When We’re Not Together #2

Have you ever had that paranoia feeling when you are apart from your partner?

1. He’s definitely changing

2. He doesn’t text me back, and if he does, it’s just an ‘okay’.

3. He seems distant.

4. He’s happy! Oh my God, he’s happy when we’re not together!

5. See? He diverted his eyes when I asked him questions! He’s hiding something!!

and ..

6. Oh my God, we’re not good together! We’re breaking up!!!

Well, based on my experience, all of those are just women impulses when they’re having a really bad day. So instead of read and re-read his texts (try to decipher codes that might be hidden there), try this:

1. Play trivia games. I tried purposegames.com they have lots of trivia on Geography. I’m obsessed of getting all the dots green (correct without help), I spent almost 3 hours on this web and completely forgot that I had to meet my boyfriend.

trivia

Obsessed!

2. The reason why I start this game, Oceans and Seas of the world, was because this book I’m reading. So yes, please ladies, read. It’s a good exercise. Before this, I read a biography of the Prophet Muhammad by Karen Armstrong and realized that reading non-fiction is as interesting as fiction. 🙂

Atlantic by Simon Winchester

3. Catch up with friends. I met my good friends Aisha and Rita. Aisha lives in France with her husband and she has just finished her master degree in oil engineering, and also the same for Rita, she just finished her master as well, in business and management. I am a one proud friend. Because I also have just finished my celta, so our brunch (who extended to after lunch) was some sort of celebration. Hooray.

brunch

non-judging breakfast club

4. Evaluate your plan. This is the perfect timing, new year and new plan. I was bbm-ing my boyfriend and told him on and on of how a bookstore supposed to be, how sad books that are available in our town bookstores, and he said casually, ‘well, make your own then.’ and an image of Meg Ryan in her little bookstore in ‘You’ve Got Mail’ flashing back. So yep, I’m starting my bookstore! I’ve been calling publishers and distributors and have a vision of how the bookstore gonna help the community. Reading is actually one of the fastest way to learn a language. 😀

Little bookstore of my dream

5. Browse more, learn more. I’ve come to some really great sites like brainpicking.org and exp.lore.com, I also love swiss-miss.com these sites are good for daily browse, they always have interesting stuff. Things I read on brainpicking last night was suited my situation. The science of love, a study by Barbara Frederickson, PH. D, she studies how physically connected is important in love.

You no doubt try to ‘stay connected’ when physical distance keeps you and your loved ones apart. You use the phone, e-mail, and increasingly texts or Facebook, and it’s important to do so. Yet your body, sculpted by the forces of natural selection over millennia, was not designed for the abstractions of long-distance love, the XOXs and LOLs. Your body hungers for more.

True connection is one of love’s bedrock prerequisites, a prime reason that love is not unconditional, but instead requires a particular stance. Neither abstract nor mediated, true connection is physical and unfolds in real time. It requires sensory and temporal copresence of bodies .

Physical presence is key to love, to positivity resonance.

Just makes me want to hug my stupid boyfriend very tight.

I think when we’re together too often, the resonance won’t always be positive. My friend, Ruddy, who just got back from a 3 weeks vacation from London, visiting his girlfriend said it was the best 3 weeks in his life. They were emitting positive resonances because they’ve been missing each other for quite some time. Nothing stays positive forever. Having a person by your side 24/7 can be really stressing and has negative impact.

To touch your loved ones is important, to be physically connected. But having a time of your own is also good, because then you miss the connection. You appreciate it and when you’re having it, you don’t take it for granted.

So, being away from your loved ones I think, is healthy in a way. 🙂

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When We’re Not Together

A new year has come and the first month almost ends. December was a blur, I finished my CELTA and began to work in my old place, realized that everything was not the same anymore. It was such a weird feeling, how you realized that your old ways of doing things wasn’t gonna work anymore. That you’ve discovered something but you couldn’t work it out what was it just yet. But one thing is clear, you need to learn more because you’ve seen more.

I’ve spent most of my days around my boyfriend. It was our routines and unspeakable schedule, that dinner was meant to be had together, that when I finished my work we met, that we shared almost every moment. And it was… suffocating. I didn’t realized it before and didn’t put much thought about it. But it’s like breathing a new air when I’m alone. It’s fresh and exciting. I can compile things that scattered in my brain and I do what I need to do better when I’m alone.

Am I bored? Is he? Well, it’s obvious we’re facing the mundane life of couples and we both hate it. One night, tired after work, worn out by non-stop cough, we talked. He said that he felt this was how a relationship should be. I said it is how it should be, but it also not how it supposed to be. We love each other and being in each other company, but there has to be something more than that. In the company of each other, or being in a relationship in general has to have some benefits for each individual. It’s a very tricky situation, how do you say that you’re bored with the relationship but not with the person you’re with?

He said, ‘If this is how you want it, I’ll do it.’ although it was so sweet of him, I was unhappy about how he said it. Isn’t it just the contrary of how a healthy relationship should be? We supposed to be able to fulfill each other’s desire. By agreeing to sacrifice for a relationship, it’s not a relationship at all. It becomes a work, a job, a duty to satisfy your significant other. What for? For keeping the relationship? To make it last longer which means, more works for each one. Relationship becomes the enemy of love.

While I explained it to him (as best as I could), he touched my arm and cheek, he said -with a look that I’ve been missing- ‘This is why I do it, this is why we do it. This kind of feeling, being with you, is the reason.’

It comes down to a simple thing at the end: love is irrational, but relationship is all about logic. We can’t work on love, but relationship is all about system. So we decided to try to loosen up a bit and as a result, something just grow a bit stronger than before. We didn’t spend time together for the weekend, but it was a really, really good feeling.

I miss him and not miss him at the same time. When we’re not together, I don’t feel less loved.

When I’m alone, I restore myself.

– Marilyn Monroe

 

things I thought I would never have said or heard, but..

I’m stressed. I feel tired all the time and barely have enough energy to compose another lesson plans. Lesson plans are dreadful, you finish one, then the other pops. It’s never-ending and nerve-wracking that sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, I want to bash the mirror. I had a nervous break-down, crying in my boyfriend’s shoulder, smothering my snot all over his shirt, saying I need a ho-li-daaay…

Truth was, I didn’t. I was tired and at the edge that I was so sure if I had a weekend gateway with my him, I would spend the whole days irritated at him. I took days off and felt better. We drove around town in his bike, I read, blogging, sleep and buy a new Kiehl’s cream and new pants. (Who needs Komodo Island when you can buy happiness in a white jar?).

Now, watching the sky getting darker and reading some hilarious blogs, I recalled some of my funny lines in my class:

1. “Hey, you left your socks in the classroom!”

I said that, forgetting that I was running down the hall and many heads were turning as I said so. Thankfully, the socks owner’s too.

2. “Do you care about the environment? Because I don’t.”

Said by my 10 years old student during a video shoot for our green-movement events. Our class interviewed the school’s teachers and staff, asked questions about their awareness in how green they were. Frankly, the reporter felt that he needed to state his point of view about the whole thing.

3. “Why? Because your writing sucks big time.”

Said by me to a bunch of cheeky 14 years old boys. Relax, they knew I was joking, they actually laughed because of my chosen words. They were nagging because they get too many writing practices. Well, you should if you got 0.5 out of 5 for your tests.

4. “Miss, I just got my heart broken.”

Said by my student, eleven year old boy who just moved to town and his sweetheart -he thought- might have already forgotten his name. Poor chap.

5. “Hey Bunny, you misbehave!!”

Said one of my student to the other – who, matter of fact, were wearing a set of pink plastic bunny ear  in his head- I told him to be the bunny patrol, who would report back to me if he saw his friends misbehave, turned out, he was the one who was misbehaving.

6. “Well, it’s because he’s an idiot.”

I said that and I was talking about my teacher-buddy, Rob. It was his fault, he ratted me to the students. He said to them that I thought their posters (which they made it with me) were rubbish (seriously, rubbish was just too polite). When the students confronted me about it, I put my best bewildered (and offended) face and said that. Then, out of guilt, I asked whether they wanted to put the posters in the class’s wall, they looked at it, and shook their head with 100% certainty.

7. “Hey, miss, what animal has 3 legs when it’s alive and 2 when it’s dead?” / “err.. I don’t know, what is it?” / “I don’t know miss, that’s why I’m asking you.”

No. you came  to the wrong class, buddy, Care of Magical Creatures  is in room no. 5. This is Muggle Studies.

What I Find Sexy In Men

Late at night, over two big glasses of hot tea, I listened to my boyfriend gave his argument and opinions on his job. We have two different jobs, I work in education and he works in art, though I took Art and Design for my undergraduate, I didn’t work in the field and my knowledge about art is limited. So, although we know same people or peers, we actually live in a very different world.

I work with schedule, tight schedule and he works with schedule – based on his mood. (Sometimes, I drive him crazy with being punctual, he accused me of not being able to ‘enjoy the time’, but rather I just ‘enjoy the time that I have‘). But aside from our work-differences, I enjoy the fact that we have rather the same schedule, we both start working at noon and finish at night. Then we have our late night tea and meal in our usual place, chatting about how our day was.

Then, on my way home, I was thinking what things in men that I find it sexy. You might share the same points in my list..

1. Work first, women second

Call me ungrateful, but the first reason I broke up with my ex was because he always put me first – or shall I say, his romance life first – rather than his work. It was very sweet at the beginning, but then he became unattractive. I like how my current boyfriend always put his work first before me. He clearly mentioned that he care so much about his career and many times I had to step aside so he could be in his own world. Sometimes, I watch him, his serious expression and his hands, face, shirt, black with charcoal and I find him very, very attractive.

2. He earns money

Yeah, yeah, we suppose to look at someone past all materialistic things, but come on. come on. I work my ass off, I pay for my installments, bills, needs. I demand my boyfriend to do the same thing too. I’m not talking about how much a man should make, but I’m not a fresh graduate in my 22’s anymore, I’m 28 and able to support myself, shouldn’t my man do the same? Yes. When men make money, they become confident and once they can support themselves they considered to be an adult with responsibilities. Nothing is more sexy than a man who is able to say “let me take care of that” (although of course you can take care of it yourself).

3. When I want it, I’ll get it attitude (obsession, obsession)

My boyfriend – under the sign Leo – shines with confidence (over-shine sometimes), when he sets his eyes on something and he wants it, he makes sure he will. When men show their determination on to something, they become this sexy little beast. It can get annoying, mind you, but at the same time, funny. My boyfriend latest obsession: Tamiya. He even made me one, a pink one that he self-painted and modified. He didn’t care that I actually didn’t care that much, he did it in spite of obsession.

4. He loves my mother.

When he’s away, he mentions that he misses my mother. Many times he said that he loves her like he loves his own. Isn’t that sweet? He says he feels comfortable around my mom and that my mom treated him just the way he is. When we have our rows, he sometimes worries what my mother will think of him (he didn’t really care about my opinion on him). She thinks our fights are hilarious. When men show their affection toward our mothers, we know how much they love their own mothers.

5. His confidence

Women secretly (or not), love to be bosses around. They love the fact that someone in the relationship actually takes charge. My boyfriend brims with confidence. The way he talks, walks, speaks, looks are spelled c-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-c-e in bold big red letters. He always pushes me to be more confident myself, to appreciate my skill and my work. I put my trust on him, in sea of doubt, having him near me I feel safe. Come on, which women wouldn’t fall for this kind of attitude?

6. He sees me as an equal

He said to me, I was the only woman in the world that can scold him. We began our relationship with series of unfortunate events and after we through that phase, we realized that we became buddy. I listen to him (because he knows me well) and he take my advice (because he trusts me). Sometimes when I self-doubt myself, he doesn’t console me like a good boyfriend would have done, instead he mocks me saying how inadequate I am. After that, I feel that I want to kick somebody’s ass, work harder, and yes, I stop complaining. And then when the job is done, he pats me on the back and says “I’m proud of you.” Provocateur.

7. Those little things

When I’m down, he’s the first to notice. “What’s with the face?” and although this is hard to believe, he knows the exact words I need to hear. He also does cute things like waiting for me for dinner (although he’s starving), asks how my day was before he starts telling his story, filled my gas tank when he uses my car, gives me his piece of those crispy chicken skin when we eat KFC together (priceless). Those little attention that sometimes go unnoticed, are very very charming. 🙂

Anyway, these are my definitions of sexy. What’s yours?

useless or useful?

In my class earlier this night, I used an activity for my students called useless or useful. Basically they have to think about 9 things to bring when they are stranded on a remote island. I divide them into 2 groups of three then after several minutes each group has to compare their list and have a debate which stuff they should carry, because then both of the groups can only bring 9 items. They came with funny items in their list, like Koran (which they decided to leave it for compass) and bed cover (because they refused to sleep on sand).

This make me wonder what my 9 items would be, here it is:

1. My boyfriend.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see him as an ‘item’ and no, I can live without him but here’s my reason: He can do all the manly stuff (like build a raft, hunt, make fire) and he will bring stuff I likely will forget (like knife, compass, ropes). Plus, he’s so dependable. I can lay there on the beach while he does the chores.

2. My dog, Lulu.

Well, when I’m down because – well, because I’m stranded on a remote island, I have my dog to cheer me up.

3. My flip flop

The most versatile footwear ever.

4. My laptop and the Internet

How else do I blog about my awesome cast-away/lost life? Although it’s going to make the whole stranded thing ridiculous.

5. My skin care.

My skin dries easily, plus I might get dehydrated and sunburn, I can’t live without my toner and face cream, sir, no!

6. Books

Do I need to give reason for this?

7. Shower puff

Seriously, how can a person pass a day without a bath and a shower puff? Scrub the dirt away!

8. Pen and Paper

Doodling and writing nonsense can be a good stress-relief.

9. Music

Sing and dance when you’re down and the rest of the day is going to be just fine.

 

There. Turns out I don’t really need my blackberry.

The Joy of Sharing

Friends has always been my fave sit com and there was this one episode where Joey was being sensitive about his food. He was on a date with a beautiful girl and they had a dinner on a fine dining restaurant. Then, when the waitress asked for their order, the girl ordered only a salad and a mineral water, Joey on the other hand, wanted a full plate of french fries for his side dish. During dinner, the date wanted to try his french fries and Joey unwillingly let her. But then, she asked for more..and more, and this was way too much for Joey to take, he screamed at her, “Joey. Doesn’t. Share. Food!!”

ImageI loved that one episode, funny how his love towards women came off second after his love for food. I thought Joey -being a character in a sitcom- was a bit overrated toward food, but lately I changed my mind. It seems very rude not to share food, not only rude, it seems a very sinister thing to do, very selfish. When somebody asked for a bite, you just have to say yes. In fact, Joey, the fictional character, was the only person who openly defended his food and stated that he just didn’t share.

But let’s see this from another point of view, if refusing to share food is selfish and rude, what about asking for others’ food? Is it polite to gobble anything in your friend’s dining table without asking if it’s okay to? Is it okay to always wanting to taste your friend’s food when you eat out together? Is it okay to ask for a sip of drink from your friend’s coke bottle?

Recently, I encountered a situation where manner in ‘food sharing’ baffled me. My friend complained about my other friend, who – according to him- wasn’t that close to him. This one friend, on a dinner, briefly picked my friend’s fried calamari from his plate while said, ‘can I try this one?’. That episode disturbed him so much, he resents that girl until this day. I said, what’s the problem with that? He said, well- I don’t know her, you don’t just pick someone’s fried calamari, especially if that was the first dinner we ate together! he said hotly.

I thought about Joey and thought it wasn’t the same. Joey just doesn’t share food, close friends or not. But in my friend’s case, he doesn’t like sharing food with stranger (well, not exactly a stranger, friends not in his circle, perhaps).

So, months gone by and I almost forgot about the calamari incident when similar thing happened to me a few days ago. A friend of mine, gobbled my take away dinner and didn’t share with the rest of the group. I didn’t say anything to anybody but it kept bothering me until the next day. It bothered me that I was bothered by that matter. I told myself again and again, it was only some chickens, I could get it whenever I wanted it and shouldn’t made a big deal out of it. But it still did.

So I googled the web, wondering was I the only one who felt that way toward food-sharing etiquette, turned out, I wasn’t. Here what I found from the witty and smart Rachel Wilkinson’s blog :

Rule #26: I know my food looks delicious, but at least let me taste it before you start eyeballing it. How about I eat a few bites, offer some commentary on how it tastes, and then you pretend that you’re just now noticing it for the first time? We both know this is a lie, but it’s the polite thing to do. This at least gives me a chance to offer you a bite. Which I may or may not.

Rule #27: If you want to try a bite of my food and I haven’t offered it yet, you have to ask first. First. You have to ask first. You know, like before you help yourself.

Rule #29: Don’t abuse your food sharing privileges. If I say you can have a bite of my burger, don’t take advantage of my generosity. When it comes to the food I share, “a bite” does not mean “everything you can cram into your mouth at once, leaving me with nothing but a scrap of bun and a tiny corner of cheese.”

There was just some rudeness, selfishness and greediness in her that taken me aback. ( Or was it me that too stingy, not wanted to share my food?). But this chicken incident actually funny because, my boyfriend who was with me that day, felt the same way too. We were driving down to town when I mentioned it (because I just couldn’t keep it for myself longer!), we were like two kids found a pink shell in the beach. We had a good laugh and shared the bewilderment of finding a same thing that most people might not realized and when we passed the chicken restaurant, my boyfriend  bought us two big boxes of it! We ate it in the car, hand smeared with sauce and licked our fingers with such satisfaction, it made us laugh even more. (Note to readers who thought that we laughed at her, you’re wrong. We laughed at the situation)

It’s really nice to share something. Our sentiment towards sharing food, for once. Or maybe the food itself.