Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Social Skilz

I wish I had them.

I mean, I think I have some. I do have friends. I seem to participate in social events without making S. want to crawl under a rock. I appear to be capable of making a good impression on people.

But in some situations, the natural thing to do doesn't occur to me.

I just took the dog for a walk. We met an adorable little black pug. I have learned that when two dog walkers intersect, if they stop to let their dogs visit, only the dogs get introduced. It's a strange little phenomenon but it's just how it is.

We also met two people who were dogless. They were standing outside their houses, chatting. They introduced themselves, I introduced myself. And the dog. And then didn't really ask them any other questions. Half way down the block, after we'd left, I realized I should have inquired as to their jobs and lives, since they were obviously willing to chat with me and I felt that initial interested spark that indicates possible friendship. And since I'm trying to meet people right now since I haven't got many friends in Calgary, that would have been good to follow up on.

But I didn't. And now I may never see them again and have missed an opportunity to make new friends.


Maybe that wasn't an abnormal thing not to think of though.

Or maybe I've been spending too much time with the dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This has been a summer of learning.

I have never had a summer where I haven't been surrounded by people. Whether it was in a theatre, at a restaurant, or in a museum, I have never had a shortage of humanity to immerse myself in.

I am not an extrovert. I find excessive amounts of people exhausting. I get 'peopled out' and need to retreat to solitude to retain my sanity.

But this summer, I have learned that there is such a thing as too much 'solo time'.

This is the first summer in years that I have felt loneliness. This is the first summer that I have had to go out of my way to find a social outlet - the first summer I've felt a need for a social outlet in the first place. Usually I get enough human contact during the day, at work.

But now I don't get that. I spend my days with a puppy. I see S. and almost no-one else. I occasionally talk on the phone with people, and that's it.

That's not enough.

So I'm learning how to create a social life. I've never had to do that before, and it's a strange new experience for me.

In the process I'm also learning that I'm not very good at incorporating all aspects of my life into a blended whole. I tend to focus exclusively on one thing at a time, to the detriment to all else. I am writing and the house falls to pieces around me. I am cleaning and I abandon my artistic side. I start doing Arbonne and I ignore upcoming auditions until the last minute. I decide I need a social life and I cease to be productive on any other level.

It's a problem but at least I'm learning now instead of when I'm old and wrinkled and unable to change.

I've been reading Dooce, a blog my mom introduced me to. Being the kind of person I am, I've actually gone back and am working my way through every single post she's ever written. I wish I'd done that before I started writing my blog. I've learned a lot - this post particularly has riveted itself to my brain. I don't always think about the possible fallout my online work might have on offline work, or life. There are things I've written here that I wish I would have taken more time to think out, or perhaps not written here at all and kept them in my private journals, or in my brain, unwritten. Not that I've experience huge fallout from what I've written, but I know I've inadvertently affected people negatively and that, I can't help but think, has changed relationships for me.

It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with balance; but perhaps it does. A balance between writing the truth in my life and my head and being aware of how that truth will affect the people around me.

So it's been a summer of learning. And I don't see it stopping any time soon...and that's okay.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I'm learning a lot right now, about myself, about my thought processes, about my perspectives and perceptions and assumptions.

I wouldn't have thought that Arbonne, a health and wellness company, would have spurred self-examination and growth; at least not so quickly. My sponsor told me Arbonne was a self-growth company disguised as a health and wellness company and it's proving true so far.

I signed up for several reasons. It's something that I think will keep me from being homeless while giving me the time control to pursue acting and writing; and I like the products. But I also was just tired of being unemployed, tired of waiting for someone else to give me a chance.

I went and listened to a talk by Keith Kochner - he's called the Gap Guy because he helps people identify the gaps between where they are and where they want to go and eliminate those gaps. It blew my mind apart. I wish I could have gone to the whole 2 day exchange, since a 15 minute talk had such an impact, but I didn't hear about it in time. Still. 15 minutes was enough to give me food for thought for a week.

He said in order to get where you want to go, you have to make exchanges. Obviously what I've been doing hasn't gotten me where I want to be. Why didn't I think of this on my own? I don't know.

And this will change my life. It'll help me to set and achieve goals in every aspect of my life.

Now all I have to do is implement it...