You Need to Cut It

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about aspects of your life that you KNOW you need to change, and you kind of brush it off like, yeah yeah whatever. You hear them, but you’re not truly listening to what they’re saying. We all like to think we’re completely right, and for the most part, you should listen to your own instincts and not let others give too much input into your life and the direction it should take. But those same things you’ve brushed off, you suddenly see or hear somewhere else? Literally days, or even hours after the conversation? This just happened to me, as I debated on whether or not to write a blog post about the same themes that continue to play a significant role in my life. A friend of mine (I say friend even though we’ve never met in real life but appreciate each other’s posts consistently) on Instagram posted five things that needed to be gone from her life, and dammit if three of those things didn’t pop right out at me and poke me in the eye.

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First up? Living in the past. How many times have I rode the shoulda coulda woulda train. If train of yesteryear has annual passes, I must be a platinum member. This evening, I was discussing all of the reasons why I don’t feel like I’ve done enough in my life, and I focused on all of the things I wanted to do but didn’t get to do. Everyone has this grand plan for their lives, and while some people can get hit with a detour and regroup and move on, others move through the detour and still worry about the path they never got to see. I am notorious for being that person, unfortunately. Shoulda went to this college, coulda had that experience, woulda been that person. I never stop to think about the fact that, had I followed my desired path, I may not be where I am today. Sure, my life may have been great, but I would most definitely not be the person I am today. My detour shaped me, and although rough at times, it molded me into someone with resiliency, persistence, and maturity.

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Fearing change. Okay, this is a funny one to me. For someone who has gone through so much change in the past four years, I still despise it. I love adventure and new experiences, but I somehow want everything in my life to stay intact. It’s like playing a Sims game and enjoying the new world, but coming back to the comfort of sameness when you log off. I’ve written posts about embracing change, not because I do it with excitement and eagerness, but because it’s something I have to do and realize the importance of. This past year, I literally threw caution to the wind, took a chance, and moved across the country. I had no concrete plan, but I somehow knew it would work out. I was fearless in making the decision, yet somehow I wasn’t fearless throughout the process. I hated almost every moment of it, because every day the planning yanked me out of my comfort zone. The fact that my relationship has managed to stay intact is amazing to me (I’m a lucky gal). And even though I made the biggest leap and came out virtually unscathed from it, I’m still not settled yet. I’m still adjusting to the change, but I’m not afraid of it anymore. But, should something new come up, I can’t promise that it won’t come with growing pains and a little bit (read: a lot) of resistance. I hope though, that the fear that has clouded past changes can be replaced with mild annoyance, at least.

Broken Cookie Jar

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Overthinking. Whooooo, this is me me me. I’ve gotten better through the years, but my goodness. I am guilty of re-reading a text message or email and assigning my own interpretation of it. Did you know that, “If that’s what you want” can have a thousand different meanings? And usually not the meaning the person who sent it intended for it? Being an over-thinker has caused me pain, confusion, and just plain sadness. It’s difficult for me to believe that when people say things, there is no underlying meaning, and they only mean what has been said. It’s a horrible habit, believing someone is out to con you, that they can’t be trusted. I’m finally learning to accept things at face value, and not spend all of my precious time and energy trying to discern an alternative interpolation of it. It is very easy to be in a bad mood and follow the rabbit down his hole of despair, but it’s so not worth it, trust me. You can’t control other people nor their intentions, but you can control your response to both. Accept what is and reject what’s not.

Couple Couple

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We all have things that we need to work on, things that recur to the point that we feel like we’re living out a scene in Groundhog Day. We may feel like we’re alone in our issues, that others don’t suffer from the same sort of self-criticism and self-deprecation that we so generously stow upon ourselves. Sometimes, it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone, and that we all can’t stand who we are (kidding!). But seriously, realizing that we’re only human, just like those around us, can provide a first step in moving forward from the behaviors that may be holding us back.

 

 

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Unveiling the Unavailable

I feel as if I haven’t written about relationships in a while, and the inspiration hit when I was having a discussion with a friend on the way home from work today. We were dissecting something I’d read that examined being attracted to and attracting unavailable people (both physically and emotionally), and ultimately, forging faux-lationships with them. Either the person approaches them, expecting them to be receptive to their advances, or, they find themselves drawn to those who are either in relationships, married, or just not ready for committment. This topic can be a little heavy, because people feel judged if they’re currently in them, or have been in them. I truly believe that, for the majority of people, they don’t go out actively seeking unavailable people. If anything, they like to believe that they are doing quite the opposite – avoiding them, ignoring them, or rejecting them. Every once in a while though, one of them finds you and somehow senses your internal unavailability as well, and BAM!, you’re sucked in. Against your better judgement, you engage in behaviors and activities that make you question your moral compass, all the while asking yourself how you allowed yourself to end up in such a situation. Understand that you are not a bad person, and there are a few reasons why this is happening to you (before you read them though, end that toxic relationship!).The convo caused me to do a little bit of further research (cough-cough Google) to find out why this “phenomena” keeps occurring.

Advice

People meet you at your level of broken-ness. This point was brought up in an article I read on Huffington Post, Why Do I Keep Attracting Unavailable People. It discussed how a fear of committment within two different people can somehow draw them to each other, because they recognize attributes, almost subconsciously, in each other. I’ll bring it back to something even more simple: misery indeed loves company. For some strange reason, we tend to believe that others in our dismal situation will somehow give us space to improve on ourselves. In reality, that broken energy is just being pushed back and forth between the two people. Instead of addressing their wounds, they’re feeding off of each other, and as a result, never completely heal themselves.

Pretty Girl

Having someone who’s unavailable gives you space to be unavailable as well. We all probably know of someone who has been/is a side dude or chick, and seems to be comfortable in that space. Sure, they complain about always being alone at night, and not being able to parade their love out in public, but for the most part, they’re happy with the situation they’re in. They claim that it’s easy, that it doesn’t require much from them, that it’s better than a full-fledged relationship. But guess what? It’s NOT. Not easy, and surely not better. If anything, it feeds the painful parts of you with more pain, and keeps you immobile. You get stuck putting enormous amounts of energy and life into something that shouldn’t even have come alive. Sure, you’re busy, and it seems like a quick fix, but we all make time for the things we deem important. When you find an available person that you’re really feeling, best believe you will do everything in your power to make room for them in your life.

Burning Bottle

You have daddy/mommy issues. Okay, hear me out on this one. I’m not suggesting that you need to go see a psychiatrist asap or anything. Many of us, especially if you grew up where I grew up, didn’t have the healthiest of home lives to mimic or learn from. Some of us had absentee parents, and whether we want to admit it or not, that dynamic has shaped our relationships. We’re afraid of getting deeper, of truly entrusting our love with someone else, so being in the faux-lationship is the best possible option. It allows us to relieve ourselves of having to be vulnerable and potentially being hurt, but you know what else it does? It also prevents us from being open to receiving the love we truly crave. Holding on to that which isn’t ours serves as a repellant to what we should be embracing, what we deserve. Yes, it’s great that you can live in a fantasy world that doesn’t require you to struggle in the deep end from time to time, but for how long? At what point do you decide that the shallow end just doesn’t fill your soul?

A Note from the Kanye School of Thought

I just watched a clip of Kanye West on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Yes, of Kanye West. Now, I realize a lot of people may not be a fan of his, because of his cockiness, his rudeness, his oft-occurring a**hole-ish-ness. I too have said, I’m over Kanye, he’s a cancer on society, his time is over, whatever. But after watching the sheer truth in this clip, my respect level for him has increased. Whether you love him or hate him, this man is intelligent, and a true artist and business man. I’m not going to give you a blanket statement – I’ll also give you some of what I saw in there, some points I came away with, that you can utilize for your own life.

Don’t let other people define who you are. 

We tend to start a career, or our education, with one goal in mind. Maybe it’s to be an engineer, or an actor, or we’re chasing a dream in the medical field. And we gain these accolades, these diplomas and degrees, and suddenly, we’re a Bio-Engineer, or Doctor whomever, or an accomplished dramatic performer. Just because that’s one of our hats, doesn’t mean it has to be our only hat. Oftentimes though, we let other people decide for us that this is who we are. We become scared to branch out from that, for fear of what others may think, or perceived dilution of our credibility in which we worked so hard for. Why should what “they” think matter though? It is up to you to decide who you, how multi-faceted you can be.

Tattooed Woman

Never stop learning new things. 

I think it’s great when someone can be whole-heartedly dedicated to a particular craft, and pour themselves into perfecting it. I don’t think it’s great though, when that’s all they do. You know the type – they eat, breathe, and sleep body-building, but have a hard time with conversing about anything not fitness related. By isolating your research and learning to just one interest, you’re actually providing a disservice to yourself. And truth be told, most of the best new ideas come out of the intersection of different careers and hobbies. Imagine: there would be no smartphones if someone didn’t allow themselves to learn about computers, and instead limited themselves to the world of telephony. Be a student of life.

Guitarist

Know who you are – believe in yourself. 

In the video clip, Kanye says that he doesn’t care what others say, because he knows who he is. He said his mother always taught him to believe in himself, and that’s just what he does (much to the chagrin of the public). But you cannot truly hate someone who is that certain about who they are, and if you do, chances are, you aren’t focused enough on who YOU are. Some people are easily swayed through different schools of thinking, or perceiving themselves based on what they encounter with other people. When you don’t know who you are, your personality – hell, your soul! – is always in flux. You’ll find yourself scrambling about, feeling unsure, because you aren’t steadfast in your own being. You have to make a conscious, concerted effort to make sure you are being true to who you are. And if you don’t know where to start, a great book to help you find your purpose is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Ripped Jeans

Kanye West is a lot of things (and many of them include a curse word of some sort), but one thing he is not is someone else. I urge all of you to use some of those lessons from the Kanye School of Thought, and apply them to your own lives. Love yourself as much as Kanye loves Kanye. Who knows – you could uncover some hidden greatness in your own spirit!

Multi-Racial Misfit

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