Mobile Phone Love

Have you noticed something?

Ever since mobile phone cameras became widespread, there have been a marked drop in apparition and UFO sightings.

Miracles also seem to be a thing of the past.

It seems mobile phones have done away with all things spiritual and spooky. Are mobile phones our saviour from the superstitions and fears of old?

Or have mobile phones become the new deity?

Now I sound like one of those pastors decrying false gods and idolatry.

Of course mobile phones are not inherently evil. They are merely a tool, a ubiquitous and seemingly omnipotent tool that will soon cure you and connect you to the Creator. Or maybe just the nearest single person.

What once started as a communication device is now our new best friend, our personal well of knowledge, our portable piggy bank, our source of joy and entertainment, our entire world.

What will mobile phones look like in another 10 years? 20 years? Will we have become one with our digital double? Will they have become greater than us? Or will they have become a true friend, the perfect companion in our own lonely little worlds?

Humans have always searched for companionship outside the usual social circles, beyond the typical human communities. Pets and plants, games and gadgets – humans have concocted a variety of things to provide interaction and fulfillment, at least for a time.

So why not the little device we carry with us everywhere?

Slowly we move in that direction, making it recognise and respond to our speech, making it identify and follow our gaze, making it come alive at our every touch.

Will we one day worship our perfect creation? The pinnacle of our technological prowess and evolution?

Will this sleek glossy rectangular wonder lead us into a utopia of unprecedented peace and prosperity?

Will we start making love to our mobile phones?

I bet most people already are.

I’m sure our phones have seen more of us than anyone else alive. More of our faces, more of our bodies, more of our thoughts, more of our lives. And they will remember more of our every living detail than we will.

Imagine for a moment that your mobile phone was sentient and had a mind of its own. What kind of shit would it have on you? The amount of things it has seen and been through and knows about you.

It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

We invited it in, and now it is here to stay.

I, for one, welcome our new digital overlords.

Just kidding – don’t rely on your mobile phones too much kiddos. You never know what’s under the surface.

A tool should stay a tool, and not become more the wielder;
Else as we look down, closer we approach the reaper.

The Meaning of Life: Work & Passion

Pedalling past green pastures to the sound of my heartbeat, I mused about what a splendid and wild world we live in.

And then as so often occurs in the history of mankind, I pondered the meaning of our existence, our fragile fleeting existence upon this mortal coil, this cyclical spirally soiled coil.

Our genetics insists that we should procreate and conquer our environment and adversaries and be merry in the face of certain demise.

What about leaving a legacy other than progeny?

Our religions insist that we should do good onto others and interact with each other within the rules that govern our spirit and mind, and be merry in the face of certain demise.

What if the deities are just assholes and there is no afterlife?

A quote from Dead Poets Society has always stuck with me:

Image result for dead poets society quotes | Movie quotes ...

The full quote is this:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

And the human race is filled with passion. What is this passion? According to evolution and religion, we are just meat-filled machines made to serve our instincts and base desires, to carry out our predestined duties in this preordained existence.

What is passion?

Some might say it is a device for us to procreate, a tool to create a legacy that will ensure the survival of our offspring, a divine gift to inspire others and bring about good in the world.

I feel passion is more than all that – it is closer to the thing we call our calling in life. The deep inner well that we draw our meaning from.

There are many I have seen who go through life without passion, a soulless meat drone going about the daily routine, a slave to the chores of life and the burdens of existence.

There is no passion there, there is no joy.

Having passion is more than just having a goal in life, something to strive towards. As the cliche goes – it is not just the destination, it is also the journey. And passion is the same – shouldn’t it be more than just attaining more wealth or more love or longer life?

Passions are ideas, relationships, dreams. The intangible made tangible.

Will the things I say awaken something in those who hear it? Will the lines I sketch alter reality? Will the words I write today change tomorrow?

Probably nothing ground breaking, nothing monumental.

But if it can even spark something in another person, implant the seed of future greatness, or make someone’s day, is that something?

What if evolution is right? What if all there is to existence is to make babies and ensure they go on to make more babies?

What if religion is right? What if there is an afterlife and all the good people get to have endless fun while the bad people are subject to eternal turmoil?

Both of these options seem rather meaningless to me. Both simply prescribe a means to an end, a way of life that does not help the present, that does not lead to progress or the true betterment of man.

But then again, what is progress? Doing things faster and more efficiently? Curing diseases so people can live longer?

For what? To continue to fuck for babies and fuck with one another until we fuck off this mortal coil?

Speaking with a friend about the meaning of life, he replied that it is up to the individual to determine the meaning of their own lives. And so I asked what he felt was the meaning of his life.

Was it to help his fellow man? To create and leave behind a legacy that would make the world a better place? To motivate, inspire and equip the next generation?

To do good works?

Is not our life’s work (or “day jobs” as some people refer to them) one of our defining purposes and major source of meaning in our lives?

A friend shared a story with me:

There once was a man who approached three construction workers and asked what they were doing.

The first worker replied simply: “I’m working hard to feed my family.”

The second worker responded proudly: “I want to learn and improve my skill so I can become a famous stonemason.”

The third worker stated humbly: “I am helping to build a grand cathedral for the church.”

All three workers clearly had different goals and ambitions (or lack thereof).

The first worker believed his work to be a means to an end – to feed himself and his family. Basic necessity, zero ambition.

The second worker believed in himself – he only saw his own future and what he wanted for himself, with no regard for the larger project that he was a part of.

The third worker’s response captured the true goal of the project at hand – he knew his own role in the scheme of things, and aligned his goals with that of his principal. He saw things not just from his own scope of work, but also from the perspective of the organisation, of the whole body of work. This type of worker is capable of seeing the end result and the value of the entire project. The third worker sees the big picture, and thus is believed to have the greatest chance of success.

Perhaps a somewhat dull tale about types of workers, but it does outline the different mentalities that people have. And if work is one of the greater purposes of our life, then shouldn’t we place more emphasis on it?

I imagine for much of the working class in today’s society, the work we do is simply a means to an end, akin to the first worker’s aim. We work to earn money so we can feed ourselves and our families and live happily ever after.

We work so we can make money so we can stay alive and perhaps travel every now and then.

Religion dictates that we work so we can provide not just for ourselves and our kin, but also to do good for the needy and less fortunate in our society, so we can store up karma and treasures in heaven.

So either way we have to work, right?

So we go through life working and working and making money. There is meaning in that.

But is it enough?

No? Then get better at what you do. Become the second worker.

Be the best that you can be, so the world will know you and acknowledge your amazing work. So you can get paid much much more for your work.

So I can live happily ever after with all that extra money I’ve made.

Then what?

How’s that for meaning?

Do I need to be the third worker? Do I need to see the bigger picture?

And what, pray tell, is the bigger picture?

At the end of my days, when I am old and shriveled, when my joints ache and bones cry out in pain, when my mind is sluggish and my smile is all I have left to offer, will I have found my meaning?

Or shall I just keep living my life in a blurred haze of busy work to make ends meet? Never once pondering further the meaning of things. Thinking about what life should be like, instead of thinking about what life is?

And when I’m nearing my end, will my frail heart waver and rue my life’s choices? Will I turn back to the old things that brought me comfort in my life?

Will I call out to my deity when my time has come?

The Joy of Learning

I guess thus far into this paltry existence of mine, if there is one nugget of wisdom I would want to impart to anyone going through any phase of life, it would be this: develop the joy of learning.

Life is always going to be full of ups and downs, highs and lows, full of surprises and changes. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are born, we will all experience this crazy thing called life. And there are times where there will be challenges, whether big or small; in these times we have to adapt and overcome or fail and hopefully learn from it.

And I’ve realised that life is all about learning and being open to new things and experiences. If you’re not open to learning, then you’re not open to life.

If you don’t learn, then you’re stagnant – you don’t improve, you don’t learn from your mistakes, you don’t grow and develop, you don’t expand your horizons.

If your entire world remains in a static field of suspended status quo, then I suppose you could be forgiven for not needing or attempting to learn and advance yourself or the knowledge pool of the world.

I imagine there are people who go through life growing physically, but not mentally or emotionally. People who pander to their base instincts their whole life without learning a single thing, leaving the world almost the same as they left it, zero contribution with a little waste. Seems like a big waste. But hey, as long as they were happy, right?

How does happiness weigh into the equation?

Are people who enjoy learning happy? Are happy people constantly learning? It’s not something easy to put into a statistic or graph.

Redefining the ‘American Dream’ for the Age of Automation ...

Maybe not that hard, but it’s still a stretch to derive happiness purely from income level. You could say that those who are constantly learning or better at learning excel in academia and therefore excel at life (make more money), as the graph suggests, but I think that’s only one piece of the puzzle.

Firstly, let me put it out there that just because you enjoy learning doesn’t mean you’re good at it. And just because you’re good at learning doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at applying whatever you’ve learned.

However, I would posit that those who enjoy learning or are good at learning tend to have a better outlook on life and a better chance at obtaining what it is they seek to achieve, simply because this attitude lends itself to curiosity and creativity, being open to new ideas and ways of doing things.

And if you’re not trying to achieve lofty goals, then at the very least you will have fun while you’re learning about this world and the things in this life. Why do I say that?

Because learning is the process of engaging and applying yourself to something. And if you develop a joy of learning, anything is possible!

You enjoy learning new languages so you can speak with your fellow human beings; you enjoy learning new recipes to spice up your meals; you enjoy learning new things about your friends and family so you get to know each other deeper and engage in more meaningful conversation (especially about the weather, oh boy!).

Learning can be as simple as picking up a new piece of trivia: did you know that Geoff the Robot on the Late Late show with Craig Ferguson was designed and built by Grant Imahara?

Grant Imahara Panel at Supanova 2014 – Capsule Computers
RIP Mr. Imahara

Think of it this way: learning is the avenue by which you perceive the world around you. You see with your eyes and hear with your ears, but you learn with all your senses. If you enjoy learning things, you will experience things in new and wonderful ways. Well, sometimes they may end up being dull or downright unpleasant, but at least now you know!

So yes, there is a risk to learning – you may uncover undesirable knowledge, knowledge that will haunt you until the day you die. But in the end, at least you can rest peacefully knowing that you knew the truth.

The X-Files - X-Files Wiki - David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

My point is, no matter your lot in life, where you’re at or what you do, learn to enjoy the learning process. Always be open to learning new things, and relish the journey of learning. Never be afraid to ask or to try something just because you think you’ll look stupid.

Life is too short for that.

Learn first, ask more questions later.

Being Eccentric

I guess most people would describe me with the word “eccentric”. Perhaps “quirky” if they were trying to be nice. People try to be nice a lot, at least to your face.

Top 10 Eccentric Movie Characters - YouTube

So I imagine the terms “eccentric” and “crazy” are thrown around a lot when I’m beyond earshot. I’m writing this not because I’m at all fazed or bothered by what other people think, but more to explore the notion of eccentricity.

What is the definition of being “eccentric”?

Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern.

So basically being a deviant, an outlier, someone who doesn’t conform to the norm, who doesn’t fit in or get along.

Strange, weird, bizarre, deviant, erratic, peculiar. Here are a few other fun terms that tie into the eccentric status.

There are many facets to being an eccentric. It’s like depression – you have to tick a few of the boxes to be a confirmed eccentric. Thankfully, being depressed isn’t one of them, although that is commonly attributed to eccentricity.

So what are the steps to being labelled eccentric?

  1. Keeping to yourself; enjoying your own company
  2. Acting the way you like, usually in an anti-social manner
  3. Liking the natural state of things
  4. Having an atypical belief system
  5. Doing weird activities (but within the legal system, for the most part)

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Numero Uno: Eccentrics Keep To Themselves

Why? Because it’s easier.

Life is simpler when you don’t have to accommodate others, when you can do things you want, when you want, the way you want it.

People who like to go off on their own and do their own thing are thought to be a little off, right? Off with the fairies, they say. Hiking through the lonely hills, drifting upon a solitary sea.

But is there a problem with enjoying your own space, having a dose of me-time?

Yes, humans are social creatures and no man is an island and all that, but that doesn’t mean you need to be surrounded by yammering yahoos all day long.

The extremes are the hermits, those who shun the company of fellow human beings and retreat to nature, far from the madding crowd. Perhaps you would go a little loopy being in solitary confinement all by yourself. But then again, you have the company of nature and her flora and fauna. Fresh air does wonders to you, you know?

So in short, an eccentric person would tend to be a lone ranger, a singularity, an isolated entity, that curious person who would rather read a book or take a walk than browse Netflix or sip cocktails at parties.

Funnily enough, considering his name is Solo, Han was rarely ever alone.

Point the Second: Anti-social Actions

People expect those labelled as eccentric to act out in certain ways, often in crude or brutish ways, with snappy temperaments and lengthy lectures about irrelevant things.

I don’t think those people are eccentric, they’re just ill-mannered.

Eccentric people will push other people away, or keep them at arm’s length (actually that’s barely social distancing – definitely several arm lengths). This is because of point the first – eccentric people value their own space and time and want to keep it sacred.

And that means prioritising it over other things, like other people or activities that they feel are meaningless.

That indicates that eccentric people have a mind of their own. They are not bound by social obligation, not influenced by peer pressure, not swayed by public opinion, not brainwashed by herd mentality. They are not afraid to have their own thoughts, and sometimes not afraid to express them as they see fit.

Eccentric people act however they like, which sounds like a bad thing. I’m imagining poo flinging and public music making. However if no one is getting hurt or inconvenienced, I see no harm in letting eccentric people have their own way.

Eccentric people will do what they like, when they like, how they like. And the dangerous part is they don’t care what other people think. They’ll walk their dog in the middle of the night; they’ll talk to themselves out loud and makes amusing (at least to them) sounds.

The eccentric do things their way, which society regards as bad, because they are not team players. They don’t fit into the hierarchical work structure; they do their jobs a funny way. And yes, they’re not the best at communication or at adhering to society’s rules and regulations.

They’re the rebels, the mavericks, the loose cannons. The eccentric won’t rule the earth, and they certainly won’t stop anyone who is gearing to try.

第三 : Natural State of Mind

Progress is about conquering and going beyond the natural state of things, right? So returning to nature is bad; it is a step backwards and is undesirable.

And so we slave our days away to pave over this dirty, uncomfortable natural world. We build glass houses and gaudy rocket ships to pierce the heavens and pollute the earth, our home and place of birth and living.

The eccentric tend to gravitate toward nature and a simpler way of doing things, a tranquil uncomplicated way of living. Eccentric folk don’t want to participate in the rat race – they’ll work, but only as a means to an end.

Eccentric folk tend to shy away from socialising, as they are content with their existing company, even if it’s largely their own. They avoid the “vulgar masses”, the mindless herds of sheep and cattle suffering from FOMO.

Nature is the perfect example of contentment. Nature does not need to strive – it grows and it thrives, it withers and it dies. The cycle repeats, and yet the pattern is always unique, always changing and adapting, while always staying the same.

Being at one with nature and going back to your roots is eccentric; it is only something monks and hippies do. Environmentalists lobby for a cleaner, greener earth, but they just want to make sure their pristine mansion doesn’t sink because some dipshit clogged the sewers with their plastic waste. They all want to care for the cute turtle and otter, but a lot of it feels like attention-grabbing.

Eccentric people don’t care for that – they just feel nature has all the best things to offer, and offers it without having to sign up and download the latest app or investing some ridiculous amount of money every month.

Those eccentric folk like tending to animals and plants and romping through the jungle and over the hills. And the best part is all of this can be done without even saying a word. Perhaps that’s the appeal of pets (although we talk to them all the same).

As mentioned, eccentrics appear to be weaker in communication, but that’s just because they appreciate the power of the spoken word, and they treasure silence.

Is silence the natural state? Mother nature is a noisy bitch, but her cries and her vibrations resonate within us. They are a part of us, like purring is a part of a household cat. They are instinctive noises, guttural earthen sounds, that our brain processes differently from speech.

And so eccentric people glide back to their roots, back to nature or as close as they can get. They go out in search of their homeland, where they belong. They go with the flow, they’re in no rush.

Nombor Empat: Losing Your Religion

Having an atypical belief system isn’t just about the afterlife and top tier principles; it permeates into every aspect of life.

Eccentric people believe in…well, whatever they want to believe in. Not what society says they should believe. Or it might be their own interpretation of whatever the prevailing belief system is.

Those eccentric folk believe that life is what you make of it, and so they give up subscribing to the American Dream and create their own dreams. They try new and different things, they’re open to new experiences, although they don’t seem to be hard up about trying everything under the sun. They don’t need to.

Having your own belief system means you’re not measured on the same scale as everyone else. At least from a societal ranking perspective. And so those eccentric folks don’t compare as much, don’t go around judging other people. They live life a lot easier and they accept things quicker and move on, going with the flow.

Of course having your own belief system means you don’t congregate with all the others and perform the same rituals as all the others, which makes you a bit of an outcast. But that doesn’t mean you don’t respect the other belief systems, or incorporate their principles into your own playbook.

Eccentric people don’t necessarily shun others and their belief structures; they just pick and choose what they deem worthy, and discard the rest. They think for themselves and form their own theories and values from their knowledge and experiences.

Religion tells you what to think and what to believe; eccentric people make up what they want to believe. Hell, a lot of these religions were started by so-called “eccentric” people.

I mean, if you met the Prophet Mohamad or Jesus on the streets, you might find the way they act and the things they say more than a little bizarre, right? Is it because they spoke in riddles and stories, or were they stark raving mad? They appeared to have their wits (and followers) about them, so their countenance and values (as well as their marketing) were certainly on point. I mean, so many people ended up liking what they said, so they must have had some merit, right? Right?

다섯 번째 : Hare-brained Hobbies

Finally, those labelled as eccentric tend to partake in strange pastimes and irregular relaxations. Their idea of fun seems a little skewed.

These activities tend to be lesser known hobbies, involving smaller groups of people. Yes, I suppose Magic: the Gathering makes the cut, but that one is really just a pay-to-win ever-expanding card game. It’s kind of a cult.

Eccentric people tend to delve into activities that meet the previous four criteria: they can do it alone or in small groups, it’s not complicated and they can do it the way they like, or whatever the natural way of doing it is, and they don’t need to proselytise in the process!

I mean, by and large these activities aren’t necessarily truly deviant; would you consider Christian an eccentric person? Perhaps eccentricity does lend itself to certain fetishes, but for the most part I feel the eccentric label is reserved for a different type of wacky crowd. Let’s keep BDSM locked up in a cage, yeah?

So what are examples of eccentric activities?

Well, there’s no exhaustive list, but generally things that most people would find strange or disturbing or downright distasteful.

Admiring bugs and plants? Running ultra-marathons? Cribbage?

Drawing stickmen? Eating uncooked and unseasoned vegetables? Travelling to the frigid wastelands of the tallest parts of the world?

Playing with stray cats and dogs? Volunteering at a soup kitchen? Learning axe throwing?

Woodworking? Picking seashells on the beach? Listening to Vegetarian Grindcore Metal?

Hint: I may or may not partake in some of these activities. I’m not saying which ones though.

Essentially, any activity that doesn’t conform with society’s idea of a normal, conventional hobby is passed off as eccentric. People fear what they don’t know and can’t understand, and eccentric people are a big part of that.

So now that we have a rough idea of what classifies as eccentric, where do you fall on the scale?

So what do you do if you tick all these boxes?

Keep on living, my friend, keep on living to the fullest.

To be fair, if you were truly eccentric, you wouldn’t be taking anyone else’s advice anyway. But here’s hoping this little essay made you think a little more, and maybe it brightened your day (or night, for those nocturnal eccentrics out there) knowing that there are others out there like you, fellow eccentrics.

Stay eccentric, my friend, and never change. Unless you want to change. Then do whatever you like, weirdo.

Personally, I’ve always been a little eccentric (if I do say so myself). I acknowledge it’s probably not an attractive quality and might hinder me from getting that promotion or that luscious mate, but as long as I have my freedom I couldn’t care less.

My belief is that as long as you are truly happy and content, and nobody is getting harmed to maintain that status quo, then why should you change? Certainly not for the approval of others, or for some short term gain. We eccentrics see the bigger picture, we plan for the long term, while on the other hand we don’t care about the future and don’t let what tomorrow holds worry us. Like a wise man once said:

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

So don’t worry, be happy.

And now I’ve got that blasted song stuck in my head. Wonderful.

Of Rainy Early Mornings

Have you ever had to wake up super early in the morning, before the crack of dawn for an outdoor activity? And it’s pouring down outside?

Or just waking up to be greeted by rain, and having the luxury of being able to go back to sleep?

Isn’t it simply the best feeling in the world?

Early morning showers are the best!

I’m sure those dirty, dirty pluviophiles will dig this.

So this morning I was intending to wake up nice and early to go for a cool bike ride, but I woke before my alarm to the familiar tapping on my window. The repeated tapping of big, fat raindrops committing suicide upon my window.

And yes, I went back to sleep.

Change Someone’s World

I once read a quote about how helping one person may not change the world, but it would change the world for that one person.

And I thought: if I could change one person – just one person’s world for the better, then isn’t that something worth doing?

I realise these silly digital squiggles may never have much of an impact on this world, regardless of how popular they become. But if they can impact one person’s world, to even brighten their day just a little bit, then I’ve done something right, done something worthwhile.

And that is what keeps me going.

I’m not trying to change the world, just change someone’s world for the better.

Plus I enjoy doodling, so that helps.

What keeps you going?

Life Is A Sidequest

I imagine the parallel of reality and video game life is nothing new, most likely hackneyed. To be fair, our creations tend to mimic our inspiration and our every-day reality. And this means our games and entertainment reflect on our real world status – that our entire life and existence is just one sidequest after another.

Think about it – what do you do every day, day after day? Wake up, check your quest statuses, fill up on energy, finish some simple sidequests, like make coffee, brush your teeth and make the bed. Then you start work on some of the longer sidequests, like gain skills, earn money, help NPCs (those other people that just stand around all day waiting to talk).

Our hobbies are a whole subcategory of sidequests, designed to distract us from the main quest. Oh, there’s a main quest? What is it?

Not dying, I suppose.

You spend your whole life gaining EXP and levelling up skills and traits, so in the end you can…what? Make little you’s and give them the tools and guidance they need to not die in the coming Apocalypse?

We speak of progress, the progress of the human race. Reaching the stars and distant planets, so we can…what? Mine them for fish and gold and resources to continue exploring more places to multiply and pillage? What next?

Each sidequest is a means to gain or unlock another sidequest. We earn money completing sidequests so we can unlock new equipment or fast travel to different places.

Sure, we have fun and enjoy the journey. Some sidequests are definitely more fun than others. And each day some sidequests are just repeats of slaying the same rats and collecting the same berries over and over again.

Sure, each day is different from the past, although some may feel like someone hit the reset button and Groundhog Day-ed you. And so the sidequests change, ever so slightly.

Each day we have a list of sidequests, a mission to complete. If we don’t have a list of sidequests, or don’t manage to complete any, we call it “unproductive”.

When we get sick, when we get depressed, our sidequests get put on hold, to make way for easier, simpler sidequests. Just surviving, slowly healing. Breathing becomes a sidequest.

And so as we click and swipe away on our devices, sending electrical signals through conduits to databases of steel and electricity, what are we achieving?

Completing more sidequests, even faster than ever before. Getting that dose of dopamine, that hint of happiness, just by looking down and touching a piece of glass.

And so we do it more – sidequests on our device. We do sidequests with our friends, with anonymous people online. We make digital transactions, exchange numbers, increase virtual stats, trade bits and bytes.

Whatever makes us happy.

So at the end of it, we don’t die.

Is there meaning in our sidequests? What do these sidequests achieve? What do they add up to?

What is our main quest?

Save the princess? Prevent Doomsday? Kill the evil dictator? Get the highest score in the world?

We live in a world where we have a new wave of sidequests to distract us constantly, right in the palm of our hands. Is it better or worse than it used to be? Who can say?

At the end of the day, we’re just doing what our ancestors did, day after day – complete sidequests to not die.

Is that a depressing thought? Or a comforting one?

Do we keep going through the sidequest loop day after day, distracting ourselves with one sidequest after another, because we know that if we complete the main quest, the game will end?

If we complete our main quest, the story is over, our meaning for existence is gone, the credits roll.

Or will it signify the start of another adventure, a whole new main quest? Maybe that thought is even scarier and daunting.

If all we ever do can be summarised in our stat page, would we be happy with what we see?

Your Lifetime Stats

  • Rats killed: 35
  • Roaches killed: 128
  • Video games completed: 46
  • Distance travelled: 11,578 km
  • NPCs interacted: 589
  • Sidequests completed: 2,195

If life were but a game, what stats would you be interested to see?

Hopefully your life’s sidequests add up to something significant, something worthy of a video game.

Maybe you’ve even discovered your main quest. If so, stop distracting yourself with sidequests and go complete that main quest. After you’ve levelled up enough from the sidequests, of course.

Love & Stuck Home Syndrome

Now with almost the whole world suffering from some form of Stuck Home Syndrome, it’s only a matter of time before the drama and the fanfics start to blossom. Once the fear of coughing and contagion wear thin, all that’s left is the other people stuck in the same building as you. All that’s left is love.

Or just a mutual disdain for your sloppy and uncultured roommates or neighbours, those loud and slovenly people across the wall who drag their chairs and slam their doors.

Almost makes me want to write a poem about it. Maybe even some fanfic – oh dear, the Stuck Home Syndrome really is taking effect. Fanfic, ew.

But at the end, isn’t that one of the few things keeping us going? Love? Not necessarily for another human being, but a hope that during this containment period, or perhaps after, that something magical is waiting, something wonderful is coming on the other side.

We all need that something to keep us going, keep us sane until the end.

I mean, think about it – a whole bunch of people locked up together in a house or stuck together in a compound. This is basically a season of Big Brother, with end-of-the-world vibes.

Things are bound to be said, tensions are bound to flare and heat up. People start to go mad with love or hate or actual insanity.

So…maybe go talk to that neighbour you’ve seen in the elevator or passing by in the corridor. If it works out, then:

Image result for hulk i see this as an absolute win

If not, then…you can just lock yourself in your room/apartment/basement and mope about it until we’re released like mad bunnies into the wild.

At the very least, it’ll make for a good story.

I bet someone’s already writing a book titled “Stuck Home Syndrome”.

What story would you write?

Here Comes The Push

I guess I’ve always been one to push the limits.

I used to push to see how much I could get away with, push others around to get a reaction. Then I realised the only real person I needed to push was myself.

And so I pushed myself, pushed myself to get out there, to try new things, to push myself out of my comfort zone. Push myself to see how far I could reach, how much I could take, how low I could go. As a wise man said, what a shame it would be for a man to go his whole life without knowing the true limits of his strength and beauty that he could have achieved.

But I never would have thought I’d be pushed this far, to be stretched so thin, to be so worn out and dejected. And yet I am thankful for the experience, thankful that I endured and survived and have come out of it stronger and wiser.

Of course it wasn’t without scars. Metaphysical scars, perhaps. But these too shall pass.

And what is is you favourite tea?

Responsibility.

I have to take responsibility for my actions and the consequences, and learn from my mistakes. Things were said and done, some outside my control, but the damage was done nonetheless. Things were missed, people were unhappy. However, these too shall pass.

There were many sleepless nights, constantly pondering what should be done, what could have been done. And leading up to it, there were many things done, a frantic flurry and fiery fusion leading up to the critical mass.

I was tried and tested and pushed to my limits, meeting the demands of others, trying to please others. And through it all I learned and rediscovered that true lasting happiness comes from within.

Yes, there were setbacks and last minute madness that could have been avoided with a little better planning, but I cherished the experience, the wild ride and rollercoaster of emotions.

And yes, in spite of the fatigue and the pain and the physical and mental exhaustion, I am thankful to have gone through it all. I am taking the good with the bad, and holding on to those that made me a better person, that made me feel better and be better. And the bad…it helped me to remember and to cherish the good.

And I would be remiss if I said there wasn’t anger and rage and gnashing of teeth (but mostly a figure of speech). However, I bear no resentment or hate, no lingering lust for revenge or to see others fall. Just a sense of relief and gentle sadness that accompanies an eventful period of time spent in good company.

As life goes, seasons change and things move on. I will not be left behind. The good that I have taken with me will bear fruit, perhaps not now, but someday. There will come a day when I will prove that I can do it, that I have what it takes, that nothing can stop me. And I will have done it not to spite others, or to win anyone over, but to prove it to myself that it will all worthwhile. The sacrifices were all worth it.

Wait, that’s not a real tea!

Audacity – to take a leap of faith, to take that step outside, to not be afraid to fall. To go where you’ve never been before, to feel what you’ve never ever felt, to push yourself to limits you never knew you had.

It has been a good year, and I look forward to many more interesting ones, inshallah. These scars I shall carry and cherish, but they will not weigh me down, they will not stop me from soaring. It matters not if others no longer have faith in me, as long as I have faith in myself.

And no, I’m not going to bloody jump off a building. At least not without a flying fox suit.

Hm…maybe it’s time I give one of those a try.

How Do You React When You Feel The Pain Inside?

At some point in our lives, we will inevitably feel pain. The exterior pain will linger for a time, but it is easier to pinpoint and much easier to alleviate. The pain on the inside, on the other hand, is not so simple.

What do you do when you feel pain inside?

Do you curl up and sleep your woes away? Do you gorge yourself on the finest cuisine (or whatever is readily available)? Do you sing out a sad tune?

However you deal with pain, remember – you are not alone.