Listen up, 2013

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written an etiquette post (sorry!). But it’s also been a while since I’ve written, period. For this, I blame procrastination as well as an occasional lack of inspiration. If I have nothing interesting, inspiring or funny to say, then I don’t see the point in publishing a post that will essentially be the written equivalent of verbal diarhea. You’re welcome.

Anyway, back to the etiquette posts. People often assume that my social etiquette posts are a reflection of who I am as a person; they incorrectly peg me as angry or negative, bitchtacular and/or unhappy with life. My reponse to that? Fuck you. No, seriously. First of all, I’m happy for a variety of reasons, none of which I need to justify. Secondly, I don’t write to impress anyone, nor do I write to gain social acceptance. I write for myself. So if you don’t like what I have to say, you can take your judgemental ass to another blog. If you can’t detect the sarcasm and humour in my posts, or simply admit that I’m telling it like it is – expressing thoughts that you yourself may be thinking but can’t muster up the balls to express, then that’s not my problem. OK? OK. Oh shit. Did that sound angry? SO SORRY…

At this time last year, I embarked on a new journey that would allow me to continue my soul searching and inner ‘transformation,’ so to speak. As some of you may know, I’ve been practicing yoga since 2006, but it’s only in the last 2-3 years that I have truly immersed myself in my practice both physically and mindfully. This has yielded some tremendous benefits: clarity of mind, an inward calmness, physical well-being, spirituality and most importantly, self-awareness. It was my ongoing desire for self-awareness that led me to the idea of being mentored. More on that after the break… There has absolutely been a shift between how I felt/acted/reacted a few years ago and how I feel/act/react to things today. When I start getting stressed out, I find myself taking a few yoga breaths to chill out; when I’m faced with confrontation, or an asshole, I am able to step back and think about how I’m going to react to that person or situation. These days, I often don’t react at all, choosing to walk away or simply let go. I’ve learned to choose my battles, and often ask myself if something is really worth the energy or trouble. Trust me – this is HUGE progress for me. Anyway, in January 2012, I was feeling a tremendous amount of angst, frustration and anger at situations that I just didn’t know how to control. Actually, it wasn’t that I didn’t know how to control them, it was that there were so many of them – all of which impacted significant areas of my life. This certainly contributed to a negative state of mind. I WAS pissed off and no, I was NOT feeling the love. So… that’s one reason why I wrote so many etiquette posts when I started this blog, LOL. I was spending way too much time focusing on the negative rather than the positive. In the last year however, I have written very few etiquette posts… and I totally miss them!

In December 2012, I asked my friend and yoga teacher to mentor me. I wanted to work with someone who could be objective, and with whom I connected and shared common interests with. Choosing to be mentored is a big decision because it means you need to be honest with yourself and with your mentor. In many ways, it means that you have to be vulnerable to another person because let’s face it – if you don’t open up about your shit, you’re not going to get anywhere. In our first session, B and I talked about the specific areas/goals that I wanted to address/accomplish, and for one year, we focused on these, discussing ways to improve upon them, see what worked and what didn’t, adjusting goals accordingly. Flash forward to now. Big difference between how I felt last year and how I feel now. Did anything significant happen? Not really. I believe that we all have room to improve and my personal goal has always been to be the best person that I can be, and I have been working hard to change the areas in my life that I felt needed changing.  Sometimes that means changing my mindset or attitude. Sometimes it means staring my shit in the face and truly seeing what’s there. Sometimes it means being tested – and how I react will tell me who I am and what I’m made of.  I de-cluttered my life to make room for new and exciting possibilities. I realized that I have to be patient because shit won’t change until the time is right. I learned that progress is good and that it’ sthe building stone to greater things. I walked away from relationships that were going nowhere and hadn’t been going anywhere since who the fuck knows. I got rid of the energy vampires. I stopped feeling guilty about no longer investing my time in people who for all intents and purposes, didn’t give a shit about me.  It’s not always easy to walk away from people, but if you find yourself on the receiving end of nothing, what’s the point? I can focus my energy on things that are way more important like yoga or chocolate. So at the end of 2012, I set positive intentions relative to the goals I want to accomplish this year and I started 2013 off feeling super positive and energized.  This past weekend I had my first mentoring session of 2013 with B and he is definitely my gauge; he’s in a much better position to see the changes in me than I am, and he points these out to me on a regular basis. Right now, I feel great. I feel balanced.

Now, this is all fine and dandy, but it makes writing bitchy and sarcastic etiquette posts much more difficult!  But do not fear – I’m working on a new etiquette post now. After all, I can’t let my gift of sarcastic wit go to waste, can I?

[I can't remember where I found this image!]

[I can’t remember where I found this image!]

The Truth of the Matter

You’re probably not surprised to hear that I’ve had writer’s block for the last couple of months. I’ve given this problem a lot of thought lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got too many thoughts in my head, thus, making it difficult to neatly compartmentalize them and write cohesively. BUT Spring is upon us and I’m a big fan of Spring cleaning, so why not clear the cobwebs from my brain and get on with the writing already?

Six years ago, I embarked on a journey that was largely fueled by a need to reprogram my mind and body so that stress would no longer be a source of torment for me, both physically and mentally. I’d reached the point where my body was reacting very, very strongly against the amount of stress that I was imposing upon it and something had to give. When you find yourself (seriously) thinking that you’re going to be the cause of your own heart attack at the early age of 32, you know you’ve got to get off your ass and change the things in your life that are negatively impacting you.  The problem was that I spent a lot of time inside my own head – so while much of my stress was caused by a third party, a shit load came from my own self.  I found myself wishing for an OFF switch on numerous occasions, but sadly no such thing existed. Damn it! Do I have to solve all of the world’s problems myself?!  Anyway, being unsuccessful in finding the much sought after OFF switch, and not really knowing what might help alleviate all my stress and unnecessary over-thinking, I opted to try yoga. Now, I should tell you that the mere thought of yoga stressed me out. Why? Err… well I’m more of the kick-boxer type and I was seriously convinced that the act of yoga itself would stress me the hell out . When I first tried it, I hated it. It was way too slow and I saw no value in it whatsoever. I was still stressed out, still thinking too much and still assuming I’d have a heart attack ‘any day now.’  Eventually I discovered two yogis whose style spoke to me, and I decided to try yoga again. It took a while (OK, a few years) but thankfully, I  began feeling the benefits of maintaining a regular yoga practice, and I  eventually grasped the concept of letting go. It took a LONG time for me to get there – I like to be in control so ‘letting go’ was a foreign concept to me. At some point on the road to enlightenment, I learned that my need to be in control was fueled by my ego. That bastard!

Two years ago, my yogic efforts came to fruition, when my yoga practice became more about the spiritual journey and less about the pursuit of physical perfection. It’s true – while I started doing yoga to help me relieve stress, I was also (mainly) doing it to lose weight/be fit. But the more I practiced, the more I realized that yoga grounds me. It helps to de-clutter my mind and offers  me a form of clarity that I haven’t experienced before. It allows me to turn inward and reflect upon myself – whether it’s a shituation I’ve found myself in, an energy boost that I need or simply some quiet time to help me refocus.  Yoga makes me feel amazing, and as a result, my spirit is much calmer and my stress is almost non-existent (I said ALMOST people). I am grateful for discovering something that yields benefits in so many different ways – and it’s definitely more sane then a drug addiction, right!? =-D

Funny where my yoga practice has led me…. In 2011, I met a local yoga teacher that I’d heard a lot about via Lululemon. Coincidentally, we ‘met’ via the blogosphere, when I randomly came across his web site. A light went off when I saw his name – what were the odds that I’d find this guy via a Google search?  Now, I don’t believe in coincidences, so I knew that our paths crossing had to mean something.’ And so I reached out to him; Bram (who I’ve mentioned here before) has been giving me private yoga classes every couple of months for the last year or so. I’ve been learning a lot from him both on and off the mat, so when I decided that 2012 was going to be my year of change, I asked him to mentor me. I have changed a lot in the last two years; my focus is very much on the positive, on letting go of my shit and not sweating the small stuff. Essentially, if I have no control over ‘it’ then ‘it’ isn’t worth stressing over.  I am seeking enlightenment. Joy. Wholeness. So it was important to me to work with someone who had positive energy, whose vibe I felt and who could relate to where I was and where I want to go. I am in the process of examining various areas of my life – some of which will lead me to specific goals, while others involve a closer look at myself. One of the areas that has been on my mind a lot is relationships. Or specifically, my relationships.

For some time now, I have felt unsatisfied with many of my friendships (not all, but a lot). When I think about how much time and effort I have invested in people who don’t seem to reciprocate or even give a shit, it makes me tired. I’m tired of making efforts to keep friendships going, tired of doing all the reaching out, of being the event coordinator (otherwise we never each each other), tired of being understanding when they don’t have time to see me, tired of listening to one-side conversations about other peoples’ lives/problems/whatever, tired of getting little if any support for things that are important to me but not important to them. Am I the perfect friend? No, of course not.  I can be self-absorbed or negative or cranky just like anyone else. But I am PRESENT in my relationships, and I am loyal to my friends. I very much believe that relationships are two-way streets and that both parties must make an effort to nurture the friendship if it is to evolve, otherwise it will disintegrate. That said, I’m not the same person I was two years ago – but the people of which I speak have no idea because they haven’t been present. So perhaps that’s the answer; I realized a while ago that it might be time to move on from certain relationships. It looks like now is that time.

Goal #1 = Accomplished!

 

What’s your take on relationships? How do you make yours work?

 

Peace out,

A

 

 

Etiquette for the Online Stalker. Err, Dater…

Personally, I’m not a fan of online dating and I have very little interest in going down that road. I prefer to meet men naturally – in a coffee shop, in HMV, walking down the street. To me, dating sites are the online version of a meat market, though be it a much larger, more viral one. I’ve had a few conversations recently with friends and acquaintances who opted to try the online dating scene; based on their feedback, I had enough material to put together a brand new etiquette post – for all those guys out there who think they’re the online shit. In order to write this in the first person, I had to put myself in my friends’ shoes, and then conjure up my inner b*tch for effect 😀

Not Hooked on Phonics: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! If you’re trying to impress someone online, whether they be man, woman or animal, and you opt to email or IM that person, how about you get off your lazy ass and: 1) use full sentences, 2) use proper spelling, 3) throw in a little punctuation for good measure? Unless the recipient of your email/IM is as daft (or lazy) as you are, you ain’t impressing nobody.

To All the Illiterates I’ve Never Loved Before (and likely never will): Dear Smoker and father to nine children, if you read my profile prior to initiating contact with me, you would know that I don’t date smokers, nor do I want kids – not mine or anyone else’s. You would also know that unlike you, I am not a fan of Enrique Iglesias or Leona Lewis. I like Nine Inch Nails and Led Zepplin. Still think we’re a match made in heaven? Read the damn profile first! You’ll save yourself and your victims a lot of time.

The Invisible Font Phenomenon
: Here’s what’s going to happen – you’re going to send me an email with ‘Hi’ in the subject. You won’t write anything else in that email – not one damn word! I will then proceed to delete your email because your lazy ass couldn’t be bothered to write anything useful in said email. Tip: If you don’t want to write, then stick to IMs, where it’s acceptable not to write full sentences or use punctuation, and keep your questions/responses to a four-word minimum.

Stalktastic: Listen dumbass – if you email me and I don’t respond, there might be a reason. Like, you’re not my type, we don’t share the same interests, or you look like a stalker. Please don’t IM me – if I didn’t respond to your email it’s not because I’m playing hard to get – it’s because I’m not interested. I will proceed to reject your incoming IM. Do not follow that up with another fucking email! Also, if you email me every time I log on, it will soon become apparent that you’re stalking me! Stop it!

Ignorance is Bliss: To further elaborate on the above point – if I don’t respond to your email, it means I’m not interested. Stop sending me follow-up emails to tell me that I’m a rude b*tch I am for not responding to you. Get over yourself – you’re not my fucking type! Dude, move on!

Going To the Chapel: I know this is difficult to comprehend – but not every single woman in her thirties wants to get married. At least not within five minutes of chatting with you. Chill OUT. Similarly, don’t invite me to dinner at your place or ask me to come over and show you how to do yoga – I don’t know you and I may never want to know you beyond this chat window!

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words: OK, here’s what doesn’t impress a girl: Pictures of you on or in your car/ truck/ motorcycle/ boat/ ATV – if you’re that attached to your vehicle then maybe you should date it. Pictures of you with no shirt on, wearing only your boxers/briefs/Speedos, working out or posing, or pictures of your random body parts. If you like yourself that much, then just date yourself – I’m sure the two of you will be very happy together. And lastly, pictures of you with your ex-wife/ ex-girlfriend – honestly, why the hell would you even post those when you’re trying to win over a chick?

Words Are Worth 1000 Words: Look, if you can’t carry a conversation via chat, my guess is you can’t carry one in real life either.  If you sound like an idiot when you type, no one will want to meet you. Furthermore, please cut the attempts at intellectual bullshit – trying to appear ‘philosophical’ or mysterious just confuses you and everyone else because half the time, you make no damn sense. Just talk!

I Think Therefore I Am: Maybe if you were more creative, you’d get more hits. Openers like “I might be the one you’re looking for,” “You won’t be disappointed” or “Looking for the one” are so incredibly generic – there are about 10,000 other guys using the exact same line. Try a little originality why don’t you.

Have any of you checked out the online dating scene? If so, what was your experience like? And for those of you haven’t, what do you think about this way of meeting members of the opposite sex?

Got something to say? Speak!

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So I’m Single… And?

Murphy’s Law seems to stipulate that if you like a guy, that guy will almost always not like you back. So, when that happens, why can’t we just let it go? Why must we go out of our way to seek out his affection or draw attention to ourselves when the feeling’s not mutual? In my personal opinion, it’s just not worth it. If I show interest and a guy doesn’t, I move on. I don’t waste my time or my energy – after all, I could be doing yoga or hanging out with my friends. Not so when I was younger of course – but I suppose the difference now is that I’m past that awkward teen to early twenties stage and have nothing to prove to anyone. Got a boyfriend? Great! Don’t got a boyfriend? Also great! Perhaps this is why I’ve been voluntarily single for the last four years. Don’t get your panties in a bunch – four years is not dramatic. I made the choice to be single and it’s something that I’m quite happy with. After my last relationship ended, I took some time to reconnect with myself and I realized that I had no desire to be in a relationship. Just thinking about it gave me a headache. Did I really want the aggravation, the stress and the complications that a guy brought to my life? No thank you!  Sure, I’ll admit that dating a big fat baby who still lived at home, and who allowed his parents to dictate every aspect of his life because he didn’t have a penny to his name helped me make that decision, but I’d like to clearly state that I don’t have it out for men. I am not a man hater and for the most part, I don’t lump them all into the same category. I’m older and wiser now (side note: I remember very clearly what my mantra was in my late teens – “Men suck!.” My, how things have changed!). Simply put, the thought of being in a relationship turns me off. Right now, I am all about simplicity, independence and keeping it real. Besides, having to deal with a new relationship would take away from my ongoing search for zenitude.

The truth is, I have always been my own person. While I may have made the mistake of staying in a relationship knowing that I probably shouldn’t, I’ve never let a man define me and I never will. Similarly, it will be one cold day in hell before I ever identify or label myself as ‘single.’ I am independent, intelligent, loyal, and strong. I am many things but I am not ‘single.’ This word does not define me as it seems to do for some women. I am always amazed at the number of women who seem to think that being single is some kind of characteristic or flaw – or worse – a curse! Women who focus so intently on this that it becomes all-consuming. Give me a break. Is it really that big a deal to be single? Do they shoot single people now? Are you looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? Because there IS a difference. Personally, I’ve never felt like I needed a man in order to be happy, or self-sufficient. I feel that there is a vast difference between ‘want’ versus ‘need’, and I’m not a fan of the word ‘need’ unless it involves getting U2 tickets. To me, ‘need’ implies that you cannot live without something (such as U2 tickets) whereas ‘want’ is more of a… ‘nice to have.’ Sure I want it, but I can live without it. It is therefore very difficult for me to identify with women who have the ‘need’ mentality because I just don’t get it. Seriously, it’s a foreign concept to me. Rather then focusing on finding a man, why not focus on other things in your life? Work out, see your friends, travel, shoot photos, try different things – there are so many great things that we can invest our time and effort into and they don’t have to involve the hunt for the perfect man. I wonder if men waste as much time as we do thinking about how they need to find a woman. I doubt it.

I mentioned earlier that I don’t need a man in order to be happy. I truly believe this; no matter who you are with, it is not your partner’s responsibility to make you happy. Happiness comes from within, and you must first be happy with yourself before you can ever be happy with someone else. I’m very happy with my life. If I was to date someone (this would mean breaking my 4-year hiatus) and things were going well then I could only hope to feel happier with my life. Meaning that I am already happy… and having a great guy to share my happiness with would simply make me happier. I cannot stress this difference enough! I don’t believe that one can find happiness in other people. And if you stop to think about it, that is putting a heck of a lot of pressure on your partner, and they are likely never going to live up to your expectations. I think relationships are about compromising so that at the end of the day, both parties are happy with the relationship, and with themselves.

I’m more of a go-with-the-flow type of gal. I believe that if something is meant to be, then it will be. If the right guy’s out there, then I will find him or he will find me. As the old adage goes, it’ll happen when you least expect it, so in the meantime, go and have some fun!

Making new friends at FAO Shwartz!