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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My Stream of Consciousness Part 2: Life is a beautiful mess


Hi there you beautiful beings of the blog-o-sphere!

Today I'm back with a second edition of my ramblings, this time I will be speaking about whether or not life is in fact a 'journey'. The other day, in a moment of unemployed desperation, I downloaded Duolingo (a translation app) and was attempting to learn some Italian- because why not?! Whilst tragically attempting some of the most simple Italian phrases, I happened to come across the phrase, "Un bello desastre"...an Italian phrase which translates to English to mean, "A Beautiful Mess or Disaster". This caused me to ponder over  the phrase more and more and got me thinking about how often we hear people describe life as a 'mess', but not once do they describe it as a beautiful one.

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Just the other day I was having coffee with a close friend of mine, and she was having one of those hopeless, negative-self talk, drama queen type days. Whilst in mid conversation, she suddenly sighed, buried her head in her hands and exclaimed, “oh my god, my life is such a mess”, to which I replied, “oh yeah same, but isn’t everyone’s?” Because the truth is that YES OK our lives might all be incredibly messy, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing. My life may be a mess, but it is a beautiful mess at that. Sometimes, it can feel as though each time we reach a high point in life, we are suddenly knocked back to square one on the checkers board and must start again. But, if we weren’t ever knocked down and we were all to have life figured out and never had to go through any of the trials of life, how would we learn or grow or adapt? We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn from others around us and as a result of this we can come back fighting even stronger from our past mistakes. Obviously, accepting where you are in this moment and not wishing you have life figured out, is far easier said than done, and I certainly have my moments where I wish I could just be J.K Rowling and have life sorted. But, if I were to get my dream job straight out of university and have life ‘figured out’, I then wouldn’t explore the many layers that are within me. A world where no one learns from themselves or each other would be a boring world to live in. Going back to the phrase ‘having life figured out’, who really has life figured out and what does ‘having it all figured out’ really mean? No one has everything in life sorted, there is always something or someone who stops you in your tracks and causes you to rethink things in your life and there are always mistakes being made, regardless of how wise you are or how many degrees you have or how much money you have made.
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We always hear the phrase, “life is a journey” getting thrown about, but what does that really mean? This thought was brought to my attention by Alan Watts, a British philosopher, who famously stated, “life cannot be a journey as "it doesn't have a set destination that it ought to arrive at." When you are travelling, you go on a journey with the intent to reach a certain destination you have in mind. But with life, we are not all headed for one set destination. Watts states that if we were all in fact on a ‘journey’, then the set destination we would arrive at, would ultimately be death. Watts further explains that life is like a song and dance. When going to a music concert, you don’t go just to just hear the last few minutes of each song, you go to enjoy the all the melodies from start to finish. Essentially, the entire composition of each song is of significance. Similarly, you wouldn’t go to a ballet just to watch the last few minutes of the dance, you go to watch the entire routine, as every twist and turn is equally important, and without all of the movements, you cannot understand the whole narrative. While these songs and dances have a start and a finish to them, it is neither the start nor the finish that matters the most. It is everything, the beginning, middle, end, and all the little unexpected moments in between. For me, I have come to understand that life is unpredictable and it is what we make of these unpredictable moments that we have on earth that really counts. I used to see myself as a “victim” in the sense that I thought the universe and everyone within it was out to get me. From learning to view my thoughts from an exterior perspective, I have been able to see that it is my choice as to whether I view my life as a curse or a blessing. The only individual who can truly choose whether I have a good life or a bad one, is myself.  It is up to me to transfer that negative energy into something positive and useful and productive. No amount of negative energy is going to make a difference to what will happen in my life, and if it has an impact at all, it will only be to hinder my development.

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How do you feel about the phrase 'a beautiful mess' and ‘life is a journey’? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below, I'd be interested to hear your feedback! 

Thanks for reading!

- Olivia Charlotte Alice 

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