Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beyond Style

Resentment eats away at you. It's the thing carried around that grinds you down. Make a space for the honouring of the other. The other need not be a source of fear. The other is what you make of it. You could find yourself, in the other.

Wade out into the river. Some small part of you is carried away by the current - the top layer of the skin on your knees. Let new cells rise to the surface. Let the spiritual replenishment continue. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday cheer (and a bit of a grumble)

It's 6:33pm on the 24th of December, and I can say that this year has been an improvement on the last. I spent a lot of it in the company of a new friend, and even though she has moved to Moscow for now, we are still frequently in touch. Other good things happened - Beyonce and Taylor Swift identified as feminists in public, and the struggle for gender equality remained present in the mainstream media.
On a more personal note, I took advantage of having moved house last year to create a more harmonious domestic environment for myself.

One thing I'm struggling with right now is how to perform my identity as Australian. A part of my Bulgarian background is being genteel, sophisticated and refined, and I feel like that's under attack in Sydney. The irreverence of the culture has a coarse, vulgar side. Of course, I wouldn't feel under attack if I didn't surround myself with Sydney against my will. Even a rural town in Taiwan has more elegance in the citizenry than this giant, brash city.

It is practically sacrilege to live in this city and not love it. When the 'Sydney siege' occurred, some official countered that "We are incredibly proud of this city." And so I feel alienated from the rest of the populace - I hesitate to sink my teeth into the patriotism pie. In fact, I will not have it. Whether it's at the national or local level, my sights are always focused on Western Europe, and I don't hide that that is where I'd be if I had the freedom to choose where to abide.


Monday, December 22, 2014

There is much room for surprise

I remember reading the first chapter of 'Delusions of Gender' by Cordelia Fine in my local cafe. My reaction to it was visceral! I felt like I was having epiphanies left, right and centre. As we continue our quest for gender equality, people find ways of outing the deeply ingrained prejudices against women in ways that I don't anticipate, and it's wonderful. There is much room for surprise.

One of the things I love about travel is that it places you in a spot where you have the freedom to hold wonder in higher esteem. No-one is expecting you to conform to the values of the society you're visiting, so you're given freedom to let your mind roam. Elevating your mind to a state of wonder takes ingenuity, a constant curiosity-driven dialogue and a resistance to conservative backlash. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Freedom from expectations

A couple of weeks ago I adjusted my OKCupid settings to make my profile invisible to men who are "straight." I've never felt better. Right now, in this time and space, I doubt I can make it work in a heterosexual relationship. So why even try? My online withdrawal from the possibility of dating the majority of men deeply satisfies.
Some time ago I realised that love clouds everything. All of a sudden, you become partial to a soul, and become blinded of your own free will. You overlook their foibles and put them on a pedestal. You defend them to yourself even when subconsciously you know they're in the wrong. You put up with their insidious mental abuse. You become enslaved - a victim of romantic love.
Heterosexual relationships are the trainwrecks I can't seem to look away from. But at least I'm viewing from afar.
So does this mean that homosexuality is something I should be looking more into? Maybe. Then again, they say that what you're looking for comes along when you least expect it...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3:51am

Sometimes I take the wrong bus and get out at the university. I'm always anxious to be back on my way, because the students remind me of all those people seeking solace in their 9-5, and how little room there is to think independently, even at a so-called institution of higher learning.
The world was not made for the likes of me, with my aversion to tradition and blatant disregard for normality. I have a voice, but that voice is very marginalised. Nevertheless, I'm proud of the initiative I take, of my readiness to be heard, my willingness to stand up and be counted. Somehow, in my own little way, I make a difference.
Today I read that people with left-wing views are less likely to hurt others. It makes me proud of myself. Not that it's something new, but still - you don't hear these sort of things every day. It reminds me how special I am. (Here is the article. )

*

My face is but a blur to me
I can gaze upon it endlessly
But when I step away from the mirror
I still feel like a Picasso

A girl and guy, today
They called me 'honey'
And I didn't feel deserving
Of the simple compliment

People tell me I'm good-looking
But it doesn't sink in
I'm full of self-loathing
For the body I'm in