Christmas from the perspective of a “loner”

Something I wrote a couple of year ago, but is just as relevant this December.

Morning Hours

For some reason or the other, some of us will spend Christmas alone – maybe for the first time, maybe not. I noticed that many people simply feel very sorry for themselves when they have nobody to spend Christmas with. And some even pretend to have nobody just because they do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. If you have your family or friends around you do NOT fall into the group of having “nobody”. This post is for and about people who will spend the Christmas holidays on their own, i.e. in the company of nobody else.

Last year, I chose to spend Christmas up on my favourite mountain in New Zealand (where I used to live). On my own. The reason for it was that I was sick of people, Christmas, and the expectations that came with it. It is a long story, I will not delve into…

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How medications can change your attitude towards life

I have not written anything on WordPress since January. While I was active on Blogger for a bit longer, I also stopped writing there in the last few months. From one week to the other, my motivation was simply gone – and I should have been concerned about this because I love writing so much, but I was not. I simply did not care. There was a slight sense of being disappointed and sad, however, strong emotions were not present in my life. The only times when I truly felt something was either when I was annoyed with other people, or when I was with the chickens (which made me reasonably happy).

I attributed my “I care about nothing” attitude towards the problems that I had to deal with. I thought that this attitude was a protection against all the pain that these problems should come with. I told myself that I had just become so used to all the pain that I cannot feel it any longer. I was just wondering why I also did not feel much else. Most of the time, I just wanted the day to be over, to go to bed, and sleep. Even in the middle of the day, I just wanted to sleep.

Today, I woke up with a headache, but also with the desire to start blogging again. I haven’t written much in general in the last few months. My idea of finishing my novel this year completely was put on hold – I basically did not have the will nor the energy to even think about the plot. I felt like an absolute failure – and my issues in life didn’t make me feel much better either.

So what happened that made me come back to writing? Nothing changed in my life. The problems are there. I still feel like a failure. But I also feel pain, I feel joy, I feel the sadness, but also the happiness. And for the first time in months, watching something on my computer actually made me feel things instead of just wasting away my time, and filling the void. A few months ago (about half a year I would guess), I started taking the contraceptive pill. Not because I was in a relationship, but because I hoped I would be soon, and because the pill often helps you with getting clearer skin. My skin became clearer, and my periods a lot lighter – but the same happened to my emotions. They became a lot lighter, almost to the point where they were almost not there. It was like my soul was constantly wrapped in some sort of cloud that did not allow anything to come through.

I did not connect my disconnection with the pills I was taking. A month ago, I stopped taking them because I was running out, and I did not want to spend the money on something that I did not need. Apparently, it took the ingredients of the drug a while to completely get out of my system, but week after week after I stopped taking the pills, I gradually felt my energy coming back. I was having thoughts about writing. I started remembering my dreams at night again, and started writing them down into my dream book, just like in the past. I am also more interested in my hobbies again. And when I want to sleep during the day, it’s not because I just don’t care and want the time to pass, but it’s because I need it.

And here I am, writing again. I also feel the sadness again, but also the happiness about my hobbies, about my dreams, and other things. It is quite scary to have made the experience that a drug can change your life so much. This makes all the novels about mind control through drugs so much more believable. We could indeed all turn into soulless, emotionless puppets.

Have you ever made negative experiences with drugs?

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Moving to Google for a while

Seeing that my WordPress blog really has problems (I can put complete sentences from my blog into Google, and still cannot find it via Google even though I have the indexing option turned on for the blog), I decided to write on my blogspot blog for now. I will keep you updated on new posts here, my most recent one:

http://spiritoftheriver.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/being-like-xena-part-2.html

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Respecting yourself – don’t betray your own ideals for others

Respect is one of the very important ingredients you need to create the “cake” called happiness. However,do not make the mistake to think that it is other people who need to add THEIR respect to YOUR cake. You are the baker, you are responsible for what that cake looks like.

When I was younger (as in a kid and teenager) I often just adjusted my own needs to what other people wanted. I thought this way I would become more popular, more loved, more respected, and that people then would want to spend more time with me. I only achieved that I was “tolerated” (I now also know I was looking for the attention of the wrong people, but that is a story for another time, maybe). I also achieved that I was very unhappy with myself because I often put my own well-being, my own needs, my own values into a cupboard. I hid my passions, my true opinions, and in return did not really get along with myself very well. I was disrespecting myself – just because I wanted other people to like me. It took me a while to learn that this is not how it works.

How can you expect other people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself first?

I learned that you need to respect yourself first. After all, if other people feel that you don’t have any respect for yourself, why should they respect you in return? If you feel unhappy in your skin, if you don’t get along with yourself, if you don’t like yourself – why should others? What reason would they have to like the true you if you are hiding your true self behind high, solid fortress walls?

Don’t get me wrong: There will always be people who won’t like you. There will always be people who in general do not show much respect towards anybody. There will always be people with whom you won’t get along. But those are the people you should not waste your energy on. Don’t try to people please them by bending backwards and forwards to make them believe you agree with them. Don’t pretend you like something that you truly couldn’t care about less, or even have a real aversion against it.

Never betray your own ideals to make someone like you

I admit, in the past I was guilty of this. I thought something along the lines of “If I said something really witty, that person will surely like me.” or “If I tell them that I agree with that, then I will avoid an argument and they’ll accept me as part of their group.” I also spent more time in situations that I would simply walk away from these days. I would play down my own beliefs if my words caused some negativity in others. I would try to justify my ideas b playing them down. This was disrespectful towards myself, towards the things I like, and towards the people I loved (even though those people were “only” writers, actors or singers). Don’t do that. If people cannot accept what you believe and love, then they are not suitable for your life. You need to have enough respect for yourself to walk away from situations and people that make you feel uncomfortable and under pressure to turn into an actor or actress. In the long run, those people will only make you feel used and unloved. Having to hide behind a mask is never a good thing for your long-term happiness. And while people might not know that you are not being yourself, they will subconsciously feel that there is something not quite right – which will be a reason for them to respect you even less than they might already do.

Integrity and honesty are very important when you want to find the right kind of friends for yourself.

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Don’t try to be who you are not

Being not “good” enough

We all want to have friends, we all want to be accepted by others. Unfortunately, some people will not like who you truly are, and you know it. Sometimes we meet people we think we like, maybe because they look a certain way, maybe because they are part of a certain group, maybe because they have a certain position we admire, etc. But when we realize that who we are might not be enough for them to be interested in us, we often try to be someone else. What I learned through experience is this: If you aren’t “good” enough for them, then they are also most likely not good for you in the long run. They will drain your energy, they will always make you feel under pressure, and in the end, you won’t even like yourself any more.

Changing your character for others is not a good idea

You are who you are – and that is absolutely okay. Everyone changes over time, everyone develops new skills, new likes, new dislikes, and everyone becomes a little bit wiser when they get older. Some more, some less. I know how easy it is to feel like other people will not like you for who you are, and how easy it is to believe they will judge you negatively for your ideas and character traits. And I will not lie to you: there will be many people who won’t like you during your life. That is not a problem though: They most likely will not play an important role in your life unless you let them. The one person you will always have in your life is YOURSELF. That is the person you have to live with, and that is the person you need to love and get along with 24/7 – for the rest of your life. If you let other people change who you are, if you let them become an actor, then how happy will you be in your own skin? How much will you then still like yourself? You’ll have to live with the knowledge that you are betraying yourself – and the people who do not like you for who you are are simply not worth it. They might seem like they are great people in your eyes, but if you have to turn into an actor to be liked by them, then they are not good people to have in your life.

Nobody wants to be lonely – being alone though is a GOOD thing

It is okay to spend time on your own. It even is GOOD for you if you have time to spend on your own. Use that time to read, to play, to be creative, to do something you really enjoy doing. Meditate, improve your skills, relax – just do something that has a positive effect on your life. You don’t need others to improve yourself and your life – and I learned that people respect you a lot more when they know that you don’t need others all the time, and that you also work towards certain goals on your own. Having a goal, working towards it, and reaching it on your own is also a great confidence booster. I’ll write something about setting goals the right way (so you can reach them, too, and continue being motivated) in a while, too.

The right people might not turn up as quickly as you would like them to

I will not lie to you about this: it is very possible that it takes a while for the right kind of friend to turn up in your life. You might meet them when you join groups that share your interest, or you might meet them out of the blue when you are in a book store, paying for the newest release of your favourite author. Of course, when a person that shares some of your passions turns up, you will get excited, and you hope that you can spend more time with them. But then again: do not make the mistake of becoming a people pleaser. If you find they have a different opinion about something than you, don’t just change your own opinion and agree with them. State your point of view (in a friendly manner though), and see where the discussion goes. The right people will accept that people have different opinions, and discussions can be very fruitful experiences if it all stays respectful.

The fear of rejection

I know the fear of rejection very well. Please, don’t believe that I just go through life with a “I don’t give a **** what people think”. I do care, and recently I have met a few people that I think are fantastic. Every time I say something to them that might be controversial, and that might not be a popular opinion, I am worried about them turning away (because I do not know them well enough yet). Two of those people I just liked immediately, and I decided to trust my first impression this time (though one of them I almost did not talk to). The time when I revealed something very important to me, came soon enough (with both people it was during the second meeting). I was worried I’d be branded as odd, as someone they would not want to see again. But when BOTH of them said they share the same attitude, I felt incredibly relieved. I know this fear every single time I talk to someone about something that is very important to me (unless it’s a person I don’t care about much) – but I have also learned that it is better to face that fear than to just hide yourself behind a mask and be unhappy about not being able to tell the truth. I have learned it is a lot better to be with people who accept your truths than people who like you for your lies.

Confidence comes in different forms

I am not perfect, and I know it. I still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with other people. People who know me personally often think that I am a very confident person. After all, I have no problems with speaking in public, with being a leader of a group, and even holding presentations in front of “important” people is not a problem for me. I used to teach for one semester as part of my teacher training, and I enjoyed it. Nobody would ever have suspected I was a, introverted person with a mild case of social anxiety. But those kind of situations were different: I was talking about things other than myself. I was talking about topics I knew a lot about, and about topics I was passionate about. It was not about making friends. I am great with speeches, I am good with words. I can be quite entertaining, even inspiring, I’ve been told.

This all changes when it’s about personal interactions. I still have a long way to go there – but I know that I need to be myself. Because only if you let people see who you are, only then will you be able to find someone who will want to support you with your real goals, with your dreams – all the other people will just support your fake mask, and will turn their back on your as soon as they realize your true self is someone completely different. Spare yourself this pain, and be open to finding the right people. They might be just as relieved as you are when they find someone who shares their ideals and ideas. It is a very nice thing to tell someone something important about yourself, and then hear the words: “Yes, I think so, too.”

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WordPress ineffective?

I was just comparing the stats for my blog here on WordPress, and my other blog on blogger. The other one I have not updated in ages, yet I still get a regular stream of visitors – usually around 200 a week. Here on WordPress my blog received 240 visitors in a whole year even though I do share my posts on Facebook and Twitter (as if my friends would read this – but hey, you can always try). My main source of the few visits I get seems to be the WordPress site itself by people who use tags to search for blogs. And sometimes some of the people who “follow” my blog might read my posts – often this is not the case though. Sometimes I think people just randomly follow others with a click to encourage them to have a look at their blog in return. I don’t know.

As I am thinking about becoming more active with blogging once more, I am wondering about whether there is a point in keeping this blog. I also tried to copy exact phrases from my posts into Google to see whether my blog turns up. But no, not even with exact phrases! And I know that my settings are on “allow robots” – so I do not know why my blog does not show up on Google at all.

If I returned to blogger though, I would have to re-do my other blog because I don’t like the current look of it. Yet it would make sense: there is more traffic, and more potential readers. And the more people come and visit you, the more likely it is that you will receive some feedback. And feedback is something I would love in 2015 – I know that for many topics I will not be able to ask anyone I know, they simply do not care, so it would be nice to be able to find some readers with shared interests.

What is your experience? Do you get many visitors on WordPress, or have you made a similar experience when you compared two different blogs of yours on two different providers?

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 240 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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