Tag Archives: love

Visual, Technology Metaphors for Heartbreak

This is a bit different, but it amused me, and it’s kind of light hearted.

Victoria Seimer has created an image series called “Human Error”, (featured on HuffPo “This Is What Heartbreak Looks Like In The Digital Age”), which she describes:

The series was inspired by an unfortunate Photoshop experience. “I lost everything I was working on,” Siemer, also known as Witchoria, explained to HuffPost. “An error message popped up that said, ‘Photoshop has crashed unexpectedly’ — you know, stating the obvious. In my frustration I took a screenshot of that message to make a joke about how photoshop broke my heart.”

“As I was manipulating the image, I realized how many error messages could be applied to things that happen in day-to-day life,” Siemer added. “The options that error messages offer are limited; by putting their prompts in conversation with images that evoke heartbreak or discontent, I’m emphasizing the sense of futility you feel in both contexts.”

The resulting series pairs dreamy portraits of beaches, tangled hair and crumpled bedsheets with stomach-churning error messages familiar to anyone who’s operated modern technology. Gazing at the series, the viewer conflates feelings of ill will, realizing praying for a rainbow wheel to cease spinning — and impatiently waiting for a heart to heal — are not so far from each other.

Go, have a look, have a chuckle, and share with anyone who could use something like this to bounce back today.

Advice for single people to do what’s right for them

I can’t really think of a good title for this one, and I don’t want to just rip off the title of the original. It comes from HuffPo writer Susan Rosenzweig, “3 Lies And 1 Truth About Why You’re Really Still Single”.

Being single isn’t inherently a bad thing. However, there is a lot of social pressure on people who are single, and to be “OK” with that state of being almost seems insane to most people. Why would you want to be… alone? Sure, companionship and affection are great, no argument there. But the amount that society pushes us to pair up, for the weaker willed or weaker of personal conviction, can potentially push us into relationships we don’t actually want or are not actually happy in, just for the sake of “not being alone”.

For the people who feel overly pressured, I like to share articles like this one here to help you find the right answer or counter-argument or reason to justify what you want, whether that involves being single or not. My family pressures me, and I mostly ignore them.

So, what are the marvelous points that this article makes?

Lie #1 – “There are no good men/women left”. Statistically and demonstrably false. As patronizing as “you just need to get out there more” can be, there’s some truth to that. Sure, there’s online dating, but if you’ve got the social skills to woo people in person, I personally believe you’re far better off. A glowing personality can win over people who were unimpressed with you on paper (that seems to be my problem). But for those who aren’t as comfortable socially, I think there are more people than ever doing online dating.
From the article:

Are there lying men and women out there, just trying to get into your pants or wallet? Absolutely. But there are also a whole bunch of nice alternatives that are looking for you.

Lie #2 – “You’re too picky”. This one hits really close to home, it’s something I’ve fought against for years and have made progress, but I’ve definitely got so called “high standards”. That includes for myself though, which is part of when led me to push myself to improve my social skills, hit the gym and be proactive about doing the things I want in life, with or without company. I’m building the life I want to live, to hopefully attract someone with similar goals, values and interests. The problem isn’t necessarily pickiness, but moreso what you are picky about. That’s why it’s usually more successful to pair up based on mutual goals and values, than purely based on what you’re physically attracted to. From the article:

Here’s the thing about this one: I don’t think anyone really chooses who they fall for. You can tell yourself that you need a guy who is six feet tall, devastatingly handsome and drives a Porsche all you want. Then one day, you find yourself head over heels for the 5’8″ balding but oh-so-charming bartender at your favorite restaurant. Think Charlotte and Harry in “Sex and the City.” You can’t help it — it just happens.

I would not have agreed with this when I was younger, but I do now. I’ve found myself really drawn to women who weren’t my usual type, because they were an absolute delight to be around. And that’s again part of why I say, if you’ve got the social skills – use them. Someone can be “devastatingly gorgeous” but if I can’t talk to them or we don’t have values/goals in common, it’s not going to last.

Lie #3 – “You haven’t made it a priority”. While the author of the article pretty much completely rails against this notion, I do believe there is some truth to it. I feel this way off and on, where I’m just so focused on achieving personal goals and trying not to burn myself out, that the last thing I am thinking about is meeting someone. That is a sharp contrast to how I was even just 5 years ago, where I spent considerable time on dating sites and craigslist trying to meet someone. It was the only thing I felt was missing from my life. Now my life is quite fulfilling, and I’m more leery of bringing someone into it who might not understand or respect the balance I want to maintain. But I guess what the author is actually getting at is that if you are looking, that you could always be “looking harder”. Our friends and family can mean well but some people just get lucky and find what they’re looking for with a short search. I do envy those people who found their partner early in life. Susan writes:

There is nothing I cannot accomplish if I set my mind to it. Overcome an eating disorder, check. Move to NYC, check. Get my first job in advertising at a global agency, check. Compete in ballroom dancing, volunteer, become a creative director, write a blog for Huffington Post? All within my control. But love — love is not.

Notice I said love, not just get married or have kids. I have the audacity to want real love, great love. Or nothing at all.

And there’s another great distinction. I also totally agree with her on this:

A real connection is beyond rare. And if you know (or even just long for) what that feels like, it’s impossible to settle for less.

All I’m saying is, finding real love is hard enough without the voices within and without that make it worse. It happens when it’s meant to happen.

You have to do what is right for you, in the end, no matter how hard it is. It’s a fight we all fight every day, and again, that’s why I like sharing these sorts of things, they give me great perspective and help me keep “the voices without” at bay. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at listening to the voices within.

Hope that helps you. I don’t remember to say this enough on here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one readers. We can learn from each other’s experiences 🙂

Inspiring ways to cope with loss

We often praise artists for finding creative and inspiring ways to look at and deal with loss and tragedy, to take a bit of the sting out of the sadness of death, war and other dark aspects of life and humanity, and replace it with at least a little bit more hopeful, forgiving, acceptance.

Here is another such project which is really beautiful so I wanted to share it.

“A Celebration Of A Mom’s Love, This Father-Daughter Photo Series Will Rip Your Heart Apart”

In 2009, newlyweds Ben and Ali Nunery — dressed in their finest wedding regalia — posed in their new, as-yet unfurnished home in Cincinnati, Ohio, for wedding album photos. Ben’s new sister-in-law, Melanie Pace, a professional photographer, snapped a series of gorgeous pictures of the young couple. “Those images represent some of the happiest moments in my life,” Ben wrote on his blog. “It was the beginning of what we planned on being a long and happy life together.”

Sadly, however, this wasn’t to be. The couple was soon informed that Ali had a rare form of lung cancer. In 2011, just a year after their daughter, Olivia, was born, the young mom — then just 31 — passed away.

But this year, Ben says he is finally ready to say goodbye to that house, one so full of memories — both sad and sweet. He knew, however, that he and Olivia couldn’t just move out without marking the occasion in some way. So he called his sister-in-law again, in the hopes that she would help him recreate the photographs he once took with Ali. This time, he would pose with 3-year-old Olivia, the other love of his life.

Get a tissue ready, this is a real tear-jerker.

(EDIT – forgot to actually link to the article originally, I have fixed this)

Science proves that hugs are awesome

I love hugs. Hugs are great. You get physical closeness, intimacy, warmth and you feel good.

I have seen this in more than one place but can’t recall the original source I wanted to cite, so this will have to do.

Two reasons why you should hug more (from breakingmuscle.com):

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for us all being here today. You see this little gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured expelling us from their bodies and making them want to still love and spend time with us.

When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Dopamine

In addition to releasing Oxytocin, hugs also stimulate brains to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine sensors are the areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine target. Fortunately, we’re never going to see D.A.R.E posters with “The Faces of Hugs” showing the downward decline of the chronic hugger.

Increasing pleasure, decreasing stress, increasing human bonding, and all the while decreasing the risk of common heart ailments – sign me up please!

Artist Focus (Oct 25, 2013)

From time to time on this site I will do a spotlight on artists, whether visual, written or musical.

Today I have 3 visual and 1 auditory.

Tang Yau Hoong – I found this artist by accident last week, and in browsing through their works, there are several that I really like. They’re both very nice to look at, but in many cases also make you think! Here is one of my favourites.

Elija Montgomery “I Am a Monster” – I found this one on a random blog a little while ago and really liked the concept. It’s an interesting take on body dysmorphia as well as transgender issues through a photo series. My favourite image in the series (which is really the one that grabbed and held my mind) has a caption that read “I like my body until I put clothes on it”. While this isn’t necessarily the case for myself, I know many who can relate and I wanted to share.

Angelo Merendino Photo Journal of his wife’s battle with cancer – I found this one thanks to the Stuff You Should Know Facebook Page. While it is obviously very sad, it is also beautiful and can be said to have at least a sliver of goodness at the end. I recommend picking the right time to check this out, but the comments on the post on facebook were largely “very sad but glad you posted it”.

Cloudkicker is a (one-man) band I discovered several years ago, and that one man (Ben Sharp) has been a huge inspiration to me, for the complexity, diversity but also beauty he creates in his music. He does everything himself, and what’s even cooler is that he gives his music away for free (technically “pay what you want”, but you can choose $0). The project is fully instrumental and ranges in style from stuff in the vein of Coldplay or Arcade fire all the way to “progressive metal”. There’s a little something for everyone, and it’s really great productivity music. I do tend to be a fan of the heavier stuff moreso than the lighter stuff, but a good place to start is with “LA After Rain” from “Fade” as a middle ground and go from there. If you’re into the softer side of things, check out “Let yourself be huge”.

So, what’s the deal with Polyamory?

I like to have discussions – about real topics and issues. I like to get past stereotypes, myths and stigmas as much as possible, to take a critical but fair look at things and try to move the issue forward in a positive way.

Earlier this week I went to a discussion group about polyamory (hosted by Toronto based organization “I’d Tap That”, a sex-positive resource for young people). I am not currently poly, nor am I sure it is right for me, but I am curious and trying to gain a better understanding (pro tip – don’t rely on popular media for this). I wanted to learn more about it from people who are more experienced and knowledgeable. I happen to have a few friends who are poly and they were hosting so I attended. In this post, I will share what I learned and what insights I gained. Spoiler alert – more universal life lessons in this one!

This one is long, so buckle up!

Continue reading

Curiosity is the greatest human quality – Hank Green

It’s awesome when things on the internet re-affirm what you are doing, or that ideas you had were apparently not ill-conceived.

As i’ve stated before on this blog, I’m a big fan of the vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green. Well, Hank just posted this wonderful video:

Mr. Green, I couldn’t agree more!

I just went to the Ontario Science Center a few days ago, so I relate to multiple aspects of this video, and the larger point I think is a great one. Here’s a quote from part of the video:

“I think curiosity may be the finest human quality. You can make the argument for love, but love is limited. Curiosity in some ways is like the opposite of judgement. You can’t hate something if you’re curious about it, and really, you can be curious about everything”

The more you know, the more accepting and compassionate you can be towards a person or situation.

What do you think? Agree or disagree with Mr. Green?

Steering the Relation Ship

Relationships and human interactions are something I spend a lot of time thinking about. “The human condition” as it were, fascinates me.

Interacting with others is something we all have to do, and yet so many of us really don’t communicate as effectively as we really should. Myself included.

I was watching the above video just the other day and it told me that Continue reading