It’s been a rough year. I didn’t realize just how rough it had been until just recently now that the dust is finally starting to settle around me. I would’ve liked to have thought that my fourth year in my undergrad would be full of good memories and very few negative ones. Although I had very many good memories during this past school year, they were often overshadowed by the negative effects of relationship tensions that reached a breaking point.
The year started off promisingly enough; I was planning on moving in with a “friend” who I had known since my first year in Uni. She was one of the first people I met at Frosh, and we ended up living together in our second year along with a couple others. This living situation went a lot smoother than when it was just the two of us living together in our fourth year, I will say that much for now. Anyway, I probably should’ve seen the signs. Tiny (as I nicknamed her in my previous blog post “A Story Between Roommates”), scared off a girl who lived with her in our first year. Let’s call her J. J basically got pretty drunk at this party and Tiny had to take her home, which she pretended to be fine with, but then J started to hear Tiny yelling about her to her parents in the next room over the phone. The situation got more tense, and eventually J decided to move out of Res without reimbursement, just because she couldn’t bare to live in such a tense environment. Fast forward to our third year and Tiny is living with a girl named M in the apartment that Tiny and I would one day share. I won’t go into the details, but their living situation basically got too tense for M to live there as well and so Tiny recruited me to come live with her for our fourth year. I lasted for about 3.5 months. 3 of which (I thought) were going by fine, but in the last couple weeks Tiny cracked because I left some food in my room for the day while I went out to an interview and then went to the gym. As I was cleaning up Tiny came in and started screaming at me about cockroaches and eventually stormed off. That was the end of our friendship. I could not get her to talk to me afterwards, and I think that is why I still care enough to write about it so many months later. At the time I was also working on establishing a Film Club that I had started with the help of a non-profit that I had done an internship with over the summer. The non-profit, however, felt as if the resources they gave to our club, which we used to market their company, were benefitting us more than them. We were able to get our resources elsewhere for the club, and without so much effort that would’ve been dedicated to the non-profit, so we decided to split. It was another tense end (though not as tense) to what I thought was going to be a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship. On top of these two relationships crumbling around me at about the same time at the beginning of the school year I also had to focus on my job, and of course my courses. Relationships end; this seems to be a (albeit unfortunate) fact of life.
In hindsight, this blog post isn’t about some drama that happened between two potentially beneficial relationships, it is about how I dealt with them when in the midst of the chaos. My main coping strategy seemed to be to duck under a rock disguised as school work and TV shows and hide there until it all blew over. I also focused on revamping the Film Club to make it into something new and separate from the previously associated company. Also, I pretended as if everything was fine to almost everyone I knew. You know what this got me? Extremely emotionally detached, that’s what. I was so focused on doing all these things to keep my mind off of the emotional aspects attached to these events that I began to forget about the emotions of others around me. Including my incredibly loyal and ubiquitous boyfriend, R. He helped me through it when I wanted to wring Tiny’s neck because she decided to be petty and hide the paper towel and utensils in her room. And he was there whenever I just really needed to break down. But if anyone ever asked me if I was okay in school, I had already lied to myself that I was okay, why not lie to them too? What would I have told them? Would I have just spilled my whole story in the middle of the library? First of all, you have to be really quiet in the library, but mainly it probably would’ve just sounded like I was bitching about some tedious drama anyway. The last thing I would want to do would be to bring someone into the drama of it all. This was pretty much my thought process. Basically, if a person doesn’t need to be involved in drama, I don’t include them. This has been my philosophy since I saw people get hurt through unnecessary gossip in high school.
Being a Christian adds another dimension to this problem. To a be Christian means to be loving, care about others, and turn the other cheek. But it also means showing love to people who you might feel don’t deserve it, and being brave enough to stand up for people who are being treated unfairly (including yourself). But the world isn’t as cut and dry as it is in movies. There is not always a clear cut line defining what is the right thing and what is the wrong thing to do morality wise. This is the doubt that constantly surrounds me. I will wonder, “Am I the one in the wrong?”, or think that “I shouldn’t express myself because the person I am expressing to probably won’t believe me and think that my perspective is too bias to have weight”. Communication is important to me because it leaves less room for misunderstandings, and clarifies the picture. It gives me a better idea of what aspects of a person’s argument are right and wrong. Notice, I don’t say “who is right and who is wrong”, this is because usually each person is right, as well as wrong to a certain extent. It is a matter of discerning where you are wrong, and taking responsibility for it, but not blaming yourself for the entire situation. What I have learned from this past year is that keeping the greater good in mind not only benefits those around you, but also yourself. When you prioritize yourself and express your feelings in a mature and controlled way you are able to stand up for yourself and potentially better those around you by teaching them a lesson about themselves and how they hurt you (and might be hurting other people). I pray that Tiny learns to listen to her family, her friends, and that I will be mature enough to express myself to her calmly if I ever get the chance. The same goes for my previous boss at that non-profit. It is those things that you don’t say that plague you later on in life, and prevent you from building up the bravery to act in defence of yourself and others in the future.
PS. Wondering about that picture in the side? My always loyal “R”. Keepin’ it boss not rekt