Tag Archives: happily ever after

The Unfillable Void

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Void stampI’ve written posts here and there pointing out the occasional desire or maybe more appropriately put…emptiness we have filled with goals, aspirations, big dreams and pointless tasks. Somewhere along the way we are all taught there are certain benchmarks to hit in order to lead a “successful and fulfilling” life. Each and everytime we feel an uneasiness creeping up we try to tick off the next box on that list of fulfilling life moments and achievements, yet for some reason we are still left wanting.

I never understood this void. And better yet, I thought it was just me.

In our own little myopic worlds, we don’t seem to understand that everyone, and I mean everyone, suffers. But, to what extent and what emphasis is put on which wrong syllable is often measured by wealth, education and the basic hierarchy of needs. The saddest part of this is that no matter how much you achieve, how many things you attain and how much money you make…you may still have a little emptiness sitting in your stomach that you just can’t explain.

And this, my friends, is called the human condition.

For some reason our brains are hardwired to want to reach some sort of next step, next need, next want. If we don’t know what that is, sometimes we try to shake things up with a new degree, new career, new spouse, new car or even a new country. But, the bottom line is that no matter how many times we change it up, we can’t outrun it. The best version of ourselves is always just out of reach.

There are too many articles out there about happiness, anxiety, the meaning of life, self-help and self-worth for this epiphany to come to me and me alone. When are people happy?  Well, if we look at the study of psychology, this is all people have been talking about for centuries. The world’s greatest minds have been trying to decipher the meaning of life since the beginning of time, so what made any one of us think we were so special?

I finally understand, I’m not.Red_Void_by_Gaurdian

But, I also understand that this feeling most likely isn’t going away. When it creeps up after a big night of drinking, a breakup, looking at bank statements or being bored at your job…you need to accept it’s part of you, it’s part of life and there will always be more to have, to be, to want. All you can do is try your best to dull the ache, soften the voice, follow your dreams and realize that you are exactly the same as everyone else. The human condition is a condition indeed.

Mark Manson, a favourite of mine, explains it and explains it well. Stop trying to attain happiness and just try to learn acceptance. Pleasure is mistaken for happiness, and achievements mistaken for worth. Trust me when I say, it’s not always worth it. http://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy#sxjbVV:6Q9y

The Ginga Ninja

 

 

Full of Love, or Flu of Love?

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slapDating is hard.  Let me repeat, dating is hard.  So are bricks.  And sometimes dating makes you want to bang your head on bricks.  Correlated?  I think so.

I’ve never been a big fan.  I like the feeling of a crush when it seems to be going well, but dear god I hate it when it starts going badly.  That racing brain, those obsessive thoughts, the “why” of what you did, could have done different, or didn’t do to make it turn out the way it finally did.  And the funny thing is, we are all like this.  Well…if we have the ability to feel, think and crush we are.  There is a reason it is called “falling” – it hurts, and you can definitely get “crushed”.  However, if you are a detached cool mamma like a good friend of mine, well, off is off.  Most of us are not blessed with this skill though, so I will assume that when you start talking to a promising keeper, this is probably what you are going through (cue hair pulling now).

Read on:  www.today.com/id/44010532/ns/today-today_health/t/truly-madly-deeply-how-love-makes-you-sick/#.UyESyvldXt8

But, for me dating is no different than any relationship, with any new person – friend, foe or lover.  You don’t really know them, their story, who they are and why they are, or, sometimes, are not talking to you.  We get a snippet of somebody and then when they bail without a word, we are left holding the bag of empty dreams and broken conversations.  Of course we don’t know these people and we will live.  Of course they do not change the path of our life, affect our friendships or fix our health issues.  But, for that moment…for that fleeting moment…you let yourself dream.  You let yourself dream it was going well and this little future of massages, hot tubs, endless hugs and trivia nights could actually happen.  All these things they said while flirting with you, could maybe, inevitably, come true.

The worst is, we all feel just like this when it doesn’t go our way.  But, what about the ones we don’t care to answer, chock up to being drunk, or just don’t have time in our schedule for?  We don’t obsess over those, we barely feel bad.  In recent years, I have tried to make a point of being accountable for my own actions.  If I go any more than 5 days continuous contact, I feel I owe it to them to tell them I am out, no matter the stage.  They could very well be on the other end of this starting to make their fake little plans…and the rollercoaster of feelings that is a new romance could be screwing with their day.  Maybe it isn’t screwing with mine and I could care less, but knowing how bad it feels when I do care more, I think I owe it to them to say it’s just not for me.

Sadly (and uncontrollably) though, I get upset when somebody doesn’t give me the same common courtesy.  I’m meant to think they are an insensitive jerk, an immature ass, a fake future talker, or they don’t have any emotional depth.  However, I’ve done the same and I don’t think I’m a jerk.  I think the problem is, we can all ACT like jerks because we live in a self-serving world where the moment somebody fucks with your schedule or pre-existing plan…the moment they are an unnecessary obligation…we are out.

So, why don’t I let it roll off my back, decide I’m better and move on?  I eventually do.  But, only after going through a gamut of emotions over a 5 day period.  The “will I hear from him” phase, the “maybe something happened to him” phase, the “I can’t believe I didn’t hear from him” phase and finally the “it’s his loss” phase.  But, here’s the thing.  We aren’t 19 anymore.  We shouldn’t let somebody else decide our worth, but we also shouldn’t just ignore somebody that we had interest in and we shouldn’t decide their feelings don’t matter.  Maybe they aren’t for you, (well, that’s obvious that not everyone is), but why leave people hanging?  Why not just say you are out, when you are out?  It would save a whole lot of people from self-doubt and wondering if the person lost their phone, their charger, or their mind.

Read on: www.thoughtcatalog.com/carrie-wittmer/2013/08/psycho-thoughts-girls-have-when-a-guy-does-not-respond-to-a-text-message-for-days/

Funnily enough, I did have an ex who constantly had his battery die (I witnessed it), and a friend who left her cell in her hometown for three weeks.  It does happen.  And I do have the friend of a friend of a friend who was so angry she googled…and the poor bastard had actually died.  But, let’s be clear…for the most part when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.  If you don’t hear from them, you eventually get the message, but wouldn’t be easier if you ACTUALLY GOT THE MESSAGE.

I keep approaching life with the new mantra of no games and being accountable for my actions and hoping the same from others.  Three times back-to-back I haven’t gotten it, but what I did get across is a point.  A good friend of mine actually decided to tell a girl he had been stalling with that he wasn’t feeling it.  Know what?  She took is surprisingly well and stopped contacting him.  So, after all of this, we decided, maybe this wasn’t my lesson to learn at all, but his.

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The Ginga Ninja

Trivial Pursuit or Love? Both are just Games.

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dice-02-1024x787I have been dating for about…17 years now.  When I was younger, I don’t think I handled the crushes, maybes and what ifs too bad, but handled the big ones like a teenage drama queen.  Now, I can say the opposite seems to reign true.  The big ones?  Well, I do my best not to come undone, though the transition from being part of a twosome to creating your own identity is a hard one, so I may still unravel from time to time.  But, those maybes, what ifs, booty calls, whatsits and whosits?  Well, there are probably just as many of them as when I was younger, but they feel so much worse now. Perhaps it’s my societal clock ticking and the feeling that another one bites the dust, but sometimes I try to figure out why they feel so much worse, so heart-wrenchingly, sweat-inducingly horrific.  I mean, many, many times it is me pulling the chute, so why when somebody else leaves me hanging does it feel so bad?

I think that part of it has to do with having some piece of your newfound identity associated to loving yourself unconditionally and refusing to play games with your life, or your love.  But, what happens when you live by your rules and the other party doesn’t?  It brings us right back to the same old lesson.  You can’t control others, you can’t control the unknown and ultimately you can’t control life.  All you can control is your reaction to it.  So, sometimes I wonder why my reaction is so strong.  How can I actually question if I’m unloveable or whether I did something wrong because somebody else decided they didn’t want to be mine afterall?

That sounds harsh, but it’s true.  Of course we aren’t a match for everyone.  And of course sometimes somebody is using me as a distraction or timing really is everything.  The road to hell was paved with good intentions so they say.  But, how can somebody not fully chasing after you leave you feeling just a little bit less worthwhile?  Don’t you ultimately want to be with somebody who wants to be with you?  Yes. Yes.  And let me repeat…Yes.

We forget our worth when we are in it.  When we are in it, we think if only I hadn’t sent that picture, that extra text, lost my temper that one time, made that stupid joke, waited so long to get back to them…it would all be okay.  But, maybe sometimes it isn’t about us at all, but about the types of people we are willing to put our time into.  We love the idea of someone, even if not the right someone.  It explains why we can feel like something is missing…when it was never ours in the first place.  It is the idea of that ever elusive happily ever after, and all your dreams coming true that make you question if it is in fact YOU.  Deep down is it you, but not necessarily for the reasons you think.

It’s time to retrain ourselves.  Don’t lower your standards.  Don’t think you are too picky.  Don’t play hard to get.  Don’t play games.  Don’t change your values to win over the wrong person.  And don’t, please don’t (because I do) question whether you could have changed the outcome if only you had done something differently.  Maybe you could have.  But, do you want to be with a person who will end it because you sent one text too many, or admitted you were insecure from time to time?  Trust me, you can be good at playing the game, and still wish there wasn’t a game to play.

So, read this fantastical post (yes, I know it’s not a word, but put fantastic & wonderful together and the world becomes a better place) by fellow blogger, Aaron Westera and take all that it says to heart.  And I mean literally to heart – to YOUR heart.  You are not to be toyed with, you are not to be under-appreciated.  If you have to play games to get somebody, well, then you don’t have them to begin with and if they make you feel any less than the best version of you…run.  Run fast and run far.  But, run baby, run.

http://aaronwestera.tumblr.com/post/22917411339/it-all-starts-at-hello#.Ux0gyvldXt8

The Ginga Ninja

Sorry, What Day did You Say it Was?

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So this year I didn’t write a Valentine’s Day post.  Not because I’m bitter, not because I actually have a Valentine, but because I’m kind of…well, nothing over it.

As it turns out this past year things have been up and down…because, well, that is life.  I had a brief international fling, a ridiculously busy Christmas and a fairly relaxed January.  Since glowing about how much I love unemployment, I have now found myself fully employed again and am running myself ragged to maintain all that I’ve taken on.  Funny how that works, but finances run the world (even though Beyonce may have referenced ‘girls’) and time is once again at a premium.

Either way, I’m pretty okay with or without a Valentine.  Two years ago I was just learning to be independent, last year I was knee deep in health scares and this year, well, I barely noticed it even came.  I didn’t see many store fronts, am now chocolate-free, I’m happy for my taken friends and very few of my single ones are bitter or planning sad nights in. Single or taken, busy or relaxed, male or female, rich or poor…Valentine’s Day comes and goes and so we close the door on Valentines 2014.

But….I really do love those old vintage cards…and I really love this  post by a fellow blogger.  We are the same age, have the same poor spacial awareness and funnily enough sometimes pick the same titles for our blogs.  www.jentalkstoomuch.com/2011/02/happy-valentines-day-to-me

I think not just this year, but every year, you should feel this way.  Happy Valentines to you, your family, your friends, your pets and most importantly, YOU!

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Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.                                                                                                – Lucille Ball

The Ginga Ninja

He Got on the Plane

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say-anything-john-cusackWhatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I want to ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life. – Olive Penderghast, Easy A.

And isn’t it too bad that he didn’t?  I wish that movie love scenes were real and that boys really did do these things.  I also really wish my life was set to a soundtrack or had a really awesome choreographed dance scene.  Music makes everything better.  I mean, it can also make things sadder and nobody wants that, but it makes the good moments a little more good and the memorable ones a lot more memorable.  But, back to the point, where is the romance?

Is romance the little gestures or the big ones?

Do you think planning 25 gifts for a 25th birthday, or just simply getting somebody a coffee when they are tired the real gesture?  Is looking at somebody with love in your eyes worth more than a fist-fight in the street?  Is having the decency to text someone back more meaningful than a cross-continent flight?  Is remembering your fourth anniversary better than a private jet to Paris?  You tell me.  Don’t get me wrong, nobody I have ever dated could afford a private jet to Paris, but is love in the big things or the little ones?

I know that I have tried in my own guarded way to show love.  Through thoughtful gifts, gestures, words, personalized breakfasts and daily hugs I have tried my best.  I may not always be perfect, but goddammit, I have tried.  And so have a few others along the way, even jaded old me can admit that.

I once dated a boy who lit a hallway with candles and scattered rose petals to my bed.  I was hand-delivered the ultimate girl-romance moment (cue the song “Kiss Me” now), but I was only 22.  The whole thing seemed a little overdone and awkward if I’m honest.  I have also had the long-awaited regret email, love poetry sent by letter and most shockingly, the vacation fling turned real.  And recently?  I had a young man continually try to put his arm around me 50’s style while walking along a boardwalk…he took deep, satisfying sighs and stared dreamily up into the moonlight.  You know what?  The whole thing was annoying…and FAKE.

But, love, real love should be making a sacrifice, no matter how small.  For years I begged a partner to turn to me and look at me as he sang the Proclaimers 6 simple words “…And I would walk 500 miles…” and he never would…in all our years together he never would.  That small, miniscule act would have meant the John-Hughes-chivalry-loving moments of 80’s movies could come true more than any over-the-top widely inappropriate gesture ever would.

In today’s day and age a text is not enough.  An e-birthday card, a facebook profile pic, a comment on a status update…these things are not romance.  Romance is waiting on somebody’s porch for them to come home – not texting them at 3 am.  Romance is telling somebody they look stunning, not sending a booty call message spelling “come” with only 3 letters and a “u”.  Romance is buying every single lemon baked good you find because it’s somebody’s favourite, not adding them to your circles on Google+.

But, like in the movies, (even the highly realistic ones that know life is not a musical and romance is not a John Hughes movie)….it comes now and again.  You still hear about beautiful proposal stories, men giving up gluten for their intolerant wives and ladies moving across the world to be with their man.  Just the other day a male friend of mine admitted that once he ordered flowers from his florist girlfriend under a false name and showed up to give them to her in person.  Oh, and a tiny sidenote, she lived in another country.  He made me smirk, but he proved chivalry is in fact not dead.  Now, I just need to work on getting him to follow me around with a boombox and start flash mobs often…totally not kidding.

At least that girl got what most of us movie-loving wannabes can only dream about.  But, let’s just say it does give me a reason to still dream.  I don’t expect my life or my love to be perfect.  I don’t expect in today’s busy day and age that I will be on somebody’s mind at all times, but at least a story or two (even sometimes my own) make me realize I can still dream for Prince Charming, even if he is only Charming for a Moment.

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The Ginga Ninja

Love is a Battlefield

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images (1)I had to look long and hard about why a ghost from my past still bothered me.  I mean, the point of breaking up is to move forward and meet better matches, right?  That, or I guess working on yourself…or boning a hockey team, but we’ll go with meeting better matches for the sake of this argument.  Well, as I pointed out last year I had the secret family recipe for a perfect breakup, only the aftermath was nothing like I planned.

Anytime I look back and feel shame, regret, anger or sadness I have to ask myself why.  Why would I still be bothered by something that ended a long time ago and ended for the right reasons?  Plain and simple, I realized it came in one word.  Justice.  I wanted justice.

I have some regrets over feelings I felt way back when and in hindsight there were things I wished I had done differently, said differently or felt differently.  But, there is absolutely no way to go back and unfeel something.  That is a lot more than turning back the clock on a fight, a swear word or an action.  Feelings are cumulative, feelings take time. As I also pointed out last year, if you felt something, you must have had a reason at the time. Looking back doesn’t do you a whole heck of a lot of good because the memory you see isn’t entirely complete.  Either you forget all the bad they did too, or you glorify the good and both can drive you stark raving mad.  You cannot undo the past.

Let me repeat.  You cannot undo the past.  I guess I liked to think I could at least handle the present.  Each and every time I received a message referencing how miserable we were, how we didn’t belong together or how we should just hop into the sack….I knew that those references of the past weren’t completely accurate because I was still being messaged…in my present.  The thing is, eventually that itself was the past too.  So, just like the relationship, why is it hard to let the aftermath of the relationship go?

A friend pointed out that for good people, coming to terms with what is and what was can be hard.  You can’t wrap your brain around how somebody else is going to act and the awful things they may say and do.  And that, at its core is what gets to me.  Like Carrie said in Sex and the City, “We keep dresses we’ll never wear again.  We throw away our ex boyfriends.  If you loved someone and you break up, where does the love go?”

When I look back at each and every thing I did in the aftermath, I understand why I did it and feel very little regret about my actions.  I tried my best to do and say the things that were warranted at the time and make me feel like less of a shit in the long run.  But, what I realized I got angry about was the actions of others, the actions I cannot control.  Uncontrollabe urges, disrespect, unanswered texts, insults, crazy rants and degrading comments…I am not angry about what I did or didn’t do, only sad at what was done to me.

So, that made me realize yet again, you can only control yourself.  If I am not angry at myself for my actions and words and I know that I cannot undo my past, why am I at times still living in it?  It was because I wanted justice.  I wanted the great apology, the heartful closure or the happy ending.  This is life buttercup, time to suck it up.  Just because you try to treat others fairly doesn’t mean everybody plays by those rules.  All is fair in love and war so they say.  Good old Pat Benatar pointed out “Love is a Battlefield”…probably because sometimes love and war really do feel the same.

I can’t be upset that life moved on without my karmic justice. The only thing I can control is my own life, my own mind, my own feelings, thoughts and actions and ultimately only half of my relationships.  It takes two to tango and if you aren’t the one stepping on toes, I guess it’s fine to keep dancing, but maybe find a new dance partner.

“The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now.”  – Bill Cosbycasting-background-black-ghost-wallpaper

The Ginga Ninja

Fist Pump Forever

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breakfastclub-benderWhen is the last time you had a night where you just talked and gossiped and laughed and bellowed?  Me?  A little while.  It’s not to say they don’t happen, but it seems as you get older, the opportunity to just hang with a friend, watch a movie, drink some wine and have no consequence seems to fade away.  We all have our own lives, too many plans and find ourselves preoccupied with well, preoccupations.

I for one love stupid movies.  I love stupid, funny movies where you need to pay close attention to see what is really going on.  I’m afraid recently that I almost missed the plot while oh-so-religiously checking my iphone to see if I was indeed invited to an oh-so-important bachelorette party.  However, my friend, well she kept catching the things I didn’t.  I realized that I needed to put down that phone and pay attention to this movie, because dammit, it was funny and I was missing it.  It was my life and I was missing it. Once I stopped and decided to focus on only one thing I realized how great the simple things can be.

For anybody who has seen “Pitch Perfect”, it’s an absolutely, horrifically, amazing movie.  It is purposely terrible and the plot is intentionallyvhs_red_571 ridiculous.  It can go up there with “Best in Show”, “Bring it On”, “Dodgeball” and “Scary Movie”.  But, just like those movies – you need to actually listen and actually watch to see all the nuances and underlying jokes and let me tell you…it’s been awhile since I’ve laughed, rewinded, and said “Did they really just say that?” so often with a friend.

We don’t get enough of these moments as we get older.  I know that ten years ago they were endless.  Ten years ago with roommates, hangovers, and procrastination…my ability to watch pointless movies and laugh…and cry…were daily.  The world seemed so big and the future so bright.  But, now?  Well, I don’t get them as often as I should, but the odd time I do…I think they mean that much more.

So, take a moment.  Watch a ridiculously awful, but ultimately wonderful movie.  Watch it with a friend.  Watch it and rewind. Watch it and laugh.  Watch it and cry.  Watch it open to falling in love with the worst leading man ever.  Watch it with the hopeful wide eyes of a girl who 10 years ago thought that those cheesy movie plot lines really could happen.  That the feelings in a John Hughes movie were real and that somewhere out there, whether it be family, friend, or more is a person who will pump their fist for you and sing “Don’t you Forget About Me”.  It may not be the world I live in now, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s the world I want to live in always.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

The Ginga Ninja