I like wrinkles; pathways to frowns and smiles and cigarettes in the sun. I like scars; keloid notches of fire and metal and trauma. I like tattoos; gritted-teeth art inherited from tribes and mutated into rotary machines. I like things that make a blank canvas with genetically correct features look more interesting.
To say that the human body is a temple is pompous and self-important. Life is a tempestuous, unpredictable journey that weathers and changes people, and the human body is a chronicle of that. It’s not a pure slab of polished stone that stands unmovable in the eye of the storm, as unnatural as a sixty-year-old with a smooth neck and perky breasts.
People who say, ‘That tattoo is going to look terrible when you’re older’ haven’t thought their argument through. Do we go through life with the purpose of preserving a beautiful-looking corpse?
No one grows old and wishes they stayed at home more.
We can – and should – do what we can to look and feel our best. But to treat wrinkles and scars and signs of ageing as something to be reviled rather than stories of a life of adventures and experiences is to admit that your own fear of going out there and really living is being projected onto other people.
Don’t end up as a beautiful-looking corpse. There are better things to do with your life.
I miss being a teenager sometimes. I burned my diaries from that time (my mum found them in the attic last year and I couldn’t sleep until I had them back in my possession) but I’ve kept a few scrapbooks and looking through them reminded me of the kind of person I used to be. Even though I was a selfish little drama queen who made at least three bad decisions a day, the person that comes through in those pages has so much more energy and drive and general IDGAF attitude. I didn’t care about what people thought, I did things for myself. I had huge dreams and no clue how to accomplish them but that didn’t make me believe in the fact I was going to get there any less. I wasn’t afraid to try new things for fear of not being very good at them. I believed strongly in ideals and rushing out and doing things without overanalysing the fuck out of them in order to find a reason not to. I don’t really know how to get that back. Well, I do; I need to go out and start doing things again but it’s so hard to get out of the mindset of finding excuses to stay at home with the laptop and being crippled by self-doubt the whole way through. It’s hard to be at the mercy of your brain which can decide to go into a slump where getting out of bed in the morning is a purely mechanical action at any time. It’s hard knowing that the euphoric feeling of ‘no one can stop me’ can go at any moment. And it’s hard doing anything when at the back of my mind there’s a little voice always going, “What’s the point? It’s not like any of this is going to matter in five years time”.
I mean, it might. Anything could happen. But my subconscious has placed a bulletproof glass ceiling between myself and doing something with my life, and I don’t seem to have the energy to try and smash through it. I need a metaphorical tank. Where does one get a metaphorical tank?
Anyway, egoistical whine over.
EDIT: Found a gif on Tumblr that describes it perfectly
The first people to see the Earth from space must have lost their shit. Think about it. You spend all your life looking at the moon in all its’ phases and all of a sudden you’re on the freaking moon and it’s dark and there’s still a lit-up ball in the sky except instead of being white with a funny crater face, it’s blue and green and yellow and white. You’re tiny, and alone, on an uninhabited rock where literally no one has ever been before.
I feel tiny and alone whenever I look up at the stars or clouds and think about where I fit in the world’s grand scheme of things. If I looked at the Earth’s curvature from space, I would have a full-blown existential crisis on the spot.
From left: Michael Collins, Edwin Aldrin, Jr., and Neil A. Armstrong. Source
And then they came back down to Earth, landed successfully and got treated like heroes because America won the moon landing race, fuck yeah! It must have been so strange being immersed in the world you watched from an orbiting rock like an alien god a few days ago.
Because really, the human race and what we’ve done with the planet and society is really fucking weird. We’re essentially a fluke; the only reason you’re reading this today is because 13 billion years ago a huge ball of gas blew up and we got stuck in orbit at an optimal distance to sustain bacteria. We’re ants on a rock, and yet we’ve evolved to develop some crazy shit, like:
- Law. I’m not talking about criminal law, which is basically systematisation of cavemen killing other cavemen as revenge for killing some more caveman, but stuff like marriage – you’re only allowed to be in love with one person at a time (in the past you were basically allowed to own a woman), and you can’t be in love with another person you haven’t signed a contract with. Some countries actually punish that by physical violence (stoning etc). Fuck.
- Fashion. People cut fabric into elaborate shapes and as a society we choose what we should be putting over our bodies every season. People who don’t put a certain cut or pattern over their bodies in a certain season are considered losers.
- Brands. We pay extra money for a name, and we assign status and respect to what is basically a name, in everything from furniture to drinks to cars. We judge others depending on what name is printed on the label of their shirt or on their keyring.
- Currency. We have bits of paper that we exchange for goods. Some countries’ bits of paper are worth more than others’.
- Businesses. Owning companies, company structures (limited, partnership, sole trader, etc).
- Stock market. Just fucking… what.
- Those plants that make you chilled out and a bit hungry? Yeah you can sit in a tiny cell with no human contact for decades for smoking those. Drink these fermented grapes instead.
Basically we’ve developed this insanely complicated world based on centuries of patchwork traditions, yet when it comes down to it we’re just clusters of atoms wandering round a rock that spins around a burning ball of gas. And I think it doesn’t hurt to remember that once in a while.