The Pursuit Of Happiness

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experiences. A hurt is at the center of all addictive behaviors. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper, and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.

– Dr. Gabor Maté

And what if one doesn’t have an addiction? Just a momentarily diversion that dwindles over time and starts again in another form?

I have that with things… One day it was shawls, another week bags, could be pizza also or smoothies. Then I get tired of them all and forget. During my wildest years, I used to drink ten screwdrivers on a Saturday night but never had a craving during weekdays. It went on for at least eight years or so and then from one day to another, I just woke up not wanting to touch alcohol anymore. No reasons, no purpose, just like that.

My momentarily “addiction” always starts with “liking” the taste, the touch, the looks… Then I want to have more of those. But no matter how hard I tried to be addicted to anything, I always get over it after a time without trying. The novelty disappears over time and it always never comes back.

Perhaps my addiction is (if you can call that an addiction) probably books. I can’t live without. And taking long walks and discovering new places. I become agitated if I can’t go out there and wander. And writing of course. I have got to write. I will go crazy if I would not be able to express my thoughts in writing.

For the rest, like a butterfly that flutters from bloom to bloom, I will continue to dance from one fleeting interest to one fleeting interest savoring the momentarily pleasure that the experience gives.

Till it is time to move on again___

when I lost the enjoyment.

The difference between a drinker and an alcoholic is; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day. ― Gail Carriger

44704cca881b4fdef4dfc4163e9657fd

We all matter – maybe less than a lot but always more than none.

The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

What this mean? If the sacrifice is lesser than the damage is it okay? Or it’s the other way around?

Oh, I know…

Care!

It’s about how important is something to you. Personally.

The value of something increases when you attach importance to it.

Yes!

That’s it!

Am I right?

Let The Sleeping Dogs Lie

Hij werd koel, afstandelijk, emotioneel onbereikbaar. Nooit een lief gebaar, nooit een vriendelijk woord, nooit een compliment.

Let’s translate it in English…

He became cool, distant, emotionally unattainable. Never a sweet gesture, never a kind word, never a compliment.

… and you got the gist of my first marriage.

Add to that violence, deception, cheating, manipulation, emotional physical and psychological abuse and the picture is complete.

Why I’m saying this?

Some of you might think that I’m not yet over it. That after all these years I have not managed to move on despite what I stated in my new year resolution. The answer is yes and no.

Yes, I have moved on but no I didn’t forget. I wonder if I ever will.

No, I’m not living in the past. Not anymore. Yes, I still suffer the consequences of that traumatic experience.

Why not let the sleeping dogs lie.

Instead of digging up old bones.

No reasons.

I just came across that passage (the one in Dutch) and it reminds me of my previous existence. Nothing more nothing less.

Honestly.

Don’t look for further reasons. It is just how my mind works.

What Can I Say?

Of this I am absolutely sure: Do not reach the era of child-rearing and real jobs with a guitar case full of crushing regret for all the things you wished you’d done in your youth. I know too many people who didn’t do those things. They all end up mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions of the people they intended to be. – Cheryl Strayed

I didn’t want to get married and have children. I didn’t want to be a wife or a mother. Or anything domesticated. I want to be Sinbad, Scully, Stephen King, Steve McQueen, Eric The Phantom and Indiana Jones or anything in between as long as it doesn’t spell boring. I want to be John Snow, Spirit of the Cimmaron Lara Croft and Aragorn. I want to be a gypsy child in the midst of Bohemianism.

To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art— for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. [source: Wikipedia]

What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life. — Ayloh, 1902

Look where I am now!

But then again, I have lived a thousand lives others can’t even imagine in their wildest dreams. I’ve’ walked to hell and back, visited heaven and been everywhere in between. People often say I’ve been there done that when what they really meant is they know how it feels to stand at the edge of a crater but they never really experience how it is to descend to the bottom. I can honestly say I did. Countless times.

In my dying bed, I will not lie there and regret everything I should have done but never dare or tried because I know for a fact that compared to most, I have lived a colorful life, even though none of those are the ones I truly wanted.

Things They Don’t teach You In School

Happiness is an acquired taste to which you can eventually become accustomed, but despair is something surprising each time you encounter it.

Not true.

When bad things are happening for a long time, you’ve come to expect it.

It’s happiness that surprises me the most. It is seldom and far in between___

If it indeed shows up at all.

I would not even recognize it if it comes knocking on my door.

Mirror, Mirror…

Do Not Define Me

Bohemian…
A person, as an artist, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. A free spirit and open-minded thinker.

Hmmm… My son once described me to his friends as a MILF. To my face he said I’m a bohemian. My ex said to one of his ladies that I was magic, but to me, he said I was a short fat and ugly gold-digging flirt head hunter who was holier than thou one of a kind spirit who got nothing to offer to a man. A man-hater frigid who pretends to be intelligent but otherwise stupid who got a limited taste in music and to top it all manic-depressive. Let’s not talk about how my daughter sees me. That would be a long and complicated story. The point of all of these…

The point is_  we are a lot of things to a lot of people. Each of them has their own version of us. None of those matches the image we have of ourselves in our heads. Not even close.

I see myself as a plain Jane of average intelligence. Aloof and introvert, shy melancholic and highly sensitive.

So many people will disagree. For most, I am confident, assertive smart outgoing social.

Alpha they say.

I’m not an Alpha. I’m not even Bravo Charlie or Delta. Just kidding. I’m more of an Omega. Really.

No. Seriously, I don’t give a damn how people see me. As long as their opinions are not interfering with my existence, they can draw/paint every picture they want.

Oh.

My husband puts me on a pedestal. For him, I can do no wrong.

Easy you might say. No, it isn’t. You don’t get feedback that way. You don’t get constructive criticism which helps you to grow and improve as a person.

He was brought up in this fashion, believing he is a shining golden boy who is perfect in every way. The result? He has a problem with anything that defies that image of him, hindering him to grow to his full potential and evolve as a human being supposed to be through years of experience and making mistakes. The consequences of that upbringing he is still reaping to this day via his work, social contacts, relationships in general. Whenever troubles reach his shore, he automatically assumes that it is because of an external factor, others, not him, never him.

I don’t want to be like that. Just hand me a mirror.

I want the truth.

But what is the truth?

Everybody has their own truths.

You know… That image again we have in our heads? That doesn’t match with the ones they have in theirs? That.

Now, the circle is complete.

Low Maintenance

My father once told me that I need to marry a rich man.

When he said this, I didn’t quite grasp what he meant or what he was trying to imply. It took me five decades to understand where he was coming from but it doesn’t mean I agree with his implication.

True, when I was young they had to coat me with baby oil before I could walk the six kilometers wasteland between our house and the only primary school in the neighborhood. I was or rather my skin was and still is allergic to grasses of any kind among so many other things. Even to these days, my naked skin cannot have direct contact with any surfaces that meant for public use like park benches, restaurants tables and chairs, buses seats and so on. I get itchy bubbles on my skin the very minute I come in contact with I think full of germs surfaces even though at first glance they look spotless. I bruise easily as well.

Oh…yeah
My skin is like a map, where my heart has been
And I can’t hide the marks, but it’s not a negative thing
So I lay down my guard, drop my defenses, down by my clothes
I’m learning to fall, with no safety net, to cushion the blow
I bruise easily, so be gentle when you handle me
There’s a mark you leave, like a love heart carved on a tree
I bruise easily, can’t scratch the surface without moving me
Underneath I bruise easily.
No, just kidding.

Prolonged contact with hard surfaces always resulted in bruises that never fade but turn into leathery skin like an elephant hide.

And I don’t know why.

I could not help our mother to wash our clothes either for I was allergic to any laundry detergent, liquid or powder. They made my hands look like raw meat. Which reminds me of the time I was on a cruise and tried Yves Saint Laurent products from the ship’s cosmetic sections. That was a big mistake. My eyes looked like someone had punched me and my lips will pass for a Botox treatment that had gone horribly wrong.

Another thing is I cannot sleep with someone next to me. Not then, not now. I always get the only bedroom in the house when we were growing up. That or I stayed awake whole night fiddling with the priceless possession of my father, the radio. Two husbands and I never managed to share a bed/room with any of them. I can’t stand the smell of another person on the pillows and bedsheets. I can’t stand them breathing next to me. I can’t stand their presence in the room. In short, I want to sleep alone.

Someone once remarked that I remind her of the story about the Princess and the Pea because I can feel every single tiny grain of whatever on the bed whether it is particles of dust or one single crumb.

How much I love working in the garden I could not do it without surgical gloves under ordinary garden mittens. I can’t stand the feel of soil between my fingers but not as much as I hate dust under my feet. Anywhere but not under my feet and between my toes.

Again, I don’t know why.

You might say my father is right. I have to marry a wealthy man, but let me tell you the other side of the story.

I am low maintenance.

Lower you cannot get.

First of all, I don’t like bling-bling or branded items. Don’t get me wrong I have them for sure but I hardly or don’t use them at all. They are given to me as gifts, from people who thought like most women, I wanted to own few if not all. I don’t go to the hair salon. I cut my own hair using ordinary household scissors that meant to be for papers. I do it in just three moves. I bend down, cut my hair straight, then trim both sides to frame my face. That’s all. I don’t wear make-up and just discovered lipstick when I was forty-eight. I don’t polish my nails, either. Heck, I don’t even shave my legs.

I don’t even need sex.

I don’t go out, rarely drink alcohol, I hate restaurants and dislike parties. I don’t even have to tan my hide, literally. I know… I know… I am already tanned by nature, so…

I don’t gamble or smoke, no expensive hobbies because my hobbies are reading, walking, writing and gardening. The last one is probably the only thing I splurge money on. When it comes to plants… I will gladly skip dinner.

So, how can my father say I have to marry a millionaire? I refuse to believe that was the (only) reason why he sold me to the highest bidder. That bidder once told me that simple things make me happy, and that is the most difficult thing to achieve because simple things are hard to come by. For him at least. When another bidder who outbid him confirmed this, I begin to consider the possibility that probably there is some truth in that claim. I am not convinced so far.

And I don’t know what to write anymore because it is a full moon and I can’t sleep and my thoughts are muddled and I want to take a bath but it’s midnight and my hair will not dry properly and I’m against using a hair dryer because it dries my hair and if I lie down with semi-wet hair I will wake up with semi-dry flat hair that is so brittle I have to take a bath again.

That’s all for now and till the next full moon.

shutterstock_165337154

Color Blind

What if one day we wake up in a world without color?

Would it change our perception of everything?

Would we see people from all walks of life equals?

Could we resurrect respect and appreciate more?

Could it make us more tolerant friendly and forgiving?

Would our lives be more simple and joyful?

They say

When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls.

Is it true?

I remember one rule of design.

If you want to know what’s wrong about a room (inside or outside) photograph them in black and white.

BUT

C. JoyBell C. said:

We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colors and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don’t share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.

The downfall of the attempts of governments and leaders to unite mankind is found in this- in the wrong message that we should see everyone as the same. This is the root of the failure of harmony. Because the truth is, we should not all see everyone as the same! We are not the same! We are made in different colors and we have different cultures. We are all different! But the key to this door is to look at these differences, respect these differences, learn from and about these differences, and grow in and with these differences. We are all different. We are not the same. But that’s beautiful. And that’s okay. In the quest for unity and peace, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to be all the same. Because in this, we all have an underlying belief that everyone should be the same as us at some point. We are not on a journey to become the same or to be the same. But we are on a journey to see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful as a human race, and if we are ever to grow, we ought to learn and always learn some more.

It is when we think we can act like God, that all respect is lost, and I think this is the downfall of peace. We lie if we say we do not see color and culture and difference. We fool ourselves and cheat ourselves when we say that all of us are the same. We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors!

What do you think?

Me personally, like Mark Rothko when it comes to humans

I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.

Wherever of the spectrum you’re in, I hope you’ll do what’s right. Not only for yourself but for everyone concerned.

Till next time.

rp1e

 

getting Through The Cracks

I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn’t open. The only thing I had was cracks. I’d do everything to get through those cracks – scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. ~Dwayne Johnson

Only I didn’t do all those things. I was not aware of the cracks. I thought they were doors. I didn’t want to escape, I was happy where I was. I guess if you don’t know any better… I knew there were people who were dissimilar from us but to me, they were just people. I never envy them nor aspire to be like them. Though they behaved differently towards me and my family, their attitude never made me feel inferior or less fortunate. It should have been. Perhaps if it was the case I would try harder getting through the cracks instead of___ what are the right words to describe what I was thinking/doing back then___ going through life one day at a time, more or less happy (in my own way) making the most of how little there was.

I don’t believe in destiny like I don’t believe in supernatural even though I had enough experience to write a dozen books about both. Things happen and that’s all there is to it. I got through the cracks somehow and stay out. No amount of coincidences, conspiracies and risky endeavors catapult me back where I came from. If I believe in luck I would say I am probably lucky.

Lucky that even though I follow my heart most of the time and pride is my greatest sin and I seem to be fond of illogical thinking, I’m still alive and in one piece and far from destitute. Hmmm… maybe the last one is debatable since I am not rich in my own right. Sometimes it is good to be a woman.

There are people who want nothing in their life than to get through the cracks but if offered a lifeline they use it to strangle themselves. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Watched it happening from the ringside often enough to know that those cases are classified as lost causes. No one can help them unless one is willing to commit suicide. Try to teach them to fish and they will hate you for not just giving them the bounty on a silver platter spoon and all. They want to eat fish but they don’t want to go fishing. They expect you to feed them through the cracks. Day by day, year by year. All their lives.

I guess it could have gone wrong for me also if I didn’t make certain choices. I tried it for size and those few times are the only decisions I ever regret making. No harm done. No course altering or life-changing events but still… those deliberate error of judgment is not to be repeated. Shameful they are.

Chances that could stir my life towards the one I had dreamed of never happened. Not for the lack of trying. It just didn’t happen. Everything I had envisioned for myself never materialized. It reminds me of the saying about God gives us not what we want but what we need. Who needs decades of nightmares I wonder.

If I could choose my own destiny I would choose to be a successful career woman ( what I mean by this is I work as a bestselling author/painter, Broadway/actress, an FBI agent ala Mulder and Scully, food/restaurant critic, travel photographer/journalist, a psychologist or even a pirate) unmarried, childless and enjoying one night stands in every city. Like a man.

Too much to ask?

Or

Maybe I just have to be content that I got through the cracks in one piece.

  81514.5885.big