Hello Moonlings, I’ve been thinking (what Thinking Moon has been thinking? What a novel concept) about the goals we set ourselves and whether or not they are achievable. We often set ourselves arbitrary goals of losing weight, exercising more, saving money and so forth. Yet we rarely remember to set up the necessary infrastructure needed in order to fulfill this.
For me, I achieved the main goal I set out for myself at the beginning of 2018. I blogged for 1 year straight. January to January. I didn’t achieve it simply because I enjoy writing or that I had a lot to say. I achieved it because I made a plan for myself.
At the outset, I blogged once a week on a Friday with planned blogs until the end of the year. Eventually, I gathered a small audience. When I finally seen people were reading I felt they deserved more so I started my ‘Fun Tuesdays‘ category in September of last year.
This taught me that I had the ability to be consistent once I planned to be. I hope that makes sense. Now at the beginning of 2019, I was able to give myself even more goals because I planned them into my daily life. I’m learning Portuguese, meditation, and every day something new to improve my blog.
I’ve also made myself a vision board which I’ve already mentioned. Not only is this a really fun activity, but it’s also great for focusing your mind on your goals. I used canvas, watercolours, and glued pictures to it when it dried.
Around this time until the end of January, we all start giving up on our goals and dreams. It’s too cold(shout out to Irish weather), you miss the comfort of the couch rather than having a walk, and getting up earlier isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Really though the issue is allowing time for our changes and giving ourselves at least 3 weeks of consistency to allow old habits to die allowing new habits to form.
Anyways if you’re still not convinced or unsure and looking for help here is a video by a YouTuber I’m very fond of called Madeliene Olivia. She is a lifestyle blogger who is a minimalist and a vegan. If you are looking for help with your goals she has really practical advice about how to organise them.
I wish you peace, happiness and success Moonlings.
Music is so wonderful. There are albums that I’m obsessed with and I’ve been listening to for over 10+ years. However, I indulge in new music every now and again. For fellow music lovers, I’ve ranked my top 10 albums of 2018.
Before we begin, let me know about your favourite albums/bops from this year in the comments. Also is there any new music coming in 2019 that you’re so excited for? I want to know, please!
10. Biosphere – “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings.”
One of my most beloved ambient electronica albums is by ‘Biosphere’. He is a Norwegian artist called Geir Jenssen. He creates incredulously atmospheric, chilling albums through sampling and loops. His album ‘Substrata‘ will always be my favourite of his, but he really delivered with his 2018 album, “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings.” It quickly became an anthem for my writing and studying this year.
If you’re looking for music to work to, I recommend any of his stuff. Other great albums include “Departed Glories,” “Patashnik,” “Substrata,” and, “Man With A Movie Camera.”
9. Scotty Sire – “Ruin Your Party.”
Viner turned YouTuber turned musician Scotty Sire surprised me this year. While there have been many attempts by YouTubers to transition to music I think Sire really pulled it off. Genuinely I was a fan of his self-deprecating humour, as the sad man in David Dobrik’s vlogs. Somehow he translated this very well to music.
Not only can he sing and rap, but he also’s a pretty decent songwriter. The best parts of his personality shine through. This is not novelty music, it harkens of real modern pop. Notable tracks that really caught my attention were:
“American Love.” – Elijah Blake & Myles Parrish.
“Take Me Away.”
“Get Better.” – The Weekend Riot.
8. Louis Cole – “Time.”
While Louis Cole is better known for his work with ‘Knower’, (and silly music videos), you can’t deny his solo musical chops. This recommendation from Le’Boo quickly became one of my favourite albums to listen to while reading or chilling out.
His groovy style and high voice is soothing in an unexpected way.
If you’re into music videos you should check out some of Cole’s they’re pretty strange, albeit attractive. Like a train wreck, you can’t look away. Notable tracks:
“When You’re Ugly.” With – Genevieve Artadi
7. Vulpeck – “Hill Climber.”
Look if you haven’t heard of Vulpeck yet… haha you thought I was going to go full hipster, didn’t you? Acting.
No seriously though yet another recommendation from my musician “I went to jazz school,” Le’Boo. I couldn’t pretend to dislike them if I tried. Their inexplicable rhythms, lyrics, and grooves actually vibrate into your organs. The resulting dancing is a side effect of their brilliance.
I’ve seen them in Dublin twice and both times came out exhausted yet elated from singing and dancing. Stand out tracks you ask? All of them. If I had to choose a couple I suppose:
“Half of the way”
“It Gets Funkier.” With – (That’s right) Louis Cole.
Also if you are a Christmas music fan, they have one of the best Christmas songs out there.
6. Fall Out Boy – “Mania.”
I’m a huge Fall Out Boy stan (that’s what the kids are saying right?). Ever since I picked up a copy of “From Under The Cork Tree,” in 2005 I’ve followed their evolution as better pop punk than Blink 182, superior lyrics to Greenday and musical chops The Ramones might raise their eyebrows at.
This is just another fantastic album, like their last and the one before that. It spawned 5 singles and all those songs were great. They appeal to my inner ansty teenager that still refuses to give up hope of becoming a rock star.
“I lived so much life I think God’s gonna have to kill me twice.”
5. Christina Aguilera – “Liberation.”
There was Britney Spears, and there was Christina Aguilera. People took sides, it was a whole big thing. In fact, some people like to compare it to the Blur / Oasis fiasco of the 1990s. It wasn’t like that. One of them had a message, the other just wanted to be a pop star.
Aguilera comes back swinging with singles like “Fall In Line” featuring Demi Lovato, soothing tunes such as “Twice,” and mooning love songs like “Unless It’s With You.”
This was a great album, arguably better than Ariana Grande’s “Sweetner” (yes I did listen to it for fairness) even though the latter did better commercially. If you want to hear some fresh Aguilera give this album a chance.
4. MGMT – “Little Dark Age.”
In 2007 I listened to “Oracular Spectacular” over and over again. I then promptly forgot all about MGMT until their album “Little Dark Age” appeared on the lists of 2018’s best albums. Right between “EVERYTHING IS LOVE”by The Carters, and “Scorpion,” by Drake I almost missed it. Thinking to myself what harm could it do, and how charming the cover was I gave it a spin.
(Well no I didn’t I don’t have a record player sadly, I just went to Spotify).
The album blew me away. The soothing tones of the ’80s incorporated with the unique vocals both harkened back to their 2007 album, yet detached from it too. A difficult task to say the least. I danced around the kitchen to “One Thing Left To Try,” like a maniac.
“Me and Michael.”
“One thing Left To Try.”
3. The Crystal Method – “The Trip Home.”
Whatever happens, do not drive while listening to this album. It will cause speeding and possible death. Electronic music is one of my fever highs and The Crystal Method have been sweet sweet providers of that for a long time.
I can’t pick out standouts. This album has a coherence that demands you listen, and you will have no choice. They have a way of grabbing you by the proverbial cojones and bringing you along on their crazy ride with them.
When the album is over, you’ll feel a mixture of fatigue, euphoria, and a little hungover.
2. A Perfect Circle – “Eat The Elephant.”
This was a gift this year I’d been waiting for since “Emotive” in 2004. Yes, that long of a hiatus. Then they came back with this gem. There was divisiveness with this album among fans, yet I loved every drop of it.
The musical side of the album has a distinctive eerieness to it (like the original Doom 3D game) coupled with precision production. It very nearly took my number one spot.
While the whole album was, in my opinion, one great song after another, “Get The Lead Out,” will be one of my favourite’s for the rest of time. I implore you to listen to that song, if not the whole album.
1. Janelle Monáe – “Dirty Computer.”
I mentioned this album earlier this year in a post about female musicians I adore which you can read here. Regarding our girl Monáe I said the following:
I stand by what I said, except listen to “American” because that song really draws the album to an almighty crashing close.
I went to Iceland in 2016 with my parents and Le Boo. While driving around we listened to Björk a lot. Her voice and music style makes more sense to me now I’ve seen the landscape of her homeland. It’s incredibly beautiful, but also quite alien. I can only imagine living there before the industrial revolution.
It’s desolate and lonely fields of lava coupled with intense coastlines feels genuinely out of this world. It was the trip of a lifetime. We went to the Blue Lagoon, and I’d paid my ticket in advance to swim in it.
That never happened. While my parents and Le Boo were swimming in the Blue Lagoon’s naturally heated water, I was in the bathroom of the facility. Crying as quietly as I could in a stall, while my body panicked so fiercely it felt as though I was going to die. For days afterward I was exhausted, and couldn’t enjoy the holiday as well.
When I got back to Ireland, instead of being able to sleep the night before I returned to work, I tossed and turned. My stomach was sick, and I vomited at one stage. When Le Boo was getting ready for work in the morning he was surprised when I didn’t get up. I informed him as soon as my GP’s office was open at 8am I was going to make an appointment with her.
He was extremely supportive by the way and still is to this day.
I sobbed in my primary care physician consulting room, which was a new experience for me. I told her how I was feeling, and how there had to be something wrong. She suggested I quit one of my jobs (which I never had to do before, I have like 3 jobs now) and try some anti-depressants.
I then found a counselor recommended by a friend. She kindly informed me I had a mental breakdown after many years of suppressing pain and illness.
It’s been two years since that breakdown.
Let me make something very clear. At the time of the breakdown I was with Le Boo, and that is an extremely loving relationship. My parents, brother, and friends are all phenomenal people. I had managed to get a scholarship for my Ph.D. which was what I had always wanted, and my career was finally moving in the direction I wanted.
You think you get what you want and your mental illness will just dissolve. There isn’t a chance of that. What might happen is finally recognise if your internal monologue is healthy. If your relationship with yourself is kind. The road to discovery this may be tough but I found journaling helped. I included a colour chart I use at the beginning of this post. It has been indispensable to understanding and processing my emotions.
What I discuss on this blog is not revolutionary. It’s not ground-breaking in itself. Except for those suffering from cycles of anxiety followed by depression. When someone with other chronic illnesses discusses their symptoms, tt makes you realise you are not alone in your disease. Although it wants you to feel as though you are.
The community of people I’ve surrounded myself with on this site has been eye-opening. Those suffering from an array of mental illnesses from bi-polar to PTSD to social anxiety, and many more. They describe moments of pain, and they share their load. Hopefully making it a bit lighter.
Share your pain, listen to your emotions, and finally be kind to yourself first. Otherwise, you won’t have anything left to give to others.
Wicca. Noun. “A religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (such as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles.”[i]
Although I don’t follow an organised religion, I’ve always felt there was a spiritual gap in my life. I envy my friend’s meditative connection to a higher power when they pray. When I’m struggling with my mental illnesses, I know the ability to focus my mind would give me peace. Yet meditation is not an easy skill to learn as I’ve struggled with it for many years. However, those practising Wicca take this training as the due course in their craft.
“Be aware…that disciplines are ineffective unless a routine is established because the unconscious is attuned to patterns and will respond easily once the pattern of a conscious routine is rhythmic.”[ii]
In my local Vincent De Paul, I came across a book on Witchcraft, and absentmindedly bought it as research for one of my projects. In reading it a revelationary paradigm was cracked. Not only due to its descriptive worth, but it’s connections to female power struggles throughout history. While the modern Wicca has both male and female practitioners, it’s roots are in paganism and witchcraft. Both known for their charged feminine figures.
As a feminist I hunger to understand the lore of the feminine, and that which is interwoven into my body. It was comforting to discover that our pagan ancestors used their awareness of the heavens to not only influences the outer world but their inner worlds. To them inner peace begat outer peace.
“Discovering the sublime silence at the center of your being and activating that center.”[iii]
Of course, as Halloween approaches, (my favourite time of the year), that which is chilling surfaces. Yet it is my duty to remind you that although dark magic exists and was practised as a religion throughout the ages, those that called themselves witches were persecuted out of fear. Not as a result of any true evil. Women were murdered for their independence, for displaying fortitude, and simply for their feminine energies.
Wicca was born in the 20th century out of the ashes of witchcraft and paganism. It can be practised alone or as the member of a coven. It’s the way of the Goddess, to live beyond the ego, to firmly grasp your senses, so you are their ruler. “Awareness is the ability to literally read the feelings in the air…awareness means control of one’s undertakings.”[iv] Wicca is not about changing the outside world to your every whim. It’s changing how you process your inner world so your journey in life may be more mindful, enjoyable, and rich.
There is something about music that stirs me primally. It disturbs me how it can cascade through my mind. Only when I listen to music, do I tap into parts of myself which are reserved for the divine. This is uncontrollable. I compare it to drinking a glass of good whiskey.
Normally I go look for the science of it all, try and understand parts of my brain that causes this. Not today.
Today I admit music’s true power. It’s human magic and cannot be explained purely by science. Our language doesn’t have a chance against this allurement and the feelings conjured.
Although I know I am someone who feels deeply, and could simply be overly sensitive to most human experiences, I cannot deny the truth in it. Music is a balm.
Like a drug, it’s effect is heady. A simple lyric, drum beat, or refrain can cause my heart to beat faster, my head to feel light, and my hands to tingle.
We are listening to other’s love, sorrow, pain, anger. Our bodies are trained to hear this for better or for worse.
It is a chasm I grateful leap into at every possible chance, my sweet prince.
Remember, I don’t even need to name individual songs/albums/artists, because you’re already thinking of the one.
Inspired by: My Sweet Prince – Placebo (1998 – Without You I’m Nothing)
I’m going to make everything really awkward for a bit so buckle up. Last week I was very ill. It was spent alternating between crying and feelings of numbness. Immediately after that week, I had 24 hours of pain in my abdomen. Thinking I was constipated or something (despite the large amount of fibre in my diet) I proceeded to eat plenty of beans and bowel friendly food.
I wake up on Tuesday morning and boom. Period in my pants. Less than 25 days since the beginning of my last one. So, in order to make myself feel better, I apply makeup and do my hair. Less than a year ago. This would not have been the case.
By the way, this blog post was not planned. I actually have my blog posts planned until pretty much 2019. (I haven’t necessarily written them, but there you go). Also if you don’t feel like reading all this today, I have a link to my Youtube video below explaining everything.
I want to talk about: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Now although I have not been diagnosed with this, it would appear that I have many of the symptoms, especially in regards to depression.
I’ve been keeping a journal just monitoring my general well-being and moods. It appears that the week before my period, my depression is heightened. I’ve always had some form of depression and was only recently diagnosed in 2016 / 2017. I will be bringing this evidence to a gynecologist as soon as I can.
When you think you’re doing everything right by eating well, maintaining healthy relationships, working in a job you love, you feel like depressive episodes shouldn’t be too frequent. For me though it’s always bubbling under the surface. The symptoms are as real as any other disease and there is no definitive cure. So if my period is making it worse, well then I’m going to try everything in my power to, A) find ways to alleviate the pain, and B) build a better internal dialogue with myself.
Women are often ridiculed, “Oh don’t get so offended, you must just have your period.” Which, besides deserving zero response, is not fair. If our internal workings are really affecting some of us so deeply, shouldn’t we at least be allowed talk about it like adults?
It’s been 15 years since the beginning of my period and the realisation of its effect on my life has only recently clicked. When I said earlier that less than a year ago, I wouldn’t have bothered with makeup and hair to make myself feel better, I’m being honest. The general feeling during my period was self-blame. You shouldn’t feel sad, just get on with things, stop being such a baby.
This is not ok. Remember, if you are suffering from depression, regardless of how it is caused or exacerbated, repeat this to yourself. “It’s not my fault.” That’s like saying your auto-immune disease is your fault or the symptoms from the flu is your fault. It’s crazy and it’s pointless.
If anything I’m going to continue to make people uncomfortable and talk period talk. Especially if I spend up to a week beforehand alternating between crying uncontrollably and feeling completely numb.
The mad part? A lot of friends and family will read this, who were with me last week, and they will be super confused because I didn’t let any of this out in front of them. Which is just exhausting, let me tell you. I’m always exhausted.
“It does appear to be mocking you with its eyeballs.” – Willow
“Its nose hole is sad and full of self-loathing.” – Oz
Screenshot of the Episode:
There’s a party at the frat house, and they’ve painted some creepy symbol on the floor. How have they not realised by now? Do not draw symbols, from ancient texts books, on your floor, when you live on the Hellmouth. The gang gets stuck in the party house as it manifests their fears. To make matters worse some in-fighting causes fractures. Meanwhile Xander’s invisible. Halloween is never quiet for the Scoobies.
“Creatures of the night shy away from Halloween, they find it much too crass.” – Giles. Famous last words…
I would just like to mention this is the fourth episode I have randomly selected. The kicker? I selected Season 4, Episode 4. “Number 4 is the number of stability, order, and completion of justice.”[i]
This season threw Buffy for a loop. Her roommate turned out to be a soul-sucking demon (literally not figuratively), a vampire called Sunday breaks her ‘class-protector’ award, she gets yelled at by professor, and she sleeps with a guy who never calls her back. By the time we get to this episode Buffy’s mood is downright morose.
“I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin. Grow up in the sun, happily entwined with others. Then someone comes along, cuts you open, and rips your guts out.” – Buffy
Now while I’m sure this declaration has a lot to do with Parker Abrams, there is some subtext here. College can be an exceptionally tough transition, and while Willow is flourishing in the academic life, Buffy is barely treading water. Her metaphorical ‘guts’ can be equated with her identify. When you are in high school, you have certain ideas about who you are and the structure of reality.
Upon venturing out into the world, many of us need to completely overhaul our aspirations and vision of self. Of course, this is not a pleasant experience for all. This season we see an unemployed Giles, Xander still living with his parents in the basement, Anya wanting to be around Xander while barely putting up with the rest of the group, and Buffy struggling to understand her place in the world. It’s no surprise she can’t deal:
“Taking a holiday from dealing. Happily vacationing in the land of not coping.” – Buffy
Even Giles is acting very un-Giles-like. She finds him dressed in a sombrero and poncho, embracing Halloween. His proclamation of, “it’s alive,” when he shows her his Frankenstein Monster decoration throws her off completely. While this may be one of my favourite scenes, (I love when Giles gets to show his playful side), it stuns Buffy who is searching for the stability Giles has always offered her.
Her mother tries to quell her fears, saying she will always be there for her. (This is heart-wrenching knowing that Joyce dies in the following season). Still, Buffy’s abandonment issues reign throughout this episode and the series. While at the conclusion of the episode we see some bravery from Buffy regarding her issues with Parker, there are still dangers lurking in the outside world which she will have to face sooner or later.
For Xander, not much has changed. He is blindly ambling through life, and his relationship with Anya, I feel, blossoms out of loneliness. Xander feels like he’s being left out. Everyone else is at college and he’s in his parent’s basement. These feelings leave him with a propensity to accept that which is in front of him.
Xander: “Well that’s the funny thing about me, I tend to hear the actual words people say and accept them at face value.”
Anya: “That’s stupid.”
Xander: “I can accept that.”
Willow has decided to reinvent herself, away from her strict parents. She has a boyfriend, the dark arts, and a place of learning where she excels. She embraces the college experience.
“Then again what is college for if not experimenting?” – Willow
This newfound self-allows her to question Buffy’s ‘authority.’ She argues that Buffy is not automatically the boss because she is the Slayer. In fact, this argument will rear its ugly head throughout the show, notably in Season 7 when Buffy is kicked out of her own house in place of Faith. Willow has begun experimenting with magic in a big way. This allows her to tap into power she’s never felt before. She feels embolden to challenge Buffy’s authority as ipso facto leader of the group.
“I’m not your sidekick!” – Willow.
While she believes she is displaying strength, it’s really just a manifestation of her perpetual jealousy for Buffy. Even though she may have internal misgivings about this jealousy. It must be said that long before Willow discovered her power, she was jealous of the attention Xander gave to Buffy. Willow was too shy to protest, and she wanted Buffy’s friendship more than anything. According to Field (2013), Willow’s anger is mixed with her fear that she will always be irrelevant, no matter how much she perceives herself to change.
Although she may challenges Buffy’s right to authority, she will never quite break through it. This is explained by Kawal (2003) essay when an interesting point about Buffy’s heroism is made:
“…Buffy’s heroic and saintly actions aren’t one-time events. It’s not as if she just went and saved a kitten from a tree one day and appeared as a hero in the local paper. Instead, her entire life is devoted to protecting others-she risks her life and sacrifices her own interests night after night, year after year.”[ii]
This is what makes’ Buffy’s right to be the ‘Boss’ apparent to others, but strangely not to Willow. Even with all Willow’s intelligence and support of Buffy, she seems to forget about Buffy’s sacrifices. Instead, her reaction to lean into childish jealousies makes her seem petty. I guess we’re all human.
Another dimension to Willow’s objections may be viewed as not singularly egotistical, but emulating Buffy’s version of right and wrong. In Shroud’s (2003) essay Buffy’s actions are equated with the Kantian morality:
“The Kantian vision of morality is a system of individual agents pursuing their goals, the ideal version of this plan also involves individual agents continuously struggling to order their lives and their actions through maxims based not on inclination, but instead on the moral law.”[iii]
It stands to reason that because Buffy is the leader. Therefore, Willow is attempting to universalize Buffy’s sense of morality. However, this is not possible for ‘lay people’ such as Willow or Xander, as according to Shroud:
“…if Buffy retreats from the role of the slayer, the results will be disastrous for the community – innocent lives will perish…”
Buffy has obligations which Willow does not. Buffy struggles to relate to her friends, but she’ll never be truly like them. Her friends reach-out, in an attempt to meet her in the middle, but a middle-ground can never be reached. This decent within the group is often seen among the females, who tend to have the most power. Anya: vengeance Demon, Willow: powerful witch, Faith: Fellow Slayer. Standing passively during this argument is Xander and Oz.
So when Buffy suggests she separate from the group by sending the Scoobies home (which she has done frequently in the past), Willow more than objects:
Willow: “It’s not your decision.”
Buffy: “Gotta disagree with you there.”
Willow: “Oh of course you do!”
This is course is all happening while Xander is invisible. He does not know this yet, so his words of reason and resilience fall on deaf ears. Willow becomes snappy almost to the point of bitterness:
“Being the Slayer doesn’t automatically make you boss, you’re as lost as the rest of us.” – Willow
This foreshadows Willow’s eventual demise into evil. We have seen Buffy loses Angel, but she did not rage towards evil. Whereas Willow will blame Tara’s death for the inexcusable. Willow’s outward sweet demur hides a dark disquiet within which she does not address. In fact, she blatantly ignores the dangers:
“I can handle the dark forces as well as anyone else. It’s not that hard.” – Willow
Oz, on the other hand, is well on the way to addressing his literal inner demons. We see him cowering the bathtub quaking, repeating, “you’re not gonna change,” over and over.
Earlier in the episode we see he’s already having trouble understanding his wolf-like nature:
“I know what it’s like having access to power you can’t control. When I start to wolf out, I touch something, deep, dark. It’s not fun.” – Oz
Finally, I’d like to reflect on this interesting perspective from Daspit (2003) on the Buffyverse. He equates the shifting of a person’s internal knowledge within the lives of the characters during this season; as a reflection on how the world shifted into ‘postmodernity’ in the late 20th and early 21st century. He describes Buffy’s experience as follows:
“As Buffy struggles to make sense of life after high school, viewers are invited to witness the transitional dissonance of shifting views of knowledge and education and to see themselves on the developing terrain of postmodernity.”[iv]
However, ‘this end of history’[v] and a ‘complete cosmology’ was experienced in the late 20th and early 21st century. Where the postmodern age allowed for the confrontation of the status quo. “In other words, postmodernity challenges many taken-for-granted assumptions of the classical Western mindset.”[vi] However, it’s seems as though the pendulum has swung back to the premodern thought. Especially in the case of the United States of America. It’s frightening to consider the Trump-Presidency-Era as a throwback to the premodern idea of a fully-formed ‘cosmology.’ Where America was ‘great,’ and certain modern developments are inherently wrong/evil.
Look, in my opinion, fear is important, but it’s how we deal with fear, that’s what really separates the conservatives from the liberals. (Don’t get too excited, that’s a joke. Mostly). We should make friends with our fears, it will help us be more self-reflective. Otherwise, we might end up invisible, being chased by green entities, as a werewolf, alone underground. Ok? Buffy isn’t afraid of being alone, she’s afraid that her fighting won’t get her anywhere.
But do you want to know the truth?
(You’re going to get it anyway.)
She does get somewhere, and we all will too. Fight the good fight, because you don’t want to get to the end, and realise you don’t have any battle scars to speak of.
If you are not looking for relationship advice/ hate mushy stuff / and or terrible poetry, click away before you get hurt!
Ok, are we all here because we want to be and are interested? You have been forewarned.
You know the way sometimes you’re in a relationship, (whether that be with a partner or even just a friend), and you’re suspicious of it? Basically, your brain isn’t fully committed, and its judgment is clouded by your heart.
Your intuition will try to warn you. In a romantic relationship, you might ignore these because you don’t want to be alone. Maybe you’ll change your mind and have those babies in the future?
Not for me, it’s not fair on you, or the other person. I knew I couldn’t continue with one of my relationships because he wanted it all. Marriage, loads of kids, the works. What did I want? Independence, freedom to pursue my dreams, and a life without children of my own. I was terribly sad when I ended that relationship, and I felt awful for weeks. (Your first major breakup is always the worst). I did genuinely love this person at the time.
Except there can be happy endings. (Well they’re not endings because we’re only in our late 20s so, they’re more like midways). Anyways, now I have a wonderful partner who has the same outlook on children as I do and supports me pursuing my career. Also, my ex is now happily married. What more could you ask for?
I had another relationship where I didn’t feel valued or truly loved and trust me you need to get out of those. You deserve nothing but the best.
Basically, I want to show you how your intuition will manifest your subconsciousness in strange ways. Here are two of my poems. The first was written in 2009 when I wasn’t sure of my relationship. The second was written in 2018 when I have no doubts. The difference (apart from a little improvement stylistically) is the conscious differentiation between doubt and conviction.
I’m not sure where it’s agreeable,
To make your life plan,
Don’t forget, you won’t regret,
If you have a score on a stand.
Won’t you look at us now,
Cross that bridge, when we come down.
Tied to a plan, you didn’t lay out,
And you’ve lost all you’re crayons from the early hours.
When I began commuting to Dublin in 2012 it was busy but bearable. Now it’s torturous. The transport infrastructure has not kept up with demand, as current traffic levels were not expected until 2020.[i] Some TDs are even calling for a second ring road to be built.[ii]
I’ve spoken about my anxiety here before, and nothing exacerbates my anxiety quite like traffic. When I’m in a room, or shop that’s too crowded, 9 times out of 10 I can leave. When I’m in Dublin traffic, there is nowhere to go, and I’m trapped. Not a good feeling when you have anxiety (or just when you are a human being in general).
I’ve tried many solutions. Trains and buses were out of the questions because they were far more expensive than my own car. (I am on a student stipend). Leaving earlier in the morning, leaving later in the evening was also doomed to fail, as the volume of traffic prevents this from being a viable solution. I’ve listened to audiobooks in an attempt to distract me from the stress and not waste those hours. I’ve even tried breathing meditations. Which work for about 5 minutes until a fellow road user does something completely inconsiderate and I’m back to square one. My only option was to work from home.
Yet I am one of the lucky few. Being able to work from home for most of the last 2 years comes from the flexibility in my career. There is only a need to venture into the city when I have a meeting or some other unavoidable human interaction. This has made my life infinitely better and I am more grateful than ever for my job.
Millions are not so lucky.
Humans continue to behave in ways our bodies were not built for because it is ‘expected’ of us. It is unhealthy for us to sit for 1 – 2 hours plus every day in traffic, with our blood pressure rising, and our mental health deteriorating.
It’s not healthy for us to spend our days in pursuits that literally makes us depressed. Draining our vital mental energy, so when we finally arrive home, even cooking a healthy meal for ourselves seems like a cruel joke.
Remember, if your brain is sad, this will transfer to your body. That’s because, spoiler alert, your brain is part of your body!
People are out for themselves when they are driving in traffic. I’ve stopped a few feet extra from a red light, to let a car out of a perpendicular road, and I’ve actually been beeped, by the car behind me. More than once. Where is common decency when traffic is involved? People are so amped up and unequipped to deal with the misplaced rage. All we can do as an individual driver is to be the sensible one. Be the one who’s kind and let’s other drivers out. If someone is driving dangerously, get out of their way, because you could end up getting hurt because of their lack of human decency and consideration.[iv]
“Working from home is not for everybody!” I hear this on a daily basis, people argue that you’re isolating yourself, or you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. That you need to work harder to prove your worth. As always I say there are positives and negatives to both kinds of jobs:
“There’s also evidence that some freelancers “overcommit” to work and find it difficult to disconnect or relax, which they say negatively affects their mental health. But overall, the health effects of self-employment seem to vary from person to person and—like office jobs—can be either positive or negative.”[v]
For me especially the good outweighs the bad, because let me tell you something, it would appear that a large majority of workers who have to commute to work aren’t flourishing in that environment either.
Stress is horrible, stress kills, and although we all know this, for some reason we continue to run like hamsters on a wheel. Just because it appears to be the norm, doesn’t mean it’s normal. All of your friends and family are stressed out, so I should just get on with it, right? Wrong. Just google stress-related illnesses. It basically causes a huge amount and apparently autoimmune diseases too.[vi]If that doesn’t scare you it should.
Also, what about the massive amounts of people who die or are crippled on our roads each year? 78 people have died on Irish roads already in the first six months of this year.[vii]
The answer to all of this? Mindfulness. Be aware of who you are as an individual and a human being. Figure out what works for you. If a job is causing an illness and it’s not satisfying, find a way out. Trust me, working for less money, in a more fulfilling career is worth it. I know because I did it, and gave up a lot of luxuries most people think they cannot live without.
Traffic is one of the worst side effects of humanity’s rapid urbanisation. I literally dream of a house in the country. Not because I don’t want people in my life, but because it seems that as soon as someone gets behind the wheel of a car, a rational part of their humanity switches off and they forget common courtesy. We need to reduce traffic anyway for the environment, why not be one of the innovative individuals that changes their own lives for the better.