Why are taxes so goddamn hard?! I consider myself pretty intelligent [insert smart-ass joke here]. I'm no Einstein, but I can usually navigate myself through life pretty well. But doing taxes sucks ass. And makes me feel really stupid. Having to do google search after another to fill out one box on TurboTax. A sampler for you:
- "Air conditioner repair or capital asset"
- "Report sick pay federal state tax"
- "New Jersey UI tax"
- "AMT long term short term loss"
When I was in Massachusetts last week, I'd gotten an email from an organization I joined a while back; New Jersey Young Professionals. It seemed like a good way to meet people (similar to the Meetup.com groups I've joined). But after joining, I never went to any events. I was just some stalker checking out planned events, but never actually pulling the trigger. Then I received an email last week about a "Single Mingle" event on Saturday night. The bonus was that it was at a restaurant I'm quite fond of called Rats down in Trenton. I've been blabbing on about wanting to meet people and ditch this whole "I don't need you" vibe, so it seemed well-timed for a bit of experimentation with my new-found centered-ness.
I tried to rope in a couple single friends, but no one was biting. Which left me with only one option: go it alone. So, obviously I'd more or less talked myself out of it all day on Saturday. Because, come on, who would want to want to roll into some singles event without a wing man? Okay, well a dude would. But I'm a chick, so I oftentimes prefer strength in numbers. Now, a slight sidebar here - I do a lot of things alone. Probably more than the average person. I'll hit up a movie solo, a restaurant, and have even done vacations to places like the Greek Islands and Scotland just me, myself, and I. But for some reason, the prospect of going to an event with the intent of actually interacting with other people and not having someone to stand next to me was mildly nerve wracking.
So, like I said, I'd more or less talked myself out of it. I had the pizza menu in-hand, and the On-Demand movie listings up on screen. And then I said "fuck it". What do I have to lose? Worst case, I would go, it would suck, and I'd turn around and go back home. Plus, there was dancing. So I really had no excuses. So I rolled down to Trenton solo (which, if you're not headed somewhere specific I don't recommend) but feeling pretty fabulous. And it was a complete. fucking. disaster.
Just kidding...it was fabulous! Gotcha, there, didn't I? You were thinking "but that's not how the story's supposed to end?!" Duh. There were probably about 50 people there, split pretty much down the middle between men and women. Within two minutes of walking in, I met a couple of women who had been to events before and they introduced me to others, who introduced me to others. I met a bunch of great people, and danced until 2 AM. Okay, technically until 1 AM at which point I sat my ass down at the bar because my feet hurt. But, by then I'd scored some nice company so I had no complaints. Everyone was ridiculously nice. I guess I had forgotten that everyone was here for the same reason; to connect with other people.
I get so wrapped up in my own neuroses that I completely forget that we're all doing this life thing together. Having similar experiences, similar desires, similar needs. A friend of mine recently shared a story about a guy called Derrin Brown in the UK. He repeated a known experiment on a TV show to try to debunk psychics. He gets a group of 5 people to each draw an image on a piece of paper around their handprint, write down their date of birth, and place a personal trinket of some sort along with the piece of paper into an envelope, one per person. The envelopes are mixed so he doesn't know which is which. He then goes into another room for about an hour to prepare a personality profile for each of the participants. He comes back and when the participants study their own reading they are all staggered at it's accuracy, nearly all of them rating it between 80-99% correct. At which point, he gets them to swap over the readings when they discover that they are all in fact identical.
Don't get me wrong, clearly everyone is an individual, but we're so not alone. We're all connected, even when we feel isolated. That's something I've been learning more and more lately, especially as I've blogged about my experiences. So that's what I got out of the evening. Well that, and an exchange of numbers with a guy I'm quite looking forward to seeing again ;)
How connected are you to the world around you? Hasta, sabbaticaljo