Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mortal sin



The worst of all is indifference.
I would rather have you be mad at me, hate me and curse my name. 
But to not even bother or care, suddenly, I was trapped in a cruel game.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hold my breath



The person you love the most in the world is The One you think of, 
when singing your favorite love song on the karaoke machine.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tattoo love

Thinking about love is like thinking about a tattoo.
You've considered it, dreamt about it. You want it.
Yet it can take years to find what fits. But when it suddenly hits you, it just feels right to jump. 


Choosing true love is like choosing your tattoo.
You are afraid and hesitant until the moment you finally make up your mind about it.
But then, you let your heart open and wish for the very best.



Finding your true love is like getting your tattoo.
At first, you might go through a rough patch: make faces, cry and bleed.
But you suck it all in and know it was worth it at the end. 


Seeing your one true love everyday is like seeing your beautiful tattoo.
Everyday, and until your last breath,
It changes you: becoming a part of you, truthfully defining you. 


Loving your love is loving your tattoo. You cannot live without,  
And you ask yourself: Who was I before I had you?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Around the wo/r/d




Similar thoughts go through my head every time I set foot in a bookstore. I get a little more excited when I glance over to the New Releases. I am always curious to discover which books made it to the Recommended shelf this time around; and as I stroll around the store, whether I make a stop at the nonfiction section or am searching for a particular novel, history book or magazine, my body experiences a familiar and endearing sensation yet again. Once more, I am reminded how much I like being here, and it stirs up the idea of how much I want to stay here.

Bookstores are one of the happiest and safest places for someone like me. Writing makes my heart beat, ergo, I enjoy reading just as much. I love the fact that I can spend hours in a bookstore and have the impression that only a few minutes went by. I get smitten with the smell of paper, with no surprise there that the smell of much older books are doubtlessly the best. Above all, it is always a tremendous feeling to lose myself in their words: the brilliant works of such gifted writers. Imagination has no limit. You can be sent to a whole new world in an instant. You see and dream about places you have never even been to. You get to know and analyze characters, fall in love or identify yourself with them. Finally, you broaden your vision by staying informed and up-to-date. It is then no wonder that some masterpieces have moved people in ways that, ironically enough, are really inexplicable. Some might call that love, don't they?

Once again, being in a bookstore fulfills a certain desire for me: I am reminded how much I like being here -- in the long corridors between these bookshelves. More importantly, it stirs up the idea of how much I want to stay here -- the dream of having one of my works placed right there on the shelf. Authors of all kinds inspire me and I thrive on the challenge to make a bookstore my home one day. One bright day.

Luckily enough, that day might not be this big, distant, impossible dream anymore. Indeed, I had the chance to have a little glimpse of it and I pride myself on the fact that I have made it on one of the shelves. I have been working as an editorial assistant for a publishing house for two months now and the sight of the magazine I worked on in the bookstore made me cry of joy. Literally. Pun intended. Yesterday was definitely One Bright Day. I never believed it to be possible, although this thought has followed me for as long as I can remember. One of the big plans I have for myself is to break into the publishing world and despite the fact that I am obviously but a baby crawling in the business, I take pride in my contribution and got to understand that making dreams come true is reachable. You start from you start, and you go from there. Having tasted it -- and it is sweet -- all I know is that I will continue being around words until my last breath and I will work hard to get one of my works stay on the bookshelf. I imagine making it to the New Releases; I am even crazy enough to aim for the Recommended section. "Write your own story. Create your own pen." God knows I hope to have other bright days ahead.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Put your head on my shoulder..."

In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to spend a whole day without hearing or saying the word facebook at least once. Expressions such as "Add me on facebook!", "I'll post it on facebook" or "Have you seen the latest pictures on facebook?" have become regulars in our vocabulary. To say the least, not only do we use that term commonly now but consequently, we can honestly say that facebook has pretty much infiltrated (all) other parts of our lives as well when it comes to "connect and share with the people in [y]our life". And rightfully so: thanks to this engine, we will not forget a birthday ever again. We needn't bother getting personal with our family and friends -- whether they live next door or on the other side of the world -- because they just need to click on our recently added photos to check how that holiday went. We can tell the universe our exact plans for today or the upcoming months by updating our status. We can even find out what X and Y are up to -- even without asking them -- just by going on their profile. And so and so forth, these are only a few of the endless privileges that facebook has to offer.

Without doubt, this profile site has made things so much easier for us. There have been similar websites beforehand such as friendster and hi5; but nothing caused quite the stir like facebook. It became more popular maybe because, among the already mentioned advantages, we also operate through facebook to create events, promote other websites, spread the news and debate about it; or to kill time with games and applications. More importantly, we might also regard facebook as one of the revolutions of the 21st century since people of all ages and backgrounds make the most of this service and Internet will never quite be the same without it anymore. In the end, we can conclude that its impact is clearly monumental. No one understands this better than someone who decided not to have an account.

[Oops... What just happened right there?]

Why brag about facebook as if it were the best thing that moved the world? Why speak of it highly when I, myself, do not really like the concept and its influence? Do not get me wrong, I had a facebook profile because everyone is on it and everyone told me I should get one. It was fun while it lasted, I do not deny it, but the reason why I deleted it is because, matter-of-factly, it is specifically for all the reasons above. Facebook is still a term that is used day-to-day in my life, but it has now shifted to "Why did you delete your facebook?" or "How come you do not have facebook?" I keep on repeating: NO! It is not because I want to avoid a boy and NO! It is not because I do not want to share my life with others. But reality is, even how much communication got more simple and effective through facebook, I still reckon that kind of communication and exposure to be impersonal, tacky and just plain superficial: people depend on it too much, wrongfully so, in order for them to stay connected to others.

Once again, I very much agree on the fact that it has great advantages: everything was made more accessible in the twinkling of an eye with facebook. Yet not having an account made me realize what is in my reach and what remains real in this fast-paced and 'virtual world'-oriented society. I am certain that I am missing out on a lot of things by erasing my account, but I also know what I am not missing: the number of people greeting me on my birthday has decreased but the right ones still remember, I would rather share my vacation with those who really wish to know how it went instead of announcing it; I prefer to call, write a personal message or meet up to tell my friends and loved-ones what I am up to exactly. Finally, I want to ask about their whereabouts by asking them directly.

Internet is a fantastic invention and it is true that I can be found on other websites that I visit on a daily basis. These are pages which, in my opinion, reflect my personality better and answer to specific interests. But concerning the core of connecting with people, which is the main purpose of the said site, I believe I have not lost touch with the world by not being on facebook. I cannot help but wonder: when did it become weird not to be on it? How many of us have connected again with old classmates and old flames, friends and family through facebook? But how many of us know them all and truthfully stay in touch with them? Aren't some of these friends just... faces? This is not a rant or criticizing how the people who depend on facebook have turned out negligent, but I think it is still pretty awesome to give communication (with those who matter) a more personal and intimate touch. It is a little reminder that it is not because it became so easy nowadays that we do not need to go the extra mile to keep in touch anymore. Always do, and always appreciated. Until the end of time, with new technology and all, communication should never be served on a silver platter.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Woman of Words


There is no shortcut to success.
Give it every sweat; each time a herculean try.
Tears will be shed and all these moments of distress,
It is the risks that I take that makes living my dream worthwhile. 


Grey/t/

Be gentle but not naive. 
Be very honest but sensitive. 
Be outrageous but still responsible. 
Standing on the edge will eventually push someone overboard – too much of anything is not healthy.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Greatness



Sometimes, you need to get lost first before you can find yourself.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pink flamingo

... Dreads the darkest hours of the night, 
wishing to wake up to a new light. 


Sunday, October 11, 2009

John



I am not much of a musician,
But I know magic when I recognize one.
      Raw talent, rare mind. 
A fine man. Artist, the brilliant kind.
Aye, nobody quite compares to John Frusciante.
Creative, Devoted, Beautiful. He is an Inspiration.
I love him so we are brought to another dimension.


-Milka liebt Erdbeer 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Writing emotion

♫ Writing emotion ♫
by Nicole Bataclan


I don’t like people telling me,
This is my life, not theirs to be.
I want to find a world that is free,
Not with the norms of this society. 

I live to dream, I live like I don't have low self-esteem.
Breach the impossible, feel like I’m capable... Of writing emotion.
All I do is write emotion. 

This skill I learned outside of school,
It doesn't mean it makes me more of a fool.
I get to decide what is the rule,
I will use my vision as my only tool. 

I live to dream, I live life with high self-esteem.
Breach the impossible, feel like I’m capable... Of writing emotion.
All I ever do is write emotion. 

I dream to live, I aspire to make it real.
My goals don’t follow the norm; I can only fit in my own.
That golden opportunity,
  experience alone can give me that kind of energy.
I breathe creative sincerity; my writing is my destiny.

Breach the impossible, feel like I'm capable...
Of writing emotion, all I want to do is write emotion.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Media vita in morte sumus"

Every forty seconds, somewhere on the face of the earth, a person commits suicide. Every forty seconds means that by the time I find the right words to finish this sentence, someone just bid farewell to this world on his/her own terms. Every forty seconds, a new victim. Suicide: one of the most delicate matters, one of the most devastating realities. In Switzerland alone, according to the association "STOP SUICIDE", there are approximately 1300 to 1400 cases each year, from which 21% are only aged twenty five to thirty five. What is the matter? Sincerely, is this the harsh reality? I think back to only a week ago, as we celebrated World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th; and I remember those who have gone down this pattern and I pray for the people who contemplate on crossing that line. I call upon a brighter day, just add another day.

I only bear a few, exceptional experiences from my sweet sixteen. Thus, I recall one episode in particular: although very short lived, it still alludes to one of those poignant moments we get to live only too seldom. I dare not call it 'insignificant' because even as brief as this conversation was -- it lasted under two minutes no less -- , I still keep the memory of that encounter in my heart, powerful as ever.
It happened on a friday afternoon, my then locker neighbor was leaving for good and not ending the school year. As he was cleaning up his belongings, he pulled out a certain comic book. Instantly, I noticed how he acted a tad bit puzzled after discovering this book. It seemed to me like it was the first time he ever laid eyes on it; as if somehow, unlikely or miraculously, this book got in his locker by mistake.

My neighbor and I never got close: it was not for lack of trying, but we only saw each other occasionally i.e. during the breaks or at the end of the day. Our conversations never went beyond those "hello", "have a nice day" or "happy weekend." Accordingly, that day was not going to be any different. I wanted to ask him about his 'mystified' reaction after taking that book out of his locker but instead, nicely, I just questioned where he was headed to. With a big smile, he announced he was off to a new school. I wished him the best of luck and I was about to go when suddenly, he stopped me, handing me that book with the cover faced-down: "Hey, do you want this? I do not need it anymore. You'll like it. [Awkwardly smiling] But when you are done, when you do not want or need it anymore; maybe you could pass it on to someone who would... will need it."

This time around, I was the one who looked like she got her head banged. What the...? I did not have a clue what he meant. Still, I reached for it. Gratefully, I accepted his gift. It was only on the way home that I finally flipped through my new possession, quickly realizing I did not even take a glimpse at it because of my confused state. Immediately, I got goosebumps simply by reading the title "No suicide." Now I really did not understand what my locker neighbor meant. Nevertheless, I got very intrigued about my new comic book. I soon found out that it was the work of different artists and authors, telling stories, real or fictional, on the suicide topic. Each story gave different perspectives yet had one thing in common i.e. not telling the reader why he/she must not commit suicide, but rather why one shouldn't. Each memoir was thought-provoking as well as eye-opening; some of them were an extremely sad read but others were even funny and sweet. I cried a little bit every time, I finally got what my locker neighbor meant. This book is for those who love and live life to the fullest. But primarily, this masterpiece needs to be shared with those who are 'lost' and wish to leave this life behind. The subject of suicide affects every single one of us; having suicidal thoughts can occur to anyone among us, even to the wisest or most courageous one. Like these artists and writers, he wanted to pass on this message. And I would do the same.

The years flew by, and I was taught one principal lesson on "how to help someone in need': learn how to listen, the doorway to understanding. The following might sound like a silly observation, nonetheless, I still regard it as a fundamental matter since it gave me some insight on other relevant facts.

One of those victims -- one of them, every forty seconds -- is someone we know. Although we might not be 'directly' attached to the person, it is someone we read about in the papers, a person we saw in the news on television. It was a neighbor, a colleague, a student, a famous actress, a housewife. The victim was the friend of a friend, an aquaintance, my friend... Contemplating further on the subject, I came to the conclusion that the 'weird' thing about suicide is that it involves people from all walks of life. Sometimes, most of the times, at all times, the suicide is a bad surprise. "But why? He had problems and so did she but, but, but... He was rich! She was pretty! He was healthy! She was smart! They had everything, they had it all!" In effect, we grasp that there is more than meets the eye, and I wonder whether it's because we miss or on the contrary, underestimate the signs. Did we see it coming? Could we have done something... anything?

Come across a fragile soul. You are a fragile soul. People have a tendency to say that you should consider yourself lucky to be here and possess that when they comfort and wish to reassure a mate. But fact is: when your 'good' self is having a very difficult time dealing with inconsolable sadness, loss, anger, depression, excruciating pain, insecurities or the lack of well-being altogether; that heartfelt message never gets to you. It is not a reproach, it is the truth. Any good friend or loved-one -- anyone -- will most probably tell you that your situation is not the end of the world. Moreover, they keep on repeating how you should be happy because there are people who are not as lucky as you are. You should be happy: true, very true indeed. Yet why, why, why doesn't that thought enlighten you, even the slightest bit? I believe I know exactly why. Reality check. There will always be people who find themselves in a worse state than you are and there will always be others who have it better than you. But the reason why such honest words do not lift your spirits up is because, no offense intended, it doesn't matter what they feel. It is not a reproach, but truth is you have the right to be selfish at times and be sincere about your very own feelings: you got your own thing going on. What matters is what's in your heart right now: what you feel is really, genuinely, truthfully what you feel. You do not mean to exaggerate or to dramatize, but you are restless, listless, depressed, suicidal. Notwithstanding the fact that you appreciate the effort -- you know that those popular, cheerful sayings are true, come from the heart and he/she/they mean(s) well -- but comparing your issues to those of others does not delete your own problem in the process. You still feel bad. In the end, what you really need is, point-blank, someone to be there and see through you.

We, as friends, loved-ones or another helping hand, need to take that last factor in mind. It is crucial to place it in the equation for this will help us become different listeners, better listeners; and that will simultaneously make us be of greater help to someone who's crying for support, offering him/her the solutions he/she requires. Come across a fragile soul. Take the time to listen to him/her. And understand him/her. Do not judge. Do not minimize, even less patronize. Remind him/her that there is no problem too small, there is no emotion too absurd. Speak truth and learn the language of love. These are a few exceptional ways to help him/her see a brighter day, it may be enough to add another day. "Lending a hand is like lending a great book. Without being truly aware of it, you will probably end up giving more than what the reader even wished for." - Milka liebt Erdbeer. Save a life lesson, perhaps.



No Man's land

A cry that no one but Him can hear. 
Crushed soul, beating heart. 
God counts every single tear, 
Right from the start.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Her name is Failure

There is no worse disappointment in life than feeling like too little a person with too big a dream.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Apple juice comes from the apple



There is no greater satisfaction in life than getting what you know you deserve. 



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Real petty things


(Who cares about the weather? 
Do you? Do they? Will we ever
No. Not us, not us because...)


True party people will dance in the rain.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Inner beauty

A scar might forever be visible; but healing the wound, mending the stitches is what matters most.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

XOXO

Once every so often, there is a teen drama that takes over the world and everyone, absolutely everyone, promptly falls in love with it. In a short amount of time, the word about this new series spreads like fire; the number of fans quickly grows, following every episode religiously. The audience gets obsessed with this kind of series: they then get the dvds, communities are created to chat and exchange notes with fellow fans, viewers like to imitate the fashion trends and those who are impatient  search for spoilers every chance they get. It was all about "Beverly Hills 90210" back in the 1990s. Approaching the millennium, youngsters adored "Dawson's Creek." "The O.C." became the new hit series in 2003; and now entering its third season,  young -- and not-so-young-anymore -- fans are totally smitten with the very popular, successful "Gossip Girl." 

The scenario is similar every single time, whether it is filmed in a small town like in "Dawson's Creek" or it goes down in the big city like in "Gossip Girl", it is a 'perfect' simulation of the so-called typical teenage life: fans get excited watching the protagonists' interaction with friends, frenemies and enemies; getting through high school and eventually going to College, dealing with parents and the law, falling in and out of love, the drug and excess of alcohol issue is also usually addressed; and so on and so forth... The characters' traits remain the same as well: there is the bad girl gone good (or the opposite), a girl whom everyone hates, we got the bad boy who actually has a very sweet side to him and that insecure yet adorable, smart young man. Everyone is friends -- or at least connected on some level -- with everyone, everyone -- at one point or the other -- has a fling or a relationship with everyone. There is one special couple that fans absolutely love and another one they despise. In addition, there's always this couple the audience eventually gets tired of after their various on-and-off's. And please, let's not forget the infamous love triangles. Nothing really changes in terms of the plot, yet for some odd reason, teen dramas become a smash hit every single time -- from "Beverly Hills 90210" (which, by the way, got a revival) to "Gossip Girl", they obviously got the success they wanted (and needed.) 

This subject suddenly got me wondering about teen dramas and ask myself why this particular kind of series charm people in millions. More importantly, I started thinking about the (sometimes dangerous) implications of para-social interaction with fictional characters. Undoubtedly, this concerns television series in general but I decided to zero-in on teen dramas.  

I, like many individuals around the globe, name myself a huge fan of this sort of series. I've followed a few of them as a (young) teenager; and although I might get laugh at for admitting this, I still enjoy such shows in my mid-twenties. Force of habit probably? Scratch that. I just love "Gossip Girl" and feel like a bubbly teenager again every time it airs on television: bitching about this or that character and story-line, being in awe in the sight of this new, unexpected happening; getting a small crush on one of the gorgeous protagonists (although today, he is probably way too young for me), finding one of the couples totally cute... Call me crazy if you must, but I proudly stand to this statement and will remain an avid fan (as long as the show is good of course.)

The reason to why we have a somewhat strong para-social interaction with these characters lays in the fact that, in my opinion, fiction, whether we admit it or not, often looks much more interesting than actual reality. There is always something juicy happening in every episode, and I am not quite sure we can say the same about each episode of our lives (I am definitely not pointing out that real life is always, ever boring. That is positively not the case!) Furthermore, unlike films, we follow the characters' development through countless seasons and with time, we will have a certain comfort in getting to know them (better.) Once again, even if these individuals are only fictional, the viewer feels for the character like he/she would if it were a real friend or family member. De facto fans get sad when their favorite character is sad, they get happy when he/she is happy. Characters become familiar to the audience and somehow manage to infiltrate our own, real lives.

I do not reckon this para-social relationship to be an unhealthy thing, but I believe it is very important to see the difference between real life and television. The majority might think it is easy to make that distinction; but it is not always as explicit as it sounds. More than often, it is not that show that wants to portray 'real' life, but it is the audience that copies the show. TV series can have such a massive influence on someone's life in a sense that this particular fan, for instance, will believe that real life is exactly like the life on the show. For example, he/she'll deal with issues and desires to see his/her mistakes right away; the same way his/her favorite characters do. At the end of the episode, the problem is usually solved and everyone is on cloud seven again, hugging each other. In real life, naming the obvious, it takes a little more time and requires a little more effort to deal with different (and difficult) situations. Your episode, unfortunately, might not end as well or as fast! In addition, I believe para-social relationships are delicate because some fans demand and in effect, will provoke the same drama their characters get in their own personal lives, because they are addicted to the thrill. It might be a dangerous game since not everyone is able to handle 'drama': cheating on your boyfriend with his best mate, trying hard drugs or something along those lines... Drama is fun as long as it is not your own! Finally, after careful observation, although these are real people behind the characters, it is more common to only perceive these actors as their characters on the show (because the audience is so used to them and think they are "like that" in real life.) This is to their disadvantage because fact is, not many actors manage to break away from their TV characters to switch to the wide screen for instance. Worst case scenario is that they'll always get the same roles as well. These are a few unlikely consequences of para-social relationships.

In conclusion, we got to see the good and bad sides of para-social interaction. Either way, we can assess that teen dramas -- including my favorite "Gossip Girl" -- will continue to have millions of fans around the world, from generation to generation. It is definitely a pass-time that is fun to watch and simultaneously occupy yourself with. A lot of us might envy and want the lifestyle of these teenagers, but in my own experience, it is of course so much more exciting to discover life on your own terms. These series do not come close to giving a glimpse of it. Indeed, real life is never, ever boring: you might not get luscious happenings each week like they do in every single episode, but you'll get enough (sometimes even more than you wished for) in your own pacing! It is perhaps evident but always remember: appreciate the characters on these shows; but do enjoy your friends, family, your crush or your boyfriend on a livelier, real level. Talking about actual social interaction... Everyone likes to watch, but experience it yourself and love that instead! 

A/nother/ new era

A few weeks ago, my brother and I decided to move to another apartment. Although this decision did not come out of the blue, since we knew that our current house was only temporary (we moved to Zürich about a year ago -- for my studies and he did for work -- and at that time needed a place to stay immediately); yes, even though it wasn't a surprise we were eventually going to leave this flat behind, I still feel a sense of loss, excitement, fear, thrill down my spine all rolled into one. Undoubtedly, I'll miss my current home immensely: this year has been enriching in so many ways. I started my studies in mass communication and English literature, and I enjoy every bit of it. It is extremely challenging and interesting; and I am already fired up for the next couple of years! Secondly, I fell in love with the beautiful city of Zürich -- which at this point of my life -- fits like a glove: Zürich is lively, colorful, crazy, has a beautiful scenery as well. In addition, this city offers an ace electronic music scene which I gradually discovered, and I am enjoying it a great deal ever since. I also met incredible people and made new friends. In the last couple of months, my then-new home -- which will soon become my old flat -- manage to enclose quite a number of wonderful experiences. I am assured that I will leave my imprint in those four walls, and I will miss it badly. But I look at the bright side: I'm still in Zürich for a while and the new house will be my new home. Another set of memories to cherish are yet to come. A new adventure. A new era. Another...What is it called again? Change.



Change is something I'm quite familiar with. I not only switched apartments a few times until now; but I have lived in different countries around the globe and had the privilege to travel quite a lot (and I am not done!) Ever since I can remember, change, in every term it is and can be used, has been my oldest companion! It not only contributed to the person I am today but it has definitely grown into an addiction (speaking on a small and a much, much larger scale.) Not changing is the diet I strictly cannot hold on to: I cannot stay put in one place. Questions about the difficulties to "integrate" often come up, or it would actually be more accurate to ask about the fear (I might have) of settling down.

I am aware of the fact that it is hard to firstly leave things behind (a city, a house, furniture, family and friends, people, etc...) and then find yourself in the tough "fitting in"-process. You lived in your cocoon and now you are creating a new one: it is not a piece of cake and you might feel lonely most of the time. Additionally, it is true that you only miss stuff and people when you don't have them around you anymore (not as often, anyway). It can take a while -- months, maybe even longer -- to get used to your new surroundings. Yet I am also sure that any kind of change should be seen as an amazing opportunity: every time, a challenge I adore to embrace! Changes - and all their consequences -, being friendly or not-so-friendly, which you seek for, those you work for and of course, a bunch of them which just fall on your head unexpectedly, are all about being able to find your way through this path we call life. What is the remedy against the fear of change? As simple as it sounds, you just need to live them to the fullest!

I sometimes assume that maybe it isn't my life that is full of changes, but that change is my life. Will this continuous hopping around ever get tiring? Will this way of living stop being part of my routine? Maybe, probably? I'm clueless: no answers to even when I will finally "straighten out" and where I want do stay put! I have dreams and plans for the future, but my philosophy is that my future starts today, every single day. I guess one day, I'll need to slow down, settle down; and I will be ready for that very special change . And evidently, I do want to stand still... if still ever accepts me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Go figure.



Maybe those things happen when we least expect it, because it is God's way of telling us that we are finally ready to handle it. 



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Playing games



Sometimes, the only reason why we cannot find the answer is because we are not asking ourselves the right question.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Forever his


Jazz and sushi, you and me.
Revive my memory,
Say we were meant to be.



Friday, June 26, 2009

The next time around

At the beginning of each semester, the exact same thoughts go through my head. And I am steadfast, determined to change. This time around, I will not wait until the last minute to get the work done, whether it is preparing an oral presentation, writing a paper or even just reading the books. Secondly, I will actually do the homework and thus in the given frame time. Finally, I will study throughout the semester so I will not turn into this impossible stress bomb during the final exams. At the beginning of each semester, as I review the last one, I get to fully understand that this time really needs to be different; because  even though this system might have allowed me to get passing grades on the final report card in the past, that additional dosage of pressure could have been avoided by not being ill-timed.

But somehow, I cannot seem to stay focused and continue with this determined, fierce attitude that I had just a few months ago. Like any New Year's resolutions, I do not hold onto those good intentions (not as long as I wished to, anyway.) It is not that I gave up on these solutions because they were too hard to handle; but sincerely, becoming lazy along the way is the most common reason for getting off track, falling back into 'bad' habits again. Furthermore, I know for a fact that many students such as myself demand the pressure of time to work more effectively. So once more, I wait until the last minute to get the work done: preparing a presentation in such a hurry, writing a 2500 word paper in one night or only reading the required books when the exam is a few days away. Perhaps luckily enough, my homework will be half-done, but never in the given frame time. Last but not least, instead of studying throughout the semester like I promised I would, I find myself putting the full turbo in the last couple of weeks. Another semester goes by and all feels repetitive, only this time (hopefully!), I simply get to deal with different subjects and have other exams to take. I do despise this way of studying, as I am well aware of the repercussions. But it often remains a cycle, and God knows I have no one else to blame but myself.

All through our life, every year, every semester, and every day -- even more so when we consider it a new beginning (New Year, birthdays, moving into a new era...) -- we start off with great intentions in particular when we want to heal some mistakes, in (desperate) need of making changes. The next time around, we know better. This statement not only affects life at University like stated above, but after careful consideration, we are filled with resolutions in so many various areas in life: we know better influences the smallest detail as well as all the major decisions we make. The next time around, we know better when it comes to love and relationships: "I will not make the same mistakes again. It will be different with the next man/woman." We know better when the lifestyle we have adopted does not do us any good: "It is a new year, I need to eat more healthy or do sports regularly." The next time around, we know better since we drank one too many glasses on that last night-out: "I will never drink as much. That hangover was definitely not worth it."

Without doubt, some of us have kept our resolutions like we promised. Students got more serious, smokers stopped smoking and many found true love after numerous failed relationships. But once again, like many of those resolutions we take at the start of the semester, it is more common that the follow-through we were opting for might not follow through (never entirely, anyway.) All feels repetitive, and it remains a cycle: there are experiences, journeys and especially results that could have been avoided because we got our lesson, dealt with our mistakes. This time around, were we not supposed to know better? There are men/women we should stay away from; yet we still manage to follow in the same footsteps, getting involved with the 'wrong' person again. There is food we should stay away from but we still manage to bend our rules again (and again.) Once more, we should have left out that last glass of champagne but thinking we can still handle it, we manage to fall in the same hole again.

This is the next time around, and we know better. So why is it so common to still get off track? And God knows that, this time around, we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

We say we learn from our mistakes and we become a little wiser every time we stumble and fall. But, in all honesty, it is often more an easy thing to say that an actual, always realizable statement. It is neither pessimism nor a lack of faith in human kind, and of course it is not insinuated that people cannot ever change. But even though breaking the pattern is not impossible, I believe it is not stretched out enough just how very hard of a task it is: whether we want to improve the smallest detail in our lives or get major changes done. "Rising again after the fall" is more than a favorite quote. It is more than opening another fortune cookie at the Chinese restaurant. It is more than reading the horoscope. We can only consider change a real change when we are able to successfully apply the lesson this time around...


Talking about going the distance.


Immediately, I came to the conclusion that above everything, more than managing to keep those resolutions, we need to give ourselves a little more credit when it comes to the things we want to change, and are willing to fight for. I think the most important lesson of all -- that we often forget to fully grasp -- is to be reasonable and take likely, actually realizable resolutions. It is understandable to aim high and want a 360 degrees turn in no time. Yet it is a reality that we do not reform a lifestyle in just a few months, we do not attain our dream body in only a week and we can always learn from (and about) love. Furthermore, one of the reasons why we cannot hold onto our resolutions long enough is because it is quite difficult to stay on the right path when we do not get positive responses right away. So we should first distinguish our strengths as well as our weaknesses. It also helps a whole lot to have someone (or more) believe in us, especially when we fail to believe in ourselves. And the next time (hopefully!), we'll act a little wiser. At the end, we are human after all, and it is normal to fall even when this time around, we were supposed to know better.Having setbacks is all part of the process. At times, we are too hard on ourselves and only look at the big picture, when on the contrary: we should perceive the small changes that will lead to the big picture. Eventually. We'll get it right sooner or later. A combination of hard work and perseverance is what makes change possible. After all, "Rome was not built in one day."