Thursday, May 20, 2010

Recruiting For a Soul Mate

I work in Recruitment. My previous job was a Matchmaker. Similar roles really. I find jobs for people - I find love for people. Two massively important missions in life. Two massive responsibilities. Two long processes……

The process of applying for and landing your dream job is not a small journey. It requires research, diligence, lots of shoe polish and the art of negotiation – and that’s just for your Recruitment Consultant!

Although it’s got me thinking. Recruiting a love interest is a whole lot harder than getting a job. You would think. But do we do enough due diligence?

What job requires family and friend approval before the probation period is up? Have you ever had to strip naked for 3rd interview? Unless you are working in the Porn industry then I think probably not……

It’s funny. Because in both roles I have been handed lists of requirements or Job Descriptions. Recruitment is an easier match. After hours investigation is not a requirement. I never have clients rejecting a candidate due to their bad taste in bedroom linen (just as a side girls – red satin sheets are not a good advertisement for your chastity) or a candidate rejecting a client due to the size of “shoes”.

If you think about it - there are so many boxes to tick when looking for a soul mate, its amazing that anyone ever gets together – let alone stays with someone for a lifetime.

But the thing is – when it works, it works. In both cases. Finding the right job is so incredibly important. We spend so much of our life at work. And then thinking about it when we are not even there. It has to be “the right fit” on so many levels, economically, socially, intellectually. It has to correspond to your overall ambition and direction.

Wow! Transfer all that to a partner and it sounds like a relationship yeah? Add on all the extras and TA DA! There’s your wish list for a relationship.

I am not advocating a cold, clinical process in looking for a relationship – far from it. The romantic in me would not stomach it. Cover all bases sure – but don’t underestimate the power of intuition. Be gentle with your applicants – but don’t stray too far from your Job Spec. If someone seems dodgy then they probably are. Their manipulated CV
will probably be revealed as forgery sooner or later. “She is just a friend babe. You are just being neurotic” or “I have only ever had sex once in my life before you” will be discovered sooner or later. Reference check people. Reference check.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inspiration not Asphyxiation

There are many ways to be inspired. I'm sitting here right now - knowing all the things I should do - write that script, go to the gym, do that proposal, fold the Mt Kosciusko of a clothes pile in my bathroom, send in my son's high school application blah, blah, blah. I know I WANT to have these things done. I'm just finding it hard to motivate myself to do them.

Okay - let's go through my list. Write the script. Peter Helier has a movie out this week called "I Love You Too". He inspires me. He started writing this script 8years ago. Now I don't want to wait that long. So I will take his 8 and raise him 1 but I'm devouring his tips and day dreaming my little (well not so little as I can't motivate myself to get it to the gym) butt off. Day dreaming is easy. Day doing is so much harder.... so I'll download some new music. And get my ass into gear....Will finish this blog, go to the gym and then work on the script.

That's 2 down, 17,000,000 tasks to go. I won't bore you with the rest of the list - but let's just say I have to answer to my boyfriend tonight as he's coming over for a lamb roast (just another task on my list but not a biggie - I like cooking) and he is inspiring. Now this is very different to being a tyrant. I've tried dating them. They don't work. I used to have a boyfriend who would poke me in the back to correct my posture all the time. He told me I would look thinner if I stood up straighter. Apart from being excruciatingly embarrassing, I bruise easily and a purple and white spotted spine doesn't look so hot in a bikini, as you can probably imagine. His comments about my weight also discouraged any body sculpting exercise or diet programme. I was either too thin or a bit moon faced when I was with him - the in-between phase obviously appearing during one of our many "breaks".

People either make you feel good about yourself or they don't. S does. We talk about everything (my avoidance tactics don't wash with him) and he seems to get the little idiosyncrasies of my personality and he motivates me in ways that others have failed to do dismally. He uses humour and intelligence to get my competitive and creative blood flowing. But most of all - he leads by example and is just a great guy who supports and loves me for me - but doesn't let me get away with being slack. Plus, I want to go to the gym cause S makes me feel sexy, therefore I want be sexy. Simple really!

A girl I used to work with was getting married a few years ago and I remember her telling me a conversation she had with her fiance. She told him that she loved how he "made her want to be a better person". Apparently he shook his head and said "No I don't ----, I make you want to be you". Now how much more motivating is that than someone who keeps moving the goal post and basically saying "I will love you when... or "I will marry you when you do this..." or even worse "I will have sex with you when....."

We are all fragile beings, and so hard on ourselves. This been said - choose your partners and your friends wisely. Those people that you constantly find yourself defending with words like "but she means well" or "he doesn't mean to put me down" really are not doing you any good. There are so many amazing people to meet and know in this life. If you have to take an honest look at your friendships and reevaluate then sometimes you just have to do that.

A few years ago I decided that I was only going to have people in my life that let me breathe - that make me happy and motivated but remain true and real. I can honestly say I have done this. There is no one in my life who is "toxic" anymore. I have the most inspiring girl friends. Incredible mothers, career women, creative beings, stylish, intelligent, fascinating creatures and so beautiful inside and out. In small and huge ways they motivate me every day through the way they live their own lives. They are also so genuine and true in their encouragement and support of me.

It's hard to be inspired or motivated when you are tired or down, I know. It's also hard to be inspired when someone tells you to be. I know I can be incredibly annoying if I've had a glass or two of wine and I get all excited about something and want to spread the love. Luckily I have such divine friends that I know a slight eye roll to the left tells me to "shut the *&^% up as Lucy here who is not a friend of yours but mine wants to kill you"> That's about when I go home, secretly hoping that at least Lucy will think about something I said but really knowing that the overall memory will be of an over excited drunk girl.

My friends know that this comes from a place in me that wants everyone to be happy and to embrace life. They also know though that people have to find their own little Michelle-From-The-Biggest-Loser in their own heads.

Nature, friends, family, Australian Story, movies, song lyrics, children's honesty whatever they are - try to bottle them and take it down like medicine when you need to. With a spoon full of sugar - not a poke in the back.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jealousy - that Khaki Coloured Ogre

In primary school there was a saying that used to get thrown around the playground quite regularly; "Jealousy's a curse, pregnancy is worse" You had to kind of sing it though and give curse and worse two syllables each for emphasis. I guess in our little catholic hearts we equated falling pregnant to mortal sin so this phrase or taunt was fairly powerful. I can't remember saying it myself (I would like to think that I was possibly more original - and nicer than that!) but I do remember it being said to me.

We had strange little fights back then. Friendship groups were shuffled and changed and best friends guarded and treasured. How ridiculous it was to be jealous of your best friend staying over at another girl's house for the night and yet to this day I can remember the pain and anxiety still.

For some reason I escaped competition and rivalry over boys. Going to an all girl's school from year 4 onwards didn't really give me much opportunity although some girls still "went with" boys from The Christian Brothers school down the road. Riding past Stephen Leydon's place on my bike was the closest I got to a primary school relationship (looking back I was a little stalker. I can remember planning what I was going to wear!)

It was not until my adult years that men really featured as a jealousy issue. But by then it had become something else. All akin to attracting the "bad boy" and the "wrong guy" I seemed to take great pleasure in making men jealous. I thought this was what you were supposed to do. My immature heart told me that they must really love me if they got so jealous. More fool me. It didn't mean they didn't -but it certainly wasn't proof that they did. My behaviour was annoying. And theirs out of control.

Jealousy is a curse. But it comes from a place within all of us that is related to our self esteem and ego. Shakespeare talks about "green eyed" jealously through Portia in The Merchant of Venice

How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

And again about "the green eyed monster" through Iago in Othello

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves

I suppose the colour green is associated with sickness, possibly because the skin takes on a slightly yellow/green tinge with serious illness. It is a sickness. An overwhelming and disabling one.

I have had friends in relationships that seem to thrive on jealousy. It is exhausting to watch and to cope with. Especially when you know how much love is there and that the jealousy is pointless and unwarranted. Yet they play it out with each other. Testing and taunting, probing and baiting. And fighting and screaming.

To be in a good place in your relationship with yourself first eradicates the need for proof of adoration of others. Don't look for ways to prove to your partner that you are admired by others. They will see that for themselves and be proud of that but they don't need it shoved in their face. Look for partners who are confident and self assured enough not to have to have you by their side 24/7 proving your love to them either. It works both ways. And unfortunately most jealous people have trust issues because they themselves are not faithful or strong in the committed stakes.

The peace and tranquility that comes from a healthy and loving and freeing relationship cannot be underrated. It's a joy. Of course insecurity and little nabs of jealousy are going to sneak in every now and again. But learn to control it. There has been documented evidence that jealousy can lead to temporary insanity. The rage that is fuelled by unsubstantiated or real betrayal is dangerous and monstrous. Sometimes we let our mind travel to ridiculous and crazy places. The only way back is through health. If you find yourself going to that horrible, painful land, go for a walk. Listen to soothing, classical music & to the laughter of children. Like yourself. Love who you are. That is the monster's kryptonite. Send that khaki coloured ogre back to its boring and dark cave and skip merrily into the moonlight.