Tag Archives: karma

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

 

 

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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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

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

One is the Loneliest Number

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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

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Murphy’s Little Law

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Murphy's Law, RedFor anybody who hasn’t heard of this nasty little bit of karma, it’s the unwritten law that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.  I for one am a true believer that this rule especially applies to me.

As I lament about all the things that fail me, the countless number of times that all the planning in the world couldn’t save something, and the way that I truly believed I was cursed for breaking those 2 mirrors in highschool….my dad had a funny little thing to say to me the other day.  He said, all these things that go wrong, they are just little things that you will overcome, you get one done, it’s okay for awhile and then another one will come along. We’ll get this one solved and later there will be something else for you to figure out too.

Funny heh, only took him 62 years to get there.  I have struggled and battled with this belief, that this overcoming of obstacles and things that don’t go your way is…life.  It is not this fairytale happy ending and despite all my anal virgo-ness, all the planning in the world cannot prevent the actions of others.  That doesn’t mean it still doesn’t infuriate me when Murphy’s Law rears his ugly little head…but, yes, at the end of the movie, well, they don’t show you the part where life just keeps coming….and there is rent, unemployment, thieving hookers, cat litter and nasty piano movers to deal with…

My fellow ginger, Addison from Private Practice phrases it perfectly, “I was thinking I would keep waiting for life to get easier. You know, lower stakes, less risk, easier.  And I was thinking, maybe it doesn’t.  Maybe the struggle, the climb, one obstacle after another…maybe that’s just life.”

….sounds like my dad is a closeted Private Practice fan, doesn’t it?…

The Ginga Ninja

anything that can go wrong, will go wrong