And so we watch and so we learn/With eyes wide for our dreams to yearn

Posts tagged ‘psychology’

A Study in Friendship

Some people may be asking; ‘Why don’t you write about any of people in your life on this blog? You certainly talk about yourself a lot.’ Well dear imaginary inquisitor, a) many of my friends know about this blog b) it’s rude and weird to discuss them on a public forum and c) petty opinions and gossip aren’t worth the screen space.

That being said, I have some really awesome friends. I’ve been privileged enough to make a lot of them, although keeping in contact with the non-English speaking ones has been more difficult than I anticipated. [Shoutout to them; ¡Perdón! Estoy escribiendo cartas a mandaros.] And, what with the combination of a writer’s and a student’s curiosity, I find my friends rather fascinating. Because I’ve known some of them for years, it’s actually fantastic, watching them grow. Watching new interactions and reactions at certain changes in our lives. Fathoming those who I don’t quite understand. Which makes me sound really creepy, but I’m not, honest 😛 Everyone’s different little idiosyncrasies make for fascinating character study – it also means I have to be careful not to personify them in my writing, which is harder than it sounds!

And everyone is so diverse. Dealing with anxiety, dealing with boy drama, dealing with not meeting the asian standard for school. Extroverts and introverts, discussing sexuality or playing toddlers, or debating with pomp and grandeur ridiculously opposing opinions on something entirely bizarre and useless. They way people circulate, react or behave around others, think about how deeply that’s influenced by their home life, their origins.

I flatly refuse to give examples that are specific enough for identification, but let me just say how awesome it is, how different we all are. Gruff girls who are secretly romantic softies but don’t you dare say so in public 😉 Arrogant boys who are insecure, and then watching some of them strengthen. Or when the nuances of a friends grey moral policing is explained. Hearing other people’s incredibly divergent childhoods, in London or rural south america or slums of poverty. Or, what about the concepts that hold weight in their decision making – I know friends who have spent their life as the smartest kid in their town, another who doesn’t know the meaning of hope – or can you imagine living life without any sense of security? Growing up being told that a fundamental part of you was wrong. Or having an incredible aptitude for art or guitar, that they always had. Or someone who’s core values were so opposed to mine that we spent a year arguing, a year banging heads until both of us learnt and changed drastically. Watching little ones grow from babbling toddlers to serious pre-teens.

People are fascinating. My friends are intriguingly wonderful. And I hope that compliment is huge enough so that they don’t mind my curiosities! XD


Minds; Across the Universe

(A/N: Dug this out from an old draft and thought, what the hell, I’ll post it anyways.)

“So. I’m on this bus trip across southern Patagonia with 20 or so people right now, and aside from the spectacular sights and stuff to see and experience (we haven’t gotten to that part yet) its rather interesting. Just because no one aside from the bus driver is over the age of 30, 95% of us being between 15 – 18 and the same percentage having grown up and lived the majority of their lives on other continents. There’s 2 chicks from Canada, some Kiwi’s, 2 Swede’s, some from Switzerland and Finland, and a whole bunch from Deutschland. I am the only Australian – in fact I haven’t met a fellow countryman since I left it in February, which is…an experience. And all this is fascinating from a socialistic viewpoint, in the way we’ve all grown up in completely different worlds. And yet we’re all together, 3 continents, worlds, lives, united on an alien one. (We’re all exchange students, in case you need pieces put together.) For one thing, they say plenty beforehand how many people you’ll meet and bond with, people in another country, but dude, you sorta assume it’s gonna be the locals they’re referring to. 😛 Because you don’t realize until you’re eagerly chatting with other travelers, how easy it is to connect with other people who are doing the exact same thing as you. Who fly, see the world, have adventures like you do, and know in person how truly fantastic it is too.

The socialistic part I mentioned before though, was about how you may be going along a similar journey in life, but all of our paths are so completely different it’s quite fascinating, for me at least, comparing all the differences. You read about these things, get it in theory, but until you really Get Out There, your mind doesn’t realize there are those who live their lives, childhoods in a world with as little as 4,000 people, or as many as 4 million. Farms and mountains and israel and moose & penguins & bears & whales & koalas being commonplace – the bare environment affects a personality more than you’d think. Especially when said environment is completely alien to the environment theyre currently in. For many of us, seeing the wide glittering blue ocean after 4-9 months, living in what is about as hilly and dry and as inland can we get, was quite an emotional experience. This is when we start to really sympathize and understand the lores and poems of our forefathers, when they spoke of their love for their country, the lands and landscape of their home.

But I’ve rambled. What the main idea of this was more about the culture, and how much influence you don’t even realize is there. You don’t see these things when you grow up in the same 100 sq kilometers all your life, everyone has the same influences and life habits. That’s great, but we need a wider scope for comparison. Many of the things that define you, haven’t even been realized consciously. The food, the manners and habits that are polite or expected, the holidays, the languages spoken, the immigration rates, the music and brands common…your family and lifestyle is one of the huge and yes most important but, like I said before, your environment and the world you adapted to has adapted you to fit it, quite subtly and deeply.

My case and point sit in the seats of this double decker bus around me. (To those who are a part of this trip and read this, I honestly don’t mean to offend I’m taking a purely intellectual and detached viewpoint here.) There’s over a dozen of us and it’s funny how patterns follow unconsciously in these social groups.
To start with, clearly those who are of the same country have a bond immediately. Even if it’s as far apart as east and west coast, or even if they’re completely different types of people, there are some things which can only be known or appreciated by those in your home country. And naturally languages too, the german and austrian and swiss have a fantastic time talking in very fast German to each other. [Icht ferurun nicht – I understand nothing] 😛 But it’s more than that, subtler and deeper – beyond countries and languages. Because the Canadian chicks get on great with the Kiwi’s and no matter how much the South African girl had laughs comparing the similarities in languages with the Germans, she and moi the Aussie chatted so much more. There was a Brazilian girl and a girl from New Zealand who became incredibly close friends in a short amount of time. These are entirely different continents, far and away from each other, but something in the similarities draws them together, isn’t that interesting? Because then you get a girl from Montana, USA, who has an entirely different way of being to the girls just kilometers above the border, and then there’s the differences in the French and the Italian and English, the Indian and Chinese and Russian. Haven’t gotten them all in the same room together though… 😛 This is why its extremely difficult bordering-on-illegal to experiment on people, right?

I do hope you’ve seen some patterns in my musings on human nature, to do with how interesting patterns form, how we’re unconsciously drawn to people like ourselves in ways, how even sharing an ocean or common immigration patterns can make another foreigner feel closer to you. Obviously there’s buckloads behind the personality and presentation – a particularly funny guy from Sweden laughs loads with the Canadian-French girl. So it’s a mix really, of minds and worlds and such subtle influences it’s hard to see where patterns end and imagination begins 😛 But searching and trying to figure out why and how and more, oh isn’t it fascinating? Humans never change but, why do we, there’s already so many possibilities and intricacies in the variation we have!

Afterthoughts: University is going to be a killer
😛 I could study this and half a dozen other subjects that are equally as fascinating (anthropology, languages, physics, music, biology, engineering) for the rest of my life in bliss. Hey, this is my blog, I am allowed to express as much lifescience as I like 😛 Sure it could be a type of diary about every day things, but I’ve already got 4 of those that I’ve written in!”

At Skyfall

Have you ever had those moments when you’re absolutely at loss at what to do, or what’s going to happen to you? I’m not talking about some petty exam or boyfriend problem, which are, while still major enough alone, nothing compared to the necessities so basic you can almost forget about them; a source of food, a source of water, a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in at night. Well, could almost forget until having them becomes questionable.

It’s almost funny how badly things can fall to pieces. Like Sara Crewe, going from her beautifully glorious birthday party to find out that her father was dead, the diamond mines never existed and she was a pauper alone in the world, it gives you a sense of churning oncoming panic as the shock wears off. I’m just at the end of an absolutely lovely road trip through southern Argentina, and I got pulled aside today to be told the family I had been living with so happily before didn’t want me, and gave such short notice that an alternate location hadn’t been able to be found yet.

The head spinning of this was just, jbffinkbddub. In a very bad way. I have  no phone credit, all my luggage (suitcase, guitar, backpack, overcoat, two plastic bags) not enough money on me to pay for even half a bus ticket and no place to go. Panic threatens to overwhelm me every time I think about it. The only three people I would consider going to for help are all unable, and everyone else, well, they’re all overseas. So what do you do? Who do you go to, when you want to panic and cry and curl up in a ball, but legitimately can’t. To be frank it was less the knowledge that I  had to take responsibility and more the fact that I  really didn’t want to break down in front the people whom I’m around. So I repressed the shock, hurt, fear, worry, panic, anxiety and uncertainty, pushed it all back down, did all I could in the current situation to deal with it and then kept myself busy and distracted. Is that healthy? Possibly not. But them again, maybe taking control is a good thing – it probably is 😛 The question for me is, when does it go from reining back your emotions and keeping calm, to repressing? Because our minds have vivid imaginations, and they can run us into the most awful emotional states, so wouldn’t repressing be a good thing, holding down before they go out of control and break you down? But then again, letting all your emotions out and getting it out of your system can feel really good too. I guess it’s less on which is ‘better’ or ‘maturer” and more on which is more acceptable in public. It varies on place to place and country to country, but in general it’s Not Done to express extreme emotions among polite society. I’ve probably leaned more oftener on the hold-back than the open-up side when it comes to responses, except on the few rare times when not breaking down and hiding weren’t options.

And pride comes into play as well. I never used to notice how much people possess. It’s not only coupled with arrogance – pride is what stops you asking, accepting or admitting you need help, in any form.  That’s when it couples with shame, which seems plain stupid on paper but is really quite common in reality – I’ve found quite a lot in it myself. You don’t notice these things until it becomes hard for you to ask for money needed badly, or accepting a 5 bucks from a friend’s generosity. The type of pride we normally come into contact with is usually coupled with arrogance, but there’s the poor-pride, the ‘I don’t accept charity’ feeling-shame-when-you-do pride.

Hubris really is one of mans’ greatest faults, isn’t it? Like all of them, quite good in reasonable measures, and impossible to live in regular society without encountering even a little. Pride makes us stand up straight and look people in the eye, and it coupled with greed/need are the main incentives that fuel our work. Taking pride in yourself and what you do is barely a hop skip and a jump away from confidence, but oh how it hurts when it takes a hard blow. I mean, it was more than just pride that takes a blow in this situation, it was quite a bit of esteem as well. I’m not exactly the most stable and secure person at the moment, being away from all that normally there, like family and years of life making friends and connections and whatnot. So dumping me out on the street, figuratively at least, wasnt particularly. I did get a place to stay, luckily, but it was just…gah. Abandoned and lost and unwanted, how very pleasant.

Another frightening fact; how easily people can not notice emotions, even when their mask is held on by the barest thread. I, for example, was blinking back tears furiously for the majority of several classes, and it was only when I had to get out and curl up somewhere alone, unable to hold back anymore, that people looked around with concern and worry. It’s rather disheartening, but then again, you are only one person among 7 billion, so yes unique and special and all that, but so’s everyone else really.

SO. To end this on a nice note, and to give it a moral; (those things are generally a good idea) If there’s anything I’ve learnt from all this, is to be perceptive of other people. Look around and take notice of everyone else, not just your friends and who you care about, but everyone, just a little. There was that bit in the last Eragon book, about the mighty dragon paying such close attention to the life of a beetle, that he felt that life was just as important as the grand movement of the Cosmos. That sounds silly but would you consider the lives of you and your loved ones worth entire galaxies of unknown stars? Everyone feels that way, everyone is important, remember that.
Everyone is important. So treat them that way, through anything that happens.

A/N: Gosh I got off track with that XD Oh well.

Growing Up

Do you know what’s interesting? How people grow up. How people think. Just, imagining back when you were 7 or so. (For some that’ll be merely a handful of years, for others the dinosaurs were still evolving :P) But, remember how grown-up you felt? Like you were big and could handle anything. And then when you were 12. Leaving primary school/being in middle school and starting to look at boys and going out and doing things by yourself. Most definitely grown up. And looking at the 7 year old babies, how so much less mature they were. And then there’s you now, at whatever age you happen to be in. To quote Andrew Blake who probably quoted it off someone else, “You’ve never been as old as you are today.” or something like that. And it’s true. Things happen in your life, over the years, change your mind and how you perceive the world.

We, as individuals, are constantly changing, the same way a teenage boy is constantly growing – and although its difficult to measure in small doses, and easier to see after large intervals of time. I think maybe that’s part of the reason teenagers get so cocky; because they’re thinking new thoughts with bigger, opener minds, and they can see that they are, and how much more similar they are, and independent, from the ‘Adults’. So, they start thinking that they’ve matured Enough, and that they should be treated the same as The Grown Ups. I don’t blame them, everybody wants to be important, independent and treated like a grown up – even 7 year olds. But that’s the thing I’ve been coming to realize. It’s not that simple. There isn’t ever any stopping point, a marker that says Done. There’s always something more, wisdom experience or understanding, that matures you that much more. Think about the Adults in the world around you – sometimes, they too have nofuckingidea what to do, what to say, or what the solution is to the curveball life’s thrown at them. 😛

It’s like those head-spinning physics theories, about 7th and 8th + dimensions. They could quite plausibly exist, but it’s incredible hard to imagine the idea of existing with extra dimensions, simply because we have no idea what it could possibly be like. Our minds cannot fathom an idea it has never encountered, it can’t imagine something so alien to anything it knows. There’s been examples made, of 2 dimensional and three dimensional worlds, but for more modem world examples; try and ask a lifelong nun to describe the sensation of French kissing. Or a man to describe the pain of giving birth. Or even a child who has lived on a farm inland all her life to describe the ocean in all 5 senses. It’s impossible. Not their fault at all, and I’m sure there are things a celibate nun has experienced that a boy-happy teen party girl hasn’t. But that’s the great conundrum of life really, getting more, be it experience or wisdom or understanding. Or maybe I’m just an a-typical Ravenclaw 😛

Back to the point though – we can’t imagine anything beyond what we’ve already experienced. So how can we imagine or be any wiser or more mature than we already are? Simply put, time. Just keep living, living life to the full, living and experiencing as much to the full as you can. And accept that there’s still more, that there’s always things you don’t yet understand. Yet.

I’m Bored

I’m bored. How many times have you heard a friend or teenager say it? There’s nothing to do, nothing to read, nothing good on tv. No money, no one to meet up with, no wifi. Is that what our generation has learnt, that we need our entertainment handed to us? Some mates I’ve got, they seem, between work and eating and sleeping, to live in a constant state of boredom. Computer games and tv, two of the most common forms of recreation these days, are almost as mindless as not doing anything at all. Who has ever really emerged from The Simpsons or Call of Duty enriched and satisfied? I honestly don’t see the point, when there’s already so much out there, so much to see.

I mean, think about it. The majority of these commercialized forms of entertainment, save the testosterone-fulfilling war&women types, are in some form of story telling. Creating stories, stimulating our imagination. The writers of the world should understand me here, but the rest of you, just think; how small a step it is to stop living off and using another persons imagination, and opening yours. Just open your eyes and look at the world around you. There’s just. so. much. Everything has a story, every person has a story, hopes and dreams and fears and a past and a future, every thing has to be made and everything has had things happen to them that leaves a mark. Just look around you, and really see.

Just look; at the people walking by – what do their clothes say about them? Their features and gestures and actions, jewelry and tattoos and things they’re carrying. They all say something about them. Where and they going, what are they doing, what might they be thinking? Some people put a lot of stock into how your facial features signify your personality, some believe it’s pure genetics. I experiment with both possibilities. Is there an old smile in that old mans crinkled eyebrows? Old people are especially interesting because they have had such long lives, so much time to have developed, had families, hobbies, dreams, grandchildren, faced suffering, lived and seen so much. And then there’s the young, with their vivacity and life – did she just get back from university, school or a friends house, and was her day good? What might she be thinking about? A frazzled mum after a long day of errands or returning home after a job, where? How is her life? His clothes are loud but his eyes are soft – an anarchist that still dreams, wants change and thinks this is the solution, statement, or boy hiding behind his clothes, trying to fit in and be cool? People are all so unique and yet the same patterns emerge, expand on what you know of our minds, and the human brain is so complex the possibilities are thrilling.

Just look; at the plants and animals – varying on the season and location, oh World. Birds singing in the trees, or around the ground, what types are they? Recognize and try to name plants growing, weeds, vines, trees and flowers and how the insects work with them in the huge system of creating and killing together that is Nature. Seedpods are always fascinating to figure out, like little puzzles. Leaves, how they grow and change and how and why they are in the shape/colour/texture they are. The seasons and local weather, how does it affect it all, the small mammals and the once-domestic street animals, the local creatures, the birds and lizards. (This is mainly interesting for those who travel and compare countries city/wildlife) But also, where and how did plants grow and get there? Gardens can say a lot, who and why and how they’re tended. A butterfly or beetle can catch and hold your attention as it passes by. So wrapped up in their busy little lives, who are we to disregard and ignore them?

The streets, houses, cars, things; how did they get there? Who built them, with what and how? Imagine how they were put together, and why. What happened to them all through the passing of time? Markings in the concrete by paws and leaves and shoes and tyres. Cracked cement from weather and nature. How did that car get that way? What’s the graffiti about, by who and why? The mesh behind the fence, to keep small dogs inside? What were the streets named the way they were? How and who painted that sign? Construction sights are especially fascinating, seeing things half made, trying to guess what the wires and pillars and pipes will become, and how they fit together. Electrical wirings, to and from where? Cultural influences, fashion and styles from years ago accumulating, shown in the world around us, in the plaster and cement and wood.

All you have to do is look.

Can you see now? With a world full of details to examine, how can you ever be bored? I know I’m not.