The Jar Post II

The Annual Jar Post has returned–and HOPEFULLY, my inspiration and commitment to blogging with it. 2017 was a weird year. It was my first full year with my Boyfriend, and I took a lot of that time to figure out who We are as a Couple–but also who I Am as a Half of a Couple. It turns out, I’m still Mostly Me. 2017’s Top Ten are as follows:

10. Anna’s Back-to-School Party – I actually picked this one specifically because of when it’s dated. Exactly a year ago today, probably around this time, I was sat on a chair in the exact sweatshirt I’m wearing right now in the middle of Anna’s apartment, next to a boy I’d only been dating a few months who had a dumb haircut, and trying to remember that every person in the apartment both liked me and wasn’t paying the slightest attention to me (those are my social anxiety comforts).

9. Kesha – I got to see her live thanks to an obscure gift from my university. It was my first concert with my Boyfriend, first time seeing Kesha, and my first time choosing to stand alone, away from everyone I knew, and dance and jiggle and love without a care in the world. I don’t think anyone could’ve made me feel that way but Kesha. Thank you.

8. John Mulaney – This would probably be higher up if our seats hadn’t been so terrible. The door opened and closed the entire time, and people chatted at the door. I barely heard his opener, and only vaguely remembered the jokes. I cried afterward, I was so disappointed. But still, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see him, so I’m incredibly grateful.

7. Valentine’s Day – There’s a tradition at my school; kissing under the Bell Tower at midnight on Valentine’s Day is how you become Official Co-Eds. It’s a dumb tradition, but we were up late that night anyway. The pictures are terrible and my GOD was it cold, but I love that he indulged me in such a small thing.

6. Orange Beach Birthday – For my Boyfriend and his Best Friend’s birthday, we went to Orange Beach for a few nights. It was so quiet, and easy, and so incredibly fun. It was also our first time staying in a different state together!

5. Carving Pumpkins – It’s a tradition to carve pumpkins every year for Halloween in my family. My Boyfriend had never done it before, so it took him forever, but it was a really small thing to do with him. It was also our 11-month anniversary. We ate Chinese food. He makes me cherish the little things.

4. Spring Break – We almost died. I’m glad we didn’t.

3. September Brother of the Month – It was such a great way to be brought into the year, and also to be reminded of how important it is to keep trying and contributing even when it feels like you may go unnoticed!

2. Ed Sheeran – I got to see Ed Sheeran in August in Houston. It was amazing. I cried. Literally. I’m seeing him again in October.

1. Isella & Harper – Two beautiful babies were brought into this world in 2017–both of whom are my family. I love them both dearly. I’m excited to be a part of their lives and to hopefully help them become amazing women.

-HH

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Best Condiment in the World

There are a lot of things I could bitch about today. The car accident I got in, assignments I had due, texts from my boss, a conversation with my mother–all of those things sucked. My room is a mess, I’m living on nutritionless food, my skin and hair and eyebrows are unkempt and sad looking.

Instead, I’m gonna be thankful for my Boyfriend.

From the dark hole I built myself in my room, under a mountain of blankets and pity, I texted him: “Can you bring home some McDonald’s? I really need nugs today.”

He had an exam and a quiz today, held me as I cried multiple times, went to a work meeting, and has a test to study for tonight. When he came home, he was carrying two drinks and a bag from the Golden Arches.

“That took awhile,” I said. “Did something happen?”

They got the order wrong at first, he explains. Then he tells me they were out of Honey Mustard–aka the Best Condiment in the World. I felt myself deflate, “What did you get me instead?”

“Look in the bag.”

And there, on top of my nuggets, were two Honey Mustard sauces from Chick-fil-A.

I burst into tears.

Every day, I am thankful to have him. But today, especially, I am thankful to him.

-HH

Angry

I’m pretty sure it’s in the first Avengers movie when Beautiful Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk reveals how he deals with his situation: “I’m always angry.”

That’s how I felt today. In retrospect, it’s how I feel pretty much all the time–about things that happened months, even years, ago.

When I pray, I always pray for personal things last. I want to prioritize other people.

Today I want to pray for me.

I am desperate for His guidance in dealing with my anger. Some of the things for which I am angry, I yearn for an explanation. I want to know why they happened, why I’m struggling to let go of them–why He’s putting me through this constant turmoil and frustration.

Being angry is exhausting. I am searching for how to let go.

I am learning that letting go is even more difficult than being angry.

-HH

Every Day, Forever

Last night I prayed.

Super weird, I know. I didn’t even tell my Boyfriend about it, I felt so weird.

But I did. I prayed.

I was laying in my bed, tossing and turning (which is pretty much every night for me). Then I just thought, “Maybe I should pray.”

I didn’t pray for sleep. Although, that probably would’ve been a good idea to add in there. I prayed for my relationship, for my Boyfriend. That we be together and safe and strong. I haven’t been feeling unsafe or weak or insecure in the relationship, I just suddenly wanted to feel like Someone had my Back on it.

I cried while I prayed.

I didn’t want to pray aloud at first. I think I always thought it was dumb, talking at nothing. But in my head, I kept beginning my prayer over and over. It didn’t feel like enough. It didn’t feel like He heard me.

So I prayed aloud. And I cried while I prayed. I told Him I would Try–that I wouldn’t promise to be on the Righteous Path, or what have you. But that I would Try to have Faith, and to be and do Good.

It felt good. It felt Powerful. I think I’m going to pray tonight, as well.

And maybe every day, forever.

-HH

Home

Before God gave him to me, I was a weak foundation
There were cracks in me from Surface to Earth

Before God gave him to me, I had no intention of Building myself
Pieces of me sat around, just out of reach, and I wasn’t even Stretching for them
Before God gave him to me, the rain poured–
poured–
poured–
Until no part of me remained Dry
Then God gave him to me

When God gave him to me, I decided to fill the cracks
I needed to be the best so that one day he would Build on my Base
No other blocks of cement could be more appealing than mine
When God gave him to me, I decided to fight

When God gave him to me, he took the planks of wood that make up my soul
None of them match or are the right length
Yet still, he is building a house out of me

When God gave him to me, I was Cold to my Core
Unwilling to be Punctured by the reality of Love
I have since learned how to Warm a Room

When God gave him to me, I was sure he wasn’t Real
Sometimes I squeeze him to remind myself that it’s not a Dream
He supplies my Frame with Warmth and Protection
He covers me from the Wind and pushes me in the Sun

Thank God gave him to me
He Built a House from my Broken Bits
Together, we are Home.

-HH

Thankful

I opened a chocolate muffin packet the other day and the muffin had a pale green, fuzzy substance on a part of it. Enraged and grossed out, I wrapped it up and promptly tossed it in the trash. I opened another one to find the muffin perfectly fresh and just what I needed.

I also found myself, for the first time in a very long time, realizing how lucky I am to be able to throw away a muffin and immediately get a new one. At no point did I even consider eating the muffin (which, also, smelled faintly of plastic), nor had it been a struggle for me to obtain them.

It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the stress of college–because, trust me, there’s a lot of it. I stress about my health and my grades and my career path and pretty much everything I do, honestly. A lot of the times I wonder if college is even worth it.

But finals are over now (thankfully). And I know I passed all my classes. I’m passionate about what I’m learning, and when I go home I have bed(s) and family and food and love. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for those things when they’re the norm in my life. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for the opportunities I’ve been granted with my education.

I’m working on remembering to be thankful for them anyway.

-HH

Working, not Breaking

So I had a bunch of things I was thinking about writing about while I binge How to Get Away with Murder on Spring Break. Then there was a scene in this episode where Annalise (Viola Davis) is in an AA meeting. And I thought of my father.

My Boyfriend and I got into a fight  a few weeks ago. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to breaking up. I’ll explain.

We were at a party, surrounded by people with whom I was having tension–his friends. I was surrounded by alcohol–a thing I have so many negative feelings about that I work to process every day. My Boyfriend, while he knows about them, doesn’t get it. He hasn’t had the kind of experiences I’ve had with alcohol. I’m happy he hasn’t. But that can make things difficult.

The party became too much for me almost immediately. I couldn’t handle it. I walked home alone. Try as I might, my brain wouldn’t stop. The panic felt overwhelming. I was alone, with my brain running in circles it hadn’t gone in quite awhile. And I tried to let him have his fun, I did, but I couldn’t.

So I called him. Told him I needed him to come home. And he was drunk on the other end, I could tell. But he loves me, so I figured he’d come back when I told him I needed him.

He didn’t.

Or, I mean, he did. Like three hours later.

And we talked about it the next day. I got mad, he apologized.

“I should have come home,” he told me.

But when I demanded to know why he didn’t come home earlier, he couldn’t give me anything worth anything. Because “I was playing Beer Pong,” just doesn’t compare to “My girlfriend needs me” in my opinion.

“It’s going to take time for me to forgive you,” I finally said. “You’re going to have prove yourself to me.”

Weeks later, we were riding home to Spring Break. And for some reason, that night crossed my mind. And I turned down the radio.

“I’m not meaning to start a fight, but I told you it was going to take time for me to forgive you. And I think you deserve to know that I haven’t forgiven you, yet.”

And he got mad. When I tried to grab his hand, he pulled away.

“That was weeks ago and I think there’s a bigger problem if you’re still holding on to it.”

And I laughed. “With me? Oh yeah, definitely.”

I think maybe we probably almost broke up again, in the car. Which would’ve broken my rule, so I’m glad that didn’t happen.

“You picked beer over me,” and I hate to admit that my voice broke when I started to yell, but it did. “And a lot of people have picked beer over me, my entire life.”

He got quiet. And all the anger I had felt from him before changed.

All the anger in me shifted. “I’m not angry at you. I’m scared. That that’s going to become normal.”

When the fighting is over, we always ask each other. “Do you have anything else you want to say?”

Normally it’s nothing big. Quiet I love you’s. Hand kisses. Hugs and I’m sorry’s.

But this time it smacked me.

“I didn’t realize that it was about more than just me.”

I always know about the things that make us different. Like he’s Catholic, and I love writing. But I forget about the bigger things that make us different. I think he usually forgets them too.

Alcohol, to him, means a fun night. Alcohol, to me, means my father forcing my sister to drive his car when she was twelve, while she was crying. It means my father dragging my mother through a verbal slew so awful I can’t believe I ever trusted one awful thing he said to me about her. It means my mother throwing her wedding ring out the window at 3AM. It means broken doors being replaced five times in ten years. It means broken windshields from my mother’s feet, scratches across my stepdad’s face, holes in walls (and ceilings and cabinets).

So we’re working on it. I’m working on realizing that I have no reason to believe that my Boyfriend is like my Parents. He’s working on realizing that I didn’t grow up like him.

We’re working, not breaking.

I kind of, maybe, definitely want to marry him.

Pretty sure the feeling’s mutual.

-HH