Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A new meaning to Social Work

Since I was old enough to make my own social arrangements, my mother has been telling me I need to cut down on my “going out”. I’ll admit, it’s extreme. I love people. All kinds of people. And like everyone else on this planet, there are those that will rub me the wrong way or that I find to be just plain mean, but for the most part, I truly just enjoy other people’s company.

But my mother has a point – this outrageous social life of mine can get in the way of finding a good work/ play balance. I find my finances get prioritized to meet my social needs which will often leave me shorthanded. Or I very simply just don’t manage my time to a level that can accommodate my day to day responsibilities while satisfying my thirst to mix and mingle.

Now, do not misinterpret this. I love my alone time, also. I desire it every bit as much as I crave to be social. I’ll personify it to breathing – my alone time, is a deep breath in. It keeps me from going mental. And from my observation, my alone time is quite a bit more intense than most others’. For instance, some people enjoy reading, watching TV, going for a run, listening to music, or zoning out on Facebook when they need their space to themselves. I, however, am actually alone with myself (as alone as the universe can really let me be.) By this I mean I’m not only without the presence of people, but without entertainment and distraction as well. Without the need to be doing something or having purpose in the moment beyond being with my own thoughts. While I know there is a great number of individuals out there who also do the same and enjoy reflection while they are among no one but their own consciousness, it isn’t common. It isn’t “the norm.”

I digress. This heavily weighing, uneasily satiated desire to interact and commune with other people at all levels needs to be rethought. Now, I could try and force it to go away. Simply restrict myself, tell myself ‘No’, and live with that constant pressure that could develop more and more volatility each day… or… I accept this as a characteristic of me, as neither a strength or a weakness, but simply, a large part of my identity.

First step in this process of accepting? Finding a job that accommodates it. Better yet, a job that encourages it, facilitates it and rewards for it.

My name tag will now proudly read:

Miranda – Junior Assistant Cruise Director – Princess Cruises.

Essentially, my job is to socialize with guests, plan parties, socialize with guests, emcee events, socialize with guests, attend parties, socialize with guests, make friends… did I mention I’m getting paid to socialize with guests?

So for those of you who don’t already know, come February 17th, I’ll be in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua & Barmuda, Florida, and Bahamas; Add the Azores Islands, Portugal, Spain, England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands; I’ll circle through Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg, Poland & Germany a few times, then end with some holiday time in Austria, Croatia, Italy, Greece & more UK – Sounds a little like “Where in world is Miranda Landry?”. Could be a fun game!

I think in total, I’ll be in nearly 30 countries; It’s an amazing itinerary- I could have circled the same 7 day route for 6 months in the Caribbean (talk about Groundhog day). But no, I have the every changing and relocating route of getting see some of the most spectacular places in the world – in a position that couldn’t suite me better if I’d planned it.

It sounds so perfect you’d think I was making it all up – it is still surreal to me. If I put it in perspective, I realize a job that requires this much social interaction and being away from home for 6 months might not suit many people, but it really is EXACTLY me right now.

I’m hoping to start publishing articles (specific to my cruise line adventures) while I’m away, but I’ll keep posting blogs as well.

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Simple Lessons

I'd be lying if I tried to exclaim that 2009 felt like an incredible year for me, but there is an unexplainable gratefulness inside me for all I was put through, for all the difficulties. I will never forget the past year for the unique and stressful struggles that overwhelmed my life, but in hindsight, it's obvious that none of it was in vain. There is not a single moment of strife I am not thankful I endured, because to go without that means to also go without the wisdom that supplies my appreciation for the joy I will discover in 2010.

It's become one of those lessons in life that makes me wish I was a better teacher. Or maybe just better at practicing what I preach. But whatever the case may be, if I could find words so simply put that it could trigger a light bulb inside someone's soul, so they could feel it (because simply recognizing it as truth is not enough to live it), than maybe learning this lesson could have a larger impact than just changing my life. Maybe then, it could have a greater effect on this world. But I feel it's not my words this time, but an old favorite, who can say it with greater simplicity than my complicated female antics are capable.

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.

-Robert Browning Hamilton