Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Falling off the Wagon

So it's sort-of the third week of school, and I have been less than stellar at keeping my promise to myself to blog at least once a week. There are several reasons for this, including an unexpected class, and the attempts to concentrate on school as opposed to other things. But even in the midst of this, I am constantly thinking of things I should, could, would blog about if I could. So I think it would be beneficial for me to list all the things I have wanted to blog about, so that I can grab one off the list and just write.

1) Examples of bad policy: Bears in northern Alberta put down because they were dependent on an unfenced landfill for food
2) Review of Human Ecology from a femenist perspective: a "Why and how" discussion of how male dominated society may have impeded the growth of the scientific philosophy.
3) Inclusion and Exclusion: Akward moments in classes or events
4) My workout partner: An exercise in self control
5) Getting things done: My exploration in accomplishing things I need to do.

All right. So. My next order of business. I am trying so hard to be an understanding person, to accomidate others. I don't like people who railroad others, and don't want to be one of those people. I am however quite frustrated when a person refuses to try anything new, or causes themselves undue stress based on a new situation before the situation even occurs.

As it happens, when I do personality tests, when you get to the part about "openness to new experiences" I have almost no opposition to this. I think this was a concious decision based on the gross feelings of failure I endured when I failed a swimming class as a kid because I was terrified of the high diving board. It has caused me to basically review all those experiences out there: crazy, boring, useless, invigorating, harsh, hilarious, whatever I may preconceive them to be, and basically ask: Will this kill me? If the answer is "No" then I pretty much jump in. Do I love public speaking? Not a chance. Will it kill me? No. This explains why I have recently agreed to be the MC at a friends wedding, and have added this to my list of things to prepare for in the next month. (Luckily, I am actually taking a course which basically teaches public speaking and I have plenty of time to prepare, so I am not too worried.) I do however find my particular openness creates a lack of empathy for those who do have fears which I deem irrational and therefore... dumb. It's not that I don't have fear, it's just that I found that the more I allow the fear to manifest, the more likely it is that the fear will actually become the impediment to my success. When you thrust this small unfounded fear aside and plunge through these experiences, even if you don't love it, at least it will be over.

When I was in High School, you only had to take one physical education class to graduate. I took the shortest class. My gym teacher, a sad, older, pretty much verified alcoholic man gave a spiel at the beginning of the term. "This is an art school. This is Gym 10. You probably are taking this class so that your gym career is over, forever. Here's the deal. I know you hate gym. You know you hate gym. We change sports every two weeks. If you like the sport- you get to do it for two weeks. If you hate that sport, you'll only have to do it for two weeks. I don't expect you to be a superstar, I expect you to show up, change clothes, and try. If you do that most of the term, you'll get a decent mark." This is how I approach pretty much everything I am not in love with. Even if I don't anticipate a great time, all I have to do is dig in and finish, and then it will be done. I don't understand how avoidance and fear can really assist anyone in their life advancing. I also have understood from a very early age that you have to work for what you get, so you should always expect to have some icky bits in life in order to really enjoy the good stuff. In the words of The G.irl Next D.oor "The juice is worth the squeeze".

Really, this blog entry isn't about me trying to educate anyone but myself. Can anyone provide some insight on this? Help me see from the other side, so I can understand the fear and in that way be more supportive to people who feel this way, because I honestly don't get it. I have always been a feet first type of girl, I eat the worst part of the meal so I can savour the good parts.



  1. I can empathize but can't offer you any concrete advice, since I usually find myself in the predicament of self-imposed anxiety overriding effort. If it helps to have someone get your back, though, I've got yours, and I'll prop you up so that you can get those feet in more easily. #5 is totally at the top of my list right now. Accomplishment seems out of reach at the moment. Also, #1 has pissed me off, too. Our province's policies on endangered species is typically to shoot first and worry about consequences after. Why design a better landfill when you can just get rid of the bear problem as it starts to rifle through your trash? Bah.

  2. Like I said, its not really the jumping in I have trouble with. Its being understanding with people who dont want to just get the icky bits over with. Yes, I was in that spot when I was in swimming lessons, but I am no longer 7, and I no longer think that the fall from the board will kill me. So boom, I'm out of ideas. Maybe Im a slave to the N.ike concept of "Just Do It".... but it has for the most part served me well. So when other people falafel (because its more squishy than a waffle) over decisions, or avoid something they KNOW they have to deal with, I kindof get bored, and just want them to suck it up buttercup. Then I think about all those people I hated when I was 6 who told me that- the gym teacher who thought I should do sit ups (ha) or my mom trying to trim my bangs (I was scared for a reason folks) and I just... I get it, but then I think - oh I was 6, and now that Im grown up, the things I dont want to do are usually due to irrational fear (clowns) or just dislike (excercise) but OH MY GOSH, the sooner you do it, the sooner its done. The choices you have as an adult are a bit easier that way... they're just about dealing with it till you do something more fun. I almost typed funner, but then figured you would hit me with a dictionary. Can I say funner? or do I have to say more fun? hmmm curious.