DIGITAL NOMADS: THE INSPIRING BEAUTY OF LIVING AND WORKING ANYWHERE YOU WANT

By Avnika Gupta

CAGED BIRDS DON’T SING, THEY CRY

As I see people around me, living their life in concentric circles of their misery and limitations, without having the slightest idea of what they are doing, clawed and caged in spirals of other people’s expectations and conditioning, I howl in pain at this suffering the human self subjects itself to.  I wake up everyday trying to break free, of something. I wake up everyday trying to beak free, of everything.

But there are some people who paint their skin with courage and desires. Who walk with legs like swords cutting through the human limitations of time and distance. They are the Digital Nomads!

Caged birds don’t sing, they cry. Captured animals still have cages in their minds after they are removed. Some people move in circles of denying themselves their absolute and free spirit. They don’t do what they love. They don’t touch a soul’s life. Never do an act of remarkable courage. Some people are buried before they die. Read the full article here.

 

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What Is Normal?

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” -Morticia Addams

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” ― Ellen Goodman

 

12 Years And Counting…

“Love is like a Rubix Cube, there are countless numbers of wrong twists and turns, but when you get it right, it looks perfect no matter what way you look at it.”- Brian Cramer

Today is our wedding anniversary. In the beginning, people thought we will never make it. I bet some of them prayed and still praying for our separation but we’ve proved  them wrong and we will continue to do so. Eat your hearts out I’d say 🙂 

Here is our first/opening dance song as husband and wife. Go Shania Twain!

Learning The Hard Way

During school holidays I used to do baby sitting jobs to earn (pocket) money for the next term. That year I was working as a nanny to the 2 year old baby girl of Ensign R. my brother in law’s CO. Mind you I didn’t apply. He saw me aboard his ship, took one good look at me and asked my sister if I could live with them for a time to take care of their first born. His wife was a nurse. He was a young 26 years old naval officer, his wife 28, I was 14.

They are one of the few people I will never regret meeting. One of the corner stones of my (shaken but not totally gone)faith in humanity despite of everything I have been through and experience. I’m grateful they exist.

I was a small town girl, extremely naïve and because of my isolated upbringing, totally and utterly stupid with the ways of the world. Some people took advantage of that. What a shame.

There was this girl Liza who was working as a maid for the next door neighbour. She is ugly (sorry but I can’t put it any other way) as hell, has funny accent and I suspected a lot older than me though I don’t know her real age. Ate Mila (the wife of Ensign R.) cannot stand her and told me to keep away from that woman at all cost. But young ones are rebellious, besides, Liza fascinated me. She knew things I had no idea about and thought her grand.

One night she asked me to accompany her outside to buy something. We ended up with two young guys I never saw before. She told me one of them is her brother and she said they had some urgent family business to discuss. They disappeared into a building across the street, me and the friend of the brother had been told to wait till they come out. But it took a long time so I decided to follow Liza and knocked on the door. She was agitated and talk to my companion in a strange language. The next thing I know I was being manhandled into some passage and being assaulted. When I fought with all my might the boy told me that Liza told him I wanted it. So, why on earth I was fighting with him for? I was shocked! She denied the accusations and said the boy was lying. Naïve that I was, I believed her. She was after all my friend, wasn’t she?

Other time she convinced me to accompany her to her lady friend’s place somewhere in another city. I told Ensign R. I was going to spend the weekend with my sister. That was the first time I lied to grownups.

But where we ended up? In the Luneta Park! Sleeping under the tree on pieces of folded newspaper which dissolved and disappeared the next morning. I had to sleep few paces away from her and this strange looking guy who kept strangling her whole night.

I ended up in a hospital with pneumonia.

The last thing she did was convinced me to run away with her. She told me that my benefactors were keeping me from enjoying life the way it supposed to be, that I had to see the world. She will take care of me she promised. So the next day I left the house without saying anything to anyone and eloped with her. I thought I was free.

We went to this strange looking place which she called boarding house. It got no concrete floor downstairs and upstairs only wooden mezzanine so close to the corrugated roof it was hot as an oven there. There were kids playing and some babies in the play pen. It was not heaven but bigger than where I used to live in the province.

When dark came, women who were sleeping woke up, took a bath one by one behind the house where a big drum of water was standing.

Tables were arranged. Windows closed, multi-coloured lights lit up, music played and people started coming, mostly men.

To my surprised I was forced to sit with a burly gentleman who offered me beer and tried to stick his fingers inside my panties. I kicked the guy and get hysterical, crying and shouting. I was slapped and been thrown out in the streets at 2:00 in the morning. I never saw Liza again.

A fruit vendor found and rescued me from being arrested by the police. Apparently, it was against the law to wander in the night alone if one is a minor. The guy took one good look at me and asked why I was filthy and bruised. I didn’t realize that my lips were bleeding.

He brought me to his sister’s place which was so dark and small full of sleeping bodies almost on top of each other.  He said I had to find a place in between there. It was not much but at least I would be safe. Then he closed the door behind him.

The next morning he brought me to the bus station and told me I have to take care of myself because I was such a good looking kid. That if it was up to him, he will gladly marry me in a second. I refused. Like I refused to be married to some naval officer my sister had chosen for me based on financial and social status (having his own house already, good income and solid career etc.etc.) The guy was 30 years old for crying out loud!

Remember when I said I can write books about my failed relationships with women, this is one reason why. I have lots more. But that’s (maybe) for another time…

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Weekly Discover Challenge

Dream

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

The ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.

The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,—not the material of my every-day existence–but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams–In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.

-Edgar Allan Poe

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Saga

I can’t help but think about all the ghosts I carry in my mind. People who are still walking the earth, but who no longer exist in my world although there are remnants of them. Old paintings, photographs, gifts, secrets, memories. Noises and songs and places and smells that trigger memories that we shake away before they root themselves. I entertain the ghosts sometimes though. I wonder how all the people I stopped talking to are doing. I wonder if they ever got to do that thing they always talked about doing. I wonder if they’re still pursuing their passions or if their paint brushes are hardened. If their favorite show changed. If they still cry about the same things. If they ever got over that fear. I never bring myself to reach out, I’m not sure why. It’s weird how it’s awkward to talk to someone you once told you loved.

It’s sad how sometimes it takes death for us to appreciate life. Funny how it’s always the little things we remember.

-Diana Ozoria

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Daily Prompt

Apology

I no longer look to my abusers with any expectation– of remorse, or apology or restitution or restoration or relationship. I’m at peace, accepting that they won’t and can’t help me out of the mess they created. – Christina Enevoldsen

I am still subconsciously waiting for an apology that I know will never come. My parents are dead. The last thing my siblings are thinking is apologizing to me I’m sure of it. From my wonderful ex I don’t have to expect anything aside from terror. Before one can administer cure to somebody, that person has to admit first that he or she is sick. The man I was married for twenty years would never acknowledge that he had done me wrong. Perhaps it is his manner of coping. Because if he has a single ounce of self-respect and conscience, he will jump off the bridge the moment he realized what he has done to me and to our children. But none is so blind than those who refuse to see.  

I’ve done apologizing to my children. I realized the other day that no matter how hard I try, they will never appreciate the sacrifices I have made so they can grow up more or less in a secure and safe environment. They are adult now. It is up to them to make the balance and form their own conclusion. Whatever it is, I will leave it at that. Truth will prevail.

One of the most important lessons I’ve recently learned? I have to move forward without that apology. Waiting on it has bound me to an anchor that is pulling me under. What would make the other person apologize for hurting me when they’re far too selfish to notice they have? 
― Paula Heller Garland

I will never apologize for the person that I am. This is me. Take it of leave it. At this point in my life, I don’t give a damn anymore what others think of me. Their opinions are not necessarily who I am. They never walk in my shoes so they are not in the position to judge me. I have my own short comings and mistakes, but who doesn’t? 

With me what you see is what you get. It maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but in my book it is better than to lie, cheat and deceive in order to be liked/loved and accepted.

They say: women live lives of continual apology. They are born and raised to take the blame for other people’s behavior. If they are treated without respect, they tell themselves that they have failed to earn respect. If their husbands do not fancy them, it is because they are unattractive. I know this to be true. It is always the fault of the mother.

Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action. -Stella Young

I cannot accept an apology from someone who is doing the apologizing while continually standing on my toes. Repeated offense never deserve forgiveness.

I will not apologize for telling the truth but I apologize if by doing so I hurt the feelings of others. It never my intention or purpose. I will never deliberately cause harm to anyone. Friends or foes. 

These are my thoughts, these are my beliefs, I could be wrong but I will stick with what I know and feel. I will never force my opinions on no one and will never try to convince anybody to accept. I will never apologize for the things I believe to be the truth…

 

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Daily Prompt

Things to Look Forward to About Growing Older

True North

I never knew the real reasons why people get married. Not until yesterday when once again I was (and still is) in so much pain throwing up whole night and for the first time thankful that someone though confused and barely awake from being roused from his slumber (happening more and more lately) was there for me, ready to help, understanding without questions, without complains. There and then I realized that despite everything that happened to me, I am lucky to have found someone who accepts me for who I am and willing to take care of me no matter what. He may not be the one I want, the one I have dreamed of, he may not be perfect or the ideal guy but he’s there, and that’s the most important right now.

Love is never the reason why I got married. Not the first time, not this time. Money was their reason to marry me off, despair was my reason to do it all over again. Sound harsh but plausible and valid in my book. Besides, it’s the truth. I will not begin lying to myself at my age (never done it before why should I start now) so I look good to the eyes of the world. Not my style.

My first marriage was a hell. I can’t say it enough. The consequences of that union will resonate for the years to come and I (and some) will carry the burden of it as long as I live. I existed in a terrifying nightmare for twenty years. Half of me is still there. Don’t ask. The man I married was not interested in me as a person but as a commodity. I was a body without feelings, wants or needs. He didn’t bother to know about them, about me. I was there for his pleasure, nothing else. Troubles begun when he found out that I was not what he expected me to be. Despite the abuse, he never managed to touch my core or break my spirit. He could not accept defeat. It went from bad to worst. For both of us. I was just a kid in a distant land with no one to turn to. My family was and still is not interested with my ordeals. I am just a meal ticket to them. I’ve done things I am not proud of in order to survive. I found out I am a warrior, and a survivor. That I am proud of.

I got married again because I have to. That was the price of a safe haven. Small price to pay I thought. I could have done worse. This time it is a quiet journey but nonetheless arduous. Don’t underestimate the weight of psychological burden. Sometimes, it is more heavy than physical suffering. Once again I have to grow up on the spot to take a role that is expected of me. I vowed to fulfill it with all I have. No mistake this time.

I’m a weed. An unloved flower that cannot grow in a row. I am a wild species. I don’t belong in a green house. Contrary to popular belief, caged birds don’t sing. Not even in a golden cage. They cry instead. We often mistake their pleas for songs. I found myself wondering if this is it, if indeed I made the right decision of exchanging my freedom for security. The wondering turned into longing, the longing became an itch I can’t anymore ignore. It inhabits my thoughts in every waking hours and walks in my dreams at night. I have to go.

But fate has another plan for me. A chronic condition rendered me helpless. Well, almost. I can’t fly. The cage I loath is once again a safe haven for me. There is someone there who cares. For the first time in my life, there is actually a person who doesn’t do me harm deliberately. It is difficult to trust, surrender my whole being to someone, open myself completely and be vulnerable. There are days full of suspicions and paranoia. I can’t believe that there is somebody out there who doesn’t have a hidden agenda. It’s impossible.

These days I have learned to resigned with the situation and accept the fact that I do need someone. I learned to trust and be grateful. I still cannot give myself over completely. I have to hold onto a piece of me I need to survive in case…

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Daily Prompt

Inspiration

I am a big fan of this site  It is full of witty anecdotes and out of this world articles that often border on reality. I like the authors uncensored thoughts and their courage to put it out there. Take for example this article… It says:

When I left my country with the man I did not love, but I was sharing a life with, my greatest pleasure was to retreat in my room and lead an imaginary existence while reading a novel. If I were to move somewhere, I wouldn’t choose a country, I would rather choose a novel to move inside.

Home was a far place, not the claustrophobic place I was sharing with an enemy…

Read the full article here. I promise it will be worthy of your time.

Love triangles are very common, almost as common as the fear of loneliness or the fear of living. They are an indication of split personalities between the need for stability and the excitement of the unknown, between what we are and what we could become. An indication of the gap between what we want ourselves and what others expect from us.

I find that I can relate to most of their published works. As if someone visited my head and start writing about what they have witnessed in there. So seldom I read something that moves or inspires me. This site is one of the rare few. Check it out, maybe you will like it too.

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Art: Christine_Wu

The Face

There is a face I know too well,
A face I dread to see,
So vain it is, so eloquent
Of all futility.

It is a human face that hides
A monkey soul within,
That bangs about, that beats a gong,
That makes a horrid din.

Sometimes the monkey soul will sprawl
Athwart the human eyes,
And peering forth, will flesh its pads,
And utter social lies.

So wretched is this face, so vain,
So empty and forlorn,
You well may say that better far
This face had not been born.

-Stevie Smith

Survival

This is what people do everyday- surviving. Not only physically but emotionally and psychologically as well. We all have obstacles to overcome to keep ourselves safe not only from the world out there which getting increasingly violent with each passing day but also from ourselves, from avalanche of emotions and not so nice thoughts that besiege us from all sides. I believe that all people have violent gloomy dreadful suicidal fantasies from time to time swirling in their heads. Only those brave complicated gutsy evils without scruples dare to act them out in reality. Blessed are those simple individuals that have been spared from the suffering of too much awareness and thinking. They are the ones that are truly happy. Maybe they live in their own worlds but isn’t it a bliss, having your own world to live in without the hassles of the real one? I would like to have it, own world… but I see too much and feel too much, even those things that are not visible to the naked eye and written between the lines. No, I’m not imagining it. They are really there. Only some (or most) are adept on hiding what matters behind the masks. Maybe others see them too but they pretend they don’t. Too complicated and too time consuming to get involved with. I understand them. Life is hard enough as it is without adding more complex matters into it. Live and let live. I said that too, but it is one of those things that are easier said than done. You can be responsible for your own actions but how others will perceive and treat you are beyond your control. So, what we do if we are not ready yet to thrown in the towel? Yes, practice our survival skills in order to survive out there.

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Art: Svyatogor_Masha-04