I am feeling frustrated. There are a lot of reasons for that frustration, but one of the big ones is watching people consistently make bad choices.

At this point, you can just look online and pick any one bad choice:

  1. Not wearing a mask because you think it’s a conspiracy to take way your rights as an American.
  2. Being with or around someone who is bad for you.
  3. Not believing medical advice.
  4. Trying to convince others that your “research” is in-depth and correct, even if it doesn’t at all make sense.

So many other things, as you can see a lot of them have to do with the pandemic — which is STILL happening folks, just because it’s warmer and sunnier doesn’t mean it’s over. Just because you are tired of it doesn’t mean it’s over.

Some of them are issues I’ve dealt with in my own past. Dating the wrong guy being specific to that list. I was talking to my husband last night about communication, and how with him it was easy and stress-free. I never worried that my texts or phone calls were annoying, or would go unanswered. He was always happy to hear from me, and I from him. That’s because he was the right person for me. It was never a question of “Is he going to leave?” It was always, “When can I see this person again?”

It was dating (and then obviously marrying) this man that made me realize how many bad choices I made with men. Some of the guys were lovely people, some were not (honestly, most of them were awful). But all of them had the same thing in common, they said they wanted one thing, but really wanted something else. And even more importantly, we weren’t compatible.

I had a choice to make when I dated these guys, I could choose to stay with them, or fight to get their attention was more what it was, or I could move on and keep looking for that person who would want me, would give me attention, and who would tell me the truth of what they wanted (and it would match up with what I wanted). These choices are really hard. Really hard. But they are so vital to us finding our way to happiness.

This type of situation isn’t unusual. I know most of us go through something similar. Nor, does it have to exclusively be for romantic relationships. It can be for work, family, exercise, whatever.

What it comes down to is choice.

You can choose to be happy and find something that gives you joy every day. Or you can choose to live and be unhappy, and choose things that bring you misery.

What I can’t abide is people asking for advice and then completely ignoring it. I see it every day in various permutations. Sometimes it’s someone asking for relationship advice, sometimes it’s a person asking for life advice, sometimes it’s someone asking for work advice.

You give the advice, they thank you and then you watch them do the exact opposite of what you just said.

It’s an excellent exercise in realizing you can’t control other people’s choices, what you can control is your own. You can choose to not give that advice. You can choose to give the advice and let go of the outcome (really hard to do for a person like me who has control issues), or you can choose cut ties with the person (this depends on how bad their choices are and how painful it is for you).

What I think choices come down to is protecting ourselves. We can choose to protect our hearts and do what’s right for us, which is not a selfish act by the way. Protecting your heart is something that takes practice. You have to know when to open it up, and when to close it down. You have to recognize the people who will suck you dry and leave you sad and angry. As well as recognizing the people who will give you joy and fill your soul.

Look for the people who will fill you up, not suck you dry.

That’s why I limit my online time nowadays, because I see a lot of examples of people (who I often don’t even know) who suck me dry and leave me angry and uncomfortable. I work hard to stop allowing that to happen, which is hard in these crazy times, but we all have choices to make. Let’s all choose to be better and do better.

Published by jessicaleemetcalf

JL Metcalf lives in the Ocean State with her artist husband Frankie, and their artistic black cat Shadow. She one day hopes to live in a Hobbit Hole surrounded by her friends and family in the Shire making jams and jellies, while also writing many leather-bound books. She has self-published four novels: The Last Daughter of Lilith, Coming Undone: Musings on Life, Love and Hobbits, Menagerie of the Weird, and the sequel to Last Daughter of Lilith, called Dawn Seed. JL can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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