Theatrical Tuesday – The Persona

masks-833421_1280

Sorry, I’m late on this post because my neck was super sore yesterday and I mostly got movies watched because of it.

Anyway, Jung totally relates to theatre. Carl Jung came up with four archetypes. One of these is The Persona.

Basically, the persona is the masks we all wear around different people.

Now, some people act exactly the same around everyone they know, but most don’t.

I know people that can’t sneeze around people they don’t know well. I know tons of women that have shy bladders in public restrooms. I know I used to pretend I didn’t like horror as much as I do.

I totally act different with my five year old buddy than I do with someone on a date than I do around my martial arts pals than I do with my brothers, etc.

That’s normal and mostly reasonable. This picture describes this a little better.

circle-of-friends

Actually, this one is even better.

circle

So we’re all actors most of the days of our lives.

It’s part of the reason coming home from work is such a relief. You can be unapologetically you.

Ideally, you want to get to that place with some of your social groups because they form your support network. I’m almost totally me around my dojo buds and the people that have known me since I was a child. For some, it’s been awhile since they last saw me really inebriated because our parties changed when they had babies, but that’s life. But I know if I really needed help, they’d be there.

Now, I don’t think it’s incredibly beneficial to hide large chunks of who you are from people you want to be closer to. If you have romantic feelings for someone and you spend a bunch of time pretending to be someone you aren’t because you think they’d be more impressed rather than letting them get to know the real you, well, that’s probably going to blow up eventually. More to the point, why would you want to? Why would you want them to think you are what you think is cooler than you are? I mean, they might actually think the real you is cooler than that person you want to pretend to be.

But sometimes we need to act, like when the boss expects the moon and you can only deliver a picture of the moon because you’re not in possession of some moon capturing device and even if you were, that would probably destroy the Earth if you actually tried to give it to them. But you tell them, sure thing and deliver as close as possible. Actually, I usually tell them I can’t destroy the world for you, but I’ll get as close as possible.

Wait, that got weird. See why I don’t usually let all of myself out to everyone? I can be quite ridiculous.

Anyway, there are some other Jungian archetypes and they’re all quite fascinating. You can read more about them here. I’ve talked about a couple in this post.

R~

Symphonic Saturday – The Once Favourite Song

music1Do you ever get to that point with a song where you just can’t stand to hear it play one more time?

I did this week. Which song was it that had me wanting to flip the fuck out and scream or possibly even tear my own hair out if I heard it one more time? It was Vance Joy’s Riptide.

What makes us go from loving a song to hating it so much? Is it simply hearing it too often? I don’t think so, but maybe? I know this particular song came on all the time on my MP3 player. My player can’t remember settings for some reason and despite randomizing my playlist, it would replay this one all the time. It would replay other ones, but those didn’t drive me nuts though.

Maybe it’s that love and hate are two sides of the same coin? That same coin that gets people to make changes that mark them as disloyal?

Maybe I’m just talking bullshit today.

And yet there are songs I’ve heard since I was 12 like Green Day’s Basket Case that I don’t seem to ever tire of. Now that I mention that, I think I want to put that vinyl on and give it a listen as I work on cleaning my living room today.

I’m making progress on the cleaning. It’s not going as fast as I’d like, but I’m getting rid of things nearly every week. I figure that the less I own that isn’t needed, the easier it is to keep clean, and the benefits will be better focus and increased happiness.

I’ve went back to an old layout of my living room because it will give me some martial arts practice space that isn’t under a light, so I’ll avoid broken bulb issues. I found another piece last week. How long ago did I break that? Must be around 6 months or something by now!!!

Anyway, I’m not traveling to visit family this long weekend. It’s a weekend for me to conquer my living room and get caught up on reading for school. Speaking of which, I should eat breakfast and get to all that.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – 8 Pieces of Wisdom from My Teenage Self

thoughtfulWhile cleaning up my home including my drives, I stumbled onto some words I wrote in 1999. I called them “Self Guidelines”. Maybe they’ll be helpful to someone today.

  1. Help others if it’s in my power AND they want me to.
  2. Don’t let a guy come between my best friend and I.
  3. Don’t do something that will put someone else in a bad position even if they deserve it.
  4. Approach situations and people with an open mind.
  5. Find the good in others.
  6. Keep emotions in check.
  7. Don’t force others to feel the way you do. Respect that they may feel differently.
  8. Be open and honest with the people you love.

I lost my way for a little while, but I found my way back.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – A Decline in Customer “Service”

thoughtful

Has anyone else noticed that organizations and governments today really don’t provide customer service? This is something I keep running into. It’s like they don’t actually read your support request.

Case 1: “Service” Canada

I put in a suggestion to enhance their website. They switched to a model a couple of years ago where every service is accessed from a central place. This is nice *in theory*. I’m currently collecting EI and the first thing I see on login is menus for people collecting retirement pensions. I’m not eligible for my pension for about 30 more years, so I thought it would be great if they could put what I’m currently there for in the forefront for me rather than having to search for it. I put in a ticket for the suggestion and the response was to send my request to EI. My request had nothing to do with EI or a specific program, so I tried again with a new request that didn’t specify a program and said website enhancement. Then the response was that they need a program specified in order to know where to direct the request.

Case 2: Pokemon Go

For some reason, as someone who is logging in via the Pokemon Trainer Club, I’m having to reset my password every two days. It just stops working. I tried to explain that there is something wrong with my account, but they just told me to reset my password. Did they even read my support request?

I’m sure there are more examples of this out there than these two that I’ve experienced recently. I’m getting this feeling that a robot is scanning for keywords and not understanding what the ticket is actually saying.

Anyone else experience something similar to either of these cases? Something worse?

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Life As I Know It

During the holidays, I had a lot of conversations on a lot of different topics with a number of people. I also saw the new Star Wars movie with my brothers the same day Carrie had a heart attack. I wasn’t in a good mood for most of the holidays between being laid off close to Christmas and struggling with food. Usually it’s not so bad, but everything wanted to be a challenge all at the same time.

Star Wars

Watching Rogue One was a mix of wonder and sadness as I had just heard of Carrie’s heart attack not long before. I found the movie to be well done and bittersweet. It filled a void in the Star Wars canon for me as I don’t read the books. It was a void I was aware had to have happened, but now I know more about it. Growing up on Star Wars, I’ve seen the original trilogy many times and Leia was a favourite of mine. I didn’t find out until after I had reached home that 2016 claimed her for good and all I want to do is cry about it. I don’t think she’d want that for us all though. I think Carrie would tell us to get off our asses and do something with the time we have.

Life

I must confess it is hard for me to visit my hometown at times. There are things I love about it, but it hasn’t felt like the place I belong in a long time. When a friend asked if I would be moving back there given my current state of employment, I was confused about the whole idea. For one thing, Ottawa has a lot more opportunities for employment. There are wonderful people here in my dojo and in the writing community that make it feel like the place I belong. Can I make more friends? Sure. But I’m not leaving Ottawa unless something really good comes along. I love how much Ottawa has going on at any one time. I can’t picture myself not attending Comiccon or Can-Con. Anyway, I’m the kid in my family that is like my dad. He didn’t stay in his hometown either.

Dating

A friend said something interesting about how the men in online chats with me might not be perverts and actually be trying to determine if we are sexually compatible before they risk falling in love with me. It’s definitely a perspective I hadn’t considered. I still think they could at least tell me some general things about themselves like if they are martial artists, musicians, writers, introverts, etc so I can figure out if I would ever want to spend time with them if sex isn’t involved. And pretending to work for Trudeau when one can’t spell ‘over’ really isn’t attractive. For now, I’m starting the year with all online dating accounts closed. I’d rather bump into someone in the real world anyway.

Writing

I’m back home and working away at the last edit I will do on The Page & The Magician until a professional has told me what needs fixing. I was on chapter 9 of 26 as I went through 4 of them yesterday. I’m heavily considering a more traditional approach for this book. I expect Blood Waitress Club will be a self-publish partly because of a deal with a friend, but also I feel that is the best plan for it unless some publisher falls in love with it. I feel like it’s a good idea to do different things depending on the story and its audience.

Work

I’ve been applying to jobs, but I kind of feel like it might not be bad to have some time off to finish this book and avoid commuting in winter. I have some things I’ve realized about myself that make me want to make a career change and I’m taking some time to decide what is most important to me. I’m also thinking an approach may be to have several money making ventures, so I’m never having to depend on one employer again.

Well, I’m off to do more editing on the book. I plan to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service later and perhaps A New Hope in honour of both mother and daughter that were lost this week. I will probably cry. I haven’t really stopped since Carrie went. I mean, I stop long enough to do the odd thing, but my heart hurts.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday – Direction

I swear at one point in my life there was a thing about a compass that wouldn’t stop spinning. That’s how I’ve been feeling over the past week. I went to a workshop on job searching strategies this morning and I realized I don’t need a new career. Writing is my passion. Writing is my career. What I need is a job that ensures I can pay my expenses while I write. 

I took a career aptitude test today and it came out with almost only writing careers. How is that for confirmation? Not that I didn’t already know it with every fiber of my being. There is an ache in my heart when I think about writing. It’s a yearning so deep that is only eased by writing. 

Only artistic pursuits engross me so completely that I forget to eat meals. I enter a time warp when playing guitar, when writing, and when painting.

The weekend was spent in the company of good friends, or mostly their toddler. He’s rather fond of me. Adorable little tyke. I watched his first ever martial arts test. He wasn’t nervous about it. It was just another class to him. There’s something to be said for just going and doing what needs to be done.

Today, I returned a library book, cancelled my gym membership to save cash, set up a business blog to talk about my professional writing experience, posted an ad on fiverr for story commissions (which I see needs fixing as it lost the additional options), sent in a form to register for French classes, did a load of laundry, and edited another novel chapter. I also responded to a meeting request that might turn into a job. 

I’m staying hopeful mostly. There are those moments where something upsets me and I burst into tears, but I keep moving forward. 

It was an exhausting day. I’ll fix the ad tomorrow.

Ciao,

R~

Wonder Wednesday: What are Romantic Relationships For?

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

A fundamental thing about relationships, that I think it’s time to talk about, is their purpose.

A romantic partner isn’t someone who replaces your mother or father. You should know how to cook, do laundry, clean, take out the garbage, etc. and not expect them to do it for you.

A partner isn’t for completing your identity. You should know who you are. You should have your own goals and dreams.

They aren’t your property. Even if you’re married.

A partner isn’t a replacement for a social life. You both need friends and it should not matter what gender those friends happen to be. If you see all your partner’s friends as people they might have sex with the moment you’re not hovering, you have personal issues that you need to deal with.

A partner NEVER attacks you. They don’t physically or emotionally harm you. They don’t say you’ll never be able to accomplish that goal or that thing you love is stupid and only children love it. They don’t embarrass you in front of others. They don’t bring up your sex life at a party.

A partner is supposed to help you achieve your goals, but not at the expense of their own. You work with each other to both have fulfilling lives.

A partner is supposed to support you. They have your back. Sometimes this means getting directly involved. Sometimes it means showing you a new skill then letting you handle it yourself. Sometimes this means just listening to you and giving you a hug or just giving you the freedom. Maybe you do a little more of the chores when they’re preparing for a major project at work or school. It almost never involves money.

A good partner also communicates. If something is bothering you, you talk about it with your partner, not with everyone else but your partner. If you’re excited about something, let them know about that too. But, hey, it’s a good idea not to wait until bedtime because the lack of sleep can make for a cranky partner.

A partner pushes you to be a better version of yourself, but they accept who you are today. They give you the freedom to be whoever it is you are. They might not have all the same interests as you. You need to have some things in common, but you are individuals too.

And you do all the same things for them, but not just because they do it for you. You do it because you want them to feel supported and loved too.

PLEASE NOTE: I have a very busy weekend ahead filled with travel and will not be posting a Funky Friday this week.

Ciao,
R~

Workshop: How to Complete your Soul

I’ve been reading a lot of things on spirituality partly for a novel I am writing, but it didn’t start out that way. I’ve been on my own spiritual journey for a while now. Tonight I attended a workshop on the things one needs to work on in order to complete their soul. The ChunHwa Centre gives these workshops monthly for an amount you decide to donate ($5, $10, whatever you feel like). He said you have to be scientific and methodical about it. Meditation can help you get there, but only if you are focused.

He talked about good and bad stress and how much of the time the stress is necessary for growth or is simply a result of natural bodily function (eating causes stress on our digestive system). We talked about how the key to stress was understanding the underlying cause. After that it’s all about good coping techniques. He liked to joke around a bit and would say things like the only way to get rid of stress was to die.

We talked about health as a goal for meditation and how most people equate health with lack of pain whereas a person who is working on completing their soul seeks to attain mastery of their body. That person wants to have as much control as possible over their body so the movements are intentional. This could be a martial artist who is looking to exert the proper force in a technique. It could be a dancer who wants to be so beautiful and expressive that they move their audience to tears of joy or sadness. It could be a surgeon who wants to last through lengthy surgeries.

He had five things that are needed in order to complete a soul:

1. Honesty
– He talked about honesty in terms of how we all think we are being honest and we are, but we are limited in the amount of detail that we can remember, so we don’t remember everything and our recollection is more of a perception or phenomenon than it is a true representation of reality. He kept saying phenomenon and sometimes that word didn’t jive to me, but it may have been my own limited perception. What I took from this is that due to our limitation to see how we may be unintentionally causing pain in others due to our words or actions, we must be open to hearing how we are affecting them. Our single view is not enough to paint an accurate picture of reality.

– We also need to be honest about what our goal is and it shouldn’t be small like the toy we loved as a child because as we grow the value of things change and we should care more about things that are not so superficial. We should want to share our good fortune with others.

– This is scary because we recall pain from past attempts at doing this. We may have been physically harmed or our pride was or someone took advantage of our generosity. We need to be able to heal from the past or we will stay stuck where we are.

2. Diligence

– We need to work for it. We need avoid comparing ourselves to others. Just because we saw someone study forms for 10 hours and they passed their grading does not mean it will be 10 hours for us. Just because we saw them do 10 hours does not mean that was the only practice they did. We also have no idea what quality of practice they did. Did they stand around lost for most of it or were they focused?

– If we practice something for 100 hours and we don’t get the desired result, it means we need still more practice and perhaps we have to tweak something, but many times people just give up. Dedicate yourself to your goal and do whatever it takes to achieve it.

3. Responsibility
– Responsibility begins with the self, but we are part of something much larger. We are connected to each other through energy and so we must all take responsibility for our part in how society is. If your neighbour is in need of help, do you help them or do you say it’s not your circus, not your monkeys?

4. Etiquette
– We must be kind and courteous to one another. Be respectful and you will receive respect in return. If you live alone, do you still wash and make yourself presentable? Yes, because you work with others. Etiquette is all about relationships. We cannot achieve true greatness alone. We must work with others to make dreams happen.

5. Faith
– We need to love and believe in ourselves. We also need to believe that there is something bigger that we are a part of. We all have a place in the universe and need to step up and accept our roles. At the same time, this doesn’t mean abandoning reason and scientific evidence.

– Roy Iaidoka

Lend your money and…

Today’s proverb is, “Lend your money and lose your friend.”

That could be true if your friend is only your friend because of superficial things.

Today I want to talk about one of my friends. She is a wonderful woman I have known since high school. She’s highly intelligent and once upon a time was in medical school. She started having seizures. Brain tumour. Things didn’t work out with her husband. That’s not shocking as many relationships come upon too much strain when illness occurs and brain tumours can cause one to say nasty things they may not mean. After a time, they removed the tumour, but told her the seizures wouldn’t stop completely, just lessen. A life of seizures was ahead of her. She met someone new and became pregnant. He turned abusive when she decided she wanted to keep the baby as it would likely be her only chance at motherhood. The pregnancy was challenging with the seizures and she had to take medications to stop them. She tried repeatedly to have some sort of relationship, even a platonic one, with him for the sake of her boy. He had no interest in being a father and only wanted to hurt her any way he could, so all connection has had to be severed. Well, recently the seizures have increased to at least 2 per day. Her tumour has returned. Today is her birthday and she is in the hospital in the epilepsy wing waiting for surgery. Everytime I feel like stuff is difficult in my own life, I think of her. This beautiful woman has been dealt a crappy hand time-and-again, yet stays positive that things will work out. There are many people praying for her to get better, but she could always use some more. If you’re the praying type, please send prayers her way. If you’re not the praying type, send positive and healing thoughts or whatever works for you. I’m praying that her doctors can get all of the tumour and her beautiful baby boy gets his mommy back.

Ciao,
R~

Don’t change…

Today’s proverb is, “Don’t change horses in mid stream.”

I personally don’t feel this applies to all areas of life. Sticking with something for the sake of seeing it through can be good and character building, but it can also have drastically damaging and disastrous consequences. Should someone stay in an abusive marriage simply because they made a commitment? They intended to be with the person forever, but the person is no longer who they married and staying with them is killing them spiritually, mentally, and physically.

There are limits to this proverb. Everyone needs to have “dealbreakers”. You have to be able to draw a line at what you will not accept in behaviour from another person in your life, be it a friend, a lover, or a relative. Be careful how crazy you get with the line or you may end up with no one, but have a line. Boundaries are important and only you can define them for yourself.

This proverb applies to some things like essays in secondary or post-secondary education for sure. Finish the paper you started because you probably don’t have time to write something else even if the current topic has become uninteresting.

Should you stay with one company for your entire career? Probably not. Another instance where you need to change horses to improve skills as a worker.

What about clubs, teams, hobbies, etc? I say that life is short. Have dealbreakers here too. If you constantly feel like you are dreading that thing you are supposed to love, explore the reasons why, take time away to reevaluate, then make a decision that is in line with your other goals and lifestyle. That hobby isn’t going anywhere and if it’s more stressful than it is fun, it’s time to do something about it. Maybe that means changing your role, involvement level, or trying a new place out. Ultimately, you need to do what is right for you and only you can decide that.

A few years ago I made a tough decision to change karate dojos. I knew my goal of learning to defend myself wasn’t happening in sport karate, so I changed to a more traditional dojo and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had to leave the city for work, so I’m not currently doing karate. This is partly because I enjoyed the weapons component the most. I fell in love with Iaido and do that art instead. Iaido has karate-like moments though and swords are sweet.

In the spirit of Kaizen… I try to ensure that any changes I make are good ones. I look at the health benefits (stress reduction, digestive improvements, spirituality) and I look at how it fits with the goals I have for my life (will it afford me more time to write books and train in Iaido?).

The choice to change horses is more complex than this proverb allows for. Perhaps it is because I am prone to over-thinking many things in life, or life was much simpler in certain ways when the proverb came about. It could also be that more people are climbing higher up Maslow’s Hierarchy today. That may be only my perception of it though.

At any rate, this all leads me to say that I have a forthcoming decision to make related to this proverb. More to follow in the months ahead. What decisions are you stressing about right now?

Ciao
R~