Soul Searching Encounter

Hello people of the internet. So, I know it’s been a while since my last update, mainly because I’m a major procrastinator. In this post, I’m going to do something a little bit different. In my Writer’s Craft class, we have this exercise where we get a couple minutes of free writing in which my teacher gives us a topic and we write whatever comes to mind. Unfiltered thoughts and expression. I’d like to share with you my latest one which turned out a lot better than I expected. It was one of those bursts of inspiration that couldn’t stop flowing. So here it is- keep in mind this is unedited and uncensored (there is no inappropriateness, just my thoughts are kind of all over the place)

The topic was “A chance encounter which changes a person’s life”

Have you ever walked in a crowd and still felt so alone? Even when you’re with your friends, you sometimes feel isolated. Have you ever considered though, “maybe it’s my own fault? Maybe the only reason I feel lonely is because I’m not opening up to people”
Opening up to people is hard though, when you know them- when you value their friendship. Maybe they will think you’re weird, maybe you’ll lose that relationship. Sometimes, the best way to open up and get all that’s bothering you off your chest is by talking about it to a stranger. With this, you have nothing to lose, so why not?

So you go, into the world looking for a onetime confidante. A friendship only meant to last a moment. You find yourself in a park on the other side of town; one you have never visited. There is a solitary bench under an oak tree already changing colours for fall. You sit.

Another person sits next to you. You don’t look up to see who it is. You don’t even know if it is a man or woman. You start to speak. “Can I talk to you” you say, “just about what’s going on with me right now?”

The person doesn’t speak, but makes no move so you take that as an approval.

You begin to tell your story. Where you were born, your family-whom you feel are weird, your beliefs –that you’re unsure of, your plans for the future-which scare you. You confide with this stranger about your problems and your fears, your dreams and your interest, even your secrets that only you know. You even tell them what you had for breakfast this morning.

You tell them the story of you.

All through it, not a word is spoken by this unknown individual. No reaction is made, whether positive or negative. They simply listen. They simply accept.

You, comfortable in this atmosphere of accepting facts as they are, have a chance to stop on contemplate the last few moments. You’ve never had a chance to really lay yourself right out there. By telling this stranger about you, you’ve also explained part of you to yourself. For the first time, you feel like you can understand yourself just a little bit more.

You inhale, taking a deep breath as your eyes close instinctively. You feel a strange sense of peace, as if a burden has been lifted off you. You realize one has, for the first time, you were completely honest with yourself. 

You exhale.

You tell the stranger thank you. You and the hidden person get up and head in opposite directions. Your paths never intertwine again.

You are content with this fact.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So that’s it. I honestly don’t know what to make about this journal yet for some weird reason, I felt it was something worth sharing.

Song of the Post: Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
Quote of the Post: “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Quantity over Quality

The song “Wrecking ball” is something everyone’s taking about. Scratch that, the video is what everyone’s talking about. Well, I guess, any publicity is good publicity. Miley must be ecstatic that her video now has the most views on YouTube in a 24hr period.

How do I feel about the video? I’m disappointed with it, but not for the reason you may think. I get what the video is supposed to be, I really do. The literal portrayal of the wrecking ball, the symbol of the hammer as someone she loves but destroys her, her nudity to represent vulnerability. All of that, I understand.

It’s supposed to be artistic and I would have actually enjoyed… if it had been done right. The song was instead over sexualized in all the wrong ways (not to say that there is a “right” way to over sexualize). As I watched and analyzed the video, it kinda broke my heart a little. The parts that I think the video was well done were the headshots of Miley where you really see the emotion on her face and also towards the end when she’s like lying on the ground or against the wall broken.

However, the director had to go and spoil the complete core of the song by making it anything but family friendly. Parts such as ones when she’s on the wrecking ball, or when she was rolling on the ground in her underwear (and let us not forget the innaproriate interactions with the hammer) were unnessesary. Actually, I should rephrase that, they would have been appropriate and the symbolism would have shined through, but it didn’t. Why? Becauese the her face and body language is portrayed as seductive not as a person singing about being so completely in love with someone that they have the power to wreck you world.

What makes me even more sad is that it actually is a good song. The emotions of it are powerful and relatable but the video takes that away from it. The average person who listens to the song just thinks of Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball not  Miley Cyrus singing about something obviously personal to herself. It’s sad that as a musician, Miley would do her heart a  disadvantaged like that, and let’s not lie, the VMA performance didn’t help it credibility. Now, no one will take her and her music seriously; instead, it will be reduced to memes on the internet

That’s the problem with Hollywood. It’s so preoccupied with ratings, views, and demographics, it destroys art. It’s quantity over quality with it. It is this paradigm that destroyed art. And now hip hop is reduced to cheap gangsta rap lyrics. Now we have no more  original movies, now all sitcoms are just the same jokes recycled and all your favourite T.V. shows are cancelled after the  first season.

That is why art is dead

Song of the post: “Nuisance” by John Reuben and Matt Thiessan
Quote of the post: Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. -Steve Jobs  

The Other Kind of Bad Person

I think I truly have lost hope for humanity. 

Yesterday was a perfect example of this. There’s this girl in my school, she a sweet girl but admittedly, a little (ok, quite) weird and can get pretty annoying at times. She always comes up to me and says “hi, how are you” and I usually just say “hi” back, because, that’s what you do- You are nice to people, even when they make you uncomfortable. Continuing with the story of yesterday, she came up to me as I was getting stuff out of my locker and greeted me. We talked for a bit then  I started to walk off while she went and said hi to another boy who was passing us. She tapped his shoulder to gain his attention and how did he react? He exclaimed, “Ew, get away from me,” and ran off. The girl, she maintained her smile and walked away before I could do anything. I can honestly say I admire her though, for keeping her chin up despite everything. The boy? He walked off to his friend and told her what had happened. His exact words were “(girl’s name) just touched me.” I expected the friend to be like, “So, what’s the big deal?” or something along those lines, but she replied, “That’s disgusting, you should put hand sanitizer on that or something.” I was disgusted at their behavior. Yes, I acknowledge the girl makes many people uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make her any less of a human. She is a human being! 

I was so outraged then I realized- I did nothing about it. All I did was tell my friends what happened and we all gasped at the inhumane actions of the people but what good is that? It’s like that scene in Mean Girls when Janis says  “There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.”Well, she right (technically the screenwriter who wrote Mean Girls is right but you know what I mean). What good is complaining about how awful our world, our society, and do nothing about it. I tried making excuses for myself to why I didn’t do anything like “She had already left” “I don’t even know those kids” “I had to go, my friend’s were waiting for me” but they are just that, excuses, each one more stupid than the rest. I’ve realized, I was no better than they were.

We all watched those cheesy anti-bulling videos that were probably done in the eighties where there’s the victim, the bully and the bystander. They are usually so boring and terribly done that we all tune it out, but there is some truth to it. I’ve come to believe that the person who holds the most power in these scenarios is the bystander. It’s not the victim, for obvious reasons, and while it may seem like it’s the bully, it’s not. Chances are, the bully’s just another child who’s hurting. The bystander is the one who can turn the situation in two directions, do nothing and let the cycle continue or try and change things. Even if you don’t change the bully’s mind, by simply standing up for them, you’ve already impacted the victim’s life.

I didn’t intend for this post to be an anti-bullying rant. Actually, I was planning for it to be a whole thing about pop culture and why stupid thing get popular, etc. Somehow this happened instead and I think that it did for a reason. Maybe you’re reading this and tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to be the bystander and make a difference (ok, I’m sorry for this cliché). As for me? I’m gonna have a talk with a certain two people in my school tomorrow, lucky for me, their locker’s are near mine. 😉 

Song of the Post: Hero by Superchick
Quote[s] of the Post: (all by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”


 “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Introduction to Confusion

As a teenager living in a post modern society, one thing you are never lacking in is opinions. Everybody is ready to give you their view and ‘knowledge’ on that topic that they’ve only read a tweet about and obviously are now experts on. As I start my last year of high school, this misguided advice has only grown exponentially which has done everything but help me. I, like many seniors, have been struggling with anxiety over my future this last few weeks and I’ve only been back in school for two! This uneasiness and confusion is only fueled by the constant thoughts of the adults with good intentions but cliche and unhelpful advice. How have I been coping with this constant state of internal turmoil? By taking it one day at a time-distracting myself with everyday tasks and chores- which incidentally, is yet another cliche. A cliche that works so I think it should, at least, be given some credit.
On the topic of distractions, a subject that has been on captivating my mind recently is love. I attend a public Catholic high school in Ontario (Which is basically public school with a mandatory religion class each year). In my religion class, we’ve been studying ethics and, more specifically, love and it’s relation to us as human beings. Love has always been something that has bothered me; mostly because of its inaccurate and skewed portrayal in media and our society in general. Love is that gooey feeling you feel for that cute guy you’ve known for a month according to most romantic comedies. You can’t help it, it just happens. 
It’s not. 
First of all, let me establish that the previous definition of love is in fact one of infatuation or -dare I say- simply lust. Love is something so much more. Love is not just a emotion because emotions are just chemicals in our brain reacting in different ways-purely physical. Love involves both the human body and spirit. It is a choice. A choice to put your own feelings, comforts, and self behind someone else (be that a significant other, child, or friend). The complete surrendering of self. That is why the whole ‘love at first sight’ is a load of baloney. Yes, I acknowledge those couples who say they just ‘knew’ when they first met but from a more objective standpoint, I believe that sure, they might have liked each other (infatuation) at first sight but love… that grew in later. The best words I can use to summarize this is a quote from Deus Caritas Est by Pope Benedict XVI which says :

“Love is indeed ‘ecstasy’, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation self-giving…”

Love is selfless, so selfless in fact that true love only wishes for the happiness of the other, even when that love is not reciprocated. I believe this is one of the reasons for the increase in divorces in the last couple of decades. People are so consumed with the gooey feeling stage of a relationship, they don’t ever develop the true selfless love stage and when things take a turn for the worse, they are ill-equipped to cope. This is also why love is one of the most overused and misused words of today. This is also why there are so many Taylor Swift songs (sorry, I had to).  I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking I’m just a kid (17 years old if you were wondering) what do I know about love. I will not claim to be an expert or even to have experienced it (maybe once I came close but that’s a story for another day). However, don’t they say truth comes ‘from the mouths of babes’ or something along those lines. All I ask is that you take what I’ve written into consideration.

This post took a more philosophical turn than I expected and I should mention that not every post will be like this. I plan for this blog to be almost a journal of my thoughts and current state of mind which sometimes may be something  light or something with more substance. 
That is all for now, thank you for reading
Natalie 
Song of the Post: Man Who Won’t Be Moved by The Script
Quote of the Post: (Another one from Deus Caritas Est) “It is part of love’s growth towards higher levels and inward purification that it now seeks to become definitive, and it does so in a twofold sense: both in the sense of exclusivity… and in the sense of being ‘forever'”