Parenthesis.

“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paul Coehol

There’s nothing quite like being 30,000 feet above the world. As I travel home from a weekend trip to Dallas, TX, I can’t help but find my thoughts wandering. It’s late; as I gaze out the window, little patches of lights from far away cities clutter the ground thousands of feet below. The occasional flash of lightning illuminates the sky. Time seems almost frozen.

Whenever I fly, time has a tendency to stop. When I’m up here above the earth, I’m disconnected from the world below. I’m left alone with my thoughts. Being suspended in the air has an incredible way of putting things into perspective.

The Paul Coehol quote above has recently found its way into my heart. As many of you may know, recently I have been grappling with a broken heart and the end of a friendship. I go through phases of hurt, anger and sadness. I’ve found myself questioning whether or not I regret the time spent with this man. How can I find the silver lining in a friendship that has ultimately caused me so much pain?

Coehol’s quote is a poignant reminder that the world is so much bigger than ourselves. It’s a realistic statement that puts our time here in this world into perspective. We are only here for a moment. In our lives, we are meant to experience happiness, pain and hurt. They are the core emotions that are felt across all of humankind.

To regret meeting a person takes a lot of energy. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you meet everyone for a reason. I’m an even bigger believer in the idea that you form relationships with certain people. To regret someone entirely is unrealistic. At some point, that person brought something to your life that you valued enough to keep around for however long you did.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that even though this boy has made it quite clear to me that he doesn’t want me in my life, I’m still finding it very difficult to fully regret opening up to him as much as I did. That being said, I hope that he realizes that this is a two-way street. Although he’s the one responsible for ending everything, I hope he doesn’t regret our friendship. I hope if he regrets anything at all that he regrets telling me that I’m not a priority. I hope that he learns from what he chose to say to me. And I hope he’s learned never to utter those words to a friend ever again.

Reflection pt. 2

It’s June. Summer is in full swing. Campus is empty. Living in Columbus is a lot more relaxing during the summer months than it is during the academic year; the bars aren’t overly crowded, my apartment complex isn’t nearly as loud as it normally is and everything just feels slower. This last semester turned out to be a lot more difficult for me than I expected, and because of that I haven’t given myself the chance to reflect on it.

Coming back to school in January is always exciting because PHA dives headfirst into formal recruitment. By the end of the month, each house welcomes upwards of 55 new members through its doors. These new members eventually become littles and grandlittles, and they are slowly sewn into the fabric of their chapter. This semester my family grew by two when my littles became bigs, and suddenly our little lineage isn’t so little anymore.

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For spring break, my best friends and I drove down to Gulf Shores, Alabama. With every piece of Ohio State gear we owned in tow, we made our way down south. Whether it was hanging out with our Georgia Tech SAE friends Chad and Arthur or getting yelled at from salty Alabama fans, we managed to have an amazing vacation that turned out to be everything I expected and more.

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The last few weeks of the semester snuck up much quicker than I expected; formal came and went, and then suddenly graduation was only a few days away. My big, along with the class of 2015 officially became alumni of The Ohio State University on May 10th, which then makes me the unthinkable: a senior in college.

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All the good came with some bad; if you have read any of my previous posts you understand what I’m referring to. To be hurt by someone is one thing; for that person to not understand what they’ve done is what can really leave an impression. The hardest thing for me over this last month has been coming to terms with the fact that the individual who has caused this hurt doesn’t seem to understand – or perhaps doesn’t want to understand – why I’ve been hurt. This leaves me anxious and unsure about what to expect in August when he returns to campus. I don’t know if he wants to still be my friend or not. I don’t really know what I want either.

Color Wheel.

Anger

When I think anger, I think red.
I think lightning and raven skies and stormy seas.
My heart is a ship being tossed back and forth across the choppy waves.
Anger is the emotion that fills your veins, burning you from the inside out.

Pain

When I think pain, I think black.
I’m helpless and I drown in the stormy seas of anger.
My heart is a delicate teacup unexpectedly dropped, shattering into a million little pieces.
Pain is the emotion that consumes your lungs, strangling you from the inside out.

Sadness

When I think sadness, I think gray.
The charcoal skies become lighter, turning into an ashen overcast.
My heart is an old childhood toy discarded in the back of a closet and left to develop dust.
Sadness is the emotion that blankets your soul, exhausting you from the inside out.

Forgiveness

When I think forgiveness, I think green.
Quenching myself of you and the poisonous concoction of anger, pain and sadness.
My heart is a piece of paper after it has been crumpled up into a ball and smoothed back out, ready to be used again.
Forgiveness is the emotion that breathes new life into your bones from the inside out.

Peace

When I think peace, I think blue.
I think newly washed sheets and warm candles and freshly brewed coffee.
My heart is hammock hanging from palm trees drifting in a beach breeze under a hot summer sun.
Peace is the emotion that centers your soul, calming you from the inside out.

Heartbroken.

“Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels

To be heartbroken is to experience a loss. It can occur when someone you trust breaks you, exposing you to the most protected parts of your soul. It’s uncomfortable, it’s painful, and it’s terrifying. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I thought I had been heartbroken once before. However, the last few weeks have proven to me that that boy from freshman year did not break my heart.

Heartbreak is universal. It can affect anyone at any time; it doesn’t matter how young or old you are and it doesn’t matter where in the world you call home. It doesn’t just have to be at the hands of a significant other; a friend can also break you in ways you never thought possible. It is a common human emotion that has the power to be felt across all preconceived societal differences. In the words of one of my closest friends: “It’s the worst. [It is the] literal definition of ‘sucks.’”

This may sound pessimistic, but I think it at some point in your life, you have to experience some sort of heartbreak. If you are reading this and already have, I’m sure that person who caused you that comes to mind. But as that quote says above, experiencing a broken heart is something that changes you. Yes, when someone breaks you, you learn how to put yourself back together. However, like the quote says, you aren’t going to be the same person you were before.

A broken heart will change you. It forces you to confront some of the most vulnerable parts of your person and reevaluate yourself. Like a ripped up piece of paper, it’s possible to tape your heart back together, but it will never be perfect again. There will be scars, just like the paper will always be crumpled with jagged edges. The challenge is to figure out how to make yourself strong again.

This strength comes from self-reflection and time. After all, they say time heals all wounds. I have four months. At the end of those four months, I will be starting my senior year at The Ohio State University. I do not plan to start my year timid and scared of meeting new people; I plan to begin my senior year confident and strong. I will not shy away from the man that broke me, but rather I will greet him as a completely new and better version of what I am now. No one controls my happiness except for myself. And if you’re reading this sir, once again, you know who you are by now. Have a wonderful summer. I look forward to meeting you all over again in August.

To my Big:

Dear Molly,

I’m going to start this out the same way I started off the note I read to you at Senior Wills. As a naïve freshman I thought: “wow, two years is a really long time. I still have so much left!” Flash-forward two years. I’m suddenly a junior and you’re twelve days from graduating from The Ohio State University.

You’ve been there for me through essentially everything; ATO Casino Night freshman year when I couldn’t gamble if my life depended on it, that time my boyfriend broke up with me the day before classes started and that America-themed Homecoming TG. You guided me through my first recruitment and put up with me when I made you go on dates with the two new members that would eventually become your grand-littles. Think about this: I’ve never attended a chapter without you as an active collegiate member of our chapter.

Hey – remember that one time your phone died while you were on your way to our first dinner date and you ended up aimlessly wandering Park-Stradley because you didn’t know what floor I lived on?

I’ve been in denial for awhile. Next year, I will be faced with this discomforting reality: I have to tackle my final year of college without you here while the longest I’ve ever gone without you by my side before was a single semester. I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it yet, and thinking about it still causes me to breakdown in tears. Senior year is kind of terrifying because I don’t know what happens next, and it’s scary to think that I won’t have my big, my rock, there to help me through it.

I know you’re only a phone call away. Actually, more like a FaceTime call because let’s be real why would I ever just call you (#tbt to when I FaceTimed you in the middle of Plaza). There’s a reason we won best Big/Little pair and that reason is something I can’t put into words. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling, but I know you’ve changed me for the better. This letter is cheesy but I’m kinda over it because we’re perfect no matter what. I know you’re going to do great things in New York. I’m excited to come visit you once you’re an official New Yorker and hipster and stuff.

Love you long time,

Me

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Wonderland.

There’s something really exciting when you meet someone new and you just click. The banter is relaxed and easy, your heart skips a beat when he texts you for the first time and you can’t help but smile when you talk about him. Although it may not be anything serious, there’s something comforting in the idea of getting to know someone and knowing that he wants to get to know you too. If it works out, these curiosities can turn into something great. However, if it’s not in the cards, more times than not, someone ends up getting burned.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working through the end of a relationship. I use the term relationship loosely though; I’m not sure what to call it. In a culture where labels are deemed the enemy and are seen as things that cause anxiety and fear, it’s hard to define relationships. The word “friend” is not as simple and straight-forward as it used to be. I don’t know what to call two friends that kiss, but I do know that that’s not what we are anymore.

When I try to make sense of my emotions, I turn to music. While I pride myself on being a good communicator and a good writer, sometimes it’s hard to put what I’m feeling into words. This being said, I don’t actively seek out a song. It usually happens while I’m focusing on something else. And when it does, it almost always knocks the breath out of me.

Wonderland is a bonus track from Taylor Swift’s album, 1989. While I had heard it plenty of times prior to Friday night, I never thought much of it. But then, like I described above, it hit me.

We found Wonderland // You and I got lost in it // And we pretended it could last forever
We found Wonderland // You and I got lost in it // And life was never worse but never better // In Wonderland

Although I haven’t completely lost the relationship, it has been difficult knowing that I’m not what he wants anymore. I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it, but it’s the only way that’s coming to mind at the moment. He cares about me still, which is something he has told me plenty of times and is something I believe with my entire soul. It’s a strange mix of emotions.

This is where my girl Taylor comes in clutch. Life was never worse, but also never better. There are moments where I feel sad. There are moments where I feel angry. There are moments where I feel hurt. However, how lucky am I that he is willing to talk through all of of this with me? I am so lucky that he wants to put in the effort to maintain our friendship, despite a looming 2,500 mile barrier that will be this summer.

That being said, summer is coming. I have an incredible internship lined up, I’ll be in my college town with a few of my best friends and the weather is getting warmer. Life is fantastic right now, and I honestly couldn’t ask for anything else. I’m surrounded by a group of amazing friends and I have an amazing family. I’m only a year away from receiving a college degree from the greatest university in the world. I’m incredibly lucky for what I have, and I’m incredibly lucky to have met this man and formed a friendship with him. If he’s reading this and has made it this far, he knows this is about him by now. Thank you for being you, and thank you for challenging me in new ways. I appreciate it more than you know.

Temporary.

In two weeks, I turn 21. It was around this time a year ago that I started this blog and started putting my experiences into words. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that life as a young millennial can be hard. However, it can also be fantastic.

I’ve experienced a lot in this past year; I found a family in the least expected place, I spent what was probably my last summer at home and I went on a vacation of a lifetime. I met a boy who helped me move on from a toxic relationship, and then had to reevaluate after that boy changed his mind. I got to watch the Ohio State/Michigan game at home with my little brother and storm the field after we won. The night before leaving for winter break, I met another boy.

Within this first half of my second semester, The Ohio State University Buckeyes became the first Undisputed National Champions in College Football history. The boy I met before break helped me move on from the boy who changed his mind. I became a grandma when my littles took littles of their own. Recently, I’ve found myself back to square one in the relationship department. I think over the course of this school year, I’ve figured out what makes college so difficult for some people.

Everything is temporary. We’re here for four years, and in those four years people are frequently coming and leaving from our lives. Students usually move from the dorms into two or three apartments or houses during undergrad. Roommates change. Due to the hookup culture, it’s almost impossible to stay with someone for more than a handful of months before you come to a crossroads.

Personally, I have found it hard to work through this idea of only being temporary. We set ourselves up for it, and our environment helps perpetuate it. It’s challenging and frustrating. In these moments, I think it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not the only one going through this. All 50,000 undergraduate students here at Ohio State are most likely experiencing this in some aspect of their lives. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that it’s only you, it’s important to remember that on a college campus, you’re never alone.

Now if you need a little pick-me-up after all of this, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • 1) Look outside. The weather is beautiful.
  • 2) We are still the undisputed National Champions
  • 3) Michigan still sucks.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you have a wonderful day. Go Bucks.