Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 and the stories it will tell

A friend once wrote to me:

"I long for the day when you no longer write in your blog because that will mean you are fully healed.."


Alas, I do not blog as much as I used to... but sometimes I feel the need to.
And tonight is one of those nights.
It's not a reflection of my healing process. It is just something that I want to do.

It is now 2014. And that is unbelievable.
In 86 days I will be marrying Ryan and I am super thrilled about it.
I am also super cautious.
I feel that if I over celebrate the occasion that something bad will happen... but I really do feel like this is going to finally be happening for me. I get to marry a great guy and start my life as a wife. I am so thankful God has given me this opportunity to love again. And I have to say I am proud of myself for not giving up.
I gave life and love a second chance and it was worth the risk.

As we enter into new years everyone feels the urge to set resolutions. With Facebook being such a staple in everyone's lives we also feel the urge to share these with others. Whether to have some accountability or to just excessively brag about the BIG EXCITING things that make us so awesomely awesome. (there's sarcasm, behold!)

I think deciding to wait until January 1st to start making changes is a little bullshit... but if you need to set a goal for that date it's better then never at all.. so whatever. I actually started mine earlier. I started them as soon as they came up in my head (because why wait?) and then Ryan asked me to share some for the new year and I was like... "crap. um. uh..."
Get married? Isn't that a big resolution? Change my last name and start working on a family, yes? But there's so much more... and I will now share with you my RAW version of my resolutions for 2014. (p.s. these are very hard. and i don't know if most of them will be successful... but I won't facebook sugar coat things for you like everyone else)

Ok... lets start with this whole marriage thing :)
I want to be a good bride. i don't want to yell at my bridesmaids or make ridiculous requests... i want to avoid bridezilla completely. i want to be pleasant and sweet. i want to relax on my wedding day and let people in charge take control.
I want to be a good wife.
i want to accept that I am going to be able to marry Ryan and we have a chance to create our own happily ever after and that the people around us are supportive.
And if for some reason there are people who aren't supportive they have to go.
because they aren't worth my time.
speaking of that... i want to resolve to stop waiting for others to re-build bridges with me. if others chose to stop staying connected to me for some reason (especially those who stopped talking to me after John died) then I have to move on and not wait for them.
I am in no way burning the bridge. I just will move on from it completely.
Your move, by the way... those of you who have slipped away silently in the shadows.

I want to focus on those who care about me.
I want to give attention to those who have supported me and who still support me day to day. The real friends who never gave up on me... even though I am a crazy roller coaster of emotions girl.
The friends who are honest with me. The friends who realize that I am more than what my bitchy features might have you feel I am. ha.
I want to be a better friend. I want to call people more often, i want to physically write letters and i want to make an effort to visit friends more often.

I want to stop envying what other people have. (and realize most of it is just others trying to show off on facebook).
I want to dig deep inside of myself whenever i start feeling bad for things i do not have and remind myself of what i do have.
remind myself how shitty i felt in 2010 and how i begged for the life i have now.
and how i got it.
and how even without trips to bowl games, or the ability to get promotions, or fantastical "2 year plans" , or being pregnant, or extravagant weddings, or crazy expensive yearly trips around the world, or having my wedding completely paid for, or raises, or new houses, etc. etc. ... that I am ALIVE and breathing and in love!!! I am somewhere I did not think I would ever be at again.
And even though I am now officially in debt from this wedding... I get to have a wedding. And I don't mind paying off credit cards for an event with all my favorite people that ISN'T a funeral.

I want to not let facebook determine my happiness or success in life.
i want to use it to keep in touch with friends and family and loved ones and not seek out things that are going to make me sad or mad.
and if people aren't good for me then they need to go.
(already started this process)

i want to love myself by taking care of myself.
that means eating right and being active.
not thinking of being on a "diet."

I want to continue to build back my relationship with God... cause lets be honest. Things got rocky when I lost John.
And even though at this point being a Christian isn't so popular I want to stand up for my faith, attend a church and pray.
I want to pray even when I am not asking for something. I want to pray just to say thank you. And I want to pray for others.

I want to enjoy life while I am young. And realize I STILL AM YOUNG. (despite what the number of candles tell me).
I want to tell people to shut up when they say I have plenty of time to travel when i am older (because we all have learned a lesson from this blog... and that is "you never know...") and if I want to hop on a plane and go somewhere I will.
Because why not?

And I want to smile more.
The world could use more smiles.
The world could use more pleasant people and positivity.
I need to be that light.
And I don't need a date on a calendar to tell me when to start.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My real feelings about Halloween

I haven't always been so open with my feelings about Halloween... mainly because everyone is so damn obsessed with it.
I mean it's a BIG freaking deal for some of my friends.
So I just kind of go with the flow.
I decorate the house is various fall colors... wreaths with bright oranges, yellows and browns. Dark reds and scents of cinnamon.
I have some sparkly bats hanging in the living room.

But that's about it.

No grave stones.
No blood.
No skeletons.

Halloween has gotten weird for me since 2010.
When working at Universal since 2007 I have gone to the Halloween Horror Night premieres every year. It's not as crowded, there are $2.00 beers, and you get to see the raw version of Bill and Ted.
But when I went in 2011 with Ryan and some friends it was just really hard.
I had a hard time going through some of the houses and had a panic attack just getting close to one of them.
I can handle vampires and werewolves and fantasy creatures.
But when it comes to dead people... I just can't handle it.

I definitely still suffer some PTSD when it comes to this. I even avoid certain movies because they can literally trigger a panic attack.
Finding John in April 2010 has left this permanent mark inside my brain and heart.
When I see pale, lifeless figures... even though I know they have make up on... I see John.
I do not like scenes with coffins or tombstones.
I don't know why tombstones bother me so much because John never even had one. I guess it just reminds me of death in general and how real it is.
And while many can laugh and have a grand ole' time during this holiday and wear costumes depicting death... I cannot.
I know I sound prudent.
And I know that it's just a "holiday." But for me there's something too real about death and mortality.
I just don't mind moving on from here... on to the happier holidays.

And please don't get me wrong.
I enjoy the yearly Halloween movies like anyone else. Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, etc.
I can even ride Haunted Mansion sometimes at Disney.
In fact, I would MUCH rather go to Disney's Not So Scary party than to HHN now.
If I ever go to HHN the only thing I really do is the Bill and Ted show and houses that don't involve dead bodies. ( which is basically none of them)
But that's about it.

I just thought I would let it out.

That I am broken.

And I guess that it will be this way for awhile.

And I really like Christmas much better.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm being a bad bride.

When did getting married become so complicated?
And why did no one tell me?
And why do I cry almost every day?
And when does this start getting more fun?
And why can't people support us and realize how very very important this is to me?

Will it just be up to me in the end?

How does one afford a wedding that is by all means affordable?
How does one become a happy bride?

Because honestly it's only been a month and I do not recognize myself anymore.

Of all the people in the world... you would expect me to love this more.

I am nothing but a bad bride.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Future Mrs.

On August 23rd, 2013 I said Yes! 

I said "Yes!"

Ryan has proposed and I couldn't be happier!!!
I know most of you saw this coming a mile away... and I can't lie and say that I didn't... I am just so happy that God is giving me this opportunity to marry a man who is my best friend!

And I also want to take a moment to "selah" (as a wonderful English teacher once told me... that means to Pause and reflect).
I have to look back and reflect on how far I have come.
Thank goodness I wrote a blog through this journey.. so I could appreciate how far I have come. So I could be proud of myself for letting love pour back into my heart. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I had dismissed Ryan simply because I was giving up on loving someone again.

I know that would have made me a miserable person.
And I know that John wouldn't want that.
And I know now more than ever that my friends an family wouldn't want that for me either.
The amount of support I have had since April 2010 is unbelievable... even during times where I felt completely alone there were people cheering for me... small and quiet... and sometimes not so quiet... and hoping for my second chance.
And they prayed.
And I prayed.
And I would scream in the shower to God....

.... and he did....

And Ryan never doubted or questioned me.
He never doubted my love.
Even when he would see me sit in the bed and bawl over photos and momentos.
Or when I kept a bag of John's old clothes in my closet... for years... he didn't question it.
And when I finally let that bag go... he was there holding my hand.
And as I have grown and moved forward... I have not only seen a great growth in myself but also in him.
I am unbelievably proud of him and his decision to return to school and go after a dream. And even though money is tough while he's doing it... we are going to make it through together... as husband and wife.

And as I plan my wedding please be patient with me.
I am not the bride I would have been in 2010.
I am struggling financially and trying the best I can to make this the wedding I deserve while still being on a budget.
I might be edgy sometimes or cranky because wedding planning SUCKS. (yeah, I said it).
As happy as I am to be engaged I am seriously ready to marry this man!!!

Oh and before you say ..."why don't you just do a small wedding..."
let me explain something.
The last time I had all my favorite people gathered around me was for John's funeral.
I had everyone I could have ever wanted there by my side.
But it was for the saddest day of my life.
So, please allow me to plan the happiest day of my life the way I would like to.
Because... if I may say so myself.


Is it March yet??? :)

Oh and you can check out our wedding website here:
The Wedding of Autumn and Ryan

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What the world needs is ... a baby ;)

I am excited about the royal baby's eventual presence in the near future.

I am looking forward to some GOOD news for ONCE on TV.

News that won't give me anxiety for once.
News that isn't about riots, or drug overdoses, or murder, or airplane crashes.
Just the celebration of life :)
And that makes me happy.

People lined up outside the hospital waiting for the birth of the royal baby...

Maybe it's because I am also in a pretty big baby mood too.
Hold your horses and your judgements, please.
I am not trying to have a baby nor am I quite ready to have one at this stage in my life... but when all of my friends seem to be popping out babies left and right and when the world is anxiously awaiting the birth of one as well...
it's just on your mind.
And I am a 29 year old woman.
I am allowed to have these feelings.
And I am VERY aware of the fact I am not even engaged and to have these feelings might not be "valid."
But they are.
I have been in this waiting line for quite sometime.

And yes, I am getting antsy to be engaged.
And I know I harass Ryan about it too much and I am working on just letting it go... and trust he has a plan.
But I can't help but wonder...

where's my big news? :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finding Peace

Sometimes I find it hard to find my inner peace in life... especially when the world around me gets crazy. 
I get jealous of people who can keep their cool all the time. 
I wish I could be as ignorant as other people who haven't been through the things that I have been through or seen the stuff that I have.
In fact I would do ANYTHING to be ignorant about death and loss. 

I react so differently to things now.

On Saturday the verdict for the Zimmerman trial came out.. and it really got to me. Not the verdict so much but people's reactions. I just tried to avoid it as much as possible... and I hid anyone that yapped on about it on my fb timeline. I just wasn't in the mood. 
And on the same night I read about the death of Cory Monteith. Seriously????

And at 3am I layed wide-eyed in my bed just pondering it. 
And then it hit me. 
A fucking panic attack! 
They make me feel out of control. And like I am dying. Like the world is caving in. 
Even with Ryan asleep next to me I can feel completely alone when having a panic attack. I try so hard to convince myself that it's in my head and I can control it. But I can't. I have to let it pass.

So, I got out of bed... hand on my chest... heart pacing out of control... and I made a milk bath. 
At 4am.
It helped somewhat. 
And so did the clonapin I took... although I wish more than anything I could turn the panic around without medication. But I just can't.
Then I cried.
And I wanted to wake up Ryan but felt bad for doing so... so I dealt with it by myself.
It passed.
I lived.

But how does one live in complete peace?
How can I better prevent these feelings of anxiety and tension?
How can I avoid all the bad news in the world?

Please God, give me Peace.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Stone and the Setting

(I started writing this post a few weeks ago... finally finished and published it....)

As I have said before.... there is no rule book for what I have gone through.
Many times I have had to make decisions solely based on what I felt was right inside my heart. Because  there was no choice.
And often I have found myself worrying if the choice was correct.
If it was acceptable by others.
Every decision regarding John or Ryan was one I had to think over a million times to make sure it was "right."
Keep in mind. 
No rule book. 
So... what defines "right"? 
And why did I care so much? It's not like anyone else would know what to do in my situation... even though I swear some people have definitely acted like they were masters on the subject of grief. (and therefore I probably just stopped talking to them anyway).

But one thing always tugged on my heart strings... and made me most nervous of all.
My engagement ring.
A material thing, of course, but also something so personal and meaningful.
A symbol of forever. 
A symbol I had been wanting to wear on my finger since I was a little girl. A girl with dreams and fantasies and wishes and hopes.
Of being a pretty bride in white with a sparkly ring on her finger.

But what does one do with an engagement ring when their fiance passes?

I have seen several variations from friends on their decisions. 
And then I made mine.

On Tuesday morning I rode up to Jacksonville with Ryan to see Mr. Harby. 
I have known Mr. Harby for years without actually meeting him.
He's the jeweler that John used to created my gorgeous engagement ring.
He was a really sweet guy to meet and was extremely understanding when we came in. I am sure I am not the first person that has been in this situation... but it's also a pretty rare case indeed.

(Also, let me tell you that both Ryan and I had a sit down discussion with John's dad on this whole process and he was delighted with our plan. Needless to say it was an emotional moment for us all but one I hold quite near and dear to my heart.)

So, our final decision was to take out the center stone of my current engagement ring from John and replace the stone with something else meaningful. My first initial thought was to use John's birthstone but of course him being born in April made that a diamond. lol.
So I immediately turned my thoughts to the place where we met.
FSU :)
So, I decided to get a garnet stone put in the middle of the setting.
I never got a school ring before either so this covered another base.

I was delighted with the outcome and happy to share it with you:
This photo was taken at Mr. Harby's office... it was the first garnet we tried and it fit perfect!
(Please ignore my chubby fingers)

This photo was taken after the ring was set. It stays on my right hand now :) 
(Once again.... ignore the chubby fingers)

So, I have been reunited with my ring. And I think it's beautiful and a great dedication to the love I had with John and my journey into new love.
So... where's my center stone you may ask? 
Well, it's in good hands with Mr. Harby until Ryan wishes to use it. :) 

We will meet again.... the stone and I. <3 p="">