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Stars

Five million trillion trillion–

More than the stars in the universe–

That’s the number of bacteria in the world.

Yet, none of them are national citizens.

Why do we take a group of cells,

Draw borders and call them a nation?

We’re all just a collection of particles

Burning down buildings and lifting up flags.

I beseech you-

Look beyond the obvious

Think above yourself

Realise that life has no higher meaning,

That we’re just an accidental creation.

Like the metal in our beating hearts,

Forged from a dying star,

Our minds are a culmination

Of universal miracles and disasters.

Every atom has its own story,

Every cell has its soul.

We are the children of the stars

And nothing more.

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Teenage Existential Logolepsical Imprecations

I am a victim of introspection. -Sylvia Plath

When I have an existential crisis I

  • Cry
  • Numb myself with thoughts
  • Write a blog post about it

One problem with being a teenage girl with a compelling urge to over think and beautify everything is that most of time, reality seems to be too…. oversimplified.

And this drives me crazy, because this particular feeling of overwhelming emptiness is one that just cannot be defined in language. And what we can’t name, we can never fully understand.

Maybe my OCD-level thought spirals are the cause for my frequent existential crisis episodes. Anyone who’s been through this would know the utterly agonizing wave of doubt and anxiety and fear and panic that washes over you.

And this makes me feel extremely isolated sometimes, knowing that no one will ever fully understand what it’s like to be controlled and held captive by my thoughts in my brain. They might love me, listen to me, and comfort me, but they will never be able to share my feeling of intense helplessness, or rather helpless awe, with me.

If you feel like this and you’re afraid:

  • Don’t be afraid. It’s okay to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and it’s okay to feel it getting it heavier. Just accept it.
  • Listen. Listen to what your mind is saying and understand. Just stand back and listen.
  • Ask for help. We are often scared by the prospect of asking for assistance because we believe it makes us vulnerable. That is false. If you ever feel like you can’t do it anymore on your own, go ask a friend for advice. Call a cousin. Talk to your neighbour.
  • ALWAYS REMEMBER: It’s okay. It really is.

I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating. – Jean-Paul Sartre

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Listen.

I’m sitting on a park bench in my neighbourhood. The breeze from the nearby lake is strong and liberating. I’m surrounded by plants and greenery in every direction. The sunset makes its reflection on the water, shattering into a thousand little rose-golden crystals. The chirp of birds, the howling of wind through the leaves, the frantic rustling of the pages of my book and the constant sound of the waves are beckoning to me, calling me to a world beyond human thought.

It’s funny how we can go from seeing beauty in everything to becoming completely devoid of any feeling at all, let alone ones of love and fascination.

But if I close listen carefully, I’ll realize that everything around is trying to tell me something. The wind is telling me to be stronger, the waves are telling me to be grittier, the grass and tress are telling me to be kinder, and the sky is telling me not to give up on my dreams, ever. And if I listen even more closely, I’ll probably hear my own mind telling me something. Though I’m not sure I’m listening closely enough yet.

Everything around us has a message to give. Everything around us has a story to tell.

Just stand back and listen.

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must to it by listening. -Larry King

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Go break some eggs.

About two weeks ago, I made the most ridiculous(and possibly the most common) mistake a new blogger could make.

I deleted all my WordPress media to empty my space.

Thankfully, I had only 8 posts at that time, and not a hundred. Whew. It took a while, but soon, I had all my media replaced with better pictures.

This stupid mistake is just one example of people messing up in life. Sometimes you mess up small. Sometimes you make some really public blunders. IT. DOESN’T. MATTER.

What matters is your ability to call yourself out and do something to change. It can be anything from remembering to wear the right socks or promising not to eat your mom’s ice cream again.

Besides, who says mistakes aren’t good? They help you grow and they give you another chance. A chance to start again. And that’s a great privilege.

A common misconception is that successful and optimistic people are immune to the feeling of doing something wrong. They are not. In fact, optimistic people care the most about their mistakes (me for example).

The difference is that they UNDERSTAND. They know exactly where they messed up, and make a conscious effort to CHANGE.

I’m not at that stage yet, where I learn from my mistakes effortlessly. I have my own speed bumps and dead ends. We all do.

Maybe we never really will find that perfect balance between success and failure, between satisfaction and hunger, or between the beauty of ignorance and the assurance of certainty.

But, we have to try.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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Watch a TED Talk.

#TEDTalkTuesday

From TED Talks: The Official TED Guide To Public Speaking by Chris Anderson :-

The house lights dim. A woman, her palms sweating, her legs trembling just a little, steps out onto the stage. A spotlight hits her face, and 1200 pairs of eyes lock onto hers. The audience senses her nervousness. There is palpable tension in the room. She clears her throat and starts to speak.

What happens next is astounding.

The 1200 brains inside the heads of 1200 independent individuals start to behave very strangely. They begin to sync up. A magic spell woven by the woman washes over each person. They gasp together. Laugh together. Weep together. And as they do so, something else happens. Rich, neurologically encoded patterned of information inside the woman’s brain are somehow copied and transferred to the 1200 brains in the audience. These patterns will remain in those brains for the rest of their lives, potentially impacting their behaviour years into the future.

The woman on the stage is weaving wonder, not witchcraft. But her skills are as potent as any sorcery.

Ants shape each other’s behaviour by exchanging chemicals. We do it by standing in front of each other, peering into each other’s eyes, waving our hands and emitting strange sounds from our mouths. Human-to-human communication is a true wonder of the world. We do it unconsciously everyday. And it reaches its most intense form on the public stage.

The campfires or old have spawned a new kind of fire. A fire that spreads from mind to mind, screen to screen: the ignition of ideas whose time has come. From the first time our ancestors teamed up to take down a mammoth to Neil Armstrong’s first step onto the moon, people have turned spoken words into astonishing shared achievements.

We need that now more than ever. Ideas that could solve our toughest problems often remain invisible because the brilliant people in whose minds they reside lack the confidence or the know- how to share those ideas effectively. That is a tragedy. At a time when the right idea presented the right way can ripple across the world at the speed of light, spawning copies of itself in millions of minds, there’s huge benefit to figuring out how best to set it on its way, both for you, and for the rest of the world who need to know what you have to say.

Are you ready?

Let’s go light a fire.

Watch the most popular TED Talks of all time:

https://www.ted.com/playlists/171/the_most_popular_talks_of_all

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How to get motivated

#MotivationMonday

1.Cut off distractions.

Ruthlessly.

Anything that eats on your time, energy and resources must be cut off fiercely. You decide what you want to spend the majority of your time on. And don’t let false priorities set you off. So choose widely.

2. Be clueless.

Try not to push yourself too hard when you’re feeling unmotivated. Just acknowledge the fact that you don’t know what to do and use this to your advantage. Let your mind wander freely. Don’t hold back.

3. You are a canvas.

You are not the painter. You are the one being painted. So stop acting like you have a big responsibility to create the best life for yourself. Just enjoy the process and put on your biggest smile.

4. Positivity is essential.

Because everything is better when you’re thinking happy, powerful thoughts and you’re chilling with friends. 😁

5. You control, you conquer.

Own your life. Stop slacking. Get off your t.v. and do something that changes your way of life. You have one shot. One shot at living your life.

This life is yours, and yours only. Do what you want. And do it with all your heart.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

I’ll always get up after I fall.

And whether I run, wall, or have to crawl,

I’ll set my goals and achieve them all.

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Stop acting.

I’m almost in high school, which means all my friends(including myself) do indulge in humble bragging. But sometimes, people take it too far. To the point of bragging about your haters(and lovers) and making a big deal about what people think of them and their life. And as teenagers, we feed on gossip and pretentious behaviour. This bugs me. It made me ask:

Why do people act like their lives are great and full of unprecedented events and perfect and everything they asked for, when it obviously isn’t? What joy do they get in pretending like their life is better than others?

Why couldn’t they just actually create the lives they dreamed of?

It takes a split second and a fickle mind to be all talk about your life and your dreams. It takes courage and acceptance to actually make progress towards your goal. Pretentious people aren’t perfect. Their sensation of perfection acts as validation for their actions.

One thing I’ve learnt in my (short) life is that if there’s one sure way to live your dreams, it’s to be them.

Don’t waste your time wishing to be something. Your time is short. So do what you want. And be nice to people on the way.

Don’t be afraid of losing people. Be afraid of losing yourself by trying to please everyone around you.

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How to build friendships

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”-Amy Poehler.

  • BE KIND. This is no-brainer. Yet many people forget that what you give, you get back. No one’s gonna be around you if you treat them like dirt and take them for granted. So when you start a friendship, make some ground rules from both sides and stick to them. Be good and they’ll treat you the same way.
  • BE YOURSELF. A friendship built on lies is bound to fall apart. Be authentic and live with integrity. Don’t try to be the best version you picture of yourself. Be the most real version of yourself. If your true identity drives certain people away, realise that they wouldn’t be valuable additions to your life. Shine your light as bright as you can. So that the right people will find you.
  • LISTEN. SMILE. AGREE. If you have a friend you want to keep, smiling is honestly the best way to keep the friendship going. Engage in conversations that fascinate both you and your friends. Give them your insights. Take theirs. Make your discussions as colourful, diverse and intriguing as possible. Collaborate. Contribute. Connect.
  • SHARING IS CARING. Don’t hold back when it comes to sharing ideas. Ideas are the single most important tool of connection and influence in any sort of relationship. They’re what define or destroy the friendship. So share ideas of love, growth and positivity with your friends and the world.
  • UNDERSTAND. Understand that circumstances change like the seasons, and with it, so do people. It’s not your fault if someone who once was your friend doesn’t seem to be the same around you anymore. But it’s not theirs either. So don’t blame anyone. Be grateful for the friendship when it lasted, and realise that it has ended for the better. Accept it, let go and move on.

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you’ve been, accepts what you’ve become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

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Rats, Spirals and Cheese

What is the multiverse? How many dimensions exist? Will we ever find aliens? Are we all just atoms in a larger universe?These were the questions my friends and I attempted to answer in today’s lunch break. It all started with the question of how the universe would have come into existence if the Big Bang Theory wasn’t true. Soon we were wondering what was outside the universe, if the universe was the only thing there was. It made me think: how do you perceive or make sense of something that is simply beyond human comprehension? Belief. The answer is belief. The whole point of putting the unimaginable into the hands of some higher being is to simplify the things that are out of reach of human understanding. But we still weren’t content. My friend wanted a reason for why the universe is the way it is and why there could be infinite dimensions. Everything’s gotta have a reason, right? No. Not everything. Until we know for sure, we really wouldn’t have a solid reason for why the universe behaves the way it behaves. We need to find a reason. We need an answer. Imagine a spiral maze. An endless spiral maze. The entire human race is a rat in the maze, looking the best piece of cheese in universal existence. Cheese couldn’t get better than this. And we’re desperate to find it. We’re constantly going round and round in circles in the hopes of finding this cheese. And the spiral is infinite and never-ending. So is our search for the elusive cheese. I’m not saying we’ll never find the cheese. With rapid technological advances, we might in the near future. But while we’re all searching frantically for the cheese, we seem to miss all the pizza and milk and chocolate along the way. They’re great too, even if they’re not ultimate cheese. We’re all just just rats, looking for our own cheese. We are going to while away our existence looking for this cheese. So we might as well enjoy the journey.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost

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The Power of Music

Tbh I could write a 3000 word essay about this.

We’ve all been in that one extremely stressful and disturbing situation where all you wanted to do was to curl up into a bundle of clothes and while away our existence in that position. And if you’re anything like me, you rushed to the aid of music.

Oh, sweet music, reassuring me that my life is okay. I really do believe you. Very few people don’t.

The whole process of putting two egg/spherical shaped rubber instruments inside the crevices of your ears and using them to transmit vibrations from your phone might seem a bit absurd to a few people. But to me and the majority of people on this planet, music is their biggest source of peace and relaxation.

Whether it’s pop or rock or RnB or classical, music is a means of escaping or augmenting reality.

I mean, sure, music is just patterned sound. Just the compression and relaxation of particles in the air. Down to the basics, there is nothing about music that makes it different from other art forms like dance or drawing.

What’s special about music is that it gives them a chance to say what they want to say, and how they feel. It gives people a voice. And when you have a voice, you have the power to influence millions.

Music is love, love is music, music is life and I love my life. Thank you and good night. – A.J. McLean