Last Song – Original Poem

2a2d6992ff5fc7bc511779cee8c190ad--beach-photos-couples-couples-love

By Mark A. Leon

Your love makes me weak
All I’ll ever seek
It makes me want to cry no more

I found you standing there
Alone and scared without a prayer

I dreamed you into my life and now I stand beside

Strangers no more
Strangers no more

In a world to crowded for to see
You opened my eyes
Spreading your wings, I lie on feathers so free
Cuddled in your arms for all to see
This world is for you and me

Strangers no more
Strangers no more

I fell too many times
Fear left me blind
Too many chances lost
A youth wise no more

Waiting for the finale to confess, I never loved the rest
I waited all my life for this sacrifice
Now I know
All those words
Promises made
Emptiness burdened

A prelude to your kiss

I will fall from this sky
In your arms, I will subside
A phoenix rising from the fire

When the smoke clears

Strangers no more
Strangers no more

20aea6bf684dd4ac7c31378a1b468128

What Kind of Friend Are You? Lets Find Out

Friends1

A few of you are beginning to read this while posing the question in your head, “Are there really different types of friends? There are a remarkable number of friend categories and consciously or sub-consciously, most of us fit into one of these bucket. Let us take a few moments to describe each of the friend types and see where you fall.  This is an eye opening exercise.  Some will laugh, some will roll their eyes, but we will all agree we know “That Friend” and most of us will say we are “That Friend”.

Friend Categories:

  • Text Friend – This is the friend that consistently text communicates with you.  Whether it is just to say hi, a deep emotional exchange or a bored conversation exchange, this person chooses text over any other form of communication.  When you call them, they will not answer, but rest assured, you will get a text back very quickly saying “What’s up”.  This person will spend time with you in reality, but it is few and far between.  You need unlimited texting and a lot of extra time to meet the needs of the text friends.
  • Facebook Friend – The Facebook friend is very similar to the text friend, but much more visual.  They provide more visual aides around their life including video and pictures of their daily escapades.  You most likely will only be included in these pictures on big group special events.  If you are lucky, they may also include you in Vine, Instagram and SnapChat.  You could get a little overwhelmed in the social world with this friend.  This individual will also “like” and “comment” often on your page.
  • Respectful Friend – The respectful friend is one of the worst kind.  Whenever you call, text or message, they will always respond to you quickly.  They are genuinely nice people, but they always put the catalyst on you.  This person will never initiate a conversation or try to make plans with you.  Any time you want to talk or hang out, you have to contact them first.  This can get frustrating at times because the relationship can feel very one-sided.
  • Social Friend – This friend is always on the go.  If there is an event, festival, happy hour, concert or flash mob, you will most likely see them there are very nearby.  This person will send a mass text invite or online invite to come and party.  One thing to know about the social friend:  They do not have a concept of calendars or planning.  Most of their outreach is very last minute.  Be prepared to jump in your car or hop on your bike at the last minute to spend time with this friend.
  • Clingy Friend – The clingy friend does not have a lot of close friends to call their own and many do not have busy professional and social lives.  They cling onto anyone that gives them much needed attention.  They are very flexible and accommodating as they don’t want to risk losing you, so they will do whatever you want to do and compromise their own interests.  They thrive around others and do not do well alone.  These friends require patience, because often times you have to push back on them for your own needs.
  • Emotional Rock – Most people have only only one or two friends that fall into this category.  This is the go to person during confusing or difficult emotional times.  If you have a bad break up, learn of an unexpected death or have an unsettling feeling, this friend will drop everything and meet you at the bar at midnight to talk to you and listen.  They never judge no matter how neurotic or irrational you get.  They are a vital part of your life and should never be taken for granted.
  • BFF – The BFF is the cool friend.  You rarely go a full day without talking.  The BFF will go to a rock festival and dance in mud with you, run through a fountain, ask someone out at a bar for you or sit up all night drinking on the porch.  You can take to them about anything, but most of the time, they are the happy friends that you don’t get too deep with.  They make life more fun.
  • Mutual Friend – This is a friend that values respect and mutual exchange.  They call you as often as you call them.  You make plans together to have dinner or lunch and catch up.  They call once a week to let you know what is going on in their lives and they attend all your special events.  This is a good reliable and trusting person to have in your life.  You don’t see them everyday, but you never go a long amount of time without talking to one another.
  • Professional Friend – These are friends you met in college or professional networking circles.  You tend to share similar skills, backgrounds and industry experience.  They are great contacts and usually good for a coffee or lunch when you are in town.  If you hit a milestone and it is witnessed online, they will congratulate you.  Unless you are in the same town at the same time or one is in need of a favor, they are normally in the distance and do not surface.
  • Gaming Friend – Whether it is Call of Duty or Words With Friends, this friend is always good for a game or a thousand.  They are obsessed with online gaming.  Sometimes they will stay up until 4 AM so they don’t miss a game in China.  They develop relationships through their games and often will exchange small talk in chat areas to strengthen and develop the gaming relationship.  Once a gaming friend, always.

Friends2

There you have it, the 21st Century version of the “Friend”.

Some make fall into more than one category, so don’t feel you are pigeon-holed.

What kind of friend are you?  We would love to know….

Friendship Application – Test of True Friendship

Treat Every Day of Your Marriage As If You Were Single

love1

Think back to the week before a first date.

You meet this woman and she seems incredible.  Beautiful blue eyes, sparkling smile, soft inviting voice and totally out of your league, but she said yes.  She wants to have dinner with you and you know it has to be perfect.  Now you start the preparation for this big first date.

What do you wear?

Where should you take her?

How many more workouts do I need so I look good?

Should I get a haircut?

I hope I have a good razor blade because I have to look sharp or maybe I should go a little rugged.

What should we talk about?  I want to keep her engaged, but don’t want to ask all the generic questions.

It is now the night of the fated first date.  You put on a great outfit and then change three more times.  You look in the mirror about ten times before you walk out the door.  You apply the cologne while you get dressed and then once more before you walk out the door.  Brush your teeth very thoroughly.  You pop about five breath mints because clearly one isn’t enough for tonight even though you just brushed your teeth.  You look around to make sure the car is clean and take out the crazy hardcore CD you had in the player and put on some smooth sounds.  Everything is ready.  Wait, you need to check your face one more time to make sure you didn’t miss any spots shaving.  Now all is perfect.  You drive up to her place, get out of the car, tuck in your shirt again, suck in the gut, take a deep breath and begin…

That is an exhilarating moment, isn’t it?

When we think about how much time and energy we put into our hygiene and appearance for a date, it is almost shocking, but still refreshing.

Yet, for many in the “comfort” of marriage, the idea of fitness, nutrition, wellness and excitement takes a back seat to routine, laziness and lack of “caring” about one self.

love2

Why does that happen?

Let us look at a few possibilities:

  • Security – You are keenly aware that you will have that person to come home to every day for the rest of your life.  There is no cat and mouse chase so you can put the racing shoes away knowing you will catch her every night.
  • Many marriages fall into a pattern of routine.  You come home from work the same time, watch the same weekly shows, order in the same food and even have the same intimacy patterns.
  • Marriage becomes more of a partnership with responsibility taking over the power of adventure.  Budgets are more important, planning families and maintaining a higher sense of responsibility are the key prerogatives.
  • “It is supposed to be this way” – As you get older, a majority have a perception that we should be married, living in the suburbs, two children, two dogs, a white picket fence, dual income and dinner on the table at six every night.
  • It is easy.  Having a set pattern of living is easy and comforting.  Life is hard enough, so why not create certain elements that are constant that will always be there for you.
  • It is no longer about you.  We believe and I do not disagree, that marriage is a partnership of shared interests and responsibilities.  That makes us busier, maybe even too busy to go to the gym, cook a little healthier or run instead of watching television.  Think about it.  When you first met your husband or wife, you wanted to look good for them.  The same principle still applies.
  • You stop pursuing your dreams.  This one is critical.  Life becomes more focused on survival than ambition.  Many dreams take risk and marriage has a way of minimizing risk.  The paycheck will always win out over the dream adventure.

This is a wake up call to all the couples stuck in a rut.  We are all getting older one day at a time.  As a curious youth, our energy level and ambition was infinite.  The world was anything we wanted it to be.  As we bloomed into sexual aware and passionate teenagers and adults, that curiosity took on new meaning as we dove into the forest in the pursuit of the almighty attraction.  Most importantly, we never settled.

Somewhere along the line, we all became aging turtles that no longer looked back and remembered that time long ago.

It is time to change and find the long lost roots of ambition and excitement.

Look in the mirror.  Are you happy where you are?  Do you want to change?  Do you want to dream?  Do you want to be physically and mentally fit, challenging and pushing yourself to be a better you?  I have to believe more of us feel that way and are just afraid of the effort and the risk.

Life is a gift.

It is filled with uncertainty and even a great deal of pain and suffering.  Yet, it is also filled with magic and reward.

love3

Remember these few things:

  • Remember why you fell in love
  • Remember what it was about him/her that made you have butterflies inside
  • Remember how much effort you put in to impress this person
  • Remember how much you wanted to be the best person in the world for them
  • Remember the ache you had when they weren’t around
  • Remember the exhilaration you felt with each kiss and touch of their skin
  • Remember that desire to be romantic and spontaneous

Find that again.  Find that and you will find a new love each and every day of your marriage.

Why I love recruitment

To find something you are passionate about is a gift.
To find something that grants you fulfillment and reward is simply priceless.

There are researchers and scientists dedicating their lives for the opportunity to find cures and promote a better state of living. Doctors and nurses comforting the bodies and souls and extending life so that we may see our grandchildren grow and smile. Teachers who see reward every day in the glow of a child’s eye when they realize they have made a breakthrough. Firefighters who put their own lives on the line on a daily basis to ensure the safety of others. Clergy fulfill a life mission of extending the word of the Lord to those in need. Writers use the benefit of the written word to share a message.

All of these life changing roles serve a purpose. Whether it is to one or millions, their devotion and commitment is a testimony to life. It is the notion of purpose and legacy that grants us a reason to continue our personal journey.

These are extreme examples. We all have value in what we do each and every day from engineers, to chefs, sales, to drivers to accountants. In the circle of existence, all the work we do contributes to a means. It is the value we contribute to society that keeps this well oiled engine moving.

Why do I love recruitment? What is the uplifting result of my chosen career path?

Given the global economic slowdown and the imminent concern over foreclosures, bankruptcy, basic standards of living, rise in poverty, fear and depression, it seems fair to say that helping others find a job is its own personal reward, but it goes much deeper than that.

There are many facets that complete me as a professional. It is the collective embodiment that gives that zest and energy to tackle each day with commitment and pride.

1. Relationships, relationships, relationships – Life is a series of interactions between individuals. Some grow and harness into blossoming flowers while others pass in the wind. Throughout my career I have spoken to candidates on welfare and those making half a million dollars annually and to this day, each and every conversation is a journey of wonder to me. I love the engagement. Making that initial connection and finding that common bond and then letting it grow from there. There is nothing more precious in all of the business world and I get to do it every day. Yesterday, I was reaching out to some of my old networking connections from business I conducted two years ago and it was so refreshing to hear their success stories and their personal life changes. It is the relationships that don’t make the metrics reports or performance reviews but they are the single strongest element of life and business.

2. The ability to change the life of an individual and/or a family. Helping set the groundwork for a career opportunity has ramifications far beyond the assessment and offer. A new career for many is a life change. For some a rebirth or second chance. For others a new challenge. For a few the chance to fulfill a dream. We open the gates of possibility. We hold the key that can guide individuals to what possibly could be the greatest path they can take.

3. Diversification – So many careers are in a box. You have a core group of businesses you support and a set of roles and responsibilities that are a means to an end. In talent acquisition, your client is the company and the scope of expertise is all skills and roles. One moment I may be focused on understanding processes and requirements in the technology space and another I will focus on financial executives. During my career I have dipped into non-profit, consulting, defense, finance, communications, insurance, domestic and global. I stood face to face with Jon Corzine at Goldman & Sachs learned from hundreds of children during Take Your Child to Work Day. Being exposed to all cultures, socio-economic levels and jobs have given me the portfolio to success in how I look at my core goals.

4. Partnership – Recruitment involves many hands in the pot. It is a collective partnership from identification to on-boarding. The process steps involve sales, negotiation, politics, evaluation, risk, and excitement. Working with resource managers, hiring groups, operations specialists, candidates, IT professionals and vendors makes this so much more than what seems like a well run assembly line. Each day is a new set of challenges and one I look forward to.

At the end of the day, it is never about the numbers but the lives. Human capital is and will always be the most critical element of the success of an organization. As automation and robotics take hold, they can only go so far. It is the people that define culture, experiences and growth.

We as recruiters make a pledge to understand the business and identify the best fit for the candidate and the company. We are pioneers to the promise land and I am proud to pave the path.

A few ways women can impress their man and spice it up…Listen up ladies

Here we go. So ladies, girls, women you officially have your man. Prince Charming, the love of your life, your true soul mate and as time passes you with both develop a set of routines and consistent behaviors. One morning you are both going to wake up and realize that there is no longer any mystery. The zest has fizzed out and the only logical progression is the demise of the romance and spice. This is a period of a relationship so many of us have had to deal with. You may find yourself sitting in bed one evening pondering ways to add a twist to the relationship to make it new and exciting once again.

We are here to assist. Right before your eyes are a few sure fire ways you can step up to the plate and show the love of your life you are ready to play the game and keep the fire burning for a long time to come.

1. Speak your mind and say it loud. Do not be afraid to disagree with your significant other and justify your point. A good healthy discussion builds strong character and intense will power. Go toe to toe and show him that you are as strong in your convictions as he is. Guys like a girl that agrees with him, but not all the time.

2. Show your wild side a little more frequently. I am positive the intimacy is still healthy yet take a look at your routines in bed and see if there are some patterns of repetition and look within yourself to find new things you have never tried before such as a stripper pole, tying him up, blind folds, new lingerie, a little playful sex game, toys or a wild new position. Take the initiative and make it happen.

3. Go natural. We love make up and all the effort your put into your hair and face. Sometimes though, we want to know our girl is confident enough to go out just the way she is. We can look at magazines or four star restaurants to see women with hundreds of dollars of MAC products on, but there is something sensual about a girl that can walk out the door with nothing but a smile and work it.

4. Be impulsively spontaneous. Show up one day with tickets to a bed and breakfast or lessons to go sky diving or a road trip for the evening and the bags are already packed. Doing something completely unexpected with not only keep him on his toes, but will set the plateau higher for him to top you.

5. Show your inner geek. Play some video games or be a dork and dance in a water fountain. Dorky is the new sexy. Try it and let me know if I am right.

6. Laugh until it hurts inside and out. Laughter is the key to all happiness. Finding and embracing your love of laughter is the most cherished gift in the world. Whether you are at a movie or cuddling on the couch let yourself go. You will be shocked how turned on a guy can be when a girl is laughing her little butt off.

7. Take a chance on your passions. Men love to see a woman that shows a desire to learn something new and sticks with it. It shows focus, determination and accomplishment. Men by nature have a competitive instinct so when our lady shows an interest and follows it to completion, we are very impressed.

8. Be independent and be your own woman. Independence is very sexy. If you want girl time to go to the gym, sit in a warm bath or dance with your friends, go out and have fun. In a strong healthy relationship trust is the single strongest bond. If you both have that level of trust, we love letting you go and being on your own, because in the end it is the love that brings you back into each others arms.

There you have it, the guide to keeping your man impressed and maintaining a level of vigor and punch in your relationship. Keep it sensual, seductive and playful.

Now go give your special man a hug and a long kiss.

Does The Bachelor set romantic expectations too high?

The romantic gesture of sending flowers to your significant others work or a picnic in the park under the warmth of the sun or dancing in the rain in the middle of the road are all exceedingly beautiful actions to demonstrate the all encompassing aura of love. They are the truest of selfless acts that shows ones unconditional commitment to another.

But, when millions of women, watch Ben give a personal trolley ride through downtown San Francisco, scale the Golden Gate Bridge, have a national recording artist sing in City Hall or get kissed during a personal fireworks show, the bar gets set a little bit higher; almost to the point of unattainable.

The influence of the show has furthering affects on our environment. During a pivotal scene showing the conclusion of a date with Lindzi, he played piano to David Gray as they kissed the evening away. During my twenty minute drive home this fine night, I heard “Babylon” twice. hmmmm. Coincidence? I think not.

Fortunately, after the show has ended, the morning water cooler talk has subsided and the Facebook comments are settling in, we are back to reality…until next Monday when they horseback ride in Park City, Utah and whisk the night away with wine and hot tubs.

We as men do take solace in knowing the producers of the show do lend a bit of assistance as most common men cannot break into City Hall, reserve a city trolley and have a personal fireworks show over the San Francisco harbor, but the illusions remains.

So what do we do? Obviously, take comfort in knowing we are in bed with the one we adore and she cannot walk through the television and into the world of reality shows. For now at least. But, we still need to take notes and keep her on her toes. The Bachelor should not be our only point of research. Though most men hate to admit it, we do browse through Cosmopolitan and Vogue to help us with the ultimate dilemma, understanding women. This truly complex formula, more intricate than anything Galileo or Einstein ever theorized, is one that has baffled men from generation to generation. As hard as we try to impart our wisdom on the next generation, they too will fail as did we. We will continue to smile and celebrate with high fives the way men should when we gain even the smallest of victories.

Back to the topic at hand. Has The Bachelor set the bar too high for men to ever achieve the level of romance that women want? As a single opinion in the vast melting pot of relationships, I say yes. Our women may not say it out loud, but we know they are thinking it.

When they say “Honey, I adore you so much”, they are thinking “Why can’t he be more like the bachelor”
When they say “I love the little things you do”, they mean, “Why can’t you get off your ass and do something special for me”

Do we know how to read between the lines and just ignore it accepting we are the best we can be or do we truly not get it. Some do and some don’t. We have to keep some secrets to ourselves you know.

In the end, for two hours on Monday night, a fantasy world is created for 12 million plus women living vicariously through the 25 women who are fighting to extend their fifteen minutes of fame. Is The Bachelor really about romance? That is for you to decide America.

From the words of a writer and a poet, romance is a blessing. It is the true escape to a fantasy world where illusion becomes reality and the soul is drenched with the impulse of love. It captures our senses and warms the deepest corners of the heart. Love gives us the strength to find hope in despair and happiness in a sea of sadness. It is the most powerful force we can ever encounter and provides us with a reason to live.

Not everyone needs a reality show to see why we all desire even for a moment the ultimate feeling of love.

Best Places to Meet Quality Women

It seems a bit on the ironic side that a single male who is spending his Sunday morning alone at a coffee shop should be discussing the best places to meet quality women for the glimmer of a chance at relationship utopia. Irony aside, my years of unsuccessful wisdom has taught me a number of things including how places, patterns of behavior, ideals, morals, personal convictions and personal interests can all be identified by choices in places resided.

So at this point we can eliminate Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, prison, rehabilitation centers (maybe not entirely), mud wrestling tournaments and race tracks as possible options for meeting your next partner.

Understanding the culture of an establishment will help you make an educated assessment on the type of person who chooses to be there. The choice in food, entertainment or exercise is a lifestyle choice so that needs to be a critical element in your decision to seek out a potential mate.

This list is not compiled through a statistical study and thus there is no formal ranking system outlined below.

Lowe’s / Home Depot

We have evolved into a society who has made tremendous strides in gender equality. The strength of an independent woman who can create, fix and enhance their residence is a very attractive quality that should never be overlooked. If you visit your local Home Depot or Lowe’s you will find amazing women who are looking to do home improvement, building, painting, construction or aesthetic enhancements to the home. If you are a strong willed man that values a woman who can go toe to toe with you; one that knows her way around a power tool; and one that can live a vivacious life of independence and success, this may want to be a regular scheduled stop in your pursuit of the perfect mate. Of course, if she is alone or with other female friends, you need to keep an eye out for the big indicator: the ring. We don’t want to encourage the notion of breaking up marriages. We are a family friendly blog.

Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s

These two grocers have built a culture around being environmentally sensitive, organic and health conscious, and promoting mental/physical fitness. You are not going to find many lazy, lethargic or sloppy women here. On a given day, you will observe matching running outfits, professional business women or earthly/flowery sundresses. If you want to impress, don’t go in, buy beer and chips unless it is a good craft micro brew and organic veggie chips. These establishments breed women that care about the environment and wellness. So, gentlemen, if you chose to take on this challenge, bring your own re-usable bags and water bottle, dress neatly, and don’t be afraid to show a little of your rugged side.

Dog Parks

Dog lovers are creatures of habit. They love their dogs as if they are children and treat them with the same caring nature. A dog lover can make an excellent mate but make no mistake, you will most likely be number two in their world. The key to being successful at a dog park is to modify the behavior of your target. When you see her, schedule your dog park time the same as hers and feel each other out for a few days (of course it should be obvious that you have a dog as well). Each day, give your pup a pep talk about flirting with her dog. If the dogs work out, you are in like Flynn. If that does not work and the dogs become rival enemies, this will present a whole new set of challenges and often one you cannot overcome. Make sure when you first start talking to each other (humans), be very complimentary about her dog, ask its name, how old, and mention how good the two of them look together. When you tell a mother how adorable she is with her child, it is like melting butter on a warm slice of toast. This approach will take patience. It may be a week or two before the idea of an off site puppy date is brought up or better yet a puppy date at her place over dinner. If you get that approved, bring some good wine because you have a really good chance with this one.

Beaches

I hesitated to put beaches on this list. Beaches offer a sand to sand endless pool of possibility. Sun, fun, flirting and a even a little drinking perhaps. In hindsight, all of this invites more an opportunity for a short term fling than a long term relationship, but if you are a little vain and believe in looks above and beyond everything else, then you may meet that perfect mate. Here is where the hesitation comes into play: focus. Obviously, the women will be wearing the bear minimum of clothing and men tend to focus on certain regions. When the chance occurs to strike up a conversation (say after you mistakenly throw the football by a group of girls), the likelihood is that you will not be focused on her eyes. You need to train yourself prior to a beach day if you have any chance of success.

Coffee Shops (Independent)

I am not by any means disrespecting Panera, Starbucks or Caribou. In fact, I met one of the most amazing women I have ever known in my life at a Caribou. This is targeted for those with a lifestyle around arts, creativity, music and personal/spiritual enlightenment. For all the poets, musicians, painters and true “artists”, the independent coffee shop could be your haven for love. Be specific and do your research. Each establishment has a life of its own and a culture it breeds. Find out what type of music they play, the backgrounds of the owners, the art on the walls and chose wisely. Choosing the right coffee shop is almost as important as the right home.

Book Stores

Intellectuals are stable, intelligent, philosophical, insightful and frisky. When you think about librarians, book sellers, teachers or professors, you think proper. My experience has shown and certainly not true for all is that all that pent up proper behavior has to be released somehow. Believe me, in very adventurous and experimental ways. If you want an intelligent wild cat, this might be a good place to start your search. If you do, don’t pick a cliche book to read; be original and make it an extension of yourself.

Gym / Fitness Center

If physical fitness is your game, this is an easy choice, but know how to read the signs. Typically working out is either a couple or individual activity. If a girl is by herself know what to look for. If she is wearing a hat, leave her alone. She is driven and has a goal in mind. You interrupting her is not in the plan. Again, look for the ring. That is vital as well. If you spot a girl you would like to know better, follow her routine for a few minutes (cardio, weights, stretching..) and try to find a good place to slip in a casual meeting. In this day of IPods, it can be harder than you think. Adjacent treadmills or bikes is a great starting point. It is an extended activity and gives plenty of time to see if eye contact is made. Remember, girls at the gym want a confident man that is not afraid to step up to bat.

Yes, bars and clubs are so yesterday and online dating….time will tell.

There you have it. Not Men’s Journal. Not GQ but Recruiterpoet’s Guide to Where to Meet Quality Women.

To all the men, good luck. Even with all the tips in the world, women are tricky, but they are genuinely amazing creatures with beauty, intelligence and warmth. If you are lucky enough to find the one that warms your soul and has you yearning for more each and every day, you need to hold on, embrace and cherish it for the rest of your life.