One Month Later

secret of change

 

About a month ago, I found the courage to share with the whole blog-o-sphere that I made the decision to break up with my boyfriend of 4.5 years. At first, I didn’t think I was going to share it at all because there’s so many factors to consider; however, I am really glad I did. Not only did it help me to sort through my feelings and it was an easier way for me to share the breakup with my family and friends without going public via Facebook (FB is considerate now and doesn’t post changes in relationship status on everyone’s news feed anymore. Thank goodness.), but it also opened up a whole new avenue with old friends and even strangers. I was greeted with so much amazing feedback and support and I even made new friends and rekindled older friendships with people who had gone through or were going through the same thing. And isn’t that the whole purpose of a blog anyway? It totally reaffirmed for me how amazing this blogging community can be and how the heart of being human is to connect with others.

I thought it would be wise to share a kind of update now that it has been a full month. The journey has not been an easy one. When I wrote the announcement post, it had been three days since we officially ended things, so the shock was just starting to hit me.

I’ve been finding myself going through the “stages” of a breakup recovery, much like the stages of grief in a way. At the time of the first post, I was starting the cycle of questioning. I feel like this time is the most crucial because in so many ways, I harbored feelings of wanting to turn around, beg for forgiveness, and pretend like nothing ever happened. That would have been the easy way out. Because the alternative was painful, my friends. I knew the onslaught of memories would come, but nothing can quite prepare you for its sting. Everything I had ever imagined and planned for my future was now gone. Poof. Completely evaporated. Everything I was used to for almost five years was now gone. And you start questioning if anyone is going to be able to fill that void in your heart ever again. And you start to worry. It’s a lot to take in at one time. And you never know when it’s going to hit you. For me, it was particularly potent when I saw pictures or his possessions or when I thought about my future.

I studied choice theory in my grad class this summer and it’s all about the idea that behavior is all purposeful; this means that we choose our actions and, therefore, indirectly choose our thoughts and feelings. Often times, people choose misery to meet one of their basic needs; in reality, they have the same ability to choose happiness but instead place blame on outside factors. (Ex: “He made me feel so upset! I wouldn’t feel this frustrated if she had just told the truth!”) This concept could not have come at a better time. Throughout this recovery process, I have tried to be more intentional about how I choose to feel. I kept myself busy, surrounding myself with friends and family and making a lot of changes in my life, like downsizing. It has made the world of a difference.

how far youve come

But I can admit that I didn’t always choose happiness during this past month. There was, and sometimes still is, a time when I choose to be angry. I was so angry that things had to happen the way that they did. I felt like I (and our relationship) had been sacrificed for things to be learned. I felt angry that I had seen signs for years and didn’t have the courage or insight to do anything about it except push through. I felt angry about a lot of things.

But I am also happy, you guys. I can honestly say that because of the things going on around me and the way God is revealing His beautiful plan, I am in a place to choose happiness genuinely and authentically. I am confident in my decision for many reasons, even though I still have questions, what-ifs, and worries. One of the ways I have been able to feel so secure is by measuring the growth I have achieved. The girl I knew six months ago would not have been capable of putting herself first and choosing the right path instead of the easy one; I can sense a strength and confidence in myself that was not always there before. The way I react to pictures, letters, memories, people, and places is different. If you’re going through a difficult time, try to focus on how far you’ve come. You might surprise yourself.

I have a very dear friend who is going through a similar situation and we have been supporting and encouraging one another. Even during those moments of worry and fear, we always try to end the conversation with the acknowledgment of what we have learned. We ask each other:

  • How has this relationship/break-up taught you what you need and don’t need?
  • What has this break up taught you about yourself? About your emotions? About how you handle conflict?
  • How has this break-up helped you? Helped your ex?
  • What are you looking for in a partner?
  • What can you contribute to a relationship?

All of these questions have sprouted really healthy discussions and thoughts that make it a little easier to process everything. What questions do you ask yourself/your friends during difficult times? What is your best break-up remedy?

Oh, and just another point that I’d be really curious to hear your input on: How do you take care of the sentimental stuff? Toss it all? Keep it tucked away? How do you decide what stays and what goes? I have my own ideas, but I’d love to hear yours!

thebestisyettocome

 

“Everything Happens for a Reason”

As if the old adage “Everything happens for a reason” wasn’t already made evident for me a million times over, it was just proven again.

I know I keep talking about how I’m moving (#sorrynotsorry–ONE WEEK!), but really I can’t even begin to express to you how everything is lining up and revealing its glorious plan to me in small increments.

Example A: I wasn’t planning on getting a roommate or moving because I didn’t want to share a space and have to go back to the college atmosphere and moving is too much work. The solution? Two bedrooms AND two bathrooms and enough amenities to make up for a shared living space. WORTH IT.

Example B: I was worried that Ashlie and I would be spending too much time together and would clash as roomies. The solution? Our schedules are extremely opposite this year.

Example C: I was starting to accumulate too much stuff and felt weighed down by things. The solution? I had to get rid of a lot of things because my new apartment is fully furnished. It feels GREAT.

Example D: I was really lonely this year and due to changes in my personal life, I needed a brand new fresh start and a community. The solution? My new place is in the college town nearby and I will be surrounded by grad students my age. So exciting!

Which leads me to Example E.

In addition to all of these reasons above as to why I should be moving and why everything is happening the way it is, I made a new friend.

Arianna Me

How crazy does the universe (aka GOD) work to set this up?? The new math teacher at our school, Arianna, found MY old apartment via Craigslist and my landlord put us in contact, only for her to call me and meet me yesterday, sign the lease within a half hour, and become one of my new best friends in three hours.

We talked nearly nonstop the entire time and found that we are THE SAME PERSON.  We love purple, JC from Nsync, and shopping at Ross, and hate bees, coleslaw, and pickles. You guys, she even reads The Daily Tay and The Life of Bon like I do. Best of all, we have the same wittacular (I JUST MADE THAT UP) sense of humor that just keeps going. I really was a magical twist of fate.

We also cheesed it up with “our” landlord. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting this…oooooops.

Jim Arianna Me

Anyway, the moral of this silly tale is to tell you that the old adage is indeed true and if this is setting me up the way I think it is, I am bound to have a spectacular year. I sincerely hope that is the case! And most importantly, I hope all of YOU have a fantastic year. We all deserve one of those, don’t you think?

 

Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes and Fried Zucchini for One

If you’ve been reading for some time, you might recall that I have mentioned how difficult it can be to cook and to buy groceries for one person (or even for two!). I really hate wasting food and money, so I try to look for recipes that either cater to individual portions, can be sized down, or can freeze well. So far I’ve shared some really yummy recipes, like this super light southwestern salad and this delicious sausage pasta. This next one is the PERFECT portion for one person, but it can be expanded for your whole family if you’d like. I used this delicious recipe from Tasty Kitchen, pinned on my “Food” Pinterest board and slightly modified it to use my own ingredients. I also coated and fried some delicious zucchini to go along with it.

Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes and Fried Zucchini 1

Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes and Fried Zucchini for One
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Marissa Burdett
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Eating alone or for two? Try this delicious potato recipe on its own or as a side dish. Pair with some fried zucchini for a meal. Increase proportions for larger crowds.
Ingredients
  • Scalloped Hasselback Potato:
  • Cooking potato (Russett)**Here’s where you can customize how many portions you want to make**
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Butter (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Heavy cream
  • Olive Oil
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fried Zucchini:
  • 1/2 Small Zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Scalloped Hasselback Potato:
  2. Cut slices into the potato about 1/4 apart. Be sure not to cut completely to the bottom.
  3. Slice your butter into small squares. Wedge them in between every other slice of the potato.
  4. Sprinkle (or place your sliced cheese) the Parmigiano-Reggiano in between the other slices of the potato so you’re alternating between cheese and butter.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the potato(s) to a baking sheet. I recommend using with with a lip on each side.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes-1 hour.
  7. After it is baked, pour heavy cream over the potatoes. Add some additional shredded cheese and resume baking for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Fried Zucchini:
  9. Pour olive oil into a medium-large skillet, enough to cover the bottom. Turn the burner on medium heat.
  10. Crack the egg and whisk in one small bowl.
  11. Combine the breadcrumbs (use your judgment on the size, I used about a cup) and some parmesan cheese into another small bowl.
  12. Slice the zucchini into round 1/4 inch pieces.
  13. Dip each slice into the egg bowl first, making sure it is coated evenly on both sides. Let the excess drip off back into the bowl.
  14. Place the slice into the breadcrumb mixture and toss lightly, making sure it is evenly coated.
  15. Set aside and repeat.
  16. Place each zucchini slice carefully into your skillet. Allow it to cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Be careful when turning so as not to lose your coating.
  17. Place on a napkin when finished to soak up the excess oil.

 

Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes

Fried Zucchini

I really enjoyed this simple meal! I will make it again some time for sure. Thanks for stopping by today!

Also, a quick shout out to Audrey from Putting Me Together. I am sponsoring her amazing blog this month and it is INCREDIBLE for outfit inspiration. Check her out!

 

All “Tuckered” In

Apparently, according to this blog, all I wear in the summer is this striped tee. See how I transformed it from plain to put-together here! I promise that I washed this and wore it several days after my last outfit post, but you canbelieve what you want ;)

I have never been much of a tucker. What I mean is, I rarely ever tuck in my shirt unless I’m wearing a higher waisted skirt (which, in that case, it’s a MUST!). I am pear-shaped so sometimes I feel like tucking in my shirt highlights my hip area more so than my smaller waist.

I got these jean shorts at Old Navy (along with a few other awesome things, which I’ll be sure to recap in my end-of-the-month Budgeting Blogger post. See July’s here) and was super thrilled with them. I have the hardest time finding jean shorts that fit because nine times out of ten they are always too tight and too short. I can’t be strolling around with my booty hanging out–I’m a teacher! (And a respectable adult…) So when I saw these shorts were a “boyfriend fit” I knew I should try them on. While on many people these shorts would be slouchy and loose-fitting cute, they fit me as they should. They are a great length and they don’t ride up at all! The only downside is that I need to wear a belt, which is where this outfit came into play. I had been home for the weekend and only brought this belt with me so I tucked in out of necessity and ended up really liking it!

Striped Tee Tucked Into Jean Shorts 1
Striped Tee Tucked Into Jean Shorts 2
Tee: T.J. Maxx
Shorts: Old Navy
Belt: From a Ross dress
Sandals: Kohl’s

Speaking of Kohl’s, YOU can use a special 10% coupon for Kohls.com by using the code BLOGIT10 through September 12th! It can be used to stack savings with one other department specific code.

Before I’m all “tuckered” out (HA I’m so punny sometimes), can anyone teach me how to effectively pull off the “half-tuck?” It always looks so stupid on me! Maybe I’m doing it wrong but all the other bloggers can do it :( Teach me your ways!

Thanks for being patient with my sporadic blogging. Life is a bit crazy. When is it not, I suppose?