I read these somewhere and totally ripped them off because they had such an effect on me. Every single one of these words is worth memorizing because these are things I feel everyday when I just sit quietly in my corner.
1. Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
Sometimes I sit around and have these astute observations about a person’s life when they’re talking to me. I wonder what it’s like to be them. What’s good in their life and what’s bad in their life. But I’ve found that I’ve never wanted to BE anybody else. The thing is, no matter how shitty my life gets, its tailored to me. I wasn’t designed to handle another person’s problems, no matter how similar they seem to me. No matter how a person’s life seems better than mine, I always know that mine is better because I am so blessed in my own ways and that I can always handle the shit that is assigned to come my way.
Yes, I wish for a better life in more than one ways. But I never wish for another actual real person’s life. That would be redundant.
2. Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
I think this is one of the scariest thing out there. I’ve realized that no matter how often we think that we are actually looking into each others eyes when talking, we don’t actually really do that. We look around the eyes but never directly into them. Because it is scary. It is disconcerting. It makes a person uneasy and agitates and ruffles our feathers on an intrinsic level.
3. Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
You know like in the movies where a person is standing still while everyone just walks past them. Ever get that feeling? I don’t think I’ve ever actually felt it (I wouldn’t be able to stand it) but I can imagine what it would be like to stand apart from society and watch it work. I mean I do this with people, where I see how they think but I do that while they talk and while I listen.
4. Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
I get that people might feel this way. I might even want to go back to my former distressed self and tell her that everything will be ok. And hope that my future self could tell me how it will end and who I am now in the future at least, if not tell me that it will all get better.
5. Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.
Ahhh this is my absolute favorite. I know this feeling and can summon it at any point. That wonder of standing in a bookshop wondering at the journey all these books had to go through to end up here in my hands. I just like touching the books to see how many minds they’ve fed, how many lightbulbs in people’s heads have lit up because of them. How much more hunger they have inspired.
6. Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
Not just rubatosis but also proprioception and when any unconscious and automatic functions come into our conscious thoughts. How spectacular is that? Meta-cognition. Thinking about thinking. And not just thinking too. Control. Course adjusting. A push here, a nudge there.
7. Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
Ahhhh this is why I love late night walks. Walking down the streets that are usually alive with activity. I lived in a place like this. Living in Malaysia had its upsides. Visiting the capital city 30 minutes away from where I lived at night, often made me marvel at the Kenopsia I found there. The entire city, dead, quiet like no human had set foot here in ages.
8. Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
I do this. I do this with so many people. And even though it feels like this is the right thing to do, it’s not. Not really. And no one fights it too. So it’s become so automatic. It’s so easy to tell people to leave. Even easier to cut them out of you life and swat them away like they’re a fly bothering you. I do this and more , a lot more, because at the end of the day, I’m really scared that if someone does look inside, what if they don’t like what they see? I can’t handle that kind of rejection. So I reject before it gets to that point in the relationship. It’s possibly why I’m still alone.
Really makes you think doesn’t it?
9. Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
Who doesn’t do this!? I do this. Specially when I’m made at someone and wish I’d been as mean as I could be in my head when I lay down at night and thought of some choice words I could have used on them. My venom though is usually limited from the time I get mad to the time I finally fall asleep.
And it’s not just conversations. I play out whole scenes, whole lives out in front of my eyes. Seeing without seeing. Doing without doing. Everything just in the head. Living an entire life of my own making in my mind.
10. Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
We didn’t get that many thunderstorms back home in Pakistan, but over here in the States it rains every other day. When I was in Malaysia, it was worse. I hated rain then, but now I’m usually indoors when it decides to pour, or under a really large golf umbrella so that not one drop of rain touches me. I like to sit by my rooms window when it does rain, or in the sun room surrounded by windows. The image of rain outside and coffee/tea in my hand and a fleece over me and with a book just gives me so much comfort.
11. Vemödalen: The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.
12. Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening.
13. Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.
14. Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.
I felt this everyday that I was in Pakistan and something happened. I got so desensitized at one point, where even now if anything bad happens and the world is stunned, it just doesn’t affect me anymore because I’ve seen people dying and heard of people dying more than anyone else. The value of life to me as a person might be high but only of those who I personally know. The worst thing is that this isn’t even my fault. It is the situation’s.
I might seem crass or inhumane or insensitive but that is a defense mechanism my mind has built to allow me to deal with the society I lived in. I will not be horrified by the deaths of people anymore. It won’t more me. That tenderness and that pain is gone. Replaced by a hard shell where the pain and loss of loosing someone lived.
15. Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.
Who wants to go through this? I feel for those who want this in their life. I already have too many tragedies to deal with.
16. Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
Intelligence is the experience most stupid people don’t understand. And humility is the experience most intelligent people don’t understand. Story of our lives. At the end of the day we understand each other by our actions and intentions. Nothing else tells us the truth the way these do.
17. Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.
18. Ruckkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.
This happens to me but not because of a trip or a vacation. Not because I’ve gone somewhere and come back. It’s usually because I feel like my life is divided into components or compartments which is where everything related to that bit goes; my friends, my family relationships, even my personality from the time goes in there. Every time a new compartment forms, a new life begins for me. I don’t like my lives mixing. I become a different person. I hope most of the time I try to improve myself. I say this because I don’t know. I feel like I have been so many different people over time that sometimes I try and remember who I was and I think to myself “I don’t even recognize me. Who was I!?”
Most of the time though, I don’t remember who I was. It’s like my memory wipes itself clean of any remnants of my previous personality. I always get the feeling that I was the same person I was then, that I am now. But I know that’s not true. I just hope I’ve changed for the better.
19. Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.
Sometimes my life really does feel like a movie. It feels like it’s going nowhere, which is when I get restless and work to change it in anyway possible; to get some excitement, some change, some momentum going. I still don’t know what I’m missing out or how to fix things that are out of whack.
20. Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.
21. Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.
I feel this time and time again. The desire to feel less. If only we weren’t as human as we are. If only we had that kind of iron-control over our emotions. Guess we would all be robots then wouldn’t we? We’d suppress every emotion we think is beneath us.
22. Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.
Sometimes I think we are made out of a template. Our brains that is. Cookie-cutter templates. Or maybe our society encourages and nourishes the notion that we all think alike, have the same issues and flaws and anxieties? I get tired of repeating myself while giving advice. People either don’t listen or they listen but don’t follow through. At one point, people’s mistakes become their choices.
If I have a problem. I work to solve it rather than avoid it. Take it head on and end it. So you can focus on new shit that’s been assigned to come your way. DON’T PROCRASTINATE. SOLVE THAT SHIT.
23. Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.
And just with these one words, languages have shrunk these profound feelings and experiences into this small words that encompass all of our most precious thoughts and emotions; things that make us human. These words are more important than anything other in any language and they need to be preserved. We need more words like this.