Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Optimism and Pessimism isn't my style. Realism is the best of both worlds.

So today I got a job. I got a job I didn't think I'd get. Although that being said, I stopped believing I would ever get a job that I had to apply and interview for. Call it behavioural programing, or whatever the term is they use in Psych201 when the mouse stops trying to get the cheese because s/he always get shocked.

Prior to last summer I spent about 4 months searching for a coop position. I applied to everything, I interviewed for tons of jobs, at least once a week I was called. Not all went well, but some did. I heard wonderful things like "only two people were selected to be interviewed," "you have amazing references," and upon turning me down for positions I had people asking me to apply after I graduate because they wanted to hire me then, but not now. I had one employer say this was a very difficult decision and if the other person isn't absolutely perfect they would be kicking themselves. Although I am sure they think these things are comforting they were in fact more biting than anything. "You are almost perfect, and we really like you, but..." and there was always a but.

So when I received the message on my phone that someone wanted to offer me a position of course a smile came across my face, followed quickly but the need to wipe it off immediately. It seems I've been programed to believe that good things do not in fact happen to good people. But instead good things happen to those who are willing to break, stab, and steal their way to it. Of course this is not for everything but in a university setting you see people who don't try get better grades than you, you see yourself try and struggle. Who needs it sometimes. It is easier it seems to disenfranchise yourself from the possibility of hope and simply always get what is given to you. Suck it up and accept that at all times there are those who are better. Depressing? Possibly. Less likely to leave you feeling disappointed? Absolutely.

The only problem becomes when good things do happen to good people (read: myself) I ensure that the full effect I could feel is dumbed down so that should it be taken away I am not left in the dust. It can be easier if there are no expectations right.

So I guess I'm supposed to say that this just proves that hard work can pay off and one should never stop trying. But who needs to hear that. How about this; sometimes things work, and sometimes they don't. When they don't you are likely to build more character and appreciate things when they do work that much more.

Maybe age has turned me into too much of a cynic. I know this isn't the best of qualities and I know it will likely turn one into an "old bitty" but here is hoping I have enough moments that'll prove me wrong and too few that'll shock me away from grabbing my piece of cheese. I suppose the most important thing a mouse can do in this big world is keep going for the cheese no matter how many times you've been told no.

I am excited about this job, don't get me wrong, I guess I'm just not that good at showing it.

As an aside I finally (almost) completed my photo wall. I love walls that are covered in pictures and art - they have a kind of collage feel but a dressed up collage. It makes me happy.

Today I learned:
  • Latex paint > Oil based paint
  • Engineers not only make money, they pay it generously. Sweet.
I am grateful for:
  • The Princess Bride - one of my all time faves
  • Banana Bread
  • People who make me laugh
  • The Beatles blaring at work
  • Tim Horton's XL Steeped Tea w/ 2 milks. Delish.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I never much liked reading as a kid

I thought I'd try and keep it simple. Keep it short. Or more properly known as keep it secret, keep it safe... oh wait, no that's not right.

I enjoy reading. I enjoy it a lot. The problem is I feel like I am a very picky reader. I feel like if I am spending the time to sit down and read a book for a number of hours it better be good, well it better be great. I need books that tell a great story and keep me interested, wondering what is going to happen until the very end. Because I set my standards so high I find I am from time to time disappointed. I also have a strong distaste for books about the war which I think can be traced back to reading "I Am Fifteen-and I Don't Want to Die." This book should have been of interest to me as a child but it was just awful, perhaps that is because it is depressing. I should also say I don't like depressing books - I hated every moment of "The Catcher in the Rye" (this isn't surprising as angsty teens annoy me in real life let alone in a 276 page novel).

Seeing as I find books so hard to like I have turned to books of a more... academic? nature. Lately I spend my time in the Communication and Culture section of Chapters. It isn't that I don't like a good fiction I just feel like I have a much better understanding of what I am getting out of books about culture and feminism. It is something I am expected to critically analyze and use my brain with. I'm officially done with "easy reads" for the sake of fun. Maybe I could like them but I often find them dull because they lack depth.

Most recently, on my nightstand sits three books with another eagerly waiting on the wings to make its way down.

The first, which I have been reading for some time (not because it is not of interest to me but because final exams, Mexico, and Moncton ate a lot of my time this summer) is In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Changing the World by Carl Honore. It has been great. It makes you look at what you value and asks if we are really getting the most out of life by rushing through it. It helps justify doing important things like taking time to yourself, taking a holiday, working fewer hours all for the sake of a happier life. Interesting and simple.

The second book on my stack is a past book club book I've yet to finish. I raced through it in an attempt to complete it for the meeting but I fell a few chapters short. Since then I haven't picked it back up again. Don't let this fool you, Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden was a very interesting read. A little slow going it told a tale of war - a tale I thoroughly enjoyed. Boyden is an excellent storyteller, he shifts from one perspective to the next, one character to another all seamlessly while leaving you wondering exactly how it all comes together in the end. The main reason I've yet to pick it up again is because I'm trying to finish In Praise of Slow first.

Third book and my most recent purchase is Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done by Susan Douglas. I won't lie, I am a sucker for any book that is critical of the lack of feminism in the hearts of young women today. I can't help it. I haven't even cracked this yet but I am very eager to see what it says. Seeing as I'm on this track I thought I'd mention a great book I read a few years ago along the same lines - and a book I feel some girls should be forced to read; Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. It takes women to task for achieving "empowerment" by turning into super feminine versions of themselves where they actually treat women disrespectfully. Good read.

The book that resides on my shelf awaiting my attention is Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. I feel like he is one of the quintessential writers that a good modern day comms student should read. The book is a compilation of essays so I hope to read a few intermittently.

Now that I've laid that all out for you I will say that I of course love fiction, especially the Harry Potter series (can't wait for the next films).

I'll close by saying that my favorite book, the biggest book I've ever read, and likely the book I read the fastest was Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Because I had never seen the movie this book swept me away with a powerful story of survival, love found and lost, and amazing characters. Looking back I know that reading it fast helped me get through it because some of the sections were long. I suggest you try it out I think it has something for everyone but I can definitely see it being more of a "chick" book with the underlying love story. I've tried many times to convince many people so maybe I can convince you to try it! But promise me if you hate it don't tell me. I still swoon at the thought of Rhett Butler being such a bad ass.

So friends, what are you reading? And what is your favorite book?

Today I learned:
  • Thunderstorms are great - until they keep flooding your basement
  • To stop waiting and just do. Sometimes it is necessary.
I am grateful for:
  • In the movie When Harry Met Sally... I am happy that they included all the cute couples throughout
  • Living with my brothers because sometimes they cook for me! I love that.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer seems to slip away so easily

Lately inspiration has been running high but motivation has been running low. Sorry for my exhaustion but I've been spending a lot of my off time napping. Last week I hurt my back and was fairly out of commission so hopefully I'll have more time this week to do something here.

My cousin - who has been living across the pond (England to be exact) is home for a visit, she just got in on Sunday. I am very excited to see her because although we didn't get to see each other on a super regular basis we always found ways to meet up throughout the year. I miss that.

Today I learned:
  • Doing something you dislike with people you adore makes whatever you dislike seem pretty awesome
  • A bag of BC Cherries is never a bad idea
  • A day trip to Vulcan can be phenom - you just need the right playlist
  • Lights acoustic album is really awesome
  • I miss the view of the prairies in my daily life
I am grateful for:
  • BC Fruit, on the weekend I raided the Calgary Farmer's Market and then tonight I went and bought some more fruit from the grocery store. Nectarines are my favorite but blueberries are pretty high up there as well. I love summer time because even though it is a little more expensive it is so delicious!
  • My dear friends (whom I was lucky enough to meet in 1st year) who are starting the next chapters of their lives and moving away from Calgary. I'm going to miss them very much.
  • Music.