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“What are YOU celebrating on Christmas, you little atheist?!”

“What are YOU celebrating on Christmas, you little atheist?!”

That’s what I heard from a very very christian friend last year around this time.

The thing is, I am not celebrating Christmas at all and I haven’t for many years. Not in a christian sense anyway. As much as my religion is not in my life anymore, Yule/Jul/Christmas, is still a time of the year, I look forward to.

For me, rooted back in my old religion and way of life, Christmas is about

  • the sun coming back,
  • days getting longer again.
  • a time of becoming active again.
  • seeing how nature is starting to wake up and live again.
  • the circle of life, the year, the seasons
  • how every end is also a new beginning

The Christmas tree with everything I put on it, is full of symbolism.

  • The evergreen tree in winter, reminding people that there is life even in the darkest of times
  • The Christmas ornaments > round bulbs > circle shapes remind of the circle of life, the year, and the seasons
  • The habit of hanging apples and nuts on the tree as a symbol that you wish for a good year, with a good harvest and plenty of fruit
  • The red candles as a symbol of life and light in a dark time. It’s light as a symbol of the fact that now the days are getting longer again.

But Christmas is so much more for me and probably a lot of other Atheists out there:

  • A time for your family
  • A time to just eat a lot of very tasty things
  • A time where you can take time off and just be
  • A time where you realize that you still have a lot of PTO left, so you just take it all now, when all your friends and family takes it too.
  • A time for hobbies and fun things
  • A time of great music

Do I celebrate Christmas in a christian way?
Definitely not!But I am surely having a very good and jolly time and I enjoy that.

Christians have neither invented Christmas, nor do they have exclusive rights to it.

Now chill, do your thing, and let me do mine. Don’t question my motives and I won’t question yours.

By the way:
Please read the different gospels concerning the birth story of Jesus. Funny to see how much your holy, unfailable book contradicts itself, just again.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Atheist Activism vs. being preachy

We all know the Jehova’s Witness style religious people. Knocking on your door on a Sunday at 7am when every normal person is sleeping, wanting to talk Jesus with you. Or those people who will interrupt your conversation with someone to tell you that you got it all wrong and God has a plan for you. Or the guys on the shopping mile with the God-flyers, asking you if you know what that guy called “Jesus” did just for you.

Don’t you hate this invasive behavior? I sure do. I cannot stand people trying to convert me or trying to preach whatever religion is trendy right now. I do not like when people come into my personal space (and this includes a private conversation that I might have with someone while I am outside my house) and interrupt everything I am doing just to start preaching to me.

Well since I hate this kind of behavior, of course I am not doing it either. I am a reasonable person, or so I like to think. It is rude and intruding and very annoying so I don’t do it. Yes it is that easy for me. Even if I hear a godly conversation. Who am I to roll in like an elephant and destroy the conversation, other people are having?

So the other day, a friend I have on Facebook, Seth, he posted something. I have to mention that Seth is an Atheist activist. He has a very successful website and podcast and is generally known in the atheist “scene”.

With his allowance, I am now going to post something that he wrote and parts of the conversation that followed in the comments:

sethpost

I read this and just nodded. “Yes, this is how I would react too.” I would leave those people alone. It is not like they are trying to preach to me. They are having a conversation, so whatever, let’s eat breakfast.
Right? Sounds reasonable?

Well here is a comment on this post:

stupidcomment

I usually don’t comment on people’s posts because I am a no-drama-zone and usually my thoughts are kind of thought provoking which people just don’t take well. I learnt to shut up most of the time. But this time, with this comment, I was not able to, sorry. I just had to say something because this Faisal guy was obviously an idiot.

answer

I had so much more on my mind, things I wanted to tell that guy but I felt like one of the two would happen if I said more:

  1. He gets defensive and starts a never ending discussion about who knows what.
  2. He wouldn’t read it anyway

I wanted to keep my good mood and save my nerves, so I kept it at that.

If you are interested in more content by Seth, please check him out. He is one of the greatest Atheist activists out there.
Here is his youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheThinkingAtheist
Here is his website: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/
Here is his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thethinkingatheist?fref=ts

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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An hour without power

So last night I was going to have a shower and then go to bed. It was already really late and it was pitch black outside.
At some point during me having a shower, all power went off. This includes the shower because it runs on electricity.

The good thing is, that all my senses are working perfect so I can navigate through pitch black darkness just fine.
My husband on the other hand, he was still playing something online with his friends, so of course he was a little pissed. He is also not good at navigating in the dark.

As we were unable to fix the problem that late at night and calling the landlord at 3am was out of the question, we went to bed.

I got up around 11:30 in the morning so we checked the fuses but couldn’t find anything wrong with those in our flat.
I sent a text to my landlord, asking if he could have a look, while knowing how my stuff is unfreezing in the fridge.

“Oh ok, I will be there in about an hour!”, was my landlord’s answer.

My first thought, being used to all the things in the house that run on electricity, was “Ok, what do I do to kill the time and how do I keep my frozen food well?”

This is how I spent my hour without power:

It is not that I really missed having power on, knowing that it will be fixed in an hour. I love doing stuff on the computer and I did have full battery for my laptop but I chose, on purpose, to keep the laptop off and do something else to kill the time.
For me, a lot of the computer is distraction. You can sit in a messy flat and not realize because you are staring into that computer screen all the time.

First I simply wrapped all my frozen and cold things in two woolen blankets to keep them cold, which btw worked fine. Nothing unfroze.
Then I started cleaning up everything that I could clean without hot water. (The dishes were left at that point)
I also told my husband to help clean up and as soon as he was done, he had his laptop on.
After the dishes, I finally glued my sole back on my shoe which had been broken for a month and I just couldn’t be arsed to fix it.
I also took my second laptop and prepared it for my friend. His computer broke and I am lending him my second (old) laptop until he gets the parts he ordered to fix his computer.
I also finally got to talk about some important matters with my husband and he finally took the time to address those matters because there was nothing to distract him. Nothing called him away from me and towards the computer.
We were, indeed, so much in our conversation that we didn’t notice time flying by.
At some point I received a call from my landlord asking to be let in.
And even after the power went back on, my husband and I continued and finished the conversation slowly. There was no rush to get on the computer just because the power was back on.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised how much stuff you can get done within just an hour.
Guess how I measure time. I measure by how long things take in League of Legends. 1 hour = 2 ARAM or 1 hour = aprox. 1 normal match.
So basically, that one match that I might have played instead, I did not miss it and I got a lot of things done, including a good quality conversation with my husband.

Right now I am considering to do an hour without power regulary because I found the experience pretty good.

 

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Battling depression

A friend of mine was just talking to me. It was about depression and how a friend of his doesn’t want to get professional help.

Having been depressed for the vast majority of my life I can give a few thoughts here.

Getting professional help is scary:

  • It makes it official that you have a problem.
  • It puts a permanent mark in your file with health officials.
  • It labels you as a “crazy person”
  • You might not be the person that talks to strangers.
  • It looks weak.
  • It feels strange.
  • It is very exhausting to talk through your problems.

Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of great strength to address and fix your mental problems.

For me personally it was quite a journey. I went to therapy for a while but it didn’t help me at all. I am the type of person that wants to fix their problems themselves. I am not happy to sit in a room with a stranger and tell them my story and have them tell me stuff like “you know, you can’t change it anymore, it’s in the past.” blabla roll eyes. Right? I get that feeling. I knew the things the therapist said to me back then. I went through that phase of “I can’t change the past” long before I went to therapy.

What helped me was time, meditation, and writing. Those were my main factors in healing. And how long did it take? Well about 6 years. Yes. It took about 6 years for me, to fix my issues, to get back on track. The 12 years of depression before that could of course not be fixed over night. I had good reasons to be depressed and it just took time. But:

the things I recommend for people who do not want to go to therapy:

  • Practice to focus on one thing and one thing alone. Learn to turn everything else off in your mind and to focus on one thing.
  • Meditation. It’s probably the advanced way of focusing. With the right meditation techniques you can work on a lot of your problems.
  • Writing helps to release things that you want to say but you have no one you could say it to. You can even delete it when you feel better.
  • Writing letters. If you have been hurt or a person has caused you deep pain or trauma, it helps to write them a letter that you will never send. Just write it, and let it all out.
  • Hobbies help as well. For me it was music. Other people might have different hobbies, just do what you like to proof to yourself that there are enjoyable things on this planet.
  • Talk to people. Even if it is not face to face. Maybe you find a forum or an internet friend. Getting some feedback helps to put things into perspective and to see things from a different angle.

These things above helped me greatly and, without trying to sound dramatic, saved my live. Try it.

If you have no one to talk to, and you really need someone to listen or read your story, as part of your healing process / If you simply want to exchange etc, feel free to send me a message. I will read, I will not judge, and I will answer! clos3rlook<at>gmail<dot>com

Be well and love yourself. Live is so much more!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Hormones: yes or no?

So here is the deal:

A few years ago I went to the gynecologist because I had stopped getting my period. Not that that’s a bad thing. I actually welcomed that fact but I had the doctor have a look anyway, just in case.

Back then I received an ultra sound and they checked out my blood. What the doctor told me was that I have a hormonal imbalance. In my case that meant that I produce too much testosterone and that the estrogen that I produce is not bound the way it should (whatever that means). It was then explained to me that my acne problems are caused by that. The ultra sound showed some things and I was told that it is scarring in my womb. I was told that I might never be able to carry a baby (especially if I don’t take the pill in order to get my period again) but if I ever wanted to try, I would probably have to take hormones.
So for the moment I started taking the pill so I could get the period and prevent my womb from further scarring. The pill that I had to take has since been taken off the market because apparently some women in some instances died from it? I am not sure. But I cannot get that or its counterparts anymore, nowhere. Any other pill will be likely to have me gain even more weight, and I already gain unnaturally fast (from eating a normal diet).

So recently my husband and I decided that we want to try for a baby. I went to the gynecologist and asked about what you just read above. She said that she knows the condition. And just from looking at me she knew that I have it. She said that my acne, weight gain for no reason, and cysts in the womb are very known to be caused by it.
She ordered another blood test to confirm and once she has the results we will talk about everything. If I can carry a baby and what hormones I need to take.

But he is the problem, and I am even scared to bring it up with her although she is my doctor. This is Ireland. People are pretty conservative when it comes to gender…. stuff

I am thinking that if I am the way I am (very male brain) because of this hormonal imbalance, I would not like to take hormones because that would change my me. I like myself the way I am and don’t want to change so that scares me like hell.

How do I bring that up with my doctor without sounding like a freak? She doesn’t know that I am so queer that you could almost call me trans. My husband knows and I told him that I am scared of taking those hormones because of it. He told me that I should ask my doctor about it. But just how should I approach that topic really? It’s not a commonly known thing around here. And how freakish is it for the doctor to have a patient that looks like a woman, wants to make a baby, but tells her that in her brain she is not a she but a he…. Kind of weird isn’t it… I have no idea what to do…

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The big disappointment

So today I was reminded why I am so far away from my family.
You see, sometimes I see co-workers or friends and how happy they are and excited every time they get to see their family. They start telling me about all the nice things they like to do when they are with the family and I must admit that sometimes I do get a little jealous.

My family is a big disappointment and every time I have something to do with any of them, I get that reminder. They are one of the two main reasons why I left the country and am not intending to ever come back.
My family has caused more pain than happiness in my life and I don’t think that that’s how it should be.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have a few good memories about my family. Sadly they are very few and the bad ones are just too much. Until I was finally able to leave my mom’s house it was terrible most of the time.
Mental abuse, constant fighting, constant worries, my brothers getting into trouble with the law so much, my father never being there in the first place, my step mother…. well…., my mom completely not able to be reliable, my grand parents unwilling to help, my extended family ignoring us away…. I had almost no friends because I was poor and weird and didn’t really fit in. We moved so much that I never got the chance to make friends and keep in touch. (And yea, that is just the family part that went wrong… I had a pretty fucked up life)
I was kept on such a short leash that I was unable to form my own opinions, find out how the world works, make mistakes and learn from them. I had no computer and ridiculous rules when to be at home (even at 17 years old I was told that if I am not at home by 8pm the key will be in the whole and turned and I can see where I stay for the night). I got in touch with the internet, and therefore all the knowledge, at 21, after I left my mother’s house.
Leaving that place is it’s own story – probably the first time I stood up for something I wanted and just did it. It felt good!

Only after I left my mom’s house was I able to finally find my way. Finally there was access to everything, via the internet. The amount of things I read and learnt, and finally was able to build my own opinions on all the things in life… That was immense.

But this shaddow, my family, was always somehow somewhere…. To gain distance, I moved to the other side of the country. It was not enough. Not only my family was a problem. The whole country, the system, not being able to ever receive the help that I had a right to, because I was a tad too healthy…. Well being a tad to healthy almost killed me. And when I realized how bad it is for me to stay in that country, I left.

For a while I needed my mom because I had to pay back a bank loan. I had the money but I needed to pay in monthly at a certain time. As I had no job and therefore no bank account in the new country, I asked my mother to pay the money in every month. I sent it to her via Western Union every month far in advance. But she was so unreliable and did it late so many times that I received letters from the bank a lot.
The thing with my mother is, she is a nice person… in general I mean. but she does not behave like a mom. Ever. I cannot count on her when it comes to anything important. Ever.Not even un-important things.
Like today I asked her for a childhood picture of myself with one of my siblings. I needed it for a LARP I play and organize. I needed it now so I just told her to make a photo of it and send it to me via facebook.
Instead of doing it (take the folder with the pics out and make a photo and send it) she rather told me how it is night, and not a good time, and the light is bad, and it is blablablabla just so she doesn’t have to do it. And again… As she started to get pissed I started to care less and less until I told her that it’s ok, I don’t need the picture.

I shouldn’t even feel disappointed about these things anymore. After all. I am 30 now, I have known her for 30 years and she has always been that way…

But still. I kinda measure people by my own standards (which are pretty high) and that is how my family can still drag me down because obviously their standards too low to even see the bottom at times.

ah well *sigh*

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

And back

Hi guys,

So before I go back into my normal way of posting stuff, I just wanted to say sorry for just not posting at all for such a long time.

A lot of stuff has been going on, I was very busy.

Here a shortened version of everything:

  1. My application at Riot Games went pretty far. In the end I didn’t make it but it took a lot of time to prepare and just keep myself sane because I was so nervous between interviews. I will tell you more about it, in one of the next posts.
  2. Wyrm Gnosis, the gaming community I lead with a friend: We decided to branch out into more games and servers. So we got really busy recruiting. Also we are revamping a lot of things (rules, staff structure, teamspeak, designs for shirts etc, new website design) so we are really working a lot on that.
  3. LoL season 4 is almost over. I am trying to improve and at least leave Bronze for once. But as things look, although I am not super bad, I don’t have the time to solo queue as much as I need to get out of bronze…
  4. After my adrenaline high which was present for about 2 months non-stop and then finally knowing that I didn’t make it any further for Riot, I was on… dunno, I guess something like a natural withdrawal or so… I was so tired all the time, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. So I went to work and after work and all the community stuff I just fell into bed.

But now, I am back. Await a lot of posts. I have a long waiting list of things I am going to talk about in the following days and weeks to come.

Cheers and cya soon

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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