Okay, guys, my Internet is down and I’m blogging from my phone, which isn’t easy. Had something else planned, but you know what? This is fitting.
Ladies, you’ll feel me on this one. You know when you’re doing your makeup and you sort of mess it up and you’re running late so there’s no turning back? Like maybe you made your eyeshadow too dark or – like me – your eyeliner way too thick?
It’s like Halloween came early and Amy Winehouse is visiting…
SIDENOTE: I know it’s not insane, but it’s a lot more than the casual look I had planned for my day, okay?
It happened today and I thought hey, you know what? Go with the flow, Beça. Go with the flow.
Guys, this is where today’s post applies to you, too. (Shout out to guys who wear eyeliner – I love you hi okay cool!) Through the application of my DRAMATIC eyeliner this morning, I learned a lesson, and that’s that some days, life is gonna throw stuff at you, and on some of those days, you’ve got to just go with it.
How meta is it that my internet went down and I had to go with it and write this post today instead of what I had planned? Right? RIGHT?!
While it can be a lot of fun to embrace the many things in life that you may suck at – like this, or this – there is something else we often have to do in life. And if we don’t do it, we really should. And we should do it often.
SIDENOTE: But first, I thought of another thing I suck at. I suck at bringing shit back from my car. Like if I take a travel mug of something with me somewhere, it’s never leaving my vehicle again. There’s an empty one sitting in my car right now that I can’t stop thinking about. Will I remember to bring it in later? Oh, probably not.
It’s very easy to get caught up in what’s “wrong” with you. Maybe you’re in a relationship and it’s not going how you want it to. Maybe you’re stuck in a job you hate. Maybe you’re just not where you thought you’d be in life yet. You start to dwell on things like, “I’m not pretty enough,” or, “I’m not good enough,” or, “I’m going nowhere.”
That’s when you need to step back and be kind to yourself.
It might sound like a total cliche, but I have to say, if I have learned anything in the last six months or so, it is that a little self-love can go a long way.
I know I get too caught up in my head about things. And I know that I let my insecurities eat away at myself. I blame myself for a lot of things that have absolutely nothing to do with me, or things that are completely out of my control.
One good thing about being a Libra, though, is that I am usually able to remove myself from my head and balance my insecurity out with logic and realism.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I stay in that positive headspace for long. Some days are better than others. But I think we all have that problem.
The most important thing is that you keep reminding yourself. Maybe you look in the mirror and talk to yourself. Maybe like me, you keep a notepad in your iPhone that you add to when you’re feeling the worst about yourself. Whatever it is, do it, and do it often, and don’t just do it, believe it.
Lesson learned: You are awesome. You are doing great. Keep dreaming. Keep fighting. Keep going for it. You’re going to get there.
SIDENOTE: Until you make an ass out of yourself. Then it’s a valuable life learning experience!
Keeping You Humble
You may think you’re top notch in the cool department. Your big brother will always be there to knock you down a peg or two. He’s way better at the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap than you, for example. You can try to keep up, but he’s just so swag.
A big brother is a support system. A partner in crime. Protection from bullies. Company when you need someone to play with. A shoulder to cry on when you’re upset. They can give you fairly unbiased boy advice, and when it comes to boys who aren’t right for you, they’ve always got your back. They have been around your whole life. They know where you’re coming from. And they want the best for where you’re going. Plus, they’re getting there before you. Your big brother is there to set the bar for life. To ask all the questions that plague you, like, “Do you feel like an adult yet? Do you have your shit together?” Sometimes they set the bar so high, you feel like you’ll never live up to it, but the beautiful thing about a high bar is it pushes you to be the best you can be, every day, all the time.
And if you’re ridiculously, stupidly, wonderfully lucky like me, your big brother is your best friend.
Lesson learned: Big brothers are the best. Happy 30th Birthday to mine. I love you, Bryan!
Guys, I’ve had a cold for a WEEK and it’s making me totally stupid.
You know when your head is all plugged and your ears get all plugged so you can’t hear and then you start coughing and every time you cough you let out a little whimper of self pity?
You know what else it’s done? It’s made me so whiny. How irritating. I’m not usually like this. So it’s more like cough, whimper of self pity, grunt of, “Get it together, Beça.”
Um, anyway, I’ve decided to do a follow-up to this post, because I thought of more things.
MORE THINGS I SUCK AT by Andrea Beça
Making Minor Decisions
When it comes to minor decisions, I could not be more of a Libra.
Hilariously, I’m pretty good at major decisions, because I’m good at sitting down, weighing out the options, and really considering what I want. I mean when you think about it, I’ve made some pretty major decisions in life, like moving to the other side of the world, say.
But ask me what I want for dinner or where I’d prefer to sit at an event and I could flounder for ages. In some cases, it’s just because I’m generally a chill person and I don’t mind either way. In other cases, it’s because I CAN’T DECIDE AND I DRIVE MYSELF CRAZY.
One word: NOPE.
I used to try. Now I just do it my way, and you know what? That’s just fine!
Speaking of which…
Folding Clothes and/or Putting Clothes Away
If I don’t do it RIGHT AWAY, it will NEVER HAPPEN.
Like, when I moved in with my friend once, I packed, moved, and unpacked all in a single day. I was up until almost 4am because I needed to get it all done. ALL OF IT. Then I was able to sleep.
On the flip side, I’ve gotten back from trips and lived out of my suitcase for weeks just because I didn’t feel like unpacking. Oops.
Telling People Off
I’m super nice. Way too nice sometimes. Sometimes (see: always) I do this thing where someone will say something really offensive or rude or just that I don’t agree with and instead of speaking up, I laugh. Kind of like when the dude at the casino implied that I was a purchase-able sex object.
It’s probably why I’ve had a stalker before. I suck at just saying, “FUCK OFF.”
SIDENOTE: Totally not going to blog about that.
Letting Things Be
SIDENOTE: It’s a sleeping dog. Get it?
Like, say you crack a joke and someone sort of takes it the wrong way and then everyone sort of laughs it off. I can’t laugh it off. If I feel like I’ve offended you, I will not be able to not get in touch and say, “Hey, I’m sorry – that’s not what I meant.”
Or if I feel like I don’t fully understand what someone means or why they would say something they said, I always feel like I need to clarify. Especially when hurt feelings are involved.
Or like today, when I got a rejection email about a short story I submitted to something and the person said, “It’s beautiful, but it has no plot.” I just want to shout IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT PLOT. SOMETIMES IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE.
Let it go, let it go, let it go.
I suck at that.
So I guess the lesson learned here is that SURPRISE! In the six months since writing version 1, I did not get perfect. Darn.
Good thing I have a prize-winning smile or no one would ever put up with me.
HEY YOU CHECK IT OUT.
Remember how I said I suck at technology? Yeah, that hasn’t changed. I just figured out I can make polls on my blog. So let’s have fun. Here’s a question. If you read my blog, vote! And do it soon, because there are only 15 more days of posts. (Holy shit!)
(Hint: it’s an aesthetic thing. I’m not going to need therapy or anything. I hope.)
Or maybe that day I found a – OMG WTF. Yeah, that.
So one day, I was on the bus in Glasgow heading back to the west end from city centre. It was the middle of the afternoon, when you don’t really expect weird things to happen. (Well, I guess I sort of do at this point. Especially after living in Glasgow. But also this.) The bus stopped at…well, at a stop, and no one got on. But a few seconds after it stopped, a guy ran up to the bus and took a jumping karate kick at it. He slammed into the side of the bus, and despite the intense impact, he seemed unshaken.
The bus driver, on the other hand, was not impressed.
“What the – get tae fuck!” he started yelling out his open window.
But the guy outside of the bus – just a regular looking 20-something – did it again. He jump-kicked the bus.
What followed was a yelling conversation that had a lot of “FUCK” in it, and then the bus started to drive away.
And then the 20-something proceeded to chase after the bus, all the while running, jumping, and slamming into it.
Eventually the bus picked up enough speed that he gave up.
So that was interesting.
On another night, I was actually on the same bus – well, the same bus route – but this time, it was late at night because I was leaving a play I had just been to see. Once again, the bus stopped.
Wait a second.
It was actually at the same stop.
Maybe there’s something wrong with that stop in particular…
Anyway, we were at the stop, and there was also a red light, so we had nowhere to go. And then a guy walked up to the side of the bus, and he started making out with it.
YES THAT’S RIGHT.
He smushed his face into one of the bus’ windows, and he started straight up French kissing it.
I feel like maybe he had just said goodbye to his girlfriend, who had gotten onto the bus, and so he was actually kissing “her” goodbye through the window? But also, I may have made that up to explain the sheer fucked up-ed-ness of the situation.
I think my BFF Mags was with me. Perhaps she can confirm or deny the above statement. But I promise you the makeout happened and I promise you it was as slimy, disturbing, and gruesome and it sounds.
For the rest of the ride home, I couldn’t stop staring at the wet patch left behind.
Of course, there were numerous times that I was on the bus and people would spit on it, but I don’t have any good enough specific stories about that.
Then there was the day I was on the bus in Glasgow going through city centre and we drove past Robert Carlyle standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street.
That was crazy in a good way.
No, I didn’t wave. But I really wanted to.
Lesson learned: There are a lot of crazy people out there. Specifically riding and/or waiting for the Glasgow transit system.
And also, never lick the side of a bus. You have no idea where it’s been.
I was reminded of this story while I was driving with Caitlin to the Edmonton Expo on the weekend. Why did it come up? I can’t exactly remember. Was I maybe air-punching to a song in her car? Oh, probably. That is something I do often…
So, flashback to…2007, I believe. I was driving home super late from a date (?) with the guy I was sort of dating (?)* at the time. It was between 2 and 3am. My route home cut through a bit of a sketchy area in the city centre.
SIDENOTE: Of course it did, otherwise why would I be telling this story?
So I pulled up to a corner, waiting to turn right at a red light. I was just sitting in my car, totally calm and focused on driving. Normal normal.
And out of nowhere, I started to hear this CRAZY LOUD BANGING like the sky was falling down.
Naturally, I freaked out and started screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT THE FUCK?!” and covering my head and also looking everywhere and trying to figure out what the fuck.
My car was being attacked.
By a homeless man.
For no good reason.
SIDENOTE: It’s possible he thought he had a good reason, but this is my blog from my perspective, so fuck that guy.
He was standing right next to my car, screaming at the top of his lungs and pounding on the roof with angry, balled up fists.
Now, of course I wanted to get the hell out of there, but somehow, despite my intense fear and the fact that I had started crying, I had the level-headed-ness to recognize that the guy had stepped off the curb and was standing on the street. So what if when I drove away, I drove over his feet or hurt him?
I could only hold onto that thought for so long, because the traffic light turned green and the man kept screaming and attacking my car and I was totally freaked out so eventually (see: 45-60 seconds later) I hit the gas and turned the corner.
And then my imagination went wild.
What if I did drive over his feet?
What if he was like, collapsed on the street, unable to walk away?
What if I killed the guy?
Would someone somehow find me and arrest me?
My life was surely over.
I was definitely going to prison.
I would not finish my degree.
I would not become a normal adult.
I would not pass go. Or collect $200.
So instead of just going home and escaping the crazy ass situation that had just come into my life out of nowhere, I made another right turn at the next intersection I got to so that I could go back around, back to the sketchy street, back to where my car had been attacked, to make sure I had not killed my car attacker.
He was gone.
No dead guy on the street.
If I had broken any toes, I guess it wasn’t enough to stop him leaving the scene.
So that was the night I learned to always check around my vehicle at red lights.
Maybe it’s just the night that turned me paranoid.**
This weekend I did something I’ve been so curious and interested in doing for years. I went to a comic con!
The biggest thing keeping me from ever going before is my social anxiety.
I know, it’s weird that I’m a fitness instructor and I have social anxiety, but I do. And it’s major. Like, if you invite me to an event and I say I’m going and then I bail last minute? That’s most likely because I had every intention of going and then while I was getting ready to go, I had an anxiety attack about all of the people who were going to be there (eek, crowds) or having to arrive by myself and find familiar faces (I have this weird thing about having to arrive at events by myself – I can rarely bring myself to do it).
This year I guess I just found the balls to finally go for it. Also, I invited my friend Caitlin to go with me and she’s one of the most extroverted, bubbly, outspoken people I know, so I knew she’d make a good partner to hold my hand and also just have fun with. Maybe even moreso because she’s not familiar with a lot of the nerdy stuff, so she was super open to going to see whatever I wanted. (Caitlin, you’re the best.)
SIDENOTE: Ironically, when we took that photo, we were totally hiding out from the crowds. But here we are having an adventure!
I have to say, it was a pretty crazy cool experience. I mean, I got to dress up a bit (I was too chicken to go all out – maybe next year):
I got to people watch to my heart’s content (and then some). I got to see actors like Jon Heder and Ron Pearlman speak (among many others):
And I got to run into friends dressed up in adorable costumes!
What it all boiled down to was a lot passion. People passionate about creating art, people passionate about acting, people passionate about their love for certain artists or comics or TV shows or movies or whatever it may be.
And also, like, no judgement. Everyone was really embracing the nerdiness. It didn’t matter whether you were wearing a Batman t-shirt or a full suit of armour, everyone was there for the same reasons.
Anyway, this may sound generalized and possibly scattered because I just got home from 48 hours of comic con and I’m completely exhausted and battling a horrendous cold, but the biggest lessons I learned this weekend were:
(A) I definitely need to find better coping mechanisms for social anxiety than hiding, holding hands with my friends, and hyperventilating.
(B) Passion is both inspiring and infectious.
(C) I HEART NERDS AND BEING A NERD.
(D) I need to push myself out of my comfort zones more often, because even when it’s stressful, I always take something away from it.
(E) I feel like I had an ‘E’ and then I forgot it because I’m flustered and also I feel really weird because my cold has left me with plugged ears and it’s distracting me to not be able to hear myself type or think.
P.S. I remember one thing I was going to say and it was that after this weekend, I feel like I need to go to a deserted island for approximately one week to recover. Holy people overload, Batman!
There are very few women in my workplace. In my specific research group, there are two researchers, plus me. Out of about 15 people. So we’re pretty darn outnumbered.
Now, in the last year, I’ve definitely learned that scientists are quiet people. Maybe it’s just chemists? (I hear physicists have quite the personalities.) But I have to say, the female scientists are the quietest of the bunch.
When I started my job last November, I thought I might get along with the ladies the best. Maybe because I am a lady,* or just because I’m used to working with ladies.
I was off to a really good start with one of the girls in particular. She and I would always stop in the hallway and say hi, have a little chat, all the usual stuff. She was quiet, but really nice, and I thought we might become work friends.
I walked in on the lady scientist in the bathroom.
They’re private bathrooms – as in, a single room, not a room with multiple stalls or anything – and she hadn’t locked the door.
Here’s the thing: it could have been way worse. I didn’t see anything. She could have been buck naked or something,** but she wasn’t. She could have been having sex with someone. But she wasn’t! She was just sitting there, and as soon as I noticed, I apologized and shut the door.
That was at least six months ago. The girl still will not make eye contact with me. When we’re walking toward one another in the hallways, she keeps her eyes on the floor. She never says hi. She never talks to me. I’m fairly certain she actively avoids me. Hell, in the last six or whatever months, I think I’ve only seen her like, six or seven times. It’s insane.
Yesterday she needed something from me and she used as few words as possible to ask for it, again without making eye contact. I tried to start a friendly conversation and she basically ran away. And that was that.
Well, guys, lesson learned: I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat easy to embarrass, but BOY WAS I WRONG.
Will we ever rekindle our work friendship?
*Arguable, depending on how you define “lady.”
**One time, a lady walked in on me in a fitting room while I was pantsless and bending over to try on jeans. So there you go. An eyeful of Andrea’s underwear-ed bum, bent over, close-up. That’s much worse, but still not as bad as it could be, right?!
Yesterday at work, I had to phone Air Canada for my boss.
They have this dumb rule where if you cancel a flight, you can only use your credit if you book over the phone. What? Yeah. It’s one of a number of bizarre rules and exceptions they place on this particular situation.
Phoning an airline. Great.
I was on hold for approximately 20 minutes. I stopped counting because I was on hold so long that I passed through the “Oh, I’ll just wait and listen carefully for when somebody picks up” phase and well into the “Fuck it, I’m working, I’m talking to other people, I’m busy, and when they pick up, they’d better say ‘HELLO’ very clearly because ain’t nobody got time for this shit” phase.
Also, I stopped counting because the phone was hurting my ear. Like, within minutes. And because of the position of the phone on my desk, I couldn’t really switch ears. So I tried to keep myself distracted.
So I finally got through, and of course the conversation wasn’t a quick one. I’m not going to bore you to death with all of the details. What you need to know is that all in, I was on the phone for about 45 minutes yesterday.
Let me tell you about today.
Today, it feels like I got punched in the ear. Yes, that’s right, my left ear is so sore from the stupid phone that it kind of hurts when I adjust my hair.
And when I woke up this morning, I noticed that my neck and shoulder felt really weird. It only occurred to me much, much later that that’s the result of my craned-neck multitasking – holding the phone onto my shoulder with my chin while I continued to work.
WHAT THE HELL?
When I was in my pre-teens and teens, I used to talk on the phone for hours at a time.
Is this evolution?
Guys, this is it.
It’s the future.
Talking on the phone isn’t glamorous like this anymore:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the day with my head tilted the other way to try to even this shit out.