Introduction: Tales From the Dating Scene

I have been around the dating scene for awhile now; longer than I would like or ever have thought I would be.

In that time, I have experienced my share of stories, and lessons.

I have felt hope, and had hope dashed.

I have felt connection, and then been pushed away.

I have been used, lied to, manipulated, and controlled.

I have been elevated, validated, and  amused.

I have laughed, and smiled…I have had fun and have many good memories.

Along the way I have learned about me, about men, and about life.

Dating_2

As I move from date to date, occasionally relationship to relationship (no matter how short-lived), I try to extract from each experience a lesson that I can apply to the next one. And at each juncture, each new date or relationship, I secretly hope that this will be the last time.

I hope that this will be the last time I will have to introduce myself, have to remember what I put in my profile, AND have to remember what he put in his.

I dread the awkwardness of trying to connect:

  • the butterflies in my stomach before I see him for the first time and process a quick match between what my imagination has concocted and reality
  • managing the disappointment, or the elation
  • the reminder to myself to keep an open mind
  • the stilted conversation
  • the effort of really understanding what he is trying to say while not reading too much into it all
  • the uncertainty of calculating what is the “right” way and the “perfect” timing
  • the fear that as I show myself for who I am that I will be misunderstood or rejected…maybe not now, on the first date, but sometime soon. Because it always seems to happen – eventually.

datingI resent the pressure that seems to pervade the process. Oh sure, I smile and wave and keep moving on down my own path no matter what happens; but, the pressure to be a couple with someone, to be one of two, to be a team is ever present and stifling at times. It makes it difficult for all of us on the dating scene to navigate new ground and be successful.

Most of all, I know now that I no longer need a man to complete me, to fill that void that was created from my divorce. I have grown and filled that void all by myself, thank you. Instead, I need a man to share “me” with, the “me” that has grown through divorce, and proceeded to grow more from each date, and each relationship of the past. Because it is the growth that has resulted from the trials and tribulations. The dating scene becomes a means by which to find the man who knows the same, at the same time and in the same place as me.

He is out there somewhere.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Is It Really a Gender Thing?

While at a business conference this past weekend, I witnessed a comment from a fellow attendee that surprised me, and then irritated me.

The title of the presentation was “Why I Won’t Recruit You”.

The presentation centered on the reasons why hiring managers and recruiters will pass by an otherwise likely candidate during the hiring process. In other words, even if the resume is perfect, the education is up to snuff, and the work history is seamless and substantial, you might still get passed up if you do not exhibit specific qualities.

It was a great presentation during which I learned so much from a perspective I had not thought about.

Part of the presenter’s philosophy revolved around the concept of passion. You can be really good at what you do, but if you don’t have a passion for it, or a passion about you, there is much that is lost.

A question came up about whether it was acceptable for an interviewee to be smarter than the interviewer. The presenter replied that, when he is recruiting, one of the things he is looking for is candidates who are smarter than him. He recognized, though, that not every recruiter or hiring manager will approach an interview, or a potential candidate, from that perspective.

Sometime around this point, a woman in the back asked this question (and I am paraphrasing here): “How do you suggest women address the perception in the workplace that if they are passionate, forthright, aggressive, and smarter than their boss, that they are considered to be bitchy; whereas men with the same attitude are praised and honored.”

My first reaction was “Really?” I struggled with the aftershock of her question for the rest of the class as she continued to try to explain herself, and to elicit from the presenter an answer that would satisfy her.

If you are smart, good at what you do, respectful of others, and humble, why and how would going after what you want make you a bitch?

It wouldn’t. It is not you who is the bitch; it is the perception and behavior of other people that results in that judgement against you.

There is only one person you can control…that is you. You cannot account for how other people will perceive you, and you can control even less how others will treat you.

As a woman myself – and a forthright, independent, and decisive one at that – I can tell you that I believe that the enemy of women in the workplace is not men, nor society, but women themselves. At the risk of stereotyping women in the workplace, let me explain. I think that we, as women:

  • tend to second-guess our performance and our ability more often, and quicker, than men do.
  • struggle with how to be persuasive without being aggressive.
  • battle the need to be the peacemaker instead of the victor.
  • make choices from the viewpoint of the significant others in our lives, instead of ourselves, especially if we have children. When we try to put ourselves first, we feel guilty.
  • We are more willing to give instead of take.
  • are more willing to sacrifice.

These are our natural tendencies. Nature has already defined us.

However, when we engage the workforce, we labor under the pressure of fighting against that nature.

Some of us take that battle too seriously. We sequester our natural selves in a dark closet with a locked door, as we approach everything like we think a man would. We try to be something that we are not. Like the woman from the presentation, there is the foregone conclusion by some women, without any proof, that the “perception” is going to hamstring us. We leave our homes each day already swinging and risk the perception as an edgy, uber feminist who begins her day with a chip on her shoulder. And the rest is history.

Or, we discount ourselves before the start and assure ourselves that there is nothing we can do because the male workforce is already against us. The media says so.

I am not saying that women don’t have a few hurdles out there.

What I am saying is that how anyone performs in the workplace is entirely up to her. Those principles of behavior transcend gender. Women and men should strive to perform their jobs with strength, principle, professionalism, candor, intelligence, and humility. With these values in action, women and men can be respected equally by their peers and superiors.

It’s not a gender thing….it’s a human thing.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

When The Dark One Knocks

Sssshhhhh….hear that? Wait, listen.

Swishing….around the angles and through the loopholes.

Gasping…before the insights into its next potential manipulations.

Pushing…past the boundaries to challenge you again.

Rubbing…its hands together when it knows that you are cornered and you have succumbed.

You are within its grasp.

Tighter, closer.

Resistance now is practically futile.

Knock, knock, knock.

We all have moments like this. Moments when we doubt ourselves. We doubt our ability to succeed, to love, to be loved. It is these moments of doubt on which it preys. These moments are its fodder. If you listen hard enough, you can here it’s telltale knock.

Knock.

Its whole purpose is to bring us low, to make us doubt. If we have nothing to hope for, if our foundation is wrought by anguish and despair, frustration and animosity, doubt and skepticism, memories of the past…we are powerless.

Knock, knock.

And powerless….we are putty. We can be manipulated and convinced to do almost anything…sometimes everything.

Knock, knock, knock.

Are you hearing that? Listening? Those thoughts in your head, ebbing and swirling, telling you that you should have said it this way for a better result; you should have done that instead; there’s no way you can get that promotion or finish that project. That girl…nah, she’s way too good for you.

Wait. Knocking is getting louder.

How long will you let it slink around your corners and slither through your loopholes? When will you tell it that you cannot be manipulated and that your boundaries are firm?

The longer you wait to turn and face it, the closer it gets, the tighter its grasp. It will invade your days and monopolize your nights. Can’t sleep at night? No wonder….you have waited way too long.

But, wait. Maybe not too late.

Like a baby learning to walk, you can push it away.

Every time you turn a negative thought into a positive thought.

Each time you accept another person instead of rejecting him.

Every time you remind yourself that you can do it instead of expecting that you cannot.

Every time you see someone’s positive energy even when it is easier to harp and complain about their negative energy.

These are the actions that will silence the dark one and stifle its knocks.

And, over time, before you know it, the dark one will slither back into the shadows and the slime. You will be in the light.

The dark one hates the light.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Quick Read…Wise Words

For the first time in a long time, I finished reading a book in less than “months”. I am proud of myself. Usually it takes me anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months to read a book.

Could it be because I usually have about 2 or 3 books going at the same time? Could be.

Could it be that other facets of my life suck up my free time; time that would otherwise be spent reading? Maybe.

Could it be that the books I read are not considered light reading? Possibly.

With that framework set, let me also explain that the book I read was short – only 148 pages – and I committed to reading it over the weekend. In other words, I made time in my schedule to read, and only read….and I don’t fall down on my commitments.

I read “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” by Harold S. Kushner.

It was an eloquently presented analysis of how people use their concept of God in explaining, rationalizing, and living through their grief. The author presented his analysis of the validity of that approach.

I will let you read the book yourself; everyone has the right to draw his own conclusion within the framework of his own perspective and experience.

The point of this post is to boast that I finished reading my book in such a short period of time.

The other point of this post is to share a prayer that the author introduced in the chapter titled God Can’t Do Everything. It is a prayer by Rabbi Jack Reimer called Likrat Shabbat (“What to Pray For”).

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That we must find our own path to peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;l
For You have already given us the resources
With which to feed the entire world,
If we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;
For You have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all people,
If we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God,  to end despair,
For You have already given us the power
To clear away slums and to give hope,
If we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease;
For You have already given us great minds
With which to search out cures and healing,
If we would only use them constructively.

Therefore we pray to You instead, O God,
For strength, determination and will power,
To do instead of just pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.

Many parts of the book addressed prayer. After every such reference, I couldn’t help but think of a friend who struggles with how to pray. He has shared with me how he struggles to believe that his prayers are heard because he is unsure if he is praying in the right way. He worries that his prayers are repetitive or useful.

It is heartbreaking to me that prayer could be such an ominous experience. Prayer is nothing more than communing with our higher power, a dialogue – hopefully similar to a dialogue we might have with a favorite and receptive friend. As with any conversation with friends, it ebbs and flows.

I finished that book, and am on to my next…praying all the time that I will glean as much out of it as I did out of this book.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.