The Immeasurable Power of a Word Slip

It’s been years since I graced this blog, so forgive me if I sound a little off. Like the first time I wrote an entry, though, there are thoughts in my mind that just won’t shut up. They have taken over my supposed good day, and are now threatening to overthrow my good sense — meaning it’s hindering me from working.

So let me vent.

Don’t worry, it will be amusing.

Have you ever been in a position where you say things about someone without really thinking why you’re saying it? Some people call it word vomit, others a slip. Whatever you call it, it imprints an effect on people.

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The effects vary in degrees, depending on what you let slip and just how important you are to the person you’re addressing with these words. Regardless, it’s an effect.

In the most basic of interactions, like a restaurant server and a customer, it could be fleeting. A comment like “move faster” is easily shrugged off, unless, of course, that person has his own deep-rooted hatred towards being asked to move faster than the sloth it was compared to.

There are thoughtless comments though that unintentionally change people. You may want the adverse effect or you may just want to make the person feel bad, but really, you have no control over the results you create.

I have seen this happen so many times, and I’ve been on both ends. Never to the extent that those I’m trying to call out here have gone, I hope. I’ve witnessed this in real life, and alarmingly, on most social media platforms. People resort to thoughtless ad hominem because of a political squabble. Good if it was at least based on facts, but most are ill-conceived. It’s unfortunate that people find the time to put these comments up, but not enough time to Google their validity. Guess it’s easier to say things you never took the time to think through, than it is to challenge your current bias or improve your instinctive responses.

Ever thought to stop and ask what random, negative comments say about you?

 

Because these are spur of the moment comments, it reveals more of you than it does about the person you’re addressing. You call them an idiot, and it shows how easy it is for you to reduce people to their ability to think, rather than their other contributions. You compare them to another person you deem as incompetent when they’re actually helping just because they’re not doing it at your pace shows your lack of grace and gratitude. Resorting to thoughtless rhetoric to make yourself feel better and the other worse shows how self-centered you are. It also reveals that, instinctively, the only way you can motivate people is through negativity.

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What do you think you’ve accomplished by doing that?

If you’re thinking you’ve gotten people to work harder for you, you’re wrong. You’ve convinced them to stay as far away from you as they can when they work. Do you comfort yourself with the thought that you’re only inspiring them to move faster and be better? No, you’re telling them that they’re not worth respect.

Although we are all human and will inevitably make mistakes like this, try… try not to. It’s one thing to do it, apologize and aspire not to do it again. It’s another to resort to it each time you want to gain the upper hand.

Be better, you owe the world and yourself that.

 

 

 

 

 

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how to be strong

Am I even strong?

There’s a lot I have to learn about strength, and I won’t pretend to have the worst experiences to back up whatever I have to say because I, most likely, don’t.

The last few weeks has been rough for me, and the only time I ever felt like this was 3 years ago. I remember shutting everyone and everything out when I crumbled because I was terrified of being judged, of being deemed as weak then taken advantage of, and I know a part of me didn’t wanna trust anyone anymore. I guess that’s why I ran; it wasn’t just figurative either.

When things started coming at me again about a month ago, I wanted to do the same thing. The feeling reminded me of my worst nightmares, not that I wanna wake from them, but that I wanna stay in them. Surely, they were all better than how I felt right now, but even that’s not an option because I’m stuck — again not just figuratively. This is where I grow a deeper fondness for John Green’s Papertowns. I wish I was Margaux Roth Spiegelman; I’d grab a backpack and a map and just go.

Leave.

It’s not always as easy or simple as uprooting your whole life and physically running from what you think is the problem. Sometimes the problem runs with you, not after you. You’re the key to the problem.

How you handle it lies in your understanding of yourself and what you’re facing. Trust that, and if it’s not too much to ask, trust the people who genuinely care about you too. I made the mistake of walking away when I could have had the support of those who didn’t leave when I was breaking. Not only did I make the the journey unnecessarily difficult for myself, I also punished them immensely.

I’m not suggesting to cling onto someone because I know, in times like this, you’d want to be alone and think, but don’t cut your connections because they may be your lifeline when you’re done facing your beast. Remind yourself that they want to be a part of your life, hardship or not, because they want you to be okay. Their means won’t always be what you need or want, but that doesn’t dilute the concern they have for you.

I won’t act like I have the answers because, if you’re going through a rough patch, we’re in the same boat, sailing similar traitorous waters. All I have to leave you with is the advice that I never got: strength comes in different forms. It won’t always mean facing the problem head on or running away from it completely. Whatever it means to you, remember that you have the power here, even when it feels like a free fall. 

how to get through a bad day

Ask why.

I’ve been told one too many times by one too many people that the best way to get through a bad say is to just ‘choose’ to be happy, and I do believe that happiness is a choice. The important consideration though is how.

How do you choose to be happy when your hormones have been betraying you for the past 24 hours or more? 

Over the years, I’ve learned simple remedies, like I’m content snuggling under the covers and letting the pages of Murakami lighten my mood or munching down a whole pizza – yes, by myself. They’re the fairy dust to my weary soul.

Pizza Bianca’s my current favorite, but a simple pepperoni or cheese pizza’s perfect too.

I know I mentioned Murakami (and I’ve read most his words… twice, fine A LOT of times), but this is the book series I’m finishing up right now; they’re by Tahereh Mafi. You may wanna give it a read.

Although if the bad days keep recurring, you may wanna consider a different approach. Those little pockets of happiness we reserve for ourselves when we’ve had a particularly long week at work or taxing, borderline inhuman final exams are insignificant bandaids that may feign as solutions to what truly makes a ‘day’ bad.

I won’t pretend to be an expert, but from experience, I realized that often that the heavy feeling we get for, most likely, juvenile to no reason at all may be unresolved issues triggered by the most minute of events. They will keep nagging at us, capitalizing on the simplest flaw, until we finally resolve them from the roots. All that, it starts with one question:

Why?

#PrideMonth entry: #LoveWins

I have never been more proud to be human than today. It’s not a shock to everyone that I support gay marriage. In fact, I think we should all just call that marriage. You should have seen my face when my sister said, “It’s done. We can love whoever we want.” We looked at each other and smiled. All I could think was:

FINALLY!

Finally, I don’t feel as alone. #LoveWins

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If this hasn’t flooded your notifications on every social media yet, then let me do the honor. US SUPREME COURT JUST LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE NATIONWIDE.

US, one of the most culturally diverse countries, now allows the freedom to love. For weeks (well, months, even years actually, but it intensified recently), there had been parades, gatherings and discussion in every part of the country, and now all their worries are laid to rest. Obama delivered on his long stance to support gay marriage, to support the equality of rights, no matter the sexual orientation.

Huffington Post said:

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.

The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide.

The justices found that, under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. In a rare move, the four dissenting justices each wrote an opinion.

The lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges is Ohio resident Jim Obergefell, who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate. In 2013, Obergefell married his partner of two decades, John Arthur, who suffered from ALS. Arthur passed away in October of that year, three months after the couple filed their lawsuit.

Obergefell was joined by several dozen other gay plaintiffs from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee who were fighting to be able to marry and to have their marriage recognized in every state in the country.

In the majority opinion, the justices outlined several reasons same-sex marriage should be allowed. They wrote that the right to marriage is an inherent aspect of individual autonomy, since “decisions about marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.” They also said gay Americans have a right to “intimate association” beyond merely freedom from laws that ban homosexuality.”

Link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/26/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_7470036.html?ir=Black%2BVoices&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000051

Join me in celebrating a major breakthrough in our fight to support LGBTQ rights all over the world. This is a massive win for us. To be honest, I don’t think I can contain my happiness nor can I vividly convey it through my vocabulary, so I’m gonna let the pictures of those who stand with us in this cause show them for me. #LoveWins

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The Veronicas

Gay couples in Texas begin obtaining marriage licenses: http://bit.ly/1dlAUGe

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Huffington Post: “This is what it looks like when #lovewins http://huff.to/1Hko7lx

#PrideMonth entry 1: my best friend

Five years ago (in uni), I was blessed with the most amazing debate partner anyone could ask for, and he’s still one of my best friends. Everyday, I’m grateful that he is who he is and that I got to meet him. If there was anyone to discriminate against him – call him names, deprive him of rights, belittle him, I will not sit idly, and watch. I’ll make sure they (whoever they are) understand that no one deserves to be treated that way. As much as I can logically argue for rights, I would admit that LGBT, in particular, is a personal cause for me. When I hear people say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt kids, they’re saying that my best friend who, for the past tumultuous six years of my life, has been a rock and a supporter, is not good enough to reaffirm his love for another or build a family just because of his sexual preference. That, I cannot stand. Who you are and who you choose to love is not reason to be treated with any less dignity than any other person. You deserve to be seen as an equal because you are.