Behind the glasses

post116There’s been this on-going joke about my glasses. Most of the newly met people like to imagine that I’m becoming a completely different person without them. The most frequent assumption is, of course, that I’m intelligent and responsible (which for some equals boring) in them, but crazy and recklessly spontaneous without them.

And even though it has nothing to do with the actual glasses, they’re right – I can be and I am being both. And many more, for that matter.

Does that mean I’m not authentic? That I pretend to be someone I’m not?

Well, those two and a dozen more of my selves are most certainly authentic. Because there’s no such thing as one real, authentic me. We all are wearing what stands for the glasses here. We’re all wearing masks. Many, many of them. Even (or maybe especially) when we think we don’t.

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Floating in the Forth

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I’m not the kind of person who cares about well-known people passing away all that much. I’m generally against making a big (public) deal of anyone’s death (whatever the cause), and the last thing I wish to achieve here, is to advertise some not-so-well-known Scottish band only through their recent, tragic end. But I just can’t stay silent, not in the given circumstances.

The chances are that you have never heard about Frightened Rabbit up to this point: point of reading (either here now or on any Scottish news page week ago) that their singer died suddenly, aged 36. But sad as it is, maybe now is actually the perfect time to get to know them…

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Why writing is shit

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I have written a few posts on writing in my life. Some of them I even published. For the most part, they all are rather appreciating towards the art of writing words down. You know, something along the lines “writing down your (way too frequent) thoughts, crazy ideas, wildest dreams, greatest fears and brave imaginations makes you so much richer a person”.

This one, however, is not like that. This one is the opposite. It’s (fucking finally, I’d say) about how difficult, uncomfortable and utterly fucked-up writing is.

And also, how fucking desperately I need it in my life, precisely because it’s so shit.

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Nameless people

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Passing by the park, I heard him call his second dog twice, but she didn’t hear, so I told him it’s probably the wind – down the hill, where the dog was sniffing the grass, you can’t hear much. He smiled, thanked and asked if I was Dutch (‘cause, apparently, I sound Dutch, especially to older, British natives: he wasn’t the first one to assume so). He praised my language skills and complained about his inexistent ones: he was so unlike his wife, who speaks excellent French. The way he talked about their trip to Paris was telling me more than he would probably be comfortable sharing with a complete stranger. The spark in his eye, the pride in his voice, the smile that spread all over his face – they, French people, they took her for a native and only he, always so terrible with languages, gave her away with his thick, British accent! When I left him and his two golden dogs behind on the dump grass under the slowly darkening skies, I thought I want to grow old just like him. I want to be that content about going out with my dogs and chatting about my partner to pleasantly looking passers-by. I want my eyes to spark so bright and my voice to be so calm. So unlike it is now.    Continue reading

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I’m scared. And so what?

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Nobody likes to admit they’re scared or afraid – I definitely don’t. It shows weakness, something everyone prefers to hide deep within. Strength, independence, fearlessness, bravery, success, that’s what’s selling best, that’s what everyone wants to talk about, that’s what you’re taught to appreciate. Fear and failure are to be avoided. Sometimes at all costs. Silenced, forgotten, ignored.

But they shouldn’t be. And that’s exactly why I’m writing here, now.

Because, over the past few years, I have learnt to appreciate both fear and failure.

Yeah, it’s still shit, it’s still awfully hard to deal with, I still don’t like it (who does?), but I do appreciate it. As Yoda says: the greatest teacher, failure is. And he’s right. As ever.

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A scarf

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She didn’t do it on purpose. It was neither a cunning scheme, nor a sophisticated plan to make people remember her. She never really meant to leave anything behind her. If anything, it must have been her elusive subconscious.

It seemed that this exact amount of alcohol – the one that already makes you do stupid things but not yet forget doing them the next morning – somehow always made her forget the cold, so that she usually realized she was without her scarf long after it was still worth (or safe) to come back for it without making an unnecessary fuss. Continue reading

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