something nice to say

I am not a huge fan of Facebook.  I have an account.  I check it almost daily.  But, I am not a fan.  It is good to check up on friends and family and see photos of my niece and nephews, but I don’t care for it overall.  I am a cheerleader at heart.  I feel like I should “Like” every post, comment on numerous statuses, and be a kind and uplifting person.  However, not everyone uses the site for encouraging words and posts.

I get so sick of the self-indulgent selfies of my thirty-something friends.  Yes, it works occasionally.  No, I don’t want to see them daily.  I feel bad, too- how much affirmation does one person need in a week from outside sources?  Oh, and some of the pics people post.  Oy vey.  Honestly, do you not realize it’s unflattering?  And, not every photo you take of your sweet little angel needs to be uploaded.  Not every photo is a good one, and no one has the time to comment through three hundred pics.  That goes for your vacation, too.  I am happy for you and excited for you, but I need a week off from work to look through the thousands of pics you’ve posted.  Please, upload a couple a day or maybe a dozen to an album.  Any more is overkill.

Today, as I skimmed and commented in usual fashion, I scrolled to a post that I didn’t know what to say.  I retorted less than kind remarks in my mind.  Hmmm…  I should be kind, but then my thoughts sounded passive aggressive.  Yeah, they were.  I debated and deliberated in my mind then remembered some age-old truth: “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  So, I didn’t say anything.  I figured I could come back later with a kinder heart and kinder response.  They’d be none the wiser, but I displayed wisdom.  One less fight over Facebook?  It’s a win for everyone.

Sweet dreams and good night, L

why I hold back

It is one o’clock in the morning, and I am tired.  Yet, I found myself up thirteen minutes ago and looking at the clock.  I had hoped it was four a.m.  Because, if it had been four, I would have gotten more sleep.  I wouldn’t be here, halfway through the night, wrestling with my thoughts.

Go to bed.

Oh, that I could.

I will be honest, blogging use to be easier for me.  In my twenties, I through caution to the wind.  I had no filter, which, well, let’s be honest, makes for some great stories!  No holds barred- woo hoo!  Oh, baby.  Oh, baby.  Got myself into a lot of trouble, but it was fun.  I had the power of story telling and conviction, and I loved it.

I’m married now, though, and there’s a line I need to draw.  I need to protect the sanctity of my marriage and that which should only be ours.  And, I’ve been burned.  I remember a friend commenting on something I wrote years ago that stung.  I don’t know if she even meant it that way now, but it made me pull back.  It made me stop writing.  I let the enemy work in my life and squelch my voice.  I was meant to be heard.  My stories are meant to bring glory to G-d.  I don’t think she meant to hurt me, but I still walked away.

It’s more than that, too.  I have had some crappy friends in my life lately.  I believe that G-d is good.  I believe that my life with my husband is blessed.  It is not perfect, but it is blessed.  Sure, we are wanting.  But, I don’t compare our lives to our friends’ lives because I realize not everyone gets the same blessings.  We are all blessed, but not in the same way.  I have started to filter my Facebook posts.  Oh, don’t want to post photos of the new oven- people will think I’m bragging (though I fought six months over that oven before finally putting it to rest).  Shouldn’t put photos from our Disney trip up- people will think we’re rubbing it in.  Better not be excited about my husband’s new role at work because people will think ill of him.  Or, us.

What the heck is wrong with me?  Nothing.  Because even though I am the type of person who has cheered on and encouraged those around me, I have had others attack.  They are envious of the trips we’ve taken.  They are envious of my new oven.  They comment on us having it all.  We don’t have it all; we just don’t have kids.  One friend was always so bitter.  She thought my husband made “all this money.”  Seriously?  I reminded her that our husbands made the same amount, but we weren’t paying for childcare, diapers, kid cloths, and car payments.  We weren’t buying new cars and expensive clothes.  I shop on eBay most often for my clothes- discount city!  I cannot remember the last time I bought jeans over twenty bucks.

It has been such an unhealthy situation.  I even regretfully informed a friend we went to Disney World and didn’t tell her because I didn’t know how she’d react.  She told me she was glad I didn’t tell her because she would have been mad.  Ummm…. please tell me I caught you on a bad day?  It seemed so twisted.  It didn’t matter that we were at a breaking point in our life.  It didn’t matter that getting away and having fun was the only thing my husband and I saw as a solution to saving our marriage from the rut we were in.  We needed a drastic change course.  Yet, she reminded me: she would love a vacation, too.  In that moment, she tried to steal my joy.

I was disappointed, and, again, I hoped she had just had a bad day.  As I think about it, now, too, I realize her words are a reflection on her more than they ever were on me.

So, here, at 1:23 in the morning, I want to make a vow to you, dear reader.  Dear friend.  I hope to lose the filter again.  I hope I won’t spare you the gory details.  I hope to give you a truly intimate look at my heart.  I don’t want my posts to be in vain, but I want them to help others and heal things.  I pray that my story can help you or someone else.  I pray that my strength of communication can get my stories to those in need of knowing someone else is there, or pick you up when you’re down, or give you an escape from your day.  I am hesitant, but, standing at the edge, I hope I can make us all proud and just JUMP.

Sweet dreams, my loves,

Laura

scarred, part one

It hit me yesterday when talking to a friend.  I felt like she was attacking me.  She was.  I felt like our conversation had taken a wrong turn.  It did.  I wanted to dissipate the tension.  So, I did.  It was a petty, stupid disagreement, and I decided to just be honest: I am scarred.  I had the same spat with the friendship that ended back in March.  I said yesterday, “I am just so scarred” from the previous friendship, and it’s true.

I have big heart.  Nothing abnormal, *chuckle* but I give, love, and bless others so quickly and wholeheartedly.  I am always surprised when people say they’ve only loved once in their life, maybe twice.  I have fallen in love many times.  I have extended my heart in love or my hand in friendship.  My heart is always open.  And, I really regret it.  I mean, yes, I have gotten hurt deeply and cried a lot.  A lot, a lot, sometimes.  I use to say I had no regrets because the choices in life had made me who I am today- and I like that person.  I remember thinking “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” was so poetic.  And, when I watched it one night in early 2008, I thought, “Why would anyone want to un-remember someone or something or some time?”  I know now.

For as many friends and boyfriends as I have had, only two have scarred me.  The first one was a man I met by the end of that 2008.  We met through that popular harmonious dating site.  Even two states away, and a computer between us, we had amazing chemistry.  It’s so rare to click with someone like I did, but I was immediately smitten with M.  He was handsome, charming, and just so (in my mind) perfect for me.  He adored me, too, and wanted me to get to know his family before he had the chance to come meet me in Colorado.  I met and befriended his sister-in-law quickly.  I was elated to be falling in love and find a great fit with a second family.

Yet, not a month later, his ex-wife came calling back.  She wanted a second chance… or was it a fifth?  Or ninth?  He felt he should.  I knew the nobleness in reconciliation- I tried reconciling with my ex over a year earlier.  It broke my heart, but we said goodbye.  It was one of the most painful break-ups.  It hurt my heart more than my divorce (which, well, says a lot since I hadn’t actually met him yet!).  I trusted the Lord had someone better despite what my (deceitful) heart believed.

Forty days later, my phone rang.  It was M.  I was thrilled.  I should have listened to my family and friends, who strongly advised I back away.  I didn’t.  I was a girl who thought she was in love.  M didn’t want to wait to meet me this time.  Nothing would get in the way.  Not even his ex, who honorably cheated on him numerous times in the last few weeks (so much for reconciliation, ha).  He bought me a plane ticket to fly to Phoenix the next weekend.  We were thrilled.  We couldn’t wait.  We talked and talked and were eager to meet.  Then, the night before my flight, he broke my heart again.  He hooked up with his ex.  Yep.

I will fast forward to me changing my beloved cell phone number (after his ex started harassing me… yes, true story, she got the man, and I got the harassment.  His family told me later they called it quits again soon later.  Too bad, I think they deserved each other- don’t you???)  And, I was heartsick again.  I still went to Phoenix, and I actually had a great time and went to see The Nutcracker with two of my girlfriends and the girls of one of them.

For awhile after that entire encounter, I couldn’t understand: why was M brought into my life?  How could something so beautiful end up so tainted?  How could he, a professed man of G-d, be such a ….  I am a believer in the cliche: everything happens for a reason.  So then, what purpose did that have?  For months, and even years later, I had abandonment issues and bad dreams.  The wound he left was so deep, I wondered if it’d ever heal (it now has *whew!*).  What did I gain from such a loss?

The trinket I found after sifting through such trash is maybe it wasn’t he that was suppose to come into my life, but, maybe, I was suppose to come into his life.  Maybe he was the one who was suppose to learn something or gain wisdom and understanding.  Maybe it’s his life that needed to be changed, not mine.  And, I am okay with that.  Que sera sera- whatever will be will be.

Although, the greatest thing I took away was an appreciation for the man I fell in love with after M- Mr. Bauer.  My husband strives to be a man of integrity, and, after dating someone who lacked it, I appreciate it more than I ever would before.  The irony of M is that he had a hesitation with me upon learning I had cheated on my first husband.  Yet, Joseph has always trusted me and always had full confidence in me.  He knows what I went through to change from the woman I was to be the woman he married.  I appreciate him, and he appreciates me.  I learned quickly how to truly love someone and be love and respected back.

Needless to say, I realized years ago: I’d “eternal sunshine” M right out of my mind.  Of course, we know how that goes in the movie, but I had my first regret.  First true regret that I couldn’t make amends for.  Maybe that’s what I regret- I didn’t need to atone to anyone else, only myself.  I am stronger now that I am past M.  I feel bad for the life he chose and pray he’s found happiness.

So… one scar down…  One to go….  More soon.

Happy Wednesday, love, L