Cheers to New Beginnings

2017 is officially over. It was a weird year, there were so many parts that were great. I traveled a ton. I was on a plane almost every month of the year. I graduated college, I drove a rental car in five-lane traffic in Dallas, became a certified barista, tried oysters for the first time, went on a magical date in Chicago, went to Disney World TWICE in a year, went to multiple weddings, drank a shit ton of cider, but 2017 wasn’t all smiles. My Aunt June passed away, my cat Romeo was put down, I didn’t move to Buffalo, I was broken up with. 2017 wasn’t my year. Let’s be honest 2018 probably won’t be my year either. And that’s okay. 2017 taught me a lot. In 2017 I tried to plan everything, to every last detail, I let my anxiety get the best of me. It was the downfall of my relationship. You can’t plan everything. I took everything too seriously, what people thought of me, what my job meant, what my life was supposed to look like, what I was supposed to have accomplished by now. In 2018 I just want to live. I want to be happy. I want to laugh, travel, be with my family. I gave 2017 to Patrick, and I shouldn’t have. I put all my hopes and dreams into Patrick and I shouldn’t have. 2018 may not be my year, but it will be a year dedicated to me.

What am I most looking forward to? 
– New Beginnings. I want the real world. I want to have my own place. I want to go new places, read lots of books, drink way too much coffee, and try new things.
Three Goals For This Month:
-Save Money
-Stay Organized
– Run every day but Saturday and Sunday

p.s.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t do a best of nine on Instagram, nine out of six had Patrick in them. Told ya I gave him 2017.

So just remember, you should never put the key to your happiness in somebody else’s pocket. So here’s to 2018 being about me.

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Dating Again; the Struggle of First Dates

Here’s a few stories of what it is like to date in 2017. It’s basically like getting hit in the face with a frying pan and a lot of small talk.

Let me fill you in on what it is like to be single in 2017.

I forgot how awful dating is at the beginning. I forgot how much I despise small talk. I forgot how much it sucks to use Tinder. I also live in a world where everyone my age is in a relationship or married. I wish I was exaggerating – the whole director team at CFA is basically married other than two bachelors, and me. It’s most unfortunate because I am constantly in groups of odd numbers because I don’t bring dates to anything. I am constantly being reminded that I am single. Also, married people are bored apparently and are super invested in my dating life. One even asked if they could swipe for me on Tinder. In the last two months, I have gone on multiple first dates.

So let’s start with sweater guy: I’m sure you all remember I was in culinary school the last year. I had a baking class at night from 5:30-10:30pm. I would go to class in the morning from 7:30-10:30 am, work from 12-4 and then I’d speed on back to class. On more than one occasion I was typically running late. A couple weeks ago I was really running late, I pulled into the parking lot at school and the place was deserted. I have the world’s smallest bladder, I had chugged a peppermint milkshake on the way to school and I was in pain. So I ignored my awareness of the parking lot being empty and ran into the school. The smell hit me immediately, it was a strong chemical smell. After I peed, I was headed back to my car to get my knife kit, when I was met at the door to the school by our Executive Director, Dr. Mack. He looked surprised I was coming out of the school. He then asked me if I had checked my email that day. Long story short, I hadn’t. There had been unsafe fumes in our school and all classes had been canceled. As I walked back out to my car (a little lightheaded at this point), I noticed cars pulling in. Culinary students are not known for being on time or known for checking their emails. The great thing about my school is that there is a bar attached to our school. Bike Rack Brewery- since we all showed up to school and nobody wanted to drive back to Fay, we went to get a beer at the bar. And by a beer, I mean four. I didn’t have dinner, so my tolerance wasn’t what it normally is. It also was my one year anniversary of when I met Patrick. Except, unfortunately, we weren’t together, so my emotions were all over the place. I’m headed to the bathroom because I’ve had four beers when I see the cutest hipster guy with a dog. Four beers in makes my confidence go through the roof, and I’m dying to pet this dog. I walk up to this guy and ask if I can pet his puppy. We start flirting, talking about his job, and then I remember I have to pee. I cut our conversation short to go to the bathroom. When I return he isn’t inside anymore, he’s out on the patio. Now as I’m sure you remember from earlier, people in relationships want single people to be in a relationship. I am basically pulled outside by my friends to go flirt. When I get out there he’s in a group of guys. I walk up to the group, but before I can even start talking to dog guy, sweater guy steps in. My friends and I actually refer to him as straight bill. He has Bill’s haircut, his build, and he is wearing a fucking cardigan. So we start talking and before I know it, the dog guy is gone, and I’m leaned up against straight Bill’s car kissing him goodnight. Drunk Stacie can be very impressive. I remember asking if he was straight, and telling him he reminded me of my gay best friend. I also got his number, the bartender’s number, and managed to drink someone’s beer all before the night was over. Sadly, that’s not where this story ends. He texted me the next day to inform me I was a good kisser, and to invite me to brunch the following weekend. Sober Stacie honestly couldn’t remember if he was cute or not. So she said yes to the date more out of why the hell not.

So, I meet him at his place. The moment I see him, I have this gut feeling we’re not going to work out. The whole time we’re together I felt like I was on a date with Bill. I will say it was nice to be with someone who also loves Star Wars, Disney movies, and doesn’t have a favorite comedy. But I wasn’t attracted to him. I will say if you’re looking for somewhere to go for brunch- Nomad’s in Fayetteville was great. They have 50cent refills on mimosas AND multiple types of mimosas. Also, if you’re a guy who is taking a girl on a first date, if you invite her back to your place to watch the Matrix don’t attack her with your kisses. The Matrix is a movie you have to pay attention in.

Let’s call the next guy FuckBoy: also known as my kryptonite. (Man, I’m such a nerd) Okay, so before I even met Patrick, I had a crush on this dude. It’s hard not to. He’s the most attractive guy I’ve ever seen, he’s smart, sassy, funny, stylish, taller than me, and doesn’t give off the gay vibe at all. But he also knows all of this about him. He knows he’s hot stuff. I waited a full year for him to notice me, it didn’t work. But for some reason, the night Patrick dumped me… he was one of the first people to text me. He reads me better than anyone I know in Arkansas. It’s annoying. So I’m finally single, he thinks I’m moving somewhere in December. And so we decide to go to a concert at a casino an hour away. Both of my best friends said this was a bad idea. But like I said before, kryptonite. So we go. He makes me drive. He makes fun of my music, my driving, my ex boyfriend’s, my sex life, everything. But somehow we’re both laughing and the night is off to a great start. Of course once we get there we both start drinking. The night was like a little escape from reality. No one knew who I was, no one knew who he was. They didn’t know our story. So we held hands, we shared donuts, we sang Corey Smith loud while we white girl danced at the concert, and we laughed a lot. But all good things come to an end. You have to leave the casino at some point. You also have to be honest and tell him you’re not moving. Which makes fuckboy lose interest in you.

Lastly, there’s the tinder experience. A couple weeks ago my best friend Gina texted me to inform me Patrick was back on tinder. Unfortunately, she texted me while I was a little intoxicated. I’m still surprised this little bit of information would have such an effect on me. But drunk Stacie ended up downloading tinder.

Still a self-esteem booster, still full of lame Stacie’s mom jokes, but my profile says “what’s your favorite bread? Go.” It’s a really good conversation starter. It also means they actually read your profile.

So I’m 56 matches in when lets call him MetroGuy messages me. It started out innocent, discussing bread, and where we traveled. He asked for my number, and then suddenly we were making plans to go watch Star Wars together with my best friends. We met up by ourselves first for a late lunch at Taco’s For Life ( shameless plugin- SO GOOD, get a burrito bowl). Everything was fine, minus HE DYED his fucking hair. Have you ever met a straight guy that has dyed his hair? I haven’t. Fuckboy says I’m a magnet for the gays. He even insinuated that Patrick was gay. And as much as Í’d love to say that he didn’t fall out of love with me, he actually liked penis, I don’t believe that is true. I just don’t think I was what Patrick was looking for. He deserves the world. ANYWAYS. So we meet up with Kat and Trey at the movies. We get beer, we get all cuddled into our recliner seats. He doesn’t put the arm rest up, he doesn’t try to hold my hand, there is nothing happening.

I will say the movie wasn’t my favorite. If someone would like to discuss episode eight with me, that would be much appreciated. I have a lot of mixed feelings.

So, the date is going alright. He laughs at my jokes, he’s bantering with Trey. So we decide to go to dinner at Smitty’s Garage. Best sweet potato fries. It’s still going well so we all decide to go to the Stewart Family Christmas Lights. So pretty 😍 but still he doesn’t try to hold my hand or anything. And it was cold out. Our date goes semi well in my opinion. And then he never texts me again. (He probably knew I knew he didn’t play for my team.)

I’m sure you’re all wondering where Ciderboy went. He went 2 1/2 weeks without texting me while he was on tour and acted like it was normal. After pat basically ignored me our last two weeks of our relationship I don’t like when people don’t respond. I read too much into it.

So that’s my messy romantic life. I still haven’t met anyone that made me swoon the way Patrick did. And that sucks. I also miss buffalo. I was so excited for snow, Ashkers, sponge candy, and starting my next chapter with him. I hate that my life is feeling so undecided. And I hate that I miss him. I want to hate him. But I can’t.

Forever looking for my own Marshall. Preferably taller than me, likes beer, likes Star Wars, likes sleeping in, and smells good. I’m not asking for much.

Lonely in Texas; Revelations of Traveling Alone

Patrick and I had plans to go together to Dallas, Texas for a long weekend. Two of my best friends were getting married. I had already booked our hotels, my flight, and a rental car before he dumped me so abruptly. So, the night he broke up with me I stared at my travel plans, I called Orbitz and tried to cancel all my plans, tried to get my money back, and nothing worked. I thought about wasting all that money and not going. I thought about sitting on my ass feeling sorry for myself. But instead, I grew a pair and hopped on a plane to Houston, Texas. I got a super cheap flight to Dallas with the weirdest route. I had a little layover in Houston, but it was my first time in the Houston airport, so I didn’t mind. I walked through all the different terminals, I got some Auntie Anne pretzels, and took a picture of a Bush statue. Finally, I was back on a plane headed to Dallas. That is when the anxiety set in.
I was alone in a massive city. Nobody was coming to pick me up from the airport, nobody was meeting me at the hotel, Patrick wasn’t going to drive the rental car, he wasn’t going to take me on a date in downtown Dallas, he wasn’t going to be there. Have you ever planned something perfectly and then it all falls apart? That’s my fucking life. I had planned a great trip from the food, to the attractions, to what time we were going to wake up. Not only that I had planned Patrick and I’s life. I hate to admit this, but I had our wedding dreamed, our bedroom dreamed, our Sunday traditions, I had everything planned. I thought I had found the one I had longed for. But I hadn’t. So, I hop off this plane, and I realize this airport is nothing like XNA and the Rental Car Counter is not by baggage claim, I had to get on a bus to go to the rental car building. I waited in line for thirty minutes to find out that the small print is important to read and that since I am 24 it is going to be an extra $20 a day for me to rent a car, and I’m not allowed to use my debit card I must use my credit card. I was not happy, to say the least. But there was nothing I could do. I needed that car. After an hour after being off my plane I was finally headed to Plano to my hotel. For some reason, I didn’t check the time and I ended up on the highway during rush hour. But I survived. I made it to my hotel, I checked in smoothly, and then I went up to my room to shower. I’m going to be real with you, I cried in the shower. The day had sucked, I had spent too much money, I missed Patrick, and I didn’t want to be in Texas alone. I sat there on my massive king size bed and realized I needed to embrace my time in Dallas. I got dressed, I put mascara on and I headed out to get a burger. I love In-N-Out. I’ve never really been one to dine alone. If I do go eat somewhere by myself its Chick-fil-A or Panera. I went into In-N-Out, took a booth by a window and enjoyed my Double Double. People will stare at you if you’re by yourself. It’s as if I can’t enjoy my own company. After dinner, I went shopping. I took myself to a mall near my hotel, and I just enjoyed walking around. I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything. I packed everything for my long weekend in a BACKPACK. I was so impressed with myself. I didn’t have to pay for luggage for once, and I paid for the cheapest airline ticket- basic economy so I was only allowed one item that would fit under the seat in front of me.

The next morning, I slept through my alarm, but I still ended up having a successful day. I gave myself a day to be basic. I took my little rental car to Waco, Texas. It was an hour and a half drive by myself. I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world could be in Waco… just the Disney World for Adults – Magnolia Market. And if you haven’t watched HGTV’s Fixer Upper, can you really say you’re adulting? I love Chip. I want my own Chip. So, if you’re reading this, you’re single, goofy, and like to drink beer. Hit me up. Jk.

So, I drive in the rain to Waco, and the moment I pull up to the Silos – sunshine appears. Literally magic (just like WDW). My first accomplishment of the day was parallel parking. You walk up and the first thing you see is a bakery. After my last semester of culinary school, I was in Heaven ordering food. I waited in the sunlight outside on the sidewalk with hundreds of women. I was alone, I played on my phone and told myself it was normal to travel alone. I finally got inside, I had the most amazing pumpkin muffin and a breakfast sandwich. I walked through the store, through the seed and garden area, and I, of course, admired the silos. I bought a cute t-shirt, some magnets, a postcard. And then some girl asked me if I knew how to get to the whiskey distillery. It was like a traveling god spoke into my ear, I was suddenly on a trolley headed to a distillery in downtown Waco. Balcones Distillery. It was tiny, but had the best servers, they knew their product, made eye contact, smiled, even brought me pretzels and a free sample. I felt no judgment for drinking alone. I even made a friend with the cutest middle-aged couple from College Station. We took shots together, reminisced on her sorority days, she gave me advice on how to really get into the hospitality business. And then she asked the worst question you could ask a drunk girl alone, “So why didn’t your boyfriend come to Texas with you?”, I lost my breath for a second. I lied and said he had to work. I said, he was a workaholic, couldn’t get away from the hospital, but I found it admiring. I told the sappy story of how we met on vacation, and how we hit it off instantly. I told them how annoying it is that he was constantly optimistic and that he loves blue cheese. But you know what didn’t come out of my mouth? I didn’t say, oh he isn’t in Texas with me because he dumped me 18 days before the trip, over text, at 4 am, after I had worked a 15-hour day. I didn’t say he didn’t come to Texas with me because, he just fell out of love after ten months of no fighting, awesome traveling, and too many hours of phone conversations. I lied, put on my happy face, and said I’d see him in two months when we finally got to move in together. I slid off my barstool, and walked out, wishing everything I had just said was still true.

That night I met up with one of my oldest friends. Kayla and I had worked together at Chick-fil-A and did the Disney College Program at the same time. I was lucky enough to get to meet up with her and have dinner at Ten-50-BBQ. I had a BBQ stuffed baked potato, mac and cheese, and a bud light. It calmed my nerves. I talked about Trivia guy, and making out in the cidery. I put on my tough face and acted like Patrick wasn’t on my mind. It wasn’t the easiest thing I have done, but I did it. We talked about Chick-fil-A, Disney, being single, and what the next fucking step would be since Patrick through my life into a spiral of no plans. I then went back to my hotel and slept. A lot. I woke up way later than I meant to. I checked out of my hotel, took myself to brunch at Uncle Julio’s, and then I went on my last adventure. The drive to Athens, Texas for the wedding of the year.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned I am awful at directions, I can be an aggressive driver when needed, and I hate sleeping in a bed alone. After being lost in Athens, Texas for thirty minutes and then realizing I had driven past my hotel multiple times. Luckily, traveling alone, no one sees your mistakes. The wedding was perfect. The second prettiest wedding I’ve ever been to. This wedding was emotional for me. I hadn’t seen many of my friends in almost a year. It was emotional because I was going through a breakup, it was emotional because I watched everyone dance on the dance floor while I sat alone with my 8th beer and pretended I didn’t care. But the overall wedding was beautiful, the flowers, the dresses, the location, even the cake was gorgeous. It was the wedding of the year. It was a beautiful reunion of my closest friends, I wore my little black dress, I did the cha-cha slide, and I went to bed alone in my massive suite that was supposed to be for Patrick and me.

The next morning, we all met up; hungover, and headed off to brunch. When you’re in Athens, Texas, just know there isn’t much to choose from if you’re hungry. We ended up at some diner, I had a mediocre breakfast. The best part was listening to my friends talk about their lives, the best part was laughing with my friends, debating political views, discussing hog football, and hugging each other way too tight before we all flew always back to our corners of the world. Growing up is weird, too much moving on, too many goodbyes. After hugging my friend’s necks, we all were off. I had one more evening in Texas. I met up with Kayla again, this time to help mark things off my bucket list. Starting with the Texas State Fair. I am easily overwhelmed. I don’t know why I put myself in these situations, but I do. First off, we had to ride the metro in because there would be no parking. Secondly, you exchange your money for tickets, so you can ride rides and buy food. Thirdly, there are so many different deep-fried options; HOW DO YOU CHOOSE? I had a corn dog obviously, a deep-fried tamale donut, a deep-fried peanut butter cup, the best lemonade ever, and tried the best toffee. I was very tempted to try deep-fried sweet tea, but I chickened out. We walked so much, saw so much, it was crazy. I thought the Erie County Fair was massive in Buffalo, this was twice that size. So massive. I don’t know if I’d go back, too expensive, and too many people. But I’m glad I got the opportunity to go once.

This trip overall was fun. I don’t regret going. I missed Patrick the whole time. But it was a good soul-searching trip. A trip to learn about myself. And if I had to do it over, I would.

I’ll end with this, I’m not over him. I miss him every day. I keep hoping he’s going to call. And you would think after two months of silence, I would understand he doesn’t give a fuck about me. But if you’re reading this, don’t worry about me. I’ve recovered from every other heartbreak I’ve had- this one won’t be any different.

The One Where I Got Kissed in a Cidery

Moving on is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. But one morning you’re going to wake up, and he isn’t going to be your first thought. You’re going to rush to your morning class, make it through a lunch rush at work, hang out with your friends after work, and maybe even flirt with the cute bartender before it even hits you again. And that’s okay. But I promise you – every day gets easier. Your memory of him won’t be as strong two months later. When you haven’t heard his voice, or seen his face in eight weeks, it gets easier. But the moment you’re kissing someone else, and you’re laughing while you watch Home Alone with him. You know you’re going to be okay. And I want you to take a deep breath and remember the way you feel. The beginning is always the best. I don’t know if I believe in forever love for everyone. I know I don’t believe there is one soul mate for everyone. I know I met Patrick for a reason, I know I loved him for a reason, but just because he wasn’t my happy ending doesn’t mean I don’t get one still.

These past two months have been very entertaining. My life has felt like one of those crazy Rom Com’s. I keep waiting for John Cusack to appear- my life is that silly right now. It all started not long after the breakup. I wasn’t looking for anyone. I just wanted to forget about the pain honestly. I went to Trivia Night like I always did on Monday night, but my favorite bartender wasn’t there. I didn’t realize how much I relied on consistency until this breakup. I was already struggling not having my daily phone calls while driving. (Bill if you’re reading this, thank you for answering the phone to all my random rants). Anyways, Trivia just wasn’t the same without my favorite bartender. I went home that night and I had posted a photo of me at Trivia, and sure enough, four likes in the bartender liked my photo. I took that as a sign – so I gathered all that confidence Patrick supposedly loved about me and messaged the bartender on Instagram. I panicked at first, and then I remembered I had turned off my push notifications for Instagram. So, I became that cliché girl that kept checking her phone. I’m embarrassed as I type this, but remember, I was a little heartbroken and lost. 12 minutes and 8 phone checks later I had a reply from him. He was out of town on tour (he’s a drummer… I know even more cliché). We messaged the whole time he was out of town, it was almost soothing to have that constant communication back. Which scared me, I thought I might be falling into a rebound trap. I had just told my best friend Gina I didn’t believe in rebounds. I pushed it out of my mind, I told myself there was no reason to sit around sad that Pat had broken my heart. And what better time to put myself out there than the present. Two weeks later he finally came home, and I dragged Kathlyn and Trey to the cidery- SHOCKER- it wasn’t a trivia night. Just a casual Sunday evening. My palms were sweating as I walked up to the bar, he remembered my order and flirted with me as I sat at the bar swinging my feet just staring at him in disbelief. I am typically the most awkward person when you first meet me, especially if I’m attracted to you. Trivia Guy and I never had that problem. Thank goodness, I ended up staying until he locked up. I was the last person in the building other than him. It was weird to be there when the cidery was so deserted. I was about to leave, the words – “I should let you lock up” literally came out of my mouth. He stopped wiping the bar down, and was so smooth and replied, “I haven’t even kissed you yet.”

If there is anything you’ve learned about me in the last three years of reading my blog, I am weak for romance. I’ve read too many cheesy romance novels, and I live for anything Rachel McAdam’s has ever been in. He kissed me and I’m not exaggerating here when I say every first kiss I’ve had has basically sucked. But this one was perfection. If this was a movie, there would have been firework sounds, firework animations, the whole nine yards. That perfect. Of course, that’s not where this story ends. The cidery closes at nine, he didn’t end up getting me to my car until 2 am. We didn’t kiss the whole time but just picture one of those make-out sessions in the movies where they’re so intimate you almost want to look away, but you can’t. He also gave me a movie experience where he thrust me in the air mid-kiss. Okay, I guess you’re getting it. It was hot, steamy, magical, and I didn’t want it to end. Unfortunately, the real world was waiting- Monday morning 7:30 am class. He was perfect and texted me to make sure I made it home safe. *Backstory* The first time Kathlyn and I ever went to Trivia night, he asked about seven billion questions about Matilda. I had never seen Matilda and Kathlyn couldn’t remember much. Long story short, we lost that night. He has never let me forget that I hadn’t seen Matilda. He texted me a couple days later and said I should come over to watch Matilda. Unfortunately, neither of us could find Matilda. So, we ended up watching a scary movie on Netflix that ended up being in Spanish. Because like I said, my life is like a romcom. The next morning, I flew out on my interesting trip alone to Dallas. He texted me a majority of the time I was gone, made sure I wasn’t too lonely. Right before I got on the plane to fly home, I had a text waiting for me that said, “Get home and come kiss me”. And well I did just that. I hopped off the plane, into my car, and headed back to good ole’ Fayetteville. That night had been a trivia night that I missed, Kathlyn said it was the shortest trivia night ever as if he was in a hurry to be somewhere else. I think what I appreciated the most, is he knew I was going through a breakup, he didn’t push for details or feelings. He just wanted to spend time with me.

It has all been very chill. He is your typical musician bachelor. The first time I showed up to his house, it was covered in Christmas lights in October, there were seven cars out front, and a massive mountain man in the kitchen offering me moonshine when I walked in. He had four roommates, not including the mountain man that had been living on his couch for a week. He is nothing like Patrick. He isn’t a little old man trapped in a young man’s body. He doesn’t have his life mapped out, he doesn’t own a house or spends his free time remodeling his house. Not that any of those were negative things. I loved Patrick. I was very attracted to how he had his life together. But it also made me feel like shit for not having my life together. Being with Trivia Guy has been nothing like that. It’s all just an adventure. I don’t have to think about anything. I know I’m going to have a good time. A couple weeks after he had been home, I finally went to see him drum live. I’m sure many of you know, I love live music. I went to an art school in high school, my first two boyfriends were in bands. So, watching him drum on stage was a wonderful experience, if you’re ever wanting a self-esteem boost, get winked at by a drummer while he’s on stage and have everyone look at you in the room. You’ll blush a little, but deep down you’ll love it. After his show I met all the band members, I got to ride in the van with all the instruments, and we had our own after party back at his place. I’ve loved how laid back everything has been. My anxiety levels are super low, I’m not constantly wondering what he’s thinking, how he feels, or what comes next. I’m just taking it one day at a time. He’s also the bluntest person in the world, so I don’t really have to wonder what he’s thinking.

The downside to all of this is the timing. I finally got the bartender to notice me when my life is at its busiest. I have morning classes, night classes, work, homework, family. I only see him late at night. Although for a bartender, musician, I don’t think that really bothers him. We finally went on our first date. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on one. I was avoiding it for a couple weeks. I truly thought Patrick might call and admit he made a mistake. But after about a month of not hearing from him, I told myself I couldn’t hold back for him. It was pointless and pitiful. He took me to Chuy’s, my favorite restaurant of all time. He had never been, so this was a must. We also made a pitstop at Crystal Bridges to see my favorite sculpture the Bucky Ball, and make out in the anti-gravity benches. He brings out the best, silly, side of me. We ended our evening at Bike Rack Brewery trying some local beer. Probably one of the best first dates I’ve ever been on. No awkward silences. I didn’t make a mess with my food, my clothes didn’t malfunction, and I didn’t have to hop on a plane and fly far away from him the day after. We’ve obviously had other hangouts in between all this. But these were the high lights. He makes me laugh, he likes to read, his bedroom is covered in maps, he’s outgoing, he’s not religious, and he gets along with my best friends. We’re not “dating”, we’re not “official”. I don’t know what I’m looking for, what I’m doing, and he’s okay with that. I’ll let you know if I ever figure out what I’m doing. Just know, last night he took me to see the Christmas Lights on the square, and to watch Home Alone at his house with Cider. A perfect night full of Christmas Cheer before he heads off on tour for a month again.

I don’t know if anyone reading this is going through a breakup, but if you are. Just know it’s not the end, it’s not your fault he let you go, and you’re going to be okay in time. Until then, keep getting out of bed, keep putting that smile on, and always put yourself out there. Because if you believe what I believe. There are multiple people out there that could be your soulmate, it all just depends on the choices you make in life.

All the Small Things

It comes in waves. No, actually it is more of just a dull pain. I had gallbladder stones a couple years back, they were awful. It was just this constant dull pain, but every once in a while there would be a stabbing pain that would bring me to my knees. That’s heartbreak. I’m fine most of the time, and then I’m not. Something always pulls me back. I’m back at work this week after a week of vacation. A week of nobody asking about him. Now, I have to explain to all of my co-workers how I wasn’t good enough. Last night one of them asked me why I didn’t fight for him. My only response was you can’t make someone love you. She looked hurt like she was the one that got broken up with. I wanted to take her place, be eighteen and believe that fairytales are real. Love sucks.

A year ago I didn’t believe in love, and then I met Patrick. I have been holding onto this quote since my last break up, “One day you will meet someone who will make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.” I can still remember Patrick and I’s first date perfectly, and that quote summed up everything I felt that night. There was something different about him and the way he made me feel. And that is why this sucks even more. I was so sure he was it. I finally had found my person – and he ruined me.

But it comes in waves, there are moments when I’m so focused on work or school – that dull pain is easy to ignore. There are moments when I’m holding my nephew that I think I’ll be okay. It’s those moments when you’re in the car alone and you’re dying to hear his voice that it sucks. Or when you wake up in the morning and go to check your phone to be reminded there won’t be a good morning text. It’s the little things that hurt the most.

Now I’m holding on to the quote, “One day you’ll wake up next to the love of your life in a pretty house with puppies, and cute kids and all the hard things you’re going through now will all be worth it.”

Traveling Heals The Soul

If there is anything that can make you forget about a breakup, it’s a girls trip. We have had this trip planned for months, it just happened to fall three days after Patrick dumped me – perfect timing.
Kathlyn and I started our girls trip in North Carolina! XNA actually has a direct flight to Charlotte, NC. This trip was all about trying new things, I had never rented a car before – now I know why. You have to be 25 to rent a car without paying an enormous upcharge. I am going to shamelessly plug for Orbits. I adore them, that is where I always book my flights. Kathlyn used United’s website for our flights and it was literally the most expensive flight I’ve ever been on. BUT our rental car was $35 dollars a day, which isn’t too bad. Until we show up and the lady is pissed I’m twenty-four, the surcharge was going to add $200 to our already $175 rental. Luckily, Kathlyn is 26. She fixed everything and saved the day. If anyone thinks they have the best, best friend, they’re wrong. I do. The lady helping us with our rental said she was going to upgrade us, we had no clue what that meant but we were told there would be no additional charge. We get to the garage to get our car, and it is literally a TANK. A massive 4runner. Another huge shout out to my best friend, she can drive that, I cannot.

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We were finally on the road. I had been to North Carolina almost three years ago when Bill and I had left Florida for Michigan. This time was different we actually were exploring. Our first stop was, of course, CHICK-FIL-A. Working for Chick-fil-A somehow makes you obsessed with Chick-fil-A, it also makes you a Chick-fil-A snob. So if you ever go to a new CFA with me, be prepared for me to time them, to judge them, and to give you the low down on everything they’re doing right and wrong. You may even see me trying to peek into their kitchen to see which layout they have. And don’t worry, I realize I have a problem. Kathlyn and I actually visited her first CFA she ever worked at. She got emotional, I know that when I go back and visit Jim after not working there, I’m going to be an emotional mess. Her old operator was super sweet, he let me see his kitchen, and we talked about his journey of becoming an operator. I love hearing people’s stories, especially success stories.

As our day went on we made our first stop Willmington, North Carolina. If you know me at all then you know I love One Tree Hill. Chad Michael Murray is one of the loves of my life. And Sophia Bush is who I wish I could be. Her character Brooke Davis is one of my favorites. ( Obviously, I’m a Peyton girl – we have similar souls), but One Tree Hill was filmed in Willmington, NC. Brooke Davis’ house with the red door does exist, along with the Naley bench, Karen’s Cafe, the Riverwalk, and even the cutest little shop that sells Clothes Over Bro’s merchandise.  Unfortunately, the river court used to exist but was recently built over. I even got to take a photo in front of the fountain where Jamie and Quinn go on there scavenger hunt towards the end of the show. I was in a One Tree Hill daze, I made Kathlyn listen to the soundtrack and the Holiday song that is stuck in Nathan’s car on the episode where Nathan and Lucas go on their first brother road trip to see the Charlotte Hornets play.

After we finished the One Tree Hill memory lane, we were on our way to dinner in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been listening to Kathlyn rave about this place called Cookout for literally months. I finally got to have the famous Cookout, it was so overwhelming. They have this menu that has things from chicken nuggets, burgers, to quesadillas and you can get it all on a tray for $5.99. I ended up just getting a bacon cheeseburger and a magical oreo shake because I couldn’t make up my mind. I come from a family where I only have one sibling. It was exciting to meet Kathlyn’s family. She has three siblings, we had dinner with her youngest sister at Cookout, and then we were headed to visit her family in Myrtle Beach for the evening. I love her family. They are loud, blunt, funny, and very hospitable. I also love traveling places where I know people and getting to do things more locals do versus what the tourists think they should do.

Her parents live literally 2.5 seconds from the beach. I was in heaven. Kathlyn woke me up the next morning with a boberry biscuit from Bojangles. I had never been to one, a boberry biscuit was basically a blueberry scone. We also made chocolate milk and pretended we were in 5th grade at a sleepover, it was great. This was probably my favorite day of the trip, our next stop was Charleston, South Carolina. I honestly could see me living here (as long as I could find a little liberal hole). Quick question, are y’all sunflower seed fans? Kathlyn made us stop to get sunflower seeds and a cup to spit in. I was not a fan. Our first stop in Charleston was Fort Sumter. As I’m sure many of you know, I am a huge history buff (thanks, Charles). This was such a cool experience. We got to ride this massive ferry out to the Fort. They gave a history lesson while you’re riding. I was nerding out. Once we got there we watched the flag ceremony, with everything going on in our world it was nice to see Americans coming together and enjoying a patriotic moment. I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m the biggest fan of America at this moment. But I think every country has a past, and every story is going to have bumps. Hopefully, Trump is just a very short chapter. But I respect my country and my flag. After the flag ceremony, we went through the museum inside the fort, we saw an old flag, so old that it was falling apart and had to be kept in a box at a specific temperature and lighting. After I had learned everything I wanted to learn – we headed on outside to look at all the cannons. There were so many and so many different sizes. I can’t imagine what it was like back then, or what it would be like to be stuck in one of those small forts for such a long time. Traveling with Kathlyn is perfect because she has a passion for taking photos and I have a passion for having my photo taken. We took so many photos with cannons and scenic spots. I tried to teach her how to selfie, it’s a process. Also, when looking at these photos please ignore my windblown hair. The wind was insane.

After Fort Sumter we went to explore Charleston, the first icon I wanted to see was the Pineapple Fountain. Pineapples are the symbol of hospitality, they’re also one of my favorite fruits. This fountain was so cute, it had a wading area in front of the fountain. Warning, there are a TON of acorn trees and they aggressively fall off the trees and may hit you in the face. *not kidding*
Charleston is full of Instagram worthy places, Rainbow Row is so cute. I want to live there with Bill and just relish in his gayness and throw glitter at everyone that walks by. No? You don’t feel that way? … anyways, we ended up getting a little hangry. So, our next stop was very adventurous an OYSTER BAR. We chose Pearlz Oyster Bar only because we wanted $3 champagne. Neither of us had ever had any type of oyster, so we asked our waitress what kind she suggested. We ended up having them raw, I want to try them steamed, I’ve read they’re saltier when steamed. But raw was a good start, I also learned I don’t like cocktail sauce with shrimp, but I do enjoy it with oysters. For my actual entrée, I had a crab cake sandwich, which is officially in my top five favorite travel foods. When we finished dinner and had a good champagne buzz we headed out back into Charleston. We walked through the Charleston City Market – which is full of history. The whole day while we were walking around they had all these historical markers, most of them made me shudder with embarrassment for the south. It is so hard for me to understand how we could have endured slavery for so long. My sophomore year of college I took a class called African American Literature – I read a book called The Garies and Their Friends – you should read it I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re from the South. http://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com/main/history That is a link that will give you the history of the City Market. I think one of the best parts of Charleston was all the different architecture. The buildings were beautiful, intricate, and very old. On our walk to lose our buzz we decided we needed dessert. We ended up at Cupcake Down-South, Kathlyn ordered a red velvet and I ordered a pumpkin spice. We split them down the middle. I’m telling ya, you need a bff like Kathlyn.

We woke up early the next morning and took the golf cart down to the beach. I love watching the ocean, there is something so calming about the waves. It is so enticing. It was perfect weather – 75 degrees and a little windy. I took the ocean for granted when I lived in Orlando, I should have gone to the beach more often. I’m making that a 2018 resolution, see the ocean more often. I would really like to go to a beach in Alabama. I don’t know why I just think it’s strange I’ve never been. I also really want to see Sarasota where my dad grew up. I need to add that to my travel list. My list is so much longer than I have written down. I need to work on that.

Kathlyn is from the Carolinas, so is her husband Trey. Kathlyn has been talking about “fat back” which doesn’t sound appetizing at all. I am from Arkansas, I get mixed answers about whether I’m southern – I have been told Arkansas is midwestern. I consider myself southern most of the time, this week I would have to say I’m not. I don’t spit sunflower seeds; fat back was something I had never even heard of, don’t even get me started on boiled peanuts. Fatback reminded me of a pork rind just not fluffy. I prefer pork rinds from Silver Dollar City. Boiled Peanuts were basically just beans – not impressed. If I’m offending any of y’all, I’m semi sorry.

I met Kathlyn’s Memaw – she was very surprised I had never had any of these southern classics, and she was very upset I was single at twenty-four. I wanted to be like well Memaw I’m upset I got dumped too, but shit happens. After our visit with Memaw, we headed back to North Carolina to go pick up Trey from the airport. Our girls trip was coming to an end, and my third wheel experience was about to begin. Typically, I don’t like being the third wheel, but with Trey and Kat, they don’t make you feel like one. I love being with them. On our way in we took a pit stop at Freeman’s Bakery – to get “cake squares”, literally they’re petit fours But I’ll give it to Kathlyn, they were damn good. I also had a red velvet cookie. My stomach was so happy. We ended up getting stuck in 5 ‘o clock traffic in Charlotte, so Trey’s brother ended up picking him up from the airport. We met up with them at Chan’s place. He has the cutest townhouse in downtown Charlotte. I didn’t expect to love all these big cities, but I really do. I don’t know how Arkansas raised me.

I am obsessed with pulled pork and trying different BBQ sauces. So far Kansas City BBQ always wins – Texas is a close second. I made Chan pick out his favorite Carolina BBQ and for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it. I didn’t even take a picture of my food, I think I was so hungry I didn’t even think about it. I had a raspberry beer, and it was GREAT. But KC still wins in my heart. After dinner, we went to go meet up with Trey’s parents and grandparents. Trey’s mom is my goal of who I want to be when I’m an adult. She is the sweetest little southern lady, who dresses better than me. Her house is literally my dream home, and I told her when I’m rich she is designing my house and decorating it. His grandparents were like out of a movie, the grandma couldn’t see, and Chief (his grandfather) couldn’t hear and he literally mumbled so much I had no clue how people were answering his questions, Trey had to translate for me. They were watching Davie football on television. I couldn’t believe high school football was on tv. Kathlyn and I told Trey we wanted him to DD and take us downtown to drink. We went out for a couple blue moons and apps. I had never realized how much of a lightweight Kathlyn was until that night by the time I had finished three beers she had finished one and was slurring. It was hilarious. When we got back to the house Trey’s father offered us pumpkin beer and my basic heart was soaring. I had such a good buzz going when I went to sleep, best beer I’ve had in a while. I’m wishing pumpkin cider was a thing.

We woke up bright and early the next morning for our FOUR-hour drive to Richmond, Virginia. The only reason Trey was with us. They were attending a wedding in Richmond, I was just tagging along to mark another state off my list. I am officially in 35/50 states. We stopped two hours in to get lunch with one of their married couples from college. We went to this little Mexican restaurant in the middle of North Carolina – surprisingly I had the best quesadilla I’ve ever had. The restaurant was called La Cocina (The Kitchen). We drove the next two hours jamming to literally everything under the sun, veggie tales, Avril Lavigne, Disney, Rent, Tim McGraw, you name it we probably listened to it. Get you a friend that can go from one spectrum to the other.

Now you’re probably going to judge me for this next paragraph, but here it goes. So we get to Richmond, Virginia and they’re leaving for the wedding and I am hanging out in Richmond alone for the evening. Now remember I am not driving the Tank, its massiveness gave me anxiety. So I decided to redownload Tinder for the evening. I made the funniest profile that said I was only in town for the night and was looking for an adventure partner/ someone to eat a burger with for the evening. I made 24 matches in under an hour. I decided not to wait and go ahead and got out exploring. Our hotel was in downtown Richmond, so I walked around just taking it all in. I ended up at the capital of Richmond, the prettiest, biggest capital area I had ever seen. I was so impressed. I then took myself to the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Next time I’ll need more time, I only had an hour. I finally had started messaging someone on tinder his name was literally “Guy”. We were going to meet up at an Ale House at 8 pm. So, I took myself to dinner. I went to Siné Irish Pub and had another amazing Crab Cake sandwich, once I know what I like it’s hard for me to branch out. I had a spiked fruit punch as well. It was a little nerve-wracking to go to a sit-down restaurant alone, but I ended up having a good time. I read and ate my dinner. After dinner, I called my best friend Bill and just walked around downtown Richmond. At some point, I made it back to my hotel and checked my tinder one more time. He had sent me a message saying he had gotten a flat tire and wouldn’t be coming to meet me. I took that as a sign. I crawled into bed at 9 pm and watched HGTV and waited for my married couple to come home. I deleted tinder and I haven’t gotten it back since. Too soon. They finally came home around midnight and were very disappointed to find me chilling in bed. I had a great night relaxing. I don’t do that very often between full-time school and work. I played mom for the evening and tucked my drunk married couple in, got them water, and made sure their phones were plugged in.

The next morning we had to head back to the Charlotte Airport to go home, unfortunately. But we made one pit stop on the way there – Jersey Mikes. It is Kathlyn’s favorite. We don’t have one in Arkansas, so every time she sees one somewhere we have to stop. I don’t think they’re anything to write home about, but the buffalo chicken wrap is pretty good.

Break Up Playlist

Irreplaceable – Beyonce
When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri
Take A Bow – Rihanna
Someone Like You – Adele
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Goodbye In Her Eyes – Zac Brown Band
Tonight I Wanna Cry – Keith Urban
Mine Would Be You – Blake Shelton
Back to December – Taylor Swift
So Sick – Ne Yo
Love Yourself – Justin Beiber
Fuck You – CeeLo Green
We Are Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Gives You Hell – The All American Rejects
Red High Heels – Kellie Pickler
Big Girls Don’t Cry – Fergie
Stay – Rihanna
My Happy Ending – Avril Lavigne
Let Her Go – Passenger
Love Song – Sara
I’m Just A Kid – Simple Plan
Perfect – Simple Plan
Every Time I Hear That Song – Blake Shelton
I’m Gonna Miss Her – Brad Paisley
More Than Miles – Brantley Gilbert
Don’t Forget To Remember Me – Carrie Underwood
Tomorrow – Chris Young
You Should Be Here – Cole Swindell
If I Told You – Darius Rucker
Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It – Darius Rucker
Life After You – Daughtry
Let It Rain – David Nail
Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Not Over You – Gavin Degraw
Brokenheartsville – Joe Nichols
All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye – John Mayer
Perfectly Lonely – John Mayer
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room – John Mayer
You and Tequila – Kenny Chesney
Your Side of the Bed – Little Big Town
Someone Else Calling You Baby – Luke Bryan
I Know You’re Gonna Be There – Luke Bryan
Dead Flowers – Miranda Lambert
What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts

My View On Heartache

It has officially been a week. I am not going to sugar coat it and say this has been easy, or that it doesn’t hurt anymore. But I will say this has been the best break up I’ve ever gone through. In high school, I had to see him the next day, or everywhere I turned there was something that reminded me of him. The only blessing of this break up is that he is sixteen hours away and I don’t really have to focus on him at all. Of course, my future is now completely up in the air. But I am excited to see what is in my next chapter. Never let a guy define your happiness or your dreams.

But last Monday I was crushed, I even went to the bathroom and cried at work which is completely unlike me. I stood in the Chick-fil-A bathroom staring at myself in the mirror, and I remembered something Patrick had said months ago. That one of his favorite things about me was my confidence. I wasn’t going to let him take that from me. My best friend’s husband told me that if it was him, he would have rather had Patrick cheat on me than to tell me he wasn’t in love with me. I don’t know if there is really a “good” way to break up. It all hurts. But it stung more to hear that I wasn’t enough. Well, it has been a week since I cried in that bathroom, and I haven’t let him hurt me since. I have a great life. I also have a love for travel and I am excited to get back out there and travel to new places. I spent so much time flying to Buffalo in 2017, I hope 2018 is filled with more adventures. I thought life was a checklist of things. You find your passion, you finish school, you fall in love, and you start that next chapter with them by your side. I am starting to see that who the fuck cares if you’re in a relationship. There is some weird universal rule that a woman can’t be happy unless a man is next to her. I am here to tell you, I will be just fine without him. I will eat my tuna that he hated, I will listen to the same song 20 times in a row in the car, and I’ll be okay.

The hardest part so far is that I got used to texting someone all the time. I got used to calling him when I was driving. He was my habit. It is hard to go from being in contact 24/7 to not talking at all. He had the nerve to apologize for hurting me. And I almost laughed reading the text, like obviously you saying sorry doesn’t change the fact that you just crushed my heart. I knew I’d be okay when I was more concerned about driving the rental car in Dallas than I was about ever seeing him again. It is harder when I am alone with my thoughts, or when I go to bed at night and I close my eyes and see him. But those memories will fade with time. I’m okay.

If you’re going through a breakup and you feel like I did last week. I have advice for you. Delete the texts. Delete the posts online. Hide his posts on your timeline. Don’t dwell on the fact he’s not there, and move on. I was lucky enough to have already had a girl’s trip planned this week. I have never needed to hop on a plane to a new place more than I did this week. It was liberating to just leave all of that behind me in Arkansas. My second piece of advice is don’t hold those feelings in. Find someone who will listen to you while you pour your heart out about how shitty you feel, find someone who will be okay that you just skipped every Zac Brown Band song on your phone because they know that was his favorite band, find someone who will let you eat chocolate four times in one day and not judge you. But most importantly find someone who will let you text them when you want to text your ex. Traveling was something Patrick and I both loved to do. While I was traveling this week, there were so many times I wanted to break down and send him a cool photo of a boat I saw in Charleston. There were moments when I wanted to tell him I just tried oysters for the first time, or even tell him how annoyingly expensive alcohol is when you’re a tourist. I have those people in my life and it has helped so much. The third piece of advice is people are inevitably going to try and set you up, “the fastest way to get over someone is to get under them” is literally the worst piece of advice someone can give you. Rebounds don’t help you get over anyone, and they’re not fair to the other person either. You will know when you’re ready. I’m not saying you can’t check someone out, or flirt with someone, but don’t do it just because you think it will help you forget about your ex. Take it slowly, and let your heart heal.

This isn’t easy; this isn’t clear

I thought he was bringing me back to life. He melted my frozen heart. I thought he was teaching me how to love. I thought his hug put me back together. But instead, he destroyed me. Adele is right, sometimes it lasts in love sometimes it hurts instead. I’ve been telling myself for months that it was worth it. That it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. But I feel like that quote was from someone that had never had their heart broken. I told myself the last time my relationship ended I was finished. I wasn’t going to let anyone in. Yet, here I am more devastated than I’ve ever been. What do you do when the love of your life tells you they’re not in love with you anymore?

It’s hard because it is so easy to just sit here and let my heart refreeze. It is so easy to want to talk shit about him. It is so easy to sit here and tear apart every conversation I’ve had with him in the last 48 hours. I can sit here and replay our last kiss in my head but it isn’t going to help. In the long run, I need to be thankful for the time we had. I hope that everyone gets at least one chance to feel the way he had made me feel. I hope you get those butterflies, the feeling of home, and an overwhelming feeling of true love. Also, all I want is for him to be happy. I wasn’t that for him. I get that. He is going to make some girl very happy and lucky.

I’ll be okay, I’m giving me today to cry. And then I’m sucking it up. I am an accomplished, pretty, intelligent woman and I deserve to be happy. And so does he, so if you’re reading this Patrick – I’ll be okay.

September Blog Challenge

September 30th- Thirty Random Facts About You

  1. I am afraid of escalators
  2. I am afraid of wiener dogs
  3. I have broken my tailbone three times
  4. I love sleep
  5. Frank Sinatra is my weakness
  6. I am a HUGE nerd – Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, and Harry Potter
  7. But I also love girly shows – Greys, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, Brothers and Sisters, Private Practice, and Desperate House Wives.
  8. I hate scary movies, but I love haunted houses.
  9. I swear I’m a walking contradiction, I am sometimes introverted, sometimes extroverted.
  10. I have an irrational fear of growing old alone.
  11. I hate parking but love driving.
  12. I love to read but have awful grammar
  13. My favorite book is Lord of the Flies
  14. I used to be a tomboy
  15. I used to be an emo
  16. I have a whole drawer of just tie-dye shirts
  17. I am constantly overthinking
  18. I have a box full of bouncy balls in my closet – 200 to be exact
  19. I use sarcasm and sass so I don’t have to talk about my feelings
  20. I worry about money more than I like to admit
  21. My biggest insecurity is my intelligence and my crooked teeth
  22. I make up stories in my head to fall asleep – in hopes to finish them in my dreams
  23. I listen to Christmas music all year round
  24. I had a purity ring but I threw it in the ocean in 2014
  25. I hate waking up early
  26. I want a pet Corgi named Harrison
  27. I want to adopt someday, I think there are too many kids who don’t have homes or love. I want to help
  28. I think about food probably 78% of the day
  29. I love musicals
  30. I am scared to move to Buffalo. There I said it.

That’s thirty days of writing.