I discovered something this year. It’s ok to want something. It’s ok to say yes or say no. It’s ok to sometimes let things hurt just a little bit at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Not everyone has to be a hero all the time. You don’t have to carry everyone’s problems. You don’t have to solve all of them. Sometimes you just have to put one step ahead of the other and crawl ahead yourself. Sometimes that’s all you can do, and that’s OK.
I’ve started to say no to a lot more things this year. I’ve said no to volunteer opportunities or fundraising initiatives. I’ve said no to second dates when I knew they’d be bad. I’ve said no to plans because I wanted to do something else. Since my love life seems to get me the most hits on this blog, i’ll use an example from that. I dated this girl for a couple months and it all moved quickly. I’d fell for her, but I started to chip away at little pieces of myself. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t doing things on my own. My day was mostly work (or searching for work) and going to her place. It was nice, but I was lacking something. I guess I felt selfish wanting to do things on my own.
I’ve since learned that taking care of yourself is the most important thing. I’ve also learned that it’s a lot easier than you think to know what you want. Sometimes it just takes vocalizing that want to make it true. Ever since that relationship, I’ve started to listen to myself more to know what I want. Whether that’s in faith or spending time together, I feel much better about who I am and where I am going. You got to steer your own ship before you let someone else come aboard.
I gave myself a sort of mission statement for my friends a long time ago. I told myself that I wanted to be the type of friend that visited you in the hospital. I don’t know where I heard this story, but it was about something related to a guy being in the hospital, but nobody came to visit him. That made me really depressed. I’d want my friends to come visit me. Luckily, none of my friends have been in the hospital since then, but I’ve tried to “visit” in other ways, whether that’s through a letter, a phone call, or an email. Sometimes that’s all it really takes.
I realize that for a lot of your friends, that’s not very easy to do. But I’ve started to realize those friends I know I can hang on to and watch out for that close. It’s good to have that relationship with them.
The stereotypical Minnesotaness of never offending anyone is starting to get annoying. I also don’t like the “Oh I didn’t say this, but you should know” about it. Sometimes you just have to be direct about what you want out of your relationships and your life. I know that you won’t always get it, but it’s worth it to try.
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