What a Beautiful Wedding

Over the weekend, I experienced my first wedding as like….idk a real grown-up or something. It was the first wedding I’d ever been to where I was actually friends with the people getting married as opposed to a family member or one of my parent’s acquaintances. I was a bridesmaid and I ended up giving an impromptu toast in lieu of the maid of honor (she didn’t want to speak and I love public speaking so pretty much volunteered last minute), and as I sat there, slightly champagne drunk, with only twenty minutes to prepare it, I realized I hadn’t truly thought about what romantic love means to me in a long time.

I know that I love and am in love with my boyfriend…but what does that mean? What I came up with in that network-sitcom-length of time, is that love ultimately comes down to how that person makes you feel and how far you’re willing to go to make them feel as amazing as possible in return. There are multiple different kinds of love (the ancient Greeks had eight!), but romantic love is one of the ones you get to choose for yourself, which makes it all the more special when you compare it to family love for instance.

In my little toast, I talked about how even though I didn’t know the groom that well, I couldn’t be happier for them because what I did get to see was how he made my friend feel. We were living together when they first became a couple, and I got to see how her face would light up when he would send her a present, or her smiles at her phone when he would text, and I thought THAT’S it. Her happiness was the love part. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it, it doesn’t matter what they look like in the end, it doesn’t matter if they tick off your theoretical checkboxes – it’s how they make you feel.

When you think about it this way, love becomes a whole lot clearer in my mind. There are no illusions about being with someone to please others, or to spite others, or because they’ve got money, or because of how attractive they are. All that matters is how you can make each other feel.

I know that I’m in love with my boyfriend because he makes me feel happy, he makes me laugh, he makes me feel strong, safe, beautiful, smart, listened to, I could go on and on. And I’m pretty sure I make him feel amazing too, but I guess only he can answer that 😉

The weird thing about the paragraph above is that it probably wouldn’t sound all that romantic to anyone else. That’s because the feelings are intensely personal and only something a much better writer than I, could truly put into words. Traits like – patient, kind, funny – don’t make up a relationship. They merely make up the blandest version of a person and it’s all the little things and feelings that make up that love.

Unfortunately, I think nowadays it’s easy to miss this crucial part of a relationship. We get so focused on the other person – do we have the same sense of humor? Do we both like Indian food? Do we both like to travel? – and we forget about the actual feelings part. Does this person make me feel happy? Wanted? Safe? Brave? If the answer is no, then why are we even bothering with whether we like the same food or not?

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Me with my bridesmaid bouquet. I had to leave it behind so of course I took pics with it first.

 

 

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What do you want to want?

I just finished reading ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari and that is one of the major questions he leaves the reader with at the end of his novel. In the context of the book, there is a lot to unpack with this statement, but I want to focus on it on an individual level.

We all know, in theory, what we want. Or at least, what we’re supposed to want. We want money, fame, success, recognition, love, sex, etc. But these desires are programmed into us by society and our communities. On some level, we do get choose which of these is most important to us and how to go about achieving it, but the goal ends up being how we make peace with each of these wants, not question if these wants are what will make us most content.

Perhaps we do a little of this already. Sex is an easy one to dissect. Maybe we know having sex with a stranger would feel good in the moment but the next morning we would feel negatively so we abstain. We know that we pursue sex because it’s physically pleasurable and from an evolutionary standpoint, we’re programmed to want it for reproduction. However, have we ever stopped to wonder if our lives would improve or worsen if we didn’t want sex?

Personally, I had never considered this question before Harari’s final chapter. I had never thought about which pursuit of desires would make me the happiest or most content, I had only thought about how to achieve the things I already supposedly crave.

There is no answer to this question, at least not at present, but I think it might be an important one to consider for each individual person. If you could start from scratch and program your own desires, what do you think would make you the most satisfied? Would it be the pursuit of new technologies? Creation? Destruction? Relationships?

The things I currently want and pursue are healthy relationships, recognition of accomplishments, and fortune. But logically I know that at least two out of these three are merely fleeting examples of contentment in my life. No matter how much money I get, I would have to learn to be satisfied with what I’ve got at some point, and no matter how many people congratulate me on what I’ve achieved, I will never reach everyone. Even relationships can be steeped in turmoil and there’s no guarantee the misery of pursuing people won’t outweigh the reward. If however, I figured out what I should want to want, then life would be simple right?

So what, then, is a suitable thing to want? I’m open for suggestions.

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Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada

I’m Back

Kiki has been babysitting my blog for over three months now, but I’ve finally pulled myself together enough to take it back.

I stepped back from this space for two reasons –

  1. I didn’t really feel like I was adding to the internet sphere on this blog anymore. I had been writing about anything and everything and I felt like too much of my content was the same old stuff that everyone else writes about.
  2. I was going through some intense self-reflection and personal stuff and was feeling super down and I could barely do my normal work and keep myself healthy so this blog was one of the first things I dropped.

But now I have returned! I decided that I love to write and that I do have something to contribute to the internet. However, I also decided to take a step back and figure out what I should focus on. Up until now, I just wrote about whatever struck my fancy that week, but I want this blog to have a purpose. I’ve decided that the purpose is self-reflection/ self-improvement.

Sounds boring, I know, but if I take a look back at my best posts, the ones that got the best feedback and the ones I thought were the best written, they are the ones where I talk about things I’ve gone through and what I’ve learned from those events.

I realized that many people are too scared, or confused to turn a lens back in on themselves and to learn from their mistakes or shortcomings to improve their lives, so I will take one for the team and put myself under the microscope to share life and lifestyle lessons.

And for those of you that will miss Kiki’s far wittier prose, she does have a YouTube channel where she makes her own words come to life, and I also have a feeling it won’t be long before she’s a guest writer here again.

Thanks to everyone that has continued to visit this space after so long.

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Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

I cannot put into the words the sorrow in my heart as I pen these words to you. Indeed, words cannot describe the pain in every fiber of my being, the hollow in my soul, or the weariness of my spirit as I write these words. For reasons both personal and professional, my sister and I have decided to go our separate ways, and that means that my tenure on this platform must come to an end.

Nah I’m joshin’ ya. I am done, though. Not like done-zo kind of done, I’m just no longer the primary writer here. I might still write here from time to time, cause I’m nice like that, and enjoy lending my literary talents to my needy sister.

But being here has been cool, so thanks for having me I guess? It’s not like y’all were really given a choice. It was kind of an “I’m here take it or leave it” sort of situation. But I’ve enjoyed writing here, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the switch from “how to live a healthy and successful life” content to “how to accomplish basic human tasks only some of the time” content. I’ve learned lots about myself and had lots of opportunities to improve my lifestyle. I didn’t take those opportunities, of course. Just sort of waved at them as they passed by.

If you feel that you want to continue to see my work, you can find me at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAudaciousApple789/
https://twitter.com/audaciousapple
http://theaudaciousapple.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/theaudaciousapple/

I’m currently doing something called VEDIO, which is a Video Every Day In October. I did something similar in February, except then it was called VEDIF, cause you know, February, a month which I cannot pronounce.

If you don’t want to keep up with me, that’s fine too. Here’s what you’ll be missing:
-me yelling about movies
-me continuing film school
-me yelling about film school
-me yelling about the state of the world
-me yelling about that stupid Drake song until I inevitably snap and get into a fight over it, after which I will be tried as an adult for felony assault and probably get convicted because the only lawyer I can afford is my pre-law friend so I’ll have to do 2-8 in county and never be able to get a job again because this country’s justice system is deeply flawed and felons more often than not are forced to return to a life of crime because businesses discriminate against anyone with a criminal record
-me getting annoyed at my roommate’s tiny dog

Anyway thanks for having me, tata~

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I’m Sorry Dua Lipa; I Hath Failed You

You heard it here first folks, I have broken almost every rule on my list in the past week. But honestly, what did anyone expect from me trying to enact life changes the week before midterms? So let’s unpack this.

Rule #1: No eating after 10 pm.

This one was the first to go. Ya boi has got night classes, man, and sometimes I don’t get home until nearly 10 pm and I’ve got the munchies. I’m working on packing healthy snacks to eat during class so I’m not hungry afterwards, but sometimes I just need a proper big dinner.

Rule #2: Go to bed by midnight.

Not staying up past midnight flew out the window. Being awake past midnight is one thing- I’ve had chronic insomnia for as long as I can remember- but being out of bed until past midnight is what I was trying to avoid. But my roommates were watching the Prince of Egypt downstairs and I just couldn’t resist. Plus I had heaps of work that needed doing on most other nights of the past week and the next few days so that didn’t help at all.

Rule #3: Rise by 10 am.

Rising by 10 am was going fine until I had some icky icky dreams one night and I stayed in bed until well past noon because the dreams made me too sad to get up. Not something too unexpected when you’re on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, (which are the kind of meds that I’ve been on for about two and half years now), but unpleasant nonetheless. It’s not super common for me, but it’s something I’ll need to consider moving forward.

Rule #4: No caffeine after 4 pm.

This one has actually been okay, since I’ve been so anxious for the past week that I’ve not wanted to put much in the way of stimulants in my body. I’ve replaced a lot of my tea breaks during the day with herbal tea just because I’ve been so jittery I highly doubt caffeine was going to do me any good.

Rule #5: You must eat one (1) healthy meal per day.

Uh. So technically I’ve kept up with this one, but considering some of what I’ve been eating for my other two meals, I’m not sure if it counts.

Rule #6: No use of the following phrases:
-I hate myself
-I want to die
-I’m going to kill myself

I’m not going to count how many times I dropped the ball on this one, but I will say that I’ve become so much more conscious of when I say these things and I usually stop myself or chastise myself for saying them.

Rule #7: Just because you screw up once doesn’t mean you should give up.

I’m! Still! Trying! Am I coming in at below a 50%? Yes! But am I giving up? No! It’s midterms, I’m sure I’m going to struggle big time with these, but I’m not giving up. I want to prove to myself that I can get this on lock so that someday soon I can add things about working out and meditating to the list and work on that stuff and really be one of those annoying healthy-living self-improvement hoes.

P.S: Dua Lipa only had three rules she was trying to follow, so considering I had more than twice as many I think I’m doing okay.

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Pictured:My rapidly crumbling resolve