misconceptions.

You don’t drink alcohol, so you must be boring and don’t know how to have fun.
You don’t smoke or do drugs, so you must think you’re better than everyone.
You don’t talk much, so you must be arrogant.

We’ve all been there before. Maybe it was a bad first impression. Maybe it was one bad choice. No matter what we’ve said or done, I’ll bet at one point in time (at the very least), we’ve been judged. Some people don’t care and are completely comfortable with being their complete selves. On the other hand, others like myself take things to heart a little more.

I don’t drink alcohol, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never tried it before. I choose not to drink primarily for health reasons. I am also highly sensitive to alcohol so even if I have a little bit, I start to feel dizzy, my head hurts, and I don’t feel well. Also, I just can’t acquire the taste. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t know how to have fun and it doesn’t mean I judge people who DO drink! My friends drink all the time but that doesn’t change my perception of them. They’re responsible when they do drink and if any of them go past their limits, I’m happy to drive them home if it means they get there safely. Being around alcohol does not make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, sure…sometimes being the only one at the party who doesn’t drink makes it a little weird for me, but I always try to find a way to have fun regardless of the situation.

I have never experimented with a drug or ever smoked, but that doesn’t mean I think I’m better than everyone else. Just because I may be straight-edge doesn’t mean that I should be defined by that label. We all have the freedom of choice. I choose not to do drugs or smoke because it’s just my personal preference and that’s it. But never once, have I ever thought I was better than anyone else because of the choices I made.

I’m a very quiet person. Until you get to know me, it’s difficult to pull me out of my shell. I’ve asked my friends what their first impression of me was and they all said I came across as either arrogant or mean/rude. I may not talk a lot, but it doesn’t mean I have anything to say. The truth is that I struggle in social situations. I DO have lots to say, but I can’t get myself to say it. I’m an observer. I prefer watching people interact with each other than engage, which is something I’m trying hard to work on. This is probably the misconception about myself that gets to me the most because what I display on the outside is completely different from the person inside. When I’m with my close friends, I can be goofy, I can be witty, I can be the one who makes people laugh…but if you’re an acquaintance or I just met you, you’d never know that.

The point I’m trying to get at is that you should never judge a book by its cover. Get to know the person first. In one of my classes in college, I met this one girl and right off the bat, I didn’t like her. The worst part was that I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was that annoyed me so much. I never thought we would be friends. But as I got to know her, my perception of her began to change. By our senior year, we became pretty good friends!

One summer, a group of my friends from college came down to visit me right after I moved. There was an event in Los Angeles we were attending. During the second night of the event, there was an after party at this place called Jillian’s. I think this was the first time my friends really truly saw me come out of my shell. Typically in social settings, I like to blend in with everyone else and people usually forget I’m even there. But that night, for whatever reason, it was like I flipped this switch and I became this extremely outgoing person (and that was all without a drop of alcohol in my system). I was talking to people I had just met like I had known them for years. It was a completely different side of me. I have no idea what got into me, but all I remember is that I couldn’t remember the last time I had that much fun. Instead of being my usual uptight self, I let loose a little and had some fun.

My quietness will always be a part of my innate personality and it’s always going to be a part of who I am. But I think the more I challenge myself to be a little more outgoing and push myself outside of my comfort zone, I think it could benefit me in the long run. I will never do it to please people. I’ll never do it to win the acceptance of others in social settings. When you want change, you should do it because it’s what you want, not at the expense of others’ wants. For all my quiet/shy people out there wanting to become a little more outgoing, I encourage you to push yourself. Something I constantly have to remind myself is that people are not paying as close attention to what I say and do as much as I think they are. In psychology, this is called the spotlight effect. The spotlight effect is a phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are noticed more than they really are.

The last thing I have to say about this is, don’t ever let people’s misconceptions about you define your life. Do you and live your life. If people don’t have anything nice to say, pay no attention to them. This is your journey and do what makes you happy.

beautifuldarkmystery

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rejection.

Last month, I interviewed with a company I really wanted to work for. At the time, she said there may be a position opening up in July. When July came around, I sent her a quick followup e-mail just to check in and see if it ever opened up, but I never heard from her.

I decided to try and reach out to her one last time so I sent another e-mail and she quickly responded and told me that there weren’t any positions open at the moment but that they would keep me in mind for the future.

This sucks. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted something this badly and to be “let down” in the end hurts. But I won’t let it get me down. I firmly believe that things do happen for a reason. Oddly enough, earlier today, I was on a video conference with a good friend of mine. He just started a production company and wants me to help him. I always say when one door closes, another one opens….right? This could potentially lead to something, and if not, at the very least give me experience.

No one likes rejection and some people like myself even fear it. But it’s a part of life and unfortunately, there will be many more times I will be told “no” before I’m told “yes”. The most important thing to do is not allow myself to feel defeated by every “no”. I’d like to think there’s a plan for me and I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be, but figuring that out is the frustrating part. I don’t even know where to look and every job application I’ve sent I haven’t heard back from. As hopeless as the situation seems, I know that the only way I’ll be unsuccessful is if I stop trying.

One day, I want to be able to look back at these struggles and frustrations and say that it was all worth it. All the stress and anxiety….all of it. I’ve set a goal for myself to have a full time job by October. I’m beginning to think that aiming for this company was a bit ambitious, but I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t try, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on. It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up.

beautifuldarkmystery

facebook friends.

Have you ever gone to your Facebook page and noticed your number of friends has changed? I don’t have many Facebook friends so it’s very noticeable when someone un-friends me. I just checked today and saw that I lost two people, and yes, I just looked through my entire friends list to see if I could figure out who they were…but I couldn’t. I don’t know why it bothers me because it really shouldn’t.

We live in a weird generation where social media keeps us all connected. We post everything from what we had for lunch to that vacation in Maui. Social media provides instant gratification in today’s fast-paced environment. You may not talk to someone every single day, but you can check their Facebook feed to see what they’ve been up to. In an earlier post, I mentioned that my ex recently friended me on Facebook again after a year of not speaking to each other. The weird thing about it though is that once added me, that was kind of it. We don’t really talk anymore and we don’t hang out or keep in touch. Does he just want to keep tabs on me without having to ask me personally? Who knows…

Honestly, I used to be one of those people who cared about how many friends I had on MySpace/Facebook. I thought, the higher the number, the better. But that’s not the case. I’m not the most outgoing or popular person, and that’s okay!! My numbers don’t define my worth.

A couple of years ago, I went through my friends list on Facebook and deleted people I didn’t really talk to anymore or haven’t kept in touch with. Sometimes, I found myself in those awkward situations where I would delete people and then they would send me another friend request and message me asking why we weren’t friends. So, I stopped doing that.

There was an instance where I removed this girl from my friends list simply because we weren’t that close and were more like acquaintances. Somehow she found out I had deleted her, so she then decided to send me a very angry message basically saying how we were no longer friends and she told me to never contact her for anything. She even went to the extent of blocking me. I never intended to hurt her feelings and I didn’t know she was going to take it so personally, but I felt really bad.

Why it bothers me when someone un-friends me, I don’t think I’ll ever know. But I’m not going to lose sleep over it. This is all part of life. We meet people, they stick around for a little while, and then they’re gone. When they leave, new people enter the picture and the cycle starts all over again. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 friends or 1,000 friends. A number does not define your worth.

beautifuldarkmystery

value in friendships.

 

I had a conversation about this with a good friend not too long ago and he told me how he sometimes gets paranoid over how he thinks certain friends value him. For example, with some people, he feels like he’s the one who puts more effort into the friendships, or he’s the one always reaching out. It makes him question whether some people really want to be friends or not. I can totally relate to him because I’ve found myself in that situation many times.

I’ll be honest, from the time I was a kid and all throughout high school, I believed in having one best friend. And when it wasn’t reciprocated, I would always get jealous. As I got older, however, I began to realize that just because someone may not like me as much as I like them, it doesn’t mean they value me any less. Some people are very vocal about the “best friend” label, while with some, it’s more like an unspoken understanding.

There’s no harm in evaluating your friendships every once in a while, especially if you’re beginning to notice drastic changes in the dynamic. If you feel like you’re beginning to question your friendships, consider this:

  1. Pull back. If you feel like you’re the one one initiating contact, pull back and see if the other person initiates contact first. If they don’t, then you’ll kind of know where you stand. As life goes on, we all become busier and priorities will change, but if you’re important to someone, they’ll always find a way. This leads me to my second tip.
  2. last resort. I had a friend from home who moved closer to me for work. He was one of my good friends in college, but as soon as he moved, he made little to no effort to see me. It suddenly became all about his new friends and he only contacted me as a last resort. Don’t get me wrong though. I was happy he was meeting new people and making new friends, but he would start contacting me at the very last minute, which I didn’t like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spontaneity. I realize that sometimes it’s easier to just do things on the fly. But for me personally, I like finding a time that’s convenient for both of us, even if it means having to wait a couple of weeks.
  3. finding a way or making an excuse. Do they find a way to hang out with you and see you, or are they constantly making excuses as to why they can’t get together with you? If you find yourself in the latter category, you might want to re-evaluate the friendship. That’s not to say you have to stop being friends with the person all together, but don’t put them so high on your priority list if they’re not going to treat you the same way. I’ll be honest and say I’ve been on both ends of this. I’ve been the one who’s reached out to people with no luck, but I’ve also been the person making the excuses because I don’t want to hang out. It’s a part of life. At one point or another, we’ve ALL been on the giving/receiving end of this circumstance. If you feel like someone’s always making some sort of excuse not to hang out, maybe it’s time to stop making attempts.

Friends will come and go. Always trust your gut, but also pay attention to their behavior. It’s not something you have to do every single day, but definitely pay attention to how they treat you. You may need to cut some strings, and that’s perfectly fine! It’s important to surround yourself with people that lift you up and get just as excited to see you as you are to see them!

beautifuldarkmystery