Sep 29, 2014

On Neutrality, Nuances and Nuisances

Apparently neutrality is a concept that is too impossible for most of the population to understand. So I guess, if the world isn't ready for it, I might as well take it out on what I wear... I know I've been donning more than the usual neutral wear but be assured that if you were to look closely, there is still some variety and nuance offered in the pale hues I have been sporting. This time, it's been all about my beautiful new Givenchy Antigona which was perfectly matched with this sporty watercolor shirt I blatantly asked my mother to have since I love the detail and the colors (yes, when I want it and have to have it, I take simple as that. I've always been a fan of playing a word game so for this post allow me to address: neutrality, nuances and nuisances. Allow me to dive deeper into this topic by addressing three things you don't always have to have: a side (to address neutrality), a disregard for the subtle differences that exist (to address how important considering the nuances) and an agreement (which for the past few weeks I personally find to be such a nuisance since I am far from privy to the idea of a mediation of any form happening and I will explain why.)

I won't sugar-coat it or downplay it. The fact of the matter is: we love to choose sides. Opposition or pro-administration. Pro-life or pro-choice. Democrat or Republican. Unfortunately for almost all of us, where we stand on something conforms to an overarching agenda or an unexamined, misunderstood and shallow ideology. Of course, since we are all emotional people, I think picking a side is easier as it saves us the time of really understanding an issue. I am personally against having people choose sides especially if they aren't part of the issue in the first place and then drag along other people and make them pick a side. It's either if you're not with me or you're against me and I find that thought I am averse to. No matter what happens to me or who has hurt me, I never ever asked anyone to pick sides- as I consider this unfair especially if you and the party you are not okay with share common friends. 

Water Color Print Sporty Top: Zara
White Trousers: Zara (Also worn HERE)
Neutral Antigona Bag: Givenchy
Neutral Beaded Necklace: Classiore (Also worn here

Case in point, a friend of mine, Jamm, was once asked by her friend (who let fame or whatever get into her head that she needs a scarf to contain it) who she has known since college to pick a side: Hers or Ours, and her demands didn't stop there. If you were to pick her side, she wanted you to join in on her hate tirade against me and Dominique which lasts at least 45 minutes, at the very least. Personally, I find that a very bad place to put a friend or anyone you know in... especially when your points defy all logic and lack plausible cause especially to an opinionated and reasonable person. This is why when I am mad or irritated at someone, I do not think it's right to require a friend of mine to take my side...especially if this friends happens to be acquainted with both people involved and would much rather stay neutral. Childish people don't accept that and they force you to pick a side and just to be clear, this is a huge warning sign that the said person is more interested in using you to make themselves feel good (which makes you a pawn or a minion, take your pick). Having a friend like that shows that they are more interested in using you to do damage and their dirty work than in respecting your right to form your own judgment and to have other relationships. Getting to know Jamm and spending a reasonable amount of time with her has made me see that she is an intellectual being who is resistant to picking sides. I think very highly of people who advocate for victims and call out inappropriate behavior when they see it. Personally, I think that for someone to require anyone to participate in belittling behavior for their behalf or satisfaction to prove you can be part of their posse is just foul. I would not want to impose that on anyone else and would hate to have that imposed on me. 

There is a big problem with tidy one-size-fits-all belief structures and it is that we live in a complex world and we encounter complex issues. These issues do not have an either/or solution... it requires empathy, discourse, patience and most of all nuance. It is impossible to settle deep seated problems and complications in 60 second sound bites. That's why the concept of having a dilemma exists. I understand this concept more than anyone else because if like me, you choose to see the world in black and white even if it rarely is (and apparently over 50 shades of gray actually exist in between at the very least). This is why I find that it is downright dysfunctional to make yourself or another person buy into this idea that they have to pick a side. Personally, I think that the moment start doing, saying or thinking friends because I am obligated to and not because I want to is the time it is no longer working out. I think you owe it to yourself to not be bullied into a corner. 

Speaking of being bullied to a corner, allow me to emphasize the distinct nuisance I find in it, specifically. I know that in a perfect world agreement and having a mutual undertaking to sorts exists. But since the world, as time and events have proven, is far from perfect which is why I find it unnecessary to have to get myself all worked up trying to convince someone what is right. I have spent so much time and resources trying to reach an agreement on something that's been going on for almost a good two years now but the thing is, when an agreement cannot be reached, I don't think one has to force it just to get it over and done with. Perhaps most of us always seek the comfort of consensus but the fact of life is that not everyone will agree with you... and when you can't be in agreement on a major issue, an objective point of view can act as the voice of reason to get things in order. By definition, settling equates to being secure and steady. It isn't such a bad thing since stability is important. However, there are times when settling is easy and convenient but it doesn't leave room for unbridled possibility. Sometimes, when it comes to the things that really do matter, settling just simply is not enough. For one, you must not allow yourself to settle especially when people walk on you, use you, hurt you and then let go of you once you've served your purpose. (I have had friends with people who possess either one of the above.) I believe that the relationships you have to cherish are with people you find important enough to keep in your life and those who see you in the same way. Also, never settle for anything that makes everyone else but you happy. Of course, there are times we must do things expected of us, that is after all part of growing up and taking on responsibilities (hint, hint!). But for the most part, it will be an absolute nuisance to compromise yourself and who you are to please people. I find that what is very problematic in all of this is that people are rarely satisfied, you will wind up empty and someone will always end up wanting more. If you are the aggrieved one, do not try to please someone if they are not willing to be held at the very minimum accountable for their actions. Sometimes, it is possible that everyone can be happy in the end... but that is very rare. 

 So there are times when you shouldn't settle especially when it will leave you problematic and left with warranted self-loathing. Do not allow anyone to dismiss you. What you have gone through, your thoughts, your opinions and your voice are all valid and most of the time, people will not see them that way until you do. So don't settle for anything else that does not make you happy. I think that at the very basic level, we owe that to ourselves.

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

xx, JL

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