Tag Archives: regret

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ginga Ninja

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

Can Unemployed Be Enjoyed?

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Unemployment is a scary word. I mean, I’ve gone through periods where it was my choice (taking a month or two with family prior to or after living overseas), but the moment it stops being your choice….well, basically, you feel like you are failing.

Unemployed people are lazy, they are not as talented, or they are poor at Marketing their abilities, right?  Not always right. The world is many shades of grey, sometimes you need to look for eggshell before you find white or the charcoal before you hit black.  Sometimes EMPLOYED people can be lazy, less talented or poor at Marketing their abilities, but a friend of the family, or 20 years in a job keeps them in the green.  If you think really hard, often the brightest minds were the least stable and taking the most risks.

So, recently we met a group of people who never went to post-secondary school, only worked half the year and did door-to-door sales. I think our initial reaction was that these people were kind of lazy and didn’t have real jobs.  I mean, geeze man, grow up.  If you make such good money, why not work more and save up?  Well, let’s be honest, if you could only work 5 hours a day, 5 months a year and make enough to just dick around the rest of the time, wouldn’t you?

We’ve all had stressful jobs and chaotic periods of time where we would just like a break.  A break from work, from family obligation, from responsibilities and frankly from our life. When you get this much needed break, but it isn’t your choice, suddenly there is a perception of pity and worry around you.  But, sometimes a break gives you the perspective you need to figure out what really matters to you.

I know that shockingly, once I got over the first month of full-time unemployment, I stopped worrying.  I am probably going to be working for the next 35 years, so what’s 6 months off?  The market isn’t what it used to be and taking the wrong job can affect more than you think.  So, when you are working part-time and still have creative outlets, suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad.  I’m a diligent worker, but not a great 9-5er; my health suffers, I’m constantly running late and I am horrible at keeping work at work.  As it turns out, I am best when I am my own boss and make my own hours. I’ve needed to let go of the stigma that I am failing or not living “regular life” and figure out how the hell to create financial stability with my new found enlightenment.

Everybody is different and once we let go of the expectations of others, we can better understand the expectations of self. Not everybody is the same, so we need to remember what works for one may not work for another. I just know that with each new person I meet, my opinions change and each new experience I have, my expectations lower. My dad once said, figure out what you love and the money will come.  I like to think that reigns true for most things – so figure out the money and it leaves time for the things you love.

“I get it now; I didn’t get it then. That life is about losing and about doing it as gracefully as possible…and enjoying everything in between.” – Mia Farrow

The Ginga Ninja

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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

Risky Business

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symbolic-cardboard-broken-heart-in-red-lightWhat’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?  Or lust, or like…really, let’s be honest. If we were in the movies, we would say love.  In real life, let’s say it how it is.

But what is considered acceptable human behaviour and what is considered stalker-esque, or one very small step away from that line in the sand?  Frankly, I don’t know. What I can say is that anytime I have taken risk, real honest to goodness risk when getting to know somebody…it has paid off.  Now, the backside of this is that anytime I have taken honest to goodness risk with a past love…it hasn’t.  What is considered crazy and what is considered romantic?

I guess the answer may be dependent on who it is, when it is, and how closely you look at people’s actions as true signs of their personality.  So, is the guy who texts non-stop 24-hours a day really a nutbar?  Or is he simply somebody who hasn’t healed off of his last relationship yet and treats all girls the way he would have treated his ex.  Is the guy that keeps writing through thick and thin and says the most supportive things (no matter how much of a bitch you are) a sweet, simple Prince Charming type of guy, or a sadistic SOB who can’t take the stench of desperation off of him?  And when is it okay for guys to fight for love…to get up on the table, out in the bleachers, shout it from the rooftops kind of love….and girls to be considered crazy bitches for doing the same?

Love is a funny thing.  Risk is a funny thing.  Rejection is a funny thing.  Some people have more trouble sending back a friendly text than others do proposing on the first night they meet.  And who is crazier?  What is riskier?  Is it true that you only live once and what is meant to be will be?  Or does it take effort, risk, a little faith, and a lot of chance.

I just know that coming up with excuses to knock on people’s doors, admitting feelings to a friend, or straight up googling nothing but a first name and the threads of a cock-a-mamy story could be considered crazy. (Crazy like a Fox!) But, on the right day, in the right moment, and with the right person…it could be the best choice you have ever made.  Does anybody really know what tomorrow holds or what outcome their actions will have?  All I know is sometimes risk pays off and sometimes it doesn’t, but those few times it does…won’t it be worth it?

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. Jim Rohn

The Ginga Ninja

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A Life Less Extraordinary

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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

You win Karma, You Always Do.

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I feel selfish lately. Funnily enough, many friends encourage this behaviour right now. When you come out of anything long-term (school, relationship, job) you realize how much time you spent trying to please friends, family, co-workers, your partner and show the world how ready you are to tackle it. So much of your life is about next steps, societal expectations, and doing the “right thing”. The second you throw that all out the window and try to recreate the course of your life, all bets are off.

So, everybody says “be selfish” right now. Be unreliable, spend money, feel pain, feel hurt, and feel extreme happiness in completely random and unpredictable acts. Be selfish, because that is who you really depend on and it may just be only for a limited time.

But, whether it’s the right or wrong attitude, I still feel bad when I let others down. I realize this is my chance for a little while to become unreliable, a loaded gun in a game of Russian roulette if you will….but it doesn’t change how much of a schmuck you feel like when you forget your passport and prevent a future bride from her day of dress-shopping bliss.

So, for all those people who say “who cares”, I guess, selfish or not, I still do. I think I would still recommend looking out for others, because frankly, when you’re old and grey, you are going to need those others to look out for you.

Karma is a bitch, and I for one do not want to come back a cockroach…though as I heard the other day that only twinkies and cockroaches can survive a nuclear disaster, so maybe it’s not all bad. We are human, we screw up, so maybe a cockroach I’ll be.

Mess with KARMA and you end up with A MARK on your soul…

The Ginga Ninja