The next time you feel like giving up on something or someone, take a tip from the movie, “Celeste & Jesse Forever” (2012).
The two were getting a divorce when Jesse got involved with someone he really likes. In one scene, he tells Celeste, “I want to make it work.”
I’ve stopped memorizing movie lines years ago, but this one just keeps bubbling to the surface because it’s achingly simple and practical. The line, short it may be, rings with such determination that it’s almost impossible not to feel empowered by it, especially if you keep saying it over and over again.
So, a diet you’re trying out isn’t showing results. It’s so easy to give up. Don’t! Hang on and tell yourself, “I want to make it work.”
A job you got accepted for is turning out to be less than challenging. No job is perfect. Give it another chance, and in the meantime keep saying, “I will make this work.” (That’s not the original line, but the essence is the same.)
You’re in a relationship that’s giving you sleepless nights. Okay, I have to admit that sometimes, it’s better to just give up, especially if the relationship isn’t going anywhere and neither party is growing. But what if it’s the opposite? You won’t just bail out at the slightest problem, will you? That’s for quitters! You’re a winner, and winners will do whatever they can (in an ethical manner, of course) to make something work!
Personal sharing: I can’t post entries that often because I’m busy with a full-time job. It’s easy to waffle, but I won’t. I want to make this work because it is also from our virtual community that I get the strength to pick myself up when I’m feeling down.
On my way to work today, I got to think of this:
If a cupcake doesn’t have a cherry on top, would I still eat it? The answer is “yes” because cherries are just add-ons and therefore, they won’t make much of a difference if they’re there or not. Same thing with icing: if a cupcake doesn’t have it, will I still eat the sweet treat? The answer is still “yes” as long as the cupcake is of good quality. Meaning, it’s not stale, not too sweet or bland, not too buttery, and so on.
What made me think of cupcakes so early in the morning? Good question. I was turning in my head the concept of “being content.” What does it take to feel contented nowadays, considering there are so many distractions beseeching our attention, convincing us that we must have them in order to be satisfied or complete?
Personally, I don’t think it’s a new gadget or car; those things don’t last. And even before you’ve gotten accustomed to the new playthings, a better model comes along!
Well then, is it more clothes or friends (regardless of whether they’re real or online)? Is it more money or a better job? Fashion and friends come and go; that’s reality. Adapt and move on.
As for money, well, there will “never be enough” of it since at every turn, there seems to be something we have to pay for: college tuition, mortgage, medical bills, groceries, utilities, and the list goes on. “Better jobs” are subjective and is a whole post in itself. If I were to make a comment, though, I have to admit that a job that utilizes my skills and allows me to grow is ideal.
I digress. The point of this rambling is that it helps to reflect on and repeat to ourselves every so often the true meaning of being contented: as long as we have the basics – food, water, shelter – and the support of family, friends, and community, we should be all right. If you’re happy within, given and grateful for the resources that you have, that attitude is enough to see you through life’s ups and especially downs.
It has been proven repeatedly that there’s usually no need for external factors, especially those that we have to spend big-time for, to make us feel contented. Like the cherry and icing on a cupcake, they’re nice to have – I’d be the first to agree – but we can do without them, too.
I’m sure there are many blogs out there regarding how to cope as a single person. Each blog – and the person behind it – has a unique story to tell. Really! After all, each individual is an exclusive edition, and so even if the experiences we’re going through seem the same, the way we look at things and the insights we derive from each experience will always be different from one another.
I’ve been single for many years now; I’m not even “coupled” in any way. (Have I ever mentioned this before?) Yes, there are “highs” and “lows” in being one, but in hindsight, I think there are more “highs”:
– Just like everyone else, I look forward to weekends because I can’t wait to go through my list of “want-to-do.” (I don’t necessarily put my life on hold during weekdays. It just so happens there’s more bandwidth to do more of the things we like during weekends.)
– My circle of friends and contacts consists of people with varying ages and backgrounds. I love learning from all of them!
– Life has too much to offer that there are times, I can’t figure out what I want to be “when I grow up.”
Personally, I think that’s the biggest advantage of being single: you have the opportunity to be whoever you want, and more importantly, whatever God (or the Universe, if you will) had planned you to be.
Being single is a privilege to grow into the best version of yourself. Who would want to say “no” to an opportunity like that?
Some weeks back, my usually quiet life was lightly stirred by a string of unexpected events. While I’m not the kind who easily panics, the series of events did make me wonder, “Why are these things happening?” and “How will I hurdle these challenges?”
In the course of looking for answers, I met people who were going through tough times themselves, yet continued to smile and hold their head high. My kind of inspiring!
I think it’s more common to feel demotivated when things aren’t going our way or answers to prayers are nowhere in sight. When the (proverbial) uphill climb is getting steeper and tiring, it’s tempting to say, “I can’t go any further. I think I’ll stop here.”
• The mere fact that you’re still hemming and hawing means you’re still in the game, just a little wobbly in the knees. Why quit now?
• Keep on praying and believing that what you’re asking for will be beneficial for you in the long run.
• Surround yourself with positive-thinking folks: family members, friends, and so on. They’re angels in disguise, don’t you agree?
• Continue to do good and invest in your spiritual bank. The Universe never forgets a debt and always pays its dividends.
One last note: If you think you’re alone in your journey, you’re not. Somewhere, someone is in need of your help, too. Be someone’s angel today!
“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” ~Erma Bombeck
When we have dreams or are aspiring to achieve a goal, notice that sometimes those who try to discourage you (intentionally or otherwise) are also the ones within your immediate circle: family members, friends, even colleagues.
It feels bad, right? After all, they’re the ones who should support you and whatever it is you want to accomplish.
But let’s face it: when we’re so caught up in an idea, it’s easy to convince ourselves it’s going to work. Allow those third parties to say what’s on their mind, make comments, and even dissuade you from going all the way. If there’s a consistent pattern in what they’re saying, such as hearing more “nays” than “yays,” then sit up and take note. Their chorus might hold water after all.
If your idea is viable, but needs a little tweaking or a Plan B, work on those suggestions and move forward.
My point is, when we are in circumstances where our nearest and dearest seem to disagree with us, we have two choices:
• Stew and arbor ill feelings toward them and risk creating enmity, OR
• Think of those people as “third parties” who are there to challenge you and how decided you are in pursuing your dreams.
I didn’t have a lot of friends when I was growing up because I was shy. I still am, but over the years, I learned that one way to overcome being tongue-tied around people is to “go out there” and expose yourself to different kinds of personalities. The social experiment worked: not only did I discover I have a knack for helping people (usually passing on useful information), I also met some wonderful souls – such as classmates and colleagues – who eventually became friends.
I can’t say all of them are still in my circle to this day. Some just slowly disappeared over the years, while others I have to let go of because the connection was no longer there. And while I initially felt sad that the number of people I called “friends” was thinning, I’m no longer disappointed because I’ve accepted these realizations:
• The number of real (vis-à-vis Facebook) friends one has doesn’t necessarily indicate the person is ‘popular’ or likeable. Who among those friends can you really count on in times of need? If there are only two or four, then that’s good enough. Value quality over quantity.
• The number of years one has known someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re close or tight or “BFFs” (best friends forever). Is there real connection between the two of you? Can you talk about how you feel (with grace, of course) without sounding like you’re always watching your words? Did the camaraderie develop since the first time you met? Did the two of you grow as a result of having that rapport? If the answer is “no” or “not really,” you’re better off calling each other “acquaintances” than “friends.”
Consider also “chemistry.” That oil-and-water experiment from chemistry class applies to how some people, despite proximity, will never get along no matter how hard they try.
• Don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying the company of someone you never expected to be in your circle in the first place. I think some people go through life thinking “only these kinds of folks can be my friends.” Sometimes, that thinking is justifiable; perhaps they were hurt in the past and don’t want to go through that experience again. Or, they’re really just more comfortable with certain kinds of personalities. Fair enough.
On the other hand, having a set of criteria might make you miss out on meeting people who can help you grow as a person. I should know. I used to be like that, but I was much younger then. Nowadays, I consider at least three friends as the perfect complement to my otherwise reserved personality, and I honestly enjoy their company! They make me laugh. They teach me to be more spontaneous.
• Showering friends with gifts or little tokens doesn’t always mean they’ll like you back. Let’s face it: people will accept those gifts, but the heart of the giver is what truly matters to them. How do you make them feel without giving them anything?
• Similarly, nurturing friendship is like taking care of a garden. Pop in once in a while with a short SMS, email, or a phone call. Send a card even when there are no special occasions. Do the same when there are important milestones such as birthdays, wedding announcements and anniversaries, and birth announcements.
Basically, show you care. Nowadays, there are so many ways to do so.
• It’s all right to cut your ties with someone, especially if the relationship is “not working,” “no longer working,” or irreparable. The latter depends on what one considers important for a relationship to thrive. Over the years, I learned to distance myself from someone if: I always need to pick (be careful of) the topics we talk about, all I hear are complaints or gossip or negative comments about someone else, the attention I give is not reciprocated, I ‘feel’ (very subjective) I’m taken advantage of.
Friendships are meant to be lively, a source of joy most of the time! If being around people you call “friends” is stressful or tiring, cut your losses and move on. It’s not always easy, in the same way that making friends is a constant challenge, but believe me, there will always be individuals who would be more than happy to step up and call you their friend.
What about you? What are your insights about making friends and maintaining friendships?
It really makes a difference when someone believes in your dreams no matter how simple they seem. When you’re surrounded by the right people, even small dreams become meaningful.