My One Real Regret

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There are many things that I regret, though I would never explicitly say it, nor admit it. Regrets as simple as singing the wrong piece in a vocal competition, to eating too much cheese at a friend’s house party. Generally, however my regrets have been small, and non-important in the long run, mostly comprising of small regrets that wouldn’t have really mattered if I did what I wanted to do, or should have done during that time frame.

I feel very fortunate to have a family that loves me, friends that care, and a life that I believe is worth living. With this said, there is one, and only one event that I regret, and deeply regret, and was caused by my own insecurities, and my ability to overthink, and overanalyze events that future were far from there.

The story begins, and ends in grade 8, middle school. I met this guy, let’s call him M, through my extracurricular activates, which so happened to be my favourite activity in the world; the school musical. Though I do admit that it wasn’t love at first sight, I slowly but surely noticed him, and that is saying a lot, for I normally have my head in the clouds. He was friendly, kind, and overall a gentleman, and I actually took counsel from some of my younger musical friends, to ask him to the school dance.

That school dance, was the best time I had ever had at a dance before, and still to this day, tops every social party event I have ever been to.

We ended up going out, and though still to this day I don’t like to admit, that we were dating, I smile to myself at the ignorance I had and still have when reminded of these events. M was kind caring and compassionate, he made me feel comfortable in my own skin, and best of all, spending time with him, took my head out of the clouds, and I was for once grounded in the now and the present.

Fast forward several months of dating, the school musical was soon to end, if not had already ended and I, being full of self-doubt and over thinking started to consider the what ifs and the future, knowing we were not going to the same high school. Long story short, through all the inner turmoil, I broke up with him, telling myself it would be the best for the both of us.

In hind sight I should have just left it at that, but deep down I really liked M, and wanted to be around him, so being the selfish person I was, over the beginning of my high school years stayed in contact with him, which I now realize was a crude way of leading him on to a relationship, that I wanted, but wouldn’t let myself have.

I distinctly remember telling M, near the end of our time we spent together during high school, that I felt that I didn’t really know him.

But time is fair, in this kind of way, for as if the countless nights of thinking about these terrible decisions I had made, and cruel and thoughtless things I had said, were not enough, the tables turned in my final year of high school. I was good friends with a guy, let’s call him A, and well I had a massive crush on him, but he led me on, and it was at the end of the year when I talked to him face to face when I realized that he actually did not know me, and everything I had told him, had never been truly heard. It was then, when I truly realized through my own pain, what I have done to have wrong M, and how I was so unfair.

But time is kind, in a sense for though, some attempted conversations with M had led nowhere, his kindness still prevails, and I think to myself, how lucky any woman would be to be in a relationship with him. For kindness is too often overlooked, and pain is too often remembered.

If there is anything I have learned from my one real regret, it would be to appreciate what you have in relationships and friendships that you have. Don’t overthink, and just enjoy your moment on the ground and feeling present, in a world that many, including I would sometimes like to escape.

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

 

Tips, Tricks, References, & Info About Growing Lemon Trees from Seed (A Debunking of myths)

**Today’s post is going to be a little different than my usual posts, because it’s going to involve a gardening, education related direction**

*This post is not intended to be a guide on sowing lemon/citrus trees, more so as tips and tricks to enhance the probability of success in growth and health rate. If you are looking for a sowing guide, at the bottom of this post there is a reference guide where you can click on a site that goes through a step by step process on sowing lemon seeds.*

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I have always loved citrus, and though I don’t know exactly when this passion began, but I can assume it began sometime during my young childhood in midwinter when my mother would by clementine’s and my sisters and I would sit around our kitchen table and gorge ourselves.

Growing up in Canada, citrus was only cheap (affordable) during mid winter. So I was lucky that when I was having a food shortage when I was in residence at University that it was during the time where oranges where in season and dirt cheap! For several weeks my diet was comprised of only oranges from the local Sobeys.

During high school I was often referred to as Lemon Girl, so it was no surprise when I told my friends that I was growing lemon trees from seed. It was also no surprise to my friends, when they were curious about my then 12 lemon seedings where dying off.

I learned a lot about lemon trees, how they grow, what to do, what not to do, and have sent a lot of sad trees to citrus heaven. Nonetheless I have comprised a list of information, references and helpful info that may help you on your journey with the success on your lemon tree gardening, now let’s begin!\


Tip #1

Save yourself some grief, and purchase organic lemon seeds, or if you needed to buy lemons from the supermarket (like I did) purchase organic ones.

 

Long story short, the commercial lemon seeds from commercial lemons don’t produce healthy sprouts, they are generally unhealthy at birth, they don’t grow… like at all. Just don’t do it. Spend a little money and but organic lemons and plant their seeds, you will actually have about 60%-90% growth rate from all seeds planted.


Tip #2

Fertilizer. Don’t use it unless you know what you are doing. I know this is common sense, but it’s crazy how much information there is on the internet about what types of N:P:K ratios (the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium ratio) in fertilizer. I have heard things from getting specially formulated citrus food, (that is super expensive and still in my closet from 6 years ago) from to a certain ‘special’ ratio that is impossible to find or things from 20-20-20 to rose fertilizer.

Here’s a trick. It doesn’t matter what you feed your lemon tree, as long as you feed the tree as directed from the packaging. Of course don’t go buying any random fertilizer that is dirt cheap or sketchy and you question why this is in the dollar store, but what I am trying to say is that all those things on lemon forums, articles, and so forth you can use any of them. Just pick one. Of course some are more specialized than others, but in reality if that’s the only thing your plant has ever known and you haven’t over fertilized it or screwed up in other ways (like I did, oh so many times) your lemon tree will be completely fine. (Again please use common sense when fertilizing).


Tip #3

Pruning. When people prune plants for a certain aesthetic reasons, generally they just snip off what they want. You can do it that way, but there is a better way. It’s called directional pruning (tutorial/guide in references) and it’s basically pruning the branches a certain way to promote future growth in the desired direction. It’s pretty neat and it does work. It is a bonsai tip, but nonetheless extremely useful.


Tip #5

Your lemon tree can be trained as a bonsai tree. If your lemon tree is just a short stubby thing (like mine) you can turn it into a bonsai tree. It takes a bit of effort and time but is a very rewarding hobby. (link below)


Tip #5

Water. Do NOT overwater your trees! They do not like it. They will get angry. And they will revolt! (or they will just be limp and slowly die). Just don’t do it.

A good tip is do not water in a schedule, because different factors affect the moisture content in the pot. For example if it is hot inside/outside the plant will use more water and will need to be water more frequently then when it is a cool day and the moisture is not absorbed by neither plant nor sun. It is better to get used to the feeling of the soil with your hands or using a moisture detector to decide when to and when to not water. Also, citrus trees prefer deep waterings, so when you do water the tree/plant make sure there is a hole at the bottom of the pot and water until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot, let it drain, then dump the excess water and let the plant dry out between waterings.


Tip #6

Open soil and water attract fungus gnats, and once they come they do not leave. More on them below but in short they lay eggs in the overly moist soil and the larvae eat your plants delicate roots. Just avoid them completely and stay clean and don’t overwater. It takes a while to attract them, but if it’s been for a couple of weeks to a few months I would clean up the mess before the little buggers come.


Tip #7

Most citrus seeds are polyembyonic (list of which are and which aren’t below in link) and this basically means that there are 2 or more plants that grow out of the one seed. One will grow true from seed the others would be a hybrid. (ie one will be identical to the parent, the other will not, and probably will not even produce fruit). It’s good to see which citrus trees you grow are polyembryonic, unless you are okay with a citrus tree that when you rub it smells like lemon, but never produces fruit.


Tip #8

When you have a polyembryonic seed, thus 2 or more seedlings from the one seed there is this confusion about whether the one that grows first is the lemon seed identical to the parent or it is the lemon seedling coming later (because the polyembroyonic seedlings do not grow at the same time, and the second seedling is generally weaker). I’ve read a lot of discussions, mostly heated about who is right and who is wrong. Currently there are people who kill one of the 2 (or more) seedlings to let the true from seed grow strong and healthy, but there is this argument about which ones to kill. Some people say that it is the first and strongest growth, others say it is the weakest, etc. Truth is, the seedling true to seed could be either of them, it all depends on how the lemon flower was pollinated.

According to a study (linked below) The authors suggest that when a lemon flower is open pollinated (meaning is left outside and the pollination is via bees, birds, wind, etc) that the zygotic (a seed/embryo that has both female and male gametes) embryo is a hybrid (a seed/embryo that has different gametes not both from the same flower [for one flower has male and female parts] thus pollinated from 2 different flowers), it may be more vigorous, and hence compete better with nucellular (true from seed) embryos. However when the zygotic embryo is not a hybrid (ie fertilized itself in single flower) the rigorous growth would be the nucellular embryo. The end conclusion is that there is no physiological way to tell the true from seed and hybrid apart.

So in summary keep all embryonic seeds, label them if they are pairs or multiples and wait, for you cannot tell unless they have a trifoliate leaf (a leaf with 3 points vs 1) or when it produces fruit.


Final Tip #9

It can take anywhere from 4 months to 60+ years for your lemon tree to produce fruit. It is generally said that lemon trees grown from seeds van be expected to fruit by the 10-20 year mark. But some grow sooner, others later, some not at all. It’s a waiting game, and can be frustrating, so my tip to you, just keep growing them. Keep sowing them every spring/summer, you’ll eventually get when that produces a real lemon, and they can make great gifts!


In conclusion, as you can tell from my tips I am a lemon nerd, but I’m okay with that. I have a couple more tips but this post is already long enough, so maybe another time. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer as best as I can. I’m no professional but I definitely have learned a lot so far!

Thanks for joining,

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

 

Online References:

Personal Favorite Lemon Seed Planting Instruction:

https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/

Fungus Gnat Guide:

https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/houseplant-pests/fungus-gnat-control/

Types of polyembryonic Citrus seeds:

http://redwoodbarn.com/PDF/Whichcitrusfromseed.pdf

Polyembryony and identification of Volkamerian lemon zygotic and nucellar seedlings using RAPD

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-204X2004000600006

Youtube channel Nigel Saunder, guide to bonsai lemon tree care and pruning (directional/clip and grow)

 

Book References: (Get them on amazon vs chapters… it’s cheaper. The only reason why I list the Chapters site is because that’s where I got my books)

A good Lemon and Citrus General Care and Maintenance Book

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/growing-citrus-the-essential-gardeners/9780881929065-item.html?ikwid=growing+citrus&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=6

What’s Wrong with my Plant and How to Fix it (Reference book)

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/whats-wrong-with-my-plant/9780881929614-item.html?ikwid=whats+wrong+with+my+plant&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

My Theory of; We die at 25 but Buried at 75

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“We are told that the world hardens us, but in reality, the world only tires us.” ~Sonja Peters

Hi Everyone,

Just out of curiosity, have you ever been told that the world hardens us, makes us cold, or really any kind of that? I know that in my personal life I have heard these phrases in addition to hearing comments such as ‘the average person dies at 25 but only gets buried at 75’ by Benjamin Franklin and similar sayings. This leads me to the question of what hardens a person to the point where they die really before their death?

I’m still fairly young so I cannot speak from a long-lived elder’s point of view, but from almost two decades on this planet, I think it is safe to say that I have formulated my own opinions as well as, ideas on certain aspects, beliefs, and systems, this idea in particular.

If we look at the human lifespan, the average life expectancy is about 75 and this number has been slowly rising thanks to the medical care and health advances. Nonetheless, if we look at the stages of life we have, in the following order of title then time span of that life stage it is; infant (0-2), toddler (2-4), child (5-9), adolescent (10-13), teenager (13-19), young adult (18-24), adult (25-65), and senior (65+). Now if we look at the time each human stage (Reminder that some time frames overlap and this is just a generalization) we can see that our entire childhood or growth into adulthood takes about 25 years, give or take a couple of years. That’s 25 entire years of your life, out of supposedly 75 years, when 35 years you are supposed to be adulting, then retirement of 15 years. So if the saying is that most people ‘die’ at 25 then what is exactly happening?

So if the saying is that most people ‘die’ at 25 then what is exactly happening?

This is my theory:

We don’t die. We just get more tired.

Okay, you may be thinking that being ‘tired’ and to ‘die’ at age 25 basically mean the same thing, and you’re right, they basically mean the same thing. If you know me or have been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I am a spectrum kind of gal. So technically they are the same, but they are also not.

Let me explain.

Approximately during the 0-9 stages, being an infant, toddler and child life is pretty much, more or less fun, (more so in the earlier years), where you are really just learning the building blocks about how to function as a human, both physically, mentally and emotionally. This is the stage where you just learn to be a functioning human, maybe you do some math in school but in the natural world, this period would be the time where you learn basic survival skills.

Ages 10-24 are the okay you’ve learned basic life skills, now we’re going to make you sexually viable and this is when the average person goes through puberty, identity recognition, fitting in, and navigating the social and political world that we have casually found ourselves in, or what I like to call, the quarter life crisis. The basic goal at this stage is by the time you’re done you can be an independent human who can survive on their own in the wild and then natural selection does its thing. Then afterward you would ‘survive’, reproduce and then pass on at the ripe old age of about 35, (if you make it that long)

Seriously. This is what was supposed to happen.

But wait! I see a flaw in this plan! How long do we actually live? Well, we now live until about 75. That’s 40 more years than what mother nature has originally intended. But guess what!? The basic spawning period stays the same! So it still takes about 25 years to be ready to actually adult, but instead of 10 years to family it up, we are given 40 extra years!

So long story short, with these extra years, we are forced to prepare for an additional 40 years of life which must include schooling, career advances and the biggest of them all; money, or the economic system. So in these basic 25 years to get ready for basic life survival we now have to add all this additional learning, knowledge, decisions, and most importantly stress and anxiety that was, though there before, has increased in levels when in reality during that time you were supposed to learn the basic life skills and prepare for reproduction and survival. Thus by the time you are 25, you don’t technically feel like you have ‘died’ because when you are 25, there is always still a little hope, still a little wonder and happiness, but there is also, now a lot of stress, anxiety, and fatigue, for you have worked harder in those 25 years than nature really intended. So you are not dead, you are just tired. But don’t worry

So you are not dead, you are just tired. But don’t worry, sometimes you just need some cold hose water in the face and you’ll wake up, and by this I mean; that you can always get some rest when you are tired. Sleep relax, have fun and enjoy life, because if your adult years seemed expanded over time, why can’t your kid years too?

“Life is what you make it, so let’s make it right.”

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

p.s. and yes. I did just quote High School Musical. You’re welcome.

In Loving Memory

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There is a reason why both birds and angels have wings.

Hello Everyone,

Today’s post will be dedicated to my passed budgie parrot, Moby and everything he had shown me about love, happiness, and grief.

It has come to my recent attention that not all good things last forever. Though I have always been aware of this saying and moral of speech it has never quite hit home like it has until several days ago.

Everyone has had a beloved pet at some moment or place in time, either that being the neighborhood cat or your own dog, horse or fellow exotic. We, as human beings have an innate desire to be and feel loved and to have that love returned unconditionally, something that our animal companions seem to excel at in these kinds of positions. It is quite baffling from a pet owners mind when another speaks of animals lack of compassion and lack of intelligence. I suppose some animals have mightier brain power than others, there is no doubt that all animals love unconditionally, and feel that love and joy of any human that has ever lived.

So as we watch our pets go, as we lose them to the spiritual world, it creates a sense of grief and turmoil in the survivor’s mentality. This can be seen most definitely in people as well as in animals, where some species that mate for life actually die months if not weeks later out of what can only be seen as grief and loss.

Looking at the human perspective loss is a natural process. Life and death come naturally in this world and it always seems that as one door closes another door opens, however, this never eases the soul of the missing and lost loved one. Specifically, if you feel that you could have done more, loved more, lived more, but until the moment you realize it is their time to go it is too late.

Grief is not a fun emotion however, it is necessary for the ongoing process of living and continuing with life. Loss is in no doubt extremely difficult and can take months if not years for the soul to feel ready to move on.

It has come to my attention that my beloved pet has passed, and though I had given him a good life, I always wonder what I could have done for him if I was more attentive, spent more time with him and so forth. Nonetheless, he had a good life and that is what is the most important. Your beloved pet would want you to be happy, and not want to be sad in every waking memory of all the times you did share. For your pet did love you, and you, though you sometimes would not admit loved your pet dearly and love will forever be with you, and they will always be with you. Whether you decide to hold onto a keepsake in their loving memories or to simply remember the pictures and memories, they are all acceptable and reasonable ways to mourn a loved one’s death.

So in loving memory of Moby P., I’d like to say you have always been loved, you have been my sunshine on the stormy days and that you will never be forgotten.

Lots of love,

Sonja P.

Missing the Bandwagon: Better Late than Never

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“Better late than never.” – Mathew Hanry

Hello everyone!

So I’m not sure if you noticed or not but I haven’t posted since a month ago… so yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been busy working on a novel (4 part series) and I guess I just lost track of time. I’ll try to post whenever I can from now on because I have come to realize that I’m not super great at keeping and adhering to a schedule. But as Mr. Hanry once said/wrote: “Better late than never,” and this is the topic of today’s post!

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I have never EVER been able to keep up with the trends and fads of social society. I’m more or less in my little bubble surfing Pinterest or inventing things that are too expensive to actually build or writing and singing my little heart away. So I miss a lot of things. Like everything really.

I’ve always been this kind of person. I’m not sure if this is an introvert thing, but I never really know what’s trending online or really going on in society unless one of my friends tell me or show me online or something of those sorts.

For example, I have just recently read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I have literally just watched all the movies withing the last 2 months and read all the books within the last month. I am serious. I have never laid my finger on the Harry Potter book series, with the exception of using the Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix as a makeshift brick to throw at my elementary school bully. I know I lacked the respect of the great J.K. Rowling and her precious book babies, but that was the biggest thing I could physically find on the recess ground. (Thank goodness my friend was reading the soft cover though.) I loved J.K.’s books so much, to the point of wondering why I didn’t get on the bandwagon when it first was popular over 10 years ago!

Some of the other late trends that I missed up are popular music and songs that come out only to find out almost 2 years later that the song was popular and was a big hit. I can’t remember what the song was called nor how it goes, (so that is also probably a reason why I missed that pony ride) but I remember playing it on repeat and telling my sister that it was such a good song, and that she needed to hear it. She just looked at me and said that the song was almost 2 years old and trended over a year ago.

This kind of late realization of trends has always been something that I have lacked in both social trends and general life skills. This goes for literally anything, from fashion to music to youtube and the list can go on. I’d like to think that I purposely ignore trends to rebel against the general condolence of society, (this is what happened with the Harry Potter series, which I now regret deeply) but most of the time it’s mostly me just being completely oblivious to what happens outside my bubble and morals that I carry with me.

Just out of curiosity, can any of you relate to this issue, or is this mostly just a me problem? If this ever happened to you I would love if you could share in comments, let the better late than never Bandwagon people unite!

Life is too short,

Try to catch that wagon every now and then.

Why did I miss Harry Potter?

Why?

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

When Life Changes, it’s Not Over

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“Life seems to have its own path that sometimes it appears you have to follow, but this is not always true. Sometimes you need to divert from the path to start your own down the untrimmed grass, to truly find yourself.” ~Sonja P.

Hello Everyone,

I apologize for not writing for the past couple of weeks, but life has taken me on the rollercoaster that it is. Due to several life complications, I have returned home from my out of town University and am going to continue my education here, in my hometown. It’s quite difficult to take, for me on a personal level

It’s quite difficult to take, for me on a personal level for the school I went to was perfect for me in every way. The program was amazing, the professors were immaculate and my friends, well they were spectacular. I even had a crush that I was hoping to eventually ask out. Nevertheless, life had its own ideas, and due to health issues, I had to return home.

Now it has been over two weeks since I have left that university and things have been going alright. My health, of course, hasn’t been super reliable however I am with my family,  I’m at home and I still have the option of two universities that have good programs in the area.

I realize that not everyone would do what I did, and I understand that what I did may not be approved by every family or household, but what I’d like to say is that I made a huge decision. I did what was best for my health. I can home. And guess what? My life isn’t over.

After some distance from the entire matter, I have come to realize that everything, though difficult will be okay. Dropping out of school for health reasons isn’t a death sentence. In a matter of fact, dropping out of school for whatever reason isn’t a death sentence. In the world we live it is expected for us to get some kind of degree, diploma or certification, but the reality is not everyone is set to do this. Sometimes change takes its way and then well you just need to move forward. I plan to go back to university this coming September, but it’s okay, and totally amazing if you decide to leave school and go into the workforce, or get an apprenticeship or really anything because it’s okay. It’s your life and you need to decide how you want to live it

I plan to go back to university this coming September, but it’s okay, and totally amazing if you decide to leave school and go into the workforce, or get an apprenticeship or really anything because it’s okay. It’s your life and you need to decide how you want to live it. You could live by others, or societal values or you could march to the beat of your own drums, or do a little of both!

The reality is, is that I knew that my health would get worse if I stayed, so I had to come home. And though it seems very simple in just that one sentence, the pressure to do everything right, to prove yourself, to make yourself feel more accepted and the list can go on, can sometimes, and quite frequently cloud your judgment of what you want or more in particularly what you need.

Life is a rollercoaster, and I can say that from experience, but remember with every down there is an up and with every up there is a knowing of a change.

Change is okay.

Health should be looked after.

It’s not the end of the world.

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

Questioning Reality

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“Questioning Reality” by; Sonja P.

By: Sonja Peters

Questioning reality is quite difficult really. For to do so you have to pull yourself out of all societal conforms, out of all of your inner awareness, out of everything you think and thought to be. Nonetheless, it is quite exhilarating.

It is boring to think that you are confined to what you know, from what we are told, what we are forced to study. Why should we conform to a world that seems so utterly sparing in the desire for individuality? What makes one person right while the other wrong? What makes science explicable and anything otherwise myth? What exactly makes science tangible, while the naturally occurring yet unexplained folklore? For didn’t we make up science? Didn’t we create rules placing things into categories amongst categories, in order to make sense in a senseless kind of world?

We have created many laws for what is and what is not, knocking down ideas that, though previously accepted, are on the brink of extinction. For many, sadly with a closed mind and judgmental heart, there is only one right way and that one way is their way, otherwise it is not a way at all. In reality, this is not true. But what exactly is reality? Is it the laws we have made up? Or is it the perspective that we give it? For reality is different in comparison to persons and though we may come to some vague consensual agreement, it is no clearer than oiled water in a sea of pollution; because we too made that, or did we make that up?

Deciphering what is and what is not, at first seems a simple task. Even for the brightest minds the first and uttermost conclusion we reach is the reality of what we know, what is widely accepted, what is physical. Still, you are only limited to your own mind and the mind, if you let it, will not conform in ways society would like. We, as human beings all have individuality that is slowly washed out in the laundry of societal constraints. But we are not a victim. We are not that lonely t-shirt that has no choice but to actively be thrown into the wash by a mere accident or under another’s power. We choose to be a part of the wash. We choose to be a part of the society that we so helplessly desire to be a part of, subconsciously accepting, the decisions that the ‘we’ are making, that we don’t and really never are a part of.

We are however, very curious creatures, and though at times we seem to be going backwards, we are still moving forward. For we created time. We created this commonly accepted reality that as events seem to go backwards, time still moves forward. Thus since we created time, shouldn’t we at least adhere to it? Shouldn’t we conform to mankind’s reality? For aren’t we mankind? Didn’t we, in some way or another create history in ways unimaginable, yet imaginable? For what exactly is reality?

In the world we live in, in the state of our living, in the ‘time’ of our existence, reality is not what is and what is not. Reality is not the human perspective on the world, nor the history we have come to know and accept. For reality in itself is not a tangible branch of science, nor a physical object that we can examine and upturn. Reality lives in your head, for reality is really only a state of mind, for you and only you can decide what is reality and what is not.

Now was that so hard?