You Are Meant To Be Here

You know what’s such a mindblowingly amazing thing? There are 7.4 billion people in the world, and God decided He still needed you here. That’s how absolutely special you are.

Like, He thought about it and decided that we need a “Krista” somewhere on this earth, and He has a great purpose just for me. I can’t even really wrap my mind around that, other than the fact that I try my best to make a positive impact on those I come into contact with every day… Because maybe part of my purpose of being here on this earth is to help touch an individual — or a group of individuals. I don’t know what my big purpose in life is, but I do think I have a bunch of small reasons I am here and valuable to others, which are just as important.

There is absolutely a purpose each and every one of us is here, and my hope for you is that you realize that and continue to work toward whatever it is that makes your heart beat fast. I know for me that some of the scariest things I have done have been the most rewarding. The writing that makes me the most nervous to post on here is what really moves people and makes them feel less alone in the world. At the end of the day, I believe that’s one of the biggest reasons God created me — to help others realize their heart might feel a little broken sometimes, but that our Creator can heal them and put them back together again. It’s okay to feel lost in a broken world and as long as you keep pushing forward something beautiful can come from heartbreak.

Keep going, and never forget that you are loved, and that YOU MATTER. I can’t say that enough. You matter, you are loved, and you belong here.

flowers.jpg

Someone For Everyone

I strongly believe there is someone for everyone in the world. No, that doesn’t mean I think that everyone should — or will — be in a relationship or get married, but I do believe if you want to have a romantic partner there is someone out there who will be a good fit for you.

There are so many amazing examples I’ve seen of people who thought they would never find true love because they were too quirky, too sick, too old, too tall, too short — the list goes on. I would like to argue, though, that the only thing that would ever really hinder someone from finding true love is being too picky. None of the other “too’s” are going to deter every single person in the world from dating you.

Something to remember in the world of online dating and infinite choices is that nobody is perfect. You will never have a partner who has every single quality checked off on your “list,” or who doesn’t sometimes get on your nerves, but that’s normal. The most important thing to remember is that if your relationship is overall a really big asset to your life, the little annoyances you sometimes have are so tiny in the grand scheme of things.

shoes.jpg

Luckily we aren’t all attracted to the same kind of person. That would make life pretty boring, and the journey to find love way too competitive — kind of like an ongoing episode of The Bachelor. People have different “types” that they’re into, and just because you are rejected by one person doesn’t mean the next one who comes around won’t like you.

I don’t know why it takes some people longer than others to find a partner when their heart is ready. Sometimes I think it really is because dating is a numbers game. The more dates you go on, the more people you meet, and the more likely you are to find someone you really click with. Other times, I think people get in their own heads about dating and can take things too seriously too quickly. I know how hard it is to want the beautiful, loving relationship that you picture in your head, but remember that love and trust take time to build and you can’t force things.

Writing people off without getting to know them is another thing that can really hurt your dating life. Whether it’s because you don’t think you’re good enough for someone or because you don’t think they’re the right fit for you, sometimes it can be really beneficial to give people who have the important things in common with you a chance. When I first became single my motto quickly became “It’s just a date.” By having this attitude I was able to chat with guys, get to know them, and give them a chance. If you really dig deeper into my own life, did it make sense that I went on a date with a soldier who was getting ready to leave for a long deployment? It doesn’t seem like an ideal situation — especially for someone who isn’t keen on doing long distance — but going on that first date with Robert and giving him a chance was one of the best decisions the best decision I have ever made. Seriously, I could not have known two Octobers ago that going out to a little Italian restaurant with someone I met online was going to be a life-changing moment for me, but it was, and despite all the hard times we had during the deployment he was worth every single one of them. Giving this cute, funny stranger a chance gave me one of the most important things I have in my life — us.

Regardless of how dating has been for you, the only way you can find what you’re looking for is by putting yourself out there and trying again. I hate heartbreak so much, but the great thing about loving and losing the wrong person is that you are another step closer to finding the person who is right for you. Hearts are fragile, but they’re resilient and can heal, even when it feels like they are smashed into a million different pieces. Hang in there, and be gentle with yourself.

My May

Sigh, my arms have been pretty terrible lately. It kills me to do anything, so I have to make this short. 😦

I wanted to do a quick update on my life, so I’ll bullet a little today and write more hopefully later this week!

Robert and I picked out a chocolate lab puppy. We named him Jax, and we are picking him up Memorial weekend! I’ll tell you about picking him out another day.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 9.43.40 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 9.43.49 AM
Jax is on the right!

I found a place that makes gluten-free and tomato free pizza! It’s my new favorite food.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 9.46.20 AM.png

I celebrated Mother’s Day with Robert and my family. 4 of my favorite people in the entire world! I actually have a lot of “mom-related stories” I’ll be telling this next week. One in particular is going to be my most important post to date.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 9.48.05 AM.png

Speaking of mom, I finally decided to join her Rodan + Fields team! My mom is a rockstar and was the first person to launch in Virginia. I’m excited to learn from her, and I can’t wait to write about why I decided to do this now and how excited I am to build a team of my own.

rf

Anyway, this is all I can handle for today, but I should have a fun Saturday still. My best friend and I are going to get some of that pizza and then watch a million episodes of Catfish and talk about dating. Have a great weekend!

Busy Bee

Ahhh guys, I have an exciting announcement I will be making next week!

There are two projects I’ve been working on, and I will be writing about the second project incredibly soon. I have put a lot of thought and work into it, and I really can’t wait to share.

I feel bad that I’ve neglected this blog a little lately, I’ve just been so darn busy and only have so much arm strength to push forward. My POTS symptoms have gone haywire lately too, so I’ve needed a lot more rest and recovery time for everything. Thank you for still visiting Single in The Suburbs, and I will update you all SOON! ❤

Mighty Letters

As many of you know, I got my third article published on The Mighty recently, and will be writing more about my chronic illness for that. I followed their Facebook page, and I will occasionally read some of the posts that especially catch my eye.

Last week I read one that made me tear up. It was titled, Dear Future Husband, From Your Chronically Ill Wife. Before I even clicked the link this article resonated with me because as goofy as it may seem, I have been writing letters to my “future husband” since I was a young teenager. I love to write, and I am someone who thinks letters and cards often mean more than extravagant gifts. I got the idea because of conversations we had at church about marriage, sex, and dating. I’ve always been a free-thinker and enjoyed spending time contemplating what people discussed, and forming my own opinion after thinking it through. Writing has been a great outlet to express myself as well as figuring out why I feel the way I do about important things in life.

As I’ve mentioned before, I was a late bloomer and wasn’t particularly interested in dating until I was in college (And was too shy to talk to the guys I did actually like in high school). This gave me time to think about what I wanted in a partner, as well as some difficult times being the only single one in some of my friend groups. Even as I’ve grown older I have kept in the back of my mind that I will be getting married one day, and thought about the way I hope my future husband treats the girls he dates before me. I have tried to keep him in the back of my mind with decisions I make, as well as my future kids. I know it seems weird that I was thinking about these people I hadn’t even met when I was so young, but I have always been someone who is very conscious about others’ feelings and I think pretty far into my future and know what I want it to look like.

This article choked me up because my life is not the way I want it to be; I’m not always the person I want to be. Having a chronic illness is the one of the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in my short life and even though I’ve been sick for almost 4 years now, it still so often feels new to me. I’m not always okay with missing out on things I want to do, I still often wonder why God lets us feel pain, and I can’t do all the chores and work that a normal twenty-something can. I don’t talk about what I’m missing out on very much, as I like to be as positive as I can, but I do wish I could travel more, I wish I could write more, and I wish I could have the kind of adventures that I used to enjoy so much. I wish I could serve those I love more — I wish I could contribute to helping my family more, and I sometimes feel like I’m a burden. There’s a lot that I can’t do but rarely talk about because there really isn’t much of a point in harping on it.

Something I loved about this article is how much it talks about the love we still have to give, despite everything we are unable to do. As much as I sometimes feel like I am an incomplete person because of my illness, when I take the time to sit back and really look at myself the way Jesus would, I realize I am so much more than my physical body. I am kind and patient with others. I am a giver, and often offer much more than I really am able to in order to make others happy. I am thoughtful and genuine, which makes for a very loving heart.

coffee.jpg
Photo Credit: The lovely Audrey Denison

As much as I hate my POTS and I hate that I can’t give every single thing in a relationship that I ordinarily would have been able to a few years ago, I also realize what a valuable gift my chronic illness has given me. I have become more resilient, I am much more empathetic than most people who are even twice my age, and I have new experiences under my belt that have been able to help others through hardships of their own.

I have a small binder of letters to give someone on my wedding day, and even though I am nowhere near perfect, that will be perfectly okay. The cool thing about marriage is that you are accepting someone for who they are — flaws and all — and promising to love and care for them for the rest of your life. I don’t know how much better I’ll get with my illness, but I do know that I have a heart that is equipped to love someone completely. I know that I will be a loyal, caring, thoughtful, and trustworthy companion, regardless of how my body is acting. When it comes down to it, these are the qualities that really matter in a relationship — not so much whether or not I can do the laundry or cook an extravagant dinner. I’m still learning to accept myself fully with my illness, but I have come a really long way from where I began.

What To Do When You Get Diagnosed With A Chronic Illness

Getting sick with a chronic condition is life-changing and confusing. I have become a bit of a pro when it comes to being sick, so here are a few tips on what to do if you or someone you love ever get diagnosed with a chronic illness:

  1. First and foremost, do not panic. Take a second to breathe, and realize that just because you now have a name to label your symptoms doesn’t mean it’s going to get worse here on out. If anything it actually gets much better since you are able to explain why certain things happen to your body and how to treat them.
  2. Realize that it’s normal and okay to cry. Doctors have seen it all, and if they’re good at their profession they will be sympathetic towards your feelings (And if they’re not, it’s definitely not you — it’s them).
  3. Do not go on Google! I cannot stress how important it is to process everything before reading dozens of articles and Facebook forums about your illness. Whether it’s an absolutely extreme version of your illness or a post venting about how difficult life becomes with this condition, there isn’t a lot that will help you out that very same day. Give yourself a little time and ask your doctor questions, rather than relying on WebMD to give you a cure. I found that negativity can really have a direct effect on your health and healing, which is why I try to keep things as stress-free as humanly possible.Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 1.54.29 PM.png
  4. On a related note, make sure to find out how to contact your doctor in case you need to reach someone with a question about symptoms you might be having. Most doctors who deal with people with chronic conditions have a way of reaching them, whether it’s a nurse hotline or an email address. I have a neurologist who offers an in-home service where I can email him with questions or prescription refill requests, and he replies within a day. It’s been a really valuable resource and I tend to stick with the doctors who really care about their patients.
  5. If a little bit of time goes by and you’re still afraid to research what you have, ask a family member or friend to do some research for you — then leave out the really unhelpful negative information. I’ve found a lot of people with chronic conditions can be incredibly pessimistic and bitter — and they have every right to be! But the more you can try to keep your spirits high and look towards your bright future, the better off you will be. I very firmly believe in the power of positive thinking, and although that may not be able to heal your body, it can at least keep your mind in a healthy state.
  6. If you do have a hard time staying positive about life, though, there is absolutely no shame in seeing a therapist or counselor to vent your frustrations to. Never feel bad about needing extra help. It doesn’t mean you aren’t strong — sometimes I think being able to ask for help is the hardest thing a person can do, but it can be life-changing.
  7. Lastly, be open with friends and family about what you need. It can be difficult for loved ones to know how to react or behave when someone close to them gets sick, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be there for you. Giving people a very concrete thing they could do to help — such as talking on the phone for fifteen minutes a day or making a meal for you and your family — is actually really helpful.
wheelchair.png
I never in a million years thought I would ever need a wheelchair at 22 years old, but by the time I traveled to take this picture I was able to make light of a difficult situation.

I know how scary and life-changing getting a chronic illness is. I remember getting diagnosed with POTS like it was yesterday. Collecting a few other “syndromes” and conditions along the way hasn’t been easy, but I’ve at least had enough experience to stay a little calmer when I learn something new about my health. Finding five things you are thankful for despite being sick is something I try to do on my most difficult days. I am thankful for my family (This includes Macy!), Robert, my best friends, the sunshine, and chocolate. That was a really easy list, and I grouped a bunch of people together. Despite not having the life I had dreamed of for most of my childhood, I still have some pretty incredible blessings.

Technical Difficulties

Ugh! Guys, this whole “technology” part of running a blog is beyond me. I like writing a lot, but the rest of having a lifestyle blog is a bit stressful sometimes. I have to keep things pretty bare bones since I need to get help for any extra computer use (Because of the pain in my arms and my inability to sit at a computer for very long), but I know I have a little bit of work to do to update things.

So I’m going to very  s l o w l y  be making some changes. This is a reminder that as soon as I can get help I will be changing my URL to KristaLauren.com, so stay posted!

coffee.png

I’m excited about some little surprises I have planned for my Single In The Suburbs family. Y’all will definitely be getting some new little treats in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to continue to walk through life with y’all by my side. Thank you for being patient and thank you for staying such faithful friends! ❤

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say

Taking the plunge and making a YouTube channel actually taught me a lot about the importance of kindness and offered a peek into a new corner on the Internet. I feel fine about everything now, and learned that I can handle some not so nice criticism, but it also made me think a little about people who get nasty comments on a regular basis. It has to be so incredibly draining, so I hope to help people realize how much their words can influence another human being, and choose to use them to create more positivity in the world.


When I first started my quest to get Robert to meet Tom Brady I was all kinds of nervous. I hate being the center of attention. I don’t mind putting myself out there when it comes to my heart and feelings, but there’s something that scares me about putting my face and everything out there. I think it’s because I know I can really be clear in my writing, while public speaking hasn’t always been my greatest strength.

I knew some people would be rude about my reach to Tom Brady, but I didn’t anticipate the way I would feel when I did read something nasty. 99.9% of the people who said something about it were so kind, encouraging, and enthusiastic. The ones who weren’t, though, were either incredibly rude or mean, and most of the comments were really unnecessary.

Reaching out to Tom Brady asking him to do something nice for someone I love was not hurting anyone or taking anything away from another person. IF on the very off chance he had been able to do something like this, it would have been because he wanted to take some of his own limited free time to do it. I do understand that a quarterback of a successful team like the New England Patriots is busier than you or I have ever been, but it definitely isn’t up to me whether or not he responds to a video like this. I have seen celebrities do nice things for all kinds of people, even just “big fans” who don’t really have a rhyme or reason. My intention for making this video was lighthearted, and driven by love.

Moving forward, I would love to offer a checklist for people to consider before posting a critical comment online:

  1. Is what this person is doing hurting anyone?
  2. Will your comment contribute anything positive to the discussion, or is it just something snarky that you are thinking to yourself?
  3. How would you feel if someone said that to you?
  4. Finally, is this something you would say to someone in person, or is it just easy to say through a computer screen?

If you don’t have anything nice to say, think really hard about whether or not your comment is productive. Calling someone names, putting them down, or attacking them personally is never okay. Celebrities, models, comedians, and social media personalities all have feelings. There are very real people on the other end of the screen you are communicating through. I understand that they might not know you, but that means you also likely do not know their heart or what they might be dealing with in their lives. It is always safe to use the Golden Rule we all learned in Kindergarten: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-28-53-pm

Today’s lesson: When in doubt exercise self-control. There is a reason Hemmingway said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can hurt and do a lot of damage. Yes, there are absolutely things that I see online that make me angry and upset. People have opinions different than my own, but at the end of the day that’s okay.  It’s actually what makes the world a better place and able to grow; we can learn so much from people with perspectives different than our own. As long as nobody is being hurt — mentally or physically — if someone does something silly on the Internet that’s their own business. Go to the next website and move on.

Why Y’all Are The Best

You guys are so kind and never cease to make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. If you haven’t ever looked at the “comments” section on my blog, they are always filled with positivity and sweetness. I really feel like my community on Single in The Suburbs has become a nice little family, and I couldn’t ask for better people to have met on the Internet.

I wrote something awhile back about my very short experience of dealing with very mild cyber trolls, and will be sharing that in the near future, as I think the world needs more people like you who are kind and supportive. I also found a million and one rough drafts I have written, so don’t be too surprised if some people from my past come up in the near future.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 12.02.32 PM.png

Lastly, I just realized I never shared the final story about what the Patriots did for Robert, so I’ll be posting about that this week too. He and I have been enjoying a lot of quality time together since he’s been home, as soldiers are required to take time off when they get back from a deployment. We haven’t had any crazy adventures, but it has been really nice just having a normal dating life and I’ve even had him chauffeur me to a few of my doctors appointments. Wooo!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday, and I can’t wait to share more of my dating posts with you soon!

My Thank You To Tom Brady

Dear Tom,

I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to touch base to welcome Robert home from his deployment, but I understand. I figured this was a really farfetched dream, but I also know that if you never ask for something the answer will always be “no,” so I had to try.

Before embarking on this project, I didn’t know a lot about you. Robert is a huge football fan, but I don’t keep up with sports news very much. I wanted to let you know, though, that you have a new forever fan. Through trying reach people who might be able to help, creating YouTube videos, and doing interviews with a few newspapers in Foxboro I learned a lot about you. I followed a million different New England Patriots fan pages as well as Tom Brady ones, so I read articles as they popped up on my Facebook page. I have been really impressed with your good sportsmanship and attitude, as well as your kind heart.

Foxboro.png

One that particularly touched me was the letter that you wrote to a family who just lost their young son in a tragic event. As soon as I read it I felt so incredibly thankful that you were able to give someone with such an enormous loss a small sense of comfort. I know that having you at the airport with me would have been nice, but I think the letter means more to that family than you or I could ever even imagine, and seeing that article meant even more to me than a response to my video. I feel blessed that God gave the world someone like you who is not only incredibly talented, but also incredibly kind, humble, and generous.

I now understand why Robert likes you so much, and I am proud to call myself not only a converted New England Patriots fan, but a Tom Brady fan as well. The world needs more Brady’s, and I hope other people will see that act of kindness and follow suit.

God bless, take care, and GO PATRIOTS! I am so excited to cheer y’all on in the Super Bowl this year.

Best,
Krista