Category Archives: Dreams

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

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The Unfillable Void

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Void stampI’ve written posts here and there pointing out the occasional desire or maybe more appropriately put…emptiness we have filled with goals, aspirations, big dreams and pointless tasks. Somewhere along the way we are all taught there are certain benchmarks to hit in order to lead a “successful and fulfilling” life. Each and everytime we feel an uneasiness creeping up we try to tick off the next box on that list of fulfilling life moments and achievements, yet for some reason we are still left wanting.

I never understood this void. And better yet, I thought it was just me.

In our own little myopic worlds, we don’t seem to understand that everyone, and I mean everyone, suffers. But, to what extent and what emphasis is put on which wrong syllable is often measured by wealth, education and the basic hierarchy of needs. The saddest part of this is that no matter how much you achieve, how many things you attain and how much money you make…you may still have a little emptiness sitting in your stomach that you just can’t explain.

And this, my friends, is called the human condition.

For some reason our brains are hardwired to want to reach some sort of next step, next need, next want. If we don’t know what that is, sometimes we try to shake things up with a new degree, new career, new spouse, new car or even a new country. But, the bottom line is that no matter how many times we change it up, we can’t outrun it. The best version of ourselves is always just out of reach.

There are too many articles out there about happiness, anxiety, the meaning of life, self-help and self-worth for this epiphany to come to me and me alone. When are people happy?  Well, if we look at the study of psychology, this is all people have been talking about for centuries. The world’s greatest minds have been trying to decipher the meaning of life since the beginning of time, so what made any one of us think we were so special?

I finally understand, I’m not.Red_Void_by_Gaurdian

But, I also understand that this feeling most likely isn’t going away. When it creeps up after a big night of drinking, a breakup, looking at bank statements or being bored at your job…you need to accept it’s part of you, it’s part of life and there will always be more to have, to be, to want. All you can do is try your best to dull the ache, soften the voice, follow your dreams and realize that you are exactly the same as everyone else. The human condition is a condition indeed.

Mark Manson, a favourite of mine, explains it and explains it well. Stop trying to attain happiness and just try to learn acceptance. Pleasure is mistaken for happiness, and achievements mistaken for worth. Trust me when I say, it’s not always worth it. http://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy#sxjbVV:6Q9y

The Ginga Ninja

 

 

That Wasn’t the Plan

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8121734895_79742240a4_mThings don’t always go according to plan, and you know what? Maybe that’s alright. How many people do you think wake up on their 82nd birthday and say, I’m so glad that everything happened exactly the way I thought it would. That everything I ever thought I wanted I got, and everything I ever tried to do, I achieved. In MY fake version of the world, well everyone, but in reality, very few.

Most talk about the mysteries of life. The adventures. The sadness. The happiness. The unexpected turns that brought them somewhere they never imagined. The surprise careers, the failed loves, the hidden blessings. They think back on a life where they wish they made more mistakes and had more regrets. A life without any broken bridges, dead-end paths or unexpected characters is a life that very few look back on grateful that they had. It’s the things we can’t plan for that usually surprise us the most.

But, life is long & short all at the same time. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. But, you can’t have one without the other, you can’t feel joy without pain, you can’t feel loss without gain (reeaallly decided to avoid sunshine and rain there). But, I think what I’m trying to say is don’t plan all the time. Just live. Just breathe. Turn off your brain. Turn off your clock. Turn up the volume. Sing, stare, listen, read, write, hug, feel, but stop envisioning a world where all your dreams come true, because odds are, your dreams can be nightmares and your failures your blessings.

I can appreciate the everyday, but why not live in the possible? The world just doesn’t have as many mysteries anymore. There’s no new continents to explore, there’s no more deepest darkest Africa; everything’ all mapped out my satellites and sonar.  Yet, still, people reach for the unknown. It’s what makes us grow.                                                                                                                                                                                     – Castle

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The Ginga Ninja

Where’s Freud when you need him?

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freud-illustrationAwhile back I tried to write a post about dreams. The problem? It was only a dream.

I’m kidding. The problem was that I was having so many at the time – holding hands with friends, spooning strangers, random people and sad situations…it was a very long and complicated entry; one I always thought I would edit when things were a little more clear. Instead I’m starting over. The other morning I woke up from some very strange and unsettling dreams. Nothing overly bad happened, but sometimes you gotta wonder – what exactly is your subconscious trying to tell you?

My buddy Sigmund Freud is considered the Daddy of Dream Decoding. He believed that nothing happened by chance and that every action and thought is motivated by your unconscious at some level. http://www.dreammoods.com/dreaminformation/dreamtheory/freud.htm

I awoke from a dream where I was at a party with a lot of my old friends. Correction, my ex-boyfriend’s friends, but once we broke up they slowly left my life. It’s sad, but hey, it’s life. Anyhoo, I was catching up with them all – slowly making my way around the room to find out where they lived, who was married, who broke up, their 3rd careers…you know, the usual coming of age fare. It was nice, except for my ex beau and his new squeeze were fuzzily in the background avoiding me like the plague, or more accurately, barely aware I even existed.

Fast forward time, as dreams often do and suddenly we were in my apartment (which was really a hotel room) and I was having an after party. For some reason I owned two places and was being told that I had to give this one up (ha – as if I could ever afford that) – but, this very loft that has helped liberate and create who I am today. A lot of lonely nights and a lot of blog entries have existed here, but a lot of independence too. Like usual, there were now two roads diverged.

But, in that room were a few of those friends, an annoying new suitor, my ex and even the boy before him. When I awoke, it seemed so real, having the two lost loves in the same room. The one was chatty and friendly, like he was in real life…the other hard to read and silent… like he also was in the flesh and blood. My feelings about them in the dream were reminiscent of my feelings about them in life. The one that is more resolved left the room and left it in a friendly way. The one that may or may not hate my guts sat there quietly and mysteriously not saying a word.

I told a couple of people about my mixed feelings when I awoke. It all felt so real. It made me for about an hour want my old life back. It made me for about an hour want my ex-boyfriend back. It made me for about an hour feel like nothing had changed, when really everything has changed. Dreaming about an ex can mean many things – feelings unresolved, the desire for affection, missing a relationship, entering a new one, or even meeting somebody who reminds you of them. Usually they are proposing, you are kissing, they are dying…but very rarely are they just there. I’ve dreamt about them separately and at times with confusion, but never, ever have I dreamt about them together – two worlds crashing, but neither my world any more.

The funny thing about my dream was it wasn’t set in the past, it was in the present. The fact that they were both with other people was known and my feelings about them seemed to be screaming from their actions. Subconscious my ass. It could have simply been emotions unresolved about the way that life and love worked out. But, more so than that, the fact that old chapters of my life were there and I was being told to let go of this new one because clearly the second apartment was newer and nicer may speak volumes. What I have tried to avoid is people telling me how to be or what to do and yet, it still plagues me from time to time. What I have tried to avoid is the need to have the best, the most, the biggest or the baddest and only have what works for me, but it too still haunts me every now and again.

As my life progresses I have a difficult time of supporting my decisions, but also of letting go of the past. Even if it’s wrong right now, a day will come when I will need to let go of this sanctuary and move on. Maybe them being there and being there in the exact same way they were in life was simply speaking to the choices I’ve made, the roads less travelled and that well-known fact that life is ever-evolving and ever-changing. Maybe mentally I’m preparing for something big again. I’m acknowledging what I have had to sacrifice to get where I am and what I may have to again to keep moving forward. I don’t know what that something is yet, but perhaps we need to let go of a bit of the past in order to have a shot at the future.

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.                                                                                                                                                         –  Sigmund Freud

The Ginga Ninja

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