Don’t close doors

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Today’s post is very personal to me. It is about the woman who will always be special to me. Her name is Alice and I will never forget meeting her.

I was on the train from Oxnard California headed up to Klamath Falls Oregon. It was going to be a long ride, but I was no stranger to this trip at this point. I was prepared for the trip with a new trusty book, I was reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris at the time. I was settled into my cozy chair in the viewing cabin, where passengers of the train could sit with chairs facing outwards and see the areas that the train passed through. I was prepared to finish reading my book.

But then this absolutely gorgeous woman sat beside me. And she wanted to talk to me too.

So naturally I bite, and I get to chit chatting with her. And I was absolutely blown away by her. The two of us naturally vibed more than any other woman I had ever met with. We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. So much of us was in sync it was absolutely unreal. Then she looked at her watch. It was midnight and we were stopping in Sacramento where she was getting off the train.

10 hours had passed by.

They were the fastest 10 hours of my life. Neither I nor her wanted them to end. I asked for her number and she laughed and gave it to me. She told me that if I had not asked that she would have asked for mine. I loved that. She got off the train, and then I spent the rest of my ride thinking about her.

The two of us started talking on the phone regularly after that and eventually when I was back in California a few weeks later I went to visit her in San Luis Obispo. The two of us really had a great time together but sadly our relationship was marred by the fact that I was still getting my Masters Degree in Washington D.C. and that she was living in San Luis Obispo California. Further, she was older than me and she gave me some to the truest advice I had ever heard, despite not wanting to hear it then.

She had made her decision to be a teacher and she was very content with that. She was out of school, and settled into her career. She pointed out to me that not only was I not done with school yet, I still had to figure out what I wanted to do in life. She told me that while she was extremely attracted to me, she needed to be rational and not hold out in an irrational manner as I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life first. She had been through this with two boys before, and she said that she was not going to do it again.

It was very sound advice.

So I was off back to Washington D.C. but the two of us were remaining in touch. It was tough though because we both really wanted to see each other but we were 3,000 miles apart. It became clear that being so much in touch was making it too hard for us to just live our normal lives and move on.

Alice wanted to remain in touch with me, she made it clear that she was going to go on dates with other men, but again she stressed that she wanted to stay in touch. At the time I thought that I just couldn’t bear thinking about her going on other dates so I made the decision to end things and to move on.

What a stupid decision.

And I will tell you why.

No one ever knows how their life will turn out.

I sure as hell didn’t then, and I sure as hell don’t now. I thought back then that I wasn’t going to be back in California anytime soon, or potentially even at all. Well at this point, I have been living back here for over a year and a half now and I really wish that I had not closed the door with Alice.

Again, it was such a stupid decision.

And unfortunately, as far as I can figure out, I closed that door pretty good and I don’t think it is ever going to open again. So the least that I try to do now is to learn my lesson from that experience and not do the same thing again in the future. I made the mistake once, I am not interested in making it again. So this brings me to the main point.

Closing doors can be simply unnecessary.

Sure, in the moment you might feel a certain way, and it may seem reasonable, but later on when circumstances change you really might be kicking yourself for doing so. I sure have. Yes, I know, sometimes things may be hard (especially in emotional situations) but closing the door might be the wrong decision. Maybe you think closing the door will help your heart in the short term, but maybe you closing that door becomes “the one that got away” in the long term.

So you really might not be sparing yourself any heartbreak.

So my two cents for today is just that. Don’t close doors. Don’t be too emotional. Don’t over think it. Sometimes things might work out, other times they might not. But in the future they may work out. And if they do, you will be ever so thankful.

Keep that door open.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

The Only Boy in the Room: A Young Man’s Journey into Yoga

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Today marks a week since I first forayed into Yoga. Reader, I can assure you that Yoga was probably one of the last things that I thought I would ever partake of. Mainly because I had the experience of dating a girl once who was truly not genuine. She would go to yoga classes and take the photos with her friends on instagram, but I tell you it was only for that. She really was not passionate about it at all, it was just something that was done to be seen and to be trendy.

I really am not a fan of when people continuously do things that they have no passion in simply to just be “cool.”

So after that relationship I will be honest, I had a sour taste in my mouth and I looked on Yoga with a bad judgement. But then I met another girl, and this time it was different. She was seriously into yoga and had been doing it for many years. Such was she passionate about it that she had begun taking Yoga teacher training classes so that she could teach on the side in addition to her main job.

I was actually interested.

On a date we were talking about Yoga and I made the comment that I honestly could not even touch my toes. She then told me to reach for them and that she would adjust me. The two of us did some simple Yoga for a bit and I quickly began to feel much better after the stretching. Further I was surprised that I could almost touch my toes!

I now had become more interested.

Later on I texted her saying that I would take a Yoga class, of which she was excited that I was going to give it a go. A few days later I wound up in my very first Yoga class. My teacher’s name was Cherise and what happens next was straight out of a Rom-Com. I was the only boy in the room, and by the end of the class as the women were looking poised, I was completely drenched in sweat.

Yoga had kicked my ass.

But this effectively did the job on selling Yoga to me. I have since then taken three additional classes with a new teacher each time as well. I already can touch my toes at will, and my back and body feels in much better shape. My breathing also is much much better and I feel more at peace than I have in a long time.

I already can honestly recommend to anyone that Yoga is a great activity and that it is not just for women.

Which brings me to my next point. Why is it that Yoga is so predominantly female dominated in America? In India, where Yoga actually comes from, there are many male Yogis. So why is it different here?

I believe there are two reasons. First, America being a fundamentally Christian country has sidelined women in a clerical role. Sure, there are Nuns in the Catholic Church, but at the end of the day they are not allowed to celebrate mass like a Priest or even a Deacon. And in other protestant dominations, for the most part, there is no role at all for the females.

I believe that Yoga in America has created an avenue for a modern priestess.

Make no mistake about it, while every single Yoga class I have taken has been a great stretch, very calming, and a workout, it also has been accompanied with a homily at some point throughout. Often these life lessons are accompanied with astrology, but even those without have some sort of life lesson imparted on the participants from the teacher. For many women who have something spiritual to say, yoga is the only mainstream avenue. Many ancient religions had priestesses, in fact often times many of them. And further I do not believe that human nature has changed much, if at all, so the fact that our American society lacking them inclines me to believe that this was a major factor in Yoga’s popularity.

Women now could be a priestess again.

My second reason comes from Leonard, a man I just met with at this Starbucks while I worked on this post. I told him my hare-brained idea about Yoga being an avenue for a modern priestess which he agreed but also disagreed with. He said that it does make sense, but he also believes that a big part of Yoga being more popular with women in America had to do with rugged American individualism. Leonard stressed that for many years in America individualism was taught with a very masculine mindset. E.G. the lumberjack in the woods chopping trees, or growing your own food, building your own house, being extremely strong, etc.

Men in America lifted weights. Stretching and Meditation? Please! That must be for the girls!

Now, thinking about this second reason I still have not made up my mind. To me it is a chicken or the egg argument. Was Yoga considered feminine because it was viewed as un-masculine compared to traditional American exercise? Or simply because more women gravitated towards it (maybe because of my priestess idea), thus associating it with the female gender.

I am still bouncing between the two ideas, but I do think that there is something here as well. America has historically been home to large muscle-building and masculine strength so Leonard’s theory does fit in my opinion.

Wrapping up my post, these are the two main ideas as to why I believe that Yoga has become pre-dominantly female in America, but I will say, make no mistake, Yoga is not just for women, and further it will kick your ass. At least if you are doing it correctly.

And if the Yoga you are doing is too easy, then you are doing it wrong. Push yourself further.

So far one week in, I am really enjoying my classes and I am looking forward to seeing where it will take me. At the very least it gives me a fun place to go every day if I want to, and get a good workout. It’s also pretty fun being around lots of beautiful women on the regular. I won’t deny that.

So guys, sign on up.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Peacocking is IN


Today I was hanging out with Tony when our mutual friend Frasier came over. He needed to borrow Tony’s SUV to pick up a squat rack that he purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The three of us then loaded up in the Denali and headed over to the mall where Dick’s is located.

After we bought and loaded the rack into the car we then decided to go around and shop around. Tony has recently been interested in upping his fashion and wanted to go shop at Zara. We all enter the store and the first thing there is a mannequin wearing this Peacock-esque jacket.

When I saw it I knew I would buy it. After all, it literally is Peacocking. (Male dressing for attention)

After I bought this jacket and Tony bought a nice new shirt, the three of us walked over to Nordstrom’s.

And then it happened again. There were these ridiculous metal shades with green lenses. Again, I knew when I saw it that I would buy it.

And then I did. And it feels great.

In the past few months I really upgraded my style and it has been simply amazing. The amount of confidence I feel now regularly is like nothing I have felt before. I believe that this comes from being forced to own your presence which you present with a loud style. When you dress loud people notice, and you are forced into a certain spotlight. Your option then is feel awkward and look silly, or strut your stuff and own it.

I recommend choosing the latter. Now at first it will feel off to you. You will think you look foolish and often for straight males you may think that you look gay, but not only will pass, who cares?

The only person who truly does is you. And once you realize this you become more freed. So what if someone thinks your style is bad, who the hell are they? You are focusing on the wrong things and the wrong people. Focus on yourself and soon you will feel great and people will compliment you. And when that happens just watch you and your style flourish!

Cheers to Peacocking,

Nolan