Monday, September 25, 2006

Fork in the road

I’m at point on the trail where I’ve come to the big map with the “You Are Here” arrow and I’ve realized that I don’t really like where I am.

What’s a girl to do?

Option 1 – turn around and continue along the path that I’m already on. It’s not that challenging terrain, the animals are harmless (they leave me alone), but I have a feeling that I’ve been circling past the same spot again and again. Not to mention, I last saw the Trial Guide squatting in the bushes looking for a four-leaf clover.

Option 2 – take the other trail that, although similar to the one I’m on, is at least heading in a different direction. New sites, new terrain to cover, and a new Trail Guide.

Option 3 – sit down, have a snack, and wait for inspiration

Generally, I alternate between Options 1 and 3. (Hey - never underestimate the power of reflection and good snack).

This time I’ve opted for door number two.

I have an interview tomorrow for a job within the company. Although it’s not my dream job, it’s oriented slightly more towards the direction I want to go. Besides, I don’t think I can continue to work where I am, particularly with the boss that I have.

Well, I suppose I could, but I don’t want to.

I could go on and on about him, but that would be giving him more thought than I care to. Forget Valdemort – my boss is the true “He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named”.

His name encompasses all that is evil in management: laziness, uselessness, and ineptitude (to name just a few). If only I had paid attention in Dark Arts class.

So tonight I will prep myself (“No really – I have no weaknesses” “Handling conflict? It’s my way or the highway – no conflict there”) and do my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour – something that I have been very unsuccessful with for the past three nights (A’s working nights).

It’s likely to be a long walk tomorrow…got be well rested.

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Red Shoe Regrets

I went to NYC City in May and since that visit I have carried one small regret. Now, I know that you shouldn’t regret things done or not done, and most of us will say, "I have no regrets...", but that’s BS – there’s always something. So, what is it that burns in my mind enough that I still think about it four months later?

Red shoes.

Now most of those who know me know that I don’t like shopping, especially for clothes. But once in a blue moon I get the urge to check things out. In NYC apparently shopping is the thing to do. There were a number of other things I wanted to see and experience before heading into yet another clothing store, but I did anyway. My mom was in search of shoes and god help us; we were going to find them.

Anyone who goes in search for a particular item knows that you will NEVER find it when you are actually looking for it. You will find it when you have no money, no time to try it on or a pile of excuses in your head. So, we wandered from shoe store to shoe store will no luck. We finally hit on one where I saw a pair of red shoes that really caught my eye. They were flats, nothing flashy, but I really liked them. I even tried them on and still liked them. I checked out the price (gulp) and was still liking them. But I didn’t buy them.

Why?

Stubbornness.

My mom, despite the fact that she was the one shoe shopping, insisted that she buy them for me, but I didn’t want her to. She had insisted on buying almost everything else and I became a petulant teenager, insisting that I could buy my own things. Rather than seeing it as a mother trying to "treat" her daughter, I took it as a dig that I couldn’t’ possibly take care of myself.

So I refused and said that I didn’t really like them that much. But I did.

Four months later I still think about those shoes and I have looked around for a pair to replace those that I saw, but as I mentioned earlier – you can never find them when you are actually looking for them.

So should I have given in and just let her buy them? No. But I do regret not buying them.

Now to be hung up on a pair of red shoes that I saw in NYC, on today of all days, may seem very shallow. Of all the significant events and sights in that particular city, it may seem like I’m focusing on a power struggle in a shoe store.

Not really. I’m pointing out the whole concept of regrets.

I’m imagining that five years ago there were many, many people thinking – shit, why have I been so friggin’ stubborn about things. You cannot convince me that there weren’t any people with regrets that day. Maybe it was in vain - after all what’s done is done, but I can imagine that many people were sitting there thinking, "I wish I had…"

So, it’s fine and dandy to say you have no regrets for what you’ve said or done, but like mistakes, I think regrets are important. How else are you going to be reminded that you’re learning. How else are you going to learn that you have to ask yourself – "am I going to regret doing/ not doing this?" Regrets can serve as a reminder and a warning.

I’ve done things that I’ve regretted. I know, I know, it’s because of these things that I am where I am and I have what I have, but maybe I would have ended up here anyway and could have avoided some things or enjoyed others. I can accept that they happened and that they were because of my choices, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t look back and think – "I really should have done that differently".

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m happy about most things I’ve done and even some things that I thought were mistakes, which ended up being good things. I look back on those and smile. From the other things - I have learned. Mistakes and regrets are inevitable – the key, in my opinion, is not to dwell on them. Use them as reminders for future situations, but then keep moving.

So yes, they may have just been a pair of red shoes, but it could have been something much more important and not as easily replaced. I can kick myself for not giving in on the pair of shoes, but I cannot imagine what I would be feeling if I had let something more significant and life altering go by - for the sake of pride.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Do you believe in coincidences? Me too!

co·in·ci·dence Pronunciation: kO-'in(t)-s&-d&n(t)s, -s&-"den(t)s
Function: noun2 : the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection

This is word that comes up a lot in my conversations. I’m not entirely sure what my stand is on it. I think it’s a completely overused (and misused) word, like “Ironic” (sorry Alanis).

Two people bumping into each other in the washroom is not a coincidence – you both had to go pee – that’s nature, not coincidence. Bumping into someone you haven’t seen in ten years and were just thinking about – now that’s what I would label a coincidence.

But is it?

Now Celestine Prophecy followers will recognize that no, in fact it wasn’t a coincidence. It was fate, karma, or whatever they called it. In their mind, there is no such thing as a coincidence – everything happens for a reason and hopefully you will be aware enough to realize it. I’ve read The Celestine Prophecy and find the principles very interesting and reassuring. To know that there is some design to all the seemingly random things that happen in you life means that it’s not all for not.

Of course, like most interesting ideas – it goes too far.

(I’m not really sure that I’m going to start squinting at people to try and see their “auras”. If it looks like I’m squinting at you – I’m not – I’m glaring. And if I’m glaring at you, I really don’t give a fuck what your aura looks like.)

So back to coincidences. I love the chill I get when I’ve been thinking about someone or something and then something happens that seems connected (see definition). Unless of course it’s someone or something I don’t want to see or have happen. But then is it considered a premonition or a sign of the apocalypse?

Could it be that we are able to pick up on other people’s wave lengths. Not mind-read (although my kids think I can…”how did you know I ate the last cookie?”), but get a sense of the non-obvious things they are thinking about.

And if that isn’t enough, while copying the definition for the word coincidence, I decided to check the “Word of the Day”. It was picaresque. This meant virtually nothing to mean until I read the definition.

picaresque • \pik-uh-RESK\ • adjective : of or relating to rogues or rascals; also : of, relating to, suggesting, or being a type of fiction dealing with the episodic adventures of a usually roguish protagonist

The fact that I stayed up until midnight reading the second book of “episodic adventures of a usually roguish protagonist” Outlander series seems a bit strange, n’est-ce pas?

Now like most horoscopes and palm readers, the coincidences may be so vague that almost everyone can see something that relates to their life. I seriously doubt though that most people can legitimately use picanesque in a sentence on a given day.

Coinci-dink? I think not.

Of course, there’s the problem that people may start to rely too much on the fate/destiny angle. Sometimes things just happen and there is a reason, but it has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Like this whole Canjet flight cancellation thing. It was a big shock and piss off when I realized that my flight s to Halifax and back were cancelled. Initial attempts to fix the problem frustrated me when it appeared as though I was going to have to take the refund and cancel my trip. I did take the refund, but was able to re-schedule my trip to another weekend. A weekend that was much better than the original one. A weekend that would allow me stay a bit longer and with much less hassle. This improvement would not have happened if the airline hadn’t cancelled its flights.

Now, as important as I think I am, I highly doubt that the forces behind the universe decided to put a bug in some airline executive's ear and start a chain reaction that would eventually see the stoppage of scheduled flights….all so that I go make an unforeseen change to my travel plans. This would be considered a coincidence, not destiny or fate.

I can pretend though.

(Thanks to the "wind beneath my wings" for the inspiration for and title of this entry)