The Best Date I Have Ever Been On

girl, date, tom hanks, important, night, out,best, life, girl, my, movies, the post, writer, journalism, journalist, dreams, abuse, anxiety, grow, moment,laughing, laughter, love, self, love, I went to the movies on Friday. Yes, I went alone. I got all dressed up and decided to have a night all to myself. I went to my favorite fancy movie theater to watch The Post with Tom Hanks.

As I parked my car, I couldn’t help but be super excited about this date night with myself. I looked around me and realized I am at a pretty awesome place in my life. I have all I have I ever wanted and so much more.

In this moment, I thought about more than just how lucky I was. I really began thinking back to all the things I have overcome just to get to this place in my life.

Although I do not wish to disclose every one of my skeletons, I can share the fact that I once used to hate myself. I once abused my body and my heart at all the same time. I once didn’t know or care to know that I had value and that I was deserving of love.

I am not sure if we all go through this stage in life, but I know I did. Anxiety used to plague my thoughts and bitterness would take over most of my days. I was too naive to see that all I have ever wanted resides within me.

Sounds cliché, right? All the answers are within you sounds like a sound bite from a Disney movie. It’s true though. All you have ever longed for can be found in your heart.

I have a quote that often rattles in my head that says, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Sylvia Plath said this and I believe her. She also committed suicide but that’s besides the point.

We often want to fill our lives with trashy things and people to hide the fact that we refuse to look at ourselves and what we have become. I know I did this. I didn’t like the sound of silence because it reminded me that I wasn’t where I wanted to be at the time.

I know think I had wrong all along. I love meditating. I love the sound and feeling of stillness. It makes me feel more alive than ever. My body and mind are much more powerful than I ever thought possible and I am grateful for this moment in time. I steal moments with myself and these are the most precious to me.

Once I got into the theater, I bought a glass of my favorite red wine and decided some popcorn was in order. I sat down next to some old couples and just took the moment in.

I watched a movie about all the things I ever dreamed of becoming. A groundbreaking journalist. I am not a traditional journalist as I once thought I would be but I am a content creator that is more diverse in her writing than a strict hard news writer could ever be.

I have not published the contents of the pentagon papers, but I continue to publish my truth every day that I write to all of you. I have even been invited to share my story at a university next week. I never really thought I was important until this point in my life.

Maybe I was too blind to see the fact that I do add value to this world and to lives of those closest to me. I know I do and I will make it my mission to continue to do so. I will make sure to give more, do more and be more. Date nights like these always help the cause. Taking myself out on a date the other night was the best date I have ever had.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

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My Online Valentine (Before Tinder)

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. My mom always made it as special as special can be. She will forever be my valentine, but one day long ago, a man stole my heart for the first time. He literally ripped it out my chest and never gave it back.

I was surfing the web while I was a Junior in high school. I had just left water polo practice and went on my MySpace.com account. For those of you who don’t know, MySpace came directly before Facebook. It was super similar minus all of the status updates.

Anyway, there I was online minding my own business… I was young, naive and had never had much attention from guys. A random messaged me and I thought he was a complete weirdo.

He told me he could sweep me off my feet, well, basically. He said he loved the outdoors and was always looking for an adventure. I can’t say he didn’t intrigue me for a second. He did and then he didn’t.

I continued living my life as constant messages poured into my MySpace inbox. Everything seemed harmless until one day my inbox showed up at my place of work, In n Out Burger.

I changed into my lazy clothes when I clocked out of work and received a text saying, “Hey, I was hungry so I decided to get a burger at In N Out.”

MySpace dude lived more than an hour away so I responded, “That’s nice.”

He let me know he had driven a little far to satisfy his craving. I walked through the restaurant and saw him standing at the soda machine. My heart dropped deep into my chest as I realized my online pen pal was more than gorgeous. I almost fainted when I looked into his emerald-green eyes.

The rest is pure history. He stole more than kisses from me throughout the years and enticed me with adventurous fun. I refused to officially date him until eight years later. Had I known how much more amazing he would be as a boyfriend, I would have given in years before but the timing was never right. He sometimes had a girlfriend and I always had some stupid guy around for no reason.

One day in 2012 I accidentally texted my estranged lover boy. I wanted to party and he wanted more. I gave in. I put my hand in his and trusted that he would never break my heart. To this day, he has kept his promise. To this day, he is the greatest love of my life. Thank God for bad timing and the internet. He is, and forever will be, my online valentine.