Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have shared it several times before and here it is again.  Women should buy olives.  Yes, I realize that you are wondering where I am going with this but watch as this one unfolds.

When I was in college, I had a friend named Maggie(name has been changed for privacy).  We hung out quite often. One day, she told me that she met a guy. They went out on a couple of dates. Being the naïve college student, I had no idea that I wouldn’t see Maggie anymore. She completely vanished. A few years after that, I was enrolled in my area of concentration. By the end of the term, one girl announced that she was leaving college to get married. This decision baffled me because I didn’t understand why she couldn’t get married and finish her degree. I did not understand why her education was being tossed away so carelessly; however, it was a large beautiful ring.

After I began working, I acquired an associate that was a peculiar individual. She had her acrylic nails worked on each week and loved to gamble. I was really friends with her sister and they were a package deal; this situation made for many entertaining moments. One day, I was telling her how I had just purchased different types of olives and was excited about serving them. She responded with, “Oh, I love olives, but I never buy them because my boyfriend doesn’t like them…”. A look of confusion presented itself on my face. Normally with this particular individual, I allowed such nonsense to go unchallenged by my thoughts, but this was too much for me to stomach. “You do not buy olives because your boyfriend doesn’t eat them?” She slowly admitted her folly, and we continued with other topics of the day. However, this olive scenario has replayed itself over and over again; The complete surrender of a life for the interest of a man.

While attending graduate school, I was given the opportunity to support a local medical scholarship by attending a brunch at a seafood restaurant. The invite came from a business associate whom also insisted that I bring a friend.  Well, I invited this same peculiar individual; my mistake. She was quite excited when I told her about the invitation which indicated that she wanted to attend. When I asked her if she would like to accompany me, her response was,…”Oh well, I don’t know because my boyfriend has a race that day…”. I am assuming that I was supposed to conclude that she had to be with him; however, I would have preferred a very clear yes or no. I responded that since she was busy, I would invite someone else. She agreed that another person should accompany me. Why did she then turn around and tell her sister that she was upset that I went with another person? Wait, allow me.

You chose to cling to your boyfriend instead of doing what you really wanted and also expected me to settle for something other than my true desire because you did. This foolishness then went to the next level because you voiced your poor feelings to your sister and not me. In truth, that was a wise choice because there would have been a serious issue had this been shared with me directly. (Before you ask, I do not deal with these drama queens anymore.) Unfortunately, similar scenarios play out all the time.

The olive rolls further.  Men have often fallen in love with dancers of the Middle Eastern art form, known as bellydance to many.  Many of those men marry such dancers.  Many still then find themselves asking their wives to give up dancing.  Unfortunately, some of those women have stopped dancing at the request of their husbands which ultimately led to serious problems.  Where does the need to control your beautiful wife come into play?  Why does she have to give up something that makes her happy just to be with a mate?

All of these examples lead to one burning question.  Why do so many women feel the need to lay down their entire lives for the sake of a relationship?  The I do not want to be alone answer is a popular response.  It is a sentiment that is easily understood but at what cost should one pay to be in a relationship?  Some of the best moments of my life have happened when I was all by my lonesome.  I often recommend it for those that voice a need to find themselves.  It is possible to maintain your individuality while being in a relationship.  A mate should not “complete you” because you are enough by yourself.  If you are not, then that should be worked on before adding another person to the recipe.

How to Purchase the Olives(mere suggestions)

1.) Solitude– Spending time by yourself enables the mind to find clarity.  It helps you hear your own voice and figure out what it is telling you.

2.) Journaling– You can make your own journal or buy one that attracts your attention.  I often keep a few at once for different purposes.  How you maintain your journal is entirely up to you.  It can be daily, monthly, or whatever floats your boat.  Maybe you want to write Haikus instead of whole paragraphs.  You can track patterns in your life and observe what lessons you have learned.  You can also see what lessons you have yet to learn.

3.) Hobbies   Is there something that you enjoy doing?  Do you know what you enjoy doing? Maybe there is a dance class that you want to try or perhaps painting is a hidden passion.  Find something that you like and pursue it.  It could be one thing or a few…again make it work for you.  It is important to try new things so that you can find out what you like and what you don’t like.

4.) Travel    Traveling is good because it takes you away from your daily routine and gives you another sense of reality.  If you are able to travel to the other side of the world, that can really take you out of the box and give you a global perspective as opposed to just thinking the world ends in Disney or Key West.  The different cultures can inspire you and bring you refreshing perspective on your own.

5.) Your Thing     You are an individual.  There are ways in which you can handle your bag of tricks that are going to be different from anyone else.  You can create your own plan of execution that uses things that bring you joy and enhances your talents.  Your unique approach to your life can be developed to bring out the best in you.