So many things going on in my brain this week. At times I have no idea what to write about, yet other times I have so much to say that I don't even know where to begin, or what to focus on. I am currently in the midst of rearranging and reorganizing my ENTIRE apartment. For the first time since about May of last year, I'm living alone (I had three different people staying with me back to back)! The last time I had this entire apartment to myself was so long ago, I don't even remember what it was like. I'm glad that I have a space available to help my friends out when they need, but I'm also glad to bask in the ambiance of my beautiful Brooklyn dwelling. It's also interesting because Ashleigh just moved into her very own apartment as well. I spent Thanksgiving helping her move. While I'm on the subject of help (see how I used that flawless segway?), there is something that has been on my mind for awhile regarding helping out others...
As most of you may know, one of my favorite tv shows to binge is The Office (I've literally watched the series in its entirety about 7 or 8 times). However, another very close second place show just might be Parks and Recreation. That show is freakin' hilarious. I love every character expect Ann Perkins (I find her highly annoying, and surprisingly... on The Office as well). Nevertheless, the show is still great without her. There is this one episode though where she's a bit more annoying than usual. SPOILER ALERT if you haven't watched the series and are planning to, Ann gets pregnant. The un-comfortability of the pregnancy started to really get to her, so she began complaining to her baby daddy about all of the things going wrong (having to pee, being irritable, uncontrollable flatulence , aches, pains, etc). Her baby daddy, Chris Traeger, who is super positive and upbeat, tries to offer her all sorts of help and advice about her problems. In response, Ann is even MORE annoyed by him trying to help. As the episode develops, it is revealed that Ann doesn't ACTUALLY want help at all, she just wants someone to listen to all of her problems and sympathize. This episode confused me immensely. I never did understand the concept of people talking about a problem and not wanting a solution to be offered. I realize that this is exactly what I do when friends come to me with something wrong... I immediately try to figure out a solution. That's just how my brain is wired. But is that really not what people want??
I'd like to consider myself (generally) a glass half full sort of gal. I like to always look at the bright side of a bad situation. If something is ever the matter, I usually don't spend very much time at all on the grief process. I go straight to "what do I do now" mode. These days I have come to see that this isn't the way everyone else does it. Now that I am aware that there are so many people out there who DON'T think like me, I can begin to try and see things from the other side.
Even though I hate Ann Perkins, let me try to see where she was coming from... Perhaps in her case, it was sort of a venting thing. Everybody likes to vent right? The way I vent is in writing form, but I do know that some like to actually talk it out. When I write, I'd like to think that people are reading and listening to what I have to say. I suppose that must come with a bit of empathy (or sympathy. I swear those 2 words are confusing to differentiate). Maybe it isn't the helping that she was annoyed with. Maybe it was the lack of time taken to fully understand the pain that she was going through by agreeing with how terrible it was, as opposed to just dismissing it with a solution. Hmm...
For those who want to help as much as they can, I do see the frustration it can cause when people want to take time and fully explore the depths of their sorrow. But alas, we are all different. We all take different amounts of times to bounce back. I do think that generally if someone is complaining about something, that they DO ultimately want help, it's just the way that the help is offered or presented that makes a difference. It's gonna take some getting use to for me, I'll tell you that! But I suppose I get it. As far as everyone of us, no matter which side of the spectrum you are on, we have to learn to understand the opposite side. The "no time to cry, what can we do" people mean no harm at all. We just think and adapt differently. The "let me talk about all of my problems, but don't try to fix them, just listen" people are not trying to be confusing, that's just the way they feel at the moment. We can coexist in this world a lot better if there was a bit more understanding. Take the time to do so, it's worth it!
P.s. Speaking of pregnancy... my big sister is pregnant ahhhh!! She told us all while I was in Detroit last week, but since she finally announced it, I can tell the world!
P.p.s. Seriously though, even if I did spoiler alert P&R for you, it really is an awesome show. Streaming on Netflix, so go watch!
P.p.p.s. The best advice I can give for trying to understand someone who is seemingly un-understandable, is to literally put yourself in their shoes. Try and see the world in it's entirety from their perspective. Maybe if they wear the same size as you, put on their actual shoes! See how they feel.