“I never knew love could make me go to such extreme lengths,” I wrote in my journal when I was fifteen. “It makes me go crazy. It’s like I don’t even care about anything else. I just need him. His presence is the only thing that makes me happy.”
It was the second time I fell in love, and there was nothing different about how unhealthy my infatuation was.
I wanted love and attention. Validation. Stability. Tenderness. I was hungry for what I couldn’t get from my father, and I decided that another boy would solve everything.
He was my angel. My saviour. The only representation of male kindness I had encountered so far. I looked forward to seeing him every week, and those few hours spent with him were the only thing worth living for. …
The patriarchy hasn’t been exactly kind to men. This might be a controversial thing to say given all the privileges they’ve had for centuries at the expense of women, but nothing is ever black-and-white.
A world run by men doesn’t necessarily have to make everything easy for them. In the dating sphere, there are actually plenty of preconceptions and ridiculous expectations of what “a manly man” has to look like.
Shame and judgement targeted at men have found their way into a patriarchal society, and all it does is to keep re-enforcing toxicity, both masculine and feminine. …
You mockingly laughed at my hairy legs with your boyfriend as I was jogging past you two. The one single moment felt like infinity, your glances poignant, your eyes wrinkled in a laugh that was a mixture of shocked, disgusted and judging. It’s a snapshot stuck in time, and even when I forget your face, I will not forget how you made me feel.
Before I fully registered what was really happening, your faces passed by, your bodies gone, your mean behaviour buried in the vast storage of my memory filled with similar experiences.
Most of them happened at a secondary school. All of them took place in Czechia, a country that’s one of the most sexist places in Europe. I didn’t expect to still encounter this sort of judgment at 21, let alone in Germany, a much more progressive country. …
After I moved into my dormitory in Germany for my year abroad, I cried. A lot.
I was sitting on the windowsill, staring at the grey wall which covered most of my view, and I thought, “Why me? Why do I always get the worst room?”
I know, I know. It sounds a bit pathetic. There are much more important things going on in the world right now. Then again, there will always be people who are in a worse situation than you — and truth be told, their problems don’t make yours disappear. They put them into perspective. …
I’m knitting him a scarf. It’s imperfect, it’s screaming-yellow, it’s from me.
I’ve knitted before. I’ve knitted for other people, other occasions, at different stages of my life. I’ve never managed to finish one single proper scarf. They had too many holes, I was too lazy to learn an actual pattern, I never had the patience to keep going till the end.
I’m knitting him a scarf now, and while I’m knitting, my thoughts wander. I think about my life — my past relationships, my current one, how vastly they differ. The more I knit, the more I realise that this time, the process of knitting is different. It’s refreshing. It has lightness and it has weight, both at the same time, both filled with peace. …
My boyfriend is on the autistic spectrum.
When I met him, I never would have guessed that’s the case — throughout the years, he’s mastered the art of social interaction, which often makes him a much more advanced social butterfly than I am. He always knows what to say, how to say it, when to ask you if everything’s okay, how to navigate difficult conversations.
It doesn’t come naturally, though.
As I’ve got to know him more, I’ve realised that his responses and conversational strategies are often the same patterns repeated over and over again. …
“Don’t ever marry,” my mother told me.
“All men want is sex,” she told me.
“They never help out, and when they do, they boast about it for a month as if they did you a huge favour,” she said as she was ironing my father’s shirts.
My father never did iron. He said it was a woman’s job. When he cooked, he was being a chef — when my mum cooked, it was her duty. My mum worked longer hours than he did, yet it still wasn’t his place to be a responsible adult in his own house.
He told me I couldn’t dress too sexy because boys would get ideas, and he knew what boys were like. All boys were the same. Because all boys were like him. …
My ex-best friend used to be like an older sister to me. Every single time I came to her with a problem, she started spitting out deep wisdom that came out of nowhere, surprising both of us. These monologues often provided me with useful advice and made me feel inspired, relaxed and glad to have such a good friend.
She never failed to teach me a great deal about life, love, myself and Doctor Who.
Our 10-year friendship didn’t end on a good note. It was actually pretty horrible. I always hold on to my anger for a long time, and by that, I mean years. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been consumed by a lot of subtle, yet long-lasting rage for the last couple of weeks. …
Being a bookworm is a huge part of my personality.
I usually read 50–60 books a year. In my close circles, I’m known for being the one who reads everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. I’ve even mastered reading on my way down the stairs (for safety reasons, I wouldn’t recommend it though).
However, I rarely take notes on the fiction books I read. Recently I’ve started doing precisely that, and it’s changed the way I view both reading and writing.
I don’t only devour a book and move on to the next one. I explore it on a new level. And I learn from it. I improve my writing craft not only through osmosis, as I have done for most of my life, but through actual analysis and learning. It makes the way I read more memorable and the information I learn more useful for future reference. …
Recently, I’ve separated from someone I’d been very close to for ten whole years. It wasn’t a romantic partner. It wasn’t a family member nor a mentor, although both roles fit the description at times. Family more often than not.
I lost my best friend.
And I lost her after months of avoiding conflict, which only ended up escalating it when it finally came down to it. When I think about it, though, it wasn’t only a few months that I was hiding my real feelings — it’s been years since I started establishing this sort of behaviour, this phobia of any conflict whatsoever. …