Tag Archives: breakups

God is so Good

I’ve been wanting to write a blog regarding my recent joy and gratitude for a while, but because I’ve been so busy (doing a bunch of awesome things), I just haven’t had the time.  So here are some of the things that have been taking up my time:

Bible Study

I am so incredibly thankful for the new amazing Catholics that I have met in my area, mainly as a result of attempting to start a Catholic young adult group here.  Through that, I met a great new friend and through her, I learned about a Bible study that meets each week.

Basically, we meet at a different person’s house most Thursdays for dinner and Bible study.  We share a meal and then study the Bible together.  The first time I was invited, it was a group of 6 or 7 of us.  This was some time in July.  I thought that these people had been close friends for years.  Only weeks later did I find out that their Bible study had started recently and some of them didn’t really know much about each other at all.

Since then, our numbers have continued growing.  Now we also have once a month Thursday holy hours, holding them at a different church each time.  I had been praying to find local Catholic friends basically from the moment I graduated from Franciscan University in December 2009.  It took a while, but I am currently so blessed in that I have met so many amazing passionately Catholic young adults.  And what is crazy to think about is that I didn’t know any of these people before June.  Most I’ve only known since July or August.  It’s interesting how quickly life can change in such dramatic ways.

This past Thursday, I hosted Bible study in my apartment.  We had 15 people there.  It was a little tight since I have a small apartment, but that was a great problem to have.  We just keep growing and meeting more amazing Catholics who desire to grow in their faith.

DSCN5594.jpg
Bible study

Kayaking

I lived here for almost a full year before getting to use my kayaks.  It was tricky getting my ocean kayak to the beach by myself.  There is also a river where I can kayak, but I can’t get either kayak on my car alone.

Toward the end of the summer, I used my kayak twice in the ocean.  Then I figured out how to get both of them to the river by putting one in my trunk and one on my roof rack.  I’ve gone kayaking there 4 or 5 times since September with two of my friends.

I love living in a place where I can walk a few feet and be at the ocean or drive a few blocks and be at the bay.  (They call it a river, but to me it seems to be a bay since it’s connected to the ocean.  I don’t know).  It’s pretty awesome.

14731270_941763008670_1598195912193083975_n
Kayaking Shark River

It’s also great that I have a job where I can finish a full day of work, be home by 3, and still get a few good hours of kayaking before it starts to get chilly.  It has been a nice autumn because the weather has been pretty warm even into November.

Here’s a quick video of getting to see the train while kayaking and also seeing the drawbridge:

Tenth Avenue North concert

I went to this concert back in October and it was just amazing.  They are my favorite Christian band and I had never seen them live before.  It was just what I needed at the end of a great, but long week.

This is my video of compiled video clips from the concert:

I am so happy that my friend Amanda invited me because I would have never known about the concert if it hadn’t been for her.  She is another friend who I met as a result of trying to start the area young adult group with my church.

At the concert, the lead singer for Tenth Avenue North talked about Compassion International, which is the organization I found in order to sign up to sponsor Patience, my sponsored child in Rwanda.

I know from my own experiences in meeting Patience back in August 2015 in Rwanda that Compassion International seems to be doing great things across the world, but hearing even more accounts about it solidified my view of the organization.

11822405_853285348610_6617077975484104705_n
With my sponsored child, Patience, in Rwanda

What is great about Compassion is that they don’t bring in Americans to do the work overseas.  Rather, they use local churches and hire people within each country to oversee the program.  In some places where other sponsorship organizations were denied the opportunity to work in some dangerous areas, Compassion is allowed since they are based out of churches  that already exist in the community.

Catholic Underground

For Catholic Underground, a group of us from our Bible study drove up to NYC.  The church we went to for adoration was completely packed.  They had confession and praise and worship music during adoration and then there was live music downstairs afterwards.  It was an awesome experience, and great to get to know some of the people from my Bible study a little bit better through the long car rides.  I am so thankful for all of these new friends, even though I have only known them since this past summer.

img_8477
Some of the people from our Bible study at Catholic underground

I’m also excited about Catholic Underground because I met a guy from Connecticut there who also has an interest in overseas volunteering.  Through him, I might be able to find a connection to Catholic volunteer organizations to potentially serve with in the future.

The beach

It’s so simple, but I just love the beach so much.  I never expected this fall to be so warm that I could continue swimming so late into the year, but I’ve been lucky.  Maybe it’s a sign of global climate change, but for now I’ll just be thankful for the many beach days I’ve had since the end of the summer.

I’ve gone out for many morning beach walks, looking for beach glass and seashells.

I was even able to go swimming the day before Halloween!

14729237_941970797260_7643199945378235167_n.jpg

And THEN there was a whale at the beach on a few separate occasions.  Most recently, though, the whale was really close to the shore and it was feeding, so it kept leaping out of the water.  It was so incredibly exciting.

There is a person who lives in a house that overlooks the ocean and early last Saturday, I saw that he posted a live video of a whale.  I could tell it was right by my house.  I was still wearing pajamas, so I pulled on some leggings, threw on a jacket, grabbed my camera, and ran outside.

It was incredible.  The whale stayed in the general area for over an hour.

The picture below is just amazing.  I didn’t take it, but I did see the whale doing that multiple times.  The picture was taken by the guy who lives in the house right by the beach.

14900389_870353719732279_3700921162615339114_n

Who needs to pay for a whale watch when you live right by the ocean and can watch them swimming on a random Saturday at 9am?

Here is my video of the whale:

Atlantic City Marathon

Although I’m not completely satisfied with my result since I had an injured achilles tendon and subsequently didn’t beat my previous marathon time of 4:20 (I finished this one in 4:29), I’m happy that I have gotten my health back to a place where I’m even able to attempt (and finish) a marathon in the first place.

When I first moved to New Jersey, I was pretty healthy, but then I quickly started experiencing my Lyme symptoms again.

Last February I started going to hot yoga and that has helped a lot.  Last March I started running again for the first time after almost a year off.  In that  year I did go running, but never enough to actually train for any races.

I also found that I love yoga…something that I had never expected.  I always looked at yoga as glorified stretching, but it’s definitely more than that.

13654231_916281089640_4050698838434566425_n
Backyard yoga practice

I think that yoga helped me to get back into running.  It also seemed to make me faster.  I ran a 10k in May in Sandy Hook, a half marathon in June in Connecticut, a five mile race in July in Belmar, a relay race across the state of New Jersey in August, a half marathon in Sandy Hook in October, and a full marathon in Atlantic City in October.  I had a full year off from running, completing no races at all in 2015 and then I was able to compete in 6 races in 2016.

race_3218_photo_47975113

Now that I finished the marathon, I have to take a few weeks off from running to rest and heal my achilles.  I know that I would have done better if it hadn’t been for the injury, so I need to make sure that I don’t get back into running too quickly only to re-injure it.


I’m so incredibly thankful for my faith.  It’s not easy.  Sometimes I wish I learned about my faith about an older age.  But right now, I’m so at peace with my life in general and I think that a huge part of that has to do with my faith.

I know that God has a plan for me.

It’s really interesting because it’s the first time I’ve been single in five years.  I’ve been single now since February.  Back when I was in my last two relationships, I really thought that I was happy…especially in my more recent relationship.

Was I happy?  Sure.  But now I feel so much more peace and joy.

I have never been the type of person who needed a relationship to give me confidence in myself, but at the same time,  I liked being in relationships.  They were comfortable.  As a person who likes routine, I liked knowing what to expect each weekend.

But I realize now that both of these relationships were holding me back.  Yes, I was Catholic, and my exes were Catholics as well, but I wasn’t being pushed to grow in my faith.  I was remaining static.

Upon finding myself single last February, I started focusing more on God.  When I prayed, I kept getting the same message.  “Wait.”  Through the entire spring, I just kept doing just that.  Summer arrived and I was still without local friends.  I was still just trying to follow His advice, but it was hard.

I turned to God and running to maintain some sanity.

And then, without even realizing it at the time, things started changing.  I started to meet new people who have turned into new friends.  I found out about Bible study, which has led to many other events.  I found out about the race across the state which led to other new friendships.

Here I am now in November.  I’ve been single for almost exactly 9 months.  And I feel so incredibly joyful.  I feel like my life is exactly where it needs to be right now.

I am healthy.  I am running and going to yoga.  I have awesome students this year at my job and I’m getting to teach the AP class that I love so much again.  I’m living by the beach going for walks, bike rides, and kayaking.  I just got a stand up paddle board this week.  I have amazing friends and Bible study.  God is a main focus in my life right now, and I just feel so blessed.

I didn’t know how to word this post because I know that other people are facing more struggles than I am right now, so I don’t want to sound like everything is sunshine and rainbows.  But at the same time, I can’t contain my gratitude.

I literally drove to work this week with a smile on my face, just thinking about the place I am right now in my life in general.

So if you’re a person who isn’t yet in a good place, you need to turn to God first.  None of my happiness found me until I left it in God’s hands, waiting for things to fall into place.  I was on my knees in tears at adoration.  I was at Stations of the Cross on Friday nights with no other plans for the upcoming weekends.  I was at Mass by myself each Sunday just praying and trying to be patient.

Things do get better.  It may not be according to our own timeline.  God’s timing may not be what we want.  But I don’t think that the joy I feel now would be the same if I hadn’t had the difficult times last winter and spring.  I needed that to now see the dramatic shift that my life has taken.

I don’t know where things will go from here.  But I am content in my belief that God has good plans for me.  He is in charge of my life and I am trying my best to make choices that reflect His will for me.

And right now, it all seems to be working out.  I am joyful, I am thankful, I am blessed.

Advertisements

Laying Down My Life

Last night I went with four friends to Catholic Underground in New York City.  It was my first time at Catholic Underground.  There are hundreds of young adults (in addition to people of all ages who are there to worship Jesus.  It is simply amazing.

img_8462
Catholic Underground NYC

First is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  During adoration, there are a bunch of priests hearing confessions.  They sing the night prayer and then they turn down the lights while singing some praise and worship music.  After adoration, they have music downstairs in the basement of the church, with different performers each month.  While the music is playing, people share in fellowship, meeting new people, and finding old friends.  I was excited to run into a friend from college who is now a sister, which I hadn’t even realized.  It was so nice to see her again after so many years.

fullsizerender-10
My friend from college

So the main song they sang last night was Hillsong United’s “Touch the Sky.”  I had not heard this song until last night, but the lyrics really struck me.  Today when I woke up, I had the song stuck in my head, so I looked up the video on YouTube and I watched it on repeat a few times, tears streaming down my cheeks.  These weren’t tears of sadness but rather tears of awe in realizing all of the blessings I have received from God in the past few months.

Here is the video if you aren’t familiar with the song:

Last night, this part of the lyrics kept being repeated while we prayed at adoration:

My heart, beating

My soul, breathing

I found my life, when I laid it down

Upward, falling

Spirit, soaring

I touch the sky, when my knees hit the ground

The line in particular that resonates with me is this: “I found my life, when I laid it down.”  I always try to remember to ask for God’s will when I pray for the desires of my heart.  Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether I am following my own path or the path that God wants me to follow.  But I also believe that the things that I want the most, in the depths of my heart, must be things that God also wants for me.  Not passing wants like material items, but the things that I yearn for in the depths of my soul…I believe that God placed those yearnings there because He wants them for me as well.

It had been my desire to move to New Jersey for years, since high school or possibly even middle school.  I was so excited to finally move here last September.  I had wanted to live here for so long, and it was great in the beginning, but then when my boyfriend broke up with me in February, I was a mess.  My Lyme was acting up.  My job was stressful.  Things seemed to be falling apart.  I started wondering if my move was a big mistake.

I began doubting myself and my trust in God, wondering if maybe things weren’t working out because it had been my desire to move here and not His.  But now that months have passed, I can see how His plan was unfolding all around me while I was completely oblivious.

I didn’t move here because of my boyfriend, but he definitely made the transition a lot less frightening.  I knew him, his family, and his friends.  I knew which towns I liked, which schools I might enjoy working in.  I was relatively familiar with the area.  We were both confident that our relationship was headed toward marriage.

So February tore me apart.  I had envisioned us together forever, without a doubt in my mind.  Suddenly all of my plans for the future were discarded.  I was left alone, without a single friend in the area.

I was lonely.  I didn’t understand what God wanted from me, but I focused on Him as much as I could.  I was on my knees in adoration, crying, not understanding His plan.  It was lent, so I was at Stations of the Cross every Friday.  I was reading the Bible and devotionals.  I was coming closer to Him than I had been in a while.

Eventually, through a small Catholic young adult group, I met someone who I now consider to be one of my closest friends.  During my loneliness, I really just longed for a friend.  I dated a little bit, but I didn’t really want to jump back into another relationship after having been in 2 long-term relationships back to back, which accounted for the past five years of my life.

It required me losing everyone around me to find this new friend, and I bet that if I had still been in a relationship with my ex-boyfriend, I may have never ventured out to the young adult group.  I may have never met her because I had been spending most of my free time with him.

So my friend (her name is Gabriella) invited me to her Bible study.  Through this Bible study, I have met even more Catholic friends in the area.  Some I am closer to than others, so I was excited when Gabriella invited me to Catholic Underground last night because we would be carpooling with three other members of the Bible study who I didn’t really know too well.

The five of us drove to NYC, talking, praying, and learning about each other on the way.

img_8477
The five of us from Bible study at Catholic Underground

During adoration, I thought about myself just a year ago.  At the time, I thought that I was happy.  I was with a guy I was positive I would marry.  But that relationship wasn’t truly fulfilling the desires of my heart when I really think about it.  We went to church together, but we never prayed together or went to Catholic events together.  We didn’t really talk about God all too often.

Then I thought about my sadness back in February, without any friends in the area.  I felt like life was just ruined.  I hated the weekends.  During the work week, I was busy, but weekends would come and I had exactly zero plans.

Now I consider this weekend.  On Friday night, I went to a Tenth Avenue North concert with one of my new friends from my young adult group.  Yesterday I went to Catholic Underground with four friends from Bible study.  Myself back in February would have never believed me if I had told her to just keep waiting and praying and that everything would get better.

img_8457
My friend and I at Friday night’s Tenth Avenue North Concert

Last night I realized that although I didn’t intentionally lay down my life for Christ, as the lyrics in that song mention, it is what happened unintentionally after my breakup.  I had nothing but my faith.  I was falling to my knees in adoration (“I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.”) and slowly I started to meet people.  My breakup was in February and I don’t think I met Gabriella until around June, so it took a little while for things to start falling into place.  I needed that time to myself to focus all of my energy on the Lord.

Today I am so incredibly grateful of the way everything has happened.  I now can’t imagine life without these new friends.  We meet every week on Thursday evenings for Bible study.  We have a young adult holy hour once a month.  This past Thursday there were 12 of us at Bible study.  12 young adults eating dinner together, reading the Bible together, providing advice and a listening ear to each other, laughing together, and simply sharing time with one another.  I feel so incredibly blessed.

14556721_10154614210252138_3523172331071857695_o.jpg
This past Thursday’s Bible study group

Last night all of this really hit me because it’s so easy, like mentioned in today’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19), to forget to thank God for all that He has given us.  It is easy for me to turn to Him when I am brokenhearted, sick, or dealing with the loss of loved ones.  He is my go-to when I am struggling.  But I sometimes forget to look back in thanksgiving to see everything that he has bestowed upon me.

I am now confident that my move to New Jersey was by no means a mistake.  Instead, it was a leap of faith that has now enabled me to grow so much in my friendships and in my faith.  I had to lay down my former life.  I had to move away from the people I knew in Connecticut.  I had to be left single and friendless.  I had to seek God with all of my heart, and slowly but surely, joy has reentered my life, and for that I am incredibly grateful.  God is so good and His plan for our lives, if we listen to Him and pray to follow His will, is more glorious than we could ever imagine.

“I found my life, when I laid it down.”

Dumpee or Dumper?

I don’t know if other people feel the same way as me, but I think I would rather be the dumpee than the dumper.  I’ve been in both positions a few times, so here are my thoughts on the two:

Dumpee:

During sophomore year of college, I was dating a guy who I was confident that I would be with forever and who I would one day marry.  When he broke up with me, it hurt like crazy, especially since I had to see him every day in class and around campus.  I was sick with Lyme, I was away from my family, it was no fun.

Then, just this past February, I was dumped again by a guy who I was confident was the person I would stay with.  And it absolutely sucked.  I had moved to a new state, I had no local friends or family and I missed my old job at the time.

However, in both situations, I knew that I could not change the situation.  I would not put myself at the level of begging for either of them to change their minds.  I knew that if it was meant to be, it would eventually happen.

I think that’s why I prefer to be the dumpee — because I am at a lack of control.  I usually like control, but when it comes to relationships, it can be overwhelming.

Dumper:

I absolutely abhor breaking up with people.  I think it’s because I hate making people feel bad.  I know how miserable it can feel to be dumped, but I feel more pain at the thought of causing another person heartache.

I had to break up with my first boyfriend over the phone from college.  That wasn’t too bad since our relationship hadn’t lasted long and I was now an 8-hour car ride away (in Ohio) while he was still in his senior year of high school in Connecticut.

Then I was in a 3-year on and off again relationship.   Why was it on and off again?  Because the situation was in my hands.  The first two times I broke up with him, he was devastated.  Although I never really saw us together forever, I know that he did.  Upon breaking up, I would feel sad (as is normal) and eventually he would contact me saying he missed me and by that point, I would second guess myself. Did I make the right decision?  But he’s such a nice guy.  Maybe if this one thing changed, then we could work out.

I always reconsidered once I knew how sad we both were, not realizing that even as the dumper, you’re still allowed to feel sad.  It’s still a loss.

Just this week, I had to again be the dumper, although not in a real, long-term relationship.  I had been dating a guy since the beginning of May.  He was infatuated.  He was a nice guy, but I wasn’t super attracted.  He had a good job, he knew how to cook, he worked out, enjoyed the beach, liked to travel, everything that I want in a guy (well, minus the religious aspect).  On paper, everything sounded great.  But I just knew that he wasn’t someone who I was excited about.  I want to be with someone who I can’t wait to see.

I had just been on a trip to Kansas City for work and he kept telling me that he missed me.  I could never say the same.

So tonight I ended things with him and although it went smoothly and he understood, I still feel so bad.  Although I’ve only known him for two months, I didn’t want to cause him pain.  He was already planning my birthday gift, and talking about taking trips to Philly and Baltimore and although I was excited about all of that, I knew that I couldn’t use him for those things, since I really didn’t see a lasting relationship in the works.

Last night I planned to end things with him, but then he mentioned my birthday present and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Today I hemmed and hawed all day, thinking of both sides.  Mentally, I am exhausted.

So for me, as much as it sucks and as painful as it is, I would rather be dumped by a guy than vice versa.  I like the lack of control that it allows.  I like the fact that there is no second guessing.

With my most recent ex, I still don’t know exactly why he broke up with me.  As frustrating as that is, I know that he was confident in his decision.  Looking back, I respect him for ending it when he did rather than stringing me along.  And I like that fact that if anyone is reconsidering our situation, it’s him and not me.  The ball is not in my court, so it’s a little bit easier to move on.

 

 

 

His Perfect Timing

I really believe that everything happens for a reason.  I find myself repeating that line over and over in my conversations, especially with my students.  But sometimes it’s so difficult to actually heed my own advice.

I can’t say that I love the fact that I have Lyme disease, but it has forced me to grow in so many ways.  If it had not been for Lyme, I might not be a runner right now, something that I love so much.

Upon graduating from college, my goal was to move to the Jersey shore.  Things didn’t work out initially and I had to work in Connecticut for five years, but I had amazing experiences at my job there and I had the opportunity to meet some awesome students and coworkers.

Two years ago, I met a man who I really thought I was meant to be with and when he suddenly ended the relationship, I was lost and confused.  I felt especially lonely since I was living in a new state.  But looking back, I think that he was the reason why I had the courage to take the leap of faith that required me to pack up my life and move to New Jersey.  If I had been in a relationship with someone in Connecticut, I may have second guessed myself.  Or if I had been single, I may have simply been to afraid to move somewhere where I didn’t know a single soul, leaving behind my job, apartment, friends, and family.

I could go on and on with examples of other times when, looking back, I can see God’s work, but the most recent occasion happened last night.

Since moving to New Jersey, I have been hoping to meet some like-minded, Catholic friends.  I don’t want to be picky when it comes to friends, and I have met great people at work, but I want someone who really gets me and understands why I am the way that I am.

I was so fortunate to have attended Franciscan University, where everyone is Catholic and it is so easy to find people who will push you to be a better person.  Out in the real world, things aren’t quite that simple.  I want a friend who I can talk to about my faith without them thinking I’m too hardcore, or some sort of Jesus freak.

So about a month ago, I was reading the church bulletin, hoping to find something geared toward people in my age group.  I saw a little blurb asking for young adults in their 20s and 30s to try to start a CORE team for Theology on Tap.  I immediately sent an email when I got home to say that I was interested.

We ended up meeting at a place in Belmar a few weeks ago, but the turnout was not great.  There were 5 of us, and only 2 of us were actually from the parish.

We had a nice time, but I was not looking too optimistic about this group, considering that there was only one person who was actually from my church and in my age group.  So we met again the following week and this time, there were only 4 of us.  It wasn’t looking very promising at that point.

In trying to think of possible future activities, we decided to go to a place near St. Rose for dinner at 6pm and then walk over to adoration (my church has Eucharistic adoration from 7-8pm on Monday evenings).

Last night, to my surprise, there were 8 of us at dinner!  I was so excited that it was more than just the four of us.  I ordered my typical water without ice and then I heard the girl across from me, Gabby, order the same thing.  I know it seems totally random, but most people think it’s strange when I order water without ice.  When someone asked us why we don’t like ice, we immediately responded with the exact same sentence at the same time about how it makes the water too cold.

Then I was talking about my previous day’s 11.5 mile run and I found out that Gabby also runs and that she’s done a half marathon before.  I was really excited, thinking that maybe this was finally someone who I could get along with well.

I had a great time at dinner just talking with everyone and getting to know everybody’s back story.

Then we walked over to church for adoration.  A few people had to leave due to prior commitments.  During adoration, I usually pray the whole time, read a book, or do something else that really requires my full thought.  I started off that way, praying about the things on my mind, but then I just felt like being still and trying to listen to God, knowing that He has a plan for me.

I didn’t feel particularly inspired, but I left church feeling happy that I had left time to be with God on my busy Monday.

As we were walking outside, I saw Gabby approaching us in running clothes.  She was trying to get back in time for benediction, but she had just missed it. She asked if I wanted to go for a run since she was headed to the boardwalk.  At first, I didn’t really want to since I had eaten a BLT and fries for dinner and I never run that close to eating.  But how could I turn down the offer to finally have someone to run with?

So I drove her to my apartment and changed into my running gear, and then we went for a short jog on the boardwalk.  I couldn’t believe how many things we had in common.  My birthday is July 20th and hers is July 16th of the same year.  She’s also left-handed.  Obviously those are pretty insignificant things, but I felt like we could have talked for hours.  We talked about relationships and the struggle that it is to find a guy who is actually committed in his Catholic faith.  How it’s easy to find nice guys, but that nice isn’t good enough.

I sometimes feel like I’m too picky when it comes to guys, but I don’t just want a nice guy.  There are plenty of those around.  I want a nice guy who loves God and who loves his Catholic faith.  And being Catholic alone isn’t really good enough.  If a guy simply goes through the motions of attending Mass, that’s still not really what I yearn for.  I want someone who is passionate in his love for the Lord, someone who makes his faith a priority.

Yet while I want someone who is passionate, I also want someone with other interests, someone who likes to do things outside of church as well.  I have looked at guys on Catholic Match before, trying to see if there was anyone who I was interested enough in to actually pay for the subscription, but I don’t love the idea of paying to find a relationship.  And many of the guys who I’ve been on the site are one of two options:

Option 1: They’re Catholic in name only, mainly on the site to meet nice women, but they aren’t passionate about their faith.

Option 1: They’re passionately Catholic, but they seem to lack social skills and they don’t share common interests with me.  It seems that all they do is related to church.

And this is why I sometimes feel too picky.  Yes, I want a Catholic guy, but despite my love for my faith, I have many other interests.  I don’t want to spend the entirety of my weekends in church.  I love running, kayaking, hiking, going to the beach, mini-golfing, and just being outside in general.  I want someone who can share those interests.  Is it impossible to find someone who shares these feelings?

Looking back on my relationship with my ex, I really thought that we were headed for marriage.  We had talked about engagements and future plans.  I was confident in us.  But I see now how I was still settling.  Yes, he was Catholic, but he refused to say grace aloud at a restaurant because he didn’t want people to look at us.  He didn’t want to go to Mass on holy days.  He went to church with me every Sunday, but he didn’t mind missing Mass here or there.  He was always complaining about the homilies.

He didn’t really like going to do outdoor activities as much as I did and was very happy to watch TV or movies instead — something that I only really do on a rainy day when I have no other plans.  He loved going out to watch movies at the theater, while I would rather spend my money going to a nice dinner and watching a movie at home.

He had no desire to travel  — something that I am so passionate about.  Yet I was okay with that.  I thought that our relationship was worth sacrificing travel for.  And it wasn’t even his refusal to go on mission trips with me…he wouldn’t even go on a day trip to another city.  I had accepted the fact that I would probably just continue to volunteer overseas alone, while he stayed home to coach football.  Football was his passion and although I learned a lot about it, I really don’t care at all about the sport.  He was a great guy, but he was probably right when he eventually decided that we weren’t right for each other.

Maybe it could have worked out just fine.  But I am still hoping that God has something even better in store for me.  Maybe, once I meet the right person, I won’t have to sacrifice some of my passions.  I know that any solid relationship requires some sacrifice and compromise, but it’s tough to decide how much is acceptable. It’s difficult to know if I’m giving up too much of myself in order to be in a certain relationship.

Gabby has the exact same feelings as me, and similar situations with dating.  If it wasn’t a work night, I am sure that we could have just talked for hours.  And she said something that really resonated with me, about listening to the desires of my heart.  If there is something that I really seek in a man, that is something that I shouldn’t give up on.

I know that if I had to choose the perfect person for me, he would love God above everything else, but also enjoy being outside and staying active, and be eager to travel with me.  I don’t want to have to compromise on any of those three things.  If I did compromise and find myself in a marriage with someone who didn’t fit those criteria, I think I would be always curious if I could have found a better person if I had waited it out.  And that is what would lead me to a divorce.

Do we necessarily need to enjoy all of the same outdoor activities?  No, but some should overlap.  I’m not expecting or even seeking a guy to accompany me in marathon training.  But I hope I can find one who will cheer me on at the finish line.  I don’t need a guy who loves kayaking, but maybe instead he enjoys hiking.  He has to enjoy some of the activities that I enjoy.  Does he need to jump on a plane for 14 hours to go trekking with gorillas in Rwanda?  No.  But going on a drive to the Baltimore Aquarium, or flying out to see the Grand Canyon would be awesome.  And he would need to be supportive of the mission trips that I go on, not upset with me for leaving for a week or two.

So Gabby and I chatted about jobs, relationships, dating, our faith, and friends over our 2.3 mile run.  She told me how she loves going kayaking and stand up paddle boarding on a river that is close to where her sister lives.  She also enjoys running and the beach.  Although I don’t drink, she assured me that I will enjoy going out with her to experience the Belmar night life with her and some of her other Catholic friends.

I drove her back to my car, we exchanged numbers, and I left feeling so excited about the way the night had played out.

A few hours before, I had come home from work, went to the beach, and I was actually feeling a bit frustrated knowing that I would have to leave the beach early to shower and go out to dinner.  But I am so happy that I went.

I have no idea what will come with this young adult group or this friendship, but I am absolutely thrilled to find out.

I couldn’t even fall asleep last night because I was just in awe of the way God works.  My relationship ended in February and I took time to work on myself.  During Lent, I had been going to adoration every Monday and Stations of the Cross every Friday.  I went to Mass every Sunday and I went to confession twice.  I was reading my devotional daily and trying to pray more than I had been in the recent past.

I also worked on restoring my health, through hot yoga and running.  I needed to be alone during the past few months to get to where I am right now.  And maybe He now knows that I’m ready for more, whatever comes from all of this.

They always say that things happen when we’re least expecting them and I think last night was a perfect example of that.  I went to dinner expecting there to be four of us, maybe five max.  But everything fell perfectly into place.

I wish that I was better at waiting patiently and trusting in Him, but I get so impatient when I feel so alone.  I need to remember that He truly has the best plans for me, even if they don’t happen as quickly as I think they should.  Waiting is key.

And the idea of waiting reminds me of a blog that I wrote on February 11th, about The Difficulty of Waiting.  At the time, I was just frustrated that I had to wait to see how life would unfold, but now, in June, I am starting to see the fruits of that message in my devotional about waiting.  It had said this:

“Your path is difficult.  There is no work in life so hard as waiting, and yet I say wait.  Wait until I show you My Will.  Proof it is of My Love and of My certainty of your true discipleship, that I give you hard tasks.

Again, I say wait.  All motion is more easy than calm waiting.  So many of My followers have marred their work and hindered their progress of My Kingdom by activity.

Wait.  I will not overtry your spiritual strength…

All your toil in rowing and all your activity could no have accomplished the journey so soon.  Oh, wait and trust.  Wait, and be not afraid.”

Four months later, and maybe the waiting has finally paid off.  I am eager to see what unfolds next.

God is so good and I am feeling incredibly blessed.

 

Don’t Rush Your Life Away

I’m 27 (and a half).  I’m not your typical girl who has envisioned all of the details of her wedding day.  I actually tend to dislike most weddings.  I’m also not your typical girl who oohs and aahs over babies.  Yes, I like children, but I don’t particularly feel the yearning to have a baby at the moment.  Yet I can’t help but feel like I’m falling behind when I see how friends from college have been married for five years and they already have three children.

It’s so easy to get caught up in those sorts of things, which sometimes causes me to feel like I’m missing something.  I now have students who I taught while I was student teaching who are engaged and married.

It’s easy to get consumed by all of those stories and to feel like a bit of a failure when life doesn’t seem to be working out the way that it “should.”

But I must stop and remember that I really do have a lot of great things in my life.  I have a solid career, now onto my 6th year of teaching.  I have a beautiful apartment.  Since my boyfriend broke up with me three weeks ago, I have been trying to delve into my faith more deeply than I had recently.

Tonight at Eucharistic adoration, I was just thinking about life in general.  I see engagement after engagement, wedding after wedding, baby after baby.  Although I don’t feel like I need any of those right now, they are difficult to ignore.

My students are always talking about how people these days are too picky, how anyone who is still single after 30 is just being too picky and they will probably end up alone.  Granted, this is advise coming from a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds, but still, I sometimes can’t help myself from thinking about their comments.

But when I think about what I would want in a future husband, I want things that I’m not sure that I’ve found yet.  Some of these include:

-Someone who loves God more than he loves me

-Someone who is bringing me closer to Heaven

-Someone with whom my soul could spend eternity

-Someone who brings out all of the best qualities in me

-Someone who will pray with me

-Someone who I can be myself around

-Someone who is confident, yet humble, kind, yet not a pushover, friendly, but not crass or vulgar

I know that God has a plan for me, which may include a husband (or it may not), and which may include my own children (or it may not), or it may include adopted children (or it may not).

I need to maintain the faith that I will know when things are right.  Granted, I truly believed my most recent boyfriend was the one I would spend the rest of my life with, but maybe when I really find the right person, it will feel different than this.  Maybe the certainty that I thought I felt will be multiplied exponentially.

I would rather be single and lonely now as opposed to divorced and lonely ten or twenty years from now, after settling for the wrong person.

27 is still young.  I could still end up in so many situations.  I could stay in New Jersey forever.  Or I could randomly end up living across the country.

That’s the great thing about life – its uncertainty.  None of us know where we may end up in the future.  We just need to trust that God has our best interests in mind and that He will help to lead us in the right direction as long as we try to follow His will for us.

Writing Instead of Drinking

On days like today, I wish I was a drinker.  I’d love to use alcohol to suppress the day’s frustrations, to relax me and help me to forget about life.

Instead, I’ll just vent a bit on here…

A little over two weeks ago, my then boyfriend dumped me after our almost 2 year relationship, my Lyme was acting up, my mom was leaving for Israel (which is awesome minus my lack of ability to contact her right now), and work was stressful.  I was lonely, now living in a new state without friends or family close by.  I knew things could get worse, but I hoped to God that they wouldn’t.

Sometimes I just don’t understand how He thinks I can handle so much.  They say God won’t throw us more than we can handle, but I’m starting to doubt that.  I just feel like I’m already trying to overcome so much, and then my feet still keep getting pulled out from under me.

I’m proud of the way I’m handling my breakup.  I’ve been in no contact with my ex for 16 days now.  I’m also eating healthy.  I’ve finally gotten back into working out, doing hot yoga, walking, and running.  I thought things were finally getting better.

Then today happened.  Just like some of my other recent blogs, it has to do with my job, so I can’t get detailed.

Basically, because I’m in a new job this year, I am getting pushed into situations where I can’t speak up for myself without very likely not being rehired for next year.

I am being thrown under the bus (along with other people) for things that I did not do wrong.  Rather, the person in charge of the whole situation told us incorrect information (but was smart enough not to put it into writing, so we have no proof of what he told us to do).

I was interrupted in the middle of trying to teach my class today with this bad news.  For the rest of the 88-minute period, I had to do everything I could to will the tears welling up in the bottom of my eyes not to overflow and drop down my cheeks.  I did NOT want my students to see me crying.

I wasn’t crying out of sadness, but out of helplessness, frustration, anger (and my recent breakup probably didn’t help my emotional state either), you name it.

My students knew I was not being myself.  They kept asking if I was okay.  Their concern made me want to cry even more.  I think a few of them could see me blinking back the tears in my eyes.

And to think that my morning had started out great.  A former student found me on Facebook and sent me this message:

Hey, how are you? I must say you were the best teacher I ever had. You were so involved in our education. Thank you so much for making me feel like some does care about my future.

I love hearing from former students.  That message started my morning in such a positive way.

I was all caught up with my work.  I had interesting lessons to teach.  Then moments later, everything became a hectic whirlwind of emotions.

I know that many times it takes these terrible, painful situations to find God more deeply, but I thought I was doing a good job of that.  Since my breakup, I have been doing stations of the cross each week.  This Monday I went to Eucharistic adoration and confession.  I’ve been reading my devotional every morning.  I’ve been turning to Him so much and yet everything just keeps getting worse.

I know I have people I can talk to, but I still so badly want to call my mom.  I hope she’s having an amazing time in the Holy Land, but the selfish side of me just wants to be able to contact her so badly.

On top of everything, I had been making a lot of progress in terms of working out, but due to today’s stress levels, my back, neck, shoulders, and joints in general are all hurting like crazy right now.  I’m hoping not to relapse again, but it’s times like these that make my Lyme flare up.  I can’t handle that on top of everything else right now.  I just feel like I’m drowning.

I know things could be worse.  I know life is hard.  I know that it will get better.  But I’ve now been going on 16 days of hoping it gets better and instead, things are just getting worse.  I know 16 days isn’t that long, but still.

I don’t drink alcohol, so I will write out my frustrations, but gosh, I wish I could temporarily subdue the pain by just pouring myself a glass of insert name of your preferred alcoholic beverage here!

Half a Month Feels Like Half a Year

I think maybe I was too quick to write my Finding Peace blog.  Maybe on that particular day, I was feeling more peaceful, but here I am, 15 days since my breakup, still feeling lost.

I know that 15 days isn’t really that long in the grand scheme of things.  But it feels like months since I’ve heard his voice, felt his hugs, shared in his laughter, knew what was going on in his life.

I keep hoping that with time, my previously rose-colored glasses will turn clear and I will finally see the problems that had been present in our relationship.  Maybe that will happen eventually, but right now, I can’t think of anything that was a major issue.

I just want a reason for the breakup or a significant problem in our former relationship SO BADLY.

Why?  Why wasn’t I good enough?  Or was I too good?  Were you intimated by the fact that I have my life together?  Did I offend you?  Did I say something wrong?  Was I too sarcastic?  Have you been talking to someone else?  Was I too mopey lately since things haven’t been going right?  Do you just think that we’re too different?  What the heck can it be?

We were planning our future.  You had full confidence in us just a few weeks or months ago.  We had talked about engagements and families and life together.  How did that change so quickly without any major fight?

I just don’t understand.

I dream about you every single night.  I sometimes go to bed without thinking about you, only to dream about being back together all night and then waking up, feeling upset with my realization that those dreams were not reality.  Then I feel frustrated that it’s been 15 days and you haven’t called or texted to see if I’m okay.

I know that I told you that we couldn’t be friends.  But I hoped that maybe you’d contact me to ask how I’m doing.  I know that I threw away our pictures, deleted you from social media, and didn’t make any attempt to contact you.  Maybe you’re respecting my privacy.  But every time I hear my phone beep, I hope that the text is from you instead of a friend who is checking if I am doing okay.

I want you to change your mind.  I want a second chance.  I believed with all of myself in you and in us.  I admire you and all that you are.  I am not willing to give that all up so quickly.  But I also know that I need to respect your wishes.  I haven’t contacted you because I don’t want to be the lonely ex-girlfriend who blows up your phone trying to get you back.

I don’t want you if you don’t want me.  I want a man who wants me just as much as I want him.  But I can’t stop myself from hoping that you’re starting to realize that you just made a mistake.

I know that God has a plan for me.  And I want to follow this plan.  But I also so badly want you to be part of this plan.  I want to move on, but I’m so afraid that the moment I finally give up on us will be the same moment that you realize all that you lost.

They always say how if you love something, you should set it free and see if it comes back to you; if it doesn’t, it was never really yours.  So you’re now free.  The question that remains is whether or not you’ll return to me.

I’m definitely starting to do better.  I cry less.  I don’t think about you (most of the time) while I’m at work.  But I want to know about your life.  I want to know about what is new with you and your family.  I want to hear your voice.

It’s been half a month since our last hug goodbye.  But gosh, it feels like half a year.  I feel so completely out of touch with your life.  And I long to tell you all of the updates with my life.  But I can’t.  I need to give you your space.  So that’s what I’m doing.  It’s such a bitter pill to swallow.

I miss you.  So much.

 

 

Finding Peace

I have now been single for 10 days.  Is it easier than last week?  Definitely.  That doesn’t mean that it’s actually easy, but I’m beginning to find peace with my situation.

I don’t like to admit this, but I am always closer to God when I’m experiencing a struggle, whether it’s a breakup, illness, or the death of someone I love.  When I am faced with situations where I have no control, it is always God who I turn to.  I wish that I could spend this much energy on being with Him when I’m experiencing joyful moments.  I try to be thankful for the good times, but it’s so much easier to forget about prayers and thanksgiving when I’m simply enjoying life.

I think that we all need these moments that throw us onto the ground in pain in order to fully rely on Him the way that we should.

The same thing happened when I broke up with the guy I was dating during college.  When we broke up,  I found myself in adoration way more often than I had when we were dating.  And it wasn’t because I was dating guys who weren’t religious.  Both of them were religious and did help lead me closer to God.  But both times, I’ve gotten even closer to God once becoming single and feeling so desperate.

I have been starting every morning by first reading a passage from my devotional, and then reading a passage from the Lent booklet that I got from church.  Before my breakup, I prayed, but I didn’t allow myself that extra time in the morning.

I am now finding that things are happening at perfect moments, and I know that it is God’s way of helping me to not feel so miserable or so depressed.

-Many of the passages in the God Calling book have been spot on, telling me to wait, and have peace, and remember that I must rely on God’s will instead of my own.  It’s difficult, but that’s what I’ve been doing.

-I had been planning to try yoga for a while now, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.  Yet this past Sunday I found a Groupon for 10 sessions of hot yoga for only $45, so I signed up.

-I went to yoga on Monday and the instructor mentioned that she, too, has Lyme disease, and that her mother (a Lyme specialist) happened to also be there that night (even though her mom rarely goes to her yoga classes).  Coincidence?  I think not.

-Since it’s Lent and I gave up all music that isn’t Christian, all I can do while driving is listen to Christian radio or Christian cds and I think that is also helping my mindset.

-On Wednesday I went to a professional development dinner at work, so it was nice to find some things to keep myself busy.

-Tomorrow I will go to Stations of the Cross at my church.

-Saturday I’ll probably go to another hot yoga class in the morning and then go to church in the evening.

-Sunday I’ll meet a friend to go hiking.

It just seems like things are working out in a way that allows me to keep my mind focused on things other than my ex.  It’s been 10 days and I haven’t contacted him once.  At times, it has required every ounce of my energy to avoid picking up my phone and texting or calling him, but so far, I’ve been strong.  I still think about him quite a bit.  I still have dreams about him, but I am finally able to not feel like I am on the brink of tears all day long.

It’s getting easier not to contact him.  When I think about it, I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone if I have to beg or plead or explain myself.  I want someone who can’t imagine living life without me.  Do I still love my ex? Absolutely.  Am I ready to move on and date somebody new?  No.  Definitely not.

Sure, I still hope that we’re meant to be and that he just needs some time to himself for some reason, but I am finding more peace in understanding that that may not be the case.  He may not be the man for me.

If that ends up being the case, that’s not what my heart currently desires, but it just means that there is somebody better out there.  I really believe that things happen for a reason.  So maybe he needs the time apart to realize that we really were good for each other.  Or maybe we really aren’t good for each other and I just need to take the time to realize that.

Maybe I needed this relationship to give me the courage to move to New Jersey.  Maybe if I hadn’t been dating a guy from New Jersey, I would have ended up lacking the courage that was required to move to a new state and a new job.

Maybe I needed him to help me through the death of my beloved dog, Butterscotch.  I spent so much time down here in Jersey that summer because I couldn’t bear the thought of being at home in my empty apartment.

I don’t know any answers right now.  I have no idea where I’ll be 6 months from now.  I could be with my ex all over again, happier than ever, ready to get engaged.  I could be with my ex again, realizing that it was a mistake, and facing another breakup.  I could be single and happy, or single and miserable, or I could be with someone entirely new.  Pretty much anything can happen.

I knew all of this from the moment he ended the relationship, but it’s taken time to really process everything and come to peace.  I know that God wants what is best for me, so I am trying my hardest to be open to whatever that plan entails.

Today I was listening to a song called “Times” by Tenth Avenue North.  The words fit my current emotions perfectly.  Part of the song goes:

“I hear You say,
My love is over. It’s underneath.
It’s inside. It’s in between.
The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel.
The times that you question, ‘Is this for real? ‘
The times you’re broken.
The times that you mend.
The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend.
Well, My love is over, it’s underneath.
It’s inside, it’s in between.
These times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks.
The times that you feel like you’re falling from grace.
The times you’re hurting.
The times that you heal.
The times you go hungry, and are tempted to steal.
The times of confusion, in chaos and pain.
I’m there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame.
I’m there through your heartache.
I’m there in the storm.
My love I will keep you, by My power alone.
I don’t care where you fall, where you have been.
I’ll never forsake you, My love never ends.
It never ends. “

It’s a beautiful song that you can listen to below if you’re interested:

I can’t listen to this song without crying.  But in this case, the tears come more from the humility I feel when I hear it than from the sadness surrounding my breakup.

Here I am, crying over an ex-boyfriend, forgetting the pain that Jesus went through for me.  My pains are so insignificant compared to Him dying on a cross for me.  Yet despite all of that, He is here to help me to get through each of these storms.  He is here to help me to heal my broken heart.  He won’t ever leave me alone, no matter how lonely and isolated I may feel.

And that is what is allowing me to find peace in my current darkness.

 

Is Love Worth the Pain of Loss?

I signed up for this when I said that I would be your girlfriend.

I signed up for this pain that I now experience.  I knew that was a side effect of love, especially since, for the first year, our relationship was a long distance one.

But when I was feeling those butterflies, I never imagined that the pain could hurt this much.

Was it worth it?  Of course.  I wouldn’t take away those last 2 years that I knew you.  Sure, it would be easier, but we had great memories and experiences.

I just wish that this pain wasn’t the end result of us.

I put on a shirt today that I had already worn once before since it was last washed.  It still had the smell of you on it.  I must have worn it last on a day when we were together.  I could take it off any put it in my laundry bag, but instead, I keep bending down to smell you.  It makes it seem as though you are not as far away.

I keep having moments when I’m doing better and then suddenly, just hearing a song lyric causes the tears to come flooding down my face again.

I’m trying to forget about you.  But all I keep wondering is how you’re doing.  If you’re feeling as badly as I am.  If you think your decision was a mistake.  Or if you’re still confident, knowing that we were not meant to be.

All I want to do is call you, talk to you, hold you for just one more moment.

When we said our last goodbye I gave you a hug because I knew it was the last one.  You held my head in such a tender way while we both cried before you turned and walked out the door.

I want to believe that I’m okay with out you, but right now that is just not the case.  You make me want to be a better person.

But now you’re gone and I don’t know where to go next.

I know it’s only been about a week, but it feels like a month since I last heard your voice.

That pain in my stomach just won’t subside.

I keep praying for answers, for peace, for calm.  But you interrupt every thought and prayer.

I’m trying to spend time with family and friends to get my mind off of you.  But it doesn’t work.  My thoughts keep drifting away to you.

Every story I want to tell somehow involves you or your family or something we did together.

Are you experiencing a similar situation?  Or are you already moving on?

I want you to be happy.  But I also want you to want me.  I want us to be happy.  Preferably, together.

But I also don’t want someone who doesn’t want me fully.

So many mixed emotions.

I know that there are a million wounded souls.  I know people have experienced far worse, more traumatic breakups.  I know that a breakup while dating can’t possibly compare to the end of a marriage.

But right now all of that doesn’t help me to feel any better.  Because my pain is real and gosh, it hurts so badly.

I thought you were the one for me.  I really did.  And I know that, at least for some amount of time, you thought the same thing.  We had talked so much about our future.  I had let all of my walls and guards down for you.

I know that it was worth it.  But gosh, do I miss you, especially on this miserable Valentine’s Day.

 

I Want to Hate You

I want to hate you.  I want you to be the horrible ex-boyfriend.  I want to be able to realize that I am now better off without you in my life.  I wanted you to say that you cheated on me so that I would at least have a reason.

But you didn’t.  And I don’t hate you.  You’re not even close to horrible.  And I’m not so sure that I’m better off without you.

It seems that Valentine’s Day is not my luckiest time.  I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day, with or without a boyfriend.  As a single person, it obviously sucks, but even when in a relationship, there is still usually some letdown when one person’s actions don’t live up to the other person’s high expectations.

I broke it off with my last boyfriend the day before Valentine’s Day.  Now you broke my heart just 6 days before.  Is it karma?

I want to be sure that you were wrong for me.  That we’re too different.  That you were just a rebound relationship or a little fling.

But you weren’t.  We had our differences, but we also had our similarities.  Initially, I thought you could have been a rebound, but it turned into so much more than that.  Almost two years of happiness.  Sure, there were arguments here and there.  That’s normal.  But for the most part, I loved each moment I spent with you.

We were making plans for our future.  My heart had no question of “if”, but rather “when?”  When will we get engaged?  Where will we live?

I had such a strong degree of certainty, so unlike my last relationship, when each week was filled with new doubts.

And then it all came crashing down on one random Monday evening.

When you texted and asked if you could come over, I prepared myself for the worst.  Our date night is Wednesday, after all.  I asked if everything was okay and your response was, “nobody is dying.”

Uh oh, I thought.  Could this be what I’m thinking is about to happen?  Is he about to break up with me?  

No, it can’t be.  He uploaded new pictures of us together from our trip to Texas last night.  Why would he do that if he’s about to break up with me?   No.  We just talked on the phone for 30 minutes about our Mondays.   We talked about plans for the summer.  

But my gut was right.  In your mind, it was over.

And your confidence about it killed me.  Looking at those tear-filled eyes while you told me how certain you were that we were just not meant to be.

All I kept asking for was a reason.  What was it that was the problem?  I needed an answer, but you gave me none.

All I got was the, “You’re so amazing,  you’re beautiful on the inside and out.  You’re one of the nicest people I know.  You deserve someone better than me” typical nonsense.

Why nonsense, you may ask?  Because if I’m that perfect, then what is the problem?  Is it you?  I know you haven’t been happy with certain aspects of your life lately, but I didn’t think that I was part of the problem.

I was having my own struggles with my health and with my job, but you were the person I always wanted to turn to.  You would always listen.  I could always count on your hug to make me feel better.  But now that is all gone.

We were supposed to go to Baltimore this weekend.  We were supposed to relax at the inner harbor and wander around the aquarium.  I couldn’t wait for today.  But now that today is playing out to be much different.  Instead of going on a little trip with you, I’m now going home to spend time with family and friends, with the hopes of forgetting about you, if even for a moment.

“But you’re so much better off than me,” you told me.  “You have a beautiful apartment.  You have things together.”  Really?  I’m the one who now lives in a place where I don’t know anyone but you and your family.  You are surrounded by family and friends to support you.  Mine now live 2 hours away.

I want to hate you.  I wish I never wanted to see you again.  But I don’t.  I keep having the unrealistic idea that I’ll just happen to come across you any time I go anywhere.  That you’ll realize your mistake and come running back to me.  But that confidence you had in your decision suggests otherwise.

And then I saw your stepbrother a few days after you ended everything.  I could have walked the opposite way and ignored him, but instead, I decided to say hello, not realizing that he had no idea that it was over.  He asked where you were.  I had to tell him about the situation, as the tears began to stream down my cheeks.

He was dumbfounded.  He couldn’t believe the news.  He was so kind, so encouraging, and he gave me the hug that I needed so much.

But he also gave me a tiny glimmer of hope.  He was so amazed that we were over that he told me to make you wait for me if you changed your mind and came running back.  That’s what I want, after all, for you to come running back to me.

I keep replaying our conversation in my mind.  How your brother really couldn’t believe the news.  How much he had had faith in us.

I want to hate you, but I can’t.  Because I still want you in my life.  When you said it was over, it didn’t end the love I have for you.

Yes, I ripped up and threw away every picture of us right in front of you.  I handed you the things that I had here just for you.  That iced tea that I’d never drink.  Those peanut butter m&ms that I had bought just for you.  I wanted you to feel some of the pain that I was experiencing.  I wanted you to see my heartbreak.

But really, I don’t hate you at all.  But I also don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be with me.

I’m trying to move forward.  I’m trying to tell myself that if you weren’t the one, that I will find someone better.  But right now I can’t imagine anyone better.  I want you and all of your idiosyncrasies, all of your quirks and imperfections.

I can’t hate you because I still love you.