Happy one-year anniversary, GrokNation 🎉🎈🍰

Hello people of the Universe!

I come back to celebrate the one-year anniversary of GrokNation, yay! *clap clap clap* *confetti* *we did it* *high five* *boob five* *Sheldon’s koala face* *unicorns flying in the sky* *sounds of lightsabers*  *rain of fluffy animals* *dancing like Blossom*

Watch me dance like Blossom Russo to support @missmayim and @groknation!! I got a new shirt and a notebook from @cznd!! 🙌🏻 It is a gift from me to me to celebrate the end of the semester. I survived exams, demonstrations (this cliché about French people is true), and an awful administration, I totally deserve a reward! 🤓🍭 Btw, go read the last article of GrokNation (certainly in Mayim's bio). It is about mental illness and it is the real story of a little boy who has anxiety and lives now a happier and easier life. We learn why his parents never knew when he felt bad and why he didn't tell anything: he didn't know he wasn't supposed to be feeling that way. If you suffer from mental illness, I think you understand what he means. We always try to find a reason to what we feel. At some point, we end up thinking that what is going on inside of us is normal and happens to everybody. But well, we are wrong. This article may help some of you. It could be a support. I know what I am talking about… When your family or even your former teachers ask why you can't go to a crowded place, why you are often so anxious and tired, or if you lost weight (for the 4th time in a row), it is always nice to connect to somebody else. 🙂 Take care. #mayimbialik#imwithmayim#groknation#grokite#blossom#dance#hyperlapse#thebigbangtheory#tbbt#amyfarrahfowler

A post shared by Marion 🌾🎨🤓 (@milledetails) on

(Click here to read the article I was talking about in the caption)

Now that you picture the scene, you are ready for the following. A year ago, I wrote for the first time about GrokNation, explaining why I thought this website was groundbreaking. Since then, I have not only supported Mayim’s honesty and followed her journey with enthousiasm and surprise, but also have discovered faces of GrokNation I never imagined.

Diversity

The website offers an amazing spectrum of subjects, writers and opinions that is not negligible. It is pretty easy to find what you are looking for as they propose to grok about racism, feminism, parenting, pop culture, relationships, sex, mental illness, Hollywood, and this list in non-exhaustive. You have also the chance to meet new writers besides Mayim, each of them bringing their experience and opinions to the topic of their choice. Mayim also does some videos and interviews you should see and read.

Intellectual stimulation

I can’t tell you how many times I clicked on a GrokNation post thinking I wouldn’t understand the subject, or thinking it wouldn’t interest me and I wouldn’t discover anything new. I was wrong every time. It is not because you have never heard of something or because you don’t care that it isn’t worth the try.

What I have learnt is that disagreeing with someone can be healthy. It is hard for me to write that, haha, but yes, it can. IT IS FREAKING CHALLENGING, but you learn much more when you are able to listen to someone and respect that they won’t change their mind. I can’t deny, it affects you sometimes, but you don’t have to carry the negativity of a person you will certainly never meet or speak to again. And if it is someone you want to befriend, work it out together. See this as a possibility to explore all the faces of the society you live in. If you want to change things, you have to know why your “opponent” see them differently. Just look at the comment section and you’ll see that most people share in a respectful way, even though they disagree. I perfectly remember that time GrokNation posted about abortion and several women said they were against the abortion for themselves and every woman should have the chance to choose and do whatever they want with their body. I think that, for some of us, it is pretty complicated to be that comprehensive and open-minded.

Making friends (!!!)

I love being alone. I love reading, drawing, walking and dancing, and all of that doesn’t require a partner. But the fun really began at GrokNation when I started making friends with other grokites from across the world. We basically speak on Twitter or Instagram now as we share art (shoutout to Regina‘s account because I am just in love) and thoughts about what we have in common.

We help each other and laugh together. And kind of fangirl together. Squad goal, as Sarah would say! The perfect example is that night we were all worried not to be able to watch Mayim’s Christmas movie as we don’t live in the US. We didn’t know each other for long but we were in the same boat, a sinking boat. The link we had stopped working 5 minutes before the movie started but fortunately, we found a way to watch it together anyway. We had woken up at 2 or 3 am and I remember having my cup of tea on my side and chatting and tweeting during the whole movie, trying to take screenshots of our favorite moments or to choose between hugging the huge teddy bear or Mayim (Ryan McPartlin wasn’t even in the equation).

Besides having fun online, we also grok. Deeply. Like, really. Mayim wrote about GoT one day and my first thought was “she has been keeping that for so long in her mind that she has just written the best article I have ever read.” To me, it is one of the most elaborate, precise and heartfelt she has posted. The other ones concern her father, which are very musical and poetic. You can almost hear her voice whispering a song. Going back to GoT, I spent an entire day to discuss the pointed issues with two grokites on Twitter, Aurélie and Tamara, who have been very supportive and involved in every conversation we have had. We asked each other questions in the most honest way, trying to understand what could it mean to us but also to the society in general. It is typically the kind of moment when you realize you can discuss tough topics without judging or belittling someone’s opinion just because it is different from yours. To be honest, this is very hard for me to keep calm when people don’t see the importance of feminism or education for example, but I am working on it. :) GrokNation is a good school.

Sometimes I wish I could cross the street and meet with every grokite I know around a drink so that we could discuss and have fun together. When you belong to a community, it is pretty easy to meet the other members and get to know each other, but our group is virtual and is not based on one particular aspect of our lives. If you love dancing, you enter a school or an association to learn and share your passion, but GrokNation has no specific interest, there is not an only reason to be part of. You read their posts because you love Mayim, or TBBT, or science, or nerdiness, or jewishness, or political thoughts, and I can go on. Our community is pretty eclectic, which is the best thing I could have imagined.

It is time for me to wish a happy anniversary to GrokNation for once and for all. It has been an amazing year and I am sure the following won’t be disappointing.

I wish you as much happiness as I had during this whole year grokking with grokites-friends. Take care and light up the world!

Marion

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Grok with us: do you consider yourself creative?

Hello people of the Universe !

According to my dictionary (yes, I am the kind of person who looks for definitions in paper books in the age of the Internet — we don’t all have the same rebellion), creativity is the capacity, the ability of invention, imagination. This definition seems incomplete.

For me, creativity is all about emotion, in its expression as much as in its realization. It implies subjectivity, interpretation, reactions and feelings. Sometimes your art is so bad you get angry about your lack of talent, but you simply realize you didn’t put any emotion in it and that’s why you couldn’t like it. Sometimes your art is so delicate or wonderful you don’t know if it comes from the work you have been doing for years, your lucky star, or your magical powers. Art is truth, art is who you are and is worthless if you lie.  As Saint-Exupéry wrote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” I think this is one of the best definitions of creativity.

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Book review: Middlesex by J. Eugenides

Hello people of the Universe !

I hope you’re having a good time with your family and friends at this time of the year. Celebrate love, kindness and the new year with joy. May 2016 be wonderful.

It is the first time I speak about a book here and I am starting with a big one: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (high-five GrokNation, as always). First, I don’t think you need to have read the book to keep reading my post. You will discover the characters through my eyes and understand why this book is important for me. To be very succinct, you discover a lovely Greek-American girl, Calliope, through three different but very related stories: her grandparents’, her parents’ and her own one. From the escape from Smyrna, Turkey, to Berlin, Germany, including several cities of the United States, you follow the path of a young teenager who struggles with her gender identity. Well, it is not totally true. She first struggles with her sexual orientation before finding out about her hermaphrodism, at the age of 14. To be very precise, Callie is an intersex man with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, meaning he has some feminine traits but, for example, will never have his period. He is the narrator of his own story and goes by Cal. With his eyes of a grown man of the beginning of the 21st century, he pictures his evolution and recounts what has made him who he is now.

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This year, I tried to light up the world

Hello people of the Universe !

If I had to sum up this year, I would say it has been a lot about seeing candles burn. I started to light candles to make my home lovely and warm to feel better, and I ended up lighting candles for the victims of attacks all over the world. I lighted candles to enjoy a safe place, I lighted candles to wish for a safer place for everyone.

In this period of Chanukah and as I know and follow several Jews, I assist to the lighting of their chanukiah every night. During eight days, Jews light a new branch, from right to left, perfect metaphor of light’s victory over darkness. The gradual triumph of good over evil. “We must light up the world more and more every night“, as I got explained. These words have found a resonance in me.

Lighting up the world. Lighting up my world.Read More »

What is Christmas like for you? (recipes and magical thoughts)

Hello people of the Universe !

It is that time of the year again and it comes with its lights in the streets and its feelings of hope and joy, as usual. You gather with your friends around a cup of hot chocolate and a piece of cake in a warm cafe during hours. You go to the Christmas market and try every kind of waffles and crepes, drink mulled wine for two euros (or spiced tea, if you don’t drink alcohol like me) and you walk around the stands, looking at little boys and girls sit on Santa’s knees. You randomly pick a movie and watch it with your family, with blankets and pillows and pets around while it is cold outside. Well, at least this is how I picture December…. Usually.

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Winter 2014/2015, when I still had long and pretty hair and was enjoying a so unexpected snow with a hot beverage.

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Grok with us: When I am asked about Hollywood and romantic comedies

Hello people of the Universe !

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Wow, two articles about GrokNation in two days… Grokking about life is definitely a full-time job. I can’t even concentrate on my studies as my head is full of questions and ideas. I also have other articles in preparation, don’t worry. ;)

Mayim Bialik, the founder of GrokNation, published her last article in which she asks us three questions:Read More »

Grok with us: What are you grateful for?

Hello people of the Universe !  

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I’m the one trying to fly. Pure joy.

Like me, if you are not American, you have certainly heard about Thanksgiving without really understanding the concept. “What? You gather your family and you prepare a huge meal? Oh, okay, in France we call that a typical Sunday.” Everything sounds more festive in America, right? They can make a typical French Sunday with your family fighting about politics look like a big party with food, more food, even more food. It must be a way to get prepared before Christmas, like a pre-marathon.

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When I grokked to tears

* Grok : to understand (something) intuitively or by empathy * 

Hello people of the Universe !

Last week, Paris suffered from bombings, fusillade, and hostage-taking. It is not the first time I speak about it and even if I stop doing it here, I am not sure to be able to forget what happened… I am still shocked and I see signs everywhere. I can’t help wondering who will be next, when and where it will occur. I am not sure to be able to put aside my feeling of insecurity. If you want, I invite you to click here to know my first reaction, at 2 am, while I was watching the news. It is not a beautiful article, it is a feelingful article. You, also, can click here to read a text I wrote to give hope. I think it kind of works as it made me and two friends cry, say I love you to each other, and smile like Neville when he decides to ask Luna out during the final fight of Hogwarts. Actually, I believe we all should be and act like Neville today. He has never lost hope. He has never stopped loving. He has always been there for his friends and his family. He knows what honesty, brotherhood and solidarity mean. We all should be Neville.

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Let’s fight war with art.

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In my life: the importance of teachers (Grok with us #4)

Hello people of the Universe !    

You may already know how much learning is important to me. I love books, I love listening to passionate people, I love highlighting in pink, yellow and green my lessons of Psychology. I am a questioning mind, I am often involved in debates. I remember once a girl in my class say : “You don’t speak often but when you do, it is very interesting.” I think it is my way to share with people and be true to them and to myself. What is more personal than your own musings?

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Brodeck’s Report, Philippe Claudel. Just after the Second World War. Poignant. You will cry, your stomach will hurt, you will want to yell your anger at one’s face but you won’t be able to. And you will think, again and again, of what could have happened if the war hadn’t inhibit humanity.
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Nerd? I think I finally found my place (Grok with us #3)

Hello people of the Universe !

Today, I come back to speak about something I didn’t want to admit so far : I am a nerd.

The French word for nerd is intello and it was my nickname during all the years I spent in highschool and before, in elementary school. I received it from friends, from classmates, from other students and strangers, and certainly from some teachers. At least, it was my nickname when I was not called “the brown-noser” or “the do-you-have-a-life girl”. I can’t tell you I was happy, I knew those names were very pejorative, but I acted like nothing could touch me. It was a time when I needed to be surrounded by adults that could follow and build my thoughts, and not teenagers that only cared about drinking and partying.                                                                                               I remember when a student’s dad was shocked that I hadn’t a boyfriend like any other teenager and then said “studies don’t have to be your everything !” But not every teenager needs or wants a partner, and there is nothing wrong with getting your curiosity aroused. Studies have always had a huge place in my heart. Through them, I don’t only see me learning my lessons or writing commentaries; I see me looking for testimonies, trying to understand why governments took that special decision, crying while reading Romance de la luna, luna by García Lorca. I see me groking the world and there is nothing more beautiful to me.Read More »