It's Time for a Monkey Inventory

As soon as I woke up this morning, the song "Monkey" by George Michael rang loud and clear in my mind. Why, on earth did this random song come to me first thing in the morning? The only thing I could think of is my mom asked our Alexa (on our Amazon Dot) a question about monkeys yesterday and the word stuck in my mind.

After waking up a little more, I looked up the lyrics to the song. The songs seems to be about a person that is in love with someone. The particular someone loves them back, but is also in a relationship with someone else. That person is named the "monkey".  The "monkey" person doesn't come across as being a terrific person. They toy with hearts and break them. Doesn't sound fun to me. The main character in the song said they are tired of sharing their "baby with a monkey" and I think that was very wise of them.

I decided to write this post based on the concept sang in the song because it is something that happens all the time. People hang around "monkeys" that toy with their hearts. I know people do it in friendships and romantic relationships. All that back and forth is completely exhausting. I had a relationship once that ended up being an unhealthy "monkey" situation. We dated in high school, then broke up, but still casually saw each other occasionally for years after that. I was fine with it, as he had been my high school "sweetheart" that stuck by my side through some really tough family situations I was dealing with. We also had a lot in common, so we always had fun when we were together.

As the years progressed, I started thinking about my future and my life ahead of me. I contemplated what I was doing with this relationship. I started to see a trend in our behavior. He called me every time he was home from college. Sometimes I was in a relationship, and would tell him, but he'd still want to see me. Sometimes I did see him, sometimes I didn't.

The last time I saw him (early in the year 2000), I wasn't in a relationship and neither was he. I knew we didn't have many college years left. I told him I was starting to wonder if he thought we had any kind of future together because if we didn't, there was really no point of us reconnecting over and over again. I realized we were "monkeying" around with our hearts and there truly was no potential for a future. I don't remember what he said when I asked the "future" questions, but I do know he didn't make time to see me again the rest of the time he was in town. He did call me, but sounded weird. I definitely freaked him out.

I let it go and carried on with my life. I ended up meeting and getting engaged to my husband later the same year. The following year, the ex contacted me via e-mail. He said he thought about what I had said the previous year and thought we should give our relationship a formal chance. I responded with something like "Well, I'm engaged, so no thank you.". He responded with a very angry email. I did not respond again. I only heard from him one other time after that, and then, just like that, I broke the cycle. No more monkeying around. Well, not with the unhealthy relationships, that is.

I still like to monkey around, but now I do it with fun people like my husband and friends. There is healthy monkeying and unhealthy monkeying. Unhealthy monkeying around causes heart aches, stress and is all around no good for any involved. Healthy monkeying around is hanging out with like-minded souls who get you, are loyal and are all-around fun! Think about some of the relationships you are currently in. Are you hanging with the best kind of monkeys or not? I encourage you to do a monkey inventory today!

 Art by Carolyn J. Braden: My Kind of Monkeys

Art by Carolyn J. Braden: My Kind of Monkeys