You Are At The Archives for December 2012

30 December 2012 in , , , ,

Things My 20s Taught Me

Your twenties are such an interesting decade. Yes. Interesting. At the start of your twenties you're a kid who knows everything. At the end of your twenties you realize how little you actually know. It is a transformation of mind and soul. You evolve from a little bud to a blooming flower. Your heart hardens a little, your head is screwed on straight, the hangovers hurt a lot more and getting your shit together is a constant battle.

My 20's have taught me things.
  1. Your metabolism ages faster than you. It must. It slows down to a pace of a senior citizen taking an afternoon stroll with their walker. So take it from me, exercise and eat healthy if you want to keep that tight ass. I've picked up both activities after recently falling victim to a pregnancy inquiry. I'm 140 lbs, and I'm NOT pregnant.  
  2. Toxic is toxic is toxic. You can make all the excuses you want but some people are toxic. You think they care, they don't. You think deep down they're a good person, they're not. Just do yourself a favour, get rid of them. You're the main character of your own life, you're not here to save anyone.
  3. Remember that, you are responsible for the way you act no matter how you feel.
  4. Perspective is everything. Life gets tough and some days are shitty but you're either the survivor or the victim.  
  5. Weather you're in school or working things will slowly become mundane. There are going to be moments though, which catapult you into the extraordinary. They will be so intense that they will make you fall on your ass, take your breath away and make your heart skip a beat. Cherish them. Those are the moments we live for.
  6. An undergraduate degree, is for the most part, a really expensive piece of paper that does not make you more employable. Nonetheless, you will not regret your university experience. 
  7. Life gets messy. Make sure you learn how to forgive yourself. You'll make the wrong decisions but don't hate yourself for them. Move on.
  8. Love happens in the most unconventional ways and the most unexpected places. When love happens, let it.
  9. Your heart will get broken. Don't worry it's a strong muscle, it will keep you alive. The pain will go away eventually, some of the memories will stay forever. That's not always a bad thing.
  10. Have sex. Be safe about it. But. Have. Sex. You and me baby are nothing but mammals. Sex is good for you. I won't get into the benefits here, if you wanna know, google them.
  11. Be a person with your own convictions, but know that you will betray them. Especially in your twenties. Make new ones, having your own opinions and knowing why you have them is important.
  12. Be grateful. Love those who are there for you. You can't count on everyone. I found that if you keep your expectations low and standards high you end up with a solid group around you.
  13. Go after what you want. Failure is sometimes inevitable but achieving what you set out to do is worth it.
  14. Say I love you. If you mean it, say it. Say it as often as you can. People want to hear it. The people you love need to know you love them. 
  15. Laugh as often as you can and cry as often as you need to. 
  16. Be young and stupid, this is the only time you have to do it. Safety and security are not guaranteed. However, let those experiences make you older and wiser. 
  17. Live an honest life. Very few things compare to a life lived with grace and integrity.

the outspoken introvert

12 December 2012 in , ,

Hey you, Listen up.

Here's the thing, in an extroverted world there are a lot of misconceptions about those who are introverted. Like moi. Yea me, in French. I'd like to get some of these straightened out; feel like I'm passing on some knowledge up in here.

Without further ado let's get started with the one that really gets my goat. 

You're a snob or there must me something wrong with you. In the spirit of honesty I will admit sometimes I can be a bit snobby, but for the most part it's not that at all. I simply can't stomach chit-chat. If I have to do it I will, but I really don't care about the temperature outside or the fact that it snowed again. Small talk is awkward and I don't do awkward. There is also nothing wrong with me. When I find a topic that I'm passionate about, I talk so much people want me to shut up; but when I'm quiet they ask what's wrong. I must be upset. I can't win. I don't get it, sometimes I just don't feel like talking. It really is as simple as that. 

You hate other people or are anti-social. Yes. Sometimes people piss me off and I do kinda hate them. However that passes and love and laughter prevail. The key difference here is that I hate them because they did something that upset me, not because I'm introverted. I'm not anti-social either. I will go to a huge party  and be just fine. That's because I'm outgoing. The thing is, big groups tire me out. After a while, like most introverts, I want to go home. I prefer small group soirees with people I know well. Why? No small talk, that's why. I thought we discussed this already. Keep up. I'm in my glory with a glass of wine and one on one action. I love the deep, thoughtful conversations. Oh they give me goosebumps. In short, I prefer to really know someone as opposed to superficial interactions. Bullshit has never been my thing.

You like to write, you're probably a shy loner. Actually. I'm not shy. I'm also not a loner. I do love to write though. Introverts need alone time in a quiet environment. While extroverts gain their energy from being around other people, introverts gain their energy from being alone. Writing is the perfect way to recharge my batteries so to speak. It allows me to focus and think about what I want to get across. I find I have a lot more to contribute after I've had time to think. For me, "damn it, I should have said that!" is a recurring thought two hours after a situation took place. As for the loner part. I have many awesomely close friends. I believe in quality over quantity. I do prefer to keep in touch with them through face to face hang outs. I don't like talking on the phone. I find it imprisoning. I get very easily distracted and being on the phone interferes with accomplishing other tasks I want to get to. Like with every rule there are exceptions. I do much better when I know someone is going to call me in fifteen minutes or an hour or some time in the future. I can focus then and it's totally fine. Out of the blue phone calls though, I most likely won't answer.

Consider yourself enlightened and straightened out.

the outspoken introvert    

09 December 2012 in

We are creatures of habit

Since forty per cent of our behaviour is habitual I found this to be a pretty interesting read. Charles Duhigg takes on the subject of habit in the book titled "The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business."

I found the topic fascinating. We all have patters of behaviour we'd like to change. That change comes from understanding the formation of habits. Duhigg proposes that bad habits can't be completely erased however they can be substituted with other more productive ones. An example he uses is the power of AA in the treatment of alcohol addiction. The twelve steps form a different structure which becomes a habit with time, taking the place of consuming alcohol.

The book is easy to read and the examples are relevant. Although it deals with scientific research and complex behaviours, it's written in a manner that doesn't make you want to fall asleep. It's divided into three sections, the habits of individuals, the habits of successful organizations and the habits of societies. The chapters focusing on individuals were my favourite. The argument is that in order to change a particular behaviour, one must recognize the habit loop. Cue. Routine. Reward. His prescription for breaking habits comes in four steps:

1. Identify the routine
2. Experiment with rewards
3. Isolate the cue
4. Have a plan

The following sections, although interesting, didn't hold my attention as much. The way Target compiles information for use in direct marketing campaigns was intriguing. Our purchasing habits can reveal a lot about us. Although not full proof, Target can determine when a woman becomes pregnant and send coupons directly related to pregnancy. This conclusion is drawn from the specific things purchased by most women, for example lotions in the first trimester. 

I also found Saddleback Church and the Montgomery Bus Boycott story captivating. Duhigg uses it as support for his argument on what makes effective social movements. Of course I am familiar with the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks but this book dedicates a chapter to explain the chain of events that sparked the movement. I appreciated the information and thought the author used the example well to his advantage.

I would have liked to see more focus on bad habits or addictions as those are the ones we are compelled to change. Issues like gambling and alcohol were briefly mentioned, but I felt they didn't get the consideration they deserve.

All in all this is a book worth reading. It's thought provoking, the material is not dry and it might help you gain a better understanding of why you do the things you do. I recommend picking it up.

the outspoken introvert 

04 December 2012 in ,

Teddy-bear Toss

I'm not a sport nut, but a hockey game is always a fantastic excuse for some wings accompanied by some pints. With the current NHL lockout there hasn't been any pro hockey to speak of. Junior hockey however, is in full swing! On Sunday my girlfriends and I headed to the teddy-bear toss game. It was a lot of fun. There is something electric about being in the midst of a crowd that's bursting with excitement and team spirit. 

First, we got our teddies.

The teddy toss is an annual event. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to bring a teddy-bear, when the first goal is scored by the hosting team the teddies are thrown to the ice.

Second, we sang the notional anthem.

This is hands down my favourite part of any hockey game. The lights dim, everyone stands up, and thousands of people participate in honouring their country. I tear up every time. I might be an emotional geek but it really is touching.

Third, we had pints.

I don't know what they put in this beer, but you have to be careful. It leads to an awesome time. Followed by blurry memories; if over consumed it tops off with a wicked hangover.

We took it all in and patiently waited for the first goal.
............with five minutes remaining in the first period......SCORE!

And the teddies flew through the air. I'm sure mine hit someone below us, probably in the head. I guess I throw like a girl.

There were thousands of stuffed animals on the ice, all different shapes and sizes. There were elmos, cookie monsters, rabbits, dogs, cats and dragons. Some were as big as me! This particular moment beat the national anthem. It was so joyous to see everyone, especially the kids, get so excited and throw their teddies. 

The game had to continue so when the last teddy fell the trucks rolled out to collect. The cuddly creatures were delivered to 50 different charities right in time for Christmas.

Good cause, team spirit and friends make a super Sunday.

the outspoken introvert

03 December 2012 in

It Matters Monday

I haven't done one of these posts in a while. I'm actually a little ashamed because of how long it's been. In April 2011, I made a donation to another blogger who wanted to raise $500 towards clean drinking water in developing countries. This is definitely something I can get behind. Like many of us, I've never known what it's like to walk endless miles to get clean water. It's always been readily available. So I decided to help in at least some capacity.

I got an update on my donation today, which I had completely forgotten about. This made my Monday a little less Mondayish, and a lot more awesome. The funds went to work in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. The email from charity: water was a nice reminder that little things do make a difference. 

Having said that, I will be more diligent with my It Matters Monday effort. 

How was your Monday?

the outspoken introvert

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