Monday, 31 December 2012

Countdown to...


I've never been an advocate of new year's resolutions. In my opinion people shouldn't wait until a specific date to set new goals, and if they do then isn't tomorrow the perfect opportunity? Why wait to be kinder, thinner, stronger... etc? It's cliche'd but tomorrow really should be the first day of the rest of your life... the irony being that as I type this, it is actually new years eve.

I can however see how New Year's would be an optimal time to look back and reflect. What have I done this year? Have I changed, grown?

I found myself doing thing yesterday, and while yes... I think I have improved certain aspects of my life, does that really make me a better person than I was last year? If I slip and make mistakes this year, does that therefore mean I am a worse person? Of course not...

I'm proud of the achievements I've made, but I find it difficult categorizing them into neat little parceled boxes of time.

One of my favourite quotes is as below;

When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls.” -  Peter S. BeagleThe Last Unicorn

Perhaps I will never 'walk through walls' but I'm of the belief that time is not as linear as our brains perceive it to be.
How could it be? When I remember events from when I was four, clearer than I can remember this morning? I've delved in memory posts before and my fascination extends beyond my current knowledge of the matter, however whether an individual believes in destiny, fate, religion or simple nothing except for what the eye can see... our perception of these principals make us individuals.

I think therefore I am.” - Rene Descartes 

At this point I feel I should mention that I failed philosophy dramatically. In fact one of the reasons I'm here writing this now is because my dislike for the course turned out to be the ultimate reason I quit university. My dislike for psychology stemmed from the fact that every lecture seemed to teach common sense rather than fascinating information. Had I stuck it out beyond the tediously boring lectures I probably would have reached a level I thoroughly enjoyed. But patience, unfortunately, is not one of my virtues.

So, back to why I decided to write this post. I believe in a varying level of karma (positivity breeds positivity more or less) and given my negativity surrounding this time of the year it's not really any wonder that it's never a smooth, seamless transition into the new year. 

For example, just yesterday I fell down a .set of stairs and popped my kneecap out...

But, in the spirit of feeling positive in general -which I do- I am going to swallow my apprehension and celebrate tonight. If not for the past year, or for the year to come... then for all the things I'm grateful for. Because tomorrow may be the first day of the rest of my life but right here and now is pretty damn good as well :)

Happy New Year! xX




Friday, 21 September 2012

Deja vu again, again.

Anyone's who's ever experienced deja vu would swear there's no scientific explanation behind it.

I was in Morrison's the other day, perusing the Isles as I was trying to find something that resembled the form of a penguin. My colleague at work had asked for one and while 'alive' was the implication, he left no room for for argument and therefore didn't stipulate exactly... so I wanted to treat him to the next best thing.

Turns out the next best thing was a fluorescent cat toy (this is why you should always make your wishes abundantly clear),

So in the midst of my scouring, my gaze fell upon a gift card with a cartoon animal that looked sort-of-like a penguin and in that moment I would swear to you -even now, weeks past the said encounter- I had had 'dreamed' up exactly what had transpired in the following few seconds.

Deja'vu, there it was -like so many times before- convincing me that I 'must' have psychic abilities.

However, being the rational person I am... I tried to perceive a logical response to this 'premonition'. In doing so I fabricated two memories that both seemed entirely plausible;

A) I dreamt the whole thing the night before.

2) I had accidentally clicked on the video at work (as I was organising subtitles for a children's show at the time) but being the wrong material, I had closed it before really registering I had 'seen' this sort-of-penguin-looking-thing.

Couple the latter with that fact my subconscious brain was in fact searching for penguins and there was my rational answer for being 99% sure I had witnessed this all in a dream. 

Now, being the inquisitive person I am, I decided to return home and research what occurs during 'deja'vu'.

I would like to stipulate that during my surfing of google people were very quick to disclaim that there is no scientific proof.

However the general consensus is that deja vu occurs when there is a delay in the memory banks and your subconscious mind processes the information before your conscious brain. This seemingly implies that you've witnessed future events but in fact it's really just a miscommunication. 

A few other explinations cropped up along the lines of epilepsy and seizures and this in turn lead me to further research how neurons connect together. I tried to ascertain whether a good long term memory could account for more frequent bouts of deja vu (oddly enough I couldn't find much correlation between the two) but it did lead me down another path...

Where I could easily accept there was a scientific reason for the deja vu, google kept sporadically spouting entries of various emotions attached. Either there was a sense of fear associated to the recall, or a sense of unexplainable serendipity.

I myself have only ever experienced the latter. As if I was 'meant to be' in the moment or that wherever I was heading it was in the 'right direction'.

Again I was baffled. Was this my neurons working in overtime, so I didn't delve on the fact my subconscious was performing tasks we as known scientists can't explain? Or was it actually a sign that no matter what I'm facing I'm headed down the right path?

By this point I believe I had about nine google windows open when I started comparing what we know about quantum physics to whether there is such a thing as fate and destiny. 

I don't pretend to know much about either -at least in depth-, but what I could ascertain and draw my own conclusions from was that quantum physics allows space to breathe the 'many worlds' theory (no pun intended).

Basically this law states that until we observe an atom's path it is unknown and therefore spawns a myriad of possibilities (and other possible realities). Not to be confused with metaphysics, which is philosophically orientated (a tree falls with no one to hear it, does it still make a sound?), quantum physics suggests that time does not exist in a linear form .

This research led me back to, 'well if all atoms were sparked from the big bang and formed together with one (or many) perpetual paths, then do we really have free will or could deja vu be a sub-subconscious comprehension of a predetermined structure?

It was at about this point that I closed all windows at once, decided not to write anything on the matter and take a well deserved nap instead.

But here I find myself, weeks later, the thoughts still playing on my mind and as my grandma says, 'better out than in.' Though I think she may have been referring to something else?

But never the less; atoms, freewill, bad jokes or unbeknownst forces aside...

There's one thing I'm certain of.

I need to nap, again.

I feel like I've been here before...deja vu?











Go placidly amid the noise and haste

There's a word for the marker that flashes pending the stroke of a key in any word processing document. I forget what that name is but it's there -like so many other useless facts- buried deep in my subconscious.

I can however attribute many words to the notion behind it's existence; pensive, thoughtful, hesitant, indecisive, unmotivated...

In this particular instance I'm hesitant and it's amazing how long you can stare at a blank screen, culminating ideas and wondering whether it's worth putting them to paper.

Already I'm not entirely sure that I like where this entry is headed. 
Ever the optimist -or so I like myself to believe- I find that when I write it's sometimes a form of self-therapy and not always the happiest of topics. I can remember very clearly reading a journal entry from about five years ago -give or take- in which I stated something a long the lines of 'this isn't going to be a happy entry, but it seems like I only write in here here when things are going crap.' 
After proceeding the read the rest of the journal, that statement resounded very true.

However, I would like to state that for the record I am extremely happy <insert exclamation marks and love hearts here> and that of all the places I have been in my life (both mentally and physically) this is by far one in which I'm having the most fun.

There have been ups and downs, ins and outs and all of the above... but I have never felt more at ease calling a place home. The bright lights of Leicester Square, the tube journeys, the telephone boxes and of course the friends that I have made, who are undoubtedly the most important part of my life here.

Without getting sappy and emotional they are the people who make me better, who make the 'easy' decision to return to Australia harder, and who I truly do love.

Which brings me to the point of this entry, the reason as to why I'm not curled up and sleeping a peaceful slumber that involves puppies and kittens playing under rainbows....

I would like to say it's because I'm anxious about working in a temporary position -because this means finding a place to live will be so much more difficult, and I may not have money in a few weeks- but in all honesty a few shots of tequila negated that feeling a couple of hours ago.

As my mother says, “things have a way of working out darls.” And though there's never been any solid evidence to support this bar experience, she does follow it up with a piece of prose called Desiderata which basically states that the universe is turning exactly as it should. 
If you haven't, I highly recommend reading it. 
Don't get me wrong she's never sat me down and recited it but the notion combined with that one statement coming from her is pretty much the equivalent to all the certainty in the world. And I hope she knows no matter the circumstances I've trusted this piece of advice implicitly.

But again, I've strayed off track -as I so often tend to do- so I shall get back to the point.

I love people with a great capacity, but over the years one of the main character flaws I've learnt about myself is that I also have the ability to hate with an equal passion. And I don't use that term lightly. For me it means holding on to all the reasons as to why I dislike a person and wish we had never crossed paths.

To be fair I've only ever hated five people, two of which decreased into dislike and ceased to be a burden on my subconscious. But the other three I carry around with me, and in my late night musings I couldn't decide if it was healthy to vent that aggression as it means I have a very high tolerance for liking people because they don't compare, or if it's an unhealthy obsession because it means I hold onto painful memories in order to remind myself why I avidly dislike these three people.

And then, further to the above dilemma -even if I wanted to- I'm not sure it's a part of myself I could ever change.

And during my time in London I have changed, another distraction that kept the puppies and rainbows at bay.

If I do go back to Australia how would I integrate, would my oldest friends like the change, would they even notice, have they changed themselves? There's an ideal picture in my head where everything would be the same. We would go for coffee, laugh about all the things we did when we were younger -I'm going to give a shout out here Joseph getting caught in the seatbelt of my car- or would they be like primary school memories? Those things that happened a different lifetime ago?

Of course I'm being melodramatic, if only because the memories we hold from fifteen are a lot stronger than those of the ones we keep from the age of nine. But take my last three years in Hobart for example, sometimes I think back and wonder if I was really there, if anything outside of the life -that may I stress is so different now- really existed?

What if in three years London becomes a blip, just the blink of an eye that happened in the space of a few seconds?

I can attribute these fears to fact that I do have a hard time accepting change and letting go. I thrive in new environments but it's the in-between that gets me (and I think I've made reference to this in an earlier post) but it's like my penance.
I can adapt quickly to new situations, but only after I've freaked out to the equivalent beforehand.
But as a ten tonne truck hits a brick wall, I'm out. 
Or more to the point I'm done psycho analysing. In the interests of giving my blog a higher word count I've decided I will post this and endeavour to write something far more interesting and 'reader worthy' for next time.

Though as I feel the expressed need to leave with a sign off, an in-joke from a life time ago seems fit.

Warp speed Mr. Sulu!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Science of Selling Myself Short

I entered the void today.

Not as melodramatic, or even as dark as one might first imagine. In fact, to the contrary everything inside is rather light and weightless. Perhaps it's an irrational notion to believe that time ceases to exist everywhere else, but in my mind that's exactly what happens.

I cease all forms of communication with the outside world, forewarning any family members/friends who might panic and think I was abducted -should time inexplicably resume normally while I'm gone- and indulge in what I can only describe as guilt-free relaxation.

In the void I'm under no obligation to worry about anything. My phone is off, my facebook account suspended, my Twitter page... well that continues to float aimlessly in cyberspace, flourishing off the momentum of other users. I tried to tweet a few times over the last couple of days and all the action divulged was that: a) I may be partially retarded and 2) that I should never attempt stand up comedy.

Needless to say I've since deleted the posts. 

On a side note, as it turns out you can never really 'delete' anything from cyberspace and so if I do decide to go awol indefinitely, I will be nuking the whole internet.

But back to my frivoling in the void... to quote Jim Davis, "Some call it laziness, I call it deep thought."

Ironically I spent a lot of time wondering if I should be utilising the internet more. Should I be creating 'more' facbook pages for things, interlinking all my social media accounts, should I be taking advantage of everything technology has to offer and marketing myself to the world?

In the spirit of not selling myself short I pondered... don't I have something more to give, couldn't I be inspiring and brilliant?

I came to the conclusion it's not the marketing skills I lack.

I devised an ingenious plan of taking four pounds to the business card machine just down the road, printing off forty cards with nothing but a web address and placing them in obscure and intriguing hot spots in and around London. Of course this would just be the start, a hook to lure people in... but three hours later I still had no idea where exactly to lure people to.

Should I finish one of my books, write a journalistic blog, start an interactive gossipping fb page, build a 'save the animals' campaign, create a fictitious profile of a 'new' socialite addicted to partying and coke...

These were just some of the ideas that flitted through my mind whilst I wondered if anyone was tying to call me, if something had gone wrong at work or if I should check my email just to make sure...

I held strong though, as I mentioned before the beauty of the void is that it's obligation free.

There are two ways of looking at it, either the void is the ultimate sanctuary for procrastination, or it's well deserved respite from dealing with hard stuff.

Clearly I favour the latter as my excuse. There is only one rule that applies to appease my conscious: no more than twenty-four hours can pass on the inside.

I've never tested it, however I believe that if one should stay inside for longer than the allotted time, the universe would cease to comprehend the tear and anything inside would be pulled into a parallel universe where monkeys dressed as clowns reside over all, only living in harmony with children and people from New Zealand.

There would also be a lot of libraries.

But regardless of this, what I learnt from my semi-deep analysis whilst in the void was that the potential to do and the ability to do are two entirely different concepts. And that neither should be considered without at least a 1.5L bottle of diet coke in hand.

Having taken on the challenge with only a 500ml supply -now empty- I'll sign off with some derived words of wisdom.

Be brilliant and lazy, just get the timing right.


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Living in the Equinox.

So, Erwin Schrodinger... got to wonder about his personality. Was he an eternal fence-sitter or did he just have a particular penchants for harming cats? Given the cat doesn't physically exist I'm going to go with the former.

Why am I bringing this up? Today I found myself standing outside a large box with a cat in it. Just like Schrodinger I'd set up an experiment but was torn between peeking inside and walking away and I found myself wondering, did decision making ever factor into his equation?

Both actions had pro's and cons. If I stayed I would inevitably find an answer -good or bad- and that would be that. However if I walked away I could assume the answer I preferred to be correct and remain blissfully unaware.

At this current point in time I'm hovering in the doorway, one foot on either side of the threshold; living in the equinox.

Did Schroedinger have this much trouble making decisions? Was having to decide on three different meals a day enough to drive him into quantum mechanics? And how about the others?

I believe it was Everetts who first broached the Many-Worlds theory. Did he get sick of choosing between left and right, so he pursued a way in which both outcomes could exist? Would they both have benefited from a magic eight ball?

If the world is made up of fence-sitters then where do their personalities branch into defining characteristics? For example I base my decisions on the level of anxiety created by either knowing or not knowing the outcome of a situation. I used to work late shifts and had a CCV monitor in my room showing the front door. Every night I would turn the camera off so in the event a serial killer appeared I wouldn't know it until he was directly in my line of sight.

Smart? No.

Was I less anxious because I couldn't see him coming? Yes.

Clearly someone who can't make decisions would be a terrible leader and as far back as I can remember I've always liked to follow instructions rather than take charge of a situation.
I know what makes me happy and it isn't striving to be the best at everything, nor is climbing some metaphorical ladder of success. It's little things; a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, a job that I enjoy, a bath, laughing unguardedly, writing, running, experiencing.

The answer isn't 42 but it's simplistic by nature.

So, where have I arrived?

At the answer I subconsciously knew from the beginning. Of course I'm going to look in the box. I can't speak for Everetts or Schrodinger but I need to live in a tangible world and for me there's more anxiety leaving the question open-ended than facing it head on.

I like to know things, it makes me feel safe to be in control. Perhaps that's why I take so long making decisions, because I want all the facts first. I want to have considered every possibility so I can be prepared for all the ways an outcome might influence me.

I wonder, will it be a ginger cat?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The pointless art of making lists...

Lists are stupid. I always sit down with the intention of writing a massive long list that has 'everything' I need to do before certain date... and in theory, this seems something even I couldn't fail at.

But here's my problem...

List, lists, list, going to write a list of all the things I need to do before I travel overseas... YAY! Okay, write a title in nice neat hand writing; 'Things to do.' 

Start out all proper, with good solid ideas...
  1. Organise, clean, backup files on laptop.
  2. Make sure all flight documents are on hand.

Thinking, thinking...

  1. Sort out piles of clothes to pack.

It's always around the fourth point that I find myself struggling to think of 'all those things' I'm meant to do. 

Either there aren't actually that many things or my incredibly short attention span is already bored with this task. So I make a few random, funny things to add just for the sake of it... 

  1. Start packing, get frustrated because nothing fits.
  2. Eat some chocolate. 

Then its back to it, but unfortunately I find myself hindered by the things I can't do yet.

  1. Wait for visa to arrive.
  2. When it does photocopy visa, take to travel agent.

Still struggling, I include another random thing...

  1. Find suitable protection in case of a dragon attack.

I hesitate for a moment, wondering if that really was everything? When a burst of inspiration hits...

  1. Purchase travelcash card.
  2. Put money on travelcash card. 

Yes! Another two productive things to add, go me! 

Feeling proud, I go back to the start and run my eyes over the list that now looks something like this...



Feeling a little deflated, I crumple the paper and sigh. 

Seems I didn't really need to go to all that trouble to effectively remind myself to clean the computer.

I've therefore now resolved that the first item on any and all lists I should feel the need to write will be; 1) Don't waste time making stupid lists, get up... do stuff... now!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

I've often thought of my brain as a filing cabinet in a black void...

sometimes thoughts pile up and spill over the top becoming lost forever. Other times they appear safe but with a rustle and shift, they slip through a gap in the bottom and I never see them again. 

This is a place where I hope to gain inspiration, give it... and file away (in a second location) all the things that make up an inquisitive mind. 

** 
**

So, not so easy to just set up a bog hey? Here I am thinking, yep... gonna be great. I can make a pretty picture for my background, choose some nice colours and off I go!

Four hours later... when I'm still figuring out the 'settings'

Should connect through Twitter? 
Who's going to read this if I publish on facebook? 
Am I going to get 4,000 sms' from various social networking sites if I click 'yes'  to alerts?

... my brain is about ready to explode!

I mentioned this to my mum, describing it as a "web of chaos in my brain" who then (with only the slightest infusion of sarcasm present in her tone) stopped and went "they do call the internet 'the web' for a reason darling."

Yes, yes mum... they do. Thanks. 

And don't get me wrong, it is great. Being able to keep in touch with friends I'd otherwise not see, getting the weather via text before I've even looked out the window, being on top of the latest updates rolling out of Twitter when a major story breaks... the advances in technology over the last few years are just mind blowing!

However (in the hopes of being called 'retro' and not technologically impaired) I will admit that a tiny, minuscule part of my brain misses 1994. When the most difficult thing I had to comprehend was the stop/play/rewind/fast forward functions on a Walkman. 

It was all so simple back then.  

But nevertheless here I am, finally... so in the spirit of the Internet and all it's offerings I now declare this blog officially 'online' :D XxxXXxx