How many of your thoughts, are yours?

My friend pulled out her phone.

Iphone.

I rolled my eyes.

“Why do you hate Apple?” she asked.

“Apple’s products are made to break after one year, and they are totally not user friendly.” I told her matter of factually.

As I was saying it, I thought – “whoa – my ex…ex…EX boyfriend used to say that”

“Oh wow, you really hate apple products eh?” my friend said.

Huh. Do I? Actually… I don’t think i do… I listen to Itunes regularly.

I was just told, once upon a time, this one opinion (I won’t say fact because I don’t even know if it’s true) and I held onto it while I dated this guy. He left, but the opinion did not.

It got really got me thinking.

Shit… How much of the crap that comes out of my mouth is really my opinion at all?!

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It turns out… not a whole lot.

I know this isn’t a new idea, but I think one has to realize it for themselves to be truly awakened to see it in their reality.

The week after I came to this conclusion, I noticed that every time I thought of an opinion,  I could associate it with someone in my life who gave it to me.

Apple is worse than Android = an old ex from my early 20s

American’s are idiots = my father

Men and women can’t be friends = a high school teacher

Religion is for idiots = a pompous ex

Fat women must never wear tight clothing = my mother

Men want women who are proportionate = a guy i dated in my teens

Fitting in is for idiots = my best friend

Never do anything for free = my brother

I could go on and on…

The crazy thing, I realized, was that I spit out all these opinions but I actually am not sure how I really feel about them. Re-reading the ones I wrote just now, I can tell you 100% that I don’t agree with any of them completely… so why do I act like I do?

I think many people experience this growing up: We feel that having an opinion will make us disliked, so we gravitate towards opinions that people give us, as if somehow that makes it better. It’s people we respect, people we look up to, people older than us who are “wiser” who know better. So we use their opinions in replacement of ours.

I hadn’t realized that most of the thoughts in my head are other peoples.  Wait…And are their thoughts other peoples?

IS ANYONE HAVING AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT?!

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That was a tad dramatic…

My point is, (and I am working on this too) before you give your opinion, agree to something or disagree for that matter…think about what you really think. Are you regurgitating someone else’s material?

Food for thought.

~Athena and Hermes~

Why You Should Stop Telling People Your Age.

I’m going to ruin something for you, one of those “can’t unsee”, or in this case “can’t unhear” moments: Have you noticed how often people ask you how old you are?

I hadn’t, until recently.

I was meeting up with an old friend for coffee, mainly to meet her new girlfriend, and within 20 minutes of meeting her I asked her how old she was.

Her response was awesome. “I actually don’t tell people my age.” 

Instantly, I was embarrassed because I felt that I had crossed a line, but she went on to tell me that I hadn’t but age simply doesn’t matter.

“What difference does it make if I was 47 or 25… why did you  need to know that to continue having this conversation?

After saying our goodbyes, I pondered about it… why did I ask?

I realized it was because I wanted to justify the advice I wanted to give her… if she was younger than me I could impart my wisdom, my life experience. If she was older however, my advice probably wasn’t as sound. In short, my asking her her age was some weird roundabout way of finding justification to belittle her, or talk down to her. In another light, it was a form of disqualification of my own advice, as if my lived experience was only useful if she was younger and that it wouldn’t be to someone older than me.

It was a real mind altering moment for me.

I told myself I will never tell someone my age again. Not because I am ashamed of how old I am, I’m not. It’s because it really doesn’t add anything to the conversation, nor to a friendship, or a relationship (unless of course it comes to being underage, in which case it’s a legal issues but I’m not getting into that.) 

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I have met 17 year olds who know more about politics, life, love and loss than some 50 year olds. I have met 30 year olds who have the maturity of 18 year olds and 10 year olds who have the maturity of  70 year old wise monks.

AGE IS BUT A NUMBER.

Perhaps if there was a level-of-experience-measurement in life that we could throw at each other, then it would be worth asking. But how long you have lived, isn’t really a measurement on how much you know or don’t know. It isn’t a measurement on how valid your wisdom is.

There are other really good reasons not to tell people your age.

1. Certain careers, (modelling, acting, singing, sports) will force you into retirement once they feel you are too old to represent their brand. By not telling people your age, you can go ahead working due to your talent and not your “expiry date”

2. No one will force you to get on their schedule. Ever been told you have to settle down or have children, or hit a certain job milestone? Has anyone ever told you that “you still have time, you’re young?” They can’t do that when they don’t know your age! And all of that is a form of belittling, by the way.

3. No one will ever tell you, “WOW YOU DON’T LOOK (your age)” This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I realize it’s meant to be a compliment, but the truth of the matter is, in fact you do. You do look that age, because you are that age. What they’re really saying with this bizarre compliment isyou don’t look as old as I imagined people your age look”. Weird Flex but okay. 

4. People don’t encourage bad habits by relating to your age. This happens on either side of the age spectrum. When you are “young” you can make excuses for partying, eating too much, making stupid decisions, and you will meet someone of the same age who can justify all that. “We’re 17, we’re still young, doing a little coke won’t hurt.” I realize that’s super dramatic…but it’s the drug of choice in high schools at the moment. When you are “old” you can make excuses for being tired and not wanting to exercise, not going out, not enjoying yourself. “We’re 60, our backs are going to ache, it doesn’t matter whether we go to the gym or not”… I won’t get too into this, but working out while you age is so important for bone health!

5. You never have to be subject to the feeling of uselessness. This is particularly for women, mainly because we are essentially told that after 30 we are unseen, and don’t even get me started with after 50!  It’s this odd phenomenon. Many women believe it and I have dated a handful of men who swear by it. Which is disgusting. If no one knows your age, they can’t make you feel invisible, ugly, unwanted, less than human. If no one knows your age, you can parade around as the perfect person you are without judgment (at least in that respect).

There are many more, but are you starting to see my point?

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Since keeping my age to myself I am happier. I am more free, open minded, and much more willing to accept any advice, and trust my own. Oddly, it has helped me to become more mature. I would encourage anyone, of any age to try it. I’m not saying you have to do it – but maybe try it out and see how it feels?

You may find yourself a whole new world.

~Athena and Hermes~

 

What Do You Mean I Get Triggered?! Oh…

Here I was thinking I was better than that.

I’ve always associated “being triggered” as somewhat of a choice, and a weaker one at that. It reminds me of people who cannot have a diplomatic conversation, people who are deeply offended if you disagree with them, people who… okay okay… I’m just going to say it – social justice warriors. 

The term SJW is incredibly negative and is a definition that many people give others who they deem to be illogical – so naturally I don’t want any association with that term or any remotely close to it.

I also always assumed that being triggered was something people chose to do. It was something they understood, a feeling they enjoyed and an a form of attention seeking.

I WAS WRONG.

 

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Turns out… TRULY being triggered is emotions and reaction first and then logic second . Plus on top of that there is absolutely nothing you can do to control it. It is a lash out, or a emotional break down, or instant fear that happens way before you can reign it in and calm yourself down.

I have experienced flash backs where a location will bring back traumatic events. I have experienced traumatic childhood memories hit me out of the blue when a specific word is said – but all of these I have a handle on. I  know what is triggering me, I can logically rap my head around my reaction.

It wasn’t until just recently I experienced a triggering experience and I didn’t even know I was being triggered. I lashed out, started trying to control my environment, was rude, and passive aggressive and hilariously…. thought I was completely correct in doing so.

Feel free to laugh at this one….

I freaked out because my boyfriend didn’t wish me goodnight….

and it get’s worse… because he actually did wish me goodnight, but I had already gone to sleep and at that point it was too late.

I messaged him in the morning telling him we needed to “figure out how we communicate” and that “there should be rules on how we text with each other”

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Meanwhile, I am sure my poor Hermes was siting there wondering what the heck he had done to deserve this! I am sure the thought of “crazy girlfriend” entered his mind, because I know I would have thought that if the roles were reversed.

As he tried to calm me down and explain to me that we communicate just fine, and that we respond to each other when we are able, and we don’t need to check in to tell each other where we are because we trust each other, I had to reassess my reaction.

WHY ON EARTH WAS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL?!

I was troubled by this…

I had no idea why this upset me so much.

I decided to walk it off, and really ruminate to figure out why this “GOODNIGHT TEXT” was just so “gosh-darned the biggest deal ever.”

I sat on a park bench, in the middle of downtown Toronto, and cried. As I cried I realized why.

The only time my ex wouldn’t text me “goodnight” was when he was sleeping with other women.

We had an open relationship, where I would celebrate him while he sought out casual encounters, and he would veto me ever seeing anyone else other than himself.  (A toxic relationship, and one I should have never allowed to happen but that is a story for a different time)

Of course, when you have an open relationship agreement you want to be supportive, and at first I was, not knowing that the offer for me to experience the open side would never come. But as I remained monogamous and the years went by waking up to you  “I successfully seduced and screwed her brains out” texts, I was struggling to say the least.

Every night he had a date, I would try my hardest to stay up to receive a response to my “Goodnight babe, I love you.” and every night I was disappointed. I knew he was too busy sleeping with someone else to wish me goodnight.

YES I DID THIS TO MYSELF.

I could have left him. I should have left him much earlier than I did. So yes, letting myself go through that was on me. But regardless, it wore me down and hurt me greatly… AND APPARENTLY caused some emotional trauma I didn’t know I had. giphy (1).gifSo this now brings us back to my freak out to my current boyfriend.

Upon realizing why I freaked out, tried to lay down texting ground rules, and scolded him for something he did not do – I APOLOGIZED.

I now know this is a trigger for me. I now know that it has nothing to do with my current boyfriend. I now know I CAN BE TRIGGERED. Shit. 

I didn’t know that this past relationship harbored such baggage in me, and I didn’t know I hadn’t dealt with it all. If I had known all this when it happened I never would have lashed out, but sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn about ourselves… life is after all trial and error.

~Athena and Hermes~