Survivor

I love Destiny’s Child’s song  Survivor. It played as my anthem when I was going through a really difficult breakup, and I have even listened to it when I needed extra motivation to work towards getting better from my illness. The overall message of the song is that people can survive and work hard on their own, whether or not the person they think they need in life is around anymore.

There have been several times the past couple years where I’ve felt incredibly alone. Whether it was because of a friend I thought was going to be there no matter what not being around when I needed her or a breakup with someone I thought I had a long future with, I have been able to manage everything life has thrown at me thus far. It by no means has always been easy, but I have lived through every hard twist and turn that has been thrown my way.

I love writing about my experiences because I feel like I am an incredibly average person. I’m not someone who was born with a natural strong fire and determination burning in my soul, and faith is in no way an easy thing for me. I question the bad things that happen to good people in life; and I forget to thank God for my blessings, but still reach out when I need His help and support.

My blog feels like a very up and down journey of emotions, but that’s because those are the times that are worth writing about (And sometimes I write six things in a day but space out the posts so I don’t overwhelm my page with a zillion different feelings). Strong emotions are what connect to people, and they are what inspire artists to draw and paint and write and sing.

This week I’ve felt particularly like I’ve needed my boyfriend back in the states so that I can have someone to lean on. There have been moments throughout the deployment where I’ve really felt numb because I don’t always have someone to talk to or turn to here when the going gets tough. But you know what is so cool about this? I have learned that I can get through trying times, even without having someone right here by my side. I have learned that I am strong and I can get through the ups and downs of life without having a boyfriend or close friend here in my neck of the woods at all times to talk to at all times. God made the human heart a really strong and resilient thing, and sometimes life is amazing and lets our heart become enveloped in warmth and happiness, but other times feel darker and hopeless. It is so important to never let the darkness win. I am a very firm believer in praising Jesus through the good and the bad, even when it’s one of the hardest things we can do. I often don’t take my own advice — it’s freaking hard — but I am working on it and finding that my heart is changing very slowly. The more I am able to put my life in God’s hands the more content I feel and find myself being able to live my life to glorify Him.

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Today’s lesson: Life rarely goes the way we want it to, but that doesn’t mean the end of our world is near. Learning to work hard and dance in the rain doesn’t make us delusional; it makes us stronger. Human beings are so resilient. You are so strong and can handle what life is throwing at you right now. Let us stay united as human beings — no matter what our differences are, and spread love in the world. That, my friends, is how we can make a difference as an individual. Always be kind.

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.

Symptoms Of A Deployment

Anyone who has been close to someone who is deployed understands the great sacrifice the entire family and loved ones are making along with their soldier. I can confidently say that I am not going to take time for granted the way I have with people in the past. I think everyone knows someone who is either deployed or close to a soldier, so I wanted to write something about the way it feels to have a significant other serving overseas.

Here are the symptoms that come along with a deployment:

Anxiousness: Getting a phone call from a random number doesn’t mean the same thing it did before your soldier went overseas. You hope it’s him calling from one of the phones in the barracks, but there’s always a fear in the back of your mind that it’s a stranger calling with bad news.

Irregular Heartbeat: Anytime you hear of something terrible that happened to soldiers in the area of the world where yours is your heart stops and sinks. When you find out it wasn’t him you feel an immediate sense of relief, followed by an intense sorrow for the loved ones who do have to deal with a sickening loss. You hurt for them. Then you pray for them. This thing that had a small impact on you has changed the lives of so many other people forever; losing a loved one too soon is a terrible tragedy that seems to be one thing that the heart can’t fully heal from.

Nausea: When you think about the conditions your soldier is working in, it makes you feel sick. The hatred toward Americans where he is serving is unreal, and you feel anxious knowing there’s a target on the one person you’d do anything to protects back. I don’t know that I would take a bullet for many people, but I would for him.

Sleeplessness: More nights than not you lie awake thinking about the person who is holding your heart halfway around the world. You worry and pray that God will keep them safe. Nighttime is the hardest part of a deployment. It seems so much longer than the bright daytime where you have dozens of distractions. The darkness is deeper than you remembered it being last year, and you feel alone in your big, cold queen size bed.

A New Sense of Patriotism: Your guy is fighting for our freedom. I have not proclaimed my love for this beautiful country nearly as much as I have this past year. The sacrifices thousands of people are making for me and my fellow US citizens are incredible. Soldiers endure terrifying, uncomfortable, and difficult conditions every single day for 9+ months to make sure we can keep the freedoms we have here in the United States.

Don’t you dare say that you hate this country if you live here; you have no right when there are people who are actually dying for it and for the freedoms we take for granted every single day. If you don’t love America there is no reason you need to stay here.

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Photo credit to my new Instagram friend clarkayyyy!

If you told me I could have one wish granted today it would be that I would have my soldier home and in my arms again. I wouldn’t trade that for all the riches in the world. Having that sense security in my relationship again is going to mean the world to me, and I absolutely can’t wait.

God. Bless. America.

No, You’re Schmoopie!

Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling a “Schmoopie” when I write about my dating life

Sadly I have realized not everyone in my generation has seen Seinfeld, so here’s a clip if you have no clue what I’m talking about:

It definitely takes a lot for me to share such intimate parts of my life on this blog sometimes. I know I’m taking a risk at putting my heart on my sleeve in front of all my friends (including my new blogger friends!), and I know not all of my relationships — romantic or otherwise — that I write about will last. I do, however, always want my blog to be an honest account of my life. I want to be transparent with y’all through the bad times and through the good, which just happens to be the beginning honeymoon phase of a new relationship, the comfortable parts of a longer-term relationship, and the vulnerable parts about putting your heart in the hands of another human being.

I love love in every form, whether it’s in a friendship or a romantic relationship. As I have mentioned before, I think I’m one of the few people who gets giddy with excitement when I see even a distant Facebook friend get engaged or have a sappy status. I love seeing new jobs, dreams come true, and celebrating in the victories of friends — no matter how great or small.

Sometimes it gets a little annoying when people proclaim their love to one another constantly on Facebook — can you not say “I love you” via text? For the most part, though, I hope my friends will keep posting a million wedding pictures and sharing in their excitement with me and everyone else. After all, that is by far the best part about social media, and the more love we put out in the world the less room we have for hate. That is the best lesson we can learn, especially during this crazy time in America where the country — and even Facebook — feels so divided and confused.

So I would like to encourage you to keep sharing photos of your GNOs, engagement photoshoots, and selfies that make you feel fierce. If people don’t like seeing the happy parts of your life, the “unfollow” button is really easy to find. Spread happiness, joy, and beautiful friendships on social media, even if they don’t rack up as many “likes” as you’d want… After all, your social media pages are yours for a reason!

Today’s lesson: I have found that being open and vulnerable has enriched my life in so many ways. Not only do I have so many friends to share excitement with, but I also have an army of support when life gets tough, and have been able to learn from people who have very different lives than my own. So here’s to being authentic and spreading love and positivity in the world.