Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh the joys of retail....

I love waking up to my mom asking me for shorts to go to the cottage and then realizing I can't go because I have to work....blah. Don't get me wrong I am grateful for my job but some days I really wish I had a M-F job where I could have holidays off. *Sigh* I do need the money though. And it is not like I am alone, Matt has to work tonight so he is staying home to sleep.

That's all I really had to say at this point...just wanted to rant to the internet universe...
Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 3- 30 Day Blog Challenge

So I have decided it is impossible for me to believe I will actually post in this everyday but I really want to finish the challenge so I am just going to go with it :)

Day 3: Your first love

The story of my first love is a long and sordid story. I have only really dated 3 people in my life. My high school boyfriend, Mark, who, looking back I only really ever loved as a friend. I never truly fell in love until Dylan. It was a love that lasted almost 5 years even though we were truly only together a short amount of that time. But I loved him that whole time even though I tried to deny it to myself. I met Dylan when I was 16 and he was dating one of my best friends. Though their relationship lasted only a short time, our friendship grew stronger and I wasn't willing to give it up even when they split. My friend believed I should cut all ties with him as their relationship had ended badly but I couldn't bare to lose someone who had become so close to me. I made a decision that my friend did not agree with and was very angry over for a long time but looking back I wouldn't change it, he became one of my best friends. I could tell him anything without judegement. As we became closer, things started to turn to the physical though we never made our relationship official, we were just fooling around. It was during this time I believe I fell in love with him. I wanted to be with him all the time which was difficult because we lived a half hour apart. I defied my parents numerous times in order to spend time with him and even started lying to my friends so they wouldn't judge me. I made decisions that now I do regret, I allowed myself to be used for my body and let Dylan take advantage of me. The thing I haven't mentioned yet is that Dylan was trouble. He was into drinking, smoking, pot, and like I said he took advantage of me. Deep down I knew he was but by this time my love had blinded me and I looked at it as helping him. He had a troubled home life with a drinking dad and a mom he didn't really get along with which much later I would come to find out was for good reason as all he ever did was ask her for things.

About two years into our "friendship" I moved even further away from Dylan to attend college. We remained friends and our relationship went as it usually did, talking on the phone a lot, visits occasionally, and still the physical from time to time. I was pulled deeper and deeper into Dylan's world of drinking and pot and not really caring about anyone else. This was fueled by my deep loneliness at school, the stroke my sister suffered, my friends and I not being as close as we once were, and just a general depression that I did not at first identify as depression but now see it that way. His life was what I wanted, to not care about anyone but myself and just to have fun. I started slipping away from God and did things I am ashamed of but know that I have been forgiven for.

It was in November of 2006 that Dylan decided to abandon me and that is when the real heartache starts. It was then that I realized I couldn't live without him and that our relationship meant more to me than I had ever really realized. It sent me spiraling deeper into a depression and took me further from God, two things I have learned go hand in hand. He dropped out of high school and moved to Texas in the middle of the night. There was no phone call or anything to warn me or say goodbye. Just a phone call from a train station that he was going. I was stunned, somewhere deep inside I had truly begun to believe he cared for me. The next few months were some of the hardest of my life at that point, which can be evidenced by my writing during that period. I had never felt so rejected or lost and mostly I kept it to myself. Looking back on writings from that time is very painful for me and even now writing this story down in full is painful, it has taken me over a week because I get to points I don't want to revisit. At the same time revisiting the pain is reinforcing what I came to learn much to late about this man I loved, he wasn't good enough for me and still isn't. He did eventually return to Michigan and I was so happy to see him, I couldn't contain my joy.

After this time our relationship becomes fuzzy again, visits, phone calls. I won't bore you with every single detail but we ended up together in the summer of 2008. At the time it was this amazing moment when he revealed he loved me and had for some time, he just didn't want to hurt me but now he wanted to be with me. Recently Dylan had also started going to church and accepted God into his life. The drinking had stopped and he was different. No mask to hide behind, I actually got to know the real him and fell more in love. The three months we spent together were crazy, happy, wonderful, awful, and scary. We fought constantly about almost everything and then the drinking started and the spiral once again started. I hated that this was happening for the zillionth time but kicked myself at the same time for believing he had truly changed. The night he got into a fight with the groom at one of my friend's weddings was the final straw, I broke it off the next morning. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do because I knew this meant a permanent change in our relationship. He stormed off after I broke up with him and as it so happened we were headed to the church for a function. I walked into the chuch with tears streaming down my face and the pastor hugged me and told me he had been told about the previous night. It was such a comfort to talk to him and know that I had my friends there after this horrible thing.

You may think that this was the end of our friendship but it wasn't I still talked to Dylan and saw him occasionally. I couldn't fully let go. I remember waking up one morning in April 2009 and realizing I didn't deserve the way he treated me. Period. I couldn't just be friends with someone who had betrayed me so many times and in countless ways. I stopped talking to him cold turkey, stopped answering his calls. It was difficult but I kept reminding myself I had something brighter ahead of me and he was headed nowhere fast. I couldn't change him. This is also around the time I started treatment for depression, both medicine and therapy. My therapist saved my life. She made me see what my family and friends had been trying to make me see for years but I had told them they were wrong. Going through therapy was the best thing I ever did for myself and my future. It was also the best thing I ever did for my relationship with God, letting go of Dylan made me hold tighter to that relationship that I came to treasure through my battle with depression and my relationship with Dylan. I was so scared of a life without him and I cried every time my phone rang with his name. I eventually changed him to Do Not Answer in my phone and it helped but was still painful. I would wake up in the middle of the night and reach for him and start to cry. I am surprised the few months after I stopped talking to him that I didn't use my allotment of tears for life.

There is pain in life, be it physical, emotional, or mental. I learned this the hard way, and chose to keep that pain in my life as a way to dull everything I felt. I turned my back on friends and family for a man who in the end left me heartbroken, scarred, and most of all hurt. I know there is worse pain in the world, I know people going through a worse pain now but my pain and hurt over this relationship brought me to where I am today. I am with a man who loves me through my flaws and scars. I have issues that I still cope with almost daily from what I went through with Dylan but Matt understands and listens and doesn't judge. Matt knows pain too, the pain of grief and deals with it constantly. But we don't hide in our pain, we share, we struggle together that is what a relationship is. Rejoicing, grieving, falling apart, losing it, loving, but all together.

It's funny that I wrote so much but my experience with Dylan is one that changed me spiritually and emotionally and allowed me to be the woman I am today. I know that I have moved on because the only part I started crying at was when I started to write about Matt. Dylan can no longer hurt me. I can't change the past, but I can learn from it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 2- 30 Day Blog Challenge

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

Hope for Today is mostly a reminder to myself that hope doesn't have to always stem into future hopes but that every day it is important to wake up and have hope that God's plan for that day will come to fruition. I can't just wait around for my life to happen but need to have hope that today something will happen that could possibly change the course of my life here on earth.
Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 1- 30 Day Blog Challenge

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

My name is Jennifer Arnold. I am a 22 year old woman(feels weird putting woman, I always want to say girl for some reason lol) who is in love with Jesus and trying to have faith in God with the plans for my life.
1. I graduated from Calvin College last May and am still seeking a job that uses my major (Biology) or really any full time job :)
2. I work as a cashier and to be honest, most of the time it sucks (but I am grateful for my job). Being so nice constantly is hard, I am now more appreciative of customer service people who are cranky sometimes :)
3. I was born in July and during a heat wave I am told, I think this is one of the reasons I LOVE summer and heat.
4. My favorite thing to do in the summer is visit the cottage my great grandma owns with my family and friends, there is nothing better than relaxing by the water and spending quality time with the people I love.
5. I am deathly afraid of the dentist. I sit in the chair and dig my nails into the arm rests.
6. I have a hard time letting go of things, hence the hope chest I received for graduation is already busting full. I am a tad too sentimental about most things obviously.
7. I could eat Chipotle Chicken Fajita burritos for one meal a day every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them (pretty positive lol)
8. I am getting married on June 23, 2012 to the love of my life, Matt who I met about a year and a half ago through a dating service :-D can't wait!!
9. I love the feel of cool flannel on my skin, especially in winter.
10. I love reading, lately I have been devouring books and loving it, though I probably should spend more time being constructive.
11. My favorite TV show of all time is The Golden Girls, I have probably seen every episode at least 20 times as I own them all on DVD and watch them whenever I have a bad day, I know every line and still laugh every time.
12. I miss college life, the routine, the friends I made there and feeling like I was going to get somewhere at the end. I have to remind myself my journey is not over and God has a plan for me.
13. I have one older sister but our family roles are pretty much reversed according to everything I have read. She is the babied spoiled one and I am the one who is supposed to take care of her and guide her. I love her to death but am frustrated beyond belief sometimes.
14. Cuddling is pretty much my favorite thing to do. I love falling asleep in Matt's arms, nothing better than feeling that secure.
15. I need to make more time for God's word in my life. I pray constantly but have been slacking on reading the Bible. Need to add it to my daily schedule for sure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

So my friend Jess just started a blog challenge and I decided to be a copy cat and do the same thing....he he he he. So here is what the next 30 days will bring :)
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding (I might change this too My Wedding Day)
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge