Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All I Need to Know I Learned from "Dawson's Creek"

Studying for the GRE is no easy task. I guess it's been awhile since I've studied for a standardized test, but I assumed that with college under my belt, I'd do OK. Eh, I'm having mixed feelings about it. This is not going to be a cake walk by any means.

Luckily, I've found some more entertaining exercises for practicing the Verbal section - watching old episodes of "Dawson's Creek." Whoever wrote that show must have had SAT/GRE flashcards by their side because the characters (who are supposed to be 16, by the way) sound like literary geniuses.

Not only is the show great for entertainment, but it gives me a fun way to practice big words!

Besides watching the show, my sister also let me borrow her GRE Verbal flashcards. Ugh, for someone who loves words as much as I do, I abhor studying these (ooh, abhor. Good one!). When will I ever use the word "perspicacious"? That's right - never. Some of these words are completely fatuous.

Now I'm focusing more on the Quantitative section a.k.a. math portion. We don't get to use calculators, which is so pointless - who will ever have to do some sort of equation in the real world when a calculator (or cell phone with calculator abilities) is not available? Again - never. Yeah, yeah. I need to strengthen my critical thinking skills and not just rely on thesauruses and calculators. It's still very frustrating though.

In other news, things are going very well. My friend Alanna is coming over tonight, and I'm making beef stew in my Crock Pot! Plus I'm baking corn bread, and she's bringing over an apple crisp. Ahh, the joy of getting fat. I love it!

I'm getting SO excited for the Miss America pageant this weekend. One of my good friends, Christina, is representing Nevada! And the competition is in Las Vegas, so she's the home state queen :) I'm so excited for her, even though this past year has meant that we don't talk as much since she's so busy. I do feel like we've drifted apart in a way, but I still wish her the best this week. She's the only redhead in the competition too! I hope she knocks the judges' socks off! Especially that detestable Rush Limbaugh.

Well, that's all for now. Back to work!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Disappointment is Not So Disappointing

I found out recently that someone I may or may not have been over yet is now possibly courting a new woman.

Ahhh, yes. This is a regular occurence with me and the guys I date - they like me for 5 minutes, we break up because they don't like me enough, they continue to act like they like me when I'm really just a stand-in, and then boom - they have a new girlfriend overnight.

So if there are any fellas out there looking to find the right woman - please date me and then break up with me. Your soul mate is right around the corner.

I know I sound bitter, but really, this time around I'm not as disappointed as I thought I would be. Maybe because I've been through it before, or maybe because I'm a grown up now - people come and go all the time. One broken heart is not the end of the world!

That's not to say it didn't sting.

Despite my adequate self-esteem and general liking of who I am, I have tended to question myself in the past after being rejected. Any normal person would wonder why they aren't good enough or what they could have done differently.

The thing is that there isn't anything wrong with me, and I didn't need to do anything differently. The only change I need to make is to let go of the ones who take me for granted and expel my energy on someone who actually appreciates me.

My mom has always talked to me about this whole one-sided love cycle of mine, asking, "Don't you want it to be mutual?" While this seems easy to comprehend - it's a lot harder to put into practice. Of course I want things to be mutual, but the optimist in me is always holding on to some glimmer of hope. Not to mention I can be taken advantage of easily because I really do wear my heart on my sleeve.

But in this most recent experience of mine, I don't just understand what my mom said - I feel it. I no longer feel that attraction towards this person. I don't hold him on pedestal. In fact, I actually kind of resent him. It's refreshing to finally see someone in a new light when all I've ever done is worn blinders. Not to mention - anger is a much better emotion than sadness, at least in my opinion. I'm so tired of the whole being sad deal - I always go that route, and I'm not going to regress back into that.

I truly feel like this was a moment of closure - a door closing and a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have no time to dwell on the people that hurt me. Yeah, I might slip up and listen to a depressing Journey song every now and again, but overall, my attitude is positive and I still have faith.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear Diary

When I was back at my parents' house over Christmas, I got nostalgic and decided to read my old diaries. I've kept a journal since I was in about first grade, although I have yet to find that first one - a cute, Lisa Frank diary that I remember had an entry about how my friend Kerri witnessed two people out in the field of our elementary school doing the naughty. I didn't put it in those words, but how in the hell did a first grader know what that was?

I started off in order, reading my third grade diary. It was rivetting, let me tell ya. From entries on how I got head lice to how I hated my sister (without actually explaining why), it put me in tears from laughing so hard.

One highlight from a journal (I was probably about 12) just put me in hysterics - I ended it by saying, "P.S. Don't tell anyone, but I'm training to become a vampire slayer." Oh, the special days of my Buffy obsession.

Something interesting I found was when I gave dating advice at the ripe old age of 11. I was dating an older man (6th grader) and the relationship was becoming stale after about 6 months (side note: how is it that my 5th grade self knew how to keep a man better than I can at 23? Oy vey). I wrote something along the lines of: "I found out how to make a guy like you. All you do is act like you don't like him. And you can even pay more attention to other boys too. It totally works." I remember actually utilizing this strategy on the playground and how guilty I felt after my boyfriend accused me of liking another guy. But hey, it sure did keep him around!

The funny thing is that, naivety aside, this philosophy holds some truth. Why is it that when we act disinterested or do the whole "playing hard to get" thing, that some guys actually try harder? And conversely, when I squelch my desire to play games and are forthcoming with my feelings toward someone, why do they then run for the hills?

Maybe I just haven't been blessed with a reciprocated relationship yet, but I get very frustrated when I think of how often I've experienced the whole "I like him, and he doesn't like me" or "He likes me, and I'm not interested" scenarios. Does mutuality exist, for crying out loud?!

It's funny how sometimes people aren't even aware when things aren't mutual. I admit, I have been one of those people in the past. I am so disillusioned and blinded by my feelings that I assume the guy is feeling the same. I think given some of my most recent relationship trials, I'm not going to fall into this trap anymore.

But there have been guys who completely misread my signals and thought I was into them. For example, one guy I went out on a date with was very nice, but there was just no spark. I knew I wasn't into him when I wasn't feeling nervous - I'm always sweating big time when I like a guy! He was pretty typical - liked snowboarding, had awesome buddies, did crazy, awesome things when out drinking with his buddies, watched awesome guy movies, etc. Blah blah blah. Boooooring! I like my guys original, not the ones who think "The Hangover" deserves an Oscar.

I think with this guy being so boring, I almost mirrored his boringness and became pretty dull myself. I thought maybe he wouldn't be into me after that, but he called and called and texted and texted. Even when I didn't call and text back! That is the cardinal rule in dating nowadays - unless your date is technology averse, the nonresponsive communication is a big sign that they are not interested.

Another guy I went out with once (and only once) was all about talking about himself. Yaaaawn. He wasn't that great, and he had bad manners toward our waitress. I couldn't wait to get out of there and go home to watch E! Entertainment. After a quick (thank the Lord!) dinner, we got up to go and he asked, "So do you wanna go get drinks maybe?"

Hello - you don't ask for Date #2 while still on Date #1, you imbecile! I hadn't been acting into him at all the whole night - why did he take my niceness as a sign I liked him? I dodged a bullet though and gave him a great line: "I probably shouldn't. I've got laundry going at home right now and don't want it to just sit in there."

Ouch. I might as well have told him I had to go home to wash my hair. The laundry excuse was true, but I can see how it could come off like a lie. The guy texted me immediately when I got in my car and said, "No one's ever used the laundry thing as an out before. Props." Ugh, what a tool. I should have just said no, I have to work early tomorrow, but no! Honest Abe had to come out.

OK, so I've gone off on a significant tangent, but the basic lesson I learned when reading my old diaries - not much changes when you're 10 to when you're 20. It just gets more complicated. But on the upside - you have more responsibilities in your 20s, ergo more excuses to get out of bad dates!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm Free to Decide

I'm proud to say I've already pretty much completed my New Year's resolution. I made the goal to be more decisive, so rather than sitting around, mulling over what my next step in life is, I grabbed the bull by the horns.

I'm now registered for the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and headed for grad school! Pending my acceptance, of course.

I've been thinking about going back to school for awhile now, so once I decided what I want to do with my life, I took the steps to make it happen.

First off, what to get my degree in. Of course PR has always been my thing, but I was questioning it there for awhile. Now I know that this is an industry meant for me, even if it means I'd like to get into other areas of it later on. I'd love to work in-house somewhere, possibly at a university or an organization I care about. So I'm going to pursue a master's in organizational communication.

I bought a GRE study book the other day and am signed up to take the test on Feb. 6. Yikes! Right around the corner. I'm trying to study a little bit each day, with greater emphasis on weekends. So far, I'm feeling good about it. I know I'm not going to ace the thing, but that's fine because it's not like I'm shooting for Harvard.

Which brings me to my next decision - where to go. I've always considered moving somewhere an option, although my family and great life in this area are really what keep me here. Plus, I'd like to go somewhere relatively affordable so I'm not in any great debt in a couple years. So I'll be submitting my application to Sac State by March 1.

Next item - paying for school. I just completed my FAFSA application today (to apply for federal scholarships and loans). I doubt I'll get any free money, so I'm planning on taking out some student loans. That's the kind of debt that's worth it!

It was a huge weight off my shoulders once I got that all figured out. Of course, it'll be much more work from here on out, but I'm excited for the whole process.

Another great thing happened this week - I got a promotion! I'm now a senior associate. That was a very nice boost, and the raise ain't bad either ;)

Here's to a wonderful and decisive 2010!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

500 Days of Everyone I've Ever Dated

Yesterday I bought the movie "500 Days of Summer." Hands down one of the best movies of last year (ha, weird to say that now).

If you haven't seen it, please do! It's not your typical romantic comedy - very original and just done in a really cool way. There's no other way to describe it.

The thing that resonated with me most when I watched it is how much I can relate to the main character, Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He basically falls for a girl named Summer, who is closed off from most people and keeps him at arm's length pretty much for the entirety of their relationship (which she barely even calls a relationship herself).

She and Tom have amazing chemistry - they like a lot of the same music and movies, and they have a good time when they're together. Everything from the outside looks like these 2 are perfect for each other. But then it ends suddenly (don't worry, I'm not giving the movie away - the break up is in the trailer), and Tom is left wondering what went wrong. He replays the whole relationship in his head, trying to determine why the relationship ended and how he can get her back.

The part that really got to me is when he thinks back on a few encounters of theirs, and to the audience, everything looks all peachy keen. Then he looks back again and realizes little signs that he overlooked before - she doesn't take his hand when he tries to hold it one time, she gives him a blank look when he tries to joke with her, she tries to cut their date short, saying she's tired.

Hello! This Tom character is ME, and Summer is practically every guy I've been in a relationship with! In my view, everything seems perfect, but in reality, the guy is just not that into me and shows it through these small (and even large) signs that I've chosen to ignore. It's sad, but it is true, and this movie hits the nail on the head.

I think a lot about my last relationship, probably more than I should. Right after the break up, I racked my brain endlessly, searching for reasons - hell, a reason - why it ended. All of the elements were there - the chemistry, the witty banter, the laughing, the passion, the contentment with just being in each other's presence watching TV, the fun dates, the meeting of the families, the like-minded views on politics, values, morals and family. It was all there, and to me, he felt like my perfect match.

I don't mean to say he was perfect for me (because we all know perfection doesn't exist), but he was the absolute closest to this unexplainable idea I had in my head for who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I realized this fairly quickly after meeting him, and when we started dating, it was pure bliss. I'd never been happier in all my life.

The only flaw in the whole relationship was this bliss was mine and mine alone. I was in the relationship by myself, in a way. I was the giddy one, feeling those overwhelming emotions that you can never quite put into words. I know, in general, men move slower than women in the feelings department, so I gave it time, hoping he would come around and eventually express how he felt about me.

He never did.

To quote Tom in 500 Days, he says, "Either she's an evil, emotionless, miserable human being, or... she's a robot."

This was exactly my first reaction to the whole break up - if this guy has little to no feelings for me, he must be like a tin man with no heart whatsoever. I know this isn't true because he is a very kind person, but to go through everything he and I had and to still not know how how he felt about me just left me baffled, mystified, confused and heartbroken. It was the worst.

I wish things would have ended differently for us, I really do. But this is what I was dealt, and I need to just accept it. I'm a lot stronger today than I was a few months ago (not invincible, by any means, but small victories nonetheless). I'm still left baffled and mystified, but this time not about him - just about what the hell love actually is.