They say not to depend your happiness on someone or something, but sometimes it necessary to do so. Why? Because to generate happiness requires an object or idea; you have to be happy about something. I guess you could be happy for the sake of it, but who are you trying to please? Ultimately, we are all in search for meaning- the meaning of life…what it means to be happy, what it means to succeed, what it means to mean something to someone. Whatever the desire, we are all inevitably searching for meaning of some kind. We depend on ourselves for perseverance, for strength and for happiness…we are depending on ourselves to depend on ourselves. It is just a continuous loop. Maybe instead we should seek to embrace those around us and allow ourselves to divide our dependence, so that we are not pressuring ourselves to create this mindset where we are constantly trying to please ourselves- trying to find a reason to be happy and trying to generate a feeling that is not fully attainable. What I mean is, we are capable of creating our own happiness; but when we do is this happiness true? Is it completely reflective of how you are truly feeling on the inside? There is no right answer. But in my opinion when I am with other people ad with my loved ones, the happiness that I feel is greatly exceeds that of the self-generated. This may not be true for all, however I truly believe that in order to be emotionally connected to yourself and the world around, there is a need to depend on others.
Having said that, your dependence on others should not be 100% because once (for example) the person who you depend on for a good laugh exits your life; you may be left to fill the void. If you only had depending on this person for 50% of your laughs, you only have to fill half a void versus if you depended 100%.
I am contradicting myself a bit..I think what I am trying to articulate in this mess is that do not be afraid of depending a portion of your happiness on other people because at the end of the day they will amplify this emotion. But on the other hand, maintain a proportion of happiness to be self generated because people are like the ocean; they come and go.
Do you ever just get stuck? Metaphorically speaking. There’s this weird place I’ve discovered recently, where I am not happy nor sad- but somewhere in between that is somewhat indescribable. Perhaps, this is not a feeling but rather a desire; a desire to feel. The human mind is both fascinating and confusing to me, there are things that simply so not amount to words- things that are indescribable, things that are beyond the capacity of science…yet we somehow know what they are. Emotions, thoughts, feeling, consciousness they are all phenomenons that we know to be true yet cannot actually prove it. For example what is dreaming? Why its when you see vivid real images while we sleep. But how exactly do we know those images are real? We have all had dreams, but how do we know that what you classify as a dream is the same as the people around you? Likewise, how do we know that the colour red is the same red that the person next to you is seeing through their eyes? It may be darker, it may be lighter or it may not even be red, it may be orange for that matter. How do we know that what is happening right now is reality? How can we prove that? My reality may be true, but is my reality the same as yours and is your reality the same as mine? Also, what about the past? They say the past shapes who we are as both individuals and as a society; but how can we be certain that any of the events in the past actually happened? Lets say we can be sure because of the many different interpretations of the same event (like teh holocaust) but are the recounts of the events plausible? Each recount is a different version of the same event; none of them will be identical to the last- because of the fact that one’s pain may be another’s strength and one’s weakness may be another’s victory. People obscure and twist stories to make themselves central to their experiences; if and when they articulate their memories bits will be left out and bits will be emphasised. Nothing is objective; everything is subjective. Something may seem objective but the nature of the human mind cannot help but have a ‘mind’ of its own (pun intended)
I know it’s been a while since I blogged…so about a week or so ago I was waiting at the bus stop as per usual, and as I was waiting a girl approached me to ask about the bus times. Now, this girl was one of those people who you knew had a hard time everywhere they go; with huge teeth, big nose and stringy hair, she was no the modern depiction of so called ‘beauty’. What troubles me is that I had already formed a preconceived idea of who this girl was without even talking to her. And as we engaged in casual conversation I found out how real this person was. Her hardships made mine seem minuscule in comparison; stories of abuse and torment that made me feel extremely ashamed of myself for judging such a damaged soul. Every aspect of her life effected based on the way she looked- dropping out of uni due to constant death threats and people casting away her artwork. As I continued to talk to her I realised just how much she needed someone to express her feelings to, how much she needed a friend. In those 20 minutes spent with her, I learnt a very valuable lesson. It may seen very cliche but I don;t think people truly understand the importance of not ‘judging a book by its cover’ until they experience such a lesson. We can talk good of ourselves and create a desirable persona but to really be that creation we must have certain experiences before we become who we aspire to be.
What I’m most upset about is the fact that society has conditioned us to believe that persons attributes are enhanced by their appearance, or in other cases negative attributes are overlooked. For example a person who is both good looking and kind-hearted automatically becomes a person who is looked up to by others around them. Where as someone who is not deemed good looking but also possesses the kind-hearted trait will receive less recognition simply due to their appearance. How does the shape of your nose, the size of your eyes, the arch in your eyebrows in anyway dictate your personality? It just frustrates me that the degree to which someone is ‘caring’ or ‘sweet’ is emphasised by the way they look and not by the nature of the trait itself. Can we not just accept people for the way they have been created- for the way God or for the way our cells have arranged themselves to form a unique being.
I just feel like this has been discussed time and time again but nothing really has been done; and with the introduction of social media people feel the pressure to be somewhat presentable at all times, just in case someone posts an unsuspecting image of them. I guess forces of technological development and out of our hands but the development of society and eliminating fixed ideals is certainly a possibility. What do you think?
So it’s been a while, partly because it’s holidays and I’m just savouring every moment of it before I start YEAR 12! Argh! Can’t believe that it’s my final year of school, most people welcome the last year…but for me, I’m actually dreading it. I mean for 13- sorry 14-years this is the only thing I’ve done/accomplished in my life…my routine has always been get up, have breakfast, go to school, have dinner, sleep and repeat. My life up until this point, has revolved around this; what’s going to happen next? I guess that’s why I’m dreading the end of high school, not only does it signify the end of your ‘childhood’ but also you’re suddenly thrust into the unknown. Merely deciding what course to take in Uni is placing immense pressure on me as I feel like it’s what’s going to define me in society, and I don’t want to complete a 3-4year course only to find that the career is not right for me. There’s so many things I want to do that it’s hard to narrow down to one thing. On one hand I want to chose a course that I like and interested in and on the other I want to think more economically and choose a course that grants me easy access to a career. I’ve spoken to two of my elders- my great uncle and grandma- and my great uncle thought that it was important to choose a course that interested me; because this phase of my life is about learning and gaining knowledge, your career is something that you think about after you’ve completed this phase of your life.
I talked to my Grandma today and she believed that while it is important to choose something that you like; you have to also be realistic and think about where this knowledge will take you. Ultimately you get an education to learn, but what results from that learning is your contribution to society; the notion of ‘giving back’. I think my Uncles valus are more ‘go with the flow’ and short term based, where as my grandmas’s is more realistic and long term. But having assessed their thought patterns, I’m still left undecided…if anyone would like to lend me some of their wisdom, feel free!
Something that’s really bothered my since I was young, is the concept of death; what happens before, the biological side, the psychological side and of course what happens after.
I remember this one time when I was younger; I had thought about this for the first time…I kept thinking about what would happen after the inevitable. I thought about it for so long that I eventually made myself scared of dying- of course my mum comforted my by telling me how silly I was to think about these things…and that was that.
Since that day I have developed a fear of death; but recently I realised that it’s not the death that I fear, but what’s going to happen after. Fear of the unknown. I’m not one of those weirdos that constantly think about death and whatnot but I’ve had those nights- when it’s late and you just get lost in the haze of your thoughts. Those lonely thoughts mixed with the delirium of sleep; I lie awake unable to shake these thoughts. I think to myself about how much I love this world, the people that are in it, the people who I share this life with. I get emotional thinking of what will happen after I pass…will I forget this life? Will I be reborn into another being? Will I rejoice with God about this beautiful life he has given me? I don’t know. And that is what really scares me. I don’t want to live another life nor move on from this one. I wish desperately that I could be frozen in this period of my life; to have my parents, siblings and grandparents all under the same roof- laughing about the most pointless things, eating dinner together, living the life that we were graced with.
Recently I watched a documentary type video on YouTube about a guy who had had cancer for a number of years, the producers were able to capture his last couple of months. He said something that really changed my perspective on this; you can either chose to let it take over your life or ignore these fears and live as if you don’t know there’s an end.
Like I said; I fear the unknown. So ultimately I guess I just want closure..either someone discovers what happens or someone shares their real life experience. But, what is ‘real’? Who knows.
So a few days ago I decided to ‘trial’ a vegan diet…1. because I wanted to lose weight and 2. because I wanted a challenge. So far I’m feeling less bloated, more energetic and ‘lighter’ in a sense; it’s been tough though…not going to lie I did cheat a couple times (unintentionally) but that’s what this is about I guess, overcoming obstacles.
Anyway, there is another reason for this post; I made a Vegan banana bread/loaf yesterday that I absolutely loved, so I though I’d share it with you guys!
About 3 cups oatmeal (you can use gluten free if you wish)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon (I used coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 squares of 70% dark chocolate (or- of course- vegan chocolate chips) – optional but strongly encouraged
3 tablespoons oatmeal
Preheat oven to 175.C (or 350F) and line a 23x13cm loaf pan (or 9×5 inch)…to be honest I just used a random loaf pan I had:P
Place your oats into a blender and blend for a 1-2minutes until it resembles flour; you may need to give it some help by stirring it to surface the oats that are still whole
Measure our 2 cups of your oat flour into a bowl and add the other dry ingredients and whisk until everything is well incorporated
Place the banana, vanilla extract, oil and sugar and beat until well combined and creamy; pour in your dry mix and fold until just combined…DO NOT OVERMIX then fold in the chocolate
Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the 3 tablespoon of oats as well as the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then bake for 30-40mins
Loaf is done when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10-15mins before removing from pan
If batter is too thick for your liking, you can add some almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk etc. to loosen it up
If cut into 10 slices…152 cal, 2.6g fat, 3.3g of protien and 29.6g of carbs
Credit to ambitiouskitchen.com for the amazing recipe!
So it’s that time of the year again; where the jolly man in the red suit pays you a visit and leaves behind an abundance of presents underneath the iconic Christmas tree;)
For us living in Australia we do not have the pleasure of experiencing a White Christmas in fact quite the opposite actually! Christmas for us is all about wearing our Santa hats, having a barbie (BBQ) going with beers in our hands, attempting to escape the summer heat. However this year things were slightly different…we still had our beers, but the weather was surprisingly cooler than normal and instead of our usual BBQ my Aunty and Uncle served up a very traditional Western Christmas feast complete with roast ham and turkey. Though I must admit they did have their Chinese twist on some of the dishes- for example instead of traditional breadcrumb stuffing, they made it out of sticky rice, chestnuts and Chinese sausage (larp cherng), which- if you’re familiar with Chinese cuisine (or even ‘yum cha’) you’ll know that this is the same as a dish called Lor Mai Gai or glutinous rice.
As for gifts this year I was very happy in receiving a Kindle along with perfume and other feminine hygiene supplies!
Post Christmas day I learnt a very valuable saying from a friend of mine via facebook; she posted a heartfelt message including the quote
It’s not about what’s underneath the tree, but what’s around it
To me this is a very important thing to remember in order to keep ourselves grounded and put things back into perspective; too often we are caught in the materialistic world of handbags, shoes, clothes, technological devices etc…that we forget what the true meaning of Christmas- or any other celebratory occasion-is. I never fully understood this until this year, when I ‘moved out’ of home to live with my great Aunt and Uncle and although they are really humble and accepting of me…nothing beats the feeling when I come home every holiday and spend those two or six weeks with my parents and siblings. Beforehand I was in such a hurry to be on my own and gain independence that I neglected to think about the fact that I only get to spend- lets say- 20 years max at home. Thereafter I am living either by myself or with a spouse and then eventually my own family…these slowly diminishing years of my youth are all I get to spend with my family on a day to day basis. After this time it’s going to be a matter of making time to visit my parents and sisters; it may even be a case of seeing them on major holidays (like Christmas and New Years). This is exactly the situation with my grandparents and their children, having 5 children you’d think that one would visit at least once a month but the truth is they only see each other if it’s Christmas or if my Grandparents drive the 3 hours to go see them.
It’s these things that I wish I could tell my 16 year-old self; but I suppose my naivety and immaturity got the better of me. So I guess after much rambling, my point is to treasure the time your spend with your family and loved ones for these moments are too often taken for granted.
Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy and successful new year.