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

Being a deer…

I took a long break after my “Rebound”… it wasn’t long enough though….

Being a deer is painful sometimes. Once you have been a target a couple of times it makes you wonder: how many bullets do I have to take before I find my ‘stag’ who can protect me and hide with me in the forest. Who can keep them away… The one who makes you forget about the hunting season and all the fear and bad memories you have ever had.

Bambi time, as challenging as it was, luckily is over I have become a nice deer. Experiencing all the benefits; I can run faster, I can smell them sooner, I can hide better, I can fight smarter but they are always one step ahead. I can’t be protected enough. My fears are slowly fading and every time I get another bullet the healing process is much faster. Time really does have a magical, healing power.

The complication starts when you fall for the hunter. When the hunter is pretending to be your friend. When he plays the role so well that you can’t see through the mask. And you fall. You open up and let him in. No questions, no doubt… only this very strong feeling that it must be right. And this is when the bullet can hit your heart from so close and from such a direct angle that your chance to survive and heal is much less than before. When you don’t have to just survive the bleeding wound but you have to forgive yourself because you were wrong. You deal with guilt and you punish yourself for not seeing it (which is a waste of time so don’t).

And as a side effect you hide in the woods so deep that no one even can ever find you. You sacrifice the sun and the new things you could discover, you’d rather stay in the darkness and feel safe. Until eventually you wonder if you will ever find your way back again. No trust, no self-esteem.

Time goes by and the bad memories are fading. The hunt season starts again and you are exposed but you learnt something new again, you have your special senses now. You are smarter and faster than ever before. And even though you are still a target, you carefully dodge those bullets. You are invisible; you enjoy the sun without being exposed. When the hunters come they can’t fire, you are so close to them without fear that they don’t even look that close. You are not even in the woods anymore. You don’t need to hide: you are bulletproof. Unbreakable! You are the new you!

….and the deer becomes the hunter….

Next: Babies all around

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

being a deer

Looking for a meditation class and finding something different…

One of the meet ups I went to was so exceptional I really feel the need to mention it. It would be such a shame to not. I made so many people laugh out loud that I shouldn’t keep this for myself. I was really into meditation. Not that I have succeeded so far but at least I wanted to try. Well, I managed to pick the most random one out of all.

Don’t ask how I didn’t click when I saw the title. “xxxx meditation London”, but I swear I didn’t. (I wasn’t myself ok?) I was just scanning it on my phone, checked the time and place and I (shamefully) paid for it.

I turned up only a couple of minutes early. Being absolutely naive and innocent I was standing there and waiting for a great meditation class. The lady who greeted me was very nice. And here is the thing, I asked her about the meditation and with a poker face she explained to me that with this meditation the guys are stroking the girls “most sensitive parts”. (Ahem, well she didn’t quite say “sensitive parts”.) She was very matter of fact, she said everything how it is. I guess I should put her link on this page so you can check it out. I wish I had seen my face from her point of view. The word shock doesn’t cover it.  Tried to keep my face straight and I thanked her for the info and explained that it was a big misunderstanding and that perhaps this kind of meditation is not for me.  Inside I was ready to run away. There is no way that I was allowing a stranger would come close to me. She quickly explained that the first part is just about sitting together in a room and playing games. They would ask funny questions and someone would sit in the hot seat and the others can ask any questions of you but it is all volunteering. She promised me that this whole session is very innocent and they just teach the “meditation” at the end. Embarrassingly I paid reasoning that I don’t like to be a coward and also I guess I should be more open to new experiences.

I recall that the first task was to compare your orgasm with food. 20 people sitting around in a room and one lady who got to ask the questions. Most of the answers were quite sensible- chocolate, strawberry and whatever, although I swear someone said calamari! Yuk! Gross. It was a guy. It made me wonder if I should ask this on a first date, it would probably help me to filter the weird ones. I can’t remember the other two questions but it was something similar.

Then my turn on the hot seat took place. I learnt a very important thing though, it is called a hot seat for a reason. When you receive all the attention, the hungry looks, all of that energy and even more you do feel the heat. The adrenaline goes up and all your senses get sharper. Also being there meant that straight after the session finished I had many people standing around me who wanted to talk to me. I couldn’t be fast enough to get out of there and what they did after I really don’t want to know.  By the way if you are into these things it is highly recommended by others, I just know that this is something I am personally not interested in. No judgment or anything and the leaders were lovely like I said.

I met with my friends afterwards. They couldn’t stop laughing….

ps: 18 months later one of the organiser lady turned up on our meet up and she is indeed an amazing, wonderful lady! I couldn’t believe it but she did remember me…. Crazy thing..

Next: Being deer

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

the real meditation

the real meditation

Addicted to selfies – the power of feedback

Most of the people don’t realise how much feedback means to single people. Since I read a Dale Carnegie book* I understood the reasoning behind it. Before that, I just knew it. How do I know when a friend becomes single? Within days her Facebook is full of selfies. I have no problem with this by the way it is normal (I did the same). It is very easy to get addictive to this and count the likes. And at the beginning it does help a little bit but then again it is only a temporary fix.
When after many years of your daily feedback (as in somebody telling you how you look) suddenly stops it is very hard to find a new source to fill this gap. I used to be told how nice I looked or how good I am on a daily basis. Breaking up is not just a massive shock to the body but also massive shock to our confidence levels (in addition to
many other things). When you are lucky enough to be feeling stronger you realise it wasn’t your fault and there is nothing wrong with you. However you can still have confidence and self-esteem issues. Bye-bye self-esteem, see you later! The fear is palatable. All the paranoid thoughts are there. You think you were not good enough, you think there is something wrong with you. And how can a guy like someone like me, when I don’t have big boobs (just an example)?! We all have fears.

How to replace this nice feedback flood we used to get? You can’t really get it from outside as much anymore, you have to find it within yourself and just simply learn to know that you are amazing and no one should make you question that! I started shopping to get my confidence up- even though I literally only bought black clothes! However we soon realise that doesn’t help really either. So we start to work on our body, appearance and looks, which is a good thing actually (don’t stay at home and eat chocolate and get fat because you make your life even more difficult). Why do we always get bigger and lazier when we are in a relationship (well done if you are the exception)? We shouldn’t really but we do.

So ditch the shopping habit – old clothes are just as good, save your money! (Retail therapy does work, don’t get me wrong, just keep it minimal for now…)

So feeding our self-esteem will come from working inside/ out. We can work on our appearance as a good start, and taking photos of ourselves to post to social media will hopefully get you the comments and likes your confidence so needs. However especially important is to start doing things, which makes us proud of ourselves. It can be anything, charity, a course, exercise goals, or just learning to play a new instrument.

If you have a single friend be nice to her and compliment her, even if normally you don’t do it. It costs you nothing and you can make such a difference.

*(How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie – READ IT!)

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

Next: Just shut the f*** up

Mask Party in London…

No one can say I don’t go out and at least try everything, anymore. My lovely neighbours, who are really nice by the way just a bit too open-minded, invited me to a party. I am sure many people know about the mask parties at Elephant and Castle but I hadn’t and I was just about to discover it. It was Valentine day therefore no chance I was going to stay at home. Anyway, what can happen at a party like this? Truth? A lot! Never underestimate a mask party. Anything is possible in London. If you like adventures you should try.

I borrowed a beautiful mask and when I put it on it made me shiver. It really gives you something more. It places you in a different world. You become faceless and suddenly you feel you can do things normally you wouldn’t. It must be similar to when people give toy glasses to kids on a stage- they are not scared anymore. It gives you a second personality. No, I didn’t become an easy-to-get girl but you can kind of look everything without feeling ashamed.

When we got there I did realise pretty soon that it would be a night I wouldn’t forget. The costumes were beautiful, some girls really put effort in and it was worth going just for this. Naked people were there too and it was completely acceptable! Only one rule, they all had masks on, they wouldn’t let you in without it. I really don’t understand why people feel the need to share their c**ks with others but this place is not about limits and social norms. This place used to be a theatre. Which makes it very special. It was huge with many rooms and activities. The decoration was crazy- a pig head with an apple was the most shocking. In the middle you had the privilege of looking at ladies getting rid of their clothes. Well, mainly they were ladies. I am sure I wasn’t the only one shocked when one of them finished with a tiny cock! Straight away I had a handsome guy talking to me from Italy. He was doing his master degree here. I was very tempted I have to say but my inner game was nowhere back then and I ran away. Very mature I know. I went to try the floor above. Oh yes, forgot to say that I lost my neighbours pretty soon in the Jacuzzi room where they were all getting naked and watched old films. I really didn’t want to see him naked, I still wanted to like him. So I left him and discovered the place by myself. What else would I do? Alice’s wonderland seemed nothing compared with this alternative crazy world. On the top floor naked guys and girls were feeding their guests and each other. The feast! For me it just felt wrong but I do get the concept and why others find this fascinating. It was the busiest room. (I left this room pretty quickly.) The big theatre stage was for better quality shows. Bands were playing and of course more naked ladies. I had some guys talking to me here as well, can’t complain really. Must be good for your self-esteem right? There were cages around where you could take your selfie. There was a room where you can cut an onion and have some voodoo as a joke if you wanted to forget the X?! (It was Valentine’s Day after all.) Good job I hate onion so I never went close to that one but great idea… And there was a room where couples could try out some kind of dungeon treatments on each other, yum. I would like to clarify that everybody was playful and there to have a good time. I am sure it attracted the sick ones as well but it was full of security guys so I felt really safe and honestly most people were fun. All just wanted to try something different, and why not? You only live once. This is the safe version. This was the time when I learnt about the other kind of parties London had on offer. The ones I would probably not go to again. I came, I saw, I was shocked and left. Politely. And dressed.

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

Next: Swing Party

mask

It’s Christmas and I am single, so?

I am 100% sure if media and society wouldn’t put too much pressure on single people around Christmas so many single people would be less depressed/ much happier.

I anticipated that my first Christmas as a single girl, after 5 years, alone in London was going to be a “torture”. In the last 5 years I had been part of, and with, a lovely family who had children running around, great food and all round fantastic celebrations. I was lucky enough to experience how amazing Christmas can be. Christmas when everybody is together and everything is perfect. I will never forget those years.

This time however, by the time I had started to think about (/face) Christmas I didn’t have a chance to buy a ticket to go home. I was going home on the 27th for a couple of days but until then I was facing a lonely Christmas on my own, in my new hole.

It wasn’t the first one. I will always remember my first lonely Christmas. I had finished my degree, left my home and I was working in a restaurant. Being the newbie meant that I had to work the Christmas shifts. No chance to fly home. I worked on the 24th of December, walked “home” to an empty house, stayed there for 2 days and did nothing. I cried and survived. Sorted! I had been away from my family for only 4 months (the first 4 months!). It broke me completely. My housemate/ friend went home of course. She wanted to buy me a tree but I forbid her to do that. I didn’t want to know that it was Christmas… A bit harsh I know, but you can only understand this if you have experienced something similar.

So 7 years later I was facing the next one and even though I didn’t feel as scared because I knew what to expect, I was definitely not excited either. In the lead-up I tried not to think of the full set of decorations I had in the previous years in our house- the silver rain deer, my big fluffy pink stocking, the Christmas card holder string etc. I tried not to think of the fact that I had no one to buy a present for and I wouldn’t be getting a present either. When you can’t share the experience with anyone Christmas just doesn’t feel the same. When you can’t go ice-skating with anyone or to the market to drink mulled wine and try the silly rides. And all the other social activities mainly designed for couples which London is full of…it all feels so lonely around Christmas.

It was 1 week before Christmas and I had nothing planned but within a day that all changed… leading me to realise that miracles do happen! My best friend bought me a spa day as a present, I am truly blessed. It was just the beginning. I met with a Spanish friend who went home for Christmas but her cousin was staying behind. Even though her cousin spoke hardly any English she explained that she would be sending Christmas with her uncle, in London and asked me to join them for lunch on Christmas day (I made the cheesecake)! I was blown away by the random act of kindness. This would mean no loneliness and I could experience a Spanish Christmas! On the same day my best friend (aka my American angel) called me. She called me because she was around and knew I would be alone so she invited me for dinner on the 25th. A Spanish lunch and an American dinner?! My hopes and excitement for Christmas had dramatically improved! Later that same day I decided to knock on my neighbours door to say hi (I had only been living there for one and half months by then and wanted to get to know my neighbours). A Hungarian guy and a Polish girl welcomed me in and we had a lovely chat. It was a bit later into my evening with them (and to my utter surprise and delight) that they invited me to their house Christmas Eve for a Hungarian and Polish combined Christmas dinner!

Christmas does bring people together and it really made me think about the bigger forces. I was looked after. I felt loved and it was amazing. I had the nicest Polish soup, which is very good when you have a hangover apparently. I had artichokes with anchovies and mayo, a typical Spanish dish and also the nicest homemade ravioli with some special American dishes.

When I woke up on the 25th in my flat on my own I had a present waiting for me, which brought only happy tears this time. I actually had a present to open! One tiny wrapped perfect present. I have many friends and I know I am the luckiest person ever. This present was from one particular friend who I call my butterfly girl. Why butterfly? Simply, because she loves butterflies simply but also because you cannot compare her to anyone else. Her butterfly collection is amazing. She showed me Tropical wings and since we have known each other we always buy each other something to do with a butterfly. She is full of kindness, she is smiling constantly and without doubt she can always cheer you up. Now she lives in Australia (because fairy tales still exist – another post one day) but still she sends Christmas and birthday presents every year and here I was with her beautiful present. So I wasn’t without present after all….. And on the 27th I was loved and spoiled by my friends and family. And this Christmas turned out to be a very special one, one I will never forget…

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

Next: When time needs to pass – read, watch, listen!

It's Christmas

It’s Christmas

The fear of living alone

Being single and living on your own can be really scary when you have no one around you. It’s only you.

You can’t get ill because no one will bring you anything in bed. You definitely can’t afford to break your arm or leg otherwise you are in serious trouble! (Not that I recommend breaking a bone if you are coupled.) Even if you have friends in the city it wouldn’t be enough. But when you are new in the town you have no one. Not long ago I was very proud of myself because I changed the fuse in my standing lamp. Yeaaah it only takes a minute but I ordered the fuse and did it myself. No one else needed. However as I was switching the light on something suddenly hit me. If I didn’t do it right and I got an electric shock, no one would find me. No one would miss me. Okay a little dramatic but still if something had happened… maybe my mum would start to worry around Sunday when I don’t call her, but not many others would notice at first! It shouldn’t be like this.

There is no way that I am the only one with this fear. I know that I can’t live in fear (cos it’s simply stupid) so I have to stop worrying and I know I will sort it out but it is still there.

Luckily I have some nice neighbours and although they wouldn’t necessarily knock for tea I think if I screamed loud enough they would come in. One of them even has a key to my flat; this is trust. Purely because I have to trust them as no one else I know lives nearby if I get locked out. The other neighbour is pretty cool as well. He lives there with Ted (his dog). He is a make-up artist and very talented. I wish he was my type as it would be a great love story. But instead we are just really good neighbours. (When I have too much food I give my neighbour and Ted some and I love going for a walk with them. Great company. Ted is super clever and the best alarm.)

This is the only time when I think a flat-share would have been better. More fun, lively and at least someone to bring you medicine and/or notice if you died from a faulty fuse!

PS: my journey has included many lessons about fear and how to keep it under control. The most important thing is: it’s all in your head, it is not real…

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

Next: It’s Christmas and I am single, so?

Fear

Fear – BSIL