– Farewell 2010, Welcome 2011 – Part.1

A year is not a very small quantity of time.  It consists of 365.4 Days.  This entry is one that I knew I was going to write, and yet feeling the daunting task of trying to sum up the last 8769.6 hours of my life into one entry is very overwhelming.  It could very well become a two-parter, which will be a first time for me.  There are so many observations I want to make, involving the people who have shaped this year, the new relations that I have discovered and the old friends that I no longer have that connection with.  There are certain themes that have presented themselves to me over the year, certain trends that I have taken notice of… trends that have shaped my entire life to date.  It is with a newfound clarity and understanding of my own core personality that I look towards 2011.  So, without any further adieu, I present to you, the reader… my 2010.

Goodbye 2010 by Onlydipu @ Deviantart.com

The year didn’t start off all that strong.  I spend the first few moments of 2010 sitting in Mark Lidstone’s basement playing a bunch of rented Rock Band-ish games with Candace and their clique.  The night itself was rather enjoyable, especially considering that there was no drinking involved.  The reason I say that it didn’t start strong is because I was still rather clueless as to what I was doing with my life.  I just finished up my first semester of Journalism so it was clear that I was at least on the right track, but I was still pretty much a child.  I was in a failing relationship even if I didn’t know it at the time, and my life had no direction.  This ties me into my overall opinion of the year itself.  For you see I believe that 2010 and 2011 are basically already established as the years in which I finally realize the potential that everyone has been talking about for 25 years.

Since I was a child I have been told and made to believe that my intelligence is profound, and that there really is not anything that I would find difficult if I applied myself.  The issue is that up until the year 2010, I didn’t truly believe this because there is a fatal flaw with this observation.  In order for me not to struggle with an objective, I need to apply myself to it and frankly I never put any effort into anything in my life up to this point.  2010 is the year that I looked back on my life and looked at the challenges that actually defeated me, and I realize that they were so simple… so easily conquered.  They only got the better of me because I didn’t put in any sufficient effort to overcoming them.  University courses were a breeze for me, and when I attended it was a cake walk… Making friends was no sweat at all, usually only requiring a conversation of more than 5 minutes before someone felt comfortable enough with me that all their most cherish secrets became something that they shared.

I’ve never had a proper challenge.  There is a part of me that has always wondered that if I have all of this untapped potential, then how come everything I try always end up being an epic fail.  2010 is the epiphany year where I became enlightened that my problems were my own doing all along.  There is no better evidence then how it ended, but I will get into that a little later.

Here’s the jist ladies and gents.  Walking into to 2010 I was still the arrogant yet completely lacking in self-confidence child that I have always been.  2010 opened my eyes, it gave me a few glances at the man who I can become if only I tried.  2010 was the year that I grew up.  I removed my child-like mentality and decided that it is finally time I started taking the responsibility for all the fuck-ups in my life.

2010 has been the year of Growth, where I see that need to step up, and indeed I started doing so.  2011 will be the year that redefine who I am and become the man who I was always supposed to be.

Sounds preachy doesn’t it?  Sorry.

It’s true though, I’ve spent 25 years being a child and making excuses for everything that has gone wrong.  Always saying, it’ll be better “next time”, I’ll do it right “next time”.  I kept a defeated mindset through all challenges, therefore I was a failure long before the fat lady sang.  2010 changed that for me.  Albeit yes, essentially this entry is another large proclamation that “next year will be better.”  With 2010 coming to a close I’ve seen flashes of what I need to do, I’ve done things that defy all precedents for me.  Instead of giving up, I fought.  Instead of lingering, I acted.

This has been one of the hardest years of my life since the nightmare days in my second year of Grenfell, but looking back on it I am actually proud of most of my actions.

Crying On The Floor by MetalChicken @ Photobucket.com

In March, I did something that caused a lot of pain.  I’ve labeled myself as a villain to many for a long time because of an action, but do I look back at it and regret it?  Not quite.  There is a part of me that believes if the variables would’ve been different things may have ended differently, but looking back on what happened I have no shame in it.  I broke up with my girlfriend, and it crushed her.  I felt like a complete disgrace on humanity because even though she didn’t converse with me through this time, I still heard the tears.  I saw the crying face every night in my dreams, most of the time causing sleepless nights.  Just about every day I fought to maintain composure.  Sometimes it would take so much energy to prevent myself from calling and asking for her back, that I couldn’t spare the willpower to fight back tears of my own.  I never wanted to hurt anyone, I tried to build a lifetime of relieving people of pain not causing it.

However, I knew that I couldn’t pick up that phone.  There’s no way I could get back with her because the way things were, we were two different people.  As I said in a previous post, it was never a question of did I love her or not.  That is something that will never change, but I refuse to risk having to put her through anything like that again and at the time there was no way I could see our relationship succeeding. We needed to grow, we needed to advance to the next stage in our lives, something that I DO believe happened to us both.

What the future holds for us, I do not know.  But, although I was the bad guy, and I don’t think anyone will ever agree with this viewpoint, but I did the right thing.  Both for myself, and for her.  She is happily with a guy who from what I can tell provides her with all that I was not able to, and me.. well.. you’re reading this. So you know where I am with my life.

Academics.  This is probably the most significant area in my life where I have always been told of my potential and yet I never realized it.  There is nothing in school that ever challenged me and this year is no exception.  I breeze through assignments and concepts as if they were trying to re-educate me that 2 + 2 = 4.  Sometimes it floors me to see classmates struggling with certain concepts, but I’m not trying to make myself sound a lot more conceited than I actually am.

This year brought about a very oddly timed wake up call.  You see I am not a stranger to failure.  There are courses that I have failed in University, they were entirely due to the fact that I just didn’t show up to classes and in some cases I didn’t even show up to the final exam but, never the less I was numb.  I felt bad because I know how devastating it was for my parents to understand how intelligent I am, and yet I’m not passing courses.  It was most likely especially embarrassing for my mother who was a teacher and prides herself on the importance of education.  Her child prodigy of a son was not passing some University courses… that was a crippling blow to her.  Her expectations of me with a Masters making 6 figures a year was destroyed in those years and now she just aims for me to finish something and get a decent job.  This does break my heart in a way, because she was right.  I am quite capable of going to med school and excelling, I could be an attorney and be a success.  The issue is that for all of my intelligence I just didn’t have the ambition.  I was not looking ahead.  This year I did five courses in my third semester of Journalism.  Of the 5 courses in all five I left out a percentage.  In three of them that percentage equals more than 30 percent of the course.  Think about that for a moment.  This means when we look at the averages of my class, when everyone is out of 100, I am out of 70.

Death By Homework by Otaku_essy @ Deviantart.com

The last two weeks of school, it crept on me and almost actually caused an anxiety attack.  I was hitting my slacker stride and was about to throw in the towel yet again.  I didn’t even believe that it was mathematically possible to pass some of these courses, or at the very least I would need 90+ on all my finals to succeed.  That was it, I was done.  There was something different though, I wasn’t comfortable with throwing in the towel.  I did NOT want to be a failure again.  There were some major assignments that required a near endless amount of work in order to get them done.  Getting them done before deadline was near impossible, but I was faced with the task of needing to do well in them.

I was referred to counsel because of my lackluster attendance, and I met her.  I even, for the first time out loud, expressed my opinion about how I truly feel there is no mathematical way to pull this off.  After that meeting and a discussion, it was yet another example of a complete stranger that has been talking to me for no more than 10 minutes, being able to see my potential.  She said herself, looking at the progress thus far and the marks required to even pass this semester, under normal circumstances she would just tell the student to leave and try it again in the new year, but I gave the impression I was capable.  I could’ve pulled this off.  Oddly enough, hearing this from a complete stranger did lift me and help me carry myself towards this semesters finish line.  It was a grueling two weeks with minimal social contact, and even less sleep.  But when it was all said and done, I did it.  It was the greatest academic comeback I have ever achieved and I have no intention on slowing down.

My plan for 2011 is simple.  As I said, it is finally time for this 25-year-old man, to start being the man he should have been 5 years ago.  2010 opened my eyes to what I need to do, and gave me the first examples of me living up to my potential.  2011 is the time when I show everyone else that this turnaround for me is not something temporary or to be taken lightly.

2011, I vow that I will be top of the class in the program.  If I stay motivated, I apologize because this WILL sound arrogant, but there is no one in there that can come close to my performance if I actually decide to perform.  2011, I vow that with a few key exceptions, Alcohol will become something that I “used to” drink, this applies to McDonald’s, KFC and fast food in general.  Soft Drinks are gone too.  Actually the fast food and soft drinks have been gone now already, I haven’t drank soft drinks in a few weeks and I had fast food once in the month of December.

By December 31st, 2011. I will look in a mirror and for the first time in my life I will not be ashamed of the reflection.  I am not going to see wasted opportunities and lost dreams… I am going to see realized potential.  2010, showed me this goal is reachable and for that I am thankful.  Now it’s time to bring on 2011.

Part Two of this entry will be up later, probably by tomorrow.  I have a feeling this is going to be a three parter.

– I Don’t Need To Date Your Family… Or Do I? –

Why does it matter?  This is a question that sparked my interest today while having a discussion with a friend of mine.  Is a normal family really a requirement to find a suitable partner?  So often have I heard of a great couple that are perfectly compatible with each other but friction with the family brought about an unsettled end to the romance.  The question I pose is Why??

Before I begin I leave my usual disclaimer.  I say “Girl” in this entry because obviously I’m a male and that’s who I would be courting.  However, this does work both ways, it isn’t gender specific.  And As always this is completely opinionated.

Ackward by Sorceressmyr @ Deviantart.com

If you were to meet the girl of your dreams, she was everything you could ask for in a girlfriend and a little bit more.  Would the fact that she has an unorthodox or crazy family really prevent you from being happy with her?  I guess there are lots of things to really look at here on this topic eh?

First I must say that I do understand that when it comes to family, first and foremost you will have it in the back of your mind that in order to be with this girl you are going to have to be at least in a small way, a part of her family as well.  Seeing them at social functions and family traditions.  So in a sense the family is something you will have to endure, so therefore you need to weigh whether or not the agony of dealing with them is greater or less than the joy you feel from being with her.  Then I guess you also need to consider where the relationship is going, especially if she is a girl that you really feel strong for.  If you have even the smallest inclination of marriage, then that family will now become your in-laws and thus the likelihood grows that you will be seeing them more often.

I’m still not sold on the idea that someone becomes no longer a viable candidate for courtship just because you have issues with her family.  It’s still not decidable yet, because it isn’t the family that you are going to be in love with, it’s the girl.  I still don’t think that family issues should trump romantic interest…

…that being said.  I just got a flashback of my time in St. John’s and I have discovered something that I didn’t think about thus far.  Family issues plagued me back then.  Looking back I’m pretty confident in saying that I’m sure that the first (and most frequent) fights that would take place between myself and my girlfriend was concerning her family.  I had the strongest feeling that for some reason they didn’t like me and tried to not be around them too much, in turn I think they actually didn’t like me because I refused to be around very much.

The real kicker is that I really didn’t have any problem with her family, I was just intimidated.  This was back in a day when I was still coming out of my shell, in the infancy of the ShallopNewf you all know.  The loud, outspoken, I’ll even go as far as to say charismatic creature that you all know today.  The relationship in St. John’s broke me free of my timidness in most aspects of my life, and yet for some reason her family still fell into the “I’m Scared to talk to you” category.

Thinking back, the friction started there and just continued to get worse until the relationship was over.  Of course it would be foolish to say that we didn’t work because of the inability I had to get along with her family, but it certainly didn’t help.

Embarassassment by Anneeatsworms @ Deviantart.com

In light of this maybe family is more important than I was giving it credit for.  What does this mean though?  That you can’t be with someone if the relations with the family is shaky.  No, I refuse to believe that.  I think that the problem can be easily smoothed over by just paying lip service and biting your tongue.  There still remains a problem with that plan though, biting your tongue can only last for so long before the mountain of opinion overwhelms and comes out.

Here’s an interesting point though.  If you have issues with her family then the best thing you can possible do would be to bite your tongue but still vent later.  Now, if this girl is everything that you’ve built her up to be, she should be able to handle your criticism about the family and help you with it.  Now, if you are to vent to this girl and she is to be offended that you don’t get along with her family and you get the response of “but you’re not giving them a chance” or “why can’t you just get along with them… for me??”  How is that helping.  There is even the possibility of her being anger or offended.  If this was to happen, you should ask yourself, “Is this really the girl for me?”  and if she isn’t then what was the problem.. was the problem simply that you didn’t get along with her family, or was it that you two just weren’t compatible?

I am of the opinion that you do need to give the potential future in-laws the benefit of a doubt, you can’t walk in with your guard up because, as human beings, they will sense that.  It’s easy to tell when someone is being defensive.  So, walk in with an open mind, disregard any “warnings” given to you by your significant other and just be yourself.  If they don’t like it, then you have to figure out how you want to proceed from there, if they do then no problem.

Whether you decide to bite you tongue, and vent to your girl… or even go down to the tavern and vent to your buddies (which can be a very volatile method if she finds out).  Or if you just confront them right then and there.  It’s been clear the more I type and the more I consider all of the variables that family relations is indeed important, and how you deal with them can sometimes be crucial to the harmony of a strong relationship.

There is one other situation I want to touch on.  Let’s say you’re involved with a girl who comes from a not-so-ideal family background.  This isn’t a case where you are going to have to go to Christmas dinner with them, or family reunions, because she has somewhat distanced herself from them because of a really shady past.  This is a factor that one needs to look at when analyzing the family impact on dating, mainly because I know lots of people who would be spooked by this, and truthfully I do not understand why.

An estranged relationship with the family is indeed unorthodox, but hardly something difficult to deal with.  Family members causing trouble in her life will require you to step up and be there for her at times, but other than that why should it matter how insane her family is, ESPECIALLY if they are not in the same timezone.

I think when it comes to relationships, everybody spooks way too easily.  Everyone is looking for that perfect, harmonious relationship without any issues.  I’m sorry you are not going to find it.  You are only going to find those with sketchy histories, cracks in their persona due to trauma, the commitment phobic, the completely introverted, and other imperfect characters.  Thing is, in my opinion, it is this issues and these quote unquote “flaws” that define a good relationship.

It is the similarities that provide the romantic foundation, but it is the differences that build the walls and structure and it is how their flaws mesh together with your flaws that furnish the interior.  This is how a relationship is born.

Family or no Family, you need to find the person that is right for you.  Once you do, nothing else matters.
So final conclusion: It would be naive to eliminate the family factor as a contributor to a healthy relationship, but it would be foolish to throw away the relationship strictly based on it.

– The Dreaded Mother Hen Tactic –

Girls Night Out II by TheBourgyman @ Deviantart.com

Often it happens, we find ourself swamped and engulfed in all of life’s trivialities.  Destructive thoughts begin to flutter in the inner most recesses of your brain, and all of a sudden you begin to slip.  You lose control of your own life.  Everyone has that one friend that they can turn to and spill their guts in times of confusion.  That pillar of wisdom that seems to always be able to guide you in the right path to sanity.  It makes me pose the question though, where do those people turn to?

I do believe I may have already written on this topic but another trip to this discussion is warranted, it is the dominant thought in my mind right now.  The safe haven and the trusted faces have faded, and blended into obscurity.  I don’t have the welcoming feeling anymore in places where I should be at home.  I do not feel as though the people I have surrounded myself with recently are going to the be the type that is going to be any use finding clarity in my confusion.

Anyway, this is not the point of this entry.  This is the December 3rd entry, and yes it has been posted before midnight.  I did NOT miss my deadline yet.  Of course leaving an entry just to boast that I made deadline would be a cop-out. So I’m going to write about something that came to me last night.

Last night, despite my better judgement I accompanied a friend to The Bar because this friend did not want to go alone.  So I went, and among a few experiences that I’m sure will come up in a future entry at some point, I ran into a girl I knew.  There were three of them there, and one of them was getting pretty close with this guy.  Of course, the girl was incredibly drunk, and this guy was someone who was known to be shall-we-say not motivated by ethics or morals.

Sound The Alarms!!!

Mother Hen And Chicks by CRSgrl1223 @ DeviantArt.com

It was interesting to see this in action, it was very enlightening.  Within moments I bore witness to the Mother Hen syndrome taking complete control of the other two girls.  They instantly went into protection mode, the poor guy never stood a chance.  Each time he was going to the dance floor and drag his little target away, one of the other two would immediately pull her back.  The funny part about this is that the targeted girl just kept dancing throughout the whole thing… the alcohol had her almost completely oblivious to what was going on.

Wait a minute.. you DO know the Mother Hen right?

Well I don’t want anyone to have to admit that they never heard of it so I’ll just explain it nonetheless.  The Mother Hen tactic is most commonly viewed when a guy tries to get in the middle of and interrupt a girls night out.  Sorry pal, they just want to dance.  It is very difficult because the other girls flock around their chick and made sure you end up being a failure.

As a guy I know I should detest the Mother Hen tactic, however seeing what I saw last night I was actually impressed by it and I was actually cheering them on.  They did it amazingly.  The end of the night involved some choice words and a proposition of “taking it outside.”  Not that he was anything to fear, I just don’t really have the energy to waste on drunken idiots.  Anyway, it was really quite a sight to see.  Of course I found myself somewhat in protector mode, just sitting back and observing to make sure they didn’t get in under the heads and he didn’t do anything too stupid.

Thing is, I can’t understand why some people think they can get past this kind of defense.  This guy must have come up like 9 times over 3 songs trying to dance with her only to be turned away by the group.   He should have realized that there was no way in hell the girlfriends were going to let their friend go home with him.  Why persist?  Do you think drunk girl is going to stick up for you and leave them?  Dude, really she is drunk enough to be dancing with a creep like you, there’s no way she’s going to be giving her girls any confrontation.  By the time this night is over she’s going to want the bed… alone.

This tactic has been the almighty cock-block for as long as men have been trying to have sex with women.  It’s truly a terribly enemy if you are opposing it, but when you on the outside just watching it actually is like watching the nature channel, seeing how insects operate with one another.  It was educational.

Here’s some advice… if you reach double digits when counting how often you approach a girl only to be turned away by her friends, then she is NOT going to take you over them.  If you really like her, try here again when she’s sober… if you just want to get laid, look around that is not very difficult to find.

Anyway, this is short-ish, and not overly insightful.  It is more about the hilarity the ensued last night.  Even though the humor only really works if you were there… Okay, so I forced out this entry in order to meet my mandate of at least one entry per day for the month of December.  I’ve got some ideas floating around this head of mine, I’m sure tomorrow will be a better read.

– If you guys have any idea for something I could write about, anything at all, don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message.