Things I’ve Learned This Year: Mid-Year Edition (2019)

So I usually do these posts at the end of each year, but 2019 has been interesting so far, and I’ve already learned a lot. You can check out Things I’ve Learned 2017 and Things I’ve Learned 2018. Here’s the mid-year edition of Things I’ve Learned 2019. 

  1. Blood isn’t necessarily thicker than water. Just because they’re family, doesn’t mean you have to tolerate them if they’re toxic. Sometimes, your real family—the family that truly supports you and understands you—is your chosen family. They were chosen for a reason. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, with anyone. You can set boundaries with family. You can set boundaries with friends. You can set boundaries with yourself. Respect goes both ways, so if you are respecting somebody and respecting their boundaries, you should get that same respect in return. 
  3. It’s ok to have expectations. I hate that quote that says “if you want to be happy, then don’t have expectations, and you’ll never be disappointed.” No, fuck that. Have expectations. Expect adults to act like adults. Expect a man to treat you well. Expect to get compensated fairly for your work. If you don’t have expectations, three things happen: 1) you settle, 2) you get played/short-changed, and 3) you don’t hold anyone accountable for their actions. And that’s just bullshit. We are all responsible for our actions, and we all need to be held accountable. Society isn’t a free-for-all. 
  4. When in doubt, delete his number. And if you think you can’t, tell yourself that you can, and you will. And then just fucking do it. If you’re sad about it, don’t worry—you’ll live. And anyway, even if you didn’t have his number, if he was worth your time, his number would be near the top of your text messages or recent calls list. If his number isn’t near the top, then is he really worth it? Cut your losses and move on. There are better, bigger, more courageous fish in the sea. 
  5. Let them work for it. You are not free salsa. You are guac (or queso) for which you have to pay extra. Do not ever question whether you are too difficult, or too hard to read, or your standards are too high. No. You are worth the high standards. You are worth the extra effort. Weed out the weak ones now, so you can make room for the ones who don’t scare easily and who know your worth. 
  6. You are not responsible for other people’s emotions. Someone said you intimidate them? You’re not intimidating; they are intimidated. (There’s a difference.) And that’s not your problem. Don’t change yourself just to make someone more comfortable. Their comfort isn’t your problem. You can’t be expected to contort yourself just to fit into someone else’s idea of approachable, or friendly, or whatever. Be yourself, and own your untouchable-ness. 
  7. Ignore the positives; believe the negatives. So he opens doors for you? He shows up on time? Yeah, I do the same thing for my coworkers when we have a meeting. It ain’t that special. Know the difference between actions that are just basic human decency, and actions that are actually special. And if you spot a red flag, run. No matter how many doors he opens, no matter how much he texts you back, no matter if he’s paid for dinner—those are things that are standard, not special. And one red flag should outweigh all of that. 
  8. Your standards are not too high (and even if they are, who cares?). What do most of us really expect from a potential partner? That they take the initiative to show interest in spending time, to get to know us. That they actually take the time to get to know us. That they treat us with respect. That they learn to get along with our friends. That they remember important dates. (I mean if they can remember their own fucking birthday, or the date that a movie comes out, they can remember our birthdays, or anniversaries.) I mean—none of those things are actually that difficult. Most of those things are just basic human courtesy, and any polite, rational, decent human being would be more than capable of doing that. Anyone who says that those standards are “too high” has some serious issues, and you should just drop them like they’re hot. Except they’re not hot, so just drop them like they’re room temp. 
  9. One chance is plenty, and second chances are way too generous. It’s not that difficult to not fuck up, so one chance is really all anyone needs. It’s fine if someone apologizes and you give them another chance, but it’s better if they don’t fuck up to begin with. Apologizing isn’t the same as fixing. And if someone apologizes, and learns, and fixes on the second chance—great. But you still got hurt. In the end, you’re the one that gets hurt but forgives, and they’re the ones that screw up and get another shot. It’s not fair. Be fair to yourself. 
  10. It’s ok to be a little jaded. That’s called instinct, and it’s usually right. And being “jaded” is just another way of saying that you’re being realistic. If you don’t have much faith in people, it’s probably because people never gave you much reason to have faith in them to begin with. So why put faith in something that doesn’t deserve it? Your trust needs to be earned. 
  11. Be proud of your scars. Whether visible or not. Scars just show that you’re brave. And that you survived whatever hellfire you were put through. Be proud of the battle scars. Be proud of the armor that you’ve built up. Be proud of how much you’ve hardened. 
  12. I don’t have faith in much, but I have faith in one thing—and that’s faith in God. And the thing is, it doesn’t need to be proven to me that He exists. There’s evidence everywhere, if you just pay attention. So if you’re going have total, unconditional faith in one thing, have faith in God. God is the one constant, the one that will never fail you, the one that truly will love you unconditionally. He is the only One that you can, and should, trust unconditionally, even when you feel like everything is going to shit. Trust that you will get through it, and that there is a reason. Because you always do, and there always is. Because He never gives you more than you can handle. If life is throwing so much at you, it is because you are strong enough to handle it. Think of how badass you are with all those battle scars. God didn’t create a quitter. He created a warrior. 

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