Guilty + Grateful

Good beautiful morning minhions! Grab your cup of coffee, get your morning breath together, and prepare for for a blog unpacking another personal revelation.

Growing up, I dealt with scenarios that any hopeful kid will be crushed like absent award ceremonies, family trips cancelled, and etc. I learned early that I shouldn’t expect things out of situations or others because it’ll only hurt me later and it developed into an early sense of independence. I learned how to cook, took care of myself, and continued moving forward to what I felt as by “myself” which is not true at all! It was not entirely bad though, on the contrary, I learned important life-sustaining skills. However, I had to grow up faster than my friends, sacrificed “fun”, and ultimately it affected how I deal with personal and professional relationships today.

How did my upbringing affect my relationships today?

My natural sense of self-independency means that I assume nothing from others. In other words, keep people at a certain distance to avoid getting hurt… it’s super toxic, but I am trying to be more vulnerable to the people that I allow into my inner soul.

So why do I feel guilty

I feel guilty and awkward when I receive things that I haven’t worked. I always expect that I to return something or I owe a debt to that individual. You can probably guess that my birthday isn’t something I look forward to each year. It is the most awkward day for me because my amazing friends and family would be so thoughtful to give me a gift, but it’s hard for me to accept it. I stopped celebrating my birthday since 5 and presents weren’t common so receiving gifts makes me feel like a deer frozen in headlights…

I’m grateful, but. . .

How am I supposed to accept things from people when constant Pavlovian conditioning and unconscious bias of childhood trauma affected the core of who I am? This is detrimental to my personal relationships with friends and family because they all want to love me and for me to not accept that?!?

It makes me an arse…

I’ve had a few conversations about this and it could be a mix of pride and childhood trauma, I’m not sure… I can see how hurt they felt when I would reject their thoughtfulness so instead I’m learning to accept their gifts as feelings of the individual rather than objects. On top of that, it is still hard for me to accept praise! Very awkward…very shy….

Relating this back to my professional journey, I’m an ambivert with a belief that I have to give something back to the people I’m networking with because it’s a giving relationship. What can I do for you so you can help me? Am I wrong to think like that? Probably… I’ve had so many discussions about my weird feeling towards networking, but it’s all the same. My peers and mentors described it as a cycle; everyone who is already in the AEC industry were once in my shoes, so they would understand where I, a new grad, is coming from.

Still in my current situation, I see networking the same as receiving gifts (opportunities) when I have nothing to offer just yet

I’m straightforward, honest, and shy at times so networking tosses me into the ocean of uncomfort when I’m trying to establish a relationship with a stranger. A peer described that networking should be like dating…

What happens when I’m not great at dating?

Dating is hard and takes a lot of effort, so people who are rolling in disappointment….sorry not sorry?

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blogs. This is my emotional outlet to share about what’s on my mind to strangers on the internet that could potentially use this against me one day… I hope not, but I do hope you enjoy my journey of exploration with some seriousness, a dash of humor, and first-world problems.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels (slightly edited)


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