Occhiolism: (n.) the awareness of the smallness of your perspective in the scheme of the universe.

If there is a lesson to be learned by living in a European city for an extended period of time, it's that one is a speck in the scheme of human development. (If you learn anything else, and this is not based on experience, it's never to ask for ice cubes in your wine. Yes, people do that, I know.) In viewing Greco-Roman architecture and art, it's always a surprise to see how evolved our ancient ancestors were because in school, it seems to be that we are always taught that the millennials are the smartest, best, brightest, and pavers of the future, and that these people only merely laid a foundation for us. However, to lay a foundation, one has to be pretty damn smart.

But here is my question in the midst of all of this anthropological glory: did these people know that what they were creating would be an art that endured for (what seems to us to be) infinitely?

Currently, I sit before the Kölner Dom (for those who do not know, a Gothic cathedral of which the city is centered around). It not only endured the horrors of World War II (most stained glass windows included), but its blueprints were lost for years before their discovery enshrouding fruit in a market. From my position, one has to lean back in order to take in the full monstrosity of the cathedral, and only then is one's eyesight allowed partial view. Inside, it has an omnipresence that, throughout, emits omnipotence, making sure one is aware of who's in charge.

Then I have to wonder: how can only two men have worked to build something this big?

Perhaps these individuals were aware of the minisculality of themselves in the greater scheme of the universe, and thereby shifted the paradigm, creating a paradox, where they contributed something greater than themselves. Normally, we make ourselves the center of the universe, but they made the universe the center of themselves. Maybe one has to dig within in order to push something out, for most immortalized philosophies, such as those of Confucious or Aristotle, scientific discoveries (Einstein, Marie Curie, etc.), and popular literary works such as those written by Shakespeare, Harper Lee, Scripture, etc., originated from the minds of single people, who drew upon the universe surrounding them. In turn, they created a universe within themselves, ultimately projecting it outward as a contribution to the development of humanity.

Maybe it's less important that they didn't know what they were creating, but rather moreso that they were doing the act of creating itself, for when one creates, one is exploring the nature of humanity and allowing us to better understand ourselves. I find that whenever I experience a wave of occhiolism, I feel the most at peace with myself. I think this feeling stems from the fact that we are all simple specks in the scheme of the universe.

But in the end, it is us, humanity, that makes the univerese our universe.

Cover Image Credit: http://mizmags713.vsco.co

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.


Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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