Today

Menstruation Frustration

Y’all, I have a serious love/hate relationship with my period.

I’m glad to have it, really, but damn does it fuck with my head.

I can deal with the cramps, the back pain, the nausea, the headaches, The Bloat, the tenderness, the cravings, the breakouts, the exhaustion. I’m not a fan of any of them, but I can deal because they just require pills or patches or long naps or begging Boyfriend for junk food. But the emotional roller coaster I’m taken on once a month is so frustrating!

I overthink everything I say and hear, I read into actions that are completely meaningless, I cry about things that aren’t real, and then knowing that I do all that, I question every emotion I have, asking myself, “Is this a valid reaction or am I being sensitive?”

I feel hideous, which is normally made worse by breakouts and The Bloat that makes all my clothes just a little tighter and uncomfortable. But on top of feeling like an ugly monster, I’m also a horn dog. Which is the most confusing thing ever because I don’t want Boyfriend to look at or touch my greasy, broken out, bloated body, but in the same second when he’s not being affectionate or calling me sexy I feel like an even grosser monster. How in the world am I suppose to reconcile all of those feelings? What am I supposed to tell him to do?

My period also exacerbates any dilemmas I was working through before it starts. For example, I’ve been really stressed about figuring out my next step, professionally or academically, or both. I’ve been searching for a job that could start my career, I’ve been trying to decide if I want another Master’s and if yes, then in what and where and I’ll need letters of recommendation and I’ll have to talk to the VA and can I finish it before I turn 26 and my benefits run out, etc. etc. blah blah blah.

It feels pretty heavy anyway, but when I’m on my period all that stress weighs on me differently. I feel judged by an imaginary audience in my head, frozen in the headlights of their stares, completely unable to make a decision or take any productive steps. So I’m getting nothing done and I feel extra terrible about myself for not being productive so my progress slows even more while my mental energy is spent beating myself up and my physical energy is spent shedding my uterine lining, creating zits, eating brownies and onion rings, or crying about a scenario I created in my head after hearing a sad song on the radio.

I’m exhausted and in a head space where I feel like I have wasted every second of the last 5 days, even though when I look back at them I did get things done, just not enough for my period-brain to feel accomplished or even complacent.

Thanks a lot, uterus. ✌️

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Today

Graduation, Travel, Heart-Eyes Emoji

Master’s of Science in Nonprofit Administration, y’all.

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Mother’s Day has also been Graduation Day for my past two graduations. My mom loves it, especially this time around because I didn’t really want to participate in my ceremony and only did so at her request. Afterwards though, I felt glad that I had- just like Boyfriend said I would.

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It was a nice way to wrap up a degree that, honestly, barely feels real. I guess that’s one of the bigger downsides of going to school online, I know I worked hard, but a lot of the times it just felt like I was fucking around, spending hours on my laptop when I could have been working (like the kind for money, you know) or spending time with my family. I know I learned a lot, but because I was always reading online, it felt less academic.

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Putting on the cap and gown and walking across the stage made things seem a little more real. Taking cute pictures with Boyfriend and my family made me feel special and accomplished. Getting cards full of praise and expectations made me feel empowered for my next step- though I’m not entirely sure what that may be.

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LSP Promotion Exams

Since I’m not a student anymore, I can’t be a grad assistant anymore, obviously. BUT on my last day of work my supervisor told me she wanted to hire me through the school’s research institute to help proctor the Louisiana State Police promotion exams. I was so excited for the opportunity, and honestly the paycheck.

As a part of my work as a grad assistant, I co-wrote the questions for the exams so proctoring the tests was such a cool experience. Like, walking around the officers as they tested, seeing things I’d written was gratifying and validating. It was my first time seeing my work have tangible, meaningful, REAL WORLD consequences.

I loved it. Of course, I was terrified out of my mind before the actual tests because my “training” was reading the manual sent to my email five days prior, but after the first test I was pumped for the second and did it without a co-proctor. I was telling our lead how much I enjoyed it and she asked if I’d like to proctor the make-up exams in Baton Rouge in her place!

So I started typing this post in a hotel in the state capital the night before the make-up exams feeling like a complete bad ass because I feel so adult and accomplished. This is technically a “work trip.” I had to file an ~expense report~! Who am I?! Hahaha.

It all just feels extra nice and is gonna look extra nice on a resume! More importantly though, it has done so much for my confidence, at least professionally. I feel more capable than I did a few weeks ago, not a bad feeling at all.

All the states! All the growth!

I plan on writing posts about it someday when I’m a more consistent blogger, but last month Boyfriend took me to Florida to meet his family. We stayed two weeks and had an incredible time. The month before that was his bowling tournament in Houston. This month we went to Branson, Missouri with my family. We had so much fun on every trip and made countless memories- which is like the cheesiest thing to say, but that’s where I’m at. ♥️

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To sound like a broken record, it just all feels SO NICE. I promised myself I’d travel more in 2018 and when Boyfriend and I met we bonded over a love of adventure and travel. Living those promises and connection makes me feel like I’m finally living the life I was picturing for myself when I moved home after college and was so miserable. It feels like I’m making progress, like I’m growing. I’m no longer filled with dread every morning, I don’t feel stagnant in my life anymore. The scariest thing is I didn’t know I felt so negative until things changed, how long would I have lasted if I hadn’t forced myself to leave my comfort zone?

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I still panic a lot. I still have no idea where I’m going with that Master’s Degree. I still fight with my family. I still have moments where I worry I’m heading in the wrong direction. But it’s become easier to jump out of those spirals before they force me to rock bottom. I’ve become less pessimistic in the past nine months and everyone who knows me has noticed.

I’m happier than I ever remember being and all I can say is fuck yeah, man. I deserve this.

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Today

24 Things I’m Glad I Did Before 24

Last week I celebrated my 24th birthday and I can honestly say it was the best one yet. I know that’s such a cliche and people tend to say that every year, but Boyfriend surprised me and I spent quality time with my family (including a great phone conversation with my out-of-state sister). It was just pure joy all day. And it’s not over! I am “one of those” and celebrate my birthday all month long. Boyfriend’s been great about that. Haha!

All the love I felt so far this month has me feeling very reflective. I started thinking about the things I’ve loved about my life. So here’s a list, they’re not in chronological order, just kind of brain dumped. Haha. Enjoy ♥

24 Things I’m Glad I Did Before 24

  1. Travel internationally: alone!
  2. Got my Bachelor’s Degree
  3. Made six North-South cross country trips- two of which I drove!
  4. Attended the D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival
  5. Saw Pope Francis when he came to the States!
  6. Got my first “real” job after graduating high school
  7. Managed to end an unhealthy relationship (took me months…)
  8. Got chlamydia… not all that glad about this one, but like… it was an experience.
  9. Hiked on a volcano
  10. Swam in the Ocean
  11. Became a vegetarian… then a vegan… then a half assed vegan..
  12. Witnessed a perfect game at Boyfriend’s bowling tournament- HIS perfect game ♥
  13. Got into Graduate school
  14. Got kicked out of Graduate school
  15. Got back into Graduate school
  16. Saw a musical on Broadway (Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Taye Diggs!)
  17. Saw Kenny Chesney live! And Journey! And Paul McCartney!
  18. Got into my first “real” fender bender
  19. Started this awful blog. Lol.
  20. Brought a significant other to my family’s Christmas morning
  21. Registered to vote
  22. Drunkenly arm wrestled a stranger in a pizza place around 2 AM
  23. Spent a week in D.C. serving the poor and food insecure
  24. Fell in and out of love a few times.

 

There are definitely some great stories in there, and some not so great. All of those things make me who I am- and I’m kind of a bad ass. I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time, I feel healthier, I feel braver, I feel more like myself than ever before. I still get sad, things still suck sometimes, but I’m in a better place overall.

My 25th year is going to be a great one. The best? Maybe.

Comment and let me know what stories you want me to post about!

EJ♥

Today

Post Vacation Blues

I’ve been back from the rain forest for a week now and I haven’t posted a single thing like I promised I would. But let’s not act surprised.

The joy I was high on from my Costa Rican adventure was slowly murdered in the Atlanta airport. First by the weather, then the shitty food, and finally by the delay of my flight until the following morning.

My first day back was great, though. I hung out with my dad while I unpacked and did laundry, telling stories and showing off souvenirs. Later I went to see Boyfriend as soon as he got off work- which on a Tuesday night meant crashing his bowling league (which I secretly love to do).

My vacation joy returned every time someone asked about the trip, it was in tiny flares as I recalled the adrenaline, the awe, the bumbling Spanish and currency exchange, the rain, the people…

But it all crashed down around me after an eight hour work day turned into rushing out of work and puking. And puking. And puking. I was nauseated and generally ill three full days, during which I ate saltines and some original Pringles (courtesy of my sister). Didn’t manage to keep down anything else.

Now here I am, well again, but dreading going back to work and starting school. Thankfully today it snowed! Here in Louisiana, despite it being only a few inches, snow means everything is shut down, delaying the full return to my real life. While I would still prefer to be on a beach in Jacó, I am glad for the quiet blanket of fresh white snow that will surely only last the day.

Forgive me for this post not being a more detailed account of my trip, I promise those posts are coming!

EJ♥

Today

Costa Rican New Year

I don’t want to spend too much time on this post because midnight is less than 3 hours away and I’m going to be heading to a Costa Rican disco to ring in the new year in like half an hour!!

BUT I also know I’ve been a very lackluster blogger. Lol. So, here I am letting you know that I’ve been journaling this trip and when I get back I’ll spend my first ten days back posting a different entry! 

That way I’m not trying to worry about posting and all the day of because we all know I’d fail!

Anyway, I’m sure to have a bunch of “this past year” and “where I am now” feelings to share, but they will have to wait til I’m back stateside because I’m not even capable of thinking about those things right now!

Anyway, joyous New Year to all of you!

Pura Vida!!

EJ❤️

Today

Anthology.

Trigger warning: Assault.


The first time.
Seventh Grade. As much as a middle schooler can, I had a ‘boyfriend.’ He had had more girlfriends in the past than I had had boyfriends and while this intimated me, I remember thinking he was so sensitive and made me feel grown up. I don’t remember how long we’d been ‘dating’ or what really brought this on, but one afternoon in the teen center he came with me to the back room while I got my bags and was about to leave. I had never kissed anyone so our goodbyes consisted of lengthy hugs, burying our faces in each others shoulders, and saying cheesy and manufactured things we’d heard in movies or pop songs. This time though, mid-hug, he laced his hands together on the small of my back and thrust his hips against me over and over so his bulge would hit against my crotch. I froze and then tried to push away from him by putting my hands on his shoulders. He whispered, “You like that” and I couldn’t tell if it was a question or a statement.


My 1st year of college. August. One night I was feeling silly and outgoing. I shouted at a passerby that I liked his beard. As he got closer I realized he was older than the freshman and sophomores I’d been running into, but he was funny and seemed nice. I don’t remember if I got his number that night or if he found me on Facebook or what happened, but after that we started texting and hanging out. While he was new to the school, he was a transfer student and had taken a few years off before starting so he was 25 to my very fresh 18 years. But it didn’t feel like that big of a difference when we hung out. One night he invited me to a party, I felt awkward and nervous because I was the only underclassman there, but his friends were nice to me and let me drink their liquor. I didn’t stand the whole night so when we got up to leave, the alcohol I had hit me like a ton of bricks.

He helped me to his room, where he helped me out of my underwear- but not out of my dress. He asked if he could eat me out. I said yes. He asked if we could have sex. I said no and he stayed dressed. I asked if I could go home. He said yes. We walked to my dorm across campus and he helped me unlock the floor door and my dorm door. I said thanks and good night, but he came in my room. I fell asleep. He woke me up. He asked if he could eat me out again. I said nothing. He ate me out. He stopped. I fell asleep. He left.

I remembered everything that happened and I didn’t feel slighted in anyway, but was still uncomfortable, I couldn’t figure out why. He started texting me nonstop. After about a week, I told him I just wanted to be friends. I apologized, was as sweet as I could be, told him I just wasn’t ready for anything more than that and was sorry if I’d been leading him on. He was really cool about it for the first two days.

Then the texting nonstop continued. And he started showing up outside my classes regularly, despite me never having told him my schedule. He would be in the dining hall with no food when my roommate and I would show up. I’d see him everywhere. I was afraid.

More happened with him, but it isn’t really my story to tell. He eventually left the school due to emotional distress or something- those were the rumors anyway. During my senior year he came to visit, he apologized for everything he’d done to make me and my roommate uncomfortable. He seemed much more relaxed and happier, honestly.


My 1st year of college. October. My high school boyfriend, who I was still back and forth with, had just texted me something cruel and dismissive regarding another girl he had started seeing. I was pissed and hurt so my new roommate (and new best friend) invited me home with her for midterm break. We had an absolute blast. While home with her I met a friend of her then-boyfriend. The four of us went out and me and this guy really hit it off. Like, really. So I ended up with this huge hickey and his phone number. Fast forward a few weeks, it’s Halloween, I’m kind of over this guy. I had expressed my disinterest, but he wasn’t giving up. His friend, my roommate’s boyfriend, was coming to stay with us for Halloween weekend and he invited himself along- after I told him I did not want to see him. I even tried to use my interest in another guy to ward this one off, but he persisted.

As my roommate and I were getting ready, the boys mingled in the hall and hung out. As we were leaving, he told me how hot or something I looked and grabbed at me. I hit him in the face, trying to get the message to him and everyone around us that I was not interested. After I hit him he said something about the “balls” I had and how hot it was that a girl would do that. I was afraid.

Later in the night I was dancing with someone else. My visiting friend, whom I had now hit and run away from, acted slighted and hurt that I would do something like that. He said he’d driven all the way there to hang out with me and couldn’t believe I was ignoring him. I did my best to be polite to him, but also tried not to send any flirtatious signals- though it felt hopeless after the way my slap had been interpreted.

At the end of the night he was still coming on to me regularly and I kept trying to nicely rebuff him, but at one point I pushed him away, he fell, his phone broke. He looked at me sweetly and said it didn’t matter. My skin crawled. Eventually we all laid down to try to go to sleep. Instead, our visitor began texting my roommate’s boyfriend about how sad he was he had to sleep on the floor and how he wanted to lay next to me and promised no funny business if he was allowed up into my bed. The boyfriend was showing these messages to my roommate and imploring her to talk to me, so she started texting me. I felt guilty and tired and figured I’d just curl against the wall- use it as leverage to push him out if he did try anything. So I let him up, told him I felt bad he was on the cold floor and earnestly implored him not to be an asshole.

He was. He insisted he be against the wall so I could more easily get in and out of bed. And then about twenty minutes later he wrapped his arms around me and put his hands under my shirt, cupping my breasts, saying it doesn’t really matter anyway. I wanted to cry, but just laid still, hoping that no reaction would end his game. It didn’t. A little while later he spooned me and said, “You make me so hard.” Again, I stayed frozen. He eventually moved back to his side, but kept his hands on my breasts.


My 1st year of college. April/May. I started hanging out with a new friend group. I met a guy in my Spanish class, subsequently met his friends, we all hit it off and started hanging out. The dynamic was that the guy I’d met in Spanish had a sort of obvious crush on me, but I didn’t feel the same so I acted oblivious and did my best to make it clear I just wanted to be his friend. One of the others in the group had a pretty serious girlfriend, the other was chronically single, and the final guy was a notorious flirt. I, of course, developed a crush on the flirty guy, but didn’t want to let on given how new the friendships were. About a month in, because I can’t keep my damn mouth shut, I told the guys about my crush, they teased me a little, but nothing else really happened for a few weeks.

One night we all went for a walk. It was the weird kind of weather that called for a jacket, but made you sweat. It was a good night. We told jokes and stories, just normal freshman exploring campus. The night ended in one of their rooms, we played video games, snacked, just kind of hung out. Eventually we all dispersed and the flirty one asked me to come to his room, he wanted to talk. I was nervous and just stood in his doorway. He teased me a little, and strummed his guitar, I swooned, but stood my ground. After some navigating, he expressed that he knew about my crush, but didn’t think it was a good idea to have anything happen because of the feelings another person in the group had for me. I agreed, and we talked and laughed. I went to my room.

He texted me not long after that, less than an hour later, and asked if he could come upstairs and watch a movie. Great, I thought to myself, we’re definitely gonna make-out and then we’ll pretend it never happened and the friend group will survive and everything will be fine. I texted him back, told him to give me a few to get ready- i.e. put on cute pajamas and clean my dorm.

To be clear, I knew, he knew, and anyone reading this knows we were not going to watch a movie. I mean, when he came upstairs, we didn’t even pretend to pick one out. He just got in my bed and we started talking. Then we started kissing. Then he slid his hands in my shirt and I said, “That’s fine, but I want to be clear that I don’t want to have sex.” He nodded and we kept going. He took his pants off, and then my shorts. He fingered me, kissed me, and then got out of bed to put a condom on. I said, “Troy, I don’t want to have sex.”

He said okay, left the condom on, and got back in bed. I was afraid. I said, “Stop.” He got on top of me, I put my knees on his chest and said for the third time, “I don’t want to have sex.”

He said something like, “Yes you do, this feels so good. Tell me you don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to.”

He laughed, “Yes you do.”

I was afraid. I was pushing my knees into his chest telling him I didn’t want to, but he was pushing back, trying to get into me. My mind raced with something to say to get him off and out of my room.

“This is illegal. What you’re doing, it’s coercion. It’s illegal in New York. I don’t want to have sex.”

He made a noise that sounded pissed off. He got off me, threw the unused condom in my recycling bin, and left. I cried, wrapped a blanket around me and didn’t move for a few hours.


My 3rd year of college. Early Spring. I went to a party with a friend. I wasn’t old enough to get into bars yet, but we were both tired of just drinking in our rooms. We’d pre-gamed a little and were buzzed. His buzz turned to brooding about 30 minutes after arriving so he left. I didn’t want to leave and felt comfortable staying since I’d seen a few people I knew, I didn’t plan on drinking more than a beer or two. We made a pact that I’d check in every hour so he’d know I was safe.

I was dancing with this pretty attractive hockey player that had lived on my floor freshman year. He was pretty drunk so I knew nothing would happen, but was enjoying the attention and was glad not to be awkwardly standing against a wall. While we danced he was rubbing his hands from my ribs down to my legs, sometimes grazing my ass, but was generally respectful and when he got a little too close to my breasts and I pushed his hand, he didn’t offend again.

That is until the third or fourth song when he started pulling my dress up. At first I thought it was a mistake and just pulled it down and laughed a little. Then he kept doing it, to the point that I stepped away from him and danced arm’s length away. He got the point, though reluctantly. A few songs later I asked him to show me where the bathroom was, since it was a house I’d never visited. He grabbed my hand and I followed him down a hallway into a bathroom with no doorknob. He held the door open for me, followed me in, put his back against the door to keep it shut, and started to fumble with his belt. I was afraid. He was blocking the only exit.

Trying to play it cool, I said, “No sweetie, I actually have to pee.” He nodded and left with his belt undone. I nearly pulled a muscle trying to pee and hold my hand over the hole of the missing doorknob. I didn’t see him again. I went home.


The worst time.
My 2nd year of college. January. 
In the last semester, there had been this light flirtation going on between me and a ‘friend of a friend’ type. He was someone I thought was funny and sweet and I wanted to get to know him better, but he was someone I really only saw in passing, someone I was friends with on Facebook but neither one of us had taken the step of messaging the other. Luckily, at the very start of the semester, I ran into him and a few other mutual friends in the dining hall. We did our regular smiling and waving, but this time he invited me to sit with them.

It turns out they were planning a surprise birthday party for the guy through which I had met all of them. They invited me to come along and the guy I had the flirtation with gave me all the details.

The day of the party came up and I was excited! This wasn’t actually the first party this group had invited me to, but I was never able to actually make it, for a whole host of reasons. The guy texted me and asked if I was going to be able to come, I responded yes and told him I was on my way!

I got there and the same group from the dining hall was there (most of them lived there) along with a few other friends-of-friends I recognized. However, I was then informed that the party didn’t start for another hour and I had been given an earlier time than everyone else because of my chronic lateness and habit of not showing up. At first I was a little offended, but instead realized that it was probably more a reflection of my habits and this guy’s crush than it was an insult.

Given the early hour, I had not had time for dinner- I tried really hard to be on time! So the guys offered me some pretzels because it was the only vegan food they had. I started snacking on the fruit in the jungle juice because little underclassman Emily Jo was completely ignorant of how fruit in alcohol absorbs said alcohol. Between the fruit and the pretzels I was feeling better, but also tipsy.

The guys got a text that the birthday boy and the girlfriend escorting him to the party were going to be late. So we all started playing a drinking game, something with cards, I don’t remember. I got pretty drunk.

Eventually the guest of honor arrived, we took a picture. So somewhere on someone’s phone or laptop there is a picture of me fairly wasted, holding an empty shot glass next to a guy in a birthday hat surrounded by strangers and acquaintances.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the party. I don’t know if I ran to the bathroom alone and was followed or if I spoke to the flirtation guy about how ill I was feeling and he led me to the bathroom. I don’t know. I just know I ended up in the bigger of their two bathrooms throwing up pink bits of fruit and brown pretzels.

I remember people knocking and him saying, “Occupied” a bunch of times. I remember having to move to the smaller bathroom because one of the roommates needed the shower. I remember struggling to make that move. I remember being really cold and annoyed by that. But most of it is blurry.

I was so weak and out of it that the guy was holding me up so I’d vomit in the toilet. I was so weak and out of it that I had to ask him to lift the toilet seat. I was so weak and out of it that I was falling asleep in his arms between the bouts of sickness.

I was so weak and out of it that I’m surprised I remember him kissing me. I was so weak and out of it that I couldn’t stop him running his hands up my pantyhose and rubbing my crotch over them. Or pulling my dress up.

I’m not sure how long I was in there, puking and being assaulted, but eventually I stopped throwing up. He told me I could use his bed until I felt better. I don’t know how long I slept, or if I even did. I just remember my head spinning. When I was finally able to see straight, I started looking for my phone. I wanted to get out of there. Even though I felt much better, things were still blurring and I stumbled around. I needed help finding my phone, but as soon as I did I called friends that lived nearby and quietly begged them to let me stay on their couch.

I left as everyone else did, they were walking towards campus, towards my dorm. I ran in the opposite direction, towards the apartment of the friends I’d called. At first they chased after me, they didn’t know I’d called anyone. They thought I was being drunk and difficult so they were talking down to me, annoyed but concerned. I yelled back that I was fine, or something to that effect, I don’t remember. I was trying to run and dial and not slip in the snow. I got to the door of the apartment building and called my friends again to be let in. I cried on their couch.


#MeToo