Leaving One Home For Another.

Well, I survived my visit to New York. All in all, it was a pretty good trip. My aunt Dar picked me up from the airport and it was nice to have a good catch up conversation with her on the hour trip back. I decided to surprise my mother and stopped by her work on the way to my grams’. I figured it’d be nice to say hi to her first, considering she’s really been the most consistent one out of the family to keep in touch with me these past four months. It’s a little ironic, considering we haven’t ever really had that close mother-daughter relationship over the years. But it’s all good.

Went to my grams’ next. I hung out in the foyer when we got to the house and surprised Avie. She wasn’t no time throwing herself at me the second she saw me, which was sweet. That’s my Avie. Ever the sweetheart. It was a little more of a bittersweet reunion with the Twinnes though, who were sitting in their high chairs when I got to the house. One of my biggest concerns and worries about going back was that they wouldn’t remember me, which unfortunately was the case with Tyler, more so than Jakey. It took Tyler a little bit to warm up to me, which was somewhat of a hard pill to swallow. When I went to walk up and reach for him, he shied way towards my grams and started crying a bit. Of course, that got me crying. It was the exact opposite with Jakey, who’s face just lit up the moment he saw me. I don’t know if it was that he actually remembered me, or if it was just Jakey being Jakey who loves absolutely everybody. Either way, it made me feel a little better, especially when he held out those little arms to me. I took him out and just held on. He still had that sweet little baby smell that I remembered and for a moment, it was as if the past four months hadn’t happened. It’s funny because while I’ve been down here in Nashville, it’s been easy to forget just what it is that I’ve been missing out on…but being back there, holding that sweet little guy in my arms…it hurt. God, it hurt so, so much. And while I know that it’s supposed to, that this is just a part of living…of moving on and starting my own life…it still hurts. Anyhow, it didn’t take Ty long to warm up to me…ten minutes baby. After that, it was like I’d never left. Ty, still my little cuddle boy, wouldn’t let me be the rest of the weekend. I swear, if I was anywhere within a ten foot radius of that kid, he was rushing over to be held. It was so sweet. They both were. Just so, so sweet.

And speaking of sweet…surprising Lenie had to have my most favorite moment out of the entire trip. We worked it out so that I was gone with Ava when Angelina got home from school (because we all knew full well that the second Lena walked in the door, Ava would have spilled the beans) and then I snuck inside and waited in the kitchen. They sent Lena in on the guise of getting the keys or something I think and I swear, it was the cutest thing. She walks in and did like a double take, then literally launched herself at me. She was crying, I was crying…it was ridiculously sweet. She was so surprised and so happy and in that moment, it was worth it…schilling out 600 bucks on airfare for four short days, getting nearly no sleep, rushing around to the airport…not to mention the fact that it’s the middle of finals and probably not the greatest time to be running off to different states. But like I said, it was so worth it. Just to see her face light up like that–so worth it.

I went back with my sister and stayed with her, my bro-in-low, and the boys. Emmie had a doctors appointment Friday morning, so I volunteered to watch the boys Friday while they were all at work…yeah. That was interesting, to say the least. Let’s just say that it’s a whole lot different watching twin boys when they’re babies than it is when they’re toddlers. I swear, I was about to lose my mind. No joke. They were running around…literally, running…and getting into everything and anything they could find and it was just chaos. Total, absolute chaos. My sister called at some point and I was literally like, what the hell did you do to my boys…which she found absolutely hilarious. Me, not so much. I mean, it’d only been 4 months. You don’t expect them to change that much in four months. Well, I didn’t. And they did. And I was completely at a loss for what to do other than to completely lose my mind. It was different…that’s for sure. But they’re still awesome. Even more so now that they’re both mobile and talking. It’s funny and sweet and chaotic as all get out…but awesome.

I didn’t get to see the bestie or Ryan, for that matter. I think I texted Erin on Sunday or something to see if she wanted to do anything, but she had to work she said and that’s all I heard back from her. I didn’t bother with it further. The way I see it is that she knew when I was going to be back. If she wanted to hang out, she would have gotten ahold of me. Same goes for Ryan. They didn’t. And while I’d normally be upset about that…I’m really not. I mean, so much is different. They have their lives, I have mine. I don’t expect them to just put their lives on hold because I’m in town for a few days. That’s not logical, or fair. And at the same time, I don’t expect things to be the same. I live 900 miles away. I have new friends and a life that they just aren’t a part of it. Not that it doesn’t hurt a little…it does…especially with Erin. I mean, she’s known I was coming since January, when I booked the tickets. And she’s been saying how she wanted to hang out…and then I get there and I don’t hear anything from her until I get ahold of her…yeah, that stings. But it’s what it is. And I’m okay with it. Maybe this is how it is. That this is how it goes when friendships start to burn out. I mean, I hope that’s not it, but then I can’t exactly expect things to stay the same when so much about how things are right now is different. I guess this is what it’s really like to be a grown-up. It sucks…but that’s life. Right?

Anywho, the leaving wasn’t the best. I cried. Of course, I cried. I said goodbye to my mother the day before because she was going to be gone for work before I got back to my grams’ Monday morning with my sister and the boys. My flight wasn’t until 3, so I got to say goodbye to Angelina before she left for school, along with Emma. Then when I was leaving to head to the airport and had to say goodbye to Ava, the twins, and my grams–that was by far, the worst. My grams, again, was like, you know you can always come home and I had no idea how to tell her that that was exactly the problem…that it was no longer HOME for me. It’s hard to explain because while it hurt so much to leave, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to leave the place…it was that I didn’t want to leave THEM. The people. That’s who and what I miss. Not the place. New York doesn’t feel like home anymore. Nashville does. And I’m so happy here. Which is what’s so hard to explain to them when I’m standing there, bawling my eyes out and dragging out the leaving. It’s the leaving that hurts. So, so much.

Now I’m back and it feels good to be here. It really does. I love it here. I feel good here. Like me. That’s a good thing. Isn’t it? I hope it is.

P.S. Here’s a really cool pic I took on the flight back. So pretty. (Charlotte, NC)

xoMESSIE

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Antsy.

So, today’s the day…

I’ll be heading to the airport in a few hours and will be back–or should be–in New York by noon. My emotions about it are literally all over the map at the moment. I’m excited, nervous, anxious, a little scared even…but mostly excited. Angelina still doesn’t know that I’m coming back, which is pretty awesome just on its own–the fact that my loud-mouth family has managed to keep this surprise for 4 months straight. It’s a miracle really, considering my family has never been great when it comes to keeping secrets. Even so, I’m so glad they haven’t said anything.

Oh, I can’t wait to see the look on Angelina’s face when I show up at the house. It’s going to be absolutely priceless, considering she really doesn’t think I’m coming back for her birthday. In fact, she got all upset and mad with me on the phone earlier. I asked her if she was celebrating her last day of being an 11-year-old, and she said no–and that she was sad because I wasn’t going to be there. I told her what I’ve been telling her–how I can’t miss my classes, and that we could still Skype. She said no, then got mad and hung up on me. Oh yes, it’s going to be an incredible surprise.

So New York,  here I come…

xoMESSIE

Ride ‘Til We Die.

Okay, so rarely does a film give me those actual chills…the kind where you literally just stop and go, “whoa.” But…I just finished watching Furious 7 and well…yeah. Whoa.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those mechanically inclined, car junkie type chicks or anything. I mean, I can change a tire…or probably could, I should say. I mean, I’ve watched how to do it and I’m sure if I really had to (and I had the right tools with me) I could probably follow along to some YouTube video instructions or something and get the job done. Probably. Once, many, many years ago, I had this crazy notion that I was going to learn how to do an oil-change myself…yeah. I think I got so far as buying all the stuff I needed to get it done…and that’s about it. Cars and me…well, I don’t have the best of luck with them. My very first car–totally blew up the engine/head gasket thingie. Yeah. Apparently cars really do need oil to keep running. Who knew. 🙂 Yeah. Then there’s my run-in’s with a couple of ditches that didn’t end too well…for the car, anyhow. And of course, let’s not forgot my little hydroplaning incident a few months back. Yeah, cars and me…no real love connection there. My brother and my uncle are the mechanics in the family. They pretty much know everything there is to know…which was always pretty convenient for us girls. Never really had to worry about that part. Even now, with AAA and road-side assistance and hell, even drive-thru oil-change stations–there’s really no need for me to really learn the mechanics at this point. As far as recognizing makes and models of cars…yeah, I suck at that, too. So basically when people ask me what kind of car this or that was, I’m usually like…um, an SUV/Truck? In other words, I’m totally clueless.

But just because I know essentially zip about cars, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good racing/car action film. Having said that, I love the Fast & Furious movies. It’s not often that you find a film saga that ups  the ante and–amazingly–gets better with each new film they make. The Furious saga is exactly like that. I mean right on down from the storyline and all the crazy-intense stunts to the incredibly talented actors…it’s all just soooo good.

The latest film, Furious 7, definitely did NOT disappoint. I loved it. It has a perfect balance of suspense and action and drama and even comedy. Maybe it’s just me, but the characters of Roman–played by actor Tyrese Gibson, and Tej–played by rapper-turned actor, Ludacris–are totally hilarious. Their characters crack me up each time. And Vin Diesel–the actor that plays one of the lead characters, Dom Toretto–gosh, he’s just total eye candy. Not gonna lie–for a 47-year-old, he’s pretty hot. Just sayin’.

Then, of course, there’s Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor–an ex-FBI-agent turned street racing-junkie turned criminal and fugitive turned world-saving hero turned father and family man. Paul Walker played the character so well, which makes it more tragic and even more of a shame what happened to him. I just think it’s horrible that he died the way he did. I think the irony of it all is just plain cruel. An actor who basically rose to fame by playing a character that was front and center within the world of street-racing, dies in a high-speed car crash?? It just seems so wrong–like a slap in the face, you know? If nothing else, it just goes to show just how cruel and unforgiving fate and the universe can be sometimes, I guess. And the fact that it was a freak accident sort of thing that happened, makes it even more horrible. It all could have happened so differently, you know. So many if-onlys. If only that car hadn’t been having problems that day…if only he hadn’t gotten in that car or gone on that drive…he might still be alive. While I know it was just an unfortunate, tragic accident, I can’t help but wonder (as many others have, I’m sure) what they were thinking driving that fast on that stretch of road. I think I read somewhere that the car was going like 90 mph or about that when it crashed. Seriously…what were they thinking? How it even happened is what I don’t get. I mean, not only was the driver the owner of a racing team, but was an avid racer himself. So he knew what he was doing. Or should have known. As a racer–he had to have been used to driving at speeds nearly double what he was doing the day of the crash. In light of that, it just seems odd to me that he lost control like he did. But he did. I just feel really bad for that Rodas’ guy’s family and for Paul Walker’s family, especially his teenage daughter. It’s one thing to have to suffer the loss of a loved one…but to know that their deaths were the result of deliberate recklessness that could have easily been avoided…that’s got to make it even worse. I caught a bit of an interview Paul Walker’s dad did after the crash where he mentioned that the Furious 7 movie was going to be the last film his son was going to make for awhile–that he was planning on taking a break from acting so he could spend more time with his daughter. It’s sad that he never got that chance. Which goes to show, I think, just how short and fragile life really is. You never know what’s going to happen. You think you have all the time in the world, so you put off doing the things you want to do and add it all to the “someday” pile…then tragedy strikes and those “some days” are gone forever. There are no guarantees. You just never know. It’s almost like a curse and a blessing, at the same time.

Anyhow, back to the movie. I’m glad they retired Paul Walker’s character, rather than kill him off. And they did it in such an incredible, respectful, genuine way that just gives you the feels, so to speak. One of the best things about this particular saga is how, even though the movies are action films, they still manage to tie in this sort of genuine family element. The love and respect that cast of actors have for one another–on-and-off screen–really comes across in the films, especially so in this last one. I think it’s easy for people to get attached to these characters and their stories and forget sometimes that those actors are actually real people. Real people with feelings and emotions and families. I’ m completely in awe and impressed by that cast of amazing actors and all the heart they put into finishing the film. It couldn’t have been easy for them. And the way that they really about honoring their friend was truly and genuinely perfect. There are scenes in this last film, especially that very last scene, where you have to wonder how much of that is acting and how much is genuine. They were saying goodbye to the character obviously, but I think it was also that they were saying goodbye to their friend, someone they loved. It was a little heartbreaking to watch…and I’ll admit, there were some tears…but I’m human. And if you’ve seen all the movies–and I have–it’s true, you get a little invested in the characters and their stories. I mean, you know it’s not actually real…but it could be. And I’m sure that it is real for someone or some people out there, somewhere. Someone’s brother or friend or family. There are all kinds.

So yeah…great movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend getting off your behind and going to see it…if for no other reason than to see those incredible stunts. I mean…whoa. Big BIG props to those stunt people. Let’s just say that if it weren’t for the whole crash and die thing, I’d be adding “skydiving in a car” to my bucket list. That’s one of those thrills-of-a-lifetime things that you just know isn’t likely to end well…but you want to and still do it anyway because you know that life is just too damn short for regrets. And for wishing you’d done something when you had the chance.  As those hipster teenagers these days like to say, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. It’s true. So take the plunge, take the risk, break the rules. That’s right, don’t think or over-analyze it all…just do it. GO. Live a little. Today, right now. It’s worth it. It’s all worth it.

xoMESSIE

#TNtoNY

Not gonna lie…starting to get a little excited/happy/anxious/nervous. Only four more days ’til I get to see my family. I can’t believe it’s been four months that I haven’t seen them. I’ve literally never gone this long without seeing them. A couple of weeks maybe…but not four months. Definitely not. I’ve got to admit, I’m STILL totally surprised by the fact that I have yet to feel even the slightest bit homesick. I miss them, yes…but I don’t miss home, the place. Is that weird? It’s weird, right? Anywho…I can’t wait to see the look on my niece, Angelina’s face when I get there. I’ve really been in the doghouse, so to speak, with her these past couple of weeks. I’ve been telling her that I’m not going to be able to make it up there because I’m swamped with class and finals (though not exactly a lie because I totally am SWAMPED with work), and so she’s been a tad bit mad at me. She threw a fit and hung up on me the other night when we were talking on the phone when I told her again that I wasn’t going to be there for her birthday. It was a little comical, hearing her get mad and yell in the background about how unfair it was that I was going to miss her birthday and how she was only going to “turn 12-years-old once”…she’s hilarious.

I know people probably think I’m crazy for dishing out 500 some odd dollars on a plane ticket to fly to New York for a 12-year-old’s birthday. And in the middle of finals, no less. And they’re probably right. It probably is a little crazy. But it’s my Angelbug we’re talking about here. The little girl that made me an auntie for the first time when I was just 16 years old. The little girl that’s made me laugh and cry and happy and mad and just so incredibly proud and blessed over these past 12 years. I love all my nieces and nephews so much, but Angelina’s always had a special little place in my heart and in my life. She was my first niece…the first to show me what unconditional love looks like…the first to show me what it’s like and who taught me how to really love someone more than I love myself. I never even knew it was possible to love someone you just met as much as I loved her in that moment when I held her in my arms for the first time. She’s been such a joy and blessing in our lives all these years…and she’s made me want to be a better person…if not for myself, then most definitely for her.

Her happiness means everything to me and that’s what she wants…for me to be there for her birthday on Thursday…so I’m going to be there. In the grand scheme of things, it’s the least I can do. I mean, all too soon there’s going to come a time when she doesn’t want or need me (or anyone else) to be there. I know it’s just an inevitable part of life, but it breaks my heart a little to know and watch her grow up. Sometimes I just wish more than anything that I could wrap her up and keep her little like this forever. I know she has to grow up…but I don’t want her to. Not really. She’s still so innocent, so naive, so trusting…so full of dreams and imagination. She still has no idea what life is really like and what the world has in store for her. She hasn’t yet been hurt or disappointed or had her heart broken. I just wish it could be like that always…that she never has to know those things. But she will. Those struggles and realizations are coming for her, I know. Just as I know that someday I will have to let her go, let her grow up…just let her spread her wings and learn to fly on her own. But not yet. For now, she’s still my little number one lovey. She’s still my little Angelbug. Still the smart-mouth little beauty that I know and love so dearly. And you can’t put a price tag on that…I can’t, anyhow.

And the “Auntie of the Year” award goes to…ME…. 🙂  Just sayin’.

xoMESSIE

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In Nature, She Went.

Okay, so I don’t know if it’s the Tennessee air or what, but I swear that since I’ve been here, I’ve turned into a total nature junkie. It’s kind of ridiculous, actually…but a good sort of ridiculous, I think.

Anyhow…so my friend Hannah and I took a little drive out to Bellevue last Friday to this place called Newsom’s Station. It used to be the site of an 18th Century settlement-turned Ghost Town, but now it’s just a little Tennessee State Park/Natural Area with a couple of easy trails that run parallel to the Harpeth River. A classmate of ours had suggested the place and thought we’d get some good shots there for our final project. Hannah’s doing hers on man-made structures/objects that have essentially been overgrown by nature. I originally planned on doing light painting for mine–even went out and got a boatload of LED lights and glow-sticks and laser pointers to use for it–but I think I’m going to change it and do something with nature instead. I mean, I literally have hundreds of nature shots of places in and around Nashville that are just sitting in their folders on my hard drive that I haven’t yet really had the opportunity to use, so I might as well use them, you know.

I kind of have this really strange, probably unhealthy obsession and fascination with trees right now. Being here, I’ve had the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature…and the chance to notice the little things. Like tree bark, for instance…it’s so pretty. And if you get right in there and close up to it, you’ll see this array of colors that is just incredible. I think a lot of take nature for granted and we don’t really see or even bother to look for the beauty that’s out there. But it’s out there. And it’s breathtaking.

Anyways, Hannah and I got a late start, so by the time we got there, the park ranger was already in the process of locking the gates for the night. Of course, that didn’t stop us. There was this section in back of the park that we really had wanted to check out, so we jumped the locked gate with the big old “NO TRESPASSING” sign. That is, I jumped it. Hannah’s a little more conservative when it comes to rule-breaking, so she was a little hesitant. I convinced her to “live a little” and we went off exploring. Eventually we stumbled across this old graffiti-covered structure that was partially obscured by the vine growth nearby and some shack-similar structures that clearly hadn’t been used or lived in for a long time. We both managed to get some nice shots before we lost what was left of daylight and had to turn back.

After class this afternoon, I decided to head out there again and do some more shooting. It was great. I got some nice shots of various colored tree barks and other foliage. I even hiked down by the ruins to the riverbanks. With all the rain we’ve gotten lately, the river was noticeably higher than it had been when I’d gone there with Hannah last week. Risk-taker that I am, I ventured out on this concrete slab in the river to get up close and personal with the river currents. Some guy happened to be driving over the bridge (which gives a clear vantage point of where I was) and actually stopped and walked over to the railing. If he said anything, I was too far away to hear. He did stand there and watch me for a couple of minutes, giving me this weird look. I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy being out there. Oh well. I just ignored him and went about with my shooting. Now, if he’d stuck around maybe 15 minutes longer, he’d have really seen CRAZY. Yeah, dummy that I am, I decided to venture out on some nearby railroad tracks. There I am snapping away in the middle of the tracks trying to get these really great perspective shots…and wouldn’t you know it, I hear this really loud horn/whistle thing behind me. So, I turn around and yeah, a train was coming. Total buzz kill. It was plenty far away, so I had more than enough time to get off…but still, probably not a good idea to be messing around on railroad tracks…note to self.

This weekend’s another road/photo trip…but here’s some pics from today’s adventure…

xoMESSIE

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Bruises Fade & The Tears Will Dry.

My world revolved around you

Every word was a promise, I was hanging on

Swept up inside a whirlwind

I just couldn’t see the end ’til you were gone

Oh, I thought I would fall apart

With shattered dreams and a broken heart

Scrambling’ in the dark

How was I to know, that I’d be okay?

Thought I’d lose it all when you walked away

How was I to know, I would be this strong?

I had what it takes all along

How was I to know?

What I was so afraid of

Turned out to be my freedom in disguise

Now, I know what I’m made of

Guess it just took some time to realize

Oh I was blind, I couldn’t tell

Put too much faith in someone else

I gave up on myself

How was I to know, that I’d be okay?

Thought I’d lose it all when you walked away

How was I to know, I would be this strong?

I had what it takes all along

How was I to know?

How was I to know?

(Lyrics, “How Was I To Know”, Reba McEntire)

There’s this quote that I swear I’ve heard half a million times that goes, “Some people come into our lives and quickly go, while others stay and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never the same.” It’s so true. It’s actually kind of incredible if you think about it…the influence and effect that a person can have on some one else’s life. It really is. So many people have come in and out of my life over the years. Loved ones, friends, lovers…absolute strangers. When you’re young, you tend to think in terms of quantity, rather than quality as far as relationships and friendships go. You basically weigh your self-worth on the basis of how many friends you have and how popular you are. And then you grow up and you realize how little those things matter, especially in the long run. You start to see people for who they really are beneath that naive cloak of adolescence. On top of all the struggles you face when becoming an adult, you’re saddled with the not-always-so-easy task of weeding out the people that you want and don’t want in your life. You’re left to figure out who you can trust and depend on, as well as the ones that neither deserve or need to be in your life…those people you can do and live without.

I’m so blessed and thankful for the people I have in my life right now, sincerely and truly thankful. Over the years, I’ve lost touch with so many friends that I’ve lost count. Some were ones that I chose to remove from my life…you know, those two-faced “so-called” friends that will smile and act all nice to your face, and then stab you in the back the moment you turn away or the first chance they get…yeah, those friends. I’ve had my fair share of friends like that over the years, some I’d even known since grade school, that I no longer talk to or see. It wasn’t until about six years ago when everything blew up with what’s-his-name and life as I knew went all to hell for me, that I decided to free myself from a lot of those “friends”. As difficult and as trying as that period of my life was then, it was also a really pivotal time. It’s like I finally took off those rose-colored glasses I’d been wearing for years and saw things for what they were…and people for whom they were. So much happened and changed during that time…I changed. I realized that I didn’t need, nor did I want, those “I-told-you-so” friends that were practically celebrating the fact that it was finally done and over with him and I…and were more concerned with having been proven right about him than they were with the fact that my entire life had just been turned upside-down and I was a total, absolute wreck. Friends don’t do that…they just don’t. I learned real quick after that all happened who I could trust and who I couldn’t–and though it wasn’t necessarily fair–instead of picking and choosing, I chose to group them all together and push everyone away. It was just easier.

I did a lot of–“soul-searching” I guess you could call it–in that year that I didn’t talk to anyone. And though it hurt so many people, my pushing them away and shutting them out like I did without even so much as an explanation or goodbye, I needed that time…in so many ways, for so many reasons. I hated the person that I’d become, that I’d allowed him to turn me into…you really have no idea. When I looked in a mirror, it was like looking at someone I didn’t know…and that scared the hell out of me. I’m not going to lie–I had some pretty close calls that year…moments where I literally just wanted to say to hell with it and would have given absolutely anything just to make the pain go away. I had this ridiculous notion starting out that I’d somehow be able to forget and put it all behind me…and when I realized just how naive and ridiculous that was–and that it was never going to happen–I think in that moment I finally just gave up. I was so sick of fighting the memories and living with the hurt and the shame and I just…wanted it to end. I remember sitting on my bathroom floor one night, a razor-blade in one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills and Oxycodone in the other and I swear, I must have sat there for hours, just staring at the bottles and the blade and thinking how easy it would be…and then I thought about the satisfaction he would have no doubt gotten if I just ended it all…and I got angry. So, so angry. He’d taken so much from me and the thought of him taking anything more, well, I just couldn’t let him win. So I didn’t. I pulled it together–somehow–and I fought back. I thought about telling everyone the truth–of publishing each and every sordid detail, every secret, every truth–of publicly humiliating him and destroying his life as he’d done mine…and then I realized something. I realized that that was what separated us…that line that he’d had no problem crossing for his own selfish reasons…I realized that I couldn’t cross it. I wanted to–godknows I wanted to–but when it came down to it, I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to deliberately ruin someone’s life, no matter how much he deserved it, because the truth of it all is that it wasn’t just his life I’d be ruining. There were so many other people–innocent people–that would have felt the back-lash and I couldn’t do that. I realized I was better than that. Better than him. I had a conscience. And I knew that the small relief and satisfaction I’d feel wouldn’t last nearly as long as the guilt I knew would come with it. And I was sick of feeling guilty, tired of feeling like I was the bad guy in what happened…just tired of all of it, really.

And hating him–if anything–was just exhausting. Then one day I think I just woke up and decided I was done with it, with hating him, with blaming him, with anything all at having to do with him. Just done. Once I let go of all that hate, I felt so much better. I know it sounds so cliche, but it really was a relief to be free from all that, from him. It’s funny because when people ask me now whether I’d go back and change anything if I could–particularly what happened with him–they can’t believe it when I tell them I wouldn’t change a thing. Honestly–and I know it sounds crazy–but I’m actually grateful for what happened. In a way, I think I needed that experience, that heartbreak…that living hell…to become the person I am today. When I look back on that time, it’s like I’m an outsider looking in on someone else’s life. And in a way, that’s exactly what it is. I’m not that girl anymore. I’m not young and naive and easily swayed by some guy with green eyes and a few well-versed, overused lines. I know now that love isn’t the solution to everything. That you can love and believe in a person with all your heart and it still doesn’t change the fact his heart is cold and black and incapable of feeling anything. I’m not cynical really, just realistic. Fairy-tales are for kids and Disney movies…this is reality. Love can be a good and bad thing, all at the same time. And people can and will hurt you, no matter how high you build up those walls around your heart.

It’s funny, really, when I think about how far I’ve come in the last 5 years. I mean, I literally picked myself up from rock bottom and went through hell and back, ten times over, and yet, here I am. I survived what was surely one of the hardest periods of my life so far, and I’m truly a better person for it. And while I don’t like the idea of giving him any satisfaction, if we’re being honest, I do owe him some credit for that. If it weren’t for him and his twisted, overly-vindictive need for revenge and my just as determined refusal to NOT give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d wrecked me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I really wouldn’t. For so long whenever I thought about about him or heard his name, I’d automatically think of all the hurt and the pain. I don’t know when that changed or stopped exactly, but that doesn’t happen anymore…and hasn’t in a long, long time. There’s this saying I’ve heard that says that only you can let your fears destroy you…or something along those lines…and I think it’s pretty accurate. I mean, I gave him the power to destroy me the moment I said yes and went with him that first night. It’s kind of a harsh metaphor, but in a lot of ways, I made a pact with the devil that night. And while it’d be so easy just to blame him for everything and hate him as I once did, I realize now that it simply just isn’t worth it. It’s just not.

People come in and out of our lives all the time. And the footprints left by some are a little deeper than the shallow ones left by others. That’s life. And I happen to believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m not necessarily convinced that it’s some kind of “divine intervention”–these paths we take in life–but I do believe that it all–every person we meet, every decision we make, every path we take–has a purpose. Though I think I would have preferred that it hurt less than it did, I think his purpose and the role that he played in my life was to lead me to the realization that I’m enough…just me…and to make me realize that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was. I mean, I could have given up that night, sitting on the floor of my bathroom. I could have said to hell with all of it. But I didn’t. I think Bob Marley said it best when he said that, “You don’t know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” That was certainly true in my case. And believe it or not, there’s actually an upside to losing everything and hitting rock bottom…which is that there’s nowhere to go but up. You can let the people and memories from your past and all that pain destroy you and keep you down; let it break you. Or you can pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and fight back.

That’s what I did. I fought back in the only way I really knew how–by being happy. I stopped letting the lies and accusations and rumors that were going around about me have any kind of hold over me. I stopped blaming myself and feeling guilty for things that were out of my control. But most important, I refused to allow that relationship, that one mistake, define me. I made a mistake–I did–and I’m not proud of some of the choices I made then…but we all have a past. We all have regrets, some bigger or worse than others. I think that the footprints he made are always going to be there…though they’ve faded for the most part, at this point. For a really long time, I thought that moving on meant forgetting completely…but I was wrong. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever forget, or if I will ever be able to run into again without remembering all that pain that he caused me or the terrifying depths that he drove me to…of if I’ll ever make peace with it or forgive him even…but I think that’s okay. I don’t know what the future has in store for me or what’s going to happen one day from the next. And I don’t know how to explain how I know it, but I know that I’ll be okay…that much, I’m sure of…

xoMESSIE

Professors & Their Little Power-Trips.

So it’s that’s time of the semester…registration time. I can’t believe the semester’s nearly over with already. Just a few more weeks now. I almost wish these last 4 months hadn’t gone by so quickly…and then I remember my Professor from my 2-D class and I’m reminded and start to think that May 8th can’t get here quickly enough. This teacher, I swear to God…I’m literally at my wit’s end with the woman. She’s a bitch. With a capital “B”. She seemed nice enough in the beginning of the semester, despite her somewhat old-school teaching style and her policy of not ever giving students an “A” in the class, whether you earned it or not. Her reasoning being that in order to get an “A”, your work has to be perfect…and she doesn’t think anyone is capable of doing 100 percent, perfect work…so basically, getting an “A” is essentially impossible to attain in the class. Which I think is total bullshit. I mean, if you do the work and you meet all the objectives for that work, you should deserve to get an “A”. Am I right? I think it’s totally messed up. From a student’s perspective, I’m paying to take these classes and doing all this work–and even though I’ve earned and deserve it, I’m already at a disadvantage grade-wise seeing how I’m starting with a “B” letter grade. It isn’t fair, you know? But you have these impossible-to-please teachers on power trips who like to make up these ridiculous class policies with no regard as to what getting a “B” does to your GPA. I mean, why should they care? It’s not their problem…yeah, f that.

Anywho… now I’ve had some pretty sucky teachers over the years, some where there was definitely no love lost between us…but this professor makes those teachers look tame compared to her. Everything thinks I’m crazy or reading too much into it when I say that she hates me, but it’s true. The woman HATES me. And I don’t even know why. Ever since I missed that ONE class back in February, it’s like the woman has made it her mission to make my life hell for six hours a week. It started out with her just making snide little comments the few classes that followed that one that I missed,  with that whole “well, if you hadn’t missed that class then you’d know…” which is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, for starters, half the class didn’t go that night and she doesn’t bother any of those people about it…just me. Secondly, she kept making those snide remarks even after we’d already finished that project and moved on to the next. If she dropped it after we moved to the next project, that would have been one thing. But she didn’t drop it, which leads me to think it’s not even about my missing that class. It’s something else. I just don’t know what. And at this point, I’m past the point of even caring enough to guess or try to figure it out and have gone right to being completely fed up with her and the whole damn thing.

I’m so sick of having to deal with her crap each and every damn time we have the class. I can ask her a perfectly reasonable, relevant question that doesn’t require anything other than a yes or no answer…and she’ll literally go off on this ridiculous, long explanation that by the time she’s finished, has absolutely nothing to even do with my question in the first place. She talks in riddles and circles around an answer until I’m even more confused than I was in the first place. And I know that she knows exactly what she’s doing…and she gets off on it. She really does. And I’ve tried with her. I’ve tried to figure out whatever it is that she has against me. I’ve even come right out and asked  her why, when I’m asking her a yes/no question, she won’t just give me a straight answer. She’ll give the rest of the class a simple yes or no answer when they ask her a question…but won’t when I ask. When I asked her about it, she said something about how I want everything to be black-and-white…which according to her isn’t how the world works…and was actually acting as though she was doing me some big favor by challenging me….which is total bullshit. Constructive criticism is one thing…but that’s not what she’s doing when she starts with me every class. She’s not trying to challenge me to do better–or BE better– or trying to teach me some big life lesson that could possibly be useful in the long run for me. no. She’s not doing any of that. She’s just being a bitch. Plain and simple. She–and other people in the class–have even come to me outside of class and agree that she’s actually getting off on it–with her blatantly trying to pick a fight with me every class and how she’ll be smirking when she comes over to say something to me…it’s like she clearly gets some kind of twisted satisfaction each time I take the bait and let her get under my skin and piss me off. She enjoys it. I don’t. 

I hate it and I hate her. I really do. It’s been going on for months now and I, for one, am really fucking sick of it, you know? Now, I’m generally always up for some light banter with teachers…but this isn’t that. This is just her on some power trip, abusing her authoritative position as a teacher…and it’s messed up. Hell, I’m paying for a class that I’ve learned absolutely nothing from because she’s too busy harassing and picking fights with me constantly. It’s not right. I mean, I shouldn’t have to be miserable every class. And that’s what she does. She pushes all the right buttons of mine until I’m good and miserable. It’s to the point where I don’t even want to go to the class anymore because I know she’s just going to pick a fight with me any way that she possibly can, for no reason other than that she’s a bitch and does what she wants. Again, it’s fucked up. And I’ve tried. I’ve asked her nicely to stop and I’ve straight-out told her to…and nothing. Like this last class we had this week. She started with me not even five minutes into the class and I was straight with her. I told her I wasn’t in the mood and that I didn’t want to argue with her. It’s exhausting, you know? Day in, day out…sometimes taking as long as an hour from the class that she could be using to actually DO her job and teach us something. It’s infuriating and annoying as all hell…and its disruptive to the rest of the class. It’s just wrong.

Last night it just got to the point where I was thisclose to saying the hell with it and her and walking out. Then this afternoon while I was registering next semester’s classes with my advisor, she asked me how things were going in my other class, so I told her all about Prof. BITCH. She suggested that I go to the student life director and ask her to be some kind of mediator between the professor and myself. Yeah…not happening. The bitch already hates me. Putting it on the record and filing a formal complaint would–I’m certain–only make things worse. For me. She’s the one with tenure and the power to either pass or fail me…so yeah. I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to rock the boat as it’s already sinking, so to speak. I’ve only got a few weeks left and then I’ll never have to see that woman again. It sucks, but I just got to get to the homestretch and that’s it.

Here’s to hoping I can keep from BITCH-slapping the BITCH (and you have no idea how tempted I am to do that) and just get the semester over with…

xoMESSIE