offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
Let's generalise people for a few minutes shall we? I'd like to think that people can be lumped into three categories. These are, the Brain People, the Guts People and the Heart People. Before you start thinking that I am going off on some sort of zombie dietary preference scheme or listing a collection of new-found fraternity-led cult groups, let me clarify a little more.

There are certain people who behave a specific way in life, the Brain People like to think about decisions and actions before actually acting upon them. They like to analyse and cautiously weigh up the pros and cons. Then you have the Guts People who don't think about their actions or behaviour, they just go with it. And lastly, you have the Heart People who follow their instinct which may require a little bit of help from the top (the brain) and a little help from below (the guts) in order to proceed. Heart People are literally the middle ground people and this suits quite nicely, what with the heart located right between brain and guts, physically speaking.

I'm a Brain Person and I have to be honest, it's pretty damn infuriating. I mean, I love that I have the ability to think things through fully... It's pretty useful and all that, but boy do I hate overanalysing things! It is literally exhausting. It would be nice to experience one day as a Guts Person and proceed with reckless abandon. I could stick my two middle fingers up to the world and say 'fuck it, I'm doing it my way today.' Nevertheless, as a Brain Person, I am inclined to stop and think about that action before pursuing it. Talk about frustrating. I read an article not too long ago about how on average, we have about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. My first thought (no irony intended) was 'there is without no doubt more traffic in my brain than a measly 70,000 thought count. These researchers need to recruit more Brain People. Heart People seem to have the best of both worlds, with a little access to the brain and a little access to their guts they can move through life with relative ease. They can be happy that they made an informed decision and followed it through with the courage sparingly provided by their lower region. They can be blissfully at ease and without regret that they didn't miss out on an opportunity because they spent too much time thinking about the consequences and didn't have the guts to act upon it. They have the best of both worlds. The brain and guts are just too far apart, they don't have the magic power of the heart in order to be accessible to one another.

I am thinking that I may need to develop some sort of lobotomy procedure that prevents me from going over the 70,000 thought limit and in turn will hopefully cause me to metamorphosis into a Heart Person. However, this is going to require a lot of planning and a lot of thinking. Leave it with me, I'll let my brain chew upon it.
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It doesn't matter that you skilfully performed that famous 'trip dance' when you fell over your own feet in public, hoping that no one would notice or that the old woman who screeched 'I am not an invalid!' when you offered to help her on to the bus the other morning made you feel no larger than a penny. It doesn't matter that you waved to the stranger who you thought you recognised only to discover they were waving to their friend behind you or that your shopping bag split on the journey home, causing apples and potatoes to shoot out in all directions and inevitably forcing you to face the cumbersome decision of letting them roll away forever or scrambling to pick them up in red-faced silence. It doesn't matter that you spent the whole day with your trouser flies down on the same day you decided to wear cartoon alien boxers or that you tried to push the door which had the word 'PULL' in large capital letters plastered on the front of it. It doesn't matter that you found yourself plugged into your headphones and Wilson Phillip's 'Hold On' came on shuffle playing loud enough to be heard on public transportation when you are surrounded by people who are indiscreetly trying to hide the smiles creeping on their faces. It doesn't matter. I don't feel I have been successful in completing my day if I have not sent red-hot-lava-like blood rushing to my face or wanting one of those inexplicable sink holes that you hear about on the news from time to time, opening up beneath me and plunging me into the perfect hiding place. A small dose of humiliation from time to time keeps us humble and keeps us human. Despite the soaring sense of mortification each time I find myself dealing with another 'situation', I don't think I would have it any other way. I like my ego kept in line, thanks.
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I find myself residing here, in the mouth of the monster. Ready to be swallowed whole, ready to navigate the messy, acidic belly of the beast. Ready to be slowly digested, guts exposed, bones brittle and weathered. At least it is warm here. At least I am sheltered from the elements.
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Some days are better than others. Maybe I should re-phrase that. Some days are okay and some are down-right shitty. I think today falls between the two. I seem to only come in to contact with the most inconsiderate, rude people in existence. Maybe, I have a flashing beacon that attracts these sorts of people like flies to a decomposing body. And yes, I am that decomposing body. At least for today anyway.

It would be so much easier to not have to participate in the world. I would be quite content in locking myself in my room for years on end. Hell, I would even consider a zombie apocalypse. As long as it meant I could live in a cave. In peace. Away from those people that are intent on making other people miserable.

I need convincing that there are some good people out there - they must exist in circles that I never encroach. I need to read some Hallmark cards and listen to Enya to try and neutralise today's events.
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
Have you ever not been good enough? Have you ever felt as though everyone around you has a plan and a direction in life? Have you ever drank too much in the hope that it will unlock some unconscious inspiration or at least squeeze out an ounce of self confidence? Have you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever been afraid to relish the chance of taking a risk or declined an opportunity of doing something that might make your heart beat a little bit faster? Have you ever bit your lower lip to prevent yourself from saying something that might cause conflict? Have you ever been terrified that you stand too far out from the crowd and that you can not relate to the 'general public?' Have you ever not been able to articulate what it is that you really want to say? Have you ever tried to sleep your days away? If so, I think you and I could be friends.
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Life can be pretty horrifying. That's what they refuse to tell you when you are small and fresh from the womb. Some of us learn pretty quickly just how horrifying it can be, whilst others glide through life blissfully unaware with the blinders securely fastened in place. Some days provide more challenges than others and require patience and casual reminders to yourself that there can be more beyond the superficial cuts and grazes. But it is never going to be easy. Especially, not for the ones who learnt those prickly lessons earlier on.

Forward can be a difficult direction to take but you bite the bitter fruit and you squeeze away the tears and realise that it's the only direction to go. You realise you learnt those lessons for a reason. They became your armour and they became your motivation. You use what you have and show them that you are still in the game and even though those scars still sting, you don't show an ounce of pain on your face.
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'Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace' ~ Albert Schweitzer

I have often debated whether or not I should post anything about this subject matter as it more than likely presents a minefield of various different reactions. I have landed in numerous debates around the dinner table about this topic, where I have tried to put my point across or explain my views but a lot of the time, it is either undermined or glossed over. The very last thing I want to do is to come across preachy or condescending and I can understand why some people may get defensive or don't want to talk about it. I used to act the exact same way. However, if it makes one person stop and re-think their lifestyle and make a change then I believe it to be justified.

It was a warm, sunny day in early summer in 2010. Not a cloud in the sky. It felt like any another other standard day; I awoke the same way, drank my coffee in the same manner and went about my day as I usually did. Unbeknownst to myself, I would not be going to bed as the same person. I had been browsing the internet for some part of the morning and I stumbled across a post on Facebook with a link to a video by Paul McCartney. An ex-Beatle was about to change my life. The video was called 'Glass Walls' and I distinctly remember Paul's introduction, '... I have often said if slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.' The next fifteen minutes broke my heart. It literally felt as though someone had slashed open my own chest with a rusty blade, torn out all my internal organs and thrown the bloody mess into a meat grinder. This video had reduced a grown man to tears and made me swear from that moment onwards not to play a role in any part of that process I had just witnessed.

The strange thing is that I had always had some form of awareness about how the meat industry worked but I had found it was quite easy to detach myself from those events that took place in the slaughterhouses and farms. The neatly packaged, processed meat that can be purchased from any supermarket did not resemble the living creature it once was. It was easy to not form the connection. I had often shrugged off stories from vegetarians and vegans in the past. I did not want to acknowledge the truth and the last thing I wanted to do was to change my eating habits because someone was trying to make me feel guilty or bad about it. It was difficult not to get defensive and claim 'well everyone else does it' and 'it's unhealthy not to eat meat'. I am a little bit embarrassed looking back at those comments now. I had spent twenty-five years quite happily not acknowledging what had happened to the food on my plate. From the moment that video ended and I swore to myself 'never to eat meat again' I threw out all the meat products I had previously bought and started researching vegetarianism.

The transition was relatively easy. I did my homework on the topic and with trepidation, I looked further into the meat and animal-product industries. I was shocked to read that humans are not evolved to be carnivorous; that in fact our teeth are blunt and square and our jaws 'grind' in order to better masticate vegetation rather than sharp and pointed teeth prevalent in carnivores that are established to tear at flesh and chew. Our large intestinal pathway is not developed to process meat as with carnivores who have small intestines to quickly dispose of the flesh to prevent it going bad and causing disease. Humans also don't have claws like carnivores and so forth. I was fascinated to discover these facts but also somewhat upset and angry that I had not received this education at a younger age. I also learnt that some vegetables, nuts and seeds have high protein content and there are an abundance of health benefits as a result of not eating meat. A whole new world had opened up.

To this day, I can not comprehend the torture and barbaric treatment of sentient beings. My stomach turned as I witnessed 'factory workers' and 'farmers' secretly filmed while they cruelly beat, kicked, stabbed, threw and tortured these helpless animals. Seeing calves being taken away form their mothers and hearing their cries and seeing the fear before they are killed was unbearable. It was beyond difficult to view and I still can not understand how a human-being who is supposed to be capable of empathy and compassion act in such a way. I will never understand it.

I think there is definitely a stigma attached to vegetarians and vegans but what we have to realise is that we all have a choice and choices are not always easy things to make. I have been subjected to a lot of judgement and jokes because of my eating habits and lifestyle choices. All I ask is that people open their eyes and mind and acknowledge the truth. That is all. Whatever choice they make is up to them and that is not my business. I will not pass judgement or make jokes. My only regret is not being aware or having this information at an earlier age but the important thing now is that I am and I do.

So here is a link to that very video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql8xkSYvwJs

Please be warned, it is very graphic but I urge everyone to watch it just once. Maybe an ex-Beatle will change your life too.
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
Here's an idea. How about stripping away those conformist ideals? How about we live how we want to; in a peaceful and non-judgemental way. It would not matter that someone dressed a certain way, loved another person of the same sex or followed something they believe in. As long as it causes no harm, why should it matter? Think of the variety, the characters and excitement of knowing that we did not have to belong to a particular social group.

Of course this is just an idea and I am an idealist at heart.

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January 2016

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