More Than This

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” Wise (and perhaps now overused) words from Bill the Advanced English Teacher–or more accurately, Stephen Chbosky.

I am finally reading Perks of Being a Wallflower, and therefore, thinking a lot about this quote, how it relates to the story and the characters, and what it means in my own life. Since coming across those words on page twenty-four, my whole perspective on them has changed. I used to think it was about our egos telling us we deserve better, but now I am concluding that it could be quite the opposite: we think poorly of ourselves, so we don’t deserve a good and healthy love. My track record shows that I am still trying to figure out what I want and what I deserve.

If you have read this blog at all, you know that I think very low of myself, even in recovery. I still have so much ground to cover in terms of self-esteem. I do not think that I deserve the happy and passionate and breathtaking love that Nicholas Sparks writes about. (This is not a “pity me and tell me I do deserve that moment. Just shush.) And because of that, I have accepted being made small by someone who thought he was so superior to me. I thought it was okay that he had to be right all the time because I did not want to rock the boat. If I just let him be right by admitting my fault, then he would think more of me.

I do not know if I have ever been more wrong.

When you hear about someone being taken advantage of, especially a woman, you think of her body. For me, he took full control of my mind, my confidence, and my authority over myself. I had been so harsh on myself that I did not mind his bite. There were worse things.

Somehow I thought this is what I was meant for. I accepted it, and at the time, I did not see fault in it. To this day, I defend some of my choices regarding that relationship; however, there is a list of things that were very wrong. I have learned that I am better than admitting I was wrong (whether I was or not) just to keep someone happy. I am more than someone “joking” that they can get what they want from a professional (if you are picking up what I am putting down).

And I thought things would be different in college–I was so happy that I thought I knew what I wanted. Two years later, and I am still lost about that. I have met two people since coming to Cal Poly whom I was convinced changed that in me. The first, let’s call him Jason, became a best friend to me. He was the one I wanted to tell my secrets to and who would accept those things about me. We spent so much time together that I was almost so sure. I felt so lucky to have him even in my life. When something was wrong or when I just wanted to have a good time, he was the one to fix me right up. But things happen and friendships are fragile, ours shattering right in front of me. We are better now, but not quite the same.

The other, let’s call him Riley, made me smile and laugh like I never thought I would. Content was studying together in a donut shop and filling him in on the latest Bachelor drama or building a fortress of tables in the library during finals week. Things were so easy with him, and he accepted me for what I was. Didn’t judge for what I could not quite explain to him yet. But I realized he wouldn’t be the one to understand them. He could make me happy, but he couldn’t be the one to hand me a piece of myself when it fell to the floor. So we just…stopped. No goodbyes, no more than a silence on both sides. It hurt, but it was not the end of the world.

They all hurt in different ways. I was let down my expectations I should not have had. I tried to accept what I was given because I thought I could never share the side of me that I ramble to you all about so often. I am broken and cynical and cold-hearted, so I have spent all this time looking for someone who will bring back the life in me–without knowing that’s what they are doing. I did not deserve the type of affection that they gave me (whether I was better or worse than it). I cannot accept a love right now that I “deserve” because I am not who I should be yet. I am not good enough for myself. And self-love is the kind of thing I need to earn first. That is partly why none of my past “relationships” have worked out how I initially wanted them to. Also probably one of the reasons that they have all (okay, two of three) gotten into other relationships since then.

It does not mean I am anything less. I used to think as much, but things change. Obviously. And I would not have really thought about these things if Stephen Chbosky did not bring them to my attention. I would not be thinking this much about myself and my recovery had he not so beautifully brought Charlie’s character to life. He explains so well the emotions and thoughts of a broken mind trying to figure everything out. Which is probably why I spent the entire movie in tears and why I have needed to take several breaks reading to just listen to a happy song or watch an epsiode of The Office. It is absolutely captivating, though, and I cannot imagine not reading this book over and over for the rest of my life.

And you know, I’ll find somebody. I am too much of a writer and a romantic not to.

-Ash

 

Lyin’ Eyes

As a young woman in the twenty-first century, I have some problems that are quite trivial in the grand scheme of things. But they are important to me right now, so like always, I am going to share them with you.

I have been thinking a lot about the concept of the “Nice Guy” and the “Friendzone” (I told you they might be trivial!). I started wondering why we always choose the boys who are bad for us and never the ones that treat us well. Is it because we like a little danger? Maybe because we think we can fix or change them? Perhaps because we are used to being treated like crap all the time with the little sliver of good boyfriend attitude every once in a while to pull us back in?

So we think we should go for the Nice Guy because he has shown us that he can treat us well. He is a friend who can be a boyfriend. Potentially a husband. We like him because he is always there when we need him–and even when we think we don’t. He is the guy with whom we feel comfortable enough to talk about our problems. We feel safe with him.

But when he tries to climb out of the Friendzone and show us his true feelings, we realize that we do not like him that way, for whatever reason. When we reject him, or choose someone else above him, he gets mean. He morphs into someone we do not quite recognize, putting us down, calling us a tease, getting mad at us for leading him on. There are a multitude of things he could yell at us for. So we get scared and run back to the guy who already treats us poorly.

Why do we do this? Better yet, why do we not even go for the Nice Guy in the first place?

I have a theory: because we are afraid of the Nice Guy. We are afraid of losing the friend in him. We fear rejecting him because he might turn into a Mean Guy for not giving him what he thinks he deserves from us. At least the Bad Boys are honest; they don’t try to deceive us from whom they are.

It does not matter whether or not the Nice Guy will turn out to be mean, only nice to eventually get in our pants. He could truly be the nicest guy on the planet, but we have too much experience with the fake Nice Guy, with the façade he puts on for us. We know too many guys like that out there that we are afraid to trust any guy we think to be a Nice Guy. We are trying to protect ourselves.

The Bad Boy is going to break our hearts, we know that. We hope he might be different, but more often than not, he is exactly like the last guy like him. When he breaks our hearts, it hurts and then we move on. But when the Nice Guy hurts us by turning into a Mean Guy, we might never be quite the same. It breaks our trust in the Nice Guy–and all the ones after him. Maybe another will come along to prove us wrong, but for a while, we do not want to let someone so uncertain into our lives.

“It’s just a stereotype,” they will say. “I’m not like them.” Well, we have heard that one before, too. Just like how we’ve heard before that we should just give into the Nice Guy. How we should repay him for his kindness.

Being a woman in this day and age is not easy. We have to look a certain way: skinny but not too skinny or curvy but not fat, tall enough to be a model but still be shorter than a man, into sports but not able to participate in their trash talk during the games…the list drones on and on. Every time we try to fit the mold that a guy wants from us, that image changes–or we get put down for fixing ourselves to what everyone else wants. It is utterly exhausting. But the Nice Guy gets to stay the Nice Guy, even when he turns sour at rejection.

We should not be afraid like this, and we should not be treated like this. A woman should not live in fear of denying the Nice Guy.

Aaaaaand that was a rant I probably did not need to go on, but it was something I was thinking about. It’s a lesson a lot of people need to learn about what the Friendzone really is. This is coming from a girl who is the Queen of the Friendzone (in a not bad way)–meaning that guys don’t need to worry about catching feelings, I can keep up with the sarcasm (and beat them a little bit at it), and their girlfriends don’t have to worry about me because “oh it’s just Ashley.” Having this title has given me much insight into the ways of men (mostly boys, actually), and it has given my guy friends the ability to easily obtain girl advice.

But just because I am the Queen, does not mean I do not fit the bill for this rant. There is a reason I thought about all this, and it is because I feel it to be fairly true from my experience and from the experience of others. Even the Queen of the Friendzone can fear the Nice Guy. Kind of a problem, don’t you think?

Ash, out.

((Currently outlining my rant on the Bad Boy. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about them.))

Every Road

Remember when I said that tomorrow is a new day in my last post? Well, the last few “tomorrows” have been pretty great. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do to your perspective. I have a Part 2 to that post coming soon. But for now, I am pulling my hair out because of House of Cards and listening to Ed Sheeran because I feel really icky in the stomach department. And no, I do not mean image-wise, I mean that today I went to Panda Express for lunch (I know, I broke my resolution) and fried food does not do me well anymore.

Basically, my tummy hurts 😦

I felt really great at work a few hours later–well enough to have a dance party with the last kid at camp. Then I got home, and planned to shopping for a blazer, but my sister has one I can borrow. You will hear more about why I needed a blazer very soon! And so I finished reading an article about Tomorrowland because um hello, DISNEY. After that, I was tired and my stomach was hurting again, so I slept for about two hours. I am still feeling quite nauseated.

But I really want a brownie. Conflicted is an understatement.

Being bed-ridden by choice means I get to write PLR and journal and write short stories from WriteWorld prompts. Writing equals a very happy me! But you already knew that, didn’t you?

I just feel like I have all this pent up emotion that I totally need to express to the world. And myself. Well, mostly to myself, but I want to get more used to sharing my work. And I like feedback. Which I never really get at school because all my friends are Bio majors or future engineers.

I am just feeling so stuck about my emotions. I mean, if my last post was any indication of that, then this is nothing new. However, I have weird feelings about my love life. Yes, we are back to that. As a teenage girl (at least, for the next two months), my mind often wanders to this subject. It’s just that I have very few friends who do not have someone special in their lives. I just feel like I will never have that, and it terrifies me.

Being at work and having my ex (sort of) in my life for the whole summer has made me reflect on a few things. I am trying to learn from that relationship. In the past year, I have grown so much and learned a lot about myself. And looking back, I do not regret anything from that relationship, but it has made me realize some important things.

  1. Honestly, I do not need a man in my life. Yeah, yeah, everyone says that, but it is true. And going from having him in my life, to not was a difficult transition. I suddenly didn’t have him to confide in or have someone to make me laugh all the time–or force me to watch introduce me to all these shows on Netflix. Totally glad for that, though. But quitting him cold turkey (almost–maybe you shouldn’t date your co-worker…) made me aware that I can totally fend for myself. I do not need someone else to tell me that they love me or that I am beautiful. I need to believe that for myself. But it is still nice to hear, do not get me wrong. Always tell your significant other how much you appreciate them.
  2. Being around him again, I remember all the reasons we broke up. He is one hundred percent not a bad guy, let me say that, but even though there are things I miss about him, I have plenty to not miss, too. Since I am reminded of these things, I know what to look for (and what not to) in a potential significant other. Of course, I can’t be too picky, I need to be just the right amount. And there is nothing wring with that.
  3. Dating in the workplace is not always a good thing. It can work, don’t get me wrong, but just be careful. It can make for some awkward instances. Where we left off, another two of our coworkers got together. They are together and happy still, but just saying. It is hard not to see the similarities between our two relationships. However, I must remind myself of this note often because the two cute employees at the Cal Poly store downtown convinced me to apply next year. That is two cute boys I might work with next year. Lord, help me.
  4. It is okay to miss him sometimes. I mean, we were together for a year, and I cannot just block all that time out. Plus, I can’t watch half of my shows without being reminded of why I started watching them in the first place. I mean, I miss people I am no longer friends with, too. We have great memories. It is nice to think of those. And he was my first real relationship, so I compare a lot of my boy encounters with the ones I had with him. He has a special place in my life as my first love, and there is nothing wrong with that either. But refer to #2 if you think I am planning on being any more than friends with him. That would be a no, thank you.
  5. I am awesome. Do I really need an explanation for this one? If so, refer back to #1.
  6. I don’t know, I think #5 said it all. And I am still thinking about that brownie…

Well, that is kind of all the wisdom I have got for now. And just because I know these things, does not mean that it is easy to always be “YEAH, WOO, SINGLE!” so don’t think I am saying that. And I am still pining over Chris Pratt, so maybe you shouldn’t be listening to me…

On another note, it so hot that my fingers are all puffy, and I am afraid my ring will get stuck on my finger. Curse you, SoCal heat!! And I would really like to have a dance party to all the throwback One Direction songs that are playing on my iTunes right now, but I still feel a little bit sick, so Teen Beach Movie it is.

Feelin’ good today! xx

-A

Someday My Prince Will Come

GUYS, IT IS THAT TIME AGAIN.

The Bachelorette had it’s season premiere last night, and, like with The Bachelor, I am going to obsess on the blog about it. I mean, come on, two bachelorettes? This is a big deal. Even though I kind of am not okay with it…

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WARNING: SPOILERS!!

First of all, I have been Team Kaitlyn since she stepped out of the limo a few months ago to meet Chris Soules. She is adorable, and I totally have a girl crush on her. Britt, however, I have not been so keen on. She is pretty and everything, and her hair is gorgeous, but I just don’t really like her. I thought she was very fake with Chris, and I was kind of mad when he kept giving her so much attention. Obviously, other girls deserved it. Like his future-now-current fiancé.

As for the end of that season, I was Team Becca, all the way, but I know that Witney deserved it. I am totally content with the way it all played out, and I wish Becca all the best. I have a girl crush on her, too.

Because of the twist this season has, I was way too curious to see how it was going to turn out. Like I said, I am not a huge fan with this whole “two bachelorettes” thing, but I wanted to give it a chance. Plus, just like I loved analyzing the women Chris was seeing, I love analyzing the men even more. Because they are really attractive. Really.

Watching the limos drive up and the men getting out is pretty nerve-racking. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for Kaitlyn and Britt.

So let me analyze a few things…

First of all, there is always someone who gets way-too-drunk on the first night. Ryan M takes the cake on that one, for sure. He got rather obnoxious rather quickly. He criticized the hot tub car, which I (and the Bachelorettes) thought was pretty cool. He was pushy and icky. Then he stripped down and got in the pool. He is very disrespectful, and I am kind of disgusted by him. Thank you, Chris Harrison, for sending him home.

Now, a lot of the guys like to bring gifts, and usually, there is one or two that make me feel so second-hand embarrassed–let’s throw it back to the guy who brought Andi the lamp from his hotel room, shall we? Luckily, this year, nothing too weird like that happened, at least that we saw. I liked the guy who brought the girls balloons and introduced himself after sucking in the helium. The dentist who drove up in the cupcake car was cute, too.

I have already fallen in love with a couple of the guys. I really like a lot of them right off the bat. Some of them I am questioning. The producers of this show have a knack for choosing some very interesting individuals for this show.

I would really like to know where the bruise on Tony’s eye came from. I wish they would have addressed that. I mean, he is a “healer,” so why didn’t he heal it? I am totally kidding about that, but I do want to know how he got it.

Watching the voting was so stressful, and it was even more stressful knowing that I don’t get to find out who the Bachelorette is until tonight’s episode. IT IS KILLING ME. Well, that, and the fact that it is week eight, and finals are right around the corner. Oh, and that the Pretty Little Roomies season finale is going live tomorrow at 8 am.

Let’s get this show on the road. I need summer!!

-A


Love me!

American Candy

ATTENTION WORLD:

AMERICAN CANDY IS AVAILABLE NOW!!!

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This is a very, very exciting moment in time. My favorite band’s fifth album is out now. They have been working SO SO hard on it, and I am beyond proud. I mean, they are “just a band” to some people, but I have met them a few times, and they are some of the sweetest, greatest guys around. I have been head over heels since I first saw them. I thank the Lord that Edie introduced me to them.

You can get the album on iTunes today and share my love of these five wonderful people.

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Pat Kirch – drummer, cutie pie

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John O’Callaghan – lead vocals, bad ass, sweetie

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Garrett Nickelsen – bassist, love of my life, babe

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Jared Monaco – guitarist, fun-loving cupcake

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Kennedy Brock – guitarist, vocals, lovable studmuffin

Casual throwback to the last time I met them *insert heart eye emoji*

Seriously, go check out the album, follow them all on Twitter and Instagram, listen to their past albums, fall in love.

Love, Your Fangirl, A ❤