Will you find your other half?

According to Plato, people are always one half of a unity. Once we were cut in half, and from that point on we are searching for our other half. Isn’t that romantic? It means there is someone who can make you complete, someone who is perfect for you.

I think many Hollywood movies are based upon this idea. The idea of “true love”, the One and Only. There is this one person you should find to find perfect happiness. This one person who will make it all worth it. The One.

I don’t know if I ever believed that theory. When I was younger, I developped a pragmatic view on love. Romantic stuff didn’t appeal to me. Pink hearts? Fluffy teddybears holding the letters I LOVE YOU? No, thanks. Watching the sunset together, long strolls on the beach. All of this never seemed to attract me. Maybe I was just trying to be ‘tough’. It is very well possible that I just didn’t want to be the girly-girl, but more the rational girl. Add to this that it hurts less when you don’t go all romance and head over heels.

Maybe it’s just my nature, who I am. For a part, I’m convinced that I am way too rational to believe in an ‘other half’. Since I’ve been thinking quite a lot about ‘love’ and finding a good guy recently, I inevitably got stuck on the question: is there a One and Only? As I see it, love is merely the product of circumstances. I don’t think there is one perfect partner for you, no matter what happens. Wouldn’t it be too good that almost everyone end up finding the One? Would there really be a plan to make you meet your other half? I have a hard time believing that such a thing is true.

And yet, you never know.
Do you think there is this one perfect person for you? Is true love real, or just a fairy tale we like to believe?

Scrubbin’, waxin’, workin’ it

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is it in the bottles in your bathroom closet?

Let me tell you a secret: there is much more to beauty than makeup. Manipulation starts way before that and can be very subtle. I never took part in the madness, unti I recently discovered that actually, I do…

You see, on thing that makes you really pretty, is a flawless skin. That is something you can barely fake with foundation and concealer. The best way to have a flawless skin, is to just have it. How? Well, you should ask someone else for good information, because I don’t have a flawless skin. I do use a peeling with dead sea minerals from Obey Your Body, and that stuff is good. It takes of the dead skin without it feeling like you are rubbing sand on your face. The skin on my nose had the tendency to look aggressive, but that really improved with this peeling.

I use a body scrub as well, though I don’t really see the effect of that one. Your skin feels a little softer, but it doesn’t seem to have a spectacular effect. You never know though, I believe it’s a healthy thing to do still.

A flawless skin also means without hair, if you think of legs. And so the adventure with pink wax starts… It hurts a little, doesn’t rip out everything, but in the end the effect seems to last quite a while. Thank god. There seems to be a new ‘movement’ of women not shaving their legs. Though I think it’s very freeing, I can’t bring myself to doing it. Having soft legs is something I do for myself too.

via 9gag

via 9gag

There are also even more subtle beauty tricks than these. I started polishing my finger nails – not with nail polish. Together with the Obey Your Body peeling we got a sort of cube. You have to rub three sides of it on your finger nail, however that may seem, and then your finger nails will shine. Very subtle, but it does look good. No shiny nail polish needed. It makes your finger nails look very clean.

And then there is the hair mask from Lush. It promises to ‘light up’ your hair, if you have blonde hair. I’ve always been blonde, but it gets darker every year, and I don’t like this evolution. So I am trying to light up my hair. It does seem to have a paler, lighter shine, so I believe it works. Of course it doesn’t turn you into a bleached blonde, but okay, the product never said it would do such magic tricks.

So you see, I’m guilty of manipulation you wouldn’t even notice when you see me. Of course I can’t live without makeup either, without mascara I don’t have eyes and I like some soft glitter as well, but that is manipulation you can trace. I don’t think all the products mentioned above are makeup, but they have a good effect and make you shine more. Shining is nice.
It does take some time,but not as much as it may sound, luckily. Shining isn’t as far away as it may seem!

So, is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or in the peeling/scrub/nail polisher/… in your bathroom closet?
Probably in both…

The risk of getting shot

I tend to manipulate my memories when I’m angry. A while ago I changed the end of a memory involving Trust break guy. Instead of watching him go, I would go up to him, spread my arms and say: “Well then, pull the trigger.”

Due to some coincidence I recently watched a TED talk on the “power of vulnerability”. I felt like this was an issue close to my heart by now and decided to give it a go. While Brené Brown was doing her talk, I started to recognise some things, and it wasn’t really pleasant. As the title already gives away, she sees vulnerability as necessary. In short her point is that we need to learn to love with all our heart even though there are no guarantees. She also said that it is important to think we’re enough.

Well, hello there, mirror on the wall!

Some of these things sounded too familiar, and I’m not talking of the ‘vulnerability is necessary’ part. I’ve always been protective towards myself. I never wanted to be vulnerable. In my eyes, vulnerable means weak. Not so much for other people perhaps, but for myself very much so. I tell myself that I shouldn’t let anyone hurt me. And by saying that, I numb my feelings, as Brené Brown states. Not only the vulnerability, she adds, but also joy.

That might be true for a part. You probably can’t have just the bright side of things. Though I must say I can still feel joy and everything, even while being overly protective towards myself. Overly?

Maybe not so overly.

You see, how Brené Brown says it, you should be able to stand in front of someone and wait to see if they will pull out their gun. It’s vulnerable, but you will be rewarded, because this means you’re alive. Every time I try this though, it feels more like I’m standing in front of someone, give them a gun and point at my heart.

Here. Aim at this.

I haven’t really experienced a happy end so far, and this brings me to the topic of ‘feeling enough’. Brené says it’s a condition to be able to connect to people. You should think you are enough. You should feel worthy of love. I must admit that I fail at this. After all the disappointments you can’t help but wonder if you are maybe just nog good enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, just no enough to treat well. Maybe you are not worth it. Maybe they were right to leave you behind and ignore you.

Of course there is also another side, saying that you are worth more. Blocking out the bad side is a hard thing to do though, and this way I end up not feeling enough. I don’t know if I am enough and therefore I don’t know if I can connect to people. Something keeps me from getting attached to them and expecting something from them. It’s safer.

No one can look into the future (as far as I know at least), so no one can tell me if I should take the risk of getting attached to someone again. Getting attached is after all giving that gun to someone. Giving them the chance to hurt you.

So I ask myself: am I willing to take the risk of getting hurt over and over again while hoping that it will lead to ‘The One’ some day?

And the loudest voice then answers: no. I don’t want to let it happen. I’m not even sure if it will weigh up to the promise of ‘The One’ (I don’t believe in that idea anyway). So for now I will not accept getting attached and hoping. It’s the safest bet still.

Okay, that’s all the drama for today. What do you think of vulnerability? Is it necessary? Have you felt the need to keep people at a distance?

Hunted down!

Great news: The Indecisive Eejit has hunted the music down! Wonderful, wonderful. I would like to thank everyone who has commented and tried to help me. I knew that asking help here would lead to something, like it has done before already. I can now present you the one and only piece of music used for the Simple Things pas de deux:

Silouans song!

 

You see, the harder it gets to find something, the more you want to find it. And now Juls has helped me out, I can listen to this music without the coughing and background sounds. I like this piece of music a lot. If you know some of Arvo Part’s music, you can immediately recognise it as his work. I’ve never known any other composer who works with silence like him. He builds in these quiet moments, where you almost want to hold your breath. And strings, how I love strings. It’s such beautiful music and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, especially now it’s got a name!

Thank you so much, Juls :)

Treasure Hunting # 8 : The Hunt is On

It’s been a long time since I took out my gun to go on a hunt. The hunt for music, that is. I think I kind of forgot this more or less series. But I need your help. Recently I stumbled upon a video of a danced duet including my favourite ballerina (Ekaterina Kondaurova, if you’d like to know). I immediately recognised the music as being Arvo Part’s work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was exactly. Even after using my high tech systems (Shazam, Google music recognise thing) I couldn’t find it. I’ve searched on YouTube for a while, but this piece of music seems to be hidden away.

So now I would like to ask your help. Do you recognise this? Do you know a way to find out what it is? Pretty please?

I think I have found the choreographer on Facebook, but I find it a bit weird to send him a message asking what that particular piece is. He’s Russian though, so it would be good to send him something in Russian. Still I’d first like to try it this way. The last time I asked your help, it worked, so I have good hope that this time you will hunt the treasure for me.

The music I am searching for starts at 2:03 and ends at 7:24. Meanwhile you can watch the interesting pas de deux. It’s a good pas de deux if you ask me – especially with such music!

That’s Too Bag

As a woman, I don’t understand how men survive without bags. This might have something to do with the size of ladies’ wallets and pockets. I have a giant wallet and yet that is not because of all the money in it (unfortunately). Next to that I know own a smart phone – almost the smallest you can find, but still too big for the pockets in my jeans and other trousers.

Long story short: I carry bags with me wherever I go. And I’m okay with that. It means I can carry tissues with me, and lip balm, and sun glasses, when the sun shines. A bottle of water, some food, a book. A vest. You know – stuff. Wherever I go, I need stuff. And hence, a bag.

I like bags though. I like seeing beautiful bags in a shop, or hanging from my arm. Not that I own many, because a good bag is expensive, but still. I have one little black bag which my mother had bought when she was my age more or less. I’m still using it often – so very useful. Next to that I have a few other bags, but truth be told: they suffer. They suffer because I use them to stuff things in. The bag I used to take with me to class (and to cafes) has died. So recently I bought another bag to sill have one for school.

Say hello to my new love, the Cowboy Bag. It’s pretty giant, but that’s okay, since I will use it as hand luggage on planes too. You can stuff it, it all fits. It’s my new partner in crime when I go out for the day too. When buying this, I imagined myself traveling around with this bag, sitting in trains and airports and going to class with my bottle of water (1,5l).

Sometimes it feels like  a bag is more than a means of transport. Sometimes it feels as if it’s a partner in crime, a mate who accompanies you everywhere. A reliable one. So yes, I can kind of fall in love with them, and get all enthusiastic about the topic.

Do you like bags? Do you carry them around and love them? And if you’re a man: how do you manage without them?

Badassness (with Irene Adler)

It seems like the stream of bad news hasn’t come to an end yet. As things turn out, I will be going to Russia on my own, with a delay of a month. On my own! A month too late! I’m only a little bit completely terrified.

There is a big upside though. If I survive this, nothing can scare me anymore. Without a doubt this will be the most badass thing I’ve ever done, maybe even the most badass thing I’ll ever do. Being badass is something good. I mean, the real badassness. Not the ‘look I can drink two bottles of vodka in an hour’ kind of badass. No, I mean the ‘I’m just going to do this shit’ kind of badass.

According to the Urban Dictionary, there are a few explanations as to what this ‘badass’ thing is. (I guess that counts for every word you can think of.) Here are some rules the dictionary presents us:

Unspoken Rules of Being Badass:
1. First rule of being a badass. A badass does not talk about being a badass. Period.

2. Second rule of being a badass, a badass does not try to be a badass or look tough. A badass simply is a badass.

3. A badass stays true to themselves, always. This means being themselves for themselves, and not being fake to impress others.

4. A badass does not give up. Badasses will always push themselves for the better, no matter how hard it gets.

It seems that they aren’t so unspoken anymore, but okay. I’ve broken the first rule already, unfortunately. Does anyone else notice the movie reference I suspect here?
I’m doing a good job on the second one though. I don’t want to be badass! I’d much rather go together with a friend and on time to Russia! This is just a case of ‘I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me’.

And, if I’m bragging anyway, the fourth rule definitely fits as well. I have spent quite some time trying to get this shit done. If I get to go, it will be because of me, and not because of anyone else. I arranged it. I found out what we needed to do, and I did it. And even with the delay and sudden loss of company, I will still go. I don’t want to give up now. Not now, after everything I have done.

Luckily there are always examples when you need them. After recently having re-watched Sherlock Holmes, I have found Irene Adler a fitting example of old school badassness. Look at the clip, note this catchy soundtrack and enjoy the powah.

Bad, worse, worst

Light in the darkness has come – finally. I received an answer from Russia quite soon, telling me I needed to fill in a form. Suddenly everything seemed so easy. Just fill in the form and send it to them. Then they finally can start making your invitation. There was one document I still needed, but after calling our coordinator at half past ten in the evening, he sent it to us.

This sounds like a solution, doesn’t it? I agree.

So this morning all I had to do was fill in the form some more and send it. Before doing that I was heading to the shop in our street to buy some bread. I ran into our neighbour, more specifically the mother of my good-looking ex-neighbour (her son – the one who winked at me!). By accident I had decided to wear my new, loose pants. For a change I felt quite fashionable while running into her! She immediately asked when I would leave for Russia.

And for the first time, I could give an answer I am quite certain of. That’s such a win – looking good and being able to give positive answers to questions about my trip to Russia!

When I came home, I send the stuff they need over there and now I have some sense of certainity. I’m no longer waiting without knowing who’s doing what, if they’re doing anything anyway. I have taken control for a part. I have sent mails until I figured out what was going wrong and now I’ve managed to get it straight.

The bad thing is that I will miss a month over there. It makes this adventure somewhat more terrifying. But after all my efforts and all the waiting, I didn’t want to give in. The worse option was going to Poland or year – honestly, though, I don’t really want that. The worst option would be staying. I must confess that while going through all the stress and doubts, this option didn’t seem so terrifying anymore. It’s so easy to just re-enroll yourself in the same university as the former two years. It takes perhaps two mouse clicks and it would be okay. On the other hand, I know I would hate to stay when almost my entire class is abroad, and two of my hometown friends.

I have made the decision to take the risk and arrive in Russia with delay. It’s bad, but at this point I can live with it. At least I’m going away. And at least I have done what I could to get this done after all. It’s a victory still!

Update: the not really news

My mind is occupied by Russia, Poland and visa right now. It has been the entire holiday already… ANd now we’ve got some more news. Well, “news”. To be honest, it’s not even really news. It’s guessing.

You know, the 7th of August I send an e-mail to the university in Russia I want to go to in two weeks. They answered saying they didn’t have information about us.
The 11th of August, the day our coordinator returned, I called him and explained the situation. He said he thought everything was okay and said he’d take care of it.
A few days later, I called him to ask how things were going. There was still no news.
Yesterday, the friend who would go to the same university went to see our coordinator. He said that he still hadn’t got an answer from Russia. Apparently, making the invitation we need in order to get the visa, takes a month. So we won’t be going to Russia until half September. And that’s the optimistic take. It’s more likely that we miss at least an entire month.

Needless to say I wasn’t happy to hear this. It isn’t even real news. It’s half news. It’s guessing. Now the questions rise as well. Is missing a month very bad? Can I still go to Poland for a year? Does the university in Russia really know we are coming now?

Today I sent a mail to Russia asking if they were really making our invitations, and one to our coordinator, asking if going to Poland for a year is still an option. And now I’m waiting again. At least I am sending mails around. I do what I can to get answers and to arrange this all. No one can ever say I didn’t try. I have sent mails to Russia in Russian, I have called our coordinator as soon as he returned, three times that day, until he answered the phone. I called him again though he had said he would e-mail us if he got more news. I have sent two more e-mails today.

And now we’ll wait again. At least I have done something again. It takes away a little part of the powerless feeling I got.

I WANT TO GO TO RUSSIA. How hard can it be?

 

Just to clarify: I also really want to go to Poland, but since I just have to send some documents for that, the desire is calm and peaceful. But since going to Russia is so hard, I want it more and more.

The Punishment

They gave me a ridiculously long, shapeless black dress to wear, which made me trip all the way to the court. Two guards held me firmly by the arms, and suddenly I was glad about that. At least I wouldn’t drop on the floor.
The court was a high, dark building. Some daylight fought its way inside, but there was only big window, placed directly above the main jury. I figured it was done like that to create a dramatic atmosphere. Not very original, I thought. But I see through it. The thought somehow consoled me a little bit.

The judge was an old, partially bald man with a sharp nose and cold eyes. He wore a black dress as well it seemed, or something that resembled it at least. How does one get a job like this? He’s probably frustrated because he had always been too shy to talk to women, I decided. I imagined him in a bar, unable to find the right words to talk to that pretty brunette with the cute smile. Seemingly humble I bowed my head, but inside I was grinning.

“Nina?” he suddenly said. The room got quiet. All men in black were staring at me. I looked up.

Bring it on.

“Yes”, I said. The judge looked at me with angry eyes. Was I not supposed to speak? Then someone should have told me.

“We have come here to look at your punishment and to decide upon new ones, or, in the best case, the abolition of it.”

I nodded, but at the same time thought: Punishment? What punishment?

“Are you sorry?”

That was unexpected.

“What for?”

The judge took a deep, disapproving breath.

“Apparently you are not sorry.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

“You’re only regret is that you don’t understand?” He smiled bitterly, then continued talking to the men in black surrounding me. “I don’t think it’s time to stop the punishment.”

Some men mumbled in agreement. It was too dark to see their faces and that annoyed me.

“Let’s see what that punishment included so far. We noticed that you wanted to be loved, so we sent some boys you trusted your way. We let them use you and make you feel that you’re not good enough.”

Oh, that seems to have worked.

“But apparently that wasn’t enough. So as soon as we saw you wanted to go to Russia, we delayed everything. In short, your punishment is broken hope.”

I bowed my head again.

“As you still seem to refuse to show remorse, we might need to refuse to let you go to Russia.”

Don’t cry.

“On what grounds then?” I tried again. The evil judge gave me a death stare. The light grew weaker and I barely saw anything anymore. I looked at my hands clawing in my black dress.

“I think we haven’t made our point clear yet”, the judge said. Some more muttering in the court. Heads nodding. I sighed. How was it possible that I was being punished without knowing why? Apparently they wanted me to figure that out by myself, but I couldn’t find a single thing I had intentionally done wrong. Of course I wasn’t a saint, but who is? And yet it didn’t matter. The punishment would go on.

“Unless now you show remorse. We grant you one more chance.”

I didn’t even try to say anything anymore.

“Get her out.”

The guards took me by my arms again. I lifted my dress, turned around and started walking away. Daylight was still forcing its way in. It appeared to be a sunny day. Right before the guards would let go of my arms, I turned to them.

“Do you have any wine for me?”

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