Deal with it, FT.

Sometimes I do like scrolling through anonymous advice articles. The writers you can relate to in their situation at times. I think this is the first time I feel like I had to do a double take to the author who responded to the letter. The “TL;DR” version – The first quote is a person who bullied people early in their life. Amy (the columnist) responds with a fairly neutral response in the second quote.


Dear Amy: I was a very unhappy person up until my 20s. I’ll spare you the melodrama, but I didn’t grow up in the best home and had very poor social skills. After learning to manage some real anxiety and depression issues and a lot of therapy, I’ve been in a much better place for a long time. I’m now in my late 40s.
After a recent class reunion and re-engaging with some old acquaintances, I have heard about a number of ways I acted back in the day that range from insensitive to downright terrible.


It pains me to realize that I was apparently an insufferable jerk. I don’t think I’m that way anymore (at least I hope not). But what do I do with these revelations?
I’ve tried apologizing, and some will listen, whereas others just apparently want the satisfaction of telling me off.


With one man who says I bullied and harassed him (I don’t remember it that way), I even tried saying, “I wasn’t a happy person then,” on top of apologizing.

I am left not feeling very good about myself, which is not a good path for me.
It’s like I’m never going to be able to redeem myself in the eyes of a large swath of people I grew up around.


I’ve thought about a universal, wide-ranging apology on social media saying, “Look, I know I wasn’t a great person to be around, but I’m not that way anymore.”


Thoughts? Suggestions?


— Formerly Terrible

Dear Amy, Local Sun

You can almost feel the desperation of the writer. After I read this, I was fuelled up to see how Amy could bring this person around. Some articles I read really put an “in your face” approach to people with problems. Usually they have a small hopeful positive, but it’s always something realistic in the end to put people in the now. I like articles that make people want to accept the situation they’re in and to move on.

At the same time, Amy responded.


Dear Formerly: I don’t suggest a wide-ranging apology on social media, mainly because it might lead to a piling-on, as people recall episodes and incidents from over two decades ago.


Mainly, I want to offer you a high-five. You have changed. You have tackled your behavioral problems and are now quite appropriately trying to acknowledge, as well as somehow manage the fallout. It’s a reckoning.


Acknowledging your behavior is huge. Apologizing to the people you have wronged is appropriate — and also huge.


There is an additional step, however, that you may have missed — and that is asking for forgiveness.


You say, “I did this to you. I know I hurt you. I am ashamed, and so sorry.”
Then you let the person vent, respond or recount the consequences of your behavior.


And then you say, “I’ve worked very hard to change. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”


That’s it.


Some people will forgive you immediately. Some will ponder your sincere effort at making amends, and will forgive you later. Some may never get there. And some will be inspired by your honesty and authenticity.

Dear Amy, Local Sun

So Amy does show some sympathy. Offering some sound advice by telling the writing (I’ll call them FT), don’t go public for something that happened in your private life. There are stipulations, in my opinion, on going public.

Acknowledgement and acceptance to the offending behaviour is a major step. To understand why people see it as offensive and the consequences that can lead to a bunch of closed doors.

Asking for forgiveness after bullying everyone around you is futile. The relief is the one that were bullied to submission will forgive you but it was you that bullied them to that position. They still see you as a bully but not a sincere person. You have not earned that apology as a person, you are still the child that demands attention from others.

I feel Amy was never really bullied as a child. I hope Amy or whoever respond to FT take it from someone who was bullied for over a decade with no support from anyone.

Amy, being harassed as a child is a heavily scarring thing that only we are beginning to realize. Those that say things that dismiss less than this, were the problems in our lives. They never aided anyone positively to fix the problem. Consoling in the victim does fix the problem alone. We are social animals, meaning we have the ability to grow and heal as a group but have the capacity of aggression like any other animal. When you realize these people exist in the world as your grow up, something riles up in you. There is a reason by violence and suicide in teens was highly publicized in the late 90’s to 2000’s, these kids snapped. Those kids who were bullied and without nothing to hold on to, they broke. I’ve had ideation to shoot up an institution. I’ve had ideation of suicide. I’ve had both, murder-suicide style. These are symptoms to bullying and much like a mental illness, these are symptoms to a bigger problem. Healing symptoms does not solve the main issue.

As an advice column, this answer is a very 90’s approach to bullying which is why we still have kids who are as messed up as they were. Little to nothing to really help FT in this situation. So my response:

Formerly Terrible,

As a personal who has been bullied by people like you, I don’t forgive. Your actions are irreversible to your victims as a consequence, you must live with that guilt and you must live with it as a sobering reminder. This reminder: always weigh your personal actions.

I hate people like you because people like you kept my life a living hell for years. My life is the way it is because of you turned me into the person as I am. That is something I can’t have back and if that disturbs you soul, then it is you that disturb it.

At the time, you did not think about because of your predisposition of whatever happened to you as a younger self. You have grown up, hopefully more self-aware than before. This is the path you chose and no amount of grovelling can take you back.

Your peers may not forgive you for your past, but now you know better you can lead the change to end the same problem for someone else. With age should come wisdom and knowledge of the world. Our ability for hindsight is what helps society change, if we don’t understand that hindsight then we are to repeat our mistakes.

Go on in your life knowing this is where it ends, no one can forgive you. However this is where you will begin to make amends to those mistakes.

nawkcire, Personal Blogger
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Adult nightmares are scary

Last week, I wrote about the repetitive dreams. This week, I haven’t had the same dream. With Easter Sunday, I probably had more blank dreams. But I forgot to touch on the unwanted dreams, the nightmares.

Thankfully for me nightmares don’t appear as often. Perhaps those blank forgotten dreams were nightmares and in which case it would be very disturbing to know every time I sleep. In recent history, I’ve had two nightmares that I remember either fully or partially to haunt me.

Once I dreamt of a dirt road with ditches, much as what you would see in a rural region. As I looked across the landscape beyond this unpaved roads, I saw nothing but short grasses and unseeded fields tended by farms. As I walked along this road, I began to feel the road underneath me piercing my feet. Looking down I was barefooted and raised my head back up, I see a plain concrete building. No facade, no windows, no people; almost like something built in the 60’s or 80’s but looked incomplete but the purpose is overt. The small even windows and balconies, it’s an apartment building. I walked into what appeared to be the front door. I looked in, it was dark and lit by the ambient sunlight. As I walked into down one of these hallways, I saw people massed into rooms sleeping. Occasionally seen were small fires in the middle of these unpainted, unfurnished rooms. No doors inside, but all I saw was sickly children and adult figures laying on the ground cushioned with debris. I felt very uncomfortable but I felt I should look deeper. I walked in and facial features were detailed; they all looked like they were of Asian descent. Impoverished people wearing nothing more than worn out clothes, tattered and ripped. I felt panicked as I paced myself out back into the sunlight. The last thing I saw in the dream was me looking back and seeing the people toiling in the field behind this small apartment building. Not far off, there was a mountain range beyond the large fields. I didn’t see any cars which makes me wonder where these people came from.

It felt like I lived a moment in someone’s body. It scares me with all these amenities, people still live like that. Even as an afterthought, did I dream it was it something metaphysical? Is my dream is someone’s reality out there?

Repetitive Dreams

Sleeping for me can be a weird, anxious roll of the dice. Entering this unconscious world chances a few things I would experiences. Most of the time, I see nothing. I would go to bed and wake up, boring uneventful sleep. Nightmares happen to a lot of people, it’s rare for me. But the ones I do enter a space like that, it’s scary and vivid. Compared to childhood nightmares, adulthood make it scarier. Lastly there are “the trips”; long, odd and (especially for me) repeating ideas.

This week I had part of a repetitive dream. The full or most complete dream I’ve had involves what I would assume are from experiences and concepts I’ve visually seen. In this recent dream, it always starts on a Greyhound coach bus which slows into station. It overlooks this small town with buildings no larger than 4 stories. As I descends the steps to street level, I can feel the weight of a backpack bouncing. As I walk down a wide road with these grey towering buildings, I find myself into what looked like an older district with red bricks and turn of the century architecture. The only thing tainting the old fashioned quarter was a tall highway scarring across back towards the bus station. The prominent landmark there is a wedge shaped building. It’s smaller than the one I live close to, but it was unique. The street bifurcating right at the building and flanked by these small stores, cafes and restaurants. The dream ends with the walk back with a slow encroaching sunset along the road leading back to the station. I would look up and always see red Chinese lanterns strung across the buildings. I would wake up either close to the bus station or on the bus that is waiting for me there.

If anyone know what this means, feel free to comment.

This is the tamest dream I have, while some are more intense.

Bogged.

No surprise I’ve been updating this blog more infrequently. Not to dull you with all the goings on with my life. At the same time, I’ve come a long way from being absolutely professional here to being just me.

It’s another year living on this earth though. I did all I can do before work summoned me for the weekend. I went out and got myself a couple presents, sounds pathetic but I thought I would make the week special. So I got myself a bit more money for Steam, Life Is Strange 2 hopefully by Christmas.

Then after the end of the weekend, I had an opportunity to meet a lovely young woman. No surprise my life has been a bit empty, been kind of seeking companionship outside the regular places I meet people. Perhaps a bit more, the troubling part is I’m just too different or weird (or awkward) for most women. Nonetheless keep trying until someone just as like minded as me comes along. The best to hope for is soon. Though it was nice to meet someone and talk a bit ourselves on an autumn afternoon. At least now I feel I don’t have to hide this part of my life especially it’s a dull and uneventful one. Admittance is part of acceptance (I guess).

On the upside, I have now repaired my Canon T6i. Though according to the invoice it was just a clean. Clean no doubt but I regret not buying a new T6i since after all I paid for was just as justified for a new one. Perhaps even a used one with more of the equipment like a charger. Police auction is not the best way to acquired used goods. I have to get out and shoot and experiment with this camera though beside from that one time I took it to a bar with live music.

As I write this, there is a part of my heart feels empty. I just to press myself into activity and hope I find what I’m looking for, just take the shots I need and hopefully one will be that beautiful moment. For now, I just feel slow and bogged down.

Bikers, Cyclists, Pedestrians. Oh My!

The other day after I spent my time taking photos around the city, I decided to hop on a streetcar. Usually people don’t chat with the driver because their focus should be the road. However looking at the face of the driver, I felt this guy needed a change of pace. So what did we talk about?

Aside from photography which he was more versed than I would ever be with techniques principles and hardware, we got into talking traffic in the city. We swapped stories as vehicle operators and pedestrians, agreeing and disagreeing on a bunch of topics. The entitled cyclist and racing bikes and cars sprinting through the roads. Hearing from him, he mentioned he wants more warning especially for pedestrian crossing. However I quipped about the confusion about pedestrian crossings.

Here we have a countdown timer for pedestrians. As simplistic it sounds, the countdown was originally meant for the vehicle committing a right turn and to tell pedestrians to stop. Whoever planned and engineered these signs made it look like the lighting system makes you think you have a certain time to cross. I said to him the only way to stop pedestrians from dashing across is if all signs just told everyone to stop. A red light for cars and a solid hand for pedestrians. In lieu of a countdown, just a hidden timer until the next green light.

Sometimes a good idea just involves talking to people who have to live through those mistakes.

The city here is filled with literal and figurative signs of actions upon the infrastructure. Senior zones that cover just 2 city blocks, defunct or aging neighbour watch, unenforced school calming zones on 6 lane thoroughfares; there is no consistent idea what the city wants but works on the whims of those affected by them. In a chaotic system like traffic infrastructure, I would side with anyone who builds a logical and intuitive system of signage.

Insta-ntly Persuaded

Well, add more account I have to maintain. For now anyways.

This year has been the year where people keep asking me “When are you going to get Instagram?” Haunted, I might as well do it and give it a shot. Then if anyone starts copying my content, I might just delete it and let it be.

I’ve held off getting an account because I have an invested interested in my talents. I like my work but I don’t want to work in an contractual confines that would stop me from developing. In this case I would have create photos on a smaller scale, closer to cell phone screen size when I have over 3000 pixels to work with. On a screen like an iPhone, details aren’t distinct and broad shapes and colours are the only thing that captivates. Until 500px which I’ve done well for myself, I liked to create confines to challenge. An example is choosing 7 photos a week for the 500px website. It doesn’t feel like it’s a popularity contest where the best looking or the best trend wins the day. Thus why I feel Snapchat and Instagram feel more like social media platforms than a pedestal to put my work out there. Everything is temporary unless it’s exhilarating to the mass body. For me, it’s no different than Twitter besides being a visually centred social media platform.

Also it’s an entirely mobile platform! As a camera user, I can’t do anything about that besides taking photos of photos. Of course, there’s a round about way in Chrome to use it on PC. However I can’t upload from my PC but I can view. Really discourages anyone but a cellphone to use a platform like that.

Artistically when you want to make money, you have to sell something about you to really open it up to the world. This isn’t something I approve but I am trying to build my amateur skill to a professional level.

Even if putting @nawkcire on Instagram and saying it’s moving forward.

 

Radio Is Dead

I’m starting to see why people dislike radio nowadays. I don’t think the internet is the problem.

Locally according to my new MP3 player, a SanDisk Clip Sport, I have about 20 stations playing music. Not just pop music but a bit of a cultural mix aside from the occasional talk shows. However most of the stations do play top 40’s from the present or yesteryear. Which is the realization, I remember back in the day there were hardly any new top 40’s. Now it seems like there’s a hit every few months or so.

Back in the day for you to discover new music, you had to listen to the radio or from background music at a store. Then you would just have to buy the CD or a cassette (if you’re as old as me). Different to now, where you can discover music through an endless stream. Then you just buy the single or the album – digitally. In a way, radio is playing catch up and playing more of sports recap of all the best music that has graced people’s ear. Then depending on your country, they have to abide with  censorship laws. So songs with profanity are edited for radio or it won’t be played. It’s unfortunate because some songs are great with the profanity. There is an upside to this.

Most of the tunes chosen by the DJ are usually great to listen most of the time. Though in the recent trends, the new urban hip-hop and R&B is kind of producing lacklustre songs. Catchy yes, but you can get sick of it so quick.

With all it’s flaws, I don’t think radio would go away. In it’s limited way, it’s an amazing free way to listen to some good music. Even as diluted as it is, you can always have  chance to discover a new song. Here, we have an indie station and usually it’s  hit or miss because it’s all music I’ve never heard of but that’s a classic trait about radio.

I’ll still listen to the airwaves but I’ll be station surfing.