Tag Archives: relationships

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 😉

Part 3: It can only go up from here.

So, this is going to be a hard entry for me to write.

Not hard in that it’s emotionally difficult to think about, or that I don’t know what I want to say about it; I have plenty to say on the matter. It’s a matter of explaining how I felt without disclosing too much detail to avoid backlash.

Hmm. I guess I’ll try.

Well. I left off last post with my birthday weekend and how it was a difficult weekend to get through. What I didn’t reveal about that is how my birthday weekend got even worse. (Yeah, it’s possible.)

I’m not going to throw my boyfriend under the bus. I know plenty of people who read this know him and I very well, but no one needs to know the specific details of our relationship outside of the two of us. Every relationship is different. We have times when life is amazing together, followed by “rough patches” of being irritated/annoyed with one another, picking fights over small things, arguing, etc., just like every other couple on the planet, and we still love each other.

What sucks, however, is when the rough patches happen in the midst of other life-altering events.

For him, I think, seeing me so upset after losing my job and dealing with some other personal issues all at one time was hard for him. I was quite emotional and depressed, to be frank. Of course, in the almost-year-and-a-half we had been together at that point, we had seen our fair share of ups and downs and gotten through them together. This was just a whole different level. Instead of promising to work through it, we somewhat drifted. I was frustrated at him for his lack of understanding and he didn’t understand how to handle my emotions.

It was a very trying period on our relationship, and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it.

On top of thinking I was about to lose someone I really love, I also had a falling out with a close friend. Again, I do not want to disclose too much information and throw anyone under the bus, and I will not mention names. However, when I lost my job, living arrangements were severely altered, causing a major rift in that relationship.

All I can really say about that it, sometimes two people can’t ever see the situation in the same light. The phrase, “there are two sides to every story,” is the absolute truth.

I wish I could say relationships, whether between friends or between couples, are easy and effortless. They are not. The weeks after my birthday definitely showed me that. I learned that sometimes the people we love are the ones that can disappoint us the most. I learned that every relationship has high points and low points. I learned that both parties have to work together to make things work. I learned that sometimes, certain events can cause harm to relationships that may never be fully reversible.

Obviously my boyfriend and I are still together. That’s the great thing about the “rough patches”; when two people care enough to get through them, it builds strength in their bond. I’m not going to end on some “love conquers all” cheesy note. But truth be told, it does feel great when obstacles can be overcome. My friend and I are still working on mending things, and I know that will take time. But, after overcoming my birthday weekend and the month and a half of unemployment/disappointment/turmoil that followed, things really did start to look up.

That’s one of life’s blessings. It is constantly moving, up and down, all different directions, and you have no idea where it will lead you next 🙂

Stay tuned to find out! 😛

Closure.

I have been thinking about this post for over a week now. Simply because I wasn’t sure whether or not to even write it, what I would say that would even count as a meaningful blog entry, what my feelings even were, how I should be feeling and how to even explain my thoughts.

But, after several days, I have decided to share this story with you.

Last week, I received a phone call saying that one of my ex-boyfriends from high school was found dead in his dorm room where he was stationed in New York. I had not talked with him in nearly seven years. Seven whole years. And yet I found myself on the verge of tears for the whole night, thinking about this person who I remembered as a part of my past, yet knew nothing about as of recent.

I’ll start from the beginning:

Let’s call him “E”. E and I had a…well…complicated relationship. We met when I was about 12 and he was 14 or 15 through family friends. He lived far out of town, and apparently had a crush on me. After meeting him, he got my phone number from a family friend and called me, and we spent a summer talking on the phone through the distance. Eventually we lost touch and both went on with our adolescent years.

When I was about 17, however, I came across E again, we reconnected and started dating. It was a very short relationship, with long distance and our lives leading in different directions. I went to visit him with one of my friends…many things happened on that trip I do not care to share, but needless to say, the relationship was over by the end of the trip. We ended things on a horrible note. I yelled at him, told never wanted to see him again, and I never did. I never will, I should say.

Eventually we did talk a couple more times. No closure was truly gained. I heard E was very upset about the way things had turned out, he told his family that he would never intentionally hurt me, and that was that. We never spoke again.

From what I gather from his/my family is that E eventually had a child, quickly married and divorced, and enlisted in the army. He was deployed, and afterwards he stayed in the army. He had another child and quickly became wrapped up in the more, ahem,”fun” aspects of life. Apparently his party habits and his overall unhappiness caught up with him and his life ended prematurely.

Around the time E first enlisted, my grandma said that I should write him a letter, that she was sure he’d want to hear from me since it had been so long. I was still feeling stubborn and still hurt by what had happened that I said I had no interest in doing so. Looking back now, I can say that is a choice I regret.

Now, to the point of this story. I don’t mean to say that I am in any way not over my relationship with E. I have definitely moved on in life, I enjoy where I am right now and I love the guy I am in a relationship with now. I did, however, regret that I never received full closure from E.

I have always been one of those people that lives as if there is no tomorrow, soaks up every minute (for the most part) and tries to make every day have a little bit (or a lot) of fun in it. I try to never see anything as a regret. I do believe, though, that people do tend to regret the things they don’t do more than the things they do. And one thing I do regret a bit is not writing E a letter. I know that though things ended on bad terms, I would never wish someone ill-will, and I would never wish someone to die. It’s a tragedy that he was unhappy in this life, and it was a tragedy that he didn’t get the chance to see his children grow up. I do wish we could have had the opportunity to communicate and end things on good terms.

So, this is for you, E. Here’s my official closure. I hope you are finally happy and at rest, wherever that may be. I hope that your children grow up to be happy individuals. It is unfortunate the way things ended between us, that we never caught up over the years, that you will never read what I had to say, or hear it from me face to face, but maybe, somehow, you will wind up with this knowledge anyway. I wish you well.

Sincerely,

Calli

Why “romance” is sexist

Okay. A bit dramatic for the title. But honestly, it’s kind of true.

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (and I’m sure all of you in relationships are already well-prepared by now). In light of this fact, I decided to post on romance, a post I have been planning. The timing just seems right, so here goes!

The concept and expectation of romance is sexist.

“Are you insane?”

Yes, I can hear all you out there reading this thinking this/saying this out loud. No, I’m not crazy. Just think about it, bear with me.

Why is it that nearly every romantic movie, television show, book, commercial, etc., portrays it as the man’s option to “woo” a woman? Why is it always up to him? What have girls done, other than be born a female, to deserve this treatment?

Do NOT get me wrong. The occasions when my boyfriend (sorry babe, you were meant to be mentioned sooner or later) compliments me, does my dishes, lets me pick what to watch on tv, rubs my feet or takes me on dates are absolutely encouraged and well-appreciated. In fact, I would encourage this behavior often (hint hint 😉 ). But why is it that women constantly expect these things? And why is it frowned upon when men enjoy the same behaviors from women?

I read an article on chivalry recently that sparked my decision to even post this. Yes, chivalry is nice, and no it’s not (completely) dead. There is something sweet about a man that decides to open a door for you, and especially when he pulls out a chair for you. Things like that do not go unnoticed, and are encouraged some of the time. It shows thoughtfulness. But I also don’t think those things should be expected, especially all the time. We are women, and other than genetics, how are we exactly different from men? What did we do that makes them have to win us over? Not to mention, if someone did things like this for me all the time, I’d be a little put-off and possibly a little offended; I am capable of doing things for myself, thank you very much. So WHY is it that men are “supposed” to do these things for us? Shouldn’t we do nice things for men too, and not just expect them to constantly try to impress us?

Even when you aren’t in a relationship, and regardless of whether you are male or female, you can make romantic gestures. Why is it a man’s responsibility to initiate dating? Can’t both men and women be forward and ask one another out? And shouldn’t an already-established relationship be about treating each other with mutual respect and love, and going above and beyond to make each other happy? (No, I’m alone in that? Okay).

I can’t even begin to recount the number of times I have watched romantic movies and wondered why my boyfriend doesn’t do stuff like that for me or make big romantic gestures to show how much he loves me. But then I stop myself and wonder, what I have done to deserve that treatment? Simply exist? Though I am undoubtedly awesome, no, I do not deserve romantic gestures solely based on that. He does nice things for me, and I do them in return. If you love someone, you do nice things for them. End of discussion. Doing nice things for others is something that should just be done period.

We as women shouldn’t be getting upset because the guy we think is cute didn’t pull out all the stops to “woo” us over. We shouldn’t be upset with our male companions simply because they didn’t buy flowers or chocolates, or they don’t offer to open every door, or they don’t pamper us enough. Couldn’t we be making romantic gestures for them as well? Okay, maybe men don’t necessarily want flowers and chocolates, but you get my point; they enjoy nice gestures too. And they are (usually) appreciated.

In my humble opinion, both men and women should be making effort to do nice things for one another. The “nice things” may vary from relationship to relationship (i.e. some girls don’t like flowers/chocolates and would prefer a nice dinner; some men prefer watching things other than sports. Some don’t have the financial means to provide material things and come up with other creative ways to be romantic. Whatever floats your boat). But the concept remains; the responsibility to create romance in a relationship should not solely rest on the male. For decades, women have been developing more prominent personalities; plenty of women give out their numbers or ask men out on the first date, and women have even proposed. The fact of the matter is, if you both care about one another, why make it up to him to initiate all the romance?

Before I wind up rambling on and not making sense, I’m going to end this post on a happy note. I hope that everyone out there enjoys their Valentine’s Day; it’s not “singles-awareness day,” because valentines can come in many forms. Honestly, this is the first Valentine’s Day I will have celebrated with a boyfriend. True, I’ve had my fair share of Valentine’s Days spent feeling bitter because I didn’t have a boyfriend and life sucks and woe is me, but I did have family and friends that loved me (and still do), and went out of their way to wish me a happy day, and for that I can consider myself lucky. Love comes in many forms. Embrace it. Share it. Tell the people you love that you love them. Make someone feel special. Have a lovely day (pun intended). 🙂