Tag Archives: Change

Motivation Mondays: Caring Less

I am a fixer. Ask anyone who knows me and they will agree with you. Any personality test I’ve taken indicates that one of my strengths is finding solutions to problems and working through tough situations. Even my astrological sign (Virgos rule!) reveals traits like logical thinker and being helpful that play into the fixer part of my personality. Being a fixer has its perks: I’m always trying to figure out easier ways to get things accomplished, I am the perpetual therapist for most of my friends (as they are for me) and I am a track changes addict (ok, maybe that’s cause I’m a words junkie). The problem with being a fixer: You can’t fix everything or everyone. 

change peopleTime and time again, I’ll try to help people, to offer sound advice, even sometimes demand people act differently. This has led to several arguments where everyone is crying, screaming and raising their blood pressures. When I head down the fixer path, I never intent for these heated debates to occur. I worry about the people I care about and genuinely want to help.

If you’re reading this, then you probably need to hear (read) this. Are you ready? Make sure you’re sitting down….

You cannot help people who do not want to help themselves. You cannot care about priorities that they don’t care about. Most importantly, you cannot (and will not) change people. They have to do that on their own.

Things you can do when you have the urge to fix people:

– Listen first before you give any advice. You might be missing some key facts.

– Remind them gently that only they can take action in their life.

– Write a letter to said person you are trying to fix. You don’t have to send it but at least you get all of your thoughts and feelings down in one place. It could be useful one day too.

– Think about ways to continue to improve yourself (aka the only person you can control) and dive in!

The ability to care less about people is extremely hard for me. My people are the reason all is rightbest within my world. Slowly after much heartache and angst, I’m learning every individual is in charge of their own destiny and I can’t change their direction, even if I throw an actual roadblock in their way. It’s hard when someone’s actions cause pain and even harm to others. You can’t choose how people reaction to that but rather can only control your own reaction. I’m working on that.

I will always care about certain people in my life. But I am learning to detach a little more and work on fixing myself rather than others.

Any other people fixers out there? How’s that working out for you?

Family Fridays: Just Let Go

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, one of my best friends got me a mug that read “Just Let Go.” I used to stand by my window staring at the Philadelphia skyline and repeat the phrase over and over again. It has become my mantra over the last few years, though at times it is exceptionally hard to do. That leads me to today’s post featuring no one specifically:

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I find letting go of people, places or experiences an art form. It takes careful review of the situation, usually a pro/con list and then an uncomfortable conversation. It is also very much a process; there’s no way you can just let go of something or someone in five minutes. For me, it is always an excruciating process where I waiver and over think (shocking!) my decision. At the current moment, there’s a lot of letting go I’ve been thinking about.

just_let_go_thumb[2]I have mentioned in previous posts that there is a lot of drama with my family. Additionally, I’ve talked about how most of my friends aren’t in the same locations or have conflicting schedules. All of these circumstances have made me think about who to keep or who to let go of in my life. Family is especially hard because there will always be occasions when we are in the same room. Similarly with friends, there are lots of people who run around in the same circles as me. So I might want to let go of one friendship while my other friend might stay friends with that person. Right now, my letting go definition is not to go the extra mile and to only make an effort when it will be reciprocated.

Since letting go is so hard for me, I’ve come up with a few questions to answer before initiating the process:

1. How frequently does this person impact your life? Is their impact something that positively enhances your existence?

2. When you interact with this person, is the conversation balanced or does it shift one way? Does the person spew toxic comments about others?

3. Do you feel your efforts towards the relationship would be/are reciprocated by this person? Is there a mutual effort to keep up a healthy relationship?

These are just some of the thoughts floating around in my head. Sometimes, you absolutely should fight for certain people, especially if your history with them is a mostly positive one. I’ll admit that I’ve let go of people too soon or let others ruin a relationship for me. I often wonder what that relationship would be like today. But, we all make mistakes and thankfully, I’ve learned from mine.

The choice to let go is ultimately a very personal one. With family and close friends,  it is very hard but sometimes necessary in order to preserve your own insanity. Just remember, you’re human, you’re allowed to feel whatever you want.

Let-It-Go-SPin

Just Give Me A Reason

It looks like Thursdays are quickly becoming Truth Challenge days. I can promise you it is totally by accident! So let’s get to it, here is the eighth prompt of the challenge:
 

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I don’t like calling people out, especially on a public forum like a blog. But, this is a truth challenge so I’ll answer the question without using any names. My family has gone through hell in the last year because of addiction. It’s one of those situations that you think will never happen to your family until it does. Until the day when your 7 and 8-year-old siblings are put at risk, when the police show up to your house and when you realize that person you love so much is gone forever. No matter what happens, that person is changed by their addiction.

The stress and anguish my family has gone through in the last year is insane. The tension in some instances is palpable and some of the people I love the most won’t even sit in the same room together. It’s a hard pill to swallow: you want to be so angry with the addict but also must somehow understand that this person is sick. Their brain is controlled by drugs and the ramifications can be felt long after the user becomes clean. In the last year, there were moments that felt like hell on Earth. Thankfully, things have improved but so much damage has been done that some relationships will be forever tarnished.

For so long, I was searching for a reason as to why all of this happened. Fingers could be pointed at a lot of people. We could all play the blame game for hours. But, the one person responsible won’t admit to their shortcomings or problems. Everyone else doesn’t hold this individual accountable so fight after fight ensues and more damage is done.

As always, I managed to find a song that I can relate to. In this case, P!nk’s Just Give Me A Reason speaks volumes. While my situation doesn’t involve a romantic relationship, the song searches for a reason as to why things changed and the love went away. I pray every night that we are not broken just bent. Have a listen to get a better understanding of what I’m saying.

Family Fridays: Going The Distance

friends1My friends play a huge role in my life. They are my sounding board for big and small decisions, my shoulders to lean on when life becomes unbearable and my personal entourage when dancing appears to be the only solution. Over the years, they have become my family and for that, I will be forever grateful.

I am a firm believer that any relationship shouldn’t be difficult. It should not cause you stress or panicfriends5 when making plans. Once you all are together, conversation should flow naturally and everyone should feel comfortable. This is how I’ve always felt about relationships, especially friendships. In my mind, friends are there to relieve stress, not create it. However, within the last few months, everything has changed.

friends3Graduating college and moving back to New Jersey has singlehandedly changed most of my college friendships. I went from seeing these girls most everyday, having to walk only a few blocks to find them. Now, my best college friends are in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and California, among other places. They are no longer a quick walk away and I can’t just run down the stairs for a hug when necessary. That being said, my hometown friends are just minutes around the corner so presumably, it would be easier to see them. Well, one has moved closer to her job and another is in graduate school. Our schedules just don’t coincide the way they did during careless summer breaks. So what are we supposed to do now?!

friends2We go the distance. We make sacrifices for the people we care about. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Gmail chats and GroupMe conversations. Ifriends7 don’t know how people survived in separate parts of the country without technology. I think all of us have received a wake-up call, realizing making our friendships last will take a little more effort than in the past. This has caused some additional stress in that finding the time to check in, visit and coordinate schedules isn’t easy. As I searched Amtrak and Megabus yesterday for reasonable and timely trips to D.C., I could have easily pulled my hair out. Instead, I thought about why I was going to D.C. and how many times Niki (and Mike) trekked to Philadelphia or New Jersey to see me. It made the process worth it.

friends6My friends and I have struggled with the changes growing up has brought us. We each now have different responsibilities that consume a good majority of our time. Despite jobs, graduate school, wedding planning and volunteer work, we have managed to keep our friendships going. Calls, text messages, tweets, emails and gchats have all contributed to our success. Technology has played a huge part in keeping us in touch and I am very thankful for its evolution.

Most importantly, nothing has truly changed. Being together still brings its share of laughable moments and thought-provoking conversations.friends4 No matter how long we’ve been apart, things seem to fall right back into place like we’ve never left one another’s side. I am blessed with the greatest friends in the world and know our friendships will continue well into the future, thanks to our ability to go the distance.

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