2014 Is Gonna be a Good Year…

31 12 2013

When I entered into 2013, I had the gut feeling, or hunch (as they call it around these here parts) that I was going to meet and fall in love with the person that I was gonna spend the rest of my life.  At the eve of 2014, I ironically find myself single and looking forward to spending a long time as a single person.  Ironic, isn’t it?

I have done things.  I’ve taught, which was a true joy in my heart to do.  I’ve gone back to the world of retail, which is a job that I actually don’t hate.  I have made friends at work, which has been interesting, to say the least.  I have obtained an entire season of another TV show that I love.  I am making the temporary home that I’ve been living in for the last year, into a more homey place.  I’ve put down kitchen floor.  I’ve had two children enter my life, and they have completely upheavaled and re-arranged my heart.  I’ve gained friends.  I’ve lost friends.  I traveled completely by myself, even flew by myself.  I’ve dated, broke that off and then dived straight into another relationship, and have just gotten out of that. 

I could be completely broken up to pieces with that last event, but my pain and struggles, I can now say are being channeled into something new and exciting.  I have launched a new blog, “Living Single” in a response to a need that I feel that single people have.  We don’t have an actual single person giving us single people advice.  I am so totally excited about this development and am eager to work on it in the new year!!  Of course, I will retain this site and maintain it as well, but I’m going to be putting a lot more effort into that website.  Feel free to add or follow the site, give suggestions or contribute!  I’m always looking for new perspectives!

I have this feeling that 2014 is going to be a good year.  It’s going to be a good year because I say it is so.  2013 was a year of struggles and growth and change…and I have no doubt that 2014 will be the same!





Looking Forward

28 12 2013

2013 is coming to a close, my friends.  While you will be ringing in the new year with champagne, Aud Lang Syne, and a late night, I’ll be ringing in the new year asleep in bed, as I have to open at work the next day.  7 am on January 1st.  Kill me now.

All jokes aside, the close of a new year is a time of reflection.  Many times, we look on the last year fondly, take stock of the lessons learned, and move forward into a new year with a load of resolutions that we always intend to keep, but are done trying by the 10th of January.

I have learned a few things this year.  And I actually didn’t expect to end up where I am right now.  I am recently single again, heart is a little broken, but it still beats all the same.  I am recovering a few lost relationships, rekindling some fires, and completely letting go of some others.  I am maintaining those which have always been steady, and growing each day.  Not just saying that I’m growing, I’m truly growing with and without some people.  It’s a painful process.  I honestly never expected that I would be where I am today, but I suppose this just means I have a lot more to look forward to.

When Kayla died, the thing that kept me moving forward was a simple phrase, “Look Forward.”  When my parent’s marraige failed, and ultimately the end of my relationship with my birth mother, “Look forward.”  When I went through a serious time of difficulty with my very best friend in the world, “Look forward.”  When there were health scares and tribulations in my life, the only thing that kept me going was the very simple phrase, “Look forward.”  When my godson was born in difficult times and circumstances, “Look forward.”  And now, with a broken heart, and a cracked ego…”Look forward.”  Life is not a snapshot.

In a sense, it’s sort of like my mind is telling me that no matter how bad the current circumstances are, there’s something better coming.  This moment, right now, is only a small part, a small fraction of your entire life, it’s not the whole picture, it’s just a brief snapshot.  It’s not the whole movie, just a simple poloroid of a moment of the 90 minute flick.

So look forward.  Wherever you are, whatever moment you find yourself in this year…Look forward.  If you’re in a great place, know that there may be troubles in the water up ahead, but good things will come around again.  And if you’re like me, barely hanging on a thread…Look forward.

I truly believe this:  The best is yet to come.  Look forward. 

 





Missing in Action

20 12 2013

Hey all, I’m going to take a hiatus from writing, as I’ve sort of been already.  This time is due mainly to the upcoming holidays/insane work schedule/more than all of the above.   But never fear, I shall be back to ring in the New Year with my annual post!

I hope you all have a very wonderful rest of your holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

2014 is our year!!

best,  mb





When People Stay

7 12 2013

Author’s Note:  Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post entitled “When People Walk Out” and in this post, it talks about when people leave you, and do so without looking back, and what our response should be.  I realized that I never assumed the best in people, and described what happens when people don’t walk out, and when they stay.  So this is for that purpose.

Congratulations.  Someone didn’t leave.  They had the opportunity to do so, and they didn’t go.  If you’re in the middle of a conflict or a trying time, I know that you appreciate their commitment to you in a way that you’ve never had it mean to you before.  I know what that’s like.  A few months ago, I was going through a rather difficult time, and I didn’t want to drag the person that I was dating through that mess…and I gave them the opportunity to walk away.  I gave them that freedom and I said, “go, make life less stressful for yourself.”  And they stayed.  And they’re still staying.  This is rather overwhelming to me, because like I said in the earlier post, I’ve been left a lot.  When the hard stuff happens, people are prone to leave.  It’s just easier.  It’s easier to give up and walk away, than to stay, and work through it, fight through it, or support through it.  So yay you!  You were not left.  What now?

When someone chooses not to leave, it is a lesson of love again.  I don’t care how well you think you know what love is.  I don’t care how many times you’ve told someone you love them.  But many times, when someone chooses not to leave, and decides to stay in your life, this is the prime opportunity of your life, for you to learn a little more about love.  I guarantee it.  Like in the scenario in the opening paragraph above, since that person has stuck by me, I’ve learned a little more about what it means to love someone.  It still amazes me sometimes, that someone thought that I was worthy of sticking by when the going got rough.  But love is like that sometimes.  Sometimes, it teaches you that you are worthy of being loved.  Which is overwhelming, in of itself, but more than that, sometimes, the fact that someone loves you enough to stay with you teaching you more about what love truly is, and what it is not.  I am sure that the following is familiar to you:

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

 

In all of that, we see that love requires a lot from you.  This list is just the barely beginning.  If I am truly to embody love for someone, then at all times, I am supposed to have all of these emotions towards those that I love.  I will be the first in line to admit that I don’t meet this criteria at all times.  I am selfish sometimes, I sometimes can’t get over things that my loved ones have done in the past, sometimes I am distrustful…but I’m working on that.  I am trying my best to be that loving person in that loving standard, but I will be the first to say that I don’t always do that.  I am working on that.  But the point is, that once you make the decision to stay with someone, or when someone makes that decision to stay with you no matter what…the test of love comes out.  You and that loved one will probably be put through a rough period of trials for awhile, until life decides that you’ve proven your love to each other enough. 

When someone chooses you, this is the time for you to grow.  One of the things that I love the most about those that I love dearly and who have chosen to stick by me through thick and thin, is that they’re not afraid of telling me the truth.  And they tell me the truth and call me out on my stuff.  They hold me accountable, they tell me to quit being an idiot.  They call me out on my stuff.  When I am pushing them away because I’m going through something….they tell me to stop doing so.  When I’m avoiding them because I don’t like their truth that they told me, they hang around me all the more.  They discuss things with me, explore my heart, get to know my thoughts, because they truly care about me.  Suddenly, when someone loves you, they care about your well-being and challenge you to grow.  They do so in a healthy way.  However, a word of caution:  their challenges are only as effective as the positive attitude that you are able to receive that challenge.  If you approach their instruction and correction with a heart full of pride and arrogance, their challenges will be useless and will create havoc in your relationship.    A story:  I knew this couple once.  They’d been together for forever, and the couple once had a relationship where both of them called each other out on their stuff, and they challenged each other, and grew together.  Then something happened, and one of them started to struggle with self-identity and confidence issues, and started taking these challenges as criticisms.  Today, the relationship is not the same, it is unhealthy and damaging to both of them, because they are unable to communicate and are unable to express that love in anything but through two shared negative experiences.  The moral of that relationship is that if you’re unable to receive someone’s honesty, you cannot give it, and you also will receive it in the wrong terms.  And that is not a healthy way to respond.  I have found that in my experience, when I am challenging someone to grow, it takes the pressure off of my own individual total pursuit of perfection, and I just get to focus on one thing at a time, which is majorly helpful.

When someone stays, don’t constantly test their commitment to staying.  At some point, you just gotta know it for a fact.  This is one that I struggle with.  And this is a struggle that is mine and mine alone.  I can’t expect anyone else to fix it, nor can I expect anyone else to tell me how to fix it.  I have just got to learn it with each person that comes into my life and stays.  But, I really struggle sometimes whether worrying if someone is genuine when they say they’re not leaving me.  For some reason, I doubt them once the commitment is made.  I don’t know why.  I’m sure a psychologist would tell me that this comes from a line of people leaving me before, and trust issues that I have.  I don’t really want to by psychoanalyzed here, nor do I really want to go in-depth here.  But the short and sweet fact is that I struggle with knowing that a person is committed to me, and no matter what happens, they’re standing by me.  This person is in my corner from now on.  I don’t feel like I constantly test whether or not someone will leave me or not…but within the space between my ears, a parade of questions comes marching in from somewhere, wondering if the person is leaving me just because I haven’t heard from them in this amount of time, or because they’re distant, or etc.  Constantly worrying about someone’s presence in your life is a very unhealthy way to live.  Doing so has the ability to suffocate the other person.  I have learned this from relationships in the past, and this time, I am doing my best to combat those militant questions with the facts of how that person has not left thus far, and will not leave.  Don’t make the other person prove to you something over and over again, when they’ve proved it to you in the first place.  At some point, it no longer becomes their problem, but your problem for not accepting that.  It’s suddenly your problem for making them prove to you over and over again, that they’re not going anywhere.  I am doing my best to ensure that the people who have chosen to stay in my life do not have to prove to me why they’re with me, and I am doing my best to simply accept the gift of what they are to me and all that they bring to my life simply because they’ve chosen me.  

When people stay, this is when you get to be the most “yourself.”  Let me explain this concept.  Let’s apply this to a friendship.  Say you become friends with someone simply because you both like video games.  Initially, all you two talk about are video games.  Eventually, the conversation will sway to other topics.  And let’s say there’s some divisive issue that the two of you disagree on, but you come to the conclusion that there are plenty of other things that you agree on, and that one issue won’t break your friendship.  As time goes on, and the years pass, you notice that you’ve stopped worrying about what this person will think, because love is acceptance.  You no longer worry about how they’re going to react, or what they’re going to say, they’re simply just going to accept many things about you.  Some things may be a struggle, but at this point, you’re no longer going to be concerned with pulling off a certain type of “image” with them, they get to see you without your makeup, so to speak.  As time passes, they see you at your best, and they see you at your worst.  They see how happy coffee makes you, and they see you when you’re sleep deprived and ill.  You’re no longer trying to be a good person, you’re just yourself.  I love this. I love when I can stop trying to appear cool and they see me for the big nerd I am in reality.  Let them see it all! Go beyond the surface, and talk about the real stuff, the true stuff.  Learn their past, their history, and allow them to study you as well.  This is where a real relationship, a true relationship, a deep relationship….this is where it all begins. 

Because you are a beautiful person, and you are worthy of someone choosing you, and staying despite all of the muck and dirt in life.  Everyone needs somebody that they can count on.  Be that to someone in this world.  It just makes things a lot easier. 





When People Walk Out

2 12 2013

I’m sure you’ve been left before.  I am sure that there has been someone in your life that has left you.  I’m sure someone has broke your heart and left.  I am not alone in heartbreak, there are tons of songs and tons of poems and movies and TV shows that deal with the subject of leaving.  This is real pain, when he walks out, despite your every protest.  This rips you into pieces when that girl that promised that she’d never leave, walks right out that door, and doesn’t even look back.  People leave sometimes.  That’s just a fact of life. 

I’ve been left.  I’m gonna get a little personal here, and if you’re mentioned here, don’t take it personally, this is not your story and it’s not anything other than my story.  The first time I was left, it was actually when my biological mother kicked me out.  I was homeless.  This was after months and months, years even, of emotional abuse, an atmosphere of fear and control.  I was told to leave, that I no longer had a mom…and no longer had a home.  All I had were the clothes that I had packed, and the car I was driving at the time.  To make matters worse, I apparently wasn’t moving fast enough, so she started breaking the glass in my dad’s shotgun case…I didn’t stick around to see what would’ve happened if she actually got the gun out.  The second time I can remember, I was in this relationship with a person who meant alot to me.  I recognized that if I continued on this course, that life as I knew it, would change, and I wasn’t quite ready for that change just yet.  This person left, because I wasn’t ready.  They left because I wouldn’t be ready for a few years.  I met a girl in college, and she became a fast friend.  We were connected not only personally, but spiritually.  It is because of her that I grew so much in college in a spiritual sense, because she challenged me.  She didn’t always agree with me, but she would challenge me to make sure that I knew why I thought what I believed, and why I believed what I thought.  Eventually, we both realized that this wasn’t going to work out.  There was one thing that I was, that she could not reconcile me with that one thing.  And I pushed her out the door, and she didn’t look back.  I was in a relationship about a year ago, and the person I was with, got scared, realized the relationship was more serious than they wanted it to be, and they left.  Then they left again, when I was honest with them and told them exactly why it would never work out between us.  And they left.  There are several more stories of me being left, but I think you get the point. 

Why do people leave?  This is a question that I posed to a very dear friend of mine.  And the only response she had was the following quote:

“You keep listening to those that seem to reject you. But they never speak about you. They speak about their limitations. They confess their poverty in the face of your needs and desires. They simply ask for your compassion. They do not say that you are bad, ugly, or despicable. They only say that you are asking for something they cannot give and that they need to get some distance from you to survive emotionally. The sadness is that you perceive their necessary withdrawal as a rejection of you instead of as a call to return home and discover there your true belovedness.” -Henri Nouwen

 

I cannot say it more clearer than that.  You see, initially, I realized that all of these people left me.  They left ME.  What was the problem with me?  Why could they not handle staying?  But then, this quote, which has become more and more beloved with each time I meditate upon it….it says that should a person leave…it’s not your fault.  It has nothing to do with you.  Instead, it has everything to do with other people, those who left.  They gave up, they cannot give you what you’re asking from them, it’s just not one of their capabilities…and in order to flourish, in order to be okay, they have to distance themselves from you. 

Let me use an example from my life:  Four and a half years ago, a very dear friend was taken from me.  In many ways, this was the first time that death became personal to me.  I struggled.  I really had to endure pain as I’d never encountered it so before.  A very special friend died.  I didn’t know how to cope.  I didn’t know what to do.  I would cry, scream and pout that this beloved person was taken away from me.  I tried to live my life, I tried to move on, but it just wouldn’t happen.  And I had this friend, who just told me to “suck it up” and “move on.”  They told me my grief was irrational, because they knew that I would see them in heaven, and that I just needed to grow up and not be so selfish.  I grieved for a really long time.  The longer I grieved, the less important the friendship became, because in the end, I realized that this friend truly did not know how personal grief is, and had never experienced true pain like this, and was incapable of relating to me and relationshipping with me.  And so she left.  What I was going through, she could not handle and imagine, and did not understand. 

Sometimes, it’s tempting to look after the one who is leaving, to attempt to drag on their coattails, hoping they’ll stay.  Sometimes, it’s easy to look at the person who is leaving you, while forgetting to look for the new person that has come to take their place.  Sure, sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have not let that person walk out the door, to stand there and fight for them, fight for them to stay in my life.  But here’s the thing, if someone is leaving, it’s best to just let them go.  They can’t give you what you need, and so, let them go.  Instead of grieving over what has left, take a look around, look at the people and things that haven’t ever considered leaving you, and hold on to those instead. 

Those who leave were never apart of your destiny.  If someone is supposed to be in your life to see your destiny fulfilled, they cannot leave, and they won’t leave when given an option.  If someone is able to so easily walk out of your life without a second look, they were never a part of the destiny you have.  Let them go.  Don’t try to make them stick around, don’t fight for them, stand up, and take a good look around, and recognize that if these people are meant to be a part of your destiny, they’re not going anywhere.

I considered leaving someone once.  It was a few years ago.  Me and this person were going through an extremely rough time.  And I considered walking out on them, leaving, because the relationship was just stress and rough times.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t.  Something inside me knew that this person was a part of my life, and I was supposed to be a part of this person’s life.  Something inside of me knew that I was connected to this person for the rest of my life.  Since, we’ve left that rough place in our relationship, and are currently enjoying peace and connectedness, and wisdom and support, regardless of what’s going on.  I have since learned that leaving is not quite so easy, when your destiny is tied to that person. 

They left us, but they were never really with us.  If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end.  In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong.  -1 John 2:19 (MSG)

 

I just recently found this passage of scripture.  It has been really powerful to me.  In context, the writer of 1 John is talking about those who are not a part of the body of Christ, and those who have abandoned the faith, but I think it can also apply to those with whom we share our lives with.  If the people we share our lives with are supposed to be with us, and are supposed to be a part of our lives for a really, really long time…then they will never leave.  Should they leave, then that is the moment that we know that they are not supposed to be with us for the long haul, because they are not equipped with whatever it is that we need, in order to be successful and thrive in this relationship.  Should a person leave, don’t look longingly out of the door, don’t go through their facebook pictures, don’t lament and moan and groan over the fact that they are gone, simply know that they’re not part of your long-term life, and move on!  Don’t be hung up on someone who is clearly and obviously not hung up on you!  Don’t long for what was, and don’t ponder the “what-ifs,” go on!  Get a move on!  Grow up!  They couldn’t possibly give you what you need and what you’re asking for from them, so why do you want them in your life???  Go on!  Have the courage to make that break and look forward to what is coming!  Have the courage to make a break with that past and move on!  Do not let the unanswered questions of today hold you back from your destiny.

But Mary Beth, I love them.  Don’t you dare say that!  Don’t you dare use love as an excuse to allow yourself to be drug around by someone’s coattails, don’t you dare use love as a reason to be all depressed.  If someone is going to leave you, let them walk!  If a person truly loves you so deeply and personally, they’ll be unable to walk away.  If someone truly loves you and is truly capable of being everything you want in a person, they won’t consider leaving you for a moment, they won’t be capable of it.  Let them walk!!!  If they won’t look back at what they’re leaving, you should not waste your time with them.  Pull yourself up, pull yourself together and recognize that something greater is coming.  It may not be a person, but something greater is coming, and that is part of your destiny, that is closer to the life you’re going to live for a really long time. 

Learn to recognize the difference between people who are tied to your destiny and people who are seasonal.  Both are important, I truly believe this.  Some of the friends I’ve had for a season have been some of the most valuable and refreshing relationships I’ve ever had.  I treasure those moments, and I am so grateful that we had that time together.  I define seasonal people as the relationships you have for awhile, and then for some reason or another, the relationship  ceases to exist.  Nothing blew up or caught fire.  It just was no more.  But those people with whom you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with…you know it.  Something invigorates your soul in being around them.  You have a spark, that connection that you just simply cannot let go of, for whatever reason.  Some people define the seasonal people as those with whom you live and share life with for awhile, but then you don’t.  This can include those people that walked out.  Regardless of your definition of seasonal people, either way, there comes a time where the relationship is no more.  Not every person you meet is tied to your destiny.  And that’s okay.  It’s not a bad thing.  There’s a peace in knowing whether the relationship is seasonal or “destinal.”  And if they’re seasonal, recognize the value of what it is, when it is, and understand with compassion, when it becomes no more, and is no longer a part of your life.  Let them peacefully go.  Don’t cause havok, but let them go and chase the people who are a part of their destiny, as you chase those who are a part of yours. 

Sometimes, relationships last.  Sometimes they don’t.  As the old Adele song says:  “Sometimes it lasts in love, and sometimes it hurts instead.”  And when they don’t, this is the very time to recognize that you need to get out of that bed, get off of that couch and go live your life without them, while you wait for that person or people with whom your destiny is tied to!  Do not allow yourself to get discouraged!  Remember this, you are far too amazing to beg someone to stay with you.  If you have to beg someone to stay with you, then they’re not supposed to be with you!  Look for those people who already recognize how awesome you are and don’t need to be told why you’re so amazing!!  Go forth!