Being Human

I write what it means to be human. What makes us similar and different all at the same time.

I am currently in Seattle on vacation, and I have to say that this city is absolutely gorgeous, then again I wish it could rain every day back home for me. Despite being on vacation, I have had some thoughts running through my head since my therapy session on Friday. I was talking with my therapist, and we got onto the topic of knowing what things we can control and learning to let go of those things that we can’t control.

To start off, he asked me what percentage of my life do I feel like I can control. I told him thirty percent which leaves a remaining seventy percent that I can’t control. This may seem like an unrealistic comparison, but I have been struggling with anxiety for a little over a year now, and when I feel like I can’t control my life I shut down. From there we made a list on each side based off what I felt like I could control in my life and those things I didn’t. I decided to write down and create a little chart for myself to remind me what we talked about.

The funny thing is that there were things that repeated on both sides of my chart. There are times I feel like I can never control my schedule when girls call in sick, or something unexpected happens, and I have to cancel plans, yet at the same time, I can control my schedule by making time for those things that I want to do outside of work. My list wasn’t my take away from my session though, it was something that my therapist said. He told me that we can try to control our lives as much as possible but we can’t, and we need to learn to let that go when it happens. Now for me, control is what drives my anxiety and makes me feel like I’m losing it.

Now, it sounds like my therapist is saying just roll with the punches and everything will be all right. That isn’t what I got from it. We are all going to have bad days, and things are going to come up that we cannot control. The problem is that too many of us hold onto that situation that we couldn’t control and let it ruin the rest of our day and mood. It’s hard to let go, trust me, it’s not easy for me. I decided to try it though and in the few days since I have realized that when I let go of the things I couldn’t control and focused on those things that I could I was in a much better mood, and I didn’t worry about things I didn’t need to.

I’m not saying that it is going to be like that every day because some things are harder to get over than others. I think if we focus on the good and those circumstances that we can control however that we won’t worry so much about life. We are meant to enjoy life, not worry if every little detail is perfect because it isn’t going to be. So why worry about it? Instead of trying to fix it, learn from it and move on to something more significant. No one is going to look at your past and say, “You didn’t stop this from happening, what’s wrong with you?” That isn’t going to happen, and you shouldn’t think that way.

Learn to let go, not just of those things that you can’t control, but also learn to let go of those things in your life that are holding you down. Let go of the imaginary chains that keep you from achieving the greatness that you were meant to achieve. You will be surprised at how far you can soar without those chains.

 

 

Today, I saw an interesting post come up on my feed that had a lot of meaning behind it. Yes, it was from Tumblr, but that doesn’t discredit the point it was getting across. The first part of the thread states, “…western obsession with romantic love is symptomatic of the absence of community we experience in our socially isolating society.”  I stopped reading after that part for a moment. If we think of the media, not just television, but books, music, etc. they portray that the only love worth achieving in life is romantic love. Due to this portrayal and “obsession,” we as a society are disconnected from one another because we don’t believe in any other kind of love.

To continue on with the thread, another user stated, “It minimizes the importance of other forms of love and trivializes non-romantic relationships. And finally, it harms people who are actually in romantic relationships by sending the message that your romantic partner should be the only person to fulfill all your emotional needs and vice versa.”

When you really think about it, we are the reasoning behind our isolation in western society. We have publicized that only one kind of love is sufficient and to achieve that, we have to leave all other kinds behind. That is bullshit. Some of the best relationships I have and the people I love are not because of romantic love. I have friends that I absolutely love and would do anything for. I have family that I turn to in a crisis because I know they are there.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with romantic love, but there is so much more out there. You are allowed to have people in your life that do things for you out of love that your romantic partner cannot do for you!

As human beings, we were meant to work together! We were meant to create this beautiful world together! You don’t think the genius minds throughout history achieved what they did on their own, did you? No. They had the help of hundreds of people.  So, why do we preach this concept of romantic love as being the one “true love of the universe?” It is a fantasy and a falsehood to think that you can function in this world as two human beings who don’t need any other love besides each other.

I know for me it took a long time to truly understand this. I’m a hopeless romantic so, I have fallen victim to this “obsession” far too many times. It wasn’t until I started dating, however many relationships later, that those relationships weren’t meant to be romantic, and if they were, it was only for a short while. Some of my closest friends are my exes, but that is because we understood that we still wanted each other in our lives, but not in a romantic way. There is nothing wrong with this! It was something that took me years to realize, and sometimes I forget it.

So, what are you supposed to take from this today? There is more to love than the fairytale romance that we have all been taught from a young age. (I blame my Disney movie childhood!) We are meant to love as human beings, but not in just one way. We are meant to love our friends and family.  Those regular customers who come in and you take the time to know them. We are meant to love our pets, our teachers, anyone we want. We are all in this together and their isn’t one way of doing it. Take the time to love those who are in your life now that isn’t your romantic partner. It will change your world, and that’s what we are all about when it comes to being human.

I want to take a moment to talk about an idea that seems to be continually coming up lately in my life. The idea of being perfect in our lives. I think this concept is especially prevalent for us young adults who are finishing school, starting careers, families, whatever it is. The funny thing is that this isn’t the first time that we have heard about this idea of perfectionism.

We are taught from a very young age about the idea of perfection. This idea that if we don’t strive for perfection in EVERYTHING, we do that we will fall short in this life, that we will achieve nothing. This belief is bullshit.

Who are we as humans, as societies to define what is perfect, and what is not? If you were to look up the definition of perfect, it states, “in having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics as good as it is possible to be.”

Notice the word possible and desirable in the definition. The definition itself questions that perfectionism is not always attainable for living creatures such as ourselves. It is not in our nature to be or define perfectionism.

Each person is uniquely different. Body types, sex, strengths, weaknesses, culture, you name it. There is so much to one person that there can be no definitive definition of perfect. Hollywood will tell you otherwise and give you an image to strive for. That isn’t perfection, and not everyone can aim for that image, nor should they.

Where am I going with this rant? Instead of striving for a false ideal we should strive for our better selves; to be happy with who we are and what we are trying to be. We aren’t always going to be satisfied with where we are. We are going to have those dark days where we feel like utter failures, that we are stuck in a neverending rut. Guess what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!! Sometimes it takes a setback for us to learn and maybe take a step back before jumping back into the fray of life. As long as you keep on trying. Don’t look at other people and compare yourself. You are not fighting for the same achievements in life.

Ever since I graduated high school, I struggled with my university studies and just finding a purpose in life. We all go through this at some point, and it is tough. I was told that I have to get a degree to succeed, that I have to get perfect grades to succeed in university. I am not stupid by any means, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the education that I wanted or needed and so I didn’t feel like putting in the energy towards my schooling. Almost five years later and after spending thousands of dollars trying to achieve something that I never really had a heart in. I gave up. I didn’t quit, but I took my time and energy to find ways to succeed in what I want to do without getting a degree. We can achieve whatever we want to, but like the concept of perfectionism the world tells us that we cannot succeed without a degree. For many occupations you cannot succeed without a degree, but for me I can.

So throw away that concept of perfectionism, you aren’t’ going to need it anytime soon. Whatever it is you want to go after in life, go after it in anyway that you can. Don’t worry about doing it correctly or like anyone else. You are your own person, and it is your life to live.

Today is January 15th, 2018 and another day of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. For as long as we can remember we have had this day to celebrate a man who did so much for this country, yet do we really take the time to remember him? I know for me it has been another day off of school, a free day of sorts. However, today I want to take a moment to commemorate the man who brought better equality to this country, through nonviolence.

 

To quote The King Center, “It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.”

 

We live in an era where we are all given the racial freedom that was unheard of during Luther’s time. Yes, we still have disagreements and shortcomings as people believe they are shorted because of race. This may or may not be true, and I cannot give solid proof, but what I do know is that we are so lucky to live in a world that we do today because of what Luther did. He had a dream of equality for EVERY race in the United States, not just African Americans and the means of how he achieved this will stand in history forever. So, here is to the man who fought for equality and who dreamed of a color-blind society.

 

I feel like I have started writing posts without really giving anyone an idea as to why I am writing this blog. One of the things that got me into writing was my fascination of what makes us so unique as humans.

 

We are one of the only species on this earth to evolve and to advance. If you are to look at it scientific side of evolution, we are the dominant species and have that right to rule over this earth. If you are to look at it from a religious observation; we were put here by a divine being and given the tools to rule over this world. Whatever it is we believe we are still the most unique species on this planet.

 

Though we may all share the same genetic make-up that makes us human, we couldn’t be more different. There are more than hundreds of cultures both now and in the past. We are different skin colors, we love to dance, to sing, to draw, to discover. We create, and we destroy. I write about who we are as humans and what makes us unique, what I believe makes us unique.

 

I don’t have to continuously travel the world to learn about different cultures, as great as that first-hand experience would be. I have history and connections that that in today’s society gives me access to so much! I love learning about human existence and what we have done and soon hope to achieve as we push forward. I write about the good and the bad because that bad also makes us unique not just the good.

 

So here is to being human.

Dance [through life]

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step of the way.”
This quote comes from American philosopher Wayne Dyer. When you really think about it, we put way too much focus on that “certain place on the floor.” We feel the constant need to be moving towards a destination. We forget to enjoy the steps of just going with the flow or just enjoy life as it comes at us. We focus too much on keeping to the path we want and when things don’t go our way we fall apart.
I recently had some events come up that made it so I  couldn’t attend school this upcoming spring semester.  I was pissed and blamed the school for not giving me enough notice. I was mad at everyone when I should have been upset with myself, or in the better situation found the positive in taking a semester off. Even though I  am not able to attend school this semester, I was given the chance to focus on my writing and focus on becoming a better me.
Like dancing we are given a choice to focus on the technicalities and focus on trying to be perfect, or, we can choose to have fun and not care about whether or not we are perfect. The choice is ultimately ours, and the same applies to our life when we are thrown a curve ball or expect life to go as we plan. I tend to be that dancer who focuses too much on the technicality of everything and when things don’t go my way I kind of freak out. This year I have tried as I work on myself to work on just letting things go and to keep dancing.
So, if anything dance like nobody’s watching because it really doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun and enjoying life!

We all know the phrase “work hard, play hard” right? We always joke that it is life’s motto and that you can’t achieve anything when you don’t work hard. As valid as that may be I think we forget to ‘play hard’ in the right way, or in other words, treat ourselves.

Life as a millennial is not an easy one especially with how expensive everything is. You are expected to go to school full-time, pay your bills, have a full-time job, that barely funds your college and bills. All the while you are supposed to have a social life on top of that. To say life is stressful is an understatement. We want to get everything done, but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to stay on top of things.
The worst thing that we tell ourselves, however, is that once I am done with school, or once I save enough money then I will rest and take that long needed vacation. I’m here to tell you that you will kill yourself trying to do that. Take a step back every once in awhile and do something for you. Go to the movies, go to a restaurant that you haven’t been to. Whatever it is, step away from the ‘work.’ It isn’t going anywhere. What we need sometimes is to step back from a situation and allow ourselves to breathe, and that will allow for a new perspective to come around that maybe you didn’t realize because you were so stressed out.
When we overextend ourselves, we don’t think clearly, and we don’t function in the best capacity that we can. We need to take a break every once in awhile to perform regularly. I know you will all say that I just need another cup of coffee or only ten more minutes on this paper and I’ll be done. No, take a step away. Take a short nap, go do something other than work. You have worked hard enough so now go reward yourself, you deserve it.
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