Six months. I remember my friend Shannon telling me it takes about six months for your life to start coming back together after your mom dies. She was right. Yesterday marked six months since my mom died. I have a job, I’m going back to school in September. I stopped crying every single day but god. Is it hard? Yes. The pain is numbing, I feel numb 75% of the time. My mental health is still wavering. I still feel as if I am alone in this world, but I do recognize now that I have the best friends and family anybody could ask for. My life in Tennessee gets better every day, even though I live alone I do feel as if I have a support system here. My grandparents have the kindest souls I have ever seen. My brother takes care of me, so subtly but I can see it and I don’t know what I would do without him either. My friends from Lakeland reach out to me daily still. I wouldn’t be where I am today without any of them. After leaving an abusive relationship, having to relive every moment of abuse because I am petitioning for a restraining order, not having a job for a while, I really didn’t think I was going to make it. And I know I couldn’t have without everybody currently in my life, from my friends and family back home to my friends and family here, Every day I am changing and evolving into the person I want to be. It doesn’t get easier but it gets…something. One lesson I have learned and continued to learn that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. One lesson I am still learning is to not be so hard on myself over the past mistakes I have made and the mistakes I will continue to make. I believe that if you aren’t changing every day, even if its little choices that make you into a better person or even just make you feel better when you’re having a bad day, you aren’t living. I know how cliché it sounds but its so TRUE. I PROMISE. Every time you get out of bed when you don’t HAVE to, or when you remember to eat, or when you step outside at all after feeling so drained and broken. The little events matter as much as the big ones. that is all. thank u for reading.
Growing up we all heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I don’t know where that came from, but whoever said it is either the most carefree person in the world, or can’t hear. From losing my mom, to being pushed out into the world to be an “adult” almost immediately after, to going through a break up- I’ve realized words can hurt. Words DO hurt. More than physical actions. I remember once my mom told me she would have rather been punched in the face than hear something my dad had said to her (sorry dad). And now I know that feeling. Throughout this stage in my life I didn’t know what to expect, I had no idea what to do. I know I say this phrase a lot, but after my mom died I really expected to die too. It just hurt so bad I literally thought it was going to kill me. My life has now been sectioned into two parts, before my mom died, and after. I remember before, I thought life was hard. I complained about minuscule things. I was a little bratty and very privileged in most ways. I had never felt pain like that, now that’s the privilege. The pain is still here, it’s just easier to handle. Now imagine, going through a break up. We’ve all been through at least one bad break I feel like. And as a young woman, who do you go to during that time? Your mom. Always. I mean I always did, and she always got me through whatever I was feeling in that moment. But now I am going through these types of events without her, I know I have friends and what not but I feel essentially alone. Today, an ex told me that there’s a million girls like me out there. And today, I looked around for my mom. Because I knew she’d be the only person who could convince me otherwise, she was always the only one who could make me feel like I deserved so much more than I thought, I looked around for her knowing I wouldn’t find her. And I know everybody is going to have this feeling one day, of looking for your mom and not finding her. Death is inevitable. I just never thought I’d have this feeling so soon and sudden. But to whoever is reading this, when you do get this feeling and you go through this, let the feeling come and go. Like a wave.
Home. Home is a concept that has been lost to me for what feels like years, in reality it’s only beeen a few months but the feeling of never feeling at home can break you. To me, home is where you’re the most comfortable. Home is where you’re happy, happy to just be there. Lying in your own bed, taking a bubble bath in your own tub. Knowing where everything is, knowing everything is how you like it. But as I packed up my house a couple days after my mom committed suicide, the word “home” felt foreign. It was a feeling I never thought I’d feel again. After that, I tried looking for that feeling in a person. That person ended up letting me down, making me feel like I had lost that home all over again. I tried looking for that feeling by simply not having it, if that makes sense. I told myself, this feeling of instability is now my home. That didn’t work either. Yes, I had places I could go to. My friends, my dads house, my grandparents house but none of their homes felt like mine. I’ve been in a state of drifting, in limbo. It wasn’t until I started thinking for myself and making the choices I knew I had to make for me, even though I knew how bad it would initially hurt. I drove across the country with my dog, got my own apartment with the help of my brother, and made it my own home. I went out of town recently and found myself saying, “I can’t wait to go home.” Something I’d never thought I would be blessed enough to say again. When my mom died, I truly felt nothing in the world would ever get better but hearing myself say those words… I know that it does. It will continue to get better. Being alone, and the act of letting myself feel is hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done, some days I miss my ex boyfriend. Every day I miss my mom. But I know now, that even though those feelings are there, it’s okay to feel other things too. Like happiness. Joy. Anger. Regret. It doesn’t just have to be yearning for other people. If you ever feel lost, don’t look for yourself in another person. Don’t expect them to help you find yourself. You have to do it on your own, no matter how scary it seems. Once you stop doing that you’ll see a whole new way of life. And for the first time in a long time, I am slightly excited about being alive. (slightly excited is a step better than wanting to die, right?)
So I haven’t posted in a while and it’s because yes, I did lose my taste for onion rings. Unfortunately. I felt like I didn’t have anything else to write about that anybody would want to read but I feel like I should share my experiences in the past few months since my moms death, this is going to be a long post so grab some snacks. My mom committed suicide February 21st. My whole world stopped and to be honest, it still hasn’t started spinning again yet. My life changed immensely that day. And it continued to change with the choices I was making to try to get past what happened. Right now, I can admit I went about it in the wrong way. I ran from it. I ran from my family, my friends, the people who were trying to help me. I didn’t want to be near anybody who had known my mom, and had known how close I was to her and how much I had been affected. So I moved as far as I could think of. Literally across the country, to Las Vegas to be with my boyfriend. Thinking that because I was so far away, the anger would go away. The pain would stop. The bad days would cease. But they didn’t. Everything kept happening, even worse than before because I essentially had nobody. I was lost. I’m not saying I’m not lost now, just not as lost. I tried everything I could to make my life better, to make it my version of perfect. To make it my boyfriends version of perfect really, not mine. Thinking that if I made him happy I could be happy. But he wasn’t happy, and neither was I. Shortly after I moved here, it all fell apart. Our first night in our apartment we got robbed. I should’ve took that as a sign to go back home, to the people who cared about me. But I kept trying because I didn’t want to be the person who gave up so easily. We moved into a new apartment, got it all together. We had everything we wanted but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy, and once I realized I couldn’t keep waiting around for happiness everything changed. I started demanding respect from my boyfriend, and not even a day later we had broken up. I’ve had a couple days to reflect on my relationship and myself. I want to share a few things I’ve learned, in hopes of helping another person I guess. I learned that an abusive relationship doesn’t just have to be physical. It can be emotional and psychological. An emotionally and psychologically abusive person will threaten to commit suicide if you dump them. They will throw things you told them in confidence about your past in your face during an argument. They will convince you you’re crazy, and that you’re the one that needs to change. They will throw everything they can think of in your face during an argument just to hurt you, and the most hurtful things will come when you try to leave them. And leaving them is the hardest thing to do. Love is many things, but it shouldn’t be abusive. Love shouldn’t say “I miss the person you were before your mom died.” Because trust me, I do too. Love isn’t “nobody’s going to put up with you like I do.” Love isn’t “shut the f*** up, you’re a bitch.” And then “I was just mad. You shouldn’t yell at me like that.” Love is many things, but it shouldn’t be abusive. I don’t know how many times I can repeat that. And of course I still love this person. There’s a reason why I stayed so long and tried so hard. There’s a reason why a part of me wants to continue doing so. But there’s a stronger part of me who knows what’s best for myself even if it’s not what’s best for my relationship. Ever since my mom died, I’ve been angry. I’ve been sad. I’ve been irritable and irrational. But I have been working on it. I am trying. I know I can get past these angry feelings inside of me. And I know I don’t have the right to take my anger out on somebody else. But I also know that I am more than the negative feelings my moms death has brought to me. I’m more than the events in my life that have made me hard. I can learn how to be soft again. I can learn how to love again. I can learn it all again, alone. I truly believe in myself again and I think that’s what help me make the decision to move back to Tennessee and be my own person and grow up a little, because I can’t do it with someone pointing out the negatives every day. You learn to grow when you’re being watered. Even if you have to water yourself.
Before I had the idea of actually rating onion rings, I would usually get them at every restaurant I went to. It all started at Cheddars when I went to a birthday dinner for my boyfriend and some wonderful people. Since then I tried getting them as much as possible because like I said, liking onions was a new feeling to me. So now, I’m going to do a rate of the onion rings I’ve had from different places before I had the idea of writing a blog.
It started at Cheddars in Lakeland, Florida. These guys were amazing. The serving size for an appetizer was massive. Honestly I think these were the best ones I’ve had, but that might be because these were the ones I had my onion ring revelation on. Following those, I’ve had onion rings at Splitsville in Orlando, Florida, Buffalo Wild Wings in Tampa, Florida, and at The Pier in Anna Maria, Florida. Splitsvilles’ were definitely something else because they were so good and came in a decent sized order for the price. It was pretty cheap compared to what the other things on their menu were priced at, but then again they actually weren’t even on the menu. I guess along with rating onion rings, I’m exposing places who sell onion rings but don’t have them on the menu. Splitsville is one of them and definitely worth trying. The rings I had in Anna Maria were impressive as well. So many onion rings for such a little body. I ended up taking them home to my boyfriend and he reheated them in the oven and they were still good. These would be in a close second with Splitsville if they didn’t give my boyfriend gas. I wanted to save the worst for last… Buffalo Wild Wings. Horrible. They were limp and not cooked well at all. The crispy part of the onion ring fell apart as soon as you bit it, and the onion was all flimsy and yuck. I won’t be getting the onion rings from there ever again.
Now that you guys are caught up with my past adventures, I will be posting a weekly official rating of new restaurants/onion rings. And maybe even a home made recipe every once in a while. 🙂
So for my first official onion ring rating I will be doing the side order of beer battered onion rings at a cute (pretty hipster) restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. The restaurant is called Stock and Barrel located in Market Square. The restaurant was quaint but fancy looking, so I expected a lot when trying their rings. It had very dim lighting, you know the kind of light bulbs that hang from the ceiling. Very chic looking but also not good if you’re having one of your grandparents meet you there because they won’t be able to read the menu. Along with the hipster lights hanging all around, everything had a nice wood finish and the tables were small and close together. Pretty dapper place but, back to the important things. The onion rings. To be honest, they LOOKED perfect. They felt amazing biting into them, nice and crispy and golden. When you bit into them, the fried outsides didn’t fall apart and you weren’t left with a limp onion ring. The bad thing about them though, was the actual taste. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible but the taste of the onion itself wasn’t the best. I ate as many as I could, obviously they were still tasty but I have had better.
Size of rings- 7/10
How well rings were cooked/prepared- 9/10
Taste of rings- 6/10
Serving size (for side item)- 8/10
So a while ago I made a post on my Facebook asking if anybody would read a blog that rated onion rings, and a few people said yes. Obviously enough people said yes for me to create one… So I bring to you, The Onion Ringer. Featuring my opinions on many different onion rings. Of course, I will be writing about other things at some point, probably more food based things because eventually I will (might) get tired of onion rings. Honestly, I have always been a really picky eater and never really had tried anything that had to do with onions because I thought I didn’t like them. Boy, was I wrong, my life has changed significantly since I tried onion rings for the first time. Many things not actually having to do with onion rings themselves, a lot having to do with my mom passing away and me dropping out of school and moving away, etc., etc. One thing that has stayed consistent in my life though, is food. Golden, crispy onion rings in particular. If you’re a foodie like me, or if you just love reading dumb things to waste time also like me (hey Buzzfeed), you should enjoy my ratings on food from different eateries.