Trying to sleep

I’ve always been somewhat of a night owl. I remember being forced to go to bed in the summer when it was still light outside and reading until I could no longer see the words on the page. Looking back, that’s probably why I started wearing glasses at an early age. In college, sleep became a priority that I held in high importance. Yet, I remember an ENTIRE semester where I went to bed at midnight or later every night with 22 credit hours and two jobs. It wasn’t the best schedule for my health but I stayed relatively healthy without any major mishaps. The silver lining to that semester was that i finished with a 3.9 GPA. I recently transitioned to working nights and it’s been a huge adjustment. When I worked nights before I flip flopped between days and nights and came closer than I wanted to losing my mind with the lack of sleep. My new schedule is still fairly brutal but it provided the escape that I needed from a 9-5 schedule which I really strongly dislike. Through this process I have had a renewed appreciation for sleep. I know that I don’t want to do nights for the rest of my life because I don’t want chronic insomnia. For now, sleep is once again a priority and I’ll have to get creative so that I have enough to function.

Ready Aim-The Song

I like some acoustic versions of songs and this piece is one of them. For some reason it’s been playing on my computer for the past week. I love the way that the words to the song match the melody–even to the point that the melody tells a story that the lyrics mirror. I looked up the lyrics and Mali seems to be describing the process of pushing through obstacles as you try to make a tangible difference in the world. I admit, that his playing is not all that great but his unique voice is so perfect for this particular version. You can feel that he’s passionate about what he’s singing and makes the declaration “you can’t shoot me down” you can tell that he believes it. One thing I really like about this rendition is that you can feel the emotion through the song. These days, that’s not really typical.

Relationship Ingredients

A few years ago I got the brilliant thought of building rapport with someone who I wanted to get to know better. Of course I had to make the process more complicated then it had to be. One of the characteristics that I find most important is the presence of quality time. I think it’s hard to be genuine friends with someone when you barely know them because you haven’t spent enough time with them. There was a lot of strategy and thinking involved in the process of building rapport. The funny thing was that I really didn’t even speak to this person on a regular basis. I just went out of my way to have conversations with them and to have meaningful interactions. The funny thing was that while we were never close there was enough rapport to have inside jokes and to communicate entire sentences telepathically. The whole experience reminded me how friendships and relationships aren’t always an exact science. To this day when I get a random hello or some way of recognition from him I’m not super excited or flattered because I worked for it. The truth is that when you go out of your way to make someone feel special and take a genuine interest in them they’ll be much more likely to remember you. I feel like that’s the basis of a lot of good relationships. Common goals and experiences along with time.

I Love Myself: 40-Year-Old Woman Marries Herself In Lavish Houston Wedding Ceremony

I can’t speak to the authenticity of this article but the concept was certainly interesting. Let it be noted that in the pictures published, I didn’t notice any men. I wonder if this choice will affect this woman’s chances for getting married in the future. While I can’t imagine inviting my family and friends to a ceremony for myself, I can see where she was coming from. A wedding is something many women look forward to for decades and she didn’t want to not have the experience because of her lack of a significant other. I wonder if we’ll see these type of ceremonies grow in popularity in the coming years? Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine spending thousands of dollars on a wedding without having a groom. But it looks like it worked for her.

How To Make Someone Fall in Love with You

I rarely browse articles but the title of this one caught my eye. After reading it I immediately realized that it was the best non-scholarly article I’ve read this year to date. I’m a psychology junkie and I love reading articles and books related to relationships, human interactions, and patterns of behavior. Very interesting stuff. Now, outside of the fact that the author is a good writer, she also took the liberty of attaching the original research article that she was referencing. This was great because it gave me a little more background on the original study that had been done. Which, by the way, would have been an excellent dissertation topic. The whole idea  behind the article is that we choose who we fall in love with and that we can fall in love with someone based on interpersonal interactions we’ve had with them that were meaningful and required both individuals to be vulnerable to each other at the same time. The study the author referenced was conducted with college psychology students that were paired together. They were tasked with asking each other a set of questions and their emotional closeness was measured afterwards. There was also a component that author of the article noted that included looking into the eyes of the person for four minutes straight. Yes, four minutes. The idea behind that is that it is a way for both individuals to feel equally vulnerable at the same time. This builds emotional closeness. The author in the article tried this with a guy using the same questions from the original study and got positive results. It’s interesting how relationship dynamics can change when there are opportunities to talk about personal topics. You can sometimes see a different side of someone when they are by themselves versus when they are in a group because their defenses are down and a one-on-one interaction can foster an environment of intimacy and emotional closeness that is much harder to achieve in a group setting. So hypothetically, you could “gently persuade” someone to fall in love with you by looking into their eyes for four minutes and the facilitation of these discussion questions the author mentions and includes a link for in the article. Interesting.

The Dream Continues

Today is the day where social media is inundated with quotes and pictures of Martin Luther King Jr. His words, his ideals, his dreams, and his sermons had a huge influence on a generation and a people who were struggling to be viewed as equals in a country that had previously enslaved them. He spoke against injustice and painted a picture of a world where everyone is equal and we all have access to the same opportunities. There has been some progress towards that goal. Signs that declare public places are for “whites only.” have gone. There are laws that make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on the color of their skin. There’s definitely still a long way to go. I live in a city that has one of the biggest MLK parades/marches (a marade) in the country. Thousands of people attend and there’s a program at the end with music and speeches and remarks. Typically this also includes some cousin or other relative of MLK who has been flown in to make some remarks about the specialness of this day. The news stations are there and try their best to get all the shots of black people standing next to white people in solidarity and unity for a common purpose. The sad truth is that we still live in a very racially motivated society in the States. Other countries have other systems that make one group of people superior to another group. Discrimination and prejudice happens everywhere–not just in America. I think that these gestures and services and speeches and sermons are great, but what are we doing the other 364 days of the world to advocate for people who can’t do it themselves? MLK did a lot for the movement. He dedicated thousands of hours of time and money to the advancement of a cause he felt was worth fighting for. However, I was reading not too long ago that he also died without a will and his family was in dire financial straits due to the fact that he had given most of his money to the cause. His wife left a promising singing career and also devoted most of her life to the work. His children also became vocal about continuing his legacy but drew enormous salaries from the center names in his honor and mishandled funds that almost bankrupted it. They sued each other for exorbitant amounts of money and publicly disagreed with each other on the best way to preserve their father’s memory. I say all this to say that there’s a need for all of us to recognize that the only way progress can happen is that we address problems on a systemic level.

18 Qualities

I ran into this article through Facebook and thought it was an interesting read. The definition of the “Z” man appeared to  be something that most women would appreciate. People who have very strong personalities tend to have a harder time when their partners are equally stubborn. When both people can’t compromise it leads to a lot of challenges. The thing about this article is that it outlined qualities that are important in successful relationships across the board. My favorite one was number 8 “moving at the same speed.” I love that idea because there’s so much discussion about wanting to marry up. The chance to skip a socio-economic class and to be in a different income bracket. There’s nothing wrong with marrying up but I think that there’s something to be said for marrying across (as equals). There’s less of a power struggle and ideally the situation would encourage empathy from both partners. It was a thought provoking article.

It’s Over

I don’t know if I’ve ever posted a John Legend song in the time that I’ve had this blog and it’s been a shame. Now, I would not go as far to say that I know ALL the lyrics to ALL of his songs, but I will say that I’ve been listening to his music since before I was allowed to listen to secular music and had to sneak around. Quite a feat for a homeschooler.  This is one of my all time favorite songs that he’s done. It’s been on repeat all this week for some strange reason. John has a way or writing songs that are super easy to relate to. The melodies are unique but not distracting from the lyrics. And John’s voice has a signature sound that adds to the genuineness of his music. This song reminded me of some of the times where I’ve had to delete numbers and then re-save them in my phone under “never EVER answer.” The thing about this song is that it’s catchy but also makes a declaration in some fashion. There will always be people who have trouble letting go. Whether it’s their favorite food, or a relationship they are incredibly intricately involved with, sometimes things have an expiration date. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing, it just means that we have to make some adjustments. Life changes and people change as well. Sometimes those changes require some reconsideration of close relationships. There will always be people who don’t want to take “no” for an answer. But if it’s over, it’s over.

Why I Hate Internet Dating

Ever since I was in college, one of my few occasional internet surfing activities have included browsing the Craigslist personal ads. I’ve never responded to one but they have been very interesting. Over the years I’ve learned the lingo and what the abbreviations mean. I often wonder what brings people to the point that they decide that true love might be found through the personal ads on Craigslist.  Which, by the way is also proof of the fact that most of the country does not know how to write a decent sounding sentence. The way people write these days is nothing short of atrocious. But I digress. I’m not going to lie, I admire their optimism because despite the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic, I’ve seen one too many Catfish episodes where it did not turn out nicely. It’s one thing to meet someone in person and then continue the interactions via social media and other web-based means of communication. It’s a totally different thing to have no point of reference and start a serious relationship based on the understanding that the other person is who they say they are.  It’s a huge gamble that doesn’t always turn out the way that you want. Just last night I was watching a Catfish episode where a girl was asking Nev and Max to help her finally meet her FIANCE’ in person because all their interactions had been online. Turns out, the fiance’ was a fake profile and phone number created by her best friend to help her get through a rough patch in her life. Talk about a let down. The thing is that all that emotional pain was avoidable. I know that internet dating has begun to rise in popularity and that it’s a great alternative for a lot of people. But I still strongly prefer face to face interaction. It’s easy to hide crazy behind a screen but it’s harder in person. It’s said by some that during the first few dates you’re seeing someone’s “representative” because they are trying their hardest to impress you and to put their best foot forward. I think that this process is dragged out much longer than necessary when exchanges only happen online. It’s not impossible to find true love online. I know people who are in very successful relationships as a result of online dating. I just don’t care for it.

Selma-The Movie

I’m not much of a moviegoer but I heard so many good things about the movie, “Selma” that I decided I had to see it for myself. If you don’t like movie spoilers you should probably stop reading this now. This movie brought out a lot of emotions due to its content. My perspective was definitely influenced by the fact that I was born and raised for the majority of my childhood in Alabama. I’ve personally been to the Montgomery courthouse and grew up in a city that wasn’t very far away from Selma. It seemed like a long movie (two hours and some change). This was probably because of the content of the movie. One thing that I noticed was that there were a lot of parallels between what happened then and the recent stories of police brutality that have been all over the media. If I had a child I would want them to be at least in their pre-teens before seeing this movie. The scenes aren’t super gory but there’s something to be said about watching the movie with the knowledge that the events portrayed actually happened. One thing I appreciated was that the actors and actresses resembled the people they were portraying. Overall, it was a good movie. I didn’t have any complaints about the storyline and the directors didn’t take an inordinate amount of creative liberties with the story. I walked away from the movie with more resolve to become educated on what is happening in the political world in order to vote appropriately. After all, people were beaten and even died for that ability.