Monday, October 18, 2010

In More Ways Than One...

The Ex-Factor

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I have found that I have put on weight over the course of my long term relationships. The first time, it was because I was miserable and using emotional eating as a coping strategy without realizing (never a good idea). I gained somewhere around 30 pounds over a 2-3 year period. Not good. The last time, my weight tended to fluctuate 20 pounds or so...I'd lose them and then I'd gain them back...then I'd lose them and gain them get the picture.

When I moved home, I was close to being back to my heaviest weight after months of misery followed by a month or so of eating takeout while packing boxes to ship across the country. Again - I don't recommend that as a wise course of action, but sometimes it is necessary to do what needs to be done without losing your mind.

I am by no means fanatical about my weight, but I do try to stay healthy and in decent shape. As my mother says, "everything in moderation." I walk, I do yoga, I hike (none of which is done on stringently, but all of which occurs fairly frequently) and I attempt to eat healthy during the week so that the weekend splurges are not quite so guilt-ridden. And on that note, I am happy to report that I am now down to pre-last-boyfriend weight (on the button). And in another 10 pounds I will be down to pre-first-boyfriend weight...which I haven't been since I was 19-20ish. Now THAT is exciting :)

I also like to think of it as being somehow the weight is connected to the emotional upheaval and baggage accumulated over the course of relationships that didn't work out and so losing it, in turn, equates to lightening the load on my mind and my shoulders and in my heart. I find it is therapeutic to look at it that if I am working my way back to a sort of emotionally healthy tabula rasa state (in terms of healing old scars and banishing any bitterness/cynicism that may be lurking in parts unknown) for the right person to get a fair shot while maintaining all the lessons learned and wisdom garnered from the past...As someone said to me a few months ago, "We all have baggage. It's just a matter of learning to check it when you get on board the next flight and not dump it in the lap of the person sitting next to you." Wise words, indeed...

Work Woes

OK. So I'm getting very stressed and frustrated because I am currently unemployed. I'm a teacher...and unfortunately unemployed teachers are a dime a dozen in St. John's. I figured I'd get my feet wet subbing and work my way into the system...but that's not happening. Things work differently here. Elsewhere I've lived and worked (sometimes subbing and sometimes in my own classroom under yearly term contracts), I've applied to the district, gotten on the sub list, and been guaranteed at least SOME time subbing under the rotational system (minus when I first came home and was subbing in rural NL...but I still managed to get decent classroom time out of that) and a fair crack at any available teaching positions (naturally, I was still behind anyone with more seniority or higher qualifications in terms of job postings). When I applied to the sub list in this district I was informed through the grapevine that the expectation here is that you also hand deliver your resume to any and all schools you wish to sub at and pick a handful to volunteer at for a few hours a week...all in the HOPE of getting a call to sub. So I did that (although I have to say I see a number of faults with that system...which is also NOT rotational and based solely on who you know and your ability to get into their good books as far as I can tell). I got dressed up, plastered a confident smile on my face and braved the weather (of course, it was windy and raining every time I went out to deliver resumes), I picked a couple of schools and have been going there and volunteering my services in and out of the classroom to whoever wants to make use of me - and so far? Nothing. Nada. Pas du tout!

And it's getting old. I am not a fan of having this much time on my hands to try and fill. I have ALWAYS been busy. I left high school and went straight to university and then left university and went straight to work. I'm sure most everyone realizes that being a student and being a teacher are both pretty time consuming roles to play. So I'm trying to broaden my horizons and see what else is out there...but I have no idea where to turn or what to do (other than recreational pursuits). My entire life has been centered around schools, it seems. I feel utterly dumbfounded when it comes to getting myself gainfully employed in other areas or even what areas I'd like to become gainfully employed in (and I'm starting to revisit the idea that perhaps teaching is not where it's at for me)! It's rather confusing...Do I seek further education to add to my bachelor's degrees (and how do I finance that? by tacking further debt onto my already existing student loan)? Do I branch out and do something totally different? Do I seek part-time employment that will allow me the flexibility to continue volunteering and perhaps snagging some sub time at some unknown point in the future? Do I go after a full-time job that will take away that option (and do I settle for just anything at this point or do I continue to look for something that will leave me with some satisfaction at the end of the day)? Is there a way I can become self-employed and make money off of my hobbies/talents/things I enjoy? And then there's pay...while I'm not exactly doing well at the moment and on the one hand some money is better than no money, on the other hand I'm not sure how I can go from the possibility of making decent money to the assurance of making much less and still find a way to make ends meet...if that makes sense. I guess the bottom line is I'm just feeling really scared and lost and hoping some divine opportunity or inspiration will fall into my lap and light my way through this dark, murky path I'm on...sooner rather than later would probably be best...

At the end of the day, I just really want to feel like I have a purpose. I want to be self-sufficient and feel good about what I do and how I spend my life. Is that so much to ask...? How on earth does everyone else make it in this city/province?

Unfounded Warnings Cause Web Traffic Scares

I've not been the most dedicated blogger, of late. However, I've more recently been working on remedying that a little. So, the fact that there have been warnings coming up for sites that use or are listed in the NL BlogRoll kind of escaped my attention for awhile. However, after reading this post at Townie Bastard and viewing this page at Blogrolling, as cited in a comment following that post, I decided to follow Townie's lead and remove the BlogRoll to see what happened. While I have never noticed any warnings when using Internet Explorer, whenever I use Google Chrome I am still getting that vexatious little warning...grrrr...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Saturday Night

No one said it would be easy starting over and this is certainly not where I thought I'd be at 30. However, it could always be one friend says to me, "You could be blind, pregnant and homeless. Then you would have real problems." Somehow that is cold comfort on a night like this...

Yes, it has been a long and lonely 24 hours. However, instead of falling into the "woe is me" mode, I thought I would try and keep it somewhat light. In that vein, may I present for your listening/viewing pleasure:

Well, you know...change the lyrics a bit and you get the drift. Tis just as well to laugh as to cry, as my great-grandmother used to say...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dating Drama II

I would like to think that I am nowhere near shallow. I don't have a "type" that I look for physically, and there are no specific criteria for measurements, hair colour, eye colour, or whatever for the most part. While we all have our preferences (I will admit that I tend to be drawn to those who are dark haired and taller than me, for instance), whether or not I will give someone a chance is by and large determined by their personality and not whether they are considered hot and buff to the general population. Although, naturally, there has to be an element of attraction in order to entertain the notion of dating someone, I don't think there is any set combination of features that equals attractiveness. Everyone is unique and what is inside shines through to play a big part in what we perceive on the outside. Have you ever noticed that you can meet someone who is only marginally attractive and when you get to know them they become the most beautiful/handsome/attractive person ever? Or vice versa - you meet someone who makes your knees go to Jell-O and the more you find out about them, the uglier they become?

Keeping that in mind, I have recently experienced every Internet dater's nightmare...meeting someone who looks NOTHING like you thought they would based on their pictures (a word to the wise: be wary of side profile pictures and sunglasses, and always ask how recent pictures are). Admittedly, I was taking a chance with this guy, who was out of my normal comfort zone in regards to age range (older, as in ). I can only imagine the look that must have been on my face when he turned and saw me walking into the coffee shop where we met (deer in the headlights, anyone?), although I tried my utmost to disguise it and muster a genuine smile - hey, it's tough to put yourself out there and I know that! And I did try to look past the superficial elements...but there were a lot of them. I stayed for an hour and a half to chat with him, partially to be polite and give him a fair shot and partially because there was some interesting story swapping going on. I'd like to think that his personality would have counteracted the effects of the physical if he was someone I could really click with, but that didn't happen. He didn't seem to possess the character traits I am looking for in a romantic interest either, and some of his mannerisms were a bit of a turnoff.

So...then there is the escape route. How does one go about getting out of those situations gracefully? Luckily, I apparently looked tired when I showed up (which he commented on - gee, thanks!), so I was able to use that to my advantage. I somehow got myself out the door and to my car without having to encounter the awkward potential hug/kiss goodnight moment that seems to accompany most first dates in my experience (and thankfully does not ALWAYS manifest and is not ALWAYS awkward when it does)...and then came home to a very complimentary message from him, which was sweet and would have thrilled me if it were from someone of whom I reciprocated those impressions, but unfortunately necessitated a speedier extraction from the situation than I had anticipated. Due to the lack of interest on my part and not wanting to give false hope or allow this man to feel like he was making a fool of himself, I had to woman up and reject him upfront. I did this as truthfully, gently, and compassionately as I could muster, but it still wasn't easy. You never know how people are going to take those things. Thankfully, he took it well and we ceased communication amicably. Phew! I hope the guy gets what he's looking for, though, all the same...if what he shared with me was true, it sounds like he's been through a lot with women who have taken advantage of him...

Dating Drama

Why is it that we get an impression in our minds of what someone is like and then it is sooooooo hard to replace it entirely when that turns out not to be the case? I was chatting with a guy who, although sometimes not the most talkative, seemed like the most decent and "together" guy I'd crossed paths with in quite some time. He looked so sweet and sensible in his pictures, too, and I was really looking forward to meeting him.

The first inkling that he was perhaps misrepresenting himself came when we added each other to facebook...where I saw pictures of him looking anything but sweet and innocent. Not that he was doing anything inappropriate, but you know how the look in a person's eyes sometimes acts as an early warning system? Well this boy all of a sudden became edgy and dangerous looking and red flags started flying...but then again...a picture is just a picture and looks can be deceiving, right? So I met him. I enjoyed his company. There was great chemistry...and he began to smash major holes in my image of him. Which is probably a good thing to have happen earlier rather than later in the game. He outright asked for sexual favours when we were kissing on the first date (I was appalled and indignant and verbally smacked him in the head for that one) and texted and called me at 4am the next day (luckily my phone was on quiet) and when I discovered this and made it clear that it was not appreciated and I was not in the market to be someone's booty call, he claimed he'd been locked out of his apartment and had been freezing outside. I didn't buy it, but guessed there was a very slim chance it could have been sense of fairness and not judging too quickly really does make me come across as ridiculously innocent and naive sometimes...

Long story short, for some reason all the things I had wanted and initially believed this person to be persuaded me to go out with him a second time. SIGH. While there was somehow still a sweetness and considerate air about him in a way and I still enjoyed his company, he admitted that he lied on his dating profile about wanting a relationship in order to get more hits, told me about an incident in which he had cheated on a girl for a year because she was the type to cry about everything and he didn't want to break up and hurt her feelings (so you do that to her and hurt her ten times worse???), and contradicted some of the things he had said to me on the first date, making it crystal clear (as if it wasn't already, even though I was bound and determined to put the blinders on) that he is a total player and was just feeding me whatever he thought I wanted to hear in the hopes of getting what he wanted.

Why is it that we refuse to believe what's in front of us sometimes (even when we ourselves identify it!) in favour of what we want to see and believe? How is it that we think we can fill someone with all the things we want them to be? We cannot impart morals and values and all-around goodness into someone else. It just doesn't work that way. Yet I still want to look at the positive aspects of this person in the face of everything that he isn't. It doesn't even make sense! I know I am worth a hell of a lot more than this guy could ever give me at this point. He doesn't deserve a second of my time and is delusional if he thinks he's pulling the wool over my eyes in any way, but I have continued to talk to him when he has contacted me. I must be insane. Is it boredom? Is it some misguided notion that hiding underneath the bad boy hiding underneath the good guy facade is the really good guy I saw in the beginning? The hope that maybe he will wake up and change? The experience of learning more about the player psyche to better equip myself in future? The challenge of demystifying the cat and mouse game? Or have I simply lost all my marbles?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dirty Thirties

Ok. It's official. I have entered the third decade of my existance. Oddly, it's a little hard to wrap my head around as of yet. However, I have been told by several women that the 30s are where it's a colleague of mine once put it, "In your 20's, you figure out who you are and what it's all about. In your 30's, you start to put it all together and solidify your life. And by the time you hit your 40's, you are who you are and you just don't give a shit what anyone thinks anymore." So...while I'm feeling a little nostalgic about the end of an era, I'm really looking forward to seeing what my 30's have in store. I do, however, have to put in some pretty hard work over the next little while to see what I can make happen for myself here. Time to pull those bootstraps all the way up and get a little tougher and more determined, I suppose! (And besides, I have nothing to worry about, right? I mean, after all - they do say that 30 is the new 20).