Time to Get off the Bitter Train

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red_train_by_andrada1349-d30lwleTime and time again I post articles on here that are relevant to me, my friends, family and hopefully you. Sometimes they are written in the heat of the moment and sometimes they are thoughtfully stored away until I am ready to post. Well, funnily enough one of the most recent ones was in a very frustrated heat of the moment, well, moment (for lack of a better word) and the other, I guess I just thought it was a good segway for something previously penned.

That being said, I suppose the frustration I was feeling conveyed itself through my words. Here and there I forget that sometimes friends are following this too. I write it for the everyday man, but fail to remember that it is an outlet to more than just the outside world, but to my inner one as well. Oddly enough, I had already written and chosen the next post, but for my old friend who offered me a pint without mention of children, life or love – well, this one’s for you.

I don’t consider myself to be a bitter person. Over the years I have realized that life can get complicated, nobody is perfect and all we can do is forgive ourselves. I often walk away from jobs, relationships, friendships and family dysfunction with a pretty open mind. Well, at least in the last seven years I have. (I may have had a wee bit of teenage and mid-twenties angst. Guilty as charged)

About 3 years ago I realized I was imperfect and started forming a plan to live life on my own terms because I’m probably the only one who will be around until the end. I didn’t know exactly what it would hold, but I did know it may be difficult and would take a lot of trial and error. I was okay with that though. I was okay with the unknown versus being judged all the time for making the wrong decisions.

The problem with that is the way you think things may play out and the way they actually do are very different. I expected to be a little broken for a while and pick myself back up. The thing about life is you can’t always predict what you might feel when or how somebody else will act. And unfortunately you can’t control your urge to want to “win” at the short-term game even though you know it means nothing in the long one.

When things don’t go the way your little Virgo brain predicted, that curveball can really mess with your psyche. Anger, sadness, bitterness and melancholy are feelings you didn’t expect to, or want to be feeling. Particularly with your new “Zen” attitude.  But, here’s a secret. It’s inevitable. Human beings feel things. Logic and emotion are at times separate. And years later it had only come full-circle. I had arrived back to exactly where I started on this journey and in some ways better, in some ways worse.

I’ve spent many wasted hours upset over things I could not control. I’ve wasted many tears missing the past, being angry about the present and doubting my worth. I’ve pondered why things happened,  I’ve also smiled at the simple stuff. But, in the end…isn’t that what this is all about? Two steps forward and one step back is a pretty good mantra for life.  There is no magic “one day” where you are perfectly content because it isn’t real. You can meet the love of your life and still get a migraine, you can break your leg and still win the lottery. Life is a puzzle, a conundrum, a game waiting to be played and a song waiting to be sung.

So, I’m going to try harder to forgive myself for my wasted thoughts and wasted fears and love myself for making it through with more stories, skills and ambitions under my belt. A new (wordy) friend of mine said that life is like a dance and that dancing is good for the soul…even if the dancing isn’t so good. I think I like it.

The Ginga Ninja

Problems are not Stop Signs, They are simply Guidelines.

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Recently, I had a moment. I know, I know…I’ve had many moments. But, once upon a time I believed in Signs. I really believed that each and 41GP0ARiPvL._SY300_every thing was interrelated. Things happened for a reason, karma is real and that sometimes fate nudges you in the very direction you were meant to go.

Now, the good thing about this is that sometimes I can steer others in the right direction. I can look at all the pieces of the puzzle and stay extremely positive about the path they are meant to take. I’m GREAT at giving others clairvoyant direction. The bad thing about this is there are times that ignorance can be bliss…and when you get a prickly feeling when bad things happen…very rarely do you get to live in that bliss. Now, that’s a bummer because suddenly you dig to find out what in your world has gone wrong, and you know what? If you dig deep enough, something usually has.

However, probably the biggest downfall of living in this world is when you follow the wrong signs. When you are contemplating two roads diverged and you start looking for signals – sometimes maybe what you are seeing are simply signs that have twisted in the wind, or were put there by evil OZ monkeys and wiley coyotes. Sometimes when you read the omens fate has sent instead of carving your own path, well it may be coincidence or it may simply be poor reading. I mean, we can choose to see things that we are looking for, right?

I guess an example of this would be when I was contemplating next steps in a relationship and I started to crush on an old friend. It was the wrong decision. Most thought we were both different people now and like Christopher and Lorelai in Gilmore Girls, maybe it would work this time. I chose to see things, (that probably had I been a little less aware) …wouldn’t have been there at all. Examples of this would be that right when I found myself getting jealous about his wife, new dog and house – poof, he separated. When I sat in my car and thought about how the song “Falling Slowly” would be such a good song for us – it came on in the car, and then later still, he started playing it on the guitar.

stock-vector--red-signs-vector-47244244Sometimes, a sign is not a sign at all, but maybe a warning. Safety Directions, Stop Signs, Train Lights…they are all big flashing warnings and it’s up to us whether to read them right. If we are looking for the wrong signs (the person on the other side of the train tracks urging us over) we will find them. I mean, when you get a black car, suddenly everyone seems to have a black car! I have a secret, it’s not because there are more black cars, it’s because you are so much more aware of something that you never were before. It’s all about Perception.

So, are signs always good, are signs always bad? No. It’s up to you to be aware enough to see them and also up to you to be smart enough to read them.

Maybe the absence of a sign is a sign.  Maybe there is no fate and if there is, it’s not working for ME. – Jonathan Trager, Serendipity

The Ginga Ninja

Missing your spoon or shovel?

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red-buddha (1)I’ve always been the first to believe in signs. To believe in signs, larger meanings, karmic justice…you name it, I’ve thought it. I can list off a finite number of times I received karmic justice, but not always. No, not always.

Well, today I find myself sitting here thinking there is no deeper meaning or destiny. It is all chance and the actions of individuals. Their risks, their kindness, their anger, their selfishness. Go out and be all that you can be, but don’t believe you are destined to be it. Go out and risk and take challenges not because those will bring you where you are meant to go, but maybe because they will bring you where you never intended to.

I’m tired. I’m tired of waiting for some bigger thing to evolve. It’s not going to happen. This is just the way it is. And I’m so tired of people telling you to keep dating and keep waiting for that all-hallowed match. Don’t settle. Don’t be scared. Don’t be shy. Know what I think? Be whatever you want to be. Do whatever you want to do. If you want to settle – settle! If you don’t want to settle, be prepared for a life potentially alone. Because to be completely honest and completely bitter…the ride on the way to meeting somebody great is a soul-sucking, exhausting, anti-adventure that only the foolish will follow.

Okay, okay. I realize this is all a little pessimistic for my newfound enlightenment, but today I am mad. I am mad because I managed to reconnect with somebody to only have 2 weeks and 3 failed date attempts later him decide the universe didn’t want us together. The universe? You bailed because you were tired, grumpy and ditched me for better plans. So, in the end he wanted to cut our losses while we were ahead (Ahem..our) because though he wanted to go out, he just didn’t believe it was meant to be. Let’s be honest about why, because the universe is intervening or your selfish nature is? Either way, in the end he said he wanted to end with no hard feelings and on good terms – smiley face. My answer? I think good terms may be a bit of an overstatement.

Sure, I’m as rational as the rest of them and have realized holding out for something to work out is like waiting for a third limb to grow out of my ass, but don’t try to feed me bullshit and tell me it tastes good. You get out of life the effort you put into it…or so they say. That in itself may not even be true. Just realize you will have good days and bad and sometimes life just ain’t fair. People ain’t fair. Timing ain’t fair. Circumstance ain’t fair. Maybe there is no bigger meaning to it all. Just surviving can be your indicator for success, well that and maybe managing to leave some ice cream in the damn container.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. – Albert Einstein

The Ginga Ninja

 

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Where’s Freud when you need him?

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freud-illustrationAwhile back I tried to write a post about dreams. The problem? It was only a dream.

I’m kidding. The problem was that I was having so many at the time – holding hands with friends, spooning strangers, random people and sad situations…it was a very long and complicated entry; one I always thought I would edit when things were a little more clear. Instead I’m starting over. The other morning I woke up from some very strange and unsettling dreams. Nothing overly bad happened, but sometimes you gotta wonder – what exactly is your subconscious trying to tell you?

My buddy Sigmund Freud is considered the Daddy of Dream Decoding. He believed that nothing happened by chance and that every action and thought is motivated by your unconscious at some level. http://www.dreammoods.com/dreaminformation/dreamtheory/freud.htm

I awoke from a dream where I was at a party with a lot of my old friends. Correction, my ex-boyfriend’s friends, but once we broke up they slowly left my life. It’s sad, but hey, it’s life. Anyhoo, I was catching up with them all – slowly making my way around the room to find out where they lived, who was married, who broke up, their 3rd careers…you know, the usual coming of age fare. It was nice, except for my ex beau and his new squeeze were fuzzily in the background avoiding me like the plague, or more accurately, barely aware I even existed.

Fast forward time, as dreams often do and suddenly we were in my apartment (which was really a hotel room) and I was having an after party. For some reason I owned two places and was being told that I had to give this one up (ha – as if I could ever afford that) – but, this very loft that has helped liberate and create who I am today. A lot of lonely nights and a lot of blog entries have existed here, but a lot of independence too. Like usual, there were now two roads diverged.

But, in that room were a few of those friends, an annoying new suitor, my ex and even the boy before him. When I awoke, it seemed so real, having the two lost loves in the same room. The one was chatty and friendly, like he was in real life…the other hard to read and silent… like he also was in the flesh and blood. My feelings about them in the dream were reminiscent of my feelings about them in life. The one that is more resolved left the room and left it in a friendly way. The one that may or may not hate my guts sat there quietly and mysteriously not saying a word.

I told a couple of people about my mixed feelings when I awoke. It all felt so real. It made me for about an hour want my old life back. It made me for about an hour want my ex-boyfriend back. It made me for about an hour feel like nothing had changed, when really everything has changed. Dreaming about an ex can mean many things – feelings unresolved, the desire for affection, missing a relationship, entering a new one, or even meeting somebody who reminds you of them. Usually they are proposing, you are kissing, they are dying…but very rarely are they just there. I’ve dreamt about them separately and at times with confusion, but never, ever have I dreamt about them together – two worlds crashing, but neither my world any more.

The funny thing about my dream was it wasn’t set in the past, it was in the present. The fact that they were both with other people was known and my feelings about them seemed to be screaming from their actions. Subconscious my ass. It could have simply been emotions unresolved about the way that life and love worked out. But, more so than that, the fact that old chapters of my life were there and I was being told to let go of this new one because clearly the second apartment was newer and nicer may speak volumes. What I have tried to avoid is people telling me how to be or what to do and yet, it still plagues me from time to time. What I have tried to avoid is the need to have the best, the most, the biggest or the baddest and only have what works for me, but it too still haunts me every now and again.

As my life progresses I have a difficult time of supporting my decisions, but also of letting go of the past. Even if it’s wrong right now, a day will come when I will need to let go of this sanctuary and move on. Maybe them being there and being there in the exact same way they were in life was simply speaking to the choices I’ve made, the roads less travelled and that well-known fact that life is ever-evolving and ever-changing. Maybe mentally I’m preparing for something big again. I’m acknowledging what I have had to sacrifice to get where I am and what I may have to again to keep moving forward. I don’t know what that something is yet, but perhaps we need to let go of a bit of the past in order to have a shot at the future.

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.                                                                                                                                                         –  Sigmund Freud

The Ginga Ninja

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Google Was First

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BirthdayHoly meatballs Batman. Google personalized the Google homepage for me. But, the thing is…of course they didn’t. Not every Tom, Dick & Harry’s Google Page has a picture of cupcakes & sparklers, and definitely not everybody’s is wishing them a personalized Happy Birthday when they hover over it.

So, is this incredibly cool, or incredibly creepy? I for one think that a personalized Google page at the stroke of midnight is a bit big brotherish, even for little old me who uses social media like utensils. This information is either stored on my computer, or they are accessing it through my Gmail. Wait, let me check. Yes, yes it only works when I’m signed into my all-knowing email account.

In a weird way, that makes me feel a tiny bit better. The interweb is only accessing my personal information as long as I’m live signed-in to their sister site. It makes me feel just a wee bit safer to think that the URL or the computer itself doesn’t have a better memory than that of my brother, but still, the mere fact that technology can do this at all is downright eerie.

There is a commercial out right now talking about the next big technological advancement – palm hang ups, holograms or reading brain waves?  But, really, when you think about mini computers in eyeglasses and the entire being that is Stephen Hawking…well, we already have things that operate by eye glances alone. And I don’t mean a gold old-fashioned wink if you catch my drift.

Apparently I am one of the only ones who think it’s downright bone-chilling and a tad unsettling. This little lady thought it was the best thing since sliced bread http://www.pattiwilson.net/blog/google-gave-me-a-birthday-cake-today…but, now we know that modern-day bread isn’t good for you anyways, so perhaps modern-day technology isn’t always either.

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.                                                                                                                                                                                    – Albert Einstein

Albert-Einstein-and-Quotes-Gold-and-Red_art The Ginga Ninja

 

Happily Ever Never

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coverIf life never got any better than today, would you be okay with that?  That also means that life would never get any worse.  Your today would be your everyday, nobody would die, nobody would move, if you are married you will always be married, if you are single you will always be single.  If you were told that this was your lot in life, TODAY, would you be okay with that?

It’s an interesting question because we are hardwired to create plans, goals and visions.  We are educated and told about all the things we should seek from our parents.  As we get older that pressure mounts because friends, teachers and society gets involved.  We all want the latest gadgets, trendy clothes and haircuts because frankly, we are brainwashed to want them.  Keeping up with the Joneses you know?

I once read that unhappiness is not an issue with what you do have, but a desire for what you don’t.  So, if you could turn that around and stop craving the things that you don’t have…would you be okay?

That’s the funny thing about life.  When it’s good, we don’t want it to change.  When it’s bad, well we can’t wait for tomorrow to come soon enough.  But, life is ever-evolving, ever-changing…so even if you never gained a pound, never ate new foods, never left your apartment, never sought a full-time job, never tried to date…things would still change outside of your control.  Your parents will age, your plants may wither, your neighbours may move, and your precious ipad could break.  Nothing really ever stays the same.

So, I guess the key is not to look at the big things as your life all the time.  Don’t focus on your failed romance, your fight with a friend or your unknown career path as whether or not you have a good life.  Try to focus on the tedious day-in-day-out and look at the little changes that take place everyday.  If you look long and hard at your day, everyday….maybe you didn’t change your job, your boyfriend or your apartment…but hopefully you did change your underwear.

Focus on the little signs of good you have in your life…the ability to sleep in, choosing your own TV shows, cooking your own food, spending money on vacations of your choosing, knick-knacks nobody else has input on and KNOW, know that even if you found your dream job, could afford your dream home or met the love of your life…some things would change for the worse.  Some of the things that you think of trivial in your mundane little life would be the very things you missed greatly once all your dreams came true.

The grass is always greener my friend, so maybe accept that your life is a washed our Polaroid and just look carefully at your background.  Maybe there isn’t a picket fence, but at least there is a lawn.  Couldn’t say it better myself…http://tinybuddha.com/blog/why-the-grass-is-never-greener-and-how-to-be-happy-today/

People think life is short.  Nah, life is long.  The next great thing will come to you.  Just be ready and let it.  – George, Go On

The Ginga Ninja

Chris itsnevertoolate-redM

You can’t spell FEAR without EAR…oops, FAR.

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red-riding-hood-woods-476Every now and again I question the choices I have made. I question whether I chose the right career or the right career could still choose me. I question if my belief in what I want is actually what I want and I often question what tomorrow brings. Every now and again I wonder what would have occurred if I had just made different choices, had different thoughts, walked a different path and essentially was just a different person….well, you know what they say.…you might as well be yourself because everybody else is already taken.

But, seriously, I wish I could take back all the wasted hours of worry, the pointless hours of fear and teach myself what really mattered. You know, the things that are truly important, what you will regret when your end is near and what really deserves your sleepless nights. I can assure you that many times, if only I had a crystal ball in hand, I may have felt differently. But, I didn’t and still don’t.

When you’re young, you have an endless list of goals, aspirations and benchmarks for what you think life is all about. But, the thing is, life isn’t about reaching those goals and benchmarks…life is what happens while you are trying. When you are a teenager you can’t wait for “real life” to begin, when you are in university you can’t stall it long enough.  When you are in your 20’s it’s a bittersweet mix of excitement and fear at every step and in your 30’s, it’s an acceptance of a few things that you cannot change and many you still might….mayyybbeebe when you’re less tired.

But, what happens to all that fear and worry? Well, it doesn’t go away entirely, I can assure you that, but it does evolve. Tomorrow will never be just like today no matter how much you want it to, or how much you fear it might. We don’t always know what tomorrow brings. Life can be hard. Life can be scary. Life can be challenging. Life can be tricky. But, what I know now…is that life can be surprising.  One day you just may wake up and decide that this is all there ever was and this is all there ever will be. The rising of your body, the sleeping of your soul, the foods you try, the strangers you meet, the classes you fail, the promotions you earn…all of this, day-in, day-out…the good, the bad, the mundane and the ugly…this is your life.

Years ago I told a friend that I thought I ruined my life. I was scared to commit, I was scared not to commit. I was scared to live on my own, I was scared to settle. I was scared to go into more debt, I was scared to spend my money in the wrong place. I was scared to go back to school, I was scared to follow the wrong career. I was scared of losing myself, I was scared to be myself. Most of all, I was scared, so  unbelievably scared to admit that I was scared. I had a very misguided life plan that assumed figuring out the answers to these fears would make me happy and fearless, but it was these fears that were actually running my life. And it took time…so much time to figure out that all of this is all I have. As my friend said, you can’t ruin your life, you can only live it.

If I could undo all the fear and the worry I would. But, what journey never had a bump in the road, what novel was ever written after the first swipe of the pen, what soufflé finished after the first crack of an egg? No, it’s these hiccups, these mistakes and these stories that make my life just that…MY life. And you know what? I have from this day forward to remember that the past is the past, the future but a dream and you can only live in your here and now. My new worry can be to worry about how much I used to worry. But, more seriously, my new fear can be how I’m ever going to live enough hours to experience all the things I need to experience in order to say I truly lived.

When I was younger I had a roadmap for my life.  But, turns out that getting lost, it brought me where redscared_400I want to be. – Michael J Fox Show

The Ginga Ninja