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The world may have not ended (yet) but I feel crushed all the same. This week is even harder than my agenda threatened it to be. An escalation of long days, long nights and short sleep hours. And way too much training.

I realised my resolutions have an expiration date. I resist for 90 minutes, after that I inevitably stray. I get started with the best intentions, my mind concentrates on training, I gain strength and tranquillity from other resources outside of the arena… then after a little more than an hour I start contemplating the wrong things. A glimpse of his ass, a smile, the shape of his neck. That’s when I reach the limits of my concentration. After that everything gets harder – if I were a man, the pun would be pure artwork.

Not only there is an expiration date, but also a recharging time. It’s like an oxygen tank: you only have so much operating time and after that you need to put new oxygen in or you’re not going to make it a second time around. Training 3 nights out of 4 is too much, especially if I need to manage social time as well. 

Too much even with the help of the wonderful world of online dating. Yesterday I spent the whole morning grinning and giggling, since one of my “dates” actually asked me out. I am not laughing my head off now that I realise what kind of mess that would be, but it helped a lot yesterday. However the effects faded by 8.00 pm and I found myself cursing at my stupidity – after 90 minutes stuck in traffic – for not having asked coach if he could give me a ride home so I didn’t have to drive there in rush-hour.

As battered as I was from excessive training and no recharge time, I found myself squeezed beside him in the back of a car in the middle of the effing nowhere with Mark, David and Maddie and right when I least expected it he popped the question: wanting to know about my relationship status – instert sound of a scratching head on a vynil here.

I pleaded the 5th, literally.

Since I had already used this excuse, my cornered brain couldn’t process any other smarter answer and went there as a back-up plan. It’s stupid, but Maddie knows the situation and backed me. Mark has no idea, but David knows all too well, given his awe for my wedding dress. Let’s just hope he took it as a nice way to say that’s none of your business. Harsh as that might be, it’s better than the alternative. And if asked, I can truthfully say that I honestly have no clear idea of what my status is. It’s not that I don’t want him to know, I would have told him one on one, but in front of everyone it was a little too much. I would have loved to see the shock in my face, because honest to God when he began the question I thought he was asking something entirely different and I even turned to look at him. Bam.

I am even more puzzled now because I wonder what it was then that made him back off, if not that. I may have come the conclusion that he is the type of guy who would be even happier to be with a married woman, as “they are willing to fuck but won’t be a pain in the ass” as my therapist put it. Still, the question mark at the back of my head is growing. And curiosity killed the little ball of fur.

It used to be anything I wished for, being able to talk to him about it, but now I run from it. He is way too judgemental to be a good listener and be supportive of situations. He would probably beat me down with some bitter remark and hit a nerve. I am still not so sure how much I have to trust other people’s impressions of him, since they are a little different than mine.

Amber says he never smiles. He does frown at times but I think he is always smiling when when I see him. On the other hand, she is the one always brooding and crying, I bet no one would smile and be nice around someone so negative. I am pretty sure pining is not the way to win back that guy.

Maddie complains that he has a way of shooting people’s expectations down. I understand what she means, but she takes it way too personally. She went from a guy she can’t stand at home to a guy she can’t stand at the arena, she keeps banging against his ways, because all she needs is winning the battle, and comes out of it even more irritated. She keeps seeking this behaviour in him, she instigates it, she looks for a fight. Seems to me the best way is not letting him get under your skin. I don’t understand if I don’t see these attitudes in him because I don’t know him enough or just because he acts differently with different people.

It doesn’t really matter though, because it’s pretty evident that it’s all an excuse to say he is nicer to me than to them and to avoid thinking he is an ass just because the others say he is. This kind of thinking is pointless, provided I am not supposed to pursue anything, it’s just a useless vent. Bad girl.

Bottom line is, I don’t understand why they do not try to control the situation a little. I probably don’t practice what I preach nearly enough, but at least I see him for what he is and I try not to ruin my life because of him. I am trying to find a way out. I may be lying to myself, I may not be successful and I may be trying too hard, I don’t know, but at least I try. They don’t and that bothers me and I would like to convince them to do it. I don’t know why I care, maybe just because I realise this is the right approach and would like them to try it, maybe just because I’m tired of listening to their complaints. After all, I am trying as best as I can to distract myself from it and hearing them talk about him all the time doesn’t do any good.

I was upset too yesterday when he asked me about my marital condition, I was upset when I had to feel him right next to me, I was upset when he kissed me goodnight too after Maddie. I still am upset or I wouldn’t be drowning in this flood of words, but I am trying to flush it out of my system, they linger. And I would like to wake them up to this wonderful secret that life is short and pining for someone, no matter how wonderful, is a waste of time. Any minute spent laughing and feeling good is a minute you steal from death and they just don’t see it. Grieving makes you stronger and wiser, pining only makes you miserable.

I got her worried and that is absolutely the last thing I expected. First I was bothered – fun killer! – then I started asking myself honestly if she has a point – eyes opener?

In this strange condition of mine, I realise that in the eyes of others, and sometimes my own too, I am very different from how I used to be and the description that would fit my state may be composed of not very nice adjectives such as selfish, irresponsible, unethical, immoral, childish, slutty, shallow, reckless… I could go on forever. That’s the outside. Inside, what I feel is positive, confident, happy, hilarious, curious, greedy, explosive. My question is: how much should personal satisfaction count compared to the ideal of person one is supposed to be?

I’ve always thought, I was a better person than most. I considered the mistakes people make stupid, controllable and immature and have often felt better with myself thinking I wouldn’t have done the same mistakes in their places. I used to be, for all intents and purposes, less human. I was so brain-centered I never let my emotional side drive, which is the one thing that makes you make mistakes. If you follow your reason, you do sensible things, say reasonable things, take responsible decisions. When you let your heart drive, you make stupid things, your decisions seem to have no sense in the world and the reaction you stir in others usually sounds like “are you crazy or something?”.

The point here is: can you live a fulfilling life letting your mind steer instead of your heart?

Based on my experience, you will definitely live longer, but not necessarily better. In fact, while you can always decide to put some more common sense in your life and start behaving like a “normal” and sensible person whenever you want, heart has an age – the older you get, the harder it’s going to be to let it do its course. The age of the heart is youth. Then, once you’ve handled your deal of stupidity, you get your head together and you grow up.

What happens when you realise a few years too late that you have positively missed out on stupidity? What do you do when you realise your head has been controlling your heart in the exact same years when the opposite was supposed to happen? How do you deal with a sensible life when all you want is chaos and uncertainty?

I am sure my way of dealing with this is off the beaten track. How could it be otherwise? I am experimenting, I have no idea what it is I am doing, whether it’s right or wrong, because it’s all new. To me and to my friends, who were smart or stupid enough to accept stupidity at the right time or banned it out forever and never looked back (so far). Am I doing the right thing? Probably not, most definitely not, but I’ve been trying to do the right thing all my life and the result is that I feel old inside. That is probably the foundation of my “old spinster complex”. Doing the wrong thing might be my only salvation right now.

I know, living like this is no recipe for a good life; this is the necessary rebound, the up-side after the down-side that precedes the actual balance. I am unbalanced, just as I was before, although I never realised that. I will find the balance again, with time. I have no idea of how long it’s going to take and time is all I feel I don’t have right now, so I get reckless. But I have fun doing it. This is not dangerous, not in the strictest sense of the word. Its long-term results may not be that pleasant, I may hurt a lot of people along the way, including myself. It’s not good, it’s not correct, it’s not righteous, it’s not honourable. It feels necessary. I am scared that if I don’t follow the need and do it, it may all die inside of me again.

Knowing all of this is, from some superior objective point of view, wrong, is it right of me to pursue it anyway?

I already feel like a monster, not because doing wrong things and hurting people is bad, but because knowing it’s bad and wrong doesn’t make me feel the slightest bit of guilt. Should I be worried to turn into a monster? Or I should – as I am right now – be happy that I have finally found my own way into emotional awareness and sail with the wind? Will I lose myself following this path or will I accept my mistakes instead of running from them because my heart told me it was the right thing to do? Is she only worried because she couldn’t live with the consequences if she were me or is she genuinely concerned for my well-being?

Sybil and Renée are not worried. My therapist is not worried. I am not worried. Are we all out of our minds?

Regressing. That’s what is happening to me. If I ever felt like a 17-year-old in front of coach, now I feel like a 14-year-old in front of my screen, reading messages on the infamous online dating site and giggling like a little girl. I don’t want to think about the future right now, I prefer not to know whether I will actually get out there and meet the guys I chat with. Right now, that’s all there is, a chat. But at the second message of one of my “faves”, I did subscribe, it’s just 30 quid after all. And it makes me laugh like nothing else right now. So sue me. I’ll just need to intercept the credit card receipt before somebody else does. I still have plausible deniability, but I’d prefer to avoid the talk.

Plus, yesterday night I realised again how much I need a distraction. These private lessons are killing me. I am really trying my best, but sometimes I stray. Amber talks about him all the time, Maddie talks about him all the time, it looks like I am the only one still in some sort of control. But when I look in his eyes. I can concentrate on training, I try and succeed most of the time, although I get really upset every time he touches me, but there are split seconds when my ears shut down, my brain stops elaborating the words he utters and I just lose myself in his eyes. I wonder if he notices. I hope not. Awkward.

To cap it all, tonight I had the most delighting dream. I dreamt of Marcel. I don’t remember much, but the fact that we kissed, we held hands and I thought “wow, he wanted to do this even if he knows I’m still married”. It was so cute. He was the first real-world guy who stirred something in me even before all this mess started. But I was a good wife back then and just kept everything tightly under control. I remember being thunderstruck the first time I ever saw him at the arena (yeah, guess what!) but he was in another course so I didn’t have a chance to talk to him. The following year, I joined that same course but he had disappeared. Still I heard the others talking about a Marcel I had never seen. When he came back from France, he did go out with us once and there he was. I remember feeling funny talking to him about my upcoming wedding at Alex’s wedding, my husband wasn’t there and he was alone too. I felt like I wanted to apologise for it. We talked a lot, mostly about his academic career; he is the only one in the group at my level in that sense, I feel like we’re equal some how. And I would love to go out with him, but it’s not really up for discussion now. No one in the group knows about my current marital situation, they all know my husband and I am just not bold enough to ask him out. I did try to impose the hummingbird on him and flutter my eyelashes once though, it was fun. He’s shy, it’s fun to tease shy guys.

I have dreamt about other guys pretty often, in the past. It is happening now too, but it’s much more connected to the reality of things now, i.e. I dream of coach or other guys I know. Or maybe I’m just not that bothered anymore so I just don’t remember, while it used to dismay me before. So much so that even in my dreams, where I usually hooked up / kissed / had sex or any other unspecified romantic or sexual interaction with random guys, I stopped half way there to say “I can’t, I’m married!”.  My subconscious hasn’t quite grasped yet that when she needs to make me understand something, what I need is not a poke but rather a suckerpunch.

If you type “how to get over a crush” in Google, you are in for a treat. There are tons and tons and TONS of sites out there dispensing advice on love and relationships, you can read yourself to death. But basically the information you get is all the same and from my accurate research, there is really only one remedy that works and one mantra: there’s plenty of fish in the sea. So you get out there and find someone even hotter, or since that may prove to be extremely hard in my case, you just find someone else who, case in point, likes you more – not as hard, since anything > 0.

Men in my life have been scarce. I won’t pretend I remember all the names of the people I snogged, but people I had sex with can be sadly literally counted on the fingers of one hand. I may have had my mental disorders and lack of confidence but I am detecting a pattern here.

Let’s just forget about high school: to stupid, too badly dressed, too young.

  • My major in college was humanities, foreign languages to be exact. Ever been to a faculty? It’s the dream of any Engineering student: a cornucopia of girls of any type.
  • My sport: plenty of men, hardly any of them straight.
  • I work in a company with 11 employees, 6 of them in my office, the others elsewhere. Yes, the average age is 50, married with kids and if they weren’t I would be way worse off.
  • I drive almost every day to work, I don’t usually use public transport because it takes longer and I inversely commute: from the city to the suburbs. The bus is constantly empty.
  • I live in a residential area, the typical inhabitant of my block is the 78-year-old widow.
  • All of my friends are engaged, no wild parties anymore. No laundromat, I have a washing machine at home.

Do you see a pattern too?

Notable exceptions: snowboard club was just fine, although “rulez” doesn’t rhyme with “brain”. I’m picky, I know. Campus was extremely fine too while I was there, hooked up a lot indeed. It’s a wonderful place, but the older alumni recently turned 25.

So, erm: where?

So I tried the closest thing to “It’s raining men”: online dating. Wow. The sole idea of scrolling hundreds of pictures is reassuring. Granted, 90% of them are so ugly it hurts to even look at them, quite too many look like they think they are on Vogue, but here and there it is remotely possible to find something agreeable. I did, yesterday, so now I’m considering becoming a paying member. For one reason mostly: it’s fun. It’s fun to shop in this human supermarket, spotting expired products, laughing at corny quotes in their profiles, being shocked at the most horrific grammatical errors, cursing the fact that any boy I like is a Taurus and finding out that cutie I just added to my favourites did check out my profile and send me a message! Which I cannot read, since I’m not a paying member and that stings. Eh, the marketing of sex…

There’s only one thing holding me back: lies. Not theirs, not that I care, mine. I avoided some, preferring not to disclose details such as “my relationship status”. But somehow this feels even more wrong than with coach. After all, if you casually meet someone while doing something else and casually fall for them, hey it’s not your fault, it’s not like you did it on purpose. It just happened. This? Doesn’t just happen. I spontaneously created a profile, deliberately withholding information – in the best case scenarios – and willingly look for single guys I’d like to date. And I really do, the ones I found yesterday, I would go out with them today. But then again, what do I tell them? It starts as just chatting, but I kind of hope it might evolve in some circumstance. When and how do I tell them? And how much will it nag if they just turn me down for that?

Yet it seems to be the only way I can turn my day around when everything else is bad. It gives me hope. So how wrong can it be?

I feel a little lost. I don’t have a purpose anymore, well of course I do, many in fact, but this one purpose of the hunt is lost. I swing in the wind waiting for an unexpected turn of events. He is there. I see him, I know him. Much more now than I used to, although I can’t claim to be happy about my discoveries. There’s no strategy to plan, no chance to grasp, no investigating on convoluted meanings and double-entendres. My only dogma now is stay away. The urge is gone, the hope is gone, but he’s still there, so am I and I still need to understand how I should handle this, or how I am indeed going to. He is no uglier, no less charming, no less present than he used to be, so how am I going to deal with his presence? Will he fade away eventually, will he be a constant reminder of this time, will we become just friends?

I feel under scrutiny in Amber’s eyes. I am not behaving as I used to, as my plans have changed but is this enough not to be spotted? Does she already know, did she spill everything on purpose to set boundaries? All I really want to do right now is concentrate on my upcoming competitions, there is still so much work to do, but the past can’t be erased so easily. I may have changed perspective, but things that were said and thought will still linger, the need to have answers may have softened but the empty space after the questions hasn’t been filled yet and it will make me stumble again.

Some hope, some dream is still in a corner of my mind, as aware as I am that this is not what I want, let alone what I need, if a miracle came along… But there can be no miracle without risk and I am so conscious of the greatness of the risk that I can’t help running away. I don’t want to end up like her, one year after, still in tears. I am not sure I have weapons to protect myself from that right now, I feel exposed and vulnerable. Of course this may happen with anybody else out there, but given the chance to know your enemy beforehand, one may decide to hold off from the battle. As full of sadness and bitter as it might be to give up on something that may be much more.

Intense. It’s the only way I could describe the weekend. Unusual in the adjective I would use to define how I feel today.

It feels as if something had stopped racing, as if the dust making water cloudy had finally settled on the floor. I feel calm and cleared. I can’t say that nothing happened in the past three days, because it feels like the whole world happened; nothing physical happened with him, but everything happened around us. Just as he said, it seems like we’ve been gone a month, not just a couple of days. I went through any feeling I could name within 60 hours: jalousy, curiosity, longing, restlessness, sadness, anger, inspiration, happyness, pride, hope, satisfaction, frustration, open-heartedness, tiredness, desperation, euphoria, complicity, protectiveness, pressure… analysing every single minute, I could continue the list forever. Maybe that’s why I ended up feeling like this: I felt every single possible emotion, all that’s left is calmness. My body is probably also so weary that no sparkle of energy is left for feeling anything more complex than this.

Like any bracket in time, going back to everyday life with the knowledge of the past makes you feel like you dreamt all of it, like none of it is true, as it is so vivid and perfect that it seems shaped by a mastermind. It may not remotely resemble my expectations, but it was exactly what I needed and what I wanted. It was proof of my change and proof that what I thought I needed when I perceived myself as different is indeed what gives me purpose right now. This is the way I want to lead my life from now on.

It hit me how Maddie was the only one who ever told me recently that I seem older than I am. It rarely happens, people who don’t know anything about me think I am 25, I look much younger than my age, so hearing someone say the exact opposite made me curious. She didn’t mean I have wrinkles of course, it was a comment on what I say and how I say it. And I understand, it’s a direct consequence of my intention to bond more with people, to let the hummingbird through. Seeing how people respond to this input is inspiring. Without this openness, no real connection is possible. This connection is what I am looking for, it’s my nectar. This openness, is the bill I need to get to the inside of flowers.

I still don’t like some people, for one or more reasons, and I shield what I am around them. I still can’t control myself to act always in my best behaviour, but I guess that’s human and saying sorry is enough to mend it most of the times. I believe in my senses and my intuition much more than I used to, because I keep receiving positive feedback that what I sense is true. I dropped the armour and I feel featherlight. I am made of ups and downs again, instead of a flat line and I accept both parts being thankful for every up and looking straight in the eyes the downs.