Nostalgia or Nutstalgia?

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When you were an eager little youngster, you watched all genres of movies and listened to countless songs without really understanding what it is you were listening for.  Most Disney movies have sexual inuendos, adult jokes and hidden plot lines that kids just don’t seem to get.  You think your family puts the FUN in DYSFUNCTION?  If you want to talk about family drama, well Snow White, Cinderella and Lion King are filled to the brim.  Children don’t stop to think about what is actually happening and what it means when your stepmother or brother tries to kill you – you know, brotherly love & murder very seldom mesh well.  Just my opinion, but hey.

What I’ve noticed more than ever is how many poems and songs I just didn’t understand.  We danced to the beat, we recited the poetry; we sang those nonsensical lyrics and didn’t have a damn idea why.  I mean, sure, we all don’t like Mondays, but it takes being an adult to truly grasp that reality.  And the first time you really listen, I mean REALLY listen to a song about suicide or rape as an adult, you suddenly realize this is no longer just a lyric or plot line, but something you have (in some degree) probably lived through.  Most of us by a certain age have either gone through some psychological issues or shouldered a friend (or seven) through depression.  It’s not funny, it’ not fun…it’s touching, it’s hard and the lyrics are most likely written by somebody who has actually gone through it too.

That got me thinking. All of those songs put out by angst-ridden female artists of the 1990’s, Natalie Imbruglia, Sarah Mclachlan, Jewel….they finally make sense.  All those dilemmas they had about love lost, starting over, being out of tears, staring at their eggs or aimlessly walking into movie theatres alone finally make sense.  You don’t do these things in your childhood, you don’t really do them in your teens, you don’t understand them in you 20’s, but by your 30’s you’ve finally lived and learned from similar scenarios.  You do realize dreams only last for so long, people can leave you torn and there is a chance you have gone down on someone in a movie theatre.  Graphic maybe…but, possible?

I don’t want to say being an adult is sadder; I just want to say that some of the farcical nonsense of those lyrics finally make sense.  Most songs and movies finally make sense.  Like when my girl Alanis Morisette said she had one hand in her pocket and the other giving a high five…I had no damn idea what the hell she was talking about.  The entire song just seemed like a list of opposites and non-rhyming words…a bit of a scattered attempt at songwriting in my opinion.  I didn’t get it back then, but now I do. It’s about being many things at once, trying to make it all fit together and finally understanding that you do everything a little half-assed…you are a little bit of many things, but you accept it.  You CAN be two exactly opposite things at the same time and funnily enough, be perfectly okay with it. Like my girl Alanis says, everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine1460-cherry

The Ginga Ninja

 

Who wins the Human Race?

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20120223-024mI haven’t been blogging as much lately because well, I haven’t been writing as much lately. And, to be honest, even if I were…I wouldn’t have time to post. So, yesterday I started mentally formulating a post about being too busy to post, but as I was too busy to write it down, I’m stuck with this one.

I have spent days, months, weeks, even years being (too) busy. It was a feeling that I was used to. I could insert some cliché statement here, like Idle Hands are the Devil’s Work or You can sleep when you’re dead, but what I have learned recently is that busy doesn’t make you important. Productive doesn’t make you successful. And being organized doesn’t always make you happy. Somewhere in the past few years I learned there was a whole different version of life out there. One where you weren’t always dreaming of that someday when you’re life reaalllyy started and you weren’t filling your hours with things that you (might not) have time to do when your “real life” finally began.

I have learned now that being less busy is underrated. Less busy people take more time to complete their tasks at hand, most likely have more time to do the things they enjoy, and can pick and choose what task to tackle that day, not make a to-do list a mile long about all the things that they are neglecting. Well, lately, trust me, I’ve been neglecting a lot of things. I feel like I’ve taken on a million and one projects, all of which are suddenly being done a little half-assed, because frankly I have no time to do them whole-assed (seriously, who came up with that term).

This led me to the inevitable decision that something has got to give, because dammit I have learned that productive and happy aren’t always one and the same. My hardworking Dutch grandparents may have felt otherwise, but this girl? This girl likes naps, and books, and painting and watching classic movies.  When you are trying to toss in an additional 40+ hours a month of work over top of your existing load, well, you hit a cracking point pretty quickly. Particularly if you have learned that the best version of you may live somewhere between introvert and extrovert, flexible and stubborn, and successful…even with a little less success. If being busy is being successful, I’ll take failure any day.

http://www.tylerwardis.com/busy-isnt-respectable-anymore

Look at us, running around, always rushed, always late, I guess that’s why they call it the human race. But, sometimes it slows down just enough for all the pieces to fall into place. Fate works its magic and you are connected. Every once in awhile, in all the randomness – something unexpected happens and it pushes us all forward. The truth is…what I’m starting to think, what I’m starting to feel, is maybe the human race isn’t a race at all.  - The Switch

The Ginga NinjaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Lose Your Phone

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Did you know that the internet and cellphones, these wonderful, amazing, technological advances have actually added to people’s general unhappiness with what they have? We have all the information we ever wanted at our fingertips, a way to not lose somebody at the mall and a way to keep in touch with all the pen pals we ever met. Yet, often we feel empty…unfulfilled and unloved, why?

Well, the thing is…once upon a time, if you were out for dinner with your friends, you were only out for dinner with your friends. If you were unhappy with your job, your spouse knew it…if you were unhappy with your house, well, frankly, only your close friends, neighbours and family might know. Nobody cared what you ate for dinner, how many geraniums you planted, or how angry the old lady at the crosswalk made you. Nobody cared whether you threw a crappy birthday party, and lord knows, nobody wanted to sit through your boring vacation photos.

Photos were limited and carefully chosen. Ads were a novelty, correspondence a gift, houses were probably cleaner and more time was spent on passionate hobbies. When we broke up, we might have heard a rumour or two or bumped into them and their wonderful new girlfriend 5 years later, but we didn’t get the never-ending barrage of new haircuts, trips, weddings, birthday parties and flavours of the month like we do now. No, now we are all glued to our devices to one up another, see who is thinking about us, what’s going on, and to have 24/7 validation for the meaningless life we really lead.

Social media is a very dangerous tool. A tool that makes mothers feel bad about the birthday parties they didn’t throw, the cakes they didn’t bake, the vacations they can’t afford and the divorces they lived through. A tool that makes children feel less popular if they aren’t on it and pressured to do things when they are. A tool that makes single people sit through never-ending baby photos, stare into the eyes of happy couples and families and constantly be reminded of the ruins they didn’t visit or condo they can’t afford.

With so many more things than we ever had…and so much more access to friends, family and information than ever before…why have we created a society that is more discontent than ever?  Well, life is now just a big, public game of keeping up with the Joneses. Except the Joneses are now your elementary, highschool and university friends, co-workers, exes, some guy you met on vacation, some neighbour you haven’t seen in 10 years and some girl you talked to twice online. The pool of people to compare from is larger than it ever was and the access we have into people’s lives is overwhelming.

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/facebook-can-make-you-unhappy-130814.htm

And I’ve had this very conversation with a loved one. A successful, but incredibly frustrated loved one.  Very seldom do people post photos of their children telling them they hate them, the moment they sign the divorce papers, the visit to the ER, the funeral of their father, or the day they were handed their pink slip. She made sure to tell me that behind many of these beautiful family pictures and smiling photos are bad marriages, financial woes and a general feeling of despair. But, would you show that publicly? Of course not, because that wouldn’t get you many “likes” now would it? And that would be too real.

No, we now live in a world of trying to convince everyone how great our life is, when in reality the people sitting on their front porches reading a book without an instagram account are most likely the happiest there are. They are living in the present, in their own life and don’t give a damn what anybody else is doing. They are the ones who despite being called dinosaurs are indifferent to Bobby’s barbecued ribs, Sonja’s newest marathon, Alex’s latest trip to Japan, or Tommy’s favourite beer. They don’t give a damn that they have less quote-on-quote “friends” and they don’t give a damn if their selfie was unliked or their slippers are uncool. No, on a Saturday, all they want to do is turn up the music, clean their house and remember what it was like to be a kid…and maybe, just maybe…pick up that cellphone…and call their mom.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

The Ginga Ninja

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I’m Just Trying to Hang Up My Coat

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Everyone has their own song to sing, own bell to ring and own dragon to slay.  How big or bad your challenges are can be impacted by many things and a challenge is a challenge, whether it is big or small.    images

For many, their battles are difficult – finding a new job, going back to school, raising children, losing weight, learning to accept or learning to forgive. Nobody knows what somebody else is going through and nobody knows how big and bad your demons are.

Well, sometimes life, and change are not about the big things.  Sometimes you can be happy with all the big things and realize that all you can work on day in, day out are the small ones.  So, for anybody that doesn’t have a life-changing goal in mind, remember that a day-changing one is good too.  For me, I’m focusing on my bad habits and the little things that will make my organized chaos a little more organized.  As a friend put it, I’m not trying to lose weight, re-direct my career, or gain a diploma…I’m just trying to hang up my coat”.  A lot can be said for that one little statement and what it means in regards to life.

With age comes wisdom and with time comes less opportunities to change your world.  Small steps are still steps and if you think about it carefully, you can get a lot more small steps into a lifetime than you can big ones.

There’s going to be a time when you don’t want people to know how old you are.  Because you will realize that you haven’t accomplished any of your goals. – George, Go On

The Ginga Ninja

Full of Love, or Flu of Love?

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slapDating is hard.  Let me repeat, dating is hard.  So are bricks.  And sometimes dating makes you want to bang your head on bricks.  Correlated?  I think so.

I’ve never been a big fan.  I like the feeling of a crush when it seems to be going well, but dear god I hate it when it starts going badly.  That racing brain, those obsessive thoughts, the “why” of what you did, could have done different, or didn’t do to make it turn out the way it finally did.  And the funny thing is, we are all like this.  Well…if we have the ability to feel, think and crush we are.  There is a reason it is called “falling” – it hurts, and you can definitely get “crushed”.  However, if you are a detached cool mamma like a good friend of mine, well, off is off.  Most of us are not blessed with this skill though, so I will assume that when you start talking to a promising keeper, this is probably what you are going through (cue hair pulling now).

Read on:  www.today.com/id/44010532/ns/today-today_health/t/truly-madly-deeply-how-love-makes-you-sick/#.UyESyvldXt8

But, for me dating is no different than any relationship, with any new person – friend, foe or lover.  You don’t really know them, their story, who they are and why they are, or, sometimes, are not talking to you.  We get a snippet of somebody and then when they bail without a word, we are left holding the bag of empty dreams and broken conversations.  Of course we don’t know these people and we will live.  Of course they do not change the path of our life, affect our friendships or fix our health issues.  But, for that moment…for that fleeting moment…you let yourself dream.  You let yourself dream it was going well and this little future of massages, hot tubs, endless hugs and trivia nights could actually happen.  All these things they said while flirting with you, could maybe, inevitably, come true.

The worst is, we all feel just like this when it doesn’t go our way.  But, what about the ones we don’t care to answer, chock up to being drunk, or just don’t have time in our schedule for?  We don’t obsess over those, we barely feel bad.  In recent years, I have tried to make a point of being accountable for my own actions.  If I go any more than 5 days continuous contact, I feel I owe it to them to tell them I am out, no matter the stage.  They could very well be on the other end of this starting to make their fake little plans…and the rollercoaster of feelings that is a new romance could be screwing with their day.  Maybe it isn’t screwing with mine and I could care less, but knowing how bad it feels when I do care more, I think I owe it to them to say it’s just not for me.

Sadly (and uncontrollably) though, I get upset when somebody doesn’t give me the same common courtesy.  I’m meant to think they are an insensitive jerk, an immature ass, a fake future talker, or they don’t have any emotional depth.  However, I’ve done the same and I don’t think I’m a jerk.  I think the problem is, we can all ACT like jerks because we live in a self-serving world where the moment somebody fucks with your schedule or pre-existing plan…the moment they are an unnecessary obligation…we are out.

So, why don’t I let it roll off my back, decide I’m better and move on?  I eventually do.  But, only after going through a gamut of emotions over a 5 day period.  The “will I hear from him” phase, the “maybe something happened to him” phase, the “I can’t believe I didn’t hear from him” phase and finally the “it’s his loss” phase.  But, here’s the thing.  We aren’t 19 anymore.  We shouldn’t let somebody else decide our worth, but we also shouldn’t just ignore somebody that we had interest in and we shouldn’t decide their feelings don’t matter.  Maybe they aren’t for you, (well, that’s obvious that not everyone is), but why leave people hanging?  Why not just say you are out, when you are out?  It would save a whole lot of people from self-doubt and wondering if the person lost their phone, their charger, or their mind.

Read on: www.thoughtcatalog.com/carrie-wittmer/2013/08/psycho-thoughts-girls-have-when-a-guy-does-not-respond-to-a-text-message-for-days/

Funnily enough, I did have an ex who constantly had his battery die (I witnessed it), and a friend who left her cell in her hometown for three weeks.  It does happen.  And I do have the friend of a friend of a friend who was so angry she googled…and the poor bastard had actually died.  But, let’s be clear…for the most part when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.  If you don’t hear from them, you eventually get the message, but wouldn’t be easier if you ACTUALLY GOT THE MESSAGE.

I keep approaching life with the new mantra of no games and being accountable for my actions and hoping the same from others.  Three times back-to-back I haven’t gotten it, but what I did get across is a point.  A good friend of mine actually decided to tell a girl he had been stalling with that he wasn’t feeling it.  Know what?  She took is surprisingly well and stopped contacting him.  So, after all of this, we decided, maybe this wasn’t my lesson to learn at all, but his.

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The Ginga Ninja

Do you ever really know somebody?

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redhead-maskIt’s funny, you think you know a person and then something…somewhere changes and all bets are off.  We think we know the ins and outs of why people operate the way they do – the jocks, the jackasses, the pleasant and the petrified. But do we?

The really confident people, you know, the ones who admonish you or have really strong opinions one way or another – sometimes you find out that deep down they are just as insecure as you and learned to lash out first…that way it didn’t hurt so bad when they were picked on, or maybe, just maybe they hoped that people would be too scared to attack at all.

And the indecisive person?  Are they actually indecisive…or are they too scared to offend somebody else and therefore refuse to choose so they can’t be blamed for the decision?  I know what it feels like to back down quickly, I know what it feels like to second-guess.  I’m not saying I won’t stand my ground…trust me, in the right company I will.  But, there are times it is me being submissive because I am too afraid to anger, or am unprepared for the fight.

So, depending on who is viewing me and on what day – I can seem overly confident or underly decisive (I know it’s not a word, but I love it).  But, suddenly, it is me in all my glory that can’t be trusted and doesn’t appear to know myself, or at the very least present myself.  Nobody is ever really black and white, particularly not anybody of substance.

In this world, we have gotten used to witnessing the end result, not what brought us to that place.  We live in a society of treating the symptom, not the cause. I’ve seen a lot of bad things happen to a lot of people. I’ve seen a lot of people do bad things.  We say not to let others get under our skin…we say not to care, not to listen, not to worry and to always be ourselves.  But, how realistic is this?  We are afterall…human.

So that brings me to the question – do we ever really know someone and inevitably do we always know ourselves? I think we can change our mind all the time. I think we can question our meaning, our world and our weight….and  I think maybe you can never really, truly, honestly know someone or what they think of you. Or even, sometimes what you think of you. I’ve never known such an upbeat song to have such mixed lyrics, but… Some nights I feel this way, and well some nights… I don’t.images (3)

Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights I call it a draw
Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights I wish they’d just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? Most nights I don’t know anymore…

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype
Save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style

Well, some nights I wish that this all would end
‘Cause I could use some friends for a change.
And some nights I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights I always win.

So this is it. I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this? Come on.

No. When I see stars, that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on.

Well, that is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home;
Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?

My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she call “love”
When I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible nights…

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The Ginga Ninja

Procrastinating Procrastination

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23Weekends are never long enough.  No, seriously, even when it’s a long weekend, there are just not enough hours in the day.  This is not to say I don’t like my job, or my part-time job, and I don’t even dread Monday mornings.  But, even when I’m not busy, I find I’m extremely busy doing very unimportant things.

Most of us find a way to fill our time quite well, depending on our needs of the moment.  For me, this little time-waster you are reading, organizing my music, playing guitar, painting, catching up on my ‘sodes, napping, errands, and pretending to clean… all seem to eat in that precious nothingness I was planning on doing.

It’s almost like I procrastinate procrastinating and actually find things to fill the time.  You would be amazed how easy it is to stay busy, particularly when you don’t even want to be.

Life is a constant give and take, ebb and flow, and unfortunately until I can afford a 4 day work week, my weekends are always going to be one day too short.

The Ginga Ninja