Friday, 18 August 2017

Love Yourself (for what's on the inside too)

There is so much talk in our current society about body positivity and loving yourself for no matter what you look like. The fact that you are beautiful no matter your freckles, your scars, the size of your nose or your disproportionate neck. And while I agree that this is very important as I've seen people I love get down on themselves about how they look, and it is important we love ourselves in the body we have as it is only ours, I think that we are not discussing something that is equally important yet just as awful of an issue. That is the matter of loving ourselves for what's on the inside as well.

I personally don't care that much about what I look like. I don't think I'm particularly disgusting, but I don't think I'm amazingly attractive either. I struggle with a couple aspects of my appearance but at the end of the day I am able to push past them and love myself  nonetheless, and I can even name things that I genuinely like about the way I look.

happy bean stagedooring Dear Evan Hansen
due to an accident, one of my front teeth is darker than the other ones, but I still smile really wide in photographs.


However, when it comes to my own character flaws or the mistakes that I make, I have trouble accepting and forgiving myself. I bother my own self and the little things that bother me start to eat me alive.

I'm too awkward, I'm a procrastinator, I lack motivation (you get the point).

And when I'm left alone with my thoughts, I begin repeating those phrases to myself over and over, letting them take control of me and my happiness and the confidence in myself. Because I am perpetuating them through my mindset, I even begin acting on them, proving to myself that I am nothing but my own negative traits.

I can't be the only one who does this. Who lets the less wonderful things about themselves take consume them, until they feel like nothing but the things that keep them up at night.

It's not something that's good or healthy. We should be doing the opposite. We should recognize that we have flaws and recognize that it's okay to have them, that we are human and living and breathing and making mistakes and growing from them.

We can't be stagnant and pretend that we are perfect, godlike omniscient beings, because that's when we truly become unlikeable people. But we can't wallow in our own self pity due to the things we believe are wrong about ourselves.

We are imperfect, messy, mistake making creatures, and we learn from making mistakes. We should love ourselves enough to be able to realize our flaws, figure out the real reasons behind them, and then work toward growing and stopping doing the actions that are hurting ourselves and others.

To end the confusing jumble of words I'm sure this post was, I want to stress the idea that loving yourself, period, is the key to literally anything else good in life and is the key to true happiness. I'm not saying that I have this all figured out, but I think we can all figure out the best way to love ourselves together.

-Oakstar

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

DEH, Chris Colfer, and Summer Camp

I've been very quiet on the blogosphere recently, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking and growing and experiencing lots of different things in life.

I've been on two road trips since I last posted. The first one was to New York City to see Dear Evan Hansen. This has been my favourite musical for about six months, and it has given me as well as the people around me so much joy and a sense of belonging. Waving Through a Window is the most played song on my phone, and half of the soundtrack is on my top twenty five most played. It is such a beautiful story with complex colourful characters and the entire cast is so talented. Ben Platt's vibrato is my favourite thing ever.

The day I spent in New York City was absolutely perfect. This was my second time in New York City. I don't know exactly how to put this, but something happens to me when I stare up at the billboards for Broadway in Times Square. I see dreams surrounding me. Suddenly, there are little bursts of stars everywhere and I have an out of body experience.




The other one was to Boston for two nights to see Chris Colfer on his last Land of Stories book tour. Yes. After casually mentioning my obsession every few posts for the last year, I got to see my role model in person. I asked him a question about Struck by Lighting, which was the movie I watched and the book I read that helped me come into myself over the last few years. I got to connect with Chris for a brief moment and he thanked me directly for reading his book. It was one of the best nights of my life. The road trip itself was a blast as well- I went with my mom, one of my dear friends and her mom, and we got to explore Boston the next day and meet several interesting people; aspiring writers and artists and musicians.

Apart from those two equally amazing trips, the past month I've been working as an assistant counselor at a summer camp side by side with some of my other dear friends. Getting to the camp happens to take an hour and a half but public transit and the building is four floors and sweltering hot, but I've discovered that it was all worth it. Each day created a new memory. I had never been around that many kids before and I was surprised to find out that I actually really do enjoy children, and in the end it was hard to say goodbye to them.

  Catching up, some of my July favourites were:

Music: I've gotten really tangled up in the band Oh Honey. They have such sweet music and harmonies and they are very underappreciated.

Shows/Movies: I bingewatched all of season four of The Fosters, and I'm rewatching Glee again.

Books: Currently rereading The Humans (this time for school, which I think I ranted about at this time last year), as well as reading Gone and The Knife of Never Letting Go (Manchee is the goodest boy).

Food: The metro where I'd get off to work at the summer camp sold bubble tea. I'm not going to go any further into it for fear of embarrassing and outing my bubble tea addiction.

All in all, the last month has been pretty fantastic for me, and now that I'm free pretty much 99% of the time I am probably going to be blogging about a lot more.

How was your July? Let me know in the comments!

-Oakstar

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Would You Run


The following poem is inspired by my time at Arrowhead Museum and my understanding of Herman Melville's time there, as well as my own brief time there. 

Would You Run

Would you run through the meadow,
If within the long blades of grass there were creatures yearning to bite at your ankles
Would you run?

Would you run through the fields,
If you knew that soon the clouds up above and cast a shadow, making them devoid of light 
Would you run?

Would you run down a lonely road,
If darkness lingered along the path, waiting to snatch you as you passed it by
Would you run? 

Would you run to the trees,
If you could discover the maggots that live under ripped up bark 
Would you run?

Would you run up to your room,
If the ocean below you was but a dipped, rickety floor, but below there still swam sharks just like the sharks in your head
Would you run?

Would you run far north,
If the mountain ahead would reveal to you secrets you had been keeping from yourself the whole time you stared and wondered
Would you run? 

But do I need to ask, 
One more time
Because you wouldn't run, my darling, 
You would fly. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Moments

I write stories in my head as well as things like this, and they never come out on paper in the same way that they are imagined. Life never comes out the way it is imagined either, in the moments we plan before we are struck by sleep. It is never something absolutely perfect, but it can come close when we are caught up in the present.

Most moments like that, for me anyway, feature people. Her dancing on the marble floor as the sun set behind the obelisk. The night we laid on an empty tent platform under the stars and spoke words of the significance of our existence.  

Humans are strange creatures. They look for meaning in each other and in their own everyday lives. They hold onto near perfect little moments as if they last lifetimes. As much as my early life was spent trying to fight the fact that I was human, I see now the subtle beauty of our imperfect minds. We cling onto our good feelings; construct monuments and temples around them, until we find a lot of it. Perfect moments that work like dopamine inside and outside of us, giving us breath so we crave more.

Humans imagine those moments as if they are perfect, and in their minds they create crystalline worlds to which they can escape when reality comes crushing on their shoulders. Life goes by fast in waves of passion and pain and feeling, and then those waves return in the land of the semi-conscious before dreams, with heightened sense and emotion, little shooting stars behind the eyelids.


In this world, people fight, and cry tears of anger, and fall out of love, and diamonds don’t shine, they refract light coming from someplace else. But humans hold onto the hope of something more than a refraction of light, more than an awkward aversion of the eyes, and something more than what we've come to know in our every day mess of our lives. 

______________
so here's another writing thing
-Oakstar

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Some Writing

This started off with an idea for a song, but grew rapidly into something that was not quite a poem or a story, but rather a piece of some sort that I can not really explain. 

The writing itself is rather rough. In fact, by the standards I have set for myself, I would rate it very low.  I haven't taken much time to proofread and edit it- basically, what you see is a string of my thoughts put down on the page. I didn't inspire myself off of anything tangible. I hope you enjoy nonetheless, and if you have any ideas for titles, please comment down below as I have absolutely no clue.

________________________________

It seems to be written in our human code that we should fight against our own selves. We don’t believe we deserve things the way we want them. We don’t believe we have it in us to achieve what we desire. Every day seems a battle against what we had won before.

We don’t know why we fight so hard. We fall into a pit of darkness, truly uncomprehensive of the damage we have done unto ourselves. We blame others because we are too afraid of facing the shame. It appears that every last inch of life has been sucked out of us, by the cruel, cold world of which we are a part.

But slowly, as we embrace the night we have become, we realize there is a glow of warmth.  It is merely anything there, barely enough to hold our life, but enough, if strongly believed in.

That is because we think we’re ash, but we’re actually ember. And through all of the smoke and burnt dreams, we will rise again. We will conquer. We will prevail. Holding onto whatever essence of humanity we have left, we will stand up. Across an eternal pit of grey we will reach out one to another, and for a moment, our fingertips will touch. And there will be a ripple that races across the world and the solar system and eventually the galaxy. And we will stand, forever at the epicenter of a massive earthquake of love. Love will undulate across everything that matters, everything that exists, tangible or intangible.  We will create energy untouchable by no other than God Himself, and our energy will be what will revitalize the souls of creatures young and old.

But in that moment of rich, profound complexity and connectedness, it will all seem so simple. Just people, reaching out to form a bond.

Because no one understands, and we don’t understand, why humans love so deeply and so powerfully. We don’t understand why we cling so tightly to the bonds that we form, and we don’t understand why we form these bonds. Is it purely for the survival of our species, or is it for something that we do not yet have the capacity to explain? Is it really that hard to let go, or have we made it hard for ourselves for reasons we choose not to comprehend?

And as the stars twinkle above us, as our souls mesh together to create a fabric that time cannot touch, we will decide that we are better together, and that we will never be able to fall out of love. We could stop loving the parts of ourselves that we see in each other, but we could never stop loving the reasons we chose to love so fiercely in the first place. And in that instant we will reside for a forever.
We are a host of memories and dreams and reality, and all that we withhold seems to become one, showering us with rays and rays of light.

Days of cynicism seem to fall behind us, making a crooked path for optimism and radiance.
And we glow. We glow because we are so in love with each other, with ourselves, with everything that lives and breathes and completes us and our world.

 Love is the only thing.   

_____________________________

Much love,
Oakstar

Friday, 10 March 2017

Book Review: Stranger Than Fanfiction

I had been looking forward to reading Stranger Than Fanfiction for over six months before its release, and I must say, I was not disappointed in the least. This book was coming from the same author who penned Struck by Lightning, one of the wittiest and most unique books I have ever read in my entire life.

This review is surprisingly free of any major spoilers. 

The premise of Stranger Than Fanfiction (written by Chris Colfer) is four friends, bonded by their love of a tv show reminiscent of something Doctor Who-related, who go on a road trip the summer after they graduate as a last laugh of sorts. As a joke, they invite the actor who stars in the show along for the ride, and the actor agrees to come along. His coming along turns the trip- and their lives- completely upside down, and sets them on course for adventures and experiences that certainly are stranger than fanfiction. 

My favourite thing about the book was how much time the author took in developing the five main characters, and how well those five characters molded together to form a group and grow together. Each character represented a different part of him, and each character was hiding something. As the writer stated in several interviews, all five characters united shared a fear of disapproval, a fear that I think governs a lot of this generation and motivates us to hide parts of ourselves. That  human instinct is portrayed very well with Cash, Joey, Topher, Sam and Mo. 

Another aspect the book I thoroughly enjoyed was the road trip itself. The team visited several landmarks along the way, yet my favourite scenes were the unplanned stops at the concert and at the abandoned water park. They made for the best stories. 

I've noticed a lot of the criticism toward the book was about the writing style, yet I think that the simplicity in the writing leaves better place for a wonderful story to be told and characters to be developed. No, it isn't Shakespeare, but on the bright side,it isn't Shakespeare. (that totally wasn't a quote from the book)

I am very impressed with the representation in this book, and I love that one of the characters explains so well the concepts of gender and sexuality, and how they are different. Important messages can be found throughout the book in the characters' dialogue, and several times I wanted to pause my reading and highlight things, though I resisted the temptation. I will lovingly deface the book during my reread. 

The ending is gut wrenching, and I am still upset, but I have realized that the book couldn't have ended any other way. It had to end the way it had for the characters to reach their full potential and complete their arcs. Nevertheless, I am sad.



I have yet to be disappointed by Chris Colfer's writing, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been in a fandom. I rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

If Chris Colfer wants to go on a road trip with his fans, I offer my terrible map skills and good taste in music. 

-Oakstar

P.S: Glad to be back!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Break

As you may have noticed, there have been long delays and breaks between my posts the last couple of months, and recently, I have not had a lot of time or energy to create the types of things I used to.

Thus, I'm announcing a break until March 1st, where I will come back with the type of posts you have grown accustomed to seeing from me, as well as an exciting new project involving some of my friends.

Thank you all for your patience. I will still be occasionally checking up on blogs and commenting during this break, which I will be taking for mental health reasons.

much love
Oakstar