I still have to sell this body

I remember the first time I said this sentence.. Since then it has become a frequently used joke!

I would like to point it out first that you may have realised by now, I am rather direct. Some would say blunt! Hence the reason I am lucky I have Sarah & Rebecca who keep my words under control 🙂

But let’s go back to the beginning! How did it start? When you work in an office it’s impossible to avoid cakes and biscuits, they are constantly on offer. As I mentioned in the previous post I am trying to reduce sugar (I wouldn’t say I have succeeded but some improvement can be seen). So  looking at the cakes and saying no is a mission for me as the temptation is within my reach. But I am strong and say no! And here is the thing; there is always one person who can’t accept your “no”, who try to force you to have just the one. Some would say it’s simply because they like you. True. But some would also say it is because they want to justify their own decision. They can’t say no so they want you to have some so they can feel less guilty about their own lack of willpower. Which is foolish, I say either eat it and enjoy it or just don’t eat it at all. Eating food and feeling guilty is just plain silly.

Anyway I should carry on with my story. So this person didn’t take my “no thank you”. So I tried again and said “no thank you, maybe later”, but this didn’t work. So third time lucky I used my magic sentence: “No I can’t sorry, I still have to sell this body” – yep, I got the look, the shock, the thinking face because they seriously consider if I mean it and then a bit of smile. No more nagging, no more comments. I am finally understood. Phew!

Since this incident, this retort has become a popular response I use. I love watching people’s reaction, it’s very entertaining. Every now and then when people actually do take me seriously I still get surprised but it’s ok, it’s my fault.

Part of it is serious! Clearly I am not selling my body for money, maybe if someone offers a good amount for my kidney… Only kidding!

To be honest when you are single sometimes it does feel like that you are on the market (fish / meat market). Just think about the good old “plenty more fish” saying….

You should be sold before you go out of date, you should keep your quality up so you are better than the competitors, and there are so many competitors!  The display is important but the taste and content mean even more… and so on…

And what could explain this better than another old classic: every joke has a grain of truth …

Next: Feeling lost and happy at the same time

(Author: An, checked by my lovely friend Rebecca)

dolce vita

When Cancer is taking your loved ones…

I don’t know when and how I will leave the planet but if I can choose I hope it won’t be cancer…. but life is not a wish granting factory….  Once a year I raise money for charities, this is how I chose to remember my loved ones. Remembering those who can’t be here with me anymore (only in my heart). I realise this is just one of many sad cancer stories but this is my story, the one I “watched” from the front row…

Have you ever lost anyone after losing the fight against cancer? I hope you haven’t… I have… This is something I don’t wish upon anyone. However if you have, you will understand why I am saying this. You understand how cruel it is to watch the ones you love the most suffering, changing, leaving you behind. And you get to stay behind and “deal” with it. If only it was that simple…

Within 24 months I lost my uncle, my grandma and my father. In this order. One after the other… Half of my family was gone and there was nothing I could have done about it. I found it very difficult to deal with it, not living at home helped in one way as I didn’t see the stages so frequently, but on the other hand I had to deal with something worse: guilt. For not being able to help and be there more often.

Not being able to ease the pain. My family of course did what they could and I admire my uncle’s children and my aunt to be able to stay strong when he lost the battle. Pancreas cancer, 1 year fight. I know how much he hated the fact that day-by-day he was weaker and losing some dignity. He hated the fact that he needed to be looked after. He could see the pain and sadness on their faces. My cousin was 12 when her dad left us. I promised him I would always be there for her and I should call her more often but she does know that there is nothing she couldn’t ask from me. It was very hard to find the common ground at the beginning due to the age gap but believe it or not there was one thing I could always bring up first to break the ice- One Direction! Those guys haven’t got a clue what a magic power they hold. I have downloaded all of their songs and I am sure I bought more merchandise stuff than I did when I was a teenager. So I bought her a plane ticket and she flew to London and we went to a One Direction concert. You can’t imagine how good that made me feel. And I could see my uncle looking down at me and smiling and singing with us.

I hope one day One Direction can read this and understand what their music can do. She is their biggest fan after all! And the way she handle this huge and unbearable pain was outstanding. She is a heroine 🙂

Only a couple of months after, once my grandma buried her son she found out that she had cancer too. She was way over 80 and it was very hard for her to deal with the illness on a daily basis. The last time I saw her in the hospital she was paper thin and she could hardly recognise me. Her bones were sticking out and she looked so fragile. My heart was broken. My cousin was outstanding how he helped her through, I really respect him for that.

My grandma also happened to be a great baker who made the nicest cakes ever. I am so pleased that I learnt how to replicate her famous poppy seed cakes a few years before she died. No regrets. The knowledge is not lost but I have to confess I have never made it myself since.

Never postpone such wishes (no matter how small or big) because you never know when your last chance will be. Sometimes there is no next time and you have to deal with the regret. We all have these promises to ourselves, make sure you do it. My grandma told me the cutest advice on how to keep a man. 3 things: know how to cook, be clean and tidy and always maintain nice, clean hair.

We only had a couple of months to recover before my dad announced his cancer. I could not believe it, not again… I wasn’t close to my dad but it didn’t change the fact that he was my dad and I thank him for the most precious thing I have: my life. He really started to appreciate his when it was too late. In less than a year he was gone too, his final state was quicker. He walked in the hospital and few days later I got the phone call. When my bro calls me more than once at a time I always suspect that he has bad news… I still couldn’t believe it only a month before he had wished me happy 30th birthday on the phone and he could only whisper it, cancer was in his throat. I remember when I went home a couple of months before and we went to chemotherapy together. I remember looking around at everyone in the hospital talking and sharing stories and hoping that they would not have to go through what we had been through as a family in the past year. Like I said we were not that close (my parents got divorced when I was 6 months old) but his face was so happy when he saw me. He was very proud of me and told me so many times how me and my bro were the best thing he had ever done. No regrets from him there.

This year it is going to be a muddy one…

I’m taking part in the Pretty Muddy London – Finsbury Park 5k 2016 10:00 on 24/07/2016 to raise money for Cancer Research UK and I’d really appreciate your support.Donating to my JustGiving page is easy – just follow this link and click Donate:

http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/getinspiredlondon2016

Next: I still have to sell this body

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

cancer research run

Opening up?

Can you feel this? This is my heart beating! This is something which is not for sale! The price is not set and I couldn’t tell you how much it would take to own it. Am I going to be brave enough to open it? I am not sure. Can I take the risk? No game, no play and no win.

If you are here for something else you are knocking on the wrong door. The lucky ones got the opportunity in my twenties, now I have enough experience and respect for my body to know what I want/ need. If you are here for something real and something special then you need to work harder. Am I worth it? Who knows, no one can guarantee. I might be the wrong choice. All I know that right now I just can’t give you the privilege to break it to pieces. I have searched for the broken pieces on the ground for long enough. And eventually found them all and used a special glue this time. It might be too solid.

Someone wise once told me that we are all carrying our own baggage. We find it hard to forget and leave it behind and we all hurt and scared. So what do we do with this baggage then?!

The last time I told myself I should play the game I got burnt more than ever before. But it had given me the understanding of many others and the understanding of my independence and also my loneliness.

It is all in our head. Whatever we think about it is what it is. The famous glass can be half empty and full.

How many times I hear nowadays: I am happy to be on my own. I don’t need anyone. I want to be on my own. I love being single, I do what I want. I respect that. If you are truly happy it is brilliant.

And how many girls are telling me that they hate being on their own and are desperate to find the one and they would give anything to be happy again with a man. They get into dysfunctional relationships and for them the glass is half empty. And I can also understand this, don’t agree with it but I get it.

I would like to believe that there are some of us who would like to be happy and still believe that it will happen when the time comes and in the meantime we will use this special time wisely. We will make the most of it and not let the pressure from society force us to make wrong decisions.

Girls still believe in the prince on a white horse and boys want to be super heroes….

Next: When Cancer is taking your loved ones…

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

When it is about opening up I can’t stop singing this song, it is from an ad – 1999 (Nescafe)! If you know this song, you were around in the 80’s too 😉 Enjoy!

When the universe is playing up

I have imagined the perfect guy! I was as specific as you can be and I thought about everything… Well it turns out not about everything..

I wished for someone who is fun, smart, successful, good looking, and a good kisser (obviously), who wants to live in London (too much to ask for already)… I could continue! And here he was. Picked me from the crowd on a Friday night and together we were watching the fireworks. Had a great laugh and changed numbers. Waited the 48 hours and invited me out and we were having dinner and a romantic walk in London! He is brilliant, honestly. And what do I do? Nothing. I felt nothing. No spark, not the slightest, I could not picture it at all, I have tried so hard and forced it but it didn’t work. And I have never done anything like this (never went out on a date and kissed straight away with a kind-of-stranger). I really didn’t want to hurt him and I just hope that I didn’t but I had to let him go. Well, I kind of ran away. 

Then I looked up and asked “why”? Why did you send me him? What was that for? What are you trying to say? 

And I knew it instantly: I have to stop picturing it and imagining it, cos whatever I think is good for me is not what is good for me! Knowing that whatever happens I can’t and I shouldn’t influence fate. I believe in the law of attraction but this time I guess I have to stop planning…. I put my trust in you Universe!

After effect:

Met with a friend on the plane. As always, friends are eager to ask if you are seeing someone. I started to tell this story and being grateful that at least I have a story to tell. So I explained how we met and what a disaster it was and such a shame as he was nice etc… And my friend’s reaction was this… “Well you shouldn’t be too picky or you will be a spinster! You can get used to him. My wife wasn’t too keen at the beginning either.” Another classic piece of advice added to my list! – Well done my friend! I just smiled as there is no point in arguing but let me tell you this, I would rather be single for the rest of my life than be in a relationship where I don’t want to have sex or I am not in love or it is dysfunctional! What’s the point? Not for me I am afraid.

Next: Opening up?

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

nextplease

Don’t lose that little spark of madness…

No clue where I read this but it really made me think. I used to say that normal people are boring. (It is in fact a bit of a dream to get it printed on a t-shirt.)

So when someone calls me crazy I take it is a compliment. Why would you want to be exactly the same as someone else? I do have a job and enjoy other “normality’s” such as a living in a home etc… But it doesn’t mean I am not a complete… well… idiot/ geek, as well.

Just ask my friends. If you can’t overcome your ego and lose yourself in a moment or look a bit silly from time to time you must surely get bored!?

And I bet you get attracted to the people who are brave enough to be silly or crazy too. Have you ever felt that you are going/or just always are, a bit nuts? Fantastic! This is great! It means you are doing well and you are not afraid of being different. Tap your back quickly and carry on.

What I love about London is that you cannot stand out. Ok maybe if you are naked but honestly any state in between is pretty much accepted. You are like everybody else you are one of millions.

For my whole life I have been buying black clothes cos it is safe but I always admire people who wear colours. They are cool, and they tend to get positive attention. I have learnt to trick myself though, now I go shopping with friends and I tell them that they can’t let me buy black. Works every time (and i still wear black most of the time).

Biggest mistake is to go shopping after you break up. I bet you buy only black clothes (mentioned before). And six months later you have to buy everything again. I do believe that you should buy clothes which reflect your moods, tastes and events in your life but just try to add colour wherever possible! Maybe even a splash of colour to your nails will do the trick. Personally I had to be over 30 to bring myself to wear red nail varnish.

Anyway, what I meant about madness and craziness is that you don’t always have to be perfect. You can act like an idiot, you can make people laugh at you and not only with you. You can let yourself go and dance silly. You can talk rubbish and dress like a clown. It doesn’t matter. The main thing is that you know who you are and how much you are worth. You have to make sure you know that you being different is a good thing. You don’t need to be a blondie with big boobs to be happy. Don’t think that you are single because you can’t offer this. You would attract the wrong people. So like always your confidence and self-esteem is the most important. BE YOURSELF!!! Good old advice but still applies. Work on it just like you work on your body. I am pretty good at underestimating myself so I can talk 🙂 … well write!

Next: When the universe is playing up

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

my crazy world

my crazy world

How about a one-night stand?

When you are single a one-night stand can be very tempting. However… The older I get, the more respect I have for my own body grows. This is my temple and I only have this body in this life, it hurts already everywhere after a 7-10k run :-S What can I expect later?

Being over 30 has got some benefits. I am more confident and I can control my hormones a bit better than I could in my twenties (a bit). Also I respect myself more and have become more selective over the age of 30 (hence the reason a pretty face is just not enough anymore…) I don’t take crap from others. I value quality over quantity. I have become Cinderella and parties have to stop around midnight or I can’t recover for days. This is so annoying btw. 2 drinks and I have swollen eyes in the morning (so not fair)…

So when the body is screaming the brain is still in charge. Let’s leave out the part when you have some drinks. It would be a completely different story. My friends laugh at me (not with me) because I have never had a one-night stand. They tell me how good it is and I am sure they are right. I can’t properly make my mind up about something I have never tried can I? I am missing out, whatever….

However I am honestly not the type of girl who attracts the guys in a club, I have never had someone ask me out after a party or invite me for a drink after. It has never happened. If I were to be kind to myself I wouldn’t say I was out constantly when I was not in a relationship so I did reduce the number of opportunities… 

According to a friend it is like Pringles, you take the first and you can never stop.  I have a feeling that she might be right…

I understand the reasoning as well: Why would I starve my body for no reason? No consequences, no regret. Being single means freedom, you do whatever you like. And we wonder why guys don’t want any commitments nowadays… This generation with the dating apps have got a very different opportunity and experience. You have so many to choose from. Why stop? It is like a never-ending story… Really makes me wonder what Casanova would do nowadays… – swiping to the right constantly…

However I know myself and if no matter how much I knew that it wasn’t more than an unspoken agreement (where we both knew that after having fun, there would be no rights, no expectations etc.) I would start to get attached quickly, therefore it would have to stop before it even got started. I would break all of the rules! I had and have this instinct of belonging to someone and being responsible for their happiness. I therefore presume it is not for me.

Sometimes I think if I had “fun”  constantly I would lose focus and the chance to actually notice the person who would be truly interested. Who would appreciate me (and I don’t want to be too cheesy here) and become someone potential. 

So for now the answer is no, sorry dear body, you keep up with the breaks, it’s all for the greater good… I hope. 

PS: It was all true when I wrote this post 18 months ago, only I know what happened since 😉

Next: Don’t lose that little spark of madness

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

onenightstand

 

Being single is not a disease

It’s crazy how scared girls can be of becoming single. Some feel the stigma so strong and are so scared of this status that they would rather stay in a shitty relationship! In extreme cases they get beaten up or put up with an alcoholic a**hole just because they are scared to be own their own. Scared to be independent? Perhaps the fear of loneliness makes them stay or they can’t even see it because everything looks different when you are in a situation like this. Always looks more obvious from the outside. I find it even sadder when somebody tries to build up a fantasy world, faking their happiness.

I am not judging here by the way, I am a big believer in “everybody f*cking up their lives uniquely personal to them”.

Is it really better though to stay in an unhappy relationship just to avoid being single? You can easily waste your time by staying and ending up being single, just not by choice, anyway! The longer you stay the harder it gets.

I have heard this story from my friend who has been single for a couple of years (a fun, gorgeous and smart girl) that her friend once started to cry when she got dumped and got genuinely choked up when she said this: “oh my god, I am going to be single just like you! I can’t believe this, what am I going to do?” My friend of course looked at her and responded calmly. “Don’t worry, it’s not a disease, you will live!”

I don’t have to explain that the other girl is the type of girl who is bloody desperate to find a guy and can never see how lucky she is and how happy she could be if she stopped thinking that life is awful only because she is “alone”.

Some other girls love making a move on their friend’s boyfriends or guys they fancy. Why? Cos this is the exact thing which helps with her confidence. Also they are incapable of selecting on their own, they need to rely on others decisions. Don’t judge, it happens. I don’t think they choose to be this way. For their own benefit hopefully they change and start to grow. If they don’t it is very likely that the whole finding a boyfriend process will take longer.

And I guess I should stop right here 😉

Next: How about a one-bight stand?

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

beingsingle

When a girl goes to the pub

I am waiting for my friend. After a long tiring week finally I am here at Liverpool Street and all I need to do is wait a few minutes more for a drink. I am exhausted, my eyes are red, and I am dying for a bubble bath. Travelling at the beginning of the week, meeting a friend on Wednesday and watching La Boheme (what my friend said when it ended: just like life, right?) on Thursday means I had no “me” time 😉 but it is good! Finally life is good. Work is freaking busy and I can be useful, bonus. Awesome!

And now here I am patiently waiting… Ready for a fun weekend. I will be able to catch up with my friend all weekend and have the luxury of seeing someone in my tiny flat. Here in the pub I am looking around and I feel like I am in a bubble. Pushing myself through the crowd I find a seat pretty easily. The noise is fascinating- this pub noise is so overwhelming and so strange, Liverpool Street after working hours. Bankers mixed with builders, boys and girls, different cultures etc. all in one place. Everybody is there for the same reason, drinking and socializing, laughing and listening to each other. I am suddenly invisible. I am alone and it means that I do stand out. That’s why girls don’t go to the pub to make friendships.

You need someone to go with you to justify your visibility and existence.

Please tell me I am not the only one who observes people whilst I wait. Guessing the relationships within groups is fascinating, a brief profiling. Then I look deeper and watch the body language and reactions of those talking. A girl is staring at her huge engagement ring waiting for her friend to come back from the bar. Old men group on the left, young on the right where one is talking and the rest looks bored, security at the doors watching for trouble makers, more groups on the balcony wearing suits. One girl is applying lip-gloss and her friends look like they are from a catalogue. The naked Angels (24 at least – counted them) on the ceiling must have got used to this craziness and colourful experiments. They have heard all the stories and secrets, they have seen more than the human brain could probably take! I remember the first time I came here. This decoration was nothing what I expected. It is a strange but beautiful pub. There’s a nice food smell in the air and reasonable price for a drink after work. What else do you need?

My friend is here now and subsequently changed my status with her arrival… Someone who justifies my existence in this pub.

Next: Being single is not a disease

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

 

Fear is NOT real

This post is about how to cope with the fear of wondering how and/or when will you find the one? How do we combat those worrying thoughts such as, will I ever be loved again like I have been before? Will I be loved more than I have been before? How long do I have to wait for this love? Will I have time to have children? Shall I let that dream go? Am I single because my standards are too high/too low? Am I single because something is wrong with me? This list can be quite long. We can be so creative when our minds start to spiral out of control.

It gets a bit harder when suddenly all of your friends are having kids and you are the only one who hasn’t even got a boyfriend, not to even mention a husband! When you receive baby pictures on a daily basis- your Facebook has got nothing else but scan pictures and newborns. I believe when it all becomes a bit…much… the best thing to do is to get into a positive mindset and grab back some self-control. You can turn it around and shake it off. I think having these fears sometimes is completely understandable. The question is: can you handle it and not worry about it too much? When I could feel my worries becoming overwhelming I had a couple of tricks to get out of it. First of all I stopped looking at Facebook and I told myself that Facebook is not real, everybody shows their best sides of their lives on there, you never know about the other side. Facebook does not portray the whole reality. The second thought is very simple. I could feel sorry for myself but would it help? Would it make my life better? NO. In fact looking and feeling miserable probably equates to even less chance of attracting the right person. So the solution is simple. Acknowledge the feeling, reason with it and tell your mind to pack it up, move on and concentrate on better things. Check out your to-do list, call a friend, do some exercise and let your mind think about better more positive things. Tell yourself in the mirror that it will be fine and you just need to be a bit more patient. You could even write your fears down. Everything will be fine, it will all work out. 🙂 – Watch Will Smith’s advice on Fear!

Next: When a girl goes to the pub…

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

The unsent messages

People come and go in our lives and we accept that. Or at least we try to. This is life and this is how it supposed to be. However it doesn’t mean that we don’t miss some of these people. When their absence leaves this emptiness behind it can take time to fill that space again. It is particularly hard when something happens that you would just love to share with that one person.

When I was at school we had something called the “Memory book”.  We used to give our own memory book to our friends when we were leaving school for them to write short messages/ quotes/ pictures in. One particularly memorable message went along these lines: “When someone leaves you, you have to let them go. They left you because they were able to leave you. You should forget them and move on.”

I try to remember this quote when someone walks out of my life. I accept them leaving and I don’t contact them again. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of them anymore but when I do want to talk to that person I simply write it down instead. Having an outlet for my emotions helps me to move on.  It works, for me, every time.

This is one of them. Happened over a year ago when I had to write down what happened instead of contacting that old friend and this letter was my final one (to this friend).

“Today I met with a really nice guy. However as it turns out he has a kid! And all I could think about was something you once said; that you respect those who can do it (i.e. have children) but you couldn’t do the same! It made me think of you. Of us. And what has happened since we parted ways. I remember that I said I wouldn’t be single for years. I was wrong. But in spite of this, this year has been the best and the worst of my life. There is no regret. My journey has been very good and I have changed a lot and I am very grateful. I appreciate now, more than ever, how lucky I am. I have many friends and people I love and who love me! I also met with a lady recently who told me how English people don’t use too many words and I said I knew only one. I told her how he used to be my friend and how I learnt something new from him every time we talked.  Funny how every now and then I still feel the need to write to you! You don’t receive these thoughts at all course, there is no point, and things changed a long time ago. But in these cases I pretend that I have that friend (imaginary)  I used to have. And I tell him all about my day. I have many people around me now but they aren’t quite him…”

Next: Fear

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

unsent