I was talking to a good friend recently, and we were discussing our reasons for blogging and how they’ve evolved and changed. When I first started writing online, my posts were terribly boring and even more terribly written. I must have been about seventeen years old, and in high school, LiveJournal was the coolest thing in the world. It didn’t matter that your entries were as fun and exciting as getting a dart in the eye and finding a phone bill attached to the end, all the cool kids were doing it* and subsequently, I wrote about everything and anything. Fastforward a bit, and a couple of years ago I decided to start blogging “properly”. I started having Ideas and wanted to Share Them With The World (a dangerous combination), and discovered that the way to get them out there was to learn the valuable skill of networking.
Primarily, at the time, I wanted to write about my journey toward getting over anxiety – I had this desperate desire to reach anyone who’d ever felt similarly, and band together in some sort of invisible army, penning my fears, hopes, dreams, defeats and tiny victories and hoping that somewhere I might reach someone, and maybe, if I was lucky, inspire them to break free too. It was probably one of the best things I ever did, but as blogging made the transition from occasional visitor to permanent resident in my life, my reasons for writing began to change. It became a platform upon which to share my opinions, my thoughts and ideas; to stand up for myself, for my beliefs, and for others; to explore new ideas and gain new insights, to share my biggest struggles and learn new ways of living and dealing with things, and to chronicle all the thoughts, goals, feelings and everyday goings-on that are my life right now. As of late, my blog has become a sort of window into my head – I may not be the most vocal of people in real life, but I feel if someone lands themselves in my little corner of the internet, they’ll get to know the real me. Words I may not pipe into everyday conversation I can feel free to pour onto the page (no wonder most of us here are introverts), and these entries serve as a continual reflection of who I really am. So in that spirit, today I’m taking a leaf out of a fellow blogger’s book, and using a wonderfully honest post of hers as inspiration. It’s about Things I Know.
I know that I’m probably the most emotional person you’ll ever meet, and will invest every fibre of my heart into friendships and relationships. I know this puts me at the highest possible risk for getting crushed, but I also know that if I don’t, I’ll feel like I’m living half a life. I know I’ve made mistakes in the past, but I also know I’ve done a lot of reflection, and I know that harping on about and reacting negatively to things that have already happened isn’t going to change them. I know I’m a work in progress – I know I need to break habits like overanalysing things, assuming the worst, and worrying about things beyond my control. I know that with enough practice and determination, I’ll get there. I know that every opportunity must be seized.
I know that I will always be an INFJ, Doctor Who will always be the greatest show in the world, and that green will always be my favourite colour. I know that curry in England is better than curry anywhere else in the world (rumour has it, including India), I know that I could happily live on coffee, bacon and lemon meringue pie forever, I know that the world would be slightly better without cherry-flavoured things, and I know that anything is better covered in salt. I know that without fail, a heartfelt hug, eating avocado with a spoon, inescapable laughter or a dog’s head sticking out of a moving car window will make anything better. I know that good things come to those who wait, but I also know that life is too short, and that we all have the power to turn it all around the very moment we decide to, and sometimes, the only time is now.
I know this planet is full of incredible beauty as well as incredible horror, and that I just happened to land on it. I know if I had three wishes, I would want to save the world, take away all the pain of those I love, and wish for more wishes, and only then would I be a little more selfish with them. 🙂 I know I want to travel, walk down streets thousands of years old, see impossible sights, soak up every soaring sunset and really look at, study, and fall in love with the canopy of stars that blankets our little world, knowing I’m seeing something billions and billions of years old. I know that the galaxy is big enough and wonderful enough to call God, and I know that now, I will never believe something that doesn’t make one hundred percent sense to me personally. I know I will always seek, question, and do my best to locate and figure out the truth.
I know that pain and sadness are inevitable, that loved ones could be stolen away at any moment, and that our time on this Earth is finite and ever diminishing. But I know that for the rest of my life, I am determined to make the most of every single moment, choose love over hate, future over past, present over future, and love as hard as I possibly can. I know how lucky I am to have people to love, and be loved in return. I know we are never given more than we can handle. As much as I like to think otherwise, I know that honesty may not always be the best policy, and that sometimes kindness is a higher priority. I know that understanding is infinitely more difficult sometimes than proving yourself right, but I know one hundred percent that it’s always more important.
I know that dreams might not always be attainable, but I also know that just having them gives the opportunity for great adventures and great stories. I know I’m not perfect, but I’m finally at a place where I know my worth. I know that soulmates aren’t a quantifiable science, but I know with all my heart that whatever your definition, that they exist. I know that I’m too hard on myself and that nobody sees all the flaws I do, and I know that life’s too short to worry about things that we all lose in the end. I know one should never give up hope. I know that laughter and brilliant moments should be cherished forever. I know that pyjamas are better as weekend clothes than they are to wear in actual bed, and I know that sometimes, style really is more important than comfort. 🙂
I know that my thirst for learning and passion and adventure will never be quenched, and I know how lucky I am to be able to go wherever I want, or to find whatever information I want at the click of a button. I know that this world would be better with more love and more education, and a focus more on unity than on difference. I know that I will always be infatuated with the English language, with literature, and I know that great minds will live forever through their words, which I collect and stash away like the finest of treasure. I know that being able to speak and tell stories and be heard is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I know that what’s popular isn’t a reflection of the best the human race has to offer, but that the human race offers wonderful things if you know where to look. I know I will never watch American soap operas and I know I will be a BBC girl until I die. I know that sometimes nothing can make you feel more alive than jumping around passionately with someone hand in hand to brilliant live music. I know that life is better with a cat in it.
I know that I’m pro-choice, pro-freedom of speech, pro-equality, pro-gay marriage, and pro-doing what’s right. I know I should exercise more and eat more greens, make more time for sleep, drink more water and less port wine, but I also know that we only have one life. I know that few things bring me more joy and sense of accomplishment than writing a great piece of fiction, but I know that writing is a battle between you and a blank page, and that, as a favourite author once said, most often the blank page wins. I know that a home is better filled with ever-playing music and ever-shining fairy lights. I know that home is where the heart is, and that sometimes that can be in people more than places.
I know I don’t really fit into a social niche, but I know that by attaching labels, we cage ourselves in from everything that ever could be otherwise. I know that talk is inevitable, but in whatever form it comes, it means you’re not being boring. I know that the person I am today is an entirely different person than who I was five years ago, and I know that the person I will be in another five will probably be just as much a stranger, but I know that moving forward in life is a must, and that I will never stand in one place. Even if I don’t know where I’m going. I know I’m but a small speck on the surface of a planet that’s just as insignificant a part of the universe, but I know that even though all things pass, we can all have a giant impact in our time, and on those that surround us, as they can on us. I know that life’s a mystery, that it’s too vast and incredible and mysterious sometimes to take too seriously, and that I’m lucky just to have the adventure. And I know with absolute certainty that brevity will never be my forte. 🙂
How about you? What do you know at this moment in time?
*Definition of “cool” subject to interpretation; mine personally being people who occupied the physics room with me at lunchtime, examining the lyrics of the latest Decemberists tracks and drawing Star Trek comics on the whiteboard
If someone has so many beautiful and true things to say as you, brevity should never be an option 😉
Loved this, Em. As always. So eloquent.
I wish I could add any more to that. Maybe one thing: at this moment in time, I know that making decisions is one of the hardest, but most necessary things to do in life… and even choosing not to make a decision is a decision. I need to really keep that in mind.
We must talk soon – would love to hear more about this decision of yours… and as always you are an absolute sweetheart 🙂
yayyyy I’ve been referenced in a post!! Let’s see if I get traffic for once, lol.
Sounds like you’ve had a great reflection since our talk!! You’ve had some poetic words here, it’s really great.
What do I know? I don’t… know… Whenever I think of something I know, I just tackle it with some if-scenario or idea of what I don’t know. I know that I’m a person. I know that I’m emotional and romantic and adventurous. I know I want to change myself for the better. I know I have a lot of ideas. I know that life is beautiful and that fundamentally, we never have a good reason to be unhappy. Ever.
I still don’t know what my blog is. It began to talk about my life and the ideas that I’m working with, the ideas that will help me to become happy. It guided me through my 6 months in China, and also my transition to a life of a meditator and Buddhist practitioner. And now that I’ve found the path, I’m not sure what else to write about. Today was an entry about the fun I had. A little frivolous, but it was great though!
I can’t wait to read it! And thank you for the inspiration 🙂
You really do write beautiful posts! Oh, and I was there when everyone thought LiveJournal was so cool. I remember begging for a LiveJournal code so I could sign up and blogging lame things everyday. Even some of them were just to say Goodnight, haha.
I know!! They were so full of nothing… I really should go and clear out some of my archives, lol 🙂
Introverts unite!! 🙂
I love writing posts like this, because with each word you are affirming your place in this world as a totally unique being. And hey, that’s a beautiful thing! Keep on rockin’ em!
“This is why/ this is why we fight…”
I thought those lyrics were appropriate for this post…
Where are they from? And high five for another opinionated introvert 🙂
the only song I know from the Decemberists 🙂
I know that I have the worst PMS case ever. :p
Aww!! Although it can’t possibly be worse than mine last week… one day I cried FIVE TIMES and couldn’t sit upright lol. One of those times was at X Factor! I hope you feel better soon!
Loved this post Em. I don’t think you have to worry about being concise because every word you say is so beautifully written. I know that you are one of the most interesting people I have ever met! As for me, I know… that I should go to bed earlier ha ha. Seriously though I know that I am lucky to live where I do, to be surrounded by great people, to have a job and an education and to be able to live in a time where it’s so easy to get in touch with someone halfway across the world. (My best friend lives in Germany and we skype every weekend) Really great post and I am off to read the one that inspired it!
Aww thank you! I know, Skype is so wonderful. We really are lucky to live in an age where we can communicate and find out information so easily. Do read Terra’s post, it’s a good one 🙂
I know this is a ridiculously kick-ass blog post!!!! Beyond that…eh, uncertainty is the new certainty. 🙂
Awww thanks! How have you been lady??
I know that sometimes it’s okay to take care of yourself first, so that you’re able to take care of others.
I loved this post, as with so many of your others ~ thanks for making me think!
Aww thank you so much! That’s kind of the best compliment ever 🙂
Very thought provoking Em! As usual, you are very insightful. So for me, this I know… as put forth by Socrates “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” With this in mind, and Cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am” ~René Descartes), as I see it, our existence is what is in our minds, therefore, what “I think”, is my reality. Since our thoughts change constantly, so does our reality.
I like this combination as it takes into account both Chaos Theory and Quantum Mechanics both. Even what we consider to be proven laws of nature or our existence may not be so in another universe in the quantum foam. For in my mind, I know I need to go home and mow the lawn, and that remains my reality until I find out otherwise. It would be great if my reality changed when I arrived at home and found that a neighbour was so generous as to have mowed my lawn for me, less so if I found the lawn decimated by locust.
Another quote I like is from Bertrand Russell “Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance”. I believe we can be happier when we accept that nothing is certain, that we know nothing, and that all things change, at least I think 😉 Some people might find it uncomfortable to live in a world of uncertainty, but there is more room for pleasant surprise and less for disappointment.
Choose to use the power of your mind, think pleasant thoughts and make your reality a happy one. Though I must admit to being a better preacher than practitioner; I find it trying to make my reality a happy one when someone cuts me off in traffic.
I think there can be many interpretations of “I think, therefore I am” but I don’t know if it necessarily means WHAT I think is what’s real, perhaps just the fact that I am capable of thought, therefore I exist. That being said, unrelated to the quote, what we think does go a long way in shaping our reality – especially in terms of attitude and reaction and spirit with which to address life. I do get uncomfortable with uncertainty, but I think when accompanied with a spirit of acceptance, knowing that whatever happens will happen and none of us can do much about it…. that can make things a lot less stressful 🙂
I know that you are beautiful and eloquent. I know that you are someone I am proud to call a friend. I hope that one day we can share real life hugs. I know that having friends you are proud of infuses so much love into the world.
I saw your comment and tweet last night and it absolutely made me want to give you a giant hug!! ❤
I love this post. I love the honesty, but I never expect anything less from you. 🙂 I think you’re pretty amazing and you HAVE been an inspiration for me with my social anxiety.
Aww that might just be the best thing you could ever say! I’m so glad we met and have been able to share this journey together ❤
Oh Emily, I adore this post! I know that you are such an amazing, genuine person and I’m lucky to know you through this wonderful blog world!
i know i’m so glad i started blogging publicly and met bloggers like you who make my heart happy every day 🙂
I know that faith without works is dead, a perfect day can never be lived until you have done something for someone who can never pay you back and that sometimes, we need to ignore those closest to us so that we can do what we need to do to rest and relax from a stressful day (or week or month).
Blogging is such an adventure isn’t it? It’s definitely a way to sort out all that’s happening in my head. And yes life is better with a cat in it. I actually have two 🙂