Perspective

While being in my mid 20s has been some of the greatest times of my life, its also the time when all of my friends are getting engaged, married and having babies…including my ex’s.

My first serious boyfriend ever got married this past weekend. He married a girl that I was incredibly close to in college. And it put me in this weird mood. Not because I wish it was me he was saying ‘I do’ to, because I don’t. I know that God used the relationship he and I had to teach me a lot, and grow in more ways than I probably am even aware of, but it was still weird. I tried explaining the feeling that was distracting me to my mom, but she just couldn’t relate.

I know a part of me is sad that I’m not at that season of my life yet, but still sad isn’t even the right word. I’m very slightly envious, because I’ve been wanting to be loved by someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me. But then I think about how much I’ve changed in the last year and a half. I think about the things that I thought were important in a significant other, and how different those “absolutely must have” qualities have changed.

J and I remind each other regularly that we don’t need each other. While to some that may sound incredibly insensitive, to me its incredibly empowering. Its empowering to be able to look at the man I care about and with 100% honesty be able to tell him that I don’t need him. But that I CHOOSE to have him in my life. I choose him. He’s in my life because I want him there, not because I need him to provide for me. Or because i don’t know what life would be like alone. Or because I can’t live without him.

When the guy that just got married and I broke up, we’d been together for 4 years – 2 in high school and 2 in college and I literally didn’t know what life would be like without him. I hadn’t walked through life alone in so long that I didn’t know what to expect, our how to function. Id lost friendships because he became my world so I had to start from scratch. Granted, I was 16 when we started dating, so I really didn’t know what I was doing, but it made starting over even more challenging. I had to establish a baseline for the woman that I wanted to be and grow from there. I had to recreate the tribe of people that surrounded me and occupied my time, and I had to figure out what it was that I wanted. I had the freedom to decide for myself what I was going to do with my future, as well as what I wanted to spend my free time doing and even simpler, where I was going to eat. I didn’t have to take into consideration anyone else’s feelings but my own and it was terrifying and exhilarating.

Now I look at where I stand, and its incredibly empowering to be able to look back at the growth that’s occurred. To be able to honestly and truly say, but also believe, that I don’t need a man in my life. I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of giving myself the most amazing life all on my own. That I can provide for myself and my dog. That I can have friendships all over the world and successfully make them important pieces of my life despite the distance between us. I’ve found hobbies and grown as a Christian woman and daughter. And I’ve managed two jobs and developed a relationship with an incredible Christian man, all while never once losing who I am.

Take a step back and look into yourself for a second. Do you depend on your significant other or spouse for everything in your life? Financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically? I challenge you to take some time to focus on yourself. YOU are the most important person in your life. And I think that is something that we regularly forget. Everyone needs a reminder, and i’m happy to be yours.

With all my love,

kristi

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To my 5 week long Tinder boyfriend,

To my 5 week long Tinder boyfriend,

Thank you. Thank you for proving to me that good, normal men use dating apps to meet people. Thank you for treating me better than any man ever has and for raising the bar for my future dating experiences. Thank you for reminding me that chivalry isn’t dead, and that men are still capable of opening the car door for us, and kissing our hands in public. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to not be the smartest person in the room and for not laughing when I ask a question or say something that may sound stupid. If I’m asking, it’s because I actually do want to know the answer. Thank you for showing me your favorite places in the city of Austin. This great, beautiful city may seem small, but to a single person alone in this city its massive and overwhelming. Thank you for taking me to places where I have memories in the future with you and great times to think back on. Thank you for making the moving transition easier by finding comfort in you.

Thank you for showing me what it’s like to have a dreamer bigger than yourself. I’m so proud of how dedicated and committed to your dream you are. I can only wish that one day I feel that way about a career. Your dream requires a level of dedication that is so important to you that a romantic relationship isn’t possible, and you’re okay with accepting that fact.

But also, thank you for ending it when you did. For realizing that while we were perfect together, and we were, it wasn’t the right time in your life for you to be romantically committed to someone. Your honesty opened my eyes to the things that I needed to be focusing on right now, like my own mental health. For someone who has never suffered from anxiety and depression, these are two things I need to work through on my own. Without the help and encouragement from a significant other, that obviously might not be in my life forever. Its things like this that pushed me to take this adventure on my own. So that I could show the world, and more importantly myself, that I’m fully capable of taking this world on on my own.

Lastly, thank you for acknowledging that while we cannot move forward romantically, that developing a friendship is something that you’d still like to work on. I feel like more often than not this is something that women suggest but it never works out. I greatly appreciate the fact that you said this was something you’d like to continue, if I was okay with it. The level of comfort I had with you is something that I didn’t know existed in real life. It allowed me to be the fullest and realist version of myself, knowing that you accepted me however I chose to show up. I don’t have that level of closeness with some of the best guys friends in my life, and I found it in you within minutes of meeting you.

I can only hope that we truly do continue to grow closer as friends in the future.

With all my love,

Kristi

 

 

Expectations are not always reality

Have you ever dated someone that’s busier than you? 
I’ve always been the busy one in the relationship. The one that’s constantly on the go and has a planner full of dates and places I need to be. Until now. Now I live in a new place, where I have FOUR friends and the guy I’m seeing is insanely busy…all of the time. He’s a paramedic for a hospital in Austin and works 3 12 hour shifts a week. On top of that, he’s picking up extra shifts, spending time with his family, getting settled into the apartment we just moved him into and is prepping for school to start next month. 

My schedule compared to his, and compared to what it was in DC, is completely different than what I’m used to. Before I was working in an office 45-50 hours a week, lifting 4-5 times a week with my best girlfriends, was working at a yoga studio, while also practicing yoga a few times a week, and I had all of my friends to fill the rest of my open time with. Now, I work from home for those 45-50 hours a week, I practice yoga occasionally, go to bible study on Tuesday nights and spend time with the few friends I have. My life here is so quiet compared to the past few years of my life and I’m having to adjust to my significant other being busier than I am. It makes me feel like less of a priority, even though I know that’s the furthest thing from the truth. He does the best that he can with the extra time that he has, and I’m very grateful for that. 

When he and I first started seeing each other he wasn’t nearly as busy as he is right now. He’d have a few days off a week and we’d spend them together downtown, or at a new restaurant, ect. That time together filled the quiet space that I would have been spending alone, without time to process all of the changes that have happened the last 6 weeks. Now that his calendar is filling back up, and the reality of my move is really sinking in, im finally truly processing everything. I realized this week that I’m not moving back to DC. That this isn’t a long vacation where I live somewhere else away from all my friends, like my trip to Africa. I was in Africa for 6 weeks, which is exactly how long I’ve been in Austin now. This is also the longest I’ve ever been away from everyone I love. And processing all of this is harder than I imagined. 

So much has already happened in DC since I left. My best friend got engaged, AND married in less than 2 week period. My oldest and closest friend informed me that she’s pregnant with her first baby. Another close friend gave birth to her first child a few weeks after I moved. And my boss got promoted, which has shifted my whole team around. These are huge milestones that I wish I’d been in town for. Things I wish I could be more openly a part of, but now I can only do my best from a distance. 

Surprisingly, I haven’t cried too much since I’ve been here. For anyone who knows me well, I can cry at almost the drop of a hat. I miss so many people and already feel a bit forgotten by those that I love so much. But staying in touch with someone who lives long distance is so hard and I was warned before my move that relationships would fizzle out. These are the people I’ve been crying for. Those that filled my time while I was in DC. The people I’d call when I had a free evening to grab drinks, dinner, catch a movie, do anything with. 

All this quiet time alone is allowing me to breathe. And its taking me back to my yoga mat. I’ve been off my mat since my first week in Austin until yesterday. I decided it was time to turn Netflix off, get off the couch and do something I used to love so much. My first class back I was immediately reminded what it’s like to move with my breath and allow emotions to come up where they may. So far, the hour yoga classes I’ve taken are when I’ve felt the least homesick. The least depressed about how alone I’m feeling. But either way, homesick, depressed or unconditionally happy, my mat accepts me as I show up. 

I took a very late class tonight, 8:30-9:30pm hoping that I would find comfort. Not only did I find that, I found a release in the stress I’ve been holding in. I found a love for my body I haven’t had in weeks and a longing to listen closer to what I need right now in my life. 

Community is something that doesn’t happen over night. I had the unrealistic expectations set that I would move, immediately meet a ton of people, have an amazing schedule that I love and be beyond happy. Expectations are not reality. A move cross country is not an easy change, in fact it’s been very hard, and expecting it to be easy was ridiculous of me. 

The depression I’m feeling is also very real. But locking myself in my house with my dog isn’t going to make Austin feel more like home. Through baby steps, and slowly adding more into my routine, hopefully I’m my happy, healthy self in no time. 🙂

I wish I was over trying to make him fit into MY life

Men are stupid and dating sucks. Anyone who tells you different is lying.

There is this man in Austin, whom I have been friends with since college. He’s one of those men that acts like an asshole in public, but is super sweet when none of the other guys are around. I call this his asshole complex. Because he’s the guy everyone loves, making jokes while being incredibly sarcastic, full of big opinions that he isn’t afraid to share, and can most likely drink you under the table. He really is the guy that everyone loves.

While we have been friends for years, I am not moving to Austin to be with him. Let’s get that straight right now. I’m not moving for him. I’m moving for family, and he’s just a very tiny small added bonus.

I say men are stupid and dating sucks because of my current situation with this man. We had briefly talked in college, and honestly that’s being generous, because it didn’t go anywhere, but have stayed friends over the years. With my upcoming move to Austin we have certainly reconnected over the last few months. So much so that he met my family over Memorial Day. Understand though that my family lives an hour from his house, which means that he spend 2 hours in the car round trip for a visit that wasn’t even 3 hours long.

His visit went over very well and obviously my family loved him the way I knew they would. My brother and aunt asked why we weren’t dating and my mom said she could see the electricity between us.

Within 10 minutes of him leaving, he asked what his first impression had been among my family. And my response was something along the lines of ‘why? That would imply that you cared.’ He proceed to tell me that my view of him was incredibly skewed. That he had changed a lot over the last few years and we really didn’t know each other anymore, but that his values hadn’t changed. All of which is absolutely true. We talked about my view of him and why it is the way it is, and it’s because it’s at least 3 years old. But I proceeded to tell him all of the things I still loved about him. His work ethic, values and relationships with family and friends, morals, generosity and sense of humor were just a few of the things I loved. But there were so many things I didn’t know, like how he felt about me and if the electricity I felt was mutual. His response, fairly, was well just have to see what happens when you get here in the fall.

Fast forward two weeks to this past weekend. He was in town for the weekend to spend time with friends from college. He asked that I pick him up from the airport, so I took the day off and we spent the day together with friends. We did the Nationals Archives museum just us, and had dinner with friends before heading to the bar for the evening. It was honestly a perfect day. Holding hands, spending time together, and catching up with friends. I can’t complain at all and honestly I felt like it was a good example of what life could be like together if we gave it a chance when I get there.

Friday night he got so drunk that he left the bar without saying goodbye to anyone, and I haven’t heard from him since.

At this point, I’m just so confused, and mad, and hurt and frustrated. Because I can’t decide how I should feel. Part of me feels like he used me for intimacy, got what he wanted and then threw me to the curb. Part wants to think it was just him with his college buddies which isn’t okay either but we’re not dating, and another part is mad that he treated me like that as a friend. Because before everything we were friends first.

I went to a friend and her words were the following: “Your confusion is completely valid and that’s why you feel ten different ways. I don’t think someone who is using you for sex drives 2 hours to meet your family. But I don’t think the way he treated you this weekend is fair at all dating or not dating you wouldn’t go to Texas and just completely ignore him and give no explanations.”

My problem, is that he is always someone that I have come back to. Someone that my soul is drawn to, and I don’t know why. Relationships have been ending and leading back to this man since 2009. Literally 2009. Thats 6 years this coming August that we have been playing this game.

Maybe its because he can make me laugh until I pee, or because he opens the doors for me. Or the fact that he finds joy in walking through antique shops just browsing, hiking to new places, and going to museums. Maybe its because he loves his lazy days just snuggled up with the pup, but also wouldn’t give up his time with friends. Or the fact that he remembers things I said years ago and can replay that moment back to me like it was yesterday. Maybe its the fact that I called him and said I want to come visit, and he immediately said book a trip! Maybe its because he loves his family, and talks about them more often than not. Or his love for travel, working hard, faith and fitness. Maybe its because he is someone that I have always thought could be someone special, but its never been the right timing.

We’ll just have to see where things lead with this mess. Because I can promise you, I will not be reaching out to him in the near future. He can take responsibility for his actions and take that step on his own. But at the same time, I desperately want to talk to him.

Overall, men are stupid and dating sucks. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.