Please ignore the atrocious spelling on the picture. It’s still a cute picture.
Welcome to the randomized musings of a girl in her twenties who decided that she needs a concrete outlet for the array of opinions she wants to voice. I don’t know how to work most of these views into everyday conversation so instead I want to start a discussion and hope that someone stumbles upon it. I wanted to introduce myself by expressing something less cliché than “I have a passion for writing” but clichés aren’t all bad. They exist because sometimes there is no better way to put things. I do enjoy writing. The name of my blog is also not very original but as I just mentioned, sometimes you need to embrace the cliché.
My first attempt at creating a blog had a completely different name. I knew that I wanted to bring it to fruition soon but coming up with the title was the most daunting part. I had already bounced around many topics to write about in my head, it was just getting started that seemed taxing. This introduction is also a nuisance because I have very specific ideas that I want to write about. I’m not really sure how to write a general welcome message so instead I’ll be focusing on the name that I abandoned, why I did so and why that particular phrase is very important to me.
The first draft of my blog was called “The Calluses of Life”. What exactly could I mean by that and why did I choose it? Well, first of all I wanted the name to be something interesting. It sounded different, as if I could entice a reader with the absurdity of the name of my blog itself. I tackled with the phrase for a while and then came to the conclusion that it was too pretentious and also too specific. The context of this phrase is very important. It seemed too careless to leave it hanging loosely without even placing it in the sentence from which I extracted it. After sounding it out, I wanted to opt for “Toothaches of life”. It has the same meaning but sounded a bit more accessible. However, it had the same problem of being out of context. These metaphors are also too specific. They aren’t common phrases and it was too obvious that I was plagiarizing another author’s poeticism. The author is not well-known enough to be immediately recognized so using his work as a title, and not as a quote seemed too much like theft. So what exactly is this context I keep mentioning? Here is the full quote and why it resonates with me:
“All of life’s unpleasant experiences – when we make fools of ourselves, act thoughtlessly or lapse in our observance of some virtue – should be regarded as mere external accidents which can’t affect the substance of our soul. We should see them as toothaches or calluses of life, as things that bother us but remain outside us (even though they’re ours), or that only our organic existence need consider and our vital functions worry about.”- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
What I understand from this is that the calluses of life are the mistakes we make. They are our regrets and the parts of ourselves that we are ashamed of. When we externalize these feelings but keep them attached to our being then we can learn from them and forgive ourselves. They sting and leave partially conspicuous bruises but they are not important or serious enough to cause severe damage. We should not allow the pain to overwhelm us but we still need to acknowledge that it is there. These lapses in judgement are fleeting in respect to the more enduring and concrete nature of who we are. I have a tendency to be self-critical and this excerpt is important for me to distance myself from my mistakes. Writing is the platform with which I make sense of the world around me. “The calluses of life” therefore represent the parts of me and my life that are the most important to write about – the ugly parts. What is life without conflict anyway?
Why did I settle on the comparatively more boring name? I’m a dreamer. I only exist physically in the real world. I believe that everyone is a dreamer to a certain extent. Only in dreams is a way in which I can try to relate to others as well. “Only in dreams” is also one of my favourite Weezer tracks as it is an epic, long-winded song describing the creative process. The song becomes increasingly more passionately belted as the song progresses. I am also affected by the bittersweet connotations that it holds, as if certain things are only meant to exist in fantasy. Even in fantasy, the value of these dreams are not negated.
Here’s the lyrics to the song by Weezer:
This was probably a bit too heavy for an introduction as well as being simultaneously vague about what this blog is about. Well, this blog is whatever I want it to be and whatever I feel is important. I started this post without any clue as to where it was going and I was not excited about writing it. I’m ending it feeling more content and happy that I have mentioned Pessoa as he will definitely be a more regular feature. Everybody needs to bask in the glory that is his masterful prose. My thoughts on that one particular Fernando Pessoa excerpt could warrant an entirely more in depth entry on its own but I think its place in my introduction will suffice.
The “About Me” section is going to be even more mundane to write. Who I am and what I’m about is going to be more evident in my writing than a back story or list of adjectives I’d use to describe myself. What I think about myself is also quite irrelevant as it is best for readers to make up their own minds about me. Who we are and the way that we’re perceived are two very different entities. I don’t think that anyone will find this blog but if you do, thank you.
I probably should end this with a quote from John Lennon’s song Imagine.