It Starts with One.

Jan 19th, 2011 9:40:00pm

One thought. That thought gives rise to another, and another, and another. On on and on, until you finally stop and wonder, “How did I get here?” Most often, or probably always, that first thought is completely unrelated to where you ended up, except through the series of connected thoughts that got you there. With me so far?

Who’s heard of the Six Degrees of Separation theory? I have always loved it. I find it fascinating. The possibility that any two people anywhere in the world, can be connected through six people or less. Imagine it. Six billion people in the world, and you could reach out to any of them through just six. Of course, it all depends on choosing the right first “degree”.

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” – Chaos Theory

That is a famous line, that is. Almost everyone’s heard of it. But has anyone thought of just how much it means? The implications? One word, one action, one decision. That’s all it takes to change… Everything. Anything. It shapes the rest of your life, until another decision alters it, and then another.

That’s how life works. You don’t know what’s ever going to happen because there are so many possibilities that open up with so much as the flexing of your little finger, ever changing with every movement, every moment. It’s mind boggling, but also, in its way, rather beautiful, while additionally being completely and utterly terrifying.

We are all connected. Every one of us. You can try denying it but honestly? There is no denying it at all. We live in one world, in one universe, under one collective consciousness that we may only be truly aware of in the deepest parts of our subconscious. And through that connection, our actions shape our world. Everything has consequence. Everything has a cause and effect, a reaction. It all lies in the choices you make.

Scary, isn’t it? This knowledge comes with such unbelievable responsibility, doesn’t it?
Think of it this way, though. You can’t ever say that you can’t make a difference. Anyone can make a difference. All they have to do is act. To try. Even if you don’t see the change you wished to create in your lifetime, at least know that you set the ball in motion. Your deeds have set a chain reaction in the world, and within our collective consciousness, and the world will never be the same again.

One thought. One decision. One action. It starts with one.

Make it the right one.


Aug 25th, 2010 1:45:00am

This is [WordPress]. Over one billion posts by people from all walks of life. Some people blog purely to share the beautiful things they find. Some people blog for publicity (yes, we have celebrities on here too, although I’m sure they’re not all just doing it for that).

Some people blog to unleash their creativity upon the masses, hoping that someone out there will appreciate their work. And then, there are the people who blog for themselves. Who use [WP] as a journal for their thoughts, their feelings and their experiences. Things they want to let out.

I’ve heard people scoff and say, when for example they ask someone for their blog link, “If you don’t want people to read it then why are you posting it all over the internet for the world to see?”

The fact is it’s the people who are actually in our lives, people who we either don’t want them to know about our experiences, or are actually involved in them, they’re the ones we don’t want to read it. It’s a sort of relief, sharing a bit of yourself to complete strangers. They can’t judge you (although many, many will, unfortunately) because they don’t know you. They can’t force their own beliefs and judgements and opinions upon you, because they’re not in your lives, so their effect is limited. I’m not underestimating the power of words, but still. Being judged online by a complete stranger is different being judged by someone who is actually involved in your life.

There are so many people in the world. And it’s comforting sharing it with someone who can maybe relate to it, maybe offer a perspective the people in our lives can’t, maybe discover that they’re not as alone as they thought.  There’s also a sort of freedom. It’s like it’s now out there and it isn’t gnawing at you anymore, and you can breathe easier knowing that no matter what, it’s out there now. You can delete it anytime you want, but for now, it’s released.

I had a personal blog once. I deleted it ages ago, for several reasons, but I still remember that feeling of relief once I got things off my chest and just tossed it out for the world (okay, my followers, none of whom I had known in real life) to see. It was wonderful. It was therapy.

Here’s the opposite. It’s slightly masochistic, I suppose, but also comforting in a way. Holding back and keeping quiet. Not only because you don’t know how to word it in the first place, but because it’s familiar in its safety. No one knows. It’s like your little secret, hidden and only explored at the times where there’s no activity to distract you, outwardly appearing to be staring at the ceiling, while poking and prodding and pondering and wondering on the inside. It’s almost fun, seeing how far you can go before you snap and tell someone, do something, say something, release it, share it.

How many of you have done this? Either before getting a blog, or still, now, today, this very moment perhaps, clutching to your heart something you can’t bring yourself to release, either not knowing what it is, or knowing and keeping it close regardless? A dark secret that keeps you up at night, maybe, or a feeling you just can’t describe? Something you want to speak out loud, but just can’t? I’d like to know. What are you not saying?

Your secret’s safe with me.

Not A ‘Nobody’

Feb 22nd, 2010 2:33:00am

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.

With this quote echoing in my ears, there have been times when I have wished to give up the art of writing completely. After all, by all accounts, I have yet to ‘live’. I have not done anything in the least bit extraordinary; I have not accomplished anything impressive; I have not conquered nor invented; I have not travelled to foreign, exotic lands, and I have done nothing that I can later say with pride was completely mad. By my own admission, my life is mundane, routine, boring and mediocre at best.

There are days when I reflect upon the years I have spent alive and feel utterly despondent at how things seem to be moving. And then I am filled with despair at my condition, feeling I might never really do anything significant with my life. The differences and changes I want to make to the world may never be should I continue to lead my life the way I do. And I will admit, in those moments, I feel useless, pathetic, and that my fading way would go unnoticed, without a single missing thread from the fabric of the universe. Who would notice? Who would care? I have done nothing. I am nobody.

But when I dare reveal this feeling to the people in my life, I am catapulted into the list of things I have done for them or to them, knowingly or otherwise. I am told of the difference I have made in their lives. I am told that my passing from this world would indeed be noticed, by them and my presence missed with every fibre of their being. Though I have yet to truly believe that I could have such an effect on anyone, it makes me think.

There are times when we believe that no one cares for us. That we have done nothing worthy of that care we all so desperately desire. We believe ourselves to be burdens rather than blessings, unable to wrap our minds around the fact that we may actually have made an impact on someone.

It’s sad. To think of all those who have no idea of their effect, going through their lives feeling they have not done anything to be noted for. Not really.

But as my loved ones constantly remind me, during my days of depression, everyone, no matter how insignificant their lives may seem to them, have in some way influenced another, or one day will.

A smile to a stranger, a kind word to someone in tears, a touch, a single action, done in sincerity and genuineness and love, these have a more profound effect than any of us realise. It is like a ripple in a pond. One deed, or perhaps many, creates a ripple, whether we know it or not. Even those who go through their lives doing the same thing everyday have also changed someone or something, somewhere, somehow.

Never doubt the ability you have to influence. Never doubt your ability to make a change, be it small or grand. Never think that it goes unnoticed. Someone always sees, and even if they do not know the person responsible, smile to yourself simply because even if you are never recognised, you have done something that created a ripple.

Most importantly, however…

Never doubt that you will always mean something to someone. Even if it is only a single soul. Even if you have yet to see it. Someone does care. Always.


Feb 8th, 2010 2:28:00am

It is said that our biggest regrets are not the things we did, but the things we didn’t do. The risks we didn’t take. The words we never spoke.

Almost every single one of my regrets in life so far have been just that. The things I didn’t do.

Believe that? Me. A teenager. By all laws of nature, I should be wild, impulsive. I should be out there doing crazy things and getting into trouble. That’s the image of most teenagers today, right?

Just. Another. Assumption.

There are many teenagers out there who have no desire to break the rules; no desire to cross the boundaries they are set. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either. I despise it when they are called “goody-two-shoes” and “cowards” and other such names. They are brave enough not to do anything simply because everyone else is, and there is nothing cowardly about that. It is their choice. Their right.

I am not one of them.

I follow the rules alright. I keep away from most of the bad stuff. I don’t give in if someone encourages me to do something I am not at all comfortable about. But here’s the twist: I don’t want to. I don’t want to stubbornly say no. I don’t want to follow the rules. Not because of pressure from others. Not because of the names I may be called. Simply because.. I want to taste it. The freedom that  comes with not being so rigid all the time. I have myself chained to an invisible wall, always stopping myself from doing things that, while I deny the desire, I really want to do. Always. Holding. Back.

How many of you are out there? How many of you have wanted to try something so bad, but held back? How many of you have wanted to say something to someone? A confession? Or something that might save them, or make them mad, or unfortunately have to hurt them? How many of you held back too?

Humans are strange, fickle, hypocritical creatures. There are those who encourage you to break the rules. To break the confines of society and carve your own path. There are those who tell you to simply be yourself, and no one has the right to judge you for it. And then, sometimes those very same people tell you, when you actually take their advice, that it’s not right. That the rules are there for a reason. That it’s better to follow those on the “right” path. That society expects you to behave in a certain way and you must meet those expectations.

Granted, some rules are there for a reason. They go without saying. There are things you simply don’t do. Things that are simply stupid and dangerous for either you or the people around.

But have you noticed? Every great man and woman in this world, living or dead, made their difference by breaking those damn rules. Those shackles humans place on the minds, hearts, and feelings of the people.

I admire most rebels. I do. Because they don’t care about what society thinks of them. They take the risks they feel are worth it. If they get hurt, or get in trouble, then so be it. Those are the consequences. They experience. They live. They say what they need to, they do what they want to. And I know for a fact that most of those who try to squash them do it more out of duty than desire to curb their activities. Because they know that they are the people who are going to change the world. Those who dare to make a difference now. To step out of their comfort zone every once in a while. The daring ones.

Many a time I have had the chance to say things I’ve always wanted to. To do things I’ve always wanted to experience. To taste, to feel, to try the new and forsake the boring old.
And almost each time, I held myself back. I am the controller of my chains, yet I can not find the courage to break them.

Fear controls me, and I know it. Which is why I offer you this advice, readers: I know too well the bitterness of regretting the things not done. I know the heartache, the wondering, the analysing, the inner berating and rebuking, the “What if’s” and the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s”.

Have courage. Have faith. Take those risks you were and are afraid to take. Break the rules every now and then, as long as they are rules worth breaking. Speak. Do what makes you truly happy.

Break the chain. Carve your path. Live.

Know that you are the ones who will make all the difference.

Know that while I know that I’ll never be able to break my own chains, and while there may be others like me who can’t do it either, we forever admire you, and perhaps envy you as well.

Don’t hold back.

Putting A Label On It

Jan 31st, 2010 12:55:00am

“I am a goth. I am an emo. I am a jock, a geek, a joker. I am the preppy cheerleader and the intellectual bookworm. I am every label in the book, therefore I am nothing. Did you know that a virus can imitate the shape of the cell it’s in, so the white blood cells don’t recognize it? In that respect, I am a virus.”

That is the slightly edited first paragraph of something I once wrote on an online writing website, for a contest which required you to describe yourself.

To many – or probably even all – of those reading this, it may seem that I am a victim of some sort of multiple personality disorder. I assure you I am not, though word over the Internet is hard to be proven truthful. I do not have multiple personalities, simply many facets of the same one, which I choose to display as the situation demands.
Sound strange?

Not to me, nor to anyone else who possesses the same… talent, for lack of a better term.
In truth, I believe we all have different aspects of ourselves hidden within ourselves somewhere. The only problem is the never-ending human need to place labels on every single thing, feature and characteristic. In some ways, this need has proven useful. It is because of this need that we know a bird is a bird, a whale is a mammal, as are we. But where should the line be drawn, and have we already crossed it?

It is labels, and the associating preconceived assumptions that come with them, that has curbed the human ability to simply be. We are limited by what we are told we can or cannot do, who we can and cannot become, because of how we predominantly act. It is this predominance that apparently affects who we are to people. It is this predominance that sets the standards for people’s expectations and judgements. And those are what suppress our ability to be anything we want to. It is why some dumb jocks will only ever be dumb jocks. It is why some criminals, despite whatever desire they once had to change, remain criminals. It is why cheerleaders, no matter how intelligent some of them may be, will always automatically be assumed to be dumb, ditsy, and overly-cheerful.

Who are we, as humans, to judge other humans based on what we think we see? What gives us the right? Who is to say that young girl stealing money is stealing it for drugs? What if she has a family who can’t provide for themselves? Who is to say that druggie you see stoned there isn’t doing it to “fit in” or “be cool”? What if it’s the only escape they feel they have from the hardships life has thrown at them?

And, more importantly, who is to say that is all they can ever be?

We give names. We assign qualities to those names. They stick, through the tides of time. And until people become open-minded enough to the fact that they can be more than what society expects of them, those names will always be attributed to certain characteristics, and that is all that will ever be seen.

People have changed. People have turned their lives around. People have proved society wrong, despite the hurdles they may have had to, and probably did, face. And this is not because they altered their personality. It is not because they became “new people”.
It is because they had it in them all along, and went searching for it.

We all have the ability to be whomsoever we choose, no matter how hard that choice may be. Do not let the labels of man define who you are.


Jan 1st, 2010 3:17:00am

People fear pain. Sounds like a stupid thing to say, doesn’t it? “Of course people fear pain! It isn’t exactly the most pleasant feeling in the world!” is what I’m betting your reactions are like at that statement.

What if I told you that you shouldn’t fear it?

Going the right way for a kick aren’t I?

The best way to explain myself is with an example. Most people who find out they have contracted some fatal disease, start living their life the way they want. Before then, they had just bogged down to what was expected of them, living day to day, maybe even paycheck to paycheck. Then they realise.. Life’s almost over, and they just go for all those things they hadn’t before. If they’re going to die anyways, then they may as well go down with a bang.

Here is the thing people don’t actually realise: We are all dying. Every day we live is a day closer to our own demise. The ones I mentioned above simply had it slapped in their faces, and were given an estimated time-limit.

But that does not mean we should forget that just because they were actually given theirs, that we are all not on a time-limit. Life is fleeting.

And pain is a part of it.

Pain is an inevitable occurrence. Whether you are the cause or the victim, it happens. There is no one and nothing that will not hurt you at one point or another, intentional or otherwise, and that works both ways. This is a fact that everyone must accept, in order to truly live.

We go through life afraid of pain, dreading it, doing everything we can to avoid it. But it’s going to happen no matter which road and which path you take. So why not take the one you wanted to in the first place?

Once that acceptance has been reached.. Once you’ve reached that point where you realise that it is a cemented fact of life, you will realise that freedom is at your fingertips. There will be no need to fear doing anything you’ve ever wanted to do, because you know that there can only be two outcomes, success or failure, and you fear none of them. This is not to say you go around intentionally hurting people then saying it’s just life. I mean that when, due to circumstances beyond your control, you do hurt someone, even though you will and should feel bad, do not make it the tragedy of your life. Apologise sincerely, hope they forgive, and the both of you move on as before.

If you fear failure, you will never taste success. If you fear success, all you will ever know is failure.

But if you fear pain.. You won’t even bother trying.

And therein lies the error.

Accept pain. Embrace it, immerse yourself in it, feeling every sting, bruise and break when it happens. Then.. Let go. Accept that it has occured; accept that it’s over; accept that though you will probably hurt again, there are good times to come as well. That things can only get better from that point.

Feel everything completely, and then let go.

Your heart heals faster. You appreciate the happy moments better. And life becomes increasingly easier.

There will be moments of despair. I promise you this. However, acceptance is key. Even if there are some things you can’t let go of, can’t forget, can’t move on from, accept the situation as is.

And from there, you’ll start living life to it’s fullest, time-limit and all.

The Rock in the Sea of Storms

Dec 12th, 2009 3:49:00pm

There are people in this world who need help. There are people in this world who need someone by their side, or else they suffer all the worse if they have to deal with things on their own. People who need someone to talk to. People who need a hand to hold them up, so they can stand.

Then there are the people who offer that help. There are people who stand right there, by their side, through thick and thin. People who listen. People who offer their hand every single time, with a gentle smile. People who are there for everyone during times of need.

I have a question.

Who’s there for them?

It is a lonely thing, being the strong one. It is lonely being the secret keeper, the support, the helping hand, the silent listener.

It is lonely, because you are so busy being there for others, but no one can be there for you. It’s because you can’t let them. You are so used to helping everyone else, the mere thought of letting someone help you sounds selfish, ridiculous, unfair, wrong. You are honoured they give you their trust. Honoured they ask you, when they have the choice of anyone else in their lives who would be just as willing. You take it seriously, open to assist in any way you can.

But while you listen, you do not speak.

While you hold, you do not let yourself be held.

While you stand by their side, it does not go both ways, not because they don’t want to repay the favour, but because you are too used to being the strong one.
So used to it, in fact, that you can never afford to be weak.

I wonder how many are out there. The steady rocks in other people’s sea of storms, keeping them from drowning. Have you noticed them? Those solitary stones smack dab in the centre of the sea, waves crashing around them, yet they never falter, never shake, never sway? A lighthouse with a light shining all around.

Have you ever noticed just how alone they are?

The strong ones are always the silent ones, because they know that there are far too many people who always talk and never listen, and feel that if they open their mouths just once, they’d be joining them. The strong ones are always there because they know that there are too many people who walk away when they are needed most. The strong ones always keep your secrets, because there are far too many people who would shout them out to the world. The strong ones forgive as much as their personalities will allow them, because they know there are too many people who hold on to hate. Hold on to past hurts. Hold on to past injustices.

The strong ones would never willingly let you down. Their conscience would not allow it. They care too much to ever want to. The strong ones wipe away your tears, and try so hard to put a smile on your face, because there are far too few smiles and far too much pain in the world. The strong ones are your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea, guiding you.

The sad part is, though… The strong ones? They never show how weak they truly are. On the inside.

And I don’t know whether that makes them strong at all.


What Keeps You Hanging On?

[Original post date unknown]

When your heart is being ripped into a million pieces, and there’s nothing you can do about it, what keeps you holding on?

To what?

Well, to life. To hope. To love. To all the good stuff, even though all the bad stuff is taking over right now.

I have friends who, by their inability to see their inner – and outer – beauty, and by their pain, have effectively torn me apart. They don’t mean to, of course. But sometimes, when someone you care about is hurting, you are hurting too. And the greater their pain, the greater yours, until you’re not even sure who’s in worse torture. Them, for what they’re going through, or you, for having to watch. For not being able to help. Or for trying to but them not letting you. Pushing you further and further away. And you are trying. Trying so hard to stop them. Struggling to keep them from falling apart, because you can’t stand to see them in so much pain. Getting a bit closer only to have them shove you back again and again. What keeps me holding on then? My love for them.

There have been times, in such situations, where I wonder why I even bother putting myself through such agony, when they don’t even seem to appreciate it. But I realise, they do appreciate it. They can’t let you know, because of how deep a black hole they’ve sunk into, but they need you to keep trying. They need you not to give on them when so many people already have. When people they thought cared turned out not to give a damn, or only cared when they were happy, but weren’t willing to work at it when their smiles faded away. And I realise, I have to prove I’m not like those people. My friends, they are so used to being let down, that they’re waiting for me to do it too.

I can’t do that. Not because I feel obligated to stay with them. Not because I feel it is my duty to keep by their side when things get rough. But because I care enough not to just walk away. I care enough to keep edging closer after each push. No matter the bruises my heart has to take, I care enough to keep holding it out as willingly as before. My love keeps me hanging on.

But what about others? What about others’ situations and hurts? What keeps them holding on so tight? We all have our reasons for not giving up. Some similar to others; some completely different. Some might be unusual to anyone else but the ones who actually have them.

All I know is, no matter the reason, most people have something to make them smile and laugh even on their worst days. If they don’t, then they deserve to. Everyone needs that. A thread tying them to the goodness of the world. Because the bad, it doesn’t last. Not forever. Never forever. There is happiness in between. There is joy. There are moments of peace. Of smiles and laughter. Moments where the bad has faded to nothing and there is no more pain. And even though you know there will always be bad times coming, as a part of life, you lose yourself in the moment of now.

And it is those moments that we hang on for, isn’t it? It all comes down to what makes us happy. We hold on for those times to come again. Whether it is for you, or for those you care about, you hold on. You hold on in the hopes that you can make them happy. You hold in the hopes that you are going to be happy. You risk putting your heart out there. You risk exposing yourself to the pain, so you can get to the pleasure.

I am not brave. I am not courageous in any way. I have never done anything outrageous or outstanding. But I know that no matter what, no matter the bruises, the cuts, the tears, and the breaks, I will always have my heart held out in love.

It is, after all, what keeps me hanging on. My love.

Tapestry of Beauty

Oct 9th, 2009 1:43:00am

Music. Something that has affected so many people in so many ways in so many places. I am listening to music as I type this, and as always I am struck with the impact it has had on my life. Music was there for me when I used to have no one else. It still is there for me. It describes my feelings better than I ever could. I have been moved by music- touched by it. And now? I cannot imagine life without it.

So what is it about this thing? This set of sounds, words, and beats, that gets to us all? Whether you love classical, country, rock, death metal or rap, there is no denying that at some point you have been through a moment where all you can say is, “Wow. I’ve felt this. I feel this. I’ve thought this and wondered about this.” Some people just listen to music for heck of it, others to appreciate the symphony of instruments working together in a way us humans never could, and others still for the way it relates to them. You may be one of the above, or all of them, but no matter which, your moment has happened or will happen.

Music has this way of not only affecting your ears, but your eyes with the images it provokes, your mind with the memories it may bring to surface, your body with the urge to get up and dance away your inhibitions, and your heart with the emotions sent coursing through it. How is a question I doubt I will ever be able to answer.

It is not unlike writing, don’t you think? Writing, too, has a way of getting through to a reader. Think of art. Paintings, sketches, and sculptures. How many times have you heard someone say that the Mona Lisa’s smile makes them achingly curious? Or that Evard Munch’s “The Scream” expresses to them a feeling of frustration, or sadness, or fear?

It isn’t just music. It is the power of creative art. No one may ever truly understand why it has such an effect on us, but does that matter? In a world where the tenacious ivy of logic and realism is creeping up and grabbing us by the ankles, we could all use a bit of artistic relief. Art. True art. Beauty that has been captured, yet remains free for us to gaze upon at our leisure. Emotions that have been expressed for you, when you can’t seem to get them out yourself. Words that have been spoken for you when you couldn’t find the right ones. Screams when you weren’t allowed to scream. Tears when you weren’t allowed to cry. Rage when you couldn’t let yourself lose your cool.

We are all around us. Doesn’t make sense? Read it again. Think about it. We are all around us, in our art. Our art contains us in them. We pour in a little bit of our souls, for the world to see without really seeing.

Those who create, do it to reveal a part they would normally keep hidden. Those who do not create observe the art of others. They find that part; relate to it. Then comes feeling of specialness. Feeling as if the artist has peered into your innermost core and made this for you. A quiet relief: I am not alone.

Perhaps this is the answer. We need to know we are not the only ones who think the way we do, who see things the way we do, who sense things the way we do.

You are not alone.

And the Arts.

The beautiful, beautiful creations of the truest part of ourselves.

They prove this.

Makes Me Think

Sep 5th, 2009 9:29:00pm

When reuniting with someone you haven’t seen in years, there is always one thing [for us teens anyways] you can be sure to expect: the exclamations of “Look how much you’ve grown!” or “Last time I saw you, you were this high!” or possibly “My, how the years pass!” You smile and you nod and you laugh politely at any jokes, in the meantime thinking that apart from a few grey hairs, a few more laugh-lines, and maybe a slight loss/gain in weight, they look the same.

I can’t help but wonder whether when they see us kids, all grown up and not the kind to sit on laps anymore, they are reminded of how much older they’ve become as well. Are we symbols of the fact that their generation is thinning out, and soon it’ll be our turn to venture into the world? Or perhaps we are reminders of their own youth, when things were so much easier for them? Do they reflect on how much time has passed between our last meeting, and see the signs on our faces?

After all for us, adults are constant. They may vary slightly from our memory, which is to be expected, but still, in essence, the same. We however, almost never bear the same features as they remember. Perhaps the only thing to remain intact and untouched by change is our eyes. Even then, contacts or glasses could have altered that as well. However, for adults, we are change. We are those who stand to replace them when our time comes and theirs ends. We are those who can make a difference where they could not. Discoveries and achievements await us. We are the new, the different.

So maybe adults don’t see us as signs of their age after all. Maybe they see us as the catalysts of change in the unseen future. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and neither do they, but the one thing we both know is it’s going to make a difference to all: the older generation, and us, the new. We decide our future, just as they chose theirs. And just as they altered the world, so shall we. For better, or for worse, who knows? The constant here is change, and the impact it has on all our lives. Perhaps they see it in us, after those months and years apart.