New Year, just me.

snoopy.jpg

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Or posts. But I though that now with 2016 here, it can’t be that hard to write something about last year, about me, about what I hope this year will be like, plus, of course, the whole cliché called Resolutions and anything else.

I had lots of moments I’ve been proud of in 2015, and I’d like to talk more about a quite recent one: I’ve written a book. Although I’m not sure this is the right term for it – it’s not published and it may not even be in a publishable form. But it’s a novel that I enjoyed writing, and with a clear purpose in mind: to enter it in a ‘Young Writers’ competition that was happening in my home country. Obviously, the desired language wasn’t English, which made things a little harder since I’m used to write on this blog. More obviously, there were a certain deadline and a minimum number of characters involved – not words, for some reason, which means that
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (tell me you know the word)
counted quite a lot, and ‘to be or not to be’ not that much… So I tried my best not to write like Snoopy below, given the fact that I knew my editing time would be really, really short. And I used a really cool Android app called Writeometer to keep track of daily progress.

droopy2.png
Although the time was short and postponing the task made it even shorter, I managed to finish both the storyline, the (minor) editing and to reach the threshold number of words about an hour before the deadline. The whole process could have fit into the NaNoWriMo challenge, but somehow it went a little over it. If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, it basically stands for National Novel Writing Month, and you’re supposed to write a little bit – or more than a little bit – each day of November, so that your draft / novel is finished by the beginning of winter. Did I write each and every day of November? Nope. Did I finish before the 1st of December? Nope, but I finished 11 days later, which was the deadline that interested me. Over 200.000 words, based on a much shorter story that I had written in high school, in my mother tongue – I wouldn’t have time for another proper draft anyway. Did I enjoy it? Of course I did. Or else I would have stopped… (If only this could be valid for everything else in life.)

I know I said at some point in an older article that writing a book is nowhere close to writing on a blog. But to be honest I realised there are more similarities than I would have expected – the question is, would people read it? Which is the same question for blog articles, in fairness. The only thing is perseverance and passion – plus a good plot and characters. I ended up typing most of the book on my phone: writing on the tube – just like I do now, paying attention from time to time not to miss my stop – writing before going to job in the morning, writing while having dinner, writing in the lunch break at the office. Because even if the actual typing doesn’t necessarily make a good book, there’s definitely no book without it. So I cared less about editing and more about letting the words flow – that’s how I write on the blog in the end, right? Sometimes that’s how I speak as well. Just my pure thoughts.

But anyway, for me meeting that deadline was the prize itself. I feel like I won my own, personal, intimate competition which was represented by the challenge of finishing the novel. Will it get short-listed? I don’t know, I’ll find out soon – but if not, it means I’ll still get the chance of improving it in the future, without thinking about publishing it until it’s ready.

About my other fulfilled goals from 2015… Well, they’re mostly usual ones, like starting a great, long-distance relationship (I know I said in an earlier post the “great” and “long-distance” can’t be used together, but maybe I’ll explain at some point how I ended up changing my mind), starting a job, finishing university and starting life in a new place. But the question is, how I’d like this year to be – comparing it with the past one, since it’s better to learn from our mistakes and past experiences in general.

Of course I have cliché resolutions like going to the gym and eating healthier. But I also wish for things that people don’t usually say – like feeling good about myself, being more confident (I’m also trying to stop using foundation on my face on a day to day basis, ’cause after all I shouldn’t really care that much about my imperfections), crying less, managing to find out the reason I’m crying when there’s no apparent one, feeling less lonely, making new friends, smiling, having more time for my hobbies which – unfortunately – are not work related so they have to be done outside work times: like reading, writing, drawing. I was thinking I could try read 26 books this year. Or at least 12. And write not only on this blog, but also for some creative writing contests. Maybe finish that website that i started half a year ago, which was supposed to be a better version of this blog… and understand that I can’t create a perfect website, but it should be as close to perfect for fitting its purpose.

I guess the whole idea of a New Year resolution is to get out of your comfort zone – which is never easy. But if you stretch out far enough, you’ll eventually exit it, right?

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This Is Not About Crushes.

Heart Eyes

I wanted to write about crushes. Then lots of stuff happened recently and I kept postponing it, so right now I don’t feel like writing about crushes. Not today.

I’d rather listen to the rain while laying in my bed, and watching the wallpaper on my phone crying with raindrops. It makes me sad in a way, but I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t cry again too soon. I remember my first article from more than a year ago, where I talked about rain… That article was the start of me explaining to myself how crushed I felt, when a mutual crush ended after a while. That’s the thing with crushes, they crush you in a way. And if they don’t, you either fall in love or fall out of love, but you’re still getting crushed sooner or later. Can you have a crush on someone who has crushed you already? Probably not. It would be insane, I guess.

But anyway, I said this would not about crushes. It makes me sad, trying to write about crushes. And not because of my first mutual crush, but because of more recent events. Unfortunate events that came in a series (speaking about that, I could probably think about a few characters from books I felt attracted to, in a way. But that’s another story, other kind of ‘crushes’); and it’s strange that usually people are happy to talk about crushes, right? Like, they’re eyes become little hearts and this kind of stuff (at least in cartoons). And I guess there’s a phase which may resemble that metaphor, but it’s only a matter of time until you get to the next stage: either accepting that there’s nothing going on, or falling in love. And to be honest I’m not sure which is worse.

But I’m not talking about crushes, I’m talking about me and how I realised that maybe there was something a little more special about him. Maybe it was because he seemed to understand my thoughts and I could be myself when I was with him. Maybe it was the fact that he wrote back to me, in a way that no one did before. (I was waiting for someone else to write back at some point long ago, but in the meantime I gave up waiting.) Maybe because he was using the phrase ‘to be completely honest’, maybe because he was hard to read and I had no idea if I was amongst his thoughts; or maybe I was feeling lonely, which is a lie, cause the verb should be in present tense. But anyway, it’s hard to have a crush on someone, it’s even harder to tell them and the hardest thing to do is accept their decision. I survived though, it’s OK. I guess it’s better to know what the other feels about you, before you fall too hard. You can’t afford to fall too hard – you don’t want to be crushed by all the thoughts and dreams and future plans that may include him, right? Don’t let him crush you by being present in your mind if you’re not sure there’s a chance, as little as it may be, for things to work out.

But anyway, I don’t really feel like talking about crushes. Not when I can still hear the words ‘So… I guess you’ll write another article now’ which came from someone who was having a crush on me. And I was refusing him, I explained the situation (lame excuses, I guess), but it was hard. It’s hard to explain why things wouldn’t work out when you actually care about that person, it’s hard to continue and live the everyday life knowing he’s not looking at you with the same eyes he had beforehand, it’s hard to ask him the name of England’s Eurovision song, without blinking when hearing the answer. But again, I admire the courage to speak the truth, and I do believe that it’s better to be honest and talk about feelings rather than slowly getting crushed by the amount of them. But you can get crushed if someone has a crush on you, just like the phrase says. You get crushed by their attention, and I may be weird, but I don’t feel at ease when I get too much unwanted attention. It makes me back off and slowly start rejecting people, and yeah… Better to understand the message than becoming a freak, I guess.

Perhaps I’m just too picky, or I feel so alone that it’s hard to realise if I actually want the crush thingie to work, or it’s just the loneliness that may induce feelings. I don’t know. Is it nice to have a crush? Well, when I was younger (and yes, I’m still young) I guess it was sweet. But not anymore. Now it’s just strange, and hard, and sad, and then either everything or nothing at all: nothing if you fall out of love, everything if you get crushed. There’s also the case when things work out, of course, but more importantly, do they continue to work out in the future? You can fall out of love if that’s the wrong person you were falling in love with. And that’s OK as well.

But I’m not picky. I just don’t have a clear idea about what I want, but I start getting more ideas about what I do not want. Does that count as picky? If you say you feel lonely, but refuse anyone who wants to come closer to you? I don’t know. I used to think that no one ever had a crush on me, just because I didn’t know anyone that would. But then things changed, and I’m not sure which is worse: that no one has a crush on you, or that some have, but they’re not your type. And on top of that, you don’t even know your type. You have that first mutual crush for comparison, but it’s wrong to compare guys, it’s wrong to compare relationships, it’s wrong to compare you from the past with you from the present, cause things change and perhaps you’ll never find someone having all his good parts, plus all the other good parts that would make a relationship work this time. So why keep comparing, then? Why think that because a guy lacks something your first crush did not, it makes the guy less likely to be worth even trying? Cause the truth is, you don’t know anything before you try. But before that, your intuition comes, and then your standards, and then your non-types, and then the realisation that the amount of feelings you have for that person are below the minimum necessary to decide it may be worth a try. Sometimes that’s wrong, of course, but it’s you who decide what to choose.

This article was supposed to be about anything else than crushes, but the truth is when you are physically crushed by a physical object, it’s hard to think about anything else, right? The same is with having a crush. Or with trying not to imagine a pink elephant if someone tells you not to imagine a pink elephant. It’s all about the mind and imagination, in the end. That’s where the feelings are, but how can you control your feelings when you see him with someone else, except you just saw wrong and it was not him at all? You can’t control if you have a crush or not, if you wait half asleep near the phone or not, can you? ‘You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.‘ I guess that’s true.

But still, if Z. has a crush on Y. , and Y has a crush on X., then what should Y.ou do? Keep going forward and aim high, on X., or turn around and wait for Z.? Keep your dignity and all the promises you made to yourself, regarding which type ‘the one’ should fit in, or not fit in? Or realise not everything is black and white only? I don’t know. Right now I’m not sure of anything, to be completely honest. Not even of this article’s title.

The Pursuit of…

happiness

The inspiration for this article comes from three different comments I got from three different persons. They were the types of comments that stay hidden into your mind for a long, long time, and you think about them from time to time, but you never truly forget them. They’re just there, and you can’t even explain why you keep bothering about them, why can’t you store some other kind of information into your brain, rather than random remarks… except they’re not that random.

These three comments seemed quite different from each other until I suddenly saw them like the pieces of a puzzle, which somehow started making sense in a second. It’s the same feeling you’ve got when you start thinking about something, then your mind wanders towards something else, and so on until you stop and wonder how you got from A to Z, when they’re not related at all… But anyway, the first remark was given to me by a girl of my age, whom I had just met that evening. Somehow we ended up talking, and somehow the topic turned out to be the long distance relationships, which I mentioned that I don’t particularly enjoy. But right after that, her comment, half question, half pity, froze me for a second. ‘You have been in many long distance relationship, then?… ‘ Well, guess what, I have not. Not even in one. But I’ve seen enough around me – I have eyes, you know. I have ears, I have imagination, I have friends who’ve been there. And yes, I know you can’t really put yourself in someone else’s shoes when it comes to feelings and all that, but still, I do not have a good opinion about a relationship with someone you meet once a month, at least of course not without a proper foundation, let’s say. I know it’s hard, I know everyone knows it’s hard… Still you are allowed to say that I haven’t experienced such a level of love that is above all these – cause you’re probably right. I’m aware of the fact true love beats distance, but does true love really exist…? (I’ve written here an article about soul-mates some time ago – and I pretty much still have the same principles).

The second remark was made online by a friend, with whom I somehow managed to have a deeper conversation even though that didn’t happen often. And by deeper, I mean about happiness. I mentioned not having a boyfriend and then I asked for his opinion about how I could be happier. I don’t know if I expected his answer to be related to some relationship thing, but it wasn’t. ‘Just make more of what makes you happy.‘, then ‘And having a boyfriend doesn’t guarantee happiness, does it?‘. And he was right. I knew that, I had known that beforehand, I had experienced it at some point. And I know that there’s no one who can make you happy except yourself, as you can’t really be happy with someone else until you learn it by yourself. And you may be sad now that you’re single, but you may be even sadder with someone wrong near you. So as much as I like to pretend that being single is the reason for my occasional lack of happiness, I know I have to admit that’s not the case. It’s something deeper, that no one can figure out except myself; after realising what makes me happy and what doesn’t, I can start working more on the first bit, and improve my happiness, I guess.

The last remark is the one that put everything together in a bigger picture. It was addressed to me by that one guy which I could consider being the cause of my unhappiness, except I know that’s not the case. I think I’ve mentioned him about that, about sometimes being unhappy. And his reply made me half frown, half smile. ‘You’re the one who’s got a job, so stop complaining‘. And I stopped, but just because I didn’t know how to respond. Yes, I got a job, and yes, I will be moving to the capital city soon. But an old cliché proverb says that money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness – although, I know, it’s a lot more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bike. Still, it doesn’t guarantee happiness, the same way having a boyfriend doesn’t. What the job guarantees, though, is the fact that I’ll move outside this city. Which brought into my mind the first remark; what if a boyfriend would have been left behind? Then it would have been a long distance relationship. So… isn’t it better that this is not the case? Isn’t it better that I do not have a boyfriend, with whom to have a long distance relationship, which I doubt would be that pleasing?… Yet I’ve heard though that such relationships do have their benefits; plus of course, many other possibilities exist, such as the boyfriend coming to the capital city, money buying happiness, or me discovering that even a long distance relationship is not that bad. For now, though, I’ll stick to what I have, which is the future job. That may not be enough to make me happy, but hey, it could have been worse, right?

NOTE: Three months after writing this as a draft, I had the chance to date someone and perhaps even be in a relationship, but I chose to end it after a really short time. And it proved me everything I had already written in here, everything I was trying to convince myself when I was typing the above thoughts. Now I know, I’ve felt it, I’ve lived it. A relationship does not guarantee happiness. Your attitude does, and the better the relationship is, the better your attitude – but also the other way around. Until you realise you’ve got the relationship you want, don’t offer your happiness “bare-handed” to anyone – it’s too precious and too fragile, just like your heart, and you should handle both of them with kid gloves. Learn to value yourself and be happy whether you’re single or not, whether you’ve got that job or not – but hey, at least you can still do more of what you like, and if that doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what else does.

Bottom line, of course, don’t worry, be happy! It’s well worth it 😀