Answering “big talk” questions!

A week ago I published a blog post about why I hate small talk and why we should “big talk”. I gave you all a list of questions and some of you answered them which was really great and I enjoyed looking at it from a different perspective. Here I will be sharing my own answers in response to the questions so you can learn a bit more about me in return 🙂

1. Do you believe in life after death? How would you want to live on in the afterlife? How do you think you’ll live on?

To be honest, I’m unsure of whether there’s a life after death. I’m the kind of person who needs proof to completely believe in something and so I have no real conclusion about it. However, it does scare me to think that when we leave this world there is a void of nothingness, so I like to think that there is some sort of purpose. Ideally, I think it would be cool to be reincarnated and live again in another body. I find it quite hard to comprehend at times – the idea of not remembering a past life is a confusing thought – but I still like to think that it will happen, just so that I have some sort of purpose or that I can come back and change things I would have liked to have done before.

2. Do you think there is an alternate reality and if so, how does it correspond to this world?

Again, there is no proof of an alternate reality so I am neither a believer nor non-believer, but I love thinking about the concept of one. Sometimes we all have days where we feel happy or down for no reason and perhaps that corresponds to an alternate reality where we feel the opposite of our other self. The idea of there being another version of me is pretty weird, but also kind of exciting. I don’t know. Maybe it exists or maybe it doesn’t. But maybe someday we’ll find out!

3. Do you believe in soulmates or having more than one?

I’m not sure I really believe in soulmates, however I do believe that there are some people you have an instant connection with – whether that is as friends or as a relationship. Some people you easily click with and others you don’t. Some people you become closer too quicker than others who you may have known for ages. It’s unpredictable. Therefore I think if you considered these connections as “soulmates” of some sort, you can have more than one, yes.

4. Is anything in this world real?

To be honest, it isn’t guaranteed that it is. This is all we’ve known so how we would know otherwise? We could be part of a video game. We could be a made up dream inside someone’s head. Maybe I’m the only person who exists in this world and everything else, including all of you guys, is a figment of my imagination. But either way, to prevent myself going insane, I have to pretend that it is all real. And after all, it is real enough. If we haven’t known any different, it has to be considered our reality.

5. Is evil born within someone or does it grow with age?

I don’t think that anyone was born evil; I’m pretty sure we were all born somewhat pure. Society and other people’s influences on our lives is what shapes us into a good or evil person. Everyone has the potential for goodness and everyone has the potential to be evil. Some are just unlucky in the path of life they’ve taken and things have caused them to become a worse off person than they could have been. However I do think that some people are more susceptible to becoming evil than others, depending on their personality. This is not something that can be helped and so really the person themselves cannot be blamed, but there are certain traits and attributes which might make someone more vulnerable to aspects of life, and thus lash out in different ways. Considering this, I therefore believe that no one is actually born evil, but some people are born with a higher susceptibility to become it.

6. Does true freewill exist?

Again, this is something that is pretty debatable because there is really no way of knowing whether we have actual freewill. We like to think that we do. When we make decisions we are pretty sure they are coming from our own brain. But really, how can we prove that they are? Perhaps our future actions are already determined and there is a higher being that knows exactly what route we will take – has chosen what route we will take. It’s inevitably impossible to know how free we really are.

7. What is considered art?

This is a difficult one because in some sense, everything is art. When I think of the concept of art I see it as something that I can extract a meaning or story from. It expresses an emotion or an experience in perhaps an abstract way. Holistically, anything can do this. You can take a meaning out of anything in this world and give it a life if you choose to. However I think what makes true art is something that someone has created from within the realms of their head, rather than something that is natural. It goes against the laws of nature and becomes a mind-process rather than a physical process. This of course rules out nature, but for those who believe in God, nature may be believed to be designed by Him so surely that is art too? Even a bottle of hand soap, for instance, was designed by someone so isn’t that art too? This makes it quite complicated to draw a line between what is or what is not art. Therefore I think it is conclusively a subjective concept. What you think expresses meaning is meaningful enough to be art for you. It may not be art to someone else but it is still art. Really, there is no way of proving otherwise.

8. Does complete happiness exist or is it just an unobtainable concept?

Without trying to sound completely cynical, I don’t think complete happiness can ever really be achieved. I think happiness as a concept exists – of course it does – and there are many things in this world that make people smile and cause a sense of enjoyment. However the fact that the opposite of these things exist too – that we are also weighed down by sadness and stress and tragedies – means that there is no way to completely clear our head of what is “bad”. And without clearing our head of what is “bad”, how can we be completely happy? We can become close, but we can never actually reach it.

9. Is there ever a right or wrong? Is anything really objective?

There are lots of things in this world that are seemingly objective – government laws and educational grades – however when you really think about it, these aren’t really objective at all. If they were initially created by people, they were initially created by an individual thought which in itself is a matter of opinion. Not everyone has the same opinion – it is impossible to – and so really the creation of laws were a matter of subjectivity. We have been forced to follow them objectively despite their roots and have become accustomed to not do otherwise. We can even think about language itself – it is objective as in there is a right and wrong way to use it, however it was once created by people just like us who made it up out of nowhere. It was merely a sense of imaginative thinking. Everything that exists today originated from a sense of subjective thinking and so can anything really be considered right or wrong if it all stems from human intuition?

10. Can we really believe anything anyone says when we have only experienced our own conscious reality?

This last question kind of links to the previous one in that it questions the strength of a sense of duty in this world, however it also mentions our own conscious reality and how we see things. I find it really interesting how we can never really see anything from someone else’s perspective, no matter how hard we try. We can come close to it, but it will never be the same because, as the question says, we have only ever experienced our own conscious reality. This makes it difficult for us to believe in what people say because ultimately we can’t really trust anything when we have no complete proof. However I think that we have to trust to some extent because that is the only way to move forward in our lives. We may not ever understand the reality of others but we can get to know them from an outsiders perspective and for some, this is enough. Whilst I often wish I could delve into the lives of others to know what it’s really like, I know it’s not possible (or not yet, anyway) and so we must make do with how things are. Maybe some people are not genuine but that’s just how life is.

So overall, this post turned out a lot longer than I expected. I’m sure most of you won’t have read through all of that but I am going to post it anyway as I think it’ll be nice to look back on this in a few years time to see if any of my views have changed.

I hope summer is going well for you all and I wish anyone who is getting A level results on Thursday a lot of luck! I hope you all get the grades you deserve! 🙂

Why I hate small talk – let’s “big talk”!

The idea for this post stemmed from a video I watched on YouTube a while ago – the idea that some of us out there are more interested in what is known as “big talk” rather than “small talk”. This is the concept of approaching someone and asking them deeper questions which revolve around us and our existence or the personal experiences of someone else, rather than the everyday questions of “how are you?”

This is something that I’ve contemplated for a while, being someone who finds the overused conversation of “hi, how are you?”, “yeah I’m good, how are you?”, “I’m good too, thanks” really irritating. I find that if you don’t know the person well enough, then the likelihood of you actually opening up to the question to give a meaningful answer is very low, so what is the point in asking it?

The woman in this video puts together a selection of clips where she asks strangers deeper questions and I love the idea of this. It gets people to actually dig their brain for a suitable answer and think beyond the realms of everyday thinking which is a lot more beneficial than replying by reflex. So I thought, why not bring the same to the blogging world?

I will ask an array of questions below that are considered “big talk” and it would be great if you could pick one (or as many as you like) to answer in the comments and we can have a discussion! Similarly, if you have a question you’d like to share, feel free to share it too as I’d love to answer 🙂

  1. Do you believe in life after death? How would you want to live on in the afterlife? How do you think you’ll live on?
  2. Do you think there is an alternate reality and if so, how does it correspond to this world?
  3. Do you believe in soulmates or having more than one?
  4. Is anything in this world real?
  5. Is evil born within someone or does it grow with age?
  6. Does true freewill exist?
  7. What is considered art?
  8. Does complete happiness exist or is it just an unobtainable concept?
  9. Is there ever a right or wrong? Is anything really objective?
  10. Can we really believe anything anyone says when we have only experienced our own conscious reality?

You can now read my answers to these questions here.

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Interpreting a Random Photo off of Instagram

On Instagram I follow a variety of accounts – mostly writers, as well as a few people I know – however I also follow a few accounts  with photos which make you think a lot about the intent behind them and how they relate to us as people in society. The photo below is one I came across and I guess I just thought it’d be something interesting to discuss.

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I think this photo particularly expresses how much and the extent to which we are influenced by the media. One of my first responses to it was “society’s lies kill us inside”, originally not meaning to rhyme, however I think this sums up the photo in its briefest stance.

Everyday we are somehow connected to the media whether it is through social media or the television and we are driven by what it tells us to do or we are driven internally to follow the roles of others. However, have we ever stopped to think if any of it is actually true? When you watch the news, you believe it, but technically its evidence isn’t completely trustworthy – no evidence is completely trustworthy when said from the mouth of someone else. This photo encapsulates the idea that perhaps we are foolish for following something that isn’t even real – it’s merely a concept. It doesn’t matter, as a whole, what others say. You should do things out of your own accord and your own strength.

Of course, the long nose relates to the well known image of Pinocchio and a sense of distrust, however the fact that it is skewered through the man in the chair reflects just how much it affects us, even if we feel we are disengaged. It is easy to say that we can “take a break” from these things, but is it ever possible to completely “take a break”, when it has such control over our lives? The man in the photo may feel empowered and comfortable listening to the news but oblivious to how it is harming him internally. The lies or misconceptions through others, if we’re speaking to the extremes, could kill you – not directly of course, but through rises in stress and mental health issues, which I believe are partly caused by the media; how everyone feels the need to “keep up an appearance”.

Overall I just thought this was something interesting to discuss. I mean, after all, even this blog could be considered partial to this subject as a place on the internet. However, personally, I feel being here is a lot different. Here, it’s so much easier to fall into your own wavelength and be your own person, whereas elsewhere I still feel there is a lot of stigma.

It’d be really nice to hear all your thoughts on this too, so please leave a comment on how you interpret the photo 🙂 and let me know if you’d like to see more of these posts in the future.

Where do you feel most Exposed? 

Have you ever felt like the whole of your soul in its entirety has been seen? As if in one particular moment someone could embody everything you feel and everything you’ve ever felt in perhaps even the simplest of tasks?

I don’t know about all of you, but blogging is definitely a way of opening up. It’s a form of exposure to yourself that perhaps no one else in your everyday life may see. So I thought it’d be interesting to discuss what makes you feel exposed, perhaps even outside of blogging – perhaps outside of direct speech but something of a more indirect nature.

For me, I feel most exposed either writing or playing the piano. These are my outlets and my way of expressing things that perhaps are laying knowingly on my conscious or unconsciously. I think a lot of the time people put up barriers around others and sometimes I think that no one really knows anyone which is quite sad but also comforting I guess? However I think indirectly these barriers can be let down. That’s definitely where music and writing lie in my life – music is kind of like my physical expression of emotions, instead of through facial expressions or everyday gestures, and then writing is like my mental and literary expression of emotions, instead of through simply talking. They’re my places to go when I have something itching to be felt or let out and I think whilst exposure is terrifying, these things are necessary sometimes to remind yourself of who you are and help with self-reflection, but also to simply de-stress.

Maybe you think I’m thinking too much about this – and maybe I am😂 But hey, I find it interesting and I’d generally like to know if I’m the only one who feels like this. Soo please feel free to comment and join in on feeling exposed (because sharing this post I suppose is kind of exposing my exposure in itself) 

If your Parents weren’t your Parents, would you be Friends?

I’ve been watching 13 reasons why lately and I remember one thing that Hannah said, about how it isn’t until we are older that we become to know our parents as actual human beings. And then I watched a video a few days later about how when we’re younger we idolise and admire our parents simply because they’re our parents. So I combined these thoughts and came up with the title question.

It’s interesting to think that when we were younger we didn’t understand the world – we knew our parents simply as our parents because that’s where we came from. But as we get older we are more open to the outside world and the flaws of others. It’s then that we have the capability of learning about our parents actually for who they are, rather than a parental image.

I think it is nice – to get to know your parents as people. You can create a bond with them as if they’re your friend and it helps extend you into the adult world which, terrifyingly, I will be entering soon. However, if it were to come to it, and you met your parents on the street as strangers (assuming you’d be exactly the same person as you are now), do you think you’d become friends? Have you got enough in common? Would you get along?

With parents, people often assume that the child is always of the same nature however this isn’t always the case. I’m quite an introverted person, I would say, but my parents come across as quite strong extroverts. It’s hard to imagine where the correlation is when you believe you act in different ways. However there are also some things in myself that I do see in my parents – my love for music or simply the way I think or feel. When it comes down to it, your genes must be related somehow.

So taking into account your similarities and differences with your parents, what do you think? Would you be their friend?

Do Bodies Even Exist?

What if God didn’t physically create anyone? What if he created our minds and we created the rest with whatever perception we chose to take on the world?

I’ve been thinking recently that maybe we don’t exist in physical form; maybe we simply create ourselves through a projection of our mind based on experiences and knowledge we have picked up through life. When we look to each other and see an appearance, perhaps it isn’t real. Perhaps it’s just what we expect that person to look like through the eyes of our brain.

If you think of your view of someone before you get to know them, you’re unintentionally judging them based on their appearance, but this could merely be judging their mind based on what you do know about them and the way they come across. How many of you see someone differently once you get to know their personality? It’s almost as if the way they look is completely different now, except it isn’t. It’s the same mind you’re looking at and the appearance of the mind (or body) is the same, and yet you still see it altered. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that our appearance isn’t definitive.

Also, it seems that no matter how hard you try and deny it, others see you differently than you see yourself. This could just be down to our nature of not accepting our flaws, or it could be that other people really do see you differently because their mind projects a different image than your own. Imagine your mind hovering in mid air. You see a tired and disproportionate body in the mirror but your friend sees a model. Is it even possible to be both if your body is definitive? Maybe, if you think this is just a matter of opinion. Or maybe you both see completely different images.

What do you think about your body? Does it really exist? Or is it enough to know it exists for you?

Thoughts on one of my Favourite Poetry Books

Recently, I’ve been getting into poetry a lot. ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur is one of my favourite books at the moment and now I’m onto reading ‘Salt’ by Nayyirah Waheed which is equally as amazing.

This post will literally be me sharing my thoughts on some of her poems and what I think they mean or mean to me. There might also be the occasional ramble. Feel free to input your own thoughts in the comments section 🙂

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This poem particularly got me thinking about the way we feel. It’s weird to think that perhaps there’s a particular emotion you haven’t felt yet. Although emotions such as sadness and happiness are common, they are also generic but I think there’s more to it than that. When we talk of sadness, we talk of it as an entity known by everyone, but do we really know it at all? I think sadness can differ with different experiences; two people can be sad at the same time and yet they feel a completely different sense of sadness. This means that despite us comparing ourselves to others, really there is no way to compare at all. We all feel differently and there’s no way to ever know otherwise. We may go a whole lifetime not feeling a certain emotion which is a strange thought but it probably happens to everyone. This is because there’s no way you can fit all the emotional states into one lifetime, even if you tried. However I think it’s still important to get close; we should try and feel everything that we can. We might not understand what’s going on half the time, but feelings are inevitably what define us as ‘alive’.

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The idea of a second heart…just wow, really. We go our whole lifetimes knowing of one scientific heart but what if there was another, perhaps metaphorical, one? In our lives people go through so much. Obviously I can only speak for 18 years of my life so far, but from what I’ve observed and partly experienced there’s so much out there that can inevitably destroy a heart. And I think that’s why the idea of a second heart is so intriguing, because in a way it kind of acts like hope, like there’s a chance out there for us even if we break the first one. The comfort of knowing we will never fully lose our heart is like knowing we will never really lose ourselves. We may go flying in all these different and wondrous directions but our heart will still be here because it’s strong. We’re imagestrong. And I just love the whole concept of this really.

This last poem I love simply because it reminds us that there’s always more. What follows today is unpredictable – life is unpredictable – and so the ending of a world is never really the end. And I think this is an attitude we need to take. I think in some circumstances I need to work on it myself because there’s always moments where you feel like everything is falling apart but then there’s always other moments where you feel so completely alive, but that’s life. If just we can try to let the ending of the world go, we can live in another, better world the next day.

So there are some of my wild thoughts I guess 🙂 Sorry for the quality of the photos that I took late at night with dim lighting (my bad, my bad). I’m trying to do some more interesting posts lately because I know I was lacking on those at the end of last year.

What kind of posts would you guys like to see? Please let me know, as well as your thoughts on these poems 🙂