Lifestyle, Relationships

Putting Yourself Out There

It’s scary.

Last Wednesday, I attended a BTS virtual meetup for the first time and my introverted self was TERRIFIED.

(…Which is ironic since I’m an admin/receptionist and communicate with others all the time, but I digress)

The main difference is I’m voluntarily approaching the group, but in my day job it’s vice versa, I get asked questions, which as an introvert, makes the difference.

Lately, I haven’t been able to contribute to conversations as much as I’d like to (because of situations I can’t relate to) and I’m not super versed in initiating conversations in those type of environments.

As everyone knows, all these zoom/teams meetings are mainly 2 people going back and forth and others chiming in to the conversation when possible, if it’s anymore than that… it’s just people talking over each other.

With my meetup experience last Wednesday, I felt it was the first time in awhile that I’ve been able to contribute and relate to the topics going on, you know? I was surrounded by fellow fans and they were able to understand references I made and simply understand what I was talking about.

I just felt relieved.

It’s the beginning of getting out this antisocial rut I’ve been in lately.

I honestly compare it to the feeling of sticking your feet into the water for the first time to see if it’s okay to get in and much to your surprise it’s a lot more manageable to jump in, if that makes sense?

In retrospect, this is the first time I’ve searched for a social group based on common interests. All my friend circles over the years have always been a result of the environment I was in, not because we had the same interests.

In high school and college, it was individuals you’d have class with or it was because of joining a club and/or organization.

In the workplace, it’s people you directly work with, but again, there are no guarantees that interests will align.

There is a balance in both, but for me recently, there was a side of me that was unhappy not being able to share my thoughts/feelings about common interests I had.

It’s just one step closer to finding my tribe and feeling authentically myself.

Relationships

The High School Crush

It’s interesting how life decides to show itself. 

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a former high school crush. I hadn’t talked nor seen this person in 11 years. It started from a random IG message and ended in a late night FaceTime call.

We shared drunken memories, early 2000s music, 90s kid references, and caught up on life since we’d last seen one another. 

As the conversation went on, I couldn’t help but put myself in the “high school” version of me.

A former crush contacting me after all these years?

Sounds like a dream a come true for any high school girl, right?

The conversation would’ve likely satisfied the “high school me” back then.

Then reality sets in.

…and that isn’t the case anymore. 

Lifestyles don’t match up, different personality styles, I just didn’t see the overlap as I once did before.

It’s a part of my life that I wasn’t interested in getting into again. 

I was okay with it being a part of my past, but knew it didn’t have a place in my future.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve matured. I have a better grasp on what kind of people I need in my life and recognize where the boundaries need to be drawn.

I realized during that conversation, that there is a time and place for everything. 

People will come in and out of your life as new or recurring characters, new chapters, or make it to the happy ending.

It’s up to you to guide the story.

Relationships

The World of Confrontation

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Conflicts arise because we’re afraid to fight.

I had an AHA moment once I heard that quote.

I value a harmonious environment and being confrontational has always made me uncomfortable.

As I’ve been in customer service for the past 5 years, I’ve been yelled at countless times. I’ve been able to diffuse some situations successfully, but others not so much. I definitely catch myself freezing up from time to time.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned the importance of being vocal and holding your ground.

If you’re not fighting for it, you’re standing still.

I can’t say EVERY battle is worth fighting for, but if that fight is worth it, you’ll come out the other end stronger.

Coming from someone who’s tendency is to hold everything in, I’m getting a better understanding of being vocal. If you’re not speaking up, there isn’t any cue to the other person that you’re also working to resolve the issue.

There will be times that it will be uncomfortable, but it also provides an opportunity for the issue to be worked out and facilitate growth.

Relationships

Relationships: The Balancing Act of Love

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You can grow within relationships. You can grow outside of relationships.

For me, a lot of growth occurred outside of relationships. Post breakup, there was always a struggle of, “Am I speaking with my mind or heart?” Your heart wants one thing, but your mind wants another. Finding that balance is never easy.

At the core, I’m a very empathetic person. I’m always imagining myself in other’s shoes.

As they say, your strengths are also your weaknesses, but on the other side of the spectrum.

You’re empathetic towards others, but forget to be empathetic with your own feelings.

Being in a relationship, it takes two to tango, it’s a two way street, however you’d like to interpret it, but it’s true.

Now that I’m able to objectively look at previous relationships, you start to notice patterns. There are definitely parallels.

I have to be fully accountable for what I said (or in my case, lack of what I said) to my significant other. I truly believe things happen for a reason, even though it may not be obvious at the moment.

But as an adult, I also want to grow and improve for the next relationship, you know? I don’t want to continue patterns that aren’t beneficial for both parties.

For example, the importance of love languages. According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that individuals give and receive love:

Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service

(I highly suggest taking the quiz to learn how love languages may play a part in your life)

After realizing my primary love language (quality time) and secondary love language (words of affirmation), things just made sense.

Instances that happened in my relationships, times where I was upset, reflected those love languages.

Your love language will sometimes evolve from a lack of this “love” previously. For example, growing up I didn’t really receive words of affirmation from my parents, so I ended up seeking it within my relationship.

In my last relationship, which lasted 4 years, I could count on my hands how many times I said I love you. Although I did love this person, saying those words did not have the same meaning to me than for him.

I recognize there’s a balance. You may need to receive love in a certain way, but you also need to express your S.O’s language as well. It may not be natural, but it’s all a work in progress.

Relationships

The Beauty of Friendship: The 7 Hour Phone Call

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7 and a half hours later and walking away from that conversation, I felt that if someone is meant to be in your life, it’ll happen. Your paths will cross and time will fall into place. 

I truly believe that my soul needed that conversation. 

I’ve known my best friend since we were freshmen in high school. If you met us back then, you would’ve learned WE WERE ATTACHED at the hip. If you saw one, you’d automatically see the other.

So when I attended college, I left thinking that our friendship would never change.

I couldn’t be anymore wrong.

As time went on, we drifted apart. We truly didn’t know each other anymore.

We would connect, but it was never on a deep level. It was more of catching up and small talk. It felt like we were acquaintances. I didn’t fully grasp at the time how much damage was being done.

Our life paths were just different. We could no longer relate to one another.

There were awkward times trying to maneuver this new dynamic. It was not easy.

It was new for the both of us. I for one was really bad at maintaining friendships.

Once I graduated college and returned to our hometown, everything just caught up with me.

All the times that I hadn’t responded to her messages, all the times I never reached out to her, I just wasn’t there when she needed me. I felt like an asshole. 

Up until last Friday, I honestly don’t remember the last time we had a heart to heart conversation as “best friends.”

Life experiences, moving away from our hometown, her entering the military, me going to college, the guys we’ve dated has made us evolve and mature.

I walked away from that conversation, knowing that we had to grow apart on our own in order to be close again later and I am forever grateful. 

Relationships

My Relationship with Valentine’s Day

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Reminder:

You don’t have to be in a relationship on 2/14 to be happy.

2/14 isn’t about sulking around about not being in relationship, but is a reminder to love yourself as well. It is a day revolved around love, not necessarily with a significant other, but to show self-love as well. Whether if that’s treating yourself to a show you’ve ALWAYS wanted to see, going to your favorite restaurant, or even binge watching your favorite show. Be happy.

The marketing around 2/14 is crazy. Every store you walk into is literally lined with roses, chocolate, cards, and candy.

Yes, I understand the feeling of receiving gifts on Valentine’s Day from previous relationships. I have also had expectations on this day myself.

I am guilty of it.

But now as I grow older, they’ve started to fade. A $50 bundle of gifts isn’t representative of someone’s love to me. Don’t get me wrong… if your girl loves those things, by all means go right ahead. 2/14 is just another day in the year that marks love. There is a whole other 364 days that could mean so much more.

I, too, am still learning to love myself each and every day.

It only takes one step. Just one.

“As I began to love myself, my relationship with everyone changed.”

Relationships

The Paint Nite of Friendship

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I decided to do a Paint Nite for my 26th birthday, which may I say, I surprisingly enjoyed. I wouldn’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I do have a creative side of me that comes out every once in awhile.

I have respect for all the artists out there (i.e, my uncle, my dad, and even my brother). Props to everyone, it definitely isn’t easy.

My perfectionist tendencies were definitely coming out while painting. Constantly trying to get it like the model painting, trying to blend colors… Who knew making the color orange was so hard?! But nonetheless, the Paint Nite was a success! I am definitely down to do it again, moreover I’d definitely like to increase my skill.

This Paint Nite event was held in Downtown… Midtown? Sacramento. As previously mentioned in my last blog, Sacramento shares a very special place in my heart.

Almost all of the individuals in the photo above, I have known since my freshman year of college, a selected few are from my hometown and I have known for even longer.

I am very much thankful to everyone. I know I don’t say it enough, or even at all.

These people have played a significant part in my life in one way or another. Anything from college roommates to even being a former significant other. Although we all don’t live in Sacramento anymore, I am happy to know it just takes one drive up or one gathering to bring us all together again.

This night ended as our nights always do. Catching up on life, discussing ADULTing responsibilities, future travel plans, and dating statuses. We are all doing are own things now, life paths are taking us all in different directions, and I’m glad that we’re able to still stay connected in spite of what is going on in our lives.

“Here’s to the nights that turned into mornings with the friends that turned into family.”