Sunday, January 30, 2011

i should be cleaning the toilet right now.

but instead, i've gotten caught up in a moment of self reflection and decided that the toilet can wait.
(it hasn't been cleaned in nearly 3 months...what's another hour?)

as i was eating my lunch, standing over the counter next to the sink (otherwise known as my kitchen table) i found myself looking out the window and contemplating my state of being.

This morning, at an hour inhuman to be experiencing on a sunday, i found myself researching grad schools online and asking myself that haunting ego-driven question 'what do i want to do with my life?'

i've been feeling rather stuck these past couple of months, and the past few weeks have been the worst of it. i'm sure it's all in part due to the fact that it's january, my grandma just passed away, and i'm approaching the big 2-9 still single, still stuck in the same place i've always been--a working twenty-something who's days as a twenty-something are limited.

don't misinterpret this as an 'omg. i'm so old. i can't believe i'm almost 30' post, because it's not. i actually have no qualms about aging, the only real beef i have being that as i age, my parents age too.

what this is really about is getting a year older, but feeling that not enough has changed in the past year to justify a year being spent.

sure, i've moved to a new apartment, seen a bit of 'personal' growth, become a bit more comfortable in my own skin, but nothing year worthy. no big bhag accomplished that i can look back and think 'oh man, i can't believe i did that!' or event that i can categorize as life-changing. i've just been floating along, racking up the occasional professional triumph, of which i don't even fully allow myself to celebrate as to me, it's just my job to do well.

i really thought when i moved to vancouver, i'd fall in love. what i didn't think was that i'd move to vancouver, realize i needed to fall in love, and suddenly become one of those single twenty-somethings complaining about being single.

being single never really bothered me, to be completely honest. i've always just had faith that when the time was right, i'd meet somebody. it was the one thing i couldn't control in my life, so why worry?

several years later, i'm worried.
the unnaturally long time that i've been single that has me starting to question whether or not i'm even actually normal. in order to best reserve judgment from the unseen faces of the 2 people that read this blog (i'm being optimistic) i will not quantify the length of time with a year, but let's just say at this point in my life i could probably qualify quite easily for nunhood, and i'm really not exaggerating.

by nature, i'm a fixer. i like to fix what's wrong. with me, with my friends, you name it. i have the worst time shopping because i feel the need to edit and redesign everything to the point that i don't actually find anything worthy of the effort it'd take for me to take out my wallet. ironically, my dating habits reflect this as well. i am the queen of the first date, and notoriously famous for never calling.

that said, there have been those occasions when i fall head over heels for something and become obsessed. a vintage louis vuitton bucket bag (in my possession), a colorblocked YSL top handle bag (will never be in my possession), or minimal chloe gladiators (also will never be in my possession). i guess it's been a while since i can say the same thing for the opposite sex.

like my taste in accessories (see: YSL bag, chloe sandals), i have a habit of obsessing over the unattainable (ryan reynolds? the super cute yoga instructor at Y?) which i'm sure is no accident, and in fact some way of psychologically sabotaging myself so that i don't end up spending the money i don't really have, or open my heart up to be completely humiliated or broken. what i don't realize is that by not spending the money i will never actually know what it feels like to pamper myself frivolously and not opening my heart up i might never actually know what it feels like to have butterflies on a first date or to not want to leave my apartment on a saturday afternoon because being curled up on the couch with somebody (other than my cat) is so much better.

unfortunately, this self-analyzing could go on all afternoon (until the end of time, probably) and my toilet really does need to get cleaned (it's disgusting).

while there's nothing i can do about another year passing, what is important is to remain focused on what i've learned, and where i'm going. last year, i couldn't have admitted any of this out loud, or to another human (again, i'm assuming real people are reading this) so i guess that's progress.

in true yogic fashion, i'm setting an intention for 29. it's going to be one hell of a good year. i'm kicking it off in paris, and damn it, i'll be ending it somewhere equally as amazing. i have faith that i won't be single forever, because i know that God did not put me on this planet to be alone. something is coming. and it's big. and damn it, i'm ready.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

delayed philosophy and a thick skull.

having a thick skull never let me down when i was a child.

for example, when i was in second grade (or grade 2 for any of the canadians reading along) i ran head first into the metal gymnasium shaped like a bug on the playground during a highly competitive game of red rover, and thanks to a thick skull, i walked away dazed, but fairly unscathed.
or, that one time, in high school when my brother decided it'd be a good idea to start practicing his wrestling take-down maneuvers on an innocent and unsuspecting me, i never once had to cover my head fetal position style and could focus on more important body parts, like all of them.

that said, my thick skull still comes in handy every time i stand up on an airplane, inevitably misjudging the amount of space between the floor and over head bin in coach.
it's actually amazing how often someone of near-legal midget status can hit their head in any given day.

taken less literally and more metaphorically (because that's what we're all about now-a-days, hidden meanings and metaphors, right?) a thick skull hasn't always come in handy during my adult life.

arguments i insist on winning are usually not based on fact but rather than my ever-present ego. and my thick skull is what keeps that little voice whipsering 'my way or the
straight flat highway' rather than 'hm....perhaps a curve might be a good thing....'

this brief history of my thick-skulled nature is merely a long-winded way of announcing that after practicing yoga for the last 4 years of my life, finally what my teachers have talked about is starting to sink in.

don't worry ma, i'm not turning buddhist, but merely opening my mind to another way of thinking, and slowing down in the crazy 'get out of my way buddy' lifestyle i've created for myself.

like landmark, there's been a series of 'a-ha' moments along the way, and the already slow nature of vancouver has helped, but the big a-ha came during my last trip to hong kong, in a hot class at pure yoga. the teacher, janet (who's awesome, ps) started off her class with a story about one of her students. he'd been practicing with her for a couple years and while his poses were flawless and beautiful, every muscle of his body would be soooo tense and he'd be trying soooo hard to get it right. (for those that don't practice, the challenge of yoga is not to hold the poses, but to find relaxation in them) when she finally had the opportunity to talk to him, he explained that in his life he was very stressed out and he was inevitably bringing this to his mat each day.

so she asked us: is your mat a mirror--is your practice a reflection of how you live your life?

a loaded question for this girl...completely contradictory to the principles of yoga, on my mat i'm competitive (there's this one girl in class i refused to sit next to because her wheel was out of control. i finally sat next to her one day, and turns out she's actually quite cool. go figure), i'm super critical about how the teacher structures her flow (i hate repetitive salutations) and i have to sweat (i refuse to go to hatha because it conjures up visions of way too much stretching and 'hippy' yoga speak).

this is inherent to my personality, and to who i's not going to change over night. but what i can work on, is who i am in my day-to-day life. sure i'm a wound-up type A overacheiver who hates waiting in line at starbucks because there's always that one person who can't make up their mind and it will inevitably drive me nuts. and that doesn't have to change overnight. but what i can change is my attitude toward that person in line. rather than letting my ego take over and think to myself 'it's coffee, not brain surgery' i can remove the bitter judgement and instead compassionately wonder 'maybe they just don't know what coffee they want? or english is their second language?'

the same goes with my attitude about vancouver. for the longest time (i.e. all last year) i resisted vancouver and it's slow ways, shorter work days, and generally laid back lifestyle...arguing (in my head, of course) that i'm this seasoned east-coaster, transplanted from new york and i don't do slow.

the reality is, what's so bad about getting into work at 9:15? walking home to watch the sun set? taking in a yoga class instead of a meeting?

absolutely nothing.
and it's this attitude of acceptance i intend to keep working on.