causal petty complaining.

i'm sorry i know i literally JUST posted a blog today (PFFT whatever who ever wrote a manual on when and what you can blog?! i'm a bamf so don't worry about it)... but i just have to express how delighted i am that i never have to deal with these poor excuses of paper-towel dispensers all over sfu campus.
the only person more stupid than the person who invented these so-called "no-touch" dispensers, is the person who actually decided it would be a good idea to use the design all over a university campus. it would have been more worth your pennies, sfu, to put wooden spools all over campus.
at least it would go better with the broken-stall-door theme.


slumber party small talk.

I just love this.
Last night, Cori so lovingly picked me up from the King-George Skytrain and we headed to Langley for the night at the house she's house-sitting. It was the first time I would get to meet her best friend, Marne, even though I totally felt like we were already friends. Cori's cousin, Shelby, was there too and as girls do, we didn't take long to get socially cozy.
Our itinerary for the night was making rice crispy squares, drinking Bailey's in hot-chocolate (with marshmallows) and watching Elf (apparently I have a striking resemblance to Buddy from Elf) but like any occasion where you put 4 girls in the same room, three of which don't really know each other, the easy and obvious point of conversation revolves around the one small topic of the boy in your life, not in your life, or... don't know if he's... in... your life...?
It is just so funny. For the four of us all in very very different places or stages with our point-of-interest-man, we all had basically the same thesis of our stories (yes I said that - in school-mode still for sure).
No, it wasn't that they suck.
It was that the moment your "thing" turns into "something" (bless us if they even admit that much) this one little thing is sparked in them. Call it pride, call it protection, call it an emotional blockage... or just call it a pain in the ass. I'll admit some men don't have this but from my experience, all the ones under the age or 24 have it. It's the phenomenon of cat and mouse that when the woman gives too much or shows too much affection, men back off. They play mysterious and hard to get; they're unattainable; they're too busy. But here's the kicker - that at the end of the day they still "really care about you" so all of a sudden, we feel bad that we put so much pressure on our need for them to actually express that. We start off feeling mad at them for being distant, but then we feel bad that we got so "uptight."
John Gray says it well: "Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed" Ummm yes, but can I attach a second part to that sentence?: "Therefore, they'll do what they need to to continue feeling that way."
So brutal guys. So... so brutal. You know you can all hide it very well... you're need for us, that is. But not forever...
Truth be told, they're the ones who are uptight. It just doesn't actually manifest itself until they feel a real threat in having you. Because when you finally get sick of lowering yourself so he can feel like he's helping you, and you finally back off and say "wait a minute... I don't actually need you the way you're making me think I do..." then the smoke detector goes off in his head and he's groveling all of a sudden. By then, it doesn't even feel good because we're already over it.
So what the heck?
So goes life and love and relationships [after the honeymoon stage]? In really different ways, it was the same story for all of us. I'm sure there are many relationships out there that don't exhibit these strange cycles and there are probably a lot that exhibit them but only to a very small extent. And women are guilty too! The actual second part of John Gray's quote was, "women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished." If the second part wasn't as true as the first, the first part wouldn't be such a problem because in their display of needing-to-feel-needed, we end up feeling un-cherished and therefore, just plain poopy. So should we compromise our need to feel cherished? Or should they compromise their need to feel needed? It would be nice to meet somewhere in the middle but I have a feeling that's not as easy as I just made it sound...
I am truly under the impression that this only ends when you have kids because then both the man and the woman's needs are met by children who need their dad and cherish their mom. Either that or the fact that mom and dad are too busy thinking about the tikes to think about their own senses of masculinity and femininity.
So I don't really have a conclusion. I'm sure John Gray will though. I plan on starting to read his book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, today!
I'll let you know if I find the answers but for now, I think John Mayer speaks volumes into the man's soul:

i was made to believe that i'd never love somebody else
made a plan, stay the man who can only love himself...

...half of my heart's got a grip on the situation
half of my heart takes time...

...half of my heart is a shot-gun wedding
to my bride with a paper ring
and half of my heart is the part of a man
who's never truly loved anything


what ever happened to predictability?

the newsman,
the paperboy,
the evening tv?

I see my spontaneity in California was not just a phase.
Rena life update as of late:
Moving to Whistler with the beautiful Cori Poole and apparently learning to RIIIIDE (thanks to Riley for his Christmas present to me - a Snowboard). But first, home for Christmas!

Yup. Moving here.


sup with me? sup with YOU!?

I just wanna know sup with everyone.
I think that's one of my biggest flaws but ironically, at the same time, one of my greatest attributes. I mean, I don't really care sup with you like, sup this weekend? sup for christmas? sup with John and Kate?
I really care more about sup with YOU... who you are... what you love... what you hate... why you say this... why you say that...

So basically, I really rule people out of my life from becoming my best friend if they aren't down with it. I see that as bad news and good news all wrapped up in one. Bad news because I will suffer long spans without those best friend figures; good news because when I finally do find them, and I get to experience their heart, mind, and soul and it's magic. Not only that but then the few really good friends I do have, in little pockets randomly all over the globe, are so spectacularly precious.

I think it's what we were made for. And I don't mean to say that what you have isn't special and what I have is. I'm not saying that at all. I'm suggesting that we were designed for that kind of purposefulness in this big scary society that can't get enough fame, money, power, thrill. I don't think we were designed for complacent relationships that don't bring invaluable joy - I just don't.

That's to different degrees in all people - I get that. I think that's why we've been divided, by some psychological theories, as extroverted and introverted. I don't think that changes our longing to be known, heard, felt, understood and our simultaneous need to know, hear, feel, and understand - both others, and ourselves. So I did one of those personality tests because I always want to know more about who I am - what is it that makes me Rena?
Rena is, under the Idealist temperament, a "Champion." I'll give you a snapshot:

Champions are rather rare, say three or four percent of the population, but even more than the others they consider intense emotional experiences as being vital to a full life. Champions have a wide range and variety of emotions, and a great passion for novelty. They see life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil, and they want to experience all the meaningful events and fascinating people in the world. Fiercely individualistic, Champions strive toward a kind of personal authenticity, and this intention always to be themselves is usually quite attractive to others.

Mmmm. Thank you for that insight. How totally true all of those things are and, for those of you who read my blog or listen to be vent about my heart, Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions.

I think that reveals a lot about why I would take something like a personality test so seriously and try to see the deep revelation contained within it. Sup with me? Why do I do this? Why do I do that? Why do I have these arguments? What can I work on? How can I use my me-ness in the best way possible?

I write this blog with one goal in mind: can everyone please just shed some layers? Just see what happens. I seriously think you'll surprise yourself. Transparency is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful gifts you can give someone. Be you. Let down your guards. Inspire yourself and you'll inspire others. Expose your wounds you beautiful, beautiful soul. If you need to, take time out so you can figure out what those wounds are and who that "you" is. What makes you happy? It can be random things you never even really thought about. For example... maybe you really like bike baskets but you thought they were kinda dorky. Go buy a bicycle basket right now! Whatever it is, I just see it as an opportunity, not a limitation, so don't let fear get in your way.

Suppppp? Please comment if you want to tell me sup with you.


baby, you're a *fire*work*

Take 2 small-town girls with fresh undergrad degrees:
One, strawberry-blonde ambitious and hardworking, responsible, respectable, and dedicated athlete slash aspiring doctor;
The other, a free-spirited, unpredictable, awkward, dramatic and kooky flower-child slash wannabe schoolteacher;
Move them across the country, put them in a basement apartment located in a dingy, ghetto greater-city area together and what do you get?

I'm referring to Holly and myself, if you haven't figured it out.
Holly is never the person I expected to make this transition with. Not that I didn't like her. We were just always acquaintances and rarely much more than party friends or friends-of-friends. I didn't even know very much about her other than the fact that she seemed like one of the most "together" people I associated with, got expelled from the reg in grade 11 (the one time anyone EVER saw a ruffle in her skirt, basically), and that she was a star in Antigonish for excelling in long distance running. When I heard she was coming to Vancouver to take Naturopathic Medicine, I figured it was a decent opportunity to have a buddy with me here when I move. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that she would become one of the very rocks I stand on, or that she would be picking me up in my falls - but she did.

Long story short, this semester has been a bit of a roller-coaster for both of us in realigning our passions and reevaluating our hearts. As a team, we seemed to get through it, but if I'm honest, it's evident who was pulling more weight and I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me. Yeah, Holly puts the "perfect" in perfectionism and while that's the basis of what I saw when we first moved in together, I got a much different picture after about a month.

Yes, Holly gets her shit done. Holly is clean, particular, smart, and so unreal healthy. I mean gimme a break - can I please have that gene that makes you not like junkfood? She's timely, organized, dedicated, and one of the most hardworking people I know. She even makes time for friends and leisure and knows what she wants in life. More than all of that though is a woman of peace, a passion for people, and a thoughtful and honest heart. She is the single most thoughtful person I have ever met. I mean thoughtful like she is constantly thinking about others and how she can help. I.e., pouring my coffee for me every morning, helping me think of solutions to my problems, bringing me my favoriote sushi roll for our Wednesday evening dates, leaving precious notes every day, always letting me hog the bathroom by doing her hair in her room and then subsequently bringing me the flat iron, plugging it in and turning it on because she knows I'm about to straighten my hair...
I honestly could go on forever. She's always warm, always inviting, no matter how shitty her day may have been, always willing to listen to my complaints with an open heart and ready to come up with a reasonable solution.

I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to become the worlds greatest mom, worlds best wife, an olympian, a life-saving doctor, and probably at some point, a Prime MInister of Canada. I'm not tooting her horn, folks. I'm telling it like it is. And on a personal level, if it hadn't been for Holly Van Gestel waiting for me every day when I got home from school (after she decided she wasn't going to continue on her Naturopathic path), so willing and open to help me with anything I needed, I would have been and still would be in rough shape. I think there are a million people out there who would have made a great roommate but none of them would have saved my life the way Holly did. She was perfect for me and in one word, an Angel.

She got me through a rough patch. I'm still in the rough patch but I feel empowered with all the things she left me with. She's leaving me now and I am so beyond thankful for everything she's done for me. Thank you for loving me and all my flaws in-spite of your togetherness and perfection. Thanks for accepting me - smudges and all. I will always love you, roomie.



"Rena, the anxiety you experience in your life now stems from childhood. Losing your father at a young age gave you the impression of your world as being out of your hands."

These words were spoken to me in my first year of university when my nervousness turned into a full-blown, constant worry and anxiety that my day was going to flop; that I was going to fail all of my midterms; that I wasn't going to have enough time to study; etc. I didn't really like the whole counseling thing. At the time, it just made me more nervous because I thought I was wasting time that could have been spent studying. But this one that I chose to go to always stuck with me because it gave me a sense of relief to know the root of my anxiousness. That still never really seemed to make it any easier though.

It helps to explain why I always seemed to be able to manipulate my mother into, well... anything. It also helps explain why I always had to have the last word in our arguments, why I never really wanted to push myself to try something I might not be good at, why I was able to keep a healthy distance from most friends I made in highschool, and probably most evidently, why I chose to date boys who made me happy but were never my ideal and why breaking up with them was never life-changing-difficult.

That's probably the biggest place that people, especially girls, can relate to my need to control. I'm not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the need to control and being a perfectionist can be mutually exclusive. I think everyone has some extent of this "control" gene. I think most people can relate to the feeling of trying to convince themselves that the guy they are currently dating: "is just really into me. he's alright i guess..."

Is there something about saying those words that make you feel more comfortable with your position in a relationship? I don't think anyone would expect this from me - the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and bursts with affection for the beloved's in her life. But I think I've fooled not only the people in my life, but also myself, into believing I was laying my heart on the line, when I was actually keeping them at arms length so that if something crumbled, I wouldn't have to look very far for a shoulder to cry on.

So... this is how I've been treating those people in my life. This is how I have viewed the ones I lavish my love on and right now, at 22, is when I am just becoming aware of it. Because all of a sudden, it is creeping in and ruining one of the most treasured relationships I've been able to experience. This one makes me uncomfortable. & it makes me uncomfortable because it surfaces my desire to remain in control, but doesn't allow me to do so. I think this is what they mean when they say Love, in its purest form, is hard. Because it challenges us to serve and makes us uncomfortable in our lack of control over the other person. Damn - hard reality. This relationship has brought to my attention my need for, and unachievement of, my independence. But who should I be dependent on when I finally crumble and realize it apparently isn't myself?

In the book, The Shack, Sarayu (The Holy Spirit) says it perfectly:
“Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself- to serve.”

It's obvious that true contentment in life doesn't stem from perfect control - in fact, my perceived ability to have control in relationships, is now crushing me (that's a harsh way of saying "humbling" but that's what it feels like). I think I need to continually ask myself this horrifying question:

What kind of one-up did my creator God get when he took on and paid the ultimate cost for, not just one beloved, but every person who comes into existence?