Πέμπτη, 27 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Blog no.14: Collection of recollections

Dear photogenic people,

  Fuck you. Seriously, I couldn't get a good picture if my life depended on it. Now that that's out of the way, let's get into business.
  Being unusually bored to do anything else, I figured I'd dig deep into my facebook profile in order to see how things were a few years ago with me. As I'm going more and more into the past I'm thinking "I couldn't dress for shit" on top of "wow, I was dumb as bricks". It's true, some times we think back to ourselves and cringe at what we did when we were younger, and then we stumble upon the younger ones going by their everyday lives and doing stuff they consider normal and we do the same thing, constantly reminding them how "superior" our generation was and how much better we behaved, when it really is not true at all. I kinda feel sorry for the younger generation that they can't erase what they put on the internet because I honestly believe that in 5-6 years they will be looking back, thinking "wow, I was dumb as bricks" but frankly, that's the natural continuation of things. I tried telling my cousin what to do and what not to do because I've been through the same stuff more or less, but we all know that teenagers won't listen to their parents let alone their 20-year old cousins. They will do stupid shit and they will learn from it, and there's nothing we can do to stop them. Don't judge a person by who they were when they were teenagers, most teenagers come into adolescence as completely different people, and those who don't were either too serious or too childish growing up.
  Now, thoughts of my past self aside, I can't help but remember all the good memories that accompanied all these pictures. It's pretty neat looking through them because they are impressions of the brighter side of growing up. Each picture has a story behind it, a laugh to be had. And that's all that sticks with you through life, isn't it? All the memories, all the laughs, all the people you shared these with. You can be jealous of somebody as much as you like, but remember that no two persons share the same memories, the same experiences. Try to cherish what you have right now because remember: these will all be memories in the future, pictures to be framed and hang, a photo album to be read, "a collection of recollections." Next time you take a selfie, remind yourself that what you will be seeing in a few moments is a past version of you. Try to be a better person every time you look into the camera, since everything you do contributes into what you will eventually become. And try not to fuck it up, will you?

Cheers to all the good memories,
and the ones that are yet do be had.
Stelios Zesiades

Τρίτη, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Blog no.12: On the road

My dear few,

  It's 9 a.m. in the cold October morning and I find myself sitting on a bench by the train platform, waiting for the "7:54 train" to Salonica, alongside a young lady in her late twenties. She is rather pretty for what I managed to see; I'm always quite gentle when observing my surrounders. I was eating a cheese-pie and kept thinking how it was more pie than it was cheese while sipping from my grown-up drink through my grown-up straw, a chocolate milk carton. The few stray dogs were staring at me while I halfheartedly ate through my pie-pie so I shared half of it with mama-dog, who admittedly enjoyed it more than I did.
  Afterwards I krept my hand in my 5-year old schoolbag, found my way around the various sweets and snacks I had packed for the trip and pulled out my newly acquired copy of 'Gone Girl', the movie of which I had already seen twice in the theatres and loved if you can't tell. While I'm dissecting Amazing Amy's skull, thinking of her head and all that sweet nonsense, my co-bencher is lighting up her fourth cigarette since I had sat next to her, and now I'm wondering if she's that bored, that addicted or if my mere presence forces people towards destructive cigarette marathons.
  Nick Dunne is now wandering about his childhood memories and I'm not trying to seem sophisticated anymore, I'm really into this book! My mind is still on the now late "7:54" train though, it's lateness irritating me as much as its 54-ness, a rather cruel test for passengers with OCD. I don't even have OCD but I'm mildly annoyed since I don't get why you would someone bother pinpointing the exact minute if they are gonna be late anyways. I guess I'll never get these 10 minutes of doing nothing back, huh.
  Passing through the endless and seemingly empty green fields, I'm still more into my book than I am contemplating existence while looking through my smudge-covered windows into the suburban nothingness that is the northern Greece countryside; I've done this so many times in the past I'd argue there's not much more to contemplate about. I see the sun creeping through the cloudy mess of a morning sky, I put on my white headphones over my still-buzzing-from-the-club ears and I'm thinking how fine I finally feel, because for a moment, I only have to worry about getting off at the right station.

From the foggy northern Greece countryside,

Stelios Zesiades.

Δευτέρα, 11 Αυγούστου 2014

Blog no. 11: O Captain! My Captain!

  Why did you have to leave so early, my captain? Was it because of that one time I said that Flubber sucked? Maybe because we all laughed at your crossdressing adventure in Mrs. Doubtfire? I don't know, captain, I really don't. What I do know is that you have made millions of people sad to their very core, after making them happy for the span of decades.
  I don't remember watching any other film as many times as I have watched Jumanji. Growing up, that was a movie that had everything for me: adventure, drama, comedy, Bollie Hunt, and you. Did I mention you were brilliant in it? Then again, you were brilliant in any movie you were in. You could have played any role and nail it every single time, you talented motherfucker you. You were the reason I wanted to be a funny man, captain, because I saw how capable you were in making people smile and like your own Patch Adams, you were the best doctor to treat an open wound with the most potent drug there is: laughter.
  Here I am hoping that the world isn't responsible for the saddness of the funniest man I've ever known or that whatever drove you past that line is something people can fend off. I wish I knew what you  and many others are going through, but depression is a prison and the only person who holds the key is the victim itself. Me, even if I had fallen into that trap I would not give up out of mere stubborness. After all, if you can't take life seriously then take it for the joke it is, with a smile and a hint of a chuckle to go with it.
  This might not be the best of worlds but it's the only one we have, and I know you did the best you could to make it a happier place. You succeeded, cap! Your ability to make other people laugh was something to be admired, even if it wasn't enough to keep you going in the end. Your comedy nourished multiple generations of children and grown-ups all together and it will continue to do so, as far as people can help it, which they surely will. I for one promise to show your brilliance to the next generation. I promise that I will try to make people laugh as much as you did. And if anyone mistakes you for Robbie Williams, I will gladly hit them in the face with a Jumanji board. On behalf of the whole known universe and several unkown others, thanks for all the laughs and memories. You will be greatly missed.

"O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead."

- Walt Whitman

"It often seems I've skipped a rung,
Some days, for what it's worth.

I've missed a step - I've slipped and swung
To some peculiar Earth

On days like these, those moments tossed
Emerge with careless haste - 
To leave me hopeless, hurt and lost,
With bitter truths to taste.

I'm sure it seems absurd to hear
I'd grieve to let him go - 
I'd close my eyes and shed a tear
For guys I didn't know - 

But all the same - I will a while
That man I never met -
The man that made me laugh and smile - 
I never shall forget."
- From Reddit: Poem for your sprog 

Τρίτη, 25 Μαρτίου 2014

Blog no.10: A sense of purpose

Dear humans...

  Feeling down? Feeling insignifigant? Feeling lonely? This one's for you!
  Freddie Mercury tells us in the Bohemian Rhapsody, "Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see", and we do just that. What do you see? You see the stars. You see the blue of the sky, with or without little grey and white patches of clouds floating around. You see the moon, providing you with just enough light to be able to see but not be blinded by. And the sun, oh the big bright sun. You can't look directly at it, but you can still enjoy its gifts at the utmost. But you feel small, so very small compared to what's out there. That is not the case my friend, as it's not a matter of matter, it's a matter of mattering.
  Now close your eyes. What do you see? It's dark and scary, I bet. The trick my friend is to not use your eyes. Use your senses, set your mind free. Now, what do you really see? What you are seeing with your eyes closed, that's what makes you signifigant. It's what makes you unique. Remember, you are part of this incredible ever-evolving organism that's called life. You have changed the lives of everyone you have ever interacted with, the old lady you gave your sit to in the bus, the poor little kid you gave your spare coins to, the teenager you bumped into to whom you apologized, the cashier you said "Hello" and "Thank you" to this morning. Every single thing you have ever touched is forever marked by your star-forged molecules. That's why you are signifigant. Your signifigance, my friend, it is not valued by the amount of space you occupy in the physical cosmos, it is valued by the space you occupy in other people's conciousness.
  Make sure you are someone to be remembered, someone to be admired. Your time in the world as a physical entity might be finite but your mind can be as infinite as you make it to be. People cease to exist, ideas do not. That's why what you should strive for is not to be remembered by the expendable body of yours, but rather by your indestructible mind. Treasure this limited time you have. Don't waste it.
   You say you can't change the world no matter how much you try. You're probably right, you can't. The idea of one person making a change is, nowadays, rather utopic. However, it's not how much people try, it's how many people try. Like molecules, we are all tiny bits of existence, which when united form a bond that's so strong and so fierce, it breeds life from within itself. Pink Floyd say that we are just another brick in the wall. I agree, but not quite in the way they meant it. Take a few bricks out of the wall and watch it collapse upon your feet, or build it strong and tall and create things far beyond your imagination. Brick by brick, bit by bit we will eventually change the world, I tell you this one for sure. You might not be there to witness it, but knowing you were part of it should clear all your worries. "Be the change you want to see in the world". But don't let the world change you. You might not be the special snowflake in a sea of sand grains, but you are the sand grain that will eventually become part of something bigger, a sand castle perhaps, which no tide will ever be able to destroy.

"Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars."
                                                       - Serbian proverb

Yours sincerely,
Stelios Zesiades.

P.S: I hope I helped you out.

Πέμπτη, 6 Μαρτίου 2014

Blog no.9: Do disturb

Dear insomniacs,

  You know that feeling you get sometimes that renders you completely counter-productive and forces you into a never-ending cycle of procrastination? Yeah you do. Everyone does. That's what's been going on lately, so bare with me. I'm writing today because why the hell not, I have exams in a few days and this shall be my gateway to communicate with other human beings, even if I'm the only one who's doing the talking. Hey, that happens in real life as well. Not as fun when you are expecting a dialogue and end up rambling on to keep the awkwardness levels low. Anyway, let us begin fellow humans, shall we?
  Everybody around me is telling me I spend too much time on the computer. Is that right? You're damn right that's right. Am I sorry? Kinda. Can I do anything to change that? Glad you ask! I certainly can, but more importantly, I certainly won't. My best excuse is really plain: it's easy. It's easy to converse where nobody knows your name. It's easy to find people who share the same opinions as you, no matter how far off they might seem to the people near you. You see, I'm not just scrolling an endless array of cat pictures and "I bet you can't watch this without laughing" videos, I'm not stalking exes, I'm not wasting any time. I invest on the computer to catch up on things. I take part in meaningful conversations with strangers, I discover music I would otherwise not be able to discover, I educate myself with the most random pieces of trivia which will probably never come in handy in my life. And whenever real life rejects me, I find comfort in the digital hands of strangers. It's indeed sad when you think about a piece of machinery being there for you more than the people around you but unfortunately that's the way things are. I'm not blaming anyone for this though, it's not their fault my reflexes opt to answer "I'm okay" to anyone questioning my wellbeing because it would be too complicated to explain something you can't understand.
  Of course I'd love to be able to do all these things away from a computer screen. Who wouldn't want to share all these experiences with people that he can actually interact with? And on almost every opportunity I have, I step away and experience the real thing. When I'm sure that I will enjoy myself, I take every bit of time I have to rest my eyes. The thing is, I'm surrounded by people who don't like the same things I do. They don't like discussing, apparently. The few times I was able to discuss, and I mean really discuss with someone on a personal level, they found out that I'm not a wannabe metalhead who wears a piece of hardware for additional style points (talking about my white on-ear headset). And the reason I wear my white headset is because I'm almost better off listening to my music rather than having meaningless chit-chat with people who don't even know me. They don't like going for random walks to just sit somewhere and talk. The Parthenon has been sitting there since I came to Athens, as far as I'm concerned, and nobody even mentioned going there to relax and savour life. If you have ever seen the sunset from the view of Acropolis, you will hate yourself every time you miss it.
   You might say that I'm pretentious since I can go watch the sunset whenever I want. It's true, I can. Do I want to witness it by myself? Hell no. There are things you just can't experience alone. I've been alone this New Year's eve and I got to tell you, it's pretty ugly. It's stupid, of course New Years is just a day like any other but it wasn't that way for me. New Years has always been a day to celebrate with my family, with our card-playing and coin-sharing and gift-opening, even though these traditions faded as soon as we grew up. Never in my life had I felt so depressed, watching everyone in the square being with their loved ones, and me listening to "Bones" as the ball dropped for whatever reason and wondering what the hell I was thinking. A few beers and a failed pickup attempt later, I found myself promising to never to do this to myself again. So yeah, some things you either have to experience surrounded by people you love, or you don't have to experience them at all. I can watch the sunset by myself a few times and it's all gonna be alrightbut one day will come when I will realize I counted so many sunsets spent alone that I wouldn't want to do it again until I've found someone to share it with.
  In the end of the day, I don't ask for a lot. I'm not asking for money or fame (even though I wouldn't mind some, ofcourse). I'm not asking for new memories. The memories will come, whether or not I want them to. The real challenge here is finding people to share these with. Without good company, life is like a roadtrip without good music. Even though the nature is daunting, the view is impeccable, the air is refreshing...you won't be able to enjoy it.

Leaving you with not a quote from a movie, but instead the most accurate description of myself

"I like drinking coffee alone and reading alone. 
I like riding the bus alone and walking home alone. It gives me time to think 
and sets my mind free. I like eating alone and listening to music alone. But
when I see a mother with her child, a girl with her lover, or a friend
laughing with their best friend, I realize that even though I like being alone, 
I don't fancy being lonely."

Keep on keeping on,
Stelios Zesiades.

Τρίτη, 21 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Blog no.8: Fears, memories and faulty stars.

Well, hi, yeah, whatever.

  I'm not writing to redeem myself over not writing for so long, nor for the pleasure of someone else. I'm writing this one for myself.
  So, the end of "The fault in our stars" found me utterly sad; depressed one might say. The good kind of depressed, like the first time I saw the final episode of "Friends" depressed, like the ending of "Forrest Gump" and "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" depressed, the kind of depressed that is great but also sucks. The kind of depressed you feel after finishing a fantastic book, an incredible movie, or an amazing series, or in general things you are greatful you experienced, things that leave you wondering, things that will be engraved in your brain until old age, amnesia or Alzheimer's kick in. That kind of depressed.
  If I ever meet John Green I will probably tell him how much I hate him and how much I love him, I will hug him and flip him off at the same time. I know that I sound like a teenage girl saying this but frankly, I don't give a damn because I've been reading the last few pages of the book over and over again for the last hour or so. So yeah.
  This is so stupid. How come I get invested in non-existant characters? Works of someone else's imagination? Letters put together in sentences to create Hazel and Augustus's  heart-breaking, tear-jerking love story (yes, I did) which managed to also make me laugh quite a lot. The last time I remember getting this kind of depressed I was probably 11 years old and I was reading a book about a cat. A CAT. And I don't think I will be as depressed again soon after now, until I reread "The fault in our stars".
  I don't know why the story hit me so hard. I can't relate. I don't have cancer. I don't have friends who have cancer. I know that the book is not solely revolved around cancer, but it really makes me wonder. How do these people feel? I mean, I have lost some very important and close people to me but I don't think I ever felt like Hazel felt in the book. Is it because of the cancer? Does it unlock people's feelings towards you? Does it come with a superpower that makes people around you realize who you trully are? And what about all the other, not-so-cancerous people that die so young, with people never finding out who they trully are. For a long time know I've been thinking that my biggest fear is the fear of drowning. Well, "fear of drowning" has just been dethroned from the top spot in my list. My newest biggest fear is "the fear of dying before people find out who you trully are".
  I'm not saying I'd like to have cancer. Of course not. The fear though, it's there. The thing is, people settle too often to what they think about you and don't take the time to further look into you. Don't get me wrong, I do that too. That's why I'm writing this blog, in hope that someone will read this without me having to say it. Cause I'm afraid. I'm afraid that in the end people will be driven away because not everyone wants to be discovered. And it's a vicious circle, that. Our fear overcomes our thoughts, merges with them and plants itself into our consciousness.
  I hope that one day I will be able to discover and be discovered. I hope that deep down everyone has these over-the-top questions and sudden existential crises and that the world I live in, the world I feel with all my senses is not formed by superficial creatures seeking to exist, but rather huge complexes of molecules trying to figure themselves out.