Experience VS. Things

Me underwater in Cathedral Cove (Narnia), New Zealand, 2005.

An experience is always a better choice than buying an item.

Eschewing food and other absolute necessities, having an experience is always the better choice when choosing how to spend your money. Most people don’t even “choose” – they just mindlessly fork over the dough.

Something my dad said a long time ago has always stuck with me – when you consider how much work you have to do to make that amount, when buying something, think about it in terms of HOURS SPENT rather than the moola itself.

Would you work a half hour (or an hour?!) in exchange for a latte?
Would you work a whole week in exchange for a pair of fancy shoes?
Would you work a whole day for one meal at a swank restaurant?

That sort of thing – because that is what you are doing.

So many people work often and do little, because their money is spent on unnecessary things. Then they whine that they need a vacation but can’t afford it, or that they wish they had more time off, or more time to spend with their kids, on and on and on.

I’ve stopped buying things I don’t need, including books – which for me is amazing. I get credits at work (a book store) so that is the only time I buy them anymore. I read what I own, and I go to the library. I used to desire a huge book-lined home, wall-to-wall beauty – but without the money I spent on those books, I would have no free time to read them all. Dig?

I also make sure that the food I buy actually fills me up. On a raw diet, this is important, because many raw foods are so low calorie that you need a TON to be satiating – hence eating high-calorie fruit as a staple (bananas, dates, mangos, etc). I limit the amount of other things that are for flavour more than satiation – lemons, nori – things like this add up to a lot and really do nothing to fill the tummy. You should do the same, whether you eat raw or not!

I also pick up any change I see on the ground, even if it’s a penny. You cannot have any sum without pennies – these are the building blocks, If you ignore the free money around you, you tell the universe you don’t need it. I’ve seen beggars scoff at one cent coins – ironic.

Use your extra money to DO things. What are you going to remember at the end of your life? The stuff you bought, or the stuff you did?

Here’s some examples of what you can do with certain sums of money:

$10 – A couple of days of coffee VS. basket of fruit for a picnic in the park with friends.

$20 – a fresh-pressed t-shirt VS. a whirling slamdance nightclub evening.

$50 – lacquered nails VS. a thrumming live concert.

$100 – a dvd set VS. a zipline ride through the mountains.

$500 – a fancy handbag VS. a weekend away with your lover.

$1000 – the latest phone VS. a new guitar for your lifelong dream of being a musician.

$2000 – a designer gown VS. a sunbaked week in Hawaii.

Watching Pipeline, Oahu, 2010. I spent a week here for just over $1000.

$5000 – a diamond necklace VS. a raw food retreat in Costa Rica to heal you from within.

$10,000 –  plastic surgery VS. months of traveling in South East Asia.

$100,000 – a zippy sportscar VS. trips to every continent.

$250,000 – a partially-paid-for condo VS. a caravan to explore the country.

$500,000 – medical bills (due to your terrible eating habits, not unfortunate accidents) VS. enough to live on, work-free, for years.

$1,000,000 – a beautiful home…VS. basically whatever you want. If you have this much money you wouldn’t even be reading this article.

Most of us do not have much disposable income (what a horrible phrase – disposable income? If we work for that money, then we are saying our TIME is worthless – so we are saying that our LIFE is worth trading for insignificant crap).

Obviously a little indulgence is okay now and then, but when it throws you into debt, and you think shopping is “therapy” – that is when you need to really step back and scrutinize the reality of what you’re doing.

Personally I would rather do more, work less, and appreciate reality, not artifice; adventures, not stuff; dreams, not consumerism.

If you have debt, get out of it as soon as possible! There are many ways to do this, make it your #1 priority (okay, second – health is #1).

 Me snorkeling off West Coast Australia, with whale sharks, 2005.

$350.

Worth every cent.

~~

(This post seems very geared towards females – oops – guys, I dunno what you waste your money on!)

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I’m Glad I Was Never Popular

Age 16, Vancouver, Dominatrix shirt.

Long before high school, there was the horror of grade four. And grade seven.

These two years traumatized me, especially the latter, for I was 11/12, gawky, completely defenseless, and therefore, the easiest target. I was also the youngest.

I had huge glasses, a weird scar, crooked teeth, frizzy hair that I never brushed, terrible make-up, pimples, and no style.

I was called a cacophony of names and whenever out of the classroom, it was an onslaught. I rode my bike to and from school, even at lunch time – I lived a block away. I wanted to get out of there as fast as humanly possible. My teachers always knew what was going on, and this is why during class was a fairly safe time.

The summer before grade 8, I went to summer camp with the only friend I had – and even though I was not bothered with the same bullshit as in school. I was still easy to corner and got teased incessantly for new reasons. I ended up loathing camp, refusing to ever return.

During that summer I buried myself in magazines for the first time. I actually learned some grooming skills. I started to care a little bit about how I looked and it progressed the more I read. Fashion magazine became an obsession, and as I got older, I got to buying about nine on a monthly basis.

In high school I started out well – it was daunting, but at first, things were calm. I attribute it to everyone just settling in, because after a few weeks, all the shit from elementary school followed me into a bigger, nastier crowd. It was also coming into the classroom with me – people never hesitated to harass me as I sat at my desk, and even though I was starting to look better, my sensitive nature was like a green light for jerks.

I was a good student. Once all the in-class bullying started, though, I began to skip class. A lot. I never got detention for it, either. I’m not sure how. My grades dropped – I didn’t care. I became  obsessed with music. In grade 8 I latched on to late 80s and early 90s gangsta rap, along with any sort of perverted hip hop I could find. You’d never have pegged me for being into it – I was never without my walkman and once when I had run out of batteries I skipped class to go get some. My mother was horrified at my musical choices and tried to confiscate my cassette tapes, but my absolute agony at having it taken away made her relent. Listening to some of those things now shocks me – however anything “bad” about it never affected me at age 12. I just found it amusing, and I liked the rhythm.

In grade 9 I changed completely. I got into Guns N’ Roses and quickly changed into an elitist about music. I thought if you used anything other than REAL instruments, it was sub par and not music! I started growing out my bangs and got a leather biker jacket. There was still another part of me that wanted to fit in, and I tried a little to conform based on what I looked at in magazines.

Those things were never what people in my school were doing much of (I grew up in a small town) and so any time I tried to emulate the beauty I saw in those pages, it looked ridiculous to people in my school. I quickly gave up. I think I tried for about a week to “fit in” by what I wore.

At least in high school I had some friends. Only one of them really had the same interests as me, but we had a falling out in grade 10 and she went to another school. People still harassed me, but not as much. I barely went to class and usually had my walkman on. I started to cultivate a hard stare, and if anyone did bother me, my defenses started to show.

All I cared about was music and boys. I would look at them all from a distance. No one in my grade was my type – I liked the metal-heads and the skater boys (especially them!) with the long hair. They were all oblivious to me (I think) and I had no courage to do anything about it.

When I skipped class, I read, quite a lot. I would go downtown to raid the indie music shop. I would draw, take photos, and write. Often I’d sneak into the computer lab and write stories. Sometimes I’d write my little ass off until 9pm when they closed the school.

Age 15, downtown Vancouver at Zulu Records.

I don’t know if it was just a build-up of rage, or if it was that combined with aspirations to be like the badass female musicians I looked up to – but around grade 10 was when I started to be a wolverine.

The first time I ever stuck up for myself was grade 7 when I screamed NOOO at someone egging me on to kiss some gross dude. The second time was grade 8 when I slapped the guy beside me in class as he was getting up to tell my guy friend I wanted to fuck him (a lie! I was 12!). I slapped someone else, too, for an unknown reason. I think I just did it to feel like I could. In my imagination, I would try to picture punching someone, and even in my head I failed. So when I finally knew I could, and I wouldn’t get laughed at, I think I just wanted to replicate my “beginner’s luck.”

That was the last time I was ever violent, though there was one time at the bus stop that I took something the wrong way and started making kicking motions and flipping out at this acquaintance of mine. Talk about spaz. This may have been the pinnacle moment of  I-Can’t-Take-it-Anymore! I dunno, but remembering that just now…it seems likely.

I started losing friends, too – maybe I said inappropriate things to make myself seem better than them – who knows. I was really meek inside, but strong, too. I am still that way – ultra sensitive but also rioting constantly. Endless internal warring – not just against myself, but society as a whole.

In grade 11, I really embraced being the outsider. I dyed my hair, wore all black, skulked around with a scowl. Once rumours spread that I had  secret piercings, people began to think I was crazy. They started to leave me alone. I finally knew that being “different” = “nuts” and that “nuts” = being left alone.

Age 17 with my friend Tami.

I reveled in being the outcast at this point. I was outwardly vocal about my strange preferences, and equally dismissive and mysterious about whether rumours regarding me were true or not. After the piercings thing, everything died down. I was as weird as I wanted to be with no one bothering me – THIS, in a small town high school, was amazing.

I enjoyed my solitude but I also was lonely. I eventually had a close friend in a grade below mine, and we went to concerts together and lusted after the same wild musicians. Ultimately, though, I was on my own. I spent so much time filling myself with the things I loved. The time I did not spend in class I spent learning the things that mattered to me. I barely attended school, but somehow I passed all but one course (math 10, which I promptly ruled over in summer school). I did go to the classes I enjoyed but they were all art-related. In grade 12, all of my electives were art or photography or graphics, except for Western Civilization (I’m still not sure why I took this as it bored me – I also took English Literature, the only class i ever dropped).

Also in the final year of school, people never provoked me. Despite that, I still carried my defenses. I do to this day (it’s not really an easy thing to let go of). I still feared it. I still do.

In my schools, there were popular people, but not really popular “cliques.” If there had been I would have been badgered much worse than I was, I’m sure. The hassle I got was from the general populace – it could have been from anyone.

There were definite groups, and I hung out with a bunch of people who didn’t really fit in with any of them – we weren’t nerds, or theatre geeks, or freaks – we were a weird mix. I’m surprised I didn’t jive with the people who got stoned and went to punk shows – I was the lone goth kid in school until I hit grade 12. I was never really drawn to druggies and slackers – I hated school but I loved to learn. I dealt with my angst by writing and drawing.

I’m glad I was never popular. I’m GLAD I got picked on. It made me withdraw, it made me see what most people are like. It made me want to get away from the mainstream bullcrap that most people end up doing.

Why? Even when people are not “popular” they just drift through school in a nonchalant way, they tend to buy into what they are told – go to school, college, get job, get married, get house, have kids, have debt, go insane, have crisis, get sick from bad lifestyle + stress, go into more debt, wither away, get degenerate disease, die.

It’s practically ingrained in us from day one – we watch our parents, we watch TV, we read magazines, we get taught a particular curriculum that teaches everyone the same thing, and we are all pushed in a similar direction – to be drones. To respect “authority” instead of becoming authority! Over ourselves!

I’m glad I was not popular – I am glad I was the outcast. I was able to start seeing the underlying threads. I’ve never been convinced of this so-called life – the one that most people seem to aspire to.

Shunning the majority of school made me smarter.

I had more time to pursue my real interests, and my natural curiosity and love of learning (we all have it!) came back x 10000.

Being bullied made me stronger + able to speak my mind, to defend myself, and to defend OTHER people (and animals).

Being an outcast made me enjoy my own company.

It also allowed me to observe how most of the world operates and why so many people are unhappy. When you move with the flock, you tend to do what they do. When you’re left on your own, you see all the alternatives.

Being a loner made me introspective.

I still got a little lost along the way. I still got into the whole “work force” as I did not know my real options, I had low self esteem and crippling depression and anxiety (from both an unhealthy diet + all the stuff I just mentioned) – also I was told most of my life to “be realistic” when it came to jobs, money, life – I still am told this now, but I don’t listen. I am finally at a point where I feel strong enough, whole enough, and complete enough to really go after anything I want.

You really have to believe in yourself (how fucking corny….) – but really. What is the other option? You gonna believe everyone that tells you that you have to be “realistic?” In who’s reality? Theirs? If you choose to believe them, then they are right. If you choose to believe yourself, you are also right – whether you say to yourself “I can’t” or “I can.” Personally I want to prove everyone wrong, and prove myself right.

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand (not a Rand fan, but love this quote.)

Overwhelmed by the State of the World?

I get this way. Often.

Sometimes I will cry in the middle of the grocery store, like I did today when reading National Geographic, images of a rhino with her horn cut off by poachers, found the next day searching for her lost baby. It sent me into a fury. I started hating the world, people, society, HUMANS.

When I rage, though, I feel compelled to do something – instead of pure hate that goes nowhere, I try to flip it around, and think of how I can make a positive difference.

It is so difficult to live amongst these things – generally I avoid the news – I do want to know what is going on, but I cannot deal with constant bombardment.

I think we are all either desensitized or numb. We have to be, or we choose ignorance. It’s a survival mechanism. I get shit from some people for avoiding the news, yet they choose to ignore the atrocities that happen to animals so they can go on eating their meat and dairy, or wearing their skins. They ignore the underlying issues, the ones not broadcast in the mainstream. The ones “they” want to hide.

We all contribute to the evil in the world in some way. There are probably only a handful of people out there that can say they live a completely cruelty-free life. They are most likely unknown.

We do our best – but only with the knowledge we HAVE. However, we should always be taking steps forward to be even better. Small steps are too small – our world is fucked. You should especially care if you have children, or want them. You should be completely outraged at the things you know about, and take action to abolish them.

The most powerful thing you can do is BOYCOTT. Money makes EVERYTHING happen in this world – 99% of the bad things that go on are due to greed, on some level. It makes people ugly, desperate, and robotic. They forget their true sensitive natures. We are all sensitive beings, but these things are so shrouded – we can’t handle the horrible happenings, and we numb ourselves – with food, mindless entertainment, alcohol, and everything else. We are so empty, grasping at air – what can we possibly do to UNDO the turmoil we’ve caused? How can we even begin to fight the “powers” that seek to destroy us and become rich because of it?

We just don’t contribute. Start getting angry. Start saying a big FUCK YOU to even the smallest ways evil seeps into your life.

Even hatred can be turned into a passionate, powerful beauty. IF the hatred is turned into a force for the greater good. Sometimes anger can be glorious, uplifting, and staggering, if pointed in the direction of utopia.

We all want utopia – but at the expense of all others? At the expense of our world, of our animal friends? Of our health?

We are not overpopulated here – there is plenty of room for us – but we live in a completely unsustainable way – we are dependent and greedy, we want everyone to do things for us.

Power comes from being self-sustaining. Feed yourself, free yourself.

Here are some ways to get out of that system:

+ Grow your own food. You can do this in your own home, yard, balcony, communal garden, random patch of land, windowsill, rooftop, alleyway.

+ Learn to forage. This will come in handy to save you money, give you major nourishment, and if the world goes to shit sooner than later,  you will be able to survive.

+ Freeganism. So much food in the world is wasted. Get over the “yuck” factor and celebrate the “free” factor – plus the point of keeping things out of landfills.

+ Adopt a natural, biologically appropriate diet – this will free you of health problems and the medical system/pharmacuetical industry.

+ ReUSE things. Instead of rushing out to buy something every time your stuff breaks down, get it fixed, or learn to fix it yourself. You do NOT need the latest model – you are just fueling horrible industries and being brainwashed by media. People always forget the reuse/reduce, and focus mainly on recycling.

+ Seek out alternative sources of news.

+ Be suspicious of everyone trying to SELL you something you don’t NEED.

+ Become so clean internally that you have no use for make-up. Take care of yourself so well that you have no need of doctors or cosmetic procedues.

+ Shun television – and if you must watch something, be very aware of what is being pushed upon you. Question the motives behind everything you see. Be aware of how you are being manipulated. It is strong, prevalent, and more damning than you realize.

+ Read something that is actually going to teach you something. Cultivate some interest outside of what the media wants to brainwash you with.

+ Focus on things that will make you strong, independent, and alive, instead of focusing on vanity, indulgence, and things. Strength and vivaciousness beat out fake beauty and materialism.

+ Unschool yourself. Then relearn. If I ever have children they will not be going to public school, unless they REALLY want to. I wish I had left. Children have a natural curiousity that tends to be squashed by regular education. It is a babysitting service, and built to spoil us. The whole point is to mold people into an obedient workforce.

+ Just say “Fuck it” if something scares you. Do it ANYWAY. I was scared shitless to start this blog because there is so much out there already. I’m not freaked out by much, though. Some people are too scared to do anything! I think that is so sad.

+ Don’t get too enmeshed in the negative. There ARE a LOT of positive things in the world – be a PART of that. BE positive. Find ways to overcome “problems.” There is ALWAYS options! No money? You can find ways to get around it. I went on a 100% raw diet when I was working part-time and making minimum wage. It was #1 priority so it happened! Make whatever is most important to you YOUR #1 PRIORITY!

+ Get a bike and ride that everywhere. It doesn’t have to be new or expensive. If it’s raining, get some raingear. Or take the bus. I personally hate the bus and have a car, however, I am riding my bike more often in order to rely on the car less. Cars are necessary for some things, but not ALL things. I certainly could not get jugs of spring water with a bike or a bus. Eventually I want to ride my bike to work, unless the weather is atrocious.

+ Buy independent, or thrift-store wares. Use freecycle.org. You will save money big-time AND not contribute to heinous corporations.

+ Question the source and ethics behind EVERYTHING you buy!

+ Choose a cause and really throw yourself into it. If you have time to watch TV, you have time to take action, even in small ways.

I know a lot of these suggestions are not new, but they are simple. I’m surprised more people don’t implement them. And I know a few of these will seem a bit off-putting for some – well, do you think the world is in good shape? Do you like being brainwashed and having your life controlled by people who just want to take advantage of you and steal your money, money you give your life away for, when you could be spending it doing things you WANT to be doing? Do you like contributing to the mass destruction of the place you LIVE upon?

We have a huge responsibility to take care of the natural resources that sustain us. The hugeness of it does not all have to be taken upon by one individual. It is ALL of us, taking care of ourSELVES in this way, that will add up.

It is impossible to have a million dollars without pennies involved, and in the same way, it is impossible to have an effect upon the world’s worst issues without first lessening your own impact. You have no right to complain about the state of things unless you are doing as much as you can.

I don’t think everyone needs to change overnight – in most cases that would not be feasible, and even I have not changed everything I want to change. BUT, I do a little at a time. There are major ways to not contribute that are EASY to do RIGHT AWAY. Just STOP buying things that support evil industries! Simple! There are always alternatives!

The earth will heal, but we have caused so much destruction. We are the scourge of the earth…which is SO DEPRESSING because…

WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY AND ABILITY TO BE THE MOST AMAZINGLY GIVING, SENSITIVE, CREATIVE, CONSCIOUS BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE.

The best you can be – be it. It is probably BETTER than you can fathom. I could not imagine being the person I am today several years ago. I could not even dream of it – it took small steps, constant searching for betterment – in myself, FIRST. When you take care of your own needs you will have the clarity of mind and the healthy body to take you into the rest of the world, with strength to fight and help others.

You don’t need luck – you need self-love.

~~~

Just living is not always living. Look at your life. Can you call it a blessing? Can you call it a gift, a present of existence? Would you like this life to be given to you again and again? – Osho

Personal Reality is Complete Fabrication

“You can’t do that – it’s not realistic.” 

When someone says that to you, do you believe them?

It’s a lie. That is their reality. Their reality says you can’t do it – but does yours? If you choose to believe “reality” is only one way, that is your choice. Everything you believe is your choice.

You create your own reality. Most people think there are only one or two options, when in fact, there are countless ways to do everything.

What is reality, anyway? My reality completely differs from everyone else. So does yours. What you interpret, what you believe, who you follow, how you behave – it is all your choice. To think otherwise is to give up complete control of yourself – to put yourself in the hands of others, to make yourself a puppet, to surrender to the many manipulations of society. You can succumb to the pressure, or you can say FUCK NO.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
Albert Einstein

Generally people are caught up in “the norm” and want to blend into society (or they think they do).  Many people blindly follow others, or ideals, without even taking into consideration how they personally feel. There are many others that pave their own paths  – some are famous, some are not – but people tend to regard them as “special” or “talented.”

The only difference between regular people and impressive people (the ones doing what they want, the way they want) is that they do two things:

1. Believe they can do it.
2. Are persistent.

That’s the ONLY difference.

~~

I like to link everything with health for specific reasons – for me, and I think for a huge number of people – when I am not functioning properly, I do not feel motivated. I may feel like a failure, or useless, or too tired, or too old, or that there are way more interesting and talented people out there.

When I focus on my health, I get benefits x 100000. First off – I’m healthy!  Bonus! But along with that, there is clarity, self-esteem, ecstasy, natural happiness, an overall well-being – this instantly lines up with the confidence to go for the things I want.

No matter how much you may want to do something, if you are not truly healthy, your brain may not function in a way that allows you to follow your dreams. When I made the connection between my diet and my depression, everything morphed. My entire life changed once I focused on my health.

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”
Tony Robbins

~~

Since your brain is the epicenter of all you do, and all you desire, it only makes sense to take the very best care of it. You need to nourish your body  properly, you need to sleep enough to regenerate your cells, you need to continue to learn. Without all the parameters taken care of, your brain will not perform at its OPTIMAL levels. You may still function just fine, but are you trapped by a lifetime of repression? Have you always believed what others have told you? What are your limited beliefs keeping you from? Can you even imagine?

When you think more clearly, you start to see the cracks in “reality” – you see all the underlying bullshit. I am not talking about conspiracy theories – I am talking about everything that is hidden from you, that is never out in the open, never on TV. – the things you need to seek out for yourself. You may not even want to seek them out for yourself because it is overwhelming, or because you are too tired from the barrage of empty, meaningless garbage thrown at you from all angles, all day, every day. It is so much easier to just mindlessly follow along, no effort required.

A lot of these things are so infuriating that you may give up hope for all of humanity., including yourself.  I feel that way at times – however, that just may be what “they” hope for – it’s all too much, so why bother? I’m a part of  the system and that is reality – most people believe this. Too depressed, too brainwashed, not even aware of their own power.

So what about the people out there who DO NOT live within the normal construct of “reality” – the ones who lives on the outskirts, who find loopholes, who really grasp the truth, who find personal freedom, that do and be whatever they please? How did they get there, how do they do it?

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
Lily Tomlin

It is my mission to find out – to meet more and more people like this, and to become one myself.

Along with true health, to become what you want you must surround yourself with people you admire – real people to look up to.

Examples:

If you only hang around healthy people, you are bound to become healthier. Just like if you hang around addicts, you will probably end up with a needle in your arm.

If you only hang around successful people, you will likely learn and put many of the things they do into practice – the constant inspiration will naturally push you forward.

If you want to become a better athlete, train with people BETTER than you – a natural competitive nature will do much more for your skill than practice alone.

Finding people to be with in person is always best, but if you have no other options right now, there is an endless vortex of like-minded people connected to you by tiny electronics pulses. Take advantage of it.

What do you most want to do, how do you want to live? Find people already doing it and talk to them! Engage them, pummel them with questions – people love talking about themselves.

If there is no one to admire or emulate, well , then you have the extreme pleasure of becoming a visionary.

Just remember that the only thing holding you back from doing what you want is the belief that you can’t. If you believe that, your mind will never see any other options. If you start LOOKING for other options, they will appear. Maybe not immediately, but because your brain is open, you will see them when they do appear.

This is not new age stuff – it’s science. There is a part of the brain called the reticular activating system. It filters out any irrelevant information (such as when you are immersed in doing something and the whole world falls away –  like right now – there is traffic noise but I don’t hear it because I am focused on writing this). It works the other way, too – positively or negatively. When you hear a song you hate, you probably hear it everywhere. When you love a particular breed of dog, you will spot one a mile away. It’s because your brain is always attuned to the things you have strong feelings for.

You are very likely to accomplish what you want if you keep a positive focus on it. You also have to know what you want, specifically, or you will not travel in the right direction.

Every successful person in the world would be struggling if they hadn’t believed they could succeed. When I opened my mind and looked for real answers to my health problems, instead of mindlessly going back to the doctor for pills, I discovered true health. I was completely open! I would never have given second thought to changing my diet otherwise – why would I have? No one else had ever suggested it – certainly not a doctor. If I had trusted doctors, or media, I never would be who I am now.

Instead of thinking: “I’m depressed. I need to go back on pills. I need to go to the doctor” I thought, “Okay, there are other options, there has to be. I want to find the answer on my own.” And I did. It was very powerful and has had lasting impact – if I have any physical ailments, I know I have the ability to correct it myself. There is a deep knowing that we all have, that we tend to ignore. Ever wonder why that is?

I think that society is used to having other people think for them. We look to other “experts” to fix all of our problems, before we even try to fix them ourselves. We’re so used to it that we don’t believe in our own intuition, our own common sense, or our own strength.

So many people believe that the world is the way it is, and too bad – suck it up. Get a job, get married, have kids, pay debts, watch TV at night, then die. After the barrage of traditional education, our natural love of learning and our burgeoning talents are squashed so we can be molded into society’s workforce.

I know this because it happened to me. All I wanted to do as a youth was be a writer and a musician, perhaps a photographer. Somehow along the way I became a retail worker and then took the completely wrong subjects in college – multimedia, and later on I took a vet assistant course. Do I do either of these things now? No. Do I do anything remotely akin to my original passions? No. I did take photography courses after high school, but it was much more expensive to take photos back then – the world was not digital yet. I felt daunted for many reasons – societal pressures, my own mental decline, limiting beliefs.

I have given up on so many things – snowboarding (after breaking my arm and having no money to continue, I gave up), surfing (always was convinced I was unathletic and would never improve), and countless other things.

I could have been amazing at all of these things if I had kept positive and kept at it. Back then, though, I was not positive, at all. I was also very unhealthy. I would have brief moments of optimism, and then crumble.

I lament my youth so often –  I would so love to go back in time with the knowledge I have now. The thing is, I am still young. I can still do whatever I want,  I can still do all of those things, and I can still do them when I’m old and pink (you think I’ll ever be grey? Please.)

I am not using any of these as excuses – just examples of how I could whine about wasted opportunities instead of changing the reality of what I do now, in this moment.

Reality is what you sculpt it into. Forever and always. The people who escape horrible situations get out of them because they believe they can – or they would never try. I’m sure my situations (and yours) are a lot easier to overcome.

Welcome to your imagination, sweetheart.

~~

Man, there are too many good reality quotes – enjoy:

There are no facts, only interpretations.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.
Jim Morrison

Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.
Lily Tomlin

Few people have the imagination for reality.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
Anais Nin

There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.
Anais Nin

Reality means you live until you die. The real truth is nobody wants reality.
Chuck Palahniuk

Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.
Brian Tracy

There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.
Hermann Hesse

Gaaaaahh so good. That last one is my favourite. I should read these for hours – inspiration to the max.

For a great book about changing your reality and finding freedom, check out How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty – by Harry Browne (what I am currently reading). The next books on my list this month are Free by Katherine Hibbert and Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously by Osho.