Tag Archives: admit

One is the Loneliest Number

Standard

lonely redheadI was listening to the song “I’m Just a Lonely Boy” by Paul Anka the other day and it got me thinking.  I never thought much about the lyrics as a kid and never related much to people who whined; I just sang the catchy tune that my parents seemed so fond of.  But is there more to it than that, could there be something I missed?

I can only think of a few periods in my life where I was really…truly…lonely.  I came from a family of 6 and was the youngest.  That meant that years of cute older-brother friends, neighbours, cousins, girlfriends and grandparents were around at all times.  Privacy was an unheard of thing and limits didn’t really exist.  I’m still scarred by my mother walking in during a bath to point out how her era never shaved “down there”.  I have since moved away to University residence, moved in with friends, had roommates for years and then lived common law with a boy. Rarely ever through the years did I really, truly…have a reason to be lonely…or even alone.

Lonely is a word for sad and pathetic people, right?  My friend was going through a separation and even though he had roommates, was in two sports leagues and had a girlfriend he told me he was lonely.  At the time I was really busy and thought that what he said sounded really silly.  I mean, how could he be lonely with all those people around?  So, when I tried to lift his spirits, he replied, “A different kind of lonely”.  I get it now.  It takes a really strong person to admit that.  Nobody wants to look weak.  Nobody wants to look vulnerable.

It’s not a word I have heard thrown around very much…until this past year.  Maybe it’s all part of growing up, who knows.  Now that we have baggage, now that we live on our own, now that weakness may in fact not be a weakness, but a strength…I get it.  I really do.  In fact, the girl that lived in my loft before me sent a text that read, “That apartment will bring you great things.  I spent many lonely nights there, but in the end I think it brought great karma my way”.   I was so surprised that this person I barely knew would confess that; what a deep dark secret…but what I can admit is that she knew herself and her insecurities.  Damn grownups.

Last year another friend told me that in the end, you can only rely on yourself.  In her words, “We are all alone, man.”  At the time it seemed a tad bitter and overly pessimistic, but now I get what she meant.  It’s not so much about you needing to be a loner, you know…”no man is an island” and all that jazz, but really that you can’t expect another to create your happiness.  Somewhere in that loneliness you need to learn to do your own taxes, read your own books, decide on your own TV shows and stop focusing on the fact that nobody is by your side.  Because, the only person who will be there for you your ENTIRE life…is YOU.

Your decisions only impact you (okay, okay…maybe your kids too).  You may not think so at the time, you may feel like you are failing your friends, your siblings, your parents and your teachers when you don’t get the job, run out of money or put up with crap from your booty call.  But, let’s get real…it took 32 years to realize the only person I am failing or not failing is me.  So, can I admit that I’ve been lonely over the past year and a half?  Sure as hell can.  Some days to the point I was climbing the walls…but in that silence, in that deafening stillness that needed filling…I found out a hell of a lot about me.  What makes me tick, where my loyalties lie, what I can rely on myself to do and as a friend put it, “how sensitive my bullshit meter is”.

I sort of always wondered how  people living in their parents basements wearing Star Wars T-shirts and counting out their Castleville prizes do it?  How do they spend hours, months, even years entrenched in meaningless crap without reaching out to the outside world?  Well, in some ways it’s sad and in some ways it’s survival.  Really, they are the strongest people if you think about it.

As an homage to all those lonely hearts out there, what I can say is that without emotion, emptiness or longing – a social person without a social life, a partner now single, a widow, an alienated friend, a postpartum mother…there would be a hell of a lot less memorable books and songs.  So, let’s relish in our loneliness and raise a flag to all it has accomplished…I won’t deny that it’s a lot more fodder for Country Musicians, but what you are about to find out is that loneliness doesn’t spare many and spans all genres.  This list doesn’t even break the barrier of lyrics implying the same thing.  After all, one is the loneliest number, but as long as we are all reading this, we are actually united…and really not so lonely after all.

*Songs about Loneliness*

Only the Lonely – Roy Orbison

Lonesome Town – Ricky Nelson

I’m just a Lonely Boy – Paul Anka

Lonesome Traveller – The Ofarims

Are you Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley

Another Lonely Day – Ben Harper

One is the Loneliest Number – Three Dog Night

I’m so Lonesome I could Cry – Hank Williams

Lonely Street – Patsy Cline

Mr. Lonely – Bobby Vinton

All By Myself – Celine Dion

I get lonely too – Drake

Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes

So Lonely – The Police

Tired of Being Alone – Al Green

Tea for One – Led Zeppelin

You are Alone – Flaming Lips

Lonely People – America

If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company. – Jean-Paul Sartre

The Ginga Ninja

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Blah, Blah, Blog….

Standard

red journalAre blogs just modern day journals?  Unlike Bridget Jones, how many girls do you think are still locking their diary and hiding it under their mattresses? (I for one wish I had been that smart).

But, at that time, being mentioned in somebody else’s journal was juicy…it was gossip…a secret look into the crazy mind of another.  How mortified would you be if everybody knew what you were thinking and (EGAD) who you accttuuaalllyy had a c-r-u-s-h on?

Nowadays however, we are all encouraged to show our uniqueness.  The irony being, is that the number of online blogs is estimated at around 181 million unique sites.  That is 181 million very un-unique people blabbing about their likes, dislikes, days and hobbies.  Me included of course.

I personally find blog pushers very annoying.  They post it on Facebook, they post it on LinkedIn, they post it at the bottom of their emails; they encourage you to read it on twitter.  Who doesn’t have something better to do than read somebody else’s thoughts?  C’mon.

Well, I guess my saving grace is only a a handful of my loved ones even know this exists.  Maybe they read it because they can relate, maybe they read it because they are bored, maybe it’s because they love and support me, or maybe, just maybe they read it to see if they are mentioned.

Love you ladies….oh, and man.

The Ginga Ninja

Edit, Edit and Edit Some More

Standard

perfectly flawed, redSo, I don’t post this badboy on my facebook, I don’t send it around to my contact list and I don’t tweet the heck out of it (btw, if you want to share with your friends, feel more than free), but I do still look at tips and tricks to increase SEO. For the less tech-saavy, this means Search Engine Optimization.

I knoooww….why would I care about getting more readers when I don’t publicize this?  Well, I guess the key is; I want to share this with readers I don’t actually know.  I, pure and simple, want to share my musings with people who will appreciate the topics, the quality of the words, or maybe even relate a time or two.

However, the first thing that WordPress tells you to do on your blog is edit, edit and edit some more.  And you know what?  I truly think I do!  I read, re-read, read again, edit again and more often than not, have written a post long before it makes it to screen. So, it gets even better….not only am I an anal perfectionist with a knack for the written word, but I’m in a communications field.  I actually have to proof and copywrite as part of my career – I have done it in my full-time gig and I have even freelanced, and yet, tonight of all nights…I caught a cardinal sin.

I wrote THERE when I meant THEIR.  OMG, if I have to list a top pet-peeve, it without a doubt, would be people who cannot differenciate homophones.  Oh, and incessant honkers. You know the ones, the ones that either honk 14 times in a row thinking you didn’t hear them the first time as you sit at the red light, or the one who leans on it as though they just had a stroke over the wheel.  I know you know, but this is all besides the point.

Back to the point, yes people, they are called homophones, not homonyms and don’t mistake this word with homophobes.  Fact of the day.  Either way, isn’t it annoying when you read an email and a person just ain’t no good at the differentials of their them there they’res and you’re hating how the yours of yore are misused?  Jiminy Cricket, thems confusing homophones.  But, seriously, I used the wrong THERE? Mmmmeeeeeeee??

It seems that no matter how many times I read, proof, read again and proof some more, I always find some new little error – some misplaced period, an inconsistent comma, a word missing, or a misspelling by one letter (but it still made a real word so Microsoft Word didn’t catch it…you know what I’m talking about).  Is that simply the life of a perfectionist?  Is no task ever really done… or are we all a little half-assed all the time and no matter how hard we try our life will be filled with errors?

So this got me thinking, is this a hidden lesson of life?  I am flawed, therefore things I produce may be too?  Do you know anybody who is perfect?  I sure as hell don’t…and when it comes to creative projects, I’m pretty damn close.  But, I guess next time I’ll just try a little harder, look a little closer, rely on more help and…..if I STILL mess up, I guess I’ll just keep editing.  I mean, deep down…isn’t that the crux of life?

No matter what happens….you just keep editing.  There is no delete button, magic eraser or white-out to hide the problem, you just need to keep rewriting the story because it will never be complete and it will never be perfect.

So, readers, should you find a misspelled word, backward letter, or an incorrect usage of homophones…judge me, please judge me (I would judge you).  Just don’t rule me out for my mistakes because like me, you might be surprised when you make them too.marking papers, red

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”          – Salvador Dali

The Ginga Ninja

A Life Less Extraordinary

Standard

Does normal exist anymore?  In fact, did it ever?  I once heard a good quote, “Normal people are just people you don’t know very well yet”.  Once upon a time, the world existed in the mindset that everybody was normal, lived a normal life, wore normal clothes, and only hippies, radicals, and the like stood out from this crowd.  I think nowadays the message to be unique and be yourself has people wondering what that self is.  If we are all trying to find ourselves, and stand out with our unique talents and beliefs…isn’t trying to be unique now the new normal, and trying to be normal, the new stand out?

I come from a family of four kids.  Four very successful and very different kids…but, when young we all strived to have the same goals, same achievements, same wealth, and same standards of life. And now as adults, none of us are living identical lives.  Not all good, not all bad, not all of our choices are the right ones in hindsight, but we are all living within today’s standards of “normal”, which are frankly, well… none.

I had a recent discussion with my brother, where I said, “You know, in the eyes of what is considered traditionally normal, you are the only one of us living that life”.  He has 3 kids, 2 cats and dog, an addition on his house, has been married to the same woman for 10 years, loves golfing, going to cottages, planning vacations, and having backyard barbecues.  In the eyes of what my parents dreamed for us, he is living that dream.  Well, unless you count the Tiki Bar and Jimmy Buffet obsession…

I, on the other hand, have lived another life that though many people envy, has been frought with ups and downs, mainly based on my own fears of perpetually striving to improve, or having false assumptions that I was meant for something more than all those ‘normal’ kids.  That I, of all people, truly was special.  My measures of failure have been unrealistic, and my hopes and dreams have at times been abnormally big.  However, look at my photos, hear my stories, and imagine you are living my life….and you too will think I’ve lived the dream.  At least an interesting version of it.

Though I don’t have regrets (most of the time), I do have a newfound respect and love for my brother and his happiness in the simple things.  As I get older I want to remember life how I did when I was younger. I strive to have quiet nights, joy in the small stuff and an appreciation of the people and things in my life.  Not to mention that I sort of now love who I am more for my failures and epiphanies than my quote-on-quote “successes”.  I’m tired of struggling and striving and trying to be who I thought I should be…and am just excited to be who I am.  Or at a minimum continuing to figure out who that is.  I’m tired of making big plans, and ready to make little ones…because life is marathon, not a sprint my friend.

It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions. – Ben Stein

The Ginga Ninja

If You Want the Rainbow, You’ve Got To Put Up With The Rain

Standard

So, for anybody who has ever heard Blue Rodeo’s Till I am Myself Again, I guess there is truth in this title because after having gone through a major change they will yearn to (for lack of any better way to restate it) feel like themself again.  You just want to wake up one day and feel like the person you used to be, because sometimes, you just aren’t entirely sure where they went or why they even left.

“I want to know where my confidence went, one day it all disappeared…daytime’s a drag, nightime’s worse…I feel like a stranger from another world, but at least I am living again.  I don’t need a doctor to figure it out, I know what’s passing me by, when I look in the mirror sometimes I see traces of some other guy”….

I think this reigns true for most, minus of course that you don’t always have to be a guy to understand this feeling, but let’s face it – girl just wouldn’t rhyme…(tee hee). Either way, I think this is our very basic human flaw, but sometimes, just sometimes you have a moment where without meaning to, or even knowing when it changed…things just start feeling normal for you again.

For me, I guess this was the moment that I was out doing errands, watching storm clouds roll in and couldn’t wait to get home and crank up the tunes, unpack my groceries, dance around my apartment, and wait for the sky to explode. I can’t explain it, but it’s a feeling I have felt so many times in my life…the race to beat it, the thrill of running through the pouring rain, the safety of your inviting place and then the anticipation of hearing the thunder roll and watching the torrential downpour begin. The moment I feel this way, I know I’m getting back to me.

They say there is something cleansing about the rain.  It’s why people sing in it, dance in it, cry in it, and in Hollywood…well, anything goes. Nobody can forget the rain scene in The Notebook, Shawshank Redemption, Singing in the Rain, or that kiss in Spiderman…now if only real life emulated the movies our lives would all be a little bit better.  But, I think the rain does for a fleeting moment in time give us this freedom.  I for one love a good storm.  It gives you a reason to cuddle, to watch, to listen, to cry, and to contemplate.  There is no wrong way to watch a storm.  As a child I sat out on my front porch with my parents for every major downpour and a small piece of me will forever associate the rain to feeling young at heart and truly free.  Afterall…after the storm comes the calm.

So, to keep the clichés coming, in every life a little rain must fall and when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down…because without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

The Ginga Ninja

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Wrong Road Too Often Travelled

Standard

Can you ever admit that you were wrong?  In the game of life, when does honesty play it’s part…how often does a decision you made go the wrong way and do you have enough humility to see it?  Maybe you didn’t do it on purpose, but you still did it. If you did, can you fess up and admit you may have been wrong?

Or is wrong something you can simply assess after the fact…perhaps that in the moment, every moment, you react with your gut, but only hindsight helps you realize the error of your ways.  Why couldn’t we all build time machines that helped us go back to that very moment and undo the monumental thing we did to cause future worry and heartache?  Because I guess what you did was probably caused by something giving you worry and heartache in the first place.  If you reacted how you felt necessary at the time, and reacted in such a way to keep your life moving or your principles known…does wrong really ever exist?

As my dad put it, “Your whole life will be about making decisions and more decisions. Some will turn out great , some good, some so-so and  and some bad. You will only ever 2nd guess the latter two.”  Well dad, I think I’m human enough to admit that I’m guilty of second-guessing.

Okay, there is of course a grey area here.  There are actions that are certainly considered wrong (embezzlement, murder… teased hair) but most people are driven by something to say, or to do, the choice they made in that moment. Let’s be honest, even murder in self-defence, or teased hair for an 80’s party can be defended… but who can admit they may have made a mistake? How many are willing to simply utter those words,  “I was wrong”.

(And ladies, let’s be honest, those three words may be harder for a man to utter than those other three dreaded ones)

For all those with regret, or uncertainty, fear of the unknown…try to remember that every action, every thought, every moment of hindsight is simply a stepping stone, or a lesson for whatever comes next.  Maybe the right way just wasn’t marked on your map yet.

You can’t do anything about the past, other than admit your mistakes, apologize for your regrets, and realize that no matter how many wrong turns you take on the way…ultimately we all end up at the same destination.

The Ginga Ninja

Moving out, Moving in…Moving up?

Standard

I’M MOVING”.  These must be two of the most dreaded words in the English language that can come from a friend or family members’ mouth. Especially when you’re the one saying them.  In my case, I have moved a lot.  Call it wanderlust, call it immaturity, call it financial burden, call it indecision….in the past 2 years I have moved 4 times….and that doesn’t count the mini-moves between the real moves to brother’s couches and parents spare bedrooms.

Either way, like everything in life, Murphy’s Law tends to play a part on that dreaded day.  The movers don’t show…you hoist your couch up the roof through a window from your new neighbours’ balcony…(yep, that actually happened) and you thank your lucky stars that you haven’t pissed off everybody in your life enough to have to do it alone.

Despite my somewhat cursed luck when it comes to these things, I thank the universe that I have friends and family patient enough to keep coming back through my uncertainty, new roommates, boyfriends, and various cities to lend a hand….even if that hand shines up your kitchen ware with Windex so that everything you drink tastes like poisonous soap.  Yep…that also actually happened.

Thanks mom.  Love you too.

The Ginga Ninja