Kam

Your smile brightens up the room. It really does. I don’t know how you do it. 

It makes me want to smile. 

Your laugh, even though I know you hate it, is genuinely one of my favorite sounds. 

Your gentle heart is visible from miles away. I’ve never found a heart more full of love and consideration.  

You devote your time to making my life better in whatever ways you can. You are selfless by nature, and more caring than any man I’ve ever known. 

Your sweet gestures don’t go unnoticed. You open the car door for me every time, for example. No one has ever done that for me before.

You genuinely care about my well being and my feelings. You’re always asking what you can do to help and you don’t judge me when I need it. 

Your thirst for adventure was one of the first things I loved about you. I want to see the world with you.

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. I get to be your wife?! What did I do right? What could I have possibly done to deserve someone as wonderful as you?  

I try not to say “I love you” too much, because I don’t want it to lose its meaning, but you need to know that I love you. 

My thoughts are always with you. My heart is always with you. 

I will always be with you, Kam. 

-Jess

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I’m Getting Married!! 

That’s right! I’m getting married on May 6th to the man of my dreams. No fake names here. My future husband, Kameron Nix and I are tying the knot! A little over a month from now I’ll be Mrs. Jessica Nix! Kameron, I love you so much. You’re my world.

I finally found my forever. If you’ve followed this blog since the beginning you know how important that is to me.

 More on all of this later. Love y’all! 

-Jess

Andy

There are days when I miss you. 

There are days when I don’t. 

Today… I don’t. 

That’s sad to me. 

It’s so sad. 

We were decently solid. 

We were on the right track. I think…

We were supposed to make it. 

Or were we? 

Maybe not. Maybe you just taught me all the lessons I needed to learn before I could find him. 

Him. The one. The calm. The everything all at once without expecting anything at all. 

Still, it hurts. 

I hope you’re okay. I hope I didn’t ruin your heart. I hope you find what I believe I’ve found. 

What I know I could never replace. 

I want that for you. 

I want you to feel overflowed with love and joy and still feel calm somehow. 

I want you to feel… 

… Light. 

Like he makes me feel everday. 

I’m sorry this is the way it turned out. I’m sorry that a part of me still loves you and that there’s nothing that will change that. 

I’m sorry. 

But also… I’m not sorry. I know you deserve her, and she wasn’t me. 

Just like you weren’t him. 

Jess

Doing what you want vs. What you think is right. 

In other words doing what your heart tells you despite what your brain tells you. 

Technically it’s all your brain. One part wants something but the other part has issues with it. Could be guilt, fear, sadness, etc.

I don’t know the mechanical part of it. I don’t know what the parts of the brain are called or how to explain it properly. All I know is that this is where I am right now.

I want something. Someone. Me. 

I want myself back.

But I feel guilty, I’m scared, and the thought of change makes me sad. 

So in the words of How I Met Your Mother…  “What do you do? … Go.” 

Augh. 

I don’t know what to do. 

All I know is that I want to be single again. 

Not to mess around with anyone. Not to ruin my relationship. Not even to have a better life than I do. My life is great. 

He loves me and I love him. We have jobs that pay the bills and we have two cats. His son loves me and I love him, too. 

But I don’t love who I’m becoming. 

Or rather…  Who I’m trying to be. 

I feel too young to be living the life I’m living.

Maybe that’s immature…. But I suppose that’s the point.. 

I’m not there yet. 

But isn’t this what my parents always wanted of me? Be with someone that loves me and build a life together? 

Yes. But I’m just not ready to take that step. 

I used to think at this age I’d be married. I specifically remember day dreaming about it as a little kid.

I’d be married by 22, have two kids by 25, own a home and be a soccer mom. 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that life, but I’m going to be 24 this month and I feel so far away from wanting those things.

I always say that if I’m more excited for the wedding than I am the marriage then I’m not ready. 

I. Am. Not. Ready. 

I’m not even sure that I want kids anymore. But that’s the beauty of being my age. You don’t have to take yourself too seriously. 

So I can choose to continue this road and (excuse my anxiety) get divorced later in life because I was living a lie. I can ruin his life and my own and make things so much worse than necessary. 

Or I can do what I want.

Ah…there’s my guilty brain again. 

I suppose I don’t have to figure it out today. I’ll leave today for self care and reflection. 

Jess. 

Where did we go? [[A poem]]

 

You were my dream before I even knew you.

I hoped you’d be out there somewhere and that for now we were just trying to get ourselves together. Trying to love ourselves and accept our flaws so that we’d be ready for each other when the time came.

And then the time came.

All of those moments when I felt like you may not exist washed away. When I took that road trip with my mom she held a missing person’s poster close to her heart. As she held it close and soaked it with her tears one, by one, by one…

I wondered if we shared more than just the same blood.

But then I saw your face, and for the first time – for the very first time – I felt reassured. I felt calm.

When I looked at you, I saw everything.

My heart beating quickly, the beauty in myself. I saw you looking at me the way no one else ever had.

The way I always wanted someone to look at me.

The way I looked at you, too.

Your smile sent an electric current through me.

Do you remember the night we made that fort in my apartment? It was filled with christmas lights and warm blankets. We bought wine and ordered pizza, dedicated to a night in. You smiled over me as I laid on the bed,Leon Bridges singing in the background. We had conversations and learned about each other. We laughed and you touched my face as gently as I had always wanted someone to.

And that was us. When the opportunity presented itself, we’d spend time together. That’s just what we wanted.

Now we can only seem to spend time together if there’s something around to entertain us. The TV, our phones, our own problems, our egos. So we order pizza and drink wine. We dedicate to stay in, but not because we want to be together.

Truth is we don’t want to go anywhere. Home is just the easiest place to exist.

We sit next to each other, but we don’t speak. We wish we could…. and we definitely could. But we don’t.

Why don’t we just speak?

Why don’t I just speak to you right now?

Perhaps because I don’t like talking to myself.

You sit with your denial, and I sit with my guilt.

We don’t try to work it out anymore.

We don’t even fight. We bicker. We stopped communicating. We stopped trying.

You stopped trying.

Right now there’s a fort in our apartment that I built by myself, just for fun. Every time I look at it my only desire is to take it down and clean the room.

Cleanse myself of the messiness that has transpired.

Our kisses don’t feel real anymore. They feel more like folding a shirt

When I look at you. I don’t see myself anymore. I don’t see you anymore.

I don’t see us anymore.

You don’t look at me at all anymore.

I laid in bed with myself and thought about it for a while. Cried about it for a while. Sighed about it for a while. kicked myself to walk through the door and cursed myself for even considering it.

I wish I could go back in time for even a minute to tell you what’s going on.

You’d hold me like you used to and let me cry in your arms. I wouldn’t feel like I lost you. I would ask him to knock some sense into you.

To listen to me. To hear my words. To absorb my words. To not take me for granted.

But I couldn’t do that. So I’d have to go on a mission to rescue you myself.

I tried peeling the layers back to see if I could find you. See if I could bring you home. I put up posters and signs so that maybe someone could tell me where you were. I didn’t happen to see any of me as I was taping them to trees and poles.

I tried looking through the magnifying glass you bought as part of our Sherlock and Watson costumes. I still couldn’t find you.

Hard as I’ve tried I don’t see us anymore.

All I see are empty bodies that walk around and say things that we would never say. Do things that we would never do.

Bodies that we no longer control.

Bodies that sleep next to each other every night but somehow feel like they’re alone.

Where did we go?

 

To: Andy [Revised Version]

So… a while back I published a pretty little post called To: Andy on this blog. It was posted in March 2015, about two months after Andy and I started dating.

Yes, we loved each other that fast. It just happened.

— and we still do.

That post-however- hadn’t been updated since then. I read it today and it just didn’t feel like us anymore. We’re different people now and our relationship is different.

I used to think that was a bad thing. I always used to say that people should always stay in the honeymoon phase if they love each other. After careful consideration, I’ve realized that the honeymoon phase is just people feeling something genuine that is based on nothing.

I really felt like I loved who I knew him to be, but I didn’t know Andy well enough to say anything that really meant something. There wasn’t anything real to write yet.

So I meandered around, using a lot of cheesy lines and broad thoughts about love to try to describe the feelings that I had. I couldn’t find the words. I suppose the words I wrote were the right words at the time.

The honeymoon phase is just a facade. When it’s lifted and you still feel good about that person, that’s when the realness begins.

Now we’ve been together almost a year and a half. It may not be a huge accomplishment but I only mention it because after this amount of time, I feel that I know Andy enough to revise my previous post.

Maybe in 3 years I’ll revise it again. Maybe in 3 years there won’t be anything to write about us but memories.

All I know is that today I still love him and I am so glad I now have some real words to write.

Below is the revised version in black along with my old post in grey. Some words have changed, and some haven’t.

Here goes–

Continue reading

New blog url

Unitedindepression.wordpress.com

This blog is strictly for depression advice. I started it with a friend, Eliza, who also suffers from depression.

This blog may be for my personal stuff. I’m still deciding. Might delete it.

I know i’ve had some really loyal followers since day one. I want to continue to have you in my life. If you’d like to please follow me on this new journey!

Jess

Marriage is a serious thing

If you think that cheating on your spouse is a small mistake that you can come back from then you shouldn’t be getting married.

If your motto is that you only have one life and you should live it without worrying about consequences then don’t promise someone you’ll be faithful. Go live your life and leave others out of it.

You can have sex with random people, flirt with whoever you want, enjoy your freedom,  and still keep your dignity by being alone. Don’t drag someone along.

They have to go look for their actual match.

If you’re looking for something and the person you are with is looking for something else then leave.

If that voice inside your head is constantly nagging you. Telling you this isn’t right. This isn’t who you are meant to be with.

You have to listen.

Think about the previous times you didn’t listen? Feel like you wasted your time?

Yeah. That will always apply.

Until you start trusting yourself.

If you are running at full speed and your partner says they are running right behind you but then take a left without you… Watch their feet instead of listening to their words.

Watch their feet.

What are his/her feet telling you?

Playing With Fire

So because of the job stuff we had a bit of a financial hiccup this month and aren’t going to be able to get my medication for about a week. When I’m on it I’m a normal functioning person. When I’m not… well it’s pretty much hell for me and everyone around me. I’ve been off for about 4 days and shockingly enough I’ve been alright.

It’s scary because I know it can change at any moment. I know that my brain isn’t really mine when I’m not on meds. I think things I normally wouldn’t and I do things I normally wouldn’t. Things that hurt the people I love.

I was telling Andy that it’s okay we have to wait a week since I was feeling pretty decent given the situation.  He said we will get it as soon as possible because he doesn’t want to play with fire.

At first I was a little caught off guard. Am I the fire? Are the meds the extingisher? Is he the fireman?

I found myself on the depression subreddit today. One of the things I do right before shit hits the fan. The moment I pressed the button …

… I felt like the fire.

Slowly spreading, burning myself and everything around me to a crisp.

But something funny happened. As I was looking around at the posts I started realizing that I couldn’t seem to relate to any of it. Sure it sounded familiar, but I didn’t share the thoughts or feelings that come with depression like others did on the subreddit.

It made me feel hopeful. And because I felt hopeful I had a moment of rational clarity.

I am not the fire. None of us are.

Depression is the fire.

I’m the house.

I am the house that cares for others and shelters them. Loves them and keeps them warm. Helps keep their memories and is always there for them when they need me. Warns them of fire with smoke alarms in hopes that someone will wake up and help me tame the flames.

I am fine.

Jess

Loneliness

Being alone can sometimes be really nice. No one to bug you when you’re netflix binging or judge your personal hygiene or hog your snacks. 

I like being alone now and then.  Especially when I’ve had a rough work week and I just need quiet. 

Yes, being alone can sometimes be nice.

Being lonely,  however… is never nice. 

That pit in your stomach. That ache in your heart. The need to connect with someone right at that moment.  Feeling hopeless and trapped because there doesn’t seem to be a way out of this loneliness. 

Sometimes you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. You may physically be close to someone and still feel alone. So alone that all you can do is pretend you’re not. 

I think that’s because it’s really hard to admit that you feel lonely in general. 

It’s not like you can just text someone you know and say, “hey, I feel really alone right now. I’d like someone to talk to.”

Oh wait a second. You can. 

There’s no reason not to. Chances are pretty much everyone around you has felt lonely before.

I know I have.

I’ve felt a lot of things. Depressed,  scared, angry, frustrated, embarrassed, bored, sad… the list goes on and on.

But amongst all the negative feelings,  loneliness?  Oof, that one feels the worst. 

I feel lonely right now. Everyone is asleep at my place.  Feels like the whole world is, honestly. I tried watching a show and reading blog posts to distract myself,  but there is this constant nagging in my head that won’t go away. 

So you know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to turn to Andy, softly wake him up (it’s the weekend anyway) and tell him that I feel really lonely right now. 

Don’t let your pride make you suffer. No one should have to feel lonely alone. 

Jess

Podcast Announcement

I’m starting a podcast. For a couple of reasons.

1. I have the Galaxy S6 (pretty much the only fancy phone is ever had), and it has a ridiculously decent mic. 

2. I’ve been tuning into podcasts lately and they are like leaving your own world and entering a new one.

3. Hopefully it’ll be another way I can try to help others. 

Still deciding what to call it,  but here is my announcement. 

Hope you’ll tune in. 

-Jess

Sing sing sing

I really want to sing today. Just sing my heart out in an empty room. It sucks though, because I don’t really have a place to do that right now. I have my apartment but Andy is trying to unwind there too. It’s not really fair to him that my way of unwinding is so loud.

I wish my life was like Glee. I could just walk around places without anyone noticing I’m singing and being weird.

So I guess in order to help with that I’m going to write today. Just write write write. write posts, write songs, feed my creative monster because he is getting restless. With this full time job and these goals to pursue a non-arts major I just feel like my creative side is being neglected.

But tapping into my creative side is the only thing that makes me feel alive without fail. Everything else has failed me here and there.

Singing makes me feel right.

It’s who I am.

Anyway, I need to remember that and stop neglecting that side of me. It’s too important.

There’s something about hearing myself do a good, crisp vocal run that makes me tingle. Something about hitting that one note correctly that hits me like nothing else. Something about fucking up royally and being able to forgive myself and try again that makes me think that if only I could do that in real life i’d be better off.

Singing is wonderful.

-Jess

When is accepting your flaws acceptable?

It’s a cool title, but also an interesting question.

I’ve always been the type of person that doesnt finish things. Not in a sad, hopeless kind of way (at least not usually), but in a firm and decisive way.

I choose to stop doing things if I don’t feel the need or want to continue doing said things. 

It’s something I’ve always had a problem with. Not necessarily because I care about finishing things. No. I don’t care. It’s because of one simple fact that makes every person have insecurities, doubts, and causes them to use self hate language:

It’s a problem because society says so.

I should finish things even if I don’t want to or have to. 

I should finish things simply because according to society the opposite of finishing is quitting.

And quitting indicates irresponsibility.

Well I think that’s bullshit.

I’m sorry but… No actually I’m not sorry.

Me quitting gymnastics when I was 4 didn’t make me irresponsible. It made me a child that didn’t want to do gymnastics. They said we’d do splits next class and I peaced out of there. Also my mom sent me in with a bathing suit instead of an expensive leotard and I wasn’t about that life.

Me quitting basketball when I was 12 didn’t make me a bad kid in any way. I just didn’t care about basketball.

How about when I quit all those jobs? Yeah. Well those jobs sucked ass and I knew I could do better. 

And I have.

You know what I never quit? 

  • Show choir
  • Voice lessons
  • High school (even through the craziness that was my childhood and home life)
  • My so far decade long best friendship with Ray 
  • Dreaming
  • Caring about animals
  • Loving my family
  • Taking care of Khaleesi
  • Russian and soviet history which was by far the hardest class I’ve ever taken
  • This blog

I’m sure there are more out there but you get the picture. Those are all things that matter to me. Things that make me feel happy and alive. Things I wake up for in the morning.

That is what matters.

If following through on everything is important to you, then more power to ya! It’s all about what makes you happy. What makes you, you.

And hey, I never quit saving to move to Austin, but I did quit 8 cities 8 years. 

And get this, I quit because I know what makes me happy.

Being here makes me happy.

Writing a book, going back to school for neuroscience, being in love, working at a job that makes me actually want to show up every day, and continuing to get healthy.

That is what is up, my friends. I may give up on a lot of things, but I’ll never give up on building a happy life for myself.

Don’t give up on yourself either. And I don’t just mean suicide. I mean hating yourself for stupid things you don’t even care about. Make a list. I guarantee you’ll realize your insecurities are actually a reflection of the things others don’t like about you.

Showcase your middle finger with pride, drop that mic, and walk away from that noise. You and I deserve more than that. 

-Jess

Things I’ve learned about myself and others part 2

Please read part 1 before you continue with this post. It is a two parter about dealing with people who hurt you and treat you badly. Sometimes just because you have a mental illness. Other times because you’re a threat to them. Whatever it is… this post shows you that you can be the bigger person.

The wife… She was so mad at me for bringing up the project she threw out. So angry that she did something extremely cruel. Something that put Lucas’s life in Jeopardy. Something I’ll never be able to rationalize.

We got a call from Lucas’s mom a little while back. She told Andy she was going to talk to a lawyer because she didn’t want me around Lucas. The wife had told her I attempted suicide.

For the first time in my whole life, someone used my mental illness to hurt me.

Wow.

It hurt all right.

But instead of calling her every name in the book and trying to hurt her as much as she hurt me, I decided to talk to Lucas’s mom face to face.

Things haven’t been easy between us since we first met. I haven’t talked about it much because I don’t like to. It’s frustrating and difficult to deal with. But here it is.

Lucas’s mom, let’s call her Sandra and Andy argue a lot. And sometimes it’s about me. Not because I do anything wrong, but because sometimes when people enter new relationships, the ones they emotionally leave behind get angry. They feel hurt, abandoned, and excluded.

I get it. But it’s not my fault. She threatened to take custody away because she had this idea in her head that Andy and I treated Lucas badly when he was in our care. That we would get drunk and ignore him. We’d let him watch TV all day so we didn’t have to deal with him. It was absurd, obviously. We love Lucas so much. But I didn’t know how to get her to understand that. She made rules like “Lucas can’t be alone with Jess” and “Jess can’t speak to me whatsoever.” My baby mama drama was real.

She lost her spy because we moved out. The wife was always willing to rat on us. Only problem was we never did anything rat-worthy. The last time she could blow up like this was because the Wife told her I didn’t have a job, but that one was removed once I found one, so it didn’t last long.

Unfortunately…this time she gave her the perfect ammunition to attack. (Because the idea that Andy being forgetful makes him an unfit father wasn’t working).

And once again I had to be the bigger person.

I didn’t have any way of articulating things correctly besides texting, so I sent her the following: (I would have just screenshot it to prove it’s what I really said but it includes all their real names so…)

Sandra,

In the time that I’ve had the pleasure of being in Andy and Lucas’s lives we have laughed, shared memories, payed games, eaten home cooked meals almost every day, and practiced our numbers, letters, shapes, and spelling. In our home he watches minimal TV (mostly Mighty Machines or Phineas and Ferb) and spends more time with activities like homework, coloring, playing matching games, and reading books.

Sometimes we all go to HEB together and he loves using his buddy bucks. He and I put the stickers on our hands and pretend to be super heroes. When Lucas is in our home, you are mommy. And no one speaks ill of mommy in front of him because we respect that you are his mother and that he is impressionable at this age.

He always sits with Daddy to do his homework while I cook and tidy up. We all sat down together to do his art project and had a blast! Andy does forget to put his school items back in his backpack sometimes but as you can understand people can be forgetful. That doesn’t mean he loves Lucas any less. Andy gives Lucas baths at night while I grab him clean clothes from the drawers that we have provided for him in our house. Above them are all his books and toys that he is allowed to ask for at any point.

We do not consume large amounts of alcohol when Lucas is with us because we care for his safety. That is always our number one priority. When Lucas leaves he is always out the door with hugs and love and we miss him when he isn’t around. Last weekend we were at a loss because he wasn’t with us.

Over the last year Lucas has drawn me in his pictures as part of his family. He says I’m his Jess. You see, what you are doing is threatening to take Lucas from, first off, his father. Who, in my opinion is a wonderful and caring man who stood by your side for many years because of the love he has for his son, and even when the relationship ended he made him a priority. You’d also be taking him form a person who cares for him more than she realized she ever could. I have no obligation to take care of Lucas, but I do it happily and willingly because I love him. Andy and I are going trick or treating with him and he wants to be a vampire. He asked me to be a pumpkin so I went out and got a costume just to make him smile. When Lucas is with us, he is not ignored. He is the center of our attention, and he knows it!

You do have a right to know what goes on in our home when he is with us, but you do not have a right to dictate our lives. If Andy treated your boyfriend the way you treat me I’m sure you can see how upsetting that would be to you. He trusts that you have Lucas’s best interest at heart and you wouldn’t let anything happen to him. Why can’t you trust Andy to do the same.

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults in a given year. Suicides drop overwhelmingly when someone is on medication that works.

I am currently on Lamotragine and have been for a month or so. It is working wonders and I am a fully functioning person. But even when I wasn’t I still loved my boys. I’m sure you know your cousin would have opened her mouth if that wasn’t true.

I know you are in school to be a nurse but you can’t possible know the complexities of any given mental illness unless you have lived through it. I have lived with it for many years. The triggers you referred to on the phone with Andy is merely a word related to depression. Triggers are the result of trauma, but when on medication do not result in depressive effects.

You see, depression didn’t break me. It made me incredibly strong. It doesn’t cause me to love less, but actually makes me love so much more because I treasure every happy emotion I feel. The very things you are using against me is one of the best things about me. I have lived through it all and I will live through this.

I am not doing this because I’m afraid of your attempt to get a lawyer. I guarantee no one would take that case. I am doing this for Andy and Lucas. They both deserve to live in a world where two important people in their lives can get along or at least put on a brave face.

I have attached a link to depression statistics and a few photos we have taken since I met Lucas. If these things don’t give you peace of mind, then it is clear that your problem isn’t with my illness, your problem is with me. And if that is the case, then I can’t help you.

Jess.

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Because of this, she decided to sit down with me and have a chat. During my lunch I met her at a Starbuck’s and we talked it over. We’re actually in a better place now than we’ve ever been.

She no longer constantly calls Andy to yell at him. She hasn’t mentioned me at all in her texts. She has given us space and trust, and when she does call or text, I no longer feel annoyed or worried because I trust her, too.

Things aren’t perfect, but they are getting a lot better.

That’s the second wonderful thing the wife has done for me without knowing it. Sometimes people’s terrible actions end up giving you an opening to make your life better. But ultimately it’s up to you.

4. I have way more support than I think.

It’s really hard to see how many people love me from where I stand. I live in Austin and most of my friends and family live all the way in Chicago.

It makes me forget sometimes that they are always there for me.

When people who don’t like me are so close by, the things they say about me becomes a part of me. It makes me believe that I am what they say I am. It was especially harder not to feel that way when I wasn’t on meds. I have some friends here, but they are just that. Friends. People I haven’t known long and sometimes hang out with. My best friends are not at arms reach and I sometimes feel like I can’t turn to anyone but Andy.

That is so far from the truth. My best friend, Ray, is ALWAYS only a phone call away. And he is always there to listen. Same with my mom, my stepdad, my brothers, and all the people I have known and cared about since I was a child. Talking to them actually makes me feel like myself again. They give me words of encouragement and I feel their love from miles away… it resets me. They send me off into the world with happiness and love in my heart.

I will always have them.

5.The hardest part is letting go

This is how I did it.

I imagined myself in a black space. A space where I’m not distracted by anything. A space where nothing exists unless I want it to. I imagine an open doorframe in front of me, emitting a bright light so you couldn’t see anything outside of it.

I imagine the wife and husband standing in front of the light. I look them in the eyes for a few seconds and then turn away from them. I envision myself walking away form them. I can see their confused expressions follow my back as I get further and further away from them.

Eventually I walk so far that they are mere specks. The white light is only a glimmer. I come across another doorframe. As I walk through it, the door shuts on its own. A little further on I come across Andy.

He is smiling at me with that warm handsome face I know so well. He offers me his arm and I walk with him a little further.

As we get closer I can see a crowd of people.

It is every single person that loves me. I see Ray, my brothers, my mom, my step dad, Roxy, and countless other friends who have always been there for me.

We walk into the crowd and we hug each and every person. Even Andy’s family is there. They love us too. Standing in this crowd of people makes me realize that letting two people that hurt me run my thoughts and emotions was so pointless.

For every person that doesn’t like me… there are 10 who love me.

And now… I feel better. Now whenever I think about being angry again I picture this scenario over and over again. I hope you can find one that makes you feel like this one does for me. You can borrow mine until you find one that is truly you!

If you get anything out of this post I hope it’s that you can move past unresolved issues. You can walk away from people forever. You don’t deserve anything less than love, respect, and consideration. And if you don’t agree with that then there is a toxic in your life that is making you feel that way.

Get rid of them.

Love you guys.

-Jess

Things I’ve learned about myself and others: part 1

I haven’t really been writing lately. I’ve been busy I suppose. I really wanted to write something today though. Anything really. I can definitely tell that it’s a part of me.

This post wasn’t supposed to be a long one, but I just started writing and ran with it. It has now become a two parter. If you are having trouble dealing with how others make you feel about yourself this may be a good read. Problems with people that you thought were your friends or people that you’ll always have to have in your life (like… baby mama’s perhaps…). If not I’m glad you stopped by anyway.

So without further adieu, here are some things I’ve learned about myself and others recently.

  1. I am a fully functioning person when I  am on medication.

I was hired at a signature loan store on October 2nd. Full time. Monday through Friday, 8:30 -5:30. I’m still employed there! That’s a big deal for me. I didn’t quit or give up when I didn’t feel like it. Why? Because there never came a point where I wanted to give up.

When I’m on meds I want a full time job. I want to wake up every day and do good work and make money. When I was really depressed recently, I had this idea in my head that a full time job was like a prison. I was trapped there, hopeless, tired, and depressed, begging for a day off so that I could feel normal. I think people joke about work feeling like prison, but I really felt it to be true.

But you know what? Having a job makes me feel normal. I feel like my life is good. Like I am contributing something to the people around me. On top of that I’m starting school in January! I will be working and going to school and being busy and happy and in love.

2. I am in a really strong relationship.

Andy had to call an ambulance one night because I once again had fallen into a depression so deep that I resorted to suicide.

Yes… It happened again.

No… I don’t even remotely want to dwell on it.

All I’ll say is my roommates woke to it and saw what happened.

I’m fine, it wasn’t even remotely worse than last time, and that’s because Andy reacted quickly.

He is an amazing man. I can’t even talk about it. For nearly 5 months he watched me struggle and suffer and deal with not being able to keep a job. He never doubted me or told me that I needed to get it together. He waited patiently and trusted the person he knew I was.

Thank you so much, Andy.

Now we have our own apartment. Just us and Khaleesi! We kiss each other goodbye every weekday morning and go to our jobs. We both do our share of chores and go grocery shopping. We answer to no one and we live in peace together.

I can’t even explain how wonderful  it feels to be living this life right now.

3. Some people are just plain cruel and you have to walk away.

After my suicide attempt, our old roommates told us we had a month to move out. Sometimes people don’t understand mental illness so they just treat it as a character flaw. They see me as a bad person because of my illness.

Okay, fine. I was still really sick and that negativity wasn’t good for me. Even before that they were so patronizing to both of us, so living with them was pretty uncomfortable towards the end. It was mostly the wife. I won’t even give her a name, mostly because this is the last time she’ll be mentioned. She didn’t work, which isn’t really a negative thing because she’s a mom. She spent most of her days cooking and cleaning and watching her son. She also enjoyed bad mouthing anyone she knew to anyone that would listen.

It was pretty weird for me because, well first off… I didn’t care. Second, a lot of the time it was in regards to her cousin. Andy’s ex. Lucas’s Mom. Someone I try my best not to start trouble with.

She’d brag about how in high school she once beat her up. She’d talk about how she was mentally unstable (I should’ve known she’d be ignorant to that sort of thing.) She also told me personal things about their childhoods that I really didn’t need to know.

She worked out a lot and was of normal height which unfortunately made her very vein. Her husband was also into fitness so he spent a lot of time body building. He was, deep down, a decent person and never made us feel like she did.

She would tell us that we can’t touch the thermostat because we don’t pay enough money for that. She only gave us half a shelf in the fridge, and said we had to put the rest of our stuff in the garage fridge, which wouldn’t have been a big deal if she didn’t say it the way she did. She treated us like we were nobodies in her home. I hate that feeling, but with my struggle to deal with my mental health and work I didn’t have a lot of options. I didn’t want to worry Andy or make him feel like we had to move and spend more money. I kept my mouth shut.

Luckily they kicked us out. The husband really didn’t want to, but she insisted. So we left, and the week we moved into our new home I decided to get back on meds.

It was the nicest thing she could’ve done for us.

That same week we asked if we could pick up our last few things in the house and Andy went to get them while I cooked dinner. He came back and told me that she had thrown out one of his woodworking projects. This wasn’t uncommon for her. She used to throw out our food and belongings all the time. She had a lot of time on her hands.

I texted her asking why she’d throw it out. I swear it wasn’t confrontational, I just asked what happened.

She said she didn’t know what the hell it was and so she threw it away.

I said, “okay, I’ll let you know when the housewarming is.”

And then the shitstorm hit. She started saying that I had an attitude and that she wanted Andy to move all his stuff out of the shed (he used it as a woodshop and had all of his tools in it, but we had previously come up with an agreement to rent it out). She texted him later and told him that she was just messing with me and he could keep his stuff in there, but he had to control his girlfriend.

Of course he told me everything and we both decided it’d be best to from now on only keep in contact with her husband. We haven’t spoken to her since.

But of course when someone is truly cruel, they don’t go away so easily.

3. I had to learn how to let go of unresolved issues.

Letting go of something that will never get resolved. Oh boy… that is a tough pill to swallow. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation like that. The kind where I don’t go crazy and bitch at someone till I’m red in the face. The kind where I handle things correctly and just let it go.

At first it fucking sucks. It really does. But then… it kind of doesn’t. You don’t have to live with the fact that you couldn’t be the bigger person. That temporary rush you get from bitching someone out fades.

Sometimes when people feel guilty they decide to lash out at you. That’s what happened when the wife threw out Andy’s stuff. Instead of admitting she made a mistake she decided to try and make me feel bad for calling her out on it.

Same thing happened when she invited me out a while back when we lived together. At the last minute she cancelled and decided not to go (for the second time). I ended up not having plans because of it. I asked her to in the future not make plans if she doesn’t feel like going to begin with because it left me without plans. She, of course, lashed out and got extremely angry. Said I was acting like a child. I apologized because I was kind of at her mercy. She wore the pants in her relationship and making her mad could ruin things for us.

Fast forward.

The wife… She was so mad at me for bringing up the project she threw out. So angry that she did something extremely cruel. Something that put Lucas’s life in Jeopardy. Something I’ll never be able to rationalize.

To be continued in part 2

Hello friends

I just really wanted to write something – anything today in hopes that someone might see it and know I am alive and well and happy and thriving in this big crazy world.

So, here goes.

My name is Jess and I like being alive.

🙂

This isn’t natural

There is nothing natural about wanting to kill yourself because you’d rather be dead than get up in the morning.

There is nothing natural about having a normal conversation with someone while simultaneously planning the details of your suicide in your mind.

There is nothing natural about smiling at the world and radiating this beautiful positive energy to those around you as you’re falling apart on the inside.

There is nothing natural about your mind constantly telling you to find a way to die – and soon.

There is nothing natural about hating yourself for no rational reason –

Or lying awake in bed and thinking about every mistake you ever made –

Or sitting in a chair and staring at the wall for hours because everything else feels just as mundane anyhow –

Or wishing nobody loved you so that you could silently excuse yourself from the pain.
There never has been and never will be anything natural about depression.

We were not meant to live like this, but more importantly, we were not meant to die like this. 

-Jess-

The circle of guilt and indifference

Recently a terrible tragedy happened where I work. One of my co workers (overworked and exhausted) had a different start to his morning last Thursday. He was supposed to drop off his son at daycare before coming to work.

Exhausted as he was he tried to do it all. Work double shift after double shift, spend time with and support his four year old son from a previous relationship, keep his marriage a happy one, and be there for his youngest as much as possible.

On Thursday, all of us and the rest of Austin learned that you can’t spread yourself that thin. My co worker drove straight to the restaurant, forgot that his quiet infant was in the backseat, and clocked in for work leaving him in a hot car. 

The shift lasted seven hours. In those seven hours no one saw or heard the baby. No one noticed him alone in a 130 degree car. Every customer and employee unknowingly passed right by him, walked into an air conditioned restaurant and sat in shiny chairs and ate their breakfast plates and drank their ice cold beverages.

That baby passed away in that car.

I thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t there that day, because just hearing about it triggered my depression so intensely. 

I kept thinking, “why this poor defenseless unblemished child who didn’t have any desire to die? Why not someone who has tried to end their life? 

Why not me?”

Of course, in the real world the two instances are unrelated, but depression doesn’t give a shit about that. It made me feel guilty for being alive anyway. 

What happened to my co worker and his famiy, losing a child, living with that guilt every day, not to mention facing criminal charges… It will never be okay.

Nothing that I or anyone else could say will make that better. All I could think to do in the most depressing shift I have ever had to work was hit the feed button on the register, rip off the receipt paper, write the words “it should have been me”, fold it into an origami heart, and tuck it next to a teddy bear on his vigil.

Today I got a new job downtown as a server (I knew I needed a fresh start after that). I applied at 10am, got a call at 11:30, interviewed at 3, got the job at 3:15, and I start in 40 mns.

All in a day. Life is a deranged and beautiful experience.

I am a deranged and beautiful person.

Today, sitting here on a restaurant deck sipping a glass of merlot, I can’t help but think that there’s a reason I’m still here. 

Depression, today I won. Today, you lost.

See you again tomorrow.

-Jess

Asking for help is hard to do.

You don’t know how strong you really are until you are faced with a problem you can’t handle on your own. Be it about mental health, money, a ride to work, a shoulder to cry on, or just about anything else. Perhaps you can stall it and hope for the best, but you can’t actually make it better or right without help.

It is whether or not you have the bravery to swallow your pride and ask for that help that determines your strength.

If you need help, ask for it.

In return if you’re asked to help, do it graciously and genuinely.

There is no shame in being human.

-Jess

Finding someone that understands – and accepts – your struggles

He always gets us home safely. Always. I feel safe in his presence. In his arms. We lie on the bed as I – intoxicated from the night – look him in the eyes. This ensued the loveliest love I couldn’t possibly describe to you. Sweet, but passionate. Strong, yet gentle. And when we were done he kissed me deeply and longingly. Like it was our first kiss. Like it was our last kiss.

He laid next to me, trying to even out his breathing, and held my hand.

I looked to my left and focused on a darker spot in my closet. My eyes started to well up. My body became stiff. I knew what I had to do, but I kept stealing time. Trying to fight the rational.

“Jess are you okay?”

“Andy. I need you to hide all of the pills I have in my bathroom. My leftover prescription pills are on the counter next to the sink.”

“Okay. I’ll go now.”

“Wait Andy. What if we play a game? We can see how many. Pills it takes for me to get sick. I won’t die but it might make the urge go away.”

“No Jess. This isn’t you talking right now. Your brain is in a different mode, but you’ll feel alright again soon. I’m going to put the pills away and then I’m going to come back and snuggle you to sleep.”

He moved towards me and kissed my forehead, and with that he was out the door. The tears of guilt and frustration kept me entertained. I hugged my cat who I believe sensed I needed her as she walked over to me from the windowsill.

When he came back I knew I had to be honest.

“My regular medicine is in a bag in the bottom drawer.”

“Do you have pills anywhere else?”

“No.”

“Okay. Thank you for telling me. I’ll be right back.”

I let myself cry as much as I needed to. I allowed myself to feel what was happening to me because I knew that crying helped. I knew once I couldn’t cry anymore I could start thinking rationally again.

I could be the strong and secure woman I had worked very hard to be. A woman that has won in the face of depression countless times. A woman that has survived the impossible. A woman courageous enough to go up against her own brain.

A woman who deserved Andy.

He came back into the room. Every centimeter of me burned to be held by him. He climbed back into bed and wrapped his arms around me.

“You know, you may feel small for having these thoughts, but you should feel very big for asking for and accepting help. I love you.”

“Thank you so much for that. I love you too.”

I couldn’t believe I had found a man like him. I still can’t believe it. Someone who not only understands, but wants to be there for me. Someone who doesn’t feel obliged to help, but instead feels good that I trust  him enough to accept his help.

The next morning a slight pang of guilt set in as you might imagine.


This is the kind of person I hope everyone with and without depression gets to be with. It’s what they deserve. It’s what you deserve. Anything less wouldn’t do you justice. Everyone has baggage. Everyone has issues one way or another.

We all need help, constant love, reassurance, distraction, and understanding. We need someone to help us walk that extra mile when we’re tired. To let us know that our pasts and losses and struggles do not define us. To remind us of the good we create just by existing in this world. To love us when we don’t feel that we deserve love.

That is what you should look for in a partner. But first…that is who you should strive to become.

I love you Andrew Evans.

-Jess

We’re moving in together!


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Things have been pretty wild since I last checked in. Two weeks is the longest bar of silence I’ve had this year.

I suppose I didn’t know what to write. Things have been happening, but I decided to take a break from sharing those things because I wanted to try immersing myself in my own life instead of trying to find ways to narrate it.

11146206_10152847747341274_4810380212775105341_nI’ve got to say, it has been pretty fun.

When you’re present and in the moment things change. The way you see people around you, the way you make decisions, the way you experience everything.

I made the difficult decision to stop taking my medication two weeks ago.

I still have not made contact with my father in prison.

I quit my front desk job that made me feel like crap and left with a bombshell email exposing my former boss’s wrongdoings.


I had some awesome bon11161349_10152849402596274_9211810873696856201_nding time with one of Andy’s sisters, Lizzie.

I got another job as a server at a sports bar.

I started paying off my $640 balance for college so I can finish my last year and a half.

I’m proud to say that Andy’s son, Lucas now recognizes me as “Jess”.

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To tie everything up in a beautiful bow that is life, I’m excited to announce that Andy and I are moving in together!

The move will most likely be happening right before our trip to Chicago. I still have to get out of my lease, we are still working out logistics like what things we can get rid of/sell, and come to an agreement with his already roommates.


They are great people. Funny story, they are a married couple with a son. The wife is actually Andy’s ex’s cousin. She is, however, super wonderful and accommodating. She actually said today that she’d really love to get to know me and hang out. She has always gotten along with Andy and the break up didn’t change that.

11059347_10152808962046274_2160873252254272321_nHer son and Lucas are cousins, so Andy and I decided that we’re going to get bunk beds for them so that Lucas can stay in his room when he visits. It’s a three bedroom, two bathroom house, so it’s more than livable and roomy.

I think I’m going to like it here.

I just can’t believe how in sync Andy and I have been since day 1.

We have been through some pretty high hurdles, but now we’ll have to face our toughest one yet: his ex girlfriend.

18295_10152809170241274_3540082442894434176_nI haven’t said much about her except that respect her and Andy’s dedication to Lucas in this post.

I only met her once, and briefly, but I have unfortunately witnessed countless phone conversations between her and Andy. It is safe to say that she is quite possessive. It seems to be hard for her to let go of Andy. I don’t think there are feelings there, but I do think that she doesn’t want him to be happy with anyone else. That really bothers her.

As I said in my last post, I refuse to have stupid baby mama drama. This will be handled as it should be: with three adults who all care about the child involved. I won’t entertain any other way.

Regardless, I can’t tell you how amazing it is to witness someone defend you with the utmost admiration and respect.

I’ll save that for later though. Right now I want to revel in what is the most amazing and fulfilling relationship of my life.

It looks like I’ll be an Austinite a bit longer than planned!

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-Jess

To: Andy


Sometimes I haven’t the slightest idea what to do about it.

You say something sweet or laugh the way you do, and I am overcome with joy.

Just pure joy.

The cuts and bruises from my life before you…they just don’t hurt anymore.

They’ve become scars.

I’ll never forget the pain of the past but being with you has changed the way I look at it.

I won’t carry it with me anymore.

It’s you and me now.

The way it was always supposed to be. At least that’s how it feels.

We have been in sync since day one.

I feel what you feel.
You hope what I hope.
I love what you love.

There has never been, nor will there ever be, another us.

That’s what is so great and terrifying about it.

Decades from now when we’re both gone no one will know who we were or what we meant to each other, but it doesn’t even matter.

Because right now, today, right here, as I sit on my bed and type, I love you.

I love every single moment that you exist.

Even in my deepest sleep I love you.

In my worst and best moments I love you.

Even in the times I’m upset with you, I love you.

When I was seven years old and I wondered if you existed I loved you.

When I was fifteen years old and I wished for you I loved you.

Just half a year ago when I wondered how many years I had left before I’d meet you I loved you.

The day I saw your face for the first time I loved you.

I just didn’t know it was you yet.

Now that we’re both here and feel the way we do

I can’t really describe the way I feel.

To say you make me happy is an understatement.

It almost feels like an insult. That word doesn’t even come remotely close to the way I feel.

In fact, there is nothing I could ever say that would describe this.

Then again, words have never been necessary with us.

You show me through your eyes. Your kiss. The way you hold onto me a little longer every time.

You show me through your actions.

I hope we always feel this way about each other.

It’s so different from any other feeling I’ve ever felt.

So foreign at first, but now it is the thing I treasure most.

Could love be this great?

We share this electrifying closeness that feels like a Utopia. But it isn’t. It is the realest thing we’ve ever known.

There is something so incredibly perfect about resting my head on your shoulder.

Something so painstakingly wonderful about feeling your hand touch my face.

Feeling the warmth of your hug.

Feeling the kisses you leave on my forehead.

Feeling this way about you.

I love us.

-Jess

Why do you insist on loving what doesn’t love you back?

I struggled with this question for many years. The question I asked myself often.

My father, my ex’s…

I even asked myself why I couldn’t love the one person who I knew could love me back… me.

The human condition is an interesting one.

-Jess

This is What Unadulterated Bliss Looks Like


When I’m around you, I don’t think about anything else. Time freezes for a little while.

See… I’ve never had love like this before. Love that is so honest. So real. Love that comes so easily.

Love that teaches me something new every day.

Like the fact that the pain from my past does not define who I am now. It’s part of how I got here, but I don’t have to hurt about it anymore.

Like the fact that when I need you, I shouldn’t feel like I’m a burden or inconvenience. I shouldn’t be afraid to ask to see you two days in a row. I shouldn’t be afraid to say that I’m having a bad day.

Like the fact that there are men out there who like to communicate. Be honest. Be truthful. Be an open book. Not hiding their phones out of plain sight. Not lying about where they are and who they’re with. We don’t have to worry about hiding those things, because there’s nothing to hide.

Being with you is pretty much like being with the other part of me. The part I didn’t really know existed in real life.

The part that I always hoped I’d find, but can’t even come close to explaining it when I try to now that I have it.

I know that we don’t need each other in the grand scheme of things. We could have never met and I’m sure, no, I’m positive things would’ve worked out either way.

But that’s not how life went. We got lucky. We found each other. No, I don’t need you, and you don’t need me either.

But I want you in my life. And see that’s why relationships worth preserving take work. Because we want to be in each other’s lives, we work to be there for each other. We work to make each other smile. We work to comfort each other. We work to make time for each other.

Though I have to admit, it doesn’t even remotely feel like work.

I think the best part about all of this is that you feel exactly the same way I do.

I’m that other part of you that you didn’t know existed.

And now we have all the time in the world to enjoy it.

I love nights like these. It’s just you, me, a bottle of wine, usually pizza, and the whole night to talk, laugh, snuggle, and watch the world from afar. We rarely watch it, though. We don’t really care what anyone else is doing.

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-Jess

Broken Homes vs. Split Units

On Wednesday, I met Andy’s son, Lucas. I had a great time! We had Ice cream and watched Lucas play at the playground. He’s such a great kid. Super energetic and funny!

He was shy at first, but as time wore on he started to feel more relaxed with me and laughed and joked with Andy, and even talked to me quite a bit!

I felt really lucky.

Lucky to be let into this part of Andy’s life, even if just for an afternoon.

Lucky to be in this relationship.

Lucky to be in love with a man that takes parenthood seriously.

There are some fathers out there that could care less about the children that they have.

Take my father for example.

It was just so nice to see a family that is split up work together as a unit.

People ask me if there’s going to be baby mama drama in my life now that I’m with Andy.

The answer is no. For two reasons:

1. I avoid drama like the Plague. I’m not confrontational; I’m not a coward. I just know when something is petty, stupid, and not worth wasting time over.

2. I have the utmost respect for two parents who are civil and responsible enough to make an arrangement like this work, because my parents unfortunately, could not do that for us. And yes, that means I have a lot of respect for Lucas’s mother, too. So why on earth would I start or entertain unnecessary drama?

One thing that I learned from my family? The kids should always come first. And I learned that the hard way, because we never came first in my dad’s eyes.

Maybe second once a year, maybe even third twice a year. Never first.

I’m not even remotely part of that situation yet, but I just wanted to be clear on my thoughts about it. That way when the time comes, I’ll know where I stand with the whole dynamic.

All I can say for sure is seeing Andy play with Lucas, seeing him give Lucas piggy back rides, hold his hand, laugh with him, and call him son, all of that made me fall even more in love with that man.

I didn’t even know that was possible.

-Jess

I’m meeting Lucas today!

Today is the day! After this bullshit two hour training session at work, Andy will be picking me up and I will finally meet Lucas! Ice cream and the playground!

I’m excited and elated!

Not much else to say today.

I’m happy.

I’m trying not to think about anything else.

Maybe I can stay in this bliss for a little while.

I know soon I’m going to have to address 8 cities with myself. I know soon I’m going to have to deal with working another 6 consecutive days and not seeing Andy for most of this and next week.

I know soon I’ll have to try to get some time off of work because my best friend is coming and I don’t know if it’ll happen and that makes me want to cry because he’s the only bit of Chicago I’ll have for quite a while.

But today, none of that will be addressed. None of it could even be fixed today. So why stress about it? Stressing about the things I can’t currently control is just pointless. Today is a great day to be me. Today I should be thankful that 8 cities even came out because it led me this far. Today I should be thankful I even have a job that will provide me with the funds and time off to visit my family. Today I should be thankful to have an amazing man in my life that I actually care about not seeing because of said job. Today I should be thankful that my best friend can afford to come see me and enjoy Austin for himself, regardless of whether or not I work for some of it.

Plus, I do have some mini solutions. For example, 8 cities is still 10 months away. I have time (and now money) to make that decision later. And I don’t know what will happen or where my life will be 10 months from now.

One week of not seeing Andy will be tough, but if we’re right for each other, I’ll have the rest of my life to see him! And there will be times where we have all the time in the world, and others where we only see each other right before we sleep, but either way I’ll cherish those moments.

My best friend, Ray has his flight booked. Either way we’ll figure something out. Switching shifts with my co-workers is super easy, and so once the day comes closer and I know my schedule, I can work with them to move things around. Andy doesn’t work weekends so he could hang out with Ray and show him around. They could bond :).

It will all be okay.

I’m feeling quite optimistic today. Not sure why or  how, but I just feel right.

Today, I meet Lucas.

Today is a good day.

-Jess

To: The one (Part 2)

Part one was written before I met you. I always knew you exsisted. That you were out there somewhere. I talked about what it may feel like to meet you, to fall for you, to just know it was right, but I had no idea how it’d actually feel.

If I had to sum it up, I’d say this:

I feel like every mistake I made, every time my heart was broken, every time I learned from that heartbreak, every turn I’ve ever made in life, every time it didn’t work out, every time I accepted less than I deserved, every impulse I had to give in to, every time I lost hope, every time I hoped again, every time I disappointed myself, and the moment I learned to love myself…

Those things happened to prepare me for you.

So that when we’d finally meet, I’d know that you were it for me.

In another post I wondered who you were and what you were doing at any given moment. Now I don’t have to wonder. We have plans tonight at 5 pm. How lucky am I to have plans with my soul mate today?

Just as lucky as you are, I suppose.


-Jess

When love threatens your life plans.

I moved to Austin with the idea that I’d only be here a year. I had no clue that I was going to meet the person that I can only describe as my soulmate in my first of 8 cities. The thing is since the age of 18, I haven’t really given a tiny rat’s ass what anyone thinks about my decisions. If I decide something it’s on me because – as I’m sure I’ve engraved in everyone’s minds on this blog – I have complete control over my life. And whether or not people believe he’s my soulmate is irrelevant, because it’s how I feel. I may be wrong, but all I can say in confidence is that in my 22 years of living on this earth I have never felt this way. Never. And neither has he. That isn’t something I take lightly.

So now it’s up to me to ask the tough questions. And the only person that can answer it (whether it be a decent answer or not), is unfortunately, me.


So is this fate? Divine intervention? Or are we a pit stop on the ultimate road of my life?
Do I stick to the plan? Or do I plan to cancel my plans?

I don’t know. I really don’t. I think I’m really just trying to go over it in my head.

This didn’t even occur to me until last night. Andy and I were at this Greek place waiting for our takeout, and I was talking about the new budget I created for myself based on my new pay. I mentioned that if I find that I can stick to my budget plan for a year I’d try to find a nice apartment since I can afford it. Then suddenly my heart dropped because any mention of “a year” reminds me of my plans.

This is exactly how it came out:

“Right now based on my budget I have a very big amount of spendable money, so if I find that I can stick with my plan for a while then I’ll be able to get a nicer place by next year. That is if I — you know — uh — decide to stay — well — uh — yeah — sorry — whatever.” 

I could tell he was disappointed. But… even more heartbreaking … I could tell that this wasn’t the first time he had thought about it.

He just gave me a weak smile and didn’t say anything.

I moved on to another topic, but my face and the hushed tone of my voice showed every bit of the remorse I was trying to hide.

He let it slide, though. 

But I don’t know if I have.

It’s odd, I remember going to my old high school recently and giving a speech on my 8 cities 8 years trip. Students asked questions about how my family is taking my plans, what I plan to do in each city, and how I decided on my cities. But one question a midst all of them stood out to me.

My old professor asked, “What if when you get to Texas, you fall in love with a handsome ‘cowboy’? What happens then?”

The class and I chuckled as I shook my head and looked him dead in the eye.

“I’m going to need more reason than a boy to stay in Austin.”

-Jess

Daddy issues: Seeking approval in relationships

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As many of you know, I had issues with my father growing up. I never got his love or approval and that really hurt me. It messed me up, even.

For the next 6 or so years I would obsess over trying to make my boyfriends happy. I’d spend money, time, and effort, and make grand gestures to try to receive that love. I wanted approval. I wanted confirmation that I’m a good person. I figured that if I kept doing these big things for them there was no way they could leave me or reject me. There was no way they couldn’t love me.

The thing is… even if they’d jump up and down and cry of happiness (which of course, they didn’t)… it still wouldn’t have been enough.

No man will ever fill that void. And why should he? That is a dad-shaped hole that really won’t ever heal. 

Andy and I had a bit of a speed bump there yesterday. The art installation didn’t go as well as I had hoped. He loved the thought behind it and admired how hard I worked, but he was a little bit shocked and felt very weird in the limelight around onlookers that knew it was him in the posters. These aren’t things I knew in the moment… so to me it registered as it always had in the past.

It reminded me of my exes to be honest. I felt like I had landed another guy who didn’t appreciate the things I do. I did what I told myself I’d do in a situation like this.

I contemplated whether or not this person was right for me.

And that made me extremely sad. I wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted to shower and lay in bed and cry. I didn’t know how to tell him. I didn’t think we could bounce back from this for our picnic and fort plans. Andy knew something was wrong and I’m not one to lie about whether or not I’m alright, so I told him the truth.

He was deeply saddened that I was in pain over it.

I wanted to shower. He wanted to wait for me in my room. I wanted to lay in bed. He laid there with me. I wanted to cry, he held onto me in silence for about half an hour while the tears took over.

Then afterwards, when I was calmer, we talked about it. He felt so bad about his reaction, and I felt so bad because I felt like I was completely off with my gift. I cried some more and told him that I just wanted to give him things I knew he never had. I wanted him to know that I realize there’s a third person in this relationship and that it is a different situation. I wanted him to feel loved and cared about.

And he said, “Why would you think I don’t? You make me feel that way every day. Every moment that I’m with you I feel that way. It makes me so sad that you don’t believe I appreciate you. I do. Everything you do for me is noticed and appreciated.”

And I realized that this whole thing was a pretty painful misunderstanding. I looked back at this time I’ve been in Austin, and I really thought about it.

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In this short amount of time Andy has made me feel like the most special and beautiful person in the world. He has sacrificed sleep and time for me, he’s juggled me, his son, work, and school, and has managed to make me four amazing gifts from scratch. He’s met my friends, shamelessly told his family about me, planned an amazing birthday for me, and understood my ongoing battle with depression. He’s listened to my problems, my woes, my fears, and has separated them from the person that I am. 

I realized that by just being myself and letting him in I made him feel loved. I never needed to do any of the things I did. I don’t need to make super grand gestures, or look perfect every time we hang out, or hold back on the person that I am. Seems I never had to with him.

When I was growing up I missed out on my father’s love, and it really affected me. I spent hours and days on gifts, surprises, and grand gestures trying to get that same love and approval from my boyfriends. when I didn’t get it I was devastated. I wanted people to know how great of a girlfriend I was. I wanted concrete proof that I did things for them and that I cared.

I enjoyed people coming up to me and saying what an amazing girlfriend I am more than I enjoyed seeing my boyfriend happy. 

But the thing is… yesterday when I was putting up the posters at the outdoor gallery, I turned to my friend that was helping me and told him,

“I would rather have people not look at my work at all than look at it and like it. This isn’t about any of them. They don’t have a clue.”

Even before I knew what Andy’s reaction was going to be, I didn’t feel the need to have anyone tell me what a great girlfriend I am. I only cared about what Andy would think.

I don’t feel like I have to do these grand gestures for approval anymore. Of course there will be days where I want to do something special, but it will always be for the right reasons with Andy.

As a girlfriend I’m loving, caring, affectionate, respectful, and mindful. As a person I am creative, goal-oriented, independent, funny, bright, and strong.

And that is why Andy loves me.

There’s no longer this aching need to replace my father. That dad shaped hole has been boarded up. But Andy has filled the part of me that yearned to be loved and accepted. That lingering feeling that I’m the only person who believes I’m good is gone.

I’m free from this obsessive need to feel loved.

I am loved.

And that is how we bounced back. He gave me my gift. It was a leather booklet with a notepad in it. On the first page it read:

Jess,

It’s only been a month and you’ve swept me off my feet. We’ve grown together so quickly and I just can’t imagine my life without you. You’re the bee’s knees AND the cat’s pajamas. I love you and all the little quirks that make you who you are. I hope you can use this little notepad to help you continue to be the beautiful and creative woman you are.

Happy Valentine’s Day

-Andy

So my Valentine’s day surprise didn’t work out perfectly. So Andy didn’t respond exactly the way I wanted him to. That’s not important. Let me tell you what is. 

1. Though he felt odd about it he still could see the beauty and creativity and effort I put into it.

2. When I reacted negatively to his reaction he didn’t attack me or tell me my feelings weren’t valid.

3. He waited for me to cry it out.

4. He allowed me to express how I was feeling when I was finally ready and calm

5. He told me that none of this changes how he feels about me.

These are all things that prove to me that what we have together is good, unadulterated, and can push through conflict.

I’m also very happy it happened because now our relationship isn’t ALL rainbows and butterflies. It’s a relationship. A real one. We can exist in our imaginary world. We can be together without anyone else around in our little fort we made in my room that had one string of beer shaped lights illuminating each crevice. We can laugh, and kiss, and play games. But more importantly, we can get out of the fort and face the real world. No one is excited for a fight. No one likes looking back on their scars and their issues. But these things are necessary because they prove to us that what we are living is real.

His gift proved to me that though his personality isn’t the same as mine, he still knows that I’m creative and artistic and loves me for it. It was the perfect gift to end that whole situation.

I made a video that shows how I made the posters and how I posted them up. Regardless of what happened I’m extremely proud of my work, and on the plus side, I saw a bunch of people taking pictures with them as we were leaving the gallery!

See when it came to my dad, I knew that he was missing out on a great daughter. I knew that I had great qualities. I knew it with all of my exes, and I know it with Andy. It’s just really nice to find someone who finally knows that about me, too. Especially without me having to point it out all the time.

After making up and making the SWEET fort (that I’m currently in as I type) we hung out, had our picnic, danced salsa (He’s learning because he knows it’s important to me), drank wine, and played the letters game.

You decide on a letter and take turns saying words that start with it. Names aren’t allowed and neither are repeats. If you look away or laugh you lose.

I distinctly remember laying on my back in the middle of the bed, resting my head on a pillow, and Andy hovering over me, a big smile on his face while we took turns, trying to make each other laugh by saying words in funny voices.

And I felt so beautiful. Not that I didn’t before. I just really noticed it in that moment. The way he was looking at me reminded me of it.

No relationship is perfect. No man is perfect. I’m certainly not perfect.

But today, sitting here in this fort that makes me feel safe and reminds me of all the things I learned in 24 hours, I feel perfect. I feel right.

I feel happy.

-Jess

P.S. Andy’s dad wants to meet me! We are all having dinner soon. I’m really excited that our relationship is actually becoming something in the real world.

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What happens when you’re not afraid to love anymore?

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Friends, My 22nd birthday was more amazing than I could’ve ever imagined.

Not because everything was absolutely perfect. (Though it came amazingly close to perfect).

Not because I got money or was showered with many gifts from many people.

Not even because I planned everything to the tee (which if you know me, you know I do often).

It was because, as I said in a recent post, I have the control now.

I chose to have fun. I chose to be happy. I chose to accept the bad and treasure the good.

My actual birthday, January 30th at 12am, was spent with Andy at his place. He picked me up and we got junk food and beer, watched How I Met Your Mother, and waited as I counted down the minutes to my birthday. Finally when I checked the clock again it was 12:01 and I burst forth in joy!

I had to wake up pretty early because Andy had work that day. On those days he drives me home and heads off to work before the sun comes up. Yet he still lets me sleep over and sacrifices losing sleep to spend time with me. And he always walks me to my door every morning without fail. I got home and slept for quite a while. Woke up around 2 and my friend who was giving me her bed gave me a call to let me know she was on her way.

I finally have a bed!

I got some amazing bithday news from my mom. My college finally pardoned my blaance from the semester that I withdrew from a year ago. Once I pay off a couple hundred dollars I get to finish my last year and a half of college! (a $600 balance beats $6,000 any day).

By the time my bed was in my apartment I only had an hour to get ready for my birthday date with Andy!

Boy oh boy. What an amazing date.

I’m still so shocked that a man like Andy exists.

Well, no. Let me rephrase that. I’m still so shocked that a man like Andy exists, and he’s mine. 

10942610_10152691768461274_7074217160666691343_nI wore an orange dress and beige heels. The first time I was that dressed up in Austin. I was so nervous and excited that I couldn’t stop looking at my reflection. hoping that any imperfection would be spotted and taken care of before Andy could see it.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. I took a deep breath and opened it.

And there in front of me was a man. Handsome as all hell. Wearing dress pants, a purple dress shirt, and a black vest.

And the biggest smile that most likely matched mine. He said I looked stunning. Stunning. That is my new favorite word.

On our car ride over to spot #1 (I didn’t know anything about the night until it happened) he started talking about air fresheners and how he feels like they don’t work. Then he mentioned he thinks he has some in the glove compartment.

“Will you grab them out of the glove compartment for me?”

I sensed something was happening. He sounded very different from the way he usually talked.

So I opened the glove compartment, and there were air fresheners… but behind those was my absolute favorite movie on DVD! The Wedding Singer.

1464700_10152689455721274_50906945711968320_nSuddenly I had a flashback to the night I told him how much I loved the movie and how I was bummed I still didn’t own it. That was about two beers in at a bar, and I didn’t realize he kept it in mind.

I beamed with delight and pretty much freaked out about it. (May have teared up a little. Gifts do that to me.)

Seeing me smile made him so happy. It reminded me of when I’d try to surprise my exes and any glimpse of happiness I got from them would send me to the moon. Only this time I was the one being surprised. I was the one getting what I deserve.

And I realized he’s the one person who deserves it from me, too.

Spot #1 was this really cool speakeasy called Midnight Cowboy. Outside of it there are multiple buzzers, and you have to push the right one for them to let you in. They make signature mixed drinks there. We both got a drink and they made mine in front of me.food_feature2

And then after we tried them, Andy asked me what I wanted to get next. And in my goofy thought process I asked, “We’re getting another round?”

I was so used to dating guys that made me feel bad if I wanted dessert, or another round, or pretty much anything that was above the bare minimum.

He laughed and nodded. Possibly a little bit confused on why that was so surprising.

Those other guys… that’s not who he is at all.

Two drinks were more than enough to get me pretty tipsy though, and dinner was next, which meant wine. So we headed out to the restaurant, Annie’s.

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I had the most killer salmon in the whole world, and a glass of 1443041706wine to match. They even gave me a free brownie for my birthday which was cool!

After that we went to a place called The Elephant Room. They are a bar that play jazz music. We both love Jazz so it was the perfect place. There wasn’t really any room for dancing, but the thing about Andy is that I knew if I wanted to dance with him later we could. I wasn’t desperate to dance with him because he’s always willing to dance with me. That is something I love so much because dancing is so important to me.

We both got a beer there and enjoyed the Jazz. Then headed out because my friend had a going away party she invited me to, and I wanted to say goodbye. I accidentally typed the wrong street into the GPS Stonelake instead of Stoanoake. We ended up on the complete other side of town! (After 4 drinks I am no longer trustworthy with a GPS, or many other things!) And I apologized my head off while Andy laughed and assured me that it was okay.

We got to the party and I had a blast! Hung out with some friends, got to introduce them to Andy, and I got to see how he reacted to a group of strangers he had to mingle with. He was a complete gentleman and he impressed me so much. He mingled with me, without me, and always checked on me to make sure I was alright, but never tried to cut me off or embarrass me in front of others.

Even when my clumsy tipsy ass spilled a drink on his shoes.

Oh Jess.

Anyway we left and I was pretty gone. But it’s alright because it was my birthday! It was a celebration, and it was a great time. Andy took care of me and luckily I wasn’t too hard to deal with. I just kept falling asleep as I walked. For some reason when I’m really drunk I tend to fall asleep at random moments. It sounds funny but when you’re trying to keep me awake and get me into a car or house it doesn’t seem like it’d be that fun.

Luckily we were able to laugh about it in the morning. We stayed in till 3pm. We talked about the night before, we laughed about my drunk mishaps, he told me all of the sweet things I was telling him while he was trying to get me home safely… a genuine smile on his face, happiness in his eyes that intensified even more when I told him that everything I said was how I really felt about him. We watched The Wedding Singer, and then went to Denny’s for my free Grand slam! Then we had to part ways because I had to get ready for the party and he had to work on my SECOND gift in his woodshop.

He’s the absolute sweetest.

So to answer the question in my title, “What happens when you’re not afraid to love anymore?”

You get to enjoy the love that you know you deserve.

I’ll dive into my party story tomorrow. Tonight, I am scouring Pinterest for Valentine’s Day Ideas. I decided I wanted to be in charge of it so that I could surprise him this time.

I remember with Joseph I always pretended to hate Valentine’s Day. He hated it. Thought it was too lovey dovey. Same with any public displays of affection, any indication that we were happy together. (we used to talk about how long we’d been together with disgust. We said it jokingly, but I don’t know if it was all truly a joke or not.) Our relationship was filled with the hatred of random things. I don’t really know why. I guess I didn’t care about it because it never felt right.

But now, with Andy, it feels wrong not to celebrate the amazing person I’ve found.

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-Jess

Making a Relationship Official

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To be honest I just wanted to share the awesome day that I had with him. He is legitimately the sweetest, most respectful, and most caring man I’ve ever been with.

Took him long enough to get here!

ah, well technically it’s on me. You see it took me six more years to be born, so there’s that. And then I waited almost 22 years to move to this city.

It’s just funny. In August when I came here on vacation, I felt such a pull from Austin. A pull I had never experienced from a place before. I didn’t even know he existed when I started planning the move. When we stared talking it was November. I was already living with my family, getting ready to say goodbye to Chicago. And even then I didn’t know how I’d feel about him. Ever since I came to visit I wanted to live here so badly. So badly that I couldn’t wait a year, I had to live here in 2015.

And now I feel like I know why.

I may be wrong.

But right now in this moment, I’m right.

He’s it for me right now.

Maybe even for longer.

I plan on enjoying every second of it regardless.

I’m going to post about the day we decided to make it official a little bit later.

I’m not a relationship genius by any means, but I will say that I’ve been in quite a few relationships with different dynamics. Take it from someone who was never single by choice between the ages of 15 and 20: it means so much more to fall for someone when you’re ready as opposed to when you’re trying to get over someone else.

I waited almost a year being happily single. It was important to me. I would’ve waited even longer had I thought that he wasn’t right for me. But he treats me the way I should be treated, he cares about me just as much as I care about him, and I feel like I’m ready now.

But I’m also not afraid to be single anymore, so I know that if this person doesn’t treat me right, I’m more than capable of ending it.

Here’s to hoping he continues to be as amazing as he is now.

-Jess

In a Relationship.

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That’s right.

We’re in a relationship.

He’s my boyfriend.

He’s my friend.

He’s my partner in crime.

He’s amazing. We’re amazing.

And you know what?

He makes me feel amazing for being me.

I feel no need to impress him or make him like me.

He already does… because I’m me.

When I want to make him laugh, I say things I would actually say, not what I think he wants to hear.

and you know what, he laughs!

When he smiles at me, I can see the genuine feelings we share.

When he kisses me on the forehead I feel like the only person in the world that matters.

But most importantly, when I think of seeing him, I don’t think about the physical stuff. It’s there, it’s great, and it’s part of the relationship… but I think of spending time with him.

Wondering what he’s going to say to make me laugh today.

Wondering what new song he’ll show me.

Wondering what else we’ll have in common.

I swear we can read each other’s minds sometimes. We are so in sync. 

It’s absolutely bizarrely surreal.

So this is what it’s supposed to feel like!

My past relationships weren’t even remotely like this.

This feels different.

This is different.

This is us.

This once single sassy blogger now comes with extra sassiness and a bit of love in her heart!

Friends… I’m ready for this!

-Jess

Toxic People

Will you please leave me be?

I cannot breathe with pressure on me

you want me to be like you but

I’m not Hollow.

Will you stay far away?

You only know how to make me feel low

It’s because you feel low that you want me to follow

But I’m not hollow.

I wish you’d know

how hard it is to step out from behind your shadow

Let’s face it, that’s where I’ve always been

Always letting you win

Truth is If you actually cared

you wouldn’t want me standing there.

You ever have a conversation with someone that you think cares about you, and you find yourself leaving the conversation wondering if you’ve been insulted?

That was almost every interaction I had with Joseph.

I always just assumed he was trying to push me to be better or just making jokes, but eventually after a long time away from him, I realized he was trying to bump me down to his level.

It was his low self esteem that hurt our relationship. He felt that I was better than him in one way or another, so he tried to make me feel inferior to him.

Granted, him insulting me and making me feel worthless actually did make me improve certain parts of my life, so I guess it wasn’t all for nothing, but just because someone does shitty things to you and you thrive despite all of it doesn’t mean you owe them anything.

“Remember when you were fat Jessica and I couldn’t even hug you? At least now we’re at equal levels of attractiveness.”

“You’re messy, you take too long to get ready, you’re irresponsible, but I still love you despite all of the things you can’t do that you should be able to do at this age.”

“Don’t worry, Jess. It’s not your fault that you don’t get straight A’s. You went to public school.”

Fuck that guy.

I think the worst part of it all is that I unknowingly enabled it, though. I let him get away with it every time. And at first I thought that I should be extremely grateful for his help when I had depression, but now I’m starting to think on some level he liked me being depressed. It automatically made him in charge. He told me to go to therapy. He told me to take meds. He told me when I was cut off at every party.

And the moment I started to better my situation and overcome depression he was gone. Off to another girl who he claimed wasn’t as talented as he is in Cinematography. (And the cycle continues with someone else).

Joseph and I have cleared mostly everything up, and while I don’t hate or resent him, I won’t ever forget the things I had to learn the hard way through him.

I wish him all the happiness in the world, because part of the reason we didn’t work is the fact that he isn’t happy with himself. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

How could I not see that I was being treated so unfairly? It makes me worried for my future relationships. I just don’t want to be duped again for a whole other reason that I unknowingly go along with.

-Jess

Afraid To Love Someone Again

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“What do you get when you fall in love?
A guy with a pin to burst your bubble
That’s what you get for all your trouble
I’ll never fall in love again
I’ll never fall in love again”

“Love hurts, love scars, love wounds, and mars, any heart
Not tough. Or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain”

If the greats are singing about it, then the fear of love must be real. I am not alone.

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If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know that 2014 has been the roughest year for me for multiple reasons.

I dealt with the worst bout of my depression yet and survived an attempted suicide. I endured months of pain and suffering caused by my own brain. My father is now in prison and there’s a good chance he won’t ever be a part of my life again.

Yet none of those things seemed to have scarred me quite like getting my heart broken.

That may sound immature to some, but the truth is I simply can’t deny my feelings. In the Psychiatric hospitals and group therapy sessions I spent time in I heard, “your feelings are valid” time and time again, and to be honest… I believe that.

Denying how you feel is like denying that you’re eating an apple when you’re clearly eating an apple.

Okay, so not the best analogy. The point is it makes no sense to do such a thing. 

You’re eating an apple. Stop denying it. Why would you deny it to begin with?

If I never had depression, I wouldn’t have this blog that has brought me so much joy. I feel like depression has made me so much stronger and has given me a sense of purpose. Now that I have the depression under control I feel empowered. My 8 cities trip wouldn’t have come about had I not realized I have complete control over my life. Depression is terrible and unfair and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but damn it… I’m proud of who I’ve become because of it.

My father has never really been there for me. He hurt our family for many years until finally leaving us when I was eight. You can read all about him here. Hearing that he’d be in prison for twelve and a half years was devastating, but nevertheless it was no great loss. At least now he has a valid reason to miss the big moments in my life. Now he can’t hurt me anymore, because his verdict was the ultimate and final letdown of all.

My attempted suicide was tough. I had to cope with the fact that I was still very much alive when I really didn’t want to be. But upon hearing that my liver hadn’t failed and my body hadn’t let me down, I was forever changed. It made me start to listen in group therapy, appreciate the people in my life, cherish every day that I had to live on this earth, and start trying to get better despite my depressive systems trying to stop me.

All of these traumatic moments of this year have pushed me and changed me and my situation for the better.

Except one.

All of the times that Joseph broke my heart.

You know, I recently had dinner with him as a way to say goodbye. We both wanted to see each other before my move, and the last time I ran into him I felt nothing, so I figured it would be okay.

And it was.

We had dinner at our favorite thai restaurant, walked around the city and smoked cigarillos, he bought me a candy bar and we laughed and joked around like old times. For a second I had my best friend back and it felt so nice. So familiar.

But I just didn’t love him anymore, and that felt amazing. 

See, the problem isn’t that I still love him. The problem is that I feel like I wasted two and a half years of my life on someone that never appreciated me. Someone that – even from the beginning – didn’t feel the way I felt about him.

I remember the night he told me he loved me. It was four months into the relationship. We were watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off because I had never seen it before. Cuddled up on the couch and laughing at the movie. During the scene in which Ferris sings “twist and shout” I remember seeing Joseph turn to look at me in my peripherals. I figured he was just laughing at how much I was enjoying the scene, but then he said the three words that changed our relationship in an instant.

“I love you.”

I turned to face him with the biggest smile on my face. “I love you too.”

It’s a moment I’ll never forget, but not because he told me he loved me. No… that wasn’t the biggest shock of the night.

After the movie we said our goodbyes. I floated to my room on cloud nine and swore that life would never be this perfect. But life isn’t that perfect. It never is.

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Two months before that he abruptly broke up with me, only to ask me if we could be together again two days later. I didn’t understand any of it, but because I used to be so dependent on relationships, I took him back. Little did I know I was going to find out soon enough.

I didn’t understand how I got so lucky. How I was able to call Joseph my boyfriend. We had a deep conversation about painful moments in our lives one night and he told me about how his ex girlfriend cheated on him. He said that it changed him and it was hard for him to trust. Hearing him say that was so disheartening. I just wanted to take away all of his pain and carry that load for him.

After replaying the “I love you” scene in my head a million times, I decided to browse Facebook. When I got on the page, I realized Joseph had used my computer and logged onto his profile.

I knew it wasn’t right to pry, but I truly, honestly wanted to see messages between him and his ex to better understand their relationship. He was right. She was pretty hurtful to him. It made me feel deeply sad for him. After reading it I felt like I knew him better. I felt like I knew how to be his girlfriend better. What he needed from me.

Then I thought it’d be fun to see what he had been saying about me to his friends.

I was absolutely and unequivocally wrong.

12/5, 12:31 pm

Lisa: how would Jessica feel about that statement?

12/5, 12:32am

Joseph: She Wouldn’t. Cuz we are not together.

12/5, 12:33am

Lisa: I thought u were..

werent u?

12/5, 12:34am

Joseph: yea we broke up today

12/5, 12:34am

Lisa: why??

12/5, 12:36am
Joseph: Because she wanted more out of the relationship than I did
its been almost 2 months
yet I still didn’t feel anything for her
I just began to see her as a friend
n so I didn’t want to lead her on.. so I decided to break up

12/5, 12:37am
Lisa: oh
I’m sorry

12/5, 12:38am
Joseph: It’s ok i guess. it weird cuz i’ve never actually broken up with someone
like being the breaker not the broken

12/5, 12:38am

Lisa: first for everything

12/5, 12:38am

Joseph: But at least its over now

12/5, 12:42am

Lisa: its a shame though
i liked her

for u

12/5, 12:43am

Joseph: she wasn’t the right person
i was never really happy

12/5, 12:43am

Lisa: why is that

12/5, 12:43am

Joseph: n she did one too many things that irritated me.
that nice warm feeling you get when you see someone you really like
yea that never happened
i care bout her
n like her
but as a friend
it’s not that she isn’t trust worthy, or honest, or caring
it’s just that there simply is something missing inside. we didn’t quite click.

What’s worse is the girl he was talking to about this was the girl that he had feelings for while we were together. I only found out because I read another message thread between him and another friend.

I remember how often he’d talk about her, and one day I just had to ask if he had feelings for her.

He looked me dead in the eye and denied it. 

Why do I still have this message thread after all this time you ask? To remind me that I’m not missing out on anything. To remind me that he wasn’t as perfect as my heart wanted to believe. To remind me that Joseph – at least 90% of the time – was a complete dick to me. 

Why did I stay with him even after reading this and confronting him about it you ask? Because I loved him. And frankly, that turned me into a fucking idiot. I always try so hard to see the good in people, that I become completely blind to their flaws. I was so convinced that that was in the past and that maybe I was annoying sometimes. I was so convinced that that’s what I deserved.

Now I know that that’s a lie.

But still… throughout our entire relationship I felt unsatisfied, unsure, and unappreciated. I did too many things to count and I went above and beyond for him no matter what. He never seemed to do that for me. You can read an example here.

I don’t want to go through that again. I want to love and be loved. I want someone who does things for me as I do for them. I don’t want some storybook perfect man. I just want to be treated the way I treat the person I’m with. I’m afraid that no matter who I date I will always be the one that loves the other person more. I never used to be afraid of opening up to someone.

He changed that about me.

I hate that he changed that about me.

Here I am, almost a year after our breakup, and I’m afraid to have true feelings for someone. I’m afraid to go above and beyond for any guy, because I don’t want to waste my time. I’m afraid of getting my heart broken again.

And there he is… six months into his relationship with a girl he claimed he only wanted to date casually. Just by him giving me a few details about their relationship I already know that she is being treated better than I was.

I’m not jealous anymore because I don’t want him anymore. Not after finally opening my eyes and realizing all of the harm that came out of that relationship. I just want to be able to move forward in my love life, and I can’t seem to get over all of the nasty things he did to me.

I just want to be in love someday. I don’t want to be blindsided anymore. I want to be treated right, and I’m afraid that there are just more Joseph’s lining up at my door as I type.

-Jess

Elaborating on my morning musings…I may be open to a Relationship someday.

A new version of my favorite song of all time. The police’s version is obviously the best. 

I said I’d do part two of the ecstasy story. I’ll make it quick because it’s pretty irrelevant.

-Threw up.

-Tripped out for the most intense part of my high.

-Made out with Sam all night.

-Danced the night away.

-Realized I might be ready for a real relationship someday.

I don’t feel a sense of urgency to find the person I’m going to date next. It just feels really good to know that I’m not this closed-minded bitter person anymore. Now I don’t feel the pain of my last relationship. Now I know what I deserve.

I plan on waiting for the person that knows how much I deserve as well. Someone dependable. Someone smart. Someone that challenges me but also celebrates me.

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There is no perfect person, no perfect man. But what if there’s someone out there that is perfect for me?

Is it possible?

My favorite show of all time is How I Met Your Mother. I’m obsessed with it. I’ve probably seen all 9 seasons over five times.

ad4481571television-program

Anyway, the last season really stuck with me. Ted and Tracy were so wonderful together. There’s an episode where you learn all about what the mother has been doing all this time, and there are so many beautiful similarities between them.

Last Forever: Part One

After my break up, I remember feeling like that could never happen. Feeling like it’s only a TV show and it couldn’t ever apply to my life.

But what if it could?

I don’t like to ask “what if?”

So naturally I’m never going to settle for less than the man that I know has to be out there somewhere. I just hope that something in me will click, and I’ll just know.

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One night when Joseph and I had been separated for about two months, I slept over at his place because we had just finished a wedding shoot and it was late. (excuses). We actually watched the How I Met Your Mother season finale, and I was in tears most of the episode. 

After the show had ended we went to his living room and sat on the couch together. I wrapped my arms around his torso and laid my head on his chest.

We sat there in silence as I looked up at him. He was staring off in space with the most calm expression on his face. Like he had made peace with everything around him. His lips parted and I waited in anticipation…

“I don’t know why or how, but I just know that we’re going to end up together someday. We’re meant for each other.”

Suddenly peace washed over me as well. I didn’t think about my depression or anxiety, I didn’t worry about my future plans or the rocky relationship that was before me. 

” I can’t picture myself with anyone else.”

He nodded and continued staring ahead.

We didn’t speak for the rest of the night and I fell asleep in his arms.

I didn’t necessarily think we were meant to be, I just had this weird, kind of sad feeling that we were stuck with each other. At one point I had convinced myself that we were meant for each other, and then in a blink of an eye everything changed.

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Now I realize that we were both kidding ourselves. Joseph is now with someone else and I’d like to believe that he’s happy and doing well.

I missed him by a week. That had to be fate. I now realize that going back to him was a mistake, but one I had to make in order to let him go. Never ask what if, right?

OK-yes-its-a-mistake.-I-know-its-a-mistake-but-there-are-certain-things-in-life-where-you-know-its-a-mistake-but-you-dont-really-know-its-a-mistake-because-the-only-way-to-really-know-its-a-

Him turning me down…That had to mean that we weren’t meant for each other.

It has to mean someone, somewhere is looking out for me.

I’m not religious (anymore), so I’m just going to call it the universe. [[Just like in How I Met Your Mother.]]

The Universe had to have been looking out for us when I decided to ask Joseph to be with me again. He found someone and a week later [not knowing he was dating someone else] I professed my feelings about our relationship to him.

A week.

It took him a week to change his mind about me and us and everything we had. I’m not saying this angrily. I’m saying it with astonishment. It HAD to have been the universe.

I’m guilty of believing in signs, fate, and destiny. I just am, okay? I’ll always be that person. But when it comes to love and relationships, I don’t know which way is up. I just have no idea what’s ahead of me. Who’s ahead of me.

How Your Mother Met Me

What if he’s in Austin? Or Dublin? Maybe Toronto? What if I already met him, but we just haven’t clicked that way yet? What if I’ve crossed paths with him already?

All of this is making my head hurt. So until then, I just plan on being my beautiful, sassy, single self, and letting love find me.

nHWWRjn

I can’t wait.

-Jess

p.s. If you’re a HIMYM fan and you’re wondering, the answer is YES I loved the ending. I knew that Ted and Robin were going to end up together. Ted and Tracy were perfect for each other, but Tracy passed away, and Ted and Robin have always loved each other. The timing just finally made sense.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

But just because it happened in Ted’s life doesn’t mean that’s how I want mine to work out! See ya, gonna watch HIMYM!

Halloween and wonderful dreams

As you all know from my dreams post, I tend to have very vivid dreams. Sometimes they feel great, other times they hurt more than I expected.

Last night I had a dream that Joseph and I were getting married. I don’t know how far away the wedding was at this point in my dream, but I really felt like something was wrong. Like marrying him wasn’t something I wanted anymore. Like I would be missing out on the person I’m meant to be with.

The day before the wedding I called it off.

I said, “Look, I think we both know this isn’t what we want anymore. I love you, but this isn’t right. There are two wonderful people out there that we may not have met yet waiting for us, and we just don’t make sense anymore.”

He agreed. He (oddly) shook my hand and thanked me for having the strength to call it off.

Then I walked out of our apartment and went to a bar.

And there was a beautiful stranger there. Someone I guess I must have seen before but I don’t recognize. And he walked up to me and said, “This feels right.”

And it did.

I guess my subconscious is catching up to me! Now hopefully I can enjoy my dreams like I used to.

It’s really nice to know that I’ve let go of Joseph in every way. He no longer resides in the front or back of my mind, in my dreams, or in my heart (except in that little ventricle that I keep locked up so that I’ll always remember how that relationship changed me.)

Still I’ll always remember the fun times. The good times.

We had a halloween party at Roxy’s freshman year and we all drank excessively. The party ended with one of our friends getting completely wasted and crying, and Joseph and I arguing over the inkling that I had about his feelings towards his ex, (Which were completely validated.) and us sharing a twin sized bed in another friend’s dorm while said friend stayed behind to take care of said wasted friend. We all woke up the next day and cleaned up the apartment. We were freshman, so being hungover still wasn’t a thing. I was a flapper girl for the party and I drunkenly kept pulling the strings off of my dress so they were everywhere. We opened the windows to let the cold breeze in. After a little while, the room smelled fresh and new. Autumn is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday. The cold wind nipping at my face felt familiar and liberating. It felt like the city was calling me. “Yes, this is where you belong.” I liked watching him watch me as we both tidied up the living room. We had music on shuffle and the song I’ve linked above this came on.

Suddenly in one swift motion he put the broom down, made his way towards me and pulled me in close. We started slowly dancing. as I laid my head on his shoulder I could smell his familiar scent. That scent that to this day stops me in my tracks when I randomly catch a whiff of it. The sounds of cars outside faded away. Everyone else in the room didn’t matter. His hand around my waist was all I could focus on.  In that moment I didn’t feel like he was using me. I didn’t feel like he cared more about the other girls. This moment was just for us.

That might be my favorite memory. There will never be a moment exactly like that one. I think I’ll keep it.

Being over someone doesn’t mean you’re angry at them or that you hope they never find happiness. It’s actually quite the opposite. Once you can look back and smile at the memories; Once you can be happy for them; Once the thought of them doesn’t hurt anymore, that’s when you know you’re free.

And free I am.

-Jess

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To: The One

I’ve been in love before.

He was everything to me.

But he wasn’t you.

And somehow, I knew.

When I wanted him again

he refused.

I missed him by a week.

a touch of fate for me.

My dad is gone.

and so is he.

but I know someday

you’ll be there for me.

The only man I need.

You’ll be kind.

You will care.

Won’t want to be anywhere

anywhere but in my arms.

Sometimes I falter.

I cry for another.

I seem to forget

I haven’t met you yet.

But you’re out there somewhere

getting yourself together

Just like I’m still here

surviving stormy weather

It will be a dream

to spend my life with you.

We’ll have the greatest love.

You’ll always follow through.

I will never let you go

I would call myself a fool

All the other loves

will seem so miniscule.

They say there are no soulmates

no one and only one.

but I will never stop believing

and you’ll never be outdone

The bookmarks we may encounter

we’ll leave on scattered pages

because we’ll both somehow know

they’re only temporary gages.

I won’t ask you to hurry

Because I’m still not ready

And rushing in a flurry

Has never left me steady

Perhaps when I first meet you

I won’t know it from the start

But someday it will click

that you were meant to have my heart.

Take all the time you need

Things will happen when they do

And until then, my soul’s duet

I’ll be seeing you.

________________________

No matter how many times people tell me that there is no such thing as a soulmate, I will always be the hopeless romantic that I am. There’s a reason why my past relationships didn’t work. And for me, it always came down to not wholeheartedly feeling like they were the one. I’m going to meet the guy for me someday, and when I get to know him, I’ll finally thank all the other people that hurt me. They made way for the amazing person that I’m meant to be with, and vice versa.

To my past loves, it was a pleasure knowing you for a little while.

To my future loves, I’m sorry if things don’t work out.

To my soul mate. I’ll be seeing you.

-Jess

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Dating

As of March 1st, 2014 at about 2am, I am a single woman. (I remember times and dates like no one else).

Two and a half years of my life were spent with the same person and then suddenly it was gone and I had to figure out a way to be myself again.

This post isn’t about him. Or the other young men I’ve been in relationships with. This is about my confusion with dating.

But of course, a little backstory doesn’t hurt.

I started dating when I was in the seventh grade. I had always been pretty boy crazy. I liked the idea of being in love with someone. Of course a seventh grader doesn’t really know how to love someone, and my first serious boyfriend didn’t come till I was fifteen. I wouldn’t actually be single again for five years.

I’ve had three big defining relationships in my life. The first when I was fifteen. The second when I was seventeen. The Third when I was eighteen going on nineteen.

The first was passionate, but short-lived. We lasted 8 months. But those eight months were a roller coaster ride of infatuation, desire, and drama.

The second was one-sided. I loved him and he used me. We lasted a little under two years. We lived together when I was eighteen and I worked full time and paid for everything. He promised we’d go to college together, and when the time came, he backed out. So I stopped being a doormat and got the hell out of there.

The third is the most difficult and bittersweet, perhaps because it’s the most recent one, or maybe because we filled our heads with ideas of marriage, family, and future endeavors together. We met freshman year of college and within two months we were an item. Now, here I am about to begin my senior year and I’ve never wanted to be single more.

I may elaborate on past relationships at a later time.

“I would rather be alone than pretend I feel alright.” -Ready to start by Arcade Fire

I feel like that’s me right now. I’m still not completely alright. It still hurts some days. But I know in my heart that I’m done. I’m “ready to start”. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life. Being single and finding happiness within myself. I haven’t been single for more than five months since I was fifteen. It’s about time I get real. I need to be happy with myself before I’m happy with anyone else.

But dating…

Dating sounds fun. Having someone to casually see here and there. Someone that you don’t need but want around every once in a while. I just don’t really know where the line is. I don’t know how to date. Like I said… being single is very new to me.

Someone suggested Okcupid. I was on it all but one month and then asked myself “What am I doing?”

I’m not an online dater. That’s just not me. I like the idea of meeting a cute stranger on the train, or on a walk, or at a bar. That’s just who I am.

Okcupid, Stop trying to make dating happen. It’s not going to happen.

At least not your way.

After my break up I rushed into dating quickly to lick my wounds. Didn’t work. The first guy I dated, Ben, was a pretty great distraction. He was punny (puns always get to me), handsome, and didn’t mind paying for things. He liked that most of the time I had the decency to pay for myself, though. I don’t believe in the woman just not paying ever. We spent most days talking, laughing, watching movies, and moving way too quickly. I met his friends, went out with them on weekends, we told each other that there were feelings there. At one point he even asked that I don’t see anyone else. After about a month things fizzled out because neither of us were ready for anything more, and it seemed to be headed in that direction. Plus, I was nowhere near over my ex.

The most important thing about Ben, though, is that he’s a grad student at a psych school, so he was there to help me on some nights that I couldn’t handle my depression. He’s the one that pushed me to go to therapy and see a psychiatrist about medication. I’ll always be grateful to him for that. We are still friends, and speak every once in a while, but if things kept going the way they were, we might have gotten into a relationship and ended badly.

No thank you.

After Ben I tried just hooking up with people. I thought to myself, “Is that what single people do?” But I still wasn’t ready. And I still don’t think I am. It’s just not me. I always feel the need to genuinely care about someone I’m seeing in any form of the word. So I gave up on that as well. It has now been about two months since then, and I think now, if anything, I’m ready to try casual dating again. I’m not going to push for it, I’m just going to let it happen.

Sometimes being alone makes me feel lonely. But I find solace in the fact that I’m choosing to be single. I’m not a desperate teenager latching onto the first guy that shows interest in me. Overlooking all the flaws between us and in the relationship just to try to keep it afloat. I’m going to be picky now. I’m not settling in any way.

One of the last things my ex said to me was this:

“You’re just not the one. You’re an amazing woman, but not for me. I just know there is someone out there for you, and I hope you don’t close your heart and pass him up because of me. Open up your heart.”

Nice words, but they burned. I remember for a long time I just kept saying it in my head.

Not the one.

Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one. Not the one.

It was only when I decided he also wasn’t the one for me that I was free. I am choosing to close that door. I’m choosing to accept someone else’s presence in my life. Maybe not a one night stand, or a friend with benefits. Definitely not a boyfriend. But someone in between. Someone who I enjoy spending time with. Someone who cares and actually likes me, but knows where we stand.

There may actually be someone that fits that description in my life right now. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sometimes I wish I could be Khaleesi. Being a cat sounds a lot easier than being a twenty-one year old single chick.

-Jess

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This moment is perfect

Some days are more difficult than others. I think we’ve all learned that.

It’s a little bit trickier with depression, mostly because it’s more difficult to be anything but depressed on the sad days.

Today is not great for me.

But last night reminded me that I still know how to have fun. I still know how to distract myself.

Last night my friends and I had a chill get together. We drank rum, talked, listened to music, played a few games. As the night went on, I was finding myself being sad all over again. Sad over the same things that I swore didn’t hurt anymore. That’s depression for you.

It got worse with every hour. Luckily, my best friend from home was visiting and he’s also dealing with similar things.

By 1 am I was trashing my room and cursing everything.

And of course, crying like a child.

After a little talk and a long hug, we went back out to the living room and my friend Woody asked what I wanted to do at that very moment.

And I so prudently stated “I want to smash bottles outside.”

_________________________________

_________________________________

10 minutes later we were out on the street with a bag full of empties. We smashed them on the floor, against brick walls, and then in a deliberate manner, I smashed a bottle right in the middle of Ashland street.

I’ve never really been a rebel in the sense of breaking the law, but last night I just wanted to distract myself. I wanted to stop hurting. And I wanted to have a good time with my friends who were more than willing to participate in our little misdemeanor adventure.

We broke into a construction site and ran around. After Woody and Ray hopped a fence to get out, I almost hopped the fence, but then fell instead. Classic Jess.

Then we did the one thing I said I’d never do. Not because it’s against the law, but because it’s freakin’ creepy.

We broke into a cemetery.

I never thought I’d say this but… It was awesome.

We played this game where “the Russians” were attacking us from the north end of the perimeter and we used the gravestones as bases and even did a few cool running summersault things like they do in spy movies. We called each other Lieutenants and addressed each other by last name. We made different plans of action. and ran southeast to the whole other end of the cemetery.

The only real world thought in my mind was that if everything in my past hadn’t happened exaclty how it did, I’d never have this very moment. This perfect and “infinite” moment in time.

And for the first time in my life, I was genuinely grateful for who I am and what I’ve been through.

So yes, it’s true that at times I feel like I’m on top of the world, and then an hour later I’m the scum of the earth. But this has taught me that even when I’m having a low day, I’m strong. I’m incredibly strong. And you are too. If you’re living right now, you’re strong. I know from experience that if a person with chronic depression is still alive at the end of the day, then they worked their ass off to make sure of that. Whoever you are, I just want to tell you that I am proud of you.

We hopped the fence and walked the block and a half back home. I did cartwheels at all the green lights and roundhouses in each patch of grass. And then when I got home I got in the shower and almost instantly started crying and broke down again.

That is just how it works sometimes.

But it’s okay. I truly believe that I’ve accepted the fact that sometimes my life is going to be like that.

I will never forget last night.

-Jess

Jealousy

Jealousy is a nasty thing.

It can burn you to your core.

It can cause you to wish for terrible things to happen.

It can make you want to punch someone in the face.

It can also make you want to be better.

A better you.

Someone worthy of someone else’s jealousy.

Sometimes the jealousy isn’t even valid.

The person you think has it all… may not.

The person that you wish you could be… might wish they were someone else.

Don’t get caught up in jealousy.

The other person is probably not even worth it.

In my case, I know this to be true.

And I know that I have many likable traits.

Traits that this person could never have

because they aren’t me.

So to that person, I say… You no longer have a hold on me.

I refuse to be hurt by you anymore.

You aren’t worth my time, thoughts, or pain.

Today marks the day of me being my real, genuine, self.

Jessica. The Jessmiester.

I don’t need to be you, or have what you have, or like what you like, or laugh the way you laugh.

Besides, I love my laugh. It’s mine. And someday, someone else will think it’s so endearing that he’ll wonder why I ever wanted to be like someone else. I’m me. and that’s enough.

Maybe not for you. But that really doesn’t matter anymore, honey.

I’m taking my power back.

You don’t get to have it anymore.

And boy does that feel good.

In the words of my best friend, “Bye, bish.”

-Jess

Photo on 6-27-14 at 12.57 AM