I’m Right, You’re Wrong… Always

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So I just found out that I don’t sh*t rainbows. This is news to me.

As a “hyper-rational” (a.k.a an arrogant s.o.b.) I’ve always fashioned myself as a great communicator and logical conflict-resolution”er”. Seriously on a scale of 1-mature, I’m off the meter (right mom?). Welp even I have fallen from grace.

I suppose I should admit that “when the going gets tough, Taryn gets gone… quick.” Like Speedy Gonzalez, I run from conflicts and disagreements faster than one can say “onomatopoeia”. I always thought that since I had the least arguments, that meant I was better at having them.

Up until I was 22, when I was having a disagreement with someone, I’d hide under the curt-tails of my parents. Looking back, I have to admit that it was childish, but hey, I didn’t develop the necessary coping skills until recently.

Bottom line: It’s hard to communicate and navigate the interpersonal relationships of your life– especially for the newer ones. For instance, I could have an argument with my best friend, and because we’ve known each other for so long, things get resolved fairly quickly. However if it’s with a newer person, the foundation isn’t there and I’m quick to jump ship.

I recognize that it’s immature– which is why I’m taking aim to fix it, but dang is it hard work! While today was a tough mental day for me in terms of communication and arguing in a productive manner, I have made progress and I am proud! So here I am, getting off of my high-horse. I’m not used to the view down here, but I have a feeling  I’ll get used to it. 🙂

How to be a Creep in Starbucks

I love coffee. I also love staring at attractive men. So what do you get when you put the two together? A very distracted writer, that’s what. I’ve finally perfected my writing routine. I write my rough drafts with a pen and paper without headphones on, it’s quite glorious actually. Once I’m done fleshing out the article, I then open my laptop. You’d be surprised how productive I am lately. Anyway, I’m getting my writing on and this attractive gentleman decides to sit next to me as if he didn’t know his gorgeousness wouldn’t be a distraction. Continue reading “How to be a Creep in Starbucks”

Why Interpersonal Communication is Dead

Today, I was going to write about my fondness for admiring older men (another story for another time), but I find myself baffled by the complexities of topics such as harassment and the like. I wasn’t going to talk about such subjects because as a woman, it appears that I may have differing opinions on the matter as opposed to the masses. However, after watching some troubling YouTube videos and reading about scary moments when a member of the opposite sex tried to strike up a conversation; I have become to believe one thing. Interpersonal communication is dying among Millennials.

What is Interpersonal Communication?

 Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication.

 

Obviously I don’t mean that everyone under that category cannot speak to one another, but as we all become so engrossed with our precious technologies, we seem to have forgotten how to talk to our fellow man. When was the last time you talked to someone you didn’t know who was within 10 feet of you? Furthermore, if someone approached you offering casual conversation, would you accept and engage? I’m not talking about the cat calling weirdness that sometimes happens, but if a person poses a legitimate topic, would you write them off?

I ask this because all too often, I’m seeing/hearing people complain about harassment when the question was harmless. Since we seldom interact with each other in a spontaneous fashion, it seems as though our ability to do so has diminished severely. What I mean by this is that, communication/interaction is like a muscle, if you don’t exercise it from time to time, it will become underdeveloped and essentially useless. I grew up in a small  town in Southern California, where if you were in a long line, it would be completely normal to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you. Nowadays doing that same action results in the recipient either thinking you’re weird or are trying to hit on them. Even more so, that one encounter becomes the cornerstone argument that harassment is a real and rampant thing that is oppressing the female gender. One Youtuber even went as far as saying that a woman’s #1 fear is rape. Uh, my biggest fear is snakes…so… yeah. I’m not saying harassment does not exist, it does. Has it happened to me? You bet. However, I do not live my life in fear because of a few instances. What’s even more frustrating is that hashtag movements have become a soap box for individuals to talk about the one time they got hit on at the bar by someone who was either incredibly nervous or could have been a jackass.

Let’s be honest, going up to a stranger and starting a conversation is hard, for everyone. It requires one to muster up the courage to speak with you in the first place, which seems like a miracle since we’re so distant from each other anyway. We’re already so closed off from the idea of talking to others without it coming from a cellphone, it’s not even funny. So my next question is, if talking to someone in a line, at a bookstore, or in a bar is so taboo or considered harassment, how are we supposed to connect with one another? Personally, even as an introvert, if anyone offers something interesting to say, I gladly welcome the interaction. Why? Because I appreciate the effort of a person wanting to interact and be human for a minute. What’s not human is being glued to a device as your only means of connecting with the outside world. Also, I find it entertaining as some of the very same people who are for this “movement” are the very same folks who complain about having trouble making friends or meeting potential partners. Well those types of interactions require you to speak to one another. It’s not rocket science.

To be clear, I am not downplaying anyone’s plights or dealings with harassment of any kind. I believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable and safe. My problem is with the growing few who interpret a book recommendation as a scary experience thus deeming someone creepy. Guess what, not everyone is trying to sleep with you. Sometimes it’s nice to speak to someone new using your voice and not your thumbs. Let’s turn off our phones and get to know each other in the old fashioned way. So, with that being said, I’m off to go to a new coffee shop and speak to a stranger. I encourage you to do the same. 🙂

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I’ve Changed

Why is it, that whenever you make great strides in the right direction, there is almost always someone there trying to drag you down? It is so frustrating! These past 3 months, I’ve changed so much and for the better. I’ve eliminated so much unnecessary stress it’s crazy and yet, here I am pissed about things I cannot control. I should add that usually when I get my feathers ruffled it swings me into an emotional whirlwind. Externally, you can’t see it, but internally I’m at odds and I hate it. I loathe conflict to the nth degree and will typically bend until harmony is restored. I will fall on the sword even when it’s not my fault just to end the conflict. Well, I’ve changed. I should probably explain how I came to be this way.

When you go through events that make you understand how previous behaviors don’t work, they change you. Like you’ve stretched your brain and have grown to the point where you can’t turn back and become who you once were.Yes, I have changed. Gone are the days where I play martyr because I don’t want people to be mad at me. If they’re mad, so be it. No longer will I get so bent out of shape that I disrupt my balance because of someone else. I feel like I’ve lived my life for others for so long, that I’ve forgotten how to just be content with myself.

Being the middle child, I’ve always felt the need to go my own way and was fiercely independent. It’s funny how death changes you. I lost my grandma suddenly when I was 18 and became painfully aware of mortality and that we are all on this earth for a limited amount of time. So much so that I changed from being that independent kid to being a pillar for my family because I thought they needed it. I made more sacrifices than most kids that age and matured a lot more than necessary. I didn’t make the typical teenage mistakes and I’ve always been careful. Well, being careful is lame and I don’t want to act like I’m 45 anymore.

One of the many reasons why I decided to become a bum was the fact that I started identifying with 40+ years old rather than people in their early 20s. It was then, I realized that something was very wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being mature, but I certainly don’t want to be 55 regretting that I was so in my head that I didn’t allow myself to be young. Nobody likes a 55 year old in a tube top ;-). I’ve started putting me first and it’s been a great experience. I’ve lost almost 20 lbs. in 4 weeks, I’m not nearly as anxious, and I’m doing what I want to do for the first time in a long time. So there’s no way that I’m going to let external factors ruin my newfound autonomy.

So to recap my little rant, I’m working to let go of things that are out of my control. No point in stressing if you can’t change the outcome. Screw being a doormat, it’s no fun and nobody deserves to be one. So don’t push me because I’m pushing back. Be happy with yourself for yourself. I’ve learned that happiness comes from within and if you’re trying to get it from someone else, chances are they will disappoint you. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just we aren’t perfect so to keep that expectation on someone is not fair by any means. Now with that all said and done, I plan on conquering this life while I still can. Cheers to the weekend! Oh and I also saw Divergent this morning, they did a great job, I highly recommend it. 🙂

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Growing Up is Hard to Do

Maintaining relationships be it familial, friendly, or love related, is tough business! You have to be able to check your egos at the door and really put some effort into it if you want them to succeed. I will admit that I have a pretty big ego; after all if your peers keep telling you “how mature” you are, chances are you’ll start believing the hype. You can kind of say that I became the Justin Bieber of maturity (I.E. so high off my own hype that I act like I’m 5). On a side note, can you really blame the kid? A society that pretty much made him a deity before his balls dropped, and now we have the audacity to point and say he’s entitled? I guess everyone thought that through… Anyway back to my ridiculousness.

Today, I’ve learned that I need to dig deep and go to uncomfortable places to learn and grow among people. Far too quickly, I tend to cut people off and move on before the nitty gritty substance of how humans sustain meaningful connections come into play. The lesson that I learned today is that though I thought I was the epitome of awesomeness at communication and how things are supposed to be worked out, I still have some work to do. Therein lies the problem when one (in this case I) believes that they have learned all there is to know on what makes coexisting with others harmonious. Living/existing with others takes work and the ability to keep growing through experiences. The takeaway is that we never stop learning. The moment we think we know it all is the day we’re not evolving within our relationships. Stay inquisitive, my friends!

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I Forgot My Phone

Here is a short video by Charlene deGuzman about smart phones. I was blown away by how profound it is. I think we as a society are so invested in capturing “the moment” that we fail to enjoy it while we’re living it. We then look back at pictures and video clips with pangs of nostalgia never having fully experienced that reality. And we wonder why we can’t connect with people anymore. I for one am going to get off my phone and talk to the person next time me more often. Life is too short to be glued to a phone.