Tag: life

Musings #5

I said that the next thing I’d ramble on about would be being commitment-phobe. I lied. Don’t hate me.

I decided not to ramble on about the difference between being emotionally claustrophobic and being a commitment-phobe because I had an Archimedes moment. It was one of those moments when you’re in the bath contemplating life, the universe and everything and you suddenly have the most amazing, splendiferous notion as to why things are the way they are and you then have the urge to share it with everyone. Except in my case, I decided to finish having my bath first before trying to write anything down; ended up having dinner and now I want to write my marvellous idea.. it’s all a bit hazy.

So, please, dear reader, be gentle.

I’ll start from the beginning (not half way through this time) and try to explain from where this fragment of lunacy emerged. Yesterday I managed to sort out a flat to live in for my year abroad working in the ceiling-mines of Munich. Which has left me to do a fair bit of pondering (and thus give me a reason to completely ignore all my work sitting in front of me). So, thinking about the whole “going-abroad-to-pretend-to-be-a-real-adult-who-can-look-after-themselves-and-be-completely-normal-and-boring” thing can make you a tad.. sentimental? Anyway, I suddenly came to the conclusion that there are certain roles that people play in our lives, and wherever you go, you should be able to find someone else to fulfil that role.

The first one that came to mind was The Comforter. This is often a parent figure or another mother-substitute. (Please note substitutes and supplements should be used as part of a balanced diet) This person is the rock in your life who keeps you from doing anything outrageously stupid (like ringing your boss/ex and giving them a damn good piece of your mind) and who you can’t imagine being without. This is often the hardest role to find a substitute/supplement for, yet it is perhaps one of the most looked-for.

Then there’s The Fellow Loon. The Fellow Loon is someone with who you feel completely at home with and appearances don’t matter. You can let go and let it all hang out with your Fellow Loon. The only proviso is that you’re both as bat-shit crazy as the other.

Fellow Loon
hjskcm;uamkufzsxyxnfawfuw BOOM

The Wet Blanket. The Eeyore in your life, always pointing out the perhaps inconvenient repercussions of your wonderful ideas and hi-jinks – can often lack self-confidence. (This person is generally also quite cuddly, but may need help in reattaching their tail.)

The Distraction – the on-off boyfriend/girlfriend where you’re not sure what you feel for them, but when things are a bit boring, you feel the urge to get back in contact to spice things up a bit with a smattering of drama.

The Brother Substitute – the fraternal role sometimes played by someone with whom you thought you had a spark, only to realise that it wasn’t /that/ kind of spark. These are the guys who insist on walking you home every time you meet, who stand up for you and get annoyed on your behalf. They’d probably also go to the ends of the earth and back if you asked them. Oh, and they’ll always insist on buying the drink. These are perhaps the most difficult people to find – the sincere, the honest, the respectful, and the ones who can talk about guns and WW2 until the cows come home (though that last part’s not required).

The Sister – the sisterly influence in your life where you commiserate about boys/men, work and generally talk clothes, make-up and all kinds of weird and wonderful things. This sounds similar to the Fellow Loon in a way, and I suppose it is because of the silliness involved and the level of comfort that both of you will draw from each other. But the support/strength that you get from each other is different. Trust me. Oh, and most likely one of you’ll steal the other’s shoes/makeup and you’ll argue. Then you’ll realise it’s all too stupid, make up, and then do each other’s hair.

The Diva – everything in their life is the worst/best thing ever and they demand your attention and affection. They often serve to make you appreciate the simplicity in your own life and to be appreciative of the small things. Often things can be about look and status and this can help remind you that life is simply too short. However, only so much time can be spent with these people before you go crazy. The bad crazy. Where you turn into one yourself. The Diva is also incredibly flamboyant.

divas
Faaabulous, darling

The Understated Companion – the person who you don’t really acknowledge enough, if at all. They do all the little things in the background to try to make things easier for you and they often manage to do it with such subtlety that you remain blissfully ignorant.

The Quiet One – always watch the quiet one. You never know quite what they’re thinking.

The Token Ginge – much loved, much teased and generally an okay person. Often considerably geeky, although may be slightly touchy on the subject of hair colour.

The Insufferable Optimist – the ever happy, bouncing, eager, puppy-like person in your life. They can be ever so slightly annoying when things are stressful, and if left unattended for long enough, may start shredding toilet paper. Also loves to be scratched behind the ears and playing fetch.

Happy puppy
EEEEEEEE!! YOU'RE AWAKE

The Bad Influence – the inner devil. The person responsible for all those times when you announced that you had work to do and that you’d stay in that evening, only to be persuaded to go out “just for one drink”. Five hours later and you stagger back through the front door having had a good time, but sadly your essay’s not written itself, so you end up drinking numerous cups of tea to sober up to try and finish the work. Good in moderation.

The French One – also known as the Immaculately Dressed. This is the person who’s always dressed and coiffed perfectly for the occasion; always with the perfect figure, generally wears scarves and always looks chic – often with that effortless “I-got-ready-in-10-minutes” air. Will typically like good food and drink (wine, not ribena) and can be quite the romantic. I’m not talking about the stereotype; these people DO exist. In fact, they do these things so effortlessly, you feel like a tramp.

tramp
Gizz'a kiss

This list is by no means finished – I might continue it at a later date, but for the meantime:

Sleepy red panda
I shleepz now. Kthnxbai
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Musings #4

My friend pointed out to me today that my rabbits and horses theory doesn’t work. Her reasoning was that she knew people who she thought were cats.

It’s a fair point: cats like to be independent for the most part, and act aloof like nothing really matters, only to then come back to you either for food or to steal your bed for the best part of the day. Then there’s the school of thought that says that the Egyptians once worshipped cats as gods and that cats certainly haven’t forgotten.

Except I’m not quite sure that there are cats in life – I mean, sure, there are those who are independent, sleep a lot, like staying clean, aren’t too keen on water and like being scratched behind the ears; yet deep down, they are dependent on other people, and that trust or dependency will take a while to grow.

So in that respect, they’re both a rabbit and a cat. I found this a tad confusing to begin with, until I came up with a solution:

cabbits.

Cabbits are those who appear to be independent and distant. (And a little bit bitey at times..) They’re also generally quite cute and furry; often found with a tail. They act aloof and have that kind of regal air about them, and they like you to come to them, rather than seek you out. But at the same time, they’re secretly dependent on you – far more than you could possibly imagine; unless of course, you yourself are a cabbit, in which case you’ll know exactly what I mean.

To the untrained eye, a cabbit can be difficult to handle: how do you live with a creature that on the surface appears to be so cool and distant, yet scratch him behind the ears in the right place and he’ll roll over onto his back and let you stroke his tummy? (Tickle on pain of death/loss of hand.)

To be honest, it depends on the cabbit. Some are more open to change than others. The thing is, you need to give the cabbit the space he needs: the moment a cabbit feels trapped, back into the rabbit warren he goes, yet not enough interest and it may seem that you don’t care; something which cabbits find most painful.

If you find yourself with a cabbit, give him time to get used to spending time with you – coax him out of his defensive cat state and encourage him to be more rabbit-like. However it should be said that a) be prepared to have the odd stand-off with your cabbit, they often tend to want everything done their way (and to steal your bed) and b) you may need a large supply of feathers, carrots, soft cushions and catnip.

Warning: use catnip with caution – may cause lots of purring, silliness and munchies:

Cat with catnip toy looking guilty
Ah. You're back early. This isn't what it looks like, promise.

Musings #3

Today I realised that we’re all caterpillars. Now, before you jump to the conclusion that 1) I’ve been taking those funky tablets that call out to you or 2) this is a rather poor attempt to emulate my success with rabbits and horses, hear me out.

It struck me that the world is a strange place and is rather scary at times. (Well done, Sherlock. You better watch this one, she’s quick..) Okay, it’s scary a lot of the time and every now and then, it’s all rather overwhelming – what with all the goodbyes and strange new places and people we meet. I certainly have been feeling the overwhelming thing a lot recently, particularly when it comes to the year abroad. Quite frankly, the idea of spending a whole year in Munich, like some kind of responsible adult (pffffffffftt!), staying out of trouble and learning an entirely different language and culture seems rather… well, daunting. And that’s not including the days where I’m incapable of getting out of bed:

Zonked raccoon
Not gonna happen.

But then I suppose there will always be things like that, no matter your age or experience. Before, I’ve thought of life as a game, full of challenges horses that life sets you – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it’s a draw. But it’s down to you as to what you take from it – which is royal pain in the arse if you’re that scared that you’ve regressed to the age of 3, quite frankly just want Mama and for it all to just go away.

So, going back to my realisation that we’re all caterpillars: if life is game whereby you’ve got to give each challenge your all, the challenges will result you transmogrifying into something new. Except the catch is that you don’t know what it is you’ll turn into, and because you don’t know, it’s scary. Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that we start off as caterpillars; they’re fairly harmless little creatures.

The first challenge, I would say, for most caterpillars is university. Now, this first stage I have to admit is something my father said to me, (in one of his more… coherent moments) when I was trying to explain why a part of me didn’t want to go to university: if I’m honest, I was scared and didn’t know how I was going to manage. He said to me that at that moment, I was a caterpillar, and when I went to university, I would go into my cocoon. Yet by graduation, I would have fully become the butterfly that I’m meant to be. But I don’t think that it applies to just me, it applies to everybody.

We’re not all the same, however; we’re all individuals. Some become the rabbits or horses in life – or worse, squirrels. Some become the bravest of lions; others the meekest of mice; some become the most loyal companions you’ll ever know; some incredibly vain and pampered; and then there are those who don’t know how to deal with the weird and wonderful things in front of them and become ostriches, burying their heads in the sand – able to run from their problems, but never free to fly away.

I suppose we all have potential, it just depends on whether we choose to tap into it or not. Or rather, it’s not what life gives us, but what we make from it. I know, I know, this whole post is turning into one humungous cliché.

But if you do anything, make sure 1) you sure as hell enjoy it and make the most of it, and 2) you don’t end up drawing the short straw and become one of life’s spiders. The poor buggers get such bad press.

Lovable spider
Image found on the hilarious "Hyperbole and a half" (click image for link)

Musings #2

I came to the conclusion today that everything we want in life is either a rabbit or a horse. This epiphany struck me whilst I was chatting with a friend about how she wanted things in her life to go in one direction, yet they seemed to be doing quite the opposite. What I found most intriguing was her use of the word “should”.

I’ve noticed this a lot, recently; it seems to be a sort of trend. I realise now, that I go through phases of “should”. For some reason, it’s ever so difficult to realise that when it comes to us as individuals and how we feel, and therefore, what we do, there is no “should”. It simply does not exist. You are who you are.

Which is actually a lot more difficult to wrap your head around than it first seems.

The classic case is generally when talking about relationships and what we “should” be doing at a certain age, or what we “should” be feeling. I made the point to my friend that we have the saying “good things come to those who wait” for a reason. She then asked what the point was in having the saying “seek and thou shall find”. Touché.

And this is when the rabbits and horses hit me.

I realised that you need to know the difference between a rabbit and a horse. Laugh as you may, but it’s not as easy as you may think. Life’s rabbits are shy timid creatures whose trust you need to earn. You need patience, time and a lot of carrots. Emotions, I tend to find, belong more to this category. You need to leave time for things to settle down, get used to their new, somewhat scary and unfamiliar surroundings before approaching them. Some rabbits find it easier to settle down and adapt than others. But perhaps most importantly, you can’t force it. Think of the saying “you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

Which leads me quite nicely onto the horses in life. These are no ordinary horses. These ones are wild and need to be tamed. With life’s horses, you first need to find them, and then have enough strength to win the battle of wills that follows. Oh, and you might need a supply of sugar cubes. Eventually you will end up with a loyal steed to accompany you through life – and you’ll be able to jump nicely over hedges.

The trouble is working out when life’s given you a rabbit, or a horse. I suppose the most frustrating thing is the time a rabbit can take to be coaxed out of its warren. Sometimes, all you want is that relationship that everybody else seems to have; that feeling of being loved by somebody else; or simply the knowledge that that person has decided to be there for you regardless – even when you’re not wearing any make-up, feel like the world is out to get you with a sharp pointy stick and you’re having the crappiest hair day ever:

Bad hair day
A-ttractive.

The worst thing about it is that you’re impatient: you don’t want to wait however many years it’s going to take, you want it NOW. Yet, in trying to reach that stage of comfort, affection and security, you’ve startled the rabbit so much that he’s retreated even further into his warren; to the point where sometimes you think he’s disappeared altogether.

Yet with horses life can seem like a constant struggle, and if you’re someone who’s easily discouraged, horses are the last thing that you need. They can be opinionated and haughty; yet at the same time graceful and somewhat imposing.

So the next time you’re faced with a situation where you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself: Rabbit or horse?

Rabbit