He’s The Guy.

He’s the guy who isn’t going to be another drunk mistake. He might take you home. You might lay in the same bed. But nothing is going to happen that first night because the guy worth waiting for, isn’t some one night stand you regret. He’s someone who is going to take care of you.

He’s the guy who is going to take you on a real date. Where he dresses really sharp.

Meeting for drinks isn’t his style.

He’s going to take you to his favorite spot, and not some dive bar to get you drunk. Because he wants to know what you’re like sober.

He’s going to hold open your door and pull out your chair. He’s going to stand when you excuse yourself from the table. He’s going to let you pick the app you like even if he doesn’t like it. He’s going to let you order first and let you try his, giving you part of it if you like his better. He’s going to pay even when you try to and won’t allow it.

He’s the guy who is going to drive you home even if you live far away, and he’s not afraid of meeting your parents. Because he wants them to know you’re being taken care of and with someone good.

He’s the guy who tells his friends about you and brings you around to meet them, because someone who is important to him is important to them.

He’s going to want to meet your friends too. He’s going to want to make a good impression. He’ll deal with the pressing questions as they come and handle it with grace.

He’s the guy who is going to keep his word. Someone who doesn’t cancel on dates and tells you things, so you aren’t in the dark about what’s going on. He’s someone who is going to work to make you feel confident in him as he spends time building your trust.

He’s the guy who is going to care about the things you’re interested in, and even if it’s different for him, he’ll try. He’s going to support you and be happy for you when something goes right, but when things go wrong, he’s going to be there too remind you it’s okay and things are going to get better.

He’s the guy who is going to listen when you speak, even if you’re rambling or just talking in a whisper. And, he’s going to remember the things you say. He’s going to make a mental note of the things you like and what you don’t.

He’s the guy who is going to answer your texts and calls, because he doesn’t play games and he sure as hell won’t want to mess with your head or your heart. Someone who values the physical aspect of relationships and goes into it teaching you that too. Showing you what sex should be like.

Someone whose touch you crave when you wake up even if it’s next to him. Someone who never stops kissing your forehead or pulling you close. A simple touch under the table as he puts his hand on your leg that means so much.

He’s the guy that makes even Sundays doing nothing but laying in bed something to look forward to. Someone you enjoy just watching a show with. A silence that isn’t awkward, but broken by a joke because he knows how to make you laugh harder than anyone.

He’s the guy who isn’t just telling you you’re something great, he’s showing you through actions, appreciation, and treating you better than anyone has before him making it look so easy.

He talks about a future like he’s sure of it, and it scares you because no one has ever looked at you that confidently before.

He’s the guy who is going to take the time to learn you. Your quirks and flaws, and he isn’t going to judge you for it, he’ll work his way around it and help you to overcome things making you better. He’s someone who is going to push you to achieve things simply because having him in your corner makes you believe in yourself.

If there’s something you don’t know he doesn’t make you feel dumb, he sits down and explains it until you get it because that’s what a healthy relationship is about, teaching the other person.

It’s realizing you guys are a team and there are things you have to overcome together. He’s not going to walk away when you fight or lose it, you’ll work through whatever the problem is. He’s someone who knows when to apologize and how to make up and doesn’t hold mistakes over your head when you’re wrong.

He’s the guy who is going to make you feel beautiful when you’re in a baseball hat and a t-shirt. But he’s also going to be brutally honest when you ask his opinion. Because he might think you’re beautiful in anything, but he wants you to believe it too.

He’s the guy who is close to his family and pushes you to have better relationships with yours. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you when you’re wrong and pushes you to always do the right thing. When you think of positive influences in your life, he’s it.

And you sit back thinking about your past and it’s like you always knew you deserved someone’s best, but because of your past, it just makes you appreciate, value, and want him more each day. Because when you meet the right person, all of it comes together so easily. Everything just feels right and it’s been a while since you’ve been that sure of anyone.

So you say a quick prayer and count your blessings, because you know you’re the lucky one.

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We Should Be Teaching Girls…

We should be teaching girls that beauty isn’t where you shop for clothes or where you buy makeup, but who you are. We should be teaching girls it isn’t about wanting to change your flaws, but embrace them. We should be teaching girls about acceptance, and not criticism.

But how are we supposed to teach young girls lessons we haven’t even learned ourselves?

Society puts a lot of pressure on everyone to look a certain way. It’s all a numbers game.

Size. Weight. Measurements. Beauty. Restrictions. Calorie consumption.

From an early age, we are weighed in front of our classmates during gym. We are asked for sizes in front of our teammates for uniforms. If girls aren’t judging each other, they are judging themselves, and social media is making every part of their life a competition.

It’s a generation recording everything on smartphones, from what they eat to what workout they do, needing validation and acceptance.

We are teaching girls to look at their flaws instead of their attributes striving for perfection that isn’t real.

Comparing themselves to models in magazines. Filtering every picture they post like they have to. Editing everything so heavily.

Defining happiness based on notifications.

Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. It encourages you to judge people, first by appearance or how happy they might be and what they are putting out there. But we get caught up in judging ourselves too, wondering why everyone else seems happier than us hiding it and overcome with guilt.

Dating apps, where adults are judging one another based on photos alone. This is what we are teaching them, that it’s okay to judge people solely on what they look like instead of who they are.

It’s a competition that has only gotten worse with advances in technology.

And we wonder why there’s a higher rate of depression.

According to Business Insider: “After scouring several large surveys of teens for clues, I found that all of the possibilities traced back to a major change in teens’ lives: the sudden ascendance of the smart phone.”

Don’t talk about her body in regards to appearance, but rather the wonderful things bodies are capable of doing. Don’t look in the mirror and talk to yourself about what you don’t like. Don’t talk about her weight in regards to what she should lose or gain. Don’t set a goal thinking that’s going to make you happy. Don’t talk to her about what she should change. Teach her, as well as yourself, to learn to like your flaws.

Don’t use words like skinny. Use words like beautiful and strong. Realize being healthy is what it’s about. It’s not about being skinny. It’s teaching her to workout, not because she hates herself and wants to change. but because it’s wonderful to see what your body can do and working out changes your attitude.

It’s teaching her to eat healthy, because what you put into your body is important to your long-term health, not just what you look like. It’s teaching her to pursue her favorite sport, because there are some things teams can teach you that no one else can.

Don’t compliment her appearance, but rather something unique about her. Because what makes her and what makes you beautiful has nothing to do with appearance, and everything to do with how she treats people and how she makes them feel about themselves.

That’s beauty.

Being authentic is beautiful. Being kind is beautiful. Being a good person is beautiful. And those are things you can’t buy in a store.

Teach her what’s attractive about her aren’t her looks, but her passion. That she isn’t limited by who she is or what she looks like. That what carries her is going to be her attitude. How she lights up talking about the things she cares about. How she does something she loves every day and as a result, she becomes good at it and people admire her for it.

We need to stop teaching girls they need to change to love themselves, because she doesn’t.

If we want to teach our young girls to love and accept themselves, we have to set the example of loving who we are not wanting to change.

Confidence is important. Liking the person looking back at you is essential. But I think a lot of us don’t even know how to be good enough for ourselves anymore.

That negative voice inside our head we hear over and over again isn’t actually ours. But we are mimicking something someone said at one point and believe it.

Maybe it was your mother talking about her own flaws. Maybe she projected her insecurities onto you. Maybe someone who was a role model said one wrong thing and that’s what you heard and repeated for years.

How we talk to young girls is so important, but how we talk to them is a reflection of how we talk and view ourselves.

So if we want to raise a generation of girls that turn into strong women, set that example. Because as much as they deserve to love themselves, you do too.

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Dating Me & My Depression.

I don’t know what your relationship with this word is or if it’s ever been relevant in your life. But it has been for me. Like this cloud only I see, that hovers over me just waiting to rain on anything and ruin moments that are good.

It’s creeps up unknowingly like some unwelcome houseguest that over stays their welcome and won’t leave.

In the beginning, you aren’t going to notice it really, you’ll see someone who is happy and well put together and on the surface, I look like I have everything going for me. It’s this secret I hate sharing. A part of me proves how flawed I am when I strive for perfection.

But this is what you have to know…

I’m always going to appear happy and upbeat and positive. That’s what I strive for.

It’s going to take some time for you to be able to read me well enough that you know I’m completely bullshitting everyone in the room about how I’m actually feeling.

Couldn’t be better. Happy. Doing well…will always be words that escape my mouth. But there will be moments when I say those thing, and I’m not making eye contact. I’m biting my lip. I’m quickly changing the subject out of fear someone might notice I’m lying. People with depression are the best liars because we feel we have to be.

When someone asks me how I am, I’m not going to reply, “well I stayed up until 3AM last night holding back tears for reasons I don’t know, thinking way too much about why I feel the way I do and what’s wrong with me.”

So instead I say “great!” Because I don’t want to make people feel awkward.

You’ll notice a level of empathy and sympathy I possess. How I see the good parts of every bad situation. How I try to shine light on things. The truth is, I’m like that because I know what it’s like to sit in darkness alone hating myself completely exhausted. I know what it’s like to be the strength for someone else, because I simply be the person I needed in those dark moments.

I’m the last person who is going to ask for help because I consider it a weakness. Even if it’s hypocritical of me as I tell people it’s okay to not be okay. I hold myself to a different standard than most.

There are going to be moments where I pull away. Moments where I can’t articulate what’s wrong or why I’m so sad. Moments where I’m going to want space, but it’s the last thing I need. And you aren’t going to know how to help me. Because there isn’t anything to say really.

You’re going to see a different version of me. My voice will change. You won’t recogonize me. Because in these moments I’m not going to be the person you fell for.

I won’t want to do anything, but lay there. I won’t want to shower. I won’t want to eat. I won’t want to leave my room. And logically I know it makes things worse, but I just gotta feel through it.

When moments of depression really hit, I’ve learned I just have to ride it out, but I understand if you don’t want to or it’s too much to ask.

In these moments, I’m always going to think I’m too much to handle. I’m always going to think I’m unlovable. Because in these moments, I hate the person I am and I don’t know how anyone will like me.

I compare myself to others always feeling like I fall short. Feeling the need to try harder than most and overcompensate.

I’m going to try so hard when it comes to you and put in so much effort because, I’m going to want you to remember me at my best moments if ever you see me at my worst.

I’m addicted to schedules and being productive because I have to be. Most people look at me wondering how I pull of doing so much, being in three places at once, never letting people down. Exhausting myself time and time again failing to live in the moment sometimes. Overcome with work and hobbies.

It’s admirable, but it’s a cover-up to. Hiding behind achievements and success, because I just want to feel good enough for me.

I watch across social media everyone that seems so happy. And I know everyone paints this picture of things that aren’t real, and I shouldn’t make that my standard. But I do.

If you judged me based on what my Instagram looked like, depression is the last word you’d use.

Because I seem happy. The truth is it’s those happy moments I’m advertising, because on my bad days that’s what I look back at.

It’s the plans I’m going to cancel with no reason as to why, but sometimes I just can’t go out, and I want to stay in and I’m going to want to be alone. I need you to not take that personally.

It’s moments in my life that are completely unbalanced and I wish consistency was more of a thing in my life.

I’ll eat healthy for weeks in a row, than I’ll eat like shit. I’ll even have days where I don’t eat at all and you ask me if I’m hungry and I haven’t even thought about it. I’ll run a marathon and sit on my ass for the next month. It’s a drastic weight loss or weight gain that comes and goes so often. I’ll have a great productive day, then the next I’ll lay in bed for hours. I’ll sleep well for a night or two, then be clinging to medicine just to knock me out. Sleeping has always been hard for me.

You’re going to learn me in time. And when you do and you see how this affects me, you’re going to have a complete view on the word “depression.” Because here is this thing that takes someone you love and care for and turns them into someone they aren’t. And you might still love me through my bad moments and if you do, I admire you for that. I’ll always value you for that. I’ll always appreciate you even in those moments I’m falling apart.

The truth is even someone’s most honest love and good intentions can’t beat this.

When we first met I deceived even you. You didn’t know then you would be the one holding me as I fell apart. The soothing words as I broke down. The company when I swore I didn’t want anyone. The person pulling me in as I pushed you away. You saw this pretty girl smiling, laughing, and being funny on a night out like it came so easy to me. I’m still that girl. There’s just other parts that are deeper and more complicated that come with it.

I’ll always apologize when negative episodes affect both our lives. But more than anything, I’m always going to value you. I’m always going to love you. Because if there’s one thing someone with depression is good at, it’s loving really hard, loving really honestly, and loving someone really well.

If you can love me at my worst and most vulnerable states, I’m always going to try my best.

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Healing.

Healing is acknowledging the fact that the person mattered. That you had a history that isn’t worth forgetting. Healing is about moving on at your own pace, not when someone tells you that you should be over it. Healing is about waking up every single day and knowing it’s okay to look back. It’s okay to reach for your phone hoping you hear from them. It’s okay that you haven’t healed yet. Because healing is a process. Healing takes time. And the truth is even when you’ve moved on, and you’re dating someone new, there are going to be moments that hit you, where you miss them.

Healing is understanding your pain. Respecting your pain. Looking it dead in the eyes and understanding why you feel the way you do. It’s analyzing things and replaying scenarios, but one day it hits you XYZ is why it didn’t work out.

It’s having that day where even if they did come back you wouldn’t choose them again. Healing isn’t forgetting. It isn’t as simple as forgiving them either. It’s forgiving yourself too. It’s taking a hard look at the person you were in the relationship and finding areas you could improve in the next relationship. It’s understanding even someone you swore you loved might not be meant for you.

Healing is moving past that initial anger and just wanting them to be happy, even if it’s without you. It’s someone saying their name and you don’t cringe. It’s your best friend talking about them, and you don’t have anything bad or negative to say. Healing is the respect you have for yourself and your ex because even if it did end, that doesn’t erase your history.

Healing is beginning to date again, and not comparing their best to someone new. It’s realizing that things didn’t work for a reason and you can’t be hung up on it. It’s watching them move on and being okay with that pain at first, but then moving forward yourself and not clinging to it.

Healing is when you see them out and you don’t have to leave. When civil conversations don’t make you angry. When seeing them post something might make you miss them for a moment, but you don’t dwell anymore.

Healing is allowing all those ugly emotions to get flushed out of your system instead of harboring them there. It’s letting go when you’re ready. On your own agenda.

Then you take that next small step. You start dating when you’re ready. When you’re able to give someone your best. When falling for them is genuine, and not because you are lonely.

Healing is a process. A process we sometimes feel guilty for as emotions we don’t like come to the surface. But it’s those emotions that are essential to moving on.Then you move on and you realize every person we’ve ever loved we take with us, and they are never really gone or that far when their memory leaves an imprint on our heart.

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