Where’s the Love? – Why My Boyfriend and I Don’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Welcome dear readers! This is gonna be a short, personal post followed by some love quotes since today is Valentine’s Day! Now, I know you may be thinking, but the title says you don’t celebrate it. And you’re right. We don’t. But hear me out.

Valentine’s Day is a largely corporate holiday. It just it. It has deeper roots, but honestly, can you name them? Probably not. Because now it’s all about how much a guy does for his lady. Send flowers to her work, get her chocolates, plan a fancy dinner. It’s like a competition for who does the most for their lady. And I’m not ok with that. I know some girls who have broken up with their boyfriends because he either didn’t get them anything for Valentine’s Day or didn’t “do enough”. Seriously? What did you do for him for Valentine’s Day? Nothing. But I digress.

The boyfriend and I don’t celebrate it. I do NOT want to be part of this “competition” it creates about who buys more or does more for their significant other. It’s not ok. And I would much rather have many small random acts of love through out the year than one day of large gestures that he feels obligated to give me because of social norms. Sometimes, just when I feel like he’s getting away with not  doing any gestures of love, he surprises me with something small that just reminds me that he thinks about me more than I give him credit for. And I try to do the same for him. Sometimes it’s just bringing home his favorite candy bar when I know he’s had a rough day at work And to me, that’s what love is. Small, every day gestures. Not one day filled with large gestures. But, to each their own.


 

  • “I was waiting for the longest time, she said. I thought you forgot.     It is hard to forget, I said, when there is such an empty space when you are gone.” – unknown
  • Stardust – “If you came to me with a face I have not seen, with a voice I have never heard, I would still know you. Somewhere between the sand and the stardust, through ever collapse and creation, there is a pulse of you and I. When we leave this world, we give up all our possessions and our memories. Love is the only thing we take with us. It is all we carry from one life to the next.” – Lang Leav Memories
  • “What a sad thought it is, that some of us will surrender and settle down long before we have met the person we are supposed to love.” – Beau Taplin The Pressure
  • “I know I’m not easy to love. I’m a chronic over-thinker, I overreact more than I should… And every once in a while, I might be a little insecure. But if I am in love with you, I can promise you wholeheartedly that you will be loved with so much passion and intensity that you’ll forget what life felt like before I came along. You will always be cared for and you will always have someone in your corner. Maybe I’m not the best at being loved – but I like to think I’m pretty good at loving.” – Chelsea Carroll
  • “People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it.” – unknown
  • “Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.” – Nayyirah Waheed
  • “I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love was until I knew what love was not.” – P.T. Berkey
  • “It is a frightening thought, that in one fraction of a moment you can fall in the kind of love that takes a lifetime to get over.” – Beau Taplin
  • ” ‘ You can’t love someone unless you love yourself first.’ Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But you… Oh god, I loved you so much I forgot what hating myself felt like.” – My thoughts before I go to sleep.
  • “She reminded him of happiness, he reminded her of home; together, they were happy and at home.” unknown
  • “A relationship works best when both people believe they have got better than they deserve.” – unknown
  • “Sometimes, I think of the sun and the moon as lovers who rarely meet, always chase, and almost always miss one another. But once in a while, they do catch up, and they kiss, and the world stares in awe of their eclipse.” – unkown
  • “It’s somewhat early and she’s fast asleep. It doesn’t bother me because I know that there’s been times she’s laid awake at night unable to find sleep, no longer familiar with what it meant to find rest. The moment she laid on top of me, her head against my chest, her ear to my heart, I ran my fingers through her hair and felt her thighs loosen, symbolic for how relaxed she’d become. Even when her days are chaotic, she comes home to me and I help her find peace. This is love.” – r.h. Sin
  • “When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away.” – Captain Corellis Mandolin
  • “you can always find something beautiful in something destructive and now I finally understand why I’ve always been so fond of you.” – uknown
  • “I think I fall in love with people a little too much, just in the way they sound at 4 am or how they look when they smile. And it’s so addicting, when their eyes light up, because you’ve remembered something they may have said. I think I grow attached to people, who I know, will leave. But I can’t help it, because I see all that you are, when you don’t really see it yourself. And sometimes I wonder how someone’s heart, grows so cold, and I think, that maybe it’s because for a while, it was left out in the rain. You know some days I struggle, when there’s nothing left to say, because I still don’t know how to convince you, that out of everyone, and all the ones that leave, I’m always the one still standing there, with an umbrella, just big enough, to cover your heart.” – c.p.
  • “She knew she loved him when home went from being a place to being a person.” – E Leventhal
  • “I will never be the first of so many things for you. I came too late, after life and love were woven into the tapestry of your existence. I care not about lost firsts, but I will fight, knuckles bloody and teeth sharpened, for your lasts. Take the old firsts and put them to rest, silent below the dirt and ash of all the new ones we will burn through. Take them, but give me the lasts.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
  • “and in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside of me there will always be the person I am tonight.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is The Night
  • ” ‘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.” – unknown
  • “I asked him for it. For the blood, for the rust, for the sin. I didn’t want the pearls other girls talked about, or the fine marble of palaces, or even the roses in the mouth of servants. I wanted pomegranates – I wanted darkness, I wanted him. So I grabbed my king and ran away to a land of death, where I reigned and people whispered that I’d been dragged. I’ll tell you I’ve changed, I’ll tell you, the red on my lips isn’t wine. I hope you’ve heard of horns, but that isn’t half of it. Out of an entire kingdom he kneels only to me, calls me Queen, calls me Mercy. Mama, Mama, I hope you get this. Know the bed is warm and our hearts are cold, know never have I been better that when I am here. Do not send flowers, we’ll throw them in the river. ‘Flowers are for the dead,’ ‘least thats what the mortals say. I’ll come back when he bores me, but Mama, not today.” – Daniella Michallen, “Persephone Speaks”
  • “And I think the thing that terrifies me most is that one day, you’ll be the story I’ll tell my daughter, when she’s curled up in bed, wrapped in blankets and heartbreak, when she hasn’t eaten anything in days but the voicemails he left her, when she hasn’t been able to sleep because the goodbye that broke her shatters her bones all over again every time she closes her fucking eyes. And I’ll climb into bed with her and she’ll lay her head on my lap and I’ll try to brush him out of her hair and her tears will soak through my shirt and I’ll tell her about the boy I met when I was sixteen, who sat next to me in math class, who I fell in love with after two weeks, who saved me, who fucking destroyed me. And I’ll tell her about how it hurt. It hurt so badly it almost killed me. It hurt so badly my mother stopped going to work so she could stay home and make sure I didn’t take too many pills. And then I’ll tell her about how it got better. How it stopped hurting. How I stopped bleeding. My mother went back to work. I got out of bed. But I won’t tell her that sometimes I still have dreams about you and can hardly breathe the next day or about the pictures of you I have hidden in the attic.” – via extrasad
  • “I am not very good at a lot of things; i cannot paint you pictures because the beautiful things in my head cannot be translated  nor can I sing to you as my voice has an uncanny habit of falling flat  nor can I play for you as my fingers fumble when my thoughts cross over to how you look, watching me  but I can brush the knots out of your hair, and work the knots out of your back when your day has become too much to bear  i am not good at much, but I will be good to you. – kpk
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A Year’s Worth of Reflections, Pt. 1

Hello dear readers.

I know this year has been sporadic in my posting of this blog, but it has been a long complicated year. I would say that I would like to leave many of the things that happened in 2017 in the past, but they have made impacts on my life, and the lives of my family and friends that we simply must move forward with them in tow.  I warn you that this will be a long, and probably depressing read, but I will also add some quotes at the end, as a way of apologizing. Just stick with me. This is part one, a lot of the bad and the painful that I would like to leave in 2017. Part two will be some of the better things, happier and joyful.

It has been a year of loss and pain, and yet a year of small victories and joy. In January, my maternal grandfather passed away at the age of 87, two weeks before what would have been my grandparents’ 66th wedding anniversary.  It is hard to say that it is ever a surprise when someone who has lived such a long life passes, but alas, death is one of those things for which we are never ready. It hit my mom really hard as she had quit her job to take care of my father but instead wound up taking care of her own father.

After her father’s passing, she went immediately to caring for my grandmother. As selfish as it is to say, my father’s health continued to suffer as a result. In May, she took my grandmother to the hospital due to a shortness of breath and a ever growing goiter. They discussed options for removing it, shrinking it, ect. In the end, the hospital decided to refer her to a throat cancer specialist at Emory because they would be more familiar with the type of surgery that would be required. This was sometime in June. The oncologist decided that further testing, such as further blood tests and a biopsy, were necessary to form a more detailed plan of action. In mid July, we received news we were not expecting.

My grandmother, at the age of 86, was diagnosed with stage 4 anaplastic thyroid cancer. Possibly due to not having the goiter removed years ago, but that is not a game worth playing. She was scheduled to start radiation on August 3rd, the day after my mother’s birthday. There was a large family fight because she was required to have a family member stay with her at the Hope Lodge (special housing near the hospital) round the clock. My mom wanted to go but I argued largely against it because my dad’s health was beginning to fail, more so than it already is.

August 2, my mother’s 61st birthday, changed that. My father, who is diabetic, on dialysis, has vision problems, and neuropathy, stepped off the stairs on their front porch wrong on his way to get in the car to dialysis. He broke his ankle, on both sides of his left leg. Being diabetic and on dialysis means that he does not heal quickly. My mom rushed him to the ER the next town over (because the hospital in our town will not touch a patient on dialysis – for any reason) where they splinted his ankle and scheduled him for surgery late the next day. I took off work to stay with my dad while my mom went with her mom for her first radiation treatment and to help move her and my aunt ( who took a temporary leave from work) into the Hope Lodge.

After the surgery for my dad, he didn’t quit using his foot. He couldn’t tell how much pressure he was putting on it because of the neuropathy. The screws pulled out and the plates bent. The options weren’t great after that. They really wanted the wounds to heal more before they went back in. Once they felt that happened as much as it could within the time they had, they went back in and removed the plates, screws, and a few bone shards. They then put a wound vac on it in order to try and speed healing for the next surgery.

In the midst of all this, my grandmother was still undergoing radiation. My mom made a few trips to go see her, while I stayed with my dad. One day, at dialysis, they discovered his fistula (the super vein created in his arm for dialysis) was clotted. They sent him to the vascular center the next town over. They attempted to clean the clots out, and sent him home. He begged them to admit him to the hospital because of the stress he would have to put on his arms getting in and out of the car.

When he got home, it was still bleeding slightly. As he got out of the car, he felt he popped one of the sutures. It began bleeding profusely. My mom couldn’t get him in the car by herself, so she was forced to call an ambulance to transport him to the hospital (the next town over of course). Unfortunately, the paramedics did what is their job, but not quite the correct course of action for this case. They applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Which, as we discovered when he got to the hospital, also reclotted the super vein. Which put him into a surgery that was several hours long. Once they got in to try to bust up the clots, the artificial vein basically disintegrated.

It had been in for three years, which is apparently pretty good, but it also meant that they had to do an emergency reconstruction instead of just cleaning the clots out. They also put a permacath in his chest so they could continue dialysis while his arm healed enough to use.

Meanwhile, my grandmother successfully completed her 6 weeks of radiation at Emory.  She was, understandably, glad to be home. However, my aunt, who had been staying with her at the hope lodge, started dragging her anywhere and everywhere she could think of, even though the doctors had prescribed lots of rest to help her recover from the radiation. I understand what she was trying to do, but my grandmother was visibly exhausted. We were still having problems keeping her blood pressure and sugar under control. A few weeks after she completed radiation, she had to go back to Emory for a check up/ PET scan. My mom and my aunt went with her.

Much to our dismay, the news wasn’t what we were hoping for. The cancer was still there, and there wasn’t much more they could do. The experimental trial they were hoping to get her into did not cover her type of cancer, so that was no longer an option. And, a few days after this, my aunt woke up to find my grandmother non-responsive. They rushed her to the hospital where options were discussed. The hospital where she was taken is where my aunt (my mom’s sister-in-law) has been a nurse for many years. The doctors informed us that there were medications they could give her that *might* help with a few things, like bringing her blood sugar into check, but not with everything. Her kids (my mom, aunt, and uncle) made the decision not to put her on life support or anything like that, to just wait and see. I rushed up there as soon as I could from work, and most of the family was already there.

It was heartbreaking, but to be honest with you, I think she was just tired. Sad and heart broken at the loss of the love of her life, tired of the radiation, and I think, when they told her she still had cancer and few options, she took that the only way she knew how. As God telling her that it was ok to let go, and that it was time. She passed away two days later, and I held my mother as she cried. Ugly tears of soul ripping sorrow. Tears of regret and sadness. Tears of love she still had to give. Tears for the phone call she now had to make to my brother, who moved to Seattle with his wife in March.

After her passing, they went to planning the funeral (which was paid for and mostly planned) and I went to finding flights home for my brother and sister-in-law. I know we do not get to plan things like life or death, but I do hate the fact that the funeral wound up on my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary.

In the midst of my grandmother getting out of the hospital and her passing, my father had more complications of his own. The wound vac was supposed to heal the wound so they could go in and either a) immobilize his ankle completely with a steel rod or b) amputate his ankle and foot. He and my mom had many many long talks about what would be better. He was leaning towards amputation but the doctor, after more reviewing, convinced him to at least give the immobilization a go. Well, home health had been coming out several times a week to change the wound vac, and one morning, it was full of blood, so full it was bubbling out the plastic dressing of the wound vac because the vac couldn’t keep up. Flash forward two more mornings of this and my mom called his surgeon. The assistant answered, and advised her to take my dad to the ER a town over (same town as earlier, different hospital) where the Dr was already in surgery and she would make sure he knew my dad was waiting to see him.

They immediately admitted him to the hospital with a possible infection. This began another worry of whether or not the infection was septic, which would mean surgery promptly to remove the permacath as it goes directly to his heart. After testing, it was determined that the infection was not in his blood, but was in the soft tissues of the wound. The prognosis was not good. Apparently, for otherwise healthy people, it takes two separate antibiotics, administered daily via IV at the hospital, for several months in the hope that the bacteria won’t become resistant to both of the drugs. For my father, who has many health problems, this was explained to him while also being told that it wasn’t really an option for them because they were afraid of the infection going septic or moving further up the tissue in his leg. He was advised that his best, and pretty much only option, was amputation.

That was on Friday. If that was what he decided, they were going to schedule the surgery for Monday because they felt time was of the essence. He told them to schedule it. He and my mother spent the weekend deep in discussion. While amputation had already been on the horizon, we didn’t think it would come up again so soon. The surgery was done Monday at noon. I left work to be with my mom, who can hold up a good front but was falling apart on the inside. Especially when the surgery took a few hours longer than they told us it would. And when they brought him out of recovery… well, let’s just suffice it to say that it was a long rough night for all of us.

My dad, surprisingly, was more prepared than my mom, I think. She was worried about how to get him places, like home and dialysis, and care for him, with the new change of events. Her car is not handicap friendly, they can’t afford one that is. She drives a 2010 Ford Focus that I had a trailer hitch and cargo carrier installed on so she could put his wheel chair on it. My boyfriend and I, and a friend of ours had built a handicap ramp on the side of the porch so she could get him in the house. We learned a lot about amputation and prosthesis the same way we learned about renal failure and dialysis, on the fly as it was happening. While he was in the hospital recovering from the amputation they went ahead and did a surgery on his opposite arm to try and form another super vein / fistula for dialysis. Unfortunately, this also meant he couldn’t start physical therapy as undo stress on the arm could cause the fistula to collapse or clot.

So, my mom gives him a hard time about adding Thanksgiving and their 35th wedding the anniversary to the days spent in the hospital this year. They sent him home with home health for 3 weeks to let the fistula heal. He went back in the hospital last week (Monday the week before Christmas) because he was wheezing and couldn’t breath. They discovered more fluid build up in his body and in his lungs. They did dialysis every day, and did CAT scans, x-rays, an EKG, an ultrasound of his heart and chest, and more. He was hooked up to a bipap, they are concerned with some spots in his lungs, decide it’s early pneumonia, and possibly COPD. They finally sent him home late Friday after taking a total of 17 liter of fluid off his body and running a round of antibiotics and such for the pneumonia.

While he was in the hospital, his other surgeon (for the fistula) told them Friday morning to try to use it for dialysis. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and we’re not sure where that leaves us. We aren’t sure if he used it too much (which is the more likely possibility), when another surgery will be, or what this means for him starting physical therapy. He did have an appointment to take out the rest of the stitches from his amputation and it *knock on wood* seems to be healing. I, however, am worried because he took out the part of the limb protector that forces him to keep his knee straight, keeping the tendon stretched. But, you can’t force people to do what’s best for them. Especially when that person is a parent. We will see where this all will lead, but that, for now, is a problem for next year.

End part 1. P.S. I also had all 4 wisdom teeth cut out the day after Christmas, which is why I have time to type this.


 

“The world is not a wish granting factory.” – The Fault In Our Stars

“Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.” – Unknown

“It seems to me, that love could be labeled poison and we’d drink it anyways.” – Atticus

“I sailed seas of emotion, to wander a forest of scars, I am a dance of Light and darkness, A galaxy of shadow and stars.” – R. Queen

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” – Looking For Alaska

“You will never recognize happiness if you have never danced the night away with sorrow.” – r.m. drake

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still is fair there is much that is fair. And though in all the lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps the greater.” – The Lord of the Rings

“You know what the issues is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” – Alice in Wonderland

“People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it.” – Unknown

“It’s a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breath air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it’s a shame that sometimes we don’t realize that that’s enough.” – unknown

“Damaged people love you like you are a crime scene before a crime has even been committed. They keep their running shoes besides their souls every night, one eye open in case things change whilst they sleep. Their backs are always tense as though waiting to fight a sudden storm that might engulf them. Because damaged people have already seen hell. And damaged people understand that every evil demon that exists down there was once a kind angel before it fell.” – Nikita Gill

“You come home, make some tea, sit down in your armchair, and all around there’s silence. Everyone decides for themselves whether that’s loneliness or freedom.” – Unknown

“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” – Louis C.K.

“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young.” – Douglas Coupland Life After God

“Forgive them. All of your thems. The more thems you can forgive, the better you’ll feel.” – Karen Salmansohn

“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid.” – Unknown

“My love, you have too many smiles left in you to be so sad.” – Atticus

“Life advice: Always be the best person you can be. Be kind even when you’re tired. Be understanding even when you’re angry. Do more than you’re asked, and don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t silently expect anything either. Listen when someone talks, and really listen too, stop just thinking of how you’ll reply. Tell people that you love them and that you appreciate them. Go out of your way to do things for people. Be the greatest person you can possibly be and when you mess up, make up for it in the next moment or minute or day. One thing you should never do? Never spend your time trying to prove to anybody that you’re great, your actions will speak for themselves and we only have limited time on this earth, don’t waste it. If someone doesn’t see your light, don’t worry. Like moths, good people are attracted to flame and to light, and they will come.” – Unknown

“In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykrstra

“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on.” – Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“We create the illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth.” – Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.” – Lemony Snickett The Bad Beginning

“You carry so much love in your heart. Give some to yourself.” – r.z.

” ‘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.’ ” – Unknown

“There are two types of tired, I suppose. One is a dire need of sleep, and the other is a dire need of peace.” – unknown

” ‘You can’t love someone unless you love yourself first.’ Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But you, Oh God. I loved you so much I forgot what hating myself felt like.” – Unknown

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – Harry Potter

“She knew she loved him when ‘Home’ went from being a place to being a person.” – E. Leventhal

“The sun will rise and we will try again.” – Unknown.

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.

“You cannot save people. Only love them.” 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. Pick your battles. 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.”

Pinterest, You Devil.

I’ll admit it. I have a problem. I am an avid Pinterest user. It started as a curiosity. I just signed up to be invited and figured I would browse around it for a few days and be done with it. Yeah…about that… As Admiral Ackbar would say, “It’s a trap.”

No, really. I’ve had my Pinterest for a while now, (definitely over a year) and let me just give you some stats. I have 31 boards, 4,919 pins, 3,604 likes, and 430 followers. Feel free to feed your Pinterest addiction by visiting mine at http://www.pinterest.com/alwayswolf.

Pinterest sucked me in because I love so many different things and it has all of them. Housewives doing DIYs that I wish I had time for, women dressed with fashion sense, make up, and hair I could only dream of, recipes I’d love to make, cars I’d love to drive, and jokes that make me laugh so hard I almost pee myself.

It has all sorts of ooohhs and aaahhhhsss to drag you in. But what really keeps you here? One of the things that keeps me here is my love of all things literary. There are some of the best quotes and poems I have ever found on Pinterest. I’m going to share some of them with you (hopefully some that I haven’t shared before) but tell me, what’s your favorite thing about Pinterest?

“If I showed you my teardrops, Would you collect them like rain, Store them in jars, That are labelled with ‘Pain’, Would you follow their tracks, From my eyes down my cheeks, As they write all the stories, I’m too scared to speak, Would you stop them with kisses, Bring their flow to a halt, As you teach me that pain, Isn’t always my fault, Would you hold my face gently, As you dry both my eyes, And whisper the words, ‘You’re too precious to cry’, If I showed you my teardrops, Would you show me your own, And learn though we’re lonely, We’re never alone.” – e.h.

“Don’t cry because he told you, That his love has slipped away, Because I once knew a boy, Who watched the sun rise every day, One morning I sat with him, Wrapped entirely in my awe, But he said he’d view so many, Six a.m. was all he saw, And you’re a brilliant sunrise, With your darkness-breaking light, But I know that he’s forgotten, Life without you is just night, He cannot see your beauty, Since he’s taken it for granted, But that doesn’t mean it’s failed, To leave the rest of us enchanted, You deserve the love of someone, Who’ll watch you rise over again, And may they never come to see you, as another six a.m.” – e.h.

“We know so perfectly how to give birth to the monsters inside us, but for reason I will never figure out, we have not the slightest clue of what to do with all the love.” – Christopher Poindexter

“You are not your age, Nor the size of the clothes you wear, You are not a weight, Or the colour of your hair. You are not your name, Or the dimples in your cheeks, You are all the books you read, And all the words you speak, You are your croaky morning voice, And the smiles you try to hide, You’re the sweetness in your laughter, And every tear you’ve cried, You’re the songs you sing so loudly, When you know you’re all alone, You’re the places that you’ve been to, And the one that you call home, You’re the things that you believe in, And the people that you love, You’re the photos in your bedroom, And the future you dream of, You’re made of so much beauty, But it seems that you forgot, When you decided that you were defined, By all the things you’re not.” – e.h.

“If there’s empty spaces in your heart, They’ll make you think it’s wrong, Like having empty  spaces, Means you never can be strong, But I’ve learnt that all these spaces, Means there’s room enough to grow, And the people that once filled them, Were always meant to be let go, And all these empty spaces, Create a strange sort of pull, That attract so many people, You wouldn’t meet if they were full, So if you’re made of empty spaces, Don’t ever think it’s wrong, Because maybe they’re just empty, Until the right person comes along.” – e.h.

“She was a silent fighter, With a demon in her lung, That stole her breaths right from her, Before they’d hardly passed her tongue, He was a silent fighter, Who was always taught to share, And held his breath when he was with her, Just so she could have his air.” – e.h.

“You can’t make homes out of humans, My life’s not a fire to keep you warm, My arms aren’t walls to protect you, From your own internal storm, My heart is not a light switch, For you to turn on when you please, I can’t carry the weight of your regret, Because I’m buckling at the knees, My legs are a solid foundation, But they aren’t your on which to build, The holes in my heart can fit both of us, But you cannot decide how they’re filled, You can’t make homes out of humans, I won’t let you in just because you have knocked, And if you keep using my heart as your doormat, The next time you’ll find that it’s locked.” – e.h.

“You can write for hours on hours, Of all the things that you wish you could be, But the truth of the matter is simple, People are not poetry, And I know that you wish you weren’t awkward, That sweet words could roll right off your tongue, But your time here’s too short just to worry, How each single sentence is strung, It’s okay to be rough round the edges, To be bruised up and broken and scarred, But it’s not okay to let people tell you, That it’s a reason to change who you are, Your hair doesn’t always sit neatly, The way a poem sits so neatly in lines, And sometimes you might feel like a word, That nobody has learnt to define, You might not be a star that lights darkness, Or a bird that can teach us to soar, But it’s okay, because you are too complex, To be crammed into one metaphor, It’s okay not to know what you’re doing, Since your feelings don’t all have to rhyme, Though a poem once complete is eternal, You have to freedom to change over time, You’re much more than can ever be written, There is no title to say, ‘This Is Me’, You can’t be trapped in the lines of a notebook, Because people are not poetry.” – e.h.

“When they called you a heartbreaker, There’s no way they could have known, That you’d left no heart more broken, Than they way you’d left your own.” – e.h.

“She has a bookshelf for a heart, And ink runs through her veins, She’ll write you into her story, With the typewriter in her brain, Her bookshelf’s getting crowded, With all the stories that she’s penned, Of the people who flicked through her pages, But closed the book before the end, And there’s one pushed to the very back, That sits collecting dust, With it’s title in her finest writing, ‘The One Who’s Lost My Trust’, There’s books she’s scared to open, And books she doesn’t close, Stories of every person sh’s met, Stretched out in endless rows, Some people have only a sentence, While others once held a main part, Thousands of inky footprints, That they;ve left across her heart, You might wonder why she does this, Why write of people she once knew? But she hopes one day she’ll mean enough, For someone to write about her too.” – e.h.

“The day I lost my very first tooth, Was halfway through grade four, I’d run my tongue along the gap, Where my tooth had been before, I remember I went home crying, And showed it to my mum, She told me that a brand new tooth, Would grow up in my gum, In a while the gap would stop feeling strange, I wouldn’t notice the tooth was gone, The only reason I missed it now, Was because it was there for so long, Then slowly but surely over the weeks, In the gap a new tooth grew, And now it makes me wonder, If people are like teeth too.” – e.h.

“I see your figure from across the valley, Head down in a sign of defeat, Hands clenched on the times you were happy, Body sweating from the intense heat, The flames are now high as your kneecaps, Their movements reflect in your eyes, Still easy to see from this distance, That it takes all you have not to cry, I could send you my voice on the breezes, But my throat is determined to choke, Not sure if it’s stuck on emotion, Or smothered in all of this smoke, You yell out that I should just leave you, You’ll be better once you are along, These fires will fight the dark winter, That threatens to freeze all your bones, But the cold’s not the reason I’m worried, Nor the clouds that are heavy with rain, It’s the fact that you’d rather be burning, Than admit to the world you’re in pain, And the hurt that will come when you realize, Once to ashes the flames have been turned, That there’s no warmth in a fire borne solely, From all of the bridges you’ve burned.” – e.h.

“We all have holes right through out hearts, I’m sure you’ve got them too, But it’s funny how the hole in mine, Is shaped a lot like you.” -e.h.

“You hated your eye colour, Called it a dull and dirty brown, Wished for the deep blue of an ocean, Where admirers hearts would drown, And it pained me when I realised, You’d never see it like I do, The way your eyes hint at a story, That I want to read right through, They hold specks of stolen sunlight, That you’d miss with just once glance, And a depth of  raw emotion, That can freeze you in a trance, They’re a fix of melted chocolate, When I’m craving something sweet, But hold a gaze that’s so unwavering, That I find it hard to meet, I fall right down the rabbit hole, When I look into your eyes, The brown of earth’s unfettered beauty, That I yearn to memorize, When I was tired of not belonging, They made me feel like I’d been found, And I hope you never say again, That your eyes are simply brown.” – e.h.

“And there were always those nights where she preferred the rain over people. because the rain would remind her of how she should feel and people would remind her of the things she always wanted to forget.” – r.m. drake

“My darling, you can’t see it, can you? How like the moon you are. Both of you so timid in yourselves; hiding pieces from the world. Then, there are those rare moments whne you both are full, and it becomes hard to look away. You are beautiful.” – Alexandria Drzewiecki

“People always say that it hurts at night, and apparently screaming into your pillow at 3am is the romantic equivalent of being heartbroken. But sometimes it’s 9am on a Tuesday morning, and you’re standing at the kitchen bench waiting for the toast to pop up, And the smell of dusty sunlight and earl gray tea makes you miss him so much you don’t know what to do with your hands.”

“Once I knew just what you wanted, I tried so hard to make it true. But in the end the gap had widened and I just could not hold on to you.”

“Maybe we feel empty because we leave pieces of ourselves in everything we used to love.” – r.m. drake

“He wants to say I love you, but keeps it to goodnight, because love will mean some falling, and she’s afraid of heights.” – r.i.d.

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited. An dyet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs ot your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try to readjust the way you thought of things.” “The Reptile Room” by Lemony Snicket

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.: – Tyler Knott Gregson

“Sometimes, I think of the sun and moon as lovers who rarely meet, always chase, and almost always miss one another. But once in a while, they do catch up, and they kiss, and the whole world stares in awe of their eclipse.”