Life Lessons (And Other Things I've Learned Recently)

1. Passion cannot be transferred.
I am a VERY passionate person, and most people can see that about me right away. But because I am very passionate about my beliefs, love, my fandoms, writing, etc - people assume I can be passionate about anything.

UHHHHH.... FALSE. The whole point about passion is that it is different for every person. It's exclusive to certain things. If anyone could be passionate about anything, we wouldn't have to go through all of those personality quizzes and career tests in school.

That's why we have to RESPECT passion. If you see someone is passionate about something, let them give their energy to that. Let them live. Let them be themselves. Stop asking them to transfer their passion to something else, especially when passion is so very rare.

2. You should never write off people based on your assumptions about them.
Even if you don't judge people in a negative way, that doesn't mean you're not judging people. We see  people and the vibe they're giving off. What they're wearing, who they're with, their age and appearance, where they are. Whether it's subconscious or not, we assume things about them from that. If I see a girl around my age wearing a cute dress with a peter pan collar, I'll assume she engages in a similar lifestyle and likes the same things as I do, which is not always the case. And vise versa. If I go to another state or country, where everyone is culturally different, I'll assume we have nothing in common and cannot relate to each other. Again, wrong. How I realized this, you ask?

There I was. Seeing this guy everyday, because he was temporarily working with me. I literally didn't even bother to talk to him. He was quiet and smelled like cigarettes. He looked so different from me and I assumed so much about him, his interests and his lifestyle just by his energy and his appearance. And why even talk to him? I know we have to work by each other for a week or two, but I'll probably never see him again.

Well, on his second to last day working with me, I started a conversation just for the hell of it because I was in a good mood. I found out so much about him within the first 5 minutes of the conversation. He just got out of rehab and is now sober, which is seriously AWESOME. I felt so proud of this person that I just met. Everything he said to me came from such a wholesome, honest place. He taught me a lot about alcoholism just in that 5 minutes, which proved to me that starting a conversation with him was totally worth it.

And you know how I thought we have absolutely nothing in common? Later in the conversation, I found out he was OBSESSED with Disneyland and in love with the Disney company just like I was, which was so unexpected! That made my day, knowing our love from Disney made us relate to each other.

I'll probably never see the guy again, but he taught me one thing. To never miss out on a conversation that could be life-changing, and to never write someone off based on your assumptions about them. You two could have more in common than you think.

3. Environment is everything, sometimes. (But you can't let it define you.)
The unfortunate truth. Sometimes, the cause of my emptiness and my depression is 95% my environment. The toxic people I'm forced to be around, the darkness, the dust. Even the lack of opportunities or progress around you. It really can get to you. I'm all about energies, you know? And when all I see around me is toxic darkness, it can really hurt.

You can't always escape from this, at least right away, but there's one thing you can do: rise above it. Trust me on this one, it's hard, but it's worth it.

Every so often, I feel this almost indescribable emptiness that comes from the environment around me. It's like I'm waiting to escape, but I can't. I have to wait. I can't erase that emptiness completely, but I can at least try to fly above it and enjoy every moment. I have to.

4. I don't really feel comfortable selling things to people, I would rather help them. I think America's business model would do significantly better that way.
From working in retail-based jobs to blogging and professionally writing click bait for a living, you realize that every business you work for or with WANTS YOU TO UPSELL, UPSELL, UPSELL. They don't care about you or respect you. They want you to sell their product for them, with almost zero incentive.

I grew up pretty poor, and even now, I work for all the money that I earn. So when I go into a store and the employees are forcing products down my throat, it makes me feel insanely uncomfortable. First of all, another human being is treating me like a mindless consumer, which makes me feel disrespected and disposable.

I truly believe a good company or brand doesn't have to promote the hell out of their product and upsell like crazy to actually sell their products. A good company is a good company and that's really all there is to it.

So forget upselling and shameless promoting. I would rather help others. If they want to purchase something, I will use my honesty to guide them. People work hard for their money and it's insulting to use them just so you look better. And I'm honestly sick of companies expecting me to sell for them without fair compensation, you know? Let people buy what they want and let people promote what they want. The best man will always win.

5. Cherish the people in your life that actually take you seriously, because it's rare.
I just realized this over the course of the past few months. What do I mean by 'take you seriously?' People that talk to you in such a genuine, wholesome way. I sometimes feel like conversation has changed so much over the years, whereas we don't even think about what we're saying or how to relate to others.

People who take you seriously will:

  • Talk about the little things like they matter. They care about your favorite type of bagel and your favorite iced teas, instead of acting like it doesn't matter. Pay attention to the people you're hanging out with. Do they take the time to ask you what you like? 
  • Respectfully react to your problems. Bad childhood? Going to AA meetings? Going through a divorce? Instead of ignoring your problem or making fun of it, they'll respect your strength and be there to actually talk to you. You know, like a person. I really like when people are upfront with me and tell me things they're going through, because it shows they are strong enough to do so, but also that they trust me. It also makes me feel like I can tell them about my problems and they won't make me feel ashamed or awkward about it.
  • Stop using sarcasm and other negative tactics to communicate with you. This is actually something I noticed in high school. When people 'flirt,' they would just push each other around. Friends would greet each other with swear words and rude sarcasm constantly. I love sarcasm and all, but when it's the ONLY way you know how to communicate with others...that connection is not real. When I saw that most of my friends were communicating that way, I dropped a lot of them. I had dreams and opinions that I wanted to share, but it felt like I was being mimicked constantly for things I actually cared about.
  • They will remember things about you. When you talk to somebody, you're supposed to listen to them, so you slowly but surely pick up what they're passionate about, what they like, etc. People always act so shocked when I remember their name or their favorite songs or how old they are, when they can't even remember what hair color I have. You don't have to memorize a person, but it's respectful to have a general idea of who they are. It really makes me happy when someone knows I like something, so they ask me about it. Recently, here's what people have been asking me that proved they're listening: "Hey Maria, what do you think about all the drama going on on Youtube? Have you seen any previews for the new Assassins Creed game yet? There's this feminist thread I think you'd like. Disney is coming out with a new ride, what do you think?" That's the kind of stuff that makes life worth living! Find out what people like, relate to them, and talk! It's not that complicated. 
  • Stop making everything in the conversation about them. We all know people like that. You don't want to tell them anything about you or your life because you know they're not going to respond to it, they'll just turn it around and make it about them. No thank you. The only time they really want to know something from you is if it's an amazing story that they can tell everyone else, or if they're just plain nosy and want some juice on your life. 
  • They'll talk to you like a person. Not a gender, not a job position, not a number, or whatever else. This is my favorite thing in the whole wide world, I swear. 

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