MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “growing up”

The Elegance of Grace

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/53/7b/8c/537b8cd6f9d98304e7b90a1308e2009d--la-dance-dance-photography.jpgShe grew up in a bedroom that was as big as some apartments she later saw during her rent-hunting period. She had always thought that was the norm. That all children were brought up in loving families that looked after their every need and sacrificed (themselves) for their own welfare. Finding out the truth hurt.

Elegance, her mother had always told Grace, was something that you learnt to impose on yourself to the extent that it came out as natural. It was like the pain a dancer felt, but to the audience it seemed like blissful gliding. That was the essence of elegance. To appear to have everything under control, without worries, stress or agony. It was not easy.

As she grew up, Grace lost her temper a lot. She was often nervous, allowing her agitation and fear to overcome her. Uncertainty did not fare well with her. She wanted things to be organised so that she could feel that she had the ability to impose some order in the chaos around her. But that wasn’t always possible.

It was only when she returned to ballet that she remembered. It reminded her that not everything had to be forced. Some things needed calm and patience to work out well and everything took time. It all fell into place at the right moment with the proper strain. The elegance was knowing how to acknowledge that and be prepared for when that moment arrived.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Elegance

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Roots and wings

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/a8/52/99a85230057e9941cb6b01a6ba3711e3--black-tree-art-prints.jpgThere is a saying, “if you don’t like where you are, move; you are not a tree”. People were meant to move around, to explore, to evolve. Instead, with the passing of time, we have become so afraid of change that we fear the slightest disturbance of our known environment. We become rooted in one place, often because we don’t have the courage to risk and see what more is out there.

And as such, we close our minds to everything around us. We refuse to accept anything different to our own perceptions, or consider something further from our beliefs.

We become so accustomed to routine, that any turbulence to it is considered lethal; when in fact, it is the other way around.

We encage ourselves in a life that shrinks us and diminishes us instead of helping us grow and develop. We aren’t making ourselves better, rather, we persevere in a mediocrity and preserve a life unchanged, with the same mentality and the same lens on life.

But what we fail to see, is that as we grow, our surroundings change, our needs become different, and so do our characters. We have a different perspective on life when we are young, springing into the world, compared to when we are mature, looking back at it.

After all, we are supposed to receive and pass on two gifts: roots to remind you where you are from, and wings to show what you can become. It is only when you use the latter that you discover where you can go.

Five Whispers

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/number-five-birthday-candle-12979894.jpghttps://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/number-five-birthday-candle-12979894.jpgFive is a milestone. Especially when it comes to time, and most specifically years. Five years of writing on this blog, I have come to realise that the more you manage to express, the free-er you eventually feel, and the more you want to write.

But, there is more.

You realise how quickly time passes and how much your life can change in the span of (just) a year. How many things can happen in 12 months that have the power to change your life, your mood, your perspective.

You come to understand that knowledge is truly power, no matter where it comes from. And you witness for yourself that the more you expand your reading, the more it embellishes your writing. A creative mind has no rest; it needs its outlets of expression.

When you start considering the passing of time, however, you conclude this very fact: “Life is about making an impact, not making an income” (Kevin Kruse).

Life will never be perfect. But we can choose to make it work.

And in the end we only need a few things to survive. But most importantly, when you love what you have, you have everything you need.

A blink in time

http://bereadytovote.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ElectionDays.jpgWhen you start counting your past in two-digit numbered-years, you know you’ve lived a lot. But you never cease to be amazed by how rapidly time really rushes by. It’s only when you think of what has been that you begin to realise the magnitude of the things you’ve experienced and all the things you’ve managed to do and survive. Yet you’ll always sadden at the thought that many of those things and people that accompanied you in your earlier years don’t exist anymore. And you tremble at the frightening thought that the same fate awaits you sometime in your future. All you can hope is that it will be far away.

As children we believe that the people around as are immortal. And that our surroundings will endure forever, surviving every disaster, natural or manmade. It is as we grow up that this innocence and lack of realism is lost. As is our ability to dream.

We live in a world that is both terrifying and wonderful. One in which time passes by so fast that if you blink you’ll miss the moments you have to live.

Our lives are but a swish in this vast universe and all we can do is take as much out of them as we possible can. Make a reality out of your dreams; do the things that scare you but will make you stronger; spend more time with the people you love; demonstrate your appreciation and gratitude to those that matter; and help those that can’t help themselves. A life well-lived is one that is full to the brim with experiences, with as least regrets as possible, with memories you cherish, and with the satisfaction that you took advantage to the utmost of all the time that was given to you.

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives” – Lemony Snicket

 

Date of maturation

http://www.robertotoole.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Alaska_Eagles_DS7_1547_N.jpgA person very dear to me recently told me how wonderfully I’ve matured over the past few years. I don’t like the feeling of growing older, to be honest. But I do enjoy the experiences and the adventures of a time well-spent and a life enjoyed to the fullest. And knowing that all that brings out the best in you, is a feeling like no other.

Because in reality, maturity is not something that comes with age. Far from it. It is, as time passes, however, that you become more aware of the world around you. Of how everything works, the unwritten rules, the human relationships, the fragments of society and all the things no-one talks about.

You mature through the life lessons you learn. Through the times you fall down and get hurt, and the corresponding more that you get up and continue. Through all those instances you survive, no matter how hard it seemed at the time.

You grow up not when you reach a certain age. But when you become independent enough to be able to cope on your own. To be capable of facing crises without panicking, freezing and needing to call for help.  It happens when you develop the necessary attitude to face the world.

Maturity, it is said, is not when we start speaking big things…it is when we start understanding small things.  It’s learning which battles are worth fighting, and realizing that many things don’t require your comment.  It’s feeling content with simply knowing you’re right about something, without needing to prove someone else wrong. And it’s in feeling well and sure about yourself despite everything else.

Like another dear friend pointed out, Shakespeare was right about one thing we should all stick to above all: “to thine own self be true”. Always. Knowing that this is what matters more than what other people think, is evidence enough that you have reached that other level.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Crisis

Growing green

https://wallpaperscraft.com/image/river_jungle_moss_stones_vegetation_green_45577_1680x1050.jpgAri grew up in the jungle. His parents were wildlife biologists who spent most of their lives researching out on the field. So Ari really had no choice. He was born and bred in nature itself. That is why he was given a name that means “brave”. He was brought up to live up to it.

He was different to his peers, because he had learnt this other kind of life. He had grown up in an abundance of green. He knew how to appreciate the clean air, the comfort, and the healthy nutrients the forest provided, but at the same time, found out how to manage the bugs, the danger, and all the imminent risks that were around every branch.

Ari found his life to be fascinating. He didn’t need the technology and gadgets children of the same age had become so obsessed with. And he certainly did not require prompts of the “go green” style, because he had already gone there. Sure, at times it was not easy. It actually was very difficult, especially during the winter seasons when the storms came. But in Spring, everything suddenly lit up and the entire scenery bloomed in colour. It was a spectacle that somehow made everything else seem futile. Because as all the shades of light arrived and the day grew longer, life seemed happier, more carefree and much more enjoyable. It was when the young cubs would come out to play and Ari spent his entire time awake running around the forest floor or swinging from the tree branches.

Even though he grew up away from civilization, Ari did not feel lacking in anything. On the contrary, he felt complete. His friends were creatures who demonstrated exactly what they felt, and most of all were able to provide unconditional love, knowing when to appear to offer comfort and when to disappear to provide space. No matter what others thought, life in the jungle was somehow less complicated. Ari wouldn’t change it for anything. Because it taught him values that civilization has forgotten, if not lost.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Green

Swinging high, risking much

SwingWhen Pacey was a little boy, he feared two things – marshmallows and swings. There is a saying that you usually fear what you don’t understand. And with Pacey this was exactly the case. He couldn’t understand how marshmallows were made to be so white and so soft, and more than anything so addictive. He just could not get it into his head that this “treat” was considered a global favourite. So he preferred to stay away. As for swings. That was a whole different story. Because every time he sat on one he kept looking up, but not at the sky like most kids his age did while swinging high; no, Pacey kept looking at the hinges holding the swing in place. He was afraid that at any moment, the swing would unhinge from its bars and it would throw Pacey crashing to the ground. And he was afraid.

His parents tried to convince him that he was missing out on the fun things of life by avoiding these two things. But Pacey would not change his mind. Kids can be stubborn. Even more than adults usually are.

Pacey’s father even told him a story about how swings were created in order to draw out the fear from the human soul. He said that if as a child you could dominate a swing, if you could experience that feeling of flying, and if you would constantly want to swing harder, to fly higher, then as an adult you would know how to be ruthless, and how to go after what you wanted; you would know how to take risks and cease the opportunities that come your way.

It did not convince Pacey.

He barely sat on a swing during his entire childhood. And whenever he passed by the park and saw all those kids lining up to sit on one, he would shake his head and simply move on.

Even as an adult, he could not understand children’s addiction to these simple (yet, “unsafe”) objects. He could not even understand his own daughter’s obsession with them. Whenever she ran and sat on one, his sight was constantly glued on the hinges.

His wife would laugh at him. She told him that he needed to relax. To stop living his life in so much fear. Falling off a swing was as random as falling off a ladder, as tripping on a pavement, as pretty much anything as could happen.

When he heard his daughter’s pure, heartfelt laughter whenever she was swinging over his head, calling out that she would catch the birds, that is when he began to understand the meaning of these swings. It all became clear, when his daughter came up to him and explained why she loved them so much: “because swings liberate you. They make you feel like you can fly. Like you are invincible. And if I can’t let go and feel that now, then when am I going to do it? You adults are so uptight!

Whispers Three

three ice creamThree is a number that symbolizes completeness, the union of two opposing parts to form a whole. The one that sees the world as idyllic as we would like it to be; and the one who views the reality as it is. In three, we see reflected the right mix of the founding elements that construct who we are. For many, three is the number of good fortune. I choose to believe so too, because it’s been three years already since I first started this blog. And it has opened up so many more perspectives for me than I could ever imagine.

It is through this very blog that I discover who I am, what I can do, and what I would like to achieve.

It is by writing incessantly here that I can find refuge, experiment with creative freedom, record memories, share a travel log, and find a friend.

This blog has also opened up opportunities to explore all sorts of writing that is not simply limited to fiction, but goes beyond, to reflections, critical thought and political analysis. It allows me to believe that the world has no borders, and neither should your imagination and determination to do something great.

I am so grateful for all the followers I have gained (and continue to) during this journey. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am and like me, you’re looking forward to more.

Keep whispering those thoughts in your head; sometime they might turn into actions that may lead to significant change.

Between a couch and a wild place

The leather couch used to squeak whenever he would slide down onto it. It didn’t anymore. You could even feel the small dent in the middle caused by all those people it had accommodated over the years. He could proudly or shamefully (it depends how you saw it) proclaim that he had grown up right there on that brown leather couch. In that down town office that was as modern as could be, with white walls that were repainted every five years and modern, funky furniture that invited the waiting patients and offered the illusion that they would take their troubles away.

Relax”.

That was the first word he heard every time he sat on that couch. It was Mr. Waterman’s job, though, to say so. He needed his patients calm so that they could pour out their soul to him during the next hour and he could attempt to provide some solution, consolation or advice to their problems. And these were many and varied. But over the years he had heard a lot. Just not from one particular patient. This one had proven to be an especially difficult case.

Brandon would simply refuse to speak out, to tell the professional sitting across him what troubled his mind, what made his heart ache, where his eyes wandered when he stared at the horizon out of the window. Whatever the exhortations or appeals Mr Waterman would use, discreetly or not, Brandon did not want to speak. He simply sufficed to say that he had nothing to say. Mr Waterman even tried to entice him with milkshakes and chocolate, but that didn’t work even when he was a young child, let alone now.

After around twenty years of therapy, Brandon still had nothing to say. Yet, he was as confused and tormented inside as he had always been. A storm was still brewing inside of him. It was just silent to the outer world.

Brandon was a child that kept to himself. He became quite the introvert as a young man, although he loved to socialize and go out with friends. But when he returned home, he liked to stay in his room doing his own thing, whatever that was – reading a book, listening to music, surfing the web. And just like he disturbed no one, he himself did not like to be disturbed. His upper class parents believed he was a troubled child. They described him as “emotionally unavailable” and “awkward” and pleaded Mr Waterman to “fix him”. So Brandon grew up in the office of a shrink. Only none of them knew about it.

Mr Waterman watched Brandon grow from a quiet boy into an unsuccessful rebel, into an elegant and well-educated young man. From the few things Brandon had uttered in his office, the professional understood that the boy felt misunderstood, that no one could comprehend what he felt or thought and that is why he preferred to stay silent. So the hours were spent talking about culture, the news, and well, anything other than himself. The latest thing that made Brandon’s eyes gleam with excitement was a photo book of the most amazing places in the world that should be visited. The first-page inscription –a quote by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for” – was what mostly inspired his heart to sing. But Mr Waterman knew that the storm would finally break out; he could see it the young man’s eyes, his gaze was looking further than meets the eye. It was obvious that he was in search of something out there that was not immediately visible.

And the storm arrived.

It came in the form of a hand-written letter and a tidied-up room.

I run because I no longer want to hide.
Because there is so much more out there to explore.
Because I want to move on with my life and do something substantial.
Because I feel I cannot reach my true potential if I
am locked down here, without facing any real challenges or the endless possibilities that seem to be out there.
Because I want to be somewhere where people know me for me and not because of who I know.
Because I want to be heard without needing to yell and fight.
Because I want to rediscover the joy of Fridays and looking forward to the weekend.
Because I want to live and see places and not just hear about them from other people’s past experiences.
Because I want to find a house that is mine from the start, that I decorate and organise to fit my needs.
Because it is part of growing up and independence is a powerful thing to have.
Because I don’t want to waste time anymore, waiting.
Because I want to finally find and taste at least one happy ending.
I run because I am not running. I simply want to live.

Forever is too long

Forever is a very long timeIt started when she was four. She told the doll her father brought her as a gift from his travels, that she would keep her and love her forever. But then she grew up, found new hobbies and left the doll behind, tidily tucked away on one of her bedroom shelves.

When she was a teenager, the hormones kicked in, and when she was upset – very often – she would believe that this situation would go on forever, that no one would ever understand her. She eventually calmed down when she moved to college.

There she fell in love – truly, madly and deeply. She told him that she would love him forever and they would be together through it all, forever and always. But something happened in the meantime. They fought, he lied, he cancelled plans they had been looking forward to for so long. And something broke. Forever just started to seem too long.

When she found her first job, she thought she would be stuck there forever. But then, unexpectedly, an opportunity arose, and she managed to gain a noteworthy position in a renowned company. Everything seemed great at first, but like almost everything, the excitement withered away, exhaustion set in, and it was not that fun anymore. But now it was much harder to find another job. Contingencies in the global labour market had ensured that. She thought she would be stuck there forever, doing something that she was no longer proud of, and no longer motivated her.

Networking at events is important even despite their boastful or narcissistic appearance. She realized that when during a certain event she met someone who had read her work, who appreciated and recognized her worth. He offered her a contract that would make all her aspirations come true. Nancy leaped at the opportunity. “Staying put never got you anywhere”, she thought. She would move around, every so often changing her dreams and plans, and living life as it came along.

Forever was just too long.

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