It’s a brand new year, which means it’s time to look back in disappointment about our lives, thinking about all the different ways we failed ourselves and superficially make commitments on how we won’t do that again during this year. Okay, that was pretty cynical. Let’s try that again:
It’s a brand new year filled with sunshine, rainbows and lollipops! It’s time to look back over the past year, thinking about how far we’ve come and make pledges on how we can improve even more over this new and glorious year!
So, looking back, we here at Running Robot have had some really good successes. But the one place we failed pretty hard was keeping this blog updated regularly. (Author’s note: Don’t blame me, I did my part. –sk) To that end, we’ve made a new year’s resolution to keep regular blog posts coming! And yes we are aware that the first month of the year is already almost over, so we’re not off to a great start. But we’re busy and don’t have time to make a post every day like those other bloggers that apparently do jack squat all day. We’ve got full time jobs that aren’t running blogs!
Anyway, now that I’ve alienated a good chunk of people, we have decided to take a 30-Day Blog Challenge! If you aren’t familiar with a 30-day blog challenge, it’s basically a list of 30 topics to write about for 30 days to help you kick-start your blog. But, since this is a business blog, we’ll attempt to somehow turn the topics to either business or story (which is our business). This may not always be possible because some of these questions are pretty personal, but we’ll roll with it.
Now you may be saying aloud to yourself in your home or local coffee shop, “But Steve, you just said 129 words ago that you don’t have time to write a blog post everyday. How will this work?” Well, fear not, weirdo who talks aloud to yourself! We’ve thought it through. Since we don’t have the time to write a blog post every day, we’ll try posting once a week, sometimes from me and sometimes from one of my brothers. But most likely from me. And I’ll emphasize “try” because stuff happens. With all that in mind, I’m excited so let’s get started!
Topic 1: Your current relationship. If single, discuss being single.
Well crap. Thanks 30-Day challenge for reminding me of my devastating loneliness. So yes, I’m single. And I’m 30 years old. You wanna make something of it?
I’m just kidding. Not about being 30 and single. I am. But I’m kidding about being sad that I’m single (even though I joke about it a lot). I actually really like it. I like living alone, being able to do what I want whenever I want. In fact, the only downside I can see is that if I slip in the shower and die, it’ll be a few days before someone notices the smell and comes to find my rotting corpse. But what will I care? I’ll be dead.
A lot of my friends and both of my brothers are either married or in serious relationships, and I see what it’s like. It’s complicated. If you want to hang out there’s a lot of planning involved with people’s schedules, hiring babysitters, etc. You know what planning is involved with me? Is it during working hours? No? Then we’re good. If I want to go see a movie, I go see a movie. If I want to go on a hike, I drive up to Sedona and go on a hike that day. No need to consider someone else. I just do it. And I constantly rub it in my friends’ faces who are in relationships.
Now maybe that makes me a jerk (well, that among other things), but it’s not like they’re completely innocent. And this leads to the down side of being single. My friends constantly rub my singleness in my face. Oh, maybe not always intentionally, but they always remind me that I’m single. Talking about how awesome or thoughtful their significant other is, how nice it is to have someone to just spend time with and love. Sending those “Happy Holidays” cards with pictures of their families. Making out in front of me while making direct eye contact with me. You get the picture.
So yes, being single is not all good. There are lonely times, embarrassing times when relatives insist on talking about fixing you up with someone and times when you wonder if you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life. Then why do I jokingly make remarks about being devastatingly lonely to my friends who are in relationships? Is it a pity play?
Hardly. I don’t want their sympathy. I do not accept it. When people give me pity for being single or say things like, “I’m sure you’ll find someone,” it makes me feel like they think I’m broken or incomplete and need to be fixed. I don’t. I understand the sentiment is supposed to be encouragement, but it doesn’t come off that way to me.
And that’s why I say horrible things about how lonely it is being single; to turn people’s perception of being single on its head. To show them that I’m fine, that I can laugh about it. And because it makes them uncomfortable since they can’t tell if I’m joking or not until I start laughing at their reaction.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a coping mechanism too. There is truth to the comments I make about being lonely. I’ve felt that crippling loneliness before. That’s part of why it’s funny to me. And that’s also why it makes my friends uncomfortable. We all know how it feels. We can relate and connect to it because it’s true.
Truth cannot be underestimated when trying to make a connection with someone. Jokes, stories, advertisements, even personal relationships all need truth in order to be effective. Have you ever heard a joke that didn’t have an ounce of truth to it? Maybe in a Wayans’ Brothers movie, but that proves my point. They don’t connect and aren’t funny.
People crave truth, honesty and authenticity. How do I know this? Because it’s pretty much the same answer every person gives on dating websites when they’re asked, “What is the most important thing you are looking for in a partner?” Yes, I’ve been on many dating sites. Beyond craving those things, guess what?
People can tell when something is authentic and honest. We are drawn to those things and to those people. They resonate deep down with us and because of that, there is an automatic connection that forms. That connection can lead to all sorts of things. Brand loyalty. Taking action. Laughing at jokes about how someone will be celebrating this upcoming Valentine’s Day with a six-pack, 500 Days of Summer on Blu-ray and playing a marathon of Fallout 4. Sounds like a good day to me.