Friday, September 22 , 2017, 5:06 am | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Louise Palanker: Cousin Crush, Finding Your Future, Romantic Training

Question from Kirsten

I know this is weird and not normal for a teenage girl, but I think (I know) I’m in love with my cousin. I’ve never felt this way toward anyone. We used to talk all the time and now he’s mad at me for one thing that I couldn’t do.

He said he would always be there for me, and I believe him. It’s just I miss talking to him. I miss getting random messages from him everyday. I just don’t know what to do.

Weezy

This is a two-part question.

Part I: The Crush — It’s pretty normal to have a cousin crush. But it is important that you file it under “crush” and leave it there.

In days of old, cousins would marry, but that was back when people didn’t really meet anyone outside of their own village. As our human race pushes forward it has been determined that infant illnesses are more common when cousins reproduce and that it’s healthier to widen the gene pool. Today, it’s frowned upon for cousins to fall in love and marry.

You adore your cousin and that is fine, but you are family and so romance is not on the table.

Part II: The Feud — He’s mad at you about something you could not do? He will get over it.

There are basically three reasons why we don’t do something. The first is that we are not capable either mentally or physically of doing it. The second is that we are not permitted to do it; it’s against our parents’ or society’s rules. The third is that we choose not to.

Even if he is mad about something that you chose not to do, it is your right not to do it. You get to say, “I’m sorry but that doesn’t work for me.”

Lay low and your cousin will come around. You will be cousins for life.

More about Cousins and Marriage:

(Today I Found Out video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Haley

Hi. I’m 16, in high school, and I have no clue what I want to do later in my life. There are just so many things for me to choose from I just can’t seem to find what’s right for me.

I certainly don’t want to be sitting at a desk all day long doing the same thing day after day. I want to be doing something different every once in a while. Nothing boring.

Any ideas on how I can figure out what to do or how to figure it out would be great!

Weezy

First, most people do not know what they wish to do with their lives at the age of 16. Second, people are no longer doing just one thing with their entire lives. Third, if you don’t wish to sit at a desk all day then you won’t. You get to follow your dreams and carve out your own future.

Here are the main rules for a successful life: Listen. Learn. Try. Work Hard.

The underlying infrastructure of your adult life will require that you financially support yourself. Here’s where math comes in. You must make enough money to pay your bills. Generally speaking, the more education you receive, the higher a salary you will command.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. But my advice is that you get yourself on a college path right now. College will not only expose you to career options that may interest you, it will also teach you how to budget your time and meet your goals AND it provides you with four additional years to mature into a person who has a better idea of what she would like to do.

You will not immediately be doing the job of your dreams. You may have to sit at a desk for a few years. You will need to prove you can do what nobody else wants to do and do it well with a great attitude before you will be given the opportunity to do what you really want to do. You will earn the job of your dreams.

You are 16. Do not be in too much of a hurry to map out your entire life, BUT make a list of your interests. Not careers — interests. For example, nature, music, animals, fashion, books, cars, sports, the varied and assorted hair styles of Harry Styles.

You do not yet have enough life experience to know exactly what jobs and careers could be found within these fields of interests. Let’s start with Nature. OK, all we can really do here is start. The possibilities within this one interest are endless. You could become anything from a forest ranger to an environmental lobbyist. What is that exactly? Start Googling. Type an interest and your city into a search field. You will find companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies that do something fascinating right in your home town. Give them a call. Ask about internships. Ask if you can shadow someone for a day.

Somebody somewhere is reporting on Harry Styles’ hair styles and/or styling his hair. That could be you.

During the next year of your life, make it your job to learn more about what types of jobs are out there. What needs to be done in the world? Who is doing it? How can you take part?

Your goal right now, in high school, is not to find your exact future. It is rather to educate yourself about the possibilities.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Victoria

I liked this guy at work but maybe not enough. I don’t know. I could tell that I was making his ex jealous, and I wasn’t trying to do that but I did like the attention that he gave me. Only now I think he’s getting texts from his ex and he is no longer doing little special things for me. He was not my perfect guy or anything, but I just grew to love him, I guess.

I don’t ever want to come between two people so it’s OK, I guess, but still, I can feel him distancing himself from me. He’s not going out of his way for me anymore, and I feel like it’s time for me to do the same even though it means smiling all day and crying myself to sleep.

I just feel like I need to get my life figured out, feel comfortable with myself and then let people in my life. Someone will come into my life during that process.

Why do we put ourselves in situations like this even though deep inside we know we deserve better or could do better. Was I being desperate?

Weezy

Not at all. You were giving your heart a dress rehearsal. You even knew it. You show a tremendous amount of insight. You simply have not yet had enough experiences to be able to properly label and sort this one.

It’s a warm up. This guy is not your everything. He was there. He was sweet. He was kind. He was romantic training for your mind and heart. You are figuring out who you are, how you deserve to be treated and what type of person is attractive to you.

Almost every guy you know and every guy you will know WILL NOT be a romantic partner. Most of them are spectacular people. But they will not be romantically involved with you. Only one guy at a time will get to do that.

You will have many crushes that are much like this one. It’s fun. It makes work and life more interesting, but once you spot the flaws in the match, sort it properly. This is a crush. He is meant to be with someone else. So are you.

Once you have this healthy perspective you can stop crying and focus on becoming the person you are meant to be. That person will know true love when she finds it.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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