I’m Deeply Sorry

Dear Ex-Friend,

I’ve disguised your name for the purpose of issuing you a public apology via this blog. However, I’m sure that once you read it, you will know that this is directed at you.

I owe you an apology for not having told you the truth years ago. It’s been nearly a decade since we first met… and about 5 years since these terrible events occurred that completely destroyed the possibility of us continuing a friendship. First and foremost, I would like to confess to some of the stupid and immature things that I did in the past. But, I also want you to know that many of the things I was accused of were not my doing. At one point in my life, I was so hurt by some of the things that you did to me, that the only vengeance I could come up with was hurting you back. I thrived on the idea that somehow, one day, I would be able to hurt you in the same way that you hurt me and that you could experience the pain that you once caused me. But, that subsided as I got older, matured, and moved on from the events that occurred years prior. I learned that this feeling was not uncommon. I was simply just too immature to handle the events that had occurred. I had never experienced those emotions and at the time, I didn’t know how to handle them. I am sorry for that. Although I was a child, and had little to no guidance involving this situation, I still apologize for the words I said and the actions I took that may have hurt you or put you in an uncomfortable predicament. You never deserved such, as you never intended to cause me so much pain. You were always kind and caring regarding my feelings, even if you had to make the decisions that you did at the time. You were even willing to comfort me through those feelings. You didn’t deserve the hatred that I spewed at you. I regret doing so because I believe that we could have had a wonderful friendship, which I completely ruined.

Years later, I discovered that a long-term “friendship” that I had fostered was extremely toxic. I discovered that throughout the time I had known this person, she had lied to me on several occasions, talked ill of me behind my back for no reason, and worse of all, tarnished my name to some of the people that meant the most to me. This person became obsessive in ways  that I couldn’t even imagine. To this day, I wonder if I should write to the lifetime network with my story. Her goal was to have everyone that I cared about disappear from my life, leaving me lonely and vulnerable, to be more susceptible to her manipulation. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered she had been behind a scheme that I would have never imagined she was a part of. In fact, while that scheme still remained a mystery, she was the person helping me solve it. I only discovered this because God let me see, for a split second, pictures linked to the e-mail address that was associated with the incident. It was then that I knew I couldn’t trust her. I wondered what else she was capable of. I found out through different sources that she hadn’t stopped at this incident, but continued… preying on everyone that she believed I cared about, making me look like I was someone I was not. Some of your closest friends know about these incidences, and one was brave enough to confront me and tell me the truth. It answered so many questions for me. It confirmed to me why people who had been so close to me were no longer a part of my life.

I cannot imagine you thinking that I, somehow, had anything to do with this. If you want to hate me for the events that took place when we were children, so be it. I was foolish, and I know it. But, it was also a very innocent attempt to try to make amends with you. What occurred after, however, was not my fault. If you chose never to speak to me again on your own account, I would accept that. But, if you hate me or are angry with me because of this, I cannot walk away. I was in no way responsible for these incidences, and I am sincerely sorry that you had to go through this. If I could take anything back, it would be having been her friend in the first place. To be manipulated and used… only to then be the object of somebody’s else’s cynical idea of fun. I’m so sorry that this was done to you. But, please realize, that it was done to me too. I, too, was a victim, and for a much longer period of time. What I failed to realize was that the perpetrator was right under my nose. She played me like a fool. But, I am no longer a fool, and I refuse to be treated as one. Throughout the past five years, I grew up, and realized that life is fragile. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Hence, why I need to take this time and apologize. I can’t let you go forward thinking that I’m anything like her… because I’m the complete opposite. I want you to know that this friendship has ended… and it wasn’t simply on account of the things that she did to me… but rather, the things that she did to those who I cared about.

I don’t have the words to apologize. I don’t know if time has erased those words… or if I simply would never have known what to say. But, I’m not the same person that I use to be. I don’t know if she is either, but that’s not a chance that I’m willing to take. If you take anything from this letter… please let it be two things:

  1. I’m sorry
  2. And, I’m not her. I will never be her. And please don’t ever think for a minute that I was responsible or behind the things that she did

It pains me, deeply in my heart, to think that you, your family, and your friends, would have such a tarnished view of me. I wish that we could be friends, like we use to be. I wish that we could talk about this face to face, without any pressure. But, now everything has changed. And it is her fault. But, the world views it as if it were mine.

I hope that you are okay and I hope that you are doing fine. I’m sure that you are. You are smart, talented, genuine, caring, and good-hearted. You have a lot to be proud of. I hope that you are in a place in your life where you can find it in your heart to forgive me… and even forgive her, so that you can move past these frightful events. I too, was scared. Had I known before… had you known before… we could have stopped her earlier. But, things don’t always work out this way. Sometimes, you need to forgive the person, not for them, but for yourself. So, that you no longer carry their poison with you. Who knows what she’s up to. She may be successful, wealthy, and happily in love, never thinking for a moment about the way she affected our lives. Who knows? Or maybe she does. Maybe every day, it eats her up alive that she didn’t get her way in the end. But, she doesn’t deserve to effect my life or yours anymore. So, I’ve released it to God. I hope that you can do the same.

And I hope that if you pass by me sometime, if we happen to run into each other, you can turn and say hello. That you know you don’t have to hide from me. Or be ashamed. I don’t know if we could ever be friends again… but, I hope that, at the very least, you can hold me in positive regard, not in a negative light. I hope that this truth has cleared the air. And again, I sincerely apologize for it all, for whatever was my fault, and what was not. I’m sorry for what you were put through, as well as what I was put through.

Wishing you the best,

Cristy

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I’m Officially a Grown Up?

I’ve dedicated my career to working with college students.  To help them discover what they would like to do with their lives. To help them succeed academically. To make their experience in college the best that it could possibly be. Thus far, I’ve done this with the assumption that, in a way, I was still “one of them.” Yes, I graduated. But, I’m currently getting my master’s degree. That still qualifies me a college student… right? At least, it did to the movie theaters, until human resources advised me that I need to change my identification card to one that says faculty and staff!

Today, according to the Hebrew calendar, I’m 25 years old. I’ve officially spent three birthdays outside of school, as a working professional. When I decided to go back to school to get my graduate degree, I figured that with slight modifications, I would continue to live my undergraduate experience. I daydreamed about going to my sorority chapter meetings as an alumni, use the gym at the university, joining the student government, writing for the school newspaper, and joining the spirit squad! I had a rude awakening! Returning to my alma mater as a grad student and full-time employee made me realize the following: I am an adult and it’s quite obvious.

I don’t see the humor in excessive drunkenness at odd hours of the day, as I witnessed today, at Chili’s during my lunch break.I don’t remember what it’s like to have classes during the day! When I hear students say “gotta run to class!” at 11am, I have to think long and hard to remember what that was like. In retrospect, I’m disappointed in myself for not realizing the excess of time that I had on my hands, and for not using it in a more productive manner. Working out at the school gym is bothersome. The weight room is filled loud boys, taking up all of the weights on the rack, starring at me as a rare commodity: a woman who can lift 20 pounds!   Their conversations and youthful ignorance remind me that I have done some growing up over the past couple of years.

I pass through the student union, glancing at the Panhellenic Council table, recruiting students to join Greek Life and I remember myself sitting in that same spot four short years ago. Dr. Seuss once said: “you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Today, these words ring true to me. I realized that this stage of my life is over. I would not dream of taking on the responsibilities listed above, primarily because I have many others that take priority. But, surprisingly, I’m happy this way. Dr. Seuss’ quote may bring on some nostalgia, but certainly not sadness. This moment of transition had to occur in order for me to mentor students in the way that my career requires of me. Those days were great, but I embrace this chapter. The prime of true womanhood.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far:

  • More coffee is necessary
  • If you don’t exercise in the morning, don’t plan on exercising at all
  • I need 8 hours of sleep!
  • I need to pray every day!
  • Animals are God’s greatest gift to humans!
  • Getting your hair and nails done on a regular basis gives you super-powers
  • Woman who wear heels every day are super-heroes in the working world
  • Mom’s make great friends, so do grandmother’s

I’m sure there’s more! But, that’s all I’ve got for official adult woman day 1!

 

 

Falling in love with Ewok

The last thing I would have imagined to have happened to me this week happened! I fell head over heels for someone named Ewok. He has a wet nose, he’s exceptionally fluffy, and I just can’t wait to call him my own! Two years ago, I purchased the first dog I’ve had in my adult life. Her name is Luna Mia… and she lights up my world every day. You will never come across eyes like Luna’s. She’s perfect, she’s poised, and to call her angelic is an understatement. Luna is also quite the stubborn young woman.

When Luna was about one year old, I sensed her loneliness. I would arrive home at about 10:00 in the evening, exhausted. But, Miss Mia was eager to play. I realized that Luna needed a companion. But, who would be the perfect companion for the perfect girl? Which breed’s temperament would best suit the perfect personality of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? After weeks of researching, I came to the conclusion that only another Cavalier would be the perfect companion for Luna. Hence, we adopted Cody Tobias at 1 year old. Interestingly, Luna and Cody are only 1 week apart!

Cody is the complete opposite of Luna, but they compliment each other perfectly. They are indeed soulmates. Cody is a hyperactive, compulsive kisser. He’s the most obedient dog I’ve ever known. His hair is long and luxurious. He is active and will play with you at any time of day and he gives the best hugs! Luna and Cody are not to be separated even a moment. They do everything together: sleep, eat, run, walk, bathe. You name it. Luna and Cody are never apart.

So, from all of the above information, you can gather that the last thing on my mind would be to get another dog. I was not looking for another dog, as I have my hands full with my four-legged children. Indeed, I am a mom of over-grown infants. My kids can’t talk to me and tell me when something is wrong. My kids don’t tell me when their hungry, tired, etc. They can’t feed themselves. Thus, fur babies are just that, overgrown infants and when I say I’m a dog-mom, I take that pretty seriously!

Back when I was searching for Cody Tobias, I registered on petfinder.com. I never canceled my subscription for e-mail updates because I figured that even if I couldn’t take in another pet, I may be able to find someone who is interested, spread the word via social media, or even make a donation. I never expected for the following to happen. I received an e-mail telling me: “We found pets that match your search.” I opened it to find Ewok’s picture, a shitzu/poodle mix, often referred to as the teddy bear breed. Ewok’s little black hairs under his chin really made him resemble Ewok from Star Wars. I tried to get past this feeling, telling myself that with two dogs, I have enough loyalty, companionship, and work! But, I couldn’t get Ewok off of my mind. I just couldn’t picture him going to any other home but mine. His lack of shedding would make him a perfect bedtime companion. I found myself thinking of Ewok on my outings, like today, when I went to go do my nails, wishing that I had the little ball of fluff all to myself. Ewok would likely be the most portable of all my furry friends, particularly because of Luna and Cody’s inability to separate.

The suspense of hearing back from the shelter is irritating. I’ve e-mailed, called, and even showed up in person, only to find out that Ewok was neutered today, and not even present in the building! Alongside, news was delivered to me that several applications were filled out for Sir Ewok. Of course, I want the best for him. But, I really believe that the best is me! 🙂

I hope I can bring home my little furry friend soon… Luna Mia and Cody Tobias are ready to welcome their new friend!

I feel like I need to live closer to the water

This past weekend, I did something that I haven’t done in a long time… go to the beach. Not too long ago, I associated the beach with several unpleasant memories and people’s body parts, which I would prefer not to see. Growing up in South Florida, the beach was a pretty natural occurrence. Throughout college, 7th and Collins in Miami Beach was the premier hotspot for students. I would lounge around with my sorority sisters and soak up the sun and ocean salt. But, never were those memories particularly pleasant. Miami Beach is filled with many tourists and crime. At least on 7th and Collins, everyone is chugging on a beer and exhibiting their drunken behavior to the public. The police often monitors the beach, making frequent arrests and fines. Loud rap and reggetton fills their air, along with the smoke from those holding cigarettes or marijuana. It doesn’t really sound like the kind of place one would be able to relax. Typically, non-Miamians associate the beach with relaxation, paradise, stress-relief, oasis, etc. But, in Miami, the beach is quite the opposite. Thus, the beach was crossed off my list of places to go when I need to relax.

For the new year, I decided to admire God’s craftmanship of the ocean and leave behind my skewed views of beach life. I traveled a little further north, to Hallandale/Hollywood Beach to soak my feet in the water and breathe in the salty air. This beach was completely different from anything that I had experienced before. The crowd was regular, not too crazy and not too tame. The laughter of children filled the chilly air of January 3rd. Despite the cooler temperatures, I craved wetting my hair in the ocean water. Exfoliating my skin with the rough, yet soft texture of the golden sand. I opened my arms and received the waves behind me. I felt adrenaline rush through my veins and I did something I hadn’t done in quite some time. I laughed. I laughed at my own foolishness of having such a negative attitude towards the beach. I laughed because I was genuinely happy and enjoying what I’ve gotten the opportunity to experience. Not too long ago, I was moaning and complaining that as a South Floridian, I didn’t get to experience the beauty of changing seasons. Granted, I’m sure that this is beautiful and would one day love to see different seasons, particularly autumn. However, here I was, on January 3rd, soaking in ocean water on the beach, feeling my toes curl in the sand, feel the ocean waves rush against my back, wearing jeans and a light button down shirt, flip-flops, my hair in a bun, and no sweater. This too, is a gift. To take advantage of such a craftsmanship year round. To welcome the new year by leaving the troubles of the past year in the ocean, letting the tides wash them away, and bringing forth better things to come. The peace and serenity that filled my mind, body, and soul was inexplicable.

How amazing it would be to live by this beach. To sit on my balcony, sipping a glass of wine as I admire such beauty. To feel such a deep, spiritual connection to the divine via the horizon. To exercise the natural way, against the currents of the water and the uphill of the sand. To feel my head clear as a soak my hair. This year, I’m going to make that happen!

I love makeup, so does my soul

Why do we love makeup so much? I know I do. The colors, the shades, the pinks, the reds, and the bronzers. But, when you really sit down and think about it, doing your make up is a time consuming act. First, you need to lay the foundation on your face, followed by a good 20 minutes of doing your eye makeup. And eye makeup is a difficult task. You’ve got to make sure that your eye-liner line is perfect. You would think that because I’m ambidextrous (yes, it’s true, I can write with both hands), that doing my eye-liner would be a breeze. But, it’s not. Surprisingly, writing with both hands comes easy, but that doesn’t mean I can do everything with both hands… especially eyeliner. So, I spend some extra time doing the eyeliner for my right eye. What I enjoy the most is putting on eye-shadow. I love how it widens my eyes. When I’m feeling daring, I use up to two or three tones, hoping to look like a mermaid. So, why is this hard work so appealing? Why doesn’t everyone just go around al naturale? Wouldn’t is save women some extra hours in the morning, letting you sleep in a little longer? If everyone didn’t wear make-up, it would just be the norm. So, why obsess over the glitz and glam every morning? I’ll tell you why.

I use to dance ballet, and recently started to get back into it. Great workout, by the way. I recall that before a grand performance, the youngest girls would abound their faces with make-up, not to look sexy and stunning, but to fit in to their characters. To feel more like a swan, a nutcracker, a mouse, etc. In the world of theater and performance arts, a costume can become a crutch. But, once you are in that costume, you are no longer you, but rather, the character that you are portraying. Makeup is the daily costume. Right before an important interview or business meeting, I pile on the red lipstick and the mascara, as it makes me feel more mature and more professional. The red lipstick makes me feel more like a woman. The barbie pink lipstick, however, makes me feel like a hot chick ready to jump in a convertible and sing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Nude lipstick makes me feel like putting on a bikini and heading to the beach. No make up, bare and simple, leaves me feeling just like that… bare and simple. Now, a pretty face is a pretty face… so the issue is not one of confidence. It’s the lack of substance, the lack of the crutch for the character that I’m trying to portray on that day. Without the crutch, one must really work a lot harder to portray what they are trying to. The business woman in me has to rely on her strong and assertive personality (which by the way, is not my strong point). The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun girl has to rely on her witty personality and Elle Woods persona. The Kim Kardashian, nude lipstick type of girl has to rely on that relaxed and perfectly poised personality. And, who really has all of these characteristics down packed?

So, my soul craves makeup. It craves red lipstick to be assertive and strong, passionate and intimidating, just like Audrey Hepburn. It craves pink lipstick to be successful, feminine, and youthful, just like Elle. And the nudes, bronzers, and tans, to be perfect, poise, and beautiful, just like Kim Kardashian.

 

I’m Craving a Workout

Every so often, I crave a really, really good workout.. wallballs and squatting with at least 90. I’m so ready for one of those workouts today, but unfortunately, I know that by the time 5:00 rolls around, I am going to be exhausted. When classes start back up next week, I can only imagine that I’ll be that much more exhausted. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that afternoon/night workouts are just not for me. I’m going to have to make the effort to workout in the mornings, despite my attachment to my sleeping beauty bed. If only I could crave workouts at 5:00 in the morning instead of 1:30 in the afternoon, how much easier life would be. I think that eventually, I will, but I will have have to train my body and mind to make those changes. Since this is my year of changes, this is one that I will definitely have to make for myself. What could possibly motivate me to wake up at 5:00 in the morning? Let’s see… what are some things I can do with my free time in the afternoon?

  • I don’t want to think about this, since school hasn’t started back up just yet, but I can study! yay me.
  • I can spend time with my niece and nephew ❤
  • I can take my dogs for long walks on the beach or take them to the dog park
  • I can make healthier meals
  • I can tutor and make a little extra income
  • I can spend some time with God
  • I can read books for fun
  • I can go shopping
  • I can go to the beach
  • I can go to happy hour

The nice thing about working out in the morning is that you don’t have to worry about working out for the rest of the day. It’s not lingering in the back of your mind and the rest of the day is yours to fill as you wish.

But, working out in the evening has it’s perks too. First of all, you may be tired before you start working out, but you get a huge boost of energy once you start. All the good classes at the gym are usually in the afternoon. I have yet to discover classes that start so early in the morning, especially any that I really enjoy. So, working out in the afternoons always provided me with good and motivating company.

But, honestly, evening workouts, I’ve realized, take up a huge portion of my day. If I leave my job at 5, get to the gym  by 6, and stay till around 7:30, that’s pretty late. Then, it’s back to the daily grind the next morning. I developed the philosophy of live to work rather than work to live. So, by making these changes this year, I hope to have more eventful evenings and higher happy hour attendance rates. I hope that’s enough to motivate me to wake up at 5am!