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~Well Well Chanel

24 Sep
A few months ago I wrote a post in complete and utter anger to Coco Chanel in regards to something she always used to say; “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping it will transform into a door.”
No, I’m not taking my words back at all. In fact, f**k you Coco Chanel for your blunt stupid words that take hope away. I’m bringing up that post simply because we were beating on that wall, so hard and at times that we’d crumple in tears and in vain we’d sob. I wished, I prayed with every fibre of my being and soul that this wouldn’t be the outcome. We all wanted to take my mother’s place, the world would be better if she stayed and we went. I’m bringing up that earlier post because I want to reflect. Reflection is good. 

The entire time we were moving on a crumbling dance floor, it was coming out from under us and yet the only thing we could do was continue forward. What choice did we have?  We can’t just jump off this crazy train and say “Alright, I’m done, tired of this, I need something new and exciting.” No. The choice was made for us, and it’s too bad you know? Cause we’re all such control freaks; for something like this to happen beyond the reach of our grasping fingertips; it’s unimaginable. What on earth? How can this be? How will our world continue to spin without such love and beauty, devotion and care?

Well it must spin on, I guess. I am beyond thankful for my family and we’ll move forward together…

A few months ago, when my family discovered what Mom was suffering from we, none of us, understood the gravity and the result of the circumstance. But here we are now, and it’s been a week and day since my family has said goodbye to mom. It’s surreal. I can’t even think to describe the ache and the weight of hurt our hearts feel. Only those who have also lost someone so dear and precious will comprehend…hardship is not relative, hardship is hard.

A few months ago, I had believed with all my aching heart that Mom would recover, because loosing her would mean living without her. Of course I’d thought Mom would go to the hospital, have the extra bout with chemo, come back and she’d be ok, not fine, not great, but ok, she’d be alive. I’d even signed up to do a FearlessChallenge thinking if I threw myself into this… ugh. My heart and my head were floating on a cloud of illusion and they’ve come down now. Because now Mom is gone and yet, not really gone.

BUT, and here it is Coco Chanel; I’m not angry. Of course I’m hurting. Of course I’m broken. Of course I miss her terribly, and I hate that I can’t hug her or tell her I love her. BUT I am not angry. You know the clichés are true? I feel my mom everywhere. No I’m not crazy. I feel her, and I talk to her always. It’s a constant conversation. Here’s the thing, even when I was living in Beijing, I would talk to mom, when I got on a plane I’d say; “Well Mama, here we go again…”I wish I’d told her that. Now I know that she won’t see the photos I take or hear about my adventures I have. But I’m not angry Coco Chanel.

There is beauty if you choose to find it. On September 20th, the day of Mom’s funeral, the sun was shining and it was my nephew’s birthday. He turned seven. And when we came home from saying goodbye, there was a rainbow waiting for us. There was pain and there was life and throughout the entire day I felt Mom just smiling away.

smiling mom

We were hammering on that wall and I truly do believe it turned into a door. I truly do Coco Chanel. It’s not the door I had wanted it to be, but it’s a door none-the-less.

That being said, we will forever and always love and miss you mom. That won’t change.

Us happy people gotta stick together.

Giving won’t bring my mother back it will let someone else keep theirs. Please check out blood.ca to find a clinic and give.

Oh hello hi! Have a Happiness Experience you'd like to share? Well share it here by sending me an email (triciamariadm@gmail.com). AND after you've done that the paradigm of logic states you should like FindingFelicity on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/findingfelicityproject) Pretty please help me spread a smile, and some awareness. Muchos Gracias! Merci Beaucoup! 谢谢! 
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Rambling

5 Mar

EmptyShe’s got it (life) in the bag. At the age of 25 she was made a CEO. She was addicted to success. It is a drug to her.

Everyday she wears black stilettos, tight black skirts and a sharp black jacket over a silk bouse. Her hair is brushed to perfection, tight and knotted in a bun at the nape of her neck.  One glance at her and you’d think she’d walked off a tv set and onto the street. She walks at regular pace, head held high and pointed forward. Never does she take a mis-step.

Her desk is immaculate. Black pens and Sharpies. There wasn’t a need for pencils, mistakes are never made.

To hear her walk in the hall is akin to hearing the stern knock on a knobby knuckle against a hard wood door. Precise and calculated. Unrelenting.

To hear her voice is similar to an incessant chime that never seems to die away. Quick.

To see her face is almost like looking a soft, white, chiffon cloth, blowing in a morning breeze.  Blank and empty. She’s without a reflection.

She is recognizable to many, unrelatable and unknowable to everyone. Her heart is void of a beat, like a window that shows its viewer nothing. Empty.

Around town her name is known as Perfection.

***

Every once in a while, you’ll find, if you’re reaching too high in humanity, something will come along, trip you up, and serve you humble pie.

Oh yes, you’ll hike that hill, make it to the top, smiling and then oops! You slip on something or other and you come a tumbling down that hill you’ve just spent climbing. That’s life for you, and a good thing it’s like that too. After all if we spend then entire time atop a hill, we’d forget ourselves, we’d forget our humanity.

Here’s my point: after all that climbing, that pride of reaching the top, we need to have a good fall. We need mistakes to remind us that perfection is a dream. Without mistakes our pride would swell to the size of what-not and we’d never strive to accomplish anything, as we’d already have pride to begin with.

Understand my meaning?

Without mistakes, we would never understand the satisfaction of achievement and the pride that accompanies it. Without mistakes, nothing would ever be improved upon. Without mistakes, we would only be hollow, un-human. We’d never learn lessons, never build upon what we know, never apologize for blunders, never rekindle or gain respect amongst peers.

Take a look at your perception of a perfect world. What room would there be for creation? None. As everything is already “present to perfection”, we’ve mitigated the concept of “need”. Why? Simply because in a perfect world, there is “want” for nothing.

***

So why do I go around and around, repeating the beauty of making a mistake should be welcomed with open arms? Am I that woman, stilettos and silk shirts? Nope. But my heart (much like many a person’s) is pretty close to the one she’s got.

A tad empty.

Am I trying to convince myself that my mistakes are what make me a human? That they’re what make me relatable to people around me?

Of course yes!

How does a person recover from the mistake of an empty heart?

The Human Issues

3 Jan

How my job in an English school in Beijing has taught me to be apathetic.

You got ’em, I got ’em. The whole entire world has ’em. Issues! Yes they are out there and I hope that you understand this writing is operating on a certain level of factiousness.  It’s whether we admit them or not. The real conundrum lies in the “simpleness” of how we’re able to admit it. Can you admit? Can I?

But of course I can. They say that the first step to realizing you’ve got a problem is admitting you have one. Yeah, well I’ve got a problem. Am I gonna spill it to those faithful few who read this blog? Of course not. That would be mostly my family…maybe a few friends if I’m lucky. That would mean that the closest people to me would know my deepest darkest secrets, and what is healthy about that? I ask you. Some things need to be kept in the dark.

Exactly.

Disregarding that obviously sound logic at work, here’s the beginning of my issue: recently I have been a little more than slightly obsessed with drinking red wine (no particular kind although I’m partial to dry wines like Shiraz) eating some sharp cheese (an old cheddar from Kerrygold, imported from Ireland) and crackers (sesame seed crackers are the best in this case). It’s a habit for each night of the week I guess. Something that I treat myself with for making it through a day of rewarding working here in the great Beijing.

My sister, Kara, author of http://www.droppedspaghetti.com.au recently wrote about the issues with her job. And it inspired me to write about a few of mine. My post won’t be as funny and maybe not as poignant…but here goes.

I haven’t always been this way. Work never used to stress me out as much as it does now. Perhaps it’s because now, I’ve moved up a tad higher and I can see all the problems behind the facade of a smile and a flaccid compliment. This is what I know, it’s my experience in the “grown-up” world. Forgive my stereotype, forgive my bitterness and my negative thoughts towards humanity. How can I go against life experience?

Bias

So, I’ve read a lot about psychology and I’ve stumbled upon an article about  biases and how they’re categorized. As you most likely know, a bias is something that skews the reliability of anecdotal or legal evidence (fact or fiction). Further more a social biases (otherwise known as attributional biases) inhibits a person’s ability to interact in social construct.

In other words, each person suffers from a distortion on how we perceive reality. Doesn’t everyone love being able to say they suffer from something. My generation loves being able to say “I’m going through something.” Ain’t it the truth, ain’t it the truth?

Biases affect us no matter how hard we try to guard them from entering our opinions.  A person can pretend, but the show can only go on for so long. And the truth is, nothing beneath still waters is truly as it seems.

Positivity is great, a toothy smile is wonderful but really it’s nothing tangible. It isn’t firm and stable; most people use it as tactic to “stall”. I’ve been fooled countless times by the compliments; they’re only words. Meaning is lost, most people say them to get what they need. Perhaps people are inherently good, perhaps they generally want to do the right thing. But it’s not a standard rule applying to humanity.

Nope. I’ve met enough people in my short span of life, who have proven positive assumptions about humanity to be misleading. Better to assume singularity, you could live longer. Am I bias?

Aristotle wrote: man is a conjugal animal, meaning we like to “couple” (find a mate). He also wrote that we are political, we like the law and he also wrote that we are mimetic (we’ve got imaginations and we learn from and enjoy using them).

Portrait of Aristoteles. Pentelic marble, copy...

Portrait of Aristoteles. Pentelic marble, copy of the Imperial Period (1st or 2nd century) of a lost bronze sculpture made by Lysippos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I agree with the last two of your theories Aristotle, I do not agree with the first. Some people are born to be: alone. Look at me. Observe aspects of my life. I am alone and I and absolutely fabulous. Am I bias?

You tell me.

It’s quite hilarious, actually because as a journalist and a student of pre-law, I’ve been trained to be unbiased. Ya, but what human can be? Guaranteed: none.

We journalists only write the stories that will gain the most readership, the most publicity.  And I have learned in my job at in Beijing, that awareness and communication is “fool’s gold”.  A hope warranted but groundless.  Am I bias?

Again you tell me.

Date Yourself.

19 Nov
Drake Minibus, Kigali

Drake Minibus, Kigali (Photo credit: AdamCohn)

It has become apparent to me, over time that many people don’t think too positively about themselves. duh.

Even Marylin Monroe had negative thoughts. Even Gregory Peck. Justin Timberlake has negative thoughts and so does Drake. So does Barack Obama; so does Stephen Harper. Do not ask me why I picked these names, they simply popped in my head.

We’re insecure. We have low opinions about ourselves. A friend of mine said: “It’s not an attractive quality.” Ok got it. Another friend of mine said that I let people see it. Oops. At least these friends are honest with me.

Didn’t realize there was a stigma on being open. But sadly there is, people judge by what they see and hear from you. Can you catch me while I’m thinking negative thoughts? Nope. But when I voice them; yes you can.

Mental  note: Keep feelings/thoughts to myself.

We continually, measure ourselves to an arbitrary standard. Everyone does it, but it’s whether you notice it or not is the difference.

Your opinion affects me. Everyone’s opinion affects me. But especially those of the people who love me most.

Only because of my insecurities.

My human need and want to please. If I’m not making you happy, than why on earth would I do what I did? Why else would I challenge myself?

For my own gain; to impress myself? No. It’s to impress you, to impress the world. To “stick it” and shout; “Yeah I’ve completed that challenge. What next?” For my own happiness? Perhaps I benefit, but really truly I gain nothing if you aren’t or the world isn’t impressed.

Many people feel the same way.

Some people know, others have heard. Why not make it public? I am an insecure person. BUT who isn’t? The difference here being…I let people see it. Oops. Perhaps I should hide myself a little more from what people see. I used to be really good at that. Maybe I reverted to the opposite extreme.

Where on earth is the middle ground? Did a little bit of research.

There is a significant lack of self-acceptance in our lives. 

We insecure beings have aspects in our lives that will never be good enough. For example, if I think I’m not physically attractive, that will be the hole through which my insecurity flows.

Negativity. It becomes the worst ruler of how you see yourself.  We attempt to hide these faults, but they soon begin to eat away at our perceived confidence.  Soon the person that we’ve built ourselves to be, comes crashing down and we are rubble.

I met a fellow who literally apologized for everything he did. His name was Karl. I could not stand him. Only because I saw qualities in him that reminded me…of who? Myself.

Yeah and he was frustrating. Only because he was quite awesome and didn’t need affirmation. So why should he always apologize?  I mean he was wonderful, why apologize? He was desperate, but he didn’t need to be.

If you’re reading this, you should then infer that I know; I am pretty great. Yup. I am very awesome. And I know it. No doubt about it.

BUT more importantly. So are you. How to make ourselves realize this?

Okay so here is what you and I must do. Let’s work together on this.

Accept ourselves.

Believe and see our weaknesses as aspects that are beneficial to who we are. We are specific, and our weaknesses are what make us human. We are not going forgetting about those things, actually our vulnerability is what makes us beautiful. Are you open about your faults? Good.

Reform it.

Stop it.

Stop thinking those negative thoughts. They’ll not help you. You already know how lovely you are; let’s start from there. Now, put what you see in a positive light.

Make peace with your demons. List everything that has been a deep insecurity, look at each one, work on accepting them and simply come to terms with them. It’ll be hard. But nothing worth doing in life was easy. Am I right or am I right?

We’ll do it together. Arrive at what are our limitations, treat them as attributes and move on. That is all we can do as humans.

Confused? Ok I’ll break it down into one simple sentence:

Get to know yourself first.

Note: I’ll come back and edit this when I’m not sooo tired.

F-dora

3 Nov

So, now I am back in Beijing. If someone were to ask me on Monday if I was glad to be back. I would bluntly reply, “No.” But then maybe on Tuesday or Wednesday, if asked the same question…I’d probably say the same thing.

Come on it’s still only the middle of the week. Cut me a break.

Thursday comes around and that same person asks again, “Tricia are you glad you came back?” I’d say, “Yeah, it’s super great! Couldn’t be happier.”

Yeah, you see, and I’m certain it’s the same for most foreigners living abroad, it’s a day-to-day thing. Maybe for some a week-to-week thing, others a month-to-month…you get my meaning. All of the above to say that well we’re here and not dwelling on why we came back. We should focus on the moment.

Here and Now.

Right now…here and now. I mean if we’re going with this whole “focus on the moment” thing;

I am currently:

  1. Listening to Def Leppard
  2. Wearing a fedora, alone in my apartment
  3. Drinking some wine (it’s cheap stuff)
  4. Writing this post

Seriously. You think I’m joking? No, not even. I even went to the trouble of taking a photo of myself. Here:

Mhmm. Let’s address my current situation.

1. For starters Def Leppard, has been my “go-to” band for music. 80’s rock for something sparks a something in me. Allows me to pretend like I’m in a band or that my life is a musical.  They make me feel awesome when I’m going for a walk, when I’m blowing off steam and even when I’m in the mood to reminisce. I particularly love the song: Pour Some Sugar on Me. Great song. Love it.

Maybe the reason for why I desperately cling to them relates directly to the fact that many of their songs were used in the musical movie Rock of Ages. I watched that movie on the plane ride back from Canada. I was hysterical and I needed something to make me forget…and I was handed a musical. What better way to forget sadness, than to sing through it?

2. Wearing the fedora bit. Well I’ve always wanted one, wanted to be like Marlon Brando, or like Frank Sinatra in “Guys and Dolls.” They are so suave and untouchable it seems. And as pitiful or as amusing as it sounds. I kinda would like to be like them; suave and untouchable. You call it lame, I call it “super-cool.”

3. Bought at the 7-Eleven for about 30 kuai which is roughly 5$ CAD. Good stuff. I am not ashamed. I am also not being facetious.

4. Well, just felt like writing. Haven’t been in the mood lately and suddenly the thought struck me…why not write a post.

Really this post is about nothing.BUT I guess the message I’m trying to send is that I’m okay with it. I am. I mean it. Sure it might not be the most awesome way to spend a Saturday night. But for me the combo (Def Leppard, a fedora, cheap wine and writing) is parfait.

Now this is turning into a self-help post. So if you’re feeling; well alone. Find a combo that transforms  you from a regular drone into a human being and just go with it. All ’em haters (love that term and have always wanted to use it!) will say things; but really, they’re jealous. You’ve found a spark and they’re still searching for it.

Now that’s metaphorical gold that you can take to the proverbial bank.

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