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 modern mating calls

    First I must preface this by saying some recent conversations and experiences I had– and also this article sparked this post. Dating and “talking” or whatever people want to call it– is so confusing nowadays. I miss those days when a guy would ask a woman on a date, face to face, and then they’d actually talk on the phone and hear each other’s voices, and get to know each other. What happened? I feel like now people just.. cyber stalk and text. It’s a little sad. I feel like in recent years, and this is me speaking from my personal experiences with the opposite sex, men do not really approach women the same way. Guys will be so bold as to add me on Facebook before asking for my phone number, or guys will ask me on a date via-text instead of in person. There’s something “unmanly” about it, to me at least. I cannot think of a better word for it, but it’s such a turn off for me. Maybe that’s not the right word, but it’s the only one resonating with me at this moment. I think I’d be, unfortunately, impressed if a guy just came up to me and was so bold enough to ask me on a date. Impressed only because no one really does that anymore– not from my recent experiences at least and also I’m extremely unapproachable. Or so people say.

    Now, it’s so easy to be brave and say whatever you want with technology. I get a lot of shy guys trying to talk to me through these other outlets, but they won’t say anything so brave to me in person? Really? It doesn’t really work for me because I’m a shy and introverted person, for the most part, and you can’t have two shy people in a relationship.. I cannot be with someone who is shy. Cannot. I’m sure it’s great for women who mesh well with shy guys, for this gal right here? Negative.

    Technology is wonderful in so many ways, but in so many ways it takes away from being personal. I’m a personal person. I don’t like having shallow relationships with people. I love getting to know people for who they are and everything that encompasses. Now, I feel like people are getting to know each other less, and we really do not get that face-to-face interaction that’s needed. For example, I really hate conversing via-text. I’m not talking about just tiny things, I mean I DESPISE having a conversation about nothing through text messages. I cannot emphasize that enough to my friends. Oh, you’re shopping? That’s great. It’s not. I don’t like to stay glued to my phone for an hour for a conversation that takes 2 seconds in real life. I don’t. If I like you, as a friend or whatever, I want to see you and hang out or talk on the phone. I’m a text with purpose kind of gal. Plus, if you want to converse with me so badly, you should probably give me your undivided attention, because the last thing I want to be is your afterthought while you’re really focusing on what produce to get at the grocery store. And that gets two snaps.

    Plus, have you ever had an argument with a significant other via text? Stupid. It’s stupid, is what it is.

    Maybe I’m just an old soul, finding it hard it hard to even find someone who I want to get to know in this app-loving, snapchatting world in which we live. Who knows. But really, where are those men now?

    On breaking up.. with friends

    So you have this friend. You’ve been friends with this person for a while.. a few years maybe. You’ve been friends since you were teenagers and you went through that weird phase in your late teens/early twenties. You’re getting towards your mid-twenties and you notice that you two are heading in different directions. You notice that the friendship is starting to be one-sided and more of a hassle than it’s worth. You notice that the energy when you’re around said person is quite depressing and it makes you want to hang yourself (figuratively.. of course).

    This was me a few years ago. This was me with quite a few people in my life. I believe that there are pivotal moments in your life where you’re going to change, and your relationships with people either have to change or they get left behind. I had these moments where I had to step away from someone because our relationship just wasn’t serving either one of us and it was hard, man. It’s hard to let go of something that you put years into.. your soul, your secrets into.. it’s hard to let go of a person that you made so many memories with but sometimes it’s necessary.

    Like romantic relationships, I am all about breaking up with your friends for the greater good. I stumbled across an old Tumblr I had– I don’t know why I have two Tumblrs.. actually, but anyway I saw this post and it was racking my brain because I could not for the life of me think of any guy I was dating at that time! Then it Break Up dawned on me.. I was talking about a female friend. Dear God. How emotionally loaded was that post?! Granted, I’m still very much so the same, but I think I handle these type of situations differently– posting on a blog while I’m emotionally heated is not one of them. I was reading it and was so horrified by how “raw” I was about it. I wrote exactly what was on my mind, unfiltered and unafraid. I’m surprised there weren’t more f-bombs thrown in to be quite honest. It brought back so many memories, I don’t think any of my friends realized how frazzled I was about that relationship. It was so unbelievably unhealthy. I audibly sighed out loud just thinking of that emotional roller coaster.

    But back to my main point.. I was at a point where I could not keep holding onto something that wasn’t working and I believe a lot of people have felt that way about a friendship at one point in time. People, you gotta let it go. Keep in mind, I’m not saying just throw out all those hard relationships or anything. I think if a friendship is salvageable, and worth it, you ought to fight for it. But if there’s nothing there, and you’re at the end of your rope and you’ve already tried talking it out and cannot come to a consensus, then you better walk away. Unfortunately, breaking up with a friend is not so easy, but hey neither are the other kind of breakups. The right way is often not the easy way, but it’s so much better in the long run.

    On niceness and stalking

    Communication.  It’s one of my favorite topics.  I’m a woman of little words, however, when I do talk– I mean what I say and I say what I mean.  I’m honest.  I believe when communicating something very important to you, you better speak about it and make sure the message you intend for your audience it received in a way that there is little to no error.  I especially think it’s important when it comes to matters of the opposite sex.

    I was speaking with my friend J yesterday and she was telling me about a new coworker that had been a  little too talkative.  He was asking too many damn questions.. you know.  That guy.  Anyway, I was telling her that she better let him know that she’s not interested, and just try to nip this in the bud now before it becomes a bigger problem.  Then she tells me something that I hear too often from other women I know– she doesn’t want to be mean

    Mean?  Really?!  I’m surprised* people still think this way.  I didn’t know that being honest about never being interested in someone is such a horrible.. impolite thing to do.  Personally, I think being strung along is way worse.. don’t you think?  Because if someone is obviously flirting with you, and you don’t do something to stop it early I feel like they think that you’re actually OK with it– which it’s not 90% of the time.  I mean, there’s a way to go about it– you just can’t go up to people and say, “hey, I’d never ever sleep with you.” then proceed to laughing gleefully in their face.  That would definitely convey that “never happening” message clearly, but I believe in tact.. whenever possible.  One shouldn’t be afraid to be honest just because the other person isn’t going to like it, especially if you have an awkward situation on your hands.  And by awkward, I mean stalker situation.

    *I’m not really surprised, I just think it’s stupid..