“What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and sing you a song, and I’ll try not to sing out of key. I get by with a little help from my friends.” - The Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends” 1967
Hello “Happy Friday” readers. My name is Roberto. I was called to action by Brian, who happens to be my neighbor. We both moved into our apartment complex at the same time. I’ve had the chance to meet his immediate family; brother, sister, and parents. I was there for his graduation at LMU. We’ve traveled to northern California, Oregon, Washington, New Zealand and Australia. “I think this is your piece” he said to me. I would be examining relationships and how to stay positive after a breakup. He’s known me to be a single guy just having fun, but he also saw me enter my first relationship in over three years. I found myself in a whirlwind of love and challenges that swept me up and knocked me to the ground leaving me disoriented and rattled.
“That’s the way. My love is. That’s the way I care.” - The Smashing Pumpkins “That’s The Way”. 2007
Relationships come from different places in life, and at various points in time. Some are stronger than others. Built up for the better, and others that we have to let go of-even if that’s not what we want. They all have a value and are sorted from highest importance to lowest. We don’t like to say that some are less important than others but we’re always doing this. It’s about what makes us happiest. We all do one thing or another to gain some kind of pleasure or avoid pain that might be associated with those actions or relationships. It could be calling a family member on a birthday, or getting a certain task done at work just so you don’t have to hear your boss complain. It’s a defense mechanism that’s hardwired into us. If you take the time to examine what and who’s in your life, you’ll see whomever or whatever has your focus has your energy. Some flow more fluidly, while others feel like crosstown traffic. The most common relationships we find ourselves in are family and work but there are also friends and intimate relationships.
“I once had a life, or rather life had me. I was one among many or at least I seemed to be”. - Funkadelic “Can You Get To That” 1971
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. We connect better with some, whether it’s from time spent together, or experiences and other bonds throughout the years. Most of us look at family as people in our lives that will always be there for us. Sadly this is not always the case. Families can also turn their backs on us, sometimes for choices we make, certain views, or even for the way we live our lives. This is a pull at our self identity, and can sometimes sway us in other directions that may not be who we are or want to be. Being accepted is another one of our human needs, and in the case of families I think this one hits us a little harder than say our peers. I am the youngest of eight. Trying to find my place amidst siblings who were eight to twenty five years older was not an easy thing to do. I found my peace and happiness by connecting with each and every one of them on my own. It was my way not only to get to know them but for them to really know who I am; my beliefs, fears, struggles, accomplishments. At that point we have to let go.
“Jumping music, slick deejays, fog machines and laser rays. Lookout weekend, cause here I come. Because weekends are made for fun”. - Debbie Deb “Lookout Weekend” 1997
Work relationships can be as involved as we allow. For most of us, work takes up a large part of our day. The importance of keeping work relationships healthy is much more important than we think. The difference is huge. It can make us dread waking up in the morning or give us an outlook for wanting to be challenged and be better at what we do. It can leave us with something more than what we went in with. I’m a paramedic working in a hospital; I am in a unique situation because ninety five percent of my workforce are women. We work twelve hour shifts, and the pressure of saving people's’ lives is literally in our hands. It’s a much needed thing to destress in any profession. I look for ways to make the girls laugh throughout the day. I also look for activities outside of work that all can join, such as concerts, baseball games, and hikes. With all the hours spent at work we should be mindful of our personal wellbeing and take time away to unwind.
“I gave you all the love I got. I gave you more than I could give. I gave you all the love I had inside. And you took my love”. - Sade “No Ordinary Love” 1992
Intimate relationships can be some of the toughest. We pour our hearts into them like no other. I’m a firm believer that that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never have loved at all. No matter what it might bring with it. It gives us a chance to really live and be who we are without fear. I found out that I’m a lover in all aspects of the word. Selfless, passionate, fun, and outrageous. We find ourselves with different types of partners in our lives. Younger, older, noncommittal, all or nothing, or those who keep us hidden. It shapes us to know what we want and don’t want out of future relationships and what we should have and need from our partners.
“When I’m down, really down. Nothing matters, nothing does. I close my eyes, go to sleep. But I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. Please hear my cry for help, and save me from myself”. Daniel Johnston “Peek A Boo” 1982
The things that come with a breakup are not easy to go through. The time spent alone, the wondering and questioning of what might have happened if we did something just a little bit differently. One usually thinks they are the problem if they’re the one that was broken up with. This is not always the case, but lots of us go through this when we are in that position. There are things we can experience such as self doubt, regret, loneliness, depression . Which is often accompanied by sleepless nights and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s important we recognize and acknowledge them as they are put in front of us. We all have our own way of dealing with these things ourselves, with some being healthier than others. As long as they are not ignored we are on a clear path to getting out of the trenches we feel like we are in. We had planned to spend Christmas together but the week of she came over and said “I didn’t know I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship”. I was truly heartbroken.
“Every man got a right to decide his own destiny. And in this judgement there is no partiality”. - Bob Marley “Zimbabwe” 1979
We know when we enter these unions that there is a potential for them not to work out. I still feel it’s important give yourself entirely to someone. No matter how your past relationships ended, never lose sight of who you are. Remember the reason why people like you. At first the person likes you, just this time in a more personal way. I’m still the same person I was now that the dust has settled. The experience of it all has re opened my eyes to things I have not done for someone else in a very long time. I feel very grateful that I was able to share just who I was and that someone got to feel the love. Even though I had been hurt before, I fully let go and gave all of myself.
“I’m a new day raising. I’m a brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight. I’m a little divided do I stay or run away and leave it all behind. It’s times like these you learn to live again”. - Foo Fighters “Times Like These” 2002
Relationships will continue to be a part of our daily lives. They are certain and uncertain. We all look for meaning and approval. Most of all we want to give and we want to grow. Loving ourselves unconditionally is easier said than done. In the end it it’s hard to love others when you don’t love yourself. I’ve taken this time to get to know myself a little better and look at all the great things I was able to do for another person and I recognize what others do for me. Even after this breakup I’m right back in another relationship with myself discovering who and what I am. If you're feeling blue you don't need to look far, listen and happiness will find you.