What’s wrong with the world?

I just don’t understand.

How does a person, with their own thoughts, opinions, beliefs; eschew it all to become a suicide bomber in the name of a greater good. What makes a person strap on bombs, carry weapons to target people. People like you and me. people who were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The Paris attacks are the latest in a series of terror acts enveloping the world. We’ve seen bombs and missiles targeting passenger aircraft, schoolgirls kidnapped and killed, journalists gunned down/beheaded, national buildings attacked, public places vilified, holy sites destroyed.

Every religion has radicals so the argument of it being a particular religion as the problem is, well, bullshit. There will always be a myopia around those who do not want to understand it for what it is and find it easier to blame a religion.

The question in my mind is what psychological torture have these people been through to make them choose this life of inflicting terror and fear?
What has the world done to them to make them see through such a disturbing, narrow lens?

How did we warp minds and make these people.

Because, lets face it – we made them.

Radicals prey on the young, impressionable members of society. What did we do wrong to allow these terrorists to come into existence?

We live in a world of hashtags and status updates, of instant gratification and information at our fingertips. How have these radicals and terrorists isolated and twisted the minds of people.

Yes, I know I am naive. While I was born in a country that was at the tail end of apartheid – the emotional scars of which I see in generations before me; my confidantes, friends, colleagues know no race, no religion, no gender, no societal standing. I was born in a time when the world was my proverbial oyster and was thought to believe I could be anything, do anything. I have not known the ravages of war on a country. I have not experienced segregation purely due to the colour of my skin or my religious beliefs. I have been afforded a good education. I have been privileged to have been allowed to share my thoughts freely, to an formulate independent opinions.

Every country has its own demons. My country battles with corruption, poverty, and crime. Even the pinnacle of democracy – the land of the brave and the home of the free – deals with racial prejudice and violence. Refugees are fleeing atrocities in their homelands and risking their lives/well-being/wealth/families to find a better life abroad. There is no city, no country, no continent that is better off than another. Why do you believe the grass is greener on the other side? Why do we think we need to inflict terror, violence, war on innocent people?
WTF is wrong with the world?!?!

How do we make it a better place?

Is that even possible?

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Am I enough?

Am I enough?

Am I doing enough?

It’s been a weird weekend… Starting with my first ever car accident on Friday morning. Yay. Not the best way to end the week or start the weekend. After sorting out the “admin”, I’ve spent the weekend…thinking. More so than usual. And not the best sign in the world.

This particular reflection was brought on by a discussion at work where we were chatting about our achievements during the first half of 2015. Today, that topic is sitting heavily with me. During that particular discussion and today, over the past six months I don’t feel as though I have achieved anything this year. I’m currently head high in a project that is taking all of my working hours and something that has been an incredible struggle for me to get through.

The logical part of my brain tells me that just the fact that I have survived these past six month should be an achievement itself. The fact that I made it to work, was a functional human being should be more than enough. I’ve started blogging, overcame a fear, reached my goal weight (though, I’m pretty sure this last weekend I’ve eaten it all back!), gotten stronger and fitter, started a daily meditation practice and just trying to be a good person should be more than enough.

Yet, the emotional part of my mind tells me that I need to do more, I should be doing more, I should have achieved numerous milestones. I should have completed more “concrete” things – published articles, completed projects and just be a more successful person. My emotional mind tells me I should be watching less series and train for a marathon, I should not allow myself to stay in bed all day when I don’t feel up too anything. It just makes me feel like a failure.

Sometimes life is hard.

 

Reminders…

This is how I am now living my life. I’ve been a doormat for way too long. I just hope I have the strength to follow this way of life. People-pleasing has only resulted in me being taken advantage of and me being unhappy and distraught. Time for ME and the people who truly care for me…

As a popular quote reads, “I’m making a lot of changes in my life. If you don’t hear from me, you’re one of them.”-Anon

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I’ve also been guarded in my writing about other people. After stumbling on this particular saying, it gives me strength to write more freely.

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Price Of Fame

You’ve probably heard the news… Zayn Malik has left the boyband, One Direction.
Cue the screaming, ugly crying teenage girls cutting themselves over his departure.

The 22 year old has been in the band since its inception. His reason for leaving? “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

Zayn says he wants to live a normal life… True the media has not been kind to him but honestly he has made some stupid decisions – holding hands with a random chick who is not your fiancee…can you see how this will cause twitter chaos? Lighting up a joint? Yes 99.9% of 22 years olds do the very same thing. They make stupid mistakes – we all do. The only difference is Zayn chose this life of fame. You went to the audition on the fateful day which culminated in one of the biggest bands the world has seen. Is your privacy the price to pay for untold millions and world recognition? Is that price too high?

Once he’s rested, cause lets face it…he won’t have anything close to a normal life, and the money’s run out – what then?

I watched the One Direction documentary “This is us” the other day. And the first thought was Zayne is a “tortured soul” – not unlike the Kurt Cobain of the world. Talented, creative yet a loner, trying to find himself..drinking, drugs, promiscuity (well, unconfirmed) but desecrated daily by media trolls. This sounds harsh, but I won’t be surprised if he joins the 27 club.

Looking back, a “rebellious” almost invincible attitude is common among stars who became very big, very fast at a young age with more money than sense and millions of teens throwing themselves at you. Bieber went through it, Britney had her meltdown in 2007. They make stupid decisions, trying to be adults…experimenting with drugs, sleeping around, shaving off their hair, attacking people with eggs or umbrellas.

Do we blame ourselves, consumers? For our insatiable voyeurism and social media addiction which fuels the tabloids, gossip sites, paparazzi and internet trolls. A tweet can be seen from a fan to her idol…in a few characters. Fans inflate stars to an extent where they are almost detached from reality. In my day (flip, I sound old!) Facebook/Twitter/Instagram did not exist…

Or is there a deeper problem? Kids – People – not psychologically mature enough to handle the stress and pressures fame throws you? That the only option is to self-implode?
I’m really curious… Who will fall next?

One Direction Drama

“many teenagers are coping with a sense of loss they’ve never felt before. To them, it is real, and incredibly painful.”

Can’t deal. Well, can’t stop laughing and cringing.

For someone who earned her Masters in teenage fangirl (thanks to my somewhat legendary obsession with the Backstreet Boys – go on, judge away) I find this ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS.

What kind of generation are we raising… they assume SELF HARM is the logical solution to bring a BOY back to a BAND. Yet, they have no feeling for a Germanwings crash the same day which obliterated the aircraft and all 150 people on board?

A boy – if I may add – looks like he is on the fast track to the 27 club.
A boy who would not be famous and have all that cash if it wasn’t for teens buying paraphernalia?
I mean a “survival guide for parents” – WTF!!!

If I cried too much – yes, I probably would have shed a few tears (though I didn’t when Kevin left…) – or even though about cutting my parents would have kicked my ass and put me on a one way trip to a psychiatric institute.

I would do the same to a kid who finds the departure of a person from a band to signal the end of the world…and resort to self harm.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/26/world/one-direction-zayn-malik/index.htmlMaybe its a good thing I’m not a parent!!!

Blegh Days

Today is a “blegh” day.

One of those days you wake up feeling a little down.
A day when you want to stay in pjs, make a fort for yourself in bed and watch movies, alone.
You really couldn’t care less about social interaction or doing anything productive.

I do feel as though I’m in the middle of an existential crisis.
Who am I?
What do I want to do with my life?
There has to be more to this existence than work, eat, socialise, sleep?
What’s the point?
What am i meant to do in this world, this life?

I’ve been in a bit of funk for a few years but never THIS bad…there have always been questions about the point of it all, but lately its becoming a lot louder.
I realise this may be my “Quarter Life Crisis”… even though I am about five years too late!

So how do I overcome this?
I’ve read a few books, blogs…but they really don’t seem to provide me with the answers I seek.
What next?

With a little help from my friends

Please allow me to brag. I have some pretty incredible people in my life. The kind of people who you can call at any hour and they will drop everything to help you. The kind of people that would be sitting next to you in jail (if it ever came to that). Some of them I’ve known my whole life, others from my teens, some from varsity, and even those I’ve know only a few months. Some are older than me, some younger, others I share DNA with. These are my friends. These are the people who would be those to tell you the truth no matter what. These are the people to make you cry through your tears. I never realised how much I needed them and how much they mean to me until recently. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved and appreciated them but I did not realise how they would be my backbone, my support structure when i needed them the most. They are but a handful of people – but their strength, love, belief, intellect, wittiness and support is enough to fill a world.

With most areas of my life crumbling – or as most say “making space for new opportunities, people and experiences” (not exactly the thing you want to hear at this stage!) – I have had no option but to lean on my loved ones. For it to get better, it has to get a lot worse. I’ve almost been following the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross model (also known as the five stages of grief): denial – check, anger – check, bargaining – check, depression – check and acceptance – I really hope its now!

To paraphrase a friend “life is a valley full of peaks and valleys…what you’ve been through, though so so valid, is only one (admittedly deep) trough”. I’ve been through my own personal hell. I’ve experience the denial and anger (I quite enjoyed the anger). I’ve experience bargaining and most of all, depression. In my darkest days I’ve found solace in the words of my loved ones. In those days, I cried endlessly and craved isolation. Their words – sometimes messages from days or weeks before – pulled me out. Admittedly saying the words out loud (i.e. typing them out) was incredibly hard. I bared my soul and I am grateful they accepted me and helped me up. Simple phrases that meant so much… “I love you my friend and will be here for you whenever you need me”, “Thank you for your trust” and others which I would need to censor 😛

I’ve been showing signs of acceptance lately, but I know I would not have made it through without the amazing people on my journey with me. Ofcourse there are moments were I slip back into bargaining and depression but a note to my peeps gets replied with “Slap that part of you out”, “Do you want me to punch you in the face?”, “I think I really need to kick your ass for even thinking it,” and my favourite “I hate to break it to you but you are not Kerry Washington. You are not the fixer. You can not Olivia Pope the situation.” They are always willing to help..but they love their tough love.

In all honesty, I do not think I will be here today, writing this, if it weren’t for these superstars I have privilege of calling friends. They are more than friends. They are my family and I love them unconditionally. I really hope whoever reads this has the same support system – please don’t take it for granted…

I’ll end this with a quote from a friend who is incredibly wise beyond his years…“We all need to be carried sometime, but not all of us as strong enough to ask for a lift”. A huge thank you to my circle… I love each and every one of you so much. You guys make it all worth it.