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Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all. –G.C. Lichtenberg

Once you form an opinion, you show that you care. And caring means you have to feel it when things don’t go your way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my friends, “I wish I could just not care.”

But caring is also what makes us human. How dull would life be if we didn’t feel? Ironic that a main sign of depression is “loss of interest in normal daily activities,” or basically, not caring.

There goes our piece of mind.

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Every beginning is a consequence – every beginning ends some thing. –Paul Valery

Most of the time, you’re so focused on new events that you don’t even notice what chapters in your life are ending. Inevitably it has to happen; that’s how we grow. But sometimes it’s hard to look back and realize the things we used to have and the things we had to give up. Did we fully appreciate the moments? And how sad that we rarely get a proper goodbye.

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” –Erica Jong

My decision to forgo all anonymity means I’ve given up the ability to be as open as I’d like about certain situations. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still express some of the effects.

Over the past year, I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster. Each time I’m on an upswing, life is great. Then comes the downswing, and immediately I run to a select few friends. I tell them all the messed up things that happend and how angry and shocked I am. At first, they’re equally shocked and angry with me. They commiserate, giving me all the advice I need to hear.

But then, without taking their advice, I’m back on an upswing again and I barely remember the down. Convinced everything fixed itself, I’m back on my merry way. Inevitably, the downswing comes back and I run back to my friends. By now they’re used to it, and though they’re still there for me, the shock factor has somewhat faded.

I’d be willing to bet we’ve all been in situations like this. We run to our friends (bless them) with our problems, in which they tell us exactly what we need to hear: dump him/her, get a new job, move out, etc. It’s reassuring to hear them say this, because it often backs our intuitive instinct. But throw emotions in the mix and the right answer is not always easy to follow.  So when’s the breaking point? When do we finally get off the ride and give in to the advice we know we should follow?

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love.” –François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

The only time I ever saw my ex-boyfriend get jealous was at a bar on New Year’s Eve. He said he didn’t care who I flirted with, as long as I knew who I was going home with.  Apparently exchanging numbers with a guy wasn’t OK either.

I know it wasn’t right, but I felt compelled to push his limit. Why would you try to hurt someone you love? In an immature way, I saw it as proof he loved me. His possessiveness showed me that he cared.

Through grown-up eyes, I realize jealousy doesn’t make sense. Real love is more about trust and free will. Being jealous means wanting something for yourself, not thinking about what the other person wants or needs. Yet, I think it can be a hard emotion to control. A difficult place we sometimes find ourselves in.

My Minnesota guy

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” — Jacques Benigne Bossuel

On paper, I had the perfect relationship: He was sweet, a hard worker, my family loved him. He was responsible and saved up to buy a house. We picked out all the furnishings. I had just graduated college and we had all the starts for a perfect life. I couldn’t complain…but I did. In my heart, I just wasn’t there. I loved him, but somewhere along the line I had to leave.

I’ve been in California for almost two years now. In and out of different relationships, I’ve worked and been frustrated over almost all of them. Sometimes, I think back to my Minnesota guy and wonder why I left him. And I wonder how I can care so much about guys now that don’t compare. Logical reasoning says it’s crazy. But for some reason I can’t explain, my heart just knows.

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