There’s something incredibly threatening for your state of mind when trying to guess the future. Threatening may be a harsh word, but it is nonetheless applicable, as when second-guessing a future event, if the outcome doesn’t satisfy your expectations, you’re left feeling rather disillusioned. More so, you’re left feeling melancholic, even though you don’t want to be. I’ve long had a tendency to think too much, and I know that it’s a flaw of mine. Thinking too much and devising expectations in your mind makes life that much more saddening when things don’t turn out how you expect them to, and in particular, when people you think you know turn out to be rather different. You try to not be disheartened when your expectations are not met, but after all, we’re all human, and regardless of reality, we will always crave the fulfilment of our personal expectations and desires.
The more I grow up, and the more I encounter different types of people, I’m starting to discover the saddening fact that most relationships are transient. I’m not solely talking about relationships of love, but of relationships with friends, family, just about anyone. That sounds really negative, I know, but I’ve found it to be true. Naturally, I am an optimistic person, so I’ve long had hope in life and in people. Yet over the past few years, I feel like I’ve been living in a constant cycle of being disappointed. It shouldn’t sadden me anymore because I’ve grown quite accustomed to it, but it still does. I guess the reasoning for this is because, regardless of how much I experience disillusionment, I still continue to form some sort of devised ideal of a person in my mind before I find out what they’re really like. It’s dangerous – most people are unpredictable, meaning it can take a long time in any form of relationship to truly feel like you know and trust someone. A lot of the time when you feel disappointed, it stems from the fact that you’re giving much more to a relationship than you’re receiving back. Being unappreciative of kindness and loyalty says a lot about a person’s mentality.
What I can never understand is how so many people view relationships as competitions. I don’t see my relationships with other people as a contest of who can be more successful in life; if anything, I only contest success with myself. I ask: ‘What can I do to progress further in this?’ as opposed to ‘How can I be better than her?’ It’s crazy that a lot of people I’ve known appear to lead life in the opposing manner. I can’t imagine having that attitude towards someone I’m supposedly close to. Then there are those rare people in life who you meet, are instantly interested and intrigued by, and think that your relationship with them will be anything but transient, because you appear to be on a similar level. Then you’re even more disheartened as you discover that they’re as disappointing as the rest. They say one thing and then do another. One month you’re close to them, the next you’re a stranger. I’ve met one or two people like that. Doesn’t do much for you if you’re a dreamer.
A proportion of my time during the recent London Fashion Week was devoted to attending shows and presentations, but outside of this, I enjoyed observing style on the street across numerous locations in London. Across my travelling to these locations, I found myself reading Kerouac’s On The Road. It was the novel I was studying in Uni that week, so the reading was somewhat compulsory, but nonetheless affirming. I last read On The Road about five years ago, and so when re-reading it on my travels, I was surprised at how different my reactions were. More specifically, I was surprised at how easily I could place myself as having similar perceptions as Kerouac regarding relationships. The novels main character – Sal – frequently experiences transient relationships that end in abandonment and a return to his own solitude. A lot of people see this as a problem, but maybe that’s because they don’t really think about the true workings of relationships in their lives. Myself, I’m a lot like Sal in my approach to people. Why maintain close ties with someone when you realise there’s an inability to connect? Life is an undetermined road of people and of places, dealing with different characters and different challenges. Yet we’re never certain of when it’s going to end. So if you realise someone is travelling in the opposite direction to you, there’s little more to do than move yourself forward.
There’s a quote by Sal which stuck with me when I first read the novel, and still sticks with me today. It reads:
‘What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.’
Reading On The Road recently resonated with revelations of characters in my life who I hoped would have turned out for the better. These revelations saddened me – a reaction that’s only human. But like Sal, I’ll let their specks disperse and lean forward. The world is vaulting us for a reason: another crazy venture lies ahead, and with it, an endless stream of possibility.
As always, thoughts are much appreciated. I’m a little late uploading this look but my wardrobe hasn’t changed much as – once again – I’m in all black.What can I say – it’s an endless stream of my style! Thanks again to the incredible Moeez Ali who shot the following images for me – a composer of endlessly artistic photography. So until next time!