When I started writing the Love, Sex, and No Relationships column, I had no idea what I was doing. I was asked if I was interested in taking over as the “sex columnist.” Knowing full well that I would not be capable of writing a weekly column based solely on the concept of sex, I decided to make my basis of topics more broad, and I think it worked out in the long run.
Over the course of the year, I’ve written about a variety of topics, most of them in reference to relationships and love as opposed to sex, but I tried to keep the topics relevant and interesting. I do not think I am an expert in anything as of yet, nor do I think I am necessarily qualified to give advice about love, sex, or relationships. I will anyways, though, share with you lessons that I have learned or advice that I have been given throughout my short 20 years.
To start, don’t let other people dictate your happiness. In counseling, we have a concept called “owning the problem.” This means that if there is a person who has feelings of discomfort or dislikes the way you do something, then that person owns the problem; it is not your job to make that person approve of you as a person. People are sometimes mean, and they will make every effort to tear you down. Your job is to do the best you can and not let people like that get to you. The expectations people have of you are not always yours to maintain. If you can’t be what other people need you to be, that’s not your fault.
In one of his many rants of wisdom during my Concepts of Assessment class, Dr. Stano made an excellent point. When lecturing about one’s motivation being linked to one’s personal interest in the task at hand, Dr. Stano exclaimed the phrase “The world owes nothing to nobody.” With the double negative aside, I knew what Dr. Stano was saying was true. The world owes you nothing, and you don’t always get what you feel you “deserve.” There is a sense of fairness with that, though, and I find that reassuring. I know that everything in my life will be earned by me and that I should not expect to get anything just because I think I deserve it.
I’ve said this before, and I will repeat myself now: no judgement. This means, don’t judge people for the decisions that they make, and don’t judge yourself too harshly for the things that you do. Mistakes are sometimes made because, at the time, you thought what you were doing was the right thing. If you learned later that you were wrong, then accept that and move on. Dwelling on your mistakes won’t change the fact that they were made.
You are the only you that there is, and you have every right to be proud of yourself for who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you bring to the world. As a great friend of mine likes to remind me, “Yo, you rock.”