Sunday, 31 May 2015

Those Tears Are Not Worth Shedding.

My thinking process is not characterized easily. If I could put it into words that could possibly be understood, it is comparable to a scatter plot with no ranges or definite axes. Even the axes do not follow exactly X or Y standards, they just exist to show a possible quantity that needs to exist for my simplicity to hopefully comprehend. Quantifiable proportions never really appealed to me anyway.

The reason I speak of my thinking process in this way-- and I do apologize for all of the abstract descriptions I've given so far all throughout this blog, or dare I call it, my thinking space-- is because I know many people think this way and have these tendencies as well, it is just difficult to find those confident enough to show the world that an aspect of them can be, not so humanly understood. Interesting, isn't it? To have a human aspect not be humanly understood. Your mind, a biologically examined, a tactically absorbed, a logically comprehended thing, not be humanly understood. How fascinating is that? To know that so many people have this powerful substance for a mind, if not all people, and all they need to do is accept it and be more open about it to know its ins and outs.

Anyway, I bring this up today because I have realized that the world is rapidly evolving into a new platform of understandings and misunderstandings. Some may argue that we have stayed in the same place for a long time, and others may argue that we are so beyond where we imagined we would be 20 years ago (minus the hover crafts, but I'm sure someone's working on it).

The changes I've seen particularly are the newly found acceptance, and now hunger for innovation and creation: the newly found desire to make things from scratch without a huge company of people in any field telling us what to do. Frankly, I believe, this new scheme of acceptance is all due to the alleged "heightened intelligence" we have grasped so willingly thanks to the new technological revolution that has dawned upon us.

However, I've found that, the one aspect that is supposed to be our strength has also become our weakness. I remember being in my first class of my first year in high school, it was a science class. My teacher was one of the most respected science teachers in my school because he preached about everything with love and passion in a goofy way that inspired many. He told us to be wise. He told us that we have all the resources in the world and that we could change anything and everything with the snap of our fingers if we would just learn to do the right things with what we have. He changed my life with everything he preached, and those words are written in my heart to this day.

If we would just learn to do the right things with what we have.

He referred to the age of youth nowadays always using the excuse of their age to do all the wrong things. He referred to the new world that technology had opened up to us. He told us that, if we could just use it for the better, if we could just use it to make a change and inspire, instead of isolating ourselves more, instead of making ourselves more unproductive, instead of telling ourselves time and time again that we have accomplished so much while doing nothing at all on the computer, we could change everything for others and for ourselves. It took me this long to realize, that I have been doing all the wrong things with what I have.

I started my social media hiatus a little over 2 weeks ago now, and I have to tell you, the world is so much brighter. Within this time, I've learned a few things. I've learned that we as a new generation collective, have to learn how to experience life instead of posting about experiencing it. We have to love one another, instead of focusing on just telling the world we love someone, while forgetting to actually love them. We need to be honest about our problems so we can help ourselves instead of simply screaming into an endless abyss and hoping that people will understand us. Sure, we've come a long way technologically, but in the department of our humanity, we've gone backward instead of forward.

Technology can either dehumanize you, or allow you to change the world one step at a time.

Take the technology that you have, the resources that you have, combine them with your passions, and sail off into a new world of wonder. Be grateful and open your eyes because the moment you stand up and go do something is the moment everything will change.

Crying about it is needed at times, but getting up and wiping your tears off enough times will show you just how much those tears are not worth shedding.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Silence in the Midst of Chaos.

A few days ago, I was sitting on a bench across the ROM waiting for a call from a friend at around 5:15PM. Instead of conforming to the mannerism of a normal person and hanging out at Second Cup or Starbucks to pass time since all of the libraries were closed by then, I just decided to hang around outside and observe.

What was I observing you ask? I was observing everything I had missed out on, everything everyone had missed out on.

As much as I looked strange to many people just sitting there without browsing through the phone in my hand, without a cigarette in my mouth, or without having a single earphone blasting music into my ears, I think the next thing they were expecting was for me to be looking at something. Soon enough I found people looking in the direction I was looking and finding themselves disappointed within the next minute or so to not see anything interesting.

All they were greeted by was the atmosphere of the 5PM traffic, nothing but an array of the usual chaos: the honking down the intersection of St. George and Bloor, the busy hustle and bustle of the heels clicking and clacking against the downtown pavement, the screaming kids throwing temper tantrums after leaving the museum, the tone of the subway bells constantly warning people of the doors closing, and the occasional pedestrian either hailing a taxi or screaming at the driver for almost running over their new loafers or Louboutin heels that cost them a fortune.

We all get swept up by the immensity of white noise surrounding us. The white noise produced by the constant radiation and consuming silence that technology and so called privacy cause in our presence. It gets so easy to be caught up in the mess, the private mess that dehumanizes us and makes us forget everything. What day it is, what time it is, what month it is, where we are.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about the fact that it all starts here. We all become so focused on landing the job, getting home, being the first to get on the bus, running through those subway doors, adjusting the volume to be loud enough to hear nothing but the song, that we forget to be positively overwhelmed.

We are not amazed by anything anymore. We forget that millions of years ago, this wasn't around. Streets weren't around, traffic lights weren't invented, our mothers only dreamed about Louboutins.. and I guess what I'm saying is, as much as you know how poetic I am and just how emotional I get about anything and everything, I just thought it was beautiful to see, it was beautiful to see that these creatures called vehicles could get along with human beings, that human beings could control these vehicles, that human beings of different cultures could be around one another, privately, but still around one another.

We all start somewhere, and to know that we're here now, as people, as a human race, or as individuals, it's just nice to know that everything is a blessing and can be once we change our perspective about it all.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

I Think We Should Separate.

I have to make something clear -- I have felt negatively about certain types of social media for a while now, mainly because it turns people into vicious and judgemental creatures that frankly, I don't feel is a good vibe for young people to absorb themselves into. Now keep in mind, I am in no way saying that social media is a bad medium all in all, I think it can be helpful, but essentially, with the negative effects it has had on many of my peers, and the larger collective of adolescents, I think we need to think twice about why we appear online.

I've got to begin by saying, yes, I've struggled with social media for a while. I had a long process of renewal in my whole Twitter game about a year and a half ago. I used to be, and unfortunately I don't want to use this as a term to explain other young people but I feel that it gives the most background and that is, like everyone else. I used to tweet about people I didn't know, I would criticize others, and mainly it was for the laughs. Soon enough however, you start to realize that the fun and games end when you see people end significant friendships, lose respect for people, and even get in physical altercations just because of what people say about them.

To combat this, I've been trying to be more positive and helpful by posting encouraging messages and thoughtful points online, but it has been more of a struggle these days as I just find myself being portrayed as a stranger to the countless people tweeting, reblogging, and just posting about the depression and pain they feel after midnight, and unfortunately now, more often, even during the day.

Now again, please don't get me wrong. I'm in no way saying that posting about your feelings is bad either, I think it's good that people can lean on one another for help when they feel horrible, but for some reason, I've noticed that instead of helping one another, people have been negative towards one another, and their ignorance has gotten worse. People online have a type of power they don't possess in real life, and that is, most of the time they are not themselves. Online, people know that they are untouchable, they can lie about feelings they clearly feel, and they can expose everything about who you are in a second, facts that maybe you didn't even know about yourself.

This is why, I've decided to take myself off of social media for a while. I'm still going to be available to tweet on Twitter and message on Facebook for conversational purposes but I won't be posting anything on my own. Part of this social media wide hiatus of mine also includes tumblr being a website I'll be off of for a while. I think the only websites I'll be active on will be soundcloud, this personal blog of mine, and from time to time I'll have my own personal activity on tumblr to look for inspirations regarding studies or new projects I'll be working on, otherwise, I will not be active on these sites for a while.

I have decided that I will be off for the summer. I'll be back on once I feel comfortable in the fall, however I will update you on when I'll be back if any of this changes.

My reasoning is this -- social media has always encouraged me to feel closer to every one and everything, but I want to experience things for real, not for their artificial presence.

One thing I would like to highlight is that this has been a long process for me, I've thought about a hiatus for a while, and although the time of hiatus I am proposing is not that long, I may be gone for longer.

If I can be honest, at times social media has trapped me in a space I could not get out of. I began to feel so curious about everything and everyone, and since so much information about people was available to be viewed online, I began to think that it was okay to know things about people without their consent. It stopped me from getting to know people face to face. The strange thing about this was that, I was supposed to feel closer to people through social media, but being so absorbed by it has made me feel much more alone. It gets toxic sometimes, and that is a hard thing to escape.

With that being said, please remember that you can still contact me. Please don't ever be afraid to, but for now I'll be cleansing my mind and my soul and I'll be spending more time living in the physical world.

See y'all in the next blog post.
-Nicole

Sunday, 10 May 2015

How Should One's Beauty be Validated?

Do you ever just sit there and wonder why we glorify the aesthetic of the past so much?

I mean we look back at it constantly, and soon enough, we forget to see the charms of the aesthetic we follow today, and by aesthetic, I mean the mode, the fashion sense, the attire, the overall look.

I think I have an answer, and that is, we actually see pure beauty in people. Pure, that is to say, their beauty minus the filters.

I think it's important to remember that as the days go by, we tend to become more and more judgemental because we have the means to cover things up now, which was the main subject of my post last time, the obsession of covering up.

Nowadays, if there's even a single blemish on someone's face everyone goes crazy. I mean, if you happen to be a person who doesn't have to suffer the wrath of these temporary facial imperfections, then kudos to you, but don't judge others who have these issues because most of the time it's out of their control. The body does what it wants, we can do a lot to prevent imperfections from showing up, but at the end of the day, if you wake up with a blemish on your face after treating yourself with so many facial creams, toners, and cleansers on the daily, just know that it's okay, you're human.

I look up to the beauty of the people from the past because they didn't care so much about the appearance of things in the sense that if there was an imperfection, they just had to deal with it as much as possible. Obviously, beauty has always meant a huge deal to people, and they always wanted to look their best. I'm not saying they didn't try to cover up the imperfections, but I think the greatest thing about them was that they learned to rock the things that bothered them because they knew those weren't defining factors of what their beauty was seen to be. The most important thing to them was how they carried themselves.

Your beauty, as a male or a female was validated through your self confidence, not how others saw or defined you. It was about how confident you were in your own skin, how you wore your clothes, how you appeared to be polite and caring towards others, and most importantly, how beautiful you felt. I need you all to remember that feeling beautiful, and being confident does not make you narcissistic. I repeat, IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU CONCEITED. It means that you acknowledge that you should be feeling pretty and beautiful because you are a precious human being, one of a kind, and no one should ever make you feel different. These days, it's all about shaming one another for your appearance, and making another person feel bad just because he or she wants to present themselves a specific way. Not only does this show that you don't have an appreciation for the beauty of others, but it also shows that you don't respect yourself enough to think that you look beautiful on your own that you have to make others feel bad so you can feel better.

I just wish that the definition of beauty nowadays did not mean the covering up of insecurities and "weaknesses", but the confidence of owning them because hey, just so you know, you're already special for being who you are, what's on the outside doesn't matter if what's on the inside shines through and illuminates your heart, the thing that matters the most, and until you realize that, and until we all realize that, everyone is going to keep being stuck in a cycle of hiding their insecurities to feel beautiful instead of acknowledging them as factors that make them, them.
Creative Reflection Photography by Tom Hussey

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Magnificence of Aura.

I have always had this fascination for the idea of originality, individuality, and as simply put, realness. I prefer seeing things for how they inflict themselves upon us, that is to say how they are meant to be seen, their true forms.

I'm not saying I have an issue with this new technological age for that would make me a hypocrite. I see technology as a way of advancement that helps give birth to new eras of creation and publicity for those creations, however at the same time, I see a great disadvantage, an impending pain that is growing and constantly being fed, the pain that this generation will suffer, upon all that seems real to them.

I prefer hearing music live. I prefer there being no medium between the listener and the singer. As much as I enjoy hearing studio versions of songs and hearing the great amount of production behind the intended work, I also think that there is a beauty that listeners cannot grasp if they don't hear the singer live. There is a connection that the singer is able to make with their audience, as well as an uncovering of the rawness of one's voice and one's instruments. There is a beauty behind the sound of the breath they take before singing a line, or the sound of an unplayed string in the chord they strum on their guitar. This realness, this uncovering, allows there to be an exposition of the ugliness of mistakes, the type of ugliness that turns into beauty and individuality that unfortunately most people don't understand nowadays. The best live music for me is hearing someone sing with their instrument, without a mic, without an amplifier, just them and their instrument, that way you hear them, the real them, not the things that stand in the way to make them seem different, glamorized. There is a glamour in the original -- the idea that we can touch emotion, make it into this tangible thing that can only be experienced when seen and recognized first hand.

I prefer speaking to people in person instead of social media, or over text, or over the phone, because as much as social media becomes an outlet for them to speak their mind, or as much as text becomes convenient when they want to mask their painfully awkward demeanour when speaking on the phone, or even if they argue that being on the phone is the most sincere way of hearing them speak from their hearts without the fear of being seen through the eyes and into their souls; seeing them in person, hearing their voice as real as it comes, allows me to see how genuine they are about their feelings. The look on one's face can translate their words into a language that only the human body can understand, and through that we are able to hear and interpret this sound, this music, this production, that only we can understand before it's translated into words and fabricated to be understood by a large mass of people.

There is a kind of beauty in one's essence, one's aura that I feel that mediums always break down. There have been so many new additions to this type of covering up and touching up now, that we don't see people for who they are. We erase their humanity.

Photoshop, lighting, filters, cameras, televisions, ebooks, audiobooks, kindles, even contractions in words. These mediums used to cover things up, or make things more glamorous, or easier to see, easier to look at and understand, are all factors that break us apart so much from reality that when we see something significant or beautiful occur we refer to them as "just like in the movies".

We are so afraid to look ugly, that we forget to see the beauty of raw emotion, the beauty of the aspect that makes even the most untouchable people see their own humanity.

It's so hard, so hard to know that we have to constantly live in this light of filters. Soon enough we'll be experiencing aura as it's reproductions, rather than the beauty of the original. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that's rather scary, because at the end of the day, we forget to ask ourselves, what's even real anymore?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Rooted in Love.

I'm a big advocator for love. I'm a very "emotional dreamer" like person, so you can probably deduce that I happen to like talking about love a lot.

I will confess, I've never been in love, nor am I in love with anyone right now. I experience the most beautiful aspects of love with my family and friends of course, but I also experience its most purest forms when I see breathtaking scenery, or when I read a good book, or when I hear someone sing songs or read poetry.

I however, have been around many people who have thought they were in love, but realize they actually weren't after being away from the person they were once sentimental about.

I have this theory to propose. The theory that we think we can declare that we are in love the moment we feel different about someone.

I think that we just happen to fall in love with our ideas of people, not who they are.

Most of the time, and I feel that I catch myself doing this as well, we come up with images or visions of people in the way we like to see them. If they don't follow after these dream like depictions of them that we have, we often deny that anything's wrong, we just blame their "flaws" on a bad day. Once we see that these flaws become reoccurring ones, we start to realize that this whole time, we've been thinking of this person to be one way, when in fact that version of them only ever existed in our heads, funny right? How we could possibly have fallen in love this whole time with the person we thought they were. The version of themselves they thought would be most presentable to disclose to us. The most beautiful mask they could put on, not to cover up their identity, but to filter out the bad things about them.

I may have never been in love, but I don't think this has anything to do with love at all. At least, not our love for other people. Just the type of love we have for ourselves.

I honestly think that it's a good thing when people take the time to stop and think before jumping into situations because as much as we think we know everything about ourselves, we really don't. We go into automatic protection mode when people don't seem to be fit with our expectations of them. That is when I feel we are not ready for love, whether it may be romantic or platonic, we simply need to sit and listen to others first before we can claim something to be rooted in love.

For me, being rooted in love means many things, but here are 2 things that I feel are most important when loving others:

1) That you would give something up for them. No, that doesn't mean that just because we think we can give everything up that something is rooted in love. When you give something up for someone without choosing to let yourself be glorified for it, that is love. When you decide to stop smoking because you know how much it'd mean to them. When you realize that you would be better off hanging with the right people. When you stop and listen to what they have to say. When you show up to a meeting on time because you want to show them that they're important.

2) That you would be accountable for them. Sometimes it's important to realize that people need our help, or need us to hear them out, but they don't always like telling us because nowadays opening up means you're a burden, and altruism is interpreted as weakness. When we become accountable for others and allow them to realize that we're there for them no matter what, it just becomes a natural thing for love to develop properly. Most of the time, saying you're there for someone doesn't help much. Showing them that you are, like listening to them talk about their day, giving them advice for a decision they want to make when they ask for help, or helping support them during exam season, allows you to show that you love someone genuinely.

Love is not meant to be a breeze. It comes when we least expect it.