I must say that 2015 has been to date the most pivotal year of my life. It started out on a sunny beach in Mexico with a new job lined up and went on from there. I started and got oriented to the schedule of the new job. This year I didn’t make as many smaller trips as I would have liked but my trips to France and Greece made up the difference. I had a great time at both places and would love to visit more countries. This year I finally bought some furniture after living like an indoor camper for 3 years. A couch, tv, dining room table, and bookshelves were added to my apartment and definitely made it more visitor friendly. Several friends and family flew in to hang out and spend the weekend with me and we had a lot of fun. I took a step back from some of the obligations I had in 2014 and went on a quest of sorts to live life to the fullest with as few regrets as possible. I loved and subsequently catastrophically lost but learned through the experience as always. I finally attended a college and NFL football game. I moved across the country and did another major life overhaul. It was a good year with a surprise towards the end that I didn’t expect. Looking forward to bigger and better in 2016.
Lately I’ve been watching a television show that portrayed a social experiment that was so intriguing. The show is called Married at First Sight and chronicles the experience of three couples who meet at the altar. The couples are put together by a group of relationship experts who match them based on comparability tests and personal interviews. While I admit the idea is out of the ordinary, I think there’s a lot of merit to it. The couples most likely would have never met if it had not been for these experts. As I was watching the show I asked myself if I could marry a perfect stranger in that type of situation and I would. It’s one thing to be set up by friends and family and another one to be set up by people who have studied human behavior and have years of experience and degrees in their respective fields. As someone who is familiar with many of the personality theories that guide studies on romantic interactions and the longevity of relationships, I would feel fairly comfortable marrying a perfect stranger in these circumstances. As I watched the show it was eye opening to observe how people requested certain traits and characteristics in their future mate but weren’t willing to compromise in order to complement those requested traits. An example of this was one of the women who talked and discussed with the experts at length on how much she wanted traditional gender roles and wanted a man who would do all the manly chores and be strong. Yet, she was appalled when she got what she wanted and found out that her dream man also expected her to cook for him. I’m a huge fan of social experiments and while matchmaking is a significant industry, it’s different when there’s a team working together to match compatible people.
I don’t typically post or write about introverts but this particular article was such a dead on representation of myself and other introverts I know, I had to comment/blog about it. You can read it here. Now, the list of things listed in the article makes so much sense to me. It also explains why I haven’t had a public birthday celebration in years. Now that doesn’t mean that I didn’t celebrate, it just means that I went on a trip instead. I remember trying to like everyone when I was younger and it didn’t really work out. I believe that all people deserve respect, kindness and fairness but I’m a firm believer that all people can’t be liked. I’ve worked with too many parents whose parenting choices I didn’t agree with. Or people so full of themselves that they refused to acknowledge the truth or anyone that spoke anything contrary to their own personal reality. The reality is that some people are hard to like. But back to the article. Getting stuff done is something that I have the ability to do. Granted, it doesn’t always happen because I’m easily bored but when push comes to shove I can focus and be productive. Of course it always helps when I’m facing an impending deadline. The article mentions small talk and I’m so glad that it does. Small talk has got to be one of the most annoying things created. I really don’t care for it and that’s why I put such an emphasis on building rapport and having conversations with actual depth with others. However, small talk is the way to more meaningful interactions and I’ll be buying a book in the near future and forcing myself to learn how to do it effectively despite my aversion to it. While I don’t know the exact split between introverts and their counterparts, I think that this article scarily accurate in describing what most introverts would never actually admit out loud. Interesting stuff.
Lately I’ve tried to make it a priority to be more social and have new experiences. So far this endeavor has been fairly successful. I’m someone who is pretty introverted at times. And while I wouldnt go as far to say that I’m anti social, I do enjoy being around people I know instead of making small talk with perfect strangers. There are a few situations that I’ve been in where I meet people and they are instantly my friends. These are rare occasions. Needless to say, I dread new social situations. And the word “dread” is a nice understatement. While I’m mature enough to recognize them as opportunities to grow, one hundred percent of the time I’d rather not be bothered. However, it is necessary to push beyond my feeling and just jump in feet first. I know many other people who feel the same way. Some push themselves and others just retreat further into their shell and never venture out. While I would much rather talk to a stadium of thousands than make small talk with a neighbor, I recognize the importance of making these connections. So the goal of new experiences and social situations remains but at least I’m making some kind of progress. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.
In the past few days I have been presented, or rather challenged with a big decision. I’m usually pretty good at making decisions. I have my own method of looking at the pros and cons and then coming to a conclusion. Once I make a decision, I rarely change my mind because I’ve already done the leg work. The reason why this particular decision is so hard is because it is indicative of a battle between my emotional side and my rational/logical side. I’ve found that the hardest decisions happen when you have to decide between what you want and what you need. This is especially hard for me because I have always been someone who put responsibility and duty over convenience or feelings. I know that making one decisions will be really good for my mental health and general state of well being but it will cost me a huge chunk of my career goals and will mess up my entire five-year plan. Yeah, making a decision based on my emotional side would make me happy. But is life really about happiness? The truth is that I’ve spent so much time working towards my career and abandoning it would be a huge waste. It all comes down to how bad I want it and how much I’m willing to sacrifice to get it. Hard questions. But at the end of the day, I can’t make a huge decision based on my emotions because even they are subject to change. I may not want to make a decision but I NEED to. Plus, maybe I’ll be able to pinpoint a place where I’ll get the best of both worlds. Until then, I’ll just hang out in the valley of decision for a little while.