Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The art of missing oneself.

Have you ever reached a point in your life when you realised that you actually missed yourself? Not the person that you are now. The person that you used to be a couple of years back. Seemingly, it is the same you but equipped with a machine gun shooting sarcasm, pockets full of scepticism and sprinkling lack of belief on your morning toast. How did I get here? If you have read any other post on this blog the answer is simple - I fell in love. It was mesmerising, exciting, respectful and hear-warming. Just before it turned heart-breaking.

At some point in my life, in September 2013 to be precise, I had it all. I had a decent job, a bank account with savings, a relatively new car, my first house and much more important things. A loving partner in crime, who always listened to what I had to say (even if it took hours to express). He also was not scared to hold me close when sharing his stories. He had black coffee, I had white. He was a night owl, I was an early bird. He was chilled-out, I was constantly on the go. One could say that the only thing we had in common was the passion for red wine and peanut butter. I even called him Peanut. He thought that it was due to the shape of his head. But it was not.

Last weekend I attended a beautiful ceremony filled with family love, warmth, closeness and joy - a wedding of my best friend in Poland. It was a beautiful moment accompanied by many sincere smiles, bride selfies and dancing until 4 am. I was watching people at this wedding. If you are invited to attend these beautiful parties, you know that they can be a source of stomach spasms for single people (so why are you still single? My son has a good job and speaks English. Maybe I will introduce you...). This one was not. However, as I became slightly sadistic in my own head, I couldn't help but wonder: will I ever be the person I used to be? Is it possible to be completely happy and careless again on my own?

Break-ups are hard. You fight over your favourite jumper he once owned. There is the difficult conversations with your mutual friends. The gap that suddenly occurs when you are eating breakfast on your own. But it is not just the external circumstances that change. It is the inside of yourself that suddenly shrinks and fits back into the little shell you just came out of. I watched all these couples at the wedding (as I was one of the two men-less girls at the party) and I could not help being jealous about how free and carelessly people behave when they are connected to another human being by that tiny glittery golden thread sparkling joy called 'love'. People say that relationships limit them. Oh how wrong you are (or you are dating the wrong people). Relationships set us free.

Being in a relationship is just like having a safety net beneath you at all times. If you fall, there is someone there to make sure that you do not hit the ground. Hence the feeling of being scared becoming a distant memory. You march across the world feeling confident, knowing that you do not need to be perfect. Those imperfections make the bond even stronger. And then, suddenly, the safety net is gone. You start watching every step. You introduce routines to not lose control over what you have got left. Probably to an extent that makes your friends diagnose you with OCD (and rightly so).

I want myself back. I miss myself. The naturally careless, awfully imperfect, Noble-worthy clumsy and permanently undecided self.

Monday, 10 October 2016

First world problem: The body suit.

Previously used to show off the bony bits, now used to hide the curvy bits. Either way, a kind of a love of my life, the body suit.

If you do not own one of these right now, I suggest that you purchase yourself a body suit immediately, if not sooner!

-smooths out the imperfections
-makes you boobs look amazing (even if it is a turtle-neck one... please do not ask me why!)
-stays tucked into your jeans/trousers/skirt without the need to perform a weird dance of tucking it back in
-feels... comforting. Is it something we remember from being a baby?
-no need for underwear! bonus!

As magical as this sounds, we all know that things are too good to be true when they truly are to good to be true. As much as I am a fan of body suits, I must admit that the tend to come with a flaw. A major one. I am going to say (write) it out loud - the bathroom situation.

Looking better than ever, you purchase this wonderful piece of clothing and decide to show it off for the first time in its most natural habitat - on a night out. The gals arrive, the conversation is flowing as well as the liquor, you are feeling that you are your most fabulous self! Do you also know that feeling? Yes, I am on top of the world! The cute guy in the corner is checking me out. Naturally, I pretend that I do not notice and play hard to get. My attention being hard to get, of course.

Around midnight (unlike Cinderella) you hit the moment when you have to say 'please excuse me' (or more likely (less lady-like) 'I'm off for a wee wee') and head toward the ginormous queue pouring out of the ladies. Minutes turn into hours but you are managing to keep your face and your eyebrows straight. There you are, at the front. Now minutes are centuries. Open pop the door. You are in girl! Right, zip undone, button undone and you are ready to rock and roll. But are you? Body suit! We all know where things click together. Feeling desperate, you just pull and the 'click' sound brings you the feeling of relief. Sadly, it is time to click it back together.

Cave women may have had no difficulties (and no body suits). Modern women, however, tend to fake a lot, including their nails. Have you ever dropped a penny? It must have been a woman who invented the pound coin. Anything else is not worth the struggle of picking it up with fake nails! Popping the two inseparable pieces of the bodysuit together after a few drinks in a narrow loo with 5-inch heels on is something that even Tom Cruise surrounded by lasers in Mission Impossible would not master! First, you should have listened to your yoga teacher and actually do yoga as opposed to loving the idea of it. Second, the fake nails suddenly seem to be your worst enemy. Most importantly, the fear of falling over and touching the loo floor or walls - beyond disgusting. Balancing somewhere between your crotch and humiliation, you suddenly feel the self-esteem going out of the window. Or being flushed down the toilet, due to the lack of windows. You suddenly feel sorry for olympic gymnasts as that is all they ever wear! And the pressure is on! Remaining calm and only breaking a miniscule bit of a sweat, you manage to straighten your crown and return to the party. If only they knew what happened behind the closed door... 'Did you want another  drink?' 'No, thanks', comes out of your mouth before you think twice.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Ding ding. Round two. And nudes.

Imagine this.

Despite being most sceptical about online dating you decide to give it a go number two (round one was mission rebound a few years back). You work with 35 women, 2 men and 1 gay man who is more female than you. All your friends are married and have married friends. The single men you know are single for a reason (so I am, probably). Phone apps that enable you to 'meet people' are thrown in your face like BOGOF offers at Tesco's.

Please mind that I am the most naive person you will ever come across. My family home was a safe place full of trust where tricks and manipulation were absent. There was only room for good intentions and good deeds. Sounds like a fairytale, right? It was. So here I am. Me vs. the online dating world. The monster that is yet to be tamed.

Full of hope that it will actually provide me with dates, here I go. Reporting ready for duty of searching for love. Swiping left, right and centre. It is a job itself, I am not sure whether you are aware of that. As time-consuming as reading meaningless e-mail threads at work when asking myself 'why am I looped in?'. Still. You get what you give, right? I will invest in this. I will treat it as carefully choosing lottery numbers as opposed to going for the lucky dip.

Episode 15. James. Cute. Tall. Wearing glasses accompanied by a crisp shirt gracefully hugging his manly broad shoulders. A cheeky smile. Boom! Match. Small talk, asks me out after 3 messages (I am so not looking for pen pals so a brownie point scored!). Before I know it, my fingers are typing my phone number and I have a date for Saturday night. And then he texts me. 'Hi, It's James x'. To my surprise, my phone does not display his number. My phone is shamelessly reminding me of how pathetic (and consistent) I am. I could almost feel that Siri was silently laughing on the inside when the text came through. My phone has displayed the following: 'Message from James Tinder'.

Just like Samantha in SATC, I have run out of men. I have yet again fancied the same guy (proves that I am consistent in my choices at least), fallen for the same chat up line, and swapped numbers with James. As scary as this was, I could not help but wonder. Why did we never meet? At this point, as much as I did not remember speaking to him, I was sure we never met. And there is very few reasons that would cross someone off immediately. There was something about James though.... I have decided not to tell James that I had his number (he clearly did not have mine) and go with the flow. Only to find out the reason after two text message exchanges.

'Are you in bed? What are you wearing?'. A little lightbulb in my head lit up with surprise. He tried that before. Tricked me into thinking that a date would happen but all he was after was just nudes. After hitting the same wall repeatedly, I came to a sad conclusion: people do not even want to meet any more. Investing time in dating face-to-face became an inconvenient luxury that is going out of style. Just like perm. Men are content with a cheap thrill caused by home-made porn-like pictures of you touching yourself (have you heard of Google btw?). How did we reach this point? It is both frightening and worrying. We live in an instant society where result is expected at the same rate as iPhones read out fingerprints. Did we grow too lazy to even meet for a one-night stand? Not to mention building a closer bond, a relationship. Are nudes really enough?

I refuse to live in such reality. I will stand strong and remain naive and full of hope that apparently endangered species of love, passion and excitement are not extinct. Just like Carrie in SATC, I need to feel a weight of a man on me. Even if he just lies on top of me for a minute of two.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Second time round.

A simple solution to most of our sophisticated problems, right? Do more of what makes you happy. If you like watching films, watch them. If hiking makes you happy, do it. Maybe it's knitting, painting, sculpting or simply skipping that puts a smile on your face - it doesn't really matter. As long as it makes you happy. Of course I am about to question it (like anything in life, I even question questioning sometimes) with these words: but is there a limit?

If you know me you might as well remember that I love running. Running makes me happy. Definitely. It all started when I was unintentionally inspired by the love of my life (before he turned out to be the love of my life) when I saw how happy it made him. Seeing him grabbing his black coffee and a sweet sticky Danish pastry after a morning run just gave me the idea that there's nothing wrong with putting your left foot in front of the right at a steady pace. Moreover, it clearly would give him a glow and make his smile even bigger.

So I kind of secretly started doing so as well. It took me a while (due to the fear of being called a copy-cat) before I admitted it during one of our long-hours text conversations by asking about the time he normally would complete a lap around our local park in. Now I kind of regret it. The reason being (I've always voluntarily admitted to being competitive), ever since I couldn't get the idea of my joy being defined my time out of my head. Obviously, the more you are into something the better you want to become. The hours spent learning a foreign language, the C++ course you paid for, the flowers you planted in your back garden - we all want to see results. And not just to post them on Instagram but to reward ourselves.

There's very few more amazing things than seeing yourself progress. In anything. But there's absolutely nothing more discouraging than not seeing yourself progress. Not to mention regress. And the problem usually is that the better you become the slower the progress. Be it in exercising, dancing, drawing or playing the guitar. At the beginning things are happening quickly. A week makes a huge difference and you feel that you can move mountains, make plans to shift the extra 2 lbs or play Bach's Cello Suite No 1 in G Major as smoothly as the master himself. It happens. But then, to my surprise, it becomes so much harder (if not impossible) to become... better.

So what happens when you stop becoming better? What happens when you hit the plateau? This morning I was one of the 10 000 women running around Victoria Park in London trying to establish a new personal best. But I didn't. Admitting (just to yourself) that you didn't run faster than last year is so painful and takes the whole joy of the very act of running away. I am the happiest runner when I do not measure anything. When I just go, face the world with no sports watch, no running app. Just me versus the road. Why do we spoil it for ourselves? Is there a point when doing more of the thing that makes us happy starts making us unhappy?

At the point when I'm nearly 30 and should at least be ever so slightly resembling an adult I still find joy in simple things that never stopped making me laugh. For the last 29 years (or maybe 27 since I only learnt to perform them at a certain age) I have been the happiest when eating ice cream, jumping on my bed (despite my mum telling me not to) and blowing bubbles. I think I'll stick to that and put my spots watch away for a while.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Oh how goooood does the good wife look?

Any 'The Good Wife' fans out there? Ok, I am not an expert on exciting series as I still haven't seen 'Breaking Bad', 'House of Cards' or 'Game of Thrones'. Moreover, I am highly unlikely to ever watch it. But I was swept off my feet by Julianna's performance as a power woman. Without going into detail and going on and on about how good this show is, I just couldn't not share this fantastic, classy, sophisticated and mature editorial. After seeing Julianna next to George Clooney (one lucky lady) in pink scrubs in 'ER' for year it's simply mind-blowing! Bring your hand together for team 'The Edit' and Ms Margulies!