Robert doesn’t know it (Until now; thanks for being my #1 reader!), but this weekend was one of the best I’ve had. Not for any reason in particular, other than the fact that we got to spend it together. Something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that the very most valuable and wonderful thing I have in my life is time. I honestly could be doing nothing special at home, but as long as I’m with loved ones I am happy. I’ve learned that “simple” doesn’t equate to “boring,” and that contentment is just as great as joy because it can really last for the long haul.
This weekend we just hung around the house and played games, ordered takeout, and took the dogs out for a few walks, but it was really great getting to catch up some after what has been a tiring couple of weeks. I loved getting to chat instead of watching a ton of mindless television, and we even went on a few mini adventures around town — my favorite being our outing to the restaurant where we celebrated our anniversary back in October. No matter how long we are together I always want to have regular date nights, because I think they’re so great for the heart.
At this point I’m really excited for our wedding still, but I am much more stoked for the entire lifetime of memories and love that is going to come after. Despite getting sick with POTS and having pain be a regular guest in my body, I am overall even more joyful now than I was before I got sick. I think this has to do greatly with recognizing all of the love and amazing people I have surrounding me. I feel so blessed that the everyday beauty in my life does not go unnoticed, and that my heart is content with all of the love that fuels it. All the adventures we have ahead of us are going to be a blast (I am particularly excited for our honeymoon!), but I am also so excited for the countless game nights and dinner dates we have in store for us. I feel so darn lucky to have this life, and I am working to appreciate every gift — big and small — that God has given me.
First, I would like to start this blog post by saying “Hoppy Easter.” Macy is sitting in my lap right now and wanted me to include a cute animal pun.
The change in weather in the DC area has been crazy lately. This is a huge annoyance because it’s made me more symptomatic. Fall has become my favorite season since the temperatures are typically pretty mild, and there doesn’t seem to be as much rain as there is in the springtime.
This summer will be my 5 year anniversary with POTS. Did you know that a 50 year anniversary is called a “golden anniversary?” I guess you’re typically supposed to get your significant other something made out of gold. My brain is a funny thing and works really quickly jumping from one subject to the next, so I somehow got to thinking about that and wondering if a 5 year anniversary had a name. After a quick meeting with Google, I found that silverware is the token gift for 5 years. I couldn’t help but grin since I often feel like I don’t have enough spoons throughout the week. This is a kind of cruel irony.
One of the hardest things about having a chronic illness is just the simple fact that life is more drastically unpredictable than the average human’s. You often hear someone with a chronic condition say that they are having a “good day” or a “bad day,” but either way it will pass and there will be another kind lined up and ready to take its place. POTS has taught me to really enjoy moments, especially when I get to do something out of the ordinary that might cause a lot of joy — and bring with it a lot of pain the next day.
I write about pain a lot more than I ever talk about it because I do want to enjoy my life and have the little moments that make life so beautiful. Regardless of feeling crappy right now, I want to remember that four years ago my life was being lived horizontally. I do feel really blessed that I can walk, sit upright, and enjoy so many amazing things that I do take for granted. A few years ago I couldn’t stand more than a minute at a time without fainting, and the only time I really left home was to go to the doctors office or to the gym for my daily recumbent bike routine. The thing I find most interesting about this is that I have really fond memories even from way back then. The amazing part of being an optimist and looking at the glass half full is that I do remember how shitty I felt, but it isn’t at the forefront of my mind when I think about being 23 years old. I think about watching Top Chef with my mom and dreaming about being able to cook again one day. I remember making “Dunkaroos” with Goldfish and salt because I couldn’t figure out another way to eat enough, and I remember close friends coming over and sitting on the couch with me and telling me stories about what their life is like post college. I remember sitting with my passenger seat reclined as my dad drove me two miles down the road to do my gym workout, and the stories we would tell each other back and forth. I remember him telling me I would get better one day, and my mom playing “Would You Rather” with me when I couldn’t sleep at night. I still have the memory of lying down in the middle of the movie theater floor so I wouldn’t pass out while waiting in line for popcorn with friends, but I don’t remember the extreme nausea and dizziness from that episode anymore. Now it’s a kind of funny memory, and I wonder how there was a time I didn’t feel embarrassed to be the center of attention for something so out of the ordinary. In fact, I feel lucky that I get embarrassed about POTS things now. This means I am healing and major health complications are not a regular part of my day.
Tonight I am stiff, sore, and ready for sleep. My shoulders hurt from a long week and I am ready for the pain to subside so I can get a good night’s sleep. Instead of remembering this feeling a year from now, though, I know that I am going to remember what it was like going out on a fun double date and reminiscing through old college memories, rather than how badly my shoulders hurt or how tired I am of “working to get better.” I know that one day I will be a lot more normal because I am still making improvements, even if they sometimes feel small.
I don’t know whether looking at the glass half full is something you’re born with, or an outlook you develop, but I am so thankful that I have that ability in my life. I know sometimes it can be easy to feel frustrated or wonder why you got the short end of the stick in one way or another, but the way I see it is if a glass is half empty, it is because you enjoyed something from it, so there is something to be joyful for. Glasses are things that are meant to be filled and emptied, kind of in the same way that life sometimes has its ups and downs. We may not have the ability to control everything that happens in our lives, but we can learn to control our outlook, which is actually one of the most incredible and worthwhile things a person can do. Life isn’t always easy or fun, but there is always something to be joyful for — you just have to learn how to look for it.
Today is the 1 year “anniversary” of my first date with Robert. Going into it I had absolutely no expectations, as I wasn’t looking for a relationship and just wanted to date around. Despite shaking him off and realizing how unrealistic it would be to date someone who was leaving for a deployment in just a few months, he somehow worked his way into my heart and stayed. I wanted to do something special on my blog for the one year, and seeing Robert already wrote some about our first date, I decided to answer some questions about him.
Last week I interviewed Robert about what it was like dating me, so I figured it was only fair that I would answer the same questions about him! His friends and family might learn a thing or two about him, and now my lovely readers can get a further peek into this ‘ship.
This is the first time I have ever interviewed myself, so you’ll have to let me know how I did. 😉
Single In The Suburbs:
Tell us, what is it really like dating Robert?
Krista: It’s been a lot of fun! He’s way goofy, which I absolutely love, but he also has a really sweet and caring side of him. Dating was a little intimidating at first because I worried about how people would react to the fact I am unintentionally incredibly high maintenance, as I have an autonomic nervous system disorder that requires a lot of care. I knew it would take a special person to be with me, but I also know my worth and that anyone right for me would be able to see that I have a good heart… I just didn’t realize I would snag a person as special as Robert. He has been attentive and loving in the ways I need, and might just know my love language even better than I do.
SITS: In a sentence, what is thebest thing about dating him?
Krista: I’m not going to cheat like Robert did, but the best thing about dating him is that I’ve been able to learn that what I want in a guy isn’t at all unrealistic, and that selfless love is something that can be worked into a relationship.
In a sentence, what is the worst thing about dating him? (Be honest!)
Krista: Hmm, he’s a bit embarrassing to take out in public sometimes; he tends to spill stuff all over himself and sit on my Junior Mints in his truck (See photos below for proof).
Bonus sentence: This really sucks because I love Junior Mints, and he wasted about half a box on decorating his jeans.
SITS: Have you noticed any interesting or annoying habits he has?
Krista: He often sings Taylor Swift in a really silly voice, which is interesting and only annoying if I’m really into jamming at the moment. You can go crazy with Blank Space, Robert, but Wildest Dreams is sacred. Let’s keep it that way.
How do you feel about Single In The Suburbs?
Krista: I obviously love it! I’ve really enjoyed making a very small impact in the lives of others from writing this blog. I hope to keep growing my readership and sharing my experiences with y’all!
On a related note, how do you feel being written about so often? You are clearly “Boston” and “Army.” writing about the same guy so often?
Krista: Writing is my favorite way to share my emotions. When I’m in love with someone I absolutely love writing about them and expressing the way I feel on paper — or a computer screen if you want to be all modern and cool! You guys only see the drafts I feel are somewhat worth sharing. I am like Brad Paisley, as in, if I love someone I can go on and on and on. My blog posts only scrape the surface of my love life, but I do try to share the biggest ups and downs on here, as I think they do make for the most relatable content.
Tell us one of his deepest, darkest secrets.
Krista: One thing I like about Robert is that he’s kind of an open book. When we first started dating I thought he was trying to impress me by liking a lot of the same things I did, but after getting to know him better I realized we just have a lot in common. I can think of a few secrets to share, but since I’m interviewing myself and he didn’t ask me this question, so I’m going to respect his privacy and plead the fifth.
What is the most embarrassed you’ve been on a date with Robert?
Krista: I can’t really think of anything in particular. Sometimes he is a little goofy and will pronounce things really incorrectly when ordering at a restaurant. For example, on our Valentine’s Day date we went to a really fancy French restaurant and neither of us knew how to pronounce anything on the menu. He happened to choose a really weird appetizer, and ordered it in his best “French accent,” which actually sounded more like a mix of an Italian and Bostonian — very fitting as he is both of those. The waitress didn’t understand and gave him a weird look, but I always think he’s funny when he’s trying to be embarrassing, so I don’t mind.
SITS: How did you feel going into the first date? What about after it?
Krista: Okay, so Robert gave us the lowdown on how we almost didn’t meet up after he canceled our first date… Since this happened and he clearly really wanted to go on a date with me still, (After all, he did message me a few times after we didn’t meet up — I just felt bad that he had blown it with me at that point!) I figured I didn’t have anything to lose going out with him.
We talked on the phone before we met, and I actually was kind of excited after our conversation. He was funny, charming, and a good conversationalist… My kind of triple threat!
When we met up a few days later I was pleasantly surprised how easy the date felt. We had a lot in common, and I instantly loved his sense of humor. Leaving the date I wasn’t really sure whether or not we’d see one another again, as he was leaving to go to training in Staunton (3+ hours away) soon, and would eventually be deployed, but he texted me later that night about what a nice time he had, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
What is your favorite memory together?
Krista: Oh gosh, I have so many… I loved the date I took Robert on to get hibachi for his “birthday,” I loved every date we ever went on that involved playing Super Smash Bros and ordering takeout, I loved going to coffee or to “watch the Patriots play” at the bar (Which involved mainly just us chatting away and ordering lots of good desserts), I loved being able to be a part of his deployment ceremony in Richmond, and I loved seeing him for 2 extra days before he left to go overseas. I really can’t choose just one; I just love spending time together.
SITS: Tell us the most interesting “Robert story” you have heard since meeting him.
Krista: This is kind of a weird one, but I really liked hearing about his time in ROTC. Robert has a million great stories, but I particularly like hearing about when he had to camp out for several days and found a berry bush in the woods near our alma matter. He says that they all took turns sleeping for short periods of time, and that when it was his turn to keep watch he would pick and eat handfuls of these berries. He didn’t know whether or not they were safe to eat, which in hindsight knowing the outcome (they were not poisonous and he is fine) this is hilarious, but it does make me worry about his judgment sometimes…
Would you change anything about Robert? If so, what?