What I Don’t Blog About

I blog about a lot of stuff. I purposely made my blog fairly niche-less so I could write about anything, from serious thought-provoking topics to dumb rants. I’m so glad that I have an audience who accepts this from me because I love to do it and I love the freedom I have to do it.

But just because I am open and have written about a lot, it doesn’t mean everything is on the table. I don’t lie and I don’t censor myself that much, but I am very aware of how and what I present.

I Know What I'm Doing gif.

It comes down to readers. I know my mother, for example, is a reader of my blog, so I’ll avoid talking about things that will incite a conversation. Both my parents are kind of conservative and the kind of parents who will turn a joke into a lecture, so it’s just easier to avoid some things altogether.

I also have links/references to my blog on LinkedIn and my resume, and it often came up in job interviews, so I know that potential bosses and coworkers read it, so I do try to be, for the most part, professional and mature. Some stuff isn’t even bad per se, but I don’t want or need people I work with professionally knowing things about me or having the power to know things that don’t relate to work or align with the relationship. Example: I do occasionally drink alcohol and though I am very responsible with it and am always the soberest person at a party, I don’t need a boss knowing about parties I go to, even if it’s normal and reasonable for someone my age to do this.

And speaking of relationships: friends read my blog. I share posts on Facebook once in a while and I know some friends read my blog regularly. Therefore, I’m always sure to protect identities and careful that I’m not sharing anything that could cause conflict or awkwardness. One time I was talking to a friend about a guy I had a crush on. This friend suggested I blog about it as it was relatable and something I didn’t often talk about. I shut down that suggestion real quick because the specifics of the crush were too specific, and I couldn’t risk that as my blog was known to this guy.

FRIENDS cute guy.
Forever mood.

Then there’s also stuff I don’t share that protects my identity. While I do have friends and family read my blog, most of my readers are strangers all around the world, and that is really cool but also scares me. I don’t use my full name and I don’t post pictures of myself. While I know that I probably can safely as many do, and I know that not doing so does make some of you be a little skeptical of me, it’s still something I choose to do for my own comfort. So I am purposely vague on some details or just choose not to share certain things.

And as much as I am honest and don’t shy away from getting deep when I need to, I also sometimes worry if I come across as too whiny or too victimized when talking about things like friendships or life issues. I know I’m not the most positive person and sometimes my attempts at being real could be off-putting. I want to be relatable, but not annoying and not repetitive. So often some of the more serious posts get more edits than other posts just so my feelings aren’t as prevalent or boohoo-y.

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Lastly, I stay mostly in my lane when it comes to politics or stuff like that, not that this blog is ever that political. I’m a white cis neurotypical middle-class female who has lived a pretty sheltered life and luckily hasn’t had many life struggles, so who am I to speak on anything outside of that realm when others more important have said it first and better. When I need to link resources from people who deserve to be heard more, I absolutely do. But for the most part, I stay away from ‘controversial’ topics. It’s just not what this blog is about.

Otherwise, that’s basically it. There’s still a lot of room for my nonsense and rants and reviews and thoughts. And who knows, maybe down the line, things will change. As I develop as a human and as my life goes on, some things I’m not comfortable diving into now may change. Who’s to say. Guess you’ll have to stick around and see.

 

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Temporary Friends

I knew this girl in high school who I considered a close friend at the time. We had shared interests, and we were always joking around when we had a class together. A mutual friend, though, described this girl as someone who would be your best friend but only when it was convenient for her. So as soon as that class ended and extra effort had to be made to interact, she’d drop you and move on to whoever was next. This wasn’t an inaccurate description of the friendship, and for a while I was mad that I let myself be played like that.

Best Wow Ok Lee Howon GIFs | Gfycat

But, to some extent, don’t we all do this? Like, sure, could she have put in more effort to maintain friendships outside of class? Could she have maybe been less chummy while we were together, especially if she thought of me as disposable? Maybe. But looking back, I think she was just making the most of the situations she was in, and it’s perhaps partly on me to not get so attached.

In a perfect world, we carry the friends we make throughout our whole lives. We grow together and give each other what we need and never let each other down. But this is not a perfect world. We change, we lose friends, we make friends, we adjust, we figure ourselves out. It’s how life is. I’ve realized that I’m perhaps more needy in terms of my friendships. I would love for the people I care about to want to be with me as much as I want to be with them. I would love for them to make me a priority and really go out of their way to show that. Unfortunately, this is not realistic and not my reality with most people, and I accept this, though it does mean I’ve had to think hard about my friendships.

Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

Between school friends, childhood friends, internet friends, coworkers, and whoever else, it’s impossible for every nice friendship you ever have to last decades and be consistently strong. It’s not a personal attack when things fade or end. Because in a lot of cases, we’re all just making the most of our lives in that moment. If a sucky summer job can be made better by a goofy coworker, then hell yeah! If a school project can be made better by a competent partner you bond with, then way to go! We should appreciate what these people bring at that time without worrying about what it’ll be like in five years. We should learn from them, take the good aspects, and carry it with us into the future. It doesn’t mean that either party is a bad friend. And we should be able to look back with fondness at that time and remember those people not as ex-friends who abandoned us or played us, but as people we connected with once and now wish well.

There are people in my life now who I doubt I’ll still have contact with in 10 years. Because of a temporary situation or just changing styles, I know it’s likely that eventually we won’t have time or a desire to interact as much or at all, and there probably won’t be a dramatic and conclusive ending to the friendship. Of course this makes me sad, but rather than being pre-upset over this, I’m trying to make the most of this time and enjoy these bonds I’ve made for now. Who cares if we’re all just each other’s temporary friends? Life is full of them, and I want to be remembered as a good one.

Accept It GIFs | Tenor

I think temporary friends is a concept that should be more normalized. I’m not saying you shouldn’t put in an effort to maintain friendships with the people you care about (because you definitely should, and I know I can work on this too), but the idea that people can be in your life for a short time without hurt feelings should be okay. I’m prone to feeling like I’m the problem common denominator in many failed or weak friendships, but maybe those people were never meant to be in my life long term. They were always just meant to get me through that time in a nice way, and that’s okay.

As Glinda and Elphaba said, “because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

 

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The Interest In Other Peoples’ Problems

Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of my free time learning about other people’s problems. This sounds weird, but let me explain. Reddit, a social media/forum site, is home to a lot of this. There are threads for a variety of things, but two I’m focusing on here are r/Relationships and r/AITA (Am I The Asshole). In these subreddits, users can post their issues and anyone can offer unbiased advice or judgment or feedback.

There are Twitter accounts that cross post some of the more amusing or interesting ones so they can spread to other platforms that way, and there are a lot of YouTube channels that read them out (either by a real person or a computer voice) so people can listen to the content if they don’t want to read and scroll. I’ve consumed a lot of this in the past year, and I find it fascinating. I also read the advice column in the newspaper every day, which has similar content, and this may be more relatable to some of you who have no idea what Reddit is.

In general, I know we look for relatability in media. We want to identify with the heroes and be represented and all that, which is good and valid. But I think on the flip side, we are also drawn to the unrelatable. It’s why I think a lot of TLC and E! shows are so popular because they are very weird and different (at least to my fairly quiet and sheltered life).

I know that people have different lives than I do, but I’ve never really considered that their problems are so wildly different too. I don’t know what it’s like to have a narcissistic mother-in-law or a pathological liar of a friend. I don’t know what it’s like to have no contact with a parent or worry about how I disciplined my child. And yet, I am interested in these issues that people are having and the outcomes. It’s entertaining to consume for me, and I think it still would be even if you did relate to some of these issues.

Can't relate but sorry gif.

And maybe I like it because it puts my own life into perspective to some extent. My life is by no means perfect and I’m discontent with many things, but I guess it could be worse, as the internet has proved. Some of the problems people are dealing with are unfortunate, life-ruining things, and I’m lucky that I don’t have to deal with any of it. Furthermore, reading/hearing about some of these things can help me avoid it myself in my life.

I know I’m not alone in enjoying Reddit content like this, but I think it does speak to a larger phenomenon of people being nosy and interested in drama. It’s why ‘spilling tea’ is so popular as a concept and a phrase. There are YouTubers whose whole gig is telling juicy, dramatic storytimes like “My roommates from hell” or “I was stalked by my ex-boyfriend for six years!” and thousands of willing people click to find out how and why and who because it’s interesting. Similarily, we’re taught from a young age that gossip is bad but I know that if a friend came to me with some spicy info about someone, I’d be very quick to listen. Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. It makes me human. I think we all like this kind of info, whether we’ll admit to it or not, and the internet has made it very easy to find it and feed that desire in us.

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It is win-win in a sense because the people sharing often are looking for help/opinions/clicks and the consumers can offer that as well as be entertained to some extent, so I don’t have a problem with it. It’s one of the benefits of the internet because we are able to connect to a variety of people who exist outside of our lifestyle.

If you’ve never heard of these subreddits or other means of consuming them, I encourage you to check them out, especially if you’re kind of into other people’s problems and lives. Even if you’re not really, it’s escapist entertainment, and these days, we all need that.

Shrug GIF.

 

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Maybe I Suck At Friendships A Little…

I’ve complained before (x / x) about how dissatisfied I am with my social circles. As I near the end of my university career, these feelings of regret and insecurity are really popping up in me. I have friends and a few best friends, but I feel like I only have a few long-term friends, and I certainly don’t have that real life ‘squad’ or ‘tribe’ that we all strive to be a part of. Out of my small batch of university friends, there are maybe four or five that I feel I’ll maintain contact with once we’re in different cities and not seeing each other regularly, and even out of those four, I don’t know if I’ll still be friends with any of them in five years. I don’t really have a great track record, you know? I can’t keep denying this when there is clearly a pattern, and I am the common denominator.

For the last couple years, I’ve been blaming other people for my lack of close friendships. But that’s unfair. Lately I’ve been kind of accepting the fact that I suck at communication too, and maybe I’m not even that pleasant to be around (still working on that positivity thing…). I sit around wondering why no one starts conversations with me, but when do I start the conversations? And even when there is a conversation going, do I  making it worth having?

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I recently reconnected with a friend I made in first year who literally dropped off the map for two years after that. We talk a bit on Snapchat (which I know isn’t the ideal vehicle for productive conversation) but our chats are limited to the really basic “how are you?” and “where are you these days?” and “what are you doing after grad?” so the conversations die quickly and I don’t feel like there was a meaningful bond made. Is this my fault for just being boring or is this typical? We were never too really close, so I don’t know what I’m expecting.

Maybe social media is the problem. It’s easy to use and connects us together, but maybe it is the reason why conversations that aren’t face-to-face are a struggle for me when it comes to real life friends (I think I’m decent at online communication with internet friends).

My best friend has recently developed into a ‘live in the moment’ kind of guy, and last summer we were talking about communication habits. He made some interesting comments. He said that he doesn’t really like using media to communicate. He’d rather talk face to face, and I think we all would, but he’s gone as far to delete some social media and not use others. Furthermore, he says that when he’s at school, he doesn’t talk to people from home, and when he’s a home, he doesn’t talk to people from school. I asked if he felt that this would mean he’d lose the friendships when school ends, and he said yes and that life is like that.

I guess I have to accept that some friends aren’t forever friends, they’re temporary situational friends. And that’s fine. If both parties aren’t going to put in effort, then that’s how it is. I can’t keep blaming others when I’m not perfect at this either, and maybe I use others as an excuse rather than facing my own issues. This is me at least admitting that I have communication issues. How I deal with this is a whole other yet-to-be-explored story.

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Do you have any thoughts or tips?

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Friendships: Nobody Said It Was Easy, No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

Specifically, adult friendships. Or whatever I am…that awkward mix between teenager and middle-aged adult…

I’m not a very social person. I’m introverted and shy and struggle to adjust to new people. However, once I’m comfortable, then I’m loud and silly and ready to take on the world. The problem is that as I grow older, the number of people who ever see the loud, comfortable side of me seems to drop and dwindle.

My mother is a very social person so growing up I wasn’t short on play-dates and whatnot, and I even managed to wrangle a few friends of my own in elementary school that lasted until high school. But towards the end of my high school career, those friendships that I had for years and years all seemed to falter at some point, most beyond the point of repair. Perhaps we had simply grown apart. I suppose childhood friendships have to end at some point.

That’s not to say that I didn’t make friends in high school, because I did. Most of my best friends currently are ones I made in high school and I love them dearly. But as I’ve come to find, friendships based on seeing each other in person five days a week for six hours don’t easily translate to seeing each other a few times a year. Though my generation is ridiculously techy, that doesn’t guarantee a strong relationship with the people who’s Snaps you view or statuses you Like.

I was eager to go live on campus in university as I had envisioned myself with many new close friends and fun times. At first, I had that. For a week or three, maybe. Then the group went in a few different directions and I wasn’t invited along on any, which sucked. I ended the year with a few people I consider friends, but the closest of the handful were males. All my life I’ve had an easier time befriending males, which I don’t mind, but sometimes, I need female friends too. It’s only recently struck me that I don’t know how to talk to females. I have zero interest in clothes or makeup or Starbucks and my relationship status does not allow me to participate in conversations about relationships. But with males, I can have a whole debate on what’s considered a sport or how awesome the newest Marvel movie will be…I’m more comfortable with the generic male lifestyle.

That being said, I still struggle with talking to all new people. I never think of conversation starters and can never work up the courage. It’s stupid, but that’s what I deal with. I sit in lecture halls with dozens of people interested in the same general subject as I am, yet I talk to no one and no one talks to me. Or if we do talk, it’s for a limited time. I don’t know how to keep the friendship up. It’s the same online. People have really close online friends and it’s really nice to see these interactions, but I can never manage to maintain a relationship similar. What is it about me? Or is it nothing but I’m missing some big secret tip on how to make friends?

Friendship is such a powerful TV/movie trope. I watch shows like Glee and wish I had a group of underdog friends like that when I was in high school. I watch Parks And Recreation and hope I have coworkers as awesome as they do. I watch FRIENDS and hope I have that close adult group of pals when I’m in my late twenties. I know it’s just TV and I shouldn’t compare my average real life to that, but it’s so hard not to when the relationships we see on TV are so awesome and ideal. #Squadgoals to the max, amiright!?

Furthermore, I’ve found that I’m needy. I genuinely need my friends to put in the effort to keep in touch regularly and actually show they care beyond a “Merry Christmas :)” text. Unfortunately, I lack those people in my life. Which either leads me to believe that I’ve befriended the wrong people, or my neediness is unrealistic for today’s standards. I’m thinking the latter as a pattern of communication disappointments seems to follow me. I’m not asking for texts and Skype calls every day, or even every week. I’m thinking once a month if people would try to initiate a real conversation with people they care for, or send them a funny video/URL in an effort to show they were being thought of, people would be happier.

But okay, people are busy. I’ve come to learn that when my friends are at their respective schools, they have abundant social lives, and between that and classes, they don’t have time to chat me up as much as I’d prefer. I get it. So I try to make the most of holidays, but even that doesn’t always work out. I’m tired of being the only one to put in effort…Am I asking too much? And I seriously want answers, because some days, when I’m not getting the responses I want from friends, I have no choice but to think so. My best friend and I literally try and get together as soon as possible and that’s so great. Knowing that this one friend wants to see me and be with me as soon as she can is such a nice feeling. Technology is my world, but nothing replaces face-to-face, and I will fight anyone who thinks different.

Should I be upset that some friends don’t put me as high up on the priority list as I do them? Should I be upset that I don’t have what they have? Because every time I do get bitter, I end up blaming myself in the end. After all, I’m the only one who I have control over. Maybe if I had more university friends, I wouldn’t be hung up on my high school friends. Maybe if I was more outgoing, I wouldn’t struggle to interact with people. Maybe if I stopped caring about what others are doing so much, I’d be happier with what I do have. Maybe.

As I grow older, I slowly lose contact with old pals so I really need help making and keeping new ones. I can’t even be a lonely cat lady as I’m allergic to cats. So I ask you fellow bloggers and readers, how do you make and maintain friends as you get older? Or do you even have this problem? I’m really curious as to the responses I get as I know my readership vastly varies in age.

I hope y’all are having better luck in the friendship department because friends are so important, often more important than family. Take a minute to text a friend you love and let them know it, or take a minute to text a friend you may have been accidentally neglecting.

That’s all for now!