Trust With Caution

Describe something you’re grateful that you learned from your parents

I’m grateful for some of the beliefs and morals my parents have instilled in me since a young age. Some of the advice I have easily taken in, but other pieces of advice were hard pills to swallow. You know, the kind of advice that you learn to be true as you get older and go through life. One of the many lessons I’ve learned from my parents is: Don’t trust everybody.

You’re probably thinking, “Damn, that’s harsh.” But it’s true! A lot of my parents’ advice and lectures to me as a kid – and even to this fuckin’ day – basically boils down to the fact that they want us to be smart and use our heads when it comes to dealing with other people. They never want my sisters and I to ever be in a position where we are na├»ve, gullible, or easily swayed by others. We were taught to question everything, but most importantly, always question the motives of others. We were prepared for the fact that people will use you when it’s convenient for them, whether that be financially, for their own gain, emotionally, or for material things. Because of this, we were taught to always be careful and trust with caution.

As a little kid, this shit didn’t make sense to me. Honestly, there were many times I believed my parents were just being haters. I thought my parents were giving paranoid advice – always thinking that people were going to do us dirty or do something shady. We were taught to not give our trust so easily. We were spoken to like adults at a young age – there was no age appropriate way to spell it out: Don’t trust everyone, people will use you if you let them. When it came to friends, acquaintances, or anyone that we had any relation to, we were always met with commentary like:

“Make sure that they’re not trying to just use you!”

“Watch your back, you never know.”

“Be careful (with what I share with those around me), they might try to use that against you later!”

Being cautious of others was always drilled into my head. But of course, as a young child, you hear the advice given to you, but don’t really see the significance of it until you’re much older. My parents were serving us that 100% blunt reality at a young age. They wanted to stress the fact that most of the time, people just look out for themselves and have no problem stepping on others, using others, stealing, lying, or backstabbing anyone to get what they want in life, a person, or situation. We had to be aware that people’s moves were always calculated.

Because of this way of thinking, I was always questioning people’s intentions with me. I was always taught to put people under a microscope – see if their intentions are true, if they are genuine, and if they may have any other motives. Like many other children / teens / young adults, I maneuvered my way through life, learning and understanding what my parents meant by not being so easy to give your trust to others. These are lessons you learn throughout your life and start to see the significance of previous advice.

I have had my fair share of betrayal, lies, being used, and being manipulated for someone’s else’s personal gain. I’m talking about everything in-between – from childhood friendship drama, high school gossip, adults just being plain petty, and unfortunately the list goes on. I had to learn the hard way what my mom and dad meant by not trusting everyone you meet. Because not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to be genuine to your face, and not everyone deserves your trust and time. I used to think that my parents were overly suspicious of everyone, but now I understand that it’s just the truth of our reality. Not everyone is your friend.

For this reason, I feel like my intuitions are on point. When I meet people, I can kind of get a sense of what kind of person they are right off the bat. I’m not saying that I have a special gift or some shit, but just that I’m very good at reading people. Of course, I’m never 100% right all the time, but for the most part I do a damn good job of feeling out a person’s intentions. I can just feel when someone’s vibe is off, or if they are not a person I want to associate with. I’m a pro at respectfully distancing myself and making it known where I stand.

I appreciate that my parents taught me to be choosy with my circle from a young age. Being more closed off and selective with who I choose to bring into my space has helped me protect myself, but also see people for who they really are. You don’t always see other people’s motives, or the “real” them right off the bat. It has not only taught me to be cautious with who I let in and trust, but it has also taught me to be a trustworthy person. Loyalty is such an important thing to me – in friendships, relationships, and life in general.

My parents stressed the importance of not easily trusting everyone and anyone around you to my sisters and I. But on the flip side, they also emphasized the importance of being loyal and acknowledging those who you can trust. These 2 pieces of advice are so opposite, but 2 sides of the same coin. It wasn’t just pessimistic negative advice to never trust anyone because people are generally just looking out for themselves, but more so, to just be aware. Be aware of those who have ulterior motives. Be aware of what people do and say behind your back. But also, being aware of those who are down for you and have proved that they are genuine.

Because of this advice, I know how to weed out the true, genuine, and ride or die people in my life. Not everyone is going to have your back, have your best intentions at heart, or be trustworthy. That’s just life. But there are a selected few who will be just that. Best piece of advice: Trust with caution, but recognize the real ones on your team.

When In Doubt, Sleep It Out

For as long as I can remember, my main coping mechanism has always been sleeping. Whether I’m angry, sad, life in shambles, or have things heavy on my mind, the first thing my body wants to do is go to sleep. There is truly nothing a quick nap can’t fix. Just kidding, there is plenty that a short nap or even a deep hibernation can’t fix. But I have practiced this form of self-detachment for basically my whole life.

I am hands down one of the sleepiest girls you will ever meet. I am never not tired. Even when I get a great night’s sleep, I am still tired. I’m not a coffee or morning tea person, as I don’t want to be dependent on caffeine. I love tea, but 97% of the tea I drink is in my milk tea. As a result of my personal choice to avoid being dependent on caffeine, I am forced to run on my natural energy, which is close to 0 a lot of the time. I’m the bitch that schedules in a nap in-between events to make sure that I am recharged. It doesn’t matter if I take a long afternoon nap, I can still sleep soundly at night.

I overthink everything, to the point where I annoy myself. Sleeping is my way of shutting off my mind, even if it’s only temporarily. It’s like getting a break from yourself. You don’t want to overthink the scenario anymore, overthink the decision at hand, or jump to conclusions, so, you sleep it out. If you’re a person that gets in your head a lot, you know what I mean. I’ve learned a long time ago that overthinking can be the mental death of you. There are times when there’s literally no point to overthink things that have already happened or are just beginning to unfold. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, and sometimes it feels like it literally can’t be done.

Yes, it’s avoiding feelings and suppressing my emotions from time to time – well, every time – but if the situation at hand is not fixable in the moment, there’s no point in stressing myself out. I’d rather detach and deal with that shit when I wake up. I’m not saying it’s the right way to handle things, but I’ve noticed this continuous pattern that I’ve repeated since I was a kid. When I get overwhelmed, I’ll sleep it out until I get the motivation to deal with it, let it go, or keep suppressing it. Sleeping away my problems definitely won’t solve anything, but at least I’ll be well-rested.

Everyone knows that awesome feeling when your head makes contact with that pillow. You can go to bed with a thousand and 1 problems, but with time, you slowly drift in and out of consciousness. The things that are stressing me out, or whatever scenario is heavy on my mind starts to get cloudy. And for a moment in time, my problems don’t exist. If I’m not awake to think about what’s bugging me, then it’s not a thought in my mind. I escape my reality briefly. And for a split second, I’m just existing in the universe, problem free, and at total rest. I let my mind do its thing, and I eventually surrender to my own subconscious. When I’m asleep, I’m detached from worldly complications, life is still, I don’t have a care in the world – even if it’s just temporarily.

I flip and turn in my sleep, and in those brief moments of slightly being awake, I try my best to lull myself back to sleep. There have been many instances where I’m teeter tottering between being awake and remaining asleep, and my mind starts to remember the issue, and I quickly try to get some more shut eye. Naps and sleeping are a great escape from your present day problems. It’s a great distraction to have when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It forces you to detach and revisit the issue at another time.

That’s probably why people say, “I’ll sleep on it,” when making an important decision. Sometimes in the moment, you can’t think clearly. It takes a while to process information, stress, and getting the full story on things. So at times, sleeping it out is a great way to delay that process when you need more insight. Because of course nobody wants to make decisions in the heat of the moment or act out irrationally. Sleeping allows you to let things sink in and buys you time to see what you really want to do. It’s a very crucial step in my decision making thought process. Ironically, being unproductive can sometimes help me be productive when I wake up.

However, it does have its bad aspects as well. I feel like sleeping can be very productive when you can come to a conclusion right after. But for me, sometimes my coping mechanism of sleeping it out just prolongs my decision. Or, I sleep on it too many times that I end up just doing nothing and not dealing with it. I can push it to the side and avoid the problem all together. At times I feel like that 1 episode of Avatar the Last Airbender when Aang frustratedly asks Boomi why he didn’t put up a fight / do anything when the Fire Nation invaded his land. He casually said that he was waiting around and doing nothing, waiting for the right moment to strike. He had to wait and listen for the right moment to make a move.

I feel like I’m Boomi, doing “nothing” by taking naps to escape my problems, waiting to see when it’s the right time to act on something. I’m just waiting it out and seeing how I feel when I sleep on it. Do I choose to react? Do I make a decision ASAP? Do I even have to make a decision? Do I just let it go? If it’s important, I’ll eventually come up with something. And if I don’t come up with something….

I’ll sleep on it…