The writer within

It is a day-to-day thing. You walk around in the city of your choice, work, play, meet your friends and then….you come home with a story. You might stretch your fingers a little bit from the tingling that calls you home, dying to write, to connect with the world that the rest of your circle doesn’t know. A blogger discovering his/her true freedom that comes from just putting some ideas on a screen.

The writer within you lays dormant every day. Paying the bills comes first, then the routine and the comfort that comes from having a regular life. But then a small touch of magic rustles your heart which makes it impossible for you to move on. You need to put that idea down before it leaves to someone else more willing to appreciate its soft movements. Your writer calls for expression and you need to heed the call.

I just realized this myself. It is a call of the soul, of a nature that has been buried deep for too long and now just longs for expression. I love that.You are suddenly exploring stories and ideas that have been crossing your mind for years but you haven’t been awake enough to let them manifest. And your soul cradles it like the stuffed toy it has been missing.

All of a sudden your head is in space or the distant future. You are looking for ideas or places to make your story possible and that allow it to grow. Any information that connects it to reality you write down and connect to the story line so that your audience will believe, will understand and eventually fall in love with it. Doesn’t that make you feel more real?

I love the fact that you can bump into people randomly throughout your day and never realize who they are until you discover their depth by seeing how and what they write. Can you imagine looking at your friends and family and discovering their thoughts all of sudden? That they are so much more than what you know them as? Can you imagine doing that to yourself, discovering your possibility and your ideas?

We don’t really explore each other enough. The questions that ask who our people are never get asked and instead we are happy to know them well enough. But then they show us their blogs/books and we turn into Alice, tumbling into Wonderland and realizing that the hole is so much deeper than what we originally thought. It makes you realize that the world as we know it is only a small percentage of what it is.

But then it quiets down, disappears under the surface in order to recharge and wait for that opportune moment to bring that soft touch upon your cheek and whisper: “I am here. Tell everyone.”

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The single girl’s saturday night

I’m avoiding company tonight.

I was invited out for drinks and decided against it because I felt melancholic. I am in need of solitude and reflection.I started to cry, thinking about my latest romance gone bad but then this thought crossed my mind that if my fate is to be single for the rest of my days I need to love myself enough to make up for it. I stopped crying and decided to write. Somehow I feel most like myself when I do.

Do you ever feel like you forgot yourself, who you really are, and it has taken you forever to go back to that person? Right now it feels like I am discovering who I am again, after such a long time, just by writing. I used to write stories when I was little and I would go beyond the teacher requirements just because I loved it so much. Then one day a teacher I respected put me down for writing “childish” prose and I stopped. She attacked the most vulnerable side of me so I had to put my defenses up and hide it. I spent the next fifteen years running around trying to find what I am good at, occasionally writing, but never really realizing what I wanted to do. I envied the creative ones but never classified myself as one. Now, finally, after all this time, I’ve started to realize that my creative side comes out when I write and that I would like to improve myself until one day I write a story that appeals to an audience.

All of a sudden I’m exploring story ideas, getting lost in prose and linking ideas. I feel like a fairy dancing midst flowers, picking its favorite ones to create a bouquet. And for some reason, the circling fairies, also known as the shining neighbour stars that have twinkled just for me, that showed their interest in my writing make me feel better. We’ve been all been here, haven’t we? We’ve all hesitated in writing that first word, wondered if we were good enough and then just decided to plow through anyway because that’s what we need to do. Thanks, everyone, for being first and finding your way. I respect that so much.

:) L.

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Writing in the stars

Galaxy

I don’t consider my blog special if I compare it to the multitude of others that are out there in the internet universe. It is a tiny star in a galaxy, not bright enough to be spotted by the big planets circling space, but it’s still there making its rounds. I have of course wondered if I should try to increase its size and readership, make it appeal to the writing and reading aliens that travel the blogospheres but lately I’ve started to wonder why I should do that.

We all want to make an impact, to know that we are significant and that we make a difference in the world. When I first started blogging every single visitor was special just because they read my words. I felt I mattered. But then I started to realize that if people read but don’t interact with my content I had no way of knowing whether the things I said were “good”. The visiting aliens might come to my little star but if they don’t leave their mark then increasing their number will be pointless.

But then I thought that even though my blog will never turn into a galaxy it is still my little star. A place where I can make myself better, improve my writing and maybe improve my wordpress programming skills. If by chance a visiting alien feels better about himself or herself after visiting my star and reading my words, I will have made the world a better place in my own little way. So while I wish the big galaxies well, my little star doesn’t have to be one.

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Unlikely pairing

It is soul food only for me, a swirling mess of red and white with lumps and bumps and defined softness that only food contained within a can for too long can provide. This unlikely pair is Heinz spaghetti and fish balls, a combination weird for others but always reminds me of home.

I remember going to my uncle’s place during weekends to be watched over while my parents were away. If we found ourselves hungry after playing he would go into the kitchen and find a can of fish balls (i.e. haddock ground and shaped into balls) and can of spaghetti, put it into a pan and heat it. It wasn’t difficult for a teenager to do while the parents were out. Occasionally he would even make “pink sauce”, made from ketchup, the fish ball water and flour. We would slurp up this soft combination, grateful for something quick to eat before starting another game.

These days I find myself in a different country from my youth and the ingredients for this strange dish are found in two separate stores. When I first saw the can of fish balls I felt joy over finding such a small connection to home. I bought it, knowing that the can of spaghetti was easier to find. When I finally brought those two cans together in a pot, my incessant homesickness abated a little. Now, a few years down the line, my palate has changed to accommodate the various ingredients found in this country and my homesickness is gone. However, I always remember to buy the two cans when I walk past them even though I would never place the pure ingredients (i.e. haddock and spaghetti) on the same plate.

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Seeking advice

In the past I have been quite open with telling people about my crushes and seeking advice. It seemed like a good idea at the time since it could potentially mean the difference between a relationship or rolling on alone. But lately I’ve started to question if this is the right way to go.

A few days ago I was out with friends, enjoying a cocktail or two and invariably the discussion turned to men (read: I was complaining about my latest situation) as I was feeling slightly hurt and confused. There were a couple of people there that normally don’t hang out with us and who had never heard the story so I was asked to explain everything. Reluctantly I complied and told the story of how I met the guy I like. Both proclaimed that I was doing something wrong and both gave me unsolicited advice on how to act next.

When I returned home I started to feel  incredibly bad about myself. Maybe I had being doing things the wrong way so that I had already screwed things up for myself. But I didn’t feel like taking their advice completely because I didn’t trust their opinion. So I was left with feeling more confused and more hesitant to act which, under the circumstances, were not needed in the vortex of emotions I was already feeling.

So I decided to be more discreet and choosy about whom to tell about my love / crush troubles. People talk, especially about relationship issues, and everybody has an opinion. So the ones of you that are going through the same thing keep that in mind when you are bursting with the need to tell someone. Treat yourself in the delicate way that you deserve and don’t tell the people likely to judge you just for being yourself.

Good luck.

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A realization….

One day you become strong enough not to continue thinking about the person that hurt you. All of a sudden they become a lesson and a thing of the past.

All of a sudden you stop arguing with them in your head and realize they will continue with their life, and you will yours.

How beautiful.

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Clashing dating cultures

I recently read this blog about why dating Scandinavians/Nordic people doesn’t work. Bottom line was that while we don’t date nor in many cases marry, we somehow manage to find ourselves in real relationships. Here is how the Scandinavian non-dating culture clashes with the Western European one:

  1. Getting drunk and sleeping together before dating translates into sleeping with Europeans way too early for their own good. French guys, as well as probably most of the (Western?) European men love the chase. No, actually, they need the chase. Scandinavian women have no idea what the chase is as we have gotten used to the ease of getting drunk and going home with the crush. The inevitable end result will of course be that Scandinavians sleep way too early with Europeans and then are left to figure out why the guy disappears into thin air almost immediately after.
  2. Europeans seem to expect their women to be ladylike at all times. Scandinavian girls can be ladylike but when the going gets tough, the tough Nordic Valkyrie wont be afraid to put on their breastplates and get going! Independent! *roar* Strong! *roar* Self-confid….hey, where did the Belgian guy go?
  3. Scandinavian women do not understand being checked out. Scandinavian men don’t seem to have roaming eyes or if they do, they have learned to keep it hidden as it will probably lead to being beaten on the head and told “Eyes up here, creep!” European men have no such hangups. I have seen European men get so distracted over a cleavage that the conversation studders to a halt while their eyes linger. I’ve even seen the occasional lean-in like they are planning to use said cleavage for a cushion. Scandinavian women might get very uncomfortable under such serious scrutiny and have a hard time keeping control of the urge to bang some creepy Italian heads together.
  4. Letting the guy pay for dinner is hard for Scandinavian women. Really hard. Letting them pay for everything is even more so. So “being treated like a queen”, aka making the guy show some effort, makes us feel like we are being rude to the poor guy. Yeah, I know, Scandinavian women are weird, but we have got our own salaries, we have worked damn hard to get them and showing the guy that we expect equality in the relationship is really important. But expecting equality from European men makes them feel like “there are two captains in the boat.” (This is an actual line said to a Nordic friend). So off they go in search of a first mate instead of a co-captain.

So there is definitely a clash of cultures when it comes to the dating scene of Scandinavians vs Europeans. I sometimes get the feeling that Europeans are constantly in hunting mode, i.e. the men must hunt the women and women are supposed to be aloof and mysterious, always playing a game until they get caught. Scandinavians have only barely just changed their clubs for beer bottles and play the game of not interested-not interested-not interested-get drunknowIaminterestedpleasecomehomewithmeandthenwithmetothemovies. God, I miss them.

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