December 7th marks the twenty-forth year of my existence. I’ve been told since I was young that you are born for a purpose. I mean, beyond the religious reason. I’m talking about your calling during your life in the secular world. However, the irony is that they never tell you what that purpose is and you never really question it. You simply just agree with it. Then, as you get older you begin to wonder what they meant by your purpose in life. Some adults find it early; they become surgeons, religious leaders, educators, or entertainers. Others just go through the motion of life and hope that they stumble upon their calling. But, what if “not knowing” is part of the divine purpose? What if discovering pieces of your puzzle of life is all a ploy for you to discover your purpose and genuinely appreciate it?
I realize that 24 years is still very young; my mom and I call it my diamond years. But, I don’t think its a coincidence that people make more mistakes being YOUNG than they do as they get older. In 24 years, I think the life experiences are the same but the details are different. We experience love, work, school, hurt, regret, friendship, betrayal, trials and tribulations, happiness, etc. But as you get older you begin to view your experiences as opportunities. You begin to create your own paths and I think that’s when you begin to unravel your personal gift of life. Otherwise, you’re just indulging on the SWAG – Stuff We All Get (thanks CG).
More recently, I’ve been struggling with patience. I’ve been wanting things in an instant, and I’ve neglected to enjoy my divine purpose of life, which is to live, enjoy the journey, and unravel my personal gift of life when the time is right. I’ve been so consumed with things that weren’t going my way and began to doubt my own purpose. And as people were wishing me “happy birthday” on Facebook, in person, on the phone, and through text messages, I got exactly what the doctor of life ordered – a quick slap in the face. This is my purpose – “to live and let live” (thanks Ghandi). So, to all the people that wished me happy birthday on my facebook wall, status, private messages, those people that texted me, called me, or spent the day with me – Thank you for the best birthday gift of all – a reality check and a purpose to live in suspense again! For those that didn’t care – that’s okay – get off my blog, go eat a Big Mac, and you too should live and let live…
So, lately I’ve been prying into my friends’ lives since I don’t have much of a life myself and found out that the majority of my friends are currently undergoing a series of interviews or have been offered positions in various industries. Some in sales, a few in marketing/advertising, and others in consulting. Timing is impeccable, especially since I started doubting the worth of an advanced degree in this unforgiving economy. Nonetheless, I’m relieved to find out that hard work and perseverance pays off. Some of my friends have told me that the interview process is nerve wrecking. I couldn’t agree more, except interviewing is just as daunting as any life experience.
For example, interviewing for a job is much like a first date. You’ve probably heard this comparison before, but allow me to break it down from a female’s perspective. After the date or interview is finalized, the first thing a female does is pick out an outfit. For your date, you pick out your outfit depending on your favorite high heels and accessorize accordingly – your favorite dangle earrings, your Tiffany&Co. bracelet, and the necklace you bought “just in case”. // For your interview, you pick out your outfit still dependent on your favorite (comfortable) high heels and accessorize accordingly – your pearl earrings and necklace to feminize your “power suit”, and instead of a bracelet you accessorize with an extra copy of your resume.
Then, you begin to prepare for your first date, or interview. For your date, you prepare by asking mutual friends about your date. You further prepare by researching the restaurant by taking a glance at the menu and wine/cocktail selection on their website. // For you interview, you’ll ask networking colleagues for their professional advice on the interview and the company. Then, you’ll go online and research the company, reread the position’s description, and even practice interview questions.
On the big day, you are eagerly trying to make a lasting first impression with your date, or interviewer. During your date, you are attentive, poised, and well-mannered. // During your interview, you are attentive, poised, and well-mannered. // Before you leave the date, you either hug and plan for a next date or just say “keep in touch”. // Before you leave your interview, you either shake hands and set up a second interview or your interviewer will say “keep in touch”. // After the date, you send a text or Facebook message to your date to thank him/her for dinner and possibly even the flowers. // After the interview, you’ll send a follow-up e-mail thanking them for their time and consideration.
And depending on how the first date or interview goes, you either decide to commit yourself faithful to that one person, or company. You weigh your pros and cons and strengths and weaknesses and go with your gut. You change your relationship status on Facebook, or you change your Employer status on Facebook. The routine is the same. Isn’t it interesting how the process is so similar and the outcome is equally questionable. People spend days or even weeks wondering “Is she/he going to call?” But is it about the job or about the date? So, I guess what I’ve learned by just blogging out loud is that interviewing should be approached in the same manner as a date. Its exciting, and it might be the beginning of a lifestyle change. Every new beginning starts with a “first” something; it is unavoidable and there are no exceptions. So, go into your interview with the same confident smile that you would on your very first date, or vice versa! Either way, it’ll be a learning experience!
I’ve pondered that question for a very long time, especially now because it seems so much more appealing in my current situation. I always play the “what if” game about my life, especially my past. What if I decided to go to University of Washington instead of Washington State University? What if I decided to major in business instead of communication? What if I went to University of Oregon for my master’s instead of Northwestern? What if I decided to stay in Chicago instead of coming back to Washington? The “what if” questions are endless, and sometimes it becomes my little guilty pleasure during the day. What if I was Bella from Twilight? What if I was 16 again and I met Justin Bieber at Toys-R-Us? (haha) The point is, I’ve played the “what if” game all my life, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not really contemplating between two choices I’ve made in my past. Instead, I’m asking the same question – can I start over? If so, how?
You see, when people start digging up dirt from their past or our present life isn’t going exactly the way we planned we start wondering what life would be if we took the “road less traveled by” (thanks R.Frost) and eventually the thought of “starting over”, or essentially starting a new life becomes extremely fascinating. So, people have attempted to create their own time machine in an attempt to “start over”. I’ve known people, including myself to do outrageous things to start over. Rip up old pictures, burn old diaries, delete phone numbers, create new Facebook accounts, or move away from your hometown. Whatever it is the outcome is the same – you can run but no matter how fast, you can’t run away from yourself.
Given my experience, I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try to forget my past-self it always finds it’s way back to me – mostly through Facebook but sometimes through music, pictures, letters, or all of the above. What is the point in running away? It doesn’t change the fact that your name is still the same. The idea of “starting over” doesn’t exist, unless you are starting over with all your baggage – your past mistakes, regrets, old acquaintances, old friends, etc. You have to acknowledge your past to better understand your present life. It is like curing cancer – you have to discover the cause of the problem in order to cure the problem. You can’t just mask the pain and hope it goes away. If you embrace it all then you can honestly start anew. And, what about the people that like to judge, point fingers, and doubt your ability to move forth? Well, they’ll still be there. You can’t change people. You can only change yourself. No matter where you go, you’ll end up meeting the same type of people that you’ve desperately tried to run away from and the catch-22 is, you’ll still be who you are. You can’t run away from yourself. Think about it…. has it worked for you so far?
This year I am thankful for:
Religion My Faith. Because without it, there would be no purpose for life. No reason for trials and tribulations, heartaches, and successes. God – Thank you.
Family My Life Line. The people that have been there since my existence and continue to love me through my triumphs, failures, and my journey into new chapters of my life. Dad, Mom, & Brother – you are not just my “family” you are my life line because without you, there would be no me. Thank you.
Friends My Soulmates. I am thankful for the people that I was suppose to meet in my lifetime. The girls that were suppose to be my sisters. The guys that were suppose to be my brothers. And, the people that I was suppose to be challenged by in order to be the strong person I am today. Thank you.
Boyfriend My Lover. The one person that has made a true imprint in my heart. CMG – you have completed me as a person more in just two years than people have my whole life. Thank you.
The Past My Mistakes. The decisions that led to my regret, tears, heartache, and anxiety has made me a stronger, wiser, and less anxious person. And, given the opportunity, I would never change my mistakes – I would only make more. To my mistakes – thank you.
My Future. My Destiny. The time spent waiting for the next chapter of my life to begin has taught me patience. What I don’t know has made me quicker to ask for help and to be more thankful for the now. So, for the people I’m destined to meet, the accomplishments I am suppose to achieve, and the experiences that I am suppose to be a part of – Thank you.
Today’s Forecast: A few snow showers, a high of 33 degrees and winds coming in from the North at a speed of 10 mph. Don’t be surprised to witness chaos on the rode, Christmas music on the radio, and the desire to just snuggle up by the fireplace with a warm cup of tea watching reruns of your favorite shows…
With the first snow storm of the year, it really is starting to feel like the holidays. And, when I say the holidays, I include all the chaotic shoppers on Black Friday, the first time snow drivers, and the anxious people in the grocery store before Thanksgiving. No matter where you live, the holiday season is the same. The Starbucks cups are the same. The deals and sales are the same. And, the people are the same – tense and stressed, me included. Of course, I’m stressed for all different reasons but nonetheless stressed.
Today, I started thinking about my Christmas Shopping List and every year it is the same problem after the first three people – dad, mom, & brother. I never know who is going to be on my final Christmas list because my “friends” come and go so often. This got me wondering if this problem is part of the universal theme of the holidays or if it is just my unfortunate curse of quantity over quality. Growing up as a military brat, I have become accustomed to a changing circle of friends. So out of 767 Facebook friends, I have no idea who I would consider my real friends besides a handful. When you are a kid, you are quick to name your “best friend”, in high school its easy for you to replace your “best friend”, and as an adult you just don’t know who you can call your friend. I’m still contemplating whether that’s good or bad. Whatever it is, it is a fact of life. You’ll have friends in quantity throughout your life; its the friends of quality that is a rarity and that is why they should be treasured and rewarded; hence the importance of Christmas and Birthdays. They are the two times a year that guarantee you the opportunity to tangibly show your appreciation, and what is even better is that your true friends don’t expect anything at all because they value the friendship above anything else. They are the friends that you can always call when you are sad, the friends that help celebrate your triumphs, and the friends that understand that life is hectic and your schedule changes but the foundation of friendship never does. And, although I am most thankful for my friends, I can’t discredit my appreciation from the lessons I’ve learned from my fake and/or seasonal friends, especially since they are the ones that made me realize how important true friendship really is… it is a winter wonder how I’ve been blessed with a handful of amazing “friends” in my life.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a problem, and yes it is pretty serious. I have no intentions of getting help nor do I have any plans of stopping anytime soon. But, before you judge me, make sure your conscience is clear. It probably isn’t, so I’ll continue with my confession…
Everyone has a secret. Whether it is an addiction, obsession, or a weakness – everyone has one. You might not even realize you are hiding one until it is exposed or confronted. It doesn’t have to be anything life threatening or anything extreme. It can be something as simple as – a new crush, still stuck on an ex, a weakness for food, relationship obsessed, or an addiction to reality shows. Whatever it is – we all have at least one. I came across this interesting website a few years ago, and it got me thinking about some of my confessions. One thought led to another and I came to the conclusion that we secretly want “someone” to know our secrets, except we become selective on who that lucky someone will be. Some people settle with psychiatrists, others rely on their “best” friends, or some people start blogs for the entire world to see. Ironic isn’t it? Anyway, I think this is why this website got so popular… it started out as a social project and now it has become therapy to hundreds of people around the world. The Secret Postcards. – Check it out!
Confessions feel good because you secretly wanted to tell someone in the first place. You hide secrets and hope no one finds out but you jump on the first opportunity to tell someone when you are certain that you won’t be judged. I think in a lot of ways judgment is what nurtures our secrets to become unbearable. You keep your darkest secrets to yourself because you fear ridicule, rejection, and judgment. Perhaps that is why people turn to religion, journals, or hobbies to mask or tolerate their dire need to tell someone. Maybe we should stop judging our friends, family members, or co-workers. After all, you might have the same obsession, secret, or addiction, except the difference is you don’t have the confidence and self-assurance to confess it. Don’t judge because that’s what makes people run… and running makes me people tired and exhausted.
As for my confession, I’m a chocolate addict. I can’t keep chocolate around the house because it’ll be gone after breakfast. I don’t have self control when it comes to chocolate, so I run 30 minutes more just so I can enjoy some sort of chocolate treat, or basically fuel my chocolate addiction. Just last night I bought a bag of assorted Godiva Gems – they are already gone. I try to justify this behavior by reading health articles on why chocolate is good for you – it increases a hormone that mimics the feeling of falling love, dark chocolate is an antioxidant, etc. But the bottom line is – I rarely like to share it, moderation is not enough, my meals feel incomplete without chocolate dessert, and I feel content as long as I get my chocolate fix in a few times a week. But again, before you judge me, make sure your conscience is clear. What’s your secret?
While pursuing my master’s degree, I remember taking a course entitled “Managing Workplace Diversity & Inclusion” which is exactly what it sounds like – learning how and why the workplace diversity represents a significant managerial challenge and opportunities to emerging corporate professionals. It explored the current diversity issues, including gender, ethnicity, class, age cohorts, disability and personality, and identifies a range of inclusive strategies that can lead to productive teams. One of our assignments was to interview a person that was “different” than ourselves in our workplace. Luckily, I was working part-time as a Front Desk Manager at an upscale hair salon so “different” was the theme of my experience. I immediately wanted to interview one of the stylist that worked during my shifts. I wanted to share the interview in this particular blog for three reasons (1.) I wanted to blog about embracing your individuality, (2.) I wanted to share something that would make a lasting impression (at least it did for me), and (3.) This paper received an A, so I thought it was safe to share (just kidding). Anyway, I changed the name to save face but the rest is all true…
April 15, 2010
MSC 526 – Professor Galvin
The Uncensored Life of a Hair Stylist
Most people consider a hair salon a luxury; a place where stylists are able to create art with color and hair. Customers walk in feeling mediocre and walk out feeling extraordinary. It is a place where people, primarily women are able to gossip, get away from their children, and pamper themselves for a day. However for one individual, a hair salon is more than an opulence. It has become his safe haven and refuge; a place where he is able to be free of social pressures, avoid stigmas and stereotypes, and truly be himself. Aaron, a 34-year-old hair stylist has been making people of various demographics feel unique and special for more than 10 years. Little does his clients know that they have allowed him to not only pursue his passion for beauty and fashion, but truly seek freedom from his own identity imprisonment. “Trio [the first salon he worked at] really saved my life,” says the ambitious, talented stylist. As our nostalgic conversation unravels, we begin to explore the journey of a young, single, anti-religious, homosexual immigrant from Poland. Aaron shares his trials and tribulations of being homosexual, the dreams of an aspiring hair stylist, and the failures and triumphs of finding his identity and acceptance in a world that is obstinate about what is right and wrong – this is the uncensored life of a hair stylist.
“As a kid I was always different than other boys,” Aaron begins the conversation. “I was not treated nice all the time. [So] I tried to avoid mean people and ignore the different treatment.” Growing up in a family and society that rejected homosexuality, Aaron felt obligated to “protect” his family from societal rejection and humiliation. Instead of trying to revolutionize acceptance, he decided to leave Poland, the country where he called home. It was the only option he could think of to fulfill his personal ambition of protecting his family. ” I came out to mom when I was in a five year relationship… I think I was 24. She took this very hard and she was blaming herself,” he says. “I [am] never going to get her side of the story [since] she passed away one year ago. She or we never talked about that issue [anyway].”
Beyond the tragic loss of his mother, Aaron’s father passed away a few years before. So, the only family he has is his sister. Unfortunately, she is described to be “close minded” and living in an “egocentric world”. Aaron sadly explains, “She does not really want to have anything to do with me, unless it involves money.” The deprivation of family support led Aaron to make choices, which he regrets today. He turned to drugs to replace the absence of his family members. “I was a drug addict and I was trying to find myself… or whatever you wanna call it,” confesses Aaron. It was not until Aaron hit rock bottom, literally that he decided to change his life. After barely surviving a suicidal attempt, he began his journey into the beauty and fashion industry.
“I picked this industry for a reason. I love beauty and fashion,” Aaron states. “I think I would be very unhappy as a construction guy or policeman, because I would feel very unsafe there.” The comparison of occupations is referring to the inability to safely and publicly announce homosexuality in certain professions. Accordingly, Aaron chose a profession that would accept and allow him to openly be homosexual. The staggering statistics of homosexual hair stylists, fashionistas, and make-up artists are in the high percentile, which is an obvious contrast to his life experiences of intolerance; this was a natural, easy transition to his professional career.
Like everyone else, Aaron faces daily challenges in the workplace. He struggles with personal judgments and prejudices with his co-workers and customers. However, it is his life experiences that bring him to appreciate the freedom and acceptance at work every day. “Judgments are a human being thing to do,” Aaron explains. “I do understand that very well…everyone does it. I just don’t care anymore. By worrying I developed addictions.” As Aaron got older, the constant worry of “looking good” began to subside. He triumphed over his drug addictions and began to find pleasure in making others feel unique and beautiful. The hair stylist began to accept his identity as a proud homosexual. “Judgments are a waste of energy,” says Aaron. “After my death, I don’t want my headstone to read ‘he was only living to look good’.”
It is this kind of attitude that has helped Aaron succeed in his lifetime. He has established friendships and built relationships with people that support his endeavors and ways of life. He continues to flourish in his career with optimism and appreciation for diversity. He ends the interview on a positive note. He says “The other day I was thinking ‘who am I as a person’ and the first thing that comes in mind is ‘I am my words’. At the end of my list is ‘gay man’. I feel more comfortable in my own skin now. The advantage of being grown up is that I can create and control who is in or out of my life. And, I think being different is so much cooler when you are an adult.”
In the midst of learning about the life of my co-worker and dear friend Aaron, I began to learn things about myself. Despite your sexual orientation, racial or ethnic background, religion, or economic status everyone has story. And the story is more similar than people give credit for. The intangible characteristics of people remain the same no matter the diverse background. People have felt sadness, anger, abandonment, and happiness since the day of creation. So perhaps, we are not as different as we think we are. We are all human. We are living on the same earth, breathing the same air. The main lesson I learned through this assignment is I am not that much different than Aaron. I may be heterosexual but Aaron and I are the same in that we both aspire to be successful, to be loved, and possesses an uncontrollable urge to help others feel all of the above. My only hope from this assignment is that the epidemic of differences will no longer tear people apart but bring people closer, to help one another, and to teach people to love each other more often. You might not be able to change the world overnight, but you can allow the uncensored story of a hair stylist to help alter your perception of differences in an instant. At least, I know it has for me.
I was on the phone with one of my best friends (MP) from college the other day when she told me that it was wine night with her roommates. Instantly, I was envious but not about the wine. If it was about drinking wine I could have went to the store and bought a bottle myself. It was about what “wine” symbolized to me and I craved to be a part of it. You see, wine is shared among friends, between lovers, and with co-workers. It is served at weddings, dinner parties, and social events. You open one bottle of wine and it becomes the focal bonding point for the rest of the evening. We can agree to disagree, but I think wine symbolizes vulnerability, intimacy, and relaxation. I’ll use some examples. When you are hosting a Super Bowl Party what beverages do you provide your guests? Beer. When you are practicing your Zumba moves at a club what do you order at the bar? Cranberry Vodka with a splash of Sprite. When you are celebrating a promotion what do you cheers? Champagne. And, when you are at a brunch with your family what do you expect? Mimosas. The examples are endless, but basically the drink depends on the mood you are trying to capture. So, all I’m saying is wine is a universal sophisticated beverage of choice among women. You drink it when you feel sexy. You drink a glass when you feel romantic. And, you down a few glasses when you feel lonely. But above all, when you open a bottle of wine with friends everyone receives a VIP pass to pry into the other person’s life. I suppose you could think of it as an unwritten rule of wine drinking. Whatever it is, I crave it. Choosing between red and white, holding the stem of the wine glass, pouring the wine bottle at an angle, and above all sharing the moment with a close, dear friend. I crave it all…
Mood: Buzzed on Peppermint Mocha
MusicMood: Michael Buble – Crazy Love – #4, #5, #7, #11
Living in the Pacific Northwest, there is one thing that you have to learn to appreciate and that is rain – LOTS of RAIN. After settling into Washington state nine years ago, I’ve grown to absolutely love the rainy days, especially when I am at home in my college sweatshirt, pajama pants, with my silly socks cuddling up with myself in my leopard print Snuggie. It gets even better when you have a warm cup of Apple Cinnamon Tea watching reruns of reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, or heaven forbid, Jersey Shore and taking in the aroma of scented candles that you just bought from Bath and Body Works. But let’s be honest, you’d be labeled as depressed or a sentimental dreamer if that is all you enjoyed in the Evergreen State. You’ve got to love the fact that the sun doesn’t hide forever and it seems to come out at just the right moment when you feel yourself slowly drifting away from reality.
Today, I woke up with the sun forcing its way through cracks of the curtain. I had an hour drive ahead of me and decided to make the best of the time on the road. I stopped by Starbucks (of course) and got a tall peppermint mocha, popped in one of my favorite CD (Michael Buble – Crazy Love) and spent the hour drive trying to reminisce on some good times that I had during my teenage years. Ironically, four things came to my mind (1.) How much I LOVE my peppermint mocha, (2.) How much I love the sun, (3.) How much I didn’t miss my teenage years, and (4.) How I wanted to write about this moment of pure bliss on my blog! I suppose a lot has to do with the fact that my memories from college and grad school are much more recent, but also I think I’ve replaced a lot of my teenage memories with my experiences during my 20s…
In the broad scheme of life, I’ve come to the realization that your life as a teenager is still considered your “infant” years. The years you learn the basics of life – how to take baby steps, communicate with others, follow instructions, rely on guidance, and avoid dangerous and potentially hazardous things. Then as you grow into your “toddler” years you begin to reconstruct your world – you cut off the negatives in your life, immerse yourself in the positives, and you finally begin to explore the world. In your 20’s you finally appreciate your mistakes and shortcomings, you let go of your life long regrets, and quit dreaming and start living. This is the state of life that I love the most – you have your terrible two moments, you finally begin to see the world and people in a different light, and replace naivete with sophistication. And, as soon as you can’t image life getting any better you hit your 30s, your “teenage years”.
When I was living in Chicago, my co-worker (RM) told me how much more she appreciated her life, her body, and herself as she began to get older. Surpassing her 20s, she told me that if she was given the opportunity to go back to her early 20s – she would decline in a heartbeat. This is what I look forward to! My “true” teenage years – the time of your life, you stop worrying about frivolous things and start focusing on things that bring joy to your life. Stop worrying about your career path, since you are already on it. Stop worrying about your body because you’ve already accepted it. And, stop worrying about the people around you because you’ve already signed, stamped, and sealed your list of “lifelong” friends. But what happens in your 40s? I think those become your “adult” years – in most case (not all the time), it is no longer about you – it is about your children, your partner, your parents as they age, your in-laws, and your siblings’ family, etc. So, basically, I think the stages of growth are misconstrued. The stages of your life are about the experiences not about the age. Life is about living to learn not learning to live – so rain or shine, lets start living ladies! Oh and by the way, the forecast tomorrow is a high of 48degrees and showers all day. Haha, talk about weather bipolar 😉
Things that cure a stressful day:
5.) A glass of wine, or sometimes a beer
8.) A bubble bath
9.) Scented candles
10.) Hot tea or hot chocolate
14.) MUSIC! (Pandora.com or StereoMood.com)
Baxter, my 4 month old Maltese graduated yesterday from puppy school! He was the smallest puppy there, but he did it! After 8 weeks of dedicated hard work he received his puppy diploma! It was one of the most rewarding days of my life, especially since I have spent endless hours teaching him tricks, potty training him, bathing him, feeding him, and making sure that he learns the “rules of the house.” And although watching him grow into his personality has been rewarding, it has been even more rewarding to have embraced the lessons that this 5lb 7oz creature has taught me.
Baxter, my precious puppy has, in many ways, taught me lessons that no amount of materialistic things could ever teach me. He has taught me the value of loving everyone – period. My puppy loves people. He barks for attention, he drizzles from excitement, and jumps up and down until he gets held. And, I think we could all learn a lot from this behavior. People are naturally selfish and become closed off to the people around them, but dogs aren’t like that. They love no matter what. Could you imagine what the world would be like if we were all Baxters? It would be absolute bliss.
My fluffy marshmallow also gives me daily reminders of the innocence that I’ve lost. My puppy is so easily satisfied by the little things. I watch him play with same toys everyday and witness his satisfaction with just the love that he receives from my family. I’ve forgotten about the significance of the little things in life. I think our lives are so consumed with routines and valued norms that we forget to be thankful for the things that we already have, the daily blessings that we receive, and the love and support from the people you see everyday. And finally, the most important lesson of all, Baxter has taught me patience.
I am not talking about just tolerating the inevitable wait, but simply waiting. The type of patience that is practiced when life gets tough and your days slow down. The type of patience that you genuinely make the best of the time spent waiting. The type of patience that enables you to enjoy your favorite radio station while stuck in traffic, or developing hobbies while you are eagerly waiting to find a job in this economic turmoil. You see, I genuinely enjoyed the days that I was woken up multiple times in the night by Baxter because he had to go tinkle, or cleaning up his “oopsies”repeatedly. And before I knew it, patience paid off. In the end he was more than potty trained. He became part of my family, he graduated from puppy school, and he has given me invaluable life lessons. You’ve heard the saying “when one door closes, a window will open?” Well, patience is kind of like that; the window doesn’t automatically open as the door closes, you have to wait for the window to open. The wait is inevitable, might as well make the best of it. Waiting isn’t permanent; it is temporary and there is always an end to the wait. I know it seems pretty silly that I learned all of this from a creature no bigger than my Coach purse, but I’m glad I learned it somewhere; otherwise the days would have been long and rainy since I’ve returned to the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I look forward to more lesson from Professor Baxter, after all he is a puppy graduate now!
Women love to talk about men. We even use code language to meet up to talk about them- “girls’ night”, “lunch date”, “wine night”, “happy hour with the girlfriends”, “shopping date with the ladies”. In fact, when we are single, we talk about the type of men we want meet, when we are dating we talk about the different types of men, and when we finally settle down we are still talking about men, except now the majority of our conversation is about the differences between men and women. Can you think of the last time you met up with your girlfriends and not talked about men? Pretty tough huh? There isn’t anything wrong with it; I mean it is because of men that women have an instant connection with each other and we depend on each other to get through some of the tough times in our lives. Men are different intellectually, emotionally, and even physically. They have different hobbies, like different things, engage in different types of conversations, and my favorite – they don’t have PMS!
I think the difference between men and women are most prevalent during “that time of the month”. Once a month we become more sensitive, needy, passionate, and sentimental. We want more, but we don’t even know what we want. We just know that we don’t feel like “ourselves” but the world doesn’t stop for our grief, so we continue the best we know how… eating chocolate! (just kidding, sorta) So, my question is why is it that you are the best girlfriend and perfect companion for the entire month, but your significant other can’t give you one week to be a woman? Why is it that during “that time of the month” your partner expects you to fight biology? And, when he does give you some leeway for being sensitive one day – the next day it is automatically voided and immediately you owe him your perfect self again. I think there are three types of men.
Type A – The Warrior: the type that understands women and their needs during PMS week, but he puts up his guard and becomes defensive in every conversation because he is a proud warrior that defends his masculinity.
Type B – The Phantom: these men are the ideal partners for three weeks but when it is that time of the month, he is no where to be found. He avoids the PMS-you and patiently awaits for your non-PMS return.
Type C – The Hero : this is the ideal guy that understands the situation, but is sympathetic to that time of the month. He knows he must be a little more sensitive because you are on edge. He does this not because he devalues himself, but because he loves you for everything that you are and everything that you are not. He values the relationship and respects you for you – a woman. He, obviously, doesn’t like to fight and understands that it doesn’t mean he is less of a man to defuse arguments. He doesn’t run away or avoids – he is your hero and saves you from yourself.
So, what type of guy do you have and what type of partner do you desire? A reality show had some insightful advice, it said “The times that you are dating is the best that your relationship will ever be. After you get married, it gets more complicated because it binds you in a contract.” Anyway, think about it. If they don’t understand now, what makes you think they’ll get it tomorrow? Maybe it is time for a heart-to-heart despite what type of partner you have. If anything, at least it will save you from smeared mascara once a month!
Every time I go to my Zumba class, I am always reminded of my first time visiting a class with one of my best friends in Chicago (KB). I was excited, curious, and nervous all at the same time. My main concern was what people would think of me and my ability to show off the dance moves that I perfected over the years in the privacy of my own bedroom. Would I look stupid? Will I not be able to keep up? Who will be there? What will people think? These questions are rehearsed over and over again in my head when I try anything new. You see, throughout my life everything I did and the choices I use to make were 30% what I wanted and 70% of what others expected of me. Sad and pathetic, I know. Luckily, I’ve had enough trials and tribulations and growing opportunities in my life to make the appropriate changes.
So, my first time at Zumba I had an epiphany that changed my perspective on life – sometimes people are just too busy living their own lives to care about “you” and your’s. I noticed as the music began and everyone started mimicking the instructor, no one cared about the way I danced or the mistakes I was making; they were too busy trying to learn the moves themselves. After the class was over, I realized that there is a life lesson to learn – you shouldn’t care what other people think because they just might not really care. Let me put it in this perspective, if your daily “To Do List” is a million tasks long, what makes you think that everyone else’s aren’t?! People are so consumed with their own lives that it doesn’t matter what you do with your life. So, wear your favorite high heels even if your co-workers aren’t, order your dessert even if your date doesn’t want one, and be who you want to be – yourself. Sometimes it isn’t “about you” it is about just “being you”.
As my first blog post (ever), I wanted to ease into welcoming you to Working In Heels by sharing a little inspiration to get you through your days at work, at home, with friends, with boy problems, in traffic, or just one of “those” days. Kind of like a glass of wine, or better yet a nice, fresh glass of Sangria, I always enjoy reading reminders on why we as women need to remain stable and constant. It isn’t because our family, friends, and/or significant others expect us to, it is because we are made with our own individual flare that the world would not be complete without. We are beautiful in our own way, as cliche as it is. But you just need to hear it sometimes. We feel the most desirable when we are embraced by our lover, we are not satisfied until we get dessert, and yearn for more when we have everything. It is a mystery of a women and it gets even more complicated as we immerse our womanhood with our professional endeavors. But even when we feel like giving up, we have to remember that in those dark times, our lives are the most exciting. Our vulnerability is what enables us to become the women that we were intended to be – a learner, a fighter, and a survivor. We learn twice as fast, finally accept our flaws, and become ten times more amazing.
And just when we think we can’t handle it anymore, the storm is over. Our lives seem bearable again and we seem like “ourselves,” except this time we are wiser, sexier, and mentally healthier. It isn’t us that seem to struggle to get out of bed in the morning or cry ourselves to sleep at night; instead it is our sisters, daughters, mothers, or best friend. We comfort them the best way we can, but you know that deep inside it is their time to shine – their time to learn – and their time to grow, so you silently wait for their revolutionizing moment where they take off their pity-party shoes and slip on their proud high heels. It is the mystifying cycle of being a woman. So, like I said I wanted to share something special that summarizes all the pep talks that you’ve heard from your family and friends.
It comes from a website that captures the sole purpose of my blog – to inspire professional women to embrace their individuality.Turned On Women Manifesto When I read it, I was not only moved but inspired to proudly wear my high heels during the times that I feel like I want nothing to do with myself or my life. I hope you are just as inspired… enjoy!