"That's Just Me" Is Not An Excuse

"That's Just Me" Is Not An Excuse

Constantly improve yourself.
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This generation has been such a trend for acceptance.

Take me the way I am, or fuck off basically. The good, the bad, the ugly, the emotionally unstable. It's really become an excuse for people to not work on themselves in areas of need. It offends people to address the fact they should maybe consider adjusting some bad habits. "It's just the way I am, I'm a Scorpio, you know this."

I get that we all have different ticks, different behaviors, whatever... But when it's causing issues, you need to take responsibility. Criticism can be tough, but you have to be willing to listen in order to become your best self. Another 1 of the million reasons relationships are so fragile today, no one can stand to hear that they're wrong or that maybe they have some behaviors that need to be readjusted. Instead, people point fingers in defense of themselves and want to pretend that they have it all figured out.

Everyone is a rock. And if you're sitting here saying "I'm not a rock," then you're most definitely a rock. Become soft, impressionable and flexible, like clay. We all have things we can learn and/or work on and I'm a strong believer that every relationship is just helping us mold ourselves to become better. If you leave every relationship saying they were the only problem, you will never learn these lessons and continue being in a karmic cycle of the same type of relationship. Be open to suggestions or constructive criticism; communication is absolutely the backbone of every relationship.

A big thing people forget is our 'personality' is just a product of every experience we have had. If you have a short temper, a need to argue, a tendency to get offended, hyper-sensitivity, etc, there is a reason for that. It's not just because you're a Scorpio, trust me. These behaviors that can be adjusted are always stemming from some type of conditioning. We all have flaws; we are constantly taken further from our true selves with every year that we age. We get hurt, we go through shit, we become damaged... but what do we do when a storm breaks one of our windows? We fix the window. Don't accept defeat and neglect a broken part of you. That's pure laziness.

These behaviors affect you on a great scale, but they also affect how others feel around you. Be the type of person you would want to be with. That doesn't just go for relationships, this can be applied to any encounter you ever have with someone. We often don't remember what things people did for us, but we always remember how they made us feel. Think back to your childhood, where specific memories are foggy.

Try to think of people you only kind of remember and reimagine the way you felt around them. Good vibes, bad vibes, this is always what sticks. No one enjoys being around someone filled with hate and hurt, it doesn't feel good. Yes, we can all sense this. It doesn't have to be projected physically. If you want to radiate love and calmness, you must become it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Yes, I Had A Stroke And I'm Only 20

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
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Recently, I read an article on Cosmo that was written by a woman that had a stroke at the ripe old age of 23. For those of you who don't know, that really doesn't happen. Young people don't have strokes. Some do, but it's so incredibly uncommon that it rarely crosses most people's minds. Her piece was really moving, and I related a lot -- because I had a stroke at 20.

It started as a simple headache. I didn't think much of it because I get headaches pretty often. At the time, I worked for my parents, and I texted my mom to tell her that I'd be late to work because of the pain. I had never experienced a headache like that, but I figured it still wasn't something to worry about. I went about my normal routine, and it steadily got worse. It got to the point that I literally threw up from the pain. My mom told me to take some Tylenol, but I couldn't get to our kitchen. I figured that since I was already in the bathroom, I would just take a shower and hope that the hot steam would relax my muscles, and get rid of my headache. So I turned the water on in the shower, and I waited for it to get hot.

At this point, I was sweating. I've never been that warm in my life. My head was still killing me. I was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, trying to at least cope with the pain. Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I picked up my phone to call 911, but I couldn't see the screen. I couldn't read anything. I laid down on the floor and tried to swipe from the lock screen to the emergency call screen, but I couldn't even manage that. My fine motor skills were completely gone. My fingers wouldn't cooperate, even though I knew what buttons needed to be pressed. Instead of swiping to the emergency call screen, I threw my phone across the room. "Okay," I thought, "Large muscle groups are working. Small ones are not".

I tried getting up. That also wasn't happening. I was so unstable that I couldn't stay standing. I tried turning off the running water of the shower, but couldn't move the faucet. Eventually, I gave up on trying to move anywhere. "At what point do I just give up and lie on the floor until someone finds me?" That was the point. I ended up lying on the floor for two hours until my dad came home and found me.

During that two hours, I couldn't hear. My ears were roaring, not even ringing. I tried to yell, but I couldn't form a sentence. I was simply stuck, and couldn't do anything about it. I still had no idea what was going on.

When the ambulance finally got there, they put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the back. "Are you afraid of needles or anything?" asked one EMT. "Terrified," I responded, and she started an IV without hesitation. To this day, I don't know if that word actually came out of my mouth, but I'm so glad she started the IV. She started pumping pain medicine, but it didn't seem to be doing anything.

We got to the hospital, and the doctors there were going to treat me for a migraine and send me on my merry way. This was obviously not a migraine. When I could finally speak again, they kept asking if I was prone to migraines. "I've never had a migraine in my whole life," I would say. "Do you do any drugs?" they would ask. "No," I repeated over and over. At this point, I was fading in and out of consciousness, probably from the pain or the pain medicine.

At one point, I heard the doctors say that they couldn't handle whatever was wrong with me at our local hospital and that I would need to be flown somewhere. They decided on University of Maryland in Baltimore. My parents asked if I wanted them to wait with me or start driving, so I had them leave.

The helicopter arrived soon after, and I was loaded into it. 45 minutes later, I was in Baltimore. That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital two weeks later. I had a drain in my head, a central port, and an IV. I honestly didn't know what had happened to me.

As it turns out, I was born with a blood vessel malformation called an AVM. Blood vessels and arteries are supposed to pass blood to one another smoothly, and mine simply weren't. I basically had a knot of blood vessels in my brain that had swelled and almost burst. There was fluid in my brain that wouldn't drain, which was why my head still hurt so bad. The doctors couldn't see through the blood and fluid to operate, so they were simply monitoring me at that point.

When they could finally see, they went in to embolize my aneurysm and try to kill the AVM. After a successful procedure, my headache was finally starting to subside. It had gone from a 10 on the pain scale (which I don't remember), to a 6 (which was when I had started to be conscious), and then down to a 2.

I went to rehab after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to rehab. There, I learned simple things like how to walk and balance, and we tested my fine motor skills to make sure that I could still play the flute. Rehab was both physically and emotionally difficult. I was constantly exhausted.

I still have a few lingering issues from the whole ordeal. I have a tremor in one hand, and I'm mostly deaf in one ear. I still get headaches sometimes, but that's just my brain getting used to regular blood flow. I sleep a lot and slur my words as I get tired. While I still have a few deficits, I'm lucky to even be alive.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

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I Wish People Would Stop Commenting On My Height, I Get It, I'm Tall

Is this such a tall order?

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I've spent the better part of the last 20 years of my life wishing I was shorter. Sure, at 5'11" I'm not that tall, but for as much as people talk about it, it sure feels like it is. I have only recently started to feel comfortable with my height and not feel insecure about it all the time. As one can imagine, it's pretty annoying when the first thing people say when meeting you is, "oh my, you're so tall!" as if I don't already know this information. Some people will even do it more subtly by asking, "how tall are you?" I never ask my short friends this, so why me??

First off, it makes me feel uncomfortable when people mention my height because I don't like talking about it. "Wow, you're so tall! I bet you played basketball!" You know what? As a matter of fact, I did! Thanks for bringing up this useless information!

Basketball

As I said previously, I have accepted being tall and am usually not insecure about it anymore, but it's a little hard not to think about it when pretty much every new person I meet mentions something about it. I've always subconsciously slouched when I'm standing because standing up straight makes everyone hyperaware of how tall I am, including myself.

Posture

The WORST part of it all is when I hear the classic, "Ugh I wish I was as tall as you!"

As someone who has struggled with being insecure about their height their entire life, this is super annoying. Being taller than half the boys in your grade is not fun. Having to slouch in class because I'm afraid the person behind me can't see is not fun. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable with how they look, so be confident in who you are!

All in all, I wish people would start focusing on other traits about me before talking about my height. I am now confident in my height and don't think about it as much, so it would be ideal if I wasn't reminded of it all the time.

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