When We Love the Wrong People

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could change someone else’s feelings for me.

I’ve spent hours praying for him to change his mind, I’ve had countless fantasies about him waking up and realizing that he had never really seen me before.

In my mind, he is my perfect match. He likes the same music I like, he wants to be involved in the same kind of ministry, he will spend hours talking about books, and from my perspective, we clicked instantaneously. But eventually, I realize he’s not as interested as I am. No matter how perfect he seems, I can’t change his feelings. I want to, though.

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Photo Credit:  Jesse Bowser via stocksnap.io

 

 

Thoughts on Donald Miller, Dating, and Guatemala.

I took myself out for dinner last night to the type of place I wouldn’t normally go alone, but I wanted to try anyway.  So I sat at a table by myself, ate Ratatouille and Creme Brûlée, and finished reading Scary Close by Donald Miller.

Maybe it’s because of the reading material, or the act of eating a nice meal by myself, or the realization I had yesterday that the most in-depth conversation I’ve had with anyone in weeks was with my English student who only understands basic vocabulary and conversational phrases, but I’ve been thinking about a decision I made a few months ago. 

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When I moved to Guatemala, I made the decision to give dating a rest for a while.  I suppose I would have re-thought that decision if I had discovered some great single Christian guy just waiting for me here, but alas, that was not the case.  I’ve had to be rather intentional about my decision, though, to prevent myself from going after every single guy I meet who speaks English.  (It’s funny how your ideals change with time, isn’t it?)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the girl who falls for all the wrong guys.  Every time it happens, whether it’s someone I’m dating or just someone I know, it completely consumes me.  I don’t know how I feel, and I don’t know how he feels, and I don’t know whether I’m trying too hard or not hard enough, and I get so worked up into a frenzy until I barely resemble the semi-rational person I was before.  I wish I could say there was some variety, but it’s always the same.  Clearly what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so I felt the need to stop trying and move on with my life–for a little while at least.

But it hasn’t stopped me from wishing things were different, and it hasn’t stopped me from thinking too much about the past.  It hasn’t stopped me from wondering what would have happened if I had stayed home.

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In Scary Close, Donald Miller talks about all the things that have kept him from having healthy relationships.  It was a bit of a hard read for me, because I found myself stopping every few pages and saying to myself, “I do that, don’t I?”  At one point, he said “what I’d misunderstood as passion or love was actually a deep sense that if this relationship worked out, my oldest wounds might be healed.”  Sometimes, what we are looking for in a relationship is less like love and more like a set of qualities we feel we don’t already have. 

Going through my last couple years of dating and/or wanting to date someone, I’m thinking about the things I wanted.  I wanted someone who wants to travel, I wanted someone who reads good books and listens to good music, I wanted someone who knows who they are and what they want to do with their life. 

Maybe it won’t erase the loneliness, but I’ve realized that I am slowly becoming those things myself.  I’m becoming the person who travels, who reads, and who knows who I am and what I want (though I certainly am not there yet.)  I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I never wonder, I never wish things were different, I never fall in love with the wrong person, but maybe I can stop looking for someone else to be the things that I am not.

And maybe for today, that is enough. 

What I’ve Learned Traveling Alone

This is coming from a girl who sometimes gets depressed staying in a hotel by myself when I’m traveling for an out-of-town wedding. For me, moving to another country was always on my after marriage list. But somehow, at the age of 25, I found myself getting on a plane, trying to overcome the tightness in my chest and fear of being stranded alone in Guatemala when I know exactly three phrases in Spanish.

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To be Quiet

Here in Guatemala, it’s a Sunday of rest. My life has suddenly gotten monumentally busy in the past couple of weeks, which is a good thing. It’s good that I’m working, accomplishing things, learning Spanish, spending time with friends, re-vamping my website, but there hasn’t been much time for quiet.  But today, there’s soup on the stove and my relaxing music playlist on my iPod, and there’s quiet.

I would like to share something with you that I’ve been working on, and I’d love to hear some feedback. For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a collection of essays, which I hope to release all together in December. Here are the first two chapters, let me know what you think! [Read more…]

Finding Joy in Right Now

My senior year of high school, I started a countdown on my wall. I tired of high school—tired of my friends, tired of my mediocre public school, tired of my $6/hour job scooping ice cream, tired of my life in the town where I had lived for the past seventeen and a half years. I dreamed about what kind of person I would be in college and somehow imagined myself being better looking, having a magnetic personality, dating attractive college guys, and going on lots of exciting adventures.

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The Great Experiment

A couple months ago, I watched a documentary about the Tiny House movement.

It featured several people who are simplifying their lives by building tiny houses.  In addition the many advantages of living in a tiny house, such as designing your own space and avoiding a costly mortgage, one tiny house owner talks about “treating life as an experiment, rather than a series of dead-end decisions.”  When I heard that, something clicked for me.

Over the past few years, I have run into plenty of dead-ends.  Dead-end jobs, dead-end ambitions, dead-end relationships.  As hard as I’ve tried to make wise decisions, I keep coming back to “What did I do wrong?”  I assumed if I was really following “God’s will for my life”, it would be working out better.

But what if I wasn’t wrong?  What if I was supposed to try and fail?  

Continue Reading at The Rising

Life Experiments: A Lifelong Commitment

This week, I would like to introduce you to Valerie Moreno, who regularly blogs at Nuance and Bubbles.  She enjoys writing about life and relationships, and she is graciously sharing her story this week about making a lifelong commitment.


 More than a ring, a life long commitment

Everyone loves a good love story. I remember the day my husband and I decided to post on social media that we were engaged, it felt like Facebook and Instagram were going to crash because of all the traffic and commotion it caused. I remember all the attention we got and the love that people expressed by supporting our union, wishing us well and spoiling us with gifts. If you haven’t experienced this do not despair; this post is not about that, you probably know someone around you that has.

[Read more…]

To be Heard

This week, I am participating in the #Fireworkpeople blog tour.

We all want to have a voice. We want people to listen to what we have to say and tell us our words are important.  As a result, we have a celebrity-obsessed culture that judges your value based on how many people listen.  No matter what you are actually saying, if you have millions of twitter followers, you must be important.  [Read more…]

To be Seen

Some days remind me of this quote from my favorite movie.

Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person really knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that you were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with. 

When Sandra Bullock’s character in While You Were Sleeping falls in love with a man she doesn’t even know, she wishes more than anything just to be seen.  Not just glanced at, but really seen.  Because there’s a difference after all between being seen and being seen [Read more…]