Posts Tagged ‘random thoughts’

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mp’s response–you are talking out of your ass

February 9, 2011

haha, so here’s an exact reproduction of mp’s response:

i don’t know why you get a negative vibe from me…i’m a positive person!

don’t take this the wrong way – but i’m leaning towards you talking out of your ass…or at least not understanding what (real) happiness is.

while i think emotional (and biological) “happiness” is relative – you have varying amounts of chemicals in your bloodstream and brain which signal that you are happy – real happiness is a state that is unprovoked.  you can be happy in response to something, but this is only a temporary condition.  spending time with loved ones, accomplishing something, or exercising.  even shorter term, drugs and pharmaceuticals can also cause one to feel this way.

in my opinion, contentedness does not correlate with happiness.  i feel that true happiness comes through detachment.  this is a theme seen in many world religions, like buddhism, hinduism, bahai, and even christianity – i belive with good reason.  unhappiness derives from suffering.  suffering comes from desire.  then to eliminate unhappiness, the goal should be to eliminate desire (or, i guess, at least to be content with nothing – so maybe contentedness does have something to do with it).  one thing that i think to myself regularly: if my job, my family, my possessions, and everyone and everything i knew were taken away from me, would i be happy?  for me, im not sure.  but i feel like i am getting there.

i think without this “inner” happiness, every person will be the wrong person.  i experienced this in my own life.  for the longest time i felt lonely, and wanted to have someone.  it wasn’t until i stopped caring about what others could give me when things fell into place.  the person who i am with now doesn’t MAKE me happy.  she does, however, enhance my already happy state.

i want to see what others think, then i’ll formulate my thoughts a bit more. and, thank you mp for creating such a lively discussion! really appreciate the response. i hope you don’t mind being featured here. i would have asked first but you don’t have an email associated with your name. oh well 😉

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in response to a comment

February 9, 2011

i originally wrote this as an answer to a comment on “the road of lost innocence.” however, because its subject departs from the point of that very serious post, i thought i’d reproduce a more eloquent version of my answer here rather than taking more focus away from the Somaly Mam Foundation.

the comment was,

i’m confident that people aren’t happy with someone unless they’d be happy without them, anyhow. mp

this comment related more to my recent singledom post where i moan and groan about being lonely and boyfriend-less. anyway, i’ve heard variations of this maxim and even used it myself a few times. but i think, on deeper reflection, that it’s too simplistic a rule.

  1. first, humans are social creatures. i don’t think we’re meant to spend large amounts of time by ourselves. through the ages, there has been a progression from how people used to live in close-knit households and communities, to the sort of lives a lot of us now lead—flying solo in our own apartments and marrying late in life, if at all. in some places like india, you still see extended families living together and on top of each other, no one having their own room or privacy. now we come home every day to empty apartments. freedom, yes, but the concession we make for our privacy is greater distance, geographically and emotionally, from the people around us. that’s why, to me, it makes sense that when you have that BEST best friend to be particularly close to, it’s possible to finally achieve the content that was still somewhat out of reach when single. i don’t think this is true for everyone. it’s the closeness, the connectedness to people, that we need, and for some people that doesn’t have to be through a relationship.
  2. i think happiness is a kind of complex state-of-being that doesn’t necessarily preclude feeling lonely sometimes. they aren’t mutually exclusive. i see happiness as the measure of your overall emotional state—a sort of mathematical average of your week or month that allows for a few blips.
  3. also, i see happiness as somewhat relative. i’m the happiest i’ve ever been in my life. monday, i took my dog for a long walk and came to realize that i was just randomly grinning. yesterday, i spent a very wonderful day with my grandparents celebrating their 56th anniversary (olive garden + 500 card rummy and family gossip = bliss). and these aren’t isolated incidents of happiness. so i would say that despite my bouts of loneliness, i am happy. if i had the right person in my life, i could be even happier. it’s really just about a level of contentedness. obviously, if you’re suicidal, no significant other in the world is going to make you happy. but if you’re a glass-85%-full happy, i think that’s enough.

what do you think? i might be talking out of my ass or making excuses.

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respect the word!

January 26, 2011

even though i have a blog, i don’t often read other blogs. i’ve only found a few i enjoy reading, even after many visits to “freshly pressed.” food, technology, politics, and sports seem to monopolize the majority of blogs, and i don’t often want to read about those (especially sports).

i’ve also noticed that many bloggers try too hard. maybe it’s really just a matter of taste, but this blog i read recently felt as if it was written in victorian times. actually, it was probably more along the lines of someone who puts every word into a thesaurus and picks a more “complicated” word at random. that really annoys me. synonyms are not created equal! words have connotations and specific uses. for example, a synonym for “exclamation” also includes “ejaculation,” but the latter term makes every normal person involuntarily picture an erupting penis. so, probably not a great choice when you’re writing about something your grandmother said.

that was an easy example. at random, a more challenging instance would be the implications of someone who “loses” during a game and one who “succumbs.” again, “succumb” is a synonym for “lose,” but succumb implies not putting up much of a fight. or “famous” versus “notorious” where the second term hints at being known for something negative. or even just understanding that some words like “vex” are out of style right now. people are “vexed” in shakespearean times. i’m sure there are situations it would still be appropriate, but you have to be careful or your writing will sound stilted or overwrought.

anyway, i guess i’ve always enjoyed writing that is simple but vivid. wordiness puts me in a bad mood. shoving an adjective before every noun does not a good writer make. certainly, it’s not easy to write and i’m not saying i know exactly how it’s done. i have, however, read a lot of beautiful, moving writing out there. stuff that makes you pause and read it again. there is an art to using the tools of word choice and sentence structure to create something that resonates. respect the word!

ok, i’m done with my little english lecture 😉 feel free to use the comments section to share excerpts of writing you find moving.

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in the present

October 18, 2010

in high school on slow nights, my best friend and i would drive for hours through the meandering roads of a park. we drove because we had nowhere to be, but even though we drove in the same tired circles, we felt free, exhilarated. we would play the stereo so loudly we could feel it vibrating in our chests. we would talk for hours about boys, college, getting out of this horrible, cliquey town. it may sound ridiculous to you, but on those drives, we felt alive and young and present. it was like living life in color.

i’ve always had this problem living my life versus watching myself go through the motions as if i were the narrator to my own story. there are very few times, like those car rides, where i’ve felt as if what i was feeling was pure.

how to explain?

example: friend tells me about a mutual acquaintance, very close to her, who died at age 27 of a heart attack. my reaction is clinical. my brain, and i almost picture a dry british voice doing this, articulates that i should feel sad because that’s the appropriate response. and so i do ‘sad’. and truly, i am sad. what frustrates me is that i have an emotional middleman—nothing i feel is instant but the result of some sort of consultation. during special events when i’m out on a night where there’s no reason not to enjoy myself and be happy, this voice constantly flits through my head: “remember this moment, try to picture how everyone looks right now, laugh harder, make your face relaxed and happy in case someone is looking”. i’ll be taking care of my drunk friend, and as i’m rubbing her back as she retches into a toilet, that damned voice says to me, “look at what a great person you are”.

i think maybe this might be the root of my self-esteem issues. basically, i have so few seemingly unadulterated emotions that i feel like a fake. i can’t really believe things people think i am—compassionate, sweet, thoughtful—because even though i feel empathy, go out of my way to help or do nice things on a birthday, there are always those few seconds before whatever feeling i’m supposed to be experiencing kicks in, or that Voice takes satisfaction in a good deed. even when i know people like me, i’m left thinking that they couldn’t really because i’m not fully what i portray. they just don’t know that, and i don’t want them to because i desperately need people around to be happy.

why can’t i just BE? not just during those special days scattered throughout my 25 years of life, but every day.