Day 2: Describe the good, the bad and the ugly of yourself

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To start this off, I’ve got to say that I’ve heard a lot about the movie The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, but I’ve never gotten around to watching it. Maybe I will after this post!

To me, my good points are that I tend to care a lot about people and am very attuned to their feelings. Usually I can tell almost instantly if a friend is feeling down, over text or face to face. And I try to cheer them up, or do random nice things for them. I also like to think that I’m not a mean person, and that I’m nice to everyone I meet. Or at least, I try.

I find it hard to open up to people, which leads to me shutting a lot of friends out. To me, that’s a major negative that I’m working on changing. I want to connect to others, and feel like I have ties to this world, instead living in an isolated bubble of my own making.

The ugly? Oh gosh, where do I begin?

Honestly though, my ugliest traits are that I can be very shallow and I’m also prone to gossiping. Now that I think about it, I tend to gossip a lot – which is not the best habit. There’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that goes, ‘Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people’. While by no means at all do I consider myself to be great, maybe working towards it wouldn’t hurt?

 

The way I’m interpreting this is that the ‘good’ are my positive traits, the ‘bad’ are negative traits that I’m actively working on changing, and the ‘ugly’ are negative traits I just became aware of, and want to start changing.

Writing this post has made me reflect on myself in a way I haven’t in a while. I think I’m going to start putting in an effort into gossiping less, as well as trying to open up more!

Day 1: Why, Where and When I Write

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I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Granted, I’m just 19, but there’s something to be said for my earliest memory being trying to scribble rhymes. Poetry used to be where I put in the bulk of my efforts, to express myself and let off steam. I then started writing short fiction pieces because I had ideas I just wanted to get on to paper. During this phase I would spit out a short story and then never look at it again, constantly moving on to the next idea and then the next idea and then the idea after that. When we moved houses many years ago, I ended up losing a lot of those books I had written in, sadly.

It was around the age of 15 that I stopped writing – sure, I wrote the occasional poem now and then, and sometimes dabbled in fan fiction, but somehow the flame had been completely put out.

I didn’t realize how integral writing was to me until I picked it up again during a turbulent period in my personal life, soon after I turned 18. It felt like I had finally come back home, into the loving embrace of an old friend after being away for a very long time. It’s been a year since then, and now I finally feel like I have no fear of expressing myself with my words. And so, I write.

As for the where and when, typically you’ll find me lying in bed, my laptop on my stomach, or sitting in class scribbling bits and pieces while the professor goes on and on about the Cold War or Freud’s Social Theories.

I’m still finding my voice in terms of blogging style, but I hope I’ll be able to express myself as clearly as I can through poetry, and fiction.

 

And with that, I’m kicking off the 30 Day Blogging Challenge! (I know it’s the middle of the month, but 30 days is 30 days, no matter where in the year it falls.)

7 GOALS FOR 2017

 

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1. Take my life into my own hands: For the last few years, 2016 in particular, I have felt less like I was steering my own ship, and more like I was being swept along with the whims of the ocean. That feeling of helplessness isn’t conducive to productivity, but also affects my mental health. This year, I want to make sure I do everything with purpose, and not just go along with the flow.

2. Learn to honor my body: Getting adjusted to college over the last year and a half meant lots of late nights with pizza and takeout, skipping meals and not working out. Things got to a head when at the end of freshman year I discovered I had gained 9 kilos – freshman 15 is real guys! While I have lost quite a bit of that weight over the last year, I want to shift my focus from simply losing weight to actually taking better care of my body, and learning to love it the way it is.

3. Start reading for pleasure again: Somewhere between leaving high school and going through my first year at college, I completely dropped the habit of reading. With the people that had to be met and parties that had to be attended, I just didn’t have the time to read. Or so I thought. I recently realized how stupid it was that I was doing these things at the expense of a hobby I loved. I want to read for pleasure again, and I’ve already gotten off to a great start – 3 books read in January!

4. Actually learn for the sake of learning: I used to coast by on the bare minimum for classes – turn in essays at the last minute, skim through readings and be done with it for the week. While this worked in high school, in college this approach has been nothing but detrimental. I’m here to learn, so shouldn’t I make the effort to learn? This year, I want to stay on top of deadlines and actually read what needs to be, but ultimately I want to put in full effort in every class so I learn something from it, and not just scrape through with a decent grade.

5. Stay true to me: Leading off of my third resolution, I’m going to stop forcing myself to do things I’d rather not, just to fit in. Going to parties, staying up late, drinking, and many other aspects of ‘typical’ college life, just aren’t for me. And that’s okay. It’s fine if I want to stay in and play a video game, then go to bed at 10 and wake up at 5. It’s alright if I’d prefer to go to a restaurant over a club. And some people may think I’m super uncool for not being wild, but that’s okay too. Different strokes for different folks, and I’ve got to learn to accept mine.

6. Step out of my comfort zone: This may seem contradictory to my previous point, but I promise, it’s not. While I don’t want to do things just for the sake of fitting in, I do want to do more things I’m afraid of, and take chances in 2017. That dance class I’m sure I’ll be awful at? Give it a shot! Scared of talking to that cute guy in the laundry room? Do it anyway – you’ve got nothing to lose! I want to dare and I want to live expressively.

7. Stop taking life so seriously: Finally, I want to stop taking life so seriously. Having concrete goals and the like is fine, but in the end we’re bags of flesh living on a rock hurtling around a huge star year after year. Life is less about achieving and more about finding meaning. So that’s my ultimate goal for 2017 – work towards my goals, but remember to look up to the sky and remember my insignificance every once in a while.

Eulogy At My Funeral

I don’t think I will ever meet another person like her again. She was strong, but she was also weak. She was a mess of contradictions – here but also there, quiet but also loud, creative but also constrained.

Above all, she was an inspiration. The way she took her life into her own hands, and moulded it to suit her tastes, is something we all can learn from, maybe.
I wish she hadn’t gone the way she did. I hope I was able to make her even a fraction of how happy she made me. And I know that as she joins with the soil and the sky, and comes back in one form or another, she will always be here with us all.

Tragedy in Heroism: The Case for Creon

In class I took a year ago, we discussed the tragic hero, and my perception of tragedy shifted immensely. From being unable to to follow your fate or destiny, to being forced to, my perspective did a complete 180. What surprised me even more however was that the death of the tragic hero is the ultimate tragedy. Why?

For the full impact of sadness and tragedy, shouldn’t there be suffering involved? Ideally suffering of a grotesque and unimaginable nature – whether it be emotional or physical. Anybody who reads Antigone will have to agree that what Creon goes through at the end of the play is nothing short of horrific, on an emotional level.

Creon orders Antigone to be imprisoned after which she eventually commits suicide. This act snowballs until soon Creon is left with nobody he loves. He loses his family and it’s not a long shot to say that he might lose all the confidence his people have in him as well. The suffering he then chooses to undergo by staying alive instead of taking his own life is proof of his growth as both a person and a ruler.

Creon suffered! In my opinion, Creon actually re-defines the tragic hero. His flaw, arrogance, and his ultimate suffering due to this flaw are the epitome of tragedy.Any lay man can face death! But living with your actions and suffering through the repercussions? Now that is heroism.

Ultimately, while the play is named after Antigone, the true tragic hero in my eyes is Creon. Creon, who did what he believed was right. Creon, who wanted to prove himself as a ruler. Creon, who suffered.