Sunday, June 11, 2017

Try or die trying: An episode filled with distractions

Go to school, get good grades, get a job, get married, have children. Follow your dreams.

What are your dreams? I want to be an engineer.
                                      I want to be a scientist.
                                      I want to be a doctor.
                                      I want to be famous.

We grow up wanting to be the person we see, the person we hear about or the person whom our parents see as being important. We are told what is possible. At that very moment, we're being conditioned. Why?

Children have infinite imaginative capacity. However, as time goes on, we're told what is impossible, hence, narrowing down our imaginative capacity.

"Don't be ridiculous."
"Stop building castles in the sky."
"Don't daydream."
"You have to work hard to be successful."

When I look back at the things my parents used to tell me were impossible or when my parents used to say my ideas were not possible, I thank a part of my brain, which until today believes that NOTHING is truly impossible.

I used to be the kid that used a ruler to unscrew the sharpener, you know the ones we used to have with those mirrors at the back, just so I could get the blade out.

I would then proceed to slice the skin on my index finger because I forgot what pain felt like and what blood looked like. Masochist? No, hardly. I personally felt it was because of my inquisitiveness that made me want to know. The curiosity, the drive, the thirst for knowledge, to know, and to feel.

I look at the people around me today, and myself included. A common theme that appears to arise everywhere is that we're easily distracted. It's as if as soon as you have an idea or as soon as you decide that you'd like to get some work done, your brain, just automatically pings and then there is this tremendous drive to open up the Facebook app, or Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat, and these days, these four apps just come hand in hand, you have to have them, except Twitter, most people don't find it exciting anymore, but those who generally do, would have these four apps, otherwise, just substitute either of the apps with Pinterest or tumblr.

I'm not saying that distractions are bad. During certain times, like if you wanted to mindlessly browse through something, if you were on the bus or if you were waiting for a friend, then perhaps that could be an excusable matter. Although I am a strong believer of being present and being attuned to our surrounding but just like many others, I sometimes feel the need to be on my phone or to appear distracted so that I don't feel lonely when I'm on my own.

But these distractions and tools for procrastinating also has downsides to it. Why?

Imagine if in the world, you're only being fed information, but you're not doing anything to think about the information that you have gotten. You won't be able to process it, refine it or churn it into a different idea.

Think of a person who constantly says they would like to lose weight, but they just keep eating and eating and eating and not exercising. Similarly, if you have so much input but not output, then the throughput also equates to nothing.

People say work hard and you will get what you want but honestly, here it is. No, if you work hard, you live comfortably perhaps, but you're never at the top. Why? Because if you get paid by the hour for example, if you use up all your hours to work and get paid, what probably is not your true worth. Then, all the time you have spent working equates to no amount of increased income. So, the best thing to do is to work smart, just as you would study smart. Scout the sort of skills that are in high demand, invest in yourself. Learn a new set of skills. Get some part-time gig which pays you per project. Approach people. Network. Learn about new things, be a passive entity, receive sometimes and keep your mouth shut.

Other times, talk, give your input, let people go against you. Engage in friendly debates, try to understand someone else's view. Don't just stay set in your own ways. The best thing you can ever do is listen. The art of being a good conversationalist is not in bringing the best topic or the best points onto the table, but rather of being a better listener and bringing relevant input to the table and taking away with you valuable information which you can grow from.

Social media these days provides us with a platform to not want to go out there and do it. We sit in our little rooms, watching Netflix, debating online, but what are we actually contributing?

I feel the reason why people who create distractions for us such as the Facebook mogul, Mark Zuckerberg, or the Snapchat mogul, Evan Spiegel, are rich is because that's what people want. So, as much as I'm trying to say that we have to go out there and do something, I'm also saying, "Get off your f***ing phone and be present in the moment!".

Now, if you will excuse me, I will go speak to my mother.

Till my next post. xx




Thursday, June 1, 2017

What is travelling actually costing us?

A couple of days ago, I was doing what every regular person would be doing at some point during their day. I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. What I saw personalised for me, in terms of the sponsored ad, although I had already switched off the preferred ads monitoring on Facebook; were travel the world posts. I don't know if any of you are getting the same things pushed to you. But, as millennials, we're constantly having people tell us how we should travel more often, we hear stories of how some people chose to leave their jobs, claiming that they were completely unhappy being in a stressful work environment with what most of us would call a 9-5 job. But now, since they have quit their jobs and are now travelling the world without worry, they love being able to travel without thinking about responsibilities or perhaps the whole idea is to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. Financial freedom.



We all know how cheap it is to travel the world these days, with return flights sometimes costing less than £20, it's no wonder why some people live in Hungary for example and travel to London everyday for school, opting to couchsurf mainly because it's cheaper to fly in than to actually rent out in an expensive city like London. Now, would it not be so great if you could live on the road and think of nothing, just travel the world and make money as you go? Sounds like the dream? Well, there are people who are doing exactly that, and more so, by trying to sell you your dream. They've done it and now they're choosing to sell it to you. They're saying that you could live this exact lifestyle and they want you to follow them so that you are able to live the life that you have always wanted. Now, as much as I want to believe that this is all real, I'm having a hard time believing this. Okay, call me a shrewd, a disbeliever. Whatever.

I'm not doubting whether or not if it's possible, but to me, my question would be, how long? What is the length of time anyone is able to spend like this without wanting to gain a stable career, build a family and perhaps maybe even purchase a home? The answer to that is " I don't know", but I'm going to break it down for you.

You see, I see so many posts these days, be it on Facebook or even on Instagram. There are couples that travel the world together, solo females who decide to venture out on their own and then some people who perhaps travel the world in groups? Whatever the way that someone goes travelling, they're all selling you the same thing, the opportunity to quit your job, and gain this "freedom" that would enable you to travel the world full time. See, all of this is completely fine to me, you can quit your 9-5 job, you can travel the world, with a little planning, you can get part-time jobs wherever you are. But, the problem that we have here, is most likely these people that are saying that you would be living an amazing life, don't tell you what goes on behind the scenes.

You see, with social media, it's so easy to just put out what you want about yourself. Whatever goes on in the online world, let's just call it that, is just a fraction of their whole life. There are going to be difficult times, and honestly, I don't want to be in a place where I am scrubbing toilets for a living, because half of the time, I can't even deal with cleaning the bathroom in a shared house, let alone busting my butt in a foreign country, trying to earn a buck.

Yes, you save up before you go, that's what everyone says. But you can budget as much as you like, but things always don't go as planned. You can plan as much as you want, but there are going to be external factors that are going to hinder you from travelling. That's just how it's going to be. I'm not being cynical or negative, I'm just being honest. I'm not going to deny that it is possible to travel cheaply around the world. Over the years, I have learnt a couple of tips and tricks about travelling that has allowed me to travel to various countries below £200 for a week's trip. So, I'm honestly all ears if you tell me that it is cheap to travel, but it is also very difficult to lead your life continuously on the go. Travelling is tiring. The amount of time you spend in airports is tiring, the amount of time you spend in trains, is tiring. I've done it multiple times and the only thing that would keep you sane is if you have a travel buddy with you. Things in airports are much expensive than in the city and there are so many things that you won't know as a tourist until you arrive, that's different if you've done enough research about a place, but if you're constantly on the go, you're going to be mentally drained and that's just a fact.

Travelling your life, is very exhausting, there's so many things to see, I'm not denying that, but at the end of the day, it does get me thinking. I'm one individual and so are you, the experiences that I get, can never be passed down. Yes, I can say that I went to Tanzania once upon a time, people were amazing, went to the Serengeti, all these things are merely just things that people say to make you. go. travelling.

Tourism is such a big business today because we're just so tired of our lives. We're thinking, if I go on a holiday then I'm able to relax and I'm able to be in an exotic location, sipping on coconut water, and cocktails and I will be happy. But once you go back to your life, then you just start over the whole process of hating your life. And honestly, to me, that isn't financial freedom. That isn't freedom at all.

To me, financial freedom is being able to live my life not worrying about money, not worrying about when or how my paycheck would come in. I have a good life, I have enough money to pay for my rent, enough money to buy good food, enough money to do what I want, but being smart about things. There are so many YouTubers out there who share so many advice on how to save money, what you can do to make investments and there are so many people out there that you can speak to, even in your friend circle. We just take everything for granted and we don't focus on the possibilities to form good connection with our surrounding which is why we often want to run away from the country we're living in. Most of the third world countries for example, aren't that great for citizens who are living in the country itself. But we have the privilege to be there and to use the money that we have already earned and because of the conversion rate, is why it appears to be cheaper. But if at all, you were working and earning the money in the country itself, then you'd see that most of things are proportionate to the price of the items.

I find it rather amusing when people sell these " free your life " seminars where they teach you how you can break free from the job that you're currently in. But, I think, personally, as much as I love travelling, I also know that it isn't something that I'm willing to sacrifice my stability for and that's just me, because to me, long term financial stability is way better than short term happiness. When you start working freelance and when you take jobs when you want it and not to build your own portfolio continuously just because you can, you lose the opportunity and basically allow others to surpass you simply because they have more time to focus on these things. I'm not saying that there aren't ways to pay for your holidays such as by using certain websites to find remote jobs, but you take what you can get. That's just the harsh reality of things. But as much as we do try to get people to think of a different perspective, people are hardwired for wanting fun and for wanting to chase happiness. If we weren't airline companies, retail companies, businesses in general will not be making money and that's what consumerism is all about. They want you to hate your life so that you spend your hard earned money on them. My average expenditure after giving up spending for no reason, impulse buys, happy treats all include, comes down to literally less than £20 a week, groceries included.

More about my grocery expenditure in my next blog post.

Till my next post. xx

Thursday, May 25, 2017

13 Reasons Why

SPOILER ALERT:


If you've watched the much raved about Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, then you probably have some feelings about it yourself. Some of my friends who suffer from depression and anxiety have said before that they found it very disturbing and they wish they never watched it. However, they said that they could relate despite it being disturbing. Friends of mine who don't suffer from anxiety and depression however, similarly said that they could relate to it and it got me thinking....

The setting is in a high school, with very real problems that you and I may have probably have once gone through. The thing is that with anything, when you're going through it, it always seems to be the hardest thing you'll ever go through and as much as you're trying to run away from the reality, it is difficult.

Our main character, arguably could either be Clay Jenkins or Hannah Baker. However, if we look at either one of them, they both suffer from some sort of mental illness and understandably the stigma of mental health disorders is prevalent in high school. Hannah Baker chose to end her life and left with her 13 tapes which outlined 13 reasons that led to her killing herself. The entire series was very well planned, the 13 tapes very well organised and the pain inflicted to everyone around who still lived, very much real. Arguably, there is the opinion as to whether or not she should have killed herself, and also, when she decided to kill herself, why did she feel the need to torture the people who caused her to end her life by making them suffer? Was this a form of justification? Why did she feel like justice would only be served by taking her own life? Hannah was traumatised by the way she was objectified and sexualised at school when she was betrayed by her crush, Justin Foley, who then goes on to date her best friend at the new school, Jessica Davis.

As heartbreaking as the whole series was, with many crises such as unrequited love, rape, ownership someone feels towards another person for providing for them, the feeling of "owing" someone something for being taken care of, the drinking culture, betrayal, depression, anxiety, isolation, taunting and things that you could possibly piece together if you've been to high school before.

However, the still remaining situation here after the death is that of the suffering that Hannah Baker's parents and her friends go through, not being able to see the tell-tale signs of her feeling isolated and being scared on her own. The story implies a lot of things, like how her mother was really strict with her, and was always at the pharmacy, Hannah however, was also filmed at the pharmacy with her mother. Hannah worked with Clay as a cinema attendant and she was showing signs of withdrawal from society, but she had hoped for a better life, and, rape was the final straw which made her want to kill herself. She did try to speak to her school counsellor about it and noted that it was the final chance she was giving towards living and to life. In the situation, we see how the school counsellor's personal mobile phone was ringing and we point out that this is the case with a lot of us, we sometimes don't listen to our children, to our partners, to our friends, because when we're out, we feel the need to be on our phones and we possibly ignore our friends, and/or the person around us who could/want to open up to us.

The series definitely brought forth the teenage dilemma that we all face as young adults trying to fit in. A lot of people think that this is limited and most specifically focused on teenagers being self-centred, arguable and most importantly disconnected to society. The teenage years of a child is considered the toughest time for parents and the pinnacle of annoyance for society. However, teenagers, adolescents, adults, we all go through difficult times and although 13 reasons why is very much a relatable series where we face difficulties, but all of us have different capacity for tolerance and what could make or break someone could leave the other unfazed. We are nurtured by the environment that we grow up in and in many aspects, we see some of the characters, such as Justin Foley and Jessica Davis being somewhat insensitive about the situation and saying that everyone goes through these kinds of things, she just chose to end her life. Whereas Alex Standall sympathises with Hannah Baker and understands why she did it and blames everyone who was mentioned in the tape as the culprit, including himself.

Hannah Baker could be considered to being a narcissist by people, but I beg differ, mainly because the narcissism comes from the series being centred around her, which basically is the point, to reveal different aspects of her situation. A lot of us don't think about the parts of other people that we don't see. So, if we don't know them on a personal basis for example, we somehow just compress their whole identity based on what we know about them. I guess the whole series really got people talking because how most people can relate to this. I don't think I would watch it again like other movies or series that I have watched before. The reason why is simple, I don't particularly want to be reminded of my teenage years, they're not particularly something that I look back at, I was a school nerd, but I had many good times for sure. But it was also a time when I struggled with my identity and how I wanted to be popular but it is also some elements of it that I face with today. So, sometimes, I personally do want to shut those emotions out because they're irrelevant if they're not affecting me.

13 reasons why was definitely a series that brought about a real thing that have plagued teenagers for years. Now, with the second season of 13 reasons why, I somehow can imagine Tyler Down, the school paper photographer as a school shooter, perhaps Clay now being back on his pills, Bryce Walker in jail, and maybe a few new characters that were previously unheard of. Now, with the release of the tapes and it being an incriminating evidence as well, the school would be going through very tough policy change not to mention being poor and not to mention that Kevin Porter may be fired from his post. Although the series teaches us of the dangers of mistreating others, it also highlights that a lot of other things could be going on in someone's head. Clay loved Hannah, but we know that Hannah did like Clay, perhaps even loved him as she imagined a new chapter of her life with Clay, but Clay who had no clue on how to date someone, he took Hannah's words at face value and perhaps that is also a factor to consider. Sometimes, girls yell at a man, asking him to go away, but really, expects him to hang around. Maybe sometimes, the person may stay, but a lot of times, we don't expect to be treated that way nor should we be treated that way.

Hannah's death is a reflection of silence, but at the same time, a cry for help that was unanswered. Although the plot had many interesting aspects to it, which was very real, but it also lacked detail in terms of just skimming the surface when it comes to emotions, and this leaves the viewer with a lot of space for input of emotions. It is a very emotional series, but it was mainly due to the personal attachment that we have to a time in our life that a lot of us remember being one of the most difficult. Perhaps teenagers who are still at school may see this in a different light, but being at University, I can't personally say if this is true, although I believe this to be very likely. High school is a time when you discover a lot of emotions which you may have never gone through before, you learn about love but you also learn about the love that was unrequited, you think back to a time when some joke that was started by someone that got you embarrassed and how at that moment, you felt isolated and you thought about suicide. People say that committing suicide is a cowardly act, but the graphic content in 13 Reasons Why, which I personally skipped, just goes to show how terrible it is. I suppose there is some courage to taking your life, but at the same time, there are a lot more reasons than the 13 as to why someone should choose to end their life.

I think everyone has thought about suicide at some point of their life at least. But, I'm also in no way advocating suicide and if you or anyone you know is thinking about this, there is always help. In the UK, the number to call would be 116 123 , they're the Samaritans. There are also student run societies that offer free listening services and you can call them and speak to them if for whatever reasons you may feel like you can't go on or if you just need someone to lend an ear. I think the series is educational but in some aspects, gives people the idea that after someone dies, people would remember them, this should not be a motivating factor, AT ALL.

Till my next post. xx


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You're terrible, I'm not

"Why can't you take out the trash for even once?"
"Do I have to do everything?"
"Why do you have to be around when I'm speaking to my friends, I leave you to your own device when your friends are around?!"
"When are you leaving?"
"You never text me first"

These are just a few things that I could come up with at the top of my head as to what we may have all probably have gone through at least once in our lives. Do you ever find yourself thinking how some people are just insensitive? Do you ever find yourself just telling yourself probably you're overreacting, but then you think, but why can't they even have common sense? Do you ever find yourself just wanting to physically choke someone, but you know that you're not a murderer and you're just too nice to ever hurt anyone? Or maybe you just say everything that you think?

Either way, my point is. Sometimes, we all go through things and we imagine things to be worse than it actually is. We spend so much time in our head, just justifying things before we even say anything. But ever sometimes thought that maybe you think too much and maybe you have even been told that? See, sometimes it may be true, but other times it may not be. What is thinking too much? Or over-thinking as others would put it? Sometimes, we just have a lot of things that we consider to be normal and are perplexed when people don't adhere to such norms. That is when you or me or anyone else starts to think about what drives someone's actions. 


Sure, call it overthinking, but in many ways, I think someone who overthinks is better than someone who doesn't give a second to ponder upon their thoughts. The reason why most people think and try to rationalise someone else's actions is because their trying to understand someone's behaviour and yeah, it may get them upset, but it's because as a person, they truly don't understand what drives another person's behaviour and hence, it leads to them just making up possibilities which can be detrimental to their mental health at times. But, also is a good example of how some people are more prone to "overthinking", shall we say and others just take things at face value.

The point is, we always spend time looking at other people's flaws before looking at our own and that's just a fact that really, I don't have to tell you, but we all do that. It's human nature. We often look at someone's flaws first before acknowledging their good attributes. You know when you say, "Yeah, she/he's just really annoying at times, especially when she/he doesn't listen but you know at the end of the day, she/he doesn't do it out of spite, I think she/he just doesn't know it". But ever think how we feel the need to share with others what we think of others? If we were aware of the fact that they weren't being malicious, then why share a negative point about someone anyway? It just doesn't make sense when you actually think about it. But you and I both, we are at some point guilty of having done this.

It's easier I suppose to lash out at everyone and point out their flaws, but I think a lot of us don't realise this, that we have flaws too and sometimes some people have a shitty personality to top that. But a lot of people are kind and never reveal those habits that probably grate on their nerves but some people really feel entitled, like everything should be the way that they want it. I am guilty of asking people to do things a certain way, for example, to put down the toilet seat after someone has used it. But the difference is, if I tell them twice and they don't do it, I'm not going to say it again because I know they're never going to do it. Some people just have it hardwired in them that they can't possibly change. The struggles with living with other people is that you have to compromise. But sometimes, there are some people who literally get annoyed over every little thing, such as the noise, your breathing, or unclean table tops. 

I'm a strong believer of being a person who adheres to the saying "You practice what you preach", but I'm also practical in terms of knowing that some people will never change. But I constantly have to hold my tongue when someone tells me something that they don't like, maybe just one thing, because they just do point out your flaws, not only in terms of your habit, but your personality and it drives me insane, especially when the said person has 10000000x infinity flaws of themselves but they just think they're perfect, or perhaps they don't but think that just because you don't say it, there's nothing about them that bothers you. I personally, to these types of sorry excuses of a person, never utter a single word that is negative, I just choose to ignore it, because in my experience, if you're sharing a house with someone, assuming you're not married to them, are only going to be living with them for perhaps a maximum of a year. So, I'd rather just not say anything that would make me regret ever saying some things than to say anything at all. Because in the long run, it's your wellbeing and your reputation that is on the line. 

Sure, they may fabricate lies about you, but if or when confronted, you never feel guilty but rather you'd have a smile on your face because you know how sick of a person they were. Okay, maybe some parts of my writing is fueled by cynicism and also laced with annoyance, but I'm just very honest. I never believe in lying and when I write, my point is to get people to see a different perspective. It's like looking at an object from different angles. You know people are nice, because they say few hurtful things but that doesn't mean they don't think it. 

So, I leave for you Machiavelli's advice on being nice. I very much agree with his ideas, do watch this short video to attain a slightly different perspective on being nice. Key note: Know the evil but don't associate yourself with the evil, twist the perspective but never have that outlook on life. Your mirror image does not have to be pure although your intentions are pure. Treating someone with goodness when they are in fact devious, does not prove you are a better person, you are good, without having to prove it, but counteracting their devious feats are what would make you successful and dissociating yourself from their annoyance will grant you freedom. Often times, it's not ignoring or shutting yourself from them, but for me, I suppose I have a different approach, I know the person that is terrible is for a fact just terrible and unkind, but I don't treat them unkindly, I just choose to not discuss matters that are personal to me or let them speak to me in ways that I don't like, by training them psychologically, yes, you can condition people and I do that all the time. It's not being cunning if anyone's wondering, it's being tactical. At the end of the day, it's your well-being that matters and of course, being nice will help you sustain that but NEVER let anyone step all over you. Learn from your lessons, never have to go through them twice, EVER.


Till my next post. xx

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What happens when you're broken?

What growing up with people who constantly tell you that you cannot do it does to you?

Maybe, just maybe, you were lucky enough to grow up with amazing, loving parents, I say parents because sometimes, a parent can be loving, encouraging and do everything that they can to ensure that you lead a fulfilling life and in turn you will grow up to be a successful person. Although terminology wise, success can mean a lot of things, we will leave this out of the equation for a second and allow everyone to have their own assumptions of what success is because in reality that is what it is, it’s different for each individual. But nevertheless, one parent can be supportive and the other parent could be at the other end of the spectrum of being completely detrimental to your mental health, sometimes even your physical health, not offering support and if any case would rejoice in seeing you fail.

So, I’m speaking from personal experience when I say this but it is obviously different for everyone and it also depends on your cultural background, geographical background and honestly you name it. Many, many factors come into consideration when I say this. But how is it that someone copes when speaking out about domestic abuse is a taboo? How does someone continue to live in a society where perfection is portrayed and speaking about being abused, is like, saying that you should be ashamed of being treated that way, not that the perpetrator be called out or prosecuted. You get told by others that there must a be a reason why they hit you, not “How dare they hit you”. You see in many cases, this is the hard reality, but ever heard someone say, “don’t tell others what happened”? Have you had that told to you? Maybe not. But when you get a metal mug strike your face, when your face is black and blue from the physical abuse that you suffer from and when the person tells you, “You can’t tell anyone that I hit you, because I will kill you and no one can say anything about it”. Well, for me, that’s my life. No. That WAS my life.

Why do you not want to go back? Do you not miss your family? No is the answer. I have been dying inside every day of my life not knowing when is it that I will be hurt again. When I would be verbally abused, be called abusive names, “dog”, “bitch”, “asshole”, all of this in public. Don’t share what your family is like. Don’t tarnish your family name. Don’t let them know. Why? Why? Why? Why do I have to go through this? I realised the sadness that engulfed me when I was 13, didn’t know it was called mental illness, didn’t know it was called trauma. Didn’t know that it was a condition and didn’t know that I could get out of it. What I did know was that I turned my emotions into words, turned my worries onto paper. Placed my heart in a box, suffered in silence. Never told a soul. Kept it silenced. Told my friends that my younger brother kicked the football to my face. Lies after lies, after lies. And she still stayed.

All I wanted was to get out. I am out now. I am free. I don’t want to go back, I can’t go back. I never want to go back. I want to be free. I want to be me. I want my own life. I believe that a woman can have her own life. How do you stay strong when someone says things like, “Good grades aren’t going to do the cleaning, you have to learn how to clean the house before you can even think of having good grades”. I’m sorry, what? When I got an award for being top student, he embarrassed, called me names and asked me to wash the toilet. He said I will amount to nothing. He has no respect for me. I never will forget these words and I will never let someone else go through the same things that I have experienced be experienced by other people as well.

But you’re so happy, how is it that you’re so happy. You don’t know me. That’s why you don’t know my story. But my story isn’t even about me. It’s about how people accept the condition that they’re in but some retaliate and that’s me. You see, in this world there are people who go through so much pain, so much so that they learn to accept it. But some people turn against it and run from it and I know that’s why my relationships with friends have been so challenging because it’s hard for me to maintain friendships with people. It’s hard for me to put myself out there. It’s hard for me because all I want to do is run. All I want to do is be safe. All I want to do is be human. All I want to do is be happy and that’s what I aspire to be. To be happy and to make other people feel good about themselves because I know what it’s like to have people diss you at every opportunity that they have. The people that were meant to make you feel safe and who were meant to make you feel human, who decided that you are worth dehumanizing. The person who tried to do more things than just hurt you. The person whom I hate and the person that I wish was dead. But I’m not a malicious person, so I chose to run away and I will never go back and I will never see them again. I developed a semi-photographic memory from the trauma that I faced as a child, and I personally never knew that I could.

But I’ve been so interested in psychological experiments because my brain just processes things in a very different way. But this is the truth, this is me and there’s no point of hiding it anymore. I have been embarrassed to let people know about my past, but this is not a reflection of me and I have only now learnt to embrace this and that I am more than how people treat me and that’s why I never let anyone make me feel like I’m less than a priority because I never stay otherwise.

This may be something unexpected but it’s time that I shared that in this world, people may feel like everyone who is sunshine and happiness are just that. Recognise that there is more to someone than just how they seem outside and recognise that the person that you think I am, is not a true reflection of me. I don’t care about what people think of me mainly because I know they don’t know me well enough. I’ve never let anyone close enough to know me. But here’s a side to me that no one knew anyway.


Till’ my next post. xx

Monday, March 13, 2017

Why are we so afraid?

Why are we so afraid?
I’ve always thought, how brave people were back then to stand up for what they think is right. I’m much comfortable sitting behind a screen, sharing, standing on a podium and making people listen. But I would never result to violence. It simply just isn’t me. I however think about the suffragettes for example and the amazing women behind the movement, how they stood up for the inequality that they were experiencing, sexual abuse, unfair treatment and the responsibilities imposed on them by society, simply because they were female.



We have come a long way from how matters are discussed, but until now, women still face the oppression from men who think they are better than them, or by their peers who are jealous of them. It’s difficult being beautiful as well, because you’re sexualised by the opposite sex, undermined by your colleagues and thwarted by your female equals. This is a common phenomenon that occurs everywhere. My question is why do we hate? 

Women are supposed to empower other women, we aren’t supposed to be starting cat fights over who is more beautiful than the other. On the contrary, we should be supporting them. I hate to say that I have met a lot of people who use their beauty to their favour, getting what they want mainly because they are genetically gifted, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is the same. I think in terms of success, people should support other people and not feel jealous of them, if anything, we should seek to assist. We are nobody without our support network, be it our friends, family or strangers. You never know when the next opportunity would arrive and you should be out there trying to make a difference.

You see, for me, I have no idea how to start a movement, how to make change, I don’t have a clue because I never thought I could change the world, although I always believed I could. The thing about success or even being remembered is doing things that other people won’t do. Doing things without thinking about the consequences per se, but rather focusing on your goals and the point you’re out to make. Sure, you may get into trouble. You may even get into jail. But, why are we so worried that we would be jailed or faced with difficulties if that is really what we stand for? If that is really what is correct. For example, in North Korea, you’re executed for even watching foreign media, but why is it so bad? It’s the dictatorship of course, but why are we so afraid? Why are we constantly worried about what others would say? Why don’t we stand up? Why do we accept?

There is this interesting thing about comfort, we don’t want to be challenged, we want things to be stable, we don’t want to get into trouble. But, what are we so afraid of? Why are we so afraid? Is it the human condition, to stay safe? To remain unharmed and also to remain a bystander? Why are we so opposed to refugees, why are we so opposed to poverty? Why are we so offended? Why do we treat people differently based on their status? Why do we hug someone who is a celebrity, but shun those that need us? Why do we care so much about perfection but cringe at the look of flaws? Why do we pretend to be perfect? 

Who are we?

Yes, say it. Maybe we just don’t care about what doesn’t affect us? But how are we able to live, knowing that someone else’s mother is crying? How can we live knowing that we would never let our own mother go through what other people are going through, but we don’t care about others, only because we don’t know them? Lives lost is not a human condition, especially not because of war or poverty. It’s something that we as human beings have conditioned ourselves to be okay with. Of course, sickness, and old age take lives, but even then, we are sad, if it is of our loved ones. So, why do we not care about those who really need to be cared for? Why do we impose on ourselves this “Human condition” where acceptance is of higher priority especially in countries where death takes place on a daily basis due to a regimental force that oppresses them on a daily belief? Why do we allow this? Why are we so afraid of free movement? Why are we so afraid that people are coming over and taking our jobs?



Why? Shouldn’t everyone have the right to improve their lives? You and I, we were born in a country, completely out of chance and this determines our nationality and explicitly how we’re treated in life. I didn’t choose to be brown, to have dark hair, or to have brown eyes, but I do. This is my genetics, there is nothing I can do to change it, neither do I want to change it. I don’t want people looking at me and thinking, “Why is she here?”. I want to be able to live freely, travel to anywhere in the world and have the equal opportunity that everyone has. So, for them, for people who don’t even have documentations to prove that they are from a certain country, imagine the heartache, the oppression, the feeling of outcast that they have on a daily basis. You don’t belong anywhere, you aren’t given the opportunity. You think you’re out of the hell hole, but the new hell you’re put in is of the looks of disgust and dissatisfaction like you’re some kind of leach, sucking the happiness out of them, when really all you want is to live.

You and I, we’re cowards. We truly are. We’ve never done anything in our lives to change what we think is wrong. Many of us have even stood as bystanders when watching injustice unfold. But, I don’t think I will stand for it anymore. I will not allow people to be treated unfairly around me and I will also fight for human rights if it means it would be the end of me. It’s better to stand for something than to not. It’s better to have an opinion than to go with the flow. Life is too short to think. Do what you love and if it hurts you, let the pain strengthen your belief. If every great men and women were to have given up, we would have never known their names. Maybe I’d end up to be a writer, but that’s my fight. The pen is mightier than the sword anyway. We have our way of showing solidarity and the best way I know of doing it is by writing. So, I will write what I think and not think of the consequences anymore.

Today especially is the first time I ever stood up for myself. I was walking towards the train station at the airport and someone said excuse me and I didn't know where it was coming from so, I was kind of hovering in the middle of the two lanes. Instead of saying thanks, he said, "What the fuck? You choose one side not walk in the middle" and if it was any other time I would have stayed quiet, but this time I said, "Yeah, well, you don't have to be so rude, for fuck's sake" and continued on. As small as it seems, I would never speak up for myself but this time, I just didn't care and I was prepared to defend myself if he were to be violent. But he wasn't, but I could see a shift in his behaviour in a way that he did feel scared. Sorry, but bullies need to be told off. Otherwise, they would think their behaviour is acceptable, which in any way, it isn't!!



Till my next post. xx


Friday, February 10, 2017

Culture

Hello! 






So today, I wanted to touch a little on cultural differences and perception of people based on their culture. Enjoy!

Here is something I have been thinking about recently. Culture, is it something that you could adapt to, or is it something you’re just used to and it’s not something that you would be able to change in a person. First of all, if you have to change something in a person in order to like them or to make them an ideal friend, then maybe it’s not the right person for you. But this obviously just something that I’m rhetorically saying, is it possible or not? Is it something engrained in a person or is it something that most people adapt to.

I suppose the objective point from which I have been looking at is that I personally feel that it is really down to personality and how cultural their background is in terms of their upbringing and also their stance on things such as having a more liberal or conservative viewpoint. But then again, speaking personally, I know that I am a much conservative person when it comes to things like marriage, and also my idea of work. However, in terms of my religious, political and generally my worldview, I consider myself a liberal. I don’t believe in judgement although I also believe that as humans the first thing we do is judge when we meet someone or if we are faced with a situation. But then again, I came up with the philosophy that every first impression is a judgement and I have never stepped back from it, I still believe this is true and secretly we analyse people and make judgements about them because 1) We’re cautious people and we don’t want to get hurt because of things that has happened in the past 2) We want to understand why someone does the things that they do or 3) We’re not convinced that who someone says they are is truly who they are.

Whatever it is, I think that as human beings we judge people at every opportunity that we get and sometimes, we reflect and change our mindset, at other times, we need something to happen for us to think differently about a person and at other times, we try to convince ourselves to consolidate our first impression that we have had for a person. Why would we try to consolidate our first impression you may ask? Well, if it is a negative one that we’ve had in the beginning, whether it was a bad day that someone was having and then leading you to dislike them or it is a good impression that we have of someone and we’re trying to not change our feelings just because we’ve heard something about them, or because we have not experienced it for ourselves or even if we’re just in denial. The former could be because we dislike them due to their relationship with someone, such as someone else calling your best friend their best friend or whether it’s a romantic form, or maybe you just don’t like them for no reason at all. Whatever the reasons may be, I think that everyone has ulterior motives and sometimes you end up liking someone or otherwise, not so much.

But going back to the culture as well, how we perceive people, for example how they look to us is very dependent on how we are raised. Whether you judge someone on the streets for being homeless because they want to be that way or you judge someone on the streets for losing everything he/she had because they’ve had a tough time and has no one to turn to for support, however you view things is mainly because of your surrounding and of course, to a large extent how you choose to be affected by it. Of course when you are a child, that is the most responsive you are to other people’s opinions and also picking up these opinions, to a certain extent, we all know that sometimes, some people can’t help thinking a certain way, because of how they were raised, but because it is socially unacceptable to be or think a certain way, people do try to be different from who they are, or rather who they actually are rather than who they are perceived to be.

But then again, when it comes to adapting cultures, for example, a general notion in a country, such as how people approach family matters such as in Europe and in Asia, for Asians for example, it’s getting more liberal, especially in terms of relationships, no one cares if you have one, whereas in Europe, if you have one, you have to be sure before you introduce them to your family that it’s something you’re doing if it’s a long term girlfriend/boyfriend or if you have intentions to marry them and I see it to be true in a lot of people that I have met. But in Asia, at least in Malaysia, if you said you were in a relationship, your parents would just be like, okay and that’s it, they’d probably add and say “Don’t do stupid things” but that’s as far as it goes, especially in my family. But of course, all families are different.


I suppose it’s easier to understand other people’s culture rather than to adapt to it. Especially for someone who has very strong cultural ties, they would feel it rather difficult to try to adjust but then again it isn’t impossible. But one thing for sure would leave them feeling unhappy. So, I think in terms of culture, the more open of the two should try to understand the other than asking a very culturally tied person to adapt. This is not saying that the person who has strong cultural beliefs are ignorant, but rather it is just to say that they would understand it, but because it is not theirs, they often don’t see much point in adapting it, or wanting to adapt it and if it is easier for someone else to try understanding someone, then it would definitely be ideal to for the other person to be more understanding.

Till' my next post. xx