Categories
musings

Love From Afar

Long distance relationships freaking suck.

If you know me personally or have been following my blog, you know I have a wonderful boyfriend named Lucas Miles. We love each other more than deep-fried Oreos, but even the strongest fall down sometimes. Which I’m very thankful for.

My last blogpost, “Count Your Blessings,” truly described my feelings on life. While my schedule is absolutely crazy and I’m pretty sure I should change my profile picture to a headless chicken, life really could not be better. I have a family that loves me, friends that support me and a boyfriend who gets a clause all to himself.

I’m writing today from a thought I had while perusing Instagram. When Lucas visited me in Disney, we had tons of experiences and adventures (go check out #adventuresoflatti!), and a lot of our friends and family would post comments saying “I love you guys,” or “You guys are perfect.” I totally believed we were perfect, but for the first time in forever, I’m figuring out that’s not true.

And that is a-okay.

Loving in a long-term, long-distance relationship is one of the most challenging and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. You push yourself and your partner in so many ways and learn so many things about each other. Every little thing is important; for example, I always start off our phone conversations with “How was your day?” While many others couples might do that, the connotation attached to ours is probably different. After not talking all day, and not seeing each other in days, weeks or months, I want to know every detail, from the sandwich he ate at lunch to the stupid idiot that he’s driving behind on the way to work. I’ve never been so frustrated, independent and vulnerable at the same time.

Couples on campus probably think I’m a cat lady because I look at their happy canoodling with such disdain, but it’s really just me being envious that they have the ability to hold each others’ hands. I’m lucky enough to see Lucas once a week or so, but compared to the 24/7 some of my friends get, it’s not a lot. And I shouldn’t even complain… I’m lucky Lucas is National Guard and not active duty Army. I really don’t know what I’d do if I saw him every now and then.

Long distance relationships have their pros, but a con that we’ve been dealing with lately (which is new – we’ve always fared well in the cons department) is the effect of long distance in the long term. It’s hard to have a meaningful relationship when the accumulated time you’ve spent together is a third of how long you’ve actually been dating. Between our busy schedules and own professional lives, distance easily creeps in. Fortunately, Lucas and I are very frank with each other, and when we have a problem, we fix it. We know what we have is rare and worth fighting for. We’ve discussed countless times the profound impact we’ve had on each other, and why nothing can tear us apart. From the beginning, it’s been us against the world. I just can’t wait for the day that “we” can become “one.”

Thanks for listening to my dramatic, romantic drabble. Have a magical Tuesday night.

Categories
Unlikely

Lissa – Unlikely (Part 3)

I’m not going to lie, I stalked her. I found her on social media and monitored her activity. Since I knew what she looked like, I found her in the dining hall and made notice of every time I bumped into her between classes and on free time. I even started making small conversation with her. It took me a while, but I devised a plan that I put into action today.

Lissa walks out of dinner at 6:17, right when I get out of my class. I fall behind her in the hallway, carefully keeping her in my line of sight. I was about to make my move, but everything went black.

I woke up in the infirmary a few hours later. Lissa and Piper were sitting next to me.

“What happened?” I ask, disoriented and incredibly thirsty.

Piper explained to me that I collapsed on the ground behind Lissa, and she caught me just before I cracked my head on the stairs. I didn’t thank her, so Piper did.

“It’s no problem, really! I’m just glad you’re okay, it could have been a nasty spill!” Lissa’s overflowing happiness sickens me.

I fake a smile and turn my eyes to Piper, silently screaming for her to get me out of this cot. She calls over the nurse and I’m discharged. Lissa follows us out of the infirmary like a puppy, making jokes that she’s there for “support” if I faint again.

I’m about to tell off Lissa, but I shut my mouth as soon as I see her. She had a black cloth swaddled around her like a dress. Her thick locks were so laden with water; her hair itself looked like a veil. Her mouth pries itself open to maggots crawling out and a festering smell. She cackled maniacally and stare me straight in the eyes. I couldn’t help but scream and cover my mouth in horror.

“Larkin, what’s wrong?” Piper asked. I point at Lissa and Piper looks back at me, confused. I snap around to see Lissa, visibly scared, and standing as innocent as ever in the hall.

“I… I saw…” I tried to make words, but my brain didn’t seem to work.

“I think it’s time you get to bed, Larkin,” Piper says concerned, and pulled my arm toward our room. My stare didn’t leave Lissa though, who I swore had horns in her hair.

Categories
Unlikely

Funeral – Unlikely (Part 2)

We are gathered here this evening to say our final goodbyes to a dearly departed friend. His kindness and friendship will be missed by all. The Lord has taken our dearly departed Joe to a better place,” the Reverend drones on in his repetitive, generic speech. If an audience had shown up, they’d be asleep by now. The church is much too big for a three person funeral; well, four if you count the stiff in the coffin.

Suicide, they said. Swallowed a bunch of pills and washed it down with a handle of Jack. Life was apparently “too hard to handle,” as it was put in the note. I never saw the note, but I know that none of it is true.

I look at my father in his open casket. His face is pale and lifeless, like you’d expect any dead person to look. I’m closer to my father than Piper is, which means that I get two calls a week instead of one. Despite a limited relationship, I love him more than anything else in my life. The news of his death rocked me into oblivion, I just didn’t let it reflect externally. In my mind, I’m crying, screaming, fighting, and dying all at the same time. I’m grasping at straws for any answer or indication foreshadowing his death. I comb through letters and phone calls and emails, but in all of them, he maintained his soft tone and polite disinterest. I scrutinize his body, looking for answers.

There’s a scratch on his cheek almost covered up by the mortician’s powder. The faint pink line reached from his right temple to his lips, which look fuller than normal. Even though he’s lifeless, blood still seems to be swelling under his lower lip. I look even closer… and a patch of his hair is missing by his ear.

“Piper!” I bark in the softest voice I can. Her gaze doesn’t leave the altar and she replies out of the side of her mouth.

“What? Pay attention!” I scoff at her manners.

“You know this is wrong.”

“What’s wrong?” She asks, with more interest this time.

“Why would dad kill himself? He just closed that new deal, we’re getting good grades, he even started talking to that waitress at the diner! What could have gone so wrong that he wanted to die?” A flicker of doubt burns in Piper’s hazel eyes. She tries to shake it off.

“We don’t know what he was thinking. He doesn’t tell us everything, you know.”

He doesn’t tell you everything’ I wanted to say, but I bit my tongue. I pressed on with my questions.

“Why would he have a scratch on his cheek then? A fat lip? And unless he started aging really quickly, I don’t remember him having a bald spot.” Piper ignored me until the ceremony was over. When we’re walking to our car in the deserted parking lot, I finally explode.

“Why are you acting like you don’t care?” I exclaim, letting my blood boil. “You’ve always been like this. You take things at face value and never question anything. It’s like you don’t even care that dad’s gone!”

Piper whips her head around, her eyes wide and mad with rage. It stops me in my tracks.

“You think I don’t care that dad’s gone? That we’re orphans? That we literally have nothing? I can’t believe you would accuse me of that. You didn’t even show up for half of the meeting yesterday! I was the one that found out first. They put all of the stress on me. They told me that dad went broke and never made a will, meaning we have nothing. They told me that they bank is taking the house as compensation for all of our debt. They told me that our tuition is going to run out after this semester.” Piper lowered her eyes to the ground.

“Larkin, they told me we have a half-sister.” My jaw drops to the cracked concrete.

“What? We have a sister?” I cry in disbelief. Piper still doesn’t look at me.

Her voice breaks when she answers. “She goes to Calton.”

We’re starting to attract an audience with our dramatic family problems, so hurriedly, we duck into the car and make the long drive back to Calton.

“Her name is Lissa, and she’s a grade lower than us. ” Piper starts. “They didn’t tell me any specifics, but I’m guessing dad’s business trips involved more than just business. Apparently, he started her at Calton when he started us.” A disgusted look spreads over my face. Betrayed! Lied to! I knew my father wasn’t a saint, but I didn’t think he was the devil.

“She doesn’t know either, though,” Piper finishes. “No one’s ever told her. She thinks her great aunt is paying for her tuition.”

Piper was calm now. Getting things off her chest always alleviates her stress. She turned some radio station on. Sound or static, it makes no difference to me. I know I have a problem to fix, and her name is Lissa.

Categories
"Open When..."

Open When… You Can’t Sleep

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“Open When… You Can’t Sleep” actually should have been done a while ago. I had bought a small book called “Dream Symbols” at Five Below, but it ended up being too fat for the envelope 😦 So I just used a list I found on the internet of common dream symbols, made an infinite loop of sheep for him to count to fall asleep, “quick tips” to fall asleep fast, a cigar to calm him and relax him, and the book “Go the **** To Sleep” as some light reading before he nods off! And of course, the handwritten letter, a bible passage, and a picture will be added!

Categories
"Open When..."

Open When… You’re Bored

Open When... You're Bored

This is my first installment in showcasing Lucas’ “Open When…” Letters for when he goes to AT (Annual Training). He doesn’t know about it at ALL, and I’m so excited to give them to him:)

This envelope includes just a few things for him to occupy himself with when he’s bored: two coloring book pages of the Hulk (his favorite superhero) with crayons, two word searches about love and the Bible, a word search I made myself about the military, a crossword puzzle about our relationship, a relationship questionnaire (A sort of “would I rather,” “My Favorite…,” etc. I don’t remember the website I got some of my questions from, I’m sorry!), and one of those fortune things that we all used to make in elementary school! The inside flaps alter from motivational quotes to secrets about myself, to random Snapple Facts, a Bible verse (usually they follow the lines of which envelope they’re in, but most of the ones I could find that related to bored had to do with Sloth so I just wrote him a cute note!), and I still need to put a picture in it! I haven’t decided if it should be just me or the both of us, or maybe make it a puzzle he has to put together!

In all, I’ll been making about 20 letters. If you have any questions or anything, feel free to contact me!

Categories
stories

Love.

I never imagined something like this would happen to me. Okay, that’s a lie. I always dreamed something like this would happen to me. But I didn’t think it would actually happen. Never in a million years. This is the story of our love story.

FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE

Introductions

If asked to describe myself, I probably wouldn’t be too shy to tell you everything.

I’m still trying to find my true identity in life; the true definition of what it means to be me. But I have a lot of the puzzle pieces in place. I really enjoy getting together and having fun with friends, but I don’t really enjoying drinking. Which is kind of a difficult thing to wrestle with at a top party school. Still, I’ve held my own for the first semester of college and haven’t gotten drunk. I probably drank more at home on break than I did at school. I really like the feeling you get after a good workout. Almost as much as I love the taste of mashed potatoes. I’m pretty easygoing. Actually, some people would say that I’m too easygoing. I can get addicted to Netflix pretty easily. It’s a chronic condition.I try to be as generous as possible. In efforts to make others happy, I’ll give myself the short end of the stick the majority of times; whether it be giving up my cozy bed so my roommate can have sex for the 3rd time that day, or driving all over God’s green earth to make each family member’s holiday party. And honestly, I enjoy doing it most of the time. Being out of my bed forces me to interact with people I should probably be talking to anyways, and I enjoy the time I get to think from traveling from party to party. In my spare time, I usually watch Netflix, go to the gym, or catch up with friends. I really enjoy Etsy too. One of my favorite feelings in life is giving the perfect present.

My parents got divorced when I was 15. Like any only child would, I took it pretty hard. Internalizing most of my feelings, I retreated into myself for a good portion of my sophomore year of high school. Friendships got harder and the hope of romance all but faded away. Relationships with my parents were rocky at best. While they still have their ups and downs, I know my parents love me unconditionally and only ever wanted the best for me.

I believe a college experience is important to have, but realize it isn’t for everyone. I chose my college based off it’s professional reputation for my major. Even though I love the University and have made some really good friends, at the end of the day, I’m here to kick ass, make a name for myself, and begin the rest of my life. I don’t believe that you need to drink to have fun. While a glass of wine or a cup of beer is nice to de-stress, getting drunk is on my to-don’t list. Some people may call me crazy, but that’s just not how I want to live my life.

My parents always taught me to be the best that I can possibly be. My father is a overly-committed, stretched-out workaholic with mommy- and daddy-issues and a high tolerance for feelings. At least that’s how he can look on the outside now. On the inside, a few years ago, I knew him as a giving, loving, selfless workaholic that had crazy parents. He’s different, but he’s still my father and know beyond doubt that there’s no one he cares more for in this world than me. The divorce changed him though, and not necessarily for the better. He’s always pushed me to work for my dreams, but recently his demands are getting more unattainable and his tone is becoming more harsh. I know she’s influencing him… the step-monster. Her kids are nice, her family’s nice, but I just can’t seem to find her company pleasurable. As soon as I think she might not be all bad, she ruins it for herself by ratting me out about something o making a snarky comment about one of my achievements. Due to my incapability to disappoint people, I put on a (semi-)smiling face when conversing with her in front of my father. Much to my mother’s dismay.

My mom can be my best friend and my worst enemy, sometimes in the same day. Unlike other teenagers that complain their mom is mean because she won’t give them more money or hang out with current “cool” boy, I deal with real, adult arguments. For years, my mother has grappled with the idea of me being in another woman’s home, under her care. She continually think that I’m lying to her about my relationships at my other house, forbids me to like my step-monster, and has even called me the biggest disappointment in her life. For all her faults, she has strengths. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t call to make sure I’m doing well, and she remembers the most insignificant things I say for later dates. My stepfather is just a teddy bear that I couldn’t be happier that my mother found. He’s perfect for her in every way and I literally thank the good Lord that she found her. He’s exactly what she needs.

Obviously, my family and I are far from perfect. But my boyfriend isn’t.

*

Lucas is honestly the best human being I have ever met. Even the things he claims are his faults I see as his strengths. I’ve never known someone so self-motivating that will give all he has then find a way to give more. He’s so steadfast in his morals and knows exactly who he is, which is one of the most attractive things about him. He continually falls back on who he is as a person; a solid structure of morality, genuine compassion, and pure friendliness. He is my rock.

The way that he tells me stories; how his eyes light up as he leans in just a little bit more as he gets to the good part, how his lips spin words into narratives that I could listen to for the rest of my life, how he gets self-conscious about talking too much… everything he does just makes me love him more. He could tell me the most insignificant piece of information and I’d still hang on every word he says.