I really don't know what to do! My heart really wants to go to Caribana but my head doesn't want me to go by myself. I know that if I was truly being fearless I would go anyways and have a great time, but realistically I want to go with my friends. It seems however that the vast majority of my friends are either busy or disinterested. Decisions, decisions. OH! I almost forgot to mention, things are getting better in the office. I'm going out for lunch today with that girl. Now if only I could work up the guts to talk to that cute boy in the office next door! Oh well. Baby steps here people. If I can make friends I can talk to ridiculously good looking guys, just maybe not yet.
I went to say goodbye to my mom this morning before my daily walk to the subway station. She has the luxury of driving so she can leave at least half an hour later then me. This morning was a little different though, usually she adjusts some aspect of my outfit, tells me to stand up straight and scrunches my hair. This morning she looked and me and wrinkled her forehead looking faintly distressed. "You should just cut it" she said in frustration "Really?!" I almost shrieked with happiness. You see, I have slightly longer then shoulder length curly blond hair, but here's the thing, my curls aren't natural. I've had a perm for the past 4 years and I'm starting to get more then a little bored. Plus, in my opinion, my hair is starting to look more then a little damaged. I've been dying to lop it off and start from the very beginning. I want to go back to my natural hair texture and in order to do that I'm inevitably going to have to cut it short, which is something I'm actually quite excited for. Why? You may ask. So many reasons. Reason #1 is totally practical. Short hair is just easier. I've had it before, I know. It takes mere seconds to dry and style and it keeps me cool throughout the day. Reason # 2 its fearless. No I'm not making this up. Have you ever watched TLC's What Not To Wear? After all of that shopping what happens next? These ladies, who by and large have long, unkempt, shapeless, mousy looking hair get this dramatic cut. Its the one thing they're scared of they keep on saying. Its true. Women are by and large foolish. They use their long hair as a security blanket, they automatically equate long hair with beauty and this silly concept is, if anything, encouraged by the men in their lives. I actually had a guy friend tell me after I grew my hair out that it was way better then that butch thing I had going on. Let me be the first to admit that my last short hair cut kind of sucked. It was totally my hair dresser's fault. But this time I'm going to do some serious research and find the perfect hair cut for me, and the perfect hair dresser. I'm not going to be talked in or out of anything. Its going to be my way or nothing. And I am sooooooo excited!
I feel tired and harassed and very, very unfearless. I'm slouching in my chair and my ass hurts from being stuck here for so long, I have a headache that is the combined result of the absence of caffeine in my blood and sheer boredom. Right now I'm having a "who really gives a fuck" kind of day. Everyone has them, I know I'm in a slump and really the best thing to pull myself out would be doing some small scary little thing. Actually I already tried that this morning. While the TTC was malfunctioning I eye-flirted a little with one guy but it never progressed. I think that what I really need to do is commit to a couple of interesting activities and maybe some volunteer time. Why is that fearless you may ask? Well the only really scary thing about some new activities and volunteering my time is the fact that it puts me in new social situations where I'm forced to meet people! Scary I know. I'll look in to a yoga class in the area maybe, and possibly some belly dancing since I have the scarf anyways or salsa because its fun and the next time I go to a salsa club I would like to actually know what I'm doing. The thing I would REALLY love to do though is a cooking class. Because I love making food but only if its delicious.
So, in perhaps what can only be described as "taking things too far" I have decided to attribute everything in life that I've ever failed at to my all-consuming fears. I suspect that my therapists would be proud if they could see that sentence. But, in regards to the whole diet weight loss thing I know I'm not alone in letting my fears hold me back. I suspect that the vast majority of women who go about dieting and weight loss are defeated before they even start. Why? Because the diets are so restricted and their exercise programs are so boot camp-like that they're bound to fail, unless you're one of the few who actually thrive on this kind of life style. The knowledge that I was setting myself up to fail always kept me from sticking to any form of weight loss. So, today I am starting the anti-diet. The anti-diet is not a diet of calorie counting, salad eating and diet coke drinking. I'm actually going to be eating and drinking more or less the same but trying to keep in mind that I want to lose weight. Also I'm not really fixing a goal for myself or a date, because the pressure would doom me to fail. In fact, my goal is not actually weight loss per se, I'm pretty indifferent to the number on the scale. Lets just call it healthifying. I have absolutely no intention of going to the gym every day, but I am going to look in to restarting yoga. Everything about my approach is anti-failure... I hope. I might be still striving for that vague and foggy notion of perfection, but I don't think I am. Afterall I'm probably several thousands of dollars (in plastic sugery) away from society's current notions of perfection. I think my goal here is just feeling good. And for the record, I'm meeting a friend for lunch and we're getting poutine, but thats ok because I'm babysitting a hyperactive 7 year old after work, and I intend to play like a hyperactive 7 year old.
Now, politics. I really can't be happy unless I get to air my political views occasionally. For those of you who don't read the newspaper, MacLeans magazine is being taken before the Human Rights Tribunal because of an article they published proclaiming that radical, politicized Islam is the way of the future. The group charging them is an Islamic Canadian organisation. The author of the article was a right-wing white man who evidently takes delight in fear mongering, in fact his article, which was an opinion piece, was watered down compared to what Fox news presents as unbiased fact. Anyways, that had nothing to do with anything at all, I'm just highly annoyed that a prestigious and thought provoking magazine like MacLeans would publish that piece of crap.
My very sick little sister mustered up all the enthusiasm she possibly could when I explained this project to her. As someone who is quite possibly even more type A then myself, Andie is very appreciative of self-improvement schemes. Therfore in a voice only slightly less defeated then before she congratulated me on my idea and hoped I would follow through with it. So in a real fit of self improvement I went on to the self.com website and looked at their 30 day makeovers. I was also on Glamour and signed up for their program to. If I keep up with half the stuff I've signed up for Im going to do well!
It is so much easier to live life in mediocrity. Trust me. I've had an absolutely exhausting and stressful week so I used it as an excuse to let myself slip back in to my old ways. I did not make any effort to step outside my comfort zone, I in no way strove to be better, on the contrary I told myself that it would be enough... more then enough to make it through this week alive. Now I'm not stressed though, I have no excuse. In fact, this weekend I had two opportunities to be severely outside of my comfort zone. I went to a salsa club on Saturday, and I comforted a friend who had just lost an important family member on Sunday. I will grant you that the two things don't seem connected, the connection is very vague at best. The only thing they have in common is that I didn't feel entirely comfortable doing either. The salsa club was terrifying for one simple reason... I don't dance. Actually that's not entirely accurate, I do dance but not well. So I don't mind feigning I can dance when I'm with my girl friends, and anyone can look like they know what they're doing when its top 40 thats playing, but salsa requires actual skill, actual steps. I learned the gist of it in a few minutes, enough so that I looked like I knew what I was doing but then... guys asked me to dance and it all went down hill from there. Of course, I was either concentrating really hard or cracking up. I was trying not to roll my eyes at the stereotypical latin lover thing that the guys were working, I'm pretty sure that my clumsiness killed any "mood" they were trying to create. In spite of it all though, I had so much fun and I've resolved to continue learning how to salsa, and maybe, just maybe next time I'll actually let the guys lead.
As for my time with my other friend, some people wonder why that would be out of my comfort zone. Actually I wasn't, but think about this for a second, your friend is obviously very upset, devastated in fact, and you're the kind of person who is, from time to time, accidentally an insensitive bitch. Now would not be the moment. Also, any situation remotely like that can be difficult because everyone grieves differently. What you need when your grieving can be very different from what other people need. My friend wanted to be distracted, I on the other hand like to reminisce and try to instill myself with good memories. However, I obliged and we spent the evening talking about everything but. I managed to make her laugh a few times so I think that this is another instance of me worrying over nothing and building something up in my head... Its something I do a lot. I just wanted to close by letting my darling friend know that I am praying for her and her family. xoxoxo
(PS I'm not going to edit but in reading what I wrote above I am aware of how little sense I made, I have a headache be patient)
So I think that in some way, living mindfully can be a scary thing to do. Rather then being spontaneous and thoughtless if we think through our actions before we do them and if we pause and reflect before we speak, then we are far more likely to hold ourselves accountable for them later. When a person does something spontaneously, or in the heat of the moment its much easier to shrug it off. Living mindfully can encompass all things, from what we spend our time doing to what we eat, to what we say. Now obviously we're not going to be thinking about every detail all the time, mistakes are bound to be made, and thats ok. Mistakes are a part of our humanity. Living mindfully however means that we a person may go through life hurting fewer people, making decisions that they're more confident in, yet at the same time not letting irrational fears hold them back. When you think something through then chances are you'll realize just how silly all those little fears and precautions are. However, for tomorrow, I would like to try to be more mindful before I speak. Why? So many reasons. I tend to blather. I tend to be rash with my words and sometimes I hurt people without realizing the full impact of my words. Sometimes I say things, and then when someone mentions it to me later I have no recollection of ever saying those things. What was evidently forgettable to me was incredibly hurtful to someone else.
I know people that are a million times worse then me. They're hostile, callous, prickly people and I know why. They're trying to close themselves off to the world. They're building this hard spiky shell around themselves and they let only a select few in. To be honest I can hardly blame them. So many times I've mistakenly put trust in someone and lived to regret it. Whats worse is when people get to see the real you and they don't like what they see. I suspect that that's many people's worst fear.
So, what does that ramble have to do with speaking mindfully? It's quite simple: think before you speak, you offend fewer people so in a way its kind of letting my guard down. Trust me, my brash impulsiveness is kind of a protection
I'm blogging about my absolute failure to do something fearless. Why? because I was quite simply, too tired to even consider being bold and exciting. I also feel pretty down because my cold/sore throat just will not go away. Things are going really well, and aside from my perpetual state of singledom and those extra few pounds that virtually every girl thinks she could do without, my life is pretty good. So really the only thing motivating this project is boredom. And also my type-a tendancies that I normally try to keep carefully supressed. Ultimately, who doesn't want to be perfect? It means something different to all of us, but I suspect most people have a hazy ideal in their heads that they are constantly striving for and inevitably die falling short of. Depressing I'll grant you, but I think its also a part of how humanity has survived this long. Tomorrow, I promise, my thoughts will be more organized, I will have a schedule and a plan to attack this whole fear thing. I will face my demons head on.... (I will be less corny with more sleep)
So why is this scary? Good question. Most people have a certain hesitancy about approaching strangers. In fact the best way, in my mind, to pick out the most confident people around are the ones that feel absolutely comfortable talking to strangers. Not the ones who feign comfort, but the ones who are actually comfortable. The ones without those niggling little insecurities about the situation... most people are scared of what that absolute stranger is thinking about them, they think that person is judging them. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't.
So I decided to talk to strangers today. Not an actual stranger per se. I was talking to my brand new homestay. Im shy, she's shy, its a bad situation in general. But there we were on the bus getting along swimmingly in spite of it. Until I lapsed in to silence. I ran out of the stuff to talk about, or I lost interest or something. It was a good start though. The problem is that I have the upperhand in homestay situations because a) I speak english and she is trying to communicate with me in english b) she stays in my house. So tomorrow, I will be talking to someone who has the upper hand, and making more of an effort.
The concept is as follows: I spend one year doing something I am scared to do every single day. Sometimes it will be some small thing that is a part of something larger. Sometimes it will be very publicly committing to some project of some sort, but every day this year I have to do one thing that I'm scared of.... there will probably be some repeats.
Let me explain. I have spent my entire life, according to at least two therapists, living my life in fearl. Not in the traditional sense of the word. I have not been fearing for my life, I do not have any overwhelming neurotic fears. Actually, my fears are quite rational and they are fears that are a part of everyone.. at least I think they are. I am afraid of failure and I am afraid of rejection. Actually the two are inextricably linked. Actually, the fact that this is a project that I intend to maintain for the entire year is kind of scary in itself. As far as I know I can't fail at it, but you never know. My hope is that I will finish this year off a much stronger and more fearless person. I think that everyone is at least slightly inhibited by their fear. All this is, is a daily log of me keeping track of being slightly less inhibited.
I'm actually exhausted and my contacts are about to fall out from sheer dryness, so I probably won't write more until tomorrow. I'm definetely seeking ideas though!