In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”
You know, it’s not that easy to load your hands with five things at once while running for your life at the same time. This means that I would have to take two or three things, take them out, and then go back for the rest of them. And if I’m to re-enter a burning house to collect a couple of things, then they would be things of extreme value.
1. and 2. My phone and headphones. Communication with others is unimaginable without a cell phone nowadays; also, I can’t afford to lose my music. I wouldn’t bother carrying out the entire laptop, it’s getting old anyway, but the phone is an electronic storage of my most important music tracks, my photo album of memories and my dearest messages. And the headphones are something I cannot bear to live without – if I couldn’t turn the music up straight into my ears and shut down the rest of the universe, I wouldn’t hold up much longer.
3. My diary collection. Yes, the entire stack of notebooks, all the way from third grade up to now. I would never forgive myself if all of that got lost, no matter the reason it did.
4. The guitar my dad got me as a birthday present a couple of years ago. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play it, but have never had the time to. I bet this would make me do it. If anything, I’d be forced to play it in the streets to get me some money, right?
5. My mum’s golden necklace with a tiny Bambilike deer on it. When she graduated from high school, her mum, my grandmother, gave her that. If there’s anything she would come back for, that would be it.
Alrighty then! When it all comes down, I’ve got three hours to clean up the room, do optics research, write an introduction to my astronomy paper, finish 150 pages of Game of Thrones, and prepare for my philosophy course. Sure. I can do that. Oh, by the way, what am I doing now? I am writing a blog post, naturally. You should always waste time when you don’t have any. Time is not the boss of you, rule 408. Long live the Doctor. How bloody ironic.
The point is that I know I won’t be able to do all those things on time. But right now, I’m pissed off. And when that happens, I must prove to the world and to myself and to time that’s so cheerfully toying with me that I can do all that, and more. So instead of calmly putting everything on paper and saying okay, this is the plan, I start doing everything, immediately. It’s excessively exhausting.
I’m never going to learn, am I?
So, the whole universe will be happening at once, and it will be me who’ll be held responsible. By me. Another in a sequence of paradoxes.
Truth be told, I do love paradoxes. And no matter how pathetically low my chances might be, I don’t give up as easily. Let’s risk it to get the biscuit!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pleased to Meet You.”
One sunny April morning, Jesus woke up lying on a cold, metal floor. His head was aching and his limbs were all sore and covered with bandages. As he dreamily looked around, he realized that not only he had absolutely no idea where he was, but he also shouldn’t have even been able to know that – he was supposed to be dead.
His head was pulsing, causing unimaginable pain, as he was trying to put the pieces of his memories back into a clear image. The last thing he remembered was the cross, naked and bloody freezing… Why am I alive? And how did I get here? He kept asking himself endless questions, endlessly unanswered, as he was trying to determine where he was. He sat up straight. He could’ve sworn he’d never been there, yet the place looked oddly familiar, as if… But that’s impossible, isn’t it?
In his somewhat misty memory there was a man, a strange-looking man, that had appeared the night before and said something about an escape plan… He had a box, a blue box… He looked around once again. It couldn’t be. His memory may not be serving him well, but he’s still got enough reason to compare sizes. The blue box was tiny, and this… This…
A shout interrupted his stream of thought. He looked up to where the voice came from and saw a strange-looking man – the same stranger he had seen before – standing on the stairway above him, leaning onto the handrail.
“I see you’re awake! Well, good morning to you! I’m the Doctor, and you’re probably wondering where you are and how you got here. We talked about this, but I doubt you remember, since you had quite a bad day at the cross – you do remember the cross, right? Anyway…”
He was talking too fast and it seemed like he would never shut up. It was making Jesus’ headache even worse.
“… you should have lasted a little longer, at least until most of the people were gone, but you passed out early – and who could blame you? After all, we’re only humans – well, you are. All in all, it took me a bit of running and pushing, but in the end I got you into the Tardis on time. The nails were a real pain in the…”
For some reason, he stopped. Finally, Jesus thought.
“… never mind. When I got you off the cross, your pulse and breathing were fine, so I decided to let you rest… And here you are. So, how are you?”
Jesus kept looking at the blabbing man; by the time he finished his tale, he had already come down and sat on the floor, right beside him. What is the kind way to tell him that I have no idea what he just said?
“Um”, Jesus started shyly, “would you mind repeating that? I couldn’t quite catch what you said.”
“Always kind, always modest, that’s how we like you!” he said with a smile. Jesus had trouble understanding that too. His head felt like it would burst with cold water.
“Yeah… You don’t get any of this, do you?” the man said after a pause.
“I’m terribly sorry, but no.”
The man smiled and nodded.
“Well, I suppose it’s sometimes good to leave things unexplained. The mystery will do well for the fame”, he said and moved around a small red piece of cloth around his neck.
“Yes. People will celebrate you for centuries”, the man said, hands still on the red cloth. He must have noticed Jesus staring at it.
“Oh, you like it? I know, me too. Bow ties are cool”, he said in a happy tone. Suddenly he looked at something on his wrist and his face changed.
“My! Look at the time! Um – I must go now.” He took Jesus’ hand and shook it a bit too many times as he was speaking: “You should see the exit right after you get out, it’s not a big tomb. In any case, just follow the light.”
“Yes. And here’s the door!” the man said as he slightly pushed Jesus out. He shook his hand once more. “Jesus, it was a pleasure!”
The door slammed shut with Jesus out. All he could do was stand there, mouth slightly open, and wonder what in the world just happened. And then, as he was trying to solve the mystery, another miracle stroke him right there: the door he just got out through, the door of that huge metallic room with pillars and even another floor – that same door was the door to the small blue box he remembered, the box he was now standing right in front of.
It – it’s bigger on the inside?
As the thought emerged, the box started making noises. With every repeating sound it was fainter, as if drifting away, evaporating, until it finally disappeared completely, and Jesus was left alone.
It stroke him. This is God’s work! It must be! O, God!
And so Jesus followed the light.
I’m sometimes amazed by how we think we know, while in reality we have absolutely no clue what’s going on. We presume things based on what we see, what we’re told and how we feel, and then it turns out they are completely different out there in the real world. We take hints from people and situations, but we take them wrongly. Sometimes we even think wrongly, our logic is out-of-place and we make mistakes. And sometimes, even when reasoning perfectly and taking everything into consideration, something there was no way you could’ve known of just appears and all of your calculation gets shattered in the matter of seconds.
Sometimes you do everything right, but things turn out wrong anyway.
Don’t think I’m amazed in a good way. This is very, very bad. Yes, there are things we can’t control and that does not disturb me – well, it does, but it’s not what I meant. That’s not the subject here. I’m talking about those we can and do control. There’s a vast amount of what we influence without even knowing it, and even more of what we can influence, but don’t see the way to. And so often it happens that the way is right in front of us, but we’re blinded by searching, thinking, by expectations, by pressure, by musts – personal as well as other people’s. We miss the right turn, sometimes even the obvious turn, and why? Afterwards, when we see things for what they really are, very few of us can actually answer that question.
Said that she was confused, I thought, darling, join the club… [Pearl Jam, Untitled]
What comes – or, better, what is left – afterwards, after we realize that the world in our heads was so very far from the one outside? Well, disappointment. Not so much in others, but firstly in yourself, for not foreseeing or at least expecting the harsh reality. And another cheeky feeling, like something very blunt and painful is being shoved into your stomach.
Truth hurts, doesn’t it?
Yes, it does. And it’s not the kind of pain removed by aspirin. It’s the pain of a colossal unpleasant surprise.
When it all comes down, you feel like an idiot.
I cheated myself, like I knew I would… [Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good]
You feel like an idiot mostly because you should have known better. And you know the truth now and you’ll deal with it and everything will work out, but you should have known. And that’s the most disappointing fact of them all: whoever or whatever it was, they played you like a little child. Or at least you feel played enough to stare bluntly at the space in front of you, not knowing what you ought to do, feeling like every next move might be another giant step towards the lie.
What you’re forgetting is that, this thing you’ve just found out, this fact, this truth that hit you in the head and is now laughing at your hurting face – this is a lesson. And if you’re reasonable enough, you’ll learn it, along with the real state of things. The moment the truth hits you in the head, that’s the moment you stop living the lie. And it’s always better to know than to not know.
What should come out of everything is you, slightly new, slightly different, taking a lesson and using it as good as you can; you’re hurt, but you’ll heal. And you’ll get hurt again, and it’ll hurt a little bit less, and you’ll get out of that healed and slightly new. That’s the way it goes. You can’t blame yourself for not knowing, because you’re not guilty of not knowing everything. The best you can do in any situation is to study it and make an image of your own, and that’s what you did. Your image was as close to truth as you could form it. So what’s the reason to blame yourself and feel stupid? Nobody is perfect. No person knows everything. Everyone makes mistakes. You’d be surprised how harmless your mistake is, compared to some of the others.
It takes some time to heal, that is true. Take that time and do what you can to cut yourself some slack. Relax. Do what you love. Don’t be harsh on yourself. It’s not like you did it on purpose. You made a mistake, it’s your mistake, make peace with it and move on.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”
I find myself using pen and paper more often than you’d expect. It has to do with me not always having access to a computer when I need it and not having a phone that supports MS Word documents, while having blank paper all around me all the time, in notebooks, organizers and so on. When cross-referencing that with my extensive writing needs, the result you get is my mess of a desk, with book-towers, notebook-mazes and pieces of paper filling all the work space left. That’s the way it’s been five years ago and that’s the way it is now; my usage of electronics has, indeed, increased, by the usage of pens and pencils hasn’t decreased.
Another reason may be my long term diary-writing. I’ve been writing a diary since I was eight, and I still do it as frequently as I have back then. I have an electronic diary as well, but I don’t use it as much as the classic hardcover notebook of 250 pages that I refer to as “my Diary”. I suppose it grew on me.
In conclusion, I have no problem imagining the pre-keyboard era, as I’m a time traveler who frequently switches from one era to the other. Oh, and – to answer the question – I think my last handwritten journal entry was about five days ago, and up until October 2014 a friend and I were communicating via snail mail. Are there any of you like me out there? If yes, send a postcard!
I have always been different. I learned to read and write before I started going to school. By the time I was twelve, I had already read half the children’s library. While other kids were shyly hiding behind their parents, I was always eager to say hello; I used to talk all the time, really. I had interests I wanted to share with others, I wanted them to know me, I suppose. But, the more I did that, the more I was given the impression that they don’t quite understand me, or, to put it differently, they don’t like to understand me. Somewhere about the age of twelve I concluded that they don’t really like me at all, and they think that everything I say and do is because I want attention or proof that I’m better than them. They took me the wrong way and disliked me immediately.
Almost all of them slowly grew up to be the kind of buddies who intentionally whisper you the wrong answer and then laugh at you, so I learned not to ask for their help. Also, I started closing myself; I didn’t want to be exposed to people who would think me stupid and laugh at me, just because I’m not the same as them. Finding their behavior gross and realizing that, actually, I don’t like them either, I started liking being different. I loved my weird taste in food and I was glad about my organized studying and I was proud of my reading habits. I was generally proud of myself for sticking out as different from people I don’t like. By the time I got to high school, I knew what I was worth.
It has been four years since then; during those four years, I’ve seen all kinds of people and all kinds of social laws, groups and stereotypes. Observing brought me another conclusion, even worse than the previous: everyone wants to be like everyone else.
Yes, they all want to be special, but they want to be special in the usual, previously determined, socially praised way, the common way. So they’re doing their best to fulfill the conditions.
I see people trying too hard to fit in, to fit into a group they don’t even feel comfortable in, just so they would be a part of something. I see people faking emotions and opinions every day, just because they think it’s cool to say something like that. I see people desperately trying to be liked by everyone, not wanting to stand in the way of majority, avoiding its criticism at all costs. But, in the good words of Elbert Hubbard, the only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. And that’s what we’re facing now: a population of young people – of clever, funny, creative people, people who can think and make truths of their own, people with potential – becoming faceless drones interested in nothing else except their social statuses. Which I think to be a ridiculous waste.
I don’t understand – what is it that you’re so afraid of? Why are you so desperately holding on to the usual standard if it doesn’t fit you, if it’s hurting you, giving you itches and allergies? Is it because of the safety?
Being a part of a mass does protect you from being laughed at – not always, but mostly, yes, it does. But there’s another kind of safety you don’t have: what’s to stop you from losing yourself? As a part of a mass, you must constantly adapt to changes, because mass is hardly ever permanent. And when making changes that are needed in order to be approved by the mass, you may be making changes that absolutely don’t suit you. You may take stands completely opposite to your actual opinion. Say, you love cheeseburgers, right? But it’s in to be thin, so you can’t eat them. Then it’s suddenly in to eat healthy and you have to hate them. Next thing you know, you can’t decide whether you love them, hate them or have them for lunch. This is laughable when it’s about the burger, but when you find yourself deciding about your education, money, or family, instead of your food, it isn’t funny anymore.
Now imagine that happening to pretty much every characteristic of your personality. If none of them is permanent, then who are you? What is your name? You don’t know your name, because you change it every ten minutes.
Have I ever pretended to be a yes when I’m actually a no? Oh yes. But there’s a difference between occasionally changing small, insignificant things according to social expectations, and changing everything you’ve got, no matter what you might be changing it to. Being a part of a mass may protect you from others’ harsh words, but it also may destroy you by its constant motion. Personality isn’t something that should suffer frequent changes; it needs to be kept stable. And you should take good care of your personality. It’s your only signature in this world.
You’ll probably want to know why I started a blog.
Or you probably won’t. Especially since you currently don’t exist, as I have zero followers. Well, gotta start somewhere, right?
And I started! Now if you’d give me a little confidence boost, that would be great. Here’s why you should.
Why do I write? Because I love writing. I love the strategy behind the words. I love the way they flow through my head to merge into sentences. I love the variety of possibilities – the blast of freedom.
Why do I write a blog? Because I have opinions to share – about society, youth, money, education, science, art, yes, even about writing itself. About how things work, how they don’t work, how they should or might work. About – things.
Why should you read what I write? Because I want your opinion. I want to discuss things with you; I want to know what you think about my writing, ideas, views and beliefs. Anything is welcome, from a fiery debate to a friendly chat, as long as people have something to say.
I may not always take a stand in my posts. I may not always write a stand-related post. My only stand may sometimes be that I like the steak I’ve had for dinner. But my blog is about my life, so I suppose that if the steak’s the highlight of my day, then that’s what you’ll get. However, if that happens, be sure I’ll make it the best damn steak-related post you’ll ever read.
P.S. Speaking of steaks, I’m aware that my writing can be a bit hard to chew sometimes. I’m trying to work on a reader-friendly language, but the change is a slow and painful process, so any writers out there with words of advice, reach out and touch me!
One would expect the new year to be a new beginning, an opportunity to let the old mess go and to start afresh, with a clear vision of what’s ahead. Or at least that’s what I’ve expected entering 2015. Somehow I saw it as a way out, as a lifeboat in the middle of an unsteady, stormy ocean. It’s almost as if I was telling myself that, as soon as the new year starts, everything will be fine. As clichè as that may sound and as childish as I may be, I had actually hoped that every broken relationship, every unfinished work and every scattered feeling of mine would fix themselves up, just because it’s Christmas.
You see, things in my life have been very chaotic lately, and I’ve been refusing to believe that. Furthermore, I’ve been refusing to think about it at all. Whenever my brain would threaten me with the subject, I would smother it with everything’s okays and you’re just overthinkings. I chose not to be honest with myself, because underneath that, there was something horribly frightening to face. But I can’t do it anymore.
No matter how frightening the issue may be, running away from it produces an effect far worse than facing it. There’s nothing more dangerous for your confidence and your ability of judgement than constantly lying to yourself and (automatically) constantly lying to other people.
So I suppose my first resolution for the year would be: be honest to yourself. It’s only good for you.