Blogs

Taking control

Your thoughts can suck it out of you if you let it and taking control is difficult. Fortunately, the opposite stands true too. What this means for you is it throws the ball into your court, permanently. You are essentially in control of every single situation you find yourself in.

You can take control. You can choose to take it by the reigns or allow it to take over you instead. This means taking a hell of a lot more responsibility for your life and its outcomes. This can be quite daunting but it stops forcing you into the position of a passive reactor. Cease to be an audience member to your own life. Simply reacting to situations saps the power out of you but you are the main character of your life. You play the main role. Why the hell would you play Robin if the Batman suit is hanging in your wardrobe?

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Your value

Your value relies on your status. Your job, your income, the car you drive. Society, life and maybe even your old college friends tell you that this trio is where you get your value from. Well, dear millennial, most of us don’t even have one of those. Does this mean there is no value in what you are doing right now? Does that mean that the joy you get from working at a volunteering position or the sense of satisfaction you feel from a personal creative project is of no value?

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Starting from the bottom, we’re still here?

Starting from the bottom we’re still here is not quite how life is supposed to go. If I can sum up a way to live life properly, it takes two words; attitude and perspective and you start with the latter. We call it ‘underprivileged’, the faction of society that does not enjoy wealth in the form of materialism and hard cash. More times than I care to tell you, I find the fact liberating because as much as material comfort money brings, it is also constraining. Money can distort reality to such proportions that people like honey booboo’s mum exists.

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Surviving Family occasions

For many of us, family occasions are rarely a cause for celebration. All of us have that weird uncle (I have two) and an aunt or two who are just a little too loud with their dated prejudices or what they think of the weight you gained over the summer. Then you have your great collection of cousins. Those your age that have drifted far away from their younger versions – once your first set of friends. You have that gangster cousin (or so he’d like to believe) and the cousin who asks you why the hell you aren’t dating anyone yet, trying to analyse your flaws and fix your hair. Of course, the older cousin is just waiting to launch into a controversial political debate with his politically incorrect views.

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Using memories as escapism

Memories as escapism for when things are bad. We seek shelter wherever we can. Too often our mind seeks refuge in dangerous places. Sometimes this is in self-destructive behaviours like excessive drinking or substance abuse of any sort. Then there are times our mind sprints to our past as it is often a place of comfort and security. It acts as a form of escapism when you find yourself overwhelmed by life.

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Call assault in response to a text

Yes, you have a friend or friends that you no longer refer to as such due to their phone etiquette i.e. call assault. We don’t trust people without phone etiquette. It’s the same as distrusting a hairdresser with terrible hair. No not, edgy, or “out there” but just a very terrible cut. So why? Why do you sport an incredulous visage at the sight of your friend’s incoming call after sending her a meek SMS? Why does your thumb furiously move to the call reject button and feel instant gravitation by doing so? Allow me to shed some light.

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Lazy Graduate Syndrome

Follow the lazy graduate through the world of work.

  • I am done! No more lectures, dissertations, coursework or presentations!
  • I mean who needs school anyway amirite?

Hibernation

  • It’s real, I am going into hibernation mode. I won’t do anything for a year. I’ll play ‘The lazy song’ by Bruno Mars on repeat.
  • I could so get used to this, it’s not even funny. It’s scary how little ambition I have considering I have spent three years of my life trying to up my chances to get a good career.

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Covid 19 and your stupid brain

It’s safe to say that these last few weeks (and months for some around the globe) have been just fucking bizarre. Going from a place of perfect normalcy and let’s face it, complacency to turning the whole situation into a real-life version of ‘contagion’.

And suddenly you dust off your primal instincts which have been gathering dust in the last few decades and you replenish your supplies of fear and your ‘survival instinct’ (which lead to the infamous TP disaster). 

Quarantine is not normal. Choosing to stay inside because you’re an introvert and simply preferring to watch anime all day is a TOTALLY LEGITIMATE LIFESTYLE THANK YOU VERY MUCH but it’s with the acute awareness that if you did decide to spend the day outside, you could. But when self-isolation suddenly becoming the mandate – time spent at home doesn’t quite feel like it used to. The four walls around you may just feel a little more claustrophobic than comforting. 

Do you know what the most annoying thing is? Unless you believe in the theory that Covid 19 is a man-made bioweapon, there’s nothing substantial you can point your finger at and hate. It’s impossible to personify and therefore villainize a fucking piece of code. A virus is a thing with no brain or intention, no evil cackle or plans of world dominion – even if that’s exactly what it’s ultimately doing. 

So if you’ve had some time alone with your thoughts, which seems more likely with the quarantine, you’re finding out that your brain is a pain in the ass and is taking you to some dark places. 

In this case, though, I don’t think it is necessarily paranoia alone, but it’s your brain instinctively trying to prepare you for the worst. So that if the worst does happen, that somehow, by having run through the situation in your mind (i.e. the prepping stage) you may be able to better cope with it if it does come to pass. And the truth is, mine delves into diluted forms of nihilism. I’d like to say it’s the kind of nihilism that eases the weight as opposed to make you all cynical and dark and an absolute pain to be around (which doesn’t help if others are confined with your sorry ass).

Nihilism in itself is the assumption that life is meaningless which has never been quite my philosophy, but if you follow it down to some of its logical conclusions and mix it with a sprinkle of Buddhist acceptance, it’ll lead you to ‘whatever happens, happens’. I feel confident in this when it comes to my own mortality, but I’ll jump ship and embrace becoming a fully-fledged hypocrite the second it comes to my loved ones and will disavow nihilism in a second. I’m trying to work on it, so I can find monk-like understanding in something as natural as the concept of mortality even when it comes to losing people I love. 

I feel this fusion of nihilism and Buddhism is a better way to go then Darwinism which at this point in time leads to some dumbass buying 18000 bottles of sanitizer and price gouging the hell out of it. Today, as dispersed and disconnected as we are because of technology, the virus forces us to work as a team. This means letting go of grudges and prejudices and the need to park your belief in individualism because your actions right now do affect others. This one time, you can’t be the only authority you listen to unless you live in the middle of nowhere with no one else around. Let’s all take some responsibility and see if we can’t minimize the harm we’re experiencing. 

In the meantime, if you’re scared beyond your wits because of your parents and grandparents, those with immune or lung complications – I hear you. I’m absolutely terrified myself, and that’s the only thing that gives me pause but while you may feel powerless – every single day you spend in self-isolation, see it as an active step of fighting the pandemic. It’s weird that sitting on your ass is the act defiance that we need – but it is. Because we’re all sacrificing something precious. In the meantime, and I know I don’t have to tell you this, don’t leave anything unsaid.

Time wasted

Our concept of time changes radically when we get older.

With age, I’m learning to value time as I’m becoming more conscious of its finite nature. It’s something I’ve always been aware of, of course, but never something I quite had to process in depth. Sure, I developed an intense hatred for the whole concept during the many occasions I found myself trying to cram in a ten-page essay the night before it was due, but time and I were friends again by the time my work was safely uploaded 2 minutes before the cut-off line.

The understanding of this has put me on guard and while I try to be mindful of it to avoid having it run away from me, it never seems to quite work that way. It’s the time consumption phenomenon; when you’re not paying it any attention, you suddenly find that you’ve used up rather a lot of it.

This was true as a kid when I was having the time of my life playing football and having managed to overshoot my curfew by a good couple of hours, and this is true now, when I’ve had an eventful year undergoing many changes in career and relationships. But you’ll notice the difference. As a kid, it’s two hours that get away from you, but as you get older, a year can start to feel elusive.

So the lessons you naturally pick up as you get older lead to a couple of very common symptoms. The guilt you feel when you’ve spent the majority of your time watching ‘You’ on Netflix, knowing you have a list of errands to commit to run It’s a sign of growth, where your conscience, whether you like it or not, is shitting on the decisions you’re making.

As a kid it was non-existent. You didn’t play with your toys for three hours only to come home and think you really should’ve spent it doing something more useful. I mean if you did, you must’ve been a fucking terrifying kid. Back then authority and discipline came from your parents. Now it has to come from you, and self-discipline is a bitch to pin down but if you manage to contextualize time properly, it can act as the best kind of motivator to ensure you’re spending this limited resource in a befitting manner and seek out more authentic ways to feel happiness than through a screen.

Thought leader

What makes a thought leader? On the surface it has a lot in common with what you’d look for in a cult leader – charming, charismatic and strong. But you want something more when it comes to a legitimate movement; the courage to leave room for debates and arguments. Being perfectly comfortable being confronted by those who critique whatever he/she’s put forward.

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