where am i going? what am i doing? | part one

A dear friend of mine shared this video on Facebook last Friday and I was all like 'Yo, Jenna Marbles! You make me laugh so much! Let's see what you got for me!'
And then I proceeded to cry for an hour. 
I highly recommend watching the video before reading on, but it's not required or anything. This series is about my life in a way I didn't intend to write about, but here I am. Where am I going? What am I doing?
Disclaimer: this post might be more for me than it is for y'all, but i still think it's important to write. as bloggers, we've got to be more than wishlists and photo shoots. maybe that's just me. either way, i hope you get something from it, and are maybe even inspired to look back on and into your own life.

I'm 22. About to turn 23. I have no idea what is ahead of me.
When I was 18, I went to my dream school. I had no idea what was ahead of me. I started in a major I quickly realized I didn't love, so I changed it. I had control to do the things I wanted. My second semester of college, I became an English major and I took my very first Women's Studies Class. I met a boy who understood American Grammar and didn't make fun of me because I didn't. He thought I wrote beautiful poetry, so we would sit in the grass outside of the Main Building and write it together. We even passed notes between classes and wrote joint poems about cats and the moon. I was so happy.
The boy and I started dating and I was even happier. He went back to Dallas for the summer and I would save up money from my barista job at Barnes and Noble to go visit him. I made really awesome playlists with lots of Katy Perry and songs from Spring Awakening and I would make the four hour drive to stay with him at his dad's house. We drove around Dallas and saw movies and went shopping and laughed a lot. I was really happy.

Back in Austin, I was dealing with a really bad roommate situation. Except I didn't know how bad it was until the summer ended. To make a really long story short, I had moved in with a guy I was friends with but also had a really emotionally abusive relationship with. He was older and very manipulative and spiteful. He isolated me from all of my friends. I was just a college freshman and he took full advantage of that, but I didn't know what I was in until I'd signed a lease and we'd lived together for about four months.
When my boyfriend moved back to Austin for our sophomore year, I started staying at his place most every night of the week. Eventually I moved a good chunk of my closet over there and only went by my old place to pay rent once a month. My boyfriend lived with 3 other guys who I was also friends with. They did their best to make me feel at home, but it never was. I had struggled with eating for years, but I was so uncomfortable in this living situation, that I would only allow myself to keep a box of cereal or a container of Nutella and some bread in their pantry. And that's all I ate.
I remember having a break down because I wanted to scramble some eggs. I didn't feel comfortable using their dishes and stove. I didn't feel safe going to my own apartment. I didn't want to crawl back to my parents' house and borrow their kitchen. I had no place to scramble some eggs. I didn't have a place of my own.
My boyfriend said I was complicated, so we broke up. I couldn't go back to my apartment. I tried to get out of the lease, but everything went wrong. I moved back in with my parents and I continued to pay rent at the apartment for the next five months. I started feeling really depressed.

I woke up and drove to south Austin for class every day, went straight to eight hours of work, and drove back home at night. I lost all of my remaining friends from freshman year in the break up. I felt really alone. I had all female professors this semester and they taught me an enormous amount about being a writer and a woman and about being myself. I had a remarkable friend was there when I needed her, even though she was going through her own rough time. Everything was really hard.
I was in a poetry class this semester with my ex boyfriend. This was a double-edged sword. I was entered in a local slam poetry contest and he came to watch me perform. We got back together that night. He promised me that learning to deal with my complicated self was worth it to him. He said this was what he wanted. I continued to live at my parents' house, but I spent a few nights a week at his place.
One night we were out eating pizza and he asked what I loved about him. I went on and on about why he never ceased to amaze me and how important he was to me. I returned the same question. He said he liked my poetry.
We fought in his car in the parking lot for hours after the restaurant had been closed. By the early morning, I packed up my things and drove to my parents' house and I slept and slept and slept.

In May I moved into my own apartment; all by myself. In July I was diagnosed with depression and began my journey to find the right medication. I went back to school, but I continued to sleep and sleep and sleep.
 
In the meantime, the world was still spinning. I had an internship and a job, and eventually a different internship and later another job. I did the OkCupid thing (that's another story for another day) and ended up with the guy who had been there all along (yet another story for another day). 
I took time to fall in love, time to take care of myself, time to be really good at my job, and time to finish school. My complicated self started achieving things she didn't necessarily know she wanted or needed.
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That's all for Part One; Part Two coming soon!

7 comments

  1. I'm so glad you're writing this, Nicole. I really really am. I haven't ever been in any sort of the same situations as you, but I can relate in other ways. I definitely just cried watching that Jenna Marbles video too, but it's a little comforting to know that even though people may seem to have it all figured out, they're just as confused as you are. I've been struggling a lot lately with trying to figure what they heck I'm going to do with my life. Sure, everyone thinks that just because I've got the "perfect relationship" and that I'm getting married means I've got it all sorted out. But that's just one part of my life, and I have so many other parts that I have no idea what in the world I'm going to do in. It's hard, and I get so upset about all of it randomly..

    Anyway, my rant is over. Point being, I understand and can relate, and I am so glad you're doing this.

    xo
    Kristina

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  2. Nicole, thank you for sharing this part of your life story about growing into adulthood. We didn't know each other at St. Ed's but I wish we had, even if it was only in a class. You're an incredibly strong woman and an inspiration to me, and I know you must be an inspiration to other women, young and old alike. (Also, that Jenna Marbles video made me tear up, too. Wow.)

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  3. Nicole, this is amazing. I feel like we've had such similar lives, in such different ways. All I can say is that I'm so happy that you've risen above the ashes of your past and are becoming stronger and more wonderful every single day. When I think of the Nicole I know (I mean, via the Internet, BUT IT FEELS REAL), I think of a strong, powerful, capable girl. I would never have thought you dealt with the issues you've dealt with in the past, but I think that's just a sign that you've truely overcome so much insecurity and carry yourself in a way that shows that.

    I'm excited to read more about the story of a strong, courageous girl named Nicole. <3

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  4. When we are young, we are often mesmerized by people that "seem" to have it all together....only to find out they do not. I believe that's what happened with the roommate. The young boyfriend was/is probably a person who has an "ideal" girlfriend in mind and you fit the bill....i.e. "we wrote poetry together". You were probably also able to bring out the softer side of him and it was a comfort.
    Sadly, in your case, while you were able to express real attributes of his all he could come up with was poetry and as you realized, you can't really make a relationship on something that is only a small portion of a person.
    And you paid dearly for it...but you also found your strength....sometimes, sleeping is good. And going home is good; it's safe and that's what you needed for a while "a safe place to fall". But remember to look at how beautifully you rose up.
    I remember your days at B&N...you came in with a beautiful smile, a nice word for all and I watched you grow true and strong.
    I am proud to call you a friend!

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  5. Life is complicated. Even if someone came up to you and said "Hey girl. When you're an adult, you're going to be like this and you're going to do this and you're going to have done this" I still don't think life would make sense. Because people get to places in all different ways and for all different reasons. If you just did this person said and blindly went into that particular field and did these things.. you may never been happy. By being told what to do, you lose the journey and the importance of learning about yourself and understanding your actions.

    We aren't meant to know what to do. If we were than life would be really boring. and I think we need the sad and confused times so we can really appreciate and enjoy the happy and easy going times.

    I'm glad you're writing this. Thank you for always being so open and honest.
    Jenn
    With Luck Blog

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  6. You're so good about opening up on your blog -- I find it so inspiring, as both a writer, but also as a reader of yours. Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad you're in a better place now (physically, emotionally) and able to talk about the things that have made you into who you are. Y'know why? Because, you're great! (I've said it before; I'll say it again.)
    --Lily
    Fifth Freedom Fashion

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  7. I'm glad you shared your story. You're so real. I'ts hard to open up like that on the internet and in person... or at least it's hard for me! I think it's good to look back on your life and situations and write it all down in some place. I think it helps you see what you've been through and what you've overcome, and you grow from it. Nicole, my bbff, you're such an inspiring person!

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