The first time we spoke you said you would hurt me.

I know history repeats itself because it always has and it always will.

One of the first real conversations you had with me you said you would hurt me; you said you would destroy my heart. I laughed because I was strong, confident and I knew you wouldn’t hurt me.

But then I fell in love with you and you did. What’s worse is that you didn’t even care that you had. I wasn’t the first and I probably wasn’t the last but it mattered this time because it was my heart. It’s still my heart and the lump in my throat and the tears that blur my vision as I type.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dramatically breaking into a million little pieces like the way it would in the stories you read. It’s shrinking a little further into the shadows, making it even harder for anyone to truly reach it. Another mark to tarnish it’s once polished red exterior. What’s worse is that you didn’t even care you had.

I never one thought you would be my person, because truly I never wanted you to be, all I wanted to be was a person. Someone to you, anyone to you because being in your light feeling the warmth of your glow was at a time everything to me. But so often I get caught in childish musings and every once in a while the cruel hand of reality pulls me back down to the roots of what is real and what is ideal. And you are neither.

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The internet and morals

On Valentine’s Day this year a man shot his girlfriend, about five minutes after the incident came to be public knowledge, just about every form of social media was flooded with the usual comments, this time however people were joking about it. Joking about a woman who could have possibly been the victim of an abuse or about a poor man who could have made a mistake and shot the woman he loved. I’m not here to argue about whether or not he was guilty; I’m here to ponder about whether you or I are guilty.

Sometimes I like to be snarky when I’m on the internet, but not when it comes down to real life issues. Surely that’s where the buck stops, where we need to take responsibility for what we say and wonder if in ‘real life’ we would actually say it. If not, why is it okay to joke about it on the internet then?

I confronted a few of my Facebook associates on their statuses, some apologised some told me to get off my soap box and stop preaching. When did it become preaching to question joking about one of the big ‘do not’s’ in this world, don’t kill, and does the fact that he was a public figure make it okay to joke about? If a famous man had raped his wife or a famous woman had accidentally drowned her baby, would this be okay to laugh about? Are we so hardened to the ways of the world that the only thing left to do is laugh about it, or are we so detached from our fellow man to even care unless something has a direct impact on our lives.

With the dawn of Facebook and Twitter it has become easy to just mouth off about anything and everything without actually thinking about it, we have seen time and time again how people have made derogatory statements on one of the platforms and have gotten into ‘real life’ trouble for their words. We need to realise that in fact this cyber world we often immerse our lives in is directly related to the real world and at the essence of it who we are as people.

It’s not some distant far off land where we can say or do anything without any consequences or some confrontation regarding our views regardless of what they are or if they are deemed wrong or right. There are of course times when all of us have said something we regret, that’s just life I guess. But continued trolling really does shine some light in who we are as moral creatures. At what point do the morals we’ve been taught or innately have while we are on the internet.

When did it become okay to go onto News24 and put a blatantly racist sexist or truly evil comment up just because no one knows who you are? Would you scream “Afrikaaner’s are the route of all evil and scum of the earth,” at the top of your lungs in the middle of the next Park Acoustics? Or “All Black’s are criminals and should be shot,” at Faraday Station during rush hour? (Please note these are actual comments). The ability to be anonymous can free us up to express some things we would never openly express in public, but does this make it right? Why should anonymity matter though? Surely we are taught or inclined to be at least somewhat decent in our daily dealings in the real world? Why should the same not be true for the world of the Internet?

One of the first things we are taught in school is that with rights come responsibilities something that is seen throughout literature and history. We need to be responsible with our thoughts and actions even though we have the right to freedom of speech.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

The way I am around you

With you, I forget things. Not big things, of course, but I let many things slip through my fingers unnoticed. I would have thought it impossible before I met you to let go of the self-imposed anxiousness which used to colour my nights spent staring at the ceiling. My life often feels so full of unimportant matters and obligations which talk at me from every angle, noises which somehow quiet into a dull hum when we’re together. I know that it’s not a universal positive to be rendered so uncritical, so unaffected by the outside world, when you’re with someone, but I am. I tend to forget the minor work stress that was nagging at the back of my head all morning, following me around my commute or my lunch with a friend, whispering in my ear that I have so much left to do — with you, it is silent.

And I’m not one to usually love silence, either. In everyday conversation, I am often overwhelmed with the desire to fill awkward silences and spark conversations. Even if the thoughts are mundane, I’m glad to be filled with them, because it will mean that I don’t live with a kind of echoing quietness in my own head. But with you, the silence is never awkward. It’s never something forced upon me by the overwrought rules of polite conversation. The silence — both internal and in our interactions — is one of calm, of peaceful conviction and satisfaction. I am reminded, in those warmly quiet moments, of dogs lying in the sunlight with their belly facing the window. All day, they’ve been running. All day, all they long to do is make noise and play and be seen. But when the sun hits them just right and surrounds them on all sides with that hushed kind of comfort, they have never been more happy to be still.

With you, I feel a kind of confidence that I used to imagine was only possessed by those incredibly pretty, well-liked girls in high school. You know, the ones that used to walk down the hallway and seem to be at once loved and loathed by everyone they crossed paths with. To me, their ability to carry themselves with such assuredness and poise was always foreign, always frightening. Now I understand what it feels like to be loved, to be admired. Perhaps it isn’t coming from a million directions at once, but I don’t need it. In fact, I’m not even sure it is your gaze which renders me so full of life and certainty. It is perhaps the version of me that I am able to see in your eyes. They are two tiny reflecting pools in which I am the person I have always wanted to be, smart and beautiful and worthy of being loved.

It is something that I have borrowed, something I take with me when I go to work, or walk to the corner to pick up a carton of milk. While I know that the paintings of one another we’ve constructed in our own minds are perhaps too forgiving, too fuzzy around the flaws, I see no reason to look for a clearer picture. If only we were all capable of seeing each other the way our lover sees us, the way we must look on a Sunday morning while walking in with breakfast in bed. There is no reason that we can’t smear a little Vaseline on the lens of who we are and appreciate that perfection is not something we should ever be striving for — and I try to do this with myself. Your compliments do not fall on deaf ears; they are actively creating a portrait that I am trying to commit to memory.

With you, I am generous. I want to be this way because I understand it’s the right thing and I have learned to extract more joy from the act of giving than of receiving. Few things make me happier than seeing your face light up with something I have done for you — a surprise, a gift, a kind word when it is needed most. I don’t think that you need these things to live your life (just as I’m sure I could make it the rest of mine without another lunch in the park with you), but there is no reason we should have to. If life can be made more beautiful with generosity, and care, and affection, there is no reason to stifle it or keep it in some confused concept of moderation. With generosity, there can always be more.

I know that all of these things make me better. And I know that I am better when I am around you, and that the real goal is to learn how to apply these lessons and desires and streaks of unabashed confidence to every aspect of my life. I should be just as generous with friends, just as confident at work, just as forgiving of my daily stresses as I am when you are with me. Because that, I think, is the greatest gift we can ever give another person: To see that life can be lived more beautifully and more honestly, and that you don’t even need to be in love to do it.

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I Didn’t Think About You Once Today

I didn’t think about you once today, for the first time since I met you. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was simply that it was too cold to get out of bed; I did not wish that you were there beside me. I went to the closet and got dressed without thinking about whether or not you liked the shirt I was putting on, didn’t think about whether you’d already seen me in the sweater I layered over it. I skipped breakfast, as I always do, and I didn’t hear your voice chastising me in the back of my head,  I just glanced at the clock, grabbed my keys, and shut the door firmly behind me.

I didn’t see anyone who reminded me of you on my way to work. I didn’t hear anyone who had your laugh, didn’t see anyone sporting the same shoes you wear.

At the office, I answered phones, got coffee, checked emails, sorted paperwork, chatted with coworkers, spaced out, got stuff done, all without interruption. When my boss handed me a bunch of work right before it was time to leave, I didn’t have to suppress the urge to text you and complain, didn’t even think back to a time when something like this would have made me late to have dinner with you. I made it home eventually, and when I got there I called up a friend and asked if he wanted to come over and watch television with me. He did. We laughed, we made popcorn, we had a great time, and not once did either of us mention your name.

I went out for a run with my iPod on shuffle, and I heard a song we danced to together at our favorite bar, the night you wore a dark gray t-shirt and I ordered my usual, one shot too many. But that memory of you didn’t accompany it this time.  I didn’t care that you weren’t with me,  I just kept on running.

As I’m lying here in bed, about to close my eyes and drift off to a place where I will not dream of you, this is when I realise I haven’t thought about you today. Some might say this realization ends my streak-of-not-thinking-of-you, that I’ve inadvertently let your ghost return to haunt me once again, but this is not true at all. See, in thinking about how I haven’t thought of you, I’m not really thinking about you at all — I’m finally thinking about me.

You’re just an idea now, a dark shadow, something I’m only considering as it relates to my own evolution. I’m recalling what I used to be like when you were all I ever thought about, when you seemed to own my thoughts morning, noon, and night. I’m thinking about the tear-stained pillows and empty wine bottles that decorated my room in the time I spent trying to get over you. I’m remembering how badly I longed to free myself from your spell, but secretly believed that day would never come.

And yet, that day is here, that day is today, the day I did not think of you, and I cannot help but smile, for I am finally free. Everyone said it would happen eventually, and I’m happy to report they were right (as they almost always are). I’ve moved on, as we all seem to do eventually. The best part is, I doubt I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow either or ever again.

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12 things I learnt in 2012

  1. Love isn’t meant to hurt…if it does you are doing it wrong
  2. Gossip girl should have been cancelled two seasons ago
  3. Friends will always be there even when you don’t want them to be…that’s what friends are for
  4. You can’t fix someone else, you have to let them fix themselves
  5. The opposite of love is indifference
  6. Sometimes all you need is a stranger to talk to
  7. …and sometimes those strangers can become the greatest of friends
  8. Sometimes dancing like no one is watching is not the best thing
  9. Experiences really do shape who we are and not always in the best ways
  10. A mother and a fathers love is blind…and this is not always the best thing
  11. No one likes a drunk
  12. Sometimes some fried chicken is all you need to put a smile on your face

 

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What if money didn’t matter?

What would you do if money were no object? What would you really do? Sit and think about it, consider the value of the question and really get to the heart of it. What would you do everyday for the rest of your life?

Philosopher Alan Watts  gives some advice on this question:

When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

Many of us are living our own worst-case scenarios, we have settled for the things we do not in anyway want and use the excuse of financial security.

What is the worst that can happen if you fail at your dream? You go back to your old job…start from the very bottom again? Wouldn’t you rather give it your all and look back on your life knowing that you gave it your all instead of counting the days down to your retirement to actually start living life.

I say take the leap…I have. Feel free to leave comments below saying what your ultimate dream would be!