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Don't Forget Me

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget Me

 

 

 

 

Essays of Reflection

 

 

By: Sarah Warman

 

 

Don’t Forget Me

 

By Sarah Warman

 

Shakespir Edition

 

Copyright 2016 Sarah Warman

 

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

 

Self-Reflection

 

Thirty Three Life Lessons As I Turn Thirty-Three

Don’t Forget Me

I Dreamed That This Would Happen

There Is No After Photo

I’m Distracted

 

Relationships

 

Happily Ever After

My Grandparents Are Gone

I’ve Lost My Best Friend

The Ones We Leave Behind

 

Adventures

 

Birthday

Restless in Rome

Breaking Down

A Job Fair Changes My Career

The Places That Are Gone

 

Grief and Loss

 

Where Do I Begin?

I’ve Been Lying to You

I Feel Ashamed

Trying Again

If Only

 

Thoughts

 

Are We Sharing Too Much?

Falling Behind

Not What I Expected

Back to You

[] Introduction

 

Don’t Forget Me is the sequel to my first collection of essays entitled, Don’t Forget to Write. This collection delves into my late twenties and early thirties. As I have been thrust into my early thirties, I have found that life becomes more complicated.

 

My relationships, friends and expectations have changed drastically from just a few years ago. I’ve lost people that I dearly miss. I’ve ended relationships that I thought would last forever. I’ve loved another more than I ever thought that I could. All of this has had a deep impact on my life.

 

The following essays explore my thoughts as I continue my journey. Writing them has not been easy or straightforward, but it has caused me to reflect on life from many angles, which is a blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Reflection

Thirty-Three Lessons as I Turn Thirty-Three

 

In a few days I’ll be turning thirty-three. It isn’t exactly a monumental birthday. You won’t find sashes and buttons in the party stores displaying those numbers in bold, shiny letters. My car insurance payment isn’t going to decrease, and I’m not suddenly gaining access to nightlife locations, but for some reason, it feels like a shift to a new chapter in my life. For that reason I’m sharing thirty-three things I’ve learned.

 

1. Wearing sunscreen is always a good idea.

 

2. Things will always happen when it’s bad timing.

 

3. You can become friends with your parents as adults, even if you fought when you were a child.

 

4. Don’t judge others for the decisions they have made. You haven’t lived their lives.

 

5. Be kind to everyone. You never know where or when they will show up in your life again.

 

6. Realize and appreciate when you are part of something special. Nothing will last forever.

 

7. Everything can change in an instant.

 

8. Sometimes starting over is the only option you really have.

 

9. Realize that there isn’t always something better out there. Sometimes you can really screw up what you already have.

 

10. Seek out people who encourage your dreams and goals.

 

11. Tell people today how you feel about them. They might not be here tomorrow.

 

12. Do things that make you happy, even if they don’t make sense.

 

13. Be kind to yourself. You are your own worst enemy.

 

14. Become aware of your self-talk. Would you say those negative thoughts to someone else?

 

15. Change your goals as you grow.

 

16. Set goals that scare you. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

 

17. Don’t worry about things. Things can be replaced. People cannot.

 

18. Doing nothing is okay.

 

19. Taking time to reflect is necessary.

 

20. It is never too late to tell someone “thank you.”

 

21. You can fix many things. Death is not one of them.

 

22. Positive thinking can go a long way, but it cannot fix death or cure diseases.

 

23. Find people who will stand in your corner and fight for you. They are essential to your well-being.

 

24. You don’t look fat in photographs. Ten years from now, you’ll think you looked great.

 

25. Listen to others when they open up to you. They are telling you something for a reason.

 

26. When you feel lost, look to the past to remember who you are.

 

27. Fill your space with photographs of happy times. Surroundings can make a difference.

 

28. Donate your time and your spirit to others who are in need. They will remember your kindness.

 

29. Be willing to take risks. It’s the only way to answer the “what if’s.”

 

30. Remember that your past doesn’t predict your future.

 

31. Make sure the people in your life know that you love them.

 

32. Appreciate just how far you’ve come.

 

33. Truly enjoy this moment. You are not guaranteed another one.

 

This essay originally appeared December 18, 2015 on the Huffington Post, December 30, 2015 on the Huffington Post Japan, and January 3, 2016 on the Huffington Post Korea.

Don’t Forget Me

 

Don’t forget me, or who I used to be.

Remember me?

Where did you go?

 

Your smiling face

Your beaming eyes

You’re not the person that you used to be.

 

I would like you to come back.

Please come back to me, if it’s not too late.

If I haven’t lost you for forever,

then I’ll know it was meant to be.

 

Where did you go?

Why did you have to leave?

I know you are still out there.

Please,

don’t forget me.

I Dreamed That This Would Happen

 

I remember when I was a teenager with a pencil and notepad in hand. I would scribble away for hours, putting my thoughts and feelings onto paper. I suppose that a part of me did it because I wanted to remember later in life what being a teenager felt like.

 

Sometimes I try to visualize what being a successful writer would feel like. How would it feel to walk into a store and see my books on the shelves? How would I feel seeing my name associated with a best seller? I know it’s just a dream or even a long shot, but part of me tells myself that I am good enough to be in those places. If I don’t believe it, then who will?

 

I have to admit, at times I get frustrated with writing. I would like more exposure, move reviews and more downloads. I’m not sure if my expectations are too high or if I’m being unrealistic while I’m just really starting out with this book writing business.

 

I’m not sure if I will end up being a successful writer or not, but in some ways I feel like I’ve already accomplished my dreams. I’ve had my words read by thousands of people all over the world. I’ve had people reading my ideas near and far. I’ve had my writing translated to Japanese and Korean. The girl scribbling away in the woods would have never imagined that happening. But, indeed, it has happened.

 

Fifteen or even ten years ago, I could have never imagined having my work being read by so many people all over the world. The internet along with blogging platforms and self-publishing tools have allowed it to happen. Those amazing advancements and tools haven’t been lost on me.

 

Part of me feels as though I have been given this extraordinary gift of modern tools to express my thoughts with others. I honestly can’t think of a better time to become a writer. The time to write is now.

There Is No After Photo

 

Pictures can send powerful messages. You’ve probably seen your fair share of before and after photos showcasing transformed physiques. I know I have seen plenty of them on television and in magazines. These photos can be motivating. It’s pretty inspiring to see how someone turned themselves into a chiseled art form, proudly displaying their progress, saying, “Look at what I did! You can do it too!”

 

I know because I did it. Eight years ago, I decided to push my limits and transform myself into a figure competitor. I entered a figure show. I dieted for twelve weeks. A normal day during those twelve weeks consisted of eight meals and working out twice a day, before and after work. I carried around Tupperware containers filled with my meals and a half gallon of water. Considering that I worked full time, it was no easy task.

 

Everyone thought I was crazy. Admittedly I thought I was a bit crazy too, but I wanted to achieve my goal so badly that I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. After twelve weeks I’ll never forget how amazing it felt to stand on stage showing a physique that I had feverishly sculpted. I beamed with pride as I donned my blue rhinestone bikini. Then I had pictures taken. Lots of pictures. I was in the best shape of my life and it had to be documented! I had created my after photo.

 

I’m not against taking before and after photos. In fact, I still use photos as a way to document progress when I don’t want to rely solely on the scale. But the problem is that we don’t get to live our lives in our after photo. Unlike a photo, we are not fixed objects. We are always changing.

 

The physique I had achieved was not something I could maintain, nor was it healthy to maintain. After the competition I started to gain weight and my clothes were becoming tighter. I felt badly because I thought I should look like the girl in the pictures and I didn’t. Eventually I realized that looking like I had just walked across the figure stage was unrealistic. Being in a figure competition was reaching a peak in my fitness level and you always have to come back down from the peak.

 

When you finish your competition, you’re not done with fitness. You don’t get to sit on the couch and eat potato chips to celebrate your accomplishment without consequences. Although that photo captured a moment in time of great fitness, I was still going to have to work hard to remain fit. Several years removed from that photo I can look back and realize it was not an after photo. It was a part of a fitness journey that I’ll always be on.

 

What I’ve realized is that there are no finish lines in fitness. Rather than a destination, it’s an ongoing journey that we’ll be on for the rest of our lives. There’s no first, second or third place in this journey. There’s no trophy to compete for. There are no competitors to outperform. Simply stated, “When it comes to fitness there is only your journey, your goals and your health. Make it the best journey you can.”

 

This essay originally appeared January 29, 2015 on the Huffington Post.

I’m Distracted

 

Sometimes I allow myself to become distracted. I allow other things to consume precious space in my mind. I worry. I overanalyze. I become concerned over things that I have no control. Some things are important and do deserve my attention. They are problems that need to be solved.

 

But other things are not so important. It’s probably my own fault for becoming distracted, but this is the age we live in. Everywhere we look there is something to catch our eye, our attention, and so for a split second our train of thought is lost.

 

Maybe it is here: while losing my train of thought that my inspiration really disappears. The moments when I search from update to update, trying to decipher what really demands my attention. My thoughts become fragmented instead of growing and evolving. My attention span is muddled, searching for whatever gives me the most instant gratification.

 

Where is logical and rational thought? Instead it’s given to us in bits and pieces. Are we searching for the best soundbite or the best fifteen second video? Do we really live life between these bits and pieces, giving a glimpse or a flash into our lives? Will my thoughts become whole? Will they bring together ideas?

 

Do we value a funny status update more than a well written essay? How documented will my life become? How documented will I allow it to become? A weekly, daily, or hourly update? A picture here, a tweet there, a status update sometime later. It all takes time and energy. Is it actually time and energy worth spending? Do I want my writing to become viral or viable? These are the questions that I must ask myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationships

Happily Ever After

 

Almost six years ago I was very fortunate to stand in front of my friends and family and marry a wonderful man. While weddings often invoke images of fairy tales, the path to get there was not exactly the stuff of romance novels. We both struggled in own ways, figuring out our careers, to get to that point.

 

I use to wonder what people meant when they would say, “You’ll know when you’ve met ‘the one’.” How did you know? Was it a struck by lightning moment? Was it a surge of energy when you kissed? Was it just as it was shown in the Disney movies?

 

For me it was really an idea that grew on me. My husband and I met in high school and I certainly didn’t think at fifteen years old that I would marry him. Ten years later I knew that he could be my husband and two years after that I said, “I do.”

 

Looking back, I think the Disney movies had me brainwashed into looking for Prince Charming. I’m not saying that he doesn’t exist, but he’s probably going to pass gas in your presence, be forgetful at times and won’t show up at your house with roses looking to rescue you. They left that stuff out of the movies. Inevitably we all have flaws. I have many flaws or quirks that probably would drive someone insane. The key is to find someone that will put up with your quirks.

 

Getting married also isn’t a ‘fix’ for everything. It won’t magically solve all of your personal problems. After I was married I still fretted about my weight, hated my commute to work, and despised washing the dishes. Getting married didn’t suddenly solve those problems for me. In other words, I still needed to work on myself. I’m a work in progress and always will be. Fortunately, I have a partner who is willing to help me. He brings out the best in me and pushes me to pursue my goals. It’s up to me to do the rest.

My Grandparents Are Gone

 

I consider myself very fortunate, or perhaps lucky, to have met all four of my biological grandparents. I know that many are not afforded that opportunity. I didn’t get to know my paternal grandparents very well. They passed away when I was eight and nine years old. On the other hand, I got to spend nineteen years getting to know my maternal grandfather and thirty-one years getting to know my maternal grandmother.

 

My mom’s parents only lived about forty minutes away from my childhood home, which meant I got to see them very often or at least once a week. My grandfather passed away during my freshman year of college. The day after his funeral my childhood dog died.

 

It seemed fitting, I suppose, that they passed within such a short time span of each other. My beloved dog was a collie, which were known for being a friendly and welcoming dog. However, my dog, Sandy, was actually quite the opposite. She was friendly and kind to me, but also fiercely protective of me, and aggressive towards anyone who came to our house.

 

There was only room for five people in her life and Grandpa was one of them. In the summer he would make weekly visits to our home where he kept a large garden. At the site of his truck pulling up our long driveway, Sandy would jump up and down, tail wagging, with glee knowing that Grandpa had arrived. She would excitedly greet him as he opened the door of his truck. I can still envision her tail wagging and hear her excited barking.

 

Grandpa never got to see me get engaged or get married, but Grandma did. I remember when my husband and I were newly engaged we went to visit her in the assisted living home. Most people joyfully exclaimed, “Congratulations!” when we told them of our news. However, Grandma was never one to mince words and prudently said, “Well it’s not going to be easy. No matter what happens just keep talking to each other.”

 

She was right. Through our trials and tribulations during our young, six years of marriage, we have fallen back on those words she told us. When she passed away, I was overseas in Germany. In some ways, it seemed fitting, as Grandpa’s ancestors descended from Germany and there was plenty there that reminded me of him.

 

I felt sad because I knew that I would never get to share my stories of traveling in Europe with her. In many ways, I knew that I was there because of her. She often told stories of living in Spain and Brazil and those stories made me want to explore the world just as she had done. I cried in the lobby of our hotel upon receiving the news and again on the overnight train to Venice. I looked out the window of the train wondering if she was looking down on me then, traveling to my next adventure.

 

I’ve been through quite a few stages of adulthood including getting married, having a career, and buying a home, but nothing quite made me feel like I had lost my childhood like losing all of my grandparents. Part of my childhood, my playful spirt, and my innocent view of the world also seemed to leave when they left. The words of wisdom from a wrinkled face are now gone. The stories of hope and perseverance through difficult times are no longer told. All that remains now is a memory of what use to be.

 

I’ve Lost My Best Friend

 

It’s been almost six years since.

 

It’s been six years since we’ve talked, texted or called each other. It’s been six years since we’ve seen each other face to face.

 

Losing my best friend felt as traumatic as a breakup. I spent some time longingly looking at pictures of us together that stemmed all the way back to the first grade. I thought about our trips together and the laughs we had. I wondered deep down if she had enjoyed that time together as well, or if it was just some sort of fraud.

 

Was I just a friend of convenience? Someone that she knew would stand by her side? Did our friendship really even mean anything to her at all? Did she cry tears like I did when it was over? The detailed demise of our friendship really doesn’t matter now and I’m not willing to offer it up for public consumption, but the fact remains that a lifelong friendship ended for me a few years ago.

 

I know that friends have the ability to come and go in our lives. Sometimes we outgrow them. Sometimes we move away from each other and the relationship ends. It’s not a personal matter, more just the collateral damage of our circumstances.

 

But some friends we keep for a while; months, years, decades. This was true of my best friend. There aren’t many people that I could just say, “Hey remember when such and such happened twenty years ago?”, but she was one of them. Although the circumstances of the failed friendship were compounding for a while, the end of the relationship came quite swiftly and abruptly.

 

And like most things happen in the modern age, unfortunately it happened via digital messaging on Facebook. I suppose one advantage to ending a relationship on Facebook is being able to go back and read the written word. Was is as harsh and cruel as I remembered it?

 

The answers to all of this was ‘yes’. It was as bad as I remembered it, if not worse. There’s something to be said for when you realize someone is capable of cruelty that you never imagined. It’s like a shock wave through your system. It turns your universe on its side. You realize that even though things will be okay, they will never be the same. There are some things that just cannot be unsaid.

 

I remembered when I read those messages, I became increasingly upset because I knew that the friendship was instantly over. Sometimes people in our lives become so toxic that the only cure is to remove them from our lives. I knew that the end of our friendship was necessary, but that didn’t make it any less sad or upsetting.

 

Even now, I’m unable to look back on the happy times with fondness, because I will always wonder if there was an ulterior motive. Was there resentment growing? Was I totally oblivious to this all along? I realize I’ll probably never have the answers to these questions, but I don’t need them either.

 

The Ones We Leave Behind

 

A good portion of my teenage years were spent trying to make friends, and by that I mean, not just a few friends. I wanted to be friends with everyone in my high school. I’m not sure if this is really a rare thing though, as I do believe many of us seek out to be friends with all of our classmates. It’s just natural.

 

Once I got to college, I realized that my relationships would mostly be centered on whom was in my classes, with whom I roomed, whom lived across the hall from me, and with whom I played sports. College also presents a bit of randomness in the business of making friends such as, “This is a friend of my friend.”

 

One day I had a conversation with my college roommate about friendships during our undergrad years. I viewed most people in college as “friends” that also had the potential to be lifelong friends. I had made the assumption that some of the people I became friends with while in school would be my friends for the long haul.

 

She had a completely different opinion. She viewed college as mere moment in time to meet some people and then move on. She had already determined who would be her lifelong friends from high school. She thought that we were just merely passing in each other’s lives and years from now we wouldn’t be friends. I didn’t take offense to this, but I was just surprised by this view. It probably did make me pull in the reigns a bit and not invest too much time in hanging out with her if I was just a “friend for now.”

 

Maybe it’s naïve of me, but I like to view everyone that I meet with the potential to be a friend of mine. Friendships aren’t easy to develop, especially when you become an adult. But I think I owe it to myself and the other person to give a possible friendship a breathing chance.

 

About a year and half later I saw that roommate after we had both graduated from college, shopping in a retail store. We said our “hello’s” and chatted for a bit. She had moved out of town and I was still in the area, figuring out what I wanted to do with my career. After the conversation ended we turned back to the racks of clothes searching for the perfect outfit.

 

Then I heard my old roommate say, “Sarah what do you think of this outfit?”

 

I eagerly turned my head, thrilled that my former roommate was seeking fashion advice from me, just like our college days, when all of us girls would put our outfits together. But then as I turned my head, I realized that she was speaking to her friend, whose name also happened to be Sarah. She was not speaking to me.

 

I felt deflated in the reminder that I was now beyond college life. My old roommate and I were no longer intertwined in each other’s lives; although, at that brief moment I wanted us to be. In that instant, I felt a rising happiness that quickly turned to fleeting sadness.

 

In some ways my old roommate was right. We were now merely acquaintances at the same shopping mall. We had passed through each other’s lives and moved on. Our relationship had been forged in the past with no reason to move it forward.

 

But in some ways, she was wrong. I’ve stayed in touch with many people who were my college friends. We’ve been to each other’s weddings, helped each other get jobs and stayed connected even though it’s been ten years since we graduated.

 

I’ve also done some moving around in my twenties. I think people may tend to hold back when they know that they will only be somewhere for a finite amount of time. I never really saw the value in doing that. When I had to leave a town I once called home in a neighboring state, I cried my eyes out. It hurt. It was painful to leave friends behind. But I also know that our friendships were meaningful because of the pain of leaving them behind.

 

Some of those friends have come back into my life in ways that I never expected. Even though miles separate us now, the sentiment and the time we spent together is still reflected in our correspondence today. Some people from past have made a profound impact on me, and in way, I a carry a little bit of them with me wherever I go.

 

We never know who we will meet when we try new things, experience something different or move somewhere. These experiences no doubt will teach us about others, but also teach us things about ourselves that we never knew. Why hold back from this? There might be pain involved when it’s time to say goodbye, but there is much more to gain when opening our hearts.

 

This essay originally appeared June 6, 2016 on the Huffington Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventures

Birthday

 

My birthday is rapidly approaching this month. That’s right, I was a Christmas baby, born on the fifteenth, only ten days before the largest holiday of the year. Having a birthday ten days before Christmas entails everything that you think it would: birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper, combined birthday and Christmas gifts, and difficulty planning a party that people will have time to attend.

 

My mom started dealing with these issues long before I did. When I became of school age and wanted to have birthday parties, she often had trouble scheduling my party. It always conflicted with holiday parties or some school function. One year, she moved my birthday party to January so more people would attend, but that only upset the mothers of January babies.

 

My most memorable childhood birthday party was held at a roller skating rink named, ‘Wheels of Eight’. I remember being terrified by roller skating. I kept one foot firmly planted on the rink, while pushing myself with the other foot. I always stayed near the wall. I avoided the center of the rink like it was a vortex that would gobble me up.

 

That roller rink has since closed and been replaced with a car dealership, but I still think of that roller skating mecca when I drive past where it use to be. I remember the musty smell, the restroom that lacked stall doors and picnic tables that were used indoors.

 

The teenage years also presented difficulties with a birthday near Christmas. Getting my driver’s permit took a backseat to playing high school basketball along with snowstorms that came in the following months. Let’s just say that I waited until spring to get my driver’s permit.

 

Even when I turned twenty-one it was pretty uneventful. We were on q semester break so I was at my parents’ house instead of boozing it up with my friends in college bars. Five days later, I furthered my suffering by having my wisdom teeth removed. When I came out of the anesthesia I yelled at my mom, “I feel drunk!”

 

The statement immediately horrified me as I realized I had implicated myself as an underage drinker. “Now you know that I’ve been drunk before,” I confessed. “Haven’t we all honey?” my mom replied with warmth. She always knew how to make me feel better.

 

For most, the birthday celebrations dwindle down a bit when you enter adulthood. Mine have been the complete opposite. They become grander the older I get. I have no shame in making a big deal about my birthday as an adult. Maybe it’s my revenge against the combined gifts, birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper and not being able to have a birthday pool party when I was in elementary school.

 

For my twenty-fifth I really upped the ante. I convinced a group of my co-workers to go to an Ocean City nightclub after our company Christmas party, which was held on my birthday. Actually it didn’t take much convincing. They were just as excited as I was. Strangely enough the local college had held graduation earlier that night. Surrounded in a bar by recent college graduates just made me realize that I was much further removed from college than I wanted to admit. Turning twenty-five thrust me into adulthood for good, along with lowering my car insurance payment.

 

I raised the bar even further for my thirtieth birthday by hopping on a plane with my husband headed to Las Vegas. I couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to my twenties than to celebrate in Sin City. We went to a posh nightclub that no longer exists, and ended up befriending someone from Chicago who gave us their VIP table. I met someone else who was also celebrating a birthday. He drove in with some friends from California. He was turning twenty-one.

 

On the down side, I do have to wait all year for gifts, but I also have an excuse to take a break from the holiday madness or even take a flight to stress free location. I also get to extend my birthday into January since most weekends are busy in December. I make a big deal out of my birthday and I don’t feel badly about it. Maybe having a birthday near Christmas isn’t so bad after all, especially as an adult.

Restless in Rome

 

While growing up, I was always the kid who cried when they left camp because I wanted to stay longer. It takes a while for me to get homesick. I have always loved seeing new places and meeting new people.

 

In May of 2014 we were at the end of our two-week-long journey through Europe. This was a trip that I had dreamed of for a long time, yet I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I was thrilled, but exhausted at the same time. The homesickness had hit me and I was ready to leave. The city was ancient, chaotic and testing my willpower. Truly, I was grateful to be there, but I felt so guilty for having these thoughts.

 

I had never dreamed that Rome would cause so much inner turmoil. Here I was, in one of the most iconic cities in the world and I just wanted to hide in my air-conditioned hotel room. I was so fortunate even to be there. How could I complain?

 

It was our last full day in Rome and we had already toured the Colosseum. It was massive-- much larger than I expected. Supposedly it could seat fifty thousand people. But looking at ancient buildings is exhausting and I needed a nap. We went back to the hotel, but not before being summoned by a Roman gladiator impersonator.

 

Later in the afternoon we made an online reservation to visit the Vatican. It was Friday evening and it seemed like the perfect time to go. Since it wasn’t too far from our hotel we decided to walk. But I was really tired, very hungry and didn’t feel like walking anymore. I asked myself if I really even wanted to go to the Vatican. Fortunately I snapped out of this funk.

 

YOU HAVE TO GO! YOU’RE IN ROME!

 

I mean honestly, when was I going to return to this place? Maybe never. But goodness it was a painful trek.

 

No. I don’t want to buy a rose.

No. I don’t want a bird on my shoulder so you can try to sell me a picture of it.

 

No. I don’t want a ball that goes splat when you throw it on the ground.

 

We stopped halfway for an early dinner. At least it was early by Roman standards, where dinner is usually served around ten o’clock at night. Refueled and recharged I felt like I could finish this journey, although part of me wondered why I was marching on like this.

 

“I’m not even Catholic,” I told my husband. Neither was he.

 

Once we arrived at the Vatican I forgot how badly my feet ached or how tired I was. The Vatican was beautiful and stunning, much more than I ever expected it to be. The highlight, of course, was the Sistine Chapel. I stood in the middle of the room studying all the scenes painted on the ceiling.

 

“SILENCE!”

 

One of the guards yelled at the murmuring crowd. The whispers of the large crowd had grown too loud in the chapel. The chapel was the last stop on the tour of the Vatican. We departed and sat on the stairs outside in the courtyard, soaking up the fact that we had just visited one of the most famous churches in the world.

 

It was late and completely dark now. We needed to find the bus terminal since neither of us wanted to make the trek back to the hotel. We walked along the wall outside of the Vatican and saw a long ramp that went underground. Perhaps this was the bus depot. Once underground we only discovered a dead end and what appeared to be homeless people playing cards. This didn’t look like a good place to catch the bus. This looked like a good place to get murdered.

 

Bus passes in Rome and the Vatican City are only sold at tobacco shops. Unfortunately at this time of night most of the tobacco shops were closed. I was near tears at the thought of walking back to the hotel. We had already walked fifteen miles that day. Fortunately we found someone who had bus passes and would sell them to us. We located the bus stop and anxiously awaited the bus. We didn’t wait very long for the bus to arrive. Once we boarded I felt immediate relief. At least I wouldn’t have to walk back home.

 

The next morning, when I awoke, I was over it. I wanted to go home. I had enough. I didn’t want any more culture or language lessons. No more history or architecture. I was done. I was craving America. I never wanted to watch a baseball game so desperately in my life. My mouth watered at the thought of a hamburger. I wanted nachos like it would be my last meal. But before departing for the airport, we wasted some time shopping at stores. They were American stores, of course.

 

I bought t-shirts at Guess and the United Colors of Benneton. The one t-shirt displayed a map of Manhattan. It reminded me of home. We hopped on our train several hours before our flight departed. Once at the airport we located the nearest bar to relieve our stress. We bought bottles of Miller Ginuwine Drafts.

 

“Do you have a bottle opener?” My husband inquired when he purchased the beer.

 

“American,” the cashier responded as he flicked off the bottle cap with his thumb, clearly unimpressed with us.

 

We sat at a small table, eager to return to home. As the number of empty bottles grew so did the looks from people surrounding us. I was, quite frankly, beyond the point of caring. Finally, after who knows how many beers, we decided to make our way to the gate.

 

The only problem was that we hadn’t yet been assigned a gate. So we sat in the middle of all the gates that our airline was using. Time kept ticking by and yet no gate was assigned. Finally twenty minutes before departure a gate appeared on the monitors.

 

We walked to get into line for departure. I looked out the window. There was no plane. Instead we were paraded down a long ramp and told to stand behind the yellow line to wait for a bus.

 

Where are we going?

 

The first bus came and went. There wasn’t enough room for us so we waited for the second bus. In the meantime, the attendant from inside came running down the ramp yelling at the bus driver in Italian. I’m guessing it had to do with some of us stepping over that yellow line.

 

Not much later, a second bus came. I didn’t know if we should be excited or scared. My husband and I boarded the bus and looked at each other with puzzled looks.

 

Where are we going?

 

They drove us out to the runway and there I saw our small plane. The stairs were extended and passengers were making their way onboard. I felt a sense of relief to finally be boarding the plane. I grabbed my backpack and started making my way up to the steps.

 

HUMMMMMM!

 

The plane engine suddenly shut off. I looked at my husband below me on the steps. That noise didn’t sound so great. I continued up the stairs and stepped onto the plane. It was dark and hard to navigate the tiny aisle with my stuffed backpack. Eventually I sat down in my seat, which was full of crumbs.

 

A few minutes later the captain’s voice came over the intercom. Since it was a British flight all the announcements were made in English. I felt relieved that I could actually understand what was being said. The plane had lost power and they were sending a truck to get us back up and running.

 

Since so much time had been wasted, we were no longer allowed to land at the Orly airport in Paris, because they had a curfew, and we were well beyond that time frame. We had to land at Charles de Gaulle instead. I was thrilled to hear this news, but most of the flight, who apparently spoke Italian were not, as moans and groans were heard throughout the plane when the announcement was made in their language.

 

I was elated to be going to Charles de Gaulle because I had already booked a hotel room there for the night. We would stay in Paris one more night before heading back home to Pittsburgh the next morning. Just a few hours earlier we had fretted about how we would get to Charles de Gaulle from Orly. Worried no more, we were charged up and ready for takeoff.

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to be in an airplane taking off. It was a short flight, only two hours back to Paris, highlighted by the sight of the glimmering Eiffel Tower. It was such a beautiful beacon of light from up above. I wasn’t home just yet, but I felt like I was so much closer than before.

Breaking Down

 

I didn’t mesh well with the first car that I ever owned. I drove a 2001 silver Monte Carlo. This large chunk of American steel was difficult to maneuver, with a large rear end that led to backing into some objects more than a few times. It was also very difficult for me to see over the steering wheel. But she got me from one place to another, and when owning a vehicle, what else could you really want.

 

One spring day, I left work during the middle of the week, excited about the warmer weather, the arrival of summer and an upcoming trip back home from Maryland to Southwestern Pennsylvania. All of these thoughts went out the window when I tried to start my car.

 

HUMMMM

 

SHHHHHH

 

All the gauges on my dashboard started wildly flapping up and down. The engine would not turn over and the car would not start. My car appeared to be possessed, perhaps by the devil himself.

 

I was in shock. Of course I had experienced car troubles before, but not to the point where my car wouldn’t actually start. I did have a dead battery in the past but this appeared to be something else, on account of the spewing noises my car was making.

 

“Are you okay?” one of my co-workers was also leaving from work and had noticed my car troubles.

 

“Yes. I’m fine,” I lied. The adrenaline was pumping and I was a twenty-five year old, single woman fiercely trying to prove my independence.

 

Fortunately he realized that I was lying and did, in fact, need help. He opted to get in the vehicle and take his shot at turning the key to start the car. The car would not start at all, still spewing those terrible noises from the dashboard.

 

It became clear that I only had one option: call a tow truck. I called the shop where my car frequented and they sent a tow truck for me. About twenty minutes later the tow truck arrived at the parking garage, but there was one problem. The tow truck was too tall to enter the garage.

 

Luckily, I had parked close to the entrance and pushing the car out of the garage was a viable option. The tow truck driver, along with my co-worker, Josh, decided to push while I would steer. I quickly discovered that steering a car without power steering was like doing a full body workout.

 

The men pushed and grunted my car out of the garage as I put my whole core into twisting and turning the steering wheel. Finally we reached the outside of the garage and were on the street. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but there was a slight incline in the street. As the men stopped pushing my car, it started to drift backwards.

 

“Hit the brake,” the tow truck driver yelled at me.

I went to reach for it with my right foot, but felt nothing. I looked down only to realize that my seat had been moved back when the others tried to start it. My short stature couldn’t reach it. My next thought was to use the emergency brake, but it was also located on the floor and too far away for me to reach. There was nothing I could to stop this car.

 

THUD

 

I knew that I had hit something. The car was stopped. I opened the car door and stepped out to see the rear end of my vehicle pressed against a concrete pillar at the exit of the garage.

 

“Great. More insult to injury,” I thought to myself.

 

At this point in time I became quite grateful for that large rear end of the Monte Carlo. The concrete pillar didn’t even make a dent. I felt relieved. At least I wouldn’t have to get body work done along with casting the spirits out of my dashboard.

 

But then I heard laughter from above. What was this? Where the evil spirits actually laughing at my misfortune? What cruel jokes were being played on me? I tilted my head upwards towards the sky. On the top floor, of the approximately four story garage, a group had gathered to watch this debacle. Apparently from above it was quite comical, but from my point of view it was anything but funny.

 

I watched as my car was loaded onto the tow truck and she was hauled away. As I stood there watching her being driven away I realized that I didn’t have a car. What was I going to do? Sure, I could get a ride home, but then how would I get to work? My parents lived over three hundred miles away. It wasn’t exactly like I could call them as ask to borrow a car. The weather was decent. I didn’t live far away. I suppose that I could bike to work.

 

Another coworker suggested that I take a company car home for the evening. I went back to the office and signed out a vehicle; a large truck. Not exactly the type of vehicle that I would pick for myself, but I felt grateful to have this mode of transportation.

 

The next day, I learned from the garage that a ’30 minute oil change’ establishment had pulled the terminals off my battery, essentially causing it to explode in my car. Let’s just say I never visited that establishment again when my car needed an oil change. The good news was that all I needed was a new battery and my car was not possessed by some demonic being.

 

Having my car break down wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a major inconvenience in my daily modern life. It reminded me how often I took for granted the ease of daily life, while forgetting the major technology that we rely on to get us through the day.

A Job Fair Changes My Career

 

Soon after I had graduated college I had this pressing desire to move away. I couldn’t really explain it except for the fact that I grew up and had gone to college in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This geographical area was all I knew in life. I knew that I wanted to know more. For a long time I thought that I would end up in Baltimore along with my former college roommate and some other fellow graduates that had gone South. Instead I ended up taking the first job that I was offered, which was just North of Pittsburgh.

 

Admittedly, I was scared that nothing else was going to come up and I couldn’t come up with a good excuse to turn down a decent offer when I didn’t have any other offers waiting for me. Sure enough, after I accepted, other offers began coming in. Part of me ached while turning away offers from companies that I was genuinely interested in because I had already accepted an offer.

 

A few months into my first position I knew that I had made a mistake and was desperate to correct this wrong. It wasn’t the company as much as it was the work I was doing. I had hoped to be designing or in the field supervising; instead I was reviewing other designer’s work and questioning them about it. Not exactly what I had in mind, holding an engineering degree, and so eager to start my career.

 

One day I sent off an email to a company who had previously been interested in interviewing me. The person on the other end of the email asked if I could meet him at a job fair in Pittsburgh in the next few months. I agreed. I looked forward to this date for weeks. This was going to be the beginning of something great. I just knew it.

 

I confidently drove myself downtown to the job fair with plenty of resumes in hand. Upon entry to the job fair I located the table and the person with whom I wanted to speak. I decided to take a lap around the room, shaking off the nerves, before I approached him.

 

I approached the table, confidently, presenting my resume, and explaining who I was and that we had communicated via email earlier. He studied my resume. It wasn’t very long, with just my current job experience, my internship and my college career neatly typed up on one page.

 

“You haven’t been at your current position very long,” he noted. “How do you know that you don’t like it?”

 

“It’s not what I want to do,” I told him. “I don’t want to be in an office all day. I’m looking to get into construction management.”

 

His first question wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I knew that I was lacking certain expertise, but knowing when I didn’t like something wasn’t one of them. I figured that nine months was plenty of time to know that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.

 

“Yeah. I don’t think we have anything for you,” he said as he handed my resume back to me.

 

I was stunned. After weeks of anticipation, I had been quickly and emphatically rejected. I felt crushed as he had clearly made up his mind and I wasn’t going to beg and lose dignity over it either.

 

I went out to the lobby and gathered my thoughts. I made some rounds around the room talking to other employers, but I was deflated. My eagerness, excitement and enthusiasm were gone. I had come here to talk to one company and they had swiftly shut me down.

 

After an hour or so, I left the job fair. I walked back to the parking garage and ripped my name tag off my dress shirt. I knew that even though this particular company did not want me there would be many others that would. It was a major setback, but not a devastating blow.

 

The Places That Are Gone

 

When I was growing up, I remember my parents speaking of places that were gone. They spoke in terms of pools, ice skating rinks, and even my Dad’s childhood home that no longer remains. For some reason, it never really occurred to me that places of my childhood might also disappear. Or maybe I thought it would just happen later in life and not in my early thirties.

 

Some places of my childhood were gone quickly and replaced by something new. Other places are dying a slow and painful death. In my opinion, it’s much harder to watch the places you once loved die a slow and painful death.

 

One of the shopping malls I use to frequent as a teenager is dying such a death. I started going there with my mom, as it was on the outskirts of Pittsburgh and provided many more shopping options than our local mall. My husband and I had our first date there.

 

It’s been several years since I’ve stepped foot in that mall, but I’ve seen the recent pictures and I’ve received the mailings notifying me that the flagship stores are closing. When I was strolling that bustling mall as a teenager, fifteen years ago, I would have never imagined that place becoming a hollow shell of itself several years later. The building is still there, but the soul is gone.

 

Another one of the places of my childhood has been demolished and replaced with a car dealership. It used to be a roller skating rink that was quite popular when I was an elementary school kid. I had one of my birthday parties there when I was young. I can’t remember the year that it was demolished but I feel like it was after my high school years. Sometimes I wish that I had a picture of the outside just to remember what it looked it.

 

Another place of my childhood is alive and thriving. It’s the local swimming pool, just a mile from my parents’ house. It’s where I spent most of my summers and also had my first job. I have to admit, it’s surprising to me that it’s doing so well. When I worked there, it was in disarray and debt, struggling to stay afloat (pun intended). I could have never envision the remodeled-present-day version of itself.

 

Is this perhaps just an irony of life? The places that I expected to always be there are decaying, while the places I expected to falter are thriving. What is it about a place that can bring us back to exact moments in our life? Why are our memories tied to sights and smells? Why does going somewhere bring all those feelings back?

 

But what happens when those places are gone? Our memories don’t disappear along with them, but maybe they dwindle a little bit. Maybe our memories don’t come rushing back when we can no longer set foot in a favorite place.

 

We resort to pictures, if we have any, and memories of our own, and others trying to recreate something in our mind that was special. But a place in itself cannot be special. Often it’s the memories and the way that we felt at a certain time in our lives that make a place feel special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grief and Loss

Where Do I Begin?

 

Where do I begin? I thought I had some good news to share. It was beautiful and exciting. I knew you would be excited with me. I knew you would say “Congratulations” and share a smile. But now everything has changed. How do I say that I used to be pregnant, but now I’m not? How do I tell you that something so wonderful turned so tragic? Where do I begin?

 

When you ask how I have been, I don’t really know what to say. Should I tell you the truth? Should I tell you that the most tragic thing in my life just occurred? That I lost something so precious to me faster than the sun rises and falls. That my scars are on the inside and no one can see them. Can you handle my truth?

 

Or maybe I should just lie. Lying would be easy. Maybe I should just force that smile and say, “I’m fine.” I could do that because it’s stress-free. It won’t end in an awkward silence that leaves us both uncomfortable. It won’t end in you not knowing what to say or do. Even though I’m screaming on the inside, I can fake it on the outside.

 

Or will you notice that something is not right? Will you see the sadness in my eyes? What will you say when I tell you of my unspeakable loss? Will you give me a hug? Will you tell me I can “try again” when I miss this one so much? Will you understand when I don’t understand my own loss?

 

Or maybe I can tell you later. It’s not the right time. It’s not the right place. But truly it will never be the right time or the right place. Where do I begin?

I’ve Been Lying to You

 

For a long time I always believed that honesty was the best way to go through life. I was taught honestly at home, in church and at school.

 

Honesty is the best policy!”

 

The truth shall set you free!”

 

These are common phrases in our culture. I can’t really say that I disagree with them. But what happens when your truth hurts? What happens when your truth makes others uncomfortable? What happens when your truth ends relationships?

 

I certainly didn’t know how to handle any of this. Nothing really prepared me for this. It isn’t taught in school or church. I didn’t know what to do, so I lied.

 

“What’s new with you?” a well-meaning friend would ask.

 

“Nothing. How about you?” I would often try to deflect the conversation to something else.

 

“Except that I lost another pregnancy! That’s two in less than a year!” my mind screamed.

 

But I pushed the thoughts back, deep into my mind, not allowing it to surface and come out of my mouth. I knew the possibilities. I knew the well-meaning, but hurtful platitudes. I didn’t want to give anyone the power to make me feel inferior. I had been here before, just a few months ago and didn’t want that sharp piercing pain again.

 

I didn’t want to hear the “At least” comments again.

 

I didn’t want to hear “try again” for the second time.

 

I didn’t want the pity.

 

I didn’t want the pain.

 

I didn’t want to keep telling bad news.

 

I wanted to be normal.

 

I wanted answers.

 

I didn’t want to be in some fishbowl with all eyes on me, wondering how I was doing, watching all my moves. Screw that. I had worked so hard to get back. Back to me. I wasn’t going to easily give that up. I wasn’t going to let others’ opinions dictate my life. So I put up the wall. I put up the barrier to protect myself. That’s why I’ve been lying to you.

I Feel Ashamed

 

I know that I’ve talked a lot about this subject and people are probably sick of hearing about it. But really, I’m even sicker of just living it. Two years. Two Miscarriages.

 

This isn’t even a call for sympathy, because quite honestly, I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself. I know that this isn’t something special. I know that some women have suffered more losses. Some have suffered less. In some ways, I feel like I haven’t suffered enough because I was told that I need to have three in a row to have testing done.

 

You can try again.”

 

Hopefully, we’ll see you again in months when you are pregnant.”

 

At least you know that you can get pregnant.”

 

This is the medical advice that I’ve received in the wake of two losses, but this is what I heard.

 

It’s not a big deal.”

 

Get over it.”

 

Pregnancy will happen again.”

 

The only thing I know for sure is that after the first miscarriage I told many of people about the loss. For one thing, I was visibly shaken and those who didn’t even know that I was pregnant knew that something was wrong. I had to tell them the truth.

 

I never really knew that I should feel shame about my miscarriage until I started telling people. I had figured that this tragic experience had happened to me and people would surround me with love and support, but I was wrong.

 

Shortly after announcing my heartache to the world, I noticed that I wasn’t hearing from people. Where were the texts? The phone calls? The comments on Facebook? It suddenly seemed to stop.

 

Part of me thought that it was all in my head. Of course things couldn’t be this bad. But I had the proof right in front of me. In August, my first blog on Huffington Post was accepted and my personal blog was soaring in popularity. Then in October, I announced my loss and it took a nose dive.

 

The numbers weren’t lying to me. It confirmed what I had already suspected. In fact, I realize that after reading this post, some may want to unfollow me or stop reading. That’s fine. I know that my truth may makes other uncomfortable. But I also know that it’s the truth of so many others and I will keep speaking up for them.

Trying Again

 

We are trying again. Or at least I think we are. It might change tomorrow. I wish I was more excited about trying again but I feel indifferent.

 

Blood.

 

Tears.

 

Loss.

 

This is all I know about pregnancy.

 

I wonder if I’m forcing things. I wonder if I’m trying too hard to make up for someone that was lost. I didn’t think that I was before, but I’m starting to self-reflect and wonder these things.

 

Every time we try again, I second guess myself. Is it the right decision? Am I doing the right thing? I have no clue. I’m not sure what is the right or wrong choice. Is it foolish to try again? Am I playing a fool’s game? Sometimes I feel like I’m at the roulette table in Las Vegas watching the wheel spin. Will my number hit? I have no idea.

If Only

If only I knew what I know now

Maybe I could have saved you and

You would be next to me right now.

If only I knew how to prevent this

I would have.

 

I’m so sorry that I didn’t know how to save you

I’m so sorry that you had to say goodbye.

All I can wish for now is a hello.

But it won’t be here.

It won’t be for a while.

Please look over me until I get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts

Are We Sharing Too Much?

 

Social media has given us the ability to share an amount of information that I never thought possible. People share their meals, workouts, clothing choices and even more serious situation such as marriage and even childbirth. I do not know if any of this is right or wrong. I think everyone has to determine for themselves how much they want to share.

 

I often struggle with this as a writer. A majority of my writing has to deal with my own personal experiences, so I have to pick and choose what I want to share and what I would like to keep to myself. Usually hindsight gives me the proper perspective to see if I would like to share something or not.

 

There were some times in my life when I did want to share with others, but I was by myself and didn’t have the technology in hand to share with anyone online. When I lived alone sometimes I would drive to the beach and walk up and down the boardwalk. I’d listen to the waves, breath in the cool ocean breeze and feel the wind on my face. But after a few minutes I would have no one to turn to and no one to share it with. It just kind of reminded me of my loneliness. Having the means of social media at that point of my life would have been nice just to share the experience with someone even if they couldn’t be there.

 

At this point in my life, I’ve started to become a bit more guarded. Maybe I want to remain a mystery. Maybe I just want someone to actually pick up a phone and call me or text me. The ‘likes’ on social media seem superficial and don’t replace a written note directly sent to me. Sometimes I scroll through my list of ‘friends’ on Facebook and I can’t remember where I know them from.

 

Some Facebook ‘friends’ I see in person but yet we don’t even say ‘hi’. I don’t think it’s an intentional snub but maybe we don’t recognize each other or realize who it is. But yet online, I’m allowing this glimpse into my life.

 

I’m not ready to give up on social media. I’m just trying to find its balance. I’m often envious of people who join in the present day and can carefully display their image as they are presently known. They don’t have ten years of baggage online waiting to be discovered.

 

I’ll admit that the first thing I often do when friended by someone is look through their pictures. I like to see if we have similar interests, if we’ve played similar sports, what sports teams they cheer for and where they’ve traveled. It’s kind of a strange way to learn more about someone if you compare it to a in person relationship. The moment we become friends with someone we don’t just run into our houses and pull out our photo albums and start showing them everywhere we’ve been and what our kids look like. That just isn’t my style. But maybe for some it is.

 

It’s too bad that Facebook doesn’t have some sort of degree of friendship, like in real life. Maybe after a year you get to see more photos and more views that the person has shared instead slapping everything at us at once.

 

In that way, social media can overwhelming. I can cycle through years of photographs and form an opinion of someone before I even know them very well at all. I suppose the opposite is true too. There are those I get along fine with in person but yet their social media presence irks me; as if I’m supposed to be paying attention to every move they make in the present.

 

I don’t need to be updated on the on goings of other peoples’ lives yet I still watch, wondering how much of their life they will share. How much are the willing to document for other’s consumption?

I don’t really like sharing my adventures until after the fact. I like to think of myself as a stealthy, social media person, leaving my whereabouts unknown. I prefer things this way really, although it has led to confusion. Often I’ll get comments like, “Have fun!” even when I include a caption that says, “From my vacation last week!”

I always chuckle when I see something like that but I think it just goes to show that we are so used to sharing in real time that it goes against the norm to reflect and share things after the fact. But I’ve always preferred going against the norm in a way and I think I’ll keep just like that.

Falling Behind

 

I have to admit that upon entering my thirties I feel as though I’ve fallen behind. Maybe it’s that my career hasn’t taken off the way that I initially expected. Maybe it’s in the sense that I yet to start a family while I see many of my friends gearing up for the second child. My first one never made it. He or she would have been over one year old today. Now I look at expectant first time moms and think that our kids may have gotten to know each other. But mine isn’t here today and never will be.

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m driving down the highway and I’m being passed by everyone in life. My car has stalled out. I know that life isn’t a race, but sometime it just doesn’t go the way you expected. I’m hoping that my stalling is just happening early in life. Only time will tell.

 

Yet, I also know that they are those behind me, looking longingly at wedding photos, volunteering to be yet another bridesmaid, wondering if they will ever have such a day. My heart sympathizes with them as well. Maybe their only wish is to be in relationship like mine, so I just try to be grateful for what I have.

 

Then there are those who are starting over again. Maybe they started over because they had no choice. Maybe they are starting over again because someone else decided it was time to move on. In any circumstances, it has to be difficult.

 

I keep reminding myself that life isn’t a race and that my journey just may be different that the ones I see around me. In truth, my life is wonderful and much more fulfilling than I had ever expected it to be. I’ve traveled to places I only thought I would see in books. But I’ve also suffered some losses that I’ll never have back. In some ways, I might always wonder what could have been. But that’s the card I’ve been dealt in life and there is nothing that can change it. It’s not a race, but sometimes it still hard to embrace it.

Not What I Expected

 

As much as I hate to admit it, I am a product of circumstances. For a while I actually believed that I could soar to any position through hard work, attain a family by willing it to be and accomplish my goals by just believing in myself. What a naïve person I must have been for so many years. It’s almost embarrassing.

 

Maybe part of it is pride. I’d like to think of myself as being in control; that no matter what happened to me, I could rise above and conquer all. I didn’t want to admit that outside circumstances affected me as I’m somehow I tried churning out my ‘perfect image’ in this universe.

 

I’ve failed a test several times that would guaranteed a boost in my career. Many people that I graduated with are way ahead of me by now and I’ll never catch up even if I try again. No doubt this has shaped my career and where I stand today.

 

I also truly believed that at this moment I would have a one-year old wrapped around calf, looking up at me. What would s/he look like? Would s/he look like me or their father? This is one thing I’ll never know.

 

Is this my upmost failing?

 

I’ve tanked.

 

I’ve failed.

 

I’ve lost.

 

But yet none of these are regrets.

 

Because I tried.

 

I gave it my best.

 

How can I deny that these events have changed me, and helped me evolve into who I am?

 

Now, more than ever I see that my circumstances have changed me. I’m a product of the Great Recession after losing my favorite job. I’m a product of grief and loss after losing two pregnancies. I could have never predicted or expected these things. After all, who plans for this kind of misfortune?

 

That would be a negative outlook, or at least something I previously perceived to be a negative outlook. But maybe it’s just reality. I’m not as in control as I’d like to think.

 

Letting go can be a powerful thing. Letting go of what you expected can be freeing and rewarding if you allow it to be. Maybe this is just the turning point.

 

Despite these failings and losses I have a great life. I have a wonderful husband; he’s a life partner who has my back through the hard times. Our lives have not turned as we thought they would. But together we have survived desperation and despair.

 

My career is not what I’ve imagined. But I have an income, which has allowed to live a life I’d only dreamed of once before. It allows me to travel places that I thought I’d only see in travel books.

 

I’ve rediscovered my passion of writing and while the royalties from my sales are nothing to live on, it gives me much satisfaction to know I’m producing something of value.

 

Maybe it’s giving up the idea of who you thought you would be at a certain point in your life. There is nothing to be ashamed of right now. Of course things are not as I expected, but isn’t that true for most of us?

Back to You

 

I think I’m coming back to you

I think I remember who you were

Or at least who you use to be

 

Only if you will have me back

I’m tattered and bruised

This is the new me

I’m not who I use to be

 

If you’ll have me I will stay

As long as I can

I finally remember who I use to be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

####

 

 

Thank you for reading my book. Like it? Love it? Please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer! Thank you! -Sarah Warman

 

About the Author

 

Sarah grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, raised by her parents who met in the steel mills of Pittsburgh. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology she moved to the Eastern shore of Maryland so she could take walks on the beach whenever she pleased. After spending five years as a migrant, Sarah and her husband returned to their native Pittsburgh where they reside with their rescued cat, Barton. Her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post and her personal blog, Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes.

 

 

Connect with Sarah

 

Twitter: @sarah_warmson

Pinterest: Sarah Warman

Personal Blog: www.fitsarah.weebly.com

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-warman/

Favorite me at Shakespir: Shakespir – About Sarah Warman, author of ‘Don’t Forget to Write’ and ‘Don’t Forget Me’

 


Don't Forget Me

'Don't Forget Me - Essays of Reflection' is the sequel to Sarah's first book of essays, 'Don't Forget to Write'. Sarah shares more of her essays as she weaves and winds her way through adulthood. She examines the complexity of her relationships, the losses she's faced and why life may not be taking the path she expected as she enters her thirties.

  • ISBN: 9781311698926
  • Author: Sarah Warman
  • Published: 2016-08-24 21:20:14
  • Words: 12099
Don't Forget Me Don't Forget Me