When Paths Diverge

BY RACHEL WONG

Routine makes life so easy. We become so set in our ways that sometimes it’s hard to let go, especially when we decide to go one direction and life pulls us the opposite way.

When it comes to friendships and growing up, it took me a long time to really understandparting-ways the obvious – that we all grow, and when we grow, we change. We are exposed to the world everyday and we learn so many new things. We meet new people and engage in new opportunities. All of these experiences shape who we are, and ultimately, we find like-minded people to spend time with along the way. Spending time with those who are similar to you can put you at ease – it feels natural to open up to people that you can relate to. But when friends inevitably change and paths no longer align, it can take a while to realize that it might just be time to part ways.

. . .

Alicia* and I were inseparable. It’s hazy in my mind now how we even got to being friends, but we have known each other since we were 6 and we have stayed friends ever since. Like most friendships do, ours had its ups and our downs, and we were there for each other during times of both triumph and sadness. We were the kind of friends that talked all the time about the future and what our lives would look like together: we’d be each other’s maid of honor at our weddings, we’d get matching SUVs and we’d alternate hosting play dates for our children during the day.

It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but despite reality eventually hitting us, we made it – sort of.

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I Don’t Care What You Don’t Like

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

Whenever someone asks me what my ‘pet peeve’ is, I am always stumped. Little things annoy me just like they annoy everyone else, like long lines, slow walkers, and delays on public transit. I wouldn’t exactly call any of those a ‘pet peeve’. More like ‘universal peeves’.

But I was reminded the other day by a tweet from Hank Green (“Never let what you hate define you”) of something that started bothering me intensely about 4 years ago.

I can’t stand when all people can talk about is the stuff they don’t like. Complaining is the way they make conversation and they love debating with you just for the sake of it.

When you get really close with someone, inevitably this is going to happen; you complain to your loved ones and they help you work through your problems, and you do the same for them. But when I’m still getting to know someone, I don’t CARE what you don’t like. We can talk about that later. For now, tell me about what you DO like.

I love finding out about new things from people, sharing in their interests with them and sometimes seeing things in a new way as a result. And we’re probably all familiar with the great feeling that comes when we introduce someone else to something we love and they dig it.

This may seem like a simple thing or a trite reiteration of the phrase ‘don’t say anything nice if you can’t say anything at all’ but it is more than that. It’s a way of life. It’s a commitment to focus on the positive.

That does not mean never seeing or talking about the negative. I truly believe that is important, and I still manage to do it often. But don’t lead with that. Don’t let that come first. Continue reading

Promises To Myself When I’m Alone

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

All my life I have been scared to live alone. The closest I’ve ever come to it is when I was living in a dorm in first year of university, and I was pretty miserable.

I’ve been scared to be isolated, scared to be the only one responsible for taking care of myself, scared that without someone else helping me along my life will fall into a stagnant rut.

I’m still scared, but what I’ve been doing is no longer working for me, so I decided that I had to change something, kind of like an experiment, and I decided to start with my living situation.

Tomorrow* I move out on my own, but tonight I’d like to take a moment to make a few promises to myself in hopes that this experiment will be a success. Continue reading

Fuck No Hard Feelings

Hey man, you’ll never hold that hand,
Like never ever again
You’re almost someone else now

Perfect,
Perfect as I want it to be
You were everything to me for a time…

Fuck no hard feelings,
All I got is hard feelings, you know?
Get so emotional after you go
And I hope I’m not approachable 
-“Fuck Feelings”/Born Ruffians

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people who make fun of others for caring about stuff. People who are emotionally detached from everything except the few things they deem acceptable (usually school, work, and family) because they’re too cool for feelings.

These were the people I was friends with in high school. When I fell in love with one of our friends it was, “You’d better not date him, you’ll start drama,” and when we broke up it was, “Well, what did you think would happen? We told you.” When I felt like I was being teased too much, it was, “Learn how to take a joke,” and, “You’re being dramatic,” and, my personal favourite, “Stop being so emo.” No one was there for me when I struggled because everyone thought I brought it on myself and I deserved it.

3bd04223e35ac415359d005049184c6dFast forward 10 years and the number 1 rule of relationships is still “don’t get attached”. Smart people don’t get attached. Smart people know that anyone could leave at any point. If you’re smart enough, you can avoid getting hurt. You can cheat the system. If you’re smart enough, you are better than other people. You have an advantage.

I don’t agree with any of the above, but it’s sort of true. Whether I like it or not, “smart people” can manipulate others into thinking what they want them to think at any given time, and I tend to be the person that gets manipulated. I am trusting and I take everything anyone says or does at face value. I am genuine and I mean everything I say and so I often forget that not everyone else does. Continue reading

You Are Important

 

Scared of my own image, scared of my own immaturity,
Scared of my own ceiling, scared I’ll die of uncertainty,
Fear might be the death of me, fear leads to anxiety,
Don’t know what’s inside of me.

Don’t forget about me,
Don’t forget about me,
Even when I doubt you
-“Doubt”/Twenty One Pilots

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

I met up with my ex last night, and the last time I saw him it didn’t exactly go well. To everyone else it seemed like I was just looking for trouble, but really I was looking for closure, and I’m glad that I went.

It reminded me that not everyone is in agreement about me. I’ve basically been talking to the same few people for the past three months and lately I have felt a little ganged up on, or like a scapegoat for anything that goes wrong ever. Or maybe just a human punching bag. Whatever it is, it’s not a nice feeling.

But he brought a completely new perspective to those same issues that others just had not considered.

I’ve written before about how I got involved with someone who has a very serious relationship, and that situation has nearly cost me some friends. Not because they’re actually involved in any way, just because the idea of it is so wrong to them and I’m supposed to be better than that and I always do the right thing and I never want to hurt anyone so how could I do a thing like this???

All fair points.

But my ex got it and he was the first person to do so without me having to explain. When I told him, he was surprised, but after a minute he said, “My feelings about this are so weird…because on the one hand, I’m like ‘You shouldn’t do that’, but on the other hand, I’m so proud of you.

I immediately smiled and I realized how much I needed that. I asked why.

“Because you did something awesome! You just did something for you, and you didn’t think about anyone else for once and that’s kind of awesome.” Continue reading