Wednesday, 15 October 2014

"Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real."

"Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real."
Iris Murdoch. Clever lady.

So I'm working on a relationship. As in, confronting and addressing my bratty, control freak, vain, gameplaying, selfish and just horrendously insecure behaviors, whilst also communicating my own emotional needs in some kind of coherent way. 

So I'm putting in the work. It was either that or throw away yet another great man to avoid the possibility that I may not be right all the time, and marry a corporate director and become a PA/Wife with no requirement for actual emotional intimacy. Which was actually a real consideration for a little while there, ridiculous as it sounds, when I type it out loud. I mean, the galas I would've thrown for charity would've been epic, but my kids may have grown up kind of mal-adjusted, due to the emotional example I failed to set them. In hypothetical world. Anyhoo, the path I've chosen is uncomfortable at times, it's vulnerable, it's raw and it's hard. And it's rewarding, it's magic, it's beautiful, it's GROWTH. 

He's a pretty special guy, the guy who is challenging me. He's constant, patient and soooo deeply loving, all while doing all of his own vulnerable, growing, rawness, letting go of control freakery and learning to communicate things. Turns out he's actually pretty great at creating a safe space for me - which inevitably means I have to lift my game and do the same by working on my empathy, gratitude and compassion stuff. Aloof isn't really an option. And not just because I want to keep him - I actually know I'll be fine without him, after a few months apart. 

We got back together about 2 months ago and I'm putting in the work because he's provided a mirror that shows me a WHOLE bunch of potential beauty and untapped emotional strength in me that I didn't even know existed, (or more honestly I did, but I was being lazy) and I'm not willing to walk away from the woman I could be if I just get on and LOVE. Like, really love. Like, really realise (and admit) that something (or someone) other than myself is real.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Part II: Candid advice for those migrating to London

So to anyone considering a move to London? Come. Stay. Find your corner(s). Read the Standard and your local magazine. Don’t read the Metro. Download the tube app. Make an effort to make and retain friends. Enjoy alone time. Walk around. Explore. Invite your non-London friends to stay and show them your favourite areas. Join a gym. Play team sports. BUDGET. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Everyone else is haemorrhaging money too – just plug the gaps where you can, don’t keep a car, say no to things sometimes and ask for a raise as soon as possible. Then ask for another one a year later. 

Part I: An unashamedly smug love letter to London

When I moved to London 20 months ago I hated it. I always said I’d never move here, which of course meant just nothing at all. I could see that some bits of London were good, but generally it was dirty, crowded and people were rude, unhealthy and unhappy.

But now. But now. Something clicked about six weeks ago. I no longer walk around feeling self-conscious and trying to keep up with London. I amble down the street and I know how to get around. Where I used to hate that people bumped into each other on the tube and didn’t apologise, now I understand that we’re all just trying to get where we’re going with minimum fuss and we’re all part of the same tribe. It is, in fact, a mark of being on the same side, that we don’t feel we have to apologise to one another. And that’s when you know you’ve been had. You’ve been Londonised. And it’s kind of a warm fuzzy feeling. Tourists are perpetually in my way, but I stop and give them directions. Last week, I witnessed three spontaneous acts of joy or kindness within two minutes on my commute home (Piccadilly Circus to Ealing Common, most days, if any Londoners are wondering). You see what you look for. I work my 45 hour week, I party with my friends, I go on dates, I pay my taxes and I own this city! At least that’s how it feels lately. I am triumphant! I am…happy. I know, it’s weird.

So here’s why.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sexiest song of the year, every year, since 2001

A recent nostalgic playlist heard at a pool hall in Clerkenwell on Friday inspired this post. I have, since 2001, had a sexy song of the year. Invariably, they have been favourite songs because they have conjured a fantasy about whichever boyman I happen to be digging on at the time. And self indulgently, I find it fascinating to track how my sexuality evolved as I grew up. Some are triumphant love songs, some were teenage emo angst, some are simply lust songs, some are pure sleaze, some are high-speed passion, and some are intellectual connection. Here is my 2014 song - just the audio, because the video ruins it - effing hipster boys...

 2014 Wraith - Peace 

And here are my sexy songs of the year (also with links), for every year since 2001. Feel free to lampoon, comment, or suggest your own...

2001 Simple - India Arie
2002 Calico - Alien Ant Farm
2003 Justboy - Biffy Clyro
2004 Speedballin' - Outkast
2005 Teardrop - Massive Attack
2006 Addiction - Kanye West
2007 Shameless - Ani Difranco
2008 Even After All - Finley Quaye
2009 I Want You - Erykah Badu
2010 Trick Pony - Charlotte Gainsbourg
2011 Sail - Awolnation
2012 Stripper - Soho Dolls (thank you Gossip Girl)
2013 What's my name? - Rihanna

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ne'er say Never

He held her in his Celtic gaze
And there, he made his choice
Ne’er to shackle her bold, wild ways
And ne’er to quiet her voice

Four days and nights she did not speak
Her tongue was curs’d, she thought
Nor tears, nor smiles, nor food, nor sleep
Could cease her breath ne’er caught

The moon quite full, their nights, but two
His arms about her wrapp’d
And now moon new, two nights, too few
Yet purpos’d cupid’s trap.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Woman Problem

What do women want? 
Women want men to stop researching what 'women' want and to improvise - to tailor a unique way of loving based upon her individual idiosyncrasies and to stop thinking that women can be figured out as a group or that 'the woman' is an archetype that can be defined. Men who choose to take the 'research and problem solve' approach with their woman automatically place her in the role of being a problem (at worst) or a puzzle (at best). A bit of flexibility and dynamism goes a LONG way. The best lovers, partners and teammates understand that woman is like music - not to be figured out, but to be enjoyed, celebrated and tapped into as an emotional resource. Sometimes she is composed classical, sometimes steamy salsa, sometimes heavy metal. Whatever she is today - just dance, improvise and be thankful for the music :)