The Three Tiers

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“Look at the personality before you go for the looks.”

 

We live in a very aesthetic world where everything needs to look good. From what we wear, to the cars we like and even social media. So when we are put in such a world, how can we look beyond the looks, when that’s all we have been taught?

We are enamoured with hundreds of beautiful people putting up pictures on Instagram or Snapchat. We have new ways to make ourselves look amazing through simple injections and even surgeries. If we go to such great lengths to look good then that means looks are an important piece to attraction, but making it the only reason is very dangerous.

We’ve all heard those stories where someone takes a very beautiful person out, but they end up being boring (yikes, no personality!) We’ve also heard the stories where someone finally gives someone a chance, only to be surprised at how nice they are; but you know they aren’t that attractive, yet.

After years of either being in this weird rut of finding someone who only looks good or only is nice had me a little frustrated. I wanted a healthy balance so I made myself a three tier cake to use as an example.

Tier 1(bottom layer): This tier is your trust, compatibility, and overall personal characteristics. Trust is the foundation of every relationship — without trust the top layers will always be in danger. Compatibility is one of those rare things that takes time to be understood because many factors play a role with it. Your personal characteristics need to be somewhat similar because if you like to joke around make sure who you like can take a joke.

Tier 2 (middle layer): This tier are your hobbies, favorite foods and future goals. It is about all of the little things that we think don’t matter, but end up being a huge deal down the road. For example, if one likes art galleries and the other likes to bungee jump, chances are you guys need to find a halfway point. If one person loves seafood and the other is a vegan, something might have to be worked out. See it’s very minute things that can get annoying later.

Tier 3 (top layer): The looks, the style, the perception. The least important but nowadays given the most importance. A person’s clothes should be no reason as to why you don’t get to know them, that’s changeable. The way someone looks is not controllable, but if you truly think you are 0% attracted to them from the get go them you should avoid leading them on.

The reality is that when you see someone from across the room you don’t think to yourself “wow, I bet they have an amazing personality.” You notice them because something about them catches your eye. Once they catch you, what do they have to reel you all the way to them? That’s where personalities come out and should do the rest of the work. Dating isn’t hard, but it can become difficult with the new set of beauty standards and focusing too much on one tier of this cake.

The Blossom Effect

 

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“I blossomed before you and you stopped growing as a whole”

Mistakes of all forms happen and heartaches happen at different magnitudes, but Imagine hearing that from the person you were supposed to marry. I always remember telling her she is my sidekick, my day 1 and wife. We weren’t married and just had the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, but I wanted to do everything with her. Not that I was unable to do it alone, but simply because her being with me, made everything better. There was not a snapchat she didn’t send my way that I didn’t take a screenshot of. There was not a dinner where I didn’t sneak a picture of her. There wasn’t much I didn’t take a picture of because I wanted to hold those memories. Unfortunately, through the process I lost touch with me and my world became her happiness. So naturally, I stopped growing from the inside out. Yes, I figured out my style of clothing and starting smiling more, but that was really about it. Whereas now when I look back at the pictures I can tell the exact moment in time where she lost touch with me. I can tell the exact moment in time where she blossomed and I was the same guy she met. Maybe it’s good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing, i have no idea how to feel about it. I have just come to accept the fact that she blossomed before me.

The unfortunate thing about toxic relationships is it leaves its scars on you permanently. You can move on, you can grow and be different but something about that toxicity, stays with you. The easy way is to blame her, but as a man I have to admit both of us together just didn’t work. I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I didn’t do enough to keep her around. I simply became boring and stagnant.

The first year was difficult in all forms because I had to adjust myself to doing things alone. I had to be okay with her doing her own thing or with friends, instead of me. I had to face the truth of me being the same guy as the first day she met. I had not grown in any way, so I really had two options? one , I could drown in my own pain and sorrow(which I was already doing). Two, I could start a new chapter in my life and never hear this ever again.

It’s been two-three years now and those words ring in my ear whenever I relax. Those words help wake me up at 5 am to start the day with pedal to the metal. I have taken out the word tired from my dictionary. I have stopped with relying on others to join me on adventures, if anything I love my alone time. I probably have grown the most this year than ever before because 90% of things I have done all alone.

I was sitting with my father one day and he told me a story about an eagle that wouldn’t fly. The eagle would just sit on a tree branch all day even though it had the ability to fly. The owner then decided to cut off the entire branch and the eagle immediately started to fly. Just as this eagle I was meant to soar but she was my branch and my comfort zone. I held on to her for dear life  because I was too scared to fly and now that I am soaring, I only want to go higher. I only want to try new things and be the best version of myself. If you are in this predicament, i’m telling you, cut off that branch. You can love someone without limits but the day you become stagnant and stay in your comfort zone is the day you will hear what I did. I promise you. The day you start doing things alone, is the day new doors will open for you.

Are you mad I lied?

            “Are you mad that I lied or because you realized who I actually am deep down inside?”

I told them this because I was tired of hiding behind the mask of something I was not. I was tired of pretending to be happy about shit that didn’t mean anything to me. The crazy thing is how I knew from a very young age I’m different like really different from my family and relatives. Yet I still pretended everyday and tried to fit in and see the world as my family did but I couldn’t. I come from a family where education is huge. Naturally I felt I had to become a doctor or businessman to make them happy. I even went to college but struggled to sit through lectures and getting good grades but in the end with hard work I got my psychology degree. I even got into a masters program for the fall 2017 semester but I was dry and empty from the inside. I had so much accomplished but so much was missing.

Fast forward to present time and I have a year left before my masters program starts. Currently I am taking care of the family business because after all “I will have to take care of it in the future”. I sucked at every task when I started but at this point “I’m running it better than most professionals”

            “I bet you love the business huh? You are a natural and pretty soon you will be running everything!”

My stomach sank to this but I couldn’t speak up, I just smiled back and nodded with agreement. I think years of just being quiet and agreeing was slowing boiling within me because I just wanted them to see my perspective sometimes.

            “Kay we are so proud of you for learning everything so fast and maintaining a high standard for our family business”

Once again another smile or smirk was given and once again I stayed quiet because If this was the way to make them proud then why not? That was until I said, “NO please stop”. The entire room froze in standstill and they asked me 50 questions as to what happened.

“I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life, I don’t want to live out your dreams”. “If anything I will run one part or one area but I can’t and I won’t run a business forever because it’s not me man”. At this point I couldn’t turn back and fix what I said so I kept talking. “I want to be a writer and I want to write for a magazine or work for a creative outlet”.

This time it was silence but it was able to say the most

The next day during breakfast they tried to reason with me and explain to me why business is the best option. I agreed with so much they said but I wanted to try and see where writing would take me. I could see some disappointment on their faces but I realized I had to reach my dreams and my goals because I have no doubt in my mind I can reach them.

“Mom…..Dad, “Are you mad that I lied about liking the same things as you or because you realized who I actually am deep down inside?”

            I sat quietly when I heard my dad clear his throat and I saw a smile on his face. Then he said, “You better start studying for your GRE because you need to go apply for a journalism program”

I quickly called the speech pathology masters program and told them “Thanks but no thanks”. I didn’t cry or anything I just had a lot of allergies that day because I was finally running after something that made me who I am.