Tuesday Thoughts:: Opposites Attract?

Earlier last week, I did a bit of microblogging on my personal Facebook account, and I got so many messages I decided to expand.

This is what I wrote on Facebook

“For the longest, I believed in the old saying “opposites attract” – I believed it so strongly that I was ever so inclined to look for that _ I was wrong, it never lead me anywhere. Now at 35 (which is like 21 with 14 years of experience), I have finally understood that this myth it is not always true – and perhaps has never been true for me. Similarities attract. Same levels of OCD (lol, I have germ issues ok) same levels of weirdness matched up with same humour, values, morals, and background are important and fundamental. They lead to better COMMUNICATION, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING. Opposites might be attractive at times, but similarities, man… those create magic sparks.”

Who came up with that nonsense of opposites attract? I mean yes, it is true, sometimes some difference can bring some balance into a relationship, however, more often than not it creates cracks. After all, why not seek to be with someone who can see and experience the world like you do? Has this perhaps been perpetuated by the media? Let’s look into Disney movies, movies which many little girls (myself included) grew up with. The Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, for example, are filled with the notion of opposites and the perpetual seek for completeness. That is a pure lie. We are complete, whole and unique from the moment we are born, we do not need to seek for another half to make us one. We are ONE whole and beautiful. We should seek for supportiveness and life satisfaction, both of which are rooted in similarities. One similar view of the world, one similar path to seek. That is my opinion anyway, but just in case let me back my thought up with some research…

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The paper, “Personality Similarity and Life Satisfaction in Couples” by Katrin Furler, Veronica Gomez, Alexander GrobDepartment of Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland, suggests that “research to date leans more towards ‘‘like attracts like’’ rather than ‘‘opposites attract’’ and assumes that similarity, as opposed to complementarity (Antill, 1983), is an important factor in romantic relationships.

“Studies on mate selection, for instance, support the notion that similarity between partners is essential in forming intimate relationships. People, rather consciously or unconsciously, choose partners who are similar to themselves on a number of variables, from age, education, values, physical attractiveness, and intelligence (Epstein & Gutt-man, 1985; Vandenberg, 1972). The similarity is theorised to be beneficial for intimate relationships by coordinating partners’ thoughts and behaviours, increasing understanding of each other’s intentions and motivations, and reinforcing their appraisals, leading to relationship satisfaction and longevity (Anderson, Keltner, & John,2003).

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Although many other empirical research on the matter has proved inconclusive due to the difficulties to quantify levels of life satisfaction, and personality traits in a more general manner, I have come to believe, for me in particular, similarities are a fundamental part of building strength in any kind of relationship.

What do you think? What has worked for you?

xoxo, Jihane

Tuesday

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Tuesday Thoughts: The Way Writers Feel

I have been writing stories and poems from as long as I can remember. My mom says that when I was a child before I could spell and write I would create songs all day long. Writing is both my gift and my curse. Don’t take me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about being a writer but I have always felt I can feel things more deeply than my peers. But perhaps we all feel that way?

I can feel the cold little drops of rain prickling on my skin, and the adventurous drop navigating down my chest.

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I have this “sensitivity” that allows me to explore feelings and situations, things and people, elements and emotions in its full spectrum. I am not sure that is a good or a bad thing because I have been called sensitive one time too many to believe this is a gift, however, I am sure that it is this sensitivity that allows me to be a fiction and a poetry writer.

sen·si·tive – ˈsensədiv/

  adjective
          1. quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences (of a person or a person’s  behavior) having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings.
noun: 
           1. a person who is believed to respond to occult influences.

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The word sensitivity implies weakness to some people, but to me being soft in a world so hard isn’t a weakness, but a strength. A strength I often encourage on my son.

I strongly believe, as also do some of my colleagues, that this special connection to feelings and emotions are that make a great fiction writer. How else can you be attuned to your surroundings? How else can you create a space with words rich enough for the reader to feel part of the story? However, I might be wrong perhaps sociopaths are perfectly capable of writing about emotions even if they don’t feel them. Perhaps it is not necessary to savor pain in order to describe it, perhaps we don’t need to know the sweet taste of happiness to write about a smile. Who knows?

I do know that lines of poetry usually float into my head, often times while I am driving, which means they get lost in the abys because by the time I get to a place where I can write the down I have already forgotten. Worlds of wonder and imagination swirl and dance in my thoughts mixed with the reality of life. No, I am not mad, I am a writer filled with creative thoughts! (LOL)

Literary writing and blogging and/or commercial writing are two different things, and just as some painters can paint one style but not the other, not all writers can write the same genre. Which is perfectly ok because we need all forms, all types, all genres.

What do you think? are all writers sensitive?

While you are at it, and if you feel like reading some Flash Fiction make sure to check out this: www.onixj.com/flash-fiction-scarlet

TUESDAY THOUGHTS: PHILOSOPHICAL RAMBLES | PART II

Tuesday Thoughts : I don’t connect with celebrities.

Last week, another musical legend died. Prince Rogers Nelson, age 57.
Minutes after the news got out, we witnessed a torrent of purple rain. An avalanche of violet, lilac, individual natural color rain, Prince’s quotes, pictures, memes, moments, lyrics (to songs I am not familiar with) the whole 2-day spectacle we go through as a society every time a celebrity dies.

I think something is fundamentally wrong with me (In a good way perhaps). I don’t really care at all when a celebrity dies. I don’t know these people, I’ve never had a conversation with them, I’ve never held their hand, never hugged them – They are strangers to me. I don’t connect with celebrities that way.

I simply don’t, never have and perhaps never will. Why do we glorify people who we don’t really know? We know their music, perhaps we know the way they perform, we are familiar with their (public) persona, but do we know them? No. We don’t. It doesn’t matter how much you try to argue with me that these people have contributed to humanity and history in one way or another I can’t pull myself to fabricate some cheap sentiment and post it all over social media just because is what the rest of the world is doing.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not happy they died, but my life isn’t affected by their death in any form or way.

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( In this area I wanted to name a few celebrities who have recently died, but I can’t recall any – so instead, here is a key!)

I don’t connect with celebrities that way. I don’t feel it necessary. What makes celebrities so extraordinary anyway? I mean during their lifetimes they already earn a significant and extra-orbital amount of money to perform (why don’t teachers earn that much when their job is FAR more important to society?) Celebrities live eccentric public and in many instances staged lives. Their faces are plastered on billboards, but they are humans – not Gods – I can’t wrap my mind around this phenomena.

I do, however, have a deeper connection with (book) authors for example. Yeah, maybe I am just a nerd lol, a rebel against pop culture celebrities? Gasp! maybe I am a hipster? I don’t see myself that way but it would explain a lot.

I remember when Gabriel Garcia Marquez died. April 17, 2014, Mexico City, Mexico.

Do you remember that?

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, better known as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or Gabo, was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist. His words became mine on my lips as I exhaled every word written in “Love on Times of Cholera”. His stories became my dreams in both hot Caribbean nights and cold British winters… His characters became my friends during “100 years of solitude”. I knew his mind, however, I did not know him. I did not cry when he died. I did not post one hundred and one memes, pictures, and quotes… I was sad as sadness is purest, in silence. (I’ve just made that up, you don’t have to agree with me at all)

Am I broken? or do I simply not follow the paths of this overly saturated, fast moving, downward spiral, convoluted social media frenzy that explodes when a celebrity’s last breath hits the media outlets?

I am not saying I am not mainstream, nor too cool or hip. I am saying I don’t grieve celebrities. That doesn’t make me better or worse, it makes me different. Or a Snob, you can re-define it if you wish, I am not apologizing for thinking the way I do.

Whichever it is, and whatever you choose to do with your pain, your grief, your social media posts its entirely and completely up to you! This blog post isn’t intended to criticize anyone, but to expose something that I have been noticing. I don’t connect with celebrities the same way many do.


On that note, I have to confess, because it’s now because is now or never:

I don’t think Beyonce is all that.

I don’t share the Beyonce fascination. I am immune to her charms. The self-proclaimed queen B, recently re-branded a political activist has no effect on me. I don’t like her nor do I dislike her, but I am certainly sure I don’t find her an inspiration or a role model at all.

Give me Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize for her ongoing fight for a girl’s right to education. Give me Emma Watson – I know she is an actress but she is also a role model for women rights  and  UN Women Goodwill Ambassador . Give me  Gemma Mortensen – Executive Director of Crisis Action who work behind the scenes for the protection of civilians in war zones. Give me Melinda Gates for her efforts on health, and education. Give me any of those inspirational women to glorify any day instead. 

Xoxo

Jihane

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Tuesday Thoughts: Philosophical Rambles | Part I

I don’t usually write personal posts. I really don’t. I like to think of my blog more as a catalogue of information than as a diary. However, there are times in which perhaps I feel the need to express myself in writing and this is my only medium.  Who knows this random quasi-philosophical ramble might become a series… “Tuesday Thoughts” 

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I am by nature a go-getter, a shameless type-A personality. I don’t have dreams, I have goals. I believe we are all capable of achieving great things when we put our minds to it.

I don’t believe in shortcuts. I believe is self-motivation, self-preservation, and expansion of the mind. I find irrational fears quite annoying – I don’t understand nor do I accept the incongruent and abstract nature of irrational fears. (seriously mind over body, get our game together and conquer the fear, what is the worse it can happen?)

I believe in meritocracy, democracy, and social awareness. I believe in the power of social enterprises and the impact they can leave in the communities they work for. Stand up and do something! Talk about your beliefs, your passions, your goals! But DO more and talk less… Define your footprints in actions, not words.

I believe in a world self-propelled by positive actions; I believe in a utopic wonderland in which sustainability of mind and body are encouraged not diminished. I believe in a world in where we are not ruled by the cognitive symbolism of binary systems. (man/woman good/bad hot/cold) and most importantly, I believe negativism is the seed of all failures. Negative thoughts drain me, they exhaust me, they peel layers of my very limited patience. One by one. Like an onion of feelings (tears and all). Negativity weakens me,  makes me feel like all the air has left my body. And then something magical happens; I stop caring,  which in the end is the other major ingredients for failure. Not caring. Not caring makes giving up an easy task.

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I was listening to Dave Brooks, New York Times columnist and author of  “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement” explain in his TED talk “The Social Animal” that “We are not primarily self-contained individuals, we are social animals, not rational animals. We emerge out of relationships and we are deeply interconnected to one another.” But are we? to what extent do we connect in a truly meaningful way with the people around us? How superficially senseless are we?

Even when we love – Do we love from the inner corners of our selfish needs or  do we love completely unaware of our own needs and put our loved ones first? Why do we have to be in pairs filling  that gap inherited by evolution.

And, if we are social animals destined to live as members of smaller societal groups, what do we make of those who claim to hate humanity and lack the social skills needed to succeed in a world defined by the behaviour of its groups? Do we discard these people as flaws? I am afraid I have more questions than answers…

All I can do, with the task that has been bestowed upon me as the mother of a human child, is to make sure I equip him with the relevant social skills I believe he needs – I probably won’t succeed, not completely anyway, but to the best of my knowledge my work will suffice.

That’s it for now…

xoxo

Jihane