Pushing Through Hard Days

Work days are the hardest days to blog. I feel like nothing happens that is worth blogging about. Someone yelled at me within the first 5 minutes of my shift today though, and I dragged the frustration of that around the city with me. It made for a super long day. Then I came home and had dinner and got ready for bed. I did however have a really important moment of self-discovery while recording today’s vlog.

Battle It Out

I really wish that I was able to enjoy days off, but it always seems like there are so many tasks around the house that I need to get through. Today was no exception. I am suffering the consequences of having moved everything into the dining room and trying to get everything reorganized. My evening was wonderful as I had the opportunity to attend RuPaul’s Battle of the season with Mike T and then headed over to Club 200 for a drink afterwards. There was an interesting emotional moment that happened though when I realized that I was in a gay bar which I have always felt was my safe space.

Inspiration in my Inbox

I was recently cleaning up my email inbox and found an inspirational message that a very good friend sent to me.  It is so easy to get caught up in life, tasks, responsibilities, and distractions.  It was written by Regina Brett.  I have selected a few of my favourite quotes to share with you, but make sure you click here to read the full list.

 

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

You’re such a Fag

Recently, I had the chance to go out with a few friends for drinks. In the process of joking around, one of my friends called me “such a fag.” It wasn’t meant as an attack or to be hurtful, nor did I interpret it that way.  However, upon reflecting on the conversation I wonder if I should have been offended by this comment.  I came across this video on Upworthy from Ash Beckham and I want to share it with you.

The message challenged me and I wonder how that comment may have made other people sitting on the patio near us feel. Would I have been offended if one of them called me a “fag?”  I think that it is an important reminder for us that the words we use are very powerful tools.  That we can “legislate acceptance, but we can’t legislate tolerance” and that we should never use the word “gay” in a way that means “less than.”

This message is even more important now as we see the hate being spread by the officials in Russia in the upcoming games as well as governments and people around the world.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

All the little things

20130717-102916.jpg

Anyone that lives in Canada can surely come up with at least 20 jokes about Winnipeg in under 10 seconds, and most young people here have dreams of making their expedient escape.

I am quickly approaching the 1 year mark of having made my exit, which was less of an escape and more of a pursuit of my career. I have spend the last week in Winnipeg enjoying the blistering summer sun, and it has reminded me why all these people suffer through the 9 months of freezing winter. This city has phenomenal summers.

So much has changed here as well in regards to how many construction projects have been started here, and for once it isn’t all on the roads. The old gravel parking lots are rapidly disappearing behind construction fences as future buildings begin to take shape in their place.

I never stopped loving this city when I left, but that love has been renewed with this visit. It will be hard to say goodbye tonight as I make my way back to Calgary, but I know I will be back here soon and look forward to seeing the progress this city has made.

I’m so BORED!

20130604-075833.jpg

I catch myself telling friends that I am bored more often than I care to admit. I have a large list of things that I would love to accomplish or tackle, but finding motivation to accomplish them is often more of a challenge than it should be.

If you Google the word “Bored”, you will find the following definition:

  • Feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity

It is not very often that I find myself unoccupied, so that clearly isn’t a problem for me. I find more often that I am lacking interest in the activity that I am doing.

My biggest concern with using the statement “I’m so bored” is that it makes me look ungrateful for the many blessings in my life. I can think of many more tasks that would be much less desirable than whatever “boring” task I am doing, whatever the reason for needing to accomplish the given task is be it for work, or as a step in accomplishing a larger goal for example.

The second challenge with using this statement is that I am often using it when I really mean that I am unmotivated to accomplish another task. Admitting boredom is often easier than admitting that I have the undesirable quality of laziness or a lack of motivation to accomplish a task. Ultimately, I am using it as a mask to cover up my weakness.

Do you have a word that you use as a mask do cover up something else that you actually mean because it sounds better, but actually doesn’t match the definition of the word that you are using?

Passing the Mile Marker

20130528-015954.jpg

I am very excited to celebrate my 27th anniversary this Saturday. However, I want to share a moment with you as I reflect on the things that have happened to me over the past year.

This has been a major year of change and growth for me, and though it hurt at the time, I am so incredibly appreciative of everything that has happened. I have used these life lessons to become a much better and stronger person.

20130528-020209.jpg

In August, I moved away from my home, my family and my friends. With my job, I am able to return to visit Winnipeg often. However, with each passing day, Calgary feels more like home as I create new friendships in this wonderful new city.

I also have had the opportunity to return to the aviation industry as a flight dispatcher. I have had the chance to follow many different career paths during my short existence, but the fast pace and different challenges presented by my current position will provide me with a multitude of opportunities to learn more about this industry. I am working for a great company that encourages growth and supports their people. I look forward to employing my skills and abilities with this company for many years to come.

20130528-020400.jpg

The most important lesson that I have learned this year is the importance of friendship. I am blessed with such wonderful people in my life, some who are still a part of it, as well as the lessons taught by the friendships I have lost. I am eternally grateful for the ways that people have impacted my life and helped to support and inspire me to become the person that I am today.

The upcoming year is filled with opportunity. I am still in the process of discovering who I am, who I want to be, and how I am going to get there. This journey will have many highs and many lows, but nothing that I can’t overcome. I am excited to share this journey with you all.

I look forward to this being the first of many celebrations, holidays, activities, and events that we get to experience together.

How do you define it?

IMG_1455Last week, I wrote about the process I went though in which I identified my values.  If you didn’t read the post, you can read it here.  I also suggest that you take this opportunity to identify your values using the techniques that I talk about in the post (but make sure you come back and finish reading this one too afterward).

Last weekend, my room mate decided to host a BBQ in which I had the opportunity to meet some of his friends.  One of these people included Christopher, a certified Master Coach Practitioner at Change My Life Coaching.  In the process of chatting, we got onto the topic of my values and goals.  He challenged me to define what each word that I listed as a value actually meant to me.

First, this challenge caught me a bit off guard as I guess I never really thought about the definition of my values more in-depth than accepting them the way that society has defined each of these words, or that the words invoked an emotion in me that I identified with.  After reflecting on it for a bit, I decided that this could be a neat challenge and an opportunity to really define these values for myself in order to clarify the way that I actually identified with them.

So I think that I am going to do this in two ways, first off I am going to use Merriam-Webster‘s definition of each word as clarification on what each item means in the context in which I listed it as a value.  The second point I am going to tie into each word is why I value or identify or strive to include this item in my life.

  1. Accomplishment
    • “The act of accomplishing” or bringing to completion
    • I value accomplishment because one of my weaknesses is procrastination. Each time I accomplish a task, project or goal, I view it as a way in which I have overcome this weakness.  I also like the positive feelings that come with seeing the final product of something in which I have contributed my efforts.
  2. Acknowledgment
    • “A declaration or avowal of one’s act or of a fact to give it legal validity”
    • This is a little harder for me to express unless I do so in two parts.  This first is the fact that I really enjoy the warm feelings that I get when an external source recognizes my talents, abilities, or accomplishments.  However, on the flip side, I also enjoy acknowledging other people’s talents, abilities, or accomplishments and celebrating these with them.
  3. Amusement
    • “Pleasurable Diversion”
    • Experiencing amusement is less valuable for me than redefining experiences in a way that they can be amusing.  It is very easy to point out the negative aspects of an experience, but if you can find and share the positive aspects of an experience, the same event can have two very different outcomes.
  4. Comfort
    • The definition of comfort isn’t quite the way in which I interpreted this value.  I think that I am going to define it as “Comfortable” which is “affording or enjoying contentment and security; free from stress or tension”
    • External forces have certainly influenced my value of comfort, but I believe that it is most certainly the driving force for my career decisions and my goal of being debt-free.
  5. Connection
    • “a relation of personal intimacy”
    • This ties very closely to my value of friendship.  I really love sharing moments and experiences with people that I value, and the memories that these experiences provide to us as a special bond that only we can share.
  6. Control
    • “to exercise restraining or directing influence over”
    • I struggle most when I find myself in situations in which I have lost all control and I appear to have no ability to alter the current course of events in order to change the results of the situation.
  7. Dependability
    • “capable of being depended on; reliable”
    • Trust ties very tightly to dependability to me.  I believe that if I can depend on someone, I also share a high level of trust and belief in that person.
  8. Friendship
    • “the quality or state of being friendly”
    • This is certainly one of my most important values.  I try to put my friends above everything else because they are one of the most important aspects of my life.  I value my friends as if they are a part of my family, and love meeting new people that also join this elite group of people in my universe.
  9. Honesty
    • “fairness and straightforwardness of conduct”
    • I believe we all struggle with honesty as it conflicts with our desire to avoid hurting people’s feelings.  However, more often than not, I find that this is an unfounded fear and by being honest, it results in me forming a stronger bond with the person with whom I have just shared my honest emotions with.
  10. Knowledge
    • “the fact or condition of having information or of being learned”
    • Learning from my past has made me into a better person, and I look forward to learning from my future to grow even further.
  11. Nonconformity
    • “refusal to conform to an established or conventional creed, rule, or practice”
    • While following the rules can be fun sometimes, I also think it is important to challenge why a rule is being imposed.  I also refuse to accept something as “the way it is” without verifying that it is true.  Finally, the only way to bring about change is to start with changing myself.
  12. Reputation
    • “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general”
    • I want to live my life in a manner in which I will be remembered as a good person that brought something positive to a situation or experience and helped other people to become better after I leave the room, situation, experience or overall when my current existence ends.
  13. Sexuality
    • “expression of sexual receptivity or interest”
    • Society has done an amazing job of suppressing sexuality and teaching us that it is wrong to discuss, share, and enjoy.  As a result, we have been left with the lack of education and resources to fully understand our feelings, urges, sensations, and experiences which results in a multitude of sexual hangups, embarrassments about turn-on’s and turn-off’s, and a general feeling of being inadequate.
  14. Thoughtfulness
    • “anticipation of the needs and wants of others”
    • This is truly harder said than done.  Having a level of intimacy with another person in which you can anticipate a need or a want takes a lot of time and attention to connecting with them on a deeper level in which you can be in tune with their emotions before they happen.
  15. Traditionalism
    • “adherence to the doctrines or practices of a tradition”
    • I love small things that surround holidays, such as turkey for Thanksgiving; cards, decorations, and lights at Christmas; ect.  Even though I believe that times, values, and people change, I love keeping the little traditions that make celebrations special
  16. Trust
    • “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”
    • I strive to be a person in which my friends can turn to for support, council, or assistance.  I also seek like minded people that are trustworthy to be close friends in which I can count on to be there for me when I need it.
  17. Wisdom
    • “ability to discern inner qualities and relationships”
    • I value wisdom in contrast to struggling with regret.  I believe that the universe puts each and everyone of us into a situation in which we have the opportunity to learn and grow as individuals, some good and some that hurt.  However, the true test is translating each lesson into wisdom that can be applied into situations that you will encounter in the future.

I’ll leave you with this final thought.  When I started writing this blog, I was extremely enthusiastic about the challenge of really ripping back the layers and expressing my true feelings about my values.  I was extremely caught off guard by the amount of emotion this invoked and the amount of energy it took to continue to press on and be honest with myself about who I am.  This exercise was mind-blowing in the way that it peeled back multiple layers of my personality in order to bring to completion.  This truly was an extremely rewarding experience.

I challenge you to take this time to extract your definitions of your values for yourself.

Have you identified your inner values?

20130514-230140.jpg

A few days ago I shared with you my struggle about not being able to identify my goals. However, in the process of setting my new goals I have realized that part of my struggles have been caused by my actions conflicting with my values.

As much as I hate to use Wikipedia as a reference, I find their definition of “values” is my favourite:

  • broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes.
  • reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be
  • tend to influence attitudes and behaviours

In the process of identifying my goals, I have also decided to share some of my values with you. I found a really neat website to help you create your list of personal values here at www.stevepavlina.com.

Some websites suggest that you choose 10 things from the list, but I don’t agree with this method because everyone is unique. Some of you will have more than 10 items on your list, some will have less.

I’ve decided to share some of my values with you below:

  1. Accomplishment
  2. Acknowledgment
  3. Amusement
  4. Comfort
  5. Connection
  6. Control
  7. Dependability
  8. Friendship
  9. Honesty
  10. Knowledge
  11. Nonconformity
  12. Reputation
  13. Sexuality
  14. Thoughtfulness
  15. Traditionalism
  16. Trust
  17. Wisdom

I think that it is an amazing experience to be able to identify the things that you value in your soul. It makes choices and decisions more clear since you won’t make a decision or set a goal that conflicts with your values. For me, for example, I wouldn’t make a choice to not celebrate Christmas because it would conflict with my value for traditionalism. That is a bad example because Christmas is one of my favourite holidays.

I hope you take a moment to create your own list and let me know about the experience in the comments below!