RSTLN E – The Every Woman Profile

Remember the end of Wheel of Fortune? Choose 5 consonants and a vowel? For years everyone would choose the most common letters as their selection (RSTLN E). If you chose something different you were really rogue. Several years ago the producers finally decided to just give the contestants those letters and let them pick 6 more.

I have been single now for several months after 17 years of marriage. During that time I have reacquainted myself with online dating. After the first couple of weeks of checking out profiles some startling patterns started emerging. A month in I discovered I could write almost every woman’s profile in a couple of paragraphs. It occurred to me that these things are the RSTLN E of online dating. Ladies, this is my public service announcement that you should spend your valuable profile space on things that make you unique, not things that are common to almost everyone. If the following profile sounds like you then, well, make some changes. You’re not differentiating yourself.

EveryWoman2017

Me:

I love to travel, especially to the beach or to different locations in Europe. I love getting dolled up for a night on the town or being casual with jeans and flips flops and grilling out at home. I love all types of music and enjoy attending music festivals. I like to try hole in the wall places and new restaurants. I love anything outdoors and enjoy hiking. I love a good glass of wine. I have a rewarding career and love what I do. I am financially independent. I have (?) kids and they are my first loves. I have great friends and love spending time with my family. My friends would say I’m funny (witty and sarcastic), loyal, and giving. I’m very happy and I am at a wonderful point in my life. I am just looking for a wonderful man to share it with.

You:

I am looking for a partner in crime. He should be confident but not arrogant, loyal, honest, and thoughtful. He must be sincere and genuine and be a family man. You must not take yourself too seriously and be able to make me laugh. You also have to be passionate and intelligent. Chemistry is very important to me. Anything can be fun with the right person! Bonus points if you’re sensitive and manly and chivalrous.

My time is all that I have

I am extremely efficient and organized. I am very “productive”. What is the value of those things? It is to provide me with more time.

Time is the most finite resource we have. It’s more finite than money (hell we can print more of that if we need to), love, and anything else you can imagine. What’s more, you never know how much of it you actually have.

I am not productive because I want to accomplish more. I am productive because I want more time. I want more time because it is infinitely valuable. I don’t want my days to be filled with commitments and activities that don’t have meaning for me. Nothing makes me angrier than someone else’s lack of consideration for my time.

You cannot put time in your hand and feel it. It’s abstract and therefore very easy to “spend” without realizing it. When you’re on your death bed you will not look back and wish you had more money. You will simply wish you had more time. Spend today valuing it appropriately.

Choosing Freedom, Embracing Anxiety

You are trapped between a desire for freedom, independence, and autonomy and the comfort and routine of safety and security. Freedom, by definition, means constant, mindful choosing. Freedom means all your decisions mean something. Freedom comes with responsibility.

The freedom to choose in every moment – how you will react, what you will do, what values you will choose to uphold, how you will think – and the responsibility that entails causes extreme anxiety for most people. When there is no one to blame but yourself…there is no one to blame but yourself. Your mental farm is devoid of scapegoats.

Your alternative is to cede your decision making authority to others. To seek safety and comfort under the veil of someone else’s willingness to embrace freedom. Should they choose incorrectly, it’s not your fault. You can complain and then return safely to the status quo lifestyle you’ve built. You can remain in that job you hate because it’s easier to stick with the same routine, even in misery, than to use your freedom and choose a different path. A path that may come with discomfort and uncertainty. One that could make a meaningful difference in your life or could make it worse. You’d rather not choose and not know than risk anything on the possibility of a brighter future.

In order to truly feel alive you must embrace the anxiety that comes with freedom. Acceptance of the weight of personal responsibility is not easy but, as with exercise, the more you do it, the easier it will become. You will learn to love anxiety because it means you are alive, you are choosing, and you are scared. You will begin to accept the weight of your decisions and lean into them, as a buffalo charges into a storm, rather than run from them and let the world around you decide for you.

In the end, isn’t it better to be alive with anxiety and freedom than to be dead while your alive without them?

 

I know you are but what am I?

I’m a philosopher. I’m a beer drinker. I’m a nudist. No.

I’m a joker. I’m a smoker. I’m a midnight toker. No.

I’m an atheist. I’m a minimalist. I’m an existentialist. No.

I’m Stiffler’s Mom. I’m Ragnar Lothbrok. I’m Carl Spackler. No.

As you read each of those labels you no doubt associated each of them with something from your own experience and knowledge. You’re interpretation of what those labels mean is entirely subjective.

As intelligent as we humans like to think we are, we have an extremely difficult time processing the deluge of sensory information that hits us every second of every day. In order to more efficiently process that information we’ve had to evolve into creatures that categorize things and use “blink” intuition, lest we end up mauled by the oft-cited saber tooth tiger. While this ability generally serves us well in survival it wreaks all sorts of social havoc.

To categorize something or label it is to put it into a group. That group then comes with a ready made list of attributes and descriptors that may or may not be accurate for all members of that group. Your list of attributes for some label may be entirely different from someone else’s.

The use of language in any form by definition has to limit its scope to the use of a word which may or may not be 100% representative of the thing it is being written or spoken about. It is merely an inexact representation based on someone’s experience and processing of that thing. {Poorly written but I will stick with it.}

Therein lies the problem with describing ourselves using labels on a blog, in a resume, or elsewhere. My interpretation of the label may be entirely different from your own. You cannot experience me as a person with all the labels simultaneously. You have to piece together an opinion based on your knowledge of the generally accepted attributes of each of those labels.

Let’s try a little experiment. When I say BEER DRINKER, what image comes to mind? (Please share yours in the comments if you so choose. This could be fun.)

Beer Drinker: That redneck guy who has Pabst Blue Ribbon and Wheaties for breakfast. His favorite thing to say is, “Hey, it’s Natturday! Let’s have a Natty Light.” He’s probably crushed a beer or two on his head…or on his girlfriend’s. All his stories start with, “Ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this shit.”

Beer Drinker: That douchey fellow in Whole Foods, wearing a periwinkle button down,  who hand selects 6 different craft beers to put in his little take home cardboard holder. He makes special trips to buy “Growlers” because the type of beer he likes doesn’t come in a case of bottles or cans. He refers to Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light and all forms of non-craft beer as “that yellow piss.”

Beer Drinker (Me/Mine): I like beer. Mostly I drink whatever is cold and light. I don’t define myself by what type of beer I drink. I just like the taste of some better than others. I don’t harbor ill will towards you for liking something else. Some days I drink craft. Some days I drink Coors Light. I like beer better than wine and spirits though I drink both on occasion. Side note: it only takes a couple of nips of good ole North Georgia moonshine to destroy what’s left of your gut biome (first time I’ve been able to work that into a blog post). If you need that replaced then sip away.

The point I am trying to make is this – if you choose to label yourself or others please understand that those labels come with all sorts of baggage and interpretations. Be careful.  I will leave you with this.

Jeff’s Rules for Labeling Yourself

  • If you can avoid labeling yourself. Do that. Be mysterious.
  • If you can’t spell a label, don’t use it. (Wine connoisseur? Sesquipedalian?) GMAFB.
  • If you don’t like the generally accepted attributes associated with a label, don’t use it.
  • Your opinion of what a label means doesn’t matter. Only everyone else’s. You are only using labels to describe yourself to them – they will interpret.

Now please fill up the comments with funny interpretations of BEER DRINKER.

Quote

Richard Feynman – On Happiness and Wealth

“Wealth is not happiness nor is swimming pools and villas. Nor is great work alone reward, or fame. Foreign places visited themselves give nothing. It is only you who bring to the places your heart, or in your great work feeling, or in your large house place. If you do this there is happiness.”

~Richard Feynman