Learn More About The Undomesticated & being Twentysomething in the city.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Are You Compromising Yourself?

Lately I've found myself struggling to understand the boundary between taking other people into consideration and compromising yourself for other people.

No matter what you do in life we're constantly seeking a balance between being a doormat or a dictator. From learning how to be assertive yet approachable at work, to being yourself yet open-minded in relationships, you may not notice when you've found a balance, but you definitely notice when you've lost it.

In the age of technology where 'likes' and 'followers' are desirable, you may find yourself doing things to get a reaction from others, instead of a eliciting a reaction from yourself. When I first started writing it wasn't for other people, it was a way for me to laugh and engage with myself. That being said, when it took off and gained some popularity, people couldn't wait to see what I'd write next. I felt myself become unbalanced almost immediately. 

There are a variety of reasons that can cause someone to become unbalanced; 
  • Attention - trying to get attention from an ex, a crush, your boss
  • Comparison - comparing your life, or elements of it, to someone elses 
  • Confusion - not understanding what you want, so getting influenced by others
  • Hesitation - acting against your gut to satisfy others
It's important to lead a life your proud of. A life that is uniquely yours. When you put your life on a spectrum between Selfish and Compromising you begin to see how difficult maintaining a balance of 'consideration' can be. 

Selfish - You do things for yourself without taking into consideration other people

Considerate - You do things for yourself with consideration for other people

Compromising - You do things for other people without consideration for yourself

To use this spectrum to generalize your entire life may be too broad, but acknowledging elements of your life where you've become unbalanced can help. There's a quote in Bridget Jones' Diary where she states: 
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.
Let's say that your job, family and friends are all going amazing. Yet your love life... is lacking. The 'type' of guys you're into are the ones that are unavailable. They either already have a significant other or they are forever bachelors. To keep these people in your life you may rather compromise yourself than not have them at all. For men with significant others you'd opt to be their friend. For men that are forever bachelors you'd opt to never get 'too' serious.
By doing this you're pushing away your feelings for their benefit, not your own. You can catch yourself posting photo's simply to get their attention, flirting with their friends to show you're desirable, listening to their feelings and lying about your own.

When it's all said and done, it's extremely unhealthy. Not only are you compromising yourself, but you perceive them as selfish for not taking your feelings into consideration. In your desire to elicit a 'grand gesture' promised to you through decades of chick flicks, you lose who you are and what you want.

But let's not despair. If I've learned anything in my twenties it's that there is always a lesson to be learned. New jobs, friends, family, ex-lovers, boyfriends; these are all things worthy of becoming unbalanced over. It's about being able to recognize that imbalance, and finding a way to get back to your true self, that matters.

- georgeelizabeth

Do You Have An HHC? (High School Hallway Crush)

Image by Grainne Downey
In high school there was always that one person that could motivate you to be your best each day. They'd have you up at 6:00am curling your hair, wearing thongs, reapplying lipgloss, forcing on Dorina's (the original 1 inch zipper), all in the hopes of seeing them in the hallway. You weren't in the same grade, or even the same social groups, but you knew there was a chance you'd be in their presence, a presence that elevated your sense of self, elevated you to be your best. You initially thought you'd be your best for them, but in reality, it was something you wanted to do for yourself, they were just your motivation personified. 

I find myself, 10 years later, the only hallways being that of my apartment building, or office, and yet HHC's still exist. They could be friends of a friend, a neighbour, a colleague. You never know when they'll be around the corner, or at the next event, so you prepare. You want to look your best, feel your best, and be the most confident version of yourself that you can be.

That being said, are HHC's the right ones for us? Probably not
They're usually the bad boys, douche bags, forever bachelors. They're exciting cause they're risky! 

Would you hook up with them? Probably not.
Having their attention is enough to make your head spin. If they even speak to you, you fumble over your words. The idea of them is so intoxicating, reality would never come close. 

High School Hallway Crushes make getting up in the morning worth it. But as we grow older they, like us, have graduated the confined walls and strict schedules of high school hallways. They're everywhere, and that's what makes each day exciting! 

I moved into a new apartment recently and I couldn't help but wonder, will I find an HHC here? Will this person encourage me to upgrade the UGG's when I walk Chandler? Dab on some perfume before I take out the trash? Maybe... 

You should always put your best foot forward, and if doing it for yourself isn't reason enough, find an HHC to help you.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

How To Tell If You're An Adult

"You can't do this. You're an adult now." Those were the words ringing through my head when I didn't know the name of our cruise ship at US customs en route to Florida. As a child; I had assumed Holland America was the name of the ship. As an adult; I didn't ask the questions I needed to before traveling.

As I fumbled over my words and turned bright red, the customs agent began to lay into me. It wasn't the best day to get interrogated (if there are ideal days for this) but as a single, 27 year old that was separated from my family after not registering for Nexus like they told me too, I was in a horrible mood. And, because I didn't know the name of the ship, I was marched off to secondary with the statement: "You're an adult, you should know this information."

As much as I threw an internal temper tantrum, I was actually just mourning the loss of not being 'allowed' to have a temper tantrum anymore, and being sent to secondary without my parents, or being able to find anyone else to blame, it really sunk in; being an adult sucks. Okay, yes I was upset, but time was of the essence, and I had to recompose myself and get the information I needed to emerge as an adult where a former child had once entered. So I requested permission to use my phone, said my thank you's, and the remainder of the trip I couldn't help but acknowledge when I was being a child. To be honest, I was a child a lot, sometimes I got into moods I didn't feel like changing, so I drank for those times (pro adult tip #1 - you're welcome).

All in all, even if my parents still treat me as their darling child, alas, I am a 'not-so darling adult' to the rest of the world. 

10 years ago, my tearful expression to not knowing the name of the ship, and being separated from my family, would have no doubt been acceptable, but just as I've figured out how to be professional in my work-life, I had yet to learn how to be an adult in my general-life, at least in certain situations (I pay my mortgage on time, have home owners insurance, but there's more to adulthood than that apparently). 

We could define adulthood as being of a certain age and having certain responsibilities, but I think it really comes down to these 6 tell-tale signs:
  • Do you accept responsibility or pass blame?
  • Do you move forward or try find excuses?
  • Do you control your reaction or try control other people?
  • Do you use foresight or pledge ignorance? 
  • Do you apologize or wait for an apology? 
  • Do you take 10 minutes to recompose yourself or 10 hours?
You can't control what people do, but you can control the way you react to it and that I believe is the key to rolling your eyes and accepting adulthood like... Well, like an adult. 

Some excuses I've gotten rid of thus far are:
- Excuses for my lack of exercise.
- Excuses for eating poorly - it's hard to blame the cheap/easy/pizza when you're the one dialling
- Excuses for getting angry - yes fighting happens but for each action there's an equal and opposite reaction, and my reactions were NOT equal, they were overboard, which I'm sure any member of my family was tempted to do to me on our cruise.

Two areas of my life I can say I've banned excuses is my professional life and friendships. I'm a part of a team, and if it goes down, no amount of blame passing or excuse making will actually fix the situation. You can either accept the situation and move forward, or point fingers, and the funny thing about pointing a finger is it somehow morphs to point right back at you.

So as much as you want to go out on a weekday, stay in a horrible relationship, or plead ignorance, you have to say "I'm Sorry. I can't. I'm an adult" to your inner-child. Morale of this story, I'm 27, and in the eyes of society, I'm an adult. A harsh reality check from a customs agent that holds a lot of power (I need to go to NYC as often as possible, and I can't let my sense of childlike entitlement ruin my adult based dreams). A life lesson was learned that day my friends. Probably the first of my 'official adulthood'.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How To Declare Relationship Bankruptcy

So I checked my finances after the holiday season and it turns out, I should have taken those 'Debit means no debt' commercials a little more seriously. Everything is in the red, and wasn't just my wallet that was hit hard. In addition to horrible finances, I was also in a slew of horrible 'relationships'. Not meaning to say I was dating anyone in particular, or that my secret crush even knew I existed, but overall, my relationships were as red as my finances. I had decided it was time to get back to black, and since dumping a few guys is easier than earning more money, I started there.

The Question: How can I find an 'investment worthy relationship' with all this 'relationship debt' hanging over my head? 

The Answer: Declare Relationship Bankruptcy. It won't be as easy as Michael Scott in The Office (publicly proclaiming he's bankrupt - though I think it's pretty obvious that I've been bankrupt in the relationship department for quite some time), but there is a way to do it!

I no longer have any booty calls, no more swooning over guys I can't have or writing a penpal I'll never meet. I'm starting with a fresh slate, of course my credit (aka my ego) is taking a hit (no late night hangouts, no textual chemistry), but my mind will feel fresh! 

I want to focus on having mutually beneficial relationships in my life, which is next to impossible when I keep falling back on a safety net of half-assed ones. I invested heavily in these 'high risk relationships' over the holidays, looking for that winter love we all want - but it's time to cut my losses.

How To Declare Relationship Bankruptcy In 7 Steps:
  1. Delete their numbers - no drunken impulse purchases
  2. Unfollow, unlike, unfriend - equivalent to no window shopping
  3. Phase them out OR if it's more serious let them know - nothing says "I'm not talking to you" much like telling them you aren't talking to them. Unless the relationship was serious, probably best to phase them out.
  4. Let everyone know - Nothing sucks more than having the person you're trying to get over brought up in a casual conversation. Make them the 'Voldemort' of conversations - "He who shall not be named".
  5. Find an alternative to their emotionally expensive addiction - hang out with friends or do something new.
  6. Switch from RomComs to reality - Don't sell yourself on receiving a grand gesture from people who had no return on investment
  7. Profit - get back to black, and yourself, and invest in people that show some return 
Over the years, relationships will build again, so it's important to know when to pull your investment! Having 'relationship debts' earning more interest than they were originally worth, is taxing on your emotions, and becomes a much larger burden over the long run. 

By declaring Relationship Bankruptcy, I now have an entire year to drum up some fresh investments and hopefully one will pay off BIG!

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