Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Just Leave it Behind

There are some things we have to leave in the past if we want to have a different future.

That is a lesson that has taken me years to learn.  We can get so comfortable with past experiences that we make them our present and our future.

Many of us have lived through a tragedy, had our hearts broken, or been mistreated.  There is no reason to keep reliving those horrible moments.  Certainly those experiences have shaped the people we are today, but they don’t have to shape us in a negative way.  We should view those experiences as learning moments.

We often use past traumatic experiences to excuse our present behavior, but the only reason these past experience continue to affect us is because we continue to reach into the past and bring them to the surface.  If you have ever uttered the words “I am like this because_________happened to me a long time ago”, you are guilty of allowing past experience to shape your present life.  Stop creating issues and focus on healing and moving forward.  Learn from those experiences and make better choices for yourself.

If you were ever in a relationship with a dishonest person, don’t create trust issues.  Make better decisions on who you share your life with.  If you grew up in a household where accountability and responsibility were nonexistent and you can recognize that, don’t allow that to be your excuse to continue that pattern.  I admit that not everyone who exhibits a  certain negative behavior is aware of the reason, but for those of us who like to blame current behavior on past experiences, we know exactly what we are doing.  We know there was a problem in the past.  Let’s leave it behind and move forward.

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Introvert Cloak

It seems that everywhere I turn there is mention of introversion.  As an introvert I don’t throw the term around loosely and I don’t like when other do.  In particular, I don’t like it when being antisocial, boring, or nastily sarcastic is associated with introversion.  I love people and am a generally pleasant person.  I love being around people too, but I get my fill of socializing quicker than others.  I will admit I won’t seek out heavily populated social events.  I much rather attend a symphony, recital, or a play.  I tend to choose events I don’t have to play an active roll in.  That’s it.  If i spend too much time socializing, I’m worn out.  My social butterfly wings will quit mid-flight leaving me searching for a quiet, solitary place to land.  Before that energy wears out, you would never guess that I am an introvert, but I am and that’s okay.

What is not okay is behaving poorly and then throwing on the introvert cloak. Below is a list of qualities often associated with introverts that drive me crazy.

 

 

Introverts don’t like people

Yes we do. I hate this association the most because I love people.  I think this has been associated with introvert because we tend to “give out” and retreat a social functions.  I understand it can be confusing to see a person jolly and having a wonderful time then turn into someone who can’t get out of the room fast enough.  That is because we have used up our energy.  We all can turn on the charm and enthusiasm, but it has a limited shelf life. That does not mean we don’t enjoy spending time with people.  It just means that time does indeed get spent.

 

Introverts are snarky

Okay…I can be snarky, but it is not a part of my personality.  One thing I can say about most introverts I know is that we are quite witty.  If the situation calls for snark, it is best served by us.  I think our ability to think through things before opening our mouths give is that extra biting edge when  the need for a snarky remark presents itself.

Introverts like to hide in the shadows

This is only partially true.  We will go hide in the shadows when our energy reserves wear out, but we do not live there.  We enjoy the light as much as anyone else.

 

Introverts are not great public speakers

I have to speak in public all the time and it does not bother me at all.  I actually prefer speaking in front of a large group as opposed to mingling within a large group.  Introversion is not a lack of ability to function.  We just do things differently.

 

Introverts do not want friends

We do want friends, just not too many.  We usually have a small circle of close friends.  I am always looking to make new connections, but constant hanging out and doing lots of things together very often does not appeal to me.  My close circle of friends understand that or they are introverts as well.  It takes someone who really understands an introvert to be friends with one.  I often want to be in the company of my friends without necessarily interacting with them.  This is one of the things some of my extroverted friends do not understand.  I often hear “Why did you suggest I come over if we weren’t going to do anything?”  My response to that is “I just wanted to spend some time with you” , and I do. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do something.  Introverts are fine with just being.

 

What are some other misconceptions about introverts that drive you mad?

 

Posted in Selfish Saturday

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them.  They are those little, or sometimes big things that make us happy.  They could be binge-watching a series, a collection of things, a favorite destination, or anything that brings your heart joy that you may stretch the limits of your budget and time to accommodate.

I’m here to tell you not to feel guilty.  If it truly enhances your quality of life and doesn’t have any major negative affects to you or anyone else, go for it!

I will share a few of mine.  The first one is a necessity as I am extremely near-sighted.  I love eyeglasses! I have several pair and I love buying more, but I need them so the pleasure is justified, right?

 

My other one is Happy Planner planners and all of the accouterments that goes along with them: washi tape, stickers, pens, paper, and the list goes on and on. It is kind of like a guilty pleasure rabbit hole.

 

I have several others, but those two are the main ones.  Here are a few of my others:

  1. coffee mugs
  2. lip gloss
  3. Tervis tumblers
  4. throw blankets
  5. anything pink
  6. anything teal
  7. anything with an owl on it (I literally have all of the the things on the list, but with an owl on it.  I have a teal owl, a pink owl, an throw blanket with an owl on it, a Tervis tumbler with an owl on it, lip gloss in a container shaped like an owl, and many, many owl coffee mugs).

I would like to challenge all of us to take it easy on ourselves about our guilty pleasure, but lets not let them get out of control.  What are some of your guilty pleasures?

 

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

People Pleasing

 

As a recovering people pleaser, I have done tons of self-reflection on why I do what I do.  The jury is still out on that, but I’m no longer as concerned about why.  I just want to stop.  I do okay for a while and then I relapse.  I have noticed that it is easier to stop with certain people and not so easy with others.  I am constantly saying that you teach people how to treat you.  I realized that my people pleasing tendencies have taught people how to treat me.  More importantly I have taught them that they are able to use my urge to please to their advantage.

I have made a list of the things that go through my mind in the middle of my people pleasing thoughts.  I have found that my thoughts are really based on nothing.  As mentioned previously, this people pleasing behavior only comes into play with only one or two people.  Actually most who know me would be shocked that I struggle with this.  I generally give little thought about what others think, but my desire to please or not make a certain few uncomfortable has honestly stunted my personal growth.

I think all people pleasers need to examine their reasons.  Here the list of questions I asked myself:

 

Question:  What is my true motivation?

Answer:  Duh, to please another person.  This led me to ask myself another question.  Why?  I realized that I didn’t want any conflict with that person.  The person I didn’t want any conflict with is a huge part of my life.  I interact with this person on an almost daily basis and I love this person.  There is a certain degree of “I want to please this person because I fear not doing so would cause that person to think less of me.”  After thinking about this for a while I realized that although I may disappoint that person, that person will not stop loving me.  That person has been disappointed or upset with me before.  So what if it happens again.  Is it really as big of a deal as I have worked it up to be in my head?  I began to realize the root of my people pleasing is fear.  That fear is often based on what I think may happen.  I need to learn to deal with others disappointment rather than avoiding it.  So my motivation to please is based on what I fear may happen.

 

Question:  Why am I worried about what they are going to say?

Answer:  First of all, who is “they” (also known as “people)?  “People” and “they” are our own reservations and insecurities.  We are just putting a name of group of nameless people to an issue we are not willing to address ourselves. Are they even important enough to really be concerned about?  So what if they do talk.  They will talk anyway.  This is something I have gotten over, but I feel people pleasers generally stress over the ubiquitous “they.”  What I have learned is that if I am concerned about the “they/people”, that is a personal concern of mine. This thing may be something I am not quite comfortable with.  It may be something that requires a bit of a risk, so I want to be let off the hook.  What lets me off the hook is blaming my dependence on the “they”.  This finding led me to my next question.

 

Question:  Am I making excuses?

Answer:  Sometimes.  I will admit it has been easy to say that I don’t want to do something because I don’t want to rock a boat, but in actuality I’m just scared.  I have noticed this when I verbalize my decision to do or not to do something to another person who I am certain to share my view.  Once I get that confirmation, I feel that have been let off the hook.  I use people pleasing as an excuse because, unfortunately many people can relate to it and often find it acceptable.

 

What I have learned is my people pleasing has been rooted in fear.  As I have started to break a lot of my people pleasing habits I have realized that when I fight against the urge to please, the results and reactions are not as drastic as a I thought they would be.  Of course certain people did not like certain decisions, but that’s life.  No disavowals, or broken relationships.  Life simply goes on as usual.  Once I began to hold fast to my own decisions, I got little to no interference, not two cents were thrown into the mix.  It was just accepted.

I would like to continue to challenge all of us to examine hour people pleasing tendencies.  Let’s get to the root of it and grow beyond it.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Gratitude

I can’t say enough about the power of genuine gratitude.  Not only is it great for others to know you appreciate who they are and what they do, but it is just  a good feeling to feel gratitude.

When most people think of gratitude, they think of saying “Thank you” after getting something or and polite acknowledgement of something.  I’m speaking of a feeling, something that lasts long after the words “thank you” exit your mouth.  I’m talking about walking and living in a constant state of gratitude.  There are so many wonderful things in this world that we take for granted.  This blog post has the potential to reach people I would have otherwise had no opportunity to speak it to because of technology.  That is something to be thankful for!  The fact that I don’t have to hand write this post is a blessing (I have very difficult to read handwriting).  I have a computer of my own to make this post.  That is something to be thankful for.

Throughout the day, name at least 10 things you are thankful for.  It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. Just see if you can feel gratitude in everything you come into contact with today.  Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t have it and feel those feelings of gratitude.

 

Posted in Good Stuff

Your Crown

 

by Achille DevÈria, printed by FranÁois Le Villain, published by Edward Bull, published by Edward Churton, after Unknown artist, hand-coloured lithograph, 1830s

 

No matter how one feels about monarchy, one must admit there continues to be a fascination with royalty.  We use it in our everyday speech as a compliment.  I often hear “Good morning, Queen!” from a nice young man when I am dressed fashionably or a “I hear you, Queen!” when I say something intelligent or witty.  Last week, my cousin used “Queen” to describe me.  I then told him my crown was bought and paid for.  I just had to start wearing it.  In my reply, I realized that although I was in possession of a crown, I had not been wearing it.  This caused me to examine why.

It has been always been my belief that we all have crowns. I think deep down most people feel this is the case, but do we walk around on a daily basis like royalty?  I didn’t.  People were seeing it in me, I feel it is there, but I was not wearing my crown.  When I was younger, I was known as the smart kid, teachers pet, and all those things that go along with being a bright student.  Although it was a good thing, this caused me to be teased by other students.  Being the smart kid wasn’t the popular thing to be.  So I took off my crown.  It started with self-deprecating humor and dumbing myself down to be what I thought to be more acceptable.  As I got older, being smart was cool again.  I reached for my crown and starting wearing it proudly.  Then there were other times I felt undeserving of the crown upon my head.  I would respond to a compliment not by simply saying “Thank you”, but by pointing out a flaw in myself.  I wanted to let people know that although my royal blood is evident to others, I doubted it.   I am ready to start wearing my crown at all times, at all functions, and in front of all people.  Are you?

Some of us are afraid to touch it, some of us are intimidated power and responsibility that comes along with it, and some of us don’t feel worthy of wearing it.  We all own one.  Start wearing it!

 

Posted in Morality Series

Layers

In talking to my cousin about life, he loves to say that situations have layers.  I am quick to come to conclusions and make decisions, but he often reminds me of the layers.  I tend to overlook the layers, but I realize that I have them too.

Let me explain what he means by layers.  Layers are those experiences that determine how one reacts to things, people, and situations.  For instance, I will not eat watermelon in public because of the stereotype associated with African Americans  loving watermelon.  I love watermelon, but I will not eat it in public because I have attached a negative image to my eating watermelon. I will turn it down if offered to me even though I really love it.  I’m not quite sure if the stereotype is a negative one, but I still will not be seen in public eating watermelon.  I know it’s silly, but that’s not enough for me to change that behavior.  So if I were turn watermelon down in public and asked why, my cousin would say there are layers to my decision.  Basically, the decision and the reasons behind it are more complex than it appears.

I am generally intolerant of bad behavior.  I do not take into account the “layers” behind the situation.  I am quick to disassociate with a person who I feel has treated me unjustly. There have been several instances of my ending relationships rather abruptly because I don’t feel it important for me to understand the why.  I would rather remove myself from the relationship entirely.  My cousin often reminds me of the layers behind people’s actions.  I’m on the fence on whether or not to take these layers into consideration.  I do think it is best to remove yourself from a toxic situation as to not add any negative layers to your own life.

I feel that it is important to acknowledge these layers and not to judge people too harshly.  So if I turn down your watermelon at a public function, don’t take it personally.  There are layers behind that situation.  I’m working on it.

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Are You Responsible for How People Treat You?

 

I have made a huge change in my life.  With this change came a lot of work that I needed to do physically and emotionally.  I will first explain the physical work.  I  made a physical move.  My son and I moved into another home.  Our new home was very close to the old one so I didn’t plan on hiring movers, and there was no deadline for me to leave my old home so I could take my time.  I packed our essential things gradually leaving the things we needed readily accessible in place.  I had no clear-cut plan on how the move was going to get completed.  I just relied on the fact that there was no rush.  I had time and I was only moving a few miles away.  So I packed my nonseasonal things in boxes and drove them to my home each day over that span of several weeks.  I chose not to fill my fridge with groceries as I would be moving it to.  Although I still had no plan on when and how I was going to do so.  The same went for my large furniture items.  I knew I would have to move them eventually, I didn’t want the shell out the cash to pay for movers, and didn’t feel the pressure of time.

A few weeks went by, and  I was still a one-woman caravan for my manageable items, but the larger items remained and I was starting to feel the effects of being unsettled.  I was rifling through packed boxes to fish out things I needed, but had packed because I believed I would only have use for them when I had completed the move.  As my frustration started to build, I began to wonder why no one had offered to help.  Everyone in my circle knew I was moving.  They all knew how I was traveling back in forth with my mid-sized SUV packed to the hilt.  They had all seen me stooped in pain from carrying boxes back and forth, loading and unloading.  I was getting upset with everyone around me for watching me struggle with this move.

Then I realized that I had never asked for help.  Not only that, several times in the past, I had refused help when it was offered.  It didn’t click with me at the time that my constant refusal of help may have been a signal to all of my friends that I didn’t need the help.  I was responsible for how they were treating me, but being the stubborn person that I am, continued to move unassisted.  I moved beds, a coffee table, shelving units, boxes, all by myself.  I even carried a six-drawer dresser up six stairs into my new home.

Eventually, I hired movers to move my refrigerator and sofas.  I have no idea how I was able to do so much, but I paid that price.  I visit a chiropractor twice a week now.  I could not walk the day after I completed my move, and two days later I couldn’t stand upright.  Was I proud of what I had done? Yes.  Was it stupid? Yes.  Was it necessary? No. Could I have asked for help? Absolutely.  Have I learned my lesson?  Not yet, but I’m working on it.   Old ways die hard and I am certainly open to suggestions.

 

 

 

Posted in Morality Series, Uncategorized

Being Humble

It has become evident to me that being humble is quickly fading away.

To many people, being humble is a weakness or a lack of  confidence, but to me it has always meant something different.  One can be humble and confident. The two are not mutually exclusive.  When I think of being humble, I think of being a person who is well aware of their gifts, talents, and accomplishments and also aware of their weaknesses, shortcomings and goals yet to be attained.  Having made significant accomplishments does not mean there is no room to grow or that any shortcoming or weakness should be dismissed or ignored.

I am reminded of an incident in my hometown of a student who was gifted academically and athletically.  The student  earned many scholastic awards and several scholarships for academic and athletic merit.  Unfortunately, that student made a series of poor decisions and was arrested.  Of course the incident received attention on all of the local news outlets as this highly decorated student had fallen victim to the trappings many young people face.  What surprised me was the reaction of the student.  The student did not take ownership of the wrongdoing, but instead reacted with anger towards those who mentioned or passed along news of the arrest.  I am well aware  there is a certain type of person who loves to see the mighty fall from grace, but  the student’s reaction was troubling to me.  I am also well aware that the highly accomplished, gifted, and talented fall victim to the same temptations as everyone else, but those gifts and accomplishments do not excuse or dismiss bad behavior or eliminate the consequences of poor decisions.  The student’s reaction was that of prideful boasting of previous accomplishments and a dismissive wave of the hand to the arrest record. All of this documented on the student’s social media site and quickly spread like wildfire. Certainly one poor decision does not take away all of your accolades, but those accolades should not excuse one from misconduct.

In my opinion, there has been a major shift in values.   With the rise of social media and instant access to almost everything, we have been taught to create a cult of personality with little to no attention paid to maintaining an honorable reputation.

This post was just to vent my personal frustration.  I have no solutions to offer other than to challenge all of us to protect ourselves from valuing the trivial and transient and to place your value in the things that cannot be replaced.