The people in your life really mess you up 

Ramble No.6:

We don’t realise these things as they’re happening, we don’t realise how some events affect our lives but they do. 

I find it very difficult to trust a partner or even a friend. I am thankful that I’ve had and retained some priceless friendships. They decreased overtime, as they do for most people and having had to vacate my home myself as well as most of my friends, distance has played its role in weeding out the weaker friendships. I am beyond thankful for this clean out. It means I am left with the connections that are not affected by distance or intermittent communication. It is hard trying to stay in touch considering we are all adults now, we have our own lives, our jobs, families and the time distance only adds onto that.

Through life, I have been surrounded by so many different types of relationships, even if not directly connected to me, they have touched my life and the way that I perceive future connections.

My issues about relationships have been questioned and pointed out by many people over time. And over that time, I have come to understand myself more and more. It’s just a normal part of growing up. Distancing myself from people after having been constantly  surrounded by people has taught me to listen to myself more. What do I really want from life? What do I really want from myself? What do I want for myself? It’s a harsh realisation really digging into the darkest parts of your mind and the next morning, being able to accept who you are, what you have done, what you want to do, where you want to be and what you are willing to do to get to that place. It requires more strength than would be to accept others.

I know I have trust issues for several reasons. It is difficult to trust that people can be any type of constant in my life when so many different kinds of people have left. My brother and I watched one of the most influential relationships in our life unravel throughout our entire childhood, heard all the fights, watched all manner of abuse (and sustained some ourselves) and this has inevitably effected us.

Beyond this, I have watched as close relatives and friends went through their short-lived relationships (of all kinds) and watched as those relationships unravelled and destroyed them. Sometimes, I was there to help pick up the pieces. I watched some of my closest friends give up parts of them only to be discarded as if they never held any worth. The few aforementioned friends I still have, although I am not physically present to watch their relationships form and fall apart, I get to hear/read about it during our short conversations and it hurts just as much knowing they have once again been shattered. I’ve helped a friend through a very rough breakup. I’ve sat next to friends against a wall on the floor with their knees curled up to their chests, struggling to breathe, becoming dehydrated, not understanding how such pain was possible, not being able to form any words, sometimes struggling to make any sound at all. I’ve watched friends drink their young lives away and become reliant on drugs to get through their days, to get through conversations, to be able to sleep, to be able to stay awake, to be able to go to classes, get through assignments, go to work, get through meetings… I have watched their families fall apart bit by bit. I have picked up the phone to be asked to pick friends up when their houses no longer feel like home and I still watch as they attempt to find a replacement.

I have myself tried to escape to them on several occasions and every time, I felt more at home at other people’s houses, in the company of their parents, more than I ever did at home. Although we were young and these things happen when you’re young, it still affects your future outlook, reactions and even your expectations.

These things continue with you unless you learn to understand them, accept them and move past them. Learn to understand why you close yourself off from people; if you have been hurt in your life, you automatically put up a wall. You end up isolating yourself, you automatically assume you know how things will work out because you have gone through so many different situations, you have heard those words before, you know what comes after a certain action – or at least you think you do. It’s hard to push yourself to give a person the benefit of the doubt when pain has moulded your mind and taught you how to act, how to defend yourself and minimise the pain. It’s a struggle pushing past your automatic defence armour. However, sometimes you have to. You have to nurture some faith that may be a situation will turn out differently to what you have known. Even if it doesn’t end on a high note, it’ll teach you that things won’t always follow the template you have built up in your head.

It is difficult to understand what you want when all you know is that something in your life is missing. If every time you think of it as an empty place inside you, it remains an empty place that can only be filled by something that you have not yet come across. Try not to fill that place with a person – people leave – unless that person is you. Sometimes you have to find little things, you have to find out what makes you tick, what excites you, what makes you feel whole and do that. Just keep doing the things that make life more bearable, more fun, more worthwhile and that will slowly fill up that hole. You will slowly realise you no longer feel that same void anymore, even if it takes a while. It makes sense that something so important, something as valuable as feeling complete will take time and effort so go and dedicate time to yourself.

Every time you feel positive energy, every time something puts you in a good place, realise what it is, realise why it makes you feel good. That might just be one of that things that you put on that list of things that will fill you up with happiness and peace. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for and we have to appreciate and care for ourselves.

 

 

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Always feel free to share your thoughts/stories/ideas here. I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

We live in an Age of Enlightenment 

Ramble No. 4:

People have always found it strange that I enjoy learning. I enjoy absorbing new information. I enjoy learning new concepts. I enjoy reading about things that I don’t know and looking up things that make no sense to me.

We live in an age where information is a click away. If you don’t know something, you look it up and get so many different answers. You can get a short answer or a long answer that is detailed with links to further information all of which are only further clicks away. Most of us are glued to our phones or using them often . It’s part of life in this age so, why not learn new stuff?

Our brains were created to absorb information and use it, constantly. If we stop learning, it slowly starts to decay. There is just so much information out there that there is no way you wouldn’t find something that you, in particular, find interesting to learn about. Even if you don’t like reading, the same information can be available on videos or podcasts. Even memes an gifs now convey interesting information!

Next time you’re texting someone and they mention a word you’ve never heard or make a reference you don’t understand, just paste it into Google or whatever search engine you prefer. Not only will you learn something new, you can actually reply with something other than “What’s that?” which will definitely keep the conversation interesting and you might actually find it interesting yourself. You may also read/hear more about it and find more information.

We live in an age where ignorance has really become arrogance. It is normal that we are all ignorant of things we don’t know about obviously. But, it is another to remain ignorant when you are made aware of something. Even if it is not particularly something you enjoy, you can look it up just to find out what it is and go with the simpler definitions or illustrations. That way, the next time it’s mentioned, you aren’t sat clueless wondering how many more times it’ll be mentioned before you find out what it is. We all do it, at least every once in a while, just wonder. It’s normal. I think we’re all hardwired to be curious, some act on their intrigue and some don’t. I am amazed to find out that the amount of people deciding to learn and grow the amount of knowledge they hold is increasing. It’s a wonderful thing.

I used to be one of the people who, for most things, asked “What’s that?” or “what does that mean?” when I could have just as easily looked it up. Some of my interactions actually said “ever heard of Google?”. Now, I don’t mind answering people if they ask these questions because I do enjoy teaching people things they don’t know (as badly as I teach anything) because the sense of intrigue, the amazement in someone’s voice or on their face is in itself, fascinating. So whenever someone asks, I explain a little and if they seem interested, I do sometimes suggest that they look it up to “see what I mean” because I appreciate that I’m not the best with explanations (hence the numbered ramblings are titles to every post). Although, even if the explanation was good, looking it up does act as a visual aid.

Now that I’ve ranted enough about looking things up, lets do something else. Here are a few things that may be useful to learn:

  1. Get better at Excel!

Most of us will need to learn how to be good at this (in my case how to use it other than as a list) to be able to work most current jobs so why not give it a shot? It’s free and done by experts! If you’re thinking about, or starting to, work for yourself, this will definitely be useful to you.

2. Read faster!

If you’ve ever felt like your reading has slowed down, this can help. I’m dyslexic and this helped improve my reading so why not, right? It’s also free.

3. Learn a new language in your down time

This has got to be one of my personal favourites. I always found learning new languages interesting. When I was younger, I’d have happily learned more languages if there were teachers around to teach me but unfortunately, we did very basic French at school and I didn’t have the option of a private tutor to learn a third language. If I knew about Duolingo a few years ago, I’d be fluent in more than my two native languages at the moment! I started learning Spanish on it about a year ago. Just a few things when I’m going to bed (I end up dreaming of the words/phrases being learned).

Caveat: simply learning and practising on Duolingo will not make you a fluent speaker, you still need to practice it alongside other materials or with fluent speakers but it sure as hell will get you there! They’re adding new languages and improving the service constantly so it’s worth it.

4. Take better pictures

I think everyone would like to take better pictures! I’ve had a DSLR since I was about 16. I take decent pictures but I’ve always wanted to improve them so I tend to enjoy sites like this. Hopefully, I can improve before my trip this summer *fingers crossed I don’t fall into a lake*

There are so many things you can learn when you’re bored. There’s always something interesting that you do by giving it short bursts of time now and then. It isn’t an impossible or necessarily a difficult thing. Give it a shot and see how you get on.

Social Interactions Have Changed

The world is changing. People are more withdrawn, communicating less, less real connections are made and the people making dating apps have expanded into friendship apps.

Ramble No. 3:

long_distance_couples  is-online-dating-right-for-you

I find it ridiculous that you can no longer just make friends like you used to. I grew up surrounded by an inordinate amount of people. Yes, they were not all my friends but we all knew each other, we all socialised together, often had the same close friends and ended up making even more friends but the world is changing. This seems to be a norm in the West – stay away from people unless you’ve met them online and you had some common interests. It is also difficult when you work a full-time job that takes up the majority of your time and it can sometimes include weekends. The same difficulty is faced for several other reasons including having a medical condition, caring for someone else, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like meeting people online but I do miss meeting people in person and getting more than an “excuse me” or “oh it’s cold today”, etc. I miss having real conversations with real people. My generation seems to be evolving into this purely work-driven force and it is amazing to see that change in society but as stated above, this does have a downside.

Because people are so withdrawn or secluded from real social interactions, when they are around others, they seem to have more of a temper, less patience. People are becoming more picky, more critical. People driving down the road have no patience whatsoever anymore. There is too much friction in the world, too much negative energy. Yet, people will complain about receiving the same negative energy that they’re sending out. It can easily be changed. You can send out good vibes by simply displaying more patience, being nicer to people, having more compassion for other especially since you don’t know any given stranger’s situation and the reasons for why they may have done whatever it is they’ve done that has for some ridiculous reason angered you. This is in no way applicable to everyone but it seems that the group of people that this applies to is growing and that isn’t something we need more of in the world. It is already becoming a dark age that we live in considering all the chaos around the world so why would we want to add to it? We should be improving not regressing.

Now back to the dating/friendship app ramble:

There seems to be an increase of these apps although the all-time public favourite seems to be Tinder. Regardless of the initial aim of this software, it has become a way to get laid, that is generally what most of its users want from it. But I found it strange that there are apps that make it fun to “make a connection” as it displays nothing more than a first name, age, occupation, education and allows you to add in some details about yourself but that isn’t a requirement. This allows people to remain vague, to learn more about each other by talking. I like that. Sometimes the same app will have a setting allowing you to only see and be shown to people who are not interested in a relationship but rather, a friendship. It gives you the same options in terms of personal details. Although it does allow for more communication, the fact that there are so many users subscribed to these things overwhelms you because there are way too many choices.

Imagine scrolling through hundreds or thousands of profiles with minimum information or one-liners. You have a type (or certain things you prefer in a person), everyone does. Sometimes you may not realise it unless you see a pattern of the people whose profiles you have liked but the preferences are always there. Another problem then crops up is that you inadvertently raise your standards because you simply can. There are way too many choices and you can choose the top contenders for whatever characteristic you prefer. It is too tempting not to like those “way out of your league”.

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So if everyone’s going for top picks, those who may not be considered your stereotypical dream guy/girl/other end up waiting around or trying to start conversations that are going nowhere because, more often than not, the top contenders want someone on their level. It may be a horrible thing to say or think but it’s the honest truth. People then complain that they haven’t been able to find someone who likes them back.

If you’re out there looking for someone who is perfect for you based on the minimal information provided, how do you know they’re the right person? If we are going to continue this online thing because we’re too busy, too shy, too awkward, whatever the reason, then we have to change how we go about it. Here are some things that can improve the results you’re getting:

  1. Change your choices

Don’t keep choosing the exact same person with a different name, sightly different height, slightly different interests, slightly different anything else. Change it more than that. It’s like getting out of your comfort zone but you would be surprised what happens when you don’t stick to your preferences to the T.

2. Be vague but be honest

Lots of people will lie on their profiles/bios. They may claim to be some world-renowned something or another, they may claim to enjoy something they don’t or even worse, they may get too specific about something which will cloud over all the other great things about them. This is part of the online persona. This is a lot of people are still scared about meeting people online only to meet them and find out the whole thing was a lie or that they’re super creepy and just wanted to seem chilled out. Just be honest, don’t say too much. The right people will strike up a conversation. Just like you’re intrigued by someone’s bio that includes nothing but a dry joke, they’ll be intrigued by whatever interesting traits you’ve put in yours.

3. Just be you

This ties in to the second point and it is something that has been emphasised by so many people in so many ways for as long as human interaction has existed yet we tend to ignore it at least half of the time. It will feel like you’re reading the same thing again because the gist of what I want to say here is that if you’re being yourself you’ll attract the right kind of people. It is true for so many reasons but most of all, if you’re not being yourself and the other person likes you, imagine have to put up the charade for as long as you’re with that person. What if that person likes all the things about you that aren’t really you? What if you can’t keep up those little things because you don’t enjoy them or because they actually get on your nerves? So many reasons why it’s a bad idea to pretend being something you’re not for both you and the other person so just be you.

4. Don’t try too hard

People can tell when you’re trying too hard, usually because the information you provide them with becomes inconsistent. There’s no point. It would only be a waste of time to put in so much effort only to be found out. If you feel yourself trying too hard, pull back. Take a breath, slow things down, even disconnect if you have to. Remind yourself to be you and keep every connection confined to its own speed. You get on with different people in different ways. Don’t take it too hard if you feel like you’re getting on with someone and then they just stop responding. Everyone has preferences, everyone has reasons. Some people just change their minds about the whole thing and disconnect themselves without saying anything.

I hope that this is useful.

Remember: just because we’ve changed the way we interact, doesn’t mean we have to change the things we enjoy. Do you and enjoy it! Life is too short not to do the things you like. 

 

Just for fun:

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Make it yours

Ramble No. 2:

Have you ever missed your bus or train by just a second or two? Ever gotten to the door of a shop just to be told “sorry, we’re closing” because you forgot that on that day of the week it closes earlier than usual? Ever gotten really excited about having sent a message only to be ignored or gotten a one-word reply? Ever been turned down for a good job or a scholarship? Breathe. Take a step back and look at all the little things that happened around that time.

Maybe you missed that train or bus because it would have gotten stuck in traffic or held at the next station. Maybe you would have met someone on the train you shouldn’t have or gotten into a conversation or someone may have made a remark that would have made your day worse than missing that train did. Maybe that bus got into an accident or someone was behaving so badly that the driver stopped the bus so by being on that bus you would have been delayed longer than the time you spent waiting for the next one.

You can think of not getting into the shop similarly adding on even more possibilities.

With not getting that job that seems like a dream; such good benefits, all of that experience.. you may have ended up miserable in that job, maybe you would have been asked to do something you wouldn’t have been happy with, maybe you would have been pushed to cross a line, may be you would have been stuck with bad co-workers or a bad boss, maybe you would have gotten stitched up for something you didn’t do. The possibilities are endless.

There are so many reasons these things happen, so many reasons that what we want doesn’t happen. Whatever you’re belief in life, religion, balance, energies, you know everything is connected somehow and we all fight the idea that everything happens for a reason simply because we do not know that reason.

Possibilities shouldn’t stop you from pursuing things in life but when something doesn’t go the way you wanted, remember this. It will bring a positive light to your life and by emitting that energy, you will attract the same positive energy and things will always fall into place. Remind yourself that you’re doing great and good things will happen.

You lose nothing by trying; it’s a state of mind, a thought here and there on those few occasions where something unwelcome happens. It’s worth a few tries but believe it will work when you try it otherwise you’re sending out the wrong energy and the attempt is worthless.

You can change your life for yourself.