Tag: thoughts

Communication

I’m amazed at how well I communicate my thoughts and ideas in professional settings. I’m equally amazed at how poorly I communicate in familial settings.

Self-awareness is not just something that’s important to me personally; it’s a major aspect of my professional life…therefore I continually reflect and evaluate me!

Recently, while conversing with some family members I noticed that I repeated what I’d said multiple times in response to the bewildered expression on one of the individuals’ face after I initially made the statement.

That’s nothing…no big deal, right? Wrong! In professional communications in response to a bewildered expression, I rephrase my statements in an attempt to provide clarity to my conversation partner. So, why did I not do this when I conversed with my relatives?

That’s something I’ve asked myself for years. I know some times I really have no idea how to clarify a statement. Yet, other times I’m unwilling to take the nanosecond it takes to rephrase my statements. That leads me to repeating myself and looking at my conversation partner like “why don’t you understand what I’m saying?”.

That’s insufficient communication skills on my part. Plus it creates barriers to relationship building.

Which brings me to another point – how can I say that my relatives don’t know me when I place barriers between us through my communication patterns?

Is building professional networks of greater importance than maintaining close familial ties? Based on my communication skills or perhaps I should say based on my efforts at communication, I’m led to believe I place more stock in professional networks.

But it’s not that simple! Of course, you know that things are rarely that simple.

Let’s review my communication efforts with professional networks. The fact that I’ll rephrase a statement to provide clarity…does not suggest that I place more value in these contexts than with my relatives.

Let’s also think about the patterns of communication I’ve developed through my family unit. The unconscious beliefs I garner about communication and my place in conversations.

We learn a lot about communication and how individuals operate amongst each other in our families. It’s also possible that the conversations with my family are more relaxed and less restrictive than the conversations with individuals I engage with in professional settings.

Do you notice any differences in your communication efforts with different groups?

If you do, is the simple reasoning for those communication efforts adequate? Or is there more to it than what’s on the surface?

It All Works Out

Don’t worry about it {whatever your it may be} because everything will work out in due time.

I don’t know about you, but I am not comforted by the aforementioned sentiment. For a fact, I often feel like it’s an insult when someone says it or any variation of it to me.

Unfortunately I’ve uttered similar statements to others; however, now my perspective on it has changed.

I know that individuals are well intentioned when they say things of that nature and they are genuinely attempting to comfort the recipient.

It’s likely comforting to some individuals, in a similar sense that statements suggesting that a higher power or the universe is working things out on your behalf.

Sigh, I’ve never been one to be comforted by such statements. I’m often someone who struggles to see past my current situation and circumstances. I guess some would say when it comes to my perception of my life, I’m a glass half-empty kind of person!

This is not the case when it comes to my perception of other’s lives and the advice I give. That’s when I’m beyond optimistic and encouraging.

This part of my personality, makes me a great advice-giver and not so good advice-recipient. Especially when that advice requires me to change my perception of my situation.

Before you start with the shenanigans about how this is a bad thing and I need to work on it…let me ease your mind: I actively work to improve myself and my life daily. This includes changing how I perceive my situation and circumstances.

So, yes I work on it, but, I’m a work in progress to say the least. I don’t necessarily see my perspective as a bad thing, however, there are times when the balance is not there!

For instance, during the last few months, I accepted a job that will launch my professional career, I’ve managed to keep my bank account open during a long 7 month stretch of unemployment, and I never once became homeless or experienced true hunger despite my lack of income.

Ok that sounds great right? All things considered, but I see my situation through another set of lens.

That set of lens suggest that I’ve been unable to pay a single bill independently for the entire year of 2019 thus far; I had to depend on my parents, extended family, and friends for the simplest of my basic needs; and most of the time when my phone rings it’s a debtor whom I must tell the same tired story about why I am unable to pay my bills; I have multiple educational degrees and yet I was unable to secure any employment; my credit score has plummeted; and yes I have a full time position lined up that will launch my professional career and it is the position I desired but it doesn’t feel that significant.

Think about the differences between those thought statements. Now, imagine how an individual with the latter thoughts feels when someone says it will all work out.

Imagine their surprise when the person with the latter thoughts is unable to even faintly smile in return to their well intentioned statement.

Sigh. I’ve been told that I’m a negative person and that I make others uncomfortable when I do not take comfort in their sentiments.

Ok, so here’s the deal…I’m not here to for anyone’s comfort and it’s nonsensical for me to change my feelings about my situation and circumstances for the sole purpose of making someone else feel that their advice is inspiring.

Additionally, the phrase that it will all work out is on the same shelf as it could be worse…those phrases are empty platitudes.

I’m not naive I am very self-aware. I do not waddle in despair and I do not feel that my situation and circumstances are hopeless. However, I do not feel comfortable in this situation or with these circumstances.

I am entitled to feel however I feel. I believe it would be much easier for people to simply say, that sucks during the rare times they hear of my situation or circumstances.

Plus, it’s more than appropriate for an individual to tell me that they do not care to discuss my situation because it’s bringing them down. It’s important to take care of you, and part of that is protecting your own mental health.

Thankfully, I don’t sit around and incessantly gripe about my situation and circumstances. For a fact, when most people are made aware of them they are shocked.

But on the off chance that I do share with you or that anyone tells you their less than good current situation and circumstances,..try not to immediately find a fix! Just listen and once you’ve had enough change the topic.

And please, be mindful when you say it will all work out!

What’s something that irks your nerves when you’re in the midst of a trying time?

Romantic Relationships

Those who know me in real life are well aware that I shy away from romantic relationships.

In all honesty, I often miss the clues individuals utilize to express their interest in me…therefore I miss opportunities to even engage in many romantic relationships.

I’m one of those people who hyper focuses on one goal and loses sight of the big picture.

Even with all of those personal flaws or quirks (depending on who you ask) I’ve managed to fall in love and experience a romantic relationship.

Laugh, you know those quirks I mentioned earlier? They didn’t go away once I entered a romantic relationship, and they complicated things.

I’ve mentioned before that if I was born 15 years later than I was, there’s a high likelihood I would’ve been labeled as being somewhere on the Aspergers Spectrum.

That is not an insult to those who are on the spectrum, neither is it my attempt to make light of a serious issue.

I was born at the wrong time and in the wrong location and definitely in the wrong socioeconomic class for anyone of influence to flag my tendencies as different.

Enough of that.

I’m an adult now and I am still perplexed by romantic relationships. A part of me truly believed they are an utter waste of time and energy. While there’s another part of me that feels like romantic relationships are enticingly beautiful.

I still leave something to be desired when it comes to romantic relationships. I often have to be told what it is my partner desires from me and that can be annoying.

Oh I don’t mean they have to tell me something grand, no they have to tell me “amber I would like for you to hug me and not seem like I’m on fire and you’re afraid to catch it” haha! That was an odd moment, but I do have a tendency to hurry hugs.

I do have to work hard in romantic relationships and I still don’t know if they’re worth it. It seems like a lot of work with little benefits.

Friends forever

Years ago I believed that if I remained friends with an individual for five years, we’d be friends forever.

That’s not exactly true…yes five years is a long time to keep a friendship going. However, both parties have to actively work to keep the relationship afloat.

I’ve moved a few times in my adult life and I’m the first to admit that it’s hard work to maintain friendships. Thankfully, I’ve maintained some relationships in my adult life. Although it has been work.

Like me, my friends are adults. They are employees, spouses, parents, and we all live in different areas of the country. Life gets busy and making time to check in on friends is a lot. We manage to keep in touch with each other.

I’m also inactive on the major social media networks which has become a primary way of keeping in contact with individuals. I believe that true friendships reach beyond the world of Facebook. Removing myself from Facebook and Twitter approximately 5 years ago, quickly showed how some of my friendships were faux/ships of pseudo/relationships! They didn’t outlast my participation in social media networks.

I also was invited to less baby showers, birthday parties, and weddings when I deactivated my major social network pages! – this was welcomed news because I was always mailing gifts or sending my mom on a mission to find a gift for the recipient.

Today, I think that it takes much more than five years of knowing one another to be friends for life. It takes commitment and communication.

Plans. Pain! Plans?

It was Sunday, which meant it was time for me to mentally plan and prepare for the week. It would likely be more sensible for me to plan on Saturdays; however my Saturdays are booked and so I plan my week on the first day of the week…

At times those plans are very loose; those are the times when I actually plan to stream programming, read a novel, or watch random videos and listen to music.

This Sunday my plans were not very flexible as far as the tasks I’d intended to accomplish. I planned a set amount of hours that I’d spend on the tasks in order to follow my plan for the week.

Well…here’s the problem – when I planned my tasks for the week I failed to plan for pain. Oddly I failed to even consider the possibility of pain.

Not considering the possibility of pain is odd because I actively live with chronic illness and pain. Well I guess I wanted to think positive and plan my week without the presence of pain.

I am in pain most days of the week, multiple hours in a day; however, when I planned my week on Sunday…I didn’t consider the possibility of pain.

At times I believe that the faith talks dissuade me from practicing self care. In many ways faith talks or willpower talks fault the person going through something and rarely addresses any core problems. When faith talks and willpower talks occupy my mind I believe I am able to not consider the pain I experience on a regular basis.

Somehow That pain pauses until my weekly tasks are complete or at least that was my frame of mind Sunday when I made plans.

Surprise, I know it’s not even going to shock you, pain was not only present while I attempted to complete my scheduled tasks, pain sidetracked me to the point that I was unable to stick to my scheduled events.

I’m not new to chronic pain or illness. I’ve dealt with these things in various forms with varying levels of success most of my life…so it’s amazing that I’m astonished that pain made my plans questionable.

Whether I’ll be able to complete the scheduled tasks this week as planned is a question that will remain unanswered for a few days.

Pain has interrupted my sleep cycle, lack of sleep impacts my comprehension levels which are already lowered as a result of the pain…all of this makes it difficult to complete my tasks I scheduled for the week.

Ok so at this moment I’m accepting the possibility of being unable to complete the planned tasks this week and like many people living with chronic illness and pain. I adjust and do what I can, while thinking to myself “why did I forget to make room for pain?”

What do you do when pain makes your plans questionable?

I’m Walking Away

Walking away from everything and everyone sounds so effortless and effective…it may be. I’ll never know.

So much of my identity is tied into things and people that walking away from all of it seems like an awful lot of work. I’m not interested in recreating me.

I refuse to walk away from everything and everyone

However I am placing everyone and everything in an appropriate position in my life.

I’ve noticed that I’ve given too much to some and too little to others. I’ve used some things too much and other things not enough so balance is what I strive for.

Balance in my relationships with people and relations with things.

At times it feels like walking away from everything and everyone is exactly what I should to remedy my situation. But rarely is the seemingly easy, easy.

Transitions, transitions, transitions

I’ve written a lot about transitioning from grad student to PhD and the job search. Many of my trials and triumphs I expected to have…others not so much.

The changes in relationships are something that I was totally unprepared for. I’d read the literature that suggests that the first generation graduates like myself had unique relationship issues.

It’s too painful to write about really. I never expected my relationships to change in anyway once I got my degree.

Some people think I behave like I’m better than them while my behavior hasn’t changed. The knowledge that I have degrees has and the attention I receive has changed.

I’m proud of myself and although I don’t share my accomplishments widely I am proud of them. I refuse to downplay my accomplishments to make others feel better. Yet I also only mention them when I’m asked about it.

I’ve never thought I was better than anyone, however, if someone believes I am better than them…who am I to dispute it?

I have no control over another person’s reactions to me. I take responsibility for my actions and I realize that my matter of fact way of speaking may easily offend others.

I’ve always been that way. Im very analytic and at times it may very well seem that I’m speaking an unknown language. At times I will think through something aloud while speaking with someone and I’m certain to them it sounds like gibberish

I see people as my equals and I speak to everyone the same. I speak to a 3 month old baby using the same direct speak I use with an adult.

I’ve speculated that I could possibly be somewhere on the autism spectrum – but I always conclude that if I am I’ve learned how to cope throughout the years.

Plus my quirks have not gotten in my way. Perhaps it’s not the degrees, accomplishments, or attention that created the changes in my relationships.

Perhaps it’s the direct exposure to me on a day to day basis. I believe that when an individual is around you, you witness their quirks in a way that you may not usually notice.

I’m generally reserved and I enjoy solitude. I don’t like to converse with multiple people at a time – not because I’m stuck up, but because I have total hearing loss in one of my ears.

I’m upset now because I try to present myself as a kind individual who really just loves to help. To know that there’s at least one person who thinks I belittle them, is troubling.

I’ll think about the accusations for awhile and I’ll survey my behavior when I’m interacting with others. If there is anything I can do to address this alleged behavior, I will.

Even with that, I know that I don’t think of myself as superior. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my life and I’m thankful to everyone who helped me along the way.

I imagine this is just another part of my transition….but no one told me that my relationships would change.