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The Girl with the Daffodil Tattoo

A Welsh girl let loose in a wild world

Why you will marry the wrong person

Favourite bits from a Ted Talk/New York Times article from Alain de Botton

In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”

——I had a date like this in December.

The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.

——I hold no such beliefs about myself… Although I do have a tendency to think that I, and my way of thinking is “right”, as shown the other day on a date where I told a guy “there’s no nice places to eat around here except place x” and we stumbled upon a nice place and had a wonderful lunch.

The marriage of reason was not, in hindsight, reasonable at all; it was often expedient, narrow-minded, snobbish and exploitative. That is why what has replaced it — the marriage of feeling — has largely been spared the need to account for itself.

——One of my closest friends asked me recently what I thought about arranged marriages. I said they could work as long as both people really, truly consented, and weren’t psychos. There’s nothing more terrible in my mind than a marriage where the woman doesn’t have the resources (i.e. education, money, opportunities) to thrive (not just survive in poverty with her children etc) on her own, or one where the man doesn’t want to leave and lose seeing his children every day.

But though we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. We are looking to recreate, within our adult relationships, the feelings we knew so well in childhood. The love most of us will have tasted early on was often confused with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his anger, of not feeling secure enough to communicate our wishes.

——Classic! After 8 years in therapy I thank god I never married, had kids, or bought a house with anyone. My “picker” was definitely not up to scratch; as a very young woman I vacillated between safe, caring, men, or exciting, narcissistic men who liked to wipe their feet on girls. I was on the floor. I’m (usually) not now…

How logical, then, that we should as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy.

——Sad. I would like a “partner in crime”, someone who helps me to be the best person I can be and vice versa. I accept that I might not find that person, and that people grow, relationships change, and sometimes end.

We make mistakes, too, because we are so lonely. No one can be in an optimal frame of mind to choose a partner when remaining single feels unbearable. We have to be wholly at peace with the prospect of many years of solitude in order to be appropriately picky; otherwise, we risk loving no longer being single rather more than we love the partner who spared us that fate.

——I am truly happy being single at the moment. If anything, what I love most is not having to think about anyone else. It’s like why I love travelling alone. I only have to ask myself: “What do I want to do today?” and “What do I want to do now?”. Although travelling with someone else can be great as you share the daily tasks (researching where to stay, where to go next, and of course, you always have someone to watch your bags while you go to the toilet, which is especially useful when you have violent diarrhoea etc).

The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.

——This is the key to why I broke up with my ex. There comes a time in many women’s lives where she is ready to have….a dog. He had worked as a postman, and had a phobia of dogs. I tried to compromise, suggesting that if one day we had a house with a garden, couldn’t we get one? He flatly refused. “Well, what about if we live in different apartments?” I suggested.

“If we live in different apartments, it’s a step back, and I will break up with you” he told me.

It wasn’t all him. I too have a phobia: of men. Many women are cautious with men, and men who are allies tend to be conscious that when they are walking home, they shouldn’t walk to closely to a woman as they’ve noticed she walks faster etc.

 

Watch the TED talk here:

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The first 20 hours — how to learn anything

  1. deconstruct the skill: Euskera- listening, reading, pronunciation. Decide what you want to be able to do.
  2. learn enough to self-correct: Get books. Don’t procrastinate. Learn just enough that you can self-correct/self-edit as you practice
  3. remove barriers to practice: television, internet
  4. Practice at least 20 hrs: feeling stupid is a barrier to us, causing frustration and stopping us practicing.

BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SPREAD LOVE

Twitter exchange between Sarah Silverman and an angry/hurt dude:
Instead of ignoring the insult, or responding with equal aggression, Silverman took the opportunity to test the neutralizing impact of unexpected love. She took the time to read the Twitter feed of the man who’d harassed her, Jeremy Jamrozy, then gracefully responded that she believed in him, validating his pain and encouraging him to see love in himself.
—-
Then, instead of leaving it at kind words, Silverman leveraged her 12 million Twitter followers and financial power to find back specialists in San Antonio, Texas, where Jamrozy lives, to treat his slipped disks.
—-
“I was once a giving and nice person, but too many things destroyed that and I became bitter and hateful,” Jamrozy told My San Antonio. “Then Sarah showed me the way. Don’t get me wrong, I still got a long way to go, but it’s a start.”
Silverman and Jamrozy’s unlikely connection has resonated with many as an outlier amidst the brutal, self-centered bash-fest that social media often becomes. Entering a new year, Silverman’s selflessness and Jamrozy’s vulnerability offer a powerful antidote to cynicism and hatred.
Most of us don’t have the financial means to foot a stranger’s medical bills, but we all have the capacity to say the simple words Silverman said to her would-be troll: “I see you,” and “I believe you.”
masters-house_550

Mindfulness

Anxious about feeling anxious.

Bad Things to Say When Talking to Men

Toxic Femininity

Lisa comes in for an interview. All the interviewers judge her objectively, based on her qualifications and the candor of her responses. This leaves her so confused that, on the way out of the office, she accidentally walks into traffic and dies.
 
Clara comes back from maternity leave and finds that she has not been replaced. Having planned on needing to fight for her job, she had started taking boxing classes. With no one to fight at work, she punches her bathroom wall instead and breaks her hand. The doctor gives her the wrong medication, and she dies.
 
Members of the all-female upper management of a company never think to talk about sex in the workplace. As a result, they forget that sex exists and uniformly fail to perpetuate the human race. This is a global phenomenon that accelerates the demise of our species.
—This one is definitely not me. I love a good old chin wag about a bit of how’s your father.
 

Funny Women Therapy

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/dec/30/samantha-bee-jo-brand-funny-women-got-me-through-2017

“Some of this is not high-level crime, is it?” smirked Ian Hislop. “Can I just say, as the only representative of the female gender here today,” Brand retorted, “if you’re constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down.” No wonder these shows hate to have women on: they insist on ruining all the sexist lols. Funny women have power. They don’t care if you like it or not.

Books to Read

Jami Attenberg, All Grown Up

Sally Rooney, Conversations With Friends.

By contrast, the funniest novels of all time – the Adrian Mole series, Cold Comfort Farm, Heartburn, Bridget Jones’ Diary, everything by Jane Austen

Shows/Comedians to Watch

Samantha Bee

Alice Lowe’s  Prevenge

Aubrey Plaza, Ingrid Goes West (a terrific satire on social media)

Alia Shawkat Search Party

 

Men: Shut Up

Damon said there was “a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation. Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

 

 

He added that society was in a “watershed moment” and said it was “wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary”. But he said: “We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’”

 

“Gosh it’s so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about women’s differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem.”

 

On Saturday, Driver told the Guardian: “I felt I desperately needed to say something. I’ve realised that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level.

“I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it’s galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.”

 

She added: “There is no hierarchy of abuse – that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for … you cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.

 

“How about: it’s all fucking wrong and it’s all bad, and until you start seeing it under one umbrella it’s not your job to compartmentalise or judge what is worse and what is not. Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once.”

 

“In the same stereotypical way that we see women being supportive of men in their endeavors,” she said, “I feel that’s what women need of men in this moment. They need men to lean on and not question.

 

“Men can rally and they can support, but I don’t think its appropriate, per se, for men to have an opinion about how women should be metabolising abuse. Ever.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/dec/16/minnie-driver-matt-damon-men-cannot-understand-abuse

Swimming Tips Freestyle/Front Crawl

 

Notes:

  1. Over turning- try leaving one goggle in the water while breathing to correct
  2. Look back- your line of sight should be looking behind you
  3. Breathe out through your nose- many people hold their breath by accident

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