society

Onion Bulbs, Balloons and Sparkles

People I appreciate the most are those with complex inner worlds. Their mind is both cozy and scary destination where strong connections are being made, surfaces are reflective and the air is fresh. There are so many layers that a visitor can peel off slowly like holding a huge onion bulb.

Inner worlds mean stimulating thoughts, exciting ideas and bright eyes. Meeting someone for the first time, talking and looking them in the eyes, it’s easy – there is something unpredictable going on in the back, I caught the infamous twinkle, a spark in the eye. Literally and figuratively. It’s nice, we’re cool. Even though it sounds banal, the twinkle eyed folks are not very common (or are just not easy to find in typical environment), and the experts are not exactly predicting a sparkly future.

The arch-enemy of the spark is not just dullness of the mind, to be politically correct, oh no, I’ve seen many brittle minds being suffocated by the haze of an inflated ego. Self obsession can start subtly, we are all spending too much time in our heads over-analyzing unimportant events instead of building our own cities and countries, but once it spreads on other vital organs, it’s probably too late. Metastasis. The haze is addicting and the sense of judgement is fragile. Even the good, altruistic deeds now get projected into puzzle pieces that want to turn everything  about the person into something remarkable.

There are two platforms – the foggy, disproportionately big headed ego dances on the first one, and everything beneath is a stale waltz of the common folk.

When ego reaches its last stage and the head gets so inflated that the person can’t carry it around anymore, the body rejects the head and the amount of air makes it float away. It may be forever.

Next time you see a body looking, hearing and tasting its surroundings with its limbs, don’t be scared or feel sorry for it, it’s not a tragedy. Even a beaten up body is more useful than the most beautiful balloon head, the only problem we may need to worry about is the atmosphere being  cluttered with too many of those skipping up and down and bumping into each other. We could be encountering a new form of global warming.

 

Self Portrait 2012 by Morbido13

Source: deviantart

 

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How to Kick Yourself in the Ass and Other Important Advice

In most cases I think being nice to people is the only possible way of being. The fact that I’m, just like everyone else, surrounded by rude, pushy, generally just very self obsessed humans doesn’t stop me from holding up the wall of niceness throughout the day. That wall isn’t built because I’m an amazing person, it comes from selfish reason. It’ s almost like self preservation even though I feel it damages me more and more in a subtle, but visible way.

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I think it’s selfish because I don’t feel good when others don’t, especially if  something I may have said or done made them uncomfortable. I’m thinking of small stuff that happens in daily interactions with neighbors, colleagues, people you meet during the day, but don’t know them or you just don’t share a deeper connection.

Before writing this I spent a good 10 minutes unconsciously damaging the skin around my finger nails just thinking about situations when a person was being insulted, humiliated or just failing at something and me trying to smooth things up, calm people down or trying to give a humorous tone to an awkward situation. Again, I do it to protect myself from feeling anxious, hurt or most likely trying to hide from the horrible agony of second hand embarrassment. I invented cringe before it existed, I must have cringed at bad jokes and disgusting pick up lines on TV as soon as I could make sense of the words I was hearing. Or maybe even sooner, I was born in a floating balloon of cringiness that is too powerful to break down.

Be nice to keep things going without unnecessary trouble even if the lady at the bank is giving you shit. You’ll see here now and probably never again. Fake a smile or two, trow in a wink if you’re feel like it, it confuses people and gives you enough time to escape and let them think. Maybe. If not, still, you win by the score Universe is tracking.

This doesn’t mean I am against a good argument and heated discussion. I’m all about that, actually I’m not into people agreeing with me completely on every single subject because I can’t learn or improve myself from being around those people. Again, the selfishness is my hidden charm.

The lack of lashing out at people has its downsides because I seem to directly inhale all of the negative and passive aggressive energy I get thrown at and carry it around in my gut like a ticking time bomb until I can’t do it anymore and the only wish is to disembowel myself samurai style. The results of the bomb finally exploding is me being offensive and mean towards the people I love for a short period of time and then being incredibly mad at myself for much longer period.

Luckily, the explosion doesn’t kill me but makes me wait until my limbs are ready to grow again, learning how to crawl first and then getting up to walk slowly, rebuilding the fragile brain and body connections from scratch while replacing all the negative with clarity and hugs. Lots of hugs.

Final step means saving the energy for future battles because it is certain that they never stop completely. It’s much easier when you’re aware that all of this is bullshit with a casual ticks of fun – that’s what I meant by clarity.

 

P.S. Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday, it’s time to celebrate so grab your balloon.

 

 

 

Pucker Up Babe, Winter Is Coming

When it’s good, it’s easy. Everything feels smooth, makes sense and gives an impression of stability, like it will last forever. Then comes the bitter comedown when feelings hit back in the opposite direction, a knockdown is inevitable. A fucked up defense mechanism panics, it turns all mind and bodily functions into a battery saving mode, limiting my willingness for social interaction to a minimum. It’s not the lack of willingness actually, it has more to do with the ability to function like an adult and not like a spoiled, wrangling baby.

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All of this is nothing but a shitty way of myself trying to explain my actions to no one other than myself which is a contradiction since I’m afraid I’m not the most objective observer right now, or ever. It’s all fun and games but when the ‘elephant day’ comes –  the feeling of the biggest elephant casually sitting on my chest,  changing positions just a bit so I can catch a glimpse of air to keep me conscious – that’s when  I feel the need to catch up with what’s new on Button Poetry, a community led by awesome, talented and brave people sharing the talent and joy of expressing, playing with words rolling down their swift tongues.

Performance poetry, what an honest beauty! Raw, direct, clumsy, but genuine to its core. Everything I want to be. The cathartic feeling of recognizing the lines of your stupid face in those verses is naturally amusing, sometimes scary, oh but it’s much more than that!  Even the stories of people whose life paths don’t really cross with ours bring an abundance of inspiration (in a lack of a better word because my word treasure box is restricted and dull at the moment).

One of the most successful performance poet is this Amazon queen warrior named Sabrina Benaim whose videos keep punching me in the face, making my nose bleed and my stomach ache. 

Not to mention the different types of awe I’m feeling, firstly because of the incredible amount of courage it takes to rip your old wounds open in front of thousands of people, the non given fucks concurring the hell out of insecurities and fear of being mocked for your weaknesses. Because,  you know, we’a re all so cool, independent and distant hiding behind memes, hashtags, sarcasm or whatever cringy shit you choose to get high on. More than 6 million views on her most popular video performance makes me think how I would rather get physically naked and do back flips on stage in front of that amount of people.

But like me and the Ancient Greeks together concluded, it’s all about reaching the sense of being reborn, brushing the dirt off your shoulders and moving on. I wish I could do any of those,  the back flips and public poetry. Maybe even combine them.

 

Btw, if you want to buy me a perfect Christmas gift, look no further, thanks: depression & other magic tricks

Shoes and Prejudice

Well educated, not as much formally as informally when it comes to hobbies, foreign languages, exploring other cultures and wast interest in popular culture in general. These are the self confessions of a snob. Never the materialistic, fashion label obsessed kind, but the more subtle, equally annoying specimen. Lurking from the dark, sitting in a semi comfortable seat of an old art cinema, reading Le Mond and Le Nouvel Observateur in public transport, having coffee and initiating discussions on existentialism, judging you for your ‘too mainstream’ way of wearing Docs and rolling eyes so hard it hurts when someone proclaims their love for Starbucks.

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Huhhh, try typing and then saying all of it in one breath, it was as exhausting on paper as much as it is in real life! And it’s just the tip of an iceberg. The persona behind the mysterious description is me, of course, but it’s not a post only about me. There are many ‘me-s’ around me: educated, somewhat intelligent young people who are often subconsciously looking down at different lifestyles and interests. At the same time, we will be the first ones to raise our hands when asked if we believe in diversity, tolerance and acceptance through breaking the mental and physical borders that our world is constructed on, but fail to lead with an example in our closest surroundings.

The unusual part of this millennial paradox is that, unlike in case of other flaws and misconceptions, I’ve noticed it in my own behavior on many occasions before even thinking of looking for it in other people first.

Living In a Bubble

I know I keep returning to this topic, no excuses, it’s because I feel this has been a problem of mine for a long time. The simplest way to function in every aspect of life would be surrounding ourselves with people who are similar to us. Similar background, habits, level of education, interests, whatever. Everything similar, not too many surprises. We are drawn to that concept, mostly led by past experiences and the usual, just go with the flow of what is already close to us attitude.

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating that firm bubble of safety, there will be a time when you’ll just have to break it and step out of it. Or life will break it for you just because it can. Luckily.

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All of this is closely connected to the overused but true ‘it is important to step out of your comfort zone’ mantra. What I’ve learned from my humble experience is that people are the most challenging, but also the most rewarding part that comes with the discomfort zone. The range of emotions, both good or bad, can’t be overpowered by any experience that doesn’t include dealing with people.

The Rule Book

I used to have rules. No, that’s a lie, I still have them, but some of them are fading away. Not strict, army type rules, but more like a list of details that served as an elimination system in meeting new people. The places people like to go out, music they listen to, movies they watch, the way they dress (shoes are the biggest deal breaker for me), how much make up a girl wears, what school did they go to, etc. Those are all either visual or superficial traits you can check by scrolling through someone’s Facebook profile for a second.

‘No way I’m hanging out with him!’ In under 10 words it’s done like it’s a no big deal, like there may not be any missed opportunities behind it. The number of times I’ve jumped to conclusion combined with the number of times someone didn’t want to have anything to do with me based on the first impression leads to….  a pretty big number I guess. But anyways, that’s not the truly sad part, what sucks is never realizing how inefficient our personal scanning machines are.

Becoming more opened towards people with different tastes and thoughts about how to live a life doesn’t mean forcing an introvert into turning into a very loud, outgoing person or abandoning your firmest beliefs and passions. The trick is letting the guard down, at first by focusing on it until it finally happens spontaneously. New experience begins with letting other people’s ideas come in and out again, like taking deep breaths while trying to relax.

What’s the worst thing that can happen? I can only think of not liking and completely disagreeing with someone’s way of thinking and it’s totally alright,  as long as it’s respectful.  I like to remember situations where I had to collaborate with different individuals which led to a pleasant surprise, making the grumpy old me admit I learned something new and useful from the horrible shoes wearing people.