Making friends is easy (when you’re 10 years old at summer camp)

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about those big life questions, how am I spending my life doing, what do I want out of life, what makes me happy, and really, who am I? These questions are all too lofty and likely, too unanswerable to tackle but why the hell shouldn’t we ask them every now and again? In the last year my life has changed a lot. I got a new job. I went from fairly casual shift work to a Monday to Friday gig. I relocated to a new city and I started living alone for the first time in my life.

My lifestyle changed. A lot.

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Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top, TAKE 2.

I read an interesting article back in the summer time when Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ was everywhere at all times, invading every single radio station, and even Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The article deconstructed the song and raised a number of interesting points. It’s a good read, and one that got me thinking. You can find the full article here, and see my brief discussion of it below, with my take on things.

From me, the most interesting and impactful discussion in this article centres around the lyrics’ incessant need to remind us that, ultimately, what we’re after is male approval. It’s the notion that everything that we do, what we wear, and how we act revolves around capturing the attention of men so we can live happily ever after with said man.

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At least try the Kool-Aid

I spent my day at work today in a coaching session. It was all about how to listen, ask questions, and generally create an atmosphere to allow people to be the best darn versions of themselves they can be.

Its the kind of mandatory work activity that will send the ‘say no to Kool-Aid’ people running for the hills while the ‘I LOVE Kool-Aid’ people will be asking for their own jug of Purplesaurus Rex or Surfin’ Berry Punch screaming ‘Oh, Yeah!’ as they enthusiastically smash through the nearest wall.

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Give me hills to climb and rocks to stumble on

I fear this may make me sound old, perhaps older than my birth certificate might tell you that I am, but I have been told I’m an old soul. I mean we have all made stupid decisions at the age of 13, 17,… 21, and its not like we will always make wise decisions for the rest of our lives because we get older. We are all fallible and as I talked about before, I think we should all be willing to make decisions that others think are stupid so that we can follow a path we believe in. But to get back to things, I’m about to age myself.

I was raised with parents that let us fail and made us work.

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Expectations

In a lot of ways I feel like expectations are the root of all evil, well ok, that’s a little extreme. Expectations are, perhaps, the root of all disappointment.

When you go to a movie and don’t expect it to be good and it turns out to be pretty alright we love it way more than if we think it’s going to be great and it turns out only mediocre. In a lot of ways it is easier if we sequester our expectations to a back room, give them the once over, and tell them to hit the road. This lets us live in the moment, be surprised by little kindness, and, I think that it helps us be more appreciative of what we have. If we can remove expectations about how we think our lives should go, how our friends should act, and what things we need to own we would be a lot happier with what we have.

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Pfft, whatever.

Last year I thought I was having a quarter life crisis. And if I was, this year is my answer to it. It seems fairly common, at least for those of us with a liberal arts degree (or two), to finish that last final exam with a triumphant arms over head ‘NEVER AGAIN!’ chant followed by the realization that you are lost without a clue what comes next. You are more lost than the day you took a train, then a bus, into the middle of  we-speak-no-english Austria then proceeded to walk through a field for 3 hours looking for where you thought you knew you were going only to end up back at a train station to then board the wrong train that will take you 4 hours to get what should have taken 1. Ya, pretty damn lost. Not so lost you think you’ll die, but pretty sure you have no idea where you are going, should be going, or even if you want to go there.

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Its a mental struggle

I’ve been feeling rather uninspired lately. I’ve started and deleted many a blog post this week. Generally when I write these I get an idea, a gist of where I’d like it to go, then I sit down and let it flow. That is easiest for me, or at least I think that allows me to maintain my conversational tone.

Well maybe I should rethink that a little. My problem isn’t a lack of inspiration, it is a lack of focus. I can’t seem to keep one thought in my head clear before the next one bubbles up and takes over. Then doubt seeps in. How could anyone find this remotely interesting? Why am I even writing this? It is probably crap anyways. DELETE.

Start over. New topic. New direction. Probably crap. DELETE! Sigh. Repeat.

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Goffman’s Bedroom

Recently I started to redecorate my bedroom. That sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is. I bought some bookshelves and removed some unused junk from my room. It is slowly looking like a room an adult might inhabit and less like the home of a poor university student. That might be a stretch but I’d like to believe my room reflects who I am.

Bedrooms are funny like that, well lots of things are funny like that. You know those private places where we feel like we get to hide away our personalities, protected by a door, a set of stairs, another door, and a lock and key. We get to be exactly who we think we ought to be.

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Perfectly Ridiculous

There’s something about perfectly coiffed hair paired with the perfect outfit that is matched with perfectly lovely accessories that just makes me, well, cringe. Doesn’t it seem unnatural, perfection. I mean how is there not a single hair out of place and how did you possibly find a jacket that so succinctly ties your entire look together? That doesn’t stop our world from being plastered with this ideal, pinterest is a breeding ground for perfection idealization. We all know that this is unrealistic. I’m, personally, am more comfortable looking slightly like a dirtbag at any time. I don’t want there to be stains on my shirt and holes in my pants, but I’d like to look like I actually wear the clothes I walk around in. I’d like to look like I actually exist in the real world.

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