Category Archives: Love Yourself

35 Reasons to Give up…or Give in…and Dance.

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Something is bothering me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Whether the weather (hehe), the fact I still haven’t lost those 10 lbs, my fear over letting myself go in love and trust, or maybe plain and simply that I’m turning 35 is the culprit. There, I said it, an actuality that never seemed possible is happening – I can no longer pretend to be a child, or tell myself I have more time to figure it all out…for quite a while now, but particularly in the next 5 days – my need to be the person I’m supposed to be is now. Asthma, panic, wandering mind…you name it, but whatever has set in is settling in and nothing aside from exercise, hot baths, tears, or maybe some xanax could fix it.

This all sounds a little drastic, 35 is the new 25 and you are only as old as you feel…yada yadagettingold yada…it’s not really that old, when I was your age…you name your cliche. And until right this moment I didn’t think it was a problem. Then again, the end of the summer always causes my little Virgo brain to wander and worry. Cold nights, overcast days, a +1 to that age and even snowflakes are coming. Hell, with how I’m describing it, one would think I’m in Winterfell (Game of Thrones reference for those non-nerds out there).

But so on, and so forth this is life. This is all that is life. And this is a feeling I haven’t had in awhile. One I don’t like, one I don’t need, but maybe one that needs to happen to constantly grow. So, I’ll take a swig of beer, apartment dance my face off and remember, well, I’ll probably feel just like this one year from now. And a friend of mine, well, she is also facing this conundrum and facing it well. In her own right she realized that each and every year you could write a list of things you need to do, should do, should at least start, or at least start thinking about… or you could write a list of things you already have. So, alright 35, let’s do this, like she is doing 34 in style.

“Being a grown-up is hard. Like, all my passwords have to have at least eight characters and uppercase letters now. I don’t think a ton of people are trying to break into my account just to pay my gas bill.  We should be able to have easier passwords.” – Kate, Garfunkel & Oates

The Ginga Ninja

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Fears on my Pillow

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11939673_508650149289788_540609435_nThere’s a lot of fear in letting yourself go. Well, in whatever. Go headfirst into a school, country, career and most importantly love. You know, it’s easy to fall in love, not as easy to stay in it. So, let’s hope you break your ankle, because then you can’t get up (get it – because you have fallen? Hardy har har)

Anytime you find yourself in a meaningful relationship, you realize how quickly you dissolve into the other person. You have to start to give up your alone time, plans with friends and family and make the hard choices of where to be on the weekend, when to push for equal rights, when to back off for individualism. How to handle the I’m sorries as easily as the I love you’s and how to vehementaly watch the back of another, while still trying to watch your own. It’s a precious little balancing act, some that only few get right, and sometimes only right for awhile.

Maybe even harder is when you do think you have it all together, that right person, that ying to your yang, that white picket fence, is the eventual evolution of giving up your things, your space, your identity, yourself. Everybody says you won’t, and you can’t even be fully with somebody unless you know your boundaries, but you do, there is no ifs ands or buts around it, and if you want a future, you begin to let go of the past. And this my friend, is probably the scariest feeling of all. Letting yourself go, in trust, in faith, in paperwork, in finances, in asylums to another – it’s easy to second guess and it’s extremely easy to falter, but eventually you need to move forward.

Before long you dissolve into the relationship. First you give up your place, then you give up your taste. Compromising on furniture, clothes, where you eat and then one day you are just an appendage to someone else – no thoughts or no life of your own. I feel like without a space that’s just mine, I’ll disappear. – Larissa, the Carrie Diaries

The Ginga Ninja

The Weight of the World

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driben-peter-pin-up-girl-on-scaleFor a number of years now I haven’t really had to watch my weight. As long as I was gearing my diet more towards the food that made me feel physically better, well, the scale was watching itself. I could eat until I was full, drink when I wanted and really there wasn’t much to monitor. I had mainly cut out soda pop, limited sugar, minimized wheat…all in all it seemed like the diet modifications I had made had made me! Until recently…

In the last few months, I’m not sure if I can blame Christmas parties and boys, excess beers, or some new medication I’m on, but I gained. I gained what (to me) feels like a lot in a short amount of time and let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling. Now, I’m aware what water weight, pre menstrual weight, scales at night versus morning, naked versus clothed is all about. I can usually tell you my “real weight” within a pound or two just from how my clothes are fitting and know full well to ignore a lot of what the scale says, trust me, I’m a motivational scale guru for many.

That is, until today. Over the last few weeks I’ve actively been a little better. I did a cleanse (oh dear god, why we purposely give ourselves straight up diarrhea is beyond me), I’ve cut back my drinking, I’ve tried to minimize portions and go back to healthy snacking and less meals out. I’ve minimized that bread and returned to my sparkling waters and almond milks. And god bless the current boy as either he is blind and hasn’t noticed those increasingly-tight jeans, or he really just does love big boobs, but I could honestly say I think a pound or two has slid off and I’m feeling just a little sexier, but then again, what do I know, right?

Today the scale lied to me, or truthed me and I’m lying to myself. But, it had me up 3 lbs from a number I already was less than pleased with. And then 2 minutes later down 11lbs from that. And then 30 seconds after I had dropped another 7, and then regained 14 and then went back to the original weight. In a 4 minute window I was an 18 lb size difference, which is a lot when you just wanna know if a little less beer payed off!  I decided you know what? If I (think) I’m doing better, well, that’s step 1 and if my scale can bounce me from mental breakdown to win the lottery weight in a 4 minute window something must be wrong. I can assume that I am probably somewhere in the middle of all that and the most important thing is really the weight off my mind. So, I’m going to ignore it entirely, assume it’s broken and re-assess things base on how I’m feeling and things are fitting, not on a machine that can’t even make up its own mind (oh wait, that’s right – machines don’t have minds).

I guess that’s the best way to handle life. It’s about how you feel, not what you hear, not what you see, not numbers on a contract, things in a house, vacations in a scrapbook. At the end of the day, how you feel about you and your decisions is the only thing that really matters…you are just made up of matter anyway.

You gotta ask yourself this question. Am I gonna believe all those bad things those fools say about me today? Am I gonna to believe all those bad things those fools say about me… – Constantine, The Help

The Ginga Ninja

 

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This is my Journey, This is My Song…

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accept-brown-cry-feelings-red-Favim.com-229253Every now and again amongst all the family functions, friends, social media updates, weather changes, mundane cleaning, laundry, garbage and the inevitable mandatories of life…somewhere in all of that is me. I know that I am not the most important, or correction even an important person in the scheme of the world, but I’m me and I’m all I got. All these feelings, emotions, up days, down days, flirtations, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of pride…they seem to have nowhere to go. There are days where I know my trials, inner workings, needs and wants are no more important than anybody else’s and really my story is not one that the world needs to know to be a better place.

Yet, I have….feelings. Feelings about being happy in the moment, sadness at times, uneasiness, uncertainty, confusion…and I constantly try to shut these down. I try to bury all the bad and decide they are simply moments and they don’t make my overall, but I think, as human as we are, we need to relish in them too. Sure, I’m not that special, but do I have the right to confusion or controversy, the right to wallow in self-pity or get pissed off because I don’t understand an outcome? Sure do. Maybe I feel things a little too deep or think things a little too much, but that’s just me. Maybe I try to predict the outcome long before the tale has been told and maybe I need to organize things into rational boxes in order to stay a rational person, but reality is, right or wrong I’m not you and you aren’t me. And emotions aren’t rational.

As I get older I have learned that acceptance of your good and bad traits is necessary for survival. Nobody is perfect 17602003-Sympathy-Word-Cloud-Concept-in-Red-Caps-with-great-terms-such-as-sorrow-feelings-loss-support-prayer-Stock-Photoand the more we strive to be so, the more we let everyone (including ourselves) down. And here’s the scary truth, we aren’t letting anybody down. This is a common misconception placed on us as kids – be good, be helpful, be honest, be hardworking, be all you can be…but really, be who you can live with. And more importantly, realize that you will have good days and bad. Moments where you write to clear your head, moments where you sing to clear your lungs and moments where you cry to clear your soul.

A new favourite song of mine is “The Long Haul” by Sean Rowe. It honestly brings me to tears everytime I hear it. At first I felt a bit of shame in my unleashed emotions, but now I think I’m starting to think it’s gonna be okay. If you have a song, a movie, a person or a memory that can bring you to your knees – go ahead and kneel down, what’s a scrape or two if it makes you stronger?

And I never hit the Spring so hard
A new born song on an old guitar
And I know what it means to be alive

You drive me crazy in all kinds of ways
Love kicked my head and took down my name
Oh, what happened?

I feel so light and I move like a bird
Hard as a rose sharp as a word
Oh, I’m happy

When I die
Where I go I don’t know
Through the sky maybe down low
Whichever is for real

Ginga Ninja

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…(well maybe during sex)

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he-loves-me-notI cannot wait until the day that I tell you, “I understand dating, I understand love”. Because, to be brutally honest, I don’t! I am terrible at casual dating. Correction, I am terrible at casual sex.

Casual dating…you know, a date or three with a guy I’m feeling out, well I’m actually not too bad at. I’ve had many a friend point out how I have the ability to try once or twice with a Mr. Unsure and end it once I am Ms. Sure. You see, many never take that first step at all or continue seeing people who just aren’t…quite…there. But, when it comes to casual sex, I know I am in the minority who doesn’t seem to properly understand the concept.

Anytime that no strings attached is on the table, I’m not overly forward and I seem to have some sort of need to still be special, you know, to still matter. I want them to know my name, my face, my story and realize that in no way am I being charmed into anything I don’t want to do. The thing with that is, by the time I have primed somebody to be a friend with benefit, they truly see me as a friend and no longer want to benefit. What fun is getting tipsy and taking advantage of somebody once you start to actually respect them? Phhffftt.

There seems to be a limbo to dating categories as well. Sure, we all know what falling feels like, we all know what detached feels like, we know what dates versus hook-ups feels like…but what happens when you land yourself in the inevitable void? More than casual, less than together, more than friends, less than feelings. What happens when you like somebody’s company, time, affection and you are attracted to them, but there is no clear goal in sight? That time it takes to figure out whether you are in fact serious, or side-fodder is a mighty confusing one and to be honest, as we get older, time we do not have to spare.

When I was young, I found myself in a lot of situations where I knew the outcome may not be good, the guy may not be trusted and the meaning behind things was either incredibly complex or ridiculously simple, but I could not wrap my head around it because sometimes my feelings outweighed my facts. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at identifying these situations. I know how I deserve to be treated and I know what I want in different phases of my own life. The problem with that is over the years there have been the ones where you just know it’s happening, the ones who won’t commit, the ones who you would never want to commit and the ones who come at you like a freight train only to slam on the brakes the moment you board. For some reason in my teen years I lived in the word of won’t committers. They didn’t want to let me go, but they didn’t want to let their independence go either. In my 20’s I seemed to be on board some slow-moving, somewhat reliable modes of transport and in my 30’s I seem to keep meeting the inevitable detached box car. They think they are running out of track and race after you like there is no tomorrow only to realize there was a reason that they went solo afterall.

But, that limbo world, that not knowing what is going to happen or what I want out of it world? That is one that I rarely choose to visit anymore because frankly I don’t have the energy or the time. Trying to decipher what something means or somebody feels is incredibly hard and if you feel you aren’t getting the appreciation you deserve, is it reality, perception, overly high standards or honestly maybe you aren’t getting what you actually deserve. In a world so filled with unknowns, wouldn’t it be nice to have your worth known?

The Ginga Ninja

How many is too many?

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Bn1JDETIIAE38X1I’m no player, but not too long ago I was talking to three different guys at the same time. Having been a boyfriend kind of girl, this pseudo Sex and the City world is a bit foreign to me. Normally, it is only when I’m a little bit off and am “getting back out there”, or when I’m completely confident and don’t give a shit that things like this tend to happen. When you don’t know what you want, you go on dates just to push your boundaries, when you totally know what you want, well, you go on dates because you have nothing to lose. The worst part is, sometimes I could leave it as easily as I could take it.

When I’m content in my own skin, in my own place, with my own hobbies, and my own friends…I am not worried about meeting anyone. That’s actually when I seem to attract. However, the funniest part is that right when you feel you are at the top of your game and you are fine with or without another, that’s when people come along to jack your style. You don’t have time for nobodies, time-wasters, and bloody poor kissers. You barely have time for you.

All that being said, you still glance down at that biological clock and think, but if not now, when. Like Rachel lamented in Friends (when she was 30 dating a 25 year old)…well, I want a kid by 35, which means probably getting pregnant at 34. I’d like to be married for about a year first, which means 33, and I want a 1 year engagement, which is 32 and I’d like to know the guy a couple of years first…which makes me 30. Suddenly, in that moment, she decides that she needs to dump her dead-end boy toy because to have the life she wants, she can’t keep living the life she likes.

But, what if you want to be in that “date for the heck of it”, or “don’t date at all” phase? Do you need to look at the clock? Do you need to do Benjamin Button backward math and do you need to worry?

All I know is when I lamented to a co-worker that I can’t possibly talk to 3 people at once, I am not cool enough, am not saucy enough and cannot find the time….she asked to see their pictures. Pretty much I received a slap upside the head.

She insisted they were all cute, fit…and she had been with her husband for about 20 years now. My young, early 30’s #firstworldproblems were in fact not problems. She begged me to go on all the dates, tell her all the stories and let her live vicariously through me. No matter how old (or young) you are…the trials of dating are trials for life…and the trials of dating while you don’t give a shit are in fact not trials…not too short, too tall, too hyper, too game show host, too cheap, too ethnic…but, shirtless, employed, date-paying opportunities that really you need to embrace and learn from.

Don’t look at every situation as life and death or every date as forever…but relish in the opportunities you will have. And if you have 1, 2, 9 at once…figure you will know the right one when you know the right one…or if you don’t, then maybe you don’t need a right one at all. Maybe, just maybe you are  looking at the right one every day in the mirror. Anything above that is just a perk in this thing we call life.

The Ginga Ninja

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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