Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Reclaiming My Time (How Listening To Friends Helps You Learn More About Yourself)

Reclaiming my time is the most popular phrase of the week, maybe even the month, because of Congresswoman Maxine Waters. In a video circulating around the internet, she can be seen shouting the words at the current US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin. The reasons for her actions were because he was avoiding answering the questions she was at the meeting for. While it is great entertainment, in reality many of us are reclaiming our time. Let me tell you how I've been reclaiming mines and how the realization of my journey has hit even more after listening to conversations with friends.

I feel like I've spent my whole life working. That's obviously not how I'm currently getting my time back, but I feel like I've spent my whole life doing everything everyone ever wanted me to do. I was that good student, the good child, and until people found reasons to not like me I was that good friend. During my teen years, I spent a great amount of my time trying to have fun during school and at church. Those were the places my parents wanted me to be. There were times in college that I skipped out on partying because I was trying to do what I had to do so I could eventually have the life I wanted. Then soon after college came that awful quarter life crisis. Well, even though I didn't understand it at the time, after the quarter life crisis passed I started doing many things to reclaim my time.

Have you ever noticed how the older we get, the more we hate going to clubs? Well, while others had started meeting their soulmates and having kids, I started exploring the club scene. A little known fact about me is that even though I moved back to Houston at the age of 23, I had never been to any club in this city before. Actually, I didn't immediately experience any clubs after moving back, so I was probably 24 before experiencing the Houston club scene.

Making Money 
Growing up and even during college years, it was all about being responsible with my parents money. However, after employment, it became amount my own steady paycheck. I had to learn how to hold onto money. Holding onto money is easy when you are spending other people's money, but I had to learn how to pay bills and still have money left over. When you've never had those kind of responsibilities it takes time to learn.

My childhood and teenage friendships were all surrounding school and church activities. Basically I met people and left them where I met them because I had no other options. During my high school years, I can count the amount of times I hung out with people outside of church and school on one hand. Because of how those friendships worked, during college I tended to revolve my time around what everyone I called friends were doing. However, after college I really reclaimed my time and started living my life and seeing noticing the friends I really have.

In another post I mentioned someone that was supposed to be a friend arguing with me over a man. Well, truthfully ten years ago I would have been afraid to talk to anyone about a guy I slept with because I was afraid of hearing the negative advice. However, in this situation the girl was already saying the worse possible things about me, so I opened up to others asking for their advice. Some were people from FAMU and a few were people I went to high school with. None of these people judged me, which helped me discover that I do have some really good friends. I guess you could call that reclaiming my friendships too.

In the last seven years of being back in the city of Houston, I've experienced dating in ways I had only previously dreamed of. I remember a guy in college letting me know that he didn't a relationship. He was just looking for casual sex. He was only my second sex partner and that was not what I wanted. I didn't even have an actual relationship to reminiscence on at the time, so I surely wasn't ready for a casual sex partner. After him, I spent my time getting to know men but was too afraid to open my legs to any of them for that exact same reason.

What changed seven years ago? I reclaimed my dating time. I matured. I convinced myself I could handle the casual sex and the waiting to be remembered again that came along with it. I also convinced myself that the only way to open myself up to finding my equally-yoked man is to open myself up to meeting Mr. wrong too.

What does listening to friends have to do with all of this? 
Sometimes we feel like we know the people we grew up. Sometimes we feel like we know the people we've spent a couple of months with. However, everyone has life experiences they haven't shared yet. This year one of my friends shared how she was in a marriage so long that after her divorce she really discovered what dating was and started discovering the type of man she actually likes. She was reclaiming her time. Thinking about her story helped me to realize why I'm at the point in my life that I am now.

If you're in the midst of reclaiming your time, let me know how.