Saturday, 28 August 2010

Time travel (inspired by Writer's Island)

I'm 34 years old now and no - I don't feel like going out clubbing and partying every weekend anymore. Not for a long time now.
But...sometimes (about 3 times a year)...I get the urge to do it - and I want to do it exactly the way I used to when I was still in my twenties.
I want to go back in time to those crazy years in the nineties when it was all about big raves and house music - and yes, there were drugs involved, but it's not them that I miss. It's the walking into a club and fitting in, being there with your crowd - not feeling like invading a children's birthday party. It's listening and dancing to those same old tunes, partying the night away.

Going out now is just one big disappointment after the other. It just ain't happening anymore the way I imagine it should be.

Am I clinging onto things that don't belong to me anymore?
Is it time to let go and accept that it is the next generation that is having an amazing time now and just be happy that I gave it my all when it was my time?

I don't know but when I feel like I could do with a good night out again I'd happily pay a fortune for a time machine to take me and my friends back to those times when it was our time.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


What exactly do we mean when we talk about "romance" as in romantic love?

The word has been on my mind for days now and it keeps coming up in conversations and situations I encounter.
Last night my husband and I went to a couple of friends for dinner and at some point in our conversation we stumbled upon the subject of romance as well. I discovered that men and women (or at least the two men and women in the room) seem to have very different views on this subject. The one thing we managed to establish last night, was that women think it's important while men just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, our two men did understand that we obviously need something they're struggling to give us and genuinely wanted to know what on earth it is that we actually want from them when we say we need more romance in our relationship - but boy was it difficut to explore this together! 
In our desperate efforts last night we came up with the word "loving gestures". However, that didn't really get us anywhere as we found out that men seem to consider the sheer fact that they are committed to us in a relationship as a "loving gesture". So we mentioned buying flowers as an example, but really, that's just an action (a "material" act involving lots of money and very few flowers - as our men did not hesitate to point out) and actually, I agree: it is not about "doing" this or that. From a very selfish point of view: it's about the FEELING it gives ME and some days a bunch of flowers might do the trick and on others it won't. 
Now explain this to a man! We were entering the fluffy realms of "planet pink", as my friend's husband called it yesterday, where it's all about "fuzzy feeling stuff". Men just don't speak the language of "planet pink". So we gave them a break and changed the subject.

Still intrigued by the concept and my own inability to explain it (in a way that a man could understand - women know what I mean anyway), I looked the word up in a dictionary today and - apart from the obvious references to a genre type - this is what I found: "love affair", "ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people", "a strong sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination or enthusiasm for something" and "a mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic or strangely beautiful".
So on the one hand, romance has to do with fascination, mystery, adventure and is sometimes short-lived but also with strong attachment and involvement.
Are there two aspects of romance then?
If we think back to the beginning of any relationship, when we are fascinated by the other person and he is still a mystery to us and the whole process of getting to know the other person is an adventure - that's when romance comes easily, doesn't it? Everything is romantic in the first few months. Unfortunately, proving the point of the above, this kind of romance is short-lived. The relationship changes and romance takes the form of involvement and attachment in a more stable kind of way.

So are our men right then when they say it's a loving gesture and therefore romantic that I have committed myself to you and am spending my life with you?
Us women - or let's say I - tend to only refer to the earlier kind of romance. I want mystery and fascination and adventure...and yes, sometimes I want bloody flowers -  regardless of how much they cost!

And sometimes I get them.

If he buys me flowers although he doesn't get it, isn't that a loving gesture?
Maybe it could be my loving gesture to try and see it his way as well? Because really, it IS amazing and incredibly romantic that two people choose to spend their lives together. It might not be adventurous and exciting every day because this kind of romance is more of a constant flow, like a calm and quiet river, but if we wish to FEEL romance - and that's what I think it is all about - we can always stop by and dip our feet in this river, contemplating the beauty of its existence.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Dangerous (inspired by Sunday Scribblings)

Dangerous to me is writing this very first blog post of mine!
I have been suffering from what must be the longest writer's block anyone has ever experienced. It seems like I have been whining forever and ever that what I really want to do with my life is to write - and found excuses over excuses NOT to! A couple of years ago, my husband supported me leaving work so that I could focus on finally realising this dream of mine but all that happened was that I grew increasingly frustrated and grumpy because I just couldn't get anything down on paper. In the end I went back to work because I just couldn't handle it!

Considering this, one might wonder what gave me this idea in the first place...Well, as a teenager I did actually write quite a lot, mainly poems and my diary but nevertheless: I wrote and I enjoyed it.
Now, I'm like a deer in the spotlights of a car as soon as I sit down to write: I freeze. I don't know what to write, I don't know how to write, I think I'm useless!

What happened?
I have developed many theories over the years - most of them blame other people or circumstances, like "higher education and academic writing killed my creativity", "work doesn't leave me enough time to write", "I need my own space"...The list is endless.
Having had the opportunity to respond to one of my theories and to address the obstacle of "not enough time" helped me realise that the obstacle was really an excuse and that all of them were. At the time, this realisation shocked me so deeply that I just turned my back and ran away. But the issue didn't leave me alone and kept working in my unconscious, manifesting in dreams and a longing paired with sadness and disappointment with myself.

Why would I make up excuses for something that is supposedly so important to me? What is stopping me?
Do I prefer the idea over the reality?
Sometimes it is so much easier (and safer!) to idealise a dream and to hold it dear like a precious treasure rather than to actually try and make it happen. It allows you to simultanously avoid reality AND the dream. You tell yourself that your life would be so much better if only you could realise this dream. Thereby you don't have to face up to your life as it is right now and also will never find out if that would actually be the case. It is a safe escape fantasy. 
But basically it means being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Getting down to business and start making it a reality, however, is bloody hard work and I didn't like it. It scared the living daylights out of me. It's dangerous. Why? Because I could fail.
What would I be left with then?
Well, I guess in the worst case scenario: a dream that turned out to be a mirage. But if that's the case I will be able to let go of it and get on with my life.

If not - who knows? Anything is possible when you live dangerously...
Sometimes in life you just have to jump and hope that on the way down you will grow your wings.