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Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

I’m in my early 30s and I’ve been in love exactly three times in my life. Each time was a different stage in my life. I may not have handled some of them the way I would do now but each time falling in and out of love was a learning experience. Each time and person helped shaped me to be the person that I was today (for better or worse) and though I would possibly change some things, I have to also accept this is what was meant to be.

Now I know there’s some of you out there who have never fallen in love before. There are others of you all there who fall in and out of love so many times that you can’t keep track of the all. And yet there’s still others of you out there who are married to the only person you’ve ever fallen in love with.

Kudos for all of you who are in whatever situation you happen to be in.

I never really understood how growing up I was supposed to avoid having affections for other people. I know that there’s a big movement in the church of emotional purity where you don’t give your heart away and experience heartache. Parents don’t want their child to focus on things like this at such a young age because they aren’t ready for it. We must avoid anything that could compromise their hearts! Well, honestly unless you completely isolate someone with no human interaction, it’s near impossible to do this.

The thing with falling in love is that even if you only fall in love once, you’re going to get hurt. It is inevitable. Because no matter what happens, that other person is going to break your heart at some point. Sure, you can make up and all will be well. But the hurt that comes from having your heart broken is worse than any other pain in the world.

Loving someone is a risk and sometimes it doesn’t pay off. Sometimes you fall out of love with each other. Sometimes the other person doesn’t return your love. You may disagree but I don’t think you can control who your heart initially wants to be with it. You can choose your actions on how you choose to proceed afterwards and sometimes you shouldn’t always follow your heart. But sometimes you can’t choose who you fall in love with. But you can be careful on who you give it away to. Love and care but don’t give your heart away to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Is it better to love and lost than to never have loved at all? Or would “I rather hurt than feel nothing at all?”

With falling in love three times and getting hurt three times, it’s safe to say that my heart is not brand new. It does have some cracks in it. It has been broken a few times and needed repair and restoration. It’s not factory sealed and never been used. Whoever ends up earning my heart for the long run will hopefully understand this. But experience has made me stronger and wiser person. It’s taught me that I shouldn’t just give my heart away to anyone. And that God is the only one that can fully fill and heal my heart.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Until the time comes, my prayer is that He keeps my heart slow.

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This is the Song That Never Ends

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day (because let’s face it, interactions with my friends influence a lot of these blog posts) about music. They were slightly embarrassed because a song that had huge meaning for them in high school was the perfect anthem to describe what was going on in their life right now. My response was something like “Please, I do that all the time. There is no shame in that.”

It’s actually kind of crazy how it doesn’t matter how many years have passed, there are some songs that seem to fit the occasion when it seems fit. It’s funny because I used these songs as away messages on AIM as a very emo college freshman. Now as a 30 something, these songs still perfectly describe my life, even in completely different situations.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying these songs describe how my life is RIGHT NOW. These are just some of the songs that seem to pass the test of time.

“Change” by Good Charlotte

I am lost in the see-through
I think you lost yourself too
Throughout all of this confusion
I hope I somehow get to you
I practiced all the things I’d say
To tell you how I feel
And when I finally get my chance
It all seems so surreal
Cause from the first time I saw you
I only thought about you
I didn’t know you
I wanted to hold onto
The things you’d never say to me
Cause you said
You can’t change the way you feel

“Found Out About You” by Gin Blossoms

All last summer in case you don’t recall
I was yours and you were mine forget it all
Is there a line that I could write
Sad enough to make you cry
All the lines you wrote to me were lies
The months roll past the love that you struck dead
Did you love me only in my head?
Things you said and did to me
Seemed to come so easily
The love I thought I’d won you give for free

“Vegas” by New Found Glory

It’s so amazing how people can be held down
By just one person that doesn’t even care what they think
I know it’s so stupid

“In the End” by Linkin Park

I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when…
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

When there have been thousands of books, songs, and movies written about how exactly you feel, then you cannot say no knows how you feel.

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You Think You Know But You Have No Idea

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I was at lunch with some friends the other day and I noticed something. As much fun as I was having with them, I noticed how surface-y the conversation was.

It’s not that I want deep, introspective conversations at every mealtime or get together. It’s impossible to do that with such big groups of people. Sometimes you just want light and fun conversation where you can forget about things that are troubling you and you need an escape. And sometimes you just don’t want to talk about yourself and you don’t want to hear about everyone else’s heavy stuff. Sometimes it’s better to keep a distance so you don’t get too involved.

At the same time though, it made me realize that a lot of people don’t really know me. Sure, people see me every week, we talk, we hang out. But I also realize that they don’t know me. I don’t get asked questions beyond normal chit-chat. And a lot of time I do the exact same thing. I’m not sure if people either don’t know what to ask or if they read my blog and think they don’t need to. I’m not the type of person to volunteer information either. I figure if you wanted to know, you’d ask and if you don’t ask, then you don’t want to know.

For example, I have a good feeling a lot of folks have no idea that I’m divorced. It’s not like I walk around introducing myself like “Hi, I’m Deborah. I’m divorced.” I’m not trying to hide this fact about myself. It’s just not something I’m going to voluntarily bring up the first time I meet you or even on the first date unless the conversation leads in that direction. People just assume I’m single and never been married because I will admit, it’s how I act. Since kids weren’t involved and it was done very non-messy, there’s nothing really to indicate anything else. While statistically and legally I would have to classify myself in this way, I don’t live my life based on this label. There are different connotations to just being single and being divorced. Again not trying to hide anything at all. It is just something that I don’t bring up unless I have to. 9 times out 10, it is not something that has to be brought up.

And yet it is a part of me and I feel like if you don’t know that part, you don’t really know me. For folks that know me in person, if you’re reading this and made it this far, if you want to talk, just ask me. I’m more than happy to talk.

I’ve been thinking lately about how I would like to share my testimony with people. It’s been a while since I shared it and even then it was only with a select group of people. I know that sharing how I found and lived my faith is something that is very important. It’s not something where I’m like “turn and burn” after you hear this. It’s more of I know that what happened in my life affected my faith and my faith affected what happened in my life. But I’m worried about telling it. I feel like I’m going to get judged by a lot of Christians when I share it. Why? Because it’s a messy story. It’s not something that they are going to be able to relate to. They’ll hear my story and it doesn’t matter if they know me or not, they’ll make snap judgments about me.

Someone asked me “Why do you want everyone knowing your deep secrets?” The answer to that is I don’t. Not everyone needs to know everything about my life just like I don’t need to know everything about theirs. But the parts of my life that I do feel I need to share, I want to share. Just have to figure out a way to properly do so.

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. (Psalm 66:16)

Photo credit: (Original source: National Ocean Service Image Gallery)

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Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. Talking.

It’s really funny how I’ve been told that I am both super quiet and need to come out of my shell and how I also need to just stop talking. Usually you’re one or the other. Yet since it’s me, of course I can be both.

When something is new to me or I’m placed in a situation where I feel uncomfortable or it’s something new, I tend to clam up. I would much rather not draw attention to myself. In situations like this, I tend to be quieter because I want to get a feel of my surroundings before I start to open up. I also am the type of person that usually isn’t good at jumping into the conversation without prompting. Some folks are excellent with just bulldozing their way into a conversation and will talk over others. I seem to not have this ability so I’ll wait for the pause before I give my two cents.

It all adds up to me being seen as someone who is quieter.

And then there are times where I cannot seem to shut up. I notice this is when I start being more comfortable around you. I don’t say awkward SOAP moments. I just for some reason can’t seem to stop talking. It’s like if something happens to me and it’s usually either good news or something that makes me a bit anxious, I seem to want to tell everyone about it. Sometimes it’s to get an opinion on what to do, sometimes it is to brag, sometimes it is because I just want to tell anyone who will listen.

There are many times when I wish that I could just bottle it in and not feel the need to tell everything to people. And the thing is I can. There are some things in my life that I will never share. There are some things I only share with those I’m close to. There are some things where I am totally open to sharing but again, only if prompted. I really envy those of you who have things happen and instead of projecting it outward, you absorb it completely until it vanishes.

Working in customer service puts you in a place where people feel the need to tell you everything that’s going on in their lives and on their mind. When you apologize to someone, why do we feel the need to have to explain everything? I know some people aren’t good at reading social cues or faces to tell that the other person doesn’t want to hear more than what is necessary, but what excuse do the rest of us have? Why do we keep talking and have words keep pouring out of mouth when we can clearly see the other person just does not want to hear what we are saying?

The obvious thing is to just assume that no one else wants to hear your sh*t. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Or I could just go back to writing in my journal whenever those impulses hit and wait to share my news with the people who really do want to hear them. I’ll figure it out. I always do.

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Don’t Stop Believing

I’m currently in the middle of my annual reading/listening to the Harry Potter series and I’m smack dab in the middle of Goblet of Fire. Harry’s about to do the first task and in addition to worrying about who put his name in the cup and how on earth he’s going to defeat dragons, he has to worry about his friendship with Ron. Because Ron doesn’t believe him, thinks he is lying, and is jealous of all the attention that  Harry is getting. As the story is told from Harry’s perspective, it’s still incredibly frustrating to read about unfairly he is being treated. We as the reader know why Ron feels this way (youngest boy after five older brothers) and yes, the characters are just teenagers. But what Harry is going through is also painful to read because he cannot control the circumstances and his best friend refuses to stand by him.

How many times have you gone through life and someone doesn’t believe you even though you are telling the truth? It’s one thing when it’s people who don’t know you that well. These people make snap judgment and unfortunately since they have no way of knowing what you are really like, changing their minds is nearly damn impossible. Hopefully your life doesn’t depend on their opinion (ie. they are the jury and you’re the defendant) so while it sucks, this usually isn’t that big of an issue.

But it’s a situation like Harry’s, when someone who is supposed to know you extremely well stops believing in you, that hurts like hell. And almost every tie there is nothing you can do about it but wait and hopefully the truth will come out. It’s extremely frustrating to feel like you need to make them believe that you are not lying especially when you know fully well you aren’t. It gets worse when they think they know better than you and taunt with that type of behavior.

Being believed is something that is very important to us. When we know we are telling the truth and when someone WE trust does not believe us, it is like a betrayal. For whatever the reason, the other person has lost THEIR trust in us. Even if it is warranted, to not be believed probably hurts more than having actual angry and hateful words said to you. You know it’s bad when you need to say to someone “You have to believe me!”

I don’t know why as humans we are so doubtful when it comes to believing others. I think it comes from not wanting to be gullible. You don’t want to be seen as the fool for believing someone and it turns out they were lying and you now look like the fool. Also sadly people do lie all the time and try to purposefully manipulate someone’s trust only to break it. We need all the facts and see all the proof before we want to trust.

And then there are those times when someone does believe us. We don’t have to try to defend ourselves or prove the truth. And that is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

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Trust and Consequences

I was reading some old journal entries the other day (which I won’t be using excerpts because…well, I’m lazy and don’t feel like transcribing at the moment) and I noticed that something that came up A LOT was that when it comes to any sort of relationship in life, the number one thing I look for is honesty and being able to trust someone.

Due to past circumstances, I need that to be solid in our friendship. If I feel that you’re not being honest, it’s not going to go well with us. No we don’t have to tell each other EVERY SINGLE secret ever. But at the same time, if there is something important going on in your life, if we’re truly friends why aren’t you telling me about it?

Even if at one point, I told you not to tell me about that very thing, you should. Thank you for respecting my request, but at the same time is it really fair to sacrifice your own happiness? No because we’re adults or at least we should be. And I honestly would never want any one I consider to be one of my closest friends to feel like they have to hide things from me that make them happy. Because eventually it’ll come out and then the person will wonder why you felt like you couldn’t tell them. Don’t hide your happy relationship from a single friend. Don’t hide being pregnant from someone who can’t have kids. Don’t hide your new job from someone who is unemployed. Honestly (heh), if your friend truly wants you to be miserable just like them, then they aren’t really your friend.

It’s one thing to be vague and avoid saying direct answers with people you don’t know very well. They’ll never know and most likely will never care that you didn’t tell them the truth. But when you do that with someone who does know you very well and trusts you…well you just can’t.

Trust is something that is so important to me. If I can’t trust you, I can’t have any sort of relationship with you. I try not to be a very suspicious person but trust is something that I don’t give away very easily. And when I do trust you, I basically trust you with my life. When you’ve reached that level and you break that trust? There’s no going back. It’s over.

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The Incident at the Stoplight

So hi, how are you doing? I’ve been doing great. I honestly have. Life’s been pretty good for the past two months and I’ve been in a good place, a place I have not been in…hmm gosh, maybe 20 years? So yeah, it’s been good and I’ve been happy with myself. I’ve been feeling at peace, it’s been calm, and I’ve been wonderfully stress and anxiety free.

And then I happened to be driving home from a delightful beer tasting one night when I pulled up at stoplight and saw something I was not expecting to see.

Basically listen (or read the lyrics) to this song (just genderswap all the pronouns) and this is what happened:

It was like a punch in the stomach AND the face all at the same time.

Immediately all that peace and calm and happiness I’d been having recently? All erased. Hello stress and anxiety. Because guess what, you’ve been replaced and forgotten about. What?! Why?????

God, why did you have this happen? I could have been perfectly fine not having this incident happen. Doors have already been closed. It’s not like this was a “let’s sweep this under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist” type of situation. This was a “I’m done and I’m not looking back and I’ve accepted and am at peace with it all” type of situation. Things were going well. Why did you bring along this bump in the road?

If I had just stayed a bit longer or left earlier from the tasting, I would have missed this incident completely. Or had I not switched lanes mere seconds before. Or why did I choose to turn my head at that particular moment? There are so many factors that could have been changed so this whole thing could have been avoided and I would have driven away and never known what was near me.

Was this a test? Are you trying to see how I would react? Are you trying to humble me? I was freaking out because I thought I was going to be ok and instead now I’m feeling vulnerable and slightly emotional.

This all went through my head in the span of a minute. This was basically me:

But then I also have to look back and see what else happened that day.

I could have faced this completely alone. This could have been a very bad situation for me where I could have completely regressed. Kind of like a relapse after you’ve been clean for a while. Not that I’m personally comparing myself to a recovering addict but you get my drift.

Instead, directly prior to this happening, I had a really good conversation about related topics with a good friend that made me see that I was not alone in how I felt. There was also the realization that it’s not as easy as other people make it out to be. Part of me wonders if perhaps God was trying to humble me a little.

Timing was a factor because it allowed me to not have to face it alone immediately after and instead was able to be talked through the situation with a friend and this gave me time to calm down. I was able to understand why I was having these feelings and that it was ok for me to and no, there wasn’t something wrong with me at all.

Then instead of having to sit alone and dwell on it all night by myself listening to emo music all night, plans had already been made unexpectedly in advance for that night with yet ANOTHER friend. This allowed me to be able to (mostly) forget the entire incident all night and instead have a good time. What are the odds of that?

While I can question God and ask why did He allow this to happen and what was the purpose of all this, at the same time I can also see Him working in this situation. Basically, it was like He knew this was going to happen but He always wanted to show me that He also cared about me to bless me with people before and afterwards. It was like, He was showing me, You may not have gotten the love you wanted, but look how much I still love you. I also did find myself praying which is probably the reaction I needed to do anyways.

So yeah, I’m doing ok. I’m doing good. To quote Good Charlotte: “Everything’s gonna be alright now. Everything’s gonna be alright.”

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You Can’t Go Home Again

The holidays are coming up. This means that most people will go back to their hometown to reunite with family and friends. Everyone will catch up and reunite and for the most part it’ll be good to see everyone again.

I realized the other day that though I go home every year, I usually just spend time with my family. I never seen anyone else. My life is up here and not back there. Other than seeing what people are up to on Facebook (and not even actively communicating at that), I have lost touch with many of the people I was friends with in school.

Everyone’s all doing this

and I’m all like

I’m not really sure when it happened. I know it all started when we split up for college. Everyone went their separate ways, found new friends, and started new lives. Even though we got together when we were home for breaks and holidays, it was never the same as it used to be.

I realize that people have families of their own now and that is their main focus. But I also realized that there are still tons of people (and not just those that I grew up with) that are still good friends with their childhood friends. They still stay in touch constantly, still make an effort to actually see each other in person, and are never out of each other’s lives.

Part of me wonders if maybe I wasn’t as close to my friends in high school as I thought I was. Was there something wrong with me that no one wanted to stay in touch? I mean heck, I have no idea if/when my senior class is ever having a reunion because not a single person has contacted me about it. Confession: Since graduation, I was invited to ONE wedding from someone I knew high school. To be fair, and probably because of that, I barely invited any of them to mine but considering the results probably for the best. Meanwhile I see my current friends share wedding, baby, pretty much all life announcements of their old friends all the time. I see other friends post pictures of our mutual friends from high school getting married and obviously I’m not there for it.

It sometimes makes me feel forgotten. That people don’t care about what’s happened in my life to reconnect with me. But I’ve come to accept that those relationships are all over and not a part of my life anymore. Maybe I should have reached out more, maybe others should have done the same thing. Maybe I still could. I don’t know. I’m a drastically different person that I was back in the day so the me that people knew back then is not the same one that exists right now.

I’m good with where I’m at in life and my current friends have been fantastic and I know God’s placed them in my life at exactly the right time. I know I don’t have to keep looking back at the past.

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Music of the Heart

I was listening to the radio the other day and a “beatccr” came on – when a Beatles song is followed by a Creedence Clearwater Revival song. Actually it was doubly exciting because it was a Two for Tuesday and therefore two Beatles songs were followed by two CCR songs. As I was enjoying my two favorite classic rock bands, it got me thinking.

A lot of my music tastes have been influenced by boys that I liked. Whether it was because they got me interested in a band or type of music because they liked them or because of what happened between us caused me to discover the music on my own, the majority of the music I listen to can be traced back to a guy.

Now I preface this all to say that when I listen to these songs or bands, I don’t think about these guys and spend all that time reminiscing. Far from it. I’m also not one of those girls who only becomes interested in things just because the guy she likes does and fakes being a fan. If I had never heard of these bands beforehand, then I did my research to find out more stuff about them afterwards.

I just want to give credit where credit is due.

I was already a big Beatles fan (who I discovered on MY own, for MYself) when the guy I crushed on throughout high school introduced me to CCR. It didn’t take long for me to fall hard for the roots/swamp rock band and my relationship with them outlasted my high school crush.

I liked a couple of guys who were in a band together. They liked a bunch of pop punk bands a lot. I ended up LOVING New Found Glory a lot.

Alkaline Trio was the absolute favorite band of the main guy I liked during college. Yeah that was a thing.

I discovered Saves the Day by way of a guy I met in an online group for another band that I actually had listened to (and I actually I don’t think I still have to this day).

This song was a random stumble upon song find for the guy. I ended up liking it for the music as well as the lyrics which I find to be true about how I view my faith sometimes.

After that brief trip down musical memory lane, I have to say that even though the relationships with the guys didn’t work out, I’m glad that the musical ones did. These are all fantastic songs and while I’m forever grateful to those that introduced me to the awesomeness, I’m also glad that time has healed the wounds and I can enjoy them in peace.

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Everyone Hates Group Invites


Have you ever decided you wanted to do something and you think “I like to do this with a bunch of people. They’d probably enjoy this too!”? So you come up with a list of people who you really want to invite and perhaps add a few backups just in case the A List can’t make it. Then you decide to send out your invites either via email, text, Facebook messenger because no one really does snail mail invites anymore for non formal events.

Because you want to save time, you just send out one mass invite to everyone. Should be easy right?

Wrong.

You can’t send out group invites where everyone can see that other people are invited. It just doesn’t work.

You’re not going to hear back from everyone. Some people are going to reply, others will not. They will think they don’t need to because someone else will.

If they can see the guest list, there will be times when they will make their decision on who else is coming first. Unless this is something that they really want to do or they really enjoy spending time with you, these folks will NOT make their RSVP until they see who else is coming. Who’s going to be the first to push the button?

People also hate the reply all button. And unless you are using a platform like Facebook messenger which allows you to opt out of the group, you are stuck getting tons of text messages or emails that you do NOT want. It’s a pain to keep getting messages from people you don’t know especially when you can’t tell who it is. And since you never really wanted to be included on this in the first place, you’re really not going to reply back with a positive answer.

So what’s the trick to getting people to go out and do something with you?

Be super popular and be so cool that EVERYONE wants to be around you and asks YOU to hang out with them so much that you just decide to ignore people when they want to hang out with you.

Just kidding (sorta).

You have to be pro active about inviting. People are always going to have plans. Even when they don’t have active plans, sometimes if they don’t hear about anything going on they will just plan for a night in. Making last-minute plans can sometimes work, but if you know you want to do something in advance, you need to act early on it to make it happen.

You have to plan wisely. Realize that not everyone is going to be able to everything.

Also, DON’T SEND OUT GROUP INVITES.  People will get irritated with YOU for putting them on that list in the first place. They don’t want

If you MUST send out a group email, do what you do at work, and just BCC everyone. So what if people don’t know who else is coming? Unless they are totally freaked out or disgusted at hanging out one on one with you (then which they really shouldn’t be your friend in the first place), should it matter?

Basically just use judgement. Don’t include people on group texts, emails if you know they won’t go. People shouldn’t feel left out if they know they can’t come.

Personally invite each person that you want to go with you. Yes, this will take up more time and it’s not as convenient but it probably will get better results. People (despite everything we say about not having enough time or being too busy) still enjoy one on one personal interaction with people they care about. You may have to make the list smaller if you, yourself, are short on time.

It’s still not guaranteed though. Nothing is certain. You can personally invite someone, get a response, and they STILL leave you hanging.

Or you can read these very helpful articles

Making Plans with People

Worries People Often Have About Making Friends and Plans

Examples Of Organizing Various Group Social Plans

and if the worst thing happens and no one wants to go out with you?

Going Out Alone To Meet New Friends And Practice Your Social Skills