Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lessons for the Future

I began texting with a friend who wished me a Happy New Year…..Eve and asked him if he was doing anything special. He responded with it’s all pretty special but I know what you mean. He’s not much for the glamour of things, which I appreciate. I expressed how to me it’s just another year. New Year’s symbolizes something meaningful because of the power we give it, and although it’s beneficial to dedicate a time where we focus and prioritize on our future, it doesn’t mean much to me. It’s true and yet facebook has a way of expanding my train of thought.

For some people, it’s more than just another year to knock off the list and appreciate it as an annual tradition, but it’s truly a meaningful event in their lives. I have friends that have survived divorces and been stronger for it, attended their children’s funeral, and went through some of the most devastating experiences. But they’re changed by it and they’re left feeling empowered and grateful because after a long tedious, struggle, they’ve come out on the other end. They’re finally beginning to feel and understand the value of the pain they had to endure to be where they are today. I’m moved by their experiences just by reading it on their statuses. It’s heartwarming to know that they’ve evolved and grown into more conducive individuals.

My life hasn’t been quite the rollercoaster. I went through a Hellish experience at age 24. Then at age 25, I was recovering from it. At 26, I began processing it. At 27 is when I became receptive and understanding to the lessons. But somewhere along the line, I also became stagnant and under stimulated, which I suppose is understandable considering how intense the past few years have been for me.

I’m now ready to approach 28. I feel like I’ve spent enough time in hiding, contemplation, and recovery. I have no idea what’s in store for me, but I want to take this time to chronicle what I’ve learned. Those things are important to give attention to.

1. Don’t feel bad cutting people out of your life.

This has something I thought I was relatively comfortable with because I haven no problem being honest or direct. But when things aren’t black and white, I find myself floating around and waiting until things become irrefutably unacceptable. During this process I’m making myself vulnerable to it. I try to give people chances and not everyone is blatant in their disrespect. Some people are subtle and cowardly about it.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people make plans with me and not cancel but just don’t show up at all. It puts me an uncomfortable predicament where I find myself feeling guilty, whiny, and self-entitled because it disrupts my entire schedule. I live in LA, and I don’t drive. I can’t just occupy my time doing something else until you give me a ring and then meet up with you when you call by hopping on the freeway. I don’t have that luxury. But it’s not anyone else’s fault that I don’t drive. So emphasizing it makes me feel bad, but it doesn’t take away from the truth. It’s definitely a factor. Then again, it’s not even a factor that should be brought up.

In the world of texting, you can’t let me know you won’t be able to make it? Sometimes technology goes haywire. So I give the benefit of the doubt and I’ll call, assuming the text didn’t go through. There are times there’s no reception, but calls don’t go straight to voicemail. I yet again make allowances. Then perhaps I’ll try fbing them, but don’t I sound stalkerish at this point? Of course I do!

I’m frustrated with the efforts I have to put in and feeling insecure about my actions. If someone were to describe my behavior, I might understand why this person is being avoided, which of course leads me down a spiraling emotion of inadequacy. The direction I take it is on me, but being put in this position was unfair and I wasn’t alone in it. We all get faced with things we don’t necessarily want to do, and we all indulge in escapism at some point. But we’re adults now.

We’re responsible for our actions. If we don’t want to spend time with certain people, we should be honest and direct about it. What’s worse is I’m not always the one initiating the hang out, making people vulnerable to not telling the truth. These same people who ditch me are the ones that not only talk about making plans, but select the dates themselves. So then I feel guilty when my intuition tells me my friends are lying because I don’t want to think negatively of my friends, and honestly their behaviors are unintelligent. I consider most of them to be bright people.

I basically invest a lot of energy running in circles and not accepting my intuition. I may care about certain people, and I may even miss them. But that doesn’t mean I should continue to make allowances for them. As great as it would be to catch up and have a great time, I’d rather surround myself with genuine and honest people. So it’s okay to stop putting effort into people like this. It’s okay.

2. Things always become more difficult with resistance.

Why is it that we complain about how things are so complicated and difficult, but we, ourselves, behave in a way that sustains it? It’s illogical, but we do it anyways. It’s so innate in us that I don’t think many of us realize how our actions are, at times, the very source of difficulty. We subconsciously do things we aren’t aware of. That can leave us helpless and vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand it because it’s only through awareness will we be able to correct it.

3. Without effort, there will be no progress.

As an adolescent, I was full of energy that poured out of me in different ways. I was stubborn, resilient, difficult, and persistent. I prided myself on not surrendering or weakening when surrounded by people who only believed in my failure. I was ruthless in my pursuit to prove them wrong. I wasted so much energy into something that I should’ve never given attention to because people who are going to be singleminded and judgmental about me aren’t going to become open-minded because I did what they doubted I could do. In my experience, they become insulted that I proved them wrong. Do I really want the approval of people like that anyways? Not really.

When I finally had that epiphany and I decided to do what I wanted to do, I found myself at a loss. Without others doubting me and being presented with obstacles to overcome, I wasn’t motivated to do much. There was no passion or desire in my actions. I’ve spent so much time trying to find what I want to invest my time that I’m becoming discouraged.

I may be interested in something conceptually, but there aren’t enough details for me to make an informed decision. So then I’m not inclined to put in the extensive amount of effort to explore it. It’s a vicious cycle. What’s a girl to do?

I certainly don’t like it, and I find myself often discouraged. But never have I considered giving up. I take more breaks than I’m proud of to regroup when I feel like I haven’t done much, but I won’t give up, which means I have to keep going. So I have to constantly remind myself that I do all of this because I want to find purpose and meaningful in my life and in my actions. “Without effort, there will be no progress.” However discouraging and put off I am about putting in the effort, it must be done to reach my destination. End of story. No matter how much I despise it and complain about it, it must be done!

4. Make decisions based on my intuition.

First I had to accept that I was experiencing intuition and recognize it for what it is. Then I had to be receptive to it because if I wasn’t, I didn’t know what I was experiencing. I felt this dull, un-definable sense of feeling that plagued me and felt out of place. I couldn’t shake the feeling, either. It became disruptive until it became almost background noise that I got used to.

Now I know what it is. I trust it enough to guide my friends with it. I trust in my ability to be intuitive and accurate. But I still hesitate in executing decisions based on it. It isn’t because I have doubts in my ability; it’s that I take comfort in the familiar. However, my intuition is there to guide me in the right direction. If I ignore it, there are consequences that occur. They keep trying to instill the same lesson in me. Next time listen to avoid this. And that’s what I have to do.

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