Thursday, August 20, 2015

M.I.M.S.

This is why I write...

It's been a while since I've written something on any platform, but that's what happens when life is blissful. Since my last post, which was 3 months ago today, life has been simply amazing. My work life has made a turn for the better as I've gotten a new job within my organization. This job allows me to utilize whatever analytical skills I have and actually make a great impact in the coming years; plus a little more Jimmy John's money in the pocket. I also got everything in order for Grad School that starts this upcoming Monday. I even got a new car that is basically what a guy gets in his mid-20s when he's unmarried, not a parent, and just wants to make a dumb decision: a 2015 Dodge Challenger. No, not the Hellcat, just the city cruiser. I even went on my first real vacation with my girlfriend who is the love of my life; that may be the first time I've written that. It was amazing and those 4 days were full of laughs, drinks, sand, blue skies, and joy in the purest form. It's kind of unreal to embark on life with someone that makes you feel that way; quite possibly the best feeling I've ever had in my life. This was my first time out of the country and since she came into my life, I've had lots of firsts. Whether it's actually working out consistently, or eating healthy foods consistently, or just being happy consistently; she done it.

The focus of this entry is Peace of Mind.

When the going gets tough, what keeps you going? Is it writing? Is it singing? Does crying keep you emotionally in tact? What do you do to reach your peace of mind and remind yourself that life is okay because this isn't the worst thing that could happen? I'll tell you about my road to peace.

I love music, as I've spoken about before. I can listen to music all day and I probably don't go a day without listening to some kind of music, or at the very least, quoting lyrics left and right and applying them to life. I'm not one to even know when I'm stressed, but when I'm mentally occupied, I find solace in music. I can listen to almost anything regardless of the situation. I can listen to "turnt" music when I'm down or Coldplay when I'm exercising; I just love music. I can lose myself in reciting lyric after lyric and what these specific songs do for me when it comes to different events in my life. Does this melody remind me of playing outside as a child? This that song remind me of late night road trips with my dad? That song reminds me of the most stressed out period of my life. Music has a way about inciting a wide range of emotions out of people, which is why we're so drawn to it. Sometimes we need to escape a situation without actually leaving; thank you music! I can be feeling down & out about whatever, but I can put on Power by Kanye West and just start rapping. I love that. I feel music has a way of affecting us in a child-like manner. I mean, you can make a child sad in one moment, but if you just grab 'em and pick 'em up, the sadness escapes the body and they're overwhelmed with joy like nothing ever happened. Music can have that effect. The sound of one song can make you forget about what just happened because your focus changes to that source of happiness. It's truly amazing. I love Music.

There are other ways to find peace, and I plan on finding out how very soon. My girlfriend told me about Transcendental Meditation (http://www.tm.org/). Initially, I just saw the price and immediately thought about movies where people would meditate and sit with their legs crossed and I immediately questioned it. I mean, I'm a natural skeptic, but it doesn't help that I have a hard time seeing when I'm stressed. So, time passed and life went on, and TM came up again. This time around I decided to look into it for empirical evidence, instead of testimonials. I liked what I read and then looked into videos and ended up looking at personal testimonials. I signed up for an introductory talk the next day and felt it would be a good step to take. I had to think about where my life is presently, and how it will be in six months time. I have no idea how stressed I will be, but I just took on two major responsibilities that will require lots of my time, along with a relationship that I feel is here to stay. I haven't started the program yet, but I plan to document my feelings at the start of the program, and at intervals after implementation. This is something that can be done everyday, twice a day, for 20 minutes at a time. My hope is that it will help my approach to stress management; because this will be a long two years ahead of me. I hope to find peace through Meditation.

Whatever you do to find your peace, continue with it. Peace is essential to quality of life because it affects your approach to everything. Your work and personal life can be affected for the better! Thanks for reading.

Music is My Savior
Meditation is My Savior

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Everybody Eats B

What.is.on.my.mind?

I've been going to my meetings-though not as consistently as I had been in the earlier part of the year. One thing I can say, however, is that I truly learn something about myself every time I am there. I learn about my past, present, and future all in one hour. It sounds extreme, I know, but it's completely possible. When I'm there, I'm able to think about what I do, how I live, and who I affect. It also enables me to understand why I react to certain things the way I do, which provides clarity with every meeting.

In learning about myself in these past 4 and a half months, I'm loving what my life is becoming. I'm seeing myself for the person I truly am. Granted, I won't change every bad thing, but I'm able to accept me because I know I won't be perfect. I'm able to appreciate things about myself that, before, I may have seen as flaws or weaknesses. I'm also appreciating others more and more with their place in my life. That can be anyone. It can be someone on the street asking me for money; reminding me of the position I am in to have spare change while they search for it. It can be the parent who tells me that they are proud of me and my achievements; reminding me that some people don't have a foundation through their efforts. It could be friends; reminding me that not everyone can enjoy those around them. It could be a girlfriend; reminding me that I'm not all that bad after all. That she knows what I've done and been through and chooses to accept me for who I've been, all the while encouraging me to be a better person through growth and learning. I'm very thankful.

We must be thankful. Things could always be worse. Things could always be better. The thing to remember is that things are how they are. That's not to say that things can't change in either direction,  but you could miss the lesson in the present. Live with what's going on, the rest will fall into place; guaranteed. That's not to say that it will fall how you envision, but things will work out how they're intended to. We have to trust life. Trust is important. Trust is living. We have no idea what's going to happen in five minutes, let alone in five years. Why stress? We are human, so worrying will happen. Worry shouldn't consume us. If anything, worrying should encourage you to make the most of your current situation because it could directly affect the future.

To switch a focus, I think we all need people. Yes, need. People were created not to stand alone, but to gather with one another. We have families we belong to. We live in societies with many different people. One's actions can directly affect another's. Nothing is truly done alone. It's vital to have people in your life. That doesn't mean we need 20 friends in order to feel safe, though that's completely fine if that's the type of person you are. I'm just trying to drive home that we need somebody. I have my people. I have family, some friends, and a girlfriend. Each party receives a different part of me. It's up to me to decide who receives what and some may receive more than others; but this is important to me. I appreciate those who are in my life because they have shaped me to be the person I am today, in one way or another. I would never have been the man I am without these people; which is why I keep them in my life. Everyone isn't meant to stick around forever, but for the ones that are here, you have to appreciate what they do for your life. Everyone won't hold the same weight and that's okay; it isn't a competition. You've got to be able to Trust, Talk, and Feel.

In a perfect world, we would be able to trust everyone, be able to share everything with everyone, and know each feeling inside and out in order to control ourselves and our reactions. I don't seek that perfection to have all three areas in control; I just strive to be sound in them. Trust for me is such a task. My skeptic ways delve well within my grasp internally, but I know it's there. Trusting isn't easy for me. I keep so few people so I can keep track of what trust is out there. I don't think we're meant to trust many people anyways, but I make sure to keep my numbers low. I should be more trusting of others without running the risk of being na├»ve; I just haven't found that balance. This could save me from many negative situations, but it could also/has hurt me in other situations as well. Talking is another thing I've never been the best at. Well, that is, talking about what really matters. I can talk about almost anything for however long it takes to get a point across. It's talking about what's inside of me that's the issue. The vulnerability that comes with it just hasn't been an easy task for me; as it isn't with many people. I've been doing my best to work on this and I've been satisfied with the results. However, the results don't encourage me to take the proverbial plunge just yet. I still dab here and there, but there's something within me keeping me from going too far. I think I even shield myself from seeing my true feelings, so that prevents conversations from coming at the source. Feeling-the biggest one. I like to think I'm in touch with my feelings. Though I'm aware, that doesn't mean I'm in touch with them. You can see/acknowledge anything, but to understand and approach a problem takes a whole new method that I just don't fully possess. I often resort to old habits of shielding myself for my "betterment" when I actually hinder both my growth and the other person who is trying to help me grow. Hopefully, I can get better with this. It's so easy to do what I'm used to, it's easy to lose sight of what needs to be done. This could make me an emotionally healthier individual, positively impacting those around me. I think I often fear the negative, which is entirely possible, but could be easily as possible as the positive. I'm just a half-empty kind of guy.

All in all, life is good. Everything's Good. Everybody's Eating. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

ME

I don't know what I want to write about. I just know that I feel like writing. I've been lacking since the end of February, but I know I have to get back in the swing of things. I don't anticipate writing as often as I started, but I will keep writing. Listening to Speakerboxxx/The Love Below for the first time. I just finished a pretty introspective movie, but I'll leave the details out. It did get me thinking, however, about how important introspection is. I've written about this in almost each blog post. Actually, all of these posts are introspective. Though I've written a lot, there's still so much more to write. Even with as open as I'm being about my life and its happenings, I still leave lots off of the table. My full self isn't quite out there. In my eyes, the things I've shared are surface-level components that really can be shared with anyone. I think I'm pretty good at that. I think we all are pretty good at not showing our full selves. I mean, I know I'm sharing my thoughts and situations, but do I really share the thoughts behind the thoughts? Do I share the genesis along with the interlude? We don't share these things. I don't know if we're ready for that type of exposure. I know I'm not. I mean, rarely do we show our full selves. Think about it, if we don't share us with family members we've known all of our lives, our "best" friends, or partners, what makes you think you'll share it with just anyone? Do we even acknowledge these truths internally? I've lied to myself quite a few times until the point that I believed it were the truth. If I can't even be honest with myself, I'll just end up shorting everyone around me. I just think that's one of the hardest things to do: be open. There are so many levels to vulnerability it's insane. Vulnerability is present with others through the avenue of trust, but how much do we even trust those around us? Is it really trust? Or is it hope in the form of trust? That hope drives so many actions, but even then there is sometimes a cloud of doubt in both parties. There's some self-doubt in sharing and there's some doubt in the other party that they won't judge you for being you. It's hard being yourself-in my eyes. It should be easy, but are we really ourselves? Fully? I'm rambling. This is my least structured blog posting, but my fingers needed to type something.

Masks. There are many masks that can be worn, and there can be layers. I can have one mask at work, then another on my way home, then another around my home, then another in my friendships, and another in my relationship, and another in my family. Even when I'm alone, I could still have a mask on, but I wouldn't know because I'm so used to having one on I'm not sure how to be when I'm alone. Though this has some truth, I do feel that at this point, I am the most transparent. At this juncture, I can be me. It takes a special person to see me at this level, and when they do see it, it can be overbearing. Why? Because I may not get the opportunity to be this way around others. When I'm alone, I can be this way without knowing what's too much or too little to show; there's no cap. With others, you run the risk of showing too much. But wait, isn't the thought of being at this level the idea that I can be the most transparent? That when it's at the friend level, I have the mask on that presents me with the censored version? Lines get blurry and those you may have wanted at your level just weren't ready for it. Maybe their mask didn't allow them to receive your transparency well because they aren't used to that type of access in the tier they're used to having you in. It gets pretty technical in my mind but that's how I see things.

There is no end goal to this post. I'm not advising anything. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm not even displaying a course of action for myself. I just wanted to write because I know I can't be the only one thinking about this. I can't be the only one wanting to show their full selves but when they do, that possibility of being ill-received becomes all too real. Or maybe you tried it and it wasn't received well. Hopefully, when you did try it, it was received well and kudos to you. I'm not saying I've never been received well, but the bad always seems easier to remember. I don't know. I just want to help people. I just want to help me. Michael. I want to learn about myself. I'm slowly learning about this person that I'm becoming. I'm no where near the person I was a year ago. Oh God no where near. I'm definitely not the person I was when I started college; that's for sure. I wish I knew where to go from here. I guess the intriguing part of life is not knowing. If we knew, things could go really south. We could try to avert situations, inadvertently causing the effects anyways, or causing an even worse ending for ourselves. So in that regard, I guess I like that I don't know what's going to happen next. I do wish that transparency was more prevalent. I think it would prove better for relationships all together. Granted, negativity can be produced, but negativity can come from even the most positive intentions. I also know that too much transparency can't always be received well, which is another harsh truth I don't think people can handle. I'm not sure if I can even handle it as much as I assume. It's funny when you can't take what you dish out. That medicine doesn't taste good at all. But this is me; Masks Exposed.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Live the Life I Deserve

What are you doing with your life?

Really, I'm asking you this; whoever you are.

Whatever your answer, is it contributing to something worthwhile? Everything happens for a reason and it's up to us to find out what that reason is. We won't always know the answer, or even if there is an answer, but I feel it's always worth the attempt. Lately, I've been thinking about so many different things that all have to do with adult objectives: Career goals, marriage, housing, being 30, children, and retirement. Now, I'm only 23 and I know these aren't outlandish things to be thinking about at my age; especially when there are people my age and younger dealing with at least 3 of the things I listed. Yet and still, I find myself in some type of thought about these things each day. Everything I do is fueled with intent. I try to make sure there are no accidental steps in my path. Granted, there will be some unexpected turns, but you have to put your foot down in order to continue, and I make sure that step is as thought out as if it were all expected. I approach life with this mindset of being confident. Confidence positively affects so much it's unreal. With confidence, one can attempt to do more with themselves, appreciate themselves and their efforts, and even encourage others to make their own steps meaningful. This is the life I try to live! My confidence comes from my passion, and my passion comes from within.

When I think about what I want to do with my life, of course money comes to mind. I want to make sure I never have to really struggle or want for anything. Along with this thinking, I think about not wanting my future family to want for anything either; being as strong as a provider as I can be. I feel this thinking is so necessary in the present day because what I do now ultimately affects them-whoever they are. That means I have to make the right steps. I need to plan. I need to excel in my work. I need to get a Master's Degree, ASAP. I need to treat my current job as if it were the position I ultimately desire. I need to treat the world around me well because it will definitely return the favor. I'm a firm believer that all things are connected. I truly feel that I need to watch what I do because the effects could make all the difference in not only my life, but also those around me. I do what I need to do now and it doesn't feel like a hassle. It doesn't feel like a hassle because passion is driving my actions.

Passion is the piece. There's a huge difference between passion and ambition. I feel that there are a lot of ambitious people in our generation and that their driving factors may not be the most pure. Defined by Google, Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion, while Ambition is a strong desire to do or to achieve something. I really look at these two definitions and I just know that ambition doesn't/shouldn't describe me. The most important words to me are "barely controllable emotion". Every fiber in your body is guiding your actions, thoughts, and intentions. You may have an end goal, but that doesn't mean you are looking to skip over the road in between. Passion likes the small stuff. Passion loves the path. That's not to say that it the path easy, but it definitely takes some of the tension off in my opinion. When that passion is driving you, the drive doesn't stop. That's why I feel passion is so important. It isn't about an achievement. It's about the it. What's your it? What gets you going? What makes you smile? What makes you stressed? What makes you think? What makes you want to make it better? What makes you appreciate the inner workings? What do you see the bigger picture of? What?

We all have a place in this world. Some people find their purpose sooner than others. Some people stumble into their passion after going through a lot for another end-goal. It's so hard to say when the thing you want to do is the thing you're really supposed to be doing. If you don't have your it yet, I implore you to do one thing: Do What You Love. It sounds corny, so I'll give a short explanation. Do what makes you happy. If you love the sciences, do something science related. If you love children, get into that field. If you love selling things, or making connections, and delivering a product- go into the business field. There's something out there for everyone; we just have to find it. For myself, I've always felt I was a business minded individual. I was set on this until I fell in love with health care. I knew I had to be involved in health care, I just knew it. Science wasn't for me, but that didn't mean I should just give up on the field all together. I found another way to my passion. I found a way to incorporate both business and health care by going into Health Administration. I'm headed to grad school for an MBA, and then after I'll look into Hospital Admin Fellowships/positions. This wasn't the way I envisioned it years ago, but I knew I needed to stay in health care; that's what I LOVE. I promise you, purpose provides pleasure. Once you live with purpose, life because so much sweeter the days go by and it's the best blur you've ever thought about. You see your actions affecting others and they appreciate you. You appreciate them. You appreciate you!

Be passionate

Monday, February 23, 2015

Two Months In...

After two months, I can say my life is completely different than what it was when I started this blog.

NO WHERE NEAR.

I love where my life is right now. I know how I got here, but I didn't plan it; that's the best part. Life really does happen. I'm not suggesting that we sit back and wait for it to happen, I'm just saying you should live life and trust the process. Acknowledge progress. Welcome change. Learn from what happens. Be patient, but also be proactive- you can do both.

My professional aspirations slowly come into fruition as each day passes, having taken on a new position within the hospital. My interpersonal relationships are better as I reach out to people and maintain strong friendships. I have meaningful interactions with my friends. Not being in school posed as a problem at first, but then I realized that it would just take more effort. It would take reaching out, meeting up, and showing love! It's amazing the amount of love you receive back. I strongly suggest doing some reaching out. It's so easy to pull the whole, "I'm not gonna hit people up, see who hits me up first so I can see who my real friends are" thing. I mean, I guess? How much of a friend are you for doing that? The behavior you want them to exhibit is really the very behavior you should try. I don't see why not. I implore anyone reading this to reach out to those you "care about". Now, I'm not saying you should do it to everyone because everyone really doesn't deserve all of the effort. Some people really don't know what to do when that stuff happens. Some people don't know how to be friends! The thing we learn as children gets lost over the years after let downs, heartbreaks, and ever-changing personalities take the wheel. It takes work, but you can get back to that child-like love for people. It's extremely rewarding and enables others to revisit that same, somewhat familiar, feeling. Just a suggestion.

My more personal relationships are really at a point that I can't even believe. I recently went bowling with my brothers; something we've never done before. We had a really great time and it was all because we reached out to each other. One of us was consistent in his efforts to set something up. The others also gave suggestions and were open and receptive. It's something that's so simple that we often make harder for ourselves. One of my sisters' birthdays just passed and this phone call was significantly different than last year. Last year, because of little effort, the conversation was dry, dull, and forced. It seemed like it was only done because it felt like an obligation. This year was different. There was love in the conversation. An actual want for her to have a great birthday; and she did. If I had called with the same attitude as last year, I could have very well ruined at least one of the hours in her special day. My love life is at a place that it's never been before. I can not express enough the importance of friendship in a relationship. I'm at such a good place right now. The essentials are there. Strong friendship, mutual respect, understanding, trust, independence, humor, intellect, attraction, transparency; I could really go on. Time will tell where this will lead but I couldn't be more optimistic! I truly appreciate where I am in my life right now and things continue to get better- I didn't even think it was possible.

MUSIC. Music Music Music. I love music. If I could suggest any anecdote, let music help you grow. Music has been such an essential piece to my process. It provides an escape from whatever situation you're going through. It also enables you to reflect on what you're going through, especially if the artist went trough something similar. Music can provide something like an out-of-body experience. It really can take you to new heights if you allow it to.

I really appreciate everything that's happening to me right now. I'm grateful for the people in my life. I'm grateful for the life I have. Two months have gone by and 2015 really is better than 2014 for the most part. I'm eager to see what will happen in the months to come. Thanks for reading and I hope I've been able to help someone feel better about their current situation.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Now Tell Me That Ain't Insecure

Grow up. Okay, I don't mean that in a bad way. Better yet, just grow, or Grohhh! Really though, growing should never stop. It's really easy to get settled in who you are as a person, what you do, and how you think about things. I'm not saying you have to do a complete 180 every January 1st, but don't stop looking for areas to grow in! Growth really doesn't stop, if it does, it defeats the purpose.

For my own personal reflection, I just think about the different areas that I have been growing, and I try to think of areas that are in need of more growth. When it comes to owning up to what I am responsible for, I feel that I'm growing. I've really been doing my best to look at my situations and evaluate how I could do things differently. I ask myself if I could be more open-minded. I think about my actions and the effects on those around me. I think about the effects on myself that aren't always so apparent. When it boils down to it, everything that happens to you, in part, is your own doing. I know there are outside forces at work and this person or that person had something to do with it, but YOU did too! You don't have to be too hard on yourself, which I've been told I do, but just be real. It's amazing the amount of growth you can accomplish with just being real with yourself and others. When you can see your place in matters, it can enable you to think about things clearly, and be a little more open-minded. It's a lot easier to tackle situations if you're already at terms about your part in it; that way, if someone brings up your stake, you won't feel as attacked because you already know your place in the matter. This really works for me because I know if someone tries to tell me the part I played in a situation, I go into defense mode and nothing gets solved. Honesty is the key! You can convince yourself anything. You can lie to yourself about something until the point that you believe it's the truth, then it's a wrap. Honesty helps a number of situations and people because they know what they're getting from you. Also, With honesty come security. Everyone has some insecurities, but I feel (and have seen) that honesty can help one come to terms with their insecurities, which in turn helps lessen them.

I don't know. Insecurities are something else. I mean, what a storm cloud they are. You can have everything "going for you" and still be so disappointed at whats going on in your life. Even the most talented folks have things they deal with. I know they're a part of life, but so is self-love and confidence. Acceptance. Peace. Reflection. All of that stuff. It's easy to be insecure about something about yourself if you don't love it. If your body type isn't "commercial" it doesn't mean your body isn't amazing. Just because you aren't the best at something doesn't mean you aren't someone's favorite performer. It's important to keep good people around you because they definitely help ease those stressors. It's also important to remember that you are good at whatever you're doing. Remember that you are beautiful enough, smart enough, athletic enough, artistic enough, competent enough, and whatever other things you may doubt.

I'm not the most confident person in the world but a little confidence goes a long way. Confidence is contagious. Honestly, if you are confident in yourself, what's to stop others from being confident in you too? A leader is confident that they can lead. They take that confidence and put it into action. They show people that they have the competence and ability to lead, and people follow- not necessarily as subordinates but rather as supporters. I love that. I love role players. Everyone isn't meant to lead and everyone isn't meant to follow. At the end of the day, confidence is key to so many things. Believe in yourself first so others can believe in you too. Just like you have to love yourself so others can love you. The same goes for respect, treatment, appreciation, and other key factors to a healthy quality of life and social life.

I'm just ranting I apologize. I just want to promote "self". I think it's time to be selfish a little bit. Lots of people over extend themselves for others while giving themselves the bare minimum-which can be dangerous. Please think about yourself. Think about how your situations will affect you in the long run. Love yourself. Treat yourself right. Your self-worth will encourage others to treat you accordingly.

I appreciate people reading my thoughts. I'm just trying to document what I'm going through that's surface level enough but still personal enough for it to be relatable.

Do you love you?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't You, Ever, Get Too, Comfortable

I have no idea what this post should be about. My life is going well for the most part. This is the most optimistic I've been in I don't know how long; it feels great. Things are working out in ways I would have never imagined. It's amazing what a few basic changes can do to one's outlook and what happens to them. I mean, this month isn't even over and I need two hands to count the great things that have happened that will change my life forever! I am so thankful that I came to certain realizations about myself. One of those realizations being how I treat others. I don't mean the difference between being nice or mean to strangers, or acquaintances, or anything like that. I mean how you actually treat the people you claim you care about. You can try to act like you treat people well because you treat them better than those you don't know, but do you treat them better or worse than you used to?

I ask because reflection is so instrumental to growth. It's like in a relationship. You pulled out all the stops in the beginning stages. You communicated well, expressed exactly how you felt about that person, and put in a great deal of effort to "win" that person over. I mean, you wanted that person so you showed them that you actually wanted them! There's nothing wrong with that. The sense of proving your worthiness early on is really essential to show the person how serious you are. The same thought can be used for friendships. They are a little different, of course, because the growth of a friendship does occur in more relaxed terms. However, I think they happen to meet at the end point of getting comfortable. This is a tough thing to notice, internally. It's so easy to get comfortable and sometimes it's a good thing. It's like, at first, you watched what you said. You really made sure that the other person was the focus and you were cautious of their feelings and wants. You really were trying to prove that you were worthy of their time, energy, and attention. Over time, however, it's easy to get really comfortable. One may come to an internal realization that they proved themselves because they got what they sought out for; which is unfair to the other person. When this "realization" occurs, effort does become less consistent. It's often easier to let things just go, let the other person suffer a bit, or just be apathetic to things you once held as a priority.

Granted, over time you end up letting your guard down. It's easy to do so because you may feel that the other person just accepts you for who you are and you probably are right. But, there's a trick! Don't get too comfortable. Like, really. Don't. This is self-sabotage. I strongly implore you to remember the effort put forth early on. If you think about it, the one that the other person fell for didn't give minimal effort. That person wasn't so apathetic to their concerns. They fell for the one who was thoughtful, empathetic, zealous, enjoyable, and whatever other characteristics made them look forward to being in your presence. I know I've had this problem before. Granted, I can say that I, sometimes, was able to see when I got too comfortable with a situation and just wasn't the person I was in the beginning. I'm not saying you can't change or grow, I'm just saying, don't act as if that person is just in your life permanently. Don't think that they forgot how amazing you were in the beginning. We have to remain consistent! You keep a relationship that you put forth consistent effort. You keep a friend by maintaining the friendship. You keep a job not by doing worse than you did when you got hired, but better! You have to grow in whatever situation you're in. The end-goal is to be better than you were when you started. Give them a reason to keep you around, just as they should give you reasons. Think about it. Would you want to stay with a person you just feel is going downhill in terms of how they treat the relationship? Would you stay friends with someone who is acting less and less of a friend as time goes on? That's just unhealthy. There's no need to hold on to things like that-in my opinion. Some relationships work that way and shout out to them. But in my eyes, I think things should be on the up and up. Of course there are downs, but the greatest examples of growth come from some of the lowest points!

I can say that my friendships, and familial relationships, have improved soo much just by my effort going in the right direction! I've reached out to people, complimented people, or just listened to them. I was honest with people because I feel that's what they deserve. I got out-and-about to actually see them. I can see how much they appreciate it and these relationships I thought were dwindling, or even non-existent, have been revived. It's the best feeling in the world having people you care about return the favor. The same goes for family. That bond is unbreakable. That's a bond that should be embraced to the fullest. It isn't something to just look over because "they'll always be there".

That's it! This sense that a person will always be there is such a send off. You have family members that don't talk at all. You have once-best friends now worst enemies. No one is permanent. However, this idea that a person will always be there is a common thought in those getting comfortable. Just because someone is in love with you, doesn't give you the green light to lose steam and not give the necessary effort. Just like they fell in love, they can keep falling through the bottom right out. Yes that' your parent, but it doesn't mean they'll always be a parent to you if you treat them any less than what they deserve. We have to stop getting comfortable because that is self-sabotage. The only thing the other person did is positively respond to our positive efforts. You shouldn't repay a person's love with minimal effort.

I'm thankful for the people I have in my life and I really have been trying my best to show them the love and effort they deserve. They deserve my best because they love me and keep me in their lives. And sometimes I have to be okay with making the first large effort. It's okay to make the first step.

Thanks for reading