On lessons, hard learned

It’s about to be my 26th birthday! Actually it’s about 2 months away, but if you’re younger than me– you learn as you get older that time will start flying by so quickly. I looked at the date today like– what? May’s almost over? GTFOH. So much has happened in this past almost year, I do not even know where to start. I’m about 2/3s finished with my Masters degree, that’s assuming by the grace of God I passed my second term. Questioning the status of my pending Master’s degree aside– so… too much has happened this year. Good things, bad things, and most importantly– lessons that are learned in the most obnoxious and painful route possible also known as the hard way. Literal growing pains hurt, but in my opinion, figurative ones hurt way more. Then again, once you get over that discomfort, certain lessons bring a much needed and way overdue sigh of relief. And without further ado, here are some things I’ve learned up until now in my short, almost-26 years of life:

Unequal friendships aren’t worth fighting for, and you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting your losses.
As I’ve previously stated before, breaking up with friends is a hard, but sometimes a very necessary thing to do. Perhaps one side is doing more than the other, and I’ve been on both sides of this problem, so I really do get it. I’ve found that in life, relationships will probably never be equal, and if you’re keeping score that in itself is a start to a bigger problem. However, there are some friendships that are so imbalanced you just need to let it go. Whether you’re the person who is being used, or you find yourself wondering why the other person is getting frustrated with you for not “_______ with them enough” even though you probably ______ with them more than people you actually like way more– but they don’t get it because their expectations go beyond the output you’re giving them. Honestly, who has time for that kind of effort if you’re really not into that friend as much as they are into you. I’m not saying, but I’m just saying.

But on a serious note, whether you find yourself putting too much effort into friendships and you’re tired– cut your losses while you can. Or if you’re the person who has a friend who is demanding way too much out of you because their perception of the relationship doesn’t meet yours– cut your loss if it’s not that important to you. Life’s too short for whiny acquaintances. No shade.

People need to stop being so reactive and start being proactive, especially when it comes to disputes.
If there’s anything I learned from my Organizational Behavior in Business class from undergrad, it’s that any and every miscommunication or falling out is a two-way street. People are so obsessed with playing a finger pointing game and wanting to be the innocent party, it’s so sickening and annoying. Let’s imagine for a second that you say something via text message and the recipient takes offense to it, even though you didn’t mean it in an offensive way. Simple thing, happens all the time when you communicate in an impersonal way where context is open for interpretation. Here are several ways in which it could/should play out:

  • The sender could get mad because the recipient got mad, which completely does not acknowledge the other person’s feelings and usually just drags out the argument.
  • The sender could try to explain how they didn’t mean it in the way that the other person took it, and apologize for the miscommunication– rarely happens.
  • Recipient won’t even tell the sender that they’re offended and just acts accordingly and proceeds to ignoring the other person without addressing the problem, which just creates another problem.. which then makes small issues bigger than they ever need to be.
  • The recipient, prior to getting mad, could assume that maybe they’re jumping to conclusions and ask whether the sender meant it in the way that this person initially thought it meant, thus avoiding that awkward moment in the first place. This is assuming that this communication is between people with a somewhat good relationship, because why would a logical person assume someone meant the worst thing ever? This is asking too much, because people are so irrational..
  • Anyway, you get my point here. Obviously, there are many more scenarios that could play out here, and in anything in life it is way too easy to just finger point to the other person and say you did this, you did that.. so easy. I think there’s something to say for people who acknowledge their part in any dispute, without accounting for who did this and that. Next time you get in an argument, if you can attempt to say “I” statements instead of “you” statements, you’ll probably solve things much quicker or at least come to some agreement. Or not. Some thangs ain’t worth fighting for, y’all… which another topic for another day.

    You can stop blaming your parents now.
    I think we can all say something about what our parents did wrong and how they should have done this and that for you. The older I get, the more I realize I need just let it go with my parents. I love them, I know they really tried their best. I get that some people, have had traumatic and downright abusive things happen to them, but I’m not referring to that. I’m talking about people that want to hold a grudge against their parents for not putting them in group sports or didn’t push them hard enough or their parents were too strict or they’re “damaged” because of their parents’ divorce or they were a latch key kid who was alone all the time. I get it. I’m sure the majority of people can find some kind of fault in their parents efforts. However, you have a choice in your life to hold grudges or not, and honestly the person persistent grudges hurt the most is you. There’s a certain level of enlightenment, where you realize that you have the choice of looking at things differently. Perception is reality, and how you feel about things can change as easy as you looking at things differently. Looking back, I just see people who tried to raise a daughter as best as they could, and that’s what matters most. I say this, because no person is perfect, and imperfect people grow up to be imperfect parents… and I like to believe that people do try their best in important situations. There are so many inner demons and issues that parents go through, and to be empathetic to them on a human to human level really is relieving for me.. rather than to think of them as selfish people who could have clearly made better choices. It’s so easy to look back and see errors, but you also need to move on and not let things hold you back, because after a certain point the only person holding you back is yourself.

    Don’t think you can pick up and leave for a new place without thinking you won’t leave a piece of your heart behind.
    I think prior to me leaving for London, I didn’t think I’d miss my friends and family so much. I feel like I took advantage of having my loved ones just a quick drive or impromptu flight away, because I really miss everyone back home so much more than I ever wanted to admit. Don’t get me wrong, I have met wonderful people here that’ll probably never get deleted from my Facebook friends list (JK, guys), but it doesn’t compare to having history with so many people. I’ve been through some thangs with friends back home, and I miss having that support system and being around people that genuinely love me because it’s so difficult sometimes when I need a good friend that’s truly on my side. And I’m not talking about any friend, I’m talking about the kind of friend that has seen you without makeup and looking homeless AF, and still publicly hangs out with you. The kind of friend who hates your man when you hate him, and will be right next to you shoving your face with ice cream while discussing your temporary hate of all men, and will still be by your side when you love him again. I’m talking about the kind of friend that knows your deep and dark secrets, and, surprisingly, doesn’t judge you for it. I’m talking about the ride or die friend that’ll get into some mess with you at the last second and doesn’t ask any ridiculous questions like “are you going to get arrested for this?”. Some people just aren’t that down. Sometimes, I just need that friend. Like, it’s rare, but it does happen. Sometimes Skype doesn’t cut it really, because my heart is deep in the heart of Texas.. and some other parts of the US. Anyway my point is, I miss my loved ones. I can’t wait to see you all soon!

    This 25th year of my life has been.. interesting in a good way. I have loved myself, I have hated myself. I have met awesome people that taught me more things than a classroom ever has, and that kind of education is priceless. I’m right at that point where I have to grow up, although I’m still finding ways not to. I’m serious. But I love myself at 25 way more than any other year, and some interesting things are about to happen! Maybe I’ll blog more about said things. I say this every year, I think.. we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath.

    On my 16-year old self

    Dear Lyka (circa 2004),

    Ten(ish) years from this point in your life your life will not be how you expected it to be, and that’s OK. As your older self, I can tell you that your life changes for the better. You will face many challenges, but I want to let you know you become a stronger woman because of it.

    At 16, you were emotional, dramatic, and just a typical 16 year old girl. You won’t grow out of that emotional and over-dramatic thing, for the record, but you learn to hone it.. most of it. It’s ok, it’s a part of you and you will find that the right people accept you as you are. You will outgrow most of your friends, and it’ll be an extremely hard pill for you to swallow, but the friends you get later in life are amazing people with whom you have more in common– and you will always have a place in your heart for your old friends. Always.

    Your heart will break several times over– you will do things you shouldn’t have done and will laugh later at why you would ever let people get to you so much. You learn that while people may hurt you, and you cannot help how you feel, you can control how you react– that lesson took a long time, but you will eventually get there. There will be several moments where you think this is the end of the world, and I’m letting you know it really isn’t. Not even close. You will look back at the couple of guys you were so in love with and thank God that it never worked out, because you really change a lot in your 20s. Like, a lot. You will unfortunately become a hardened and bitter woman because of your experiences, but in your mid-20s you realize that perhaps instead of looking at your exes as mistakes and look at them more as.. learning experiences and you grow from it. There is winning, and then there are learning experiences. Don’t beat yourself up for going after what you wanted in the moment, and then learning it wasn’t a good fit for you– it’s how you learn about yourself. I mean.. so Dad was right about that boyfriend of yours that was no good.. a girl’s gotta learn right? The older you get, the better your intuition becomes and the sooner you accept the validity of your inner voice– the more you’ll flourish. While I can’t say that you found someone 10 years from now, I can happily report you won’t settle for less than what you deserve, girl!

    Even at 25, you are still learning about yourself, and you’re getting better at accepting the quirks of your personality. You are really quite charming… in an off-color, awkward sort of way, if I do say so myself. Wink. You just have to learn to accept yourself. So your brain never shuts up– you learn you’re introverted. So you’re quick to pick up things about people– you’re an intuitive person. So you like doing random things and going to random places– you’re quite adventurous when you’re not wanting to nap. So you lolly gag a lot when you should be doing more important things– you won’t grow out of that procrastination.. I’m serious, don’t hold your breath.. but you do get shit done at your own pace and no one else’s. You eventually quit fighting your nature, and that’s where it all begins. I can also happily say that no matter how cynical you think you are or appear to be, you really are an optimist. You really believe in the good in people, and when you’re looking for good– you’ll find it.

    You will grow so much more outside of the myopic view you have of yourself. Don’t worry so much, life gets much better. You will learn not to need other people’s validation, especially a guy’s validation. You will learn not to care so much about petty things, and focus on becoming a better person for you and you only– not because some guy tells you you can’t do something. You will learn to weed out the negativity in your life and fill it with love. You will eventually love yourself, even though it will be a bumpy road getting there. Last thing, don’t be so hard on yourself.. you are doing so much better than you ever give yourself credit for– embrace those small victories because you will go much farther than you can even imagine.

    On worthiness

    I have been trying to blog all week. Five drafts later here we are. Yesterday morning while I was wasting time before I actually got out of bed, because I cannot just pop out of bed like normal people, I read this article a friend posted and literally hopped out of bed immediately just to write this.

    Aside from the obvious misogynistic point of view, I’m kind of sad because now I feel as if have to tell my 2875846 nonexistent lovers that we need to stop having meaningless sex so that I can eventually end up with a guy that does the exact same thing because he’s entitled to do so because he’s the man and it’s expected but that I should really just wear a chastity belt on my lady parts. Run-on sentence. Really guys*? Not that I’m this unicorn he speaks of, but I consider that aspect of my life super tame, because I don’t even remember what sex is. Sorry, you can’t unknow that now. And for the record, it’s not because of what guys like that think.


    What if I wanted to be like this guy? What if I wanted to be the proverbial slut that has “no dignity or morals”? As a modern woman that seemingly has a lot going for her, I feel like I shouldn’t be judged over it. It’s 2013. I had this conversation with a guy friend just the other day about double standards– he asked me why do women feel that there is such a stigma to NSA sex, and I gave him a damn good answer my opinion: whether it’s true for some people or not, that double standard exists. I also told him that I think men are generally are better at compartmentalizing that aspect of their life, but that’s just from my observation. I don’t agree with it, and I think it’s ridiculous that there are people out there that still equate a woman’s worth based on this. It just alludes to the fact that we are still being seen as objects and not people. Times are changing though, and while this concept is still out there, I’m hopeful that most guys aren’t like that right?? Well, at least the guys I know personally.

    But I digress, just because a group of small-minded people think this way, it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want ladies! While I think that there should be a certain degree of self-awareness of why you do things, whether they’re for the right reasons or not (both men or women), sometimes you just want to go out and get some strange. Do some shit that you know is bad for you. Shit that makes you wake up the next morning saying hmm.. I probably shouldn’t’ve done that. But oh the hell well, lesson learned. I’ve had my moments, but now I’m at the age where I think about doing certain things..

    Only because I know myself more than when I was in my early 20s, lost, had little sense of identity and was doing dumb stuff all the time. Probably not all the time, but it felt like it looking back. The magical thing about getting older is you tend to care less what other people think of you and just become who you were meant to become– or something like that. The people who are meant to be in your life will accept who you are– I mean, so what if I have several lovers post ridiculous memes, have a foul mouth, and can eat my weight in cookies? That malarkey aside, I’m an honest person who means what she says, loves meaningful conversations and hates small talk, and among other things.. if you know me, then you already know how I am. If you don’t know me, well I am whatever you think I am, I suppose. My point is, those dark spots on your life that people will judge you for do not define you– especially how many sexual partners you have and if someone thinks of less because of it, well you’re better off without that person in your life. Unless it’s like 100+ partners.. then that’s a whole different story. We may need to have a heart to heart about some thangs..

    At first this article really ticked me off, like.. really. Then after a day of thinking about it, it just became more laughable. Smart women know the difference between a good guy and a misogynistic asshole– obviously this guy being the latter. I consider myself a very strong woman, so naturally I gravitate towards strong men, and this guy.. weak. Also, as a strong woman, I know that the opinions of the weak don’t define you.. nor should any one else’s, but especially those that are close-minded. Mhmm.

    A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.

    Coco Chanel

    * Before I receive hate mail from my guy friends– I get it. Not all guys are like this, blah blah. I get it.