Have you ever caught yourself stuck in a situation you didn’t want to be in? You defied that intuitive feeling that told you “nah sis, I don’t want to do this,” yet there you are trying your best not to think about an escape plan while engaging in an uninteresting (and unimportant) conversation. Or thinking about how you could’ve saved your coins had you just said no! If you are anything like me, a natural nurturer and giver, saying no is innately a difficult thing to do. I learned a while ago that when I am asked to do something I don’t necessarily want to do, I’m inclined to say yes despite the fact that my intuition and my body are screaming “NO” at the top of their lungs. Why is it so hard to say no?
Boundaries, that is why. Repeat after me, boundaries. Uncovering what your boundaries are means understanding exactly what it is you want. Often times I worry about offending someone and neglect the physical and mental reaction that my body is giving me. Disregarding my own feelings makes me more disappointed in myself when I end up in a situation that I know I should not be in. In the situation I’m constantly wondering why I’m there, wishing I was in my bed instead. This is where self awareness takes place. Why is that I put others before myself? Why do I consider the other person’s wants and needs quicker than my own? Why am I willing to inconvenience myself for someone else?
My problem with saying no and lack of boundaries begins with my inability to say no to the most important people in my life: my family. Building the courage to say no to them was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. I was torn between feeling guilt, and fearful of what the outcome would be. It was when I realized my self doubt, self hatred, and lack of confidence came from their verbal abuse. Their doubt and negativity was a drug, and I was succumbing to it in every way. I was drowning in their fears and I knew it was time to say no when I started living in them. Their doubt in my capabilities made me question every aspect of my life. I began questioning myself more than ever and thus came the dreadful insecurities that I am still fighting off today. So, how do you say no to family?
Truth is you don’t. What you do is model and only allow behavior that you deserve. This may take some time, especially if you’ve developed an unhealthy idea of how you should be treated. Knowing and understanding your boundaries means you have to discover and explore what it is that brings you peace. That does not mean agreeing to something you don’t agree with in order to maintain that peace. That is a prime example of not loving yourself. You are choosing someone else’s comfortability over your own. Modeling and only allowing behavior you know you deserve can be difficult. If you are anything like me, stubborn and ready to vocalize herself, it takes a lot of willpower to not engage in argumentative dialogue with people who refuse to understand you.
What I learned was to express myself as directly and precise as I could. While I was ready to express and vocalize my emotions, I learned that not everyone has the same capacity. There were many moments where I felt defeated and hopeless. My family was not willing to understand the pain they were causing me.
Eventually, I walked away from anything and anyone who was unwilling to meet me halfway. I walked away from people who were not willing to be self aware and accountable for themselves, even family. More importantly, I recognized that I won’t always get the apology I know I deserve. I have learned to be okay with that. Their actions and lack of effort to better understand my emotions is loud enough.
What people’s reaction may be when you say no is not for you to control. Worry about how you are at risk of losing yourself if you don’t say no. Codependency has the potential to make you want to give more than you should. Do not let lack of boundaries be the reason you cannot trust yourself and your intuition. Do not let codependency keep you from eliminating people who drain your energy while making you feel responsible for theirs. Prioritizing yourself. Set those boundaries fearlessly. It will teach people how to treat you. Trust me, once you acknowledge your emotions it empowers you to be in control and aware of yourself.
Conquering the fear of saying no to family, acquaintances, friends, and relationships does indeed get easier. I’m not saying this will always be easy. What I mean is that eventually it will be second nature to choose yourself over anyone else.
Perhaps the most important thing I have learned about myself in my journey of saying no is knowing when I need to say no to myself. No, I will no longer allow family to get me out of my character. No, I will not allow half assed apologies without changed behavior. No, I am not responsible for someone else’s feelings. No, I do not have time for individuals who are not reciprocating the same effort and energy I give.
One more thing: Always remember you are deserving of the love you put out. So why not give it to yourself?
Most women my age beat themselves up over their childless circumstances. In American culture, 30 seems to be the acceptable age for moving into the family-building facet of life. Women feel like they have to be married by 30, have a baby by 30, own a house by 30, be in a stable career by 30. The reality of these challenging times is that most people aren’t even self sufficient by 30.
The fact of the matter is that most grown adults are still dependent on their families to survive. Gone are the days of the Baby Boomers where a teacher or a mechanic could afford to support a family and there was such a thing as employment security. Nowadays, we have grown adults with families of their own who receive continued financial support for various reasons stemming from economic inflation and mental health issues. And in this age of entitlement, it’s becoming the norm for grown adults to expect their parents to pay their mortgage, student loans, health care; then they have children and expect their parents to pay for them too.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with parents who want to help their kids, regardless of age. But that reality is a mere fantasy to others. For the rest of us who have to support ourselves— truly support ourselves— bringing a child into the world isn’t the smartest decision just yet.
We also live in a technological era that causes us to want everything now. It’s to the point we are destroying the planet at alarming rates simply for immediate gratification. How will this pan out for future generations?
These are a few factors I consider when I think about procreation:
Environmental Security: Now this is a hard one because most of it is out of my control. But I think about it a lot, which means it’s an important factor to creating life on this planet. It makes me so upset to go to the beach and see endless amounts of litter blowing by my blanket in the sand. I pick up other people’s trash constantly. I read about the devastating state of our oceans. I know about overpopulation and the earth’s dwindling resources. This is all common, accessible knowledge. And yet, people continue to litter, to ignore conservation efforts, and destroy the very world they bring their children in to live. It makes no sense to me. So I do my part, and when the time comes, my future children will do theirs. At this point, nothing less should be tolerated.
Financial Security: I’ve been asked a few times why I do “all this.” Well, number 1 because I can only rely on myself. The more trades I am able to work, the more likely I am to not only survive, but to thrive. People can achieve a certain level of success and lose it all within a matter of months. You can assume that the relationship you’re in will last forever, but patterns of marriage and divorce in America prove otherwise. When you don’t have people underneath you holding a safety net made of cash, this reality is enough to make you put the breaks on starting a family prematurely. This is a sink or swim economy. Sinking alone is one thing; sinking with an innocent life that depends on you is quite another. For me, being a parent means I am required to swim, and swim well. But I admit, I have high standards. If it’s not good enough for me, it certainly won’t be good enough for my offspring.
Emotional Security: Too often I see women have babies simply because of co-dependency issues. They just want someone to love them unconditionally. What better plan than to have a tiny person “need” them? What they fail to recognize, however, is that it’s the parent who is supposed to love the child unconditionally. The parent isn’t supposed to be the one “needing”; the parent should be the one teaching and leading. A child shouldn’t be the one expected to support the parent. This creates toxic patterns that will affect the emotional stability of the child well into adulthood and possibly the rest of his or her life if left untreated.
Furthermore, the child is a separate person from the parent, with his or her own likes, dreams, and aspirations. No one wants to be a vessel for their parent to live through, especially when he or she doesn’t even like the same things. I am not done living my own life. There are still personal accomplishments I’m striving to achieve and until I have done that, I won’t bring a child into this world. For me, forcing the things I didn’t do onto a child isn’t good enough. It’s not good enough for me, and it certainly isn’t good enough for them.
In my opinion, we’re at a point in society where Darwinism is at its best: survival of the fittest. We must learn to adapt to changing times in an era where our very world disintegrating beneath our feet due to the negligence of political leadership, artificial intelligence (AI) is replacing jobs left and right, and depression and anxiety are at an all-time high due to lack of mental health care. This may seem pessimistic, but I don’t believe it is. It’s reality. And it’s the reason I am alright without children for now.
For those who feel societal pressure to fit into this unrealistic cookie-cutter scenario of kids by 30: have the courage to walk your own path. Trying to control divine timing will only lead to karmic situations. I’m sure in a few years I’ll post another blog about the joys of motherhood and all the wonderful feelings that come along with it, because I do want a family. Though only on my terms, and in the very best conditions I can provide. Don’t all children deserve that from their parents?
Recommended healing crystals:
Carnelian: grounding stone to embrace reality and the cycle of life; motivates positive choices that lead to success
Fire agate: grounding stone that promotes inner security; helps heal unresolved emotional issues
What is it with lights and shiny things? The sparkle draws you in, tempting you with the unknown. This is the confession: my whole life I secretly desired the attention of being in love. Something boils deep inside me, a curiosity, a burning desire that I can’t seem to get in check. We tango in the red flickering light. We caminar in soft hues turned fluorescent blues; lead and follow in the ivory glow, the light I loved the most. It was soft, and its sparkle held a gleaming stare that ran right through my soul. I hadn’t tangoed in that light before. The ivory light that was warm and cold in unison, each step bringing a new temperature until the music stopped.
You think the silence could crush you. The dull afterglow is a sad reminder that once there was music. How can it be now there’s nothing to step to? My thoughts are a rumbling thunder over my heart and lighting strikes it with fury. What is there to hear in a silent room? I smile standing there alone, the sun peeking in through a window.
Ivory sparkles still linger on my skin. I miss the way it moved in the moonlight, glistening in the soft, still evening of the night. Standing in solitude, the sun sets on my face. Slowly, it begins to envelop me. The warmth grows within my body and projects back into the room. The ivory lingers in the shadows, backed into corner like a secret I no longer wish to know.
It flickers. Beckoning to me, testing my will. I know that the desire can burn so bright it blinds you. So I keep my distance and watch the ivory sparkle and fade.
We often become infatuated with stories we build of a person and the ideas of how things should be. We create illusions of a time that hasn’t been or may never be. Although it feels real, it isn’t. Some stories work out and other times it doesn’t. When it doesn’t we tend to become upset with the other person for not fitting into the stories we created. These moments are important for self growth. In this pain, we find out what we want, we realize what we don’t want, and what we need— actually need. There is a very distinct difference between feeding our fears and feeding our souls.
We must peel back the layers of our hearts. We must toss aside the thick, defensive armor we built to protect ourselves from the brutality of others. This has to be released in order to give yourself all the things you desire from others, all the love and compassion you thought you needed from another person. For some, it won’t be simple. It will take practice and dedication and deep exploration. It will mean confronting childhood traumas, crying it out, release, and healing. It will be a process. But soon enough, you will be drawn to yourself. Like a moth to a flame, you’ll be free to follow the light except the flame will be your own, harmless and like a warm hearth at home in your heart.
In order to find the ones who treat us like we deserve we must change our personalities to reflect the qualities we want to attract from others. We must release negative self talk, self doubt, and lack of self respect. We must go inward, do the work, and project what we want into the world. Then, and only then, do we get what we’ve been looking for in our everyday life.
To begin the process, identify the cause of heartbreak and pain. Who or what was the flame where you got burned? Focus only on yourself; leave the other person or circumstance out of the equation.What have you learned about your needs?
It’s happened. His presence annoys you more than it satisfies, you’re curious about other men, and where there was once a deep, longing look has now been replaced with constant eye rolling at everything he says and does. More than likely your relationship has hit a wall. If you’re unsure, read on for some tell-tale signs that it’s time to call it quits and move on with your life.
You don’t want the same things for the future… or even now.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about 10? If his vision doesn’t fit yours, then this relationship needs to end asap. It’s a huge waste of time. People who are vehement on not wanting kids, or staying financially complacent, or living in a certain area don’t change their mind miraculously just because you want them to. What happens it that you stick around sacrificing while they stay living in some fantasy land that you’re going to stop wanting the things you want. A financially complacent person doesn’t become ambitious; people that don’t want children might have kids and be neglectful, resentful parents (which sucks even more), and those who are rooted in a neighborhood you don’t want to live in and have told you multiple times they won’t move aren’t going anywhere. Don’t waste your time. Find someone who wants the same lifestyle as you.
You close your eyes during sex and picture other men just to get off.
LOL! How many of us have been here at the end of our relationship? Ladies, if you have to picture someone else then it’s time to go. It’s not fair to you, it’s not fair to him, and why live life in a lie? Sure it’s not cheating, but your relationship is at a point where even the sex can’t keep you together… that’s bad. You’re kicking a dead horse here. This is the type of feeling that turns into that god awful regret later on where you think about your ex and are disgusted by the thought you ever let him touch you. Don’t let it get bitter. Do the right thing: set this fool free.
Everything he does annoys you, and not in the cute “we’ve been together so long” type of way.
Mad at how sloppy his house is? Annoyed at his mannerisms? Can’t stand the way he carries himself? Well, guess what— this is him. Nothing you do is going to change that. And if he does change, it will be temporarily. Besides, changing someone into who you want them to be isn’t love. His crudeness will be cute to someone meant for him. His disgusting house will be great for someone equally gross… or someone who wants serious mother duties. If you feel more embarrassed than compassionate to his behavior and lifestyle, run away. Run away now for the sake of both your sanities.
There is emotional and/or physical abuse in the relationship.
This is a no brainer. If he’s hitting you or you’re hitting him, not only should you both be in therapy but this relationship is toxic as hell. It doesn’t matter what he did or you did that was annoying or pushed boundaries, no one deserves abuse. Codependency issues are real, and life is short. Be the bigger, stronger adult. Get some help and leave.
You (or he) has cheated.
Another no brainer. I get that it’s easy to find affection elsewhere when things are going sour in the relationship, but save this for your teens and early 20s when your still trying to figure out life. Cheating is a direct insult to a partner and really shows a lack of respect and utter disregard to the relationship. If you, or your partner, has cheated, you may want to reconsider the relationship. Especially if this has happened on multiple occasions. Some marriages make it through an infidelity and when you’ve already tied your lives together it makes sense to work through it. But if you’re still dating and sleeping around (or vice versa), chances are this isn’t the person for you. Don’t waste your life seeking the attention of someone who desperately needs validation from everyone else. This isn’t your problem. It’s theirs.
Life is too short to stay in shitty relationships. Trying to change someone into who you want them to be isn’t going to work, but will fester a strong resentment in the relationship that will only grow with time. Do everyone involved a favor and know when to call it. It’s not quitting, it’s knowing that your time and energy can be of better use elsewhere.
What was your tell-tale sign that a relationship was over?
Just to clarify, they don’t have to be 40. I think most people would agree that anything over 30 is ridiculous, especially because he is definitely not a boy anymore. 20 somethings might be able to get away with acting childish. After all, your 20s is the time to find yourself, make mistakes, fix them, learn from them, and grow the fuck up.
But not enough men grow up these days, or they grow up slower than shit. And not in that cute man way that can be endearing. These 40 year old fuckboys continue to do drugs well into their 30s and 40s, party every weekend like they’re trying to die, prey on younger women because no grown ass woman in her right mind would ever look twice at them and go, “Wow, he’d make a great partner/ father!” No, the 40 year old fuckboy is a man child in arrested development. He objectifies women because somewhere down the line his mom let him down and he never got over it.
This isn’t your fault ladies, and it’s not your job to fix. These are grown men. They are responsible for getting over their baggage so they can be good for themselves and you, not run around snorting coke every weekend, and DMing chicks behind your back because of their “low self esteem.” Get over it, fuckboy. See a therapist.
At first, the 40 year old fuckboy can seem like a great time. He has lots of friends and always seems to know what’s poppin’ around town. But wait. This nigga’s old. Look a little deeper and here’s what you’ll probably find:
1. He skips out on his child support.
The 40 year old fuckboy is irresponsible and always has been. He has a kid (or more) and he hides his money so the courts can’t make him pay for the child that he helped create. He’ll probably give the “whoa is me” speech about his “bitch” baby mama and you’re a fool if you buy it. If this is how he talks about the mother of his child, you best believe you’ll be in the same boat should you not heed this major red flag.
2. He’s an addict.
No responsible grown man gets fucked up every weekend, let alone multiple times a week. No responsible grown man chooses drugs and alcohol over his own child, his girl, his life. This man has a problem. Run away as fast as you can.
3. He still lives at home.
I understand that the economy is rough. I get that life is hard. But for the love of god, move out of your parents’ house if you’re over 30! There are a few reasons for this: 1 is that the 40 year old fuckboy has a dead end job and doesn’t even make enough money to have a roommate; 2 is that his irresponsibility has put him in so much debt that even with a decent job he can’t afford basic necessities; 3 is that he spends his pathetic paycheck on drugs. Who needs that ladies? No one.
4. He can’t keep a steady relationship to save his life.
How many people has he dated in the last year? Or slept with? If you’re girl #godknowswhat this dude has emotional issues you don’t need to deal with. A grown man with a good head on his shoulders knows what he wants and doesn’t need to date McDonalds bitches until he finds his Michelin star woman. There are two kinds of 40 year old fuckboys here: the kind who drags women through the muck, unloading all his baggage on her; and the second who keeps himself at a far enough distance so no one gets close enough to see what a hot mess he really is. Don’t bother with either one. All you’ll get is frustration and wasted time.
5. His social media is filled with semi-nudes.
Need I say more?
At the end of the day, the 40 year old fuckboy has so many unresolved issues he doesn’t even know where to start with himself let alone another human being. And the sad part about him being a grown ass man is that he never took the time to work on himself so he’s this perpetually immature, emotionally inept thing of a man. Thank god for the decent stepdads out there taking care of 40 year old fuckboys’ sons and showing them what manhood really means.
Bae and I have gotten into some pretty heated arguments. And like most couples, when the shit storm is raging, words start flying around that can bounce between the walls of our minds for longer than we’d like to remember. This can happen in any relationship, whether with our parents, siblings, friends, or lovers. What’s important about these moments is that after we’ve cooled down and said our apologies, we reflect on the situation to better understand ourselves.
Reflection is probably the best tool I was ever taught. Most of us do this naturally, but it comes in the form of anxiety about what we could’ve done or said differently, how we were perceived by others, or wondering if how we acted was good enough in some way. This pattern of thought can become dangerous if it consumes too much of your mind.
Reflection should lead to some revelation of self discovery. Instead of replaying what went wrong over and over, focus on why it went down the way it did by concentrating on your reactions. Ain’t no one in charge of you but your self, and it’s foolish to think otherwise. Tracing feelings back to the root of their cause reveals a lot about ourselves, what makes us tick, and the types of personalities we should avoid.
Sometimes this is going to suck. Sometimes it’ll be you that’s the asshole and needs to change. No one is perfect; we’re all flawsome. Apologizing when we’re wrong is a sign of maturity. Changing the problematic behavior is even better, and is a sign of successful adulting. It won’t happen overnight, but becoming aware of an issue through reflection is the first step to rehabbing your salty ass self!
Seriously though. If you’re serious about growing, becoming a better person, and getting what you want out of life, reflection is a necessity. Soon after you’ll realize all of your relationships will have become much stronger, and most importantly, the relationship with yourself will grow exponentially.
Here are some reflection tips to try:
First, go somewhere and do something that feels safe and calming. Go jogging, sit under tree, take a walk around town; take a bath or treat yourself to the spa! Distraction should be minimal so avoid TV and cell phones.
Allow yourself to FEEL. Pay attention to what you’re feeling, where it stems from, and how you handle negative feelings (hence the safe space). Sometimes this is some scary shit. Proceed with caution— this can lead to some major self discovery if explored honestly.
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. What is working and why? Sometimes the answer to our problems are things we already do. Maybe there’s a whole lot not working and you see the same problems popping up time after time. If this is you, explore why. If something you’re doing isn’t working then figure out what that is and take ownership of it. Then change that shit. You’re smart. There’s no reason to chase your tail when you already know it can’t be caught.
Be honest with yourself. Explore the depths of your childhood. It’s a psychological fact our parents are the #1 reason we’re fucked up. As grown adults, we have the power to change our behavior. If delving into childhood trauma is too painful, consulting a licensed therapist is the best way to overcome it.
You are in control of yourself now. Don’t let you down.