Tag Archives: writing

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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Filed under About writing, General

Dreams, no Facebook, and watching birds

Dreams and dream journals

During the last few days, I noticed that I have some more vivid dreams again – and I am tempted to start a dream journal again. It’s one of those days I wished I never burnt or otherwise destroyed my old diaries and dream journals – so many ideas have been lost. I wonder whether I would do the same thing again in the future if I now started with a new dream journal.

When I wake up from nice dreams, I always wish I would not have to return to the real world – but there’s no way around it. However, how do we know whether our living life isn’t just another type of dream, and our dreams are our reality? But how could it be that I have such an exciting life with proper friends in the dream world, and the “real” world looks so bleak?

Do you ever write down your dreams? Do you see any patterns? Which of your dreams did you like best?

The no Facebook experiment day 1

I haven’t posted anything on Facebook for one and a half days now. Sometimes I think about what I would post. I have a thought and think “Oh, I have to put that on Facebook later.” Then I catch myself and remind myself that I am not posting on Facebook at all – until someone notices. In the case nobody notices, then that also tells me quite a lot about how much people care about keeping in touch with me. How much Facebook is really worth. Whether it’s more than just “liking” somebody’s post. It’s not much of a surprise that no one hasn’t noticed anything yet. It has only been around 36 hours. Let’s see how the next few days will go.

Watching birds – and what other people may think

I was visiting a little town today (it is a day off), and as some of you might remember I love birds very much. When I walked along a river and heard the familiar sound of Jackdaw’s singing and squeaking, I had to scout the area for where they are. I found a group of trees nestled along the river, and they were full of Jackdaws, including young ones that have only just recently left their nests. It was a fantastic sight – though it was a bit of an odd place to stand and watch birds. People who walked past on the normal path probably wondered why someone would stand there for minute after minute, just watching birds – birds that other people just ignore, or even dislike. In the past, I would have cared about other people’s opinion a lot more. I might simply have walked on, wishing there was a peaceful spot to watch those lovely creatures. I would not have wanted to stand out. At least in this point I have changed a lot. These days I simply don’t care about what people think that much. It’s their problem if they can’t understand how someone can enjoy watching those birds, not mine. That’s one thing I have understood now. It IS their problem, right? There’s nothing wrong with peacefully watching birds. I’m not harming anyone.

Did you ever care too much about other people’s opinions, and let it keep you from something you would have loved to do? If so, did you change your mind about it? What holds you back?

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Filed under About writing

Improvements in Scotland

After a few weeks during which I was not sure about whether it been had a good idea to come to this place and during which there were problems with other people (and of course the chicken issue), I actually asked whether I could stay longer.

Once the bullies were gone, and the chickens are now reasonably save, everything started to look brighter. I could finally truly enjoy what I was/am doing (which is everything that has to do with organic gardening on a medium-sized scale, from planting to weeding, picking and packing veggies). Of course, there are jobs I don’t like that much, but most of the time I am quite happy with what I have to do. I also learn a lot, and for that I am quite grateful.

I also finally got to work with some of the “native” workers, i.e. the native speakers, the people who actually live in Scotland and won’t just move away again in some weeks’ time. There are two people I truly like and would love to have as friends – however, I know that this will not happen, so I have to keep my feelings reasonably hidden. At least I can talk to them during work every now and then. One of them is only here every now and then and hardly ever works in a team with me, and the other is a bit intimidating. But when proper conversations happen, they are really good. Sometimes philosophical and meaningful, and at other times plain silly because we share some interests and can make fun of each other without insulting anyone. But unfortunately, these conversations don’t happen often.

Last weekend, I went on a longer walk to a place that supposedly had many seagulls (but they turned out to be a colony of Kittiwakes, a bird I’ve never seen before and now just love!). Another volunteer worker went with me, and I get along with her quite well. However, she’ll be going back into her own country after the main season is over – so there is no chance for a proper long term friendship, and I think we’re too different in some aspects anyway.

I think my main issue with things here is that everything feels temporary and that people often just see me as one more wwoofer. You can get the label “good wwoofer”, “bad wwoofer”, and maybe “average wwoofer”. But that’s about it. For most people here, I am just a temporary worker, someone they will soon forget. And of course someone like that would not be considered as a potential friend.

However, I really like this area. I can imagine actually living here. But so far I haven’t talked about this with anyone – because whom would I talk to about something like that? I guess that’s what this blog is good for.

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Filed under Morning hours

Back to pen and paper

Even though I have neglected this blog in the morning hours, I have been productive in the mornings. I took up writing in a proper journal with a proper fountain pen again. It saves me the hassle of having to start up my laptop and going online – it also feels more creative in a way. It is nice to see the pages filling up, and I have to admit that I also started feeling better after taking up that habit again.

Writing is indeed some sort of medicine for me. And it has the potential to turn every morning into a good one. Of course there will still be challenges and problems, difficult people and annoying people – but I feel that writing gives me the energy I need to deal with them.

Every now and then I might copy my morning pages onto this blog – but only when I think that a particular entry might be of interest to readers.

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Filed under About writing

The first post from Scotland

I have not written anything here for a long time. The last weeks have been incredibly busy, and emotionally and mentally very tiring.  It’s not even morning now, but after 10 pm at night here in Scotland. I would usually be in bed at this time because I tend to get up very early. Today apparently is a little different. It was a very difficult day at work, and at the end of a work day of almost 10 hours, I felt completely drained. I went to my caravan (where I work and live for the next few weeks might be a topic for another blog post), and just wanted to sleep. But then I lay in my bed, thinking, just feeling tired – and empty.

Then somebody else knocked at my door because he had a problem and for some reason thought I would be able to help. I don’t know why but I always seem to be the kind of person people ask for help. Anyway, my chance of falling asleep from being mentally drained were gone and I spent some time on Facebook. I wanted to update my status, but I just starred at the blank space for minutes. I did not know what to write. Then I simply wrote the truth: that my mind was so full with thoughts, and yet so empty.

A few minutes later, I wrote a longer status update about writing – a truly honest one which most of my Facebook friends (of which I know 90% from real life) will either not read or not care about. That’s just the nature of Facebook – but what does it matter. What mattered was that I wrote about what was truly on my mind. This is what I wrote:

“Maybe I should start writing my morning hours blog again – because I need to become more motivated again. You know, I know all about the tips and advice for writers – I’ve written about it often enough. I’ve read many books about. And it is quite simple. You either do it, or you don’t. Like many other things in life. The only thing that stands between me and writing is me. And myself is one of the very few things I can actually change in the world.
There is nothing I can do about not being in New Zealand anymore. I’ve lost that fight and the whole story cost me a lot of energy. I miss my pigeon family (Lucy and her two kids), and my chicken babies. But what can I do about it? Nothing.
There is nothing (realistic) that I can do about certain other aspects of my life. Some things you just have to endure.
But I can write. I only have to kick my own ass, and do it!”

And even though it is nighttime now, I thought I better start with it right away. There are no excuses not to write. And maybe writing again will make me feel better. I know that I will feel better – so why did I wait so long to start again?

Writing will also be some sort of communication for me. I do have people around me. I work with quite a few people. And a couple of them are really interesting, and I could imagine having them as friends – but that will not happen for various reasons (that would also be part of a blog about where I am currently living). There is nobody around here who would truly listen to me – apart from the chickens, they are great listeners but not very helpful with their comments. On this blog, I can just be myself, be honest. And online friends are better than no friends at all!

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Filed under About writing

Little steps

I’ve just noticed that I ended the last couple of posts with the word “hopeless”…. so I guess I’m not really being that nice to myself. It’s not all that bad when I give myself a chance. I AM still writing, but not as much and not as well as I would like to. I am currently keeping a really little writing book and a pen next to my bed because I had an idea for a book during a dream a few days ago. So I wrote the outline of the first few chapters into that little notebook. The following night I had another dream, which helped me to write an outline for a couple more chapters and just last night, another dream put the book into a different direction – very interesting actually. I will only have to turn the outline into a proper book someday.

But isn’t just that “someday” the problem? The ideas and stories are all in my head but I never seem to find the time and peace of mind to actually focus enough of writing the actual books. I wish I could have a strong enough mind to actually win against myself and just MAKE the time – but these days… weeks… no, months, I always try to drown my feelings in keeping myself as busy as possible. And thus also keeping me away from what I love so much: writing, exploring other worlds and dimensions that somehow seem to talk to me and reach out to me.

Let’s see what the next few nights will bring – maybe the dreams will bring an answer to me. The dream last night had Lucy Lawless in it. She often seems to appear as some sort of wise guide – I guess in real life she wouldn’t talk the same way but I guess I’ll never find out. She’s living not too far away (well, we kind of live in the same part of New Zealand), but someone like her would never talk to someone like me – and it’s very, very unlikely that our paths will ever cross! But at least she, for some reason, takes on the role of a guide in dreams every now and then. And her messages are always quite good. If I manage to finish that book, I should dedicate it to her!

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Filed under About writing