I had the greatest of intentions of bragging about my new haircut (courtesy of Mikel at Bombshell in 5 Points), but I got an email yesterday that I just had to share with the world. But I will re-post a picture, because well, I got a damn good haircut and that hasn’t happened in a while. Guess my intentions of bragging came to fruition after all, my bad. Mikel did a really good job–and she understood exactly what I wanted–which as ladies know, does NOT always happen when you go in for a new-do. Plus her name was cool, and it looks like Camp Mikell. OH! Speaking of Camp Mikell…I got a special email from one of my camp-lady-loves yesterday.
Yeah, before the world ends tomorrow…you know what time it is!!!!
I’ll give a brief intro about who you’re about to meet. Samantha (aka Sam) Parvin has been one of my closest lady friends for over 10 years–becoming really close since 2004. I always admired her beauty inside and out–she is an amazingly level-headed and talented woman, not to mention she’s pretty damn hot. I mean, I’m married…to a guy…but if I wasn’t, I’d totally hit on Sam. (and while we’re there, I also have a girl crush on Marion Cotillard…I digress).
Before Sam and I worked at Camp Mikell together, we just went to camp at the same time. I wouldn’t say we were close at that point–we were in different “groups”, and our different “group”s always fawned over the SAME group of guys. Needless to say, there was some high school drama at that time in our lives, and all that catty crap that happens at that age kept some of apart for too long. When we began college and realized we were fighting over things not worth fighting for…we all became the best of friends. It really did happen that quickly too. Most of us started Summer Staff at Camp Mikell in 2004 and had some conversations like, “why haven’t been been friends like this before? You’re really cool!”…and it’s all been history from there…now, here she goes.
When Ms. Bean asked each of us if we wanted to contribute to her blog, I thought this would be a piece of the proverbial cake. I’m a self-help junkie, and every day of my life is analyzing where I am – with my relationships, career, health – and where I could be. Ugh. Just saying “could be” makes me exhausted. As I started thinking about how I would approach talking to a stranger about who I am and my pitfalls and triumphs as a 28 year-old, I quickly decided I couldn’t write a short novel, and I would have to hone in on the common threads that keep showing up in my life – and keep showing up, and reiterate themselves, and then make their way back into my life. Again.
Beano and I went to summer camp together as kids; well, high school is when we became friends, and then really good friends when we spent two years living and working together at that same summer camp. I would say we share a lot of the same perspective on life and how we deal with conflict, relationships, and priorities. She seems to be on the more direct path to her goals, and maybe that’s why I am a guest on her blog and not vice versa. But I digress.
Short catch-up: A little over a year ago I quit my job in the entertainment industry because, while it was what I wanted to do since I was 15, it seemed to be going nowhere fast. I had great successes in building meaningful and lasting relationships and ran two fantastic entertainment industry organizations, but the jobs just weren’t there. On January 1, 2012, I moved to Charleston, SC to work for a company that builds software for non-profit organizations. Talk about starting a NEW year!
The last year has been great. I have experienced a completely different work environment; gotten reinforcement that I am, in fact, a smart and hard worker; and painted a much clearer picture of what I do and do not want for my professional future. I used to get so annoyed when people would say “everything happens for a reason”. I didn’t have a problem with “everything”; I had a problem with “reason”. What constitutes a reason? And how is it possible that “everything” could be pre-planned to happen for that reason? I now know that the saying means that you would not be who you are without the events of the past. The reason something happens is to make you that person; and the way you process the events in your life directly affects who you are. Powerful, huh?
I am a right or wrong, good or bad kind of person. I like to know that I am making the “right” decisions and that everyone is happy. I think that’s why I always liked school – I knew exactly what I needed to do for approval. But we all know, in the classroom of life (ya like what I did there??), you make pretty much whateeeever choices you want, not knowing what the outcome will be. Damn it. That does NOT settle with my give-me-a-grade-on-how-well-I’m-living-life demeanor. So I am not confident in my decisions. Most of the time, I look for someone else to approve or disapprove. People say to go with my gut, but it’s not always easy to distinguish between my gut and my mind and when my past experiences are affecting my feelings now.
In all my blog reading, book reading, meditation, yoga study, and every other self-improvement thing I have filled my time with, I’ve learned a few things. That’s right, it hasn’t ALL been for naught. Here are Sam’s lessons (borrowed from various other people throughout history who have actually studied this kinda stuff):
Disclaimer – I am in no way saying that I have mastered these things. They are, in fact, things that I work toward doing, being, and living everyday.
1. Play Big – When in doubt, take the more adventurous route. This is an easy way to mitigate the risk of regret seeping in.
2. Be Aware – take a minute to step back and think about how you feel and also to enjoy what’s happening in the present time. This is meditation! And it will help you make future decisions without thinking so much.
3. You will never be completely satisfied achieving new goals if you do not ACCEPT yourself today and know that you are whole, perfect, and complete. Today. This can be a tough one to conquer. One step at a time…
4. The past does not exist. The future does not exist. That’s hard, because there is a fine line between planning for the future and thinking so much about the future that you forget to enjoy life now. But certainly do not miss the present because you’re thinking too much about the past and future. This is a big one for me.
5. It’s hard to find the balance between setting and reaching for goals and knowing that you cannot control everything. Set goals. Think about them daily. Be aware of what you are doing to reach those goals. And know that the universe will take care of you.
6. You do not always know what’s best for you. That’s ok. We don’t have the bird’s eye view that God has. But remember that when things don’t work out “as planned”.
7. Having great friends – for me, having great girlfriends – directly affects your confidence and overall happiness. They make me feel less crazy.
8. Patience is a bitch. It’s true. When I mentioned the themes that keep showing up over and over? Enter > Patience. But you know; I would rather have a lot of time to get things done than no time, like people often suggest. Which brings me to my last note…
9. Life is long. I know, it’s mind-boggling. But it’s true! The people who say life is short most often spent a lot of time doing the same things. Or they spent most of their time trying to get somewhere they weren’t and forgot to enjoy their lives at the time, and they have literally forgotten large chunks of their lives. I have come to despise patience and am trying to master it. And I am slowly coming to the other side of this lesson and find myself laughing when I am taught, once again, to hold my horses.
It’s a lot to keep up with, I know. Some days I want to bury myself under my covers and just be overwhelmed; and the next day, or even sometimes the next breath, I wonder how I could ever feel so depleted. Life is simple. And I have it all.
Notes from Bean:
Thank you Sam! You’re a mind, body and spirit guru who is so well balanced and well thought out–you’ve got it a lot more together than you give yourself credit for! Follow the little yogi on twitter and check her out! She’s got a lot of smart stuff to share with all of us, as shown above.
Lastly, if you read the last 20-Something Lady post, you remember Chris’s deep yearning to work for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta….well, guess who got offered a job at CHOA the day after she wrote all that and it went live! CHRIS! She starts there in January! Shameless plug: if you blog about it, maybe it’ll happen. Although that was totally chance, but I like to pretend it was thanks to moi. I’m selfish like that 🙂 To check out the first of the series, read about Anna and her life as a 20-something!