I find it easiest to write at night. There’s this seemingly infinite bubble of silence and darkness, with nothing else waiting for you. There’s no sun, no café, no friend, or commitment. There is darkness, and the occasional siren.

In my bed sometimes I hear cars go by my window, whether it’s the early morning or the late night. I find I often wonder what reason has these drivers up and going somewhere when the rest of the city is sleeping. Maybe it’s work, or maybe they can’t fall asleep. Maybe they’re looking for something. Or maybe they’re just going somewhere and it’s that simple. Sometimes I make up stories for where they’re off to and why. It helps when I want to go somewhere else, too.

On nights like these I wish I could walk around. I wish I could see the city lights in the darkness. I wish that being a girl wasn’t such a danger in dark streets after midnight. I wish I could be free to wander when I couldn’t sleep, too. Preferably sans car though. However, I digress.

Instead I find my freedom in writing. At midnight, with nothing wanting my attention my brain can be focused. It feels like there is so much more space inside my head. I can sit on my bed in my pajamas, and make myself a cup of tea. I open Word. And that’s all I need.

But in the morning it’s different. I’m distracted by plans, the weather, opportunities, texts, school, class, friends… It’s all noise in my head. And it’s so much harder to focus on what I’m trying to say.

Afternoons are better, because I feel like I’ve accomplished something in the day already. And I can sit in a café with a coffee and just write. But there are still distractions. People moving around, leaving and coming, conversations stirring the room around me, and a continual stream of coffee orders.

It’s at home in my bed where I write the best. With the curtains drawn and in the solitude I find in those nighttime moments I create my space. Call it my creative space or my personal space; it’s just where I like to write.

I read a definition once of the term ‘total freedom.’ I’m not one for having sayings on my wall, or living with specific static phrases in mind. I love quotes and I love words (a lot) which may seem quite obvious. But I like the ones that inhabit my mental spaces to constantly be evolving. I like progression from one maxim to the next. I value the words I’ve loved in the past, but I’m always looking for new ones to furnish the insides of my mind. They need to represent the changes I’ve made within myself.

Having said that, there is a definition that has stuck with me for a very long time in my short life. It goes as follows: total freedom is a state in which awareness exists, free from the impositions of socializations and syntax.

It’s defining the concept of absolute, total, freedom. And it’s a beautiful concept if you think about it. Beautiful in it’s simplicity. An absolute freedom from Everything. Period.

This extends to the restrictions and complexity of society and life; even life in its simplest definition. There would be no social expectations, no pressure or stress for productivity from yourself, or from the judgments of others. Nothing needed from you.

Nothing needed from you. There would be no restrictions, but maybe no incentive either. It’s a state of impossibility, and it perhaps begets difficulties in what that state would then look like, and what one would do within it. Maybe people would simply do nothing. If you don’t have to work for something, i.e., freedom, would you? And I mean freedom in any sense, freedom of financial flexibility, or through achieving opportunities whether that be through applications, hard work, or by any sort. I guess barriers push against people so that people can push against them. Maybe barriers are the key to progress.

But maybe people would feel that they could achieve more without socialization, expectation, and societal syntax (in that society outlines a specific set of rules and guidelines that we use to arrange ourselves and our lives within the greater picture of community). Maybe a state of inhibition would enable so many of us to accomplish more, create more, and be more than what we let ourselves be, or are repressed into being, within those implications. Imagine the possibilities of total freedom.

Regardless of which it would mean, and what that would mean, the magnitude of a state of total freedom would be infinite. And that is a beautiful concept.

Does it make us up? Like collected molecules or building blocks that we slowly stack together throughout our life?

Sometimes memories slip away into the ever growing distance in time between past and present. They fade, and sometimes diminish in importance as new ones take their place.

Maybe memory is just a collection of ideas, values, and learning’s that we draw on for the rest of our lives. Maybe they’re a whole bunch of different voices, each grown from a different moment in our life, that speak to us in our heads when we make our decisions. These voices would be the aftereffect of experience.

Sometimes, stupidly, we ignore those voices. And we make drastic or impulsive choices. And afterwards we think, why didn’t I think before I did that? But maybe a more accurate statement would be why didn’t I listen to my voices? Or specifically, why didn’t I trust my experiences?

Maybe it’s a drifted off memory from long ago of going on a rollercoaster. Maybe they just aren’t your thing. But in the present your friends are telling you to go on it, and the exhilaration of the moment pushes you to try it again. Despite the fact that there is that nagging voice in the back of your brain reminding you that you don’t like rollercoasters, you go anyways. So you go on one, and you hate it. And you think, I knew I didn’t like rollercoasters, so why did I just do that? Why didn’t I think?

But what would happen if all of those voices were erased. Or at least, a large population of them were. What would happen, if the last five years of your life simply disappeared. Time didn’t, you’re still the age you are now and you still technically experienced every moment of those five years, but they simply appear to you to have never happened. Would you be the same person? What knowledge or life experience would be stripped from your personality?

I’d be the equivalent of a 14-year-old girl, scared of people she didn’t know, and about to start in my second year of university. Not the much more sociable 19 year old who knows how to live on her own, and talk to strangers. (At least ones in safe settings like classrooms)

My point, and my question put simply is: what is memory? And what are we without it?

If we realize that we would lose a huge section of who we are by forgetting those five years, regardless of actual lived experience, then memory is probably a pretty pivotal part of us. A significant chunk of our person.

Knowing that, and knowing that realistically, or at least probably, we’re not about to lose the last five years of our memory, what do we then gain from this knowledge of the importance of memory?

Maybe what it means is that we should focus on making the best memories going forward for the next five. If memories are that important to the person, we should take care in creating and remembering the absolute most incredible, life altering, and mind changing memories from here on out.

In five years, would you like to remember that you spent a lot of that time on the couch? Or that you ate a lot of pasta because it was easy and quick? Or would you like to instead remember concerts and baseball games and karaoke nights and cafés and restaurants, and cooking food for the taste and enjoyment of the meal?

We may not be able to ensure an accurate or lengthy log of memories. But we can make them as memorable as possible, and hope that we won’t suffer a random bout of amnesia that will steal these precious experiences from us. We all focus on the amount of time we’re given, but what’s time without memory?

We’re all a product of our own experiences in that they become our memories. And it’s memories that we should have forever. Whereas experiences are quick and fleeting. Some of us have had 10, 20, 40, or 80 years to accumulate those experiences. I would like, in my life, to focus on creating those personality-inspiring memories.

I may not understand what memory is, or perhaps how it affects me day to day. But maybe all I need to know is to not waste the chance to make a great one. And I guess that’s as good an answer as I’m going to get.

http://www.autostraddle.com/its-time-for-white-feminists-to-stop-talking-about-solidarity-and-start-acting-240166/

The article above, about black vs white feminism, is inherently racist.
Racism is defined as “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to an other.” This explains that lumping any set of characteristics on any group of human beings based on their race, is racism.

The quote from the article, “[Black women] are admonished by our smoother, safer, softer sisters [white woman] for holding the fight back with the suffocating scent of our lavender menace and the stings of our fists,” is subjecting specific traits, i.e., passivity and ignorance, on white feminists because they are white. That, by definition, is racism.

I’m not here to advocate white rights or to victimize white people. I am not a white rights activist or a black rights activist. I am here, rather, to defend against racism in an equally unracist manner. I am an anti-racist whatever the colour. To eliminate racism you cannot use it. Therefore, I will base my argument against racism in an unracist way.

It seems to be surprising that even as a white woman I understand what racism is. Let me explain: I understand what it means to be blamed because of my skin colour, or to be judged to have select traits because of my eye colour, or my hair colour, or my gender. A blonde haired blue-eyed white girl can understand racism. She may not have the same experience as a dark haired African American, but she can understand it. This is not to say that we all do or will come to that understanding by ourselves. But ignorance is not a quality of colour.

I’m not equating one persons subjection to anyone else’s. I’m not here to compare. I am here to point out that racism is a large and credible issue in modern society, and we can’t ignore it or pretend it’s going to get better on it’s own. But what this article should be doing is fighting against the issue of racism, and not attacking white people or white feminists specifically because they are white. That is racist. And by being so, it only adds to the issue.

The human race has one thing that no other species does: ration. We can understand points of views or direct experiences outside of our own. It’s called empathy, and it has a powerful impact.

Instead of pushing away white feminists who are trying to identify with and support others’ struggles against discrimination, why don’t we help them understand where it’s believed they’re failing in doing so, or are incorrect in how they are attempting to do so, without blaming them. We can’t forget that white feminists are not the issue. Some may partake in racism, unknowingly or not (as some black feminists do), and as everyone partakes in some form of ignorance to a varying degree. The issue of racism or passivity isn’t inherent to skin colour, however it is to ignorance.

Fighting racism requires discussion. It requires cooperation and a true understanding of what racism and equality are.

The article states that, “I balk at Black women turning their violent words against fellow black women,” but the only relation I see between these two groups is the word “black.” This is a racist oversight on the part of the author. What if a fellow black women is uneducated or ignorant on a realm of oppression? Or more specifically, racism? If you are willing to subject angry words on fellow white women for making the same mistake, in order to not act in a racist manner, you must be equally willing to subject fellow black women to that same anger in order to hope to correct that behaviour.

On a similar note, I read “We must use violence, both physically and in the vehemence of our words, because we are more desperate.” Why must we use violence? What about Ghandi? When he was getting bludgeoned within inches of his life was he not desperate?

When has deciding that violence is the only answer ever been the best option? Look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Is bombing the other getting either country closer to peace? Is violence helping quell the anger, the desperation, and the hatred shared by both sides?

I am offended when I read that white feminists are inadequate at fighting for other women’s rights simply because they are white. They may not have undergone the same discrimination as a black feminist, but they have undergone discrimination. It seems ridiculous to define one feminist from the other by ways of race if that is what we’re trying to eliminate as a defining factor. To eliminate racism, you must first reject your own racism.

I am sure that not every white feminist is inherently ignorant on the issues of black feminism. I am positive that there are lesbian white feminists out there that are equally relatable to black lesbian feminists, as there are in reversal. Don’t write every white feminist off because they are white. Racism is racism.

By distinguishing yourself as different and unique in your intersectionality, you are creating your own individualism. Celebrate that, use it’s unique perspective as driving grounds for your beliefs.

Don’t use it as a tool for discrimination on one side or another.

What would your perfect day be? I want specifics all the way down to what food you’d eat. No constraints, no expenses, no limitations. You can be in Spain one minute, and Germany the next. It’s about perfection not realism.

What would be an ideal 24 hours for you?

If life is a journey and the statement, “ten years down the road” is true, then what would you like to see in your rear view mirror?

Modern terms like “YOLO” and #noregrets have attempted to encapsulate this feeling that every one of us tends to have at some point or another but in a rather shallow and misused way. What do you actually want to do in your life to make it worth it in the end?

Another longer lasting theme is immortality: that timeless search for it that is so often seen in mythology. It’s what makes fame so enticing to so many: feeling like you mean something to the entirety of the world. The successes in this are people like Julius Caesar and Shakespeare. They have the immortal names: although they can’t live forever, their legacies won’t be forgotten by the human race.

And then there’s us. One in 9 billion. I think it’s been touched upon enough in other places to avoid delving into saying too much about how fame is overrated and not as fulfilling as most initially expect. And there are ways in which we touch the people around us day to day that are so much richer than being the headline of a tabloid could ever be.

We have an innate want or need to be felt by other human beings. It’s magnified by our insecurities but it is also entirely natural. We want to feel noticed by those around us, or justified by their good opinions of us. How many people can say with absolute honesty that they don’t care what a single other human being thinks about them? I know I am definitely not one of those desperately few and inhuman people. I care about the views of my friends, my family, and the people that I know, trust, love, and value in their persons and in their opinions. I value their esteem because I value their opinions. It means so much more to have their support when I know it’s based on good reasoning. It is this inner natural quality that makes us want to be remembered. We’re afraid of being inconsequential.

Being a part of that statistic 1:9 000,000,000,000, which we all are, can be daunting. Just look at all those zeroes. All those zeroes and one nine. Well, I don’t know about you but I want to be the nine.

I want my back mirror to be filled with nines. Bursting with colourful nines from all over the place. I want to look back and think wasn’t that a life to live.

Now the question is how we get all those nines. What are my nines? 

Happiness is the easy answer. But what goes into making happiness? I want to furnish the insides of my brain with knowledge and experiences that help fill my head with relevant and interesting questions. I want to surround myself with people that challenge my thoughts and my way of thinking so that I’m constantly refurbishing into new and better ideas. I want to see sunrises and sunsets, stories filled with laughter and songs and smiles: smiles that I helped create, laughter that I helped sing. I want to travel to places I’ve never been, and revisit some I have. I want to fulfill my hopes and dreams: I want to publish a book.

I want to a see a life. One that was fun to live.

I’m not so interested in making my mark on the world. Because sooner or later there won’t be the world I know to leave a mark on. I’d rather live my life for me, something that lasts as long as I need it to. I’d rather make it the best life I can live, and leave it with a fulfillment.

But to do that, I’ve got to go do all those wonderful things I’ve set my sights on. And I’m luckier than some that I have my health and my youth to help me do just that.

I need to stop saying “after school,” or “next year,” or “when I have the time and the money.” I need to start realizing that I can’t make excuses forever. I need to start saving for my nines, putting time away for them, realizing that next year means now.

So I ask you: what do you want to see in your rearview mirror? And when are you going to start collecting your nines?

 

Thank you to deannasallao for requesting and suggesting the prompt for this post! You can check her top ten things out here: http://talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/travel-essentials-must-haves/

 

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel all over the world to exotic locations. Whether it’s to the beach, the slopes, or the various beautiful European cities, there are a few things I can’t seem to leave behind. Some may be for necessity, others perhaps less so.

 

#1. My camera. This particular item may not be necessity but it may as well be. It basically becomes an accessory or a fifth limb in beautiful foreign places.

 

#2. My face wash. Especially after a long plane ride a refreshing face wash is what you want.

 

#3. Face moisturizer. For similar reasons but also particularly at the end of flights when you’re a little dehydrated (which is natural when ascending 30,000 ft in the air) and your skin feels a little parched.

 

#4. A good book for long train rides, plane rides, beautiful beaches or parks. Especially one by a really good author that you can savour the sentences and read it as slowly as you like.

 

#5. That slim but versatile dress. It packs away without taking up much space or adding to your luggage weight. You never ever know when you’re going to want to pull out a nice outfit: even when you’re on the road.

 

#6. A water bottle. Although some places are harder to find a good clean water source you never know when it can come in handy. And, when empty, it’s virtually weightless in your pack and can be filled with clean clothes to maximize space. It also might save you a couple of bucks when you don’t have to buy water.

 

#7. A deck of cards. Because in all seriousness you never know when this one will come out. On the plane; in your hostel; at a rest stop on a long hiking trail. Make friends and break the ice while being able to learn about what led all these wildly different people to the same place at the same time. Also, when you’re alone you can pass the time and play solitaire J

 

#8. Hair brush! Maybe it’s because I have such long hair but my special detangling brush is a necessity: twice daily. I’m serious.

 

#9. An envelope filled with ticket stubs, maps, or destination explanations so that I’m not spending vacation time planning my vacation. I’m more of a traveler who prefers to make the plan as I’m in the place, rather than setting my sights on a schedule in advance without knowing how I’ll feel when I get there. As it is, I do the research ahead of time and know my options. Every day I take a look and then go with whatever invites me the most.

 

#10. Journal. I know, I know. If you’re not much into journaling then this one isn’t relevant. Journaling has been all over the web recently and people tend to be either really into it, or not at all. But, hear me out. Especially when you’re just travelling for a few days or weeks a journal can go a long way. Even if it’s just writing down directions or other little things that were funny or interesting in your day. In five, ten years down the road you might not remember. And memories are priceless.

 

 

So those would be the top ten things I need to travel with. Maybe you wouldn’t agree with them all, and maybe you would substitute something here or there. If that’s the case I’d love to hear what you’d nix and what you’d keep! Comment below!

 

Any other requests, or questions, please leave in the comment section and I will be sure to respond as quickly as I’m able. 🙂 Thanks in advance!

           Whenever/wherever you travel, particularly if you have an extreme case of jet lag, take a photo of the sunrise. Find a beach, a mountain, or a high rise. It’s a beautiful way to see the morning.

           P.S. This includes when you travel home! 🙂

Why do people feel that they need to be represented by a specific type of advocate that is exactly the same minority as themselves? Isn’t the point to blur those lines so that they stop becoming important?

Correct me if I’m being ignorant or offensive. But seriously. This is getting ridiculous.

I love being able to connect to my idols. But why does that need to be aesthetically or racially? Why can’t that connection just be based on shared ideals, values, or because of whatever other reason they happen to be my idol for? Sure it’s important for women to be in parliament as they want to be, and as they earn it, regardless of gender. And it’s important for minorities to be represented and spoken for. It’s 2014 in Canada and our government and our people (at least hopefully) believe in equality for all. But a prerequisite for representing a minority, or a majority, is not actually being in it. In fact, people should be encouraged to speak for factions outside of their own. Right?

By disagreeing with that is equivalent to saying, if you are not in my minority, you cannot understand me or other people in it. You can’t represent me, or grasp why I deserve the same rights as you. Therefore I will only let this person, who is perhaps less qualified than you, speak for me and for everyone else like me.

The point of encouraging equality is to eliminate barriers created by differences. That means it has to go both ways. Just because someone happens to be a blonde haired blue-eyed white girl doesn’t mean she can’t understand discrimination. It doesn’t mean she can’t stand up for other people’s rights.

Representation of all people and all definite groups is merited only in that they are a part of the population. No other prerequisite is required. We don’t run on a system where the majority is the rule. Read John Mill’s On Liberty. He celebrates the individual’s opinion above all others. He believes that the divergent view is the most important aspect in any group or society.

So yes. I’m all for diversity and the representation of minority because everyone deserves equality. However. When people start talking about how they especially love this feminist or that rights activist purely because they happen to have the same background as themselves, I get itchy. That should be a bonus, not a prerequisite.

 

Am I missing the point?

What a great reminder to clean out the clutter in our daily schedule. Going to sleep/getting up early.. interesting

Starting Fresh At 21

So. Hello there!
I’m not really sure how to start.
I don’t really know what this is to be honest. Maybe on online Diary..log..to do list thing? Sharing personal problems and dilemmas on the internet.. what could go wrong! Right?..

I have come to the conclusion that I need to Start Fresh. Things have gone a bit haywire this year, and I’ve found myself in a place which I’m not very happy with at the moment. And that needs to change.
-After finally finishing my second year of university, hoping to have an awesome summer, I’ve found myself facing 4 resit exams at the end of August after failing half the year. Which means, spending the summer indoors, studying.
Bugger.
That is very..not awesome.

Even though I have had a few unexpected obstacles thrown at me this year anyway, I know that these failures are all inevitably down to me…

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