Blog 027 Between a Rock and a Hard Place 

By Mana Williams. 15 Minutes 

Everyone faces decisions where they can’t win everyone else’s blessing. Compromises can be made to soften the landing, but ultimately tough decisions usually don’t have winners. This chat is on a personal note. It looks into situations we can’t talk our way out of and looks at thought processes we can use to help us better weigh up our choices and make a calculated decision.

Teenage relationships are like two people riding one bike. Two fundamentally independent individuals trying hard to work as a team to do something that has direction and purpose, but most people may view them as being foolish and stupid.

Looking at it, would you change anything about your teenage crush or relationship?

Met with rocky beginnings and rough endings, I would say my teenage relationship had loads to be desired. I’m a huge believer that we are all destined to love someone and deserve it. If the afterglow of a relationship still causes you significant grief months after you’ve let them go, is it worth going back for them? I think so,  I think that maybe as a teenager you are always fighting to maintain balance and care about what other people think. Youth feel that they might not actually be aware of their problem or have the wisdom to equip themselves with the right tools to know what is and isn’t truth. If I was to go back into my previous relationship with someone who I cared about, the change would be around knowing myself better and trusting myself with the decisions I’m making as being right. Being able to sit down and be completely content without confidence anxiety. To be comfortable in me and know what needs to be said and when.

I think age and experience correlate with growth and understanding of other people’s opinions. I seem to notice each day that I become more self-aware of my shortcomings and less interested in opposing opinions.

It makes me wonder if an adult relationship is like two people riding a tandem bicycle, changing the functions of the relationship and working to make room for an extra set of cogs, roles and more room for error. The setup is more functional and because of that, it makes sense to me that an adult relationship is more mature and ultimately more balanced. It would make sense then that age and experience must bring more function to an existing relationship.

So what decisions need to be made?

As time has progressed I’ve become aware that I have some issues. It’s been interesting to find how these issues have affected my life but in particular my relationships with other people. Because I am aware of these problems in many ways it’s like discovering a kink in a hose. I’m still in the process of clearing out some of the more significant issues but my goal is to reach a stage where I can deconstruct my concerns and figure out how to be more positive and be more tenacious in my relationships.

When a relationship breakdown caused you grief and those around you hardship, what actions can you take to make sure you learn from that point of interest?

As a collective, I spent months working myself back to feeling confident enough. After a significant break up ruined my relationship and muddied the water between myself and my closest friends. It became more apparent about the various lessons that needed to be learned and recognized. When choices need to be made, I feel that it’s more important to do what makes you happy, but make sure that you are calculated prior to approach a situation.

Always fight your brain to get through to your heart.

Soppy it may be, but it’s true that nothing will make your life more challenging than the brain perceiving love when there is none. What it’s trying to say is to get to a stage where you know yourself well enough to know what honestly makes you happy, not what your brain perceives as happy. This happiness will let you grow in a way that is functional and will provide traction control for your future relationship.

What tough decision do you have to make?

When a relationship falls apart because two people who have too much going on, there are actions that can be made to restore it with the aim that maybe one day it could work again. Looking at age again and how wisdom increases over time, I feel that one day I will have the ability to be able to make those decisions for myself again. Until that day arrives, the choices put in front of me will consist of positive enforcement. Such positivity includes knowing your own self, as well as facilitating a relationship that is growing each day. Without going into too much detail, within the mentioned conversation is the decision I’m facing currently.

I will continue to write day by day and these blogs will remain a significant part of my day. I’m extremely grateful for the support given each day by readers and I will continue to write. As always…

Thanks for checking in.

Blog 026 Friday Nights at University

By Mana Williams  7-10 Minutes 

Late nights getting loose, flat parties, trashy fashion, low standards, ex-girlfriend drama, and loads of hype. Friday night university life in a place like Wellington can be really full on. Less than a Saturday but more than a Thursday.

A time for short-term promises and long term goals. We are all a part of the problem whenever we enforce the ideology of alcoholism. From about 12 pm every Friday, students begin the descent into the lands of drunkenness. This blog is in regards to University life and the culture of drinking on a Friday.

Why all the hype?

This generation has a belligerent fear of missing out that drives us to seek out the hype. So many push the idea of getting more or getting loose and when you are young it is so easy to accomplish that. This fear of missing out drives the urge for us to be bothered getting into nice clothes have the energy to go have fun, have time to go find love. So we push and we push till we find some hype.

A time of the week when society stops spinning it’s cogs so dominatingly eases up and starts relaxing. In the meantime, students are looking for questionable adventures and intangible developments. We find solace in the rhythm that we are better off joining in rather than resisting the current. It’s worth getting out of pajamas for because it gives us freedom to do silly things.

But what are the consequences of doing silly things?

It’s only a moment, it’s only a night. Looking for short-term preoccupation is about as intelligent as consuming elicit drugs. Short term gain, long term stupid. Within the wobbly world of nightclubbing, it’s not uncommon to do dumb stuff. But for me, not a dance, nor a ballad has encouraged any sort of meaningful relationship. Because it’s probably not a meaningful connection. In the sense that they probably don’t care very highly about what you have that makes you, you. That’s sad.

You’re only kidding yourself believing that you need to go out!

It doesn’t take an architect to realize that going out on a Friday night is unnecessary. With the cost of alcohol at ridiculous prices, how in the world do students afford to accommodate their binge drinking culture? No wonder there is a stereotype of low-quality two-minute noodles marked as a staple diet for students. They aren’t poor they just spend their money on stupid shit.

What else is there?

I’m not saying don’t go into town, I’m just letting you know what’s out there. Guys and girls are both full of potential but they are equally full of drama and that’s not healthy. Not in the sense of unholy stuff, or things that draw you to a person that makes you feel special. Looking for wisdom where there isn’t any.

Instead, adjusting strategy to hang out with the lads, or the girls. Being content with one another and accepting each other for their shortcomings, likewise. Making compromise through their cloud of rubbish because you know your relationship with them will last longer than Friday night.

An early stab of wisdom on a Saturday. I feel that if I continue pushing we might eventually reach a perspective that makes more sense. But for now…

Thanks for checking in.

Day 021. Shifting – Part Three. 

By Mana Williams. 10 Minutes 

The final segment of this trilogy looks at arriving in your new home. It also focuses on the unpacking as well as a lens on what next steps to take and looks at some anxieties that may persist in the process. It wraps up some of the blanket assumptions we make about the simplicity of shifting and places an emphasis on understanding self-requirements and thought.

A quick conversation about the time you made it. Off the boat, off the motorway, off the plane. Your first day in a new place as the old page rests beneath the shadow of the last, a new one is flipped over. Handed the keys to your new apartment to take a look, scope out your part of the house and get the lay of the land. A quick word with your flatmates before getting into unpacking.

When I think about all of the stuff I have when it’s splayed out on the floor, it makes me realise how much stuff I don’t need.

Have you ever packed too much?

After all of the condensing, after letting go of all of your emotional baggage, why is there still so much left? I’m not talking about your pink underwear this time either, I’m referring to the emotional stuff that was plaguing your sleep last year.

Relationships can create a belief system that makes us feel valued when we are with that person. Like a drug, we go through these vicious cycles of thinking about the person who made us happy and the resentment of losing touch with them. We disconnect from our own values and we stop thinking about what effects it’s having on us. The most illogical system ever. That even when we push that person away as hard as possible, there is residue left in our head that reminds us from time to time that we were worth something to someone else. The reminder that we were previously cared about sucks away at our motivation for change so we keep looking for it. A relationship with our girlfriend, a relationship with our parent or family member. Their relationship with us is difficult to quell, usually carried wherever we go.

Sub rant over. You need to adapt to survive. Personality assumptions that contain messages like “be who you are” just fail to mention that people have personality differences which clash in group living situations, like flatting. It can be really exciting to move to a new place, but out of courtesy for others, it’s important to recognise that everyone is struggling with baggage unresolved in at least some relationship.

Overwhelming new environments can force people to say and do things they don’t necessarily mean so it’s vital that you reach compromises and adapt to let bygones be as such. The word bygone meaning something that’s happened in the past.

As mentioned in blog two, people can be driven by their expectation that you are judging them that they put up walls to protect themselves. When everyone is moving into a new environment the stress can be tiresome, so naturally other makes sense that they will find reasons to assume the least from you. So why not prove them wrong by adjusting course and reaching personality compromises?

Just think of all the wars that wouldn’t have happened if one man cut another man some slack on statements made or comments withheld.By simply keeping things simple provides clarity that others don’t have to grapple with.

In effect, the shifting trilogy once again looks at understanding what to pack when shifting versus what needs to be left behind. We talked about the transition stage as you pack up all of your stuff on the last day. That you can see how anxious others were towards you by comparing the second week to the last day you spent with them. That finally the process of moving in can be really hard and exciting but a quick peek into the world of new politics and the importance of reaching a peaceful compromise when decisions are made.

At the end of the day, gauge the love you have for a person based on the balance between how much you would do for them and how much they would do for you. If there is an imbalance, then someone is being ripped off. The most important thing is to carry only the emotional bags that will keep you safe.

That concludes the shifting trilogy. Today’s blog was made late on priorities. Tomorrow I will post a couple of new insights which I’d cool. But there will be a real talk shortly. As always, however…

Thanks for checking in.

Day 020! Shifting – Part Two. 

By Mana Williams 7-10 Minutes 

In this segment, I want to look at the period before shifting, and no I’m not referring to the procrastination stage. But the time when you say goodbye to your loved ones and social groups. Beyond the normal routine where the guard comes down for a brief moment.

Do you remember the last time you finished something?

The time you finished school, finished a course, finished a project. The few days that lead up to the end where everyone starts treating others nicely. The time when everyone thinks about your positive characteristics. Like a plant coming back to life at the beginning of spring. When the guard comes down after they realise that you both will soon be going in different directions.

Why do people do that?

It’s sad that people will loosen up after they realise that you aren’t there to judge them. That you have no ulterior motives, that you don’t mind who they are… The, just in case, precaution. Just in case he’s perverted, just in case she’s weird, just in case he’s a drug addict, just in case they won’t like me. It’s sad that people build walls so that they can feel comfortable talking to you, it shows their insecurities and anxieties.  To which extent a person’s insecurity towards you can be is dependent on their ego and moderated by their trust.

You can see a person’s insecurity by how much they contrast between the last few days you spend with them versus the second week you first met them. When they feel more comfortable letting you know how they’re really feeling, when they will open up about their opinions. The final leg of a marathon, when they themselves let go of all of the baggage that they picked up when times were tougher, when it was winter. A destination mentality when they can see the end of the project. .

The sports break up of your last year as a junior, your last day at work, the end of a family reunion, the last day of school. As you’re heading back to University, overseas, to a different job in a different city, in the process of shifting, there are fewer standards and subsequently, less expectations of you.

What if that person was someone you loved? 

A family member who didn’t show the same treatment towards you the entire time you were around them. The consistent nagging about organising and always keeping busy. All of a sudden you come to the stark recognition that it was all set in motion so that emotions were rarely talked about between you two. When you realise that you weren’t talking the whole time… 

I guess in the process of shifting we are all so caught up in the small details that we stop to reflect on the things we could do better next, we continue to make the same errors of judgement with people who deserve our time and we fail to give it to them. As a result they feel disinclined to bring down their walls and gradually the cement sets and it becomes a chore to get them to say how they are really feeling. Only in those brief moments of transitioning do you actually see a glimpse into the crooked world of another person’s life. 

Just a thought. 

I accidentally deleted blog nineteen and can’t be bothered re-writing. I may do soon but stay tuned for part three of my shifting blog. 
Thanks for checking in! 


Blog 011. What really matters? 

By Mana Williams

I may not have the credibility of a sixty-year-old married man when it comes to knowing what love is but Donald Trump doesn’t have the qualifications to be the president.

We all have a story to tell, but is it the journey that we care about or is it the view we had when we were at the top of the hill?

In conjunction with Valentine’s day, a large proportion of people tend to focus on being single, I guess today’s talk is succinct with this demographic. Although this is not a cliche about ups and downs if you are happily in love with someone, bare with us singularities for five minutes.

When I was in high school, I met a girl who was stubborn, fearless and really frustrating. She came from humble beginnings and knew how to argue her way into my not favorite books. Indeed a rocky Mountain to climb, in many ways, but we hit it off and kept it up for quite some time. To save the realists from a long unwinding memory, long story short we loved each other. But I ran away to university and she stayed living in our home city. This long distance stuff is like going off road on “the journey.” The only difference is that you’re driving blind and have no idea where it’s all going. Let me say it all goes pear-shaped very quickly. But when you take ten steps back from the rock slide of a relationship you had with a person you love. It’s still the same pleasant view and that’s the most frustrating part of all.

It’s funny because she is the wreck while I am the wonderful survivor but the best part is I can’t get in trouble for that last statement.

But there is a method of operation for all this madness…

When you meet someone who is real, who is there and who loves everyone equally. When that person has no ulterior motives but the one that puts your happiness up with there’s. Whose love is eternally well received? Whose life was set out before you were born? When you visit that person for the last time and see the undying love they share with their partner and the many children they had together. When you sit in their lounge and they are talking about cancer. The nitty gritty details about their funeral. When you walk up their driveway to leave and you can still see the immense love their husband still bares. When in that moment you know that this person will wait for their lover in the afterlife. That their entire journey, through every hill and over every terrain, they are destined to go home again. When that moment reaches your heart and you know that nothing else matters but the millions of moments they had with their loved ones in that journey, it all makes sense.

I was given a small taste of what love is like. I cannot begin to grasp what a lifetime of this must feel like. But I know that what my late friend felt for her husband and the love they shared was something eternally significant.

For me, that matters.

Just a Wednesday evenings thought for you guys. Thank you for checking in.