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Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

26 Mar

I’ve been bad.

I haven’t blogged in more than a month. My excuse is that I recently started an exercise regime and I barely have any time to myself in the evenings anymore. Yes, you read correctly – I, the self-professed coach potato, who detests nothing more than the disgusting feeling of being sweaty, and the even more disgusting feeling of being in a gym, has decided to get fit.

I don’t know whether it was the realisation that I am not getting any younger, or the revolting sensation of my ass getting bigger as I sat on it for yet another grueling day of 9-5, but I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to get up and get my heart pumping.

I started out with African Dance and 80s Cardio classes, as I got to pretend I was Beyonce for an hour every evening, and it didn’t feel as soul-destroying as running on a treadmill. I then decided to try yoga again. I was a dedicated yogi back at university and absolutely loved it, so practising again after an absence of more than seven years felt like being reacquainted with a long-lost friend. Or Nutella. But it’s probably not appropriate to talk about sugary snacks in a post that’s related to fitness.

Since then, I cannot stop talking about yoga. I went out and bought myself a book and mat, and I have been practising religiously ever since. I have also started Bikram yoga, which is the type that is done in a room that is heated to 40 degrees Celsius. One thing is for sure: it’s not for the faint-hearted. I spent my first few sessions wondering what the hell I was doing in this torture chamber (aka the Bikram studio), sweating my ass off, whilst getting acquainted with other people’s asses, feet and BO. Yuck. However, I am now into my seventh session and I cannot recommend it enough. I feel like I am glowing from within. It’s truly a sensational feeling and that’s why I keep going back. So now, on any given evening, you will probably find me in a position like this:

(Whilst trying my very best not to fall arse over tit…)

Back to the blog. I have missed it. And, more importantly, I know a lot of you guys have missed it. So, it’s time to get back on track with the challenge. I managed to babysit a few weeks ago, so I will post about that experience over the next few days and also fill you all in on my next challenge, which is something I am very excited about – in less than two weeks time I will be flying solo to Singapore! This is the first time I will be travelling alone, so I truly cannot wait!

I have a feeling that it’s going to be a good few weeks.

A Note To All Singles On Valentine’s Day

12 Feb

February the 14th is upon us, which means it’s almost time to express our affection for one another with tacky cuddly toys, porno-red love hearts and ridiculously big cards that exclaim ‘I WUV YOU!’  If you scratch away the dreadful consumerism that is attached to Valentine’s, however, what you find underlies this day is the celebration of something that is worthy of a big soiree, and that is love.

As much as I pride myself in being one of the most cynical people to have walked the earth, I cannot fault love. After all, is there anything more beautiful than finding another human being with whom you completely connect and wish to spend the rest of your life with? Is there anything purer than the love that is shared between a mother and child? Is there anything more wonderful than the love that you see between siblings or friends? Love, whether it be the kind we have for our partners, family members, or even jobs, is what we wake up for in the morning, and it is the promise of love in all its forms that keeps us going through the years. So yes, you could say it’s something worth celebrating.

In the past I could never understand single people who dreaded Valentine’s Day. What difference does it make if you’re single on that one day of the year? But I confess that for the first time in my life, I am not looking forward to being alone on Cupid’s Day. Over the past few months, I have started to long for a partner; for someone to share things with, whether it be something as insignificant as the fact I’ve managed to top my Scrabble score or as life changing as finding out I just got a new job. For most of my youth this has never bothered me, but all of a sudden, it does. As much as it hurts the cynic in me to say this, the truth is, I want someone to love.

I can now sympathise with all the fellow single people who are dreading February the 14th. Tuesday will be just another reminder that I have yet to find that special person. But following a lot of deep thinking I have decided to turn this around. Yes, I am single – but that beats being in a relationship that isn’t working or with a partner just for the sake of having someone in my life.

There is a reason I am still alone; over the years I have been wasting my time on the wrong guys. I have the perfect knack for sniffing out the most emotionally unavailable men, endearing myself to them, and then watching them pull away while wondering why it’s all blown up in my face. All the signs are always there, yet I go back for more, over and over again. My subconscious just loves to reaffirm its false belief that I am not capable of being loved.

It was only recently that I recognised this pattern and how emotionally damaging it has been. I therefore made the decision to ditch the rubbish men and to always ask myself these questions before letting myself fall for someone: What would my mum think of him? Would she like how he treats me? And if the answer is no, then that’s the end of it. This is a fail-safe technique, as my mum always wants the very best for me, which is exactly what I should want too. And when I say the very best, I don’t mean the fattest wallet, flashiest car, and whitest teeth – I mean a good heart, caring nature and, most importantly, to be emotionally available.

As I look back over my failed ‘relationships’ (and I use this term loosely, as none of them ever lasted beyond a few weeks), I realise that my mum was right – NONE of these guys were for me. Sure, they made my heart race, and yes, they made life that much more exciting. But the truth is, none of them would have made me happy in the long run. And I am pretty sure that the reason I liked them so much at the time is that I knew I couldn’t be with them – we all want what we can’t have, after all.

So, like many of you, I will be single this Tuesday, and, yes, I will probably feel sad about it. But, in the true spirit of Valentine’s, I suggest we give ourselves some platitudes; let’s remind ourselves that there are reasons as to why we’re single – whether it be because we have yet to find the right person, or that we decided to let go of the one who was wrong. We should use this day to celebrate the fact we’re refusing to settle for second best and that somewhere out there, there is the imperfect perfect person for each one of us, and when we finally meet them, we will know from the beginning that it is right – and, with any luck, my mother will also approve.