What’s in a name…

We, as sentimental, selfish, romantic, loving, generous, narcissistic, jealous, caring, wanting humans, do this thing. We label things…and animals…and people. Not just for the ‘type’ of creature they are, but actually label. We are born with given names, acquire nicknames, short names, pet names and labels.
As my name is quite long, and has several abbreviations, I have been called many things at different stages of life. I have also been given both names and labels by people who feel for me, good and bad (and quite realistically, probably a few choice ones I’m not aware of).

I don’t take too well to alternate names, but some seem to adhere regardless. They have changed over the years from schoolfriends, parents, old ladies, work colleagues, business clients and in the online community.

There are also endeared labels. Two people in my life have always called me ‘Sweetheart’, one of my oldest friends, and my most recent. It sounds strange coming from most people, but from these two sounds quite natural. The former only uses the word on those he despises or loves, and I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…or at least I hope so.
Another person I used to know, for a while called me ‘Lover’, which sounded quite heartfelt, until I found that I wasn’t the only one, literally. Loses it’s gloss pretty quick. Now it sounds more like poison.

I debated once, about the use of labels in a relationship. At what age do you stop using the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ and pretend you are mature enough to have progressed past that point? We were no longer boy and girl, yet supposedly exclusive, but not married? Hhmm.
‘Partner’ sounds ancient or gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so/but essentially misleading. In the end, we decided that it was not in any way a normal relationship, and found odd metaphoric terms of endearment. I like to think they were both metaphoric anyway, although there *may* have been a tinge of truth to mine.

Another friend, who is actually married, never refers to her husband as that, but always just calls him ‘my Mi***el’. It is sweet and completely innocent, like her, yet as mentioned above, a very direct form of ownership.

I’m pretty sure just about every committed couple out there use some form of alternate name for their partners, ranging from gut-wrenching stuff like “Honeybunch’ & ‘Sweet-pea’, to the more widely used ‘Love’ or ‘Darling’. Today I saw ‘Snuggle-monkey’, which seemed very apt considering who applied it, and to whom.
A guy once made the mistake of trying to call me ‘Darl’…wow. He never did that again.

I guess in a nutshell, if you are with someone, that you acclimatise to whatever they call you (within reason-and excluding the heat of argument), but by far the most soul-piercing name anyone has ever called me…is my own. My real name, from their lips. In those moments it wasn’t just about me. It was acknowledgement. It was about this person being with me, and only with me. Even if only…for those moments.

What names do you share Kids? We want the vomit-inducing cuteness. Spill.
V

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Hustle and heart

So, I wanted to write a blog, but the topic…well, there were too many. I couldn’t isolate, narrow down, minimise.
I still have a story to tell, but now is still not the time *put the popcorn away*. That’s for a more level-headed later.
Instead of trying to make coherent sense of all the thoughts, I’ll just write a list instead. Of…things. Things in my week, thoughts, realisations, learnings, re-visits, angers, delights & other…things.
It’s not advice-I’m not qualified or self-assured enough to give it. It’s just ramblings, because I’ve had a tiring week (mine work differently to yours) and today was hard. I was angry and venomous, and I knew it. I need to find some positivity, so I can find sleep, and wake up in a better frame of mind. There has been so much rapid change, I needed to find ground, run my toes through it’s sand, then dig them in deeper and feel the grains.1.’Things’ can be hard to let go of. It’s hard not to relate the things we own, to being a part of who we are, so in many cases, it can be hard to let go of them. If we have them for a long time, each passing minute makes us feel like they are more ingrained in our character…but they are not. The things we own, are merely a reflection of who we are-an extension. We are no less without them, and if we let them go, we make room. For new things, other things, or simply just open space. We create a gap that can be filled with change and forward motion. Sometimes we need to de-clutter our lives to make it better, or give ourselves the opportunity to redefine our image, or bolster/rediscover our sense of self. Letting go of anything important is not easy, but it can be so very worth it.

2. Sometimes the smallest gestures make the biggest impact. A smile can bring a smile, a helping hand can bring a blessing (Actually it was “Bless your heart, and every other part”-Haha), remembering a name lights up eyes, or circumstance, and knowing unexpected things brings engagement to another level. Say hello, use their name, pat their dog…just making an effort means the world to some people.

3. Know who you are. Don’t be afraid of it. Your emotions and moods and quirks. Your fetishes and fantasies, dreams and reality, passions and peeves. Take the time to get to really know what you like and dislike, and how you react to things. Be ok, with you. Really know…and understand it. NEVER apologise for it.
4. Accept who you are-own it! There is NOBODY else out there on the planet like you. Be brave enough to feel, to love, to anger, to react, to defend, and to do exactly what you want and how you want (as long as you’re not hurting others intentionally in the process). And I mean how YOU want. Not how others think you should, or how it is expected. You are enough, and there are plenty of people out there that know that, or soon will. If you ever feel like you are not enough, or too much for people…then they are not your people. 5. Don’t settle. Life is a journey, and a tough one. Adulting sucks, and loss and heartache and loneliness. But love…love doesn’t suck. It can be amazing if you do it right. And puppies are awesome, and warm pan au chocolat, and walking in fresh air, and new places, and good (or if you’re lucky-fantastic) sex, and roast dinners, and pampering, and loud music and, and, and….
Small delights are to be found in every day. We hurt and heal. We experience a huge amount of emotion, and there are adventures everywhere if we stay open to them. You never know where being honest and brave can take you. Settling is a limitation we place on ourselves when we don’t feel we can do, or get, or deserve any better. Don’t settle, please. Please.
6. Love and like are completely different things. When we love someone, or are in love with them, we just are. They can do silly, awful, disrespectful, hurtful, or indifferent things to us, and we continue to love them, just because…we do. The human heart and brain don’t always see eye to eye. But that said, we can still feel the impact of those things…we can still not like them for what they do, or who they are, or how they are. We can still get angry or upset with the things, the words, the lack of anything. But love is steadfast. We just need to understand the difference, and act accordingly. Because no matter how much you love anyone else, the first person should always be yourself.Well, stick a fork in me…I’m done, and as someone said to me in the week..it’s getting too late for philosophy or anything that doesn’t involve sex. Time to join the monsters on, and under, my bed.
Goodnight Kids, thanks for listening.
V

Orwell that ends well

largeGeorge Orwell said it over 70 years ago, and I believe he said it best…
““The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening.”
There’s nothing like travelling through a big city, and people watching to make you realise just this. To see just how many of them are not watching you back, or even noticing you are there. On a crowded tram or train, on a lonely street, a hustling shopping mall…it makes no difference. ‘They’ don’t even look up…the masses, the zombies, the technologically focused…’they’.

Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant brains of the 20th century, is said to have predicted something almost identical: “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
251F794A00000578-0-image-a-1_1422408964508Well, maybe not all idiots, maybe well educated by google, but definitely suffering from an over social-media-ised anti-socialisation. Tragic.

I watched a couple sitting side by side. He casually flicked his arm around her, tried to talk, joked a little, and then gave up trying to win her attention. A second later they both were glued to their phones, and not a word more was spoken the entire trip.
I spoke to someone casually (because I have no filter) and they seemed shocked, surprised, hesitant to reply. When they did it was brief and disjointed.
I chatted with another guy for near 30 mins a few days last week, and on the third day, we realised that of the 20 travellers in our line of sight, we were the only ones not plugged into some type of socket. Actually talking. *GASP*.

This week alone, I have spoken to at least a dozen people I don’t even know (although now I chat frequently to one), made a baby giggle hysterically, patted a dog in a shopping cart, watched the same terrain affected and change in 3 different lights of day, listened to funny, stupid, dramatic, and joyful conversations. I have been aware of a very highly strung junkie, thanked 20 different drivers, helped 3 lil old ladies disembark, and given up my seat for numerous disabled or elderly passengers. I have given people directions, been surrounded by cute, hungry little sparrows, jumped off a stop early a time or two, and been unexpectedly complimented by a girl who felt the need to justify speaking to me, by explaining that she also had no filter. I told her no excuse was required.

We are in a world of people who are switching off more and more every day, just by switching on. iPhones, iPads, iPods, ithis, ithat, ieverything.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate social media. In fact, I think it’s fabulous. Some days, and in many ways…it’s the only way I can stay in touch with some of my nearest and dearest. But, everything in it’s place. Snapchatting, tweeting and face-timing, seems to be replacing good old fashioned talking, visiting, writing. People don’t send letters, they send ‘likes’ or ‘pokes’ or messages. People don’t visit, they email or post on your virtual wall.

We are all being desensitised methodically, and in the process, losing empathy, sympathy, respect, affection and love, yet hate still seems rife, and tempers shorter. People use the platforms to clearly express what they hate, are upset about, can’t stand or are even slightly disgruntled with. They argue politics and war, religion and sexuality. They complain about bad service, lack of service, no service and not being serviced. Perceived anonymity is making people bolder, and the boundaries of personal privacy are becoming slim to non-existent. Anything goes.
CDNk5TjUEAAoXeaMaybe I’m just different, maybe old fashioned or being left behind, but I find it so…sad, to see all of this ending. I’m happy enough receiving messages, but call me and it puts a smile on my face. Video-chat and that expands exponentially, because then we are actually sharing our lives together. Send me a letter, and I’ll probably read it more than once on the spot and then again next week…just because you took the time to write it.

I don’t want to be part of the Umbrella Corporation’s infected masses. I don’t want to be the inanimate body that stares at a screen while the world passes by in the background. I want to be that kick-arse chick with the big gun, making the world a better place to live in. Feel free to press ‘end’ and join me.

Goodnight Kids, I’m off to read my book (you know-the kind with real pages)
Cheers
V