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.

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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.

J.Period K’naan // Relationships Lay

I long to see you in the morning light.

Whatever colors you have… in your mind. dum dum dum

I had it all figured out with you. Cut you off cold-turkey. Quick and the most painless. But something crept in late at night as I laid dreaming, looking at the stars outside my window. I longed to see you underneath them on some gritty terrain, fossilized by the whirling nightly winds and swooshing waves as she sang her lullabies. She softened my hardend shell and let me rest my shoulders. My neck relaxed and my fingers tingled out of their numbness. The blood was rushing back to my arms and legs and I began to feel your presence. I wanted to smile and bounce on my toes as I drifted through the day. I was warmer towards all walks of people, thinking of others before myself. I wanted to hum every second because silence was too mundane. And you were full of color and blushing scents.

And I remembered just why I couldn’t keep you out. When I was with you it was broken down into seconds, like time was opening it’s house to us. And when I talked to you by phone your voice was just enough to keep me waiting until I could see you. And now that my time with you has to be shared with things that are out of our reach, it makes those warmest memories something bitter. A cold chill comes and I want to shout at you because I don’t know the next time I can hear you, let alone see you… And my instant reaction is to block you out so I don’t have to feel. But I want to feel, especially the goodness you always offer. Why leave that great attraction and mutual enjoyment outside in the frozen? You can be all good things to me even if I can never keep you.

I guess it’s safe for me to admit, that I rather keep a piece of you even if it can never be the whole of you. And a piece, while small, can fill up more voids than with you gone.

 

And I like smiling. After all is said and done, I’m happy just doing whatever it is that keeps me dreaming, believing, fantasizing, lusting, and making me float.

 

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