Now I'm back on Fakebook I've noticed a lot of trends this year, and I've come to the rather delayed realization that this is because it is our generation's time.*
Our generation's time to buy their first house.
Our generation's time to get engaged and get married.
Our generation's time to have their first or second child.
Our generation's time to climb the next rung on the career ladder now we’re no longer new graduates.
I would have realised this without Fakebook but Fakebook sure does amplify it.
I HEAR YOU FAKEBOOK. I HEAR YOU. BUT I STILL HAVEN’T EVEN FIGURED OUT HOW TO WALK IN HIGHHEELS YET.
Hit your late twenties and I tell you what everyone suddenly seems to be in a hurry to do THINGS.
I think I missed the THINGS memo.
Oh, no that’s right – I did get the memo. I just spilt tea over it. And then I left it on the table and then the ink started to run and then by the time summer rolled around the Eastern sun had faded it, and I couldn't quite decipher what it said.
Honestly: Part of me did feel momentarily sorry for myself that I seemed to have failed on all four of these normative milestones vs. years I've been on the planet, but when I broke it down – let's see how I actually fared.
Our generation’s time to buy their first house.
My argument against failure:
I don’t know where I want to live yet. What country, what city. I'm waiting to find a place to get me in the gut where I instinctively go: THIS IS IT FOLKS. THIS IS WHERE I WILL BUILD MY
TINY TUMBLEWEED or ECO Perch.
Our generation’s time to get engaged and get married.
My argument against failure:
Even if I was currently in a relationship, I just don't have a rampant desire to get married. I think a lot of people get married for the wrong reasons (not everyone of course before you start ripping me to shreds).
But for example, here are some commonly misguided reasons why some people do get married:
- We've been going out so long it would be a waste of all those years if we didn't get married.
- I don't think anyone else will put up with me.
- I'm scared of the possibility of facing life on my own.
- I'm not getting any younger.
- I don’t want the hassle and potential rejection of finding someone new.
- Everyone else is doing it.
- I want a Wedding damn it. But actually you just want the photos.
And because of that it has somewhat tarnished my opinion of it.
I just don’t think you need to be married to love someone. I probably would only get married if it was important to the other person AND EVEN THEN I’d probably skip the Wedding part and just elope. AND EVEN THEN probably end up wearing something ridiculous and unceremonial and devoid of tradition as possible.
Our generation’s time to have their first or second child.
My argument against failure:
I'm not going to lie that from a genetic perspective a mini-Kate would be very interesting, although if myself as a child is anything to go by, I’d probably end up having a kid that looked like an extra from The Village of the Damned…
But biological curiosity isn't a good enough reason to have a kid and I can somewhat satiate biological curiosity by using the MorphThing website which generates what your offspring would look like.
Yeah. I bet you’re all going to see what your kids would look like with Ryan Gosling now, right?
Or that hot guy from Prometheus.
Seriously though, kids are expensive. The responsibility is massive and I just can’t imagine not being able to up and travel somewhere at the drop of a hat, which you can't do if you have a kid.
Maybe I’m just too independent.
Anyway, this is a hypothetical conversation for my mid 30’s – not for right now.
Slow down everyone you move too fast.
Our generation’s time to climb the next rung on the career ladder now we’re no longer new graduates.
My argument against failure:
I keep changing ladders and the only constant is writing – for which there is none
(just a repeated kick in the shins).
In review, I'm feeling pretty good about my set of decisions. I have no regrets (apart from the subject of my undergraduate major). So, if you are like me and haven’t ticked off any of those milestones. It’s OK. DON’T PANIC. Everyone in their own time.
And even better? Write your own list or let things unfold organically. Who knows what's around the corner? Maybe you don't buy a house – maybe you buy a boat! A Tiny Tumbleweed that floats. Now there’s a thought.
*Kids of the 80’s.
Village of the Damned Photo taken from the Celluloid Moon blog.
Wolf Head Picture taken from here: CLICK ME.
The limits of the English language to adequately convey the inner workings of my mind.
In the previous post I talked about concepts which exist in other languages but are absent or untranslatable in English.
That exercise got me thinking about my day to day life and concepts and feelings (are feelings concepts?) which I don't think there is any word for in any language.
Though since I am not Babel I can probably only comment on English and the percentage of it that I know.
However, I thought I'd have a stab at making up these new words:
First image in blog sourced from here.
Below image is taken from this blog and displays McCandless final resting place in pursuit of ideology.
The limits of speaking one language. This blog post is - unwittingly to her - inspired by my younger sister, Lucy, who is currently learning German. Over the last few weeks, she has been sharing some words/concepts which don't exist in English or at least, not in exactly the same way.
e.g. Drachenfutter - Literal translation is 'dragon food' but it is a peacekeeping gift a husband must bring his wife after pissing her off.
e.g. Kummerspeck - Literal translation is 'grief bacon' but refers to excess weight gained by emotional over-eating.
For me, language is the doorway to culture and one of the ways this is best demonstrated is by the discovery of words which don't exist in other languages.
I stumbled across the following word about three years ago and immediately fell in love with it.
It is from the Yaghan language from Tierra del Fuego (Chile - near the Southern most tip of South America).
It's often described as the most succinct word in the history of language and one of the most difficult to translate.
It's meaning? As defined, by the sometimes academically dubious but extremely useful site, Wikipedia, mamihlapinatapai refers to "a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves."
If you have a fascination with words and language as I do, I'll leave you with a few other unusual words but that actually exist in English:
Entomophilous - Adaptation for pollination by insects.
Apodysophilia - A feverish desire to undress.
Boustrophedon - Alternating writing left to right, then right to left.
...for more visit here.
A brilliant infographic: Untranslatable Emotions in Other Languages other than English vs. Parrot's Emotion Classification.
Click the above link for the full view. Here is just a teaser:
First image in blog post modified from: http://www.adinnerguest.com/60-minutes/why-mamihlapinatapai-is-your-new-favorite-word/
Possible sounds for the sun rising.
If the sun rise had a sound, what would it be?
It's not a rational question, I'm not talking about ambient noise like your alarm clock, birds twittering or the sound of your neighbor taking a shower through the wall. And, suspend disbelief before you bring physics into the mix that there is no sound in space, just think IF.
IF the action of the sun rising had a sound. What would it be? Something like this?
This? (Woman Sighing)
This? (Eggs Frying)
This? (Creaky Door)
This? (Balloon Inflating)
This? (Toaster Pop Up)
This? (Bottle Pop)
This? (Yes! Ha, ha, ha)
This? (Corporate Success YES)
And then part of me just thinks it should be accompanied by a song - similar to International Cricketers who choose a theme song to introduce their entry onto the field.
If the sun rise had a theme song, what would it be?
Personally, I don't think you can go too far wrong with a bit of Sam & Dave - "Don't worry, I'm coming".
Sunrise Image Courtesy of WikiMediaCommons.
I was born about 300 years too late to be an explorer. To be the first person to walk on the shores of a new land or put a human footprint next to the root of an unknown plant.
The closest I can get is walking in fresh snow. I live in a city, but when it snows, as it often does at the moment, it coats the pavement and the road.
The pavement is an icon of human industry. It reminds us there are people that live in this area. This is where they walk, where millions of feet have passed before.
You are not special.
You are just one of many.
Going where everyone has gone before.
But when it snows, nature reclaims that space. It makes that reminder of human industry disappear. Wild reclaims industry.
So, although I am about 300 years too late to be an explorer, one of my favorite things to do is to get up early and be the first person to walk down the street in the snow, as if I were the first person to ever walk down it.
Christmas and New Year
I've often toyed with the idea of deactivating my Facebook account but it took the New Year to roll around for me to actually do it.
I did wonder if the timing was coincidental, but on reflection, I doubt it. I think it was more influential than anything. A catalyst.
There is so much out pouring of mawkish sentiment at this time of year with most of it being amplified ten fold by the social networks that all I want to do is crawl into the rather large cavity under my sink and reappear mid-Jan.
You love your family. Congratulations. So do I. But why do most people only say it once a year? Is it because festive celebrations inevitably result in an annual epic domestic that takes another 12 months and a nip of brandy to recover from? If so, that leaves you with a damn slim window to get mawkish before all hell breaks loose.
But why profess on Facebook? Why not face to face? If it can't even be done through a cloud of alcoholic merriness, there is no hope for us. I don't have a problem if you're spouting well wishes to family and friends you can't physically be around. I do however take issue with this sort of fare:
'Just had the most amaze day with Darren and the fam. Ate way too much, best Christmas eva. Got totally spoilt. So lucky to have you in my life, love you guys loads xx.'
We're just a species that's evolved with the specific purpose of creating barriers to physical human interaction. Or that's evolved only to be comfortable dealing with emotion when you don't have to deal with the real time reaction. Are we DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL POVERTY? FAKEBOOK is it your fault? Fakebook will say no because like guns don't kill people, people kill people, Fakebook will say Fakebook doesn't kill physical human interaction, humans kill physical human interaction.
Yes, it's a dog eat dog world isn't it Fakebook? But here's a point, like guns Fakebook, you enable.
Anyway, long story short: I don't need to know you love your family, your family needs to know you love them.
And as an endnote to this entry I have discovered that there are actually sites out there blatantly feeding into this festive Facebook feeling frenzy. If you yourself can't even produce the mawkish sentiment to stick in your status update box, some freelance copywriting hack has saved you the exertion.
These are taken from FacebookStatus123.com:
"Merry Christmas! From my wall to yours..." (all the Marketing Execs would have used this one)
"The best gifts in life will never be found under a Christmas tree! Those gifts are friends, family, kids and the one you love!!" (Mawkish Sentiment Level - MSL = 9/10. Also, no editing here, it really did come with two exclamation marks).
Strangely enough, I actually quite like this one:
"Ha ha ha Christmas is coming and there’s nothing you can do about it..."
Overall and in sum, at this rate, there is no hope for us. But please, prove me wrong (I really want you to).