Friends

To All the Friends I’ve Loved Before

To all the friends I’ve loved before,

I wish I was courageous enough to be able to spark a conversation with you and ask you how you’re doing like we never stopped speaking. Instead, I’ve opted to choose the path of least awkward encounters in order to spare my own self-esteem in the off chance that your response or lack thereof would be too crushing for me to handle. So here I am now, patiently sitting in the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport waiting for my flight back to Boston, writing a letter to you on my phone, and hoping one day you will stumble upon these words. And maybe some day after that, one of us will reach out to the other – or maybe not.

At one point in time, I cherished our friendship. I would like to think that you did too. I know that you had a special place in my heart because I deeply cherish all my friendships past and present. I also know that because I still think about you. I wonder if you still think about me. Typically, the thoughts arise when there are things that happen which spark moments we shared together to replay in my mind like a throwback song that plays on the radio. Other times it can happen because we’re still friends on social media and you pop up on my feed (or if I’m really curious then it’s because I’m creeping on what new things you’ve been up to). When thoughts of you resurface, I can’t help but feel a lot of mixed emotions. I would like to think the thoughts are mainly positive because none of my friendships ended due to serious issues (at least I hope not) and so when I do think about you, I tend to be reminded of the good times. However, because I think some of my strongest friendships naturally ended because we each chose no longer to be active participants in each other’s lives, it leaves me in this position wondering why we ever decided to give up on the relationship we spent precious time building.

It’s easy to say it’s one person’s fault. It is easy for me to blame you and maybe for you it is easy to blame me for some disconnect in our relationship that led us both to agree we were better off alone. Or maybe it was because as time progressed we simply grew in opposite directions mentally, physically, or emotionally which caused friction to arise that made us feel like the friendship that we once had was no longer the same and we both didn’t bother to understand how to navigate the friendship differently than how we always approached it. Regardless of the reason, I think it boils down to the fact that we gave up. It was a joint decision to let it all go and therefore it was a mutual agreement to say goodbye.

I hope you didn’t think it was easy for me to let you exit from my life. To this day I still get very heartbroken from losing close friends. It bothers me more than I will ever let anyone know or see because I have this problem where my pride doesn’t allow me to expose my weaknesses and let you know that your absence has an effect on me. Thus, due to my obnoxious ego, I’m left praying that it is just a temporary absence, a long extended hiatus, and that we will reconnect again. However, if life so has it that this is more than temporary and that our story has ended, then I want to thank you for the time we did have together and for helping to shape me into the person I am today.

Even though I have felt emotions like heartbreak and regret, I have also come to terms with reality that friends come and go. The act of a person walking into my life means they also hold the ability to walk out as well. It took me a while to accept this but I’m finally at peace with this concept. You chose to walk into my life at one point in which we were able to share some beautiful moments that I can still look back at and smile. This is the light I choose to shine on you and remember you by, now that you have chosen to walk out. You’re someone who was able to bring me joy and happiness for a period of my life and I appreciate the time that we had together. I hope you remember me in a similar light.

I think if I were to leave you with any last thoughts, it would be that I still care even if I am okay with what our reality is now. I will always care about you and that I wish you all the best. And who knows, maybe one day we will choose to turn around and walk back into the friendship.
Love,

Kathy

Self

I Wanted to Write, so I Wrote

“Continuous improvement” has been my chosen mantra over the past year because my illogical logic is adamant in believing that remaining idle in our current positions in life restrict us from becoming better versions of ourselves. Thus, if we cannot be better, then we also cannot find happiness as happiness is found in doing more. For that reason, I have endeavored to stay true to this motto and conduct my life in a manner which adheres to the rules I have set forth for myself. Prior to today, continuous improvement meant some of the more obvious archetypal goals of someone who is trying to become better in all aspects of life – searching for a more fulfilling job with a higher paying salary, presenting myself as someone who is well read and well versed in a plethora of subject matters, becoming a healthier individual through food and fitness, and most importantly becoming aware of how to self love. Now if all of the things I have just listed remain in accordance with how I have defined continuous improvement, the execution of these things should therefore bring me happiness. This is true. I am happy. However, I think I can be even more happy — if I continually improve. Do you see what is wrong here?

As I sat in solitude today, I freed my thoughts and allowed them to run wild in my mind. In this time of meditation, I found that happiness is indeed a limitless resource. Knowing that with no upper boundaries to the amount of joy I could feel, I yearned for more. I always yearn for more. What could I do to make myself even more happy? Should I read a book or learn a new recipe? Should I sketch or write out new business ideas?

And only in this moment of self reflection did I come to find how my thoughts and emotions were so incongruous. The idea of “more”, doing more or being more is extremely tiring and unceasing – hence the continuous part of improvement. Being tired and relentless in efforts to chase this higher level of happiness in actuality puts me in a state of deep dejection because ultimately I can always be more happy than I presently am. This idolized state of happiness that I was so desperately trying to achieve is unrealistic because it will always be upcoming, next, and never now.

What I have been so naive to notice and have so easily overlooked, is how precious living in this very moment is with all that I currently have and all that I currently am. Today in my state of isolation, I felt a rush of love for the present day. I am overflowing with appreciation for Now. Who I am now, all that I have now, and where I am right now.

Even though it is probably still in my nature to continue to strive to be a better version of myself each and every day, I am now so aware of the importance of the every day and how today I am better than I was yesterday and that is something to be truly happy about.

Work

The Millennial Employee Retention Paradox

I have seen the data, read the articles, and the proof is in the pudding. Employers already possess the answers on how to retain Millennial employees and yet they continue to ask the same questions and make the same mistakes. The Millennial generation has been characterized as a group of employers always looking for the next best opportunity. In turn if the perception is so, than the answer is simple: employers need to create the next best opportunity within their organization.

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Work

How To Improve Relations With Your Manager

You have landed your dream job in the heart of the big city where the crowd of hustling pedestrians are numerous and the glass-pane skyscrapers are mountainous. For the most part, the struggle of waking up before lunch time has finally become manageable and commuting through morning traffic is no longer intolerable. It took some time but you have crafted the perfect go-to coffee order and established a routine for how to tackle the multitude of e-mails that flood your inbox during the few hours you are not online. In a moment of reflection, it seems as if you are getting the hang of working where you can sort of describe it as enjoyable. You could almost categorize it as the ideal job if you just didn’t get stuck with the most difficult manager in the firm. Similar to any relationship, at times you may feel misunderstood or mistreated but in order to improve the status from “It’s Complicated” to something better, it must start with accepting responsibility for your role in the affair.

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Work

3 Things to Never Forget From Your First Real Job

Started from the bottom and now we are still here. If your job title is prefixed with “Junior” or “Associate”, suffixed with “Assistant” or “I”, or any other word to indicate that you are at or near the bottom of the organizational hierarchy, then there is a high probability that you are also a Millennial and a recent graduate from university. At least that is how I would classify my current status. I am nine months into the labors of being a young professional and the birth of my first experience in the “real world” has taught me three things to carry forward throughout my career path.

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