Friday, June 24, 2011

The Price of Seizing The Day

When we were born our hearts were pure, innocent, unshielded.  We laughed, cried, and lived life with abandonment.  Somewhere along the line, however, most of us find that abandonment brings hurt, pain, brokenness.  If we are lucky, we learn from our mistakes and move forward, still with abandon, but wiser for our decisions.  Some of us fight that brokenness and hide behind the shields of drugs or sex, while others hide behind rules and guidelines.  Yet it seems easier to build a wall, a shield of impenetrable steel around our hearts, learning that keeping the bad out protects us from things like broken hearts, tortured souls, and longing unceasing.  But is that really a life worth living?

This week I have been examining my own life, my own walls, my own stubbornness in my relationships with good friends, family, and those potentials.  I found myself asking a friend this week what she thought was the one thing I could work on in my relationships and her response was letting my guard down.  I read a note on my facebook page that was also about letting my guard down, and unexpectedly found more urging to let my guard down in a book I am reading.  Being the slow one I can be, I thought after the third mention of letting my guard down, that perhaps there was something I was suppose to learn from all this.  This has been what my conclusions have come to thus far in my quest.

You see, I believe the guard was posted for protection, but I think I posted a dunce, because he does not let the good in while keeping the bad out.  There is much more damage done with this guard than good as he keeps friends and family at bay; worse for this single, he keeps potential suitors at bay…which could be a good thing if you are one of my brothers reading this, I am sure it brings a smile to your face.  However, this guard keeps me from living a fulfilling life, in which I can share joy, sorrow, hope, and despair with those who want so desperately to know and love me.  

So, how do I fire a dunce?  I have tried many a times, but just like a ignorant ass he is, he simply does not get that he has been fired.  I liken the situation to the quite stapler obsessed man in the movie The Office who has been fired but still comes to work for years.  And, just like that man, perhaps he secretly wants to set me on fire?  Terrible thought.  But, can one ever move forward if they keep the incompetent employed in such a vital position?  I argue no.

“The only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself,” so the Weepies argue.  Perhaps they are half right.  I cannot move forward in living a fulfilling life until I break the walls and fire the guard.  But, alternately, if I allow no one into my life, if I allow myself to depend solely on myself and not allow others to help when they ask and can, then I not only plateau on my life stairway, but hinder those who love me from becoming what they truly are and displaying it for me.  I hurt them, in my unintentional way. 

I suppose, like my wise eldest brother argues, I ought to stop trying and just do it.  Fire the imbecile, demolish the walls, and create a path to my heart (perhaps not without some booby-traps) and allow myself to be hurt.  The most precious thing in life is to be loved and to love in return.  I cannot love others if I do not first allow them to love me for I will not truly know their character.  So, here is to learning to love, even when it hurts, to dancing when asked, at the risk of stepping on my partner’s toes, to being the goof ball and being ok with the fact that not everyone will like me, much less love me, but that those who do will love me for me, not because I look like Cindy Crawford (yeah, right).  

So, here is to taking chances, learning lessons, and living life to its fullest.  Here is to “seizing the day, for life slips away just like hour glass sand” (Carolyne Arndes).  Carpe Diem every one!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Unencumbered Heart: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

An Unencumbered Heart:  The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Let’s talk about the difference between girls and guys.  That is not quite accurate, let’s talk about the difference between me and guys. 

I have recently been more and more aware of the difference between myself and the male population that surrounds my life.  In normal situations, according to the Hollywood world and the vast amounts of books I read, the girl is suppose to be the na├»ve, emotional, selfish, and aloof person.  However, if my experience the guys in my life fit that role much better than I.

When did it become offense to a guy to be direct, straight to the point, and honest?  Growing up that is what guys always complained about…the games girls play.  But when we are direct you take it personally and act like a child.  I should not be made to feel bad because I was direct in a situation, and did not waste time with trivialities.  Moreover, I should not be made to feel bad because I am competent, self assured, and confident.  There is nothing that looks worse than for a gentleman to get offended when a woman treats them like a man.  It just makes them look, well, immature and unappealing.

But, that is not to say that women have it right, or that I do for that matter.  I suppose I could just as easily baby them into a conversation of trivialities before I get to the real reason I am calling/texting.  But why waste time and energy that could be directed at something else?  I could be less direct, play the games the say they hate so much, but there really is not a point to that either when the truth will come out eventually. 

In my opinion, and that is all it is, more women should be direct.  The games people play are useless, they cause more drama than it is worth, and they do more damage than good.  So, why not skip the dice roll and just pass go and collect your $200? 

Granted, there is a difference between blunt and rude.  Perhaps I sometimes cross that line, and if I have I sincerely ask for forgiveness.  I have learned that truth and bluntness without grace and love do more damage than good.  This is a lesson I tend to have to re-learn, so I suppose I do not truly learn it.  But I dare say that I have something this politically correct culture has lost.  This culture that values sex over relationship, half truths over reality, and reality TV shows over actual reality of life has lost the incredible beauty of honesty and the immense amount of good, change, and prosperity that can come only from being H.O.T. (honest, open and transparent). 

When we play games with each other instead of being open and honest we close wonderful doors of opportunity, we limit our potential to do amazing things because we are cowards in our own skin.  We must shed the darkness of betrayal to ourselves, the skin we hid our true essence behind and let the new skin of who we really are shine through with the amazing beauty that is our spirit.  Only then can we hope to find the person who does actually match us; only then can we be comfortable in who we are and know exactly what we want.  Let’s stop limiting ourselves and push through to the wonderful path that awaits an unencumbered heart.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. 

I think in this day and age it is really easy to get discouraged.  Everywhere young adults look they are told they need to be in a meaningful relationship pursuing their career goals.  Just this week a co-worker of mine told me just that, and that I need to be having babies.  Forget the fact that I do not really have a desire for such things.  I found myself in a dead end job that is far from fulfilling, surrounded by people who do not wish to be there just as much as myself, and attending the blessed traditions of bridal showers and graduation ceremonies.  Strange how the winds of change seem to blow for all at the same time. 

Surprisingly, I found myself discouraged.  Not because I am single, but because I find that perhaps I lack a purpose in my life at the moment.  It has been brought to my attention on multiple occasions that I am a very passionate person.  Without purpose in career or relationship, it is easy to get discouraged and feel as if the world is rising and I am sinking to a slow death march. 

Then, I heard this song by the Glee Cast.  “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some times, you just might find you get what you need.”  Interesting words to a discouraged young adult in the city.  After a year of job searching, I have found the rejections make it easy to want to give in and give up.  But then, I forget how little I know about what I need. 

I know I want a good job, where there is purpose and change, and eventually some one to share that with.  However, just because that is what I want, it may not be what I need, at least at this point in time.  “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.  I have to hold fast to the faith that I have in He who sent me.  He knows my future and the desires of my heart and He will provide for both in ways that supersede my wildest dreams. 

But the honest to goodness truth is that without really trying, I limit my possibilities to succeed and thrive in life.  It is like voting, you can’t complain about the decisions of elected officials if you did not participate in choosing them.  I cannot expect to succeed if I do not actively try.  So, I increase the quality and quantity of job applications, I open my heart up a little bit with friends and challenge myself to meet new individuals.  If I want to thrive and enjoy life, I must live it.  Life is about risk taking, jumping off the preverbal high dive, singing in the rain and dancing in the streets.  If I challenge myself, whether the outcome is success of failure, I will succeed if I give my all throughout the journey. 

So, here is to my own transition and change in the wind.  For whenever it occurs, whether I anticipate it or not, I know for sure one thing…I will be fulfilled and cherished, and cherish others.  How blest I am to find simple reminders in the least likely of places of how loved I am.  Cheers to waiting till I find what I need!  Bottoms up to you and yours this weekend! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Jealous Factor

“He that is not jealous is not in love.”  St. Augustine
I heard something interesting this week, through a crime solving television show…Bones.  The main character finds herself evaluating her idea of marriage and love, which she finds an antiquated tradition and irrational.  For some years now, I have agreed with her.  I think that is why I have not been able to make relationships work, I can’t let my guard down far enough to make any head way.  So, I rationalize that love is irrational and as a rational being, romantic love is unnecessary. 

I found myself re-evaluating my ideas on love after hearing her admit she was jealous of those around her, who open themselves up and take life by the moment. To most of you out there, you probably are saying to yourselves, “Duh, where has this girl been?”  But believe me; I think I may have been under a proverbial rock. 

I have learned watching some of my best friends find their special someone that my ideas on the subject are not only wrong, but limit my possibilities.  I see them and am actually jealous of them.  Not because they have someone special, like I am sure most of you are thinking, but because they have the ability to take risk.  Without risk, one cannot truly experience love, the greatest gift of all. 

I have spent my life believing that love for friends and family is enough for a single person…and for some that may be true.  However, risk is what brings adventure into the world; risk unites us through fear, excitement, joy, and enthusiasm.  I think I have learned this week that life without risk is not worth living at all. 

Think of it this way, when I moved to Southern California I left everything behind.  I left my family, friends, support system.  I moved to a place where I did not know streets, where the grocery store was, I did not know a single person…which is scary, I don’t care who you are.  I began an endeavor greater than any I had ever attempted…my graduate degree.  I took a risk that I would meet people, they would like me (I was like a kindergartener on the first day of school), and that I would succeed at all academically.  Risk.  Those years were some of the most trying, difficult, and frustrating times of my life…but I would not replace them for anything. 

I had a genuine adventure.  I met some amazing people, who will be in my life forever.  I learned to open up a bit.  But that lesson of risk did not teach me enough.  Since that time I have hardened my heart to the opposite sex, not out of hate, but out of rationality and fear (I know that is a contradiction). 

Last week I talked about watching my friends get married, which I am so glad I get to do.  But, this week I realize that watching them is hard not because I do not believe in love, but because I am jealous.  St. Augustine was wrong when he said “He that is not jealous is not in love.”  Sorry, but he is.  For I am not in love, but I am jealous of those who are.  I am jealous of those who can take the biggest risk possible and open themselves to being hurt, loved, and cherished.  One day, I pray, I will cease being jealous and begin the greatest adventure of all – loving someone and being loved in return.