Respecting people’s privacy means respecting the fact that (a) not all times will be opportune ones for a visit, and (b) they are not obligated to explain that to you in the moment just because you’re on their front stoop. In a recent column, Carolyn Hax offered the perspective above when a mother-in-law was upset that her son and daughter-in-law didn’t answer the door when she dropped by unannounced. Her response really focused on the concept of privacy and the misplaced entitlement that some put on access to other people’s time. This is a huge, ongoing concern of mine, and one that I’ve spent a great deal of energy over many years trying to subtly address without starting World War 3. I need my privacy/solitude and will go to the ends of earth to protect it. This tends to be at odds with how the rest of the world operates, but it’s a walk I’m willing to take. Most people in my life understand and respect my introversion and how that impacts my ability and willingness to engage with people. It’s taken a lot of time and conversations, but I’m fairly confident that they understand it’s not you, it’s me. Usually that’s […]
Keep everybody out your business, that’s how you do it. And I mean everybody. It ain’t about having a relationship outside of the house. It’s about having a relationship within each other. When something go down don’t be calling your sister or your mother; I’m not gonna be calling my brother or uncles. We’re gonna work it out. I never would have thought that Ice Cube would be the one to provide the quote that describes my approach to my relationships. But he’s been married to his wife for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen them in the tabloids. (Disclaimer: I also wasn’t looking.) What he said struck a chord deep in my heart, and I feel like his sentiments are incredibly true. Privacy in a relationship is the best way to keep it intact. The relationship is between two people and only those two people have to live with their decisions and experiences. As such, those two are the only ones who should be privy to all of the good (and not-so-good) details and making decisions that affect it.
In Part 1, I reflected on my tendency to rationalize around my happiness. In Part 2, I talk about how I changed. So after all of the reflection on my life, I realized that my happiness was my problem, and mine alone. I had to resolve to figure out how to make myself happy. I didn’t know what the hell it was that would make me happy, but I knew that only I could figure it out because I don’t think it’s acceptable to expect someone to give me something I can’t give myself. And frankly, I think it’s unfair to put the burden of my own happiness, mental health, etc. on another person. What makes the difference in my happiness is my choice to make my life fulfilling for me, regardless of the different factors I faced on a day-to-day basis. I’ve always had a mix of the things I felt I needed to consider myself established, content, and even happy, albeit not always at the same time. However, until now, I didn’t stop to think critically about their purpose in the grand scheme of my life. I seriously think a switch was flipped and it was like “Look, you have […]
This morning I was having a discussion with a colleague about their uneasiness at being the “bad guy” in an impending break-up and the looming prospect of divying up mutual friends. Part of the conversation dealt with how to manage joint events where under normal circumstances both would be invited — but also recognizing that a joint-invite was just that: a joint-invite. Eventually the conversation circled back to how to manage the neutral friends (the ones who don’t initially side with one ex or the other) and how much effort you put into maintaining or building a relationship with them. It made me reflect on the break-ups I’ve had in the past and how much I grapple with the fair and reasonable division of people, places, and things. Actually, I don’t. I don’t like having anything become mutual in a relationship because if/when things go south, I want to be able to live my life without that person being around as they live theirs.
Let me go. I’m not promising I’ll come back soon, but I’m not leaving forever. Sigh. I’ve been feeling strange the last few weeks, and I couldn’t quite place the origin of my angst. I posted about it a few days ago, wondering why a passage from They Cage the Animals at Night was hitting me so hard. I’ve finally accepted that I’m on the brink of what could be the most significant time of transition I’ve experienced since 2007, when I started grad school and had COM. Now, I’m leaving the university and embarking on …. the unknown. No job is solidified, only what I hope are some really, REALLY solid leads. All I know is that come July 1, my life will forever change. I just hope it’s for the better.