I am in a service industry where I frequently talk to customers on the phone. At the end of one such interaction I told a customer to “Have a good day.” and then said “Love Ya”…
Now imagine that at the end of a perfectly normal conversation you told a stranger that you love them. AND THEN imagine that the person not only said it back, but then had an appointment at your office the following day and walked right up to you and said they “Really appreciated the reminder calls. Keep ’em coming.”*wink*
This will be a quick rant about why the ocean is the worst place for humans. For the full effect please read this post in a high pitched, frantic, and panicked voice.
- Some humans can swim, and can even swim well enough compared to other humans, but compared to other animals that are born in the ocean we are basically large infants. None of our senses work properly in the ocean. We can’t breathe, smell, hear, or see properly. We are slow and have zero innate weapons with which to defend ourselves in the event of being attacked. We are basically defenseless babies in a vast bath with billions of death traps.
- Everything in the ocean would prefer if we were dead. Not one thing in the ocean would mourn the loss of a human. Even dolphins and seals, which we were taught were like ocean dogs are actually oceanic ass holes and would be far happier picking at our bones rather than being a part of a fun new facebook post.
- The tiniest animals can kill us. The Box Jellyfish and Blue-Ringed Octopus are both tiny nearly invisible animals that if bumped into will deal such a deadly blow that we could be paralyzed within minutes of touching them. Animals with no brain and just a basic nervous system can take down a fully grown adult.
- There are massive animals that also can kill you without even meaning to. Sharks don’t want to eat you most of the time, but their taste tests usually involve severing a few major arteries in order to really know that they don’t like the taste. Humboldt Squid travel in packs and they have powerful suckers that can take apart your scuba gear as they drag you slowly further beneath the surface. They also have beaks that can bite through Kevlar.
- The ocean has had millions more years to evolve than land animals and we have no idea what is going on in 90% of that ocean. Just knowing how much water is out there and we have no way to see it all is terrifying enough.
This is not to say that I don’t love the oceans. I probably watch way too much Shark Week, but honestly the ocean is one of my favorite subjects to study. That is why I am so sure that it is the LAST place humans belong. I have a great respect for the oceans, but from a distance.
I am the most stable, as a person, that I have been in a long time and it is time to start taking action when it comes to a new career path and making strides towards my life goals. One such life goal is to eventually start a family. Part of the problem associated with that goal is that it involves a level of social interaction that often leads to awkward situations. I’m not saying that I’m a shut in. I go to punk concerts and pro wresting events just like anyone else, but what I am saying is that within the scope of these events I never look at or speak with any one outside the 4 or 5 close friends I do everything with. The other issue with this particular goal is that though I do miss the feeling of being in love and having a partner to share my life with, I hate the act of dating. Going to a food place and meeting a person with an idea in mind that by the end of the night one might be compelled to mush faces together is the strangest ritual. I have known some of my closest friends for decades and we barely even hug and now i’m supposed to decide based on an hour or so of conversation whether or not I like then enough to try it again until we are so tired of trying to impress one another that we stop talking all together and mush faces? I am not about that life. I also don’t know how I’m supposed to have the courage to go on any dates if all my dating avenues are via apps where nearly every message is “Hey Babe, you have the most beautiful eyes…” (I don’t. They are brown and generally unremarkable through the medium of selfies). AND all the truly genuine and sweet men on these sites can’t take pictures of themselves to save their souls and instead look like serial killers taking pictures in random locations as part of their alibi.
In short, I think I’m ready to start dating after two years of strong opposition, but I have no idea how to dip my toes back into these strange and dangerous waters.
When I was growing up my Dad and I always used song lyrics and movie quotes to carry on conversations. One would start off with a normal statement about the weather or the dogs and it would become this complex web of facial expressions, silly (and poorly executed) accents, and above all the disjointed lines from movies that really had nothing to do with each other besides sounding vaguely similar. This is not to say that we don’t have our own original thoughts and use our own words. We did and still do, which can get us into another brand of trouble better left for another story. In this brief story, however, I would like to address one movie quote in particular from one of the all time greatest rom-coms, You’ve Got Mail. SPOILER ALERT just in case anyone has thus far not seen this movie, but to be honest if you don’t already know the outcome of a movie with Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and a picturesque New York setting then you probably need to take a good hard look at your life. In this movie, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) owns a children’s book store called The Shop Around the Corner. It was her mother’s books store before hers and she was raised learning from and loving the store as a part of her identity. She eventually runs into trouble as a large chain book store Fox Books opens up just blocks from her location. At this point the character interactions assume the interactions and general plot line of Pride and Prejudice and carry the movie to it’s inevitable romantic ending. One could be forgiven for never looking deeper into the minor characters, but there is one character in particular that I admire above all else in this film. Her Name is Birdie, as played by Jean Stapleton. She is a wise and calming force and amidst the chaos of The Shop Around the Corner going out of business she says “Closing the store is the brave thing to do. You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure. But you’re not. You’re marching into the unknown, armed with nothing.”
In the last year I changed careers, tried to start a business, failed at that business, lost my roommate, sold my house, and moved back in with my parents. All of this on the cusp of Thirty. I have really been beating myself up about being a failure of an adult. I can’t help feeling that I missed some developmental milestone and am missing key ingredients that go into being a successful and self sufficient human. Listening to Birdie’s words, however, makes me feel that instead of being a failure, I am an adventurer. I am an explorer of my own potential. I am my own personal Soul Scuba Diver and I have only scratched the surface of what I am capable. It doesn’t fix everything and it certainly does not mean that all my doubt and sadness is gone, but it is another tool in my belt for those times when I would rather not do or try or be.