relationship advice

Poof. You Are An Adult. English is Their Second Language.

One of the toughest parts about getting older seems to be having to watch your parents become older. I am fortunate enough to have an incredibly close relationship with my parents and, simultaneously,  I have an incredibly unique relationship with my parents, since I have always considered myself their protector and interpreter of western culture.

My parents moved to this country from India. My dad got a head start by coming here in the late 70’s. Whereas my mom, finally came with my siblings around the late 80’s. Seeing as my dad went to school here and obtained a PhD and Masters, it only makes sense that he has mastered the language and western “culture” more than my mother. He has an accent, but not as strong as my mother, and he can communicate fluently [and apparently effectively, since he has obtained awesome opportunities throughout the years in his career].

My mother, she is a different story. To a certain extent, my mom didn’t need to master the language, she ran an ethnic story in the early 90’s (no language barriers there) and worked in some sort if I.T. testing division in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. She dabbled in day care before and after the I.T. position, but working with little kids did not necessarily require her to “learn” the language or the culture.

So now, my parents are getting older – whats the big deal? So growing up when it was just me and my mom running an errand, I would try to make sure the store clerk was talking to me, so that I could interpret the information over to my mom. I did this with simple things and more complicated things (like car issues or calling manufacturers in regards to warranties on home appliances), but I remember going to college and having this thought, “how will my mom communicate her needs effectively or understand third parties without me?” I gave my mom little or no credit, and I gave myself a LOT of credit. My mom did fine, she didn’t need me [as much as I had lead myself to believe]. I put this thought of her inability to communicate in my own head.

I remember coming home for Christmas break one year and intentionally being quiet at the store so I could witness the interaction. I thought the store clerk could have been kinder, but, I guess from his point of view my mom’s  tone when trying to speak English does not always come off as lovable, since she is more focused on trying to get the right words and conjugation out.

I created my own problem. I like many of you LOVE helping my parents! I love them – they are wonderful humans, who continue to do a lot for me and everyone else around them. So as an adult I see myself trying to revert to my old ways of simply doing things for them, but at the same time this is not as sustainable since I live in a different time zone, married and a young lawyer at a large firm [who by the way is studying for the Missouri Bar].

For example, the other day my mom wanted  me to send her the address of a salon near her, so I got off a call with my husband, while at Target running errands, Googled the salon and sent her the address. See the issue with this is that this is something she could have easily done, but I have reinforced her to believe that she cannot. So this morning, she told me the salon was closed [she said it in a way where it was closed forever]- I said why don’t you Google it again and try to give them another call. She hesitated, but with a little subtle encouragement she did it! She called them – made an appointment, now knows they are closed on Mondays, and even rescheduled her appointment after a second call!

This whole article was initially geared towards writing  about aging parents , but it ended up turning into an article about my mother– Happy Mother’s Day -I guess! I am amazed by how awesome she is, and I am learning to understand that our mother-daughter relationship needs to evolve and is evolving. We are both learning new things. I am learning to teach my mother how to catch fish, and she learning to not be afraid of catching the fish [broad -broad overstatement- since she does A LOT without me – but I like giving myself more credit sometimes].

 I am sure many of you struggle with these same scenarios and situations, and I would love to hear about how you handle things. Feel free to comment below – interested in your thoughts.

Poof: You Are An Adult. Ending a Friendship

When you are a little girl you dream of the day you are a fabulous adult. Working in one of those big buildings, where you have an awesome office, the cutest wardrobe, the perfect hair and skin, the ability to eat everything yummy and never gain a pound, the perfect home (in the perfect shade of blush pink), and perfect relationships.

As you grow up you learn that you cannot have it all. You learn to pick a career, be serious, socialize and love only those people that matter, and above all you learn that every action truly does have a consequence.

One of the toughest parts about this entrance into adulthood is leaving people “behind”. I really struggle with this issue, but I realize more and more that you cannot take everyone with you on your journey, and although you want to share something because of the sheer length of time you have been in each others lives or maybe there are certain aspects of this person you really appreciate, there are other subjective negative aspects that severely outweigh the length of time and pleasant traits of this person. If this person lived near, it would make sense to connect every now and then and to make the effort to maintain the relationship, but if the person is far away, and every time you meet in real life the negatives seem overshadow the positives, you need to walk away.

What does walking away mean? I have learned that the hardest and easiest thing to do in life is to come up with black and white rules and stick with them. It’s hard, because your mind wants to analytically poke holes and give you subjective outs and create grey. It’s the easy thing to do, because if you just simply allow it to be black and white then you are free of trying to interpret the grey. To highlight using this method, you simply tell yourself: I am done with this person, I will not contact them, respond to their contact, and I will un-follow them on social media. By simply coming up with these incredibly tough rules and sticking with them you no longer have to constantly second guess yourself or your actions towards this specific person. You take a position & you stick with it.

What happens next? By taking a position and staying strong, you will soon realize that you are free of this person and the burdens they brought into your life. Freedom from any negativity, only means that more positivity can replace it if you are open to it! Take the time that you would have spent talking to  that individual and invest it in yourself, your family, your community, your other close friends or your work. Use one bad “relationship”, whether it be a friendship or serious relationship to catapult you to the next level, and as hard as this may sound never look back. If you find yourself even wanting to take a glance backwards, just remember that things were not always that rosy, and you do not need this person.

 

JOIN ME ON MY SERIES CALLED “POOF: YOU ARE AN ADULT!”  and feel free to suggest other topics to address! I loved writing the above, even though it’s a little lengthier than what most people would prefer!

 

Dating: 11 tips to take it to the next level.

I’m NO pro at dating, but I do have a few fool-proof tricks up my sleeve. I would love to share them with you — so you can you snag “Mr. Right” and leave “Mr.  Okay-for-Right-Now”.

  1. If he loves you, likes you or is interested, he will make time for you.
  2. Don’t initially bombard him with texts and calls, keep it short and simple. You don’t want a cyber relationship– you want a REAL one: ditch the long texts or phone calls for hanging out in person, grabbing coffee together, or going for a stroll.
  3. Talk about outdoorsy activities that you enjoy — if he is paying attention, he’ll plan something around it on your next date because he knows that it’s a fail-proof date idea.
  4. Let him pay. You do not need to prove yourself — and you should always offer, but if he insists then let him. You want a partner who will take care of you — then it starts with this small gesture. You’re job is to look pretty and be good company. His job is to open doors, pick up the check , and be there ON time. After the third date, or even the second date you can pick up the dessert tab, pick up your lunch tab or make him something special!
  5. Take it slow, for the first two months. See each other once or twice a week, nothing more (this is what SLOW means)!
  6. Don’t act like your married  if you’re JUST dating or don’t act like he is your boyfriend when all you’ve done is go out on a date.
  7. If you’ve been hanging out for a while (one month or more) and you both really like each other or you like him, then ask him “where is this going?” or “what is going on between us” — it’ll definitely take courage, but if he says I don’t know or he wants to be friends, then the balls in your court. You can continue to hang out, cut him out or not feel guilty about meeting other people.
  8. Remember you’re single until he is actually your boyfriend & he is single until you’re actually his girlfriend: girls often get upset that this guy did them wrong, blah blah blah blah blah — my first question is: did he know the parameters of your relationship? “Ummm kinda, we didn’t talk about it — it was understood”  If this is your answer, then make it clear to him that this is what you thought, and ask why he didn’t think that? If you it’s a reasonable excuse, then set boundaries, so you know you’re on the same page, if it’s not a reasonable reason– LEAVE HIM. Don’t open the door again. Bye.
  9. Be simple. Don’t be demanding & don’t change his date ideas. Go along for the ride with a smile, and appreciate the time he put into planning the date!
  10. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: DO NOT BE A LAST MINUTE SORT OF GIRL.  You’re time is valuable and he should know that! He should plan his dates with you well in advance. For example, if he wants to go out on Friday, he should tell you by Tuesday! You want him actively thinking about you and your date through out the week, you want him to work for you and dwell on you.  As you date for a longer period of time, then it’s okay to do things on a last minute basis — because who does like the spontaneous girl!
  11. Be confident. You’re beautiful: inside and out. Don’t feel insecure  — think about how luck you are — there are girls that are being sold somewhere? People who find the internet to be a LUXURY, people  who have no one to use this tricks on! So trust me girl you’re lucky.  You have eyes to read this, and common sense to interpret it — TRUST ME. Be thankful, smile and “fake it till you make it.”