Tag Archives: selfish

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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Caught in a Life Triangle

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redhead, love triangle, archieHow many times has broken telephone stepped in to complicate your life?  He said that she said that her sister’s mother’s friend’s babysitter’s cat saw you talking to your neighbour’s teacher’s principle’s daughter and heard that you said…..And then somehow gossip starts, accusations fly and you are caught in the middle of a crossfire of words.  Every innocent thing you said or open-minded thought you had gets twisted and you are meant to defend your opinion, or worse yet, defend your defense of a situation, conversation, or person.  I guess they say Defense is the best Offence. I don’t think they have a clue.

I try really hard to play devil’s advocate when I can.  Everybody has a side, a heart, a story and a point of view.  Every single situation needs a grain of salt to measure it.  Wouldn’t I love to be an ant on the wall when things went down in the first place – sure, but history, hurt feelings and ultimately egos get involved and suddenly you are caught in a triangle.  Whether with an old friend, an arch nemesis, a new romance, or a family member…when your name gets pulled into something, there is nowhere to run from the war of words.

Now, don’t even get me started on Love Triangles.  Most people have never successfully avoided them – no matter how minor.  Somebody’s boyfriend flirts with their friend, somebody lies, somebody hides, somebody cowers and somebody yearns. Without them we would’t have such wonderful films as Something Borrowed, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Made of Honor, Bridget Jones Diary...or an actual good movie, Legends of the Fall.  I seem to somehow be that girl that attracts boys in almost-dead relationships.  I don’t step outside of the lines once I’m aware of what’s going on, but either I have “she’s a friendly soul, bare your heart to her” or “good in bed” stamped on my forehead, because let me tell you… I attract em like flies.  And if I’m completely honest, I’ve had a friends’ ex or two come to me after the fact to say they always liked me and were too scared to admit it.  Thankfully I have the good sense to say no thank you kind sir, but often the mere fact that it came out causes a new and awful moral dilemma. To tell or not to tell?  And all these things? Frankly, make me feel sick.

I don’t like drama, I don’t like having to defend myself, my actions, or my beliefs and I definitely don’t like the awkward position that two people’s history can put other people in.  My advice?  Don’t be a devil’s advocate in a world full of individual lives – people look out for themselves and not all people like looking at all sides.  One side suits them just fine.  But, being too passionate about any one topic will see you get in almost as much trouble; maybe you just feel more passionate about that wall you are leaning on.  I guess the only way to avoid this is to avoid people, avoid feelings, avoid circumstance, avoid speaking and become a fingerless mute who can neither say, (nor text) anything that could ever get them in trouble. I’ll work on that because no matter who is right and who is wrong…there are usually shades of grey somewhere in there between those solid colours of black and white.

The funny part of this is while I’m writing this post; I’m watching the all-time classic movie Grease and sitting riveted as all those triangles unfold.  If only Danny admitted to the guys he cared about the girl and didn’t “summer love” her on the beach…all would have been fine.  He wouldn’t act non-nonchalant in front of her at the bonfire, she wouldn’t date the dumb jock, he wouldn’t join the track team, Cha Cha wouldn’t be a problem and don’t even get me started on Kenickie and Rizzo.  But, then again…had all these triangles and misinterpreted events NOT occurred, there would be no plot.  No Summer Lovin, no scenes under the stars, we wouldn’t learn the hand jive and we definitely would never get the dictionary updated with “shoo bop shoo wada wada yippity boom da boom”.

So.  Did I just teach myself a lesson?  Each time life hands you lemons, grab the tequila, because goddammit, alcohol helps you through drama. Oops, wait, that’s another lesson.

There is no avoidance of being involved from time to time in petty misunderstandings and relationships woes.  Want to know why?  Because then you would be perfect.  And I don’t know about you my friend, but I’m only perfectly flawed.

Gossip is the Devil’s Radio – George Harrison

The Ginga Ninja

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

The Wrong Road Too Often Travelled

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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