Monday, 25 April 2016

Where are u now. . .

I need you (the) I need you
I need you (the) I need you
I need you, you, you, you, you, you. . . 

We all have varying degrees of when we need somebody.  Have you ever been put in a position where people need you and you don't want to be needed by them?  They seem to take your generosity for granted, assume that you will always be there for them.  I guess it's because you make yourself available at the drop of a hat, unbeknownst to them, you've dropped things and rearranged your schedule to make them a priority.  You don't need to do that so much anymore you know.  It's time to look after you now.

I gave you the key when the door wasn't open, just admit it
See, I gave you faith, turned your doubt into hoping, can't deny it
Now I'm all alone and my joys turned to moping 
Tell me, where are you now that I need you?
Where are you now?
Where are you now that I need you?
Couldn't find you anywhere
When you broke down I didn't leave you
I was by your side
So where are you now that I need you
Where are you now that I need you?

This is the danger of letting someone in.  You open yourself up to making connections with people who don't realise how much it took for you to open yourself up.  You might also be a really outgoing person (or appear to be) because you say all the right things when you are in your social circles, in fact, people may even go so far as to say that you are in your element.  Do you recognise how much you have grown because someone has believed in you?  You probably shouldn't expect a thank you or some sort of gesture that lets you know that you were responsible for their growth.  I think as you grow older, you become less concerned with how you have a hand in other people's growth.  Take Prince for example.  He did so much humanitarian work but the world didn't even realise how much he gave generously to others.  Even the beneficiaries of his good deeds were oblivious to the fact that it was due to Prince and his generosity that they were able to live more fuller enriching lives.  And the irony isn't lost on me talking about Minnesota's finest while using this Jack U, Skrillex and Diplo track featuring Justin Bieber.  

Where are you now that I need you?
Where are you now that I need you?
Where are you now that I need you?

Surround yourself with people who are able to tell you exactly what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear.  I have some really good friends who have my best interests at heart and I also have other people who know to be close to me by association but don't quite yet know how to interpret what it means to be around me.  I don't mind that. just as I don't mind uncomfortable silences.  Are you always available to help others when they need you?  That makes you a fantastic loved one and a very good friend.  I don't know whether you can expect reciprocity in most cases, because in every connection, there is always someone who gives more than they take, and there is always someone who takes more than they give.  Are you a giver or a taker?

I gave you attention when nobody else was paying
I gave you the shirt off my back, what you saying?
To keep you warm
I showed you the game everybody else was playing, that's for sure
And I was on my knees when nobody else was praying, oh Lord

To be fair, it must be said that not all of your connections will be able to know whether you need them or not.  And this is because they don't actually know you that well or they haven't really been listening to you for as long as they've known you.  There is nothing worse than people who think they know you from your past - they know a part of you that has evolved, a portion of you that is not quite the same because you've matured, you've grown and become better than what you used to be - at least that's the progression that we are all expecting to have in our lives as time goes by.  You forget to show how vulnerable you can be, but once you trust a connection to reveal that side of yourself - they might not be equipped to handle it, so you must pack yourself away, never to speak of things of that nature again and instead wait for some new connection who may know how to embrace you in all of your humanity and fallibility.  Nobody is perfect right?

Where are you now that I need you?

Where are you now that I need you?
Where are you now that I need you?

I hope that you are able to ask yourself this question.  Are you able to locate yourself in your own life, so that you can truly start living.  You should be able to rely on yourself and not on others.  The biggest disappointment can come from putting all of your eggs into one basket, or other people's baskets for that matter.  You should be able to know what you look like in your deepest and darkest moments so that you understand what rock bottom looks like, and how to get yourself out of that situation.  You shouldn't need to ask yourself this question when you look in the mirror, but sometimes it's a good reminder for us not to lose ourselves in the drama of our own self importance and instead, focus on needing to keep a grip on yourself, when everyone else is busy trying to label you.  I can tell you, I know where I am when I need me :-)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

You might need somebody. . .

This blog post is dedicated to everybody who might need somebody. . . 

When somebody reaches for your heart
Open up and let them through
'Cause everybody needs somebody around
Things can tumble down on you

It might be difficult for you to make your heart available if you haven't put it out there.  When someone reaches for it, what is your natural inclination?  Are you suspicious?  Do you run away?  Do you get mad?  Are you confused?  Do you wonder why they're reaching for it?  Did you say something that gave signals that your heart was available?  For people who are in unfamiliar territory when it comes to matters of the heart, it is understandable why you would guard it like Fort Knox and send for reinforcements to try and deflect unwanted attention.

You'll discover when you look around
You don't have to be alone
Just one lover is all you need to know
When you're feeling all alone

I guess the most obvious reason why we would choose to be alone is because we have been hurt pretty bad in previous relationships or witnessed some shocking relationships growing up, so we don't want to subject ourselves to experience heartaches like that.  You're probably thinking, well, I don't know how to trust myself in those situations because you might be self conscious and not want to be seen as a fool, vulnerable and weak, despite the fact that being vulnerable and weak teaches you to be resilient and strong; becoming the best person you've ever known - yourself.

If there's fire stirring in your heart
And you're sure it's strong and right
Keep it burning through the cold and dark
It can warm the lonely nights

It might be hard to figure out what to do with that fire in your heart.  Does it add value to what you're doing, does it help you as a human being, does it really keep your warm during lonely nights or does it just create more problems and cause you to overheat?  I've always preferred winter because it's easier to warm up, rather than summer where you try to cool down, and I guess this personal preference wins out over any other scientific logic that would determine which is better for us.

Oh, you might need somebody
You might need somebody too
(You might need somebody too). . . 

When we need somebody, we should be able to say when we need them.  I don't believe that you should be with somebody just in case you might need them.  That isn't really fair to the other person and what does that even say about where we want to be in life, where we want to be able to be ourselves with someone else, sharing our weakness and vulnerability in times where we're still faking who we are, showing our superficial selves, in an effort to protect our hearts from breaking or losing our way when we are in too deep with someone.  People will always find their way to you when they need you.  Just don't be that person that everybody might need, because when push comes to shove, how will you deal when you might need somebody too?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

If you really love me . . .

And if you really love me won't you tell me
And if you really love me won't you tell me
And if you really love me won't you tell me
Then I won't have to be
Playing around

If you really loved someone, would you tell them? I guess it depends on whether you think they won't reciprocate your feelings or if you're not supposed to love them.  Telling someone you love them so that it stops them from playing around - does that really work?  It could backfire and cut off your connection because you've put feelings into the equation or it's come out of left field.  Situations can change as quickly as the blink of an eye, so we need to be prepared for them because we never know what life will throw at us when we least expect it.

You call my name, ooh so sweet
To make your kiss incomplete
When your mood is clear
You quickly change your ways
Then you say I'm untrue
What am I supposed to do
Be a fool who sits alone waiting for you

Are you in an unpredictable or volatile relationship?  I'm not sure how we can maintain our sanity sometimes when it seems we can either be impatient and lose interest so quickly because everything around us moves almost at the speed of light, making us ignore our inner light.  We play the 'blame game' from time to time, throwing each off balance and choosing to be spontaneous, which is so artificial because there's no such thing as planned spontaneity.  Would you deliberately lead someone on and have them dote on you or hang onto your every word because it made you feel better?  That's no way to live and pretty soon we start to feel the self loathing and self disgust that accompanies those long looks in the mirror that threaten to consume us and block that inner light because we constantly choose darkness every time.  I guess it's no accident that you would be a fool sitting there waiting then.  You have nobody else worth waiting for, I totally see that.

I see the light of your smile, calling me all the while
You are saying baby, it's time to go
First the feeling's alright
Then it's gone from sight 
So I'm taking out this time to say

That's probably the most annoying thing about relationships is the mismatch in momentum going forward.  You can't predict how things will go, because you must rely on open and honest communication, and that may be a problem for some problem, so what can they do?  Are we always so unsure and confused about how to be?  Just when we get used to the stability and feel comforted in the idea that having something familiar and a set routine would be just what the doctor ordered, but then we always want what we think we want because it's different to what we have.  Some might even say it's because we want what we can't have.  But why keep punishing yourself that way?  Why do we persist in punishing ourselves when there are enough people in the world who would love to line up and do that to you already?

And if you really love me won't you tell me
And if you really love me won't you tell me
And if you really love me won't you tell me
Then I won't have to be
Playing around no 
Playing around no
Hey yeah

I guess the juxtaposed tempos are symbolic of what life is really like these days, the dichotomy or opposing sides to everyone's nature that makes them human, when we are sad and hopeless and then when we are joyful and hopeful; it would be enough to drive anyone crazy.  Will you be telling anybody soon that you love them?  Especially when you know they will least expect it?  I guess I wouldn't know how to react either if someone told me.  But if you felt that way inclined, pick a moment when you think I won't suspect because I wouldn't mind knowing, if you really love me, won't you tell me. . . 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The last time. . .

The first time I fell in love was long ago
I didn't know how to give my love at all
The next time I settled for what felt so close
But without romance, you're never gonna fall
After everything I've learned 
Now it's finally my turn 
This is the last time I'll fall. . . in love

The first I fell in love with this song was when I heard the piano introduction.  There is a certain level of apprehension about falling in love.  When you think about falling, it brings up connotations of being hurt, landing awkwardly and how much time you would need to heal once you fall.  Is this why you would choose not to fall in love?  Because of the chance of the potentially negative things that could happen, might happen, will happen?  Not knowing how to give love at all can also be a contributing factor to whether you decide to give love or not.  I wonder how someone doesn't know how?  Probably because nobody knew how to give them love either.  We can't give something to someone if we have nothing to give or we've never had an opportunity to receive it in the first instance.

The first time we walked under that starry sky
There was a moment when everything was clear
I didn't need to ask or even wonder why 
Because each question is answered when you're near
And I'm wise enough to know when a miracle unfolds 
This is the last time I'll fall in love

Are you able to recall memories that you have shared with someone walking together?  You may find that you don't have any questions to ask or need to wonder about anything because you just needed to have time with that person; just being with them was sufficient, it was more than enough in what you needed in that time.  It is rare to find miracles in love and I think it's a natural enough thing for people to say that they would be disappointed if they hoped for miracles in love and it didn't happen.  Should we be disappointed so easily if things don't go our way in love?  I think sometimes the more we obsess about it, the worse state we find ourselves in and we tend to shut down and not know how to engage.  The peace of mind comes of course, when you are able to connect with someone who is able to show you what love is and how to keep it alive in your life, when you have been pushing it away.

Now don't hold back, just let me know
Could I be moving much too fast or way too slow
'Cause all of my life I've waited for this day
To find that once in a lifetime, this is it, I'll never be the same

How do you cope with demanding things from people?  In relationships you will be hoping that once you reveal your feelings, that they will be able to tell you honestly and share those feelings with you, because you have shared first.  I am fascinated about the pace at which love accelerates or slows down in a relationship, because you need to be able to recognise what the catalysts are for moving things along or slowing things down.  Is it because you revealed your feelings?  Is it because you did or said something else?  Or the fact that there was some inaction and that nothing was said or done?  It's those moments of interactions how you respond to each other that creates those memories.  If they are memorable, you can replay them in your mind like favourite scenes in a movie.

You'll never know what it's taken me to say these words
And now I've said them, they can never be enough
As far as I can see, there's only you and only me

I think people need to have experienced this at least once - trying to build up the confidence to be able to say something to someone.  I guess you are scared of rejection or a negative reaction that would forever change the way in which the connection is played out in the future - or not - because of the reaction of that interaction.  Can words ever be enough?  One of the challenges of words being able to encapsulate what you say, people who overthink, will struggle to find the exact words that convey their meaning, or they will agonise so much about what to say and then not say anything at all.  What's that old adage?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained?  I would rather be involved in something and lose it, than not be involved and not know what it was like.  Life and love in life is an experience that we are meant to live.

This is the last time I'll fall in love
Last time I'll fall in love
The last time I'll fall. . . . in love. . . 

I hope that this won't be the last time you fall in love.
I hope it will be that last time that you hold yourself back and stop experience the life you were born to lead.  Fall in love easily, break your heart and be ready to love again.  But hey, not necessarily in that order.  Do it your way, just fall :-)

Monday, 18 April 2016

Another you. . .

Every time I hear this song, I feel like I melt into the piano keys.  I've talked before about the fact that  there is nothing that can compare or come close to describing how the melodic motif of a song can fit the harmony of the chords, much like how a pair of gloves can fit your hands so snugly on a cold winter's day.  I think a lot about how music can do that to me, how I can't imagine the pianist playing any other notes that could possibly improve or embellish the melody any more than it already has - it just fits perfectly.

If I travelled all around the world, I know what I would find
Someone half as smart, someone half as sweet 
Half as lovely and half as kind
If I was the ruler of a kingdom with a house of wives to choose
It wouldn't even compare to what I've got right here with you

Do you take compliments well?  It can be hard on the ears to hear flattery as it's something you can  flat out deny, squirm uncomfortably with or accept with grace and humility.  Does anybody feel this sense of gratitude for having you in their life?  Do you feel this sense of gratitude about someone in your life?  I think we can often forget to tell people how much they mean to us.  We forget that we need to say these things and mean them, especially if we find it hard to articulate our feelings or have so many feelings inside that we can't make sense of how to express them clearly.

So if I stumble just a bit, trying to say what's on my mind
Please excuse me cause I never felt the way that I feel inside
It's possible, I may have finally found my dream come true
There could never be another you

I could never understand why you struggled with what to say to me.  I'm not saying it's because I found it easy to say what I needed to say, but just that you seemed to really think about what you had to say and you wanted to have the words come out just as you meant.  I would have been happy with whatever you had to say as long as it came from the heart.  I guess when you know exactly how you feel, then of course you would want to make sure that you can frame your thinking into words that encompass what you are saying.

Start watching from 1:18 when the piano introduction begins

The stars are bright tonight 
They know you're mine oh mine 
I knew that it would be alright when my other dreams fell through
And for this very night I've waited all my life
Standing straight and tall
I'll give my all to you

There is something to be said about moments in your life, especially those moments where you know that they are significant turning points, particularly when it comes to professing your love, or realising that you are on the precipice of revealing your true intentions.  How do you prepare yourself, steady yourself to present yourself, throwing caution to the wind about what the reaction or response may be - you're just so ready to get things off your chest that nothing else matters.  What would you give?  How much is your all?  To fully invest yourself, your time, energy and love into someone because you deemed them worthy enough of your love, that you thought you could give nothing less but your all.  That's pretty epic.  The anticipation of the moment when you will reveal everything.  I can't imagine how you would feel and how you would be able to contain yourself.

So please excuse me if I . . . 
Stumble just a bit trying to say what's on my mind
Please excuse me cause I never felt the way that I feel inside
It's possible I may have finally found my dream come true
There could never be another you
There could never be. . . 
Another you. . . 

I don't think there is any need to ask to be excused.  You should be able to declare how you feel without fear of the repercussions of what you have to say.  I think we often forget how much we bottle things inside and never let them see the light of day, so we spend a lot of the time living in the shadows, keeping our true feelings in the darkness away from the warmth of a reciprocated love.

I hope that one day someone feels the same way that you feel, and that they believe that they too, when they look at you, cannot imagine living life without you, because there could never be another you. . . 

One last cry. . .

My shattered dreams and broken heart
Are mending on the shelf
I saw you holding hands
Standing close to someone else
Now I sit all alone
Wishing all my feelings was gone
I gave my best to you
Nothing for me to do
But have one last cry

When I think about all the times I have been a shoulder to cry on for my male friends who have experienced heartache over the years, I think I've lost count.  I guess it had something to do with the fact that I grew up with no sisters and only had brothers, so I was used to being the "boy whisperer."  How do you turn your feelings off when someone has moved on?  Because it's pretty obvious when they've moved on and started holding hands with someone else, unless of course you're at the unfortunate end of not being informed that your relationship is over.  I've seen those ones to over the years and that hasn't been pretty to watch.

One last cry
Before I leave it all behind
I gotta put you out of my mind this time
Stop living a lie
I guess I'm down to my last cry 

I think the most horrific one "end of a relationship" that I've witnessed, has been the time I had to pull one guy aside who was engaged to one of my friends and tell him their relationship was over - he was the last to know, as I knew that she had moved on with someone else.  I hated my friend for putting me in that awkward position.  She asked me to save her from that tricky situation, when he confronted her at a social gathering, and I had to put the guy out of his misery. Still, I didn't feel it was my place, but what could I do?  Even his friends asked me to step in and speak to him that night.

I was here
You were there
Guess we never could agree
While the sun shines on you
I need some love to rain on me
Still I sit all alone
Wishing all my feelings was gone
I gave my best to you
Nothing for me to do
But have one last cry

I think it's important to mourn for a love that is lost, particularly when a relationship has ended especially when the other person has fallen out of love with you.  Of course it can be painful when they clearly rip your heart out of your chest and have total disregard for your feelings and you realise, wow, did I even know that person?  What did I see in them?  But I say it's important to mourn because people will disappoint you - so rather than blame them for your shattered dreams and broken heart, you are meant to feel this pain, to understand how it feels when people can no longer be in love with you.

I know I gotta be strong
Cause round me life goes on and on
And on. . . 
And on. . . 

So what are the things that you are looking forward to?  When you have finished having your last cry, what will you start to do for yourself?  It is only natural to feel like you can't continue with life, but it does go on and if you choose not to move with life, it passes you by and you won't know how to engage with the world again.

I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down 
I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down
To my last cry. . . 

I hope that when you are down, that you won't stay down for long.  Sadness, sorrow, pain and loss are important to feel so that you know how you appreciate what you had and remember the beauty of what was.  But don't stay down long enough that you let your life be overtaken by a perpetual or perennial melancholy, just take a deep breath, and be done with your one last cry. . . 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

I'm ready. . .

Yeah baby, uh huh, come on. . . 

Romantic love hasn't really been on my radar in recent months, well for a long time.  And nothing has really changed.  So why am I writing a blog post about it?  I guess I just really love this song.  I think about r'n'b songs from the 90s and how they don't write songs like these anymore, and if they try to write songs likes these, it isn't with the same songwriting skills or are we just writing from different places now?  I guess I'm not just talking about how lyrics were more subtle back then and we have now shifted to the more vulgar lyrics of songs that now litter the r'n'b genre but also because I think our senses have been assailed with images of sex that make it seem normal.  What's normal in love anymore?

Baby it was uncool to love me
then leave me standing here now without a goodbye
And then maybe I am the fool you call me
'Cause I'll be here standing, waiting, to hear you say to me

What do you do when feelings change?  How do you cope when things start off hot and heavy and then all of a sudden it starts to slow down again?  I guess open communication goes a long way to making things more transparent and easy to understand with each other.  The only reason you wouldn't be able to come to some common ground is because you're spending time trying to be right all the time and laud that over someone, rather than celebrate what you love about each other.

I'm ready (you know I'm ready), to love you (to love), forever (forever)
Hey love, come love and me forever more

It's that moment when you are trying to prove to someone that you are ready to love somebody but they don't believe you.  What would you do if you are in that position?  How can you make someone believe that you love them?  Do you prove your love to them?  Why do people need convincing?  Maybe they've been hurt really bad in the past and don't know how to love someone in return, completely.  Maybe they don't think that you can be trusted because you haven't really loved anyone in the past so why would they be any different to others in your past?  All of these worries and assumptions can quickly disappear and melt into the background when we are prepared to lay our hearts on the line and just be honest.  We open ourselves up to be ready for heartbreak as well as love, but nobody said love was easy.  Nothing good is ever easy to gain or achieve.  It just depends on how hard you want to work or fight for it.  Either lay yourself open to be loved, or lay yourself open to love someone.

Sometimes when I'm alone I feel sad
I know you'll leave me once again and take my pride
And maybe I am the fool you call me
'Cause I'll be here standing, waiting, to hear you say to me

Do you know someone like this?  Maybe you're the person who's trying to convince someone else that you really do love them - but they just don't want to hear about it?  Are you someone who constantly leaves someone in order to keep them tied to you like a puppet on a string?  Would you really mistreat someone in this way in order to not have your heart broken yourself?  Why would you subject yourself to this type of treatment?  How long will you stand there waiting for someone to say that they love you, when you know deep in your heart that they have every intention of keeping you there standing and waiting?  Love raises more questions for me than answers.  But I guess that's natural when romantic love is corrupted by so many things.  We can become cynical about it and become blase about it.  I guess you can shift your focus to other forms of love that will satisfy your need to be loved - showing love for others in other situations where they are unloved too.

And once again I'll be right here
Waiting to share your love
But I hope this time for once
We'll forever mean it, oh

The bridge in every r'n'b' song was a chance to show off the vocal abilities of the singer, especially because it signaled the climax of the final choruses to close the song, where the singer would sing over all of those choruses with countermelodies that would really make the song.  When a song becomes a favourite song (I can only speak for myself, I don't know about you), but it becomes a favourite with me because of those final choruses.  You can often hear the passion of the singer in those moments.  I sometimes imagine what the producer would've told them to do in order to pull out those melodic motifs from within their souls.  Maybe the artist had it all along and we're just hearing their musical genius.  For whatever reason you have favourite songs, I hope they make you happy and smile and help you through difficult times in your own life, just as they have in mine.  These songs continue to guide me through moments when I know  I'm ready. . . 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Thorn in my side. . .

You gave me such a bad time
Tried to hurt me, but now I know. . . 

Have you had such a bad time that you wondered how you got to be in that space?  You might have ended up there without really thinking about it, when you reach that plateau before you realise you're right in the thick of it.  It sometimes happens like a car crash in slow motion, you see it unfold right before you but the momentum is just strong and you know what's coming and can't stop it so you try to twist and turn to minimise the impact somehow.

Thorn in my side, you know that's all you ever were
A bundle of lies, you know that's all that it was worth
I should have known better, but I trusted you at first
I should have known better, but I got what I deserved

Have you been a thorn in someone's side?  And then they in turn have become a thorn in your side too?  I guess that would be quite a common place for academics to find themselves, particularly when you challenge their thinking or their life's work.  You might even pose a threat to years of painstaking metareflection and countless articles that they would have written in order for them to establish their academic clout and to become the leading authorities in schools of thought, in their respective fields so you can't just come along, Ms Joanna-come-lately and dismantle that, even if that wasn't your intention.

To run away from you
Was all that I could do
To run away from you
Was all that I could do

Running away may be a useful thing to do.  It helps to distance yourself from a situation and allows for space to think carefully about how you will recover from a situation, an altercation, to lick your wounds or pick yourself up.  There's nothing like being able to build and foster your resilience.  The more times you get knocked down by people who don't believe in you and like to make you feel small about things that you know you're making a difference in - purely because they don't understand you or value you, says more about their unwillingness to hear you out or respect what you have to say.  So what will you do?  Go and cry in the corner or stand up and prove them wrong?

Thorn in my side, you know that's all you'll ever be
So don't think you know better
'Cause that's what you mean to me
I was feeling complicated
I was feeling low
Now every time I think of you
I shiver to the bone

I don't think there is such a thing as knowing something better than someone else.  This is because it implies that people know more than others, which may be true to one extent if we are considering knowledge in terms of acquiring content knowledge for example.  I know that other people value the ability to have critical thinking skills that leads to the acquisition of abstract knowledge that requires deep thinking that not everyone can do, only because 1) some are naturally deep thinkers and have a sense of wonder about the world or 2) they have trained themselves to be deep thinkers so that they can make sense of things that are important, as defined by other important people who decide what is valuable information to know.

I think over time I haven't so much, enjoyed being a thorn in someone's side.  I think when I was a member of Komiti Pasifika for PPTA (I was in the Pacific Committee for New Zealand's national high school teacher union for a number of years) I would have been considered a thorn in many people's sides because I was advocating for teachers' rights in schools, particularly those teachers of Pacific descent and even teachers of Pacific Island students so that they felt well supported in their professional knowledge of how to connect with these students during biennial Pacific conferences.

To run away from you
Was all that I could do
To run away from you
Was all that I could do

I hope that if we have to run, that we don't need to run for long.  I think as I age, I don't run away from people, but I'm actually running towards myself and thinking more about what matters to me and how I can use my strengths to be more of use to society, to make a contribution and to help as often and wherever I'm needed.  It kind of sounds like I want to be some kind of superhero right?  But I think everyone can be a superhero - the ordinary individual can perform extraordinary feats that may seem impossible or unbelievable.  Who says we can't achieve what is beyond human comprehension?  Who says we can't do the things that we can feel and comes so naturally to us, like breathing, crying, smiling or laughing?  I know I won't be running away anymore, in fact, all I can do, is run towards myself and never look back again.  The more times people tell me I am inadequate and can't possibly do things, it says more about their own limitations than my own.

If I become a thorn in someone's side, so be it.  My OMG moment will always be to "own my greatness", even when people try to tell you that you aren't.  So, believe in yourself, because that's all that I could do :-)

Monday, 11 April 2016

Repeat offender. . .

Welcome to the jungle, a thousand spiders
Things could go in your favour, turn around and bite you in the ass
Don't it make you wanna cry?
Kiss your mama say goodbye bye bye bye
Ain't no way I'm gonna stay
You wonder why I don't pay?

Talking to my Māori friends, I have always been extremely conscious of the fact that even though I'm born in Aotearoa, I can't really call it home.  Like Māori, Samoans also have spiritual connections to their land and I feel that too, a similar sensation,  every time I return to Samoa for family reasons.  It always feels like home because in my mind I have walked along those roads through the generations of my ancestors.  Sounds strange, but I feel it; something that can't be explained, it can only be felt.

Repeat repeat offender
Through the generations
Who who who the hell are we supposed to blame?
My people are the ones who suffer
I said repeat repeat offender
Through the generations
Ooh like zombies we conform to foreign laws
Society is the one to blame blame blame blame 

If people suffer, we are taught to believe that suffering must happen if we are to feel victory or experience some sense of triumph.  There will be some instances where we can easily lay blame to an offending party because the atrocities are so great that they can't be ignored.  How do we deal with the ramifications of that?  How do we hold them accountable for that?  The irony for me is that my parents probably wouldn't have moved here to Aotearoa as a result of migrant labour work in the 1970s, had there been no colonial presence of the New Zealand Administration in Samoa after the signing of the Berlin Treaty which divided up the colonial rule of Western Samoa to New Zealand and Eastern Samoa to America, renaming them American Samoa.  You probably wouldn't even be reading this blog post right now as I would still be in Samoa, or maybe I wouldn't even be born as my parents met as a result of working in the industrialized Apia in the late 1960s.  Does this mean that I have learned all of this English language, and the ways of the English people and her colonial powers so I can hold them accountable for the wrongdoings in my ancestral past?

This is a song for my people
Nga tangata whenua o Aotearoa
Kia tupato, please, kia tupato be careful
They will never understand 
the spiritual connections we have with our land
Money talks, our land walks
It's our children who miss out
Keep strong my people, keep strong, keep strong
He Māori, he Māori, he Māori ahau

As much as I have an empathy for all things Māori, I totally understand that it will not be enough because I wasn't born Māori.  That's just a conclusion I've come to and I haven't met a Māori yet who could contradict me.  I guess I would feel the same way about someone who would claim to have empathy for my people but wouldn't really know about them as they don't have any Samoan blood in them.  Part of me feels like it's an antiquated view to take but then another part of me just senses that it feels right.  When will money stop talking?  When will the land stop walking?  It's hard to know when things should be, as they should be.

Repeat repeat offender
Through the generations
Why don't you grow a brain
And then you'll come to see
This was not the path meant for me yeah

When you set out on a path, I don't think that whoever comes your way may have any intentions of including you in their journey, unless of course their express purpose is to take what isn't theirs.  When we cannot see where someone else is coming from, it is usually because our own motivations fill up our senses so much that we can see little else, but what we hold as being highly important and highly valuable in our eyes.  How would you respond if someone tells you that what you value isn't important?  That what you believe in makes you 'philosophically opposed' to what they believe in so they can't help you?  I would've thought that at least some mutual respect for having differences of opinion would be enough to have it sit right with you, but it isn't.  I guess your mind isn't as strong as mine then.  You can't grow a brain if there are no seeds that could be planted in the cavernous gaping hole of a head that you have.  I can't say I'm surprised - it's just the path that was meant for you I guess.

Ka whawhai tonu matou, mo ake, ake, ake  We will fight together forever 
Whatu ngarongaro he tangata toi tu te whenua  Man come and go, but the land stays forever
Ka whawhai tonu matou, mo ake, ake, ake. . .

I hope that you are strong enough to know when to stand up for the greater good of all rather than just for what would immediately benefit you.  I don't understand how we can lose our faith in humanity, but I guess it stems from not having faith in ourselves so that we know how to start believing in others.  Of course we cannot account for those who come into our lives and hope to take everything, to take it all for as much as they can, as much as they can get away with.  Will you fight forever?  How can we if we cannot fight together forever, as we can't endure as long as the land does, the land stays forever. . . 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Oh what a day. . .

Oh what a day is today
Nothing can stand in my way
Now that you've shipped off from under my skin
I think I'm ready to win

Do you ever have those days where things are just going along swimmingly? (Who uses swimmingly in a sentence anymore right?).  It's almost as if you're having the perfect day because everything falls into place and it seems like you're winning everything that would normally seem like an uphill battle or a time to grind your teeth.  These days may be rare in your world, but only if you expect the worst to happen, so I say, be prepared to win, because nobody goes out expecting to lose, so refuse to lose!

Oh what a night is tonight 
I think I'm ready to fight
Now that my broken bones all have been healed
I think I'm starting to feel

You might have been reluctant in the past to stand up for yourself.  But when you've been knocked down enough, you start to realise that enough is enough and it's time to start feeling the person you want to be, to start feeling how your bones feel deep within your own skin, to know how to be the person you were destined to be.  I know once you've stood up for yourself, that you can't look back ever again.  This victim mentality that we carry around with us, can be easily left behind us, much like we leave the remnants of something we no longer need or no longer allow to control us, in the garbage can where it belongs.

Something good
Something good
Now that you're gone
I can roll onto something good

I think we can often forget what being around something good feels like.  We beat ourselves up too much and worry too much about what we do and forget about what something good can do to improve our quality of life.  If we choose to give or invest so much time and energy into an individual who we trusted to share our lives with - but then find that it doesn't work out, for whatever reason, then we find ourselves looking within, trying to pick away at the things that we think are wrong with us.  But that's not the case at all.  We just need to remove or extricate ourselves from situations that make us feel less than worthy of experiencing something good.

Oh what a way that we die
Plenty of tears were supplied
My eyes are wrung out and dry as a bone
But I taste much better alone

I have often fantasised about my own funeral.  Sounds morbid doesn't it.  But I've had dreams about people turning up to my funeral that I didn't want to be there.  How can you bounce people from your own funeral?  How would they know that they're not invited?  It's not like you send out invitations for people to attend; they just all come en masse to pay their respects.  But what if it's common knowledge that you didn't like those people, that in fact, you loathed them?  Why would they attend knowing you hated them?  That has always fascinated me.  We can cry and cry until the tears dry.  There's nothing worse than crying that no tears come.  Does being alone capture more of what you think your life was meant to be?  I mean we come into the world alone, shouldn't it be the case that you exit alone anyway?

Something good
Something good
Now that you're gone
Well I can roll onto something good

When the shadow no longer hangs over your life, there can only be nothing but something good.  It is easy to imagine again, all of the things that you wished to happen, will happen and being content and grateful about all of those things.  Even just smiling, and smiling often, about memories that you treasure from deep within your mind, even in your deepest moments of pain and sorrow, can quickly start to stoke the fires of warmth, comfort and lead to freedom, peace and joy again.  I don't believe that we experience hardships and trials for very long, as we are always continually learning about where our mistakes and misfortunes lead us.

Oh you know I moved away
From the other side of the door
Now I don't have to wait anymore
For you to come home
Something good
Now that you're gone, I can roll onto something good
Something good

Completely departing from the life that you feel once fenced you in, kept you trapped, means that you have finally taken the necessary steps to free yourself from a life of bondage but instead, to pursue happiness that doesn't rely on an individual.  What do you know are the good things in your life?  They can be more than just the one something - they can be many things.  I guess that's the beauty of trying to discover who you are and where you are meant to be heading in life - just rolling onto something good at each and every turn and trusting that if you suddenly roll onto something bad, that it won't be long until your fortune changes, as fortune favours the brave and you roll onto something good. . . 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Where you lead. . .

Wanting you the way I do
I only want to be with you
And I would go to the ends of the earth
'Cause darling to me that's what you're worth

I have had some people remind me recently that I am important and I am worth their time.  Sometimes it is difficult to hear, not because it isn't true or that it feels awkward, but because I didn't realise that people would feel about me that way.  Do people think about you that way?  That they would clear their schedules and just want to devote their time and energy to just being with you and being around you.  I think the older you get, the more you get to understand how to be around people's energy and know whether they are good to be around or not.

Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead

When you are required to lead, do people follow?  It might be disconcerting to think that you have been given an opportunity to lead, particularly when you don't really know the people who are following and you're not really sure about how it might feel to be a leader and have people follow you.  I'm not just talking about having as many followers as possible on Twitter, but in fact, when you are called to lead, are you prepared to have people follow you?  Do you trust yourself to know where you are meant to lead?

If you're out on the road
Feeling lonely and so cold
All you have to do is call my name
And I'll be there on the next train

I think it's important to know from the outset in your friendship, connection or relationship building phases with people, that you are able to show some vulnerability to develop trust.  Of course this can only happen when you innately gravitate towards people because they make you feel less lonely and cold.  If you have ever been a safe haven for someone else, hats off to you.  It takes a special type of person to be a lighthouse in that respect too, showing people how to avoid pitfalls or disasters in their lives, but only insofar as that when they do need to experience pitfalls or disasters, that you are there for them on the next train.

Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead

When you have been there for friends in difficult times and situations, do you know them well enough to know when to instinctively respond?  There can sometimes be a mismatch between people assuming they know someone quite well and then not really having to prove to people how well you know them.  It will always be good to be able to trust your friends or loved ones when they are able to listen you very carefully about how you like to be helped or supported.  There is nothing worse than assuming you know what's best - because you thought about yourself in that situation, rather than really listening or observing (I say observing here because sometimes our friends are not so great at articulating their feelings) so it is really left to us to be able to deal with it effectively - focusing on their needs and not ours.

I always wanted a real home with flowers on the window sill
But if you want to live in New York City, honey, you know I will
I never thought I could get satisfaction from just one man
But, if anyone could keep happy, you're the one who can

Where do we look to for satisfaction?  Are we able to find the right people who will satisfy all of our needs as human beings?  Do we find ourselves in places where we suddenly come to realise that we have been allocated or afforded these positions by people we least expected to be tied to?  That also comes with responsibility and some unexpected role that you don't feel comfortably playing.  Are you able to keep happy in the faces of others who can't?

Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead

I hope that when you need someone to be with you, that they will understand when you need them.  It can sometimes be hard to let people know when you need help or need them to follow you where you lead or guide them.  We need to be able to make it explicitly clear when we need to follow someone, particularly when they might find it hard to guide us to a destination that is unfamiliar or foreign to our more usual surroundings.  I hope that one day we will be able to follow people who make us believe in something greater or bigger than all of us, to make us want to believe in a place where all of our dreams come true, where we can be the best people we hope to be and that we will enjoy being who we are.  If there is a place like that, where you know you will gladly take me, I will follow where you lead. . . 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Interlude: Moving on. . .

Let 'em have their time
Sit back and let 'em shine
Let 'em rise and rise
Cause one day they're gonna fall

I'm not one to wish the demise of people, because I think that they normally get their comeuppance, particularly if they have wronged you all, in due time.  There will also be people that you come across in your life who will continually take from you (or attempt to, if you let them).  But I think you only allow people to control you, or to have power over you if you allow them control you.  I don't understand why people would think that profiting from other people's misfortunes or mistakes would be a useful exercise, but it does say a lot about the type of person they are.

Let 'em soak in the sun
Sit back and let 'em have their fun
Let 'em spill their guts
Cause one day they're gonna slip on 'em

Have you had people laugh at your expense?  I remember my Latin teacher from high school taught us about schadenfraude.  It translates as when someone derives pleasure when bad things happen to someone else.  I guess it's human nature when someone has wronged you or caused you harm, that you would naturally derive pleasure when bad things happen to them.  But what is it called when someone derives pleasure when bad things happen to you - but you didn't do anything to them?  That's when it moves from schadenfraude to sadism.  When you display sadistic behaviour, it's when you derive pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation on others.  If you know someone who does this to you - why would you stay connected with them right?  

Well I could be angry
But you're not worth the fight
And besides I'm moving on

I've seen too many times what happens when people try to exact revenge on other people.  Sometimes it's misguided, sometimes it's well justified (Kill Bill springs to mind and yes, Black Mamba is well justified in seeking revenge on those who almost ended her life).  But I think rather than be angry with people who choose to hurt you and try to control your life, it's time to move on and accept that you cannot dissuade them from their sadism, because that's not your cross to bear, that's theirs - whether of course they can see it as a burden to bear - it's most definitely not yours to bear.  

Let 'em play their songs
Let 'em say what's right and wrong
Let 'em do their thing
Cause they'll never be you and me

I have been grateful for friends and loved ones who continue to amaze me with their unconditional love.  I have had friends who have been always said the most profound things at the most opportune times and my heart has always been full of their good intentions and care for me that I have not felt in such a long time.  Being a musical person, it is very easy to hear other people play their songs and try to distract me from the focus that I must have on myself, rather their dramas and pressures that they continue to impose upon me.  I have accepted that I will always attract challenges and trials that continue to test and push me, because these are only what God has in store for me - to prepare me for every phase that has been preordained since before I was a twinkle in my mother's eye.

We got our own style
We got a way of livin' life
If they can't get down
Well we don't need them around

Life is too short to try and conform to people, situations and pathways that don't celebrate who you are or celebrate what you bring to the world.  Why would you continue to associate yourself with bad people, or allow yourself to be put in situations where you can't extricate yourself from harm's way and follow the path less traveled?  This is why you need to bring your own style, live your life your own way without fear of losing that life because people threaten to end what you have already created for yourself and those you love around you.  Having those types of people around, allowing them to even breathe the same air is you when they are ones who would steal your own air without question, without skipping a heartbeat - do something about it.

I've counted to ten
And I'm feeling alright
And besides I'm moving
Yes I'm moving
Besides I'm moving on. . . 

I hope that you continue to learn how to disassociate yourself from people and situations that threaten to throw you off course.  You might even think at some point that you are some kind of victim, but I don't think you need to employ that victim mentality.  I have been a victim before - but I don't need to be, and neither do you.  I have learned that you can only become a victim because people can sense they can manipulate you.  When you start to ignore people and their behaviour, when you start to continue to live your own life and live your life on your own terms, pretty soon, they will be the ones that will need to start counting to ten and realise that while they have been waiting for you to come around, you're actually feeling alright and you're moving on.  

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Keep breathing. . .

As we draw towards the middle of the year, we start to think about what we promised ourselves we would do this year.  All of the good intentions from January, all ablaze with our New Year's Resolutions ringing in our ears- have we kept to what we set out to do or have we shelved them together with the memories of the first day of the year in the backs of my minds?

The storm is coming but I don't mind
People are dying, I close my blinds
All that I know is I'm breathing now

When the world can threaten to overwhelm you with all of its darkness and despair, it can be natural that you would close your blinds.  Why would you want to see that all the time?  I think the more we see pain and suffering in this way. we become desensitised to it.  I'm not saying that we should ignore the plights of what people experience in war torn countries, famine, disease and hunger that leads to malnutrition that has pretty much peppered television commercials from my childhood have firmly cemented themselves in the everyday news cycle.  I am sure that we all try to do our own little bit to do what we can to contribute something better to the world.  At least that is the hope and the good intention.

I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

How can we change the world for the better?  Especially when the world doesn't seem to want to change?  You would probably be better off asleep and getting some well earned rest, particularly when you're prone to not really resting anyway, because you have so much to do.  Do you believe in more than a connection, a friendship or a relationship?  We must not forget that we have to think about believing in something bigger than ourselves - whether it be a higher power or something that determines our destiny; that we are moving towards reaching our goals that were set in stone before we even became an apple in our mother's eyes.

But all I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now
Now. . . now. . . now. . . 

Do you sometimes forget how to breathe?  It seems like it's a simple straightforward exercise that we will never forget how to do.  From the moment we are born, it's the only signal that allows parents to know when their child is alive - when a huge gulp of air precedes the forceful cry that emanates from a newborn's lungs through to his or her mouth.  If we can breathe so easily as children, what makes us forget to breathe as adults?  Being breathless can be both a negative or positive thing - depending on the context of course.

All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing

As long as you keep breathing, then you can find other people with like minds who breathe the way you do and breathe together.  We don't even necessarily need to know where we're going.  I firmly believe that decision can be taken out of our hands, whether we like it or not.  We can't control other people to bend against their will, just as a huge gust of wind wouldn't be able to blow off a coat that a pedestrian clutches onto for dear life as they cross a busy city street - we hold on for dear life and just keep breathing.

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing 
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing

From a musical standpoint, the continual building of this section of the song reminds me of the tension that necessitates the momentum towards a climax.  But of course, the climax can only occur when there has been sufficient development of the tension in this section with the layering of texture in a carefully crafted way.  Do you go through life with the same amount of meticulous planning?  Can you handle the pressure and stress that may layer itself into your life as time goes on?  Until you come to a satisfactory conclusion or find that inner peace that the outer forces try to steal from you, I hope that you know that there are lots of other people who will be happy to hold your hand, stand alongside you and support you no matter what, helping you to keep breathing.  The last blog post was about being able to exhale.  Remember when someone tries to knock the wind out of your sails and you find yourself struggling to breathe - just take it slowly.  Good air in, and bad air out.  Just keep breathing ok.  How else will our hearts continue to work if our blood doesn't have enough oxygen in the system?

All we can do is keep brea-----thing. . .
Now. . . 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Exhale (shoop shoop). . .

I have many wonderful memories of this song.  It belongs to the movie soundtrack of one of my all-time favourite movies - Waiting to exhale starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, Loretta Devine.  There are some heavy hitting actors in it too, but at the time of the movie's release in 1995, I didn't watch it for them.  I remember watching this movie before Christmas that same year with my college friends - it was my first year at university and it was the chick flick to round off a year with new friends.  I wouldn't have guessed that those girls would very much stay a part of my life and grow to have families of their own and careers - much like the women we watched in that film.

Everyone falls in love sometimes
Sometimes it's wrong and sometimes it's right
For every win, someone must fail
But there comes a point when, when we exhale

I guess that's the tricky thing about lve isn't it?  You don't know whether it's wrong or right until something happens that forces you to either confront his or her feelings or actions - that then become the catalyst for your own feelings or actions.  Why is it that someone needs to win while someone else fails?  Can't we all be winners?  It has to do with the competition design doesn't it?  Like we have to conform to society dictating what is considered the norm and if we deviate from that and choose not to engage - then we must be crazy.  In fact, all we're doing is taking ourselves off the grid and taking the time to exhale.

Sometimes you'll laugh, sometimes you'll cry
Life never tells us the reason why
When you've got friends to wish you well
You'll find a point when, when you will exhale

Do you have real friends?  I'm talking about the kind of friends that not only know you inside out but know can anticipate what you do and can read your face like a book.  You may come across so many people in your life that you don't know whether those friends are there for a season or for a reason - you won't know until things happen and your friendships are tested.  I think friendships need to be tested at times, because you get to know if you have real friends or not.  Good friends let you laugh and cry and do those things with you together.  Good friends also let you breathe around them when you're busy pretending to so many things to so many other people that rely on you for practically everything.

Hearts are often broken
When there are words unspoken
And your soul bears answers to your prayers
If you're searching a place you know
A familiar face, somewhere to go
You should look inside yourself
You're halfway there. . . 

Our natural inclination when we are either physically or emotionally hurt is to run to a familiar face or find some safe haven to find solace, comfort and to rebuild our sense of self.  But sometimes it's not external factors that we need to be looking at - but rather - it's the internal.  We need to dig deeper within ourselves and think about ways that we can learn how to self-manage, learn how to get on our own feet, not because we don't want to be a nuisance to others, but because as humans we are designed to learn how to be adaptable and how to function when we need to progress our pathways to achieve goals.  So rather than looking elsewhere for validation and wasting your precious time trying to impress others, look inside yourself first and just work on you.

Shoop, shoop, shoop
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop (yeah)
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop
(All you got to say is shoo be doop)
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop (Shoo be doop)
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop
Shoo Be Doop Shoop Shoop
Shoo Be Doo. . .

I hope that you can step back, get off the grid, take a seat and reflect on your current life and savour all of the things that make it great.  I hope that you continue to surround yourself with the right people. cherish the ones who are always there for you and know what you need, just when you need it.  This life that we live wasn't meant to be easy, but we don't need to make it hard for ourselves either.  I hope that you know, when you can finally let go of what holds you back and realise that you can find a point where you will exhale. . .