Firsts, Experiences and that ‘New’ Feeling.

“I’m giving up on girls, I’m giving up on the heartache, whats the point in it all, in setting yourself up for heartache or disappointment, who wants that?”

I do. This is a question posed to me by a friend the other day. I couldn’t quite understand, as for me. It’s always worth it. There is nothing more exciting or brilliant as getting to know someone. Talking to them, getting to know them as a person, being interested in them, what they have to say, involved in stories and experiences. Getting to know how they react to stuff, what they’re like deep down, not just the superficial, but under the façade.

Having all those debates on subjects, hearing their points of view, learning their voice and the way they think. Having that buzz of excitement when they text, that ridiculous smile on your face around them, the incessant grin. Laughing uncontrollably at what they say, as though your hearing humour for the first time…

And then there are the first times. The first time they touch you, your arm, hold your hand, the first time they make you laugh, your first play fight, the first kiss, the first fumble, the first encounter, the first experience, first dates, first meal out, first cinema trip, first walk, first words… Everything is so new, so refreshing. The world suddenly becomes more interesting as you see the world from someone else’s perspective…

To me – that’s all worth it. Whatever happens after, whether it all goes tits up, whether it ends in love, lust or heartache, whether you find you aren’t as well matched as you thought, or they turn out not to be the person you thought, that feeling, all of that, I wouldn’t pass that up. The giddiness, the happiness, the excitement, the expectation, the anticipation. It’s a feeling that s unique. Whatever comes to pass, you always have that, you always remember those first days, and the way they made you feel. When you feel unique, special, appreciated. You’re at your best.

“I smile a lot these days, and everyone knows. Everybody knows it’s because of you, everybody knows except you”

I would never pass up on an experience that made me happy, that gave me that feeling, that made everything  a little bit better. If you live your life thinking about the consequences, you’d never do anything. You have to live life for the moment and maybe a step or two ahead, but only positively.

I love people in general, I love getting to know people, I love talking to people I don’t know, when you just get talking to people, on trains, at a coffee shop, in a queue. People are interesting, other people’s lives are interesting. This morning I shared a table in a coffee shop with a woman, and we spoke for nearly an hour about everything, her life, her kids, her plastic surgery, life, people, from the personal to the political to the philosophical and back again. And I loved it, it made me smile. It made today better. It made her day better. It was friendly, and kind, and open.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to get to know someone, to be with someone, to talk to someone, because of the what ifs. What if they turn out to be your best mate, your future boss, the love of your life? That person that you can’t imagine not having in your life? Live for the experience, the feelings, live life, for the now.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you”  – Dale Carnegie.

Advertisements

Words.

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time” – Ernest Hemingway.

As an English student and qualified TEFL Teacher, I understand the importance of language, the qualities of which make it important, the uses of and flaws of it. I see the importance of it for communication, for expression, for understanding.

Yet something always perplexes me, why are we so hung up on some words? Words are but a series of letters, codes, to quote Derrida, signs that attribute to our sign system, encoding our ideologies and lives within them. But they are just symbols, a sound we make, to one another, a picture on a page.

We ascribe meaning to words. We created them, we adapted them, we invented them for our own purpose, so why be bothered by them, swear words spring to mind. Fuck, Shit, Bollocks, Ball Bags… Cunt. They are but words, but a series of letters and yet we place so much emphasis on them. Why? If we take away the meaning or their importance to us, then they cannot affect us.

I know you’ll be saying, it’s not the word, it’s the context, and that is totally true. The meaning, of a word, is only important in the context its said in. If someone tells you to F off, it’s the connotation of that phrase, rather than the word itself that causes the damage. But we created those connotations, the denotations of each word. We made them for self-expression, to describe something. As individuals therefore we have the power to react to them, to place importance on them as we see fit.

Words like race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, they are words that we use to describe an idea, yet their own linked words, become words of hate, their meanings evolve, adapt. They are used to hurt, to differentiate, to other as Edward Said would say. But then, don’t place emphasis on them. Take the word as it is intended.

We cannot stop people creating words to cause hurt, or to offend, Chav, Skank, Slut, they’re all words that we use to describe and to disassociate ourselves with others, but the second you choose to not be affected by them, you’re immune to them.

I swear, not continually but I do, sometimes the phrase, “I don’t give a fuck” can only express exactly the feeling I’m trying to explain. But it’s just a word, I’m using it for my own emphasis, with my reason, not yours.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying go out of your way to use words that offend, or to challenge those people who are affected by swearing or such, but if we could eliminate the meaning of words, if we could recast the connotations of phrases, how many words would become, just words.

We shouldn’t be so hung up on those with so little importance. We should focus on words like, loyalty, friendship, trust, truth love, integrity, morality, honesty, honour… pride. There are words that mean more to any of us than any swear, slang, or jibe could come close to. Place emphasis and importance on those. Do not us them when you don’t mean it, don’t degrade them with misuse or overuse.

I may have to eat my own words here, but as Churchill once said, “I have never developed indigestion from eating my own words”. A word is just a word. Take away your personal attachment to those that mean nothing, and place emphasis on those that you value, that represent and describe, you.

“Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon absolute truth” – Friedrich Nietzsche