á la Michael Scott

I have recently been re-watching ‘The Office’ on Netflix as I work in a real office now and thought I could relate better. Spoiler alert: I can, but not in the way I had hoped.

Binge watching ‘The Office’ combined with the reflectiveness of my late (last stop) twenties has brought forward the most startling and frankly unflattering realization.

Back when I was a wee-un (think early to mid-20s) I was a Michael Scott.

Yup. There. I said it. (Errrr … Wrote it, actually, which feels much more official.)

Watching this show I can’t help but think back to my years working at Chapters, struggling at twenty (and twenty one, and twenty two and … well, I worked there for a while) to find meaning and purpose in my life while unknowingly turning into a repulsive and irritating person. Sure, I didn’t tell nearly as many racist jokes and I mostly just made fun of people behind their backs in an effort to belong, but I was just as awful and inept as Michael Scott on his worst days.

Let me backtrack a bit and explain a few things.

I was pathologically shy all through school. Now, I know that everyone always says they were shy (or are shy) and that this is not a unique thing, but for me any kind of social interaction frightened me to the point of nausea and sheer terror throughout my entire adolescence. I never had more than 6 friends through my years in school (total, not at a time) and I was never able to have a normal conversation with someone I didn’t know extremely well for longer than 5 minutes until I was 18.

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You and me both, Buddy!

 

(Now my record is 14 minutes!)

Then suddenly I moved to Edmonton and I was able to start fresh. It became easier (though it has never, not even once and not even now, become easy) for me to talk to people. It was as if I was a new person and people seemed to like me which was an intoxicating feeling for someone who had spent their entire life being disliked and bullied.

And then things got ugly.

I became obsessed with being liked and it became a desperate need. Everyone had to like me, even people that I myself didn’t like. If even one person out of a hundred didn’t like me I sunk into a devastating depression.

I started to become a chameleon, changing everything about myself to fit in with whoever I was talking to at the time. I started to insert myself in people’s lives and strategize for ways to be liked. I stressed and obsessed over it.

I started to gossip, meanly and desperately. Knowing people’s secrets made me feel important and being able to pass those secrets along (á la Michael Scott) made me seem like I was in the know.

It didn’t matter that this behaviour cost me more friends than it made me, I was beyond rational thought.

It was not a good time.

The truth is it took a long time before I started to become less Michael-ish and, if I am being completely honest, in the beginning it was due in large part to me moving back to Victoria and having less social relationships rather than a sudden burst of maturity and genuine self-reflection.

I still struggle with a desperate need to be liked and find it gut-wrenching when people don’t like me. I still battle with people pleasing tendencies and fight to be myself even when that’s not who I need to be in the moment to fit in. And it is hard.

But at least I am no longer a Michael Scott.

PS. This *hopefully* marks my return to blogging! I have missed you all!

 

 

 

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Awarded and Awarding (The Creative Blogger Award)

Last week I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award and sadly, dear reader, I was unable to come up with a more creative way to tell you.

The nomination came from Only Bad Chi, a blog I discovered while drinking a Chai Latte and in my early morning brain-dead state I confused Chi with Chai and decided it was fate so I should read on. (I have since realized my error and am more than a little embarrassed about it. Perhaps I should switch to a drink with more caffeine in the morning?)

Anyways, Only Bad Chi is one of only six blogs I follow that I have not turned the email notifications off for (I don’t like to miss it). I LOVE her blog! It’s hilarious with just the right amount of snark and sass and a host of super great gifs that I am always tempted to rip off. Please, dear reader, check her out. You won’t regret it.

As an aside: These two posts by her, this one about relationships and this one about a note to the tooth fairy, are two of the funniest blog posts on the entire internet!

Dear reader, I will save you my spiel about why I love peer recognition awards (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM!), and will instead jump right to the chase. The rules for the Creative Blogger Award are:

  1. Nominate a blog(s) and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs (nominate however many you want!)
  2. Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you
  3. Share five facts about yourself to your readers
  4. Pass these rules on to them
  5. Proudly display the Creative Blogger image in your post

With regards to nominations I choose to nominate two blogs:

The first is The Perks of Being An Artist. The Perks of Being an Artist is different from the majority of other blogs I follow but it’s one I really enjoy. (Especially this post about why it’s important to be nice). Also, she is an extremely talented artist which fits well with the Creative Blogger Theme.

The second is Ned’s Blog which is HILARIOUS. He has been featured on Freshly Pressed (a few times, I think) and is one of my favourite reads (and should be yours too!) (Read this post, it’s a great one and I’ve actually been tempted to bookmark it for constant inspiration!)

Now, on to my 5 facts:

  1. I still love Harry Potter. So. Very. Much.
  2. I don’t play a lot of video games, but I honestly believe that Final Fantasy 3(6) is the best game ever made, hands down, forever and I will argue this point until I am blue in the face.
  3. I am genuinely obsessed with travelling and I go on at least one trip a year. Sometimes it’s a small and short one, other times it’s long and far away. I do try and go somewhere new every year but sometimes I just need to hit up old favourites.
  4. I am a stupidly picky eater and am one of the most difficult people to cook for. Even I get irritated cooking for myself.
  5. I love to make homemade gifts for people but have the hardest time actually giving away the gifts. I mean, I just spent hours gluing bits of paper to that scrapbook and cutting all of the pictures just so, why should I give it away? What if the person I am giving it to doesn’t appreciate it? Maybe it’s better for me to have the handmade photo-transfer on canvas of their wedding photo? … Don’t get me wrong, I always end up giving them the present, but a big part of me resents it. Is that weird?

Thank you for reading and please take the time to view both my nominees and my nominator. They are all great blogs and worth a follow!

Later Gator,

S.M.R.P.

creativeblogger

 

Dear Me

In Honour of International Women’s Day (and because I did not have a post prepared) I have decided to follow today’s trend of Dear Me and write a letter to myself as a teenager.

So, without further ado:

Dear Past Me,

You do not have to act serious to be taken seriously but you do have to be confident. Stick up for yourself and stand by your opinions. There will always be people who disagree with you and you will never be liked by everyone. Accept this and move on. The people who matter will like you for you, and those that don’t have no place in your life.

Don’t be ashamed to like the things you like. It doesn’t matter if you like urban fantasy novels, bad movies, Highlander, Dinosaurs and board games. Embrace your passions! Don’t pretend to like things to impress other people, you’ll just end up miserable and listening to a lot of lame music while reading books that make you want to tear your hair out from boredom.

hashtagOne day the pound symbol will grow to mean something different. No longer will a number sign be a number sign, instead it will become a “tag”, a way to find things on the internet. You do not have to use it. Not all trends are meant to be followed.
(This is a pun, though my teenage self won’t get it. Just laugh and move on.)

Speaking of trends, don’t try and follow fashions that don’t suit you. Fashion comes and goes but style is timeless. Find what makes you look and feel good and just leave it at that. Please, remember this advice when looking at neon, pleather pants, and anything “faux”.

Never stop writing and taking pictures. It doesn’t matter if you create things for people or only for yourself just make sure you never stop being creative.

Further to this, don’t try to hold on to everything you create, or really even everything you like. Hoarding is not healthy. Sometimes the best thing you can do with something beautiful is to give it to someone else.

And most importantly embrace failure because you will fail. It sucks, and it can be devastating, but don’t let it wreck you. Life is meant to be hard. Accept this and appreciate it. If life were easy what would be the point?

With all my love (is that narcissistic?)

Future (Present?) Me.

Sadly Sad

Whenever I am sad I just stop being sad and be awesome instead.

Ok. That’s not true. I stole that gem from Barney Stinson as I am currently binge watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ for the fourth time. (Though knowing how it ends has been a rather bittersweet experience, emphasis on the ‘bitter’.)

The truth, dear reader, is that whenever I am sad I become completely consumed by it. I am not very good at deciding to not be sad or adding perspective to the situation. In fact when I am sad about one thing my brain often focuses on everything else I could possibly be sad about and absorbs it all until I become one giant cookie dough eating mess. (Literally a mess, that cookie dough gets everywhere!)

And these feelings have a tendency to last.

This was not always the case for me. For the last several years I had become brilliant at handling emotions and stress through a combination of meditation, exercise, and good old fashioned analysis (Pro-Con Lists are my deepest love), but since the accident all of my carefully cultivated wisdom has gone out the window.

I react before I think. I emote before I analyze. I cry before I even know why it’s happening.

It’s ugly.

Not just figuratively, I mean literally ugly. I am not an attractive crier. I get snot nosed and red eyed and I hiccup a lot. It’s pretty unfortunate rather than the desired and much coveted unfortunately pretty.

Alas, I am working on fixing this and am confident that in time I will get better at it.

In the meantime I have been going for a lot of walks, continuing my habit of only listening to happy songs (except for the “Last Goodbye” by Billy Boyd … that song has a permanent place in all of my playlists), and trying to limit myself to only oatmeal cookie dough because at least then I can tell my Mother I ate Oatmeal for breakfast.

Oatmeal with chocolate chips.

Mmmm.

And if all else fails I will just look up inspirational quotes on Pinterest will hiccupping into my cookie dough.

Motivational? Perhaps not ... But still delightful!

Motivational? Perhaps not … But still delightful!

 

PS. Billy Boyd, I love you so!

The Writer

“You must write every single day of your life. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.” – Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

I like to say things like “Impossibly Sad” and “Unbearably Happy”. What can I say? I have a love of dramatic wordplay (and romance novel clichéd phrases). There are just so many beautiful words in the English language and it seems a shame to only use one of them when several will do.

Not everyone shares my thoughts on this.

I am surrounded by people at work and in my personal life who think the responses “cool” and “yes” are sufficient when instead they could be saying “that sounds like a delightfully awesome experience” and “Yes! Of course! Absolutely!”

Alas, such is the downfall of being a writer.

This post, the very one you are reading right now (or skimming, if that’s how you roll) is my 150th post on triSARAHtops. I’m a huge fan of milestones, especially meaningless ones, which is why I have decided to celebrate tonight with a bottle of White Bear Riesling, a bag of ‘healthy’ chips, and by continuing to work on my book.

My book, you ask?!

Why yes, dear reader, I am writing a book!

It’s not a beautiful narrative or a best seller contender (well, I suppose it could be with the likes of ‘50 Shades of Grey’ crowding the best seller list why shouldn’t my book have a go? … Though I suppose I’d need to incorporate at least one spanking to be on par …) but it’s something I am having a ton of fun working on and really that’s all that matters.

As I get closer to my (self) publication date I will post more information for those of you who are interested in learning more (yes, Dad, I promise to let you know when the book is done). But for now, dear reader, this is all I am willing to say on the subject.

Now! On to more important things!

As I mentioned earlier, about 6 paragraphs ago, this is my 150th post. As such I had meant to write something witty and charming and oh so fabulous. Instead I am stuck with this exercise in stream of consciousness writing which I will likely regret almost immediately after hitting publish and start stressing that I have let down my 109 readers (109! YAY!).

But do not fret, dear reader! I will be back in my usual form soon with a few more posts on the Funny Side of (My) OCD as well as a few Valentines Themed posts including my favourite Valentine’s Day Memory (which also happens to be my second worst memory of all time).

Until then, thank you for reading (or skimming. Honestly, I don’t mind.)

With Love,

S.M.R.P

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Peer Recognition: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

As I have mentioned before in my post about the Liebster Award, I am a really big fan of peer recognition in the blogging world. Now, I do recognize why some people don’t like the “chain letter” aspect of peer recognition awards but I can honestly say it is not something that has ever bothered me. I am always thrilled to find new blogs to follow and am always quite eager to recommend blogs to others.

And this, dear reader, is why I am BEYOND honoured to say that my blog, triSARAHtops has been nominated for the “Sisterhood of the World” Bloggers Award not once, not twice, but three times!

*please wait a moment while I pat myself on the back and pour a congratulatory glass of wine*

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hello, 2015 pt. 2 (Resolutions to Resolve)

As a lover of Accounting I usually make ‘Fiscal Year-End Resolutions’ on April 1st rather than the traditional January 1st Resolutions, but this year I have decided to be a bit more mainstream. You see, dear reader, I am really relieved for 2014 to be over (as I mentioned in my last post) and am also just really excited to see what 2015 brings. I have high hopes for this year!

Over the last month I have thought long and hard about the person I am as well as about the person I want to be (Felicia Day, obviously, though apparently it’s not possible to become another person so I will just have to stick with being myself). For the most part I am very happy with myself though as I get older I find myself more and more motivated towards self-improvement.

This is why for 2015 I am doing something different with my resolutions. I have decided to scrap my old standby goals “Stop eating Salt n Vinegar Chips”, “Start Exercising More”, and, my personal favourite, “No, really! Stop eating those damn chips!” and have instead chosen a few deeper, slightly pretentious resolutions.

So, without further ado, I bring to you dear reader my “Resolutions for 2015 (and Beyond!)”

  1. Be myself. Every minute of every day. As a person with very low self-esteem I have always held myself back except when I am with someone I am truly comfortable with. I have always been afraid to say the wrong thing or act the wrong way and as a result of this I have always felt high levels of anxiety when in the company of others. But it’s time for this to change. 2014 was the year where, despite all of the lows, I realized how much I really and truly like myself.
    photo 1
  2. Write, Write and Write! In the last 6 months I have written more than I have in the last 6 years. I have been writing every single day. Some of my writing is posted on my blogs and some of it is private and personal but all of it is cathartic and necessary for my own peace of mind. Writing gives me perspective, it brings me humour, and it allows me to release my constant stream of thoughts. In 2015 I will continue to write, write, and write.
  3. Cultivate a Positive Mindset. Since November I have stopped listening to “sad songs” and I have to tell you it has really made a difference in my thought patterns! I tend to have a negative and anxious brain and lately I have been really focused on changing this. It’s not easy and it certainly takes a lot of time but it is worth every second. In the next year I really and truly hope to work on this until it eventually becomes something I don’t have to work on at all.
  4. Remember My Mantra. This is really more of a 3b resolution than a separate one altogether but whatever … In this last year I have finally realized the truth about Happiness: “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling” – Margaret Lee Runbeck. This is something I would like to remind myself of daily until it too becomes habit.
  5. Be a Good Friend. I am not always a great friend. Sometimes I can be quite self-involved and other times I am just too unsure of what to say so I don’t say anything at all. Also, I have two BRILLIANT pen pals who I am always very remiss about sending mail to. This is going to change in 2015.
  6. Be Healthier. Unlike my past resolutions about gym memberships and vegetarianism this resolution is about both physical AND mental health which I am learning go hand in hand. It’s all about the little, manageable changes. I want to be a healthier person and when you are committed to this type of lifestyle it doesn’t feel like work. In fact, it feels great!
  7. Read More, Read Better. I have always been a voracious reader (you can tell this by the fact that I use words like voracious in my writing) but I have a tendency to get into reading slumps where I read the same and similar books over and over. This year I want to read more varied books. I have many loaded up and ready to go on my Kobo and I also plan on reintroducing my reading tracking system that I used in the years I worked at a bookstore. (This involves an Excel Spreadsheet and Colour Coding and boy am I excited!)
  8. Don’t Forget about Worry Time. Every evening for the last three weeks I have written in a “Worry Journal” for 15 minutes. Allowing myself these 15 minutes of worry time daily has stopped the anxious thoughts from crowding my brain at all hours and it has become indispensable. It’s a “me time” that has helped me considerably and it’s a habit I plan to bring into the New Year.
  9. Say Yes! There have been countless times in my life where I have said no to experiences and situations because of anxiety. But this year I plan on saying yes a lot more (not always, but more often).
  10. Declutter! I plan on downsizing my apartment, my closet, my books, my Internet Favourites. Everything. Less stuff. Period.

For the first time in my life I feel like my resolutions are all attainable. They aren’t something I have to force (like not eating chips) and they aren’t something I will loathe (like not eating chips). Instead they are all positive things that I feel good about.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

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Do you still have to carry a poop bag if you are walking a Chicken?