Taylor Swift Made Me Boy Crazy & Other Lies We Tell Ourselves (A Response to “Here’s What You Need To Realize If Your Ex Moved On Quickly”)

For as long as I can remember I’ve always believed in the kind of love that I’ve seen in movies, that I’ve seen in my parents’ marriage, and that I’ve read about in the Bible. I believe in the whole nine yards: friendship, respect, passion, compatibility, trust, agreeing on pizza toppings, and turning the tv and fan off at bedtime (lol plz).

Recently one of my besties live Snap-chatted a reading of my junior high school journal. Almost every entry began with “I was dating *insert boy I barely remember* but now I’m dating *insert another boy I don’t remember*”. We were entertained for hours and her Snapchat friends probably hate her (and me). It was silly and frivolous and I don’t know why I was so boy crazy, but then again that was around the same time Taylor Swift’s debut album came out -and if we are all honest with ourselves- it had every 14 year old girl shook. 

My boy-crazed tendencies weren’t confined to the pages of my journal – I wrote poetry and short stories centering around relationships, I watched Disney princess movies over and over, and I had extensive check lists for whatever lucky guy would be my “happy ending” (think Zac Efron, High School Musical). From a young age I had unrealistic ideas about how this was going to go down, and I wanted something that I hadn’t even begun to understand yet. But more than anything else, the scribblings in my journal are special to me, because they are some of the only things I have left of the little girl I used to be. They remind me of how much I’ve learned, and how much I still don’t know.

Despite the suggested promiscuity in my journal entries, there have only been three relationships that matured enough to carry any weight in my dating life. All three ended with the guy pursuing another girl almost immediately (on two occasions, simultaneously). I don’t know if you’ve ever been cheated on, or if you’ve ever been broken up with and then replaced almost instantly – but the feelings are pretty similar. Sadness. Betrayal. Confusion. Hurt. Anger. It’s a lot to process at one time, and fellas this is why you might remember some of your exes being “crazy” lol. Emotions are really powerful!

I read an article recently about “What You Need To Realize If Your Ex Moved On Quickly” and I want to share a few of my thoughts. The bulk of the article focuses on how people usually jump into relationships for the wrong reasons right after a breakup anyway and how, as the dumpee in this situation, you shouldn’t feel “forgotten” just yet. They haven’t forgotten about you, they’re just coping with the breakup in their own way. As comforting as this idea may be to someone recovering from a break up, I would like to offer a different outlook.

I was dumped over a text message by the guy I thought I was going to marry. We had plane tickets to California, a trip to New Orleans on the calendar, and I was going to dinner with his family the next night. None of this stopped him from sending me a text that would end our relationship. Nothing about our past, our plans, or our experiences together was going to change his mind. None of it stopped him from taking someone new on a date, only a few weeks afterward.

I had never felt as betrayed and confused in my entire life, and the truth is, I had been betrayed. I was forgotten by the person who spent so many months convincing me that I would never feel that way. I would argue that allowing yourself to believe any other version of the truth in this situation is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if he was dating someone new to “cope” or if he had really found his true soul mate – what matters is that he chose to do something he told me he would never do. He left. And not only that, but he was able to move on to someone else so soon. If he was able to do that, I finally realized that I didn’t want to know what would have happened if we had stayed together. Realizing this and taking his actions at face value is what allowed me to move on.

Relationships are weird and hard and they can get messy. I’ve learned a lot from mine and I chose to share all of this because I know that it’s something a lot of people deal with. My advice to anyone going through a break up, reading into what they’re doing, what they’ve said or who they’re with – let yourself be sad, angry, confused. Talk it out with your friends until they can’t stand it anymore. Cry until you don’t want to cry anymore. And then let their actions paint a new picture of who they are to you now, because at this point, that’s the only truth that matters.

I have no hard feelings toward that guy, or the other two guys from the relationships I mentioned. If I’m being honest, those relationships were going to end whether it happened when it did or later down the road – we weren’t right for each other and God has better plans for all of us. And also, if I’m being honest, I was boy crazy long before Taylor’s album came out.

If you (yes, YOU) ever need someone to confide in, I’m your girl.

Xx Kayla

My 5 Favorite Self-Care Practices For When Life Gets Icky

As far as self-care goes, it’s been a rough month for me. My temporary job ended unexpectedly, without warning, two months before the agreed end date. So, at the beginning of June I frantically jumped back into the job hunting game and it’s been an emotional whirlwind, to say the least. I’ve gone from regretting my degree and ultimately, my whole career path, to sudden bursts of energy at the call for an interview, only to receive a “we really liked you, but chose someone with a little more experience. We will keep you in mind”. As thoughtful as the gesture may be, that response can be maddening.

 

To be honest I haven’t done the best job at taking care of myself during this moment of my life, and it’s been bad for more aspects of my life than one. But when I have taken the time to slow down and check in with myself, it’s made a world of difference for my mental and physical wellbeing and ultimately, for my situation and relationships. If you find yourself in similar mindsets or situations, try these 5 self-care practices below that always help me.

 

 

Clear Your Calendar

If you’re anything like me, you might overcommit sometimes to people and events without considering what you need, or thinking about your schedule. I had to learn to get comfortable with not telling people yes right away, and here’s what I’ve learned: they appreciate it more than a false yes, and it makes you feel better in the end. Instead of saying yes right away, or even maybe, just say that you aren’t sure what you have going on yet, and you’ll let them know. That way, the ball is in your court and they are already expecting that you might not come. On the same note, if you have already committed to something and need to sit this one out, please do that. You are in charge of your schedule, and you are the only person that can manage your wellbeing. No event or person is worth compromising that for.

 

 

Treat Yourself

I have found that certain treats or “extras” go a long way in boosting my mood and overall mental state. For me, this can be a good beer at the end of a long day or an ice cream cone from McDonalds. This can be something like getting your nails done, eating a snickers bar or buying flowers for your place. Basically, just a small pick-me-up that can remind you to take a moment to appreciate the little things you love.

 

 

Get Outside

I have always personally felt most peaceful when I’m outside, but studies have shown that nature provides significant improvements to mental health. This interesting article can tell you more sciencey things about it. Something about my bare feet in the grass, listening to the birds talking, and witnessing nature existing, totally uninfluenced – makes me feel like maybe I am okay, after all. Nature reminds me that I am connected to all of its wonder and beauty, and it reminds me that I belong. I recommend taking a short hike, or walking through a trail because I always feel best when I get moving, too.

 

 

Get On A Yoga Mat (I Know – Just Do It)

I just mentioned this, but moving is very important in order to feel good. It isn’t always easy to convince myself to go to the gym, so I usually settle for the air-conditioned space in my bedroom floor where my yoga mat goes. I usually use “Yoga By Adriene” vidoes on YouTube. She has hundreds of different practices recorded and they are very easy to follow and many of them are perfect for beginners. At the end of particularly hard or draining days (and sometimes just because) I love taking my “longer” bedtime routine. I’ll take a long hot shower, wash my face, moisturize, and settle into my sleepiness and then do Adriene’s bedtime yoga practice. It’s about 15 minutes and makes for some DADGUM GOOD sleep.

 

 

Watch A Good Movie

I always love a good movie, but I especially love them when I’m feeling overwhelmed with my own life and situation. That sounds depressing, but I usually finish the movie with a new perspective or a gained insight to my own situation that I hadn’t considered before. Other people’s stories often do that – they can inspire you! (Sometimes I get a good, long sob-cry in and that can help, too LOL) Some of my trusted, tried-and-true movie choices are Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Eat Pray Love, Wild, and The Devil Wears Prada.

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with making yourself a priority, and in fact, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of anything else – that includes your relationships. Everything in our lives stems from our ability to sustain them, and that means we need to be in our best shape. We owe it to ourselves, and our loved ones, to be the best, happiest version of ourselves.

 

I want to know! — What do you do to take care of yourself?

How I Knew I’d Found My Person (As told by 6 of my best friends)

I’m not sure how or when it all happened, but most of my friends are either engaged or talking about getting engaged. Now, as a person who has been extremely single for months on months on months, I understand if you rolled your eyes at this title and didn’t read any further. But if you are single and have read this far, I’m assuming you’re just as curious as I am about people and their love stories. I love to read about love stories, talk about love stories and write about love stories. I love love, and I have ever since I was able to understand the concept. The concept being: two people meet as strangers and then somehow down the road, arrive at the decision that they want to do life together for the rest of their lives. Amazing. I have always been curious about how people know they’ve found “the one”, and in an attempt to get rid of the age old response of you just know, I decided to ask my friends for better answers.

Let me introduce my friends and their relationships:

(I’m changing names to protect my galpals)

Sarah + John: Sarah and John have been dating for about three years, and recently got engaged. They met in college and have seemed pretty smitten from the very beginning. When asked how she knew she wanted to marry John, Sarah said, “I was with him and his family and I saw how he was around kids and that honestly seemed the deal. We can talk for hours and have so much fun together all the time and we never fight. We may have disagreements but we are able to talk through them without really arguing.”

 

Rebecca + Oliver: Rebecca and Oliver started dating during their senior year of high school, and both went to the same college. Their relationship made it through four years of undergrad and is still going strong. They have been together for 5+ years. When I asked Rebecca how she knew Oliver was her person, she said, “I’d say that I knew he was someone I could see myself marrying because we have the same sense of humor. He always makes me laugh. It was further confirmed when we met each other’s families and I could see him fitting in with mine and see myself fitting in with his family a lot. Through the years we’ve set similar goals and expectations of how we want to live our lives and it seems to match up pretty well.”

 

Luke + Sophie: Luke and Sophie met in college, and first connected on a dating app. They have been together for about a year and a half. Their relationship has withstood months of long distance, and even a language barrier. They recently moved in together. When I asked Sophie how she knew he was the one, she said, “When he saw strength and life in me when I was weak and powerless. When he gave me hope and a future in a time when I thought I would not have either of those. When he stayed through the worst of me, while still loving me like I was the best of myself.” 

Jennifer + Brandon: Jennifer and Brandon started dating in High School, and ended up going to the same college. They spent 4 years of undergrad together, and recently got engaged. Overall, they have been together for 4+ years. Jennifer was very adamant about her answer that she “just knew” but I finally got her to expand on that and here’s what she said, “It’s a difficult question to answer and it’s not just one thing. It’s a compilation of our journey, our story. Us in general. I knew early on that we would end up together but how that would happen was unknown. I love him for so many different reasons and there wasn’t just one day when I knew. It’s a feeling. Something you can’t describe. You just know.”

 

Rachel + Joseph: Rachel and Joseph went on one date and then didn’t speak again until they ran into each other at a bar, two years later. The rest is history. Rachel says, “Everything with him is just different. Way better. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to love anyone else.”

 

Sam + Kate: Sam and Kate met through mutual friends and their almost two year relationship has been long distance. Kate says, “The cliché but honest answer is that I just knew. My relationship with him was different than any relationship I have had before. Whenever I dated someone in the past I would always have my eye out for something that could be better and when we started getting serious I didn’t want to keep looking because I realized there wasn’t anyone better for me than him. He also checked all the boxes: easy to talk to, attractive, funny, outgoing, etc. God also gave me some signs that have led me to believe that it is His will that we are supposed to get married. I think that last part is what makes doing long distance bearable.”

 

So there you have it. Six people who have chosen their person, and their explanation of what made them do it. A couple recurring things I notice in my friends’ answers: one being the realization that the relationship they have with this person feels different than any previous relationship in a very significant way, and another being compatibility between families. As someone who loves words and details and wants to explain and talk about everything, it can be hard for me to accept an answer like “When you know, you just know”. But maybe it really is that simple. Maybe thats the point. What do you think? Do you really just know? Are some concrete factors non-negotiable when it comes to marriage? I’d love to hear your opinions and stories!

How I Found Self-Love In Stretchy Pants and Vinyasa (Whatever The Heck That Is?!)

I used to think that yoga was something that only really cool, hipster girls did surrounded by plants. I imagined that this kind of girl was totally chill in every sense of the word, and she probably had a long single braid down her back. She drank her coffee, black, at the same time every morning with her record player going in the background. She definitely meditated, even though at the time I only half believed that meditation was something that someone could actually do. Needless to say, I just did not believe that I was “one of those kinds of people”. Yoga wasn’t something I thought I would get anything out of. It wasn’t my “lifestyle”.

14 months ago I went through a break up that flipped my entire world upside down. Blindsided and 110% more emotional than I even knew I was capable of being, I went through some of the loneliest and most confusing days of my entire life. Eventually I was tired of being sad and in an attempt to move forward, I just started doing things. I bought a guitar. I started hanging out with new people. I took my little cousins skating. I fostered a dog. I prayed. I prayed a lot. And one day, I found myself at a yoga studio with a new friend.

It was an hour long class, and it was an easier session with a focus on meditation and stilling the mind. I remember feeling silly and embarrassed as I looked around at everyone else and changed my pose 15 seconds late because I didn’t know what a “vinyasa” was. My body protested against every movement, and I rediscovered my extreme lack of balance that night. Toward the end of the session, we laid on our backs and the instructor talked us through a meditation. Still the mind. Whatever you brought with you tonight, whatever you’ve been carrying, release it now. I let out a deep breath. In that moment I felt like I could loosen my grip on what I had been carrying. Deep Inhale; Deep Exhale. In the stillness of my mind, I felt God show up there. In the quiet between my scattered thoughts, it was as if he said to me, “Here I am, where you always leave me. Come back sometime.”

I started going every week after that. I would go to the studio, to my friend Sarah’s apartment and then to sessions at the local breweries. Yoga wasn’t, and still isn’t, easy for me. I wasn’t flexible, I couldn’t do any crazy poses, and I didn’t know all the yoga words. In those first few months I was existing in a haze of numbness and dull heartbreak. I would show up with my mat and my cheap yoga pants and a deep need to focus on something else. When I got on the mat, when I had to fight against my body and pay attention to my breathing and still my mind – I was doing something that I hadn’t done in so long – I was finally focusing on me. Every single part of me. I was finally giving myself the attention that I deserved from myself. You see, yoga isn’t some hard or complicated exercise – it is simply your body, your breath, and your mind. It is you. Everyone can show up with their body and a pair of stretchy pants and a willingness to learn. A willingness to get to know yourself. That’s all you need.

I think people think that they have to be a certain amount of flexible or athletic or “mindful” to practice yoga. I know I thought that. But I would argue that the more “inexperienced” you are at yoga, the more you will get out of it. Because you will learn the most about your body during that time, and you’ll be forced to face the thoughts your mind generates in idle moments. I am still learning so much from my time on the mat. I am learning to be patient with myself. I am learning when to push and when to be gentle. I can now fully appreciate my body, and better control my mind. I use my time on the mat to talk to God, and to receive His love for me in moments of meditation. I can now proudly say that yoga is not just for hippie girls with plants, yoga is for anyone who wants to know and love themselves better. Thank you for letting me share my heart with you.

…Namaste; Xx,

K

“Birds of A Feather Flock Together” And Other Reasons People Miss Out in Relationship

At the time I met one of my oldest friends, we were in the 10th grade. She wore eyeliner, band T-shirts and vans. I had a country accent that stood out like a weed in a garden at my new school and two pairs of cowboy boots in my closet. She was nice to me, but it was apparent to me that we were very different. She talked a little differently than me, listened to music that I didn’t like, and wore clothes that I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. We met through mutual friends and soon after, my family moved into a house a mile down the street from her house.

One night after school a group of us were hanging out at her house, supposed to be doing homework. I was goofing off with our mutual friend who I was closer with, taking photos with filters on the ipad. She turned in her chair at the desk suddenly, to show us a photo on her computer. It was on a cute webpage that looked like a website, with a photo of her and a bio. “What is that on?” I asked. She told me it was a blogging site called Tumblr. “You can post and share photos, art, poetry, anything really. It’s like a blog,” she said. I scrolled through her page, secretly thinking this girl is so cool. “Can you help me make one??” I asked. Suddenly, I had something very close to my heart in common with her. “Yeah, totally!” She said. In that moment I felt like our hearts shook hands. Looking back, I realize that I almost missed out on one of my greatest friendships because until then, I had never bothered to look past our surface-level differences.

It’s easy to judge someone by their appearance, status, quirks or differences and think, we have nothing in common. On the surface, my friend and I didn’t seem to have anything in common. But when I got to see a part of her heart, a glimpse into who she is, I realized that it looked a lot more like mine than I thought.

I think we have more in common with people than we may think. When I was younger, I remember studying famous authors in history who were known for their poems and stories about being yourself and finding yourself and staying true to yourself – and I used to wonder about this: Why was there so much literature about something that seemed so basic? And the truth is, it isn’t easy to be ourselves. Society tells us to be ourselves until that means we look too different than everyone else. In the same way, we often choose our friends and share our hearts only with those who look like us. The problem with this is that it keeps us from ever seeing the best parts of people. I would have never known my friend and I had a similar passion for expression and creativity had she not showed me her blog that day, because I made assumptions about her heart based on the very little that I knew about her. How often do we judge someone based on their appearance or our own insecurities before we ever know what their heart looks like? Everyone is trying their best to do the right things and be happy and stay true to themselves along the way – Isn’t that enough to connect us all? We’re all trying. We all want the same things.

I am so glad that I became friends with someone who was different than me. Because as our friendship grew, something beautiful happened. Our differences, what I would have considered her “weird” quirks, began to open my mind to new experiences, opinions and tastes. I discovered new genres of music, I changed up my style to better fit who I am, and I gained a better understanding of who I wanted to be. I grew and became better as a person because I allowed someone who was different than me into my heart. Today, 7 years later, she is one of my best friends.

This is the kind of relationship and growth that God wants for everyone. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone who is different than us, but we have to stop creating barriers between us and other people before we ever get a chance see who they are.

The next time you encounter someone who is different than you, let them be different. Pay attention. Let them say the weird things and wear the weird clothes. And don’t be surprised if you discover that you are more similar than you would have thought. We’re all trying. We’re all a little weird.

X

-K