Maybe People Like You, After All

The journey to my dreams has been one of wonder and magic so far. Most of it has been filled with a lot of hard work and messy bits with relationships with people before you get to see the magic. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget all the little details that are left along the way to show you how much you’ve grown or how closer you are to your dreams.

I had a new client last month and had to deal with new environment. I was dreading the new job because it was going to be another case of meeting people who don’t want to be around me and are going to make my life a living hell. Oh boy, here comes the awkwardness again, I thought. I was getting stress pimples just at the thought of it.

I walked into my new client’s space and to my shock I found smiles, I found people wanted to speak to me. I found that I could relate to them and they could relate to me. I found that the more they discovered I could speak more than one language, it made their day which went on to make mine. I found that the entire cafeteria of ladies could relate to me, ladies who remind me of people in the neighbourhood I am from. There was something me and these ladies and men could talk about and be able to share knowledge on. It made my stay there so wonderful, and how much more wonderful is it when the people who like you are the people who make your food. From the interactions, I get to find new dreams to work on, I learn of a new group of people I can help and a new bunch of considerations I can add to my running projects and dreams with Jam Jar.

For the longest time, I’d lived believing I was not likeable or approachable. I always thought people only dealt with me when they felt they needed to. In a room full of people, I would not be the first person you would talk to – Reason being, I’m a wallflower, straight out introvert.

In relationships, I always believed that I was the terrible person because I couldn’t handle my introversion well. So when relationships with, family, friends and men would bum out, I would blame myself and swiftly walk away, believing I was the one ruining things.

It turns out, that is not how things are. It turns out, people want to be around me. Lately, people walk up to me and want to have conversations with me. People want to know my name, they want to hear my story. They want to laugh with me.

I met Telise at a train station, she was buying a ticket and I asked her help with regards to directions with where I was going. It was my first time buying a ticket there and I didn’t really know how it worked. She helped me out and we ended up in the same shuttle because she happened to work in the building right next to me. Her work involves environmental resources managing. She’s super stunning and super humble, the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet. We agree to have lunch some time. I struggle with follow through with people because ‘Introvert’ But I convince myself there’s something about this girl that makes me want to be her friend. So I invite her for lunch and it turns out she’s everything. Everything in the sense that she’s genuinely kind, and smart and a giver. She’s a big sister, and she has these dreams – I mean she’s pushed her life so far ahead for  someone as young as her and you can’t help but just sit there in the magic of it all and float in her light.

And I wonder about that day. If I had ignored her and went past to go buy my ticket by myself I wouldn’t have met this magic who wants to work with  me and checks up on me and whom I want to check up on. I would’ve figured out how to get the ticket myself, no doubt, but I would have missed out on such an important energy in my life.

 

 

I can walk into a room and brighten it. These are dreams I never thought I could make come true. My life is so much better now that I feel I finally have the cooperation of other people and that the energy can be good. I know the dream was that I could get better at my people skills, what I didn’t know was that it should have been to get better at knowing myself. That in knowing myself and understanding my introversion, not as a weakness, but as my most prized trait, I could actually have all the people I need in my life and I would never go a day believing people didn’t want to deal with me.

You’re a good person, just because you don’t know how to handle everything right now doesn’t mean you always won’t. Just because other people don’t like you, doesn’t make you any less talented and remarkable. Because let’s face it, not everyone can like you.

Maybe you’re not a bad person after all. Maybe people want to be your friend. Maybe it’s better to be open than to close up completely. Maybe you meet the best people your life has needed when you walk up to strangers and say, ‘Hello.’

People Don’t Have To Help You

I had recently bought a house, a development, some few months back. The house was finally ready last Saturday. The handover specialist (I don’t know if that’s what he’s called but we’ll go with it) called me a few days before to let me know what I would need and when I would need to get everything ready. Immediately after finding that out, I got home and told my younger brothers. My brothers are twenty and sixteen years old, pretty young, typical ‘likers of things’ in life. I told them they need to organise things for the house for me.

Firstly, the house is currently unoccupied and the area of the development is such that you would have to basically put in your own wall fence and gates and so on.

I told them they need to find a builder for the wall, go get quotations for building materials, put in burglar bars in at the doors and windows, organise curtains, find garage doors and lastly find out who is willing to stay in the house in the meantime before we are ready for what we want to do with it.

I couldn’t do anything during the week because my day job is just too hectic lately (or everyday) and my all-round PA/ secretary/ accountant AKA my mom wasn’t in the country to help me get anything done. I convinced myself that the boys would fail at the task at hand. Saturday came and the 20 year old slept at varsity, typical Friday varsity stunts. I was so upset at him for not taking my instructions to head when he knew everything needed to be done on that day.

I left for driving lessons early that morning. And as me and the driving instructor were leaving, I saw him take his little white car out as we drove off. I let out a sigh and gave up. Nothing would be done that Saturday, I thought.

2 hours later, I got back from my lessons to find just genuine running around with the two boys. They’d found a builder, gotten quotations for all things required and someone was already putting in burglar bars at the house. There was a van out and it was about to carry out their entire bedroom and a couch so that the two of them and their one best friend could go live in the house in the meantime (after consulting with my PA apparently.) They worked all the way to 10pm to get everything done.

I was so overwhelmed and soaking in all these fuzzy feelings for them. They pulled through for me and made everything happen.

I took a moment to think of how they sacrificed their weekend and worked on the house as though they had an obligation to, when they really didn’t have to. That is something that I’d been failing to see for the longest time. I always used to think that people had to do things for me because of whatever I was to them. That’s what one should remember about many of the wonderful things people do for us, they really don’t have to. They have no obligation whatsoever to help us. Just because my brothers are my brothers does not mean they has to sacrifice their weekends or time for my purpose. They have their own stresses as well, their own problems that bother them. They have school, their social lives, money and other related problems they have to deal with on a daily basis.

 

I take for granted that my siblings are young and have so many of their own issues to deal with. I don’t know whether it’s because I had convinced them that my problems are more important or that they had just been kind-hearted enough to focus on my stuff first. I had no right to be pissed at him the Friday he slept at university because that is his time with his friends. He really didn’t have to focus on my complaints and my house problems.

Once you’ve been living a life of selfishness or pure ignorance for the longest time or most of the time, just so blinded by your own problems, you forget to see how much it takes for other people to give up their time. Look at how much we complain when people use up our time, the same applies to others as well.

I think of the 16 year old. He should be worrying about the shoes he’s wearing and whine about where he wants to go and what he wants to do with his friends. On most days, he is strong and doesn’t really need any support but recently, he said to me, ‘I’m seeing fires in physics and I know you say you’re going through the most, but I’m also going through the most as well and I don’t know what to do.’ I had to break out and see that my always focusing on my problems doesn’t make any of his go away. I only had mine to deal with while he had both of ours. I had to remember to give him support a bit more often, because the truth of the matter is that, his problems are not any less important than my own. Problems are problems. Just because mine are that of buying a house doesn’t put them above those of him struggling with physics.

 

How to stop being ungrateful? Remember that no one has an obligation to do anything good for you. I promise you, it’s not because they don’t have their own challenges and tasks to deal with. It’s easy to forget that, being consumed by one’s own problems. Don’t disregard the bit we get from the people who give us even five minutes of their time to worry about our problems, share our stresses and give us advice or find some way to help solve our problems.

Be grateful. No one is obligated to be nice, kind and helpful towards you. Everyone has so much to deal with that that on its own would take up all their entire time. So when you find anyone who has time to check up on you and asks ‘how’s it going?’ or is willing to share some of theirs with you. Don’t take it for granted.