Staring at the person trapped in the mirror – I see you but no one else does

It’s a funny thing thinking about what you look like and actually seeing your reflection in the mirror and seeing someone else. It’s also strange when you meet new people and realise you’re not actually like the people in your books that you’ve been reading and the films you’ve been watching. In fact sometimes it may distress you to realise that you are nothing like you want to be. This is not true for all, since some people are exactly who they want to be, but I am not talking about those people and perfection. Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time? When will my reflection show who I am inside? Because I am too dependent on the opinions of others and I am too afraid to act, to be me. Why? I can only assume it is because I am afraid rejection. I must admit though I cannot conceal myself and I don’t try anymore, but I am still finding it hard to be confident in me.

When we meet people we see traits in others that we like and wish to emulate. This can have either two effects on us a) you feel jealously towards that person and resent them or b) you feel awe and appreciation. I love reading books and it is so easy to get lost in those fictional worlds living the life of that person for a few hours or going on your own fictional adventure. That’s why it can be hard to come back to reality when you’ve always got your head stuck in a book. Losing track of time is the usual, not feeling hungry just completely immersing yourself in the world of another character and their tumultuous journey. When you get caught up in these images and stories you start to live them as your character and can sometimes believe that you have those certain brave, courageous and strong characteristics. However, when you are faced with the reality it can be a shocking surprise to see yourself as not yourself if that makes any sense. You see yourself not as you thought and suddenly the truth looms nears and blinding. You are not like the characters in your books no matter how much you would like to be. This ladies and gentleman happened to me one fine day when I walked into a new job. No one could know how much I noticed the difference and how it doesn’t come to you subtly oh no, I don’t do subtlety! No if you want someone to know something, especially if that person is me it’s always best to say it loud and clear.  Like this revelation came loud and clear on my first day temping. The way I spoke was soft spoken, quiet and almost afraid of myself and my abilities. You could tell I was oozing a lack of self-esteem, control with a self-deprecating nature and shaky confidence.  The way I acted, cowering away from people, shying away, squeaking and hiding. Is that me? I thought could that really have been me? Why was I acting so timid? What did I fear? And then it hit me, I am not that person who is completely confident in myself and I never have been. I am hesitant and I may not realise it but other people do. They know instantly when they meet me that I am a hesitant person. I find it hard to trust my own judgement even when I know that I am right. I find it hard to make decisions and this is not a good sign. I’ve always felt the need to question myself and my actions since I was little.

When someone asks are you sure? Am I really sure? No always that seed of doubt. It’s a difficult journey and it’s a difficult task relearning and reprogramming yourself to think differently, to be certain and try and make decisions. Too much thought can be lethal and too little can be reckless. Let’s not be overcautious now. I’m trying to be more confident, more forward and less hesitant but sometimes its hard to break old habits. Habits that have been there with you for a lifetime.

Perhaps it is the way one views oneself they are a harsher critic- adamant not to admit they are confident and good. This self-sacrificing and subservient image of bowing down to authority and being trampled upon is wrong and perhaps too ingrained. It is an image we all seem to have, a part of us within us, but it just depends how much control you give it. If there was a fire alarm and a few people ran to one door assuming it was the exit, whereas one person ran to the opposite side knowing that it was the real exit shouting to be heard over the commotion. Who do you think people will follow? Will they follow the crowd? Or the one person running in the opposite direction shouting to be heard that he knows the way. It seems logical to assume you would follow that one person, but when your life is in the fate of one person and everyone else is running in the oposite direction it seems hard to resist and follow that one person. After all I’m sure people would prefer to die together rather than with one or two people. It is almost sociological that we would run with the crowd when the truth is the crowd is following someone else- always someone else but just someone who looks like they are in control.

When I speak to some people they say oh your presentation was great you looked really confident and you did really well. But when you examine my thoughts you understand that I felt nothing close to confidence. If you asked me how I felt I would tell you the truth. It was completely nerve-wracking and scary but I did it. When thinking about it I’m not sure why it is scary when people are there to learn when you give a presentation and training for others in the company.

So to the person trapped inside – how do I reflect you? How do I get you out? Time I guess and perseverance. Right now I keep staring at my reflection and keep wondering when I will win, when will I be set free and given a chance? Rather than locked away waiting for a chance to shine. I wear a mask but I am not fooling anyone except myself clearly. The time is nigh….

For now I leave you with a song which is close to my heart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8GUCQQZS64 Christina Aguilera – Reflection

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I’m going to blame you since it’s easier and I’m quite fond of my well-being…..

It’s surprising how one can live in the world and not be affected by anything that happens around, especially when one is an idealist with little awareness of the world around. Is this right? Is that person living in ignorance? I have to admit that this is wrong and we shouldn’t be living in ignorance, but I can understand why we would want to hide and not hear all the depressing news. To be unaware would mean not knowing the crimes, pain and evil that goes on in the world around us and it also serves as a safety barrier and a protection against most things cruel. It’s not that I don’t want to know, it’s just that I am not so political I need to know. Now that is a lame excuse! But what I mean is that I like living in my happy go lucky world where everything works out. Truth be told it doesn’t satisfy me completely because I know just like a good book or film that it doesn’t end there as a happy ever after. Now in fact the real story begins filled with troubles, good times, low times etc.  I find it difficult to cope in the real world fully which is why imagination serves me so well. I basically live two lives, one where I am half in the real world pretending to listen to the lectures, meetings and discussions all around me but wearing an intelligent looking mask and nodding occasionally which disguises my true intentions, letting myself drift into the world of the imaginary where anything is possible. A place to escape from this dull and boring life. A beautiful world where every scenario or dream I want can become my new reality and is orchestrated the way I want it to go. There can be an infinite number of ways a scene can be played out and if I don’t like a certain one, I can change it. Simple! Problem with this? I don’t actually end up living much of my life! 

So when we are forced to face reality and bought back by certain events, we wake up and realise the truth. I am hiding from the world and it is so much easier to blame someone else, especially the person who makes you aware of your own condition, but I suppose it helps a bit. So I’ll get away with shifting the blame onto them. When someone makes you feel small and stupid it’s always nice to take it out on them rather than yourself because in the long run it’s going to affect you if you blame yourself. It’s going to damage self-confidence and self-esteem far more than we think and we shouldn’t really. Other people give us far more than we give ourselves credit for and sometimes its wrong when we depend on others to support us. I am not saying that we should shrug off what that person says, take it into account by all means, but don’t take it personally, All you need to do is just learn more and try to be more open which is what I’m taking from this. So when my colleague made me feel this small about not knowing which case was being held at the Old Bailey today, I didn’t feel too bad when I imagined walking past him and having the desire to tip the contents of my scalding hot mug onto his smug self-satisfied balls.  The reason I am feeling so vicious today and in such a foul mood is because of a series of events which made my morning quite eventful so I’ll divulge the story.

The patronising so and so put me down when I came in late this morning. To explain myself I told my team about the police vans and the waiting around and when I asked I wonder which case it could be he said “Do you not read the papers at all? It’s been brandished in the papers for weeks. Where on earth have you been?” The reply in my head was “Well I’m sorry its 9:20 in the morning I’m tired really, woke up felt sick couldn’t eat breakfast, ran for my train only to realise it was cancelled, thus missing my connecting train resulting in a major shitty journey trying to get into work; forced to share the tube with some selfish idiots refusing to move down the carriage. During the God awful squashed journey some bastard released a major stink bomb polluting the air with its repellent fumes. Got out and everyone was moving so bloody slowly, finally got to the street and was prevented from going any further because of the police blocking our way to let criminals in a massive van be led to court. Now not having worked near the criminal courts before, I experienced this temporary lapse of panic and rush to get to work as my interest was diverted as to who was in the van and what’s happening. Gosh and it’s not even lunchtime yet. So excuse me you stupid ass if I haven’t read the paper this morning or week and do not know who is arriving at court this tender fresh morning.” If I was more comfortable with people and more daring I would stick my finger to him, see how he likes that. However, since I work in a professional corporate and polite environment, off course that would be inexcusable, especially to the Head of Business Development. Oh well at least this is why we have private thoughts and the lovely imagination to entertain our wild and fanciful ideas. Though not all ideas are good, some wicked; we are after all only human with free will so thinking something doesn’t necessarily mean we want to act on them, at least not always. Say I wanted to murder half the people on the tube, doesn’t mean a) I would do it b) I would want to do it in reality.

I agree though this is mainly a rant about him as he seems to get on a nerves a lot, especially recently. I’m normally a very tolerant person, but he is making it more and more difficult to be even polite to him. He’s rude, obnoxious, arrogant, awkward and up his proverbial ass but also extremely intelligent and clued up (yes I am a little jealous of that). Still doesn’t make him any less of a douche and somehow since the first day he met me, he seemed to have an intense dislike for me. It was instant and I recognised immediately his brash and resistant mannerisms which ultimately told me he rejected me from the team. At first, I thought it was probably because he didn’t think I was smart enough or good enough for the role, but now I don’t really care. I thought relations might be improving but I was clearly living in that imaginary world again, mistaking fiction for reality. Another colleague who is also new gets on very well with him, but she is quite stiff, very firm and intelligent, but very nice too with a dry sense of humour. I think they get on well famously because of that sense of humour and also they seem to be on the same wavelength. At least she is nice and although she was a bit reserved with me at first, was still very nice and civil. He however seemed to attack me with a few hostile questions and an intense “I hate you” glare; so much for the warm welcome on the first day.

When I met another colleague from Glasgow and Leeds however, they assured me that he was always like that. Didn’t really talk much to them and sort of looked down his nose at people so I was not to take it personally. However it is rather difficult when you are working with someone so brash and impatient, I’m glad I don’t have to work directly with him very much. If only people were simple, things would be easier.

So eventful angry start to the day and it certainly isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas Johnny Mathis or Bing Crosby!

Meeting new people, finding friends, and feeling lonely in a big city

Today I realised that I have very few friends who I talk to regularly who want to do the same things as me. I’m not talking about eating food, I’m talking about wanting to travel, go to concerts and just generally hang out and do things together. My best friend is living in Nottingham, and although we share many interests, books, food, films, tv shows we also differ hugely. I like to dance, cook, travel and do adventurous and dangerous activities including sky diving. I work in London and a good friend I recently made decided to move back to Sweden and friends I went on holiday with have less contact with me since our holiday. I would say that’s more to do with differences rather than anything else. It’s tricky going on holiday with people because you live with them for a number of days and if you’re like me who wants to go explore, make the most of the holiday then you certainly won’t find me lounging about the hotel, like my friends. I find it very hard to find a connection with people nowadays. I have little in common but I am unsure why that is the case. Do you know what I mean when I speak of that instant connection? It’s this really great feeling which I’ve only experienced a few times in my life where you are just completely on par with the person you’ve just met. Perhaps it is because I am too serious and think too much which portrays me as intense? Not sure but I don’t like to analyse too much. Or maybe it is because I am shy and am not making the most of the opportunities. I really don’t know. There’s a lot I want to do but I find that I end up doing most things by myself. I want to go to a gig, I end up going by myself. I want to go travelling, I end up having to plan things and find countries to go to by myself. I want to go climbing I go by myself. I want to go for yoga/pilates classes, I join up by myself. There’s nothing wrong with this and its pretty great having that independence, I mean I’ve even eaten alone in a restaurant and gone to the cinema alone. In my life I have constantly done things by myself and its getting a bit lonely now. I can’t find anyone to have fun and do things with. I’m not talking about a boyfriend, I’m talking about friends, having a good time, meeting people and doing things together. I guess you have to be like minded but I find it hard to find those like minded people. Most of my friends are happy to either go clubbing, stay at home and watch films, go to restaurants or even cocktails which don’t get me wrong is fun, but I would love to join a dance club or something and do something fun or a bit more adventurous. Perhaps I will, perhaps I should just stop waiting for people which to be honest I have given up on people. I really need to get a grip on life, I have so many dreams that involve travelling the world, learning different languages and just being content, but it is difficult to be content in this life. We are constantly striving for more.

I haven’t the faintest idea where to start. I don’t know where to go and who to turn to because there is no one out there only the big wide world web. There’s so many options but I don’t know if there is a small intimate friendly class for dancing or painting. I don’t know how good it is. It’s all a risk but its something I wonder about. I am at the edge of the precipice just waiting to jump but unsure how to proceed, whether there will be someone at the bottom to catch me. Waiting and wondering but I can’t keep doing this, I can’t keep living my life like this wondering how things could be. I look at my own dear brother and how he manages to find and make some of the loveliest and great friends who want to spend time with him and do things together, to try things and who trust his judgement. We are different people and he is very witty, funny and laid back. I am more serious, deep in thought, like debating, laughing but I get stressed and worried easily. We are very different but similar as we both enjoy travelling and finding new adventures. You can see how we would attract different people, normally like minded people. He attracts jovial fun happy people and I attract serious, sometimes sad but mostly strong willed and principled individuals. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for my lovely friends for they are lovely in a different way. They are very caring and kind but I just want more and perhaps this is my problem; I expect too much from people and I always have. But I need more friends who will do things with me and who will trust my judgement and is open to trying things. Sometimes things will not work out the way you want and some things I choose may be crap but its a risk I’m willing to make, but I can’t keep hanging on to friends who are poor and aren’t prepared to take that risk because of the outcome may result in regret. Life is an experience and I don’t know everything if that person will enjoy it or not but it is something we can do together or as a group! This is life and nothing is ever free but if you want to have fun you do need money sometimes. Not a lot, but some. I wanted to go to Imagine Dragon’s gig but when I asked all my friends they were either working, too tired or too poor to go. When I wanted to see Evanescence no one wanted to go so I had to drag my poor brother to come with me. It was one of the best nights of my life and some friends after said how they love Evanescence and their music but when I asked if they wanted to go, there was silence.

It’s so easy to say go out and meet people, but where can I meet them in such a big city like London? There’s a lot of people but they are in their own zones, are quite cold and look at you if you’re strange if you start talking to them. No literally they will turn and look to see if you’re talking to the person behind them. I need to join a club or class but where? Thousands of people swarm across London and I can’t seem to make friends. It’s crazy! Introverted I may be but ambitious and a dreamer I always will be. If you stop and talk you will get to know someone better, but it’s not hard. Actually it is quite hard because firstly you need the courage to start that conversation. We pick and choose our friends. We pick and choose people we want to talk to and we put them into different levels. Friend level, acquaintance level, “not going to chat to person” level because person looks boring, can’t be bothered level, too intense level, etc. But the level you categorise someone may not always be correct and you may be missing out on a chance of friendship.

Anyway my point is finding people to connect with is difficult. Finding activities in London is also quite tough! Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough but I will try! Hopefully I’ll find some things….no I’m sure I will!

Fiction or Reality? I choose getting lost in fiction any day!

So I have recently been reading and thinking. Writers usually write to allow their readers a form of escapism but also it allows them to escape in their own fantasy world. Most plots derive from our fantasies or so it seems, but some things are also mostly based on our experiences, because how can you write about something without having some kind of knowledge of it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be knowledge from the experiences one has had, but it can derive from the experiences of others- though you only see one side of their experience. Not only do you not experience the emotions of pain or happiness that they felt since you cannot feel it thus you cannot truly comprehend it. You could imagine it, but never grasp its reality. But you also only receive their side of the feelings- their words so stories end up twisted from the original truth (or original event that happened). For example if my friend broke up with a guy, I would be hearing her side of the story. How she interprets the situation may be different to how he interprets it. I would not understand how she felt because how can I if I’ve not had the similar experience of breaking up with a guy who I really loved or liked. I could imagine how it would feel, but that would be no good because I didn’t feel the raw emotions of what it is to love in that way, to feel pain or hurt in that specific way. All I would feel is pity for my friend trying to comprehend the way she feels, trying to reassure and comfort her, while secretly thinking and making the mental note never to make the same mistakes that she did. Never to fall in love so that I don’t give anyone the power to hurt me like. But that’s the problem with learning from other people’s mistakes and not learning from your own. You become too cautious to even make mistakes of your own because you are too afraid to do the wrong thing, to be caught in the hole in the ground everyone keeps digging for themselves. There is always someone who tries to lend a hand to a person stuck in that hole, but its up to you to choose whether you need help or even want the help offered or whether you drown in your unhappiness.

Anyway I have digressed, people teach you things whether you realise it or not we are all influenced by our family, friends and random strangers! Despite sometimes not wanting to be, you are. This has somehow drifted into a completely different topic that I no longer know how I got here! I can honestly say I am lost in a rabbit hole but in a different kind- not due to a relationship but coming to terms with what do I do with my life? Where do I go from here now that I have finished my studies? Who can help me? I can only help myself- I have to try, but what I always find that I do- no matter where I run to, where I go what I do- I always seem to try to escape to a different reality. To a fantasy world, to a place of fiction anywhere from the truth. But authors do that too- they try to recreate their own fantasies in their writings, they try to realise the dreams they never fulfilled through their characters giving them the happy ending they never got. Well I wouldn’t say never- just a different happy ending in life. While a book ends mostly happily ever after where the main character wins by defeating the baddie- war between good over evil conquers all. Well this is not the case in life, because there are no happy endings in life. There is no such thing as the prince saving the princess and living happily ever after. What does that even mean anyway? It’s time to grow up and learn that life’s not like a fairytale. Its been said many times but it really is true so why do people continue to read and watch these fairytales wishing they were true. In real life, that does not happen- after happily ever after aka getting married more problems and obstacles arise i.e maintaining a job, growing old, having children etc. Everyone still battles with their demons- but life goes on- no happy end except death. But then is that the ultimate end? So many debates surrounding that topic I won’t get into that now.

Society too has an impact on everything- on our lives, music, movies, books, media etc. The media seem to control what we desire and what we want trying to portray lifestyles we must attain. We try to attain perfection- perfect life, perfect body, the happy ending. But this is all poisonous if it only succeeds in hindering us, by shying away from our bodies, being ashamed. Look at the books that are on our shelves, being sold- they represent the times in which we live in and unfortunately they are all filled with crap! The desire for the superficial rich and famous lifestyle- The good girl getting with the rich rockstar living the dream! What is the dream? What is the life? Everyone is different so surely not everyone wants to be rich and famous. Books nowadays seem to have weak characters especially portraying women as weak, dependent and annoyingly stupid! Look at Twilight- Bella can’t even do anything because she’s so clumsy so Edward must be there all the time to “protect her”. The last thing the world needs is another young woman depicted as a “heroine” when she clearly isn’t! If you want something interesting to read, read the Hunger Games! Mind you it reminds me a little of Battle Royale! Anyone agree? It’s a pretty famous Japanese film! I would look it up if you enjoyed Hunger Games, though it is a lot darker.

Anyway there must lie some truth in a book- yes in the sense they are based on some kind of experience. The characteristics of the protagonist resemble some person or other. The main character normally resembles a person who the author wishes to be- who the author and sometimes reader wish to have the same strong characteristics that make the character strong and likeable who will fight for justice. No one likes a weak character, likewise in this cruel world no one likes a weak person. I wish I could say that I have learnt a lot from my experiences but sometimes it takes something twice as bad to hit you round the head for you to take notice and by then it may be too late. But then hopefully there is never such a thing as being too late. Better to have tried later than never.