Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let Cool 20 Minutes Before Serving

Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies (and if you don't... well, whatever). And most people - no matter how convincing the back of the box tries to be - don't wait for them to cool before they indulge in their ooey gooey chocolaty deliciousness. So if we can't even handle following a simple rule for cooling cookies that was decided for us by someone else, why should we follow society's dating rules that say we have to wait a certain amount of time after a break-up to start dating again? (Please tell me you knew this post wasn't going to be all about cookies...)

Dating is a lot like eating freshly baked cookies. We allow ourselves to enjoy the company of another person, we give ourselves to them, and sometimes we may even love them. And we don't always wait the right amount of time or maybe we indulge too much - but it isn't our job to decide the right time or how much is too much for someone else.

And don't sit there and pretend like you've never looked at someone and said (or at least thought) "Isn't it a little soon to start dating again?" Even I have thought it or said it at one time or another. But who are we to tell someone else when they should or shouldn't date? Who are we to dictate for someone else when they are "allowed" to move on with their life? The truth is we aren't, and our opinions about it need to stop.

In reality, we have no idea what someone's relationship was like. We only saw what they wanted us to see or what they could show us in the presence of others. Outside observers don't always get to see the details of other people's relationships (which is a good thing), but that means our opinions are garbage because we never have the full story. The person in the relationship may not even realize how unhappy they were until they get out of it, so how can you tell them that they have to feel sad and miserable when they may have spent the entire relationship feeling that way?

Even if someone walks you through every moment of their relationship, you still may not feel the same way they do about the situation because you didn't live through it and your perceptions about it will always differ. No person is the same and no person goes through things the same way. So when you try to create a mold for everyone to fit, it's never going to work. Don't be agitated when people don't fit the mold and do what YOU think they should be doing - be proud of them for doing what makes them happy and consider doing the same for yourself.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Car Rides With Mom

I think I have been given some of the best advice sitting in the passenger seat of my mom's car. In one trip to Target I could end up saying all the things I needed to say and hearing all the things I needed to hear. None of which would be possible without my mom (and her car, of course).

My mom tells it like it is. She never beats around the bush and she never simply says things to fill the space in conversation. She makes every word count and she never hesitates to share the cold, hard truth. When I'm away at school I don't get these talks as often as I used to, so once in a while it's nice to come home and get a little dose of my favorite medicine - car rides with mom.

Today's advice I heard loud and clear. It's not like it was something I hadn't already heard or didn't already know, but hearing it in that car seemed to let the reality of it all sink in. I think we could all learn a thing or two from car rides with mom. 

Lesson number one. Don't let love be defined by the way you feel in a bedroom. When all is said and done, the person you grow old with has to be more than just someone you're physically attracted to. It needs to be the person who is going to be there to help you do all the things you can no longer do on your own. It needs to be someone who you're going to love even when neither of you can express it in the same way you did when you were young and crazy. 

Lesson number two. It's okay to be young and reckless sometimes, but be cautious of the damage it may cause along the way. Don't assume that just because you're the one in the driver's seat that you always have your best intentions at heart because you just might not be thinking all that clearly. Don't let the repercussions control you, but don't let the freedom ruin you. 

Lesson number three. Don't ever settle. Don't let someone make you believe that they love you "enough" because you will always deserve more than that. Someone should love you for more than what you have to offer, they should love you for all that you are. 

Lesson number four. You can't love anyone until you first love yourself. I know we've all heard this a million times, but when it comes directly from your mom's mouth it seems clearer than it's ever been. You can't possibly give yourself to someone if you haven't even taken the time to figure out who you are and what kind of love it is you need. 

The list of lessons could most definitely continue, and I don't think it's anywhere near complete. I think for as long as my mother is in my life her advice will continue to keep me going. I know I don't always listen to it (even though I probably should), but I do appreciate it. Sometimes you should just drop what you're doing and get in that passenger seat because one day when nothing is making sense you're really going to miss car rides with mom. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Soon Came... & Soon Went

I don't understand it, and I guess I never will. But that still doesn't keep me from wondering why. Why you came into my life again, promising me that this time it would be different, if you really knew that it wouldn't be. Why you said that you regretted the way you left things before, yet didn't do a damn thing to make up for it. Why you still won't even apologize for leaving me feeling this way.

I kept telling myself to have hope. I promised myself that you were worth the struggle and the patience. I let myself believe that "soon" was finally in reach and you would be mine this time. Optimism went from being one of my greatest qualities to being my fatal flaw. It consumed me, it weakened me, and eventually I broke. Eventually I woke up and realized that nothing's changed.

Most people would say, "I guess I really only have myself to blame." And maybe I am partly at fault, but I still blame you. I blame you for not being brave enough to say what you wanted or how you were feeling. I blame you for putting me on a back burner and manipulating me into thinking that I wasn't. And I blame you for letting what I thought could have been everything become nothing - you lit the fire and left me standing there to watch it burn while you ran in the other direction.

You were like a hit and run - no responsibility for your actions, no remorse for the damage you caused. Maybe I'll never find out what motivates you to come and go as you please with no thought to your impact, but I do know that I'm done letting you impact me. I'm done being the welcome mat that innocently invites you into her heart. I'm done and, to be frank, you can take "soon" and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

His World Doesn't Revolve Around Me

I used to think that I could expect a guy to call me every night, miss me every day, and literally drop the world for me. He needed to be there for me no matter what was going on in his life, no excuses. If he didn't do something I asked it was as if the world had ended. Truthfully, I think my expectations have lowered over the last few years, and obviously for good reason.

Sometimes I wish I could sit down with the girl I used to be and have a conversation with her. I'd tell her to pull her head out of her ass and realize she isn't the reason the sun shines in that boys life. I'd tell her that sometimes she needs to be her own hero, her own motivation, her own support system, and her own best friend. He isn't just someone to lean on, someone to control, or someone's lap upon which to lay your problems - he's in your life to enhance it not give it meaning because you were incapable of doing so on your own.

It's okay to want attention and affirmation. It's even okay to need it sometimes. The problems arise when you constantly expect it and sometimes without committing to doing the same for the other person. If you wouldn't do it for them, why should they do it for you? Relationships are all about give and take. You can't expect to be handed the world if you would only keep it for yourself.

So let some phone calls go unmade, some I miss you's left unsaid, and let his world be of his own control and creation. And when all is said and done, if you're still unhappy, let go and find someone who is willing and able to give you more of what you need. But don't expect the world unless you're willing to give it too because I can promise you that you'll be waiting for a long time. And remember: he can't be your other half until you've learned to be whole all on your own.