I've been listening to some pretty chill music this month. To take a break from curating topic-based playlists, today I'm simply sharing what I've been listening to in June. I hope this also diversifies the music I share with you, so you can get a better idea of new songs that deserve a listen.
Inspired by a few selections from the Sarai Reader, The Cities of Everyday Life, I began to identify overarching themes regarding not only physical, but also digital, economical, and informational cityscapes.
Dust and smog. It’s all pollution.
China. Africa. America. The air is unclean.
Charles Darwin. Survival of the fittest. Was this challenge too great to foresee?
What does survival mean to me?
Throughout each of Zhuangzi's passages, one can find the theme of life as is. It resonates voices that work on understanding and embracing life, as well as accepting that which is left unknown. The tone of each passage is direct as it is blunt, yet indirect in that it feels lighthearted. These passages act as parables; they are not upsetting tales.
Questions for Dreamers, Unanswerable by All
Part One, Inspired by Passage 2
1. If the enjoyment of life is a delusion, then are we miserable in truth?
2. Are those ever-attempting to achieve happiness damned to lives of unrelievable pain?
Over time, I have become the girl of my dreams.
twisted through dreams,
impossible to scrape
from the crevices
of a multilayered mind
The secret to survival is finding conceivable reasons to continue on. We've come up with so many of them: schedules, jobs, religion, familial obligations - each of these intended to be grounding in their own way.
Yet, is surviving equivalent to a life worth living? Just as some may say that living is incomparable to existing, I argue there is a difference between the two.
So if there is a difference, then how can we begin to define life? Should we define existing as a means of keeping on and surviving as a means of enabling ourselves to stay strong, then how on earth can we begin to perceive the center of it all?
Simply enough, I have found that life is best viewed from a multitude of equally exhausting perspectives.
I first started blogging on Medium, back in June 2017. As I write this, a little over a month has come to pass. Today, 20-something reflective essays later, I am finally tired of writing about myself.
It feels like the right time, or more like the right time has passed, to explore new genres. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and I want to stick with it, for poetry and I have a good thing going.
When thinking of contentment, I realize how far I have come, though part of me screams: I have a long way to go. This is how it is for me. Ambition does not parallel discontent, but the line distinguishing the two is easily blurred.
Failing to appreciate progress,
leads to the escalation of goals into needs,
which then become benchmarks for self worth.
I think, and I think, until I think too much.
Young Adult novels have my heart. Reading them, interpreting them, and writing down my thoughts is all part of the fun when it comes to binging these texts. The only trouble is time.
As it turns out, writing in depth book reviews is extremely time consuming! So although I love to create those posts, this month we are going to have to suffice with a reading list!
Good thing I’ve been reading a lot of young adult books lately.
A Guilty Pleasure Playlist for Indie Lovers
For June, The Messy Life is featuring a spotlight showcase in place of our typical list of Messy Melodies for the month. The band of choice? Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
I discovered them a couple of months ago, and have been binging their albums ever since. By now, I’ve overplayed just about every publicly released song these guys have created. A rarity for me, and a sign that I have to share them with you.
As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness month. On this blog, I’ve talked about mental health quite a bit, from dealing with anxiety and symptoms of seasonal depression, to improving wellness overall. However, I have yet to take a moment to openly discuss my own struggle with mental health.
In America, over 18% of adults deal with mental health related issues each year. Keep in mind, this describes only the number of reported individuals, not including children and young adults.
We need to make ourselves aware about the realities of mental health, especially if we are going to continue using social platforms to champion advice on health and wellness. It's important to spread the right message to those who are listening around the world.
Authenticity is a hot topic in this day and age. It poses the question that lingers over our heads: Are we being true to ourselves? This proves more difficult to answer than it may seem.
How can one surely be authentic? It’s not like there’s a meter that can scan some intangible essence and return to us, an accurate authenticity score.
In this case, how can we even begin to define authenticity? It's about time we figure this out for ourselves.
I haven’t shared on this blog in over two weeks, a fact which has tormented me every single day. It almost feels as if I have been gone for over a month, since the voice in the back of my mind continually reminds me that I am not getting anything done.
This isn’t true, because in that time I have packed, moved, and finished my finals, but for some reason, knowing this doesn’t help. I honestly couldn’t tell you what's more frustrating than that - having unproductive thoughts inform you that you’re not good enough, over and over again.
As a blogger, our socially driven landscape doesn’t help, because with each day that passes you can literally watch your engagement drop as your followers walk away. After working hard to build your platforms, there’s not much room in the way of positive reinforcement, when you need to take a break.
So what can we do about this?
Personal style is a tough subject for those who lack a sense of style, a sense of self, or both (for the unfortunate few). If you identify with any of these groups, then hey! Welcome to my world.
There's tea on the stove. I hope you like Earl Gray!