Salt & Vinegar Zucchini Chips…
It was probably four of the most difficult weeks of my life. Though it can’t really compare to any other hard time, the month of March truly tested my will, strength and soul. The last week was the worst.
I honestly believe that God deals us the cards of our lives with nothing more than we can handle. Our struggles and triumphs help mold us into the people we were always meant to become, and how we respond is what actually defines us. Everything happens for a reason. The people in our lives come and go for reasons. Jobs come and go for reasons. And animals become family for reasons.
When I was 10 years old, my mom got me my very first pet. Her name was pepper and we were there when she was born. She was the runt of the litter, very, very little, and immediately stole my heart. At 10 years old, all you think about is yourself. You want a dog for different reasons, but parents know better. They know that getting a pet means caring for another life, and that’s no easy feat. For most kids, getting a pet comes after long days, months, and years worth of begging. Of promising to take it outside every time it needs to go. Of promising to walk it, bathe it, and play with it. We say “yes!” without actually understanding how difficult it is.
Pepper and I grew up together. She was there when I graduated from high school, college, when I moved to Wilmington. She was right there for it all. For 16 years, that little girl was my baby. I took her for granted a lot. I never thought about all of the time she sat at home waiting for my mom and I to get home. I never thought about how badly she wanted to play with all 30 of her toys, when all I wanted to do was sit on my computer. I never thought about all of the times she would lay on the floor with me when I was home for a weekend, just cuddling. I never truly appreciated the small bouts of energy and playfulness she had as she got older.
Not until now.
I was 10 years old when I fell in love for the first time. I was 10 when I made my first best friend. But I was 26 when I realized it all. When it was too late.
Pepper lived 16 wonderful years full of love and companionship. That’s the beautiful thing about pets. They don’t have to be taught about any of the garbage life sends us. They just love unconditionally no matter what. They don’t care how much money you have, or where you work. They don’t care what kind of car you drive or the people you call “friends”. They love us with everything they have, and to them, that’s what matters.
Last week, Pepper passed away. I lost a piece of my soul that day, and I can honestly say nothing has ever hurt as bad as that did. And still does.
I’ve spent the better part of this week regretting the time I didn’t spend with her. The time she just wanted to play, and I was too tired. The times I left her at home when all she wanted was to ride with me. But, I have also grown from this heartbreak. I now appreciate it all, and will carry that with me with any pet I have in the future.
Pepper will always be in my heart. She taught me more about life than I could ever learn in school and I will love her forever.
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People can surprise you. The person you never thought could let their guard down, does. The one person you have loved, adored, and cared more about than anyone else shows you that it’s not crazy to feel that way.
On one of my favorite episodes of One Tree Hill it is said, “Sometimes people write what they can’t say.” I believe that. It’s a huge reason why I have relied on my words so intensely, especially over the past few years. Things happen and it gets too hard to look that person in the face and say what you need to say. We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of hurting others or of getting hurt. We are afraid of losing control and becoming vulnerable. We are afraid of a lot more than we let ourselves admit to.
So much of our lives are defined by others. So much of my life is defined by the people who don’t care about me. They lie, gossip, and hurt until they feel impenetrable. But once in a blue moon you find a person who makes you believe again. A person who believes in you just as much as you believe in them. A person that knows everything about you and doesn’t leave.
I, as most people do, take for granted the amazing life and people I have. I know that and that’s why I always tell people I care about how I feel. We may never get a second chance, and even if I have to write it down…I always do.
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On average I see about 3-4 concerts a year. Whether they are on a large or small scale, shows are my life. Music is my therapy.
I have wanted to see Taylor Swift for YEARS. Literally. Years. Regardless of the reasons why it has taken so long, the anticipation was the best part. I have a list of musicians and bands that I want to see and in the order of how badly I want to see them. She was at the top.
Last night, I crossed off a big item on my bucket list.
When it comes to Taylor Swift, people are weird. They either love her, or hate her. The ones that hate her all have the same reasoning…she’s a ‘player’ and writes about hating her ex’s. I can’t stand that. We all have our own things that we do to be okay. It would be like people hating me because I use my blog to be okay.
At the end of the day, she writes songs about lessons she has learned, mistakes she has made, dreams that have come true and people that have helped her grow. What she writes is real. It’s honest and it’s refreshing to hear her songs and know that she has been to the same emotional places we all visit from time to time.
Last night was incredible. My expectations were high, and she went above and beyond. It’s remarkable to look at this 23 year old girl who has changed so many lives. This girl who is in charge of her own fate and makes things happen because she knows that sitting back and waiting doesn’t solve anything.
As I was standing there singing along to all of my favorite songs, I got emotional. I looked around at all of the young girls who knew every word, but didn’t really know the meaning of what they were singing. These girls didn’t know heartbreak, or crushed dreams, or bullies. It was probably the purest, most beautiful thing to see. Then I looked at myself. I can’t really explain the feeling I get when I’m at a concert. Especially one of someone I completely adore.
It’s that feeling when the music starts and you forget the pain. When the lights go down and the only thing that matters is what song is first. When she sings the one song that is a story of your life, too, and you can’t even fight the tears. When she tells all 14,000 people that dreaming is nothing to be afraid of, because even a small town girl from Pennsylvania can change a few lives. When she pulls a young girl to the stage that is fighting cancer and for 2 minutes, she shows us that she really does care.
For 2 hours, dreams came true. For 2 hours, the drama, hate, bullies, and pain didn’t exist. For 2 hours, nothing else mattered but the words to the songs.
There is something beautifully honest about music. About the feeling you get when a song takes you back to a place you remember. A place that made you who you are.
It is my therapy.
Prayers for Emma facebook page.
Taylor Swift’s Twitter.
Both photos from Friday’s show in Charlotte, NC.
Torn about whether to buy Justin Timberlake’s new album? Joey Fatone’s track-by-track breakdown should help.
HAHAHAHAHA I love her.
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The past several months have been a whirlwind. A lot of drama has gone on, a lot of people have grown apart, and a lot of things have not gone the way many have planned.
I have loved, hated, respected and completely given up hope with many different people and things.
With that said, no matter what, I have absolutely no regrets. The good things happen to remind us of the greatness we have in our lives, but the bad things happen to help us grow. I have grown more in the past 6 months than I have the entire time I have lived in Wilmington. I have learned patience. I have learned hope, understanding, and how to move on. But most of all, I have learned that no matter what is done to me, how I react is the most important thing there is. Being able to stand up for myself, that’s a lesson in it’s own right. I have learned that I am no one’s doormat. I am educated, uninhibited, kind, understanding and accepting to all. I have a lot to offer this world and the people in it, and one day that will be rewarded. I love unconditionally, even when given a reason not to.
This is life. We must learn to accept what happens to us and be level-headed enough to give the world a little more than what we take. We don’t get many opportunities for second chances, so if one arises, take it. Make the best of it. Learn from mistakes, but don’t be afraid of making them. Roll with the punches, but don’t be afraid of swinging back.
You get one life, and no one is going to live it for you.
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There’s a small downside to living alone… My constant battle with my own thoughts
I saw her today. For whatever reason, she came to Rackm. We didn’t speak, I didn’t even know she was there for a solid 3 minutes.
Obviously I ended my night upset. I’ve never had any other mood around her. I keep thinking about how everything started out. The jokes, the smiles, the staring, the kiss that changed my world and most importantly, the fighting. On some level, for whatever sick reason, I enjoyed the fighting because she was giving me attention which never happened.
Tonight felt weird. I’m stronger now, and I expected her to ignore me. I didn’t get upset and make a scene. I didn’t say anything.
I think about my past a lot, and remember everything I have put up with… None of it feels real.
Why do we subject ourselves to pain and hurt? Because we think it feels good? Because we don’t know anything else? Or because we don’t think we ever will know anything else?
What matters is that at the end of the day all the garbage and pain is just that. There’s nothing romantic about it.
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I see her in about 36 hours. I’m afraid of seeing her. I’m afraid of remembering the love I had for her. I’m afraid of hugging her, of smelling her and wishing for her. I’m afraid of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, that has to do with her.
It has taken me a year to be okay. To not hate her, and to be happy. A year. Over the year, I have lost a best friend and someone I loved more than anything in this world. But I’ve gained so much more. I’ve made a life for myself and I’ve learned how to be happy being alone. I’ve learned how to hold my head up high and do what I want, love who I want, be who I want. I realize now that sometimes you have to get rid of some negative to make room for so much positive.
But it’s easier to do when she’s 1000 miles away. Now, she’s 10 minutes away. Staying in my old house (thank God I moved out). She’s married. She’s a mom. She’s a completely different person, and as happy as I am, the last time I saw her was supposed to be our beginning.
Everything will be fine after the wedding. I’ll see her, I’ll hug her, we’ll talk like the friends we used to be and I’ll say goodbye - for real this time. This is my closure. The closure I never got before. This is it, and to be completely honest I will probably never see her again. Saying that used to be a lot scarier, now it’s just a part of life.
No one ever said it was easy.
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