September 11, 2014

The Next Big Step: Moving in Together

Making the decision of living with anyone that you’re not required to cope with (aka parentals, sorry mom) is usually a rather precarious situation.

I’m sure the idea of moving in with your best friend may have sounded like the perfectly carved scenario and you were probably kicking yourself for not having thought of it long before.

However, the idea is quickly retracted as the rack of dirty dishes gets taller and she begins to openly welcome a stray of random hookups who murmur sweet nothings while nonchalantly chomping on your stash of Garden Salsa Sun Chips.

Nevertheless, I think we can still uphold that every relationship and experience is likely so different on all spectrums. One experience that is particularly like no other is taking the inevitable next step in a relationship to move in together.

It’s yet another scenario we paint with butterflies and compromise. Which, to my surprise, happens to be just that: lots of butterflies and lots of compromises.

The idea of being open to sharing so much of yourself and belongings in what may feel like a confined area, is probably the most frightening factor to consider when deciding to live day-in and day-out with your babe (besides knowing when and how you’ll be able to go poop without an unintentional splash or sound echoing from the restroom).

If you’re anything like me, who so cherishes time well spent alone and having a refuge to call my own, it is most definitely a challenging transition — one which will make you anxious, stressed and stir-crazy, but mostly, just crazy.

Not the bad crazy (for the most part), but the good crazy that fuels us to get where we need to. The crazy that shall be evenly applied within both of your lives while you begin to conform and embark on what will undoubtedly be grueling and complex, but still so exhilarating and rewarding.

Every day is an adventure. Sharing your life right alongside someone you love is the learning and growing experience of a lifetime.

You learn to posses much more patience than you ever thought you could accumulate. You learn to become understanding, even when you don’t want to be. You learn that not getting your way can sometimes work out for the better, and most importantly, you learn to become selfless.

Besides the repetitive reprimands and mixed dirty laundry, the toughest obstacle (at least for me) is becoming so comfortable and dependent on one another, that you often fail to honor the very things that make you, you.

By you, I mean the you that he or she fell in love with. The you that you don’t want to lose sight of. The you that, like a flower, needs to be replenished with its longed essentials to grow, blossom and to sustain.

Prioritize the revitalizing life you share with your babe, while also keeping account of when you need your space. I cannot stress enough how vital it is to routinely dedicate some time to yourself. It is key in any thriving relationship.

We often take our time alone for granted and never really treasure the moments we can truly satisfy our own souls — not to say that your significant other may not already be doing so. However, there really is no one who knows you better than you (as much as your partner would like to argue otherwise).

Whether it means you feel like sulking, writing in a journal, rocking out to an old high school playlist or just thinking aloud amongst your own space, use these moments to also date yourself. If the self-soul is fed, everything else will naturally fall into place.

The most common misconception is that moving in with a significant other is the absolute worst decision you can make because of the likelihood that you will both change, and romance will become nonexistent and you’re basically doomed to calling it quits.

I won’t deny that this may in fact happen, but so what if you both do change? Change is growth, and who better to do that with than with your partner?

Romance or the “honeymoon phase” doesn’t need to end just because that’s what statistics have embedded in us. When you devote time to your babe and to yourself, the love you share will never go astray.

The butterflies in your tummy will flap even more profoundly, and home will be the place that will always make you skip a beat and fill you with a thrilling anticipation.

Home will be him or her.

Living together will sure as hell not be a walk in the park; it’s more like a walk on the beach. It is sometimes lumpy and your feet sink, requiring more effort and strength to move forward, but the scenery of it all is breathtakingly beautiful, making it all so worthwhile.

-signed, S

Originally published on Elite Daily

You Won't Find Your Worth Through Social Media

I have rendered (after much extra time on my hands and unnecessary overanalyzing) that social networking has essentially just become another way for all of us to feel some underlying acceptance that goes far beyond a click of a ‘like’ button. 

He/she gets me. He likes me. She likes me. 

Isn’t that really the whole gist of it? To be judged and to be “understood”? It all seems to reflect complexities of what is now a pretty dominant evaluation of someone or something. Yet it almost always leans towards deception. 

Social networking, specifically, so easily allows us to be or resemble whomever it is we’d like to be perceived as. More often than not, however, we resort to fabricating ourselves to a wide selection of specific traits or recreations as the bigger picture of our online exposés. With such a diverse automat of ultimately fictional characters, it becomes sort of difficult to figure out (or at least have an idea) of who exactly someone is.

Networking on the web was essentially created to connect with others and shed light on some areas of our lives that are willing to be shared, and to then engage on those common interests with those we have friended. With that being said, we seem to overlook that as much as we’d like to think that everyone so deeply cares about what we have to say 20 to 40 times a day, it might be considered a little too far-fetched. 

You all know exactly what I’m talking about: the endless rants about how great our boyfriends/girlfriends are followed by a hate post, family drama, or just a miscellaneous post defending ones’ values. As if we have to defend ourselves at all.   

Social networking or even just surfing the web is rarely ever just used for recreational purposes anymore. It seems rather, to be used to quench some satisfaction with a post holding little to no connotation to us, while desperately hoping the validation of others will still somehow make it valuable. 

Here’s the catch: No matter how many likes or retweets you may have accumulated, that so-called fulfillment will never be gratifying. Notice how after you’ve pleased the urge, you feel empty. You feel regretful. You still feel like you have something more to prove. 

Mostly because, no void or easement can be filled with such poignancy. I am no exception; I have found myself guilty of such redundancies. I’ve literally had to demand my conscious to become aware of what it is that I am getting so worked up about, to where I feel almost disgusted at how far I was willing to let the superficialities (that comes with the World Wide Web) take a hold of me. 

My path of study and work greatly depends on networks for a high demand of traffic and well, let’s face it, money. However, it has been nothing less than an eye opener at how far we’ve lost ourselves on these manufactured developments. It’s almost as if we’ve become manufactured ourselves. Everything is cued. 

We have been programmed in similar ways as these mainstream platforms have. We’ve adapted ourselves and our lives to live vicariously through social networking, as opposed to just living; to just being. 

I have personally witnessed couples build their entire foundation based solely on credentials connected directly back to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

As far as praising the Internet Gods for allowing babe to post that picture captioned with an in-depth proclamation of his love for her because, HELLO! Let’s get real, she wouldn’t be as sure of what they had together hadn’t he taken that whole minute and 30 seconds to profess his endearment to her and all of her friends. 

I know you’re probably thinking that by my investment of time and effort to write about this evidently makes me a hypocrite because by writing about it, I’m ultimately giving it importance. 

Well, isn’t it important, though? Social media is definitely prevalent in our everyday lives, so why not discuss how much or how little it impacts society and us as individuals. 

I hate to generalize and perhaps, antagonize something that can also be beautiful if approached for what it actually is and what it was intended for: a place to connect (or re-connect) and mingle, along with other limitless opportunities for social/business/personal stamina. 

All of my family resides in Italy and Venezuela, and they are still able to be included in the loop of the all frenzies that I share online. I am able to virtually meet some of my employers, mentors and other writers within the platforms of social networks and talk writer stuff, or gush over a favorite novel. Or, simply just talk — and that’s a damn beautiful thing. 

So I’m summoning a challenge. For you, for me, for everyone: To become conscious and aware of anytime you begin to feel undermined or distressed on social media, and to then genuinely ask yourself why — why is this affecting me this way? Why is this so important to me? Is it worth it? 

Once you’re able to confide deeply in those questions, you’ll understand your place — your worth. 

That you’re not just some profile or gigabyte of memory. You’re not just some girl or guy trying to make a statement. No. You’re far more than that. You are a part of a remarkable species capable of emotions, love, meaning, and life. 

Our most remarkable attribute, however, is our most dignified ability of just being present. 

-signed, S

Originally featured on Thought Catalog