Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat, the boat is f—ing rocked. ~ Joaquin Phoenix
Someone asked me if I have seen The Joker yet and I answered no. In my mind, the no is in reality never. I don’t like Joaquin Phoenix. I don’t like him because I love his brother. And compared to River Phoenix Joaquin not only pales but totally disappears. Not only in appearance but in talents. Why on earth he has to die? The brother I mean. It could have been Joaquin instead.
I know… I know… Cruel. But that is how I feel.
We all know he won the Oscar and the Bafta and the Golden Globe etc. etc. I am aware of his out of the box speeches but still, I am not convinced. I saw some of his performances (by accident if they play them on television I will watch him for a while to see what he got) but each time it reminds me of what he is lacking compared to his brother. He doesn’t have the looks of River, he doesn’t have the charisma, he doesn’t have the natural acting abilities, he doesn’t have the aura and he doesn’t have the talents. He could probably act (or otherwise he will not win all those awards) and he probably is okay as a person but still, I don’t like him. Watching him up there on the stage delivering his speech I thought: It could have been River. It could have been River accepting those awards and delivering those speeches because we all know how great an actor he was. A unique and promising talent that had been taken away so soon before it could flourish. What a waste! What a pity! Life is so unfair!
If River lives, there would probably never been a Joaquin (as an actor) He will forever be living in the shadow of his more talented brother. And I probably will not dislike him this much. But as it is, every time I see him, every time he won an award, I think of his dead brother and what could have been. Mea Culpa Joaquin, but you cannot hold a candle to River. Truly not.
“Long before the advent of social media psychologists knew that one of the fundamental barriers to our well-being is social comparison. It’s hard to be happy if we constantly concern ourselves with how we measure up to those around us. When we derive a sense of worth based on how we are doing relative to others, we place our happiness in a variable that is completely beyond our control.
Within moments of logging on to social media, we have instant access to others’ accomplishments, vacations, job promotions, home upgrades, and culinary creations. It’s nearly impossible not to get swept into the cycle of comparison. Scrolling through the highlight reels our friends’ posts inevitably fills us with envy because of the things we now want.” Read the whole article here.
If this wisdom is even remotely true then the media will die overnight. They will go out of business in no time. And since it’s thriving more than ever, the only conclusion I could come up with is the lack of wise people on earth. Or so it seems. How could we otherwise explain fake news and social media success? How about reality shows and gossip magazines? How about our own neighborhood and neighbors?
I grew up in a place where other people know your own business better than you yourself and they are experts on what you should do and not do and they are more effective guard dogs than CCTV and better writers and scenarists than those famous authors. They already wrote your day before you even wake up. Without your knowledge, you could get pregnant during the course of the day and give birth in the afternoon or have a miscarriage without you even knowing it. They even have detailed information on your comings and goings abroad even though they never been anywhere outside their little village. Their imaginations are limitless and their conviction fierce. And there is nothing you can do.
That is probably the only thing I didn’t miss from my country of birth, the isolated way people think and their small town narrow-minded ideas. And one of the few things I am thankful for living abroad. Here, they don’t mind you most of the time. They see you, make a fixed conclusion about you and they leave you pretty much alone. Especially in the city or in the suburb where people don’t even know their neighbors. I like the idea of being lost in anonymity. It’s peaceful that way. I don’t crave community spirit and I don’t want to be part of it. I have nothing to give in give and take process which all relationships have in common. And they have nothing to give that I’m remotely interested in. So, I keep away from clubs of any sort.
I don’t buy glossy gossip magazines either. They are not my thing. But I love to watch programs where there are human interactions. I find it educational.
How about you? Do you gossip? Take part in it? Loath love it? Or you are totally indifferent?
When we encounter people around our own age who appear more contentedly creative or professional or in love than we are, the doubt is like a passing “Ahem.” It’s light enough to carry in a briefcase. We confront it in the pages of our empty notebooks. In moments of sleepless worry, we wrest the blanket away from it, feel it in the heat of our own faces. This is the doubt that drips steadily from the computer screen as we scan Facebook and watch what our contemporaries are up to — or watch what our contemporaries want us to believe they are up to, online lives carefully curated to impress. —Lillian Schneider
D. said to me that if I die before him, he will never have another romantic relationship anymore. (Of course, I don’t believe it. What a notion!) Not only because he firmly believes in one love in one lifetime (he was a virgin when I met him) he said he doesn’t want a queue of women waiting for him in heaven after he died. (There are so many things that don’t fit in this scenario of his but I don’t want to burst his bubble) He wants that he can meet me there without hassles and continue what we have started here on the land of the living. (What can I say? Maybe there will be no queue for him, but what about me?) He said also that he is not sure if he could trust another human being ever. Enough to abandon his principles and embark into another affair which could lead to a second marriage. He wants to hold onto the memories of us and he’s afraid that what we have will be erased if he ever falls in love again. And if he did he will walk away from it he said to preserve our moments together until we meet in heaven again.
I agree with his theory of not trusting another human being again enough to jump into another romantic relationship. In my case, I don’t want it not because I want to preserve my moments with D. or anything, I just don’t want it anymore. I cannot see myself adapting to another situation once again, getting to know someone, getting used to someone’s ‘else ways of seeing and doing things, making compromises, morphing my life with another’s, no, I don’t want to do that all over again. Just to think that for the sake of concessions and peace I have to adapt and adjust is too much to even consider. I don’t know if I would like the smell of that person, his way of chewing food, if he snores or not, his (personal) hygiene habits and believe you me I don’t want to find out. I have experienced already both sides of the coin and more. That’s enough for me. I will concentrate on doing what I like and nobody will be there to applaud or criticize me, most of all telling me what to do.
Besides, in this age of SocMed this and that, you don’t know anymore who is real and who is fake. People change their minds every minute without a second thought and why not when there are so many choices lying around, all attainable with just a click of the mouse. The morals and values I grew up with and holding tightly onto are passé for this current society. They laugh at honesty, loyalty, integrity, and dignity. They frown at faithfulness, truthfulness, and justice. They spit on the face of love care and respect and they know nothing (or they don’t want to know) about how it is to be authentic. No, thank you. If I ever find myself alone again, alone I shall be till the end of my days.
Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughin’ when you go
And if you care don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away
I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all
Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say, “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say
I’ve changed, but something’s lost
But something’s gained in living every day
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all…
Ah, the big question. Personally, I think that if you haven’t asked this question, then you aren’t self-aware. So basically, if you have a soul, you’ve asked this question. And if you’ve asked this question, then I’m of the opinion that you do have a destiny.
But before you start imagining yourself waving to the joyful crowds on the day of your parade for saving the world from total annihilation, let’s pause for a second and think about what it really means to have a destiny and purpose in this life. Don’t roll your eyes. This is important. There are people in this world who have chosen to believe that it’s their destiny to blow up a train station or something. So, destiny and life purpose can be an unbelievably powerful thing to believe in.
Side note: please don’t blow anyone up. That’s not what life is really about.
Oooooo. Did you just get a shiver? Because I got a shiver. This is one of those words that carries so much meaning behind it, we don’t really know how to completely explain it. Those seven letters practically sing with purpose, importance, and a kind of unstoppable power that both whispers in your ear and shouts into the cosmos and back again.
But what is destiny?
Typically, when we imagine we have a destiny, we see ourselves accomplishing grand things. Saving princesses, slaying dragons, and quitting your miserable job to start a company that becomes so successful, your mean old boss begs to work for you. Fame and butt loads of money roll in, of course. What destiny would be complete without that? Oh, and while we’re at it, I’d like one of those replicating machines from Star Trek. We imagine conquering the impossible. We hope for superpowers. We picture victory, sweet victory.
Unfortunately, replicators don’t exist. 😦 And sadly, most of the above are, in fact, pure fantasy. Even if every person in the world had a destiny, surely there aren’t that many princesses. Or dragons. Or money, to be honest. So, if we believe that everyone has a destiny — and I do— then what kind of destiny should we be looking for?
The truth about destiny is that firstly, for most people, it’s not a singular grand task. Sure, saving a princess sounds very cut and dry. Difficult, but easy to grasp the concept of. Find the princess. Save said princess from evil _____. Tada! All done. But destiny, real destiny, isn’t like that. It’s entirely possible that a person might come across a situation in which it becomes clear that there is a task to complete and it is important. Life is a beautiful, and painful, variety of things. And things most certainly happen. However, in most cases, for most people, real true destiny is in the small moments. In the magnificence of every day.
Once you take off the fairy-tale goggles and gently set them aside. (Please don’t angrily rip them off, they get us through quite a lot of hard times, respect the dreamer in you and please don’t let it die. It’s a special part of your soul that allows you to imagine the impossible. Letting it die would be like ceasing to see several colors of life.) You can now have the ability to reshape the way you look at what having a destiny means, and also what your destiny might actually be. See, another reason why you keep dreaming about what your destiny is is because you haven’t found your personal destiny. Daydreaming is a kind of superpower, but it has it’s place. You can’t find your purpose if you’re looking in the wrong place.
Once you have truly embraced what destiny isn’t, you can now start looking at what you’re destiny, or purpose might be. See, destiny doesn’t need a parade to be grand, or a reward of vast riches to be important. Destiny is really, about being yourself. This is where fairy-tales aren’t wrong. A hero fulfills his/her destiny not by defeating the evil whatsitsface, but by learning to be true to themselves in that moment of decision. Look back at every story ever told. The good ones. The hero had some sort of personal problem to overcome or deal with, before being able to fight the big bad guy and save the day. More importantly, they wouldn’t have been able to defeat the baddie unless they dealt with the fight within themselves first. This is where destiny is found. Within, not in the external action. You can do the same thing, just minus the evil sorcerer.
So how do you figure out your destiny? Don’t ask the universe. Don’t ask your best friend, or your mom, or your coach. Ask yourself. If you don’t know, find out. It’s probably because you haven’t challenged yourself, or there’s something else going on, or you’re already in the middle of your big fight within yourself and either you don’t want to recognize it or you can’t see it. It’s difficult to recognize the scope of the storm when you’re just struggling to stand up in the winds, sometimes.
How do you get to know yourself, you ask? Put your phone down. Spend some time with yourself. Think, inside your own head without anything interrupting you for a designated period of time. Journal. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to write. Getting started is the hardest part. Find a list of questions that you might ask someone to get to know them. Write that question down, and pretend someone asked you that question. What would your answer be? Write it down. No one gets to know a person in a day, give yourself some time. Be kind and patient with yourself. Your purpose isn’t going to arrive on a silver platter, served by a gloved and poised butler. You need to search for it.
It’s worth the wait, I promise.
Writer, dreamer, critic and believer. Freethinker, Skeptic/Realist, and Renaissance woman.
“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” ~ Fahrenheit 451
Faber means here that we have to be risk takers and proactive: he uses the image of “do your own bit of saving:” in other words, see the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing.
This is good advice because it means participating in solving problems, taking the initiative to help others, and being the change you want to see. This is especially important in a society where everyone is taught to be passive and quietly accept the way the world is while immersing themselves in televised fantasies.
Like the Latin carpe diem, meaning “seize the day,” it is saying that you need to take a stand for something – do something with your life!
In this society in which you don’t always have a lot of choice in what you do or what happens to you, you might as well take a stand for what you believe in and start thinking for yourself.
The above article made me think of two of society’s known cliché which I hate the most: Herd mentality and majority win. Most people want to belong they are afraid to rock the boat so they keep their real thoughts for themselves. Smart move you would say but I’m stupid so I disagree.
keeping the church in the middle and compromising for the sake of peace is good_ up to a certain limit and not at the expense of your own principles no matter how far-fetched they may seem.
I know it is hard to swim against the current and no one does it for convenience but you’ve got to stick with what you believe in and go for it even if it means standing alone.
The first paragraph above, I have mix feelings. Mainly this: See the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing. A bit foolish for me. I’m all for saving someone but not if you know you’re going to die for it. Sounds to me like those world wars where so many died for the cause they don’t even believe or understand but been forced or lured to become heroes.
I think in all situations you have to see the big picture first, analyze your chances before making a calculated risk. In other words, follow your heart but take your brain with you.
I stumbled upon an article while searching for__ basically nothing and everything that made me laugh so hard it made my day. I have never been to the place and there is no way I would or could be there ever because it is in the country which will never ever be in my bucket list. But the author wrote the piece so graphically I could almost imagine how it looks like. She said:
You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the new-found knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.
Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion…until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says Namaste. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.
Isn’t it hilarious?
Here’s another one:
Next, I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions.
Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem.
Now, I know that I’m rich (I have lactose and gluten intolerance) and in danger of becoming a white person. (Not that it’s bad. I always dream of having long blond curly hair I can shake in the wind in a slow-motion fashion.)
This one is epic:
Next, I approach the beauty aisle. There is a scary looking machine there that you put your face inside of and it tells you exactly how ugly you are.
They calculate your wrinkles, sun spots, the size of your pores, etc. and compare it to other women your age. I think of myself attractive but as it turns out, I am 78 percent ugly, meaningless pretty than 78 percent of women in the world.
Isn’t she genius!
Her name is Kelly MacLean and if you want to read the whole article, head on HERE. And if you are feeling sensitive while reading, remember this ( directly quoting one of the commenters) Don’t take it literally or personally. The humor lies not in fact but in jest.
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!
We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet will be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”
If someone would ask me which part in a movie I would like to play, that would be of Bathsheba Everdene, the heroine in Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd. And like Carey Mulligan, who insisted and got what she wanted, I would love Matthias Schoenaerts to play Gabriel Oak. Heck, I would play any part opposite him. Physically, the guy has everything I don’t fancy in a man but there is something about him that makes him so irresistible and he is a Belgian which makes him more accessible to me. Dream big right?
On the other hand, the storyline isn’t new to me. Move over Bathsheba, if you got three suitors vying for your attention, I once had five if not an entire basketball team.
But that was once upon a time.
Dreaming of Matthias Schoenaerts is what’s now left of my once technicolor life.
Still, dream big right?
And keep dreaming…