Posts Tagged ‘P!nk’

You Matter

Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all of the mundane things that make up our lives. And somewhere along the way, we start to forget who we are and the value we add to life. You start to loose little pieces of yourself… at first you don’t notice but one day you’re staring at your computer and you ask yourself “What’s the point?”

When you suffer from depression, this question is one you ask pretty much every day. And finding an answer isn’t always easy. But then again, easy doesn’t make for a very interesting life. So every day I focus on one #ReasonToSmile. just one little thing about the day that is completely me and makes me smile… even just for a while. Whether it’s drinking chai tea out of my favorite mug or playing fetch with my overly ball upsessed dog or watching my favorite 90’s TV shoew re runs… it may not seem like much but when the rest of your day is filled with dispair, that one little moment is everything…

Like all things, if you do them repeatedly they become habit and feel more natural, so eventually these little moments of happiness becomes normal again. These little moments all make up the little peices of you that matter. As long as you keep reminding yourself of what makes you happy – even if it is just for a minute – you will never loose yourself completely.

If any ever tries to convince you that you are not worthy of happiness, know that they are wrong! You matter! Noo one can tell you otherwise, not even that little voice inside of you… We are own biggest critics but we can fight back against the mean things we think about ourselves and change the voices in our heads to make them like us instead (best line ever written in a song paraphrased!) You deserve to be happy!

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I’m a Fucker

I wanted to start this post by saying that all of you know that I am a P!NK fan but then I realized that it’s been quite a while since I actually spoke about it on here…

So for those of you who haven’t been around long enough to experience this side of me: I’m a P!nk Fucker! I never really got around to liking music when I was in High School. I mean, I listened to music – stuff my parents played that I will always love and probably make my children listen to one day as well and also all the pop stuff that I didn’t really get… I listened to Westlife and Michael Learns To Rock because that’s what my friends were doing; I listened to Country and because that’s what my parents danced to; I listened to because that’s what made my grandmother happy; I listened to Katie Malua because I liked words more than the beat because I still have no rhythm; I listened to Avril Lavigne because my boyfriend made me a mixed CD and I listened to the most awesome Christian Rock music because I got to express my faith openly.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to get to the P!nk part, well in High School I sort of touched on it but growing up in South Africa meant we were a bit behind in ‘new releases’ so all I really got was Get The Party Started. I wasn’t impressed by the song on the radio because it wasn’t really the type of thing I listened to and also the artist sounded totally pompous… BUT then I saw the music video. At this point in my life I was still very set on becoming a movie director so I judged all things visually with a harsh air of pretentious arrogance (yes those are both synonyms for pompous… ironic). I was surprised to find out how young the artist was, I was also pleasantly surprised by the humour in the video… it gave the song a new depth and to me that is exactly what music videos were suppose to do. So that was my first encounter with P!nk. During the next 5years there wasn’t a lot of P!nk in my life but I did come across ‘You Make Me Sick’ I found the music video… disturbing and frustrating… I loved the car spinning upside down; I loved the throwing stuff fight but the whole naked rose pedals thing freaked me out – I know it had to do with the whole ‘war of roses’ theme but at that age the whole naked famous person in a video made me feel like she was selling out to an image and that disappointed me a bit. In her defence, she was still pretty young and new to the industry.

A couple of years went by and unawares to me, P!nk was a busy girl and turned into an amazing women who went after everything she wanted and didn’t mind opening up about everything that she was facing. In 2009 I was working in a 5* hotel in London and we were in the middle of trying to win – ok steal – a huge client from 2 other top hotels. It may not sound like a big deal but this account was worth a lot of money so the pressure was on and there were 4 of us who were still studying Hospitality Management and we really wanted to prove ourselves… we were good at what we did and we always wanted to finish what we started, which in this case meant that we were at the hotel every day from 5am until 2am the next day (most days we didn’t even go home, we crashed in a random hotel room – benefit of working in one – or just drank a lot of coffee to get through the day) for 5days a week for 6weeks. We also had other functions to attend to during this time so don’t think we had a day off… a slow day was one where we actually got to go home or worked less than 16hours. We had a huge team of inexperienced guys that we needed to control and motivate. So during the first week we were in the Ballroom and resetting for lunch and the Gigantic Screens were down playing Sky News and we sort of looked at each other and realized that we could change the channel and put on MTV. As we did this, So What by P!nk started playing and everyone picked up the pace. Needles to say: the song got stuck in my head – first time that I heard it. Around 2pm we were clearing up after lunch and people were getting quite tired and irritable. Most of our morning team would be leaving in an hour at which point we would be getting fresh reinforcements. Those of us pulling double shifts were slightly irritated by the complaints of people who would be able to rest in an hours time leaving us behind to complete another 11hours of non stop work… and in a spontaneous fashion which was highly unusual of me I sang ‘Nanananananana I wanna start a fight!’ and everyone laughed. It was at this point that I realized that music could relieve the tension and that I didn’t know the rest of that song… I also called the song ‘I wanna start a fight’ and was quickly corrected by a few French Fans who continued to educate me about all things P!nk and that lead to a marathon of listening to all of her albums.

I fell in love with ‘Long Way To Happy’ on I’m Not Dead and as I finished reading the words in the album cover booklet I glanced over at the credits and saw A.Moore listed as writer on almost every song of the album… It didn’t get it just then, I had to google it before I realized that A.Moore was P!nk… Alecia Beth Moore.

This changed everything! She went from an ok singer who made a few cool music videos to an artist who was daring to bear her soul to an unforgiving world. There were still so few artists who were actually good enough to write their own songs and few of those actually write about their own experiences. I simply had to hear more of this honesty and with the magic of the music store down the road, I had them all! At work ‘So What’ became our theme song. Every time we got frustrated or tired or just annoyed we started singing and everything seemed less stressful. So at the end of the event we were all exhausted but we survived and we won the clients over. One of the chefs who were with us through it all bought us tickets to P!nk’s Funhouse show at the O2.

Even though I was pretty hooked on her writing, I hated live shows because I use to organize them and feel sort of left out watching them rather than being behind the scenes – probably why I did so well with event management at the hotel. So when we decided to go to the show, it was more like a joke. Just a way for us to celebrate that we survived a hectic month and I didn’t expect much, we even got tickets quite far in the stands and it was more about us than P!nk – I feel like I should apologize here… Any way, P!nk sounds a million times better live than on an album! She also came out and did an entire song on a couch! A couch!!! I didn’t think that was possible; how can you spend 5min in the exact same spot and keep the attention of thousands of people? Well she definitely kept our attention! And then there were all of these insane acrobatics and Cirque du Soleil stuff that would scare the crap out of most people and she did all of it while singing live!! Yes LIVE!! While hanging upside down! Without a harness!! She sounded amazing!! She was funny – even after almost falling because her silks were not properly secured! As if that’s not enough, she slowed it down and sat at the edge of the stage – barefoot – singing ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’ accompanied only by her guitarist… It was amazing!!!

Anyway, moving on from the awesomeness that is P!nk singing live: what impressed me most was her faith in humanity. What I mean by that is that the songs she wrote was so open and honest and raw and the fact that she was sharing her experience and views knowing full well that the world will judge her for every single word but she had faith that for every one who judged her, one person would accept her and thank her for allowing them to feel less alone. She is willing to take on issues most people tip toe around or feel to embarrassed to talk about and she’s doing this because to her writing is therapy and sharing her realizations might just help someone else who is also trying to fight through the same pain…

I’ve always said that I like music but I don’t really have a particular artist I like… until P!nk. I am a fan. I am a P!nk Fucker. I am an underdog! I am fighting my demons and willing to stand up for those who are doing the same. I always felt like I came late to the P!nk party but recently I’ve realized that that is the best thing that could have happened. If I had listened to Can’t Take Me Home religiously, I might have fallen into the trap of believing that P!nk was just an angry teenage girl who was the anti-Britney but instead I skipped right to the awesome part; the part where P!nk started showing Alecia Moore to the world… I am completely in awe of P!nk and don’t see that changing anytime soon!

Every song that comes out of her heart is even better than the one before; as a fan we have the opportunity to grow with her and usually end up learning something about ourselves as well or at least having one of those I-feel-that-way-too moments. Being a Fucker is way more than listening to P!nk’s music, it means you care about the things she cares about… it means you understand what she feels… it means you connect with other people who feel the same way she does and essentially the same way you do… you connect with people on the other side of the world of different ages who have felt the same emotions depicted in her songs. So I will always be a P!nk Underdog…

I see you

Since the release of P!nk and Dave Meyers’ F***in’ Perfect music video, there has been a lot of talk involving suicide and the sheer hopelessness many people feel every day.

Unfortunately we live in a world where practically no one can say that they have never known someone who contemplated giving up on life. We live in a time when there is so much pressure, not just from the outside world but even from the family who’s suppose to be your corner stone during times of doubt. And what’s worse is the pressure we place on ourselves… you rarely hear someone say: “I’m awesome!” and actually mean it and in the unlikely event that they do, we tend to label them as arrogant and obnoxious. It’s almost like we designed the world so that we can’t win.

Then one day a musician takes the time to look at her fans and see that they are terrified; terrified of being no one; terrified of letting themselves down; terrified to let their true colours show. Instead of just ignoring it, this amazing person who has a great talent for writing and an even greater one for getting people to listen, decides to upset the apple cart once more: she writes a song about alienation and depression. She’s not arrogant enough to believe that she has a solution but she’s willing to give it a shot… Her goal: “That it promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion”. So far that’s exactly what’s happening!

In my final year of high school three of my six closest friends wanted to commit suicide. Actually to be fair the one guy was just severely depressed and refused to eat or move and he only talked about suicide. It’s that ‘only’ word that sends shivers down my spine. Like thinking about giving up on your life and yourself isn’t bad enough? Well it is! And believe me, I have spent many a day since then worrying about my friends because I missed ‘the signs’ the first time around and I said ‘only’. My friends who went a bit further than just thinking about it tried it, thankfully for us they didn’t know what they were doing so we found them in time but they still spent months [some of the best months of anyone’s life time] in hospitals and clinics. They still have to make that choice everyday: choose life. Every time they face a challenge they have flashbacks to that moment they felt so absolutely powerless that they couldn’t see any way out of it… And then they remember that they made it through. It wasn’t easy and this challenge ahead of them won’t be easy either but they’ve made it once so they can survive anything. When we talk about those years in High School now, they don’t remember the millions of little things that kept piling up on them, they remember us, their friends, huddling around them. They remember the strength they got from knowing that we are there for them.

It’s just sad that they couldn’t realize that we have always been there ready to tell them that they are amazing and a simple conversation with them about the weather would make us smile. It’s tough knowing that we came so close to losing our friends to the insecurities of feeling unseen and unheard. It’s something that has altered my perception of showing emotions: I always preferred being stoic and showing emotions only when I really had to but the fact that my best friend could be standing next to me laughing and joking one minute and attempt suicide the next shook me to the core. To think that behind that laugh was thoughts of feeling utterly alone and numb… Since that memory still haunts me, I now live by the rule that ‘I call them as I see them’. If I get even the slightest inkling that you are not 100% alright, then I’ll tell you that you’re fuckin’ perfect to me! Remind you that you make me feel more alive simply by allowing me to be in your presence. I still wonder if one line of approval or that one hug could have saved my friends this entire trauma… but we can’t dwell on the past, all we can do is help others walk a different path.

Loosing someone is never easy! Losing them to suicide or depression is a lot harder because the guilt is so much worse! We see so many friends and acquaintances every day and instead of telling them that their tie looks awesome or that their hair due brings out the blue in their eyes, we just walk by. We keep it to ourselves thinking they already know or that someone else will tell them. What if no one ever tells them? What if you could make their day simply by acknowledging that you notice them? In the traditional Zulu culture they don’t really have a word for ‘hello’ and if you translated what they use instead it would akin to “I see [the real] you”. They’re pretty much saying they see your spirit and the person you really are. So next time you think about walking past someone without a word, just think about seeing them and say hello. Let them know that they’re not alone and more importantly remind yourself that you are not alone!

A song and a video won’t reduce the number of suicide attempts but maybe the people who listen and watch them will.

Please,

AM

*If you or someone you know needs help, please visit TWLOHA

*If you ever want to talk the quickest way to reach me is through twitter @am_mf

I’m Fat!

I’m thinking of writing a cook book! Ok… not really. As much as I love cooking, I still have no idea what I’m doing; I’m just winging it.

If any of you are wondering how I managed to get an A in home-economics without picking up the culinary art, well it’s quite simple: my best friend was the top teen chef in the country! We’d do projects together and I’d just do the salads along with the washing up and measuring… I left all the real cooking to her. I use to see food as just an irritating waste of time and occasionally I still do but that’s only because I’m forced to over think it. I have this annoying little liver condition called Gilbert Syndrome. It’s not a big deal, in fact if you look it up in a medical journal it’ll only tell you two things: one being its name and the other to not misdiagnose it as Jaundice. Basically my liver can’t produce the chemical that removes all the bad stuff that get trapped by biliruben in your bloodstream. So when my biliruben levels get too high, my skin becomes yellow and I pretty much feel nauseous all the time.

When I first discovered it, I didn’t find it difficult to change my entire lifestyle because I knew if I didn’t I’d be in bed all day feeling like death warmed up simply for the sake of eating a few French fries. So I cut out all things fatty and everything remotely sweet, except cheese and Smarties and replaced it with loads of fruit! I also drank insane amounts of water. Even though all these things made me feel better during normal daily activity, it still didn’t prevent me from fainting once a week and since I refused to be on pills for the rest of my life, I had to find other ways of dealing with nausea.

The point I’m getting at is that we all have different bodies and they react differently to all sorts of food. For instance, if I eat a teaspoon of sugar I need to drink 5 glasses of water just to balance it out. It’s really annoying when someone asks you if you would like a cookie and you have to spend a minute analyzing whether this moment of pleasure is really worth it! Thankfully not everyone is forced to think about their food as much as I am but subconsciously, it’s what we’re all doing. Society has taught us that we should feel guilty for eating anything that’s not green or has been cooked with something other than water; that added spices like salt should make you feel bad and even eating meat is practically a crime. Well that’s pathetic! No one can tell you what you like or what to eat!

No one has the right to make you question your food choices or doubting your beauty! Yes, of course eating only greasy food is bad for you, which is why your body will give you a clear indication when it has had enough. And yes, if you have trouble walking up the stairs to your room, then maybe you should practice that a few more times during the day but this is all very subjective. You cannot judge yourself by anyone else’s standards nor should you ever allow anyone else to make you feel like you’re not measuring up to their standards…

I like the food I eat and as long as I do it in balance, it’s all good. I’m not thin and I really don’t think I’ll ever be thin but I’m happy. Yes I could do with a few more sit ups but that’s just because I’m comparing myself to the way I looked when I was 16. We don’t stay 16 forever ~ which I’m really glad about! Our bodies change throughout our lives and we need to realize that. Your body isn’t the only thing to you; it isn’t even the main thing. If you lose a finger nail, will that make you any less you? No! Of course not, because there is so much more to us than our finger nails and our hair and our dress size.

 We have the ability to think and feel and care and make choices! These are the things that matter not the shell it is all kept in. My grandmother use to say: “What other people think of you is none of your business.” At first I thought she was just clueless but then I thought about it and it made sense. We live in a world where we are so afraid that people won’t like us or that we don’t dress as well as that person or make as much money as our neighbour. None of these things really matter! There are people dying in our backyards and wondering where their next meal will come from and instead of trying to figure out how we’ll ever manage world peace, we spend hours in front of the mirror criticizing ourselves and breaking down our self confidence simply because we have forgotten how to see the people inside the Levi Jeans. We see all these superficial things and think that that is what makes a man. Guess what? It doesn’t!

Looking perfect and feeling perfect are two very different things! I’m amazed I’ve written this much without quoting a P!nk song. Obviously we all have days of feeling like we just don’t measure up and it’s exactly for those moments P!nk has written the song F***ing Perfect! “You’re so mean, when you talk about yourself, you are wrong! Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead.”

 Listen to the lyrics and believe every word! We’re all f***ing perfect and unique. If the people in your life can’t see it, then they don’t deserve to be in your life!

Sharing my view,

AM

PS: This post came as a result of my disrupted Twitter feed. Some guy who thinks he has the right to judge everyone else and tell them they are not worth as much as the person who wears a size zero, upset a lot of my friends and I just hope one day he’ll be able to look himself in the mirror and realize he has to change the voices in his head. Yes, I’m talking to you Mr Kenneth Tong. FYI: It really annoys me that I have to refer to such an ignoramus as ‘Mr’ but hopefully we’ll get @MrKennethTong silenced on Twitter!

PPS: Check out this amazing blog by my friend Chrisselle (aka @iwrestledahammy)

Size zero must go! http://j.mp/hpEe2o

Underdog

I’ve been listening to ‘Raise your glass’ by P!nk a lot lately and the whole underdog phrase still bothers me. I don’t get it; I just can’t see her as being an underdog.

Yeah the music industry is tough and you have a lot of competition and obviously some radio stations find it easier to refuse playing certain songs rather than play a bleeped version. But with all of that said, underdog is not a phrase I would use in regards to someone who has such a varied fans-for-life fan base. If I had to use the word ‘dog’ in a phrase to describe Alecia Moore it would be more like she’s the only dog at a cat show…

Anyway, my point was actually that I spent the last week with my future in laws and they have quite a few dogs. They have four Toi-poms, a Jack-Russell, Alsatian-wolf hound and a non pedigree dog called Beast. Everyone in the family has their favourite dog or in the mother’s case favourite mongoose but the Toi-poms are excluded from the favourites list.

The first Toi-pom is the eldest one, female and called Dino, she is dark brown and gets preferential treatment due to her age and the fact that she doesn’t bark at absolutely everything that moves like the males do. The second dog is Dino’s daughter Pookie and a light brown but also gets rather preferential treatment because she’s considered to be the baby of the lot and has big brown eyes. Then we get to the males: Socks (also light brown) and the Wolfie the only black Toi-pom. If you want to talk about underdogs, these two would have to qualify. It’s not that they’ve had a hard life or are treated badly, they could just use a bit more love.

The males belonged to JS’s late-grandmother who was probably a bit too old to be all cuddly and lovey-dovey with them as puppies not to mention never really having energy to play fetch or teach them tricks. Just a side note before anyone starts asking why people who can’t exactly pay a lot of attention to their dogs are allowed to have dogs: these weren’t ordinary circumstances! Living alone on a huge farm while trying to run it for the sole purpose of keeping your late husband’s memory alive and being absolutely terrified in your own house every day because the guy who gets your farm as soon as you croak lives just a stone through away from your bedroom window, warrants special consideration.

Either way, these 2 little dogs were basically scared half to death by the ‘future farm owners’. As hard as they tried to protect their home, it took its toll on them. You can still see it when people wearing specific clothes walk by and they flinch or they quiver as soon as they see the thunder clouds approaching. They’ve faced difficult situations considering they’re just Toi-poms. Even though they are younger than the female dogs you would never be able to tell just by looking at them.

So this whole week I made sure to give them as much attention as I possibly could and I like to believe it made a difference. But like with all recovery processes, it’ll take time before they realize they can go back to being pets instead of guard dogs.

Even while I was playing with them, they find it difficult to just lay there and allow me to rub them for more than a few minutes, like they fear they should be doing something else and if they don’t hop to it, something bad is going to happen. Being an underdog is fine for a while but sooner or later you’re going to have to make the conscious choice to stop caring how other see you and worrying about all the things that can hurt you and just step up and take back control of your life.

The thing about a label like underdog is that it can go in two very different directions: You could just sit there feeling sorry for yourself and throw your hands up while saying that the world is against you so why should you even bother trying or that label could inspire you to prove every one wrong. Maybe that’s what P!nk’s been referring to: her inspiration to be better than anyone ever told her she could be… In that case I hope a few more people tell her there are things she’ll never be able to do, because if she’s inspired then through her amazing courage we might all find a bit more inspiration too.

It’s up to us to make the best out of life because nothing’s just going to fall into our laps. A little inspiration and a fighting spirit can turn any underdog into a champion.

 Just a thought,

AM