And that’s what I call talent!
And that’s what I call talent!
You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week.
On any other day, I’d have a mature and responsible answer ready for this sort of question. You know, like I’d fund an organization, start a business or find some way or another to create work for myself and more responsibilities. Like an adult. But not today. Today I’m feeling selfish (or realizing that I need to take care of myself before I crash and burn).
I’ve had an off
day week or two. Everything is catching up with me and I’m ready to collapse. Preferably on 800 thread count, 100% cotton sheets pulled tightly across a plush California king mattress. Soft jazz in the background, beautiful views and a silent AC that keeps the room nice and cool so I can hibernate.
If I found $10,000 on my cluttered dresser, I’d think it was a trap. But then, I’d immediately book a first class $3,000 ticket to Phuket, Thailand and check myself into the Sri Panwa for a week. I’d request the one bedroom pool villa (with ocean view) and happily pay the $5,000 dollars that would cost. With about $3,000 left over I’d get daily massages and an endless supply of tropical fruit and fresh juices. I can practically smell the fresh orchids in my room. I desperately need this a vacation and right now, I want $10,000 so I can disconnect and destress.
PS. Don’t leave a comment under this post pretending to be my friend. I am not taking anyone.
I felt oh so grown up on the first day of every school year but the real change took place when I started seventh grade.
My school, which loosely and arbitrarily followed the British education model, put great emphasis on the jump from elementary (first to sixth year) to secondary school. A small graduation ceremony was held in our honor at the end of our sixth year. My classmates and I proudly walked the stage and shook hands with the Head of Elementary. It was a modern-day coming of age ritual where we literally and enthusiastically waved goodbye to that chapter of our lives. As I crossed that stage, in front of emotional parents, relieved teachers and very young elementary students, I sensed that I was growing up. I shook hands with Mr. Brian – that, in itself was a privilege for he was a tall, serious man who ran his section of the school like a colonel commanding a mid-sized regiment. He had a full beard, kind eyes and was known to be unforgiving with tardy students. He was well-respected (or feared, to be honest). He told me he was very proud of me (I was quite the honor-roll nerd) and that I would do well in secondary school. I realized that I was leaving the safety of the classrooms and corridors that I knew, heading to a different world. The idea left me excited but also a little sad and apprehensive.
That different world happened to be in the same building.
The elementary and secondary schools were separated by a mere floor, but for years I was only used to walking up the first two flights of stairs to reach my classes. Now I had to take two more flights to get to the right floor! At the time, the steps leading up to the second floor seemed unfamiliar, unbelievably wide and steep. There were many recognizable faces, too – kids that I grew up with, my friends’ siblings, neighbors, girls from my swim team – but I was terrified. They were all grown ups whereas my classmates and I were fresh out of elementary. We were going to be at the bottom of that chain, an inconceivable thought after ruling the school for a year as the biggest, tallest, loudest kids around.
All my nervousness, however, did not dampen my spirits as I picked up my backpack on the first day of school and headed to the car. My mother fussed, trying to fix my hair and push a lunch box in my hand. I vehemently refused, stuffing my sandwich and juice into my book bag instead. I had no time to explain the concept of social suicide to her but I knew I had to fit in. I was a grown up and I had conform.
If all paths looked like this, I would have no problem moving forward.
I take over a thousand of photos when I travel. We’re talking about a two-week trip here, and I’m not even exaggerating. Why shouldn’t I enjoy the benefits of digital photography? It’s cost-effective and allows me to experiment. Eventually (sometimes months or years later), I filter through my photos and delete a couple dozen: the crooked, the blurry, the recurring. And at this point, I get pretty annoyed because I can hardly find five photos of myself. I also hear my mother’s voice asking, “but why aren’t you in ANY pictures?”
That’s an excellent question, mother dearest. I ask myself the same thing and after several trips I have discovered why. It’s because people suck (couldn’t even find a euphemism here). I know I’m slowly but surely turning into a misanthrope but people are unbelievably selfish when it comes to photos.
Ok, I admit that I get overprotective with my camera, like anyone who’s spent thousands on equipment that could break. But grubby fingers and careless hands aside, I do sometimes hand my camera over to people. ”Can you take a photo of me now?” I’d ask, with a hopeful smile on my face. I refrain from adding, “because I’ve taken about two dozen of you so far, and you’ve been posing like Marilyn Monroe all day and you’ve told me seven times that I must send you those pictures. What if I just don’t want to, huh? And could you PLEASE frame it right? It would be nice if you got all of my head in the picture. Not from that angle, doofus.”
Usually people are obliging. They take my camera and hold it up in my direction before announcing, “how do I use this thing?” IT’S JUST A CAMERA – I want to scream. But I don’t. That would be rude. I un-pose and walk over to where they’re standing with my camera like it’s the heaviest thing they’ve ever held. I wish they’d try not to look so bored. Well, I’m sorry if taking a photo of me is wasting precious seconds of your time, but if you do it quickly we can go back to taking photos of you. Because the world and my camera revolve around you.
So after pointing out the view finder, I go back to my spot and try to recapture my pose when allofasudden CLICK CLICK — “Ok, I took it.” Oi! I was not ready! “Can you please take one more?” I ask sweetly. The typical response is, “oh? You want me to take another one? Oh. [Silence] Ok.”
At this point, I’m trying not to yell, “YES. TAKE ANOTHER ONE. TAKE TEN MORE. IT’S NOT COSTING YOU ANYTHING.” With a heavy sigh, they take a couple more photos of me and hand the camera right back. You know, so I can resume my job as their personal, unpaid photographer. Later, I go through my photos and delete most of them. All the photos were taken hurriedly. They’re all unflattering.
I pick up my voodoo doll
And that’s why ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in any pictures. Wow I’m out of breath. How are you doing?
Today’s Daily Prompt: Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?
My relationship with my phone is unhealthy. I am dependent on a gadget and I have convinced myself that it’s my lifeline – my connection to the world. I can’t even count the times I check my e-mail accounts a day (even when I’m not waiting for anything) or how many long and important conversations I’ve had through text messages. My phone does come in handy when I want to Google an address or phone number on the go. I can’t even imagine what I would have done *gasp* back in the day before smartphones invaded the market.
But all my phone usage put together pales in comparison to my obsession with social media platforms. I have been trying to take a step back and analyze this need to check Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Pros of social media? The networks help me keep track of friends and reconnect, they’ve become my number one news source but they are also a harsh and unnecessary spotlight on my daily life. Why do we put ourselves under scrutiny and later complain about the invasion of privacy? And what comes out of sharing the details of our life other than a strange gratification from the acceptance we receive in the form of likes, comments and followers.
I was in Jordan last week and despite picking up a local SIM card, I experienced some connectivity problems. There were times when I could not check Instagram and Twitter because the connection was not fast enough. I am ashamed to say that it drove me mad! I do not like this reliance on my phone, it’s almost an addiction. Luckily I’m aware of it. I have tried justifying my relationship with my phone by telling myself, “at least I’m not like [insert name] who can’t maintain eye contact for a minute before she grabs her phone!” or pointing out how [insert another name] walks around with two smartphones and a pained look as though technology is strangling him or her. It’s true that I’m not like that, I’m not there yet but I do need to slow down and put my phone away.
And maybe it’s as simple as that! Having my phone out of sight is supposed to help me cut down on wanting to fiddle with it. I’ve been trying to keep my phone in my purse when I’m out for a meal with friends or leave it in my room before going downstairs to sit with my family. I also remind myself of Costa Rica where I experienced connectivity problems. After a while, I got used to being disconnected and it wasn’t so bad (it only felt like I time traveled back to the 90′s). I am proud to say that I survived without being constantly connected to the internet. I may have even enjoyed my time more away from the distractions of a hyper virtual world.
You know what’s weird? I was planning on writing about this particular topic because I have been trying to untangle myself from my phone for the past week. Thank you, Daily Prompt for making it easier for me. My beloved phone and I are ready for therapy. We understand that’s important for us to spend time apart.
Sit down, make yourself comfortable. Let me tell you about this room that I’ve been working on for years – in my head. I’ve been adding cushions and changing curtains, painting and repainting the walls. I know it so well and I can’t wait to make it mine, this perfect writing room. My haven.
My room is on the second floor of a little house. It’s cozy, almost a perfect square, with large French windows that open up to a small balcony. The walls are neutral and the armchair is old. The leather on that chair is thick but soft, cracked but still strong. There’s a small wooden desk and it is bare, never cluttered and always waiting for me. A worn handmade rug gives the room some color and a scented candle fills the air with salted caramel sweetness.
There are a few shelves in my room, lined with leather-bound classics and I can tell you exactly where to find Jane Eyre. I’d have a small collection of memorabilia: radiant glass bottles, a bracelet and a dish. In the corner there’s a gramophone and an impressive collection of great records. My room faces the ocean and the crashing waves are a comforting constant, weaving in with the warm and assertive sounds of a saxophone.
My room is filled with words, sunlight and music.
In response to Daily Prompt’s post: A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?