Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own..." ~D.M. Dellinger

"They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how
would the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we
ever recover from the wonder of it?”
~Jeanette Winterson

Lately I have been struggling with the concept of 'individuality";
the idea that I am a unique human being who cannot be replicated.

All through our childhood we are told that we are different, unique and
special but, in the end, aren't we really just copying someone that came before
us? (Even as I write this I feel as if I am a cheap imitation of Carrie

What purpose is the “you're different”, “you're unique”, “you’re special” rhetoric designed to serve?

Could it possibly have been more detrimental than helpful?

When speaking with a friend the other day I shared a very private (and somewhat embarrassing) thought....I still think that I am going to grow up to 'be somebody'.

By ‘somebody’ I don't mean *just* a good citizen, employee, friend, girlfriend, wife, mother etc., to me those are all a given. What I mean is somebody famous, somebody known, somebody who will impact the lives of others on a large scale.

I am not particularly outstanding at anything
I don't have any unique physical features
I don’t have any special talents
…so what makes me think I deserve fame or recognition?

I partially attribute this feeling to how easy it seems to gain notoriety in this day and age via the internet. Shouldn’t I just be able to write a kitschy blog, film a funny video or post a beautiful picture and become instantly famous?
No? But that worked for:

A) Rebecca Black
B) The casts of the following shows:
1. Jersey Shore
2. The Real House Wives of Orange County
3. The Real House Wives of New Jersey
4. The Real House Wives of New York
5. The Bad Girls Club
6. Dog the Bounty Hunter

However, I can’t blame the internet completely for this identity crisis, as much as I might want to. So who/what else is to blame for endowing me with this feeling of entitlement? I attribute it to the “snowflake principle”, the teaching that we are all different, unique and special.

Now, please don’t get me wrong – I truly WANT to believe that I am different, unique and special. To be honest, regardless of this rather depressing missive, I think I am!

However, I think that this “snowflake principle” often sets up people for failure.
Why do I think I deserve a great job? Because I’m different, unique and special.
Why do I think I deserve a great home? Because I’m different, unique and special.
Why do I think I deserve a great boyfriend? Because I’m different, unique and special.

So – what is the solution/end game? Do I attempt to define myself with new interests and attributes to prove that I, in fact, AM different, unique and special? Take up hot air ballooning? Or duck wrangling? Learn π to the 1000th degree? Unfortunately I don’t know the answer. So, for now, I will continue to ust be myself and hope that there isn’t an imposter running around, trying to steal what is ‘owed’ to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

“A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.” ~Unknown

What if you were able to remember every single moment of every single day of your entire life? What if it took you all of three seconds to recall what you had for lunch on May 16th, 1996? Or how many times you made a right turn on June 26th, 2005? Or, more importantly, every time someone said something hurtful about you - ever. Or how many times you had been embarrassed? Or how many times you had been sick? Or failed a test?

Would you ever venture out and take a risk? Would you put yourself out there in friendships or relationships? Would you try something new? Or would you be paralyzed by the memory of every single time you failed?

Your memories would be as fresh as if they happened minutes ago - does that mean the pain/pleasure/sadness/happiness would be as fresh as well?

Would the good memories balance out the bad?
Or would you just hold onto every small defeat...forever.

Monday, February 14, 2011

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”

"I love Valentine's Day. When you're a kid everyone gets a Valentine. It's like 'TO TIM, NICE PANTS, LOVE SCOTT'." - Mike Birbiglia

I have a confession to make.
Even though I'm single (and have been for 26 out of the past 27 Valentines days)...
I like Valentines day.
No, not the commercialized, forced affection part of Valentines day but I do appreciate any opportunity to give gifts, tell people you love them and make them smile. Perhaps the reason I can appreciate this 'holiday' (without being bitter) is because I don't believe that it should be limited to celebrating romantic love. I believe Valentines day can, just as easily, be used to celebrate love for your family or your friends either in addition too or instead of celebrating romantic love.
For as long as I can remember I would wake on on Valentines day to find a special treat from my parents. Sometimes it was chocolates, sometimes a special cookie, one year it was a heart shaped coin purse and every now and then it was just a card. Regardless of what the gift was, it was a reminder of love - my parents love for me as well as the possibility that love, true and romantic love, was out there somewhere.
So, here's hoping that Valentines day brought you some love - love from your family, your friends, your pets, your coworkers...whomever.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” -Tennessee Williams

I am incredibly lucky. I have had the same amazing best friend since I was in grade 8. I spent the afternoon with her today and I realized that the very best part of our friendship is that she makes me feel that I am the best possible version of myself. I don't have to pretend to be cooler than I am, or smarter than I am or funnier than I am...when I am with her I am the perfect amount of cool, smart, funny etc. I hope that I make her feel the same way.
In my life, this level of comfort and security has been something that I have found difficult to achieve with people outside of my family. My immediate family know pretty much ever facet of who I am and, they too, make me feel as if I am a perfect version of myself.
Someday I hope to find this quality in a mate...a man who makes me feel as if I am the perfect version of me. Who doesn't want to change where I came from, how I look, what I value or the things and people that I love. I do believe that the person you are with should challenge you to try new things and consider new ideas...but I don't want to feel as if I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole just so I don't have to be alone.
And so...I continue to wait...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“If you blame others for your failures, do you credit them with your success?”

Blame: The state of being responsible for a fault or error; culpability.
Responsibility: Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.
Not every workplace is ideal. Responsibilities are not always well defined therefore...sometimes things fall through the cracks. Tasks don't get done or they are done incorrectly - it happens, we're human. However, what bothers me the most is when no one takes ownership for their mistakes. When I say "ownership" I don't necessarily mean "oops, I messed up, I'm sorry" (although that is nice). What I mean is - seeing a problem -> looking for a solution -> putting the solution into practice. Often, instead of ownership, people just pass the buck...they don't want to make the tough decision or have the awkward conversation...instead they want to "think about it".
I know that I am new to the corporate world and it is easy for those on the "outside" to criticize. I admit that I don't have to concern myself with the bottom line, answer to the owners or reach a sales goal. I am only accountable for my small list of responsibilities however my pay scale and benefits reflect that level of responsibility. However, sadly, the people on the "outside", the people with that level of responsibility and corresponding pay scale, are the ones who have to deal with the day to day challenges which arise out of the indecisiveness.
In the end, I suppose it is just one of life's little frustrations.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

“If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire

"I know that you don't believe in God or the power of prayer. And that's okay. To each his own. But you've go to believe in something. Something more than you can touch taste or see. Because life is too hard to go through it alone. Without something to hold onto and without something that's sacred."

A while back I had a discussion with a friend about religious beliefs. During our conversation this person revealed to me that they are an atheist and that really made me think. Atheism is a concept that I just can't wrap my brain around. I understand people believing different gods or multiple gods or "the universe" but I can't figure out how someone can go through life without believing in anything at all. Do these people believe that everything that happens to them everyday is a completely random occurrence with no rhyme or reason? I feel like too many awful and wonderful things happen every day for there not to be some sort of cosmic plan. However, to be fair, I have had of wonderful things in m life so perhaps that is why it is so easy for me to have faith in "the plan".
Although...perhaps if you believe in something less ethereal like you family and your friends you won't spend your life trying to appease your god or gods. Perhaps the atheists have it right and instead of focusing on trying to please the big guy in the sky we should focus on trying to please the old woman beside us on the bus or the young man bagging our groceries.
Personally, I think that I will always believe in the big guy in the sky and not just because of the blessings he has given me. I believe in him because in order to live my life I need to know that there is a blueprint, a master plan. To those that don't need that comfort and safety I give my kudos...I am not brave enough to go it alone.