Life Altering

It’s been about three years since I started this blog. A project I embarked upon to dissect how a three-year relationship could go up in smoke and die, I had no idea that what I was doing would be life altering.

Lately I’ve been on a serious binge of reading. I have just been gobbling up any and all material related to writing, writing for the web, and content. I believe I’ve found a new calling. Writing for the World Wide Web. Mostly because I enjoy alliteration more than most normal people.

During my latest web reading and link clicking (one said click seriously leads to 10 or more finds) I found a treasure of a blog post. This guy.

The author takes us through his own journey to find the creative energy to write well in the face of the information overload.

As I sat here reading this post I excitedly right clicked “open-link-in-new-tab” more than a few times. One of the links sent me off into a Psychology Today article that talks about how to have more insight. As I read on, I made a connection to my own search for answers. AKA insight. This very blog is my own public way of searching for insight. Up until now I’ve just thought of it as something I liked to do. But nawwww. There is SCIENCE to back this mofo up. I LOVE IT.

“Having more insights is fun and engaging. It gives your brain a great lift of dopamine from the novel connections. It helps energize you to get things done, and helps people unlock some of life’s toughest puzzles. The trouble is, we have to get used to letting our non-conscious brains do the work. Relax, let go, and you might find a whole world of new insights emerging.”

My other open-link-in-new-tab discovery led me to a New York Times article about our brains much needed access to downtime. I kind of already knew this though. I mean, you can physically feel it when your brain has had too much. Your eyes start going crossed; your body feels heavy. But the part I never thought about was this, “when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.”

OK, so what SCIENCE (love it) is telling us is that in order to be better, faster, stronger we have to give ourselves a break. And by “break” we’re not talking about absorbing yourself in the latest and greatest episode of Bones. We are talking about a break from media, information bombardment, things-with-screens.

So translating this to life in general. I have also figured out that when I feel annoyed or angry about something (or someone) sometimes I need to stop thinking about it. Put it out of my head. Because it has proven to be the case that the next day, when I’m daydreaming or chatting with a friend, I put the pieces together. They float together like they always made sense, but it was me that was missing the point. And then, like a mini-ephiphany, it all seems so clear. Thanks science.

bette davis

One of my favoirte dames, Bette Davis, "Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation."

Yours loving insight into insight (and science),

25swf

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I’m tired of talking

Do you ever just have those days. The ones where you have just been blabbering so much and you don’t even want to open your mouth anymore? Here is to one of those days.

I recently stepped down from a leadership position of a group I helped start. It was bitter-sweet, but mostly sweet. I’m so happy to see where it goes from here. And I’m happy to think about how I’m getting part of my life back. It’s been a great ride, but I was ready to stop talking. As the leader of a group, you talk a lot. Maybe I just talk a lot. Let’s be real…we know I talk a lot. But it is something you have to do.

Sometimes while I’m talking I hang outside myself and I’m just saying to myself, “Blah, blah girl. Get on with it.” It’s sad when you are telling yourself to get to the point. My new goal is to get to the point.

So that’s my point here (did you notice this is a super short post?)…I’m tired of talking. I need a break from all the talking. And I just got it (I’ve been sick all day). But then again here I am. That didn’t last long.

Yours trying to shut up and listen (It’s not working),

25swf

Settling Down

A friend posted this on my wall the other day…

Little did she know “settling down” has been on my mind A LOT lately. Partially due to the fact that my best friend is getting married and we’ve been dress shopping a few times in the past month. Mostly due to the fact that (whether I like it or not) ever since I was a wee-one, I imagined getting married and doing all those things married people do. Which is odd because I had no central man figure in my life growing up (which I have a post about coming up) and my mom never dated. Like never. Marriage wasn’t something I was actually exposed to as a child…it was still something I romanticized.

And let’s be real. Damn Pinterest is making me feel a little antsy about settling down. All those amazing wedding ideas just flashing themselves at me. OF COURSE I have to pin them…in a board I call “Futures.”

But at the end of the day, I know I’m not even ready for that. I have plans to move in the next year. I have a lot more to worry about, and it doesn’t involve lace sleeves and trumpet shapes. I still daydream. And I wonder when I know when I’m ready? I guess I’ll know when I’m asked. And for some reason this video made me feel better about it all. Like I’m not the only one…with fears of suburbia (see my Revolutionary Road post) and the urge to settle down.

Yours feeling less alone thanks to Kimbra,

25swf

MF, The Girl, and Buddha

I have found that the past year has been one of addressing. Not confrontation. But addressing. I have addressed a lot of issues within myself, and with others involving myself. When people been acting like a foo’, I’m not one to be messed with nowadays.

Addressing problems is what adults do. Wait, let’s not get all caught up here. Addressing problems is what adults are supposed to do. I may be young, but so far it’s very rare to find people over the age of 30 who do such a thing.

I have addressed people who didn’t respect me because I was young and had to give them direction (that’s a fun one). I have addressed a person who really hated me for no apparent reason. I have addressed someone I used to refer to as Mind Fuck or MF (you may remember him). I have addressed things in my current relationship that in the past I would have just buried. I have even addressed my mom. All of these people I have said, “Hey can we talk?” to, and then we did…and guess what happened? It was over.

It felt right for me to embark upon my most recent bought of addressing after things kept popping up, and a certain Buddhist class pushed me the rest of the way. The class was all about suffering. We meditated for an hour. Which, I am not use to, but found incredibly rewarding and invigorating. Being surrounded by Buddhas, a Buddhist monk, and a room full of people who are working towards the same thing was worth the 20 minute drive. After the meditation, we started class.

The Buddhist Monk talked about transforming relationships. If someone is ill towards you, you must work very hard to try and transform that relationship. Two people came to mind when she said this. They were burning into my head, and I wanted them out. The burning subsided after a cool, fresh epiphany washed over me. I had to talk to them. Ugh. I really didn’t want to. MF and this other person we will call The Girl were the last people on the Earth that I wanted to talk to.

I talked to Mister M about it. He said that if talking to them would make me feel better, then I should go for it. He’s so supportive. It’s so rare.

Come Monday I called them. Yup, just straight up called them. MF didn’t answer so I left a message…which looking back was probably pretty awkward sounding because I said let’s meet for tea (I’m on this no-caffeine kick, but still that’s a funny thing to say if you’re not British) and I said my full name when I called…yeah, WEIRDO). My next call worked out. The Girl did answer and we deciding on a time to meet that week. We met, and hashed it all out, and I think she no longer hates me. I think she realized I wasn’t out to get her. So that’s one down. Already a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

As for MF, he really effed (it felt better than saying ‘fucked’ because I’m not really that angry about…just annoyed. Effed is for those annoyed occasions. FYI) up my transformation efforts. On my journey to a Zen place he started texting me at 2am on a Saturday night/morning. There was a mixture of, “You’re so awesome…even though we didn’t work out I want you to be happy” and “I’m sorry you hated me. Like level 9 hated me. I just want the best for you.” Oh, and the last piece worth mentioning was how he tried to get me to call him by throwing out, “You should call me. I will tell you a secret, and if you don’t call you will never know.” No, I’m not joking. And no, I did not call him. I told him we should talk when he wasn’t drunk, but he insisted he hadn’t been drinking.

This was not a part of my plan. My plan was to meet up with him, tell him I forgive him and want him to be happy. And then, the end. Like a formal, “I forgive you, but go fuck yourself, thank you.” But I didn’t get that. He ruined it.

I decided, taking into account the advice from Mister M and another friend, that I would not be calling MF to meet up. He had (once again) blown it. Now I need to ask the Buddhist Monk what you do once someone blows up your transformation plans…some would say it’s time to just walk away. I’m thinking that’s good and fine, but what about the next time I get 2am texts? I think I will just hand my phone over to Mister M and he can take care of those…

Yours tranformer style,

25swf

Guest Blogger – 27swf: The Sweet Spot

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

This week I turned 28. And though age 28 often flies under the radar, it’s actually quite a significant birthday: it’s the year that one completes her first decade as an adult.

I started pondering where I am, 10 years in, and where I was, 10 years ago: I’ve got a College and Master’s degree, I’ve had great job experiences, including the one I’m in now, a career I love, wonderful friends, legs that run marathons & hike mountains. I know what foods give me heartburn, how to straighten my hair and how many drinks it takes for me to transform from sweet girl to pool shark (1.5 exactly).

In general, I’m feeling pretty great about who I’ve become.

Except, yesterday, I started thinking about that episode on Friends I saw just about 10 years ago. Rachel and Ross had just broken up (for the fifth time, probably). Rachel realizes she wants to have babies…with a husband…by age 32…and starts counting backwards, only to realize that she’d need to marry someone tomorrow to fulfill her life’s plan (how ironic, given real-life Jennifer Aniston’s own romantic trajectory).

I thought about Rachel and how I’m finally reaching that age — the age at which, ten years in, the biological clock is (whether I want to believe it) starting to tick. Slowly, but nonetheless, moving forward…

I remind myself that I look young and feel even younger than I am. But the hard numbers don’t lie. There are risks to waiting for pregnancy, not to mention articles like this one  that encourage me to believe I’m becoming a less desirable mate, spouse, life partner, whatever with each passing day.

So what’s a girl to do? Cry (in your car, on the phone, in front of the TV). Online date? Or, my favorite, ask your friends to set you up, only to hear them laugh (because they’re married/in a relationship and don’t understand) or reply with the equally frustrating “I wish I was still single — go out! Have fun! This is the best time of you’re life!”

I feel like I’m in the sweet spot of being old enough to know how old I’m not (yes, age 30, I see you giving me the death stare from across the room). But, I’m also old enough to know that I’m young…and that more awaits me…at least I hope.

As I get older, my standards get higher because, well, it just takes a lot more to impress me. Call me an a**hole, but I’ve never been one to settle, and the more accomplished I become, the more unaccomplished people there are below me. At 18, I was happy to be with someone in college, at 21 I was happy to date someone who went to college, at 23, he needed to have a college degree, and a job. At 25, I wanted someone with a college degree, a job, and real career goals. Now, at 28? I’m looking for someone who has all the above…and more. A real salary would be nice too. I see myself getting more picky, all the while feeling like I’m becoming less attractive to the opposite sex.  Most people reading this will say that my cynicism and expectations are making me less attractive. Well, sorry. That’s just how I feel.

Call me crazy. But these days, I just find myself sort of depressed by the whole scenario —

While I may be in the sweet spot, lately, I’m feeling rather bitter…

Yours,

27swf