Celebrating FIVE years on WordPress

It all began with a poem in February 2013, Forest, or the Death of Romanticism. At the time, I did not know where I was going with my blog. I knew I wanted to share my poetry, as well as some of my photographs.

This article is a way to share my favourite articles on this blog, so feel free to click and have a read on things you may have missed. All links open in a new tab.

It was five years ago, and now, I think I am quite happy with what Writing One’s Dream and the Dream of Writing has become : a sort of map of my human and artistic experiences. I have said it many times : I am an amateur in both writing and taking photos ; yet, I think that you do not need to be an expert to share what you create.

Recently, I started reviews on books I read, including Despentes’ Vernon Subutex and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I also talked about series I watched, such as Dark. In the future, I would like to talk about films as well.

A few years ago, when in Ireland, I worked on an amazing project about the importance of money in society. After interviewing many people, I wrote a kind of summary of the answers : What if money did not exist ?

I loved this project, and I hope I can create something similar soon. The truth is that when I created the blog, I was still studying and had more time than I do now. Especially since I have also started writing a novel on Scribay.

I would finally like to thank all the people who follow me, comment and like what I do. It’s always a pleasure to see that my work is appreciated. For those who haven’t yet, you can follow me on WordPress, as well as on Instagram and Twitter.

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Project Anonymous : the article!

Remember a couple of months ago, in relation to a project that I called « Anonymous », I created a questionnaire via Google. I asked anyone who was willing to help me to reply to some questions on life and money. Two months later, I finally have the courage to write an article gathering the answers. I even did charts!

First of all, before I give you a description of the different (and amazing) answers I received, I would like to intoduce the people that replied. To keep the project as « anonymous » as I could, I did not ask for many details on the social environment of the volunteers. Indeed, as most of the answers come from my social circles, the less details I have, the less easily I can guess who answered.

I have to say that I was not reaally surprised when I saw the distribution of the answers according to age. As I said, the answers come from people I know, or from people that study in the same university as I do. It was then normal that half of the answers come from people aged between 20 and 30. The reason why I give you a chart is for you to have an idea of the categories of people that answered… Most of them are students. Consequently, the answers are to be studied according to this variable.

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The second chart I give you concerns the gender of the volunteers. When I created the questionnaire, I intentionally add a third choice, apart from male and female. I know that there is a debate about the question of gender in many countries these days and my opinion is that male and female are concepts that were created. I do not cast doubt on a third gender or a fourth one. If someone disagrees, I would love to hear your arguments. Back to the figures, a majority of answers come from female even though the difference is small. I also received answers from people that considered themselves part of a third category, but no detail was given.

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Then, what seems important is the places the volunteers come from. We all have different cultures, different educations and these factors are to be taken into account when dealing with questions on happiness and love. Once again, the answers come mainly from places I know, such as France where I am from and Ireland where I currently live. As for the other volunteers, for the most part they come from Europe, and a few from the United States of America. I have tried to represent the percentage of answers in a chart and on a map, yellow representing a small amount of answers and red being a consistent number.

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Now, let’s enter the heart of the project. I will start with the end of the questionnaire. I offered different themes and asked the volunteers to rate them from 1 to 5 according to the importance they attach to these themes. Volunteers were asked to rate their interest in literature, poetry, cinema, music, nature, video games, sport, party, art and career. I was not sure what I would do with the numbers afterward but I felt that I should ask these questions. I have made a chart (again) showing the average of interest in the different subjects.

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What I noticed and found interesting is that even though the age average is low, the interest in video games is the lowest. This does not show in any case that there is a decrease of young people playing video games but perhaps that the people that answered are not geeks. Contrarily, they seem to have great interest in artistic and literary themes. Music makes the worlds go round and so does the cinema! Indeed, they are the two themes with the highest rate, with an average grade of 4,3 and 80% of people granting importance to them in their lives (people that voted 4 and 5). As for the other themes, I let you have a look on the results. As I said before, I was not sure how to deal with the numbers but it is good to have them.

What is your definition of happiness?

I have hesitated a lot to know how I would present the results to the open questions : should I make a summary of the replies or should I just list the answers. The difficulty of doing a summary is that I have asked the volunteers to tell me if they were happy, based on their definition. With a summary, the answers for the second question seem meaningless. So, I will make a list of the definitions, followed by the reply on whether people are happy or not.

  • a simple life surrounded by positive people, YES

  • deep breathing, NO

  • do whatever we want, whenever we want without hurting anyone, YES

  • Being able to be yourself and enjoy your life, do things with people who love you for who you are and not feel lonely or scared or depressed, NO

  • feeling alive, NO

  • feeling good, KIND OF

  • eternal life, YES

  • do whatever I want without being judged by society, KIND OF

  • being surrounded by people you love and who love you, are happy to see you, will cheer you up when you feel down, will ignore any petty squabbles and know you’d do the same for them, NO

  • not worrying that I’d let people down, not on an emotional level – failing tests, not getting jobs, etc, YES

  • acceptance and loving friends, NO

  • when time doesn’t have any sense anymore, YES

  • having things that I care about, KIND OF

  • freedom, fullness, YES ANS NO

  • love, NO

  • being able to do the things I love and have a roof over my head and food, good friends and a nice family, NO

  • do things without second guessing, having friends without thinking they hate me, SOMETIMES

  • having everything I need, YES

  • existence, YES

  • fulfillment in most areas of my life, YES

  • to love the way you are and to love how things are going and to feel so good that you want things to stay that way. Feel good with oneself and accept whatever life offers you, YES

  • unconditional love and acceptance without the need to categorize anyone, success in helping others, KIND OF

  • enthusiasm and peacefulness, SOMETIMES

  • being yourself without caring about what people will think of you, NO

  • happiness is a fake feeling, NO

  • sense of wellness, contentedness, feeling of safety and inner self-”reassuredness” (I love people that create words), YES

  • joy and serenity, NO

Now that you have read every answers, here is a summary of the replies concerning people’s feeling on whether they are happy or not. We all have different definitions of happiness and a bit more than half of us think we are happy to a certain extent.

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 What is your definition of true love?

Here, I will not make a list of the answers but a summary instead. On the one hand, there are people that believe in true love and others that think true love does not exist. Among those who don’t believe in true love, some told me that they thought there were different forms of love and that none of them was more true than another, and I agree. I will not create a debate here, I did not ask the question to find a perfect answer but to learn a bit about people’s views on love.

Among the answers of those who seem to believe in true love, most of people think that it happens when you find someone who know you can spend your life with or when you are ready to die for. In most cases, it means a total presence in the other person’s life, implying that you accept that person for who they are and that they accept who you are in return. Trust, respect, comfort and sincerity are important aspects of the relationships described in the answers.

If there was no money, what would you do?

Here comes a crucial question. Indeed, if money did not limit your possibilities, what would your dreams be? I have already developed this question in another article and I am currently working on a new project with a friend on the subject (update to come soon). I will also sum up the replies, as most of the volunteers agree on their views. A part of the people that replied would just (as they say) live their lives. What I understand here is that in both cases (money exists or it doesn’t), those people already feel like they live their lives as they wish. Some others dream of travels, explorations, creation. In other cases, people would share with others and try to create a better place. Among the answers I found funny : lots of sex, create money and be a rich “bastard” and “hide because we’re all going to die.”

What makes you angry?

I love this question because it shows how we all are different and it reminds us to a certain extent that we should not blame people for their reaction because, YES, we all are DIFFERENT! Here the answers are : injustice, disrespect, arguing with people, stress, people, rejection, ignorance, inequality, poverty, fascism, capitalism, “myself”, Hermione Granger (people who think they know everything), narrow-mindedness, intolerance, posh people, French people (a French person said that!), modernity, and letting people down. One person told me that he/she could not be angry.

Do you have secrets haunting you?

I will start here with a chart gathering the answers. As you can see, a majority of us have secrets. We can agree that sometimes, keeping secrets is good for us, but in other cases, people feel hurt about what they hide for whatever reason.

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Among the people that replied ‘yes’, some told me what their secret was. As this is anonymous, I think I can share them. Someone feels that they don’t who they are and that they feel they take advantage of a sort of “fake” love they give to others for personal gain. Someone feels ashamed about certain acts such as cheating on a partner. Another person feels like they have too many secrets, among them are disordered eating, self-harm, anxiety, mental illness in the family, etc. Someone does not care about people. Finally, I received a few answers of gay people that are still in the closet and feel haunted by this secret.

Conclusion

I am really bad at conclusion so I will just say one thing : we are all different (you already knew). Yep, nothing else. If you wish to help me conclude, please, feel free to comment above or send me a private message (malher.mathieu@laposte.net).

I would like to thank everyone that participated in the project. I really appreciate your sincerity and I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. I apologize as always for any grammar or syntax fault in the text.

As for my next project in collaboration with a friend, I’ll keep in touch with you but I am really excited.

Project #Anonymous

I haven’t been that lazy today. As I had said in my last post, I am working on two projects, and the first one has begun. 

I have created a questionnaire via Google on which I ask private stuff to people, considering that the questionnaire is anonymous, it’s not that bad. I have written the questions in English but if you find it difficult to find the exact word (if your mother tongue is not English), then write it in your own language.

If you find my questionnaire interesting, please share the link on Facebook, Twitter, on your blog or any social media (there are thousands nowadays) in order to help me. Also, I am open to any criticism, suggestions or comments on my questionnaire or on the project itself. 

Here is the link to the questionnaire :
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gHpXcKRO-NUBNv-3Fa2rU62WoQVWZ0x3itqC8nGnhnk/viewform

Utopia #1 : What if there were no money?

Money can’t buy happiness. (But it helps)

A few weeks ago, I started thinking of a project concerning life in general. I tried to focus on several topics in order to organize the study : happiness, love and money. I have asked different questions to people around the world, concentrating first on the theme of money. The question was : “What would you do if there were no money?”.

The developments hereinafter are ideas of several people around the world, mixed up with my conception of what I have been able to see so far. I do not want to make hasty conclusion, everything below is to be seen as conditional.

A society moving back in the country?

During the past century, we had a rural exodus in developed countries. It seems that people moved from the country in order to find a job in factories and access to education. Already, we notice the place of money in the decision of finding a new job when poverty reigns in an overgrowing farming system.

Nowadays, I feel like there has been a change in the perception of what the country is. When at the beginning of the twentieth century it seemed to mean poverty, I have noticed that more and more people go there and build disproportionate houses. If this is real, there would be a move back to the country. It may be because of pollution but my view is that living in a city is more tiring and that thanks to the improvement of means of transport, people can work in cities when they live in the countryside.

Of course, building a house (or even buying one) in the countryside is expensive.

If there was no money, I would like to live in…

The countryside. Many of the replies I got were the same. People tend to aspire to live in the country, and in nature in general. For instance, some people dream about living in a forest (my idea of the perfect home is on a cliff).

Not many people have told me why they would choose a certain place rather than another one. As far as I am concerned, I love the peacefulness of nature, I love the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks. What I think is that people search in nature what they can’t find in cities anymore : tranquility…

But if there were no money, why should I settle somewhere?

I have thought about this question many times. My biggest dream is to travel all over the world and meet thousands of people. Of course, only one aspect (but which is not an insignificant one) prevent me from doing it : the lack of money.

Some people go along with my idea. I received some replies of people whose dreams were to travel over the world and discover. In these long descriptions of their fantasized travel  I have enjoyed reading, they never talked about settling anywhere.

“To live on the road”

“Whether money exists or not, I just want to love and to be loved…”

When I think of the theme of love, several definitions pop up in my mind. Of course, the first one being the existence of a lover. Many people included a “loved person” in their idealized life without money. I cannot myself imagine living in my perfect house in my perfect place without a perfect person to share it with. But many times, I have wondered whether this was necessary or not. I still remain without an answer and I am not sure I will find it. Time will tell.

Other people aspire to a life with their friends, settling somewhere or travelling with them. My opinion is that true love does not only exist with one person, but can be found in friendship, especially a very close one. That’s why I included friends in this section.

In fact, travelling is amazing. Living in the perfect house in the perfect place is too. But I think it is much more amazing when you have people to share your happiness with. I am sure many people would agree with that.

Observing the world

So far, the themes I have tackled are the places where people would settle (or not, for those who dream about travelling) and love.

Very often, people who have told me that they would travel, if money didn’t prevent them from doing it, have added that they would observe the world. Of course, in a world where money reigns, we have to work to survive and sometimes (well, very often) we don’t have time to observe the world around us. Or it may be that we don’t take the time to look what surrounds us. If money did not exist, we would have the time to look. Moreover, we would have another reason to observe the world : to stave off boredom.

Not only (I hope future) travelers have admitted wanting to admire the world. I also got this reply from artists, mostly people interested in photography. These people already do that but they would use the time won (if they didn’t have to work) to devote themselves to photography. Drawers have told me so too.

Reading and writing

It will be the last theme I will talk about for the moment. As other people who have answered the question, I dream about reading and writing in the perfect house in the perfect place, with the perfect people around me. I dream about reading other people’s traveling stories, I dream about writing mine.

There may be no perfect place for me. Just a perfect “home”, on the road.

Why should we wait for money to disappear?

Money may never disappear from our society. There are dreams more or less difficult to realize but as we say : when there’s a will, there’s a way!

Tomorrow, why not take the time to look around you. Look at nature, look at buildings, whatever makes you filled with joy. If you aspire to travel and you feel hold back because of money, why don’t you try to take a bag and walk? These are the things I love to say to myself before I go to bed and they give me hope.

I am not saying that it is easy, but it is not attempting the impossible either.