Connecting is addictive

I’ve been at home sick for the last three days and thanks to the internet I’ve been able to connect with people. You’ve all made me feel comforted, and certainly less alone than I would have been if I only had John Mayer and my TV shows to keep me company. In particular there has been one person who I have connected with on many different levels… and it is1 intoxicating. I’ve tried refraining from writing about it for various reasons,2 but it has become increasingly difficult.

I can’t say that I remember ever feeling this connected to someone. I can’t say I ever remember being this honest with someone, even with things that could potentially hurt him or his ego. But I have been, and I only wish I could be that honest with everyone. The truth is that we always try to protect people we care about. I think that there is a fine line between wanting to protect our image of ourselves in someone’s eyes and wanting to protect them from becoming hurt by something that we did, by our truths.

It’s strange to feel this connected to someone and still find myself not falling head over heels in love with him3. It’s a nice change of pace from my typical behaviour. Despite having a ‘fragile’ heart, I used to fall in love quite easily… always jumping in head first4. I’m finding myself with a lot of sure footing and even a firm handle on the rails. In the short time I’ve known him, he has become a good friend who I feel lucky to have met and gotten to know5.

The connections I’ve made, the connection I’ve made with him have me sitting here writing instead of tackling the huge to-do list I’ve made myself because I want more. I want to hear more, to read more and to absorb more from you all. I love people and the imperfections that make us all so unique.

I only hope that my writing about my new friend doesn’t scare someone else away. I’m trying something new in the 28th year in my life, and I do hope that the new people I’ve met can come along for the journey6: honesty. I don’t want to hide things just to spare someone’s feelings anymore. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be brash; I will still be respectful of people but I want to find ways to be honest about how I’m feeling regardless of the reaction that I think I’m going to get. And that, by far is the best lesson my new friend has taught me.

Writing about connecting and moving on to honesty may seem like a tangent to some, but I think that honesty is so necessary to connect with someone. Being honest with yourself is the first thing one needs to work on, before you can be honest with anyone else. If there’s anything I’ve learnt in 2009, it’s that. I may have only turned 28 a couple of weeks ago… but I can already tell this is going to be a huge year in my life.

I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy to be honest from here on out. I’m saying I’m going to try my best.

How do you feel about connecting, and being honest with people?

Footnotes:
  1. I keep using this word with him, but it really is the most appropriate[]
  2. most of which have to do with other members of the opposite sex[]
  3. mind you I’m dangerously teetering over that line… it’s even fun to tug at[]
  4. This could explain why the heart is so fragile in the first place, huh?[]
  5. So much so, that I couldn’t resist writing about him[]
  6. as well as those who have been on so far – thank you btw, I love you all[]

When people surprise you

I’ve been meeting a lot of new people lately, and it’s so… refreshing. I feel like I’m in University all over again, but with more freedom than I did when I was actually in University. It’s pretty freeing to be able to talk about anything and everything with people who have no reason to judge you based on your past, because they simply don’t know it. There’s something about making new friends that’s so great, sort of like starting a new relationship; when you still have the chance to shape it into whatever you want.

When I was younger, I never really paid attention to how my actions in-the-right-now would affect my relationship with people in the long-run. For the most part, I had the tendency to choose1 romance over friendship. There, I said it. Remember all those posts where I wondered why I didn’t have any girl friends. After the last year and a half I’ve certainly realised how stupid I actually was2 for never trying hard enough.

You learn a lot about yourself when you meet new people who are genuinely interested in learning about you. The stories you tell and how you tell them, can show you a lot about yourself that you wouldn’t really learn otherwise. The things I’m learning about myself are definitely things I never imagined I’d be described as, yet I haven’t been disappointed yet3. Of course, there are some things that I know I need to work on but, at least I know.

Speaking of people surprising me; it’s wonderful when you find people who are in the same ‘place’ in their life as you and you can share things that you wouldn’t be able to share with anyone else. I’m excited about enjoying people’s company without thinking I’m in love with them. Not that this has been a problem in the past with girlfriends but rather that I tended to only have male friends and boyfriends so it was hard to see that line between just genuinely enjoying someone’s company, and being in love with them.

Someone once told me that they loved this age4, and I’m honestly beginning to believe them.

How do you feel about meeting/learning new people?

p.s. Happy Friday the 13th5!

Footnotes:
  1. what I thought to be[]
  2. instead of being ‘smart’ like I thought I was[]
  3. Thank goodness![]
  4. I’m 28[]
  5. my favourite day of any year[]

In the end, only kindness matters

The title of this post comes from lyrics from the song ‘Hands’ by Jewel.

I’ve been reading the Toronto Star’s Acts of Kindness for quite some time. I don’t read it every day but it’s always in the back of my mind. Some stories truly are heartwarming, whereas some stories remind me that people are very… different. Some tell tales of the sheer selflessness of others, where some only indicate to me how much we need to change the way we think.

One of my favourite psychological theories is that of the self-fulfilling prophecy; if we expect people to disappoint us – inevitably they will and alternatively if we expect them to wow us, they have a higher chance of doing so. Of course, simply expecting someone to be a certain way doesn’t guarantee the outcome… I’m not saying that at all.

I will always have a special place in my heart for the Acts of Kindness section of thestar.com but I wish someone would edit the submissions so that comments like ‘restored my faith in humanity’ are eliminated. It depresses me to see such comments because it means that there is someone jaded enough out there who felt the need to point it out that before some good Samaritan returned their $60 at the bank1. I just feel it would have been a better story if there was no negativity attached whatsoever.

But I know I can’t tell someone how to talk, write or feel… I’m just hoping that putting this out there will help people understand that if we all just changed our thinking2 that maybe, just maybe, that’s all we’ll ever be. But you can’t expect… it shouldn’t be viewed as a right that everyone be kind to us.

Do you think if we just have faith in everyone else, and act accordingly ourselves, that the world really would be a better place?

Footnotes:
  1. when they absent-mindedly left it at the ATM[]
  2. that “everyone is evil”, to “everyone is kind”[]

Discipline

There is the running theme in my life these days. One that has me making an effort when I simply don’t want to. It takes discipline, and it takes humility and I am trying my best. I’ve never been good at either1 but they’re lessons I desperately need to learn if I’m ever going to succeed in getting the career I want. In this way, I’m a late bloomer because I should’ve learnt these lessons long before I finished University but it’s just not the way it has gone. I’m ok with it.

I think that making an effort in a professional capacity is easier. It’s easier than doing so in your personal life2, because when you’re making this effort – that you don’t want to make – for someone else, you feel forced; trapped; and in great danger of becoming resentful. It’s become important to remember the sacrifices that the other person has made for you and realize that they didn’t ‘put’ you in this position out of spite and so you shouldn’t feel any3.

I’m writing about this vaguely because I simply can’t write about it openly. A wise woman said to me this weekend that you have to write with the one person you don’t want reading what you’ve written in mind, so that is what I’m doing. I need to write about it, but I also know how they feel about when I write about things in the open – so as part of my effort making, I’m writing in the vague and hoping that it is enough of a compromise.

How often do you have to make an effort to do something even though you simply don’t want to?

Footnotes:
  1. can you say spoiled? I can![]
  2. and therefore for someone else[]
  3. spite[]