New Year’s Resolutions

I should have been posting this on the 1st of January, but I was too busy being overwhelmed by the events that took place at a nightclub 1km away from where I live. 

Despite that any last bit of hope for this country has been sucked out of my system by a man with a kalashnikov, I am thankfully still alive, and still breathing through the cracks of the walls that are closing in on us. 

Living here is paradoxical. There’s so much irony trapped in that one word: living. Because are we really? Biologically, yes. But am I actually doing anything extra as to living? I cannot even wander the streets without the possibility of exploding into a million pieces crossing my mind. I speak of it comically because there’s really no other way, unless you want to lose your mind completely. 

Then I think about Syria, or even just eastern Turkey and I realize how pathetic my thoughts are in comparison. They live in death. They live in rubble. They live in the remainders of what used to be. 

I am digressing. What I’m getting at is, I have to keep living. We have to keep living. Our hearts have to keep beating. Because there simply is no other way. I will not go about as if nothing has happened, but the more they try to take my hopes away the more I will hope and the stronger I will dream of a better place and of better days. 

So here’s to my new year’s resolutions:

  1. Live and live more.
  2. Love and love more. 
  3. Write and write more. 
  4. Embrace the woman that I am and that I am constantly becoming. 
  5. Take photos. 
  6. Never stop until your heart stops beating.


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Don’t Apologize for Existing

I’m sharing this post mainly because I found a little bit of myself in it. I apologize a lot, I apologize all the time and I apologize for things that I don’t need to apologize for. I never really noticed until people started pointing it out. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I managed to figure it out for myself, but I’ve never been able to put it into words like this. And some parts of this really resonates for me…

Sorry. 

Sorry. 

Pardon. 

Excuse me.

Sorry.

With the onset of my depression and anxiety, “sorry” became my favorite word. Sorry for bumping into you, even if you hardly noticed. Sorry my hair sticks up on one side and I’m not wearing makeup. Sorry I’m so thin when you’re trying to lose weight. Sorry for thinking about how hard it is for me to maintain weight when you’re trying to deal with your own problems. Sorry the gift you bought me doesn’t fit. Sorry.

Sorry. 

Sorry. 

Sorry for being as smart as I am but not pursuing a career in medicine or engineering. Sorry that my leg bounces up and down and it distracted you. Sorry you feel you need to stop wearing your perfume because I’m having breathing problems.

Sorry for taking up space. Sorry for being sad or scared. Sorry for not smiling as brightly as you expect me to, or for not paying you the attention you deserve when you tell me about your day. Sorry for needing a ride instead of growing up and getting a license. Sorry for finally getting a license and not always parking perfectly or taking turns smoothly. Sorry for drawing instead of looking at you because I’ve become too anxious for eye contact.

I didn’t realize how much I was doing it until my dad said, “Stop apologizing for existing.”

“Sorry,” I said, proving his point.

Depression and anxiety told me I was worthless. They told me that I was responsible for fixing everything wrong with the lives of my loved ones. They told me I needed to stop making mistakes. They told me I needed to participate in conversations and get a social life (but they also told me not to hog the spotlight). I always needed to become better or smarter or something. Depression and anxiety told me I was never enough.

They’re still telling me that. And some days, I still believe them.

But on those days I remind myself that depression and anxiety are lying. No one is perfect, and even if I’m not good enough (or so they tell me) I still have value; I can contribute in a positive way to the lives of those around me.

If depression and anxiety are lying to you, that’s OK. Just remind yourself what’s true. And most importantly, don’t apologize: for taking up space, for living your life, for being you.

You are worth more than that. You don’t have to be sorry.

 

Dragon Harris

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Not so happy, and not so new

I woke up this morning to the terrible news that there had been an attack in Istanbul in a night club. In fact not just a nightclub; one of the most popular and renowned nightclubs of Istanbul, a nightclub that is about a 10 minute walk from where I live, a nightclub that is at the heart of Istanbul.

It saddens me that I am not so surprised by this grotesque massacre. At 00:00 last night I hoped with all my heart that nothing ‘bad’ would happen. Sadly though, what is the new year but just another day? And what better day to attack than on a day that we are overcome by restored hopes and dreams: the early hours of the 1st of January. One man with a gun reminds you of the prevailing presence of fear and hopelessness humanity has become well acquainted with.

Speculate all you want. Do your politics. Shut down Islam. Whatever. It doesn’t change the reality.

People are dying. And some guy with a gun just shot down your hopes too. 

 

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01.01.2017

The first of January. It’s usually a day spent curing hangovers, maybe doing a little bit of reminiscing, and maaaybe a day to get going with some of those new year’s resolutions. It’s also a day when a lot of media outlets publish a ‘best-of’ for the year that has gone by.
So, I scrolled through my Facebook page and it’s mainly covered in blood with a tad of happiness here and there. Attack, after attack, after attack, after bomb, after bomb, after bomb, after death, after death, after hashtag, after hashtag, after hashtag.
We are the world and the world is bleeding.
We are a planet. We are Earth. And the way I was taught, here on Earth, every life counts for one . Nobody’s life is more important than that of another. Everyone is different and everyone is important. Everyone is a heart. And together we are supposed to be one big fat beating heart. We are supposed to have a mutual understanding that we are all different and that that’s okay. Do you know why? Because we all share this planet, and it is just as much mine as it is yours, and it if just as much mine as it is a panda’s; and because much to NASA’s dismay, there aren’t any other planets that we can live on (yet) so we might as well just quit striving for hegemony, pointing fingers, and nit-picking.
(Because like it or not we’ve all got to fucking share.)
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It’s not getting worse. It’s been there all along.

When people scream “black lives matter” it’s not discrediting the value of your own white life. It’s a furious, panicked reminder to us that they matter, too. We live in a white washed world where it’s easier to picture a black man as a gang banger than it is a pharmacist or doctor or college professor.

Source: It’s not getting worse. It’s been there all along.

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Death was sly, sad, and lonely and I was trying to add colour with my crayolas.

The first time I met death, I must have been around five. My neighbours daughter got us acquainted. She had passed in her sleep.

I couldn’t really grasp the idea of someone being dead. All I really understood was that she was gone, but I resolutely believed that she was gone some place else; not gone absolutely.

I remember my mum telling me the news. I took my crayolas and drew pictures of a blonde girl on paper torn from an old 1998 agenda. The blonde girl was their daughter, though I had no clue whether she was truly blonde because I had never actually seen her. I was trying desperately to say goodbye to a person I’d never met. I presented my ‘art’ to my mum who told me to give it to my dad who would be attending the funeral later on. So I did. I don’t know what happened to the drawings or what I expected to happen to the drawings but I imagined she would receive them one way or another…

Death was sly, sad, and lonely and I was trying to add colour with my crayolas.

I’m 20 years old now. It’s been some 15 years since then, yet here I am trying to deal with another passing. I don’t have crayolas anymore. I have a black biro and I’m scribbling on blank sheets of paper trying to make sense out of what we call ‘life’.

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“Older Together”

 

WHO, WHERE, WHAT
Black Light Dinner Party.Dan, Jack, Zach, Joel. Brooklyn. Synth-pop/electronic pop.

HOW IT ALL STARTED
Jack: We all met in Boston. Originally we were all working on music—different kinds of stuff—individually, and we’d all play the same venues. We were all friends, but then my mom got sick, my mom had breast cancer, so we decided to do a project that was maybe a little less out there, and more accessible for people, like my mom. That’s when we started working on tracks and writing songs. That became “Older Together,” that was the first song we wrote. My mom died. When people really started liking it, it was all bittersweet, it was a little sad, but people really loved it.

HOW IT ALL ENDED
In January 2015 BLDP announced that they had amicably parted ways.

 

 

 

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Kleptocracy

1. A corrupt governmental body made up of thieves, also sullied by nepotism.
“The current government is a perfect example of a kleptocracy.”
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Don’t let the damage control your life.
You do the damage control, and you control your life.

And,

“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.”
Daisaku Ikeda

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To you
A distant memory is all I’ll ever be
Now that I’m gone from you
And you from me.

Gone from you,
Gone for me.

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