on getting married and miracles…

that’s right. i’m engaged. i’m getting married. i’m super duper excited!!!! yay!!!!

we were home, at my home, on Thursday which is when he talked to my parents. which i still think is super cool. and then friday, we were watching the movie Miracle, you know, the hockey one about the Olympics and stuff and then i went to the bathroom because i had to pee and i came back out and he was acting… weird. like, i don’t know, just weird. he was looking for the remote to the DVD player which was about 18″ away from me, so i grabbed it and went to sit back down on the couch and he’s like ‘don’t sit down!’ and i was like ‘WHAT?!’ and then he grabbed the remote from my hand and threw it on the couch and i turned to follow the remote with my eyes and when i turned back to look at him, i could see him descending. like… onto his knee. and i was like… “what?!?” because we said we were going to wait until december and it’s NOT DECEMBER YET!!! so then he looks up at me with the most adorable, serious expression and says “cari, i love you. blah blah blah blah blah blah. will you marry me?” (sorry, i don’t remember ANYTHING he said in the middle) and i was like… what am i supposed to say? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION!!! and then the word ‘yes’ popped into my head but it seemed like such an insignificant little word to answer such a LARGE question and finally i squeaked out a yes and then he started to put the ring on my finger but the promise ring was still there, so it was kind of an awkward little fumble thing where he handed it to me and i took off the other ring and put that one on and then i squealed and hugged him and oh man it was awesome.

and miracle is a really good movie too. i liked it.

on getting real and being specific…

mayhaps this title is a bit familiar to you but you don’t really know why. mayhaps you heard it somewhere? OR, and this is the most probable explanation, i stole it.

yes i did. i stole the title from tabitha. from her post of the same title.

and i agree with her. i haven’t gone through that specific study before, but i know what she means.

and i want to thank you. all of you. maybe you’re confused. let me clear things up.

i didn’t always used to be so open. in fact, i used to be almost as closed as someone could be. i was never completely certain of my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions. i wasn’t sure if they were the ‘right’ thing to think or say, especially being a Christian. i felt that i had to say and think and do all the right things. which is particularly annoying because sometimes the person that you are and the person that all the “good” Christians say you should be are different. so i would just keep my mouth shut.

but lately, i’ve been more and more open. i tried to open up more when i dated the last boy. i tried to be honest. i tried to be open. it usually ended in some sort of fight or argument because of miscommunication. because one of us said something and the other misinterpreted it. so i closed up again. i would sort of open up to friends, but not very far and certainly not open up the depths of my soul. not that i thought they would reject me, but i was just very uncomfortable with sharing.

however. as of the past year, i’ve opened up more and more. i think having your heart shattered into a million tiny pieces helps with that. because suddenly you’re not strong enough to do it on your own. suddenly, you’re focusing so much on just trying to breathe. on just trying to get from one day to the next. and so i shared that. i’m part of a college-age bible study group through church and i opened a lot to them. it’s a fairly large group and so it was hard, but i opened up. i shared that i had struggles. i didn’t share too many specifics, though, because i didn’t necessarily want them all knowing about my issues and problems and addictions. i didn’t want them to know. but i did want to be honest. i wanted to be real. i wanted to be the same person sunday morning, tuesday afternoon, friday night.

and so i made the choice to try to be that person. to really try. to trust God to take care of me no matter what. no matter how much of a mess i made my life. no matter how much or how little i wanted to listen to and obey Him. no matter how many wrong paths i took. i wanted to be back on the right path. i wanted to get back on the straight and narrow. the only problem with that is that you have be really real with people. they have to know your struggles. they have to know your weaknesses. you have to be honest. you have to be real. you have to be open.

there are a few people who deserve a lot of the credit. Musician, for one. Musician was able, for whatever reason, to drag things out of me that i wouldn’t say to anyone else. of course, this begs the question did he drag it out or was i just so willing and wanting to finally say it that someone with the least amount of prompting could have gotten it out of me? i don’t know. i don’t know the answer to that. but here’s the thing: he learned a lot about me. some would say too much, but whatever. he’s still there. he’s still around. i haven’t scared him off with my crazy talk. he’s been patient when he needs to be and a completely asshole when he needs to be. sometimes he’s hard for me to deal with. sometimes i’m not able to read him, but he’s still there and i can say pretty much anything and he doesn’t judge me or hate on me except in jest. which is fine.

others are some of my IRL friends. who have been there all along. they have been there when i’ve been open, closed, up, down, sane, crazy, strong and weak. they’ve seen it all. and they’re still around. not in physical proximity, but they’re there.

and my bloggy friends. they’re completely supportive. even long ago when i was crazy and ranting about the same stuff all the time. they understood. they never stopped coming or reading (to my knowledge) because i was ranting about being hurt again. they cared more that i was moving on, that even though i was hurting, i was processing, i was healing. i’ve made a really good friend out of that. sometimes i have no idea what i would do without her. because we’re so much alike. we think alike. we process alike. we get each other. totally.

and lastly, but definitely not least, is my boyfriend. from the beginning, we’ve made a real effort to be completely open and honest. no questions. no nagging thoughts. no doubts. no judging. we’re committed to that. to not letting ‘me’ be more important than ‘we’. to make the other person say what they need to say, no matter how uncomfortable it is. no matter how awkward it is. because in the end, it’s better. it’s better to be real. it’s better to be honest.

and in doing all that, i’m more willing to be brutally honest here. even though there are people who read and never say anything. i don’t really mind. it would be nice to know what they are thinking, but i’m not terribly concerned. i realize that people who i might not know very well are getting a very intimate look into my life and my mind, so they know lots of things about me and i know pretty much nothing about them. i’m more open with my family which is another area i’ve struggled in being open. but lately, i’ve been much more open to them, sharing more, telling them how i really feel about things and them. i think i’ve grown much closer to them, which is awesome. we’ve actually been a pretty close family but now we’re even closer, i think. or at least i am to everyone. i like it when my whole family gets together and we hang out and socialize and just have fun.

when people ask me how i’m doing or feeling, i’m much more open to them too. i tell them how it really is. how i’m really feeling. not always just a ‘fine’ and go about my way. sometimes i do, but not always now. in fact, a ‘fine’ is much less common coming from me than anything else. and i like that. i like to be connected to people, really truly connected. i don’t do small talk well. i don’t do forced conversations. i’ve decided that i don’t need to either. if there’s nothing to say, i say nothing. i don’t need to fill silence with noise.

but when it comes to being real and open and honest, count me in. when it comes to feelings, good or bad, count me in. when it comes to be close to people, count me in. because you never grow unless you’re out of your comfort zone. is it uncomfortable sharing here sometimes? yes. are some of the things i say some things that i (or other people) would normally keep to themselves? yeah. but then where have we gotten? there is all this technology around to connect people and yet people seem to be more disconnected than ever. i think the technology has nothing to do with it – it’s the effort put in by those who USE the technology. i like it when people know me. i want people to know me. i want to know other people. and yes, it’s risky. someday, something i’ve said on here might come back to haunt me. and it might not. but has every post, every meaningful post been worth it? absolutely.

so, like i said, thank you. thank you all for being open and welcoming to me. thanks for ‘listening’ and ‘chatting’ with me. for sharing your opinions. for giving advice when wanted and not wanted. thanks for engaging. it makes doing this worth it. really.

how about you? are you still hiding?

sex on my mind…

**yes i know i already posted today, so don’t read it if you don’t want to, but this was just on my mind and i had to let it out. if you have ANY thoughts (yes, you lurkers too) or opinions or enlightenment, PLEASE do share. i would appreciate any light that can be shed on this confusing subject.**

we’ve been talking about sex a lot in my sociology class lately and find that the more i learn about people around me and how they think, the more i realize that i am so out of touch with today’s reality. but don’t judge me too harshly, i’m a product of my socialization. growing up in a conservative small town, i viewed sex as a HUGE taboo. yes, it’s wonderful. as long as you’re married. but if you have sex before then, you’re a slut and have thousands of STDs and you’re probably pregnant too, you just don’t know it.

that is… if you’re a girl.

if you’re a boy, you better be having sex with as many girls as humanly possible. so that you’re cool. or something? i don’t know. i never really interacted with people who thought like that because it seemed to me that so few of them had any usable brain cells. so not only was i not having sex, i had absolutely no desire to do so either. it simply seemed that if i did, i would end up like them. not so much what i wanted. and don’t get me wrong, my faith had a lot to do with that too, but for now, i’m actually going to leave that out. so just know that faith has a lot to do with this as well, but for now, i’m simply going to take the logical reasoning side (and thinking the way i do and feeling so out of touch with reality probably has a lot to do with that faith, fyi).

so back to not being interested. my thinking was that if sex is what it takes to be cool, and being cool makes me like them, and they are some of the dumbest people i know… why would i want to have sex? following so far?

so now, not ONLY do i NOT want to be like them, i’m ALSO being told by society at large that as a girl, i need to not be having sex because that makes me a slut. i mean, i can tease all i want, but i better not give in (makes me think of rizzo’s song in grease: there are worse things i could do…). because that makes me dirty. and i don’t want to be dirty either. according to society. i need to be pristine and pure. either that or i need to be a turbo slut. there seems to be no middle ground on that. OR if i AM having sex, i need to keep it on the dl. because i am a sexual gatekeeper. i decide when and where and how and why. apparently. because that is my role as a woman.

fast forward a few years. i’ve got some college under my belt. i’m in a relationship. however, EVEN THOUGH i’m in that relationship, i’m not really allowed to have friends that are males. can’t REALLY go out to eat one on one with them. because suddenly i’m cheating. or might be thinking about it. or i’m unsatisfied in my relationship. in fact, if i’m out with another male friend, i’m probably considering having sex with him. just for fun. right? OR, say i’m NOT in a relationship and i still have dinner with said guy. we can’t JUST be friends. i mean really, who does that? we’re probably having sex, right? because we can. even though we’re not together. which is a boon for him. but a source of judgment for me. especially since when people find out that we’re NOT dating. well then what are we doing? we can’t JUST be friends? no. males and females cannot JUST be friends. there must always be some sexual element to it.

is this strange to anyone else? am i even making sense?

so fast forward another couple years. in a DIFFERENT relationship. we’ve decided that sex is not going to be part of the relationship pre-marriage. it’s just not going to happen. not that we think it’s a horrible dirty thing. that’s not it. it’s more that sex is such a huge thing in so many relationships, i wonder what else is there. what other interests are shared? do they really know each other? i/we didn’t want sex to become the primary relationship builder. believe it or not, there is so much more to me than my vagina. i would much rather get to know his brain, his mind, his personality first. not that i’m not INCREDIBLY attracted to his body, don’t get me wrong. i am. but when i think about him, i want to be able to think of other things that i enjoy with him as well.

so then comes the interesting part. because we’ve decided to not have this be part of the relationship yet, he’s gay and i’m frigid. or something. but now, after i’ve been told to be pure and to be the gatekeeper, i’m supposed to open the gate simply because we’re in a relationship. it’s like, the social requirement for me has been met. there is now something WRONG with me/us because it’s not happening. we’re not ACTUALLY attracted to each other. it’s like having some sort of self control is strange and weird and unacceptable. and what’s more, people look more down on him than on me. so it’s not necessarily that i’m being frigid, but i should be letting him sleep with me. it’s like, he’s made his payment so now where’s his reward?

am i still making sense? i don’t feel like i am, but i’m really processing all of this.

so i find this double standard to be incredibly interesting and frustrating at the same time. how it’s ok and not ok at the same time. it’s ok for me to hold it back as long as i’m not in a relationship but as soon as i get in one, i better be putting out. and it’s ok for him to not be having it because it shows that he loves and respects me but it’s not ok for him to not be having it because he’s a man and that’s what men deserve in their relationships and it’s a hit to his ego to not be getting any.

i simply don’t understand the thought process (or lack thereof) behind all of this.

i’m moving…

yes, yes it’s true. and official. i’m moving the heck out of this dorm. i absolutely cannot handle being here any more. it’s not my roommate. she’s cool. it’s the actual LIVING in the dorm. it’s the zero privacy. it’s the zero quiet. it’s the lack of control of the temperature of my room. it’s obnoxious girls living on my floor. it’s having nowhere to go that’s MY. OWN. it’s being 23 and FORCED to live here.

5 years ago i was diagnosed with depression. and things very quickly went downhill from there. i was on meds, i was seeing counselors and pastors and psychologists and psychiatrists and still not really improving. it was rough to say the least. i remember how i felt and started acting before things really turned south. now, to be fair, that all went down in october 5 years ago. i’ve made it an additional month and been relatively able to handle the mental and emotional side effects of living on campus. but i’m seeing the patterns start to emerge. i’m feeling the overwhelming lethargy. i’m slacking on my responsibilities. it’s noticeable. i know what i need to do but i’m not doing it. and i don’t really want to. i almost CAN’T do it. i’m simply too overwhelmed. also, my eating and sleeping habits are starting to be affected. not just college student bad eating, no it’s more than that. i’m starting to not WANT to eat. big sign of cari being super stressed. food is the first to go. and i’m having a hard time falling asleep unless i’m super exhausted and then i have a hard time getting up. i have a hard time getting out of bed to do what i need to do. really, it’s just like the LAST time i lived in dahl.

i can’t do that again. i can’t survive a whole year like that. i’ve learned a lot of things about recognizing signs and symptoms and how to re-prioritize and how to cut out the little things to make room for the big things. i’ve learned all of this. i don’t want to go to some counselor or psychologist who’s going to tell me the same stuff. i know what i need to. i’ve been doing it. i’ve rearranged my life. i’ve quit a job, i’ve stopped a few extra-curricular activities trying to reduce stress. it’s not working. i know part of it is hours at my job. i’m there SIX days a week. come january, that WILL change. i can handle it through then because there are two huge breaks in there. i get a bunch of days off. and besides, i have bills to pay. i need to save money. i know that i can rearrange my hours and they will DEAL with me NOT being there every day. everyone will survive. i know that. i’m not necessarily as totally valuable as i might think i am.

besides, working until 7 every night really interferes with cari learning how to play hockey. why? because outdoor rinks turn off their lights at 8. so i’d get 45 mins to play. not. enough. granted, i still have friday, saturday and sunday to skate, still. i’d like to at least have the OPPORTUNITY for more. and my boss is fairly reasonable. she’ll be mostly ok with me cutting down one day. there are things i WANT to do. i WANT to run. i WANT to get in shape. i WANT to learn how to play hockey. when i’m stressed, i feel like i can’t do that. i feel like nothing’s going to work out. it’s too hard living like that. it’s too hard trying to think against myself, you know?

so, really. dahl, i hate you and i don’t want to live in you anymore. so i’m leaving. we’re over. i promise, you’ll find someone else better than me for you anyway. your new relationship will be better. don’t cry. because it’s not going to change my mind. you’re not good for me. i’m moving in with the boyfriend’s grandpa. he’ll be better for me than you. really. i’ll have a whole house to share with one person. not just a room. and i get my own bathroom. it’s just better, dahl. better than you.

things i’m not ready for…

i’m not ready to see my grandpa. he has alzheimer’s. pretty bad. it’s gotten much worse since i last saw him. i’m not ready to see him. i’m not ready for him to not know me. i’m not ready for him to look at me and have no recognition who i am. i’m not ready to accept the fact that he’s not going to know my boyfriend. that he won’t be coherent enough to be at my wedding. that he’ll never know my kids. i’m not ready for this disease to take over him completely. it pretty much already has. he pretty much has no cognitive ability. i’m not ready to see him like that. it will break my heart and i’m not ready. i’m just not ready. but i also know that i’ll never be ready for it. you can’t be ready for something like that.