Autumn Blur

Autumn is a very hazy time. Leaves fall, nature dies, and everything just seems to die with it. And yet, no matter how tired/sad/moody/indifferent I find myself feeling every autumn, it is definitely one of my favourite seasons.

I’m the type of person who weirdly enjoys feeling melancholic. When you are sad, you have the opportunity to rethink things, re-evaluate goals and gain a better understanding of who you are. Happiness, on the other hand, is like a professional camera with the brightness turned all the way up – in focus, yet unpleasantly blinding. Sounds pretty deep, but I did warn you that this season turns me into a weird existential mess. It’s not like I lie in bed all day: I still have university, with all its endless group projects and exams and assignments; I still have a part-time job; I still try to get my ass to the gym more or less regularly – as well as out, just to ensure that I still have a (more-or-less) good social life. Yet everything becomes blurred, sleepy, weird – unreal.

Time loses its grip during autumn. The days just seem to gradually grow from one to the next, without any particular feeling of what date it is, or even what hour of the day. In fact, I am almost convinced that Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice in Wonderland” based on how many experience the months of September, October and November – you have a vague idea of who you are, yet nothing around you seems to make sense.

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Non-coincidental Coincidences

If you’ve been following my blog, you may have come across my recent, rather lengthy post about the law of attraction (and if you haven’t, that can be easily corrected…hint). In that entry, it is mentioned how I recently “rediscovered” this law and decided to use it to my advantage – and with some results, for that matter. In spite of the fact that I’ve already experienced a bit of success with this mindset, not enough time has passed for me to give an honest account of exactly how effective it is; let’s just say that it seems to be working and I promise to elaborate later in September. Although I’m not going to go deep into “The Secret” just yet, I would like to give a somewhat peculiar account of what happened yesterday. But before we go any further, it’s best to give another back-story.

Ever since I can remember, there have been times where I would think about someone, or simply remember someone, and then suddenly bump into them shortly after. After initially assuming that these were simply coincidences, a trace of doubt began to set in when I realized that these were not people I saw or even thought about often (literally months would pass before I saw or even remembered these individuals). Sometimes, all it took was one vivid memory for me to bump into a certain individual later during the day, even if I hadn’t seen or spoken to them for ages.

Although this started happening more and more frequently, my mind continued to ignore law of attraction as a possible explanation. Maybe it was due to lack of belief, or simply the fact that the concept was stored somewhere in the back of my mind next to long division and embarrassing memories (i.e. intentionally forgotten things). Either way, I acknowledged the weirdness of these occurrences, but didn’t think into them too much. However, yesterday was different.

Last night, my friend and I were walking home from a concert, just talking about stuff. Yes, we were literally just discussing “life stuff” – remembering high-school, getting nostalgic over our teenager years and discussing old friends/boyfriends/almost-boyfriends and so on (and I know she reads by blog so I’m going to insert a small “hi” right here). You know, just normal gossip – nothing out of the ordinary.

However, what did end up being unusual was the fact that I literally saw some of the people we spoke about several minutes after mentioning them. Once again, I hadn’t actually seen these people in months, which made me think about how weird these coincidences were becoming. Only this time, instead of briefly freaking out, I began to consider that these might not be coincidences after all.

Now, let’s get back to the initial topic. According to the law of attraction, our thoughts and feelings have the ability to attract people/things into our lives. Likewise, we also have the ability to attract success with positivity or scare it away with negativity – something that I explained in more detail in my last post. Anyway, the point is that simply thinking about someone can cause you to randomly bump into them, especially if they are somewhere nearby. It’s almost as if the universe aligns itself in such a way that you end up in the same place (at the same time) as the person you remembered. Although either of you could have essentially chosen different routes, or taken slightly longer to get to that exact spot, that person becomes somewhat drawn to you via your thoughts alone. Literally magnetic.

End-note: I’m not claiming this to be a completely valid explanation, but remain pretty open to the idea of non-coincidental coincidences, which sounds mutually exclusive but strangely believable at the same time.

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The “Law of Attraction” in the Eyes of a Skeptic

The law of attraction – a peculiar premise that our thoughts have the power to attract positive or negative circumstances into our lives. Positive thinking sends off positive vibrations, attracting one’s desires, whilst negative thoughts attract more negativity. It’s all about the good vibes, bro.

Although I first watched “The Secret” in 9th grade math class (and remained vaguely impressed for a whole 24 hours until my 14 year old brain got distracted by food or some friendship group drama), I never really thought into the Law of Attraction up until now. Just as atheists reject prayer until the first airplane turbulence, or naive college girls continue to take nudes until the first phone hack, I remained pretty ignorant of this concept up until now. In other words, I didn’t consider utilizing this peculiar idea until it became absolutely necessary.

Before I continue, let me introduce a bit of a back story. Sadly, I’ve never been a particularly positive person, or a raging optimist, which means that I’ve always had a bit of a hard time dealing with problems – both emotionally and physically. However, I didn’t actively pursue change for several reasons:

  1. I didn’t experience any serious, long-term issues/discomfort that would require significant emotional and physical effort to deal with (oh, the good days…)
  2. I considered my often skeptical and somewhat pessimistic outlook to be a part of my personality – i.e. “I am who I am…yo”
  3. I’ve always been a bit lazy, to be perfectly real with you

Nonetheless, my life began to take a (wrong…WRONG!) turn back in 2015, meaning that two years later I found myself facing a multitude of different problems; it wasn’t a single floppy flower anymore, it was a whole bouquet of awful. As one trouble multiplied into several, my stress and anxiety levels also became much more…multiplied? Fast forward to summer 2017, I found myself weighed down with several issues – from health, to personal, to financial, to even existential (hello sly blog reference).

Following on, I decided I was pretty much done. It may sound cliché, but it honestly felt as though time had froze and nothing made sense anymore. I kept thinking to myself all over again that, after all these problems, “am I REALLY going to have to go through more problems?” It got to the point where I just decided that I was either hopelessly unlucky or cursed (or both). Why did everything keep going wrong? It almost seemed supernatural for a second, but then I remembered that I don’t do creepy.

So, after several days of wallowing in my own misery, I decided to do a bit of internet research as to why everything seems to be going wrong in spite of countless physical efforts. And you know what explanation kept popping up? That’s right, the good old “negative thinking”. As far as I can see, there are actually two types of negative thinking, with the first being very straightforward – “my life sucks, nothing ever goes right for me, nothing is going to get better”. In spite of the fact that I’m not the world’s biggest optimist, I don’t actually think like that on most occasions. However, I, alongside the majority of the world’s population, practice negative thinking in relation to certain problems.

For example, I have some health issues that don’t seem to be going away, and every time something comes up, my thoughts begin to drift into the direction of “damn, if these conditions haven’t gone away by now, they never will” or “I’m so tired of feeling sick”. Another example would be financial struggles – “oh man, this part-time job doesn’t suit my schedule, looks like I won’t be able to find a job that suits my schedule at all” or “my current freelancing job isn’t bringing in any money, I guess it will never be profitable again”. I can go on for ages, but it would be a waste of time – I think you already got the picture.

This is where the law of attraction comes in. After stumbling upon this concept once again, I decided to actually look into it a bit more extensively. I may not be an expert, but as far as I understand, our thoughts also emit vibrations. If we keep thinking negatively, we will attract more negativity into our lives; our health will deteriorate, we will remain broke and our personal lives will continue to go downhill. Negative thinking is understandable – not many people can remain hopeful when everything is pretty much crap. However, as we continue to respond negatively to our current circumstances, we continue to attract more negativity into our worlds, trapping ourselves in this cycle of never-ending problems.

The law of attraction suggests that, instead of thinking and responding negatively, we should practice positive thinking. But this is not the irritating type of positive thinking where your grandma sits you down and says “hey, just be happy you’re not a starving child in Africa” (yes I’m aware of that, but thinking that isn’t going to solve all of MY problems Grandma let’s just drink tea and watch the news instead ok how about that). No, this positive thinking consists of several strategies:

  1. Reminding yourself of what you want throughout the day – “I want to be healthy”, “I want to be wealthy”, “I want to attract good people into my life” etc
  2. Picturing that you already have all of this, and understanding it’s only a matter of time before you can experience and enjoy it (not only should you picture it, but you should also be certain of it)
  3. Believing that your current state is temporary and things will get better, as well as being grateful for what you already have

Nonetheless, you can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen – you should carefully determine all of the steps you need to take to achieve your desired life. Supposedly, the trick here is that sending out positive vibrations and “asking the universe to give you what you want” will bring everything to you in accordance with your efforts. At first you may not necessarily believe that it will work, but the key here is to repeat these positive thoughts over and over again until you start to see results.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no spiritualist or dedicated preacher – I’m pretty much the opposite. Unless I’ve done enough research to see that something is valid, my brain will never even consider it. But even as a skeptic, I have come across way too many success stories and rational explanations to doubt the law of attraction.

On a final note, I would like to express my gratitude towards the internet for allowing me to stumble upon this concept once again (good job google!). I may have only decided to utilize the law of attraction a couple of days ago, but I’m somewhat certain that my success story will also be added to the millions that already exist. From this point onward, I will do my very best to fix all of the problems that have accumulated over the past few years via not only action, but also positivity. This has been “The Law of Attraction” from a skeptic’s viewpoint – follow me to see how things unfold. I promise a 100% truthful account of my experience with this.

End-note: if you would like a more professional, accurate explanation, either watch “The Secret” or google/YouTube search “The Law of Attraction”. I’m only a rookie. Follow me?

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From The Heart

I haven’t posted anything for over a month – a result of several factors, I guess. In terms of significance, the two main reasons would be that I spent three quarters of this time lying on a beach in Greece, and the fact that I didn’t really know what to write about. You see, I’ve been pretty busy, but not necessarily in the best way. Apart from my (not-so) little vacation, things have been slightly…tricky?

The saying “not everything will go according to plan” is a popular one, yet we don’t always fully acknowledge it every time we make those plans. In our mind, everything seems logical and perfect – you take the following steps to obtain the following goals. But life is a messy, messy thing – for some more than others.

As far as I know, the majority of us have things we don’t wish to talk about, especially in detail, which is why we prefer to hide them from the world and build a much happier image of ourselves. However, this can be pretty detrimental since we end up feeling like only we are the ones who are going through some sort of mess, when in reality, very few people are as happy as they look in their Instagram pictures. Promise.

I’m less tolerant to discomfort; when things go wrong, I complain. No, it’s not because I’m ungrateful, but because I don’t think it’s necessary to try and hide normal human reactions. Listening to others’ advice can be good, but when my mum occasionally mentions that “things could be much worse” I can’t help but get slightly irritated. Following the logic, you should also consider that things could be much better, which is something I strive for. However, I also continue doing what I initially planned to do, since the universe is not about to wait for some 20-year-old female from a small country to sort her issues.

Life is hard, life is messy, and life loves to fuck you over sometimes. And the funniest part is that, until we die and see (or not) what the last several decades have been all about, we will never know why some individuals tend to get luckier, and some don’t. In my culture, it is a social sin to refer to yourself as “unlucky”, since there are always people who have it way worse. Also, many people are scared to refer to themselves as such, mainly because they think they will genuinely become unlucky.

If luck could be measured on a scale, I honestly don’t know where I would place myself. Since this is purely subjective, I don’t know whether it is an accurate assessment of the current state of affairs. I know that one’s quality of life depends on how much effort they put in, and I know for a fact that I put in a lot of effort. But there are also a lot of things that keep going sideways: from work, to health, to people, to general little unpleasant surprises. Don’t get me wrong – I’m very far from depressed, since I’ve got a lot to appreciate and a lot to look forward to. Not depressed or sad, just slightly tired. In fact, the problems I mentioned above are somewhat manageable; they just require dedication and patience. I guess I’m in the process of accepting that everything is always much more picturesque in our head; we see an empty highway instead of what is actually there – a long, winded maze.

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I Know That I Don’t

Most people come to a point in their lives where they are no longer sure of who they are, what they want and what the future holds. I like to refer to it as the 20-something crisis; a more optimistic version of the mid-life crisis, during which people seem to forget “how to life” for a period of time. In spite of the fact that being unsure is a perfectly natural state of mind, our society is very unforgiving towards those who express reasonable doubt.

Not knowing what to do is somehow unacceptable in the 21st century. I mean, how can one NOT KNOW what they are striving towards? So many resources! So much support! So much good (although standardized) education! So when successful stockbroker Jordan’s teenage daughter comes home from school one day and says “Dad, I’m not sure what I want to study at college”, it is likely that she will receive the following answer: “Don’t be silly honey, you’ve always wanted to study finance!” (cheers to anyone who got the reference)

However, doubting earlier ideas is definitely not silly – it’s a sign of a healthy rational thought process. The problem lies in how we see the concept of knowledge itself, and how that affects the way in which we perceive the sentence “I don’t know”. Theoretically, knowledge is a very factual concept, based on information which can be tested for validity. We know that the earth revolves around the sun; that a year has 365 days; that plants photosynthesize and so on. So when we are unaware of certain facts, we perceive it as a gap in our knowledge.

But here’s the problem – not all knowledge is factual and unchanging (not to mention that “facts” often change throughout the years themselves). So what we think we “know” concerning who we are, what we want and what the future holds is, in fact, a vague idea. It’s okay to “not know”, because you never really knew in the first place anyway.

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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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Taking the Red Pill: From “The Matrix” to Politics

If you’ve ever seen the 1999 science-fiction classic “The Matrix”, or have simply been keeping up with certain socio-political events, it is likely that you will be familiar with the red pill/blue pill analogy. However, to those of you who are unaware, let me briefly explain:

The whole concept of these two pills – and no, we are not talking about recreational drugs – is that it’s a metaphor for truth. The idea was first explored “The Matrix”, where the protagonist is offered to take a blue pill and wake up believing whatever he wants, or take a red pill and be exposed to the truth (no matter how unpleasant it may be). A peculiar but somewhat useful analogy, which is currently being considered from a political point of view. A lot of the time, people refuse to explore ideas outside of their comfort zone, thinking that their beliefs are the only ones worth listening to. It doesn’t matter if the opposing party brings rational, valid arguments – in most cases, the red pill will always be discarded for the blue.

Speaking from a political standpoint, it is no secret that there has always been a major divide between the left (liberals) and the right (conservatives). As of now, this division is perfectly reflected by the current state of America. Now, if you are a US citizen, please don’t be insulted and automatically assume that I am bashing your country; it was just a very tempting example, since things are evidently messed up at the moment. Ever since Trump came to power (and before that too, come to think of it), there has been an open conflict between the two sides. Liberals are often referred to as “Social Justice Warriors” and “Snowflakes” by the right, whilst they themselves refer to the right as “Nazis” or “White Supremacists”. And with the popularity of the internet, disagreements like this are much more intense.

Since a significant number of the younger generation (i.e. everyone under 30) seems to lean more towards the left, the internet – especially websites like Tumblr and YouTube – have always been populated by liberals. However, at some point, they ended up going overboard, giving birth to the Buzzfeed generation. Suddenly, left-wing politics stopped being about tolerance and acceptance, and became a frighteningly radicalized form of liberalism; people began screaming “oppression” at every corner, privilege became a crime and anyone who disagreed with them was either racist, sexist, trans-phobic, Islamophobic or trying to harass them. This angered conservatives, who turned to the opposite extreme and started a trend of “Anti-SJW” channels, some of which include Andy Warski, Bearing, Hunter Avallone and many more.

Initially, the main motive of these channels was to show how brainwashed these extreme liberals are, and point out flaws in their arguments. However, instead of encouraging an intellectual debate, the two sides ended up being at war. There was no dialogue between the two political and social spectrums, and almost no middle-ground – you were either on the left or on the right; either worshiping Trump or hating his guts.

Nonetheless, there has been some progress recently in terms of encouraging dialogue. I would like to bring the example of Laci Green, who was – up until now – a complete Social Justice Warrior meme (not offending her, she said so herself). However, Laci had a change of heart, and decided to reach out to some conservative content creators and discuss their points of view. Here’s what she had to say:

Personally, I neither like nor dislike her. I found some of her content educational, but most of it was somewhat annoying. However, after this video, I gained some respect for Laci.

I guess you could say that I am one of the rare cases that are neither on one end of the spectrum or the other. I like to stay as informed as possible, choosing the most logical argument instead of the one that best corresponds to my beliefs. This whole conflict really got me thinking about how we, as a society, should learn how to communicate with people that hold opposing viewpoints to ours. Although we may have some strong beliefs on certain controversial topics, in doesn’t make them the only valid ones. Also, it doesn’t automatically mean that anyone who disagrees with us is fundamentally wrong – it just shows a clash of ideas.

Going back to my initial metaphor, everyone has a choice. One can either go through life taking the blue pill, staying oblivious to the fact that other opposing viewpoints can also be rational, or take the red pill and acknowledge the validity of some of those viewpoints. Once again, it’s an individual choice, but the second option promises a better life and – on a grander scale – a more stable political climate.

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