I want everyone I care about to be in a healthy relationship.
I know that there are no perfect relationships, but there are healthy ones. A person should be with someone who loves their flaws because those flaws are just as much a part of their partner as their better attributes. A person deserves to hear compliments from their partner about the way they look and about their ideas and actions. A person deserves to have someone who will listen to them when they need to vent and not judge them. I know that I was in relationships in the past where I did not feel respected, but I stayed in those relationships because I started to believe that I couldn’t ever find a better relationship. I remember feeling weak and feeling a sense of loneliness that comes with the thought that there may not be another person on this planet meant for me. I realized that we end up being victimized not only by the other person, but also by ourselves. It took me such a long time to trust and to accept love and respect. I wasted so much of my life coming and going from relationship to unhealthy relationship that when someone finally showed me that I was special, I almost didn’t believe them.
To The People I Love And Care For: I want you to be happy, truly and deliriously happy in your relationships. I don’t want you to accept anything less than someone who knows the worst things about you and loves you all the more. I want you to feel light-headed when you kiss the person that you are with. I want you to feel attractive and special every single day and for your partner to remind you that you are if you forget. I want you to know that your friends and family want you to be in a healthy relationship.
I want you to realize that waiting for the right someone to come along is far better than enduring however many wrong someone’s.
I have always believed that there is no perfect way to do anything, but there is always a right way. You know that things are being done right when respect is a key component. When respect is absent everything falls apart. When people talk over you. When your voice is lost in the shuffle. When people tell you one thing and then do another. Is that who I am to some people? Do I appear weak? I have been beaten down time and time again and I have endured. But enduring is not the same thing as living. Being told that you are respected is not the same thing as being respected. Doing as someone asks day after day because that is what is common, that is what is familiar. You meet people that lift you up, but you also end up inviting back into your life the same type of people that you once banished from it.
Change is the key. But people don’t like that do they? People come to expect the same things from you day after day. People want you to smile the same smile and respond in the usual fashion, because the moment that you change…they just don’t know what to make of you. It is easier to toss people into categories, much easier by far than to think of people as ever-changing. Sometimes we are guilty of staying the same for the people in our lives because we know just how jarring change can be. We live for other people and often those people are not even the most dear to us. Without knowing it we set aside a large portion of our energy just to maintain that usual self for others. All of that energy wasted on being someone that you would rather leave behind, someone who is no longer you. As if on stage we play an outdated version of ourselves and when we go out to bow at the end of our performance we can catch a glimpse of our real self sitting in the audience shaking its head in disapproval. We all hold back. We all accept less respect than we deserve. We all play our roles when we shouldn’t. But we can change. We can find ditch the actor and be the person, but only if we are prepared for what may come.
Someone told me the other day that I looked upset and asked me why I had such a serious expression on my face. I would have been put off by this, but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t the first time that this has come up. Since I was a kid people have said that I should “smile more” or “not be so serious.” I always felt like I needed to defend myself with a comeback like “I am not upset!” or “I am just tired!” But after so many years…decades now, of having to make excuses I finally feel like people need to just back off. In most cases these are not friends or family who are probably use to seeing the serious or even morbid expressions that come across my face, but sometimes they are those folks.
I will try not to be defensive here (too late) and just explain myself…and apparently explain my face. I am a serious person. That’s right! I am serious about most things that happen to me and I am also serious about the people around me. What does that mean? It means that I don’t smile and skip through life like some fortunate and unencumbered folks are apt to do, no, I think about everything and analyze everything. That look on my face is me taking everything in and running it through the Windows 95 operating system that is my brain. Unfortunately it takes far too much energy for me to think about the things and the people around me and at the same time contemplate what expression is on my face at the moment. It really does take a lot of energy for me to make sure that there is a smile on my face. I balance the consequences of not smiling versus the consequences of not thinking and observing everything and I find that I don’t care if I am smiling or not.
Now I have had my share of lectures over the years from family, teachers, co-workers and even bosses, telling me that I look upset even if I am not feeling upset. For a while I thought that it was their covert way of telling me that I was ugly, but it was really them try to say “the expression on your face is bothering me because it does not reflect the way that I wish to feel right now.” Yeah Psych 101 on that one. Sorry kids, but I am not responsible for the type of soda that you buy, the clothes that you wear, the people that you date, and it is especially not my job to have a constant smile on my face so that you don’t go to your dark place (so did not intend that to rhyme). I know that this all sounds a little pointy (yes pointy is a valid adjective), it is just my declaration of my right to have a serious look on my face.
I do smile by the way and laugh, but I should only have to do so when I truly feel like it! Most of the time that you see me, I will have a serious look on my face and it is safe to assume that it has little or nothing to do with you. I mean I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I do usually have many things on my mind. I tend to work, while listening to music, while thinking about the last chapter of the book that I read, while thinking about a family issue, all while contemplating whether I would like Tuna or Turkey for lunch today. It isn’t personal when I am serious, it is just who I am, my nature. But I really am tired of having to apologize to everyone for something as arbitrary as the look on my face. If you want to know what I am thinking just ask me! I am a pretty honest and often blunt person and I usually don’t mind sharing.
I can’t explain what happened when I met “Sally”. I knew that I cared about Sally from the very first moment. I cared about how Sally’s day was going and how Sally’s husband and kids were doing. When Sally had a problem, I found myself praying for her to whatever Gods would listen to make it all right. I got to know Sally better, what kind of person that she was and what made her tick and I felt more than justified with the connection that I felt with her. It is strange though, I knew that I would care about her when we met…instantly. Unfortunately Sally is going through one of the most difficult times in her life and a part of me feels sick and awful inside because she is dealing with more than anyone should ever have to deal with. I will not go into details because it is not right to advertise another’s problems. Sally is not even her real name. Sally is more that just an aquaintence, and though I am not sure that I could ever explain it to her…she is one of the best people that I have ever met. Sally loves her husband so much and when I see them together I see the devotion in their eyes that I have for my own wife. Sally is so proud of her kids, and loves her entirely family with such a purity that is almost painful to imagine because it challenges my own notion of what it means to dedicate yourself to those that you love. I have been around people who are so negative that they infect you and almost seem happy to do it; but Sally is the opposite of that. Sally doesn’t have to do much of anything, but somehow you feel better just having spent five minutes talking to her. It is surpassing strange that someone that I honestly don’t know well enough to say that we are close means so much to me.
I do believe that we are “feeling” creatures more than “thinking” creatures and for the most part I think that is to our own benefit. We often let our brains get in the way of seeing the truth of things. Sometimes we care about people because we are suppose to. Sometimes we meet people that add something profound to our lives and whether or not we can give that “thing” a name or not, we should accept it and be grateful.
I spent most of my life lamenting about how everyone else always seemed to be surrounded by so many friends and how most of my close family has passed on and how I didn’t know how to find good friends. At 33 years old I have a Mother and Father that are proud of me, I am married to my soulmate and I have found in her family a collection of the kind of people that I have been wishing to know all my life. How did this happen? Someone had to have been listening to me pray and seen the pain that I was in and decided to set things in motion so that I would find the people that I needed to find. Being grateful never use to be in my nature and right now all I can feel is an all-encompassing gratitude to whomever or whatever heard me and acted on my behalf.
It is not that I didn’t appreciate what I have until now, it is just that somehow thinking about Sally reminded me to be grateful more often. Sally also makes me realize that there isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for the people that I care about and just how helpless it makes me feel not being able to just make things better for someone like her. I can only hope that the same God/Gods/Powers That Be that heard and answered my prayers before will hear me now and watch over Sally.
You might be asking yourself: “Why does Alexander have a blog?!?!?!” And I answer you, “Shut up you jerk! You read my blog and you like it!” In all honesty, you are a jerk and will read my blog. I have only set one rule for myself and that is to be completely honest. If you dislike honesty you should try reading the excrement on www.foxnews.com, you would love it!
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