among other things...

January 12, 2017

Working as a full-time student and employee has its advantages. Apparently, you are planting seeds wherever you go in hopes that one day, when you have the education, you need to begin really stretching your wings, that you've made strong, lasting connections with people who can help you reach your goals.

If you had asked me where I saw myself headed in 2010-2012, I would likely have given you a morbid answer. I didn't see myself going anywhere aside from the grave. My eating disorder held me back. After months and months of treatment and therapy, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, I wanted to reach the light, like, NOW. But in the scheme of things, there was no fast forward button through the healing process. And here was definitely not a rewind button to push to erase what I had done.

As I headed back to school, I honestly felt so behind - like a late bloomer who had lost all her spunky and creativity to medication and emotional exhaustion. I was alive; yes. But inside I still felt so far from where my peers were at, and it was all due to the choices I made my Senior year in high school. I had held myself back. I was the reason I wasn't on par with my friends, or where I wanted to be. I wasn't living up to my perfectionist ideals, I felt. Yet, wasn't that the very thing that tried to kill me?

While I never kicked my perfectionist tendencies completely to the curb (there is some good that comes from needing to do your best), I now know that there is a fine line between what is appropriate and what is unhealthy. So, believe me when I say this: never in the last 6 years did I think that I would be here today - a 2017 WKU graduate making her dreams come true.

I might not be where I want to be just yet, but I'm confident that God has me where I need to be. He always has, since I was little, placed a love of History and writing on my heart. Now, I am finally starting to be able to see where He is leading me. This time, I'm not going to get in His way. //

Men are from Mars

January 1, 2017

He looks at you and smiles. For the first time you don't feel invisible. You're surfing on crystal waves seafoam that rises up in the darkest corners of your heart, like an ocean swelling up to meet the shoreline. His stare is intense. His body language is sharing with you a message of sincere intent. He knows you like him, and he feels confident enough to to grab your hand and tell you the same. He's not ashamed to be with you, and in your heart you can't think of anyone better to trip over daisies for.

But there is always this edginess in the back of your mind that is alert and ready prepared with that unoriginal but protective "fight or flight" response. if he is as genuine as he seems, then fighting for a relationship is a response that we, as women, if confident and willing, feel a deep yearning to go into battle to secure. Yet, mixed signs and a lack of communication (although this is a normal thing for men, I assure you) can trigger the flight response because the feelings of being undervalued and unwanted sweep across our minds like a wild fire, wreaking havok on our self-confidence and self-esteem.

I often ask questions that ponder what I've done wrong to deserve this coldness (if that's even what his projecting). Did we say something to offend him? Am I too much - too little? Am I not pretty enough, smart enough to, sexy enough? What is it about me that "offends" him? I am the girl with that flight response that wants to stay and fight when the tough gets going. But if there is a lack of intent of interest or respect, I will drop any man that does not give me the time of day, or fit my standards. Now, I am not self-righteous, and don't see myself as a high and mighty goddess who deserves to be treated like a queen. No! I would hate that, to be honest. But, like most girls it would seem, my standards include:

▪ Honesty
▪ Loyalty
▪ Similar beliefs
▪ Acceptance
▪ Sincerity
▪ Communication (even if we stink at it!)
▪ Humor
▪ Humility
▪ Honor
▪ Valor

If he cannot show me he can live up to these standards, then I simply cannot convince myself to adore a man who simply - for the lack of better words - isn't that into me. If I wanted a "good time" - apparently that's all dating is these days - I would not be putting in serious effort to find someone with a good head on their shoulders and has upstanding morals. I don't invest my time in people who don't wish to stay and invest in me also. A relationship built solely on the expectation that I will not develop an emotional attachment is doomed to fail from the very start. And I will not stoop to that level of degradation. I respect myself too much to lower my standards and be some dude's "second choice."

If a man is genuinely interested in a woman, he will treat her with respect, stare at her shamelessly with a look of adoration and pride. He might not say much - he might be a quiet man; don't let that affect how you view him. Because, in all honesty, men are from Mars and do things differently. They're wired for relationships differently and we, as women, need to realize this and respect that, and develop a level of patience.

If he holds your hand, respects your boundaries, says kind words to you (even on the rarest occasion), and allows you to be who you are and enjoys your company, he's obviously smitten.
But beware; some guys are smooth criminals that use this to their advantage - to get unlimited sex from a vulnerable girl. Do not disparity, though! If you have respect for yourself and him, too, then you're going to realize that your worth more than what a jerk is willing to invest time and effort into. So, when the right man comes along (and it might be a while), you'll be ready for a strong man who is capable of loving a strong and confident woman.

Just you wait, darlings. There is no need to stay where you're not wanted. You deserve more, and there is nothing wrong with waiting. Slow and steady wins the race, and God's got the best prize waiting for you at the end of the finish line!