Cheating nature

Boys will be boys. That’s what my father keeps telling me. Avid misogynist, liar and a cheater.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to give the man some room. Look, it’s obvious I’ve brought up a sensitive topic, can you just let it go?”

Maybe he’s right, maybe I just need to let it go. I understand why he sees it the way he does. Dad grew up in an age where a wife was seen as the wife. Not necessarily objectified, but definitely limited to her role. My mother to him isn’t seen as a woman with faults and attributes and an opinion that matters, she isn’t seen as someone capable of having a relevant, active part of his life, other than being the mother of his children and the woman who is expected to faithfully stand by him to the end of his days. She isn’t seen as a person. I understand that my dad’s definition of love is different to mine, that his views on partnership and loyalty are different, but it did make me think.

Is it so unnatural to be faithful to one person?

Maybe I am wrong, maybe being faithful is just a social construct. In the animal kingdom, especially with pack or heard animals, there will be a strong male leader who acquires multiple female partners. They all have some sort of civil, mutual agreement, and it seems to work great biologically. In The Handmaids Tale, there’s a quote that illustrates this point exactly.

“But everyone’s human, after all.”, “What does that mean?” “It means you can’t cheat nature,” he says. “Nature demands variety, for men. It stands to reason, it’s part of the procreational strategy. Its natures plan.” I don’t say anything, so he goes on. “Women know that instinctively. Why did they but so many different clothes, in the old days? To trick the men into thinking they were several different women. A new one each day.”

So I suppose I’m cheating nature then. Is it wrong for me to fight the urge to cheat, and is it worse that I don’t feel the desire to cheat at all? Maybe in some ways we’re simply limiting human experience. But, and maybe this is just because I’m naïve and hopeless, I believe in love. And when you love, when you really love, it’s not about having to pull away from temptation. You literally just don’t give a shit. Because that person, that one soul and the human body that they occupy have simply ruined you for the rest of the world.

“Falling in love, we said; I fell for him. We were falling women. We believed in it, this downward motion: so lovely, like flying, and yet at the same time so dire, so extreme, so unlikely. God is love, they once said, but we reversed that, and love, like heaven, was always just around the corner. The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always, for the incarnation. That word, made flesh.”

Love is different. I’d like to think that love is different. 

Be yourself.

What is it? This idea of ‘self’? Because so far what I’ve learnt is that I must self-analyse and criticize and find my faults and pick them out and work on them but don’t be self-conscious but you can’t be self-obsessed and narcissistic and you can’t be more confident than the other person, you must be humble and kind and generous and considerate but don’t try too hard or push too far and there’s a fine line between politeness and creepiness. Don’t be too shy either or too quiet or too inhibited or bashful and don’t speak with a monotone but don’t be too loud or too squeaky or too high pitched and most-definitely don’t yell when you’re not supposed to. Don’t be bland and boring and opinion-less and go along with what everyone thinks, and says, and breathes, and have your own opinions but don’t make them too extreme and don’t be too rash or blunt or sarcastic or bitchy and pessimistic. Be aware of the world around you and the current news and the current trends but also be aware of your friends and your family and your life and all the infinite amount of information around you and process it all simultaneously so that you’re never behind in a topic of conversation but then again be able to say ‘oh, really? I didn’t know that’ when appropriate. Oh but don’t think too much or over-analyse what people do or say and don’t be judgemental or rude or truthful if it hurts, be conscious of what you say and do and think and believe and be critical of those things which are not right and repress those opinions depending on who you’re with because you could offend or be wrong or be insensitive or be too forward so don’t speak your mind and think before you say, but be yourself! Yet a reflection of the other person so that they like you more because underneath it all everyone really just wants to be with themselves. Seems like we all look for and desire compatibility but really we all just want a happy homogenized region of doing and being everything you could possibly do and be to really be ‘yourself’.

In saying that, I’m probably being too cynical.

Yet again

Really brother? Really? Does it make you feel like a man when you make your little sister feel like shit. Do you feel more empowered when you successfully embarrass me in front of our own family. How much satisfaction do you get when you win the argument, having destroyed my will to even try, yet again. Why do I bother? Why should I bother? 

Yes. My arguments are flawed. Yes, I’m probably stubborn about them. Yes, I obviously need to think more about what I choose to say because I should naturally expect scrutiny and ridicule from my own family. The people who I’m meant to grow and learn from.

What the fuck do you want from me? I’m sixteen.

But I guess I cant say that. That’s just another excuse. I have to fight to compete with people who will constantly be waiting to undermine me should I do or say the wrong thing. Fuck accepting people for their flaws. Fuck trust, recognition, understanding, constructive criticism. Fuck having a loving, functional, dependable family. Fuck it all.

But its fine. Say what you want. Look at me in the same way that you look and judge everybody else who doesn’t meet your standards. Because I’m obviously not a human being in my own right. I’m that child that your mother birthed that happened to turn out wrong. Hate me for all I care. Because I refuse to do the same to you. I will always have my happy go lucky front, I will always be the bubbly, innocent, happy child who doesn’t know enough to possibly succeed in life outside of academics. I will always be the person you feel the need to fix, to criticize, to yell at, to tease, to give all your shit too. Because maybe you, and maybe everyone else in this family might fucking need it.

I had to deal with the exact same shit you went through. I was there for every single fight mum and dad had. I was there every time someone would up and leave. I was there when ever they gave you shit. I was there when you were kicked out of army. I was there when you fucked it up with the love of your life. I was there when you thought the world was against you. And I never. I never blamed you. And I will always remember every single time you came to me, every time you confided in me, every time you trusted me with a secret, every time you lied to everyone else but me. 

And I’ll always remember the fact that I had to deal with depression alone. That I fight my anxiety alone. That my vain, material insecurities about myself are my burden to bear. I will always remember that when I needed someone most I had myself. I will always remember locking myself in your room with the lights off, trying to pull myself together for dinner while you were busy watching South Park.

But I would rather that than be the person who stormed out of a store because his little sister refused to let you manipulate your dad into buying you a $160 water bottle for Christmas.

I would rather that than be the person who gets mad at his little sister for not calling their father ‘daddy’ any more.

And I’m the one that needs to grow up.

I think I’ve officially used up my capacity to think.

I got into a heated argument today with my brother over lunch about his envisioned ‘ideal society’. It stemmed from a discussion about over population and the flaws in our society. He believed that today’s society is significantly more flawed than any other. My counter argument was that every society, form of government or economic structure has been flawed all throughout history. Revolutions don’t occur people because are satisfied. However, he believed that there was a simple answer to all our problems.

So my brother presented this plan about how he would rebuild and run his society after, let’s say, an apocalypse. He would start off with the basics; prioritizing education. Everyone needed equal opportunity and equal choice, they could either choose to join the military or choose to do a service role to help maintain a functioning society, be that farming, construction, government etc. Everyone would work together for a greater cause: the continuation of a working system. It was a vague discussion, because it was very theoretical, but obviously I just had to give counter arguments.

I asked him what would happen to those who simply didn’t like the choices they were given, those who were born leaders and wanted to be greater. My brother said they would simply have to leave to find or build their own society.

“And what about the next Leonardo who’s too smart for the education system but too free-spirited to work towards your goals. Or what about the person being ridiculed for their unimportant job or physical appearance (Well, it happens.)”

“Look, you’re talking about a minority. The fact is that the majority of the population will understand and strive towards the greater good.” He was right. There will always be sheep. But the fact is sheep are also so easily influenced by a ‘better’ ideal.

“What about someone who simply opposes everything you believe in. Someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t feel that they have enough freedom of speech or choice in life. Someone who wants to start a revolution against you simply because they disagree.”

“Then I’d kill them.”

“And the people who don’t benefit your ideal society?”

“I’ll kill them too.”

“Death doesn’t solve anything. It only affects everyone else who is alive. The guillotine didn’t fix a society that was falling apart, it only sparked social unrest.”

“But sometimes it’s just necessary.”

“You’ve just become the next Hitler.”

“Not really because I won’t employ mass genocide.” That was his assurance to me. I followed this by talking about the hunger games, about people, having witnessed the deaths, having been through the apocalypse, the hurt and the fear, slowly becoming defiant and angry. I asked him what would happen if riots occurred and a full blown attack on the government were to happen, to which he responded (jokingly of course).

“Id kill them all.”

“I thought you said you wouldn’t employ mass genocide?”

“Well, I will if I need to.” And there you have it. People are dying. Human rights are thrown out the window and sooner or later someone loved, respected or idolized will be wrongly prosecuted, people will begin to silently rebel.

Insert someone born into an unbalanced, unsettled society built around death and control. Someone who places high value on human life, be it for spiritual reasons or simply to save a people from mental and physical suffering.

Insert the new Jesus.

“And what if the next Jesus comes along?”

“Then ill crucify him.” (Hysterical laughter)

Excellent. Now you’ve made a martyr for people to rally behind. More problems. Society will ‘right’ itself. A new leader will rise to power and enforce their idea of a perfect, functioning, fair society. At first everything will be fine, but sooner or late someone will lose a loved one to disease, despair will lead to anger, and anger will turn to hatred, hatred to blame. Someone will desire philosophical knowledge and reasoning and strive towards understanding, eventually finding the flaws in their own society. Someone else will strike out at oppression, bullying or ridicule, causing and uproar. Those who oppose will be exiled. When too many oppose, they will be killed. Little value will be placed on human life, it’s all for ‘the greater good’. Someone will rise with new, humanitarianism ideas. And history will repeat itself, again, and again.

We discussed religion, knowledge, books. He’d erase it. Burn the bibles. Repeat the events of ‘Fahrenheit 451’. What had started out as a desire for a perfect, fair society became a ruthless totalitarianism ideal.
Everything all came to me at that point, and it all made sense. I recalled a quote from one of my favourite movies, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” It made me realize that life, being human, being part of a community, a generation, a society, it isn’t about static beliefs and enforcing a single ideal. It’s about change, and ensuring that change by any means necessary so that everyone, not just yourself but everyone can receive fair judgement and equal opportunity.

Cloud Atlas: the underrated film that showed me that life isn’t about creating a legacy, or continuing a certain, accepted belief or structure, but to constantly fight for change, “There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well.” That may be the case, but even if only one other person sees the fight, then perhaps my fight has inspired them, and they will fight, and maybe their brother will fight, and maybe his neighbour will join them too. Cloud Atlas was an extraordinary film. For me, it sparked the idea that we, as individuals, shouldn’t live with the belief that we are the sole saviour of the human race, but should instead work together towards something greater, “What is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” and “Our lives are not our own, we are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” With a desire for change everything else is a given; uprising’s, revolutions, wars. Evolution, constant evolution is the single most prominent, essential, natural thing in all of existence. Something that could be made better, is. We adapt to an ever changing environment but we don’t pass on knowledge, we simply pass on the blueprints for life, so that experiences and memories can shape us. So why shouldn’t we employ that on a social, political level.

I have no idea how to end this because this is honestly where I’m at right now. My mind completely frazzled and my eyes wide with confident uncertainty. So I guess… moral of the story… don’t eat Thai food with my brother.

I wrote something.

SO that thing I was writing…

Adolescence;
A period of emotional and physical development traditionally characterized by the homogenised behavioural traits of high schoolers as they party, drink, and fuck their way over a short bridge in their inextricably complicated life, following a process similar to that of coming of age novels. We institutionalized beings are sucked in, drained of our individuality, taught to fear inadequacy and spat out on the other side. Inexperienced, dishevelled and lost, we survive, knowing that one day there will be a silver lining in this ruthless, unforgiving world.
However, cynicism aside, I was told my teenage years would be the best years of my life. I found that hard to believe.
Looking back at the endless abyss of terrible decisions yet to be made, the societal expectations placed on teenagers, the media influences that accompany those expectations and the fact that I was living in an age of information that would happily inform unhappily married women how to ‘reinvent’ their sex life, it was hard to find reasons to rectify my high school experience. Mind you, I was probably just reading the wrong magazine.
To be quite honest, no matter how glorified I made my high school highlights out to be, they couldn’t possibly justify the hours I spent wasting my precious life by doing the most tedious, trivial, mindless activities humanly possible. Like playing candy crush. For those of you who don’t know: candy crush is a frustratingly addictive phone application that took my school by storm with its ridiculously simple puzzle-game mechanics. Completing a level of this one app gave more emotional fulfilment than most high school relationships. That was probably the main reason for its success.
For lack of opportunity to live an exciting and fulfilling life, mostly because I’d lost the motivation to, I’d settled into a complete bored indifference during the final terms of year 11. I had barely one year left of my high school life, and I couldn’t be more impervious. I had my temporary lapses into a world that gave my existence a purpose, a world known as happiness, and those moments were wonderful while they lasted, but they were only moments.
Life seemed to be all about those moments. Every book, every movie, every story seemed to be captivated by that idea of the perfect – moment. But what about those odd, uncomfortable breaks between those moments? Those times when you had no idea how to explain how you felt because it’s essentially just the polar opposite of actually feeling. I’ll admit it would make for a terrible story to talk about an individual’s phlegmatic disposition to life, but the simple fact is it became an inevitable part of my daily routine and I had no idea what to do about it other than to endure.
I knew – or, so I was told – that it got better after high school; that an entirely new chapter of my life was just waiting for me. That everything I knew and understood would soon be ripped from under me and I would be thrown into a whole new way of existing known as adulthood. But the problem was I was absolutely terrified of the future; as detrimental to my mentality as my life sounded, I feared adulthood would be worse. The saddest part of all was that I was complacent. What drove me to the edge of insanity with its unjustified inadequacy was also what made my life comfortable. I was happy, not because I was satisfied with the mundane existence I was carving out for myself, but because it was reliable; I had a routine that may have unsettled me at times, but it kept me going.
It was also difficult to voice my opinion to my peers, which possibly could’ve helped, because I wasn’t entirely sure they would understand. I had a relatively average amount of friends, and by that I mean a solid four. Where I went to school friends were not only hard to come by, but hard to define. Disloyalty and moral obligations favoured whoever you were siding with, and middle grounds were a betrayal in themselves.
Because of this I spent most of my weekends at home with my family who were as comforting as they were dysfunctional. I had a physically present but emotionally distant older brother whom I was once close to but unforeseen trials in our relationship had slowly brought us apart. I was fortunate enough to have two loving and supportive parents who coddled me but they could only ever see me as their innocent, incorruptible little girl, and I didn’t have the heart to make them think otherwise. I also had a dog. His name was Gus.
Adolescence for me was a time of waiting. A time where I reflected on everything I had and hadn’t accomplished to determine how the rest of my life would play out. I would lay there at night in my bed deliberating one thing over another, deciding where and when and why until it drove me insane. The worst part of not knowing was the lack of closure, and the ominous dark cloud of anxiety that accompanied every thought I had prevented me from experiencing life, for fear of it.

People…

Nobody asked me tonight about how I was feeling. Well, I was scared. I was scared as hell. I was scared for myself. I was shaking and nervous, but someone had to bloody well say something.

Everyone can talk.

Everyone can start getting angry.

Everyone can start blaming, and accusing, and yelling.

But no one listens.

That’s the only reason why my words work. The only reason why I can comfort people is because I listen. I really, really listen.

I take into account them.

Their life.

Their struggles.

Because no one ever cared about mine when I needed it. So much goes on behind closed doors. The world is full of people full of memories and full of life and full of pasts. If we were constantly, consciously aware of every person around us and everything that they have ever experienced, we would be driven insane.

You all talk about wanting respect but learn to give some.

“Yeah, I understand that she had a tough life.”

No. No you don’t! You really don’t.

If you did, you wouldn’t be calling her names. You wouldn’t turn the situation around in your favour. You would think that there was obviously more to her actions than ‘oh she’s just some bitch who needs to get her attitude problem sorted out.’

No.

No.

You have it better. So you have to help her.

Why?

Why should do?

Why the fuck not? Who are you? Who the hell are you? Quite frankly you mean nothing. All of us mean nothing. The world. Society.

We’re insignificant.

(Inserting disagreeable pessimism, don’t read if opinions make you uncomfortable.) We are on a large piece of rock, soaring through the universe, awaiting impeding doom.

So the least we can do is put others first. Otherwise what’s the point? ‘Live life for yourself’, but to live selfishly? To not help others? To hate your parents for the time and support they invested into your lives? To pursue wealth, material gain… why bother?

Selfishness… I just…

Why.

You. Will die.

You will die.

You.

You and all your memories, thoughts, consciousness. It will all cease to have any relevance. So why do you insist on being so god damn self-righteous.

“She should apologize to me.”

Why?

Because you’re better than her? Because self-worth is measurable? I highly doubt it. Pretty sure we’re all on the same level. Unless you’re immortal.

So tell me, why?

Because it’s her fault?

She’s wrong?

Who cares!

If that’s the case then just be the better person. No, you’re not being weak. You’re not being a suck up. You just aren’t sinking to her level, you’re rising above it.

And furthermore, respect her. Respect each other. For existences sake.

Just let it go. Let it go, because she’s not smart, or privileged or even had a loving childhood. Life is fucking hard for her. And life is fucking hard, period. So we need to look out for each other. Because otherwise we might as well be rocks.

On a happier note!

Highlight of my day: We had a book club period in Lit where we discussed our favourite dystopian texts. *Fangirls*

I absolutely love the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/shits-hit-the-fan-son texts. Something about those bleak, dark, unforgiving worlds on the edge of collapse and anarchy really appeal to my gentle, loving, humanitarianism nature. Not only that, but I am one of the ‘weird ones’ who genuinely enjoys an in-depth analysis of a storyline to figure out what comments it’s trying to make about society. I say ‘weird ones’ because that’s a trait not generally endorsed in my generation… at all. I remember seeing memes where the teacher’s interpretation of ‘the curtains were blue’ was that the curtains were reflective of the sombre, melancholy feelings felt by the main protagonists, to which the student’s response was: no, the curtains were fucking blue. I personally would agree with the teacher, simply because I tend to look for things that aren’t really there.
My brother struggles to watch movies with me because I am constantly trying to find a meaning behind it. I remember watching a movie about two people who found each other and simply went on a road trip, and in doing so found a kink in breaking into other people’s homes, wearing their clothes and having sex ‘in character’. I found that the movie was a comment on sexual discovery and losing your inhibitions in order to live a fulfilling life that was of your own choice. My brother told me to shut up and watch the movie.

However, with that in mind, I’m terrible at essay writing. My discussions in class are… heated but still better than what I end up writing down on paper. I have no idea why this is, but judging by the raw, unrefined (just essentially repeated the same word there) stuff I put on my blog I just don’t think I’m capable of convincing arguments or sophisticated jargon.

By the way, the Ancient Greek roots of the world ‘dystopia’ are dys- and -topia, which literally mean “bad” and “place to live”. Dystopia is the antagonist of Utopia. Isn’t that fascinating?

So… Arts due tomorrow.

I have an extremely long winded art assignment due tomorrow that I should be working on.
Correction: Should have been working on for the past 3 hours. Time that I specifically dedicated to the assignment. Excellent work.

Tomorrow is my last… not even my last day of school, yet my teacher has managed to squeeze every last drop of energy I have and really test my patience. I honestly feel like slamming my head against the desk multiple times. It’s the end of the year. What more do you want from me! I’m only (a lazy, adolescent, angry, hormonal, frustrated, tried and tested, on the verge of collapse) human!

Last week I had a friend call up with her reoccurring panic attacks about how much her life is falling apart. She has my full support and as much as I want to be able to console her and help her feel better I honestly just don’t have it in me. It’s hard to preach what you don’t practice. Plus, I don’t know how realistic she is being as I haven’t seen her in months and with the smallest amount of effort I am able to get her back to the world of the living.
However I think she really is feeling the weight of the unforeseeable future. I know I sure do.
Though I do find it hard to sustain a one-sided relationship where I am only needed for emotional support. It would be nice to get a ‘how are you’ once in a while.

I’m probably just being pessimistic because I have an art assignment due.

I think, therefore I am

There will always be imperfections in the perfect. Her eyes will always be larger in proportion to her exquisite facial features, and yet her beauty surpasses that of a flowering spring afternoon and children laughing as they play, or the vast expanse of the ocean as it engulfs the colours of the setting sun. We obsess over, strive towards and cling onto this perception of what is ‘perfect’ as if our sole purpose was to be re-imagined to fit another person’s conception of beauty.

As if life didn’t have enough flaws and disappointments.

We are now succumbing to an eternity of working towards an infinitely changing ideal that it is as unpredictable as the thoughts of an individual. Because that’s what they are; thoughts. Fantasies. Each of us, with our own unique definition of beauty. Our ideas distorted by the manipulated images of the elite. I am the sum total of all my experiences, all that I ever was and all that I ever will be. The one person who is affected most by my entire life is me, because I am the one living it. SO why, given the endless abyss of choices I must make, would I chose to be defined by someone else’s expectations.

The Insignificance of a Cauliflower

An appreciation
Of the overlooked
Simplistic nature of the mundane,
Makes sweet
The bitter taste of life.
There is nothing more beautiful
Than finding the beauty
In this extraordinarily
Ordinary
Plant.

Take this – cauliflower.
A natural occurrence,
It is easily found, thrown around, chopped up,
Diced, light
In colour, rough
In touch.
Impeccably simple,
A vegetable.
And a boring one at that.
And yet it too must be seeded, tended to, grown,
Kept at a certain temperature,
Watered a certain way,
Blanched and twined and free of pests,
Harvested
Cut – just below the head,
With just enough whorls to protect the curds,
Stored – upside down in a cool place,
Preserved, picked, prepared
– With a paring knife,
Don’t separate the florets,
Remove and discard the core.
Rinse,
Serve – with cream and cheese, and meat
A steak, as a side, a main, a meal, a dish,
With salad, with sauce, with pastry,
Or cooked, or fried, or roasted or sautéed,
The means to an end,
This – cauliflower.

– Michelle Gould