How to Waste Less Time.

“Sometimes, it feels like you hold back,” he said. 

That was the best Christmas gift I had ever gotten. Sometimes, I’m amazed when people are brazen enough to be honest with me. My cousin Kiko isn’t even really my cousin, I don’t think. But he has been since we were 13 and he happens to be a fan of my writing. An honest one, but that’s only because he knows me for the stranger I am. 

          You can’t tell everyone everything. They simply can’t handle it. You never know how they’re going to react, what they’re going to do with it. Secretly, everyone is looking for everyone else’s flaw, that damned thing that makes us all human. The problems arise when something thinks they’ve cued in on this “flaw,” where they think they have you defeated. But defeat only occurs if you acknowledge that trait as a flaw. If not, that person is busy focusing on a battle that doesn’t even exist. With this I say as they’ve said: Choose your battles wisely. Most battles aren’t worth fighting. Most fights aren’t worth the spoils. People will always attack you, especially if you seem like a challenge. But why waste your time getting scratched up in scuffles? I interact with less and less people, saving myself from more and more drama. If something seems like a waste of time, the very first thing you should learn to do is excuse yourself. Don’t engage. Don’t participate.

I’m also learning to speak less.  Or maybe I’m being taught to say less. I mean… what is there to discuss? People really do talk too much. Some of the conversations we have get us nowhere, and sometimes people simply need a means of interacting with you simply to have contact. Small talk. Time’s a wasting. What I’ve also noticed is that most people’s means of interacting are in the form of an argument. Just as often as women catch attitude for a little attention, men like to say or do things that are mildly offensive so they can have some affect on you. (S/O to the men who, “that ain’t your hair” as I walk down the street). There are some things we find engaging in relationships. We like to have war stories to tell. We think that what we’ve “been through” bonds us together, but that should be as partners on one-side, not as feuding lovers. Or maybe that’s just not for me. But sometimes, we do waste our precious time holding onto something we think we’re supposed to “fight” for, instead of spending your time graciously contemplating the ease and joy this person brings into your life. If a person isn’t bringing positivity into your life, and doesn’t make things easier… what do you want them for? You can’t complain about the stress if you invite it to stay. The easiest way to avoid stressful conversations is to avoid stressful people. 

Can you tell something happened? This is where I hold back. The most difficult part about being a writer, and an honest one, if that your emotions are going to go public at some point, and people are offended by different things –especially words. The easiest way to stop wasting time is to stop giving situations and occurrences such great importance. We let people and they way they feel (and the ways we feel about them) control our everyday emotions. Can’t trust your best friend? Cut her off. Can’t trust your man? Cut him off. Either that, or deal with it quietly. There are some battles we choose to fight, and each of those for our own reasons. But centralize your focus, you can’t fight every battle. There will always be bullsht to deal with,  you’ve got to decide which is more beneficial to clean up. Some bullsht will help you grown, but mostly, it’s just a mess. If you’re ever upset because of a person, you need to check that person. People who love you don’t want to upset you. Sometimes we even stay around because of the people around that person, but don’t be fooled. That person is responsible for how they interact with you. Continue to be a good person, but keep an eye on how much you give. You shouldn’t expect to receive, but when you get nothing, take note of how much nothing they think you deserve. And then turn them into nothing. Cut. Everybody. Off.

         I know they say all relationships have their ups and downs, but how many down’s really? Why not progress peacefully? Why is that not a possibility? In my opinion, we waste our time building, monitoring and maintaining relationships that are destined to fail. I don’t think this is a “bad” thing per say, I think people come in and out of our lives, but only as much as we allow them to. Me? I’m tired of all that. Every day, I make decisions based on how I re-tell the story to my children. Maybe that’s too much. Maybe that’s how it should be. Sometimes, I make decisions I question, but I make them with the best possible intentions. And I pray. Mostly I ask for patience and wisdom. I want to be able to sit back and understand the cards on the table before I make my move. But when I make my move, I need it to be exactly what it needs to be.

  Anyone aiming for an ideal knows things will take longer than we hope. So, enjoy the time while you work. The best relationships, in my opinion, are the ones where you can work side by side, towards a common goal and not distract each other. In amazing relationships, you can work side by side towards individual goals and continue to help each other produce. I have very few people in my life –to few for some, but that’s how I prefer it. Sometimes, I sit back and think about all the people I would rather not hang out with and I come off cold, even to myself. But… I don’t have any drama in my life. I’m not worried about who to trust. The people left in my life bring positivity, and that only. The things I “need” to do are all things I enjoy. The things I miss out on, it’s probably better that I did. During those times when you’re bored and alone, you should probably try to find whatever it is you’re good at, whatever makes you happy, whatever might be lucrative and beneficial to you in the future.

  The truth is, no one cares how they affect you. So be who you’re supposed to be right now.  They only know what they do. Ignore everyone. Do what you have to do so that when people think back and reflect on their interactions with you, all they can say is, “that was real.” I don’t worry about anyone’s interpretations of things in the moment, because they probably aren’t looking at it in the way I am… but if we don’t see things the same way, where is this going, really? Sometimes we just don’t want the same things as people. We disagree more than we agree. It’s ok to let those folks go. To let those situations pass. We don’t need to overtly involve ourselves in everything and with everyone –especially not women, in my opinion. We truly are the company we keep. We’re grouped together, whether we like it or not. I actually hate to feel that way, but we women have a difficult time acknowledging societal views. We can be as free as we want to be. As modern as we strive to be, but in everyone’s head is a secret definition of what a woman is. You are defined before you know it. So be yourself, and where whatever title you’re given with pride. But me? I won’t share someone’s robes. Good or bad. I’d prefer my own.

Spend more time with yourself. Doing what you want. For your own reasons. Under your own guidance. That way, any decisions you do make will be yours.  It won’t be wasted, it’ll be the decisions you make. You will have earned everything given to you, everything that happens to you. Take control of yourself, your situations, your surroundings, your engagements. Take more time to decide whether to waste the time before you keep engaging. Decide if the issue is worth keeping before you fix it. Stop wasting your time, spend it wisely instead.   Oh… and always be a good person. Be the better person than you even want to be… then there’s nothing really to argue or worry about –you didn’t do anything wrong. Just thank God & keep it groovy. *shrugs*

That’s how I feel, anyhow. 

Ella.

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