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The Poison of Expectations

It has been a while since I have posted and something minor has been happening that has encouraged me to post now.  More people have begun to follow me here, which I initially found strange.  This blog was truly only ever meant for myself, but it honors me that others care enough to follow and to read these posts.  In short, I would like to thank all the people who have been visiting this humble blog since the beginning and all the people who have just started to follow.

But onto the actual post now.  I was away from Los Angeles for six weeks.  This time was spent with my family and friends in Canada.  And let me just say…it was the most amazing summer of my life.  It was everything and so much more than I had hoped.  At the same time, it was very sobering.  The time I spent there brought up many issues I had yet to face.  

I questioned myself about who I want to be, how I want to live my life.  But for the first time, it was not the sort of questioning that leaves you in a horrible self-loathing pit of doubt and insecurity.  It was simply asking myself, “Who do I want to be?  How do I want to live?  Please answer honestly.”  And for the first time in my life, I actually did.  I’ve mentioned in a long-ago post that honesty is difficult for me.  This summer, I finally…FINALLY…understood why; it is because of expectations.

We all do it.  We place expectations on ourselves, mostly.  But we put expectations on other people, our lives, the situations we find ourselves in.  And we’re also weighed down by expectations from the “outside”.  We feel our parents, families, friends, peers, colleagues, the world expecting us to live a certain way.  In the end though, don’t those expectations simply come from ourselves too?  Because we have the ability to choose.

We are presented with the choice to cling to these expectations or to let ourselves free of them. 

I’ve lived most of my life in fear.  Fear of my parents, fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of loneliness.  When I realized that the source of this fear was the fact that I was clinging onto so many expectations, that I was afraid of my own life and my own self because I had inadvertently boxed myself into an idealistic picture that only exists in my head…all the fear vanished.  That’s not to say that I am no longer afraid of anything at all.  I still am human; that fear is something I will always carry.  But it no longer controls me because I understand now that I AM in complete control of my life.  And so are you.

Relationships & Romance

Romantic relationships never go out of style.  As two near-and-dear people of mine close in on each other’s emotional proximity, it’s difficult to NOT think about relationships at all.

We’re given a model for it straight from birth: our parents.  They teach us how to communicate, understand the world and people (and yes it’s a bad world with bad people), survive on your own and most importantly, to love.  My parents were not perfect, but I love them dearly and they taught me something very important: you cannot choose your family, but you can choose your spouse.

As a younger teenage, I never really understood what that mean.  You just meet someone and after some time, you fall in love and everything’s gravy right?  Well, WRONG.  We all know that’s not true.  We all know it’s a frightening disturbing and psychotically anarchic world out there.  Nobody REALLY knows what the rules are.  Think about it.  We’re all just hyper-intelligent monkeys running around trying to understand ourselves and the people around us.

In any case, my inclination with romantic relationship does lean to the cynical side.  Women, you know how it feels to be played by a guy.  Men, you know what it’s like when the girl you thought was the girl of your dreams breaks your heart.  Humanity, you’ve all had your hearts broken by someone at least once before in your past.  But that’s ok.

It’s okay because romantic relationships are much too idealized, in my opinion.  People come and go into our lives constantly.  It’s never forever.  And if it is, well there was no way anybody could have predicted it, so it’s beautiful when it happens.

Humanity, please love yourself.  Love those around you, even if you’re afraid of rejection.  Love yourself so that others may learn to love themselves too.  There is too much hate, ugliness and evil in this world as it is.  This world needs more love and that starts with you.

Music & Mortality

Music is such a fascinating art form.  Unlike other arts (cinema, sculpture, painting, literature, etc.), music forever remains in the ethereal realm that art originates from.  The other arts all take on some sort of physical manifestation.  Music is unique in that it does not.  Though one could make the argument it DOES take on a physical form in the shape of CDs, disks, sound files.  But even then, the CD itself is not the center piece.  It is not the music one is meant to experience.

In any case, this allows music to be a constant reminder of mortality.  Music is a temporal art, which only adds to my argument that it never achieves a physical state.  It is an art rooted in time: the arrangement of notes, constancy of rhythm, layers fading in and out throughout a song.  A song lasts three minutes and every single note is arranged temporally to ensure it achieves a psychological and emotional effect.

In addition, there is the culture of music.  I’ve found that musicians tend to be people who live quite in the moment.  It makes sense why music attracts such personalities.  Every time a musician performs a song, it is different.  His/her mood is different.  The audience, the stage, the energy.  It is so spontaneous and fleeting that the musician has no choice but to revel in it before it’s too late.

And for that reason, music makes mortality all too real.  For as long as a song plays, the listener is in sync with it.  The listener allows the song to take them on a ride, a journey through time to feel something, anything for just a moment.

Then it’s over.

The moment dies, just as we all will.  But as long as the song plays, we can enjoy the sounds.  Pure vitality and spontaneity for what else is life?

The Difficulty of Existence

Someone told me recently, “Sonia, you breathe like simply existing is the most difficult thing in the world.”  It made me stop and think for a moment.  My reply was, “It is.”  But then it led me to ponder why.  Where does this come from?? — this feeling that existence is difficult and treacherous.  I feel danger constantly pulling at my hair, yet excitement and adrenaline rushes are my coping mechanisms.

I realized that a significant factor is creativity.  Creative people straddle the line between reality and imagination.  It’s not a place that we “go to” once in a while or when we’re working on a project.  No, creative people EXIST on that line.  And it is exhausting.  We want to free ourselves from the constraints of so-called reality yet we have to pull ourselves back into reality and maintain connection with it.

I think that’s why many artists isolate themselves or are generally considered to be part on the “fringes of society”.  The farther away they are from reality, the more they can exist on the other side of that line.

And depending on the artist and what sort of art they produce, they will experience this schism differently.  Being a writer, but also being a fiercely independent person to begin with secludes me from other people at times.  It’s easy to isolate myself from the world for several days at a time and then realize that I should probably hang out with people and engage in human contact.

But briefly, writers have to exist as other people in their minds.  We take on our characters, try to delve into their psyches, shatter it and then put it all back together.  In doing so, we inadvertently end up doing the same thing to our own minds.  We break and then we put ourselves back together.  It’s a strange way of living because writers essentially live out a hundred lives.  One life is hard enough to live; imagine living out a hundred lives. 

For the creative, existence is difficult because we understand the cycle of birth, life and death all too intimately and we are forever spinning on it.

Stories, Moments

Stories are found in between moments.  Moments are arbitrary.  They pass too quickly and only felt in their wake.  The realization of a moment’s significance occurs a second too late; the moment has gone. But a story…that takes place between these moments.  A story is the flux and flow of a psyche, constantly shifting with precious few moments of clarity.

The tragedy and beauty of humanity is the impermanence of it all. We all just become stories to each other.  All the faces, the voices, the places.  They become mere ghosts, veiled and shrouded by memory like foggy mirrors.  Reflections of our true selves that can never be clearly seen.  It’s terrifying.  We long for permanence, a lasting connection with  others, a single individual, with ourselves.

Yet everything, including (especially) ourselves, is doomed.  Uncertainty defines rather than confines.  Be anyone, be everyone.  Know nothing and know everything.  Keep in mind everything will be gone so enjoy it now.  You are beautiful and perfect simply because you’re here now.  As much as we want to hold onto each other, the reason we love each other is because we’re aware of our ends.  

This is also why stories begin and end.  They’re the progression from who you were to who you are to who you will be.  

Three Seconds

To be honest, I don’t have anything profound to say in this post.  I just want to type and type and type to fill this space with words.  It’s fulfilling in many ways just to see the black letters pop up and string across the screen.

I guess it’s my personal way of trying to leave a mark on this world.  My version of climbing up to a rooftop, looking out at the city lights and screaming, “I’M HERE, MOTHERFUCKERS!” underneath those faraway stars that could not give a damn about us tiny humans.  

This is just random rambling now.  I used to be incredibly nihilistic.  I truly believed that there was no meaning to life.  Now, it’s difficult for me to talk to people who think that way.  Perhaps there is no definitive meaning to life.  There probably isn’t.  But why does that even matter?  We’re here.  This is happening right NOW.  And it’s so precious.  I remember in undergrad, my friends and I used to have philosophical discussions about existence and our own selves.  We had this one discussion about how the present moment only lasts three seconds.  In three seconds, the present will become the past.  In three seconds, the future is going to become the present.  

Isn’t that scary?  In essence, you only exist for three seconds at a time.  The version of you three seconds ago no longer exists.  And in three seconds, you’re going to be a new version of yourself.  We’re so transient.  We’re just passing through.  We’re ghosts drifting through space and time, trying desperately to connect with ourselves and with other people.  And all we have is three seconds.

The Seven Dark Character Flaws

As a writer, I’m constantly psychoanalyzing myself.  It’s a bizarre feeling sometimes.  Freud had to do the same since there were no psychoanalysts before him.  The idea of looking at yourself is bizarre because like your reflection, you’re never quite sure if what you’re seeing is truth or the mirror opposite of it.  What is the true image? Is there any way to tell?

Something about myself has become more and more clearer.  The funny thing is that my mother has always told me this about myself.  But for some reason, it never really sunk in until now.  I’m an extremely impatient person.  Waiting for the subway? Hate it. Walking an extra block to get somewhere? Can’t stand it.  Waiting for someone to call or email me back? I’ll be constantly checking my phone.

In an attempt to understand the root of this impatience, I Googled “impatience” and discovered the seven dark character flaws (similar to the seven deadly sins).  But these are character traits, not necessarily the dark notions and deeds of humanity.  Upon reading about these character traits, I realized that I possess all seven, but in varying degrees and shades.  It is my belief that everyone possesses all of these traits in different degrees. But I also believe that every person carries a dominating dark character trait: one overpowering trait that throws the rest into shadow the majority of the time.

Regardless of which of the qualities is the strongest, the reason these qualities exist is because they are our methods of attaining control.  Ultimately, it boils down to a fear of losing control of your Self.  For example, my impatience is due to the fact that I do not like to be kept waiting.  However, people are people.  They have their own priorities and worries.  What is important to me at the moment is not important to another at the same moment.  I fear losing control of my priority.  Hence, I become impatient with people when they are not prioritizing in the same way I am.

This selfishness is inherent in people, I think.  How can it not be?  We cannot read minds nor can two atoms exist in the same space at the same time.  The paradoxical thing is that we always succumb to this fear of no control.  In an attempt to maintain control, we lose ourselves.  Therefore, I think it is incredibly vital that in these moments, we dissociate ourselves and remind ourselves in any possible: “There is a choice here and I alone can make it.”

Questions of Morality

Finally.  The weekend.  A day to myself.  I love writing, but I’m beginning to realize that one cannot entrench oneself too deeply into an activity for too long.  Energy is infinite, but the energy one possesses at any given point in time is finite.  Your energy needs to be replenished after being depleted.  There is nothing wrong with that.

Working with a director and producer has made me realize how important it is to be emotionally stable.  It’s also forcing me to confront many of my own issues as a person.  The two weeks (two whole freaking weeks!) in particular have pushed me into moral and ethical crises.  It’s bizarre when you begin to question whether or not you’re a good person; whether or not you made the right choice; whether or not you’re actually a selfish person deep down and you don’t ACTUALLY give a shit about other people.

I know I am not the sole individual to have gone through these crises.  This isn’t even an existential one.  This is specifically about confronting your morality, your ethics: Am I good a person? Do I really care about my loved ones or do I just care about myself?  

It doesn’t matter what race, occupation, background, lifestyle you stem from.  All humans at one point have asked themselves these questions.  They’re frightening.  The moment they’re even asked or thought about, the fear seeps in.  Then the implications of the possibilities overwhelm you.

However, let me just say this.  This is not an answer to any of those questions. But, it can be incredibly helpful to keep in mind that, in the very end, you are fine the way you are.  For some reason, the psychological design of humanity is so that this statement is the most difficult for people to accept. 

The choices you make at a specific given moment are only reflective of the person you are AT THAT MOMENT.  And at that moment, you may not be the absolute best version of yourself.  You must love yourself when you are unlovable. This is so easy to forget but so essential to remember. 

Lost & Lonely

Why did I fall in love with you like that?

The strange thing is, you’re already fading away like a ghostly memory. I’m trying to hold onto your face, but you’re disappearing.  I wish I had said something to you. Given each other our names so you would remain solid.  You’re vanishing into wisps of smoke, escaping through my fingers. All I’m going to be left are, “What if’s” and “could have been’s”.

At the same time, I have to admit that part of me still holds hope. It is the romantic within me.  Wherever you are, I need…I want to know: are you thinking of me too?  God, why do I do this to myself?  I’ve always wallowed in my loneliness.  It’s not difficult to see I’m in love with my own sadness.  We don’t even know each other, but I desperately want to be with you.  In my mind, we’re lovers lost in the infinity of each other’s minds.  

It’s scaring me how difficult it is to let you go even though you’re a stranger. You’re just an ethereal idea, not a person.  That makes me wonder: who am I to you?  Was I just some girl at the bar who you happened to appreciate in the moment?  Am I fading away from your memory like a dark pencil smudge on white paper?

I think I’ll always unconsciously search for you in the streets of this organism of a city.  When wandering through Hollywood at 2 in the morning, lost in my own thoughts and the sea of people, I’ll look for the expression of recognition.  ”You.  I was hoping to run into you again.”  What I wouldn’t give to hear those words from you.  

Missed Connection

I’m sorry I didn’t have the guts to talk to you last night.  You are gorgeous and gorgeous people are a little intimidating.  I never am sure if my words will be beautiful too.  My instinct is to let my words conceal my mind rather than reveal.  I’m trying to break out of this habit.

I hope we get to see each other again.  I don’t know who you are but I’d like to get to know you.  Those moments our eyes were on each other were like nothing I’ve experienced before.  Is this how it all starts? A few minutes of gazing at each other, two total strangers whose lives were on completely different paths, suddenly intersecting through the eyes on a random Saturday night?

Maybe.  Maybe not.  I want to find out.  Do you? Why do I feel the need to find you again?  You’re not the first or the last cute guy I’ll see at a bar.  But it was as though your energy wanted to sync with mine.  At least at that moment.

Who are you?

Where are you?

Do you want to find each other again?

Please give me a sign.  Something that lets me know you want to know who I am too.