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

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

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

Sunsets

When was the last time you watched the sunset without taking out your phone to take pictures? Why do we think that it is more important to show other people what we see than enjoying the happy moments of life?  When did you last see something that gave you the shivers? When were you last astonished by something you saw?

I think we have lost vision for the beautiful things of life.  There seems to be nothing left that leaves us stunned. We take pictures of moments and move on. We have forgotten how to enjoy. You’ll say you can still enjoy sunsets, sunrises, rainbows- whatever Nature provides us with -before or after taking pictures, but why has it become more important to save a moment than to treasure it?
We live in a time in which it is more important to show people that our life is great than actually trying to make the best of our life.

Instagram photos, Facebook profile pictures and  Snapchat stories have become a tool to show off the great life we pretend to live. We want people to think that we’re having fun all the time, that we don’t have to worry – that we live the life they want to live.

But the truth is that no one actually lives the life they pretend to live. We hide behind a mask on social media because we’d love to believe that what we show other people of ourselves is who we really are, yet we know that we can only pretend to believe it, knowing deep down that it’s not true. Ironically, we still believe that other people do actually live the life they show us, waking our need to pretend we live an even better life.

Once we realize that social media is not a representation of our real lives, but only a dream world we pretend to live in, we’ll no longer feel the need to pretend living a perfect life, because such a thing as a perfect life does not exist.

We’re actors in our lives, pretendin’ to be who we want people to think we are. -Simone Elkeles

Invent yourself,CK

We’re the drunk generation

No, we’re not the first generation to drink alcohol, nor will we be the last, but I believe that you can’t deny that we incarnate being drunk and have brought it to another level, for we do not only need it for the sole purpose of having fun anymore. We’re in desperate need for it. Why? Because deep down we need social contact, we need love, yet giving love is something we’ve unlearnt somewhere on our way.

The only time we are accessible- and can spread this social love, is when we forget about looking good, when we don’t care what other people think anymore. In times of social pressure and beauty ideals we feel we have to live up to, alcohol seems to be the only solution to enjoy ourselves.

We drink on every occasion; On birthdays, on days that are not our birthdays, when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we party, when we mourn. There’s no time when alcohol wouldn’t be appropriate. It has become a fundamental part of our all lives.

Being able to say we were drunk, allows us to do all the things we want to do, but don’t have the guts to when we’re sober, afraid of not being accepted anymore, of being laughed at. When we’re drunk, we like to talk to people we don’t know and I think this is something we all should do more often, not when we’re drunk, necessarily. Flirting becomes really easy, because it is a natural thing to do.

To all people saying ‘You don’t need alcohol to have fun’ -Yes you’re completely right, but I need alcohol to free myself from worries and self-awareness, to accept my flaws and openly admit that I seek social contact and love. It is sad that we seem to achieve this state only with the help of a drug, (because that’s what alcohol is in the end), but that’s the way our generation works.

To say alcohol does no good is wrong. To say it does no harm is wrong. But I’d rather be liberated from my insecurities and harm my body, than be healthy and enchained for all my life.

Invent yourself,CK

Listening or waiting to speak?

A lot of people do not actually listen to what you have to say, they’re just waiting for you to finish so that they can start talking again. Most of the time, they have no intention to react to what you said. They’ll come up with something similar that happened to them. They don’t care about your story and will try to overplay you with their story.

But this is not how a conversation works, if you don’t want to hear what others have to say and only care about yourself, do not start a conversation. It’s really exhausting and frustrating for the other person as they will notice that what they say is of no worth for you and is not taken into account and will just let you speak, hoping that they can flee the conversation as soon as possible. Moreover they’ll probably start to avoid you.

It might take some time, but eventually everyone’s gonna know that talking to you is not something to look forward to and they won’t try to start a conversation. That will be the moment you’ll have to change your point of view about how a conversation works. I had a friend that wouldn’t let me give the chance to react, let alone tell something of my own. Once I realized that she wasn’t interested in what I had to say I swore myself that I wouldn’t spend time with her alone anymore.

I think that the most important thing to keep up a conversation is not having an interesting story on your mind. The most important thing is to listen what the other person has to say and react to it. It’s also the most difficult part of keeping a conversation alive, since we all think our stories are really interesting and everyone wants to hear them.

It might sound really paradoxical because I just said that I didn’t like talking to that friend because she wouldn’t stop speaking, yet I say it is more important to listen than to speak; but there’s a difference between carrying on a conversation and holding a monologue. If I wanted to listen to someone for hours without being able to speak, I’d go and listen to a politician.

A conversation is not a monologue.

Invent yourself,CK

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply – Stephen R. Covey