MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “birthday”

A decade of Whispers

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Every big thing starts with a simple moment of folly in which, upon taking that leap, you ask “why not” and “what if”. Because yes, in jumping, you may fall; but what if you fly?

We have a tendency in this modern fast-paced world of ours to consider the downside more than what we have to gain. But we sometimes fail to see that if we don’t dare to try, we won’t move to grow. Change won’t happen if we don’t go after it.

In the past years of pandemic lockdowns, political developments, climate change (floods, heatwaves, fires), and so much more that has made us question the very essence of our existence, it is perhaps our mental health and psychological state of being that has been affected the most.

We find that we are often competing with our own self simply to remain sane. We’re battling the voices in our hear that we wish were not ours. We whisper that we’re fine, when inside we’re bellowing that we’re not. And we realise that we need days off everything; hours to do absolutely nothing – to lie in bed staring at the ceiling,binge-watch series or movies, to walk silently along the beach, to read after going offline. We ought to give ourselves those instances to regroup, to recharge, and to relax above all. It’s an opportunity to reconsider everything we do – from the support circle around us, the social acquaintances, our relations with the ‘outside’ world, to our employment prospects, our professional ambitions, but also our personal dreams which we so often push aside.

I began writing this blog a decade ago – can you believe it’s been 10 years already? It was my way of expressing everything I cannot (or wish not) say aloud. It’s not easy for everyone to speak out and converse so easily with people. Some of us are lost in the chaos of our minds. We’ll speak to those who win our trust, who we feel comfortable and secure with; to those, we will blabber away for hours, so consider yourself lucky, for you are among the selected few. But don’t think we don’t have things to say. The pen, it is said, is often mightier than the sword. And if we can’t speak, we’ll write it.

That said, consider this in the rapid passing of time: We come into each other’s lives in a mere fragment of it. We meet each other without knowing what led the other to this moment, and (on each occasion) we are trying to catch up on the time we ‘lost’ when we did not know of each other’s existence. In an effort to replenish that time, we want to draw in as much information as possible about the other, often being subject to jealousy of the people who have managed to spend a greater period with this new person.

We have but a glimpse of our lives to set our mark on another person and ensure our role and part in their lives is maintained. In the dozens (or more) of people we meet throughout our passage, only a handful will stay long enough to see us grow, change, laugh and cry, evolve. But those are the people who matter. And it goes both ways.

So, the message I’ll close off with in this 10-year anniversary post is this: sometimes it’s good not to know where you’re going and where something you start off in a leap of faith will lead. Because you never know how wonderful or life-changing it may be.

Birthday wishes

My birthday is on Christmas day. In case you haven’t noticed if you’ve been reading this blog for some part of its 9-year history. But what you may not know, is that, though many think it’s “lovely” to have a Christmas Birthday, I don’t really like it. Apart from being somewhat overshadowed by one of the most important holidays of the year, people tend to forget you amidst all the universal celebrations. And it’s just not the same with having an entire day all to yourself. When people can legitimately forget your birthday for not knowing of it.

But there is also the other side: the fact that you get a clearer picture of your friends and acquaintances during this day. Birthdays are a milestone and an indication of who cares. Because those who do, will take five minutes of their time – or less – to send a wish your way, one which will brighten your day and make you feel loved. It doesn’t take much, but to the person in question it makes a huge difference.

Birthdays, like a good friend told me, are a starting point. That day when the counter returns to zero and you start again, afresh, setting new goals for the year ahead, reflecting on what went well, what didn’t, who was there, who shouldn’t have been, and who wasn’t, where you wasted time and where your energy was invested in the year that passed. It is a day that fills you with delight, love, ambition, and determination to enshrine the saying that we grow older becoming wiser (and prettier).

It’s the day when you decide who and what is worth your time and concern. Friendships are evident even in a simple ‘happy birthday’ wish. Because no one is too busy or too distracted with anything else – whatever that may be – to not wish you something nice during the most significant day of your year.

As you blow out the candle on your birthday cake, the wish is almost always the same – more so now during these times – for our loved ones to be well and healthy, to be surrounded by love and positive vibes, to be optimistic that better things are on their way. And to know deep inside that our best days are still to come.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears”. — John Lennon

Nine Whispering Lives

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There is a saying that “success is falling down nine times and getting up ten”. Because in every fall, in every adversity, in every challenge, there is a lesson to be learnt. We grow up wiser (hopefully), stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for all that lies ahead.

The number nine holds a special symbolism.

Among others, it represents fulfillment, life mission, wisdom, and higher consciousness. It is said to symbolize transformation.

In the nine years of writing this blog, this is exactly what the past year has been all about. Changes, in every form and every level, lead you to rethink your course of life, your choices, the decisions you’ve (not) made, the way you view your existence in general. Finding inner peace and mental serenity means you need to acknowledge what is not working out. And in so doing, change it. It’s amazing how life improves when you develop a positive perspective for it. It is essentially true that when you smile at the world, it smiles right back. Well, not always; but at least for more times than none.

Birthdays – even if just for a blog – are a period of reflection of how time has passed, how things have altered, how you’ve progressed and evolved. One year is a lot and a little, depending on how you look at things. It is 365 days of starting over and hoping it will be a better day, and not giving up no matter the difficulties you’re facing. And that alone means you’re stronger every day. Because you survive. And you maintain that aspiration that things will get better. As long as we can keep that attitude, it’ll all be OK.

In all the tragedies we face, we witness, we experience, we need to remember to be extremely grateful for the lives we live, the comfort we enjoy, and that imperative feeling of safety. It can all be taken away by a simple spark that turns into a raging flame.

So let’s live this one life, as if it we’ve had nine.

Eight Whispers learnt

Picture the number eight (8). Now imagine it fell sideways (∞). That symbol is of infinity. It is one of no start or end.

Eight is a symbol of infinity. Of a constant flow of energy, life, love and power. It is also often related to material wealth, money and success.

In a world filled with complications and diversions, the infinity symbol represents both simplicity and balance, as it reminds us to be conscious of where we are and aware of the endless possibilities that we have before us.

Eight is a powerful and dynamic number in itself. It is exactly one third of the 24-hour day. It is the number of hours we work, play and sleep. But it is also the time when, having been out all day, you realise just how quickly time has passed because you were genuinely having fun.

Eight is the number of years that have passed since I started this blog.

Every blog anniversary I take the time to ponder on how far I’ve come as a writer and a person, how I’ve matured on all levels, and how things in life have changed not only for me personally, but also generally in the world.

This year has been tough so far. And we’re still in the eighth month of it, having another third to go.

Yet, if we consider everything we’ve learnt so far, we should be grateful.

So here are eight whispers that I share with you:

  1. Everything – literally every single thing – can turn upside down in a millisecond. That is why you need to live and enjoy every moment you have. You don’t know how much more time we’ll be given. Why wait? The time is now. Do the best you can with it.
  2. Smile more and laugh harder. The more you emanate a positive aura, the more happiness you’ll spread and the more positive your whole day will be. We attract what we send out. Remember that.
  3. You don’t own all the problems in the world. There is always someone facing something more serious and more difficult than you do. Just work at having more skills to be able to manage and solve your own problems better.
  4. Choose your friends and co-workers wisely. You’ll spend with them more than just eight hours or eight days or eight years. Be with people you admire and who push you to be better. Share a mutual path to success and improvement.
  5. If you don’t take the risk you’ll never know. “A ship is always safe at the shore but that’s not what it’s built for” (Albert Einstein).
  6. Focus on what you want and where you want to be. So focus on the good, on the positive, on the light in all the darkness. Place your energy in lighting up the way to where you want to go. That is what guides you. You.
  7. Devote time to your education. A smart person never stops learning. Read. The more you read the more your mind and heart will open and the more you’ll see the world differently. The more you’ll appreciate it. And the more grateful you’ll be for all you have.
  8. Being successful also entails being happy. Otherwise, there is not much point to it. Do what makes your heart sing. What gets you up in the morning without snoozing the alarm clock eight times. Make your job your passion and work hard to achieve your goals so that you radiate with satisfaction and happiness when you realise your dream.

Life shouldn’t be as miserable and harsh as we make it out to be. Every hardship we are forced to go through has a solution or at least an aspect we can deal with and learn from. We just need to want to see the positive in all the bad.

We should want to smile more and change our lives.

Eight is also said to represent order and balance and a constant desire to master all important things in life. But sometimes we just need to go with the flow and adapt to reach infinity.

Alternating circles

Birthdays, a good friend told me, are the perfect date to set new goals, to rethink your stance, to start anew, because it is on this day that your life began; that you began. It is on our birthday that we realise how many things change in a year. How different our lives are now from 12 months ago, or from simply one month ago. Time passes by rapidly and if we are not careful, life will pass us by.

It’s not to ponder on the past and forget to live, though. Strength comes from constantly moving forward, continuously evolving and wanting to improve every aspect of yourself and your quality of life.

Hope springs from standing in the dark and looking for the stars. It’s the pressure we impose on ourselves to never give up because better things are coming and the need to believe this is true.

We need to change habits every once in a while. It’s part of the circles that close and new ones that open. To find new people that will enrich our lives and make us better, who will match our level.

Unfortunately, not everyone who comes into our lives stays. And we realise that the people who we thought we couldn’t live without are no longer a necessary part of our lives. There are those who never fought for us, who could live without us first and who left on their own accord. Those who proved they were unworthy of all our love and devotion because they didn’t know how to appreciate or reciprocate it. Those who blamed us for their own inadequate behaviour and demanded things they themselves could not provide. Those who make us regret ever giving them a part of our lives, our world, our heart. Because in the end, those who matter are those who value us, who remain no matter what, who always remember you on your special day, who are there regardless everything else and who love unconditionally.

Each person is responsible for their own attitude and the way they behave – be it their reactions, their words, their actions or inaction, their decency (if any).

It takes time to realise things we were so used to overseeing. Because it takes time for the mind to change course, to alternate its circle of thinking. Time won’t heal your wounds, it will just make it easier for you to live with the scars.

Birthdays are a chance to evaluate where you stand in chasing your dreams and the life you desire. To set new goals, to get back on track with what you want. And what most people want are simple things: to be healthy, happy and loved.

A new birthday year offers 365 new opportunities to do that. To find our way again and make it a better year. Let’s do our best to make it worth it.

All that matters

©MCD

For the majority of people, holidays – especially Christmas and New Year – means home. It means being surrounded by your loved ones, the people who know you best and who will be next to you no matter what. They are the ones who stay whatever the situation is and who remind you that you are stronger than you think and can survive anything. You did so far, and you will continue to do so.

There is no place you feel safer than being at home. Because here, nothing can touch you, nothing can hurt you or make you sad. You have a safety net of love that acts as a shield, helping you cope with whatever is causing havoc in your mind. And you can get lost simply staring at a burning fireplace, wrapped up in a fleece blanket on the couch.

When you have a birthday on Christmas day – like I do – you feel this season more deeply. It is your season, your time, your day. Because you have no other all year round. No one is entitled to ruin it for you and you shouldn’t let anyone do so. After all, people hurt you only as much as you allow them to.

When I tell people I have a Christmas-birthday. I get two types of reactions: one is – ‘oh how lovely to have a birthday on this special day, you’re really lucky’; and  the other – ‘that sucks, you have everything crammed in one day and don’t get all the attention you deserve’. My view is somewhere in between. I’ve said it before, there are pros and cons to having a Christmas birthday. But when you get to share this very special day with people who really care for you and you’re overwhelmed with love and wishes, that’s all that matters.

A person feels happy when they feel safe and loved. Everything else will come at the right time.

Stay positive and happy holidays everyone!

Whisper it Seven

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Seven is a special number. It is considered lucky because we have an affinity for it: most people consider seven their favourite number or choose it when asked to pick a number between one and ten.

Seven is prevalent in our daily lives too: seven days in a week, seven continents, seven oceans, seven vertebrae in the neck, seven colours in a rainbow, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven deadly sins. In fact, some researchers argue that human memory works best if it remembers up to seven items.

Seven also features strongly in the religions of the world: in the creation story of the Bible, God made the world in six days and rested on the seven, thus scholars believe it represents perfection or completeness. In Judaism, there are seven heavens. In the Islam’s holy book, the Koran, Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca walk around the Kaaba seven times. In Chinese culture, seven represents Yin and Yang combined with the Five Elements (water, fire, earth, wood and metal), while in Confucianism this combination is believed to represent harmony.

Seven is, therefore, an important number and most often a lucky one.

Seven years pass by in a flash.

I have written a lot during these seven years (794 posts on this blog) and a lot has happened. It is enough time to reflect, to grow, to mature, to experience new things, to change the way you react to situations, to learn how to deal with life especially when things don’t come the way you plan or hoped they would. It is time that allows you to become stronger and more resilient. And one way of doing this – for me – is through writing, right here. By making my own experiences and observations into fictional stories. By writing motivational stories that I would really like someone else to tell me. By drawing optimism and positivity from the words that fill a page on a screen.

Seven years may be many or few, depending on how you look at it. But they are part of what makes us who we are and a chance to reflect on where we are, according to where we want to be.

So here’s to many more, with the wish to never run dry of inspiration and creativity!

A special birthday date

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If you’re born on December 25, you find that you are filled with complaints during this time of year. Mainly because you feel wronged in so many ways and because you fear that you’ll be forgotten in the festivities.

There is a strange feeling in that everyone is counting down to your birthday. But not everyone is as excited as you for it. And the worst is that you spend the entire year waiting for this one day, when everything is crammed into one.

As a child – but also as an adult – you feel wronged in that you only get one present. It’s not that you are ungrateful for it. It’s just that it is completely unfair that everyone else gets to receive a Christmas present, a birthday present and even a Nameday present. Yet, all you get is one that encompasses them all.

You also feel neglected when everyone wishes you “Merry Christmas” but only a few remember it’s your birthday too. It is somehow lost in all the fanfare. And to you it is simply not fair.

With a Christmas Birthday, you feel everything more intensely and experience it all to the fullest possible. But at times, you’re also bound to feel left out. Because you lack a day for yourself. And your unavoidable protests about that may make you seem ungrateful. But if you think about it, you may understand that it is not so.

The only thing you can do is cherish the fact that you were born during the season that fills people with love and joy. The time when there are lights everywhere, carolling and rejoicing. It is special that you came into the world exactly at this time. The people who matter will remember that regardless and they will try to make this day as unforgettable as possible.

Something special within the season

©MCD

He realised something was happening when the bright seasonal decorations began to appear, first on the main door, then the lights on the window. Suddenly the night appeared to light up. There was colour pouring out of every corner of the building.

The snow made it evident winter had come. But that too was part of the season. You had to feel it was winter.

He didn’t care it was this cold. He was used to it anyway. It was freezing when he arrived a year ago. One year had already past. And now he was ready to celebrate a birthday. One that happened to coincide with the most wonderful time of the year.

He disliked the fact that people bypassed his own celebrations and he had to deal with the fact that every one was celebrating these days. He wanted to feel special. To have a day devoted to him. To have a day that was his very own.

Those who cared would make it so.

After all that is what family and friends are for.

Even if you are simply a kitten.

You still deserve to have something unique, especially for you.

Six Whispers

six anniversaryIn numerology, the number six is considered “not too hot, not too cold, not too fast nor too slow”. Six is usually just right, hardly ever part of any extremes, with a well-balanced nature and a “happy number indeed”.

Six years ago, I started writing this blog. Essentially, to externalise the whispers that were mounting in my head about everything and anything. After all, “a writer is someone who pays attention to the world” (Susan Sontag) and it is true that “as a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…and write about the silence” (N.R. Hart). More so, when you make time to write – because you will never find it unless you force yourself – you find that there is always something to write about, especially what doesn’t kill you, want helps you survive, what changes your perception of the world.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’ Connor). Indeed, writing stimulates thought. Perhaps that is the main reason why writers are first urged to read a lot. And why parents are encouraged to read to their children, for a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

In six years of blog writing, there is the fear of being repetitive and inescapably there are topics that come up again and again, due to their importance and their intrinsic part of our lives. In six years, you see yourself mature and grow, evolve and gain new skills, new mentality and a new perspective on life as everything you experience shapes you.

Most of all you learn to appreciate the concept of time. Because you find that you often waste too much of it without real reason. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. We need to focus on the small things because eventually we’ll realise that these were the big things that made life great. In the end, we only regret the things we left unsaid the chances we didn’t take. So devote your time to things that make you happy, to the people you love and to the activities that enrich your soul. Time is the greatest gift to give, because it is like giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.

We can’t predict the future and perhaps it is better that way. Life can certainly be complicated. But we shouldn’t wait for things to get better to do something. We need to learn to be happy right now, otherwise we’ll simply run out of time.

After all, we can’t control the things that happen, but what really matters is the way we react to everything.

Summing it all up are three words that say everything: “live, love, laugh”.

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