This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I wanted to read the story of my life. I have made mistakes and hurt people along the way and this was very difficult to swallow. Digging into my past I’ve felt emotions over again, felt new emotions, and looked at my actions from a different perspective. Feeling these emotions more than once took it’s toll on me. I felt a lot of sadness. Sadness that I had pushed deep down inside of me because I needed to be a functioning human being. At times, while I was writing, I felt embarrassed for myself. I wondered why I couldn’t be better. I tried to write in such a way that I only reveal what I learned in that moment in time. I have grown and learned immensely from these events that happened so long ago. I continue to learn every day. I continue to be human and make mistakes every day. I continue to do the things I have done in my past over and over again, like I didn’t learn from my mistakes at all. I’m becoming more myself, more of the person I am meant to be.Reading through my journal entries is one of the most healing and humorous things I have ever done. I highly recommend this as a process to grow. To learn how to laugh at yourself. To be so completely embarrassed that all you can do is laugh and think well, that is who I was. Or maybe who I am. It can confirm that our past is our past and that our feelings can change about a person or an event drastically and very quickly based on circumstance. We can love someone, be devastated by them, and hate them in a moment. Let it unfold. Every emotion. Feel it, live it, talk about it. Scream in a field, punch a pillow, pray; and most importantly don’t pretend you are happy if you are not. Let the madness within you out. People want to listen, even if you have to pay them.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.”—Gospel of Thomas.
Repeat: do (something) again, either once or a number of times.
This is a story about vulnerability. A pouring out of my heart’s deepest desires. A collection of times when I could have done better. Thoughts, lessons, advice, moments, memories, mistakes, and life altering decisions that are the core of my being. The things that we are faced with every single day. The times when, some of us drown and some of us prosper, and the combining of these that make us individuals. The human experience. Humans having a spiritual experience and spirits having a humanual experience.
Life is hard on a good day and easy when we numb out all of the pain. Moments of joy taken by anger, hurt, sadness, death, and the usual day to day grind. The quietest frustration can make us crazy and the loudest anger can make us silent. How do we deal with it all? We be. We do the best we can with the tools we have and we come out stronger or weaker for it. If we’re not hurting inside we are hurting those on the outside. If we’re not happy inside we are happy on the outside. We accumulate things to make up for the hurt and hurt those close to us with the things we accumulate. We treat our cars better than our families, and our objects are more valuable than the living, breathing, beings standing in front of us.We are broken. We are backwards. Our worth is calculated by the amount left between our monthly income and our debt to society. We buy and sell seeking happiness, the bigger, the better, only to find that it might get bigger but it doesn’t get better. Why is that? Why doesn’t the huge mansion or shiny car that makes my heart skip a beat, make me happy when it’s mine, all mine? Why, when the novelty wears off and my friends aren’t impressed anymore, like they ever were, is it just another thing that I can take advantage of? This is the life we live. The life of things. The life of loneliness. If we aren’t too afraid of hurting people, we are hurting because we are afraid of people and the emotions that come with them. Afraid of happiness that will be taken away and of getting to close before they are gone. We are insecure, independent, and not interested.We go to the job we don’t like, the gym to look good for people we don’t even care about, home to the worst enemy of all, ourselves, and then we do it all over again the next day. The 9-5, until the weekend when we can numb out life with alcohol induced ‘look at me I’m happy.’
Let me tell you the story of my life.
This is where my life begins. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not 25 years ago. Now. The day I realized that what I want in life matters. That I need to go after what I want. Every girl has a happily ever after and who says we can’t have it? ‘Something Borrowed.’ This, is where my realization came from. If you want something, go after it. It really is that simple. Nobody says it will have a fairy tale ending, but who says it can’t? It is definitely, without a doubt, worth it. Take a shot at it. Whatever it is you want. Life can surprise you. I have spent so many years, 25 to be exact, thinking that what I wanted would either come to me or it wouldn’t. I used to put up the good fight and never get any results. So when the fighting wasn’t working, I decided to let things be, and see what would happen. I’m still not really getting what I want. What’s meant to be, will be. Not even close. Who says what’s meant to be is what I want? When did I give up the fight? When did I give up on me? My happiness? When did I lose faith in the things that I want and the things that I know can make me happy? Today is the day that I will start fighting for everything I want because, if nothing else, the world will know I’m passionate. Passionate about people, about love, about kindness, generosity, and living a good, happy, and fulfilling life. People will know that I get what I want. I have contemplated recently, why, mostly in love, some people have everything they have ever hoped for, and some people, do not. I wondered if I had forgotten how to feel. Maybe I became afraid to feel. Maybe I have become so afraid of hurt and rejection that I decided the good feelings weren’t worth it. When I think outside of love, I wonder why I continue to work a job I don’t like and have put off doing things I am passionate about. I have never travelled, I don’t own a house, drive the car I want to drive, and I am not standing next to the man of my dreams with 7 children. It turns out, I have minimized what I want. I thought that I had let go of my past, when really, I’m hanging on to the little parts that are a huge part of my being. What I want matters but I am settling for less than I deserve because I have lost the fight one too many times. The fight with myself to prove to myself that I can have the things I want if I just go after them.Not a hard concept to understand, but a very hard one to master. Especially, when you can’t remember the last time you really did something just because you wanted to. My gift to myself today is enlightenment, the weight lifted, the simple lesson learned that the worst thing that can happen when you go for what you want is that you won’t get it.‘Something Borrowed’. Girl has best friend. Girl knows a great guy that she introduces to best friend. They hit it off, best friend and great guy are engaged to be married. Girl and great guy realize, oh wait, we have feelings for each other that we both ignored. Girl thought he could never like someone like her, great guy had no idea why she didn’t feel the way he did, but was too afraid to say anything. Great guy and girl let things happen. Things get complicated. Great guy decides he needs to do what he has done his whole life and marry girl’s best friend because it is what is right. Great guy realizes he is wrong, calls off wedding, and girl and great guy end up together. Fairy tale ending, right? Wrong. Great guy and girl both went for what they really wanted, even though it was risky. My life. Great guy, me. We met a couple of years ago, great guy asked for my number, I said no, I had a boyfriend, gave great guy my number anyway; we can just be friends right? Connection between great guy and I, this unexplainable drawing every time we are in the same room. I no longer have a boyfriend. Great guy wants to go for a drink. We have lovely conversation. I later find out he is dating, as in going on dates with, someone else as well. Things happen. Sexual and intimate things. I stop letting things happen because it is against what I believe. Great guy doesn’t like that very much, we have tension, but I stand my ground. He tells me that he has strong feelings for me, that he can’t stop thinking about me and that he doesn’t get as excited for her (now girlfriend great guy lives with) the same way he does me. Things get complicated. I tell great guy I feel the same, always have and always will, and to please figure it out. He and I haven’t talked. Fairy tale ending? Not yet. There’s more to the story. Life is full of opportunity. The difference between those who get what they want and those who don’t, is risk. To get what you want, you must take risks, and I can assure you that the risk (and the anxiety, worry, sleepless nights, stress.....) will all be worth the satisfaction of knowing, I took a risk (I fought the good fight) and I got what I wanted (fairy tale ending, probably without the fairy tale). If you think of a time when something didn’t go your way or you didn’t necessarily have the outcome you had hoped for, did you try your best? Can you always say yes? I know I can’t. Haven’t we always been taught to give it our best and if we don’t succeed to try again? Why are we so quick to give up? We don’t get our fairy tale ending, our instant gratification, and that means that it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m beginning to think that this “meant to be” nonsense is a way to keep people quiet, a way to stop us from fighting, or being passionate, or getting what we want. When we don’t fight for what we want someone else gets it. Who says that they are more deserving?I have a fear of what people think of me. Of what the outcome will be. I wonder who is getting hurt if I am gaining and why I am getting hurt when others gain. If I just forget about the fear and believe that I am entitled to the things I want in my life, I might actually have a chance at getting them. I need to remember what it is like to live with my heart, and to base my decisions on passion. Nobody will ever consider you a bad person if you do things out of love and passion. I have forgotten what it’s like to feel. I’ve become numb because I have a fear of the bad feelings that come after the good. I am passing up the opportunity to be with the man of my dreams because I am afraid of the bad feelings, the rejection, and the hurt. But how will I ever know the good feelings if I don’t embrace them, just let them happen, take a chance, and tell him everything I am feeling. I won’t ever know the good feelings. So I will tell him, tomorrow, I will tell him how I feel. Tomorrow I will take a risk. Tomorrow my fairytale ending, in love, will begin. To be continued.
We Are Young
This isn’t the beginning of my life, I barely remember life before 5. Maybe bits and pieces if I am lucky. This is the beginning of my life as far as I am concerned. A shy, young girl, who rarely had friends and often was made fun of.
I can recall moments of getting hit in the face with a snowball on my walk home from school, being too shy to ask for a Kleenex, or to go to the washroom during class. Moments like peeing on a friends floor beside her toilet in the washroom in her basement. Not quite sure why that one happened but I was shy and she was kind of a bully.
I would absolutely dread getting up in front of the class for any kind of presentation or raising my hand to answer a question; and gym class, don’t even get me started. My friends’ older sisters put boogers in my hair once or twice, and I practiced kissing on my hand at school when I thought no one was around. I got my period in my kilt at school with no feminine products when I absolutely needed them. Life is not always easy when you are too shy to ask for help. My parents separated when I was 12. I wouldn’t call this the root of my problems, I had problems all throughout my childhood. I threw temper tantrums because my mom yelled at me. She was the parent who was always around and she took the brunt of my bad behaviour. My dad was always working. When he wasn’t, he would take us to do really fun things that my mom always complained about.
I loved my childhood of climbing trees, singing songs on the porch, swinging on the swings, and ice rinks and igloos in the backyard. I had friends on a good day and I remember my childhood being quite happy and pleasant.
I secretly hoped, for a couple of years, my parents would get a divorce. I looked at my best friend who lived with her mom and I thought her life looked better. I will never forget the day that my parents separated. My mom came home after a late night out, and her and my dad fought. There was yelling, banging, crying, and the next morning I woke up to my mom in my bedroom telling me that her and my dad would no longer be together. “I just couldn’t love him,” she said.Things were always weird after that. My mom continued to complain about my dad. She would use that my brother and I were “scared” of him, to her advantage.The “do I need to tell your dad about this?” made for some pretty awkward moments when I became a rebellious teen and said, “go ahead.” As I sprouted into an adolescent I had less shyness, less fear, and more of an ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Not long after the separation, my mom met someone. Shortly after meeting him she sat my brother and I down at the table asking if he could move in with us. Everything inside me screamed no, and the words came out, ‘I guess so,’ and soon he did. I think I secretly thought it would distract her from being so overprotective of me and then I could just be a teenage girl. Who knew I would be so very wrong.
I started my first relationship when I was in grade 10, at about 15, almost 16 years old. I was always hanging around boys as an adolescent because boys became interesting to me. I liked boy stuff, and girl stuff, but more boy stuff I think. I had many boys as friends. I preferred trying to learn how to skateboard over gossip and girl talk. My parents divorce forced responsibility on me to look out for my younger brother, help out around the house, and in turn, grow up too quickly. This, along with my mom’s new boyfriend living in the house, really set an already unbalanced me, right off course. Despite the circumstances, I worked really hard. I got good grades, and started a job at a fast food restaurant when I was 13. I had friends, I was happy, but I always had very low self esteem. When I broke up with my high school sweetheart, Noah, I was devastated. I kept a book of our entire relationship. I would write the fun things that we did together. I kept movie ticket stubs and I wrote many of my feelings about him, sometimes in poems and sometimes just words that I felt were important for him to know. I guess you could say, I’ve always been a writer.
I gave him the book just after we broke up, in what may have been a desperate attempt to win him back, and found it shortly after in my locker with all the pages ripped out. He said that he hated me and that he had cheated on me. My whole 17 year old world fell apart in the hallway of my high school. I guess I must have meant something to him though, because I found out later that he kept the pages. I started dating someone else not long after. I was a pretty girl, a nice girl, and I felt like sometimes I couldn’t keep the boys away from me. Mason decided to move away to university with me. I didn’t want to go to university, but I felt pressured by my parents to make a decision. So in rebellion, I told them my boyfriend was coming with me, and he did. They didn’t like it, especially my dad. I sometimes wish I had listened to my parents. But we only know what we know, and so life goes on.
Mason was going to get a job and everything was going to be perfect. When Mason didn’t get a job, and didn’t even really care to look, I found ad after ad for him to apply to. I suggested the local labour office every morning to see if he could get work day by day until he found something more permanent. He would get a position and two days later quit, until he quit getting positions altogether. He instead sat on the couch, played video games, and talked to girls back home on the computer.I started working full time, going to school full time, and failing miserably. After one year, I decided that I didn’t like my program. I was feeling a bit homesick. I applied to college back home for the next September. I felt like I needed to have a backup plan when I told my parents I would be coming home.
I expected that I would move back to my mom’s house because that’s where I lived. I had tried living on my own for a year and I wasn’t happy with the outcome. My mom and her boyfriend had moved into their third home since he came into the picture, this time purchasing a house, which did not have a bedroom for me.
Mason and I moved into my dad’s house. My dad often stayed with his new girlfriend. This seems complicated, but in fact I was so happy that my dad had a girlfriend, and she had children.
Mason finally found a job. He started working with his dad full time. I was loving college life, loving my program, and life was good. I don’t know if it was over a year of frustration that had built up, or if college had just opened my eyes to new possibilities, but I started to have a change of heart when it came to Mason. I let him know that my feelings were changing, gave it some time, and realized that our relationship just wasn’t working for me anymore. I told him that he had to leave, in a reasonable amount of time. When he refused to go, I told him he had to leave sooner. He was starting to affect my school work because instead of leaving, he wanted to fight and keep me up all night, or distract me from doing assignments. Or sleep in my bed with me. By this time I knew there was no salvaging our relationship. Sometimes you just feel something in your gut and you have to listen.He threatened to commit suicide. He took a knife and ran into the field of the farm we lived on. I called the police, and I vividly recall the image of Mason walking out of the field, red and blue lights flashing. There was nothing they could do. I called his parents the following morning. He finally decided to leave in the dead of winter and walk down the road in the middle of nowhere. I locked the door and my best friend and I drove by him on our way to school. We didn’t stop because we couldn’t be late. Or maybe I just couldn’t deal with him any longer. I didn’t see or hear from him for a while. I didn’t know how to be by myself. I originally met Mason through a boy who liked me, a boy that I had a huge crush on when we were younger, a boy who didn’t pay any attention to me when I liked him. I dated another of their friends briefly before I dated Mason. This friend broke my heart. I cried uncontrollable tears on my bedroom floor and begged him to love me. He cheated on me, with the same girl who Mason later would cheat on me with. It was an ugly circle of everyone fooling around with everyone.
I just wanted someone to value me. I wanted someone to see me for more than something they could be proud to say they slept with. More than once, I was asked if I had slept with a guy, because that guy said that we had slept together. I guess it was cool to say that you had slept with me. I didn’t get it, but my low self esteem was always raised a notch, immediately followed by anger and what I now know to be shame. I didn’t sleep with anyone outside of a relationship, so why did so many people think that they had slept with me?
One day Mason came over to get his stuff, still trying to fix our relationship. I had already moved on. I was hanging out with old friends and shortly after, I started dating Ethan.
I was a girl lost with absolutely no direction. If you looked in from the outside, you would just be confused. A girl with a past full of hurt who wondered who she even was. A girl so desperate for attention that she would take any attention she could get. Unfortunately, she always got the attention that she longed for from boys. Maybe you can relate to her.
I didn’t drive and I still lived in my dad’s house, far away from anything. Ethan would often drive far, from his house to my house, to spend time with me and take me out. It was hard to see each other, neither of us had a lot of money. I was in total college party mode. I made the best out of college the only way I knew how: drinking, partying, and still managing to get my assignments done. Oh the life of a college student.Here we are in my early 20s. I moved around a lot from the time I turned 18. This, along with many boyfriends, meant a very unsteady young adulthood for me. I was a bit crazy to say the least. I didn’t care what anyone thought, I would do anything for a night out, a party, to be social. I had great friends, we had many great and not so great nights. I wouldn’t admit, I wouldn’t even think, until much later on that alcohol and I were not friends. As far as my 20 year old self was concerned, Rye Canadian whiskey was my best and worst friend.
I lived in 3 different houses with my dad during college, not including the one I lived in with Mason. I dated 3 different guys in these three years and somehow I managed to do ok with grades. By the end, I was ready to start focussing on a career, but I wasn’t ready to give up the partying. I didn’t, and then I met Lucas.
Last term, I nearly failed some of my classes because I was severely depressed, and really, I just stopped caring. About anything. I spent days in bed when I should have been in class. I thought about how terrible life felt and how no one seemed to care. I would have been perfectly content sleeping away my life in my room.
They called last semester the joke semester anyway. We weren’t learning anything we didn’t already know and the projects were getting a bit juvenile. I started working part time with adults with physical disabilities and I still worked part time for the clothing store that helped me get through college. After graduation, life started to look better. Something motivated me to do better. I imagine part of the motivation was the mountain of student debt that I needed to pay off.
I was dating Lucas and I couldn’t get enough of him. We fought all the time and he took a huge toll on my already low self esteem. I was applying to start a career with the public school board and had a mental breakdown, more than once. I was still depressed, leaning on my amazing friends and alcohol. I never thought of suicide, but I did have many days when even the easiest task of brushing my teeth or getting dressed, felt like it was impossible.I was not happy. I was in a city away from my friends without transportation. I wasn’t working for the school board, which is why I went to school in the first place. I was always fighting with my boyfriend. Normal, right? I thought so. I just kept beating myself down and taking others with me.
When I finally was offered an interview with the school board, I had to cancel because my throat was so sore from screaming the night before, not the good kind. Luckily, it was winter and it was easy to say that I wasn’t well; my interviewer wasn’t well, either, and we were able to reschedule.
I soon worked for the school board, in a classroom with kids with special needs. My passion. Nothing on this earth made me happier. I worked 3 jobs, sometimes all in one day. I was paying off debt, living on my own, and had a boyfriend who I loved more than anything in this world.I worked with some of the most amazing people I have ever known. The support and family atmosphere in this school was exactly what I needed. After a lot of on again off again, I broke up with Lucas. I used to come home every day to him in his underwear playing video games on the couch when he should have been working. Some might say that I should have broken up with him the first time this happened, or that it is very clear that the answer was to break up with him, but I was devastated.
My breaking point was a night I went out with the staff and I had invited Lucas to join us. He fought with me, told me he didn’t want to go, so I went without him. He fought with me more through text, decided he wanted to come, and I told him no. The truth is, I didn’t want my co-workers to meet my immature boyfriend. The truth is, I was celebrating the opening of the school I worked for, one of my proudest moments in life at this point, and I didn’t want him to embarrass me. Maybe it was wrong of me to feel this way, but I was growing, I was maturing, and he was not.
The women I worked with were a blessing to my life. A God given blessing. I learned that there was something better for me and that he made me someone I didn’t want to be. I broke free, I blossomed, and I was making new connections and starting a new career. A turning point from a girl who valued relationships with boys to a girl who valued the people she could support, love, and build relationship with above all else.
The point I hope to make through all of this confusion is, that every one of these experiences, is ok. Every single little detail. The drinking, the dating many guys, the fighting, the blowing off job interviews, and skipping class simply because I was not ok, is all ok. It’s all more than ok. It’s ok not to be ok. It is life, and we are entitled to life. My life was not easy. My experiences may have broken, or even worse ended, another being. But I was still breaking and that is ok, to. No one said it would be easy.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” - Elisabeth Kubler-RossIt was all about me. I had never taken time just for me, so I did. I went out for me, I worked out for me, I relaxed for me, I learned new things for me. I was a woman who loved my career and I worked longer hours than I needed to because I wanted to make the best life for those kids. I was happy. For real. I went on vacation. My first vacation outside of Canada! I drove all night with the girls I worked with to Florida for March break. It was a week of relaxation by the pool, date nights, bar fun, and a day trip to Daytona. We became closer friends and teammates.I met my girl friend’s quiet brother. I wasn’t looking for anything but something about it felt right. We got to know each other through a lot of email because he had to be away for work. A couple of months of writing turned into commuting about 2 hours back and forth to see each other. I quickly started to consider moving in. He had a son, that did not live with him, which was different for me, but I was embracing it. Until I wasn’t. Literally, over an evening, I wasn’t embracing it anymore. I wasn’t ready to commit. I just didn’t give myself enough time to heal. I ended the short relationship and moved forward with myself. I lost my girlfriend for a brief time over this. I didn’t give her brother much notice or much of a reason and in turn I hurt them both.
Sometimes we just have to make unexplained decisions and deal with the consequences. Sometimes, we are learning, at the expense of others. This isn’t selfish, it’s just that when you don’t know better, you make decisions the only way you know how.
I’m proud of myself for knowing so quickly. Maybe I didn’t have an answer, and I spent a long time beating myself up for bringing such amazing people into my mess. But, this was an accomplishment of maturity. I knew that it wasn’t right and I ended it after a few months, instead of a year or more. This is maturity. This is the beginning of learning not to beat myself up for decisions that look selfish and rash. I let go of something for myself, for more time to heal, to avoid more hurt.
They say that the best things happen when you aren’t expecting them to. I met a really nice guy, Oliver, with a great family and a good job. This was important to me after dating so many people who didn’t care about working at all. This was it. I was feeling good after reading so many self help books and really paying attention to my needs and wants for a while. I was ready for something real. You might think that my roller coaster revolves a lot around relationships and men. This makes you extremely wise. From about the age of 12 to 24, boys, whether friends or crushes, were the most important thing in my life. Something else within me though, was screaming for attention, louder and louder. This is when I hit my rock bottom.
I had called in sick to work many times. I worked a lot. Double shifts, weekends. A lot. I was out for a friends birthday in a town about 45 minutes from where I worked and instead of calling in sick, I would just get up early the next morning and drive in. The drinking began early and the night ended fairly early for me. I fought with Oliver at a bar because I thought he was being a little too flirty with one of the girls at the party. I grabbed him by the neck, told him I wanted nothing more than to break up with him, and left the bar in a taxi back to his house.I was uncomfortable being in his parents house by myself so I drove around the corner to sleep in my car. A few hours later, I texted to see if he was going home. You can imagine what his answer was. Feeling perfectly normal, having cried for at least an hour before I fell asleep, I proceeded to drive home. I received a text message, and as I looked over at my phone sitting in the passenger seat, I drove into the ditch at the side of the on ramp. I texted Oliver, assuming that he would come help me, but the police came first. I was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to the police station downtown.
As I sat in the back of the police car, with two very kind officers, I’m crying. Not just a little tear trickling down my cheek but a stream of tears, or a river if you will. Thinking why. Why did I just ruin my entire life? I work for the school board with children with special needs, for goodness sake, and I am going to lose my job. My police clearance, wasn’t so clear anymore. The sorrow and worry I felt was almost unbearable.At the station, we drove underground. We stopped, in formation with a few other police cars. I stared out the window, in complete remorse and despair, in complete awe of the decision I had just made. If I’m honest, I was wishing I didn’t get caught. Who calls the police on someone instead of stopping to see if they are ok? That’s not the point April. The point is you messed up. This is your fault. You deserve the consequences that are coming to you. What are the consequences anyway? What’s it like to sit in a jail cell at 4 in the morning with other people who have been arrested for who knows what? Who am I?
The 2 officers were at the door of a small room talking to the booking officer. I started to notice things around me. Yelling. A woman is screaming profanities. I look directly to my right and there is a very mean looking man, he would be cast in a movie as part of a drug ring I would say, in the car next to me, in handcuffs. I can’t help but think that I’m going to be in a cell with these people. Why? Why did I do something so stupid. If I’m honest, I didn’t really feel that I was any better than them. I felt like I deserved whatever I would get.
A few minutes later, the officers approached the car. The booking officer asked how I was doing. I don’t think I answered, I’m sure my red eyes answered for me. He asked if someone could pick me up. My boyfriend followed me here I think. He said, “tonight is your lucky night, you’re going home.” Wait, what?
You would think I would feel excitement. Feel as if I had just won the lottery of life. But instead, I believed that they had made a mistake. I believed that he was a saint. I believed that someone was looking out for me. Was it the officers?
I have not ever felt such a feeling of relief in my life; still mixed with sorrow and worry. My career was my whole life. I assumed that the lady yelling profanities and the meanie were more than enough to handle and that I, though what I did was very wrong, was not an immediate threat; or was I? I imagine that God was with me in that moment but I didn’t deserve it. I felt so grateful for the chance to make up for my mistake without losing everything. It was a wake up call. I was broken, and something needed to change. I was released. I returned to talk to the officers a few days later to file an accident report. They decided to call the incident an accident. An accident. Oliver picked me up and took me to his parents house. I stayed there for two nights, quiet and ashamed. Wondering what the outcome would be, waiting for the impound to open Monday morning so I could pick up my car and go home. I called my manager in the wee hours of the morning, explaining to her that I would not be in because I had been arrested. There was only one out of the four managers who could have answered the phone and received the truth. Her response, “April, you are a good person.” Angels walk among us to say the very things we need to hear in moments like these. Oliver was really upset with me and I don’t blame him. He offered to drive me to my car, but that morning, his mom drove me instead. We spent a lot of time talking the previous day, figuring out if we had the energy or if we had it in our hearts to make it work. I thought I did. I never wanted to give up on people, not that he had done anything wrong. I always hoped though, for someone who would want to make things work regardless of the circumstances. Who would see me for me, not my mistakes. He didn’t want to make it work, and though I tried, I wasn’t able to change his mind.His mom, the saint that she is, paid for my car to come out of the impound. I am thankful every day for her. She truly was my saving grace. The first thing I did when I got home was make an appointment with a counsellor, my own idea, my own will. I reconnected with Oliver the following week, he told me he couldn’t be with me anymore. I never told him this, but I had already made the decision for him. I was making myself sick worrying about it and I was better than that. I had more important things to worry about. If it takes a person a week to decide whether they want to be with me, maybe they don’t deserve me. I half believed it then, and I wholly believe it now. His loss.
The first step to a new me. I was fortunate to be recommended one of the most influential people in my life. I walked into his office every week, broken, and walked out feeling new again. I was saved from a lot of days and nights of beating myself up for the things I have done that I can’t change. I can’t begin to tell you how much of a safe place he created for me, a place where I could feel like no matter what choices I had made, I wasn’t the only one; and that I made the best choices I knew how to make in the moment. It was a great avenue for believing in myself. I spent a lot of time alone working on myself. It is one of the things that changed who I was as a person for the better. It made me feel good again. I highly recommend counselling. Especially if, like me, you find a pattern of things that reoccur in your life. I was able to break patterns because, if nothing else, I never wanted to have to tell him I did the same thing again, that I did last week. I learned how to hold myself accountable. Simply knowing that someone is holding me accountable for the things I say I won’t do again, helped me not to do them again. The things I wanted to be better at, I learned to be better at because he was there to listen when I failed, there to build me back up when I fell.
I recommend “test driving” counsellors until you find the right one. I was fortunate to to find the right fit on the first try but this isn’t always how it works. You can have the best relationship and understanding with a counsellor if you find one that you can connect with. Then, the knowledge, help, encouragement, reassurance, and uplifting advice you receive will be endless. It is a lifelong commitment. Though I no longer see him on a weekly basis and haven’t in a few years, I still remember the feeling of leaving his office feeling refreshed. At times, I think I’d like to go back to him for a refresher. Sometimes the thought of knowing that he is there is enough. I often talk things out with a girlfriend. Sometimes I talk to myself, which I’m told is perfectly sane, and I feel better. He taught me these tools. He taught me how to know when I am being insecure, co-dependent, depressed, having low self esteem, no motivation, and just being downright hard on myself. He also taught me how to turn it around. I live for the moments I get to spend with myself.I love journaling, affirmations, setting goals, and reading quotes and nonsense articles about how to be a better person. I do these things and I don’t even realize I’m doing them. I have affirmations all over my apartment. I have an ‘alive list’ of all of the things that I do on a daily basis that make me feel alive. I have an ‘I am’ list of the things I am, from a woman, to an educational assistant, to a lover. I list all of my good qualities and my bad ones to help me know that I am good but not perfect, a work in progress. Journaling saved me many long days and nights of thinking and rethinking. Once it was in my journal it was out, and out of my control. Though I still spent a lot of time talking with coworkers, friends, myself; and often just thinking or meditating, I still accredit my journal for many nights that I slept with a clear mind.Much of the counselling I received happened in my local coffee shop with one of my best friends. I highly recommend counseling with a real counselor but when I couldn’t afford to pay him, I spent several hours with a latte and a cookie just working through my problems with a girlfriend. The relief you can feel after letting your thoughts and feelings out to someone who wants to listen is a great release. I am forever grateful for the listening ears and the people who made me feel like it was really ok. That I was a good person through some of my worst choices. I left the coffee shop feeling like a million dollars, like I could cope for 7 days until we met again.
I read books recommended by my friends or counsellor, or that I happened upon at the bookstore. Books about men, relationships, not being afraid of your own life. Books that lead me to meditation and a 48 hour retreat in my apartment with no humans or technology. I highly recommend this. It is a weekend filled with journaling, reflection, and writing letters to people that you never send. Very healing.
mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!
dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...
Lacey Schmidt: The Trouble with Super is that you can't stop reading it. Mr. Barrett's characters are all to easy to relate to even if you don't have a super quirk of your own, and their plight is both heart-rendingly funny and heart-warmingly sad at the same time. It's a bit like Office Space meets the Matri...
Sonya YuntHatton: Are you going to be posting the rest? I read this when originally posted on Fanfiction. LOVE IT!!! Was so glad when it came our as an original book!! And now the MOVIE!!! Holy Mary I am so excited.....But I'm going to HATE, HATE, HATE the wait for part 2. Please let me know if and when you're goi...
Sammi Chan: THIS WAS AMAZING!!! My favorite part of this story was the slow build of Merlin and Arthur's relationship. Their relationship was rlly nicely fleshed out and so good :) The way that you handled the magic reveal was super enjoyable. I rlly liked the switching POVs. Good!Mordred was cute and I'm rl...
sibyleisley: Right away, I was charmed by the characters in Nothing Between Us. Bella is fun to follow and SO easy to relate to, and Jace is the guy that you could spend 24/7 with and not get sick of him. And together, they're adorable and so right for each other. The writer did such a great job making me car...
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Liz Aguilar, author of To Have And to Hold a fast-paced, gripping, adrenaline rush from start to finish, one of perhaps the finest pieces of writing I've ever read, in particular because of its' telenovela-like feel, May she continually find success as an author. Bravo my dear, bravo!
Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."