How I’ve Changed in the Last 2 Years

It’s crazy, how you look back at yourself from a year ago and you realize that there’s no way you’re still the same person. We’re ever changing, always growing and learning from our experiences. Even lack of experience can help you grow into learning that you really need to go out and experience life.

So how have I changed in two years? A lot. Ha, it’s true though. The person I am now has grown out of her shell over the last few years. My tolerance for bullshit is very limited. Two years ago I was about to enter my senior year of college, and the only thing I had to look forward to was graduation so I could move and get away. Another HA because I never got away.

It’s funny though, I would probably say two years ago was when things started to take a turn for me. Senior year was when I started to really go out more, I spent a lot of time on campus, and I even created a tinder profile and got my love life spiced up a bit. I spent about 4 months seeing this boy named Nate, but we were never serious. He wanted an “unofficial” relationship. Despite that, he was the first real boy I was ever with, and in a way he’s special to me that way. Tinder was the start of me actively pursuing dating. But I’ll save that talk for another post.

The thing is, I kept it hidden from my mother about me dating and seeing guys. To me, if it wasn’t serious, why should I bring the topic home? I didn’t want her added pressure of telling me I deserved better. I know I did. But when you’re lonely, you’ll find that having someone can make you feel so much more at ease. So even if it wasn’t a real thing, I stopped worrying about being alone when I got with Nate. At least for a short while. It’s more about what you need, not what people think. I started off wanting a real relationship, but not being serious was okay with me for a bit. Eventually, I did want more though. And I ended it.

Last year was the first time I experimented with weed. It was actually through another boy I met off of tinder – well, reacquainted with. We went to high school together, he graduated a year after I did. We shared a Spanish class together once. For a few weeks I avoided hanging out with him because all he talked about was weed, but he offered to let me have my first getting high experience, and I said, “fuck it,” and tried it.

The first time I got high, I got baked. He had this little electric box that let you basically vape the weed more than actually smoke it. I dunno what it’s actually called (just like I know there are different strands of weed but hell if I know the difference). But we kept passing it back and forth and for awhile I felt nothing. And then it hit me all at once and it was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. We hooked up after, and it was one of the best first times I ever had with someone. Probably because of how relaxed you feel while you’re high.

That was a short fling, lasted less than three months before he moved to North Carolina. I had other tinder hookups over the next few months, but I’ll get into that in another post.

After graduation, I kind of went through a lull…. that still is kind of lasting for me, but it was worse then. I had a job on campus as a graphic designer for the business college. Sounds like a great job, but my boss was so scattered it made it more of a headache than anything. And half the time I wasn’t actually creating posters, I was modifying them, or setting up bulletin boards and whatnot. One day I had to make lanyards and run errands. So when my campus info was expiring, making it impossible for me to log onto computers anymore, I took advantage and gave my notice to quit. My old boss still tries to get me to do work for her every now and then, but she kind of fucked up my taxes when she started paying me through the foundation (since I couldn’t be on payroll after graduation). It marked me as self employed and took more out of my taxes. I won’t go back.

I went through a couple jobs that summer that didn’t work out. It made me feel so odd going back to a shitty job after getting my degree. I worked at a local Sears in the mall for about a month, and it was the absolute worst job I ever worked. They based my hours off of how many credit applications I got off of people (they pushed you to persuade people to sign up for the store credit cards, even if you knew they wouldn’t get approved). I wasn’t very good at this, I have credit cards and I don’t encourage anyone to get a card for a store you rarely shop at – the APR was ridiculously high. And one week they gave me zero hours. ZERO hours. What kind of bullshit is that? I couldn’t live like that, so I walked up town and found my current job on the first try.

It’s a small business, so I won’t say where I work now. I walked in and was filling out an application, and the owner comes over and asks me what I’m applying for. And I was like, “anything,” I need the hours, I’m interested in serving, cashiering, anything. He told me he was looking for a day time cashier, and to wait for Alex, who was next door (also owned by the same guy). So I did, and Alex comes over and talks to me, and I got hired on the spot. I’ve officially been there for over a year now (August 10th!).

No, it’s not what I still want to do, but honestly working this job and working with the people I’ve met over the last year has kind of impacted the way I am anymore. I’ve been on some interesting nights out, ventured out more. I even tried an edible earlier this year and got fucked up on that.

I was close to having a real relationship with another guy from Pittsburgh last year. He seemed genuine, I still think he is to a degree, and he really seemed like he liked me. I mean, we were both too broke to do much, so we’d sit in an empty parking lot and watch movies in his car. It was kind of sweet honestly. But when things had a chance to get serious, he backed off, told me he wasn’t going to have me wait for him, that I deserved  better and he was sorry. He didn’t have the money to come up to see me and wouldn’t accept my offers to help. He didn’t feel right about that I guess. It brought me down, but I accepted it and eventually got over it. A few months later I learned he had actually been seeing someone since around the time he officially ended things with me. That one hurt, because I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just tell me that he met someone else.

But I still don’t hold a grudge to him, I moved on by then and accepted we were over. Around that time after we ended things, I developed this stupid crush on one of my coworkers. It was a terrible thing, because we matched on tinder and started getting flirty with each other. But it was a sexual thing. Eventually we started having conversations that were very sexual. See, he only worked one day a week (Sundays) because he had another job, and for about a month we didn’t work with each other. And for this brief period while I had weekends off, we didn’t really see much of each other. So those few times we saw each other at work after all of our talks, it got a little weird. But then the stupid ass got himself fired from his good job, and his alcohol problems turned for the worse and he got himself fired from this job. Probably for the best, because we never actually hooked up. And he would’ve fucked me over. And I would’ve let him.

So how have I changed in two years? I’ve gotten more bold. I know time is of the essence, and you have to take advantage of opportunities handed to you. Over the years, I’ve spent so much time at home, I was almost scared to venture out. But the more I go out, and experience and experiment – the more I feel alive. And while I’m living in this situation that I’m not happy with, it’s about the only thing I have to look forward to.

And now I’m seeing this great guy from Pittsburgh, and while yes, there’s distance. Yes, we actually did meet off of tinder. But somehow it’s working, and I get a good feeling about him. I don’t believe he’s talking to anyone else, and he’s treating me like a girlfriend, even if we haven’t actually put a label on it. So I’m at ease with it, and I’m happy. So I don’t care what other people think, and I’m not going to lie about our relationship or anything. My problem with the last guy was I hid him for awhile, at least from my mother. Ray, the guy I’m seeing now, I told her about him from the second date on. And I get to see him more on a regular.

The me from two years ago would still be hiding it. It wouldn’t have lasted, it would’ve ended. Because who wants to wait around for someone to get their act together? We’re all living in the now, and I wouldn’t have blamed him at all. But I wouldn’t have tried like I am now. I have more vision now. And I’m ready to embrace the world.

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