Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why no, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express…

My last couple posts make it seem like relationships are all I think about. So this post I decided to write about… relationships.

No. Not a Karma Chameleon
Okay, not what you’re thinking. This is about my relationships with people I both know and those I’ve met for the first time. See, I’m what you call a social chameleon. Nine times out of ten, I can seamlessly blend into any gathering or social group and immediately be able to join in whatever subject or conversation is present. 

A social chameleon is different from a poser (at least that’s what they called them in high school, I don’t know what the kids are calling it these days). A poser fakes their way into groups, usually by pretending to be something they’re not. A social chameleon, on the other hand, actually has an interest or knowledge of whatever group or situation they’re blending into.

I attribute my ability to my vast assortment of interests. I’m a knowledge sponge (though my brain has a bad habit of frequently wringing that sponge). I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects and activities. I can hold my own in an intellectual debate over farming subsidies, discuss recipe ideas, appreciate wine tasting, then sweep the tables at a beer pong tournament later that night. Some people may think I’m just doing things because I want to please them, but I truly enjoy being a Jack of all Trades.

This has helped me a lot in my recent social revival. I’ve been getting out significantly more in the past few years, trying a wide variety of things and discovering I like most of them. Since I can adapt into any setting, it allows me to not only enjoy it more, but feel like I fit in more quickly. A quick glance at my Facebook posts shows the wide variety of friends I’ve gathered and things I post and comment on.

Another advantage is it allows me to view things through other’s perspectives (A lot of disagreements could be solved if each party walked a mile in each other’s shoes, so to speak). I can easily empathize and understand, and am a good conversationalist. I find a lot of people come to me when they need to talk to someone.

About the only disadvantage is that it takes me a little time to sit back and observe everything before I jump in. This can give the appearance that I’m either shy, or not having a good time at first. I can assure you I am, though. I guess it just takes a moment for me to download a new program from the Matrix.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Will You be my Soulmate?

 My last semi-bitter post about Love made think of a related subject I’ve discussed with a few jaded people in my life. Is there such a thing as a Soulmate? If you’re lazy and don’t want to read the rest of the blog, I’ll share the answer. Definitely, Yes.

(In an interesting side-note, Microsoft Word is flagging "Soulmate" as an illegitimate word.)

Still reading? Okay, let me clarify what my definition of Soulmate is. First and foremost, as with any word, “soulmate” is simply a word invented to describe something. In this case, it’s a relationship with another human. Not a necessarily a lover, spouse, or romantic interest, though the majority of opposite sex soulmates fall into this category (and I suppose some same sex). Think of your best friend since grade school. That one who you do everything with, knows your secrets, and your favorite flavor of ice cream. Yeah, that’s a Soulmate.

What is a Soulmate? It’s a person you have an instant connection with. Something that’s immediate, but you can’t quite explain. It’s a form of “love at first sight” but as I explained earlier, Love is not a requirement for a Soulmate. With a Soulmate you form an instant bond. That feeling you’ve known that person forever, even though you’ve barely met. The more you stick with a Soulmate, the more in-tune you are with each other. You know what they’re thinking before they say anything. You can sense their emotions without a word. You know you’re going to say “yes” before they even speak. A Soulmate is an instant friend for life, even if circumstances pull you physically apart.

The romanticized version says that there is only one person for everyone in their life, you should wait until you find your Soulmate, and this is the only person you should ever be with. That’s simply not true. It is possible to be happily married forever to someone who isn’t your soulmate. It’s possible to have best friends who aren’t your soulmate. It’s possible to go your entire life without ever meeting a Soulmate. It’s true that marrying a Soulmate is the best possible scenario, but it’s far from the only one.

Notice that I keep sticking “a” before Soulmate? That’s because despite the romanticized version of Soulmates, it is possible to have more than one. There is not one person who is split from your soul and only that one person can fulfill you. It just doesn’t work like that. You can have more than one best friend. You can love more than one Soulmate. I don’t mean to cheapen the definition of a Soulmate by telling you there can be more than one. Soulmates are truly a rare find and completely random. You can go your whole life without ever meeting a Soulmate, or you could meet Ten. It’s something you have no control over. There is no set way to go about finding a Soulmate. There is no way of knowing one until you meet them.

If you do meet one, if your paths cross, hopefully you’ll not only be in a position to recognize it (its hard not to), but to also be able to be with that person until you’re old and grey. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible, but I’ll let you in on a secret; you don’t have to physically be with a Soulmate to retain that connection you share. It’ll always be there, and somehow, some way, your paths will cross again and again.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love Stinks

The J. Geils Band has it right. Love Stinks. I'm not talking about loving your family, football team, or shiny new 65 inch 4K LED 3D smart TV. I'm talking about LOVE Love. Oooey Gooey romantic, butterflies-in-the-stomach, buying-tampons-in-the-supermarket Love.

Following the end of my marriage, I've been once again chasing that elusive purple dragon we call Love, and boy, has she not aged well since I last saw her. Upon further reflection, Love seems to have caused more pain than pleasure. I've been in love, but waited too late to say it. I've pretended being in love for 16 years, hoping the real thing would eventually manifest itself (for those prepping comments, it was mutual, and, wait-for-it; the subject of another blog). I've fallen in love at first sight, remain in love with someone I can't be with, wisely kept myself from loving someone who wasn't ready for it (with me, anyway), and trying not to fall for someone who currently doesn't want it.
Some of the Beatles' wisest words

Sure, the feeling is bliss while it's happening. You want to write songs and curl up inside that wonderful feeling. You feel better, look healthier, and people notice "something different about you". Woodland creatures help you clean your house and sew dresses. No wonder so much music and literature has been dedicated to it. But that's only 1% of Love. The other 99% stinks.

I yearn for that 1% feeling. I've tasted it. I know what it's like and I know I want it again, but that's how Love fools you. It cloaks the 99% stink with a lemony fresh scent. Okay, usually it's more of a Margarita or a Mai Tai scent, but it's cloaked all the same.

I'm not a hopeless romantic that falls for the first pretty woman I see, but I make up my mind about things I want rather quickly. (That new lawn mower might be useful, but I'll think about it. Those Beatles commemorative spoons? Ring them up!) I want to make the most of something as soon as possible and not waste any time I could be enjoying it. Now, I've learned relationships need to develop and getting to know someone takes time, but Love manifests itself at the beginning (and if it doesn't, you shouldn't be wasting your time on that relationship). There's even a scientific way to quantify it using a revolutionary technology called "text messages". I like you, you seem to like me, why beat around the bush?

It seems beating around the bush is what is currently in fashion, however. Apparently, Love is now a game, and it seems that everyone but me has the latest version. Why can't it be simple like in the movies? Boy meets girl, Love happens, and despite some last minute misunderstanding, Love conquers all in the end.

I'm not naive enough to think that Love really conquers all in the real world, but so many never give it a chance anymore. We're a spoiled society. Always looking for an upgrade. People are worried if they allow themselves to fall in Love, then they'll miss a chance to hook up with the latest new toy that may come along in the future. Like my iPhone, there's always going to be a new one coming out next year. If you keep holding out for the new one, you'll never be able to enjoy the one that's already available.

Which brings me back to Love stinking. It's complicated. It's impossible to figure out. It's gonna hurt you far more times than it'll help. But even though it stinks, it doesn't mean it's sour. That 1% is still there. I've been beaten, bloodied and bruised, but like level 65 on Candy Crush, I know there's a way to win.

(Now, if only there were a restart button to press until I get it right...)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pessimistic Optimism from a professional procrastinator

I've toyed with the idea of writing a blog. I'm a writer after all, so what better way to practice my craft than writing on a semi-regular basis? While it's true I love to write, I also most likely have some sort of adult ADHD. It's great because I have a variety of interests but I tend to get... squirrel!

Where was I? Anyhoo, I've been posting semi-regular musings on Facebook (many alcohol inspired, but that's the subject of another blog...) so I figured I'd give this blog thing another try. I have a friend who I'm trying to encourage to resume her blog, so what better way than to start my own?

I don't have any particular theme or goal in mind as of yet. Maybe a pattern will appear, maybe it'll remain random, maybe I can hire a monkey to keep this thing going while I watch the Broncos play.

One of the things I'm not sure about is how much detail I'll get into. I want people to read this blog, but I may say things either about the very people reading, or reveal a bit too much about myself. I'll play it by ear and depending on how tired I am (or alcohol I consume) may determine what I write.

What about Pessimistic Optimism? Oh yeah. I came up with that phrase while Google-ing for some sort of positive anti-optimistic quote. I'm a stubborn optimist and lately that optimism has just delayed my acceptance of things I know are the truth, but that sliver of hope always seemed bigger than it really was.

Side note: You may notice some older posts I did for a class a couple years ago. I decided to leave them up to make it look like I'm a more accomplished blogger than the current truth. It's all about appearances now-a-days...