She's Not That Positive

I’m positive about a lot of things, in a pessimistic kind of way.

OH-EM-GEE: Breakthrough – Maybe I can do this! May 3, 2013

The last few months have consisted of stress, sleepless nights, stress, crying myself to sleep, self-doubt, no fun, stress, days and days (and nights and nights) alone studying, did I mention stress? I knew it wouldn’t be easy going back to school full-time, but I didn’t know it would be this hard. I thought that my part-time studies and full-time work would have prepared me for this, but it didn’t. I can’t count how many times I said to myself and to Him “I can’t do this, I made a mistake” (I’m sure he can’t either). I struggled through every class and every project, part fear of failing, part fighting to prove I could do it, and mostly just trying to keep my head above water and not quit. But a week or so after final exams, I can breathe a little easier and reflect, and this is what happened:

I had a breakthrough, an actual honest-to-God breakthrough, it happened slowly as my final marks came in (wait for it).

Now this post isn’t for me to brag to you and get you to congratulate me, or say “I knew you could do it”, this post is about me, for me; because I didn’t know I could do it. At the best of times I have pretty low self-esteem; sure I joke about how smart or funny I am, and I may have convinced you, but I certainly couldn’t convince myself.

Going back to school was the first thing I have done for myself in, well, ever. After years of trying to please everyone else I took a good look at my life and what I wanted out of it and made the decision (BIG thank you’s go out to “Little One” and Him for making it financially possible to make this happen, and for everyone for encouraging it). And yes, I was pretty proud of that, but this, this I achieved ON MY OWN, I can’t say I was just lucky, I can’t pass the success on to a team of people, I can’t say “well it’s all thanks to so-and-so” because no one else did my homework or wrote my exams. I did this, I made this happen, and I FUCKING ROCKED IT!!!!!

I can honestly say, probably for the first time ever, I’m so proud of myself and I believe I can accomplish my goals now.

So this post is to me in three months, six months, nine months, one year, two years and so on. Yes, you will struggle through, yes you will make sacrifices and yes it will be hard and there might be tears, but never doubt you can do it, because look what you did:

finalgrades

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Oh-Em-Gee! Who “Sucks” More?? January 24, 2012

*I’m back and I’m ranting!* 😀

Before anyone else sends me the article, yes, I did read the Vancouver Magazine Article, “Do Vancouver Men Suck?”  I also read a number of the comments after, a blog post on SweetLife Titled “The Dapper Gentleman” – which responds in part to the notion that “guys dressed ‘for video games in the basement: baseball caps and baggy T-shirts’” (Ashenburg, pg 1).  AND I read the response highlighted in Vancouver Magazine “Do Vancouver Women Suck? A Reader’s Response” 

And I have my own theory (of course I do), but you aren’t gonna like it… we need to stop blaming each other everyone in Vancouver sucks…

I too have blamed men for my dating woes, (read every dating post on my blog) BUT I’ve also taken some responsibility for the mistakes, for the lack of dates, the missed connections and misunderstandings. The first part of the “offending” article sounds exactly like I could have written it, or at the very least like Ms. Ashenburg and I had gin martinis one night and traded war-stories. And while I agree that men can be intimidated by women (I’ve actually lied and dumbed-down my profession to keep guys talking to me), that they dress too casually or that chivalry is a foreign concept in this city. I have to take exception to the fact that the article suggests that the women of Vancouver are exceptional, fabulous and above reproach. Have you tried to strike up a conversation with a girl in line for the bathroom at a club? Have you asked a girl where she got her shoes, or what the time is, or if she will hold the elevator for you? Have you, a Vancouver girl tried to make contact, any contact with another Vancouver girl you didn’t already know? No? Well let me save you some time, (of course with exceptions) Vancouver women in general are; self-important, self-conscious, social-climbing, competitive, self-involved and frankly most of us are bitches. Of course we love our friends and we are super generous and kind with the people we care about, but in public, in general we are terrible people; we have walls up, we are guarded, we view everyone – men and women – as potential threats and as competition. (I’m generalizing of course, but that’s what these articles do – they generalize.)

We can blame men all we want for the death of chivalry, there are theories that feminism has ruined men, has made it confusing as to who pays for what and when they can open doors. (Yes the struggle for women’s rights has put men down, *insert eye roll* FYI feminism is about equal rights not about who pays for dinner). But really when was the last time you were struggling with packages and a girl helped you with the door? Chivalry is dying because as a society we stopped being concerned with other people. For example- I saw a woman on the train ask an elderly lady to move out of the designated seats so her and her husband could sit next to each other! How can we think that is OK, and be all up in arms when we choose to put on 6-inch heels and a guy doesn’t offer to give us his seat on our morning commute? (For the record I do think the seat should be offered, but I’m old-fashioned.)

There is a general lack of concern for others in this city, a lack of respect for the well-being of our fellow Vancouverites, a lack of respect that people other than us have shit going on. This translates into our dating life as well. If we walk around all day in exercise gear, why do we expect a man to put on a collared shirt to take us out? If we constantly complain about not being approached at bars, why do we complain when a guy gets up the nerve to do so? Alternatively, guys why complain about constantly being shut down if when you approach a girl the things you choose to say are disrespectful, or if you approach her in inappropriate places? Girls are unapproachable because we have been taught to be with disrespectful behaviour from men. Men then in turn find girls intimidating.

It’s a vicious cycle and someone needs to break it, why not you?

Is this exclusive to Vancouver? Why when we go on vacation do men seem more attentive and more aggressive in approaching you? Why are women easier to talk to abroad? BECAUSE YOU ARE ON VACATION. You are relaxed, you are open to new experiences, you are looking to have fun and it is obvious. Why not try that same attitude here in your own city? (Advice I was given, thank-you M*.) And ladies, why not be nice to that girl in line in the bathroom, maybe she is playing “wing-man” for a cute single guy friend?

 

Re-connected May 4, 2011

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 6:33 pm
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I’ll admit it; I’ve been feeling pretty alone lately. Not that I’ve been alone. I’ve been very busy trying to get out and enjoy myself during my school break. I’ve had great times with friends, brief visits, shopping trips, dinners, parties, patios, it’s been awesome. But there is something I feel is missing. And before you think I am going to complain about being single AGAIN, it’s not that.

I’ve been missing the connection. You know that feeling when you have lunch with a friend and you feel full after? Like emotionally full—not full like you shouldn’t have ordered dessert (because of course you should, you started running remember?)—I’ve been missing that fully connected feeling.

This does not diminish the great times I’ve had lately, or how grateful I am to have so many awesome people around. It’s really a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. I’m feeling disconnected, distracted, disengaged. I’m there but I don’t feel ‘present’. After so many years of focusing on other people’s happiness, I have started focusing on myself. While I am enjoying school and the brief time that I get to socialize, I feel like I am moving farther away from even my best friends. It’s true that everyone gets busy and we have to focus on ourselves once-in-awhile but I wonder, have I taken it too far? I’m so inside my own head I’m finding it hard to get out.

I used to be the person everyone called to talk to, to vent to, to ask for advice. Now, I get “oh I just assumed you were busy.” Usually this is true I am. And I am not blaming my friends for any of this, what I would like to do is apologize.

I’m sorry I haven’t been around as much as I used to be friends, I love you and I miss you, I miss laughing and being silly and connecting with you in more than what seems like just sound-bites. And I promise to “be there” when I am with you, to avoid distractions and focus on our time together. I am working on being fully present in the moment.

We connect with people on Twitter, email, text, bbm, LinkedIn Facebook & Skype, and still with all of the “connections” I don’t think we are actually connecting to each other anymore. I realize everyone is busy, but I am going to do my best from now on to make the people around me feel important, connected and loved.

It’s really about respecting the time I share with others.

*she

 

So It Turns Out I Used to be Positive? February 24, 2011

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 11:11 pm
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Recently I was going through some old papers and found a manifesto, apparently in my first year of university we were given a school project to come up with a manifesto as well as a logo to symbolize who we were.

If I still had my scanner I’d embarrass myself further and post up the black and grey butterfly image with an elongated abdomen which for some reason loops into an almost perfect circle. I can only assume that the butterfly image represents me growing up or some shit like that.

But since I’ve lent my scanner to my dear cousin I will (against my better judgement) share with you my manifesto. I will completely understand if you lose a little respect for me after, but I beg you to remember I was an – apparently – idealistic 18 year-old. So here goes:

She believes that you should stay true to yourself in everything you do. This means you:

  1. Do what you feel is right – if it feels bad stop.
  2. Go with your gut.
  3. Use your freedom of thought, choice and voice wisely.
  4. Take care of yourself.

Other thing [sic] She believes in:

  • Smile
  • Be sincere and be truthful
  • Help others
  • Learn as much as you can about as much as you can
  • Recycle everything
  • Respect your elders
  • Be kind to animals, even children
  • Always say please and thank-you
  • Watch the sun set and rise at least once a month

OK I’ll admit it this actually sounds like really good advice, and I suppose I do agree with it still, but how did my manifesto go from this to my current one?

Well actually aside from “just get through the day” I don’t have a manifesto anymore; and while I try to “smile” as much as possible, it usually masks whatever sarcastic thing I shouldn’t say. And the only time I’ve watched the sunrise or set in the last month was from the window beside my cubicle.

Should I be jealous of my 18 year-old self? Should I decide to go back and try to live my life again by these rules? No. The truth is that I do live pretty closely to this list, but perhaps (dear God) 14 years ago I did it more sweetly, naively and with gusto.

What I do miss about my manifesto from then isn’t on the list. Apparently I mistakenly didn’t think that it was important enough to write down. I believed that you should allow yourself to be silly, child-like, have fun and not worry about looking ridiculous. I believed that you should laugh till it hurts. I’ve become too serious, too worried, too uptight.

So where does this leave me? Well, with the desire to do something ridiculous, and simple and fun. I need to loosen up and take a page from my 3 year-old nephew who laughed for 10 minutes because, when I was helping him put his jeans on he had both legs in one pant leg. His idea of a good time is to jump on the bed. Simple pleasures, simple fun and pure joy, when was the last time you felt that? I can’t even play Wii with Roomie and her boyfriend without feeling self-conscious. The weekend before last I danced in my living room, by myself for the first time in years and it felt great! Next? Who knows maybe I’ll jump on the bed.

What do you do for fun that keeps you young?

 

I figured out my problem January 12, 2011

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 5:09 pm
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I grew up with a mother who constantly said “you can do anything, be anything you want to be”.

Which precisely is why at this moment I am nothing (OK well of course I’m something, even my self-esteem isn’t that bad). What I mean is, as you’ve read in previous posts I don’t have a degree or professional designation, I am not a millionaire and I do not own anything aside from a 1996 Honda Civic which by some miracle keeps running, despite infrequent maintenance and oil changes (the light goes one when it’s time right??). So how did my mother’s idealistic encouragement turn me into a single, mid-thirties college drop-out struggling to get by?

I figured it out on my commute into work this morning, I respond only to reverse psychology. It wasn’t until recently when I heard someone say it is difficult to change careers in your mid-late 30’s that I thought “oh ya… really?? Well we’ll see about that…” and I promptly went looking for a new line of work. Art Therapist? “You can’t get into the program, you don’t have a degree”… “Oh really???” And, now I find myself finally working to finish my degree. I never work harder than when told I can’t get a promotion, and I am fiercely competitive but it never comes out unless I hear “Nope, not you, you can’t do it.”

Not convinced? Well, how about a few more examples:

  • I only crave junk food when it isn’t in the house, right now there is a cupboard full of chocolate and potato chips (a fact I know drives Roomie insane) and I have zero desire to eat any of it. But if it wasn’t there I would have to run out and binge.
  • I have also never been as motivated to work-out as when, like now, I am injured. In fact, I am also pretty sure that my diet and exercise regime is so sporadic because I need the challenge of the impossible in order to be motivated to get (not stay) healthy. It’s not really that I am lazy at all.
  • I am only head-over-heels for a guy if he only seems vaguely (or not at all) interested in me.
  • I have cut and dyed my hair specifically because a boyfriend told me never to do it.
  • Last semester I coasted through class until I failed my first exam and barely squeaked a C+ on my paper. Then I worked so hard I ended the class with an A-.
  • Only when I feel like the pit of consumer debt I have dug for myself is too deep to ever get out of, do I stick to a budget and make head way.
  • I can only afford a vacation once it is booked and the departure date is looming, until then saving seems impossible.
  • Only when the mountain seems too high will I even begin to climb it (OK that is a metaphor, I think we can all guess how often I climb mountains).

Because of this pattern I find myself in a constant state of struggle, I could make it easy on myself and just stick to something consistently, but what is the challenge in that? I mean I could just accept my life as it is and be perfectly happy, but somehow I wouldn’t be. I need the challenge, the “No, it’s not going to work out for you” for me to actually make something work. It’s not enough for me to write down my short-term goals and do them. I have to make grandiose long-term plans and ignore them until the deadline is near for me to ever make anything happen.

So should my mother have said to me “you can do anything but be married, fulfilled and financially stable?” Should she have said to 5 year-old me that being a ballerina/lawyer was impossible? (What 5 year-old wants to be a lawyer anyway???) No. she was right I can do anything I want, but first I have to make it as difficult for myself as possible.

 

OK Fine I did a list too… January 2, 2011

Everyone and their blog has a New Year’s list… so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and do one of my own.

The inspiration for this list is my ex-boyfriend who interrupted my quiet New Year’s Eve in because, close to three years later, he has regrets and he finally needs to apologize and make amends (I asked and no he isn’t in some twelve step program). It was weird and awkward and honestly the most cathartic New Year’s Eve. I got to tell him how his actions and then lack of action affected me, and it got me thinking about all the things I should have said to people, so here you are lovely readers the “Shit I Should Have Said in 2010 List”, in no particular order:

  1. No!
  2. Thank you for always being there.
  3. No thanks, one glass is fine.
  4. I’m sorry I’d love to help but I just don’t have time.
  5. I never make New Year’s resolutions.
  6. I am so glad we are friends, and even though I know it’s too late, you should know that if you ever wanted to be more than friends, I’d be into that. I love you.
  7. Sometimes when you are joking around it hurts.
  8. I’m sorry I hurt you.
  9. I need you to be proud of me.
  10. You need to grow-up and stop treating people like they are here to serve you; you are selfish and frankly a little crazy.
  11. I’m happy.
  12. You’re not the only one dealing with shit.
  13. I surround myself with the best people, thank you for being so inspirational.
  14. I need you.
  15. I’m having so much fun right now because of you!
  16. I miss you.
  17. Please help. I realize I can’t do it all myself.
  18. You’re a massive douchebag.
  19. You know what? I am worth it.
  20. I’ll just have a salad, thanks.

So there you go, that was 2010. Now once my two-day hangover is over, I’ll be ready for 2011. Happy New Year dear readers thanks for making my first year blogging so fun!

Resolutions for 2011? Nope, although I think will order salad more often, does that count?

Is there anything you wish you’d said or done in 2010?

 

New Year’s Resolution Update – April May 10, 2010

Filed under: New Years Resolutions — She @ 7:47 pm
Tags: ,

So a few people have asked if I was finally able to find something new to do for my April resolution. Yes I was. While lamenting over Sushi about how I needed something, my friend Jen suggested that the Projecting Change Movie Festival was something new I was doing. Sitting in a movie theatre for 3 days was certainly something new, but I think what she meant was sitting and educating myself on the state of the world. Then it occurred to me that I had done one more thing, I applied to go to back to school to finish my degree. (Incidentally I got an acceptance letter today!)

April, check! Now for May. Any ideas?