Yackety-Yak: Supporting Role

Sometimes I think I’m an asshole.

I mean, if you’re asking then the answer is yes. Everyone is an asshole sometimes.

Maybe, but this situation is different.

Oh? Do tell.

…Do you ever feel like you aren’t the main character in your story?

Um…I might need you to explain that a little more.

Okay, so it’s like this this: I feel like I’m a supporting character in my own story. My stuff tends to sit on the back burner for someone else’s to take the forefront.

And is this for everyone…?

Mainly one person, I guess.

Okay…So you’re prioritizing another person above yourself? Because that’s normal in variations.

Um- yes and no. It’s like I consider their events more important…than mine? And I feel compelled to do what I can to help because I care for them, but then after the fact it’s like I’m just the remainder.

Ah. You’re consumed, basically.

I guess so? I just feel like I can cover my base stuff usually pretty easily and I want to be there for them.

Sounds to me like you know you can cover your base responsibilities with a certain level of effort and then you’re putting the rest into this other person-

But those base responsibilities don’t really require a lot in my opinion.

It doesn’t matter. If you’re letting all of your excess effort go into another person then you are a supporting character in your own life. It’s one thing to care for someone, but it’s an entirely different thing if it’s to your detriment. I mean, is this even being returned?

I’d say sporadically…?

There’s a good chance it’s because they’re treating themselves like the main character in their lives OR are at least prioritizing themselves above you- neither of which are bad things. Everyone has to prioritize themselves at varying rates for their situation and that includes you as well as me.

But-

Listen, I’m not saying to cut them out of your lives or something drastic here. All I’m saying is to maybe be less consumed with this person and focus more on yourself. Imagine what you could do if you took even forty percent of that effort and applied it to you or even other people?

Yeah, but whenever I start to go down that general line of thinking I start to feel like an asshole; as if it implies I’m keeping score or not doing things genuinely.

…Do you think this has anything to do with your friend’s death three years ago?

Yackety-Yak: Self-Criticism

Do you ever look at a conversation you’ve had and thought: ‘wow, I’m really letting them down‘?

Sure? It this a new thing for you?

I guess not? I mean, we’ve all had moments where we overthink something we’ve said and try to dissect all the possible ways it could of been interpreted. I’ve just been torn lately between wanting to talk to/be there for others as opposed to just hanging alone.

And how does this link back to your question…?

Because i-….I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I think my value as a friend is at risk? As if I might fall to wayside and when the tide of pandemic finally washes out, I’ll be washed away too?

…Right…so you’ve become hyper-aware of your conversations and are worried you might disappoint.

Pretty much sums it up.

Well I think you need to take a deep breath and relax. Look, everyone is going through varying degrees of stress. You can’t please everyone you care about without driving yourself insane- especially if you’re focusing on it. This is a time where you’ve got to do what you need to do; and if you have people keeping score in your corner, then it might be time to clear out the corner.

And then I’ll feel like a selfish bitch because they could easily of been venting their stress and that’s just how it came out. Or what if I’m the one keeping score? Then what?

…Wow.

What?

I’ll admit you have a point there. And to be fair we’re all guilty of dipping into either side of the pool- I know I certainly am.

So did I win this one?

I don’t think you can win a question, but regardless I’m going to say no. You still need to take a deep breath and relax. Maybe stop putting so much weight on every little interaction and just let yourself be more present? Our friendships are supposed to be an outlet and with the way you’re going; it’s definitely going to become one way flow instead of a circulation.

I don’t know if that analogy actually makes sense.

Doesn’t matter because you still got the message.

Yackety Yak: Dramatic

What is something you think you’re dramatic about?

Dramatic on the inside? Or do you mean outwardly dramatic?

Well now obviously both.

Okay. So inside my mind I’d have to say texting and outwardly…going to the gym, I guess.

Why texting?

Oh that’s easy. I don’t like how we’re in a stage where it’s assumed we’re always available. It’s like always being on call and then I feel pressure to respond right away out of this mix of social obligation and fear they might get upset or it might be important. THEN there’s the flip side where if certain people don’t respond after an arbitrary time period or I don’t hear from them for a while- I go down this thought process of “they must not like me anymore because I’m a garbage person”.

…Well…that was…a lot.

Saying it out loud felt nice though.

Yeah?

Yeah, I guess it’s the idea of saying something out loud and seeing if I agree with myself.

I guess I can relate to that, but I try to stay in the mindset of; “I know everyone has things going on and no one is beholden or always has to answer to me”. People will get to me when they can or want to OR they might forget or choose to ignore me. Regardless though I just have to keep doing my thing.

That seems kind of melodramatic, but I was dramatic so I get it.

I think the real thing boils down to the friends or people you feel insecure with. You said it yourself; it’s with ‘certain’ people.

True…Do you have anyone like that?

I think we all kind of do whether we want to admit it or not.

Yackety Yak: New Year’s Resolutions

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? 

Am I…supposed to have feelings about it? I mean, I think they’re fine. 

You don’t think the ‘new year- new me’ trope is kind of overplayed? 

Not really. We’re raised to quantify everything from days to weeks to months, so when the clocks hit midnight on New Years it’s like the literal and metaphorical reset. Now personally, I’m more in the camp of: if you want to change something you shouldn’t put it off for some symbolic date. You should do it when it’s best for you and usually that isn’t January first. 

So you do think it’s overplayed…?

No, no, no. I’m saying I lean more towards a different camp nowadays, but I still fully support the new year’s resolution camp. The New Year equals fresh beginnings and I completely get it. 

Have you ever completed any New Year’s resolutions?   

Um…I think this is the first time I’ve started something shortly after the new year and have been able to keep it up. BUT, a large part of that is because I have an ‘accountabilibuddy ’ who I exercise and meal prep with. 

Interesting. Most people I know usually try to tackle it alone. 

And that works for some people, but not with me- at least when it comes to fitness and health. I  also have a checklist of things I want to do this year, but they don’t require habits to form or anything like that. 

And you included those in your resolution’s list? 

Of course. Don’t you? 

No, but I think I’m going to start.

Awesome. Just maybe put it on your phone and try not to overthink it too much.  

Yackety-Yak: Dreams ii

I had a dream where my teeth were falling out.

…WHAAT? I thought that was just something people used as a dramatic example. You actually had that dream?

Yep and it was wild. It started with pain in my jaw, then I could feel how loose some of my teeth were. Next thing I know I’m taking teeth out with minimal effort because I’m scared I might choke.

Go on…

Some of my teeth weren’t even coming out in one piece. For some only the top half came out or even less. I could feel blood pooling in my mouth, my cheeks were puffed…Then I eventually woke up waiting for a dentist I know in real life to help me.

I’m going to be honest with you: that’s terrifying.

Is it weird I didn’t think that?

One hundred percent. So what did you think?

I was just glad I woke up, I guess. I also got really curious about what those dreams mean.

Did you look it up?

Yeah, but the answers were all over the place. It could mean anything from saying something I regret; needing a nudge for me to say something; having to make a major decision soon; having trouble sharing my thoughts; stress; a fear of aging; insecurity; grinding my teeth-

So basically anything.

Hahaha; more or less.

Well, all I’m going to say is I better not have a similar dream now that you’ve told me because I’ll be paranoid for days. And I mean it.

I make no promises.

…I’ve never felt more pressure to go to the dentist.

Agree.

Yackety-Yak: Bad Friendship

Do you think you’re a good friend?

Um…is there something we need to talk about?

What? No. I’m not talking about ‘us’ specifically. I mean in general.

Oh…then I’d say…sixty-forty, maybe?

That low?

I guess? I mean, the way I think about it is: I know I’m in friendships that aren’t healthy and I know I should leave, but I don’t because of whatever reason. I think it’s also something where we all have to accept that there’ll always be times when we’re being the toxic person- even if it’s reactionary because that shows there’s something going on there.

So you think you’re a good friend a little over half the time.

Well, I’m always going to be extremely critical of myself obviously. Plus I know when it comes to certain friends, I’m hypersensitive to my actions and theirs which also isn’t ideal.

Hm…Am I one of those friends?

Ha! No. You aren’t one of them.

Okay, cool. Because for a second I was worried I was being a bad friend.

Do you think you’re a bad friend?

All the time.

Why?

I just feel like I’m constantly negative; a shadow of darkness in the corner, and am only kept around out of obligation. Basically.

And you feel like that for everyone?

Not everyone. Just a few specific people, I guess.

Hmm…maybe we should talk to our people and clarify some stuff.

Like whether we’re actually bad friends or just being insecure?

Aaand how the problem might be coming from more than one side of the friendship…

Oh.

It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. I think sometimes we forget friends can honestly outgrow each other. You might link up in the future…you might not. We carry on.

Yackety Yak: Introspection

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know myself.

How do you mean?

I don’t know. Some people know every little facet of themselves whereas I feel like…I only know the superficial top layer.

I know if that’s true.

No?

No. I mean, if anything it’s everyone else who usually only knows the superficial stuff because they aren’t you, right? Even if you aren’t thoroughly analyzing every bit of yourself you still know the base and top level.

Yeah, but-

I’m not saying you’re fully conscious of the base or gray matter in between, but so long as you aren’t being detrimental to others or yourself…do you really need to be studying yourself that hard?

I guess I just wish I was more introspective? For personal growth and stuff?

So go for it. They say the better understanding we have of ourselves; the less apt we are to step into bad situations…or try to put the blame on something else afterwards, at least.

Who says that?

Just thought of it now to be honest.

Oh. Nice.

Just make sure not to get too deep in it.

In introspection? Why?

The problem with being too introspective is that it can lead to a consuming lack of perception and empathy toward others.

Oh…so like; an elevated form of being self absorbed.

Pretty much.

Yackety Yak: Obsessed

Have you ever been obsessed with someone? 

How are we defining obsessed? 

As in; you’re checking their social media even when you’ve deleted the apps to give yourself a break. 

…How’re you checking their accounts then? 

Safari. 

Oh.

Yeah.

 No I don’t think I’ve ever gone that far. Is this an ex? Or an old rival or something? 

Um…if I had to define it I’d probably say a frenemy?

Like a nemesis. 

Oh, I like that. We love each other, but we have some history. Rivals who are totally obsessed- like socks and sandals.

…Did you just half quote Bob’s Burgers? 

Yep. 

I love it. And the answer is still no.    

Yackety Yak: Break Ups

I split with my boyfriend.

Really? Didn’t you guys just get together?

Eh, sort of? I guess?

So what happened?

I just realized we weren’t compatible.

It was more than little things. It was…core aspects of our personalities and after my last relationship I just didn’t want to waste everyone’s time again.

I mean…if it’s not working then it just isn’t working. Better to cut it short and like you said; not waste their time. I think we sometimes fall into this feeling of “needing to stay” out of some sort of obligation, but that’s a trap and learning how to avoid it is priceless for everyone involved.

Yeah…

How’d they take it?

Pretty well, considering.

That’s good.

Yep…

Yackety Yak: What am I doing?

I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.

I don’t think any of us do to be honest.

I’m in a solid office job, but it’s just what comes easy- not what I like. I have no real passions… You know; I watched a cooking show the other day where the chefs were so passionate about what they were doing and for a hot minute I actually started looking up culinary schools.

Culinary schools?

Yeah. Oh and all the Le Cordon Bleu locations in the U.S. are closed by the way. Just in case you were wondering.

I…’ll keep that in mind. So were you hoping to bottle that passion?

Maybe? There’s a part of me that sparked when I was watching a show where they tried their best at making desserts. It was something about the science and art of it that really spoke to me for some reason.

And you don’t even like desserts.

Exactly.

So why not go into dessert making school?

I don’t know. Because I just spent four years at university and I might not be good at it?

That’s such a shit reason. If it actually interests you then go for it! I’m sure they have part time classes or something nearby to get the ball rolling, right?

Um…probably. I haven’t really looked into it.

So do it. Worst case; you now have something wild to add to your resume and a set of skills you’ll be able to razzle dazzle with. Plus, then if you decide to move to one of the big boy cities, you can apply for jobs in business AND culinary. Double whammy.

Yeah, but how much is that going to cost? I’m already saving for-

Listen! You can’t be fully prepared for everything. We’re country ruining millennials. So find something you can make work with your budget, take a chance, and shut the hell up. You need to focus more on the now and less on the future or else the next thing you know you’ll be your mom’s age with nothing to show for it because you spent all your time finishing some made up checklist you created before you could do anything worth while.

….Well then…I guess I’m going to be looking into some Pâtisserie courses.

You would know the name…you nerd.

Thank you very much.

No problem. I’d be happy to bully you into pursuing your interests anytime.