he had really given me by simply clicking a button!

So now I sit on the back porch of this lovely cabin, in perfect weather, with a glass of perfect wine. (ITALIAN. OH MY GOSH.) And I shall spend the rest of my evening paying my respects and getting to know fabulous people! And then hit the hot tub. “Because we can” -mother dearest

I just feel so blessed, guys. So blessed and so content. I’m in awe of the opportunity I have to both be here and to carry on this crazy blog. And it all happened on the same day! Thank you for supporting my passion and encouraging me when I’m just a stranger to you. You are the kindest! All it takes is a comment or a finger swipe. Pay it forward!

Now, everyone go look at Jason’s website, and while you do that, I need some more wine… 🙂

(seriously. click on his name. It will take you to a place of sarcastic wonders.)

Down to the Roots

Ta da! I’m adopted!

Believe it or not, this is not my first time writing about adoption. Somewhere in the desolate, forgotten land that is my Drafts tab there is a pretty interesting blog post all about it. It might surface one of these days, but for now I feel like writing about my recent adventure to connect with my biological family.

This visit actually amounted because of said blog post. But it was also way over do. I don’t care whether you’re adopted or not, a person should never go more than a year without seeing their family. I think it had been about 3 or 4 since I’d seen them, which won’t happen again.

So there I was, on a mission! One, to not die on the airplane. Two, to understand where I come from and get to know the people waiting in the wings.

I feel like it was more pressing that I go on this journey to others than to me. I just wanted to spend time with them. As it was an open adoption, I’ve known the important details my whole life. My mom loves me dearly, my dad sucks, and they wanted me to grow up in Suburbia. Done. But this weekend was so much more than a meet and greet. It was looking at pictures of lives I missed out on, seeing firsthand the world I would have lived in, and finally coming to peace with my own life.

I’ve spent my week contemplating the odds and ends of my situation. I understand God’s idea now. I had to grow up here. It’s not because of my temperament, because I’m not sure I would have been any less positive than I am now. It’s because if I had grown up in my hometown, I wouldn’t have met my sweetheart or found Sam Houston. The people I know now, the family I’ve planted myself in; they would all go on without me just like I would go on without them. It all had to happen, and it will continue as it should, with my bridge to both families.

However, there is still a nagging feeling to know the girl I would have been. I’ve always been a curious stickler for the details, so I can’t help but wonder. If I met her on the street would we be friends? What kind of music would she listen to? Christian, like her mother? Would she enjoy writing as much as I do? Or painting? Or even Theatre? Living in a northern Texas city, would I have a different taste in men? I admire the way they hold onto God and his precious mercy. It inspires me now, and I know it would have inspired me before. They insist I wouldn’t be as sweet as I am, but I know deep down that’s not true. I don’t know what trials I would have been through had I lived there, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing my whole life, and I’m still me. But I’ll never know. It won’t ever be answered in a final manner.

Even with the ghost of the girl lost in transition, I learned so much! Like the fact that I have 4 different types of indian in my ancestry, and my great-grandfather or uncle was a 7 ft Irishman! Now I know who to blame for my height!

Now, all I can do is get better acquainted with the other side of my family and make up for the time missed. I know I’ll go back to that flat, beautiful city, and there will be many more happy experiences with them.

The 19th Year

For the longest time, I dreaded turning 19. It’s such a boring year, and I’m a huge fan of even numbers! But…then it dawned on me….a year from now I won’t be a teenager anymore. What does that even mean? Will I get more respect as an adult? Will I act differently? Let me answer that..Everyone always asks the person with the birthday if they feel different. The answer is always no. I didn’t feel different when I turned 18. I didn’t even feel different when I entered my teenage years. It’s funny, I half expected some magical burst of light to come at midnight and give me tattoos and a horribly irritating personality.You know, because that’s what happens when you become a teenager right? So, I guess next year I won’t wake up wearing a business suit and enjoy eating tomatoes or whatever it is “Adults” eat. Still waiting on those tattoos.

My 18th year I packed up my life and moved 4 hours away. This year I have a final box to pack up; the box holding all of my childhood innocence. Even though I lived it, It’s strange to think about her now. I feel like who I was back then belongs to another person entirely. This year I will be saying goodbye to wide-eyed, teenage Shelby. The girl who shed her innocence one boy, one parental argument, one poem at a time. As an extremely sentimental person, saying goodbye to my adolescent years will be troublesome. I can’t imagine the days leading up to July 11th, 2016.

It won’t be a year of partying. I was never that person. I never felt like I was doing life wrong…just differently. I enjoyed my teenage years, so this year will be full of the things I love instead of toasting to the rising sun with solo cups. I’ll raise my milk glass to life, to the beautiful sunrise, and to a happy goodbye!

Looking back, the struggle to get here was like crawling out of quicksand. All my life I’ve been told I have to change my music tastes, I can’t have my food preferences forever, I have to dress differently, I have to maintain a certain work ethic. This year, I will officially put a stop to this nonsense! My only rebellion was trying to make my own decisions and define the world as I see fit. The battle seemed to be up Mount Everest, but now I can proudly say I define my life, as a full-fledged member of the adult community. This year I will be settling into my unique persona and standing firm in my perspective.

As I contemplated my upcoming birthday, I reminisced and planned to my hearts content. However, I never thought I would feel young and old at the same time. It’s an odd feeling, don’t you think? I’ll take that red velvet cake and 19 candles now, please!