The difficult battle between the real self vs unrealistic self

So let me first explain what this post is about as it can digress into various arguments. When I talk of the real self- I mean the person who you really are, who you want to be, how you want to look in comparison with the self that is being projected in society of “how to look good”, “the perfect size” etc. I am concerned with how society is making us think in regards to our self-image. This guys is not just about girls trying to impress you with their great figure, it goes much deeper than that and it is about their confidence and self-image in light of society- to look good for the world and for themselves.

Recently I lost weight and thought great I have lost weight great I look good. But even if I lose weight I never feel good (no I do not have anorexia- you don’t have to have this to answer your insecurities). I am a size 8 usually which I love being but there are the pressures to be thinner. To look and feel perfect like the women portrayed in magazines and on television. How do they look that good? Where are all their imperfections and marks from previous cuts. Is it their true self? Do they have stretch marks? Do they have marks at all? How does their skin look silky soft and beautiful? In magazines the answer is easy- they are airbrushed and their true body is not shown. No one looks like that- everyone has imperfections. But there is the problem of the unreal which keeps developing and seeping into societal thoughts and thus into my thoughts. Where a slim girl with a great figure turns round and doubts herself. I look at my cousins and compare myself to others and think gosh they are so skinny- they look terrible and then subconsciously I think wow I wish I was that skinny, I wish I could be really thin like I used to be when I was small. But then a part of your mind also thinks I would never want to be that skinny I like to be curvy. There’s no equilibrium- no way of being completely satisfied with the self without having doubts. What if I looked a little bit thinner? What if?

Though it seems that the pressures don’t come just from society, but from family, friends and others who are important to you. If my aunt turns round and tells me I am fat- obviously it will affect me- if anyone says ohh are you pregnant? when you’re not will kill your self-esteem and knock down your confidence. When you compare yourself to friends or celebrities (if you see them as role models- which I don’t because they make mistakes and it puts them in a strong light as if they are “higher” than us- another rant another time!) When you examine their body, I know I look for imperfections- to see if they have any which relate to me which prove to me they are not the epitome of perfection. We are deceived every single day by images shown in the press, tv, films, etc. We are told that the only way to look good is be skinny. The media criticises any celebrities if they put on a significant amount of weight. They control the celebrities lives when the celebrity decides to lose weight. They have a strong power and control not only on celebrities but on normal people who read the magazines or watch the box. There is pressure all around us and this pressure is also mounting on men who are required to work out and have “muscles” or a “six pack” in order to look sexy and good. Looking perfect I believe is subjective and should not be an objective standard that people should measure themselves against. That I believe is wrong because everyone is different and you can look good in different ways.

Being curvy is the epitome of what it means to be a woman- to have a voluptuous figure with womanly curves. Many women crave it, while others crave the stick thin straight look. When I compare myself to others I feel inferior and that is something you should never feel and thus something you should never do- compare yourself. Every person is unique and looks good in their own way. They say that the majority of men like their woman to be curvy because it looks sexier. Attitudes are changing towards curvy women. It is now the fat vs the skinny. But what about those in between? Everyone has doubts! But if you’re not happy with yourself then how can you be happy with others? How can you be comfortable with others? Have you ever worn the magic dress which when you put on you just feel and know you look incredible? Its a wonderful experience and also difficult to find dresses that really build your confidence, that really flatter your figure but at the same time make you feel like a million dollars (££ pounds in my case!) I am thankful I have had the opportunity to find some amazing dresses that have made me feel amazing.

Being skinny is not as great as everyone makes out- you lose weight so obviously all your clothes don’t fit you anymore- not as well as they used to. Clothes seem to be dropping- they don’t hang well on you and you rarely find the right size in clothes you like. It generally just sucks being skinny with no/less curves and smaller proportions .  When I am curvy and filled out like people say I hate it- I feel a bit fat in some places and the shape of my body is weird, but when I lose weight I also hate it because even though I achieved being slimmer- I miss my curves and my clothes don’t fit me properly. Nothing does! So I am never really satisfied which is sad. There is no equilibrium, but it is a problem that many people face I am sure.

What we must do is accept and notice that there are these pressures. We must be aware that this is how society is conditioning us to look, feel and act. Finally we must be strong and react against it. Don’t let them make you feel small and don’t compare yourself to others. Be happy with you and your self-image. Easier said than done, but its true. In this world and society, it is always going to be a difficult battle and struggle against what is right, what looks good and the truth. Who knows the truth? Society? No wrong! Don’t let the “Great Beast” as Plato says guide you because it is wrong. We can never attain perfection because we were not created to be perfect.

I need a manual for guys. Simple answer: He’s just not that into you.

There should be a book on how to figure out boys- except it’s rather difficult and I am sure it would be a very big book. Most guys would say they need a manual for girls- but we are pretty easy to figure out and if you just listened you would know. But if you ask a guy about their complexity, most of my guys friends would reply back saying this standard answer: “oh us guys are simple creatures! We live very simple lives” Yes off course you do…so that’s not true at all. They may not need a lot to please them, but they do tend to do a lot of stupid things! Beware guys- perhaps you should take some lessons from girls people we are always watching YOU! Girls are always analysing. It’s a very common thing to do among girls, but maybe we do it a little bit too much sometimes which can lead to obsession. That never ends well!

Anyway I recently met up with a guy I met coincidentally at my union though he was not a student nor part of my university. He was a guy who had just had a job interview and was just sitting in a room waiting for the time to pass so that he could catch his train. I happened to stumble along the empty room with only himself there and decided to sit and write some stuff, but then we got chatting. Exchanged details and next thing you know four months later we meet up. Except this time he is very very nervous and apparently useless with all technology. Now it may be because he is 25 and pretty useless with remembering to text/email/facebook, (so many different social mediums there is no escape and no EXCUSE for not being able to contact the other person! I am not going to make excuses for anyone and I am not going to sit here and think about all the possible excuses on his behalf- waste of my time if you ask me. He arrives 25 minutes late and fails to text me to let me know. I am not impressed. Like I said no excuse for that unless someone died. I like it when someone can be straight with me. Most guys are very mysterious or at least try to be because they think it will make them more interesting. Well here’s a tip it WON’T! It just gets too damn annoying after a while and it is difficult to know what someone thinks about you unless you can read minds. If only I had that gift- mind you I could see how it would be a curse rather than a gift. Especially if they were not thinking pretty thoughts. Anyway guys seem to be hot or cold- they have no idea what they want- well most of them don’t and they seem to be pretty useless. But you can’t seem to live without them! I think I would go insane if I lived on a planet with girls only- we would eventually all kill each other! Point is I am not a mind reader and no I do not think you keeping me waiting will cut it. I also do not think you not being able to text back considering the various modes of interactions we have nowadays excuses you from not being able to contact me. So I give up, if you want to be elusive- your call and your loss of a friend!

All I know is that it would be helpful if guys could be straight and just tell me what they think without cowering behind a door. Now this guy offered me help with my CV etc. and asked to meet up again the next week, but when I emailed him about looking over my CV he did not reply to my email or my text and it’s been two weeks. I may look like I am stressing over this, but I am not. I am just simply perplexed as to what guys mean by certain things. Why say something you don’t mean? Why say you will help me, when you have no intention of helping me! It’s just stupid and raises peoples hopes unnecessarily! It’s like one of my friends, her ex told her that she was the first person he said the L word to and actually meant it, but he’d said it to other girlfriends before but never meant it. How do you know he’s actually telling the truth? Well when he turns round and says “when I said that I didn’t mean it!” Reaction: WHAT?? Why say it in the first place?!?! What does that even mean? It just doesn’t make sense to say things and then not follow through with it. But then again I like to follow the logical and some people are illogical.

Anyway just wanted to stress the point that has been argued many times before even in song (Katy Perry “Hot and Cold”). It is true guys are hot and then cold. It’s like they do something and then think. Well next time think before you act because there’s more than one person involved. This applies to friends just as much as to relationships. But you know you could learn a lot from books, films and even music. There is quite a lot of truth there about the actions of others though sometimes over-dramatized. For now all you have to do is watch ‘He’s Just Not Into You’ (2009 movie) and you could gain some interesting insights about people in general! It’s funny actually because one scene near the beginning where the female main character goes on a date with this guy for happy hour in a club and after exchanging numbers he says “See you soon, I’ll call you” before leaving. She smiles and says “ok great”, but then as he walks away she stops him and says “Wait you gave me your number so do I call you or will you call me?” He looks at her confused and rather panicked at this point and distractedly says yes I’ll call you bye as he quickly runs away! It’s the same thing when he said see you soon, it doesn’t actually mean he’ll see her soon! It’s just an expression!

Every person is different so I guess there won’t be a universal helpful manual since they’ll all just contradict each other which will just be too confusing and not even worth the effort! Guess we will just have to accept that men are from mars and women are from venus! 😉

Is that a writer’s block I see?? Comfort food here I come…

It is a difficult time personally as I have a dissertation to write in philosophy so we all know that is mind boggling. Normally when I have trouble writing an essay I know that last minute pressure will motivate me to write it and thoughts seem to flow. But this long essay is due in one month and one week and I have yet to submit a draft which I planned to have finished over a week ago.Things are not going my way and if I continue on this path I won’t even have a draft to submit except the final piece. That spells disaster! But it is also the case which my friend got herself into. Actually it is the case that many of my friends got themselves into and it is an easy hole to fall into. Not a pleasant one to get out off.

Somehow though I cannot seem to focus nor want to complete this dissertation. It requires so much work and working within a word limit has never been my strongest point. To top it off I am frustrated with the interpretations of others commenting on Nietzsche thoughts! For me I do not agree with what most say and I feel that they digress from the original point. Or maybe it is just not relevant to my question. But then my tutor picked them so it seems that maybe I am missing something. If only I had a magic wand that could do all the hard work for me! So I am here instead trying to divert my attentions and write something other than philosophy. Maybe I might even find some bright ideas to make me focus and overcome my writer’s block! Or maybe a source of inspiration will slap me in the face while I’m not looking. Well that’s what I am hoping for, but blinding walking into the future hoping something will hit me is not the best option. Plus it involves waiting and that’s not something I have patience for.

What started off as an extremely interesting topic has now become a confused muddle of words that don’t seem to link. I should take a day out, but then I really don’t have time! I feel like I am going crazy but I know I must complete this soon so that I can work on my other end of year essays and revise for exams and then come back to working on the dissertation. Everyone says I should relax, but I do in a way go out and relax. I can’t say I sleep very well though.  I have so much on my mind, being alone in the night with nothing but silence only makes you wonder and think about what you have to do. Oh and that dreaded race against time. Dangerous thinking indeed.

I can’t wait till all this is over but then there will always be new challenges that will face me. What can you do when you don’t know how to proceed?  When your attention is diverted by everything. Even the tiniest things can distract me. Pascal was right we divert our attentions because we cannot deal with the present. I agree we are always bored which is part of our human condition. Boredom is the condition in which the self feels imprisoned in a certain state which it cannot escape from.  This allows humans to fall into constant unhappiness due to the lack of fulfillment. Is this true? It certainly seems so, though I have argued with others who present contrary views  I cannot say that I believe we reach fulfillment. Why you ask? Because whenever we feel we reach a goal, we feel extremely satisfied, but once conquered we seek to conquer something else. We turn our attentions to something else because how can we focus it on something already fulfilled. Pascal points out that man cannot sit still and be solitary. Well off course that is understandable as we are gregarious creatures. No one likes to be completely alone- at least not for long periods of time. We would go insane! Pascal even says that we fear the truth and thus divert our attentions with our passions etc. such as gambling. Though in modern times we use other means such as films, virtual realities and playing games- anything to divert us from our current state i.e working. At least for me literally anything can distract me.

This is partly what my dissertation is about. Interesting right? I love Pascal and I love this topic but somehow I can’t seem to write about him. Maybe it is the word “Dissertation” or “long essay” that gets me, or maybe it is knowing that I have so much to do that I am “lost in the cosmos” and lost as in where to start. I have to keep trying. I used to wake up with a optimistic mental attitude, but these past few days my optimism has faded and I wake up dreading the day and looking forward to the night so that I can sleep away my worries. I fall asleep late and wake up late. Not a good start, but it is a pattern that has recently developed.

I’ll try and end this on a happy note, though I can’t speak for my mood. I’ll keep preserving and trying, I will not give up- I mean that I will not. I will do my best to overcome this mental block, as hard as it is I need to get this done soon. Time is running out and time is definitely not on my side.  But I hope everyone is having a much more productive and happier Easter! I am off to have a feast of good food! At least that will make me happy!

Lies, illusions, myths and tales. Who knows the truth?

So with a title like mine, you are probably wondering if I will let you in a little secret? Well I sort of will but it’s not one that you will like!

It’s all about….Gossiping. We all do it, and it can be fun especially for girls. But it can also be destructive. I am not going to lecture you about its impact, well technically I am so leave now if you don’t want to hear a rant. I am no saint so I can’t say I have never gossiped but recently after hearing some untruthful gossip about myself it made me question why people do it, why do I do it? Is it really because people are insecure? Perhaps there is some truth in that statement, as the ones who seem to gossip are the one’s who have little to do in their own lives except stand around and talk about other people’s lives and how it sucks for them!

So some people start off with: gossiping, I do it, my peers do it thus it just cannot be helped, right? Wrong, it hurts and sometimes it is malicious. It hurts even more when the person who is at the forefront of the gossip  finds out. Not only does it spread lies, but it also fabricates  false rumours which then develops a running mill of lies about people; where  the truth has been exaggerated or misunderstood. Sort of like Chinese whispers. Anyone remember that game? No? Let me remind you or enlighten you if you haven’t heard of it. It involves a group in which a person has to think of a secret or anything and whisper it into the ear of their neighbour. This is then passed round from neighbour to neighbour in a circle until it reaches the end of the circle and the last person who has to shout out loud what the “saying or expression” was. Then the original person who spread round the saying has to confirm  whether the saying has remained in tact or digressed from the original saying. Let me illustrate this in an example: Person A: whispers to B “I heard Jenny’s mum say a rude word ”, person B to C: I heard Jenny’s mum sail around the world” person C to D: I heart Jenny’s mum sale around the world.

Not such a good example? Well I’ll leave the rest to your imaginations then, but you get the gist. In the game, people mishear what has been whispered and gather different meanings/interpretations from it thus repeating it to the next person who will listen. So you can see how things when whispered around can be misheard and misinterpreted as something else. What we don’t realize is how much farther from the truth things can change. If you’ve heard someone gossip about you and you disliked what you heard then why would you feel the need to gossip about someone else behind their back if you knew how it felt? A lot of people don’t think twice about what they are doing and understand the consequences that could ensue. I’ve heard a lot of lies about myself and most of the time I don’t care but sometimes there are those comments that make you wonder and really do get to you. Best thing is to bury it deep into your mind and throw it away because there’s no point in getting insecure about little minor things. Though I must admit how surprised I was to be the center of gossip which was outrageously untrue and which I absolutely hated. How farther can the truth can people get. Very far apparently. But most of all I am a very boring person in the sense that I like doing interesting things such as rock climbing or travelling, but in general my life is very boring as I don’t do much except work nowadays. So there is no need for useless idle gossip, but as most would say it’s entertaining!

Truth be told, as much as it is hated, you can’t escape gossiping unless you go to a place/institution where people won’t gossip e.g a nunnery. It is highly likely that wherever you go there will always be gossiping whether it is in the local community, school, university, workplace or in the home! It’s just a way for people to vent and whine and complain how much their life sucks! Well that’s why I think they do it anyway! 😛 I always take pleasure in reading the  over-used but very good quotation: “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt

So as long as it doesn’t harm me or my reputation, then it’s all fine! Right?