Please, Don’t Ignore the Signs

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you ignored the obvious negative signs right in front of your face? Yea, I have too.

Here’s the thing, sometimes we want something so badly that every little thing seems like a sign for why we should pursue it. Most times these situations have to do with whether or not to pursue someone you’re interested in or whether or not the person you like likes you back. And honestly in those situations, when you want someone bad enough, everything can seem like a sign if you look hard enough. And unfortunately in the process we tend to overlook all the obvious signs that tell us to back away or else we’ll get hurt.

For the past few weeks I’ve been looking for signs to show me how to proceed with a certain person in my life. And up until a week or so ago, I was so sure that all the signs pointed towards a happy ending for this story. But the problem is that I was willing to overlook a lot of negative traits and details about this person because I was convinced things were meant to progress and everything would somehow get fixed in the long run.

The problem is that I am a dreamer, I like to think of what could be and oftentimes I misinterpret the reality of the situation.

Unfortunately, these situations usually end with someone like me, a dreamer, getting hurt when he/she realizes that reality is not matching up with his/her fantasy. I’ve been there, several times, and it sucks. So this time I’m not going down that road again.

For all the dreamers out there, it’s not a bad thing to dream, but please don’t misconstrue reality just so you can have your imagined happy ending. Don’t ignore the signs that are right in front of your face. If you are constantly questioning a person or situation, that might be a sign that it’s time for you to move on. If things don’t feel quite right and you feel like you’re constantly letting things slide, then chances are this person is not the right fit for you.

I know sometimes we worry that we’ll never find someone better, but trust me, you deserve someone who will never make you question his/her devotion to you.

Don’t make a permanent decision based on what you think is true. Please respect yourself enough to wait for someone that you can trust beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait. And who knows, maybe what’s to come in the future will far exceed your wildest dreams. But you’ll never know if you don’t let go of that “someday-maybe-he/she-will-come-around” mentality.

I haven’t found the right fit for me yet, but I’ll know it when I see it. Because I won’t have to search for signs, everything will be clear, and for once my dreams will match my reality.

Surprise, The World Does Not Revolve Around Me

Yesterday I made a fool of myself…a lot. But after the initial embarrassment I realized something profound: nobody really cares. I mean seriously, nobody just stands there waiting for me to mess up…and if they do, then they probably need to find new hobbies.

See, my church went on a group outing to an amusement park yesterday and I will admit that I am not the most graceful person so I was somewhat afraid of making a fool of myself in front of all those people. So my sister and I went on the Lazy River ride where you sit in a tube and float around; it’s extremely relaxing. Well, it didn’t start out very relaxing for me because I couldn’t get on top of the tube like I wanted to. I tried to get on without making a fool of myself, but I couldn’t, so I stopped trying and decided to just hold on to the tube and float along. Well, that wasn’t very relaxing. After a while my sister told me to just try jumping on it, but I knew that probably wouldn’t end well. And it didn’t. I tried to jump on it, landed wrong, and ended up flipping over into the water. I was so embarrassed. But as I looked around me, everyone else was doing their own thing and they really didn’t care about what I was doing. After several failed attempts to get on the tube, I finally made it on and was able to fully enjoy the rest of my time.

You know what I realized? The people around me didn’t care about my failed attempts to get on my tube. If they did pay attention they just smiled or chuckled, but no one went out of their way to make me feel embarrassed.

After my experience yesterday I realized that much of what I do or don’t do depends on how I think others will perceive me. I don’t want people to think I’m weird or laugh at me, so I try to act as perfect as possible around others.

I realized that this goes deeper than just how I act in public, it also affects how I get ready when I am about to leave the house. I’ve always been afraid to wear comfortable clothes like leggings, workout gear, or baggy clothes outside because I don’t want people to view me as undesirable.

So whenever I leave the house I make sure I’m wearing something cute in case I bump into anyone. But, most times I end up dressing up for nothing and wishing I had just chosen to wear comfy clothes to run my errands.

Honestly, I think I look pretty darn cute in my chill clothes, but I just recently got comfortable enough to start wearing them outside.

And you know what I realized? For the most part, people really don’t care what I wear. Unless I am wearing something completely out of the ordinary they really don’t notice…and life goes on.

Life goes on when I don’t wear makeup on Sabbath to church. Life goes on when I go to the grocery store in workout pants and a tank top. Life goes on when I trip on the sidewalk on my way to class. Life goes on.

Somehow I’ve got the notion that I am so important that everyone watches me wherever I go…which is clearly a false notion. Not everyone around me is watching me, they usually have a billion other things occupying their minds.

I’ve come to realize that the sooner I stop caring about how others view me the happier I will be in life. I will be free to enjoy myself even if what I am doing makes me look weird or foolish. I will be free to enjoy life on my terms without anxiety about what others will think.

Look, the truth is I am a little weird and I’m clumsy and I’m awkward. But you know what? That’s ok, because I like me just the way I am.

Trust Me, It’s Ok to be Single

If you’re like me you always imagine that your future involves a house with a white picket fence, a spouse, and 2.5 kids. The American dream. From a young age I knew that some day I was going to fall in love and get married, I had no doubts about that. I knew God was going to bring the right person into my life at the right time, all I had to do was wait.

As the years went by I noticed all my friends getting in and out of multiple relationships and there I was, still single. In high school I always told myself that my time would come when I got to college. Well, I got to college…and still nothing. I started to think that there was something wrong with me, why wasn’t God blessing me with a serious relationship?

As I have had time to reflect, I pinpointed 4 problems with how I was approaching the situation.

1. I assumed that being single indicated that there is something wrong with me.

I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, skinny enough…and the list could go on. I was always searching for ways to improve myself so I could be more desirable. To me, being single meant that I was flawed and undesirable. If I was desirable then someone would want to be with me, right? Wrong. Being single does not mean you are imperfect. I had to realize that I am perfect the way God made me and I am just waiting for God to bring the right person at the right time. In the mean time if I want to change anything about myself I will do it for myself and not for the attention of others.

2. I felt like I was entitled to Gods blessings.

I’ve always been somewhat of a “goody-two-shoes”, I’ve always done the right thing and I do my best to avoid trouble. Because of that, I assumed that I deserved to be blessed. I was treating my relationship with God like a business. So basically I live a life that is pleasing to Him and in turn He is obligated to bless me. I soon realized that God is not obligated to give me anything, He chooses to bless me out of the goodness of His heart. Nothing I do can appease God, He cannot be bribed. God does not have to give me a significant other just because I have done everything right. He will give me the desires of my heart when He sees the time is right and not a second before that.

3. I idolized the idea of being in a relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, being in a relationship is not a bad thing, but it is not the greatest achievement in the world either. I was too focused on a relationship because everyone around me always made a big deal out of it. It seemed to me that when you got in a relationship you had officially made it in life. Which is obviously not true, but that is what my young mind held as truth. Now, I have filled my life with so many other wonderful things that bring me joy and fulfillment. If God decides to bless me with a relationship it will fit into my life, but it will by no means consume my life.

4. I was seeking after a relationship with a man more than I was seeking after a relationship with God.

Over the years I have gotten so much advice, heard multiple seminars, and read many books and articles that are all targeted at single people. One of the things I have heard over and over again is that we should pray for our future spouse as we wait for God to bring them into our lives, which is good advice. But just the other night as I was praying for my future spouse and I was urgently petitioning God on behalf of my love life, a thought struck me. God said to me “You should be seeking after me as hard as you are seeking after your future spouse.” And after that moment everything changed for me. I felt so ashamed for asking God for human affection and then neglecting to seek after Him. So I changed my prayer, I now pray for a deeper relationship with God and I pray that He makes me content in knowing that I have Him by my side even if I don’t have a man.

So now as I look at my life I am not worried that I am single. I used to be scared of never finding the right person, I was scared that getting married was not in God’s plan for me. And maybe it isn’t, but even if I never get married I know that the relationship I am cultivating with God is more than enough. And maybe one day He will bless me with a spouse, but until then He continues to bless me beyond measure and He has filled my life with amazing friends and family, what more could I ask for?

Why I Deleted My Snapchat App

Yesterday I was in Chicago and I did not post a single Snap story about it. I know; can you believe it? Honestly I felt the urge to post a Snap story at various times during the day while I was there but something kept stopping me. See, over the past few weeks I have noticed myself becoming increasingly distant from various forms of social media, especially Snapchat. This dissociation from social media might not seem like a big deal to you but it was to me because I used to be practically addicted to social media.

I am the person who has had almost every form of social media possible. I have a Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr…you name it and I probably have it. Up until a few weeks ago I used to be obsessed with all things social media. I do not know how I possibly kept up with all those accounts at one time, but somehow I found a way to stay active. Most recently I found myself consumed with Snapchat because that is one of the hottest trends in social media currently.

When I first got a Snapchat I thought it was such a great idea and I began using it rather frequently. I found myself adding dozens of people and subsequently spending much of my day keeping up with their Snap stories. I didn’t use my Snapchat to talk to a lot of people; I mainly used it to post stories of almost everything that I did during the day. I found myself pulling out my phone multiple times during the day to capture pictures and short videos to upload to my story; oftentimes completely missing the true sentiment of the moment because I was too preoccupied with recording it for all my friends to see.

Now, having distanced myself from Snapchat I have had time to reflect on the role it played in my life. I think about why it was so important for me to post about everything I did, every place I went, and every person I was with. In the past few weeks I became increasingly annoyed with myself every time I took my phone out to Snap something. I would ask myself, “Why do you want everyone to know everything about your life at all times?”

I came to the realization that one of the main reasons I posted was because I wanted people to see how interesting my life is. I would watch other people’s stories and sometimes I would get envious about how great their lives looked so I would post about my life so other people would be envious of me. I posted everything from family gatherings to “good morning” selfies; I displayed everything down to the minuscule details of my day. My life was an open book for all my friends to see and I never saw a problem with it.

It’s safe to say I was fully on the Snapchat bandwagon, but recently I began to question my dependency on Snapchat. I didn’t like that I would continually check the list of people who viewed my story to make sure everyone saw what I was up to; I didn’t like that I felt reliant on Snapchat to validate my “interesting” life. So I began wrestling over whether to delete my account cause I do use Snapchat to talk to some of my close friends. While I struggled with that decision I kept my account alive and occasionally posted stories.

Then this morning I woke up and knew I had to delete the app. I deleted the app but not my account because maybe in the future I’ll want to log back in, but for now I have denied myself access by deleting the app. This is a personal decision and I am by no means forcing anyone to delete Snapchat, I just don’t like how dependent I have become on social media.

I don’t like how the fear of someone posting me on their Snap story kept me from acting goofy or truly living and enjoying moments of life. I don’t like feeling attached to my phone at all times because I’m trying to capture the perfect Snap for my story. I don’t want everyone to have open access to my life at their fingertips. I’m just tired of feeling like I have to keep up with everything.

I’m tired of comparing myself to others based on the stories they post. Why am I comparing my entire day to the 120-second highlight of someone else’s day? People usually post the best parts of their day and so did I. Just like them I only posted the best parts of my day so others would think my life is so put together. We all know that nobody’s life is perfect but we continue to think others have a perfect life because of the sneak peeks they give us on Snapchat.

So yes, I deleted my Snapchat app and now I can focus on capturing and storing memories in my heart rather than capturing pictures and short videos that will be gone in a few hours.

I Used To

I used to read books; I used to get lost in the pages as my imagination ran wild.

Now, I use my free time to catch up with TV shows.

I used to use a pen and paper to write pages of stories and poems.

Now, I use my computer to post well-crafted 140 character statuses.

I used to write songs; I used to make music with my instruments.

Now, I’m content just listening to music crafted by others.

I used to be good at communication; I used to text and call people just to say hi.

Now, I play texting games and wait for others to reach out first.

I used to be so driven.

Now, I find myself slipping into procrastination time and time again.

I used to…I used to…I used to.

So, what am I going to do now?

I can’t change the past, but I can surely alter my future.

I choose to close my laptop. I choose to pick up that book that is on my “100 books to read before I die” list

I choose to write again. I choose to finish the book I started writing months ago.

I choose to sing again, to play again, to make music again.

I choose to text or call the people I care about just to say hi, just to find out how they’re doing, and just to tell them I miss them. I choose to rebuild relationships that have been damaged due to lack of communication.

I choose to say no to procrastination. I choose to do what needs to be done right when it needs to be done.

I choose…I choose..I choose.

I choose to be a better me

It’s Not That Complicated

You know what bothers me? Whenever I genuinely give someone a compliment and they refuse to accept it. I often wonder why people can’t accept compliments about themselves that are clearly so true. But then I realized, I am that person. I am the person who has a hard time accepting compliments. The thing that bothers me about other people is actually manifesting itself in my life.

There is a quote that says something like “what you dislike in others is a reflection of yourself” and in this case that rings true.

So why do I have a hard time accepting compliments? Well, there happens to be two main reasons why.

Sometimes I have a hard time accepting a compliment because I don’t feel like it is true. If I’m having a rough day and you tell me I look cute, I most likely won’t believe you. Deflecting compliments is something I do well, whether the compliment is in regards to my appearance or my talents such as writing or music. And though it may not seem like a big deal to me, sometimes it leads others to think that I have low self esteem, which truthfully is something I’ve struggled with (you can read about that here).

Or

Sometimes I have a hard time accepting a compliment because even though I know it’s true, I don’t want to come off as conceited and self-absorbed. Oftentimes we think we have to act shy and deny the compliments people give us so that they think we are humble.

So yeah, there are reasons why I have a hard time accepting compliments, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Maybe accepting compliments starts with me seeing myself in a positive light whether I’m having a bad day or not and being able to accept that I’m still beautiful when I’m wearing a sweater and my hair is in a bun. Maybe it starts by me celebrating my strengths and accepting my weaknesses. Maybe it starts by me building my self confidence and believing that others genuinely mean what they say when they compliment me.

And really, maybe accepting a compliment is as simple as saying “thank you” and moving on.

Pleased To Meet You

This particular post is in response to the Pleased to Meet You prompt from the Daily Post. The daily prompt is a useful tool for helping those who are stuck searching for something to write about. Sometimes the prompt will elicit a straightforward response to the question, but sometimes the prompt will lead you in a totally different direction. That’s where I’m at now, because after looking at the prompt and several bloggers responses, I’ve been led to take my response to this prompt in a completely different direction. So, if you are reading this post hoping to see a story about two protagonists meeting, unfortunately (or fortunately) you will not find that story here.

When I think about the words “pleased to meet you” I always think of that phrase in terms of meeting someone new. But, I never stop to think about how it must feel when people meet me. Can people honestly say that they were pleased to meet me?

It’s so easy for me to say that everyone I meet should be attentive and respectful so that I’ll feel pleased to have met them, but am I myself attentive and respectful when others meet me? I say that others should be approachable and easy to talk to so that I can walk away feeling pleased to have met them, but am I approachable and easy to talk to? I want others to be kind and have positive attitudes so that I can genuinely say that I was pleased to have met them, but am I kind and do I have a positive attitude when I meet new people?

I’ve realized that before I can expect anything from others, I must first possess those qualities I seek in others. The way I treat others will be reflected back in the way they treat me. It’s easy to put the responsibility for a positive interaction on the other person, all the while forgetting that interactions are a two-way street.

I will do my best to be kind, attentive, positive, and respectful when I meet others, because I want them to be able to walk away thinking “wow, I’m really glad I met her”. And I hope that others aspire to do the same, that way we can change ourselves for the better while changing our communities into friendlier places.

So, the next time I meet someone new, I want them to be as pleased to meet me as I am to meet them.