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Archive for February, 2007

The Secret

I’ve had 5 people in the last week tell me about the show they saw on Oprah about The Secret.  This goes along with my post about visualization.  I didn’t know it at the time, but BFF had read the book, and was using some of the philosophy in what she had told me.

I’m not sure how I feel about The Secret.  It sounds good, and is probably a really powerful thing.  I have to watch the DVD before I make any judgments about it, but my initial reaction is a bit mixed.

On the one hand, I think that anything that helps empower people to take positive steps in their lives is a good thing.

On the other hand, I think that the whole thing sounds somewhat New-Agey and strange to me.  It seems almost too good to be true.

But then again, what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years hasn’t worked out so well, so why not give something like this a chance.  People are having such powerful reactions to it, there may just be something to it.

Have you seen or read The Secret?  What’s your take on it?  I’d love to read your comments.

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Last summer I dated The Accountant. We met online, and he was a very nice guy. Not bad looking, intelligent, and fairly fun to be around. He was always extremely polite, and even though he often seemed nervous and unsure of himself, we usually found lots of things to talk about.

Something between us just wasn’t right. I wanted to give up dating him after the 2nd or 3rd date, but my friends all urged me to give him a chance because “there was nothing wrong with him. He treated me well. Why would I want to stop seeing him?”

The answer was that he showed absolutely no personality when he was around my friends. None. He didn’t speak at all. And this was after he had met them several times. All of my friends are really nice, welcoming people, too, so it wasn’t like they were judging him or giving him a hard time. I just hated it that he never showed one iota of personality when he was with other people. It was a huge lack of self-esteem or something.

Plus, we dated for over two months, and nothing physical happened. Sure, we kissed, and even made out, but even at those times I just wasn’t really feeling it.

Finally, when I brought this up to him, he said that he wasn’t really sure about where our relationship was headed long term, because at one point I had mentioned that I probably wasn’t going to have kids. I didn’t say I absolutely didn’t want them, but just that I wasn’t sure, and as it stood right now, probably wouldn’t end up having them. I even went so far as to say that with the right person, I’d love to have kids. I just don’t have a biological clock tick-tocking at all. He took all of this to mean that I absolutely didn’t want kids, and since he does, he wasn’t sure how much of a future we had together. Faulty reasoning, if you ask me, but I wasn’t that into him anyway, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

We parted amicably, and chat from time to time on IM.

Last night, I got home late from work and logged on. No one had sent me any new messages in my personals mailbox, and with nothing much on the horizon in that department, I was feeling kind of sad.

The Accountant pops online and starts chatting with me. He mentions how he hasn’t had much luck online, either, and that he was getting ready to give up on the whole thing. Then he said some very funny, sarcastic things, and I was reminded of why I was somewhat attracted to him in the beginning, before his lack-of-personality-in-a-group showed up.

I swear, for a few minutes there I was going to throw all logic and any sense of chemistry I had out the window and just tell him we should try again.

But something stopped me. That little voice in my head telling me that if he wasn’t a good match for me back in August, he certainly wasn’t a good match now. That if we were to pick up dating again, it wouldn’t have a good outcome. That I deserved something more. And that he did too.

I’m glad I didn’t let my loneliness get the better of me. I just continued chatting with him, and telling him that he would find the right person someday. Don’t give up and all that stuff.

I even listened to my own advice, for once, and didn’t act on impulse or out of emotion.

Maybe this is progress?

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As I sit here watching the Oscars, I am struck by a few things:

  • Al Gore is a man who inspires masses. He is a true leader. He should run for president, because I know he’d win (again!).
  • Leo DiCaprio is an amazing actor. He blew me away in The Departed. Blood Diamond is in my Netflix queue, and I’m sure I’ll be just as impressed with his portrayal in that.
  • Yay for Jennifer Hudson! Big girls deserve Oscars too!!
  • I read the book What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal and I thought it was a pretty poorly written. I can’t believe it was made into a movie starring Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett.
  • Helen Mirren inspires me. What a graceful woman.
  • How cool is Diane Keaton? Gotta love a woman in her 60’s who’s not afraid to wear black nail polish and stick to her unique style of dress.
  • Ditto to Meyrl Streep. As cool as cool gets. She should’ve won the Best Actress Oscar, in my opinion, but I guess she has a few at home already, so it’s ok.
  • Penelope Cruz’s dress was stunning. I loved the way it looked on her.
  • Those JC Penney commercials were really well done. I don’t shop there, but whoever their marketing people were did a great job.
  • I don’t care how beautiful and stylish she is (and there’s no denying she is a beautiful woman), Nicole Kidmann’s dress tonight was a definite Don’t. What’s with the bow on her shoulder that was bigger than her head?!
  • I want to go drinking with Jack Nicholson. He seems to have fun no matter where he goes.
  • Jerry Seinfeld should’ve hosted the show. I love Ellen, she’s great, but many of her “jokes” fell flat, at least to me.  Although her bit about MySpace was funny.
  • How much do I want an iPhone after seeing those commercials?
  • Will Smith is awesome — eloquent, intelligent, and so good looking.
  • How sweet and soft spoken Forest Whitaker is. I’m so glad he won.
  • I am SO HAPPY that Martin Scorsese finally won an Oscar for Best Director. It’s long overdue.
  • How surprising was it that The Departed won for Best Picture? I’m glad, because it was actually one of the few Oscar nominated films that I’ve seen so far. Others are in the Netflix queue, don’t you worry.
  • And finally, Clint Eastwood speaks Italian? Who knew? Very cool!

Lots of people think the Oscars are just a big hoopla about nothing. I couldn’t disagree more. I love the Oscars — glamour, the glitz, and of course, the gossip. I love seeing “who” everyone is wearing and how it looks on them. I also love the pagentry and tradition. I appreciate the people who use the Oscars to unveil personal causes. I love watching the people who win who aren’t yet jaded by the industry and who speak with true emotion and passion in their acceptance speeches, cuz that’s exactly how I would be if I were up there.

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BFF is a very spiritual person. She belives in self-actualization and guided imagery and visualizing your fate. (Those are my terms, not hers, but I think they capture what she believes in).

All of this new-agey kind of stuff has proven to be very good for BFF. She is financially secure, has a wonderful job, and is in love. Sure, she’s had her share of rough breaks and heartache, but she is a survivor. She’s a woman who’s got her shit together, and I admire her.

I always thought that these beliefs were just a bit too “out there” for this recovering Catholic girl. I am a really creative person, when it comes to words and decorating, etc., but maybe I just don’t have that much of an imagination? I used to, but somewhere along the path of “growing up” I think I may have forgotten how important wishing and hoping and letting yourself “go with it” are.

It’s been years since I’ve allowed myself a daydream. My dreams at night are vivid, but it’s been so long since I’ve just imagined a scenario and put it out there.

BFF says that’s what I need to do. Think of what I want, and put it out there in the universe, and eventually I’ll achieve it. In some ways, this makes sense. Afterall, that’s how I achieved my educational and career goals. I imagined what it would be like to have my current job and did what I needed to do in order to get it. Of course, work and career involve action, but I think BFF is talking about inaction, in a way.

Could it work the same way with a romantic relationship? BFF says that for a couple of months before she met her current boyfriend she would go to bed at night and picture “him” in her mind. She would thank “him” for being in her life, for being supportive of her dreams, and for loving her. And now BFF and boyfriend are moving in together, saying “I love you” and planning for a future.

I know that there’s hope. That there is someone out there for everyone. It just seems like My Someone is seriously lost. Maybe he’s on that island with Jack and Sawyer? If you happen to see him, could you give him a map and/or directions to my house? Please!!

While I wait for My Someone to get here, here’s a bit of mind-wandering daydreaming: (does it count if you write it out?)

My Someone and I are walking along a beach not far from where we live. We’re strolling along, and the sun is shining on our faces. We laugh, and tease, and play. We’re holding hands, and I drag him into the water’s edge with me, getting his feet wet. He hates feeling the cold water on his bare feet, but laughs, because he knows I can’t be at the beach without dipping my feet into the water, no matter what the weather is. He thinks my quirks are cute. He is looking at me with That Look that I know means he loves me…

For now that’s a great start of a daydream, especially for someone who hasn’t done that in forever. My Someone is just around the corner, although I think he may be waiting for me to practice daydreaming a bit more first.

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Mr. Could Be The One is now officially Mr. Done. That’s kind of a lame name, I know, but right now it’s the best I can do.

I just got off the phone with him. At least he called like he said he was going to. For a while there tonight, I had my doubts. I even had to send a text message to BFF and ask her how long I should wait before I called him. Of course, I knew what she would say. Don’t call. Which she did. And I didn’t call.

Mr. Done and I only talked for a few minutes. He asked how I was doing, how grad school was going. Basic small talk. Very noncommital.

I asked him if he thought we could just start the whole thing over. I felt so ridiculous saying that, because I knew that he would’ve contacted me if he had second thoughts. That book, He’s Just Not That Into You, is very over-simplified, but one thing it says is correct: If he wants to call you, he’ll call you. I should’ve known that because he didn’t call, he didn’t want to.

He said, “you know, sometimes things just aren’t right. And there was nothing wrong with me telling you that things weren’t right and that I wanted to stop seeing you. You’re a great girl, and you’re a good person, but it just wasn’t right.”

The funny thing is that when he originally “broke up” with me, he said it was all about him. Now it’s about not being right, and I can only take that to mean that I wasn’t right. Not that I don’t think I’m a good person, because I know I have a lot to offer, but this is definitely a blow.

But, I guess I just had to re-open the wound that hadn’t quite healed over. Just to see if there was any way I could change things. I couldn’t.

This has all led me to realize what I’ve known for a while — no matter how much I want to control certain situations, I simply can’t. I have to let go. That’s going to be my new philosophy in regards to dating and relationships, and maybe even life in general. It’s going to be a struggle, because my ambitious nature tells me that I am in control of my own destiny. The thing is, that only works to a point.

So, Bella is still nursing a broken heart, but at least now she knows that she’s finished with Mr. Done. It’s a page in a book that was unfinished and is now closed.

The good news is that along with Mr. Done, That Girl has also vanished. I may not have shown it these past few days, but I do actually have a modicum of self respect left. There is absolutely no way that I’m going to contact Mr. Done again. In fact, right before I started writing this, I deleted his phone numbers from my cell phone. I couldn’t bring myself to do that before, so I guess that shows some sort of acceptance of the situation.

So, it’s time to move on. A new beginning (again!!) for Bella. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

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Bella vs. That Girl

Ever since Mr. Could Be The One told me that he didn’t think we should see each other any more and basically broke my heart, I’ve been trying not to be That Girl.

You know That Girl. The one who emails you to say that she misses you and hopes you can somehow work things out. Or emails you and says that she hopes you can be friends when she really wants to be in your life as your girlfriend. Or calls and leaves messages and tells you how much she loves you. Or sends you her blog address so that you can read in gory detail just how into you she really was, and how she shared it for the world to see (read).

Ya, That Girl.

I have been fighting That Girl off for weeks now.

Ok, so I did leave Mr. Could Be The One a voicemail thanking him for everything we experienced together, but it doesn’t really count, since I left it the same day he dumped me over the phone. I think I’m allowed at least one strange voicemail message.

Oh, and I guess I did email him the link to my personal blog. It had been a running joke between us. I had mentioned I had a blog that I shared with my closest friends. He asked to read it and I told him he couldn’t, that it was my innermost thoughts and feelings. I used to tease him on days when he “made the blog.” He was constantly asking to read it. Even if he tried to find it, he wouldn’t have been able to read it, because it was password protected. So, the day that he broke up with me (if you CAN even break up with someone who’s not your girlfriend), I sent him an email that repeated the sentiments in the voicemail and told him to go and read the blog. This also doesn’t really count, though, because it was sent on the break up day, right? Plus, I came to my senses a few days later (when I wanted to blog about my feelings of lonliness and worthlessness) and changed the password on the blog so he couldn’t access it anymore.

So I’ve had a few lapses. I’m human. And I was totally caught off guard by his decision to end things. I think HE was even caught off guard by his decision. It was one of those head vs. heart things. Unfortunately for both of us, his head won out.

But overall, I’ve tried to be really strong. I’ve enlisted the help of my girlfriends, calling them instead of Mr. Could Be The One. Listening to them as they told me I was better than That Girl. That everything happens for a reason. That maybe he’ll come to his senses once he’s had some time to think about it. CG, bless her heart, even told me that she knew in her heart that Mr. Could Be The One and I would end up together in the end, she just had a feeling.

God, I hope her feeling is right.

I even went so far as to put up a brand new personals ad just to take my mind off of Mr. Could Be The One. Yahoo has this thing on their personals where you can see who’s viewed your ad. Mr. Could Be The One viewed it the day I put it up. (In order to show up as someone who’s viewed your ad, the person has to actually click on your ad, so he must’ve been at least a bit curious).

I was doing so well. Until tonight.

I was online and logged into messenger. I noticed that Mr. Could Be The One logged in. I spent at least 10 minutes trying to stop my fingers from sending him an IM. Then That Girl took possession of my body and I IM’d him.

Bella: I’m trying to respect your need to be alone, but I was wondering if we could chat for a bit, just as friends.

Mr. Could Be The One: Sure. But I was just on my way to bed, so can we chat tomorrow?

<Now I know you’re thinking that he’s just putting me off by saying this but Mr. Could Be The One is a man of his word, so if he didn’t want to chat, he would’ve just said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”>

Bella: Ok. I’m going to the City to see Favorite Cousin tomorrow for lunch, so why don’t you call me when you get off of work?

Mr. Could Be The One: Sounds good. Talk to you then.

Bella: Have a good night.

Mr. Could Be The One: You too.

I’m glad that he responded positively. Hell, I’m glad he responded at all. I’m not sure I should’ve done it at all, but I guess that’s what I’ll be overanalyzing for the next 20 hours or so.

To recap, That Girl is powerful and tonight Bella was unable to fight off her advances. But tomorrow is another day. Maybe I’ll fight the good fight. Or maybe I’ll just give in and be That Girl.

Check back tomorrow for an update.

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The day started out normally enough. I woke up, made some coffee, read the paper, and got ready for a dentist appt. Nothing too exciting, but nice because I knew I had the day (and the whole week) off, so things could move at a slower pace.

After the dentist, I went to BFF’s house to catch up with her and share a smoke. I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t really met any good guys online on Yahoo Personals, and was getting into that “Mr. Could Be The One was the only one for me” mode.

I got home and decided to go online. E, a guy that I was sort of interested in IM’d me, and we started chatting. He’s got a husky build, a cute smile, and eyes that make you think he’d be a lot of fun, or a lot of trouble. Either way, potential for some fun flirting.

It turns out that he’s a football coach at a local community college, and works with an ex-boyfriend of a co-worker. What a small world. I actually didn’t know that this new co-worker had broken up with her boyfriend, so E and I talked about that for a bit. Then I asked him what he was up to today, and he said he had a paper to write for a political science class he was taking at the community college.

(He went to the community college after high school, transferred to a CSU, but didn’t finish his degree there because he went to Germany for a year to play for a professional European football league. He’s only two classes short of his AA, and 5 or 6 more classes short of his BS in kinesiology. He said that he doesn’t want to be hypocritical when he tells the players he coaches to do their best in school when he doesn’t even have an AA himself).

I asked him what his paper was on, and he said that he had to read two articles from either the LAtimes.com, Washingtonpost.com, or the NYtimes.com and then summarize them and talk about their differences. The articles had to be on a political issue, and he wasn’t allowed to give his opinion. The paper had to be 3-5 pages, double spaced. Sounded like a really easy assignment to me.

He said he was struggling a bit because he’s not a good writer. He said he had dyslexia and writing was really difficult for him. I kiddingly told him that he should get back to writing the paper, but if he needed some help, I’d be happy to look it over for him. I was actually kind of serious about helping him, since it’s fairly easy for me to edit a paper.

Then he and I signed off and I got ready to go to my parents’ house for dinner.

As I was driving home, I checked my cell phone for calls. I usually silence the phone when I go to dinner, because a ringing phone is just so rude. I saw that E had called me, but he didn’t leave a message.

When I got home and signed onto the computer with the intention of beginning my 13 annotated bibliographies that I have due on Monday for my grad school class, E was online. He IM’d me to say that he’d written most of his paper, and was wondering if I would mind checking it over for him.

Now before you think I’m a wonderful person, I must confess that if I had no interest in this guy at all, I would’ve told him I was too busy. But, since I thought that he might be dateworthy, I decided to help him.

Let me just say that I’ve seen 11th graders write better papers. I’m not saying that to be mean, but his paper had absolutely no organization, and was just a mish-mosh of quotes that weren’t cited correctly and really had no point.

The poor guy had struggled to write this much, and I am hoping that it’s the dyslexia that causes him to struggle so much, not a lack of intelligence. When I talked to him on the phone, he seemed very able to handle decent conversation, and if he had been at a CSU and almost finished his degree, he must do decently well in school, right?

So, for some reason, I offered to write his paper for him.

I know, I know. Why the hell am I helping some stranger write a paper when I have my own grad school work to do?

No, I wasn’t pimpin’ out my writing skills in the hopes of him asking me out on a date. Well… maybe a date was in the back of my mind.

But seriously, it was like something strange came over me, and I suddenly found myself writing this guy’s paper for him at 11pm at night. It was on health coverage in America, and both articles were really short. The assignment was simple, and it was pretty simple for me to do. I was done with it in half an hour. He was really overjoyed and appreciative.

I told him it was good karma to do a random act of kindness for a stranger. I was hoping that this meant that my luck would change and that good things would start happening to me.

And you know what, I believe that.

Some of you might think that this guy completely used me, but I really don’t think he intended to have me write his paper. He only asked that I look it over. I saw how bad it was and realized that it was going to be easier for me to write a new paper for him than to fix the one he had started. I know this is totally against what I should be about, considering my profession, but helping someone write a little paper for a political science class isn’t that big a deal.

I’m not sure if he’ll contact me again. I’m hoping he does, because I like his husky build and his fast smile, but if he doesn’t, that’s ok. It was nice to help someone who needed it.

Thoughts? Comment.

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