Friday, November 6, 2015

Colorado: Part Three

On my last day in Colorado, well, my last full day, we slept in and cuddled. I think we both were determined to not bring up the fact that I was leaving in 24 hours. 'Cause it's the last day that makes you realize that you can't have any more adventures until the next trip or the next time he's home.
We were going to have breakfast at a highly reviewed place but the wait was exponential, especially for a little place in the downtown area of Fort Collins. We ended up having brunch at a place he had dined at before, but for their dinners, and we weren't sure if we would enjoy their breakfast-style options.

Along with two large glasses of mimosas, we had an amazing breakfast. He had a biscuits and gravy combo, whereas I had banana bread french toast with eggs and au gratin potatoes. 

But those mimosas were pretty awesome. 

We had decided that we would go for a shorter hike this day so we could see more but still relax most of the day. Plus, our legs and butts were super sore from the day before.

Horsetooth Mountain was a twenty or so minute drive away from Downtown Fort Collins. It was a bright shining day and not nearly as cold as the day before. It was a different overall experience compared to the Rockies.  It was up and down and up and down, flat to steep to steeper. Don't look over the edge because you'll get vertigo, I'd think.

I was grateful that we packed granola bars and lots of water in our little backpack. I'm so used to the humid Floridian heat, that dry air has a tendency to take more out on me than I realize. I had to stop to catch my breath more often than I would have liked, but Reese was alright with stopping when I had to. 
It turned out the falls we were trekking this mile-long hike for was a trickle of water that dribbled over the edge of a large rock. We were both pretty disappointed that we had chosen that path over going to the actual mountain, but it was a beautiful hike overall.

We went back to the hotel afterwards to shower and take a nap. Reese would be starting to do overnights at his job and wanted to stay up all night so he could sleep during the day after taking me to the airport. 

We watched t.v. for a bit when we woke up and it was a little bittersweet. You know you're leaving in hours yet you're relaxing as if that isn't the case.  But it is. And it's when that feeling begins to creep up that you want to do something to at least fill that time frame with a new memory, a new adventure, rather than just act is if you aren't leaving to not see him/her/them for another month or so.

Reese was asked to have dinner with his project manager, a man I had heard countless stories about, and I was okay with going out with this stranger. Well, he was a stranger to me. Still, I was open to having a meal with him. We left a little earlier than needed to get to the little brewery in downtown Fort Collins. It was a quaint, little hipster place. Thankfully, I was wearing a beanie the entire weekend so I at least faked that I belonged there.

A thing I hate about the North is that their iced tea is just brewed, no sugar, nothing. I forgot about this fact as I ordered a spiked peach Arnold Palmer and found it to be just, blah. And then I remembered. So I chugged it as fast I could despite is tasting just okay and got a blueberry based cocktail that was super good. Reese's project manager never showed up and I was kind of grateful that I didn't have to share my last few hours with a man I didn't know. After devouring burgers (mine was made of buffalo) we went to the grocery store and decided to get sweets and energy drinks to ensure we stayed up the majority of the night so he could get in the rhythm of overnights.

I remember falling asleep and waking up constantly. Like every other hour I could sleep, then I'd be awake. I tried willing myself to stay awake even longer, but by the time three in the morning hit, I couldn't fight it anymore.

And then the alarm went off.

When you try so hard to hide the fact that you're upset, it weighs you down. Literally, there's that constricting feeling in your chest because you're fighting how you're feeling. Crying while brushing your teeth is difficult especially when you try to feign that you're okay. I'm just super happy to go home, right?

I held his hand while he drove to the airport, suddenly grateful that it was an hour away from Fort Collins. I was beginning to be okay. The tears from knowing I wouldn't see him kept flowing on their own accord but a little saltwater never hurts. It was when a song about distance came on the radio that I just let them go. At six something in the morning in the middle of the highway towards Denver, I related to a song by the Plain White T's that every girl in middle school wanted to when it came out.

"Hey, there, Delilah, don't you worry about the distance; I'm right there if you get lonely."

I did not want to get out of the car when we arrived at the airport. Instantly I was thinking of how it would be just to stay in this beautiful place with this man. Reese looked me in the eyes before hugging me hard, almost as hard as the one I gave him when I arrived just two days prior.

"I'll see you sooner than you think."

And the tears kept flowing as I walked through the airport doors on my way to security check. It was aggravatingly slow that Monday morning and I nearly missed my flight. But in the last row of the plane, in the window seat, I looked out that tiny little glass and realized that I could see the mountains from the airport.

I cried for those mountains. I cried watching them disappear from sight. I knew as I did that I was leaving where I was supposed to be. I am not designed to stay in humid, hot Florida.

And when we landed, I knew that even more so.

I'll be back, Colorado; just you wait.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Colorado: Part Two

Reese and I had not seen each other for over a month.

For some couples, a few days is too much distance for them. The last time I had seen him was in September before he left for his flight. I don't have a car so I couldn't take him to the airport, couldn't see him walk through the doors and disappear from sight. It breaks your soul a little more each time they leave, but the moment you see them again after such a long time, you're sewn back together. Every piece of you that left when they left is back in it's right place.

It melts away.

Reese wears the same scent for his deodorant, shampoo, body wash. I'm a strong believer in the power of scents and how our minds take those senses and interprets them into positive emotions. The whole car ride to Fort Collins, an hour drive from the Denver Airport, I got to absorb his smell again and breathe calmly (since flying alone and being in a state I'd never been in was quite terrifying to me). We talked and caught up on the ride to his extended stay where I promptly fell asleep without eating any of the pizza we got.

There is something magical about waking up knowing you're going to see something you've never seen before.

For me that Saturday, I was seeing snow for the first time.

We had breakfast at this cozy little hole-in-the-wall place around the corner, got some water and snacks, and got ready to drive to Estes Park to go see the Rocky Mountains.

As a girl from Florida, seeing mountains at all is other-worldly to me. I've been to the Carolinas and Tennessee and seen the Smokey's before, sure. But there's something magical about seeing white capped mountains for the first time.

I remember being on the edge of the seat as we drove through Loveland, looking out the window, wanting to scream from excitement. 

"There's white!"

"Yes, honey, that's snow." 

But again, I say, it's magical to lookout the window of the car and see something you'd previously thought you never would. I never imagined the Rocky Mountains being on my bucket list. I never thought that climbing and hiking them for hours would be what I wanted most to do with my free time. So when I looked out the window and saw these amazing mountains where the clouds seemed to kiss the tops, it took my breath away.

It seemed like we couldn't get there fast enough. We were both eager to hike and enjoy our day together exploring the mountains. Traffic sucked going into the park, so that didn't aid in our excitement induced impatience. But we finally made it in after a 45 minute wait. We learned that the majority of the Trail Ridge Road was closed due to early autumn snow and we worried about how that would affect our plans. After lots of map searching we learned that we could still hit Bear Lake (a place I had learned about on Pinterest) and went there as our first destination.

After parking the car, a bus ride that was mega cramped, and learning that I didn't bring gloves that I had packed, we made it to the area of the park where Bear Lake was a short, baby hike to get to. There was ice everywhere and I was grateful that I had at least worn leather boots.

And there it was: a giant patch of snow.

The dirty kind, but still, snow!

I fell in love with the way it sounded under my boots. Crunch crunch crunch. It was just so fun and new.

Bear Lake is something I'll never forget. It was stunning in every sense of the imagination.

The mountains in view. The trees. The lake itself. Freshly fallen show all around us from the night before. I was in awe the entire time we were there.

We walked around the entire lake and there was more snow in certain areas than others. I referred to it as a fairytale when I got home. 

There was no other way to phrase how this trip was. 

It was a fairytale.

To complete the fairytale, we ended up hiking another mile or so up the mountains to a place called Dream Lake. 

And it was everything that you could dream of. It was even more beautiful than Bear Lake. It made me sit and stare for about a half hour. I sat with Reese and talked about other journeys we'd want to take eventually; but oh, we were so happy that this was our first trip together. 

Dream Lake made me think about my aspirations with Reese. I wanted to make him proud, I wanted to show him how much I loved him, I wanted to show him that his job wouldn't cause strife between us. I'm lucky that I was able to go to such an amazing place for free. I got to experience this beauty and wonder because my boyfriend chose for me to meet him out there.

And that is something that I can ever repay. 

After we decided to leave Dream Lake (all due to not wanting to miss the last bus to get back to the car), we took the trail down a little faster than we hiked up. I felt better going down than going up in elevation since my lungs did end up hurting from the air being thinner. Ice is finicky, I learned, and not something to be trifled. We hiked down for about thirty minutes and took the bus back to the car where we warmed up a bit and hydrated.We explored around Rocky Mountain National Park for about two more hours before it got too dark to keep going. 

Reese made the drive back to Fort Collins very relaxing after our strenuous day of hiking. The bath bomb I brought from Orlando was used in warming us up before we went out to dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. 

I got Reese to try chicken hearts.

He was totally grossed out, haha. 

After an exhausting yet exhilarating day, we cuddled in bed before we went to sleep.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Colorado: Part One

I went to Colorado to visit Reese last weekend. 

2 days and 3 nights was not nearly enough. 

I flew by myself for the first time. That was pretty terrifying since I'm very afraid of heights. One of my closest friends brought me to the airport after I treated him to lunch (though I barely ate due to nerves). I felt ill when we reached the airport and parked. I started thinking that I may have a panic attack the moment the plane was off the ground. What grown adult is afraid of flying when they've flown multiple times before? I'm certain now that my nerves were due to being alone. I'd always flown with a parent before (the last time being with my father to New York to meet up with my sister and stepmom). We got there earlier than planned so I asked him to stay with me before I had to go through security. The airport here is like a mall; so many stores with whatever you were looking for. 

Well, I found a Lush store.

I had been teasing Reese about getting a bath bomb for when I got there so baths could be taken to warm us up from the cold; me being from Florida my whole life, I'm prone to get colder faster. 

So we went into Lush and my nerves seemed to melt away. There is a power in scents that can calm your soul, your anxieties. We smelled some bath bombs, masks, soaps, everything, and I did end up buying a bath bomb. (They're TSA approved!) We saw that the line for security was getting quite long and parted our separate ways after telling him I would text him when I was on the plane. Security was long, but not tedious. I had flats, leggings, and a loose sweater on so it was quick and easy once I got to the scanners. I did get patted down on the legs cause my leggings bunched up but was quickly sent on my way. 

I found my gate easily after taking a tram and sat and waited until they let us board. 

The flight was pretty great. I watched most of Fear the Walking Dead since I hadn't finished it before. Barely any turbulence; and my flight was at night so I couldn't see how high we are. I think that, mentally, it helped me forget we were 30,000 feet in the air. I followed the tracker on my tablet; watched as we flew over Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and finally entered Colorado. I could barely stay in my seat I was bouncing so much to see the lights, and maybe the mountains, as we landed. 

Thankfully, I was in row 11 for my flight there, so getting off the plane was quite easy. I grabbed both my carry-ons and walked to the front of the plane. Remember, I'm wearing leggings, flats, and a loose sweater. I can feel the air get colder from the breeze creeping in between the open door and the jet-bridge. 

"Holy shit it's cold!" 

The pilot laughed at me. "Welcome to Colorado!"

Navigating a new airport by yourself is interesting. Thankfully, it was easy enough, but more trams than necessary made me nervous that I was heading in the wrong direction. Reese had told me he was in the "main lobby." I did not know what that meant. But I knew that I had something to look for at least. So, I took the tram, went up two escalators, and saw a very large, open area filled with a bunch of people. 

And I saw him.

And I hugged him so hard. 

And the past four weeks melted away. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Long Distance is my New Normal.

Reece is gone a lot.

      Like a lot, a lot.

He was gone almost half the summer, half of August, and ten days out of September. Until yesterday. He's now far away for a whole two months. He won't be coming back to our apartment, he won't be coming home at the end of the day, he won't be here to celebrate a good grade. 
      And that's ok.

I knew this was going to be the dynamic of our relationship from the beginning. It wasn't something out of the blue, it wasn't something he hid from me to spare my feelings, it wasn't just a random offer from his work. His job is to travel a lot. He'll be gone a good chunk of the year. We get Christmas together and New Years; but no Halloween, no Valentine's Day, and maybe not even my Graduation in the Spring. 

      And that's still ok.

We're going to get bummed out about it. We're going to get sad and lonely. We're going to take our frustrations out on the other because we know that the other can handle it. This was something that plagued him in the beginning of our dating. Was I sure I would want to go into this knowing he'd be gone a lot? Was I sure that I could handle it? 

      And honestly, I didn't know at the time.

Part of me felt that this really was just a summer fling; that when he was leaving for his longest trip yet, he'd want to opt out. Why put himself through more stress of a hard job and add on a girlfriend? A girlfriend who needs communication often, who gets excited about a phone call even if was half-asleep, who will be honest about how she's feeling even if it hurts him. Apparently, he was more worried about me wanting out by the time he left; that I wouldn't find him worth the struggle of a long distance relationship. We had both been in them before and it (obviously) didn't work out. 

     I'm a firm believer in long distance relationship if the right people are in them.

You absolutely have to trust that person. You have to know how much they care for you. Even on the days where you barely hear from them, when you don't know where they are or who they're with, when you just don't know what's going on in their daily routine: there has to be trust. I know how much he loves me, I knew before he confessed it. 

     I know him. I trust him. And that is what will keep us going in this hard time. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

How it started...

I was in a  relationship for over 3 years with an amazing guy. I loved him with every fiber of my being from pretty much the beginning. I didn't announce it into the universe until I felt that moment it should be said. Even when he spoke it, I held back for another 3 months. The idea of saying "I love you" is said so lightly in my generation and I never really understood that. It's a massive, heavy thing.

It consumes you; it changes you.

As sad as it was at the time, he ended the relationship in March of this year. He is someone I will always love and he's said the same regarding me; it's just that the form of love evolved. It went from romantic love to friendly love. We were just best friends by the end of it. He's important to me and always will be. He taught me so many things about myself and about the type of relationship I want to be in.

And for that I will be eternally grateful.

I began to hang out with a friend of mine fairly often. I had called him the night of the breakup that I wanted to make sure we stayed friends despite having known him through my now ex. We went to the movies one Friday night and had a great time. We would snapchat each other every once in a while but it was pretty stationary for about a month.

And then my mom died.

It was rough at the time (and I'll talk about it in detail another time) but the hardest thing those first few days was handling telling people. That Friday after that fateful Wednesday, I texted Reece seeing if he was busy that night to go get drinks. He was supposed to go see his parents, so I said I'd wait for him to come back. He didn't know til later that afternoon that I wanted to drink in honor of my late mother. His car wasn't working as well as it should for a 2.5 hour drive, so he offered to hang out.

He distracted me from 7pm until 4am that Friday night. We watched t.v. and went to dinner and just talked for hours. When he left to go home, I was sad that the conversation had to end. We went out the next night with my best friend and his girlfriend for food and hung out at my house afterwards until 3am again.

I almost asked him to stay the night; but I didn't.

He didn't come over that Sunday night, but we started texting every hour or so to see how our days were going. That following Tuesday, the 21st, I got really drunk on wine and Angry Orchard. My roommate had a friend of hers staying with us for that week so we decided to make frozen pizzas and drink. I was snapchatting Reece while drinking when my roommate said to invite him over. I jokingly texted him about it, but I thought for sure he wasn't going to actually come over at 9 something at night when he had work the next day.

He arrived at 10 something to a very drunk Marina and her two girlfriends.

We drank and talked, I sobered up some so I knew I was in control of myself and wouldn't say anything dumb. I did anyways, but it was ok.

He knew me, I knew him.

And the communication of our relationship began to develop.

A Little Introduction.

So, maybe this is a little narcissistic.
I don't know.

Hello, my name is Marina.

My roommate feels that since I am "of the internet" (meaning that I keep up with information via Imgur, Youtube, Facebook, etc.) that I should blog and maybe see where that goes.

I am 22. 
I drink Angry Orchards and paint in my spare time; as well as workout on the semi-regular. 
I'm a server at a breakfast place and have been since I was 18 when I started my second semester at University. I am financially on my own and have been since I moved out to go to school four years ago. 

I like to dye my hair, wear winged eyeliner, and anything to do with Batman.

Um, yeah.

That's the overall gist of things.

See you soon 

(side note: writing about yourself is somewhat difficult.)