It Is What It Is & It’s Great

A little less than a year ago I reconnected with an old friend of mine and it has turned out to be the catalyst for some necessary change in my life. A mutual friend of mine made the comment when we first started hanging out again that he had always treated me better than my own boyfriend at the time and was not surprised to see that something may be blossoming between us after all these years. Her observation at the time, not mine. There has always been chemistry between us, but it has never grown into anything more than friendship.

I was thinking about that yesterday and you know what, looking back, she is absolutely right! He has always been there for me when I needed him. Sometimes in ways I didn’t even realize.

Now before I continue, I want to make it very clear that I am not reading into any of his actions as more than what they are. We are still just friends and I am not expecting anything more than that from him. He has made it very clear where he stands and I completely respect that.

That is not what this post is about.

What it is about is the appreciation & understanding I now have for those true friends that are so hard to find and the necessary changes we sometimes need to make to our social circle as we mature in order to ensure we are receiving the level of respect we deserve.

This past year, I have stepped back from a lot of people in my life. I began to realize that the time and energy I was putting in far outweighed what I was getting in return.

It’s the little things like…

Encouraging my creative adventures & giving me that push I need sometimes to keep going.

Inspiring me to try things I’ve always been afraid to.

Supporting my decisions even if not fully in agreement with them.

Reminding me of my good qualities and why I should never settle for less or allow others to make me feel like I have no value

Opening the door for you or waiting by you at the check-out even though they are finished.

How they know you are feeling down without you saying a word and make that small gesture of kindness as a reminder that you are loved.

Remembering the things you have said or done, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

Being true to their word – That’s a biggie!!!!!!

I am so sick and tired of being disappointed by the people I care about most and somehow being made to feel that the fault is my own.

I’ve never met someone so much like me…similar yes, but not this much!

It is refreshing to know that I don’t have to be afraid to let my guard down and truly be myself. When I talk, he listens. He is not on his phone or barely paying attention. He is always present and most of all he actually cares about what I am saying, even if it is some meaningless thing I am just babbling on about.

The level of respect he treats me with has put so much in perspective for me. I know he is someone I can tell anything to without judgement (even if it’s about him haha!). He has given me the courage to stand up for myself and shown me that it is possible to be fully open and honest with someone without it all falling apart. We talk about everything, but I guess we always have really.

Our friendship is something very few may understand I think, but I don’t care.

For the first time in a very long time, I finally feel understood and genuinely cared for.

Now that is true friendship and something I wouldn’t give up for the world!

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Let’s Just Be Honest

This may sound like a public service announcement and maybe it is a little…

You see, I sat in deep reflection last night, reviewing my life in great detail and as painful as it has been to embrace the cold hard facts, if it saves someone else from making the same mistakes (or less of them at least), than I guess it makes it easier to embrace them as lessons rather than failures.

Let me start by asking, how many of you have been in love? I mean truly/unconditionally in love with another person? And if you don’t know, than the answer is most likely NO. Cause, let me tell you, you’d know.

Now, I’ve had it twisted myself at times, but once you feel it, I mean really feel it, nothing else compares.

And that is not to say that every relationship I have been in has been with someone I was truly in love with either…that was part of the revelation.

In reviewing my many failed attempts at relationships, one thing became very clear: Either you feel it or you don’t, it’s that simple.

All this BS about timing or not being ready is just that, BS.

When I think about the one great love of my life, the timing was all wrong and neither of us were ready, but we didn’t care. All that mattered to us was being together.

Sure we had our share of disagreements, but at the end of the day, we never loved one another any less. Even to this day, there is never a question in my mind as to in-penetrable bond between us. Sure the dynamic of our relationship/friendship has changed over the years, but that is a story for another day, let’s just say we now share a common interest…MEN! 🙂

Anyway…I guess my point is that we all seem to make the search for love so much more difficult than it needs to be. We seem to find ourselves staying in relationships out of comfort, chasing all the wrong people or hanging on to a hope that someday it will all work out. And for what? Why?

The cold hard truth is that all the signs are usually right in front of us that it is not meant to be, but out of some need to be loved we keep chasing, we refuse to see them.

Let’s be honest, telling someone you are ‘just not that into them’ is a bit of an awkward conversation to have.

We think we are doing right by saying something like, “it’s not you, it’s me” or “I am just not looking for anything serious right now”.

It is a way of letting them down easy without completely breaking their heart.

Seems logical right?

In my opinion…it’s bullshit. Not all cases of ‘course, there are some exceptions to the rule, like people in rehab, or whatever, but for the rest of us…is that really what we mean or is it just a way for us not to feel bad about telling someone we don’t feel the same and we never will?

I have been on both sides of this and neither are pleasant. Obviously, the side of rejection being the worst.

What I am about to say may come across as a bit harsh, but life lessons usually are.

Love is blind and the need for it crippling. Which is why it is so important to learn to love yourself above all else.

You may be thinking that is easy for me to say, but remember, looks can be deceiving. I too harbor my own special set of demons.

The path in conquering them has led me here, hopefully to impart some of the wisdom gained by my experiences to save someone else from making the same mistakes.

Okay, so like I said above…Rule #1 and the most important of them all! -Learn how to love yourself.

And I don’t mean every second of every day…(do people like that even exist?), but you need to get to a point where your happiness does not depend on someone else. 

I think this is the biggest issue in relationships. There is this idea perpetuated in society that we need to find someone to complete us, or more insultingly save us. As a result we begin searching for this other half before we have even begun to understand who we are or what true love really is.

That is an awful lot of pressure to put on someone; your happiness. Not to mention it is an impossible task for anyone but yourself, so we are setting them up to disappoint us from the very beginning. Which they do, because they can’t help not to and this continues to happen over and over again until the entire relationship unravels.

Ask me how I know? 🙂

My New Year’s resolution in 2015 was not only to learn to love myself, but to find myself. After all, it is hard to love someone you don’t really know! And so the journey began. I started a new blog (check out the 1st post here), moved to a new city and set the course for massive change.

It took almost two years, but by the start of 2017, I could confidently say I know who I am, what I want, and most importantly, what I am worth! And for anyone who battles with depression, you know just how big of an accomplishment that was.

I finally felt ready to give dating another try. It didn’t pan out as you know, but I learned two more very important lessons.

1. No matter how much you grow as a person or how much you love yourself, being vulnerable with someone will always hold the potential of pain, but it also holds the possibility of finding what is truly meant to be. Tomorrow is not promised and if we never try, we will never know.

2. True love knows nothing of time. It will not wait for you to be ready or the timing to be right. Genuine, unconditional love between two destined souls has one goal and one goal alone…Unity.  You will not have to search for it, you will not have to chase it and you will not have to question it. If you are doing any of those three things, it is not meant to be.

I will leave you with these parting words of wisdom. I hope they give you the courage to continue fighting and save you a bit of heartbreak along the way.

Please do yourself a favor, don’t wait. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at love. You may lose it all in the end, but then again it may be the best decision you ever made. Wouldn’t it be better to know?

And the next time you fall for someone and they tell you they are not looking for anything serious, remind yourself of what I have said.

And please know that what they most likely mean is… they are not looking for anything serious… with you. In all frankness, if they were to meet the right person tomorrow, do you really think there would be anything stopping them? Would there be anything stopping you?….Exactly.

Remember that.

Don’t hang on to the possibility that one day they will change their mind and if you just hold on long enough, you will be the one they choose.

Go live your life, they are. As much as it hurts, not everyone you love is going to love you back in the same way. It’s not their fault and it’s nothing you can change.

It either is or it isn’t…that is all there is to it.

Don’t waste your time chasing the wrong person, you might end up over looking the right one 🙂

Painfully Mistaken

I once found comfort in these memories of you.

The way they crept in gently through my cracks.

At the start of every day,

And the end of every night.

If I had only known they would be my undoing.

The final wave that would capsize my heart.

My grand finale in the wars of love.

 

Everything is different now, damaged.

Tainted by the knowledge that none of it was real.

 

Your eyes once held the beauty of a broken shade of blue,

Shining light through the empty caverns of my soul.

Awakening, what I thought was love.

 

A shared understanding of a world we both struggled to find our place in.

A battle that somehow seemed worth fighting again.

 

But that was then and this is now.

Everything is different; damaged.

Tainted by the knowledge that none of it was real.

 

The words you spoke to spare my tears,

Only left me feeling foolish.

To think I would be so naive as to believe,

That perhaps they held the truth.

 

And just maybe, this wasn’t like before.

 

But then I am reminded,

Love is timeless.

And the pure of heart know no bounds.

Had it all been true,

There would have been no stopping you.

 

And so…

Reminiscence holds no comfort now,

The way these thoughts of you creep brutally through my cracks.

At the start of every day,

And the end of every night.

Believing in you, my undoing.

 

Conveniently Disregarded

In this life, we are forced to make decisions on an almost constant basis. Sometimes we operate on auto pilot and in others we ponder the choices before us, exploring every angle of their consequences.

I think the true character of a person can be found in neither. But rather in the instantaneous actions or reactions to a choice made quickly. In the fragile moment before action, the place one’s mind goes reveals a lot about their true intentions, even if they don’t realize it.

In the age of cell phones and Apple watches, an un-returned message can be taken much more harshly than someone not returning the message you left on their answering machine in the 90’s. People are expected to respond, if not immediately.

And why? Because when you think about my a fore mentioned point about those fragile moments before one makes a decision…No response = Non-priority, or at least that is how it is perceived.

I disagree however, I think that is a little dramatic.

I never expect an immediate response from anyone. Do you know how many times I simply turn my ringer off on a Saturday, spend the whole day in the yard, never looking at my phone once?!

I think it is important to detach sometimes and I know that I personally need that or I would lose my mind!

Now if you have had no response from several texts, than chances are you are being conveniently disregarded.

And let me tell you from experience, it’s most likely your own fault. I like to think I have always been the loyal friend everyone can count on. Even those who have wronged me end up forgiven and I fall back in line again for their torture.

Then one day I realized that maybe it was time to start setting higher expectations. Not just for my friends and family, but for myself. I always said I wanted someone who would fight for me, but maybe the reason no one ever does is because I never give them a reason to think I’d ever go away.

If I want to be treated like someone with value, than I had better start learning to value myself.

Ever since my mother left the first time, I have had this overwhelming feeling that I was unlovable, that there was no point in revealing my true self to anyone, because in the end they all just go away, so what was the point?…Dark I know.

It became the main story I told myself for years and years. There was always going to be something wrong with me, some deal breaker that would make anyone I tried to love end up leaving me in the end.

As time moved on, various relationships and friendships continued to validate this idea that in the end I was destined to walk among the strange. Fitting into the world, my armor, as I struggled to make it through the dim normalcy of the every day.

I think it’s time I put down the armor…or at least try a little harder to shed a few layers 🙂

I need to be done apologizing for being myself, for needing my space, or for taking the time I need to heal over whatever, whenever. It has been my experience that keeping up this charade, the appearance of togetherness is debilitating.

Sure my crazy antics may scare people away and my sense of humor my be a bit rooted in the gutter, but let’s be honest, I’m a rare breed and rare breeds seldom travel in herds.

Call it an acquired taste, I’m not for everyone!

So I guess what I am saying is, the next time you are conveniently disregarded, don’t think about it as a disappointment, but rather the universe giving you direction. If you think about it, it could be a real time saver to pay attention to signs like these.

If I were to spend more time noticing what was right in front of me (or not in front of me), I’d waste a lot less time focusing where I shouldn’t be.

I have been paying attention to the moments I have just before deciding to do something and it has been quite revealing.

And well, I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say at the root of it all…I want what I want and I want it yesterday.

It’s a little hard to admit, but it’s the truth and it has been eye opening.

I will literally find myself making a decision that I know will bring me pain later, simply because I want the instantly gratifying feeling of disillusionment, even if just for a moment.

Perhaps it is the flaw in my code. The deep rooted comfort I seem to find in pain.

What can I say the darkness is my muse. 🙂

 

 

Creative Insanity – A Blessing Not A Curse

Have you ever wondered why people do the sometimes seemingly stupid things they do? I am sure we all have.

Honestly, I think the majority of people are clueless as to the why themselves. I look at people sometimes and think to myself, “wow, you have no idea how much of a mess you really are”. And coming from me that is not a shallow observation. I am a mess in a lot of aspects, but then again, I think we all are in some ways.

What sets us apart from the herd is the awareness of it.

For a long time, I expended great effort hiding my imperfections from the world until one day I realized by doing so I was hindering myself from the creative insanity that I was blessed with.

I began opening up more and more about the wars going on in my head, until I began to feel comfortable going out into the world uncloaked.

I no longer needed the mask of sanity I had worn for so many years, because I have finally reached a point where I just didn’t care anymore about keeping up appearances.

Which I apparently did very well considering several of my closest friends had no idea I even battled with depression, let alone that I was bi-polar. I was diagnosed with mild cases of both, in addition to social anxiety when I was in college.

By my 3rd year, my anxiety had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even answer a question in class with out turning bright red & fumbling over my words until I was almost in tears.

My boyfriend at the time knew how I felt about therapy, so he never pushed it on me. Instead, he did his best to be supportive and ensure we had a steady supply of self-medication on hand. Mostly for me, but I am sure it helped him to keep his cool when dealing with Tiffany’s seemingly un-provoked moments of mania.

Smoking weed mellowed me out and alcohol numbed the pain, but eventually neither of those helped and I knew it was time to talk to someone. By that time, I had switched my major to Psychology and it didn’t take a genius to realize that there was something majorly wrong.

Obviously, the depression wasn’t a surprise to me as I had dealt with that for as far back as I can remember. The worst was in high school after my mom disappeared and shortly after I went through the common right of passage for any teenager, losing my first love.

All I remember from that time is feeling alone. No matter where I was or who I was with, it was always like I was more of an observer than an active participant in my own life. I hated myself, my life and at one point tried to make it all go away.

That is not something many people know and a weakness I was ashamed to admit I almost gave into.

As you all know, my grandfather and I were extremely close. You see, it was he who saved me.

There I was, laying in my bed, about to down the rest of a bottle of painkillers I stole from my grandmother and something told him to come upstairs and check on me. If he hadn’t, I may not be here today.

The other time I seriously considered leaving this world was in Seattle.

It was after I had been sexually assaulted in my apartment, something else very few people know about me.

At the time, it was the only way I could see to end the pain that had became my existence. If it had not been for the one person who was present that night, I again may not be here today.

When I opened the door to my bedroom, I had full intention of running a bath and making my exit, but something made me walk to the living room instead.

My friend, sleeping soundly on the couch awoke to an ever spiraling Tiffany sitting on the floor next to him. I had tapped on his shoulder, waited for him to awake and with tears rolling down my face I asked if he would hold me. Just for a moment, I wanted to feel like I wasn’t alone in this world.

Without question, he opened his arms and in a welcoming embrace, he held me through the night. I owe him my life. When everyone else brushed me aside, he was there to help me pick up the pieces and put my life back together.

I love that man in ways no one will understand.

Talk about a true friend and one that sadly I never truly appreciated back then. I think part of it was that I didn’t want to be reminded of that time in my life, the time I almost gave up, and so unknowingly I pushed him away as a way of burying the past.

Looking back, I think I was frightened by our friendship. For someone who tried to hide her true self from the world, the fact that someone knew me so deeply terrified me.

There was only one other person with whom I shared such a connection with and even he never knew the gravity of the emotional issues I struggled with, but I had been in love with him since I was 18 years old, so baring all could have meant losing him and that was simply not a chance I was willing to take. And therefore, there was always this % of myself I kept hidden, even from him.

I realize now that I was going about all of this in the completely wrong manner. The more you try to please the world by fitting in the box labeled normal, the more you lose yourself.

My depression wasn’t really something I talked about openly because I thought of it as a disability, but it’s not.

A friend of mine described it quiet well.  He explained, after the darkness, everything seems to shine brighter. It is where we draw our creativity and in many cases our strength to manage our way through the next manic episode.

Spiraling out  as we call it is like riding out a wave. If you fight it, you are working against the natural course of nature and may end up stuck beneath the undertow.

Where we are doomed to repeat the cycle over and over again until one day it breaks us.

Brave are the ones who are not afraid to admit that they have been weak. To be weak is to be human and it is what allows us to grow.

By masking ourselves from those around us, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves and halting the potential be extraordinary.

For we are the dangerously creative, our madness a gift and the world our canvas.

“Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles.”  – Anonymous