It’s good to be bad

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There are times I think about writing. And I don’t just mean the concept of what is writing, I mean…sitting down and actually writing. Unfortunately, usually early in the morning or late, late at night (which is still technically early in the morning) are those times. And well, full-time jobs and sleep requirements and all that jazz prevent me from getting up and writing in the moment I have ideas, probably good ideas. Not like now.

So, sometimes I don’t write. And I don’t really know why. I don’t think it’s that I have writer’s block per say; it’s not as though I sit down and nothing comes out. Just lately, I don’t sit down. I just don’t sit down to do it and odder still, I don’t feel a void when I don’t.

Sadly, the moments I write the most, are when I’m the most sad. Sadness, confusion, introspection, jealousy, uncertainty…these are the things that drive those words. And art. And literature. And entertainment. And almost anything good or meaningful that ever came out of this life.

If you look back in time, many of the most talented, creative, artistic sons o’bitches out there were riddled with issues. Depression, anxiety and straight-up being stuck in those heads tends to be what leads to the best art. And that in itself is terrible. The people who make our joy seldom experience it. The everyday people, maybe those are the people living life, but not driving it forward. The socially awkward, societally-shunned geniuses and the drug-raddled, insomniatic depressives are the ones that add the je ne sais quoi to our world. And what they provide is what makes everybody else’s life better, but not necessarily their own.

This is a conversation that has come up a lot lately. As my creative friend risked it all to start a new business, and yet another artistic mastermind took their own life, and well, I just creep other people’s perfect profiles with envy like a modern day peeping tom….Often the best results in our life are driven by the worst times. And the best times result in the worst outputs.

So, though this may not be the best thing I’ve ever written, maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s good to be good, and great to be great, but state of mind and quality of work may not always be one in the same. So maybe sometimes it’s good to be bad and bad to be good.

Some people are born mediocre ,some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.  –  Joseph Heller

Social Media. Let’s stalk about it.

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Me and my new boyfriend Netflix (no offence real boyfriend) have been having quite the affair lately. And oddly enough there seems to be a shit-ton of shows related to technology, social media, paranoia, needs and perceptions.

One of the shows I watch is about bullying in highschool and how technology makes it so much worse. In hindsight I guess I was bullied a bit, some rumours spread, some issues with girls, some issues with boys, some issues with girls about boys and ultimately some very poor self-esteem. Back then the rumours were spread in homeroom or late at night on a landline, if people isolated you, well you just spoke to nobody and if photos were taken you had to physically pass them around…nowadays it can be public, and messy, and graphic, and isolation is proven to you in so many more ways.

But, honestly, this post isn’t about bullying, it’s more about the technology involved and it’s effect on our lives. I’ve been watching the show Black Mirror recently, and each and every episode has some tie into advanced technology and how it does (or could) affect our lives. The episodes are dark, they are creepy, they are the modern day Twilight Zone and more scarily, some are a little too close to the truth.

One episode in particular has resonated with quite a few girls I know. Bryce Dallas Howard lives in a world where “likes” are a part of your daily interactions. And I don’t just mean a part, I mean the virtual equivalent of popularity IS their life’s work, their whole life. Every interaction they have with anybody…everybody…is ranked out of 5 stars. Your rating (think about your own personal Trip Advisor) decides not only how beloved you are, but what you can get in life. You can get a better car, better house, better flight, better price and hell, better man if you have a higher ranking. You spend your whole life obsessing over your perceived popularity with a fake little smile plastered on your fake little face.

Well, I’ve been Bryce Dallas Howard. I’ve been that person looking at somebody else’s photos, fiancée, new dog, new house, current trip and yearning. Yearning over their great career, their new car, their everlasting love and here I am sitting on my couch listening to the Cure. Okay, that’s a bit drastic, but movies, my music, my guitar and my Netflix. And so we’ve come full circle.

Tricked you again, the post isn’t really about Netflix either. Sneaky, sneaky.

Anyway. Did you know there are studies floating around stating that excessive selfies are linked to anxiety, self-esteem and overall intimacy and straight-up mental disorder? In fact, it’s called “selfitis”. No seriously. And though I am guilty of (let’s admit it) #awesome selfies, I can’t help but notice those people that post them 15 times a day. All it takes is 3 people…3 selfies a day can check you into the nuthouse. Read on, tis true.

www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/addiction-selfies-mental-disorder.html

It also turns out the stronger your relationship with social media is, often the higher your chances of depression are. The need to prove everything to the world is proof that something is missing, let’s call it a “virtual void” to be filled. Fake friends, fake articles, fake comments and fake likes on meaningless posts. “They” also say that the more you see other people’s shining, smiling, delicious, bright, filtered, deliriously happy photos, the sadder you will be….as you sit on your couch…and write your blog grocery list and feed your cat kids. #nofilter #reallife 

www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2016/04/30/study-links-heavy-facebook-and-social-media-usage-to-depression/#695968544b53

And the worst part about this post is that I know these things. I know that getting likes on my Instagram, comments on my selfies and followers on my blog (oh please, oh please) doesn’t mean I’m a better person. It doesn’t mean that I’m smarter, or prettier, or any more talented, it doesn’t mean that I’m thinner, fatter, richer, more or less loved. It doesn’t mean these things.

The sad thing is, I do feel a little bit prettier when 40 people like my new glasses, I do feel a bit more loved when my boyfriend likes my photos (and imagine if he tagged me too, lucky gal) and I do look at other girls photos and envy their lives. I envy their fake lashes, I envy their pet’s Instagram page, I envy their seemingly loving boyfriend who posts hashtag after hashtag about his goddess and their uber perfect life. I envy their expensive clothes, I envy their free housing and I envy their size 4 figure.

So, deep down, I know that comparing your life is the most useless activity in the world, and envying somebody’s need to post everything that has every happened in their world with at least one #hashtagged couple-selfie a day is sad…but let’s be brutally honest, my desire to look in and care is even sadder.

So many struggle with this. We hate online dating, we hate feeling unwanted / unliked, we know when somebody unfriends us, we panic when we think we are blocked, we post our feelings on the bad days and our best pictures on the good ones. We know that more likes means more love, right? Wrong. Those of us smart enough to know it is a mental disorder filled with narcissism, anxiety, depression and meaninglessness know it’s wrong, but we yearn anyway.

Life is now one big photo album of people’s kids and vacations. There is no avoiding it short of having the guts to go media free. But as most jobs are posted online, most business profiles are necessary, online education is a thing, digital music is a must, smartphones are the norm…odds of us going off the grid are poor. So, in the meantime we will do our best to love our lives and remember that the more wonderful things you post, sometimes the less wonderful your life actually is.

Now, don’t say you’re too afraid or that you don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of thing, because guess what? You spy on people every day. We’re always watching someone. Following someone. And being followed. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they’ve made us a society of stalkers. And we love it. – Hannah, 13 Reasons Why

The Ginga Ninja

Dude. You’re slacking on your blog.

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So, to anybody still reading this badboy, this morning I woke up to this text. And the thing is, I knew. I already knew.

For the past week or so, the thought of (I should really post) has been lingering in the back of this brain, and yet so many other things took my time. And have, for weeks, even months now. The overtime of work (3 hours on my vacation day just last week), my social media commitments, my boyfriend, my ailing cat, my incessantly dirty home (anybody know an affordable housekeeper) and a destination wedding have all deemed more important. Yes bride, I’m talking to you.

Yesterday, if I’m truly honest, I had an open day and didn’t know what to do. I napped. I cuddled my cats. I watched YouTube videos. I cleaned my shower. So, could I have written up a little post, or at least aired an old one? Sure I could have, but instead thought, I doubt anybody is reading this anymore anyway. I purposely avoided doing it because I thought maybe at this point I was only doing it for me, not for any of you. Maybe my need to brain dump isn’t as strong or my efforts to get famous for my witty (non-promoted) writing has lessened.

Either way, I thought…if my urge to write hasn’t been there, then why. Like most things in life…there it is, the ever-impending, back of our mind, does-it-really-matter question…why?

Well, my friend is bored at work, so I guess that’s why. And though I fully promote doing things just for yourself…singing, poor guitar playing (or just a pretty guitar decoration these days), slowly reading, building the best Simpsons town the world has ever seen, yoga, stretching, updating your resume, proofreading, answering weekend texts from co-workers, networking, mulling over egg freezing, mulling over investments, needing to do your taxes…even though you need to do all these things for yourself and maybe, just maybe they trump your “just-for-fun” writing, maybe deep deep down the things you do don’t just affect you, maybe, just mmmaaayyybbee somebody, somewhere is actually touched by what we do. And that in itself, is touching.

If your light is on at 2 am and even one person comes to check if you’re okay…then you’re okay. Tess, Suburgatory

The Ginga Ninja

Did I spell rong wrong?

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I’ve been trying to put my finger on what exactly has been wrong lately, and somehow…I can’t.red-quote

There is no big bad wolf knocking at my door, no financial crisis lurking around the corner, no extreme loneliness, no terrible boss, no family drama, no pet crisis, no major health scares. Things are more together than they have been in a really long time…and once in awhile, one in a blue moon, I think THAT is the problem.

I’ve been fighting my demons as I age. They say your 30’s are actually the greatest decade, and truthfully I believe it. I’ve been navigating my way through the unknown and learning to give the finger to more of what doesn’t work in my world. The thing is, the more I give the finger to things and the deeper I root myself into my little world…the further I drift away from all those someday dreams I used to have. Someday wedding, someday house, someday trip, someday career…

As I get older and make rash decisions my chances for somedays get smaller. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to live in this world. The present, the real, the everyday…and most days it’s a great world to live in. Understand and appreciate what you do have, just don’t think about the rest…but every once in awhile…every once in panic-inducing while…something feels wrong.

I have always struggled with the thought that something feeling wrong meant something in your life was actually…wrong. I didn’t understand that as a human I would have good days and bad, secure and insecure moments and would feel “that” feeling in the pit of my stomach, pushing up against my lungs…for many reasons other than actual hardship.

A big meeting, a hard test, a first kiss…these can all create those feelings. So, lately…when they creep up…I need to fight the urge to assume something is actually out of place in my world and needs fixing. I need to accept the fact that it’s okay to feel bad when you send a cat to the shelter or let a new crush down. It’s okay to feel bad when you can’t afford your vacation or you get dis-invited to a cottage because they over counted. It’s okay to feel bad. Hell, it’s okay to feel.

So, as I struggle to figure out what exactly is wrong…I think the answer is nothing. Nothing is wrong, other than my inability to feel bad without feeling wrong. And frankly, that in itself is what is wrong.

Life is Messy.  It Kicks you in the Ass. That’s right, I said Ass.  But, it does, it kicks you in the ass.  And the messy parts are the best parts. – Jess, New Girl

The Ginga Ninja

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New Year, New You?

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mmI’m sitting here with thoughts in my head and lazy in my fingers…barely just willing myself to type. Don’t let the title fool you, one night cannot make an entire new you. A you that makes resolutions, recommits to passions and hobbies, and tries harder to be good at the things they are good at and even better at the things they aren’t….suuurrreee…but a new you? C’mon people.

Who in their right mind really believes that one cold night in winter (well, in certain countries) makes you a different person, or even makes you dedicate to being a better person. I gave up on resolutions years ago because frankly, you give up on them quickly and stress yourself out when you are failing.  What about just trying to be okay everyday?

As I say this, I did just make homemade soup, am watching Jeopardy, sat down to write for the first time in months, read 10 chapters of a book, mentally recommitted to playing my guitar and did yoga for the first time in a year…but I won’t call these things resolutions…I will call these things the things I shoulda been doing all along.

So resolve to be the version of you that operates best and most content, not the version of you that doesn’t exist, because trust me, if you do…you will not only let the new you, but the old you down too.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

The Ginga Ninja

Coming up Thistles

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red-roses-1410101You know that old saying everything’s coming up roses – well, what happens when everything is coming up, well, not roses? Is it lemons? Is it worms?  Ticks? Nightmares? Daffodils? Toilet Seat Covers??? We definitely have that cliche saying about “when life hands you lemons…” on second thought, how come everything is related to flora? Like what about garbage, water, clouds…when life hands you clouds…sounds catchy – no?

Either way, that old cliché  about roses doesn’t even make sense because roses have thorns. So, maybe whoever thought about that was really thinking…when everything is coming up with the beautiful wonderfulness that can be life, but there is still a thorny little thing to avoid buried underneath…well, that is really life now isn’t it? So, maybe when everything is coming up thistles there is some weird flowerly goodness or beautiful scent just lingering nearby.

I can tell you that my day started out great and very quickly, well, everything started coming up thistles (it’s my new saying and I’m sticking to it). Just one hiccup after the other – one drama, conundrum, temporarily unsolvable problem, letdown, stress inducer and this poor little mind can only handle so many. But, I know, just like I knew yesterday, just like I’ll know tomorrow…I just have to get through the day. Tomorrow starts anew yet again. In the show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt she says you can survive anything for 10 seconds. So, even in a lengthier bad moment, she just starts over when she reaches 10. Count to ten, begin again.

So, thistles, thorns, fruit, or flowers, well today is today. I gotta just get through head held as high as I can keep it  (without losing it on any poor soul) and be sure to remember that today isn’t tomorrow and tomorrow isn’t yesterday and so on and so forth, motivational blah, blah, blah.

Just checking to see if you are still paying attention. But, seriously, you can weather any storm, there’s always tomorrow, today is the first day of the rest of your life, without the rain there is no rainbow..really, the ending is up to you.

The Ginga Ninja

Sock it to me

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socks-with-holesSome time ago I tried to organize my life. I got rid of old clothes, started re-wearing my wardrobe, bought a shoe rack and tossed all my socks with holes in them. I did this thinking that cleaning up my loft would inadvertently clean up my mind. I was at the backend of yet another misadventure of the heart and was trying to keep my thoughts off the ever impending “will he text” question that nowadays, for many, seems to be the meaning of life. To Text or Not to Text, the new moral dilemma, the never-ending cauldron of doubt and a multitude of technological mishaps only make for more confusion than ever before.

I was doing this with my friend and at the time we were having the never-resolved discussion of accountability, dating, what it all means, who we like or don’t and trying to appease the guilts or angers we had with a little organizing…and a lot of alcohol. He was two days deep into a texting marathon and mine was just coming to a crashing halt.

Anyway, opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one. A co-worker told me that pride is over-rated; if you want to know, just send a message. Another friend says she always holds out until she gets mad enough to call a spade a spade. Another friend says that her pride is too strong to ever message somebody where wires were crossed, and yet in the right mood she will put up with more crap from a guy than I ever would. My former boss once told me that if she had the balls 20 years ago she had now; life would’ve gone a lot smoother. There is no point in not saying what you want to say because people regret the things they didn’t do more than the ones they did. And that ass that blew you off? Well, whether you send one more message explaining your side or not, they still blew you off. Same outcome. Thought for the day guys and gals.

So, like my attempt to clean up and simplify dating, I tried to do the same for my wardrobe. When deciding between the no name 4-pack or the brand name 3-pack of socks, we decided to go the quality route. Maybe, just maybe my choices would rub off in all areas of life. Funnily enough, those more expensive quality socks? They tore a hole, downloadafter only one wear. Socks, like life, even with thought and exertion… can still let you down.

“Fucking socks. You put a little effort into getting a better pair and there are still holes in them…” – Anonymous

 

The Ginga Ninja