Tag Archives: friends

When Friends are in Pain

It’s odd how secure I feel in my feelings and a friend’s (heartrending) break-up really put things into perspective:

I looked on, and as I looked on my heart felt a pang of numbness it hadn’t felt in such a long time.  I looked on and felt an old depression sink into my bones and the world was gray again.  Bitter memories fluttered by and every little emotion I’d felt after my own break-up resurfaced, condensed down into mere moments.  Emerging once more, embracing them with every bit of understanding I had accumulated, I prayed:  Please help my friend find guidance.  Please help them find strength to linger on long enough to rediscover the worth of life.

It was rough and we’re still not completely in the clear.  However, I sense it now, energy is being released unlike before.  Piecemeal, it’s finally starting to dissipate.  My friend was in pain, they suffered and didn’t know how to find solace, comfort and release.  There’s always that initial phase of going back, trying to reclaim what was lost – it ripped them apart.  Too many what-ifs, too many questions and not enough closure.  There’s nothing I can do but watch on in silence, be that witness, and reaffirm things that I’ve always known to be true:  “It’s ohk to cry”, “You’re a good person, you’re just lost”.  “You’re going to feel like dying over and over,” I text them.  It’s easier than having them show me their face.  They don’t want to be seen – very few people get to see someone so raw and vulnerable and I can’t be mad.  “It’s going to suck for a long time,” I continue, praying my words give solidarity, “but it’ll end.”  Outside of the numerous texts, I let them talk.  I let them tell me anything and press my ears for the flyby phrases and words that are inevitably muttered.  I spend as much time, distract them and hold and remind them:  you’re going to feel alone, but I am here.

I did everything I could remember wanting when I was in pain and felt like there was nothing left.  I did my best to be that person I needed most:  simply there and willing to hold me, listen on without judgement and to reel me back even if it meant I’d hate them for seeing my weakness and through my intentions.  That is the best route one can take in comforting a friend.  You talk and you try to mitigate those negative thoughts that spin endlessly in their minds.  You understand that emotions, especially love, can boil your mind in madness and leave you far less than rational.  You do your best to rewrite those beliefs, compassionately, but honestly and mindfully.  Always remember:  this isn’t about you, it’s about them and what they need.

Take care of one another.

Rules of Courtesy for Roommates

Condom packages on dining room table.  One used, empty.  The other still waiting.  Flour all over the kitchen counters, sink full of dishes and apartment air muggy.  Coffee table with dirty dishes, one plate with food still on it and two cups.

Here are some rules to help you and your roommate get along:

1)  Communicate:  when a problem arises, nip it in the bud and take care of it then and there.  The longer someone goes without speaking the more habitual and OK it becomes.  Listen to one another and find a good middle ground or compromise.

2)  Respect your roommate:  you are sharing a living space so ample amounts of respect needs to be had on both sides.

A)  If you make a mess, clean it up ASAP

B)  If you’re roommate’s sleeping and it is within their normal sleeping range, be quiet.

C)  Do not eat their food unless you’ve been given permission or have an arrangement set up beforehand.  If

     they have offered you some of their food or you’ve been given permission, check with them every time before

     you do – just in case.

          – this also applies to their things.  Coming back to a broken T.V. and no explanation or apology really hurts

          relationships

     D)  If you are going to have guests over, check with your roommate.

– Guests are guests:  not extra roommates

– monitor your guests and make sure they are respectful to your place and your roommate and their things

– Boyfriends/Girlfriends:  try to keep the PDA levels at a minimum.  Please don’t go munching on each

others faces and grabbing you-know-what while they are around.  Teasing each other is ohk.  Starting a

porno on your couch in front of your roommate is not.

:  Sex is good and healthy, in certain doses.  Your roommate doesn’t need to hear you and your SO

going at it all the time though.  If you’re planning on having sex, give your roommate a heads up.

If your planning goes around the time that your roommate is due home and you haven’t given them a

heads up, plan as if they are coming home an hour early.

:  unless your romantic partner is living with you lease wise, they do not live with you.  It’s super

awkward to come back to find someone else’s stuff in your space.  It is also super awkward when you

see them as frequently as your roommate or more often.

:  for god’s sake, clean up too!


3)  Be Mature:  don’t be passive-aggressive!

“My roommate and I sometimes leave our things in common areas (for example the living room, kitchen).  Some nights I would come back home after he finally decided to clean and find all those things tossed into my room.  Literally tossed.  What really pissed me off was how much of his stuff still remained in the living room.  It was like I didn’t live there sometimes.”

It’s mean.  It’s evil.  And it can be downright fun sometimes.  However, your first response to situations should always be to communicate the idea that something’s not working out.  If tossing empty boxes of their newly bought toys doesn’t work, straight up tell them to take out the trash.  Bottom Line:  effectively communicate with one another.

4)  Know When to Call it Quits

It’s sucky.  You’ve tried to communicate with your roommate and it’s failed.  You’ve pleaded with your roommate to shape up and they just shrugged it off.  If you keep beating your head against the same wall and nothing is changing and you only wind up with a worse headache, you’ve reached insanity.  This is the point when you should seriously consider moving out.  Sometimes communication fails.  Sometimes they don’t care enough about the things that bother you to change or improve upon their bad habits.  Sometimes you can’t make compromises.  Whatever the reasons if your home is no longer a home, or a sanctuary, you need to get out.  You should always look forward to coming home to recharge and get some R and R.

Stress needs to be managed and it can involve something drastic:  like moving out.  It’s can be scary (I know)!  You’re leaving an established abode and traveling into the unknown.  But if you don’t make an effort to change something you’re not going to feel any better.

I’ll write up a little post on how to move out later.  Probably once I start my own process because my current living arrangement isn’t working out.

Friends are dandy and all, and living with them can lead to good times.  But you either become closer than ever before or you become the murder suspect.  Take Away:  Good friends don’t always make for good roommates.

Reflections on Change

Over coffee and fries, engrossed in an intense conversation:  “We should be really proud of ourselves.  Right now it is really hard to see our progress because we are still in the middle of changing.”  He nodded in agreement and we sat there basking in our own epiphanies.

Throughout our lives we are bound to change.  Change itself is not a bad thing; I honestly think it is the reason people fall in and out of relationships (both romantic and friendly and in-between).  The changes occur outside the other’s experiences.  We were both exchanging our feelings with changes that we’d been working on for quite some time.  For me, my work involves changing my lifestyle.  I want to lose weight and I want to feel healthy and things of the like.  At the same time I also wanted to work on building a strong emotional and mental foundation.  It is going pretty well.  Since winter of last year I’ve lost 30 lbs almost (hitting 198 really hit me).  I feel a lot better except for right now because I have an infection and am a little sick.  Mentally is a little harder but my thoughts are changing.  I hate myself doesn’t cycle through my head as much.  Things like I’m fat and you are worthless don’t pop up as often.  Emotionally I feel… freer to feel.  That sounds ridiculous but it was not always so.  Two people in the world give me hope and courage to be myself.

Take care of yourself.

Perk of Being Friends With an Attractive Male

Once you get past the who liking that person – getting rejected helps – it’s nice to be able to settle down and be friends with a guy.  Especially if he’s pleasing to your eyes.  Currently in a photo studio of my old school, I’m helping out with a photo shoot.  The photographer in question had said, “You know (my name), you’ve seen me shirtless the most out of all my friends”.  And ironically, I have not slept with him.

     Here’s to eye candy!  And keeping to your principles! WhaBAM!

Road Trips: Conversation

I had such a good drive!

The drive from my apartment to my moms’ house in North Dakota is about seven to nine hours long depending on conditions (as well as your MPH).  We made it back just in time for dinner and comfortably settling in to the chilly North Dakota weather with a possible high of -1 tomorrow.  The joys of living so far north on plains lands.

Now, for most of those seven hours, my mom and I had extremely good conversation (which I find to be one of the hardest parts of most road trips).  We talked about all sorts of things and I got to catch up on what’s happening up here and I realized why coming home is so hard for me.  It’s centered around my younger brother, unfortunately.  To keep as much of my family’s life private this lends itself into the continual problem that my dad caused and continues to make worse.  We also talked about my switching majors, my friends and things that have happened to me since turning 21, as well as the love of my life.  It’s so nice to be able to talk to my mom about these things.  I heard her problems and felt them and thought about what I might be able to do to help mitigate certain circumstances, the things I could say to help straighten out my little brother.  The rest of the trip was spent in humble silence where I daydreamed about eye-candy (and really, intellectual-candy as well – I dislike spending time in my daydreams with less than competent people) and possibly zoned out once or twice.  What can I say?  Being driven around lulls me to sleep.

Moments like this make me realize how much I enjoy traveling and moving between places.  I hope to go on many road trips with my friends.  This would be such an awesome experience.  Ya’ll should head on out and take care to travel wisely!  Arrive safe!

Revelations

I’m in a pretty good mood for having skipped two finals.  Yes, that has happened.  Aren’t I a terrible student?  But that is not the true point of this post!  No, no that.  It is something much more… delightful.

Watching Matrix Revelations has gotten me pumped up for a work party I will be attending with my roommate (because I know he will at least try to play the games and he knows a fair amount of the people going).  And although it is a work function my coworkers are all really cool and nice people.  Case in point, today is going to be awesome regardless of what happens because somehow, without even trying it is already a good day.  I’m going to get my hair done – it’s an asymmetrical cut and so far it’s grown out to a little past my shoulders and I had my stylist even it out to make it straighter… and now I want to get it cut asymmetrically again so that the left side is a touch higher than it is now.  I need to make up my mind!

I think I am going to enjoy this day most of all simply because this is one of the last days I will be spending with my friends.  Last day until I pop up to North Dakota to join my family for an early Christmas celebration with my littler brother before he gets hauled off to California by my dad on the 20th.  However, that means I will be alone.  With my moms.  And nothing to do.  For three days.  Oh the horror!  You can love your family all you want but that doesn’t mean all the time you spend with them is completely pleasant.  I hope I will survive.  I hope I will survive.

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
– Albert Camus

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the effort I have put into my relationships, both romantic and filial (close friends fall under this category).

Today I would like to remember how much progress I’ve made as a person, an individual.  There are many things I can do presently that I could not in the past; for example I am able to hold a conversation with most people, with a little carrot I can make it out on the dance floor and shake the devil off my back, and hugging has been made so much less awkward.  Without the investments I’ve made in my friends and family, I wouldn’t be who I am, because in turn they have also invested in me.

Be thankful for what you have done, and what you have accomplished with others.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Coffee Break: College Is Not For Everyone

Today I was talking to a very good friend of mine.  He’s Canadian (not that I have anything against Canada – the more I learn about the country the more I fall in love with it.  Not the point.  End of this tangent!) and full of experiences that I very much needed to hear.  I always known he had dropped out of college and during this little dessert time (which needs to be a major thing for everyone) I asked him why.  Finally.

I’ve been struggling in college.  I’ve written about it some but I don’t think I ever got to the heart of the problem or the major cause of turmoil.  There are many things I have loved about college – social life, growth in personal matters, increasing independence, and freedom (which I suppose is related to the previous one).  But there are a lot of things that have hurt.  Academically, I’m pretty much failing.

So he shared his story which I will shameless share:  my friend had taken his dad’s advice and gone straight to college after high school.  But in his heart what he had wanted was to take a break from schooling and travel and just live.  It reminded me of what I wanted.  He told me he went into college and pretty much drew “a major from a hat” and partied all the time because he didn’t want to go to school.  Eventually he dropped out and joined the military and while there he learned something valuable:  he wanted to get back into college.  I nearly leaped out of my seat.  I jumped and said to him, “You know how you were then, right?  That’s how I am now!”  I needed someone to connect to, even if the person in my nearest sights is actually three years younger than I am.

Reality checks.  College is for a certain population.  Be ready.  Some times we will make mistakes (like me) and that you need to know it’s ohk to make those mistakes as long as you learn from them like I am continually learning from mine.  As much as I would like to give up and throw in the towel, I know that even with a degree in anything I can still accomplish one dream of a younger me:  travel to Korea, a land which I feel so connected and disconnects, and live there. I have friends that love and care for me that help check me so that I don’t completely dive off the cliff side.  But allow just enough slack to let me travel into some really interesting areas.
How about you guys?

Wandering

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

I really want to focus on the first stanza (it didn’t feel right to separate them).  It was taken (as duly noted above) from an excerpt of Tolkien’s book, The Fellowship of the Ring.  I’m feeling rather blue and rather nauseous, and I had a little mini text conversation with M in which I got a little fight.  It made me think of how far apart we’ve grown, how defensive we’ve become.  And that saddens me deeply.  The first stanza describes how I feel about our relationship. 

     Friends are some of the most important things in life.  They keep you going through thick and thin.  They’ll be the parasites that latch onto your couches and borrow copious amounts of your stuff, or bother you at the strangest (and at times most inconvenient) of hours.  They have the ability to break your heart, to fix it, to comfort and to push you in the right (or wrong) directions.  Friends enrich your life.  And M has enriched mine.

     One of the biggest reasons for me moving to California is M and Seth.  I am rather confused about my feelings about Seth and M at this point in my life.  I am leaving to see how I feel when I put space between me and Seth.  I already know that feeling with M and although I will live anywhere from 20 minutes or two hours, I will be on my own.  And I will go to school for something that has always pleased me.  And I will have that dream of sustaining myself, out in the world wandering all by my lonesome.  I think that lifestyle suits me.  I want to travel and there is so much one can do if we remember to take a few little steps outside our doorway every day.

     An open eye to the future, as I transition back into the Fool of the tarot I see many paths unwinding in front of me.  And the one I see that I am most at peace with is an image of me sitting at a small table in my dining room of my apartment, listening to the sounds surrounding me and just breathing in my lonesomeness, and my tranquility.  I could open up my door to whomever I wanted.  I could close it whenever I wanted and that suited me.  There are those periods when you need to take time for yourself.  I sometimes apply that perhaps much more liberally than some of my much warm-hearted friends may like.  I could decorate however I liked – open up that Yoshi shrine like I wanted.  But I have a feeling that there will always be an air underneath my feet lifting me to different avenues and adventures.  So, in the next ten or so years, we will see where my words and dreams and ambitions have carried me. 

     Now, for the second stanza because it is lovely:  take a fire in your spirit and brandish your weapon.  Strike forward and take the world by storm!  Not every day need be a cause, but it should be lived in honor of your dreams and your memories.  Seize the way!  Not all who wander are lost.

Background

One of the most beloved things were the key tones of a dial pad.

For the most part, life had been a complete blur of events.  Many memories had slipped through colours of sunsets and sundowns that the most relative parts became increasingly hard to grasp.  As I grew older, so did my heart grow weary from isolation and lack of stimulation.  It is hard to state with confidence that I was indeed alive in the beautiful sense of the word.  A hollow being masquerading.

As an adolescent my head felt static – a horrible numbness that I never wish to return to.  My attitude was apathetic:  what would be would be without my consent; destiny.  The day I learned to read and understand the abstract concept of words was a day of salvation.  With this newfound power I learned the secret portal to a myriad of worlds, wishes and dreams.  And that is how I marched on, never truly attaching myself to any one thing except little books and grandiose stories (some imagined, some discovered).  They gave me the emotions I lacked in life, reality later to be echoed, reinvented in my dreams, daydreams.  Some of the best times I had as a kid were when I was sleeping, dreaming despite the significant amount of nightmares.  A whole range of feelings was discovered as I ran my fingers nervously across pages of heroes, powerful men and women who never gave up.  I admired them.  Nights were spent running with the wolves, dancing among fierce battles parrying invisible blades from a dastardly enemy who sought every chance to slight me.  But no matter how many times I closed my eyes and laid out the scenes, the characters, the plots, I’d always realize that it was not to be.

I’m here. In this world where my family is falling apart.  Where people antagonize each other because they didn’t know better.  That’s the kind of place I live in, the situation I’m in.

And it progressively grew worse and worse.

I entered the eighth grade, a very interesting year.  Already in sixth and seventh grade my stepmother’s influence was growing faint…  By eighth, though the details are still hazy, she had moved out and onto the economy.  And then it was myself, my older brother and my younger brother left with my dad.  The haze in my mind grew, the desire to be elsewhere, anywhere but home intensified and school became my salvation each and every weekday.  I studied hard, for it soon became a saving grace, the trump card to deny interaction with my father.  The dreaded awkwardness.

But I was still lonely.  I justified my inability to make meaningful friends by telling myself that deep down, I didn’t deserve them.  It became the whole of my existence that happiness wasn’t mine to obtain though dearly in my heart I wished so strongly to achieve it.  I thought that if I got close enough, reached out, I could preserve one little piece to tide me over until my inevitable death.  Desperation crippled me.  Guilt destroyed me.  Little by little, what was left of my desire to continue living was chiseled away.  I rode on a bus that sent me back to the hole I crawled out of, the abyss my brothers and I endured…  I really can’t call it that.  It just was, and we just existed as entities in that space.  We weren’t people anymore, we weren’t human.  I went back to my home, my darkness and died every day trying to survive.

My room was my solace.  I could use it to shut out almost of the pain scratching at my door.  I ached and projected my feelings and needs of comfort onto stuffed animals whom I cried at the thought of being mine.  Experiencing my distress, my suffering, why did they need to be exposed to that?  I drowned in an anesthetic developed through witness to the dismantling of my identity and purpose as an individual of a society.  Why should they deserve to also be in this environment?  But I couldn’t bare for anything to leave…  I couldn’t bear to think that they would leave.  Because despite all the voices I heard from my environment, it didn’t feel as lonely as realizing that there was nothing there to hold me.

Death was a pleasant past time.  I dreamed so fondly of it.  It seemed like bliss, like a beautiful escape.  But I couldn’t take anyone with me.  My dear beloved items, though only possessions, were my family.  I didn’t want to leave them behind.  Many days I fought the urge to break skin or fall through my window or sink into a watery slumber.  But they always pulled me back.  My family I had created preserved enough of me to meet one key person:  M.