Thursday, June 20, 2013

All Smiles and Small Talk

In case you were thinking office environment, or casual meetings after reading the title.. that's part of what today's post entails. I have realized that as humans we all may be very different in detail, but when you zoom out and see the big picture, we are all really the same person with the same core mechanism of dealing with things.

How so? Well.. 

Think about it. Why do we smile day in and day out, encourage small talk, sigh, click our tongue and end every conversation with, "Oh well!" or, "I hear ya!" "What ya gonna do?". The answer? Because it's easier to keep things light and fluffy than deal with the heavy and somber reality of things. No one wants a solution; they really just want a pat on the back or an empty reassurance that "it will be okay..", even though nothing may be further from the truth.

And I can somewhat understand. No one wants to be Debbie Downer and waddle in misery and hopelessness. Take it from me, I am stubbornly optimistic and hopelessly idealistic. Yet.. sometimes you need to wake up and smell the coffee so you can proactively react to the challenges before you, both individually and as the human race.

It's the same reason people avoid sticky topics like religion, current news and politics.. no one wants conflict, no one wants confrontation. No one really wants to know the other side of the cookie, the grass on the face of the mountain. No one wants to stare reality in the face, as she can be hideous. They are content with blocking everything out and watching marathons of Pretty Little Liars. Life is so much simpler on fiction TV.. everything resolved in an episode, and people kiss and make-up. Anyway, I digress.

But we all know that's not going to happen. This world is more focused on embellishing fancy band-aids to cover rotting wounds than in actually curing the wounds. For example.. scientists, philosophers and curious people alike want to learn how to live forever, not for the sake of improving humanity of course, just so that they extend their own lives beyond the normal scope. But instead of figuring out how to limit crime, expand education for everyone, or cure common diseases; we are too busy figuring out how to keep wrinkles from creasing skin and body parts from sagging. We are more focused on creating a robotic representation of ourselves, so that our superficial plastic persona can match the outer shell. (Believe me, I am not done with this topic.. it will be discussed in further review later on...)

It sickens me, really.. Hoping that making current people live forever will fix the world's problems is like letting a kid get behind the wheel of a Ferrari going top speed. It won't be pretty. 

Oh sure, we all think we are selfless, and we give ten bucks here and there for a generic charity. We hashtag #prayfor____ after a terrible news story shocks us. But in a few days we are back to the normal routine of asking how the weekend went, making a few comments on the weather, and what's-for-lunch.

I need a vacation.. to another universe.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Friend Indeed...

"A friend in need is a friend indeed.."

Who hasn't heard that before? When you're but a booger picking tot, learning colors and what not to put in your nose, these connections seem effortless, instantly rewarding and simple. But.. As we grow older and decide who we want to be and what we like, all of a sudden relationships seem more complicated then just exchanging the spare cookie or crayon for a smile. In fact all too soon, we are catapulted in the raging world known as teenagedom, and meeting someone you don't want to maul is a rare finding.

We spend the first quarter of our lives establishing who we want to be, our unique identity, and the second quarter hoping the rest of the world, or at least a select few, can accept who we are, flaws and all. Here's my two cents; if you want friends, or want to be a friend- its actually quite simple. Stop being selfish. 

No two people are the same. Quintessential truth that sometimes get blurred into the background, but essential nonetheless. Add to that different background, languages, cultures, barriers, environment... and friendships become a sodoku puzzle. Add the numbers wrong.. and you're off the grid. Keeping that in mind, it's good to keep in mind building good communication is the strongest foundation. As goes in any relationship. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Are you upset? Rolling your eyes and adding sarcasm to your "I'm FINE" won't get you anywhere.. Swallow your pride and apologize if you did wrong, and if you were the affected one, accept the apology and move on. Forgive and forget, forever.

Also.. keep your heart inside your rib cage, not your sleeve. I have been here before, on the absorbing every blow side of things, being a tad bit sentimental. It does no one good. If your friend has proven themselves time and time again. .chances are they are not intentionally hurting your feelings. Learn to brush it off, walk in stride.

Meet me halfway! Yeah I don't mind driving to see you, I don't mind changing my plans, I don't mind calling and texting to keep up the communication alive. But meet me halfway. Show me you are just as willing to put in to paving this two way street. It's a give and take kind of deal.. not a free for all.

And.. have some patience. There are times you will be annoyed, or I will, or we both will.. It happens. There are a ton of external factors usually implied.. but don't take it personal. We all have ups and downs. I'm counting on you to stick around if I go bananas one day, but come back to normality and make it up for it, just as I would for you. Just.. don't take my friendship for granted. Neither of us have an obligation to stay, but we do because we understand the value of coming across a special connection in our lives. Finding that person who becomes a slice of haven, that increments your joyful moments and cushions your pain.The one that appreciates the distinctive weirdness that makes you, you. The one you laugh with at things unsaid because you already know what the other is thinking. Those connections don't come with each rising of the sun, but perhaps with every solar eclipse. So when things hit a rough patch.. work through it. When you come out on the other side, you have only deepened the bond.