Has Anyone Seen My Heart?

To my shock, my last post in the “romantic” category was back in March! And it wasn’t about our relationship so much as it was about my personal feelings about our relationship.

I’ve no doubt I’ve mentioned this somewhere in a previous post, but I do not want to dig through my archives right now to find it. I am positive I’ve never made it the topic of a post, however, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately for some reason unbeknownst to me.

This upcoming January will make it four years since my boyfriend and I have met. I know four years isn’t long to most people – I’m not sure if it’s long to me, though it feels like it – but I’m certain we’re past the “new” stage. Lately, I’ve been unable to shake the thought of how close our relationship came to not happening. Despite it’s nothing more than “what if”, it scares me to know how easily we missed each other. It was literally a tiny bout of curiosity that led me to him.

I wasn’t unhappy when I was single, but being single is different before a good relationship versus after one. If I didn’t have him in my life, my life would still be full because I wouldn’t know him. I wouldn’t know what I know now. I wouldn’t know the relationship we have today or how it feels to love romantically and have it be returned. Because I do know those things, when I imagine us not meeting each other, it feels like my life would’ve been empty without him. I know if we broke up and I was single again, I would undoubtedly miss him and feel like a huge void opened up in my life. Prior, however, my single life would’ve continued fine without him because I wouldn’t know him. You cannot miss what you don’t know.

It’s a strange feeling, I admit, somewhat similar to the feeling I’ve talked about of being the age my mom was when she became a mother. It feels a bit surreal. If nothing else, I relate a little more to some sappy love songs, though I still hate cheesy romance. Ironic, I guess.

There’s a lyric in the My Little Pony movie Pinkie Pie sings that goes: “One small thing can be the biggest thing of all.” She’s absolutely right. One tiny “hi” (on his end) and one little curiosity (on my end) led to what we have now almost four years later. Our anniversary date is in late June, so as a couple, we’ve been together for almost 3 1/2 years instead of four, but the further along our relationship gets, the more those six months we weren’t a couple blend in. I don’t think in another four years, I’ll be saying “we’ve known each other for eight years, but we’ve been together for 7 1/2”. Does it really matter at that point? Does it matter now?

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t occasionally turn into that stereotypical lovestruck teenage girl present in so many comedy sitcoms. Speaking for myself, the best way I can describe my feelings in a summary is feeling like I’m drowning in his love and I don’t want to be rescued. And just typing that makes me want to retch a little because I know if I read it from someone else, I’d roll my eyes. I’d think it was cute, but I’d still roll my eyes. A hypocrite am I.

Notice I said that was a summary. Typing out this full post is making me smile and blush like a smitten pre-teen because it’s about him. There are a lot more feelings I could say here, and I’ll probably a lot of eyes roll. More than anything, every time I think about us missing each other that day and never meeting, it’s the silly, sappy feelings that make me saddest to think of missing out on.

  • Being curled up in his arms, as close to him as possible, and still not feeling close enough.
  • Never feeling the time we have together is enough. I say this as someone as a huge introvert who loses her mind without her alone time (it does help he’s also introverted and needs his alone time).
  • At the same time (no pun intended), it feels like time freezes when we are together. Like this could last forever and I’d be fine with that.
  • His mere presence being comforting and lighting up my day or night. Even when he’s annoying me a bit, there’s still something about him being there that makes me feel better than if he wasn’t.
  • Hugs. Hugs! HUGS! I always need more hugs from him.
  • Waking up to find myself held in his arms. This kind of hug is actually my favorite. Feels very secure.
  • Holding and squeezing him tight
  • All of my troubles fall away when we are together. I thought it was being at his house that did this, but anywhere with him gives me this feeling.
  • That anything bad I go through feels doable if I have him. It’s not good for a person to be your only source of happiness, but at my worst, he may be the reason I wake up another day. I say “may” because love (of any kind) can’t do everything.
  • Him. Just him. Knowing there is this person in the world who loves me in a way I have not been loved before. Who I love with a strength I only ever felt for my best friend (platonically; get your mind out of the gutter!). Who made me not regret dropping my guard and (cheesy) unlocking my heart.

I am so glad we met. I can imagine my life without those feelings. Without meeting him, it’s still a good life. But since we did meet, I’m glad that life without him didn’t happen.

I wasn’t looking when I met you, but you turned out to be everything I was looking for. The best thing to find when you’re not looking for it.

So very glad it didn’t happen.

Siblings: Fantasy VS Reality

First, it seems I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog’s anniversaries. After May 22nd, my blog turned five years old. Maybe I should start making a yearly scheduled post for that.

Now, on to the topic at hand.

A stereotype of only children is they are spoiled because of their lack of siblings. Some people think it’s selfish not to give a child a sibling, and some only children do grow up to say they wish they had siblings.

I’ll be honest. Hearing these things makes me cringe, especially the former. Why? Because they’re idealizing having a sibling.

I don’t think people who consider it awful for a child to have no siblings, or who wish they themselves did, realize having a sibling is no guarantee of not being selfish or never being lonely. I don’t believe they realize that sibling could very well be someone they don’t care to have in their life. Having a sibling does not automatically mean you have a built-in playmate/best friend for life.

My mother had two children while my father had one, so I somewhat got to experience being an only child while growing up when I visited him. I much preferred the only child life. Just about every positive reason stated for having siblings never existed for me.

Taught me how to share? My sister and I only shared if forced, and I hogged my things because she continually lost or broke them. My mother forced me to loan her my baby blanket for the kindergarten (I was 8). At the end of the year, she never retrieved it, so it was thrown out. My 8-year-old self was furious because that blanket was one of my favorite possessions. But the reason I argued (and lost) against her borrowing it in the first place is I knew she’d lose it. As an adult, I still hoard things, and part of the reason I tend to buy excessively is that I can finally live without worrying where my stuff will disappear off to.

Playmates and best friends? Again, not unless forced. Otherwise, we either played alone or played with our school friends. My sister and I fought constantly, and the only time we got along on our own was to (figuratively) beat somebody else down, which usually meant drive the adults crazy. I remember people used to say we’d grow up to be best friends. At the ages of 23 (me) and nearly 20, that ship has sailed. Our relationship as sisters borders on dead. My best friend and the person I call my sister are the same person, but she’s not genetically related.

Never being lonely? I don’t even want to talk about this. All I have to say is loneliness due of no people is no better or worse than loneliness because of people.

Teaches eldest siblings to be responsible? First off, I want to hang the person who came up with the notion that oldest siblings should be live-in babysitters. If someone asked me why I want nothing to do with parenthood, the answer of “being forced to babysit my sister” would be in the top three. “Babysit” was essentially the short way of saying “everything your sister does is your fault, no matter where I am in the house”. My sister never got in trouble unless I also did. This didn’t stop until I moved out of the house, which means even at age 13, my sister was deemed “too young to know better” and I was “supposed to set a good example because I was the oldest”. Why was I supposed to enjoy this again? Ironically, babysitting other people’s children as an adult wasn’t an issue for me. Perhaps it being voluntary has to do with it?

I know everyone is entitled to their feelings, but I wish people would stop thinking “siblings = automatic BFFs” because it truly does not. Siblings are essentially hit or miss. If you’re fortunate, the stereotypes are true and you luck out. If you’re not, you get a situation like mine, where your sibling only talks to you to start an argument at four o’clock in the morning.

There have been brief periods of time where we do get along, but they’re sporadic at best. I’ve said before if I wanted to be a parent, I’d be “one and done” because I’d have zero desire to put up with what I went through with my sister. If my hypothetical kid was really so lonely, I’d let them adopt a pet. Really, I did have a cat for a few years while growing up. Much better company.

Another Holiday

Tomorrow, August 1st, is a day known by some people as International Childfree Day. It’s not a day I particularly care for and I often forget it because there seem to be a lot of “special days”, such as National Donut Day, and I simply don’t have any feelings for them. Plus, so many special days, even if they’re not major holidays, make the idea of special days alone not so special anymore.

However, I’m mentioning this day in particular because despite my feelings about the holiday, I do occasionally think about how different, and how much worse, my life would be if I did have children. I’ve spoken before about how I compare my life at this age to my mother’s when she was this age. Let me clarify right now there is no feeling of superiority. I have never felt that. What I have felt since I was a child is motherhood is a route my mother shouldn’t have taken, but time can’t be reversed.

No, I don’t go around, parading happily how I don’t have children. For what? Like most of my thoughts, these tend to come up at night, when I’m lying in bed and not yet asleep. What often comes to mind is what I’d lose or not even have if at some point between the age I became capable of reproducing and now, I’d become a mother. That includes my own sanity and that is not a joke since I’ve been heavily suicidal in the past. In fact, I strongly fear becoming pregnant, and if that were to happen, my immediate thoughts would shift to self-harm before I thought about terminating it. I believe that speaks for itself.

If it’s not my sanity and mental health, it’s the loss of relationships I’d experience. I’ve read when you have children, you learn who your real friends are, but on the other side, I’ve talked to people who did try to keep in contact with friends who became parents and they couldn’t because those friends would stop responding altogether. Obviously, I don’t know exactly how busy a day with a newborn is, but if it’s busy enough to leave no time to take five minutes to send a text message, that sounds less like “not real friends” and more like the friendship simply faltering due to no time to care for it. That happens to any kind of relationship that’s given too little or no attention. It’s why I lost friends when I switched school districts as a child. We couldn’t keep in contact. In short, it’s natural.

Being honest, I have to admit the above is something that scares me. My friends do want to be parents and I absolutely want that for them since it’s what would make them happy, but I do feel sad at knowing it could spell the end of our friendship because they lack time or I do, and I’d feel selfish and like a pest if trying to keep in touch with them only made their days harder.

My relationship with my boyfriend would be non-existent. We wouldn’t know each other, let alone be a couple. This is because he doesn’t want children either, so if I had a child, neither of us would’ve had a chance with each other. Of course, if I’d never met him, I wouldn’t know any different, but since I did, knowing I could’ve missed out on what’s been and continues to be the most loving and one of the healthiest relationships I’ve had in my life saddens me. We did nearly miss each other, but that was due to not checking messages. That was easily amended.

The third top thing I’d lose due to have a child would be my body. Now, before the cries of vanity come, looks are not what I’m referring to. I try to keep myself neat, but I do not have any care for dressing and looking like I just finished a photo shoot. I’m talking about the effects pregnancy and childbirth would have, such as tearing and having to be stitched up, and bleeding continuously for several weeks. And that’s if it goes well. Heaven forbid it goes awfully because at worst, I’m dead. I don’t care if the stitching and bleeding is “not that bad”. Don’t touch me!

On the list of smaller things I’d lose, there’s my collection of things like Disney and Pokemon, and certain outings I’ve been on. Yes, I know it’s possible to still go hiking, to farms, and to amusement parks with children, but it’s also more expensive and requires more planning. When I was invited to the farm, for example, I didn’t even have to think about saying yes. I hadn’t made any other plans, so I could say yes right away. If I’d a child, especially a small child, I definitely would’ve had to make some arrangements, like finding and being able to pay a babysitter for that day, and having someone arrive early or drop my child off early and return home to be picked up. In my eyes, that’s a pain in the behind. Those things probably seem insignificant and I wouldn’t disagree they aren’t the most important things, but they’re small things I enjoy.

While I still have no plans to do anything in particular for International Childfree Day, I will say the day is a nice reminder of a choice I’m happy to have made for my life. No, my life’s not perfect and I’m positive it never will be because perfection doesn’t exist and life enjoys stomping on people at every turn, but to know I have control over, at least, one aspect of my life is assuring and indeed makes me happy.

It’s A Sex Outcome, Not An Airborne Virus

Personally, I don’t care about politics. Never have and never will. The topic bores me half to death. That said, I do know the meaning of some political words and phrases, like “conservative” and “traditional family values”.

It’s hard not to know what those since, while my family’s not particularly political, they certainly believe in most of what’s associated what those terms. However, they’re certainly not the type to practice what they preach.

I’ve had a boyfriend and very happy relationship for the past eight months, and I learned my sister has a circle of friends who are men closer to my age than hers. Neither of us are sexually active at the moment, but we know about birth control, contraceptives, and abortion (although my sister is opposed to that last one).

Unfortunately, my mother and grandmother are of the old opinion that pregnancy is an impossible thing to avoid. They seem think of pregnancy as an airborne virus, believing it’s inevitable for any young woman who spends a lot of time around a man, and that men and women are incapable of being friends and nothing more.

Yes, my sister and I are aware many children are born out of wedlock. It’s hard not to be when we were both children born out of wedlock, as was our mother. Neither our mother or our grandmother were ever married. My mother became pregnant with me by my father in about half the time I’ve had my relationship, and the same is true for her pregnancy with my sister. We spent all of our teen years hearing about how awful teenage boys are and while I would agree with that opinion, bullying was my problem with the boys, not being tricked into sex. That, and teenage girls are just as awful.

Knowing that does not make what my mother and grandmother do any less frustrating. They’re free to hold their beliefs. What’s bothersome is when they treat my sister and I as if we’re too stupid to know better, or acting as if methods to prevent pregnancy don’t exist. I don’t live with them, so I don’t hear the brunt of it, but I do know they refer to us as “sluts”, “whores”, and other mean-spirited words for that we merely speak to men. Yes, I understand many parents often want better for their kids, but I think insisting it’s “slutty” for a young woman to speak to a man in an attempt to prevent them from getting pregnant out of wedlock is too much.

I suppose the upside is my sister and I are at ages where, thankfully, we can determine and maintain our own relationships, though it doesn’t feel good to have your family be so against your friends or partner. I sometimes wonder if they’ll really hold up those opinions for the rest of their lives or if they’ll loosen up as my sister and I reach our mid-twenties or perhaps thirties. Who knows? I may not even have contact with my mother by that time.

Game Over

Let’s run down the list of men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting from OKC. None will be named.

  • Three who I met once and never heard from again, one of whom I had a very unpleasant experience with and I will never engage in that particular activity.
  • One who wanted me for literally nothing more than sex, the one who I cut off, reconciled with months later, and was dumped by for being too nervous and twitchy.
  • One who I had a one month long relationship with that he ended because he wanted to solely focus on school.
  • One who I never met in person because it seemed there was never a good time, and arranging even one meet-up for a day was apparently complicated.
  • Finally, one who I’ve been seeing regularly since March and still am. I’ll talk more about him later.

Now, I won’t pretend I didn’t get good times out of the ones in the middle. When the problems were aside for a while, I genuinely was glad to know them and have them in my life for the period of time they were. However, all of the above, with the exception of the last one, brings me to this conclusion: Dating sucks!

I would not repeat any of those experiences if I had the chance, but the upside of having them is I’ve learned a couple of things from each. Really, the unpleasant activity I mentioned probably had the strongest lesson, which was do not let your curiosity get the better of you! That’s literally the only reason I did it. Yes, stupid, I know.

I’m glad I waited until I was an adult to jump into this game, however. I really can’t say any of these are experiences I would’ve wanted to have when I was still in my teens, even if I was 16 or 17. While I don’t believe I would’ve been more easily influenced, I do believe they would’ve had a greater negative impact than they did. Not to mention I would’ve given up much sooner and probably wouldn’t have met who I’m with now due to age difference (18yrs w/ 16yrs = jail time!). Sure, I wouldn’t have known him, but since I do, I’m happy I stayed out of the game until later.