Tag Archives: memories

One year.

It’s pretty incredible how much can change, yet simultaneously remain the same, in the span of one year.

It’s been one year, as of yesterday, that my grandmother passed away, and one year today that I learned the news. It seems like it’s been longer in some aspects, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had the “good fortune” (doesn’t seem like a fitting description, but words are failing me) to be there with her for her last day here on Earth. Our last words exchanged were that we loved one another, leaving not much room for regrets or anything left unsaid.

Regardless of the situation, it’s never easy to lose a loved one. However, in reflection, I am thankful that I was able to have that closure. She is the second grandparent I have lost, and so far I have been lucky in that, with both losses, I have had closure. Not everyone is able to have that when family members pass on.

I suppose this post is not just to commemorate the loss of my grandmother, but to recognize the role that losing a family member/loved one plays in life. It is a necessary evil that we all as humans have to face at some point. When it is a family member who you’re very close to, it can be even harder to process; but even if it’s not the closest relationship, letting go is never easy.

Unfortunately, at 25, I am now at an age where I don’t have much longer to enjoy the company of the grandparents I have left. My paternal grandfather died 14 years ago (as of January of this year), and my paternal grandmother one year ago. I am so thankful that I have both maternal grandparents, as well as two step-grandparents, that I can still spend time with; all are suffering health-wise, however, and I am coming to terms with the fact that they will not be around in my life much longer.

Though they may not physically be present, the lasting memories we have created and the lessons learned from them will stay with me forever. I am a firm believer that “the ones that love us never really leave us,” to quote one of my favorite films (Harry Potter). I know that even though I can no longer see or hear them, I carry them with me in spirit. Even through the times where I fight with accepting their physical absence, that thought can offer some solace.

With death and grief comes lessons; I have learned that I am strong enough to survive losing a loved one, even though the pain can be devastating. I have learned that I need to hold on to the loved ones I have left and cherish the time I have with them every day, whether it’s with a phone call, a visit, or just a kind thought. I have learned that it’s an ongoing process and it ebbs and flows; sometimes grief rears its ugly head when you least expect it, and sometimes you go days without feeling it. But most importantly, I’ve learned that it is manageable. I have been able to connect with others through learning of their own losses, and through discussing my own losses open and honestly. Human connection is one of the most important things, and being able to help others through their own grief is something that can even help to ease your own.

Sorry if this was a somewhat scatterbrained and therapist-like post; but it has helped me to write it. This is my personal blog, after all 😉

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Now and then

So, I kind of suck at this whole updating my personal blog more than once every month or more. My apologies to those of you who read this; it’s kind of a process I’m learning!

Anyway. I’ve had this idea for a blog post for awhile, and something I read on the internet tonight reminded me why I am writing this post again. (Thank you, bestie, for bringing that awesome article in to my life, by the way. Totally fed into my nostalgic tendencies).

A few months ago, I was watching the 90s movie “Now and Then”. For those of you who haven’t seen it, read the synopsis here (but don’t read spoilers!). Pretty fantastic childish-yet-simultaneously-still-relevant movie.

Basically, to me, that movie served the purpose of causing me to think about my own childhood and compare it to that of the group’s childhood experience, and frankly, it kind of sucked for me.

In the film, the four children lived in the same neighborhood. They grew up riding bikes together throughout town, spending their days outdoors together and getting into miscellaneous adventures. They experienced adolescence together, experienced boys and some adult concepts, and faced the reality of growing up in a non-perfect world. They reunited years later, after they were all adults living their own lives in different locations, not having kept in contact very well over the years. They reconnected, reminisced, and rekindled their friendship. Overall, they realized that they needed each other then, and they still need each other in their lives as adults

Such a beautiful thought.

As I said, the movie caused me to re-examine my own childhood and the impact that growing up in the time period I did had on both my childhood and my adult life.

First of all, all of you will know that I am an only child by now (and if you don’t, then you are clearly a newcomer to my blog – welcome to my ramblings!). I grew up in a household where my parents were very hands-on parents, but I also had to entertain myself. I didn’t have the luxury of a sibling, annoying or normal, growing up under the same roof that I could pester. Sure, my cousins grew up down the street from me – but they were 5 and 6 years old, and the age gap didn’t allow for us to really have a super close relationship. When I was young, I was “too young” and the “annoying girl that followed them around.” Then, when I was reaching my pre-teens and early teens, they were graduating high school and we’re definitely too cool to hang around someone my age. Other than them, though, I didn’t really have neighbors my age that I could play with often.

I think this lack of neighborhood unity, specifically for me, caused me to miss out on the experience of socializing and gaining closeness with the children in my neighborhood. I had friends that lived a few streets over that I could play with, but due to the structure of where I lived, I couldn’t just walk or ride my bike over to their homes. Play dates had to be pre-planned, and playing outside in the street was something NO ONE in my neighborhood could do often.

Pretty unfortunate, if you ask me.

I spent a large chunk of my time reading, playing outside with my parents (no, I’m not embarrassed to admit that), and yes – playing on the computer.

Now, growing up this way wasn’t all bad. No, I wasn’t the typical spoiled only child, but I was showered with attention and affection. I learned how to be alone (kind of), and I was able to entertain myself however I wanted, whenever I wanted – no sharing, yay!

I had the opportunity to grow up in the era of technological growth, while still experiencing some of the aspects of life “before technology.” I learned to appreciate not COMPLETELY relying on technology, while also getting to witness the development of AIM, online games, and the invention of social media.

I would say that is pretty darn unique. And that is something that us 20-somethings take for granted, in my opinion.

As much as I am grateful for witnessing such a integral part of history, I also yearn for the simple pleasures of growing up in the “old days.” Part of me wishes I didn’t use technology so much in my youth; as much as it has been a value in my life, I also know that it has created some negative habits in many of us 20-somethings, myself included.

At times, it’s hard for me to look back on my youth and imagine/remember what it was like prior to relying on technology to do everything for me.

Part of writing this blog for me is my own personal therapy; I know that my childhood is my own experience, and obviously nothing I say or do can ever change that. However, I need to learn to stop comparing my own experiences to those that I see on movies, on television, or even those that I hear from people who grew up in different generations than myself.

It’s somewhat hard, knowing that I missed out on a childhood lifestyle that seemed so much neater than my own.

But I do have to say, growing up in-between a time where technology was a privilege and a time where technology is undervalued, and seeing the transformation? Totally irreplaceable.

Liebster Award

Thank you, bibbitybobbitybump, for the Liebster nomination. I’m way too new at this to have many followers, but maybe this will help! 🙂 Maybe people will enjoy learning all of this information about me, haha.

The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers in order to broaden the blogging community. If you are nominated for the Liebster Award, you have a few rules to follow:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5.Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them
Bibbity, I’m going to answer the questions you were given AND the questions you gave me, because I’m bored. So you’re getting information overload! 🙂
1. What are your favorite lyrics from a song?
Right now, I’ve been listening to the song “Automatic” by Miranda Lambert on repeat pretty much. It makes me think a lot about my childhood. I’m a pretty reminiscent person to begin with, so any song is capable of making me remember something; a specific event, a person, a feeling, etc. This song is just kinda bittersweet, and I love that about it. Brings me back to the innocence of childhood and growing up in a time of change. Though these aren’t necessarily my favorite song lyrics (let’s be honest, I couldn’t pick one set of lyrics to really explain myself), it’s a song that I feel really describes my feelings right now.
2. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names, and tell me something about them.
I have a wonderful dog named Tappy 🙂 she is a mix, she is about 10 pounds and she is 10 years old but full of energy! She loves to cuddle and be held, and she will lick you to death. Sweetest little dog, I love her so much! I probably take more pictures of her than anything. Haha. I’m slightly obsessed 😉
3. If you were to be stranded on a deserted island indefinitely, what three things from home would you want to have with you?
Oh gosh. Umm. I would want my dog (DUH), my photograph collection (can that count as one thing?? Probably not, I have a million photos…) and either my mom or boyfriend for company.
4. What is your favorite item of clothing, and why?
Do I really only get to pick one!? Sheesh. I guess I would say my Harry Potter snuggie, because that just sums up everything about me in one piece of clothing haha. I like comfort, it’s soft and it’s Harry Potter. Enough said.
5. If you had an afternoon free, would you choose to a) make something b) read/watch movies and relax c) go out and socialize?
Ha. Well. Typically, I would pick B because I live alone and that’s all I do with afternoons off here. But, if I had my absolute choice, I’d probably pick C because I’m super social (duh..). That’s what I miss most while living by myself in a town that I don’t know very many people. I take any social activity I can get at this point! 😛
6. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
Is this even a question? WINE. Without a doubt.
7. When was the last time you cried? (Feel free to tell me about it if you wish)
Hmmm…I actually don’t really know. It was sometime this week. But I can’t remember if it was because of something I was watching on tv or because of something personal. Probably because of both honestly, haha.
8. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?
I really don’t wear much perfume. BUT I really like PS I Love You from Bath and Body Works, I love Lucky You, and I really like Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana.
9. Where is your ultimate travel destination?
IRELAND. Anywhere in Europe really, but I am dying to go to Ireland. So. Bad.
10. What is one memory you have from your childhood?
Hmmm. Picking one off the top of my head, since Casper was on TV this week; I remember my parents tucking me into bed at night and our little night time rituals, but I would always wind up getting back out of bed because I was scared…haha. Even Casper the Friendly Ghost scared me when it was time to go to bed!
11. I’m about to have lunch, what should I have in my sandwich? 
Turkey, lettuce, mayo and tomato. NOM.
Now, time for the questions I got from Lindsay:
1. When was the last time you were truly embarrassed, and why?
Oh goodness. I really don’t know honestly. Typically I tend to laugh at myself when I get embarrassed, regardless of whether or not I’m actually mortified. I seriously can’t even think of a past embarrassing story to relate, other than ripping my pants really bad in the middle of a fraternity party one time and having to wear my coat around my waist, like I was in elementary school or something. But I really don’t even know if anyone saw, other than a couple of my friends, and we still laugh about it haha. I guess that’ll have to suffice for now.
2. Which do you consider most important: Love, faith, respect, or money? Why?
Ahh such a tough one! I want to say love, followed closely by faith. But maybe I should say faith, followed by love. Honestly, love is a form of happiness. It’s hard at times, and can be a pain in the ass, but without it there is nothing. Faith is extremely important as well. It’s a form of hope. If you don’t have hope and faith for the future, then how can you be happy? I think faith and love follow hand in hand really. You can’t really live without either.
3. Do you believe in a higher power? If so, what is the defining characteristic of the deity you believe in?
Yes I do. The defining characteristic of the God I believe in is one that is forgiving and understanding of me and my time here on earth. As a human, I make a ton of mistakes, and so I would like to think that my God is forgiving of that.
4. Who is someone you have a difficult time forgiving? What makes it so hard to let go of?
My family, and my boyfriend sometimes. Heck, even myself sometimes. It’s really hard for me to forgive to begin with. I’m not a perfect person, but it’s like I hold others to a higher standard in how they should treat me. I think that if I wouldn’t do something to them, then they shouldn’t do that to me. It’s hard for me to realize that not everyone thinks the exact same way that I do, and it’s hard for me to realize that not everything someone does is meant to hurt me; the end result just happened to hurt me and it wasn’t meant that way. Everyone is human, everyone makes choices without fully thinking through the consequences, and everyone makes mistakes. Depending on the severity of the mistake, however, sometimes it’s hard to forgive and forget.
5. What’s the last kind, thoughtful thing that someone did for you?
Good question. Well. My boyfriend made me breakfast in bed last weekend, because he knows I like it when he does 🙂 heh. My friend’s family recently included me on their dinner outing and paid for me, which was really nice, and a couple days ago they also let me stay at their house when it was dumping snow and I couldn’t drive home. Such wonderful people 🙂
6. True or false: It’s okay to trust.
True. Sucks sometimes if you put trust in the wrong person, but you don’t ever know until you try I suppose.
7. What’s one thing your parents did that you’ve sworn you will never do? What will you do instead?
Haha. I honestly can’t even think of anything. My parents, though frustrating at times, raised me pretty well.
8. What’s your favorite healthy snack? Unhealthy snack? Comfort food?
Healthy snack–I like strawberries, apples, oranges, grapes, string cheese (relatively healthy, right?), fruit snacks, celery and peanut butter.
Unhealthy–Way too many..haha. Anything with chocolate in it pretty much. I like Fritos a lot, Taco Bell loaded grillers (don’t judge), chips and queso, popcorn and homemade nachos.
Comfort food–macaroni and cheese, all the way. I could eat it every day. I also love mashed potatoes. Maybe stuffed crust pizza too, or Taco Bell, that tends to comfort me 😛
9. What is something specific you want your dream home to have?
Just one thing?Probably the one thing that comes to mind right now are bay windows. I freaking love them. One thing my friend’s house has that I would LOVE is a window seat/bed, where I could sit in it and read while also enjoying the sunshine or rain on the window, and I could also lay down and relax with a nice view 🙂
10. What would your partner (or best friend) say is your best quality? Your biggest flaw?
I actually cheated and asked my boyfriend what he thinks my best quality/flaw is. See, for me, I would think that my best friend or boyfriend would say that I’m very outgoing or always up for fun. My boyfriend, however, surprised me (in a good way). His response was “vibrant.” I asked him to explain a little and he followed up with telling me that I’m feisty and enthusiastic, haha. Which is apparently what he likes about me. Close enough, right? As for my biggest flaw, I would assume they would say that I take things too personally possibly, or that I get pretty moody sometimes. And my boyfriend did; he said I sometimes take things too personally. I’m pretty psychic sometimes 😉
11. What’s weighing on your heart right now? Can I pray for you?
What’s weighing on my heart right now is that I need to accept my current place in life. I need to understand that I do not need to have all the answers and have everything figured out, because I never will. I need to accept that I am no longer a student, that that is no longer my role, and that my role is to find a career path that I love.
Okay, I do not have very many followers, but I will come back and edit this to nominate my followers and ask my own set of 11 questions. If you took the time to read all of this…you must really like me, or really be interested in learning about me!
//EDIT
I will nominate my first 11 followers (minus the person who nominated me), and the 11 questions may be any combination of the above 22 questions I’ve answered on my own post!
I nominate:

Why I journal

Throughout my life, I have kept a daily journal. Pretty much since the time I was in elementary school up until now, at age 23 1/2, I have confided my thoughts, feelings and daily happenings in a little book with lines on it.

WHY?!

I get that question quite often. Many people find it impressive that I manage to write that much, while others think it’s “cute” or childish. (At times like this, when I’m a month and a half behind on my journal entries and it seems like a chore, I question why I continue to do it as well…).

I have one simple answer: it heals me.

Not to say that I literally go back through my journals and read every single entry I’ve ever written. Of course I don’t. Occasionally I may peruse a journal to see what happened on a specific day just to laugh at some of the memories and relive them.

Why would you choose to write about everything, especially the hard stuff?

That’s a very good question, friends. See, I find that releasing my emotions is a good thing. I’m an extremely emotional, empathetic and compassionate person. Sometimes (okay, 99.9 percent of the time), I have the tendency to share too much, to confide in and trust others more than I should. And it does come back to bite me in the ass sometimes. I confide in my friends/family/acquaintances the things that happen to me, the things I think about, because I like to receive feedback and get someone else’s view on it, to maybe find some similarities between what I’m going through and what someone else is. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. (Though sometimes I wonder if I should travel down that path.)

Journaling, however, combines a lot of those elements in to one thing. They are private. I keep them to myself and don’t share them, so I don’t have to confide those things in anyone else. They give me a chance to organize my thoughts (laughable, I know). When I have so many things racing through my head, I can write about it and it will give me a chance to revisit the topic later, to think more on it. Though the journals never give me feedback (if they did, I think finding a shrink would be at the top of my to-do list), I can revisit them whenever I want to and see how my thoughts have changed over time, which can sometimes be better than others’ feedback.

Now to answer the second part of that question; why the hard stuff?

That one’s not quite so simple to answer. During the times in my life that I have encountered negative life-changing events, such as death or heartbreak, I have wished, hoped and prayed that I could erase those memories. If we’re being honest, who hasn’t wished that at some point? To do that, however, would completely change who I am today. I am me because I faced those challenges, because I battled those demons and I won. To erase those moments would be an insult to my personal accomplishments. It’d be like getting to the top of a huge mountain only to find you were instead standing in a large field, with no trace of a mountain having ever been there. Sure, there are many things in my past that have hurt me. But you know what? They are in the past. They are over. I wrote about my feelings at that time because it was a way of letting it all out in a healthy way. And the best part? I don’t have to read about it now. I can choose to skip over those pages, because I’ve already lived them.

So. Relatively pointless post, I know. Just something that was randomly on my mind today. Writing is truly a self-help method. It lets you vent all your frustrations, share your excitements and even has the power to let you heal yourself over time. It’s a way of truly exposing yourself without having to let anyone else see all of it.

Unless someone steals my journals. Because then, I’m pretty screwed.