If you’re been around this here blog for longer than a minute, you know about my previous attempt at a relationship that failed. If you want to re-live it, check out the post here.
Shocking. Embarrassing. Crazy. Foolish.
Contrary to what we like to tell ourselves, a lot of dating is superficial.
This may have been a too-high-standard, but I love being Catholic. I want to raise my kids Catholic.
How the guy answered questions was important as well.
So Friday night, you’re wondering, how did it go?
The date details
After eating, we went for a walk. It was nice out. It was nice to walk and talk.
It was great.
It was good.
He still walked me to the door.
It was late, but I perused some blogs about chastity and dating, and I think I’m going to talk to him about it when we meet up next weekend.
I think I shared this on the blog a while ago, but I broke up with my long time boyfriend in December.
We had been together for nearly six years.
“It was hard.” I hate how short that sentence is, how it doesn’t explain anything, but even explaining it is “hard.”
He isn’t Catholic. He isn’t staunchly pro-life. He wasn’t interested in getting married.
We were living together.
That’s really “hard” for me to admit, even to an online community of people I don’t know.
We lived together for about 18 months when I finally realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I had quit receiving communion in October 2012, about three months after we started living together.
But really, I shouldn’t have been taking it even before then.
We had been sleeping together from the very beginning of our relationship.
So, now that I know what doesn’t work – sleeping together before marriage, cohabitation, dating non-Catholics, dating not-serious-about-any-sort-of-future types – I’m working on figuring out what does work.
Is it the exact opposite? For most of those… yeah
I know that my Catholic faith is so important to me, that I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone I can’t share that with
I know that as a 27-year-old, I want to get married pretty quick. I don’t want a six-year relationship, even if it is made for marriage.
If we know we want to get married, then we don’t need that long to figure it out. I don’t know exactly what time limit I would put on it, but I know if I get married I want to have some babies.
Speaking of, am I meant to get married?
Oh, boy, have I prayed about this the last few months.
I have been trying to get to a retreat for a few nights, just to be around consecrated women. I’ve never done anything like that, but some days I feel that’s where God is calling me.
Other days, I want to be a wife so badly I can taste it.
Discernment is a very tricky process, too “hard” to really figure out in a day. It’s really a whole-life process.
Now that I’m single, though, it seems like I’m back in high school. I’m very awkward around the men in my life, I don’t know how to act.
It’s so… weird.
I don’t have a lot of single men my age in my life that I associate with regularly… there’s just one.
And I think I like him… but I don’t know if I am just having a crush because he’s the only single one around me.
I mean, how do you know? How do you know if he likes you back? How do you know what to say?
See how this is like high school? Yeah.
While I’m trying to discern what God wants for my life, I don’t want to jump back into dating too soon.
But how soon is too soon? I don’t want to be “on the rebound.” I just want a healthy relationship.
I am delaying acting on my feelings toward the guy in my life until I feel more secure about… something. I don’t know what. Just something.
It’s something I pray about and think about too much every day.
Yesterday, I knelt down in my kitchen (a lot of my spontaneous prayer happens there) and prayed to Jesus that I trusted in my with my whole life, including my future.
That’s “hard.” Trusting that Jesus knows best. I need to pray that he helps me trust him with my future.
My finances, sure, easy for me. My relationships? Not so easy to give those over to God, though he’s in control. Of everything.
I think I wrote once that Jesus is the Lord of all or Jesus is not the Lord at all.
He can be in charge of everything in my life or nothing. It can’t be half and half. You can’t serve two masters.
This was quite a soul-sharing post for me, and I don’t know if I explained everything exactly how I wanted too, but if anyone out there is going through the same, just know you’re not alone.
28 by 28: See the eagles fly
Check one off of my list. Yesssss.
If you’re not following, don’t worry. I’ll become comprehensible in a minute.
In the meantime, here’s some more eagles.
This is a little blurry… because the further you zoom, the more each shake is seen in the photo.
Alright, now to make sense of all this.
Earlier, I published my 28 by 28 list, the 28 things I want to accomplish before I turn 28 in February 2015.
The list isn’t really in any order… but seeing the eagles fly was the first thing I thought of when I wrote down the list.
I had already scheduled and booked the hotel room for the weekend in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where they hold their annual Eagle Appreciation Day in late February.
I got there late Friday night, and barely found my hotel. I get no data service in Driftless Wisconsin, so I had to rely on smoke signals and whatever people used before GPS existed. It was a crazy three minutes in my car.
I woke up early Saturday morning, the day of the event, ready to get started. I drove into the city and immediately saw those first three birds.
They congregate on rivers and open water because they LOVE fish. (But also rabbits as I found out later.)
So I parked my car and walked back to the bridge where I first saw the eagles and took some photos.
The sky was clear, the weather was brisk, cold, freezing, but it was beautiful. And it was quiet. I was expecting a lot more people around for the event. Maybe the weather kept them away. I don’t know.
It was just peaceful to be there. (I just liked the look of this bar… I didn’t go inside. It was 8 o’clock. The rest of the downtown is also gorgeous.)
Yes, I was alone. But not lonely. I had a really good time. I drove around for a while, spotted a few more eagles perched on trees, then went to a few of the speakers the city had scheduled.
One of the speakers had a little tiny screech owl and some type of desert hawk.
The next speaker had a full grown bald eagle, and she fed him a hunk of rabbit while she talked to us.
It was so cool.
After all that, I went over to Iowa.
Can you believe I’ve never been? Iowa is even more quiet and peaceful than Prairie du Chien was. I don’t know if it’s the frozen river or what keeps it so beautiful, but I loved it there.
I went to the Effigy National Monument… couldn’t tour because of the snow, but I will go back (it’s on a secondary bucket list) in the summer.
Then I went to Pike’s Peak state park. That’s where that tree was.
In Marquette, Iowa, there’s a stop over or something for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and that was too cool to see.
I’m not fascinated by trains at all, but it was still interesting. I think I was just in the right place at the right time… at the right height.
There are tons of scenic overlooks in the area. I guess people like to stop and look at the Mississippi River from up height.
Even frozen, it was beautiful.
On to more adventures!
Let me tell you a personal story, since I’ve been doing that lately.
As you probably know, I am a reporter for a newspaper. I write stories, take photographs and do web design stuff.
But I also copy edit all the bulk items that go into the paper (we call it filler, though no one likes to know that).
I’m the only one who reads it, unless I’m running behind and hand some off to the only person in the newsroom who has been here less time than me.
Friday, I read a bunch because I had some time. It was great (meaning, I hate this part of my job, and find it so mundane).
We’re running a whole bunch of FFA stuff in this coming issue of our paper, and I had to read all the copy for that.
I made a lot of changes. It’s what I do. Things need to follow our style (which is mainly AP style, but also some of our own style rules), and they need to be consistent in one article.
The woman who types all these articles up just called me a few minutes ago.
She said she wasn’t going to make those changes because it was someone writing those and we should leave it.
My first reaction is: what a dumb reason. Something is wrong, let’s change it. We shouldn’t leave it that way just because someone submitted it to us that way.
but instead of saying that…
I say, “OK, but here is why I made those changes.”
She goes on… saying we shouldn’t change it.
I’m just getting more irritated. I have read the AP style guide. I work in a newsroom. I know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason I am the one who copy edits those! It’s not just because I’m the low man on the totem pole. I am a subject matter expert when it comes to style.
She ends the call. “OK.”
Except she says it ooooooooohhhhh kay.
I was respectful, I explained where I was coming from. I didn’t downplay her experience.
I am just SICK of the excuse “we’ve always done it that way.”
I don’t care about that, I don’t care about what you did in the past. I care about making this newspaper the best it can be.
The best it can be is following style when we should, cutting out style when we must.
An FFA submitted article is when we should absolutely follow style.
When I first started this post I was going to talk about reactions…
but really, I am so just, upset about this conversation. I can’t get her reaction out of my head.
I can’t believe I let people make me feel this way, when I know I am right. In this situation, I am right, and I think something should change.
I can’t let her bring me down like this. That gives her the control.
She’s not even a bad person. She’s just old and set in her ways. (And I’m not saying she’s old because she’s 30. She’s in her 60s for sure.)
I’ve felt this tension since I started working here, actually, and it only got worse when I told her I was Catholic.
I don’t know what to do. I do know that when I walk by her the next time, to go fill my water bottle, I’m not going to appear upset or changed at all.
That conversation DIDN’T change my mood. If I can fake it, I can make it.
Thanks for hosting, Jen!