“If you wish to overcome that feeling of isolation and loneliness, I think that your underlying attitude makes a tremendous difference. And approaching others with the thought of compassion in your mind is the best way to do this.” — The Dalai Lama

So it’s Sunday night.  Spencer has made zero attempt to contact me in nearly a week.  I went on Facebook and saw pictures of friends with their significant others–boyfriends, fiances, and husbands.  I started to feel incredibly lonely and began to go down the road of questioning why I’m still single.  Am I not kind enough?  Am I abrasive?  Am I weird?  What’s wrong with me…am I going to be single forever?  Will I ever get married and have children?  What will I do with my life if I never meet anyone?

And then I remembered reading a book called “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama.  Twice in my life I’ve actually seen the Dalai Lama while traveling (once in London, the other time in San Francisco) just by sheer luck, which has always left me feeling incredibly special.  I feel a certain closeness to his words, and also to him partially based on these chance encounters.  In a part of this book, he is being interviewed by someone and is asked if he ever feels lonely.  I’m going to type out the section of this book, because it’s incredibly inspirational to me, and something that I need to refer back to whenever I am feeling lonely.

Interviewer: “Do you ever get lonely?”

Dalai Lama: “No.”

Interviewer: “What do you attribute that to?”

Dalai Lama: “I think one factor is that I look at any human being from a more positive angle; I try to look for their positive aspects.  This attitude immediately creates a feeling of affinity, a kind of connectedness.  And it may partly be because on my part, there is less apprehension, less fear, that if I act in a certain way, maybe the person will lose respect or think that I am strange.  So because that kind of fear and apprehension is normally absent, there is a kind of openness.  I think it’s the main factor.”

Interviewer: “But how would you suggest that a person achieve that ability to feel that comfortable with people, not have that fear of apprehension of being disliked or judged by other people?  Are there specific methods that an average person could use to develop this attitude?”

Dalai Lama: “My basic belief is that you first need to realize the usefulness of compassion.  That’s the key factor.  Once you accept the fact that compassion is not something childish or sentimental, once you realize that compassion is something really worthwhile, realize it’s deeper value, then you immediately develop an attraction towards it, a willingness to cultivate it.  And once you encourage the thought of compassion in your mind, once that thought becomes active, then your attitude towards others changes automatically.  If you approach others with the thought of compassion, that will automatically reduce fear and allow an openness with other people.  It creates a positive, friendly atmosphere.  With that attitude, you can approach a relationship in which you, yourself, initially create the possibility of receiving affection or a positive response from the other person….So if you wish to overcome that feeling of isolation and loneliness, I think that your underlying attitude makes a tremendous difference.  And approaching others with the thought of compassion in your mind is the best way to do this.”

Reading this somehow makes me feel somewhat better.  I’m not 100% sure how to cultivate compassion, but in my mind it’s definitely something I could work on.  Always trying to see the good in people, seeing someone for their similarities instead of differences, and trying to be kind to people.  Overcoming loneliness is a constant struggle for me, but dealing with it will require baby steps.  Trying to remain positive about my life is one of those steps.

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“If you’re confused about what you should do with your life, go back to what you did when you were a child.”–Ms. Solner

Today I was thinking today about time.  What we choose to do with it says a lot about a person.  Now that I’m studying for the series 7, all of the time that I have matters a lot more, because I have less of it.  How I delegate it is of more importance.   And how you spend your time, molds the life you live.  Really, what you do with your time is what you’re doing with your life and how you choose to life it is the more important thing you can do while you’re on this earth.

Anyways, when you get older and start working full time, it’s easy for your life to become somewhat concentrated in one area–work.  Since I started working again, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to have a more balanced life.  I don’t have a family in Chicago, so I need to try to make sure that I get fulfilment in other parts of my life.  Before 2011 I decided that I had a few goals, and I’m determined to not lose focus of them:

Goals for 2011

1.  Pass Series 7

2.  Become involved with a charity on a regular basis

3.  Run a half marathon

Goals for 2011 I won’t commit to but that are on the back burner

1.  Run a full marathon

2.  Take the GMAT

3.  Become involved with a professional organization to network for next job

So those are my main goals, but I’m also trying to become more in touch with what makes me tick.  What do I enjoy doing in my spare time other than going to the bar?  I’ve recently discovered that what a wise teacher once told me is somewhat true–“If you’re confused about what you should do with your life, go back to what you did when you were a child.”

I’ve found myself enjoying reading once again, and writing.  I’m realizing that I still love to lose myself in a good book, and that writing is sometimes the most at peace I feel with myself.  No pretenses, no expectations, just me.  When I was younger I used to read books until the wee hours of the night, telling myself “just one more page” the same way that people hit snooze on the alarm clock and say “just one more minute of sleep.”  Ever since I received my first “Hello Kitty” notebook in the 2nd grade I’ve found some kind of relief with writing.  I have dozens of journals from the various years of my life.  I write mostly when I’m confused or lonely…so most of it is pretty depressing.  Right now I’m using this as an outlet to try to figure some things out.  It’s in the very least a release from everything I have to pretend to be throughout the day.

The strange thing is that I now have finally gotten used to writing via a keyboard, but still miss the freedom that a pen and paper give you.  The keyboard can keep up with my thoughts, but the pen and paper give me more freedom on the way I express what I’m thinking.

Well anyways, I just wanted to jot down a few notes to get some things off of my mind.  I’ll have more later.  I’m thinking of creating a flow chart of what I want in my life the vehicles to get me there.

More to come this weekend.

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There’s always some reason to feel not good enough, and it’s hard at the end of the day — Sarah McLachlan

Angel

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance,

For a break that would make it ok.

There’s always some reason to feel not good enough, and it’s hard at the end of the day.  I need some distraction, oh beautiful release as memories seep through my veins, let me be empty, oh and weightless and maybe I’ll find some peace tonight.

In the arms of the angels, fly away from here.  From this dark, cold, hotel room and the endlessness that you feel.  You were born from the wreckage, of you silent revelry, you’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn there’s vultures and thieves at your back.  The storm keeps on twisting, keep on building the lies that you make up for all that you lack.  Don’t make no difference, escape one last time, it’s easier to believe.  In this sweet madness, oh this glory and sadness that brings me to my knees.

In the arms of the angel.  Fly away from here.  From this dark, cold, hotel room and the endlessness that you fear.  You were born from the wreckage of your silent revelry, you’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.  You’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.

Hi.

Wow, music has always had this incredibly therapeutic effect on me.  If I can listen to a song that completely relates to the way I’m feeling at the moment,  know that another human being has felt the exact same way at some point, and I somehow manage to feel just a little bit better.  Just like the song ending, I know the feeling will pass.

Nothing about today was incredibly horrible.  It was just one of those days where I felt like I was looking at my life with a pain of sunglasses on…everything was dark and I couldn’t see the sunlight.

Nobody wants to listen to me complain, and I know it’s me being “negative” so I’m going to try to stream my negative emotions onto no one.  I even tried to talk to my Mom about my day, but what people sometimes don’t understand is that you’re not always looking for a solution, or someone to cheer you up, but simply someone to understand what you’re going through.

So today started off just like any other day.  I woke up at 8:00 in the morning, got dressed and headed to work.  I walked into the same building, with the same people I see everyday, and sat down to stare at the same two monitors where I do approximately zero work on everyday.  I texted Smith a funny text message to wish him a “safe trip” and I got no response.  Awesome.

I sat at my desk just bored to tears (not unlike every single other day) but just having less of a tolerance for my surroundings today.

I’m sick of sitting at my computer for 8 hours a day, and doing 1 hour of work.  I’m sick of being on a team, but having absolutely no idea about what is going on.  I’m sick of being a fucking high class secretary when I have a degree from a major university and an impressive resume with work experience from one of the top companies in Chicago.  I’m sick of cleaning up the god damned conference room after meetings like I’m some janitor that can’t speak english.  I’m sick of printing out reports like I’m some inbred piece of white trash when I have the ability to be writing them.

I’m not sure where all of this anger for my job is coming from all of the sudden, but I think I’ve reached my breaking point for entertaining myself at my job.  I want to be distracted from myself for just a little while everyday…that’s all I ask for.  Most people complain because they are worked too hard, I on the other hand complain because I am not worked hard enough.  I want to feel challenged, needed, important, and like I’m accomplishing something everyday.  I go into work everyday, and walk out with the same sense of accomplishment that I do after watching TV.

To make matters even better today, my boss sent out an email to the entire team calling me “Kristin.”  Seriously…you can’t even get my fucking name right?  I know that I do nothing at this job and am somewhat invisible, but the office isn’t that large…you can’t even remember my name?  I’m just some stupid little girl you ask to book your travel from time to time.

So the work day finally ended (15 minutes early for me–yippee!) and I headed to the gym.  For one hour today I felt like I was doing something worth while…thank god.  And then I was walking home and checked my email and I got an email back from the charity that I volunteered to be on the board of and found out that I didn’t get the position for the junior board.  No one even wants me to do free work…awesome.

I think it’s just hard because I’m getting to that point in my life where I really want my life to have meaning.  I want to be important for something or someone.  I want to feel needed, and like I left some kind of stamp on the world by being here.  Not just another human being using up resources.  I want to have someone who wants to talk to me everyday and worries about me when I come home late or don’t answer my phone for awhile.  I want a job where if makes a difference if I show up everyday.  A job where I’m busy and where people need to book meetings with me in advance, and wonder if my calendar will be full or not.  I want to be involved with my community–either through having a larger social circle or volunteer work, where I feel like I’m giving back and making a difference.  I’m sick of floating through life like I’m invisible.

Ok, I feel better.  Normally I would make some kind of action plan on how I’m going to change all of this, but I’m sick of apologizing for a bad mood or being negative.  I gave up sugar yesterday (indefinitely) and I feel very irritable.  I just needed to vent.  For anyone who ever winds up reading this, I promise future posts to be more inspiring and positive, but just remember that NO ONE feels good all the time, and you don’t need to constantly make excuses for not feeling that way….LET IT OUT!

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The key is finding someone who wants the same things as you…

Ok…

So this post is completely off the subject of what I was currently on.  I have a feeling that this post might jump around as well.  Having my whole “Eat, Pray, Love” moment.  Maybe that was a bit too ambitious?  A bit too unrealistic?  Not sure, but I think maybe a week after that post, Spencer ended up coming over under the pretense (in my mind) of being a friend which ended up being more.  I learned that while living in a world with the opposite sex, it is very difficult to avoid romantic encounters (who would have known?)

While I might have veered off the path of celibacy and self discovery, I am still on the road of figuring out where I fit in in this world.  Last night was just about the most blunt reminder of that I could have imagined.

Part of my New Years resolution for 2011 was to volunteer more.  I work with a complete JAP (Jewish American Princess) called Mandy.  Mandy is kind of perfect.  She’s tall, thin(ish), beautiful, incredibly perky, married, and well networked.  She has her MBA from Loyola, and her BS from University of Michigan.  In highschool she was homecoming queen, and she’s just one of those people who everyone “loves.”  So when she asked me to volunteer this past Friday for her charity that she is on the board of, I agreed.

Going into the evening, I should have known that something was off.  Mandy was getting all dressed up, and I was asked to wear black pants and a white shirt.  I looked like a server, and she looked adorable.  I was having one of those days, where I just wanted to go home, have a glass of wine, and go to sleep.  It was against every single grain in my body to go to this event.  But I had made a commitment to Mandy, and I always do what I say I will do.

So in the dead of winter, with a windchill no higher than 1 degree F, I made the treck from the south loop to Michigan avenue.  I entered the “ballroom” where the event was being held, and was surrounded by all of Mandy’s friends.  Christian Loubiton shoes, Louis Vuitton purses, and designer dresses were surrounding me.  In the mean time, I was wearing black dress pants with DANSKO walking shoes, and a white banana republic blouse.  I was directed to sit down with all of the other “volunteers” who I later found out were basically outsourced from this organization called “one brick.”  These are basically people who just choose random events to volunteer for who to my observations are people who might never have any other options for a Friday night.  It was definitely a crowd of socially backwards people.   So I went and sat down with this group of other people dressed like servers, where I was told that I was not allowed to drink for the entire night (unlike Mandy and everyone else) and that I was going to have to stand while everyone else sat down during the event.  It was one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life.  Here I was with a group of strangers, dressed unlike everyone else, and being treated like a child and second class citizen on top of all of it.

I befriended the most sane looking girl in the group, and her and I reached a breaking point when another one of the volunteers started begging one of the guests to get us a drink.  I felt like such an alien…

So Alexis and I went to get our coats and never turned back.  One of the head volunteers from the organization called Alexis to see where we were.  We had gone to Elephant Castle and there was no way we were going back.  We sat at Elephant Castle and laughed about the absurdity of the night.  How we ended up at the event, how we were asked to dress, etc.  I told her about my recent dating disaster with Spencer, and she told me about hers.

I guess in the big scheme of things, no matter how alone you feel, there is always somebody in the same boat.  At an event where I felt like an outcast and completely uncomfortable, I was able to find someone else who felt the exact same way.

I left Elephant Castle, and went home and talked to Raffi.  For whatever reason, it made me feel better.  Even though Spencer may not want to talk to me right now, I have to remember what Raffi once said to me…that I have a “universal appeal with guys” and I need to remember that losing faith will get me no where…

I woke up today still feeling like shit about Spencer.  I went online and was talking to Kristen.  And it suddenly HIT me even though it’s so easy to forget.  I have chosen guys for the past year that are all still single.  Spencer to my little knowledge of his personality is the farthest thing from the “relationship type.”  I need to stop choosing people who are not interested or comfortable being in a relationship.  I can’t “handle” a relationship the same way that I do other things in my life, and I need to remind myself of that.  I can’t turn Spencer into someone he so clearly is not.  I need to find someone who wants the same things as me.

The awkward part is what do I do now?  Him and I already made the mistake of taking our relationship from “friendship” to “dating.”  I enjoy being around him, and really want to have him in my life.  However I’m not sure how to make the transition back to that.  Do I just keep the text messages friendly and make sure not to put myself in a situation where we could be physical?  I think that’s the answer.

If he asks me why, I’ll explain it to him.  In the beginning, nothing should feel like work.  It should be natural.  He should WANT to see me at least once a week, and talk to me.  I don’t want to be hurt by him not wanting the same things as me.  Seeing as how he’s made no attempt to contact me in almost a week, I might be worrying about something that is a non-issue.  But I’m not going to wait for him any longer.

So now what?  I guess I’m back where I was a little over a month ago.  Filling the void with something other than a guy.  Concentrating on my career, and working to have a balanced life.  Figuring out where I fit in middle school style.

 

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Who am I when I’m not losing myself in someone else…?

So recently when talking with a friend I told her that I was going to take a break from dating.  I just recently go out of a 3 month relationship that somehow felt like a whirlwind marriage followed by a bitter divorce.  Before him was someone else that was quite similar, and so on and so forth.  Since I started dating (in highschool) I have jumped from on relationship to another.  I’ve always been dating, breaking up, or out trying to find that special someone.  Between the pressure that society puts on people to be couples, and the indescribable high one gets from being in love, it’s hard not to want that for oneself.

If I added up all the hours I’ve spent going out in hopes of finding someone, hours I’ve spent trying to look good to find someone (come on girls, I’m talking highlights, makeup, sexy clothes, nails, fake tans, fake eye lashes, push up bras, sexy underwear,  hair dryers, curling irons, curlers, time at the gym, etc), money I’ve spent at the bar, money I’ve spent on online dating, time I’ve spent online dating, actual dates, talking to all of my girlfriends about every single detail of every date, and then all the time it takes me to scrape myself up off the floor from a break up it would probably account for a solid fraction of my life.

All for what?

This last relationship I was in was very consuming.  We would talk for hours a day online at work.  We would go home and text each other while we were watching TV.  We would spend hours on the phone.  We went on dates, I cooked him dinner, and all for what?  Since we broke up we haven’t talked once.

I spent at least one week of my life putting an endless amount of energy into something that amounted into NOTHING.  I’ve done this COUNTLESS other times.  Don’t get me wrong, if this person ends up being your husband, a good friend, or someone who you really learned a lot from, than it all is worth it.  But for me, and a lot of girls I know, it’s not.

So I decided, that instead of putting all of my energy into drinking and boys (two things that generally haven’t provided a lot of long term satisfaction) I’m going to see where else this energy goes.

I told my friend that for the next month, I wasn’t going to date anyone.  I told her that I need to “lay the framework” before I set up the dry wall.  She kind of laughed at me for even thinking that a month was a long time.  My response was that I wasn’t going to have an “Eat Pray Love” moment.

Out of curiosity, boredom, and loneliness I watched Eat Pray Love tonight.  At the end of the movie I kind of had an “aha” moment.  Right now, I need to figure out WHO I AM.  I need to figure out what makes me happy (besides being in a relationship), what relaxes and calms me, and what gives me a sense of self-worth.  I need to figure out who I am, when I’m not losing myself in someone else.

Once I figure these things out, I’ll be able to have a more fulfilled life being alone.  I won’t need a man as much, and hopefully once I find one it won’t be so heartbreaking if things end because I’ll have my framework up.  If a tornado rips through, my house won’t fall down.

It should be an interesting ride….

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