Whoops, It’s Tuesday!

 

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[Image: Sage, a white non-binary person in a blue-and-pink wig with bangs, presses their lips together and makes a face at the camera, tilting their head to the left. They are wearing a sleeveless shirt with a green-and-pink flower pattern. There is a paint-splattered painting, part of a wooden cabinet, and a purple wall behind them].
I completely blanked on the Monday post this week. I spent the weekend with my friend in York and ended up taking a mental health day Monday because of a panic attack in the morning. I have a video coming out on the NFi Collab Channel this Thursday which goes into more detail about that.

I’m so close to being finished with this round of courses, my friends! Unfortunately, however, at this point I’m having a lot of trouble focusing. The closer I get to being done, the less I feel inclined to put in the time.

I made the decision last week to focus on putting out a video every Thursday rather than have a more random schedule where I make videos every 3-4 days. It’s not that I want to be making fewer videos, it’s just that I’m more interested in making high-quality content without getting overwhelmed. Apparently, without a schedule, instead of never making videos, I make TOO MANY videos. I get ahead of myself and feel pressured into starting another video the moment I’ve finished working on one. I worry that this results in making more, lower quality content as I spend less time researching, writing, filming, and editing if I feel the pressure to have it all done in a few days.

There must be a happy medium!

So, at this point, I’m focusing on putting out one video every Thursday. That doesn’t mean there will not be extras, however, as this week I’m making a video for my own channel as well as another for NFi. It’s just to keep me on a more reasonable track.

In case you were wondering, yes, I am playing Pokemon Go. I am almost level 9 now. I hatched a Pikachu today.

I’m not working on my book as much as I’d like to be. It keeps falling to the bottom of my list of priorities, to the end of the day when I’m too tired. There are just so many other things! I’m also not too sure about the direction I’m going in with it. Books are hard, friends. Books are hard.

I just started writing a report on the history of my reading practices. It’s actually quite fun and interesting, given that it’s a school project. I want to share some of it here, but I’ll have to wait until it’s been graded and handed back so my tutor doesn’t think it’s been plagiarized. You’ve got to watch out for that kind of thing.

Filmed a video where I read from the journal I kept while backpacking through Europe yesterday. I have OVER AN HOUR of footage where I just read the entries from England. It may be a series. It was interesting to go back in time five years to that trip, as this is my first read-over. I think I tend to romanticize it, as we do with the past and with traveling, but reading the journal reminded me that not all was sunshine and roses. I struggled with a number of things, from growing up to stressing over booking trains to not feeling confident in social situations. I even wrote that I was hoping the trip would completely change me as a person, making me more confident and bold! Poor baby Sage…

In terms of the topic of friendship, I realized recently that it’s really important for friendships to unfold naturally. Also, that I can be happy with just a small handful of friends. I’ve been trying to make certain friendships happen within the past few years that just have not. And I’ve been really easily, naturally finding friendships through my YouTube pursuits. So, I’m learning, though it is important put in an effort, you also just have to let friends happen and not try to make anything into what it’s not. Having something to bond over helps too.

Okay, so this blog post was all over the place. I suppose this is a pretty good representative of where my brain is at this week. These are the things!

Have a wonderful week, catch ’em all, and I will see you all again very soon.

P.S. My wig came in the mail and it is everything I’ve ever wanted.

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Adult Friendships & Unhealthy Friendships

 

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[Image: Sunset over mountainous terrain. Small silhouettes of two people sitting by the water. Most of the bottom of the image (the beach) is shrouded in darkness]. Source: morguefile.com.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to me now. That might seem like a funny question, but I think it’s worth asking.

Friendships change from childhood to adulthood. When you’re younger and in school, you’re often automatically friends with the people you see every day. You may form friendships in little groups and then be friends with all the members of that group because they are there, not because you necessarily like them. You may be friends with people you don’t particularly like because your friends are friends with them.

As an adult, however, you seem to have more of a choice. You can be more selective. You’re no longer bound to people who you have little else but school in common with. You know yourself a little better. Hopefully, you’re better at identifying toxic relationships or knowing when you simply don’t want to be friends with someone.

These are good things, but not all of these changes are good because, in some ways, adult friendships are also very weird.

You don’t see each other unless you actively organize to do so. You may go weeks or months without seeing the other person if your schedules are busy.

You may not have a common thread, like school or work, to keep you connected, and so you have to find and develop your own points of connection. If you don’t manage this then the friendship just sort of fizzles out.

In high school, I belonged to a group of friends, but now my friends are mostly spread out and separate from one another. I spend time with them one-on-one as opposed to in a group, which I prefer anyway as someone who’s pretty introverted.

Since entering the realm of young adult friendships, I’ve had no problem meeting people but a lot of difficulty with maintaining connections. People my age are so transient. We come and go without making too many commitments to each other because commitment isn’t always possible when you’re always coming and going.

Then there are ruptures, which can damage or end friendships. Ruptures are very common and can happen for a whole variety of reasons. It can be very hard to know how to repair ruptures, especially if they are only a symptom of a larger problem: an unhealthy relationship.

Friendships can be unhealthy. Friendships can be toxic. Friendships can be abusive. Sometimes we overlook these things because we don’t tend to expect them from our friends. We think of friendships as being relatively innocuous. We underestimate them. They can have far more profound effects on us and our lives than we usually give them credit for.

This year, I am learning more about what healthy friendships look like by learning about what unhealthy friendships look like.

Generally, they shouldn’t be stressful and demanding.

You shouldn’t feel like you need to walk on eggshells around a friend because any little thing could set them off.

You shouldn’t be putting their needs before your own in order to please them.

They shouldn’t act like they know you better than you know yourself. Your friends are not the authority on you, only you are.

If they become irritated with you all the time for no other reason than you simply existing, there’s a problem.

If they’re dismissive of the things you’re passionate about, the things that make you feel excited, there’s a problem.

If they take your friendship for granted, there’s a problem.

If you desperately need their support and they won’t give it, there’s a problem.

If their friendship and love are highly conditional on you being what they want you to be, there’s a problem.

If they’re having a relationship with their projection of you instead of you, there’s a problem.

No one is perfect. We’re all shitty friends sometimes, but when some of these things start to add up into an overall unhealthy relationship, it’s time to reevaluate that relationship.

As an adult, I feel like I have a lot more control over who I choose to spend my time with. None of my relationships are passive. I have to work to make them happen.

I believe in giving people second chances, opportunities to change, but I don’t believe in third, fourth, or fifth chances. I don’t believe in endless chances. At some point, you need to be able to recognize that your friend isn’t going to change.

You have a choice. Can you or can you not live with that?

I’m still making mine.