Let’s Talk About Honesty

I think people liked me more when I wasn’t me. Okay cut!

A couple of years back I decided that it would be easier to navigate through life if I was just a bit more honest and upfront with people. No more “fake nice”, no more “pretending not to care when I do” and definitely no more holding back. Although it became easier for me in some sense because I no longer had to pretend that I somehow had less feelings, I noticed that people were beginning to treat me differently.

Now, I’m not trying to say that my whole life turned upside down because I decided to be more real, but there were definitely some changes – both positive and negative. Concerning the upsides, I became much better at giving advice because I no longer tried to protect people’s feelings by not telling them what they did wrong in a certain situation. I also cared less what people thought about me, because there was no image to uphold – when you’re you, you’re you. Period. But it almost seemed as though more people were beginning to dislike me, avoid me and generally consider me a bit of a bitch. And not only a bitch, but too open about stuff that seemed taboo, or too upfront when it came to solving problems and letting people know what they did wrong (notice how this also became a negative).

But most importantly, being honest had the absolute weirdest effect on my relationships. I would meet someone, begin dating them and as soon as they got to know me better things would go downhill. I can honestly say that boys liked me more when I didn’t say what’s on my mind. But after that, they would first claim how “it’s so cool you’re not like the other girls” (internal sigh), but as soon as any aspect of my personality I chose not to hide bothered them somehow they would RUN. And it’s funny because honesty and being upfront is something I value so much in other people, and can’t imagine how anyone would find it a turn-off.

Just to clarify one point, being honest does not mean being rude. I’ve never been a rude person and never will. Nor is being upfront synonymous with being mean, because I’ve never been that either. I simply stopped being scared of expressing how I truly felt about something or someone. If someone is doing something that’s bothering me, I tell them. If I like someone, I tell them. If I like LIKE someone, you bet I’m gonna tell them because it’s better than sitting around and wondering whether they like me back. And most importantly, if I care for someone I show it (unlike my 17, 18 year old self who would rather die than potentially be seen as “clingy”).

Just recently I decided to be upfront with a friend of mind about something. Okay, “friend”. I think you got the point. I needed to say what I said because it was getting too much for me and I decided that it would be better if they knew too. And guess what happened? That friend (okay, “friend”) of TWO YEARS, who I talked to nearly EVERY DAY, rudely cut me off from his life in the space of around 10 minutes via one angry phone call. I expected somewhat of a weird reaction, but I never expected this. And yes, of course it hurt.

Do I regret being honest? No. If I wasn’t, we would still probably be friends but I do not want to build a friendship based around fakeness, just like I don’t want to build a relationship based around the same thing. But I am slightly confused; we are taught from childhood that honesty is one of the best qualities a person could have, yet most of us grow up with fake personalities – holding back who we are and want we want to say. Where’s the logic in that?

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Sadness is a Blessing

After a night of insomnia, I decided around 8 am that sleeping was out of the picture. After all, I’d slept so much during the past few days because of a nasty cold that I guess I just used up all of my free sleeping hours. I got up, put on some make-up not to scare people and walked downtown to my favorite café. Since it was only 10 am, I was the only customer, so my coffee arrived pretty quickly. I sat there for over an hour, drinking my Americano, smoking my cigarettes (don’t smoke kids – it’s bad) and listening to their sad “indie autumn playlist” whilst observing the dismal rainy weather. I felt so peaceful that I honestly did not want to leave – even the lack of sleep and nasty-cold-feeling didn’t bother me. It was at that point that I came to a realization – sadness is, indeed, a blessing.

In that moment I was not conventionally happy; in fact, the music was causing my thoughts to spiral downwards into every single negative thing that happened to me over the past two-and-a-half years. From personal problems, to a chain of annoying, tiring health problems, to just downright periods of depression and anxiety, my life has been a bit of a shitshow since I turned 19 (I’m 21 now). Yet for once I did not feel that nasty, tired feeling. I felt good on the inside, like I was finally coming to terms with everything.

We live in a society where sadness is viewed as something negative; a sign of weakness, almost a sin. We are pressured into fighting our problems, getting over them as quickly as possible and returning back to that wonderful state of happiness and motivation. Today I truly felt that sadness can also be a wonderful feeling, and that it can be embraced instead of pushed back into the dark corners of our mind. It confuses me that we, as a society, aspire to achieve this robotic type of mentality, where only happiness and strength are acceptable.

From a psychological point of view, this also makes sense. If we keep trying to artificially alter our current state, this puts stress on our mind and body alike. Instead of fighting a problem, why not sit down and allow ourselves to truly feel it in all its negativity and discomfort. I feel like this is a much more effective way of dealing with an issue rather than acting as though you are on a battlefield, winning a war that doesn’t even exist. Until you truly understand why something happened and what you can learn from it, no amount of forced positivity is going to get you anywhere.

Sadness is also an excellent way to bond with others. I’ve had the chance to bond with so many people during these past couple of years than I’ve ever had in the previous nineteen. Happiness, as fantastic as it is, is a rather basic feeling; you don’t tend to have deep conversations when you are happy, and you are not really in the mood to listen to other people’s problems. But sadness is different; it’s a much deeper, tranquil feeling and opens you up to many new thoughts and ideas.

And finally, embracing sadness is also an excellent way of accepting your current circumstances, whatever they may be. Of course things are going to get better, whatever is going on now (and however long it has lasted). And today I understood that the only way things are going to get better is if I accept my current circumstances and truly embrace everything that I have learnt. As humans, we tend to feel hopeless and desperate when we are experiencing discomfort (both mental and physical), but that is because we have been conditioned to do so. There is no reason why we should ignore pain or try to make it instantly go away, not when it is a part of life.

After sitting in the café for over an hour, sleep deprived and all in my thoughts, I got up to leave feeling a completely different person. I have no idea why my brain took me to this strange place, but it was definitely worth it.

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On The Peculiarity of Life

I didn’t expect to be gone for over ten days, but I also didn’t expect things many things. The last couple of weeks have been busy, messy and full of surprises. Suddenly there were so many things to do/sort; from work, to medical, to personal – which always happens before I go to Greece for some reason. I’m also required to drink this tiny pill for a few months, which is pretty light in general but occasionally causes the annoying side-effect of insomnia. Guess who got lucky.

Anyway, all of this chaos got me thinking about how weird life can get. When you really think into things, life starts to seem like one big trip. No, seriously. You’re born pretty much by chance, and then spend the rest of your years feeling like you’re the center of the universe before your body shuts down one day and hell knows what happens next. But while you’re still alive, you experience things in a very particular way, and automatically assume that others must be feeling life the same way. But when you think about it, they don’t.

See, this is the part that really gets me. Because you’re YOU, everything you see/touch/smell/hear/taste is filtered through your own personal prism of how you experience things. And that’s why we automatically assume that everyone probably has the same general feelings towards the concept of life. But it’s not like that in reality.

Before you think I’m on some kind of drug (God, I love G-Eazy references), I do not condone substance abuse, so I’m really not about the stoner life. It’s just something that’s been on my mind lately, and as much as I’m keeping this blog more “serious” than my last, you are going to get some trippy philosophical posts from time to time.

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A Couple of Words on Words

Although I promised this blog would be less personal, I feel like I have to start with some grand opening. A new blog is like a new year; it brings expectations, inspiration and is always better with a bottle of wine/champagne/cranberry vodka. Since I’m currently on medication (again), the last one is off limits. However, I’m still going to give my new project the flashy opening it deserves.

Many people don’t understand the purpose of blog – especially if it’s not monetized (but hey, who knows what the future holds). I mean, what’s the point of just writing about things? After all, there are professional writers and journalists out there who hold the responsibility of transferring information via words and obtaining a significant sum of money in return. For some bloggers, writing is a fun hobby on the side, but for me – it’s a necessity.

For me, it’s not just about blogging, but about writing in general. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved to both read things and create things to be read. I’m not talking about teenage years, oh no. When I say “ever since I can remember”, I literally mean ever since I can remember – probably around eight or nine. As I got older, I began to read more “serious” books, keep proper journals instead of random tiny notebooks and even start random blogs from time to time. I also began to put extra effort into all of my essays simply because it was fun for me.

Two years ago, when I turned eighteen, I decided to open a WordPress blog. This time I didn’t get tired of it, and wrote regular posts for nearly two years. Someday I might link it here if I feel like sharing all of that personal content. During this time, I also started to make money by establishing myself as a freelance writer, taking on a wide range of orders; from essays, to product descriptions, to marketing texts and scripts for start-ups. Not only was I receiving cash for it, but I was genuinely enjoying the writing process.

Fast forward to now, when I’m at the somewhat unstable and chaotic age of twenty. I say unstable because at this age – at least for the majority – people are often confused. My head is constantly filled with questions, such as

  • What do I want to be when I graduate university next year?
  • Do I want a gap year or go straight to masters?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • What internship do I want?
  • What kind of people do I want to be friends with?
  • What qualities do I want in a partner?
  • Do I even want a partner?
  • What if I don’t want to date anyone but being single is boring?
  • Should I just marry a millionaire?
  • Billionaire?
  • What gym do I want to go to?
  • Should I fix my guitar or am I not interested in playing anymore?
  • How can I make more money with minimal effort?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Are tomatoes a vegetable or a fruit?

In spite of so much indecisiveness, the thing that has solidly remained with my throughout these years is my love for writing. It calms me down, gives me a purpose and even allows me to educate others from time to time. Writing is fun too, and you learn a lot about yourself based on the topics you decide to write about. Looking back on my old journal entries and even my own blog posts, I can see what things have changed and what has stayed the same. Overall, writing is great, and I can’t imagine ever not doing it in one form or another. That’s probably why I’m sat here, typing the second post of my second blog, wondering how many more things like this I’m going to do in my life.

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Switching Up My Game

Unlike many other seemingly “beginner” blogs, this blog is actually not my first one. Moreover, this is not my first experience with WordPress.

Prior to this, I had been actively running a more personally-oriented blog for a total of one year and nine months – just about enough time to have a child and raise it to the stage of development where it is capable of trashing the whole house. By the way, this was a theoretical scenario; as much as I love to dote over little children, I don’t plan on dropping everything to have a kid at twenty years young. Alright, let’s not get sidetracked.

As I mentioned, I had a “baby blog” before this one (apologies for all the random maternal references), but it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Don’t get me wrong – I’m very proud of every single one of my posts, and very appreciative of all my followers. However, I think it’s time to move on to something more serious than just random ramblings on the topic of my life, feelings, internal monologues etc. I have this persistent urge to discuss more than just the occurrences in my daily life; after all, one of the biggest human errors is forgetting that there is a world outside of one’s little bubble, and I want to work on that.

So, what is this blog going to be about? Since I hate categorizing, and am not too particularly fond of planning things that are difficult to plan, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Right now, I envision a wide range of posts covering world events, society, culture, philosophy, psychology, entertainment, literature and my own take on the complicated mess we refer to as the Modern Civilization. Although I’m not too certain on the direction this blog will take, I know one thing for sure; if you stick with me, I guarantee that you will not regret that fateful moment you decided to click “follow”. See you soon.