Changing X

I am not happy.

Well, that’s not true. I’m happy now. But for the past week(s), I have not been happy.

Every single thing felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. Even the smallest of stresses felt like life-ruiners, and for the past few weeks there have been plenty of small stresses.

My Boyfriend’s friends may or may not like me as a human being. He nor I can tell anymore. It’s been the cause of a lot of tension between us the past few days, but I think today I stopped letting it get to me. People, sometimes, won’t like you. I’m learning you have to deal with that.

My Boyfriend, however, has bigger problems with his friends disliking me. Mainly, that his friendships are suffering because of it. I’m letting him deal with that on his own. Another thing I’m learning is that you can’t control anyone.

You can control yourself, though, right?

So I haven’t been happy.

“I don’t think Old You would like how You Now views the fraternity,” he told me the other night.

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, he was right. But I can’t change the fraternity. I can’t change who dislikes me, or who thinks I should not have a leadership role, or generally the actions of anyone except myself.

So I’m changing my actions. I’m trying to put out more of what I want from the fraternity. I’m trying to remember that all I can do is forgive people and accept them and love them and respect them, and hope for the same treatment in return. It’s been hard. Like, really hard.

But being miserable gets old quick. Being angry is exhausting. Refusing to take responsibility doesn’t actually make you feel better about anything.

So I’m thinking about dropping from the fraternity. But I’m changing what I put into it, first. I’ve decided to put in more hope, confidence, positivity.

I’m reminded by the tattoo on my ankle every day that getting stuck in a rut is the last place you want to be. Changing X changes Y so, assuming that X and Y have a direct relationship and the change to X is a positive constant, I can only go up from here. So I’m changing X.

I found a Bible verse I like. It’s short, sweet, and to the point:

Stand firm, and you will save yourselves. -Luke 21:19

I’m pretty sure the context has nothing to do with saving yourself from your own Self Hate Hole. But faith isn’t One Size Fits All, right?

Yes, I do switch translations of Bible verses depending on which one I like the most.

Also, it’s my Boyfriend and I’s anniversary. Congrats to us for surviving four months!

-HH

Joy Cometh in the Morning

Today I ran for an Officer position within my fraternity and I lost. I sat through the rest of Executive-Board voting, I got into my car, and my Boyfriend (bless him) suffered through me going through a flurry of emotions as I finally got to voice my grief at the loss.

And for a minute I really wanted to fall into my hole of self pity. I remembered a post I wrote awhile back, which started off with, “I am not the girl who gets.”

I wanted to reaffirm that. To kick myself while I was down and convince myself that the Universe has just decided that I do not deserve the things I want, and that my fellow Brothers do not find me capable.

But I didn’t. I cried because I was disappointed, because I was mad, because I was frustrated and bitter.

“I wish I had never gone up there,” I told my Boyfriend.

And when I was nominated for a position to be voted on next week, I couldn’t even stop my response. “I don’t want to do that again.”

Because I don’t. I am not beaten or bruised or broken, but I am not willing to get up there for something that I want again. Right now, I don’t think I want anything enough to get up there and fight for it.

My pride is shot, my confidence even lower than before. And it will be picked up (I hope) but not tonight.

Tonight I will eat my feelings and be a little angry. Tomorrow I will get up and be better.

I found a Bible verse that I quite liked that’s kind of my motto for the night. Since I’m trying out this whole faith thing, I guess quoting Bible verses is a thing I’m into now.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

-HH

A (Sweet, Delicious, Human) Potato

It’s been almost two years since I got into my first serious relationship. It’s been almost a year since I got out of my first serious relationship. I haven’t dated, or even tried to, since then.

Friday night was the post-Induction party for my fraternity. That night, at my second-ever college party, I learned that drunk college adults are the equivalent of sober twelve-year-olds at their Spring Fling–glow sticks included.

By that I mean that once one person heard who I’m interested in in my frat, so did the drunk girl next to her, and so on. I thought it would end terribly. It actually worked out.

Turns out, he likes me too! And yes, he was drunk at first. But no, I wasn’t just a convenience.

I DD’d for eleven people that night, him included. I brought him home last, and we went up to his room. We laid in his bed, fully clothed, and talked.

“I’m wide awake,” I told him. “So I’m going to keep talking.”

He didn’t mind. He talked to me about his family, and asked about mine. We talked about fraternity stuff. We talked about liking each other.

“How did you not know?” I asked. “I thought I was obvious.”

“When we were leaving the volleyball game Wednesday night, people started teasing me about you–‘So what’s up with y’all?’ And my heart hurt.”

“What does that mean?” I laughed. He mostly was talking into his pillow, words slurring together. He wasn’t saying it directly, but I knew what he meant: I didn’t realize how I felt until it was pointed out to me.

“There was a literal pain in my chest, and I was like ‘Oh no. I’ve never felt like this before. What do I do?'”

It’s been a long time since I felt like I was experiencing such genuineness in a person I know is interested in me. Everything felt comfortable but not boring and fun but not exhausting.

“I’m a potato,” I told him. It’s not a new phrase for me to use; most of my fraternity have heard me say it several times about myself.

Throughout the night he’d responded to my saying that with different adjectives, “A sexy potato. A beautiful potato.”

His drunken and tired stupor left him with only a handful  of adjectives before he stopped having good responses.

“A delicious potato.”

And as I burst with laughter, he groaned. “I’m drunk, please ignore that.” But I didn’t.

Instead I told him about N.A.U.L. (I introduce N.A.U.L. as my Best Guy Friend to new people). “I called myself a potato the other day to my  best friend and he told me I was never allowed to bring it up again, but that if I am a potato, I’m a sweet potato.”

He groaned. “I messed up. I missed my opportunity.”

I laughed and liked him a little bit more.

Then I started to worry aloud. “What if things don’t work out between us and we’re both still in the fraternity and–”

He tightened his arm around me. “Don’t think about that.”

So I didn’t.

I was the little spoon, and we’d been quiet for awhile. I was worried he was asleep when I asked, “Will you regret this in the morning?”

“Nope,” he said immediately, tiredly. “Never.”

And I squeezed his hand, and asleep we were.

He was right. I woke him up around 8:30 with a joke from the fraternity GroupMe. We barely left the bed all day, talking and joking and laying on each other. He gave me a donut. We talked with his roommate.

At 4 I left after napping on him.

And I don’t know what we are. But I’m excited to find out.

-HH

Being Greek

I hate telling people that being in a Greek organization changed my life because of how corny it sounds, but the fact of the matter is that it’s true.

The fall semester of my freshman year was awful for a plethora of reasons, but I think that the overall transition from high school to college was just extremely difficult for me. I spent every day sleeping, eating, and throwing myself into schoolwork. In retrospect, it doesn’t sound terrible. It sounds like an average College Kid kind of life. But I wasn’t just in a cyclic rut of school; I was depressed.

Nothing brought me joy. I was constantly filled with an overwhelming sense of doom–and not just about my academics. Getting out of bed was difficult. Going to things by myself was impossible. In fact, going to events with more than three people–even people I did know–was impossible. I knew about three people by the end of my first semester.

Winter break happened. I decided something had to give. Something had to be different.

I got an email about an honors fraternity which I was eligible for. None of my (two) friends were interested in it. Where I’m from, being Greek (and female) is usually equated with being white, and rich, and being after a “Ring by Spring.” I was, ignorantly, a believer of these horrendous stereotypes. Something in my gut told me that this was my chance for change; I went to the first info session by myself.

I was immediately in love. The people were my kind of people. They were fun and interesting and made me happy. It didn’t matter to me, anymore, that I was by myself at every rush event. I loved being around the people I was around.

I made it through the Rush process. I made it through the Initiation process. I became a member of the Fraternity. I didn’t realize how much it’d changed my life until this semester.

Every week, I have things to do. Every day, I have people to sit with–people I want to sit with. I have people to text and hangout with and have jokes with. I have people who know that sometimes I need to be alone. I have people who listen to me rant about Astronomy and teach me how to play Water Pong because they know I don’t drink. I am always excited to be around these people. I used to think that my way of getting out of a rut was to crawl into bed and not get out of it until I felt like I could function. Sometimes that’s still the answer. But most days? Well now, most days, the answer to my sadness is to get out of my room, to hangout with my Brothers.

At the last meeting, I was given the privilege of being voted Brother of the Month. Today I sat through a meeting in which I said the words, “I do things with this fraternity because I like being around y’all. Like, it makes me happy.” The people around me smiled. The people around me believed me. The people around me, I think, also like to have me around.

There are a lot of things I’m bad at expressing myself over. This is not one of them. I am immensely grateful for every person I have met because I “went Greek.” I am eternally indebted to this organization. These people have given me confidence, hope, a voice, an education, acceptance, and a home in a place which I thought would always be foreign.

-HH