Everything you want is on the other side of fear…

I am fully aware just now neglectful of this blog I am but with an apparent short attention span and a full-time job as a reporter, it can be a challenge to want to sit and write some more outside of what I do for my job. 

Anyway, it’s been five months (yes, five months, O-M-G!) since I’ve posted anything and quite frankly, a lot has happened, in a sense.

So two months after my last post something incredible happened. I was given a second chance at a relationship that I was really hoping and praying wasn’t the end of it for good the first time.

Now look, I’m sure there are some people reading this wondering was this relationship really worth a second chance? If there’s anything useful and important I learned in life it’s to not worry about what others think — especially when it comes to YOUR relationship. On the other hand, I do believe that not all relationships are meant to work out (i.e. my previous relationship during high school and part of college) but, looking back now, I’m pretty sure that was doomed from the beginning, I just didn’t see the signs. But, I certainly don’t regret that relationship because it taught me about love — and the things that come with it — what I should strive for in my next relationship, what I will accept and won’t settle for etc. But this relationship I’m in now, I knew it was different. I’ve known that since the moment I met him.

It’s funny, and kind of bizarre — we met at work not even two years ago but we actually went to the same college at Central Michigan University for all four years before that. We just never met during that time. It seems weird to me on the one hand that it has been such a short time since we’ve known each other because I feel like I have known him for much longer.

Now let me tell you — up until a certain age I think I believed in love at first sight. But then, as time went on I thought, ‘there’s no way that’s possible. In fact, people who think that are out of their mind,’ but — at 27-years-old now, I am beginning to change my mind again. I’m not sure if it’s that I actually believe in love at first sight but, I do think that two people can meet and just have a special instant connection. Something else at first sight.
I feel kind of scared — OK, I feel absolutely terrified to even be sharing/revealing this but — I do believe in that special connection and I feel as though I am experiencing it currently. I say I feel terrified because, it’s a new thing for me. I’m not saying that with my last boyfriend I didn’t feel it but, let’s be real — that was young love (yes, I was in love with him some years ago) and now I am a grown adult — a lot has changed about not only myself personally but how I feel towards relationships, love and even fear.

I am also fearful for another reason but, I’m coming to realize that fear really doesn’t have a spot in my life. People get scared all of the time about different things but do they let it hold them back? NO. Or, you know, they try their best to not let it hold them back, which is something I am currently in the process of working on. I am fearful because what if the feeling isn’t reciprocated? I am not saying that’s the case — and definitely not limiting that feeling to just my relationship — but for anyone out there. I know where my relationship stands, however, I can’t help but feel a different kind of happy, go-lucky, giddy feeling than the same feeling I felt when I dated my previous boyfriend. I think part of it might be because back then I was young therefore a bit naive, and didn’t know any better. Well, now I am older and certainly know better, or, like to think I do anyway. I guess what it comes down to is, I think I am trying to shift the focus of who thinks what of how I feel to others — rather than myself. Even though in reality, it’s me who I am worried about I feel. It’s not that I am not confident in how I feel, but, on the other hand, am I crazy for feeling this way so fast? Of course, while I really cannot compare my relationship to any other as no two relationships are the same, (and I need to quit trying to compare mine to others) I have considered others’ relationships and for them, to me, it seems like they have that feeling I do only they’re not questioning it like I am. They’re just going with it. And for me, that’s much easier said than done.

Like I said, it’s not because I don’t actually feel it. I do. I have this intense feeling of “fondness” if you will, toward my relationship but I think maybe I am feeling it too fast, too soon. Of course no one but myself and my boyfriend can be the judge of that, but, I do look to others because I simply admire their relationships. Take my parents for example — they’re high school sweethearts.

When I dated my former boyfriend I had long assumed and hoped that’s what our relationship would be. It didn’t up being the case of course, which, for the both of us ultimately was the best thing for us, but, the me now wants that same kind of love my parents share.

Love — yes I said it. I love love. I really do. And it is because of not only my parents, but Disney fairy tale cartoons, too. Call me cliche, call me cheesy, but I have always been one of those girls who idolized the princess and prince charming ending up happily-ever-after. Although, side note: If you’re an adult watching Disney movies then you can see just how truly barbaric some of the story lines are. I mean, a prince “rescuing” the princess a.k.a. damsel in distress?

OK, not my point. My point is, aside from the somewhat outdated story lines, it’s the elements behind it. Cinderella, for example, while she was “rescued” from her evil stepmother and stepsisters, she wound up living happily-ever-after with her prince. Now of course, this is modern day, and reality of course, not some scripted cartoon movie, and relationships don’t always mean a happily-ever-after. That’s not to say people won’t stay together forever, but rather, relationships “aren’t always rainbows and butterflies.” (Cue: Maroon 5, for those of you who caught that reference.)

Relationships take work. They take patience. Kindness. Understanding. Everything. And I am beyond grateful and can’t thank God enough for allowing me this second chance at this relationship I’m in now. For quite some time after my former relationship, even sporadically until now, I have carried that emotional baggage around with me. Eventually, I knew I had to let that baggage go in order to fully accept and actually be present in this current relationship. Of course, while I let go of that baggage it seemed I picked up new “baggage,” if you will, only this time — about the future.

Obviously I or anyone else has no idea what the future holds but for some reason, I am determined to try and figure it out. Never in my life have I wondered, or worried, so much about the future. I guess maybe it’s in part because I have gotten older and will only continue to get older, just like everyone else because it’s a part of life. It’s inevitable. But, on the other hand, I feel like that’s just maybe who I am as a person — a worrier? But why? That remains a mystery to me.

I’ve been trying hard to be more present and focused on the present and it’s a process. I started, sort of, a hand-written journal that I truly hope I can utilize regularly to my benefit. It’s part hand-written, part “vision” journal, meaning I am cutting pictures and images out of old magazines for both short-and-long-term goals I hope to achieve.

The journal is a work-in-progress, much like (me) trying to regain focus on the present outside of my journal and being grateful for the now of my life because well, it’s pretty damn great. But I will say this, as another potential reason for my worry about the future: I don’t want history to repeat itself.

I know, I’m 27-years-old (Eek! That’s still so weird to me sometimes), a grown adult, and really I only have the one other relationship (that was significant and had a major impact on my life) to compare things to, but, that heartbreak was hard. Of course, all heart breaks are hard (even if it was ultimately a blessing in disguise), and everyone handles them differently. For me, as a woman who’s always been an emotional being (for whatever reason), it was one of the more difficult things in life to go through. It obviously wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever experienced as I consider the death of a loved one or pet, or something along those lines, as the worst things I’ve had to experience in life. But anyway — the heartbreak was difficult then, and even during my last “heartbreak” in this relationship during the two months we broke up and hardly spoke, were awful. I really wasn’t sure and didn’t entertain the idea too much if we would get back together. I had hoped, obviously, as our relationship just hadn’t felt like it should have ended there and thank God and my boyfriend, and myself too, for realizing the feelings were still there and that in order to move on some things would need to change to make the relationship even better the second time around.

And let me tell you, they are. When he and I met up for the first time after two months it wasn’t at all awkward like I kept telling myself and my friends it would be. I was terrified to see him in person because I honestly had no idea what to expect. He was simply just “coming over to visit.” But, it turned out what I could have only dreamed of and from there it’s been much different, but certainly in a good way.

My point is, there’s a lot of unknowns in life. And fear is a thing that never goes away. But, we find a way to overcome the fear and accept the unknowns as they make their presence known in our lives. And as for feelings, which in this particular case mine are tied to fear — I can’t let it. I can’t and shouldn’t feel scared, or sorry for the way I feel. I can only hope and pray for in the future for things to be equal among us.

For now, I will continue my relationship, and life in general, as it is. Enjoy each moment and it comes and try not to stress out so much about the future. Be confident in where I am in life now. And that goes to you, too, whoever is reading this post.

Until next time…

— Anamaria

Finding a prince in a pond full of frogs

I don’t know about other women my age or at the same point in their life (post-college) but I feel like the dating pool is kind of small. Or maybe I am just blinded and missing the greater dating pool.

It could just be my over-picky-ness but in all honesty, where are women my age and at this point in life supposed to meet people? Hell, I wasn’t even sure where to find people when I was in college. The bar? A coffee shop? A concert? The bar seems to be the typical place to meet people for twenty-somethings and while I am a twenty-something, I feel as though I am not into finding my soul mate, my one true love, while having already consumed a couple beers and then some.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the bar and just hanging out with my girl friends but when it comes to meeting people (i.e. potential significant other) I feel as though it can be difficult. In my opinion people use the bar and consuming some liquor for well, liquid encouragement. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that considering I’ve done the same but, in the end it just doesn’t always work out as well as hoped.

Let me again reiterate that I don’t think there is anything wrong with people meeting their S.O. at the bar. I know some success stories from doing so but, since I’ve already gone through that phase, or at least attempted to (but really, was too shy/chicken shit to) I feel like it’s not for me anymore.

Which begs the question: Where do twenty-something women, post-college, meet men who are at the same point in their lives, if not even more established?

That’s part of the problem. I have people tell me I am much too picky when it comes to guys–whether it be to casually date him or something more serious and long-term. Now I will admit I suppose I am just a tad picky but I also don’t want to settle. On the other hand, the people I know who are dating someone or will date in the future are probably people I wouldn’t ever date. That doesn’t go to say the people they’re dating are undesirable or anything, it’s just a different taste than what I am looking for. After all, everyone has their own tastes, etc. and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m sure some people reading have probably written me off as someone whose standards are too high that no guy will ever be able to meet but, I disagree. It might not happen anytime soon but as people always tell me–things happen when they’re supposed to and when I least expect it. I am a firm believer every person has a soul mate in the world (should they believe in/want love–regardless of it results in marriage or just something monogamous without a piece of paper) and therefore that is why I don’t believe my standards are too high. Perhaps to some they are but for me I know what I wan’t and don’t want and I refuse to settle.

Perhaps there is that small part of me that still believes in those Disney fairy tales. The fairy tales where the princess rides off into the sunset with prince charming and they live happily-ever-after. Who wouldn’t want that? Okay, so not everyone wants that or believes in that but I do and I’m sticking to it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being single. I’ve been single for some time now and it’s been great. But, at the same time, I’ve always been one who believes in love, wants love, had a great love once, and am looking for one again. I am a believer in fairy tales and while I don’t expect to literally ride off into the sunset with my prince charming, I do look forward to finding my soul mate and well, living happily-ever-after, on our own terms, however that may be.

Not everyone longs to find true love, their “other half”, and that is totally okay. But for me and seeing people in my own family (and friends) experience that feeling of true love/happily-ever-after I can’t help but feel I am meant for that too–and it’s what I want. But until then begs the question of where do I meet my so-called “prince charming”?

Can I still meet guys at the bar? Or am I past that? I personally think I am beyond that stage of my life now but perhaps I am wrong. I am curious, people who are reading this–where are twenty something women my age meeting people?

If you have any ideas on where to meet people I’d like to know. It obviously isn’t my life mission to pin point my prince charming this very second but, it’s certainly something I am interested in happening at some point. In mean the time the hunt for a job continues and hopefully saving up enough money to have my own place again. It’s best to just live life in the moment, right?

Until next time…

– Ana