Thursday, August 13, 2015

How do you know who you can trust?

Do you trust your mom, dad, siblings? Husband, wife, children? Best friend?

Why do you trust them?

What did they do to prove to you that they can be trusted?

Has your trust ever been broken? 

Did you forgive them?


Because they deserved to be forgiven?

Because you value their friendship more than your broken trust? 

...or because you were afraid if you didn't everything you trusted them with would be in danger of being exposed?

I have a friend (and no this isn't one of those 'i have a friend' that's really me moments), who is in the situation where they trusted someone. A friend. A good one. They hung out all the time, lent each other money, made dinner for each other - life was great between them. In fact, she was their only true friend for a while.  And it seemed like friends like her were hard to come by.

Then they got in an argument.

And that same friend caused my friend to lose their job.

Now, I've never believed in mixing work and social life. I've only got about 6 people from my highly populated and very socially connected job on my Facebook (and even they are listed on a separate 'acquaintance' list). It's not that I have anything bad on my webpage, I just don't trust them not to allow personal feelings to interject in our work relationships. When I was the PR over an organization and my best friend was President, we never discussed organization business while "hanging out".  I just don't like that line to be crossed. And that's my prerogative.

But that's also a potential flaw I see in myself. 

And this is all besides the point. And another post for another day.

Growing up, all i've ever heard was "Don't trust everybody." "Don't trust someone whose too nice to you." "Don't trust someone who obviously dislikes you." "Don't trust strangers.""Don't trust white people." "You can't trust your own kind." "Guys can't be trusted." "Girls are very catty. Don't trust them." "Don't trust everyone who smiles in your face."

And the latest, "God said trust no man."

So now i'm confused.

Am I just supposed to give up hope on mankind in general? Can no one in this world be trusted?

Because in all the years that i've been taught who NOT to trust, i've never been taught who TO trust or HOW to trust.

I've fought for so long to believe in trust. After all, isn't that essentially what a relationship is built on? And honestly, my trust has been broken many more times than not.  So why haven't I stopped trusting people? Is it an immaturity that I have yet to grow out of?

Or maybe, I just still believe in humanity. Maybe my spirit just hasn't reached the breaking point yet. Maybe I believe that I can not possibly be the only person with good intentions in the world.  I am FAR far from the perfect person, and yet its so hard to find someone who cares for me the way I try to care for others. The kind of love that God wants us to exemplify, and that I struggle to understand completely.

Do we do as we are instructed and trust no man? Or do we keep placing our heart, souls and trust in others and put them at risk for being broken one by one?

My grandma obviously had me on speaker phone (not unusual for her) when we conversed earlier. I mentioned that I was making stir fry for dinner, had added carrots and it would've been just perfect if I had some mushrooms.  However, after searching the cabinets we had none, and I had resigned to the fact that we would just have awonderful stir fry sin mushrooms. 
 The next thing I know, she comes home with an almost empty box of about six or seven fresh mushrooms. You know the blue papery/plastic ones in the grocery lane? Well, apparently, five year old Omni (yes I completely missed the birthday post but I missed my own as well lol) was riding in the car and had overheard the conversation.  When she arrived home she went straight to her fridge and pulled out their last bit of mushrooms to send back to me to make sure that I had the perfect meal. 
 =] I love that little girl.

Now i'm not saying that it isn't wonderful to be in a relationship. But having been single longer than i've been in a relationship as most people my age have probably been - unless you started dating non-stop when you were twelve...

  {Shout-out to the one couple I know that actually has.}

. . . it is safe to say, that I have learned a thing or two about self happiness.  I mean, I totally get wanting to be in a relationship and, yes, it is nice when you have that special someone who is thinking about you constantly, texting you to ask how your day is going or telling you goodnight/sweet dreams. BUT I do NOT (and we've already discovered that i'm not the 'typical girl') but, I just can not understand wanting to be in a relationship so bad that being single makes daily living unhappy.  I mean geez! Cheer the heck up people! Have you forgotten how fun life was before you knew of the joys of dating? (Can't talk about marriage though - never been there. That may be another ball park.) 

So, not as a bash to all the love birds out there but to counteract the million "Why I love...[insert name here]" posts, i've decided to compose a "Why I Love Being Single" post (or perhaps a 'How To..." for those who don't).


1) No gift buying pressure. No Christmas, Valentines, Birthday, Anniversary, Get Well, I'm Sorry, Congrats, Thinking About You gift buying pressure. Sure it's nice to receive a thoughtful gift from that special someone who you expect knows you best. But honestly, when you buy gifts for each other, you have to admit that there is a tad bit of anxiety over buying him/her the 'right gift', spending at least as much as they spent on you, spendingmore than they spent on you, buying them something they can be proud to brag about or other similar stress related moments. Granted its the 'thought' that counts, but... let's just say a "thoughtful" Papier-mâché model of the Eiffel Tower as a promise to take you there "one day" doesn't actually outweigh the real thing. Jus' sayin.

2) Freedom To Be Fat, Lazy, Greedy, Stinky, etc. When you don't have anyone to impress, whats the problem with skipping out on a shower or three? None. If you want to sit in your house in your pajamas on your only day or two off and eat cereal, watch soap operas/chick flicks/sports, etc. why not? So onions taste great on that burger but make your breath smell bad - it's okay! The cheese on said burger gives you uncontrollable gas??? Let it out girl!

3) You Can Have Spontaneous Fun! Now don't get me wrong, you can have a lot of fun being in a relationship. But, you can also have a lot of fun NOT being in a relationship. Sometimes I look at having a significant other as being similar to having a child. People just "expect" you two to be together. "Oh, I got these awesome tickets to a concert next week - hotel paid, free airfare, breakfast and of course the concert! I have two more tickets to bring along two friends..." Guess who is not getting invited? You! 'Cause I've got two tickets and you're always with him/her. And I'm just NOT wasting that other ticket on your Siamese twin. Sorry not sorry.

4) No Break Up Drama, or the threat of it. Obviously.

5) You Can Have Time Alone. Ever had a long day where you're just glad to be home? The kind of day where you can kick off your shoes, lift up your feet and relax with a nice glass of wine (or a Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade for me)? Are you really thinking, "Geez, I wish I had a girlfriend/boyfriend here right now?" Well, yeah, maybe to rub your back or something. But i'd rather not deal with entertaining the following "how was your day", "what are we doing for dinner", "lets make out", "we never spend time together cause your always working so hard" scenarios. Nope, a nice bubble bath with a little Epsom salt will do just the trick.

6) Appreciation of the value of a relationship. You know the old adage - "You never miss something until its gone." The longer you are not in a relationship the more you can appreciate being in one. This is not to be confused with "the more you're willing to settle." When you begin to understand that relationships shouldn't be changed like underwear - you learn to look past more things, work through more things, love wholly and unconditionally.

7) Appreciation of the value of you. This well has been dry for about three years now (I know hard to believe with all this hawtness, lol, just kidding). But while I've had time and moments when i've said "I miss being in a relationship", I've also come to realize that, now just really is not the best time for me to be in one. I'm not ready (i.e. willing) to deal with any drama of being supportive (even when I don't feel like it), sharing a bed on hot sweaty nights, etc. Also, financially and academically, life is just easier without having someone that I want to endlessly dote on/spoil.

8) Travel. We all have had that dream of traveling with your companion on trips to London or Japan or wherever. But what if they have a job? Or a family? Or other financial obligations? Do you just go on the trip anyways and promise to bring back a souvenir? (Granted I did something similar to this before - we broke up within a few weeks of my return.) Nope. You put that dream aside for a few months, which turns into years, and eventually a lifetime. How depressing.

9) The Chance To Fall in Love. Next to marriage/honeymoon - this is usually the most reminisced part of being in a relationship. Remember the butterflies in your stomach? The awkward flirting? The instant rise in heart beat every time your phone rings out with a call or text? The first kiss? The bliss of laying down, replaying that perfect date from earlier? If you're single - you stand the chance of experiencing that all over again! 

Granted, someone could probably rewrite all these things into a "Why I HATE being single" list (and I don't doubt some of you pessimists probably did the whole time you were reading it). Do I want to be in a steady relationship? Eventually. Heck, maybe i'll meet Prince Charming tomorrow, BUT all i'm saying is - right now i'm single. And I'm perfectly okay with that.

I saw a woman at the store the other day with her 4 children, and the oldest one asked her mother "Mama? Is it food stamp day?" The girls mother said no. Eying the candy lining the checkout lane, she asked "Well, can we still get something anyway?" Her mom said no, and started fussing about them always wanting stuff, etc. 
Considering she was only buying three things and had a coupon for those items, I wondered if she possible could not afford to buy a candy (because four kids mean four candies) or if she just didn't think they needed anything? I wanted SOOOO badly to tell her I'd buy each of the kids one candy ...but then... I remembered a friend of mine telling me a similar story.
 She said her child asked for a candy, and she told her child no.  A stranger offered to buy the child some candy, and the mom was like "fine, whatever, take the candy." Once they were outside, the mother opened and discarded the candy to teach her child that 1) No means no and 2) Not to take stuff from strangers. 
So in the end, I decided not to say anything to the mom/kids... What do you think? How could I approach that kind of situation next time to see if she would allow me to get them something or if she is a "no means no" kind of parent? I'm a sucker for spoiling kids, especially those in need.
 Advice needed.