Freedum Yo.

Recently I have adopted another best friend. He’s really cool and we’re on the exact same wavelength in terms of creativity, values, preferences and aspirations. It got me thinking about what I did that led me to this awesome friendship, or to my awesome relationship I have recently acquired.

What did I do to prepare for this greatness? The only thing I could resolve is that I managed to soften enough and allow enough abundance that I could freely appreciate people in my life without confining expectation. I would say without any expectation, but that’s a lie. I expect people to have a base level of respect, but allow them to make mistakes of course. Mostly. ūüėČ

This whole thing got me interested in what else I could apply this to. For example, at times I feel chained to my job. Like I wouldn’t be able to make a drastically different decision as to what I’m investing my time in, for fear of what I’d potentially lose. What could I gain if I simply began to feel more free about things. If I ultimately let go of whatever I could to move on to the next step. Hmmm. Something to consider.

Commitment to the Situation

I recently¬†have found myself in a relationship. Initially I experienced some resistance to this as it has¬†never felt quite this way in the past. It was overwhelming, amazing and frightening all at the same time. I had to realize where I was coming from. Once upon a time¬†I didn’t resonate with¬†experiencing or¬†observing happy, healthy relationships. I¬†imagined they existed, but the¬†stories and¬†turmoil that seemed to come from the¬†vast majority acted as a deterrent.
 
This situation is different, however. It has caused me to really evaluate the kind of woman I want to be in this situation. It got me thinking about abundance and being committed to the situation. I would never want my significant other (or anyone I’m close with for that matter) to feel like the love I had was contingent upon how I feel they should behave. That’s not to say that they can run over 15 babies and I won’t be bothered, but I encourage and embrace individuality, even if their idea of it isn’t something I resonate with. The way I choose to see it is that life is absolutely abundant. Up until I chose to become involved with this person, I had been experiencing physical evidence of relationship abundance. During the weeks leading up to it, the bonds I shared with friends and family strengthened significantly. I began to take my responsibility seriously, my commitment to those I love.
 
The interesting thing I’ve been considering is this: When it comes to being faithful as a friend or lover, to do it for myself, not for the others. What I mean is that if I am committed to a relationship, I commit primarily for myself. I may commit to them, but my loyalty is to my standards and what I share with that person. My committment is to encourage, support and believe in their aspirations. To share experiences with and to grow with the person I have chosen. For me, this line of thinking is very effective because it makes me completely accountable for my own feelings. I no longer resist feelings of lack or control, but I simply let them go. It frees the people around me from feeling like I have expectations of how they should behave because I know their behaviour is not reflective of where I am personally.
 
Perhaps my ideas are unusual, but I feel they are valid. One of my primary objectives this year is to cultivate a sense of appreciation for the process of becoming the most fulfilled version of myself, and this is a huge part of it. 

The Beginning of the Year

It’s been an absolutely insane month and a bit since I last updated. My life has changed in so many ways, I’m not entirely sure of where to begin. I suppose the most fitting place would be in the realm of relationships. I found my extra special someone and I feel amazing about it. He’s literally everything I have ever asked for and we’re both excited that we met.
 
An interesting point is that I know how I managed to find this amazing fellow. Primarily based around becoming more abundant with relationships, in late 2013 I began to challenge myself to meet and network with people without expectation. I let go of the lacking feelings that kept me flustered for so long and voila! Man arrived. I really couldn’t be happier.
 
The abundance continued into 2014, with my close relationships becoming more valuable and in short, of more significance. This is directly correlated to my willingness to let that happen, to allow those bonds to strengthen. Someone told me once that I am a relational caregiver, something I hadn’t begun to understand until now.
 
I’m scared. I’m scared of change a lot of the time, which is amazing. Absolutely amazing. ¬†

Bye Fool!

I was recently contacted by a ridiculously cute fling of mine circa June 2012. We’d met in February of that year and hit it off right away, constantly flirting and being all sweet. Deep down I knew it wasn’t serious, but like the 20-year-old me at the time was projecting all sorts of ideas that just weren’t factual. The original ending came shortly after some things happened, and he slowly faded away. At the time I was immersed in everything I could be, so it wasn’t such a hard hit. Well it kind of was, but only in the way that something artificial could be. It’s simply what you think about it that makes it tough.
 
Moving on, he and I didn’t talk for over a year. June 2012 to September 14, 2013 when he messaged me on Facebook. Facebook is awesome in that it has messages from ‘friends’ in one folder, and messages under ‘other’ from …not-friends. It was October 15, 2013. I had to triple check what year the message was from. The message itself was thoughtful and well written, with him wondering why we ever stopped being “friends”. This kills me. I like to think of myself as a liberal person in most contexts. I love individuality and whenever people embrace their truth. I admire those who live louder than I do, not seeming to care what others think. However, some of my ideals aren’t always fitting in practice for my own life. One of those ideals is FWB (friends with benefits), or sex with friends. I don’t really flirt with friends, and when I do, there’s no sexual drive behind it. At least not on my part. In my experience, I have found it particularly troublesome to try to maintain a meaningful friendship with boundaries once the boundaries have been violated. I’m not saying that it¬†can’t work, it simply hasn’t for me.
 
Anyhow, this guy is the king of the fade out. Well, maybe the prince of the fade out. He’d come around for a bit, texting me, doting on me a bit and reverting to the flirting that once had potential. I always responded with caution since that sort of approach is always suspicious at first. What was he thinking, I’d totally revert back and put out or something? Foolish man! I simply humoured him when I felt like talking, which wasn’t as often as before.
 
November 28, he texts me incessantly for about 20 minutes. I was busy, and when I returned, I saw 7 texts. I responded and we talked a bit about superficial things. I became annoyed when he said “I recently just got myself a girlfriend, I can’t flirt with you anymore.”, which annoyed me at first, but then became laughter because I literally had no more interest in him as a potential partner. I also never initiated flirting, nor had participated in it in over a year. I made a conscious decision to let go of this individual. Perhaps he is a good guy at heart, but it’s clearly not a fit for something more substantial as it shouldn’t be this difficult to maintain friendship. I explained to him how being “friends” didn’t feel like the right thing for me anymore.
 
I had a moment, a shift moment because of this. A branch that had been extended seemingly indefinitely at one point, was cut off. I was free of the role I played in the past. I was not required to greet him warmly anymore, as I feel abundant and free with my relationships now. Everything that’s been happening for me as of late has been part of a natural feeling evolution, and I felt such relief letting this thing go. In fact I giggled as I did it, which to my signifies that it is the right move at this time. Maybe several years down the road we’ll meet again in alternate circumstance. Though if we don’t, I still wish him and his girlfriend the best.¬†

Quality of Work / Output

Lately I have been becoming gradually more conscious of the quality of output in the workplace. Primarily an assessment of my own performance, but I’ve also been considering the contribution and influence of the workplace collective. If you’ve ever worked anywhere consistently, or in similar environments, you know the different types of workers. There are those who do the absolute minimum, those in between, and those who work hard regardless of workplace circumstance. My focus is on the latter, those who are good, consistent workers wherever they are. I’ve known a few, and I always admired them. I always felt like whatever they told themselves to stay motivated was obviously more effective and better-serving than those who slacked.

Those who slack don’t realize that while they may “get away” with slacking, they don’t in reality. Their lack of output is noticed, and it’s a drain on the workplace. These types are so common however, that in lower-ranking jobs (ie. frontline customer service) where turnover is high, these people are more accepted as part of the average. The interesting thing is that the role and the amount of effort does not truly correlate. From my experience, I have seen people who make $25,000 a year work thrice as “hard” as someone who makes $70,000 or $80,000 a year. Granted it is a different type of work we’re referring to, with the $70,000 – $80,000 a year role (in the average company anyway) would likely partake in more high-level output, rather than more direct result frontline the $25,000 role would pay.
 
As I’ve matured, I’ve begun to see that¬†I typically fall in between slacking and exerting effort above and beyond. It depends largely on factors such as whether I find the work challenging, rewarding, fulfilling, etc., or if I am complacent and unhappy. Variety is the key for me, and always challenging myself. I do my best to maximize my output as well as limit costs for the company I work for. Although the sick time is paid and some abuse it, I don’t see those resources as appearing out of thin air. I see it as a pool that is far above me, which allows me to prosper to the degree that I am contributing to the overall image. That’s only my perception though, and not at all something that anyone else is responsible for adopting. The same goes for the quality of output in the workplace or in life overall.
 
Everything that happens goes through a filter of beliefs and pre-determined judgment based on someone’s reference points. What they have found works, they tend to stick with. It makes sense. Before recently assuming my new role, I was falling a bit into the lazy-midway point. The variety and challenge that came with the new role has revitalized my effort and my overall expenditure in life.¬†

Re-Energized Weight Shed

Weight is a funny thing. For most people, it’s so gradual that you gain 5, 10, 15, even 30 lbs. Most don’t even see it happening, myself included. I mean, you know. You have to know, but when you look in the mirror, it’s tough to see something so gradual influence the way you see what you see. In my case, I’m fortunate in the sense that I proportion weight quite well. I am actually significantly heavier than I look, so when I gain 5 or 10 lbs, it’s easy not to notice. In August, I’d shed 20 lbs in 21 days. Or 21 lbs in 20 days, I can’t quite remember. What motivated that was some implied judgment from a doctor (to clarify, he said I was healthy, but he merely was excited to hear me say I intended to shed the excess weight). This clued me in to what motivates me.
 
This time however, the motivation came last night. I was talking to a friend about this shirt I made, and he asked to see it on me. I positioned my camera to take a picture and I saw my figure. While still sort of a figure, it was certainly not as slim as it was the last time I took a picture of this caliber. I looked fat. Hella fat in my eyes. Whether I am fat to anyone I know or value the opinion of, doesn’t matter. For me, I take full responsibility for things that happen in my life. Whether that’s my health, my financial situation or my relationships. I also know that I should hover around a specific range for my optimal weight, all things factored in.
 
November 26, 2013 is Day 1 of my rehabilitation. I hope to take it reasonably slow and steady, and to stay conscious about the objective at hand. At the end of the day, weight (as with health, finances, relationships and professional success)¬†is a result of everything that contributed to its creation. The same way that I created this situation, I can reverse it and make the minor adjustments in my mindset toward maintaining consciousness about the whole thing. I know what I need to do to shed the weight itself, but I’m serious about wanting better for myself. More serious than I have been in the past.
 
I believe people are continually improving, and that ultimately the key thing is to feel like you are making progress. In reality, I don’t think most people expect to be supermodels or millionaires. I think they just want to be better off than they feel they are currently. There are always exceptions, but the vast majority is pretty much the same from my experience.
 
Excitement is the theme for this new year. As 2013 is winding down, I am starting to consider the sort of woman I want to be in 2014. I turn 23 in August, and I am feeling so emotional about the whole thing. Positive emotions of course, but emotional nonetheless. I’m turning over a new leaf in my life. There’s the new position I started on November 19, the vastly improved dating life, and improved platonic relationships. This change should fit in perfectly.¬†

Is it Really That Hard?

I’m feeling re-inspired. Something I’ve really been considering lately is our perception of how difficult a given task can be, as opposed to the reality. What skills would one need to have to be considered valuable in that role, or offering that service?
 
Recently I spoke with someone in a leadership role whom I really admire about breaking social barriers. There is a window of time between becoming aware of someone and actually getting to know someone. If it exceeds that short time, it’s harder to establish rapport. I’m trying to limit just how many of those interactions I have. My friend discussed how she simply threw herself into it. Whenever she saw an opportunity, she found some way to be genuinely interested in the other person. If you’re sincere, it doesn’t seem contrived. She explained that she realized soon after becoming part of the group, that people were giving very clear signals as to how they saw things. If they were isolated, she knew she had to approach them differently than if they were laughing loudly with coworkers.
 
I found her advice about throwing myself into it really inspiring. It had me asking “is it really that hard to establish something special, superficial or otherwise with an aquaintance?”. The answer I came to was that it wasn’t too hard, as long as I maintained my willingness to adapt. Is it challenging? Yes, but it’s absolutely worth it.¬†
 
Interestingly enough, I received two invites that would put me in very social situations. Guess what? I’m going to try to attend both (incidentally they’re both in the same day, so I’ll see!).¬†