My family is dysfunctional by definition but somehow it functions

With the upcoming referendum on the law that would allow homosexuals to candidate for adoption, Slovenia catches itself in the cliché debates about the ‘natural’ and ‘normal’. You could find many adjectives to describe my family, but normal and functional do not come to mind.

By definition, I believe we come closer to being something which should not function, but somehow, almost magically, we do. My parents were never married and they separated after I was 2, and some cheating had been done on both parts, not by me of course. My mum married a man with two failed marriages and 2 kids from different wives. Mum got pregnant with twins, so in the time period of 2 years, I got 4 new brothers and sisters. This was pretty cool for a kid who was constantly bored and frustrated with her peers. It was also sort of overwhelming since there were suddenly 6 people living in our apartment, but somehow I got used to it, because that’s what kids do, they accept weird situations as normal.

When you are 4, and suddenly there is a man living with you that your brother and sisters are calling dad, but you know he’s not your dad, you find it a bit odd at first, but you get used to it. You accept this is your world now and you think this is all perfectly okay. And it is perfectly okay, because even though you know you’re not the same as other families, you show a middle finger to Tolstoy, because not all happy families are happy in the same way. Sometimes your brother and sisters and you have 2 dads, and 3 mums altogether, and then sometimes even your dad gets married and you have 2 more brothers, and now altogether 4 mothers, but it’s all perfectly fine. It’s not perfect, it’s complicated, and you constantly have to explain your situation to your rather slow peers why your sister does not share your last name, but it’s ok because you know they’re the slow ones. Sometimes the laws of attraction work in the way that you end up with 6 brothers and sisters, living together in separate cities, but hey, the more the merrier, right?

Divorce of course takes a toll on you, and once you become a teenager, you rebel against everything and everyone, but you quickly realise that everybody wants something to change in their lives. And you have so many people who care about you that you come to terms with the fact that you cannot change the choices your parents made and you wouldn’t want to. Not ever, because your sisters are beautiful and funny and smart and your brothers are a delight and bright. And all is good, even though you have more than one mum and dad.

If the main concern with the new equality law is that kids of gay couples will be teased, start raising emotionally intelligent children who will understand and who won’t bully. My situation is not an illustration of the fact that it is possible to grow up and not be totally messed up even when your family is complicated; it’s a message to those who think kids from such families will be confused. Yes, they will be, but no more than if you told them they can’t eat candy at every meal. Kids are sensitive, but they accept their realities as they are, and start understanding very quickly that the most important thing is that somebody loves and supports them, no matter the gender or the number of these individuals.

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How I became Antoine

I am precisely at the point in my education where almost all attempts of starting intellectual conversations with adults around me end miserably. I am too young for them to take me seriously, but too educated in certain matters for me to take them seriously. With torment I listen to miserable attempts of people who haven’t read a single philosophical book make fun of Camus, because somewhere, once, vaguely, they came to understand the fact that he had something to do with suicide, but the poor sucker never committed it. I try my best at being a tolerant human being, to accept people’s differences, however being surrounded with quasi-intellectuals, makes me edgy at the very least.

It seems as if this quasi-intellectualism always occurs in conversations with people who are older than me, but don’t possess so much knowledge of a certain subject and feel endangered due to the fact that some high school student might outsmart them and they would lose their authority. And it’s not just  about quasi-intellectualism. It’s about watching football and having your grandfather scream at the television, instructing the players and the coach what to do, even though he himself doesn’t know the first thing about football. It’s about your grandma criticising your way of preparing curry, even though it’s the first time she’s heard of the dish. It’s about your parents telling you what you should be studying instead of philosophy, about the rates of youth unemployment, whereas they have st. I am not saying I have a better understanding than all of them in every single topic they address, but at least I’m not pretending I do. I am self-aware just enough to know when it’s better to stay quiet and listen to someone with a better knowledge of something rather than ranting about something I have no idea about.

I’m not saying that this only applies to a certain generation, perhaps it is better said that it applies to people who have had a strong feeling of authority and supremacy for their whole life and feel like admitting someone is better than them in a certain field will rob them of their whole meaning and purpose.

When I am put into situations where people’s main purpose becomes outsmarting me, proving me that I am nothing more than a reckless teenager, where this is something I already know, and am in no need of somebody proving it to me, especially because they make it so cruelly painful with their remarks on the topics they truly don’t understand. Sometimes I feel like Antoine, the young academic in the short novel How I Became Stupid where he writes of intelligence as some sort of disease and ignorance being the true bliss he wishes he would be able to attain. Even though the novel itself seems elitist, I was able to relate to him, especially on the fact that sometimes it’s much easier to have diminished mental capacities, simply because this also means you have a very low level of self-criticism and a very low level of sense of guilt towards the suffering in the world.

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The schizophrenic creature that I am

I’ve just taken a shower and  I still reek of the heavy thought processes that were going on while I was shaving my legs. Somehow with me, all the big decisions and greatest ideas occur in the very moment of standing in the shower, taking the razor, managing to cut myself to the extent of almost bleeding out of my ankle (by accident of course) and then turning on the unexpectedly hot water which leaves me with some unexpectedly painful burns.
The chaos that I create results in forgetting everything about my greatest ideas and important decisions. I later on use this as an excuse for my chronic procrastination and boring lifestyle. I simply forgot all the great ideas. I might have thought of a brilliant novel, a research or a movie. I just forgot about them because I had to stop the bleeding and flop some aloe on my burns.
I use this logic all the time, and it keeps me perfectly happy. My life is a net of events that could have happened but didn’t, of schools I could have got into if I invested a little effort into it, of Chopins I could have played but was too lazy to practise, of the relationships I could have had, but was too busy to deal with them at the time. I’ve convinced myself over and over again that there were always more important things I had to be focusing on, such as keeping up my grades, losing weight. In the end, I didn’t do any of those things, but still gave up all the things I could have because I was satisfied with just the thought of being able to achieve something, I never really went for it. After a while there were just all of these things I believed I was able to achieve, and I told myself day by day that it was enough for me.
I suppose deep inside I always knew that I didn’t go for most of them because I was so damn afraid of failing. Now I’m stuck at a point, where the only thing I’m still focusing on is school. I’ve left behind the true passions that were music and fanatical reading of books and articles about astronomy. I quit playing the piano when I decided I wanted to focus on school, told myself I could have been accepted to the Conservatory of music if I had auditioned and then left music behind without even blinking. Of course I knew in less than a year that

comfortzone

I missed music terribly, but then I was still too proud to admit I made a big mistake. Now I’m telling myself it’s too late. I love how this lazy insecure bastard part of me keeps me from following my passions, as if it’s afraid one day I would overcome the laziness and insecurities inside of me, and it would be left somewhere in the drain of my shower, along with the hair and the foam, while the passionate curious part of me would happily step out of the shower and before even getting dry it would already be doing what it loves doing so much.

Freaks and geeks in London

The city that seems like it hates interruptions of tourists, but actually secretely loves us. It wasn’t the Big Ben or the London Eye or the Buckingham Palace that impressed me the most about this fabulous city. It was the fact that the city itself was like this one whole creature, breathing together, eating together, smiling together. Even though I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a foggy and boring town with foggy and boring people, it wasn’t anything like that at all. Or at least I had a chance to see it from a different perspective.

For me just sitting on the underground and looking at various faces was incredible. Because you could see everything. From a ninety year old woman in a leopard tracksuit and high red heels to drunk teenagers singing “ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t valley low enough” and a very nice pothead that couldn’t stop laughing for about seven stations. I don’t necessarily like people, but I have a good amount of fun while watching the way they live. But it’s funny though – they can smell that you’re a tourist from ten miles without even blinking. I guess there’s this scent of ‘so desperate and jealous of you because you live in London’ stuck around me all the time. Travelling is helpful for realising how truly boring our lives actually are. How little of freedom our minds really accept. What our perceptions of normal and abnormal are, how full of prejudgments about acceptable and not acceptable we are.

I have no idea how the majority of people in London live. Probably some of them really do have boring lives affected by the moody weather, but if I lived in a town like this, I would never miss a chance of doing something extraordinary. I could stay in a bookshop for hours and just casually go to museums and galleries and than eat like a pig in the park and maybe even walk barefoot. Because nobody in this whole world cares if I do so except for the people in small towns that are so obsessed with their little lives that can be bothered by one single extraordinary person. I guess growing up in a small town makes you love big cities and the freedom of not knowing everybody. I guess if I grew up elsewhere I would feel differently, but I didn’t. London for me was the best thing after a long time – and I swear it’s not just because of the delicious sandwiches (although they helped). I think I loved it so much I can even survive the fact that Lucy Honeychurch didn’t. (For foolish mortals, Lucy is the main character from A room with a view, and I love her). 

Just another brick in the wall

I don’t like people hating on anything, mostly because their arguments for hating are stupid. We don’t hate Justin Bieber because he’s gay, kids, we dislike him (with a strong passion) because his lyrics are dumb and because he is incapable of writing his own music. I don’t like most of todays popular music because it’s trying to make people more stupid instead of making them think – I’m sorry Nicki, but “You a stupid hoe, you a stupid hoe” is not really a deep sentence. 

That’s what makes old rock bands (and bands of other genres I’m not going to name) so awesome – they were actually trying to express their opinions and feelings in a more complex way, not just with bitching about that girl stealing their boyfriend, or their guy leaving them (GET OVER IT…). And besides the lyrics, I like musicians that are actually educated and have good taste. 

How amazing is it to have the opportunity to listen to let’s say The Wall and feel not just all of the emotions but also all of the cleverness behind every word sung and every note played. To think about what they were trying to say, to accomplish – it’s like reading a great book or watching a Hitchcock movie. Whether it’s classical music or rock, the message is what counts – not stating a cliche makes a song amazing. Originality should be more valuable.

I am not trying to offend anyone’s taste in music, because maybe sometimes even a stupid song makes you feel good and it is more than I can do. I am after all just another brick in the wall. 

About penguins, candles and envelopes

You know how there’s this thing called dignity, right? Well, I manage to lose it every single time I talk to somebody, and I keep losing it over and over again. I convinced myself today that transforming into a penguin and moving to Antarctica would be a pretty good idea. I mean, there’s no people, I could find my until-death-do-us-part partner (because penguins are with the same partner their entire life) really quickly, and I would be happy. And cold. But mostly happy. And I would have a cute fluffy penguin baby and it would be great. Without any complications (well except the predators threatening all the time). 

I know I shouldn’t be trying so hard to find an alternative to the life I’m living, I mean I am still young and I should experience the life more. But I’ve seen life in so many different forms. I’ve seen so many unhappy lives, lives that got caught in a web of boringness (is that a word?), lives that aren’t sure they fit the definition of themselves. I know everybody says that, but I truly don’t want to end up like my parents. I want to get out of my comfortable zone and rock my life. I want something to happen, something exciting and thrilling and intriguing and I want to meet new people and feel magical about what’s happening to me and catch fireflies and BE A FUCKING PENGUIN. 

I snapped when I saw a candle on our bus station. First of all because I had no idea why it was there – I don’t think anybody died there or got into an accident. And second of all – it creeped me out and made me think about death and where I was in my life. I know I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings lately and they were all mixed and weird, but I am certain about fear. I think fear is unmistakable and very certain. And I felt fear when I saw that candle. Because I have no idea what I want to do, no idea where I want to be next year, no idea what I want to study. I am applying to an IB programme and I can imagine all of these people there, really smart and focused. They creep me out, because they know exactly what they want, and they fight for it. And if I knew what I wanted, I could fight for it. But I don’t, and I’m not even sure I’m going to send that envelope with my application. Or will I. I wish I could care more. My orchid is blooming. It looks nice. 

The shock doctrine

I started reading Naomi Klein’s book The Shock doctrine a week ago, and I’m not really doing myself a favor by saying how little I’ve actually read it. But never mind, since the first sentence I’ve read, things were intense and shocking. I knew about some capitalistic theories, but I never paid any attention to them, because most of them seemed to far away from me. It’s always America, America, America, and I was sick of listening to the things that didn’t really concern me. 

Of course, I am a foolish human being, and I needed a lot of time to realize how much it actually does concern me, because even though this capitalistic fortress of USA is so far away it concerns us all a lot. Not just because US are amongst the most powerful countries on this planet (or even are the most powerful country), but because since forever they have messed up with a lot of country’s inside politics (Ghost writer is a good movie about this). The american ambassador Musomelli in Slovenia keeps spreading his wisdom about what we should and shouldn’t do with our politics. And it’s inappropriate because it shouldn’t concern anyone else but us.

The theories (which are pretty much facts) Klein presents in her book are shocking in the way I could never imagine. Using the natural disasters, wars etc. as an excuse to creating new companies (homeland security), private schools… When  hurricane Catrina hit New Orleans, the government used this as an excuse to finally destroy the poor parts of the city, build private schools there and establish their vision of a perfect capitalistic town, where education is a privilege of the rich and the rich only. And I’ve only read the beginning!

For all of you interested, there was also a documentary, based on her book, I’m watching it tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iW1SHPgUAQ

The short but very angry

I’ve watched Religulous last week and I have to say I laughed my butt off. I mean, it’s supposed to be sad for an atheist to see these idiotic people, not even knowing stuff about their religion, let alone be rational about it. But for me, it was just funny. Probably because I have stopped believing that people are actually capable of being rational a long time ago. 

What I liked mostly about this movie was that it showed the side of people like you and me and their outlook on faith. And this outlook turned out to be ridiculous. People who defend their faith so strongly, who vote for certain people just because of their religous beliefs, people who are even in the senate, didn’t have a clue about their own faith. 

I know this topic is something that most people don’t want to hear anymore about, but truly, would a world without religion(s) be a better world? Perhaps religion was necessary when people still didn’t realize they have to follow the laws, and in the times where it was still a lot of crime, and it showed people that what they’re doing is wrong, and they will get an eternal punishment. But later on it just got an excuse not for following the laws but rather for disobeying them – something like: let’s kill these muslims in the name of Christ. Doing good just because you are afraid of getting your flesh burnt off in the eternity of hell doesn’t make you a good person. It makes you a hypocrat. And of course – parts of the Bible were written 3500 years ago, but people still take it seriously? 

The most awkward person in the history of humanity, correction, in the history of everything

I’ve always known that my social skills weren’t really perfect, maybe not even in the range of normality. Nevertheless, I’ve always had a feeling that I knew how to give advice to people and not complitely mess up their lives. I’ve recently discovered that I was wrong. I can neither be normal around people nor give advice nor have a decent social life.

The number of awkward situations in the past few months (who am I kidding, in my whole life) is so damn high, that I’m not really sure how people still try to hang out with me. I’m the girl that tried to make the relationship with her step-mother less tense by buying her a box of chocolates for her birthday, while her step-mother was on a strict diet. And I didn’t know it, of course, but it looked like I was making fun of her. I called my high school teacher Mum, and he was not a female. To the guy, I could definitely be with, I said I didn’t want anything serious, because I was afraid he would think I’m too clingy. I forgot my little brother’s birthday, I made out with a random dude in front of his girlfriend (of course I didn’t know she was his girlfriend, I barely knew his name), and every  friend that has ever asked me for relationship advice… well, let’s just say three words: six months crying. I’m not sure whether this ability of ruining everything comes due to some curse (cause that’s kind of awesome, even though it’s a bad curse) or I just evolved in the direction of fucking fucked up person. The evolution theory is awesome, until of course you realize you’re some sort of a freakish side line that has no future. I mean the world full of people like me would probably be in a lot of wars, just because of some awkward things we would say.

My mouth is so much faster than my brain and I am almost certain that it will get me killed or at least in a lot of trouble one day. I will probably end up alone, in an apartmant full of cats, because you know, can’t hurt cats with what you’re saying. Relationships with my family will fade, again due to my big mouth. But you know, at least I’ll be myself. (Crap, who am I kidding, this is no consolation whatsoever!)

Oh, and here is my advice to you (keep in mind, this is only what I will do, if you want a future similar to the one described above, follow this advice): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uepFO4psgKE

Crime? Really?

I’ve never considered people that smoked (cigarettes or other stuff) a problem in the society. I mean, for crying out loud, the government is falling, public schools are going down the toilet, the lack of knowledge is so depressing, but still, people worry the most about potheads and smokers? Making anti-smoking commercials, fighting against weed more than fighting against war, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Are people truly that blind that they can’t see that these kind of things only draw attention away from the true problems?

Even if smokers  die because of what they do (and honestly, I think we will all die sooner and not because of cigarettes), would you blame them for choosing this kind of a path in a world like this? Even if smoking is suicidal, can we blame people for wanting to leave this pathetic greedy world?

And just that we’re clear I’m not saying that all of the smokers chose this kind of a noble variation of suicide, because they cannot manage the suffering in the modern world, hell, maybe not even a single one of them chose cigarettes just as an alternative to hanging himself, but if they did, for me it would somehow be understandable. 

I mean, yes passive smoking is a problem, but as long as you smoke in the way that doesn’t threaten anyone but yourself, I find that complitely acceptable. Why the hell would anyone assume smokers are bad people, bad company to be with, people that are just sad to look at? I hate these kind of stereotypes, not because I support smoking heavily, but because I don’t support people that just jump to conclusions about smokers. It should be their own choice, just like religion, sexuality or anything else. If you take a look at some numbers you will see that a lot of people died because of smoking. If you take a look at some other numbers, you will also see that almost a billion of people died because of religion wars (through the history), and you still don’t see banners on the market encouraging you to quit praying, do you?