We Can Love If We Want To

The time I spend on the internet is much more limited than what it used to be, because I have other things occupying my time now. Do I miss my time online? Sometimes. Then I see articles that make me realize my time spent enjoying real life moments are far more valuable. Granted, most of my real life is occupied by work and school, but I take joy from the little things because that is sometimes all we can hope for sometimes.

Recently it has come to my attention that numerous people think love is no longer attainable for the younger generations. Articles such as this one and this one seem to think that we have ideals too high to make love work. I’m not going to sit here and bash the articles or the people who wrote them, because the truth of the matter is they each have valid points.

Love is complicated in different ways than what it used to be, but there are still some similarities involved. Those similarities mainly reside around the fact that love takes work. Period. It’s a two way street, and both partners need to work together in order for a relationship to sustain itself. It’s called give and take for many reasons, and I believe that is the real reason relationships fail time and time again. Of course there are other factors involved, and I’m not discounting those. But these articles are basing results off of life aspects that can be fixed.

Perhaps I’m not the person to be writing this, seeing as how I am nowhere near being in a relationship let alone a serious, long-term one, but I think that is why my opinion can make a difference. I’m not being biased because I’m so in love and I’m not being hypocritical after suffering through a bad break up. I’m seeing the real deal for what it is, or at least I’m trying to. So what if I’m not sure whether or not marriage is my endgame? I’m not going to put a pin in the hopes of those around me just because something might be not be for me.

The point of this post is to address some of the little things that might make a relationship last. They’re simple fixes, and it all focuses on paying attention.

Don’t text you partner when they’re in the same room. That’s just ridiculous.

Unless there are other people in the room and you’re using the written word as some form of artful foreplay to be completed at a different location then just don’t do it. Speak. It’s why we were equipped with the gift of language. Use it.

If you’re letting finances rule your life, you probably weren’t ready to be married in the first place.

It’s a sad point that I believe holds validity. You don’t need to be 100% financially secure to be married, but having a plan helps. A lot of people are not ever going to be set for life, but if you’re letting arguments over money take control over the love you share with your significant other I believe that is a sign right there. Just wait for a bit. Find that stability you so obviously crave, and then move forward with the rest of your life plans; such as marriage and children. Hell, even throw in that white picket fence if it’s in your cards. Just do you, and make sure the timing works.

My point is that yes we have complications ahead of us, but that doesn’t mean we are ill-equipped to handle love and/or marriage. It just means we have obstacles to get over, which will make the journey that much sweeter in the end. If you’re a romantic don’t let discouraging articles deflate your sense of self. You’ll find someone, and maybe they won’t be everything you ever dreamed, but they’ll love you and you will love them.

I think that’s the point these articles might have been trying to make. We all want love, we just aren’t always the best at looking for it in the right places.

~Johana Spade

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The Life and Times of a Spade

You might want to step back, because I’m about to get all sorts of personal on your dash.

I’m sorry, that ridiculous pun sounded a lot better in my head. Getting to the point though, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what is going on in my life, and what that will mean for my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I was hired on for a full-time phone customer service position. Not a big deal, and I don’t start until early to mid February which means nothing has changed as of yet. I don’t know what my shift is, and I won’t know until the middle of March what it will be. As it stands now, that one job won’t change much when it comes to posting.

The thing that might make my posts more sporadic is the fact that I will be looking for a part-time position as well. I know what you’re thinking, “Johana! A part-time and full-time job isn’t going to occupy all of your time.” Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are then I’d have to say that you would be right. Keep in mind we have to factor in time for sleep as well as time for eating and exercising. That shaves a bit more off my available hours within any given week. Once again that is not what I am worried about, I’m more worried about the fact that I am also going to continue going to school full-time. With my procrastination techniques firmly in place, I do believe my posts will be limited. I’m hoping for once a week at least. We will see how well that works out.

Just wanted to keep you updated as I continue on in my endeavors of paying my bills and getting educated. With any luck I’ll be able to make it to graduate school with only a bit left to pay on my car.

Why did nobody tell me adult life was going to be so stressful?
~Johana Spade

It Just Takes Ten Minutes

Dear Reader,

You’re sick, and that’s okay. It’s okay that smiles don’t come easy, and that half the time all you want to do is disappear. All of that is okay because you are human and you are young.

It is not okay for you to give up. Promise me that you will never give up.

Don’t let a world that is so big get you down over something that is so small. There is more to life than failures, and you will have many failures. Think of all the people you have touched in one way or another. The good and the bad, your life has influenced those around you.

You are an impact. Powerful, with a force unseen by many, you can help people. Don’t fake a smile if it doesn’t feel good. Say no when something just doesn’t suit your fancy. All you need to do in life is be true to yourself. No one can ask for more than that, and nobody should be asking for less.

Sometimes it might feel like the end is near. And maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life just because you don’t have anywhere else to go. You are much stronger than you think you are, and you have people who love you unconditionally.

Maybe the harsh realities of the world are too much to bear sometimes, and you can hide from the world for a few days. Just don’t let it rule you, do not let your fears control your actions. Come out of hiding for a day or two at a time, just enough to let the world know that you’re still fighting.

I, too, know what it is like to feel like you’re waging a battle against yourself. I know the struggles that come with the pain inflicted on your skin, and the scars that are left behind. Scars fade, memories fade, but the strength of your soul does not. Keep your heart beating by doing what you love. Do not settle for anything less than what you deserve.

There are going to be times when you hate your parents. That moment when your mom reads your journal and finds out just how much you want to die might seem like a gross invasion of privacy, and maybe it is. But a small part of you will know that you left it out for her to read on purpose. The tears she shed over your unseen wounds might make you feel just a little more loved than you had felt that morning, and it will mark a turning point for you. Cause even though you get horribly frustrated with both your mother and father because they just do not understand, you also love them because they stand by you even though they cannot know of the demons you are facing.

I can promise you that you will make it through this, but I cannot promise you that it will ever completely go away.

Always try to remember that you are strong, you are brave, and you are beautiful.

But most importantly, I want you to remember that you are me and we are one.

~J. Spade

Reading the Situation

Are you a good judge of other people’s happiness? Tell us about a time you were spot on despite external hints to the contrary (or, alternatively, about a time you were dead wrong).


 

Being able to read people is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. There are people you want to read in order to help them out and lend an ear if they so need, then there are some people you really don’t want to read or who don’t want to be read; this can lead to some unsavory feelings if not dealt with properly.

The gift found in being able to read people is that you are able to tell when another person is happy, and if your an emphatic then that happiness could in turn be your happiness. A person can be so happy that a dreary environment will not even intrude upon their good feeling, that is the wholesome feeling of rightness that we all strive for. Some are successful, many are not.

There was a time when I was hanging out with a group of friends that I can clearly recall being able to read people a little too well. It was one of my friends birthday’s, and I could tell that she was not having a good time. It was her 21st birthday, and while many choose to go out to a bar and drink on their 21st that is not everyone’s cup of tea. My friend fell into the latter category, but some of our other friends simply told her “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and tacked on the ever helpful “you’ll have a blast”.

It turns out that no, she did not have a blast. She drank a few drinks that she really didn’t want to, and we stayed out much later than she had deigned necessary. But she was the birthday girl, fresh to the bar scene, and our other friends were either too focused on their own inebriation that they didn’t notice her miserable countenance or they were having too much fun to care.

That was the moment I felt my inner self being torn in two different directions. One of those direction reached out to the birthday girl, who clearly would have preferred to celebrate her birthday in a different fashion. The other direction went out to those of my friends that were undeniably having a good time. Being able to read people and situations means that you often have to pick sides, and while it might be an unfortunate feeling for you, you’re going to find that you can be the savior too many under certain circumstances.

In that instance, I choose to help out the miserable party; because it was her birthday and no one should feel miserable on their birthday.

~J. Spade

Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade

Crying is an Art

Do movies, songs, or other forms of artistic expression easily make you cry? Tell us about a recent tear-jerking experience!

I am a sucker for heart-wrenching angst. Maybe my life is so cut and dry without any drama that I seek it out through forms of artistic expression, because there are moments when I find myself craving a good dramatic movie, book, or song. As for the crying part of this question, that’s a little bit more difficult to answer.

How can I answer that without sounding completely robotic?

Well, I guess the short answer is that I can’t, because no matter how I phrase this following aspect it is going to sound emotionless; maybe in a way that is true though.

I can honestly say that I have never cried because of a movie or a song. I’m more emotional when it comes to the written word, but I still do not cry because of it.

At an early age I told myself not to cry. Like many people who grew up with the demands of “stop crying” and the notions that “crying is weak” I have learned to suppress my emotions. Now, many years later, it has become quite the problem.

I have friends who are on a mission to find the movie or book to make me lose it. Small displays of emotions make me feel unbalanced. While I have learned to comfort people who need a shoulder to cry on, I still cannot let myself be that vulnerable. It’s quite the wall I have built around me, and I fear that the more I hold off my emotions the higher this wall becomes.

I have aspirations of one day crying during a movie, but I’m hoping it will be in the solitude of my living room and not in some packed movie theater.

~J. Spade

Living Again

In a reversal of Big, the Tom Hanks classic from the 80s, your adult self is suddenly locked in the body of a 12-year-old kid. How do you survive your first day back in school?

At the age of twelve I would have been starting my school year in the 7th grade. Which is conveniently the start of a downward spiral for me. I can safely say that having my adult self locked into a twelve year old body would make the seventh grade go a whole lot differently.

First I would speak up, and often. I don’t care what I would speak up about – whether it be answers to questions or just opinions – I would make sure my voice was heard. Of course it would be to a certain extent. No seventh grader would spout off half the stuff I am known to prattle on about, so I would keep that in. For the most part I would just goof off and enjoy being a kid again. I would know that growing up is difficult and happens way too fast. How many times was I told that as a child and yet I laughed it off? No, I would know better at this rate. I would enjoy my year, even though being twelve has its own struggles.

I would take it one day at a time and try not to stress about the small stuff, like I have been prone to do my entire life.

~J. Spade

Nightmare Job

Dreams are made up of so much, but there is also a lot that makes up nightmares. We often hold onto our dreams, and try to push away our nightmares but they are always there. Surfacing at the worst, and most unexpected moments. Living in a nightmarish job would be absolute hell for anyone.

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Phobias

Phobias are very strange things. One second you can be perfectly content, happily reading away at some novel, and the next second you can spot that one thing that brings you terror and you can’t focus on anything else. Continue reading