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I am a dedicated and ambitious aspiring freelance journalist, blogger, and writer. My main asset is my international background - I was born in Germany, then moved to France, and proceeded to grow up in China - and the cultural open-mindedness inherent to such a life story. I specialize in opinion pieces, but am also well-versed in travel/event reporting, and writing general news stories. I blog regularly on my two pages, and have contributed to multiple online publications, including Gonzo Today, a web page dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo" journalism and his legacy. If you have any writing needs, I am the right person to talk to! I will be able to match the tone and style you desire, will work overtime to make you happy, and will deliver high quality content. You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn as "Mark Linnhoefer", and on Twitter as "@markalinnhoefer". For work proposals please feel free to use the contact form on either of my blogs!

Monday, April 7, 2014

And so I return

to my intended state of being: alone. Not lonely per se, well, on some levels lonelier than before, but first- and foremost alone. Which made me realize once again the importance of respecting myself and learning to live with me being me. This is something I had always known, but sometimes abrupt changes can put that knowledge to test. The choice is whether to opt for saving your individuality, or to debase your personality in order to please. And the latter can never result in true pleasure, seeing as you'll ultimately end up alone anyway, so you better make damn sure you like who that is going to be by staying true to yourself. That sounds so easy on 'paper' but can be devastatingly hard in real life, sometimes not sticking to your actual self may seem like the right thing to do, but it never actually is. As crushing as the consequences to it may be, in the long-run not straying from your psychological make-up will prove itself to make you much happier than twisting yourself into the shell of a person you're not. But well, Hunter S. Thompson formulated essentially this much better than I possibly could: 

"We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and -- in spite of True Romance magazines -- we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely -- at least, not all the time -- but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness" 
(From: The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967)
Which says it all, doesn't it? However many people you impress  in your lifetime, however many seemingly meaningful love- and friendship relations you enter, however many admirers you surround yourself with, you are always trapped in your own mind with yourself, completely alone. There is no escaping that fact, which is why a strong personality is the largest and single-most valuable asset you'll ever have. And you need to be able to live with yourself and by yourself, otherwise you'll succumb to the illusion of needing an anchor in the troubled waters of your being, and at some point that anchor you had been relying on won't hold you anymore and you'll have to navigate on your own - and if you're not in tune with yourself, if you don't accept and respect yourself, you are going to fail and drown.
Beware of not confusing debasing your personality with adapting or improving parts of it though. It is fallacious to assume that you can't change certain shallow parts of yourself in order to be more appealing or suitable for certain people or situations. But once you go about trying to change the very core of what makes a specific individual just that you're asking for trouble. In multiple ways. "People don't change", as Gregory House once put it, and once you've realized you're ultimately going to stay who you are and started to accept that fact your entire life and way of dealing with people and issues will change for the better. Because you'll be able to focus on your innermost ambitions and desires without trying to fit any expectations that have been set for the facade you had created for those around you. It is crucial for actually attaining a certain feeling of contentedness in your life that you realize that as early as possible in order to avoid having an epiphany at age 50 and suddenly trying to establish yourself as a porn-star because you realized how much of a player/slut you actually are and that you could have turned your nymphomania into money. Which might be an extreme example, but you get my drift. You'll always have regrets in your life. Just try not having to regret the way of life you chose or the kind of field you're working in. As I said in an earlier post you don't need to work as anything you terribly enjoy as long as it's a mean to an end. But if you only do what you do to adhere to outside pressure and only act the way you act because you let your actual personality be crushed by those pressures you're gonna have a bad time, to reference South Park once again. And well, you can all imagine the dire situations you might find yourself in when your adapted personality encounters something that the actual personality despises; those convinced of the adapted version will be in for a rude awakening and you yourself will realize that you actually had yourself fooled. Which is a hurtful realization that you want to avoid. Trust me on this.
It is a hard walk to walk, that walk of self-realization and respect without any compromises. Is it worth walking? Fuck if I know. Certainly doesn't feel like it from time to time. But in regard to the future I assume that it is. At least I know that I won't look back at my life at some point and realize that I haven't done what I wanted and needed throughout it, I won't have regrets because I didn't stay true to myself, no, I'll look back at my life and know that although what I did was not always right I always made calls based purely on my own perception and ideas, not falling for the fallacy of trying to conform. And I like to think that that is something to be proud of. Now I may be wrong. But I can not for the life of me figure out how I could be in this case, so I'll just assume that I'm not. 

The loneliness mentioned earlier that I feel at the moment is not as crushingly weighing on me as I thought it would be though. I have grown to accept being alone in the end, and I have grown to accept that my personality is not suitable for togetherness per se anyway, and I have also grown to accept myself as being myself; therefore being alone, or lonely for that matter, does not seems de facto bad to me. Because as I said at the beginning of this post: being alone is my intended state of being. I believe I was never meant to be an actual part of social intertwining that goes beyond casual conversation with platonic partners. And whilst this rule has seen its exceptions, it was only proven true by them. This is a pattern that I have often recognized throughout my life, and albeit being technically too young to actually say anything like that with certainty yet I can say that I have almost 20 years worth of anecdotal proof to base this assumption on - and the pattern has shown its consistency throughout that time. But I decided to not wallow in self-loathing because of it, and rather to embrace solitude as an inevitable constant in my being; I accepted it. And having done so, exceptions like the ones mentioned feel even more extraordinary simply because the absolute dependance on them for happiness is out of the picture, therefore the focus can be switched to just being happy. And when the rule strikes again, the happiness may fade but it won't be replaced with soul-crushing depression. Rather with the well-known and embraced feeling of solitude discussed earlier. And that is a lot better than the first-mentioned emotion, because when the solitude you've gotten used to hits it won't be a moment of losing all hold and drowning, but rather a moment of what you had expected anyway "finally" happening. Yeah the realization of having been right all along once again hurts, but in the long-run it's less debasing and hurtful to your inner core than the alternative of believing that the exceptions are supposed to be the status quo and not the other way around. That is of course a really depressing way of seeing things at first, but it's ultimately more honest to yourself and those you enter whatever kinds of relationships with. The only thing that finally remains depressing about it is seeing those that have not and somehow can not accept this in their own lives, and take each set-back like it's the end of their emotional being, which at some point is just sad to see. Especially because it reminds me of myself back when I didn't see myself for who I am, and life for what it is, and was heavily dependent on others for my well-being. But well, to each his own. I guess what I am just trying to do here is show you how much value for your life respecting and sticking to yourself actually holds. My goal is not to turn you off the idea of relationships and togetherness though mind you - I am just saying that you are going to end up alone anyway, so you'll have to see to it that you're walking your own path because walking a path someone else sets for you will lead you to a destination you might not like anymore when that someone is gone. So I am essentially trying to warn you, you can consider this post to be a word of caution. Or rather a piece of advice. However you want to put it, it's just something to keep in mind when living your life and binding yourself to others emotionally.

Like death, solitude is an inevitable fact of that great journey that we decided to call 'life' for whatever reason -- it's really just a process of growing and decaying if you look at it -- and it is also one of those things that people tend to have a hard time accepting as the inevitability that it is. So for the same reason that artist create entertainment to reach a sort of immortality, couples get married in order to reach an eternal togetherness. Both of which do not work per se. You'll end up in a box 6-feet under no matter what, just like you'll ultimately be alone no matter what. The obvious question at hand now is if these ways of immortalizing yourself or your coupling are completely useless in the face of aforementioned inevitability. Well, no, not really. Although the body decays part of the mind will remain in an artists' works, just like loneliness will be alleviated by marriage and if it actually lasted until death did them part the consecrated union will also be remember long beyond the demise of the weds. And whilst that knowledge will not ease the finality of death or being alone, it will provide solace in that moment. Or at least I think so. Maybe at some point when I'm wiser and I'm older I'll know with a fair amount of certainty. But I doubt it to be honest, I think one can never truly know in ones lifetime. Not that it really matter in daily decisions, otherwise we'd spent hours deciding if leaving the house in the morning is the right thing to do. But still. There is an omnipresent wondering about that moment of drawing ones final breath. And understandably so. I mean, if we all just knew how it felt to die and what came afterwards, we would either all commit suicide or start living a pedantically healthy, almost hypochondriac lifestyle. Both of which would be extremely counterproductive to society. Which is also why this very tangent doesn't provide much room for discussion or interpretation, because I can not talk about the feeling of death, or the feeling of ultimately being alone, simply because I have not reached that point in my life yet. Not by a long shot actually. And whilst of course being able to formulate my theoretical thoughts about it like I did above, I don't want to get into it much further. At least not for now and definitely not soberly. 
Hah, a lot of line of thoughts come down to this in my posts, don't they? But when I'm in a state of mind altered enough to completely think these things through, my motor skills are mostly too impaired to write the thoughts down, making this whole thing extremely difficult. Should I manage to walk that thin line between being creative and able to write, and just being too fucked up to get anything done I will surely produce great insights full of wisdom. But until then I will keep on telling you which topics I can't write about in sobriety.

Which basically concludes today's post, and well I hope you've learned a thing or two, or have at least been inspired to think about things a little differently by the words above. And in this light I will leave you with some great music, as always: 

50 Cent - When It Rains It Pours 
-> I have said before that 50 will appear here some more from time to time, and well here we go. The song is so fucking dope, and that's really the only proper way to put it. The beat and the guitar-lick in it combined with 50's unique voice make for an awesome tune to say the least, and the scene in the movie is amazingly fitting, so... Enjoy!

Fort Minor - Cigarettes
-> It's just like a cigarette it's something that I do once in a while but between me and you, it's just like a cigarette, nobody's really fooled, I don't want the truth I just want to feel cool... Great song, deep meaning, reflecting the hypocrisy and lack of integrity that is omnipresent in today's musical industry, and well I like Fort Minor in general, so... Enjoy!

Swedish House Mafia - One (Original Mix) 
-> If you only know this melody because of the version with the vocals, shame on you! This is the real version of this song, and it's fucking enthralling, the way it builds up with just a few notes to an epic melodic journey. I have heard this song first in 2010 shortly after its first release I believe, and have enjoyed it ever since. Without the vocals mind you. I don't have any problem with Pharrell Williams or his music per se, but he completely ruined this great song in my opinion. But this version is as awesome as it gets, so... Enjoy!

Hadouken! - Levitate (Koven Remix) 
-> Whilst browsing through the UKF Dubstep channel on Youtube, I re-discovered this gem that I first heard about half a year ago during my summer break I think. Starts with beautiful vocals that slowly rise to an awesomely epic drop at about a minute ten in, and it's all in all just a great tune, so... Enjoy!

Metallica - Seek And Destroy 
-> I have a T-shirt of the "Kill'Em All" album and I extremely enjoy this song, which is why I had to share it with you. And well, it's a classic tune from a classic album from one of the most commercially successful Metal bands to date, although it's exactly that that ruined them after the first four albums they released, but this is a different topic, and this tune is fucking awesome, so... Enjoy!

Exodus - The Toxic Waltz 
-> I am somehow feeling classic, timeless metal tunes today, and so I could not help but feature this great great song from the album "Fabulous Disaster" which I don't personally own. But that's the song that introduced me to Exodus and enticed me to buy the "Bonded by Blood" Album a few years ago. Well, this is an amazing and funny song, great guitar playing, great vocals, just a great piece of thrash metal, so... Enjoy!

Well, this entry was somewhat on the darker side again, pretty sinister and depressing topic to be honest, but when I started composing it I was in a comparable mood. Still am to some extent, but well you know why it's only to some extent and not an extreme weight dragging me down. Anyway, I hope this post was enjoyable despite its negative topic. I mean, it's not like I've been thoroughly positive in my previous postings. And you should have gotten used to a certain degree of slightly pessimistic cynicism in my writing and thinking. In my thinking, that I am only actually revealing here come to think of it, I am much more passive in everyday dialogues than the thoughts expressed here would suggest. 

But enough of this, I am tired.


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I have a thick skin, so go ahead if you feel like criticizing, but if you keep going on and on about details of carnal relations you claim to have had with my mother your comment will be removed.
I guess what I'm saying is that you can express your opinion, just try to do so in a constructive or at least moderately respectful manner, otherwise the comment section is just going to go to shit and I'll be forced to close it, seeing as I will definitely not be moderating it if unwanted/spam/bullshit comments keep coming...
If you can not behave, the possibility of commenting here will disappear, that's as simple as it is.