Here are a collection of thoughts, unorganized, random, about all things and nothing at all.
Why do people have ‘New Year Resolutions’? Are people not aware that time is a concept invented by human beings and that the idea that there is a beginning and an end to a year is completely constructed by human beings? Why does “new year, new me,” exist? Why do people not work on making themselves a better version of who they were the day prior on every day of the year? Why does it take a concept like “the beginning of a year” to encourage people to make a change in their lives? I am so perplexed by this idea.
I do not have new year resolutions because, firstly, I know I will not hold to them, so I have no desire to advertise them to the masses (via social media). Secondly, I am consistently working towards being a better me than I was the day before, so the abstract concept of ‘new year’ does not improve who I am by any means.
But the weird part is how people define an improved self: by the way they physically look. A new year resolution most often includes time at the gym – this is why gyms see an increase in sales in January. You can be a shitty human being but, hey, if you work out starting January 1st, you’re suddenly a better person! It’s complete;y absurd. Most ‘new year’ goals include physical goals but have nothing or little to do with developing your soul and developing who you are as an emotional, mental, functioning human being. Which is absolutely hilarious to me because so many people in my age group are very physically fit and attractive people but have put absolutely no work into the mental and emotional development of themselves and are, therefore, not functional partners. Plain and simple.
This idea of time is not meant to limit you but meant to drive you. And I am most concerned when people see time as a limiting factor – like, OH! I didn’t get anything done in 2018, what a waste! Human existence is immensely short, but I do not view years as wasted time but merely development towards where I’m meant to be.
Truthfully, though, it is without question that 2018 was the very best year of my life. Not only did I live out my dream of calling Paris home and living and working there (in one of my most favourite districts, no less), but I also found my soulmate – a completely unexpected piece of the twenty-eighteen puzzle that brought a new sense of purpose and passion to my life. But, again, this year is a human developed concept and I am just grateful to have lived out my dream and found my dream man in the process of it all. It could have been any year of my life, but it happened to be in my 30th rotation around the sun.
But my biggest curiosity lies with why people suddenly feel guilty about the lives they’re living in January. Why does January suddenly make people feel as though they aren’t living the very best lives for themselves? Why does this ‘start of the year’ idea push people into work-out mode and have them spending money where money need not be spent? It breaks my heart knowing people are so sold into ideals by time, that people are so controlled by these abstract definitions of expectation. I just get infuriated by the expectation pushed upon people around this time of year, especially via social media. I think that become a better version of you shouldn’t be defined by a date in time.
I said that already, didn’t I? I’m wasting your time.
I find it quite odd that I am an individual who likes to get away, run away, disappear, and all other terms which follow the same definition suit, and yet I spent so many hours of my life invested in Social Media and displaying every corner of my life to those who want to have a look.
And so I decided to make a temporary disappearance in the Social Media sphere by signing out of and deleting the apps of both my Facebook account and the personal Instagram account that I run.
We all know the cliche, “Live in the moment,” and yet our minds are also conflicted by the existence of yet another cliche, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And so we are in this eternal battle brought upon us by social media: do you, A. live in the moment and put down the phone, or B. take that photo that supposedly speaks a thousand words and post that bad boy all over social media to create a manufactured dialogue with the masses who may stumble upon it?
And so social media caters to two very specific emotions felt by our lizard brain: the ego, and the guilt (that’s a part of the lizard brain, right? Or is it just the emotion dug into the souls of the youth of European and/or Jewish parents?).
If we post that picture, the likes, comments, or even just “impressions” (to the dinosaurs out there, that means the number of times it’s physically appeared on a screen) trigger in humans (I was going to use ‘us’ but I don’t want to associate with the ‘nous’ of that crowd) instant gratification, instant dopamine and serotonin delivery to your brain, and the same high that you could get from cocaine (they say). But then we are faced with the emotion that follows afterward; guilt at the judgment we may face for not living in the moment, and/or at manufacturing an inauthentic version of our otherwise unhappy lives, and/or for feeling addicted to your phone. We’ve got a win-lose in this situation.
Yet, if we look at the option of not posting that picture you just took of the meal you’re eating all over social media, we are faced with not getting the rush of the ego, but also not feeling the guilt. But if you pay attention, if you savour moments, if you appreciate the company of those closest to you without worrying about how they may look in your feed, if you capture memories and hold them in your heart, a different need is met: gratitude. And that need is not a part of our evolutionarily inferior lizard brain, either.
Gratitude is so immensely powerful because it literally consumes all aspects of your life and overpowers every other emotion. Gratitude doesn’t cause any negative emotions to arise in you. Gratitude can be passed onto others when it’s displayed in person (online, it happens to appear a bit phony) and brighten those lives just as it brightened your own. All self-help books speak to gratitude. All “keynote speakers” at random health/hippie/marijuana conferences say that gratitude will change your life. Everyone believes a bit of gratitude for what you have brings happiness into your life that allows you to forget about what you don’t have.
So, basically, I don’t see the loss in excluding social media from your experiences. I’m already reaping the gratitude rewards of stepping back from social media… and I’m grateful for that.
I always used to say that I would volunteer for that Mars program. Truthfully, I would volunteer for any space program, even if they told me there would be a guarantee that I wouldn’t survive the event. I just love space, I love the sky, I love planets, and nebulas, and constellations, and the potential existence of other lives. And so I would say that I absolutely volunteer and put my life on the line for it. And I don’t feel my opinion has changed on that topic. Which is odd because a lot of people used to comment, “yeah, but what about your boyfriend,” and I would shrug and say I didn’t care (because, in all honesty, an opportunity to get far, far away from them and escape the hell without breaking hearts would be a dream come true).
But now I actually, deeply, selflessly care about my boyfriend. I actually care about someone else (more than myself) and it puts this weird knot in my stomach that makes me feel both excitable and terribly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because it’s unfamiliar and a little bit scary. But anyway, I’d still go to space but for a different reason: knowing that my boyfriend respects my dreams and encourages me to follow them without any hesitation, knowing that I’ve experienced what authentic, honest love was for at least a smidgen of my life, and knowing I’d see him at the launch cheering and telling people around him that that’s his girlfriend, the astronaut, would be reason to make me give this fantasy a shot. But it’s for those very same reasons that I’d decline the offer to go to space.
It’s totally weird what an absolutely stellar, nebula of a human being can do to your decision making process. I want to live, and wander, and explore, and be free, and get wild, but I want to do it with someone else now, and I want to make sure the experiences are able to be had without the exclusion of my boyfriend (like that solo space flight nonsense from before).
How is it that I feel even freer (I prefer ‘more free’) being a part of his world than I did when I was (status-wise) free, prior? How is it that my partner in crime subsequently encourages a spirit of independence and self-exploration in me?
Is being truly free when you have finally found someone in life who inserts themselves into your bubble of existence while also just blowing it up a little bigger to help it float a little farther, a little wilder? Are you only truly free when you’ve found the most authentic kind of love?
Love (or lovers) is referred to as ‘ball and chain’ but maybe soulmates are the ones who actually break all your chains and set you free to be the most authentic and happy version of yourself. Or they help tear down the walls of your self-made prison for you so you can experience even a small glimmer of happiness.
Does being truly free mean finding someone who puts your happiness before their own? Is freedom co-dependent on another person? Is that the irony in freedom?! Do you need another person to be free? Your soul mate? – That’s it, I’m Googling the etymology of the word ‘freedom’ and ‘free’ … OH MY GOD MY MIND HAS BEEN BLOWN.
First, the generic etymological definition is as follows but let me bold the important part:
“Old English freodom “power of self-determination, state of free will; emancipation from slavery, deliverance;””
That is literally a definition of freedom that has the requirement of needing another person for it to be a working definition.
But let’s get to the real weird part, and, again, let me bold the important parts… Here is the etymology of free:
“Old English freo “exempt from; not in bondage, acting of one’s own will,” also “noble; joyful,” from Proto-Germanic *friaz “beloved; not in bondage” (source also of Old Frisian fri, Old Saxon vri, Old High German vri, German frei, Dutch vrij, Gothic freis “free”), from PIE *priy-a- “dear, beloved,” from root *pri- “to love.”
The sense evolution from “to love” to “free” is perhaps from the terms “beloved” or “friend” being applied to the free members of one’s clan (as opposed to slaves; compare Latin liberi, meaning both “free persons” and “children of a family”). For the older sense in Germanic, compare Gothic frijon “to love;” Old English freod “affection, friendship, peace,” friga “love,” friðu “peace;” Old Norse friðr “peace, personal security; love, friendship,” German Friede “peace;” Old English freo “wife;” Old Norse Frigg, name of the wife of Odin, literally “beloved” or “loving;” Middle Low German vrien “to take to wife,” Dutch vrijen, German freien “to woo.” “
The etymology of the word free comes from the freaking word BELOVED. BE-FREAKING-LOVED. BE LOVED. TO BE-LOVED. TO BE LOVED SETS YOU FREAKING FREE – WHAT THE HELL ARE THE CHANCES.
Alright, thanks universe. It’s clear there is irony in the word free. It’s quite freaking clear that you do need the absolute authentic love of another person (that good ol’ soul mate) to truly be free.
And the other ironic part is that there is something kind of freeing about knowing you don’t have to worry about achieving your own freedom…
In 1995, I received the album, ‘The Garden’ by Merril Bainbridge and I would listen to it on repeat and sing along to the songs endlessly. In 1995 I was 7 years old. And now, I have stumbled upon the album again and played it from the beginning. It starts with this song:
I was singing along as though I had just heard the album yesterday:
There’s a garden in my room
Would you like to take a look?
There are fascinating things you’ll find there
And if you dare to come inside
There is nothing I will hide
Come where there is sweet perfume
In the garden in my room
There’s a garden in my room
Would you like to take a look?
Rest your body on my velvet roses
Once you’ve tasted my delights
Many days will turn to nights
There is nothing you won’t do
For the garden in my room
Even as a child I was a writer. And I wanted to write poems and novels and short stories that would captivate my audience, that would siren song them into this abyss from which they would never escape. A black hole of linguistic pleasures that would have them falling in love with me and driven into madness.
This song stuck with me as a kid. I understood the sexual undertones because I was not a fool, but it stuck with me because I saw my writing as The Garden in my Room. I wanted to pull people in. I wanted them to taste my literary delights and lose themselves in the pleasure of words.
But my words need not be soaked in the raw fantasies of carnal desires to have this same pull. I understand that now. I can write and pull in like a fisherman does with a hook, and trap and capture (and captivate) with any piece I compose that is, as Hemingway says, written in blood. My blood is my spirit. And my spirit is the authenticity I put into every single letter I type onto this page.
My writing is my siren song.
How many will I drown with it?
And why does that bring such a large smile to my face?
I think my greatest feature is my self-confidence. It’s humble but speaks to my gratitude that I was raised in a family that values education, that stressed the importance of self-worth, that pushed their kids to be hard workers and achieve milestones for themselves while also knowing the value of dreams and keeping them alive. My self-confidence in the woman I am today is due, in large part, to my upbringing. I recognize that, and I am grateful for that. My immense strength is my own, and my bravery is also my own, because even my parents said they would never do many of the things that I’ve done for myself in the past 30 years (buy a place on my own, bring my assailant to court, move overseas, etc). But who I have been shaped into, whether by my own whittling or the whittling of those who love me, makes me feel immensely proud to be who I am. I am a black sheep who is simply using the black to cloak the rainbow beneath it all…
An intelligent woman is a threat to everyone around her but is the biggest threat to herself. The anxiety I cause myself by over-analyzing, by my brain running a mile a minute as it processes every single scenario of every word and every action, is freaking exhausting. The conflict of intuition faced with logic and the right-brain venture in day-dreaming is too complex for a mere human to handle.
I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
I hope that when I die, someone who loves me takes everything I’ve ever written and compiles it into the book I never had the god-damn guts to create and shares with the world what I hid behind curtains of insecurity.
I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
Did I say that already?
I don’t write to be famous, to make money, to have my name plastered on people’s lips. I write to get out what is boiling inside of me before the pot overflows and I’m left a mess. I write with the intention that something may resonate for just one person and that that sentiment gets carried on, no matter whether it’s shared with my name attached to it or not. If it lives on, I still live on. A writer never dies. And, as Hemingway once said, those who a writer loves also never dies. Which is logical when it is my muse who drives me to write, the very most.
My inability to write a novel stems from the fact that I have an idea inside me that, if not released immediately (as my short blurbs and poems and ideas often are), quickly becomes a bore to me and the more I look at it and analyze it (like the crazy insecure writer I am), the most stupid it sounds to me. So I scrap it. If I don’t have completion in my writing immediately, it loses its zest. I really start to hate it.
I would write a novel about my life – as Hemingway used to do – but the intimacy of that is too fragile for me. That’s not a place I want many people to traverse. I am not that transparent a person. I do not trust people enough to let them walk along my life with me.
This is the reason I have been known as a lone wolf for most of my life (even while in a relationship with others). I am guarded.
This obviously fails to apply in my current relationship. Which is this weird and fucked up and crazy (and amazing) experience in and of itself. A lone wolf who finds a pack mate needs to learn how to adapt. I am always learning. I dreamt of finding this; I don’t intend on fucking it up.
I hope to endlessly encourage independence, dream-following, and driven behaviour in those who surround me. I hope anyone who knows and loves me understands that I selflessly offer my existence as a way for them to be their very best selves. I do not want anything less for those most important to me in my life. I don’t ever want to be a road-block on a path to success, to someone living their best life. I want to be the sail that brings the boat closer to that shore, not the storm who stops the journey.
If you truly know me, you know that that’s all I want for you. I will never stand in your way of that. Even if it means you must let me go.
I am so in love.
That is the extent of this declaration.
It is nauseating how badly I want to build a life with this wild human being I call my ‘boyfriend’.
Claudia from 5 years ago would laugh at herself.
Oh, and wild is the best definition for my man. It’s like a mirror of myself. The universe is teaching me a lesson. “Want to see what it’s like to really love yourself? Here, you, in another body. Enjoy the experience!” What a riot!
My eternal conflict as a bibliophile is always as such: read every single book in my ‘to be read’ pile at the same time, finally read that book everyone has been talking about (but often the most talked about books are the most mundane to me which sounds so fucking pretentious but I find the loudest screams come on the most silent of whispers), re-read one of your many favourites, or just feel so overwhelmed that you don’t touch any of the books in the pile, at all, and stare at them with longing eyes, instead.
I don’t know where I currently stand.
How little value we humans place on truth, spending our time more thoroughly invested in obtaining wealth, obtaining women, obtaining fame, obtaining highs, etc etc. And yet truth is the factor that brings satisfaction for eternity because truth underlies all wisdom, all relationships, all long-standing success, all things. Why is truth so damn unimportant to human beings? People used to die for truth. What the hell happened?
Nietzsche would be appalled at this universe and the people in it. Just as I am.
Though Nietzsche would have a lot to say about a woman on a quest for truth, but that’s another story for another day.
There are behaviours that people reveal to those they grow close to as time presents itself, and many are simply behaviours I do not have the time to tolerate. The easiest way to watch me slowly drift out of your life is to show me those true and ugly colours of yourself. I don’t have time for ugliness when my life has been far too beautiful.
I have watched 30 years of my life go by, I will not waste 30 seconds more on people who do not deserve me or my time. Let that be a lesson to those in my life – I will vanish as quickly as I appeared if I need to.
They say it’s bravest to cut off a rotting limb, no matter the pain you will put yourself through to do it. I will cut every limb from my life if I have to. I do not have time to cajole rotting flesh. I love myself too much for that. I don’t have time to waste anymore. I will not let the rot reach my bloodstream.
If you read this and think you might be a rotting limb in someone’s life, heal yourself quickly if you wish to save your relationship with that person. Rot away if they are meaningless to you. If they value themselves, you’ll be cut out of their lives quick enough anyway.
I wish I could let go as quickly as I claim I do in my writing.
I am my own fool.
This was circled in one of my Nietzsche books that I found in storage:
“Whenever you reach a decision, close your ears to even the best objections: this is the sign if a strong character. Which means: an occasional will to stupidity.”
I seem to have lived by that rule.
Well, at least now I know why I am the way I am.
Since the love of my life arrives in three sleeps, I am finally making public a blog post I wrote about him five days after meeting him:
I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go back to Canada. I’ve found home in Paris. I’ve found my home in a set of brown eyes as deep as the Pacific ocean. I’ve found home in skin that, when pressed up against my own, floods me with warmth and comfort. I’ve found home in a soothing, sexy voice that never fails to get me thinking and exploring my own ideas, that has me blushing with endless compliments and words of affection. I’ve found my home when I run my fingers through his hair. I’ve found my home when I kiss his face and feel overwhelmed with emotion; emotions that scream, “this is it,” and, “better half,” and, “don’t let go.” I’ve found my home in his vulnerability, in his beautiful laugh that makes his eyes squint and his bright smile show. I’ve found my home in words like “mignon,” and “mon petite bebe”. I’ve found a home in a man named Jordan Alzraa, and my soul knew if from the moment I met him. It was the eyes. My eyes knew his eyes. Like the patterns in our irises found their alignment and passion ignited immediately. Like every angel in my life screamed, “THIS IS WHO WE HAVE BEEN GUIDING YOU TO!!” as soon as our cheeks touched in greeting.
And believe me, I am aware that this sounds insane. I am aware that people could read this or hear this and roll their eyes at the speed at which I am declaring my admiration for this person. But I have never spoken with greater certainty or clarity. I know in my heart that this man is my soul-mate; the person with which, as the Greek philosophers said, was separated from me in creation, tossed across the ocean and waiting for me to find him. And ask anyone who knows me – they will tell you I didn’t come here searching for anyone except myself. But somehow, the universe aligned and we arrived in one another’s lives, and it’s game over. It’s done. I have met my (beautiful) doom. And I accept my fate. Because if my fate allows me additional moments with this man, then I will take all I can get.
I have known him for five days and feel as though I’ve known him for a lifetime. I have discovered more about this man in five days than past partners have revealed to me in years. And there are no rose coloured glasses here; but everything from his past has brought him to me, here, in this moment, as he is. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Because this man, in this moment with me, is better than anything I could have ever hoped for in a partner.
He is beautiful, inside and out. His eyes are expressive and warm and loving and safe. I feel protected when wrapped up in his arms. It feels natural falling asleep next to him. I love the way he smells. I love that our mindsets about life and living line up, but we have different interests to share with one another. I love listening to him speak. I love when he speaks English with his gorgeous accent. I adore when he speaks French; he looks more confident and comfortable when speaking his native tongue. It brings a smile to my face. I also love his smile; it radiates. And I love how thoughtful and honest he is. I love his authenticity. I love that he is real with me and I love that he knows he can be real with me. I love when his fingers interlock with mine. I love our chemistry and comfort level. I love that our moments are always sprinkled with periods of intense discussion, confession, and giggling. I love that in such a short period of time, this man already inspires me to be the best, most authentic version of myself, and to continue driving myself towards a life well-lived. I love who I am when I am with him, and I love who I am when I am not; still independent, still free, still living my life as I need to live it. But now, like a river flows through a city, this new sense of drive flows through me, I am continuously moved by a sense of divine purpose, comfort, and joy when I think of him, of us.
I have read that you know it’s your soulmate when everything falls into place instantaneously, but you are also met with challenges by the universe, as though life is testing to see who will cave first and give up an opportunity at being with the person you’re meant to be with. And we will have our own: I am going back to Canada, he is going to South Africa. But this is just a blip in the big picture. I am frustrated but unconcerned. Because now I have felt what it means to find “The One” and I’m not willing to just toss it away or move onwards without him in my life. I simply can’t. I have tasted him and now I wish to be drunk on him for eternity. I no longer can imagine a life without him in it, a bed without him next to me, a hand intertwined with any other fingers, my lips against the lips of any other… I simply can’t.
Ask anyone who I was before all this and they will tell you who I was when I first dated someone; I still would talk about others, look at others, indulge the ideas of others. But no; I was exclusively his as soon as our eyes met over conversation. I am blinded by the sun that is he. No option exists but him. This is bliss, this is truth, this is real. I need nothing else in this life as much as I need him beside me. Journeying together, adventuring together, growing together, seeing success together, holding each other through failures, keeping one another endlessly warm. In every fantasy I have of my future, there he is now sprinkled. He exists, and to know he exists and I have had him as a part of my life, means I cannot experience my own existence in any other manner. It just won’t do.
He is a nebula bursting within me. An explosion of purpose that I never expected or imagined. He is someone I couldn’t have even invented in my own mind. He is the living example of who I want to grow old with. Our connection is indescribable and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. He is home. He is home. My home is when I am with him, and no other place will do, for he is home.
I always said I was excited about finding where to truly set roots down in my life because I am a lone wolf and a wanderer and an explorer and an endlessly curious dreamer. But now I know that the only roots I wish to bury deep are those that will be watered by his presence.
Don’t ask me how I know this after five days. But the universe has spoken, it has whispered to my heart, and I’m one to f-cking listen when she speaks.
my whole life got me ready for you
If you read this long, you deserve an award.
Happy New Year.