Thursday, September 29, 2011

sisters by choice, not by blood

A few weekends ago I was lucky to attend the wedding of one of my sorority sisters and had an amazing time :) Some of these girls I haven't seen literally since graduation day 4 years ago, while others I've been able to see every few months or so during random get togethers.

After every occasion while I'm heading back home I always find myself thinking about how much fun I had with those girls, how much I miss our old college adventures, and how much more I would have appreciated  my time with them then if I only had realized how lucky we were then to have the freedom and luxury to be young and carefree --when being a responsible adult seemed so far off into the future, when our biggest decisions were which after hours to head to and figuring a time to meet in chestnuts to have wraps and catch up on life.

Now I know what people think about greek life- the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm not gonna lie, some of it's true, but not all of it. Greek life is not "one size fits all", every organization makes their own choices, whether they admit to them or not. Looking back now on my time as an active member in my sorority, there are experiences I would never take back, and at the same time there are things I wish I had tried to change. To this day I never talk about our rituals and traditions when people ask, because I made a pledge and I honor it. I take pride in those things that bonded us as sisters, not by blood, but by choice. I can honestly say that I made friendships and connections with people in other sororities and fraternities through my involvement in my sorority that led me to meet people I know I can pick up the phone (or more realistically send out a facebook message) to people all over the country who can give me ideas, advice, or even a place to stay in practically every state, and even internationally.

Greek life is not for everyone, don't get me wrong. When you're in college you can meet people anywhere, through clubs, sports teams, in class over a mutual despisement of that annoying kid who thinks he's the only one in the class. For me though, I met some of the greatest people I've ever known. Like any family, it wasn't all hugs and smiles all the time, and not everyone always got along. But like family, I miss their constant presence in my everyday life, I am thrilled when I find out about something wonderful happening in their lives, and I worry when I see one of them struggling. Those women became the family I needed when my family was hours away. They were the ones who saw me change and grow into the woman I became. They knew me when I was learning what kind of person I wanted to be, away from home and the people who had known me my first nineteen years.

Looking back, I learned a lot about myself during those years, and I wouldn't take any of it back. I have my sisters to thank for the memories I carry with me, both the good and bad. If I could tell all those people I met through my sorority-  my own sisters, the sisters of other organizations and the brothers in my favorite fraternities, it would be this: thank you for all being a part of my life when I was figuring out who I was on my own. Thanks for all the nights you let me in with the greek discount to a party, thanks for saving me a seat in the class we had together because you knew I'd be late, thanks for the rides to school, saying hi to me when we passed downtown, always giving me someone to eat lunch with in chestnuts when I wandered in alone. Thanks for giving me the option of always having somewhere to go every day, thanks for every single moment you made me laugh, thanks for the hundreds (probably thousands) of photo ops I have captured on my computer, thanks for being there to pick me up when I was heartbroken, a few drinks in too many, sick, or barely functional from the internship that wouldn't end.Thank you for the good and bad, because without all of it, who knows who I'd be.

Greek life may not be for everyone, but you know what? neither is joining a soccer team, or the school newspaper. some things just work better for some people. for me though? I met many amazing people, and even better than that, I also met some of my best forever friends. My point is, when you have the chance to meet new people, give it a shot despite what other people might say about it. You never know if it might the right fit for you or not. But if youre lucky it might be amazing...so join a club, find a hobby, try out for a team. Whether youre in college or not, no matter what youre age is- take a chance on being a part of something. But if you are in college please please pleaseee, enjoy every single second of it, for yourself, and for all those of us who long for our college days!



And to all my old college friends in greek life: until our next random, or organized meetup, I'm thinking of all of you, with fondness and sending out good wishes to you all wherever you are in this great big world <3

be brave loves,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

i believe...

I believe in love, loyalty, kindness and honor. I believe in being faithful to the person you say you love. I believe in karma and paying it forward. I believe in figuring out your own self worth instead of relying on someone else to figure it out for you. I believe in changing as you grow and growing as you change. I believe that not everyone is born knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and being a free spirit is just fine. I believe in falling in love, often and every day if you can, not just with another person but with yourself as well. I believe in saying please, hello and thank you. I believe that a kind word can change a persons life. I believe that being miserable takes as much energy as being happy. I believe in being a decent person. I believe that I don't need to be casual about my love or my body just to make someone want to be with me. Am I perfect? Not even a little bit. But at least I can look at myself in the mirror everyday and not hate who's looking back at me.



be brave loves,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

4 am and thoughts are running through my head

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." -Carrie Bradshaw

I just woke up in the middle of the night and have a burst of energy and urge to write so here i am! I've had drafts of posts i've begun and haven't finished piling up on here..and they were full of cheerful news and goings on (this post isn't one of them) that I wanted to share but it's been a rough few weeks around my small bubble of those i consider my nearest and dearest so i've gotten sidetracked.. but for once none of the rough patches have anything to do with me specifically. (slight sigh of guilty relief, phewwww).

I've been unlucky to bear witness to the end of one too many relationships these last few weeks (months really) Not all of these relationships were romantic ones, some were years long friendships, some love and devotion from a more than just a pet. Some of these endings were a long time coming, some were taken away suddenly by death, some out of the blue through a conversation that took a sudden turn in a completely wrong direction. I have also witnessed the blossoming of new love, and true love, people taking their first steps into building a new relationship, showing of newly aquired engagement rings, going on first dates, picking out songs for their first dance, even tearing up when i stood on the sidelines among friends as we watched one of our favorite girls slow dance her first dance as a married lady with her brand new husband. I've even witnessed a confession of a betrayal that I have mixed feelings about.

When i hear about a relationship of any kind coming to an end, I always wonder about it. Sometimes the details get inadvertently posted throughout facebook by those who are either too angry, or too hurt to realize theyre putting their details up for everyone to see...i know, because at one time I was one of those people..one who was so devastated by the end of what i thought to be my secure future, that i needed everyone to know what had been done to me and to share my hurt with the world, literally telling anyone and everyone who would listen about my heartbreak. Sometimes all the information you get is through the grapevine "oh did you hear so and so broke up? no ones talking about why though..." sometimes you find out awkwardly when you bump into an old aquaintance and ask about their gf/bf and they inform you that the relationship ended at some point and you just didn't get the memo.

I always wonder when a relationship of any kind ends, if those people ever thought to themselves during their last happy moment together "this will be the last good time we see each other" You never really know do you? that this moment will be the last happy memory you'll have with that other person. Really, you never know at any given moment whether or not you'll ever see that person again, whether literally or in that same light because that's just how life is..a big game of chance. I've had those feelings before, when saying goodbye to someone, kissing them and watching them walk away off to work, I've thought to myself "this is the last time I'm going to kiss him  goodbye" and it actually really was....

so that brings me back to my point...how do you ever really know? i know you can't start off every friendship, or relationship thinking to yourself, "jeez i'm really going to miss this person when it all falls apart", but really you never really know. there are no gurantees in life, no promises that can't be broken, no way of knowing that a seemingly normal conversation can go so very wrong, that when the person you care about says "i'll see you tomorrow" they actually already know that they won't be doing just that.

It's hard when a relationship ends, of any sort, because you find yourself going back through your time together, replaying every moment, looking, searching really for that one second where everything fell apart, as if you could go back in time and change that second so you could alter the course of what came afterwards. I don't know why we do this (or maybe you don't and it's just me) it's sort of punishing yourself over and over again by remembering all the good things and then being at a complete loss of why this all happened.

It hurts me to watch the people I care about hurt. I want to protect them and wish away the pain of their heartbreak and fast forward to the day when they wake up not hurting anymore and are happy once again. I also wish that for all of us that have ever been hurt in some way, that when that one day finally comes around, not only are we happy once again, but that not even a glimmer of that hurt exists anymore, because as of now, I know that even though I finally came out of my haze of feeling sad and wounded, and am finally smiling again, that every so often, deep down in my soul, I can still feel that hurt keeping me company and reminding me that once upon a time i was betrayed, and taken for granted, and that someone who shouldnt even be a thought in my mind anymore, once thought of me as unimportant.

and quite frankly, who needs that debbie downer of a thought popping up every so often when you're trying to build your future back up? nopee, not this girl.

right, so anyway i wish i could help my lovebugs, protect them from pain and hurt, fast forward to the day when everyone wakes up happy again, and not so sad, and basically live in a world where it's always sunshine and smiles :)

but that's not how life works is it? i know, but a girl can dream. in the meantime, i've given out countless hugs, wrote a thousand texts, made a few phone calls, listened to conversations ranging from the tearful to the angry and every other emotion in between, tried to give good advice when asked for it, attempted to keep my mouth shut when my opinion wasn't asked for, tried to mend fences, reach out to those i've lost contact with, focus on figuring out my own life, sending out funny pictures, jokes and other nonsense to bring a smile out of people even for just a second, and mostly put off blogging in order to sleep unusual amounts because I feel so exhausted all the time.

Did you make it to the end of this semi depressing post? If you did, thanks and sorry :) I promise to be back with a happier post soon, I've had so many good things going on lately, I just needed to get this sad one out for now.

Enjoy your lives kids- your friendships, your families, the people you see every day and almost don't notice. smile like its going out of style, say hello please and thank you, even give out a kind word. everyone is fighting their own battle, a little kindness goes a long way.



be brave loves,





Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

ten years ago today I remember exactly where I was when I heard a plane had flown into the 1st tower: I was a junior in high school, sitting in homeroom next to one of my best friends waiting for the bell to ring so I could go to my first class. I remember our principal came on the loudspeaker and announced that a plane had flown into the world trade center, i remember turning to my friend and saying "how could you fly a plane accidentally into a gignatic building? thats so weird!" i wasnt alone in thinking it was a freak accident, and not quite understanding the damage a plane could do to a building. i remember being in the social studies offices crowded around a tv with a bunch of students and my favorite teacher the second the second plane hit the other tower. i remember being horrified by what i was seeing and crying without realizing it. i remember my history teacher freaking out trying to get in touch with her husband who worked by the towers, everyone around me panicking trying to reach their parents, friends, loved ones, anyone they knew who was in the city which is soo many people when you only live a short train ride away from it. it was the first time we werent all getting yelled at for pulling out our cell phones. i remember the announcement that the towers has fallen, the shocked silence that went through the hallways of my school. I remember my friend J and her brother going down to the guidance offices bc their father worked at the towers and they were terrified, crying. i remember my chemistry teacher who would no let any of us leave the room, use our phones, ask questions...nothing, just wanted us to continue on with our chemistry lesson as if it was any other day. i know now that he was just as terrified as the rest of us, but in that moment, i thought he was heartless, and for the remainder of the year, and apparently still now all these years later, i did not respect him and its the same memory i have of him. i remember going to work at cvs that night and everyone coming in just shocked. people would just start talking about it, to strangers. i remember the next morning, hearing the list of name of the missing, the people who were lost, just reading the lists in the paper and seeing it on tv, i cried and cried. seeing the pictures of people who jumped from the windows trying to save themselves, hearing the stories of those who managed to make a last call to their loved ones to say goodbye, those who had false hope thinking they were safe and still perished... i didn't know anyone personally, and for that i was lucky. but the sheer magnitude of the number of lives lost, the people who lost their loved ones, children who were left parentless, people who just got up and went to work that morning thinking about the things they had to do after work, plans for the weekend, the coffee they were going to run out and grab at lunch.


i think thats what hits me the most...that all those people got up that morning thinking it was going to be just another day at work. maybe some of them were sick and didnt want to go in that day. maybe some of them decided to go in earlier than usual to get some work done. maybe some of them werent even supposed to be there, or had just run out for coffee, or were running late...anything that in a split second that decision changed the fate of their lives. i think thats whats so scary about it all, that at any moment your life can be changed forever, without your control. you can do everything right and still it might not make a difference.

sorry about this huge rambling arrangement of my thoughts. i just feel so many ways about it all, that i cant organize what i have to say in an orderly fashion. if ive learned anything from this awful tragedy its that we should never take anything for granted. we should tell the people we love that we love them, every day all the time. we should enjoy every single second of every day for the rest of our lives. we should be kind and considerate and caring and humble. we should reach out to strangers and be there for friends. we should appreciate the lives that we have and make the most of them. because no matter how rough things get, how angry you might be at someone, how much you think you hate your life at any given moment--always remember that you are lucky to have a life, to be around the people you love, to have the chance to do everything youve ever wanted to do, and just to be alive.

be brave kids,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

amazed

"There comes a time in your life when you walk away from drama and the people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, and pray for the ones that don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

Supposedly karl marx is the wise man who once said that, which may or may not be true, but regardless that quote itself is very, very true. the last few years ive come to realize that it dosent matter if youve known someone your entire life, or just a few months: some people are just your people. they are the people you can be brutally honest with, you can go days (or weeks, or honestly even months) without speaking to, who you can get into fight with and it really hurts because you know their opinion is the one you value. this has become truer for me this summer, really these last six months. the only people i think we should all have around us are people who make our lives better by being in it. maybe youve known that person for years, or maybe just a few short months, you worked together, lived together, had a class together once a few semesters ago, it dosent matter. for some reason those are the people who leave memories and imprints on your heart.

be brave loves,

Friday, September 2, 2011

back into civilization

woooow. i haven't had internet in almost a week and it's made me a little crazy. It is unbelievable to me how dependent I've become to technology, I can barely remember my life without it. I know, I know, that's a little lame to admit. Catch up later!