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!

 

 

 

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.
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  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?