The Girl Across The Street

Yesterday, I hung out with an old friend. I haven’t seen her since February and it was a delight. Truthfully speaking, I had a huge crush on her.

We went on a few dates and things just fizzled out. Initially, I was devastated. Before seeing her, I had a fear that those feelings might resurface. I might be stuck in an emotional rut as soon as I saw her.

I think I’m growing up. I saw her and everything went well. Those feelings that I was afraid off – they resurfaced – I dealt with them.

Let Me Backtrack

I had a crush on her because she was pretty much everything I wanted. She embodied the qualities I held most dear, we have amazing conversations, and she is beautiful.

I am the type of person that will always hold feelings, deep inside, for the people I like. The feelings just hide away. When I saw her yesterday, those feelings came out guns-blazing, but they were manageable.

Girls have always occupied a huge portion of my mental and physical energy. I’ve never really had great luck in the whole relationship category. It has always been hard for me to let go of past relationships.

Call it love?

I don’t know what it was. I don’t really understand what love is. Have I felt it? Maybe once? Maybe I’m just convincing myself of love. Or maybe, just maybe, I did feel it?

The Girl Across the Street

I fell hard and fast. It hit me like a brick wall hit Will E. Coyote. From the moment I saw her I was captivated. She also embodied everything I ever wanted.

wile-e-coyote-hits-rock-bottom

We got our feelings out. For a while I thought it was ACTUALLY going to work. Long story, short, it didn’t.

Surprisingly enough, it didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would. I was an emotional rollercoaster for about 3 hours. I decided that it couldn’t affect me. There are too many priorities.

There are too many important things to worry about.

A Limited Amount of Energy

Do you spend it worrying about girls? Bills? Gossip? Work drama? I spent it on a whole lot of nonsense. I squandered it away, day-by-day, wallowing in my own self-pity.

That was a huge waste of mental energy. If I knew what I know now, back when I was 16, my life would have been different. Then again, I am a stronger person because of my 16-year-old experiences.

It makes me feel like the perfect girl is somewhere out there. But also, it makes me feel like there isn’t just one. In fact, I know that there are at least two that are out there right now. I know because I met them already.

I feel a sense of ease with that thought. Sure, it didn’t work out. But it allows me to continue on with my life, knowing that somewhere out there, there are multiple perfect girls for me.

I know that I do not have to spend the mental energy wallowing when something does not work out. I know that I will be okay.

What do you choose to spend the energy on? You have a finite amount of energy every single day. I urge you to stop squandering it, like I have, and start improving your life.

Move forward for the all petty things taking over your life and spend that valuable energy on yourself. Use it to constantly and never-endingly improve.

For the first time, I experienced ‘love at first sight.’ Was it meant to be? I guess not. But it’s nice to know that it wasn’t the end of the world.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Guest Post: A Tale of Two Losses

I have the honour of presenting another guest post today! This comes from Dignified Anonymity. She is a stellar writer covering a variety of topics. You can check out her blog here! http://dignifiedanonymity.com

As always, I welcome all guest posts. My hope is too one day have this blog as a massive self-help/advice forum for the WORLD to use. This my aspiration and I know it will come true! So please, do not hesitate to contact me to have your work featured here! So without further ado, I give you “A Tale of Two Losses.”

 

A Tale of Two Losses

Before everything else, here’s a confession: when I pitched the guest post idea to Leroy, I was talking about something like “5 important life lessons”. But alas, I found it absurdly hard to create a numbered list based on my story. So I decided to change the approach a little bit, and came up with a recap of two unforgettable events that happened in my lengthy history of more than twenty years.

Loss #1: Dumped by a guy after being together for one month.

The guy and I met at a part-time job. He said it was “love at first sight”; though I had never believed in that sort of stuff, it still sounded flattering. The relationship started one week after we met, and ended one month later. Well, actually it should have already ended when the guy started to disappear on me after two weeks, but I refused to accept the truth right away. It wasn’t my first love really, and the most intimate thing we had ever done was nothing more than kissing (on the cheek). But since he vanished, I still cried every single day as if it was the end of the world, until everything was washed away by the tears.

Lesson learnt: Give time, some time.

During the aching course of self-healing, I performed some strange rituals. I watched the entire Sex & the City DVD deluxe collection all over again (which includes all six seasons and the two movies), chatted with random strangers on Bazoocam, and deleted all characters on Diablo 3 to start from scratch again. By distracting myself with these time-consuming activities, I started to get better.

And I began to realize that no one is obliged to love us except ourselves. Just like the change of seasons, the feelings and preferences of humans will hardly be static. That’s why no matter how good a relationship is, it still has a chance to reach an end some day. And if it’s meant to happen, the only best thing we can do is to let go. There’s really no use to cling onto the past. Don’t underestimate the healing power of time; give yourself and time some time, and magic will start working. Believe or not, “this too, shall pass” is more than a common proverb.

Loss #2: Got laid off by a company.

Ironically, the layoff happened two days after my birthday. Things were perfectly normal in the morning, until that email arrived at the inbox of mine and a few other colleagues who were on the same boat. Yes, an email – the boss didn’t even bother to talk in person. The “reason” for the layoff? “Company restructure.” When a colleague demanded an explanation, the boss immediately picked up his bag and left. I was shocked, devastated, and totally caught off guard. I did not know how to tell my family and my friends about it. “How are they gonna judge me? Would I be labeled as a loser?” These thoughts alone had made me feel completely broken and even ashamed, to the extent that I would secretly doubt whether I would be able to survive the storm.

Lesson learnt: Predict and prepare for the worst before the storm actually comes.

In fact, I could sense that shadows were stirring, and a lot of the symptoms emerged before the storm actually hit. Missed revenue goals? Check. Risky pivots? Check. Shady boss? Check. But I chose to ignore them. I thought that I would become an idiotic victim of self-fulfilling prophecy if I kept thinking about those negative signs. So instead of properly preparing myself for the worst, I only wished that those symptoms would magically disappear, that they were only my illusions, and that they were merely the products of “overthinking”. But apparently, I was WRONG.

In the recent times of economic instability, it’s always better to prepare for anything, including the worst. Regardless of what your skills are, get really good at them and stay updated. At the same time, expand your toolbox through learning and exploration. The better you are equipped, the fewer worries you have; even if you were hit by a huge tsunami, you would find your lifeboat.

Last words

While no one wishes to enter the realm of agony, there’s always a time to lose in life.

And if those dramatic plots are already written on my scripts, it’s always better for them to happen sooner than later. I am no longer the same person I was before all that happened after all; “I made it through somehow, and I’m so much stronger now.”

Expand Your Toolbox Today

Recently, my manager asked if I wanted additional training in any other areas. Initially, I was reluctant. I don’t want to stay at my current job because, well, it’s only a job. I have bigger hopes and aspirations.

But, I decided to say yes. Why? Well, because ANY skill you acquire will double your chances for success.

But Leroy, “not all skills are equal and not all skills are important. Hence, they can’t double your chances of success.”

Yes, you’re right. I whole-heartedly agree with you. Obviously, some skills are more important than others, and the tenth skill you acquire might have less value than each of the other nine.

But when you approach learning a new skill with the mindset that it will double your odds of success, you instantly trick your brain into being more proactive in your pursuit of learning.

If I told you that taking a website coding class, will double your chances of success, the chances of you acting increases. If instead I only offered a vague opinion that acquiring new skills is beneficial, you might not feel particularly motivated.

A) Where Do I Start?

Method 1: Be a kid again

It’s difficult to figure out where to start. For me, I like to remember all my passions before I reached ten-years-old. Before ten, my brain was still malleable enough to absorb everything, but not yet tainted by formal education.

When you were a kid, the things you enjoyed were almost instinctual, rather than influenced. You understood that you liked something for the mere fact that it brought enjoyment to you.

Start there. Remember all the things you enjoyed and pursue similar skills. As you start learning those, diversify. Jump into random categories that interest you.

Method 2: Consume News

If you have trouble finding something to read, start with the topics that interest you, even if they may be something trivial like gossip and celebrity scandals. Over time, you will enjoy the experience of reading and start sampling topics that wouldn’t have interested you before.

Personally, I read news from business, health, science, technology, and politics. Continue to expose yourself to new topics, primarily the ones that interest you the most.

But be weary, consuming some news can be a huge downer if you pick the wrong topics. Try to avoid stories about tragic events and negativity and focus on the positive aspects of science, technology and business.

B) It Gets Easier

When you first try to learn a skill it can be daunting. You can’t see yourself learning something that, at the time, seems impossible. But once you understand a few core concepts it gets easier.

female teen hand drawing a graph

A huge advantage of learning as much as you can in different fields is that the more concepts you understand, the easier it becomes to learn new ones. The learning process snowballs into other fields, consistently teaching you new skills.

Imagine explaining to an alien the concept of a zebra. The learning curve would be steep. If the next thing you tried to explain were the concept of a horse, the conversation would be much shorter. You simply have to say that the horse is a lot like the zebra, without the black and white stripes.

The process of learning continues to simplify itself, as you progressively absorb more knowledge of varying skills.

C) How Do I Be Perfect at EVERYTHING?

The short answer to that question is, “You don’t.”

You do not need to seek mastery or perfection in any skill. The idea is that you can increase your market value just by being good –not perfect– at more than one skill.

In terms of success, you are better off being good at two complementary skills rather than being extraordinary at one. In some cases, being extraordinary at one skill will pay off, but for the majority of us regular people (ME), diversifying your toolbox will lead to success.

Toolbox_by_maxon

Do not pursue perfection, but pursue learning. Aim to learn as many skills as possible. They will eventually help you out in one situation or another. The more you learn, the better you become.

Diversify your toolbox today by learning something, anything. Learn to whistle with two fingers, sewing basics, draw a cat, or tinker with a basic sound system. I promise you, once you learn something, you will be closer to success.

Be bold, be free, and love on.