Basia Bulat // Before I Knew

You always think that you’ll be the best something.The best at math, the best tennis player, the best artist, the best at persuading people to give you free stuff – the best choice for someone else. And then there comes the day when you realize you’re second best, if that. And those visuals of trophies or dream jobs or holding the hand of the person you thought you were perfect for, well, those fantasies dissolve. And you soon begin to realize that you may never be the winner in any situation. you may just be the one who almost made it to the finish line first, or the “wrong-time wrong-place” person.

So the way you rationalize things in your mind slowly changes. You come to face that you are average and the thought of being on top – be it hooking up the hottest guy, getting with your best friend’s crush, keeping secrets hidden because you feel empowered, or trying your hardest to make yourself famous in modern media culture – well, it sort of fades away. It doesn’t matter anymore because you’ve gained valuable insight that you may not be aware of. So I’m going to tell you flat out what you have now that many other’s around you don’t.

You stopped competing.

Most likely you were unaware that your actions and decision making was a form of competition. But once you found yourself on the second-tier within your friends, lovers, coworkers – whatever – you stopped giving a shit if you were going to be the best/win/finish on top. Being burned and feeling defeat over and over made you realize one of two things: One, you can only trust yourself and never forget it in life. Two, you realize you could switch your thinking to bigger-picture social policy and cultural agenda.

And these societal ordinances end up getting the best from you because you stopped running in the rat-race for social fame. You break the habit of exploiting yourself to fight for the top-spot on the social ladder. And inadvertently, you then have removed yourself from inconsequential matters. And the point of it all is that once this happened, you acknowledged that what The Beatles alway preached in their pop-gushy songs was all you really need is love. And your heart widens uncontrollably. And you start to forgive and love despite all of the shit that you have to deal with from other people. But it’s not their fault so many of them are blindly (or very, very strategically aware) competing to be the best. This new world has crafted egos and manipulated us to embellish our happiness on social platforms that in so many ways have corrupted our most natural state of being. It’s robbery to the point of fraud.

And you realize that your happiness can always be remembered in nature and Mother Earth. You feel it in the heat of the summer with a blanket of stars above, and your feet can feel it even on the coldest day in New York City as the windchill tickles your cheeks. Because innately you are removed from caring about superficial capers. And now you’re brain is clear and free to munch on social gains that will actually benefit widespread cultural issues and not just a 2×4 box on your homepage with your 140 characters to build upon.

This is freedom. Not so much being “above” anything, but instead being on a entirely different communicative and philosophical plane. You are running in the wild free world now instead of investing most of your time on pages and likes, one-upping and empowerment, that is solely based on “winning” or beating others. And this is you at your best because you are done trying to find fame and popularity in meaningless prospects. If you feel me  by now, you should be smiling widely and loving yourself wholly.


My Morning Jacket // Wordless Chorus

How come musicians are some of the worst dancers? They create the entire show. Actors and actresses in costumes pretending to move that way naturally. It seems a little forced considering no one who warrants attention actually seeks it. It’s just a natural phasing.

And why are we awkwardly linked to people we accidentally become best friends with. Like hey! It’s orientation week and I have no friends, so I’ll cling to you because you also are friendless. Then we pair off inseparably for a two week span before finding our more realistic click, trying hard to forget the former bond just to erase the embarrassment.

Too many people I do this one too. I’ll figure them all out before actually meeting them – see them around, listen to them speak while in the same class, trying to not look in their emerald eyes when I see them in person even though I’ve seen like ten-thousand pictures on my computer. It’s weird how we live. Because then you meet these enigmas in real-life and they usually sort of suck. But it’s hard to really forgive yourself for thinking they were something greater than their reality.

Sometimes I think about why I like lace too. Lace feels best on my breasts. Every slight movement in lace makes for a caressing, faint massage. Especially in sensitive regions, it can be quite pleasurable. I like to dress up for myself sometimes. Wear my raciest underwear to a mundane work day, sometimes even to the gym. I like pretending I’m a lot of things, but maybe I need to start understanding that I’m not playing house – maybe this is my real life and my real mannerisms.

I once saw a video of myself and it was at first intimidating because I was talking to a fake audience at my camera. But I kept replaying the video because I really liked dissecting my lips and my decanting slur that I realized, maybe I just like myself.

And I do. Enough to know when to give what you are given. Thus, cleaning out a rusted refrigerator, sharing the dinner I then made, while beforehand, smoking up my roommates. Something had to give, and it was me.

Feel good always even if you’re chorus isn’t as wordless but as pointless as can be. At least you’re free.

Be // Common

My dad is one of the wisest people I know. It reads in the crows feet that branch out from the corners of his eyes, and his salt and peppered hair is a window into his past years of hard work and constant reflection. He is a man a few wants with the main exception being that he wants to make sure everyone is taken care of. Not only within his family, but more-so in complete strangers.

Today while he was making tea I confronted him about a personal problem that had sort of been attacking my minute-by-minute thoughts. It of course was about love and life and the pursuit of whatever the fuck it is we are looking for. He sort of quietly sighed as he tends to do in his moments of lost brevity, and then while searching for the right thing to say, he came to a thought. “You know Michelle, being in your 20’s is one of the hardest ages to live. You’re at a complete loss as to what you want to do and still completely restless and hungry for life.” I always think, well, why can’t you have it all? Can’t you do things that you love in your 20’s while you’re well into your 50’s? It must be possible, but it’s funny to witness how as most people age their priorities shift. I guess it’s not that shocking as you come to, but being young and having very uncertain thoughts about what it is I want from life, I find this to be cheap. And maybe even a little too surrendering. Must life be so grown up?

I listen to Common’s “Be” when I need a reminder that I need to be right in the moment and only that moment. I don’t need to think about a future with any other person but myself because I’m the only one who is definitely going to be there, fingers crossed. I have this insatiable hunger for wanderlust and it heats up to a fever pitch when I start to get anxious. I realize that maybe it’s true what people have been saying about me. I do think too much. I’ll never stop nor will I apologize for it, but Jesus god, even my own sanity deserves a fucking lunch break.

What’s funny is they say that idle time is the Devil’s workplace. Shit gets real in this downtime. And while some people can use it to their advantage, thinkers like myself will eat themselves alive trying to tame the wild beast. Maybe I read it somewhere, but I keep thinking about taking all the shitty situations that no matter which way you try and look for the best out of them, they are still complete shit. Then I keep repeating to myself just to not fucking think about these things. If a situation is really that shitty and totally unchangeable, then what’s the point of letting it into your brain? Nothing can be done, so don’t even think about it.

Every time I’ve fallen hard in love usually has been because something beforehand made me stop fucking care. I was over it, done with it, and just ready to have fun. I wasn’t putting time into men and dating, situations that sucked or were opportunistic — I was just be’ing. Straight being. That type of life is something I could live off of for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t need to worry about shitty things because who the fuck cares. I don’t need to hope for something better because what I have is fucking dope. I don’t need to sweat who I’ll be missing because the people I’m surrounded by in close quarters are my people. They have to be because they are the ones that I can make smile and make laugh and vice versa. I never need love because people are swarming around me with enough love to give all the time. Whether it’s right after a fender bender and the guy that we hit is cool as shit, telling us that if we need anything on the road to call him – he’s 15 minutes away in Jersey, – or the lady who’s in front of me in the checkout line gives me her coupons and tells me to pay it forward as I save $30 bucks. It’s small worldly wisdom’s like this that keep our world spinning.

Like Common says, I wanna be as free as the spirits of those who left. I just wanna be. Be be be be be. Don’t let me get sucked into the future or the past. It’s not important because my time is now and I plan on making the most of it. Always.

Born To Die // Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey.

Where your voice takes me is somewhere in a field of sunflowers running barefoot and blindly. The air is soft and my mind is in the heavens spinning in figure 8’s. I’m dying in pleasure. Every fiber of my skin tingles with thousands of nerve-endings working overtime. Buzzing, waving, swimming around in my veins are bursts of colors and radiations that only my eyes and his can see. We are lost in this eternal field, abandoned only to the bliss of this exact moment. Each second is ten-thousand rainstorms sizzling hot pavement with puddles cooling the skin of our feet. He brushes my shoulder with his finger and as soon as he leaves I go into withdrawl.

How can I live here forever I wonder. I don’t want to go but the moon is knocking on sky’s door asking to be let in, if only for a peak. I love the moon too!  but I want this day to mark the calendar every year. So I keep running with the air as my sleigh into the forbidden saga that has become my effervescent mind.

I once was called out for my philosophical questions. These thoughts were too outlandish for him. I liked him too much to tell him that that one sentence forever contaminated the secret garden I had been tending to so he didn’t have to leave. But my daydreams were starting to corrupt my reality and I had to cease all measures before they escaped forever. So as he questioned my overextended thoughts I swallowed it as a blessing for still loving him through and through.

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