Thursday, July 24, 2014

Maintain Your Happiness! Identify Bad Apples.

I’ve been reflecting again and it took some really deep, sometimes not so pleasant conversations to get to this point. I’m sure from my previous posts, it’s pretty evident that I’m dealing with people doing some pretty horrible things to me and my close friends. Horrible in that they were once close to us, created a relationship with us that we thought would last and then dumped us off once we were deemed not helpful to them anymore. In addition to that, these people have been spreading horrible stories about me and my group that are just plain untrue. That’s on top of the fact that we’ve gone out on a limb to help them and develop them. It’s been bugging me to have been semi-blind sighted, but this is never a fun situation to be in. And it does get you down. 

Because of this, I’ve noticed that I’ve become less trusting, more guarded and easily frustrated. That just isn’t me. I had several friends and my sister approach me asking what’s going on, because I wasn’t being myself and it was so subtle they couldn’t tell if something was really wrong. I didn’t think anything was wrong to be honest. But after talking with them and dissecting some of what was going on with me, there definitely was. 

I was focusing too much on the people who are awful to me. I was trying to show them that I knew what they were doing, that they can’t get away with it and that they aren’t as smart or manipulative as they thought they were. WHY? Why was I expending so much time and energy on them? I was just making myself more upset (even though I didn’t know it) and focused on more negative things. This made me come off to people as negative, irritable and just not myself. 

I’m so glad that I have friends and my sister who felt comfortable enough to say something to me and have that really tough conversation. It wasn’t something I really felt I needed to work through, but I did. I needed to decide to quit letting them pull me down, to quit letting their actions govern my actions and to quit letting them make me feel badly. 

I needed to focus on the MANY individuals in my life who are amazing people. They are the type of people I want to be! I have so much supportive relationships, positive role models and strong friendships that I needed to STOP focusing on what someone was posting on Facebook to passively aggressively get me down and START focusing on praising my friends triumphs, meeting up with friends that have been busy the past few months and relish in the fact that I’m achieving my dreams, slowly but surely. 

As I always offer advice, here is mine for today. Take a step back and see if you’re letting someone affect you adversely. And take steps to identify and resolve or eliminate that bad apple so to speak. It could be as easy as hiding them from your newsfeed and it could be as difficult as talking it out with them and hashing out your issues. Whatever the solution, know that it is necessary to do it. Not letting others drag you down is easier said than done. Focus on those people who are awesome. Do fun things with them. Be sure to maintain your happiness!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Brand New Life Around the Bend!

So I’m sure many of you that are my Facebook friends know that Who’s the Boss is pretty much my favorite show of all time. I used to watch it when I was younger and I still get excited when I hear the theme song. I’ve always been a little weird with my tastes, haha! Yes, I know the plots are pretty predictable and Tony Danza is over the top, but I think it’s just a funny, cute show. Well, if you don’t know, it comes on at 1am currently and sometimes I stay up to watch it, especially if I’m working late. It just puts me in a good mood. 

The other day, I was working both jobs late and had a nice day, but it was definitely tiring. Who’s the Boss comes on and I just decide I have to watch it, even though I’m pretty sleepy at this point. The intro starts playing and I haven’t really listened to the lyrics in a while:

There's a time for love and a time for living.
You take a chance and face the wind.
An open road and a road that's hidden
A brand new life around the bend.
There were times when I lost a dream or two.
Found the trail, and at the end was you.
There's a path you take and a path untaken
The choice is up to you my friend.
Nights are long but you're on your way
To a brand new life,
Brand new life,
Brand new life around the bend.

I was kind of in shock. This has been my life for the past few years. And I think it’s probably applicable to most of us. I’ve lost things that I thought for sure would have lasted my entire life, mostly relationships, some dreams and goals due to external factors and some people have changed for the worse around me in ways that I could have never predicted. I also am in a place right now that I could have never predicted with great jobs, professionally dancing, healthy lifestyle and developing and cultivating some of the best relationships with the most spectacular people I have ever met. Some of these people you just don’t think exist! 

The lyric that resonated with me the most was the path you take and the path untaken, the choice is up to you, my friend. Wow, so true, in so many ways. I could be in a completely different state of mind, lifestyle, etc. if I would have chosen a path in college that seemed to be the easiest and the one most of my friends were choosing. That just wasn’t a good fit for me; it’s definitely worked out for most of them! I often think about the paths I didn’t take and where I would be if I would have taken them. I wouldn’t say dwell on it, but reflecting (as I always say) is always good. One of the paths I didn’t take was dance for a very long time. I was told over and over that I needed to go to school, focus on academics, etc. I did that, created a career and now I want to dance too. It seems like my paths for those two things have collided and I’m able to take both. That isn’t always the case, but if you have a path untaken, I’d explore ways to take it. You never know, a brand new life could be around the bend! It was for me!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Liars and Cheats

So, I’ve been sitting on this entry for a while now, because I don’t particularly like to post when I’m angry. Being angry is ok, but I think sometimes it blinds you to facets of situations because you have such a strong visceral reaction to them. I’m not as angry anymore, but this post is still in need of seeing the light of day. 

One thing that REALLY grinds my gears (haha) is when you go out of your way to help someone, develop someone, etc. and they completely stab you in the back. Now, I’m not saying I help people to get something out of it, but you don’t expect the person you help to try and intentionally hurt you in some way or take advantage of you. This has probably happened to everyone once or twice or even a million times. And it probably makes you feel hurt, used, violated and above all, angry. 

I’ll give a few examples of when I was angry because of someone lying or cheating me out of things. I let someone live with me who had nowhere else to go, helped them find a job, let them pay rent whenever they could and overall helped them to establish a life after a bad event. This person decided to try and move out without telling me because of a fight or something and leave me holding the bag that was the apartment financially when I really couldn’t. I had a right to be angry. I helped this person when even their family couldn’t and I got burned. Another example is a good friend of mine helped several people develop in their field. They took people with limited innate talent and gave them the tools they needed to be successful. What did my friend get? People trying to get her in trouble with her employer because they disagreed with a decision she made. Oh and the kicker? Spread lies about her to try and defame her character. Should she be angry? Should she feel hurt and betrayed? Absolutely. 

Honestly, I think you shouldn’t try and avoid those feelings. It’s OK to feel badly when someone does something not so nice to you or to someone you care about. Especially when you or someone you care about has gone out of their way to help, develop, teach etc. this individual. I know people say “you live and you learn” but learn what? What do you get out of these situations? Do you never help anyone again? Do you never help that person again? Do you lose trust in others? What do you learn from these situations?

What I’ve learned and come to see is that you shouldn’t learn to not trust. You shouldn’t learn to not go out on a limb for someone when they need help or when you think you can change their life. What you should learn is how to let go of the feelings of hurt, betrayal and anger. Focus on the times where you’ve helped someone and they have been amazingly successful and/or grateful for the opportunity you gave them. Focus on the fact that helping people is great. 

In the back of my mind, I know that lying and cheating really never result in positive things. Try and focus on the positive things that happen in general. And to all you liars and cheats out there, know that when you burn someone, it has a tendency to come back to you. In spades.