Monthly Archives: February 2009

Shopping for a Significant Other

Shopping for a Significant Other

A man stands outside of a luggage shop. He has walked by this particular shop everyday on his lunch break for the past few weeks, eying a piece of luggage that caught his eye. Today, he finally decided:

“I’m going to go inquire about this one.”

He walked in, and the shop girl asked, “Can I help you sir?”

“Yes, actually” he responded in a secure tone, “I’m looking for a new piece of baggage to carry around with me, some thing bright and cute, like the one in your window.”

“Well that particular one seems the most fitting, lets have a look” the shop girl responded as she pulled it into the aisle of the store.

The shop girl continued “She is bright and colorful and is sure to lighten your mood, but I must warn you though,” she stated, as she unclasped the latches and looked inside….

“She’s beautiful” you admire under your breath.

The shop girl continued (eager to make a sale), “Once you look inside” as she opened the luggage ” you’ll notice, sir, that her previous owner stole most of her pride and dignity, but I assure you, that can be replaced, with some proper care, whatever that may be.”

“It is of no consequence, my lady. How much longer do you think she has?” He asked.

“In her prime sir?” The shop girl responded back, “Most definitely, five years of consistent travel until she is stretched and smothered by your hauntings, which is the length of our warranty I must add, at which time you are free of her, I assure you that she will manage any carry-on baggage you acquire, for a fee of course, and leave you to go live your life in pursuit of other, perhaps, younger pieces of luggage,” She continued, ” to your hearts content,” the shop girl stated while condemning the luggage with a smile.

“What a perfect warranty package,” said the man, “Do you mind if I take her for a stroll around the mall, just to, to get acquainted?”

” By no mean sir, be back in 10 minutes?” She asked.

“No problem,’ the man responded as he walked out, handle in hand, out of the up-scale establishment.

Ten minutes later the man returned and asked the shop girl, “What of her previous owner, is he still in want of her?”

“Her previous owner? Well, sir, I must admit, he has called on occasion to ask of her status and tell me of his, but he has made no real effort to come and collect her, therefore I must assume that she is for sale as any other piece of luggage in the shop. Will you take he?”

“Most definitely, of course,” he said, “I cannot imagine a better warranty for such an object at the moment. Under warranty for five years and at that point, no hard feelings for getting rid of her at my whim’s content? What man could ask for such perfect use of a woman? I must take this colorful and enchanting beast and use her to my hearts content.”

Complaining

Complaining

I’m not sure if I am the only one who makes up definitions for things based on my own experience, but I could have sworn that the definition of ‘complaining’ was something like this:

Complain (Come-Plain) : Repeatedly expressing a grievance over an event or situation that one does not admit (to oneself or others) is under one’s control, but that which one chooses to continue to bitch about for the sake of having something to bitch about, instead of solving the underlying problem or keeping it to oneself so as to save others the problem of having to listen to one’s problems. – from the Dictionary of Me, as a result of an interpretation from the Dictionary of Ex Boyfriend, the Ditcher.

So I was confused when I looked up the actual definition on dictionary.com and it read as follows:

com·plain (kəm-plān’) Pronunciation Key
intr.v. com·plained, com·plain·ing, com·plains

1. To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
2. To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.

So what the hell is wrong with complaining? Why do people get so pissed off when people complain to them? Under my definition I can see why people would get pissed off, because the complainer just wants something to bitch about and wants no responsibility for their involvement in the issue. I think this one niche of complaining is a cause of the negative stigma surrounding the word. However, the definition in no way implies the sickness people attach to it.

No wonder people tell me (with an tone of discontent) that I’m complaining when I mention something that maybe perceived negative. In my mind I’m not “complaining” in my own negative sense of the word, I’m just mentioning that I’ve gotten a scratchy throat the past 3 winters and don’t know why, or that there is a strange rattle under the hood of my car, etc. etc. I have simply made a statement as to what is on my mind at the moment. And I see it as just that.

The problem here, in my mind, is that I’ve met people along the way who have these ideas about relationships (any kind – BF/GF, friends, etc.) always having to have happy moments and anything negative is either avoided, put down, or quickly swept under the rug with hopes that it will be forgotten. To keep their demons under the rug one then has to guard oneself against any attempts to lift the rug and thus gets angry at people for mentioning grievances in the relationship because it exposes the inner demons.

“Why are you complaining? I treat you good.” (Example contributed courtesy of Miguel of Oz)

It isn’t about the fact that someone is complaining, it is about the fact that they are telling you what they are habitually mulling over in their minds. It may be something that can be compromised upon with proper communication or it may be something that someone just needs to hear themselves say to an outside party to stop the thought from bouncing off the inside of their skull. What one does with the information after a complaint has been lodged is another note, but in the least, be grateful for those people who see you as someone they are safe to express themselves to (both positively and negatively) and vice versa, these people are your real friends.

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

I think a major factor in determining if I am enjoying the people I am with in the moment (any moment) is the image of myself that the other person expresses back to me. Sure I can read their facial expressions, get feedback about how they interpret what I am communicating to them, or even see whether or not they personally like me, but regardless there are those comments, gestures, glances, etc. that paint an underlying picture in my mind of how they view me. When that matches my own idea of how I’d like people to view me then, well, the other person gets me! hooray!

Okay so, on the flip side, (this is the story that got me thinking this), I made a series of comments (2 or 3 maybe over a few days) to a friend of mine way back when and in my mind it was a sarcastic joke in lieu of something better to say, maybe not the best choice, I admit, but I could tell the person wasn’t comfortable being viewed as my comments suggested. I would think the other person would be thinking, “shit, I don’t want her to think that way about me. Game over.”

I just want to know why I act the way I do, or at least, to enjoy thinking about it.

Greed

Greed

Greed: An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth. -dictionary.com

Greed is what it is, but not necessarily a bad thing. I see no harm in wanting more. There will always be more to want – more money to make, more education to get, more guys (or girls, if you’re a guy reading this) to sleep with, more fun to have, more fulfilling relationships to experience, more countries to visit, more books to read, [insert a want here], etc. Being able to get something you want which you perceive can be made available to you very often will make you a better person who, in turn, can create a healthy environment for others to thrive in. So greedily wanting more isn’t as bad – in my eyes – as our social system has portrayed it, however when the pursuit of More causes harm to oneself or others, that is when greed lives up to it negative connotation. This is tricky, though, for the pursuer of the More, because his mind has now focused on the More and has formulated a plan for how to get more. The mind is now ill from greed, as with a flu or cold, and thus should be treated gently as such, but the mind doesn’t know when it is sick. It will then confuse a capitalistically efficient route as a fulfilling method to More.

The efficient path will always be there in your mind and you will always be looking for it, because you believe it is right for you to need it; you need those continuous signs pointing you in the right direction to tell you that you are going the right way. So you continue on your yellow brick road leaving behind those who stumble behind your efficient gait, all in the name of your business, be it the business of building yourself, of living the life you always dreamed, of getting that job, of ridding yourself of all the reminders of how you’ve screwed up, of starting fresh and new, etc. You get to your destination, you feel elated and proudly shout out to those who hail your efforts “See the More I’ve accomplished?!?,” “See my wealth of life I’ve experienced because of it?!? And you smile down at all the faces, new and old, gleaming up at you to thank them for their help along the way.

Something is missing, you scan and scan, and search and search, you hug and you hold all those around you, close your eyes even to feel for something that is no longer there despite all the beauty that you’ve convinced yourself to see at your finger tips, that you think you’ve found in all that is new and exciting to you, but It’s not there, It can’t be found, the most precious thing in your life, is gone. why? Because you abandoned it, wrote it off as no longer useful to your efficiency when you thought it got in your way. So just keep telling yourself you’ve found something better, it will help you sleep at night.

Dreams

Dreams

“If the reader reflects a little upon the meaning of the entity he calls his life, he will find that it is the attempt to carry out a definite program or project of existence. … We are dealing – and let the disquieting strangeness of the case be well noted – with an entity whose being consists not in what it is already, but in what it is not yet, a being that consists in not-yet-being. Everything else in the world is what it is. An entity whose mode of being consists in what it is already, whose potentiality coincides at once with his reality, we call a ‘thing.’ Things are given their being ready-made.” – Ortega

I’m not sure if any one ever told me this before, perhaps I wasn’t listening if they did, but I’ve figured out that it is best not to make dreams that revolve around specific people or events that are outside of my personal control. I say this because I am tired of watching things die. Friendships, dogs, grandparents, memory foam pillows, etc. If things lasted forever then yes, putting them in my dreams would be justified, but I’ve learned over the past two years that it is not safe to do that.

Yes, being completely abandoned, let down, relieved, disappointed, elated, etc are all signs that I am indeed living an eventful life, full of adventurous obstacles to overcome and push my limits through, but a by-product of that is having to constantly push myself further to trust and learn when to rely on new people as well as believe what they are telling me is true. Anyways, I now focus my future plans (as best I can) on elements that are more within my control, and it is great because when influences of others come into play it is a pleasant surprise as opposed to a “oh, I was hoping you would have been like this instead.”

Starting Things Properly

Starting Things Properly

I’ve been flashing backwards and drawing parallels between similar events that happened at different times and I’ve come to the conclusion (with my capitalist hat on) that starting things with proper footing will, for the most part, be the best way to map out a smooth course.

If you’re not one to want smooth courses in life then, well, you’re ridiculous because you can’t make your WHOLE life difficult for yourself can you? Maybe you can, but do you want to? I get exhausted and in the process exhaust my fellow bipeds when I’ve made things more difficult than I could have. I agree that sometimes difficulty is actually a blessing, especially on road trips where difficulty brings about unexpected adventure…. but there are somethings, for me, that will be adventure enough without reoccurring problems and bad behaviors stemming from not having started off with the correct footing.

The way I see it is that if part of my life starts off one way, in one set of circumstances then it might end a similar way when a new part of life starts. Happens all the time with hobbies. I was making a pair of pants once and they ended up not fitting properly so I never finished them, in my frustration over why I couldn’t get the pattern to fit right I started crocheting a scarf. So I used my new absorption in the new hobby as an excuse not to confront issues with the previous one.

Eventually I had 5 or 6 unfinished projects laying around that I had spent money on and every time I looked into the sewing room there they were calling out “FINISH ME, FINISH ME.” But when the going got difficult I put them aside in that dark room and used another project to give me something to look forward to. It was only way later that I actually sorted through all those unfinished high school projects and finished them. Now I’m free and can start a new project for the sake of getting it done instead of trying to distract me from where I screwed up in the past

Works the same with relationships…..say, for example, I make a new friend, but our friendship actually evolved because the other party was angry at their best friend. The activities that my new friend and I do began around him telling me the horrible side of his soon-to-be-former-friend.

I listen while my new friend tells the soon-to-be-former that he is doing their favorite activities with me instead and am relieved when his former friend declines the invitation to join us. I listen as my new friend hangs up the phone after saying bye in a seemingly friendly voice and says “Bitch, Ha!” Nonetheless he’s hanging out with me and we’re having a good time so what’s the harm? Their problems have nothing to do with me. Then time passes and that whole situation is practically forgotten in our minds… until… until… I notice the same behavior but this time I am on the other end… I am the soon to be former friend.

Had I not been dealing with the same objects in the respect to each other then this theory would fall apart. So I see it happen, I know how my friend treated his former best friend, I was there I saw what role I played and I can see who is playing the former Me. So in this case I would recommend, not starting a relationship of any kind with someone who uses you as backup to finish off another because in my experience it has too much potential to be a reoccurring behavioral response to certain conditions (if it worked before, why not again?) and you will either see it coming or wonder what point in your life you’ll be at when it does and who else it will effect.

Call it capitalist efficiency if you like, or call it peace of mind, or call it being able to finish what you start, or call it shaping your life into what you want it to be, or call it not being weak, or call it placing reliability on yourself instead of on other things or people…. anything except “just because.”

Compound Stress and What Helps Me Cope With It

Compound Stress and What Helps Me Cope With It

I wrote this little diddy while waiting for my car’s oil service to finish up earlier today:

“I’ve realized that, indeed, there are things that I am stressed about, but in comparison to how many things that I used to be stressed about a few years ago (School, work, goals, money, meeting my ex’s requests, drinking, etc.), I’m practically stress free. Being unable to find a proper job leaves me plenty of time all day to hang out with my friends and family and get things done and organized around the house combine that with not having to manage a relationship (which always took up so much of my ME time before my Australia adventure) and I am allowed to do the things I like and as a result my natural tendency to overload myself and put myself aside is inhibited by this circumstance.

I now focus all that energy from those past stressful happenings to tasks that greatly increase my own contentment and the happiness of others around me (at least as best I can) and so when a stressor (like loosing my Lula Bula so suddenly) pops up, it is not compounded with many other stresses of life so coping with stress is not only clear, but bearable – almost to the point that I feel guilty for not exhibiting the same level of emotionally intense responses that I typically had in the past (when I had a multitude of stressors on my plate). In fact, I shouldn’t feel guilty at all, I should enjoy that I now know what it feels like to face storm rolling through life from a healthy prospective.”

Further to that, I have noticed that many people don’t get to this level of relaxation I feel right now (Yoga 3 times a week could be part of it….). I’ve noticed that a few people I’ve met are in a cycle of reacting to stress instead of managing it. That type of situation causes them to do all sorts of things except fully enjoy themselves. For example, if one seems to have little control over many aspects of life, this can cause long term stress to remain constant to the extent that this stress level is thought to be normal. Knowing no different (I used to be this way) one may try to control the few small aspects of life that one feels are malleable and shape them to personal whims and ideas of how it should be in a perfect world. This is an illusion because you can’t control people and thus the compounding stress gets even worse.

In reality, in some way, that same energy can be used to build oneself into the person one wants to be. That would mean letting a lot of familiar emotions and reliabilities go. Taking such a leap of faith not to mention using a lot of will power can be done in a way that actually nothing is lost except the stress, that is, only if (based on my logic) such a task is approached properly and before one is pushed over one’s burn-out limit.

So I have gone through my nutritional healing book (I’ve been diving into it a lot lately…) to list some stress coping suggestions that work for me and may be able to help anyone who actually reads these notes of mine:

*****Monitor your internal conversations. The way we talk to ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our environment.

*****Avoid processed foods and all foods that create stress on the system, such as artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, chips and similar snack foods.

*****Do not repress or deny your emotions. This only compounds stress. Admit your feelings and accept them. Keeping strong feelings bottled up only causes them to resurfaces later as illness (I suggest thinking about this statement very, very carefully so see what an impact this may have had on you in the past).

*****Don’t be afraid to cry. Learning to cry can help you manage stress. Crying can relieve anxiety and lets loose bottled-up emotions.

*****Try not to take life too seriously. Learn to laugh.

How You Know Your Boyfriend Thinks of You as Another Mother Figure

How You Know Your Boyfriend Thinks of You as Another Mother Figure

-You take him to and from school
-He lies and tells you he needs a ride to school in the middle of the night so he can make it to class the next day….then calls you the next day hung over at noon (still in bed) saying he got too drunk after you dropped him off to make it to class.
-You are the one who convinced him to get braces
-He gets defiant when you tell him to cut his hair
-One day decides he has out grown you and takes off claiming to have “fallen out of love” but still wants to tell you what he is up to almost everyday and talk to you when he needs support
-When you tell him about your frustrating day he gets angry and tells you to stop complaining and do something about it, anything except complain to him.
-Tells you that it is ‘crazy’ to cry over a HUGE dent in your car that he put there which will cost you a lot of money you don’t have and he won’t work extra to help you pay for…. well not for 6 months at least
-He thinks that once he has done something then no one is as good or cool as he is until they do it too, but he didn’t realize you did most of this 6 years ago while he was in the nest still
-He declares his maturity by claiming to you that he wants no responsibility
-He claim independence by having someone else pay for him
-He claims that his memory sucks when you ask about sensitive topics
-You find yourself constantly going out of your way to see him
-After working and studying all day, then fighting traffic and finally stopping by home to pick up your stuff for the night while having a nice chat with your parents (who make you dinner and let you live in their house for free) he gets all butt-hurt that you are always late to come see him
-One stressful day he has a dinner gathering at his house and while you sleep a bit early because you have to work in the morning he stays up all night with some other girl and proceeds to express to you for the next week how cool she is
-Claims you are boring because you are bored with nothing to do at his place
-Insists that your favorite family vacation spot is an absolutely horrible place in the desert and finds any excuse to not go to the desert until he breaks up with you and goes there for a road trip with said girl from a few lines up and comes home to tell you how awesome the desert is.
-He doesn’t understand how you could no longer want to talk to him anymore

Putting Feelings into Words….

Putting Feelings into Words….

I might just be a more emotional person, or perhaps I just notice my emotions more than others, not sure which since it seems impossible to really feel what others are feeling. There are many times when I just have the right words to express myself, but sometimes, sometimes I feel something building up and I react to it despite the fact that I don’t know what is causing it or why I am reacting to whatever it is. At this point it is extremely irrational because my conscious mind is reacting to a feeling that hangs over me like a cloud and is unable to see the cloud for what it is.

Traumatic situations cause this for me due to confusion and over analysis of what the hell just happened and, for the most part, time (often a lot of time) gives gradual clarity on the situation perhaps this is so because at least the source (the traumatic event) is identified. So this isn’t the type of situation I am speaking of, it is related, yes, but I’m focusing on undiagnosed feelings that bubble up in the course of everyday normal life events. I am also not speaking of ‘worry.’ Worrying implied that one knows what they are worried about and why they are worried about it. ‘Choosing to worry’ would be a different topic as well because choosing also implies one knows the object of the worry and uses a worry-cycle as some sort of means to an end or crutch in order to inhibit more productive and positive behaviors…this would in turn be, once again, another note that would go into detail of what purpose worrying has in life but I really don’t want to face that reality at the moment…. I have something more important to plop onto facebook for the time being.

I want to say it is anxiety, but I feel the term is used to write off feelings as simply “anxiety’ and thus pacifies people into believing that it is a feeling that they will just have to put up with. I don’t believe that is the correct approach, or, just not my way of approaching it.

This heavy feeling comes of many forms. the most recent that brought my thoughts together was when I was hanging out with a friend and I was kinda overwhelmed with some sort of heavy feeling that made it difficult to focus properly on the present moment and what was going on around me. Half of me could live in the present for the sake of survival, while the other half inside was wanting to step away from the social scene to organize my inner thoughts, which, weren’t thoughts at all, it was a heavy mental feeling disconnected from an particular event or issue going on in my life at the moment, or so I felt at the time, but it held me back from simply being myself in the moment and enjoying my company.

Then, like a flash of light, the heavy feeling is gone, why? How? I was simply able to express it with words and thus diagnose where the root of the feeling was. Once diagnosed it no longer bothered me on a emotional level. It turned into a rational, arguable circumstance, one in which I now understand where I have power over it and where I don’t. This understanding makes all the difference in how the feeling affects me and once in words, I can express it to my fellow bipeds and view it from a more detached, unemotionally reactive state. I am therefore able to recognize the feeling in the future and manage its effects on me (subconsciously to a degree) without going through that initial fuzzy state of confusion.

I learn about myself as a result.