Note to Self:

The pain you cause me is impalpable. I can’t begin to describe the inner anguish you stir when you tell me I’m not good enough. I’m never good enough for you.  I’m always trying to prove myself, to be better than I was the day before. It’s never enough. You always unearth another flaw; another inconsistency woven into my fabric.

Well, thanks to you, I’m unravelling.

Free me for a moment, tormented mind, from your unforgiving shackles. Free me of your own impossible expectations and of others’.

You are only one woman, you can’t take on the world.

 

Breathe.

 

 

Featured Image: Sunrise

Advertisements

Interconnectedness

 

…Atoms, in short, are very abundant.

They are also fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms- up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested- probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name…

So we are all reincarnations-though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere- as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew. (From Bill Bryson’s chapter “The Mighty Atom,” in A Short History of Nearly Everything)

I consider myself a spiritual being, but I have no religious affiliations. When faced with the idea of death, I envy the religious- they have an unwavering belief of what happens when we die. Whether it’s the belief in heaven, nirvana or rebirth, at least there’s comfort in knowing what to expect. I’ve never had such a comfort- until learning (relearning, I’m sure I learned of atoms in high school) of “The Mighty Atom,” to quote Bryson.

When I picked up this book I wasn’t seeking any spiritual revelations (nor expecting such). I’m simply on an ongoing quest to better myself intellectually, as I mentioned in my previous post on learning in adulthood. I never considered the fact that science could provide spiritual comfort, much like religion does for its devotees. To know that my atomic makeup is simply recycled from those who came before me, and that those same atoms will continue to exist after I’m long gone has soothed my fear of death more than I ever thought possible. Furthermore, its provided me an overwhelming feeling of interconnectedness with the world around me, with those before me and those to come after.

 

There truly is beauty in this world, folks. Even if it’s as minuscule as an atom.

 

 

 

Learning in Adulthood

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein

I struggle to find the words to articulate this thought that has been pressing my mind this week. When applying this question to myself, the reality of the matter really set in. The question being this:

As adults, how much of our time is dedicated to learning?

 

Stark realization came over me this week. While I am learning via life lessons everyday and growing as a result, I haven’t really taken the time to learn new concepts or challenge my brain since completing university two years ago. What’s more daunting is the fact that since the age of 15, I’ve been slowly eliminating the things that proved to be difficult or challenging, embracing solely the skills that came with ease. When math became too inaccessible and science too intimidating, I was quick to exclude them from my studies. As I progressed into young adulthood my focus was solely on the arts: history, philosophy, literature, writing. The arts sparked my interest, and came to me with ease. The arts are fluid, allowing for interpretation and opinion. Thinking outside the box is greatly encouraged, the realm of possibilities endless. Math and sciences, on the other hand, are very black and white. You know the answer or you don’t. I was much more fascinated with exploring the grey areas of the arts, and didn’t find much joy in being confined to right vs. wrong. So rather than maintain balance, I dove head first into the grey area.

Now, as a 24 year old woman, I’ve realized that by giving up on the subjects that challenge me, I’ve limited my capabilities. I’ve been evolving the creative and imaginative, and shunned the analytical functions of my brain.

This realization came to me after a particularly stressful day at work. For the past two months I have been learning mail distribution procedures, something I’ve never done before. It’s challenging because there is no room for error. Mail is time sensitive, highly confidential and must end up in the right hands. One small mistake can lead to a domino effect of problems. I’ve been struggling with grasping my new responsibilities, and I believe a big part of my problem is due to the fact that I’ve grown so accustomed to the fluidity of the arts that I find anything that puts me in a right vs. wrong situation intimidates me. There’s no wiggle room, no room for interpretation. You know it or you don’t. I was allowing this challenge to intimidate me just as math and science did. I longed to do the things that came more naturally to me, dreading the challenges this new task was presenting. I wanted to eliminate it, to rid of the mistakes that accompany learning new things.

And then realization struck me. I’ve been taking the easy way out of things for the entirety of my independent adult life. I’ve become so focused on the things that come naturally, I’ve stopped allowing room for learning new, more challenging tasks and subjects. It was this very moment that I also realized the only way to progress in life is to accept challenges with open arms, and to never stop learning.

My next burning question was, how can I begin self-educating? How can I get out of this comfortable routine I’ve fallen into, and push myself above and beyond? All of the education we’ve been exposed to is predetermined, guided by a wise leader, such as a teacher, a parent, a team coach, a religious figure. Taking control of your own education takes a determined mind. We have all the tools available to us to educate ourselves, but once learning becomes optional, how many of us embark down this path? There is no end to the path of education, It is forever ongoing. We mustn’t cower away from the challenges of learning, rather, we must encourage them. After much research and discussion with others, here are some of the things I will be doing to incorporate active learning into my adult life:

Online courses

Despite my past struggles with science, I’ve always been fascinated by it. Specifically, Astronomy and the study of the cosmos sparks my interest. My boyfriend sent me a great article, Five Awesome Science Courses You Can Take Online Completely Freewhich outlines exactly what the title promises. I signed up for a course beginning June 28th (As promised, it’s completely free), From Atoms to Stars: How Physics Explains Our World. If science doesn’t appeal to you, a quick google search of your subject of interest will open up a world of possibilities. We have endless information available at the tips of our fingers.

If the online education approach doesn’t suit you, you can always invest your time into taking a course at a nearby college or university. During my time in university, I had classmates of all ages and backgrounds. There were the full time students in their early 20’s like myself, and there were also the part time students in their 30’s and beyond who were there simply for the love of learning and bettering themselves. The latter were the ones who were most dedicated, most involved and passionate. When you are educating yourself out of curiosity and not out of a sense of requirement, your mind will be much more open and responsive to learning.

Socializing

The salons of the Enlightenment Era encouraged discussion and sharing of knowledge. Rather than shunning social situations outside of your comfort zone, think of them as an opportunity for discussion and insight. Each conversation you take part in can be thought of as a learning experience. Each individual on this planet has a different outlook, different experiences and education. Listen intently, don’t simply wait for your turn to speak. Observe and try to understand each person’s point of view. Their opinions have come to be as a response to their personal experiences. While you may not always agree with them, you can always learn and expand your mind to a different way of thinking.

Step Outside of Your Genre

Read things that interest you but at the same time challenge you. For example, I typically love reading thrillers and science fiction. I find these genres exciting but not entirely challenging. I’ve recently began reading Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, an immensely readable book outlining the history of science, from the Big Bang to today. What I enjoy about this book is that it’s informative but also very accessible to the uninformed reader. Don’t be intimidated by subjects that you are not wholly educated in. Everyone starts somewhere, challenge yourself to learn something new! I guarantee that whatever topic you are intrigued by, whether it’s astronomy, literature, language, there are beginner options out there!

Challenge Your Body

Physical well-being is just as important as mental health. As much as you exercise your brain, you should exercise your body too. I’ve begun incorporating yoga into my mornings before work. I wake up an hour earlier than I normally would to attend the 6:30-7:30 hot yoga class at a studio near my work. The hardest part of this is simply getting out of bed. What I’ve noticed is I feel more awake and mentally prepared for the day having done yoga versus getting that extra hour of sleep. It truly sets the tone for the entire day. I feel much more aware and receptive to learning. It clears my mind of stress from the get-go, allowing my mind to retain more information as it’s less consumed with worry or anxiety. If stress or an anxious mind holds you back, I greatly suggest physical activity.

Don’t Let Fear of Mistakes Hold You Back

Mistakes are a result of learning new things. If you avoid making mistakes, you are indirectly avoiding new challenges in your life. Think of each mistake as a lesson in and of itself. Don’t fret over them, simply learn from them. Without the chance of error, our lives would be very stagnant.


I hope these tips help you to open up your mind to new lessons and challenges. Do you have any other tips on how to further your education as an adult? Please feel free to share them in the comments, I’m always looking for new ways to better myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Darkness There is Light

It has been a week of ups and downs, and I spent its entirety just trying to steady the teeter-totter. It’s funny how much you can learn in a matter of days. I have so many seemingly unrelated thoughts that should (hopefully) all tie together by the end of this post.

Bear with me.


The Nature of My Blog Posts

My last few blog posts have definitely focused on some darker subject matter (The Power of ApologyThe Reality of Dreaming to name a couple). I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the love and positivity my fellow bloggers have shown me. As I’m sure you can empathize, writing on such vulnerable topics and then sharing them with the cyber-world is quite nerve-wracking, especially for an over-thinker like myself. Both of these posts were my responses to The Daily Post’s word prompts. Both times, I sat silently with the word stirring in my brain, and contemplated what the word really meant to me. In both cases, the results were dark.

But in darkness, my dear friends, one must remember to turn on the light.

My mind is in constant contemplation. I’m always thinking. My writing has always been a good indication of what my mind is working through. Lately, as is evident in my recent blog posts, I’ve been really digging deep. digging up thoughts from my childhood, exploring the depths of my sub-conscious. This is what I do, this is what I’ve always done. For example, my struggle with constantly saying I’m sorry. I can’t simply just accept the fact that I say it all the time, I need to know why. So what do I do? I go to the source. Where did this begin? Is it a recent development or has it been life-long? I think and then I write. It’s the exact same method with my tornado terror. After having that dream, I couldn’t accept the fact that somewhere inside of my consciousness, a tornado was destroying my life. I had to dig deeper, find its roots, and expose them via this blog.

Though the subject matter was heavy, I hope my readers can find the underlying positivity. I am only sharing my vulnerabilities and struggles in hopes that someone will find strength in it. Although I do have my struggles, I am overall a very happy, smiley, positive person. Writing is my escape, it’s where my over-abundance of thoughts can finally break free. Sometimes they will be joyful and light, and other times, they will expose my raw, uninhibited emotions.

I’ve noticed an unintentional pattern in my writing. It’s all a journey somewhere. Whether it’s a journey across Canada, or my ongoing journey to the self, My ultimate message is: there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This leads me to my next aching thought…

Who is theanalyzedlife?

When I revived theanalyzedlife a couple of months ago, I did a four part series on our trip across Canada. At the time I had also read some blogging tips that suggested figuring out what your blog will focus on. Will it be a travel blog? Makeup blog? Poetry? Fiction? Photography? I had been worried because I didn’t know what niche I fit into. While I dream of doing travel writing, I don’t yet have the means to travel as much as is required. I do believe that someday soon I will be able to travel this fascinating world and document it all with my words and my partner’s beautiful photographs. However, I realized very recently (today at lunch) that I’ve been longingly dreaming about the what-ifs, and I haven’t really thought of what-is:

My blog falls under many defining categories and cannot be confined to one niche. Ultimately, this is the story of a 20-something girl on a journey. The destination is uncertain, but the goal is clear: to be the greatest version of myself I can be. This is my journey to the self. I’m so happy to share my ups and downs with you, and hope that you always find the light amidst the darkness.

Thursday

The days leading up to Friday were exhausting in all areas of my life. Work had been particularly stressful as I’ve been given new responsibilities. I know we learn from our mistakes, but have you ever made consecutive mistakes at work that leave you feeling incompetent and on edge? That’s how it felt all week. My mind was so flurried with anxious thoughts that I couldn’t think with any clarity, causing even more mistakes. I was carrying this weight home with me all week.

On the home front, things haven’t been easy. My boyfriend has been dealing with depression for two years. This week he finally decided enough is enough, sought the help of a doctor and even shared his truth about depression via social media. A smile spread across my face as I read his honest post:

So, I’m going to practice what I preach.

I’m depressed. Been trying to cope with it myself for the last two years. Finally threw in the towel and decided to see a doctor.

Funny thing though, it was harder for me to get a weed card here than it was to get a Lexapro prescription………..

Anyways, I’m just saying this in hopes that people might stop hiding in the closet. Whether you’re depressed, gay, emotionless, or too emotional, stop fucking hiding from who you are.

I am not weak. Depressed people are not weak. I will use this lovely battle to build my character.

If you’ve ever battled depression, anxiety, or anything of the sort, you know how difficult it is to find any motivation at all. His progress is a huge step in the right direction. I’m unbelievably proud of his strength, but this week his depression really became real. His depression materialized in the forms of a bottle of prescription pills and a social media post. It wasn’t just words anymore. This week, his battle to conquer depression began.

The weight of it all became too much, and come Thursday, I couldn’t bear it any longer.

My day at work on Thursday was a mess. I felt as though my shitty feelings were seeping out of me without any control. I couldn’t hold myself together. I was slow and inaccurate all day. I thought I’d feel relief when I finally got home, but it only got worse. My body felt heavy. My mind was too foggy to think with clarity. After wallowing in my misery for a while, I decided to go on Word Press to distract myself. Fellow blogger My Wandering Heart had referred me to her post How I Kicked Anxiety and Depression in the Ass. Not only was the post encouraging and uplifting, she also left me a very thoughtful message on how I can find some balance in my own life. One thing she mentioned was taking up yoga. Prior to moving to Vancouver, I was doing yoga 4-5 times a week and absolutely loved the work out and the clarity it provided. As soon as I read her suggestion I thought, why the hell am I NOT doing yoga anymore? I had been so focused on my career and struggles at home that I forgot about myself. On Thursday night I made the active decision that Friday would be a good day.

And it was.

TGIF

I approached work with a completely different attitude on Friday. I didn’t let small mistakes control the course of my day. I listened, absorbed and even laughed in the face of error. It felt amazing.

My boyfriend and I met up for lunch. He had just gotten a new camera lens and I could feel the happiness in him as he talked about it. Few things make me happier than seeing him genuinely happy.

I signed up for yoga again and did a hot yoga class after work. I left feeling light, and for the first time all week, my mind felt clear.

I stopped being so hard on myself. I allowed myself to make mistakes. I allowed myself to release my stressors through physical activity.

Finally, I began writing this blog post.

It was an amazing end to an emotional whirlwind of a week.

 

I want to thank my beautiful boyfriend for his strength and perseverance. You encouraged me to take back control of my week.

I also want to thank My Wandering Heart. Your words were exactly what I needed to read, and they couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you for allowing me to put things in perspective. Thank you for mentioning yoga. I’m so glad to be back.

I am truly humbled by the beautiful people I’ve met through Word Press. There are so many genuine, kind, talented souls here and I feel as though I’m part of a community.

Thank you all.

 


Feature image of the sunset by my talented partner, Trhippie

 

 

 

 

The Power of Apology

Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action. -Stella Young

What are the two words you should never utter when you are involved in a car accident?

I’m sorry

“I’m sorry” is an automatic admission and acceptance of guilt. After all, why would you apologize without cause?

I think we should implement the same level of caution when using the words “I’m sorry” in our daily lives. These words are equally as incriminating in your relationships as they are in a court of law. When used too much, these powerful words lose their credibility. Rare usage is often the result of hard-headedness, an inability to hold oneself accountable for his or her mistakes. These are both extremes on the “I’m sorry” spectrum. One must find a happy medium and know when it’s appropriate to say I’m sorry, and when it’s better to just shut your mouth.

Unfortunately, I fall on the former end of the spectrum. My use of the words “I’m sorry” would have me convicted for crimes I never even committed. I’ve never known someone to say I’m sorry for every single thing, but for some reason, I do. I guess sometimes it’s easier just to back down and accept defeat rather than stand up for yourself.

My Struggle with I’m Sorry

Some of my most cherished and favourite people in my life have the strongest sense of self I have ever witnessed. They do not back down when faced with conflict. If they are reading this, they know exactly who they are. Some are my family and some are my friends. Confidence truly reflects through ones ability to stand up for oneself. If you don’t respect yourself enough to defend your own beliefs, actions or emotions, why would you expect anyone else to treat you with respect? I talk a big game but really, I’ve let “I’m sorry” run the course of my life for far too long.

I’m taking back the power of these words.

I’m taking back my sense of self.

From a young age I learned not to talk back. I never witnessed proper conflict resolution. Living paycheque -to- paycheque was cause for biweekly emotional explosions. On Thursday nights after school I would go straight to my room and hold the pillow over my head until the yelling stopped. It was always just my dad yelling. The few times my mom did say something, he would hurl horribly hurtful words right back at her. I would scream into my pillow hoping it would stop soon. This is where it must have began. This is when I learned never to talk back.

The few times I did talk back ended badly. Doors slammed so loudly the entire house would shake. Things were smashed and thrown. Our household was a war zone and all over what, money? Sometimes the emotional pain was so strong the only relief was to inflict harm on myself.

“I’m sorry” has become my get out of jail free card.

The Grey Area

I used to think being the first to apologize made me the bigger person no matter what. And in some cases it’s admirable and a sign of character to wave the white flag and call for a truce. When arguments become futile, I believe it’s best to abort mission, shake hands and move on.

As much as I try to avoid arguing, it is an inevitable aspect of all relationships. You can’t always be in complete agreement with others. Sometimes things get heated, opinions clash, and insecurities arise out of thin air. I urge you to do as I say and not as I do, do not apologize for how you feel in during these highly emotional times. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, or if something rubs you the wrong way, don’t bottle it up. I’ve done this too many times, suppressing my anger or frustration and suddenly it boils over making a complete mess of a fixable situation. You should never apologize for defending your own honour. The moment you doubt your intuition and say those incriminating words, the argument is over. You lose. You’re not just losing bragging rights either. Every hasty utterance of I’m sorry chips away at your self-worth until you’re left questioning the validity of your thoughts and feelings.

I urge you, take time to think about the power of the words I’m sorry before you blurt them out. Don’t cower in the presence of conflict and haphazardly start apologizing for ruffling someone’s feathers. Speak up, don’t let others make you feel guilty for standing up for yourself. Your sorry’s will gain much more validity when you really are sorry. Those who are respected most don’t hide from conflict, they defend their honour until the end.


Inspired by The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge prompt, Apology

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introspection: A Personal Look Into Introversion

I’m very picky with whom I give my energy to. I prefer to reserve my time, intensity and spirit exclusively to those who reflect sincerity. – Dau Voire

“You’re so quiet.”

“She hasn’t said anything in 20 minutes.”

“Talk! Speak!”

My throat tightens and my stomach flips when I hear these words. What the fuck is wrong with me? SAY SOMETHING! ANYTHING WILL DO! I can’t even string together a few words to save myself from this torturous situation.

I’m surrounded by people I hardly know and I feel trapped.

This is the reality of being an introvert.

Fight or Flight

Its taken me up until this point in my life to finally accept the fact that yes, I’m an introvert. I still don’t think I’ve fully grasped it, because I put myself in uncomfortable situations, hoping I will break out of my cocoon and evolve into a social butterfly.

Since moving to Vancouver, I’ve had lots of time for introspection. While I’ve known I’m an introverted person for a couple of years now, I didn’t really think about what that meant until recently. A couple of months ago, a new friend invited me out to celebrate her birthday. I knew she would be the only person I’d know in the group, but I felt completely confident and even excited because she was one of few friends I’ve been able to connect with on a mental level. Although we didn’t know each other well, we both had very similar personality traits, and one-on-one I could be myself completely.

The night of the celebration came around, and it started off very well. I met with my friend (let’s call her Kelly) and her cousin at a Sky Train station and we headed downtown together. The entire ride was full of laughter and silliness, and it was wonderful. The plan was to head to a pub downtown near Rogers Arena to meet Kelly’s other girlfriends who had just come from a Canucks-Leafs game (Leafs won that night!). Upon hearing the plan I was excited and relieved. I’m a hockey lover myself, so hearing the news that her friends had just come from a game, I already knew I’d have a talking-topic to break the ice (pun most definitely intended). When we arrived at the pub I was euphoric. The pub was filled with hockey fans who had just left the game, Kelly’s friends included. I introduced myself to the two girls, and then I said to one of them (we will name her Beatrice), “So I heard you were at the Leafs game?” She coldly said, “No. We were at the Canucks game.” I may be naive, but I didn’t immediately pick up on her sarcasm. I was thinking in my head, maybe she isn’t a huge hockey fan, does she not realize the Leafs played the Canucks? Just as this thought left my mind, she points to me while addressing the other girls and said, “She just asked me if we were at the Leafs game and I said, No. We were at the Canucks game.” This is when things began to spiral downwards for me. My confidence in this situation was completely shattered, I started to enclose myself, I started to panic. And this all happened before we even had a table.

As we were sitting down, Beatrice began her interrogation, “Who is your favourite player on the Leafs.” Yes, I ended that sentence with a period. If you’re a female sports fan, I’m sure you’ve been quizzed like this before. It’s not so much a question as it is your opportunity to prove that you are indeed a sports fan. I began explaining honestly that the Leafs as of late haven’t been very good, so I’d have to pick a retired player as my favourite, Mats Sundin. She shot back at me, “So you don’t have a favourite player.” And those were the last words she spoke to me. After this, every time I tried to interject in the conversation, there was silence and I was hardly acknowledged. This is when I began to get that all too familiar feeling again. The lump in my throat and that suffocating feeling of extreme social anxiety that wouldn’t surpass. I shut down completely, stopped talking and sat in silence. I entered fight or flight mode, and this time, I chose flight. I excused myself to the washroom and I left. The moment I exited the pub I broke down in tears, and what I can only assume was some sort of panic attack. I immediately called my boyfriend and asked if he would pick me up. I had barely been gone an hour.

I wish I had handled this situation differently, as my friend Kelly and I haven’t really spoken since. After the fact she was gracious and understanding of my selfish decision to flee her birthday celebration, but I understand why she wouldn’t want that in her life. I wouldn’t either. I should have told her honestly why I needed to leave, or just told her, “Hey I’m extremely uncomfortable and probably seem like a mute, I better take off.”I didn’t know how to say these things, because at the time I felt so shot down, so mentally drained and so trapped in my own mental battles that I felt I couldn’t speak.

My Introversion

If you aren’t an introvert you may not understand why this traumatized me for a while. I’m used to feeling mental exhaustion after a night out with friends, no matter who those friends are. That’s a reality I’ve accepted. After being busy with social events involving more than one or two people, I need alone time to recharge and recuperate. This particular bad experience had me feeling drained for much longer. Initially I was battling embarrassment from my dramatic exit coupled with disappointment in myself. I shut myself away from the world because I was scared to put myself out there and get shut down again. But as my favourite fictional character Dumbledore once said, Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.

I spent this alone time in deep self reflection, finally allowing myself happiness in my own right. I began blogging again, finally finding the confidence to share my writing and thoughts with someone other than myself. I also reconnected with an old friend who has never asked me to talk when I’m quiet, someone who has never drained me of my energy: Mother Nature. Hikes became a weekly venture, and while my body may tire and grow sore, my mind is peaceful and quiet. I’m not suggesting that all introverts need to cut themselves off from socializing, but during my own mental battle it was exactly the remedy I needed. You can look up the standard definition of introvert, but I think it’s a trait that is different for each individual. Here are a few personal traits that I associate with introversion:

  1. I experience mental exhaustion during and following social situations involving a group or people I am not familiar with.
  2. I need to “recharge” following social situations. I often don’t enjoy sleepovers because it allows me no recharge time.
  3. I have a difficult time hosting people in my house. My home is my safe zone, it’s where I can relax my brain after a long day of being surrounded by people (at work, etc).
  4. I am terrible at small talk. I am very unlikely to initiate it, but I greatly appreciate someone who can get the ball rolling.
  5. If I am talkative around you, it means I trust you and/or feel comfortable around you.
  6. I pick up on bad or negative energy right away. I also pick up on positive energy right away. If I don’t like your energy, I will find a way to escape.

I’m not writing this blog post to share my expertise on the topic. All I can share is my personal experiences and hope that someone can relate. Furthermore, if my friends or family read this, I’m hoping it will give you a little insight into why I am the way I am. For many years I didn’t understand why I didn’t want to see my friends everyday. During university I avoided short trips home because I knew that meant being surrounded by people everyday and every night. I avoided sleep overs because I knew night time was the only chance I’d have to recharge before the next day of visiting and catching up began. I know it sounds selfish, but this is my reality and it has taken me until this point to truly understand myself. I am so grateful to my friends and family for putting up with me while I’ve been trying to find myself.

Some Advice for My Fellow Introverts

If you are having a difficult time balancing your introversion with your life the way I did, I’d like to share some words of advice. I’m no psychology expert by any means, and I still struggle sometimes, but I’m still hoping I can provide some sort of guidance and support.

It’s OK to enjoy spending time with yourself rather than in large groups

I promise, it’s okay. If anything, it’s truly a blessing. Don’t worry about those people on social media who have 20 bridesmaids in their wedding or photos with different people every weekend. That’s perfectly fine too! But at the end of the day, you’re the only person you have, so if you find fulfillment in hanging out with yourself, you won’t need to seek it elsewhere.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

I’ve done this far too many times. I’ve made plans to see people a few nights in a row, and then when the time comes I’m absolutely dreading it because I haven’t allowed myself any “me” time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with more socializing than you can handle. You’ll only run yourself to the ground and disappoint your friends when you are too exhausted to follow through on your plans. On the topic of friends,

If you think you’re an introvert, it’s in your best interest to share this with your friends and family

They probably already know, but if you address it, they should have a better understanding of why you need so much alone time. Especially with your extroverted friends. I personally find that I associate better with extroverted personalities. When I’m in a room with another introvert, it’s usually horribly uncomfortable because neither of us know what to say. That being said, my extroverted friends are often let down by me because I can’t keep up with them. If you explain to them why you may not be able to hang out as much as they would like, they should understand. If you avoid expressing your introversion to them, they may take it personally and over time it will harm your relationship.

Finally…

It’s OK to not have a gaggle of friends

For far too long it upset me that I have like, 4 friends. It would have me in tears, wondering what is so wrong with me that I don’t have an army of girlfriends to see everyday? And the truth is, I’M the reason I don’t have a ton of friends. I’m sure there have been tons of opportunities which I have shot down because I’d rather be alone. Now, I am so grateful for the few amazing friends I do have. They are life long friends who I’ve bonded with on many levels, and you don’t need “filler” friends to waste your time. Cherish your wonderful friends who have been by your side through the good and the bad.

 

That’s all for today. If you’re a fellow introvert, extrovert, or anything in between, I’d love to hear your stories or your tips on how to find balance. Please share below, I seriously love interacting with the blogging community.

Happy Saturday 🙂

 

 

 

 

A Thought On How Servers Are Treated

It’s 4 am and I’m on a bumpy Greyhound ride home to visit my family, and I can’t get this off of my mind.

I work as a server and bartender in Ottawa, and I am very fortunate to not face difficult customers daily, but when I do, it irks me a lot.

Today I came into work, and due to the amazing weather, our patios were full. I jumped on the floor immediately so I could relieve the bartender who had been working all day, so I may have been a little disoriented to start, but I never let that affect my service or my mood when I’m with my tables. That’s why I cannot understand why people feel the need to give such unsolicited attitude.

The one table that put a damper on my night- they weren’t that bad. It was just their attitude towards me. They talked to me like I was an idiot. When people talk down to me, I get really frustrated inside, but in this industry, we are taught to be somewhat of a punching bag. The customer is always right. Well how should we act when the customer isn’t right? Am I supposed to smile and thank them, when all I want to do is tell them to get lost and learn how to treat people with respect? I’m not the kind of person to fuss over a bad tip, I usually take it as a time to reflect on how I could improve my service. But I do get really upset when I’m treated like “just a server”. I’m not just a server.