the universe is listening

[after patho class]

pathophysiology professor: how are you?
me: you mean… in school?
pathophysiology professor: life in general
me: um… ok, i guess.
pathophysiology professor: it can be tough

i don’t talk to anyone at school about my personal life and my professors would be the last people i would confide in… but the universe can hear me and is letting me know that i’ll be taken care of

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Protected: so it begins…

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i think we’re in that scene of the movie…

the one you knew by joshua radin
i’m leaving but don’t worry i’ll be back again,

you’re always right here
and you’re grieving but don’t hurry to your pack of friends,
i’ll stay it’s clear,

the one you knew from your love
i grew into complete and whole
and the way i justify,
it’s my way to control love everlasting

i see your sweater,
rests upon your bed reminds me of home,
it can’t be any better than it is in my head
i’m blinded by our own

the one you knew from your love
i grew into complete and whole
and the way i justify
it’s my way to control

there’s only one way i know how to do this
stay here and help me live through this
and i’ll always be

the one you knew from your love
i grew into complete and whole
and the way i justify
it’s my way to control love everlasting

setting boundaries for introverts

so here’s the thing: i’m a natural introvert. my first reaction to conflict is to internalize and figure out how i will not allow this to bother me rather than communicate how the conflict can be avoided in the future. it is only after years of self-evaluation and effort that i am better able to tell a friend what i need in order to maintain a healthy relationship–a skill i have not fully perfected.

and because i am human and i’m not perfect, there are times when i will indulge myself in my natural tendencies and go inside myself when faced with trouble. often, this happens when my first attempts at communication has been met with resistance and anger. why bother again, right? it didn’t hit home the first time. the problem with this is that while it allows me to reflect back on the things i’ve done wrong and to accept that there are things i cannot control, boundaries are not being set, allowing for people to take advantage or disrespect my space and person.

by the time i realize that boundaries have been crossed, it is usually too late and the norm for the friendship has been defined. so what am i supposed to do? do i do a complete overhaul and set these much needed boundaries? do i just do away with the friendship altogether because moving forward without the promise of change is no longer an option? writer coral levang recommends the former and suggests that doing so means accepting responsibility for your feelings.

indeed, setting boundaries has less to do with controlling other people’s behaviors and more to do with accepting that you are responsible for how you allow people to behave towards you. granted, these boundaries are acceptable providing they are reasonable. for instance, it is completely within your right not to be called by an undesirable name or to expect a friend not to get too friendly with your significant other. however, it is equally unreasonable for you to expect others to change their plans for you simply because you are uncomfortable with the chosen group activities. in such instances, it is best to take yourself out of the equation and let others be. you have a right to yourself; you do not have a right to dictate the behaviors and actions of others.

establishing clearly defined boundaries is essential to any relationship, especially for introverts. because we live in a society that favors extroverts, our very nature can be seen as insecure or unsure. by being confident in your limits and comfort levels, you are letting people know that being an introvert is not a condition but a choice. you are making a choice to live your life in a way that is enjoyable to you without the fear of being thought strange or being pressured to do otherwise. besides, studies show that introverts are the majority. it’s an introverts’ world; extroverts just live in it.

i guess i was wrong

in 2005, when i decided to be an advertising major and minor in studio arts, regardless of what my parents would say, it happened. and guess what, they were ok with it.

in 2006, when i decided that i was going to make vast contributions to aaf at uh, it happened.

when i decided that i was going to get over my anxiety and visit my family in the philippines after 8 years, it happened. and i did it by myself.

when i decided that i was going to get an internship after three months of post-college sulking and brooding, within 2 weeks, it happened.

when i decided that i was going to get a job after my internship, two days before the end of my internship, it happened.

when i decided that i was going to make straight As in my first semester back to school (including anatomy and physiology), it happened.

when i decided that i was going to make an outstanding gpa this past year, 10 As and 1 B later, it happened.

when i decided that i was going to make it into TWU’s nursing program, as of last friday, it happened.

you get the point. when i set my mind on something, it just pretty much becomes a matter of “when” and not a matter of “if.” especially after my experiences with my awesome boss, i’ve come to realize that while there are still things beyond my circle of influence and control, i have more input into my own success than i originally thought. this is why, when i reluctantly entered into a relationship months ago, that i thought i was going to succeed.

“it’s going to be tough. it’s going to be difficult. i’m going to cry a lot but i’m going to persevere,” i thought.

what i failed to realize about relationships is that unlike my previous feats, a complete half of my success rested solely on the hands of another person. my best is only as good as his best. it doesn’t matter if i studied harder, pushed harder, worked harder. if he’s slacking, then i’m slacking. it’s a whole the-chain-is-only-as-strong-as-its-weakest-link thing.

(not to say that he’s a weak link. i’m not calling anyone out. for his part, i’m sure he believed that he tried.)

i was foolish to think it was going to happen though. how naive was i to think that i was just going to get in there and kick butt when half of the couples in the country can’t make it work? is this hubris? am i simply dragging around a dead thing behind me, blinded by my past successes?

so now i’m 6 months in, completely in love (foolishly) and thinking “i can still make this work.” as much as i want to believe that i can, not for the sake of it, but simply because i love him, there is very little in me that tells me it will work, much less thrive. we both have too many things going on right now and while i have confidence in my ability to balance it, albeit being totally emotional and girly at the same time, there’s no way for me to know that he can… or that he wants to.

what i do know is this: i start nursing school in the spring and i don’t care what they put in front of me, i’m kicking butt and rocking out for the next two years.

 

confessions of an ex-romantic

What do you get when you take a romantic idealist, extraordinary circumstances and a series of disappointments?

Everything that comes in a bouquet dies, no matter how much pruning or watering you do to it.

Everything that comes in a bouquet always dies, no matter what kind of pruning and watering you do to it.

Over the past few years, I have come to the resolution that waiting for someone to be my better half is not only futile but foolish. It is absurd for me to sit around expecting someone to walk into my life and deliver a fresh bouquet of happiness. Everything that comes in a bouquet always dies, no matter what kind of pruning and watering you do to it. And while this may seem like the words of a pessimist or a cynic, these are also the words of someone who can turn this entire situation into something positive.

But before I explain that, let me start from the beginning.

statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse.

...statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse.

All of our lives, we are inundated with the idea of love and marriage. From fairy tales, television/movies and literature. Even the medium of the internet is being exploited by sites like eHarmony and match.com, urging people to become members in order to find love. But the concept of marrying for love is a relatively new development in human history. Until recently, marriages were motivated by politics and business. Make no mistake, I’m not making an argument for arranged marriages but statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse. Nowadays, getting married comes with the given understanding that there’s a 50% chance that it will end in divorce. I don’t know about you but that is a huge risk to take.

Now, at this point, some of you may be going “life is about risks” or “have a little faith” or even “you can always get a divorce.” That’s just not good enough for me. If I am to get married, it will most certainly not be a risk; it will definitely be a sure thing; and divorce will never be an option. Why enter into such a serious commitment knowing that you have doubts or if you have an exit strategy? That is not a marriage; that’s something with which you are passing the time until something else better comes along.

Vanessa and Nate from The CW's Gossip Girl

While in circumstance, I might be more like Vanessa, the free spirit born outside of Upper East Side society, my Nate may never come.

So I bet I am sounding more and more like a cynic. On the contrary, I am a romantic. Like other people, I get that warmth in my chest when I think of growing old with someone but that’s just it: I want to grow old with someone; I don’t want to gamble. As much as I like to think that I’m Serena van der Woodsen, with her preppy yet hippie chic tendencies, I’m not. Serena has Dan who, despite a number of break-ups, always comes back. That is definitely not me. While in circumstance, I might be more like Vanessa, the free spirit born outside of Upper East Side society, my Nate may never come. And every minute I spend waiting for him is a roll of the dice that always comes out snake eyes and I’ve got more than my money to lose.

So this is how it becomes positive: I grow up. I outgrow all of this romantic idealist conditioning that we all experience from infancy and come to terms with the idea that I am my own person and I make myself happy. No other person can give that to me and I should not expect anyone to. I am forced to look at my life and decide for myself what makes me happy: my spiritual journey, my family and friends and understanding who I really am. 

Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together.

Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together.

Now am I being negative or a defeatist? Surely, those faux-romantics may read this and think that it may be too much of a hassle to get involved with me. To this I say, whatever happened to “take a risk” or “have a little faith”? I’m not completely dismissing the possibility of finding someone. I am merely saying that it is not my life’s purpose to do that. Simply put, if it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesnt. I’m devoting my life to those who are already around me. Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together. And that is definitely not a gamble.