Cleaning the messes of shaken bottles

Luis Bahena

If you’ve ever shaken a bottle or can full of soda or any kind of fizzy like substance, you know that the outcome of when you finally decide to open that shaken bottle or can isn’t going to be a good one.

A shaken bottle of fizzy substance or can will result in an explosion of fizzy-ness all over the place, and that’s not the end of it. Once the entire fizzy sticky residue has exploded all over the place, one can’t just walk away.

I mean c’mon, who walks away from a mess they’ve created. No, that’s not the end of the chemical reaction. One has to deal with the icky sticky mess. Clean it up, wipe it down, and hopefully, if it wasn’t that large of an explosion, enjoy what’s left in the bottle of fizzy goodness. Again, or can!

It is that same reaction that can happen in relationships. And not just those that are in relationships where February 14th actually meant something to them. I personally skipped that day altogether. No, I’m not bitter, I’m just single! And loving it!?

Of course, one must understand what kind of relationships I’m referring to, and in this instance, I’m referring to my family away from family relationship. Now that’s a mouthful, try explaining that one to your blood family… Or psychiatrist.

Your family away from your family is a group of people that are like family but there’s no blood relation. Like your best friend from 1st grade that you’ve still maintained a relationship long after elementary school, middle school, high school and currently BFF’s in college. (For those of you that don’t know what BFF stands for, really? Ok, it’s Best Friends Forever. But it’s just a lame terminology).

Back to the point: Relationships are hard, and relationships with family friends are just as hard as any intimate relationship and blood family relationship. If anything, I would probably say they’re worse. Ok, not really, but they are just as complicated.

See, lately, there’s been this weird tension between my circle of friends. One that is pretty hard to ignore, seeing as how we spent a lot of time together and almost every weekend together too.

It is so weird how when one of us is feeling something, may it be anger or frustration or euphoria (Although it’s not the same for all of us for the later), we are all so connected that we can even feel that same emotion if it’s that strong.

A couple of weeks ago my close family friend confronted me about how I’ve been very distant from the circle and how I’ve changed a lot. I do admit it’s true, and it’s been because of that distance that I have changed a lot, but it’s not because of them.

It was a really hard winter break for me this winter break, one that really forced me to reevaluate things and start getting my act together. In that short time frame though I really did change and grow a substantial amount.

The event’s of the winter break made me isolate myself however and I just needed to spend some alone time and my friends surely noticed this. And so, after 2 months of holding back from saying or asking something about it, the bottle erupted.

It wasn’t a complete mess however, rather a controlled one. A similar situation occurred, between us in the past that didn’t end with good results. Luckily, we’re a bunch that actually does learn from the mistakes that we’ve made in the past.

When I was having this conversation with my close family friend (one of my bffs if you prefer that terminology…), I realized that we, all of us in our circle, had been filling this bottle with all the things that we don’t say to each other. And believe me, there is a lot.

It was a rather drunken conversation for her, and a sober one for me, but a lot was covered in the one and a half plus hours that we talked. Everything from jokes we make about one another that are rather hurtful or annoying, to religion, to how I’ve changed and apparently shut everyone out to how we all don’t really talk to each other anymore.

Ok, it’s not that we don’t talk to each other, per say, it’s that we don’t speak out about the important things, or the things that matter, or the serious issues we’re each dealing with. We do, however, have a good time with each other’s company, which is just as important.

In the end we concluded that we need to start talking to each other and telling each other when something bothers us. Communication is key in healthy relationships. That goes for all kinds of relationships, family, friends, intimate ones, and even professional ones like those with work and school.

Truth is, in general, relationships are hard. All of them. With friends, with family, with your lover. Or lovers! Relationships are complicated, they’re messy and time consuming and so hard to just walk away from. You devote so much time to someone or a group of people that you don’t just walk away from a mess that probably took the party involved to create.

It is in relationships that you learn how to deal, you grow together or you grow apart, but growth happens nonetheless. As long as there’s communication, open communication, even if it results in bickering and unflattering glances, you know what your friend (or partner or family member) is feeling.

You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken in the first place. You can’t expect your significant other to know what your feeling or what they did was wrong if you don’t tell them.

It takes a while to learn these things, but once you do, it makes it so much easier to speak up. Besides, communication is key in all relationships. Well one of the keys. Truth be told, there are so many damn keys to relationships that communication is all I can handle at this point.

For now, all I’m saying is, I’m kind of glad that I’m not in an intimate relationship yet. There’s still so much to learn from just my circle of friends and family that I don’t think I’m ready to take that next step with someone else, especially one on a more intimate level.

One thing for sure though, I’m going to have to refresh my friends memory of that conversation we had that night. She was drunk, but deep down inside, I’m pretty sure she remembers. But I’ll refresh her memory just in case she forgot.