Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happiness, and joy

Happiness is something that's been in question as of late. What is it that makes someone a happy individual? What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of happiness?

John received a text message from someone saying they followed my blog, and wished they had the same happiness I have. Yet, I don't really consider myself a "happy person" and definitely not on any level someone should hope to be.

I have a wonderful man in my life, and good friends, a decent job. On most days, I feel content with my life, and blessed for the people within it. Yet, if anything, my blog is full of my angst - my worries. I have optimism for the future finally, but there has been so much heartache in my past.

I have always tried to please others. I have been the best friend because of this, and found it relatively easy to attract members of the opposite sex. Yet, I haven't really ever felt a true sense of self worth. I've been told numerous times that I am no good, and if you tell a child this long enough, she may just believe you. Yet, I have found solace in friends my whole life, that told me I was not only good, but spectacular. Through early elementary it was Kendall, then there was Becky, and Brittany. Middle school brought me Karen, Emily. Mid-High school brought me Tiffany, Betsy. These girls (and others) all seemed to tell me that I was more than the expectations of failure beat into me by my parents. And so, for their time, they served the purpose of keeping my head high. And for that purpose they received my endless devotion, loyalty, comfort, love and advice.

I have always been told I was wiser than my years, and even now though I am in the general term of 'adult', most think I am much older than I am. I may not have traveled the world, but I've lived an awful lot of life in my 22 years. I have an excellent judge of character, and can often derive a general sense of a person from very limited interaction. As such, the behavior of people very rarely surprises me. I try to see the good in all that is, and all who are. Yet, in some the good is so limited as to be null. When I tell someone they've found a good guy, chances are that guy treats them with love and kindness and will be with them for as long as my friend will have them. If I tell them that the guy seems like he might not be faithful, not a great guy - well, there he goes cheating and making you feel awful. When I tell you to think about the decisions you make, and to not go out and throw your long term relationship away without thought... well, that turned out how I said it would too.

So, with this judge of character, I should have seen the heartache coming each time, right? Well, there are some things I didn't expect. Love really is blind. When someone changes so much based on who they are around (as certain friends tended to do), you're having a friendship with more than just one person. For example, with Brittany... there were different Brittanies for Jason, Galen, Matt, Justin, Danny, etc. etc. I had to choose with each relationship she entered whether I wanted to be in a relationship with the person she was dating - that's who she became. So, now that she's with a person who delights in the misery of others, and who is just plain no good... There have times before where I've had to tell her goodbye for a little while until she realized my character judgment was correct, or found out the hard way. Then she'd come back into my life, and things would continue on as normal. As her pure self, or her self when she's with someone awesome like Matt or Danny - I could never have found a better friend. (Although this time, she's gone way too far for a simple I told you so to fix it).

Anyway... happiness was what was found with these girls when they were removed from boy drama, and actually acting like themselves. Yet, still I had a broken heart. The great thing about them was that they loved me anyway. We could be together and just be sad, and that was just okay as being happy. Then, even though most of my thoughts were dark, I was happy.

The next phase of my life was predominately focused around Clint. I think in the beginning, lust blinded me more than love. I avoided him for a long time because I thought he was just a player, trying to see if he could land the "goth girl". (Emo, though, please.) Eventually I talked to him, we went out, he kissed me... and that was that I suppose. Somehow we had common interests, common outlooks on life. Somehow I forgot my initial character judgment, the one that is always right. And that forgetting led me to a path that lasted five years and completely revolutionized me, how I view the world, and my view on relationships. During that time, I was happy. Even though I kept waiting for something to happen, for a white knight to swoop in, I guess. I was happy. The rough parts of our relationship always smoothed out, except for the last one of course. We separated, we grew apart, and back together. He saved the relationship a few times by crying, and I by begging - and it should have ended much sooner than it did. But, I was happy. I didn't have to worry about anything.

And, here we are now. I am more in love than I thought possible. Yet, I think I am at a low point in happiness that I haven't seen since I was living with my parents. I don't have a working relationship with any of the girls I mentioned above. I'm too broken down to try and start new friendships. I'm fairly certain that everyone is the same (or at least females) - you give them all you can, you're kind and open and honest... they talk about you behind your back and leave you at the first sight of what they deem as a decent cock*. Most girls are more concerned with their significant others, and their significant egos to really form a true friendship. No one seems to have much time for true friendships these days at all, male or female. There are FaceBook friends, there are people I enjoy hanging out with, there are people I enjoy partying with, but I don't think there's anyone that I'd consider to be my best friend. My best friend went and turned into a stranger.

I keep thinking, if I could back in time - so that no one could meet Corey and be brainwashed by him - would I? How far back would I go? Would I simply put my foot down on him being invited to the wedding? Would I insist after our first meeting to never see him again? Would I take it back even farther so that John and I never start a relationship, thereby saving everyone the trouble?

There lies the question, I suppose. What can make you happier? I spouse, or a friend. The part of me that still loves Brittany regardless of what she's done says that it would be wise to rewind time to the night John said we were exclusive or not at all. To stop the relationship, and keep my friend. Yet, if it didn't happen now, the propensity for it happening would still exist. She'd still be the type of person to change based on who she's with. She'd still leave me, or turn into someone I couldn't associate with at some point. Or, maybe without the brainwashing she'd still be with Danny, I don't know.

I do know that I wouldn't trade Johnathan for anything. I do know that while it is so his fault this person is causing me directly or indirectly so much stress and heartache I can't sleep and I'm breaking out like a prepubescent - I'd rather deal with all this drama, this hole in my chest that keeps me from taking a full breath, then lose John.

So, I am happy. For I have found what most people search long and hard for, and some may never find. My soul mate. Someone who knows me, someone that I know. We don't have to hide our pasts from each other. We don't have to hide our presents, our thoughts of future. We can laugh at your delusions together, we can take bets on how long everything will last. You're full of anger, jealousy... we're full of love, hope, happiness. No, not happiness, for as I said I'm quite miserable. Something that roots into your heart and core and lets you know that everything will be okay...

Joy. I am joyful, even if I am not happy.

Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good... Joy is a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated. (Dictionary.com)

So while I may not regularly attain things I consider good, not enough to break through my dreariness at least - I have a source of keen pleasure and delight in John.

So, what is it that makes someone a happy individual? An excellent cup of coffee, sunshine, a hug. But, I don't think that's what we think of when we think of someone who is a "happy person". We think of someone in possession of joy. What makes someone a joyful person? God, the support of family, real friendship, true love.

What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of happiness? Not a lot really. Happiness is nice, but fleeting. You can only continue to attain new things for so long. A new book may bring you happiness. Writing a blog filled with your delusions may bring you happiness. A walk through the park may bring you happiness. But, these things are not worth the loss of much more than time.

What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of joy - of knowing God, of having your family, of preserving a real friendship, of finding true love? Just about anything.

The hardest part is knowing the difference between happiness and joy. You can let the dark times consume you, let the lack of happiness overwhelm you if you don't focus on the joy. You can risk it all because you think you're finding a source of joy, only to realize it was a fleeting happy moment.

So be careful, dear readers. Don't risk it all on happiness. Don't miss out on your opportunity for joy. I'll be here for you if you need help telling the difference.

*That's not quite fair - Kendall and I couldn't keep up the "long" distance. Friendships with Becky, Karen, and Emily fell apart for a lot more simple and yet complex reasons with no harsh endings what so ever. I'd like to try rekindling things with them, but don't really know where to start... or if they're the same people I once loved. I don't have any harsh feelings for Betsy either, although for her I was never a true friend, just one of convenience she would go to when she needed consolation or advice.
She never allowed herself to be brainwashed or believed complete fallacies about me though, at least- from what I know.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's been half a year...

... since we said "I do."

What's there to half a year? It seems like it passes us by so easily, without thought, really. Just as waves pound the shore endlessly, so do days pass through our life. Six months ago I woke up in a hotel room in Seaside, with nothing to wear but a wedding dress. Luckily, John brought multiple changes of clothes - and we're roughly the same size. So full of love, and hope, and friendship were we then. Laughing at caves built of bubbles. Here we are now, six months later in much the same state.

We laugh louder, we fight louder, we love louder. There's more acid, but also more sweet. We have a new goal to strive for, a new point in life to try and achieve. I think it really set in to my soul last night, just what this goal means. How much things will change. I'm excited, and slightly nervous. Yet, it is still a long way off. Many things need to happen for everything to be just so. It feels good to have a goal. To have things to work towards. Together.

Is the potential gain worth the guaranteed loss? It is something that I have to think about every day. Johnathan's eternal catch phrase of sorts. Yet, it is a good way to live - a way to put things into perspective.

Is the potential gain of a life time of happiness worth the guaranteed loss of ever being with another soul? Absolutely.
Is the potential gain of a family worth the guaranteed loss of autonomy? I think so.

And, I guess in some cases you can do the opposite. Is the potential loss worth the guaranteed gain?

Is the potential loss of your self worth the guaranteed gain of friendship? Never.
Is the potential loss of friends worth the guaranteed gain of being honest? Yes.

And so here we are. I may have removed people from life, but I kept the one that matters. The only one the matters, really. I will have him, and my family forever. That is something that I can count on. Keeping true to myself, always being honest and forthright, having Johnathan and my family. These things will always be worth the guaranteed loss, or gain - as the case may be.

You are my greatest gain. You are my everything.

Was the potential gain of your love worth the guaranteed loss of sleep, loss of inhibition, potential hypothermia? Every day I know it's true. I am so glad that I took the risk to be with you. That I was your friend, your listener, giver of advice. That I brought you peace when you were going through a rough time. I am so glad that I went with you: to pizza, to books, to frozen pools of water. To saunas, to ice rinks, to arcades. To giant steaks, and chop chop nights, and California. I'm so blessed that I've gotten to know you. To know the real you, the portrayed you. The you that only you and I know, the you that everyone sees - and all the yous in between. I will always be here to know more, to learn more. To be your friend as no one has been your friend. To be your lover as no one has been your lover. To be your confidant you can trust, your social experiment gone horribly or wonderfully awry.

The promises I made six months ago are the promises I make today, tomorrow, and into infinite forever. Love, respect, honesty. Support, comfort, unity.

♥ Six more months, six more years, six more decades. ♥

"The beetle says I'm ugly."
"Well do you love the beetle?"
"Then forget about the beetle. Good riddance!"
- Thumbelina

Thursday, January 20, 2011

how New Year's resolutions are going

It's been about a month since we cut the person who caused massive grief to our family unit - and unfortunately, all those associated with him - out of our lives. It's hilarious that drama still goes on, but with no one to pin it on, as I removed myself from the situation, I'm not sure how. Oh well, it's their life blood, and the only thing keeping them together. So be it.


Back in my world, also known as reality, things are doing pretty well. We won't have enough time before our lease is up to get into a house, but that's okay because we've got other things to spend our money on. Jane needs some new shoes... or soles for her shoes, I guess. John's car is up in Bremerton where hopefully it is being reborn. We should be going to pick it up here in a couple weeks. That will complete step one: reliable transportation (or John's version of step one: having an AWD turbo). I am also debating getting a family-like vehicle - a crV or some other cross-over or SUV. Either way, step one is as good as finished.

There are three steps, and only two of which are essential. We will soon be one step closer to starting a family.

Step two: get out of debt. With a budget in mind, this shouldn't be too hard to accomplish by our desired date of 7/22. Our one year 'unofficial' wedding anniversary. Seems a perfect time to start our family going. I'm kind of picking and choosing the debt here, as we haven't started paying back the wedding yet - and we might pick up another car loan. But as long as we've got my car and John's medical bills paid off, I'm considering it finished.

Step three: move into a house. This one proves to be something that will have to wait until a little longer than we'd like it to. But, with our lease up in 11 days, and the minimum terms being 9 months - we'll have to make do until then. However, with our debt hopefully being paid off in six months, that'll give us a bit of time to save up for deposits and what not. I'm not terribly concerned about this portion of our plan too much. I know that we'll be in a house within the next five years (closer to four at this point), and I'm not too concerned about things happening before then. I'd obviously like them to, for my own benefit - but if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to fret.

John is finally getting his schedule switched to match mine. We won't have the weekends together, but we will be able to go to bed at the same time, and not have to worry so much about balancing the car between us (although in two weeks we'll have John's back anyway). It'll be nice to be able to have the most time possible in the day together. I'm not against having separate days off necessarily either - gives him time for car stuff and final fantasy, and me time for hanging out with friends or watching shows he doesn't like. As our favorite places to go are usually open late, we won't have to rearrange to much to get a date in there.
So, let's check in on New Year's resolution goals.

No soda: Check. This is definitely more difficult than expected, and I've tried to expand it to keeping my caloric intake low - 10 calorie rockstars, and no calorie flavored waters or teas. Hasn't been too hard, although occasionally I hear Dr. Pepper saying my name.

Preparing for and starting a family: We're not a third of the way there, by any means - but we are one step closer. Definitely on track to welcome Jaden William or Belanna Paris into the world in 2012.

Looks like we're doing good, but it hasn't even been a full month yet. Three months is a trend, let's hope we can keep up this roll we're on.

Virginity Hit - A movie Review

When Johnathan said our entertainment for the night was going to be a movie called "Virginity Hit" I was pretty hesitant. When the movie opened saying how it was about four gents trying to lose their virginity before high school... I wanted to turn it off right there. This story has been done, and overdone, and beaten into the ground.

This movie, however, had a lot more heart - and was filmed in a mock-documentary style.

The plot line follows Matt and his adopted brother Zach through the attempts to lose Matt's virginity (the film opens with Zach taking a bong rip to celebrate his recent V-Card departure). Matt and long time girlfriend Nicole plan to lose their virginity on their 2nd anniversary together, something which is interrupted due to Nicole's infidelity. The couple split, Matt embarks on / is forced by Zach into an adventure leading from sex studies featuring transexual sex dolls which are plastered on YouTube, suit stealing, and nipple play with a porn star.

There are lot of deeper issues which are touched upon as well: a death of a mother to cancer, and drug addict father depleting college funds, the relationship of adopted siblings, infidelity, and who you should give yourself to emotionally and physically.

The movie read as genuine despite ridiculous circumstance as it was filmed by the cast, who used their own names for characters. It was funny, heartwarming, and fit with our generations obsession of documenting our lives on the internet. If not for the big names rolling through the credits (produced by Will Farrell) we might almost believe that this was a true documentary of a happenstance of extraordinary events.

Yes, the concept is overdone - the situations a little outlandish.. but I think it fits perfectly with our time and was a fresh enough look with enough heart to make it stand apart.

Definitely not a classic, but warm, funny, and worth a watch 3.5/5

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's 2011

Goodbye 2010! Let's take a look over the last year...

I planned a wedding, got married, I convinced a friend to move here from across the country, and then lost her and others due to the evil of another. I guess, that's a pretty short statement of the fun, love, and tears that 2010 brought into my life. I made friends too, though. Good friends, great friends - who have been so much help to Johnathan and I that I don't think we'll be able to repay them. But, you know, they're friends, so I think all we need to do is the best we can to be their friends as well.

It's funny how a union is both the highlight and the downfall of 2010. It's the way of the world I suppose that for every good use of something, there will always be a bad. For every plan to use antimatter for energy, there will always be someone ready to make a bomb. And so on, and so on.

I look forward with anticipation to the new year, to all that it might hold for our tiny household unit. I hope that January brings us enough money and the right falling into place to put John, Bobby and I in a house. Looking at houses and the monumental space increase is exciting. I look forward to fixing both John's car and my own - so that we may have not only reliable transportation - but sexy, reliable transportation. I look forward to being out of debt. No more credit card bills, no more medical bills, no more owing on cars. Free. Wouldn't that be nice? And, if we can accomplish all of the above, to be in a house, out of debt, with two functionally running vehicles, I look forward to stopping the contraceptives and seeing what happens.

We've been up and down so much in 2010 it's been a huge financial and emotional roller coaster. It's been ridiculously good - i7s and awesome entertainment centers, and ridiculously bad - eating macaroni and spaghetti for weeks and selling all we can just to afford that. I've had two wallets stolen, and one lost but returned. I'm ready for some good grace to fall upon me.

I had an amazing holiday season! So much fun on the party bus, and parties for Halloween - awesome Montage nights for birthdays, great family and friends for Thanksgiving, a quiet and lovely Christmas, and a very celebratory new year. It turns out that a top hat and a mask mixed with some alcohol and karaoke makes for a very fun time.

So - farewell 2010! You will not be missed. You were nothing more than a stepping stone, and I hope all the ripples you created in the pond of my life are quick to fade into tranquility again.

Hello 2011! Please be better than 2010, hold me tighter - and with a bit more love. I promise to be good if you will.