Writer, Christian, SEO/Social Media Marketer, Book Reviewer, Deaf and Loud.

Category Archives: novel writing

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Image Credits: PursueGod.org

Today I read chapters 9-10 of 1 Corinthians. There were several parts of chapter 10 that really stood out to me. The first verse that caught my attention was one that I have previously highlighted and it is 1 Corinthians 10:21 which states, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakes of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” What this verse means is we have to be careful who we choose to spend our time with, what activities we decide to partake in, and really what we VALUE in this world. Do we value God or do we value man? You can have God or the world, but you can’t have both things.

This reminds me a lot of the Jeremy Camp song, “Give Me Jesus”. I saw Jeremy Camp perform a phenomenal show at Living Waters church in Burlington last weekend and the words really stayed with me in this song in particular. The words of this song are very simple and it works. Perhaps that was Camp’s point even – to strip the song of the bare necessities – Jesus. The chorus simply states, “Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus” (Camp). If you’re a Christian and you are truly saved and truly choose to follow God and to live in Christ, that’s all you need in the world. When we die and go to heaven nothing here on Earth is going to matter; the only thing that matters is our love and belief in Christ.

Here is a lyric video featuring Jeremy Camp’s “Give Me Jesus”. Thanks to iamSB for posting it on YouTube!

Another passage that stood out to me was 1 Corinthians 10: 26 which states, “For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” God created this earth and everything on it including all of mankind. We need to honor God in all that we do and remember to whom we belong. This ties in with verse 31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” As Christians and disciples of God we need to consider our actions and how we live our lives and the things we choose to partake in each day. Are we glorifying and honoring God? Do our actions show us as being God’s people? Can everyone see Christ in us?

1 Corinthians 10 concludes with verse 33 which states, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”  It is important for us to live Godly lives and to act in a way and to live in a way that is god-pleasing and god-honoring so that people will see Christ in us so that we may reach those who are not saved and to help to bring them to Christ. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect; we will never be perfect. It just means that we will strive to be the people that God created us to be and that people will see Christ in us and be so inspired by our lives and the way we live in Christ, that they will be compelled to follow Christ, too.

The controlling values of 1 Corinthians 10 might look something like this:

Purpose: We must reject the world to follow God.

Context: Following the world will cause us to sin, commit idolatry, and separate us from God.

The opposing controlling values may look like this:

Purpose: Following the world will give us more opportunities and grant us higher status among society.

Context: Chasing materialistic worldly things can never fully satisfy us; only the love and grace of a savior can fulfill us.

Actually, looking at that again now after letting it sit, perhaps the opposing controlling value may be:

Purpose: If we don’t follow the world, we will be missing out.

Context: Following the world closes the door on God where we will receive better gifts than what the world can give us.

Am I living a Christ-focused life? I want to think yes, but to be honest, this is something I need to work on. Attending a public university and juggling my Master’s courses with teaching and working full time can be a challenge. I am guilty of putting God on the backburner so I can do all of these other things when in reality God should always be my priority. When people look at me and my life, is God the first thing that comes to mind? I’d like to think so, but I can’t help but think they see me as being a student or a social media marketer first and a Christian second. I need to fix this.

These verses really touched me today because 1. I need to get back to reading my Bible on a daily basis and not just immersing myself in his word, but LIVING his word and living for Christ and not the world. Also, 1 Corinthians 10:33 reminds me so much of my mission statement and what I want to accomplish in life; to please God. I am writing a novel not for my own gain and not for my audience’s gain, but for the glory of God. Everything that I do in life is for God’s glory and to honor and serve him and to share his love and his word with others. This is something that is so easy to forget and something I need to be reminded of. When I grow tired and when I question my work and why I am doing this, I remember him. None of this is for me, it’s all for him and I am exactly where God wants me to be doing the things he wants me to do for him.

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Image Credits: Happy Thanksgiving Day Images

Hey guys, Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m not really feeling the holiday spirit this year – at all. My family and I considered scaling back or even postponing Thanksgiving this year and I am already sick to death of Christmas.

I’ve had a rough week. I went on a trip to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. It was a fantastic trip and I learned so much about the book of Genesis, God’s creation, and Noah’s Ark. You wouldn’t believe how big the ark really is – you need to see it for yourself. Kenn Hamm should be very proud of his creation on the Ark Encounter because it was extremely accurate and stunning!

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However, I went on the trip a little bit sick and came back extremely sick. My mom was also sick and diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis or something. Dad got the flu. Our poor cat, Gizmo also got very sick and sadly could not fight off the infection. He died on Sunday morning.

Losing Giz has been extremely hard on everyone. He was so much more than just a cat to us – he was family. He was more loyal, loving, kind, and compassionate than most people we know including our blood family. He would always greet you at the door, eat dinner with you, and comfort you when you were upset. He was my dad’s best friend and my dad would talk to Giz and spend all of his time caring for Giz when Mom and I were at work or school. My dad has been completely heartbroken and devastated by the lost of his best friend.

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I know that it was Gizmo’s time to go. He was 21 years old and we could tell he wasn’t feeling well and on Saturday night, was really suffering. We chose to have him buried in a pet cemetery where he will get his own headstone and everything. I know it sounds crazy, but he deserves it. His burial will take place on Saturday. I don’t think my family and I will ever be ready to let go of him though.

So, with all of this we’re not exactly in the mood for Thanksgiving or any of the holidays this year. It’s sad and not the same. It’s hard because we think of the times we’ve spent with my grandparents. How my grandfather would accidentally insult my mom’s cooking and it was so funny you couldn’t be mad at it. We remember the crazy Thanksgiving song my Mom’s mom invented and how mad it made her husband, my mom’s dad. We remember making special dinners for Giz and how we’d torment him with the turkey before we cooked it. We remember years ago when my sister was a part of the family and the holiday. We remember how these people are no longer a part of our lives, and we miss them and the way things used to be. This makes the holidays hard. Plus, while we’re feeling better than we have, none of us are 100% yet, which just makes it harder.

I know a lot of people would criticize me and say that this isn’t very “Christian” of me. I’m a Christian, but I’m not perfect. I need God in my life to give me a source of hope when I feel hopeless. When I’m too far invested in the world (like I have been lately) and not invested enough in God, I have trouble feeling hope. That’s why I want to spend a large portion of my time today invested in reading scripture, so I can feel that sense of hope again.

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Image Credits: Bible Verse Images 

There is always something in life to be thankful for, even if you don’t always feel or see it though. Here is what I’m thankful for this year.

1. My Amazing Family.

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My family is small – just my parents and I – but it’s been amazing. My parents are my biggest fans and supporters. They want nothing more than to see me succeed and reach for the moon. They yell at me when they think I’m not reaching high enough or when I’m “settling” for something less than the best. They always drive me everywhere I need to go since I don’t have a driver’s license and they do it without complaint. My dad has over the years even driven me all the way through State College for a job interview that went horrifically bad and my mom has taken me to NYC on the subway she knew nothing about for another job interview gone bad. My parents are the best and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

2. My Job at Penn Medicine.

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This was an incredibly hard job to get. My interview process started in January and I didn’t actually get hired until June. I am thankful that Penn has worked with me and did everything they could to offer me a job, even when I took a different job instead initially. I know I have a strange schedule due to school, so I am incredibly thankful for Penn for working around my schedule by offering me reduced hours and the ability to work from home. I am thankful for my amazing co-workers who teach me everything and exert extreme patience, kindness, and understanding towards me. Penn has been such a great company to work for and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work for them.

3. Rowan University.

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Image Credits: AliveCampus.com 

As a student, I don’t always agree with some of the changes or decisions the school makes, but I still really love this school and am so thankful for all of the doors it has opened to me. I am thankful to have the opportunity to earn my MA in Writing and to hopefully become one step closer to finishing and publishing my book, God Granted Me Hearing. I am thankful to have the opportunity to teach freshman college students through the Teaching Experience (TEP) program, something I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to do. I am incredibly thankful for Dr. Courtney and the current and former TEP instructors for all of the help, assistance, lesson-plan sharing, ideas, and advice they have given me. I’d be lost without all of you guys – you’re the best. I’m thankful for my students who while they drive me crazy at times, also know how to make me smile and show me why teaching is so awesome.

4. My Amazing Church Family. 

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Image Credits: Washington Baptist Church

I saw a picture posted on Facebook the other day that said “Church isn’t just a place, it’s a family”. As someone who’s been church-hopping for many years, I can truly say it’s hard to find a church that feels like a family. I found that with Washington Baptist Church. Pastor Lex and all of the members of the congregation are absolutely amazing people. They really take the time to get to know one another, to lift them up, and to pray for each other. You’re never just a nameless face at WBC.

Even when I left WBC for a few months to try out another church, as soon as I came back I was welcomed with open arms. Even when I went each week to another church I couldn’t forget about WBC – I missed them because they were my family. I never felt that kind of connection at any other church before. This church has taught me SO much and helped to bring me closer in my walk with God.

5. My Cochlear Implants.

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This is the first time in 2 years that I’m not recovering from surgery around the holidays. I just celebrated 2 years with my first cochlear implant on my left ear and on Wednesday I will be at 1 year on my right ear. It still never ceases to amaze me how well I can hear. Even though my right one hasn’t been working right the last few days (I’m probably going to have to send it out to AB for repairs), I can still hear so well, better than most people I know now. I’m always in awe when I can watch YouTube videos (or my latest obsession – TED talks) without caption. Certain sounds are still new to me – hearing trains go by still scare me because I forget what it is that I’m hearing. Every time I’m feeling down and depressed and having an “I hate my life, why me?” kind of moment I remember how much God has blessed me with this incredible gift. I’m so thankful for Dr. Willcox and the amazing team at Jefferson for helping to make this miracle happen for me.

 

What are you guys thankful for this year?


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Image Credits: Pretty-Random-Things.com

Hey guys! Since I finished the 30-Day Writing Challenge yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to write this follow up post detailing 5 key things I learned from doing the challenge. This was my first writing challenge (unless you count NaNoWriMo) and I learned A LOT. Overall, it was a positive experience, with a few drawbacks mixed in. Here are 5 things I learned.

1. Writing takes time. This seems like a give in, but I really learned just how much time writing takes after doing the 30 day writing challenge. If I got done a post in a half hour or less it was extremely rare. Most posts took me over an hour to write…some took more than a couple hours to write. When I got to day 2 which was to “Write about your first love or your first kiss, if separate, do both” I ended up writing 2 separate posts on 2 different days. Each of those posts took me a couple of hours to write, especially the one about my first love where I detailed my dysfunctional, unhealthy long-distance relationship.

2. It’s OK to break the rules. The 30 day writing challenge was supposed to end in May, but I didn’t finish it until July. I think it was more than okay to break the rules because I was still really committed to writing as much as I could. Some times I took off of the challenge so I could write about other topics like the Social Media Philadelphia Day or book reviews. Other topics got spread upon multiple days as mentioned above. One day, day 23, I completely refused to write about the topic because I didn’t like it. As long as you write and are consistent, does it matter if you follow the rules?

3. Writing is therapeutic. Some of these topics were very difficult and uncomfortable for me to write about, especially day 26 when I had to write what I’d say to my ex. I ended my longest relationship ever less than a year ago and the wounds still are a bit fresh. When we broke up, I hung up on him and that was it.We haven’t talked since then, so there was definitely many words left unsaid and not much, if any, closure. While I really dreaded writing on day 26, I was so glad I did it at the end of it. This post took me days to write and I really poured my heart out in the post. I probably said a bit more than I should have in that post, but I really needed it. It was my way to get all of those emotions and feelings out that have been bundled up inside of me for many months. Writing that all out was so therapeutic to me. I’m glad I did it.

4. 30-day writing challenges are great for generating content…I blogged so much over the last 2 months. Once I had the topics, the content just flowed through me. I began to think of how my own personal stories and experiences could work into characters for stories.The 30 day writing challenge was awesome for coming up with ideas and for churning out content for my blog.

5. But they are terrible when you already have a novel in the editing stage. The biggest drawback of doing the 30 day writing challenge was that it involved so much of my time that it took away from the project I was already working on – my novel – which was much more important. I was almost finished editing my 2nd draft before taking on this challenge. Now it’s been nearly 2 months and I haven’t touched it and I’m not entirely sure where I was when I left off. Next time I’ll have to make sure to do a writing challenge when I don’t already have a lot going on in my life.

Have any of you guys ever participated in a 30-day writing challenge? What was your experience like?


 

So…I’m still working on the 30-day writing challenge for May because I suck. I’m on day 14 so I’m still not even halfway through it. But I had to put today’s challenge off for a bit so I could figure some things out and talk with my boss, so naturally I didn’t want to say anything quite yet. Long story short: I’m making some career changes, which I’ll be getting into a little bit with this post. Today’s challenge is to write about how I see my life in 7 years.

Where to even begin? My life changed so much in the past 7 years I can only imagine where I’ll be in another 7.

Next Monday, June 13th, will be my first day working as a Website and Social Media Monitoring Specialist at Penn Medicine. It’s such an amazing opportunity and I believe this will be the start of a really bright future and long-lasting career for me. I definitely anticipate that I’ll still be working for Penn Medicine in the next 7 years.

I should definitely be finished with my Master’s in Writing Arts program within 7 years, too. The program shouldn’t take me longer than 3 years to complete. Maybe I’ll even decide to continue my education and go on to get a Doctorate degree after that or a MFA. Rowan doesn’t offer doctorate degrees in English or MFA’s. Of course, that could change over the next 7 years, but somehow I doubt that. I could get an MFA in Creative Writing (which from the sounds of it gets blended into their English program as well) from Rutgers Camden or another nearby school though.

I’m going to be teaching First Year Writing 3 times a week at Rowan for the first time ever this September as well. Since I have no prior teaching experience, I really don’t know what to expect. But if I end up really loving it, perhaps I’ll continue to teach over the next 7 years as well. Maybe I’ll even teach multiple classes and teach more advanced writing or English courses, too.

I really really really hope I finish writing God Granted Me Hearing over the next 7 years. Hopefully, if it’s God’s will, it will be published by then, too.

I want to get more involved with my church and missionary work or something, too. I found an amazing organization called Aid the Silent that works to bring the gospel to the deaf since 98% of all deaf individuals do not know Jesus. As a deaf Christian, this is a cause that is really important to me. I’d love to somehow get involved with them over the next 7 years. I actually just submitted a request for more information as I was typing this. Maybe I can join them on a missionary/missions trip or sponsor a child or something. Anything would be great.

I’ll be 33 in 7  years. I’m 26 now and about as single as one can be. I really hope that by the time I’m 33, that changes. I hope I find a wonderful man of God with shared interests and that we will bring out the best in each other. Maybe we will get married and have kids and a wonderful life together, but only if that is within God’s will. I trust God and his timing (although I often get extremely impatient). It would be nice to have that within the next 7 years, though.

Having my own home (doesn’t even have to be a huge house…just a home) would be nice. I swear 30 is my cutoff age. I love my parents dearly and appreciate all that they do for me, but I can’t imagine being a 30 year old woman still living at home. Nope.

I should probably get my license before then, though. I hope to have that within the next year. DEFINITELY before the next 7 years are up haha.

These are some of my biggest goals, hopes, and dreams over the next 7 years. Who knows what will actually happen though? I leave it all in God’s hands. Just as Job 14: 5 states, “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” God knows every day of our lives. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for me over the next7 years. These past 7 years I’ve been beyond blessed and I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done and continues to do for me.


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Image Credits: Picture Quotes

So…writing about pineapples was pretty fun yesterday. Today’s topic? Much less than fun, though I’m betting I’ll have a better click through rate (CTR) on it. People apparently don’t care to read that much about my hatred of pineapples (their loss!), but always seem to be interested in relationship drama, or the lack thereof because ‘Merica.

For Day 11 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge I’m supposed to write about my relationship status, or lack thereof.

I’ve been single since October, so it looks like I’ll be discussing why.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 13 months in the middle of October, the night before we were supposed to go away for a weekend to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, something we had planned pretty much since we first got together. Needless to say, that trip never happened.

He probably thinks I broke up with him because he was sick and wasn’t sure if he was going to make it for our anniversary trip. Sure, it didn’t help at all. It was the final straw for me, really. But I’m not that heartless. Of course I didn’t just break up with him because he was sick. There was so so so much more to it than that.

I loved him very much, and the decision to walk away from our relationship was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also something that was very necessary.

I thought he loved me for the longest time. Our relationship meant the world to me. I would have done anything for him, and in many ways, I think I did. A year ago I swore we were going to get married. I thought that by now I’d be engaged, or almost engaged to him. I was so sure he was the one. But well, obviously I was wrong about that.

For awhile, the longer we were together, the closer we were going to get. I was a trucker girlfriend, and for awhile, the distance while very hard, was making us stronger. We, or especially myself, would get so excited to see each other because it happened so infrequently. If we saw each other more than twice a month it was unheard of.

I began to really identify as a trucker girlfriend at this time. That was my main identity and I was proud of it. I knew what I was doing was hard. What girl wants to be with a guy that she never ever gets to see? But I kept told myself it was worth it…I had a great boyfriend and we loved each other very much and it wasn’t always going to be this way.

Some days being a trucker girlfriend were harder than others. I would sometimes cry a lot because I missed him so much and I’d worry about him constantly. Sometimes it just got so lonely. I had a great boyfriend that I loved to death and who was my best friend. I wanted to do and share everything with him, but it oftentimes wasn’t a possibility because he always had to work and go out on the road.

Our relationship was becoming more and more serious. We even spent a week in Disney together! It was such a great time. I got to spend like 18 hours at a time with my best friend who I swore was the love of my life for an entire week. That was practically the equivalent of every day we’ve ever been together since we first started dating. It was so hard to go home and say goodbye to him after that.

I think Disney strengthened our relationship for awhile, but it didn’t last…

I think that some of the ways we viewed each other began to change after that. We began to realize we weren’t as similar as we thought we were, and even if we had a lot in common, our families did not.

 

Realizing this began to put a real strain on our relationship. Our parents never met, but if they did, I don’t think it would’ve went over well at all. We came from very different backgrounds. But we loved each other and that’s all that mattered, right?

But here’s the thing, when you’re raised a certain way you usually believe that is the “right” way and all other ways are wrong. It’s not intentional, it’s just how it is.

I was raised to value education and to work to have a nice home and a nice car and things like that and to take pride in myself and my things. Vacations weren’t a priority — they never really took place. We all worked, studied, and enjoyed our home instead. We weren’t overly luxurious people by any means, but we had nice, expensive things that we worked hard for. It was more important for us to use money on our home and car and education and things like that than it was to have a cheap home and car and go on vacation.

His family was the opposite of that. They “just wanted to have fun”. They did work hard – but it often seemed like for all of the wrong reasons. They were sometimes obsessed with having money, but they were greedy with it. It was spent on things like vacations — and they weren’t educational or what I’d consider “traveling” – they were amusement parks and always the same ones multiple times throughout the year every year — it seemed kind of unnecessary. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it just seemed a little weird because I wasn’t raised that way.

I think family had different meanings for both of us too. We were both close to our families but in different ways. Maybe we were in different parts of life. I wanted independence, but I wanted it with him. I was more than willing to be tied down to him. I wanted marriage and kids and a life of my own with my husband. He wanted to go on vacation with his parents and he did all the time. He’d choose that over spending time with me — and he’d choose it all the time. I wouldn’t have done it. I didn’t see him much. If it came between seeing my boyfriend more or going on vacation without him, I’d choose the option of seeing him more even if it meant giving up a family vacation or 2 (or like, 7).

As our relationship progressed, we learned more about each other and I thought more and more about our future and what it would be like to be married and raise a family together. But I stopped hearing the wedding bells. I didn’t see the love filled bliss anymore.

It was horrifying.

I saw a messy “home” in a run down trailer park in the middle of nowhere.

I saw old,broken, run down cars.

I saw my son who never saw his father and was always hurt and missing him.

I saw myself, a stay-at-home mother struggling to make ends meet and trying to explain to my children why daddy was never home.

I saw a garbage bin full of my hopes and dreams.

I began to question if this is what I wanted, and the answer was no.

That was not by any means the future I had imagined for myself or what I wanted. I wanted to go to New York. I wanted to finish my novel and be a bestselling author. I had a possible opportunity in California I wanted to explore. I wanted to go to grad school. I was considering getting my second cochlear implant since the first one was so successful.

I wanted to know that my boyfriend loved me as much as I loved him — something I was beginning to question.

I wanted a husband and a loyal father. I didn’t want to have to worry about daddy being home, where daddy was, what he was doing, whether or not he was safe, and when he’d be home.

I didn’t want to have to think of what to tell my children for why daddy missed yet another baseball game, another holiday, another birthday.

I didn’t want to live in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere.

I wanted a big house with a beautiful garden and nice lawn in a nice neighborhood. I wanted to know my neighbors and for their kids to be friends with my kids.

I didn’t want to be just a trucker wife that let her husband do whatever he wanted why she stayed home and waited for him.

I. WAS. SO. SICK. OF. WAITING.

I spent all of last summer doing nothing more than waiting. Waiting for him to call, waiting for him to text, waiting for him to come home, waiting for him to pick me up. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

And I was putting my life on the backburner. I was putting off my hopes and dreams and keeping myself from being who God destined me to be. I was a trucker girlfriend and that’s all I was. And it seemed like soon, that identity would be ripped away from me, too.

We were falling apart. We could no longer ignore our huge differences and our upbringings and who we were and what we wanted from life. Our future was becoming messy and muddled. The time away was getting to us. We were getting lonely. We were fighting. He was talking to other girls and cheating on me. I was getting mistrustful and paranoid.

I got kicked out of the trucker girlfriend groups. I never really knew why. But that’s when it felt like I really lost it all — because at the time, that’s all I had.

It felt like getting kicked in the face at first. I was already down and now the people who were supposed to be the only ones that could understand me, were kicking me further to the ground. But maybe, that’s exactly what I needed.

I needed to get angry.  I needed to break. I needed to say “Screw this lifestyle. I’m not a trucker girlfriend…I’m so much more.”

After that I began to see myself as more than just a trucker girlfriend. I was a person with my own identity and my own hopes and my own dreams. I supported him and his career and his hopes and dreams so much…the least he could do was support mine, right?

I was unhappy at work. I needed a new job. But there was one thing I had going for me — awesome health insurance. I needed to take advantage of that and get my second cochlear implant while I could. I never understood why, but he was less than supportive. He was very pessimistic. He didn’t think insurance would cover it. He was so supportive with my first surgery, it was weird that he was the opposite with the second. But I was only just considering it — I didn’t know if I’d go through with it yet, so I tried to ignore it.

I was writing more and more, too. My memoir was about half finished. I intended to finish it during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I was very serious about it. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to get it published and I knew the perfect way to go about it — to go back to school and get my MA in Writing at Rowan. He didn’t support that either. He thought it was too expensive and I was already so far in debt. He wanted to help me. He would help me financially, I just had to wait for him to build up his career. I dismissed this, too, and tried to ignore it. He has a point, he was right. He said he’d help me. But I didn’t realize how I didn’t need his help at all. His money and his opinion didn’t matter at all.

Then there was California — which I couldn’t really ignore. I had a HUGE amazing opportunity that was about to come to light — but it would be in California. It was exciting, but also terrifying. It was all the way across the country. But it was the perfect opportunity for me. He drove and was on the road and never home anyway, so surely this wouldn’t mater that much, right? We’d just do a long distance relationship until we got married which would only be a little harder than what we were doing. But he didn’t see it that way. He wanted me to do what would make me happy whether it be California or staying with him. But I couldn’t have both. One or the other.

Woah. Wait…what?

I’m sorry, but if he loved me, he wouldn’t have made me choose. He’d want to do anything to keep me, even if it meant moving to California (or at the very least, allowing me to go there) to be with me.This was a huge game changer and eye opener for me in my relationship.

I would’ve done it for him without thinking. I waited for him all the time. I compromised. I gave up so much of me and my life for him, but he wouldn’t for me. And it wasn’t all work, either. Sometimes I couldn’t see him because he chose his family over me. He’d rather go on vacation with them then see me. And I knew it and accepted it, as much as it hurt.

And I mentioned that to him then, too. You love your family more than you love me. I said. He admitted it. He said yes.

And it crushed me. Family is important — but I wanted to be more so. We’ve been dating for a year at that point. I wanted to BE his family. I wanted to be his wife, but I was realizing, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

I thought about everything. My hopes, my dreams, my love. I prayed a lot. I cried a lot. I went on a lot of walks to parks and random areas to sit and cry. At times I wanted to die. Other times, I felt like I was already dead. I had choices to make and it was terrifying. Where did I go? Did I take risks and try to follow my overly ambitious dreams? Did I give up my boyfriend — who might have been the love of my life and “the one” to do it? Or did I marry him and keep my mouth shut and settle down with a life that’s a bit less than what I hoped it would be?

It wasn’t an easy decision to make and it wasn’t something that was made over night. But after I read Thrive by Mark Hall from Casting Crowns, I knew my answer.

I have been surviving. Barely. More like struggling. Breathing through a clogged straw. Settling.

God didn’t make me to suffer. He didn’t make me to suffocate. He didn’t make me to settle. This is NOT how he wanted me to live my life.

I was made to THRIVE.

God didn’t want me to throw away my dreams for some boy. If he was really “the one” he would’ve supported me and my dreams and brought out the best of me. He wouldn’t have made me choose.

God wanted me to follow my dreams.

I gave him one chance. One more chance to prove he loved me that he could support me that this could work and that maybe he was the one. One more chance.

He blew it. We never went on our anniversary trip. Instead, we had a huge argument on the phone. I hung up. He never called back. I never bothered to apologize or forgive him for hurting me. It was the end of an era.

On that night, I decided I wasn’t going to be a trucker girlfriend anymore.

I was so much more than that.

I choose my dreams.

I have now been single for about 7 months. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I still really miss him. I still get mad that he never called me back. I still wonder what could have been. But I know this: my life got so much better when I stopped trying to be someone I wasn’t (a trucker girlfriend) and chased after my dreams and became the best possible version of myself.

I’m working a wonderful job now where I’m much happier. It’s not in California, but it doesn’t need to be. In the Fall, I will not only be a graduate student at Rowan, but I’ll be a college professor teaching first year writing, too! The first draft of my novel is complete and the second draft is about 90% complete. I’ll be focusing on this and trying to get it published through my career as a graduate student. I’ve gotten right with Christ and have even recently been baptized.

I’m not a trucker wife.

I’m single.

I’m a dreamer.

I’m a doer…doing BIG things.

I’m happy.

I.

AM.

UNSTOPPABLE.

 

And this is just the beginning.

I’m not opposed to the idea of being in a relationship. I could meet the right guy and end up in a relationship tomorrow (not likely, but you never know). If the right guy comes along I’d be more than happy to go out on a date and take it from there. But I’m really content with being single right now.

I know one thing, too. I will never put myself, my hopes, my dreams, and/or the person that I am on hold for a man. Never again.

Relationships are a two way street. Not one person supporting, loving, and doing everything for the other. For now on, I will always choose my dreams. And, the right person will be part of that dream. They will be for me and my dreams, not someone that will make me choose. Because when it comes down to “love” or my dreams, my dreams will win every time.


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Image Credits: Alter Ego

I’m a day behind in the 30-day writing challenge and the next one up looks pretty easy, so I’m going to try to double up on them today. I have about a half hour of spare time this morning before I have to go to work. The first one up today is to telling me to write 10 interesting facts about myself….so here it goes!

  1. New York City is my favorite place in the world. I love the busyness of it all. I love all of the things there are to look at, all of the things to do, the big shops and the small coffee shops. It’s fun, inviting, and exciting. I’ve been referred to as a “city slicker” before and it’s probably true. I couldn’t survive on a farm if I had to live there permanently….I need stuff to see and do and places to go…I’d be bored.

2.  I have this weird obsession with paprika…especially on vegetables. Cooked cauliflower isn’t complete without it…even though it doesn’t really taste like much.

3. I also pour chia seeds all over my food. They also don’t taste like anything, but I heard they were super healthy or something.

4. I love to go “yard-saling.” in the spring and summer. I’m always looking for buried treasurer — someone selling something dirt cheap that is very rare/collectible but they don’t realize it. I walk to all of my yard sales and use the GPS on my phone to find them. I often don’t have any clue where I’m going…that’s half the fun though. I love walking around town and going to unfamiliar places.

5. I’m an avid reader. I’ll read pretty much anything, but classics are my favorite. The only books I’m not really a fan of are mysteries and sci-fi. The Catcher in the Rye is my all-time favorite book.

6. I am also a really big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love reading about the 1920’s and 1930’s which is what much of his writing focuses on. I think people had class back then, which they lack today.

7. When I look at the world and the direction people are headed today, I can’t help but feel horrified. Morality truly doesn’t exist anymore.

8. I am a life-long Christian. I currently attend Trinity Christian Chapel which is a non-denominational/evangelical church. I’m not really a fan of denominations because I feel like some Christians get too focused on denominations and lose their focus on Jesus. I am not a member of a church though. I am not really a fan of church membership either, but may consider joining in the future so I can take on an active leadership role.

9. I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer.I started publishing poetry when I was 11 years old. I am also experienced in fiction writing, journalism, blogging, writing for the web/social media, and basically every genre you can think of. I am currently writing a memoir on my cochlear implant experience.

10. I’m a huge fan of the New England Patriots.I am very upset and annoyed by the NFL’s decision to reopen the deflategate case, but confident that Brady will come out on top again. #FreeBrady.

 

Well those 10 facts were easy enough. After work I’ll see if I can tackle today’s real assigned challenge: which is to write about a place I’d live, but never visited.


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Image Credits: CNN

As I sit here and right this tonight, I feel a mixture of emotions. I am very saddened because a close friend who is like a little brother to me is hurting. I know that he just got his heart broken and he feels like dying. And I feel so incredibly angry at the girl who broke his heart even if it wasn’t done intentionally. I don’t know who she is and I don’t know the circumstances but all I see it as is a stupid girl who broke my little brother’s heart.

But I know, regardless of what happens, he’s going to be okay. Maybe they will get back together and put this all behind them. Maybe they’ll realize they don’t belong together afterall. You can’t predict the future, only time will tell how their story pans out. But I do know he’s going to be okay and maybe this is exactly what he needs right now. Being single can definitely suck, but it can also be a blessing in disguise.

It’s been just over 5 months since I called it quits with my boyfriend. That sucked. We dated for a little over a year. It was both of our longest and most intense relationship. I could have sworn I was going to marry him. I felt a connection to him the minute we met. He just seemed like the one. But then he didn’t. As I got to know him more, I realized I loved him more than he loved me and this just wasn’t going to work. I wanted it to, but it just wasn’t met to be. So I called it off.

Our breakup was ugly. Broken plans for the last time. I got my hopes up and he crushed me for the last time. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so frustrated, hurt, and angry. So I flipped out on him. I told him I was done.Then I hung up the phone.

“Whatever. I’m done.”

Those were the last words I spoke to him.

It’s been over 5 months and he’s never bothered to call me back. That speaks volumes.

It hurt like hell at first. I cried a lot. I wanted to die. I was so incredibly lonely. I didn’t know how to go on with my life because he was my life.

But I did it. I pulled myself together and went on with my life, and did some pretty cool things. And I know that despite my little brother’s broken heart, he’s going to pull himself together and he’ll be okay, too.

Here are 14 weird things that happened when I called it quits with the one I was supposed to marry.

1. I stopped to smell the roses, or look at trees, anyway. I used to like to take long walks without a destination. I’d just walk all around Washington Township and see where I’d end up. But I didn’t do it that much once I was in a relationship. My boyfriend consumed all of my time. He wasn’t home much, so I’d spend all of my time waiting for him to call, text, or get home. I remember one of the first things I did when we broke up was take a very long, far walk. I went to a farm. It was October and all of the leaves on the trees changed colors and the apple trees were in full blossom. I couldn’t believe the beauty of nature. I couldn’t remember the last time I really stopped to look at it. I missed it.

2. I became a member of the library. The library was one of my favorite places to go as a kid and I missed it as an adult. There was a big library down the street from me that fascinated me. The Margaret Heggan library. I’ve been wanting to go and check it out for the longest time. Right after calling it quits with the one I was supposed to marry, I walked there. It was a far walk but it was so worth it. Walking into that library was like walking into my home. Even though I never been there before, I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

3. I fell in love with reading again. I didn’t read very much when I was in a relationship. I’m not saying my boyfriend was an idiot (okay, maybe he was. After all, the bastard did break my heart and cheat on me and all…). He didn’t read like at all. He always told me it was boring which kind of discouraged me from reading. Also, it’s hard to read when you’re constantly spending all of your time waiting for your phone to read or waiting for your boyfriend to feel like actually coming over to see you.

4. I became much less anxious. I think I will always be an anxious person, but my anxiety was at all time high when I was in relationship, especially since I was in a relationship with a truck driver with a wandering eye. Towards the end of our relationship I became so paranoid and anxious that there would be days when I would burst our crying without much reason. I felt like walls were caving in and I couldn’t breathe. Sleeping without medication was impossible. I still take melatonin every now and then to help me sleep at night and sometimes I still battle anxiety, but it’s nothing like how it was before. I’m much more relaxed. I don’t have to worry about where he is, if he’s safe, and if he’s loyal. He’s no longer mine and I’m no longer his. It’s not my job to worry about him anymore.

5. I reconnected with old friends. Often times when we get involved in relationships, we let that person consume us. This is the biggest mistake I made. I felt so alone when I broke up with the one I was supposed to marry. I blew off all of my friends for my boyfriend all the time. I’m still working on changing things and fixing them up, but I am happy to say I started to reconnect with old friends. I think some people held off on talking to  me because I was so exclusive with my boyfriend before, but now we’ve reconnected and we talk and it’s nice. I’m trying to get out and do things with people more often and break fee of my comfort zone. Ideally, I want to make it so that I never feel as alone as I felt initially if I ever go through a breakup again in the future.

6. I finally finished my darn novel. I started writing my novel after I received my cochlear implant, but I was kind of lazy with it. It’s hard to write a novel when your mind is only focused on your boyfriend, what they’re doing, where they’re at, and when they’re going to call and/or come home. I had more time when we broke up so I finally sat down and finished the darn thing.

7. I joined a writer’s group. Thinking of writing, I also joined a writer’s group at the library. I actually just got home from it. I found out about it in a quest to meet new people and make new friends while reminding myself of who I was, what I like, and doing more of the things that make me happy.

8. I strengthened my relationship with Christ. One of the reasons why I broke up with him is because I didn’t feel like he was a real Christian. He wouldn’t pray with me. He didn’t read the bible. Days before breaking up with him I began reading a book by Mark Hall from Casting Crowns called Thrive. This book centers on the theme of thriving instead of just getting by in life. I realized I was getting by with my relationship, but I wasn’t thriving. I also started reading the bible on a daily basis during this time. I truly believe God was pulling me out of my relationship and telling me to end it, so I finally obeyed. Since then my relationship with God has strengthened tenfold. I’m praying more and more often and they are much more deeper, meaningful prayers from the heart. I really engross myself with the word of God. I don’t miss church because I was out all night with my boyfriend. My boyfriend no longer pulls me from Christ. I ended my relationship with my boyfriend so I could have a stronger one with Christ.

9. I started going to a new church. I also started going to a new church. I loved the one I was attending, but I wanted to get more involved and to meet more people my own age. I walked to Trinity and really liked it. I’ve been going for about a month now and really like it so far. I’ve done things outside of my comfort zone like participating in activities even though I don’t know anyone. I met a girl who’s only a few years younger than me that also has a cochlear implant which was awesome. I want to try to make it out to the young adult bible study on Thursday where I should meet more people in my age group.

10. I began the application process for grad school. I decided that I definitely want to go to grad school and I began the application process so that I won’t back out or change my mind again. I mentioned this to my now ex-boyfriend before but he honestly didn’t really support me. He said he did but he was so concerned about the debt I’d be putting myself in. He didn’t think it was worth it. He didn’t value education like I did. Now I’m doing it for me — I didn’t need his approval.

11. I stopped seeking everyone else’s approval. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t need anyone’s approval. If I want to walk to Glassboro, I wil. If I want to cut my hair, I will. If I want to go to Grad school, I will. If I want to go to NYC, I will. If I want to be front row in center at a Good Charlotte concert, I will be there. If I want to go bilateral, I will. Screw anyone else and their opinions. It’s time to do what I want to do and not care about what anyone else thinks about it. It’s my life.

12. I got extremely angry — and saw everything for what it really was. Nothing like hanging up with the one you’re supposed to marry and, 5+ months later, still not getting a call back apologizing for being a jerk to you. I see where I stand now. I’m only sorry I wasted so much of my time loving someone that clearly didn’t love me back. I won’t make that mistake again. I’d give in and apologize for ending things so harshly, but every time I think that way I remember how angry I am that he just let me go without even attempting to come back.

13. I stopped waiting. I used to spend all of my free time waiting on my boyfriend. Waiting for a text. Waiting for a call. Waiting for him to come over. Sometimes he wouldn’t call or text and I would’ve wasted 48 hours doing nothing but sitting on the couch or laying in bed staring at the phone that never rings. When I’d ask him why I didn’t hear from him he’d say “I just didn’t feel like talking.” (Translation: I felt like talking to my side chick today, not you). The worst though was the time when I started waiting for him to come over and pick me up for a date around noon but he didn’t come until about 10:30 at night. I don’t waste my time waiting on people anymore. Life is too short to waste your time waiting on things that don’t matter or aren’t really that important.

14. I changed. I’m not who I was 5 months ago. I’m trying to go back to being the person I’m supposed to be. I’m rediscovering my passions and interests and reevaluating what I want out of life. I learned that the right person will come along at the right time, and when they do, I’ll know. I won’t have to try so hard. I won’t have to wait on them. I won’t have to change who I am to please them. It will be effortless and they won’t keep me waiting and they will love me just as I am.

Breakups suck. They are perhaps the worst thing a person can go through. Some days are better than others for me. Yesterday was his birthday. Today my TimeHop app showed me all of the pictures of us together the day after his birthday which was when we reunited after being apart for 2+ straight months. They were some really hard days. But it gets better. Sometimes we need to break in order to become whole again. I have so many new and exciting things going on in my life that I know wouldn’t be happening if we were still together. In some ways, breaking up was the best thing to ever happen to me.

It’s hard and it still feels weird and it still hurts, but life goes on. One day, when I’m ready and not a day sooner, I’ll meet someone else that will make me forget I was ever hurt in the first place. One day, that person will show me why this one relationship had to end.

Sometimes good things have to fall apart to make room for great things.

Great things are better than good things. Better days are coming. I’m going to be okay, and so are you, little brother.



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