I’d Like To File A Complaint

Do you ever find yourself really annoyed because you find yourself complaining about something really trivial like being stuck in traffic or not having any milk keft in the fridge?

That’s how I feel today. I went to a concert last night at my alma mater, and my lower back is k i l l i n g me. I think I hurt myself from standing too long and not wearing the proper shoes (read: sneakers), which sounds ridiculous but is life with EDS in a nutshell.

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Really, though, my brain is functioning well, it’s rainy and I don’t feel super symptomatic, and my heart is content. My main issue is that I am medium-grumpy today. The pain is getting on my nerves, and I feel frustrated that every time I do something fun and different I have to take it easy for a few days after, while my friends can keep going and going without any problems. I am annoyed at my body for not just being normal — the way it used to be — and I hate feeling like a grandma at 27. Everything takes so much planning, and I turn down certain plans that I want to do, just because I have to weigh how much I have going on the entire week, rather than just a single day.

So, since I am bitching about a million and one things right now, I want to take a minute and realize what I should be thankful for.

I can get up off the couch and walk around. I have feet, legs, and arms that all work. My heart works twice as hard to keep me alive, but it’s pumping and keeping me going! Most of my organs are a bit goofy, but they are all working overtime to make sure I can keep living, and I am so, so thankful for that. I have a wonderful family who loves me, the best fiancée in the world, and amazing friends. I am doubling my family this fall, I am not allergic to chocolate (I count this as a blessing, as I developed a bunch of food sensitivities as an adult), and I have a roof over my head and never go hungry.

I could go on and on about more beautiful things in my life. Dogs make up a great number of blessings, and sunshine, birds, butterflies, and heat are just a few more. Candlelight, snuggling, soft blankets, The Office, country music, buttercream frosting, gentle massages, writing, decaf coffee, warm memories, Pinterest boards, glitter, loved ones’ sweatshirts, snail mail, flowers, dog tags, and a diamond are just a few of the beautiful blessings life has given me.

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As much as I want to complain today, I am going to allow myself a minute of being annoyed, and then just let it go. My pain isn’t an 8 or a 9 today, and I can handle everything that I have on my plate. I just have to turn my frown upside down and enjoy the simple pleasures until I can go out into the world again and take on the next adventure.

Today’s lesson: The next time you want to punch a wall because you’re frustrated about something, take a few seconds to count your blessings. It helps put life into perspective, and makes you realize it’s an enormous waste of time to be grumpy when you can learn to be content instead.

What It’s Like Being The Luckiest Girl In The World

Did you know that it’s possible to feel like the luckiest girl in the world because you genuinely believe you have the best significant other? I sure didn’t.

In the past I’ve looked at relationships like Jim and Pam’s, Chip and Joanna’s, or Thomas and Laura Rhett and completely thought they were #RelationshipGoals. I would watch their little acts of kindness with one another and think that they weren’t really genuine because I thought I knew what real love looked like. Real love, to me, was someone just choosing not to leave. Real love was giving up a lot of my own hopes, dreams, and values to make another person happy. Love the way I always had imagined it didn’t exist. Even the stories of real people like Chip and Joanna Gaines seemed fake to me because I hadn’t ever felt the way they did about each other about a guy before.

I never knew what it was like to have someone who fit so seamlessly that you didn’t have to force things to work. You don’t agree on everything, but you don’t always have to because you can figure out compromises you are both actually happy with. I never knew what it was like to have someone who loved you to your core — faults and all — someone you didn’t have to question whether or not he would accept the weird things that make you, you.

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I never had someone in my life who I just couldn’t help but smile about when a love song came on the radio because I couldn’t think of anything else but him — until I met Robert. I hear songs that I would want sung about myself and think the words fit so perfectly for the way I feel about him. Brett Eldredge sings “Mean To Me,” and I know my feelings about him are more beautiful than the words I hear played, but I can’t seem to put pen to paper as eloquently as my heart feels about him. I think of him when Blake sings “God Gave Me You,” and I prayed for him when I heard Kristian Bush’s “Sending You A Sunset” when he was thousands of miles away. I never could have imagined I would have someone I felt I could pin to Hunter Hayes’ sweet words. I always thought the way men felt about women couldn’t be flipped. I didn’t realize I could love someone with even more than my entire heart, and I never thought I would be with someone I felt so strongly about.

When I think about Robert my heart often feels like it’s about to burst. Sharing my feelings with a few thousand people on this blog doesn’t feel like enough; no matter how many people read my writing it will never feel like enough. When he’s gone I want to talk about him, and when he’s sleeping I want to curl up next to him and feel his heart beat.

I didn’t know that love could feel like this, and for the first time in my life I really feel like lightening can’t strike twice in the same place. For the first time, though, I also don’t feel like it will have to. For the first time in my life I’m not afraid to talk openly about love because I am not afraid of it ending.

Today’s lesson: Be with someone who is absolutely irreplaceable. Love is one thing that people should never settle for in life. Being a writer, yet being unable to explain my feelings about someone on paper is one of the craziest, most incredible things in the world, and I wouldn’t trade Robert for anything.

Military Love

Since I started dating someone in the Army I’ve been hyper-aware of military in the media and as a source of entertainment.

One thing I’ve found particularly interesting is the way deployment love is portrayed in music. I absolutely love writers and musicians because I think they can connect so deeply with my heart and soul. I love to write, but sometimes the way others put pen to paper explains even better the way I see the world — especially when that someone is Taylor Swift. 😉

Something music videos have made me notice, though, is how they happily skip through the way a deployment really feels. Sometimes the songs have a message in them about how difficult this kind of love is, but the overall vibe of the video is still,

  1. Military boyfriend gets orders to go overseas
  2. Girl (and sometimes guy) cries
  3. They write letters back and forth
  4. Then have a really heartwarming hello

This is beautiful, but I used to watch these videos and mainly just think about how sweet they were. I wanted a guy like that who would write me sweet love notes and stay with me, even when times were hard. I still want all of that, but this isn’t the way I want to have it. I want someone who is home with me and someone who will be in my everyday life. I don’t want to worry so much about a loved one’s safety, and those sweet “romantic moments” are great, but they really are moments instead of constants. The reality of a deployment is that you are doing 9 months of extremely difficult long distance. You don’t always know how your significant other is doing throughout the day and sometimes go days without speaking (Thank goodness for the Internet! I can’t even imagine what it must have been like even ten years ago). You pray your hardest that God will protect your loved one, but you also can’t help but be nervous anytime a strange number calls your phone or something terrible happens in the news.

People get divorced or decide they don’t want to stick around during a deployment. Infidelity happens a lot more often than you’d think on both ends, and sometimes either one or both parties think it is just easier to end the relationship than it is to go through something like this together.

Deployments are hard. I am so lucky I am doing one with my boyfriend while I am young and still live at home with family. Most of my friends are unmarried, so I have people to hang out with and offer comfort and support, and I don’t have a family that I have to raise on my own. I can’t even imagine what the next stage of a deployment would look like. My heart goes out to those who have to endure even harder circumstances than I do.

The first 30 seconds of this video made me so nauseous. I literally just stopped watching.

So although I do think these videos are beautiful (And guarantee a few tears), I don’t think they even scrape the surface of what a deployment looks like — in all fairness, how could you in three and a half minutes?

I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, after all, if I wasn’t going through it right now I may have never met Robert and I love that we’ve been strong enough to go through this together towards the beginning of our relationship. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy*, though. Deployments aren’t beautifully romantic every day; they are worrisome, lonely, and an enormous sacrifice.

God Bless America.

 


*You know who you are, worst enemy!!! Just kidding. I can’t think of anyone I know personally who I consider an “enemy,” but you get the idea.

POTS And The Election

No, I did not mean to write POTUS and am not writing about a connection between Barrack Obama and this election. I wanted to share a personal experience of mine (shocker!) in hopes to bring anyone worried about the outcome just a little bit of comfort.

Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we plan. In fact, sometimes we find ourselves in a living nightmare, and wonder how in the world our life could ever get back on track. Three and a half years ago (basically an entire Presidential term!) when I got diagnosed with POTS I felt like the world was crashing down around me, and I had absolutely no control. I was terrified, felt alone, and wished I had taken more time to explore my faith.

The day I felt like I was having a heart attack and thought I was certainly going to die changed my life forever. The really incredible thing about this, though, is that I am alive and well almost four years later. Although my life has had some pretty major ups and downs, I am a stronger, kinder, more empathetic, and an all-around better person because of the struggles I have gone through.

There are very polarized opinions this election. I have never felt a divide as fierce with my brothers and sisters in America as I do today. Tomorrow, though, we will have a new President, for better and for worse. Some might rejoice at the news, others feel devastated, and still others indifferent. One thing I think is crucial for us to do now more than ever, however, is stay united as Americans and as human beings. We all want what is best for this beautiful country, we just have different ideas of getting there. No matter what happens, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump,  or I’ll even throw in a shoutout to Gary Johnson (Or is he certainly out? I am writing this before I go sit and watch election coverage with my fried rice) will not have the final say in whether or not we stay united as a people. WE DO. WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.

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We have had incredible people and less than stellar ones in and out of this beautiful home for decades and we have survived as one of the greatest nations in the world. No matter what happens tonight we will remain strong and united as long as we, the people, choose to be.

My point in saying all of this is that whoever is getting ready to move in the White House tomorrow is not up to us as individuals. Our beautiful country put someone there, and we just have to accept it. Instead of worrying yourself sick, I encourage you to turn to Jesus with your fears. When I got POTS I was terrified and felt like I didn’t have anyone to turn to because my faith was so shaky. I still have a really long way to go in terms of trusting God with my own life and salvation, but I do realize there is a higher power who is looking out for each and every one of us, whether or not you even believe in Him! This is something that matters so much. We all are only human, and it can be scary to think about, but our time here is limited.

The next four years we will handle whomever is thrown at us. We will get through this as a nation, and I am confident that no matter what we can come out of this even stronger and more united than we were before if we can manage to work on ourselves as individuals to better our country as a whole. After all, the United States is made up of exactly that — 325,000,000 individual human beings.

I lived through one of my biggest fears and ended up growing from it in ways I never could have if my life had gone in a different direction. I really hope Americans will do the same, too.

Boston

I sat in the passenger of his Ford F-150 as he passed behind the truck to the driver’s side. He never let me open my own door, and I loved that. Yet again it was just another bonus to dating him. I was beginning to find every little thing he did was just a bonus to how wonderful I thought this human was.

He slid effortlessly into the driver’s seat and leaned over to kiss me. I beamed. I felt like the most special girl in the world and we hadn’t even gone on our date yet. He took my hand and held it close to my body as we pulled onto the highway. I smiled as I gazed at his pretty brown eyes. I don’t think anything about men is supposed to be considered pretty, but there isn’t a strong enough word for a male that I can use — I have never been so mesmerized by a guy before. This isn’t a feeling I hear many girls describe about their boyfriends, and I noted the warmth fill my heart.

I blushed as he looked over and caught me staring. He smiled, and I melted a little more.

We parked the car and he didn’t let go of my hand until he hopped out of the car and ran around to my side to open my door again. How long had I been a Princess? It felt like a lifetime, but we’ve only known each other seven months.

I took his hand, made the leap of faith from the tall truck, and realized I had fallen in love as fast as the trip my feet took from the carpeted mats in his Ford to the gravel pavement beneath my sneakers. He closed the door with one hand and took mine in the other. He made a joke, I laughed, and fell just a little deeper.

This was a relationship unlike any that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The smallest trips to the grocery store became another page of our story. They weren’t errands — they were just spending time together.

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Some things in life you don’t think have an end in sight. It’s frightening when that thing is a romance. One of many dictionary definitions for the word is,

“A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.”

I close my eyes and pray that it won’t be short-lived; the thought of that brings a sharp pain to my heart. A heart can be broken more than once, and there aren’t any promises things will work out. We’ve only been in each other’s lives for a short while, but one day a short romance is going to blossom into a lifelong love. I don’t have any way of knowing whether or not I’ll be caught or end up shattered on the ground, but right now I am closing my eyes, inhaling deeply, and taking the plunge.

Everything I Ever Wanted

I’m absolutely amazed at the way my heart has been feeling. As soon as I got out of my last relationship I was excited to take time to myself and then eventually find someone in the area who I could see as often as I’d like. I wasn’t going to be in a long distance relationship anymore, and I would be able to experience what it was like having someone I loved in the same area as me.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you think it will.

Today I teared up because I miss someone in another country. I fell in love far sooner than I would have “liked,” and never in a million years thought I could feel this way about another person.

This long distance has been different than my last relationship, though. He is so perfectly attentive and I don’t feel like we are emotionally apart, even though we can’t see each other or even talk as much as I would like. I miss our dates and playing games together. I miss people-watching and I miss him goofing off to make me laugh.

I think of him every time I see an F-150, and I listen to Brad Paisley in the car now. I carry a piece of his heart everywhere I go, and I feel proud of him when I see an American flag waving in the wind.

I’m focusing on myself and am fully working towards my own personal goals, but I cannot help but be excited for December. I feel like a teenager again with a countdown on my phone and a name scribbled throughout my journal.

This is love in its sweetest form.

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Today’s lesson: Sometimes love is having all the feelings all at once. Your heart feels like it’s about to burst, but in the best way you could ever imagine.

Just Another Day In Paradise

Those of you who know me likely know all about my experience with America’s Next Top Model. I’ll give a brief summary for my new followers who don’t know about it.

Basically, I tried out for ANTM several years back, and ended up making it pretty far. Far enough to make top 25, but not enough to make it on the actual show. Anyway, I got to go to New York and meet with some of the casting directors there and made a few friends along the way. This has opened some interesting doors for me to go to exclusive events I otherwise might not even know about. I will save some of those stories for another day, though.

I recently got an email from someone with ANTM which informed me that the stars from Bachelor in Paradise would be coming to the DC area on Friday and Saturday. They were fundraiser events for Lymphoma, so I decided I might as well go check it out one day.

The night ended up being super fun! I wore a crazy sparkly dress, which is always a huge plus in my book, and took my mom as my date — protip: moms always make amazing dates.

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My beautiful date. 🙂

This particular night ended up being a great adventure.

I was on a special VIP list, so when I arrived and checked in the coordinator took us to the front of the line to get a photo with the whole cast, then we were escorted to a little private booth near the red carpet. We watched other guests filter in and enjoyed drinks while waiting for the photo op to finish.

After they were done with taking photos with fans, I ended up getting to spend some one on one time with a few cast members during their break. Everyone was really nice, (A few were really drunk — I’m looking at you, JJ!) and I was able to snag some pictures with most of the people I met.

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Joshua was a major cutie. Here he is getting ready to offer me a rose.

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You can usually charm me by making me laugh.

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I was actually really pleasantly surprised to get a rose from him. Josh was a really sweet, genuine gentleman.
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Proof that I may be goofy, but I am also hilarious.
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Posing with my second “first impression rose.” This was definitely my favorite one!
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In case you missed my last post, JJ was the first to give me a rose.
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I would have loved one from Jared too, but I won’t be greedy!
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Joe acted the exact way you would have expected. Also, he was definitely standing on his tiptoes for this photo, hehe.
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Ashley I. was super sweet. I feel like she has a really good heart (And is incredibly beautiful!).
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Lauren and I really hit it off and talked about dating and fashion.

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The newly engaged Jade.
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Getting a photo with the whole crew… The guys were NOT happy that I was taller than them in heels.

Today’s Lesson: The Bachelor crew is pretty chill and does, in fact, know how to put on a good cocktail party.