Friday, January 27, 2017

Contemplations at the Edge of Hell

I cannot say how difficult it is to accept that sometimes life is a steady line, especially after you've grown so used to the constant turbulence of raging seas.
I feel as if my memories of them are slipping, like that hazy moment right before you're about to pass out from the liquor running through your blood. It feels like the only thing I can remember is that they're dead.
I guess that's a habit of ours, isn't it? We recall the moments in which the people we once loved slipped a knife into your back, slicing your heart. I know, brutal image, but it sure as hell feels just like that. Sometimes people even have the nerve to take the heart you offer in your hands and crush it as they close it in their fists.

The world works in a funny way. Sometimes these tribulations come in a war-like manner––bombs falling out from the sky and polluting clouds grey, loss after loss crippling you until nothing seems to matter anymore. Other times––
nothing.

A simple routine with friends and family, school or work with slight nuances. Perhaps a brief existential crisis. No matter what, a majority of us are always looking for something that makes us feel. . .
complete.

So what do you want in your life? Or, more importantly...

Who do you want to be?

Usually, we know who we don't wanna be, as Gavin DeGraw (bless his soul for the song "I Don't Wanna Be") so relevantly expresses. We don't want to be our mom, our dad, our brother, our sister, that one kid you always see pick his/her nose when they think no one's looking. We're always comparing ourselves to others. You want to be your friend that's better in school than you, the one that can talk to new people with ease analogous to spreading soft butter on toasted bread, while you stand there trying to converse, which ends up feeling like you're forcing a slice of refrigerated butter to flatten on the bread––you just end up with an awkward clump of bread and butter. We always want to be someone else, don't we? But why can't we just be a better version of ourselves, instead of coveting what others have?

It's about the moment you question who you want to be and who you need to be, who you want and who you need. How do you figure it all out?

Maybe the habit to compare yourself to others is so ingrained into your minds that you forget the possibility that you can be someone you like and still be you.
The concept can apply to the way you find friendships and relationships. Ask yourself this: why did it end? When you get to the source of why it didn't work, then you can ask yourself "so what do I need?" Because a friendship, or more commonly, a relationship will end for reasons which we often choose not to linger upon because we want to simply move on with our lives, but that becomes a problem when you try to begin another relationship. Sometimes we find ourselves repeated the same mistakes because we fall for the same sort of person that it didn't work out with before (I know that was a confusing sentence, but I'm just trying to make sense of this as much as you are).

Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple because you don't even know where the end ends. Let's face it, we cannot pretend that our adversities haven't distorted and deflated our once buoyant oblivion,  but for all of you who're stuck at a crossroad, I want to tell you something that may go against what others have said: look back.
Just look.
Don't linger. Don't despair.
Learn.

Learn from the heartbreak––whether self-inflicted or by the hand of those we trusted, or even a stranger on the street––that tore at your innocence, stripping you of your shreds of hope, because if you do not look back, you won't realize that one path is really just a circle that brings you right back to the start.

Human beings, even at the edge of hell, possess a resilience that can climb them out of the deepest abyss. Yes, we are only human, but we are also humans. We can love and gather in laughter that flutters and kisses the late summer night stars and moon and the universe, envious that such joy can exist in animate beings.

The beauty of being human is, despite the messy wounds that scar our hearts––together, magic dances and sings and fights against the guns and war and loss that try to break us apart.
"We may not have it together, but together we have it all."

Sincerely,

Alena

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New You, Eh?

Yeah yeah yeah, we get it. It's a new year. But are you really going to change? If you are, I suggest you try not to make your goals on New Year's because, well, we all know how it usually goes.

"This year, I'm focusing on school and getting my shit together. THIS IS MY YEAR!"
"I'm gonna work out every day!"
"PUMPED OKAY LET'S DO THIS!"

*Focuses on school and does well on the first test*
"Man, I'm killing it. I deserve a break." *Goes out with friends and flunks the next test*
*Meets cute guy or girl and settles for a lower GPA*
*Working out every day turns into working out once a week*
*Relationship ends*
*Cries for a few weeks, maybe months*
*Starts working out again*
*Holidays cheer!*

*New Year's Eve Again*
"Okay, now's my chance to focus on myself again. THIS IS MY YEAR! YEAH!"

And then the cycle starts all over again. Now, this is the pretty cynical way to look at it, I know. But, it's also one of the ways you can almost guarantee failure: setting an unrealistic goal for yourself.
We're not superhumans. We're not machines, and hell, even machines don't always work.
I'm not saying you can't earn the big bucks if you really push for it. I'm just saying that sometimes we set ourselves up for disappointment and we lose motivation because the dream seems unattainable. It's tantalizing. Sometimes, to get to the ultimate dream, we have to walk up to it step-by-step, and although you may turn a corner only to find more stairs, short of breath and thighs throbbing, if you really really want it, you have to go up the steps. You can't fly over them (and for the sake of the metaphor, there's no elevator).

For example, if you wanna get fit or something and you don't really work out, start out with a reasonable goal like working out 3 times a week, then make your way up to 5-7, and maybe you'll actually start enjoying it. It takes time to form a habit, so patience is also key. You're never going to see the results after one day. I think that's the problem, especially in our technology-driven society; answers are so instantaneous we're used to getting what we want right away. Google search just about anything, and you'll get it. No one bothers taking too much of their time really looking, but the thing is, to find something worthwhile, you need to take your time, and to take that time, you need patience.
I wonder if there's been a study about how technology has affected people's patience. If there is, my guess is that patience has decreased over the decades.

The power went out in three neighborhood in my area, so I spent my New Year's Eve without any electricity, which I didn't mind because I love candles and it kind of gave me a chance to reflect without any distractions, without anyone else's tweets or instagram posts affecting my decisions. Just me. That's a little scary. When are we ever really alone anymore? Like, really alone. No social media to distract our loneliness, no TV––just you, left to your own thoughts. Some of us might go a little crazy, but maybe you'd be forced to deal with issues you've been avoiding.

That's all part of the healing, you know, the hurting. Wounds hurt before they heal. The pain in your heart is the same way, but what complicates that is that our mind can numb yourself from feeling the pain, but it doesn't go away; the pain stays there, frozen in time, never healing until you unfreeze. If that makes any sense.

Beautiful things do happen, but nothing worth fighting for comes easy.

Just food for thought, I guess.

Happy 2017,

Alena