Thursday, August 25, 2011

Live with Intensity

First off I would like to send love to all of my readers!  Love you guys!!  Secondly, if you are one of the few who know the company I am writing about in the tidbit below, please do not post the company name on facebook or anywhere else.  I have left out the name of the company out of respect to the owner.  Thank you so much for reading!

Tasty Tidbit #1:  I’ve Got My Go-Getter Panties On

            Recently I have been on the hunt for a job.  I’ve done all the things that a typical job hunter would do, filled out applications, and waited.  The waiting ended with my first phone call last Saturday, at least it ended temporarily.  I was scheduled for a group interview on Monday, so I waited for Monday to get here.  After the interview we were told it would take another week to a week and a half before human resources would make up their minds and give us a call.  I walked away from that interview feeling confident that I had put my best foot forward.  I promptly and not so gracefully tripped over my other foot, when I got a phone call from another company.  The interview was scheduled and I felt confident that I would nail this interview with equal strength.  I started tripping shortly thereafter.  The day of the interview I was concerned about my wardrobe, I felt that the outfit I had chosen might be overdressing for this job, however I come from the old school that no matter the job you dress professional, so I decided to stick with that notion.  Mistake one, ignoring gut instinct.  Mistake number two, arriving twenty minutes early for my interview.  Although I am admittedly anal about time, I honestly hadn’t meant to arrive quite so early.  I actually waited in the car for fifteen minutes and was still twenty minutes early.  I walked in, explained to one of the ladies that I had an interview, and she told me to have a seat, that there were several people in front of me.  There were in fact only two people in front of me, one who was already in an interview.  I sat down next to the other interviewee and waited my turn.  My gut feeling about overdressing was now in full swing and I felt more than a little uncomfortable.  The woman sitting across from me was dressed in white capri’s, sneakers, and a shirt that said Jesus University on it.  The young woman that was interviewing was dressed in blue jeans.  My stomach was headed to my toes.  The owner came and got the woman who was waiting with me, and I reached over and picked up a magazine sitting on the small table next to the chairs.  I wasn’t really reading it, but I must have been doing a good impression because the two women behind the counter began talking about me.  I heard one mention the time of my interview to the other one, and the listener gave what can only be described as a snort.  Fantastic, these might be my future co-workers?  Then one of them proceeded to make the comment, “Go-getter,” loud enough for me to hear.  It wasn’t said in a nice tone, in fact just the opposite, it was quite nasty. There was this undertone to it that I couldn’t identify at first, but now I think I threatened them in some way, it was such a defensive, nasty tone.  At the time, I paid attention to my magazine and tried not to turn red which is my natural reaction to just about everything. 

            I dressed nice and I was early, so I was a go-getter.  My turn for the interview came and I did my best to collect myself, but I have to say I don’t think it went well.  In fact, I know it didn’t go well.  I came home trying to figure out why I felt so bad, the answer wasn’t hard to find.  The comments made by the women had through off my zen chi mojo and upset me.  I didn’t understand what their problem was, after all didn’t they want a co-worker who was well prepared and on time?  I set a bar for myself, and I strive to do my best in every situation.  It doesn’t always happen, but at least even when something is a complete fail I know I did the best I could.  The more I thought about the situation the more I thought, what’s wrong with being a go-getter?  I was eager to work, eager to help, ready to learn, nothing bad there.  Part of the problem was the tone used by the woman who said it; the other part was the negative connotation that I have about the term go-getter.  It makes me think A–type personality, which is not how I see myself.  By the time I had thoroughly hashed through the event and started typing this tidbit I realized that being a go-getter isn’t a bad thing at all.  If those ladies saw it in a negative light, that was their problem not mine.  My problem was seeing the term in a negative light in the first place and then accepting their negative attitudes, allowing them to affect my mood and my performance in the interview.  One question I asked myself was, would I want to work with people like that?  I don’t think so.  I could always say they were having a bad day, but really I don’t feel a need to excuse such behavior.   In my personal opinion, they need to pull up their big girl panties and stop being jealous of my sexy go-getters. 
Live with Intensity
            I’m such an uber nerd.  I’m a writer who reads magazines about writing.  I figure what better way to stay informed about my craft, but still it’s geeky.  The last issue I got was featuring a major writer; let me correct that, a bestselling author.  Though it’s probably bad I tend to skip over those articles, I focus more on the writing prompts, exercises and tips.  This time I decided to check out the author because the subtitle of the article made him sound interesting.  I read about a paragraph and a half before I was overcome with jealousy.  This guy had done it all, I mean everything, then taken all of those experiences and written about them.  Many of the things he had done were things that I want to do, some were outrageous things that I would never think of doing.  The point being that this man didn’t let anything hold him back.  He’s living his life with intensity and enjoying every moment of it or at least experiencing every moment of it.
            The article gave me a lot to ponder, most of the pondering was done on all the things that I keep saying I want to do, but don’t do.  I have lots of excuses; not enough time, not enough money, I have animals and a house to take care of, etc.  After I read this article, none of those excuses seemed good enough reasons not to go after the things that I truly wanted to experience.  This man didn’t look at an experience and say, hey I can’t do that because I don’t have enough money, he would work for a year to save the money to do whatever it was or find another way to get around the problem of not having enough money.  In fact, I don’t think this guy looks at things as problems, I think he looks at them as challenges to be met and overcome.  Maybe that’s my problem, or rather challenge.  I tend to look at a problem as an obstacle, one that is directly cutting across my path.  An obstruction between me and whatever it might be that I want or want to do.  It freezes me and I end up wasting a lot of time analyzing the problem, instead of looking for creative solutions.  
            Part of the article made me think this guy was a little bit more than a little nuts.  But then aren’t we all at least a little crazy?  Example, he joined the army just so he could experience going to war.  That one isn’t on my bucket list, but I bet it gave him a lot to write about.  I couldn’t decide if this guy had the biggest balls ever or if he was the stupidest person in the world.  I am personally leaning towards the balls.  Though undeniably crazy, you have to give the guy points for guts.  He saw something he wanted to experience and he did it simply to experience it.  How many of us do that?  Most of the time we are too busy making up excuses to even consider the possibility that our hopes and dreams could actually happen if we put one tenth of the energy into making them happen that we put into denying ourselves the experience. 
            I would be the first one to raise my hand if someone asked me, who wants to live their dreams no matter the consequences, who is willing to take a risk failing in order to work towards making their dreams a reality?  I would also be the first person who was lying.  If I wasn’t I would have learned French three years ago, I would have taken that trip, I would have used that singing lesson gift certificate, I would have taken that hang-gliding lesson.  Now, I’m not attempting to bash myself in any way, but the truth is that even when something I want is handed to me I find excuses not to participate in my life. 
            I’ve made some small steps toward changing that situation.  My solo trip last fall is a good example, although just about anyone who knows me knows that I almost chickened out at the last minute.  Even now I’m not sure how I beat the fear, I’m not sure I did.  I think I just wanted to go so badly that the fear was tucked away, at least temporarily.  Another example would be hang-gliding.  I have always wanted to try hang-gliding and earlier this year I purchased a certificate to take an all day lesson in hang-gliding.  It was January when I bought it so I thought I would wait until the summer months to test my wings.  Right now I have the certificate tacked up on my vision board, but I haven’t done much else with it.  I look at it, I toy with the idea of calling and setting the lesson up and then I find a number of excuses why I can’t do it.  With school coming up next week I have the perfect readymade excuse why I can’t go. 
            The problem or challenge seems to come between the idea and the action.  Let’s say I have always wanted to learn yoga, because I have.  I think being stretchy would be a good skill to have and it would be relaxing.  So, I look around for places where I can take yoga and even find one in Clarksville.  I watch groupon and find a coupon for yoga; I even take my yoga mat out of the basement and bring it upstairs to my meditation room as a reminder of my goal.  Then I take all of this information and motivated action and do nothing with it.  I put a little yellow sticky note on my vision board that says yoga, that’s about the extent of the action.  What are my excuses for not going to yoga?  I’ve got a couple.  In the case of the studio in Clarksville there is only one day a week I would be able to attend due to my school schedule which tells my brain that it wouldn’t be worth it to go just once a week.  Another excuse would be the cost, which also ties into the first excuse, why would I pay all that money just to go once a week and do we have the money to spend?  There are lots of other excuses too like, other people would be better than me, I wouldn’t know what I was doing, I might look dumb, etc.  I sit and stare at that little yellow sticky note, wishing I could participate instead of actually participating. 
            What would happen if I took a deep breath and jumped off that cliff edge?  What would happen if I actually started doing the things I dreamed about instead of just wishing I could do them?  I’d pee my pants, but I bet I’d have a good time doing it.  I would have to accept the fact that I might fail at some of the things I would like to do.  I might never figure out how to use watercolors, but I might learn how to draw.  I might find out that making candles is fun and that I want to share my love of making them with others.  I think if we start making tiny leaps, toward some of our smaller goals and dreams we can eventually work our way to the bigger ones.  Or if you want to go crazy with it, dive right in.  I started my journey to participation by making a list of random goals.  I started it on the 11th of this month and I gave myself thirty days to complete thirty small goals.  Most of my goals are very small like sew a button on my shorts or call and get my prescription refilled, they are things that I want and need to do but for multiple reasons I have put them off.  I included some “bigger” goals as well.  For me, the biggest goal on my list is to write an article for the spiritual section of clarskvilleonline.  I’m pleased to say that I have all but five of my goals completed.  The final goal that I have on my sheet is the goal of making the next goal sheet, to keep the process going.  If I keep it going, if I keep leaping off the little cliffs I feel confident that I will be able to participate in my life instead of feeling jealous that other people are living their lives.  With work and determination I can learn how to live my life with intensity and so can you!    

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