Communicating Hurt

I recently had a spat with a lifetime friend and we both were very wounded over what would seem petty to the world.

As an introvert and grand internalizer, I had over thought and over burdened myself with something that became a sore spot. Afraid to hurt her, I repressed previous hurts and tried to deter the course of some teasing with half-hearted blocks like “Don’t be mean…” “Oh, bug off.”

Long story short, we hashed through it and were both wrong in different areas. What I needed to learn was to be direct. Instead of fending off my wounded self, I should of told her plainly, “Stop. This bothers me.”

She expected me to see her teasing as lighthearted but the constant mockery took its toll. I had been indirect and let myself blow up after not handling her words well. Since she felt her words were innocent she was also confused and hurt. Truly, it was a simple misunderstanding.

The beauty of direct communication is not having to read between the lines. We’ve agreed upon a few things to help our relationship grow and to get past this little rut.

Me:
– I am more sensitive than she made me out to be
– I do not speak up about things when I need to so I need to work on it
– I need to watch what is done when I reach a point of anger so there is no regret
– I need to be direct and state how I feel before things go sour

Her:
– She needs to understand I’m sensitive to teasing
– She needs to understand we have very different personalities
– She needs to understand more limited forms of communication like written or typed words do not always reflect tone

I’m hoping this event has helped us prune off some dead leaves so we can flourish again. I’m thankful we’ve worked through it.

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Creatures of the Night

Sky reflects the ebony
Of the asphalt under foot
Grab one cart and stroll
Through a grocery store
There’s no list
Just listlessness
As I’ve often brought before.

Creatures of the night
Weighing apples
Reading labels
Checking cartons full of eggs
Chucking in a loaf of bread
Hoarding sections to themselves
Walking in the dust
Of where others have tread.

Where were you
When the warm light
Was on your shoulders
Basking in the
Golden glow
Or earning pennies
For your keep
Why walk these vacant aisles
When most others are asleep?

And I wander
Alongside them
Past the yogurts
Past granola
Scanning red tags and
Sales signs
Tallying what’s
In hand

If I gave away my secret
They would scurry
On their way
If I admitted
Too many people
Would be here
In the day

Too many to wonder
Who they are
To see them as
Individuals
When I’m
Dodging my cart out of the way

But at night
We all are people
And as I pass
I wish them well
Though they only do their shopping
And have nothing to tell

Room for Improvement

Back when Borders Book Stores (RIP 😥 ) were around I couldn’t understand why the self help and improvement area stretched so far. What kind of people need business help and personal improvement and are so desperate they need to buy other people’s advice?

Well, tack on a decade of maturity and some humble pie and that person now includes me! I WANT to consider others’ advice, and I WANT to better myself. I recently started reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book “The Best Yes” because one of my resolutions this year is to be more purposeful with my time and commitments.

Book review coming soon!

Have you delved into the world of self-improvement books? I’d love recommendations.

Being Obese at an Age of “Good Metabolism”

I was an overweight kid, fat teen, and am an obese adult. I won’t sugarcoat my condition with “nicer” terms. Weight has been a struggle all of my life. I believe it’s a combination of things: hereditary (thanks, Dad!), poor exercise habits, a penchant for sweets, and underlying health issues. I’ve always eaten healthy – let’s be clear on that. My parents made sure to incorporate copious amounts of veggies in each meal and they were balanced. I had a tendency to overeat meals I really enjoyed, while other times I ate a very reasonable portion. We did not bake cookies and keep sweets around the house nor did I get processed snacks in my lunchbox. We hardly ever ate out.

As a working teen, I had the money and ability to drive myself around and eat/buy junk. Sugary coffee drinks and smoothies became a popular way of hanging out and catching up with friends. In college, starving student me sometimes cut corners and picked fries and a burger over the salad at the student cafe because frankly, I wanted to stay full and a burger+fry combo was $4.50 and a salad was $7.00. Add to that many sleepless nights attributed to projects and studying, and you have obese Laura.

What I didn’t understand as tween and teen was that the sluggishness I felt and intolerance for cold were tell-tale signs of a thyroid condition. It wasn’t until 20 that I was officially tested and found out I had hypothyroidism. That was the missing piece to the weight condition puzzle. Beyond weight, I need help with function to help my body work better. I was on medication for a few years and got to a point where my thyroid levels were about right. It’s been two years since I needed medication, but I feel signs that it is low again, so I will be testing my levels again.

This is my story. I understand that maybe Erica grew up getting McDonalds every day after school, also couldn’t care less about exercise, and enjoyed sugary drinks like me and made it into adulthood with a svelte figure. We’re built differently. I possibly even ate much better than her and more nutritiously, but we still have a 100 pound difference between us.

It’s rough having to be more conscious about your body at an age where many of your peers are able to eat whatever they want and don’t need to focus on weight loss. It’s rough when ads for your age group are for stores you don’t fit, and styles don’t flatter your body type. Sometimes it feels unfair knowing that having a burger and fries will affect my weight more than my friends. But I get it – I get that we are all different. I get that being conscious now means I will be making better body choices now as a quarter-lifer that hopefully save me from health problems midlife.

I’m glad that there is a plus size movement encouraging overweight women to be comfortable with who they are at their size. I have been grateful for the stores selling plus size fashion so I can wear flattering styles like my peers. I’m happy that people are taking a message of body positivity – to be happy being you at any size. And while certain bloggers and exercise gurus are wagging their fingers at a movement that encourages acceptance of an unhealthy weight, remember that I was eating chicken and broccoli while Erica was piling her plate with pasta. We each have a journey of health. Mine is losing weight and continuing to better portion and find what works for my body while maybe Erica’s is incorporating a more balanced plate but not needing any portion restrictions. I’m finding a new confidence in myself as I own who I am and see myself as more than just my weight. I’m making better food choices, making most of my meals at home, trying out new exercise techniques, and more committed to self-improvement as a whole.

The Seven Year Sifter: Keeping Friendships Purposeful Past Their “Prime”

Number 7

Sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst of Utrecht University [Netherlands] conducted a study about friendship and networks and found that in seven year’s time, one is likely to replace HALF of their friends. This obviously means transitioning out of half the friendships you … Continue reading

Millennials…are we lazy?

Guy with Question Mark

You’ve probably heard it out of someone’s mouth (if not your parent’s or grandparent’s.) We’re a “lazy” and “entitled” bunch. We’re slow to establish ourselves as adults and in our careers. We are bombarded with complaints and comparisons of “back in my day…” Continue reading

The Renaissance of Life after 25

“You’re not squirrel-y like other kids your age. You’re a sweet girl who is collected and wise for her age.”

My mom and I were chatting with an employee at Jo-Anns when I received that strange compliment at the age of ten. As a preteen, I assumed I knew what life would throw at me. I’d be dorming at a quaint college (dorming never happened, and I chose to go the economic route for school choice), work hard and graduate, get an awesome job right out of college (haha…you’re hilarious, kid), and things would just snowball into a happily ever after of sorts. Well, life is happy, but does not go according to plan.

I was wise enough to know I shouldn’t place ALL my eggs in one basket, but I did empty out most into a basket called education. As an awkward kid, at least I could be proud of my academic accomplishments and be respected for that. So, at 10, and for many years after, life revolved around being level-headed, pleasant, book smart, and scheming my awesome life as an adult.

I did very well, graduated with flying Magna Cum Laude colors, and found myself in the very difficult job market of the recession. After a summer full of attempts, I settled for a job not even in my field. Even there, I persisted to try to shine and ended with a small cinderella story of entry level sucky-ness to becoming a marketing director. Even with that beautiful transformation story, I found myself unhappy, and settled for a smaller more humble job but where I felt better.

When I turned 25, it hit me like a brick. Why am I pretending life is like clockwork? What else is there, and what is more? All those eggs I had placed in academia longed for more life application and other aspects of life. I couldn’t hide behind “school” anymore, and I realized hiding behind a career wouldn’t make me happy either.

Becoming a quarter-lifer changed my world view – it challenged me to see all the aspects of me and my purpose for being on this earth. Why do I feel certain ways? Why do I trust what I trust? Why do I do what I do? How can I be the best me?

It’s all these musings that leave the older generations scratching our head at us. We don’t just do things because it’s expected of us, we question why. We were told we could be anything we want and so we crave that – fulfillment to the best of our ability.

Reaching a quarter of a century is our rebirth. In the first two decades we learned about the world around us, and how to go out into that world. This new milestone we reach further and wonder how we affect the world, and how we represent ourselves and change it.

So, here is my blog dedicated to my musings as a 20-something gal. Still figuring herself out, and enjoying life while scratching her head at times.