Don't Invalidate My Feelings Because Everything Is Relative

Don't Invalidate My Feelings Because Everything Is Relative

My 18 years is all I have for perspective. And that doesn't make my experiences invalid.
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At girls' night, conversation goes all over the place. We talk about everything and anything, from classes to future hopes and dream to relationships to love to each other; everything and anything. Girls' nights are incredibly therapeutic. It's when you're able to sit and just talk with your girls about the things on your mind, get validation for those thoughts because they too have had them, get encouragement and reassurance for dealing with problems.

But at our last girls' night, a theme kept coming up of, "But of course, I don't know what that really feels like so it's stupid to say..."

I don't know what that really feels like.

What is that even supposed to mean? Girls' night isn't the only place I've heard this either; older people have always told me, especially when I'm either complaining or basking, that, "You ain't seen nothing yet. You don't know what it's like." Their point is that I can't make any valid judgments about the things I'm experiencing because I haven't experienced anything yet in life.

Oh, so you mean to say that the past 18 years of my life didn't exist? I spent them in a black hole devoid of any purpose or meaning?

Okay, okay, I know that's not what they're saying. They're saying that with their experience in life, which is much longer than mine, they've seen what my problems are like relative to their own, relative to the world, relative to years beyond what I've experienced.

They're putting my experiences into perspective. Which is entirely valid. From their perspective, I haven't seen anything of the world yet, because they've been alive for so much longer and have seen so much more.

But for me, my 18 years is all I have for perspective. And that doesn't make my experiences invalid. It does not. Because life is relative, and everything I've felt or experienced up until this point is entirely real.

Let me put it in this context: at girls' night, conversation came around somehow to soul mates. A friend said, "Of course I'm not going to say that we're soul mates, because I'm just 18, but..." and I cut her off right there. Everything in life is relative. If at that moment what you feel for another person is the strongest thing you've felt in your 18 years, then that person is your soul mate.

Can someone better come along later in life? Of course! But for now, that's the "best" person you've met in your life, and relative to your own life, that's saying something. What if you died at age 20? That person who was the closest thing to a soul mate at age 18 then becomes your soulmate-level person, because you died at age 20 and everything you experienced up until then is all you have as a frame of reference for life.

If the vacation you just went on this past summer was the best vacation of your life, you're not going to say, "but there are so many other possible vacations out there, I can't say that this is the best vacation ever." You're going to say, "This is the best vacation I've been on so far." That could change in the next few years, but the fact that it could change doesn't invalidate the way you feel about it now. Because life is relative.

Every moment in life is always subject to change. Any opinion you develop can always be changed. That puts a temporary time stamp on almost everything in life, with an unidentified expiration date, but that's okay! You never know what the future is going to look like, you don't know what the next few moments of your life are even going to look like. That means it's okay to make judgments today based on what you're experiencing, as long as you recognize they can and should be able to change.

Your experiences are entirely valid. Entirely. At every stage in life. It doesn't give you a free pass to act melodramatic and compare your life to Shakespearean tragedies every two seconds, but it does give you the pass to accept that the extremes of your life are relative to the extremes of another's. Every feeling you have is valid. So let yourself feel it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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What it Means to be An Introvert or an Extrovert

It's probably not what you think it is.

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I've heard the phrase, "she's very introverted," as a classification of being shy, and "he's so extroverted" as one that is outgoing and social.

One of my very favorite things to talk about is personality traits, and how these traits impact our relationships. I've realized that one of the most important ones is how we rejuvenate- alone or around people. As you can probably guess, introverts require alone time in order to feel energized again, especially after being around people. On the other hand, extroverts are fueled by human interaction, and they hardly become tired after being around a lot of people.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: my mom is the saving grace of our household. Out of our family of 6, half are introverts and half are extroverts. Because my mom was able to recognize which of us were extroverts when we were really little, she spent a lot of time with us, explaining that we need a lot of interaction to feel energized. This caused a few issues when she explained that the other half of the family needed a lot of alone time for their sanity. Of course, me being the sensitive extrovert, I took that personally when I was 6. Over the years, she's reiterated that it has nothing to do with me, it's just in their personality to need that solitude, and that allowing them to be alone without guilting them will lead to a better relationship.

Ding, ding, ding. Mom's right again.

Understanding this about the people I love has allowed me to recognize the signs that an introvert needs a little time to themselves, and pulling back when that time comes. It helped me realize that most problems in relationships really are just a matter of understanding what the other person needs (including the love languages, which you can read about here.)

Reflect on your relationships this week, and consider how this trait influences you. Here's a link to a great personality test so that you can better determine your traits!

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