Being A Victim of Love

So I'm going to talk about something that I've never talked about on XO Panda before. 

Romantic Relationships. 

I created XO Panda as a way to create an identity for myself outside of a relationship that I was previously in, let's call him 'A'. I loved 'A' but I was never in love with him. Truth be told, towards the end of the relationship I kind of resented him for NOT being the person that I was *still* in love with, we'll call him 'R'. 

Another truth is that I'm going to be in love with 'R' for the rest of my life. No question about it. I'm a cynic, and as a cynic something like love at first sight is utter bullshit, right? Right! (Or so I thought) Until it happened to me. 

It happened eight years ago. I remember the date, I remember what he was wearing, I remember the time of day. I remember seeing those brown eyes and automatically knowing that I loved him. I didn't know his name, but I knew he was my soulmate. A better way to put it is, as soon as I saw 'R', my soul kind of went, "Oh there you are! I've been looking for you!"

Actually, I remember a lot of small details like that about our relationship, but I also remember the tremendous pain that I went through when he told me he had decided to move to Arizona to be closer to his kids. You see, the relationship was a little controversial, per se. He's 10 years older than me. I've always been comfortable around older people because my own sister is 11 years older than me. He was separated from his wife and had two kids. 

The reason I bring all this up is because I subscribe to The Daily Love E-mails from Mastin Kipp, and had read this particular article, "Are you making a traumatic event your identity?" when it hit me. 

7 years later, here I was still being the victim. I hadn't moved passed the heartbreak that 'R' caused me. I had relationships after him but I never allowed myself to fully fall for those people. My heart was still reserved for him. For 7 years, my identity has been the heartbroken girl too afraid to let other people get too close. 

I read something on Saturday that asked, "How do you know when you're in love?" and a person had responded with, "You aren't scared of being alone. You are just scared about not being with them for the rest of your life." which really summed up the way I had been feeling about 'R' for the last 7 years. I've kind of taken myself out of the dating game since July 2010 because I'm not looking for what everyone else is looking for. I've found what everyone else is looking for and I feel that if I start dating somebody, they're wasting their time being with me while they could be off finding their "one" because I already found mine, and in my head, it was just a matter of time that we would come back together. 

I'm starting to feel like this post is going all over the place so I end it there. Maybe I'll talk about it again some time, once I get all my thoughts together. That's where I am emotionally in terms of romantic relationships. I need to not be the victim of Love, and maybe hopefully one day I can feel something similar to what I feel for 'R', for someone else or maybe our story continues later down the road. Who knows? Nobody. 


Amanda ❤

December in Review

So here we are. The last month of 2012 was emotionally difficult to me. A couple of exciting things happened but for the most part I was very apathetic towards the whole thing. 

The Sir came back from his Deployment and I got to spend a nice little amount of time with him. 

Tried absinthe for the first time. I rarely ever get drunk even though I tend to mix alcohol. I can say that it was probably this that got me drunk on this night. The four Long Island Iced Teas, one mai-tai, beer and the Jack and coke- not so much. I blamed the absinthe for some of the bruises that appeared the next day. The sir, was to blame for the rest. ;)

Participated in #mileaday, sort of. I averaged 3.5 miles every time I went running, but didn't technically run everyday. I'm pretty sure that I covered the same amount of miles had I actually ran simply a mile each day. Which lead to this post about me realizing that I may have turned into a runner. How did THAT happen? 

Navy Beat Army for the 11th consecutive year! GO NAVY! 

I made a few holiday crafts like this Christmas Bow Garland, these Wooden Christmas decorations, and gift card holder, but eventually ended up with a list of 25 things to do when you're just not in the mood to celebrate Christmas

I made this awesome Lyric Scarf

This was my gift for surviving the Mayan Apocalypse. It still makes me laugh. 

This months favorite quotable was Angelina Jolie on love, and seeing an imperfect person, perfectly.

I shared my two simple goals for 2013.  

When it comes to Foursquare, I'm still obsessed with it but didn't unlock any new badges this month. I kind of wish they could send you stickers of the badges that you earn, the way Getglue does. 

The TV shows/ movies I saw this month were: Touch* (A really good show. I watched it twice, and can't wait for it to come back), A Gifted Man, Brave, Lawless, Three Rivers, Eli Stone*, The Glades, Dirty Sexy Money* (Oh! SO good! I really wish this would have stayed on longer.), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Flying Scotsman, Scandal* (Olivia Pope is UNFLINCHING! I can't wait for this to come back either! OMG!) , and The Walking Dead* (Admittedly, the zombies freaked me out a little and I had to watch practically the entire first season during the day only.) 


Then there was New Years Eve in Vegas. 

This is such a horrible picture but I only took video for the rest of the night. Oh well. 

Amanda ❤

Some Art Journal Pages

I can't wait until Fall arrives this year. Last month I came up with about 20 art journal prompts for the upcoming season. Since September is practically halfway over (Can I just say, "Woah!"?) and Fall is on the horizon. It just means I only have a couple of months left until I get to see my Sir! My most favorite human being on this earth! I'm excited and can't wait! 

I wanted to share a couple of pages I created from those prompts.  

Fall To Do: Every season has their own 'To Do' list. This is mine. These are just a couple of the things that I want to do. I REALLY can't wait to order my first Caramel Apple spice of the season! Everyone gets all 'Pumpkin Spice' crazy this time of year, and I think it's overrated. I tend to go for underdogs and that's no different with my Caramel Apple Spice. 


Still (blank) After All These Years: This prompt can be taken in any direction, honestly. This day, I was reflecting on how the journey between my Sir and I isn't anything like you read in a story book (well, now that I think of it, maybe it is, ANYWHO) but just last night he mentioned, "What we have seems too much like a fairy tale love". I feel the same way. What we have really seems too good to be true  but with him, I've just learned take it as it comes. Our story is messy but even after all that mess, to be brought back to one another, I think it was kind of destined. I know it sounds SO cliche, but if only you knew. 


I'll keep working on those other prompts and hopefully I'll get to share them as they get completed. I've been even thinking of selling a small E-course of those prompts with a couple of techniques thrown in for good measure. 

*Quick Story* I was up early today editing photos for this and upcoming posts, and fell asleep. That's totally normal right? I'm not the only blogger who's done that? 

XO Panda

Amanda ❤

Big Fish Movie Scrapbook

One of the movies that both the Sir and I LOVE is 'Big Fish'. I am ADAMANTLY against anything, Tim Burton, with this one exception. Something about this movie that I love, mostly because I can relate a lot of it with the Sir. 

Last week I decided to make a small little scrapbook with quotes from the movie that resonate with me regarding our relationship. 

Big Fish Scrapbook 1

Big Fish Scrapbook 2

Big Fish Scrapbook 3

Big Fish Scrapbook 4

Big Fish Scrapbook 5

Big Fish Scrapbook 6

Amanda ❤

It's A Jolly Holiday With You, Bert


Okay, enough with the heavy posts from earlier on in the week. Despite being a rough Spring Break, I got to end it on a really happy note with the Sir. 

He came up from San Diego and we spent the entire weekend together. All my friends tell me they know when I'm with him because nobody can get a hold of me for the few days that I do get to see him, and it's true. It's like I go into this haze where I forget everyone else exists and we have all the time in the world. Sort of like this: 

But don't get me wrong, It's only like that because they know I don't get to spend much time with him as it is, being both a long distance relationship AND a military one. Unlike their relationships where they can spend time with their boyfriends whenever they want. 

Anywho, I got out of work slightly early at 7:30 beings that I usually get out at 9 on Fridays. By the time I got to meet him, he had wine and strawberries already set up for me. *Awwww, right?* We both found out that I don't like red wine but it's sort of my fault since I told him to surprise me. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot don't mix well with my taste buds apparently and afterward, sushi! Oh, yes! 

We slept in Saturday morning and it took us forever to actually leave the room because, of all the movies that can transfix us both, it's Mary Poppins, which was playing on ABC Family. I kind of begged him to stay in and watch it though, but we both knew if we stayed, we wouldn't leave the room and we had an itinerary to keep. Ha! We did stay to watch until Chim-Chim-Cheroo/Step In Time, though.

We ended up going to Chinatown in LA and walked around a bit. During the drive I was asking him all sorts of questions. One of which was, "If you could participate in any reality tv show, what would it be?" and honestly, when he answered 'Survivor', I gave him the stink eye. I told him I'd choose 'The Amazing Race' which he apparently forgot all about. Suffice it to say, I have a partner to go with now. The only catch is, he needs to do all the swimming challenges. Ha!  But, I wouldn't want anybody else to be my partner on that show. 

Anywho, every time I get to be with him, It seems like we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want. I also tend to forget things that I MEAN to do with him while he's here, like take him to specific restaurants or do specific things with him like, go to the beach and sketch but sometimes that doesn't happen. Then when he's gone, it seems like the weekend went by way too fast and I start to miss him even before he leaves. 

Before he got out here I told him that I was really missing him simply because of everything that happened and that it had been about a month since I saw him last. He asked me why I missed him, I told him, "There's only two places that feel like home, and you're one of them". I can say he's the love of my life and I'll never fall out of love with him. 

Hope every one else had a wonderful Easter weekend! 

What did you do? 


Amanda ❤

Because This Isn't Real Life

Soldiers rest in fox hole
Credit: AP/John Marc Bouju

About two weeks ago, I was in my English class and my teacher, who is a leftover hippie was talking about war and a classmate of mine said "People in the military can't handle real life" and then went on to say, what I consider to be, idiotic things. 

Because my Sir is in the military, all I could think was, "Really? Are you kidding me?", but I did manage to utter, "You've got to be shitting me!". In my opinion, he was uttering such idiotic nonsense that I was to the point of raging and I couldn't even begin to say anything to him. He left me totally speechless and pissed off. 

Maybe it's because I understand the things that our servicemen and women have to endure, that I can appreciate them no matter what, even if I have my own reservations regarding the reasons they get deployed. 

After class, I sent my Sir an E-mail asking him, "What do you say to someone like that?" after describing the situation that occured, to which he replied: 

"Tell whomever said that load of bullshit, to take a walk in our shoes and have to sleep in tents, wait for days to take a hot shower or bath, or a good hot meal. We don't do this to escape day to day life. We do this so assholes like that can have the freedom that they take for granted, and the freedom to talk shit about the US. I fight and bleed for it so they can have it." 

I have to agree. It takes a certain type of person to stand up for their beliefs. I think we tend to take for granted the freedoms that we have. I know upon arriving back from Mexico in January, I felt like Americans were actually ridiculously spoiled and that our way of life, isn't what "real life" really is. That we live in a sort of, bubble that leaves us blind to things outside of our country. 

It takes a certain person to fight a war that doesn't belong to them. It's so easy for a person to turn their cheek when they don't have a personal interest in a particular situation, but our military men and women don't. I am extremely proud of my Sir, both for the job that he does abroad and his actions at home and I tell him all the time. He just told me, "Don't let assholes like that get to you. You can't change their minds anyhow".  

Amanda ❤

Filling In The Blanks

I came across this blog called, The Little Things We Do, who has a series called 'Fill in the Blank Fridays'. I decided to fill one out even though it's Wednesday, whatever, who cares?! I just felt like filling this one about love, out. 

1.  The love of my life is:   My Sir

2.   Falling in love is: The most wonderful and scary adventure of all
3.  Marriage is: Something that I'm still too selfish to participate in

4. The longest relationship I've ever had was: seven years and counting
5. The key to a good relationship is:  Communication and lives outside of each other, among other things *wink wink*

6. I feel loved when: I get hugged and when The Sir just looks at me, even though I get self concious. 

7.  My favorite quote about love is:   "99/364" It's in reference to a Winnie The Pooh quote. 

When it comes to my Sir, I've got a one track mind. 


Amanda ❤

It's Hard To Love A Man In The Military

St. Patrick's Day was orignally scheduled to go out and drink. (Duh!) but instead, I had a mini-breakdown and was in hysterics, crying most of the night in the shower and in bed. It really isn't something that I do on a normal basis but it happened. I know I don't get too personal on here but I felt the only way to feel better about this was to just blog. I don't talk very much to anyone about how I'm feeling or the worries I have in regards to him, with anyone in real life. I keep it to myself because they don't know what it feels like. I feel there are more people on the Internet who are in the same situation as me, and know what it's like to go through it.  

This is my Sir. We have a long history together and it's quite messy if I start the whole story from the beginning, so I'll just skip that part. He's in the Navy and is soon heading back out. Because he knows me well and knows that I'm prone to ridiculously bad anxiety attacks, he won't tell me when he leaves or where he goes. I know it may sound selfish or that he really doesn't care for me, but I know he does. If I know where he's at, he knows I'll have an eagle eye on the news and if I hear about anything happening in that region, and I can't get a hold of him, I won't eat and I'll be stressed until the next time I hear from him, which could be days. Hello no appetite,vomitting acid and sleepless nights! Makes sense now, right? 

So I get to the tough part. How can there be a relationship with only one person? People in the military are gone for long periods of time so it's weird to say that you're seeing someone, or dating, or married, to a person that is hardly ever in your actual daily life. This is what was happening to me on Saturday. I was REALLY missing him. Given I had just seen him a week before, the time I had spent with him seemed entirely too short. It's like I blinked and he was gone again. 

My cousin, Tiffany, is dating a marine and she told me that it's tough but worth it and I agree. I have a love/hate relationship with the Navy. I love the Navy and if I ever would have joined the military, that would have been my branch of choice, yet I hate the Navy because that's what's keeping me away from one of the most important people in my life. 

I guess the part that sucks most is being apart from one another. There are no spontaneous trips to go get ice cream at 10 o'clock at night. There are no movie date nights or staying in cuddling and watching movies under a blanket while it's raining cats and dogs outside. There are no Pinkberry or Starbucks runs. There isn't any hand-holding walking down the street together and that's what makes me sad. Sometimes it seems a little unfair to be in a relationship where none of that is happening, but then I remember, that's something you choose. If I wanted those things badly enough, it wouldn't be hard to go out and find a civilian boyfriend to do that with. We sacrifice those seemingly small things in order for them to do their job which involves the possibility of a much bigger sacrifice on their part.

Yesterday, I was out with my friend and her boyfriend had gotten sick and needed some medicine picked up from the pharmacy but needed to go into work. "Babe, drop off the prescription and I'll go pick it up for you", she said. A minute before, I had been concerned about how he was doing but I had to turn my head away because a deep feeling of sadness came over me. We don't get small moments of caring like that. Sick? Here's some medicine, some chicken soup, some crackers and an "I'll take care of you". There's none of that. You feel so alone at times because they're 8,000 or 13,000 miles away. 

I can only imagine what it's like to be married and/or to have kids with someone in the military. I expect it's 10x worse. Getting used to a routine and learning to do things by yourself or with the kids then when they come back, it's like you've been thrown for a loop, readjusting to having this person back in your life, and catching up with things. I understand why it's so tough. I understand why military divorce rates are just as high as civilian rates. It's a tough and stressful place to be in and I have the utmost respect for Blue Star families but most of all, Gold Star families who will never get to see their loved ones again. I can only hope that I NEVER become a Gold Star family member. 

Yet, I deal with it because this is the man I love. The man I knew before I even met him. The man who makes me feel at home, even if he isn't. The man I call 'Sir' and me, his girl. 


Update: He finally told me where he'll be going and I have to say, I am worried/stressed but not so much as before. I think just the anticipation of where he was going was getting to me more than actually knowing. 

Amanda ❤

Amor Vincit Omnia

   "Love is something we spend half our lives looking for, then spend the other fearing we lose it. It's a four letter word that's easy to spell yet hard to define." 

    We spend half our lives looking for that "special someone". You know, that one person who has all the qualities you want in a partner, be it a certain height, eye color, or sense of humor. Once we find that person, how do you know you love them? Is it a flutter of the stomach when you see them? A certain look they give you? You find this person and you want to spend all day with them, everyday. Saying 'bye' at the end of the night bums you out but you know you'll see them again soon. Is it like what Uma Thurman says in 'Pulp Fiction'? "You know you've found someone when you can just shut the fuck up". 

    Then you find that person and fear losing that love that you've found. You meddle and push. Next thing you know, you've done the exact thing you didn't want to happen. You've pushed them right out of your life and you've lost the love that you didn't want to lose in the first place. "

I wrote this in my journal sometime between October 26-28, 2005. I was 20 and I think I was questioning whether or not I truly loved the Sir. I had had a few boyfriends previous to him but never had felt the way I did with them, the way I felt with him. 


Amanda ❤