Something Special About Us

I’m not sure if that’s what every generation says about themselves but I have a feeling that we’re doing much better than is expected from us.

When I look around I see young women not tolerating any bullshit from any man anymore. I see activists, people who want to be part of the country’s politics to be able to change something. To fix what others messed up. I see artists. Singers. Songwriters. DJs. Producers. Dancers.

I see young people having startups before they’ve finished high school. People who refuse nine-to-five jobs. People finding ways to make money with what they love. People learning from their mistakes and those of others. I see people no longer caring about what others think about them. People daring to be who they are. I see more uniqueness. More openness towards individuality.

But most importantly, I see a generation in which people have become aware of how important it is to take care of themselves and the people around them. We have started to reach out for one another. Started to accept mistakes. Started to accept that perfection isn’t an option. We have made ourselves a priority.

Now, how does that make us any better than any generation before us? I believe that the support and love I see around me is real. I see honest and critical minds. Less followers and more pioneers. I see refusal. Refusal to accept bad things. Refusal to accept that bad things must remain because “that’s the way it has always been”.

I see people who are no longer afraid of change. People who seek change. People who understand the necessity of change. And the necessity of faith and courage. The necessity to stand up for their rights. To stand up for those who can’t.

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.

-Chinua Achebe

Be proud of who you are!! Please let us not be compromised when we can be so much more…

Invent yourself, CK

Forgiveness

Should you forgive people who have wronged you?

I believe that, while forgiving others can be both a gesture of your own greatness and stupidity (fool me once…), more thought should be attributed to the forgiveness of yourself. We all walk down our own path of life and sooner or later you are going to take decisions that will change your life for the better or the worse. Let’s focus on these decisions that’ll turn out to be bad. You’re going to look back one day and realize that what you did was wrong.

And you’ll realize that you can’t take back words you said, nor can you undo the things you did. You don’t get to press restart. Maybe you’ve hurt somebody. And you feel regret and you’d do anything to go back to that particular day. Because it’s all you think about and you want to show that what you did was a mistake, you want to show the world and yourself that this mistake is not who you are, prove that you’re not a bad person.

But as appealing as it is, that’s not how things work. You ruin your inner peace because you won’t stop thinking about that one mistake and you start judging yourself. Because you don’t let go of the past. Because you don’t forgive yourself. Because you do not accept that you’re flawed. You do not want to accept that mistakes are part of life.

But a mistake is a mistake and it will still be a mistake in 20 years. You can spend the rest of your life looking back at that moment, accusing yourself. Or you choose to forgive yourself and let the past be in the past. Let yourself be human. Because forgiving yourself does not mean that you ignore what you did. It does not mean that you choose to delete part of your past. It merely means you’re ready to accept imperfection.

Make the mistakes work for you, let them teach you to become a better you.


“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” -Rafiki (The Lion King)

Invent yourself, CK

When it Rains it Pours

Update: the most important thing I’ve learned from living on my own is that I do not want to live alone again. Ever.

I do not intend this to become a blog about myself, as in me writing about the random stuff that happens in my life that no one cares about anyway, I just want you to know why I’m writing what I’m writing.

I dropped out of university 2 weeks ago for multiple reasons, the main one being that I felt like my mind was going crazy. Now I’m back in Luxembourg, constantly wondering if I overreacted and if I should have given it more thought, maybe after some time I would have liked it. I’ll never know.

But here’s what I want to say and what I believe.

There is literally nothing on this earth that matters more than your mental health. Nothing. No money, no friends. No school or workplace.

If you suffer, and think that you won’t ever be able to sleep again because your mind won’t stop producing the weirdest stuff, you’ve got to do something.

When I came back last week, I was lucky enough to talk to a friend who had dropped out a few weeks before me. When I found out that he was having the same thoughts, the same feeling of panic, the same uncertainty, I felt much better because it showed me that I wasn’t alone.

My point is that first of all, you are allowed to feel bad and depressed and worry about your future. You are allowed (and encouraged) to annoy your people with any worries you have. It sounds like some lame Tumblr post but talking is the most effective medicine. If you feel like you need help, get help. You were born alone and you’ll die alone, but in between, you don’t have to be lonely.

Second of all, do not forget that we are still young. And when you’re young you underestimate your own strength and overestimate every mishap in your life. Every bad thing always seems like it’s the end of the world.  It often seems like life will never be good again, and everything and everyone is going against you. You feel betrayed by life, because your mind no longer takes into consideration how lucky you are to be alive.

But you are, and life will pay you back for all the suffering you had to go through. It won’t rain forever. Try to remind yourself of all the good things in your life, they are there. Try to remind yourself everyday of all the things you are grateful for. And the bad things will eventually fade. Promise.

The average age of death in Luxembourg is 81. We have spent less than 1 quarter of our lives. Do not expect yourself to have it all figured out. Hang in there.

Invent yourself, CK

Choice

(Another 3 months have passed but there’s a lot I have learned living on my own, so you might forgive me for being inactive again.)

Everyone has them. Bad days that make you feel like nothing is worth fighting for, that life is just an infinite repetition of the same boring days. Bad days that make you forget all the good in your life. They cloud your mind, and have you thinking about nothing but the negative stuff you had to endure.

But these days, while they might be horrible live through, seem necessary to me. We need to feel terrible from time to time, to realize how lucky we are. To realize that we have been given a gift that we should cherish much more often than we tend to do. Because that is exactly what we do. We take everything for granted until it’s gone, then mourn about it and feel betrayed by life.

Truth is, we blame life for being heartless and unfair. We try to impose our rules in a game against an opponent who can’t lose. You can’t win a a game against life but you can learn to play by the rules, accept them and make them work in your favor. There is nothing you can do about being taken away things or people you love, you cannot get it back. But you still have a choice. You either choose to regret, live a life full of mourning that will only get worse and put yourself in a vicious circle, because whenever something will be taken away from you, that feeling of having wasted the good times will become stronger.

Or you choose not to deliberately destroy your own life. You come to terms with the transience of everything. You realize that while all the good times have an end, bad times aren’t everlasting either.

There is good in all bad and bad in all good.  Don’t bring yourself down by ignoring the good.

Some days are just bad days, that’s all. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is.     

Invent yourself, CK

 

 

 

Structure

12th February. My last post. It’s been 6 months since I last published, and I swear this has by far been the messiest time I’ve ever been through. I meant to take a small break from writing, to be able to focus on studying for my finals. Yet when exams were over, I somehow missed out on getting back to what I know best. There have been more ups and downs during these last months than ever before, and I feel like I should have never stopped writing to. And yet.. maybe it was necessary for me to find out that I need it. After all, we all need something to let off steam, some outlet that brings back balance to our life.

Anyway, I’m back now. And I mean to stay this time.

One thing I’ve learnt recently is that we all need some sort of structure in our lives. We need organization, something to rely on, because at times, when nothing seems to go our way, we still have something that makes us feel like we have at least some control over our lives. Structure is basically a precondition for one’s sanity. A mind that has no reference points whatsoever, eventually goes mad. These holidays, especially after finishing high school, being a main event in most people’s life, are wicked. For a lot of you, as for me, this is a time of major change and I can tell you that I am afraid of what is to come. I worry a lot, and at times feel unable to accept any kind of change in my life.

And yet, we can’t stop time, nor can we know what the future holds for us. All that’s left for us to do, is to stay positive, keeping both eyes on our goals and follow the flow of our life.

We have to be prepared for change, accept it, embrace it.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.- Maya Angelou

Invent yourself,CK

Recall

I remember how when we started going to high school, it was all about becoming famous and being liked by everyone. Back when Instagram had only but launched and Facebook was still leading the social media empire. It was all about having more likes on your profile pictures than anyone else.

It was so stupid because once you had reached some kind of fame (which is ridiculous in itself because our population consists of about 3 people)  rumors started. We wanted to be who people talked about but we wanted people to have good opinions about us. Rumors, however are not usually positive and when we heard about how other people thought we were, all we wanted was being left alone.

Back then, Formspring was still a thing and for a year or so it was the hotspot for rumors. People answered questions about other people, spreading lies to restore their own image. Acting and reacting. We knew that lies about us were being told, yet when we heard something about someone else, we didn’t think twice, believed and passed it on.

I don’t know why  people feel the need to be known by everyone. It might just be some sort of transition phase, part of growing up. I think that it’s the result of social pressure, that we put on ourselves. We think that we’re good people when others believe we are. We give others too much control over our self-esteem and self-evaluation. We fear to lose our individuality and want to stand out, have something that others want, do something others can’t.

Now, looking back to this period, I feel like I spent too much time comparing myself to others. While I enjoyed growing up in this society( and still do), I think I could’ve been happier if this comparison hadn’t taken place to this extent.

Uniqueness is wealth. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not other people.

Invent yourself, CK


“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

nicotine is out

In times of endless possibilities to keep in touch with others, we’ve become more anti-social than ever. We’re slowly becoming a society full of people who live in their phones , rather than using it as a tool. The roles are reversed, phones have started telling their owners what to do. They own people.

The various profiles we created to fake a perfect life, made us so aware of how we’re supposed to present ourselves, to show the best of us in every situation. We’re worried that people will notice that this is not who we are in real life. We’re no longer hiding behind false fronts, we have turned into them.

On the one hand, when we’re in public, we’re looking at our phones, pretending to be really busy, hoping no one looks at us or judges us. As soon as we look up, we see other people avoiding social contact in just the same way, for what?

On the other hand we’re seeking social contact, we’re looking for social interaction. That’s something you can’t find on a phone, yet we replace real, face to face communication with chats. We’re becoming robots, machines, addicted to our phones. While social networks are meant to communicate, we’re losing the ability to actually keep up a real conversation, simply because we’re no longer used to it. An online chat is not an alternative to a real conversation.

We’re bored of reality, we think that we can find real life on the internet and hope to find purpose on our phones, where all we really find are Donald Trump memes. How  do people not realize that phones are keeping them from living? How much more could we do if  we spent this time, looking down at phones, to improve our lives and change the world around us. We’re so keen to find out who we are, who we want to be, yet we waste our time because we’re afraid of real life and would rather be entertained. In my view, exchanging personal growth with entertainment is not too great of a deal.

You’re human, perfection is not an option, accept it. Don’t hide who you are. Put down your phone  and talk to the people you love.

Invent yourself,CK


The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other. – JR

the enemy

Life is made of obstacles and conflicts with people who want to see you go down. Yet, the final enemy will always be you. No one knows your weaknesses better,no one knows how to harm you better, no one stands closer to yourself. The relation with your inner self is the one you need to focus on most.

It’s all about the mindset, you will always find enemies around you, there will always be people who want to do better than you, who want to see you struggle. This is why it is important that you choose not to add another enemy to this group. You can either be the one stopping you from ever getting where you want to be or you can use the energy you’re wasting on smashing and destroying your self-confidence, to create the strongest version of yourself.

Nothing will throw you off track, because you don’t blame yourself anymore. It’s one thing to be self-critical, it’s another to bash yourself for every little mistake you make. Self-sabotage destroys any feeling of self-worth.

Inner conflicts can be devastating, they will keep you from progressing and you’ll always worry about other people thinking you’re not good enough, since you don’t accept that you’re flawed, that you’re human. People who see that you enjoy being you will react to it and treat you like you treat yourself. Before respecting other people, respect yourself.

If you go through life fighting yourself, worrying about your ability or about how other people perceive what you do and who you are, you can never reach what you could reach. It’s a way of wasting your potential. No one will believe in you if you don’t show them how. You are the only person who will always be by your side.  Think of it as a second person, who’s able to gild every other voice around you. Now imagine it goofing on you for every decision you take…

If you let it, it can be your worst enemy, an enemy you can’t get rid of, who will follow you to your deathbed. Or it can be your greatest supporter, who stands by you whenever.


Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.- Laird Hamilton

Invent yourself,CK

The past is a candle at great distance: too close to let you quit, too far to comfort you.-Amy Bloom

      About Nostalgia

If I had to select the worst kind suffering I have felt, it’d be nostalgia. There’s nothing quite like it. Once you’ve opened the door to look back and dwell in memories, it’s really hard to get out of this room full of memories, reminding you of better times.

Worst thing about nostalgia is, there’s no way to prevent it. Most often it’s a protective mechanism, trying to prevent suffering due to a current situation.

Seemingly irrelevant things,like smells, pictures or songs can be door openers to this memory chamber, that you won’t want to ever leave. You’ll look for hiding places between passed moments of joy and happiness and you’ll feel good, at least for a little moment, which is why you’ll have a hard time making it out of this room full of comfort.

Sooner or later you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t live your life looking back, nor is it possible to live your life backwards. This is why it is important to realize that when you feel nostalgic, it’s the result of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Nostalgia is nothing else than a sign to get up and change your current life situation. Make it your goal to feel nostalgic on the following day and you’ll never have to endure this kind of suffering another day in your life .

Nostalgia is an illness for those who haven’t realized that today is tomorrow’s nostalgia.-  Zeena Schreck

A life spent in memories is a wasted life. A life spent in memories is a life spent in lies. Memories are never exact copies of reality, they show us what we want to see. The room filled with memories is an idealized version of our past.

Get out of that room.

Invent yourself,CK

Lost sight

We live in a world in which it has become important to identify friends in memes and laugh about the Donald Trumps and Kim Kardashians in the world, while we never question the consequences of letting this kind of people have so much influence on our lives.

Viral trends and memes, that are ‘so us’ have taken a place in all of our lives, it’s no more a pastime, it has become an everyday-thing. And while we’re laughing about vines (r.i.p) and the American presidential election, we’re losing track of what’s actually happening around us. We’re staring at our phones, blending out our surroundings and pretend we’re informed about the world, since we read another badly written , uninformed post on Facebook.

We lose so much time, looking through our timelines on social media and ignore the real world, we live in a digital world and come out only  to eat (while publishing photos of what we’re eating of course) and for school, where we still use every free minute to check what’s happening online, meaning that the only time we’re ever not online is while we sleep.

We scroll through timelines and aren’t even interested in most of the posts we see. Why do we still insist on looking at our phones all the time? We’re addicted to being informed, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if that information were of any worth. But most of the time we’re shown altogether uninteresting and boring posts.

We walk through life looking down on our phones. We want to be kept entertained, thinking life around us is unable to do so. We’re losing the ability to live without our phones. When was the last time you didn’t use your phone for a whole day?

I don’t want to defend this lifestyle, yet it’s evident that the governments want us to do just that, because as long as we’re laughing at silly memes, we’re not questioning their politics. We believe we are informed when we’re numb to true information.

Invent yourself,CK

There’s a danger in the internet and social media. The notion that information is enough, that more and more information is enough, that you don’t have to think, you just have to get more information – gets very dangerous. – Edward de Bono