Archive for July, 2012

Validation
July 30, 2012

It’s the moment that you know that you made the right decision regarding a relationship. Maybe you had a gut feeling about a guy and you walked away from a seemingly perfect relationship that made your friends want to tear their hair out in frustration/confusion. A few weeks/months later you find out he just had a shotgun wedding with pregnant bride and you can smile and say, “Phew, dodged that bullet”!

You walk away from a job and the boss lashes out at you for “abandoning a golden opportunity” and you berate yourself for not being strong enough to continue with the passive aggressive abuse/career training. As time passes you see that no one is able to withstand that torture for longer than 6 months thanks to the revolving door of job postings. A great “it’s not me, it’s you” moment showing you’re not actually weak at all.

On a night out on the town you see your old crew and for a second it looks like they’re having an absolute blast without you. But you take a closer look and you notice the bartender giving the waitress the signal to cut them off. You see the busboy cleaning up the broken glass under the table from a tipsy spill that you know too well. Then you see the friend who replaced you as team babysitter and know exactly what the rest of her night is going to be like. In that moment you smile to yourself, clink you drink with some drama-free friends and toast to a fantastic night that doesn’t involve crying, falling down, paying for an entire table full of drinks, and threats of being kicked out followed by threats of DUIs if you can’t get everyone into a cab.

We’ve all had felt that twinge of fear or regret. Did I make the right choice? What would my life have been like if I had stuck with option A instead of B? Most times we aren’t given a window to see what that would have looked like and in low moments it’s easier to go with the grass is always greener philosophy. That boss would have become tolerable and would have let me move up within the company. I could have been living happily ever after with that guy. That’s why these little peeks are so fantastic and incredibly inspiring. My life path has jumped all over the place but you know what, I know I’m still heading in the right direction and I’ve corrected for errors or oops situations from my past.

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Check Please
July 30, 2012

You’re on a date from hell and the man sitting across from you says something that pushes you over the edge. You raise your hand mid bite of salad and say “Check please” to any waiter within earshot that might be able to help you escape from the clutches of this horrifying evening.

While I’ve never gotten the chance to do this on a date I have done it in life. There comes a time when you just have to tap out and walk away from the relationship. The drama and the stress aren’t worth the fun, if the fun even still occurs. While I enjoy helping my friends through rough patches and cheering them on through great moments of triumph I also know my limits and when I just don’t have anything left to give. The relationship has gone septic and there’s no hope for recovery.

You know you’ve reached this point when you pull the plug and you breathe a sigh of relief instead of sadness. Sure you had some great times that you’ll always remember and laugh about but as the months and years have passed the fun came to a screeching halt. Sometimes this can occur with a singular incident that you simply can’t move past from while others, like my most current was a long time coming. A night of silly fun would be followed by a day of hassle and drama. And as time progressed the drama began to overtake the enjoyable moments until I took a step back and realized I hadn’t had a “good” time with this person in months. It just wasn’t worth the pain and frustration anymore so I walked away.

You hear this sort of response from individuals going through a divorce and walking away from a friendship is in many ways like a break-up. Who gets the friends that you made together? What about your favorite brunch spot or happy hour? Luckily since this was a friendship and not romantic you should be able to avoid the super dramatic and incredibly awkward scene if/when you accidentally run into one another. Be courteous but move on quickly to not get sucked into your previous role whatever that might have been in that particular friendship.

People will come in and out of your life at different times and they shape who you become in the future. Few stay with you from beginning to end while most are cast as recurring, or guest star roles. It doesn’t mean that the time together was any less special, just that the time has come to move on.

Birthday Blues
July 30, 2012

Everyone responds to their birthday a little differently. I’m on the side that prefers complete anonymity at all times and can’t stand the attention and hoopla of a birthday celebration. I tried to break myself of this for my 24th birthday and I kid you not the majority of the time I felt physically sick to my stomach. For me there’s a lot of anxiety that most don’t seem to experience. Throw in some truly disastrous birthday celebrations and I say thanks but no thanks. It’s not about getting old but it can be about having that silly checklist in my head (probably from when I was 14 and knew nothing about life) of all of the things I was meant to accomplish by this point. And thanks to social media sites like Facebook it takes 3 seconds to see all of the people who have checked things off their lists and might thus be seemingly farther along in “life’s journey”. Thus when a pal gets sad/reflective during her birthday I get it.

Some helpful tips that I’ve come up with so far:

  • Be honest with your friends. Everyone has that friend who says no I don’t want anything but secretly is hoping that you plan a big surprise blow out. Be clear that this is not you and that you genuinely want to be left alone. If your friends are looking pitiful about this make plans to go out the week later for something fun. Then you’re going out and having a fun time in a non-b-day capacity. You’re not saying you don’t want to hang out with them; just you don’t want to hang out with them today.
  • Prep your living partner. Same as the friends but maybe give them a more thorough understanding of what you want your b-day to look like. If your idea of the perfect b-day is watching movies with a bottle of wine and some dark chocolate than explain that. Explain that you might cry or flip out so they’re as prepared as possible. They live with you and have no way to escape so be a pal and let them know when they need to baton down the hatches.
  • Set a limit. This is a good tip for any situation where wallowing is involved. Crying can be cathartic. Taking some time to just weep is fine but this should not last for more than a day. You can’t have the birthday blues for the week prior or the week after or the whole month. Go big or go home so you need to get it all out of your system so that the day after, you face the day fresh.
  • No FACEBOOK! Don’t kid yourself you can’t handle it. You’re in a fragile state and seeing Sue Cranston from high school having her 2nd baby with her husband on the farm that they bought 5 years ago will send you over the cliff. One click later you see your ex who is now dating a model. Two clicks after that you have gone into a full tailspin with no hope for recovery. While I said crying is cathartic, going on social media sites is just plan masochistic. Before the big day be honest with yourself and if you have to hide your laptop or ipad and remove the Facebook app from your phone. You can add them back the following day. One day away won’t kill you.
  • Call your mom and thank her. I don’t care what the relationship is with your mom currently but many years ago on this very day she was shoving a watermelon sized baby out of her and it hurt like a bitch so the least you can do is give her a call. Try to do this either the night before or early in the morning before full blown sobbing has begun.

You might notice that this post isn’t a cure but more of a long term treatment plan. Sometimes this is just how people work through their stress and emotions so you just need to let them work through it the best way they know how.