Open Letters and Lyrics to the Men Who Influenced My Life


I originally posted this on my quiet music blog, but I was told I needed to share it here too and I agree. ❤ I hope the music can touch you too. ❤

These are open letters (certain identities hidden for privacy) to four men who’ve affected my life in ways that have shaped me into who I am today. I say goodbye, I say I miss you, and I say I love you. I’ve had these words and lyrics on my heart for a long time…it felt good to express like this.


{For The Childhood Best Friend}

Dear B,

You were my first best friend, my playpen buddy, my childhood friend, the one I always knew would be my partner in crime in all our games. You were one of the best parts of my whole kid world. You’ve inspired some of my best fictional characters by leaving such an impression of the ideal childhood friend. I’m sorry our families fell apart like they did; I’m sorry we drifted. But thank you for being a part of what gave me a happy childhood. You will always be my first best friend. ❤ This song makes me think of you and miss you as we leave childhood behind us. Thank you for all the memories, and I wish you the greatest luck in your future. I’ll always be in your corner, ok? ❤

So Long by Zooey Deschanel.
“Hate to say goodbye, goodbye and I hate to see the end, the end.
‘Cause it’s been so long since I’ve made a friend like you.”

{For The Friend Who Disappeared}

Dear D,

When my whole world was crashing, you entered my life…you were like a life preserver…you noticed me, wanted to be my friend, entered worlds with me, made me laugh and forget my pain, my depression, my fear. I liked you. I’m sorry our families fell apart….I’m so sorry that I lost contact with you. I’m so sorry that you never came to see me, that you never responded to my note, that I’m not yet brave enough to come find you myself to say thank you and goodbye. While things have worked out in my life, I still consider you disappearing from my life as one of my biggest regrets and personal losses. I grieved your loss to this song for years: I listened to its chorus a thousand times because it matched how my heart hurt, and sometimes still does. I do thank you for being the friend I so desperately needed at that time in my life, for helping me feel special; I miss you when I see Willy Wonka, vampires, and Sherlock Holmes. You deserve the best of luck, wherever you are. Just please don’t live in fear for the rest of your life, ok? Please don’t live in fear.

Habits by Tove Lo.
“You’re gone and I gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.
High all the time to keep you off my mind, ooh-oh, ooh-ooh.
Spending my days locked in a haze, trying to forget you, babe, I fall back down.
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh.”

{For The Unsafe Father}

Dear Dad,

I really miss you: the you I thought I knew when I was a little girl. I’m sad that you didn’t want me to become my own person, that you believed I didn’t have a mind of my own, that you couldn’t just love me enough to let me be free. But I’m not sorry I don’t see you anymore. You played too many mind games, your words never added up, you made me feel like dirt. I won’t accept being treated that way again for the rest of my life. I do hope you will change one day. This song has been my anthem of freedom from your treatment since I first heard it, because even though you kept me down for a long time, I’m standing up now. I’m becoming that ball of fire again, and I’m finding emotional and mental freedom and happiness.

Roar by Katy Perry.
“You held me down but I got up, already brushing off the dust.
You hear my voice, you hear that sound like thunder gonna shake the ground.
You held me down, but I got up, get ready ’cause I”ve had enough.
I see it all, I see it now; I’ve got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire, cause I am a champion and you’re going to hear my roar louder, louder than a  lion ’cause I am a champion, and you’re going to hear me roar.”

{For The One I Love, the One Who is There}

Dear James,

You’re incredible. You’re the man who loved me for three years and was too scared to tell me for fear of losing our friendship…the man who has given his everything to win my heart, to be there for me…. You are the one who helped me grow despite my hurts; who helped me feel safe; who made me feel funny and happy; who told me I was gorgeous the way I was, to embrace my flaws; who told me I had a voice, that I had value, that I was worth more than gold…. thank you. Thank you for over a year of dedication as my romantic partner and for five whole years of being there. For just not leaving or disappearing like everyone else has. Thank you for loving me so unconditionally and for telling me you’ll always be there. Thank you. I have a dozen romantic songs that make me think of you, but you are more than just my boyfriend; you are my best friend, the seashore to my rocky waves, my home and happy place, my joy. I am full of gratitude for you and for everything you’ve given me. This song is my heart to you; because every lyric rings true. Thank you for changing my life for the better and I love you! ❤

Thank You by MoZella.
“Mixed up and lost, you showed me love at no cost, and when nobody else cared you were there….

Down on my luck, you helped my life get unstuck and when the world went away, you stayed…
Thank you for the good times, thank you for your love, thank you for the joy you’ve given me…
You fight off my enemies, you’d take a bullet for me, and you know I’d do the same for you…
‘Cause that’s how we roll, connected at the soul, and I just want you to know how I feel…
Thank you for loving me every day, thank you for showing me the way, thank you for things I never say…
Thank you.”

Dear Men,

You have changed me, shaped me, and influenced my life in so many positive and negative ways, but you have helped me develop into a better person; you have made me feel loss to appreciate love and loyalty when I truly recognize it; you have given me the sweetest memories and most bitter tears. You have even helped me become a better person. Thank you for that. None of it was in vain. I won’t forget any of you… don’t you forget me either.

Don’t You by Simple Minds.
“Won’t you come see about me? I’ll be alone, dancing, you know it, baby.

Tell me your troubles and doubts, giving me everything inside and out, and love’s strange so real in the dark.
Think of the tender things that we were working on.
Slow change may pull us apart, when the light gets into your heart, baby.
Don’t you… forget about me… don’t don’t don’t don’t, don’t you… forget about me.”

Sincerely, your old friend, your daughter, you girlfriend and future,
Jamie ❤

A God Moment at DQ


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I had what felt like a God moment at work tonight. It was at the end of a drive-thru rush, I was slightly stressed and a little overwhelmed writing orders, counting money, helping my coworkers when they double checked one of my orders. The guy who pulled up last during this rush though just struck me. He seemed little older than me, maybe 25, kinda rough looking, in an old car, lower class probably. Yet from the moment he pulled up, he had the most calming, respectful vibe about him; he was overflowing with gratitude and he maintained eye contact with me throughout our whole transaction. He was very sweet, very grateful to be talking to me. He was so calming after so many other customers, some of which who’d been cold or thoughtless (many of them middle/upper-class people too.)

I ended up being the one to hand out his order at the other window, taking care to make sure he had a cup holder and extra napkins. I felt this strong nudge in my heart to tell him I appreciated his vibe; just this strong inclination to speak. So, leaning out the window, I said, “hey, I just wanted to say I really like your vibe, it’s so chill and soothing, I like it!” just kinda appreciating how he’d treated me. And he looked like he was going to melt! “Thank  you so much!” He told me that he’d had some very rough few days, that he’d been needing to get away from everything and his thoughts; that he’d started to feel a little better. But he said, “Thank you so much, thanks for saying that, wow.” He seemed so genuinely touched and grateful and uplifted. Like he’d heard EXACTLY what he’d needed to hear in that moment. He seemed so blown away and doubly grateful. In those moments I felt like we shared this real connection, human to human emotionally. He was a perfect stranger, but in those moments, we were strangers no more.

He impacted me just as much as I seemed to impact him because I’m still so happy about our exchange. I don’t know what could possibly have been going on in his life, but I was really glad I felt God prompt me to say what he needed to hear. Plus, he reminded me that I could definitely still help impact people as just a little worker bee in a little neighborhood DQ. Encouraging people positively by being appreciative is definitely something I’ll always want to do for the rest of my life, for God moments like these. ❤


~Jamie

six years of blogging (and how it changed my life)


So I completely forgot that on New Year’s Eve it was my blog’s sixth anniversary!

I have been purposefully absent from blogging this past year; and it was kind of weird. I’ve grown used to blogging about my personal life, about the things I learn as I struggle and grow. However, outside of some purposefully vague blog posts, I’ve been quiet about my life most of this year. I was concentrating on something very important to me and waiting for when I was secure enough to share it.

Well, tonight’s the night and I’m so happy that I waited! Some of you who keep up with me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook already know what I’m talking about. 😉 But I’m ready to talk about it here. I haven’t planned or outlined any of this post, so hopefully me just explaining what I want to explain all makes sense. 😄

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I’ve been building my first romantic relationship, with my best friend James, who lives in Georgia, for the past year.

Yeah; probably not shocking many of you who can read between the lines. 😄 But hey, this feels very official. 😄 Some of you who’ve been here awhile know James from his blog; several of you readers kinda grew up with us all together, watching Marvel movies, discussing Star Wars and growing up into college kids–you know who you are. 😉 ❤

Well, James and I met through our blogs back in 2011 and have been friends ever since. About a year ago, after several years of consistently skyping and being the best of friends, our true feelings between us surfaced. I’d had feelings for about six months or so, dropping hints which I thought he was not reading at all. Meanwhile, he’d been holding a crush for about three years (which he hid so well, because I had no idea!) and was absolutely terrified of somehow losing our friendship. So it was quite a big deal when “us” happened; when we began to talk it all out, along with how we could meet.

Our top priority in all of it was protecting our friendship: neither of us wanted to lose what we already had in our friendship. I mean, we loved talking every week about anime, about life, about anything really. Our friendship was too valuable to risk, so we entered the romantic waters very thoughtfully. It was not a walk in the park, people. We both experienced a lot of anxiety and fear during those early months. I was unsure how we could make us work at first, being so far apart and having not met in person, but I knew I wanted to try. I wanted to go slowly and make time for us figure it out, to adapt, to fully comprehend we really did “like like” each other, and spend enough time talking about everything we needed to. And we helped each other through the anxiety, the fear, the trust building!

We talked so much before we first met in May; with all the talking was the trust-building, honesty-building; being respectful, trying to be ourselves, learning more about ourselves as we learned more about what “we” were and could be. We messaged and skyped so much before we met, constantly talking out those fears. It was terrifying and absolutely amazing at the same time. We loved it. It was exciting, it was completely brand new! The butterflies were insane!

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Our first hug at the airport; he barely saw me coming, I was running so fast to reach his arms.

We had a lot of fears before we met, resolving some while I was there, and dealing with others after I went back home. (You can read about our first visit here, if you missed it; it’s tastefully written to exclude we were romantically involved at the time.)

I asked him not to ask me to be his girlfriend during that first visit because I wanted to return home without any ties to see how I felt. I wanted to make sure I loved him, not the idea of him. I wanted to be “just us” for awhile, if that makes sense: just James and Jamie, without any labels like boyfriend and girlfriend.

He very patiently let me take my time. I knew a couple months after coming home that I wanted to officially be together, to try to see if we could make it in the long run. I knew the distance didn’t matter, the distance didn’t effect how I felt. So we privately called each other boyfriend and girlfriend from then on and continued being just us, talking about us, before I returned to him just a few weeks ago.

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From our first official photo session as boyfriend and girlfriend.

He officially asked me to be his girlfriend when I returned, and we made it public on social media to enjoy being a couple without feeling like we had to hide it. (I wanted to take as many cute couple selfies while we were together, after all LOL.) We were both happy and felt safe in own feelings and in each other. We had worked so hard for a year to build us, so it was exciting and still is exciting, to share the fruit of all that work.

We will tell you we’ve already been together more than a year, though: 365 days of very, very hard and dedicated communication being “us”, discussing boundaries, discussing fears, building trust, sharing secrets, discussing fun things like anime as we always had, and figuring out what love was. We’re still doing all that now, really. We’re still learning what love is and becoming closer, stronger.

That’s why for a year I chose to keep us private, so we could grow and become stable without anyone’s input but our immediate circles. I’m so so happy that I chose to be slow and private, even though it meant neglecting my blog for a year. 😄

I feel secure and free to talk about it now! Now that such a huge part of my life has received a solid foundation that I’m confident in, I feel like I can come back here (and my other blogs) and talk openly again about life: what I’m learning, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing again. I can refer to James as “boyfriend” on here now; I can be happy knowing that I truly love him very much, without any doubts. That I’m proud to have him as my special someone (and wow, he wins best boyfriend award in the world. How did crazy ol’ me get someone so patient, so empowering, so kind, so affectionate, so gentle, and so supportive? I’m incredibly blessed, you guys!)

So, I’m very excited to come back here, back home to this blog. Back to the place that made us possible.

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Because without starting this blog six years ago, I wouldn’t have met James.

Without this place for us to have gotten to know each other, none of what I just documented would have happened! Like woah…mind blown.

Without writing here, without sharing my fandom joys, my little silly thoughts, my painful life experiences, my personality expressing itself in its whacky funny way, James wouldn’t have wanted to get to know me better! 😄 We wouldn’t have shared watching the new Marvel movies together; we wouldn’t have commented on each other’s blogs as teenagers for years; he wouldn’t have started his old podcast in 2013 as a way to start skyping with me; we wouldn’t have become the unlikely opposites who get so much out our differences, yet discover so much common ground; we wouldn’t have had each other’s backs during some of the darkest most painful times in both our lives.

Without this blog, I would not have discovered anime, flown across the country twice in a year, discovered myself as I have, experienced the most romantic first kiss one spring morning deep in the south with my hero, best friend, and first love, in the most affectionate, steady, funny, thoughtful, Godly young man ever who shed blood, sweat, utter loyalty and devotion, and a crap ton of being the funniest thing ever, to win my heart. ❤

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I’ve always loved words, telling stories, sharing my struggles and journies in writing. I’ve always believed that words are more powerful than the sword. I’ve believed words were one of the most powerful things in the world. And I’ll always believe that. Because the words in this stupid little blog did so much; it made so much possible. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, someone FELL IN LOVE with my personality, my words, my heart, because of this blog! And right now, despite all the crap that can still hit the fan in my life, I consider myself the most blessed woman in the world.

Your words matter. So when you write, be open, be kind, be true to yourself every single time you share them. You never know what might happen because of it. ❤

~Jamie

I’m Thankful For…


Love this thankful printable with the quote, "There is always something to be thankful for." Such a great Thanksgiving reminder. livelaughrowe.com:

For my job at Dairy Queen; for hard work I can get paid.

For the employees there who’ve treated me like family, praised my work ethic, made me laugh when I’m too tired, and simply made the job easier. Good coworkers are worth more than gold. ❤

For the customers who recognize me, give me good vibes, and say sweet things.

For managing to loose almost twenty-five pounds with simple diet and lifestyle changes; it feels amazing to find jeans that decently fit!!

For James; for his patience and kindness, that we can be there for each other, and for all the ways he’s helped me become a better person this year.

For music, the old and the new; it keeps me alive, happy, and always dancing.

For anime; for the beautiful stories, the characters I grow to love as my own, and the adventures they take me on.

For pure laughter.

For earning my driver’s permit and so far safely learning how to drive.

For my amazing trip to Georgia in May and all the beautiful memories I made…and that I get to go back very very soon!

For all the moments when I felt strong enough to communicate clearly.

For God’s continued protection over my sister during her military exploits.

For God’s protection over my own life using the bus and biking to school in the spring–between almost being run over by a car and meeting some strange people, ultimately I was kept very safe and I’m thankful for that.

For my Mom and our wonderful friendship and mutual support. ❤

For all the personal growth I’ve experienced within the last year.

~Jamie

My Life at Dairy Queen


I’ve been working at my neighborhood Dairy Queen for over five months now. And wow it’s such a different world from my own. When you walk into Dairy Queen as an employee, suddenly the most important things in the whole world is making sure the oreo is stocked, customers are taken care of, and the ice cream mixes don’t run out. 😄

At this point, I’m pretty settled in. I know all the employees fairly well and who I like to work with and who I don’t. I have pulled exhausting double shifts; raced in to cover for coworkers who canceled last-minute; helped train newer employees; been brought into that inner circle who knows where the register keys are kept when the shifty employees are working; serviced the strangest and also the sweetest dearest people from my drive-thru window; received glowing surveys of my service………….a lot has happened for me. I live one week at a time, from schedule to schedule and it’s crazy!

I’ve climbed into the group of people who are actually deemed dependable, which seems a pretty small circle. My boss calls me in A LOT to cover for other people and knows I’m flexible and trustworthy, even though I can be a bit clumsy. But it does my spirit wonders when the dependable people all grieve aloud that we’re not working together or that I’m not on their shift. ❤ And apparently I’m SUPER fast at dipping and making dilly bars. 😄

I’ve made some really good friends; the mother and daughter that works there have basically brought me into their family and we’ve become quite close! We’ve gone shopping after closing, eaten out late after shifts, and I’ve even visited their grandmother’s home late at night for burritos. While I’m saving for the car, they’re sweet enough to bring me home late at night too. They were two of the first people there to praise me and seemed to really like me, and it’s more apparent than ever that they really felt that way. I care about them a lot and I’m always happy to work with them.

The new 16-year-old kid that started working not long after me has become a great friend too! I took him under my wing as a younger fellow newbie, helped him learn the ropes, and now we crack each other up terribly when we’re suppose to be working. 😄 I’m always so happy when we’re scheduled together, because I know he’ll keep my spirits up the entire night.

There can be a lot of behind-the-scenes drama at Dairy Queen too. We have a couple bad apples we can’t seem to get rid of in terms of employees; the one isn’t that bad but is often late. Then there’s a girl my age, a cook specifically, who nobody really likes. She’s on her phone all the time, she takes an hour to do her dishes in the evening, she an utter fake, she often cancels and makes the day shift cook work late, and possibly stealing. It’s hard being civil with her; other coworkers have a harder time hiding their dislike for her so I try not to add to that. But dang the drama that circles around her can be insane. The books I could write from the melodrama going on in the back. 😄

I still love the job–if we’re purely talking about the job, I still love it. I still LOVE being in the drive-thru! Most customers are full of happy vibes because they’re getting a treat, and that really feeds me as an extrovert. It balances the negative stressful vibes that come off certain coworkers or the boss. I can easily make almost everything now; in those terms, nothing scares me anymore. I’m slowly learning things about the kitchen. The place isn’t so alien anymore. The job itself is very fun.

Honestly, it completely depends on the crew that dictates how easily, smoothly, and stress-free the job can be. Lord help you if you’re on a crew with a slow cook… or someone with an attitude… or someone who complains about their personal life all night… or doesn’t want to pull their own weight.

I love the nights where the whole crew is made up of people I trust and enjoy being with! I’m not terrified to walk away from the register and leave it alone; I know the cook is dependable; I know that even if it gets super busy and stressful, everybody there will be doing their best and pulling their weight. When it’s all for one and one for all, it’s just so much better.

I can’t decide right now if I like day shifts or night shifts more. They both have their pros and cons; you make dilly bars on day shift but you have less help. Or you get a bigger crew at night but need to do the clean up. Honestly, as long as I’m with a good crew, I don’t mind either though.

So yeah; that’s been my world lately. In less than two weeks I’ll be going on vacation, back to Georgia for a couple of weeks, and I’m excited for the break. Between all this, and processing some personal things I’m almost ready to make public, I’ve not felt like blogging. I know you all understand, and I’m looking forward to writing more soon in the future!

And oh, my favorite blizzard? Still the Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Love, but hey, the Pumpkin Pie was actually amazing, and I’m currently addicted to the Candy Cane Oreo. IT’S SO PRETTY TO BLEND. IT’S PINK. ^_^

What’s your favorite blizzard?

~Jamie