One. Two.

One. Two.

Left. Right.

Left. Right.

One foot in front of the other. Just keep going. Keep walking. You can do this.

With each step, my knees plead to give out and my tear ducts release the dam that has been holding the flood back. Lately each day has been the same. Miserable. Just another day to get through, spent counting sunrises to midnights. Moments when reality hits you and suddenly your face is soaking wet and you can’t figure out why. Moments when you lie to yourself yet another day, saying that tomorrow will be a better day. Moments when these lies feel so real you believe them.

Then tomorrow comes and you know they were never more than mere lies. Lies that were so tangible you could hear, see and feel them, how they comforted you and guided you when you were lost. Lies that gave you hope when you had nothing left. When you lose the lies that sparked your hope, what is truly left?

I sit on a bench in the sunshine, hoping some of the warmth will infiltrate my heart that has seemingly grown broken and cold. I’m surrounded by people in every direction, yet I’ve never felt lonelier in my life. It is absolutely crazy that someone can be in a place with so many companions yet feel like such an awkward stranger that the people to them barely exist.

I see groups of friends playing with Frisbees and laughing, gossiping over homework, couples strolling by. And then I see myself, an outsider sitting in a blue and white checker-printed dress, white sneakers and sunglasses sitting on a bench alone. From afar, I look the same as everyone else. But what makes things different is that right now in my life, I’ve never felt so alone. Every person I’ve ever trusted, ever loved, ever been best friends with, ever opened up to, they’re all either backstabbed or left me.

What is it that I do wrong? I’ve been told that I’m too kind and caring and “that’s just who I am” and it’s “nothing I ever did or say or were.” So, what is it? Why is it that I constantly find myself in this pathetic state of solitude? Why is it so damn hard to find people who will stick by you rather than leave you on the cold sidewalk to walk alone?

I wish I knew what it was about me that made me this way, this person seemingly having nothing but surface-level friendships because anything deeper just ends up in regret or disaster. My heart longs for what I used to have and craves the comfort of having a best friend. But all my life I’ve walked alone, so I know I am strong enough to continue no matter what life throws at me.

It just really, well sucks, because yes, I know I am a bitch sometimes (but isn’t everyone when they need to be?), overall, I am one of the most loyal people you will ever meet. And when you break my trust and royally screw over that loyalty, you hurt me more than you can ever tangibly imagine.

So that leads me back to now. Walking through the trees on a path where I am surrounded by many, yet I have never felt more alone in my life.


Trying too hard to be happy leads to. . . sadness?

Throughout my eighteen years of living, one thing I’ve concluded is that being happy isn’t easy. People in this world say happiness is a choice, but if it truly was that easy wouldn’t everyone simply just choose to be happy?

As humans, we have this innate quest to find these so-called feelings of joy and elation. Yet, we spend so much of our lives searching that we forget to enjoy things or better yet, we just reside in a perpetual state of misery because we don’t know how to help ourselves to the capacity that we need to. Maybe we don’t like talking and opening up, maybe were in denial, maybe we just don’t know what the heck to do.

As simple as it seems, the feeling of showing excitement or contentment is rather more elusive than what appears to merely an observer. For me, hand in hand with happiness is finding and determining meaning. While meaning is arbitrary, it has the power to lay the foundation of a person’s opinion and outlook; the way the cement base is the heart of a house supporting the skeleton of walls, windows, and hallways. I live my life searching for meaning in everything, sometimes getting me into trouble because every so often, some things just don’t have a meaning.

Despite this, without meaning, it is near impossible to find even a glimmer of happiness. How can one find themselves ‘happy’ skipping the crucial step of knowing the impacts of their actions or words on both themselves and others? The definition of ‘meaning’ is unclear in its own nature: what is the intended effect and significance of the text, concept, word, action, or idea in question? A person can become so preoccupied with defining the meaning that they lose the true essence of why they were involved with said action or concept in the first place. But is it this lack of meaning that leads to lack of purpose which leads to lack of happiness?

One may never truly know. As we continue to move through life and beyond, sometimes we lose sight of the things that are most important or the things that truly matter. In my experience, the hardest part of it all is determining what these ‘things’ are. To each and every individual, it’s different. Whether a person admits it or not, we are all dealing with things that aren’t always visible at first glance. It may be an invisible chronic illness, drama with friends or a significant other, a learning disability, depression, academic hardships or simply life shattered in pieces in general.

Whatever it may be, it impacts you and your outlook to the world despite if you admit it or not. And that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to be biased, to feel sorry for themselves. But, it shouldn’t get in the way of life in any way, although it may be easy to just admit defeat to the problem and not fight against it. However down on the world you may be, trying and forcing to be happy may just be making you sadder and more miserable.

Instead, focus on the little things that are good. The things you may have that the rest of the world may not be as privileged to have access to, such as an education. Step outside and appreciate the grass that lines the lawns, or the clear sky on a sunny day. Revel in the immense opportunity there is in the world to experience. The future is out there, the future is bright no matter how dull it may seem. And if you don’t believe it right now, if you keep telling yourself that, maybe someday you’ll believe yourself.

If a person continually focuses on trying to be happy, they will be perpetually miserable. Happiness is something that has to happen organically. No matter how stressed or miserable a person may be, there is always a silver lining. So, you did terrible on the midterm? Work harder and get as close to perfect on the next test as you can. Use it as a learning experience. So, you didn’t do as well in sport you practice as you were hoping to? Train with finesse and show everyone how much they should’ve taken you more seriously.

In any situation, take a step back. Look at the situation holistically for what it is, rather than what it should or could or would be. Instead of looking back to the past, look forward. Through all of this, ask yourself one question: why am I doing this? If the answer is something you don’t agree with, then don’t do it. Find motivation to do something that’s never been done before.

When happiness isn’t searched for, it finds you. And the minute you stop wondering when you will be happy, slowly and steadily things will turn up and you will become happy no matter how long it takes. But for now, when life seems absolutely horrible, you just have to sit tight and get through it any way that you know how. You’re stronger than you appear, smarter than you believe yourself to be, and underestimate your own abilities. As with everything, this too shall pass. And when it does, the feeling of optimism and positivity will be irreplaceable.



Do you know?

Hello again. I apologize for my distance, a lot has happened. Sorry to disappoint but, for this we’re going to take a teeny tiny break from talking about E (you’ll just have to wait and see- spoiler alert: it’s an ending turned sorta kinda tragic) Anyhow, so, let’s have a little chat. How many of you know about invisible illnesses? Hm? Anyone? No, I’m not talking mental illnesses.

I’m talking medically legitimate diseases that are proven via procedures, countless appointments and of course the pricks and prods of bloodwork. The kinds when you look at a person, they look absolutely fine. I’m talking specifically, autoimmune diseases. Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Celiac disease…all of which, well, I was diagnosed with approximately seven years ago (it all started with Celiac at seven years old which to put in context, I would say I’ve been gluten free probably thirteen years).

Now by this point, you’re either thinking woah holy crap how does this girl live or okay I care why or uh um alright, what now? Well. Hi. Let’s do a little bit of a crash course.

Let’s assume for a second that, you know absolutely nothing whatsoever. Crohn’s disease and UC are underneath the umbrella of a condition called IBD, inflammatory bowel syndrome. IBD is a MUCH more serious condition that commonly mistaken IBS. IBD requires countless medications, procedures, dangerous treatments, and hospital stays. Overall, IBD has to do with, you guessed it, an inflammatory condition affecting bowel, also known as anywhere from the esophagus to the rectum is inflamed and lined with ulcers.

Sounds painful right? It is. Now, you see me writing this is simply educational purposes.

But, in a casual way, because quite frankly, when you don’t look sick, people think you’re fine.

There’s no civil war in your colon and you don’t have to race to the bathroom the second your stomach grumbles, society says. There’s no being unable to go to class because you’re so fatigued. No, to society you’re just hungover. Or maybe the reason you run to the bathroom right after you eat is not because your stomach can’t handle it because of your damaged and bloody colon, but because society thinks you’re bulimic. Or better yet, because you haven’t been eating because for once you want to not spend your life in the bathroom, people ask, “What’s your secret? You look amazing! How’d you lose all that weight?”

Well. Society is full of a bunch of idiots. But! These idiots could be no longer be idiots if! Perhaps they’d be a tad more open-minded and realize not everything is what it seems. These days, it seems that being gluten free is a very in-style thing to do. For celiacs, this is the most frustrating thing because when you say you’re gluten free due to an allergy, people never take you seriously. But that’s besides the point. With Crohn’s and Colitis, I LOOK fine. When I went home for a week and a half for a cute little hospital stint, nobody guessed I was sick. Because, to society, if there’s no visual evidence, it doesn’t exist. See point A. Society is full of a bunch of idiots. But hey, there are a few good people out there.

Can you imagine what it’s like to be unable to hold a fork or a spoon for a day? Or be unable to walk? Not have the strength to shower yourself? You can probably picture what this could be like. But until you experience it, you will never know. This is my reality. I have adjusted my life to make things work. I have worked my ass off to get to where I am in school.

But life, it’s a constant cycle of working harder and harder until you can’t anymore. And if you give up, there’s nothing left. So that’s where I’m at. Stuck in a rut after being bound to an IV infusion drug monthly for at least the next five years of my life. The drug will pretty much kill my immune system, is extremely rigorous, and is quite frankly, dangerous. But what choice do I have? I don’t. My body betrayed me and the only route to discharge was this lovely escort.

So now, it’s a time period of sit, watch, wait. Will things get better? I guess we’ll see.





Salmon, cucumber, avocado.

The sushi stares back at me eagerly awaiting to be chosen out of the plastic takeout container. Approximately five minutes ago, I slid on my ankle-high, knit snow boots, trudged outside in the frigid air without a coat, and went on a treasure hunt to find the delivery man. Five minutes before I ended up freezing due to my poor judgement, a number lit up on my phone. Glencoe, IL it read underneath the string of numbers. The sushi guy. Another stranger I’d encounter for a second and never to see again. What do they know about me? Well for starters they have my phone number. They know I clock in at about roughly five-foot-something, and I have silky long black hair (that is, if you classify my chocolate locks as something much prettier sounding than they actually are). You see approximately a little over 27 hours ago, I was dumped. And not in a classic, oh I cheated on you, or I feel too disconnected, or I just can’t do this anymore. I was dumped for being too incredible, for being someone he thought he couldn’t make happy. You see quite frankly this was a shame for both of us, as subconsciously we needed each other, but neither of us wanted to hold on to that. Thus, we awkwardly now coexist until we reconcile and our paths cross again because honestly, once someone walks away when are they truly gone forever? Everyone’s paths are intertwined in ways that we will never ever realize or know. You see, my now ex, who we’ll call E, and the delivery man are similar in a way that, both of them started off knowing the same things about me. Merely on a hunch, E asked me for my phone number. From there things progressed quickly and soon we both felt ourselves thrown into a relationship that neither of us had ever really experienced before. We challenged each other in ways that were beyond what had happened in the past, and for each of us, the other was a steep learning curve. Prior to E, there was S. My relationship with S was good while it lasted and I don’t regret any of it except for how it ended despite it being slightly toxic in ways I should’ve realized. But first loves are always somewhat toxic, and a more accurate statement has never been made other than love makes you blind. With both E and S, the endings were sad, and I would arguably say slightly tragic. Now the million dollar question: was I in love? In either relationship? Well that depends. I thought I was in love, but was I? With S, I don’t know if I truly ever was. I wanted to be, so badly to the point where I think I convinced myself I was. But how much would I have sacrificed? What does being in love honestly mean? I was better off without him- looking back we came from different places, different paths and incompatible life goals. He of course was a compassionate person, but unexpressive in his thoughts and feelings. E was similar, but there was something more profound with him. S I felt by the end I knew everything, but he never wanted to admit when he felt certain things. S never made me a priority. Which is why the 72 hours after E dumped me, when he showed up and stood there slightly awkwardly, admitting he was here to beg me back, I was thoroughly confused. Three days earlier, E had said it wasn’t right for us. Two days earlier I sat on my floor eating sushi comparing my ex-boyfriends to an interaction with a sushi delivery man. One day earlier I cried in my journalism class because I couldn’t grasp how being too good could cause you to lose someone to irrational reason. Today I sit here with my head going in circles. Does giving second chances promote enabling the playing with my heart? An organ composed of delicate tissues, nestled in a forest of capillaries, veins, and arteries, it’s shielded by the ribs of the thoracic cavity. Yet it can be shattered with the words of another easily within seconds. E has said that he trusts everybody from the start. I’m the opposite. Trust is something to be gained, not given. But how would things change if trust was instant and unfaltering? E sits on my floor, saying nothing with his lips but his sparkling clover colored eyes speaking everything. My heart floods and begs my brain to surrender. But I have to keep my head above water, it can’t be pulled under into the currents of my heart. E is the kind of guy who will be there through anything, no matter what, no matter the hour. He will always be on the other end of the phone. Even when he dumped me, he still asked if I was doing okay. He’s the kind of guy you wish you could get angry at but you can’t because he’s too damn good to you. So that leads me back to where I am now. Curled up on my baby pink and white down comforter, E on my carpet staring up at me wanting an answer that I don’t know I can give. So what am I supposed to do? That is something the future knows, and right now, I have no clue.