The importance of being important

I see a guy on the street, and he has a dog (not actual pic below). They have a blanket and a bowl, and a bag of things. If I have time, I talk to him, and take him treats or other assorted cash or items, and every day I see him, I can’t help but think that in a way, they are lucky. Not to have nothing, but to have more than some people really do. They have each other, loyalty, and they are grateful for everything they get. He is always lovely and polite. He never asks for anything more than a belly rub for his pup. They make me feel like I have so much more than I deserve, they make me realise a lot…and they make me smile.
I see a woman who travels alone. She is old, and far from where she is from. She uses a roller walker and dresses warmly and beautifully. She sits at the front, and watches the streets pass, the signs and waits for her stop. She offers her seat to all the newcomers, though she is entitled to it in every way. She makes sure she doesn’t take up space or brush people that rudely push past her. I help her each day, get safely down the stairs to solid ground, and she thanks me with a blessing in her sweet old voice, always thanking the driver on her way past. She has and deserves respect…and she makes me smile.

I see a man who gets on the tram in his half expensive suit, with his half expensive tie tucked neatly into it. Scanning the crowd, a small grimace crosses his face, and he blinks it quickly away. He takes all of two seconds to decide that the priority seating is where he should be seated. Unfolding a newspaper, or flipping through very important papers. Perhaps unfolding a very important laptop. Obviously he is very important. Obviously he takes the tram, only because it is accepted in the more mainstream section of the business world. A public chauffeur, because obviously his own personal one is off sick. Or perhaps his very important sports car is in the shop today.
But peeking out from the bottom of his suit legs are well worn, comfortably creased leather shoes, that have lost the majority of their shine. And fraying from the edge of his scarf, is a telltale thread or two, that says he has worn it often to combat the cold. He seems uncomfortable because, well…because he wants to be much more important than to have to travel on a tram with everyone else, like everyone else. And he makes me sad.

Every day, we are creating our own version of a living hell, just by following the greed and calculated insanity of human nature. Progressiveness is leading us into an isolated concrete cubicle, to bend us all over. George Orwell, eat your heart out.
A society where creatures will pay to store in boxes, the things they have collected , but neither use nor need, yet refuse to let go of. Hoarding possessions they are too protective and greedy to relinquish, yet too rational to have filling their lives. Things they have earned. Their things. Precious Thingsssssss.

I admit, I have some of these things…but I am learning to let go. I am feeling how much lighter my life feels, without the clutter of heavy burdens, and the things I no longer need. Because most things are meaningless. They are just things that can be changed, replaced or done without. They are not what makes our lives rich, or make us any more or less important. Things don’t care about you. And they can all be taken away so easily. Property, money…stuff. None of these are any measure, to genuine love, trust, respect or reliability.
What is important is who you are and what you do, not what you have or where you work. What is important is how you treat others, that are simply trying to live inside this same world.

And quite honestly, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice anything for anyone else. It doesn’t mean you have to give a fuck what other people think of you. It doesn’t even mean you have to go out of your way to impress or placate..but if you can inspire admiration or respect from strangers, or friends, or lovers without trying to…then I think you are doing it right.

Cheers Kids, have you made anyone smile today?
V

 

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

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

Spray-paint, name tags & great coffee.

I promised you my story…but it will have to wait for another day. Today is a little cloudy, and while things sort themselves into fashionable order, I will take the opportunity to just share a few ‘in the meantime’ thoughts.

I’m having a night. One of those ones I haven’t seen in a while. It’s not exactly ‘bad’…just flat and grey and I know in the corner of my mind, like a catching a fleeting glimpse of something…something is not quite right.
It’s been a long week. Oh…hang on…It’s been a long few months!!

While I haven’t been super forthcoming with details (with nearly anyone-don’t worry, you’re not being singled out) my whole life has changed. Why?…because I made it so. Because it had to, to save my sanity and self respect. Because there just comes a time when it should. And I knew it was exactly that time. Time for change.
Someone said to me this week, that it seemed I had a new ‘persona’. It was interesting, because all it really meant, was that that person had never seen/noticed this side of me before. I haven’t changed, I’m just more of me than I was before. I still can’t decide what I want from a menu in less than (at least) 5 minutes. I still have trouble crawling from underneath warm covers in the morning. I still have an unquenchable thirst to create and be inspired. I still run through the house singing, and crash tackle my dogs when they’re not expecting it. I still love rainy nights in and clear nights out. Strong coffee always features in my day and I smoke cigarettes.
Those things are parts of who I am, but they are not all of who I am.
Maybe the thing that’s changed, or just become more obvious, is that now I have found this place that I love. A place I actually want to be, explore, and let inspire me. And I know what I do want, don’t want, and what I deserve. My boundaries and desires have become quite clear. And from somewhere, I have tapped back into my reserve of independence & self-confidence to establish in my mind, that I am completely capable of achieving.

You see, through my life I have been respectively told that I am nothing, nothing without someone else, that I am plain, and that I …cannot. And I have repeatedly taught myself that I can.
Maybe I am not pretty or feminine or delicate. Maybe I don’t inspire second glances or stand out in a crowd…but I am beautiful and colourful for who, and as, I am.
Maybe I don’t make the most money. Maybe I am not a world celebrated artist or business owner. Maybe I have not grappled my way to the top…but I am proud of my achievements and strength.
And maybe I cannot do everything I try…but at least I try.

And now I am here, in this brand new chapter, feeling pretty brand new. I am experiencing new things, and trying to feel every moment of the present for just what it is. 3 weeks ago, someone I had literally just met, looked at me and asked me point blank “Do you always run away from things?” And I replied…”No, I’m not running away…I’m moving forward”. It was either forward or down, and I decided I’m not ready to go down just yet.
One day I might tell you where I am, and what has changed, but right now that’s just geography. The important stuff, is where I’m at. And it’s a better place.

It’s pre-school bedtime hours for me tonight kids. Have to be up early with the morning people, but I’ll be around the way again soon.
Hope you are all well, and looking for your better place…if you haven’t already found it. Maybe you have and you just don’t know it?
Cheers
V

 

Night owl

Night-Owl-Moon2For all and any of you that continually tell me to get to bed (to sleep)…I do actually have a valid reason, to tell you to put a lid on it.
DSPD-social jetlag mutation
They found out I had this years ago, and again recently, but I just never really remember to tell anyone, because it’s just a part of who I am. It doesn’t bother me, and you can make life work around it.
I get asked if I have insomnia, told to relax, or go to bed earlier, neither of which makes a difference.
But a few of you are probably nodding and saying “Ahh, yes, this makes sense now”…
It gets worse when you are stressed or adhering to an irregular schedule too. “Oohhhh, right…that explains even more”.

They say it’s commonly linked to and/or aggravated by anxiety, depression, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and a myriad of other things, but this is not always the case, and with only around 10 percent of the population confirmed with it, they have done a relatively small amount of research. Because it is technically just a ‘disorder’ or mutation (yeeeah, I’m a fucking X-Man!) there is no ‘cure’. There actually is, no rest for the wicked 😉

It means that my body clock runs differently to most, and that there are quite literally, not enough hours in a day, for it to make sense of it. You can regulate it somewhat if you try hard to get into a routine or remove yourself from the general distraction of Society and technology for a while, but the other facets of my personality make that very difficult, so I have just adjusted around it more often than not.
UntitledIt means that I love the night-time (which I think is pretty cool). It’s when I feel the most awake, and able to coherently communicate or create better. It means that I have absorbing thoughts and ideas at 2am, that I just ‘have’ to write down, draw, remember or say. It means that I have to force myself to go to bed on the off chance that I will sleep. I have always had mixed feelings of guilt and satisfaction for it. It also means that I am ‘not’ a morning person-quite literally.
84dc3ae760e5dc14b07949b33bfc1215That said, my body still reacts according to my situation. If I am excited about waking up to something or someone, I will often naturally wake up without prompting. If I have something important to do, or somewhere to be, I find it extremely hard to fall asleep, because my brain convinces me that I may not wake up in time, yet my eyes open 5 minutes before the alarm sounds. If I am sleeping in a strange or uncomfortable place, I will sleep lighter, and wake up earlier.

Anyway, so now you know a little more about me. Not only am I admittedly a touch psychotic, focused and determined…but also sleep deprived and running largely on caffeine most days. Pretty fucking scary thought huh?

Cheers Kids.
Here’s to being different enough, to not live the slow death of fitting in. 😉
V

 

Let them eat cake.

images-6Today I did an incredibly adult thing. Probably the most significantly adulty thing of all things. I had chocolate cake for breakfast! It was fabulous.
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Now, I hear you say (with less than the respect in your tone, than should be given for the aforementioned action) how can this be an ultimate act of adulting? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here it is…

When we’re young, we can’t wait to ‘grow up’, to be adults, and be ‘allowed’ to do all the things that adults can do. We ponder having the ability to be in charge of ourselves, and to set our own rules. We abhor being told what to do, and the confines of childhood, parents and protectiveness. We endure going to school, learning, being educated, and being taught (and no, they’re not all just synonyms).
As kids, we try and get away with adult actions, or try to secretly fulfill our fantasies of what it will be like, when we can walk in heels, earn money, wear make-up, have sex, drive cars, drink alcohol, or elegantly puff on that long-stemmed cigarette like Audrey.

Adults say things like “Enjoy your childhood, while it lasts” and “School are the best days of your life”. Little do we realise that they are speaking from experience. That the days of being footloose and bill-free are limited, and soon enough, we will know why they say it. That the days of roaming the streets, sleepovers, unlimited parties and hanging out with your friends each day, come to an end.
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When it all does start to happen, we realise, that the glamour wears off very quickly.
Earning money means getting a job, which means sacrificing time with friends, or weekends, or other things that enhance the quality of your life. Yet the vicious circle, is that without the job/money, we can’t afford the time.
Jobs also mean being re-educated, more learning and being taught.
Driving a car, means maintaining it, paying registration, fuelling it and keeping it clean.
Wearing make-up, means more learning, allergies, colour-matching, and more money.
Walking in heels, yet more learning, discomfort and for some (much like watching a calf try to walk for the first time) admitting that you really can’t do everything.
Smoking means more money, and being aware of the health and social effects.
Sex means more learning, being responsible, realising that it involves emotion (and not just yours), and while it can be amazing…if you’re not careful, it can also get you into more trouble than you can imagine.
images-7And those things are really only the added items on the ice-berg tip of adulting. Let’s not even delve into paying for the staples like rent, mortgages, food, pets, everyday items, replacements, insurance, phones, internet and electricity.
All the ‘things’ that you never really accounted for when fantasising about ‘growing up’, because you weren’t even really aware that they existed in child-land.

You start to wonder why the fuck you ever wanted to be an adult in the first place-ever?! It seems like it’s just an endless stream of responsibilities and bills and adult rules. You didn’t sign up for this shit??! Where is the dream?? The freedom…
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And this, my friends…is why you should eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Because…you can. Because as an adult, there are things we can do, that hurt nobody, aren’t policed, and are well within our means to do. We can eat cake.
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We can set our own bedtime. We can go for long drives, and play loud music. We can take time to roll on the floor with our dogs, and run through the house. We can jump on the bed. We can watch old movies all night. We can go out for cool night walks, and talk on the phone at 2am. We can have picnic parties on the lounge room floor, and wash the dishes ‘tomorrow’. We can drink a bottle of whiskey and smoke cigarettes. We can get tattoos and piercings. We can wear whatever we want. We can sit on the beach, watching the waves roll in, until all you can see is a sliver of moon on the water, and so much more. And we can eat cake.
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We all too often lose sight of the freedoms and luxuries we actually do have, beyond all the responsibilities in full view. It is easy to forget we even have them. The little things.
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I’m not saying that cake can solve all of your problems, or even when exactly it is consumed, that will help. It is more the symbolism behiiiiind the cake. Whether you are miserably unhappy, or your days are full of love, breakfast cake can just remind you that not all is lost. That you can still make choices. That being an adult has its benefits, however small. That if you choose to eat cake…nobody in the world can stop you, even from doing just that one little thing. And if you look hard enough…you might find other things that follow.
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So Kids…mine was Belgian white chocolate…what’s your flavour?
Cheers
V