Communication, Caring, and Checking-in
A couple of years ago, the bottle that held all of the emotions popped like a rocket and unleashed across my personal life-one of the bigger character flaws that has taken me years to genuinely own up to.
My involvement on different social media outlets began to produce a strange reaction of people feeling like my activity on these accounts meant that everything was fine, while it eventually led to a stronger disassociation with actual communication between friends and loved ones. I have always been an advocate for keeping the reality of your situation genuine while posting to social media and it has in turn given me the ability to be very open about my life. Although comfortable with how I have chosen to publicize my personal stories, I am learning that your successes and your failures are being measured by people who have chosen to instead read and criticize out of jealousy, lack of knowledge, and an overall unwillingness to have a mature understanding on the matter.
I watch folks on social media, commenting on accounts of people whom they have never personally met, and wonder how some people can read what they do, with the love that they have, and still not reach out in the name of support. Out of empathy after reading a post written by someone I went to high school with, I chose to email her to express to her that she was not alone, that if she needed it, I was there for her. I never received a response. At first I thought about how rude it was, not even a simple acknowledgement, but then I came to realize that she was choosing to dwell in self pity instead. Some people cry for help that they do not actually want.
There was one year that saw the worst of my feelings towards owning a Facebook and Instagram; my own family was using these resources as a way of confirming that I was "doing okay". After expressing how infuriating it is to have people assume things about your life, well being, and whereabouts, I found myself struggling to accept how busy life gets. It was easier to blame anyone else for how I was feeling as I was fighting much harder in accepting my role in the two-way street of life. I couldn't comprehend how people could acknowledge what I was struggling with but never reach out to me. It is rooted back from when kids in high school would ask other people about my life. No one ever had the wherewithal or respect to simply just ask me.
Communication is hard; how embarrassing to say that considering how immediate we can be in contact with someone in today's world. Our presence via the internet is becoming our only way of connection: we text instead of call, we email instead of Skype, we let it go to voicemail every time. I am guilty of all of these practices however when I notice that someone I care about is having a hard time, I do try to personally reach out to them. Maybe that is the reflection of how I would like to be shown love and maybe therefore it is unfair to expect that from others, but it seems to be taking on a trend in today's society.
The need for daily communication is overrated; most of the time there is not enough that happens day to day that you need to be venting or hearing from your loved ones. I respect people far more when they take days to respond and have substance to share rather than empty words used to fill the bucket of never being alone.
If someone genuinely loves you, they will reach out to you. Asking someone to love you in the way you need to be loved is even harder. After lashing out at my parents years back for what "friends" are doing to me on a daily basis now, I realized that some people will never come around to wanting to understand how to communicate and connect with you. I'm thankful for the ones that have worked with me to push through these situations and who have genuinely considered how the two-way street actually works. It takes a lot of time and patience, a lot of conversations focused around expressing how you feel, how they feel, and what can be done to move forward in a way that respect both of you. It took months of trial and error with my parents and from my perspective, I could not love them more for how they have really and truly worked on this with me and how they have shown me that we as humans are indeed capable of continuing to learn how to love someone, even as both parties change over time.
The people that care, will prove it. You shouldn't waste your time on anyone who is not willing to at least willing to give an honest effort. Always remember though, that people come into our lives to help us learn about ourselves; you shouldn't regret their presence or time shared because ultimately they are in and out of your life for a reason. Take it as a lesson and let the water keep flowing under the bridge.