Last time, we talked about the first, most important lessons about friendship... Now, these next few are all about states of mind I learned to adopt along the way ...
#2: Embrace YOUR version of Happily Ever After
For many young girls, the idea of a Prince Charming and living in total and perfect bliss was probably the only version of happily ever after. But, as time and changing attitudes point out, there are several other ways to lead a very happy life. People are pursuing other dreams, traveling, working... Basically, finding their own meaning of happiness, whatever that looks like. We land killer jobs... Want to live overseas for a while... Enjoy living with someone for an extended period of time... Purchase a home for ourselves first... And, if we eventually land on the marriage, 2.5 kids and white pickett fence, then great.
So when my family presses me on it, I'm honest: "Yes, I have someone, but I'm in no rush to get married. I like the way my life is right now." And I said that with absolutely no fear because it was the truth. After all, with so many options, knowing there's time to shop around means that whatever I choose is OK.
Essentially, we give ourselves time to figure out what we really want. Heck, I have a hard enough time picking out a pair of shoes to wear on a Tuesday, let alone, deciding the rest of life on time clock. I mean, where's the fun in that?
#3: Leave the past where it belongs... IN THE PAST
This one is hard, but yet easy. Simply put, in any type of relationship, as much one can, it's worth it to leave it in the past. And in order to move on, somehow, it probably makes sense not only to let go, but to NOT make anything that happened in the past a reason for why things aren't happening in the present.
#4: Trust Your Instincts
This one's pretty clear cut. If you feel it, you owe it to yourself to explore it. If it doesn't work then you know. It's no fun to wonder what if... And then live with apologies. That's even more of a bummer.
No stories needed here. There are TONS of things I've had a blast with BECAUSE I went with my instincts. And I'd do it all over again in the exact same way! Sure you can say the same if you think about it!
#5: Feel free to DEFY the Rules Every Once In a While
Simply put: We spend SO much time being cautious, treading lightly or playing by own rule book, we miss the fun in sometimes rolling with the punches and running with a feeling every so often. What IF, as opposed to not stepping up to someone that catches your eye, you just let it go... Then what? You're left wondering what could have happened. And what fun is there in that?
Quick anecdote on this one: I spent TONS of time fretting over one guy -- a whole academic year actually. So, when I FINALLY worked up the nerve to ask him out, we had a nice time.... But like that the crush was over because there were no sparks. And in the year I spent wasted crushing on him, I could have actually been allowing myself to be open to meeting other guys. But, on the flip side, we ended up remaining good friends for years later.
That's all for this round. But what about you? What kind of rules have you picked up along the way? Any stories to go with those rules?