Sunday, September 26, 2010

A human among humans

This is my inspiration when things get a bit tough. When all I want to do is hide away from the world.

Husserl has restored to things their horror and their charm. He has restored to us the world of artists and prophets: frightening, hostile, dangerous, and with it's havens of mercy and love. He has cleared the way for a new treaties on the passions that would be inspired by this simply truth, so utterly ignored by the refined among us: If we love a woman, it is because she is lovable. We are delivered from Proust.

We are likewise delivered from the 'internal life': in vain would we seek the caresses and fondlings of our intimate selves, like Amiel, or like a child who kisses his own shoulder- for everything is finally outside: everything, even ourselves. Outside, in the world, among others. It is not in some hiding-place that we will discover ourselves; it is on the road, it the town, in the midst of the crowd, a thing among things, a human among humans.

-Jean Paul Sartre

Thursday, September 23, 2010

thoughts about life

I have been reading Les Miserables over the last few weeks, and it honestly has changed my entire outlook on life. Don't you just love books like that? So rare, but when you find them they are worth a million hours spent reading.

There are a group of students in the book who are dreamers. They are revolutionaries. They want to change the world. They sit around and have discussions around human rights, politics and the universe. They spend hours sitting in the streets of Paris observing the people. Observing the world. They meditate under trees and think about important issues. They think about life.

And it made me realise how shallow and unimportant so much of the world is. So much of my life. So many hours are wasted discussing clothes and television, rather than ethics and altruism. I know a lot of people think this all sounds stupid. That sitting around dreaming is a waste of time. But what were we given brains for if not to think with? Why were we born in this amazing world if not to immerse ourselves in it? Not just in the shallow aspects of human life, I mean REALLY experience the world. And really care about other people, and feel a sense of social justice, and want to fight for change. To fight for what is in important.

Victor Hugo also talks about poverty. How it makes or breaks a person. How you need to look at your life, and strip away everything insignificant until you're left with what you really need. The things that are important in life. Love, laughter and friendship.

While I am not saying (and he wasn't either) that poverty is a good thing, or that more people should be thrown into poverty; it is important to recognise in your life the things that you can live without. And the things that you need (apart from food, clothes and shelter) to live. And it made me think of all of the unnecessary things in my life. The piles of clothes, the expensive food, decorations for the apartment etc.
It made me realise what is necessary to my life. My life is not going to be any less worthwhile (it may be even more so) if I don't buy that dress, or that food, or that makeup.

But I do need Joel, my family and friends, my pets, love, fresh air, the natural beauty of the world, books, music, creative outlets, opinions and the ability to think and daydream. These are the things necessary to my life. They may be (and are most likely) different to yours. But these things are the backbone of my life.

However, while I daydream of running off to Paris, earning just enough to sustain the necessary parts of my life and spending the rest of my time immersed in the heart of the city, among people, mediating and debating about important issues... I am not going to do that. I am not that person yet. I write this, and yet and I am not about to sell the majority of my clothes, or forgo good cheese, crackers and wine. I'm not going to pull myself out of the rat race. I am going to finish my degree, and earn money, and maybe get lost somewhere along the way in this fast-paced world. And it makes me ashamed. There is one consolation though: as a teacher maybe I'll be able to instill in the students these values that I lack. Maybe I will help change the world in a small way. That would be nice.

There will be some small changes in my life though. I will take the time I haven't before to appreciate the world around me, to stop and think. About anything and everything. To go for walks, turn off the television and have conversations. To spend my money on more meaningful things rather than objects per se. On experiences. Plays, music, dancing, trips to other places, books. And on other people. To become more charitable. To do something to help others. Not just talk about it.

I want to keep caring about the world, and the people in it.

Thank you Victor Hugo for opening my eyes, even if it was only a little bit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

thunderstorms and rainbows

I read an article in the newspaper a while back about the amazing imagination that children have. The incredible way they see the world. The woman writing the article had a daughter who used weather to describe her moods. For example she would say she felt 'thunderstorm' or 'rainbows'.

I think this is perfect. I never feel as if words like 'sad' or 'ecstatic' can ever come even close to covering how you are feeling. But thunderstorms and rainbows? Now that's the way to describe things!

Today I am feeling sun-showery. How are you feeling?

Friday, September 17, 2010

a clean slate

I cried the other day. For no reason at all. I couldn't stop. It was like all of my worries, frustrations and heartbreaks came out at once. And it hurt. Really hurt.

But the next day I woke up feeling like a whole new person. Well, not a whole new person. But the beginnings of one. It was if the tears of the day before really had washed everything away. And when I stepped outside the sun seemed that little bit brighter, my step a little bit lighter, and I fell in love with life all over again. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10 Things that Make Me Happy

1. Making cupcakes. There is nothing better! The mixture tastes amazing all the way through and you can decorate them any colour that you want afterwards!

2. Dancing around my room to music that I love. Downside: I look amazing in my head, but when I go out I realise my imagination has deceived me once again..

3. Happy music in general. It always puts me in a good mood :)

4. Watching my favourite movie or reading my favourite book. I can do either of these activities over and over and over again and I am just as happy every time.

5. Going for a walk. Especially in spring, when all the cherry blossoms are out and the whole world is transformed.

6. Hugging my cats. Or my friends. Or Joel. But my cats can purr so they win.

7. Playing piano and getting lost in the music.

8. Road-trips! Singing loudly at the top of our lungs and getting into crazy situations.

9. Sleepy conversations about life, love and the universe

10. The person who stuck teddy bears to trees along the highway to the coast.

What makes you happy? I'd love to hear it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stepping back in time

I am going to a 'Bohemian Masquerade Ball' tonight. I am quite excited. I have never been to anything 'Masquerade' before and it is such a romantic word (is it French? Because the French seem to make all their words sound romantic). There will be magicians, gypsy bands, cabaret, burlesque and circus acts. Is that not the perfect combination?
I went to something similar last week, called 'The Gangsta's Ball'. It was amazing, everyone was dressed in 1920's-50's clothes and it was just like we stepped back in time... to a very confused era of time that wasn't sure which decade it was, but it still looked wonderful! And I just love dressing up. My favourite part of that night though was looking at the view from our hotel. My partner had booked the top floor of an apartment directly in the middle of Sydney city that had windows all around. I wish I had taken a photo, it was if the whole sky was filled with colour and we were in the middle of it.
I am wearing a corset tonight though.. this scares me. I did promise myself i would do things that scare me. But I am not a corset girl. I guess there is a first time for everything.

These are photos from the Gangsta's Ball. I would have subtly slipped them in the middle of this post but technology is not my strong point..

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where I want to go

This is a continuation from my last post. I got a comment from Brandi of (no idea how to link people properly...wait I figured it out!) that said it helps to write your intentions on a wall. Well this is kind of a wall isn't it? A virtual one yes, but it will do :) Anyway I thought it was a great idea (thank you Brandi!). I was already thinking about a post like this, after writing down one of the quotes from Rocket Science (yes I know, I am scarily obsessed with this movie):

'Do you want to hear your problem? You have no agenda. Strictly head in the ground material. Look at me. Look at me. I wake up every morning and what do I do? I create an agenda for the day, which is a sub-agenda for the month. Which is in itself a pie-slice of my agenda for life.'

Though it was said by the 'miniature Hitler' of the movie, I still really like it. It made me think.. what do I want out of life? And I guess what I would like out of life is to make a difference. To change people's lives. To be happy and to make others happy. So.. that's my agenda for life, now to make goals for the year. If anyone reads my blog (Joel..because I make him.. and that's about it..) then it would be great if you could tell me your goals; what you hope to achieve this year, or to achieve in life. Do it Joel :p

So, here are my intentions for the year:

- Do one kind act a day, whether it be giving money to the homeless, doing something sweet for a friend, or saying something nice to a stranger.
- Stay at university. I may not enjoy it (who would after 5 years of study?), but it will be worth it in the end.
- Try my hardest at everything I do.
- Keep doing things that terrify me, especially things like dance performances
- Learn to crochet
- Learn to enjoy playing piano again
- Finish the story I started two years ago
- Choreograph a dance
- Do some more Rockabilly and Swing lessons
- Learn time management, so that around assessment time I am still able to spend time with friends and do everything I said I would do, without getting snowed under.
- Give myself a break before I burn out, which seems to happen every year
- Follow my budget and save money, so that I can celebrate finishing my degree with an amazing holiday and know I worked for it and earned it
- Keep buying only handmade, ethical or op-shop clothes, as well as 'animal friendly' products (which by the way is way more difficult than it should be!), even though the consumerist young lady in me finds it very hard..
- Smile at everyone I pass
- Show Joel how much he means to me
- FINALLY have a Halloween party instead of talking about it every year
- Do the decorations for the wedding myself even though I don't have a creative bone in my body and it will most likely be mildly ridiculous (I want rainbows of colour everywhere!)
- Learn to accept my awkwardness
- Make time for my friends
- Think positive
- Take risks

AND the one thing I promise myself I will do every year that seems downright impossible: STOP CHEWING MY NAILS!! - Not going to happen. Ever. I've given upon this one already.

So.. They are my intentions for the rest of the year. I probably won't achieve all of them, but it's nice to have a direction towards my agenda for life :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feeling a little more responsible

It’s time for a change. A life overhaul if you will. I have wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself, blaming the world when things went wrong. Or blaming myself and getting depressed and frustrated... but not doing anything productive or making an effort to change the circumstances I was in. I’m tired of always getting second best simply because that is all I have aimed for. Over the years I have developed an almost learned helplessness. I get into trouble, mess up, then fall back on the people I love and they fix it for me (when it is usually my own mistake). For example I am terrible with money. Absolutely awful. I will agree to do anything at any time regardless of cost, then turn around and realise I can’t pay my phone bill, or afford the bus, or food. Then someone bails me out. I thought moving out would automatically turn me into an adult. I would become responsible over night. Well it turns out I actually have to make an effort and work at this type of thing. It is the same with university. I whinge and moan because I don’t get amazing grades, and yet I’ve never made any effort. I don’t go to lectures, barely make it to 50% of tutorials, and think 3 hours is the most amount of time anyone should ever spend on a piece of assessment. It is not that I am lazy (or not entirely)... more that I am terrified. What if I put in a lot effort...and I still do badly? I don't do too well now because I don’t try, but what does it say about me if I do badly when I do try? This is the reason I have been failing at life so much lately. I am so scared of trying my hardest and it still turning into a colossal disaster. I don’t think I want to be a teacher, but I have never given myself the chance to want to be simply because I have it in my mind that I would not do well. From now on, it’s effort and happiness. Even if I do fail, I will fail with a huge goddamn smile on my face. Because I’ll know that I gave life all that I could give, and I made the biggest mark on the world that I could.