Saturday, February 26, 2011

The One

While talking to a friend this morning (whom I've never met), I got to thinking about the concept of "The One" again. There seem to be split camps on the issue and I no longer know where I fall. It used to be that I believed strongly in there being one true soul mate for each of us; that one incredible person who revealed themselves to be the other half of our whole. The one person we could never live without again who awed us to no end.

Then I grew up. And I gathered some life experience...did some thinking and observing and living. It started to occur to me that most people don't experience that. It's more a case of choosing someone you can love and accept despite their faults. Someone who will be there and work with you on common life goals. Or, in the case of the less than lucky, someone to try and force it to work with...a person to battle with and fight against while stubbornly refusing (or being too afraid) to throw in the towel.

I asked a friend of mine a while back, "How did you know your husband was the right man?" Her response was, "You just know. Everything started to fall into place and it was just so easy and it all happened pretty fast once it started." It was kind of like the response I got from my cousin when I was 18 and asked, "How do you know you're in love?" and she, of course, replied, "I can't explain it. You just know."

Well, I've been infatuated more than my share of times and I've been in a couple of pretty serious relationships, but so far no one has really WOWed me. Well, OK, a couple have...but that was more a case of the infatuation outweighing the reality of them as people. It's so disappointing sometimes, isn't it? Finding out that you thought someone was so much better than they actually are...? Anyway, I digress...

In this morning's conversation, I expressed that it seems to me that while a lot of couples out there ARE "forcing" it (or trying their damnedest to, in any case), there are those incidents where you just kind of seem to find yourself in someone else's life and be compelled to act on it or regret it forever. And I think in those cases you do, indeed, "just know." I think that we meet and experience a few bad apples so that when someone who deserves us comes along we understand enough to properly appreciate the gift that they are and suddenly all that prior experience makes sense as the precursor we required to prepare for this.

I also think that the powers that be present us with this person we can't ignore when we are prepared for it. That doesn't necessarily mean when we THINK we are prepared either, but when we actually ARE. There are times when you think you are ready for something and when you get it you realize that you most definitely are not. Likewise, there are times when you think you are NOT ready for something, yet when it arrives you find that you have no problem handling it at all. Not that I view soul mates as things that need to be "handled" - more like pieces that seamlessly fit into their proper place in the puzzle when the other pieces are aligned. I'm currently assembling and solidifying the package of pieces that constitutes my own life. Once they have been fully assembled, I'll be much better able to identify the person who is supposed to occupy the space that is left. In the meantime, I am free - almost obligated, really - to try a few different fits and see how they work. Of course, they will all inevitably be going to the discard pile of odd puzzle pieces for other people to sort through until they are identified by their rightful match...and someone out there is doing the same thing in their search for me. The magic happens when the time is right and we finally discover each other.

So, yeah, I guess I kinda do still believe in there being one person I'm meant to be with, even though it could potentially work with several. Perhaps it just depends on which of those shows up in my life first? Or perhaps it's already been decided and chance has no bearing on who it will be. And perhaps it has a lot to do with my own personal level of contentment and patience...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dancing with Deceit

I have pretty good instincts, I'm discovering. And when something doesn't sit right with me, dirty laundry has a way of coming to the top of the hamper, shall we say. In this case, it was a couple of little white lies that I haven't decided what to do with yet. But it irks me. Why do people feel the need to be dishonest? Are these lies inconsequential, or do they hide something more substantial? Is the liar in question a basically good person who chose to hide a couple of things rather than give a rational explanation for them? Or are they actually not to be trusted at all? I guess only time will tell...but my radar is now on alert, as it should be. Burn me once, burn me twice, and so on...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not intending to come across as perfect or holier-than-thou. Lord knows I have my share of faults and have been guilty of bending the truth myself on occasion, like everyone else on this planet. But overall I pride myself on being honest and trustworthy. In other words, I know my own character and intentions...but how well can you ever really know someone else's?

I generally think you either trust people until they give you a reason not to or you trust no one until they prove themselves worthy of it. I tend to do a little of both, depending on the vibes someone gives me. However, I have also noticed that I have the tendency to see the good in people to the extent of giving more credit than is due a lot of the time...which makes me question myself at times like this and wonder if I am being too naive and trusting. But I am not one to judge quickly or harshly and believe people generally have reasonable motives for their actions (there are always exceptions, of course), so it creates a bit of an internal conundrum.

Time will tell, as I said. In the meantime, I have to decide whether to confront this person and ask for clarification for the untruths or let them go and keep my observations to myself for now. Tough decision in some ways. I don't want to jump to the wrong conclusions and I also really don't respect or appreciate being lied to. On the other hand, I don't want to put this person on the defensive for several reasons.

Ah well, at least I know I'd make a damn fine detective. Perhaps a new career choice if teaching falls through...?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brighter Days Ahead

I worked this morning. Yay! I am also working tomorrow morning. Total cause for celebration :-). It's funny how we get different perspectives on these things according to our circumstances. I can remember being overworked and wishing for time to relax in the not so distant past..and now I can see that I was actually more fortunate than I realized at the time. It's easy to take things for granted and complain about them when you haven't experienced their flip side.

Anyway, I am still waiting for my paperwork to go through to give NCSD a shot, but in the meantime I'm just very happy to be feeling useful and making money. It appears I have suddenly become visible and people are going out of their way to help me get ahead..which is much appreciated. So, again, putting it out there to the universe in gratitude and hopefulness that this trend will continue...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Revolutionary Wave

As I was sitting on my couch this afternoon watching Just For Laughs and reading about current developments in Libya (a somewhat ludicrous contrast, I know), it hit me anew how lucky I am to live in a country where relative safety, democracy and liberation are inherent to society. I know it was not always that way, but I'm pretty sure the situation also never exactly paralleled the one facing many Northern Africans and Middle Easterners recently. I have been blessed enough to be born in a time and place where these things were fought for and established before I came along. I am so thankful for that. At the same time, it is so mind blowing to live in a world where people are still fighting for those things. To hear about and watch their battle really puts a lot of things in perspective for me. I really hope they all succeed in rendering the changes they desire without too much bloodshed...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Can This Happen?

I was browsing through news articles this morning (something I - shockingly - rarely do) and the headline "State had been warned about abused dead girl, injured boy found in truck" caught my attention. So I read the article. And it is very disturbing.

I don't understand how people could possess so much cruelty within them - and to inflict it upon children is even more despicable. I also don't understand how it is that these children, sadly, continue to slip through the cracks and suffer neglect and abuse for so long with no one the wiser - or with people being aware of it and no one doing anything to stop it, which is even worse. I can't believe that the people in a position to put an end to these children's misery failed to do their job and a little girl lost her life because of it.

Granted, there are two (or three, depending on how you look at it) sides to every story. There is the possibility that child welfare workers are overwhelmed with their workload or any number of other contributing factors that may make it more difficult to do their job efficiently. However, if that is the case, then obviously the root problems need to be addressed.

The Big Decision

So it looks like it will be Option B: moving home to sub in the short term. Scratch that...not moving, just going there and working for awhile. I have mixed feelings about this, but time and money wise it seems to be my best bet at the moment. I really hope it will be a positive and work out well, but the only way to find out is to do it. I also hope it doesn't take long to get my application processed...

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Putting Myself First Plan

Well, here it goes...I figure if I put it out there for the world to see there may be a better chance of me tackling and sticking to it...I just have to create it first...SO what does it mean to put myself first?

In order to get all my ducks in a row, I need to take better care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally/spiritually, and financially and make sure my own needs are met. So now I'll break it down and see what that looks like/what I have to work on:

1. Physically - get on a regular sleep/wake schedule, exercise followed by stretching in some form at least four times per week, limit junk food intake to weekends, drink between one and two litres of water per day, quit smoking again (which requires a whole plan of it's own and I must be completely ready and committed to it before attempting in order to ensure success).

2. Mentally/emotionally/spiritually - pray, meditate, practice deep breathing, remember gratitude daily, stop wasting thought, time and energy on people and things that don't warrant it, only make time for people who make time for me, write regularly, pursue theatre, prepare to quit smoking, limit exposure to negative influences if and when possible, redefine personal and professional goals and take action.

3. Financially - keep better track of spending, pay off debt, start saving again, increase income (which is the current sticking point, the concept being very much convoluted in my brain and requiring further thought and clarification. In fact, I have been sitting here staring at the screen trying to determine how to even organize the jumble of ideas so that they can be followed and understood).

Short term, I am thinking my options include:

A. Get those resumes out to the schools in St. John's and surrounding area (of course they are closed again today) and volunteer and network like crazy
B. Drum up some more tutoring
C. Move home and try subbing there
D. Perhaps pursue freelance writing
E. Apply for other jobs outside of teaching
F. Pray long and hard to be able to make ends meet
G. Go teach overseas

Long term, I need to consider:

A. Staying put in the teaching field and sticking it out until a full-time position comes my way
B. Going back to school and pursuing further education to use either in the teaching field or some other undetermined area
C. What areas I'd be interested in other than teaching
D. What would be involved in pursuing other areas of interest

...which brings me full circle and I'm still no further ahead with the biggest issue I need to tackle. Finances and career path. Sigh. That really bugs me. The ticking of the clock is like a sonic boom in my ears and I can feel my neck getting tighter with each passing second that I haven't decided on a definite course of action/life plan. SO much pressure...How is it that this totally paralyzes me? Grrrrr....I need to break it down and make it more manageable somehow but I'm really at a loss here with so much to consider and time running out. I feel like I can't tackle all those things at once because it will mean my energies are scattered all over the where do I focus them...? OK...think. Be rational. It's not THAT difficult. Whoa. Spiralling. In the words of my darling stepfather, "The main thing is not to panic." So... I guess now would be a good time to take a breather and realize that organizing it on paper (or the screen in this case) is a step in the right direction. Come back to it later and scrutinize one option at a time. And they are not all mutually exclusive either. Deep breathing, anyone...? :-)

As an afterthought, a few of the happiest acquaintances I know in terms of work life are ones who have also expressed the impossibility of planning these things. They say it just happened...Wouldn't that be nice? I suppose I could add "pray for karma to drop my ideal life in my lap" to my list...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


So over the past few months I have added a bunch of guys from the online dating site to my MSN in order to chat and get to know them better. No surprise there. And I've heard that there are a lot of cheaters out there who use this avenue to drum up affairs. But I hadn't experienced it myself (knowingly, at least) until a couple of nights ago (well...unless you count the random message I got on the dating site itself a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to have a threesome with some guy and his wife - but I'm assuming wifey is in on that...unless the guy plans on having unexplained girls pop up in their bed, which I'm sure would be interesting but probably not go over well).

Getting back to my story, though, I had chatted with this guy...we'll call him M...a few times and found that the conversation was pretty good. He is also a fellow teacher and so was able to relate to me that way and offer some suggestions on how to improve my current job situation. Anyway, I commented on the fact that he is rather vague about certain things and made a joke about him being paranoid, etc. He denied the paranoia, but pointed out the fact that I had forgotten the possibility that perhaps he is married and didn't want me to know. So I asked, point blank, "Are you married?" and was shocked when the response came back, "Yes."

I don't know why, but that never ceases to blow my mind. I don't mean to sound judgmental, but I cannot wrap my head around why or how people can do that sort of thing - although it happens all the time. Admittedly, there have been a couple of occasions when I was tempted but I never even came close to going through with it, despite being unhappy in the relationships I was in at the time. I am of the opinion that if you are not happy with someone and can't work through things then you should part ways and give each other a fresh chance at happiness. In the meantime, if you are together then you are together - that means you don't disrespect and betray them by being unfaithful...for obvious, and numerous, reasons.

M claimed that he has been married a few years, loves his wife, and has never cheated on her. He said they used to have a great sex life but that they aren't able to have sex anymore. He also said that he is happy most of the time, but that he doesn't know what will happen to the relationship in future (although he has no intention of leaving). Yet he admitted that his intention in contacting me was to try and meet me and have sex with me. M also expected me to believe that I was the only woman he was talking to from the dating site (well, M, I'm sorry to inform you that your MSN profile tells another story) and that it had taken him a couple of months to work up the nerve to send me a message due to the factors of guilt and intimidation.

Anyway, obviously that revelation changed everything and caused a lot of questions and turmoil within me for a short time. I asked him a bunch of things in an effort to understand his thinking (don't ask why - it's just how I am. I like to understand things, whether I agree with them or not). Part of me was disappointed that he was no longer a potential candidate on my dating list (although thank God on the other hand because he's certainly not the type of man I'd want to be involved with) and that my morals would no longer justify me talking to him. Part of me was reminded of finding my ex-boyfriend's profile on a dating site and being devastated over the whole ordeal. Yet another part of me sympathized with him about having a less than satisfactory sex life, which I experienced in one of my previous relationships as well and which was certainly not easy. I told myself at the time that it wasn't as important as all the other aspects of the relationship, but I also promised myself when I got out that I would NEVER sacrifice that again. Mostly, though, I just felt bad for his wife, who had apparently gone to bed early feeling sick, which had allowed him to get online and talk to me (of course, I didn't know that at the outset of the conversation).

I guess the bottom line is that this sort of thing gives one a lot to think about in terms of trust and commitment, secrecy and lies. I could go on and on about how you never really know someone, or about how you have to trust until you have a reason not to...I could wax poetic about the need to trust your instincts or how things have a way of coming out in the wash...but I'm sure you can ponder all those things by yourself without my aid - and most likely already have at some point or another.

Frustrated, Incorporated

Today has so far been a write off for me. Well...not completely. There is one very good thing that has happened: I have decided that I'm done with wallowing. I am so frustrated with myself and sick of listening to myself whine and the stress of everything being the same overall is getting to be too much to bear. I need action. I need change. I need to kick my own ass and get the hell outta this slump because I'm not a fan of the boat I'm in. The clock is ticking. It has never stopped. And although I have taken steps in the right direction, I haven't followed through completely. The most recent in this series of steps includes making a comprehensive list of the schools in the Eastern District that are within reasonable distance from my home and which I could sub at, given the opportunity, and printing off 30 resumes to hand deliver to those schools (some of which I've already visited and some of which I haven't). However, I have so far only visited one (after a fiasco yesterday that involved nearly breaking my toe followed by getting stuck in the driveway for some time, which put me way behind my intended schedule). I also called Nova Central and left a message asking whether I would have to resubmit a complete application package were I to move home and get back on their sub list. They haven't gotten back to me yet...

Anyway, as I was saying, it's time to get stubborn and determined once again. Granted, being gentle and kind with yourself is sometimes necessary. And I did need that...along with patting myself on the back for the littlest accomplishments at times. But I made an important bleedingly obvious discovery today: much as I have talked about it, I haven't truly sat down and solidified what it is that I want for myself and how to go about getting it. I haven't fully realized what it means to put myself first or how to go about doing that, either. And I sabotage myself. I sit and think for a little while and then I get overwhelmed with the number of options before me and the lack of surety about anything and back burner everything again without coming to any concrete conclusions or taking action and so I am no further ahead. Rather than risk making the wrong decision or taking the wrong path, I stall. But I need to clarify my goals in order to figure out my direction. And I need to focus my energy more efficiently and productively than I have been in order to reach those goals.

So, I will forgive myself for the fact that I didn't have it in me to go out with a cold and shovel myself out of my apartment and my driveway today in order to hit some schools on my list. And I will try not to be too bummed that the guy I've been looking forward to seeing tonight cancelled on me and will be flying overseas for a family thing and I won't get to spend time with him until he gets back. But I will also think seriously about my future. I will look at my options closely and I will truly weigh the pros and cons. No one can do this but me. And if I want to be self-sufficient again (which I very much do) I have to put a plan into motion ASAP.

There is one more thing I will do...I will ask you if there is any advice or experience you would like to share as to how you came to discover your own path in life. Sometimes the most random tidbits set off a series of thoughts and events that take us places we could never have imagined...perhaps you could prove to be my catalyst :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Night Meanderings

So here's all the recent news:

My laptop died and I have a new MacBook Pro...which is awesome....and which also engenders mixed emotions in me. On the one hand, I'm so grateful to have wonderful parents who help me out when I'm in a bind. On the other, I'm embarrassed (almost ashamed) and feeling guilty to be 30 and leaning on them. It's so hard to not be self sufficient. It really does a number on your self worth...which I think I've alluded to before.

I've met a few more guys...a couple were duds and a couple seemed decent. I'm not sure if I'll see any of them again. Of the two guys I was hanging out with fairly regularly (note: that does not mean sleeping with), I've stopped seeing one and am continuing to see the other...although I see him a little less than I would like. I'm finding it very hard to get an accurate read on him so I'm making it a point to keep my heart well-guarded and my emotions in check. He's fun. And smart. And there is some mad physical attraction and chemistry that goes both will be interesting to see how this plays out (although I already have two possible scenarios in mind). I have also been conversing regularly with another guy who seems to be very mature and in line with my way of thinking in a lot of ways, but I have yet to meet him. I'm still considering closing my online dating account but have yet to make the move (although I've hidden my profile so I'm not visible to Joe Public anymore which means a significant drop in mail and I'm alright with that right now).

It's getting impossible to make ends meet (not that it has ever been easy since coming home) and so now it's crunch time. I have to seriously consider moving back with my parents during the week in order to afford my apartment in town (which I cannot think of giving up). I have debated getting a part time job (or five) while trying to round up more subbing time or applying for non-teaching jobs that may pay the bills, but right now it doesn't seem like any of that wants to fall in line and so my best bet appears to be buying time by going home and crossing my fingers I'll get more sub time out there. It won't be forever, of course. I am hoping I'll either miraculously come to some enlightening conclusions as to what the hell I'm supposed to do with my life and go after it with conviction (whether that be stay on the teaching track or veer onto another course) or at the very least get back on solid financial ground and be able to give it another go next year getting my foot in the door with the Eastern District. I feel like such a failure to have not made it work this time around, but I guess I need to put it in perspective and look at the fact that I've actually done better with it than a lot of subs with the amount of headway I was able to make...It's sad, really.

I still have not gotten back on the writing wagon or the Artist's Way one either.

My weight loss has been pretty stable at around 23 pounds, give or take. I am hoping to kick start some more pound droppage pretty soon.

I still have not quit smoking again, but I'm determined to kick it soon.

...and finally, tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I honestly don't care in the least, which surprises the hell out of me. In fact, were it not for radio announcements and a sighting of men out scurrying around and scouring the shelves for merchandise at WalMart tonight, I would be completely oblivious as to it's arrival. I really thought I'd be distraught over this. Go figure. As I said to my best friend (who I accompanied on said WalMart excursion and who also happens to be single) after directing another misguided soul to the shopping cart containing the remnants of the Lindor chocolates that had been raided from the shelves, "Thank God we are not on the receiving/reciprocating end of all that last minute shopping." That's not to say that all those girlfriends are going to be disappointed...or that I didn't appreciate the tokens of affection I was given over the years...but honestly, I would much rather be the recipient of something that reflected thought from someone deserving of my love from now on than the crumbs I settled for before (I can certainly do without another cheezy stuffed toy sitting around collecting dust...although I suppose commercialization is somewhat to blame for that). Until that amazing person comes along, I'm more than happy to be spending special occasions solo :-) After all, they are only as special as the company you keep, and my girlfriends are the most special people in my life right now. I don't know what I'd do without them...or the incredibly supportive family I have been blessed to be born into. I have to say, though, I was quite impressed with my brother this year. He had the forethought to surprise his girlfriend with a dozen roses and dinner reservations over the weekend. I never thought he had it in him...

Anyway, a very happy Valentine's Day to all you love birds out there. May it be your best one yet (and may you all enjoy genuine displays of love, passion, and affection from your special someones)!