Monday, November 23, 2015

Danger?! Ha!! I laugh in the face of danger!! Ha ha ha!!!

When it comes to a challenge, a mountain, a hurdle, a roadblock, the Grand Canyon, what do you do?  Do you turn around and run or do you face it head on?  Or, more specifically, how have you evolved to facing challenges?  

I used to be the type of person who would turn around and run from a challenge.  If something popped up in my life that would turn it topsy-turvy or would cause a decision that needed to be made, I wouldn't do it.  I would mentally curl up in the fetal position and wait for the roadblock to become non existant and then go on with my merry life.  

Not the way to live.  Whatsoever.  

I really don't know what the defining moment for me was when I decided that I would face my challenges head on, make my world topsy-turvy if I had to to face my mountains.  I know it happened when I was with my ex-boyfriend.   We were together for 6 years and one day I woke up and said to myself 'I am sick of living like this.  I deserve to be happy'.  And I took the steps to start finding my happiness.  It was the biggest decision of my life and such a Grand Canyon to figure out how to get to the other side, but guess what, I didn't fall down, I didn't die, I didn't curl up in the fetal position.  I made it to the other side.  Happier.  Yeah, a little rough around the edges and raw, but I made it.  I faced that challenge head on and went with it.  

We are faced with challenges every day.  Some more so than others.  They could be little challenges (like what to wear on those days that *nothing* looks good) or having to make a decision at work that could influence the rest of your career.  The only thing that matters is how you hold yourself during that moment.  Are you a lion or a lamb?  Do you take those steps, jump those hurdles, or do you stay meek and mild and then the world run right over you? 

There have been many times in volleyball that I/we had to decide if we were going to be lions or lambs and that can change the entire outcome of the game.  The first time we were at Nationals, we came up against this team that were Amazons.   Huge.  Ginormous.  They must have had 2 feet on us, easily. Watching them warm up, I could feel my panic and anxiety rising, trying to think how I was going to set my hitters so that they wouldn't get blocked all the time.  And when the game started, I told myself that this was not the time to back down, give up, get frustrated; this was the time to step up and show the world (ie the other team) what we were made of.  And we did.  We won.  

Same thing happened last week at volleyball.  We moved up a tier as we were top 2 in the tier we were originally in.  And I was scared of this move as we aren't a consistent enough team to stay at the top; we have no cohesiveness as a team (half the time I have no clue what is happening).  So moving up a tier, in my mind, we were going to get slaughtered.  But guess what - we didn't.  We pulled through.  Even though most of us had our doubts, we stood tall and strong and showed the other team that although we don't do the fancy hits or the complete coverage that we need, we are still a team of lions and won't back down.  

Work has thrown challenges at me, left right and center.  I don't mind the 'sink or swim' training method, but in certain situations.  Our first day at the jail for our internship, our training consisted of PREA (prison rape elimination act) and what to do if we were held hostage (which I would like to point out that a) they have never had a hostage situation before and b) that means that their whole plan of retrieving the hostages has never actually been implemented).  That was our training.  So the first day actually walking into a housing unit to go talk to the individuals, you had to be a lion.  You couldn't show fear or apprehension or panic.  You had to walk in, shoulders back, head high, and look like you had authority and that people had to listen to you (which is totally not me).  But being in the jail was not a place to be a lamb.  It was sink or swim - were the inmates going to walk all over me or was I going to be authoritative and stand my ground with them.  I gained a lot of self confidence working there, and that is one of the most amazing things I got out of working at the jail.  

Challenges make us stronger, wiser.  Would I be the person today if I never broke up with my ex? Absolutely not.  Would I be the person I am today if I never worked in an American jail?  Absolutely not.  Every challenge I have faced (and took head on) has only made me a better, stronger, more complete person.  

Moral of this blog: F*#k It and be a lion, not a lamb, when it comes to challenges.  Run with the giants and don't be a troll.    

Friday, November 13, 2015

Step outside your bubble - the world is a pretty fun place!!

I am the type of person that I don't like change - its panics me, causes anxiety and I feel like my whole life gets turned topsy-turvy.  And it could be the simple things, like walking to the bus stop.  If I go down a different road, I panic as I have now changed my normal routine.  I would be a serial killer's favorite victim as I do everything the same, no variety.  Yet I hate sameness.  I need variety, but change is too hard for me to handle.  And yes, you are reading the words of the person who has moved to a different country twice.  If that isn't the ultimate change, I don't know what is.  But that is a different change.  

That is a /crazy/fearless/"am I friggin stupid for doing this??!!"/ change.  

I have the word 'fearless' tattooed down my spine.  I would have never attributed that adjective to my personality, in fact it was probably at the opposite spectrum of the words I used to use to describe myself.  However, someone once thought it was worth mentioning that they saw me as 'fearless' and since then, it has been a way of life for me.  (But let's not confuse being fearless as not being afraid of anything - totally different.  And it is logical to be afraid of mascots.  I can still be fearless even though I am afraid of mascots.  Or butterflies).  Being fearless gives me that final push to do something that I would naturally shy away from and stay within my bubble.  

Like moving to the States.  Twice.  Without knowing a single soul where I was moving. Or knowing anything about where I was moving.   

I remember picking up my keys to my place in DC.  The rental agency people were a) flabbergasted and b) concerned when I told them I just landed from travelling from Alberta, Canada.  When they asked if I knew anybody or anything like that and I told them no, the look between them almost said 'this woman is crazy and she won't last a day here since she is so naive and green'.  I just smiled and told them that things will be alright and went on my merry way.  And I had to keep telling me that things were going to be okay the entire day as I had many of those moments when I asked myself 'what the fuck am I doing??!!' and I have never regretted that decision.  

Stepping outside your bubble is an amazing thing.  A hard thing, absolutely, but amazing.  And it can be in the simpliest of ways.  It can be letting people hear your real laughter or saying those puns that crack you up and laughing at your own puns.  Not being so prim and proper and stepping outside those societal rules (like talking about cannibalism or bestiality - not sure why I like those conversations...) I wear crazy socks at volleyball.  This week, I wore 3 different socks and people commented on them all night.  And I would smile when they said they loved my socks.  I looked so different compared to a lot of the players who just wore simple (boring) white socks.  I don't know many people who could rock the 3-different-sock look.    

Stepping outside your bubble can also mean being more independent.  When I first broke up with my ex, I didn't want to do anything on my own.  The prospect of going out to eat by myself had my anxiety through the roof.  But then I said fuck it, and decided that if I had to wait for people to do stuff with, I may never leave my house.  So I did it.  And guess what - I survived.  I didn't get kicked out for eating by myself.  Nobody made fun of me when I asked for a table for 1.  I didn't get people pointing, staring and laughing at me.  All those scenerios were in my head and not realistic.  Now, I love eating by myself.  I will bring my book and just enjoy the food, my book and the people around me.  You should not have to wait for people if you want to do something.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Trust me.  

I can completely understand the comforts of one's bubble as that used to be my zone and I would not stray from it.  But that first step I took outside my bubble, the world changed.  I changed.  And all for the better.  I started finding myself, my independence and being fearless.  And now my bubble, it is still there and ready for me whenever I need some calmness and quietness in my life, but I am finding that more and more, that bubble is shrinking and the world is getting bigger and bigger for all the possibilities, opportunities and experiences that are out there.  Sorry bubble, you can't compete with the world.  

Moral of this blog:  F*#k it and step outside your bubble.  Experience something new, something you have always wanted to do (unless it is bestiality or cannibalism, then I need to advise against it).  Your bubble will always be there but some experiences are a once in a lifetime.  Don't let your bubble hold you back.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dreams, their meanings and who the heck is directing these??!!

What is the purpose of dreams?  That is the universal question to which there is no answer.  Almost every web page, every article I have read about dreams, nobody knows the purpose or function of dreams.  You read certain theorists like Freud and Jung and they all have their own notions but it hasn't been figured scientifically why we dream.  This is actually a really neat website that explains dreams in a understandable way ( 

My dreams are normally bat-shit crazy. Like something Tim Burton would be directing.  Last night's dream was more realistic than normal but still bat shit crazy.  I will give you the cliff notes version of what happened in the dream: 

  • I was in the ocean/swimming pool (kind of both) and swimming with dolphins but the dolphins either attacked me or something as I suddenly wasn't able to swim anymore and started half drowning but somebody was there to help me to the side of the pool (before I was in the ocean, now a pool) to hold me against the edge as help came (in a yacht style boat so now we are back to the ocean)
  • They/EMT tried to revive me but I was unresponsible so they brought me onto the boat to have a doctor look at me 
  • The doctor was a sadistic person apparently as he was wanting to do tests/experiments on me and I think he actually did 
  • Suddenly I found myself in a house, responsive, but kind of locked away in a basement as I was sleeping on a mattress with a TV in the corner and I think people were trying to hide me from the sadistic doctor
  • The sadistic doctor found me but my sister was also there and he took her instead so in order for me to free her I had to be injected with something that was going to make me unresponsive/fall into a coma and I kept fighting it as I didn't want that feeling again but I had no choice so I took it
  • I then woke up

How crazy was that??!!  I mean seriously.  So then when I woke up, I decided to google what the meaning of dreaming of dolphins was since, in theory, they were the catalyst in my dream and what started off the entire sequence of events.  This is what I found on dolphins:

  • a symbol of enjoyment and social connection 
  • positive feelings and circumstances 
  • connection, empathy and happiness 
  • just made a strong, powerful connection with someone (new romantic partner or friend)
  • chasing a dolphin signifies wanting to socialize more, to break their lonely, solitary cycle
  • opened a line of communication between conscious and subconscious mind

What is not talked about is the dolphins basically a) giving people seizures or b) almost killing people.  So, what can we deduce from my dream?  

  • my 'happiness' is paralyzing me, making me want to die
  • my social engagement is killing me
  • I am overwhelmed by positivity and cannot handle it 
  • the thought of getting into a relationship causes great panic and anxiety 
  • that my mind is trying to tell me something and I am ignoring it 

All the above sucks.  But maybe that is what my mind is telling me?  And if one wants to look deeper into it, it could all be true.  I find myself in a position in my life where I am not that happy - I am at a job I dislike and I am impeding myself from getting back into what I want to do.  I am truly paralyzing myself in this unhappiness.  I want to move on but I will feel guilty doing so.  I want to move on but it takes decisions and changes which I am uncomfortable with.  But, as in the end of my dream, maybe I have to do something that I dislike, something I am uncomfortable with, to get unparalyzed and save myself (or other people from my unhappiness).  BAM - just Freuded my dream!

So maybe the dream does have some significance in my life.  What does it tell me though?  To not go play with dolphins or to do something that will cause me to become unparalyzed?   And how do I do that?  Maybe another dream will help me with that.  

Moral of this blog:  F*#k it and stop paralyzing yourself, even if it means you need to take steps that you are uncomfortable with or that you feel will make other people unhappy.  You have to do what makes you happy as that is what is important.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Let's start a movement where we can tell people something good that happened in our life and not have them think we are crazy

I find that most conversations we have nowadays is very superficial and blase.  It is almost like we give answers that we know people are looking for because a) they don't have the time to actually listen to what we are going to say b) they don't care what we are actually going to say or c) a combination of the above.  It happens all the time (I even did it this morning) - people say hi, how are you, while walking away, not giving the other person a chance to even answer the question.  Why? Because we live in a fast paced world.  We have places to go, people to schmooze, things to do.  Who has time to actually give a person a chance to tell you what is happening in their life? Nobody.  At least that is what it seems.  And I would like to change that.  

I think I would be a) absolutely shocked and b) pleasantly surprised if one of my coworkers came to work today and just out of the blue told me something wonderful that happened to them last night.  But will it ever happen? Absolutely not.  I almost want to start doing it and seeing if it catches on, kind of like a pay it forward sort of notion.  Pay your happiness forward, your good thoughts or feelings or experiences, your good things that happened to you.  

This is stemming from last night and this morning.  Last night was volleyball and we killed it.  It was the best night we have had since it started - we were playing as a team, people covering each other, laughing at the stupid mistakes and having globally stupid plays.  I laughed a lot and got some really hard digs up and served 16 points in a row.  I was so happy.  It was a fantabulous night.  I got to share the story at home as my cousin, her husband and I always ask each other how our days went and whatnot, so they usually ask me how volleyball goes (followed up with a 'did you hurt yourself tonight? - they will make sure wonderful parents).  So telling them I was all happy and animated and felt loved that somebody actually wanted to hear how the night went.  But coming to work this morning, nobody asked how my evening went - once we get to work, that is what we are here to do - work.  And it sucks.  

It also stemmed from the team and I sitting around afterwards, having a drink.  I got to know a lot about them then - all my previous conceptions I had about them were out the window - I learned they were married, divorced, had kids, their occupations, etc etc.  They learned I had a masters in forensic psychology, that I worked in a jail, that I watch my cousin-in-law play Destiny; it was a wonderful conversation.  I learned that a teammate and I have similar humour and remarks/comments and that they are overall a good bunch of people.  But if we never had those drinks, would I ever have learned that from them? Probably not.  I imagine it would be hard to have a conversation while on the court ("so how is it going at home since you have......GOT IT.......oohh good hit........gotten" - probably wouldn't work so well).  How often do we actually get to know the people who we surround ourselves with?   

So I would like to change that.  Every day I am going to tell a person in my office (I would do it on the bus but there are some pretty bad weirdo's on there that I don't think I necessarily need to be telling my life to) and I will even post a positive on Facebook.  I think people should know and actually listen when you have something you want to share with the world.  We need to increase the amount of communication and happiness in the world.  

Moral of this blog:  F*#k it and make sure your voice is heard when you want people to know something about yourself.  You should not shy away from letting people get to know you and if it is something you are proud of or happy about, share it with the world.