What has your journey been like?

In a confession booth that is blogging, I can honestly confess I have done my fair share of online dating.  I have a witty monologue I have shared with each of my friends, family, and perfect strangers that I will go out with ANYONE ANYWHERE – ONCE.  As I get older day by day, it has become even more like a challenge I throw out almost DARING people to set me up – blind date, online persona, friend of a friend, brother’s cousin’s best friend from high school, new random single guy at church – I’m not picky and I’m available (that’s another funny story).  Now I’m not desperate or willing to settle or have no standards; but as a very wise author told me (told me through the printed pages of his book): Get your numbers up.  The more people you meet, the more things you learn about yourself, more you experience the personalities and types of people, and the more practice you get relating with people will improve you overall as a person… The expected results being Getting a Date worth keeping (have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this book)

Even though I am still what you would call a CHICKEN when it comes to approaching guys, flirting, touching, and engaging total strangers of the HOT variety (yes I know that is my responsibility to work on); but I am trying to communicate that I am OPEN to dating.  Almost even WANTING to date.  Now that being said I realize I may have to clarify my definition of DATE, because the world and even the Christian community at large seems to be in conflict about the definition of a date or dating. 

Date: Two people of the opposite sex participating in an activity ALONE, having not defined their relationship as JUST FRIENDS. 

Now that being said it could be stated that when my cousin and I go out to a movie together we are dating… BUT COME ON… that relationship is already DEFINED.  Family – EWwwwwwwwwwwww

I truly believe that culture, media, literature, nosey married people, desperate single people, and paranoid parents have really perverted the purpose of dating.  It should be (and can be) an activity of public nature that allows 2 people who have a curiosity about each other to casually go do an activity ALONE to experience that person’s well PERSONHOOD.  This does not imply nor SUGGEST that intimate physical activities of any kind need to take place.  AND there should not be an expectation of that (I don’t care how much expensive said festivities totaled).  It should also not come with expectation of marriage talk or how many kids does that person want to have; could I even be so bold as to suggest there be no PRESSURE from either side that another said date is in the future?  So with that pollution and confusion that seems to intimidate most men and scare off most women (each having their respective fears of WHAT DOES THAT MEAN talk); I am still baffled how ANY one gets together any more. 

So the online venue has become the method of choice for introductions these days.  Whether it is eharmony, plenty of fish, yahoo chat rooms, facebook, myspace, Christian mingle, match.com or the like; this online process is becoming as dangerous as an actual face to face date to navigate.  First you have to write a clever profile, and since I am not surrounded by single men these days (OR I WOULDN”T NEED THE INTERNET) I cannot ask for legitimate feedback upon whether I have a clever, cute, witty, eye catching profile; so I am thinking what a woman would want but I don’t want a woman I want a MAN.  And as much literature has told us OVER and OVER… MEN and WOMEN don’t think the same – most of the time. 

So upon me responding to a guy’s inquiry (YES he contacted ME), he proceed to ask a question I had not received before in the online arena. 

What has your journey been like?

Journey?  Had we been talking about travel?  Did I mention I was returning from a work trip?  Was he talking about an alcoholic tendency I had not yet discovered?  Was he referring to an emotional hang up I was so clever to include in my profile, but had forgotten?  I didn’t mind him asking… if that had been part of the thread of conversation.  But this seemed disconnected and out of left field.  So in my attempt at sounding open and witty, healthy but not delusionally perfect I offer up my answer. 

Journey usually means struggles and trials to me… so how does one offer up their most sensitive details to a stranger?  Guess its obvious I have not completely flushed out all my issues to the point of public declaration. 😀  Most of my journey has been a battle of the mind.  Anxiety, Depression, Rejection, Failure and my reaction to those things.  Seeking out others to fill what I would not let God heal, using food as a substitution for joy and love, and letting my emotions rule every decision and thought I had. 

I didn’t have the pull to drink or take drugs to manage my pain because food was cheaper and legal. 🙂 But on this side of the mountain I can definitely see that my behaviors were the same just using a different method.  So you could say I am a believer in God’s grace, loving healthy friends, caring community, and level-headed listening counselors as necessary ingredients to navigate this mine field of life. 

Is that vague and honest enough I hope? 

The authenticity thing is an interesting debate because I was so spoiled in my 20’s to be part of a college age group that believed in honesty, authenticity, and openness that it became my norm in life.  What I didn’t realize until I moved away was that what enabled us to have that was an AMAZING group of people who established a culture of trust, correction, and love.  So that people could be open and honest and real with minimal amounts of rejection and pain.  (Then I moved out into the real world and got the slow hard slap of reality handed to me.  GOOD TIMES!!!)

How did I do? As many times as I ask questions on this blog, I would genuinely be interested in the response to this one.

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The Amazing Christina – LA Edition

A group of circumstances completely fell into place last December that produced the need for me to go to Long Beach, California for some necessary on site training, which never happens.  The Regional Trainer for the LA area was out-of-town on a much-needed vacation and the Regional Sales Manager was having a meeting and practically demanding the presence of a trainer at this meeting.  As usual, I was all about the pick me Pick Me, PICK ME!!!

So with an amazing string of luck or blessing I was chosen. I do believe it had more to do with the price of my plane ticket instead of my stellar training skills.  It was a short trip pretty much 24 hr turn around.  The expected training time somewhere between 1-3 hours.  The Manager had provided a set of subjects that he wanted covered, but since most of these items had been trained already, I had to assume they didn’t want a formal training session of the basics.  The subjects I know very well and can even anticipate some of the questions and challenges they may have. 

What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would absolutely LOVE the experience.  It was a nervous wreck at first because I didn’t have a formal Powerpoint presentation and I didn’t know any of the people I was coming to train.  It was typical travel: arrive in the morning, rental car, and I arrive in the conference room and just sit and wait.  Enough time to sit and wait and let my nerves get to me. 

Once I got started with the basics, it lasted about 15 minutes.  The plan, the training, the intended topics, yes at 15 minutes into the presentation, I was smack dab into the middle of crossfire style questions on EVERYTHING.  From processes, to programs, to procedures, and internal branch communications.  It was an amazing rush and of all the questions that were tossed at me or near me for the next 3 hours, I only had 4 take away questions (things I couldn’t answer).  Mostly because I needed to do some testing and followup. 

In a room full of 15 men all master outside sales people with more focus on sales than on training, but there were questions and scenarios flying all afternoon.  I was the center of the room and the center of information all at the same time.  I felt like saying, Queen of the LAB in classic Bones style.  The manager thanked me and we discussed other options for training and situations.  The pricing team thanked me and I was able to connect with a group of people throughout the former corporate office of this acquired company. 

I was AWESOME and valuable and useful and the perfect trainer.  And I love the feeling of a new place, new car, new hotel, and new people.  Some how I had forgotten what it was like to travel and love what I do, even when there is a portion of not knowing EXACTLY what I will be doing.