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15

Feb

Love is patient, even on Valentine’s Day.

“Hey, your face doesn’t look weird when your hair is wet.”

I look up from the stream of water, wiping my face, “Thanks… I guess?”
“That means you have a really pretty face.”

It’s the first compliment I remember; the first REAL compliment. 

____________________

Last night was Valentine’s Day and work held him up until later than I was pleased with. I started cooking our dinner alone. A wave of annoyance and irritation ran through me which brought me to irrationally decide how mad I was going to be when he finally arrived.

I used to get more upset about things than I do now. In my past relationship, arguments were pervasive. Problems turned into cold shoulders turned into fights. This time around I have a new sense of respect for being patient and selfless and I catch myself when I get into that old habit. Our beginning was hard and before most people would’ve gone on their third date we had to decide if this was a relationship worth the effort it was going to take before we even had a chance to try. That process was slow and thoughtful and heavy but I learned more about the strength of patience than I ever have.

I remembered that last night. I knew he didn’t want to be at work late any more than I did. His excitement about the gift he had made me and the recipe he picked out for us to make was something he was looking forward to just as much as I was. When he walked through the door his eyes proved it. I wasn’t upset; I was so excited to see him. Instead of annoyance, a ten-minute hug. Instead of irritation, an “I’m sorry your day was hard. How can we make it better?” Appropriately, his Valentine’s card reads “You’ve taught me to really try at love and be selfless. Any time we’ve had issues, we’re able to calm the other down and work through it.”
_
___________________

The second time around you are more realistic when it comes to love. You look at the relationship as a whole where every moment and action and reaction matter. You realize it takes effort; constant effort. Moments matter. Shared gratitude for one another matters. Touch matters. Talking in person matters. The only thing you shouldn’t give a damn about is time, because if you do it right you’ll have lots of it and in order to do it right you have to sustain these moments. He asked me once if I think there will be a time where he won’t get butterflies when he sees me for the first time that day. Tears may not swell in my eyes the way they did at the first “I love you” but I promised this kind of love will never be taken for granted.
____________________

Last night, after we made our dinner, we curled up in bed and watched old episodes of Seinfeld. In one, George had just started wearing a headpiece when Kramer set him up on a date with a bald woman.

He turns to me and jokes, “You’d be pretty even if you were bald.”  
I insert a hot dad joke about his who has a shaved head. I win.
____________________

This morning in to the bathroom I’ve got my wet hair wrapped up in a towel. 

“See, this is what I would look like if I were bald” I say.
“Yeah and you’d still look good, because you have a really pretty face.”

via prfd

28

Apr

Surviving a Break-up

two weeks? three days? a month? when was the last time you thought of him, you wonder. something has brought him into your thoughtstream and instantly you realize that you feel nothing; numb to the person who so effortlessly dropped you from his life after four and a half years, who made you cry for 3 months straight, the person you had almost written vows for. how can it be that your heart doesn’t suddenly start pounding out of your rib cage  you aren’t cringing to hold back tears, your breathing is slow and controlled. 

there were days you thought this moment wasn’t physically possible. you had unsuccessfully tried to rid yourself of that feeling for months. you sobbed over photos, over old letters, over cold sheets. you wrote yourself lists upon lists of why you couldn’t be together and why you should forget him. you learned how to cry silently at work so no one could hear you when the swelling in your chest from an 2-day unanswered text message was unbearable. you tried to convince yourself that you were better than the dramatic overreactions you were having, but it just made it worse because you couldn’t stop. you became your own worst enemy. 

similarly, your friends become therapists. they tell you you’re pretty, they tell you you’re smart, they tell you how you deserve better. you found yourself laughing inside at how cliche these moments were. were you really the girl that everyone felt bad for? you wondered if your behavior was only following the motions of what we’ve learned of break-ups through cinema or if all those sappy rom-com’s actually reflect our bizarre behaviors. as they nodded in agreement over the reasons why you couldn’t and shouldn’t get back together, all you think about is how you will, you have to. in order to cope with the situation, you revert to Disney princess fantasies of happily-ever-afters and tell yourself he’ll come back to sweep you off your feet. deep down you know it’s a lie, and as much as you didn’t believe them at the time, reassurance and support from your friends meant everything.

somewhere between the constant word vomit of breakup woes, the ‘there are more fish in the sea’ encouragements from friends, and subsequent internalization of the whole thing, your body silently gives up. you’re heart takes a nap, your muscles relax, and your fingers paint ‘fuck you’ over the deep breath you were holding in. you realize that although you may be at your lowest low, the world doesn’t stop for you. on the days you feel like you can’t muster up the energy to get yourself out of bed, you do, because you have to. it’s a blessing in that you realize life moves on, and slowly you do, too. you become okay with not knowing the details of his life. you realize you’ve lost the privilege of being the first person he tells things to. when a text goes unanswered, you hardly notice.

it’s when you get a phone call from the hospital that throws you for a loop. a bike accident, broken bones, and a boy on lots of medications telling you he wished you could be there makes you feel uneasy. you remind yourself that he is not in the right state if mind. it scares you to realize that you aren’t the person who is first in line to visit him at the hospital. when would you have been notified if it had ended up worse? you want to calm him down and remind him that you love him. can you say that? do you? it’s a different kind of love this time. i love you, not as my soul mate. i love you, not the way i love chocolate. i love you, not the way i love my mother. in greek there are four distinct words for love - agápe, unconditional; éros, passionate; philía, friendship; and storgē, affectionate - and yet I can’t find a word to properly convey this feeling. weeks later when you run into him on the bus you’re taken aback when, instead of your nickname, he addresses to you like everyone else… “hey allie”. ask how he is doing, get a few tid-bits and updates. you ask about work, about family, and even about her. you really just want to make sure he is doing alright. 

losing someone for whom you cared so deeply for is just as destabilizing, humiliating and cliche as they tell you. what’s even more cliche is that failed relationships offer an unmatched learning experience. there is something to be said about coming out on the other side, that moment you realize your scars have healed. be grateful for the things you were able to learn about yourself. you’re almost relieved to know that you can feel and hurt in a way you didn’t know was possible. relieved to know that you can overcome, forgive, and move on. realize your resilience, realize your strength, and realize that you are now a better person.

surviving a break-up doesn’t mean you hit the delete button on all of your memories and moments. there will always be sounds, smells, days, and places that make you think of him. acknowledge that what is no longer right for you once was exactly what you needed. appreciate the intangible memories, the way you learned what love was supposed to feel like, what trust and honesty sounded like.

stumble across an old email where he reminded you that you’d always be his greatest friend. close the computer and walk away into the kitchen. when you turn the faucet on to do the dishes, tears flood your eyes, roll down your cheeks into the sink and down the drain. life is made up entirely of loving and losing isn’t it? turn off the water, wipe your eyes and walk away. it won’t be easy if it happens again, but at least I’ll know I have it in me to survive. 

28

Jun

Life Advice From Someone Probably Too Young To Give It

1. Do not cut your own bangs. Ever ever ever. Do not get drunk and think it’s a good idea to just “give them a trim”. Do not “even them out” by yourself. Do not let the random hair school attendee living in your college apartment “shape them” for you. Pay the $5 and go in to an actual salon. Better yet, don’t get bangs in the first place. They will get sweaty and cause you to annoyingly twitch them out of your eyes. (This is absolutely not from first hand experience.)

2. Tell people you love them. On a daily basis. Be awkward, be shy, be scared to tell someone the first time, be overly enthusiastic the next time, and the time after that. Just fucking do it. Trust me and Nike on this one.

3. Crying at work is not the end of the world. If the nice, elderly mail woman at work happens to inquire as to why the lovely boy who used to send you postcards all the time no longer sends you them, it is perfectly acceptable to burst into tears and go nurse your gland secretions on a semi-private couch in the corner for the next hour. We’re all human, we’ve all had breakdowns, and no one is going to take you less seriously. 

4. Write a lot of letters. It’s good for your soul and it’s good for the soul of others. 

5. Figure out what you need in your life to keep yourself balanced. I need time to read, seven hours of sleep a night, and at least two good runs a week to feel like the best possible version of Megan. However, if you can’t get to everything you want to do, it’s okay to settle for 2-for-1 whiskey gingers instead. It’s fine. I do it all the time. 

6. Call your parents. Remember they’re your parents, but learn how to be friends with them. Your mom has better life advice than you used to give her credit for, and your dad will never stop offering up unconditional love and promises that you’ll always be his little girl. No one will celebrate your victories harder with you, and no one will offer such a non-judgmental ear to cry and vent to.  (See also: Things Worth Knowing #2)

7. Put down your fucking phone, turn off your fucking computer and go exist in the real world. Get your head out of your phone on the bus and people watch. Play with the little boy next to you. Go for lots of walks. Give people your undivided attention. 

8. Be stubborn, but don’t be too stubborn. Stand up for what you believe is right, but don’t get too caught up in being right. Learn how to say you’re sorry and mean it. 

9. Save money for stuff you care about. The money you’ll accumulate from buying one less shitty-Forever-21-tunic-that-you’ll-never-wear-again a week can add up to a trip to somewhere wonderful pretty quickly. 

10. Try your very best to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be as big as taking a chance on another human and trusting that they won’t betray you, and it can be as small as riding your bike down the street that’s just a litttttle too busy for your liking. 

This is a sappier entry than I had planned for my first Ladies Who Brunch contribution, but bear with me. I’m blaming it on a rainy, dark night, white wine, and Bon Iver.

16

Jun

i guess the mention of chipotle and my eloquent usage of the word “fuck” in an email tipped google adwords off that i might need a hand in the love department. bold move, google. but touché. 

i guess the mention of chipotle and my eloquent usage of the word “fuck” in an email tipped google adwords off that i might need a hand in the love department. bold move, google. but touché.