Category Archives: Friends

On Overcoming Rivals

On Overcoming Rivals

I never thought of myself as a competitive person because I saw how much more competitive many others were than me.  I never cared to win much at sports or other “see who is best” events.  Maybe it was because the effects of losing didn’t last long or I’d just rather not dive to the ground just to keep a ball in the air.  Regardless, I did engaged in my own competitions from time to time, but they weren’t always so sportly structured.

Often my rivals were simply my friends in school.  We were all trying our best to get good grades and we were all in the same boat when it came to intelligence, so it was often a close call.  I only had to win by a few inches, not cram for a whole mile.

Other rivals were family members of a similar age vying for attention or adoration from the adults, which we were never actually starved for.

These competitions were constant throughout childhood.  As I got older and became aware of these behaviors, I realized that the scars I was accumulating and causing were not longer a result of healthy competition.  It was down right mean.

Though all of this I always thought of myself as a nice person.  I was at heart a people pleaser to the point where I put other people’s wants above my own.  But I wasn’t fully a nice person.  I inflicted social pain on others when they didn’t even know there was a competition.  I felt triumphant when I finally felt better than a specific person.

Then I looked back and realized that they were just being themselves, reacting to the world, looking for a friend.  Here I was jealous of their natural advantages, needing to prove myself when my friend just stood there defeated by my behavior.

Its been over 10 years since I had this realization.  I’ve since made new friends who were so beyond my own situation in life that I felt no need to compete.  We are simply not comparable because we play life in completely different arenas with completely different rules.  We can simply talk about life and try to understand each other without one-upping.

I still encounter my old rivals, often with compassion and guilt over having “beat” them when they were already too far down to fight.  Others, I just avoid, having never settled the score.

My Puppy

My Puppy

I cry for her before she’s gone, My puppy.

She’s not a puppy anymore.  I won’t have her forever.

Is she my favorite of the dogs of my lifetime?  Perhaps yes perhaps no.

I will never say, who could ever compare, they are all my favorites.

I love them all so so deeply.

Just one for a lifetime, that’s all I need, but I am blessed with many.

Only a very few so far.

I can do the math.

One day my puppy will be gone.

I will have a new puppy, of any age, that I will also fall in love with.

I will keep her also until her dying day.

I bare this burn of mourning, perhaps too young.

It is easy with humans, they often bring death upon themselves.

Through old age or stupidity or mismanagement of the body.

But puppies, oh if I could have them all back.

I’d keep them forever.

They don’t know any better and they are so loveable.

I cry for her in advance, not because I expect she’ll be gone soon, but because I miss all the rest of my little sisters.

Such sweetness and fun lost yet more born to find.

 

 

How you know a relationship is dying part IV

How you know a relationship is dying part IV

You feel confident when in certain situations, but when specific people are around you feel the need to compete for the friendship.  Your “friend” encourages this by naturally not making social concessions/offering agreed upon reassurance towards you.  When confronted your friend acts like they didn’t notice because they do it on purpose as their way of controlling you.  Confused you assume it is just in your mind, so you try to ignore it.  It happens again when the “better” friend is around.

Suddenly you realize that there is a hierarchy and the needs of the friends higher on the list are met before yours.  Often the needs of higher friends is that your “friend” be cold to their lower friends.  This modern day Machiavellianism is how friends exert dominance other each other for their own negative, controlling self indulgence.

On Friendships

On Friendships

I understand.  One thing I’ve noticed is that I can never form strong relationships with the people who I feel like I’d have a connection with, so I’m stuck hanging out with the more uninteresting people who are more accessible.  I just think that I don’t naturally understand friendship.  As kids we were forced to hang out with people and build bonds, but now as adults we can do our own thing and I find it difficult to merge my “own thing” with someone else’s “own thing”.  Don’t get me wrong though, I am happier now that I do not have any close friends: life is drama-free, time passes smoothly, I’m focused on school, my career, and hobbies without anyone reminding me of my failures whenever I’m celebrating a success.

I never understood why people choose to tell me in person that I need to be more like someone else.  If you prefer someone else, then go hang out with them, because if you think you’re more compatible with a different type of person, the feeling is most likely mutual.  People come and go, and I’ve noticed that if I’m just open to new people I find a real gem of a person to hang out with every year or so.  Sounds few and far between,  I’ve learned to just keep my eyes open and enjoy the few enjoyables while their life is in sync with mine.  In the mean time, I stay out of the personal lives of people I don’t feel a spark for while striving to be a good person.

On the Secret Thoughts

On the Secret Thoughts

I have difficulty being friends with people for two reasons:

1)   I always have negative thoughts about people swimming in the back of my mind,

2)   Everyone is always shit talking everyone else to me.

I am completely confused because deal breakers for me are not the same deal breakers for those people who are already in my world shelling out their opinion like it is Kobe Beef served at the Ritz in Osaka, Japan (as if nothing in the world could possibly be any better than their opinion).  Which is fine, but what I really hate is after I get a warning from someone, there is always that look when I go against their warning, which causes me to either have to choose sides or keep my friendship a secret.

I hate bringing my friends together in most circumstances.  I love each of them for different reasons and I can’t handle when one person I love dislikes another of equal status.  So I usually keep them all separate to preserve my own sanity.  Obviously I talk to them because they are nice people whose view of life I respect (or hope to), but goddamn, I can’t help but wonder why my friends are always at war with each other.  It must be because I am always at war with myself and the people I associate with usually complement those same competing facets of my personality.

People Who Base Their Opinion of You on What Their Friends Say

People Who Base Their Opinion of You on What Their Friends Say

Most of my friends, I’d say, have cool friends… who I find fun to hang out with and get to know. But a few times in the past I’ve been stuck having to hang out with someone who I don’t particularly enjoy just so I can hang out with my cool friend. When put in that situation all sorts of thoughts run through my head. this included the thought that maybe my friend has horrible taste in people, then I realize that they have chosen me as a friend, so…. what does that say about me if they have horrible taste in friends? Then I realize that some people are just social whores who have a very basic definition of what a friend actually is and therefore have heaps of acquaintances whom they refer to as friends. Since I normally can’t function coherently in diluted relationships I rule out that explanation as well, because, I wouldn’t be there if I felt the relationship was diluted.

The worst though, is when one of those friend of friends points out things about me that they don’t like. All of a sudden my friend sees me through the prospective of their friend who obviously isn’t compatible with me otherwise I wouldn’t dread hanging out with that person. “yeah, you know what.?.?. You’re right, she is like that” my friend says to their friend. The conversation probably continues on as they build together their agreement about me- which serves as a private bond between them from which they are able to read each other’s silent facial expressions, in my presence, confirming their private conclusions about me.

At that point I realize that my friend whore is either not capable of monitoring their own influences or they are willing to find any reason under the sun to relate to their friend more, even that the expense of me. I have seen it both ways. The end result is usually my distance, which I don’t mind at that point because I will do anything not to have to hang out with that friend of my former friend, what a relief!

Another shitty thing is when a friend can only think I am as cool as his friends say I am. You will see this when you meet new friends whose friends have already heard A LOT about you, and I mean A LOT. Like these people can tell you about yourself for 5 drunken minutes. So there you are on your pedestal, freaked out because you’re only that cool to that one person because he fills a specific friend role for you and you tend to treat that archetypal role much different than people you just met at a party. So inevitably, you get a lectured later on what everyone at the party thought of you and/or what you should work on for next time as if you are socially challenged.

So it was my mistake I shouldn’t have subjected myself to these parties because I didn’t go to the party to hang out with THEM, I was there because YOU invited ME and I like hanging out with YOU. So cut me some slack for passing out early because the friend whores at your parties are boring.

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

I think a major factor in determining if I am enjoying the people I am with in the moment (any moment) is the image of myself that the other person expresses back to me. Sure I can read their facial expressions, get feedback about how they interpret what I am communicating to them, or even see whether or not they personally like me, but regardless there are those comments, gestures, glances, etc. that paint an underlying picture in my mind of how they view me. When that matches my own idea of how I’d like people to view me then, well, the other person gets me! hooray!

Okay so, on the flip side, (this is the story that got me thinking this), I made a series of comments (2 or 3 maybe over a few days) to a friend of mine way back when and in my mind it was a sarcastic joke in lieu of something better to say, maybe not the best choice, I admit, but I could tell the person wasn’t comfortable being viewed as my comments suggested. I would think the other person would be thinking, “shit, I don’t want her to think that way about me. Game over.”

I just want to know why I act the way I do, or at least, to enjoy thinking about it.

One-on-One

One-on-One

In kendo tonight I got to spar off with some of the more advanced students and these people were honestly coming at me with bamboo swords so fast that there was absolutely no time to think about anything else for these 2 or 3 minute sessions. I forgot how nice it is to be able to forget about everything else that is going on in the world except me and the other person. So many other aspects of life are too layered with history, emotions, background noise, third parties, etc… that I forget just just be reacting purely to the one person I’m presented with.

I haven’t been up to much lately, not much socializing, or going anywhere… I’ve pretty much been cooped up in my house for about the past three weeks. Why? Well I’m not always such a social being to be honest and I’m not involved in anything outside of my house that requires my direct attention other than Kendo and yoga and some friends once in a while… so I’m left to analyze the minor happenings I encounter.

I am amazingly equipped to enjoy this solitude, more so than most of people I meet… I’m not sure what predisposes me to this, it isn’t that I dislike people, I just prefer to interact with very few at a time given a choice (outside of work).

This is why I need very few friends, more are always welcome of course, but I have just a few archetypal places in my life for people who I can have that one-on-one time with. My need for that type of relationship with people is what may cause some confusion for some more social people. I honestly don’t understand how someone could constantly have multiple people around them all the time, I get tired and I need to go reset myself to process overly social situations, as if I have to figure out what parts of it actually means something and what was just filler and fluff. So you can imagine my confusion when someone constantly wants to bring other people in on our one-on-one time, I’m very inertial and need some time to adapt to the third, fourth, or fifth parties, I really only signed up for the one-on-one and now my needs aren’t being fulfilled because I have acquainted myself with a human who may potentially not value the one-on-one time as much as I have, or expresses it differently.

I like it being just me and the other person. I like being in the middle of that, playing around with it, making it into new things, but still keeping the structure. I’m weary of outside influences, not all the time, but at times when I’ve got something that I feel very strongly about and don’t want it spoiled. There is some fear of mental poisoning that makes me at first reject practically everyone until I can see something compatible within them.

Compatibility comes second to the effects they have by being in my life. Forced adaptation to new people in my social life is not something I get excited over because I tend to be in groups- of any kind- so I can be myself, not to hold back for the sake of the new guy. And I, in no way, enjoy walking around with a potential version of me intruding on this platform from which I intend to jump beyond myself. It only holds me back…and builds resentment (resentment is a whole nother note…I need to research it more though… I think my reasoning on it is flawed).

So as I’ve grown into my own shoes I have realized that I am more compatible with those who also like socializing in a mainly one-on-one manner and who can uphold that bond when larger scenes happen or third parties come to play. Only then am I reassured that I mean something to them.

I could stop here but I’ll keep going….

Reassurance is a major factor in any kind of relationship for me. Unfortunately the background noise of a persons life can inhibit them from providing the necessary reassurance that one needs to remain confident of the strength of previous bonding. Background noise is normal, but too much at one time can definitely stop new relationships in their tracks, but I think what keeps something going is not giving into fears when the reassurance isn’t happening.

Fear does nothing more than cause me to look for red flags of danger and want to run the other way, even if the reg flags where really white. [[are you actually reading this?]] But there is something about having your worst fear come true. It is liberating to never have to be afraid of it again and to finally be able to see what caused it to be there in the first place.

In times of immense social fear within a one-on-one structure, it is unwise to turn to related third parties, unwise. [[if you are, I am just wondering…..]] Doing so breaks the foundation of the structure, causes you to waste energy building new structures (like my monuments mentioned in a previous note) that only exist based on a weakness in an old structure (not mentally healthy), and shows the original friend that something is up – leaving their imagination to go wild with possibilities based on mere fragments of information. [[if it makes any sense]]You can see, it turns a simple human emotion into a huge mess. I don’t like emotional messes, so I would rather be weary of new members to my groups. Preference.

Getting Back to Me

Getting Back to Me

I got back a piece of myself just now…well a ‘piece’ isn’t quite right, more like: I got back a Zoroish mask of myself just now, perhaps a combining of masks actually….just let me explain, I’ll get to the core of this while I write. Throughout today the mask slowly assembled, it started with a phone call at the way too early hour of 9:30am, no wait….that was yesterday…or was it on Monday? Hmmm…so, okay the mask has been building for two or three days now. Moving on.

Larry and Adam called to see if I could come with them to pick up Adam’s car from the shop to bring it home. “Finally, an opportunity for some adventure,” I thought to myself. After working out the logistics of our intended maneuver, we succeeded in getting the ’76 Civic back to Adam’s house. The details of which aren’t as interesting as what the team effort brought out from inside me that hadn’t come out in a very very very long time. It felt great to do so simple of a task with friends who I wouldn’t trust with everything (i.e. driving my car), but that I know in which ways I CAN trust. This ‘CAN’ makes all the difference.

There is a lot of testing with newer friends that has already been accomplished time and time again in the older ones. We know each others strengths and each other’s weaknesses and it is exciting when we know how to overlap the two to cover for each other, in a seamless, high style fashion. It is just that feeling of being deep on the inside of relationships with those around me and not being so conscious of the connection and relation we have with one another. That was the first piece of my mask…lets say the right eye.

The second piece, the left eye, fell into place while talking to Lavina on the phone. I realized that I hadn’t heard her voice in almost 2 and a half years. And all I can say is that I felt like a fairy was hovering above my head sprinkling me with the most soothing, sparkling magic dust and it took me to new heights.

The third piece, the nose, fell into place while hanging out in ‘The Backyard’ tonight. I was back in action, fulfilling my old shoes (figuratively and literally speaking because I put on my old tennis shoes and some toes socks, I hadn’t worn close toed shoes in over a month, felt awesome and warm) while managing to bring in so many new aspects of myself that are now naturally coming out of me and fitting in nicely to the social matrix at hand.

At this point I could hold the mask up to my face and see through it, but it wasn’t until the strap that holds it on fell into place that I felt this extremely full feeling of being complete within myself.

There I was in my mismatching/striped toe-socks, with glasses on, my jeans constantly sagging down past my butt crack (all this yoga melts me), wearing a puffy blue jacket, and my hair in a pony tail, dancing in my kitchen using the back window of the house as my mirror, all while waiting for the kettle to boil water for my tea. I’m not sure how much time had passed in this classic Stephanie state-of-existing when the strap of my mask finally *snapped* it into place and held it there long enough for me to glimpse myself in the mirror, just being myself and honestly enjoying myself.

It is good to be back.

Dreams and Loving Lula

Dreams and Loving Lula

There I was pacing the halls of my palace, wondering how on earth the evil god of the northern tribes managed to kidnap some of my protected soldiers from their post on the border with the tribal plains. “I spent weeks putting the barrier up with the best wizards in the country, and even tested the fact that those soldiers were physically incapable of crossing the barrier, either by their own will or force. How could it possibly have failed???” I exclaimed in a fit of fury to my humble adviser, Grumbambly, from the planet Gamb. His six eyes worryingly gazed out the window as my personal body guard approached through the courtyard to deliver, what I knew was a devastating…. lick on my hand….? “Lula! No, I’m trying to sleep Boo. Okay Okay you can climb in bed too, but, no, don’t take up the whole thing… no I can’t be petting you constantly, alright give me a snuggle…yes, thank you for cleaning my hand, I love you too…All Done! Sleep time, Lula, Sleep time….”