My friend and I have a spot on campus where we just lay and reflect on the various issues in our lives. It's a quaint courtyard, small enough to give a sense of privacy, but open enough to offer a space to think, to feel, and to speak. It's quite therapeutic. Sometimes I don't realize how many thoughts I've been allowing to just sit, unprocessed, until I begin to talk about them. Bottling my thoughts up has never bode well for me, so here are a few things I've been thinking about recently:

boundaries and intentions.

When it comes to intentions, I genuinely believe that if you cannot match them with your actions, there is no real reason to continually clarify them.

It is not enough to be well-intentioned. You can sit and shout all day that you mean well, but if you go on to enter the same cycle of behavior that was called into question in the first place, then what is the point of speaking?

If you cannot "walk the talk," then silence is a better alternative. You are given free rein over the way that you treat your relationships, you get to choose how you behave.

You choose to be kind,
you choose to be considerate,
and you choose to care.

But you can't choose how someone perceives you.
So you can choose to be aware of it.

I've realized I've let people overstep these boundaries far too often, forgetting to create a buffer between us. Although I don't mean to place blame upon myself or anyone else for having ended up in these inevitable positions, the fact of the matter is: we have allowed people to be oblivious, at such a grown age. Not speaking on mistreatment, ends up putting me into uncomfortable situations, and further pushes me to stifle my thoughts and concerns. This vicious cycle of suppression is very difficult to escape as you naturally become more and more codependent.

We are all lonely human beings, this I will acknowledge. But the beauty of it, and something we often forget is that we get to choose the company that we surround ourselves with. I read somewhere that when an abused dog is lost, it always ends up going back home. I don't know if this is true or not, but for the metaphor's sake: humans work in a contextually similar way. We seek familiarity, often forgetting our needs. So with that, just be aware of your boundaries, and conscious of people overstepping them.

Every interaction requires energy, the energy that we don't necessarily have lying around to waste. If you are completely unfulfilled within a relationship/friendship, then what is the point of being aimlessly drained? Whether we'd like to admit it or not, relationships are transactional. They require "give," and "take." Although the effort will not always be equally distributed every single day, ultimately, there must be a balance. You mustn't forget that you have needs too.

Take the time to evaluate the people that you choose to keep in your life, the different ways that they fulfill you, and even the ways that you fulfill them. Budget your energy. Treat it like stock, and put it into people that you can get a return on your investment from. Allow yourself to be a little selfish from time to time. Give yourself the time that you deserve, and give time to the people that deserve it from you.

As my friend and I reflected in that space, we reinforced ourselves to actively think about our own needs. Although it sounds like such an obvious concept to be aware of, it's quite easy to get caught up in our fast-paced lives and forget to truly think. But we must consciously put in the effort to do so. I want to encourage you, to take the time to sit and speak on your needs, whether it is within yourselves, or with someone else. Not only will you affirm yourself, but you will also reflect on the way that you are living your life.

Because if you don't think about yourself, then how can anyone else?

Until next time,
T