Autumn is absolutely gorgeous. It project a certain drama that other seasons do not have, which makes me also quite dramatic.
For instance, looking at this last dying rose makes me sad. I call this flower the late bloomer. All her sisters are already long gone and she is still here dying alone. Her presence reminds us of the winter ahead.
Like what I have already mentioned in my previous blog, it has been a year since the last time I smoked. Indeed, I am very happy and proud of myself that I was able to stop smoking for a year now. While I acknowledge that I am weak in relation to my addiction and the temptations will always be present, I certainly hope that I will continue to be a non-smoker for many years to come. In my experience, I have come to realize that the success of the latter depends upon the recognition of the former: in order to deal with addiction, one has to recognize the power the addiction holds to the one being addicted.
In the past, I have already made two attempts to quit the nasty habit of smoking and sadly enough, also twice I have failed. The first lasted for six months while the second a year and a half. In those two previous attempts, I made promises to stop smoking and that the cigarettes I was smoking when the promises were made were the last ones I would ever smoke. And yet, I would find myself too weak to resist the strong urge to smoke.
Since last weekend, I have not smoked a cigarette for one whole year. It was on the 4th of August last year at exactly 14:00 when I smoked my last cigarette. I must say that I am proud of myself for this achievement. I think only smokers and ex-smokers can fully appreciate how rewarding and gratifying it is being able to stop smoking and continue to stop smoking for a year and – hopefully – beyond. I deserve to give myself a one year chip for not smoking.
Indeed, I am very proud of myself for being able not to smoke for one whole year since last weekend. I was a smoker and now I am liberated from the nasty addiction that has enslaved me for many years in the past. I thought I will never free from it. Somehow, I have accepted that I will be addicted to cigarette smoking for the rest of my life and that I would never be free from it. And yet here I am, an ex-smoker blogging about being an ex-smoker. I am not a smoker anymore. I find the ‘not smoker’ version of myself more pleasing than the one who was a smoker.
Today is the last day of June and I have not yet posted any blog entry for this month. This might sound ridiculous if not trivial for many, but I do not want to let this month or any month without posting any entry in my beloved blog.
One day, without any pre-existing plan, I took the train and went to Venlo on my own. With a camera around my neck, I graced this beautiful, quaint, and yet intimate city. I pretended to be a tourist for day and allowed myself to be amazed by the sceneries as if I have seen it for the first time. It was an opportunity to see the city in entirely different perspective and also to develop skills in photography.
In the beginning, I was just merely watching the sitcom hit in the 90s entitled Friends. The more I watch it, the more I find myself to be studying Friends and treating it like a case Study. In this blog post, I intend to reflect upon my ‘addiction’ to watching Friends, but also how this addiction has made me immune to the humour of my favourite sitcom.
Since ‘Friends’ becomes available on Netflix, I cannot stop watching it. Last weekend for instance, I have spent the whole Saturday watching its episodes after episodes. As much as I do not want to be disrespectful to the experiences of those individuals who are actually struggling with their substance addiction, my watching behaviour last Saturday mimics addictive behaviour if not a symptom of addiction itself. I have lost control and this has already happened in the past.
Unlike the more structurally scheduled programmes on local television channels, Netflix offers us relatively more choices and freedom to watch what we want, when we watch them, and how much of it we want to watch in one sitting. As David Brook once wrote in his book entitled, The Social Animal: ‘freedom without structure is its own slavery’ (2012:58). While my face was glued on the screen watching Friends the whole day last Saturday, I was quite aware that I was being a slave of my own freedom.
Now that I am no longer in the university, I miss the university so much. The academic environment is one of those rare spaces in which I feel free and empowered. For as long as I can remember, I have always liked going to school and being in a classroom.
I am not one of the brightest students in all the classes I have attended in the past. In fact, I do not really consider myself to be bright or intelligent at all. Learning for me is a struggle. I have had no idea of what I was doing most of the time. Nonetheless, I enjoyed studying and learning.