*disclaimer: the first half-third of this post is a recap of how I met Greg and our first weekend together. So if you don’t care about that and want to get to the mental health good stuff, just skip down to the bolded list. I’ve found such joy in reflecting over the weekend we met, and as it means so much to me, I couldn’t help but write everything down. This is my blog after all lol!
Tomorrow marks one year of dating Greg. Tomorrow also marks the longest relationship I’ve been in since high school. My dating record is pretty shitty. I tend to bounce around from relationship to relationship, most only lasting a few months. I would always blame myself when the relationship failed. Mainly because I felt I wasn’t worthy enough to be in a relationship at all. That “never enough” feeling led me to choose partners who never fully cared about me and treated me like crap. The few that did actually care and did their best to treat me well, never fully understood the workings of my brain and thus were left frustrated and feeling like I wasn’t giving enough to the relationship. It’s hard for another person to understand you when you barely understand yourself. I can remember sitting in cars and on couches trying to verbalize what exactly I was feeling, yet instead succumbed to anxiety from the pressure of the guy wanting more from me. I’d sit there speechless. My brain’s thoughts in a hurricane, stifled by my fears of not being enough, of being left, of being hurt. In most relationships, I’d subconsciously start to self-sabotage so that I didn’t have to do the breaking up. I’d pull away and put up my walls, dragging the guy through hoops to “prove” he even wanted to be with me. I’d become less and less involved in the relationship and pull an emotional ghosting of sorts. Forcing the guy to become disinterested and want to cheat or break up - rather than me actually admitting I didn’t want to be with him anymore. It was a very strange process and it probably doesn’t even make much sense to anyone that isn’t me. I hate hurting people I care about so I subconsciously try to get them to want to end things and therefore hurt me. Backwards and a little sick, I know. But when you’re someone who cares too much, who can’t say “no”, and hates the feeling of being a disappointment, you do what you need to do.
Fun little back-story, Greg and I actually met the summer going into fourth grade. How do I remember this? Because the day we met was weirdly enough the first time I ever wore a training bra. Barely-fourth grade me knew that day was going to change my life. Because ya know, having boobs was everything to a middle school girl. Little did I know, I was actually right about that day. Not because of the boob thing, but because of Greg. We met at one of our brothers’ baseball tournaments. He and I also played on tournament teams, but coincidentally enough, neither of us had a tournament that weekend. So in the three days our brothers played ball, we became friends. We’d walk the outfield and go to the concession stand together. When the games became unexciting we’d go to the park and swing or play catch. It was only a few days of this, but I weirdly still remember how normal hanging out with him felt.
Greg and I never talked again until a year and a month ago. We grew up and did our separate high school thing, belonging to different social cliques and having completely different friend groups. Even though we were in the same honors and AP classes, we ironically never had a class together. I quit softball and focused on dance so any chance of baseball/softball re-connections never happened. Weirdly enough, my brother and his brother became best friends growing up. And his brother was at my house more times than I can count. I’d go to our brothers’ high school baseball games and take pictures with his dad and casually talk to his mom. I had a stronger connection with the rest of Greg’s family than with him (except his sister, but she’s older and I had no idea she existed until our brothers graduated high school...sorry Julie!).
Kind of strange, I know. And that’s kind of how our “friendship” started. We matched on tinder last Easter while he was home. I was honestly surprised he even swiped me so me being me, I messaged him. And weirdly enough he messaged back. And we kept messaging for weeks. He told me about his life and his engineering job and how he had recently moved to Virginia and was really getting into hiking. I told him about my life (minus all the recent suicide and therapy details), about teaching and how much I love working out and health and fitness. Oh and we talked about dogs almost every day and which kind he should rescue. He jokingly invited me down to go hiking with him once he figured out how to not get lost. I jokingly said I’d take him up on it. But I wasn’t joking. The night Greg and I started messaging, his brother actually came over. And I thought it was so stupid that our brothers were friends and that his parents liked me, but he and I were basically strangers. So after a month of talking, I said screw it, and I asked him when a good weekend was to come down.
I had thoughts of bailing. And I’m sure he thought there was no way I was serious. But something in my gut kept nudging me to meet him. That if anything, I was going to make a friend and get a hiking buddy. Because at that point in my life, a boyfriend/relationship was the LAST thing I wanted. I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life. I was doing the “selfish” thing, focusing on myself and what was going to make me genuinely happy. And going hiking was on the list of "things that make me happy." Of course I got lost five minutes from his apartment, as my GPS took me some weirdo back road that ultimately led me nowhere. So I had to call him and felt like an idiot because I couldn’t navigate simple directions. He answered my call and I realized I had no idea what he sounded like. His voice was deeper than I imagined it would be, but for some reason, it was reassuring and calming. In that moment I stopped feeling like an idiot and felt comfortable, knowing coming down for the weekend was already the right choice.
I finally made it to his apartment and he was outside waiting for me. I never really paid attention to him before, so even though we’ve known of each other and I technically had pictures of him from Tinder, it was like we were meeting and I was seeing him for the first time. He was about as tall and as built as I thought he was going to be. But what struck me when he went to hug me (well the second thing because I was going for a handshake, not a hug) were his eyes. Greg has stupidly blue eyes that I will forever be jealous of. And I think I blurted something like “woah your eyes” or something stupidly cliché. Good job Kel, great first impression…
He helped me get my backpack and duffel up to his apartment and took me out to dinner. Normally. I’m the kind of girl who hates going to dinner as a first date or meeting. Again, to me this was no way date-like, so I’m going to say meeting lol. I hate small talk. I’m the queen of awkward silences. I’d much rather be doing something active as to help facilitate a first introduction. But I sucked it up and did the dinner thing, expecting it to go horribly and Greg realizing I’m a total freak. But. That didn’t happen. We sat at the bar, I got whiskey, he got a beer, and we just talked. Our conversation was just so natural – which I would find out later was weird for Greg too. We talked about college and people from our high school. We bonded over the fact we don’t stay in touch with really anyone from our high school groups of friends and don’t fully understand the ones that do. We laughed about him being runner up for “Best Eyes” and me the runner up for “Best Dressed” in our senior superlatives. He asked me all about dance and was actually interested in that part of my life. I listened to him talk about industrial engineering and saw the passion behind his eyes. We talked about Game of Thrones theories, exes, and our brothers. He told me about the hiking trails he wanted to try the next day. As we ordered, I told him about my eating disordered past and why I’m vegan. He was intrigued and happy for me and didn’t judge me based off of how I choose to eat, something I wasn’t exactly used to. We finished our meal and went back to his apartment. I had brought up a fifth of whiskey to thank him for letting me stay. We cracked it open and casually finished it while watching baseball and continuing talking.
I don’t really remember but I think it was around 3 am before we actually went to bed. A. Because of the whiskey drinking and B. Because we were actually having fun just getting to know each other. I told him I was getting tired and before I could do anything else, he kissed me. I was pretty positive the kiss was the whiskey talking, so I pulled back. I looked at him and said, “I’m just not like that.” He looked at me and replied, “I swear I wasn’t actually trying anything, and nothing else needs to happen at all. You’re just really pretty. And I wanted to kiss you. I’m sorry.” This caught me off guard. Which is sad considering this is how a man should talk to a woman when it comes to taking things “further” in a friendship or relationship or whatever. He then told me, “I understand if it makes you uncomfortable, I would like you to come just sleep with me, but if you want me to set up my pull out couch I can totally do that for you too.” I thought about it for a minute. Would just sleeping next to him be the worst? It had been so long since I had slept next to a guy I liked. I’m not exactly the cuddle type because I move so much in my sleep. If I felt odd I figured I could always sneak out and sleep on the couch while he was sleeping. So I agreed. I kissed him on the cheek and said, “No we can…just don’t try anything or you really won’t get any sleep tonight.”
We went to change and brush our teeth. And I’m only bringing this up because it is significant to me. So I do this thing where I have to walk around when I brush my teeth. I don’t know why. No one else in my family that I know of does this. It’s just some weird quirk I’ve picked up. Anyway. I start brushing my teeth, Greg is changing in his room, and I go back out to his kitchen/living room and do my walking thing. I hear Greg turn his electric toothbrush on and deduce its teeth brushing time for him too. Not expecting to see him outside the bathroom, I almost jumped when I turned around and saw him, also walking around his living room. I spit my mouthful of toothpaste into his kitchen sink and practically shrieked, “YOU WALK AROUND TOO?” He nodded and kept attending to his teeth. I briskly walked to his bathroom out of embarrassment, rinsed, flossed, rinsed again and made my way to bed. Once he was done with his teeth, he came to meet me and said, “Yea. I do. My roommates used to always make fun of me, but it’s just something I do. I didn’t know anyone else did that.” And me, not feeling quite like a freak anymore said, “Same! I would walk our college house hallway in the dark because I can’t keep still.” He smiled at me, kissed me again. And turned out the lights.
We awoke early the next morning despite staying up so late. Neither of us were hung over from our accidental whiskey drinking. So we ate a quick bite, changed, and made our way to hike. Again I want to reiterate. I was not visiting Greg to make something happen between us. I was there because I wanted a new friend and because I wanted to hike (read that as: I just wanted to freaking hike for real). I amounted last nights few kisses to the alcohol and shut the door on that option. Today we were strictly business. Our conversation was flowing just as smoothly as the night before. There wasn’t any awkwardness or change in the air because we had kissed. We both seemed to be on the same page, it was great! We hoped across creeks and over rocks. He showed me the couple waterfalls he had been finding in his solo treks. He admitted to me he’s afraid of heights as I scooted to the edge of one of the cliffs, beckoning him to join me. I tried to settle his nerves by asking him his opinion on the new designated hitter rules and how I felt baseball was going to become another sport of special teams if it kept going down this track. I specifically remember this moment. Greg was ahead of me leading the way. I was leaping onto a log and walked it the way a tightrope walker would. He immediately turned around and said, “Wait. You actually have an opinion on that?” And I looked at him and said, “Well yea. I’m not one of those girls that fakes an interest in sports. I love baseball. Growing up I wanted to be the first female pitcher allowed in the MLB.”
I had no idea then, but as Greg told me half a year later, that was the moment he started falling for me. Hard. In the 24 hours spent together at this point, he knew I was different than any girl he had met or previously dated, but knowing about and having an opinion on the sport he loves most resonated with him more than he thought it would. Before we left the Shenandoah Valley, he took me to one more overhang. It was beautiful. It sat next to another waterfall and looked out into the trees. Once we made it to the platform, I looked at him, and said, “This would be the perfect place to propose.” Now. Me being me, I didn’t realize how stupid and cliché that sounded. Getting proposed to next to a waterfall is the most basic thing next to finding your engagement ring in the whipped cream of the new Starbucks unicorn frap. I immediately realized how dumb I sounded and said, “Oh my gosh no not for that reason!” Then cynically added, “No, no, I just meant it’s perfect because if she says yes, then great, but if she doesn’t, you can just zip-line or base jump or just throw yourself off the platform and not have to trek awkwardly back down together…” Thank God he just laughed and agreed. He then added, "Or, if she said no, he could always push her off the cliff." Then we laughed and split a power bar. Aren't we just the most romantic?
We left the valley and made our way back to his home. I got to play DJ and I went through his iPod laughing at some of the ridiculous songs he had on there. I played “Aaron’s Party” probably seven times and jammed out even more obnoxiously with each play. I figured, hey, if he’s going to remember me, may as well be this memory of us karaoke-ing to Aaron Carter. We laughed until couldn’t breathe. He tried to get me into country and by the second song I changed it to Blink 182. Turns out, Greg is just as much of a fan as I am, and we sang along to their greatest hits while eating grapes the rest of the drive. We got back and he told me to shower and asked what my favorite ethnic food is. I told him Mexican because it’s the easiest to veganize. As I was prepping to shower, he then yelled at me, “How do you feel about guitar hero?” I walked out in a towel, looked at him and said, “Um, I only feel the best about guitar hero. Do you have it? Can we play?” He smiled and responded, “Not yet, but I’ve been wanting an excuse to buy it. We’ll get it after dinner, prepare to get rocked.” And me being me, I said all Jack Black like, “Let’s rock let’s rock let’s rock, today” (hand motions and all). He smiled again, his stupid eyes did the “falling for you” thing again. And before I could blush I shut the door.
While he was showering, I got ready. I had brought a sundress because that’s all I wear in the summer. And I’m not completely insane. Even if we were ever only going to be friends, I was at least going to be his hot friend. I did the little bit of makeup I wanted to do and dried my hair as he was finishing up. It was perfect timing, as I did a final hair flip as he walked into the living room. He stopped mid-step, looked at me, and said, “Sheesh. You look really pretty.” And again, because I’m a pain in the ass, I said, “Yea? Did it take you this long to notice?” He got flustered and said, “No I mean I was pleasantly surprised when you got out of your car yesterday. I just meant. We were just so gross from hiking. You look great all cleaned up.” I just laughed and smiled at him and said, “Well thank you. You’re not too shabby yourself.” We went to dinner, ordered obnoxiously large margaritas and spent our entire dinner laughing. Greg at the worlds hottest jalapeño apparently and spent most of our date (yes this time it was a date) blowing his nose and drying his eyes. I sat there and laughed at him for being an idiot and felt no sympathy whatsoever. After dinner we went to find a GameStop or Best Buy so Greg could buy guitar hero. In our adventure to find it, we came across an arcade. I challenged him to an air hockey match. It was on. I CRUSHED him the first game. And it wasn’t for lack of him trying. But I got cocky and miscalculated a few shots and ended up losing the next two games. He of course boasted and rubbed it in my face and got really close. I asked him, “Is it weird I find you so attractive in this moment?” And he said, “No, I’ve been finding you so attractive all day.” And we kissed again. For real this time. No exuberant amount of alcohol pushing us together. Just us being us. And damnit. I was starting to really like him.
We finally found guitar hero after 3 separate stops. We made our way back and after an hour, finally got it set up. We drank a few beers. Nothing crazy. And rocked out until 2 in the morning. Time really was flying. And it was still continuing to surprise me that I enjoyed Greg’s company so much. He made me feel so comfortable. He made me excited. He filled my heart with joy. For the first time in months I felt like myself again. I could say or do weird things and instead of judging me, he called me adorable. I could terribly sing, get too competitive over a video game, want to eat Terra Chips and watch baseball without feeling weird. We laughed so hard that weekend. And it hit me that for the first time in forever, I wasn’t trying. This guy liked me because I was me. And I didn’t even realize how vulnerable I was being. He made it so easy. At the end of the night, he went to kiss me again. And again I pulled back. And I broke down a little. I told him how hard it is for me to get physically close to someone. In college, I was sexually assaulted…well more than that. This isn’t something I’ve been very vocal about, and one day I will write a post about it. I’m just not ready yet. But for some reason, I wasn’t shy and told Greg EVERYTHING. I started crying. My hand in his. Ashamed. Ashamed and worried that this new light into my personal life would already ruin the connection we had cultivated over the last two days. Before I could say anything else, he squeezed my hand and said, “I am so sorry that is something you went through. Something that you’ve had to deal with. But that doesn’t change the way I think about you. If anything, I only see you as stronger than before. And just tell me when I’m being a dick or if you get uncomfortable and afraid. I like you okay? I don’t want to ruin this over something so stupid as me getting too physical too quick.” I sat there in silence. I mean I said thank you. But there was so much going through my brain. The traumatic memories, the scared and alone feeling. I could already sense my walls starting to build themselves up again. Wait, did he say “this thing?” Do we already have a thing? I think he could sense me overloading, so he grabbed my hand again and said, “let’s go to bed okay?” We did our teeth dance again and changed. I crawled into bed, teary eyed and exhausted, as the lack of sleep was finally getting to me. Greg flipped me over, looked into my eyes and said, “Kelly. Everything is going to be okay, okay? I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” He kissed me again and urged me to get close. I laughed and said, “Dude, really, I’m not the cuddling spooning type.” Without a beat he responded, “You know what, I’m not either. But I really like being close to you. So it looks like we both have to deal.” And that’s the last thing I remember before falling asleep.
And that’s the foundation of Greg and I. I know that was an unnecessarily long back-story. But I don’t really care. It makes me really happy to think about and retell that weekend. Looking back on it, things I didn’t understand at the time totally make sense to me now – how calm he makes me feel, how even just holding my hand puts my anxiety at ease. He’s extremely logical and counter balances my emotions when they get too wild. Being long distance forces each of us to communicate – something neither of us were very good at in relationships before. He makes me feel beautiful just by looking at me. I believe him when he says he isn’t going anywhere. I genuinely trust him. After a year of dating and a year of loving and rediscovering myself, I think there are 5 core elements of our relationship that makes it work the crazy way it does.
Self –Awareness in Both Parties
Like I said before. Greg is very logical and inquisitive. He’s an engineer and his brain very much operates in that manner. While he doesn’t always recognize the consequences of his words or actions, for the most part, he can usually pin point or hypothesize how something is generally going to play out. Me on the other hand, my brain straddles both the logical and the emotional. It’s hard for me to find both together in sound mind. I tend to start in emotional mind, take a breather (or sleep) and come back understanding the same situation in logical mind. Good news though, is, like I stated in the last blog, I’m becoming very self aware of my brain, it’s quirks, and the “why” behind the emotions I’m feeling. Just last week for example, Greg and I got into a tiff. I’ve been really overwhelmed between work, dance, and freelance work. Plus the whole “I have no idea what I’m doing with my life thing.” So I’ve come to the conclusion of grad school. As of last week, I had only looked at schools in Pittsburgh. Pitt and CMU have zero programs for me. I don’t even want to think about Penn State. After Google-ing around, I found a pretty solid program from Point Park University. Not the most well known school in the country, but the program seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, and people in Pittsburgh definitely know about it. So I started to share my findings with Greg and the main thing he kept asking was, “Why aren’t you looking at other schools? PPU isn’t a big name. PPU isn’t going to get you hired. I just did a Google search and found the same type of programs at Northwestern and Georgetown.” Now. I’m actually laughing at this as I type because of how stupid it is now. But in that moment, I felt attacked. I understood Greg was trying to help. However, in that moment, I felt like I wasn’t enough for him. That he would be embarrassed of me if I did get a MA from PPU. I felt frustrated because I had only been seriously considering grad school for a week or two and he was already coming back at me with reasons I was "wrong". It made me really upset and I told him what I was feeling. I started to feel a panic attack coming on, so I took my in case of emergency panic attack medication and soon after, fell asleep in the midst of tears and emotions. The next morning, I woke up and made the Homer Simpson “Doh” noise. Remembering our conversation from the night before, I checked my phone notifications and saw I had an email from Greg. And I gulped. My first thought was “This is it. He’s breaking up with me.” Because still after a year of dating and recovery, I still think the worst is always going to happen to me. It’s like I’m waiting for the clock to strike midnight because I’m not deserving of being happy. Anyway. I told myself no matter what A. I’m not going to be ashamed of my emotions and if we indeed are going to break up, its better we learn what we can handle now rather than later and B. There’s no way I’m reading this until I get my coffee at work and have more time to think and find some inner brain peace. Obviously the email was not about breaking up. It was to apologize and explain his point of view and offered to not offer advice or his opinion if it’s causing me too much anxiety. He also wanted to show me support and love and reiterated how much he wants a stable future with me and how he wants us to continue to build a lasting partnership. God do I love this man. I took my time to respond and crafted my own email back. Also apologizing as I felt so stupid for reacting the way I did. For thanking him for trying to help me and for thinking about the future – for thinking about ME in his future. This is new territory for both of us. And each of us being able to take a step back and be able to identify how we’re feeling and what we want has been huge.
Greg and I are not the best at communicating for a few reasons. A. We just aren’t ha. B. I work roughly 7:30-7 most days – give or take a few hours depending on the day, and Greg works second shift, meaning he’s 3-11 pm decompresses a bit after and goes to bed between 1-2. C. We each are the kind of person that doesn’t like texting all hours of the day. Most days I prefer to put my phone on silent somewhere and I tend to forget about it until I need it or know I need to have it. So between our tendencies and schedules alone, we are not the best at talking every day. Oh yea. And we’re long distance, meaning it’s crucial we communicate because we don’t actually get to see each other as often as normal couples do. It’s a pretty shitty situation honestly. But we’re doing our best. Greg makes it a point to check in and say hey about halfway through his shift at 7:00 pm ish. I tend to send him links in the morning as I peruse social media and he’s still asleep. We set aside time each week to FaceTime. Through self-awareness, I’m learning what is most effective for me, and I’m getting better and better at telling Greg when I’m not okay. Mainly because for the first time, I really want this relationship to work. And I know in order for it to work, things will get uncomfortable and we have to work through issues together. I can’t keep bottling my emotions up and just pray they go away. That never happens. Ever. So again, with the last week example, Greg writing me an email after an anxiety attack was the best thing he could have done. And I made sure to tell him that when I responded. People grow and evolve, it’s part of being human. And it’s exciting. I was over the moon to tell Greg that his, love then concern then love/support formula of an email helped me so much more than he could comprehend. I think the key is that we each aren’t giving up and acknowledge when and what we can continue to work on as individuals in this relationship. And as long as we’re each willing to continue doing our part, I genuinely believe we’re going to make it.
Patience and Understanding
In college, one of my guy friends used to harp on me about my lack of patience. “Patience is a virtue” he’d continually squawk at me. Now I know patience is important, however I really didn’t start applying it to my life until I went to therapy. We were constantly reminded to be patient with ourselves. That we were all chugging along and recovering at our own paces. That each of our stories, no matter how long and drawn out, were beautiful and needed to be developed fully. Being in a long distance relationship has taught me how important patience is when it comes to relationships. This relationship isn’t one about instant gratification. When we’re lucky, we get to see each other each weekend. But there have been months where it’s 3 weeks before we can actually hug each other. And it sucks. But it’s taught me the cliché that good things are worth waiting for. That the people you love are worth it. And it’s not that I didn’t know or understand this concept before. But it took Greg and therapy to make me actually apply it to my own life. Understanding I think I have an easier time with. I like to think I’m a very open person when it comes to exploring options and taking in another person’s point of view. I’ve been through a lot in my short (and maybe naïve?) 24 years. I’ve been living by the mantra lately that “everyone has their own battles.” And I’ve been doing my best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. The jerk speeding on a neighborhood road. The old lady in the office who makes comments about the way I dress. The rude man at the bar who loses it on a bar tender. I know most likely given the selfish nature of this world, these people act this way because that’s just who they are. But the decent human in me wants to think the actions of people are justified by something traumatic they’re going through. The speeding man is on his way to the hospital because his father had a stroke. The old lady in the office was raped in her youth and encourages me to wear more conservative clothing so it doesn’t happen to me. The man at the bar just found out the love of his life was cheating on him and he couldn’t contain his emotion any longer. And trust me, I know how naïve that sounds. Some people are just rude people, but that’s not the world I want to live in. And honestly, just living this way has made my life so much more enjoyable. Instead of getting mad and feeling slighted, responding with empathy and un-warranted compassion is a much more positive way to deal with the world. It causes me less stress and allows me practice the art of responding with love rather than anger and hate. It's weirdly spiritual almost and uplifting. And I believe "they" say, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. The effort of understanding has been such a huge foundational pillar in my relationship with Greg. He’s told me more than once that he will never understand anxiety and depression fully. It’s something I’ve accepted about him. And it’s something he’s accepted about me. That’s part of the “brilliant, hilarious, beautiful girl I’m (he’s) in love with”. That’s a direct quote. I know, swoon. But it means the most to me that he continually asks me to help him understand. It means everything that he’s doing his best to continue to try and understand. That in itself means more than his actual understanding. And it proves to me time after time again he’s just such a great human being and it reiterates he’s a man of action behind his words of love.
Judgment Free Zone
Within the first two weeks of dating Greg, he came up with something pretty amazing for our relationship: #thejudgmentfreezone. JFZ is our safe space, where we can tell each other the things we keep locked inside, out of fear of being judged. Which is funny because if you think about it, the things we think we’ll be judged about, are actually the things we actually judge ourselves on the most. Kind of a backwards, subconscious cycle thing, but it’s a thing nonetheless. JFZ has been crucial in our relationship because it allows us to be the most open with each other. And yes, we aren’t 100% open all of the time. We still have fears. We still have things we aren’t comfortable with sharing. But just knowing we have a safe word and the other is genuinely here for us makes it that much easier. Judging is a super shitty thing to do in life. I know I literally just said this, but everyone is fighting their own battles. Not every woman knows how to dress or do her makeup or her hair - or something devastating happened to her that makes her not want to put much effort into her appearance, or she believes her insides mean way more than her outsides. Not every man has figured out how to not be a douchebag - or he had a really shitty father or a really shitty upbringing or the events in his life make him bitter and cruel. In a culture that claims to be so open and positive, we secretly judge the crap out of eachother. And it’s the worst. And I catch myself doing it too. And I immediately kick myself when I do. Judging others is the habit we all need to quit. Like yesterday. Less judgment, more love. I know at least when I’ve taken a step back to consider a person as an actual human and not their superficial appearance or actions or words, I tend to find humanity more tolerable. But maybe that’s just me…
I know I’ve mentioned this before. But validation in life is everything. It’s our underlying feeling of acceptance. Being a human is freaking hard. There’s starvation and poverty. There is inhumane killing. There is terror. There are evil humans. There’s less intense struggles such as finding your happiness. Finding a great job. Finding someone to share a life with. Or even a few months with. There’s school and sports and artistic outlets. There are so many pressures to have it all. So to just hear someone you love tell you it’s okay to be upset and it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling can be such a relief. Society has trained us to think that thinking negatively is bad. That you are wrong and broken if you aren’t happy all of the time. But that’s the thing. No one is ever going to be happy all of the time. Some of the greatest pieces of art, literature, music, and technology has stemmed from a feeling of negativity. We need to embrace them more than shutting them out. Not only is it healthier, but it’s NORMAL. “It’s okay not to be okay.” Greg holding my hand through all of my internal brain struggles has been everything. Because while he still doesn’t understand why my brain operates the way it does, telling me not to be ashamed of how I feel and of who I am is more comforting than anything else he could say.
I know Greg and I aren’t perfect by any means - as both individuals and as a couple. We still have fights. We struggle with long distance. We don’t always communicate efficiently. But because we have these five pillars, our relationship has evolved leaps and bounds in our first year alone. And I accredit our success to that. And I don’t want you to think this stands for just romantic relationships. This is for all kinds of relationship. Mother to daughter, father to son. Mother to son and father to daughter. Friend to friend. SO to SO. Greg is my best friend. And it’s because of the friendship we have and our continual daily choosing of trying our best to make this work that it does in fact work. Ultimately. Everything I’ve said is based on love. A love for yourself, a love for the people you care about. A love and general concern for humanity. And a love for this one life you get to live. So take sometime to ask yourself about the relationships in your life. Ask yourself if you practice any of these things. I promise they help. And I promise they can make you feel less alone in navigating this stupid world.
I love you.
And Greg, I know we literally say this all of the time, but now it's blog official haha. I love you so f***ing much.