I’ve Learned…

Posted on November 22, 2011


So many people are uncomfortable with sharing their feelings

Because if we open ourselves up like that, we become vulnerable and susceptible to hurt.  Some people, in a way to “cheat the system”, may hide their feelings in wit and kidding.  Geoffrey Chaucer hit it spot on when he penned “A man may seye full sooth [truth] in game and pley”.  Or, a more popular phrase, “Many a true word is spoken in jest.”  Perfect example is an acquaintance of mine who masks all of her genuine feelings in joking.  She will profess how she loves me or ask me to do things with her, all the while with a light, bantering tone.  Because at least if I said ‘no’ or if I didn’t reciprocate, she could fall back on “It was a joke” and everyone could laugh it off.  She’s one of those people who has a cool exterior and the joking is such that it takes on almost a mocking sense and keeps with her whole cool vibe.  Her shell is thick; I wonder what happened in her past.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your feelings

How good does it feel to receive a phone call from someone and they just wanted to let you know they were thinking of you?  How wonderful does it feel to have someone tell you that they care about you?  To be told you’re loved?  I’m not just referring to a “significant other”.  I’m talking about your friends, your family, all the people who mean something to you.  You like hearing that you mean something to other people, that you’re loved and thought about, that you’re important, right?  So why not share how you feel with those you care about?  Spread the love.  And don’t hide behind jest.  Be real.  Be genuine.  They’ll appreciate it a lot more.

There are just as many people out there who are uncomfortable in their own skin

We have become a people glued to our smartphones.  And we use them to avoid awkwardness.  Have you ever been out to eat with a friend and that friend gets up to go to the toilet?  Do you bring out your phone and start fiddling with it?  Makes you look important, huh?  You could be checking your stocks or your calendar  for all they [the other people in the restaurant who must be doing nothing but looking at you] know.  Maybe you’re texting your next client or you have a million friends and they all want to hang out so you’re trying to balance your social calendar.  You are pretty popular…  You’re really just playing Angry Birds on silent, right?  Because you don’t want to be that awkward person sitting alone at a table with nothing to do.  I’m as guilty of it as the next guy.  I’ve gone so far as to (when my battery was low and I couldn’t really play with my phone) fiddle with it while it’s off, pretending I’m texting or something… just to avoid looking like a loser.  I know.  You have my permission to laugh.

My point is that everyone is so afraid to look bad or to look as awkward as they feel.  (I remember seeing a movie one time in which one character was training another to look more confident.  They walked into a diner and he was telling her that she should look like it was her idea to be there alone.  He coached her on how to sit and look intimidating and a loner.  It was pretty funny, but something I kept with me ever since; somehow it made sense.  “Yeah, I’m eating alone.  So what?  This is my decision.  I could be sitting here with anyone right now.”  Confidence.  *chuckles* I wish I could find out what movie that was… that’s the only part I remember.)

The world is full of jerks

These are the same jerks that caused all of the aforementioned “uncomfortable with sharing their feelings” people to be the way that they are.  We all started off ready to give and show our love to anyone we felt it for.  Somewhere along the line, these jerks came along with their caustic remarks and teasing and with those experiences, we became thereafter afraid to share our feelings or let anyone in.

The same jerks that make fun of you for all your productive/self improving/artistic/*fill in the blank* efforts and aspirations.

The same jerks that laugh when someone gets hurt and relish in hurting others.

There’s nothing we can do about them except try to avoid them.

Others are not jerks and in fact, are the nicest and best people you’ll ever meet

They are people who will listen.  Really listen.  You know when you’re talking to these people when you can tell they’re paying attention to what you’re saying instead of waiting for you to finish so they can start talking.  There’s a real interchange of thoughts and ideas.  You’re having a conversation instead of being talked at.

They are gracious.  They genuinely appreciate all the love you give them and they reciprocate.

These people are the givers without expecting or wanting anything in return.  It’s cliché, but they’d give you the shirt off their back.  When you’re ill, they’ll make homemade soup and bring it over.  Perhaps tidy up the house or go out to fetch you more meds.  You’ll get gifts from them “just because”.  They derive joy from giving and seeing a smile on your face.

They can give priceless wisdom and counsel.  True confidants.

These are the people who encourage and inspire all of your dreams and aspirations.  They are the love and refreshment in your life.  They are the ones that tell you they love you.  They make you feel special and go so far as to tell you that you are.

Hold on to these beautiful people.  They are a treasure.  Treat them as such.

There’s nothing wrong with being yourself

Know the quote “Dance like no-one’s watching, Sing like no-one’s listening”?  Take that advice.  Not enough do.  Another quote comes to mind: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”  As a child, we try to fit in, so we mirror our peers.  Then we reach high school and it’s the same there, with the different ilk of clones (e.g. jocks, skaters, goths, nerds, etc. (excuse me, it’s been a while since I’ve been that age; I don’t know the cliques anymore))… with a picayune of originality.  Some never grow out of that mirroring.  I’m not saying these people are childish by any means.  Just afraid.  Afraid to be themselves.  But what fun is life if there is no variety?  This includes variety in people.  So find who you really are and be that person.  You’ll be much happier being you than you ever could, being someone else.  So go out there and do the funky chicken.  Laugh naturally.  Wear what you like.  [Mature] People will admire you for it.

This is life – it’s not all sunshine and roses

People will hurt you, disappoint you and break your heart.  You’re just not that important to some.  Sorry.  That’s how it goes.  It doesn’t feel good.  Sometimes it feels like your heart is being ripped out through your throat.  There’s nothing you can do about those people.  To other people you mean the world.  They can make up for the bad ones.  Your efforts are much better spent on people who appreciate it.  For your own well-being, move on.

There will be hard times.  Everyone goes through financial problems at one time or another.  If you haven’t yet, trust me, you will.

Though we all have to deal with one bad thing or another, the focus should be on our attitude.  When in the face of trials, if we make it through with a positive outlook, we will make it through.  You make what you can of the situation and press on.  Things will eventually turn out and you’ll survive it.

It’s okay to make mistakes

Let me reiterate the word: Mistakes. If you keep doing the same thing again and again, it’s no longer a mistake and there’s a problem.  Moving past them is the test and shows real character.

Everyone makes mistakes and it’s how we learn.  When you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it.  Take what you can from it as a learning experience and move on.  Things will blow over and you will survive.

It’s okay to cry

Really.  It’s okay.  And it’s good for you.  Sometimes we need a release.

You can label yourself anything you wish

No one can dispute it.  You’ve declared yourself to be an artist, writer, Deaf, hard of hearing, runner, musician, teacher, photographer… and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.  You’ve given yourself that title, that label, and others are obliged to respect it.  I spent a good chunk of my life not labelling myself because I thought there had to be a certain criteria or experience level in which you can become or be called something.  Then along the way, I realised that if I am putting in the time, if I am doing something, if that’s what my heart tells me I am, I can justifiably be so and who’s to say I am not?

I’ve learned… I am a beautiful person who creates beautiful things and I look at life in a very special way.  I am unique.  I am talented.  I am art.