4 Years Later

Hi Internet World,

It’s been 4 years and I thought it was time for an update.

I started a blog my Junior year of college as an outlet and reason to write. I blogged because I was struggling with relationship OCD, on top of figuring out who I wanted to be in the world, being a HSP (highly sensitive person) and having general anxiety. My mental health was floundering. 

I wrote about my struggles, my relationship with Trevor, and graduating college. I also tried to be Carrie Bradshaw- which was an awful mistake, because really? She wasn’t that great of a person. Even a fictional one.

In the 4 years since I wrote about my first job, a lot has happened. I tried out a few different roles in my field and now know what I don’t want to do. I’m currently at a great organization where I feel appreciated and challenged and I’m happy. Will I go back to grad school someday? Maybe. It’s a story that’s yet to be told. 

More closely related to my blog….

Trevor and I got engaged in February of 2017 and married in September on a beautiful hilltop in Northern Michigan. 

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Our wedding was an emotional and wonderful day. It went very fast, as everyone says it does, but I was able to keep myself mindful and centered throughout the day. I stopped, I meditated, I prayed, I paused. I drank in the emotionally charged moments: sitting in the garden by myself in the sunshine, both of my parents walking me down the aisle, and hearing Trevor’s self-written vows. 

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Our first 9 months of marriage have been good to us. I prepared myself for the worst- but it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I think a lot of that has to do with dating for 6 years first. I won’t say there haven’t been hard days, or weeks… because believe me, there have been. There’s been times when the “day to day” stuff bogs us down or I forget to take my anxiety medication. I am so grateful that Trevor has a patient, loving soul that can love me, cracks and all. We strive to be partners in life- and I’m so grateful he’s my sidekick. We “get” each other in so many ways… as I said in my vows: “my teammate, confidante, lover, and friend.”

We currently live in an apartment in our home town and are saving up to buy a house. We have no plans for babies anytime soon- right now, we look forward to growing together and traveling the world. 

Most days, I can’t believe I’ve been an “adult” for 4 years… it’s so different than what I ever thought it would be. The real world has full time jobs, bills, cleaning that never ends, laundry, meal prepping, appointments to be made… and we don’t even have kids yet!

I struggle with balancing working, co-running a household (even one as small as our apartment), and finding time for my passions- specifically acting. I’ve always loved theatre, but was in the middle of a 6 year break when I started this blog. I can’t believe I stopped for that long, and honestly I’m not surprised I had a identity crisis. I stopped cold-turkey then struggled when I expected my relationship to replace that joy. No one but you is responsible for your happiness. 

Something I’ve learned these past few years is that there’s a lot of unexpected grief in adulthood. 

I grieve for the loss of childhood. I grieve for the lives I never get to live. I grieve for the loves that never were. It hurts- to realize that you’re mortal. It’s sad, to realize that you’ll never experience something again. 

This past year especially held great joy- and great loss. 

I lost my two remaining grandparents, one in July and the other in December.

In a way, I lost my best friend over the past few years. A woman I thought I’d get to grow into a crazy old lady with. Our friendship, which I held so dear, has all but disappeared due to distance and choices and it breaks my heart. 

In preparation for marriage I grieved my single life, my maiden name, my lost identity. My lovely husband is a feminist, so there’s no need for submission or “obeying.” I’m still stubbornly and proudly “me.” ….But that doesn’t mean that it’s abnormal to grieve these things. It’s not unnoticed by me that while new chapters open, some close as well. I’m so joyful for the journeys I get to take with Trevor. I’m proud of my accomplishments in my career and grateful for the friendships I’ve gained from my hobbies. 

As I prepared to write this, I looked at the data from Hugs & the Suburbs… and it surprisingly still gets views! The numbers are, admittedly, low, but I was shocked to see any traffic after such time. When I’ve come across other blogs that have puttered out, I’ve often wondered where the person is now. What are they doing? How have they changed? 

I wrote this to let you know that your “happily ever after” may not look like you imagined it- but that doesn’t mean it’s not good! This is real life, after all, not Disney. I told you all in the beginning that I don’t believe in soulmates and while that’s still mostly true in the traditional sense of the word…. 

I think if you treat love as a verb, take responsibility for your own happiness, and have a little bit of luck- I think you can get pretty darn close. 

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Photo credit: Imogen Works Photography 
Photo credit for above wedding pictures: Dan Stewart Photography 

 

Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health problem? You’re not alone. Feel free to message me anytime or talk to a trusted friend, parent, or mentor. Living with mental illness is incredibly difficult- but there are things that can help. Talk therapy, medication, exercise, meditation… I can’t recommend examining your options enough!

 

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The ONE thing that you need to know

The worst thing that can happen to your relationship is to follow relationship advice.

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Why?

because all of it is a lie. Including mine.

Because, guess what? All relationships are different. No one else will ever love someone like you love your family. No one else will love their children like you love yours. And no one else’s love will be the same love that you have with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. There is no one perfect formula: take a half cup man plus a quarter cup woman and stir. Put it in the oven and in 20 minutes you will have a relationship. Some relationships need cinnamon, some need more flour, and some may even need a heaping ton of salt. Something that we all need to realize is: no one else is in your relationship besides you and your partner.

Okay, so I’m not going to say that if your parents and friends hate them then it’s totally not a warning sign and he’s a great guy- because that probably would be a lie. But all the advice columns… all the people bitter because of a broken heart or defensive of their own choices are not going to make the right decision for you. I could drive myself crazy reading all the things from A) the people who are single and are mad because they haven’t found someone yet OR watched their relationship crash and burn, or, B) the people who married young/fast/whatever and feel the need to tell everyone else IT IS OK AND I AM SO HAPPY AHH.

if you are the above: I have no problem with you, I am happy for you either way- Yay you’re single and that is awesome- freedom and nights out and independence, oh my! and if you are married- lucky you, you found your best friend who you wanna live with and that’s fantastic. 🙂 It’s just hard when these people think “their” way is the BEST and ONLY way. I guess this should be no surprise, us as human beings do this all the time. But it’s really confusing if you’re somewhere in the middle. I look at the single people and am like “well, I’m not single.” The very, uh, passionate ones believe your 20’s and college years are for hooking up, traveling the world on a whim, and that being married or in a relationship is the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. The married ones are all “I got married to my high school sweetheart and we are super happy! Why wait?”

sooo…. one group of society tells me I’m living my life wrong and will regret it because I didn’t date a string of men (not that that’s wrong if that’s what you want- live your life girl! it’s just not the choice for me.) and the other half tells me I should be married already because if i’m not ready then it’s not right. So what are we supposed to do? is there a right choice for anyone? Should we all run around like chicken’s with our heads cut off securing our MRS. degrees or should we break off a great relationship just so we can explore? There is no one right answer for everyone. No one-size-fits-all. But there is something that IS true.

If I could tell everyone in the whole world one thing?

It would be that love is not expendable.

We’ve got to stop treating it like it is.

You cannot buy love- you can’t get it on a computer screen, late at night on a X-rated site and you can’t find it in a prostitute. It’s not love they’re selling. A man whose wife is from an arranged marriage does not necessarily have her heart- just her company.

Love can be made at any point and any time, and we’re not going to run out of it like we might for our natural resources. But it’s not something that you can plainly see. If you think too deeply about it, it becomes confusing about what it actually is. Chemicals? Friendship on fire? Hormones? Whether you call the most powerful being God, Allah, Buddha, or cosmic karma, you can not argue that the common connection between all of us is LOVE. Love is the thing that is present everywhere- seeking, searching, finding, giving, and never taking. You don’t give up on true love. Or at least, you shouldn’t.

Your family, your children, and your spouse… these are the things that we should love and cherish above all else. Because they give us love and need ours in return.

Everyone is different. There is a “right” path for everyone to choose for themselves… So don’t be afraid to defy the social norm, go after what you want, marry your best friend, chase your dreams, or marry your best friend WHILE chasing your dreams. But please.. don’t listen to me. Decide for yourself.

 

An Update on the Romantic Happenings of Yours Truly

Today I took two exams. One was at 7:45 in the morning. Whoever thought that exams that early were a good idea is a terrible terrible person.

Then I lay in my dormer bed and watched “Bachelorette.” It’s like Bridesmaids, but with Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Rebel Wilson (you know.. pitch perfect, and also …. Bridesmaids. Weird.)

Also everyone was much meaner. Like a lot.

It’s on netflix, in case you were wondering.

Ok, so on to more important things.

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This post is all about my friend Aliza.

Ok, it’s not. Sorry Aliza… You’re adorable, I love you. Here’s your official shout out. 😉

Ready for the real news?

T and I are back together!

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I know, I know, you probably saw it coming, were rooting for us, or something like that. Or maybe you’re just like uhhhhh whatever I’m just reading this while waiting for my nails to dry and eating nutella so I didn’t see this coming but I don’t really care.

And that’s fine too.

I’m really sorry this has turned into a blog about my life and the daily happenings. I didn’t really mean for that to happen. I guess I just realized that little nuggets of wisdom don’t always come to me on the fly, and when T and I were broken up it was really hard for me to preach about relationships too much. You know what I mean?

So if you’re looking to hear how it happened- long story short: we love each other, life without each other sucked, I’m a hot mess (as you probably already know), and things finally started turning around. I kind of had a quarter life crisis, I’m 21 now so I’m allowed.

..sidenote- these two girls behind me in class last week were complaining about how they were getting “so old” because one of them was turning 19. uhhhh heyyy uhhhhh.. you’re still a teenager.

back to the story.

Truth is, we’ve been talking for a while now and then I finally put on my big girl pants and asked him to be my boyfriend again about a week ago. Lucky for me, he said yes. 🙂 and he’s been bugging me to blog about it…. last night he was all “kailey, we’re going to be 85 years old and you’re going to be like ‘hey blogggers, I know I haven’t posted in 64 years but T and I are back together!!! but it’s a bittersweet day because he died yesterday.”

Okay T, way to be dramatic. And depressing. Besides, by the time we’re that old I’m sure there will be miracle drugs and people living to 120 so it probably won’t even be an issue.

So here it is. And he’s still young.. turning 21 tonight! I’m a cougar, don’t know if I mentioned that before. Always go for the youngins’

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Fine, fine, he’s only 22 days younger than me.

(thought: Why is the gender-age thing so important? Why do so many girls only want to date guys older than them? They intimidate me. I know guys are supposed to be more immature than girls and blah blah blah. Whatever. It’s all how you pick them. Ladies, would you ever date someone younger than you? And to the men, would you date an older girl? How old is too old? Thoughts people. Deep thoughts.)

My best wishes to all of you college students who are taking/have taken/are about to start your finals! Summer is starting soon so I promise I will be posting some good relationship stuff again that can actually help you. hopefully.

Until then, lots of love!

Walking Back to the Castle

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I wasn’t sure what and when and if I would say anything about this anytime soon, but here we go…

T and I broke up.

I’m pretty sure those of you who read of my newly single status on facebook were trying to figure out what went wrong because my blog views shot WAY up right afterwards, and I’m not sure how i feel about that. In case you were wondering, my previous post- “the cycle of violence” has nothing to do with this or T. I wrote it a couple of years ago. 

I initiated the break up and it was really really hard. I love him, but haven’t been as happy as I should be in the relationship lately. I already feel like a hypocrite because of my major and my blog and all that I believe about relationships… but I needed to do this right now. We’re both so young and have so many things to experience and people to meet before I can get to the point in my life where I’m ready for that level of commitment. I can still see us ending up together someday, but I don’t know the future. One of us could fall for someone else. I am being selfish, but I strongly believe in being in a good relationship with yourself before you bring someone else into your life. All I ask is that you please try not to make assumptions or judge us because you don’t know the whole story.

I want to take the time now to give a shout out to my best friend B (what is this, gossip girl?) for inspiring the title of this post. She told me the following: “A man and a woman are riding on a horse together, and then they break up. One of them is still on the horse and the other person gets off. Their only option is to walk back to the castle and start over.”

What does this mean for my blog?

I’m not quite sure yet. I still have some pieces that I’d like to share with you soon but I also have a really busy week so I’m not sure when that’ll happen. I also have considered taking a little hiatus from this so I can gather my thoughts privately. We’ll just have to see what’ll happen when I figure stuff out.

Thank you…

To my facebook friends/people who found out through other ways who messaged me or texted me. I felt an overwhelming amount of support and for that I am so grateful. ❤

Ending with cute animals

because adorable pets always make me feel better… here’s some pictures of golden retrievers:

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