What I learnt this week: You are not my problem!

I had a beer with a good mate this week.  He’s usually really easy going but I could tell straight away he was stressed.  We caught up first and then got to the heart of the matter- relationship drama.  Now, I was a few pints in so I gave the best advice I could!

I think I helped.  Well, I hope I did.  At least I listened.  Which is sometimes all your friends need- a sounding board.  And I was happy I could be there for him because he’s my mate, so I care if he’s having a hard time!

Anywho, as I headed home on the train I looked out the window and began to unwind from the day.  I’d been up at 5.30am for a spin class, wrote for 2 hours then headed to my day job  and straight to see my mate after that.  I was pretty weary.  But there was someone who wanted my attention…

A guy had been looking at me for a while.  I ignored the unwanted attention as much as I could.  However, I knew the inevitable was coming.  He finally piped up- ‘How are you?’ I replied- ‘good thanks. You?’ He responded- ‘oh not too good actually.’

ARG!!!

So I was at a point where I could ask him why or continue my peaceful staring out the window after a long day.  Usually I would’ve felt bad and asked him what was wrong.  Not today though.  I made a different choice.  I said- ‘oh that’s no good.’  And went back to looking out the window.

Now some of you may be thinking I should’ve asked this guy about his problems.  I know some of you would’ve.  I’ve done it many times before in similar situations.  But you know what?  He was a perfect stranger and I didn’t owe him anything.  Of course if he were in dire straights I would’ve been more sympathetic.  However he was just a guy who decided he wanted to dump his problems on me.

No thanks.

I felt a bit bad as I ignored him.  Maybe I was an uncaring d*ck?  As my brain continued to twist around the issue I realised I’d just sat with my mate and debriefed his relationship stuff.  And as I said I was happy to be there for him and I always will be- that’s what friends are for! But this stranger wasn’t my mate.  And I wasn’t obligated to make him feel better.

If I’d forced myself to listen  to this random guy I would’ve disrespected my boundaries.  Which may seem trivial but it’s not.  No, this stranger wasn’t harming me but I’ve been in far worse situations where I’ve felt too nice to tell someone their actions towards me weren’t wanted.

Making this  seemingly small choice and saying- ‘no you don’t get to do this to me,’ helps me feel more confident that I can say ‘no’ to unwanted behaviour in the future. Because I shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable so someone else can get what they want.

Nobody should ever feel that way.

 

What I learnt this week: A waste of time?

A work colleague asked me about my relationship status the other day.  It’s a question I really hate because if you don’t have a specific answer like ‘yes I have a boyfriend or husband,’ it just gets complicated!  So I found myself justifying my current situation…

It went something like this- after my ex unexpectedly left a year ago I hadn’t dated anyone.  I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.  I made myself busy and didn’t have time to think about the fact I was ‘alone.’  (Which btw is totally fine).

Then all of a sudden I met someone interesting- a Swedish traveler.  We started hanging out.  At first it just made me sad, as I missed my ex.  However I had an ‘aha’ moment and realised I had a lovely Swedish guy in front of me.  So I thought- ‘how about enjoying that!?'(Seems obvious now haha).

I didn’t put pressure on us being anything more than friends.  What we would be didn’t matter.  We had fun together and that’s what mattered.  We explored Melbourne- comedy nights, drunk mini golf, rooftop bars.  I was living it up and enjoying myself again!

However my colleague didn’t understand this.  And responded with- ‘don’t you think you’re wasting your time?’

Ummmmm- NO!  It would be crazy to believe that just because a relationship doesn’t end in marriage then I’m wasting my time.  That would mean I’d also wasted my time with my ex (and every guy before that).   Which I don’t believe!

When I’ve been in relationships of course I hoped they’d last but they didn’t.  Because no matter how much we care about someone it doesn’t mean it will work out.  The answer to me then is to simply enjoy who you find yourself with, for as long as you can.  Whatever happens, happens.

Right now I’m happy.  And if it seems to others that I’m wasting my time with someone who will eventually leave Australia, then so be it.  I’ll continue to waste my time because it doesn’t feel like a waste of time to me!

What I learnt this week: The unseen changes in us

Ahhh the end of another year.  A time when most of us reflect on what has passed and look forward to what’s ahead.  Well, that’s definitely what I do. Sometimes I may not be in the place I want to be (career or personal life wise).  Actually, usually I’m not.  Which is totally ok-  life seems to have its own plans!

However just because there may not have been drastic changes doesn’t mean things haven’t shifted!  I was reminded of this when I went to get my fringe trimmed this week.  Because it was only a small change  no one noticed.  But it was a change.  And one that I wanted.

So when I look back over the year I may not be where I thought I’d be but there has been progress.  Whether it’s how I react to certain situations with more maturity and less over reaction. Or learning to take a break when I need it, instead of pushing myself.  Or making improvements in my writing.   Things have changed.  I have changed.

Just because change isn’t dramatic doesn’t mean we haven’t grown.  It just takes baby steps to add up to these really big changes.  Unfortunately this is true of bad habits that creep into our world and take hold.  They become a permanent change that we could really do without.

That’s why it’s important to check in with ourselves .  To see how much we’ve grown without noticing or what things we’d like to changed moving into the new year.  Then we can see where we are and where we want to go next!

Cheers to that!

What I learnt this week: The significance of Sia

I was incredibly lucky to see Sia in concert last week. Or not see her you might say…

From the little I know about her she’s an extremely shy person. And lives her life away from the limelight.  Which was evident from the fact that she spent the entire performance standing on the side of the stage with a wig covering her face, lights rarely going near her.

Even though I never really saw the star of the show it was one of the best nights of my life. Her voice is what I was there for and it’s even better live. Sia stood  in the dark and let performers shine as they danced dramatically to her songs.

She’s not the type who is worried that if she’s not constantly in people’s faces she’ll be forgotten.  Which is so refreshing in the world where celebrities shove every part of their body down our throat or spout their ridiculous opinions.   She just lives her life and does what she loves.

Yes, I know she chooses not to live her life in the spotlight.  Which begs the question of why everyone is trying to live their life in the spotlight anyway? Is social media/regular media more real than real life? Because to me it just feels like an exhausting fight for us to prove how amazing our lives are.

Wouldn’t it be nice not to worry about capturing every moment but living it instead? Or not thinking that we’re so special we deserve to be adored 24 hours a day.  Even better- imagine not deriving our emotions from how many likes we get!

What if we could stand on the side of stage, still living our lives but without the pressure to perform for everyone?