I read these articles on the Daily Dish (here and here) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the post I was going to write in response to those.

I can definitely say that I fully agree with those articles. I believe friendship is the key to happiness– Yes, finding a romantic connection with someone for life is great, but if you’re lacking strong friendship connections, you will feel a lack of something in your life. A single romantic relationship is not enough to make you feel fulfilled or dynamic. Everyone needs more people in their life than their significant other.

Not only do I seek out new friends on a regular basis, I strive to be the best friend to people that I can. I have learned the value of friendship, especially as I went through my divorce, and want to be the kind of friend to people that I want them to be to me.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had me make (or offer to make) food for you for a birthday, a new baby, a celebration for something awesome happening, to meet new people, to make new friends, for a holiday… or even heartache. Yeah, that’s most of the people I know. Food is definitely one of my “love languages,” which I don’t hear anyone complaining about 🙂

What that shows is that I want to be there for people in the most fundamental and connecting ways possible– over a shared meal. But a night of talking over drinks is also a great way to spend my time!

All of these thoughts I’ve been formulating in my head for this post came to a complete collapse today when I realized I had let down a friend in a pretty substantial way. Thankfully (OMG, am I thankful), no one was hurt or harmed, and my friend will probably never know what happened. But I let her down and I was on the verge of being labeled “the worst friend in the world.” As I was wiping tears from my eyes on my way to her house, I had an epiphany:

I really do value friendships over all other relationships. The verythought of letting down a friend was sending me into hysterics, but I’ve been in romantic relationships where I act cold and calloused about how my actions effect them. I (hopefully) never do that any more, but I know that the thought of an upset or angry friend makes me more anxious than the thought of an upset lover.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that friendships are truly a choice. There’s a great quote that I have framed on my wall that says:

“Friendship is the only relationship that you have because you really want it, there’s nothing keeping you together other than that you want to be.” — Jean Theisen

Finding great friends is rare, and the idea of losing any of them makes me sad and anxious. As much as I’m a believer in fate, I have a harder time believing that any friend can be replaced, that they wont leave a giant hole if they ever weren’t part of my life in some capacity. For romantic relationships, it’s the ol’ “plenty of other fish” mentality that doesn’t have me so concerned. I think finding those friends who “just get you” is rarer and more precious than romantic relationships. So no wonder I value them so highly.

I’m always so thankful when I’m able to help and be there for friends in their moments of need. Yes, being there during the good times is great as well– don’t get me wrong– but it’s during the hard and difficult times that true friends show their true colors. And when I can be one of those friends who people can call when they need help, are in a bind, or need a shoulder to cry on, I love it. I know how refreshing it is to have those people in my life and comforting it is to have someone(s) in the world who isn’t blood related to you who will come to your aid at the drop of a hat.

So during this time when I am wishing I had a boyfriend, I sit back and marvel at the wonderful friends I have. I have the overwhelming honor of being in their lives, and I would hope they feel the same way about me.

Friends are so precious and I hope and pray I can continue to be the best kind of friend to everyone that I meet. I love you all!

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I spent my Saturday helping D with her graduation party, buying and making tacos to celebrate her graduation AND Cinco de Mayo! She’s now Dr. D with her PhD in physical therapy! CONGRATS, D 🙂

As I was sitting chatting with her various friends and family at the party, I started chatting with D’s sister and her husband. He is from Loveland, Colorado (not to be confused with the ski resort), which is only a few miles south of Fort Collins, and he was telling me about a scandal that happened at his high school with the football team.

Apparently the football players would spray their jerseys with PAM so no one could grip them to tackle them. As he was talking, I realized I’d heard that story before– straight from the source of one of the players who had done that… my ex, Voldemort.

Whenever I ask people if they know someone just because they went to the same high school, I hold little hope because I’m useless when it comes to other people asking me to play the the “do you know ___” game. I casually asked him if he knew “Voldemort” and his reply was “he was one of my best friends in high school!”

I then replied that he’s my ex!

He then told me “I friended him on facebook and found out he was getting divorced that week because he posted about having to go pick up the papers.” “Yup, that was me!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it– someone else who knew Voldemort from a different time. Of course, they didn’t stay actual friends, but that didn’t surprise me in the least– Voldemort dumps friends faster than you can say “friends.” There was ONE person at our wedding that he invited who wasn’t related to him– because he didn’t have any friends from his past. (Major red flag #738 ignored!)

I then found out that he recently got married, which didn’t bother me at all. I’ve known Voldemort was engaged (and has been for a long time), so it was pretty inevitable that he would finally tie the knot. Now the clock has started to tick down until he does the exact same thing to this girl that he did to me. It’s his nature– it’s the way it continues to be modeled for him by his mom, so there’s no hope for redemption. I already pity the woman he just married…

It was quite the eventful graduation party! It also says a lot that finding out my ex got remarried didn’t bother me and I didn’t give it a second thought– except to tell all of you about it, of course. I’m always relieved that my heart has moved far past the hurt and pain that he caused me almost 3 years ago.

I’ve been thinking a lot about fate and meeting “the one” lately. As I’ve been talking about in my recent posts, I feel like I’m finally in a place to be ready to be in a relationship.

With the personal work I’ve done over the last few years since my divorce, I feel like I’m in a great place emotionally and mentally. I want to do the work required in a committed relationship– I want to take the good with the bad. I’m no longer afraid of not being perfect (well, I’m at least working really hard on not being…), I’m happy with who I am as a person and with my life on my own. I’m now at a place that I want to share myself and my life with someone else.

I have a much more realistic view of relationships and longevity than I used to. My problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what the problems were with my ex when we got married (alcoholic/drug-using family, lack of long-lasting friendships, history of cheating…), it was the fact that I didn’t think that those issues would be a big deal in our relationship. And I believed that just because we were in love/married, all problems could be solved and overcome.

I’ve grown up a little bit and now I feel like I have a better view of things. And I’m ready to bring that new view into a relationship. I want to love someone and I want them to love me back. I don’t want to sacrifice who I am for the sake of a relationship, and I would hate for my future mister to do the same.

It’s one of my goals this year to fall in love and besides it being a romantic idea, I think it speaks volumes about where my mind and life are at in regards to that idea. I want to fall head over heals in love– no holds barred. I want to find someone who is perfect for me– I want my friends and family to meet him and say “oh my gosh! he’s exactly the person you should be with!” I have friends and family who are with people like that, so I know what it is like on the other side to see it in someone else’s relationship.

I’m ready– probably for the first time in my life.

Now all I have to do is just meet him…

This song is dedicated to everyone in the process of seeking out the person of their dreams:

 

What is this? Two posts in one day? Crazy, I know! I started writing this post in my head last night, but I’m still not 100% sure if I need to write this just to process or if I would like some insight/advice from you, my readers. So we’ll see once I get to the end…

The drama with Funny Man has continued, and I’m currently at an impasse as to what to do next.

He hurt me deeply, and as of a few days ago, I never wanted to even talk to him again. However, after I got an email from him with no hint of acknowledgement of things that have happened between us (so he’s either clueless or calloused…), it got me thinking: we briefly dated, but we were friends long before that.

And there was a reason I was friends with him in the first place. And was attracted to him the moment I met him. I’m drawn to him and as I’ve seen, that draw does not seem to have gone away.

I no longer have romantic feelings towards him– his inexcusable behavior has eradicated those feelings forever– but I realized I still would like to be his friend.

The realization of this feeling came as a complete shock to me. But I don’t know what to do with it. As I told The Roommate last night, I’ve never dealt with this kind of hurt from a friend before. From boyfriends/husband, well, that’s a whole other story. When he hurt me, we were acting as friends, so coming to him as a friend is how I need to approach him.

But I’ve never had a friend treat me so shitty. Well, I’ve had friends who completely ditched me in my moment of greatest need, but I have no desire to continue to be their friends, so they get a pass.

The thought of talking to Funny Man and confronting him with just how terribly he treated me is terrifying! But when his email showed up on my computer, my heart started pounding and I realized I was so mad because I still cared.

Damn!

So, in light of this revelation, I don’t know how to go about initiating this discussion and then once that discussion has been planned, how to handle it. I don’t mind confrontation, but I can’t remember the last time I called a friend out on their crappy behavior. And that’s what is holding me up.

Do I care enough about our friendship to put myself through the whole ordeal? Or can I live with the realization that I care and do nothing to rectify the situation? And if I don’t confront him, will I continue to act passive-aggressively towards him or will I be able to just let it go and act impassively about/towards him?

I think I do care about our friendship. And I think I REALLY care about getting an explanation from him about everything that happened. And to tell him that his actions really hurt me, whether he was aware of it or not, and whether he cares or not. And I really hate acting so passive-aggressively towards him– I feel petty and bitchy. Instead, I’d like to feel empowered and like I stood up for myself in the face of a careless friend.

And, as the title of my post suggests, the biggest question I need to ask myself is this: even if I stand up for myself and confront him, can I forgive him? Or has his behavior caused an irreparable rift between us that I can’t muster the forgiveness to overcome? Before any confrontation happens, I believe that is the biggest question I need to answer for myself.

So wish me luck as I get up the nerve to email him to ask him to get together to talk. I’m really not looking forward to this. Does anyone have any advice or words of encouragement you can offer me? Because I really need it!

To end on a lighter note, if you don’t recognize where my blog title is from, watch this clip (and then watch the movie because it’s one of the funniest movies ever!):

When I was in high school, I was known as the “phase” girl in my youth group. (Background story: I was super-involved in church all growing up and into college. (I’ve taken a 180 degree turn from that life since then.) So to say that church and youth group were my life in high school would be a total under-statement). When we (being the girls) used that term, we referred to the girl who all the boys in the youth group liked. And their affections came and went– hence the term “phase girl.” But they all seemed to be in love with the same girl at the same time.

I believe I hold the record for longest time in that position, but no one kept an official count 😉 I knew all the guys liked me and I liked all of them. I flirted like crazy and was very friendly and uncharacteristically outgoing. I was friendly with everyone, not just the guys, and wanted everyone to feel included. Having struggled to make friends when I first came to that church, I made it a point to reach out and help anyone who was new to make friends and feel included. That plight ended up leading to my demise, but that’s neither here nor there.

That relaxation and not-being-self-conscious seemed to disappear once I entered college and by the time I graduated, it was pretty much gone for good.

I then got married, so flirting and interactions with other men was scarce and I had no need/reason to be that flirty.

But even after my divorce, that flirtiness never returned. And I’ve never been able to really relax when I interact with men.

I distinctly remember a session with my counselor about relaxing. I’m not talking about relaxing being a night drinking tea and taking a long bubble bath. I’m talking about the kind of relaxing around people that came so naturally to me in high school.

I didn’t care about what people thought, I was friendly and outgoing and enjoyed the people I spent time with. My goal to be “perfect” has ended up interfering with my natural friendliness and now I am rigid and awkward and struggle with just go with the flow.

My counselor had me sit on one couch like I would have in high school– I slouched and put my legs out in front of me– clearly comfortable and relaxed. She then had me sit in my normal chair (I literally sat in the exact same chair for 2 years solid… OCD much?) to show how I feel now. I crossed my legs and arms and sat up straight.

I don’t remember if there was even a “lesson” that was supposed to go with that exercise, but it’s one of the few sessions that I replay in my head pretty consistently. Deep down, I know what it feels and looks like to relax and just be myself. But those feelings seem to be eluding me.

During an email exchange with a new-found friend, I asked him about how to meet guys in the real world (as opposed to online). His answer was simple: be relaxed, smile a lot, and be friendly with everyone you interact with, even if it’s the person standing behind you at the supermarket– you never know what can/will happen because of those interactions.

As I read his advice, a vision of myself from high school flashed through my head. That girl is so different from who I am now, but I realized I envy her. I envy her relaxation and care-free attitude about life.

I wasn’t told any advice I hadn’t heard or even done before. But it was the reminder I needed that I can relax, be myself, be flirty and friendly. As a result, I’ll be happier with myself, my interactions with other people, and I just might finally attract the attention of a guy who values that kind of person.

I’ve dated guys who are attracted to my more mature attitude– no one ever guesses my real age– they either guess 17 because I look like a high schooler or 29 because I act a lot older/mature than people “typically” do my age. And I’ve ended up dating some pretty big a-holes… so clearly not being myself is not getting me anywhere good.

So thanks to Zak for the reminder to be myself. The real Kate is in there somewhere, possibly stuck back in high school, but maybe I can at least glean some advice from her about how to stop being so boring! Plus, I’ll have a lot more fun when I am my friendly self as opposed to the stuffy, rigid person I’ve been for the last few years.

I’m feeling really anxious at the moment, and I think all I need to do (hopefully) is process this a little bit here and I should relax…

Tomorrow is the final step in the drawn-out process that is the Getting Unemployment Payments. It takes a surprising amount of time and effort to get unemployment benefits. And even more work if the state initially declines your request.

Unfortunately, that’s what I’ve had to deal with for the last 3 months. I lost my job at the beginning of December (Merry Christmas…), and this final hearing is exactly three months later to the day. I’ve had to submit tons of paperwork, log-in weekly to prove that I was looking for work, and then had to fax in my reason that I believe that I deserve to get unemployment. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to make people put some effort in to get  the benefits– it shouldn’t just be handed to them– but it sure makes the entire process really long and uncomfortable.

Thankfully I have a hefty savings account that I was able to draw from and pay my bills, but if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what I would have done– probably move into my parents house…

So far, it’s been a relatively streamlined process. Submit paperwork, wait, get forms in the mail, fill out forms, wait, get more forms, etc. And most importantly, I  haven’t had to interact with any of my former employers.

However, tomorrow will be the first time I have had to interact with them and it’s really getting to me. I fully blame my supervisor for getting me fired, so I hold a lot of resentment towards her. But I have to interact with her and our supervisor to get through the final hearing.

I submitted my paperwork with the mantra: “I’m doing this for myself. I believe I was wrongfully fired and I need to stand up for what I believe.” But that was easy to do when all that required was writing a (somewhat long) letter defending myself and sending it via fax to some government office.

But now I will need to verbally defend myself in the presence of the two people who most resent in this world. I will need to stand my ground and essentially tell the court that the decision to deny me benefits was wrong, that their information is skewed and tell them that my employers were WRONG.

I don’t mind confrontation in my personal relationships, but if it involves telling someone that something they did was wrong or bad, I end up feeling bad that I feel bad and don’t want to deal with it any more.

And that’s what terrifies me about tomorrow.

I have to stand my ground, on my own, and let a judge (or whoever) make the decision as to whether or not they have to pay me > $2,000 in unemployment.

I’m nervous and anxious, and just thinking about it raises my heart-rate up to uncomfortable levels. Even talking about it with a friend at lunch today made me fidgety and nervous. Talking it out did not seem to help squelch my anxiety.

I thought talking about it would help ease my pain. But what I think will ultimately help is when it’s all over. I’ll probably have another terrible night sleep worrying about it tonight, but then I can sleep soundly tomorrow, knowing that it’s all over.

Wish me luck, because at tomorrow at 3:00, I’ll be standing up for myself like I never have before.

Zak graciously let me steal this idea from him, and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, because they all seem cliche and I forget all about them in about 3 days. However, when it comes to my birthday, I seem to have no trouble contemplating my future.

I want this next year, my 26th year, to be one of the best ever! I want to do and see things that either A) I’ve never done before or B) should do more often. I live in one of the best outdoor-activity states and I rarely take advantage of having the mountains less than 30 minutes from my house.

So, without further ado, here are my 26 to-do’s for my 26th year:

  1. Hike a 14er
  2. Canoe/kayak Dillon Reservoir
  3. Go to the Sundance Film Festival
  4. Snowshoe in RMNP
  5. Fall in love
  6. Get the full bonus amounts at work each quarter
  7. Go to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo
  8. Have brunch at the Broadmoore
  9. Grow a lush garden
  10. Learn to roast a chicken
  11. Travel somewhere that requires my passport
  12. Travel somewhere outside of the state
  13. Eat at least one thing a week from our CSA bag
  14. Learn to grill the perfect steak
  15. Throw at least one party/get-together a month
  16. Have a reason to wear each of my three LBD’s
  17. Go on a full-moon snowshoe hike
  18. Treat myself to a shopping-spree for new clothes for work
  19. Go to at least one concert
  20. See fireworks in DC
  21. Go hiking with my parents at least once this summer
  22. Jump in a pile of freshly-raked leaves
  23. Ride my bike every day to work in the summer
  24. Make limoncello
  25. Go to a game for each of the Denver professional sports teams (except the Nuggets– I hate basketball)
  26. Write my 3rd NaNoWriMo novel in November

Come February 28 (ONE WEEK!!!), let the games begin 🙂 I’d love it if I could cross off every single one of these– wish me luck!