Music – My Immortal by Evanescence

Music is one of the most powerful forms of communication that there is available in this world.  It can be used to take the listener to a place where they are able to connect with someone that they didn’t even know existed and show them that they feel and understand them.  This post isn’t about club music or fun music, this post is about emotional music, music which moves you to tears, moves your very heart and soul to a place where you feel completely at peace, or in cases where you just feel all of your vulnerabilities just pour out and lay themselves out in front of you and for you and the world to look at.

I just listened to My Immortal by Evanescence, which was released in 2009.  I have heard this song before and I thought it was a lovely song then, but not something I gave a second thought at the time.  Listening to it today the song took a whole new meaning to me and moved me to have a lump in my throat.  Thinking back I can understand why I didn’t really feel that way about the song then, I was fairly angry throughout that year around the time it came out and I had not reached the level of emotional maturity that I have now.   This song is utterly beautiful.  The words resonate within me, the music behind the vocals carry me and the vocals themselves, well they simply leave me speechless and in awe.  Her control of her voice to give that vulnerability, when I know there is so much power behind it from other tracks, and that haunting sorrow which I feel from this piece is just so emotional I feel…I can’t even describe how I feel, it’s this sad yet happy feeling, completely exposed to my emotions like a raw nerve.

Music like this I don’t really listen to as much because I try to hide away from alot of what I am feeling at times, compartmentalise and store in a box in the back of my brain to gather dust and forget I ever felt like that.  In reality that is not healthy or the right way to deal with those things in my life.  It may be appropriate to just put them away for a while until the correct time to deal with them has come, but all emotions should be dealt with and sorted so that they can be moved past.  That is something I have learnt as I have grown older because suppression only leads to a build up of pressure inside you, and when that valve bursts you have a breakdown, and those are so much worse than dealing with the problems day by day and getting it out of your system, piece by piece.

This post is truly lives up to the name my mental stream.  I have not read it back or edited it in any way at all, I have just poured out my heart and emotions into this piece and I hope it is legible and easy to understand for you Internet.  Not that anyone will actually be reading this but wow it feels like you understand exactly what is going on in my head and my heart.  Thanks for listening to me Miss Internet, you are a great girl.

My Closest Friends

I would like to think that I am a reasonably friendly guy, easy enough to get along with and up for a joke and a bit of fun, but those who really know me know I am actually quite a brooding person.  I prefer night over day, I more often prefer nights in with friends and drinks rather than nights out with music and bars, and I am partial to the colour black.  The black thing might sound a little out of place here but a someone I know once told me that “black isn’t a colour, it is the absence of it” and linking that to my character could show a darker side to my personality which I know exists, but refuse to acknowledge at times.

I know a reasonable amount of people who I would call acquaintances, a smaller circle I call friends who I actually contact occasionally to see, catch up with and go out, and then there is the smallest circle of my closest friends, who are very limited in number, but without I am pretty sure I would crumble and fall into a ball of crazy in a corner singing nursery rhymes in French.

They are truly fantastic people, each in their own way.  Some of them tell me the things I need to hear when I am behaving irrationally or out of anger/frustration.  Others will just be the most calming of forces when I am wound up over something and bring me down to earth safely.  Some will tell me the harsh truths that I don’t want to hear, but I have to.  All of them are people who I can converse with on pretty much any topic with complete candour and know that I will not be judged and the information will go no further, not even to their partners.  That level of trust I hold in these people is so high it sometimes worries me, but I trust myself enough to think I can find good people to trust (wow that is worded terribly but I can’t think of another way of saying it!)

Some of those who I would class as close friends I have known for years, others considerably less time.  Some are male, some are female, some are quiet and level headed, some are loud and a little irrational at times, but every single one of them would have my back in a heartbeat, and I would have theirs.

I believe in every single one of them and know they will all become great people and have positive influences on all those lucky enough to come into contact with them.  I feel honoured that they are my friends and even more humbled by the fact that they listen to my problems and whining when I get down.  I hope I am a good friend back and help them with their problems as well, would hate to think it is all one way with me.

To my closest friends I raise a glass, for without you I certainly would not be who I am today, cheers.

Site Update

So I have just changed a few of the thingymabobbies on the right of the page written a little piece on about what My Mental Stream is About to me, and a hilarious BRAND NEW page stuffed full of content on the About Me page.  Two posts in one day today as well, don’t you feel lucky Miss Internet getting another round of information from me!

Yeah..I think my sanity is dissipating at an alarming rate, but I feel by making these small adjustments it is making the page more me, like some sort of emotional investment, which this page already is as I am writing about how I feel etc. on it. You get what I mean Internet, you are so full of the most random and unusual stuff that my rambling are probably just another day in the office for you! Ah well, until the morrow, I bid you farewell.

Intelligence and Laziness

Today I received my transcript of results for my degree which I passed a year ago. I needed the transcript to send off for professional accreditation when applying to join certain professional bodies and looking at the transcript brought back some pangs that I was feeling a year ago, pangs of regret.

I looked at my averages for each year and they were low in my opinion, except for my final year. In my first year it was around 43%. In my second/third year it was around 50%. In my final year it was in the high 60% range. If I am completely honest with myself I messed around a great deal in my first and second year, and as my third year was a retake of my second with one module and my mark was capped there wasn’t a great deal for me to study, so I messed around that year too.

It was only when I got to my final year that I really pulled my finger out and knuckled down. I studied harder, researched deeper and pushed myself further academically then I ever have. All that effort paid off in the short term as I got great grades for that year, but overall they were not strong enough to boost my appalling previous ones, which dragged down my final degree classification.

Reading though my transcript again reminded me that when I completely focus my mind on something and push myself hard enough I am actually a reasonably intelligent guy with the potential to do things I do not expect and a mental agility that I would never admit even existed in my brain. The only thing that stands in my way is myself. As incredibly cliché as that sounds, I think it is very apt in describing me.

My self doubt and sheer laziness at times are the biggest weaknesses in my character. I procrastinate like no-ones business and I forever doubt myself and my capabilities. I am working towards having more belief in myself and what I can do, as I know I am reasonable capable, but I do not really know what I am truly able to do. As for my laziness, I am forcing my body and mind into a motivated and forward moving mindset. This is a work in progress. That is not me saying it is something I will work on in the future, but that I am working on making myself more motivated to do things, which I believe in turn will motivate me to believe in myself more. I hope that one day I reach a point where the amount of confidence I sometimes portray is actually as much confidence as I truly have. The day that happens, and I find the right motivation to push myself, I will be a world beater.

How On Earth Do Women Do It?!

So while doing some bits and pieces in the town centre today I noticed today that there were a large number of girls in heels and wedges. Some of these heels were like 4 inches high and the wedges were just crazy! How on earth do women walk in those things?!

Some would say “how do you know it is difficult, it could just be really easy and you just haven’t tried it.” Well that is where you would be wrong, I have tried walking in heels and it is an absolute nightmare!! Now don’t get it twisted, I am not a cross-dresser or anything like that, I just did it for a laugh when I was with some of my female friends, and it was hilarious because I looked absolutely ridiculous in them and most definitely could not walk in them more than about 3 paces before my feet hurt and started cramping and I fell over from the stupid height of them!

I suppose that through years of practice that women could be able to walk for hours in those skyscraper heels and not fall over, but the trend of platforms shoes that I have seen lately makes it even harder I would have thought. I haven’t tried on wedges or platform shoes, so I can’t say from experience if it is hard to walking them or not, but they look even harder than normal heels!

I guess I am just a man when it comes to these things. I don’t get how it is comfortable or possible to walk in high heeled shoes, or even pull it off and have that hip swinging walk which makes all the guys stare, but I absolutely admire the results…and secretly the shoes as well if they are nice too.

Criticism and Being Critical

I don’t like to be criticised. When people tell me I am wrong, whether it is my opinion on something, or an answer to an exam question, I want to know why my answer is wrong, and like to have it explained to me. If I find the answer justifiable then I accept it, but if I don’t I will argue with the person explaining how I am right and that thought their answer may be correct, mine is also correct too. In some cases I end up going for the other personas argument and explaining how what they believe to be correct is actually not true.

I am much more logical, dispassionate and level headed when it comes to arguing over subject matters like accounting principles or which food is better for you and why, but when it comes to criticisms levelled at my character or my values, then I tend to get emotional i.e. angry and defensive very quickly.

I have come to be who I am through the experiences I have had through my life, as most people have, and they have moulded me into the person that I am today. When people criticise me about something I think, or the way I do something ( I can be a bit particular at times, I’m not OCD, I just like to do things in a certain way and don’t like my plan to be deviated or changed in any way!) I can get quite aggressive and confrontational with that person.

I don’t think it is because I am so big headed I think I am always right or that I have a massive ego, I think it is because I am so critical of myself, hearing other people point out even more flaws in my personality or values makes me de-value and reassess myself even more. I regularly think about my character and what kind of person I am, whether I have done the right thing in past situations, or whether I will do the right thing in future ones. I am critical of my body size, my intellect, my skills, my achievements, my height, my handwriting, my cleanliness, my hair, my manners, my speech, my writing, my social skills, my eating habits, my bad habits and a whole host of other issues. Even as I write this now I am being critical of how it sounds, how it looks and how it portrays me, even though no one really even reads this! I am so neurotic…

Hopefully over time I will come to be less critical and more accepting of the way I am. When people make comments about me I will be able to take them on board more constructively, rather than seeing them as a personal affront and be less critical about everything about myself. Personal growth level up. *DING*

The Way It Makes Me Feel

I was linked to a track by a UK artist Arjun called Vampire (feat. Starz) and wow, this track transported my imagination to somewhere it has not been in a very long time.  To me good music, whether that be great lyrical content, a fantastic beat or something that just makes me connect to a track qualifies it as good music, and this hit all my buttons.

My imagination teleported me to a dark club, a few drinks in and on the dance floor, which in reality is what happens to me when I am in a club.  I’m not the kind of guy who stands in the back watching people dance, or standing around chatting to people by the bar.  If I am in a club I am there to have a drink and then get dancing.  This track teleported me to the dance floor and I was with a girl.  Again not unusual particularly, I dance with girls, but if I am not with a girl it won’t stop me from getting my groove on.  It was the way that I was dancing that was unusual.  To people that know me for a while dirty dancing is not something that is out of the ordinary, but in recent times it has been a rarity to see me bring that side of me out.  In my imagination this song took me to that place where I had not been in a long time, dirty dancing to the bassy beat within this track, lots of hip movements, eye contact and lip biting on her behalf.  It was like something out a bad hip hop video.  This track took me there and it was an enjoyable little trip in my head.

This track made me look at how I used to be and how I am now in clubs.  Sounds ridiculous I know, especially as this is hardly something substantial with deep meaningful lyrics, but it still did it for me.  Not much has changed really, other than I am perhaps a little more controlled in my moves.  I don’t flail my arms half as much as I used to, and I also have picked up this strange habit of taking my glasses off, but my passion for a good time with friends in a dark room, surrounded by strangers, dancing away without a care in the world remains.

Why Do I Like Law?

Recently I have realised that I really enjoy law based media entertainment.  When I was 16-19 I used to devour every book I could possibly get my hands on by John Grisham and his contemporaries, getting lost in their words and feeding my fascination on the subject.  I don’t know whether it is the law itself which I find interesting, or just the way when coupled with an entertaining storyline it leads to a fascinating story and keeps me enthralled for hours on end.

More recently I have been leaning towards law based television shows like Franklin & Bash and Fairly Legal.  That could be a comment on how the public are now leaning away from reading and prefer watching shows on television, or just my personal preference.  Either way these shows entertain me with humour and keep me interested with the flow of arguments and twists of law logic.

When I was 14 I wanted to become a lawyer and when at university I studied a module of law which covered several aspects of law such as contract, tort, negligence, intellectual property and employment.  To be honest I found it rather tedious at times.  It was interesting to an extent but the amount of reading necessary with some of the cases we had to cover was beggars belief.  So this leads me to think that maybe it is the entertainment factor of a good storyline, a little romance and great characters, mixed in with a legal environment which is what I prefer, rather than just the law in its pure form.  With that knowledge attained I hope that there are more great shows and books like this out there for me to discover or be brought to my attention for me to sit back, absorb and be amused by.

Feeling Caged

Today I have spent a considerable time outside of my house, so I am unsure why I am feeling like this, but I feel like I have some sort of pent up energy within me which needs to be expelled.

After waking up and doing bits and pieces on this lovely drizzly bank holiday, my family and I went out for a meal and  ice cream.  We spent the whole afternoon and early evening out and my brother and I spent some time on the beach laughing and throwing rocks into the sea.  So it’s not like I haven’t been outdoors or not gone somewhere today, so why do I feel like I need to break out and do something, like beat a punch bag Captain America style or run until my lungs hurt and my head goes dizzy?

I can’t work out whether the energy in me is just that I need to let out something is something physical, in which case my previous two ideas would be prefect for the alleviation of this problem, or it is more of an emotion based problem, in which case writing this post may be the perfect outlet without me having to go outside in the rain at 9pm. Either way this ball of something inside me wants to break out and do something.  It sort of feels like a spirit ball in Dragonball Z where Goku is getting ready to launch that bad boy at Freiza. Yeah I made a DBZ reference, I am a bit of a geek and deep down a big kid, so sue me.  I feel like the spirit bomb is inside me and I need to expel it, perhaps through a chest cannon like Iron Man…(yes that was geek reference number two, again, so sue me)

I must admit that right now I do feel a bit more relaxed in my own skin right now so maybe this post was the answer I was looking for.  I have a feeling that perhaps this idea of putting my mental stream onto here might be a better idea than I initially thought.  Only time will tell really whether or not it was a good idea in the long run, but for now, I’d say this has done the job.

A Fantastic Night Out

So on Thursday it was one of my closest friends and his girlfriends birthday celebration and they had planned a night out in Brighton to a club called Coalition. Thursday nights are cheese nights there and to be completely honest I was a little apprehensive of the whole evening. Don’t get me wrong, I would have fun hanging out with my friends, meeting new people and generally having a good time, no doubt with the aid of some social lubricant, but it was the music choice that left me a little uneasy. I am not a fan of cheesy music frankly, I like hip hop, RnB, dance, rock (the heavier side of it), dubstep and music along those lines, but not cheese. To my great surprise I had an absolutely amazing night, surpassing all of my expectations, and even better, no repercussions for partaking in maybe a little too much of a good thing!!

The evenings events started at my friend C’s house in Falmer. We were pre-drinking there while catching up on some old stories, and creating new ones on C’s new camera, courtesy of his lovely girlfriend. Pre-drinking completed we headed into Brighton to meet a few more of C’s friends and socialise more. I want to say the pub was called the BrightHelm, but I can’t really remember in honesty. More chatter and a few rounds and everyone was merry and content. I personally was really in the swing of things chatting away with everyone and at one point discussing my dislike of certain products and preferences in whiskies! The night was progressing excellently with no issues whatsoever! A birthday Courvoisier when at alone at the bar sealed my happy birthday to him and my intentions of a very good evening ahead!

Then we said goodbye to those in the pub and headed onto the club and this is where the night took its first unexpected turn for the better in my opinion. Instead of queuing for ages as I expected in the cold, making us lose our momentum and buzz, we were in pretty much admitted as soon as we got there and there was some fizzy stuff which went down far too well waiting for us! Well done C for planning ahead! We were in, drinking fizzy stuff and the music wasn’t making me feel like not dancing…and then it hit me! My preconception was that this night was going to be cheesetastic and that I would just have to fake a smile and dance away having a 6/10 night, but I was really enjoying myself. Great company, a reasonable amount of social lubricant and just an absolutely fantastic group vibe lead to the second unexpected turn of the evening; I didn’t want to dance to cheesy music, I NEEDED to dance to it! All the songs from when I was a kid and at school came flowing out of the speakers and the music carried me to the dance floor and beyond! I am not ashamed to admit that I did the maccarena, danced incorrectly to Saturday Night and shook my booty to The Thong Song. More importantly I air guitared harder than I have ever in my life to Sum 41 and Bon Jovi, to the point I would have made the air guitar gods proud of my display.

A night out with my friends wouldn’t be complete without at least one heart to heart conversation, and I had a couple of those that night. They really helped to put my mind at ease about some more recent things that have been on my mind, as well cleared up some old stories. Hopefully I managed to give some decent advice to my friends as well, I know I certainly got some.

With that and some confusion over lost people we rallied together and headed back to C’s house. The house mates and the people staying there for the night all got home safely, with no injuries and no problems. Sleep eluded me that night and I ended up being awake for 38 hours in total, but the rest of that story is for another time. All in all I learnt that I really shouldn’t go into a night with any sort of preconceived notions about what people will be like or how things will turn out, I should just go for it, and let the chips fall where they may. That night was one of the most enjoyable ones of the year for me, and I hope that the ones after that will carry on in the same vein!