What do I want?

What do I want?

Have you ever wanted to start over?

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I’ve been feeling this way for a while. It feels like it never really goes away. And it makes me wonder if maybe I’m the problem. Do I get bored too easily? Am I just so unsatisfied with all the good in my life? Or am I too lazy to actually take a risk?

New always involves risk. The amount depends on how much your willing to sacrifice.

I don’t know what I want. I just know I want something different.

I’m tired of chasing after the endless streams of information. I want to know everything. Yet, I know nothing.

It seems like life is one perpetual motion of dreaming and desire. And I don’t always get what I want. I don’t always chase what I want either. It’s so easy to get distracted by the things that don’t matter. The dead end job. Why can’t I just quit? The project I want to accomplish. Why can’t I just do them?

Maybe it’s all about the money. How can I get more and how can I save some?

And still, after years of wondering, I stand in the same spot. Where did money take me? Not to the edge of happiness. It’s only made me want more. It’s only suffocated me and cornered me and distracted me into making decisions that took me away from my original pursuit.

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Rejection

Rejection

I’ve been rejected.

It’s heartbreak in the most business sense. I finally garnered up the courage to direct message a blogger that I admire, albeit undercover. I told them I admired their work, loved what they do, and wanted to swap internet tips. Then, like a girl asking a boy to love her, I asked the daunting question: Would you be interested?

I sat there, vulnerable and exposed, and waited.

I was sure they would say yes. How could such an incredible, smart, intelligent, upstanding person ever say no to such a polite and flattering request?

I guess it could’ve also seemed random and creepy. But I digress.

The blogger responded pretty quickly with a no. They tried to be funny about it. I appreciated their honesty.

But just like that, my relationship with them ended before it even began.

They always say, “Don’t meet your idols.” The sight of their flesh and bones will make them human to you. And human isn’t always a good thing. Well, in this magically inter-connected world, don’t message your idols on social media either. Attached to those fingertips on a keyboard are hands and arms and a body, just like yours. Just like in the physical realm, they are entitled to push you back into that small, dark and insignificant corner of the interwebs from where you came, from where I lay crying myself to sleep. Boo hoo. Welcome home.

How the World Cup ruined me

How the World Cup ruined me

The last month ruined me.

Everywhere I went I saw colours: green, yellow, black, red, blue and white. I saw the flags flying from every other car, dwindling one by one. I heard the honking. The cheering. The boasting and smack-talking, mostly from behind a computer screen.

But worst of all was the dreaming. The hope that seems to grow from the tiniest seed, watered by equal parts skill and luck, gaining momentum as it rises up, taller than the rest.

For the last month, I rose and fell with a nation.

I watched every game. I raised the flag on my car. I dug the jersey up from it’s hiding spot.

Where the brazuca moved, my eyes followed. When the goalie leaped, my heart stopped. And when a player made that unmistakable run for the net, I got up out of my seat. To cheer, or to sit back down.

I cheered with a country. I cried with a country. We suffered together. We celebrated together. And through out this World Cup, if there is one thing I’ve finally encountered, it was my cultural identity as an Argentinian.

All of my life I grew up hearing stories of glory days come and gone, wanting nothing more than to see it with my own eyes. To catch a glimpse of the magic for myself. But something swelled within my heart that I never quite expected: pride.

Not the kind that is loud and rude. Not the kind that overcompensates or lives vicariously through someone else. The kind that stems from passion. And it made me proud. Not just my family. Me. Every time I wore the jersey, I bled blue and white.

After years of searching, it’s going to be very hard for that to disappear.

They told me soccer was a religion. And at the end of four weeks, I can’t help but believe.

Glory and failure

Glory and failure

I make it a priority not to run for buses. Or trains in this case.

Maybe it’s because I have a crippling fear of failure. Running leaves me exposed.  If I run and don’t make it on time, it would’ve all been for nothing.

All that hope and energy wasted.

Maybe it’s because running reveals what horrible shape I am in. Is there a worse image than a person keeled over, huffing and puffing as the bus glides away? The look of despair in their eyes. Disappointment in their gasping breath.
They tried and failed.

But today, I ran and won. I wont even bother to be ambiguous about what propelled me.

Soccer. If I caught this train, I could make it home in time to watch most of the game.

Maybe that’s the difference between an athlete running for the net and a person trying to catch a bus. An athlete upon seeing the goal line is fueled with every inch to persevere. The train-chaser too I suppose. What awaits the athlete on the other side of the pitch? Glory …and failure. But they never hesitate to run.

Drenched and gasping for breath, I never thought I could find glory on the inside of a train. But catching this train felt like a victory to me.

And I should also probably work out more.

I’m afraid of dogs

I’m afraid of dogs

I just got chased by a dog.

A small, aggressive fiend who was hungry for my flesh. It’s true. What started as a familiar walk to the mailbox, ended in the most terrifying 30 seconds of my life.

I’ll admit, it was a small dog. But it still ran after me: barking like a maniac and nipping at my ankles and everything. I kept walking and tried not to look back. I figured running was probably the worst thing I could do. So I just walked at a normal pace, resisting the urge to run. It had to go away right? It had to know I was not a threat.

But it didn’t leave. And I felt like an idiot for keeping this leisurely pace when every bone in my body was telling me to run.I cringed inside and started to panic. I stood up on my tippy toes and screamed — a nervous yelp. What was I doing wrong? I turned back to face the little devil in the eye. If fear was my perfume, I was drowning in it.

So yeah, if you’re animal lover, this is about the time when you conclude that I am a horrible person. But let me try to explain. I never really had pets growing up so I’ve been known to get a little tense when a dog is in the room. I don’t hate dogs. I just don’t get them. And that makes me anxious. So please take this post as a the questionings of a animal-ignorant, slightly overdramatic human, curious for some answers.

For most of my life, I’ve denied that I truly have a fear of dogs. But dog-owners can smell fear just as quickly as their furry friends can. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard the following well-intentioned suggestions:

“Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.”

“She’s a friendly dog.”

“You know they can smell fear right?”

“Just push him away and he won’t bother you.”

I have never found comfort in any of these words. The main reason being that I have little to no understanding of the relationship between a dog and its owner. I mean, obviously your dog loves you, but why would he trust me? Isn’t he supposed to protect you? If I pet him the wrong way, could he go into attack mode? What if he jumps on me? What do I do?!

All of this sounds like nonsense to an animal-lover. I find pets, and the relationships they have with their owners so fascinating. How can you trust each other so easily? Part of me wishes I could understand or experience it on my own. But I’m stuck with a black blot on my heart, in the shape of what I assume is a puppy.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about dogs a lot. I would like to have one some day. I’ve been making some good progress. But today, I feel like all of it has gone down the drain.

Oh, and about that dog that chased me? An older European lady came to my rescue. “He no bite,” she assured me, shaking her head. I did as I usually do in awkward situations, smile — and laugh. And I turned right around, my heart pounding in my chest and skipped up the steps to my house.

The first thing I did was google what to do when a dog chases after you.

Texting on the run

Texting on the run

“Check texts on the run.” —said a Samsung smart watch ad.

“Wait — what?” I did a double take. The young, fit jogger on the poster smiled at me. I realized that this was more than just a clever pun. Samsung was actually trying to sell me a smart watch by telling me it would make it easier for me to check my texts while running. Pfft, as if I even exercise on a regular basis. And when I do choose to exercise, running is definitely not in my routine.

But to all the spirited runners out there, do you really wish you could check your texts during your morning jog? Is this actually a desire that’s been burning inside of you?

I’m going to take a guess here and say no.

“So Samsung, why do you think this would work?” The woman on the poster keeps smiling. I’m not sure what she would say to me if she could talk.

“It’s convenient.”

“Now, you can be connected even when it’s incredibly inconvenient.”

“Haven’t you always wanted something to stare at while waiting for the light to change?”

I laugh. Nice one, Samsung. Technology is supposed to make things easier right? Even when it doesn’t always make sense.

 

Sitting in Silence

Sitting in Silence

For the last two weeks, I’ve actively been choosing to spend time in silence.

When I’m on a streetcar, when I’m walking down the street, when I’m waiting for the bus; I put away my headphones and turn off my phone or iPod.

I do this because I feel like I need to give my brain some breathing room. If I’m constantly subjecting it to a non-stop stream of noise and information, when will I ever just think?

If I’m consistently detaching myself from my environment, when will I ever see and hear what’s new to discover?

It’s interesting to me how active this choice has to be. It seems it’s more natural for me to plug myself in, than to just stand, sit or walk. It’s like I can’t commute without a soundtrack. I’ve lost the ability to just be alone with my thoughts. And I find that to be a terrifying.

Thinking, pondering, reflecting… all of those are vital to the idea-generating process I so desperately need to fuel my writing career.

So, I’m actively choosing to be still — to give those quirky ideas the space to float into my brain where they can hatch into something new.