Taking a Step Back

Taking a step back

I have wanted to talk about this for a long time now, this article will talk about something I have always tried to see in other people. Taking a step back is the name I gave to it, even though I created it in a clearly bad way at first. When I was little, through my ADHD problems I spent a long time looking at myself doing random shit all the time – a hyperactive has the tendency to do things without thinking, based on an instant need basis aka “I want to do that so I do it” this goes to suddenly singing in class to trying to randomly kiss a girl some years later (useful… or not). Through this lack of control I had when I was not under medication, I found myself – as I said earlier- looking at this me acting without thinking. I mean really “what the fuck am I doing, come on Arthur, stop this shit!”.

The years passed, I decided to stop the treatment for ADHD by myself and started to learn without it.. I did not stop because the medication did not help me, it really did, but the time had come for me to move my ass and take control because I felt ready for it. As time went on, I kept this side of me taking a step back, even when not doing random things. And I’m trying today to keep it all the time.

Today, I would describe this state as “constant attention state” – which is funny from someone with no concentration whatsoever. You are actually aware of all your surroundings as much as possible all the time. While you are speaking with someone, you are noticing the people entering the place – let’s call it Pijalnia – also what is the girl next to you ordering, that the person you are talking to looks quite tired while you yourself just want to go to cuba libre to loose your honor because well… You dance like shit and don’t know a single spanish song’s lyrics. Back to being serious. The constant attention has a strong side, the “step back” side. Are you doing shit? Are you wasting your chance with this girl? (come on did you even have a chance from the beginning?) Did you drink too much? Is this person dangerous? Should you or not avoid the bum coming straight to you? Well you don’t necessarily think about this kind of things normally, usually you are just “following the flow”! Things happen because things happen and you react to things because things happen! (Wow this sentence is so… horrid, but maybe no better way to explain it).

Even though I lived it as a hyperactivity case, everybody is doing things out of real control, everyone is acting in a way because they want to.  I found it by seeing not empty but inactive eyes. Most people I’d guess just look at what they want, and don’t look at the rest because well… They already saw what they wanted! What is the use of the “take a step back” then? Well, when you are in this state, yeah you can control yourself and not say (or do) random shit that might hurt someone, even you. But also, who will see the guy alone in the background? How will you see that your friend has not been speaking from the start of the meeting, is turning his head and looking away with a sad smile? How will you see that your friend is getting annoyed by some douche in the dancing crowd? How will you see that your friend Pedro really should not have taken that shot?

It has been really useful to me. Thanks to this I have been able to take control of a big part of my life while following my need to be aware of others for example. I’ve taken a huge step back from the depressive state I plunged myself into. Being able to say to yourself “wait, don’t do that”, “you’d better do this”, “hey, hey, hey you have a thesis to do, go back to work” really is helping me a lot, and even more every day! For the ones that read to this point my incomprehensible thoughts, well done, you’ve received a mental like from me. For others, well you won’t read it so go eat a “surprise” in Pijalnia.

Best summer wishes,

Arthur

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Coming back on the Orgasmus

The Erasmus Experience

The Erasmus experience, the five month that I just passed abroad in Poland, were the best 5month of my life – and I must insist on that. The only period of this kind I ever had were the six first years of my life of which I have absolutely no memory, a 6-years black hole, that is amazing for a student like me.

I will not lie about having been a party animal in Poland as it is TRUE that my body is still on intense recovery over all the nightclubs and bars I went so many times into. But Erasmus and Exchange Program (EP) are well known for that. It does not mean that you do not work, it just means that you will be constantly overcoming your limits if you do it the way I did: Work… and loaaaaaaaaaaaaaads of parties. Orgasmus is a world that only its members really know – we also called it Narnia.

What made Erasmus in Poznan amazing for me though is utterly different – I mean come on! You can become a party animal anywhere you want if you want to! Through this EP, I have discovered an entirely new facette of socialism of being social and open to others. I met so many people in Poland it became a job to make new encounters every day! If you totally forget the shame and fear of going to other people (ain’t easy if you know me), if you understand that you can bring something to other people and that you can have fun while doing it, then you might discover a huge new world. A social world full of exponentially increasing opportunities.

Living abroad

When I say “bring something to other people”, I would talk about two side of it:

  1. You come from a different country, you have access to a different culture, different lifestyle and really really easy small talk (you would not believe how many time I heard someone asking me to say something in French or if I ever went to Paris… Btw for us French people, we have not a single clue of why our language is so “pretty and romantic”, even our insults look beautiful to strangers!). You are a mystery to a lot of people abroad, this is your opening for new encounters.
  2. Who you are: While some might have thought they are like anybody in their home country, when going abroad and actually just by being a stranger you already are different. And this will actually lead to you understanding a bit more about who you are! You have many qualities believe me, being abroad helped me reveal a few sides of myself I did not understood enough.

When you live abroad, you really do live out of your “home” country. “Really man? Do you take us as idiots?” Ok I don’t – not yet. What I mean is that you are not home, and if you never lived out of your main country, believe me, you are living at “home”.  Through living in another country, you discover a new freedom, a new land of opportunity. There you will not be treated as a local as you were used to be, you will be treated as a stranger (be it in a good or a bad way entirely depends on you). In any case, you are faced to new rules, try to analyse them as quick as possible! (For example in France, you can cross the road without so much of a worry, whilst in Poland, crossing out of the path or not at the right time would lead to a huge fine to pay.

As you adapt, as you make yourself home, well, you can always use the stranger card whenever you want to! I had a French friend in Poznan speaking polish and working here, even after a year we could see from Polish eyes that he was one feet in Poland, and one feet out of it. Locals will always be pleased to see you as you are someone different trying to fit in.

Back to France/ Post-Erasmus Depression Syndrome

Since I went back to France, I have been suffering from a peculiar side of the Post Erasmus Depression.  Of course, I miss everybody, be it crazy Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Italians, Germans, Swedish or the famous Spanish Mafia. I miss going to Pijalnia every time I look at my Homer Simpson trophy. I miss the clubs, SQ, Project lab, the infamous Cuba Libre and its Spanish music… All the events I took part of, Holi Open Air (colour festival), Silent Disco, and the few afternoons in Kontenery…

But that was the contract, 5months and after *puff* everything is gone. For many of the Erasmus people, it is really hard. I have the belief that I’ll be able to meet some of them again as I want to stay abroad so that is how I deal with it.

There is another part though. Now I HATE France. Like really, I mean it. When I came back to Paris, as I rolled down the window of my father’s car, for the first time of my life I smelt Paris’ pollution. That was a first. Then I took the transports, the RER, and met again with all the ever-and-always-grumpy French people. I met the over-insisting homeless people that you only find there and that are in over-increasing numbers. And I came back to the world where everybody understood what I was saying in my home language. I also understood them, I think that was the bigger deal. It was different in Poland of course as I understood nobody, but when I heard again all the people talking alone (go to Paris, you’ll quickly see that everybody speaks alone, everywhere, mumbling over you don’t know what and cursing the gods or everybody else for either their life or not having a sit in the subway) I was so shocked…

Even though meeting again with my friends was amazing, now I only want one thing: Getting out of this country as soon as I can. I want to be living abroad, maybe as a consultant one day, and to travel regularly. I want to see the world and to understand it. Sorry France but apparently you really are not my type!

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Zenpencils

“Cartoon quotes from Inspirational folks”

This is the moto of one website that I have been following for more than a year.

But what is zenpencils? Created by Gavin Aung Than in 2012, an illustrator that wanted to follow his cartoonist dream, this website is now a huge collection of one-page cartoons. However those cartoons hold the particularity of always – except for the artist-troll war episodes – being created around a citation that they will illustrate.

Richard Feynman

Those comics – which are often appearing on 9gag, are always extremely appealing. First because of the drawing quality: Gavin is for me a great cartoonist, able to switch to different styles without losing even a bit of the message nor making it a bad quality cartoon – he also imitates Bill Watterson’s work really well, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes comics.

The other point is Gavin’s ability to choose the best quotes ever. I am checking the websites every day because I know that some quotes will always have the power to motivate me. From movie quotes like Yoda’s “do or do not, there is no try” to Nelson Mandela’s Invictus poem.

I invite you to take a look at this formidable cartoonist work. It is really diverse, “hate-free” – in the sense that everything is just pushing you to live a peaceful and honorable life. No really reading those comics  is a good way to change one’s mind. I hope you will like it me friends!

Best beaches,
El Tutur.