The One With Ms. Lon – Someone Like You

It’s Friday, which means another episode of Someone Like You is ready for download. This week is The One With Ms. Lon and we meet Covenant House California’s Alumni Coordinator and RA, Lon Usher.

She’s originally from Kentucky, ran away from home when she was 16 years old and has been working with Covenant House California for thirty years. We discuss what she’s learned throughout her years working with homeless youth, the stories that have affected her the most and what she believes will help end youth homelessness.

If you’re new here, this podcast is about putting a face (or voice) to youth homelessness in the hopes it’ll be harder to ignore and together we can be the solution.

Every other Friday a new episode will air with a new voice sharing their story of surviving life on the streets AND how they got back on their feet. This show is all about answering these three questions: who are the homeless, how did they become homeless, and how do we begin to end homelessness? (except this one because we’re speaking to the fabulous Ms. Lon!)

There is nearly 6,000 homeless youth searching for a safe place to sleep each night in Los Angeles, and nearly 4.2 million young people will experience a form of homelessness within the next year and I’m willing to bet these kids are a lot like you and me. The solution starts with us and I truly believe we’re better together.

PS: If you haven’t subscribed, rated or reviewed the podcast please do so now! Thanks, friends! I’ll see you back on the radio in two weeks for another voice to meet.

Cutting Loose Ends

I don’t want you to know me. This makes the relationship burden on my end simple and I’ll do whatever possible to keep this narrative simple. Mess bothers me, I like to cut my ends in one easy snip.

The second people think they know you, is the second they try to invade your personal space. For example, the second I got married was the second it became appropriate to ask me about when we’d be having children.

It’s an intrusive question about an intimate act done in private and basically asks my husband when is he planning to ejaculate his sperm with no restrictive materials so they can meet my eggs and have a party.

Believe it or not, there is a large group of people who appreciate privacy and boundaries and I’ll dare great to say I’m happily leading the pack. Yes, there is a part of me that yerns to be known and I’m having trouble finding the balance  because I value both privacy and connection.

I don’t enjoy letting anyone ‘get to know’ me because then unsolicited advice and ridiculousness gets thrown my way which I should be able to take with a grain of salt but don’t because I take it personal.

Words matter, and if yours sound condesending or judgmental, I’m going to take it personal that you decided you had little respect for my life smarts and felt obligated to tell me how it should be. I’ve lived alotta life you don’t know about, what’s that phrase about assuming?

Here’s a visual if you don’t get my description, does anyone remember that commercial about bullying and the kid has all the nasty things being said to him written on his body with marker? This is how I feel about people and their damn opinions. It is so much easier to keep everyone else out so they’re words won’t mark me.

Lately it feels like a whole-lotta people are trying to force me to be this person I’m not and it’s pushing me way in the opposite direction. I feel like I’m being squeezed and being set up for failure. So my walls go up and instinctually put up a fight.

This is a personal problem, I’m aware, and it boils down to control. I can’t control how others act, but I can control how I act when I feel emotionally violated, intruded upon and/or stomped over no matter how hard I try to communicate.

For example, one of my coworkers hates it when the toliet roll isn’t put in the canister with the paper facing up. She claims its harder to use so she fixes it each time it randomly happens to be facing the wrong way.

If it didn’t bother her this anaolgy wouldn’t work, but it does bother her when the paper gets turned around and she has to fix it. Instead of realizing this is a personal preferance and she chooses to turn it a certain way, she decides someone is doing this on purpose because, “how does one not know which way to correctly load a toliet canister,” and is purposfully incoveincing her by making her switch the roll and complains about it from time to time.

In this case, I need to swap the toliet paper roll with opinions (possible literally speaking, too) and figure out a way to understand I don’t have to react in anger each time I feel like I’m being sqeezed into a box or purposefully being forced into swapping out the roll.

I don’t want people to know me because when people know you that’s when you’re vulnerable to pain, because when they do and say things to hurt you the natural defensive response will always be “they didn’t mean it” or “they mean well,” which completley dimishes the pain felt upon the inflicted.

The solution? Believing I am enough. Wholeheartidly knowing who I am despite what others categorize me as, that those small descriptions don’t define me. It doesn’t matter what people say or do because I’m comfortable in my own skin. The trick is to figure out how to believe it. 

Now, If I could just practice it quicker so I could master this idea of being enough. I’m saying this with a smirk because nothing worth it ever comes easy 😉 

The problem with constantly trimming your ends is never letting the ends grow to their full potential. I get it a little better than I did a year ago, but I’m nowhere near better at practicing the belief that I am enough.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for my patient husband. What are you feeling gratitude towards? Let me know in the comment section, below. 

Cultivate it.

play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

 

 

 

 

My Skin Feels Too Heavy To Carry

Have you ever felt so depleted of energy that even your skin feels too heavy to carry? Thank Zeus it’s Friday. I need the next two days to get my shit together even though I feel like even if I had two weeks time, it still wouldn’t be enough because I’m so damn far behind.

Most of my anxiety has come from two silent weeks of no prospects in interviews for my (wannabe) podcast with a looming September deadline. I’m starting to feel failure set in even though there is ample time to problem solve and the anticipation of failure is enough to drown me and wash the entire dream dry.

 

What about these books I keep claiming to have in the chamber? I thought of another good idea for a book this morning while driving to work, listening to another audiobook (Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay), so if you’ve lost count that’s a potential three books I’m probably not going to write.

Each time I start to imagine writing said books my brain freaks out. How do I even submit a book? I don’t want to get an agent, but hardly any publishing companies accept unsolicited work. What’s best practice, how do you start, what’s MY writing process? I spin and spin until the only way to end it is to ignore.

The next phase is usually obsessing over everything I’m not doing, could be doing better, and/or simmering over shit I can’t change, which turns into wondering what the fuck I’ll be doing in twenty years and if I’ve accomplished anything I set out to do when I first began to dream.

I’m spirling.

It goes on for a couple days and then I snap my ass back into reality and get shit done. Usually, I chalk up this series of berating and self-loathing to my nasty shame gremlins being hard at work but I think I’ve figured out the trigger.

Whenever I have a good hard week or two, etc. of productivity where I exert all of my creative energy both physically and mentally to finish a project on time and successfully knock it out of the park, it leads to me feeling empty. Idle hands as they say…

This emptiness makes me nervous. Will this project (or whatever it is) be the last best thing I do? Was that it, my last spark? How am I going to best myself once more? Tick, tick, tick, tick. Worry, worry, worry.

Not to mention, people drain me. The everyday interaction required to be social is one more activity to add to my anxiety. We all play a role at home, at work, and with friends. It always feels fine when the interaction is in play, but when I come home I’ll think back on my day and stress out over what I should’ve said or done.

Add that to a long yet productive week and it leaves me feeling like my skin is too heavy to carry; spirling.

A blue fish in a Disney Pixar movie once mentioned the idea, just keep swimming. Some days I think living by this phrase is easier when your memory is has a reset button every 60-seconds, and other days I remind myself success isn’t about the destination, it’s about enjoying the wild ride to the top.

In order to get to the next crazy hump, one must keep swimming. 

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for every breath I take. What are you feeling gratitude towards? Let me know in the comment section, below. Night friends. 

Cultivate it.I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

Speak Truth To Bullshit

I find myself shrinking away from political debates because there is too much misinformation being slung around that it’s nearly impossible to have a decent conversation.

The amount of “drive-by” online journalists is appalling. These individuals haven’t been trained, or understand the basic rules regarding what’s considered news and how important it is to share only credible sources.

If you’re confused, these are the people who spend way too much time on the internet fighting with strangers in the comment section and share every article from every online ‘source’ that is geared with like-minded people and then spout off information after only reading the header and by-line.

But, I digress. This is only a small portion of the problem and admittedly, I’m biased against these random peeps because I did go to school for journalism. This isn’t the main topic of today’s post, so I’ll get on with it.

If you haven’t heard what’s going on at our borders then you might have been under a rock the past week/month, and if it’s a nice beautiful rock on Cabo, do you mind sharing some space with me?

Just kidding, kinda.

Here is what I constantly hear being thrown around half-hazard. “Separating families at the border is the law, everyone must follow the rules! All you Dems just hate Trump and are looking for an excuse to pile on the hate, this has been going on for years! If Republicans wanted to change it they could, they’ve got the majority! Trump to the press – if this was such a terrible law, why didn’t the Dems outlaw it decades ago, it’s their faults!

All of this is bullshit and here’s why.

  1. Separating families at the border isn’t a federal law, never has been. There is a policy that was put in place back when Clinton was president and has been used by border patrol at their discretion for the last two decades, and they didn’t participate in the family separation until last month when Jeff Sessions and Trump stated this ‘zero tolerance’ policy.
  2. There is a distinct difference between policy and law, stop using them interchangeably. The difference between a policy and a law. A policy outlines what a government ministry hopes to achieve and the methods and principles it will use to achieve them. It states the goals of the ministry. Laws set out standards, procedures, and principles that must be followed.
  3. Yes, the Republicans hold the majority but you still need 3/5ths vote to pass anything and not all Republicans and Democrats will vote according to their party. I think John McCain is a perfect example within the last year. So while shouting they hold the majority is true, it doesn’t mean anything will easily pass, even if every Republican voted similarly there’s still a need for the Dems to vote similarly, too.
  4. Trump blaming the Democrats is also utter bullshit. He signed so many damn executive orders the first six months of his presidency, why the hell the sudden urge to wait for the legislature? Because this is a stunt (in my personal opinion). We have a president who is a reality star and hasn’t worked for a damn thing in his life, living out his ‘biggest role casted’ on a world stage, and it’s fucking embarrassing.

Fact Checker: Separating families at the border isn’t family law, here. The distinct difference between policy and law, here. Understanding the ‘Republican majority,’ here. Trump blaming the Dems for what’s happening while plugging his mission to build a wall and why I think it’s all a big fat stunt, here

Trump has embellished since his inauguration when he stated it was the most attended precision in history! So how come there are still those refusing to wade through the bullshit to find the truth? Is it because it’s easier to follow than lead?

Bottom line: what’s happening at the border is traumatic for both the officers and families. If we’re the world police and responsible for setting an example for the rest of the country, lets’s act like it. We all know this isn’t the best solution, those children don’t deserve to experience any more trauma.

Shout all day about, “it’s the parent’s fault and they are the ones that put their kids in this position.” Nobody got anywhere pointing the finger at everyone else and displacing blame. Take responsibility,  rise above the bullshit and let’s set the example for how to treat those desperate enough to risk everything to live in a country that isn’t a living nightmare.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for the luck I was given to be born in this country.

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

I Know Suicide

I’ve had two friends try to commit suicide and another one succeed. Once when I was seventeen, and twice within one month when I was twenty. These experiences are why I have zero tolerance for those feigning ignorance regarding suicide and mental illness, and why 1-800-273-8255 Your Life Matters might’ve sounded like a rant…

Two days ago I wanted to write this blog instead but chickened out because I didn’t want to come across as insensitive or bragging…I don’t know, my anxiety was telling me I’d fuck up the delivery and I didn’t want to disrespect anyone.

What’s changed? I believe understanding mental illness and all of its tangled branches is important to our growth as a population AND community. We need to do the work, together, and how does that happen? By talking about it.

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We were seventeen and extremely close. Every night after school we’d meet under the street light, sit on the curb and talk about our day, our future goals and what our parents did to piss us off.

After months and months of spending time together, we tried to date. It only lasted a week. It just didn’t feel right, we were SO close. The day after we broke up he skipped class and hung out with a mutual friend.

At the end of the day, that same friend came running to my house after dropping him off to ask, “what the fuck did you do? He said he wanted to try the 24 pills in the 24-hours thing, he’s been out of it all day and I don’t know how many, if any, he’s already taken.”

Before he could finish his sentence I had sprinted off towards his house in just my socks. My heart was pounding louder than I was pounding on his front door. His two sisters answered, the youngest one in tears begging me to not call the police (he was on probation for drugs).

He was laid up on the couch, unconscious. His face didn’t look normal and I freaked out, jumped on top of him and shook him while screaming his name until one of his eyes opened and then rolled to the back of his head.

I was shouting questions to keep him awake while his youngest sister was shouting, “please don’t call the cops, mom will be home soon. He can’t go back to juvie!”

So I didn’t.

Instead, I went back home and waited, and waited, and waited. Deep down I knew I should’ve called 911. I fucked up, he was going to die. I sat on the front porch waiting and waiting.

Finally, sirens came.

All I remember is running out to the front yard and losing it in the lawn. He spent two days in the hospital, got his stomach pumped and the story his mother told was, “she had hidden her muscle relaxers in her migraine medicine bottle. It was her fault he had taken the wrong pills.”

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We were closing together and it had been a long night. We both had gotten our ass kicked with the late dinner rush and per usual, I was behind the grill helping push tickets out. It was stressful but my coworker was feeling the pressure more so than me.

For the past couple of weeks, he had been living life medication free and not by choice. A problem with insurance refusing to cover its portion of the payment for his meds left him powerless and unable to afford his stabilizer.

He suffered from schizophrenia. When he was on his meds you’d never know, but when he was off them, you knew.

This night hadn’t been his night. He had lost his temper on an elder couple when they spilled their drink and demanded he clean it up and bring them another. Instead of letting it go he walked out with a child’s sippy cup and told them, “this might suit you better.”

The couple complained and he got reprimanded by the manager on duty. After the scolding, it went south fast. We got our ass kicked, food wasn’t coming out quick enough and when I jumped on the grill to help he lashed out.

“Where the fuck is my food!” he shouted while launching the stack of grill trays toward me on the other side. I responded with an equal amount of anger and chucked a plate in his direction.

He disappeared.

Me and one other server were stuck trying to play clean up and catch up.

I found him later mumbling in the breakroom, pacing and unable to sit still. All I remember is he kept repeating, “tell my mom I love her.” When I pushed for him to explain he bolted out of the breakroom.

He had been writing suicide notes and had only managed to grab two of three he had written. After finding and reading the note I brought it to my manager’s attention. My manager claimed, “he’s doing it for attention, forget about it and go home.”

I called the cops anyways.

They put him in holding, got him his meds and he now lives in South Florida.

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She didn’t have a stable schedule at work. She’d work for months and then I wouldn’t see her for weeks. Sometimes she was the life of the shift, made the hustle fun, had a joke for every moment and was full of life. 

Other times you couldn’t approach her. She was silent, deadpanned, and unresponsive no matter how hard you tried to make her smile.

“Not today Shannon,” my coworker (who had been around awhile and knew her the best) would tell me. “Today isn’t her day.”

She suffered from depression and bipolar. She was in her late forties, still lived with her mother and didn’t have any family of her own.

After a couple of years knowing her and honestly being pleasantly surprised each time my shift coincided with hers, one day she didn’t show up.

The next day we found out she had committed suicide, Mom found her. The hardest part was working the next week knowing when she was supposed to be there and having to pretend like it didn’t happen. Nobody wanted to talk about it, not the managers or a majority of coworkers.

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The first story I shared is mostly why I didn’t want to write this post. I carried guilt for many years, even despite the fact we were still friends for a while after this instance. It felt like his family and our mutual friends blamed me.

For the few who knew, his overdose was never mentioned without noting I had broken up with him.

I now know this wasn’t fair. He had been struggling for many months with hard drugs, pills and staying in school. Me breaking up with him wasn’t mean or “the ultimate friend zone” jab. The relationship didn’t feel right when after I was expected to kiss him, and I couldn’t pretend because it wouldn’t be fair to either one of us.

He was depressed and struggling to fit in at home. He had his own issues to sort out with no information or help from the adults in his life. Bottom line, he (and everyone else) is responsible for his own actions. He popped the pills.

The second story opened my eyes to the importance of having affordable access to medication and truly understanding a person with mental illness is powerless to their disease when left without meds.

He couldn’t help it how he acted off his meds. If he had a choice I’m sure he would’ve chosen to not manage life with schizophrenia.

And for the third story, I don’t think I ever grieved her death. Whenever her name got brought up it fell quiet, so we all pretended like it didn’t happen and never let ourselves go there. It’s like she never existed, and that makes me extremely sad because she was an incredible lady.

There’s a bit of information or understanding to be learned from all three narratives, and I hope it further drives home my point that mental health matters. You’re life matters and may we all remember, everyone is fighting their own daily secret battles, so be kind.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for these three difficult life experiences that opened my eyes to a whole other (semi) understanding of the importance of mental health. What are you feeling grateful for?

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

1-800-273-8255 – Your Life Matters

We are way behind the bell curve when it comes to understanding mental illness and it grinds my gears when there is no compassion or tried understanding. And I get it, not everyone is capable of understanding or compassion but what the hell is everyone else’s excuse?

Yesterday my husband and I ate a late lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant here in Orange County (Minato Sushi in case you’re wondering), and I overheard the table behind us discussing the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

The adult son claimed, “Kate Spade’s suicide was more of a shock than Bourdain’s, at least he had a long history with substance abuse.”

I tried not to glare. How can one suicide be more shocking than another? Isn’t all suicide terribly shocking? And to me, it sounds like he’s trying to justify one suicide over the other by understanding the public personas each person put on while out in the public, which leads me to the next two questions…

How come we have to assess “who is more broken” in order to determine our own emotions about someone else committing suicide? Since when does suicide make sense? And PS: just because you feel like you know celebrities, TV personas, etc. doesn’t mean you have the full story.

Let’s talk about mental health. Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States? According to the CDC, it is now the number one fatal injury across the states, surpassing automobile accidents.

In this same report, the data shows men (in every age group compared with women) kill themselves at a higher rate than women. See that diagram, here.

This stat shook me, too. How come men are more prone to suicide? Is it because of the societal pressure to be a strong figure who provides, never cries, and will always come swooping in to save the day on their white horse for the family?

It’s impossible nowadays to have a one-family income support the family. So let’s let this ideal die with the same notion woman aren’t as valuable as men in the workplace and everywhere else.

I proudly stand with the women’s movement, chant for equal pay, and felt relieved when the #metoo campaign caught fire. And I also have that same passion forward thinking in regards to how we’re raising our young men. This ain’t 1950, boys can cry if they want to, too.

Suicide is defined (like I’m sure you know) as a death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering or planning suicide.

Suicide is a MAJOR public health concern.

Logic made a hit record about suicide prevention. Jada Pickett Smith and others in the spotlight made a statement about their own personal struggle with mental health issues. Conversations are happening; let’s collectively continue improving our understanding of mental health.

What’s the first step? Does anyone have any ideas?

I think misusing the term mentally ill is a good starting point. We’re in a culture where words don’t matter because they can be slung anonymously over the web. We self-diagnose and label others easily and incorrectly. Not everyone is a narcissist. Mom’s an asshole but she’s not mentally ill. Not every school shooter is mentally ill.

Words matter and we should be careful with them.

Once we regain the word maybe then we can begin to redefine it in a way everyone can understand. Mental health is the umbrella word like marketing is to communications. Mental illness includes everything from panic attacks and anxiety to bipolar and schizophrenia.

Suicide is complicated and sad regardless of who commits the act. May no one reading ever know what it feels like to truly believe family, friends, and children, would be better off without you in their lives. If you’ve had suicidal thoughts or are having suicidal thoughts call 1-800-273-8255 for help.

It’s okay to not be okay and ask for help. Your life matters.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for everyone sharing their own personal mental health story to help spread the awareness. What are you feeling grateful for?

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

 

 

 

What Do You Want & What Do You Need

Have you ever asked yourself what do you want people to know about you and what do you need from them? I’ve never asked myself outright but my friend Brené Brown asked me in Chapter Six: Disruptive Engagement. So here we go, friends…

Q: What do you want people to know about you? 

A1: I want people to know that respect is extremely important to me and that I firmly believe its something earned and not given. And because it’s so important to me, I strive to show the same respect I’m given. Respect is a two-way street, like I said, it’s earned not given.

To answer Aretha Franklin’s burning “R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me” question, to me respect means you care enough about me that you’re not going to disrespect my boundaries after I took the time to voice them to you.

Respect means a lot to me personally and professionally. If I don’t respect you it’s incredibly difficult to deal with or connecting with you.

It’s also why I give Momma’s out there a shit ton of credit because I don’t know how you all do it with as much ‘free advice’ that’s given or blatant disregard for your wishes when it comes to your kid(s). My least favorite statement from folks is, “ya know what you should be doing” or “what you ‘outta do is..”

It’s not that I think I know everything or that I can’t learn from my elders, but ninety percent of the time it’s coming from someone who is speaking to me as if I’m the child and they’re the parents, which leads me to my next point…

A2: Do not speak to me like I am less than or as if I’m a child. My second least favorite activity is when people try to speak to me like a child because let me tell you, I haven’t been a child for a long time and I could probably argue I never got to be a child.

The person who has been taking care of me the longest is myself. I’ve had a lot of life for the short amount of time I’ve been around, so show me some respect and speak to me as an equal, not a youngin’ who doesn’t know her ass from her anus.

I’m smart, strong, and enough.

Q: What do you need from people?

A1: I need to be heard. There is nothing more frustrating to me than not being heard, and I mean actually heard. Not what you think I meant, what you were saying to yourself while I was talking, or what you think is better for me.

When I take the time out to communicate, I need you to actually listen and understand my perspective.

“When people talk, completley listen.” — Ernest Hemingway

Here’s a handy-dandy listening flowchart if you’re confused what I mean by listening wholeheartedly. Thanks, Hubspot! 

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So how’d ya do on the flowchart?

If I am heard, then I feel respected.

Now, ask yourself (and possibly leave it in the comment section below. Sharing is caring!), what do you want people to know about you and what do you need from those people?

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling grateful for the time I had with my Husband this weekend. We saw A Quiet Place on Friday, Saturday he took me out for Date Night and Sunday we did a few air museum tours and cuddled on the couch. What are you grateful for today?

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

Momma Always Said You Gotta Worry About Yourself

I’ve had a couple days to re-read and chew on my post on Monday and I think the post might have been a bit confusing unless you were inside my head reading through my own eyeballs.

My Self-Doubt Death Eater Unveiled” didn’t clearly connect the dots between what I was feeling to the conclusion/lesson I wanted to convey, which for the record sounds like a great euphemism for life; sometimes the dots don’t connect and life ends up looking like a big blob of mush no matter how hard you concentrate.

What I am certain about is it needed to be written out so I could begin to understand all parts of what drove me nuts about this interaction that left a nasty taste in my mouth. Monday’s confusing blog helped me realize I tie my self-worth up in what others say project on me.

But duh, I am enough. I know my worth. I know who I am and I’m not going to let others sway the eternal strength I know I possess because throughout the past two decades I’ve proved it to myself. Basically, trust yourself. I encourage you to practice the same self-love and reassurance.

Monday’s blog didn’t connect the dots because I couldn’t see the other part of the equation. Writing My Self-Doubt Death Eater Unveiled helped me realize the phrase, “I’m rubber and you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” To understand the other half of the equation I had to backtrack to the moment before I engaged in the conversation that started this all.

When I confronted I expected comfort because it had been offered up once before, but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to end well, had I practiced the art of ‘pausing’ before engaging, this may have never happened.

So what’s the problem?

I expected a certain reaction and when it didn’t go the way I had hoped, it bummed me out. If I would’ve taken a second to fully gage my emotions, manage my expectations, and fully understand the situation before diving in head first, I could’ve saved myself some hurt and pain.

This was the other part of the equation I couldn’t solve and lead me to this realization about myself.  My expectations and standards are high when it comes to relationships (all types), and because of this, It affects my ability to connect as well as accept people for who they are and/or what they bring to the table.

Don’t get me wrong, having high standards isn’t a terrible trait to possess, it’s great to have when striving for personal and professional goals because it usually means you’ll do greater than the bar you set for yourself.

Having high standards/expectations does make it extremely hard to reach the bar you’ve set for yourself because you keep moving it so that it’s never quite reachable. You’re constantly striving for a better you, which makes me (possibly you) never feel enough. 

This means I also expect others to hold themselves to the same bar because it’s fair, but  it’s not plausible to hold everyone to my bar (even though it makes it safer and less likely to let anyone in which is comfortable for me) because everyone has their own set of rules they live by according to what makes sense to them.

So why not be aware of that person’s ability and accept only what they can offer instead of what they aren’t offering.

Make sense? Or is this post as confusing as my last one?

I get stuck on fairness. I grew up with the strong notion of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So if I treat you the way I want to be treated, please follow suit. It may sound or feel harsh but it’s safe.

Apparently, the other phrase my Mom would preach, “worry about yourself,” still rings true, especially in this situation. I can’t expect people to act the way I would act in any or all situations, nor can I hold them to my expectation in regards to our relationship.

The best I can do is reaffirm boundaries in my relationships, remind myself I am enough, and continue down this path of wellness and understanding. No matter how hippy-dippy it sounds, I don’t care. The only person outside of me who’s opinion matters to me is my husband.

Oh yeah, and take a pause before reacting or initiating potential conflict. Ask myself what do I expect out of this conversation, is it realistic given the person I’m speaking with, am I open to what they might say or am I expecting them to give me what I need.

Three cheers to practicing the art of pause. 

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

Missed Opportunity That Has Me Buggin

It’s the middle of the week, which means the weekend is ALMOST here. Anyone got anything fun going on? I’ll be getting lost in San Fransico and hiking Big Sur with the Hubs. I can’t wait to nerd out at Alcatraz, too!

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For those who were around Monday and saw my balloon face, I’m happy to report my face has gone back to its natural saggy-self, bags under my eyes and everything, but if it’s not one thing it’s another 😉 … I missed an opportunity to inspire the kids I work with every Friday, and it’s eating me up.

Two weeks ago I put an ask out for school supply donations to help KidWorks provide for its after-school programs. Staples immediately gave me three boxes of notebooks and a promise to get back with me for the possibility of more supplies (which reminds me it’s been a week and I should probably follow up).

Because I had donations to drop off, I pulled my car up to the front and began unloading. Some of the kids in my class saw my car and started asking if I was rich, how much did I pay for this car and what do I do for a living.

Had just one asked I might’ve had enough time to respond the way I wanted to, but instead, there were about four little girls oo-ing and awing, demanding an answer. To which I replied, it’s not polite to talk about money and hadn’t you heard what none-ya said? None ya bees-wax. Cue laughter and comments about my jokes being old (wait, when did that happen?! haha).

This may sound like a reasonable response and a good lesson to learn early on, but what I wish I would’ve said was this,”I grew up just like you, so one day if you work hard enough for it, you could drive this kind of car, too.”

Ya know, a real Hallmark moment.

I fell back on what I was told growing up and it bums me out because I missed an opportunity to tell the kids (in so many words) it doesn’t matter what your financial circumstances are now, if you work hard enough and believe in yourself you too can drive around in a bright blue mustang one day.

And that’s what I needed to hear as a kid.

I get it, nobody is perfect and I shouldn’t beat myself up about this one time, so I’m going to keep repeating this until the anxiety of not responding how I wanted subsides, because next time I will have the wherewithal to express the importance of dreaming for better.

Also, their ‘you’re rich!’ statement made me extremely uncomfortable and a little offended. It’s the first time anyone has thought of me as ‘well off’ and I’m still not sure how I feel about it because I didn’t grow up rich, with a silver spoon in my mouth, and nobody gave me anything, I had to fight for it.

Now I’m torn between enjoying the fruits of my hard work and determination, and still being scrappy Shannon who pinches every penny to make sure when the bottom falls out, I can still pull myself up by my bootstraps and carry on.

It’s a strange path to be walking, and incredibly fascinating a comment from a young person can send me back to this place of uncomfortableness between how I grew up and what I’ve become. I never not want to remember my roots.

There’s no need to ignore the friction, the only way I’m going to figure out how to deal with these two worlds is by sitting in the comfortableness. Ignoring will only delay the solution. Right?

If you’re like me and have a tendency to plow through emotions that are tough to swallow, I encourage you to wade around in those uncomfortable waters to see what you come out with on the other end. You might surprise yourself with a simple solution.

Anyone Else?

Anyone else get annoyed by half-ass gestures? Like a birthday gift that was obviously purchased last minute with no thought of the birthday person in mind. Or someone constantly telling you what they were going to do for you but then _______ *insert bogus excuse they concocted so that they feel better about not doing it.

If you didn’t do what you had planned to do, don’t mention it. If you don’t have time to purchase a gift with actual thought behind it, why bother spending the money? People can tell you know.

Anyone else find it frustrating when you’re consistently not being heard? Like when you have to repeat yourself more than a handful of times about the same issue, topic, life event or fact.

My favorite part about this scenario is that when the person not being heard finally has had enough of not being heard they end up looking like an ass because words didn’t work so you’re led to making a scene to get the message through.

Anyone else get annoyed when people don’t take responsibility for their own actions? It still shocks me how many will apologize without saying the word sorry and then follow it up with the reasons for why they acted the way they did.

So you’re not actually sorry, are you?

Another good example is when blame is shifted to everyone else but the person who’s constantly running into the same “hurtful situation.” If you’re being hurt, what action do you take out of the equation so that you’re not hurt anymore? Take responsibility for your own actions.

This morning in the shower I realized I take everyone else’s feelings into consideration before responding or acting. If I look out for everyone else’s best interest than who is looking out for mine?

The answer is nobody. I need to look out for my own best interest because in my experience everyone else is operating with their own best interest at heart, so why aren’t I? It’s nobody else’s ‘job’ to look out for my best interest than myself.

And until this shower thought smacked me in the head this morning, I don’t think I realized how much I consider everyone else’s feelings and when people close don’t take the same consideration of mine, they disappoint me and I get frustrated.

This is the thing though, it bothers me and is nobody else’s problem but my own to work out and figure out how to not be hurt my thoughtlessness; make sense?

I need to learn how to not expect people to treat other’s how they want to be treated, despite the phrase. Most treat other’s how they were taught to be treated, this includes me.

The trick is learning how to not let actions you don’t understand consume you, battling anger has been my toughest uphill climb.

Cultivate it.