Monday Dare: It’s always your favorite sins that do you in

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Real talk

I’m turning 32 next week. My guardian peoples must be motherfucking tired from keeping me alive this long. Right after the realization that another birthday is fast approaching, it also occurred to me that I still know nothing. Well, not totally nothing. I discovered today that a Twinkie is still good three months after the expiration date. Maybe it’s too soon to make that claim. I don’t have stomach pains or anything, but you should probably just check back next week to see if I post another Monday Dare. Sorry, guardian peoples, please do your job again.

You’ve been so patient with me for these past two years as I’ve attempted to become a less underdeveloped person. If I’m being honest, I would have a hard time not cracking the fuck up after watching someone fail so many times. How do you guys do it? Is it sedatives? If yes, what kind?

And I’ll be the first to admit that I give some asinine shitty advice on a weekly basis. But I’d like to think that it’s part of my charm. I tell you something I think is totally correct, and then you quietly do the exact opposite because you totally know better than to heed anything that comes out of my salty mouth, and BOOM! Everyone’s still safe.

But I want to put the bullshit aside this week and share with you some of the truths I’ve learned. And I hope you’ll share some of the things you’ve learned.

Know when to stop. 

I have a sick habit of always needing the last word. I need to feel like everything ended on my terms or else I don’t feel satisfied. But this much I’ve learned: There are times when I just need to walk away. It may not feel like a victory at the time, but the angst I save myself, not to mention the dignity that I’m able to salvage, makes walking away worth it.

Know when to stay.

I’ve been open with you about all the twisted WTF-esque relationships I’ve had over the years. What I don’t mention as often are the incredible people who have been kind and patient. The people who loved me even when I didn’t love myself. And because I didn’t know then what I know now, I left those good people, seeking more, seeking better. Often, when I realized the error of my ways, I would go back, beg for forgiveness, and try to recreate what we once shared. It never worked. More often than not, that person had already found someone else who saw the value that I didn’t bother to see. I was too busy collecting worthless stones to see the gem I had in front of me.

Be kind to others.

I grew up surrounded by a lot of drama. And because that drama made me feel uneasy and unsure and unstable, I never trusted anyone, and I was reluctant to believe anything that anyone ever told me. It became a habit to pull away from people who meant so much to me, hoping they would chase after me. I needed constant reassurance that I was loved and lovable. Then, I came to the realization that being hot and cold is cruel. It is a daily effort for me to be kind to the people I love. I am not successful sometimes, but I remind myself that people can be good and that good things don’t always have to turn bad. 

Be kind to myself. 

I still hate myself a lot of the time. This isn’t something I like to admit out loud very often. I have probably only uttered those words twice in the past decade. It’s hard to admit something like that. And because I don’t really like myself, I don’t think I deserve anything wonderful in my life. Then, I subconsciously do my best to destroy all the blessings that life has been kind enough to grant. I deserve goodness. 

I still don’t know a lot. Maybe I never will. But these small truths are things I have picked up as I’ve passed one birthday after another. I feel brave enough to be so honest with you today because I spent a lot of time doing bullshit last night, and I haven’t slept in nearly 30 hours. I’m just running on the fumes from that totally-still-good-to-eat Twinkie and a delicious extra-caramel latte from Peet’s.

I hope you’ll share some of the things you’ve learned along the way.

With love, Elizabeth

P.S. Let’s get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and Twitter. I love the interaction I have with y’all during the week. Yes, I post funny pictures and thug life thoughts and other original content not seen on this blog, but honestly, y’all are some funny motherfuckers and your hilariousness (Is that a word? Let’s pretend it is.) keeps me going. Thanks, bitches.
image via pinterest

Monday Dare: Choose your own adventure, dummy

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Learn the easy way

I’m the densest motherfucker I know. I don’t mean that my protons and neutrons and that-other-thing-I-cannot-remember-the name-of are packed tightly together, making me strong and impenetrable. (Side note: Let my ignorance be a warning to your children. Pay attention in class.) (Second side note: Is it proton or protron?) (Third side note: Please remember my first side note.)

I’m not Strong Dense. I’m Learn the Hard Way Dense. Every little bit of know-how and knowledge I’ve scraped together is a result of the poor choices I’ve made. When given an option, I always pick the one that tastes like a bad decision.

As a kid, I started borrowing Choose Your Own Adventure books from the library instead of buying them because I always ended up dead or trapped in a dark and dank pit. I would use the money I saved to buy large bags of Funyuns to console myself. Emotional Eating Due to Pretend Death or Entrapment-it’s a real thing. Word on the street is that there are 40 or more possible adventure paths per book. Good for you, Careful Choice Makers. Must be nice to be all alive and shit after solving the Mission of Molowa or breaking the Curse of the Pirate Mist.

Familiar with poor outcomes at an early age, I continued the same pattern of picking the worst choices as an adult. Does this option burn, bite, sting, or cause a bruise to my body or psyche? Then, yes please. I’m a glutton for punishment and a master of learning things the hard way. I will close my ears when friends start giving me advice. Fuck that shit, I think, I know best.

This attitude is probably why, in my single days, I ended up in some asshole’s apartment lobby with my bags and no place to go.

Cletus and I got into a fight over fried chicken. Well, it started out as a discussion about what to eat for dinner, but it turned into an argument when a friend called to ask what Cletus was doing. He pretended to be alone and said he had no plans for the evening, even though I had just traveled several hundred miles to see him and would be staying with him for a week. When I confronted him, he shrugged it off and said I was being sensitive. I started packing my bags out of anger. I don’t know why, since I had no place to go and knew no one else in the city. For ten minutes, as I packed up, he sat on the couch and watched me, not saying a single word. My pride took over and I actually walked out of Cletus’s place. I sat in the lobby for half an hour, weighing my options.

Then, I saw a Domino’s Pizza delivery guy. He called a unit for access into the building. Guess who’s voice was on the other side of the call? Yes, you are correct. In the half hour that I had been in the lobby, Cletus had ordered a pizza. I did what I thought was best. I called Cletus to apologize for my irrational and sensitive behavior. We stayed together for months afterwards. After each fight, I would apologize. My friends said he was a motherfucker. I didn’t listen. I stayed until he brushed me aside for someone else.

I’ve always been pretty content to root around in the filth of my insecurities and shortcomings. I’m dense! That’s just me! I need to learn the hard way! 

No, dummy, that’s not how sanity works. I’m giving myself permission to learn from others’ mistakes instead of making all of them on my own. I deserve a break.

Do you need to learn the hard way? Has it gotten you into any particularly memorable binds?
Ever apologized just to keep the peace?

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