Retail Therapy

I have to admit that shopping is every bit as cathartic as women say it is. Of course, I have gotten into shopping for myself over the last 2 years and it has this strange sense of making me feel better about everything. This is not to say that I am feeling depressed, I have been so focused on my goals that sometimes I do forget that I have to do for myself.

The other thing I realized is that I have never really been brought up with the sense of how to shop. When I was a kid, my mother would take me to Alexanders and just pick stuff out. When I was in high school, things were a little easier because when you go to Catholic School, you can just buy whatever from Macy’s and hope it matches.

However, there came a point when I started working and hanging out, that I knew I had to buy clothes for social purposes. We are talking about the 90’s here when overalls were in. Needless to say that was a disaster. I am not even sure how I got through college. Shopping was always something that I disliked. I hated to go with my mother because she would take all day and I would hide inside the round clothing racks because I was that bored. But, as I grew older and women began to play a huge role in my life, I began to see how important it was to be patient when a woman shops. I got to see how meticulous they can be, not only about the price, but about the quality.

Most guys who shop will just get anything because it may look good. They many not care about the price or the quality at the same time. I know when I started my venture to really change my wardrobe, not only did I have a woman with me, but I really took an interest in certain stores and what I can do to make that extra impression. I will always remember my cousin looking very neat and clean when we were hanging out in high school. I used to joke about how much of a diva he is but, I feel like I am beginning to resemble that.

In my line of work it is very important to look professional. When I first started working I would wear the collared shirt with slacks because I was more of operational person that did more manual labor than anything else. I had always heard that you dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Once I was promoted, I did change the way I dressed. I noticed the immediate effect on customers and co-workers in terms of how they approach and interacted with me.

So, over the years (and more recently), I have become more comfortable with my appearance. They say that 90% of all communication is non verbal. I try to make sure that what I am trying to convey about myself comes across well which is why I bought two suits yesterday. Granted it was buy one get one free at Men’s Warehouse, but if you ever go there then you know that those suits are not cheap.

There was one thing that made me spend all that money…the service. The guy who helped me made me feel important. He never made it seem that I could not afford the clothing. He showed me all quality stuff and when I told him I wasn’t sure of the price, he looked me and basically said that anything less would effect the quality of the suit and I am trying to make sure you look good. He earned his money.

It made me think about something that my dad says, “you get what you pay for”. So spending as much as I did, I walked out the store really thinking that I am so worth every penny I am spending on myself.

I Am Good at What I Do.

This should be a mantra that all of us need to adopt. This is more than just feeling valued or feeling that we are worth more. This is something that we need to acknowledge within ourselves. Let’s face it, each one of us are good at something. I would hope that whatever it is that we are good at, we are making a success in that area or field.

Yesterday morning when I got to work there was a letter in my mailbox. I usually get campus letters about workshops or various things that may happen. I opened the letter and it was a thank you letter from a client that expresses, very warmly, how much of a great job that we did on an event that happened a few weeks back. This made me feel real good about myself. I know how much work and effort I put into my career and it is always good to get confirmation on how good I am.

This is very important to me. With the job search not going as well as I had hoped, the very idea that I am still good at what I do is a blessing. Something like this can restore lost confidence. I have made it a point to channel those positive vibes into the new version of my resume. Last week, I decided that I need to blow up my resume and start from scratch. I feel that I just need a new fresh approach to this job hunt. Perhaps I need to concentrate on the quality of my work instead of the quantity of all the things that I have listed.

No matter what I do, I need to let people know that I am good at what I do. I have letters and customer appraisals to prove it. We should never be afraid of keeping and saving the kudos that we get from other people. The reason for that is because we will always remember, with no proof, the bad things that people do. There are people that will constantly harp on the mistakes of other people and thus what we do wrong will never be forgotten. However, as a society we seem to be pretty forgiving and we all tend to enjoy a good come back story. But, even the most harshest comeback stories all revolve around the person knowing and believing that they are the best at what they have chosen to do. Once any of us thinks this way, we tend to be unstoppable.

So what am I good at? I am good at my job. I am a people person that can convince any customer that we can accommodate them no matter what they ask for and 99 out of 100 times I do exactly that. I do not panic in any situation which mean I am good in a crisis. I am always determined to solve any issue at hand. On the phone I am great with words and will convince clients that I am 100% competent in events and scheduling. I am good with working under pressure and I am never throw my employees under the bus, which makes me a great supervisor.

I am good at writing and I am good with words. This is something that I have seen myself get better and better at. I am good at making people feel what I feel. I can channel joy and despair in the same blog post. I am good at humor and can make you laugh on Facebook and Twitter at any point. It makes me feel good to do that.

It also makes me feel good to know what it is I am good at. There aren’t many times in which I can toot my own horn, but I think it is something that we all should do more often.

A Matter of Perspective.

I was talking to a friend today about how good my roommate situation is right now. What I am amazed about is how much he likes the room and the house. I did work hard enough to make the room and the house look decent enough for any man to move in, so it wasn’t like he was moving into a disaster area. He just seems to be pretty content since he moved in and I hope to continue that.

The thing with me is that when I see this house, I see all the things that is wrong with it. I see every last thing that needs to be touched up or fixed. I could run down a list of things that I know I need to get done once I have enough money to do it. So, it is quite a surprise to me that I can get someone to look at this place and like it. Not to mention that I would have a second roommate coming in September.

Yet, it is all a matter of perspective. My roommate loved the fact that he woke up to sun this morning. He has plenty of windows and gets a great cross breeze. What he also told me his last apt was in a basement so the windows are a change he has wanted for a long time. Let me not forget that he has a dog. A Labrador, so the fact that I have a big backyard is something that he loves so that his dog can run around. These are things that I did not think about.

It is very much reflects my thoughts on what I believe to be valuable. I have been so used to this place that I failed to really see it’s beauty. I do notice that this house is something that other people would like to live in given the chance. Of course I am asking for the right price, but to think about this house as something of value again made me smile.

This is yet another thing that brings me back to my current thought process. I am worth more that what I am getting right now. I have been working hard at not looking at my life at the way I looked at my house. There are things that a perfectly fine with my life that I do appreciate, however, do I really stop to notice how beautiful I am? How beautiful my life is? How beautiful life is in general? Of course not because, like everyone else, I am so engrossed with the toughness of life that I fail to stop and smell the roses.

Life is all a matter of perspective. A man’s trash could be another man’s treasure. So I will leave you with this quote:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”
– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

More on Self Worth…

Sometimes our lives can change by a simple thought. I have been really thinking intensely on the idea of self value in my life. This is like a new concept to me. I have never really thought about how much my time or life is worth. When you place a value on something, it begins to become precious.

I think that I do a great job on placing value on other people and objects. I know how much my dog means to me. I know how much my family means. There is the value I place on my comics and various other things that I have. Then there is the value I place on my friends and loved ones. I know what is is to be in situations in which death is a serious possibility, so the idea of losing people can bother me. 9/11 had that effect on me in which I did not know if there were certain people I would never see again, not to mention that my own life could have been in jeopardy if any more planes came crashing down. Then there is instance of my car wreck where the police told me that had I not worn my seat belt, I would be dead. It is because of those 2 instances that I can tell people that I love them and not have a second thought about that. Why? Because I place a high value on those I care for and I am not sure what tomorrow will bring.

My personal value is something I never thought about. Perhaps because I have been selfless too many times in my life. But, there are the times that I have been selfish and that has cost me dearly. I think in both those cases it can be determined that my self value was never properly assessed. So there are people in my life who have and still do take me for granted because I have allowed them to do so. I have neglected in taking the time to show them how I want to be treated and respected because I never placed a value to that.

However, there are people that I have told. There was a few instances in which I have flat out told some people that I feel disrespected by the way I am treated and that I am so not appreciated. Some times people will acknowledge and change that and other’s wont. For those who haven’t have found that I have few words left for them. The problem is I do not do this enough. I am not saying that I expect to be appreciated because I do not but, I should expect to be treated the way I treat people. I am worth that much because I love myself.

I have thought about how I could have possibly gotten to point that I do not have a high self worth. It is sad to say but I am beginning to think about my childhood. I think about all the bullshit I went through in grammar school and how ugly I thought I was. The divorce of my parents and how I felt like an object they competed over. I know that some family members will ultimately say that I had a great childhood and I was spoiled because I got everything I wanted. Well, I do not think I was spoiled and even if I was, toys do not equal happiness. Sometimes, as children we look at adults to give us the definition of value outside of the number of toys/video games given in order shut us up.

Anyway, all that is simply water under the bridge now. Self value is now the only thing I want to focus on in my life. My time is precious and those who I choose to fill that with are also valuable. But more that who I choose to keep my time with, it is also important on what I do with my time. Self love means that I also need to maintain my health and mental well being. I will continue to read and write as well as looking for that illusive job that will get me where I need to be.

I am Worth It.

You know…people may shake their head at Lebron James for making this free agency a spectacle. I am one to believe that he should not put himself before the game. But step back and look at what he is doing. This whole show has very much to do with what he perceives to be his worth.  All these teams are courting him hard in hopes that he will sign under their team’s name. Sure, call it an overinflated ego, but he thinks he is worth it.

So on that same token, why do we not believe in our own worth? Why do we take the bullshit that life gives us when we know we deserve something better? Is it fear that we may end up in a worse situation? Are we not worth the risk?  I think we are. In fact, I am worth any risk.

Sure, I have made mistakes in my life, but who hasn’t? I challenge anyone to tell me that they have lived a mistake free life to come and tell me that I am not worth everything that I desire. We are all human we are not supposed to be perfect. We are worth more than the stress and the drama that we allow in our lives. Just think about what we allow to happen to us. We allow ourselves to be treated like shit by people who think they know what we are worth. They take us for granted because they feel we that we cannot do any better or that out loyalties are so deep they we will not find something better.

I am not saying that we need to start cutting off people who do not appreciate us (although it is a start) or quit jobs that keep us underpaid. What I am getting at is having the awareness to know what is happening in the world around us. We allow things to happen to us based on our own low self worth.

We should all be so lucky to have the world as our stage to announce in a hour special that we got a new job or that we are in love with someone. Sure we can go to Facebook to say all this but sometimes people are not very genuine and will do things to flaunt their egos. But, as someone who has spent the majority of his life searching for something and in the process thought that he was not worth very much…a little ego is a very good thing.

I am a great guy. I have a big heart. I can be very nerdy at times and I can be very silly at others, but you will always know what you are getting from me. I work hard and I play hard. I am a lover and fighter. I come to realize that I do not give up on things that mean the world to me. I do not live in the past and I am always thinking about what I can do to make my life in the present and future better.

I have always said I am on a journey. There is not doubt in my mind right now, that I will get where I need to go. Why? Because I believe in myself and I believe that I am worth the trouble. For those who do not believe that will only come to realize that they are wrong. Maybe that sounds a little full of myself, but if I do not believe in myself and my value…who else will?

We are all worth so much more that what we getting right now. I guarantee it.