How I Met This Fella

This guy. This guy right here. He deals with me. His farts are absolutely disgusting. He likes to bother me. He chews with his mouth open. His feet are always cold. He has to have the TV on in order to fall asleep. His single strides are at least three of my steps. He lets the alarm keep going even though its three hours past the time it was originally set. He has gaming-rage-itis. By the way, he plays way too many games, in my opinion. He has a ridiculous appetite. He is a complete wuss when he’s sick. All of this and he’s still the absolute greatest gift I could ever receive. Listen to the greatest (average-est) love story ever.Mark it. The date is December 21, 2011.

A friend, let’s name him Louis, was in town for Christmas break. I decided to hang out with him and a few of his friends because it had been a while since we had seen each other and I wanted to catch up.

We all met up at a Starbucks, not to drink anything but as a common meeting place, and started to discuss what to do. It was me, Louis, and four others. Of the four, three faces I recognized– two I’d seen in passing at school, and I was previously introduced to the third. The fourth was unfamiliar. Figured he was one of Louis’s college mates.

So we were all sitting about throwing ideas around. (Here’s the thing about living in this small town. There’s close to nothing for entertainment in this area which leaves people to get creative in passing the time. Wanna hang out with someone but have no money? Go to Walmart. Bored? Go to Walmart. Binge-watched literally anything and everything on Netflix and now need to reevaluate your life? Go to Walmart.) We decided to go to ol’ reliable Walmart.

Before we had left, I had made sure to familiarize myself with everyone and learned Mr. Unknown was Josh.

We all set off to Walmart. After a short while, no more than maybe thirty minutes, we decided Walmart really isn’t that grand. We, yet again, brainstormed what our possibilities were.

Everyone decided to go to Josh’s house. I had no idea who this person was or what kind of creepy life he held, but sure, why not. I mean if I die, let’s hope it was an interesting death? hashtag yolo swag?

I’m just kidding. The group with which I was hanging out were all pretty chill people. Surely, if there was any type of uneasiness, I would have left them. But there wasn’t. And I didn’t leave.

At Josh’s house, we all had a really good time. I ended up getting to know Josh a little bit better. Turns out he wasn’t in college, and we’re about the same age. We ended up adding each other on Facebook (oh, Facebook) and kept talking every day after that.

We didn’t officially start dating until about a month later. Since December 21st, I haven’t gone a single day without talking to this man. He makes me better. He makes me smile. He fills my heart with love and joy.

We can be silly together.

We bug each other all the time.

We are always making fun of each other.

No one knows me like he does.

When you find someone that loves you for YOU, even with the mood swings, impulsive behavior, shoe/clothes/purse obsession, anxiety, endless pen collections, acne, bad hair days, dirty clothes, dirty dishes, constant HIMYM reruns, bottomless Steam games, and all the other unlisted flaws, those blemishes become smaller and smaller. I fell in love with him knowing who he is and I refuse to take anyone else!

….

Okay, enough sappiness. Here’s an recent and accurate picture of us on a regular basis.

Until next time,

Paula

P.S. Josh reads all my posts before I post them and he assisted* with the starting paragraph.

*took words out/ changed words 😂

He loves me. ♥

How I Broke Up With Writing

In elementary school, I remember everyone around had their own obsession. Some people loved stickers while others fixated on a particular animal. I had a friend that loved bats while my other friend collected shaped erasers. As far as I can remember, I always obsessed over vampires. I’m not entirely sure where it started but I think it began when I would sit with my mom, a soap opera fanatic, as she watched Port Charles. Port Charles was a soap opera about a town with romantic vampires lurking around… I believe? That’s how I remember it being portrayed in my four-year old mind, at least. Anyway, since then I always found the mere concept of vampires to be interesting. Later on, after I started school and learned how to read and write, I always wrote stories about vampires. I had a little composition notebook that was filled with nonsensical tales of crime fighting vampires. I remember this particular account about a vampire who attacked people that ate grapes out of the bags in grocery stores while they were shopping because (1) that was called stealing and they needed to pay first; and (2) they need to wash the grapes so they don’t eat dirt. I was a funny kid, I think. The point I’m trying to make, and very poorly, is that my obsession for vampires and writing started out at a very young age. Since that time, I always kept a spare notebook at the wayside so I can just conveniently flip to a blank page and write my thoughts and story ideas as they popped up.

*Random thought: have you thought about the ridiculousness of a soap opera about vampires? I still think about it and I chuckle every time.

In seventh grade, I declared to the world that I will become a successful author! I didn’t care what stood in my way. I was going to write no matter what. By that time, all my stories were single, unfinished pages thrown off to the side and completely forgotten. As my writing skills became a little more developed in high school, my thoughts were the same: I will become a successful author… and I’ll do it full time! Again, my stories were not quite as short as I used to write them, but, still, unfinished and forgotten. Though I had already decided on my major in college, a thought kept poking its way to the surface: I will become a successful author, even if it isn’t full time! I took creative writing classes as my electives, aced all of my writing composition classes, and felt more motivated to write than I ever have before. My stories were really short (six to seven pages), fragmented (typically lacking detail or too much unnecessary detail), and poorly finished (simply because they were usually for a grade).

I have never not loved to write. It was a wondrous escape from the stressful realities of the world. I was able to create anything from nothing…

My first semester of my junior year was when I quit. I remember thinking to myself, “You honestly suck, Paula.” Way to go on self-confidence. F for effort.

I had a realization. I can’t put together elaborate characters. I can’t imagine storylines. I can’t paint a freakin’ room with my words let alone an entire atmosphere. Who was I kidding? That was the first time a single thought raced in my mind: I can’t be a successful author… because I suck.

That was a true heartbreak. You know that aching feeling you have after someone near and dear in your life leaves you? The one where you can physically feel a hole gaping in your chest and anytime you tried to make yourself smaller to close the hole it still remained open and raw? That was how I truly felt. I kept it to myself because why in the world was I freaking out about it? I felt like a loser. Also, why would I want to vocalize my failure? Especially when I knew the responses I would get. “It’s just writing.” “Just do it.” “Why are you so weird?” Answer: I’ve been wanting to write since I have known how to write and I just realized that I don’t have what it takes. Imagine not being able to do what you set your heart on doing. There you go.

That was a little over two years ago.

Where am I today?

When I quit school, I didn’t think about going back to writing. I just continued to go to work, go home, go to sleep, repeat. About the start of November this previous year, I was going through my files on my computer and remembered how much I loved writing. I still felt like an amateur wannabe author, though. Then I realized that the reason why I felt so bad was because I didn’t practice. What’s that saying? Practice makes perfect. Well, in high school, one of my band directors taught it differently to us: practice makes permanent. All those bad habits I made—all my short, unfinished, forgotten tales—I was just so used to not revisiting them. If only I had set aside time every day to add on or edit…

So I bought a journal and started writing in it. I told myself that I would write in it every day; however, that just wasn’t going to cut it. It wasn’t enough. I needed to really put myself out there. No excuses. Then I remembered I had created a WordPress account just to follow my friend’s page (shout out to KL Penington—check out her books. Pretty dope). I had never intended to write anything in it. I just wanted to have it to follow people. Look at me now. I still think writing a blog is kind of odd for me. I don’t know what my future plans are on here, I just want to go back to my passion of writing. I know it’s working a little bit, too, because I haven’t felt more refreshed or positive. I’m just trying to get back to what I love. Also, I’m trying to be less cynical of myself. Cheers to a more positive outlook on life.

Until next time,

Paula

How I Decided to Live Life According to Me

In high school, everyone emphasizes that you need to know exactly what you want to do and who you want to become after you graduate. This scared every fiber of my being.

I’m only fifteen! I remember thinking to myself my sophomore year in high school when the counselor stood in front of the room lecturing us all about “life after high school”. That day, I remember thinking that I didn’t even know what I wanted to have for lunch let alone how to plan my life.

Regardless, I knew if I didn’t have a plan at that time I would eventually have to force myself to think outside of high school within the next year or so. A dreadful thought it was since at that time in my life I was all “boys this, boys that, oh look, another boy!”. I’m sure my immature mind was dwelling on the next time I was, if I was, to speak to him. Welcome to high school, ladies and gents, at least what high school was to me.

Pathetic as I was, I came up with a plan: get my degree in elementary education, start a long and happy career as a third-grade teacher, retire. All of this, of course, was to be without any type of struggle or issue. All rainbows and unicorns, really. It never occurred to me that wait—you have to apply for grants and scholarships to get money to go to college and books aren’t provided? And, you mean to tell me that I have to plan out my own schedule for all four years in order to graduate on time? But what if I changed my mind halfway through? How was I, an eighteen-year-old who can’t even describe how credit scores even work, supposed to decide what the rest of my life would be? Where was my trustee life guide when I begged for one?

Oh, what a world to be in again. To be so naïve about the real struggles of the world! So ignorant of credit, taxes, rent, a good job when I had one. *Note to self: job with higher pay does not equal better job.

Let’s skip ahead to present day.

I am three semesters short of a bachelor’s degree; however, I do not find passion in it at all. I was surely to be a teacher by now had I gone to school consistently full-time, but why would I throw myself into a classroom, into the lives of twenty-five or more children and not love what I do? I would be doing them a disservice! What kind of person would I be to take away from their educational experiences?

So I stopped going to school. I’m not unhappy about it either. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but hopefully I figure that out along the way.

I’m not upset that I did almost all of my schooling just to stop just when I had a good view of the finish line. Anyone can say that I “gave up”, though I could hardly say that. If I’m being completely honest, I love where I’m at in life right now. I am happily in love with the man of my dreams, I love going into work every day, I get to save my money to go on adventures and experience the world! I’m more sure of what I want now, after not being in a college classroom for a year, than I was when I even started college.

Like I said, I am happy with where I’m at in life. Yeah, I’m still lost and I still have some ways to go, but I don’t plan on mapping every second out and that is quite alright for me.

Until next time,

Paula