Thursday, January 20, 2011

#35 Brick in the face

I received an email last week and it was not with joy and warm fuzzies. As soon as I saw who it was from my heart sped up, reluctantly clicking on the message I began to read an email that I didn't want to read. 

I had a counseling session with a guy end of last year, and we didn't click. I said to him that I wasn't committing to seeing him I just wanted to see what the session would be like and get a feel for the type of counseling I would be getting. I wasn't into it to be honest and I explained to him how I felt. He suggested I book another appointment as it is hard to make a judgment on one meeting - I wasn't keen. I don't really enjoy paying $100 to listen to my own voice and watch a man nod now and then asking me cliche questions I am quite capable of asking myself. It was like talking to a blanket. I didn't book another session and I said to him I will think about it more and if you don't hear from me I am not interested in taking it any further. I never emailed him as I thought it was the end of it - time to move on. But for him it wasn't... 

I was a little creeped out by the email. It's hard to explain. I guess I felt like the email crossed the line in some way? He said my lack of communication reflected an issue I struggle with - which for me is where he crossed the line. I find this specific situation really difficult to work out. Why did it creep me out? All I will say is I'm not the one who is going to fulfill his Good Will Hunting fantasy. Anyway, this post isn't about the counsellor - it's about the email. 

Is communicating through technology always appropriate? Are emails and texts a cowards way of speaking their mind? 

I got a text the other week from a friend (who lives in another city) saying they had a problem with my behaviour and treatment towards them. I felt sick when I read it. The annoying thing is, I wasn't aware of it at the time. I'm not trying to defend my behaviour but why not say something at the time? I haven't replied. I don't see the point. Trying to have a conversation like that over texts or even on the phone is never a good idea, in fact it's a terrible idea. I remember a few years ago a got a message in my Facebook inbox from another friend who was overseas saying I was immature and she didn't appreciate my comments "put it away" on a photo of her in a bikini - she even questioned our friendship. Rediculous. 

When we have a problem with someone take a day or several weeks to work through it and figure out why you are irritated. If you find you are still irritated after a week talk to them (if they are in the same city as you). And if they aren't... try your hardest to work through it so you are free from the burden. Because it isn't worth bringing up if you can't talk to them face to face, and they might be having a shocker of a day and to get hit in the face by a brick from their inbox is slightly unfair - especially if they never saw it coming. It is the worst way to try and solve a problem and the sting of it takes a lot longer to heal.

We have all experienced it haven't we?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

#34 Tall poppies

Tall Poppy Syndrome. I've never really had much experience with it as I have never really achieved that much in the world's view. Doing and finishing a degree is what your average middle class westerner does before they hit 25, and moving away from home is nearly a rite to passage. So what am I talking about? Well I'm not sure, I may be stabbing at clouds here but I feel like I have experienced a bit of it ever since I moved away from home. A cull here and there on Facebook, an ignored message now and then, a change in tone with a new job. I'm not talking about a lot of people, let's say five, or seven. 

I've always been shy about my accomplishments, but now as I'm getting older, I'm beginning to be publicly proud of them. I remember in my last semester of uni, I was doing a master creative writing class specializing in short stories and I was determined to get an A+ for the class. I worked my damn ass off and, I am proud to say, I achieved my goal. But boy was I reluctant to tell anyone - especially people in the class. I think it's a real shame to be honest. Can't we be proud of each other and not get green? I guess it comes back to 'do you really care what people think and say?' I would like to say no, and the more I think about it I am determined to make it 'no'. Why be ashamed of our successes, if 'they' aren't doing anything in their eyes that isn't in their mind 'successful', well that really is their problem. Grow up I say. I have met a lot of people who are 'successful' in their field and I love their candor about it. It's refreshing, but you can also see a toughness in them which has grown because of peoples jealousy and prejudice. Guess that's a good thing? Yes and no. It's hard enough to work to where you want to be without stupid comments and cold shoulders. It all comes down to pride - it really is the root here. 

This year I am going to work hard at my career, hard at my writing, hard at my character and hard at my relationship with the Father - and I will succeed. And I won't be ashamed to say it to their face. 
I encourage you to do the same... because you are great and you should be proud of your accomplishments. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

#33 We were inseparable

I don't know if I should blog this, but I need to get this off my chest. I met up with a friend last night, a friend I haven't seen in 18 years. We used to be inseparable. We used to be best friends. We met when we were 5 and and slowly our lives became intertwined. Then she and her family moved to Sydney when we were 8. I was devastated to say the least. 

I wasn't anxious before we met up last night, more excited... and it was great. No awkward silences, no weirdness between us at all - although it was slightly strange to have her boyfriend there (he was really nice). We talked and laughed about our past and it was so nice to share and look back on our childhood together. We were always in competition with each other, we were both top of the class. I remember one year I won the main part for the school musical and it was my big debut, I loved it. Then the year after I half expected to be cast as the main character again. But no, she was... and I was furious. She got to play the star that showed the shepherds where Jesus was born and got to sing a pile of songs solo. I was born for that role! I couldn't believe it, I only got to sing two songs solo when I was center stage. And to top it off I was cast as an extra 'star' that did this stupid dance. I didn't even learn the dance properly - I couldn't be bothered. I can still remember jumping across the stage thinking this is the lamest play I've ever been in (I was 7 at the time). 

I don't know if this feeling was mutual, but there was so much I wanted to say, the subtext, I felt was thick. I have no idea at this stage what I wanted to say - what do you say to someone who was such a big part of your life? Someone who you told everything to, shared everything with, argued with, tried to stay away from but couldn't. I know we were young but we were advanced for our age. She told me when we were young we tried to hang out with other people, she tried playing barbie's with the girls and I tried playing trucks with the boys, apparently we didn't last very long. It was back to being her and I. 

Oh I don't know... I feel kind of sad and intrigued. She is amazing, intelligent, beautiful. I don't know what to call this feeling, I didn't expect to be feeling what I'm feeling and it's disconcerting. I can't deny we click and we like each other's company, I guess I am just mourning the fact that she lives across the Tasman... and has a boyfriend. Well, there's my answer then, she lives across the Tasman and has a boyfriend... she lives across the Tasman and has a boyfriend... 

and there seems to be nothing I can do about it. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

#32 Missed that bus

About a month ago I had a good chat with a guy about his studies, which were english and law. It was a really great chat. It was his fifth year and we both shared a common knowledge and love for certain books and authors. I was thinking, 'this guy's really cool', and how nice it was to chat to someone my age and argue about who wrote 'Waiting for Godot' - basically someone who is intelligent and who isn't a pretentious wanker (they are a rare species I have found). I told him how I was new to the city and how it was difficult to make friends. We chatted for about ten minutes and he told me to add him on Facebook and that I should come round to the flat for a beer - as his flatmate was also a work colleague. By the way it wasn't a 'come on', just a genuine invite. 

Two days later I'm catching up with a friend replaying these events and he tells me you need to have that first, lets call it 'date' or else it's all over. Otherwise the excitement of making a new friend starts to dwindle and you end up forgetting the 'click' you had. No... I wasn't even really taking the whole thing that seriously! It is hard to make friends the older you get and I guess I had just written it off to just friendly banter. But he was right, I had completely missed the bus.

He came back in about 3 weeks later and it was just awkward. I told him I tried adding him on Facebook and felt like a reject trying to climb the social ladder.

It's hard being vulnerable, personally I hate it. But sometimes we just need to get on that damn bus and screw your unbearable feelings.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

#31 Prophetic meeting

I went to a wedding last Thursday and it was such a great experience. Usually when I go to weddings, I have that anxiety of 'I don't know anyone and I'm gonna look like a loser standing by myself for the ceremony', or 'I'm gonna be sitting next to the weird second cousins from Westport at the reception'. Luckily the latter didn't happen and maybe I did look like a bit of a loner at the actual wedding but I ended up spending the afternoon chatting to the most interesting woman I have ever met.

When I think about it now, it was definitely a prophetic  meeting. We hit it off straight away when she made a joke about praying in tongues, and she didn't look at me weird when every two minutes blow flies were landing on my head (it was an outdoor wedding), I think my short hair was mistaken for the blow fly mothership. Anyway, so we chatted away about life while eating the best fruit kebabs I have ever eaten. So it turns out she is a councillor and really in tune with the Spirit, and has a real gift in the prophetic. She asked me a few questions about my life and I talked a wee bit about my past. Long story short - I asked her to pray for me and see if God wanted to do anything in that moment. She was very obliging and we sat on the grass and she prayed...

It was amazing. I immediately felt a real sense of peace and broke a few things that had been hovering over me from my mother (I know this sounds all airy fairy but this is very real to me). Never once did I sense this woman was a weirdo, I am always wary of "spiritual people" and their quirks but this woman all there, real, honest and most of all humble. Everything she prayed about was on the mark, it was crazy and awesome. After she prayed I thought I would test it - getting all skeptical in my old age and I asked her if she knew my dad's name, or if God would tell her what my dad's name was (Obviously she didn't know what his name was, nor had I mistakenly said it - I'm no fool). She was like "Oh really? Haha", and was game enough to humour me. So she waited on God and said "His name starts with P". I couldn't help but start laughing... "Yes it does." "His name is Paul." Unbelievable - she was right.

I don't know what you think of this story, but that was one of the coolest afternoons I have had in a long time. She was so cool and so down to earth. I wasn't expecting an encounter with God that afternoon but I think it has been planned for a long time. I love unexpected things like that. 

The wedding was beautiful, a beautiful bride inside and out and a marriage that I think will flourish - was a privilege to witness the beginning of it. Great way to end a year I say.

Monday, January 3, 2011

#30 New years resolute my ass

A good friend of mine said the other day as we were sitting by a camp fire on the beach laying down our hopes for the year that new years resolutions were a joke... and... I couldn't agree more. They're all the same, I'm gonna lose 10kgs this year or I'm gonna join a gym or I'm gonna get all A's at uni or I'm gonna be happy this year. And of course they never come into fruition, you've gone to the gym 10 times for the whole year, you got a couple of B's, you gained another 5kgs - but that's ok, you needed the extra fat for winter. Are new years resolutions good goal makers? Or do they just set us up for that sick feeling on the 31st of December when you realise the whole year was a sham. 

2008 for me was 'the year of the body', 'the year of thank you', 'the year of something else' - I even typed it up and put it on my wall at the expense of jokes by flatties. Needless to say I never gained the 10kgs I was supposed to, nor was I grateful enough to warrant a pat on the back at the end of the year. So the year in my eyes was a sham - even though I had accomplished quite a lot in that year. So 2009 was 'the year of the body, part 2': gain 5 kgs - and even then I only gained 4, then lost it again... failure. 2010 was the year of nothing, I didn't really make any resolutions, all I did was decide that I was going to move to Auckland, and I did... tick... success! 

I'm not saying goals are bad, or new years resolutions are from the devil. But sometimes I think we are setting ourselves to fail because they are just rediculous. Being a size 8 isn't all it is made up to be, and you're not going to find security lifting a bar bell everyday... but maybe every second day?

I don't really know what I am trying to say in this post, I'm definitely not saying don't make goals, or that you shouldn't make resolutions for the year. I guess I'm saying make them realistic... you're not a failure, 'nothing' years are normal and each year there is always growth, something to learn. So may this year for you all be fruitful, amazing, heart breaking, joyful and most of all, may you know that you are significant and so loved in the Father's eyes - and if you don't believe it, there is someone in your life who thinks you are the bees knees... honest. 

So this year I probably won't gain any weight, but if I do - great, if I don't - who cares. I probably won't save 10 grand, but if I do - that's awesome, if I don't - maybe I'll enroll in a money saving course. Thank God we are not what we do or accomplish!