Lacking substance

Where the fuck was I a year ago?

I decided to sign back into this little unread and unnoticed blog because I started listening to Q Lazerus ‘Goodbye Horses’ and it made me feel like writing again. I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t had very much to say. My strong opinions seems have to melted away into muddled, unintelligible little trickles of thought sometimes provoked into existence by the utter idiocy of my peers.

I feel very much like I am living in one of those indie films where the character seems to wander aimlessly from one mindlessly trivial situation to another. It seems that I have reached my future. The future in which I am employed in an okay job, in which I am partaking in an okay relationship and occupying myself with okay past times. I reread books and cycle around industrial estates trying to uncoil my ever increasingly jumbled thoughts and make sense of the unrelenting boredom which is intricately woven into my life. Increasingly, I find myself dissatisfied.

If seemingly unfettered access to social media sites has thought me anything it is that I am not alone in this feeling of contempt for the average. I trust that a lot of people are experiencing this and there is a sense of solidarity evoked when I come across someone who seems to echo my rarely vocalized question of ‘is this it?

The last blog post I started to write was entitled ‘Be happy, love yourself’ but lacked any content. I have no idea what I was going to say or what prompted me to choose that title. I’m not sure why I didn’t finish it. Perhaps, I was distracted by something exciting and chose to go live my life instead of write about feelings which will lose their significance once enough time passes. Or perhaps it was a futile attempt to write about that which I wished to experience and came to recognize it as the beginning of the descent in this apathetic present.

I wish someone would come along and soothe away the feelings of doubt and ponder with me about all the endless possibilities which lie ahead. I would like for someone to rekindle my excitement and make me wonder and question again. I feel like the world looks very small.

I feel like a book could do this. I just have to find it.


Internships, fear and becoming a real person.

I’ve decided to stop being absolutely terrified of life. Of course, there’s very little in my life that is actually fear inducing. Or rather, it’s only fear inducing in a Western orientated, over-privileged, kinda way. My fears mostly correspond to feelings of social ineptitude or intelligence insecurity. If I were to be hit by bus tomorrow (actually my bus did hit a car today) all my little tiny feelings would be put into perspective and I’d have to recognise that the fear of losing one’s physical or mental capacity to live is a real fucking fear. So, being afraid of commitment starts to look a bit irrational and douche-y.

Well, today was my first day interning for this little ngo organisation I stumbled across, one proactive Tuesday, about three weeks ago. I remember that day well, I woke up feeling well rested. So I went to work, scooped some ice cream and then went to my local library because I felt that I was ready for my ‘life’ to begin. Whatever that means.

So anyway, next thing I know I’m interviewing for a role which requires a person willing to use their full brain capacity. And then they offer me the role. And, I’m supposed to just, you know, give up this flake-y, nocturnal existence which centers around excessive eating and partying. I had very little responsibilities, and even less to aspire to. I got to focus on myself and didn’t have to deal with any scary tension filled situations concerning a mistakenly dictated phone number. So, for a really long time, I was happy working in a job which required very little energy. There was, like, a zero likelihood of career progression. But, there was also no pressure. No one expected anything from me. I didn’t really care what my managers or co-workers thought of me because this is just a temporary gig. I felt okay about being inept at my crummy job because ineptitude is practically part of the job description.

Not that this internship is the bees knees. I mean, they’re not paying me or anything. But, jesus christ, did one of the guys impress the shit out of me today during my first meeting. Sometimes, you get used to people doing something well, patting themselves on the back and being satisfied that whatever they did worked well enough. But this guy, and this company, they want to help. They want to help in the best way and they want know if there are better ways to help. It’s been a while since I was around people with a vision I can get behind.

My favourite part was when they were talking about expenses and booking flights and stuff and looking out for the cheapest thing because they’re aware that the majority of the funding is supposed to be spent on the people they wish to help. Not on their own comfort.

So armed with optimism, I’m going to put aside my fear of failure and enjoy the shit out of working alongside inspiring people because I forgot this was an option. I know it’s what ngos should be like, but, they never are. I think, I stumbled across something here. I hope that I can appreciate it and not lose my shit completely. ‘Cause that would be embarrassing.


To the Woman Behind Me in Line at the Grocery Store

Sometimes it’s lovely to be reminded that people care about strangers.

My Patronus Is Coffee

Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,

You don’t know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue we have been humiliated, humbled, destitute.
You have no clue I have cried more days than not; that I fight against bitterness taking control of my heart. You have no clue that my husband’s pride was shattered. You have no clue my kids have had the worries of an adult on their shoulders. You have no clue their innocence was snatched from them for no good reason. You know none of this.

What you do know is I tried to buy my kids some food and that the EBT machine was down so I couldn’t buy…

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I’ve liked the word ‘liminality’ since my European Studies professor first described it’s meaning a few years ago. I’m not a hundred percent sure that it’s a real word that is actually recognised by the likes of the Oxford Dictionary. But sure, fuck it, I’m pretty sure ‘derp’ isn’t recognised either but that word is known across the whole wide web.

My lecturer was a tall, hippie man who spoke in a strong accent that I could never really place. He used to unnecessarily elongate his words in order to add emphasis to whatever he was saying. It got my attention. Or rather I couldn’t not pay attention to a forty-something year old man who wore bright coloured cords and seemed to have  a fetish for large Hawaiian shirts.

Anyway, he first introduced me to the word ‘liminal’ during one of the first few lectures when he was trying to get us to critically assess Let The Right One In. He really wanted to bring attention to the theme of in betweeness evident throughout that (rather depressing) movie. Basically, the movie is about the relationship between a creepy kid vampire (who doesn’t sparkle) and a regular boy. The little vampire girl is pretty much stuck in that awkward stage between childhood and adolescence. He also used to elongate the word ‘undead’ until it sounded like ‘uuuhhhn-deeeaad’. I’m sure you get it just like we got it it. The film has liminality and in betweeness pouring out of its ass. Anyway, the lonely little boy kind takes a liking to her because she accepts him where his peers reject him. And there’s some other hardcore shit that goes down but basically my professor tried to get us to focus on the whole liminal state of being and the implications it would have.

Which is kinda funny because our college course was one of those year long courses that help students transition from secondary /high school to college if they fucked up in their exams. So really, the entire class were caught in this transitional state where we were sort of in college but still disciplined by our lectures in the same way our old teachers used to. At least, we didn’t have arranged seating.

But the idea of liminality has come into my mind again because I feel like I’m at this stage in my life where I’m almost transitioning to a new way of living. I mean, for the past few months I’ve just been living life day by day. I go to work in my not very stressful part-time job where I scoop ice cream and think about what when I’m going to get to kiss that boy I like. I’ve been staying up late looking at various pictures of silly looking animals on Imgur. Or else, I hang out with my friends and talk about meaningless shite and watch Girls. It’s all been very enjoyable but it’s been a like a bit of a break from real life. I knew that I’d have to go back to the real world where I could do something socially acceptable with my life. Even if its only so I stop dreading the question ‘what are you doing with yourself/life/why don’t you get a real job if you have a third level education?’.

Anyway, I had one of those spur of the moment productive ideas where I decided that I was ready to try my hand at getting a decent job. Or an internship of some sort. So, I walked to my local library and sent some cvs to a few random places I saw were looking for staff. And got an interview. And got offered an internship. Within a week of deciding to get my life on track. The fuck just happened?

So, now I’ve got about one week until I start this new gig. With a few days off from my other job. I feel like I’m floating between the life I’ve been living and the one I’m about to live. I feel like I’m at the edge of becoming a different kind of person. This is career defining type of shit. If this works out then I could probably get a job, that pays a reasonable wage. A wage where I could afford to buy a toothbrush on a monthly basis. Because, ladies and gentlemen, that is the dream.



On the impossibility of knowing who we are.

I’m not really sure where the idea of stability and consistency of human character came from but I have a feeling that it’s more of a wishful thinking sorta thing rather than an indubitable fact. I mean, if we go back to basics and pull our gaze away from our puny little lives and look at the larger world around us we can identify that everything is in flux, easily enough. I mean, change is something that happens. Lets just accept that. I’m not saying whether its good or bad but it is there. It’s an ingredient of life.

Going back to basics, even the earliest of philosophers understood the variability of the sensorial world. Some may have thought that change was constant, others, like, good aul Heraclitus, accepted change and argued that we acknowledge that some change helps sustain and preserve things in a certain state. I’m not gonna go into the whole river philosophical theory thing but basically: same river, different water.

So back to change in relation to humans. So I guess, I can admit that there is something essentially stable at the core of our existence. I am who I am and people can recognise me as me because I have certain physical and psychological features which remain relatively unchanged. Yet, as we grow we undergo minor physical and psychological changes. We grow tall and mature, we continue to age and our features begin to blur. Our youth fades and we become frail. But, if we take an even more narrow look at ourselves then we can see that we go undergo minor changes to our personality on a daily basis depending on our moods.

We play with versions of ourselves and try preserve the ones which are accepted and rid ourselves of the habits that lead to even the most minor of social exclusions. Other people’s opinions matter. Thus, we spend life naturally growing and deliberately making changes to our body and mentality. Sometimes, these are conscious decisions but most of the time our personality is the result of a collection of knock on effects resulting from deliberate alterations.

So essentially, we try to understand ourselves and to a certain extent we succeed. However, I’m starting to think that our ignorance of ourselves is revealed when we begin a relationship with another human being. I guess, I’m talking about a romantic type of relationship where you try put forward the best version of yourself. But in attempting to intimately merge yourself with another you start to rediscover parts of yourself. Or rather re-evaluate our pre-existing notions of ourselves, our attitude, mentality and body. We take on another’s interpretation of ourselves and try to match it up our subjective understanding of our character. Example: B thinks A is funny. A likes and accepts this. Therefore, A is considered to have a good sense of humour by A ’cause B said so. More, or less.

I feel like we’re all very much like play-doe. We essentially have the same core and consistency but we have the ability to mold and change ourselves. But, others can change us too. Like the physical, social and cultural worlds have a major impact on our character. If these are drastically changed then we too undergo change. But funnily enough, if you stop and think about it, our desire to stop change and sustain a certain way of life helps the world around us change a little less. Or rather, it helps slow down the change to allow for a gradual acceptance of it.

So in life, we travel through different stages, changing slightly or drastically at different points. I guess, I think that it doesn’t matter that we’re inconsistent, unstable and changeable beings. But, when you get into a relationship and you want to be honest about who you are I think that it’s important that we try figure out who we are at this particular point in our lives. It may be that I’m not the person I was a few months ago and haven’t gotten around to realising it just yet.