There are broken bits to pick up
and things will keep breaking.
When the fog envelops,
Decide, if you must.
An opinion doesn’t mean much,
but learn to have one.
Love can accompany only this far.
There are broken bits to pick up
and things will keep breaking.
When the fog envelops,
Decide, if you must.
An opinion doesn’t mean much,
but learn to have one.
Love can accompany only this far.
“If I told you I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at, I’d be lying, because I have no idea where I am right now.”
― Jarod Kintz,
In my life, there have been several times when people have asked me this question. It was meant sarcastically. But each time someone did, it pushed me deep in reflection.
Why are they asking me that? Do my choices reflect that? Am I self-destructive? Don’t I want to succeed?
What the fuck is success anyway? Is it money? I don’t want too much of it, really. I know that. I hate when some of my friends act materialistic and only talk about things they’d like to buy next. Is that ambition? That is such a small, achievable thing. You can earn money doing anything. You could numb your brain and work in a call centre or be a social media executive. Not to say, that those jobs are bad, but really they are. (It is spirit-killing.) I’d rather be a clerk in a cubicle, where my tasks are clear, no one talks to me at all, and I just get things done and then when the office hours are over, I am done. That’s the level of drive I have if you only want me to earn money.
Is success fame? I think fame does not equal recognition. Why would I care what some random people think of my work? Being famous mostly means appealing to the average people with bite-sizes of good work. Something great can be popular over time. But I don’t think something great is popular immediately. I am not trying to demean popular work/people. Heck, I am a pop culture consumer. I am part of the “masses”! But when I say I don’t really want fame, I mean I don’t want to work for everyone’s adulation or even most people’s congratulations. It matters to me if my colleagues appreciate it. I want to know what the people, who are directly affected by my work, think of it. Fame is certainly not achieved by hard-work anyway.
So then, does success mean stability? This is tough. I am not a patient, uncomplaining worker. I cannot see myself in any job for more than a year, forget 5- 7 years in the same company. Is that success? Just growing in the ranks of a corporate? I always snicker when someone calls that growth. If you have read any of my recent posts, you know I am mortally scared of being sucked in the routine of life. To tell you the truth, I do see the comfort in routines, I seek it even; but when I have gained it, I only want to escape. There’s a contradiction here, and a restlessness I can’t comprehend right now.
I just thought of one more thing that would make me seem ‘unsuccessful’. I have not adorned any leadership roles in workspaces yet. That must mean success, right? I am clearly very naïve and idealistic, and I don’t appreciate too much hierarchy. At my most recent workplace, I was asked to approve a digital artist’s work, I was a bit taken aback. Firstly, how can an artist be answerable to anyone? Why are you calling it approval, when basically you need “fresh eyes” and “feedback” on the work? Why the hell are you creating so many steps of approval for such a simple task? Don’t you trust your employee, you dimwit?
Well, I went a little off track there.
Point is, I think leadership is when people work with you, and not for you. A leader has to have the drive, the vision and an understanding that there are people looking up to him/her for motivation, guidance and they also need some level of independence. (Basically, a leader becomes the parent-figure to adolescent-like employees.)
This overwhelming drive, vision and focus is what I don’t have.
The truth is what I don’t know what I want from my life. Everything I was really sure of, I am completely unsure of now. I don’t even know who I am anymore. It seems like my insides have flipped. I have realized that for the longest time even my reflections have avoided the question- What do I want in the long run?
Maybe I am a short-sighted person. I don’t think it through, and hence any ‘behaviour’ that is perfectly natural of me appears quite reckless to others. I don’t think through the long term effects of any decision because I can’t imagine that far. I can’t extend any temporary situation to a dystopian permanence to scare me enough to compromise. I avoid being in the rat race. So then, why do I feel a sinking disappointment today? I feel disillusioned. I feel I have disappointed no one but myself. I expected things would work out for the better, but today it has not. I have to live through this hopeless time with my chin up and be a little patient with myself. (I CAN’T. I CAN’T. But I will. :/ )
Sometimes I scream (in my head, of course) – “No, I don’t want to be anything. I just want to be!” But I think that it’s a reactionary statement on my part. When I find that I don’t fit the ideals of (what I call) “The Propaganda Dream”, then I regress into dreaming about how I shall be a clerk in a cold country, away from this unnecessary urgency to achieve something. I just loudly proclaim I’ll be the “worst” and I’ll still be happy.
Question is- Do I want to be happy? What the fuck makes me happy?
“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”
― Jerry Lewis
“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”
― Émile Zola
I have often heard writers and amateur writers and non-writers advising other budding writers to ‘Write, right now!’
I find that annoying. Every time someone tells me if you wanted to write, you would have written by now, that all there is to writing is to write diligently everyday, I frown. If the demand means to stay in touch with writing, I meet that anyway.
I end up writing everyday. While conversing with friends (long discussions on chat, I mean), writing my diary, writing phone notes of ideas, writing rough drafts, writing letters and emails etc. Some days I don’t want to write. I am irritated to think that I am thinking the same thing over and over again. There’s no new thought. That’s when I feel trapped in my body and even my life. I reach out to people to escape that rut. Read their work, talk to them about their lives, read books, listen to music.. anything that’s outside of me.
That doesn’t mean I mean, daydream about being some kind of artist, and hope that someday you just might spontaneously create great work. One has to collect their many hours of practicing proficiency and enduring sincerity. That is important. You develop your style because of that. You create a rhythm which is a good thing. But you also create a writing pattern. Again, something that I think one must try to break free from.
Whenever I have attempted to write a blog post recently, I conclude that it is being didactic or is an angry rant. My friends tell me I always wrote just that. (I still have a hard time accepting it). I end up deleting the post because I am sick of it myself. I am bored again of my own comfortable writing. But then, I haven’t written for so long, it feels like I need a writing resolution or a writing slot in my schedule or more writing prompts. I hate the idea but I am tempted; I make plans, I break them. I am motivated and soon, dejected.
I have decided that “free association” is not “writing.” That’s what you do when you write for therapy sake. That’s how I write my diaries, or ward off the writer’s block. True writing is coming up with something more layered than that. Conscious writing is true writing, for me. That’s what should be the goal- Creation. So I have been unhappy with all that I have written yet. All I do is practice that style of poetry, or this style of plot. I don’t have an idea in my head that is driving the writing, which makes me feel empty.
I wonder if I am already setting myself up for defeat when I say I can’t write with the help of writing prompts. Prompts must inspire, not pressure. Again, prompts help starting off on ideas that originate external to you. So I am not against prompts; the idea tempts me to try it. However, I have read such great works in response to a specific prompt, I can’t take them casually. You compete when you write in response to a prompt.
At the end of the day, I know that one just has to write. I am the one who urges people to write down their ideas or feelings even, to articulate what they’re thinking, to experiment with styles, to read a lot (it is part of writing!)
What is problematic for me is the demand of “do it right now”. I hate pseudo-urgency. Life is not an emergency situation. I do not understand how self-imposed deadlines work. If I don’t care, I don’t do it. If I care, I don’t need deadlines. But then there’s this one twist: If I don’t care but somebody else cares, I’ll do it.
Based on that principle, I asked some of my friends to give me writing topics to get me going.. I needed someone else to care because I had been in a very apathetic state for a long time. This doesn’t work in the long run, because you begin to feel smothered and then decide not to care.
This post is also a didactic rant. Half my mind wants to delete it. I ask myself- Is that all I have to give to the world? Granny talk?
“If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
― George R.R. Martin
“I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially all night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.”
– Ernest Hemingway
I don’t like violence. It completely disorients me for a long time when I am witness to one, when I watch it on TV, when I see abusive parents/couples or just someone agitated over the phone. I don’t understand how people can allow themselves to be so raw and animal-like in public. Not to say, I have never felt violent. Recently, while travelling (-of course-) I have realized I want to really badly hurt anyone who plays Candy Crush. I find that game so annoying, that it boils my blood that people waste their time in such dumb, mind-numbing games. But all I do is, stand there, waste my energy trying to consciously ignore their phones. Sometimes, I think it is the traffic, the crowd, and the heat that is really driving my nuts. Candy crush just seems like the second last straw on my burdened back.
I don’t like violence. However..
I think I want one good fight. I really need to argue intensely with someone. I think, a therapist would be good. Right now, I can’t think of one bloody friend who would be an empathetic listener- who would just listen to me screaming like a fool, making existential jokes while crying now and then, but just hear me out for once without being uncomfortable. See, that’s the job of a therapist. You pay them to beat them with words. You don’t worry about how they are feeling. But right now, if I had to do that with a friend, I would also have to think of controlling the damage I’d do, worry about telling him/her I am okay, that I just wanted to vent and make sure that I’ll never be asked the question ‘How are you?’ the next time we meet.
Because really, I am always fine.
I really want to punch my sister and a few guys now and then because, they act so unreasonable, it evokes a helplessness in me and really I am convinced that a knock on the head would cure it all. But as soon as I am about to do it, my brain as already imagined it.. and then I don’t want to do it anymore. Does this count as suppression? Should I take up a sport?
Violence ties you into stupid, unhealthy relationships and cycles. That’s what I have observed many times. I used to be the kind of person who would immediately and self-righteously react against any form of violence. I would feel sad and dismiss it and wonder how could people do such a thing! I don’t know what has changed, but now I don’t feel surprised. I accept it. Like it doesn’t matter. It happens. People get over it, even like it, even bond due to it, as long as it is not too much. People pay for “recreational spanking”. Well, really whatever.
It makes me wonder if I am growing old. I feel resigned. Even I can’t believe I am too tired to rage.
I feel I am again restructuring how to think. I have been stagnant for a long time now. I am floating through life, and stupid work sucks all time, energy and emotion; and I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like changing without reflecting on what is changing. Living like this is tiring. I hate this country. I am sorry, I am just going to offend all you patriots. I think this country is a big vortex where social service will never end. You will live and die working for the community, and do nothing for yourself and no one will really appreciate it. I hate that there is no space here. I hate that there are so many people. I hate that there are so many sad stories that you don’t even can’t even feel sad properly because you’ll feel guilty for feeling bad about your abstract problems when people are dealing with concrete ones. Existential problems are a luxury, really.
I’ve gone off-track. See, only when I write, I begin to realize I am angry. When I am with people, I have nothing to say. No contribution to make whatsoever. But writing is so selfish. I love it. But I hate that I have no time for it. And it will be like this for atleast a year now.
Coming back to violence, I really don’t like it. Even though I understand it, maybe. I know that I am not in the least fascinated by it. I find violence stemming out of impotence, a lack of control over the situation. You are lashing out to freeze everyone, to get some sympathy and to vent some helplessness. If someone is yelling at me, I walk away. If someone is passive aggressive, I counter it actively and walk away. I know that anger blinds you, and makes you stop thinking.. and I know that that’s an argument I don’t want to win. So really, there’s no sane option but to walk away. I find rage unattractive. It is not the same as passion.
Back to disappear again,
Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.~Aristotle.
I met a rat of culture
who was elegantly dressed
in a pair of velvet trousers
and a silver-buttoned vest,
he related ancient proverbs
and recited poetry,
he spoke a dozen languages,
eleven more than me.
That rat was perspicacious,
and had cogent things to say
on bionics, economics,
hydroponics, and ballet,
he instructed me in sculpture,
he shed light on keeping bees,
then he painted an acrylic
of an abstract view of cheese.
He had circled the equator,
he had visited the poles,
he extolled the art of sailing
while he baked assorted rolls,
he wove a woolen carpet
and he shaped a porcelain pot,
then he sang an operetta
while he danced a slow gavotte.
He was versed in jet propulsion,
an authority on trains,
all of botany and baseball
were contained within his brains,
he knew chemistry and physics,
he had taught himself to sew,
to my knowledge, there was nothing
that the rodent did not know.
He was vastly more accomplished
than the billions of his kin,
he performed a brief sonata
on a tiny violin,
but he squealed and promptly vanished
at the entrance of my cat,
for despite his erudition,
he was nothing but a rat.
“If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it’s done.”– Scott Adams
I hate patronizing bastards.
I have been a bully, and sometimes when I am really annoyed by some gregariously stupid person I still have the tendency to be mean. But for the most part, I have calmed down. My level of tolerance to different kinds of people is almost Zen-like. (Or maybe it is just my apathy. Whatever. I’ll introspect later.)
The point is I have been a bully but I have never been a patronizing bastard.
If I know something, I’ll tell you without adding, “Oh! Hahaha.. you don’t know this yet! This is how it works..” or “Have you been living under a rock?” If that ignorance shocks or saddens me, I will make an attempt to urgently clarify and explain it to you.
I am not the smartest person. My education degree doesn’t provide me with any “skill set”. So I am full of dumb questions and I am numb to embarrassment. So you can explain “tech stuff” – or finance or geography or anything really- to me by dumbing it down so much that it insults my intelligence, and I will humour you (but rest assured I will pay you back in full with interest). However, I absolutely hate it when Grammar Nazis cyber-bully or cliques in college make fun of other people they don’t relate to or you ridicule a particular kind of music because oh-what-you-listen-to is so much more cooler.
Any learning process requires one to make mistakes. A patronizing bastard in essence pretends automatic omniscience. If you do not allow people around you to make mistakes, to be curious and ask dumb questions, you hamper growth of everyone involved. Firstly and obviously, you are not helping the other person. Secondly, you are limiting your own understanding of what you know because you have set answers in your head, and you resist prodding questions that may refresh your thinking over that matter. Thirdly, you are not letting people express themselves freely around you, thus limiting the scope of the conversations you can have.
I am still to learn how to control the barrage of information that the internet throws at me. Social media is affecting my productivity for the worst. I already am a good-for-nothing procrastinator, and now I fill my head with unprocessed crap I don’t need. Lately, I have been seeing so many posts and tweets that are unnecessarily condescending passing off as humourous to which all I do is ignore and let it go. But, I vehemently disapprove of this high-handed, pseudo-intellectual behavior. I immediately disconnect to this self-righteous bullshit people indulge in.
Everyone out there is trying to figure something out. If you can contribute to someone’s growth, chip in. Not like a patronizing bastard, full of advice and condescension, but like a friend who is part of the journey that learning is. A person first has to have the courage to have an opinion so that s/he can improve on it for the better. That’s the first step: To have an opinion and express it. Do not scare people from having the wrong opinion, or laugh on a stupid, emotional stand someone has taken or worse still, laugh at how someone chooses to express oneself. Yes, even if it is with wrong spellings and too many emoticons. Stop expecting people to be your idea of perfect from the get-go. You are denying them the opportunity to explore and grow. If you bully someone during discussions just because you’ve found a foolproof argument or a genius way of living your life, then you are more ignorant than the fucker you are trying to help. Atleast s/he is not pretending to be a know-it-all bastard.
I sometimes wonder how someone can forget their own past stupidity. I even wonder whether patronizing bastards have the tendency to hide their own mistakes. If you check out my blog’s archives – please don’t – you’ll see what kind of a bubbly, nonsensical, exclamation-using nutcase I was. I mean, there is clear proof that I have been an idiot. And I had to be that first, before I chose to be this person somewhere down the line. And maybe, the future-me would cringe at me using so many cuss words on my blog, but I need to be this person first.
I hate how ‘online distance’ makes people feel okay about making someone feel bad. How do you justify venting loudly or mocking someone on status updates? How?! And then you have your pseudo-intellectual friends giving you their sympathies. Aaaargh.
(Look, I wrote a whole blog-post ranting against y’all.)
For the anger they evoke in me, I hate patronizing bastards.
“I don’t like intellectuals, or, at least, people who call themselves that way, because I am under the impression that there is always something condescending in their demeanour, and I don’t like condescending people.”– Carine Roitfeld
– Roger Reeves
The lake is dead for a second time
this January. And no matter
how many geese lay their warm breasts
against the ice or fly across
its hard chest, it doesn’t break,
or sink, or open up and swallow them.
The ice is frozen water.
There is no metaphor for exile.
Even if these trees continue to shake
the crows from their branches,
my sister is still farther away from her mind
than we are from each other
sitting on opposite ends of a park bench
waiting for evening to swallow us whole.
In the last moments of a depressive, a sun.
In the last moments of a sun, my sister
says a man is chasing a goose through the snow.