Men. And confusion.

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Here is what I find interesting – that men find women so complicated and I have so many female friends that tell me that men don’t make any sense.  My male friends and relatives say that women don’t make any sense, but in my mind – we’re so easy!  I’ll respond that I just don’t get men, and they’ll all tell me, “are you kidding me? Men are so simple”.

Great.  So where does that disconnect come from?  I have had two men in the past week lay it on thick; there’s no doubt that what we’re doing is major flirtation and then, bam, nothing.  They basically disappear.  One of them, only for him to reappear a few days later and start the whole cycle again.  What the hell?  Maybe I’m just sadistic to continue this cycle with him again, but basically who doesn’t like attention from the opposite sex?

Women ARE easy.  What I’m looking for is simple.  I understand there will always be games in this, well, game, that even the act of flirtation is a game, but games for games sake just really blows.  I hate being toyed with; I feel like my head is being played with.  

If what men want is so simple, if men are, in fact, actually easy to understand, then why is this so complicated?  What I’d really like to say is: “This is what I want.  You’re what I want.”  And see where the cards fall.  Taking that thought one step farther though, I wonder if that statement takes all of the mystery and therefore fun (sweet, agonizing, painful, joyous fun) out of the whole process?

Maybe we can’t actually have any clarity to the process, maybe the element of misunderstanding and confusion will always be there because it simply has to be.

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Thoughts re-visited

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I originally posted this article by Matt Batterson from Relevant Magazine in a March 2007 post and just re-read it.  It’s just as applicable to my life today as it was two years ago.  Even if you aren’t religious, the ideas below should still ring true or at least spark a small light (i guess that’s the hope?)  

I find it hopeful, inspiring and challenging. I hope you find the same.

 

Let me make a new years prediction: your biggest regret at the end of 2007 won’t be the things you did that you wish you hadn’t.  Your biggest regret on Dec. 31, 2007 will be the things you didn’t do but wish you had.  I have had my fair share of action regrets – things we did that we wish we hadn’t.  I’ve said and done some stupid things that I wish I could unsay and undo.  Who has secretly wished that they could fly counter rotational around the earth at supersonic speeds and reverse time like Superman?  But I’m convinced that the deepest regrets at the end of our lives will be the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized and the dreams not pursued.

2 Samuel 23:20 highlights one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture, but it’s more than that.  It’s a microcosm on how God calls us to approach life.  It tells the story of Benaiah, who chased a lion down into a pit.  Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. 

Scripture doesn’t tell us what Benaiah was doing or where he was going when he encountered this lion.  We don’t know Benaiah’s frame of mind, but Scripture does reveal his gut reaction.  And it was gutsy.  It ranks as one of the most improbable reactions recorded in Scripture.  When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optical nerve and registers in the visual cortex, the brain has one over-arching message: Run away.

That is what normal people do, but lion chasers are wired differently.  They don’t see 500 pound problems.  They see God-ordained opportunities.

For most of us, finding ourselves in a pit with a lion on a snowy day would pose a substantial problem, but you’ve to admit something: I killed a lion in a pit on snowy day looks pretty impressive on your resume.  Not only did Benaiah land a job as David’s chief bodyguard, he climbed all the way up the military chain of command to become commander in chief of Israel’s army.  Benaiah was the second most powerful person in the kingdom of Israel, but his genealogy success can be traced all the way back to a life-and-death encounter with a lion.  It was fight or flight.  Benaiah was faced with a choice that would determine his destiny: run away or give chase.

When opportunity roars in this new year, you have a choice to make: run away or grab life by the tail.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.  Set God-sized goals.  Pursue God-ordained passions.  Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.  Keep asking questions.  Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God.  Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.  Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.  Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.  Expand your horizons.  Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.

Live like today is the first day and the last day of your life.  Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.  Burn sinful bridges.  Blaze a new trail.  Criticize by creating.  Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.  Don’t try to be who you’re not.  Be yourself.  Laugh at yourself.  Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.  And remember: if God is for us, who can be against us?

What if the life you really want and the future God wants for you are actually hiding in your biggest problem, worst failure or greatest fear?

Maybe it’s time to apply for your dream job, admit your addiction, reconcile the relationship, ask her out, take the exam, go on a missions trip, mentor someone, stop attending church and start serving, add a stamp to your passport, take a night class, start a business or write the manuscript.

When we don’t have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to him.  And the truth is this: The greatest regret at the end of our lives will be the lions we didn’t chase.

I’m convinced that many of us are one chase away from our dreams becoming reality.  I can’t promise it will be a short or an easy chase.  In fact, it will probably scare the living daylights out of you.  But where you end up in life really does trace back to how you react when you cross paths with a lion.

I don’t know what problems need to be reframed, fears need to be unlearned, risks need to be taken, or opportunities need to be seized.  But I do know this: Your choice to run away or give chase will determine your destiny.

It’s a new day.  It’s a new year

Embrace the opportunity.

the light of lacking

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I’m usually quite busy.  I like it that way.  But I’m starting to wonder if I’m masking some sort of lacking with what I fill my life with.  When I’m out with my friends/urban family I feel complete, happy; laughter bubbles up.  A lot. 

It’s when I find myself alone I can’t help but feel like something is missing.  When I wake up alone on weekends I start my day with a feeling of lacking, of incompleteness, of a twinge of sadness.  I pull myself out of bed, make some coffee and start my day.  I put these wheels in motion in an affect to push this unwelcome feeling away.

And so I keep busy, and in this busyness the harsh light of reality doesn’t seem to shine so brightly.

I don’t know what’s missing (although I do think of one particular thing straight away) and so I’m not sure how to make this nagging feeling abate.  It’s not overwhelming or claustrophobic, but I certainly don’t like it’s constant reminder.  

So, tonight – I’ll sleep with the hall light on.  I’ll leave the light on as a promise of hope that I’m not alone tonight.

 

 

 

 

(this is what comes out when i’m melancholic, I find it completely ironic in light of my last post.  my apologies.)

Happiness is a choice.

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I’m realizing that perhaps my state of mind and demeanor are slightly off from the norm.  I’m happy.  A lot.  Most of the time actually.  Whenever presented with an issue, story, or a request for advice or perspective, I will always give you a positive spin or silver lining response.

My goal isn’t to bury the negative or pretend things aren’t they way they actually are but it’s a choice in how to see things in life.  I firmly believe that happiness is a choice and that dwelling on the negative only makes life more miserable.

Sure, shitty things happen.  But even in those scenarios there is something to be learned; something to be gained.  And even when bad things just ‘are’, when you think about whether or not it’s an ACTUAL problem in light of the world’s troubles….it all of the sudden isn’t one….

I realize that misery is relative.  A socialite losing her trust fund is devastating to her because she’s never had to worry about sleeping out in the cold but problems like that just don’t rank on my scale.  Show me your misery and I’ll show you something you can be grateful for.

Some people choose to focus on the bad things that happen to them, the ‘woe is me’ and Eeyore types – and I’m standing firm on the opinion that a mentality/outlook like that is their decision.

I choose to be happy and to see the positives in life.  It’s more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

With a breath; an end and a beginning

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I don’t make resolutions.  I make reflections on the past and hopes for the future.

When I think of how I rang in 2008, I can’t help but chuckle at myself.  The year, in many ways, did not pan out the way I was picturing it would.  It’s not a negative thing though, in fact, 2008 was very good to me in many ways.

The first thing that comes to mind is the friends that I made in 2008.  Lynne, J.P., Kelly – three people that I became friends with in a very short period of time and without whom I would imagine my life being much less vibrant, fun, funny and enjoyable.  

It’s through my friends – college friends, work friends, neighborhood friends – that my life in nyc has solidified.  I used to think that living here was a temporary thing, that this city was just a stop – one more city in a chain of places I’ve lived.  After three years I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.  I can’t say for sure that I see myself here in 10 years but I know I’m not making plans to move anytime soon.  In my three years I’ve managed to create a life for myself – a full life of friends, a solid, enjoyable work life, and a routine amidst the chaos of this city.

I rang in 2008 in a pub in Dublin and continued my travels to Philadelphia twice (although only one was intentional), and the most frequented place of visit…..Buffalo.  Eight times.  

I planned and enjoyed my ten year high school reunion (yikes!) and saw two couples pledge their lives to each other; the best part being seeing my brother revel in his happiness and add a member to my family.  

I received compliments that I may always remember.  Being described as unflappable and stunning are two things that I smile at everytime I think of those words being delivered.

I had crushes.  Many, many crushes.  I rang in the year thinking I knew EXACTLY what I wanted.  It turns out, I found familiarity comforting and was attracted to what was seemingly easy.  I ended the year somewhat defeated on this front, but remain hopeful.

I started 2008 three sizes larger than I am now and I feel so much better.  Not just physically but in a way that makes me feel like I’m finally allowing myself to simply live.  Not hiding any more; becoming free in revealing myself.  

For 2009 I hope for more travels, more challenges at work, to ring in 2010 three more sizes smaller, and to gain more confidence in who I’m becoming.

And so, I raise my glass, eyes, and hopes to the year ahead of me and know that no matter what may come that I’m grounded by my friends, family and the simple fact that I’m blessed and through that blessing I am happy.