December 31, 2012

2012: What have I learned?

Recently I went back to my 2012 horoscope and found it funny how things turned out quite close to the “predictions.” Now, my ego will always prefer rummaging through my natal chart to generic yearly BS, but I had to laugh out loud when I saw the Aquarian horoscope for 2013.


Apparently, the romance I have started at the end of 2012 will only keep on giving; “Putting up with a partner who does not honor and cherish my essence is a thing of the past;” and I might be “changing my residence.” Hm.


Career-wise, I seem to have spent the past few years “collecting the necessary research and finding a slew of inspiring mentors,” and it is now time to “get my genius concepts on the map where they belong.” Also, “Chances are that I am only living up to a fraction of my potential and yet doing incredibly well.”


Touché, Touché. We’ll talk in a years’ time and see who’s done what, mmmkay?


When the laughter subsided, what I saw were my plans as I had already formulated them in my head, written out by a stranger’s hand for the entertainment of the general public. Funny.


The hourglass of 2012 is just about down to its last grains of sand. There are recaps and stock-taking in the media, the blogosphere, and the private lives of friends and family. I really do not want to do mine, but perhaps I should. Perhaps I will be glad of it some decades down the line?


It is too early to gauge the magnitude of this year. Usually, my brain is about ten steps ahead of the rest of me, figuring things out and getting upset that cannot catch up with myself. It amazes me to see it take a back seat to emotions and intuition. This year I have felt on my twitching skin, behind my eyeballs, in the core of my stomach and my bitten, mangled cuticles. Compliments of bravery and expressions of admiration for whatever it is that makes the choices I made admirable, are appreciated and politely accepted, but have yet to be internalized. For now, they feel as if they should be meant for someone else.


I do not want to use big words for this. And I don’t mean long, I mean big.


I have learned that we are teachers to our parents. We may kick and scream about it or insist that it should be the other way round [OK, I kick and scream about it], but we force them to rise and grow from the moment we are born. And it is our most controversial choices that allow them to grow the most. I have learned that my parents know, understand, and support me better than I ever might have hoped for. I also hope that someday soon I can not only understand, but accept this role in their lives.


I have learned that what I used to call intensity, abrasiveness, emotional amplitudes or being high maintenance deflates so beautifully when one calls it a quest for transparency. Thank you, therapy.


This has been a year of many lasts and firsts. Last weekends, last conversations, last embraces. And first nights spent in one’s old bedroom, first vacations and celebrations as a single person, first job and conference applications as a changed woman, and first kisses. It’s funny how being part of a couple drapes you in some cloak of diminished accessibility, and how people seem to come out of the woodwork when they hear you are no longer attached.


I have learned that, though the universe might have rattled me like a snow globe, it never lost sight of my happiness. The people that I trusted before justified that trust by sticking by me. Family came through in ways that I will be grateful for until the end of my days. My body got rid of some ballast, and perhaps I ought to change my profile to “106 pounds of… something.” My life was purged of pressures and clutter, leaving space and permission for grief, healing, and rebirth.


I was blessed with a love of cosmic proportions, and the beautiful, generous heart of a man who is a magician with words and deeds, a templar and a gentleman, an artist and an angel. He writes me songs and sends love notes in my language. He dreams of me and tells stories of who I am and what I do to friends and family with endless pride and joy. Kissing that stranger is the most natural thing I have ever done.


Tell me about your year, friends. And the year to come, as you see it now, even if you don’t see it yet. Then meet me here in a year’s time to sit and laugh about it all. Be happy, healthy, and blessed. Be in love with life, with yourself, and one another. Thank you for being here.

December 12, 2012

The big reveal


I would like to share something with you.


Some of you may have figured it out already, not that it was a secret. I just feel that it’s time to add a new detail to the love story that I have been living and writing about. Let you in on the joke, as my soul mate would say.


I loved him before I met him.


Then I met him, and I really loved him.


He was a reader before he was my friend.


I was a confidante before I was his lover.


There will be time, there will be time, to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.


A year too early, I would have been a puppy, all too easily sucked in by his gravitational pull and never registered on his radar screen. A year too late, I might have been tied down by ropes that life sometimes throws at us; ropes that make you forget that you once had different dreams for yourself. Looking back, someone or something was definitely in a hurry to rearrange some tracks and construct an intersection that would not fail. He got thrown off the path he had chosen, and I had a brick slammed on my gas pedal to speed me up.


In the summer of 2010, I arrived in the States, and he went into exile from his former life. He moved down to the water, I started writing about water. I got a crash course in self-knowledge and intercontinental male-female pathology; he taught himself to live all over again. I started writing about the heartache and chaos in my soul; he wrote out his loss and way back.


I shall skip over the details of our beautiful dance between then and now, and leave them for future posts. Instead, I give you him.





It’s funny, really. I have been fiddling with this blog post for some time now. While I was editing and tweaking and gargling words, my gorgeous man got to typing and beat me to the punch. We have now outed each other, and it makes me totally wet in the pants to think about what we might create together between our two blogs. Sometimes you don’t even have to leave the room for love to find you, and sometimes you have to cross an ocean. Sometimes, it’s both.


Do me a favor.


This man is the best writer I have met since I started blogging. When you go over there, and I know you will, please start at the beginning, and read everything. Take your time, because it won’t be easy. It will be painful. It will make you cry. It will feel like your insides are being torn out. It will make you rethink everything you ever thought you knew about love. But it will be worth it, because that’s how fucking good he is. You will come out redeemed. You will learn to live, and love, with him – and me – all over again. And you will be just as proud to know him as I am to be his girl.


Murdoc baby, you’re up.


December 5, 2012

Even overachievers get the blues

Thank you Jesus, it’s all my parents fault.

No, seriously.

My therapist actually said those words.

Yes I’m seeing a new therapist but that’s beside the point.

Apparently, psychologists had no trouble detecting that those who rebel against authority do so because they were raised in either oppressive or very lenient circumstances. It took them a little longer to explain why those that attach the same importance to authority, but with a plus instead of a minus in front of it, exhibit an extreme sense of duty, responsibility, and guilt to and for everyone and everything, even if they were raised very laissez-faire.

You see where I am going with this.

Minimal boundaries, and minimal guidance. When you give a child free reign over its life, you also give them a terrible burden of responsibility that exceeds their knowledge of the world. If the child does not know that the fence is there to separate the front yard from the motorway, the safe zone from potential harm, then this responsibility also comes with a terrible sense of guilt: you chose to leave the safe zone, and if you got hit by a car, it is your own fault. We gave you freedom, you should have known how to handle it.

First I sat in my therapist’s office in amazement and catatonia, tears rolling down my face as only evidence of the effect this had on me. Why isn't this printed out in pamphlets and distributed in schools across the globe? Am I the only person in the world not to know about this? 
Then I walked for about two hours before getting on a train that would take me home, watching pieces of my psyche drop down like Tetris blocks, fitting into perfect shapes and clearing the screen for the next level.
I hugged and kissed my parents when I got home. They were happy that I had a breakthrough, even though I did not tell them what it was. I love those people more than anything in this world. I know it was no picnic getting me for a child. A child like me required, demanded free reign, even if she could have used a little more guidance. I am a glorious conglomerate of both their characters and temperaments. I accepted the dispositions they gave me and took them to a whole new level. And not only that, I have a baby sister who did the same. We're a cool bunch. I hope never to lose the pride, gratitude and humility that their love has given me.

I just needed an explanation.

This is why I have no measure. Because every step could be a splash in a puddle or a dive from a cliff.

This is why I take risks, but not responsibility. Because they could be the same thing for all I know.

This is why everything I touch does indeed turn to gold. Because I have had to develop an acute sense of choosing my battles. Which I lose at the drop of a hat the very next second.

This is why I can make people feel adored and despised in the same sentence.

And this is why, on a bad day, a raised eyebrow feels like a slap across the face. Because a misunderstanding might as well be the Trojan War.

This is why, on a bad day, I will ask for reassurance as annoyingly  and persistently as a three-year-old. But why? Tell me. Tell me again. Why? Tell me again. Please make sure that what you're telling me is the truth because I will take you for your word, very literally. It's all I know.

This is why I want to save the world but can’t get a blood test. Because I forget my age and place in this universe.

This is why, on a bad day, I will beat myself up for not being able to grant, give and secure everyone what they want, even if they never asked it of me. Because I apparently need to feel holier than Christ and be responsible for everyone’s happiness.
This is why, on a bad day, I feel like I am not allowed to express insecurity. Because the confidence that friends and family apparently have in me makes me feel guilty for admitting that there is a shit-ton of questioning, backpedaling and uncertainty behind every "achievement." Because, who am I to claim weakness in the face of all elsewhere-existing adversity in this world?

This is why, on a bad day, I will feel like the Chieko girl from Babel. Remember her? The one who spreads her legs from underneath her schoolgirl uniform and throws herself at police officers her father’s age, desperate and exasperated from lack of connection, getting empty stares, rejection and contempt no matter how hard she tries. I raise my emotional skirt and flash intimacy at those I feel connected with, and yet, on a bad day, I feel like I still come across as deaf and dumb. What language do I speak, that it is so difficult to convey? How can all this excess that I pour out be understood as a lack? And what fiction am I after, that I should feel so threatened to fall off the mark?