a christmas reunion

this christmas is already turning out to be one for the books.

my entire life there has been this empty feeling inside not knowing my father or his side of the family. luckily, i have my mother and our amazing family i’ve been loved by since day one. still, that curiosity has always been there, in the back of my mind.

i have random memories of him (which is crazy because i was about 2 the last time i saw him) and a home video from christmas that year. other than that, i haven’t seen him since and knew nothing about him other than his name.

on my 16th birthday, as my best friend and i were working at the community pool, we pulled out the phone book (probably the last time i used one) and searched for his name.

we found it.

within a few minutes, i was talking to my biological father and learning about my family, including my brothers, matt and jacob, and sister, morgan. i can’t remember what else we talked about, but it blew my mind. a few days later, as my friend and i were driving to jonesboro, my phone rang and it was my brother, matt. we ended up meeting him and his girlfriend, ashley. i haven’t seen them since, but ashley and matt married and i have two adorable nephews, brooks and beck. we would randomly keep in touch, but moving to utah hindered us seeing each other.

as time went on this would be something i wouldn’t talk to many people about. i’m not sure why, really. it could be because i didn’t know where to begin or what to say. or maybe i wasn’t wanting to accept it. either way, it’s just been something i’ve kept to myself. with that being said…

flash forward to saturday, december 19th.

after hearing from him on thanksgiving and unable to meet him, i talked with my father and told him i was interested in meeting with everyone. he was so happy and more than willing. then, last night as i was driving the 3+ hours from fayetteville to my hometown, i decided to see if he would want to meet when i went through harrison. he did. and we did.

i can’t explain how it felt because i think i’m still in shock.

it’s a very surreal thing to think about. having this entire side of the family you’ve never known and who has never known you, but i’m grateful.

so, thanks to those who have listened to me freaking out over the last couple days, even if you didn’t know what to say. it’s definitely shown me who is there and who cares, and for that i’m grateful.

it seems like i’ll be meeting a few others this week, so we’ll see how it all goes haha.

until then, here’s a photo of my father and me, 27 years later.

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merriest christmas to you and yours

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i’ve seen this so many times and as much as it makes me laugh it also hits home on another level.

as i’ve said before, i’m an empath and a fixer. i care deeply for others even if i’ve known them for a short time. i can see their potential for greatness and it’s hard when they’re looking through blurred eyes, unsure of what they actually deserve.

i was recently asked by someone, “why are you so nice to me?” it was kind of in passing and the conversation went on to something else, but all i could think was, “why wouldn’t i be as nice to you as i can be? do you not know you deserve that?”

oddly enough, that person hasn’t been as nice to me as of late and it’s been interesting sorting through those emotions.

i was unknowingly forcing something because i thought i saw potential. maybe there was potential, but nothing in life can be one sided. there are so many reasons why things happen and why people come into your life. there are cop outs and excuses for why things don’t work. but that’s all they are. if something is good then it’ll work. it doesn’t make you doubt or bring negativity into your headspace. no forcing, replaying, questioning or analyzing will be necessary.

let things play out how they’re supposed to but also set boundaries.

you deserve to be happy and loved in the purest, most uplifting form without the weight of past mistakes or baggage getting in the way. i’ve written about toxic things before, but it’s something that affects everyone so i’m going to touch base on it again. we must know when something is toxic and when to let it be. it could be years in the making or something you just came across, but sometimes we must walk away. i know too many people who are surrounded by toxic people or things but are unable to release themselves. forcing something for the sake of comfort or familiarity isn’t comfortable at all. you can love someone and have a history with them, but if the history is filled with negativity, then it’s just not worth it. whether they are romantic or platonic, relationships aren’t supposed to be that difficult. ups and downs, yes, but manipulating and hurtful words, no.

learning to accept when something is no longer good for you is heartbreaking at times, but i hope we’re all able to see our self-worth and move forward to better things. the sooner we’re able to do this, the more time we have to be completely happy.

2014 • the year of letting go

Our past year together has been bittersweet. In the midst of all the trials, heartache and tears there was also endless smiling and laughter. When you came along I was ending a marriage and beginning a new chapter of my life. I was full of uncertainty and doubt. I spent the first few months in a haze; always doing something and being around new and old friends. I wasn’t processing through anything. It was during that time when I was with someone who opened my eyes to love again. And I fell. I fell and he wasn’t there to catch me. You see, I’ve learned that age doesn’t matter. You can be 24, 31 or 57. Everyone has their own demons and self-doubts that they’re fighting on a daily basis. They can seem to have it together in certain parts of their lives, but other areas may be a mess. After months of questioning things and trying to figure out what the hell I was doing, I succumbed to everything I had been avoiding. My demons came forward and I had to face them. I had to begin taking some sort of action or else I wouldn’t have made it. I had to begin letting myself feel. All the emotions I had suppressed needed to be accepted and worked through.

“Pain demands to be felt.”

You can’t ignore it. You can’t run from it. Sometimes you can’t just let things go…you have to sit with it a bit, feel the weight of it, then work through it. It doesn’t happen over night and I’m learning to be okay with that. We are a society of instant gratification, but when dealing with the heart, mind, and soul we sometimes have to wait it out. Patience isn’t my strong suit so I definitely struggle with this. Life will always happen. The absolutely terrible days will come, then you’ll eventually see the silver lining. The greatest thing I finally learned this year is something I’ve been told my entire life…

it’s okay to ask for help.

We aren’t meant to go through struggles alone. No one should suffer in silence, but it takes a lot to be vulnerable.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Not knowing if other people will be there and accept your flaws is terrifying, but it’s when you’re open to the possibility of hurt that you grow the most. It’s in those moments that you receive so much more out of life. 2014, you have taught me to love wholeheartedly even if it’s not reciprocated. To help others, but also to set boundaries. Not everyone is ready to see your bare soul. What I do know is that I feel more certain about who I am and where I’m going than I have in a long time. I have clear goals and opportunities ahead that I have to take advantage of. I know I have the capability to give and receive love. The dark times have shed so much light on what’s to come, and despite the heartache I will not close myself off.

You broke my heart, opened my eyes, and showed me who I am. So thank you for all you’ve given me, 2014, but I have to let you go.

I must release you so I can release myself.

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