What do you Really, Really, Really Want to do?

I hear nothing but the bass bumping from the frat house next door and think to myself,

“There has to be more to life than this.” 

I’m sitting on an old $50 hand-me-down couch as I stare at a small Christmas tree in mid-March, and I know I’ve done something right. To be here, in this exact moment, I have accomplished something great.

I have created a lifestyle and jumped into a period of my existence that I will look back on with a grin on my face and wonder how in the world I made it out of here alive.

Surrounded and enveloped in this college vortex, I realize that I have truly lived and breathed this experience…

And now I’m ready for the next thing.

College is wonderful. And it’s scary. And you do a lot of shit that is not acceptable at any other time in your life. Period. But every good thing must come to an end.

I’m ready for that end.

But only because I see such a wonderful new beginning out there somewhere. I have to believe that this beginning exists and that it is on the horizon of my life. There are some new careers waiting for me to fill and some foreign places waiting for me to visit and some unknown strangers waiting for me to meet them and I am excited.

I am excited. 

Who are these people? What are these places? Who will I ultimately choose to be?

There are so many unknowns as a young twenty-something. I have no idea where I will be typing a blog on March 25, 2017 at 12:47 AM. But I will be there. And I (hopefully) will love it.

But does this excitement end? Is there a point in life where people say, “Okay, well that was fun. Now life is just life from here on out.” Because I want no part of that.

I want to be able to wake up on the oceanside in the middle of October and smile first thing in the morning. I want to live in a tiny apartment in a crowded foreign city with nothing but my cat and a laptop.

I want to take weekend vacations in beautiful locations where I close my eyes, point at a map, and never look back.When I come home, I want to shut the door behind me, look around, and smile at this life I have created for myself.

I don’t want this to stop. I don’t want to stop having huge life moments. I want to squeeze every single drop of life out of the years I am allotted.

So here’s to that. Here’s to you and to me and to everyone just living. Just doing what they really, really, really want to do.

& realizing that nothing else really matters…

crh.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hagrid

I was bitter…

until I wasn’t.

I resented you…

until I didn’t.

Well, maybe I still do just a tad. But I think I’m allowed to feel that way.

You see, I constructed a castle. There’s tall stone fortifications and a beautiful moat surrounding my creation. I’ve spent years of my life building myself this grand monument.

And I told myself that no one, no one, would destroy the one thing I created just for me.

And then I let you…

I tore down some of those pillars for you and placed a bridge over my moat and I let. you. in.

I didn’t want to. Not at first. But I told myself that I should give it a shot this time. That I should consider peering through the arrow loops and look beyond.

I trusted you…

…until I didn’t. And that has made all the difference.

You weren’t even entitled to take something from me. You didn’t even KNOW me. You led me on like a dog on a leash and I tore down walls for you.

I reached out knowing I might face rejection to understand you.

And you took. And took. And took.

I am a giver, you see. In relationships, I give until there is nothing left of me but a skeleton of your shadow that I allow to cast over me because I’ve built you so high in my mind.

You were not that great and I will be the first one to not tell you that.

I do not stoop. I do not bend to your level. I build higher and stand a little taller.

And now it’s back to the drawing board. Here I will build my fortress a little taller and my moat a little wider and start to feel okay again.

Hell, I might even stay here forever. Like Hagrid says, “What’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.”

crh

Couch For One, Please.

Thanksgiving break: the one week that I can abstain from pants and anything requiring self-control.

To keep myself from doing anything strenuous, I headed down to my parents’ basement bedroom to watch an old movie from our master collection acquired through our adolescent years here.

And as I  venture into this forgotten room, I am reminded of all the different boys and different movies and different memories that ensued from both.

There were boys whom I dated for long bouts and short bouts, boys that broke my heart and whose hearts I also broke. 

But one thing remains constant between all of these factors: the couch was never big enough for the two of us.

No matter what or who, this couch, because of its short stature and awkward angle, never fit the both of us comfortably.

And as I lay down on this same couch in this same spot to watch the same movies I have for years, I can’t help but smile.

The couch, just like my life, was never big enough for the two of us anyhow. Not a single one of these boys fit into my life comfortably. And I’m reminded to think that I’ll never have to share this couch again.

No boy will pick me up for a first date here or kiss me goodnight on the steps of this front porch as my parents peer out of their bedroom window upon us (surprise mom & dad…I knew all along).

The next boy I bring to this house must love me enough not to run when I introduce him to my nuthouse of a family. He must know me through to my core in order to let him into this part of my life. 

There will be no stuttered introductions and clammy handshakes. 

He will stand beside me and I will bring him down to this basement room to sit on this infamous couch I speak of. And as we sit there, I will smile and be reminded of all these memories I speak (or don’t speak) of. 

To know that this awkward, movie watching time in my parents’ basement is over brings me much joy. 

We’re adults now. Adults with bigger hearts and bigger couches.

And until then, I’ll take a couch for one please, and enjoy it until the right fit comes along.

We’re Happy, Free, Confused, & Lonely in the Best Way.

It’s miserable & and magical. Oh yeahhhhhh…

Okay, I’ll cut the T-Swift (for now).

But she does have a valid point. Early adulthood is every single emotion and none of them all at the same time.

I never feel a significant difference when my birthday comes around and I am technically “older” than I was the day before. But I felt it this time. There’s a significant difference between proclaiming you are a free, independent, “I can buy liquor and gamble if I want to” individual and a young women in her early 20s.

& that’s the difference. And yes, I felt it.

I am now a young adult who does adult things and uses the verb “adulting” to describe how she now lives her new redefined life.

On my 22nd birthday, I spent some time in solitude to check in with myself and how I was feeling. That was my very first sign…

I was tuned into myself. The self-awareness was there. The little things I never thought to do before have now become things I crave and yearn to do in order to keep balance and find peace within myself.

And that’s just it. There is peace. I have (some kind of) balance. And that is making all the difference.

Before the big day, I was reading articles from young 20-somethings about the things you’re supposed to know or feel upon turning 22. I was doing my homework on where I should be on this adult continuum. Turns out, these articles don’t mean shit.

My experiences differ from every single person reading this article. The events leading up to my life as a young 20-something are completely different from the woman writing that article and the person reading these words right at this moment.

So when you know something that’s “common knowledge” to you, remember your path. Be conscious of theirs. We aren’t against each other (yet). We’re all in this together. I am lost and you are lost and the person sitting next to you is probably lost as well. So as we journey together, remember each one of us is carrying a cross.

Some look tattered. Some look as though it will fall apart at any moment. Others may have a cross of gold or silver or diamonds. Pay no mind. We are all walking together. This time will either make you or break you. Let us leave no one behind.

Where will you be 6 months from now? 1 year? 3 years?

Exactly. I’m scared and I’m lost and there are more uncertainties in my life than mismatched socks in my drawer (and that’s a lot people). But it’s save to assume that you do, too. That you are feeling these exact emotions.

So let’s do this. Let’s be happy and free and confused and lonely all at the same damn time. And let’s feel 22. Let’s embrace it and love it and squeeze every last moment out of this year of life. I want to live my 22. I hope you will, too.

I Will Always Choose ME.

Where is the breaking point? Where is the fine line? Where is the rock bottom everyone speaks of?

Have I reached it? Have I gone there multiple times?

Sometimes it is only after you hit the breaking points and rock bottoms of life when you realize you were there in the first place.

I think I hit that rock bottom. That fine line between sanity and everything else? I crossed it I think.

I look back at the last year and a half of my life and realize it was one big rock bottom. And everyone knew it.

My family. My friends. Strangers in my world. Everyone knew it but me.

And it is only now that I am crawling out of that self-destructive time of my life that I am finding out the position I was in the entire time.

Because when you can’t get what you want, you break. And that break causes a sort-of domino effect of breakage.

I can’t be with you? Fine. I’ll have more fun getting drunk on the weekends with my friends. And when that’s not enough, let’s add drugs and sex into the mix to spice things up a bit.

To break a little more.

The breaking becomes like an addiction. To see how far you can bend before you break. To see how many ways you can bend and break and snap into a million pieces on the floor of your parent’s kitchen.

But I didn’t know I was self-destructing. I didn’t know I was slowly ruining myself.

That may seem difficult to believe or understand or relate to. And that’s fine. I don’t necessarily want you to see this horrendous point of view.

So I’m taking this moment of enlightenment, this ah-ha moment, to say I will never see that same rock bottom again. No, I cannot say that avoiding rock bottom forever is possible. But this kind of rock bottom? I simply cannot anymore.

So I’m choosing love. I am choosing to grow in love for those around me and for myself. I am choosing healthy and happy and fabulous. I am choosing self-awareness and empathy and consideration for others. All the things I once was? I am choosing that. I am choosing faith and the love of a Savior so deep, that is resonates through my being for the rest of my life. I am choosing starry nights and Christmas light glows and uncontrollable laughter. I am choosing all the things that make me the best version of myself.

Each and every day, I will choose me.

Hey Sister, Soul Sister (Or Brother)

We’re all searching for something in life. Some of us search for success, others relationships. Many people search for acceptance and attention and appreciation. But I think at the end of the day, we’re all searching for souls who fit well with our own.

Maybe that’s something you’ve never thought about before, and it’s time to start. It’s time to start spending our precious time with those whose souls work well with ours. Sometimes you may think that you have no idea what kind of soul you have, what your soul says.

Start listening. Look deep down in your soul and listen hard. Know the language of your soul and you will begin to know more about yourself and what makes you happy. Maybe your soul is changing, let it. Change with it and allow it to affect you.

Each person you encounter varies from you in more ways than you can count. From the way he or she eats cereal to the way that person deals with death, no one is the same. But out in this crazy, scary yet beautiful world, there are a few souls who will connect well with yours. From the time you meet, you can feel the electricity of your soul igniting as it whispers, “I’ve found you.”

Maybe that soul is a best friend. Maybe it’s a classmate or a coworker or the stranger making your coffee at Starbucks. Your soul will not allow you to forget these people, these wonderful & beautiful souls.

I’ve met a few of these souls myself, and they will forever hold a place in my heart. I know this isn’t the end of my soul’s journey and that I will (hopefully) meet other souls on my path that will connect with mine and understand mine and love mine.

I know I will visit places that my soul will rest easy and people who will make my soul leap for joy. I will experience things that will change my soul and I will never, ever be the same. Life is full of uncertainties. Don’t let your soul be one of them.

Dear Eight Year Old Me…

What I would do to sit down and chat with the 8 year old me. Chelsey: the second grade child who loved to read and play pretend and kiss her parents goodnight. Would she be proud of the woman sitting before her? Would she recognize me? Would she love me.

I imagined myself in Mrs. Jansen’s second grade classroom with my friends, Courtney and Emma, and think back to the carefree recesses and simplistic lifestyles we led. I desperately wanted to grow up, only to turn around and wish I could be 8 again in that basement classroom with only the people who cared about what we were eating for lunch and not the clothes we wore on our backs.

Oh, the life.

So, if I had the chance, what would I tell her? What would I tell that sweet, child that I was over a decade ago?

1. Do it for the story. Say yes to as many things as possible. Whether it turns out well or terrible, it becomes a part of your story, your journey, and will ultimately shape you into who you will become.

2. Stop worrying about your weight. If you want to get fit and strong, DO IT. But don’t walk around all self-conscious about your appearance. You’re a beautiful, young girl. Wear it proud!

3. Hang out with people who make you laugh. Don’t underestimate laughter and humor in everyday people. Life is too short not to laugh too much.

4. Learn as much as you can. Absorb as much information from your education as possible. You can never know too much.

5. With that being said, never play the dumb girl. EVER.

6. Find some hobbies you love. Maybe one to spend time with mom or dad and maybe one to make you a more well-rounded individual. Find some hobbies and practice till you bleed (sometimes literally.)

7. Never stop writing. Whether you’re keeping a journal under your bed or you blog to a million followers, never stop writing and producing and creating.

8. Don’t sweat the small stuff. That one race you didn’t win in track? Doesn’t matter. That one sleepover you didn’t get invited to? Forget it. You’re bigger than your circumstances.

9. Fall in love with yourself before you let someone else do it. Seriously, when you know and love yourself first, you won’t hurt as badly when it comes crashing down around you. You’ll walk away just as full of an individual as the strong girl who walked into that relationship. Remember: you are so much more than someone’s significant other.

10. You do you, girl. Seriously, do you so hard. Life is too short not to. You want to pursue something? Pursue it with everything you have. And when you think you’ve given all that you’ve got, give it 110% more. You are capable of so many wonderful and incredible things. You are not just a daughter or a sister or a roommate or a student. You are a woman, an individual who has a world of opportunity lying ahead of her. Choose to take the path less traveled. Does it make you uncomfortable? Yes. Good. You’re doing something different. Stand up for what you believe in, and don’t back down. You are capable. You are worthy. You are enough.

Why We Leave Behind Mr. Right and Chase After Mr. Wrong

We’ve all done it. We sit down with our friends and a box of wine and discuss our ideal man. From his looks to his personality, all the way down to his own mother, we have an idea of what we’re looking for in that special someone. We call him Mr. Right.

He’s the man we want our children to call Dad and the guy we want to crawl in bed with after a long day to make us feel okay about our lives. We want him to care for us and love us unconditionally. He’s everything we’ve always been looking for. So why do we run?

I have been given various opportunities to be with some of my own Mr. Rights. These men were incredibly nice, down to earth, funny and easy-going. These were overall good men. So why didn’t I choose them? Why am I single when they’ve literally sat in the palm of my hand?

I chose the assholes instead. I chose the chase. The guy that knew how to charm a girl with his wit and good looks. The guy who could be seeing multiple girls at one time and not feel any kind of remorse whatsoever. Those were the kind of guys I was drawn to. I literally put my hand up to the Mr. Rights of the world, only to chase men who had no interest in me or my feelings.

They’re exciting. They’re mysterious because they aren’t like us. We want to know more and we’re drawn to the charm they use on all women. We want to feel young and reckless and ruthless, and Mr. Right isn’t going to make us feel that way.

We think, “Oh I have my whole life to settle down with someone who understands me and knows my feelings.” The man I will settle down and grow old with cannot possibly be found at this place at this point in my life. But what happens when we turn around and we’re halfway through life and we missed our shot, our one true chance at love? What if we wasted it on wasted nights that turned into regretful mornings with men who can’t even pronounce our first name? When we’ve taken too long in our chase for the Mr. Excitings of the world, that we’re too late?

We are just. too. late.

So, it’s time to start reevaluating that list of who we desire. It’s time to start rethinking who we chase. It’s time to stop letting the ladies man win. We must start giving the Mr. Rights a chance in this world, not only for them but for ourselves as well. Give Mr. Right a chance and you may find yourself feeling much better about your life and yourself.

I’m (FINALLY) Ready to Love Again.

I’m ready to love again.

I’m ready for that heart-wrenching, soul-captivating love that makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Don’t get me wrong, being single is essential for people my age. We’re young and in college and we don’t give a f*ck…right? Right. That’s us. But for those of us who are looking for young love, I hear you loud and clear. I’m ready, too.

As I sit here thinking about why I’m ready to love again, I realize there are many valid points I could use to defend my over-the-top desire for love right now.

My heart is brimming with a certain kind of love I want to dish out.

Yeah, I have love for myself and this love I have for my friends and family. But that’s different. I’m ready to give someone all of my romantic, captivating love. I have so much love to give and I am anxious to one day give (and take) all of that pent up love waiting for someone who thinks I’m just as wonderful as I believe him to be.

I’m emotionally ready again.

Phew, that took a while. I’ve spend more nights than I can remember (literally) bawling over my ex. I’ve ate for a family of five while binge-watching Grey’s and lived to not regret that. I’ve investigated his new girl and my last nights hook up. Neither of which, I wish to ever do again.

So I don’t. I don’t investigate their lives anymore. I’m focused on the future. On what’s ahead, not behind me. Sure, there’s still that piece inside that hurts when I hear his name, but that just means I loved and am capable of loving again. 

The casual sex can turn into something real annnnnnytime now…annnnytime. 

Sure, it’s fun. But time is love. And time spent with you in bed counts twice. There’s such a difference between hooking up and intimacy. I’m ready for the latter. I’m ready to make love and feel things so deeply from loving him so much. I’m ready to watch movies while not watch movies all at the same time. I’m ready for that make out session in your parents’ house right after dinner. I’m ready for intimacy and sex that actually matters.

I’m great at being in love. 

I’ve been in a relationship where we cared entirely too much about each other. Because of that, I’ve learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. I’m independent. I won’t be texting you all day every day or begging you to stay in with me on a Friday night. I can do my own thing and love you at the same time. I want to spontaneously pick you up and get ice cream while we roadtrip for hours just jamming out and being best friends. I want to have fun with you. I want to cook you a romantic dinner, and I want you to teach me how to play football. We’ll go for a run and look out for each other and respect each other.

You’ll be my person, and I’ll be yours. And if we one day decide that this love isn’t right for us, I will take all of our moments together and be forever grateful for the time we spent together. I know what it’s like to love and lose. I know what it’s like to love someone so much that you’re a happier person because of them. I know what it’s like to fall out of love with someone, and I know what it’s like to fall in love as well. I’ve seen every angle of it all. I’ve broken a heart and had my heart broken. We’ll walk, hand in hand, and be there for each other. You’ll be wonderful on your own and so will I. But we’ll be absolutely captivating together.