On building relationships

They say you are most like the five people closest to you.

I had the recent realization that I’m probably not as good at relationships as I think I am. My friendships have tended to have a shelf life of 2-3 years, and I always attributed that to the fact that I’ve grown and changed and therefore out with the old and in with the new. I’m Starting to think now that that may not be true and if I can’t respect my old friends than the new ones I make aren’t really true either.

I start to dislike people the minute I see their flaws. This is a terrible character trait but I don’t know how to overcome it as I become fixed on only the things that annoy me. I’m overwhelmed with anger and when I’m angry I find it impossible to be kind.

What do I expect from people? My expectations aren’t met yet my inner critic finds ways to passive aggressively deal with what it perceives to be the flaws of others. It’s so fucking annoying when people don’t see or can’t see or won’t see their own flaws. Is this a pride issue? Am I projecting my own inability to see my flaws? Am I am idiot for self searching whilst others are happy in their ignorance? This is what makes me think I have the wrong friends. (Yes, yes, I also have an opportunity for growth. Whatever.)

Rant notwithstanding, this is me not accepting. I find it so hard to accept that you can’t change others. Mainly because I get pissed off.

I think I’ve gotten better at picking friends. Friends that fight for the friendship rather than let it go. But I also think I’m a bit more willing to listen now as well. I guess it’s good to be aware of this. Maybe now these close friendships will last.

Or maybe I need to reshuffle my existing five.

Is life all about shuffling? How do couples do it? How do married people do it?

On not knowing what I’m doing + faking it

I left my job in December 2013, and since that time, I’ve been living the good life, with combined cushioning from a generous payout and the support of my parents. I left not knowing what I wanted to do next. I had no plan per se.I don’t have any worries aside from my finances. I’m not married or in a relationship, I don’t have children, and I don’t have to pay a mortgage. The only thing I do have is some credit card debt, and two adorable creatures, my dog Victor and my cat Lucky, that bring joy into my home.

To be honest, I thought I would be not stressed, but bored, without having my routine 9-to-5. Well, I have to say that boredom is but a distant dream as everyday I have something to do, at a pace I enjoy, be it going to the gym and working out, meeting up with a friend or my mom for lunch, hitting the beach, or working on some coursework. Even writing here on a regular basis is something that I’m starting to build on. So despite a lack of boredom and a full-time appreciation of my life, there is this niggling feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m going to have to start generating some income soon.

This stresses me out so much -  I do not want to go back to banking. I tell this to everyone I know and it may come back to bite me in the ass. I left that job thinking it was a good way out. I spent January to May voraciously job-hunting in London but when summer arrived in Athens, I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss – when will I ever have this much free time to enjoy the sea and sun in Greece?

So people ask me up-front what I’m doing and I’ve started being honest. I say I have no idea. I tell them about how much I love psychology, how much value there is in taking care in your emotional, physical, and mental self – I espouse the virtues of exercise, well-being, and meditation. I talk about how much I enjoy the online world and the value of good user experience – what that means for us, how it makes our lives easier. Then I think about what matters to me – film/TV, education, knowledge, mental health, the arts, the power of the written word – how much I value sharing experiences. And then I talk about how it would be a shame to waste all of my financial experience as using it means I would find a better paying job. I say this is the crux of the matter. I love money and I’m not financially independant, so no matter what, I do have to start working again eventually, either making enough money to support my current lifestyle, or with something less and living within my means. And then I end by saying “I have no idea what I’m doing.

The first time I said all this to someone (a high-ranking project finance director at an international investment bank) I was expecting the conversation to end with a disapproving look, and an “um… ok.” I was expecting to be judged. Instead, she turned around and said “Oh my god, me neither!” I was stunned!

But you seem so focused, so serious, so successful about what you do, so commited! I would have no idea!

Of course! I’m not even good at maths, and what I really love is yoga and well-being! But you know what they say – fake it ’til you make it!

Several people have tried to drill this idea into me, and I’m starting to think they are right. And when I think of it like that, I don’t actually need to fake it that much – my interests and background are real. So what I need to fake is my confidence* about what I’m doing. It’s all about attitude. I don’t know exactly what I want to do next, but I know the general direction, and it involves technology, psychology, and maybe (maybe) some financial analysis.

In the meantime, I am blessed to be able to pursue side projects (like stress management training), and start caring for my own happiness, like eating better, exercising, and regularly meditating.

I wish it could all happen now, at once, with minimum effort from me. But that’s for another post, for another time.

*when I say confidence, I don’t think I mean so much in my skills and experience, but in my “alternative”-ness.

What about you? Do you fake it?

On fun + movies

via Cinematic Corner:

Favorite movie? Moulin Rouge

Favorite actor? Christian Bale

Favorite actress? Meryl Streep

Movie that makes you really happy? Heartbreakers, Miss Congeniality, Sister Act

Movie that makes you sad? The Hours

Favorite love story in a movie? 100% Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail

Favorite science fiction movie? 12 Monkeys

The most surprising plot twist or ending? Gone Girl (not out yet)

Movie that you’ve seen countless times? Mulan, Dumbo, Titanic, The Addams Family, Mermaids

Movie with the best soundtrack? Vanilla Sky, Never Been Kissed, Drive

Character who you can relate to the most? Dwight Schrute

Movie that you wish more people would’ve seen? Across the Universe, The Place Beyond the Pines, Pay it Forward, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

The most hilarious movie you’ve ever seen? I Heart Huckabees, Superbad

Your favorite horror movie? El Orfanato

Your favorite director? Baz Luhrmann

Your favorite quote from any movie? Do I make you proud?

Your favorite character from any movie? Rob Lowe in Behind the Candelabra, Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Jessica Chastain in The Help, Joan Cusack in Shameless, Javier Bardem in Skyfall

A movie that is a guilty pleasure? Pitch Perfect

Your least favorite movie? Cookie’s Fortune, any Matrix after the first one

Favorite TV Show? Game of Thrones, True Detective, Friends, Breaking Bad, Sex & the City, Ally McBeal, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Shameless, Modern Family

Favorite band? Queen, Bon Jovi, Coldplay

Favorite song? Karma Chameleon

Favorite flower? Sunflower

Favorite season? Autumn

Favorite color? Blue

Who is your favorite late night talk show host? Conan and Jimmy Fallon

A television show that you hate? Community

Something that everyone else loves but you hate? Mockumentaries, with the exception of Modern Family

Something that a lot of people find funny but you hate it? Farting, burping, toilet humour in general

The thing that you hate most! Wilful ignorance

Against The Crowd Blogathon

I found out about this blogathon from Cinematic Corner (commonalities: I too love Practical Magic; I share her obsession love for Game of Thrones; if I was as adept at movie reviews as she is, I would have written about Maleficent verbatim) and thought it would be a perfect segue into more regular film/tv writing, even though I’ve missed the deadline. If you want to see what others chose, Dell has done a nice little round-up.

lllntitled-1
 1. Pick one movie that “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 80% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you hate it. 

 2. Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of less than 30% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you love it. 

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.

 

Whilst I have a wide and varied list of films I hated that others loved like Avatar, Cabin in the Woods, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, I really struggled to find films I loved that others hated with the exception of the one below and One Day. So I’ve ended up writing about biopics.

Movie I Hated:

Screenshot 2014-07-14 18.57.15_lincolm

Lincoln (2012)

Tommy-Lee-Jones-in-Lincoln-2012

Lincoln is my favorite past US President, and Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and everyone else in this cast is worthy of high praise, respect, and admiration. But not for this movie (saying this gives me such a guilt trip, I may have to write something about in genuine praise of their vast range of work). They play their parts well enough, but the tone, the pace, that bloody 20-minute-that-felt-like-a-lifetime-voting-montage that was like a tranquilizer dart to our faces… I found it so BORING that I walked out 3-4 times to either to have a cigarette or five (back when I smoked), eat chocolate cake, or find some other distraction. This for me is unheard of in the cinema, but I literally couldn’t take how unneccessarily long this film was. A pity, because I really wanted to like it, for all the right reasons.

Movie I Loved:

Screenshot 2014-07-14 18.57.07

Alexander (2004)

alexander-elephant_1101272681

Why people hated this movie so much is beyond me. I thoroughly enjoyed the extreme relationships between the characters and the intense dialogue, and, frankly, I thought it was an absolute FEAST for the eyes (this might be a column idea for films going forward). It was epic and fascinating – an excellent insight into Alexander beyond his conquests.

Ilia #2: Modern Princess

Ilia #2: Modern Princess