Love is Unconditional, Relationships Are Not.

Life is a funny thing sometimes. It always has a way to bring us back around to a lesson that we learned before and may have, somehow, still forgotten. When I was little, I heard somewhere (either from my parents or read in a book)  that you’re better off to learn lessons from other people because you don’t live long enough to make them all yourself. I took that to heart, but there are still lessons that I have to learn for myself, the hard way.

I’ll be turning twenty five soon. An “official” quarter lifer at that point. I think it is a testament to the stresses of my generation that I had never heard that term used before we came into adult-hood. Some of us have been forced to grow up fast, due to circumstances beyond our control. It’s a testament to the lessons we’ve learned the hard way and the stress that we are under to be adults who are respected instead of looked down upon as “entitled”. It’s a testament to knowing how many of my peers are on anti-depressants and in therapy (neither of which they can afford, so it just gets stacked upon the thousands of dollars of student debt they have). It’s bad when there’s now a name for it because we are having “quarter-life” crises instead of mid-life.

One lesson that has been the hardest learned for me, and that has recently come back to remind me just how I learned it, is that while love is unconditional, relationships are not. This requires a little bit of back story, so bear with me.

My last relationship (as you’ve heard me mention over the last couple personal posts) was very abusive. He was a compulsive liar and very good at gaslighting. I was young and naive, and he wasn’t (naive, that is, he’s younger than I am). He knew exactly how to manipulate me to get what he wanted. This lasted for three years. Three years. The result was that during this, my already low self esteem dropped lower, I became even more withdrawn and anti-social, and I was more lost than ever. I was a teen. My parents were going through a rough time. It was, I thought, the love of my life.

I had only had one other guy before this ever tell me that I was beautiful and that he was in love with me, but that relationship wasn’t meant to be. We never even dated. So, when this guy came along, I took a chance. In some ways, I regret it deeply. I lost a lot of friends and missed out on a lot of experiences (including enjoying experiences like prom and graduation) because of this guy. At first it was great, but then every thing changed and I found myself in a situation that I knew in the back of my mind, was not safe and was not healthy. However, like a lot of people who find themselves in abusive relationships, I loved him hopelessly. As much as any 15-18 year old can know love. I was convinced that I could change myself to be that person he loved again. I was convinced I could change him to not be so quick to anger.

I convinced myself of a lot of things that still make me cringe and turn red with embarrassment. Please believe me that hind sight is 20/20, a lesson taught to me by one of my favorite history teachers. It was his response as to why people see things more clearly or differently after the fact than in the heat of the moment. Somewhere, another quote came to me when I needed it the most. It took a lot of time for it to sink in, and a lot of courage for me to finally cut him out of my life. I had tried before, just to go to being friends with him. This was a false hope. The only way to break that cycle is complete cut-off. The reason I can’t remember where this quote comes from is that I have literally dozens of notebooks, scraps of paper, journals, and files on my computer filled with quotes gathered over the past ten years of my life.

That quote was this: Love is unconditional, relationships are not. It rattled around in my head for a long time as I wrestled with exactly what it meant to me. And what I took from it was this: Yes, love is in fact unconditional. We don’t get to decide when it happens, where it comes from, who it applies to, nor how deeply it runs. It is something that exists beyond us, on another plane. Relationships are not unconditional. Ask anyone who’s ever been in one that has ended, from lovers to friends. They will all give you a reason. And most of the time will tell you that they are still in love or still love that person. Sometimes there are just parts of a relationship that we cannot handle. While this does not mean that we no longer love the person, it just means that we now realize it is not healthy for us to be a part of their life anymore.

From dirty socks and differences in politics, to lying and unfaithfulness, there are many conditions that define what you expect in a relationship. We all think that a failed relationship equals no longer loving that person but that is not the case. I think that line of thinking is what makes relationships, especially long ones, hard to walk away from. But it’s not love that has failed. There are some things that even love cannot change or conquer. You can love someone and realize that you can no longer live with them. You have to choose to let them go and love them from afar. And it hurts. Damn does it hurt. Usually. It hurt me to realize this, but the more he hurt me, the easier it made it. That breaking point is in different places for different people. I was lucky to realize mine before I fully committed my life to his.

Now, it has been nearly 7 years since we split. I do not talk to him, I have only seen him once (in a failed attempt to get my things back). I do not friend or follow him on facebook or any social media. His number is blocked from my phone and, to be honest, I no longer remember it though I once knew it like I knew my name. Now, I am seeing a pattern of a toxic relationship develop with someone close to me who I thought new this lesson. Unfortunately, they’ve been blinded to it by the beauty of the “honeymoon phase”. It frightens and angers me for this person because they’ve been through this before and deserve so much better. But that only served to remind me of another lesson. One that is just as hard for me to accept and follow.

I’m a nurturer. The Mother Goose. I want what’s best for the people I love and it’s hard for me to accept that sometimes I have to step back and let them make their own decisions and deal with the consequences that follow. My boyfriend actually reminded me of this one, which was slightly humbling because I’m the one who taught it to him. There comes a time when you are really going to hate a decision someone close to you makes. You’re going to think that you know that this decision is only going to get them hurt. But it is not our place to make decisions for others, it it only our job to love them. Sometimes you get presented with the ultimatum of accepting their decision and loving them, or losing them from your life. I learned a long time ago you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be, or think that they need to be, saved. You’ve got to let people go their own way and just be there for them.

Simply another reminder that love is unconditional but relationships are not. Relationships are full of not only conditions but compromise. You have to decide, in every relationship, what compromises you are willing to make and what conditions are hard lines. This is always complicated by love. It’s pretty good at blurring those lines. There is always going to be someone that comes along that you love so much you turn into a pirate, going, “Rules? I thought those were more guidelines…”. There’s always going to be an exception to your rules for some people. Trust me, I’ve met one that just broke every rule I’ve ever had about a person and I fell in love with him anyways. I was willing to throw everything away for him, and he knew it. I am lucky enough that he loved me enough to not let me do that.

So,thanks for hanging in there with me and letting me ramble on. I’m not really sure where I hoped this would go when I started, but I’m ok with how it turned out. And, dear readers, with all your loved ones, just remember that love comes in many shapes and forms, and just because you might not have a great relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can’t love them.


“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”

“Your heart is surrounded by cobwebs and dust, it hasn’t seen the light of love in years. your skin is painted with blue and green circles, and red lines going in all directions. this is the aftermath of strangers,  of friends, of family, who are tyring to claw their way into your cobwebbed heart. they tried knocking first but you slammed the door in their faces, as if they were a door-to-door salesman. it’s time. time to let them in, time to clear away the cobwebs and the dust. time to let the light in.” – a.y.

“you can always find something beautiful in something destructive and now I finally understand why I’ve always been so fond of you.”

” ‘The trick, kiddo,’ his mom replies slowly, ‘is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.’ ”

“Darlin, forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.” – Big Mama The Fox & The Hound

” ‘You,’ he said, ‘are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.’ ” – Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

“I would have loved you with everything I have. But you didn’t want to be loved, turns out you just wanted to be fucked.”

“People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept.” Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“You can never really know someone completely. That’s why it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really—taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, It’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet..” – Libba Bray

“I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be.” – Libba Bray  Beauty Queens

“He admired my melancholy madness and said that it was graceful and beautiful. But it was neither of those things. I was a hurricane at the centre of a collapsing, burning, building; and I wasn’t someone to be admired at all.

“If there’s a thing I’ve learned in my life it’s to not be afraid of the responsibility that comes with caring for other people. What we do for love: those things endure. Even if the people you do them for don’t.”“I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” – Allegiant

“I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can’t bear to take his hand away, I don’t wish I was any different.” – Insurgent

“The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves just by standing up.”

A Slightly Crooked Crown

After completing my Blogging 101 assignment (getting used to the reader, following some topics and blogs) I have decided to write a little about my day, and then leave you with a few quotes.

My bf and I purchased a house in April. We needed to slightly modify the bathroom so that we could stack our washer and dryer. The previous arrangement had the plumbing outside two of the walls, a false half wall behind the toilet, and the washer and dryer separated by a large (50 gallon) hot water heater. Did I mention all the plumbing was pvc? I don’t know where you may be from, my dear reader, but here our build code dictates that hot water lines must be cpvc. We decided since we had to make adjustments in the plumbing anyways, we might as well remedy all the issues.

This turned out to be a much longer project that we had first anticipated. We ripped down the walls, pulled out the hot water heater (which was so calcified that it wouldn’t even drain and the bottom was rusting out), pulled out the old plumbing, and started fixing things. With the state of the water heater, we made the decision to purchase an instant hot water heater that should more than meet our needs.  After a few kinks, we got the plumbing installed and new plywood put up where needed. Some of the bead board paneling we took down was no longer usable because of our new arrangement and much to our dismay, Home Depot discontinued our paneling three weeks before we went to get it.

We wound up getting unfinished bead board and polyurethaned it. As we started putting up trim, we remembered just how atrocious the previous owner’s miter cuts were and had a few issues with the crown molding. Seriously, if I had pictures of how bad his cuts were, I would show you. After two days of working on it (after our day jobs), and some of it being slightly crooked, we finally got the crown in place. It has been a long frustrating day. So, here are some quotes to help us all relax.


“Every time they’re at the sea, The oceans start to weep, wishing they were half as wide, As his love for her is deep.” – e.h.

“Don’t carry what you don’t need – in your pocket, in your home, in your heart.” – Joshua Becker

“Don’t ever think you’re alone here, We’ve just been trapped in different hells, And people aren’t against you dear, They’re just all for themselves.” – e.h.

“They witnessed her destruction, Then we left to wonder why, She saw nothing but darkness, Though the stars shone in her eyes, But maybe they’d forgotten, When they failed to see the cracks, That a star’s light shines the brightest, When it’s starting to collapse.” – e.h.

“She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.” – r.m. drake

“If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less.” – Warren Zevon

“I’m very well acquainted with the seven deadly sins, I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in.” – Warren Zevon

Hello World!

Hello all. I know this blog has been all over the place since I started it and I apologize. I am new to this blogging thing and I have decided to join the current Blogging:101 course going on to not only learn more about blogging, but to hopefully find a focus for my blog.

Today’s assignment is to say hello to the world. For those of you who are new here, this will give you some insight into who I am and what I hope to accomplish. For those of you who aren’t new here and have popped by a few times, maybe this is a refresher for you.

I’m a quarter-lifer (mid twenties) lady who lives in the deep South. I love to bake. I grew up learning to cook from practically my whole family. My Dad taught me to make grilled cheese sandwiches when I couldn’t even see the stove top. He pulled up a chair for me to stand in, for those of you who are curious. My Mom has been teaching me to follow recipes and bake and decorate cakes for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me to make biscuits in the flour bowl (by making a depression in the center and adding your liquids, not as hard as it sounds), gravy, and the family secret chocolate pie.

I love reading and I learned to read before I started pre-k. My parents owned a business when my brother and I were little. and we stayed with baby sitters a lot, so I don’t know the exact time I learned to read. My Dad was tucking me in one night and decided to see if I could read any of the story. I read it all to him, but since it was my favorite, he tried a different book, which I also read to him. He loves to read and apparently I got that gene. I DEVOUR books like a monster. 300 pages take me one day if I don’t have anything to do.

I also grew up playing in grease. My Dad and his friends are shade tree mechanics from the 70’s and his passion for cars was also passed on to me. I can change a tire, oil, brakes, and more. I love classic cars. His passion fueled mine since he never told me that girls weren’t supposed to work on cars. Instead, he told me that I would need to do these things on my own so that I wouldn’t have to rely on sketchy strangers if I ever got a flat. I now work in the automotive field in a body shop. I am lucky to have my job because there are still many shops down here who aren’t too keen on hiring women. The shop I work for treats me like family.

I love to take road trips and ride motorcycles. My parents have always had a sense of wanderlust and it also got passed down. I’ve also been riding on the back of my Dad’s motorcycle since I can remember. I now ride on the back of my boyfriend’s bike but can’t wait to have my own.

I started this blog to chronicle a journey in my life and I feel like I got a little off track by posting a lot of quotes. I am not very good at expressing my feelings when I am down, so I use quotes. I have decided to try and post less of those on this blog. If there is still interest in the many quotes I have collected over the years, I will gladly start a blog just for those.

I will try to cover a range of topics, about my life experiences, travels, my Dad’s health, my new experience as moving out and being a first time home owner at the same time. I will try to throw in some DIY car tutorials, home ideas, and some recipes. If you’re lucky, I might even let you in on the Family Chocolate Pie Recipe. 😉

Welcome to the weirdness. Welcome to my slice of the internet. Welcome to See You Starside.