I have an idea for a documentary.
Basically find a photo, and then fucking go there. Document the entire journey. The video should include scenes of you google searching to find that initial picture. Scenes of the team at a table brainstorming how to get there in sixty days. Scenes of each team member using their own unique method to find money to finance the trip. Scenes of one member working fifty hour work weeks. Scenes of one dude calling up his rich dad and receiving the check in the mail one week later. Scenes of finally purchasing the plane ticket. Scenes of the trip itself. Other miscellaneous scenes.
because we’re gonna be taking our last breaths one fucking day and all we’re going to be able to say is, shit i saw a lot of cool photos, i heard about all these cool places, i saw a movie where all these people are in these cool places.
yeah that was cool. bye.
I guess you can create a binary. There’s happy people and unhappy people.
I don’t dispute this binary, but I do think there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to what defines these groups.
I used to think happy people were somehow immune to the moments of despair, loneliness, lethargy, cynicism, and frustration. I thought that these people had somehow conditioned and modified their way of life and their way of living to the point where these moments were rare and only came by occasionally.
But I’ve come to the understanding this is simply not true. Happy people have just as many of these negative moments as do unhappy people.
Happy people are just better at handling these emotions and know how to respond to these feelings when they do come.
I know its a nuance, but I really think it’s a critical point.
Unhappy people look at happy people and think, “Damn, look at their circumstances. Because of their circumstance, they are happy.”
But in reality, the idea that happiness is derived from circumstance is truly an illusion.
It doesn’t matter how rich, how poor, how many friends, how little friends, how beautiful, how ugly, how skillful, how skill-less.
Despair, loneliness, lethargy, cynicism, and frustration come as they will. Because we are human.
So now that we’ve established the surprising disconnect between our circumstance and happiness, what then can we connect happiness to?
I think we can connect happiness to rituals and habits. Rituals of both the mind and body.
Happy people have just as many unhappy moments as unhappy people, but they know how to respond. They know certain mental tricks, certain physical tricks, that can make these moments much more endurable, and much less lasting.
Unhappy people live in fear of these negative emotions. They flee. They shudder and run.
Happy people learn to accept these negative emotions. They seek to understand them. They embrace the discomfort knowing that it is their only choice. But as soon as you you embrace it, you are now in control of it. It is no longer a invader. It is just a fact.
You are back in control.
It’s when you feel like you’re not in control that you are unhappy.
Funny isn’t it, I guess paradoxical in many ways.
Instead of spending so much time terrified of all the little bumps in the road, you learn to ride with them. You take the bumps, the jolts, the sharp turns.
And in doing so, the ride becomes smoother.
When I feel unmotivated, I know how to get myself motivated again.
When I’m feeling lonely, I understand the emotion, where it comes from, I learn to recognize that loneliness in no way takes away from my value.
When I am bored, I know that it is short sighted to simply run from the emotion through the most available medium of television and games. I know that boredom is one of our primary human struggles and can only be successfully dealt with through the art of creation.
When I am feeling ugly, I can take a step back and critically analyze the way our culture has toxified our way of thinking, making us attribute value to the wrong things. I then refocus my mind, I repeat maxims, I jump into the things that make me beautiful. In this process this feeling sheds.
And of course, stepping back a little bit. My favorite, all time, most potent and effect habit/ritual that never fails to pull me out of a hole is the idea that it’s not all about you. It’s our default mode of thinking. I just get so sucked into this idea of me, me, me, me. Others. Start thinking about others. This Is Water is the most epic declaration of how to live life. Stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about others. Realize that you control what you think about.
Good writing can always be traced back to a good conversation. Conversation allows ideas to steep, bringing out their full intensity.
It was 5:30 p.m. I had to be at the House by 6:00 p.m. I looked at the window and observed that the rain was still falling steadily. From the dark grey clouds, the chances of it letting up looked slim.
I sighed inwardly at the thought of having to trudge on up to the house from my dormitory. It would be a cold, wet affair.
It was at this point that I then remembered that I had been given a task of the week. Failure to complete the task would result in grave consequences according to the folks in charge. My task had been to acquire a bottle of Pledge. (fairly popular all-surface cleaner)
The only store that would possibly have it was the Walgreens on Telegraph. I decided that it would be better to just make the trip into a run. So I slipped into my free-runners and pulled on a windbreaker. I knew I’d get completely soaked but at least I’d be in and out within 10 minutes. This sounded preferable to a slow and agonizing 20 minute stroll through the rain with a broken umbrella.
Six bucks in hand, I ran to Walgreens. Fairly enjoyable actually. I walked into the brightly illuminated store feeling slightly consciousness. I was heaving. My hair was sopping wet. I was wearing navy blue running shorts. (running shorts differ from normal shorts mainly in their failure to cover anything past the top 1/8 of your leg, scandalous I know) Bright neon orange freerunners. I knew that some people were thinking, “Who the heck runs in this kind of weather.”
But I didn’t give a fuck and slowly scanned the aisles for some Pledge.
I found it on my fifth visual run through of the household section.
I was relieved, and then immediately downtrodden####
The yellow label announced that the bottle of Pledge could be acquired at the cost of eight american dollars.
I momentarily entertained the notion of slipping it under my jacket and walking out. I even stole an upward glance or two to see if there were any security cameras. Sure enough, my second glance revealed a large, 100 inch monitor sitting atop the shelf of toilet paper rolls, live streaming different store camera feeds on a five second, alternating interval. Of course, when I looked it happened to be displaying the top of my head. The tips of my neon orange freerunners were visible.
I tossed that idea aside. Not because of the security, but because of my moral compass of course.
I ran back through the rain, grabbed 8 quarters, and ran back.
Thirty minutes later, I was back in my room with a successful purchase.
I changed my shirt, grabbed an apple, and then headed back out and into the rain.
5:55 p.m. Five minutes to get to the house. I set off as quickly as possible, shielding my face from the horizontal strands of rain.
I think closeness is a function of how many late nights doing nothing two people spend together.
There needs to be several.
On the first late night, the one will be in a different place from the other.
On the second night, the first will be in that place, but now the second won’t.
Finally, on the sixth night, they both happen to be in the same place. On the same frequency level. It lines up.
They talk about the things that aren’t really talked about.
It’s like that scene in American History X. After about the 400 time folding clothes with the black guy next to him, they both begin talking. The neo-Nazi and the black gangster. The 400th time.
How do we have words for everything…
— Kid Cudi (via justechoesoffthewall)
i love bad haircuts because its a test of how true your confidence really is.
Not to say that its wrong to get some confidence from your outer appearances.
But it certainly should not account for more than a small fraction.
Because the truth is, the time will come when we are bald, wrinkling, and fat.
But a strong mind, good heart, and self worth built on self-action last forever.
I don’t want my confidence to be about my clothes, hair, or looks.
In it’s an inarguable fact, the profound extent to which the advent of Internet has changed the world.
But I think one of the most interesting ways it has changed the world is the way that it can connect people.
When I reflect on everything I’ve read in regards to Internet and it’s effect on human relationships, it’s mostly negative.
You’ve heard it before. Things like Facebook- only made possible by the Internet- only create the illusion of connectedness while in actuality only serving to alienate. We scroll through the newsfeed at lightning fast speed, scanning pictures on pictures. We see photo after photo of people smiling. People in groups. People who feel like they’ve found a community respond very differently to those who have not. The lonely ones see these pictures and experience pangs of desire. Lonely people see these smiles and intentionally or not, begin to compare their own social situation to that presented before them on their newsfeed.
But there’s also other places on the vast World Wide Web that tend to do exactly the opposite. A good example would be the UC Berkeley Secrets page. The Cal State Fullerton Secrets page. The University of Florida Secrets page. The ‘Put Name of Your University here’ Secrets page.
While I’m sure any student is familiar with what I’m talking about, for those who are not, these pages serves as an anonymous forum. An individual can post anything they want via third party portal which allows for incognito submission.
Sometimes on these pages, you’ll find adorable little crush confessions. Other times, humorous anecdotes. But more than anything else, you’ll find admissions of loneliness.
There are people who have not found a community in which they feel accepted and truly a part of. These people vent their pent up emotions, these secret feelings that if ever to be actually revealed in real life, would result in judgement and pity. Actually, scratch that pity part. What you get is judgement.
Some excerpts from the page that I came across just a few minutes ago.
I know that joining organizations are really helpful for making new friends on campus, but sometimes, it’s just tough for me to find a place to fit in. I have a few friends whom I see a few times a week; however, other than that, close friendships are really hard for me to find. It’s like either people aren’t interested, or they’re just so absorbed with their classes/internships that they never seem to find the time. It’s not necessarily the college itself that’s making it hard. It’s just that it feels a lot lonelier here, especially when you’re at events by yourself or studying alone in your room. I’m still trying really hard, and I hope I can find a group I feel comfortable with one day.
And then various random fellow students respond.
That’s exactly how I feel!
This is another post.
When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, I remember everything little thing mattered so much. I had so much emotion. But now… I feel like nothing really matters. I don’t stress about grades. I can’t remember the last time I fell for a guy and got butterflies thinking about him and anticipating seeing him again. Everything just seems so bland now. What happened?
You grew up, plain and simple.
You grew up is only one side of the medal. The other side is that the life has changed, and it forced you to change as well. When you were in middle/high school, let’s face it how many things you had to worry about? Probably to study hard, to get good grades, to eat well, have enough amount of sleep, and to never disappoint your parents (excluding things like chores, helping parents, behaving well, etc. etc. - these are the things that we have to do throughout the life). Now you have to worry about much more other things, and your parents are not around anymore. Life can become tough, and slowly, little by little, some people are giving up their emotions, feelings, things that liked to do for things that they have to do, and they want them to be done well. I never do that. For example, one day a week I don’t do any homework, studying, whatsoever - I don’t care of the amount of hw load I have, whether there are midterms coming, whatever the hell it is, I’m not doing it. I’m taking a time off to go and remind myself of how wonderful the other parts of life are, and how beautiful it is. Even if not doing hw will give me bad grades - I don’t give a shit, because grades never show your level of knowledge, but that’s beyond the point. My point is: if you forgot how it feels to have butterflies in your stomach, then it’s about time to go and remind yourself of how it feels. Forget for a moment of what you have to do - it can wait a little, it really can wait. Go and bring back all those emotions that you’ve hidden inside
You realized that the less fucks you give, the happier you are.
Welcome to adulthood. It sucks. lol.
Then you got you’re smarts ass first class citizens.
"Looks like this page is starting to serve as a platform for pussies to confess their love
Get a pair and tell them directly”
To which there’s usually a few valiant knights who put on an admirably vigorous defense.
Whoa, such hostility!!!??? I mean it is a page in which people tell secrets…and I would much rather see someone saying they have a crush on someone anonymously than a post about a guy liking his girl giving him a rim job. I mean who cares if they don’t have the courage to ask?
Haters gonna hate
Here’s some more excepts from angels responding.
Anna Valenza Awww! Don’t say that! It will all work out! I just transferred as an older junior this semester and trust me, it’s tough not knowing ANYONE! Join an organization.
Sam Tallerico I would have to Agree with Anna, try to join an organization. Berkeley is such a huge place it is easy to get lost, just don’t get caught up in the wrong crowd. It was a little hard for me to find people to fit in with because it is a younger crowd. I feel hella old and I’m only 22 lol, but don’t worry you too shall find a group that suits you well.
Tiffany Dang You’re not alone definitely, I felt overwhelmed after the first week and became very miserable. However, now that I’ve finally adjusted to living here I’m so glad I got an opportunity to do so. Hundreds of students would LOVE to be in your place, so make the best of it contact me if you ever want to get together! I’ll be happy to get to know you
Like · Reply · 4 · January 30 at 9:10am
Wow my thoughts exactly, had to take a semester off to reevaluate
Bai Steven Zhen the grass is always greener on the other side. We learn from our struggles, cheer up, dude/dudettes, find the silver lining, it gets better
I hate that we all care tooo much about our GPA and trying to Ace our classes but I also hate that, at the end, its not what you know, but who you know that gets you a great job
"In high school I was naive, rude and arrogant and got with lots of girls. Since I came to Berkeley, aside from learning a ton, I’ve matured, become much more kind and practice respect and loving kindness every day of my life. And I get with no girls…
”I really don’t intend to be racist here, but I am always reluctant to make asian friends (although the asian friends I have are awesome) because I really have a hard time telling them apart. Especially when one of them that I haven’t seen in a while comes up to me and says hi. I never remember which one is who.
I’m a Junior and I’m still having a lot of trouble meeting people whos friendships last longer than the semester. As a girl I’m not interested in meeting guys just so I can have sex (if that is a goal for you, you really should rethink it…). They say you meet your closest friends in college and I’m becoming a bit worried.
I’m too scared of someone finding out who I am when I post confessions, so I post them on different schools fb pages.
I will find out from the lab results this Friday if I have cancer. I can’t seem to get any homework done. I’m overwhelmed about graduate school, my poor health, and my classes this year.
Picked a booger and it’s a sticky one! I can’t get rid of it on any walls!! It just sticks to my finger!!! Grrr
To conclude though-
Loneliness is not the absences of friends, its the condition of not being able to express you deepest thoughts. Not only are we unable to express them, we are also unable to receive them. We get antsy and awkward whenever someone is vulnerable, in turn reinforcing to the confessor that this really was a bad idea after all.
I think we should all devote ourselves to learning how to connect with others. How to listen. How to speak.
We need to see another human being and force ourselves to fend off our instinct to dismiss them. We have to hammer into our heads that they experience intense feelings and thoughts just like us. And therefore, when we interact, we must listen fully, from the bottom of our hearts.
My good friend and I sat down for dinner at our school’s dining commons last Thursday. It had been quite some time since we had been able to just sit down and have a conversation. I was looking forward to catching up and sharing stories.
Then a man and his wife stopped at the far end of our four person table and inquired if they could share the table. We of course obliged and I quickly took my backpack off the chair next to me.
Turns out, the gentleman was Professor George Chang and the woman with him was his wife. He teaches Nutritional Sciences and is part of the Faculty Residence program.
Over the course of the meal, he asked us a ton of questions. He wanted to know how we were liking Cal. He asked me to tell him how I came to choose my major and what I liked about it. He encouraged us to take Seminars and seize the opportunity to enroll in smaller size classes where we would have an opportunity to really engage with the faculty.
And then, at some point in the conversation, my friend sighed and in an unexpectedly candid moment simply told the professor, “I don’t know. I’ve been feeling really lost lately, like I don’t know what exactly I want to do in my future, where I want to be, You know, just everything seems a little bit confusing.”
He smiled and said, “It’s good that you’re confused and feel like you don’t know what you are doing. At least you can recognize your condition. If you think you know what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
He said just focus on the next step. Don’t try to process every little detail. Just start with your homework first. Start with you’re club. And doors will just open up.
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