Friends don’t let friends exploit one another

I am a good person. I like being a good person and doing things for other people. If I am not looking out for me, I would say that I like helping people out, even if it causes distress for me, because it makes them happy. Some part of me feels if other people are happy around me, because of me, then I can feel good about myself. It is stupid, I know. I am finally dealing with this behavior.

And I do, albeit for a short time. Then, there comes a time where I could use their help. Instead what I get are excuses why they cannot help me. Or I am ignored. Or I get this response “Sorry, I have no time, but hey, can you do me a huge favor?”

I feel my last job followed along very similar lines. I did the clichéd “above and beyond” year after year, with no rewards or recognition. It is because I am a good person. I keep telling myself I am a good person.

Why do I feel this need to be a good person, even to people who are not good to me? For me? More so, why is it so important that I need these people to like me? Is this a behavioral thing I learned while I was growing up? Maybe. Possibly. Very well could be. Sure, it is a behavioral thing, but I can change this. I am changing this.

Possibly, this is why right now, instead of being paranoid about one of those “exploiting friends”  ignoring me right now, I feel annoyance. I listen and acknowledge you. It is time for you to listen and acknowledge me.

Friendships are supposed to be shared between two people. Friends should be supportive of each other. They should not exploit the friendship. Year after year, I have done things for this friend, professionally-related things, where she did not acknowledge it as what I do for a living. If I were to put into financial terms what I have done for this one friend, I could pay one month’s rent for a decent 1 + 1 bedroom apartment, in a nice area of Studio City. Instead, I got a $50 gift card months later, as well as several sob stories about how money is tight at the moment, because “you know, kids and their medical bills and all.” Sure. I understand, as I now have to dig into my savings to pay my bills because I am short this month because you could not pay. But hey. at least I have free coffee.

It is one of those reasons why I ended my previous career at the end of last year. I was tired of being exploited by friends who thought they could get a good deal because we were friends. Yes, we were friends.

I guess I needed to release a little there.

Advertisements

I feel good. Why does that make me feel bad?

I feel good. I am riding a lovely high of “Life is good” and I am enjoying it. It feels good – great, amazing, fantastic – to be enjoying life. I am happy. I spent so much of my life not happy. Now I am and I find myself feeling bad about it. Why? Why do I do that?

I see what others are going through right now, and it makes me feel bad that I feel good. I find that when I am talking with certain people, I hide my happiness and contentment as best I can, because their lives are not going so well. Is this why I try to find reasons to be unhappy? I do not want them to feel like they are the only ones suffering?

Seriously, why do I feel bad about feeling happy? Why can I not be more selfish about my own happiness? Honestly, most of the time that I feel good, there is this little voice in the back of my brain telling me that I should not boast about it – others are not as happy.

When my brain needs to react (to anxiety for example) it does not. When I need my brain to keep silent, it shouts. My brain and I need to have a little conversation after this. It apparently does not understand the priority levels for what is to what is not important.

I feel good and I should feel good about it.

I can do this

Like my singing, I am shy about my art ability. I know I am talented, but I do not feel like I am “be out there” talented. I follow several artist communities on Instagram, whose work is always amazing. I see what they post and I beat myself up because I feel that I am not as talented as they are.

Yesterday, I finished up a piece I am really proud of. It shows that I can do this. I can be an artist. I am riding an “I can do this” high right now. I want to ride this for as long as I can.

TheFluffies_darcher_012616
“The Fluffies” © 2016 Darcher

This painting, aka “The Fluffies,” is proof that I can do this. For me, it is.

Let us see how long I can keep this going.

Emotionally speaking…

It is raining rather hard right now, and it is distracting me. I want to stare out the window and watch it. However, I have an entry to write, so let us focus, shall we?

Last week, I came across a test question that resonated with me a little more than I had anticipated: You see yourself as emotionally stable.

Do I see myself as emotionally stable? Yes, but not in the way you would normally think. I am emotionally stable because my emotions make me who I am. This is only a recent self-discovery moment for me.

Even the emotions that frustrate me. Like the ones that cause me to cry. I cry a lot. I cry because I am frustrated, or angry, or sad, or anxious, or stressed, and when I am happy. In the past, this bothered me. I would cry more.

Now, I realize that my emotions are what guide me through the harder moments of my life. Yes, also the easy ones. My emotions are my “gut” – they make sure I am listening so I make the right choices.

<side note – ever have on of those days where typing seems really foreign? I am having one of those right now.>

I tend to fight my emotions and consider them a sign of weakness. In truth, they are my strength and I should rely on them more. More good has come from situations where I allow my emotions to be in control. Yes, even the bad moments. My emotions are there to aide me.

I might not be emotionally stable. That might not be the right thing. Emotionally aware?

That is more accurate. I am emotionally aware.

note: if you were curious, the “You see yourself as emotionally stable” statement comes from the Myers Briggs test. If you are super curious, I am an INFJ-T

It’s the end of the year that we just lived, and I feel fine.

I started this entry at the end of 2015. I never managed to finish it. The plan was to do the usual reflection on the previous year, blah blah blah. And I wrote a considerable amount. However, it never made it to post.

Also, on the last day of 2015, I sat down and started to reflect on the year in my journal. I did not get that far on that either.

You know why? I do not need to. There is no need for inner reflection. Writing on the last day of each year was a release for the part of me that needed the ear. I needed an “ear” to hear me out regarding every thing I did or did not do during that particular year.

I wrote about the good, the bad, the embarrassing, and the perplexing moments. I wrote about my goals for the new year. The plans I had for myself in those entries were daydreams I did not have the determination to make realities.

Every year, I would repeat this inner reflection.

This past year, I decided not to. I can reflect on the past and dream about the future all I want, and continue to be a passive passenger in my own life. Or, I can be proactive and actually do something.

Which I am doing. Instead of talking about the great dreams I have for the year, I have started working on them.

I am working on a rewrite of short story right now, which is going a direction I never anticipated.

My paints, pencils, and brushes are starting at me, itching to be in my hand. 

My goal for this year is to live in the moment.

And I would to get back to that now.