Tag Archives: Love

An Appreciation for Loneliness

Dear Loneliness,

My loyal companion, my dedicated friend. For as long as I can remember you have always been there for me. Throughout the years you have always stuck with me no matter what.

I must admit that I did not always appreciate your presence. At times I felt that you dragged me down and that you stood in the way of my personal development. I looked down upon you in disdain and I’ve often tried my best to shut you out of my life. I did not want you hanging around me with your overwhelming influence and melancholic demeanor. No, what I craved for, what I thought I really wanted, was the attention of Happiness and Love. They were fun and popular. They were the cool kids that everyone wanted to hang out with. If only they would accept me within their inner circle, I thought to myself, then my life would become richer and more satisfying. Alas, Happiness and Love did not deem me worthy enough to step into their circle. So I sought to change myself. I strove to become a better person, whatever the hell that may mean. I tried to conform to their standards, their expectations, all in a desperate attempt to prove that I am worthy for their attention. I failed of course. Miserably. But then again, could there really have been another outcome? How can I possibly succeed when I could only think of changing who I am?

When I returned to you, you were there to welcome me back with open arms. You did not chastise me for my shallowness. You did not blame me for shunning you in the first place. Instead you merely embraced me with silent understanding. All the more unforgivable then that I turned my back upon you once again. You were not good enough for me, and this time I sought my refuge with a different crowd. I started to hang out with those dangerous types like Indifference and Resentment. After the sadness and the disillusionment I had felt, their philosophies upon the world appealed greatly to me. They whispered at me that nothing else in the world matters except ourselves, and that we should always only look out for ourselves, first and foremost. They took great relish in badmouthing Happiness and Love, much to my delight. Once again, I lost sight of who I am, and I fooled myself into a state of non-caring, and that feeling empowered me. It made me feel like a big man.

Just in time you pulled me out of that environment through your everlasting presence. As I look back, I shudder to think what would have become of me had I kept associating myself with Indifference and Resentment. I thought their words strengthened me, but in reality they were just leading me further down along a negative spiral. And I always thought your presence weakened me, but in reality it is you who kept me sane and lent me strength. After all, it is you who reminds me that I am only human after all, that I’m just an imperfect blob of flesh and blood just like everyone else. I always thought that feeling lonely was a great sin, but I realize now that feeling lonely does not mean that I am a failure nor does it mean that I am forever destined to be alone. On the contrary, I realize now that feeling lonely means nothing more than that I care deeply, for better or worse, and in the end, isn’t that the only thing that truly matters?

Ah, my dear sweet Loneliness, we have been together so long, that I cannot even start to imagine a life where you no longer exist. I know now that you will never ever truly disappear from my life. However, there may come a time when I start to yearn for greener pastures once more, so that our grips upon one another may loosen again, but I also know you will always be there waiting inside me, within the deepest and darkest recesses of my heart, ready to embrace and welcome me whenever I have need of you again.

And for that I am deeply grateful. Forever and always.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel

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Using Charts to Express my Anxiety

I have struggled a lot with feelings of anxiety during the past few months. Lately I’m slowly getting back to the belief that anxiety is not an affliction but is very much a part of ourselves, a sign that we actually care deeply about something (partly thanks to this article). So in light of this, and highly inspired by the charts from the brilliant Elisabeth Fosslien (here and here), I decided to poke a little bit of geeky fun at my feelings of anxiety by creating some charts that express them. Sometimes a little bit of humour is the best remedy against feeling sorry for myself.

How it works is that there I always first show the ‘ideal’ situation, after which I show the actual situation in 3 important areas of my life: work, writing and love. The point is that the actual situations often deviate quite sharply from the ideal situation. The actual situations are not fixed however. Through personal development and life experience, we hope to approach the ideal curve in the end.

I hope you’ll have fun with these charts. Who knows? Perhaps you will even gain a little bit of insight 😉

P.S. Click on the charts for a larger view.

What is the Correlation Between Passion and Anxiety?

The writing and love curves consist of dotted lines instead of an unbroken line. This is because that even though the curves cover the entire x-axis, it is impossible to go below a certain threshold of ‘caring’. Thus the dotted lines are to represent that not all the points on the curve are within the realms of possibility, but are hypothetical instead. (Does that make sense?)

How do I spend my time?

The Comfort Zone

Someone shared this diagram on Facebook the other day. As much as I like this diagram, for my own purposes I’m going to look at it in a slightly different way. I like to imagine that we are able to expand and move our comfort zone as part of our personal development. Where our comfort zone overlaps with the magical stuff, that’s where magic becomes reality.

I also want to extend the concept of the comfort zone to include the state where you (pretend to) stop caring anymore in order to get rid of your feelings of anxiety.

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Beliefs

I used to believe that love was the greatest thing in the world.
I used to believe that I must therefore keep fighting against myself.
I used to believe in happy endings.

I wonder what happened to that guy. Somehow, somewhere along the way I lost him. I think he is still in me somewhere, buried deep inside, because sometimes when I strain myself I think I can hear him whispering at me. Whispering at me to keep fighting, to never give up. But it is a faint whisper, barely audible at all. Sometimes I try to remember what he said to me and I repeat those words to myself in my mind, trying to convince myself again in their meaning. But there is no real conviction. It is a lie, a façade, but I cannot fool myself. I can pretend however I want, but I do not believe in their meaning anymore.

But what do I believe then? Well, I would answer, I believe I am incapable of love. There, I have finally said it. It is out in the open at last. There can be no more denying it, no more obscuring the truth, no more pretending that everything is fine and dandy. I might have hinted at this before, I cannot truly recall, but this is the first time I have said this outright without sugarcoating it. This is what I truly believe. I believe the ability to love someone and to make someone feel loved and special, the capacity to show affection like a normal human being completely eludes me. Oh yes, I have made several attempts before, but asking me to do these things is like asking someone of my athleticism to throw down a 360 tomahawk dunk. The results would be exactly the same. Any attempts in both cases would be feeble and pitiful, destined for complete failure at the very outset. In such cases, perhaps it is better not to even try at all. Continue reading

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The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn…

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
– Eden Ahbez – ‘Nature Boy’ *

* The first time I heard ‘Nature Boy’ was when I watched Moulin Rouge. And although I really, really love Moulin Rouge, let’s forget that for a moment and instead use Nat King Cole as our inspiration, shall we?

When I was younger I used to believe that there no greater universal truth than love (I would like to imagine myself as the Nature Boy, albeit without the wisdom). Perhaps the time has come to reconnect with my younger self again. Sure, my younger self was horribly naïve, an idealistic dreamer who was socially inept and who lived in constant fear of the real world, but despite all those negatives I truly believed. I truly believed that things would work out in the end despite the lack of self-confidence and the voices in my head which kept telling me that I would always fail. I truly believed that I could eventually become a better person than I was as long as I kept fighting against myself, and I promised I would do that no matter how long it took. There were times when I even pictured myself as an old man when it would finally happen, an old man who had until then lived his entire life all alone. And I imagined how indescribably happy I would feel, and I truly believed that happiness was a possibility as long as I never gave up. Yeah, I did say I was horribly naïve right? But is that really such a bad thing? Continue reading

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Top 10 Songs Part 3 – #4 to #2

Here is finally the next installment of my top 10 songs of all time after a break of a couple of days. This time I will be discussing the numbers 4 to 2. Some of these entries will be quite long, as I will go more into the lyrics in a couple of cases. The number 2 song especially is very strong in its literary quality, so that will require some space to discuss. Well enjoy, and don’t forget to check back for the number 1 song later!

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Top 10 Songs Part 2 – #7 to #5

Welcome to the second part of my top 10 songs of all time! Things are definitely getting more interesting now, as we now leave behind the borderliners, and we now discuss the songs which are regular fixtures in my top 10.

7. Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

I really love this song, but for some reason I find it really hard to pinpoint what I really like about it. I’m listening to the song and singing it in my head over and over again, and the song just has this very unique feeling and sound to it. Perhaps it is the opening piano intro that gets you hyped up immediately. Perhaps it is the feeling of mystery and darkness that pervades that throughout the song. Perhaps it is the vocals which is at the same time emotional and yet subdued. Perhaps it is the epic and ambitious scale of the song.

But perhaps it is the words “But I Won’t Do That.” I remember thinking to myself just what “that” is, what “that” really signifies, and in fact I still often think about it now more than 15 years later. This is what the female vocalist Lorraine Crosby sings at the end, after which Meat Loaf sings that he won’t do “that”: Continue reading

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