Tag Archives: thoughts

Secondhand Experience

For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child’s boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.

It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. 

And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don’t have genuine souls.

It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters because I’m not a real person and neither is anyone else.

I would have done anything to feel real again.

~ Gillian Flynn

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Handle With Care

Words…

They’re fake bullets, so why do I feel like I’m bleeding out? ― Jodi Picoult

As I said already before in one of my posts: Even after all these years, words still have the power to hurt me.

I said also that words are like knives. It can only hurt us if it hits the target, and what hurts the most are those that hit closer to home, in other words, the truth.

What I didn’t tell you is: it is not always the case. Sometimes words can hurt us even though they are not true if they come from people who are dear to us and those that we value the opinion of. It hurts knowing they think of us that way regardless of where the truth lies. And often times, at least in my case, I never correct their wrong assumptions. I find it a lost cause. Their minds are already made up. Trying to change their ideas of you is like mopping the floor with the tap wide open or shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is difficult to change one’s (first) impression once it’s formed. Better charge it to experience and walk away. Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t make who you are. It’s a thought, not a fact. It’s a perspective, not the truth. It is disheartening yes but I will never let other people’s opinions define me. I will never give them the pleasure of insulting me. I may shed tears in private because of their ill-intended remarks but I will not crumble before them. Never. I will always hold my head up high and will never let myself be stirred into a fury, losing my dignity in the process. It’s better just to ignore and walk away.

How about you?

Would you defend yourself and your image with tooth and nail?

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In God We Trust

“I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it’s, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don’t have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don’t believe that God exists. I think that God is a creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand, in fact, is that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort.”

― Clive Barker

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The World We Live In

“Believe nothing you hear and only one half that you see.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

Yeah, don’t take anything at face value. In this life, you never know…

And according to my son, you can’t even trust your own mind-mine at least- because it could play tricks on you too. Not everything you see and hear is real. And lately, it could apply to almost anything. From what your children or partner is telling you to gossiping neighbors to false news, not to mention what your government is leading you to believe.

What is still real lately.

Heck, you can even trust pictures anymore. Phones can alter image beyond recognition. They are equipped nowadays with beautifying technologies your eyes automatically become bigger, your face longer and your skin fairer and smoother. They can erase the passing of years with one touch and gives you glow on par with that of innocent fully rested breastfeed satisfied babies.

Scary.

I wonder if Poe was aware that time that his thoughts would and could resonate down the centuries. Never the quote more applicable than the current state of the societies all over the world. Nothing is real anymore. Except the global warming and senseless violence in the name of this or that God for the sake of money and power. What else.

Where do we go from here?

Down the drain in record time. Because there is no way back. It’s too late. We can’t save the planet anymore. We can’t save us. Humanity has fallen victim to their own genius and an unquenchable thirst for progress, unquenchable appetite for destruction and unquenchable desire and hunger for more.

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insidious

Word I have learned today:

insidious

adjective
proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects.
synonym:

stealthysubtlesurreptitioussneakingcunningcraftyMachiavellianartful, guileful, sly wilytrickyslickdeceitfuldeceptivedishonestunderhandbackhandedindirect 

informal: sneak

My ex-husband said to me that I pretend to be intelligent but the truth is I’m stupid really. I think what he meant was I lack the qualities that are mentioned above. Virtues that in my experience most women I know possessed and I seem to be lacking. I never learned to use my gender as a weapon of advantage, like I never learned to sway my hips while walking or say things but mean another. In my world, I say what I mean and mean what I say and I learned to walk with a purpose: getting where I want to be as fast as possible and leave when it is not necessary anymore to stay. I am stupid indeed.

I have nothing to offer to a man.

My ex said that too. According to him I just lay there like a corpse. I told him it takes a real man to make me moan in bed. He didn’t like that. I wonder why.

The truth is I never thought of offering someone anything in any circumstances. Another thing I never learned: to negotiate and barter. Take me as I am or walk away. No hard feelings.

Reminds me of what Rose -an old friend- told me when we were young – not to eat directly from the pot when there is a possibility that someone, especially a (potential) suitor might see me. The person could lose interest when he catches me doing unladylike things. I told her why hide when sooner or later he will learn to know the real me and preferably sooner than later so he could not blame me of pretending and tell me afterward that if he only knew he would not get into this and that. I rather that he will know how I really am in advance so he has time to make up his mind if he is going to venture further with me or run away. Same reason why I don’t string suitors. If I like you I tell you right away so we can spend time doing wonderful things together instead of beating around the bushes pretending, wasting precious time which otherwise we can use to get to know each other better. Likewise when I don’t fancy the person, I will tell him right away too so he could devote his precious time chasing other preys instead of wasting it on me. Fair is fair, right?

Lately, looking back, I sometimes believe that maybe I am indeed stupid, not using my feminity at its best potentials when I could but even if, I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to flirt or seduce someone. I don’t know how to twist the truth to my own advantage and I don’t know how to lie for personal gain. I cannot shut up when I supposed to shut up (like don’t criticize your mother-in-law in the front of your husband and don’t antagonize your husband by pointing out his mistakes and don’t voice out other people’s thoughts which otherwise they rather keep for themselves for the fear of rocking the boat etc. etc.) I don’t know how to caress someone’s ego to be liked and be sweet and amenable to please and I don’t know how to be who I am not for popularity. If I don’t know all these, how can I be smart?

Smart people, women, in particular, my ex-boss said know their way in the world. He said this after I refused to attend his 25th wedding anniversary because I didn’t want to wear a long gown. After I refused to go to the sauna with him. After a female colleague cooked him dinner and after I didn’t get into his proposition of being employed by him to take care of his invalid wife on paper but in reality living with them and taking care of him. He fired me but tried to hire me again three weeks later. Funny guy.

I’ve met quite a few who are insidious. I wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror and believe they are the paradigm of virtues. I admire people who are overly self-confident when clearly there is no reason to be. Like stating on their profiles that they are very attractive while their pictures say otherwise. I know what false modesty means and it is equally unflattering. They say the best part of being beautiful is when one is not aware one got it. That’s when the allure becomes powerful and at its strongest.

Do you believe it?

If you’ve got it, flaunt it they say. It’s a good subject for a debate, but not today. All I know is it is endearing to watch someone who is not aware she or he has a devastating impact on people. Kind of innocent. Kind of sweet. Kind of everything I am not. False modesty aside.

But I’m getting sidetracked again. See what a single word could do to the mind of a person?

I better stop I think.

See you next time.

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The Secret Life of Prince Charming

“I used to think that finding the right one was about the man having a list of certain qualities. If he has them, we’d be compatible and happy. Sort of a checkmark system that was a complete failure. But I found out that a healthy relationship isn’t so much about sense of humor or intelligence or attractive. It’s about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types. And then it’s about being with a good person. A good person on his own, and a good person with you. Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy. A good relationship is where things just work. They work because, whatever the list of qualities, whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together.” 

― Deb Caletti

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In The Sea

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”

― David Lynch

Does the above quote applicable also when looking/hunting/choosing for a potential partner? I heard it before, so many fish in the ocean and to quote a fifteen-year-old boy who thought he knew better he said: She’s not the only pussy walking around. He was, by the way, referring to me, angry because his own brother and first cousin were on the clinch for my attention. But if I read him correctly, he got an adolescent crush on me and probably angry at himself. Those were the days.

Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. Oh, I thought the higher you go up on the social ladder the poorer it gets when it comes to attitude and manners. But then again, Lynch was talking about ideas, not people.

But ideas come from people, and I believe that in order to have depth on anything, the source got to have layers, multiple layers. And layers come from life experience, years of experience. The harder the life you lead, the more colorful and complex the layers become. No wonder most if not all geniuses were tortured souls. All great art comes from pain they say, and history is there to prove it, There is no need to mention names, we all know who they are. The Myth of the Tortured Artist, remember? They say it’s not a myth. Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. Suffering gives insight they claim. What tortured them is what made them great. I can only agree. I write better when I am unhappy and can’t sleep.

Experience and the ability to feel and to know where those feelings are coming from give art authenticity in my opinion. It’s your soul that is out there, no one had been through what you have been through, your stories are solely your own, unique in every way. Your craft is an expression of your personal journey and the bumpier the road, the greater is the experience the deeper is the source of inspiration.

I have lived a thousand lives. No exaggeration. I could write about a million things others could only imagine about. My history and my experience lend truth to my voice as opposed to someone who is writing fictional situations. They say in every book someone writes, there is always a piece of autobiography in it and I believe that. We draw characters and places from our own personal experience. It doesn’t matter if we are writing fiction or not, we based personages and situations on people we know and places we’ve been. There is always a piece of truth in every lie they say. I believe that too. Where else we could get our inspiration but from life itself, right?

With a little bit of imagination or lots of it, we can make ordinary extraordinary and simple to wonderful. All we need is to catch some big fish, and in order to do that; we have to explore bigger and deeper seas and risk drowning. Sink or swim people.

Till next time.

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7 Signs Your Personality Is Intimidating Others

Have you ever suspected that your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even close family members are blindsided by the sheer strength of your personality?

If you are the kind of person who knows their own mind, always sees their plans through, and doesn’t believe in following the herd, other people might find you somewhat intimidating!

Do any of these signs sound familiar?

If so, you probably earn the respect of others – but they may also be a little bit scared on occasion!

1. You Read Other People Quickly

Your intuitive abilities are strong, and you form accurate impressions of people within seconds of meeting them.

Dishonest, ignorant, and bigoted people can’t hide their true nature from you – and this makes them nervous.

You aren’t afraid to call out bad behavior when you see it and are quite capable of putting obnoxious individuals in their place.

2. You Get Straight To The Point

Have you often been told that you are “too blunt” or even “too honest”?

If so, your personality might be intimidating to those around you!

Whilst most people like to ease into a conversation with small talk, this isn’t your preferred approach.

You’d much rather focus on big, important, or even abstract issues rather than what you had for lunch, the latest celebrity gossip, or your next-door neighbor’s vacation plans.

3. You Often Find Yourself In The Minority

You don’t conform just to meet the expectations of others, and you don’t go along with their requests if they don’t sit with your values.

Because you pride yourself on being an independent thinker, it’s likely that you are alone in your opinions from time to time.

People with low self-confidence find you intimidating because they can’t understand what it’s like to validate yourself instead of looking to others for approval.

You’ll also be unsurprised to learn that unintelligent people also find it uncomfortable to be around you, because they soon realize that your IQ far exceeds their own.

4. You Don’t Make – Or Accept – Excuses

You don’t whine about your circumstances and you don’t see yourself as a victim, even if everything is collapsing around you.

There is no place in your life for people who moan and complain.

When you set a goal, you pursue it with vigor and do not tolerate laziness and procrastination.

Although you can be tender-hearted and kind, your willpower can make you appear resilient and tough, which can be intimidating.

It’s not that you lack sympathy for those going through a hard time, just that you have no patience for people who would rather wallow in their own misery than take action.

5. You Aren’t Jealous

For you, it doesn’t matter what other people have.

You know that their money, jobs, or status don’t affect your own chances of success, so you don’t waste your time feeling jealous.

When you congratulate someone on their accomplishments, you truly mean it, without a trace of malice or envy.

Your ability to focus on your own goals and destiny can surprise others, particularly if they happen to be envious or bitter themselves.

6. You Love New Opportunities

Lots of people prefer to stay in their comfort zone, but this isn’t an option as far as you’re concerned.

For you, life is about exploring new ideas and making the best of opportunities you have been given.

In fact, you even see problems or setbacks as blessings in disguise!

You aren’t a starry-eyed optimist, but you have an amazing ability to review a situation from multiple perspectives and try several approaches when solving a problem.

What’s more, you aren’t easily discouraged.

If one solution doesn’t work, you just pick yourself back up and try a new tactic.

7. You Find It Hard To Tolerate Stupid People

Your open-minded attitude and capacity for critical thinking means that stupid or ignorant people really get on your nerves.

Perhaps you sometimes catch yourself thinking, “Why don’t they just read a book once in a while?” or “There’s no excuse for being that ignorant!”

Although you are usually polite and patient, you have no desire to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary with those who can’t understand high-level concepts.

Is an intimidating personality a blessing or a curse?

Sometimes, you might scare away potential friends and partners just by being yourself.

On the other hand, those brave enough to stick around and get to know you will come to appreciate your intelligence, honesty, and unique perspective on the world.

Because you are willing to meet lots of new people there’s a good chance that you will find your tribe sooner or later, even if it takes time to find friends who are capable of keeping up with your incredible mind.

Embrace your intimidating personality! Your proactive, strong-willed nature will set you up for success in every area of your life.

-Powerful Mind via Facebook

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We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

My son told me when I related to him what I’ve experienced when I was eight years old that whatever I believed I have seen that time wasn’t real. I protested of course. How could it not be real when I saw it with my own eyes? I wasn’t dreaming, I was wide awake and running for my life. I wasn’t hallucinating, never took drugs, not drunk either, no fever. It was supposed to be an ordinary day and I was running a simple errand and suddenly my world turned upside down.

It doesn’t matter he said. To me it was real but it doesn’t mean it really was. I never thought of it that way. There was and still is no doubt in my mind that it happened. No matter how bizarre the experience was, I never question my sanity or the authenticity of what I have witnessed. To me, it was as real as you and me and all the people that are walking o this planet. Even my son’s skepticism failed to shake my belief. I will carry that belief to my grave.

Suit yourself he said.

What about this one? I asked. And this? Same verdict. I was imagining things but convinced I wasn’t. What should I do that? What could possibly be the reason why I would imagine situations like that? Believe me, if I would fantasize anything it would be something very different, totally the opposite, like tête-à-tête with Rafael Nadal for instance. But no matter what I said to my son, I could not convince him, and vice versa, which made me think: Do we really___

Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live? 

Joan Didion said:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live…We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”

Do we really?

I know we learned and we have to turn a blind eye sometimes to what is happening around us in order to survive and protect our sanity. All that senseless violence, poverty, and political issues plus global warming and the declining quality of just about everything are enough to send anybody down the drain.

Those people who had been and still are in an abusive relationship would understand. I have been there done that. I know how it is to make excuses for someone and for yourself in order to keep whatever you want to keep intact. Hence the existence of the  Stockholm syndrome which funny enough I truly believe is possible based on my own experience.

So, what was the possible cause of my imagining things which for the sake of an argument let’s say I did, boredom? Trauma? Stress? Not applicable to the situations. I have never been bored when I was young. I wasn’t traumatized enough then and if_ it will not materialize at that moment. Stress? Unheard of in my generation. Besides, I believe stress is predominantly sickness of western societies in developed countries. We have enough outlets and too resourceful to be stressed. No wonder the globally accepted image of a paradise is a sun-drenched beach with one single leaning coconut tree. Says enough, don’t you think so?

How about you?

Do you believe we deceive ourselves by conjuring up stories to avoid facing the truth? Do we really seek refuge in fantasy to protect our sanity and keep going? Is it a part of our survival skills/ instinct? Inborn? Learned? Taught?  Inherit knowledge? Tradition? Education?

Whatever which way, it isn’t healthy.

Or is it?

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That Emptiness Inside

“People today do not know how to rest. They fill their free time with countless diversions. People cannot tolerate even a few minutes of unoccupied time. They have to turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, reading anything at all, even the advertisements. They constantly need something to look at, listen to, or talk about, all to keep the emptiness inside from rearing its terrifying head.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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The Perfect Gift

When I was fresh from the boat and still feeling my way around here one of the things I learned was whenever you received a gift the giver expects you to open the package real time. I find it quite scary. In my country, we are not obliged to do the same, we can keep the present and open it privately in our own time which I personally prefer; in this manner, we could avoid an embarrassing situation in case the gift is not to our taste and spare the feelings of disappointment from both sides.

Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you’d realize they didn’t really know you at all.”

― Carol Rifka Brunt

Over the years, I learned to fake enthusiasm and gratitude whenever I received a wrong gift, each time praying the giver will not see through the facade and hoping they are genuinely surprised and grateful when it is the other way around.

They say it is the thought that counts but like I said in one of my previous posts, believe you me, the theory about its- the -thoughts –that- counts- can only stretch so far.

What about you?

Which do you prefer?

Open what you get real-time or have a private moment to yourself to unfold spread and enjoy your present?

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Repeat After Me

Vitamin D. Sunlight. Go
outside. Get a good night

of sleep. Not too good.

Not shades drawn forever
good. Not like you used to.

Open the windows.

Buy more houseplants.
Breathe. Meditate. (One day,

you will no longer be

afraid of being alone
with your thoughts.)

Exercise. Actually exercise

instead of just googling it.
Eat well. Cook for yourself.

Organize your closet, the

garage. Drink plenty of water
and repeat after me:

I am not a problem

to be solved. Repeat after me:
I am worthy I am worthy I am

neither the mistake nor

the punishment. Forget to take
vitamins. Let the houseplant die.

Eat spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Shave your head. Forget
this poem. It doesn’t matter–

there is no wrong way

to remember the grace of your
own body; no choice

that can unmake itself.

There is only now, here,
look: you are already

forgiven.

― Sierra De Mulder

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Once Upon A time

A man in his early prime contemplates on life, shattered by the distortions of society he gazes ahead in time. There were vows of happiness and fairytale beginnings. Now there is nothing of that sort; now there is nothing that started the tales so bright. It’s after all this while that he understands why fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time’…

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