What Are We?

The infamous DTR, is the conversation most men and some women avoid with a ten foot pool. Within our current society this conversation is unavoidable due to the current state of dating.

I never really sat and thought about this question until it was mentioned within a conversation with who I will refer to as “the blue eyed boy”.  Mr. Blue eyes simply stated that after a while he was about  to approach the question “what were we doing?”(If you do not know the outcome of this please read “Bad at Love” posted previously its alluded to in the second story). I stumbled on a generic answer that it was naturally progressing in its own direction, and I sounded like a true tool at the moment and also after  when reflecting on my answer.

To be honest, I did not know the answer to the question. We were sorta friends but were we aiming towards more? All of our conversations were mostly platonic enough with an edge of flirtation. Well to be fair a little more than an edge of flirtation.

I openly flirted and did have genuine interest but all we had was two hangouts and constant messages. Does that define a relationship label?

When you look at what dating has become within the modern society for millennials, you start to understand why the question arises so often, and how someone could easily ask the question what are we were after a few hangouts and constant communication.

Dating is a shit show. Before when analyzing dating methods in the past we went from courtships and young marriages, to less formal settings where one dated and married their high school sweetheart or typically their first love. Through a few more decades and so many other steps we some how get to our modern mess of dating without clear definition if you are just “hanging out” or are you something more. Leading to the infamous DTR conversation.

Today’s dating arena contains the following  (but not limited to) relations : Netflix and chill style dating, Christian courtships, friends with benefits, sex without the friendship, poly amorous relationships, open relationships, strictly only friends, hanging out, and the classic relationship.

To put it lightly dating is confusing. You never really know where you stand and there is the constant question that plagues us naturally:  Do they want more out of this?

Although I gave the worst douche bag answer to the “blue eyed boy” (which some day I will apologize for),  he still made me realize how unclear it could be.

With traditional dating out the window within our society, it is time for those who want something real to stop waiting to ask the question “what are we?” and to start controlling the situation from the start. We need to start dating intentionally.

Dating intentionally is a well known concept within the Christian community. That is dating someone where both of your intentions are marriage or long term commitment.

At some point although I highly agree with dating intentionally and dating someone with similar intentions, lets take this concept a step further.

It is time to start building friendships intentionally. With intentional dating someone there is already an established label, and there is already the stigma that the two of you are in fact together in some form of a relationship.

So what is building friendships intentionally?

One thing I rarely do is label every person as my friend. I have a plethora of coworkers, acquaintances, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ but very few friends within my inner circle. Personally, friendship is an extension of my family. Many of my friends become intertwined with my life that they become an essential part of my family. There is a study that shows that people that you keep within your inner circle develop who you are and shapes key parts of your personality. My goal within my inner circle is to constantly keep people around that not only are genuinely amazing individuals,  but people that I would love to emulate in some form or a key quality they possess that I lack. Every person within my inner circle contains many characteristics that I wish to possess or help me grow and achieve goals.

Intentional friendships is not limited to people who are just potential romantic partners. The reality is you should be intentional with every friendship that you manifest and contribute to.  You should intentionally build friendships in hopes that one of the friendships could manifest into something more romantic and into intentional dating.

Building an intentional friendship is truly getting to know another person past social communication. There are four types of communication Social (superficial-weather conversation, mental (ideas and non-controversial beliefs), emotional (fears and tear jerkers, hopes, and more controversial beliefs), and spiritual.  Intentional friendship building gives you two months to really start to learn about the person. In reality it typically takes a life time to truly know another person, but taking two months without being overly romantic or any  physical touch or completely alone time is key. You really start to see if you would be friends with this person let alone date them. It allows for the infatuation period to be less about getting to know the person and more about a connection the moves past superficial communication. You move past the first stage of communication to the next and start to build the trust of the other person. At the end of two months the two of you can decide if you want to DTR, date intentionally, or just be friends. Within this stage no one gets deeply attached on an emotional level and it helps to really understand compatibility. You either find someone that you want to date or you find another friend along the way.

Which leads into dating intentionally. Dating intentionally has two aspects. The first aspect is knowing self which I discussed in my post “When to settle down” in depth, but it simplifies to knowing your own self worth, what you deserve, and not settling for anything less. Along with knowing oneself you must truly be ready to enter the third stage of communication which is emotional communication. You must be able to break down your walls and let someone else into your life.  The chasm between the first two levels of communication and the third is rather wide because the third level is the level of trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency. Most of us are afraid to be wrong and absolutely terrified to be rejected and communicating at the emotional level opens us up to be rejected, hurt, and scarred.  Most of us yearn for this emotional connection and communication with people, but for individuals, like myself, we constantly push against it settling for mundane conversations about abstract ideas and superficial topics. Truly dating with intention means communicating about our fears, dreams, faith, motivation, wants, needs, and joys.

Naturally all of this leads into the last type of communication, spiritual communication,  and hopefully a relationship that withstands time.

Building friendships and dating intentionally avoids the awkward stages and conversations that we all dread. It also leads to less confusion on wants and needs as well as hurting another person or feeling hurt yourself.

This is easier said than done. I preach intentionally dating to teens until I am blue in the face but application is not always as easy.

You must truly be ready to settle down and make your intentions clear. When you are not clear about wanting to build a friendship and staying the course of intentional dating, infatuation can easily take over and true intentions get lost in translation. When you cannot adequately express yourself and your intentions, it is easy to never truly enter an intentional friendship or begin to intentionally date.

Lesson well learned from Mr. Blue Eyes , who once gave me uncontrollable butterflies. Acknowledge the need to build an intentional friendship with someone before diving into intentional (or just regular) dating. When you do not slow down and build the solid friendship, infatuation can easily fade leaving two people who truly do not know one another. If you are similar to myself be open about your walls that are hard to overcome and remember building a stable foundation is key to constructing any structure that is worth while.  Move to emotional communication and past that with someone only when you are truly ready but be open about not feeling ready. Stop trying to impress and express. Express your true self and open up to all the possibilities.

 

 

 

Being Human: Love

So the theme of the week was love. I talked personally about being bad at love and followed it with a post on determining the moment you are finally ready for love. Obviously as I posted on Monday, love is not something I would say I am always wise on, at least within the romantic realm.

Today I am going to apply the concept of love to the series being human. There are so many facets of being human, but one that is a constant for every person on this planet like faith is love.

Examining love outside of relationship goals and stories of my struggles is a bit easier for me. Looking at love from a project stand point and being less critical of my own faults causes a lot of revelation on what it is truly like being human.

Love according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the following

Love:

a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties

  • maternal love for a child
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers

  • After all these years, they are still very much in love.
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

  • love for his old schoolmates
b : an assurance of affection

  • give her my love

As one can see love boils down to affection and attraction towards someone. According to Merriam-Webster and most other sources love is this emotional attachment or desire towards another person.

I do on some level agree with the definition of love provided, but it is truly not all-encompassing. Love is more than an affection or attraction to someone. In the realm of being human most of us have had the feeling of love outside of people. We love the high of a drug, we love our pets, we love the feeling of sleeping in on a Saturday, we love the drink that erases the worries of the week, we love praise from other people, we love attention from our crush, we love the high right after sex, we love the intense rush after facing our fears, we love God and our faith, simply we has humans love so many things.

One can argue that I am over using the word love and taking it out of context,  or it may seem that I am taking small things that we like and saying we love them. In reality, I am not at all. As humans, love is more than an emotion towards a person.

Love is a chemical reaction and more specifically a human chemical reaction.

Although there are some people who say that love is more complex than a chemical reaction, first we need to stop and think about all the times that humans love objects and abstract ideas, and later I will address this argument.

Falling in love and the action of loving  is created when our bodies release certain hormones and chemicals that simply create an overall happy and calm feeling for the person. This overall chemical reaction or high leads to so many of us becoming addicted to love, the concept of love, or things that imitate this reaction and emotions released.

Love makes us feel good. So many people chase the high or feelings of that precious chemical reaction that leaves us feeling great and satisfied.

Some of us go after it by chasing the wrong mate, some of us gain similar feelings through owning animals, some of us become adrenaline junkies and chase adventure, some of us satisfy it through one night stands or masturbation, some of us find it and chase it through drugs and alcohol, and the list is endless. We simply start to fall in love with things that happen to imitate the same feelings and chemical releases.

We become a slave to the feelings and high of the chemical reaction.

Aside from the chemical reaction, on some level I agree love is more than a chemical reaction.  Love can manifest past the chemical state with certain people and specific things. You can have this emotional attachment to something that started with a chemical reaction but simply becomes a constant in life that helps connect us to the world around us. As humans we not only crave that precious chemical reaction we also crave attachment and connection which is the second facet of love. Love for our faith gives us attachment and connection that we crave. It gives us something to hold onto when there is no one. It gives us hope when all we see is despair. It is a connection to something beyond us, it is a connection to something better.

The same connection can be applied to a romantic relationship, drug high, to partying, our friends, our animal companions, adventure, and so many other things we claim to love. It is an attachment or connection that allows us to feel a little less alone within the world and connected to something bigger or attached to something that takes away our reality. It simply helps to fill a void or emptiness.

Being Human is not simple but understanding that we crave love and connection helps us understand one another a little better.

So often we succumb to judging others and ridicule them for the decisions they make in life that helps them feel attached and connected to something. We label them in society as misfits, drug abusers, rebels, zealous bible thumpers, and so many other derogatory things.  Simply we all have a choice but we need to stop labeling and judging others and start understanding what leads them to the choices they make and how can we love and connect with them regardless of their choices.

So often I write about bringing joy into your day and random acts of kindness. I write about it so often because, this is a way to connect and attach yourself to other people. It also helps those people becoming connected to the world around them. Never underestimate human connection and spreading a little piece of love to the world.

Love is a powerful tool and a huge aspect of being a human. It is bigger than faith and purpose because most of the time love and connection leads us to our faith and purpose. It is a language that every single person on this planet can relate to on some level. Love can transform a life in a positive or negative way.

So why not make it a positive experience each day.

Love is our human connection.

-Bella

 

 

Chasing Butterflies 2.0

Within the past year, I have adopted and coined the phrase ““Chase the butterflies, because that is when you feel truly alive”.   Anyone who actively follows my writing has read multiple pieces about chasing the feeling regardless if it comes to love, changes in life, or something as mundane as sharing your soul through your work.  This has been a constant motto when I decide to actively pursue a new adventure in life.

Every human naturally has the instincts to alert them of danger and unknown territory.  We are naturally programmed to distance ourselves from things that are not natural to our-self. When things are not familiar we begin to feel afraid, our hearts starts to race, we become nervous, we avoid the unfamiliar, and ultimately we stay within our comfort zone.  We are simply creatures of habit.  Our brain is also programmed to tell us “you cannot get this done”, “this is crazy”, and any other phrase that stops us from pursuing something head on.

Due to my natural inclination to remain within comfort, I have made it my personal goal to chase the butterflies, to push past all my fears.  To become truly alive.  Fear is such a huge limitation even when we do not even recognize fear. Personally my anxiety and the expectations that I see within society limits the things that I pursue.  The truth is I limit myself in so many ways in life, as do so many other individuals.  We constantly tell ourselves that we are not good enough or allow society to tell us what is acceptable and what is not.  Chasing the butterflies has become a constant reminder that at the point when the fear of the unknown comes within my life that  I will constantly pursue that unknown.  That moment when you fear jumping the most is when you need to take the leap because growth is not developed within comfort zones.

As I coined “chasing the butterflies”, I have never stopped to think of the symbolism and importance of butterflies within the world view.  Butterflies have a vast amount of meanings depending on the person and the culture.  Within the christian religion butterflies signify resurrection, other people around the world see it as symbols representing endurance, change, hope, and life. There are so many heartfelt stories and meaning to each person that you come across.

Today as I hastily began to get ready for my last Sunday within my current position, I look up on my mirror and see a green butterfly. My first thought was that I was going to remind my niece to stop placing stickers on things throughout my house, and something told me to blow on the sticker, as i began to blow the wings of the butterfly fluttered and than moved to another position.  This was in fact a butterfly in my bathroom at 7 am in the morning was pretty peculiar and it was my favorite color.

I am not a person that believes in coincidence or mistakes.  That butterfly was my symbol.   It was a symbol for my life and the current life circumstances that I am at right now.  I am making a huge career move, and I have been questioning if my abilities will be suited well with the new responsibility. I have been struggling with my confidence to drive steadily into the future without looking back.  I have had butterflies and have felt the fear lingering within the dark corners of my being. Not only with my career but also within many aspects of my personal life.  The color green is a symbol of growth, ambition, harmony, renewal, and energy.  It is time for my new path. I am going to chase my green butterfly and start to feel more alive than ever before.

You will always catch me chasing the butterflies.

 

Why I Write…

When coming across my blog, most people can see such a large variety within my topics. My topics range and does not seem like they are one cohesive unit.  All of my writing centers around real life. It examines the daily challenges of a person regardless who you are. It pinpoints the injustices and struggles within the society we live in.  I am here to remind everyone life is not what is on social media. It is not this defined happy place that we all want to paint for others to see.

Life is an adventure with a ton of twists and turns along the way.  I am about sharing the negatives not just the perfected edited glossy prints. This is a space that is open to all opinions that is backed by research and proof. A place to share you fears of not feeling like you are enough.  To realize that your future is shaped by what you do not the images that society wants you to be.

This is a reminder and a compilation of all the crazy thoughts that we all have but it may not always be expressed.

Please share your opinions and let me know your thoughts….

 

 

 

Life Sucks

Everyday I come across articles that talk about how we should live the best life and a ton of positive messages.  The truth is I am a positive walking billboard.  I always see light in the darkest of places, and find a lesson in every circumstance.  I am a true optimist.  I share all those positive messages on my social media and I am constantly trying to up lift the people within my inner circle.

Although I am way too positive, the truth is life sucks, especially the day to day mundane bull crap.   My life is hard and I am constantly battling against dark forces.  I work more than I sleep. I never have time just to breath.  Life is truly hard.

There it is, the truth have been told. Just being able to share the fact that life sucks is beyond liberating.

With that being said, lately I have been thinking a lot about karma and others motives.  I have not firmly determined if I believe in the concept of Karma.  Truth be told I have seen some pretty terrible things happen to the best of people and some of the greatest things happen to people who obtain riches through terrible means.

I do not know why bad things happen to good people and the reverse, but what i do know, life is less about what happens to us and more about how we handle everything that happens to us.

I am someone who legitimately has the worse luck, if there is something bad to happen it will happen to me.  The funny thing is I chalk each experience up to a funny story or as a way to understand the world around me.  Truth is life sucks, but you can treat each horrible experience as a reason to complain or take life by the horns and keep it moving.

 

 

Miracle Intervention

I am a big believer that everything happens for  a reason.  There is a purpose behind every mishap in life. Life tends to knock us down for a reason.  Although I believe that nothing happens by coincidence, when something terrible in life happens I always blame it one my terrible luck or the fact that I attract mishaps or problems.

The truth is no one wants to have negative things happen to them, but every good or bad experience in life teaches us all about this crazy thing we call life. It gives us strength that was hidden behind every good experience. It teaches us that bad things happen to you regardless of the type of person you are. To enjoy the little things in life, to enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin, the wind on a hot day, and the people that make you smile from ear to ear. Misfortune puts life into perspective.

This year has been an even mix of peaks and valleys that have sent my life in every direction. I have made so many strides forward but have also had things tear me down to nothing.  With my last valley, I truly had the roughest time accepting that this was just another lesson. I did not see the light or anything positive coming from it. I honestly felt lost. I felt like my life lacked direction and that everything was spinning out of control.

Now honestly I have not fully recovered. I am still struggling from my last valley.  The light is not shining bright, and I am in search of the next peak and climbing the mountain. I cannot firmly say that this was the greatest life lesson I received but it was a miracle in disguise.

I have been living slightly over my means, and life decided to eliminate that and leaving me no choice but to live within my means. Now my finances and budget is on point allowing me to put a large portion of my checks into my savings again. The second thing that has happened is that I have been trying to reduce the size of my circle. Eliminate the negativity and to start keeping my life as positive as possible.  Part of this issue before my miracle was that I was invested into this small venture with someone that has been a constant source of negativity within my life. They worked harder to bring me down than to help lift me up. It was one of the most toxic relationships within my life.

The greatest things that I have learned is that sometimes when life seems to have turned upside down and you feel like moving on is impossible, maybe this is the miracle intervention that you needed. It is that swift kick in the butt that you might need. It will make a life decision that you would not have necessarily made on your own.  Instead of letting things tear you down, look and find the strength within yourself that you never thought was imaginable. Life will never stop giving you lemons, but there is always tequila for sale. So take a shot, eat the damn lemon, and keep on moving forward.

 

Lots of love.  From someone still climbing out of the valley to reach a new peak.

Running Towards the Light

Mark Twain once said  “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

I never realized that finding your purpose in life could change the way you view the world. I used to believe that having values, a moral center, and a general life direction lead to having a fulfilling life until the day that I found my purpose.  Finding that one thing that drives you is truly life changing. It confirms your values, explains your moral center, and it leads your life down the appropriate path that it was meant to take.

For the longest time, I always wanted to be “successful”. To live a life that one day when I would retire, I could look back and think that I lived a life with little regrets.  I linked my success with my position within the corporate ladder, and my goal to be on top.   I knew personally that I loved working with people and helping those in need. I found a company that I could help people and allow me to climb the corporate ladder, I had that moment where I thought that when I was old I would be proud of what I did. That was until I found my purpose.

Finding your purpose is almost like finding your soul mate when you never believed in the idea of soul mates to start with.  It is like having that unexplained happy feeling and knowing that what you are doing just feels…”right”. It completes you as a person. It makes you go from not realizing anything was missing from your life to feeling whole and complete.  Feeling like there is not limits that you cannot overcome.

I have recently found my purpose. It makes me feel whole. It feels like my life is taking the direction that is was meant to take. It gives me the sense that even if I end up broke for the rest of my life, at least I lived a rich life filled with passion.  So many people wake up and go to a 9-5 and make a great wage. They survive and they are content, but I want to fill truly alive. I want to know that everyday I wake up like it is a Saturday morning. Excited about what I will be doing and all the possibilities that the day will bring.

Finding your purpose and passion in life can change life as you know it.  I cannot explain the process of finding out the “why” to your life, but on all accounts you will know when you find your purpose. When you cannot imagine doing anything else with your life. When life goes from black and white to technicolor.  Every life has a purpose but not everyone finds their true calling. If you are someone who finds their purpose in life run towards the light until the moment that you can bathe in the rays.

-Valentina