Friday, July 9, 2010

Even Experts Get the Blues

I am not so convinced that an open mind is always the best thing to possess. Decisive people have necessarily closed minds. They must know what they think about various general scenarios in advance so that when something specific occurs, they can act swiftly. I’m a person who never takes very long to read the menu and decide what it is I want to eat. I never ask more than one question at a new coffee shop when I’m ordering. I generally know what I like and what I want. As I’ve mentioned before, I once made a list of characteristics that a potential mate must possess. No one could ever accuse me of being a woman who doesn’t know what she wants or how to get it.

But when you’ve been living in that ascendant mode for 26 years of life, it becomes alarming when you can’t figure out what it is that you might want. I knew I wanted to do well at and graduate from high school, and I made that choice and went forward with it. I wanted to go to design school, do well, and move to New York to work in the fashion industry. So I went ahead and did that and was very decisive in my career decisions. This has all yielded great results so far.

And now, I have been in New York City for 4 1/2 years, and all of a sudden I’m feeling very wishy-washy. I don’t know if I want to stay or go. I don’t know if I want Thai food or if I just want to forego dinner altogether. I blame it on the fact that I have too many options. I could do anything. I have nothing and no one determining my geography or any decisions in my life for that matter.

I suppose that life is cumulative, with all of the experiences that one has and all of the people that one person meets. You learn so much as you go along. One of the most important but completely overwhelming lessons on which to meditate is the fact that we are all human. Although there are experts in certain fields and people who have certification in all sorts of things, we are all subject to the same limitations of time and energy and personal experience. Even the best doctor can sometimes miss a diagnosis, and the best racecar driver will sometimes crash. I find no comfort in this thought, just a sense of being overwhelmed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Type-A no more?

As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent most of my life as a neurotic type-A. Think Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon’s character, in Election. This type-A adherence to the rules and to other people’s expectations never really allowed me to develop my instincts for sniffing out the people who have nothing but the best intentions for me. In fact, it’s made me na├»ve, while seemingly in control.

But now I’ve realized that I’ve been extremely fortunate in that area. I don’t know if it is my size (for anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m unusually petite), or if it is my personality, but most people that I meet feel protective of me. I call it the “Little Sister Syndrome.” Somehow I project a non-threatening charm that causes near complete disarmament of other people. It’s subtle, but it seems as if people I meet want to protect me or help me out, and not take advantage of me because of this outward naivete.

Or maybe I’m completely off-base, and this has nothing to do with that. One time, a coworker told me that I “seem competent” at whatever is asked of me. Quite a lackluster compliment, I still appreciated it for what she meant. Maybe people want to assist in my plans because everyone is looking for a competent ally in a world where so little competency exists.

Perhaps, though, I really just have been fortunate and strategic enough to meet the right kind of like-minded and exciting people. I have this hippie friend who smokes a lot of weed and talks about the “vibe” a lot. It’s the extremely basic idea of karma: You get what you give. So if you put forth the best intentions into the world, then you’ll get back the best results. It’s an easy concept for me to embrace as such a lucky person. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this luck stays.