Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One more day


Tell me, just how lucky am I?
This year, I have got one more try;
An extra day to prove to you
That for months now, my dream came through.

A lot of times, I wonder how;
So every day I make a vow.
You are God's answer to my prayer;
This kind of certainty is rare.

Blessed to be given one more day
Because in each possible way,
My life has straightened since you're mine;
And I'll love you, come rain or shine.

These are blissful days we compile,
Another day to make you smile.
You alone set my heart on fire,
Of you I will never tire.



Friday, February 24, 2012

In my book


In my book
You are far from bad
Thoughtful at day,
And sweet at night.
You try to include me
In your decision-making;
Because I have a voice, surely.

In my book
I am never waiting by the phone
Do not expect much,
And you will not hear me groan.
Not once I have to shrug,
Because at any given time
You shower me with hugs.

In my book
I am not taken for granted
You value my love
And I am not left feeling stranded.
There is no discrepancy,
Need not fight for attention
Because you say what you mean.

In my book
My heart is still;
Neither on ice nor fire
And not a bad feeling to kill.
If only I had the chance to rewrite
Because what is really wrong
Cannot bring you to make it right.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Off track



It is hard to find a way when you don't know what you are looking for.


Sunsets



It is the people who bring you back that remind you just how far you've come.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lie until it's true


I'll lie until it's true,
That I'm fine and not feeling blue.
I will put on my make up,
A brave face to make up.


I'll pretend not to care anymore,
That my eyes have never been sore.
Laughing in your presence,
When I'm suffering in silence.


I'll stay in denial,
That my heart's still set on fire.
Though only cold as ice now,
I'm still lighting up somehow.


 I'll put on this facade,
That each night I'm not crying to God.
My troubled thoughts on hold,
This reputation I ought to uphold.


I'll lie until it's true,
That I'm good and happy too.
One day it will be true,
I am free and so are you. 




Monday, February 6, 2012

Dreams change


When we look at our parents' generation, most people, by the time they were thirty, had been married for almost a decade already, had two or three children and by then, also started their career in a stable company -- in passing, most probably in that order as well. In this regard, we can honestly say that our parents accomplished quite a lot of life achievements at such a young age. In present day though, despite the fact that a number of people have followed the same path as their parents, it is still more likely for twenty-somethings to postpone or even skip... a few (or all) of those major stepping stones.

We still aspire to acquire these achievements of course. However, attaining them in that order and that fast is no longer our number one priority. In fact, these days, it is really more frequent -- and crucially important -- for people to (want to) establish themselves first before they even consider settling down. Getting married and having children before turning twenty-five has almost become an impossible thought. Reality is that those who do are now the exception rather than the rule. Indeed, men and women now reserve their twenties to get their dream career -- not just any career, but their dream career -- started and fulfill other significant plans like traveling the world and getting into crazy adventures before finally choosing a partner for a lifetime. Our bunch focuses on the individual a lot more than before, our bunch is more hungry, our bunch is more ambitious, our bunch dreams... BIG. 

In truth, compared to the time of our parents, we can see how our options have increased in many respects. Traveling, for instance, is no longer regarded as a rare privilege. Thanks to cheaper, faster and a greater number of traveling facilities, discovering new places -- and on a quite regular basis nonetheless --  has definitely turned into a commodity in the 21st Century. Furthermore, what was once out of reach for the majority of mere mortals at our age is now something that is standard and expected to have - such as a lot of our belongings: expensive cars, flats, laptops, HDMI TVs, etc. On a more serious note, another example of extreme development is that career opportunites arose i.e. a lot of new jobs were created in this fast moving world. Web designers, app inventors, life coaches or interior designers entered the dictionary  -- and job market -- in the space of only a few years. Finally, twenty-somethings these days are more keen on dating a lot more than in the past. In a way, people now have the opportunity to find and decide on their future husband/wife from, dare I say, a bigger lot. So by the time we are thirty, a majority of us have traveled so many places already, took a year off to learn a new language, maybe jumped off a plane and swam with sharks, studied and worked hard to get our goal i.e. dream job... but settled down, got married and had children? Not necessarily, right?    

Times have changed, and so have our dreams. It seems that a lot of us want to have lived to our full potential before living for two (and eventually, more). We give our best to make every second of our youth worth it. We put more importance on creating ourselves before giving ourselves entirely to another person. We wish to gain as much experience as possible and explore most of our possibilities before being tied down.  And truth is, we are indeed spoiled with options -- and we got more eager, we got more competititve. Of course, it does not mean that we do not fall in love and have serious relationships before reaching the age of thirty, but we are now more conscious about selfhood -- much more than people have been in the past. Meryl Streep's Francesca Johnson said in the film Bridges of Madison County that "when a woman [or man] makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her[/his] life begins but in another way it stops." In this day and age, many twenty-somethings fear exactly that statement. Therefore, for many of us, marriage and children are the last thing on our mind -- and this is the case for both men and women.

But all of a sudden, I couldn't help but ask myself whether these times of bigger dreams, bigger opportunities have made our generation become slaves to perhaps, too many options? too focused on the individual? Have we become too hungry? too self-absorbed? And finally, is it  right to (want to) postpone or skip the major stepping stone of marriage and children until further in life? Truth be told, we secure other life achievements than what our parents did at our age... but do we lose something in return?

In my personal opinion, delaying those kind of dreams i.e. major stepping stones in life has made the jump for marriage, as a consequence, a little more scary One might say that all those doubts fly out the window once we meet the right person, but the thing is, we also face this difficult question more than ever before: is there really just one right person? In a weird way, the older we get i.e. the more experiences we have and especially, the more we know who we are as one, single individual -- the more we have become picky when it comes to finding someone to spend the rest of our life with. Since our options -- in all aspects of life -- have multiplied, it is most probable that we also doubt a lot more when it comes to reducing the choice to just one. Simultaneously, because we live in a world today in which the possibilites have become somewhat limitless, we demand more, we need that very special icing on the cake and in the end, it can sometimes feel like we are uncapable of choosing anymore -- and are left with no option at all. Greatest irony of all, but it is the case nonetheless. So flying solo has never been this fun -- and has never been this hard to change.

Consequently, it is no surprise that the number of unmarried thirty year olds, in particular in urban areas, is so high. Living together has also replaced marriage for many couples. Both men and women are willing to put career first; so we become parents much later in life, therefore, perhaps have less children as well. Reality strikes as we notice just how different things are compared to the days of our parents. Whether we think of  this change as progress or on the contrary, a way downhill is subject to personal taste. Actually, we must all be a little ambivalent and can feel both happiness and disdain. We are lucky to live in a time when no option is really restrained and the feeling of "having the world at our feet" is truly at our fingertips. It is crucially important to create ourselves, to find ourselves, to know exactly who we are. But the idea of settling down should not be something that frighten us any less because like Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw said in an early episode of Sex and The City, in a world of "infinite options, sometimes there's no better feeling than knowing you only have one."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Have we met?


Have you ever met someone, and felt like you had known each other for quite a while already? Have you ever shared interests and activities, and felt like the other person had heard about them before? Have you ever told your stories to someone, and felt like s/he wasn't at all surprised about your shenanigans? Or have you ever gone out on a date, and felt like the person smiling back at you honestly read you? If the answer to any (or all) of those questions is yes, either it points out just how wonderful it is when two people come together and click instantly or -- as is customary these days -- the person sitting in front of you probably googled you before meeting; and found out one or two things about you already. Naturally, that person knows you had been there, done this or loved that thing -- so s/he sensed how to lead the discussion. The end result: getting to know each other becomes predictable, sharing actual stories seems like pseudo déjà-vus; I-know conversations and lastly, the interesting, really thrilling part of first encounters is taken away i.e. the surprise-factor. Sad, but true - isn't it?

Without doubt, we can all assess how much the game plan has changed in the last decade. Thanks to the Internet, each and every one of us is just a google, or more accurately, a facebook, twitter, tumblryoutubegoogle+, linkedin or xing search away. In the past, when you wanted to get to know someone (better), you pluck up your courage and asked her/him out. In present time, it is almost expected that you make a clearance check behind a computer screen first before agreeing to getting to know that person (better). Unless your name is John or Jane Smith (and even if it were the case), you would be shocked about how much information you can find out about someone with a name and just about... anything: a school, a hobby, an activity, a hang-out place, an association, a food preference, and so on and so forth. Indeed, even the littlest idea can lead to discovering (or uncovering) a person's virtual identity.  It might sound extremely creepy, but de facto, anyone of us can easily turn into a private investigator and everyone of us can be scooped out. Ultimately, thanks to the amazing invention of the Internet and social media, we now live in a world of overexposure.

Certainly, what can be found about you on the Internet goes hand in hand with what or how much you are willing to expose -- regardless of what your privacy settings are. A lot practically live a double life:  almost simultaneously, what you are eating, where you are dancing or who you are having coffee with in the real world calls for an immediate update online. A great number of people also have their own agenda when it comes to using social media. In truth, it serves a personal purpose that is very efficient and cheap (i.e. free!), such as promoting music, a blog or events. Then, there are many -- whom I like to call silencers -- who have an account in order to be online and check what's going on, but who are not very active unless they are sharing a youtube video or a famous life quote. In the end, you belong to one of these categories or are in all of them at the exact same time. Either way, whoever you might be and no matter what kind of social media user you are in this day and age, we can all agree that people -- family members, friends, acquaintances and even total strangers, have become more accessible than ever before.

Of course, it is understandable (and acceptable) to update and share personal things with people you know and for people you know to update you -- But the important question is, why in the world would you search for a person you do not, or hardly, know -- especially if there could be some potential there? Is it because there is potential there? In the past, having a crush on someone meant being excited by the mere idea of him/her alone. In present time, you get even more excited because you can have a clearer idea of him. You know you can find out his/her whereabouts. You even have the possibility of aquiring his/her picture without him/her ever knowing about it. Once again, it might seem like an incredibly disturbing thing to do -- and we all know no one will ever admit to it -- but it is transparent that that is the practice nowadays. So why do it?

First obvious answer would be pure curiosity, evidently. Being voyeuristic became so much easier since hiding behind a computer screen: no one needs to know that you (like to) look around. Secondly, the reason why you search for people online now is simply because you can, so much more easily. (Un)fortunately. Once more, the Internet is pretty fantastic -- it is more advantageous than not because you can get so much information at the click of the mouse. Nevertheless, isn't this overexposure jeopardizing a lot of other extraordinary things in the process -- notably the incomparable and beautiful stage of connecting with someone? The moments that have the chance to impress, amaze, surprise you? 

The beauty of getting to know someone (better) lies in its unpredictability, the unknown or especially, the yet-to-be known. If you remove those crucial yet delightful stages because you were too curious or too eager, then you miss out on all the fun. Not a little, but on all the fun. Isn't it terrible to meet someone and feel like s/he already knows some things about you... for the wrong reasons? Isn't it terrible to meet someone and feel like you've been looked upon? Giving information to strangers online might not have been your intention, but it doesn't mean it wasn't out of reach. More importantly, if you googled someone before meeting again, you need to pretend like you have no clue at all. Truth is, not a lot of us are such talented actors that can pull off a surprised "Oh really?" or "Wow, I didn't know that." Ultimately, if you rely on someone's virtual profile, you are definitely creating virtual connections -- even in the real world.

It is not a secret: we live in a world of overinformation and overexposure. We yearn for it, and we got it, for better or worse.  Nonetheless, no matter how tempting (and easy) it might have become, there are some things that remain sacred. You must remember that the means of communication i.e. of social media should never impoverish -- even less replace -- what we use it for in the first place: connecting, having an actual human connection. Again, it is an accepted reality that these days, a lot of our relationships -- with family, friends, even acquaintances; near and far --  make use of social media in order to even sustain a connection. But you must not forget that there are other pretty extraordinary things that no computer or mobile phone can ever replace --  a person telling you his/her story, clicking with someone, getting to know someone new better on your own terms; without knowing beforehand, creating or forcing. The thing is: you can still have that surprise-factor if only you would let it. All first dates are blind dates -- and even if you have the help of social media today, they should still (always and forever) remain blind. Ultimately, it is when you rely on the person alone that you make real connections -- in the real and virtual world.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012