Monday, October 25, 2010

How Far Do We See?

Many of us are living a life of self-imposed confinement. We are engaged in an often meaningless routine that fills our days. We are doing the same things over and over finding comfort in boredom and predictability of yet another weekend, month, and year. We think we can expand the boundaries any time we want yet we are barely ever inclined to do so.

It always marvels me to discover that there’s more space for us in this world than we initially claim. It never occurred to me to join a local library – I thought I simply didn’t have time to read. But once I did, it’s amazing how much reading time can be squeezed into one day. So now I devour book after book discovering a parallel universe to my feelings, emotions, and dreams in every one of them. I used to watch whatever was on TV – annoying reality shows interrupted by even more annoying commercials. Then I signed up for Netflix so now I devote my time to watching quality movies that linger with me for days – and that’s the effect a real movie should have on us.

Breaking my weekend routine was a long overdue breakaway as well – I was getting really sick from this feeling of drowning in the household chores. Now we go somewhere every weekend – beach, park, movies. It was a struggle initially since I had to fight down the ever-present excuse that I just want to stay home. Now I anticipate every weekend, making plans, checking the weather. Last weekend we rented a boat on the lake in Central Park, something I’ve never done before even though I’ve lived in New York for 10 years. Why?

Why do keep denying ourselves little pleasures of life that are at hand’s reach? Why are we the ones who limit our experiences? We get really inventive with finding excuses (lack of money, time, mood, company, inspiration, etc.) instead of directing our inventive minds toward eliminating the limits, expanding our territory, establishing more presence in life than this shallow existence. Some people never see the trees, the sky – it’s enough for them to assume it’s all there: all they need to do is to lift up their head and see, which they forget to do day after day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Makes the Best of Memories

Sunday. Cozy evening. My son and I are both curled up on the couch reading our books. Well, reading his books, because I am in the middle of “Ghost Camp” from the Goosebumps series he so graciously let me borrow. Suddenly my son jump from the couch, performs a series of weird actions such as holding his breath, spinning, rubbing his tummy and yelling out “1,999”. I pick up his book, read the page it was left open on and sure enough come across a verse containing detailed instructions on how to get back to the past. And my almost-seven-year-old boy believes that after he performs all the crazy steps he will travel back in time. He, who just recently told me that dragons don’t exist. I play along. I say let’s do it over step-by-step… now, hold your breath till you turn blue, spin around fast… He complies with diligence and looks rather disappointed when he is still there in the middle of our living room, things unchanged, year 2010. “Mom, maybe it’s because I didn’t turn blue when holding my breath?”

I smile about it all morning today sitting at work. I am glad childhood found me again through my son. I am happy to retrieve long forgotten experiences and beliefs. Believing in miracles against all odds. I think last night for a brief magic moment I almost expected that the incantation will be followed by … something? Do we really want to be adults all the time? Or are there are occasional moments of doubt and hope that there’s some truth to the most absurd of phantasies? If something is so real in your mind, it doesn’t need to be real in the outside world, it isalready granted some sort of existence by the power of your imagination.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feel and Fly

My emotional side is not my enemy. It’s my partner who doesn’t always play along. I may choose to get angry with myself for overreacting or find ways to sooth my emotions so that I was still capable of acting. I am so incredulous at times at how nervous the simplest of events make me, disappointed that my reactions are beyond all reasonable limits. Quite annoyed, I throw myself at the rocks, make myself endure unnecessary challenges, trying to toughen up.

How can I succeed if I feel like an ostrich eager to bury my head in sand with each disturbing sign or experience? No matter what exquisite tricks my mind sends to my nerves to make them calm down, they are of little help. When I am nervous I am nervous. With all the embarrassing physical symptoms.

The thing is I have to live with it. I thought that avoidance may ease things for me, but boy was I wrong. It only made me more susceptible to even minor changes, which now leave me shaken and displaced for days.

We all operate in unique ways. Some things we never learn to fully control. Some of us might be too delicate for the harsh world of battles, but the same delicateness makes us feel at home in the world of emotions. We feel beyond the acceptable dimensions, see beyond the horizon, beyond tomorrow. We see between the lines, we absorb the invisible. We, people who feel too much.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Being overprotective of yourself can backfire one day. When you closely guard your sense of happiness and avoid doing what makes you unhappy, you create some artificial vacuum – a perfectly customized environment where you can relax and take all your masks off. The problem is you still have to get out of it to deal with real life issues. But being detached from reality for longer bouts of time makes it more and more difficult to re-enter the not-so-friendly environment called life and face the challenges it presents. You can’t wait to go back to your hiding.

They say all the happiness (or unhappiness) is in your head. Regardless of the external circumstances you can maintain your level of happiness with inner peace and calm. Do you trap or free yourself by practicing escapism? Maybe instead of denying the vast chunks that constitute the external life it’s better to learn to co-exist with all of it? No matter how hard you close your eyes and shut your ears there’s no way to keep the noise out completely –it will reach you and bother you, if you are not prepared. Isn’t it easier then to embrace it in some quantity?

Your head is in the clouds but your feet stay firmly on the ground – are both possible?
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