Sunday, May 27, 2012

Addicted to You

Everyone has that relationship at some point in their life where they are so ridiculously in love and attached to the person, even though it is obviously an unhealthy relationship.  Are we blind to it at the time? Or are we completely aware but our heart won't listen to our brain?  Why do we stay? And after it's finally over (for those of us who are lucky enough to escape) why do the thoughts of that person still haunt us?

Now, I'm not talking about solely women, it's men too.  I'm 25 years old and pretty much everyone I have a deep conversation with and get to know has that one person in their life that still drifts into their thoughts from time to time, and more often than not, the memories recalled of that relationship are usually unhealthy ones, with a melancholy disposition because as aware they are of the negative aspects, they still desire to idealize the relationship because for some reason they cannot let go.

I often wonder if the reason we put so much stake in these relationships is because we get conditioned from movies, television, and books.  When you hear a love story, there is always some sort of conflict.  The couple does not merely meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after.  There is always some grand fight, some mistake, and then the one character proves their love in some grand gesture and then the end.  We see a couple fighting, on the brink of killing each other and then they start making off, knock everything off the table and start going at it.  We associate the fighting, the conflict, the gestures with passion.  So we have become conditioned to believe that when we're in a relationship with a lot of fighting, it is passionate and that it means we love each other more.  We think that we fight because we believe the relationship is worth fighting for.  But are we naive? 

I know that I would probably get bored in a seemingly perfect relationship.  If we never disagreed, if we were always happy and satisfied and never fought, then we would be like robots, I suppose.  I like fighting because it shows that I have my own identity, beliefs, wants, needs, etc. 

I think everyone secretly enjoys or craves that kind of passion we see in the movies (yes men, I'm talking to you too).  I think that every girl wants to be swept off her feet, or even do the sweeping if you will.  And I think every guy longs to know a girl so well that he can do some big romantic gesture (that he can afford) to show her how much he loves her.  I think when you're fighting in a relationship, you do secretly wish that you could just start making out with the person and let the problems go.  I think we all look back to those relationships because they were so seemingly passionate and wish that we could have the happy ending.  I think the reason those stick out in our heads is because we wish that we would've been able to fix things.  We want to fix things, we want to fix people.  But the truth is, real love, healthy love, isn't about "fixing" the person.  It's about loving the person for exactly who they are.  Sure, they may disagree with you, sure you may fight, but at the end of the day, it's about compromise.  And compromise can't happen with two people wanting two completely different things and there isn't common ground.  A healthy relationship is when you don't want someone to change because you find the things that might irritate someone else, endearing.  You love that they chew extremely loud.  It makes you smile that they can't ever make a decision.  You fell in love with them because of those so-called "flaws".  You don't want to "fix" someone that you love.  You can help them with their problems yes, but only because they want help, or need help.   When I say "need" help I mean it's not something that you think they would be better without, I mean cases where it is pretty clear they need help, like if the person had cancer and needed help getting through chemotherapy. 

 I think we become addicted to the perceptions of how a relationship should be.  We think that a relationship should be like in the movies.  Personally, I look to my brother and sister-in-law.  Yes, they fight, but it's never a huge public blowout.  You usually only hear about it when they joke about it with the family.  But they love each other, and they are completely themselves, and they enjoy spending time with each other, as well as with other people.  They have a healthy relationship.  Sad to say, healthy relationships aren't normal anymore. 

But I have what I consider to be a healthy relationship.  And I've done the screaming battles in the past.  And I prefer where I'm at now.  When I look back on the fights, and the tears, and even yes, the make-ups, I don't see passion.  I see passion when my boyfriend has a hard day and I do something to cheer him up and he gives me a big hug and kiss to thank me.  I see passion in the eyes of couples who have been together for fifty years and still look at each other like it's the first time they kissed.  I see passion in the embrace a military spouse gives his wife or her husband when they return home.  And those relationships weren't built on frequent screaming matches, controlling, paranoia, cheating, abuse, insecurities, or any of the other elements in unhealthy relationships.  It was built on trust, honesty, compromise, communication, and faith.

Addiction isn't a good thing, so why let yourself be addicted to a memory, or a person?  Let it go.  Let them go.  Move on with your life and don't be afraid to be alone, because at least then you're with someone worth loving....yourself.

Okay, that ending sounded pretty lame.  But it's the truth.

The end.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Company You Keep

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendships and how they fade in and fade out of our lives so easily it seems.  There have been several moments where I'm with a new friend of mine, and I recall thinking, "This is a person who is going to be in my life forever," but truth is, most of them are no longer present in my life.

Sometimes friends move on, move away, or your friendships fall apart.  Sometimes you simply don't nurture the friendship and it just fizzles out.  But the truth is, we all evolve and sometimes the original purpose of a friendship is no longer the case and things change.  It doesn't make it easier to lose a friend, but its somewhat comforting to know that it may not be completely your fault. 

Friendship is a two way street.  If the friendship falls apart, it is both parties to blame.  A lot of times it's simply miscommunication or a total lack of communication.  Some friends assume that when they're upset by another friend, that the friend should simply know what they did wrong and apologize.  But sometimes, the person has no idea, or maybe the person didn't actually do what it is thought they did, or they didn't realize it would upset their friend.  It's all a disaster.  The world is chaotic, there are so many influences on people every day, an infinite possibility of events exists, and friendships often can't stand the wear and tear.

I remember five years ago, I had a roommate and I would expect her to know that certain things she did drove me insane.  My boyfriend at the time would always tell me to talk to her about it, and I always told him, "She should just know".  But the truth is, she may not have known it drove me nuts.  And that doesn't necessarily make her a bad friend or roommate, it just means she didn't know because I never talked to her about it.  It also doesn't make her stupid either because of all those infinite possibilities.  In her house, where she was raised, that may have been completely acceptable behavior and she was never taught that it was kind of icky.  My point is, that not talking to her about the issues, damaged the friendship.  Instead, she heard from other people how much it drove me crazy, and it hurt her that I never spoke to her directly, and she felt like I had been talking about her behind her back.  (Which in all fairness, I had).  Perhaps, it had been to avoid confrontation, but sometimes confrontation is best.  Sometimes being direct tells a person what they've done wrong, and they fix it immediately.  Sometimes there isn't a big fight or blow out.  And most of the time, the friendship can be saved just by simple words, "It hurt my feelings when you _____".  But people are petty creatures, and they like to be mad at others, and they like to blame others for their bad moods, their own insecurities, and their problems.  But they don't want to tell that person how they feel because the person may be able to shed light on the situation and solve it, and then they no longer have a person to be mad at except for themselves.

Friendships can also tell you a lot about someone.  The pretty girls who hang out with seemingly uglier girls, usually have self-esteem issues.  The girls who hang out with mostly guys usually like to avoid big drama blow-outs, or get reassurance of their worth by guys instead of spending time with girls and feeling inferior.  People hang out with people like them or people they want to be like.  I've thought a lot lately about the types of people I hang out with.  I have four friends I would consider close friends, maybe even best friends.  They are all men.  They are the people that I go to when I have a problem, and they are the people that I expect will understand me and give me good guidance.  I guess the reason they are guys is because I don't necessarily want someone who understands me so well they will tell me what I really should do even when it's not necessarily what I want to do.  I also think that guys help me get over a lot of the petty drama stuff.  They ask me what the big deal is, and I realize it's not so big of a deal and let it go.  They also assure me of my worth, where as a lot of the time other girls can cut you down to make themselves feel better. A lot of my guy friends also spend a lot of time thinking about life, in a deeper level, like myself.  It makes for some fascinating conversations and makes me feel like I'm always chasing after new knowledge and new perspectives on life.  You can't always tell exactly who a person is by their friends on the surface, a person may hang out with total tools and that doesn't mean that they are.  But if you look at it closely, that person may hang out with those type of people because they envy those people because they speak their mind and do what they want, etc. 

I've lost a lot of friends as of late, and I know that I am in part to blame for the situation, but I know the blame doesn't fall solely on myself.  It still makes me sad.  But in the same sense, I have gained new friends, and gotten reacquainted with others.  I'm moving on, growing up, and as it always goes, some people get left behind.  With those I find of value, and worth keeping, I have tried to salvage it the best that I can.  Now it is left to them, to see if the friendship will be saved.  But I'm happy.  I'm happy with myself and for myself.  I'm happy with this new chapter in my life and the new possibilities it brings.  All I can hope is that my current friends, my future friends, and my past friends, can be happy for me as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Things Change

These past two weeks have been such a ball of emotions.  I've been anxious, nervous, terrified, sad, frustrated, happy, excited, enthralled, satisfied, content, ecstatic, and fifty other feelings, all twisted into one great big ball of craziness.  I apologize for not writing often, but I'm sure nobody is truly heartbroken.  Let me update those of my faithful readers of what is going on with me.  In the past two weeks, not only have we found a new apartment, but we're moving on Saturday, I am finishing up the last few weeks of my job as manager, and starting a whole new adventure of trying to find a job that actually fits my major.  I have a couple of prospects.  My boyfriend is soon-to-be promoted, and the major portion of our nerves is that us signing this lease together, and moving into our first "big-kid" apartment, away from the college town, and a lot of friends, moving in solely together, without a roommate. 

I have been absurdly busy because we had essentially a week to pack, and my boyfriend works 6 days a week, so most of the packing and cleaning fell on my shoulders.  It has been a bit frustrating, but last night I got a major portion of the final touches done, and tonight has been more about cleaning and relaxing for me.  I am really overwhelmed at all the new changes coming my way, and excited for the possibilities.  I'm glad that most of my friends who live in the area I'm moving to, are happy that I'll be closer, especially since I'll be closer to my brother. 

I guess the one thing that actually is bothering me the most, is the reaction of the people here.  There are a fair amount of people who have expressed to me how much they're going to miss me.  It's more, hurtful to me I guess that there are going to be people who are celebrating the fact that I'm leaving.  It makes me feel really misunderstood.  I've always been a person to talk things out, if a problem is brought to my attention, then I try to deal with it through a conversation.  Lately I feel like people are misinterpreting my words, or hearing a different interpretation from another person, and the game of telephone is making me look bad.  I do try to look inward, and see if perhaps I am doing something wrong, but every time somebody says something to me about what has happened and I think about it, people really are taking it in a different way than I meant it.  It hurts that there are important people in my life that I would like to stay in touch with, who see me in such a negative light.  And unfortunately, because they haven't tried to talk to me about the problems, I have had no way to try and fix the situation, or apologize if something I said made them feel a certain way.  I also feel like there are instigators in the situation who are past the point of reconciliation who are breeding this hate towards me.  I wanted to be remembered when I left for the hard work I've put in and the good things I've done, but sad to say that point has passed.

 Perhaps, in a few months, or years, people will reflect upon this time and regret their actions or feelings, but unfortunately for me, I'll be stuck feeling unwanted, unappreciated, and undervalued.  The drama, I'd like to say I'm past.  I'd like to say that when a friend tells me what someone has said about me, a negative comment of sorts, that I have gotten over the whole situation and no longer care, but it still really digs at me.  It's something I feel will linger with me for a long time.  This job, has really been a turning point in my life.  And I'd like to say that it was the people or the place that did it, but really it was the responsibility.  Having so much responsibility placed in my hand really made me a stronger individual.  So, having people comment about me being terrible at my job really hurts because of how far I feel I have come.  I feel like I'm going to walk away with all this negativity and feel like the past two years of my life were a complete and total waste, and that maybe I'm seeing something that's not really there.  It breaks my heart to be completely honest.

I can only count my blessings right now that I do have a few truly amazing friends who have helped me through the past month at work, because it has gotten to the point that I just....don't want to be there.  I go in, and I do my work, and I talk to the negative people as little as possible, and I hide in my head with thoughts of how I wish I could change things.  But I'm not one to force myself on people, if they have a problem with me, they should come to me.  The funny thing is, that a lot of the hatred stems from people accusing me of talking about people behind others backs, and yet they are all doing the same to me.  I'm not going to cause a confrontation, not going to start a scene by calling someone out for what they've said, instead I do my work, cling to the good things I have to look forward to, and embrace the fact that in a few weeks, it will be another chapter in my book of life that is closed.  I just never thought that I would be so relieved for it to be over.  I thought I would be scared to leave the job behind, scared to move away, but thanks to these people, I couldn't get away from them fast enough. 

It sucks that I've spent so much time there, I've worked so hard, I've changed so much, and I don't even get to say a blissful goodbye.  I'm sure they've already bought the streamers for their party to celebrate me going away.

So as I'm already so terrified about moving away, moving in with my boyfriend, starting a new chapter, a new job, leaving the place I've been for the past 8 years, not knowing anything that's coming next, who I'll spend time with, how we'll get by....I don't even have certain friends to lean on and help me through.

I don't hate them, I feel sad.  It's hard to lose friends, especially over petty things that could've easily been fixed.  But now I guess it is too late to try, so instead it's time to say goodbye.

Goodbye.  Nice to Know You.