Yes, there is such thing as a meaningful relationship that does not last forever or aspire to. Love isn’t forever or never, it’s now. It comes in many colors, shades, and levels of brilliance. You have to try a few gems on before you find the one that fits you, at the moment. And just because it doesn’t fit now doesn’t mean it will never fit, and just because it fits now it doesn’t mean that it will always fit. Even your memories aren’t certain- what seemed bright and sparkling can become dark and grim. But what is certain, that I believe au fond of my heart, is that it is a quest worth taking. The tears are worth crying, the smiles worth smiling. And there is love, whether you have got a ring on your finger or not. There is love, you may not see it but others feel it, love for yourself in your soul.
So in between writing about my latest dude drama like a thirteen year old with a xanga(remember those? How strange they were) I realized I’m pretty happy with my life on the whole.
I have some awesome friends, who are there to bitch to about dude problems and just to share good times with.
I have the most amazing family.
I am living my dreams and seeing the world.
Sure, still working out the career and gainful employment and living your passion stuff, but I’m getting there.
In fact, I think I can keep happy even if I cut out some soda and chocolate and bad habits. Even this guy, if need be.
In fact, I think that with the help of God and maybe a little help from my friends, I might even be able to make a good judgement in the case of this guy. And that I will survive and learn from it even if I made a bad one.
Yeah, so I’ve been waiting for the right guy to be in a relationship with for about five years now. That was about 10 countries, finding out my passion for traveling, ameliorating my level of French 1000%, living in France two times, living in Paris, 3 internships in Washington DC, a grad degree in progress, a bachelors degree with honors, several jobs, more than a few lovers, two solo backpacking trips through Europe, learning to yoga a bit, strengthening my relationship with my family a lot, and making the most amazing friends ago.
So if need be, I can wait a little bit longer.
And if not, if this is the dude and the time through some strange twist, I am prepared to deal with another person’s idiosyncracies and build a stable, long term, healthy relationship and have some more fun. Without counting on him for my happiness.
So while I’m waiting the approximately 7ish more hours till his flight lands [and maybe he won’t even call me then cuz he might have to go to work] I can be cool and not stress. And watch How I Met Your Mother for important life lessons, because I still do care. Because I am an open and forgiving person. Because I know I can walk away, without ever walking away from happiness.
The best part of my happiness is that I had to go through some rough times to get here, so while I hope for continued good fortune, I know I can withstand some rough seas, too. And enjoy the journey.
I was recounting my career tale of woe (there’s that negative thinking again) to a career coach brought in by my MBA program. As I gave my quick rundown of strengths, weaknesses, and the fact I somehow got into an MBA program without ever having convinced someone to hire me for a full-time, entry-level, college degree kind of job, nor have any real experience of business operations in the private sector, she asked me if I was always this hard on myself. I answered, “This is how I feel after all your women’s empowerment and networking training, I’m doing pretty good keeping the negativity low.” She said she could tell me blah blah I’m doing pretty well in life and it’s been a difficult time for anyone to have a good career given the recession and unemployment and all that, but I just have to let the inner critic go myself. Silence it, take action, and don’t feel so bad. She said that women are very self critical, afraid of making a mistake, and want to have every detail worked out before trying anything. I don’t usually thing of myself who crosses my is and dots my ts but she seemed to have a point at the moment.
And so I feel like here we get to the root of the root of the problem. There’s not much I wouldn’t give to stop feeling bad about myself, like I’ve done something horribly wrong and made a terrible mistake. I think this is also responsible to an extent for my indecision, and why I let people make me believe I”m flighty and careless and change my mind a lot when I’m really just responding to new information. The career coach also said not to feel guilty or bad about not having a career goal, it’s better just to be ok with not knowing and seek information.
I told her about how tired I am of navel gazing, of not having an external strategy. It makes sense though that everything comes from within, and everything comes in its own time.
I wrote this post because I’m sure many people get imposter syndrome (aka I bluffed my way in, I don’t deserve what I have) from time to time. I’ve been eating crap ever since then pretty much career talk will do that, probably the most anxiety ridden area of my life right now which sometimes feels dumb since I’ve decided work is not the meaning of my life and all that.
Who stops you from talking, 99% of the time? Yourself, because you feel like you have nothing valuable to add. Who stops you from trying? 100% you, because you think you will fail or maybe you even fear getting what you woant, or fear you don’t deserve it somehow. And who stops you with the little things every step of the way, like sleeping in a little later, consciously blowing your health goals, and forgetting the little things, or worse, saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Aren’t these all just the fear manifesting in different ways? I guess you have to conquer the enemy within before you conquer without, without your own negativity killing you before you have been struck a single blow.
I think this is particularly relevant to areas we feel gifted in. Who are you to be so gifted? Why should you have it and not someone else? Doesn’t someone else need it more? If one of those starving children in Africa had your gift and your chances for success, wouldn’t she have already made something of herself by now? Isn’t it time to break even on your college investment at least? Aren’t you selfish when you invest in yourself rather than being self-sufficient and saving? Couldn’t you be saving more money, somewhere? Couldn’t you be eating less calories and doing more exercise? If someone else had your talents and situation, would hey do a better job? Do you really deserve to be born in the US and have rule of law more or less democracy and economic freedom? What made you deserve your supportive parents? Why me?
I don’t know the answer to these questions or if there really is a knowable answer. What I do know is that I need t o stop torturing myself and you do too. THere is a huge difference between self discipline and crippling self doubt. Now I’m just blaming it on my feelings that aren’t even real and making up more excuses for myself. Harrumph. Ouch how that comment by the career coach hit home. I almost forgot how much I detest myself at times, how I wish I could be anyone normal or just anyone else because someone else could do a much better job of being me. I feel sometimes like I am playing my role all wrong, like I should have been so much faster, better, stronger by now.
Some of these thoughts are the darker cousins to what I believe could be my driving passion: a world of equally plentiful opportunity for all, so that everyone can have the chance to realise their dreams and make the most of their talents. What the hell does make the most of though? Aren’t you supposed to make some time to be happy in th emidst of all this optimizaton and making the most of? Of what, of your self, your ugly flawed, scarred, overweight human self?
I’m sorry for all these darkness, I really am. However, I am sharing it in order to let the vampires meet the light of day. I am bringing myself into the light to be cleansed. The light of others, the light of text much more legitble than my handwriting. And dear Lord, please help me with this. I hope I can just let that go, and give upa burden I don’t neec to carry that’s waying me down from the real goal.
Which is what? Love your neighbor as yourself, love God above all, and I guess in order to balance out the equilibrium, might be time to be good to yourself. Don’t binge on junk food, don’t do anything really horrific, don’t impose penance on yourself for your imagined crime.
Good night and God bless.
So my flat in France has this giant mirror leaning on the wall next to the bathroom. I’ve had to get used to seeing a lot of myself, so to speak. The first day i arrived here, I was like, oo I can’t be that big, it must be the tilt of the mirror ;), but since I’ve gotten used to the mirror being there, and seeing myself in all my glory in one fell swoop. I think it has been a helpful and accurate way of knowing what I really look like, and I’ve accepted my body shape a bit more as a result. It has given me a bit of confidence to really get a full-length perspective on what I really do look like in the morning.
This blog is also a mirror, and gives me a chance to examine the way I see myself and the world.So is my google search keywords that pop up automatically, my Facebook timeline, twitter, and my browser history. Not to mention those personality tests we take all the time in b-school, and i delight in taking on Okcupid (no judgement please lol).
The people we surround ourselves with are certainly mirrors, and their behavior towards us is how we gauge ourselves so much of the time. We seek mirrors we think are accurate, since in social settings there’s not a clear right or wrong. But we tend to group with people that are similar to us, and if you have a good view of yourself, your friends will likely reflect that and be supportive of who you are. If you have a negative view of yourself, you will probably surround yourself with people who don’t quite get you, who represent a “normal” you might subconsciously aspire to, and who might not really encourage you to be your unique self. Our social networks reflect who we are on an inner level and how we see ourselves.
Most of these mirrors, these feedback mechanisms, aren’t a simple one way street. Though I can have a certain reaction to the mirror in my apartment, and change myself to more of the reflection I’d like to have, or wear something a little different if the effect doesn’t please me, it is me who decides what to do with the mirror says, and not the mirror that tells me what to do. With social networks, the problem is more complicated. Other people actively participate in how we perceive the world and ourselves. They have their own interests at stake, their own biases and values, etc. Our friend’s reflection of us, and the way they encourage us to behave, implicitly or explicitly, is also a reflection of how they see the world and themselves. It is much easier to be close to someone who is similar than someone who is not in this way, because the worlds you have constructed are more similar.This can be positive or negative, depending on the types of people we surround ourselves with. They can either enhance the positive or bring us down even more.
I suggest, above all, that you find people who you WANT to be like, yet who encourage you to be your best self as well. People bring out the best and worst in us, and we need to be really aware of this. You need only remember some of the great and terrible things people in groups have done. A few months ago, I got a message from a person I’d more or less cut ties with after our toxic relationship, which had taken a toll on my friends tired of my constant anxieties related to it. The same night I talked to those friends who had told me how tired theyy were of hearing about him, who I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. I don’t blame my friends in a way, I really did need to cut ties with him, move on, and stop bitching about it, but I also think that maybe those friendships in some way reinforced that relationship and my less than perfect self esteem at the time. I am not saying they weren’t good people, just that somehow, there was a negative environment created for all involved in the fiasco. The timing really made me think.
Today, i started the day with a really kind comment from americantaitai, and it was a great reflection to start with. But before that, I made the decision that my thoughts were worth writing about and I had something valid to say. I guess americaintaitai reflected me on that. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we must dare to behold ourselves first. And also confront our assumptions on what is beautiful. Don’t go through your life waiting for Prince Charming in the form of One Direction or some other deus ex machina to tell you your beautiful. It’s ok to know you are beautiful just as you are and feel good about yourself. You don’t have to have any delusions of grandeur or think that you are perfect and stop trying to improve to feel good about yourself, so start today. I also think, from my experience at least, that as your love for yourself is fully realized, you will somehow find people who truly love you as you are. This is not saying that you are fully responsible for your environment or its effect on you, just that you should focus on loving yourself because 1) that’s the goal anyway-no matter what other people think of you, it’s not going to help if you don’t love yourself and 2) that’s what you can control.
So many of us see all the pain and sorrow and injustice there is in the world and want to do something about it. We feel a responsibility beyond ourselves and our immediate environment, but have only limited ability to implement our visions. In many ways, honestly, the human race is kind of broken and sometimes the best we can do is to smile at someone having a bad day. Not everyone needs to or can start a non-profit or go join the Peace Corps to save the world. But,
The foolish man tries to change the world, the wise man focuses on improving himself. (unknown)
So use your mirrors well, not for complacency and vanity but as a means of changing the world through deeper reflection, and more conscious action.
We know what we are, but we know not what we may be.- Shakespeare
you stay in on your first Friday night in Paris even though you had super awesome plans, cuz you dallied too long chatting with your prof who bought you happyish hour drinks (but did not try to sleep with you). I love you France, even though you decided to close my bank account without telling me. I love you Paris, even though your metro closes at 1 (quoi?) and it’s not worth the effort of getting ready to go out at this late hour. At least I’ll be going to Versailles on Sunday! Trop chouette, n’est-ce pas?
God, I love you France. Somebody called me “the most French American girl” today. It was an amazing moment, not gonna lie.
Trying to figure out what to do with myself after business school, besides find a job, lifelong love (ideally leading to marriage and bebes), and learn to surf, maybe ballroom dance too, although I do salsa, merengue and something else, I think its bachata. A lot of my other bucketlist things have or will be crossed off by then. A bunch of people in my program want to go to Prague and Thailand, so maybe I will get to cross those off in addition to having my MBA and having visited every continent besides South America and speaking French fluently by the age of 25. Feeling not so bad about myself these days.
The day I stop needing to justify and explain myself to others, is today.
The day I decide to just let go and let God, He made me this way for a reason, is today.
The day I stop needing to rationalize the things I want most, is today.
The day I stop feeling ashamed of wanting simple, normal things, is today.
The day my grand visions become my own dreams and not just a form of making up for a lack I feel in myself, is today.
The day I stop waiting for someone to validate me, is today.
The day I stop thinking there’s something wrong with me because I don’t always feel loved and appreciated, is today.
The day I stop thinking there’s something weak about wanting to be loved, nurtured, and supported, by a special someone, who brings me wine and roses, is today.
The day I stop thinking I am too much or not enough, is today.
Today, I do exactly what I want.
Today, I believe in my own dreams.
Today, I don’t need to convince myself or anyone else.
Today, I accept.
Today, I love the whole world, even me.
Today, everything is finally ok, even though everything isn’t perfect.
Today, I am ok, life is good, humans are humans, and God is out there being mysterious.
The day I know I am the still small voice, not the earthquake, the fire, or the footprint. The day I know that I just am, and that’s ok, no need to earn the space on this earth that I’ve been given. The day i count my blessings and don’t feel unworthy, The day I know my worth, The day that is today- 11 ish in France, 5ish in the US, God knows what hour in Japan.
Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.