Sunday, November 8, 2020

On Not Writing

I mourn the days when I had to write every thought, every idea, every interesting thing that ever happened. I couldn't sleep without writing it. I couldn't let go. 

I used to have an impeccably detailed memory. Writing helped me with forgetting. Remembering everything that ever happened is not really a good thing. Memories are ghosts that haunt you if you can't forgot, can't move on. 

Now I'm learning not to write down everything and to forget them too. I supposed its my new stage of maturity. 

Letting go of writing is like letting go of my identity. It used to be the most important thing in the world. But now, I suppose its not.

The world moves on. Ideas come and go. I can think, dream, make up stories as I go along without having to record everything, without this need of a captains log. 

Writing everything down can be so damaging to myself and to others. There is a certain rigidity that comes with writing, like saying this thought is now permanent. It has been sealed on paper.

Memories, at least, can change.

Learning not to write everything down is like learning forgiveness. letting the past just disappear as if it never happened; not having to to record everything someone said so you can use it against them later on. You can just live in the moment.

How unlike the identity I have worked so hard to build for myself all those years. But its our identities that bind us to the ego, that prevents us from transforming into something new, if that's what life demands.

Then it doesn't matter what life demands. Who are we to assume we know what life demands, what God demands., what humanity is and what it isn't?

I used to think I had to always write. Van Gogh once said, "if you hear a voice in you that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silent." He also said something about striking when the iron is hot because there will be other days devoid of inspiration, when you find it hard to get out of bed. 

Van Gogh sold only one of his brilliant paintings and died unsuccessful and unhappy. How could no one see his brilliance? I saw his paintings and read his letters when I was a young teen and immediately fell in love with him. I could relate to his struggles, his passion and his inability to adapt to reality.

I was so afraid of not being a writer. I struck when the iron was hot, not because I was taking advantage of my manic moments but because it was the only thing that rescued me from drowning in my own misery. Then it became my identity. If I wasn't a writer, then what else was there? I was afraid of what was beyond that.

Sometimes, when I'm alone, I miss that restless writer in me, always reaching for an idea or fantasy. I miss the feeling of insanity, of drowning in my subconscious. In a way its a good thing that I've learned to cope with reality better without having to go there. I still eat chocolate though. That helps too.

I wrote this for me but I figured I'd share for anyone still willing to be a voyeur.

Sorry, I've been in a dry spell for so long but I don't want to sell out. Once I have made enough money, I plan to drown in my creativity again. Then again, maybe choosing a hiatus from writing may lead me to something altogether different. Losing myself is scary. Maybe I'll find someone else at the end of all of this, or maybe I'll find a way to come back to Lacey Reah, being more confident of who she always was.

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him the knew--
Only more sure of all I though was true.

--Robert Frost

Saturday, July 18, 2020

What if it Were a Woman

Nietzsche once wrote something about truth being a woman and how the dogma of men have failed to understand women.

Use woman as a metaphor and suddenly, everyone gets it. Men understand how unfathomable the metaphor is and start to accept their ignorance. Women understand just how much they themselves have been misunderstood, by men especially. 

We always seem to be what everyone around us want us to be.
As a woman, I've been pursued. I've been analyzed and idolized. I've certainly been misinterpreted, often because to truly understand me would mean to destroy the fantasy that one may have already imagined of me.
Deep inside, I often laugh at what others think, often a projection of themselves; and its funny how my points are often misinterpreted to suit the beliefs of those who witness them.

What if fortune was a woman? How often do men think they can control her, fortune that is. When things are good, they take it for granted. They think they are blessed and don't realize when disaster is lurking around the corner. Men pursue their plans with vigor, so certain of the outcome, as if you really can control your plans? Can you really control your woman? Is she really yours?

What if ideas were women? How we cling to our ideas and our methods, long after they've stopped working for us, as a man clings to a woman who has completely gotten over her infatuation of him. Then they wonder why those ideas no longer serve them.

A man once completely disregarded something I said because it wasn't in line with his view of what a woman should be. Then he said that we are all crazy and we shouldn't even listen to ourselves; making me realize that there really was no point in speaking intelligently to him, since I obviously have no credibility. In this sense, women are denied a voice. This man had already decided what he knew about me and what I had to say wasn't going to change that. This brings me back to Nietzsche when he said, 

"Supposing that Truth is a woman--what then? Is there not grounds for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women--that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman?"

Nietzsche also said that sometimes people don't want to hear their truth because they don't want to destroy their illusions. In this case, who needs truth anyway? If that fantasy woman is what keeps you going, then so be it. You don't need to know that your perfect little playboy heartthrob is flesh and blood with scars and shadows and demons of her own. See her however you want to see her, a figment of your imagination.

So is our truth. Often its just a belief, our own mind imagining what we think the universe is all about. As humans, we like to simplify things and even if we are proven wrong, we cling to our ideas because they give us our identity and a sense of structure.

So think what you will of women, just don't be shocked when all of those beliefs blow up in your face one day, and you wonder if you ever really knew this creature you once adored so much. Perhaps you never did, nor did you ever want to.

Nietzsche vs. Buddha

I have a friend who has a Nietzsche  tattoo on his arm, and Tibetan Buddhist tattoos on his forearms.

I find it ironic, seeing how Nietzsche criticized the Buddhists so much and how much their views clashed.
Yet, I can't help but find myself torn between the two philosophies.

Nietzsche loved Dionysus, the arts, beauty and passion. he felt deeply and didn't apologized for it.
Buddha sat under a tree and realized that the end to suffering would be to let go of all needs and wants.
Nietzsche happily suffered all his life. He died saving the life of a horse. He was madly in love with a woman who couldn't love him back and he didn't keep it a secret.
Buddha was great at squelching such infatuations and promised that this would end human suffering. He saw them as illusions and had his disciple do things like imagine the woman he was obsessed with was a corpse, withering away and dying just like everyone else. Because individual identity is an illusion.
So who was right?

Nietzsche said to deny one's emotions, one's desires is to go against nature. How can the Buddhists truly understand nature if they squelch human desire and suffering?
Buddha said that human desire is an illusion that blinds us to the truth and by separating ourselves from attachments, we can separate ourselves from prejudices such as love and hate that make us see the world in a limited way.
Nietzsche would say that the Buddhists are just another breed of philosophers trying to preach their beliefs without questioning it themselves. In this sense, they still have their own prejudices and point of views, therefore they aren't as far removed from the limitations of humanity as they like to think they are.

The one thing the two of them agreed on is that we are all prejudiced and that we all like to cling to our ideas. Maybe they are both right. Maybe we can use Nietzsche's philosophy when it suits us and Buddha's philosophy at other times.

If you are madly in love with the right person, then why deny that attachment? Nietzsche would say to indulge in that feeling of love and to deny it would just be a waste of time. Denying such feelings would also be going against nature and living half a life, a life of no passion.

But if you are in love with the wrong person, someone who is abusive or who belongs to someone else, then its wiser to listen to Buddha. Buddha will help you separate yourself from your desire by saying there is nothing different about that person from any other human being and that its just a trick of our biological processes that makes us feel infatuation.

So, there is a time and a place for every philosophy and as I read, mature and learn; I have stopped calling myself a stoic, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Hindu, an existentialist, etc. I don't want to be bound by a point of view if it doesn't serve me and I don't want to feel thatvI can't question it in certain situations.

So my new belief is to not believe, but to keep an open mind; to keep learning and keep questioning without feeling like there has to be one right method. To cling to a belief is to defend it utterly which makes it impossible to see the truth. After all, what if you're wrong? If you refuse to contradict your own dogma, then there's no way you can learn anything beyond that. I really love learning new things. I guess it gives me a dopamine rush, and I'm sure Nietzsche would welcome that dopamine rush while the Buddhists will make sure that I know that the dopamine rush is just a trick of emotion that helps motivate me, but I shouldn't be dependent on such a high.

On top of that, refusing to know the truth can truly harm us. What if we have a curable cancer, and we refuse to acknowledge it? Most likely, it will kill us. So ignorance can kill us as does an overactive clinging to our affiliations and beliefs. Just look at the world today, as we continually polarize ourselves with our ridiculous politics.

As for my friend with the contradicting tattoos, I tease him for it but I'm all for him believing in contradicting philosophers. But its all in good fun. Ralph Waldo Emmerson once said that we should be open to change our minds as we learn new things. He said that it may confuse others, but that's a great thing. He said Pythagoras and Copernicus and many other great thinkers were misunderstood. "To be great is to be misunderstood."

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Reflection on the past decade and the one to come, and why I don't social network as much

It's New Years morning.

I feel like I have to write something. Dare I post it on blogger?

I open up my blogger page and see all of these unpublished drafts. As the world has become more controversial over the past decade, so have my blogs, my logic, my feelings and my whole view of the world.

But I find that my writing muscles have atrophied of late. I've been putting the past five years into other endeavors, such as building my own side business, raising a family and playing sports.
I have been interacting more with people in real life. Due to this fact, I'm much happier and more content. This leads to less confusion, less obsessing and therefore, less writing.

Social networking was different during my myspace blogging days when we all used to read each other's blogs, comment on them and use them to fuel our need to write more blogs. I felt there was a strong sense of intellectual bonding back in those days.

But times have changed. People don't read blogs anymore. They read memes. The attention span of my audience and of my fellow bloggers have changed. Those I knew who took solace in blog writing in order to uplift themselves spiritually or gain a greater sense of understanding of the world no longer do it.

Our correspondence has been reduced to 140 characters. How nuanced can that be? Our reading has been wittled down to looking at slogans and pictures. Propaganda everywhere. We are being manipulated so easily.

 As one who has observed this from the outside, all I see is that we are being polarized. We react emotionally to those who don't share the same world view as we do. The best way to cope is to only surround ourselves with those who agree. This only pigeon holes our own world view even more and closes us off to the world.

Such is the nature of today's social networking. This wasn't the case during the original blogging days because there was more to read, more to reflect upon. These days, we see more posts but they are mostly pictures or clich├ęs, created to illicit an emotional response.

The great thing about having conversations in real life is that there is this natural flow. You can see the reaction of that person. You can right away notice if there is a misunderstanding and talk through it.

I do love conversing with intelligent souls and I used to use social networking as a way to gain more of this experience but as people started becoming more emotional and defensive, I realized that the current virtual systems no longer work so I made an effort to be more present for others in real life.

When you play sports and hang out afterwards, you are willing to accept that person's differences and learn from them because the share the same passion for the game, at least. So the past decade has been a true turning to real life for me. I canceled my facebook account in 2012. I hear my friends beg me to come back. Meanwhile they complain about the trolls and the drama. I suppose misery loves company.

I was looking through an old box of memorabilia and found tons of handwritten letters from friends from the years when I moved to New York to peruse art. How insightful and whimsical they were, so unlike the political memes they now post on the internet. I felt like we really understood each other then as we shared our experiences and reflections. I felt as if we really respected our differences and tried to learn from them. But alas, things change.

In the end, it's my choice how I want to maneuver my life and spending less time on social media as the rest of the world starts to live there is my own choice. During a time of great social unrest and polarization, I have found a strange peace in my soul, a solace away from the constant distraction that used to leave my mind ill at ease. I'm more focused now and more capable doing more work.

I still pay attention to what's going on. I read at least 5 books a month, mostly non-fiction but fiction as well. It scares me that people I once knew who were avid book readers tell me they no longer have the time and attention for it because the hours they spend on Facebook has gone up. I read quite a bit during my commute as work and family takes up more time.

There was a time that we stopped talking to each other and would just go to our separate screens. Then I started meeting people online who would purposely talk to strangers because they didn't like their own family. I told myself that should never happen to me.

So as this new decade approaches, I keep these thoughts in mind. Relationships take work and we must focus on the important ones. Distractions are great when we are bored but if we use them to take away from important tasks, such as health, family and meaningful work, then we need to step back and use our free will to make better choices.

So long as I focus on what's important to me, it shouldn't matter what other people say or how they judge me. I never cared what people thought. Therefore, I never had to start huge movements trying to get people to accept me. Instead, I want to start movements that bring people together because it makes them happy and included. Instead of complaining that the world is against me because I'm a woman of color, I will continue to start my own movements that includes people, regardless of their own gender, orientation or race. I think that is more powerful. That creates waves of love rather than shouts of offense and defense. That's what I've been doing in my IRL work.

As my public philosophic writing has slowed down, I assure you that I haven't retreated into a bubble. I am almost too aware of our social situation but I'm spending more time trying to understand it. I'm speaking less and listening more. I'm reading books from all points of view because its very important to me that my own perspective is as close to the truth as possible. I don't want to react and cling to a political agenda without truly knowing what's important and what isn't, what works and what doesn't.

I realize that all I've been doing with these blogs is simply preach to those who already agree with me and push away those who don't. So I listen more than speak now. And when someone is listening to you, you are more likely to listen to them. If we keep doing things the way we've always been doing, it will just take us down the rabbit hole of more polarization, more hate, more depression and anger at those who just can't see things our way.

So I will continue to cultivate my own mind and body as I age, and I must say that I'm aging quite well, or should I say, not really aging at all? Only in understanding ourselves and empowering ourselves can we really understand and empower others. Only in changing ourselves can we change our lives an the lives of others.

Since my blogging days have subsided I have no idea if anyone would read this. Been so long since I've written and I can't blame my fans for losing me to the other distractions of the media. But if you somehow found this blog, happy new year to you. Happy new decade! Wishing you peace, love and strength in this changing world.

Friday, August 16, 2019

another post I don't plan to pubish

I was looking through my drafts and found a ton of posts I never published. I wrote them just for me. Yes, I haven't written much in a long time. I've written professional blogs for work, at least my alter ego has; but Lacey Reah has been on hiatus, practically suicidal.

I speak metaphorically of course. When I say "suicidal" I mean that I've been thinking of killing this alias for a while. I've thought of taking my books off the market and starting all over again under a different name.

Of course, I haven't killed her, haven't killed myself. I've just been hiding under a rock. I've been writing, just not publishing. I'm an introvert. I can't stand too much attention. I love to write, but networking and marketing take a lot out of me because its the opposite of the solitude I crave. I wish I wasn't such a loner by nature. I have had to work more lately too and I've been too overwhelmed to write fiction. I'm sorry.

But for the few fans that are still out there, I'm publishing one of my personal entries, one I never had the intention of publishing.

It was dated 12/30/18. I look at it now and wonder why I stopped publishing my thoughts.
I'm putting it out there now.

I might put out more personal, not meant for publication pieces in the future.

Hi diary,

These days, you're everywhere, a journal in my bag, a notebook by my bed, a draft in my inbox, a draft in my blog, a letter I don't send.

I don't even try to organize you, which just reflects more and more where my mind is. That is, if you are a reflection of my mind. The sad part is, if I want to publish a part of you, like the passages of the novel and book I was looking to write, it'll be a bitch trying to retrieve those notes.

You are not for organizing. You are for the part of me I can't restrain. I should be doing something else right now. I have a deadline, but I can't. I'm too tired, too overwhelmed. So I turn to you, the chaos of my mind. You help me calm it. You are me. You are God. You are the great spirit.

Last night I dreamed I was dancing with Lucifer.
He said he'd dance with me in such away that I'd forget I ever hated ballet.
He said Tuesdays were a great day for change.
It bothered me. I wish I knew what it meant.

I'm glad to be maturing, yet sometimes I don't know who I am anymore. I sometimes feel I'm the real me when I'm vulnerable and forced to write to you. This is when I'm at my worst, but its also when I'm at my best. it's when my soul comes out. Yet, why won't I open this side of me up to anyone else? Why hide it if its so great?

I wonder if there's a point when a dancer has danced too much; a time when the dancer no longer knows herself. She is just body and choreography. She feels like a puppet on a string, forced to move a certain way. Who is she besides the body and movement? What is beyond that?

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ramblings on my Absence, Hate and Human Rights

Life has been hectic which has left me little time to blog, though I've done some journaling here and there, mostly between gigs, or during rare moments when I'm waiting and have nothing but my notebook to keep me company. I've kept those thoughts to myself, however. The rise of social networking has left me longing for those days when thoughts were private and I have regressed back to keeping much of my writings in my diary. Also, during this busy period of my life, I feel its just easier to focus on the actions that puts food on the table and supports my family. Hopefully, a time will come when I can put more energy into artistic pursuits again. Writing can be self consuming and masturbatory act. Yet,I do miss having more time to write and share with my fellow artists, those people who color the world with imagination and childlike questioning. I sometimes forget how much courage it takes to speak one's mind.

But today, I'm putting some work aside to write about something that I think is vitally important and I figured if I feel this strongly about it, I should probably share it as well. I do have a strong sense of moral conscience and a strong sense of fun and humor. I hope people don't get these two mixed up as both are important. I'll write a juicy piece of erotica one day and a very elaborate story about the human condition another. Its who I am and I refuse to censor myself in order to cater to a particular genre or demographic just for the sake of marketing. I made that choice when I became an independently published author on the side that I either stay true to myself or not do this at all. I have yet to sell out or change something I write in order to appease a publisher or group. But I digress.

My recent thought has been on how hate brings us together. This is not an opinion but a psychological fact. It's been well documented that if you want to connect with someone, they are more likely to love you if you find out that you have a common dislike. This is more powerful than having something in common.

For example, if you hate the "Twilight" series because of their vegan like vampires that sparkle in the sun and you meet someone who shares the same strong opinion, you will get a surge of affection towards them. If you've been harboring a secret fear of white people and you confess this to a friend who turns out to feel the same way, you have found yourself a buddy for life. This phenomenon has been exploited by popular marketing experts and by the algorithms on the internet, as your search engine keeps feeding you more articles that promote your strong dislikes, exposing you to more people who are like you and sheltering you from those who are not. Just look at how polarized our nation has become.

Have you ever tried to convince a polarized group to see it the other way? I have, and had tomatoes thrown at me. I was simply asking a group of breastfeeding moms to be a bit nicer when they talked about how horrible non-breastfeeding moms are. I appealed to their sense of empathy and said that they are moms too and I've known a few who wanted more than anything to breastfeed but they just couldn't do it. This fact has filled them with guilt. I was told to get lost, and to find another group. One mom actually said, "of course I'm prejudice. I want to be around people who are like me," she was applauded for her firm defense of prejudice. Why was I part of the group? Because I was a breastfeeding mom. I had friends who both breast fed and formula fed and felt equally compassionate toward both. But I learned that I'm an anomaly. What was it about me, that I could love those who are not like me?
But my formula feeding friends are like me. They have  had similar trials and tribulations. And many absolutely believe that breastfeeding is good for their kids, they just couldn't do it. I suppose I tend to prefer to notice similarities over differences. It's easier to learn and relate when I see connections.

I also realize that I too am drawn to people who share my dislikes. When someone agrees with me on political matters, I feel an affinity towards them. If they dislike a movie for the same reason I do, I feel like I found a brother or sister. But I have to step back and remind myself of my folly.

If you follow my blogs, you might know that I'm terribly torn by the human condition. I am disgusted by much of our traits, like the way we love to hate, the way we love to dominate, and destroy what stands in our way, the way we've made most animals and plants extinct unless they benefit us, and the long history of atrocities that often makes me ashamed to be human. I know that pride is one of the sins that has caused all this horror and I'm not too proud to admit, that I too have human folly. We all do.

There was once a German Catholic clergy man who said something to the affect of this: They went after the communists and I didn't do anything. They went after the Jews and I turned a blind eye, so when they went after my church, it was too late.
He said this years before the end of the WWII. The snow ball of hate had started and it would just get worse as the entire world was engulfed in the hell of war and innocent people were executed for their religion or creed. Millions and millions of innocent Jews were exterminated, forced into stoves and gas chambers. Mothers and children were murdered first because they weren't capable of doing work for the German government. Just like humans, we used and destroyed what we hated. Yes, I said "we" because we are all part of the same race, and sometimes we turn on ourselves. Some Germans tried to stage a coup and rise up against this atrocity that was leaving all of Europe in ruins but it was too late. The damage was done.

I also want to point out the fact that when some people protested against the killings of "undesirables" and the Jews, Hitler supposedly stopped this mission, yet continued to do it in secret.

Look what we've done to ourselves, to our blacks, our Native Americans, our Armenians, our Christians, our Pagans, our Jews. etc... I'm sure I've left out other groups who were victims of mass genocide and hatred and for that I apologize. But the truth is, it could be anyone. At any time in history, there was always someone the masses loved to hate and often, we acted on that hatred.

Right now our president has been doing everything he can to make us hate Mexican immigrants and he has even separated children from their parents in his attempt to rid our country of them. This is how it starts. If an immigrant is illegal, its okay to hate them right? But when do we draw the line? Do they cease to be human and have the rights of any decent human being?
The Trump administration was reportedly surprised that Americans cared about immigrant kids being separated from their families at the border

To quote Proffesor Thomas Childers, "Be vigilant about your rights and care about the fundamental human rights of others. When the rights of others, no matter how small are violated, your freedom, your liberty is put at risk. Let there never be a day when we cast about in horror and wonder, 'how did it ever come to this?'"

It's very easy to fight for free speech, until someone says something you don't like. It's easy to stand up for civil rights of minorities, well, except for that one group your family has always hated. But when people put me down for supporting those who aren't like me and wonder why I do it. This is why. None of us are safe from this. Any doctrine of hatred towards someone else, can easily turn against the rest of us. A leader who is motivated by hate and domination will always turn on his people. Only a leader who is fair and just can keep the peace.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Random Thoughts for the New Year

On leaving the past behind: 2017 was such a year of chaos, full of hurricanes, shootings, earthquakes, political and social unrest etc. I guess I felt at home in such an environment since chaos and anarchy (though we needed more anarchy) does inspire me, but I spent most of my time working. I worked harder this year than I have since 1998, so I apologize for not blogging as much and canceling my google plus accounts. I just didn't have the time for it. Still, I have to reflect because 2017 was a million stories all in one, so here goes:

On Politics: Politics, it seems to me, is all about people fighting for what they want. There's still a lot of racism and sexism in the world and the transparency of the internet has made that very clear. What gets me is this belief that if we give some people their rights, it takes away the rights of others. If we give women power, somehow men will be dis-empowered or if we let blacks or immigrants speak out, whites will lose their privilege and so on and so forth. This is all absolutely ridiculous. If we all had rights, we'd all have equal advantages and no one would have to fight with each other. It's not about competition, its about cooperation. Our party system makes politics out to be a constant competition and because of this, we bicker with one another rather than work with each other to find the best solutions for our country.
I believe that if you want the government to be fair you have to pretend you are not born yet. You have no idea if you'll be black, white, male female, rich, poor, healthy, disabled; in short, you will have no other choice but to back laws that are fair to all people, no matter which class, race or situation they are in.
But humans are egotistical and we only see our own stories.

On the Me Too movement: Me too. I've been assaulted. I've been harassed. Heck, I've been harassed so many times, I've sort of accepted it as a part of being a woman. Luckily, I know martial arts or I'd probably a victim of rape too. I used to brag about the times I fought off an assailant but now I can't help thinking about what could have happened had I not succeeded. Yet if I were to get into that, I get ignored, trolled, told to shut up. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one.
I'm actually relieved women are speaking out. I was once a struggling actress and I was always afraid of the casting couch. Its one of the reasons I didn't pursue acting. I'm glad they got rid of that, for the sake of future generations who have similar dreams. I'm actually really grateful for this movement.
Just, to set the record straight, sexual assault is not the same thing as complimenting a woman or telling a dirty joke. Grabbing a woman by the pussy at work, without her consent is not the same as being afraid of saying the wrong thing. If you can't see the difference, you're an idiot and nothing I say can get you to understand so I'll just leave it at that.

On Natural Disasters: I'm not going to list all the hurricanes, earthquakes, fires etc. but it seemed that there was no respite from disasters of biblical proportions. There were so many funds and charities and just when you give to one, there's another disaster. I'm lucky I wasn't affected, at least not that much. It really puts things in perspective. Who are we to complain about adulting when there are people out there who are dying and losing their homes? And when I say "adulting" I'm referring to those who complain about having to be responsible and act like an adult. If that's the worst of your problems, you have it pretty easy.

Did Any Good Come From This? I'm always glad when a year is over but its not like it all ends abruptly, like some kind of parallel universe shift. The same issues usually continue into the next year or even the next.
If anything, I do take the time at the end of the year to make resolutions and reflect on my life. If I don't, I become one of those unhappy people, stuck in a rut who think they have no control over their lives. Life goes on. I helped a lot of people in my day job. My family is still in tact despite all the craziness going on in the world and for that I must be grateful.
There will always be social unrest and acts of nature. Life is unpredictable, except for death and taxes. We know its short. We know bad stuff will happen so we have to enjoy the sunsets when we can. Stop and watch the dew settle on a flower every once and a while. Somehow, noticing these little things makes the other stuff seem smaller too.
Life is short. Be bold. Be crazy. Kick ass if you have to but don't forget that love is still the most important thing.

This photo was taken in the middle of an ugly city. Thank God for blossoms. :)