Author Archives: Dana

I Heard You, But I Wasn’t Really Listening

This is the first (and maybe only) very personal post I am going to write but I think it’s worth writing because I have to think that I am not the only one out there who is making this kind of mistake (over and over again):

Most people who know me, know that I am really social, talkative and outgoing. (yeah, I know, sometimes to a fault.) I always seem to meet guys everywhere I go and am always “talking to,” “seeing,” or “dating” (depending on your definition, and that could be a whole post in-and-of itself, but I digress…) one to several different great guys at a time. Yet, I claim to be looking for a serious relationship and haven’t really been able to turn the corner and find myself happily in one.

Most of the guys I end up dating for a few weeks, some for a month or two and we have a lot of fun together until I lose interest and “forget” to return a text and/or a call, and that’s that. But on the flip side, the guys that I really like are almost always the ones that end up ending it with me in some form or fashion just when I am ready to get rid of the rest of the above-mentioned “riff-raff” and get a bit more serious… and I think I finally figured out the root-cause. (<– Business School Speak)

I came to a very sobering realization the other day about a pattern I’ve noticed, or perhaps it could be more accurately described as a bad habit I have, when it comes to my relationships…

Now, as a woman, it would be really easy to say “Those guys were all jerks! They led me on.” After all, that’s usually what we do. (At boozy brunch when we’re recapping our weekend or talking about our latest heartbreak with our girlfriends.) But the fact of the matter is, these guys weren’t jerks and didn’t lead me on. Most of them were honest-to-goodness really great, nice guys, who, for whatever  excuse reason, just didn’t want a long-term relationship with me, but they liked me “enough” to keep hanging out with me as long as I would allow it. And, honestly after much reflection, I was the one who allowed it.

The kicker is, most of them were outright honest about what they could offer. As an example, I even had a pointed conversation with one guy (that I was more than a little smitten over) who got a job out-of-town shortly after we started seeing each other when I asked him if we should stop dating… it went a little something like this:

  • Me: So… you’re moving and we haven’t been seeing each other that long… and I really like you, but you’re moving…so…should we stop seeing each other? (uh, yeah, I get nervous when I’m really into someone, okay? Lay off!)
  • Him: Well, I don’t want to stop seeing each other but I also don’t want to get into a long-distance relationship.

So, what did I do with that information? I continued to date him for another month and a half, developed more feelings for him, and then when he moved away I was actually disappointed (that’s right, disappointed) that he hadn’t changed his mind about wanting to get more serious with me. While all the while, in his mind I had just signed up for what he told me honestly he was able to give me from the get-go.

I had asked him a question, he had given me an honest answer, I heard him and yet I chose to ignore him, not believe him, see it as a challenge, think I could change his mind, think “he probably doesn’t know what he wants” or whatever excuse justification I could come up with. He’s not the only guy that this has happened with and guess what always ends up happening? Yep, that’s right – people have a funny way of knowing themselves and what they want; hence my sobering realization.

What I should have done was – gotten up from the table, given him a kiss, told him how proud I was of him for getting that great job he wanted, wished him luck for the future, said “If you’re not open to see where this is going then it’s just not what I’m looking for – but I hope we can stay friends.” and I should have walked the EFF out of his apartment. – Ain’t hindsight grand?

I would venture a guess that I am not the only woman (or person) on the planet that does this; hears what people tell them, but doesn’t actually listen to the message.

Now that I am aware of this pattern/habit, I am trying awfully hard to break it. So, when someone tells me what he is looking for, if it doesn’t align with what I am looking for, I am pretty quick to walk away; unfortunately it’s made for a lot of quiet Friday nights at home. But, as the idea of this blog is to always find the glimmer of positive, I remain hopeful that my lack of social life is only temporary. As I begin to learn how to better identify the type of people who want the same things as I do, I’ve taken a big step toward meeting that right person. 🙂

peace, love, and Happy New Year!

– d

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“I Know You Have Another Notch”

I’ve always kind-of-sort-of had the modus operandi of “putting in the least amount of effort required to get the desired result.” Or at least, that’s what my college roommate told me. She could never understand how, while she was home studying all the time, I was out partying it up. She barely ever saw me doing homework or studying; I never went to the library, and yet I still got almost straight A’s.

What I understood was that my university didn’t give out plus or minus grades, only straight A, B, C, D, or F grades. So, while she was busting her butt to write the perfect paper all the time to land her that A, I would just knock it out of the park on the first test or paper and cruise through the rest of the semester because knew that as long as my grade in the class at the end of the semester averaged out to be an 89.46, I was golden. The day that I explained this to her, she told me I should write a book.

I then went on to tell her what I great idea it was… I would write a book called “How to Succeed in Life by Doing the Least Possible.” I would presell it over the internet and wait until it hit the New York Times best seller list to send it out. When people finally unwrapped it, it would blank inside and I would be laughing all the way to the bank. Okay, that last part I just made up, but if I were a con-artist that’s actually not a half-bad idea… but you get the point I’m trying to make, right?

Well… a few weeks ago (the day before I first sat down to compose this blog), my new Entrepreneurial Mentor (let’s call him Kevin, shall we?) met me for a chat about life and the subject inevitably turned to advice giving… after all, what is the point of having a mentor if they don’t give you advice and you aren’t ready to absorb it? Well he said two things to me that really stuck with me, one of which was very specific to me and probably not applicable to a larger audience, but the other was just simply… “I know you have another notch and I’d really like to see that.” No one has really ever called me out in such an apropos and succinct way before.

But, even if you are not as an extreme case as me, the wisdom still applies.  I am sure there are many situations in your daily life that you find yourself slacking off. The time when you turn on the television instead of taking a walk outside, the time when you go through the drive thru rather than cooking a healthy dinner for yourself. So, I challenge you, much in the way I have been challenged – turn it up a notch.  Ever since I had that conversation I have done my best to rise to the next level and I must say I see a lot of good things starting to happen in my life. You will too. And the good thing about good things is the snowball effect…so it just keeps getting better!

Talk soon, d

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So I decided to start a blog…

As if I’m not busy enough, let’s just throw a blog into the mix.

I first came up with the concept for this blog in the shower. I seem to do all my best thinking the in shower. Maybe it has something to do with the act of washing my hair and physically moving around the energy particles surrounding the area surrounding my brain. It seems to stir up the good ideas…uh oh, I haven’t lost you, have I? Maybe I should quit following Deepak Chopra on Twitter…he just so darn philosophical 🙂

Anyway – the idea for the blog stemmed from the fact that back in December (haha, yes it’s funny that it’s February and this is my first post) I had an epiphany that it may be a lot harder than I first realized to make my way in the business world as a woman who wants to be taken seriously and not dismissed and/or looked at as a sexual object. I wanted to create a forum where I could not only speak about some of the experiences I was having but also where I could provide some insight and advice for ways to overcome certain obstacles. While there is A LOT to be said on that subject matter, and believe me, I will be speaking to that topic on more than once occasion, I have more to share with the world than a singular subject.

Thus, the Harsh Realities & Silver Linings of Life blog is born.

My sense of humor is quirky, my writing style is conversational which means my grammar  is far from perfect because I write how I speak. Love it or leave it & comment freely (but try not to be too mean, kay? Thanks.)

A couple disclaimers:

1. All my life lessons were learned the hard way. These stories are real. If you know me personally and are reading this and midway through the story you start to realize “Hey, that’s me! But, wait! That’s not my name! Hmm…maybe that wasn’t me. Could it be possible that happened to her twice?” Nope, it’s not possible that the exact same situation happened to me twice, because I, unlike some people, learn from my mistakes so I don’t repeat them. That was definitely you. I just changed your name or gave you a nickname for your protection because you either embarrassed yourself or were a jerk. You’re welcome.

2. If  midway through the story you start to realize “Hey, I remember when that happened, I was there! But wait! It wasn’t a Sunday and it didn’t rain that day, he wasn’t driving a red truck, it was a blue explorer and you actually did end up getting that job offer.” … I have a few things to say to your kind…

  • A. Memory is not perfect, GET OVER IT
  • B. When a real story is a little more dull than one would like, some creative liberties are taken, it’s called ARTISTIC LICENSE (look it up).
  • C. Sometimes, I will alter details for a specific reason, such as to illustrate a point or the moral of the story. Please don’t make a big deal about it. Your name has been changed anyway, please refer to item #1 above.

3. I am VERY busy. I really like the concept of having a blog and I will do my utmost to post regularly and often but I am in school full-time, have two jobs and am actively trying to have a social life. 🙂 All of this lends itself really well to providing really good content for a blog, I am just going to need to find the time to actually write it all down.

I guess before I worry about any of this, I should see if anyone actually reads it first, right?

talk soon, d

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