Latest Entries »

Perpahs, Perhaps, Perhaps

For the past month, I have spent most of my time wondering and asking, carefully plotting and meticulously organizing my every move, my every thought, and my every desire. I wanted to do it right this time: no foolish impulses, no sudden changes, and no place for any diversions that resemble a desperate attempt to follow that little voice in my head. I wanted it perfect! I wanted my life perfect!

I laid down my plans, my exact moves. I organized them in order of importance, placing my own happiness and well-being at the top of the list, or at least that’s what I thought. I figured that if I have everything planned out, if I organize my life and my thoughts, then maybe things will start going accordingly. Maybe things will start happening the way I planned them, the way I wanted. Perhaps if I think about it I will attract it, if I wrote it down it will become true, if I visualized it enough it will materialize… my thoughts will become who I am. I was wrong.

Before you start quoting sentences from “The Secret” and attacking me with clichés about how “everything happens for a reason” and “it has to fall apart so that the right pieces come together”, take a deep breath and relax. I was not wrong for being enthusiastic about achieving my goals and visualizing my dreams. I was not wrong about believing in the power of attraction. I think I have taken a wrong path when I deliberately and excessively tried to plan out every move, every thought, and literally every word my mouth uttered.

I was wrong about trying to take control, “Obsessive compulsive disorder” control over my life that spins your head, and leaves no room for chances, no room for spontaneity, and no room for imagination. I got so caught up planning my future, where will I work, what would I study, and where should I live, that I forgot about my present, about the now!

“The Power of Now”: A good book – or so I have heard- from a very dear friend of mine. Although I haven’t gotten past the introduction yet, the title was very appealing to me. It triggered an area in my mind that I have been avoiding for a while, thoughts and feelings that I have been sweeping under the carpet and choosing to ignore, a state of mind that I refuse to face… my present, my now.

It hit me that maybe I need to take a break from this excessive planning. Perhaps I should set aside my OCD itch and stop trying to take control over everything and everyone. Perhaps in order to have a bright and happy future, I need to invest more in my present, and to make the best out of it, so that when the future comes with all its wonders and mysteries, and without prior planning, I will be ready for it.

My future will not happen when I am done planning it; my future will happen when I am too busy living and enjoying my present, caught up in the “now”. Maybe this is the healthiest option: don’t disconnect yourself from your present in a desperate attempt to forget it, don’t hide behind your future plans as a shield from your present or a pillow that will soften your fall. Let go of it all, stop planning, stop taking charge, and stop running away. Indulge yourself in your present. Embrace it, and accept every smile your lips stretch into, and every tear your eyes shed. Perhaps this is for the best, for our own good. Perhaps this is how we learn to move on, how we become brave, and how we get our proper closure.
.
.
.
Perhaps
Perhaps
Perhaps

Curiosity Killed the Man

As we pass by a closed door and hear yelling and screaming from behind, we immediately freeze. We stop our conversation, ask the other person to “shush”, and prick up our ears as we move closer towards the door.

We walk towards two friends having a conversation, and the minute we arrive we hear one of them gasp “are you serious?” We instantly and eagerly ask: What, what? What are you talking about?

A friend’s phone is placed next to us and it rings. As we pass the phone to our friend, our eyes cannot hold back from looking at the screen to catch the name of the person calling.

As we go into the kitchen for a glass of water and see a small folded paper on the counter… it looks intriguing. We look around suspiciously and carefully; no one is there. We quietly reach out for the paper trying to solve its mystery and read its contents before putting it back the way it was before…as if untouched.

What makes us behave as such? These examples, among many more, show that human beings have this need that must be satisfied, an itch that needs to be scratched, a habit that cannot be shaken… our endless curiosity.

We want to have it all and know it all. Whom did he marry, why did she get a divorce, what are they fighting about, and whom is that email addressed to? Some say it is a natural state to be curious, a human nature that we cannot overcome. It is natural, even healthy at times, to be curious since it provides you with information and empowers you with the “latest secrets and dirt” on people.

I disagree. I will not argue whether this obnoxious and disrespectful behavior is at the core of humans’ nature or adopted by people from the environment and society. Either way, it does not justify its existence. I will admit that at times my curiosity got the best of me, and I tried to interfere with a private business, ask the wrong questions, and withdraw false conclusions based on my “detective” skills. However I am trying to change my behavior into what I believe is a better lifestyle through adopting and implementing some terms from economics – Laissez-faire, or let it be. The people in my close social circle, be it family, friends, or neighbors, should lead a lifestyle free of any unwanted, unappreciated, and undesired intervention.

If it does not have your name on it, it is probably not yours. If the door is closed, it is because the conversation is not meant to be heard. If you do not know this piece of information, it is because the person spared you the details on purpose. Don’t take away other peoples’ freedom of choice by integrating your curiosity into their lives. Let people trust that they have the option and freedom to give you information or hide them. And if they choose to be private, understand their reasons, respect their choice, and be confident that they will come to you when the time is right; when they are ready to inform, not when you are ready to be informed.

Of course not all curious people are the same. The same act can be triggered by different motives and create opposing results. Some people intervene to offer advice, show support, or help prevent a problem, while others intervene because they are plain noisy and need to fill the blanks and answer the question marks in their heads. We need to draw a line between the two and decide what type of person we want to be, and what type of people we want to be surrounded by. Personally, I found the French were smart about it: Laissez-faire, or let it be, is my way to go.

Actors on Stage

It has been said that life is a stage, and we are the actors. Each has a specific role to fulfill, and must abide by the script in order to create order and certainty. That being said, there are rules that help each actor stay on track; cues that inform the actor when to speak, stop, or bow before the audience. When the lights dim and the curtain falls, the actors know it is the end of act I, and they quickly start preparing for act II. They change costumes and location, take different roles, and memorize different lines. Towards the end, they all come together and incorporate the acts in order to present a magnificent play that deems the audiences’ applause.

However, if so is the case, and we are simply actors on the stage of life, where are our cues? Where are the props that signal the end of act I and beginning of act II? What signs imply a new phase, a new chapter, and a clean slate? How are we, lost and helpless, supposed to divide our life into phases with different characters, desires, and ambitions, and act accordingly in a manner appropriate to that specific phase? How do we design separate roles for each stage, be it high school, university, work, or retirement? Are the blind being lead by the blind? What kind of play would we be presenting if none of the actors knew where to stand, or what to do or say?

And finally, if, in a miraculous way, we managed to find the line separating the acts and dividing our life into different chapters, how do we know when is the right time? We cannot start a new chapter which we have not prepared for. How do we know we are ready, and develop the skills and confidence needed to advance to this new level of life, the new chapter, the final act?

Do we judge based on our feelings, skills, and experience, or do we simply close our eyes, cross our fingers, and hope for the best before jumping into the hole of the unknown? What if the time comes but we are not ready? The lights flare, the music cues, and the curtain starts to rise, and all are ready for the new act; all have prepared for their roles, memorized their lines, and practiced till they reached perfection…except you.

You are not ready, not yet. You close your eyes and hear the silence as you picture the actors pushing you to take your position, and the audience fixating on you, expecting you to utter the magic words that will ease their pain and solve their problems. Yet again, you are not ready.

Your heart and head are somewhere else, another act, another chapter, another phase of your life. You are not ready to let go. What now? Should you move on to the next one, unarmed and clueless, and take a leap of faith? Or should you stay, frozen in time, watching others move forward while you reminisce about the old phase and take a long dreamy trip down memory lane?

If I knew the answer, I would not be writing all this nonsense. I simply woke up to find myself jumping into the future, holding on to the past, and tangled in the present.

Natural Addiction

Alarmed and anxious, you start obsessing about me
You search your wallet, slowly counting my pennies
Biting on your tongue while thinking of means
That will let you drown in my pile of green

I fulfill your needs, I secure your dreams
I am the cherry on top of your ice cream
I own your spirit, I buy your soul
But I won’t be there for you when you eventually fall

You aspire to own me, but you eventually know
You will never succeed, for I am the master of all
Everyone envies you, friend and foe
But you ignore them all, and hear only my call

You breathe me in like oxygen
An addict with pricked arms
A slave for the almighty dollar
That’s what you truly are

So sleep tight, pitiful human, close your eyes
And let your greed guide you to your delusional rise
Keep on digging you own grave
You will lie there alone one day, while I simply walk away

Drained

With every day that passes by
I surrender myself to your love
Like a falling leaf in autumn
Gently landing on the barren ground

With every move I feel my heart
Cling to you and ask for more
You’ll never know what it feels like
To keep knocking on a closed door

I lack the key and I’ll never find
That spark in your eyes when you look at mine
I try to escape your love, your prison walls
Like a butterfly struggling to leave its cocoon

I remember your lips stretching into a smile
And watched my reflection in your eyes
As you told me I am the one
The white Lilly protruding proudly from the ground

You cruelly plucked me, tore me from my home
Raised me to your nose and drained my scent
Then slowly ripped my petals apart
While repeating: She loves me, she loves me not

This is one of the best poems i ever read, and I think it truly captures the essence of lost love and nostalgia. It is amazing how something so beautiful can come out of pain.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

By Pablo Neruda

Friday the 13 ?!

So one morning I wake up and look at my watch, and I realize I overslept. My alarm didn’t ring. Usually this is not a problem, but not when you are late for an exam!! I start panicking, put on a sweater and run to class. I arrive late and start begging the teacher but she simply wont let me in, I think she hated me for some reason. I drag myself back home annoyed and frustrated about what happened, only to find out I have locked myself out of the house. I started cursing and trying to reach for my phone to call my brother and get his keys, but out of all days possible, my phone decides that today is the perfect day to run out of battery. This is where I lost it! I stormed out and impatiently waited for the elevator. When I opened the door, a weird-looking suspicious man was already inside. His eyes were scary and kept looking at me in the most terrifying way, I got shivers! I looked down annoyed and uncomfortable only to rest my eyes on something that made my heart stop. His big black shiny gun! I was terrified and held my breath for what seemed to be forever, then ran out of the elevator as fast as I could. I got to the streets and was still in shock that I didn’t even hear the car honking behind me. Next thing I know, people are carrying me to the hospital. And to top things off, I didn’t get the cute Doctor.

Some might say it was just not my day, others might say “when it rains it pours”. But many would simply say it was because of the date: Friday the 13th.

So basically we have heard of many phobias such as homophobia, claustrophobia, and social phobia, however an interesting phobia is Paraskevidekatria-phobia: people who have morbid fear of friday the 13th. Why friday the 13th in specific? Well it is believed that friday is an unlucky day, and 13 is a cursed number, so imagine what will happen if these two elements combine in one day!

Friday the 13th is actually considered the most widespread superstition, especially in Britain. In fact, a 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal studied the relationship between traffic, car accidents, and hospital admissions on two different days, friday the 6th and the 13th over a period of years. Interestingly enough, they found that although traffic was lower on friday the 13th, vehicle accidents and hospital admissions were considerably higher than on friday the 6th. Their conclusion was that friday the 13th is an unlucky day, risks of getting into a car accident increase by 52% on that date, and they simply recommended people to stay home.
T
he media has also been fueling these phobias and increasing the superstitions by making scary movies such as Friday the 13th, the Thirteen Ghosts, and Black Friday. Moreover, an ad for Nike uses the theme of Friday the 13th to advertise its shoes. In the ad, the girl was wearing Nike shoes and so was able to outrun the killer. Ironically the ad was banned.

So what are the origins behind these superstitions? The fear is of the combination of the unlucky number,13, with the cursed day, Friday.

We will start with the number 13. For example, it is said to be unlucky to invite 13 people to a gathering, say lunch or dinner. Legend has it that twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the evil God of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. Loki raised hell by causing the death of Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. It is also said that 13 was the number of guests present in the Last Supper, including Judas the traitor.

Furthermore, a witches coven consists of 13 members. There are 13 steps leading to the execution stage, and 13 knots in the hangman’s noose or rope. Many hotels don’t have room number 13, some elevators have no 13th floor, and many streets don’t have the 13th avenue. And last but not least, if you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck. Think of Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, and other serial killers.

What about the Friday? Why is it considered unlucky? Well some men tend to blame women, the “source of all evil”. It is believed that Eve tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit on a Friday, which is when they both got ejected from paradise. Solomon’s temple was destroyed on Friday. The great flood began on Friday. And finally it is believed that Christ was crucified on a Friday.

It is also said that ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the urban legend of H.M.S. Friday. The legend says that 100 years ago, the British government wanted to stop once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen about the curse of sailing on a Friday. A special ship was commissioned, named “H.M.S. Friday.” They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday started its voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard of again.

Of course the tales are many, and the superstitions are abundant, but whatever the reasons behind the superstitions are, many people believe of Friday the 13th and avoid starting a job on that date, getting married, traveling, or even going to work. My discussion is not whether this is true or not, whether my story happened because it was Friday the 13, or simply because I was reckless, careless, and forgetful. Regardless of the truth, people shouldn’t attribute bad events to a curse or an evil eye or bad luck. I believe the events are a series of cause and effect, whatever actions you do or decisions you make create an effect on your life and bear consequences. We simply need to make the decision we believe is right, and stay home this weekend because it is going to be Friday the 13th.

The White Light

I watch you grow
I watch you play
I watch your hair slowly turn grey

Your sleepless nights
Your bitter tears
Your reckless fights
Your inner fears

I’m here with you
I’m here for you
I watch you stumble in the dark

Your first steps
Your glorious success
Your desperate attempts to leave your mark

You think of me in darkest times
You fear my presence
You cover your crimes

You dread my existence
You cling to tiny hope
And with my misery you try to cope

Yes I bring you tears
Yes I take away your years
But death is not your biggest fear

If theres no end, theres no beginning
If theres no darkness, you wont feel the sun shining

Fear not death, my friend
I am an end to your sorrows
Once I reach out for your spirit
There will be no tomorrows

But it is the unknown you are scared of
The question mars I raise in your head
“Will there be an afterlife after I am dead?”

Think of me as the final step
The glorious closure
The answer to your cries of help

It is nature, it is life
You’re born, you die
And a few will sob and cry

While the rest watch your coffin
Lower down to the grave
Those who don’t shed a tear
Those are the brave

They expect it, they anticipate
Till life gives them death on a silver plate

Yin Yang

It’s a push-pull force that drives you back and forth, in and out, up and down, left and right. You want to, but you can’t. You must have it, but you shouldn’t. You need it, but you mustn’t. Its a paradox, an attraction of the opposites, a forbidden heaven, a bittersweet misery, and a painful pleasure.

Living with mixed up emotions can be difficult. Difficult? Try insane, impossible, crazy! But let us be rational about this, just prioritize your needs, and fulfill them one at a time. Follow Maslove’s hierarchy of needs and go after what you want. Simple, no? Think again.

It’s not easy to go after what you want because of one simple reason: you do not know what you want! You think you have it all figured out? I want to be rich, famous, successful; I want money; I want a happy family and a supporting spouse. Are these really your dreams? Or are they the dreams we are accustomed to dreaming, dreams imposed upon us by society, family, culture, and norms? Do we dare dream about controlling the world? Do we dare dream about living with our partner without getting the “license of marriage”? Do we dare dream about abandoning the idea of children? Do we dare dream about pursuing our career at the expense of family simply because that is what makes us happy?

Some people do, only a few. And these are looked at as the outcast, the ones with emotional problems, issues to deal with, the “weirdos”. Simply because they do not conform to our traditional similar dreams that follow a systematic rhythm-less pattern, they are outcasted and frowned upon.

As a girl, I have been raised with repetitive whispers in my ear planning my future and drawing my path. You will go to university, graduate, get a job, work, “find” someone to marry, settle down, have children, raise them, grow old and die. Oh, not to mention the “joy” of raising your children and sacrificing for them only to watch them grow and leave you one at a time. It seems like a dull life, a planned out series of steps that oppress any diversion and discourage any innovation. But no, some people say, of course you can divert from this path. Continue your education, work even when you are married, take vacations. These “diversions” are supposed to satisfy my need for adventure, excitement, and a colorful life.

What If this is not what I want? What if this plan is not “my” plan? It is not what will make me happy. If I had this life, I will wake up everyday, look at myself in the mirror, and wonder who I am and what have I become. I certainly do not want this, and I do not think anyone wants a life where they cant seem to recognize themselves.

You ask, then, what is it that I want? Well this reflects on my opening argument: it is really hard to go after what you don’t know you want! And although it reflects weakness and immaturity, some might say, I admit that I do not know what I want. However I know this: what I don’t want.

I do not want a stale boring life, I do not want routine. I do not want to get married at an early age. Hell I might not even want to get married at all. What if I don’t want to be tied down to one person? It is not the idea of being committed to a person that drives me away, but the idea of making a person committed to me. It feels like a big sacrifice that I wouldn’t want anyone to do for me. If I get married, and once I get married, I do not want children right away. I refuse to do something I do not approve of only to succumb to my mother’s desire of wanting to become a grandmother. It is also my life. I want to focus on my education, knowledge, and career. I want to enrich myself, cultivate every possibility and opportunity I have, and reach my maximum potential. I have to succeed and be able to give the best I have, become the best I can be, before thinking of settling down and “tying the knot”. Does this make any sense?

It does, and it doesn’t. This drives me back to my first argument. I want to get married, and have children. I want to help these kids learn, succeed, and be proud of themselves. I want to look into their eyes and know that they are on their way to becoming masters of their future. I want a loving husband to flood with the all the passion and love I carry around. I want my mother to be happy and hear the sweet words of “grandma”. I want a loving husband, adorable children, and a career on the side that attends to my person and fulfills my passion.

Therefore, it becomes clear. Its a paradox, a push-pull, back and forth force. I do not know what I want. When I wake up in the morning, my dreams and desires are as clear as the sun, but when I go to sleep at night, they are as foggy and mysterious as the clouds covering the moon.

You Don’t Know You

I am human. I am independent. I have brains to think, analyze, rationalize, and make informed decisions. I think before I act, and I know what my actions are, and what motives drive me. I know what I know, and I know what I don’t know. I believe in science, facts, numbers, and tangible evidence. I believe everything happens for a reason, and all the pieces will eventually fall together into place. And then… I woke up.

Freedom, independence, power, leadership, influence. These words trigger the greatest of minds and the most influential people to behave in a certain way and pave a path that will help them reach those words. These are goals that many people aim for, try to reach, and aspire to possess. What they don’t know is there are much smaller personal words that need to be reached first.

Humans would like to believe that they can be anything they want. With hard work, dedication, and education, they can become the writer, the athlete, or the inventor of the year. They would like to believe that their choices are guided and directed towards one thing… where they want them to be.

But one point has failed to come across their mind: are these really their goals? Is that really what they want to achieve? The 16-year-old kid dreams about becoming a basketball player, to become successful and famous, to make it into the game, and play with the big boys the sport he loves the most. Is that really his dream? Why so? Are his motives financial? Does he want to become successful and famous for the lights and fame, for the money and glamour, for the girls and the prestige? Are his motives personal? Is it only about the game, the pleasure of aiming that ball into the hoop, scoring a swish and hearing the cheering crowd? Is it about self-actualization? Feeling that he is someone worthy, demanding respect and recognition, and feeling a sense of personal achievement and accomplishment? Is it the need to feel worthy of his parents’ pride and satisfaction while watching their son become famous and successful? If this is really his dream, why? What are the motives behind this desire?

His motive? We don’t know. In fact, much to your surprise, he might not even know. It might be one of those reasons, it might be a mix of each, and it might be none. He might play the game until he graduates from high school, realize it is merely a hobby he enjoys, and decides that instead his lifelong dream is actually to enter law school and become a great lawyer.

It is not surprising that we are not fully aware of all the motives that drive us to do things, dream things, and want things. It is not surprising that we suddenly get the urge to eat some Chinese, or we suddenly lose the urge to go out on a Friday night without really knowing why. It is not surprising that at times we wake up singing our favorite song while the sun seems brighter, and people seem to be smiling at us, while at other times we wake up with no energy to even put a smile or say good morning.

Humans are not as much in control over themselves as they believe, or like to believe, they are. They are not fully aware of who they are. Sometimes nature diverts their paths, sometimes the weather affects their moods, and most of the times it could be their subconscious mind. There is a great part of our personality we are not familiar with, or not exposed to. A lot of times we do things that surprise us, things we did not think we were capable of doing, but to our surprise we did them, succeeded, and even perfected them.

We do not know our goals because we do not know ourselves. We do not know our motives because we do not know our actions. I do not know what I am writing because I do not know what I am thinking. A million thoughts are rushing through my brains now I don’t know what to listen to and what to ignore. Some thoughts reconfirm my identity, beliefs, and personality. Other thoughts strike me as different, daring, and opposing to my consistent character and behavior.

Humans would like to believe that they can be anything they want. With hard work, dedication, and education, they can become the writer, the athlete, or the inventor of the year. What they should also believe is that nothing is steady, rational, or consistent. They can be daring, they can be different, and they can be spontaneous. They can study their goals and the motives behind them, why they chose this not that, and why they went here not there. What do they ultimately want?

Yes, answering these questions can help you understand yourself and rationalize your behavior and motives. But that is, dare I say, pointless. Because even if you think you have got yourself all figured out, you will still surprise yourself. You will think you are an optimist, and wake up a month later with a cup half empty. You will try to save the planet and preserve the environment while smoking a cigarette in your SUV.

Understand yourself, don’t study it. Understand your behavior, don’t predict it. Expect and accept that you are not fully aware of who you are. Your desires, motives, needs, and wants might actually be driven by motives in your subconscious mind that you have yet to discover. But for now, simply love yourself!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 540 other followers