Sticks and stones may break my bones but your words cut me deeper

I was going through my notes on my phone, deleting things that don’t mean anything anymore. And then across a note I had last updated in 19th January 2013. They contain the words of my ex. Words he would say whilst we were arguing. And I’d write them down so I would not go back to him but like a fool I always did. Even after all those years they still hurt and I’m so disappointed in myself for staying with it for so long.

Finally those words are deleted out of my life. And slowly but surely I am deleting the memorise of him out too.

Once a whore always a whore

Your tears don’t mean shit to me. You look pathetic when you cry

You’re such a pathetic little shit

What I said, ok it was wrong, but see how angry YOU make me?

Don’t call me again or I’ll chuck my phone in your face

Me: I love you

You: Whatever, bye

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Is it a date?

Does one party have to explicitly ask the other out “on a date” or would “do you want to catch a movie together” count as an invite to a date? Is it a date if the guy pays but only so you can sit next to each other and you know you’ll just pay him back later anyway?

Do you have to eat? And does it have to be anywhere fancy? What if you plan to eat but then realise neither of you are even hungry?

What counts as a date?

What if you’re just friends. In fact you even have a conversation about the levels of friendship and he names you as one of his closest friends? You call each other mate. You talk about each other’s relationships (or lack of). But you’re both single. And he has had a crush on you before. And I guess, perhaps, you had a crush on the idea of him before.

What if you’re sitting there in the dark, wondering if it’s a date, wondering if he’s wondering the same thing? Yet he does not reach over – stays very much in his seat, keeps his arms to himself.

I guess I wonder because, perhaps deep inside, I’d like it to be one.

Be successful – but not too successful: every women’s challenge 

On my way to the train station, I was chatting to my taxi driver – as you do. He was lovely, telling me about his family and such – as they do. The conversation was going great until he said “Women are not made to be earning too much money. They can’t handle it. When they become too successful they change.”

Now my company have been drilling professionalism into me over the last two weeks. So surprisingly my first reaction was not to go off on one. Instead I forced a chuckle and said “let’s agree to disagree” and gently got him to understand that it most probably the man who is seeing things that are not there, feeling insecure and how this is all part of patriarchal society which forces men to believe that a women’s success is a sign of their own weakness.
This whole topic came up because we were talking about how the more and more successful a women gets, the harder it is to find a viable partner. Men feel very threatened by successful women. At 23, with a Masters from a globally leading university, and on a very cosy salary (thanks to my employment in a corporate company – leading in it’s field, alhamdulliah), I know I’m very much more successful than many men my age – or even a few years older than me.

And that’s terrifying.

Just because I am smart and determined, I’ve already knocked out a whole section of men who won’t even consider me. The already small pool of men already shrinking. And to be honest, I know that’s a blessing because who wants to be with someone who’s manhood is that fickle.

But it’s still terrifying. I am very comfortable being independent and even though I’d like a partner, marriage is something I aspire to because I know if I don’t then my mum and siblings will face a load of crap. And so I worry about growing old and being single.

I wonder how I would grow my daughter up. At what age would you remind your daughter that setting her up not to fail may be the very thing that makes her fail? Fail in finding a partner that is – which apparently is the only sign of success. Because you could have stopped studying after GCSEs and got married and never worked a day of your life (and good for you if that’s what makes you happy) – and in many people’s eyes you’ll be more successful than I am. You’re a mother, a wife – a proper women. And then you get the super women, those who have studied – even become a doctor perhaps – but have now given that up to look after their husband and children (and again, good for you if that makes you happy). She maintains the house and her husband, and that makes her a success. Look at what she sacrificed to be a proper women! 

We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When they move on 

The jerk when I see you with her is something I’m not prepared for. I don’t love you. That I know is true. But seeing you with her brings up the butterflies and warmth from when I was her.

And the pain, the tear and the anger.

And the anger lingers. How dare you be happy when you tore me up and left me so empty, broken and unhappy.

You’re smiling and travelling. And I’m doing the same. But I expected me leaving you to leave you as empty, broken and unhappy. I did not expect you to pick up the pieces as I have. I did not think you could move on without me.

I feel a build up of almost hate. Like I don’t want you to be happy. But I’m not a hateful person. “Of course I want you to be happy” I tell myself. And it would break my heart to see you suffering – despite the suffering you caused me.

I suppose I just didn’t think you could be. I expected you to come back – try and come back, beg even – believe that your life would be nothing without me. And yes I would have said no. And you know this. But seeing you move on makes me feel so useless. Like I didn’t even matter. Like I’m replaceable.

Dear ex-fiancée

I knew you were wrong for me right at the start. As soon as I said yes. The first time, seven years ago. When I said yes to you asking me out over the phone. You didn’t even give me the respect then to ask me face to face. No romantic gestures, not even your whole heart.
And I regret it. I regret all those nights wasted talking to you, hearing your tales even though I knew they were lies. I regret all those days I lied to my friends and families, missing out on meals with them so I could see you. I regret all the times I let you see me and touch me in ways no one else had. I regret baring the deepest secrets only for you to manipulate and twist my words. I regret the tears flown and the compromises made even when I knew I was right and you were wrong. There are so many things I regret. Seven years of regret.

I wish I did not keep coming back to you. Time and time again. Even though I knew you were twisted and twisting me. You did not make me grow but rather tried to contain and control me. I wonder still how much further I would have flown if you had not clipped me.

But through all that regret, I am grateful. Grateful for the lessons learnt, for the support my family provided me, and the resilience I grew to adopt. And most of all, I am so grateful I did not marry you.

I don’t thank you for those. Those were all me. But I forgive you. I know you’re suffering something deeper which means you don’t know how to love without taking, how to respect without hurting or how to talk without lying.

Do you regret? Do you regret flirting with her which then turned into full on cheating? Do you regret just not telling me at the start rather than continuing for four years? Do you regret all the times you didn’t trust me, even though I’ve always been nothing my faithful to you – perhaps a little naive? Do you regret hurting my family in the process?

I am better than you in every sense of the word. I see that now, though I didn’t see it then. Education, work, looks, friends, faith, passion. Is that why you were always so insecure? Do you regret not fighting harder to keep me?

I just hope you regret what you did to me so that no one else has to go through the same.

This post was prompted by the word ‘regret’ – as part of the one word inspiration challenge suggested by Writing 101. What do you regret from a past relationship?

Meant to be

I know we are not meant to be. You’re all logic and measurements. All seriousness and get it done tick box. I’m all heart and emotion. All living in the moment, don’t hurt anyone, it’ll work out fine in the end.

I know you sit there judging me. Wishing I could be more like you. Stop cursing. Stop laughing so loud with your boys that are trying so hard to make me laugh. Stop wearing that deep red lipstick that flickers a desire within you that you don’t want to need to control.

I know we are not meant to be. But you’re so perfect to me. And I want nothing more than to fit into your puzzle. Create our own picture. Solve it together. They all think I’m so cool. Chilled and feisty. The banter train ready. Get set, go. And I do go. Keep going till they ask me if it could, perhaps, be. But it can’t. Because I don’t want them. Even though I know we are not meant to be.

No matter how impossible, unattainable, or unimaginable something may be, if it’s meant to be – it’ll be. – unknown 

Not so little brother

This morning I found myself reminiscing about the cute things my not-so-little 16 year old brother has said to me over the years. Most of the time he is picky and builds up a rage inside me that only his annoying comebacks can raise.

But, once in a blue moon, he will do something or say something that will warm me to my core.  Continue reading

First date: the post-nerves 

So I went on my first date yesterday! I was super nervous but thankfully it went well! I didn’t faint, choke or do anything too embarrassing and here I am telling the tale so he didn’t end up being a murderer.

Actually thinking about it now it went really well. Conversation was flowing, he made me feel very at ease and time just flew by! He kept scoring brownie points after brownie points – leading to fixing of a second date. I know it’s way too early to tell if this will lead to anything serious but the signs are looking positive.

Here are my top 5 ‘this ones a keeper’ moments:  Continue reading

First Date: the pre-nerves

I’m going on my first date since the big break up. I haven’t really blogged about it before but I mention both him and the new guy here. This is the guy who I said isn’t the perfect someone because the initial attraction just wasn’t there. Since then we’ve bumped into each other a few times – we have a tonne of mutal friends – so I learnt a little more about him. He’s actually a pretty awesome guy but also very humble. So we’ve decided to give it a go.

I’ve never been on a date before. My ex is the only person I have ever been with and we were good friends before he asked me out, so there wasn’t any awkward getting to know each other period. So, naturally, I’m feeling super nervous.  Continue reading

Brown Beauty

She sat up, briefly glancing at her reflection. An action she could not avoid every morning since it hang opposite her bed. Most mornings she would avoid looking in that direction. And should her lazy eyes focus for too long, she’d turn her head. Her skin too dark, her hair too frizzy, her nose too pointy. Too many faults to be beautiful. Too much to deal with first thing in the morning.  Continue reading