Internationally Traveled

This week I’ve had the opportunity to travel across “the big pond” as they call it. As I’ve posted many times, I like traveling. Up to this point I’ve only had the experience of domestic travel. As of this week I’ve flexed my traveling wings as it were and expanded to international travel. It’s been an amazing experience that I plan to repeat at some point. Even as a kid, I would wave to planes from the ground and hope that one day I would get to ride in one and go to exotic places. One thing I was originally concerned about was the length of the flight over (8 hours) in coach. However, the fact that I was severely sleep deprived (5 hours of sleep in the past 3 days) covered any apprehension about that. I know people who can’t sleep on planes and i’m glad I’m not one of them. I had a window seat, blanket, and pillow and I was golden. One thing I didn’t expect was that the airlines served beverages, dinner, and breakfast. The best part was that it was actually eat-able. Sorta like high-class cafeteria food. I ended up sleeping for about 6 hours of the 8 hour flight. The plane I flew in was the largest one to date I had flown in. A total of 10 seats across with two aisles. Plus it was full. One thing I’ve learned is that international travel requires a different mindset. It’s something that usually isn’t accidentally done. You have to plan and plot in order to make it happen (if you’re not super rich or a celebrity). Consequently, this makes you appreciate the experience more. I definitely don’t take my time here for granted because I’ve put so much time and energy into it. It’s been great. 

Staying Home

This article was especially thought provoking to me. Growing up, it almost seemed to be an expectation that I would get married, have kids, and stay at home with them like my mother had done. The interesting thing about this article is that the author speaks of regretting her decision to do this. She lists numerous reasons for these regrets and among those reasons is the fact that she became outdated and lost confidence. It appears that she also put so much time into her family and being a stay at home mother that she lost who she was in the process. I’m all for spending a lot of time with your kids but when you’re THAT involved, it can make the letting go process a lot harder. Plus, it’s not the healthiest thing to make your kids your ENTIRE world because you’re setting yourself up for disappointment when they leave your care. As someone who is somewhat of a control freak, I like the structure that can come as a result of parenting my own kids and being with them day in and day out. However, I also want to have a life outside of raising kids. As someone who has spent a LOT of money on education, I want to be able to use that in some capacity while still being a present and effective parent. While some people feel comfortable and totally ok with dropping everything career related in order to raise their kids, there’s the chance of falling into the same boat as the author of this article. Keeping up your skills and licenses can still be done while being a good parent. Plus, it’s less work to pick up where you left off when the kids leave. Regardless of all that, the decision to stay at home with your kids should be something that you know will work for you in the long run.  

Love vs. Lions, Tigers, and Bears

 

This is one of my favorite songs (I probably have hundreds) for quite a few reasons. First off, Jazmine Sullivan has such a unique sound. Her voice is unlike any other. One of reasons why this song is great is because it speaks to the trepidation that comes along with loving again after losing the time before. Jazmine even briefly mentions that love may not be enough to sustain the relationship despite the initial step of deciding to love. Which is interesting because the whole premise of the song reminds us that loving again can be scarier than lions, tigers and bears. The great thing is that at the end of the song, there is a decision made to love again despite the risk. Plus, the strings on this song are amazing and the melody is beautiful. 

Creating a winner

I was reading something that one of my Facebook friends posted about relationships that was related closely to this picture. One thing about humans is that we naturally hate to lose. Guys are in no way excluded from this. One of my major pet peeves is when women totally take their man for granted. But I digress. The point is that there's a certain amount of truth to the saying, "behind a good man is a good woman." Chances are if you take the time to be intentional at consistently treating your man like a winner, you'll see the results of your actions. While we can't make people change we can influence change by our behaviors toward them.  Someone's confidence in you can make you more confident. It's all about creating an atmosphere of optimism, creativity, and winning in life. People who know how to effectively do this reap some very nice benefits.

I was reading something that one of my Facebook friends posted about relationships that was related closely to this picture. One thing about humans is that we naturally hate to lose. Guys are in no way excluded from this. One of my major pet peeves is when women totally take their man for granted. But I digress. The point is that there’s a certain amount of truth to the saying, “behind a good man is a good woman.” Chances are if you take the time to be intentional at consistently treating your man like a winner, you’ll see the results of your actions. While we can’t make people change we can influence change by our behaviors toward them. Someone’s confidence in you can make you more confident. It’s all about creating an atmosphere of optimism, creativity, and winning in life. People who know how to effectively do this reap some very nice benefits and they have happier relationships. Because if you treat someone like a winner long enough they’ll actually start to believe it themselves and their actions will follow suit. 

Relationship Confusion

This article really caught my eye. However, the premise makes so much sense. In fact, this same topic came up while I was in a meeting today. As someone who completely believes attachment theory, I can easily see how the author came to his conclusion. Ambiguity is safe because it can trick us into thinking that we aren’t as emotionally involved as we really are.  Commitment can be a big step because it requires a deliberate decision. This makes it that much easier to slip into the ambiguity of situationships, special-friendships, and friends-with-benefits. No one wants to get hurt and we tend to hide behind confusion or a non-defined relationship because doing so would me that we automatically assume the risk of getting our hearts broken. Keeping the relationship in the dark means that we can avoiding asking the hard questions. 

The Apathy of Acquaintances

The definition of an acquaintance is someone who “one knows slightly, but is not a close friend.” The truth of the matter is that many of us have more acquaintances than we would like to believe. We meet someone and accept them into our circle. We bend over backwards for them expecting reciprocity if we were ever in the same situation. However, these people don’t appear to see the situation as we do and when the time comes for the favor to be returned they are nowhere to be found. It’s one thing when this happens with someone we barely know but when a “close” friend shows their true colors it throws us for a loop. There are certain actions we expect from people who barely know us. These actions include being judge, jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. We justify these actions in our heads with the thought that “they don’t really know me.” But when so-called people in our lives who we thought we were close to display these same actions our bubble is broken. Sometimes only time and trouble can show us who our real friends are. They are the ones who take an interest in our lives and would do just as much for us as we would for them. There’s a saying that a friend would bail you out of jail but a real friend would be in jail with you saying, “that was fun, wasn’t it?” It’s time to start taking inventory of people in your life who call themselves your friends. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even use the term friend until I’ve known someone for a good amount of time or spend a lot of time with them. There’s too many people who are parasitic and don’t have your best interest at heart. The sooner you can realize that, the sooner you can separate yourself from those people without all the emotional pull that sometimes comes along with dropping someone you once thought was your close friend.

Being non-realistic

One of the most common pieces of relationship advice is to be what you’re seeking. If you want someone mature, be mature. If you want someone clean, be clean. The thing about this whole train of thought is that life isn’t always that simple. While this might work in certain contexts, it’s not an absolute rule. Opposites attract, people change, life happens. One of the things I knew that I couldn’t expect or require in a significant other when starting my doctorate was a similar education attainment as me. I’ve met so many people who’ve used their education as a crutch for their loneliness. This has been especially true of women. The fact of the matter is that complementarity is more important than mirroring. If it was that simple we would just clone ourselves. I don’t expect my future significant other to have a stupid amount of degrees. I’m not necessarily requiring even a bachelors. There are so many other factors that matter more. I’m more concerned about fathering skills, ability to provide, family dynamics, and genuineness than a piece of paper saying that some program of study was completed. Because at the end of the day, that’s not a challenge or an issue unless someone in the relationship makes it one. A significant other should make you want to be the best version of you as possible and sometimes that route includes education. Mutual respect and a teamwork mentality will go a long way. We get so caught up on the physical and what they do for a living that we forget about the daily characteristics and habits that make them who they are as people. The truth is that an educated man can beat you just as hard as an uneducated one. And while that example may be a bit out there, the point still stands. Stop trying to find a human mirror and look for someone whose dreams, goals, and ambitions mesh with yours. Values should be shared but you want a different perspective that complements your own. These impossible standards have to be re-evaluated.