Connecting with other people

Sunday, July 21, 2019

I think most people and millennials go through life in a life of consumption. We eat our fill, we listen to radio and programs and watch movies and read books and keep taking it in and getting more into our systems and sometimes we don’t take the time to relax and think. Society tells us to go to school and work and fill up your day 24/7 and that you have to love food, you have to enjoy intercourse, you have to raise kids and you have to be in a relationship by a certain age or college or job to be successful. And so we fill our waking days full of activities and things to confuse our minds and fill up the day. But at the end of the day of the void it’s just us and the quiet that’s ourselves and our mind and our heart.

It’s the weekend and I’m sitting here, not going out or working or playing or going to the gym or even really working on the site. I’ve sort of hit a slump. And stuff is hitting me again. A few years ago I met some lovely people in my life and hit it off and started a relationship. Society wants us to believe that relationships have to be a certain way or look a certain way. Society wants to control the narrative and influence what you can and cannot do. I wasn’t completely happy in a relationship because I was worried what other people would think or say. But I can honestly say that I was satisfied. We hung out and ate. We had a good time romantically and most of all I had someone to talk to that I could share feelings with and my day. In a lot of these cases there were things that happened that I could affect the outcome, and sometimes I couldn’t like someone moving away.

I remember one time I had a great time with another individual who we had instant chemistry and connection. But I was not at the same place mentally or emotionally yet. And I was at the time not open to showing who I was and hiding a part of myself behind a computer. How many of us millennials are still like that? Does anyone remember Yahoo chat, AOL Instant Messenger and IRC? I have to admit there were many nights I sat in front of a computer trying to make a connection or at least have someone to talk to. I think most of us human beings just want to make a connection but have forgotten how to do so. We’re constantly texting and fingers flying so fast but we forget the importance of the fleeting connection and how precious and fragile connections are.

I remember I made a connection with at least three to five people around the world whom I had long extensive conversations with and now Yahoo chat is no more and I will never be able to talk to them again cause the service is gone. I remember I had penpals that I talked to that we met up and then stopped talking. I see one is now married.

The last few years have been slow burns of various relationships that I’ve been blessed to have but also bittersweet. I think there’s something amazing with being able to connect with someone no matter how short or fleeting it is and that’s why it’s taken me so long to get up to a point where I could date. I, like many others, have been opened up in terms of emotional intelligence due to movies, TV, and sitcoms and media. We are now more than ever clued into how people interact and behave and the prospect of what life could be with all its ideals. We see shows like The Bachelor and all those romance shows and dating games thinking that you should be able to be swept off your feet in a Disney style proposal. And I would have loved to have that when I was younger.

But as I get older I realize that the things I used to care about no longer matter as much and the things that don’t sometimes do. Nobody ever teaches you this stuff in school or in class. They don’t teach you stuff in school like taxes and finance quite the way you should. A lot like calculus and things like pronouns and derivatives and chemicals I don’t use any more in my daily life but I was an honors student at one time too. They really don’t prepare you for all the hard-knock parts of life.

So I’m sitting here trying to get my site posts going. A few months ago I was gung-ho about launching this site and helping others and also making a secondary income and I still am working on it. I just finished a contract with a person I hired on a contract platform like Upwork and working out details of which they failed to fully debug something and I had to scramble to push out a fix myself or revert back to an old version of the site. Luckily I was able to pull the theme files from the developer’s site while they were away on vacation with a handy plugin.

But I’m feeling a bit defeated. It’s a lot of work. And it would help if I had surrounded myself with other like minded individuals. Word of advice to the younger gen’ers out there. Never put too much pressure on your friends or peers and time is an illusion. You can always make time for something that’s important to you. A few minutes ago I was sitting here not knowing what to write but decided to push forth. I had gone through setbacks and also problems with my relationships were resurfacing from the last few years. And I thought I had solved these but the problem never has gone away. The truth is I’m horrible at breakups and horrible at being alone. I said it. I’m sure most of the people that I’ve been with I could have been happy with in some parallel universe but that often we spend more time trying to salvage and make something fit when it’s not quite what we really envisioned. And is that necessarily a problem? I don’t think so.

I read a lot of Psychology Today and also have a bit of inclination to read into spirituality, religion and faith. Call it something distilled into us from parents to give us hope and a bit of guidance. And I think it has also helped shape me to be hopeful. Yet I’m still a rational logical being. In college I had my first real serious breakup with a person. This person was goofy and laughed at poetry and into Japan anime and Halloween dress up. I really had just gotten my first taste of freedom from governance under parents. In our household growing up we were a strict but loving family and we innately knew the house rules and curfews and we also just didn’t date much because we emphasized academics through high school. In college we didn’t have that and our hormones and emotions ran high but we were still prudish and wanting to learn about relationships and get outside our circle. I think we still had that Hollywood and Disney fairytale in mind on how relationships were supposed to go.

Real life isn’t like that. And like David Deangelo often said, “Life ain’t fair”. Sometimes you have the highest highs thinking you’re about to get married. And sometimes you have the lowest lows when you realize that things just weren’t panning out the way you wanted. One of my first loves or infatuations involved instant attraction with someone that had a piece of humongous flower art along their back and I just couldn’t see how my parents would react. We date a lot of people in our lives and want to not just please others but also ourselves. Relationships mean a lot: love, prestige, social bonds and more. And there’s a lot riding on the line. Many of us people are stuck in the “what do I want” phase and “what do I get out of it” and I have to admit sometimes I forget this rule and inevitable a relationship falls apart. It’s when I stop thinking about what’s best just for myself and how everyone can have fun and be together that things flow smoothly.

If you could give me a candid interview, I would have to say that sometimes you do get second chances and God is benevolent and full of grace sometimes. That is if there is… y’know. I think relationships and the struggle for religious belief is one of mine and a lot of people’s as well. Often we say that God is Love and that we have to look to a higher self to seek that love. I’ve had personal doubts and personal breakups that have left me a wreck and hurt and questioning life and love, and the purpose of it all. But I’ve gotten out of them (the hurt and questioning) but they always take time and several months. Sometimes longer. Ever since I was young I always had this personal affliction of wanted to cling and hold onto something. Maybe not be alone, not be neglected, or tossed aside. And I think our first impressions and dealing with love and relationships form a paradigm for many of us when we grow up? We do we repeat and fall into the same patterns? Why do we date the people we date? Why do we break up or do the things we do?

And I’ve always tried to have an open mind. Nowadays the world is really open. I used to think it was me, was it age, race, look, speech? But really it’s none of that stuff. People are highly forgiving and looking to connect as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Asian, Indian, Hispanic or any other race people just just how you treat them and how you make them feel. You could be the best looking guy but if you treat someone the wrong way eventually you’re gonna see the door. And so yes, I had a type I was into when younger, but as I got older and someone reminded me “you’re trying to find the best pick out there and so is someone else and so you’re lucky if you both find the same.” When you’re young you might think things matter more and care about little details that don’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. And your whole relationship blows wide apart. Of course you’re also not going to settle. But no one has to settle for something. Just realize that people are human and mistakes can be made all the time for things that’s not intentional.

The hardest part about relationships for me is just the aspect of diving in. I’m a bit obsessive sometimes and also perfectionist. Most people that come in about finance at my work are so worried about fines and penalties that they fail to take action and take responsibility and ownership. And that’s also been my view of relationships for so long that I didn’t date or even have a good time or live a life because of this paralyzation of fear. You simply can’t live a full life or life at all if you’re afraid to go out and put yourself out there and be embarrassed or wind up with egg on your face. You have to every now and then get out of your seat and put yourself out there and reputation on the line. I’ve had to do that a few times in my life whether that involved meeting someone’s aunt or going over to there house and telling them things in person or just doing something out of the ordinary rules that you’re supposed to follow.

Life is not all about rules and outlines and plans. I guarantee all the best laid plans in relationships I’ve had all get blown apart and you have to take it one day at a time and adapt. Love and relationships are the only thing that there are no blueprint. You have to make a conscious effort everyday to feed the lion or let it starve. An “aunt” of a person I was dating sometime told me that love isn’t really 50/50. You have to give all of yourself and then a little more. If you’re not willing to give of yourself and sacrifice a little for the good of both parties, not be right all the time and work to maintain it, then you really have no business being in a relationship.

Some of the best times I had was when I took the path less traveled by, deviated from what my parents though best for me and took off to find the person I thought was good for me, or just tried things on my own. Even if it left my eyes dripping for an hour later on, I took reins and control of what I wanted and could at least say I took the choice that I did. Mini-vacation, heartbreak and all.

Sometimes I sit in my room hoping for my text from my phone to ring or pop off an alert from someone who thought I wronged them. It’s a text that never comes. On weekends sometimes I have nothing to do and it hits me how lonely it is sometimes on a sunny day and I’m not able to enjoy the warm weather or go out and have a discussion or chat. We all want to be loved, and enjoyed and appreciated and in someone’s company. Some days even more than others.

I remember one person told me how their spouse never came back from war. Or how someone else felt they were neglect and not loved. Love and appreciate is a given right for everyone. And no matter if you’re angry disgruntled girl or guy, or have a dad-bod, or 85 years old, or even just a young teenager into video gaming, we all have a right to realize our dreams and goals in life. We all have dreams we want.

The last few weekends I’ve been filling my mind with security updates, and physical keys, and website updates… But it’s all in an attempt for what? I guarantee if you have a breakup you’ll have a moment in life you wonder what money, physical materials, and goods are for? Another way to drown the lack that you feel.

You can’t shield yourself from hurt, or hide yourself from exposing who you are if you’re going to find true love and friendship. You have to be open and raw and true. And you have to give hoping that they will receive and want to give back.

I changed my philosophy years ago about what I wanted. I no longer look for idealism or everything to be perfect. I no longer have this exhaustive laundry list of things they need. I don’t even care exactly if they have pets if they give me allergies as long as it’s not bad. I just want someone who is faithful and doting and cares enough to make the effort and stay friends through thick and thin. I realize that I might never get over the fact that though I act aloof and like I don’t need anyone, inside I’m sometimes lonely and just want someone to listen to me and who will be there. Who will pick me up or drop me off a bus stop, or open the car door for me when I come up to my vehicle, or take the time to design a scarf or send me goofy YouTube videos. I don’t need much to be happy. I just need communication. You can’t be friends without communication.

Who ever said relationships were all about boom-chicka was all wrong. Sometimes you just want someone that will be goofy and swoon in a goofy smile when you show up. I sure miss that.

[workingstiff is a writer for SWM that writes articles on work, finance, the gig economy, and sometimes also relationship opinion pieces like this for entertainment. Give ’em a hug if you see ’em walking down the street this month.]

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Author: workingstiff

I'm just your average working employee working 8 to 5 making my daily wages. I commute to work, I run the rat race and I live for my days for my next pay check. I have goals. I have dreams. And I have things I wanna do. And sometimes just can't seem to get ahead no matter how many hours I work. Sometimes I just keep my head low and do what the boss says and other times I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Comments always welcome.

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