The F word.

It’s a hell of a lot easier to write about heartbreak than it is about love.

But hey, we’ve done the heartbreaks. Now for the mended outcome: I’m so very happy where we are right now. Locked in the celestial dance of moon and sun, both shining.

I’ve even been confident enough to broach that subject which I’ve been scared of. The Future. Yes. The Future. It has weighed heavily on my mind for a few weeks now.

First the big question: Will you get married again? Would you want to marry me?

Fairly innocent, but let’s be honest. I would happily spend my life with this guy. I will never be tired of his ramblings. Of his affection. Of his busy mind. Of his plans and goals.

But guys, this isn’t a proposal. Put you streamers and balloons away. It’s a dream. Just hopefully a shared dream. Time will tell.

Then something easier: Do you want to move in together next year? My lease comes up in August and I’d really like to consider that. We spend a lot of time together anyway.

The moving in thing though. There are some things to think about. We’re not both financially stable enough to support that yet. He is in a start-up, building an incredible company, but struggling to make money. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t have any reserve finances to lay out furnishings for an apartment. So August next year gives time to sort those things out.

Cue drunken conversations about our respective roommates, past roommates, ex-wives, emotional baggage still being unpacked. He’s a complex man. There are a lot of things he is working through internally to be a better human. To be a better partner. To resolve parts of his mind that have become dark. To learn how to live with shade and light and not be overcome. I love that. I respect the hell out of that. I support that.

Without being too heavy, it was a good conversation to have. It’s good for him to understand what I want out of life, and who I’d like to do it with. It’s good for me to understand where his limits are and where they move to. We can’t pretend that we are something else. We can’t expect the other person to just know. It’s good to be honest, it’s even better to know your honesty will be supported.

Coming to you live, from my happy place.

S.

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Motivation

Motivation.

Where does it come from, where does it go? How do you get it, and why do people lose it?

Motivation is a fluid concept that ebs and flows through moments, minutes, days, or weeks. Sometimes it comes easily like rain in the summer. Sometimes it doesn’t happen no matter how hard you try (like that perfect risotto….).

To be perfectly honest, I’m really struggling with my motivations right now. Today was a battle to get out of bed. I sat there for 30 minutes – already late – just arguing with myself about how I could call in sick and work and just stay in bed.

Plot twist: I went to work. I stayed there all day too.

I’ve been experiencing anxiety-fueled nightmares (call me Freud..) about work. I sometimes go the day without even having breakfast or lunch because my stomach won’t stop churning.

But why? On Friday, in our one-on-one my manager questions my motivation to actually succeed here. “Is this what you actually want?” I lied and said yes when I should have said “No, but this is a stepping stone to what I really want, and as long as you allow me to step across to my goals, I will work really hard to get there with this company”.

I don’t see how that answer would have been supported. So I lied and said yes. Who wants an employee that isn’t 100% dedicated to a career with their company?

So now I’m floundering in my own shortcomings and failings to succeed here, at a job that I like but don’t love, pretending to be happy.

 

S.

 

Peace

This past week I’ve taken some steps toward time for me, and bettering my mental health and general wellbeing.

I’ve found that I’m very time-poor (and financially poor!) in balancing extra activities outside of work lately. I believe it’s the type of work. In a past life, I was an insurance tele-consultant and could easily switch off my headset at the end of the day and go and do me-things.

Being a recruitment consultant is mentally exhausting. I get home at the end of the day and my brain is mush. I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t particularly feel like socializing, I certainly am not going to the gym. For the last 6 months, extracurricular things have been put on hold. Getting back in to uni has been delayed as well!

But, I’ve found a turning point. I’ve embraced my smart phone and now have mediation, yoga, and learning apps right at my fingertips. Being able to engage and align my mind, body and soul is important to me. Like a river will always find it’s way to the ocean, I’ve found my way back to peace.

Here are the list of apps that I’ve found useful. They are based on free trial with membership payments optional to unlock further features. Inexpensive, about $25-$30 for 1 Year subscription.

Curiosity Makes You Smarter

Daily Yoga

Meditation & Relaxation: Guided Meditation – Android Apps on Google Play

S.

Political Bullshit.

So,

What are your thoughts on dual/multiple citizenship and being able to serve in parliament?

We celebrate the fact that we’re a multicultural country to the rest of the world, but within our own boarders it’s seems to be not so.

“We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream, and sing with one voice – I am, You are, We are Australia (unless you have dual citizenship because than you’re not actually Australian and you can’t serve our country on the political front because that sh*ts just wrong)”

So because we have migrated to a country, do we have to give up our heritage entirely? Do we have to concede our ties to our ancestors? All of our history that makes us unique! Does that mean we also don’t love the country we live in equally?

Surely, a country of many flags and one uniting flag should accept it’s leaders coming from many flags and uniting under one flag.

If diversity really does encourage creativity/new perspective/innovation/new ideas, then why are we still insisting that our leaders should not be diverse at all?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-27/live-blog-high-court-delivers-judgement-on-citizenship-seven/9085032

 

S.

 

I’m sick.

I’m sick and feeling sorry for myself.

The kind of sick that hurts my whole body.

I’m tired to my core, my bones ache.

I don’t even want to be nursed to health, I want to be left alone for a moment.

It’s that time towards the end of the year where everything becomes too much. My mental health is drained, I’m physically exhausted. I need to reset.

I’ve babysat, I’ve been to Toowoomba twice in a 3 weeks, I’ve had my beautiful mother stay, I’ve babysat again, I’ve been to Noosa for a long weekend. None of these are bad things, they just happened all at once. I’m spent.

The working week is over and I’m soaking in a hot bath, looking forward to going to sleep very soon.

I would really like to not be sick.

S.

Bliss

For those of you who have been following my ups and downs, and I am proud as punch to announce the theme of my life as Bliss.

  1. bliss
    blɪs/
    noun

    1.1.
    perfect happiness; great joy.
    “she gave a sigh of bliss”
    synonyms:
    joy, pleasure, delight, happiness, gladness, ecstasy, elation, rapture, euphoria, heaven, paradise, seventh heaven, cloud nine, Eden, Utopia, Arcadia;

    verb

    informal

    1.2.
    reach a state of perfect happiness, oblivious of everything else.
    “Josh is just blissed out, always smiling”

Bliss is the place I live right now.

Everything is wonderfully good and fun and loving and blissful. How did I end up so happy? How lucky am I to not have anything to complain about? Where did it all go so right?

You know what, who even cares if this feeling doesn’t last forever. I have now and now is good.

My comet has come to stay. He is the moon and I am the planet. Tied to each other by the force of gravity. We have built trust and honesty to overcome all the fears I had.

My roommate is still my best friend. She is supporting my heart and happiness.

My job is just the right balance of doable and challenging. I have good days and hard day’s but no bad days and no bad people.

Life is just so, right now. I will hold on to this goodness as long as I can, and if it goes, it goes. If it stay, I will let it stay.

S.

Operant Learning.

Considering what you have learnt about Operant Learning, discuss how this information has now helped you to understand either your own behaviour, or the behaviour of someone in your immediate circle.

The best example to help my understanding of these different types of learning techniques is the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon & Penny scene. This, more than any theoretical understanding, has helped articulate in real world application what operant learning is – how it looks, how it feels, how it is put into practice. Operant conditioning is reinforcement given to a desirable behaviour to encourage that behaviour happening again. It can also be used to modify or slightly alter an existing behaviour, or to stop an undesirable behaviour occurring altogether. The Big Bang Theory example alludes to the idea that if the conditioning can happen subconsciously, without obvious reinforcement, it has a better, more intrinsic, chance of being effective.

 

 

I reflect on the times in my life when this may have happened to me without my immediate knowledge. Perhaps when I was very young, I was rewarded by using bathroom breaks correctly. That type of learning is an obvious necessity to become part of functioning society (who wants to be associated with an adult who still pees their pants?). And I think that is quite a point to make. A lot of what we learn and adapt to is based on the societal standards we have created for ourselves – be it learning to go to the bathroom, or how to conduct ourselves in a conversation.

By being the curious creatures that we are, we cannot help to see the world and want to make sense of it. Perhaps by our own understanding of the happenings around us, we are interpreting our own reinforcement to actions. Imagine if every time you went up a lift and held your breath, the lift worked just fine. Imagine if one day you just didn’t do this because you were talking to someone, and the lift shuddered, or stopped completely and you were stuck. Perhaps you would associate the holding of breath to the lift working ok, and have been conditioned to continue that behaviour.

What if every time you cooked dinner for you parents, they gave you chocolate for dessert. You really love chocolate, but still live at home without a job so you can’t go and get your own. You’d probably cook dinner more, yes? By the time you leave home, you’ll be so used to cooking dinner that you’d be great at it! You might even want to become a chef (if the prize was an endless supply of Cadbury’s).

Closer to home, however, operant conditioning becomes a very precarious tool. Do I now hold this power over people close to me who don’t understand the mental technology I am implementing? The power to subtly reinforce behaviours from my roommate that I like. When she takes the rubbish out, I offer her a cigarette. I take extra care to ensure she notices me emptying the rubbish, then I will initiate a smoke break. This modelling/imitation is working well so far. Our bins are nearly always clear. (then again, the smoking habit is a tougher nut to crack – working on it!).

I start to look outside of my immediate circle. What about the people I work with, what about the customers I talk to. Why do they have certain habits, why do they do things a certain way. Is our office manager employing such tactics to manipulate his staff to his own, or the companies, desired attributes? Is it even a bad thing? Our company recently employed a Future Recruiter – a young school graduate – to develop their career in recruitment. Career development now seems to be a socially acceptable term for Operant Conditioning. “We will reward you for adapting your behaviour for our desired results”. We train our Future Recruiters how to interact with clients, what the best tactics are to get the result you want, how to schedule your daily calendar to be the most productive. All the while, praising your adapted behaviours highly. Modifying your initial instincts to something more preferred.

What behaviours have I since adapted or changed because of operant learning? How did I end up being the person I am today? Who did this to me, who made me like this?! I know for certain that I do not act the same as my 15 year old self would. I have a different understanding of how to behave to garner the reaction I desire, be it in personally life (on a night out) or in work life (on a visit with a new client) or in my daily wind-down (at home with my roommate and closer friends). The reasons I act the way I do in any given situation is a result of previous actions and consequences I have learnt from them. Thus moulding my own behaviour with my own learning and interpretation of reinforcement. I guess the methods of conditioning are so subtle that over a lifetime, they are difficult to pinpoint. It plays more to the idea of Nurture more so than Nature shaping the people we become. If I had grown in isolation, like a lone tree in a desert, I would have grown very differently to a tree in a forest grove.

 

S.

Trust

“Without Trust, there is no Love”.

True.

I’m in the fledgling stages of a new relationship. Well, an “on-again” relationship. You could say that my comet has come back into orbit. And he was, on the weekend, ablaze with light. I needed to get it out there, into that black void between us, that I couldn’t enter into this again if it was going to be the same trajectory as last time. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I won’t. He agreed.

I can’t tell you the exact words of that interaction between us, but I can tell you I felt good. Really good. #warmandfuzzy

But somehow, on a Tuesday afternoon, I find my belly sinking when I think of him. Does he really mean those kind words? Does he think of me? Am I important in his life? Do I even, cosmically speaking, matter? You see, I don’t trust it. I need to be reassured that yes, everything is okay. Yes, we are on the same page. Yes, we both are standing on the ledge this time. Because last time I thought it was fine, I was fine, we were fine, EVERYTHING WAS DAMN FINE, and it wasn’t. Oh gods it totally wasn’t. I stood on that ledge alone, and fell without really knowing it. It wasn’t until those words “I really like you, but..” that the falling stopped feeling like flying and gravity turned it’s attention to me, the ground rushed up to smack me in the face. Is that just going to happen again?

These thoughts are a little insane. I realise that completely. I’m not normally needy and uncertain. I’m confident in myself and sure of what’s good for me. Perhaps the shift in gravitational pull has me a little loopy. Here I am, Frightened and Happy – contradictions that won’t reconcile themselves easily.

I want to trust that the days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, fear into happiness. But these things take time. Fortunately, Time is what I’m willing to give.

Why, Reader, is it all too easy for my fingertips to trust you with this?

S.

Fear

I fear that the balance of love will always be uneven. I fear that I will wake up sometime 10 years from now and be alone in my bed. I fear that I am unlovable, and people waste their time with me until someone better comes along. I fear that I am not enough for those people. I fear that I am too much for others and if I allowed myself the freedom to not hold back, that it would scare them away. I fear letting myself be someone’s second choice and not being brave enough to find that person to whom I am the first choice. Because what if I never find that? I fear I won’t be able to stand it.
All of those #inspirationalquotes telling you that you deserve better, you should be treated like a queen, etc etc, they scare me. The pressure to be all that sits heavily on my chest and won’t let me breathe. I do love myself, I really do. But I was built as half of a whole and I fear being incomplete for my whole life.
S.

I’m So Glad to be a Working Gal Again.

Today marks 1 month at my new job. Hooray!

My first job out of highschool was working for a bank. I was driven, determined and motivated to climb that corporate ladder. I remember the excitement and sense of accomplishment when I got my very own business cards. I had dreams to grow my empire. Unfortunately, that company wasn’t the right place to do it. My drive was halted, my determination was pushed back, my motivation was gone. So I moved cities to find something more. The first steps were tentative – I took the first job I was offered. But it didn’t have the same feeling. I was good at it, but there was no challenge. No opportunity to be more than a number. But it was a gateway to something more.

Now, after 18 months in this new city, after many an unexpected hurdle (both personally and professionally…), I got real lucky. I now work as a recruitment consultant in a smallish branch in Brisbane that’s part of a global brand. The international opportunities are something I’ve only dreamed of, but HELLO REALITY, I’m here for this! #corporateworld

I’ve had 7 years of practice selling other companies products that have given me the tools to sell my self – my skills, personality, and capability. With this, I can be my own brand. I can rely on myself for my success. I’m fostering relationships with existing clients, I’m creating relationships with new clients. I look after my own book. And the rewards for that work come back to me. I get out what I put in. Plain and simple. And I love it.

The little icing on this beautiful cake is of course the people I work with. It’s a small team, but so much change has happened (before I came in) to make it a great team. We have the right people, the right personalities, the right level of fun and competition. It’s makes for a great office to spend my days in.

I’m still learning (gosh there’s so much new stuff to learn!), and it’s challenging every day. But I’m up for it. I can do this.

I actually have a career now, not just a mindless job.

 

S.