One thing about being a therapist is that I get to meet people from different walks of life and backgrounds. While everyone comes to see me for different reasons, sometimes I hear similar sentiments echoed my multiple people. I’ve met with a lot of people who are stressed out because of their adult children who are living in their home. Many times these are devoted parents who have attempted many times to help but they are at their wits end because they truly believe that their adult children in their 20s, 30s and 40s never intend to leave. As expected, there’s often a lot of clashing as the adult kids want to be respected and do what they want to do while the parents feel inconvenienced and many times feel obligated to make some sort of rules or give a move out date. Some of this is truly due to the economy as it can be harder to get a good paying job and the cost of housing continues to rise. Sometimes people have no other choice than to move in with family and save money. But there’s another group that doesn’t see the need to move out because it’s comfortable. In these situations the adult child usually refuses to get a job and the parent feels helpless because they don’t want their child to be homeless. In the cycle of life there’s a time ideally where the parent and the child switch roles as being the caregiver for each other. I’ve met many parents who desperately need help from their children but the switch has never been made and instead they are giving all their resources and money to their children who aren’t appreciative and it’s at the parents’ detriment. However the parents refuse to do anything because it’s their children and they feel obligated to care for their (adult) able-bodied children for as long as they are alive. The endless cycle continues because neither adult child or parent wants to make a different or a difficult decision. It’s definitely a phenomenon that I would love to do more research on at some point.
It’s funny how quickly time can pass when you’re having fun–or even not having fun. Time passes even when it seems to be standing still. In a short period of time I’ll officially be a year older and hopefully a bit wiser. It’s usually around this time every year that I get somewhat nostalgic and ask myself yet again, “what am I doing with my life?” The answer never seems to be what I want. However, this past year was a game changer of sorts. I posted a lot about change and making hard decisions all throughout this year and some hard decisions were definitely made. I traveled a fair amount that included trips to France, Mexico, and Greece. I started a job that I realized wasn’t a great fit. I started working nights and stuck it out for a while. One of the biggest lessons learned this year was the importance of being clear about what I want and going after it. I met some pretty big goals simply because of planning and being willing to step outside the box to make it happen. I had a huge disappointment that made me reconsider the direction of my life–as most disappointments do. Ups and downs are a part of life and this year was no exception. However, I’ve learned a lot and matured as a result of being willing to challenge myself and some beliefs that I previously held. I did a overhaul of my life and relocated across the country just to start from the ground up and begin building again. Definitely not something for the faint of heart but I think it’ll work out
I honestly can’t believe that the year has gone by so fast. It seems like just yesterday it was January and I was writing down some of the things that I wanted to accomplish in the next 12 month period. From that time to now, some things on the list have become more of a priority than others. Around this time last year I got my professional license after completing 3,360 hours of work and meeting a few other requirements. This year has been one of some pretty big changes with quite a few more scheduled to happen. I remember reading something the other day about how a lot of people are terrified of the idea of starting over. They stay in the same job, the same relationship, the same environment because they’re scared and they don’t want the hassle of starting from the ground up. It’s almost like they would rather complain about what’s wrong with their life instead of venturing out of comfort to actually change what is making them upset. While I think that there are some huge benefits of putting down roots and staying in the same place for a long period of time, there’s also value in experiencing something different and “starting over.” One thing I’ve learned this year from some of the successful people and entrepreneurs that I’ve met is that the ability to start over and/or do something different is what separates the dreamers from the doers. There’s still a lot to do before the year is over and a fear of the unknown is something that has to be faced head on. How else will I retire early and live on a beach? 🙂
This may seem like a rant but it’s really not. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about some prominent couples that we know of. These couples aren’t celebrities or anything but they are fairly well known in certain circles. There’s also an abundance of rumors that their marriage is on the rocks and that they are on the verge of divorce or at least separation. This is partially due to the fact that while all individuals are on social media their spouses is never spoken of and there aren’t any pictures of them together within the last few years. I’m not a social media expert by any means but when you only post selfies and pictures of your children without your spouse I wonder what that means. We all know people who tend to go a bit overboard on social media exposing every single detail about their relationship, what they had to eat, their emotions at any given time, and their thoughts on everything. I’ve witnessed how social media can affect your romantic relationships and I’ve seen couples navigate those grey waters in a variety of ways. Some combine their profiles in an attempt to consolidate friends and provide transparency on all ends. Others give their spouse or significant other their password so that they can check their messages and communications with others. The level of investment in social media varies depending on the person and everyone is entitled to their personal life however I often wonder what is behind the decision to never acknowledge on social media that you’re married. I think that if you are married your spouse should at least be acknowledged. I’m not saying that you have to tag them in every status or talk about them all the time, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to post a picture of the two of you once a year or so. After all, that’s supposed to be one of the most important people in your life. The absence of a spouse from social media is definitely more pronounced when one of the partners is in a position of prominence. You are automatically subject to more scrutiny when you’re in the public eye and that scrutiny also extends to your spouse even if they don’t care for the spotlight. Do everyone a favor and at least be willing to acknowledge them on social media. After all, you picked them.
A lot of my posts this year have been about making choices, trying new things and following through. Recently I had the chance to experience the results of a pretty deliberate choice that I made. I had to go against a lot that had been engrained in me since childhood and also through adulthood. Going off the beaten path of what was expected and doing my own thing. I’ve always wondered what life is like for those who adhere to a specific set of values and morals all their life without even considering that other people live by other sets of morals and are completely fine. Some people have a need to learn by experience. They don’t want to take any one else’s opinion because they want to know for themselves. I think I’m one of those people. While I can fully agree with vicariously learning in order to avoid life altering pitfalls, there’s something to be said about having a personal experience. Many times we can be so quick to take someone else’s word for it without being willing to investigate it ourselves. In my opinion, nothing good ever comes from taking someone’s opinion as truth without critically thinking about it for yourself. There’s a quote I read not too long ago that said “Question everything.” In the world we live in, thinking is essential. In addition to that, the ability to see things though a different perspective can serve as a conduit for new experiences and opportunities that others miss.
I’m not exactly a fan of change. I’m not against it because I know that I don’t have a choice and that it will happen regardless of what I think or feel. However, it’s often not a comfortable or pleasant experience. There’s frequently quoted prayer about changing the things we can’t accept and accepting the things we can’t change. I’ve learned that there are some things that we can definitely change about ourselves. While we can’t always change our environments and move away, sometimes a change in mindset makes all the difference. About a six weeks ago I decided to change course a bit and pursue something that I had never tried before. Despite the fact that I don’t care for change, I usually like having new experiences when the trepidation wears off. Feeling like you don’t have any control is one of the quickest ways to start acting irrationally. I learned this quickly in my work with others. The more options available, the more people feel as if their words are important–even if they aren’t. This new endeavor is by far something that I’m not used to. However, I know without a doubt that I’ll regret it for a significant period time if I don’t push forward and go after it. I’ve never quite agreed with the “one size fits all” mentality and despite the initial discomfort associated with the unfamiliar, I know that it’s the right decision to make. The pros and cons have been weighed and ironically things have started to line up in a way I didn’t expect since deciding on this new course of action. In some circles people would call that confirmation. I have analyzed and overanalyzed and yet the same course of action still presents as the most logical direction to go. I’ve learned that there are some things I can’t change and some things that I can. And now it’s time to make one of those “change-able” changes.
One of my IG friends posted this and I HAD to comment on it. I really think that this statement is relevant to so many people–including myself. I like having as full of a picture as possible of an individual and sometimes that really isn’t needed. I think that this quote is alluding to the fact that individuals who aren’t interested in you will also not be interested in letting you find out more about them. I’m not going to go as far as to say that hiding things is childish but there is a certain maturity needed in order to facilitate open communication and to keep a relationship healthy. It’s naive to assume that everyone possesses this maturity and a lack of disclosure and strategic omissions about significant things in their life can be a blaring sign that they don’t possess this maturity. And yes, I’m learning this lesson myself.