Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Next Best Thing

I'm starting to wonder if the internet is slowly destroying our ability to be happy with what we have.

Every day, we can turn on our computer and immediately we are bombarded with options: what we could buy, what we could wear, where we could go to eat, who we could date, where we could work, the list goes on and on. And even if we are perfectly content with what we have at the moment, a little bit of online shopping - for people, places or things - and all of a sudden, we can't even help ourselves, we just want more.

I wonder, are we selfish or just fickle?

One of my friends had an almost perfect first date earlier this week with a really nice guy. Instead of the usually awkward beginning, the date she wasn't really looking forward to was instantly exciting - from the moment they both sat down and ordered that drink (the one he didn't actually even get to order right away) to the final goodnight kiss at the front door. With dark hair and bright blue eyes, she thought he was cute, interesting and easy to talk to. He thought she was sweet and fun and sexy. They spent the whole evening laughing, talking, bonding.

They stayed out way too late that night and then, without any thought or delay, made plans to meet up again in the next few days before they even said goodbye. It seemed so promising, but, in the end, a second meeting never actually materialized. Initially engaged and persistent, he became busier and less communicative as the week went on.

Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, there was no mystery as to the reason why. The posting of new pictures and constant reworking of his online dating profile started to annoy her as concurrently his messages to her started trailing off and the dates kept getting reshuffled. In the end, she sent him a message letting him off the hook and went to yoga instead. I think she's finally become one of those girls who doesn't want/need anyone who doesn't want/need her. I'm so proud of that! I would guess that she's going to date the other guy she met that week, the one who adores her and treats her really well. She's been asking the Universe for him all summer, and now he's here. It would be stupid to say no.

In a world where people are so quick to throw away last years wardrobe, smartphone, vehicle, TV, Ipod, etc. in favour of the newest model to hit the shelves, it's not surprising that people, relationships, friendships, love affairs can all be quickly tossed aside by many who are in the constant search of the "next best thing".

For those who know what it's like to have been disappointed and discarded by someone who seemed so promising, be happy to know that not everyone is like that. There are more and more people who like to recycle. They search for what it is they know they want, and they'll put time and effort and hard work into it. And they are so excited to find something rare and unique and distinctive that when they find it, they polish it up and put it on a pedestal. They love it. The tear or scrape that may make something completely disposable to one person might just be the very thing that makes it so special to someone else.

Internet be damned. The "best thing" out there is simply the thing that is best for us. And we will know it when we see it. It's just up to us not to look at it briefly, get distracted by something new and shiny and let our "best thing" sit there unnoticed, unused and unappreciated while we pass on by, wondering why we never find our "happiness". :)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

An epic saturday, if there ever was one.

Ok. Trying to do laundry and clean my apartment while hungover is a pretty regular Saturday morning occurrence. But never, in a million years, did I think I'd be frantically cleaning and grocery shopping and and putting out flowers and getting everything ready for the houseguest who is about to walk through my door.

Monique was, until I met Travis, my best friend. We met when we were kids. Did all the sleepover stuff. The travelling stuff. Then we lived together on and off for about 7 years. We decorated apartments. We drank coffee together in the morning and wine at night. We wanted to date the same guys. We saw each other through hard times with work, with friends, with boyfriends, with family. We were bridesmaids in each others weddings. We were the best of friends, and the worst of friends because we were so different from each other, we each possessed everything the other one lacked. And that made us insecure (like girls in their 20s need anymore reasons to be insecure).

Eventually, something went wrong. I can't blame it entirely on the JWs, this happened so much earlier than the demise of that life. I don't even know what happened. Misunderstandings? Which we never talked about. But I felt hurt and betrayed, and for the next seven years, I never ran into Monique without feeling like I slightly hated her.

But life/the universe has a way of suprising you. I can't even put into words how interesting the past few years have been, the past couple of weeks in particular. I can't believe, looking back, that I almost gave up on life. Twice. The Universe and I haven't always seen eye to eye, but life has certainly never been dull.

So I didn't give up on life, and I've learned my lesson now to never give up on people. Sometimes, for so many different reasons, people will leave you. It doesn't mean they don't love you. I think sometimes people leave because they love you too much and honestly just don't know what to do.

And yes, it hurts like hell, I get that. But in the end, being alone can and will make you stronger if you let it. And if you're very lucky, the ones you really love will always come back. I'm still waiting on a couple of more key people to find a way back to me. I miss them, especially The One, (and she knows who she is) but right now I have all the patience in the world and all the faith that they'll find their way. Then, at that point, it's just up to us to decide if we will open our hearts and let them back in.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Goal Setting

I haven't posted anything on here since June. (Not that I think anyone has noticed.) It was a wonderfully self-indulgent, lazy summer with lots of patios after work (yay!), dating (ugh!), suntanning at the pool, spending time with friends and even having the best trip back home.

In all my hedonistic activity, I was under the impression that I hadn't accomplished much at all this year. That was, until I discovered scrunched up in a drawer the other night a list of goals I had written at New Years. Of the 13 things listed, I've actually, almost accidentally, accomplished more than half of them.

And as for the things that I didn't accomplish - like getting back into volunteering or working on my book or losing weight or deciding how/when I am ever going to get back to school...those are things I started working on over the last couple of weeks even before I found my list. I'll get there. :)

At work, we are all required to write up our goals at the beginning of each new fiscal year. We're in the process of "goal-setting" right now. Over the year, we're measured and assessed by our progress on those goals, then given a performance rating, which ties into how much of a bonus we get.

I think life, like work, can be very similar. Discovering that list of goals this week taught me that although you can't really chart a course to attain happiness, setting goals to positively gauge your progress in the pursuit of it is important. Your performance rating measured against those goals will give you a feeling of accomplishment where you've done well, as well as point out areas for improvement going forward. At the end of the day, the "bonus" is that you actually notice the progress you've made and appreciate the happiness that you've gained, whereas without goals how do you measure your success?

It was a great summer, but I'm happy it's almost fall. I don't know why, but to me fall feels like somewhat of a new beginning. And once you've made peace with your past, the future can seem so much more exciting! Bring it on.