Archive for the ‘pittsburgh’ Tag
The only thing that matters is just following your heart and eventually you’ll finally get it right.
I once came across a line that I’m kicking myself for not remembering word-by-word. In essence the line said: You know you’ve grown when you return to the place you left and everything still feels the same. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? It certainly did to me when I first read it; however, I get it. See we focus so much on changing during our life experiences, and trust me I am one who thought that was the whole point of growing up. But it is and it isn’t, and I’ll get to my explanation later in the post.
After having a friend date with Stef this evening over Eat. Pray. Love. and a delicious Italian meal (and sangria), I find myself trying to come up with a word to sum up this past week. See the movie’s protagonist, played by Julia Roberts, attempts to find one word to describe herself (at different points in her life) and the counties that she visits. Let me pose this question to you…what one word would best describe you? During the movie my word immediately came to me: seeker. I am a seeker. Other words could be ‘dreamer’ or ‘(over) thinker’, but I really think that ’seeker’ suits me best as I’m always searching for something- whether I know what that something is or not.
The word for this week is nostalgia. Truth be told, I sit here and cannot remember all of the reasons why but know that I’ve felt this way since Sunday or Monday. (It’s been a long week.) Wednesday really defined this week as being nostalgic with the unexpected arrival of a Facebook message from a best friend in high school, Jessi. Since I tend to be the one sending random messages & emails to people from the past, after being caught off guard I immediately checked to see if I had previously sent her one. (Nope.) Jessi’s message was basically a “Hi. How are you? So you live in Chicago?”, but it meant a lot to me especially since I haven’t seen her in 3-4 years. It always amazes me how such a small form of communication can impact you so greatly. After hearing from Jessi, I befriend her older sister Tina and the rest is history- literally. I soon found myself writing “how have you been” and “I’ve missed you” as I strolled down a memory lane that was at least 8 years ago…from Chicago. Responding to Jessi’s messages this week made me feel like I was that eighteen year old best friend of hers again.
While I still have a hard time picturing myself living in Pittsburgh again, I have recently spent some time wondering ‘what if?’. There was even a day when I thought about just applying for the Child Life Internship Program at Children’s Hospital and seeing what happened. Although my mind tells me you’ll always want to leave again so what’s the point in moving back if you don’t have to, I still wonder- especially since my family is still there. Hmmmmm….but then again, I am a seeker.
Ever since I left for college I have been on a soul-searching journey. And while I don’t always known what it is that I’m searching for, I think it can be categorized under happiness and/or a feeling of personal contentment…which brings me back to Eat. Pray. Love. I think it’s safe to say that my journey really began 7-8 years ago in college (either at Kent or OU) when I acknowledged that I wanted more for myself than what I had. I believed that something was out there for me and that I had to find out exactly what ‘it’ was. Unfortunately I made the common mistake of thinking that I had to change myself in order to achieve that.
While my religious practices have been lacking over the years, I can honestly say that I still believe in God. I never stopped believing in God. Sure I questioned his doings and asked/begged to understand, but never once did I question His existence.
Since hearing it tonight, this quote from the movie has stuck with me: God dwells within us as us. It’s difficult to understand God’s plan for us along our journey but He is always there within us, leading us towards the moment of recognition as you find your frustrations and anxieties replaced by gratitude. Everything happens for a reason.
On Thursday evening I will board a plane back (home) to Pittsburgh for two nights before heading to the beach with my family for some much-needed R&R, and cornhole. I know that I’ll feel content when I land at the airport and even more so when I see my parents near baggage claim. We’ll drive North on 79 and as we approach Hampton, I’ll find myself feeling like “a Hampton girl” again. It still surprises me how good it feels to be ‘home’, but it really does.
My journey has led me to a whole world of unknown territories and explorations. I’ve climbed hills, mountains, and cliffs over the years in search of the buried treasure that I’ve been told exists. And while I’ve felt close a few times, I do know that I’m not quite there yet. But it’s always nice to go home (again) for a refresher before setting off on another adventure. One of these days I know that I’ll find ‘it’…and whatever ‘it’ is, I know it will be worth the wait.
(Nostalgic) Songs of the Moment: So Long, Astoria by The Ataris & In This Diary by The Ataris.
As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point. This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School. *My last June series post was awhile ago, so here’s that post, Your Whole Life is About to Change…(June 2006).
June 2006 (Back in Pittsburgh): Other than the uncontrollable tears and the song, Smile by Steven Tyler and Chris Botti that ironically played (causing many more tears), I cannot remember the ride from Athens back to Pittsburgh (my parents’s house). I’m pretty sure that I called it an early night and tried by best to sleep admist the tears and pain. The day I’d dreaded had finally come when I officially had to say goodbye to OU. (Enter heartbreak.) Between you and me, I really don’t think I could ever go back and relive that time in my life. I may sound like a hyprocrite saying that because on my previous post about appreciating the people and moments in your past that caused you pain. I still stand by the idea whole-heartedly. That time in my life was full of the most painful, heart-wrenching days for me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t feel, not even the pain that I was experiencing. I was numb. I couldn’t feel a thing. This is the worst kind of pain, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
To best describe the way I was feeling (or not ‘feeling’) at that time, let me share this scene from New Moon with you. I was Bella. For all of you, like me, that can list the Twilight Saga as a guilty pleasure, you can most likely remember this scene. And if, like me, you have ever battled loss, heartbreak, depression, and/or anxiety, then I’m certain that this scene resonates with you. (Note: The song in the scene is called Possibility by Lyyke Li.)
Watching/reading New Moon, especially this scene, brings about a rush of contradicting emotions for me, as it reminds me of that time in my life, and more importantly that I survived those dark days. As Bella says, ‘‘…but in a way I’m glad the pain is my only reminder that he was real….that you all were.” Thinking about my days in Athens and the friends I made was bittersweet. I missed them so much! To be honest, I thought I’d never see most of them again. Having lost most of my friendships from high school, I couldn’t get past the thought that the same would happen with my college friends- especially since they were in other cities, some far, far away. Fortunately, I was wrong. If I could go back to those days then I would make sure that ‘I’ knew that everything was going to be okay and ensure ‘me’ that the people who really mattered would always be in my life- in some way.
It’s important for me to open up about this struggle for many reasons, one being my own personal benefit. Afterall, we cannot fully move on until we accept the past for what it was and everything that it meant to us. In addition, I feel a need to open up about my battle with heartbreak, anxiety, and depression to help those who have worn these same shoes and feel like they’re alone. You’re not. And if you’re currently experiencing any of these struggles then- 1) close your eyes; 2) take a deep breath; and 3) tell yourself that this is only temporary and it shall pass. You can and you will get through this.
I’ve been there and I never thought I’d get passed it. But 4 years later (gasp!) I cannot look back on those days and smile, knowing that they are now and distant memory. A memory that I’ll cherish because it makes me realize that I’m stronger that I think. I still have rough moments, days, even weeks, but now I can remind myself that it will pass. As I shared above, tell yourself that this will soon pass, that it’s all temporary.
Back to heartbreak and what I know about it. The saying goes that time heals all wounds, and that’s true. But time doesn’t always go as quickly as we’d like it to, and therefore, the pain of a broken heart lingers longer than one would prefer. This quote is one that reminds me of that: I’ve learned that you can get through things that hurt. Nothing will kill you. Nothing. People are unbelievable. We have such resilience. (Jennifer Aniston)
In a way it still pains me to discuss the heartbreak I experienced, simply because I’m not completely over it (him) yet. I hate admitting that, but it’s true. I say this for the same reasons I mention above: to help myself and others who share this experience with me. If opening up about my past stumbles and falls can help someone else, then in a way I feel like the pain was again worth it. Call me selfless if you will, but it’s more that we learn from others and their experiences each and every day so I’m honored if I’m the person someone is able to learn from.
I hope you can follow me on this next thought. I had it a few days ago but wasn’t exactly sure how to put it into words. Let me give it a try. If you read yesterday’s post then you know my thoughts on first love, and really any love for the matter. Well keep that in mind as well as my points on how we grow from painful occurences and learn from others. Are you still with me? If so, here’s my thought, and in hopes that it can make sense I’m going to make it as personal to me as I possibly can.
This boy…let’s call him Casey…has played a huge role in my personal growth and character development- ironically without him even knowing it. Sure he broke my heart, unintentionally and honestly, without even knowing it. However, he also did a lot more than that. He showed me that I am capable of loving and being loved. Even with all of the time that has passed I still think of him (more than I should) and my reason is this. Through loving someone, you learn to love yourself more. Before meeting him and even while knowing him, I didn’t love myself. And because of personal struggles, I didn’t think I deserved to be loved. Simply put, he proved me wrong. I will not let myself forget, nor can I, someone who gave me so much life. Someone that showed me that I do indeed have a place in this big world. I will never forget the person that caused me so much pain, and the person that helped me realize that I can overcome it.
While I still ponder if I am still in love with him or if I’m just a victim of first love syndrome, I’ll say that it’s hard not having him in my life because of the impact that he has on me. While I truly thank him for everything that he has allowed me to become, I cannot contain the feeling that our story isn’t over. Why can’t he see the person I’ve become?
June 2006 was four years ago. I haven’t seen that boy in four years. I graduated college four years ago! That seems so long but when I think about everything I’ve been through (and everywhere I’ve lived) since then, it seems longer. I’m still me, but gosh am I a different and much better version of me.
As I sit here in my Starbucks in Chicago and revisit that time in my life, I feel…numb. Numb in a good way though. I cannot say it enough, I really am grateful to have experienced that low point in my life. It reminds me that I don’t want to be there every again, but if that does happen, then I learned that I have the capacity to overcome it. We all do.
She was sad, though. But it was a hopeful kind of sad. The kind of sad that just takes time. (Perks of Being a Wallflower- I recommend reading this novel.)
The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain. (Jennifer Aniston)
Song of the Moment: If You’re Not the One- Piano Version (original by Daniel Bedingfield)
Song of the Past: Vienna- The Fray (I used to listen to this over and over again during the summer of 2006.)
*The title of this post is a paraphrased line from New Moon (Twilight Saga) by Stephanie Meyer.
Somehow my weekend in Pittsburgh is almost over. Where does time go? I knew that I had a lot of things to get in over these past few days, but I’m still not sure why I didn’t have more ‘me’ time. This is actually the first trip back that I haven’t had a chance to go to Target! Now that’s a big deal…lol.
In following up on yesterday’s post about my brother, I’m happy to share that I got to spend most of the day with him yesterday. Not only did he attend a work event with me, but he dealt with my sleepy blondeness until about 2 am. To show my love and appreciation for him, I permitted him to rent Zombieland, which actually was quite enjoyable to my surprise. I couldn’t get enough of him so I watched a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with him.
Seriously, if my brother moved to Chicago- living with me or not- I would be very happy! I just love, love, love spending time with him. It’s always my favorite part of being home.
I really miss my family. When I was living in Columbus, OH and going to school at OU, I was able to go home a lot more since it was only a 4 hour drive home. Since I worked for half of this trip, I didn’t get much time with my family which is the one downfall of the trip home. However we had great family dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Whispers, which was a great way to end the weekend.
I always look forward to my trips home. I could never live here again, but one of the perks of moving back to Columbus is the proximity to my family. I must be growing up if this is one of the reasons for choosing where I live.
Off to the airport. Adios, Pittsburgh. See you in a few months, when there is absolutely no snow. ♥ K
I was a little too tired to share the details of my flight back to Pittsburgh last night so I’ll do it now. Let me first say that I’m usually pretty anti-social on my flights from Chicago because by the time I get to the airport, I am exhausted from the traveling and hauling all the weight around the city.
Okay, I got to my gate and found a place to stand. After small chit-chat with the guy (Bob) next to me, I asked him where he lived (knowing that he called Pittsburgh home). “I’m from Hampton.” I believe I laughed before sharing that I went to high school there. Now let me say that I have met another person from Hampton in awhile.
Waiting to board the plane, we conducted some basic introductory conversation, mostly about our Hampton upbringing. He graduated in 1993; I was from the Class of 2002. So with that 9-year difference, we did a lot of “Oh was so-s0 teaching then?’ and “Do you know (blank)?” Much to our surprise we did recognize some names but no revelations or anything. He’s only 35 compared to my 26, but knowing that I was in 3rd grade when he graduated from Hampton was a little entertaining to me.
Bob and I sat with each other on the plane which made the flight go so quickly. Although I’m fine with flying, it’s such a good feeling after a long day. I enjoyed talking to him about Hampton, but we also discussed a lot of other things as well- including his love of Spinning & Yoga!! I told him that he was the smartest guy in the world because those classes are typically filled with girls. Seriously boys, get yourself to a class right now…you won’t regret the eye candy and the workout is great too! Just looking out for you guys.
He traveled a lot for his previous jobs so I was interested in hearing about his favorite cities. I didn’t expect him to say that Denver was his favorite city. Denver? Really? What is the big fascination with Denver? Okay, I should explain especially for those of you who know nothing about me other than what you’ve read thus far in my blog. A few weeks ago I discovered that the love of my life, ck, now resides in Denver. I won’t lie, of course I’m curious to know what drew him out there and why he likes it so much. Therefore I took full advantage of having my fellow Hampton alumni, Bob, to find out more about it. I was shocked to hear that the weather is a lot warmer than I expected it to be. I always had such a negative perspective of that city. Who knows why.
Bob then proceeded to tell me that I should move there, and my reply was, “You have to tell me some of the bad things about it because I cannot move there.” He told me that it hardly ever rains there, which most would find as an added bonus but we both agreed that it’s a con especially since I love rainy days and jumping in puddles.
He still told me that I should move there, which led me to open up and share that I just found out that ck lives there and I wouldn’t go there then, no matter what. Like others would say, Bob said, “Well that’s the perfect reason to go.” Leading me to say, “Nope. It’s why I shouldn’t and wouldn’t go.”
I have issues. Let’s leave it at that.
So I’m back in Hampton for a few days and it feels really nice. As I mentioned before, I just feel more like ‘me’ here. Now I’ll never live back here permanently, knock on wood, but I do enjoy escaping my life for a few days and coming back home.
I’m back in Hampton for a few days and it feels really nice. As I mentioned before, I just feel more like ‘me’ here. I will never (knock on wood). It’s just a great break from Chicago. It’s funny because when I tell people from here that I live in Chi-town they always comment on how lucky I am and how much they love that city. At Starbucks this morning, the barista even told me that he wants to move there eventually.
I’ll end by saying that I had a crazy dream again last night- a total mashup of anything & everything. I pretty much expected this since being back in Hampton always seems to evoke my brain to be on overdrive.
I probably won’t admit this vocally, but I’ll write it on here. It’s nice to be home.
It’s been a long day. A full day of work mixed with traveling to the airport, which is like the length of an entire flight. And to add to it, the lines were ridiculously long at Midway. Oh well. I made it to Pittsburgh and my bed is ready for me. It’s nice to be home. I have to say that admist my tired state, I feel more like ‘me’ already than I have in awhile back in Chicago.
Time for bed so I’m somewhat awake for my morning workout. Good night, Pittsburgh. It feels good to be home (for awhile).
Writing this I have the Ke$ha song in my head… Wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy… although I feel nothing like P.Diddy this morning. I don’t even feel like myself. This winter needs to end once and for all!! I swear that just as I start feeling better, the cold weather brings my sinus infection/ crappy sickness right back. A may have mono, so of course now I’m wondering Is that what’s wrong with me too?
I woke up in my lovely Chicago apartment this morning, deciding to hit snooze a few more times and thinking that I would just do my yoga DVD this evening instead of the intention of doing so before work. Oh yeah, that’s right, I won’t be here tonight. I’ll be flying to Pittsburgh: home to my family and my youth.
Seriously, something is wrong with me. I actually just took my temperature and it’s 99.8 which for me means I have a fever. Seriously? Seriously! You cannot understand how appreciative I was when I remembered that Starbucks is only a few blocks away. God bless the Soy AmeriMisto and Dale for introducing it into my life. I remember her exact words from a few weeks ago. “This is life-changing.” She was so right!
I cannot begin to tell you how crazy/inconvenient these past two months have been with trying to balance a full time job and an online class- which I absolutely love- and be sick/run-down. But I’ve lived through it, somehow. Do you ever not consistently feel like yourself? Ever since finally doing something about my anxiety and being prescribed to a mild dosage of Lexapro, I have felt A.MAY.ZING. More like myself than I had in many, many years. However, these past few months, while still on the prescription, I have experienced more anxiety than before. What gives? Let’s diagnose it as a combination of winter crappiness and whatever sickness I have.
This song explains how I’m feeling today: blah blah blah. I’m totally enjoying this Ke$ha girl’s music today. Blame it on the fever or the fact that I’m not myself.
In a few hours I’ll be venturing through the city to get to Midway Airport. Now that’s an adventure all in itself for someone who relies on public transportation. Then it’s off to Pittsburgh, in which I’ll almost immediately go into my parents’ new sauna for some much needed sauna therapy. Even though I thought they were crazy for buying it, I have to say it’s heaven-sent.
See ya in a few days, Chicago!