Every beginning has an embarrassing start it seems

Hello and welcome to your daily dose of M’s embarrassing inability to act like a normal person in front of a guy. Yes, you read that right. Remember how I said every story of a relationship involves something super embarrassing happening at the beginning? Well, bingo. Cheers to that- here’s what happened.

I’m a struggling pre-med student. Who isn’t pre-med and struggling (if you’re not struggling as pre-med please, let me know your secrets and the rest of the world, we’d love to hear it)? Sometimes pre-med students are socially awkward. But in contrast, I’m also a journalism major. I’m legitimately learning how to talk to people, perfecting my people skills. So there are the people pleaser journalists and the socially awkward pre-meds. And then, there’s me. I’m a whole different category. Sometimes I have my shit together. Sometimes I don’t.

I’ve been told I’m quite unpredictable, whether that means yelling incoherently random sentences in the frat quad at midnight after a mixer while completely sober and sprinting from one end to the other or simply just keeping to myself and not speaking at all. I’m all ends of the spectrum. Even though I’m sober. Which is 99% of the time. So sometimes, I even surprise myself with how I react. Like the other day.

Let’s start back to Tuesday. I was running late. As usual. When do New Yorkers ever run on time? The answer is they don’t. That phrase means nothing to us. I threw on clothes, brushed my tangled hair, threw on my glasses grabbed my bag and ran to psych class. It was more of a half-assed speed walk because seriously who jogs before noon? Not me. I prefer to gradually start my day.

En route, of course, I bump into my high school ex’s best friend to whom I swiftly ignored via the most brilliant of strategies: headphones and looking really fucking disinterested. Did I seriously want to make small talk with you on this lovely morning when the sun was shining for the first time in weeks? No. I did not. I kept walking. Don’t have time for insignificant bullshit.

Finally, I make it to the building where my psych class is held. I practically stomp up the two flights of stairs and stealthily open the door to the lecture hall, secretly praying no one turns around to look. I hate being the center of attention. Only a few heads turn. Okay, I can live with that. Where is the closest seat? Back row. Between two people but I’m tiny enough I can slide through without having to go all the way around.

Shit. My backpack.

“Oh my god I’m so so sorry I’m such a mess.”

Of course, I almost whack the person I’m about to sit next to in the head with my backpack. I’m truly a brilliant piece of work. You see the worst part was, not only was this a stranger, but he happened to be a very cute stranger. Instantly I wanted to melt into the seat because of my embarrassment. Way to make a fabulous first impression.

He kinda just smirked at me with a little giggle. I didn’t really know exactly what to do next due to my embarrassment, so I did what any rational student would do in class: took notes and ignored all distractions. Go me. I’m fantastic.

“We’re just learning about eye anatomy it’s interesting. She also keeps doing these experiments with us which are crazy.”

Wait. Was psych boy over here right next to me actually trying to pursue a conversation? I guess maybe I’m not that hopeless. We each had received pieces of paper to demonstrate what blind spots in sight are. With the rest of the class, we picked up our papers and found our blind spots…but he and I both burst out laughing at the same time and looked with our giggles at each other instead.

“This is ridiculous. What even is this class.”

“I know.”

The lecture ended. I began to pack my stuff and got up to leave and then I heard this:

“I sit back here in this seat every day, it’s my unofficial assigned seat. You know where to find me now.”

I turned around to look at him and saw a smile that made my words get stuck and so I nodded and skipped as fast as I could out of there. Instead of flirting back, I ran. Where did my confidence in talking to guys go? I used to be so forward. Why am I the biggest weirdo under the sun? I’m cringing at myself. Way to make your impression even better.

Which brings us the trainwreck that was Thursday. So my original plan was to sit next to him.  But oh my did things go differently. My friend was still a tad tipsy from last night so thus I ended up sitting with her because she begged. Our third friend didn’t bother to show up because she slept through class. I sat directly in front of him. And even worse? I didn’t even say hi…because I was too nervous. I’m just waiting for when I mess up things with him further because clearly with boys lately, not my line of perfection.

I’m hoping to sit with him Tuesday. But for this to go smoothly, I’m gonna need a stellar explanation for why I blew him off. Any ideas? Send a prayer for my sanity.

M’s forte isn’t boys these days it seems.

xox,

M

 

 

 

 

 

Moving On & The Changing Meanings of Words

Everything is confusing in life. Each day we make choices, these choices are what dictate our lives. Every thought we have, every step we take, every word we say has an impact.

In my head, it’s easy to re-read things that were written in the past or think about things I did. It’s hard to realize that those words might have lost meaning to what they are now, and whoever wrote them might now regard the recipient almost like a stranger. In my head, it’s always a game of should’ve, could’ve and would’ve.

If someone showed up one day guaranteeing one chance to change the past, would you take it?

I know there are certain things I wish could have happened differently, but these are things a person can’t know until they’ve experienced it before. The only option is to take life as it comes, make yourself be the best version of you that you can be and move on with your life. Letting the things that have had their time go away with the wind with peace, poise and eloquence.

There’s no point in trying to involve yourself in someone’s life because that’s “what it used to be.” There’s no point clinging to strands of what could’ve been, because that’s not what is. People keep living and loving and learning and it is a constant never-ending cycle that you have no control over.

I am the one thing in life that I can control. I am the only one with my thoughts, feelings and emotions- the only one who can do what I am capable of.

Maybe you were only a part of someone’s life for a brief period in time. Maybe you were a four-year investment that ended in you disappearing. Maybe you faded slowly into the background with time because distance desensitizes the memories that once stung every time you thought of the passion within them.

A few years ago, I had to cut out a toxic person from my life. I had to relinquish all points of contact, but with no explanation. Now this is probably one of the most hurtful but necessary things I have ever had to do, but it got to a point where this person was living in a place where they thought memories from two years before this point were what was now.

They were leaving to go on a long trip, so I wrote a letter to them. But, two years later, after fights and anger and hatred was poured into the mix of the relationship, they referenced that letter. What they didn’t realize was what my reaction would be: that letter meant nothing now. It was how I felt then, in the moment, a stupid young girl in high school not knowing what to do with her life.

But the two years later, I was much swifter and smarter and wiser. I knew how I felt and I knew what I needed to do. And looking back, I wish I had never written that letter because they had kept it and probably still have it. Sometimes I wonder if I had handled things differently how things would have ended up. But, to this day it still confuses me how much power words can have and how someone can write something so passionate and suddenly it just doesn’t have meaning anymore.

No one is innocent. We all have done this but hurt some more so than others.

This is what makes me wonder. What if I had never written that letter? What if I had never read the letters I got from various people in my past? Would I be thinking this? Would I be wondering?

In my head, it’s a pendulum of understanding how someone can say something so passionate and truly mean it. Yet, with time, they can look back and wonder how in the world they wrote or said this. Or not even that, but just how since then, things have desensitized because of time and unfamiliarity.

It is a double-edged sword, edges I’ve felt both of. And, to this day the power of words still confuses me.

In order to move on, you need to let go of the words, let go of the memories, place them on a timeline that crafts your past, and look forward at your blank future. It’s a blank canvas ready to be splattered with paint, you just need to paint it.

So now in this present chapter of my life that is only beginning, for a change I am actually making active changes in my life. For once, I am the priority. I am no longer concerned about keeping everyone else in order, but just myself and being the best me that I can be.

Because, I’m learning, everything else, it will fall into place unexpectedly and when it is supposed to. And until then and as this happens, it’s time to be happy and live life in ways I’ve been afraid to in the past.

xox,

M

It’s a start with the Head and the Heart

The head and heart are two peas in a pod. They are what dictate the way one lives their life, the choices a person makes, and the risks a person takes. Via the carotid artery, the myocardium sends blood to the brain at a rapid rate of three feet per second. When danger is sensed, a cautionary alarm is fired to the hypothalamus in the brain, the hub for the human hormone system.

This causes the sympathetic nervous system to jump start which pulses cortisol throughout the veins and begins the process of surging adrenaline. At this point, the myocardium steps in jolting to a rapid heart rate, speeding up the pulsing of blood throughout the body. Our bronchial tubes open wider and with each breath, our focus intensifies and the strength of the head and heart working together only becomes stronger as we protect ourselves.

But what are we protecting ourselves from? Sometimes this is imminent danger, obvious in its own nature. But other times, it can be similar to when we hear bad news, or something is about to drastically change. In this particular instance, our vagus nerve connecting the heart, brain and stomach is affected, resulting in contraction of the digestive system. Our heartbeats slow and we freeze and feel like we’re choking.

Why does all of this happen? Why do these two reactions juxtapose each other? The head and the heart dictate all of these occurrences. They make us move, make us love, make us learn. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.

To live is to make choices, but what determines our choices?

I struggle with whether I am making the right choices based on what my rational mind says compared to my heart’s feelings. Is there a way to reconcile these two incongruent approaches to living?

It’s constantly a battle between the mind and the main blood-pumping organ. Each tries to outlast and outmaneuver the other, fighting from two radically unique battlegrounds. The heart, nestled in a forest of capillaries, veins, and arteries, is shielded by the courageous ribs of the thoracic cavity. The brain, on the other hand, resides coiled up into paths of everlasting thought in a bubble of imagination, encased by a daunting skull. Together, they unite a person into a fully functioning machine with a sprinkle of soul and a dash of empathy.

Sometimes, the heart short circuits the brain, striking first. People act without considering repercussions, speak without a filter, and write about anything, no matter how ludicrous.

When awareness of the heart happens, emotions take over. When the heart is the leading light, all logistics go out the window, despite whatever the brain thinks. But then, after the heart conquers, the brain comes back with a vengeance. It’s a slap across the face when you wake up realizing, what are you doing? No planning ahead, didn’t consider what could happen. Now what’s left is damage control and praying it isn’t too late.

Despite what the outcome may be, good or bad, happy or sad, the brain is still a beautiful thing. It makes a person brilliant in every way, handing over the keys to find out how life works.

Through all the tangles of dendrites, cell bodies, and axons that make up a neuron, information is fired through from one place to another, pit-stopping in the brain for processing. The brain prevents from doing most things that people would regret; it always keeps running, a thousand miles ahead of the last step. Always running in-depth, overcomplicating things.

Knowledge is a gift, knowledge is power, and power is a catalyst for change.

The head and the heart are a jumbled up, rag-tag team who make up who we are to the core.

Together, the head and heart remain in a constant banter, but somehow despite them being so incompatible, figure out a way to work congruently.

Will it ever be possible to have control over both and to get them to work together to help guide in the best direction instead of sacrificing one to please the other? This is a skill one will learn with practice, and I have a lot of learning to do.

xox,

M

Time, Mistakes, & Skipping Rocks

Time is one of the only phenomena that there is no control over. It moves on with or without us. It doesn’t observe boundaries. It keeps going and going and going and nothing can stop it. Until, that is, it runs out.

I never truly realized the way things can change in an instant. One revelation, one action, one little thing can send off a ripple reaction and change everything.

There’s a girl standing by the edge of a pond full of navy-hued water. Lush, leafy clover green trees circle the perimeter of the pond, breaking into an opening by where she stands. In her slender fingers encased is a smooth gray oval rock. Her cascading chestnut hair is tied up in an intricate pony-tail. Her cornflower blue sundress brushes the tops of her knees and her bare toes tickle the edges of the pond water. She keeps turning the rock over and over in her hands, as if she’s unsure of what to do with it and the rock was the life choices she has to make.

In one motion, she bends her knees leaps forward and extends her arm, the orb of earth flying from her fingers. It dances across the water, skipping from one ripple to the next.

One.
Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

Plop.

It swims down through the opaque water, deeper and deeper into a world it’s never been. A world in which it doesn’t think it belongs but it will try to survive in anyways. A world with a clear divide from where it once was.

The girl sits down in a patch of grass edging around the pond and peers into the water, her reflection’s eyes matching up with her own.

When did things get to this? How did things get to this?

Mistakes. Regrets. Looking back and wishing you could do something about a story written in the stone of the past. Decisions you made leading to things that not only hurt you, but those around you.

There are moments where I think back to and I cringe. I wonder if I had done something else if that would have changed anything. If I would still have the people in my life now that I hurt.

The most painful feeling is knowing you hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. It eats away at you from the inside. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You took the tools you had in your life and you abused them. And now, you are left sitting on the edge of a pond wondering why you did what you did and if anything can ever repair the power mistakes have to wreck.

You think back to the most dangerous weapon your mind has to offer: memories. The beautiful pictures you painted, the laughs you shared, the moments that went unseen. And you shudder as a shiver runs through you as you acknowledge it was your mistake that ripped that all to shreds. And because of that, because of the power of mistakes, everything changed. And for once, there might just be nothing you can do about it.

Mistakes and regrets are terrifying because the ramifications are immensely powerful but the ways to repair are sensitive and obscure. It takes an incredibly forgiving and patient person to accept an apology and move on.

Apologies aren’t easy by any means, but that doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t try. They don’t justify the action that was taken that resulted in the hurt, nor should they be seen as an excuse. They are the only and best way to try to mend what has been broken. Only sincere apologies demonstrate ability to recognize those negative actions and hopefully can help to reinstall the trust that may have been broken in a relationship.

Mistakes and regrets shatter glass in an instant that takes forever to perfectly piece back together. If you have a clean piece of paper, take it and crumple it up. As tightly as you can. Fold every corner, crease every crease, squeeze it tighter than tight. Now undo what you just did. Get the paper back to its unfolded clean slate. It’s still crinkled? You’re right. It’s extremely hard to undo what you’ve done, frustrating and nearly impossible.

The girl looks at her arms, stained wet with charcoal colored streaks from her mascara. The crystal droplets from the corners of her once big, bright honest eyes are murky, clouded with the traces of makeup. She wishes with everything she could go back and change things. But she can’t go back and re-do time.

Because much like time, you can’t take back mistakes. You live and you learn and you keep moving forward. And you can only hope that those who you’ve hurt, they can find it in their heart to understand, let you back in, forgive and trust you once again.

sincerely,

M