Undeveloped Skill & Becoming That Girl/Boy/Man/Womb

Two things happened recently that affected some of my thoughts on my current path. The first was that I attended a seminar on financial planning that my work was paying for. It was okay, albeit a little rushed. Something the facilitator said though really struck me. He told the group that at 25 years old, you are your biggest asset. It tied perfectly into what my thinking has been about my earning potential as a 22 year old. My awareness is invaluable… if I use it.

Which ties into my current value. Let’s take writing. I think I have an above average mastering of the English language. It’s nothing too special, it’s natural to me. That being said, if I applied consistent effort and maintained an intense hunger, I could become a paid writer. While I do plan to write a book, I also know I have to become someone more before that point.

Skill is useless unless you care to harness it and really shape it. To become a millionaire is so much more than the dollar amount. You have to become deserving of the affluence, otherwise you’ll find a way to sabotage it (ie. lottery winners). I have done this for years, stifling my professional development. Not intentionally, it happened as a result of my defaulting to unconsciousness stagnation and learned helplessness. If I’m being straight up, I am totally half assed at work. Most of the time. This will change though.

I’ve really begin to see the reality that successful people leave obvious facts in their trail, primarily who they are as successful people. What they did to become who they are, doing what they now do. I was forced to call on my past interactions with faux management. You can always tell, almost on a primitive level when someone’s words don’t add up. There’s something to be said for becoming a strong person, a good leader, a good lover, etc.

…and I’m determined to focus on becoming the strongest version of myself in the mix of it all.

Satisfaction & Professional Alignment

Today marks the first day I seriously consider what I want long term. In the past I’ve always approached my professional aspirations in terms of what I could get. How much money, how little I might have to do for that money, etc. As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered, by way of having made little money and then lots of money, that money isn’t a primary motivator.

When I worked retail, all I wanted was a call centre job that would give me tons of overtime. The last two jobs that I have had have done exactly that. The one I am currently at has also allowed me plenty of time away and a comfortable environment. On the other hand though, the longer I continue to pursue the same thing (which is nothing at all), the more out of alignment I become with myself.

I attended a party on Saturday that really shifted my attitude from unconsciousness to presence. I began really utilizing some of the resources my workplace has offered and had time to shadow and talk with different departments. I realize and embrace that this all comes back on me, this entire process. I also know that at 22, this is the time to jump head first into something new.

I’m really considering where I want to be at 32, 42, 52, 62 and so forth. I know I won’t be pleased if I continue on this current path, though I know I have things to learn because of it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be unfolding quite this way.

Quitting Coffee and Challenging Addiction

So the other day, I didn’t make time to have any tea or coffee before I left the house. It was totally unplanned, yet amazingly liberating. Caffeine seems like such a harmless staple of the Western diet, something most people “depend” on to survive their day. At least that’s what they think.

I’ve realized that my struggle to maintain consistent change has come from a lack of focus historically. Perhaps that isn’t true. I was focused, just on thoughts and stories I was telling myself which did not benefit my larger-scale goals. For example, I looked forward to me morning coffee or my evening tea (herbal or caffeinated). It made me happy to sit there with a warm cup of deliciousness because it felt like such comfort.

On the other hand, I don’t like depending on substances. It’s not sustainable. On a high level, I consider it the same as needing a gram of cocaine to get through the day. At least that’s how it appears to be treated by society at large. Obviously the images in our minds of what these respective substances can do are quite different, but it’s nevertheless a similar attachment. It’s ultimately worse for caffeine or any sort of a food addiction because abstinence is not a viable option in many circumstances.

So it’s an interesting path, one I’m happy to be on. I know that ultimately I do want to be addiction free, and to continue challenging myself. It’s not like I ever did drugs, but I also spent way too much time clinging to ideas and subsequently a food addiction that’s clung to me for years.

I’m excited to say the least. I don’t think I’ve been this serious before.

UPDATE on November 29, 2013: I did not quit caffeine for any longer than that day. I reasoned that it was the lesser of my problematic habits, and that it benefits me at this point in my life. Will this always be the case? I hope not. Though it is what it is for now. There’s bigger fish to fry 😉

Altering Relationship Balances

My neighbour has stolen my mail in the past. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. Since I am enforced with this knowledge, I had made arrangements with a friend of mine where I could have my mail sent to her house and she’d deliver them to me. This friend and I have known eachother for three years and have had many good times together, and also some issues in the past. The other day she delivered a package to me and I was faced with a big thing; changing the balance between my giving too much and wanting to receive more.

This particular friend and I indulged a lot together. When I was in a more addicted mindset, I really went unconscious with eating, and essentially allowed myself to be used. I fed this woman umpteen times. I don’t even want to know how much I have spent as a byproduct of being around her. It’s not her fault, but I was faced with the challenge of facing awkwardness in my efforts to change our dynamic. When she used to deliver packages, it meant I’d pay her a bit and buy her dinner. Last night I relinquished to only buying coffee and paying. It might seem silly, but it was a huge shift. I honoured myself by not just giving in completely, and I’ve also exposed her to a change in how our friendship looks.

It gives her a change to adjust before I begin becoming more rigid with how much I give vs. how much I receive.

More to come on this topic foshizzle!

Perceived Truths

It is really interesting to me how simple it is to believe a story we tell ourselves. To think that so much suffering really comes back to how little time has been spent truly evaluating the things people think consistently about.

For example, I used to think I was too fat. I used to think that I was just nasty because I had a belly and my arms were a little flabby. I learned about this story to some extent, from social conditioning and the “perceived” beauty, but mostly from my own feelings in response to how I got that way. Nobody said any of this to me, mind you. I find a lot of girls lack the pressure of negative social feedback that generally pushes people into a different direction.

It took me mere minutes to diffuse my ideas about weight. It’s silly. My body’s awesome. I love my body. It digests food and grows my fingernails without me having to think about it. How awesome.

Oh, and interestingly enough, I’ve had no problem letting go of some of my terrible problem feelings, foods and thoughts. All by accepting that bodies are really awesome.

Three Ways I Overcame Mindless Spending

In February 2007, I met someone who would be integral to my personal success, especially in terms of finances. She was a 22 year old single mother who was incredibly driven and everything I would have wanted my mother / sister-type to be at that time. I was seriously lacking direction (haha, I was a whole 15!), and I really needed something to aspire to.
 
Through my friendship with her, I actually began to explore the reality of fiscal responsibility. Not for my parents, my friends or even the future me, but for who I was at that time. I needed money. To get there, I made some changes that I still utilize today. Interesting that in spite of insane progress, I’m still motivated by the same things. So here goes 🙂
 
1) Urgency. To me, the sense of “I need to build up my emergency fund”. I teetered back in forth, in and out of discipline until March 2009 when my roommate died. I saved $3000 in four months. The balance of how much I’m personally willing to do to avoid pain vs. gain pleasure.
 
2) The Older, Less Energetic Version of Me (formerly The Older, Less Pretty Version of Me). This one was my thoughts of being 66 working at McDonald’s. Not that there isn’t dignity in doing that, I don’t think anyone’s above doing any type of work. I just didn’t want to do it at 15 or 22 and I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself if I have to at 66. Or 50. Or ever haha.
 
3) Taking Care of My Child. This is one that came up more recently, but it resonates so deeply. I try to think of things in relation to finances (and health for that matter) as if I was doing it for my child. I would always make sure my child had a safe place to sleep and play. Healthy, quality food to eat as well as extracurricular things to do that would contribute to their growth. I’d also ensure they didn’t suffer because of my lack of discipline.
 
All of these things considered really drives me in terms of what I refer to as my “financial domination”. I don’t like saying discipline because it makes me feel restricted. Domination implies that you’re taking the driver’s seat with the affluence you are afforded (let’s not be silly, almost the entirety of Western civilization is amazingly affluent in contrast to the average on this planet).
 
I hope this helps inspire someone who reads this. I’m always inspired by these list type things, so I figured I’d create one!

Forced Expansion (Didn’t Like That Girl!)

At the end of August, I met a guy that I still think is adorable. He’s the kind of guy who’s pretty chill, he’s really friendly and he’s funny as hell. Assuming hell is funny, which I guess in some ways it could be (should Hell be capitalized like God? It’s not a place on a map, so I’ll leave it lower case for now). Anyhow, he and I totally clicked and had it not been for some minor details (where we were respectively in our lives), something could have become of the connection.

In many ways, I’m glad it didn’t. He wound up going back to Kelowna and is with a nice girl now. It’s okay because even though it was a very short time we were friends, he wound up exposing me to an interesting lesson.

From the time we met, he made it clear that he wanted me to meet this girl he’s friends with, let’s call her Suzie. The way he described her, she was uh… free spirited. Which I can appreciate, I fully support liberation of all sorts, but I had a weird feeling from the beginning. I reluctantly told myself that if I want to expand my social circle, I should challenge myself. So I did, I agreed to meet the notorious Suzie.

It was a beautiful afternoon during the first week of September when I met them all downtown (by them all I mean my friend, Suzie and her poor, beaten down boyfriend). I was apprehensive, which annoyed me. Why was I so bothered? It’s not like I was intimidated by this girl. I was older and more established, I swear! Anyhow, as soon as we all got together on a busy street downtown, I didn’t like the vibes coming from her. She immediately complained about walking to the restaurant we were going to try.

Now, I’m the first to appreciate a more brash type person, and I’m sure she’s a nice girl, but I don’t think complaining like a child makes a great first impression for anyone – myself included. I have been guilty of this in the past while surrounded by approval (her being with two guys she knows adore her).

Dinner was hella awkward. I sat there, almost trying to make sure everyone at the table saw me rolling my eyes. I realized an invaluable lesson in social expansion: Not everyone should be your friend. Anytime I have tried to force an interaction, it’s always gone really bad. Not by anything tangible, just feelings. I knew this girl was bad news for me to be around, and I accept it now. At the time I felt like shit. I even awkwardly excused myself from the occasion with the lame excuse “I have things to do.”

My behaviour was not stellar, admittedly. I wasn’t caring, I wasn’t patient and in fact I did not care. I accepted that not every relationship is meant to last, and the same goes for platonic ones. Some aren’t even meant to start.

I’m not a friend prude by any means, I like to think I have a diverse group of friends. Diverse and abundant enough that I don’t feel the need to attach mindlessly to anyone that expresses interest. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

P.S., my friend told me he didn’t know why she didn’t have any girlfriends. I took it upon myself to get real with him and tell him my thoughts on the subject. I still don’t think he gets it though. I really wish them both well, they helped me achieve clarity.