Best car ever.

Today I’m driving to the land down under. Which in this particular case is the beautiful Limburg that holds my roots (-small barf-). And though I’ve managed to destruct most of the accent that gets a person laughed at on a daily basis – I do still venture down there every once in a while to visit the golden oldies, aka the grandparents. Mostly to see how much smaller my grandma has gotten (which might have something to do with the fact that my heels seem to keep getting taller). Gotta love the old folk (and grandmas cooking!!!)

Thing is…..it’s hot out there. I mean, temperatures have improved compared to the past few days – but it’s still a solid 26 degrees out there right now. And my car? My car does not have air-conditioning.

But Zoë….you drive a fancy lease-car from work don’t you?
Yes. Yes observant stranger, I do.

But the lesson I learned about a year ago is that when you let someone with 0 interest in cars order one online….that does not result in greatness.
See, I started at the company I work at as a ‘young professional’. AKA – we got lured in with a fancy business edition fully stocked car (a fucking amazeballs red Citroen C4 Cactus in my case, with the panorama roof and fancy multimedia system an’ everything in my case) for the first 4 years of our career. After that – you’re on your own. You get a lease-budget and, like the professional grownup that you are, select and arrange for your replacement. Which I did. On the online portal. Assuming all cars our company gave out would be above the basics.

So I sat there scrolling pictures. Thinking I still wanted something in the SUV-y looking categories. Pondered between a Peugeot 3008 and the Renault Captur and picked the latter because it was available in (what I thought to be) a pretty blue. WRONG. That was my first mistake. The pretty blue is a bland sort of blue-grey which looks like someone couldn’t decide on what kinds of ugly to combine. My next mistake was not reading the add-on accessories list like it was a nightstand bible and I’m an insomniac that needed to fall asleep. I assumed (and as we all know, assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups and to assume makes an ass out of u and me) that any car made in 2020 would be made with a radio and AC system. Standard.

Guess what. They’re not.

So I scrolled through the accessory list. Selected the parking sensors I couldn’t live without. Selected the fancy interior and the black mirrors. And hit send on that order. All was well in my life.

Until I got a call the week after. From the lease-company.
Ma’am, are you aware of the fact that you ordered your new Renault Captur without a radio, multimedia dock and AC-system?’ the boy on the other side asked me. I, of course, replied thankfully:
“Oh. No. I wasn’t. Good that you called! Please add them on for me then!” I said to him (obviously, because not checking those boxes was not a money thing).
Ehh. Yeah. No. I can’t. It’s already been taken into production.

And while my head was screaming something along the lines of ‘YOU MOTHERFUCKER WHY ARE YOU EVEN CALLING ME THEN!?’ internally – while considering the fact that there was probably an entire office of tweens there laughing their asses off at my incapability of car-ordering – I resigned myself to the fact that apparently I’d be driving a radio-less, ac-less car for the NEXT GODDAMN 4 YEARS.

Since then I’ve considered (many many a time) to total the car in order to get a new one, especially after this fucked-up-version of a ride took 4(!!!) months to be built and delivered even WITHOUT the most basic additions. But most days it’s not even that hard to survive. Unless temperatures, like today, are blazin’ and I’m going to be in the car for 3 hours (90 minutes to and fro) trying not to die and not to swim out of my seat.

But hey, first world problems right…after all I AM the proud owner of a car with speakers, but no way to use them. With blowers with no way to actually cool anything down and with EIGHT DAMN PARKING SENSORS AND NO WAY OF KNOWING WHICH ONE IS BEEPING! I play Russian Roulette with my car on the daily. But there’s kids in Africa who don’t have any cars to eat, so I shouldn’t complain. Right?

At least I’m gonna get grandmas cooking today. BOOYAH.

Bed Battles

There’s things to consider when you’re (planning to be) getting back on the horse. The horse, in this case, being a new partner (winkwinknudgenudge).

It’s not just the dating, the tentative getting-to-know-someone questions, the awkward routine-discoveries (seriously, I once knew a guy who brushed his teeth every time he’d eat something….which was quite often) and the plunge into values and norms (what if they suddenly turn out to be a conspiracy theorist flat earther with a passionate hatred for GMO foods or AI innovations) that needs to be taken into account when you’re matching up a new boo to your old standards. No no no.

There’s simpler (and in their simplicity enormously important) things to discover about any new person in your life. Yet, simple as they might be – they hold much more danger for a budding relationship than something as complex as worldviews and (lack of) political interests. Because if there’s a mismatch on these simple basics – there’s only doom ahead for your love-interest. These days, my mind often wanders to the inevitable point that will be upon me in the (near) future: sleeping with a new partner.

Not the sexy kind – obviously. I am chaste until marriage, everyone knows that. Nope. I mean the good old, pure and clean sleepy kind of sleep.

And I hate. The. Thought. Of. It.

Throughout life there has been one constant for me – sleep. I have a passionate love-hate relationship with my (or any) bed. I LOVE sleeping, snoozing and every other denominator that consists of me getting to lose consciousness in the fluffy sea of pillows and blankies. Tell me that I can be in bed all day and I’m a happy camper!
Yet I’ve also consistently been plagued by the nightmares, body-betrayals (DOOM TO MIDNIGHT TOE CRAMPS!) and insomnia that make sleeping a living hell when you’re not doing a very good job at it. And all of that is WITHOUT taking a possible partner into consideration.

Sleeping alone is hard enough as it is – add another blanket-hoarding, possibly-snoring, elbow-slapping, drool-inducing bedpartner….and things get really tricky. So I worry about this. A lot.

I’ve not had very good sleeping-together-experiences in the past. Trauma’s about (being accused of and laughed at for) snoring (oh the HORROR!). Fights about not being able to not-turn-over every 5 minutes or so (wigglewiggle). Blanket and pillow-fights that did not involve giggling girls and flying feathers but angry accusations and extra bedding purchases. Plus – I’m not looking forward to once more defending my right to have eight pillows on my bed. I’m a grown ass woman. I CAN HAZ.

All of that is just the basic bed-dynamics that can already be a total mismatch. What’s even worse? Throughout my sleeping-career I’ve found that there’s very different types of sleepers. And where I’m a constant-contact kind of person, spoiled by eight years of full-night cuddles (spooning throughout the night=lifegoals) – most men aren’t ‘into’ that kinda thing. These people-shaped ovens usually burn through the capability to stay in touch with their bed-neighbor within minutes and then retreat into their corner of the bed (usually WITH too much of the blanket) – never to be seen again (til morning). And I fucking hate that.

I can’t deal with ‘just’ being in a bed with someone. I’ll wake them up 50 times a night when I still try to get a fingertip in the crook of an elbow, or the back of a hand pressed against a shoulder. Or the tip of the nose pressed to the back. All of that is (apparently) often already too much to ask. But I don’t want an untouchable entity in my bed. Then I’d rather cuddle with one of my eight pillows Han Solo style. (Ps. Bertus the pregnancy pillow always wins in a cuddle match). But sleeping patterns like those – can’t be changed. You can’t turn a sleep-einzelganger into a spoon-afficionado. Believe me, I tried. And if I have to look forward to spending eternity with someone who can’t bear to keep me in their arms throughout the deep dark hours of night – I’m checking out.

Worse still: There’s the simple matter of actually getting to the point of FALLING ASLEEP. I’ve been around people that are somehow impossible to fall asleep next to. Whether it’s insecurity (if you make fun of me snoring once, rest assured I’ll never fall asleep after from fear or reoccurence) or a subconscious trust-issues. Whether it’s body heat or involuntary muscle spasms (seriously guys, what’s up with your random twitching?!) – I’ve had people in my bed that kept me wide awake throughout the entire goddamn night (without attempting to) for the simple fact that I can’t get to the point of dozing off.

Warning – though train incoming:
Those nights are usually filled with me being TOO conscious of my breathing. Trying to regulate it to a point of ‘normal’ breathing and then getting stuck in irregular breathing because apparently my view of normal doesn’t fit my body and then I’m suddenly breathing awkwardly and worrying about them noticing that I’m trying to control my breathing and then obsessing about failing to breathe like a normal person followed by noticing just how uncomfortably my arm is positioned and trying to move it without disturbing them but inevitably waking them up by super-subtly-moving and and and.

Sleeping with people is a bitch.

But when it works. When you find someone whose arms make you feel safe. Who keeps the nightmares at bay and whose body curls around yours just right? When you lie next to someone whose breathing calms yours and whose heat is just enough to warm your soul without scorching your skin? When you find yourself next to someone who you feel comfortable enough next to to accept any involuntary snoring, twisting and turning (OR WORSE….bowel functionality -> women don’t do that, obviously. No sleep-farting. Nope. Non-existent) – that’s when heaven descends on earth and a bed becomes a haven for the best….times…..ever. It’s addictive. Impossible to resist. Something to hold on to for dear life.

I’m just hoping I find someone for that last category – instead of enduring the horrors of the first part of this writing. FINGERS CROSSED.



The Heart-Brain divide

The heart and brain have a tendency of pulling a person in different directions. More often than not, these directions also happen to be entirely opposite to each other – just to make it ‘easier’. Trying to rationalize matters of the heart is nigh impossible – and putting your heart in things that don’t rationally hold any value is to be avoided. Yet somehow…I don’t. We don’t. People don’t.

My heart and brain are currently usually bouncing around on the road of reflection that should (hopefully) lead to love. They’re bickering in fiery discussions and they’re both trying to get their point across and decide directions. But, as usual, they’re quite oppositely positioned. Gruesome for mental stability, let me tell you.

Loving isolation is a blessing

I am a very private person. Sort of. You might find that hard to believe, considering the amount of ‘sharing’ I do on a blog like this – but I am. I tend to keep things close to my heart and I swear I’ll one day end up as a crazy hermit on a mountain, talking to goats and weasels and collecting pine cones to adorn my cabin with while chewing on some bay leaves. I like being alone. Or being alone together. Things are easy for me when I’m in environments that I consider safe, where I’m not (over)compensating or overthinking for flaws and problems and the things other people do (or don’t do).

I’m more fun to be around in private – and I find interacting with people a whole lot easier when there’s not an entire world looking in. Rationally, I know that staying in and around the house is my preferred mode of existing. Man, I can’t even count the times that I’ve said that I’d love to just leave altogether and move to an uninhabited island (with WiFi) and just POOF. Or the times that I’ve told (or been told by) partners that being together would be so much easier if the world could just disappear. Hell – during my breakup I think I even literally said the line ‘I know we’d grow grey and old together if it would have been just us in the world. Not a single doubt in my mind.’ At that point there really was nothing I wanted more than to live in a dystopian universe like ‘I am Legend’ where all we’d have to consider is each other. But then the heart comes into play.

Loving in private is a curse

I hate being loved only in private.
I hate having to hide my feelings and/or connections from the world and feeling like I’m only good enough to be around when nobody is watching.
I hate the fact that all I ever seem to inspire in people is the need to be with me in the safety of my lair – until we pull the front door closed behind us and the world suddenly becomes more important in every regard.

Yet all I seem to do is create exactly that situation in my own life. I think (not counting some parties that we would’ve also separately attended) that me and the ex ‘went out’ no more than 10 times in the year we were together. The rest of our time was spent inside the house (with or without some additional friends). And the ones before that? Rarely saw the light of day.
It must have something to do with Self-worth and choices, I wager. So I know that a lot of that ‘pain’ is self-inflicted. My choices in men (who are more often than not taken/unavailable in one way or another) dictate that a lot of my ‘love interests’ are banished into the shadows and the confines of my house. And as much as I know that I LIKE being in the house WITH these people – I hate that the choice to do so is often not in my hands.

The romantic in me cringes when I have to tell myself not to stare in public. Or that I can’t make googly eyes at the one I like. The romantic in me cries when I have to keep my hands to myself in order to avoid other people knowing or judging or becoming unhappy. The romantic in me cringes when I’m told we’re staying indoors, when all I want for them to do is be proud of the fact that they’re mine. Or I’m theirs. When frankly all I want is for them to show me off, to show ‘us’ off. For them to want to take my arm and present me to the world as theirs and only theirs. For them to want to explore places together and rub our love in the faces of anyone we meet. I want to be ‘that’ couple that is so nauseatingly sweet, so entwined in each other, so devoted to their love that people can barely stand to be around them.

Yet all I tend to go for is someone who drops in and out of my life at the threshold of my front door. Where our ‘world’ starts and ends at that block of wood. And honestly – sometimes that is just all you have room for in your heart anyway. Which in and of itself is not necessarily a problem because, once more, I LOVE being alone together.. I just want to have the choice to allow the world in too.

But if I really want to have a chance of venturing out into the world together – I’ll have to find and allow in people who have room for me in theirs..
And then there’s the brain-heart divide again. That crossroads of smart versus easy love. Because Heart always seems to go for the ones that Brain knows I can’t (really) have but are so so easy to be with. And, somehow, consistently manages to win these battles. So I keep finding myself on the roads that Brain knows I have to avoid, while Heart is enjoying itself too much to see the burning pit of despair at the end of the it.

Guess I don’t just need a book on selfworth-for-dummies. I also need a map.

The invisible me

Sometimes I wonder how much of my life is made up out of habits – instead of necessities (for survival). How much of my actions are governed merely by the fact that I’m used to their specific execution and routines, instead of me actually ‘needing’ them to reach my goals and fulfilment. How much of my life is performed by ingrained behaviors outside of my visible control and perception….

Thoughts like those are usually followed by me trying to unravel that puzzle further, and attempting to pinpoint how and why these habits came to be, and what it would take to change them. Hell – I even find myself pondering whether they could be changed at all. And then I find myself digressing down a path of amazement as I start looking into behaviors that, when carefully considered, make no sense whatsoever.

But most of it eventually centers around the age old question – can you teach an old dog new tricks? And should you even want to?

I observed someone only last week – who freaked me out completely by ‘putting on his shoes and socks wrong’. Wrong – in my case, was him putting on the sock for his left foot, followed by the shoe. Only to move on to the right side. For me, as a sock-sock, shoe-shoe person – this was an affront to anything that is right in the world. A jaw to the floor, eyes as big as saucers, fullblown disbelief kind of situation. But let’s be honest – this routine is not exactly one that needs to be followed to keep the world turning. I wouldn’t spontaneously combust were I to switch to his methods. Yet, somehow, the mere thought of it felt unthinkable. Undoable. Impossible. Unchangeable.

Now, sock-and-shoe policies might not be the key to solving the puzzle – but they do provide an insight in something I find interesting. Habits. I have many of them, and I’m assuming the same goes for anyone reading this as well.

The thing is, habits very rarely get counted into our conscious life choices when it comes to improving oneself. They’re so ingrained in our being, so basic to the way we operate – that we tend to no longer ‘see’ them as behaviors that could (possibly) be changed. So when we’re evaluating the things we might want to undertake to become a better person, these habits fall outside of our realm of consideration. They’re not judged for being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and they’re never really subject to betterment.

Yet – when I take a carton of milk out of the fridge and put it to my lips to drink from it….EVEN if I already grabbed a glass to pour it in – that habit doesn’t necessarily improve my life. God. I still remember several times when I took a few gulps of spoiled milk and got the instant ‘reward’ for chugging chunks. GROSS. Still…somehow I have this uncontrollable need to drink straight from the carton (only for milk, most of the time). EVEN when I just need that milk for cooking. Sip.Sip.Sip.

But considering that I want to lose weight. And that I want to be more healthy in my choices – blindly chugging milk just for the hell of it…is not exactly ‘wanted’ behavior. But it’s so much of a habit that I do it anyway. So I find myself wondering. How much invisible behaviors do I actually have – and how many of them would not make the list of ‘things to keep doing’ when evaluated?

What if I’m a whole different person than I think I am – just because I can’t see it anymore?
Scary….no?

A different ballgame

Dating is hard as balls. No pun intended. It is. Not just because I’m in my 30s and have already plundered Tinder. Not just because I’m a girl that (really really) doesn’t want kids and likes her career. Not because I don’t do the happy family thing and suck at household chores or can’t cook to save my life. Not even because I am a horrible hag with a serious case of resting bitchface. – Billy Mays voice – There’s more!

Guys are sore fucking losers.

And so dating is hard as balls. Especially considering my favorite type of dating – that caters to my incessant need to WIN and where balls are definitely involved. I say it again – keep your dirty minds in check, because what I mean is: I like competitive dating. Do-dates.

Sitting awkwardly on chairs and talking about what makes us tick while pondering the possibilities (or other forms of dinner dates) never really worked for me. I don’t really ‘shine’ in company, and I definitely never say the right things during plain dates like that. So when you catch me dating – we’re usually doing something with a slight active edge. No hardcore survival-ling or archery tag, mind you (although…well…I wouldn’t say no). But it’s definitely gonna be bowling, or playing glow-golf or going at it in a round of pool or darts.

But what I’ve found over the years is that actually ‘winning’ can be quite detrimental for you dating success. Strange, but true. I mean. I’m a very sore loser myself (and a mean winner, too), but honestly – I’ve had dates crash and burn when the other party lost (to a girl(!!)) and suddenly had no real interest in any continued effort anymore. Which. Fucking. Sucks. It kinda makes ‘dating’ become a thing –  a chore. A must-do to not end up a crazy cat lady (but just crazy).

It’s strange. In my day to day life I’ve never found it in myself to excuse myself for being anything other than myself. I’m unapologetically ‘just me’, take it or leave it. Yet on dates like these I find myself shielding parts of myself. Toning down. Hell – I play dumb and let guys win just in hopes of being ‘acceptable’ to them. And then go home and beat myself up over it.

I repeat. Dating is hard as balls.
It’s a good thing I play softball now – guess I’ll get better at handling them eventually.


The Wind (or Tornado) of Change.

If you believe the interwebs (which I obviously always do!) – everything in your body is replaced in a seven-year time span with cells dying and regenerating. Something that is rumored to be on the basis of your taste in foods changing every so often – which is why you can HATE the taste of a certain something and years later find yourself binging on it (I had this epiphany with pickles, mayonnaise, wine (!!!) and a couple of vegetables that I could no longer live without).

It’s why every so often I force myself to (re)try things I’m pretty sure I hated (or would hate if I’d actually ever tried). Beer, for instance (still in the no-zone). And spicy foods (plx, NO. I still cry.). Or fishy things that still look like fishy things (TAKE THE PRAWNS AWAY FROM ME!). We change. So does our taste. And I like discovering these sorts of changes. Most of the time.

But sometimes you’ll find yourself dumbfounded when things change overnight – and you had not calculated for them ever changing (ever again). You’ll find yourself suddenly slightly nauseous in undertaking things you used to love. Saddened by doing something you were once really good at. And then questioning yourself because it freaks yourself the fuck out that you’re no longer who you thought you were to your core.

I’ve spent the last 2 years exploring a world that I thought fit me to a tee. That was the home I always wanted. That offered me all the ingredients I’d need to cook up a storm. And now, overnight, I find myself having lost interest in it to a degree that I get a bad taste in my mouth partaking in the things I’d come to love. It feels wrong. Bad. Not-me. Which is fucking freaky – considering the commitment with which I’d plunged in and dove deep. To say it feels like your feet being swept out from under you….is an understatement. It shakes a person to the core.

And it brings about the question on whether all change should be embraced – or whether some need to be fought.

Do I fight this – and force myself back into the game until it suits me again like it used to? Do I embrace this and switch back to the person I thought I was before? Do I consider reinventing myself or accept that ‘this just is who I am now’? Or do I just come back around to trying this every seven years to see if my tastes are just changing?

When you find change, in yourself or the world around you, it’s not always obvious what the best course of action is. But choosing wrong might be detrimental. Fight or Flight…Freeze or Force and whatever else you can think of in the area of best-case-responses – it’s a puzzle I’ve not yet solved.

Guess I’ll just be eating a lot more pickles before I suddenly stop loving those too!

Breakup Bonfires

The world we live in these days might be a lot simpler in a lot of ways – but in that increased simplicity…there is also a loss of depth that I sometimes lament. Love is ever increasingly becoming a virtual concept, I feel – and it’s the physicality of it that I sometimes find myself missing.

No. I’m not talking about fuckery and the likes – you dirty minded people. But we no longer write love letters on actual paper, sent with a kiss pressed to the envelope. Or have dresser drawers filled with old movie tickets, receipts for that one time we went for milkshakes at the diner and ended up skinny dipping in a lake and the wrapper to the gum he offered you the first time you met. Or well – I don’t – maybe there ARE people that still uphold these standards, who knows.

The ‘proof’ of a relationship in my world, however, often can’t be captured in photo-albums filled with pictures anymore. There are no walls littered with past experiences – framed and eternalized. There’s no more diaries with pages sticking from the tears you shed while writing or flowers pressed between heavy books and dried to perfection. And I find that a bit sad – to be totally honest. My inner romantic is shriveled up and dried at the concept of modern love.

It’s all just Whatsapp conversations, and phone galleries. Facebook likes and Insta loves. And when relationships end, all we seemingly still have to do is press a bunch of delete buttons to remove all trace from our lives (at least, that is my approach to these things).

But that virtuality doesn’t allow for the freedom that can be brought about by a little drama in the physical world. Throwing reminders through a room at full power, smashing what once-was-his. Rushing into the backyard with arms full of items that you can no longer bear and setting fire to the remnants of what you’re now missing.

I miss that edge of ‘crazy’ from those movies we all watched, where the heartbroken girls sit next to that bonfire of has-beens with their all-through-life-friends and stare into the flames that burn away they pain while they cheer on their future. It’s a form of closure that I always appreciated, I guess.

So when the mailman brought me a package from my favorite uncle Ali (Xpres) a while back – with a gift that was meant for the now-ex – the thought immediately spun up in my mind.

Burn. That. Shit.

It was conveniently (for my sanity) delivered when I had two friends over, so any mental breakdowns were covered by friendly words and kind actions (and wine) – but after shoving it into a drawer never to be looked upon again, I reconsidered this morning. A bonfire might be just what I need. And those Ali items are usually highly flammable in their extreme quality, so I’m pretty damn sure it’ll burn. Although it IS kinda hot to be lighting up any fires, but then…what’s a little more heat on days like these, no?

All I need now is some matches. Maybe some gasoline. And definitly a playlist that is officially lit. With songs better than ‘disco inferno’.
R. Kelly – Burn it up maybe?

Time for a breakup bonfire.

(Ps. breakup bonfires do not equal mental breakdowns. Just saying. Sane people can also just be a little crazy sometimes. That’s allowed. Shush your worries.)

On Self-Worth and Choices.

There’s moments of reflection that are inevitable at the points in your life where you decide on your course for the future.

I had one of them only this week.
An epiphany, one might say.

I strongly feel that understanding the patterns and decisions that lead up to these moments are the only true way forward.

George Santayana said it beautifully:

Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.

The thing is – I often go full Alice (in Wonderland) in these moments. There’s a song in the Disney movie that I’ve always related to. A lot.
I give myself very good advice. But I very seldom follow it.

When I look back at my past (relationships) and try to determine the fatalistic patterns that inevitably lead to the crash-and-burn that follows – there’s always two common denominators that (for me) create a destructive vicious cycle that I have yet to successfully beat.

Selfworth. And choice.

It’s a pattern that I’ve come to recognize only recently – but that can be traced back to…well….always. One that’s ruled my life, left it’s clawmarks and has thus far proved unwilling to budge.

But who knows – writing it down might bring to light some new determination to fix this mess and discard these unhealthy patterns once and for all.

Pattern 1: The quest to be worthy.

It often feels like I’ve spent a lifetime trying to be enough. Enough for myself. My family. The people around me and the partners I’ve been with. A constant battle to be everything that is needed, wanted and expected.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that need, mind you. Wanting to be all you can be for someone is an admirable ambition, if you ask me.

However.

When you venture out into the world with the solid belief that you weren’t, aren’t, can’t be and never will be enough…even though that’s all you want to be – that’s where it gets tricky.

We people (or at least, I do) often fall prey to the confirmation bias:
The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.

So because I uphold this belief of not being enough – my actions, interpretations and in turn…choices – will be clouded by me trying to confirm this for myself. Trying to prove to myself that I am indeed never enough – by finding undeniable evidence for that in the world around me.

Pattern 2: Oh, how Choice can wreak havoc.

Pattern 1 makes sure that everything I do can be constantly tainted by that insecurity of not being enough. That my days are built up around the impending doom of possibly failing (someone, or at something). That I do everything in my power to be enough while stubbornly seeing only the proof that I am not. Sounds healthy eh? No. It’s not.

But to make matters worse – pattern 2 locks into this deficiency with a vengeance. Because in my muddled brain, there would be an easy way to prove that I AM enough. That I AM worthy.

Being chosen.

It might be the Disney overdose or the shitload of romcoms and gushy books I’ve read – but the concept of someone falling for you head over heels, undeniably and unconditionally…would be the ultimate way of discarding all of those self-worth issues once and for all. They choose you. All of you. For always. And POOF. Gone be the self-doubt. You suddenly are enough. Right? Wrong.

The thing is – when you add the confirmation bias to a broken person with a shitty sense of self-worth….all that means is (or well…all that it’s meant for me so far, speaking from personal experience) that you start making crappy choices in hopes of reaching that ultimate goal of being chosen for all that you are.

Because when you start out this search feeling like you don’t deserve to be chosen?
Let me tell you:
You’re not going to be picking anyone that is in any way capable of actually doing so. That would not fit your bias. You don’t deserve to actually be chosen so you’re sure as hell won’t puck someone who would.

Which means that these two patterns combined have, up till now – always only lead me to choices (for men) that could never lead to me being chosen (by them). Going for ‘unavailable’ is a talent I have honed to perfection.

Choosing unavailable men – be it emotionally, physically, mentally or whatever-ly – is, after all, the only proper choice when you’re set out to confirm that you’re not going to be enough for them to ever pick you.

Date the dude half way across the world?
No way that he’ll leave house and hearth for you.
Date the man with a wife and kids?
No way that he’ll ever put you first.
Date the guy who can’t make it through a single sentence without a lie in their own benefit?
No way that they’ll pick you over themselves.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And yet every time I reach that moment…. Every time I come to that point where the choice is meant to be made…..
Every time I get to where they’re supposed to pick me – choose me – want me….I still end up fucking surprised and broken when that OBVIOUSLY doesn’t happen.

You’d think at some point I might have learned to know better eh?

But I’ve already caught myself repeating EXACTLY the same pattern again. Regardless of my newfound wisdom.
Already seen myself falling for that same trap.
Regardless of my towering ambitions.

But by writing this I’m definitely trying to tell myself to be better. Do better. Make better choices.

The thing is – there’s going to be more to it than just recognising (and avoiding) those two patterns. Because they’re not the root cause – just the manifestation of the consequences. Because in order to FIX these patterns instead of circumventing them – it’s back to the cliches:

You have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. Because it’s only when we love ourselves that we feel worthy of someone else’s love.”

I’ll have to figure out how to turn around that confirmation bias from disproving my worth to proving it. How to choose myself instead of waiting to be chosen. Can’t be that hard, eh? –sigh

Anyone have a manual for that?
Self-love for Dummies maybe?

Christmassy Happiness

I have a slight dramatic streak. And when I say ‘slight’, I add in that word just to make it sound a little less…dramatic. Because (and I’ve always blamed this on the fact that I’m a ‘writer’ because that sounds a lot better than being emotionally unstable) I have a tendency to draw everything into corners and extremes – whether it’s emotions, activities or experiences.

I retell stories with a bit more flair than the actual execution, feel things with a bit more depth than required and generally just ‘overdo’ most things in life. I should’ve been born as Sharpay in High School Musical – I think. EXTRA!

But that also means that when you come across the ‘real’ things in life that cause changes overnight – that hits me a bit harder than I’d like to admit. So a break-up can have the nasty side-effects of cowering in a corner while chanting to yourself about how you’ll never be able to find any happiness in anything anymore (don’t worry – corners have been avoided so far). But the disappearance of happiness, is one of those issues that can’t long be avoided.

Lessons from the past have taught me that while it might be hard to begin when all you want to do is end, doing so is usually the easiest way to get out of a (self-created) slump. But when it comes to acquiring happiness, that is not the easiest of chores. So last weekend, when pondering my dark and foul moods of the past month ‘after-him’ I made a very easy list.

Things that make me happy.

Correction. Things that STILL make me happy, regardless of who I am ‘after’ (which is still quite a puzzle). It wasn’t very long, granted – because most things (I feel) have been tainted by the past year, but there were still some items on there that genuinely, intensely make me happy.

Top of that list (not counting McDonalds)?
Christmas decorations.

‘Having the Christmas tree up year-round’ has been on my bucketlist for ages. I ALMOST made it two years ago – when I put it up in November and kept it until well into October. Then – however – I became a foster home for a litter of six kittens who would’ve demolished a tree…NINE DAYS BEFORE THE YEAR WAS UP. But I took it down anyway. Anything for the kitties.

And what better moment to initiate a retry when you’re in sob-mode and desperately looking for some happiness? Right. There IS no better moment.

So there you have it. As of last week – my house now holds a bright and shiny christmas tree. Which will be there ALL. FUCKING. YEAR.
(Not that that makes it the weirdest item of decoration in my house by a longshot…as I tend to acquire items that reflect my ‘extra’-ness. Like the Thai cardboard-feathered owl that lives on my window sill. Or the mini-handcuffed minion that inhabits my toilet. And the christmas-hatted trio of meerkats that guard my tv together with Neanderthal-minion Ben. I’m just weird like that.)

And that. Makes me happy.

Cheers to fresh starts!

To share or not to share – that has always been a question for me.

To say I’m an open book is an insane understatement, something which (in the past) has worked FOR me almost as much as it has worked against me. I write about me. All of me. Without excuses. About my life, my thoughts, my experiences. And I write about them directly, without conforming to what might be perceived as the usual boundaries of what might be acceptable to share. It gets uncomfortable. I hit on TMI (too much information) zones. I don’t shy away from awkward. Hell – I even write down the bloopers from my daily shenanigans in an attempt to lighten the load of the universe and its seriousness.

There’s advantages to it…that are more often than not completely outweighed by the negatives that might follow on (over)sharing. But the answer has always been the same for me: share.

It’s interesting to me how curiosity works in that regard.
People want to know (everything about everyone) – but they prefer it if you don’t know that they know. But when they do know that you know they know- they want you to know that they know AND suddenly feel the freedom to impose their judgment and opinions on you for what they now (think they) know. Which is fine – because that’s where the interaction starts. Where the opportunities for growth exist. Where you can be challenged and enriched and….shit – also hurt and made vulnerable.

But not-sharing has never been an option for me. The openness I portray in my writing (and daily life) in the areas of my choosing, allows me to create and keep room for the things that I do keep close to my chest. By being open – I permit myself to stay closed. If that makes sense.

So with this shiny new blog, and fresh start in the world of online journaling (what’s the fun of gathering experiences if no one knows you are, eh?) I’m climbing back in the pen that I’ve been missing. And whether you like it or not – the answer is still: share!

Welcome to the party!