Beneath the Surface

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman,

Have you ever thought about something for so long that when it finally comes to a sort of conclusion the result is positively disappointing? Its as if all the happiness, power and joy that came from the start of the thought, as the idea flows from your heart through your mind to the tips of your fingers has been just drained from you, a pipe stuck in, sucking the joy from something so beautiful.

Now i will be the first to admit that disappointment in life is an inevitability, but where i take interest is in how we react to it emotionally- for this is when the interesting second act of the play takes centre stage. Disappointment is never a nice feeling, but its almost as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, like the initial problem has been dramatically lessened.

So, with the alternative sat wallowing in your self pity and accepting the boredom of the result, the disappointment that something more interesting hadn’t surfaced, what if we tried something different, something…more.

Its natural behaviour when a resolution to a problem presents itself to believe that this is the end of the puzzle, as all the pieces have fit together and you find yourself with what resembles a full picture of the situation or person you find in front of you. However boring and arguably “normal” the answer is, it’s there for all the world to see.

I find a new doubt in this idea recently though. What if there was another way? What if we tried to find an alternative way of looking at them. What if, there was a problem within the problem, something you missed that could make you doubt your initial solution?

I have a terrible loathing for normal, for acceptable, for living life as it is because “thats just the way it is.” The world has a pattern and we are all supposed to stand in the wheel, run, run and run until you expire and are replaced. We have an expiration date, and in order to get there we are given creature comforts. Another person to run in the wheel with, thinking and feeling like you do that when you get that next shiny object, or reach that huge goal at the end of the rainbow, the pot of gold will bring you both the unrivalled joy you yearn for so badly.

I have often, probably rather bloody-mindedly, come to a conclusion that a person or a friend have been far more “normal” that i had initially anticipated. My often skewed sometimes cynical world view can often create something of a man i don’t recognise from the darkness. The palace has places within it i daren’t tread very often, for fear i will not find the way back out again one day, disappointed that people do not stir my soul like i hoped they would.

For many years i have done this, until recently i spent more time looking at a problem that had initially given me a “normal” solution. The more time i’ve spent on it, from the ashes of boredom and normality i find empathy becomes a much stronger force. If there was to be an act of mental warfare, empathy is the warrior you would put up against the plague that has become normality, along with its co -conspirators boredom and ignorance.

Take these away as empathy starts to win the day, i started to think about my friend- the person i had concluded as “disappointingly normal.” I dove deep into how i imagined she felt everyday, what causes her to act the way she acts and do what she does everyday. The world sees a very specific version of her, the one thats not bothered, but the one also who wishes to be cared for and loved just as much as she would do for who the person she believes the right person.

To go looking for happiness is the key to its unravelling i have always believed. Happiness comes with the thoughts and feelings that flow through us in being as unique to ourselves as we possibly can. However, i must concede that someone being happy with their situations, their connections or relationships is perceived as an uncanny surprise to a lot of people, especially to someone looking from the outside in. Maybe this is something she may feel like she is missing out on, and wants to be happy? In the end- who wouldn’t?

Happiness and normality are far from the same thing, but maybe you need to go through that process of understanding the difference to find who you are and more so who you really want to be? I know i did. The darkness took me over for many months and finding my way through it was one of the proudest achievements of my life, so she no doubt deserves me credit than i initially gave her.

There’s fight in you yet. Im proud to be her friend. I’m proud of how far she’s come and all she’s going to achieve. Trying so hard everyday to change her life, one step at a time. The world doesn’t give enough credit for that sometimes. Just doing something. She’s always fighting.

No matter how normal the world seems, you can always learn more if you dig a little deeper. Look just below the surface, who know what you might see.

Kinda brilliant when you think about it.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Express Yourself

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The last few weeks i have been debating a number of different things with a few people, finding connections and learning new things in ways i may have been unable to before. Particularly in the issues with expression and how sometimes it can be a struggle. This can be in the way we speak, or through other ways i’m not even sure is considered emotional expression anymore.

I have always felt like i was on a different path, for it is mine. Without my path, i have no purpose and there is no point. Yet, as i work to keep the path moving, as i continue to sow the ground with hope, with pain, curiosity, joy, happiness and confusion I’m always wandering about what I’m doing, and the paths that are connecting and intertwining into mine.

The more this happens, the more i wander about the world and the path i find myself on, especially how it seems more and more to me that the world would rather we are all on the same path, a uniformal life. Rules and control. “You shouldn’t be doing this, Why haven’t you done that yet” and my personal favourite “if you’ve not done it yet you’re never going to.”

These days we spend so long looking for something to do. There is no pain or pleasure in this life, no happiness, no joy or love. There is nothing, a soul flatlining with no reason to spring back into life. Again and again, we do what we are supposed to do, think as we believe we are supposed to, wear clothes we don’t want to, the same as everyone else, based on colour codes we are told looks good. We listen to music as part of a group and nothing else is worthy of “these ears” even though to someone else the song you loathe brought them through such darkness- its the food their soul feeds on.

Work is a further obsession i have with seeing the patterns of uniform. I’m willing to bet you have some form of work clothes. They may have provided it, or have a general thing that every time you go there, you find yourself staring yourself in the mirror, and the person staring you back is always wearing the same sort of thing. The “corporate” shirt that is the key to teamwork supposedly.

I am all for teamwork don’t get me wrong, bit what is this obsession about creating a team of identical people? A group of talented individuals, each with a uniqueness within them that should be celebrated, not discouraged. Through this celebration of uniquely wonderful beauty, surely it would create a better team morale and maybe even a better team as a group of creative individuals, more so than a number of basically identical people. It’s almost as if people are scared to express themselves anymore, through fear of being eliminated from the group, excommunicated from society because you “don’t fit the bill.”

Now, it would be obtuse of me to say this spans to all aspects of society, you could be reading this now feeling like a uniform gives you a certain power, be it something as simple as a piece of clothing, or as complicated as wandering through the mental atmosphere, clinging to connections of what is known, what is familiar, for fear of losing it all forever. More so i think expression, and our freedom to use it, has become so much more than we often think it is. One doesn’t express how you feel just through the medium of speech anymore.

The world is such a loud and shouty place these days, finding the words to express how you feel, moreover being able to hear them in a world that would rather you didn’t express yourself at all, can sometimes feel an impossibility, a far fetched dream at best.

That’s the thing we all forget i think though.

Regardless of what the society says, regardless of what people say and the clothes you sometimes have no choice to put on, you are still you. The words don’t come sometimes, not in the way you’d hope. Finding the words to explain a smile, or trying to explain why you can’t stop the tears streaming down your flustered cheeks, confused, so lost in the emotion words fail you- its easy to despair at this notion.

This isn’t an inability to express yourself, its just you expressing yourself in your own way. You may not understand your sadness or why you are crying, you may not be able to convey whey you feel so sad, but its still most fundamentally you, being you and expressing yourself in your own way. How do i know? You see your friend, someone you care about, someone you love crying, so lost in some form of sadness. They are beside themselves with sadness and for a moment you feel powerless, because they can’t tell you why they cry, lost in a moment that seems so profoundly awful.

As much as i often think the world wants us to be identical, to create a compulsive uniformity across all aspects of life, this is proof to me that we as people can be quite brilliant sometimes. What do you do in that situation? What would anyone do in that situation? You are not powerless, unable to express your reaction in that situation- because you never needed to. You walk to your friend, the person you love, that you hate to see sad and hug them. You pull them in tight and squeeze, as the tears dry on your shoulder. In that moment, words are wasted. Unnecessary.

Ive always thought words were the key to expressing how you feel, i’ve been writing them for years. Its so much more, even to go as far as using the cliche of how “pictures can say a thousand words.” Look at the creative artistry in life, in paintings, in pictures, music, films, building, fixing, playing an instrument. These are just some i know of thousands upon thousands of things we use to express ourselves, when words fail us.

When you feel sad, you will listen to a certain type of music, when your feel good, you may smile from ear to ear and laugh until your sides hurt. This is the power of expression. I’ve always struggled to understand how i felt and this is something i know i am not alone in. Yet, without knowing, we all have a beautifully brilliant range of expressions in which we can show not just ourselves how we feel, but the people we care about too.

The more i think about it, the power of love, hate, pain, sadness, misery and wander in the beauty of life is born from so much more. It feels like the world is pressing down on your soul sometimes, wanting you to find comfort in expressing the minimal aspects of who you are, for fear of judgement, of being disliked.

Yet, even without realising it, we persist. This is us, and we will not be silenced, for we are unique, we express ourselves in beautifully unique ways and there is nothing in the world that will stop us.

For we are us, and we are free, in our own way.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x