I promise, it hasn’t been eight months since I last had a shower. The year has just flown by so quickly that I didn’t get time to gather my thoughts – my shower thoughts. Dreams are confusing. Some people believe they can tell the future, others feel they are just a way for our brains to remember our past. Whatever you think about them, dreams shouldn’t be that confusing, right?
I mean, after all, our brains are the ones creating them. So why are they also simultaneously being surprised, entertained, confused and scared by them? Like one half of your brain is creating a short film for the other half to watch. There’s a lot more we don’t understand about dreams. Like how every time we die in a dream we immediately wake up. Is it because our brains have never seen what happens after we die and so don't know what to create?
But if that’s the case, how come our smartphones almost never appear in our dreams either, even though we spend almost all our waking hours looking at them? What’s even weirder is to think about how many times you’ve been in other people's dreams that they never told you about. Anyways, enough about dreaming. The past two years have flown by and things have evolved faster than we could have ever imagined. I recently met up with a friend I had issues with in the past and discovered they had completely changed. They had outgrown their former self in the best way possible.
I was happy for them, but I couldn’t help but think that there must be people from their past who dislike a version of them that probably doesn’t exist anymore. Along with outgrowing our former selves, we’re also outgrowing the world we live in and the technology we use. There's a high chance that most of us will never need to use a physical copy of the dictionary again and that our great-grandchildren will have to be told what gas stations were.
I wonder what those kids are going to be like. And whether the ones who don’t know much about history will think of the 1990s kids as being basically the same as the 1890s kids. If you think that's unlikely, right now most of us talk about the Ancient Romans as if they’re all basically the same without realizing that the civilization spanned nearly 1,000 years. Speaking of history though, isn’t it kind of funny how whenever people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about how doing one little thing differently could drastically change their present reality?
But no one thinks about how that principle is still the exact same in the present, even without the existence of time travel. If you were to just get up tomorrow, move out of the country and never come back, you would be deleting a lifetime's worth of interactions and experiences and replacing them with different ones. You would be creating a new timeline of your life. Unfortunately, no matter what time or place you live, if the theory is true that we have only one soulmate then the odds of us actually finding them are stacked heavily against us.
The good news is that the odds also say that there is at least one person out there describing your exact features and personality as what they want in their ideal partner. So, keep looking. As they say, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. Before you commit to someone, just be warned. Every relationship either lasts forever, or too long. Wait, what was I talking about before that? Oh, yeah. Fish! Everyone values a human life over the life of a fish, but very few people value a single human life over the life of every fish. Meaning everyone has a certain number of fish that they would prefer to be alive over Bob from work.
Same thing is especially true for spiders. I mean, spiders police the entire insect population. Without them, pests would multiply like crazy on our crops and we could be left with famine on our hands. So, as sad as it might be to admit, a room full of spiders might be more important than you and I. There’s also a chance that someone you know will use the excuse of your death as a reason to get out of an obligation. And there’s also not a chance but a fact that someone in your circle of friends will have no friends at their funeral… because that friend will have been the last one alive.
This is typically the part of the conversation where whoever I'm talking to tells me to stop fixating on stuff like this and just live in the moment, and I have to calmly explain to them that by the time our brains process the present, that moment is already in the past. The living in the moment paradox seems obvious once you give it a moment, but our brains just can’t help saying it automatically anyways. There are a lot of other things our brains can’t help but do automatically. Like reading every single street sign and billboard you pass by when you’re looking out of a car window as a passenger.
Or listening to all the conversations happening within earshot, unless you’re blocking them out with headphones or some other distraction. In that sense, being in a foreign country where you can’t speak the language must allow your brain to relax in a way that it hasn’t been able to since you were a baby. All that forced reading and listening aside, I know I like to dunk on the English language, but it can be pretty cool sometimes. Every single thing that has ever been written in English, from Shakespeare to People! magazine has been written using the same 26 letters.
Speaking of those 26 letters, did you know that Benjamin Franklin tried to remove six of them because he considered them too difficult to pronounce?Those letters were C, J, Q, W, X and Y. For example, Franklin thought that the simultaneous hard and soft sound of the letter C could be replaced with a combination of K and S. To be Frank, he was definitely on to something. Coffee makes you hyper, but coffee shops are places where you go to chill. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant and yet clubs and bars are so damn stimulating.
It’s no wonder society changed forever when we replaced alcohol with coffee. It’s totally normal and cute to name your cat Whiskers or your dog Spot, but you can’t name your kid Leg, Spine or Freckle. While we’re on the subject of body parts, has it ever occurred to you that your teeth are the only part of your skeletal system that require cleaning? It’s weird, but it makes sense. After all, our femurs and skulls aren’t the ones biting into that red-hot chicken wing. Unless you’re vegan, everyone loves the taste of carefully seasoned chicken wings. And why wouldn’t we? They represent the pinnacle of human evolution.
You’re eating the wing that a bird couldn’t use to escape us, covered in the spices that were once a plant’s best attempt at warding us away. Made together in a process that’s basically witchcraft. Think about it. You place a dead animal, plants and spices into a cauldron while following the instructions from a book written by old people. When we’re not stealing spices from trees, we’re cutting them down, only to force them to relive their demise every single game night in the form of Jenga.
No matter how intelligent or advanced we get as a species, though, there are just some things that nature will just always beat us at. Like regardless of how many trees we kill, we’ll still need them to build our coffins. And when you boil water to kill germs, you're still drinking them, they're just now dead. Although exterminators get paid to kill pests, they need those pests to be alive in the first place in order for them to make a living.
One good example of us continually trying and failing to be in control of our nature is falling asleep. We practice it every single night, yet for some of us it never seems to get easier. All this weirdness creates a multitude of, well, bizarre things in society that we all just go along with. I mean, we literally concocted the concept of sports just so we could battle one another in a friendly manner. As it turns out, we actually enjoy running around and chasing spheres as much as dogs do.
You know, thinking about it, dogs are truly human’s best friend, sadly even more than another human. It’s why some people will treat stray dogs a lot nicer than they treat homeless humans and movie scenes where a dog gets hurt often feel more sad and disturbing than scenes where a human is. Just ask John Wick fans whose death hurt the most. Timing is everything. Depending on when you grew up, Barney was either a caveman, a dinosaur, an alcoholic or a womanizer. If you run at 11 p.m., you are a night person. If you run at 5 a.m., you are a morning person. But if you run at 3 a.m., you’re just a suspicious person.
Turning your head to someone too quickly is aggressive, and turning it too slowly is ominous, meaning there's a perfect head turn rate to convey maximum friendliness. We all know these things on some level, but the question becomes whether or not we’re wise enough to actually use them. There’s a difference. Knowledge is knowing that you can carry all of the groceries at once. Wisdom is taking multiple trips so that by the time you are done, other family members have put most of them away. Well, unless you live alone. In that case, keep stacking those bags on your arm like a champ!
Family is everything. It’s our first gateway into the world, a source of strength, joy and laughter. At least, that’s what it’s meant to be. Sadly, it isn’t for everyone. As a child growing up with a family, the probability that your parents wanted and were expecting you is the highest if you were adopted. Setting aside how wanted or unwanted you may have been, your parents can’t escape the fact that it was their job to raise you, and your adult relationship with them is their performance review.
Maybe that’s why dads tell cheesy jokes. Not because humor gets worse with age, but because the more life experience you have, the more value you place on making your loved ones laugh even if it's at your own expense. Especially considering the fact that you’re more likely to get into arguments with your loved ones than with strangers. By the way, if your parents were wise enough back then to teach you not to believe everything you see on TV, you should return the favor by teaching them not to believe everything they see on Facebook.
Social media is strange. The more lonely we are, the more we use it. But the more we are on social media, the more lonely we get. It’s like a time loop of depression. If lawyers hope you get sued, doctors hope you get sick, cops hope you're a criminal and mechanics hope you have car trouble, then only thieves wish you prosperity. At least there’s always someone out there rooting for your success. If you’re unlucky, they might even be sneaking around in your own backyard.
Oh, and by now you’ve probably recovered from learning that a tomato is a fruit, but I also wanted to let you know that olive oil is a fruit juice, coffee is soup, and pizza is a sandwich.