The “No Excuses” Way of Life

I’ve been making many attitude adjustments lately. Many. Many, many. Many.  It was time for some serious changing. I was growing sick of feeling stuck and down about life. I was tired of all this “Quarter Life Crisis” bullshit. I was tired of being “lost”. If I had to pick one change in attitude/thought that has completely morphed my life, I’d say it would be no longer believing in excuses. No more feeling like a victim of something. This idea that I can manipulate my life has ultimately allowed me to steer my life in a more positive direction. Perhaps it can help you too.

I don’t know many things. But I know shit happens. Terrible things will happen to you at some point in your life. You will have some lows (as well as highs, of course). Sorry to be the bearer of crap news. That’s a fact of life. Things will happen to you that over all just sucks a bitch. It might be a consequence of a bad decision you’ve made or it may be something completely random and uncalled for. However, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to recover from it. You owe it to yourself, no matter the circumstance.

This past year, my health failed me. In my case, I realized this was because I had neglected my health all my life and these poor choices had finally caught up with me (and my job contributed to my decline in health as well).  I could’ve pitied myself and used it as an excuse to not move around or work out. As a matter of fact, I did do that for a period. “Oh woe is me. God has not given me the best health. I hurt too much to work out. Work tires me out enough as it is.” This may be true but I also didn’t take care of what I had, my body, for the last 2 decades.  I tried to keep doing what I was used to doing without considering any change….yet somehow I expected things to change. That’s moronic.

It’s like a math problem. A+B = C. A refers to things beyond your control, like evil people and tough environments. B refers to you and your actions/attitudes. C is what happens to you in the end.  So every experience is a product of what is happening to you and yourself (your own actions/thought/attitudes) added together. If you want C to change, either A or B has to change (just like 1+2 =3. If you don’t want a 3, 1 or 2 has to change. If they stay the same, you’re gonna always get 3). Since A isn’t or hasn’t changed (because these are things beyond your control), B has to change. That’s you. So change. That’s the only way. I realized that my previous attitude got me nowhere. I still hurt everywhere on my body.

I was being stupid and stubborn. What now then? Do I have so much pride and stubbornness that I cannot admit that I contributed to my health problems? What sucks more: hurting forever and ever because I refuse to change myself or admitting that I was an idiot in my youth (I hadn’t taken care of my body) then working to better my health? Being wrong didn’t seem so bad now since I compared it to a life time of deteriorating health. The problem was me and I knew it so I quit the job that was no good for my health and started to work out and eat right. Then BAM! I slowly felt better. I’m improving over time. I see and feel it in my bones, quite literally.

This advice applies to anything whether it be weight gain or losing your house or credit card debt etc etc. In cases where it is random and beyond your control (such as a mugging or adultery or death of a loved one) that traumatizes, I first would like to say I’m sorry that happened to you (whatever “that” is). But you need to take control of your life again. You can. You can’t choose what people do to you but you can choose how you feel about it and how you deal with it. It can break you or you can be stronger. It’s an old but true cliche. Learn. Let the mugging prompt you to take self defense classes. Let the failed relationship teach you what you are and aren’t looking for.  Take responsibility for anything you may have done wrong in the situation (even though this does not excuse what was done to you at all). How can you be wiser? Let it make you grow. Otherwise, all you got from the awful experience is crap. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like crap. Wouldn’t you rather get good things from it? You can either consider yourself a victim and only a victim, or you can fucking be a champion survivor.  It’s on you. Some circumstances are going to make your changes ten times (or even a hundred times) harder. The reward will be that much greater also.

I used to rely on my fears as an excuse for why I didn’t do things too. I still do. I’m working on it. Fear is crippling and I am the definition of chicken shit. I have lots of worries and fears. I don’t like risks. I like stability and safety. One of my huge fears is failure, which I heard is a pretty common fear. This fear is what delayed me getting a job then quitting that job, going back to grad school, changing my daily health habits etc etc. I pushed everything back because I was scared. Being scared is normal. Everyone is scared of something. The difference between scared people is whether they are willing to push past that fear. The people who push past the fear are still fearful but now they are also courageous.

If you don’t do something even though inside you know that you should, there is an excuse lying around somewhere in there. Find out what it is. Is that excuse something you use to excuse yourself from doing other things you should be doing? For example, if you know you are supposed to work out but your excuse is that you don’t have time. Think: do you use the lack of time as an excuse for not doing other things? You need to be honest with yourself at this point. You don’t work out because to you, it’s not a priority. You didn’t take out the trash today because it wasn’t THAT important to you. You didn’t study because drinking with your friends is more crucial to you. That’s why we don’t do things….It’s just not that important to us. That’s the bottom line. My mother always used to tell me “There is always enough time. It’s whether you want to do something or not.” You want to work out? Make it a priority. Have it trump all those other less important things. Work out instead of watching that movie after work. We waste a lot of our time and energy on things that are unproductive yet it’s a priority because you’ve turned it into one. I do it too. Stupid Facebook and Instagram (angry fist shake…at myself…because it’s my doing).

But I’m working to change things. I hope you do too. When you realize life is what you make it, that you choose what color glasses you see life through (whether that be black or rosy), that excuses are a waste of time, you will grow. And isn’t life all about growing? That’s the best part.

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Fitness: A Form of Self Love

Once again, I apologize for the long hiatus. I’m easily distracted. Since I last posted, I’ve quit my full time job and applied to grad school to be a Marriage and Family therapist. I think once I get into school, I’m going to read all my old posts and find my advice and theories absolutely insane. But who the hell knows, right? I’m bracing myself for it and looking forward to lots of growth in knowledge. I don’t mind being wrong (but also hope I am not hahaha). Also new news would be that I am now slowly becoming a fitness freak. That’s right. Get ready for some posts about self love, health and fitness…starting with this one.

Reader, I have no idea who you are or how much you weigh; what state your health may be in or what sort of life you lead. But let me tell you a little bit about myself. Maybe you can relate. Perhaps we share the same feelings and/or experiences. I am not here to judge you (and hopefully you aren’t here to judge me either). I’m just hoping to let you see the very real side of getting fit.

I grew up uber thin but curvy. I was, and technically still am, underweight for my 5’4″ frame. My doctor claimed that my weight was the cause of my irregular menstrual cycles for many years. I was always pimply. I am still seeing the consequences of my acne in all of my hyperpigmentation and acne scars. I also was extremely unathletic and unfit for the majority of my life. I thought that because I looked good, I didn’t have to exercise. Society and my Asian culture taught me that all you need to do is look good. Be skinny. That’s it.  I ate whatever I wanted and never thought twice about it. I have always loved healthy foods but never really thought I had to make a point to eat certain things each day. Junk food was easy because it was so easily accessible. I was lazy and I didn’t want to cook. I didn’t want to grocery shop for healthy food when my parents stocked our homes with such easy-to-reach-for snacks. I was the queen of snacking and felt some sort of weird pride in that because I remained skinny no matter how much I ate. On top of my skinniness being my excuse for leading an unhealthy lifestyle, I also had asthma. Working out hurt. Eventually I used my asthma as an excuse for why I didn’t run that mile.

The first time I did any sort of work out in my life (aside from mandatory gym class) was when I was 21 years old. It was a tough year with stress from school, a break up and a death in the family. When summer rolled around, I had nothing to do. I was bored and I needed to do something productive to keep my mind off the overwhelming sadness I was feeling. I had lost a lot of weight due to stress. I pretty much felt and looked like I was dying. I heard about this thing called “exercise”. Apparently it helps people feel better. It really seemed like crap but what did I have to lose, right? I started running in the park. I hated it at first. I sucked at it. But over time, I started to love being outside. I liked feeling productive and happier afterwards, even though the whole process made me want to give up over and over. I got my appetite back. I did this for maybe a couple times  per week for maybe a month or two. Then I stopped entirely.

Enter my boyfriend. Enter happy relationship weight. Enter 20 lb gain. Enter same size belly as ass. Oops. Too much information. Eventually I looked pregnant, like all the time. One day my boyfriend said to me, “Baby, I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I love you and I still think you are beautiful but you are gaining a lot of weight. I just wanted to tell you so you could do something about it before you got to the point where it would be too hard to lose weight.” For a second I wanted to cry and punch him in the face. But I quickly accepted it. It was true. I accepted the fact that I had gained weight; that my breasts were now the size of his head, my stomach was now going over my pants and my pants no longer contained my ass…Ass crack everywhere I went. Breezy Breezy ass crack. My period hadn’t come in 4 mos. It was time to change. Enter Zumba at the University gym. It was a horrific experience at first. This wasn’t because anyone was mean to me. I was just mean to myself. I beat myself up for not being as fit and not getting the choreography.  I was embarrassed. I had too much pride. But I stuck with it and now I’m a Zumba pro (not really but I don’t look super stupid anymore hahaha). It took me about a year to lose that weight I had gained. I did Zumba off and on. I would say a few times, really. I reduced the proportion of food but didn’t change WHAT I ate. This probably was what contributed to my slow weight loss. I only lost 10 lbs. (That summer before I dated my boyfriend I was 95lbs, grossly underweight from lack of appetite due to stress. I then became 115 lbs, which isn’t heavy but I have a small frame and it was only fat and no muscle gain. I then went back down to 105lbs, which was my regular weight. I told you I was light.)

I was my regular size again. Repeat the eating-whatever-I-want and never-exercise lifestyle because I was no longer chubby anymore. This lasted about a year. Then my boyfriend moved to the West coast, thousands of miles away. I now had all this time again. Around this time I also started my full time job as a social worker, which I’m sure you all know, is a stressful job. On top of that, I drove ALL day to clients’ homes. My joints couldn’t take it. I felt carpel tunnel in both my arms and hands from holding the steering wheel. My left leg felt numb and the knee hurt terribly because I bend my left leg when I drive. My right leg was feeling similar things. Both my ankles hurt.  My booty hurt. And on top of that, my gut grew because I sat most of my day. I had to do something about it. I never told anyone because I was afraid of them worrying. So I would get home from work and work out. The next day, I felt better. So I kept it up. Zumba for 1.5 hrs a day, 3 times a week with my aunt and cousin on her Playstation thingy. But that’s all I did. I then gained five lbs. I assume this was muscle. My period became regular during this period for the first time in my 24 yrs of life. Then I discovered Blogilates on Youtube. I started to do that. What “did me in” was that I would take one too many “off days” that would end up lasting a week. Eventually I stopped working out altogether for a month or more after working out regularly for 6 mos. My health started deteriorating. I was in so much pain. My joints. (I have suspected for a while that I have arthritis in my hands). My bones. My muscles. I couldn’t sleep. I decided to quit my job in December. It was not good for me. I needed to go. It was a great, healthy decision for me.

Since December, I’ve worked out very regularly. It’s about four months now.  I now weigh 113 lbs, and a lot of it is muscle. My period is regular now. I work out about 6 days a week, 30 mins to 1h30m a day. I eat healthy (mostly). I eat when I should, even when stress makes me lose my appetite (I under-eat rather than over-eat when stressed). I drink lots of water. I gave up soda altogether. My next post will be my personal journey in getting to this point, focusing on the healthy lifestyle changes rather than the story. Right now, I have had more energy than ever. I no longer have chronic headaches (caused my dehydration. I had no idea). I can walk up stairs and my asthma doesn’t make my chest hurt. I can run a mile and my chest is still fine. I can get through all the pilates videos when I couldn’t before. I’m less moody. My skin is clearing up. I’m less grumpy to people because I am no longer in constant pain. I’m more productive. I’ve learned to cook so that I could eat healthier. It’s been great. What’s even greater is my boyfriend has started on this journey with me too, but on the opposite coast. Life is much better in general.

I remember what it’s like to be young, to believe your health is there forever. It’s not. Take it from a woman in her mid 20s. I already feel it. It’s time to start taking care of your body. That shit breaks down super fast. I promise you. I read an article where people older than 37 gave their advice and regrets. One of the biggest regrets is not taking care of themselves by eating well and working out. Don’t learn it the hard way.

I’m starting a series of posts. I will explain to you WHY I changed, HOW I changed. I will teach you about your body. I will teach you about fitness. I will show you where to start. You just have to do it for yourself. Please stay tuned for my future posts. Love you all. Please love yourselves also. (Well that was cheesy).

Make this day a good one.

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Stock

I think before you go into a relationship, you should pretty much treat the process like you are investing your life savings into a stock. It’s an investment of money, time, energy and love. You gotta choose carefully, you gotta watch it closely and you gotta invest well. Sure, investments sometimes tank and occasionally you will have to rebuild. But don’t be a dumbass and invest in shitty stocks over and over again. Girls go into relationships often times overly impressed by the wrong things like cars or gifts or money or flowers. You’ve heard that money doesn’t buy you happiness. It doesn’t. But money helps eliminate stresses and that in turn makes it easier to be happy in most cases. I guess the exception would be in cases where you live a simple life in the woods without bills and the complications of a city life. But you are on the internet reading this so chances are there are bills to be paid. Sorry.

Sometimes we invest in stock that SEEM to be worth it but they turn out to be total busts. This happened with me. Ex boyfriend #2 seemed to be good on paper but turned out to be everything I didn’t want. He was in college when we met, studying engineering. He appeared to have direction in his life and because he chose a difficult field, I assumed his work ethic was up to par too. He was not too feisty or aggressive. Actually, he was quite laid back, a quality I thought would help balance me since I am annoying perfectionistic and high strung at times. He had hobbies that I confused with skills at the time and people seemed to like him just fine. On paper, he was the kind of guy your parents would want you to date. But after dating him, I realized he wasn’t for me. That’s what relationships are for anyways, to figure out if the person fits. They’re for you to figure your shit out. At the time,  his “boyfriend material” resume seemed pretty stacked but all the qualities I had hoped to see in him were not really there. So I started to wonder what is a good indication of a good boyfriend stock. I realized what I wanted to see was potential.

I don’t date men for money or gifts or material things not just because it isn’t the most important thing to me (even though it isn’t important to me). I just don’t think it is smart to date solely based on current possessions especially when the guy is still young. If he were in his 40’s and he accumulated wealth due to years of hard work, that makes more sense than to date a 24 yr old guy for his money. I doubt he reached balla status on his own. I don’t date for money because I pick men who I feel have potential to succeed. My mother had told me at one point that I’ve never been with a guy who had a nice car. I haven’t. At most, their car wasn’t a total piece of shit. I told my mother that we are in college. Most of us have no money merely because we are in school. Whatever nice car we may have, most likely, was bought by our parents. That says nothing about the man who drives it because the man hasn’t had the opportunity and means to prove himself yet at our age. I am not looking for nice cars. But I do find financially successful men attractive because it is indicative of a qualities I love: hard working and intelligence. I pick men who, if he ever desired to, COULD and WOULD buy me a nice car in the future (but I also don’t care for nice cars). I do not pick a man who has a nice car. That means nothing to me.

When I started dating my boyfriend, we were finishing college. At that point, he had no money. His parents paid for his car, his apartment, his schooling and his food. That’s just culturally what our people do. Mine do the same. Since he wasn’t going to school fresh out of high school, he did not receive the scholarships and grants that I did. He was living as cheaply as he could to lighten the load for his parents. So he ate ramen often even though he could’ve eaten out if he really wanted to. I noticed. At the same time, I had a good amount of surplus in grants and scholarships. Out of pride and love for me, he did not allow me to pay for him when we were out so I ended up stocking his fridge, buying him any sort of thing I noticed he needed around the house (he never complains or asks for anything) and purchasing him new clothes for work. I didn’t want him to go hungry or miss out on opportunities because he couldn’t afford it when all I had to do was shop less so that he can eat more and dress better. He appreciated what I did but he didn’t like it.

I wouldn’t say he was ever a burden on me and honestly, I do not feel as though I’ve ever done that much for him compared to how much he has done for me. But he sure thinks so. Now that he is out of school and has a job, he takes me out to eat all the time. He buys me things I need and things for my family. He takes my grandma to eat and buys birthday presents for my mom. He does things he wasn’t able to do when we were in school. He told me that I had invested in good stock and now it was finally yielding profit. I never thought of it that way but I guess that’s what I did. I dated him for who he was and the potential he held, not what other people judged him to be and it paid off in the end.

The problem with buying stock for some people is that they don’t know enough before they buy.  I’m not good with real stock. But I get people and I seem to evaluate them extremely accurately (but bad exes indicate that sometimes I am wrong too…life is a learning process). Some girls can’t read people well. Actually, a lot of people in general cannot. I am not good at a great number of things. I’m technically not too great at anything, really, but my people judging skills are probably pretty on target. I guess that counts for something. I don’t want to write this post and have my readers stay with no good, shitty, broke ass dudes because they may have potential. That’s not my point. My point is to pick people for their potential AFTER careful evaluation.

How did I know my boyfriend had potential? There are a few things he’s done that I have held really close to my heart. I’m afraid if I tell them to too many people that it will mean less or that if one day by some fucking weird hiccup in life, we don’t work out, people will dismiss everything we had and everything I’ve said about the relationship. It concerns me. But my confidence in our relationship exceeds any fear.  So I will share.

When we first were in a relationship, he had little money. We were in school. He’d eat ramen but no matter how hungry or poor he was, he always made sure I ate. This showed consideration and will power to achieve a bigger goal. Being able to sacrifice so that you can do something bigger is a big indication of potential. It shows drive. On my birthday that year, he had saved money to buy a steak. He cooked it for me too. It was the best fucking steak I ever tasted and it wasn’t because of the flavor.

When he moved back home because he couldn’t find a job after college, he didn’t make money so he felt he had no right to spend much of his parents’ money. In order to see me, he didn’t go out with his friends for a month to save money for gas to make the trip back. He sacrificed so I knew that if this stock ever yielded profit, it would take care of me. The rest was just assessing his talent, drive, work ethic, and intelligence. If he is talented, determined, hard working and smart, I have no reason to not put all I’ve got into this stock. That’s how I know.

Ladies, date a man you respect intellectually and who respects you intellectually. Of course you want the whole love, passion, friendship, similar morals thing too. But the intelligence thing is a big deal and a big factor in determining potential. Invest wisely.

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No Longer Accepting Applications

My boyfriend often times says things that are so deserving of a nut check, if you know what I mean. You just want to kick him in his berries and bits (then apologize for it later hahaha). One of the statements he seems to repeat over the course of our relationship is  “Girls leave their options open. They all have back ups.” Whoa der! Did you just make a negative generalization about all women? Feminist mode! I obviously sassed him every time. But when the fire calmed down this last time, I thought about things. And I realized he’s right….partially. It’s not all women who do this. It’s all people. We tend to leave options open. We think, “Oh what if this doesn’t work out with him/her/this/that?” We don’t want to be stuck. It’s the smart thing to do. But what is smart seems to not always be the most trusting thing to do in a relationship. Love is stupid, afterall.

I thought long and hard and realized that I (GASP), as perfect as I am (ahahahahah), did the same as the other earthlings. I don’t think it was ever intentional that I had left myself the option of a back up. I didn’t lead guys on by hanging out with them alone or calling them or flirting. But I, like most people I’m sure, knew deep deep inside whatever relationship I was in wasn’t right so I didn’t want to kill all my options just yet. I used to tell my guy friends I would never date them to their face, which has resulted in lots of secret heartbreaks that they confess to me years later. Any guy friend who told me they liked me would be told “it wouldn’t work out.” I didn’t want them to have any hope in a possible future relationship. I didn’t want them hung up on me or waiting on me so that they couldn’t move on with pursuing other women. But I had an exception.

There was this guy. He’s a great guy, an old friend. At one point in time, I thought we would end up together. We haven’t and won’t, obviously, since I’ve found my other half. He was around and about during every one of my relationships. He was a friend whenever I needed one. We never did anything weird or inappropriate throughout our many years of friendship. He didn’t call or text daily or hang out with me alone. It was just that in between my relationships, we began to start something only to realize it was bad timing. He’s actually never verbalized his feelings for me but I think it was understood. Nothing ever became of it.

It wasn’t that I ever led this guy on when I was with someone. I just didn’t crush his dreams because, and I know this sounds awful,  I knew that he was a better match to me than any of the guys I had been dating. I never said, in any way, shape, or form, that I wanted him nor did I say that I didn’t. But for the first time ever, as we had our semi annual froyo hang out while he was back in town, I confessed to him something I didn’t think I would ever tell a random friend. He had asked me about my plans for the future, whether I was going to move to the West coast to join my boyfriend. And I told him that I planned to move where my boyfriend is once we were married. “Oh, so you guys are gonna get married?”, he asked. “Yeah, I knew from the beginning,” I blurted (confessions of feelings often make me embarrassed). It got awkward real quick and his face changed expression. I knew what I had done.

I felt bad, as any human with a heart should. But I also knew I was doing him a huge favor. I was releasing him from the chains of “maybe-we-can-one-day”. I was telling him there was no chance. I am no longer accepting applications.

Whenever you find a guy who makes you feel like you are done with having back ups and then back ups for your back ups, then he’s it for you. Whatever you do that means for you, personally, that you are no longer accepting applications or considering options, that is what I’m talking about. Maybe that thing is making things “Facebook Official” or  bringing him home to you parents or being openly affectionate.  Because I’ve never been one to voice my affections to the public, finding someone I can actually admit to want to have a future with is how I know I no longer want to accept applications. I’ve always brought boyfriends home, seeing as my mother is quite a good sniffer of these things and always calls me out on my new relationships. I’ve also been cornered to make things Facebook Official by my exes so an admittance of dating on Facebook isn’t really anything big for me either. What is big is verbalizing to other humans what I say to my partner all the time, that I love him. To this day, I still feel all weird about it but I now have the courage to say it. I’ve talked to my mom about marrying this one which isn’t something I’ve ever done before either.

I know that having people interested in you or finding you attractive gives you some grand feels. That happens for me too. And it still does. It’s flattering. However, I don’t seek it because I already have it at home. The action of no longer accepting applications because the position has already been filled is a great positive sign for your relationship. When you can say confidently that you’ve found the best partner to do the job with you, then the hardest part is done.

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15 Relationship Advices

I’ve recently skimmed through Cosmopolitan’s website and read some of their redundant and honestly quite stupid articles. I generally dislike almost all of their relationship pieces. I think Cosmo encourages women to over think and over analyze situations that ultimately cause more stress and unhappiness rather than resolve issues. I do enjoy their funny first hand account type of articles at times. Anyways, Cosmo came up with a list of Relationship Advices. And it inspired me to write my own. I just picked some random 15 that I thought might be helpful. Obviously, there are more to write about but ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

1. Know who you are outside of your relationship- It’s cool that over time part of your identity has merged with your partner. It’s especially easy when you are married. Having a “relationship identity” is impossible to avoid. Together you make a unit and the way you two interact together creates a “relationship identity”, whether you acknowledge it or not. But it’s important to remain an individual and know who you are apart from your relationship. You still have personal dreams, preferences and characteristics that are unique to you. That’s completely okay. When you start to feel like you’ve “lost” who you are, depression/sadness will kick in and that, in turn, affects your relationship.

2. Don’t expect anything or ask for anything you aren’t willing to give out yourself- Want him to be patient? Show him how it is to be patient. Need him to speak to you kindly? Speak to him nicely.  You’d like some support, eh? Quit giving him shit when he is genuinely trying to pursue a dream (responsibly and seriously try to pursue one, of course… Not sit around on the couch all day but tell you he’s dreaming to be a doctor one day.). You have no room to talk and no place to request something that you aren’t willing to give.

3. As often as possible, turn big problems into small problems and small problems into nothing- Don’t sweat the small stuff. And when it comes to the big stuff, calmly figure it out so it isn’t so big of a stuff. Ya dig?

4. Respect your partner’s need for space as well as affection- Don’t be a leech and don’t be a robot. When people ask for space, give them space. I know the first instinct is to latch onto your partner because you fear that you will lose him, but if he is already gone (as in emotionally no longer attached to you), you forcing affection on him will not change that. Sometimes people just need some time alone to recharge.  If your partner verbalizes the need for affection, try to compromise. Maybe you aren’t comfortable with sex or PDA or too much affection in general. If it makes you feel “dirty” and unhappy with yourself, don’t do it.  Maybe the compromise is you hug or hold his hand or kiss him more often ( as in just increasing how often you engage in the act of physical affection that you actually don’t mind doing). That’s completely fair and totally fine. Try to compromise but if you find that compromise makes you too uncomfortable (which is also completely okay for you to feel), then maybe this relationship is not for you because neither are satisfied. You won’t feel loved if he forces/guilts you into doing things that make you uncomfortable and he won’t feel loved if he associates physical affection with love but doesn’t get it. Just remember to talk about it. It’s super uncomfortable but has got to be done.

5. Trust- This can make everything fall apart. If he is good and loyal to you but you don’t believe it, what’s the point? Plus jealousy is overrated.

6. A happy you will greatly increase the level of satisfaction you feel in your relationship- One part toxic in a two ingredient drink will be toxic…or at the very least, make you sick and your stomach feel funny. Your happiness affects your relationship. If you aren’t happy, self reflect and strive for change. Change your attitude. Be more positive. How you see things in your life is how it will be for you. It’s all a matter of perception and attitude.

7. Don’t forget that nobody has to do anything for you…ever- Appreciate it all. The greatest showing of appreciation is reciprocation. He did the dishes for you without you asking, do his laundry before he asks. He sends you flowers, you order wings for him to have a guy’s night with his bros. Verbal appreciation on top of what you do is also necessary. Sometime people forget how appreciative you are. It’s like sometimes how you want to be told that you are loved even though technically you know you are (well sometimes). It doesn’t hurt to remind. You don’t lose anything.

8. Speak up and speak kindly- No one knows what you want if you don’t say it. Boys don’t overanalyze like us. Speak their language…which is literally just old fashioned talking. Also, be kind when you say things during a time of upset because words cannot be taken back. You never know what people will or won’t forget.

9. Apologize- Ain’t nobody right 100% of the time. If you think you are never wrong, you may be way more wrong than the average person.

10. Split the labor- The physical labor, the emotional labor… all of it. You guys are partners, coworkers. No one’s supervising. Work it up. And don’t settle for someone who does not give back.

11. When you marry/date someone, eventually, you date their whole family and all their loved ones/friends so take this into account- Sure you can marry into a family full of in-laws that hate you, it’s just WAY harder. Just keep that in mind. If you think you can do it, more power to you.

12. If it smells like poo, it is poo- If you feel in your gut that it is not right, no matter how nice the dude is or how many characteristics he has from your list of demands, it’s not right. The end.

13. A partner should make you a better version of yourself, and vice versa- He should polish and refine you to your best state, not mold you like clay.

14. Understanding (and respect) makes all the difference- You don’t have to think the same or act the same (though this makes things easier since there is less to compromise and less to discuss). All you have to do is understand. If you can see the intellectual/logical and/or emotional reason behind a thought or action of your partners and you respect that despite not agreeing, you got it. Respect usually tags along with understanding.

15. It is what you choose to make it to be…”You” as in both of you- If only one of you wants it, it’s poo.

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The Honeymoon Phase/Stage

The Honeymoon Phase. I think we’ve all heard of this term for the highest point of a relationship. The Honeymoon Phase is the peak to everything and according to some people, it lasts only 6 months to a year. I used to be a believer in the Honeymoon Phase. In the past, I had cherished the beginning of my relationships like everyone had told me to do because it would be, as they had informed me, the best time for us and that everything was downhill from there. And they were right. It was.

The beginning had been the best time in those relationships because of the novelty and excitement that accompanies every budding relationship. At the beginning, he’s always attractive and sweet. Everything he does is cute and adorable, even the way he drives and how he chews his food. But often times, things will morph.  Then your list of his endearing qualities suddenly become the list of things you hate about him. Slowly, the high of my relationship wears off and you both were just left with a big pile of bleh, which  you called your love/relationship.

My boyfriend and I were discussing the idea of a Honeymoon Stage not too long ago. My boyfriend told me he didn’t believe in it and I had told him I’ve grown to doubt its existence too. It’s not really its entire existence that I doubt. It’s just that I don’t think they exist in relationships that are right for you. There is a peak in most relationships we see but I think that phase only happens in relationships where the two individuals are not meant to be. So yes, basically I’m telling you most people are probably in the wrong relationship.

I feel like I always have to write a disclaimer about my relationship since I always hold it and speak of it in such high regards. I do realize it has flaws because the people who make it are flawed. I don’t want to sell my relationship as perfect. It’s not. I also don’t want to convince anyone that relationships don’t take work or come easy all the time. They don’t. But doesn’t logic dictate that if something like true love, which supposedly knows no bounds and limits, would progressively get better over time if it were living up to its full potential? If it is just temporary, hence the term phase or stage, then is it really right?

I look at my relationship often and look back at how I felt in my past relationships. I don’t compare the people by their attributes. That’s not entirely fair. If my exes were better people than my boyfriend, I’d be with them instead. I just compare how I felt then versus how I feel now. Some of my opinions and memories are skewed I’m sure, but not all of them could be, right? I remember I had many good times in the past with other people I had dated but the relationship was often laced with lots of drama and pain. I don’t know much but I do know that my current relationship isn’t like that. We have long periods of happiness rather than a rollercoaster of emotions. And it has ultimately gotten better with time.

My boyfriend and I have been long distance for almost one year now, as I have mentioned in a previous entry. I think we are 2-3 weeks shy of a year. Everyone told us that it would be super hard and I believed them because I am chicken shit. All I do is worry. But it’s not true what they say. Things are different than before (duh) but they are still good. I just know that in my current relationship, everything has gotten better with time even though it is long distance right now. We argue less than ever, we understand each other better with less words and we are attracted to each other all the same. We’re progressing. If we are progressing since we started, then the peak isn’t the beginning. The peak of our relationship is the present and we keep having peaks to look forward to. That’s something incredibly refreshing to feel. It’s much better than waiting for the impending doom of our relationship. I would lie if I told you that I am not bracing myself for a regression since I felt like I’ve been too blessed for two long. But as of now, we are trucking on.

I know that eventually more responsibilities will set in (money, bills, kids etc) and our “happiness curve” may feel like it fluctuated for the worse. Hopefully, it will still go up again and keep that general trend for the rest of our lives. I understand if we were to marry, one day I will lose any desire to touch another human thanks to menopause because that is a natural progression for a woman’s body. I just want to continue to find my husband attractive…Even if I don’t “want a piece of that” at that moment. There is something better, deeper, more satisfying in being with someone whom you have been with for so long than the excitement of new love.

I’ve talked to just a few women (in my many years of talking) who have told me their relationship has gotten better with time. For once, I believe that they may possibly be telling the truth. Here’s to not being trolled by all those women!

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LDRs

Before I start to rant and curse my way through a post, I’d first like to 1. acknowledge my hiatus and 2. play a little catch up.

Since I’ve last posted to you, homies, my life has changed quite significantly. I’ve fuckin gotten a full time job (woo hoo but that equals limited free time)… Oh, and my boyfriend has moved across the country. I must confess. I got so wound up in other things that I forgot this blog existed. My badsies.

Now don’t you go crying/dying/freaking out on me about the whole boyfriend thing. When I first tell people that my boyfriend lives more than 2,000 miles away, I am met with one of three expressions: 1. the “oh that sucks” 2. the “why would you do this to yourself” and 3. the “immediate mandatory consolation”. I’m gonna be honest. It’s starting to weird me out. STAHP IT!

I guess it’s only appropriate that I discuss LDRs then. In case it wasn’t painfully obvious, I’m talking about long distance relationships.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for years now, as you guys might recall. We’ve pretty much been on all sides of the distance spectrum. We’ve seen each other all day, daily during the months of college. We’ve had basically no contact when I went across the world to visit family for a month. We’ve done the “short” long distance where we were able to drive to see the other person for several months and we’ve done the living together (for a very short period). And now this.

I see my boyfriend every three months now. We take turns visiting each other so that I get a chance to vacation and he gets a chance to see family.

To address the “oh that sucks” reaction, I just want to point out that it could be way worse. He could be further away. We could be living in an age with limited technology and have to communicate via carrier pigeons (don’t even know if they fly that far). Or we could’ve had a rockier relationship for the first two years before he moved. But that’s not really the case. Don’t throw me a pity party, please.  People don’t ask me if my LDR is hard. They just assume that it is. If they were to ask, they would find that it’s not so much harder as it is just different and we had to learn to adjust. The first few months I ended up missing him and growing sad because I was so used to his presence. Now I still miss him but life just fucking goes on.

Since he’s been gone, people have either told me to move there ASAP/get married ASAP or break up because it’s going to be too hard. Even his brother, who had a terrible experience with LDRs, told me that everything goes quickly downhill after 6 mos. We are at 8 mos. Not to get cocky here, but it seems our LDR infant is a bit healthier than his had been.

It’s true. LDRs bring out all your insecurities. You wonder if they will still find your relationship worth it after you’ve been apart for so long. You wonder if you guys are strong enough. You wonder if other people are right after all. And you wonder if they will make all these memories with someone else and ultimately, find someone more conveniently close. Don’t wonder. It makes it a hundred times harder. He and I always tell each other that whatever/whoever belongs to us will belong to us and if we do not belong to each other, forcing it won’t make a difference. If you are in a LDR, adopt this attitude. It might just save your relationship.

Let me just answer all the commonly asked questions first before I explain to  you how our LDR works. People ask me if I’m lonely. No, I’m not. And no, I’m not lying. I miss him, but I don’t feel lonely because I feel like his heart is still here. So cheesy but true. I think people find other options and break up when they feel lonely.  They literally don’t want to be physically alone but I’ve always said loneliness is a heart thing. I’m alone. But being alone has never made loneliness mandatory. I asked my boyfriend if he felt lonely. He said he doesn’t. Before you go into a LDR, you should ask yourself if you are in the relationship to combat loneliness (thus making the boyfriend role substitutable) or if it is because you want THIS guy. It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable no doubt but I see it as sacrificing a few years of being uncomfortable for a lifetime of happiness. He’s it for me. I’d rather be uncomfortable for a few years and inexplicably happy for the rest of my days  than pick the convenient route and only be semi happy for the rest of my life with someone else who isn’t quite right but “doable”. It’s really how you weigh it. I guess this addresses the “why would you do this to yourself ” reaction too.

Then people ask about the sex life. Pass! I’m not discussing that. You figure out what works for you. I just have to say that remembering that sex is part of the relationship and not ALL of it will help you in the long run. People have relationships without having sex all the time. Just think of it as being reborn a virgin ahahaha. That one Bachelor did it. He made it cool. Right?

The hardest thing for me about LDR is that as a girl, you want to be a part of whatever is going on and you want them to be a part of yours. On good days or shitty days, you want him around to do a celebratory dance with you or feed you junk food as you cry and smear snot on his t shirt. (No? hahaha). It’s okay. That’s what friends and family are for and if you have few of those, that’s what self reliance handles. As for wanting to be a part of their life and new journey, I think you just have to be honest. If he cares, he will help you out with it. I told him I feel like I’m missing out on getting to see his journey and growth so my boyfriend, Mr. Never Talks About His Anything, texts and calls to tell me stupid shit like how he has a meeting today. It helps.

As for what I think makes this work for us, I just have theories. First, obviously don’t have a shitty relationship to begin with. It’s like the fighting before marriage thing. Marriage will actually make your fights worse than when you are in a relationship, studies show. It won’t magically fix things. LDRs will kick the crap out of your relationship’s ass if its already weak and wounded. So fix whatever the fuck is shitting on your love first, then proceed.

Second, I think ours work because we don’t Skype and call often. HEAR ME OUT. He texts everyday. I always hear “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” and “wish you were here.” But calls? Those are limited because we just aren’t phone people. What I’ve learned about Skype and phones is that the longer we are on them, the more likely we are to fight with our boyfriends. You start of saying the lovey stuff then the catching up stuff then you talk about yourselves and then….if you stay on too long, other people and their drama and then you ask for his opinion and his opinion just sucks because he took the wrong side and this proves he’s an ass and this pisses you off then you fight. I’ve done that. I picked at things because talking awhile makes me miss him and that’s how I sometimes respond. Homie don’t play that no mo. He calls/Skypes once a week and if I have too much stress at work or I’m sick, I get calls every day until I feel better. But I do know that some people prefer to call daily and those calls do NOT lead to fights. That’s okay too. Find what works for you two.

Third reason we be workin’ it, I think, is because we don’t visit too often. AGAIN, HEAR ME OUT. I think we all know that time allows us to adjust emotionally to big events, whether that be death of a loved one, change in your relationship, having kids etc. I remember it being so much harder at first for me than it is now. It has nothing to do with loving him less. I was just not used to it. If you visit and fly out every month, I don’t think you can emotionally adjust because right as you are starting to get used to being apart, you see him again and then you miss him again…You go backwards in progress. I’ve visited my boyfriend. The first few weeks to a month of coming back to reality and work is the worst. I missed him so much. If I flew out every month, I would be in a constant state of miss. I would be constantly trying to adjust to him being gone without actually adjusting. I think this contributes to feeling lonely. You feel like you never stop craving to see them, because you literally haven’t allowed yourself to adjust to it. It’s like quitting smoking. The first months are hardest. If you don’t  let yourself adjust and you keep falling off the wagon, you will experience that sucky ass feeling over and over. Three months is good for us. I don’t know what it is for you guys but I am able to adjust better and it’s not too long to where I feel like I don’t even have a boyfriend. But of course, this is all my theory. I have friends that see each other monthly and they’re getting married. I just figured I’d give an alternative on how to approach your LDR.

I am really rooting for all your LDRs out there. We gotta show them that with the right relationship, LDRs can work out. I’m eternally optimistic. Always.

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