BBC News – Saudi Arabia’s king appoints women to Shura Council

Without much knowledge about this country, I can’t say much, but this is interesting. And you should read it. Academically please. This isn’t an article about America, or Europe or any part of the West (although it was produced by BBC). Please keep that in mind.

BBC News – Saudi Arabia’s king appoints women to Shura Council.

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Park Revelations

I was sitting in a park here called the “Parc Jourdan,” smoking a pipe and just thinking. Mostly about my life and my life in regards to women. In fact, pipe smoking is most common for me when women are on my mind. Today I realized why.

It’s relaxing. I think most people who smoke have realized this already. But I’m not sure they all realize what’s actually going on to make it so relaxing. I think there have even been studies suggesting that pipe tobacco smokers (note this is specifically talking about pipe tobacco smokers) may actually live longer or healthier than other people. That’s contentious of course, but I think there may be something to it.

You see, since you don’t actually inhale the smoke from a pipe, you have to control your breathing. More than that, pipes require a fair amount of concentration. If you pull too quickly and too often from the pipe, you’ll receive a chemical burn on your tongue. Not often enough and the ember will burn out because it isn’t receiving enough oxygen to upkeep itself (fire requires just the right combination of heat conservation and air). The result of all this is that your brain is occupied with slowing down: breathing, thoughts, body. And you end up meditating essentially. The small amount of nicotine absorbed by your skin I’m sure help with this, but really smoking a pipe almost forces you into a meditative-like state.

It’s interesting. And, as a result, I think I’ve got myself sorted out a little bit better. It can be too easy to become caught up in the now of my reactions to events and forget who I really am. My history. The whole of me and not just 20 year old Nathan who’s studying abroad in France.

You get better answers when you ask Yourself.

Disclaimer: I in no way mean to advocate the use of tobacco, nor imply that it is an activity that I take part of often. Any legal drug should be used in moderation and an understanding of its effects.

Imma Get Sentimental for a Moment

There comes a time (and really several if I’m being honest with myself and you) when each of us must face some terrifying hurdle. I’ve reached one. Not from study abroad, because I’m perfectly ready for that. Eerily ready. Not nervous at all. BUT I face a hurdle I have not yet in my life vaulted correctly yet. I’m beginning to realize that this one thing is, of everything I have ever done, my greatest failure. It’s strange to think about that way, but it’s true. It’s weird.

But I’ve never been good at telling others how I feel about them. It’s not that I can’t express myself (because I end up giving such a deluge of information that you would eventually get what I’m saying). It’s two things: I hate being wrong. I don’t think through the assumptions of my own brain. Which basically means for me that I don’t always know in a conscious way what’s going on or why I behave or feel certain things.

But I hate being wrong. I don’t like being hurt either (duh?) and that’s another part of the issue. But really it boils down to this: I will wait, enjoying what I have now, and then find out too late that because of my own inability to express myself, I’ve gone and ****ed it up anyway.

And I’m done with that. It’s not okay for me to hurt other people because it’s hard for me. As nice a person as I am, that’s just a really dick move. And that’s not me.

Ha. Not that any of you need to know that. BUT perhaps someone needs to hear it.

Closing Walls and Ticking Clocks

I don’t have much time left in the good ol’ United States of America. Not much time left to see friends, no time left to order anything else I might need online (so let’s hope I got it all) and very little time to make a decision.

Honesty hour time.

I…well, SUCK at expressing my emotional experiences. I mean, apart from not understanding, refusing to understand and occaisionally not knowing how to verbalize what I’m feeling, I lock-down. Like, hardcore. Anyone remember Agent Cody Banks? That really awful/awesome movie from the early 2000’s starring Frankie Muniz AND Hilary Duff (dream team right there). Anyone remember how good ol’ Cody reacts to women? Yeah. That would be me, except I’m perfectly suave and okay until the subject of my emotions enter into the conversation. Then it’s pretty much the same thing.

And it sucks. Haha. I have today, one weekend and a Monday. The clocks are ticking, walls are closing and pretty sure I’m going to be left with “confusion that never stops.”

On, hopefully, a lighter note. I do have a party to go to. So that will be fun. One last “hurrah” before I hurrah my way to a foreign country. And in honor of the fact that I just learned how to play it on the guitar and that it is very rapidly becoming my theme song (and is definitly the theme of this post), here is “Clocks” by Coldplay:

Pre-Departure Realizations

1) 99% of your life you spend reliant only upon yourself for motivation, emotional grounding and self-confidence. So you should never expect others to fill 75%. That said, that last 1% makes more difference than anyone on this earth could possibly imagine.

2) Of all the fears, worries and reservations that I probably should have at this point, I have only one that actually draws concern from me: leaving my best friends behind. Or in a different country, as the case may be.

3) One hour of sleep can be the difference between dead-tired and hyper-active (with some coffee of course).

4) I love my family. Truly and deeply. But, I am ready to be on my own.

5) I am ready to leave. For all my last-minute purchasing and packing. For me, I guess, all I need now is to say my goodbyes.

6) Women, and everything in regards to women, are impossible to understand.