My friend TED

I’ve been watching TED talks recently. A lot of them in fact and you know I’m in the business of education and so some have been directly linked to my field. Others have just been helping me find my way. It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve learned much about myself and grieved over my many deaths. I’ve mourned the young woman I lost. I’ve tried to find the teenager I was. I’ve seen the shadow I became and I’ve cried over how feint I appeared. I’ve searched for a beginning. I’m realising that in the face of not being able to exactly remember the best version of me I will instead have to make new connections and start to form my future self. I must not try to recreate my past for that is where the dust settled and I stopped growing or moving forward. I’m 36 and present. I will never again be 9 or 16 or 20. The universe decided I would survive this long and will decide when I die. I am a miracle according to one TED speaker. What were the chances of my parent’s meeting, of my particular DNA combination, of my birth on that particular day. Of me being born in London. Of me being kind and graceful and determined. Pretty slim. I am indeed a miracle. And so my two babies are equally miraculous gifts. Their idiot father a mere chance donor of DNA.  We three are a wonder to behold. 

I’ll take the essence of who I was into the future with me but essentially I’m packing light. I’ve got enough baggage to sort through. Anyway back to TED. I’m going to try and revisit those talks that were most helpful. I’m going to write a little mini essay on each one so that I begin to apply those learned life lessons to my life. 

Advertisements
Standard

Letting go

So I am currently still trying to divorce the Arsehole ex. (He whose name must not be spoken will be referred to as Mr A(rsehole) from here forward.) In between the aftermath of seeing Mr F and trying to understand how and why I put up with sooo much shit from Mr A I discovered that I’m still totally fucked up and still have a lot of healing to do. In order to make it through the messy hell of divorcing a narcissist whilst trying to heal and not implode, somethings had to go. The first was work.
I needed some time out. It was the first time I’d ever admitted defeat and listened to my body. It was screaming at me to STOP. So rather than experience the breakdown that I could feel hurtling towards me with the force of a thousand Lewis Hamiltons, I took a leave of absence that would go on to last five months. 

Second to go was Tinder, Okcupid and the search for sex. I could not be doing with the stress of online dating with all its checking and waiting and swiping and updating and poor results. It seemed as though turning 36 had taken me over the desirability threshold. Notifications dried up; no fish were biting. This was like a death nell to my vagina which was already having a MAJOR self evaluating crisis over the appearance of a few grey hairs. To be honest though I was too busy just trying to make it through each day to do anything about it: there were no ‘come fuck me’ photos to edit or warm smiles to flaunt, no full body shots for me to upload. I didn’t have the energy to come up with any more witty but not too intimidatingly clever one liners. I weaned myself away from daily swiping, deleted the apps and focused on living life offline. There were a few trips back to it all but after a day or two I was always left underwhelmed by what was on offer.  

The last thing to go was my car. My first baby. I bought it in 2003 and sold it for £90 in May 2015. I thought I’d shed a tear but instead I felt liberated. These days I’m in the world not in my car. I’m connected. In the rain. In the warm sunshine. Connected to the pavement as well as the person sitting next to me on the train. 

I’ve let go of all sorts of things. Tossed weight out of my canoe and into the sea. I’m paddling to the left and then to the right, plunging my oar silently into the water. Life feels lighter, as does my boat, as do I. 

Standard

Starting over: a post marriage pick me up

What do you do with a life? When corners are filled with wrong turns and regrets and the room of it, for you feel boxed in some days, seems like a badly decorated, tight cacophony of mistakes.

What do you do with a life? When you survey the scene and don’t recognise how you got here with such an assortment of pieces, some broken others aged, worn.

What do you do? When the collection of people and places before you seem alien and you want to exchange a thing or three or refund the whole lot. When you want to take back even the young fragile coffee tables that you didn’t really know what to do with and can’t remember now why you purchased them on a sensible whim in the first place. What. Do. You. Do?

Most things won’t go back. The low coffee tables with their short legs are non-refundable. But they amuse. And come in handy when you just need a place to rest a weary brew.

What will I do with a life, my life? Perhaps first I’ll find the concealed door and let myself out of this one room. I’ll pack the bits and bobs that I have to take with me and head on out. I’ll open up life and be more outdoorsy. I’ll set up camp somewhere where the sky is above and the sea is below and I’ll tread water. I don’t want to keep my feet on the ground I want to keep moving so that walls, ceilings and floors don’t hem me in and lock the light out.

The suffocating migraine of years gone by promises to make my brain implode and seep from my ears. Running like a gazelle into this life is all I can do to stop the hot hot molten aftermath from claiming me.

I’ll take this life and fling it wide open. My life won’t be a box it will be without form. Infinity must have a centre, a starting point so I will be my own beginning and there will be no end. Possibility will stretch in every direction.

I know what to do with a life, my life.
I must live.

Standard

Dance me to the end of love

I have never been a fan of fairground fun or rollercoaster rides with their plummeting see saw motions. And yet this brief affair has pulled me down and left me weightless with butterflies and mosquitos flitting and fighting for space in the pit of my stomach.

It’s over but what a thrill it has been. I think I got carried away and stayed too long. I looked up and then was surprised to find everyone gone and myself alone. The walk home will be a little hard but at least I don’t think I’ll get lost. And there’s always music. It was a love affair of sorts but this time instead of being paralysed by heart break I’m dancing to the end of love. Swaying and spinning my way home until the fair is back in town with a new attraction.

Standard

The era of non trust

How do relationships work these days? I mean what are the actual mechanics that make it tick along?

Let’s look at the order of things.
A. You meet someone online that isn’t repulsive that is actually interesting that you fancy to whatever degree.
B. You exchange telephone numbers.
C. You arrange to meet in real life.
D. You get on
E. You have sex
F. You arrange to meet again
G. You get on
H. You have sex.
Repeat C-H for a couple of weeks
And then you discover that actually no one minds fucking other people right in front of or behind the back of the person they are meant to be primarily fucking and that instead of relationships we are all involved in one huge fucking orgy. You sort of suss out that the guy you are seeing is disposable and that you too can partake in the delights of this mass fucking bonanza. And that is exciting because it brings that variety and summons the spice that is so crucial to human life.
But who on this planet has the time? I have a demanding job. I have a social life that due to a Lazarus style resurrection is pretty healthy. I have two children. I have things to do damn it! So where I wonder am I supposed to fit in the juggling of sex partners? How the hell do I message the guys that I’m interested in without getting sacked, without my kids turning into Oliver Twist extras, without losing my mind?
I have considered getting a PA. But can’t afford one.
I have considered checking messages once a day. But it’s too addictive.
I am wired. Hooked on and into the system. And I quake.
Maybe having kids screws up my chances of success in this cut throat business. But I refuse to let motherhood define me or my sexuality. I wanted to have lots of amazing sex forever. That’s why I got married. And now? I must whither and die consigning my vagina to a lifetime of mechanical toys? Forget it. Nope. No way. I need a man between my legs with his heart beating fast not Duracell batteries operating an imitation. So what to do? What. To. Do?
Well no point in letting a good ride go once you’ve found one is there? I’m going to use this one until the sex ceases to feel fresh and exhilarating. And until I can no longer fathom the idea that it is a relationship only of sorts. When those moments present themselves, I will ask again for exclusive rights. If it’s a no no from Mr F then, like Ciara, I’m Out. We are all disposable in this era. And to a certain extent that’s no bad thing. We learn to let go of each other and accept that we own and control no one but ourselves. It’s all rather Buddhist actually. As long as we are all honest with each other. Lying, cheating bastards like my ex don’t deserve a place in the house of free love. The trouble is, I think people like him provide the foundations on which the house is built.

Standard

A friend with many benefits

Shit. Shit. Shit. So Mr F is actually fucking awesome. We meet for drinks and talk on and on. I love staring at him and letting my eyes speak my thoughts. I say I want to fuck you right now. I say I love that you tower over me like the two sphinxes that Atreyu must face in The Never Ending Story but I hope you will not destroy me. I say you are a gift from God even though you do not believe. I am not sure you see the words tumbling around my head.

Later in your living room, as we lie on the rug, in the centre of a street lamp lit lull, I smile at you. You catch traces of the upturned corners of my mouth and ask what I am thinking. I am happy. I am mystified that we have so much in common. Sex with you is an awakening. Like a defibrillator you bring me back to life. I do not tell you these things. Somethings I keep for myself. Control clutches at my throat not wanting, not ready yet to let go. You are still distant. Despite you rocking me, despite the undulating waves we make, there is no orgasm. That vulnerable firework, the feeling of a pulse echoing inside is mine and I do not share it. I hold it back. Wrap it up and lock it away along with my heart. You can not have all of me. It is too soon.

Standard

Sex in the City of London

Ok so I have begun to refer to my new bed friend as Mr F. Partly because I am channeling my inner Sex in the City Samantha and because I always liked the brevity of Carrie’s Big. And also because when I asked for exclusive rights to his dick he said he didn’t want to put all of his emotional eggs in one basket. So he is now without a personality. Devoid of characteristics that might make me care. He has become for now at least just someone to fulfil my sexual desires. I do still keep abreast of developments on Tinder and now also Okcupid but goodness it’s a lot of work! Mr F may wish to keep his options open but I’ve got better things to do than to search for fresh meat. All I need is someone to tide me over until the end of the summer. For now I’d like to think that what I’ve got is a pretty efficient system.

He wants to sample all the dishes on offer at a cheap Chinese buffet while I like to order exactly what I like from the a la carte menu. But I guess when it comes down to it there’s no accounting for taste when both of you are just really fricking hungry.

Standard