Selfies

reversedI really don’t understand the fascination with people photographing themselves at every opportunity and plastering it all over social networking sites. Without wanting to be a complete hypocrite, I will admit that I am guilty of a couple of ‘selfies’. Occasionally it’s fine. What I don’t understand is why people feel so compelled to photograph themselves daily. It’s narcissistic. Simple as that.

Ask yourself this: is it really that important how many ‘likes’ you get for a photograph of your selfie?

All that is important is that you’re true to yourself and to others around you. The rest is shallow, pointless and insignificant. So beautiful celebrities do it, who cares? They live in a manufactured world. Be bigger than that, don’t aspire to it.

Guys, please, look around you. There are so many more important moments to capture than reflections in the mirror.

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Identity

I’m annoyed with myself. I got a new job recently. This is not the reason why I am annoyed with myself. I’m actually really pleased about that. No, what I’m annoyed with myself about is the fact that I took out my ear piercing for the interviews.

Now I know that reading that last sentence may seem ludicrous, that I’m annoyed with myself over something so trivial, but to me it’s a little bigger than that. You see, I really wanted to land this job. It’s a massive opportunity, which I’m extremely grateful for landing. Truth be told, I couldn’t afford to not get this job having witnessed my freelancing life crashing before me. So, in order to cast a good impression of myself I felt compelled to bow to the type of individual my prospective employers would be looking for, i.e. a man without an ear piercing. Still sounds ludicrous? I’ll continue.

When I was invited for an interview for an editor position of a new magazine with a focus on the world’s emerging superpowers I was thrilled. This was big. But then I began to worry myself. The role was serious. The location is in a really posh part of London. I’m not posh. I’m not even serious most of the time. If I was to turn up for my interview with my piercing still in, would they cast judgements on my appearance? Would they fret that I couldn’t possibly represent the magazine when meeting and interviewing some of the prospective individuals who they want featured in the publication because said individuals would cast judgements on my appearance, and therefore cast judgements on the authenticity of the magazine?

Am I worrying over something that doesn’t exist?

Or is this really the sad truth of the world we live in?

Would they care if I were to turn up to the office with my piercing in tomorrow?

Would they even notice?

I got my ear pierced when I was teenager. Now I’m 28, I still don’t regret it. I still wear it. Bottom line is though I removed a part of my identity in order to satisfy the potential stereotype of another person(s). This to me seems really wrong and this is why I am annoyed with myself.

The Chain

cropped booksI like to take a journey when I read. Not the type of journey intended for every reader by the author (though I do of course enjoy this, obviously), but a journey that connects every book I read; a journey that takes me from one tome to the next. A never-ending link, so to speak. Here’s an example of the latest three books in the chain:

  • Ox-Tales: Fire – A collection of short stories compiled by Oxfam with fire as the theme. Works come from renowned authors such as Mark Haddon, John Le Carre, and Jeanette Winterson. The story I enjoyed most was Dog Days by Winterson.
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – And so I moved onto Winterson’s debut novella, a semi-autobiographical tale on her growing up in the north, raised by Pentecostal Christian adoptive parents, whilst coming to terms with her homosexuality.
  • God – I visited my friend recently while he convalesces at home from a back operation and while there he recommended Alexander Waugh’s biography on God. Given Winterson’s religious upbringing it seemed fitting as the next choice in reading material. And then, when I noticed a line of praise from Winterson on the cover of the book, my choice was sealed. My friend had no idea what I was reading, and yet unbeknownst to him, at that moment he’d provided me the next link in my chain.

As I continue to read Waugh’s book I have no idea what I’ll move onto next, but that’s part of the excitement. For me at least, anyway. Sad? Maybe. I’m sure the next link will materialise itself to me soon. It always does.

Everything happens for a reason.

Dot-to-Dot

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Lately I’ve begun to recognise the coincidences that have been occurring in my life. There’s a pattern. Each of these coincidences has occurred in the last three years. Each has happened around twelve months apart. Each has slipped by unnoticed, until now. I’ll highlight what I mean:

  • In 2010 I visited a boxing gym near Finsbury Park with a photographer friend in order to conduct some interviews with young Olympic hopefuls. It was the first time I had been to that part of London; twelve months later, I moved to Finsbury Park after viewing several places in the north and east of London.
  • In 2011 I went to a wedding in Manchester. It was the first time I had been to the city. A year later, I was in a long distance relationship with a girl who happened to live in Manchester.
  • Last year I worked for a publishing company on a lifestyle magazine that was guest-edited by a certain celebrity chef. We spent many times at his restaurant in Marble Arch. Twelve months later, I’m in an internship on the next road up from the restaurant.
  • Until last year, I was responsible for a community website that focused on the area of Pimlico. This week, I began a new job that’s based round the corner from Pimlico Road.

Is there a link to all these coincidences? Or is that all they are – merely coincidences? Maybe I should lay down a map and connect the dots. Perhaps that way they’ll point me in the right direction. It would be nice to know where I’m going to be a year from now.