Thoughts on Relationships

Ah, relationships. It still boggles my mind that I could be turning 26 next week and still be so confused about matters of the heart. Shouldn’t I have enough experience now to have it all down? Yet, I think my particular experience with relationships is what has left me so confused. After my marriage failed, I realized that I had never thought long and hard about how to truly make a relationship work. When my husband and I met, we fell in love almost immediately. It was like everything was so easy we didn’t have to try. Obviously now I realize that mindset contributed to the ultimate demise of our relationship (though there were admittedly many other factors).

Relationships take work. Yes, this is something we hear time and time again. But how many of us put this into practice when it gets down to the nitty gritty? We are a generation of instant gratification. We click a button and we’re instantly connected to hundreds of peers on Facebook. We want information and it’s at our fingertips. We expect the world to be handed to us on a silver platter, because we’re…special. I am by no means saying this is a catch all explanation for everyone in Generation Y (in fact, I have many friends who seem to have it all figured out), but I do think patience is a harder skill to learn in today’s social landscape.

I grew up attending a large church every weekend, which offered me a large community of support. My own parents have been married for 36 years, and I’ve seen countless examples of lasting couples. You’d think I would have learned tools for relationship success merely through observation. But here’s the sad truth…I simply wasn’t paying enough attention.

After my marriage I spent a lot of time simply trying to move past the hurt and anger. After that however, I realized that I must become intentional about my relationships. In fact, I realized that my emotional situation was so dire, that if I didn’t get down to the bottom of it and learn how to function in a healthy relationship, I was setting myself up for a lifetime of hurt and tragedy.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of my emotional hang ups, tendency to withdraw and general commitment phobia. I’ve read books and talked to friends. Still, I find myself struggling so much in my current relationship that I finally broke down and enlisted professional help…I contacted a therapist. It’s true that this is probably something I could (and should) have done long ago. But for some reason I was very hesitant to poor my heart out to a stranger. Now that I’ve bit the bullet, I’m hoping that therapy will give me the tools I need for success. To be continued…

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My sidekick Harrison

A year ago I walked into the Oakland Animal Shelter and fell in love with a skinny puppy, curled up on a towel for warmth. Unlike the other dogs jumping on their gates to get a better look, he merely lifted his eyes, warily looking a yet another person walking by. After taking him into the playroom, he started wagging his tail shyly and eventually picked up a toy and dropped it at my feet. I had come that day with no intention of falling in love, but after I left, he had a name…Harrison.

Who could resist those eyes?

Even though it took me approximately .5 seconds to fall in love with his wrinkly brows and sorrowful eyes, adopting a dog was not a rush decision. I’ve always been a dog lover, and had been very close with the dog I had begged my parent’s to adopt when I was in 5th grade. After separating from my husband, I was forced to pick up the pieces and put my life together. I felt alone, and wanted a companion. I wanted to pour my energy into another living creature, and give and receive unconditional love.

Since the day I adopted Harrison he has been both a challenge and a blessing. He has challenged my patience with his undying energy, his penchant for shoes, and his dislike of his crate. But he also makes me laugh at least five times a day with his precocious personality, a body that wags so hard his tail hits him in the face and his insistence on making anything soft his new home.

He has endeared himself to me with his loving gazes and his willingness to cuddle. He has wormed his way into my heart and I don’t see him leaving that place anytime soon. Best of all, he’s helped me heal. And for that, I will always be grateful.

2012 “Weigh In”

As 2011 came to an end, I promised myself that 2012 would not just be better than my so-so 2011, but that 2012 would kick ass. I truly believe that a large part of reaching goals stems from holding yourself accountable instead of letting yourself off easy.

That’s why instead of an end of the year re-cap this December chronicling what I could have done better, I’d like to have a monthly “weigh in” if you will. This weigh in is meant to check my progress and keep me motivated.

So here’s how January stacks up. January was a crazy month, work-wise. Not only did I step into a new position that involves getting to know several client accounts, but I planned and attended my company’s biggest trade show of the year. It was exciting. But it was also stressful. I found it difficult to find the balance amidst new life changes. Not only that, but I let myself down on one of my biggest goals: to keep blogging.

On the bright side, I got a yoga mat.

I even used said mat. Whenever I could, I did yoga in my room for 20 minutes. One time, I even got my booty to yoga class.

I hiked more, and took Harrison out for walks more often.

I didn’t save as much money as I’d like, but I did put a large effort into using the money I spend to spending money to make my apartment an enjoyable environment. 

I’m trying to recreate the above picture from pinterest in my room. For too long, I’ve put absolutely zero effort into making my room comfortable. I’ve noticed that the more effort I’ve put into making my room a space I enjoy, the more I find myself wanting to hang out at home instead of going out.

Work-wise, I’ve gone into my new position at full force. Even if I’m less than 100% successful, I know that I’ve put every ounce of effort possible into making my position succeed, and that’s a good feeling. I also started my class, and am enjoying it so much. I love having the week broken up, and learning about a fascinating topic.

Overall, even if I didn’t reach every single specific goal I set, I think I did well in I think I did well in consciously creating changes in my life. And that, after all, was my biggest goal of all.