Drifting and in search of ikigai

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Maybe it is just navel gazing. Maybe it is just an affinity for wasting time thinking abstrusely. Or maybe it is the usual symptoms of being part of the entitled, self- indulgent generation. Or maybe it is the culmination of a lot of different things but I can’t quite shake that feeling of drifting. Maybe this is all part of growing up, to realize that maybe the intense feeling of being driven by a purpose comes and goes like the ebb and flow of tides and sometimes you are left stranded at the shore thinking how the fuck did I get here? Or maybe the idea of having purpose in life is a myth altogether. I’m determined to give this life some kind of meaning but right now it all feels a bit foggy. So many maybes lurking everywhere…trying to find something concrete to hold on to feels about as useful as chasing rainbows. It reminds me of a quote from the book I would love to read again right now to remember what it feels like when an author gets the essence of quiet humanity so right that it makes you feel happy and sad and thoughtful and alive:

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Where is this going you might be thinking? Is this leading up to a point? Nope and nope. I was quite certain this was going nowhere but I absentmindedly refreshed my Facebook and expected to see nothing of value as usual but something in a post caught my eye: “We are all seeking a purpose…” Yes, yes I am! Please go on. So here I am, deeply intrigued and reading about the Japanese ‘ikigai’ or reason for being. The article tells me it requires a lot of soul searching to find ikigai but at this point, I don’t care. I know I need to have a purpose, and I know I need to assign my own meanings so I’m going to try this out.

Ikigai is also thought of as THE reason to get out of bed in the morning which I think is a beautiful idea. For most of us, or at least me it is the deafening cry of my alarm and nothing more. I want to find this thing that makes all the struggles and potential hurdles more worth it. So here are the four elements that are central to finding your ikigai if you are also interested:

  • What you Love (your passion)
  • What the World Needs (your mission)
  • What you are Good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get Paid for (your profession)

I hope that everyone who craves purpose in this world find their reason to get up in the morning.

 

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Best of the Emmys Red Carpet 2015

These dresses take the lead for being daring and original. Except for Lady Gaga, her dress takes the lead for being daring and different by being kind of normal. Ironic, huh…

Joanna Newsom

Danielle Brooks

Laura Prepon

Carrie Brownstein

Taylor Schilling

Teyonah Parris

Zoe Kazan

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Lady Gaga

Jaimie Alexander

Jessica Oyelowo

Disclaimer: I own none of these images, and all images link to the url they were retrieved from.

Sadness has feelings too guys!

Light cannot exist without darkness, shadows are bits of darkness that can only be seen in the presence of light.

Light cannot exist without darkness, shadows are bits of darkness that can only be seen in the presence of light.

Went to the movies recently to see Inside Out, I was a bit worried going in with high expectations after all the positive review statuses on Facebook and you know, the critical acclaim. But it was actually good, really good…I don’t think it’s as good as say Finding Nemo (I may be a little obsessed) or The Incredibles but it was a solid movie and one that would definitely recommend.

Having said that, what I don’t understand is all the hate on the character Sadness! You can’t have sadness without happiness, and their co- existence is what keeps our emotional state in harmony (more or less, most of the time…hopefully). At least, that’s what I took away from the movie. So, I decided to google to reaffirm what I believe (classic, I know) and this is what Psychology Today told me:

“Sadness can fill us with appreciation for the good we’ve lost. It can help us treasure the good we haven’t. It can make us more tender. It can make us more empathetic and compassionate toward others who’ve gone through or are going through what we are. It can connect us to others by signalling we need their support. It can incline us to give support to others who’ve supported us. It can fill us with appreciation for the times we don’t feel sad.”

Alex Lickerman M.D.

I didn’t actually think about all those good reasons, so I’m glad I googled but the last sentence is what I want to emphasize- Sadness helps us to appreciate Joy, when we aren’t feeling sad. The more involved sadness is, the greater the appreciation for Joy will be because of the contrast between the two ends of the emotional spectrum.

Anyway, I just wanted to let Sadness know, that I get ya, and I know you are important although we don’t really like to talk about you or appreciate you.

Farewell

I knew this day was coming. I thought I was ready for it. Hell, I was begging for it.

If you hate fangirl posts about TV shows, this is probably where you should stop reading.

Yes. I’m really writing a post about the season finale of Glee. Well not the finale itself, which was nice and well packaged with a bow that tries its best to end on the happiest note it can muster. What I am writing about is the culmination of the TV phenomenon Glee. The show that was equal parts hilarious and bizarre. The show that made me feel things for characters that I never thought I could like or understand. The show that introduced me to Chris Colfer and his magical voice that could bring me to tears so easily (this is a rarity, I swear). Talking about Chris…its the show with the most incredible relationship dynamics- Burt and Kurt, Kurt and Mercedes, Mercedes and Quinn, Quinn and Rachel, Rachel and Finn, Finn and Santana, Santana and Brittany.

The best thing about Glee though is it’s braveness. Glee explored issues no other teen drama would even dream of using for television. Physical and mental disabilities, religion, homosexuality, transexuality, gender politics, alcoholism, suicide, eating disorders. If it was a topic worth talking about, Glee shouted it out in elaborate musical numbers and crooned it in the intimacy of the choir room. Chris Colfer has said that it wasn’t a new thing for gay couples or gay wedding to be portrayed onscreen, and he is right. He is also right when he says that the reaction to the Glee star couple Klaine has been ‘groundbreaking’. I agree and disagree with Colfer. I come from a traditional Christian family and while I’ve been more or less open minded from the start, I know at least one person whose feelings towards homosexuality were positively influenced by Klaine. That isn’t something every show can boast about.

Glee will always have a special place in my heart, because it played a part in shaping my opinions. It changed my perception of the world and opened my eyes on more than one occasion. I couldn’t tell you how much the show has influenced me, but I can tell you that any influence it has had on me will be positive. Glee was like that thing you never knew you wanted or missed till you had it and now I’m feeling bittersweet. Bitter because I don’t like how all good things must end, sweet because it was better to end it while the show was still good (ignoring Marley & co’s short time at McKinley). Here’s to the show that taught me about the world of liberals and free thinkers and daydreamers and winners where difference is accepted and celebrated. That may not seem like such a big deal now but when the show first came out with its band of misfits and rejects- it was everything. Thanks Glee. I will dearly miss you. I hope you do not change your mind and keep going, or undergo a reboot or spawn an evil spin-off but I promise to binge watch you when I’m sick or bored or on holiday or even better, studying for finals. I bid you a very fond farewell.

Lord of the Rings road trip (kind of…little bit)

I just came back from a four- day trip around South Island with the family. I had my doubts about spending so many hours cooped up in a car with them, but things turned out well. In fact, it turned out so well, that we were thinking about extending the trip. It may seem like not much, but those who spend a lot of time with family (especially siblings) would know that even a little friction can set off WW3. So I am quite happy, especially since I’m the loner child of the family who doesn’t like spending a lot of time continuously with…well, anyone. Anyway, enough boring stuff.

Here are some captured highlights of the trip:

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

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Purakanui Falls, Caitlins

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Queenstown CGI Isengard

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A scenic route in Queenstown (Path leads to a lookout on Ithillien) 

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View from top of Mount Sunday Edoras, (Rohan)DSC_0265

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Ma vie en rose

I should be studying for my exam right now, so naturally I come here instead.

I’m passionate about few things, but one of those is the freedom to be yourself.

The idea of hiding your religion, sex, culture or anything else important to you just to fit in is sad. I say this after watching the light-hearted French dramedy Ma vie en rose. It’s about a boy who believes he was born in the wrong body because God got his chromosomes mixed up. The film is playful, even optimistic yet I cried during some of the scenes. This is coming from the person who has maybe really cried in two or three movies. Watching it had put me in an introspective mood, so I sat there and wondered why I cried and then I got it.

The film is less about sexual identity and more about the role society plays in determining one’s identity. Watching the film made me realize, society can be a determinant for anything and everything if you allow it. Or feel like you don’t have another choice. Right at this moment, there could be hundreds, or thousands or maybe even millions of people hiding part of their reality because it does not fit into their society. That’s a little bit depressing when  you think about it. Imagine living in a world where the people you love cannot accept all of you, so you hide parts away where no one will find it.

I guess the film just reminded me that there are people out there right now, not being able to be themselves. It shouldn’t be a privilege to be yourself, it’s a right and a freedom and I hope one day, everyone who has ever felt the need to hide or change themselves realize they are not the problem. Society is.

And that’s a little sucky, because we are society. Maybe all of us are just hiding bits and pieces of our identity and we don’t want to see the braver souls come out and reveal who they are. I just want to say go you to those braver souls, and to those who are looking for courage…I wholeheartedly hope you find it. You have my support fellow humans of the world.

Her

Anyone seen this yet?

I’m dying to head to one of the ‘artsy’ theatres in town and see it….but i must wait till exam season is over. Sad face.

Joaquin Phoenix + Scarlett Johansson(even just the voice) = Magic.

Watch the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a little strange but charming.

Days of Future Past

I am so incredibly excited about the upcoming instalment in the X-Men series, the trailer looks promising and exciting but I’m worried it might be too much material for one movie. A lot of very different things seem to be happening throughout the trailer and must say I am a little confused by it. Admittedly, I have never read the comics which might have helped but I have been a follower of the films and I sincerely hope this film will live up to my (ginormous) expectations. Fingers crossed.