- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Monday, February 21, 2011

Six Words Can Speak Volumes

Phew. Valentine's Day is over. As any girl not in a relationship can tell you, Valentine's Day quit being fun after elementary school candy and card parties ended.

Now I'm not a compete cynic, I love showing other people that I care about them - I bought the three ladies in my office heart-shaped donuts from Dunkin on Monday! However, somewhere along the line, sharing your feelings with loved ones in honor of St. Valentine became a showy sport. Watching all your coworkers get flowers, hearing about battles over restaurant reservations and stepping onto a train full of guys carrying dozens of red balloons and bouquets of roses is just not that much fun for the rest of us. Am I being cranky or does that all seem a tad cheesy? I for one, would not know what to do with a bunch of balloons, and roses don't really thrill me (I do love the yellow ones, though)...

Rant over, but in honor of love - both present and lost - and the not-always-so-fun holiday that just passed, I wanted to share this. The New York Times recently posted an article about SMITH Magazine, a literary magazine that compiles narratives from readers, one of the most popular being their Six-Word Memoir project, the recent subject being love and heartbreak. It's Twitter-meets-poetry! These pared down love letters are beautiful and simple. Some are funny, some are sad, some are just plain heartwarming. Check out a few of my favorites:

Happy endings...
  • Wounded heart healed by good man.
  • Dog approves; maybe this guy's good?
  • Clueless Newlyweds Kids Laughs Still Thriving
  • Ups, downs and repeat. That's love.
  • Just married. Still figuring it out.
Not so much...
  • Love hurts. Choose vodka or valium.
  • He wasn't worth the panic attacks.
  • Loved her madly - then went mad.
  • I loved, he tolerated, then left.
  • Background check first; give heart second.
What would your six word memoir on love (or loss) be? Here's mine:

College love ended. I became me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Censoring our Love Lives

I caught this video on the Glamour magazine blog, Smitten the other day and I LOVE it. It's hilarious, sad and oh so true.

Why do we do this to ourselves? And when did we learn to do this? I want to say at some point in my life, before I was cynical and before dating was a group activity where everyone weighed in with their personal rules and guidelines, I spoke the first draft of my mind to boys.

Ahh, sweet sweet naivety.

God forbid we look foolish, or put ourselves out there when we're unsure of what the response will be. Don't get me wrong - nobody should bring out the crazy too early in a relationship, but there's something to be said about acting honest and being yourself. In the video, they erase every twinge of emotion from their conversation. In an effort to look cool, they make sure that neither one knows that they like one another at all.

At my first real job post-college, my boss was blunt and no nonsense. Her first comments on an email I drafted for an editor? Way too long and WAY too many exclamation points.

I learned to bland-ify my emails and make them more business-like, which was important for sure, but I always felt like they read as a tad rude. Emails and the written word can be so easily misconstrued. I'm a friendly person and I want editors and clients to see that through my correspondence.

Now at my second agency and with more freedom and trust from my boss, I write emails the way I want to. Are there exclamation points used? Yep. Even -gasp- emoticons from time to time. But, I learned my lesson from my first boss, and I keep my exclamation points and smiley faces to a minimum. I don't ever want to come across as cheesy, which is apparently my weakness.

The lesson here? Send your second draft.

I try not to obsess over what I say to the opposite sex, or anyone for that matter through email, gchat, facebook... BUT, I do try to keep my crazy in check, and read it over once to make sure I get my point across without going overboard.