On my mind and on my heart…

1413990_i_heart_retroLove has really been on my mind lately, and I don’t even think it’s because of Valentine’s Day. I’ve just had a lot of moments of clarity lately when it comes to love and what I expect from it. Here’s what’s been on my mind and on my heart:

I really am OK without romantic love… for now.

Of course I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I really am OK being alone right now. It’s easier to feel that way when I see so many loveless marriages, so many marriages falling apart, people so unhappy with their situations in marriages, and friends going through divorces. I don’t desire that, and I thank God that I haven’t settled for anyone who isn’t the one for me.

In love, I know what I’m looking for.

32 years into my life and I think I finally know what I’m looking for in a guy. I thought I knew before, but for some reason I kept dating guys who were nothing like that. I’m done with the party scene. I want a guy who is done with it, too. Don’t read this wrong, I’m not passing judgment on anyone still in the party scene. All I’m saying is that I have a preference, and I want a guy who would rather rent a movie than go to the bar, a guy who would rather go bowling than to the club. Of course I still like to have a good time, and every once in a while I like to go to a bar and have drinks or to the club and dance, but every weekend? Even every other weekend? No. I’ve got to stop dating guys who do that, because clearly that’s not what I want. And I’m over trying to change guys into what I think they should be.

1413989_i_heart_pinkGod sure saves my heart from a lot of unnecessary pain.

Sometimes I get these crazy feelings. It’s easy to romanticize something that happened years ago. It’s easy to look back and only see the good, to remember how it felt at first, to think about how perfect you once were for each other, and to completely overlook the reason it didn’t last. Sometimes I get caught up in that. What’s awesome is that each time I start to feel nostalgic, God reveals something to me. Might be something as simple as a tweet that tells me, “Oh yeah, Natalie. THAT’S why you will never go down that road again.”

This might be the first Valentine’s Day that I actually love myself.Bday

I’ve always been a pretty humble person, and I think for most of my life I thought that if I was happy with myself, it meant I was vain. So the opposite kind of happened, and I had very low self-esteem. To say I’ve come a long way in the past four months is an understatement. I’ve learned to love myself and everything God created me to be. I’m not perfect, but I’m OK with who I am. That has made all the difference in my life- living for God and living for me, not other people.

God’s love is the only perfect love.

No love is greater. God’s love NEVER changes for us. He will never forsake us. Who doesn’t want a love like that? We aren’t guaranteed anything in love with another human being, but with God we are. His love is perfect. No matter what happens with another person in your life in any sort of relationship, God will always be there loving you.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Remember that today is about love of all kinds. There are lots of people who love you, and above all else, God loves you. That’s really all that matters.

Lessons everywhere in 2012…

I’m glad that Tuesday is a new year. Not that 2012 wasn’t good, I’m just positive that 2013 will be better. Once you truly believe that God has an awesome plan for your life, you actually look at the future with hope.

I learned a lot in 2012. Some lessons were new, others I was just reminded of. Here are the top things I learned in 2012:

A liar to others is a liar to you. I should have seen the light earlier. When you have a fairly new friend and you realize she doesn’t keep friends long, that should be a red flag. But you know me, I stayed friends with her, let her manipulate me throughout the entire friendship, and I believed all her lies. It was silly to believe her when I knew she was lying to pretty much everyone else in her life about the most random things. Never have I felt so betrayed by a friend in so many different ways. I don’t know what she’s like now in her friendships, but I know that for me, I’ve become a much better person since I cut off the friendship and her lies last February.

Some of my TRUE friends, who I love with all my heart!
Some of my TRUE friends, who I love with all my heart!

Guys will never ever understand some things. I’ve learned that with a person like I mentioned above, guys will never see it. A girl can sit there and lose a female friend after female friend on a consistent basis, but guys will never see the girl’s true colors. That’s because she won’t reveal her true colors to them. I learned this years ago because I’ve seen it my entire life. Just a lesson from the past that I had to learn again in 2012.

Life is short, don’t save things. I’m not talking money for retirement here. I’m talking about gifts, perfume, vacations, etc. etc. I have gift cards from last Christmas that I still haven’t used. I have a spa gift certificate (that never expires) from COLLEGE. I let my favorite perfume sit on the shelf unless it’s a special occasion. That’s crazy! Life is too short to save so much for a “better time.” No time is better than now. I’ve learned that I need to enjoy life and the gifts I get when I get them. No need to wait.

I’m tired of going “out”. I’ve been tired of this for quite a while actually. I really didn’t go out much in 2012, but it was enough to annoy me. This is a blog post in itself. It’s hard when you’re single and want things to do and want to meet people and there are so few options of ways to do that.  I’m not saying I’ll never go out again. I might step out for a birthday or something, and I’d really like to do some entertainment writing, but for strictly social reasons, I’m done. I don’t need that “escape” or that atmosphere to feel better about myself.

That's me, happy as a clam just out to eat with my parents!
That’s me, happy as a clam just out to eat with my parents!

I can move on from someone I thought I’d always be in love with. This is an amazing lesson to learn, because at the time of the breakup, it seems so impossible. I thought I would never, ever get over my ex from a few years ago, but I did. Not only that, but I’ve realized his purpose in my life, I’ve realized how our failed relationship taught me so much. And he’s become one of my very best friends. I learned that I can move on, because in early 2012, I did move on. So while I’m sitting here now trying to mend my broken heart from someone else, I can confidently say that I’ll be OK. I will move on. It gets easier every day.

You can’t make someone love you. We all know this. So why do we try? Why do we constantly think that there’s something we can do to make someone love us? We can’t. There is nothing you can do. It’s exhausting and pointless to even try. You have to let go. There’s no other choice. Even though it hurts and literally feels like someone is ripping your heart apart, you have to let it go.

Blogging changed my life. I started a blog that no one knew about. I was crazy honest in it, and random people from around the world read about my most personal experiences and commented on them. It was amazing. The support from people who had never even met me was overwhelming. One specific person has turned out to be one of my best friends. How crazy is that?

I don’t need a gimmick to lose weight. I’m not against Body by Vi or any of those weight loss programs, but I’ve learned that you can lose weight without them, simply by changing your diet and exercising. I’ve lost 15 pounds since October by counting calories and exercising. I’ve only been exercising twice a week most weeks, and I’m going to kick that up a notch in 2013. I have another 30 lbs I’d like to lose!

The Jorgensen YMCA where I work out. Zumba twice a week! About to start yoga and belly dancing in January.
The Jorgensen YMCA where I work out. Zumba twice a week! About to start yoga and belly dancing in January.

Peace can only truly be felt when you accept the fact that God’s timing is perfect. To say I’ve grown spiritually in the past four months is an understatement. By accepting the fact that God’s timing is perfect, I’ve got a new peace in my life that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Happy New Year everyone! Have a wonderful and blessed 2013!