Hand-delivered happiness?

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Ever guilty of branding matter with [deserved] doses of scepticism, I’m afraid to say this perspective picture may just get a dolloping. Yeah, we’re going to talk about this intended ‘so inspiring’ message before anyone else starts believing it.

‘Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness.’

Right. Where it is an ideal and beautiful thing to have the confidence that someone will eventually deliver your happiness; where it is true we can source somebody else’s happiness, in theory; in a realistic world, it’s just not practical. Where we may gift wrap the hell out of that balloon of happiness, and deliver it to our recipient with the swiftest, most efficient service, how do we trust that our courier’s intentions are good? What if we have to bear the brunt: losing our happiness to the lost/stolen/damaged pile?

For a second, we’ll say that ‘happiness’ is one of the purposes of life: To be happy, to do what makes us happy, to make other people happy…happiness is a big part of our existence. A huge thing to rely on someone else for…

‘Everyone is frantically looking around for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.’ Granted. But to suggest that it’s in the possession of somebody else, waiting to be given? Well that’s way too passive and dependent. In any other context, if we don’t know where something is, we look for it. We can’t find it? We replace it with a replica or something else fit for purpose. We don’t just sit around expecting it to turn up out of the blue. Well, most of us don’t….

What’s really happening here is happiness is becoming pawned. Heck, your happiness can’t just be handed to you in a bid to secure some kind of social equilibrium; you create it. You decide what your perception of happiness is; you do all in your power to achieve said happiness, and maybe- just maybe- you may just get it. Maybe. It doesn’t just come knocking on your door.

However unfortunate a concept, the truth is, relying on anybody else for our own happiness is just careless. In a euphoric world, scepticism may be an unfamiliar word, but in reality, it stands closer to truism than we may think. Let’s face it, a world where there is a consensual notion to live hand-in-hand in a circle of harmony would be too functional, even for a functionalist. Way too ideal.

I mean, we can make a metaphor of this whole balloon idea, if we really want to. I suppose if we want our happiness to take shape, and stay with us, then we’re just going to have to put energy into it. If not, we could face watching it fly away….

It was an alright thought though.

Are we living the life we tweet about?

Caught up in the routine of documenting our entire lives, on the internet, somewhere down the line, we’ve forgotten to live. With the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine slowly becoming staples in our lifestyles, it’s hard to believe that, once upon a time, people actually used to talk to each other. In person.

I went out for a meal with a group of friends recently. Having realised we were all glued to our screens, one friend bravely piped up: “Phones in the middle of the table. First person to crack pays for the whole meal.” It dawned on us, while we were tweeting about the great time we were having; we actually wasn’t having that much of a great time. Instead, we were seeking to secure other people’s perceptions of us as social butterflies. Thing is, we’re not the only ones who are guilty. With technology allowing the world to become more interconnected than ever before, it seems everyone’s in on the act.

There was an age where it was socially acceptable to grunt and mumble, and call it conversation. But that age is growing smaller in our rear view mirrors, only, we haven’t learnt the art of fuelling conversation, because we were too busy tweeting Harry Styles, telling him how much we ‘love him <3’.

So, yeah, we had to talk to each other. Slowly we realised that there’s more going on in our lives than what’s published on twitter. Absurd, really: who’d have thought that anyone actually had a life beyond their online presence?

Excuse the irony, but a video was circulating Facebook a few weeks back. No words were spoken, but I got the message loud and clear. It basically highlighted the fact that smartphones are depriving us of the limited essences of reality. We’re constantly losing the high definition of real life, because we’re looking at it through a camera lens, ready to post the moment on Instagram. For the sake of a few ‘double taps’ we’re compromising seeing the bigger picture, because, let’s face it, seeing the world through a camera lens provides a restricted view.

It’s seems, then, that the whole entity of being human has been reconditioned to seek the approval of strangers. Of course, this isn’t wholly true, but it is relevant to our generation. But, with the prospect of gaining a couple of hundred retweets at stake, it seems that real life is fighting a losing battle. With the prospect of gaining a fair few followers or friends online at stake, our real life friends are scarcely getting a look in.

I’d like to think that we’re a pretty career driven generation, and with the importance of networking constantly being stressed, maybe we’re onto something. But, when we’re choosing to network on the same platform where we’re also airing our ignorant, controversial and downright weird views, maybe were committing ourselves to injustice.

Perhaps we’re already in too deep with this ‘eat, sleep, tweet’ lifestyle. Maybe there’s no way back. But we can help ourselves, a little bit. So, when you’re out with a group of friends, for God sake, peel yourself away from your screen. Resist the urge to take that unflattering selfie.

Let’s all try it together…

Passion vs Passion

A few days ago, I told myself that if I don’t make it in the broadcast industry, then I’ll do what I really want to do: open a tattoo/piercing studio.

Ever since I got my first needle piercing, many years ago, I’ve sought many more in unusual places. A similar concept became applicable, a few years later, when I got my first tattoo (underage, as I was. Oops!). When it comes to piercings, there came a point where I knew my daiths from my rooks, when nobody else did, and realised that this was a field that I was way too interested in. So much so that it occurred to me that it could possibly be a career path I wish to pursue.

But, of course, the pressures of society (and a little bit of common sense) made me take the more sensible route of working towards a degree (a favoured qualification), as opposed to a piercing licence. I’d be lying if I said I made a decision I resent, because I still get butterflies of excitement when I think about the possibility of working in broadcast. But with a passion for the body art trade too, I’ve experienced some conflict between head and heart.

When I was 16, a friend of mine had a family who owned a piercing studio. So, sniffing the prospect of opportunity, I asked if there was any chance I could get work experience. It came back that they agreed I could….when I turn 18. But, by the time I turned 18, and there was an apprentice position to fill in the shop, I was set to move out of the city to start university. Damn!

I made it my mission then to find a studio in my university city that could take me on. I’m yet to get any joy. Though, I haven’t lost passion.

But to go back to my initial point, I started to question what I really want. Why was I planning on using my passion as a back up? I concluded that if I fail at my first path, I’ll have nothing to lose, so I may as well do what I really want to do.

It made me realise that society is a little bit gloomy. Sometimes passions aren’t sustainable enough to finance or support a lifestyle. So, sometimes, passions have to get pushed aside.

Or, maybe, it’s just my attitude that is gloomy.

As it stands, I’m just going to cling to the belief that if I feel passionate enough about something, I’ll make sure it gets a look in. If that’s the case, I have a lot to look forward to.

This is not a poem

The news, for the past couple of days, has been flooded with the prospect of a brewing storm. If rumours are to be true, and this isn’t some sort of constructed moral panic, we’re edging very close to some extreme weather conditions.

Me? I think it’s all a little bit exciting. It’s not something you experience everyday. But why do I find something with the potential destruction so exciting? I don’t know.

Anyway, I was jotting down some thoughts on the matter, and they just happened to rhyme a little bit:

Is this the calm before the storm?
The unfolding of a mystery?
A mystery that could pose a threat
to all of humanity.
How can it be
that something so natural can cause such destruction,
when nature’s supposed to be beautiful;
An innocent construction?
What have we done?
Have we broken the trust?
Nature’s tired of all the unreciprocated love
that it’s been giving us.
But who can change the views of a nation,
when the world is just another creation
to be taken for granted
and mistreated and neglected?
“I didn’t ask for the world,
So why should I look after it?”
Well, the world didn’t ask for us,
and now we’ve spoilt it.

You hear that lull in your ear?
That’s not the warning of what’s next.
That lull is a reminder of exactly what we should expect,
of what we’re owed,
and the truth is, the answer is nothing.
So when we sit and wonder what is to come,
just remember that the storm on it’s way
is just the calm…

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Destination unknown

In the first week of my second year of university, I faced a question I’ve been dodging for a while now: ‘What do you want to do with your degree?’

I study English Language and Journalism, and I found myself in a room full of people who knew exactly what they wanted; sports journalists, PR Officers, TV Presenters, Feature writers…

One-by-one, classmates introduced themselves, and their future plans, with such confidence and conviction, that I suddenly felt like I’d lost all sense of direction. As my time came nearer and nearer, I sent my head I’m a frenzy, ‘come on, Tish, why don’t you know this? Think of something, quick!’

In the heat of it all, I said what I thought I should say: “I’m Letitia and I want to be a magazine journalist.”

Lie.

Once upon a time, I think I had it all set out. Kind of. ‘I’ll study this course because it gives me options,’ I thought. TV Presenting looked fun, Foreign Correspondency seemed interesting, I even considered making a living off writing comment pieces. The best way around that? Study journalism.

But, I liked to write too. I liked to play with words. I liked understanding linguistic features and their effect; so English Language fit that bill.

I was now immersed in a world where my list of endless possibilities were nothing more than in-executed dreams. Hopeless, with no actual commitment. It wasn’t good enough to not have some idea in mind, because how was I to ever get experience of a career I don’t even know I want yet?

So, filled with panic of my lack of prospects, I forced myself to remember why I even began this journey.

Because I like to write. Because, as unsocial as I may appear, I like all things surrounding communication.

Nowadays, it’s easy to conform to the idea that education is a financial investment. It’s so much more than that! Yeah, having a degree can set you a margin above the rest in the financial ladder, but, in the same breath, it isn’t guaranteed.

Wealth of knowledge is though.
And wealth of experience (if you use the experience wisely).

For a moment, I allowed myself to push my passion in a corner, in order to find some sense of security under the title of an accepted career option.

So, in this blur of uncertainty, I wondered why I was even here. I wondered what I was even working towards. Is it even worth it? But I realise now, my passion is out there somewhere, possibly hiding under a job title that I’m not certain exists. Maybe. I just have to be patient.

This great British climate is way too cold for me to be wearing my patience thin. I need to rekindle my passion…

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The serpent can’t tempt me this time

If I’ve learnt one thing since being a student, it’s being efficient with money. With the impending debts that’ll probably loom over me forever, I admit, I’ve tightened the security on my purse.

Now, as quite a closed off young lady, I don’t particularly want to delve too deeply into the topic of my finances. But, being a young lady, there’s always one thing that poses a threat to my pockets. Urgh! I hate to admit it, but like most of the better sex, shoes are my weakness.

I have a confession: I’m writing this post merely to distract me from going forth and pressing ‘pay securely now‘ on a particular clothing website. In fact, confession time, again: I’m writing this post to distract me from pressing ‘pay securely now’ on 3 clothing websites.

Damn my womanly needs!

To go back to my aforementioned efficiency theory, I kind of know that proceeding to payment will go against my choice.

Do I like the shoes? Well, yeah.
Will I wear them? Urgh, maybe.
Will I be able to walk in them? Hmm, not so much

No brainer, right? If only my female mind could be so strong as to divert away from deviance. If only temptation wasn’t so…tempting.

Now, this is where I could try and be smart. I could push a point that giving into temptation is within a woman’s nature. I mean, women today are paying the consequences of Eve’s lack of self control. But, we’re in an age where the new woman exists: and she’s much stronger than her forefather. And she has stronger defences against the serpent: the chance of investment.

Now, I could spend a cheeky few on said shoes, and face the regret for years hereafter. Yeah, I’d love them, but the way my relationship with gravity works…well, only my mirror would get the chance to see me in them.

So, I was saying; about efficiency?

I live in Britain; rainy days will always be around the corner and I’m afraid the content of my online basket aren’t appropriate attire. Perhaps some books will be more appropriate. You know, for when I’m stuck in on said rainy day. Now, that’s better, I guess. That’s an investment, somehow.

Okay, mission accomplished. I’ve come to my senses; biting this apple certainly isn’t any kind of investment.

Basket emptied. Tabs closed.

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