Fairytales and glass slippers

Love stories typically have good beginnings, but they’re known for their happy endings.

glitter shoes

I don’t know that I have either.

Hell, I’m not even sure I fall into the love story genre.

I don’t know because my story hasn’t ended yet. Or at least, I hope it doesn’t end here. Otherwise that would be a terribly, terribly awkward ending.

Because this year – this year of turning 21, of getting my first real job, of making international headlines, of changing friendships – it’s been a transition, and it’s been hard. I wish I could say it’s been magical instead.

But I don’t have much fairy dust left in my hands, and the wind seems to be blowing the rest away in puffs of glitter.  I can’t seem to find my once-upon-a-time heart anymore, and my glass slippers no longer fit.

I’m growing out of the glass slippers and slipping on those pinchy, too-tight high heels that guarantee a post-wear limp and practically scream, “I’M NOT A GIRL ANYMORE!”

I’m losing the slippers, and I’m losing my innocence…and becoming a woman instead.

I don’t know that I like it.

I’m expected to grow up now and hold myself together like a classy lady. To act like I can take on the world with sheer sassiness, confidence and that coming-of-age quirky independence. To handle all the hardships in life with grace and wisdom. And to make the right decisions. Always.

No one ever tells you just how hard that will be.

If you tallied them up, I think I’ve made more wrong decisions than right ones this year. I’ll admit, my story has a lot of mistakes. It has a lot of torn-out pages, crossed-out words, scribbles, scratches, bruises and tears.

It has a broken heart.

I’ve been that dumb girl – the girl who’s fallen for the wrong guy. The girl who’s believed that the illogical could maybe…probably…surely be sensible. The girl who’s hoped and prayed and waited around for months. For nothing. The girl who’s been naive and vulnerable and hopeful and stupid. The girl who’s fallen in love, and the girl who’s been hurt.

The girl who’s let herself believe in fairytales and glass slippers.

I’ll never be that girl again.

I’m not allowing myself to be that girl again. I’m a woman now. I have my high heels and I’ve given up my slippers and I don’t believe in fairytales anymore.

Those stories are simply words for me to tell my children.

Choosing to live in Beauty.

I had a summer that changed my life once.

roses

It was a lovely thing, wrapped in that airless, buoyant kind of hope that only a college girl would be dreamy enough to dream.

When I think back on it, I think of roses and summer nights and fireworks and rain.

And then – somewhere beneath that swarmy fog of happy memories – I dig deep enough to remember the depth of that summer. The hard nights spent alone in my bed. The 2 a.m. wake up calls that became a little too unhealthy. The spontaneous late-night roadtrip to West Jefferson with a wonderful, beautiful friend – just to get away. The hours spent alone in a coffee shop trying to write through the tears. And more than anything else that summer, the overwhelming, overriding feeling of aloneliness.

Yes, I’m aware it’s not a word, but somehow, it just feels right.

Aloneliness.

In the midst of aloneliness – in the thick of it – you begin to discover a side of yourself you never wished existed. A dark side. A side that’s so hard to escape, it makes you forget pieces of yourself.

Sometimes people say it’s hard to forget the bad things in life – the people who do you wrong, the hurt that has left scars so deep you don’t think they can ever really heal. I was one of those people once.

I was one of those people just two weeks ago.

But sometimes – sometimes, you can surprise yourself. Sometimes you’re stronger than you think and stronger than you believe. Sometimes all it takes is a diet coke, a long-lost friend, and a good heart-to-heart before you realize you want the tears to stop and the flowers to return and another iced coffee with extra sugar because you’re 21 and you’re allowed to do that.

Sometimes it takes time, and sometimes it takes effort. Sometimes it takes remembering the roses and summer nights and fireworks and rain instead of the tears.

Sometimes it takes choosing to live in Beauty, rather than the aloneliness.

I’m choosing to live in Beauty.

Valentine’s Day: Traditional romance vs. dating apps

In today’s technology-driven world, dating has become fraught with matchmaking sites and social media apps.

Apps like Tinder claim to make more than two million matches each day while sites like Match.com say their users go on a collective six million dates per year.

Yet amidst all the digital love, traditional romance hasn’t completely died out. Not yet, anyways.

The broke band: “Music makes it worth it.”

Even if you’ve never met them before, Eva Hyder and Andrew Nielsen are Our Mutual Friend.

No seriously, Our Mutual Friend is the name of their band.

Our Mutual Friend, or OMF, is a Columbus-based acoustic duo that has experienced plenty of ups and downs in the two years since they decided to drop everything in the name of music. They are just two of the many struggling grass-roots musicians who consider themselves “broke” in Columbus.

This is their story.

Music makes it worth it from Chelsea Spears on Vimeo.

Fences Fall: Ohio State fans swarm Mirror Lake early

Jumping into Mirror Lake in sometimes freezing temps is an annual tradition for Ohio State students the week of the Michigan game.

It’s a tradition not supported by the university, but this year, OSU required students to wear wristbands to make the yearly plunge.

Upset at the new rule, many students said “screw it” and jumped into Mirror Lake one day earlier than planned.