Tag Archives: thoughts

The Truth About Silence

Silence has always been an important part of my life. My parents used silence in different ways. My mother’s quiet silence was terrifying, and always signaled her displeasure at something I had done. My father’s silence was measured and his attention was always focused on work… so when he broke his silence to speak, his words were golden.

And, me, as a curious child I loved the silence of the library because I could sit quietly and discover a world outside of my own. Silence meant that I could escape into the pages of the books surrounding me… I loved silence because the truth always seemed apparent when it showed itself.

In high school, I learned quickly that words are not always the best way to demonstrate truth in an argument. Instead, steadfast silence in the face of irrational, angry, and nothing-to-lose arguments always won out. A teacher once asked me why I didn’t stand up for myself in a barrage of insults from a classmate, and I remember thinking with such clarity how foolish my teacher was to not understand that jumping into the jumble of angry words and fighting didn’t make me any more right. I calmly told her, “I don’t need to explain the truth. It is the truth.”

Over the years, I have felt silence around me, and understood that the discomfort that people feel with silence speaks to a deeper underlying discomfort with the thoughts in their minds. I, too, have felt discomfort in silence when my mind is busy with unhappy thoughts, so I understand the inability to sit in silence.

I’ve recently found that the same silence that I have embraced as a child and as a student, is the same silence that I despise in relationships. With all that happens in life, when seeking a partner in life, I have discovered that silence is something I dislike and makes me unhappy. I want there to be communication between us, verbal or otherwise.

I’m seeing someone who is silent on the topic of his emotions, his life, and anything outside of telling me how beautiful I am to him. It’s been silence from him over the last few days, and I realized something in this silence.

I care for him deeply, and I love him for a lot of reasons. But, I don’t love him enough. There is something to be said about love that overcomes the once insurmountable, and I don’t have that for him. When I see him, he needs someone that loves him for everything he is and will become. He needs someone to help him become the man he wants to be, and I know that I am not that person for him. I want to be that person, because he healed me when we met when I was broken and sad. I want to be that person for him, but I can’t because I feel pieces of myself erode trying to be that person.

With silence comes the truth – maybe that’s why we live in a constant barrage of sound and stimuli. We flood ourselves with music, color, and distraction so the truths that hurt us are drowned out. I think I tried to do the same with him… I tried so hard to chatter away the silence, and to be the person I wanted to be for him and that he needs in his life. But the truth of the matter is that I don’t have it in me, and I’m too selfish to give up so much of myself for him… because I just don’t love him enough.

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Why I Don’t Believe in “Minority” Networking Groups

My friend recently told me that she was joining a minority networking group, and asked if I participated in any of the minority groups when I was in undergrad or in law school. I said no and she was shocked and then launched into a passionate argument about why “minority” women and men should participate in networking and socialization amongst themselves to battle the inequalities they face.

…I cringe as I type those words. Battle? How is it a battle? People who discriminate in that way won’t change because you get together in a group and tell them they are meanies. And a battle is not how you win the war.

I fully recognize that for some people, all they see when they look at me is the color of my skin, the shape of my eyes, and the arch of my nose. I know some people will see me, and never see past my physical self. And, I’m okay with that because there are plenty of people that I will only ever be able to judge and see for their physical attributes, and most of all…. Because I know with absolute certainty that there is more to me than my face, my skin, and my so-called minority status.

The truth of the matter is that I have grown up more privileged than most of my non-minority friends. I’ve never wanted for anything. I grew up in a idyllic town and was ushered to school in my parents’ luxury cars, and I continue to enjoy a comfortable life.

More that those simple economic facts, I know that ME as a professional transcends my physical appearance. I know that my sex and my appearance are NOT the most interesting or most important things about myself. I know that I am well educated, smart, and hardworking. I know these things and I know my value as a person. Just a person. Not a minority, not a woman, nothing else.

So why… Why would I ever change the focus of my person to my sex or physical appearance when I KNOW everything else about me is interesting and awesome? Why change the focus of my person to something so silly and invaluable? Why focus on what people “might” think to a conversation that pulls the focus from who I am? Let’s just focus on me as a person. Yes. Just me. Without being concerned with those preconceived notions, bias, and whatever else. Because at the end of the day – I am me. And I know my value without focusing on the minority. I am just a person, just let everyone else.

So. Let’s just focus on being the kickass people we are and stop changing the conversation to what we look like and our gender. We are just people.

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Having It All

A friend and I talked about “having it all” in a partner. You know… the idea that the person you decide to spend your life with can provide you with all of the emotional, intellectual, physical, sexual… and whatever else you need.

We differed in opinion… I genuinely believe that you can’t have it all in a single person and a single relationship. Humans a social creatures, and we need a variety of different relationships with differing people and with different opinions to feel fulfilled. From my own personal experience, I know this to be true.

I had a relationship a while ago, and the man I was dating felt that he and he alone should be the only person I ever needed to interact with. He was insanely jealous of any other relationship I had… whether I was continuing a friendship with my group of girl friends or with colleagues. So I asked him… and he told me that for him, I was all he ever needed. For a while I was flattered, and curious as to how one single person could fulfill his every need. Turns out, he lied. It wasn’t long before I found out about all of the other women that he closeted away with trying to find another person to fulfill other needs in his life. I don’t blame him at all… we all need more than one relationship to be happy. It’s just a matter of being a mature and honest person about your needs.

I have a close friend. He’s very happily married. He and I speak 2 or 3 times a week… and I am his first call when he needs to talk something through. He once told me his wife teased him about needing to talk to me about his work related problems… but the fact of the matter is, he would rather talk to me about work than his wife. Why? Because for him, he only wants to focus on the life he has built with his wife, and not dirty the conversation with inane work problems. Our friendship is based on our mutual need to vent about work. In fact, we barely talk about anything other than work. And, again, the most important part? He’s honest about his need to talk about work with someone other than his wife. She and I know each other, and know our friendship is only about work.

It’s an interesting dynamic, and I’ve had other friends comment on it. They ask if I ever feel uncomfortable about having such a close relationship with a married man, and I have to say I do think about it for the sake of propriety but it’s a mature friendship that is based on supporting each other in the professional world. Something that we both need, and don’t want from our partners in life.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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The Pursuit of Being Better

Like everyone, I struggle with decisions. Sometimes I have trouble differentiating between right and wrong, or need versus want. I think a lot about the decisions that I make, because I know that these decisions will affect my life and the lives of people around me… and I struggle a lot with decisions that I have to make where I don’t want to do that, but I know it is the better choice.

I recently decided that I need to strive to be better in every aspect of my life… personal, professional, whatever it might be. It’s been a struggle… because sometimes I just want to do things that I know are going to have a less than positive outcome.

Here’s to the continued struggle to being better… the pursuit of being a better person.

 

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Knowing.

I was talking to a good friend, and he asked me if I had ever been in love. I didn’t have an answer. Then he asked if I had ever felt like “one had gotten away.” And to this… I did.

A long time ago, I dated a good friend of mine. A and I were good friends first, and eventually dated. He lived far away, so eventually things faded away with the distance and time. Because things just faded, there was never that jarring “end” to our story… and so I always wondered.

With all of the other men I had dated, I always said there is a reason they are an ex, and I always had that reason right off the top of my head. But with A, I never had that reason… it was shitty timing and distance but never anything about him that was the reason for the “ex.”

For a very long time after we stopped seeing each other, I compared every other man to him. Over time I realized the reason that A understood me so perfectly is because we were friends first, and he understood what made me happy as a person, and not as a girlfriend. And I held out hope, that maybe we would reunite and it would be as magical and wonderful as it had been before. Just a small flicker of hope, because my rational head knew that my heart could be playing tricks on me.

Two years ago, I still felt the flutter and the spark when we saw each other, but I hesitated. I’ve always been a person that follows my gut, and that hesitation made me think again about rekindling our relationship. Then a few weeks ago, he was in town on business, so I went to see him for dinner. I knew I had to see him and finally close the book on whether or not A and I were a thing. It’s been years and years of back and forth… and I deserve to move on and be happy. So when he was in town, I went to see him for dinner.

 

We had a great time, and as I get older I realize how important good friends are… which is what he is. A good friend. I finally know with absolute clarity… he is not the love of my life, he is not the one that got away. He is everything I remember – but simply not mine. I don’t know how I know, but I know this time.

It’s a little sad, but it’s also so liberating that I can finally close that chapter of my life and my heart. So. Here is to the next step. I’m not sure what, but I feel like there is a clean piece of paper in front of me now.

 

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Making It Work

I was always taught that if I wanted something that I had to make it work. If I wanted it, I would MAKE it work. I have been known to be willful and refuse to give up when I want something… and I have been known to go out of my way to make something work the way I want. To a certain extent, this quality has been an asset, but sometimes I think it isn’t.

I think in all kinds of relationships you need to put a certain amount of effort into developing and fostering the relationship, but there comes a point to when “making it work” is simply moot. I wonder a lot about this these days. I have been running into little scraps with friends and the guy I’m currently dating… and sometimes I wonder if putting the effort in to making these relationships work is worth it.

For someone like myself, who is notoriously happy with being alone, it seems burdensome to put so much effort into fostering relationships that seem to only irritate me.

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful New Years!

 

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Schedules and Spontaneity

I am a schedule person. I like to know what is going to happen next. I like making plans. I like booking flights. I like knowing things in advance. Last minute plans drive me insane, and I’m disinclined to make time for people who make last minute plans that interrupt mine. I spent the time to make my plans… and if YOU can’t then I simply don’t have time.

My family is extremely trying because their lack of planning. Plane tickets are purchased days before flights, plans are made the morning of, and they don’t communicate… so I find myself haranguing people for their plans and their schedules so I can work things out. It drives me insane.

This week has been especially trying because one of my sisters has decided to be difficult and enrage my parents… She’s escaping in a day to spend time in Europe with her boyfriend, against my parents’ wishes. She’s an adult, but I have never felt the need to actively hurt my parents when they ask me not to do something. When they question my actions, I simply stop because it has never been worth the fight to me.

But, I’m sitting here on Christmas Day and I’m angry beyond belief. I never disobeyed my parents, and now that one of my sisters has decided to throw everything into chaos, I’m sitting holding the bag. My parents are angry and I have to hear all the angry words… even when they aren’t mad at me. I wonder if I could just be that hurtful… sometimes I wish I did because maybe I’d be less angry right now.

Anyway, on this bitter and angry note, I will wish everyone a happy Christmas. I hope that the time you spend with your families is filled with good things and cheer.

 

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Sleep. Eyes Open and Closed

I have always struggled with time… I never feel like there is enough in a single day. I fight with the clock all day, because I want more of those minutes that the ticking hands steal from me. When I was a child, I used to wake up in a RAGE when I realized how much time I had wasted sleeping. I slept little, eyes open and sparkling because I always had something I wanted to do.

Recently, it’s been the opposite. I hope that the day passes fast, and I just want to close my eyes and wait until everything passes. I’m exhausted emotionally and I feel the need to nap all the time.

Today, I slept sprawled on top of my books, and only woke up when my toes started going numb. I realize that I need to make a change to bring back the happiness and light to my life, and I know I can, but I’m just so tired.

 

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To Be Wanted

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the idea of being “wanted” by the person you are with.

One of my good friends is dating someone that I know with certainty does not “want” her. In fact, he’s repeatedly cheated on her… but I guess she “wants” him so she’s willing to stay next to someone that doesn’t give her an inch. She wants him more than her dignity, but he wants all of the other girls plus her.

I’ve been seeing someone for the last couple months, and I’ve been thinking a lot about him too… I wonder if he “wants” me the way that I want to be wanted. I want someone who actively chooses and wants to be with me above all else. I want someone who wants all of the good and the bad. I want that.

I don’t think that love is enough to be married, but that each person has to “want” to be married and to be in love with each other.

I’m still not sure on this “want” thing… but these are the things kicking around in my head.

 

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On Trying

My family and I made the trip to Korea in October to say good bye to my Grandfather. Despite the unhappy circumstances, my mother told us that we must try to be happy and remember all of the good. She took us shopping and sightseeing, and even in her heartbroken state she managed to smile at all of the beautiful things around us.

It was really a lesson in “trying.” I noticed most of all that the women in Korea “try” a great deal more than those that I know in the US. Most are dressed impeccably and made up perfectly. I didn’t see a single person that wasn’t “dressed.” Here in the States, you see a lot of bedraggled mothers, and college students roaming the stores in sweats, PJs, flipflops, and other less than attractive gear… but not a single passed my sight on the streets of Seoul. For those of us who travel, our choice in gear is yoga pants, floppy shirts, and comfortable sneakers… not the case even at the bus depot first thing in the morning.

Anyway, I have been making much more of an effort every single day since. I think that the outward appearance of being put together also helps one stay on point in other aspects of life also.

You know what I’ve learned about trying? It takes a great deal of effort.

That is all… I bet you thought this was going to be some thought provoking write up… but it’s not. I’m staring at a pile of dry cleaning and a giant mound of laundry from my efforts of trying. Now… where to get fur cleaned?

 

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