A place

Ramble No. 5:

Sometimes it’s a place that already exists, some void that needs filling. A place in your life that’s already there and simply needs to be occupied by caring for another person. For others, a place is created, specifically moulded to fit a specific person. 

We all experience pain in different ways. We are human and we fall in love. We can’t help it. More often than not, a person will experience love more than once, more than one type of love and in most cases, that relationship will not end well. In every such case, that will leave a scar and a gap if not several. Also in most cases, we will try to heal the scar and fill in the gap(s). This in itself can lead to the formation is further gaps, creating a sense of emptiness. The more that we try to understand the emptiness, the more we try to name it, the harder it becomes to rid ourselves of it.

We are human and for most of us, we feel incomplete by our lonesome because we feel incomplete even with others. This will push us to find meaning in everything that we do, meaning in life. But if we’re so stuck in our heads trying to figure out our ever-evolving selves, trying to figure out our ever changing lives, won’t we forget to live? By the time we start to understand these, won’t we have missed so much of our lives? So much of how amazingly changed we have become?

How much time do we spend trying to figure things out only to reach a point where we understand that we aren’t meant to understand every single action we decide to take. Or, every single event that takes place.

I was wondering earlier this week whether there was a magical button most of my friends have pushed to sort out their lives. How they seem to have figured their lives out but, really, I think almost all of us are in the same rut. We overcome one challenge only to be presented with another. Yet, we are stuck in procrastination for the majority of our days. We do this even though we are being productive in our lives; trying to figure something out during the commute to work, trying to understand what prompted you to take a certain action whilst on hold during a work call, trying to figure out how to respond to a text/email while doing the laundry and the list goes on.

When we can’t understand our own actions, why do we spend so much time trying to understand the actions of others? When it takes so long to untangle the web of our own thoughts, what makes us think that if we spend enough time, we can understand what someone else is thinking? Human curiosity is such a wonderful thing. We believe we can accomplish something so extremely difficult and knock the idea of accomplishing little things. Would it not be easier to take a problem-solving approach – an event has taken place due to certain actions, what is the solution now? Instead of spending ages trying to figure out how, what and why the actions that caused the event happened in the first place?

You have been hurt. There is a gap for each hurt that’s been inflicted upon you. Instead of thinking about the what, the why, the how, why not think of what you want now? What is in your life now? Who is in your life now? How is your life changing now?

We spend so much time in our heads that sometime in the near, or indeed the distant future, we will wish we had paid attention to now. This is because what happens now will not become part of our future unless we want it to, unless we choose for it to.

Don’t miss your present stuck in your past or your future. If you don’t pay attention to your present and play an active part in how it goes, your future is highly unlikely to be what you want it to. What do you want those gaps to be filled with? What kind of person do you want in your life? What is it about your present that you would like to continue into your future?

This approach will not solve all your life problems. You are most likely going to continue wondering and procrastinating and spending an inordinate amount of time over thinking things but at least life, people, events won’t pass you by whilst you are stuck in your own head. Make it yours.

Take the time to enjoy the little things happening now. Usually, they don’t remain for long.

These are things I always bang on about, mostly because changing the way I approach life has helped lessen the stress I feel, it has made life so much more enjoyable. It doesn’t take much to slowly change the way you see things, to change the way you react. This does take some time and effort and it can be a slow process but you can feel the change quite quickly once you’ve started to make those changes. It feels like taking a step in the right direction to finally arriving at your inner peace so I believe this is worth some effort.

I hope that this is as helpful for others as it has been for me.

We live in an Age of Enlightenment 

Ramble No. 4:

People have always found it strange that I enjoy learning. I enjoy absorbing new information. I enjoy learning new concepts. I enjoy reading about things that I don’t know and looking up things that make no sense to me.

We live in an age where information is a click away. If you don’t know something, you look it up and get so many different answers. You can get a short answer or a long answer that is detailed with links to further information all of which are only further clicks away. Most of us are glued to our phones or using them often . It’s part of life in this age so, why not learn new stuff?

Our brains were created to absorb information and use it, constantly. If we stop learning, it slowly starts to decay. There is just so much information out there that there is no way you wouldn’t find something that you, in particular, find interesting to learn about. Even if you don’t like reading, the same information can be available on videos or podcasts. Even memes an gifs now convey interesting information!

Next time you’re texting someone and they mention a word you’ve never heard or make a reference you don’t understand, just paste it into Google or whatever search engine you prefer. Not only will you learn something new, you can actually reply with something other than “What’s that?” which will definitely keep the conversation interesting and you might actually find it interesting yourself. You may also read/hear more about it and find more information.

We live in an age where ignorance has really become arrogance. It is normal that we are all ignorant of things we don’t know about obviously. But, it is another to remain ignorant when you are made aware of something. Even if it is not particularly something you enjoy, you can look it up just to find out what it is and go with the simpler definitions or illustrations. That way, the next time it’s mentioned, you aren’t sat clueless wondering how many more times it’ll be mentioned before you find out what it is. We all do it, at least every once in a while, just wonder. It’s normal. I think we’re all hardwired to be curious, some act on their intrigue and some don’t. I am amazed to find out that the amount of people deciding to learn and grow the amount of knowledge they hold is increasing. It’s a wonderful thing.

I used to be one of the people who, for most things, asked “What’s that?” or “what does that mean?” when I could have just as easily looked it up. Some of my interactions actually said “ever heard of Google?”. Now, I don’t mind answering people if they ask these questions because I do enjoy teaching people things they don’t know (as badly as I teach anything) because the sense of intrigue, the amazement in someone’s voice or on their face is in itself, fascinating. So whenever someone asks, I explain a little and if they seem interested, I do sometimes suggest that they look it up to “see what I mean” because I appreciate that I’m not the best with explanations (hence the numbered ramblings are titles to every post). Although, even if the explanation was good, looking it up does act as a visual aid.

Now that I’ve ranted enough about looking things up, lets do something else. Here are a few things that may be useful to learn:

  1. Get better at Excel!

Most of us will need to learn how to be good at this (in my case how to use it other than as a list) to be able to work most current jobs so why not give it a shot? It’s free and done by experts! If you’re thinking about, or starting to, work for yourself, this will definitely be useful to you.

2. Read faster!

If you’ve ever felt like your reading has slowed down, this can help. I’m dyslexic and this helped improve my reading so why not, right? It’s also free.

3. Learn a new language in your down time

This has got to be one of my personal favourites. I always found learning new languages interesting. When I was younger, I’d have happily learned more languages if there were teachers around to teach me but unfortunately, we did very basic French at school and I didn’t have the option of a private tutor to learn a third language. If I knew about Duolingo a few years ago, I’d be fluent in more than my two native languages at the moment! I started learning Spanish on it about a year ago. Just a few things when I’m going to bed (I end up dreaming of the words/phrases being learned).

Caveat: simply learning and practising on Duolingo will not make you a fluent speaker, you still need to practice it alongside other materials or with fluent speakers but it sure as hell will get you there! They’re adding new languages and improving the service constantly so it’s worth it.

4. Take better pictures

I think everyone would like to take better pictures! I’ve had a DSLR since I was about 16. I take decent pictures but I’ve always wanted to improve them so I tend to enjoy sites like this. Hopefully, I can improve before my trip this summer *fingers crossed I don’t fall into a lake*

There are so many things you can learn when you’re bored. There’s always something interesting that you do by giving it short bursts of time now and then. It isn’t an impossible or necessarily a difficult thing. Give it a shot and see how you get on.

Social Interactions Have Changed

The world is changing. People are more withdrawn, communicating less, less real connections are made and the people making dating apps have expanded into friendship apps.

Ramble No. 3:

long_distance_couples  is-online-dating-right-for-you

I find it ridiculous that you can no longer just make friends like you used to. I grew up surrounded by an inordinate amount of people. Yes, they were not all my friends but we all knew each other, we all socialised together, often had the same close friends and ended up making even more friends but the world is changing. This seems to be a norm in the West – stay away from people unless you’ve met them online and you had some common interests. It is also difficult when you work a full-time job that takes up the majority of your time and it can sometimes include weekends. The same difficulty is faced for several other reasons including having a medical condition, caring for someone else, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like meeting people online but I do miss meeting people in person and getting more than an “excuse me” or “oh it’s cold today”, etc. I miss having real conversations with real people. My generation seems to be evolving into this purely work-driven force and it is amazing to see that change in society but as stated above, this does have a downside.

Because people are so withdrawn or secluded from real social interactions, when they are around others, they seem to have more of a temper, less patience. People are becoming more picky, more critical. People driving down the road have no patience whatsoever anymore. There is too much friction in the world, too much negative energy. Yet, people will complain about receiving the same negative energy that they’re sending out. It can easily be changed. You can send out good vibes by simply displaying more patience, being nicer to people, having more compassion for other especially since you don’t know any given stranger’s situation and the reasons for why they may have done whatever it is they’ve done that has for some ridiculous reason angered you. This is in no way applicable to everyone but it seems that the group of people that this applies to is growing and that isn’t something we need more of in the world. It is already becoming a dark age that we live in considering all the chaos around the world so why would we want to add to it? We should be improving not regressing.

Now back to the dating/friendship app ramble:

There seems to be an increase of these apps although the all-time public favourite seems to be Tinder. Regardless of the initial aim of this software, it has become a way to get laid, that is generally what most of its users want from it. But I found it strange that there are apps that make it fun to “make a connection” as it displays nothing more than a first name, age, occupation, education and allows you to add in some details about yourself but that isn’t a requirement. This allows people to remain vague, to learn more about each other by talking. I like that. Sometimes the same app will have a setting allowing you to only see and be shown to people who are not interested in a relationship but rather, a friendship. It gives you the same options in terms of personal details. Although it does allow for more communication, the fact that there are so many users subscribed to these things overwhelms you because there are way too many choices.

Imagine scrolling through hundreds or thousands of profiles with minimum information or one-liners. You have a type (or certain things you prefer in a person), everyone does. Sometimes you may not realise it unless you see a pattern of the people whose profiles you have liked but the preferences are always there. Another problem then crops up is that you inadvertently raise your standards because you simply can. There are way too many choices and you can choose the top contenders for whatever characteristic you prefer. It is too tempting not to like those “way out of your league”.

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So if everyone’s going for top picks, those who may not be considered your stereotypical dream guy/girl/other end up waiting around or trying to start conversations that are going nowhere because, more often than not, the top contenders want someone on their level. It may be a horrible thing to say or think but it’s the honest truth. People then complain that they haven’t been able to find someone who likes them back.

If you’re out there looking for someone who is perfect for you based on the minimal information provided, how do you know they’re the right person? If we are going to continue this online thing because we’re too busy, too shy, too awkward, whatever the reason, then we have to change how we go about it. Here are some things that can improve the results you’re getting:

  1. Change your choices

Don’t keep choosing the exact same person with a different name, sightly different height, slightly different interests, slightly different anything else. Change it more than that. It’s like getting out of your comfort zone but you would be surprised what happens when you don’t stick to your preferences to the T.

2. Be vague but be honest

Lots of people will lie on their profiles/bios. They may claim to be some world-renowned something or another, they may claim to enjoy something they don’t or even worse, they may get too specific about something which will cloud over all the other great things about them. This is part of the online persona. This is a lot of people are still scared about meeting people online only to meet them and find out the whole thing was a lie or that they’re super creepy and just wanted to seem chilled out. Just be honest, don’t say too much. The right people will strike up a conversation. Just like you’re intrigued by someone’s bio that includes nothing but a dry joke, they’ll be intrigued by whatever interesting traits you’ve put in yours.

3. Just be you

This ties in to the second point and it is something that has been emphasised by so many people in so many ways for as long as human interaction has existed yet we tend to ignore it at least half of the time. It will feel like you’re reading the same thing again because the gist of what I want to say here is that if you’re being yourself you’ll attract the right kind of people. It is true for so many reasons but most of all, if you’re not being yourself and the other person likes you, imagine have to put up the charade for as long as you’re with that person. What if that person likes all the things about you that aren’t really you? What if you can’t keep up those little things because you don’t enjoy them or because they actually get on your nerves? So many reasons why it’s a bad idea to pretend being something you’re not for both you and the other person so just be you.

4. Don’t try too hard

People can tell when you’re trying too hard, usually because the information you provide them with becomes inconsistent. There’s no point. It would only be a waste of time to put in so much effort only to be found out. If you feel yourself trying too hard, pull back. Take a breath, slow things down, even disconnect if you have to. Remind yourself to be you and keep every connection confined to its own speed. You get on with different people in different ways. Don’t take it too hard if you feel like you’re getting on with someone and then they just stop responding. Everyone has preferences, everyone has reasons. Some people just change their minds about the whole thing and disconnect themselves without saying anything.

I hope that this is useful.

Remember: just because we’ve changed the way we interact, doesn’t mean we have to change the things we enjoy. Do you and enjoy it! Life is too short not to do the things you like. 

 

Just for fun:

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Make it yours

Ramble No. 2:

Have you ever missed your bus or train by just a second or two? Ever gotten to the door of a shop just to be told “sorry, we’re closing” because you forgot that on that day of the week it closes earlier than usual? Ever gotten really excited about having sent a message only to be ignored or gotten a one-word reply? Ever been turned down for a good job or a scholarship? Breathe. Take a step back and look at all the little things that happened around that time.

Maybe you missed that train or bus because it would have gotten stuck in traffic or held at the next station. Maybe you would have met someone on the train you shouldn’t have or gotten into a conversation or someone may have made a remark that would have made your day worse than missing that train did. Maybe that bus got into an accident or someone was behaving so badly that the driver stopped the bus so by being on that bus you would have been delayed longer than the time you spent waiting for the next one.

You can think of not getting into the shop similarly adding on even more possibilities.

With not getting that job that seems like a dream; such good benefits, all of that experience.. you may have ended up miserable in that job, maybe you would have been asked to do something you wouldn’t have been happy with, maybe you would have been pushed to cross a line, may be you would have been stuck with bad co-workers or a bad boss, maybe you would have gotten stitched up for something you didn’t do. The possibilities are endless.

There are so many reasons these things happen, so many reasons that what we want doesn’t happen. Whatever you’re belief in life, religion, balance, energies, you know everything is connected somehow and we all fight the idea that everything happens for a reason simply because we do not know that reason.

Possibilities shouldn’t stop you from pursuing things in life but when something doesn’t go the way you wanted, remember this. It will bring a positive light to your life and by emitting that energy, you will attract the same positive energy and things will always fall into place. Remind yourself that you’re doing great and good things will happen.

You lose nothing by trying; it’s a state of mind, a thought here and there on those few occasions where something unwelcome happens. It’s worth a few tries but believe it will work when you try it otherwise you’re sending out the wrong energy and the attempt is worthless.

You can change your life for yourself. 

Extrovert? Introvert? Whaaaa..?

Ramble No. 1:

introvert-extrovert

Introvertness: I spent my childhood thinking I was a geek at school, always reading, always correcting people, always getting high grades, always told to just shut up, to stop being a smarty pants, a know it all. I was even nicknamed google for a few years… I always had issues starting conversations with people and if they lagged, I had issues reviving such conversations. Half of the time, I sat there in the awkward silence having a mini-anxiety attack on the inside trying to think of a “good” way to bring the conversation back, the other half of the time I was thankful for the silence and praying I won’t have to go through more small talk or really boring talking points. I preferred the solitude of my bedroom for days on end, generally avoiding human interaction as much as I possibly could. 

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Changing schools, changing friends, domestic issues, lots of travel, mixing with such a vast amount of personalities have all affected me in ways I’m probably not fully aware of. I will probably never become aware of the full extent of such effects. Nonetheless, I see them all in a positive light. Whether something has been painful or joyful, comforting or uncomfortable, I have gained knowledge from it and I have endeavoured to better myself with that knowledge. Some of the things learned were simply things about myself that I hadn’t noticed before and if they are things I did not like, I became more active at implementing changes. And so, my social skills, and liking of social situation, changed. 

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Extrovertness: I spent most of my teenage life as a relatively popular person. I was always surrounded by people, most of whom I regarded as friends for the most part. I was fine with conversations, sometimes I was even funny! *pause for admiration at basic skill* I was fine with striking conversations, continuing them and ending them. Small talk wasn’t as big an issue anymore. You’d think I would continue on with that but it seems age and some life changes have struck a sort of balance.

mean-girls    (not quite but close)

Beyond middle school, high school was a trying time. It included relationships and friendships; their creation and destruction and boy don’t teens love some drama! I was no exception to that stereotype. I enjoyed the drama at least some of the time. Emotional pain was a regular thing – between said relationships and friendships, my home situation was even less bearable. Something celebration worthy at 15 years old: a divorce was finally on the horizon. A separation under the same roof wasn’t cutting it. This followed by several family fall outs, failed personal “relationships”, moving house, being disowned several times and finally war – who says life in the Middle East is boring?! So many factors, no wonder I cannot ascertain the true source(s) of the balance.

The balance: Between the ages of 19 and 21, I alternated between being an extrovert and an introvert, both on extreme ends of the spectrum. Until the age of 22, introvert was seemingly prevailing. Granted, this was not assisted by certain personal relationships, indeed they furthered the anxiety developed from my “left-over” PTSD but a couple of months after turning 23, I got a job at a law firm (tsk tsk here comes the money grabber) where I pretty much had an anxiety attack every 8-12 hours on a regular basis for the first 7 months. It was brutal. Going through those meant I was absolutely shattered but it was something I had to go through. I was secluded and stuck in books and TV shows for so long that I had effectively forgotten how to talk to people, how to be around them. Having work colleagues, having to speak to clients and other people all on a regular basis  got me to where I am now.

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Google informs me the thing I refer to as a balance between the two is an out-going introvert or extroverted introvert. Well that was useful… I thought I’d get a special word that isn’t a hybrid of some sort. Apparently out-going introverts and introverts get on fine but out-going introverts and extroverts don’t..? not-anti-social-selective

 

There should be a club for people like me because we can’t do extreme ends, we need that balance. There probably is a club and I am determined to find it!

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