Now what would happen if my intuition were an actual person?
What she’ll tell me in the following conversation is no-hold’s barred with no amount of sugar on it. It”s not clean and it’s not pretty. But in the end, it does make a lot of sense.
“All right, sweetheart, let’s get down to business. You’re not listening to me. Or should I say, you’re not being completely honest with yourself.”
“What do you mean? I listen to you. Didn’t I choose education over friends when it came to choosing which high school to go to? Didn’t I go to the college that made me happy as opposed to what would have been physically easier to get around on?”
“Yes, and those have turned out to be wonderful decisions. But I’m not talking about school here. I’m talking about dating, falling in love and all that stuff that you tend to make more difficult than it actually is.”
“Oh, right. It’s not that I don’t listen to you, it’s just that I want to give the guy a chance.”
“Honey, it’s one thing to give a guy the benefit of the doubt if you have a decent feeling about it. But if your stomach is in knots from the moment you meet him, and all you’re thinking about is that it probably won’t end well, then it’s best to cut your losses while you can.”
“But what if he’s just trying to get to know me?”
“If he asks about your virginity and just how far you’ve gone within a short time of meeting you, more than likely he doesn’t want to get to know you. He wants to get to know your body and eventually get into your pants.”
I don’t say anything for a little bit, knowing that she’s right. “Well, I have made up a list of standards!” I want so badly to change the subject already.
“Lady, it’s about damn time!” she laughs. “Now tell me about them?”
I name off the five standards that I have come up with in the last couple weeks.
She nods approvingly. “Can I ask, what in the hell took you so long?”
“I was afraid that I would be expecting too much.”
“I could give you an entire list of what expecting too much really is, but that’s not the point of this conversation. Another problem is that you’re often afraid, especially of your own feelings. And you shouldn’t be.”
“But what if I do or say something at the wrong time? And what if my feelings don’t meaning anything at all? That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Number one, if you don’t know when another opportunity is going to come, maybe it’s best to just do or say what you need to say while you have the chance. Number two, a good feeling is never worth fighting off. Sometimes you just can’t help it.”
I nod and slowly take in what she just said.
“Al, you know deep down who you are and the kind of woman that you want to become. You have the power and the ability to become that person. It’s just a matter of listening to yourself and having the courage to follow through with it.”
Intuition is a very powerful thing, isn’t it?
Day 10-Speak Less
I have not done a whole lot of writing this summer, aside from blogging. There have been so many emotions, feelings and thoughts swirling around in my brain. From fictional story ideas to personal observations to poetry, it’s all there. Yet I haven’t really taken the time to get it all down, even in my private journal. It’s not that I haven’t had the time, energy, or even things to write about; it’s actually a rarity for me to be at a loss for topics or ideas.
There are two things that I always try to include in my writing: the first is elements of my own personality or certain experiences, if such applies. The second is a level of vulnerability and truth; when I write, I usually don’t like to hold anything back, whether or not that concept pertains to language/word usage, opinions, etc. The way I see it, if you put a rein on yourself when you write, you’re defeating the purpose of writing. And that purpose is to speak and to use your voice, regardless if you’re trying to teach a lesson or just get something off of your chest.
With that being said, it is important to be mindful of the fact that our words may come across as hurtful, and even more important to be considerate of how others might be effected by it. This is something that I will most definitely elaborate on that more in my next entry. When I say “don’t hold yourself back” when writing, I mean don’t over-think about whether or not it will be considered “good.” Personally, I tend to over think things before I even get them down on paper.
But there are times when the idea of being vulnerable scares the crap out of me, regardless if it’s in person or in writing. I consider myself an open and honest person, with little to hide at that. Yet, laying all the cards out all the table can be jarring; until you say something, there’s no way of knowing how someone will genuinely react to it.
For instance, there is a specific topic that I’ve be wanting to blog about for quite some time, but haven’t been sure as to how to introduce it. Whenever there would be media coverage on it, I felt a push to write about, yet never felt like I was ready.
In terms of fictional pieces, most of the time the following questions go through my head: is this storyline/plot believable? Has this been done already? What can I do to make this story unique? They’re good questions for any writer to ask, but are exhausting at the same time. A big part of me thinks it would be better to wait until I got back to school.
And as far as my own personal thoughts? Maybe I just don’t want to admit that I’m feeling a certain way about what’s going on in my life. There are times where I would rather suck it up than rather break down and say that I’m not doing good. Not to mention I become easily distracted when I’m journaling and eventually get a hand cramp from writing so much.
That’s not healthy at all.
My only answer is this: What people are often afraid to say are the things that need to be said; and the longer you hold it in, the more damage you’re doing to yourself.
Side question: does anyone else experience that kind of problem/difficulty?
Without being overly specific about it, I would say that my “ordinary” is very much a multitude of things. I have a lot of different interests and enjoying spending time with different groups of people. For example, I can be reading a book one day and then be outside throwing a football the next. It all very much depends on how I feel.
When it comes to current events, I’m extremely middle of the road. It’s not that I don’t care to pick a side, it’s just that I would like to understand what both sides of an issue are saying before I form an opinion.
I believe in using kind words, but also have a tendency to be a bit of a smartass; I call it sweet, with a little bit of spice.
I like variety and having options; that’s why I chose to attend a public University as opposed to a small liberal arts college.
It seems like a lot of young generations (including mine) are under so much pressure to define themselves and/or to be “different” from their peers. My question is, why is it such a big deal? Is there ever a point where a person says knows exactly who they are and has it all figured out? Like it or not, we all change at some point.
When it comes to being unique and being different, people see it in their own time. I’ve seen a number of musical artists who appear to be moving heaven and earth to maintain their individuality, yet it’s now coming into question as to whether they’re being themselves, or just being flat out obnoxious. Take Lady Gaga, for example. I enjoy her music, but some of the songs that she’s been releasing after “Born this way” don’t make any sense to me. Which leads me to ask, do these songs have a particular message, or is it just for shock value?
And I mean no disrespect to her in any way whatsoever. I think she’s got an incredible amount of talent. What I’m trying to say is that there is a line between trying to be your own person and being in everyone else’s face about it. If you have a point to make or a message to spread, by all means do so. But at some point, some will become overwhelmed or annoyed and just not want to listen anymore.
But that is why I say just be. I’m not going to constantly worry about defining myself, because I know that I’m in no control over what other people think. Just because you put a label on yourself doesn’t mean you’ll fit into it.
A friend jokingly once told me, “Alyx, you’re just too much to handle!” What can I say? That’s just me!
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
Day 8-Divine Idea
Imitation has always been somewhat of a weakness for me; there have been many periods in my life where I have wanted things, and I believed that the key to getting what I wanted was to base my actions off of those who already had them. For instance, when I was in middle school thought that acting older meant cursing like a sailor (thankfully, that was in sixth grade and it only lasted for a year). There was a time when I believed being beautiful meant wearing make-up, and a ton of it at that. Honestly, I can’t think of a time where I didn’t somehow slip into a particular pattern because that’s what supposedly worked for everyone else.
But what I’ve learned about imitation is that somehow it will come back around and bite you where it hurts. Not because what you’re doing is a terrible thing, but because it’s just not who you are. People don’t succeed by directly following in the footsteps of those who have gone before them; they succeed by working hard and allowing their own creativity and personality to shine in the process.
There is the whole idea that people change, which to a degree is true. But when a person doesn’t necessarily change for the better, they will eventually run into a wall. No matter what kind of experiences or struggles you have in life, you never completely forget your core values or who you are on the inside.
For me, stepping away from imitation meant facing a few truths about myself. One of the most important ones is that I’m not quite like everyone else, and that I have somewhat of a different perspective than most people my age. I didn’t want to admit those things because I didn’t want it to sound like I was better than anybody (which, for the record, I’m not). I didn’t want to separate myself from my peers, either, because I get the feeling that some are intimidated by me as it is.
Which leads me to say that there are a lot of traits and aspects that make me unique. However, I would prefer not to mention every single one of them; not because I’m ashamed, but because I would rather have people see those unique things in me as opposed to me spelling them out. Actions speak louder than words, so I find that it’s always better to live something out than verbally proclaim it. Plus, there’s no harm in being a little bit mysterious, is there?
They say that good things come in small packages. I can only hope that I might be a diamond in the rough; you know, they kind that you can’t really find anywhere else.
I don’t believe that there are necessary steps to finding a sense of uniqueness in oneself. You just how to allow yourself to be, and eventually certain things will be revealed through emotion and action. Don’t worry about putting a particular label on it, or how you will appear in the eyes of others. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that you have little to no control over what others think of you.
Never be afraid to celebrate the things that make up exactly who you are. Even if you don’t know exactly who you are as a person, don’t fret. You will figure it out eventually.
We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. Someone might know a particular something better – like how to bake a three-layer molten coconut chocolate cake or how to build a website – but nobody else on the planet knows how to live your life better than you. (Although one or two people may think they do.) For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”
Day 7-I Know This
I can most definitely identify with this topic. It seems like these days there are so many resources out there that claim to have all the “answers”; talk-show hosts, therapists, pastors, self-help books…you name it. Add friends and family into the mix, and it becomes even more overwhelming.
But what I’ve begun to see is that not everything works for everyone. Just because someone gives you advice doesn’t mean you have to necessarily take it, and/or that it’s the right path to take. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate people who take the time to try and help me work through a situation. But I have been learning to respectfully disagree with someone when I feel the need to. Instead, I think about the things that I have learned- the things that I have come to know from my own experiences.
1. Not everyone will see things the way you do; it doesn’t matter how many times you try to sit a person or a group of people down and explain it, they’re just not going to get it.
2. You cannot fully protect yourself from pain or suffering.
3. No matter how rough the road may be, you’ll get through it. It may take awhile, but you will.
4. It’s OK to admit that certain days, months, etc. just suck. It doesn’t mean that life in general sucks, but everybody has their bad moments.
5. In order to love or take care of someone else, you have to be able to do the same for yourself.
6. Regardless of what magazines or books say, when it comes to any kind of relationship, it’s all about communicating openly and the ability to be yourself.
7. There are some things in life, that you can’t necessarily “try” to be good at. For example; flirting and being sexy. Those things just have to come naturally.
8. Beauty is not about what you look like, but rather how you feel. If you feel good, then chances are that the people around you will notice.
9. Don’t ever make judgments against a person for their bad choices when at one time you either thought about or went about doing the exact same thing.
10. On second thought, don’t ever judge someone based on what another person tells you. Meet them first and then form an opinion.
11. You can do things for the right reasons, but still end up going about it in the wrong way.
12. Cutting someone out of your life does not necessarily mean you’re cutting them out of your heart. No amount of picture deleting or lack of contact with erase the memories or the times that you had together.
13. The only time you should ever regret a relationship isn’t when you didn’t learn from it or grow from it.
14. It’s important to know when to just listen and when to give advice.
Maybe I’m wrong by some of those things. But nevertheless, that is what I know.
To fully understand what I am talking about, you might want to read my previous entry “This I Believe”, which you can find here
Who is one person that you’ve been dying to connect with, but just haven’t had the courage to reach out to? First, reflect on why you want to get in touch with them. Then, reach out and set up a meeting.
I also believe in the power of confidence, and how it can propel you to overcome things that maybe you thought you couldn’t. It honestly isn’t natural for me though; I have to actually do something, maybe multiple times over, before I can become completely comfortable with it. But the whole reason I’ve accomplished so much is because of my ability to feel secure with whatever it is I’m doing.
However, it’s not just the physical aspects of myself that tend to throw me for a loop; it is partially emotional as well. There are times where I can be feisty and aggressive, and I’m becoming less shy about calling it as I see it. I may appear to be a tiny little furball, but I have the strength and determination of a tiger. That will all speak for itself at some point or another.
I’m not saying that I’m a people pleaser, but I don’t deny that I get a kick out of proving people wrong; there have been moments where I’ve wanted to stand up on anything ridiculously tall and say “look at me now!” Or at the very least go up to someone that ever had doubts (believe me, there are some) and say “I told you so.”
I think that I often surprise a lot people, especially when it comes to my family. Then again, perhaps that’s a good thing; it means that I’m not always predictable and I’m not as easy to read as some might believe.
I have come a long way to get to where I am today. But that doesn’t mean I’m done yet…not by a long shot.
Day 4-One Belief
It may a bit uncommon, unconventional and not quite the smartest belief to hold dear. To some, I might as well be jumping off a cliff and not bring a parachute with me to ensure a safe landing. On a more literal level, I might very well be opening a door to allow my heart to be battered, bruised and eventually smashed to pieces.
Regardless of what anyone says, I wholly believe in taking the time to invest in people; to talk to them and get to know them, no matter what kind of relationship it is or what the future may bring.
From what I read on Facebook, Twitter, etc. it seems like the main idea in terms of how we relate to others is this: That it’s better to be lonely than to be hurt, and in order not to get hurt, we must keep them at arms length. And if we do end up becoming close to someone, the only way it can be deemed successful is if that particular is free from any sort of pain, betrayal, etc. If not, it becomes an unspoken regret, as well as a waste of time.
To put it plainly, the only way to not regret forming a particular relationship is if it works out exactly the way we want it to.
But I don’t think that’s true; at least, I don’t think that should be true. I have had some relationships (or if you really want to get technical, I’ll just call them friendships) that have started quickly and ended quickly. Some that have lasted for a long time and are still going strong. Some where we’re really close, but just aren’t talking right now because life has kept us both extremely busy. But no matter the situation, I do not regret the time that I’ve spent with them. Ultimately, I do not regret having the be a part of my life.
There have definitely been a lot of people that have let me down; friends, family…oh heck, there have been times where I feel as if God has let me down. But that does not mean that I don’t care about them or that I’m not willing to forgive them; there are people, especially friends, who will always have a special place in my heart. We may have endured a tough road together, but I still have wonderful memories as well as wonderful things that I’ve learned from them.
Day 3-My Own Path
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
I wrote an earlier blog post for the Reverb10 project, detailing the first time that I decided to do something because it’s what I genuinely wanted (I would recommend reading that before reading this particular post any further). However, that was only the beginning; there were many things that happened afterward that cultivated into this particular realization.
It wasn’t a moment in itself, but rather a series of moments. In the first few days of walking around campus, I felt as though this combination of weights and burdens had been lifted off my shoulders: I no longer had to play the role (if you want to call it that) of this older daughter who frequently had to be strong and hold the fort down for her family. I didn’t have to tell my parents everything I did, nor did I have to seek their approval before I did something. I didn’t have to worry about our financial situation. I was paving my own way and living my life the way I wanted to live it. And I must say, it felt pretty freaking good.
That kind of outlook helped me to deal with choices that I would be lead to make in the near future: rushing for a sorority for a second time, (and as of right now, a third) and opting to live an apartment for my second year of college as opposed to a dorm. And although this is not a definite decision yet, I have begun to seriously consider staying on campus next summer.
Of course, all of these choices have been met with some objections: Am I sure that I’m ready for this? What if…?
I recently sat down with my parents as we discussed my resisting advice or help in the past, along with how that correlated to these decisions that I was being led to make. All in all I told them, “I need to do what I want, on my own terms and in my own time.”
From these words, one could argue that I am being a selfish and defiant teenager. Truth be told, I have always been a rather stubborn little lady. My mom used to tell me that when I was in the hospital, I would kick off my diapers and frequently try to reconnect my arms and legs from whatever the heck they were hooked up to. In fact, it took me four months to come home from the hospital because I had to gain a certain amount of weight (apparently I refused to eat, or I probably spit it all back up) and I was unable to breathe on my own. In short, I didn’t do anything until I was damn well ready to.
But sometimes it’s good to be selfish. The way I see it, there are two kinds of selfishness. One is where you choose to do what you want, but you’re basically telling anyone who objects to you decision(s) to go to hell. The second is where you’re aware of the feelings of the people around you, but you also understand that there comes a point where you need to take care of yourself my choosing to pursue your own dreams. And more so, you’re able to communicate that with those people.
I realize that a lot of my choices and decisions have seemed out of the ordinary or just downright crazy. I understand that my parents miss me when I’m away from home, and that my choosing to do what I do requires a lot of money. But I wouldn’t (and still don’t) do anything unless I whole-heartedly believe that I will grow and benefit from that particular decision. I choose to do things because I strongly feel that it will be for the better, and that it will help me in becoming who I am meant to be.
And order to become the best that you can be, sometimes you have to do things that not necessarily everyone else will agree with, nor will it be what they want for you.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: everything has its moment. I believe that my moment is now.
I have just set up an e-mail account for this blog: if you would like to e-mail me with questions, comments, etc. you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org