It’s different when all things are new to you

I’ve been living abroad for almost a year and a half now. My initial fear before I even got here was what if I don’t get to meet new people who’ll be there for me like my old friends do? I was freaked out by the idea of being alone in a new place.

 

What is it about being alone that scares most people so much anyway?

 

Last night was a nightmare for me. I won’t go into details, but I was in my most vulnerable state then. Not having made a lot of deep connections here in Dubai, having conflicts with some friends and troubles with ex-colleagues (yes, you can say my personal relationships are going haywire—I’d like to see it as testing our bonds, but whatever), I only had a few people up my sleeve whom I can call at 1 am on a Monday. I tried a couple, some answered and were in the middle of something but still offered a sympathetic ear, and some didn’t pick up until later on. At that point in time, it hit me, I was with no one but myself, in a country I’m still getting used to, with a culture I wasn’t 100% aware of until I “migrated.”

 

As I was crying my heart out right by some manmade body of water, I was in utter awe when I came to a realization: why am I so scared of not being able to reach out to anyone at said time when I have ME?

 

Was it a call for attention? Was it a cry for help? Was it because I was on the verge of giving up on my dreams that were once so bright in my vision until I encountered numerous obstacles?

 

What was it?

 

And so I just sat there, eyes bulging with overflowing tears without a tissue in hand. It was just myself, that manmade body of water, decent bench, my big bottle of H2o and cigarettes. Out of the busy Dubai life, there I was, at 1am, alone in my own thoughts in the peace and quiet of the morning.

 

Reflections came streaming through my mind that time; some made sense, some were random, some were emotional and *&^%$# irrational, some were breakthroughs, some were encouragements, some even came in the form of acceptance and forgiveness—they all just rushed in and out as if I was a freakin’ fast food chain that just opened in a prime area, and I got drained.

 

Moments do come to one’s life that seems like rock bottom. Last night felt that way. It was terrible. I was needy. I was hungry for affirmations. I was yearning for a hug, you know, some body contact assuring me that things will be okay without having to say a single word. My thoughts were everywhere that I literally did not know which one I should pay attention to.

 

So finally I told my brain to shut the F up and listen to ME for once.

 

Recalling the lessons I learned as I braved through this so-called independence, I hugged myself—with feet on the bench, legs folded—whilst crying the hell out of my morning. I asked for clarity, I prayed and asked for forgiveness and strength; I took control of my thoughts that were playing in my head, confusing me profusely a few seconds ago.

 

I took control. It’s MY brain anyway so who else will control it but me, right?

 

At that moment, I acknowledged the fact that I’ve hit rock bottom—which was once hearsay to me, I am now encountering it with zero to turn to (at least for a few hours). And I’ve done what’s bizarre to some (if not most)… I spoke to myself with so much love and affection.

 

If I am in deep shit, if I am encountering this then I must have brought this to my life myself. So why put blame on anyone else? Sure, let’s consider the additional factors, but for the most part, there’s no one else responsible for this but me. Instilling those, I slowly regained my power.

 

But the question remains: what was it? What was the reason for being so scared of being alone?

 

To those who know me well, they can attest that I’ve always been the clingy one—in friendships, in romantic relationships, in almost anything. Could it be because I was an only child for fourteen years then suddenly the attention was diverted to my younger brother when he was born, or maybe because I was a rejected child by my dad; or maybe perhaps I was just wired that way? I beg to differ with my latter statement, though. No one is wired and screwed for the rest of their lives for being “something” because we all know change is always an option.

 

So without the busyness of Dubai life to blame, I guess the answer is that apparently, I am lost. I lack clarity. I lack love. I lack compassion. I lack acceptance.

 

Despite my endless declarations of self-love, the adjustments entailed living in a different country I did wind up neglecting, well… me. And although it’s nice to put people, career, and goals first, these things will be null and void if I am incomplete, if I am broken and shooting in the dark.

 

I’m scared of being alone because I never really knew who I was when I began journeying towards independence. Back home it was relatively easy, I had my amazing set of support system, my family can be easily contacted, I was practically untouchable in terms of shaky expectations and obstacles.

 

But having to live by yourself is different. It’s different when all things are new to you. It’s different when you’re establishing a new life in a new place with new culture, to you (or me) at least. It’s different when during the first few stages, there’s no one to remind you of how brilliant you are especially when you are at your lowest.

 

For a time, I must admit, I felt disconnected.

 

Yes, I was busy. Yes, 80% of my days here were eaten by so many professional responsibilities. Yes, I have so many excuses.

 

I realized along the process that I did not pause to take time for myself anymore. I put other things first before my personal needs. I was in total sacrifice not realizing I was ruining the most important relationship everyone should nurture—the ones we have with ourselves.

 

I stumbled upon a quote that said: “Relationships are like birds–if you hold tightly they die if you hold loosely, they fly, but if you hold with care, they remain with you forever.”

 

I guess it’s fitting to say that I’ve held on too tightly on some, held loosely on most, and hardly ever kept me with care. Maybe that is also the reason my energy is funky lately resulting to nasty circumstances that can, in fact, be avoided early on. What’s done is done, though. The only way to go is forward.

 

It’s okay not to be okay.

 

It happens. We’re human. We go through dreadful encounters. But that doesn’t stop there. We always have a choice to turn our lives around.

 

In this case, however, I know I must turn my life around with the recovering incomplete me in tow. And towards this journey to total independence, I am pretty sure I will be whole again in no time. Post-its do help, so I’m finally making use of that damn pen and them pink sticky notes to remind my fabulous self every single day that I am important, that I am loved, that I have a purpose, that I am courageous, and that I deserve.

 

That is the lesson: never to desert my own needs for others every single time. If I can’t provide for me, how else do I expect myself to deliver excellent results in my personal and professional life? And that I have to be at peace with myself before anyone else, right?

 

Ditto.

Living Away from Comfort

The idea of moving away always scared me. And by the time I finally mustered all the courage to do so, setting foot on unfamiliar territory, it was no turning back for me. Not the type of never coming home though. It was more like how being away from familiarity hones me to be more independent than I already am plus keeping an extra open mind. These factors are no turning back for me for it nurtures my very existence for the better.

Sure I don’t cook so well and I have no clue how to segregate my colored clothes when I wash them, but the freedom and self-reliance turns out to be one of the greatest experiences so far. Meeting new people, immersing in a different culture, trying out authentic cuisines and creating a small family of your own, these things are lasting memories that I deem irreplaceable.

Although having an in case of emergency person is hard to fill in a form when you’re living abroad, this makes you more careful about your health too. If getting sick (for me) is like the end of the world, then heck, I will have to do everything within my power to not catch a flu at least.

And back in Manila I didn’t have a hard time finding things to do.

If I wanted to hit the bar to watch gigs, I knew who to call who’d come with me in a blink of an eye. If I needed some downtime and just chill, one text will take me to the right company. If I wanted to go out of town, road trip the hell out of our weekday, man I got a couple of friends up my sleeve. If I get stuck in a party with no one to drive me home, I know my guy best friend will always come to the rescue no matter how hot his date is–he’ll drop whatever it is he’s doing and come save me. And say I wanted to just relax and watch the television with sappy, action or horror movies on, my family was just one staircase away to share the couch with me.

Being away from comfort taught me to adjust to that ease, to that convenience.

Back in Manila I also had my own yaya (nanny) and daily cleaning was a nightmare for me, more so soon as I moved away. Eventually, though, I gave in to it. Now, cleaning is liberating and therapeutic for me in a sense that I feel I have the most control when I do so.

Back then, when I felt disappointed and weary, I drove. I’d blast my best playlist and just go around the city, with cigarette in one hand and steering wheel on the other. Being behind the wheel freed me.

I’ve substituted the adrenaline and sense of power of driving with cleaning. At least for now.

Why am I writing about things like these anyway?

Today marks my sixth month here and I’d like to share tidbits of things I’ve learned from living by myself, away from my immediate family and close friends alike:

  1. When shit hits the fan, breathe. Facing an intense situation head on with so much rage only aggravates the situation. Best is to take two to three steps back, breathe, and come from a space of love and forgiveness before jumping right in.
  2. One Arabic expression commonly used here nowadays is “kalas.” It literally means to run out or in slang, enough or let go. When something is beyond my control, when there’s nothing I can do to change the person or situation, I go kalas. Letting go of what’s not supposed to be there, of what poisons or damages you is a great thing. It’s an art I think everyone should learn to master. You were rejected? Kalas. You were scolded, kalas. The cab driver was rude, damn that, kalas.
  3. No matter how many miles away you are from the people you love, the truest ones will find ways to keep in touch – constantly. Distance and time difference test commitment whether romantic or platonic. As the old adage goes, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Living away from comfort taught me that big time.
  4. You’ll make new friends eventually and comparing them to your closest ones back home is unfair. People in our lives are our teachers. We attract them because they’re there to teach us something – learn it. Embrace it. Sometime soon you’ll realize they’ve become your second family.
  5. Chores don’t feel like chores when you listen to good music. Washing your own clothes is the best part. It challenges your fashion intellect – know which fabric fades and what doesn’t. Mixing whites with reds will make pink shirts and delicates. Don’t make the same mistake. The wise learns from other people’s mistakes. I sure did.
  6. Love yourself. If there is one “bestest” friend you should and could have, it is yourself. Creating a harmonious relationship with YOU will go a long way. Do not neglect it. Start NOW.
  7. Learning new culture broadens your horizon. It’s currently Ramadan here and man, it’s summer. Imagine the heat of the desert mixed with Ramadan where you need to be totally covered. Damn. That. Plus you can’t smoke and eat in public until after seven. Adjustment never stops and it makes the whole learning process interesting.
  8. Be adventurous with food. You’ll never know which flavors suit your palate unless you try. There may be some that will F up your tummy, but so what? Taste everything you can and suck in the experience.
  9. Cook. If you don’t know how, now’s the perfect time to learn it. Not only is cooking cheaper, it’s also fulfilling. That and preparing your own food is truly satisfying. You may fail a during the first few times, but once you master the art of cooking, trust me, IT IS SATISFYING, and therapeutic at that.
  10. If you have a huge penchant for something, no matter how busy you are, go for it. There’s nothing more destructive than neglecting your passions.
  11. Be more responsible. Ready all your stuff before hitting the hay, time yourself in the morning, renegotiate if you’re going to be late, take note of deadlines, follow traffic rules, and so forth. Just be more responsible. Save yourself from the hassle of disturbing other people to get you out of the deep black hole you put yourself in. If it can be avoided, by all means, do it.
  12. Save for a rainy day. Pretty much self-explanatory.
  13. Date. Meet new people. Talk to strangers. But still be on guard. You’ll never know if the other person’s a psycho or not. Better to be sure than sorry, but still be friendly. You get the gist. You’ll never know when you’ll pick up something truly interesting unless you open yourself up to what’s what. We learn something new everyday.
  14. Check on your parents regularly. I cannot stress this enough.
  15. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t put up a show just because you need to impress or get someone’s attention. Let the real you shine through. Stay pure. Works wonders.
  16. Being adaptive and accepting saves you from the drama. When you’re living away from comfort, drama shouldn’t be on your list. Do everything you can to stay away from it.
  17. Still travel when you can. Even if you’re residing in a new city, find time to discover other new ones.
  18. At the end of the day, assess, reassess, add and deduct. Ask yourself, what worked and what didn’t? What could I have done better? Who/What/Where should I add and deduct? Makes living (and overthinking) a lot easier.
  19. Stick to your principles, constantly.
  20. Have a grateful heart no matter how tough life gets. Make it a habit to perpetually find something to be thankful for.
  21. And finally, always have an end goal for whatever it is you’re doing at the moment. Having done so will help you stay focused, make you feel alive and more purposeful.

These things may seem nonsense for some, cliché even. But know what? No matter how obvious this list may be, admit it or not, we do tend to forget the simple things. And it’s the simple things that matters more and gives greater impact.

Until then!

It’s All About The Big C

I just received a notification from WordPress congratulating me on my “blog’s” first year since I registered this account. Man how time flies. Because of that, I am choosing to delve into this C that’s been a struggle for the artist in me.

I’m definitely not pertaining to my second name, but rather the big C that’s been one of the greatest challenges in my life: Courage.

Don’t we all have this huge fear over something that stunts our personal growth? The fear of heights, of public speaking, of narrow places, of spiders, of failure, of success, of the unknown, of vulnerability and of a whole lot more? We all have at least one thing to fear about and we are all forced to go through it everyday, if not defeat it entirely.

The bad news is, there is no overnight remedy for overcoming fear. The thought stays in our mind as long as it can until we finally get over it… which is until when? The day we die? Let’s hope not.

Last year this is what I focused on–slaying this major demon that’s been getting in the way of my personal growth.

Courage is a big word, and admit it or not, not everyone can surpass their greatest fears in a blink of an eye. But is it solely about outshining it?

My answer is no.

A very good friend of mine, my angel in disguise, constantly reminded me one thing every time I came in contact with fear. She’d always tell me to “feel the fear and face it anyway.” Took me sometime to fully absorb those words, and the moment I embraced fear and made it my friend, I cannot fathom myself going back to that scared little girl I once was.

It wasn’t an easy ride though.

Before I took the leap, when I imagine myself going beyond my comfort zone I get more than terrified. The thought really scared the shit out of me (mind you, I was just picturing it then). So the terror of finally taking one baby step forward made me want to just quit and retract to who I was.

“But that’s not what life is all about,” I incessantly told myself. Every moment that I had to adjust, to stretch my capabilities, to question my own negative beliefs, at the back of my head, I knew for certain that I had to do it no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel.

So screw fear!

It’s just a thought and thoughts can be changed.

Reframing and reprogramming my beliefs were a challenge at first, but the moment I decided to take the plunge, it was all but a breeze. Besides, first step is always the hardest, isn’t it?

It all started December last year.

I did things I never imagined I’d do. Prior to it, I was too caught up, too confined in my self-limitations, that when I completely gave in and did what I had to do, I was rattled with bouts of gulping and gasping and panicking. But as soon as I got it over and done with, I found it so much easier to breathe, to truly live.

First, I dealt with my disempowerment that manifested through authority. What was once impossible to my eye became so palpable after I faced it head on. The initial apprehension existed, but the want to cut ties and stand my ground was more dominant than anything else. So I did it and my power gradually ricocheted back.

Second was overcoming my fear of vulnerability. You see, I’m not one of those women who cry easily, not unless the emotion is so hard to express that I get frustrated and there’s no other option but to cry. Either that or heartbreak. In this case, however, it didn’t really involve any bawling. It was a happy kind of vulnerability; verbalizing my deep-seated emotions without holding back. Being the first to admit my feelings toward a guy I admired for quite a while also unnerved me. But it had to be done.

The first two took a few hours and weeks (consecutively) for me to muster up the courage to follow through, but I eventually did.

Little did I think it was in preparation for something so much greater.

Before the year ended I came face to face with my biggest fear: the unknown. The moment this episode presented itself to me, I knew I had to seize it. Even if it’s nerve-racking due to unfamiliar course and extensive transition, I jumped right in.

It’s been a week and three days since I did, and I must say, I am not regretting it. Sure, I had to sacrifice a lot to get to this point, and for the past 10 days, I have nothing but so much gratitude for the freedom and foreseeable success I yearn to attain before I turn 30.

What brought me to this? The big C.

The intimidating word that’s imperative to one’s personal growth. Courage brought me to where I am now. I may not be as successful as I planned YET, but I know I’m one giant step away from it.

Hence the most important thing I’ve learned that pretty much sums up my 2013: C It’s so cosmic because I always check that app on Facebook, and today when I did, that’s the message given to me. I am a believer of signs and this one I take as one big fat sign that I truly am on the right track.

So, that being said, 2014 is all about POWER, OPENNESS, and COURAGE; to go beyond my limits no matter how distressing and perplexing it is at first. To hold on to my power, express myself openly, and have immeasurable courage to do things I’ve never done despite sacrifices and hurt because in the end it will all be worth it.

The fear will always be there and more things to be afraid of will come, but the will to choose to do things and the courage to really dive in, that’s when amazing things and feelings take place.

Like what I always say: Fear is temporary; regret is permanent. So, no regrets this year, just immense courage to overcome all fears. 945678_614440051909034_42122692_n

The Fine Line Between Getting What You Want And What You Deserve

I’m writing this entry as per request.

When faced with a dilemma, have you ever wondered if that’s what you wanted or what you deserved? How and when do you draw the line between the two?

It is easy to split hairs if you’re coming from a third person’s perspective, but being the one tangled in a shady predicament feels like nothing’s ever easy and it’s best to just breakdown.

The question is tricky though. It is to me because I always believed that if you allow something to happen, you deserve it. Hence, you wanted it since you allowed it. However, the word deserve does not belong in that context. It is not deserving in a sense that a person is sentenced or comforted in exchange for choosing to do either a good thing or a bad thing. It is, per contra, intertwined with one’s worth.

Our wants depend on our current needs. And needs come from this imaginary haze we call ego. When we need something so bad that we can’t operate without it, be aware that’s it’s the ego screaming. Also reflect on how people present themselves to others  to get what they want. Women, for example, oftentimes perpetrate the common blunder of using sex as a bait to catch that one big fish. Of course the sexual male sea creature will succumb to the game. But in the end, it’s those types of women who suffer from immense distress and suffering. Then they announce to all mankind that men are jerks. Really?

Sure we achieve a certain level of satisfaction when wants and needs are met, but once the ecstasy fades, we’re like hungry vampires craving for more blood to suck. And it sucks to be in that state. It sucks that we try to compensate for things that we feel are deficient in our lives when in reality, we unmistakably obsess on the outside rather than what’s on the inside.

It’s what’s on the inside that matters anyway. The rest are just spectators. If anything goes wrong in the future, as long as you take very good care of yourself, you won’t feel even a bit of shortchange. You’ll then stop blaming others for problems that were in fact caused by you. Try to shift that perspective as well.

Remember: those who put blame on others are the people who are so good at deflecting responsibility in their own lives.

Needy people are repugnant, don’t you agree? Exactly. So why be one?

That being said, in order to extricate one’s self from a terrible entanglement, one has to perform a mental check-up on how he/she grades himself/herself according to worthiness instead of drowning in melancholy.

Let’s do an exercise: rate yourself from 1-10; ten being the highest. If you think you’re a five, I suggest you work a little more on self-love. If you think you’re a seven, not bad, but still needs a little more work. Try spoiling yourself with your personal needs and make sure to not overdo it. If you see yourself as an eight or a nine, good for you! As long as you’re not saying that just to win the discussion to get this over and done with. And to those who rated themselves as a ten, congratulations! You all are ready to face the world with much less hesitation!

Here’s the thing, like what the English teacher, Bill said to Charlie in Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Therefore, if you’re a ten, you are always open to receive love from a fellow ten and so on. It’s common sense that isn’t used commonly. I, too, am guilty of drenching my pillow in tears when I am faced with a difficult situation. But tell you what, I don’t stay in agony for so long. I allow myself to release whatever type of resentment and bitterness inside of me then I rise up to the problem. Because really, what is there to sulk about? And for a long time that is. Besides, hating and blaming only contaminates my whole being. It sure does the same thing to you.

Finally, do yourself a favor. Stop selling yourself short. Refrain from settling for anything less than what you deserve just because it’s what you wanted in that certain moment. Keep in mind that ecstasy fades; it’s temporary. The one thing that’s continual and can or may leave a legacy is no one else but YOU. You are beautiful, amazing and worthy. Never ever forget that.

“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ― Margaret Cho

Those Days When Lyrics Meant So Much

As I was reaching puberty, I was exposed to music by the likes of Michael Jackson, Sting, Mariah Carey, Everything But The Girl, Swing Out Sisters, George Michael, Wilson Phillips, Madonna, Kenny G, and Whitney Houston.

It was during those days when every lyrical piece meant every word to me when I sing along to the songs. I also search for people to dedicate certain personal favorites to even if I was limited to about ten playmates back then. This one in particular, I would always sing and dedicate to lady friends I hold close to my heart who are going through a tough time in their lives. I recall attempting to compose lyrics similar to this one. And when I’m down, I secretly wish that someone would sing it to me too.

All right, enough with the melodrama. But seriously, bring to mind the types of friendships we had before the internet age and all the clubbing and “sexing” music went out. Wasn’t it much sweeter, much more… from the heart? But I give credit to some of our artists now who write pretty well. Pardon my memory I just can’t recall one.

Let me just share my favorite part from this song. It goes:

“There’s a place inside of all of us
Where our faith in love begins
You should reach to find the truth in love
The answers there within, oh
I know that life can make you feel
It’s much harder than it really is
But we’ll get through it, just don’t give in”

I found out about this music when Waiting To Exhale showed in theaters here. Although I have blurred memory of the movie, this song just stung the sentimental in me the first time I heard it.

I just wish that artists these days make more music with meaningful lyrics and not repeated intro and chorus. Or better yet, since I write, I can compose lyrics that I like. Hmmmm…

Why Move On When You Can Just…

I’m not proud to say that it’s breakup season on my side of town. And that doesn’t even include me. Nope. I’m single and I was surprisingly greeted by my ex a happy anniversary the other day. It wasn’t even for the time we hooked up. It was the quite opposite actually. He greeted me because September is the month we’ve broken up… Two years ago. I know right? (I promise to post a more sympathetic entry next time)

Anyway, yes, it’s breakup season and I’ve heard a considerable amount of cries and disgust that I can actually build a house from them (if it’s even possible converting feelings into estates). Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact, like I said in my previous post, best thing a third perspective can do is listen.

Because the reality here is it’s over and there’s nothing people can do about it. We can’t force ourselves into someone else’s life if we’re not welcome there anymore. Reality bites, I know. And it can sure damn suck my balls.

In situations like this, friends would always end up saying the overused advice, “stop crying and move on–for yourself.” Easy to say when you’re not in the position. Like, “yeah I can be all bipolar with this case and you know, cry one minute, then move on the next. And voilà! I’m better. Let’s paint the freakin’ town red.”

Then again, it doesn’t work that way.

So what is it about breakups that make it so hard to endure?

Is it the huge amount of effort you exert in adjusting to new ways? Or probably the feeling of getting dumped even if the two of you were the ones who did the dumping? Could it be the self-pity that follows it? You want to seek revenge because you’re hurt sore? Or maybe the hopelessness because you felt the person was “The One” – that got away perhaps?

Whatever the reason may be, one thing holds true: this is another chapter of one’s life wherein he/she is actually entitled to improve and redo one’s self. Yes, it definitely is the perfect excuse to be conceited. Now you can tell your cliché-talking friend to get lost because it’s your time to shine.

But, before change happens, acceptance must take place. So prior to cutting your hair short (or shaving it, whatever rocks your boat), take a moment to breathe and embrace the endless possibilities that are about to come your way. ACCEPTANCE is key. Accept that it’s over and fixing it is beyond your capacity. Accept together with forgiveness. Just like what Aunt May said to Spiderman in Spiderman 3, ” Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself.” Indeed. And you never thought you’d pick up values from a superhero movie huh?

Once you’re done accepting and forgiving (even the ones who aren’t even involved) then the transformation begins. Go out. Meet new people. Experience new things. Do stuff that you didn’t get to do when you were still tied up. Learn a new language. Cook a gazillion dishes in a month. Play with your dog. Chat with your long-lost friend. Spend more time with your family. Get a makeover. Go shopping. Hit the clubs. Finish that book you’ve ignored. Or better yet, go to the movies by yourself. Do everything you’ve been meaning to do in your own sweet time.

People are normally scared of change. It’s natural. So break the record, and accept that another major life change is taking place. I won’t be one of those friends who’d tell you to move on. Instead, I want you to accept, surrender to the process, and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not going to be easy, cliché as it may sound, but trust me, everything’s going to be worth it.

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” ~William James

So why move on when you can just accept?

Oh and when you’re done, hit me up, maybe we can grab a coffee and talk about… Love. How does that sound?

My Take On Listening

One of the greatest things I’ve learned in life is to listen. Given that I am deaf in one ear (the right one, but thank God my left ear works perfectly), I’ve practiced the art of listening to people whom I consider important and unimportant. It exudes practicing several values too such as respect, openness, compassion and understanding.

I’m still young, but at the age of 27 I can already say that I have met various people from different walks of life and listening to them has been one of the few talents that made a HUGE difference. As a result, whether I agreed or disagreed with their joyous stories and repetitive qualms, it made them feel important just by being listened to.

I can also attest to that because definitely not everyone has the same talent and I’ve experienced firsthand. There are those who can’t seem to fixate themselves on my words probably because of preëmpted judgment or dismay. Oftentimes when they catch me ranting it sends off a negative impression or my optimism comes off as repulsive. But no matter what their reason may be, each and every one of us (this I know for a fact without survey or studies) that bottom line of listening to others is to silently show that they matter too, that they have a voice, and are worthy to be heard.

We are all undeniably self-centered in our own ways, but we can’t expect others to treat us differently with the way we treat them. You get what you give, maybe not from the same person you’ve given it to, but you get the similar, if not the same, treatment from people who matter as much to you.

So, a little piece of unsolicited advice, instead of preëmpted judgments to either the negativity and enthusiasm of others or both, LISTEN WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTION. You’re not three anymore to be excused from being rude by interrupting someone from speaking. So just listen with full attention, ground yourself, and be one with the world. Because each of us have our own stories to tell. It may not be that important to you, but to the person speaking, each word they say may mean the world to them.

Start making a difference by extending your time and patience. But! If it’s going in circles, getting below the belt and not making any sense, then by all means speak up; for sure they’ll listen too because they value you.

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” — M. Scott Peck

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway