This week has been one of the most emotionally challenging ones that I’ve had in a while. I had to to say goodbye to my dog that I have had since I was 16 or so. He was quirky, stubborn, spoiled, and a bit slow at times but he was mine. I remember when my family first got him. He jumped into our car after we opened our garage one day and just stuck around. He lived in four different states and took road trips from Georgia to Michigan and Colorado. The great thing about him was that he was very good-natured and loved children. I never had any worries about him becoming aggressive as he was always incredibly gentle. He had the most expressive brown eyes that expressed his displeasure when he didn’t get the food he wanted or he wasn’t taken outside soon enough. He also loved carbohydrates in all forms including pasta, pie dough, and ramen and preferred a boiled egg to any type of dog food. He slept beside me every night for years and would often hog my pillow as he sprawled out across the bed. He was alive for every major heartbreak of my adult life as well as some teenage ones. Unlike most dogs of his breed he enjoyed chilling out and wanted to be held and cuddled most of the time. He would often fall asleep on my lap or chest as I was doing my homework. He hated loud noises which included gunshots and fireworks. Whenever it stormed I would stay up with him all night because he was so scared and would shake uncontrollably. He was lost on several occasions, he was trapped in a hole for a day, he suffered a brain injury from an attack from another dog, and he almost hung himself from our deck after jumping off and getting caught by his leash. He also ran towards cars instead of away from them. This dog was a freaking walking miracle. And yet he remained unbothered and continued to demonstrate poor safety awareness up until the very end. He was the perfect sized dog to pick up and pull out of any immediate danger rather quickly. Despite all his flaws I knew that he loved and trusted me until the very end when he put his little head on my chest and sighed before he went to sleep forever. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He lived a long, adventurous and full 17 years and I’ll miss him forever. Life will never be the same without him and his quirks.
As this year of my life starts to come to a close I realize that there’s a lot that I want to do. While I have definitely had some milestones this year that included finishing my PhD, I’m not satisfied yet. Working in a hospital again has reminded me of how short life really is. I’ve had numerous patients who have passed away without any warning. I’ve had a lot of major changes that were unexpected but I also got hired on to my dream job (at least past time). So far I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel a little bit and I’ve visited 8 countries. I’m hoping to develop a good work life balance in the coming year and maybe flex my entrepreneurial muscles just a bit. The whole dating thing has absolutely been a bust so far so I figure I’ll just set goals around what I can control. Here’s to bigger and better things.
I love the practicality of this article. It’s something that you’ll probably experience at some point if you’re human. The truth is that we can’t love anyone into loving us and accepting that is paramount to moving on. I personally have my own strategy for getting over people that I found works well because constant rejection tends to wear on you after a while. I think that it’s important to realize that life still goes on regardless of who loves you or not. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m also cited in it.
I admit that I struggle with the general idea that one has to “qualify” in order to get married. There’s this list of things that single women are given and expected to accomplish before they are ready to get married. We tell our girls that boys will always be there and to get their education first. You’re expected to work on yourself, do fun things, finish school, pay off debt, and get a decent job among other things before you qualify for marriage. Now granted, my story is different in that while I’ve always wanted to get married, I had a feeling that I would be on the road less traveled for a long time. I just didn’t anticipate how long it would be. I was hoping for 25 but now I’m pushing 30 without any actual potential mate on the horizon. I find it frustrating when I’m told that there’s something that I’m doing wrong or just haven’t done yet that makes me unqualified to be married. I see people all day, I’m a good listener, I can hold an emotionally safe place and challenge the perspectives of others in a way that is non-threatening and supportive. I’m the sole provider of my household of one and while I’m not rich, bills do get paid and I travel once in a while. I recently completed the highest educational level one can achieve (PhD) and yet the Universe still apparently sees me as unqualified for a mate. I’m all about doing the work but shit, being alone gets old after a while. I’ve learned how to self soothe and what to do to calm myself down but there are times that I’d sell my soul for a hug and the knowledge that someone has my back. Yes, I’m approached by guys but so far they aren’t ready for anything serious or want me to finance their lives and take care of them. Neither is an option I want to live with. It sounds corny but I want to matter to someone. Really matter. I haven’t found that yet and the older I get the less optimistic I am. It’s just exhausting and tiring doing it alone all the time and while I’ll always do what I have to do, I wish things were different.
Earlier this week I had the chance to chat with a friend (I’m using this term loosely) that I catch up with about once a year. We usually meet up in person but schedules wouldn’t allow it so we had to settle for a video chat. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and there were SO many things left unsaid that the conversation just felt heavy? It was like that. I was cool and kept it as surface and general as possible without getting into anything too personal. Annual conversations aren’t the best outlet to bare your soul. But as I talked to him I remembered the memories we’ve had over the years. I remember a moment when we were hanging out and I felt both incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time. It was a bittersweet moment in exponential proportions. It’s interesting how conversations with someone can bring back so many memories. I realized that I haven’t met anyone lately who even remotely compares to him education wise and also in ambition. While it’s not a bad thing, it does make dating just a little bit harder. The point is that there are some people in your life who you love but you really should only speak to once a year.
Taylor And Matt There’s this other type of love that doesn’t come dressed in everything you’ve ever wanted. It isn’t every dream coming true. It isn’t waking up one day next to someone and realizing the only thing that matters is them. It’s opposite really. Yes, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted standing right in front…
I loved reading this article and could relate to it. I’ve had some sad moments but the moment I met someone, spent time with them and realized how compatible we were, and that we would never ever be together was one of the saddest. But also very sobering as it reminded me about the importance of cherishing the moments. I miss him a lot and while I would have loved a different outcome, I know that it will never happen. Love doesn’t always conquer all, but I’m forever grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him. He was the right person, it was the wrong time.
As usual, this is the traditional somewhat reflective post of this past year. Seeing that my birthday is only a few days again, it seemed only fitting to do some reflection. I have to admit that as an introvert, I spend a lot of time in reflection and analyzing. A year ago, I had just made the decision to relocate across the county and I was still settling in. I hadn’t gotten my apartment yet and job prospects weren’t the greatest. As opposed to receiving gifts and being treated, I treated my family to lunch. The day was cold and dreary and I remember thinking that I was alone as always–never having had a significant other for my birthday at any point in my life. And this year the tradition continues. As I reflect, I keep trying to remember a moment or moments that were epic. Where I had the chance to experience something out of the ordinary or feel special to someone for a few moments. And as I think about it, I did have that moment. I was sitting in the passenger side of a rented Toyota Camry and I was crying. Not loud and obnoxious but it was a heart cry. The one where you’re silent and tears are just running down in rivers down your face. I was crying because I didn’t want my boyfriend (at the time) to leave and drive back to where he lived 3 hours away. It was the first time in my life that I felt safe enough to be vulnerable and cry in front of someone. He was great. He just held my hand and sang off-key to me. It was actually kinda cute and cheered me up. I got it together and wished him a tear free goodbye not knowing that I would never see him again (still haven’t), because he called me a week later and dumped me. This past year has definitely been one full of heartbreak and questioning myself over and over again. What’s wrong with me? Why am I always the one screwed over at the end of the day? Am I really THAT hard to stay with? Does no one appreciate loyalty or loves these days? Being honest, I had two huge heartbreaks and then a whole bunch of smaller ones to break up the monotony. This was the year I gave dating a chance and it just didn’t work out at all. But I quit a job that I hated and I moved across the country. And in the end I’m still alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely grateful for my life and supportive family and I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish some decent things professionally but I miss having someone to share that with. Every. Damn. Day. It’s been a long long year with plenty of sleepless nights and crying at random times because I just wanted someone in my corner to be supportive of me no matter what and to match my feelings for them. Obviously up to this point it’s been an epic fail but as I find myself saying every year around my birthday, “maybe next year.”