Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Find Your Crazy

"I'm gonna work at the top of that building someday. I'm gonna run the whole thing!" I said. I was 8 years old and foolish. Or was I?

Maybe I was (am?) a genius. Hell, there's a damn fine line between crazy and genius, right? I mean, c'mon, think about Einstein. Some of the greatest discoveries he made - relativity, E=MC^2, etc. - were all before he turned 30. Crazy - or genius?

Today, a friend's mom sent me a text message to ask how I'm doing. (Hi, Nena!) In response, I said, "I'm okay! Never satisfied - always aiming for higher and better. It's the best and worst part of life." Funny how a character limit can force you to have an epiphany.

But it's so true!

At what point can I be satisfied - content - with my life? The more I ponder that question, the firmer I believe that life is a permanent struggle - always learning, pushing, reaching, striving for more, for... everything.

It all boils down to the fact that I'm a perfectionist. "Good" simply isn't good enough. And it never will be.

It's the reason why, when I meet guys who are genuine and kind-spirited but who don't challenge me or encourage me to take risks, I become disinterested. It's also why, after I finish a project, let it sit for some time and return to re-evaluate it, I become critical and... disgusted.

And my writing? Yeah, I perfect that too - line by line until it reads like my words echoing over the phone or in a car on the way to the club.

But life is not a blog post or a project - it's a journey. An imperfect, messy journey. And the farther along we travel. the crazier it gets. And that's okay. It's okay to falter.

Never stop being crazy - reaching for the stars and saying, "I'm gonna run the whole thing!" 'Cause if you don't aim for the sky, well... then you just aren't crazy enough to reach it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No Matter What, Be Yourself

Who are you? No, really, who are you?

Are you shy or outgoing? Independent or needy? Neurotic or laid-back? Assertive or passive?

What it all boils down to is: how well do you really know yourself? The only way to gauge your own character is through failures and successes – experiences that shape who we are as individuals, which inevitably takes a considerable amount of time and a whole hell-of-a lot of trial and error.

It’s never easy – but it is always rewarding.

I’m far from perfect. Sometimes, I just don’t know when to stop talking or how to not wear my heart on my sleeve. I tend to push the limits – to put it all out there without always fully thinking through the consequences of my speech or actions. But that’s just me, and it’s taken me quite a long time to realize who I am as a person and how I tick. Without testing my boundaries, how would I know my comfort zones?

But through it all – ups and downs, highs and lows, bitches and hoes – one lesson reigns true: if someone isn’t willing to accept you for who you really are, they aren’t worth your time.

It’s that old Dr. Seuss saying all over again. You know the one: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

If you know me in “real life,” you know that I’m bubbly, witty and goofy – I’m always going up to random strangers and asking them intimate questions. Sometimes there’s alcohol involved and other times just water – but nonetheless, I’ve always had an innate passion for getting to know someone on a deep level. At the same time, though, I’ve learned how to self-disclose and remain “cool” simultaneously.

The entire process is usually exciting and thrilling and fun. And then there are the times where I meet someone and they turn out to be completely different than I thought. And it sucks.

Maybe it’s me getting ahead of myself or making myself too available, but more often than not, this happens with guys from clubs. I know, I know – how cliché, right? I meet a guy, “click” with him and all signals lead to “optimistic.” And then I find out who he really is – Douche-y McDoucherson. It’s only downhill from there.

I’ve deleted so many numbers, told so many guys where they can shove it – and for what? Self-preservation. Because, at the end of the day, I know who I am; I know what I want and I know exactly how to get it. The truth is: I always have!

It’s an amazing feeling to finally be totally comfortable in my own skin – regardless of my daily mood or appearance. I have “ugly” days too – but all the while I still know that I’m attractive inside and out and that I am a good “catch.”

When the right guy comes along who can trust, support and love me for being me –not who he wants me to become, but who I truly am – my life will be complete.

Don’t get the wrong impression, though. I’ve been single for four years, but I’m in no rush to devote myself to a guy who’s not entirely worth my time and energy. My cardinal rule is to never settle and I don’t intend on going back on that now.

The only way to move is forward along my journey in life, wishing and hoping that the right guy will come along (if he exists).

But if he doesn’t, at least I’m content with myself and confident enough to know that I’ll feel more fulfilled as an accomplished single man than as a used, jaded, broken-hearted, relationship-plagued attached one.

I’m not apologetic for who I am – and you shouldn’t be, either. Because if you aren’t yourself 100% of the time, then who are you?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love Is Not Reserved For Valentine's Day

February 14th sneaks up on me each and every year. It's like remembering I have a dentist's appointment or finding out that I bounced a check. Yeah, that bad.

But this year I'm trying to take a different approach. Key word: trying. I mean, it really is just another day. The holiday has no astronomical significance - and even if it did, would it matter? It's all arbitrary, really.

I was inspired to write by something that KarenSnyderDuke posted on Twitter. She said, "Resist hating Valentine's Day. If anything, it should be a simple reminder to love people every day—and tell them that you do."

And it really stuck with me.

If you think about it, we have several days - Father's and Mother's Days among them - where the whole point is to acknowledge your appreciation for a specific someone. For Valentine's Day, that specific someone just happens to be a significant other.

Whether you're married, widowed or single, V-Day represents so much more than cards and candy - it's about stopping for one day to pay attention to the people in our lives who add value and positivity.

Because as our lives become increasingly time-compressed, stress-filled and digitally-driven, we take the little treasures for granted.

The point is: tell someone you love them - or remind someone you've already told. Smile at a stranger. Say "please," "excuse me" and "thank you." Tell someone who's struggling "it's all going to be okay." And, most importantly, tell yourself that life is not about possessions and vanity, but rather about the journey upon which we are all so fortunate to embark.

So don't let tomorrow sneak up on you: face it head-on with a smile - not because you're pretending to be happy, but because you know that things could be worse.