Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the best books I have ever read. It is pure luxury, captivating descriptions, beautiful characters and a story so good I kind of wish it were true (even the sad bits). I have read this book at various points in my life, when I’ve been feeling lonely and homesick; excited; happy; bored; loved up and each time it still speaks to me. If books were made of gold, this one would be one big, magnificent lump of the stuff. It’s indulgence, sophistication and intrigue. The Great Gatsby is one of the best stories ever written. I won’t hear of any disagreements to what my stubborn mind takes as fact: The Great Gatsby rocks.

One of the hundreds of Great Gatsby covers around. I like this one though, not sure why.

When I heard that there was a modern adaption of one of the books I love coming up, I felt nervous. Most book lovers do when they hear something they read is coming out in film form. It’s a nervous time. Nothing beats our imaginations, in our heads anything can happen, everything can be created; even the imperfections are perfections in their imperfect way. When I heard The Great Gatsby was going to be made into a new film (coming out this Christmas) I was more nervous than I’d normally be.

Hollywood likes to change things, adapt it, make it more fancy and more OTT than it needs to be. F. Scott Fitzgerald already has that in The Great Gatsby, it’s already all of that and more. How can you really get better than what Mr Fitzgerald has written? Any grander and you’re too close to the ridiculous to be able to dispute it. The intrigue that Jay Gatsby creates is so well balanced, that the clumsily majority of Hollywood were, in my opinion, at serious risk of breaking the whole thing into millions of beautiful crystal pieces.

I watched the trailer today after reading The Great Gatsby not so long ago that it’s still fresh in my mind like the smell of newly cut grass. I was apprehensive and YouTube took ages to load intensifying the whole thing for me. Damn technology. After watching the trailer, I’m no longer nervous – just very, very excited. Those three minutes gave me butterflies (sad but true), it looks brilliant and from the little we get to see, the film adaption seems to be sticking pretty close to the story itself. YAY!

In a word it looks magnificent. The director is none other than Baz Luhrmann. He has directed things such as Romeo + Juliet (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio), Moulin Rouge and Australia and all those films are awesome, I am only expecting wonderful things from this. I’m so excited for it that, wait for it, I am actually looking forward to winter coming. I never thought I’d say that. I feel like I’ve cheated on summer a little by saying that but it proves my excitement.

The casting, in my humble opinion, is pretty good too. I think Leonardo DiCaprio will make a great Gatsby (pun unintended), and Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan as Nick and Daisy respectively works really well. Carey Mulligan seems to exude the same sort of naive intelligent innocence that I think Daisy shows in the book. Honestly, seeing this trailer has made my day; and they say Friday 13th is unlucky!

I do recommend that if you haven’t already, read the book before you watch the film. The Great Gatsby is honestly a brilliant read and you’ll find yourself going through a range of emotions in a very short space of time. After all, The Great Gatsby is a skinny book. It packs a punch though, and if the trailer is anything to go by so will the film.

I could wet my pants with happiness. Here’s the trailer, enjoy.

 


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Dreams? Not for everyone apparently

I have been all over the shop this past week or so and although my blog seems to have naturally changed to a weekly update thing I am so tired of essay writing (already!) and am feeling tired but with a still buzzing brain and as a I wait for the boy to get onto skype I felt it was a perfect opportunity to blog.

I am in my final year at university this year, I graduate in July which is only four months away. As a result, I do what every average person would and start thinking about my dreams. After all, it is the reason I’m at university in the first place to be able to achieve my dreams and all those wonderfully impossible ambitions I have! I don’t want the deep despairing hole of student debt trying to engulf me for no good reason. But I digress.

I was talking to a friend today and during the conversation I happened to ask one of my favourite questions ever to ask a human to him, I feel it says a lot about a person. I asked him what his dream was. Not his dream that would please others or get him away from his problems but a dream or an ambition he’s always wanted to achieve. Just because he wants to. He shocked me slightly, as it does every time I get this answer, that he didn’t really have a dream or an ambition. Happiness is enough. Which is all well and good but I’m confused. (I wrote about something along those lines here https://browneyesandgreenbees.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/happiness/ way back when last year).

His dream is to be happy yet he’s currently miserable, feeling low and a little sorry for himself. In my opinion, as nice and lovely as it is to have a dream of being happy it’s not realistic. It’s like aiming to drop a dress size but not telling yourself you’re going to get there through healthy eating and exercise. If your dream is to be happy (which is obviously everyone’s dream – no one aims to be depressed) then you have to have aims of how you’ll achieve that. Humans like to be complex creatures as such having such a basic dream or ambition as being happy means that you’ll never actually achieve it. Funny how the world works, huh?

Not having a dream is fine. Stating your dream is to be happy is like saying well I hope I’m still breathing so that I can have dinner. Duh. Everyone wants to be happy. Those that don’t want to be happy usually wish they could want such a thing. A dream does not mean a state of being, because it’s just illogical to mean such a thing. A dream or an ambition is fundamentally the steps to getting you to ‘happy’ or at least meaning that on the way to achieving those dreams you find ‘happy’.

Banksy

Also, you can’t technically dream to be happy. Even if you have everything in the world. A secure family, health, money, time and whatever else people fantasise as the ideal; there will be times when you’re not happy. That’s just human nature. To be consistently happy, I mean not a single day with even a second less than pure elation would drive you crazy. And it’s just not humanely possible, unless you’re a toy or a cartoon and you’re smile is drawn on. I am a naturally happy person, it is my fall back emotion and yet even I allow myself to feel anger, sadness, disappointment and hope. That’s what life’s about. Not being happy all the time, learning and evolving and reaching happy again, it’s about exploration not numbing yourself to certain emotions because they are seen as ‘negative’.

I have countless dreams but never have I felt the need to announce that I dream to be happy. Firstly because I am lucky enough to feel happy most of the time and secondly because that is just a general consensus. I do not like assumptions but just like I assume that if you’re reading this you’re breathing (and have access to the internet) so I assume that you want to be happy.

You can’t dream an assumption. You can’t dream for something that is obvious for every person on this planet (and there are a lot of people). It’s like every person in a beauty pageant asking for world peace. It’s a given. And although I believe everything should be stated at least once, I do feel it’s a little silly to say you dream to be happy.

Maybe I’m being overly ambitious and judgemental but I stand by what I say. I think it’s more logical to state that you don’t yet have a dream; or that you’re still figuring  it out; or that you don’t need one because you’ve got all you want and you couldn’t ask for more. That, to me, makes a lot more sense.


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Happiness

It’s strange but I’ve only recently realised that many forget to be happy or at least they forget to find out if they are happy. People get caught up in the mundane of their lives, or on the amount of things that have to do or the dreams they want to achieve that they forget to be happy. They may be happy, they just don’t realise it so does that even qualify as happiness?

Happiness is different for everyone, where rainstorms practically make me jump around in glee (which I have been known to do on occasion), I know they terrify some. It’s all perspective and obviously some people are happy with not realising they are happy. Some don’t need the confirmation to be happy, they just assume they are. It’s not exactly how I’d define happy but so each to their own.

A lot of people are never asked questions like “Are you happy?” “How do you feel about it all?” “How are you?” from people that genuinely mean it and actually want to hear your answer because they care, not for the gossip or as a conversation filler. Even those that love you and care for you sometime forget to ask. I think I know why. Apart from the fact that people are busy with their own lives, I think it’s because happiness as become an assumption.

People, and this is from society’s expectations of us, are assumed to be happy; people assume that happiness is other people’s default state. Even though they know, from their own personal experience that it probably isn’t theirs. Although they probably don’t know that. They probably don’t know that because they just assume they are happy too; people are too scared to evaluate themselves and see if they are really happy. People are curious about others and everything around them, but to self reflect and ask themselves, what is in my opinion a fundamental question, is shoved to one side and ignored.

It’s important to take a step back and breathe. Otherwise before you know it, you’re not okay. You’re unhappy, you’re frustrated and you’re annoyed. These emotions may be because of whatever is happening in your life at the time when you come to the awful realisation that you’re not happy. But you’d probably be slightly better equipped to handle those negative emotions if you’d asked yourself if you’re happy long before then.

Happiness is not an assumption; happiness is not something we should be complacent about. Happiness is one of the most important things in the world, it’s what helps make life that little brighter. You may surprise yourself when you ask yourself if you’re happy. You may stop and see and you may realise that you are happier than you realised.

I think the majority of people would agree that happiness is important to a healthy mentality. Isn’t that what everyone is striving for? Happiness? Isn’t that what companies are selling us when they advertise the newest gadget, car or perfume? Happiness? So why do we forget to actually ask ourselves such a simple question? Does the potential of a no scare people too much?

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to acknowledge your happiness and not just assume that you are. If you are happy, then great; you’ll find yourself feeling happier at realising your happy. If you’re not happy then you can start working towards being happier. But I should also point out that it’s okay not to be happy. It’s alright to be sad and to not be okay. Human beings are complex creatures and we need that too. For me though happiness is crucial to living and not just surviving.

Happiness is not an assumption.


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To Future Generations

I know what I am about to write may sound terribly hypocritical considering I’ve created this blog with the principal aim of saving money and logging my progress but still, bare with me.

To Future Generations

I want you to know that money isn’t everything. It’s important but it is not the secret to happiness; this I can assure you off. Don’t feel despondent if you don’t have money. Just remember that the most important things in life are free (kind of like those heart-warming MasterCard adverts): love, fun, family, friends are the things that will make you happy however if you’re paying for any of these things then something is seriously wrong and it’s not the real deal. Stop paying and walk away, I know you’re smart enough to know that that is simple logic.

As important as saving is remember it’s just as crucial to treat yourself from time to time and enjoy life. Be that by buying some new clothes, getting yourself a haircut or going away for a little while. Work hard, play hard.

Do not let your life be overrun with an obsession with money; it will consume you and then the important things: the things that will make you happy like a walk on the beach or a kiss from a lover or a hug from a friend will become less common. Obsessions are all consuming; do not let it consume you. Think about it, it’s just a few pieces of metal and some paper that’s easier to rip than normal writing paper. A money’s worth comes from not only what’s imprinted on it but from what you allow it to be worth to you.

Good luck with everything.

Love me.