Nothing like the movies

Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday. I don’t have any plans except a doctor appointment and a dentist appointment. I bought myself dinner Friday night at a nice seafood restaurant. My husband accompanied me, but I had to pay because he struggles with money management. Separating financially has been better for our marriage, in my opinion. The whole situation is sad, but this decision is better than the alternative. It has created more peace in my life this way.

Keep in mind I over share, and I am struggling in some of my relationships right now.

I know it’s not an appropriate topic to blog about, but since my page advertises “random” posts, I’ll live up to it by saying, I feel disappointed with myself when I’m on my period. I am not forgiving. I am tired. I am irritable. I am impatient, just to name a few traits. I don’t like myself when I cannot control my moods, but I desperately want others to be understanding and accommodating. I don’t want to be so disappointed with people, but it happens. This time of the month, everyone is a jerk, and I have a hard time feeling loved and content.

But tomorrow is still my birthday. I wish I could have higher expectations of people, but I think over time I just give up on them after being repeatedly disappointed, so now I try not to hope for anything at all. A lot of times I find myself projecting problems I am having with other relationships onto my marriage. My husband is probably a completely decent guy, but since my (former?) best friend basically shut me out of her life, my subsequent sadness has increased my moodiness, and I basically hate my spouse right now. Forgiveness is not something I can easily do this week, so this is me coping with my disappointment and anger. I don’t know that I’ll ever recover from the lack of concern with which my former friend abandoned our relationship. In my head I’m worth more than a half-hearted text message after days of silence. In my mind I want someone to love me enough to come to my workplace or my house looking for me, to check on me, to bring me a reconciliation gift, or in this case, a birthday present. But then I realize I live in a fantasy world and I’m not that important to anyone, so I keep dreaming to escape my disappointment that the real world is nothing like the movies.

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Psychology of relationships

Amazing how much a person can change from day to day. I can feel my attitude affected by the people I listen to and the words I read. The psychology of relationships is fascinating to me. The concept that we might be attracted to similar traits in others that our parents possessed. Or how a codependent person is attracted to an addict. I’ve always considered myself more passive about starting new relationships. I mainly accept friendships from those who seem the most in need of companionship, more domineering and decisive that I’m what they are looking for in a friend, instead of seeking or cultivating healthy connections, including what my vision is and what I want. I wonder if it is frustrating to others how socially lazy I am.

I know there is a lot of insight to obtain from the concept of love languages. I suspect my love language is quality time. I’ve never had a talent for buying and giving gifts. I’ve been praised for the positive effects of my words of affirmation. I obviously enjoy physical affection. But the hard thing for me is showing someone love in their language. I have a hard time understanding the feelings of others enough to know when they are saying what they mean or not, and how to give them what they say they need, even if it’s not what I think they need, or it’s not what I want for the relationship. Space, for instance. When someone says they need space, do they actually need it or how do you know when it means “try harder?” I find this very confusing because for me, when I’m tired or I can’t spend time or talk with someone, I’m very honest and direct with exactly why I am making a decision in our relationship and the details. However, in my friendships, I’ve been very confused when someone says vague things about their feelings or they don’t give you specifics about where things are currently and where things are going. I wish I didn’t constantly need validation that the relationship is stable, but back to the psychology of life related to our childhood experiences, a lot of my insecurity probably has to do with the lack of stability in our home as children. I struggle with fear of rejection and abandonment and probably subconsciously meditating on what I don’t want, I unfortunately perhaps attract more of the same.

So is there such thing as happy endings? Do children from broken homes eventually repair themselves emotionally enough to become successful at relationships personally and professionally? I read an article today about the benefits of finding a life coach and mentor. I’ve recently spent a few years in “rebellion,” in which I deviated from my goody-goody lifestyle that I adopted in determination from an early age to make good choices. Since being disappointed from the lack of satisfaction and fear of hurting my beloved family, I’ve thankfully resorted to more reserved entertainment, which is safer for me personally and professionally. Setting out to obtain specific achievements in life, friendships had not been a priority of mine to invest in and cultivate. Now, however, after reaching previous goals, I understand how important friendships are, and I feel like I have more interest and time to devote to creating quality relationships.

The thing I like about the article is the straightforward mention of dumping negative people who bring you down. Each day I make a decision to avoid such persons, I feel a little bit stronger. I’ve been doing more self-reflection and cultivating of the current relationships I already have. I’m starting to see doors open slowly with new acquaintances that inspires my hope that I might be soon becoming a more active participant in the direction and outcome of my life. šŸ˜‰

Being human

I can’t seem to process my thoughts and feelings without writing them down. Right now, I feel debilitated because my body is too weak to do anything, but my mind is too busy and my tummy is too hungry to rest. I texted my husband asking if he would do dinner and childcare this evening. He makes me grilled cheese sandwiches and soup when I’m sick. I could use that right now! Paired with some medicine, I’d probably be able to rest. Either I will eat, or I will sleep, but with the passage of time, something is bound to happen. So here I lay, spilling my thoughts in text to clear my head and hopefully soon I will be filling my tummy. BEING HUMAN is disappointing. Making mistakes. Having feelings. Depending on subsistence to survive. Knowing pain and sickness and stress and want and lack.

Lately, everyday has had it’s own set of challenges. A patient I cared for daily is gone after he made a “bad decision.” I listened today as people grieved this loss in their life. I watched as angry people show no mercy or courtesy in response to an error of judgement. I’ve seen injustice. I’ve seen neglect and apathy. I’ve listened to broken-hearted people try to cope by talking their way through grief and shock. I’ve seen the innocent accused and the bully favored. I’ve seen scared people try to act brave. I’ve seen weak people try to act powerful. It’s the last who will be first, and the servant who will be the greatest. But people still try to control each other. People still try to compete and compare and intimidate. Power struggles. Only the strong survive. But when do we stop pretending to like each other and actually care?

But instead of judging, I should practice forgiving. BEING HUMAN is disappointing. We mess up. Other people mess up. We judge and get offended. They do, too. So if we are all equal, and human, and broken, and imperfect, why can’t we just work together? Help someone get what she wants and you will get what you need. But sometimes people are cruel and selfish and seem to enjoy making life difficult for as many people as possible. What motivates these people? I don’t know if it’s ignorance or insecurity. How do you respond when trying to communicate with a foolish person? How do you not offend someone like this? As hard as you may try, they will still have an issue with you. Whether you avoid them or confront them. Whether it’s jealousy or bitterness. So then, what’s left is letting go. Letting go of pleasing impossible people. Letting go of loved ones who have made their own path despite all your efforts to help them. Letting go of offenses. Letting go of the past. It’s doesn’t mean the hurt isn’t still there. But you find a way of acceptance. You find a way to live with the disappointment and loss. Because life is full of such things. We won’t always understand why things happen. After all, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that determines your outcome. Taking the high road is not easy. Showing honor to a disrespectful person takes courage. Forgiving someone immediately takes practice. Maybe if we tried seeing ourselves and others the way God sees us, maybe then, BEING HUMAN wouldn’t be so disappointing.

Different and sensitive

Stress. Not getting enough rest. Sinus problems hit me hard when my allergies react to the climate change and the environment. I greatly love the outdoors and furry creatures. I love having a nice landscape and a clean house. But oh, the price I pay for exposing myself to pets and mowing and cleaning. I’m just overly sensitive to everything, I suppose. It makes me want to cry just thinking I have some disability or something. Every year I get sick. The sinus problems and stress knock my body out for a couple weeks. It is discouraging to feel frail and weak. It happens every season.

Does every person equally pursue self-awareness as much as me? I’ve always kept journals, and reflection is a valuable practice, but since being accused of having an ASD and confirming it myself with online self-diagnostic tests, I seem to be bent on researching the subject and learning more about myself. In meeting new people and forming new work relationships, I have considered whether or not disclosing personal information is necessary or not. I explained to someone today about all the “problems” my mom had with me growing up. She said I was hard to live with and got irritated when I cringed at her touch. I could write the most heartwarming notes when I was moved in love, but unfortunately broke hearts with my words if I were offended. I explained to this person that sometimes I may not be very attentive to the words I speak or the tone I use, in which case I honestly want to be notified when I am being perceived as being “rude” because that is not at all my intention, and I would like to correct the misunderstanding rather than risk hurt feelings when I am completely unaware that my behavior could be the cause. I told her that my heart ached when I thought of all the people who felt burdened by my differences and sensitivities, so much so, that I want to be upfront with new people in hopes that their expectations won’t be so high, and so I won’t feel like that great of a disappointment.

Imagine being able to sense people’s desires of who they want you to be. Imagine being able to morph your personality to accommodate that person’s expectations because you want that person to feel comfortable, and perhaps you are a codependent people pleaser. Now imagine after a period of time goes by, you lose the initial ability to keep pleasing this person. Once you feel accepted and comfortable, the guard comes down and the true personality is revealed. Of course, everyone wants to be accepted for who they really are. You begin to expose the “real” you, little by little, to see if that person can handle it. Everyone experiences this in relationships, I’m sure, but with all the analyzing, I wonder if others are as equally disappointed when they learn that someone is not who they thought. I desperately want to protect people from feeling disappointed that I am not all they thought I would be, but who is? Maybe we are all searching for someone to complete us. Maybe we all experience disappointment when we see each other’s flaws. It’s impossible to please everyone. It’s impossible to be everything to everybody. And yet, I still encourage people from the beginning to understand that I am very flawed, but I sincerely care about not offending anyone. I want others to know I truly care about them. I still have to maintain enough self-respect that I also care enough about my wellbeing to protect myself with healthy boundaries. I have been accused of being selfish and having poor boundaries, so yes, I self-analyze and try to improve. Nevertheless, I also keep in mind that sometimes people see the world as they are. Sometimes when a person thinks he/she is describing me, that person is actually giving me a glimpse into how they see themselves.

For the record, I might add, people pleasing is exhausting. Good customer service, being accommodating, whatever it is called, is challenging sometimes. Especially because, when I am sick, I don’t care about my appearance. When my hormones are raging, I’m stressed, or don’t feel well, I lose my filter and can’t seem to control my behavior. And so, I hope that during these times of my imperfection, weakness, sickness, and frailty, that my coworkers and loved ones might make some accommodations for me. I want them to understand, so it is easier for them to forgive me. I want to help them understand, as if they have any interest at all in knowing how I tick. But sometimes I think knowledge makes all the difference in the world, and if I can educate someone about how desperately I want to be accepted and feel connected to other people, perhaps the more mercy I can receive when I struggle with being socially correct. I feel like I live in a constant state of embarrassment over my social mistakes. I feel like the world is either laughing at me or mad at me. This probably explains why most of the time I hide behind a mask of humor, but maybe we all wear masks sometimes.

Overthinking about

Unfinished business. Relationships. Tasks. Fear. Escape. Analyzing everything. Frustration. Worry about what people think. Worry about messing up. Worry about people’s expectations. Worry about disappointment. Uncertainty about what will elicit happiness. Worry about making the wrong decision. Worry that I’m not good enough. Worry about getting too much. Worry about not getting enough. Right and wrong decisions. Feelings vs. faith. Head vs. heart. Compulsion vs. control. Binging. Starving. Playing it safe. Living it up. Being professional. Being natural. Real vs. fake. Insisting vs. submitting. Trying. Quitting. Helping. Hoping. Neglecting. Doubting. Wanting. Hiding. Running away. Chasing. Needing affirmation. Afraid of rejection. Past pain. Future fear. Giving my best. Being lazy. Do it now. Put it off. Hurry up. Slow down. When it doubt, don’t. Life is short, just do it. Be yourself. Guard your heart. Keep your head up. Be confident. Be humble. Play it safe. Live it up. Share. Protect. Give. Save. Go. Stay. Being lost. Being found. Feeling hurt. Feeling happy. Want more. Be content. Don’t compare. Do compete. Surrender. Fight. Sacrifice. Don’t quit. Never back down. Put others first. Turn the other cheek. Trust your instincts. Trust in God. Don’t trust anyone. What to eat. What not to eat.. And wear.. And say.. And do. How to do this and that. Meaning. Purpose. Questions. Answers. Searches. Learning. Isolation. Socialization. Privacy. Loneliness. Stay busy. Be still. A time for everything. Knowing. Unknown. Sure. Uncertain. Pride. Insecurity. Slavery. Brokenness. Bitterness. Forgiveness. Freedom. Emptiness. Fulfillment. Hanging on. Letting go.

Venting

Not sure I can end this day without unloading… Monday. Hard time getting out of bed. Issues with clothes and worry over my appearance and that of my children. Traffic on the way to work. Took a detour. More traffic. Walked into a hot office with a broken air conditioner. Already had sinus problems from mowing the grass over the weekend. Took DayQuil to manage the symptoms, but the side effects of medicine made me woozy. Heat making me nauseous. Fire alarm broken. Beeping all day. Loud noises from babies crying and kids yelling. No one else in the office. Not at their stations, training, called in, etc. Constant radio chatter of other people trying to manage situations while being short handed. Wanting to vent my frustration over the working conditions, but I remembered my best friend and I weren’t speaking because she said she felt hurt and needed time, seemed mad at me even though I felt like I didn’t do anything. Managed to make it through the work day. Got home to a messy house, dirty dishes, and my husband ready to walk out the door. Managed to take a nap before I panicked over what I was gonna feed us for dinner. Began trying to figure out how I would survive with my husband gone so much lately trying to build businesses. Had a minor meltdown. Called my friend and cried. She told me what to do to get myself together, and suddenly I wasn’t so freaked out. Called my husband to blame and attack him for obviously causing me all this grief this entire day, even though he had nothing to do with most of it. No answer. Left a nasty voicemail. Got out of bed. Put frozen food in the microwave. Swallowed it. Regained some composure. Felt ashamed that I was contemplating suicide and divorce over these emotions (not really, just dramatic effect). Husband called me back. I explained this time apart was not going to work, I needed him home helping me with kids and dinner. Felt better after talking things through with him. Felt better that my best friend even talked to me at all today. Managed to find the motivation to buy groceries. Huge transition from panicking over dinner to finding the composure needed to navigate through a busy store with two hyper kids running around. Loathed bringing in groceries and putting them up, but extremely proud of myself once it was done. Laying in an empty bed thinking how much it sucks to feel so distant from the people I care so much about. Just thinking how I must have Aspergers with all the issues I had today. Told my best friend I need to talk to my doctor about an antidepressant if I’m this emotionally unstable. Told my husband I need to exercise more to stabilize my mood. Hoping this writing clears my mind, so I can rest. Tomorrow is a new day.

Matching socks

I wonder how other people manage to complete mundane tasks without getting irritated? For me, for example, I notice a feeling of pleasure when I find a matching mate for a sock. It is the feeling I get turning them out inside of each other. Like match makers must feel when they put two people together who end up hitting it off and both of their lives are better having met each other. I have actually grown to despise the socks that seem to have eternally lost their mate and lay unfolded and lonely in my sock drawer. The kids have such crazy colored socks with missing pairs, I will often just find two that look similar in color and amuse myself by putting them together. In spite of these little details, I feel a sense of bitterness for having to fold clothes and put them away. Not sure why menial assignments irritate me from start to finish, but if I cannot find a creative way to perceive the task at hand, it will not get done, or if it does, there is some coping needed at the finish line for forcing myself to do something I did not want to do. This is how I imagine people get burned out in the workplace. I can’t help but wonder how other people keep their focus to complete boring tasks or make themselves do things they don’t want to do. Another technique that has been a determining factor for whether or not I complete something, is taking before and after pictures and sharing them with others as a sort of accountability. I am a visual person, so seeing what my time well spent created, makes me feel content with myself. Disgust for the smell of old food motivates me to do dishes and manage trash disposal. Overgrown grass and uneven edges makes me want to mow and trim. Inconsistent grass growth makes me want to water and fertilize the landscape. I hate driving a dirty car and living in a cluttered home.

Unfortunately, desire does not equal accomplishment. I can have a desire for something to be achieved, but if I lack the energy or the right attitude, it will not get done. Then there are just other things which I have no motivation to do at all, but someone has to do them. Those are the things I am willing to pay someone to do, like cooking, for instance. I despise messes so much, I won’t even cook or start projects half the time just because I don’t want to clean afterwards. I’d rather do nothing, so there is no mess and nothing to clean. Sadly, tolerating things I can’t stand and not doing the things I want to do has probably contributed to this state I find myself in most if the time, which I call apathy. I have met many people in my life and wondered, why is this person so cynical? Why is that person so angry and bent on destroying the lives of other people? I have learned that hurting people hurt people. I have learned that my apathy is worse than anger because at least an angry person cares. Someone who has apathy doesn’t give a damn. They are lazy and careless because they could care less. I know tragedy comes to us all, and everyone handles it differently. For me, not caring is a coping mechanism. I maintain the belief that different aspects of my character can handle different scenarios and emotions. I entertain myself sometimes by pretending I am someone else. I contour my personality to match the expectations of what others would like me to be – when I care enough to do so.

However, when my energy reserves are low, when my attitude is short, when my stress is high, I stop caring. I don’t know if other people experience the same thing, but it concerns me. I have seen most people I know have a breakdown. They cry or yell or throw things. They release their frustration or stress when they finally break. In contrast, I usually don’t cry when I’m overwhelmed. I shut down my feelings altogether. I pretend like it doesn’t matter, it didn’t happen, and I don’t care. I’m not a therapist, but there are probably bad things that happen when you push down emotions, put up walls, and pretend. When I do find myself crying, it’s over acts of compassion or honor. When I find myself yelling, it’s over disrespect or unfulfilled demands.

It is just a curious thing to me, how people cope and manage emotion, including boredom and disappointment, how they accomplish things, great and small. I’ve always found it interesting that no matter who you are or what you have done in life, it all comes down to a simple word: decisions. Every moment we make a decision. What we think, say, and do are all decisions. And so I ponder why some people are capable of making greater decisions than others, and how I can be great, too. If I am faithful with the small things, even matching socks, then perhaps I will be entrusted with greater things. Greater challenges and new experiences lessens the likelihood of developing boredom, in my opinion. It’s the happiness of pursuit and the joy in the journey in which I find myself most content. Arriving at a destination and reaching a goal in life is bittersweet. For it is at that moment that you are effective and accomplished, but then you must find a new goal and motivation to begin a new journey. That is how I feel anyway, and wonder how the rest of world perceives making a life and making decisions.

Long distance relationships

My mother passed away a couple years ago. However, her parents are still alive. This weekend they are celebrating my grandfather’s birthday in my old hometown. I love and miss my family. I just have that long drive with two kids that impairs my ability to make the decision I want to make to visit frequently. He has dementia but is a happy, loving, friendly, forgetful man. My grandmother is an angel crippled by arthritis. My husband has to work and wouldn’t be able to make the trek with us. Last month I drove down to spend time with my grandma for her birthday. We visited briefly, but she had already spent a good deal of time with other relatives from out of state. I was invited to spend time with them again this weekend, but I’m afraid distance and time apart seems to make these short reunions confusing, for lack of a better word. There are hugs and small talk, but my fondest memories with my family were around a meal. For the last several years, our meetings have involved more apologies than feasting and fellowship. Part of the awkward reunions are probably due to the death of loved ones. People can’t hide their sympathy, or pity, I suppose. It’s like they are afraid of offending me by moving on, but for me, there isn’t much more to discuss about it. Nevertheless, it just seems like there is an elephant is in the room when I’m there.
I have never been much of a fan of small talk. I do analyze things too much. I try not to offend people, and it bothers me when I feel there seems to be a misunderstanding. Mostly, I think my family feels guilt for how distant our relationships have become. Most conversations begin with, “I’m sorry.” I want them to know I would rather be happy and enjoy our times together instead of living isolated in guilt or grief. I feel guilty, too, though, for not writing and calling more. As I said in a previous post, I am trying to work on my relationships. I think a card or a letter would have as much weight as me driving down to visit. Now to just overcome my distaste for grocery stores to go buy cards and stationary to send!

Finding Balance

Am I more content with a routine? I’m trying to keep up with appointments for doctors and dentists for me and the kids and my neglected hair, nails, and wardrobe. Grocery shopping is always a loathed event for me. Thank God, my husband helps our kids with their homework and transports them to and from school. They had picture day today. There are many other school events happening lately as well. I get emails and letters from teachers almost daily. My gym time has dropped off, but I am glad to say I have managed to be productive at work lately. The weather has been nice enough for a jog here and there, when my husband watches the kids long enough for me to escape on a wooded trail with earphones and spotify on my phone. Our housework and laundry seems to always be in process and never completed. Teaching and reminding kids about cleaning up after themselves is quite a daily occurrence. I’ve learned to pat myself on the back for the little things I accomplish each day instead of focusing on all the tasks I still have left to do. Being a perfectionist is hard, especially when I forget not to put the same high expectations I have of myself onto other people. Trying to balance responsibilities and relationships has been a skill I’ve been working on for awhile. My insecurities and shyness is generally mistaken for conceit. I’m still learning how to avoid appearing rude when I’m actually just busy. Although I tend to be a very task-oriented person, I am hoping to give more attention to people and their feelings than my own agendas. It has come to my attention that sometimes coworkers and employers may prefer a more likable, social individual over a more talented, qualified worker. I try to remember, however, that my goal should be to please God rather than people. Perhaps most of life consists of finding a balance between our personal and professional life. I am trying to avoid extremes. Just when I think I’ve mastered something, I realize that life has more for me to learn, and God is not finished with me yet.

Saving music

After a day of busy work, disheartening life realities, mundane tasks, and varying emotional states, there is something so comforting about the way music can soothe your soul. It’s like drinking a smooth glass of wine, the way it relaxes you. It’s like an enveloping hug from a soulmate. It’s like a warm bubble bath over a sore body. It’s like getting a personally hand-made project, picture, or letter from your child expressing her love to you. These little rewarding details inevitably seem to balance the harsh realities of life.