still learning.

August 8, 2022

My oh my it has been a long time since I’ve sat at my keyboard and written anything.

Around a year ago, I was listening to a podcast where someone said, “no one reads blogs anymore, podcasting is the new blog.” I don’t remember who said it, but it really stood out to me. That’s when I decided to launch a podcast. The “Death by Darlings” podcast is available across most podcasting platforms. Newly single, I created the podcast to openly talk about sex, dating, and relationships. As I dove deeper into the space, I just decided to make it my rants. I talk about social media, modeling, and day-to-day life. I love the podcast, but there is also a certain comfort in writing out my feelings and stories that just cannot be fully grasped in a comedy-based podcast. I’m going to try to be better about blogging; this is not just for my audience, but for myself as well.

A lot has happened in the past year alone. This blog initially started as a place to write about my long-distance relationship. What I never shared is all the trauma, abuse, and manipulation that came along with that relationship- not until I left him a year ago. I was preparing to leave him while living with him in Vermont. I changed this blog into my own personal website and saved my money to buy all my own camera gear (even one of his lenses off him), as he was my main personal photographer.

I had a lot of fear with this. Who will take my photo? I realize now that I have endlessly been living in fear. I was worried about having my photo taken to continue my passion for modeling. I continued going to school for becoming a teacher just because my parents wanted that for me, when I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher. I stayed in a relationship out of fear of being alone.

Anyway, I don’t want to sound like a broken record. If you follow my instagram, you’ve seen the posts. I left an abusive relationship where I was constantly manipulated, gaslighted, and insulted. I was equally toxic for him. Bottom line is, we didn’t work.

After leaving him, I found so much confidence. I adapted to taking my own photos, started dating, launched the podcast, flew to Ireland by myself, and dropped out of the teaching program and switched my degree to English Lit. I never cried for him, not once. I cried for myself because I couldn’t believe I put myself through that for three years; I felt like I wasted so much time.

And there is nothing I fear more than wasted time.

At the same time, I needed to go through all of that to be where I am now confidence wise. Well, wait- Let me back up a minute..

So in October last year my high school sweetheart reached back out to me that he never stopped loving me. Without babbling on into too much detail, basically we were always getting back together and then falling apart again. We dated for three years in high school, broke up when I went to college, but stayed on and off for another two years due to indifferences in personal goals. We just weren’t aligning. We stayed friends after a few years passed. It was six and a half years total that we spent broken up, but we were friends for about two of those years. Needless to say, we always made better friends than lovers.

We got back together in October. Of course my high school sweetheart returning to me seemed like incredible bliss. The transformation he went through made my heart weep. He had changed so much, in the best way possible.

The problem was.. So did I.

The more we rekindled our relationship, the more I started seeing that we are still just as much of polar opposites as we were seven years ago. And while he truly is my best friend, unfortunately I began to only see him as such. I didn’t want to admit it to myself or to him out of fear. I was doubting myself: “Is this actually what you want?” The answer was no, I didn’t want to lose him, but I also didn’t want to stay in the relationship.

So I broke up with him. It broke my heart too, but sometimes you need to break your own heart, even if it’s the most difficult one.

I have realized that I am constantly living in fear. I was scared to leave the guy in VT, I was scared to leave my highschool sweetheart, scared to drop out of teaching, but more scared of staying..

I am so tired.

I realize now that I really have never had TIME to myself. There were three years of being single in between my hs bf and the VT bf. But that was five years ago.. I am an entirely new person now. When I left the VT guy last year, I only had two months to myself before jumping in head first into another relationship. I see now that it wasn’t enough time at all.

I’m still learning who I am, where I want to go, and who I want to be. It was only recently that I learned I am so ready to move out of my parents house. I was never ready until this year; actually, it was another huge fear- next to death and aging. I am also no longer afraid of either. I realized that I was really afraid of wasted time and being stuck in that toxic relationship was wasted time which made me afraid to die. Leaving the relationship made me more confident in myself and also accept that death and aging are inevitable parts of life. That fear morphed into motivation to leave the relationship instead.

I didn’t feel this with my highschool sweetie. Us being back together opened my heart to love after turning numb from the abusive relationship. And I will always love him, but the romantic feelings have since passed. He truly is my best friend, and I aspire to keep him in my life as such. Maybe some day we could try again.. or perhaps not. I am no longer prioritizing a relationship. I need to focus on myself and getting out of this never ending cycle of being stuck in my parents house, stuck in relationships that make me unhappy, and stuck in this hometown.

I feel suffocated.

I am persistantly looking to expand my horizon, move somewhere else, launch my business, work on my art, all the things. I want to meet new people, have new experiences, and make new friends. But above all, I want to meet myself. I have slowly been finding myself over the years whilst being in relationships where I am unhappy. It was time to remove that weight.

They always say you can’t love another until you love yourself- but what if you don’t even know yourself?

I’m still working on that part. I don’t think you ever really stop getting to know yourself because you always change and evolve, but I just feel so behind in many aspects of my life because I haven’t been putting myself first.

So cheers to fresh starts and new beginnings. I’m still learning, but aren’t we all?

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/By Alice Marie ROose

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