You’re Not Hungry Enough

A good friend and I were having a very intense conversation late one night (much like the majority of our nightly convos), and this one was about careers and life goals. I was complaining about the lack of creativity in my corporate role, while he was proclaiming his anticipation of finally being able to do what he loves on a full-time basis. I made the mistake of telling him that I wish I felt that way about what I do, and thus, the probing began.

Creative Mind

He asked me to think about what I loved to do; something I would do, even if I didn’t get paid for it. I threw out a couple of things I like doing, but then I said, “If I could do anything full-time, something I absolutely love, it would be to create, to write”. Of course, he says, “There you go. Do that”. And like many people, I began throwing out excuses: no time, kids, this, that, yada yada yada. He quickly and quietly shut down my negativity monologue though. “You don’t want it that bad then. You’re not hungry enough”.

Baby Birds

That comment gave me pause. Because of course, when it comes to work, I try my best, I work hard, so I almost felt offended that someone would insinuate that I wasn’t hungry! I bust my behind with everything I do, because my hunger and competitive spirit doesn’t allow me to be anything but the best. When I really thought about it though, I realized that my work-life really isn’t my best. It’s the best for someone else. It doesn’t give me an extreme sense of satisfaction. It doesn’t make me feel like I’ve contributed anything awesome to society. Essentially, my “best” isn’t bringing value or meaningful growth to ME.

Live Your Best Life

I decided to take that comment as a challenge, and start making goals that would reignite that feeling of competitiveness, of usefulness, of hunger. But not just goals that I’ll write down, walk away from, and barely remember. I want them to make me accountable, not to everyone else, but to myself. Sometimes, we allow circumstances to shift our focus away from where we want to be in life, and we create excuses for that shift, instead of making changes. Excuses are null and void for me now; I’m ready to create change.

 

 

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And Then, There Was One

Losing “couple” status is quite an interesting experience. In my new-found singledom, I’ve been finding out some things about myself, about the people interact with, and just life in general. I’ve been focused on rebuilding my public persona – well, maybe rebuilding isn’t the appropriate word, we’ll use “redefining” – and I have started to notice that being single in a group of couples is akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole (sorry for the oft-used cliche). It can be awkward, and not just because you’re constantly alone, but because when it’s still so fresh, you just feel like you’re floating around in the group. Your brain is telling you that you and your friends are the same people, with the same outlook on life, and the same goals, but the reality of the situation is that it has all changed, and drastically. You feel like you’re “one of them”; however, you’ve been unintentionally and unwillingly ousted from the club. And your friends, they try so hard to make you not feel like a weirdo. Sometimes, they can’t help it, and the result is that you just want to tuck yourself into a little ball and become invisible. If you are a coupled friend of a newly single one, there are some things that you can do to aid this life-changing, life-altering transition.

Break Up

Stop assuming that your friend will not want to join in your reindeer games.

So a breakup can be traumatizing, and if it is a difficult one, your friend will probably want support and some sense of normalcy. You, as a coupled friend, may be thinking, oh, he/she doesn’t want to hang out with us, since it’ll be, I don’t know, two couples and single person. And single friend may have thought, or even uttered the words, “I don’t want to be the third wheel!” The thing is, if you plan things and leave them out because you don’t want them to feel weird, chances are, they may just feel hurt. If you really think they’ll have fun with the activity, just invite them. Let them decide if they want to do it or not. And obviously, use discretion too. If it’s like, seven couples and your single friend, you can probably let them know, but understand that they will more than likely say nahhh.

Third Wheel

Stop trying to replace their former partner.

This one is hard, especially since the single person may feel like they’re missing out on all the fun couple things, and the coupled friends want their “old friend” back, who used to enjoy doing said couple things. So they start deciding to host events and strategically invite single people, and then talk them up to the single friend, in hopes that a love connection will blossom. Six months into a breakup, sure, that’s reasonable. Six days? Probably not a good idea. When you’ve got a bunch of couples, and two single people who don’t know each other, the stress of interacting with each other is at an all time high. For someone who hasn’t experienced what the single life is all about, this can be a little daunting. Have some patience with them. Understand that they want a replacement, but it will probably be on their own terms (Disclaimer: if there is a hot doctor, lawyer, construction worker, Michael B. Jordan, this rule does not apply).

Feel free to replace with him

Learn to be their friend again.

I’m not saying you guys suddenly stopped being real friends when you were all in couples. But sometimes, it’s difficult to understand your newly single friend outside of their couple personality. If it’s a friendship you value, make it a point to spend some alone time with them, and understand that they’re probably going to go on and on about the demise of their relationship, or their single escapades, or both. This is especially crucial in the months after their breakup. They may be confused, hurt, and just want someone to support and empathize with them. A friendship (or a relationship, for that matter) isn’t just about the fun times, the easy times. It’s when someone goes through a major life event that tests the true strength of those relationships.

Friends

A lot of things happen because your coupled friends just want everything to be back to normal, and they don’t want to feel uncomfortable. I’ve been majorly lucky with the couple friends I have, and it’s probably because a lot of them were already my good friends before we were all wifed up. They are great, and although they don’t truly understand what I’m going through (and I pray they never will), they do what they can to be supportive.

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