A Confidant

A confidant is a person, with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others.

I don’t have a confidant and I’m a little jealous of people who have one (or two).  There isn’t anyone in my life that I absolutely trust with all of my secrets and personal thoughts.  Trust is a big issue for me and there are 2 or 3 people in my life that I trust and they aren’t even my confidants.  Growing up, I’ve come to realize that you can only tell certain things to certain people.

Another issue I have when it comes to revealing my thoughts is that I’m a highly intuitive person.  I can always tell when someone has good or bad intentions and I pay a lot of attention to my intuition because it’s never wrong.  My intuition also guides me in my everyday life and I can “predict” how certain situations will turn out.  Many of my friends and family are more logical in their thinking and they can’t see past what’s right in front of their face.  Many of them have been dismissive of my thoughts and feelings because there was no logic behind what I was thinking or feeling.  I can understand why some of my more logical family members and friends don’t appreciate the fact that I base my decisions on my intuition however; all of them have at some point come back to me and told me that I was right in what I was thinking or feeling about a certain person or situation.  Yet, these same people are still dismissive when I say something.  As time has gone by, I have learned to keep my thoughts to myself and to let them figure things out on their own.

I believe that the closest things that I have to a confidant in my life are my journals and my blog.  Both methods serve as a means for me to confess everything that I’m thinking and feeling.

Gossip

I don’t like gossip and this is always a problem in every job I’ve had.  One of the things I really liked about my current job was that there weren’t many people who gossiped but that changed recently.  I don’t participate in gossiping and I don’t even want to hear it.  There is nothing to be gained from listening to it and I’m not the type of person that thrives off of someone’s misfortune.  This topic has been on my mind a lot recently and I listened to a talk about why people gossip.  I learned that there are three reasons why people gossip:  anger, life paths, and overwhelming shame.

Anger:  When people have a lot of anger or low self-esteem then gossiping about someone else can make them feel better about themselves.

Life paths:  This happens when one person becomes jealous of another person’s success.  They see how another person’s career or personal relationships are taking off and it makes them feel less than since they aren’t on the same level as that person.  Gossip becomes a mean of putting that person down and making them seem not as successful as they are.

Overwhelming shame:  This is when a person uses gossip to deflect from the overwhelming shame that they feel inside.

I believe that one of the ways to overcome gossiping is to invest in your own life.  Working on overcoming anger, low self-esteem, and shame takes time but it’s worth the intense work to become a confident person.  Setting goals and working on a career can help someone to develop a path in life.  It also helps to understand that not everyone has the same purpose in life and to follow your own path.

My Feelings About Facebook

When I first joined Facebook, I only had two friends for the longest time and I never even bothered to check it.  Little by little more and more of my friends and family began to join and I started to check it more.  As more people I knew joined, it became exciting to read their status updates and view their photos.  I found it to be a really good way to keep in contact with my friends and family that I don’t see regularly.  I began to notice that I was spending more and more time on Facebook until it got to the point where I was checking it far too often.  These days, I’m not sure how I really feel about Facebook.  I’m more annoyed with it than anything.  Yet, I still can’t get up the courage to delete my page even though there are days when I feel like I should.

One of the things that kind of bothers me is how people are able to look at your page and see who your friends are.  I’m not sure why that bothers me but it does.  I’ve had several people make comments about looking at my page and how they went through my friends list and were surprised that I was friends with a certain person.  It just made me uncomfortable so I’ve now made my friends list private.

Another aspect that has bothered me is how frequent people update their status.  It’s as if they have to share every single thing they do during the day and night.  I’m not interested in reading every single boring thing that someone has done all day.  This has also lead to the aggravating issue of how there is the expectation that you will announce every important life event on Facebook.  Now when I tell one of friends something important in my life, they immediately ask me if I’ve announced it on Facebook.  That question upsets me because I don’t feel like I have to share every single major life decision over Facebook.

More and more I’m beginning to feel like Facebook is a time-waster and I need to learn how to use it more to my advantage if I’m going to keep my profile up.  Otherwise, I should just delete it and save myself the irritation.

Levels of Friendship

From The Daily Post:  How many friends can a person have? How many good or close friends do you think a person can have?  What happens if they try to maintain more than that? Is there a fixed number, or are there things a person can do to be connected to more people?  What about social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

I think that the number of close friendships a person can have depends on the person and how they define friendships.  Some people are able to maintain large circles of friends and some aren’t.  I’m not the type of person that can maintain a large group of friends.  I think my quiet nature and the fact that I like to spend a lot of time alone prohibits me from having a large circle of friends and I’m fine with that.  I’m happy with the intimacy that comes from only knowing a small group of people.  When it comes to how close I may be to someone, there are “levels of closeness” that I would use to describe my relationships with others.

The people who I am closest to are the people who are a part of my inner circle and they include my immediate family and my two best friends.  These people are the closest relationships that I have and the ones that I value the most.  When it comes to my two best friends, I’m extremely lucky to have these two people in my life.  We’ve known each other since childhood and there is a level of comfort and understanding that I have with them that I don’t have with any of my other friends.  There is a bond that goes beyond words and I don’t have to explain myself to them and they don’t have to explain themselves to me.  We just know.

The second level of closeness would be my friends.  I probably have about 25 – 30 people who I consider my friends.  My relationship with each friend is different and there are some friends that I’m more closer to than others.  An interesting fact is that besides my two best friends, I really don’t have many friends from my childhood.  The majority of my friends are people who I met in college and after college.

The next level is acquaintances.  These are people who I’m friendly towards or that I see on a daily basis but I’m not close to nor do I consider them friends.  As a rule, the people I work with are acquaintances.  I’ve learned the hard way that “work friendships” aren’t always a good idea.

The final level would be strangers and these are people who I have no relationship with at all.  That doesn’t mean that a stranger can never become an acquaintance or a friend.  One of the best things in life is meeting someone you don’t know and possibly building a friendship with that person.

When it comes to social networks, I only use Facebook for friends and family.  All of the people who are my friends on Facebook are people who I know and that I talk to.  As you can imagine, I have a very low number of Facebook friends.  with Twitter, I’m more open about who I follow and who follows me.  I mostly use it to let others know when I’ve posted something to my blogs.

My Feelings Toward Online Dating

Online romance
I have used a few online dating services and have been unsuccessful with meeting anyone online for many reasons. I’ve tried some paid online dating sites such as Eharmony and Match.com as well as few free sites.

When I tried Eharmony, I had to take a personality test in order to sign up and I “failed” the test. Basically, they must not have liked my answer because I got some kind of e-mail telling me they weren’t able to match me with anyone at that time. I waited a year and then I took the personality test again and this time I “passed” and they were able to match me with people. The personality test actually turned me off because I can be really bad at taking them. There were plenty of times when the answer that I would give to a question wasn’t even one of the options, so I just picked the best one which didn’t always reflect my true personality. I believe this is what happened with the Eharmony personality test. Neither of the results, from the two times that I took the test, were an accurate analysis of my personality. Subsequently, I didn’t like any of the people I was matched with and I quit using the site after a few months.

With the other websites that I used, I also had a hard time connecting with people and this mimics my situation in real life. I don’t easily connect with every single person I meet and I never expected that I would magically find a bunch of guys that I would connect with. I’m also an extreme introvert and I was upfront and honest about that aspect of my personality. There are negative connotations associated with being introverted and I feel like many guys may have been turned off with this aspect of my personality.

Another problem I encountered with online dating was that I communicated with a lot of creepy guys. You can meet a creepy person on the street but there seemed to be a lot of desperate guys on these sites. Many wanted me to immediately give them my cell number so we could text offline. They also wanted my personal e-mail to communicate with me without using the dating sites’ e-mail. I never gave any guy any of my personal information that acted like this and I was disturbed by their behavior. They were way too pushy and overbearing which are not qualities that I’m looking for in a potential partner.

I’m also not in a big hurry to be in a relationship. I think because I’m not actively looking to find someone serious, then I’m not really committed to the whole process. There were plenty of times when I never responded to people who may have been potential mates simply because I didn’t have time or I was busy with other things so I may have missed out on opportunities. At this point in my life, I’m happy being single and living life the way I want.

Even though I wasn’t successful with online dating, I feel that people should try it at least once just to see if it’s for them. I do believe that people can make genuine connections with others using these services but it’s just not for me.

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My Old Life

Color Martini: "Maya's drink (at Tokyo Go...

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This weekend I revisited my old life.  During my years in college and my early twenties, I was a party girl.  I wasn’t that bad in college because my ultimate focus was my studies, however I did party a lot in my early twenties.  I love to dance and it was a lot of fun to go out to clubs and bars and dance to the music I love, but this also involved a lot of drinking.  I didn’t need the alcohol to have fun but I kept drinking because I enjoyed how bold I became and how it helped me to not focus on my problems.  Soon, I began buying alcohol and keeping it at home.  I would come home and have a glass or two of wine to calm my nerves. I started going out more and more and I began showing up to work with horrible hangovers that prevented me from getting any work done.  Luckily, I had a really relaxed boss at the time and I was never written up or fired.  One day, I started to examine my life and I realized that I was heading down a path that I didn’t like.  At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was acting out so much but I began to go out less and less and I stopped drinking so much.

Looking back, I believe I was acting in this manner because of two reasons: 1) depression and 2) influence.  I was diagnosed a few years ago with a mild form of depression and I now understand why I felt so low at times in my life.  I believe that I was acting out because I didn’t want to deal with the sad feelings and situations that were going on in my life.   I was also hanging out with a group of friends that influenced me.  These are friends that I’ve known since childhood and a lot of them were heavy drinkers.  In my mid-twenties, I began hanging out with these people less and less and focusing more on being the person that I really wanted to be and that has been a positive step for me.

This past weekend, I reunited with a few of my old friends to see a live band that we all really like.  I was happy to dance and listen to the music but then I started drinking with them and before long, I was starting to get drunk.  I stopped drinking immediately and I began noticing how my friends were acting.  They were still doing the same things and acting the same way we acted in our twenties.  None of them had matured and I knew that this wasn’t for me.

I don’t regret going to see live music or even catching up with old friends.  I regret falling back into a pattern that I believed I had moved past.  In the future, I’m going to have to be honest with them about the fact that I’m past getting drunk and acting silly. I also need to be honest with myself and not give in to the pressures of acting like they do. After all, the best times in my life have been experienced sober.

How Grad School Is Helping to De-clutter My Life

Largest open space in Reading.

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I’ve been taking a graduate class for four weeks and I’m already starting to see how being in school is helping to de-clutter my life.  Since I work full-time, I have to immediately start studying when I come home if I’m going to get all of my reading and assignments done.  This leaves me with little time for other activities and prioritizing has become an important skill to me.

One of the most noticeable ways that my life is becoming de-cluttered is that I no longer have time to watch tv because of my school work.  I’m sad to admit this but in the past, I would watch a lot of tv.  My routine was to come home from work and turn on the tv as a way to de-stress which wasn’t healthy.  Now I come home and study a subject that is exciting to me and that I’m passionate about.  As stressful as school can be, it’s a stress reliever in a way since it takes away my focus from the stress at work.

Lately, I’m not as pre-occupied with my job as I was in the past.  There are days that I have stress but I’m more focused on school than anything else.  Even when I’m at work, I’m thinking about school and reflecting on what I’ve been learning.

I’ve started appreciating my alone time and my hobbies even more now since I’ve been in school.  Since my personal time is limited, I’ve become even more interested in my hobbies.  I can’t wait until Fridays and Saturdays when I’m able to take personal time for myself.

Another aspect of my life that grad school has helped to de-clutter is that I’ve been able to disengage myself from broken relationships.  I don’t have the mental space to absorb my studies and then deal with the broken and misguided friendships/relationships in my life.  This is freeing because my spirit is no longer being depleted by these issues.

Boundaries

There is a woman at my job that I’ll call Marie.  She is an extreme talker and the majority of what comes out of her mouth is absolute non-sense.  If given the chance, she would talk to you for hours and you wouldn’t be able to get any work done.  Since I’m aware of Marie’s personality, I’ve set boundaries with her on how we interact.  I did this for two reasons: 1) I have daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines that I have to meet therefore I don’t have time to sit around and randomly chit-chat with people.  2) I don’t want to waste any time listening to someone speak a bunch of incoherent non-sense.   I exchange the normal pleasantries with Marie such a good morning or have a good day.  I also answer work related questions and I help her out in any way that I can.  However, I will not engage her in personal conversation.  Whenever she starts going on and on with her gibberish, I politely tell her that I’m busy with a deadline and that I don’t have time to talk. 

Recently, another co-worker came to me and started complaining about Marie and how she was always interrupting this co-worker when she was busy and would talk for long periods of time.  I told her about how I only interact with Marie on work related issues and that I politely tell her I have a deadline whenever she starts trying to talk my ear off.  I suggested that maybe she could use the same strategy whenever Marie was bothering her when she was busy.  My co-worker immediately dismissed my suggestion and told me that “she didn’t want to mean to Marie”. 

I was surprised that my co-worker thought my suggestion was mean and it made me think about boundaries.  I feel that people think of setting boundaries with another person as something negative or mean but I feel it a positive part of any relationship.  Maybe it’s because I’m more introverted and I need to manage my energy levels, but I’ve always had boundaries when it comes to dealing with my family, friends, and the people I work with.  I need a lot of alone time and I’m very clear with people about that. They know that I’m not the type of person that you can just randomly show up to my apartment and that I don’t always answer my phone.  In this situation, I needed to establish a way for Marie and I to be able to communicate effectively as co-workers but it needed to be in a way in which I wasn’t constantly being interrupted with her needless chatter. 

In the end, I feel like I’m handling the situation the best way I can.  Marie knows that she can approach me for work matters but she also knows that I don’t have time for personal chit-chat.  I’m able to maintain a positive relationship with her and I’m able to get my work done and meet my deadlines.  As for my co-worker that complained…she’s still being constantly interrupted by Marie.

The phone just rang. Who do you hope is NOT calling?

Old telephone

Most days I hope no one is calling. I’ve stated this before, but I’m not a phone person at all. The only reason I have a phone is so my family can keep in contact with me. Most days I feel like being on the phone is a complete waste of my time. I find it hard to come up with topics to talk about for long periods of time and I’m always thinking about things that I could be doing with my time. I actually keep my phone on silent a lot because hearing it ring bothers me.

There are times when I’m pleasantly surprised by a call from a friend that I have spoken to in a while. I have close friends that I don’t talk to all the time and I’m always happy to receive calls from them. We can talk for hours and catch up on everything that is going in our lives. These calls never feel like a chore and I can think of plenty to talk about. I think what makes us close friends is our mutual need for space and togetherness. We can go and live our lives and not speak on a daily or even monthly basis. However, that closeness is still there and even though I detest the phone, I’m always happy to hear from them.

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My Favorite Forms of Creative Expression

Free vintage handwritten letter texture for layers

Writing is probably my favorite way to express my creativity. As much as I love writing personal essays and poems, I enjoy writing letters more. I started writing letters to international pen pals when I was about 15 years old and I am still writing to that pen pal that I started writing to way back then. I currently have 43 pen pals from all over the world and some how I’ve managed to find time to write to them even with all of the other things going on in my life.

I’ve always felt that the best way to learn how to write is to practice the art of letter writing. Very few people write letters anymore and it might seem ridiculous to do so given that we have e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Writing letters teaches you patience with forming your ideas. It lays the foundation for how to tell a good story. Since my pen pals don’t always understand my culture or my point of view, I have to give them background information and keep them interested in what’s going on in my life no matter how mundane things are. I wasn’t very good at writing letters at the beginning but with practice I’ve gotten better. It was not always easy to come up with something write about especially when I had just started to communicate with someone for the first time. That’s when I started keeping a small notebook with me and I would jot down things that were going in my life so I could talk about them in my letters. I’ve been doing to same thing with my blog and personal writing.

When I first started my blog, it was difficult to know what to write about because I had not been writing on a consistent basis and I had to search for my voice again. Little by little I’ve seen improvements and I’ve finding joy in what I write.

My newest creative adventure has been photography. I have no background in this artform and I have no real direction. This is something for myself. I want to capture beautiful moments in every day life as a way to ease my daily stress and remind myself that there in more out there in the world then being stuck inside my own thoughts and preocupations.

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