The Gaze That Stops Time

 

There comes a moment in every man’s life where he gazes into his partner’s eyes with a longing so deep that it touches the receiver’s soul. You could even say it’s a gaze that is more than life itself, aided by the twinkling of stars that has somehow been born from the universe. You are looking at a deep galaxy of lights, where each illumination is a memory that the bearer holds dear. And suddenly, just like the quickness of the snapping of fingers, a stillness of time manifests into infinity. It is just the two of you who matter, as the noises around you mute. You both seem to be in the know, while the rest of the world ceases to exist. That gaze, the one that makes you almost feel like you know the meaning of life, morphs into something that logically you can’t comprehend, and yet emotionally understand without question. Once this realisation hits, you become very aware that your breath becomes caught up in the thickness of the air around you, making it hard to digest the intensity . It’s a rarity… but if you are lucky enough to experience it, it is likely one that you will never forget.

I have had the great pleasure of experiencing such a gaze, not once but a few times throughout my life. And with each, came a knowing that at that moment the man that was doing the gazing cared for me without question. It was reassuring, comforting and probably made me overlook other blemishes that I otherwise would have never allowed. But once the gaze materialised, all rationale would fly right out the window. It was a drug so potent and so euphoric that I stuck around in the hopes of experiencing it again. I was a girl who loved love after all. Each gaze somehow cemented my  romanticised conviction about love. As I look back on each encounter, I do so with a longing and admiration that I was fortunate to experience the amount that I did.

I remember where I was and what I was doing with each gaze. Even the one’s that were many years ago still feel like new. But I have realised that there’s definitely different variation of the ‘gaze’. There are one’s, a gushy gaze, that allow you to open up and let the person in. While other’s, a grand gaze, that make you feel like you are an admired and wanted human being. And then there’s the doozy of all gazes, a gladiator gaze, which is the one that awakens your soul. The one where you can see each other growing old together.

For me, each experience has no doubt been ingrained right down to my core and from time to time I find myself thinking about those moments. I don’t think of the men, or the relationships. I think about the feeling, about the emotions, about the senses. It comes to mind more when I lose faith in men. Or when a devastating experience knocks me back into my fortified walls. Or when a momentary overwhelming feeling of loneliness settles in. But I want to make it clear that I don’t think of these instances to reminisce on what I’ve lost, or even to do a pity party, or a woe is me chant. No! I think of them because those feelings make me happy. Happy that I actually was able to experience such a powerful emotion. Happy that even despite the uncertainties that life brings, for a brief moment I felt love in all its richness and grandeur.

The gaze is a powerful phenomenon surrounded by yearning, pheromones and enigma. It’s something that makes you feel invincible. But with this awe-inspiring power comes delirium and a susceptibility to goofiness, vulnerability and even allowing the giver of the gaze more leeway then what you ever intended. So take great care when receiving the gaze. Cherish it, adore it, and be mindful of it. The whizzing of whimsy will engulf you; revel in it. Even if I never am able to receive the gaze from another man again, at least I can look back in fondness of the ones I have had the honour of obtaining.

❤ ❤ ❤

When a Loaded Word (c**t) is Flung in Your Direction…

Today started off as any other day. I sent out my CV to potential job opportunities (I was made redundant), had lunch and then decided to do my daily walk around town.  It would always end at my local Waitrose (grocery store chain in the UK) where I would pick up a few necessities and then make my way to Costa Coffee where I would splurge and get my decaf peach iced tea. Yes, that is what I call splurging at the moment. This has been my routine, my world, for the last 2 months. A simple one. But today was not like any other day, today was the day I was called an uneducated C**t in an upscale grocery store.

I personally hate the ‘C’ word. Which is why I can’t even bring myself to write it down in this post. Yes, I have written swear words unapologetically before. But this one is something I can’t do. And the word carries a more loaded, heavier, vulgar connotation when it’s being easily flung by a man’s lips towards your direction. It becomes even weightier when you search into his eyes and know that if you were alone with him and not in a crowded store with witnesses, the scene would have ended in a very different way.

It all started as I was waiting in line to pay for my things. There was a man who was two people behind me talking. At first I thought he was talking to someone but then I realised that he was complaining about waiting in line. He started swearing and saying the staff were incompetent and other abusive nonsense. The woman behind me, who was much older than I, was getting agitated and a little fearful. As we waited he kept on saying these things under his breath but loud enough for his neighbouring line members to understand everything. The woman that was behind me left the line. And I simply had enough. So I turned to him and said ” We are all waiting and I know it sucks to wait but relax it will go by quick.” That was all I said. He paused turned to look at me and went in. “Mind your own fucking business, who the fuck are you. Mind your own fucking business.” I was not shocked at his response because I realised he was a man that was always itching for a fight no matter who it was with. I’m pretty sure that even a 90 year old defenceless woman would have felt his wrath had she dared to utter two words to him. So I turned around, without saying another word and went to the cashier to pay. Unfortunately now his rage was not directed at the staff but towards me.

As I was trying to pay he approached the cashier line and to my dismay he came to the next cashier closest to me and kept on spewing his venom in my direction. I finally said loudly ” Is this what you do? You start fights and verbally attack women?” And with that he paid, brushed right past me and said “shut the fuck up you uneducated C**T!!!” as he walked out the store. The hatred that he had for me was palpable. It was as if I had killed his own mother. It pored out of him easily, without remorse or embarrassment.  I didn’t realise it at the time, but I allowed myself to become so flustered that my whole body started shaking uncontrollably. It took all my strength to try and get my Visa card into that thin slot and punch in the correct numbers. I was shaking because I saw red, I saw a man who was allowed to walk the streets and spew hatred everywhere he went and all I could think about was beating the shit out of that poor excuse of a human being. Obviously I would have lost because he was a built brainless gorilla, but I would have given it my all nonetheless.

For some reason it got to me. This exchange shook me and I think it was because an aggressively large man that was obviously holding onto a lot of repressed anger killed me with two words. I allowed those words to have meaning. I gave them power. But I later realised that I was most upset because my old self would have stood there in defiance. Would have taken it and not flinched and cried afterwards  as she walked by herself towards home. I would have brushed it off and carried on without a care in the world. My old self would have held her ground in that grocery store. And that’s when I realised that somewhere along the way, I had lost myself. With all my health problems, and stress about money and finding a job and not having true support from friends or family it had all chipped away at me. All to the point of not being able to stand there and defend myself like I once knew how to do.

Granted if we were to replace the aggressive man with an aggressive woman then I’m pretty sure those words wouldn’t have stung so deep. Unfortunately it wasn’t. And unfortunately this man, didn’t know my backstory when we met on the battlefield. He didn’t know that I was suffering and trying to overcome my own demons. He didn’t know that I was a shell of the woman I once was. But even if he did I’m pretty sure he would have acted in the same manner. Because some people don’t care how they affect others. Some people just like to feel powerful and words can belittle a person’s soul even more so than a physical wound ever could. Words, if heard often enough can wither you down to the point of losing all self-worth. It’s funny because as I look back on my life, it has always been the words that I have remembered the most and not the physical altercations. And if you hear enough of them in your lifetime it becomes a constant battle to always remember that you are a human being who deserves love just like everyone else.

I don’t know the story behind the man with the vinegar tongue but I’m pretty sure it’s a sad one. I’m pretty sure his upbringing wasn’t the best. Equally, I’m almost certain that he had a male figure in his life that has passed on these vulgar tones of hatred in his soul; probably coupled with a mother who didn’t show him enough love as a child. I’ve seen people come from similar backgrounds who vow never to be like their predecessors. But alas, I don’t know his story so I won’t sit and ponder the what if’s of his youth. But somewhere along his lifeline, this man fell between the cracks and anger has been the fuel to aid his fire. All I feel, in this moment, is pity for him. That is the only thing I will allow myself to give to that man.

As for me, I will brush this off. I have brushed this off. But I’m sharing this because I wanted to express my sorrow for those who use words as a venomous weapon. Please choose your words wiser next time. Try and envision where your opponents shoe’s have been. Don’t be so quick to jump the gun and plough someone down without a care in the world. What we all need to do is start using words that hold the receiver’s best interests at heart. We need to be uplifting people. We need to educate children better in order for them to grow up and be caring individuals. And above all, we must be kind to one another at all times. We are not here on this planet for very long, wouldn’t you want your legacy to be that of a kind, giving and caring human being?

❤ ❤ ❤

A Most Curious Wedding Fair…

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This weekend I went to the, A Most Curious Wedding Fair and if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I mean, it’s not my thing. Ok…. I gots no mans, no chance of even touching no mans and probably no chance of future touching of no mans. So I was a little hostile to the idea of seeing women pining over frilly frou-frou’s and cute talk. However with that being said, when I was about 5 minutes in, I already started singing a different tune; wishing I could find me a fella to wed real quick were the lyrics by the way. I was even tempted to pretend that I was getting married, but realised that would cause a lot of internal monologues and angst in a woe is me kind of way so I opted to say I’m a blogger! I mean DUH right?!

This wedding fair was all about unique, different, alternative, quirky, cute and as far away from traditional as they could possibly go. There were some things that really couldn’t change much, like cakes for example but they were still lovely to look at.

Each stall brought something different and honestly if I were getting married then this would have been the place! I was even able to get glitter lips, glitter stars on the side of my face and a cute temporary tattoo. I mean a day well spent is an understatement.

Anyway I won’t go blabbing on and on about it, I’ll let you see for yourself…

 

Singles Awareness Day


It would appear that today is Singles Awareness Day. As if we needed a dedicated day to be singled out even more than we already do. **Spoiler** We were very ‘aware’ of our singledom yesterday. And why might I add, is this ‘awareness’ the day after Valentine’s day? It seems like a commiseration prize that all the happy sappy couples cooked up and served with an air of smugness. We get the leftovers, the day after everyone declares their love to their significant lovers. Is that it? For the life of me, I don’t understand it. I know I’m single! I don’t need a day to remind me and others like me that in society’s eyes, we’re a bunch of lonely bastards for which pity must be bestowed upon us.

Twitter today has gone mental from brands jumping on the bandwagon, poking fun with phrases such as, ‘Don’t be a third wheel’, ‘Even singles need love’, ‘At least you don’t have to share your biscuits’ harty harrrr haaaarrrr. Furthermore, if this day was supposed to be a true celebration of being single then shouldn’t we rename the tagline? Because awareness is not cutting it in my books. It’s almost as if one day someone haphazardly said, “Oh…I guess… yeah… I suppose singles need love too. But let’s name it an awareness like it’s a disease that one should know the signs of in order to avoid catching it.” Fuck you guy! How about that. In all actuality it should be known as the highest form of achievement day. This should also acknowledge, and include, our well versed ability in combat scenarios when jealousy befalls the crazies of a duo. Military precision on evasive action when faced with ‘oh how funny what a coincidence’ ambush set-ups. Deflection tactics when it comes to questions, and our subtle yet steadfast ability to look like we’re enjoying a day surrounded by couples doing couple things. This acknowledgement should be given as an award and bestowed to us as herald trumpets play in the background by Angels while God booms down with admiration. All the while a shrine of light beams upon us because he knows, that we know without doubt, chosen wisely. I’d like to point out that I don’t see stories of God’s wife anywhere. I was forced to go to Sunday school for years and there was no mention of God having a wife or a significant other. There’s only been speculation on the subject in recent years for which I’m sure a couple played a part in creating. Yeah I’m taking this biblical! Now, if the single path was acceptable to the creator of the universe, then surely we too should be revered in awe. Additionally, I’m not even completely sure how society has decided everything should come in pairs. A conundrum indeed!

Since we’re clearing the air…I’ll have you know I’m exceptionally happy with being single. I like not sharing my bed and not having to talk to someone as soon as I step my foot in the door after a long day of work. The sheer enjoyment I get by having the remote all to myself and being able to do my own thing without having to ‘check-in’ is paramount to me having an orgasm. That’s how good I feel people!

All this pitying that’s going on, no matter how playful it is, should be steered to all the couples out there. Who in their right mind wants to compromise in love, sex, arguments, and so on. Every time I hear stories of my couple-friends discussing their woes makes me want to hurl. They have become a shell of their former selves, who have added ‘we’ in everything. The constant emotional roller-coaster of jealousy, rage, anger, hatred, longing, analyzing, frustration, that theses pairs go through is enough to make anyone come down with a sudden spell of vertigo.

Therefore, I will be ignoring this day on the grounds that being single is awesome. And if we are pointing out truths, me thinks those frou-frou couples are jelly; as well they should be.

And so, I’ll leave you with this inspiring thought…

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❤ ❤ ❤

The Best Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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Well, my how the time flies. It would seem another Valentine’s Day has crept around the corner to grace us with its presence. Despite me being single yet again on this joyous  occasion, I’ve decided to do a post on more meaningful things you could do as opposed to your run-of-the-mill restaurant affair.

I was thinking that if this is the day to celebrate love, then surely it should be the day that one should go above and beyond their normal date night. I’m not talking about shelling out big bucks on materialistic affection. No, I’m talking about taking time out of your busy schedule to create a magical night. I think couples, especially the one’s who’ve been together for a while, look at Valentine’s day as another date night. Dinner and a little present that you probably picked up at the last minute. I mean, if we have to celebrate this holiday then shouldn’t we go all out to show our affection towards the people that we love? And I’d like to point out, it’s the thought that counts. If it were me and I came home to a fort made with comfy pillows, fairy lights, dinner and a movie care box that would be a really sweet gesture. I would feel like my partner has really taken the time out to think of something intimate, cosy, and from the heart. But maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, I better get on with it or I will start down the road of why we should be celebrating Love 365 days a year instead of just the one.

Have an Indoor Picnic for Two or Create a Cosy Fort…

Even though this is a simple gesture, it’s still a meaningful gesture nonetheless. It shows that you took the time to make the evening special.

Make it a Special Movie Night Affair…

Grab a couple of movies that you will both enjoy (doesn’t need to be rom-coms btw), get some snacks and a cute card that you’ve made yourself with maybe a little letter to show why you love them and you’re good to go.

Make Breakfast Special…

Creating heart-shaped, lovey dovey breakfast treats for the one you love will go down really well. Surprise them even further by bringing it to them in bed.

Open When… Little gifts/letters to open at certain times

You can create a whole heap of little letters or presents for your significant other. Some could be open when:

  • You’re feeling sad
  • You’re missing me
  • You’re stressed
  • You’re made at me

And so on.

52 Reasons Why I Love You…

OK so maybe 52 reasons may be a lot for some of you. But who knows, you just might surprise yourself. Not only will this be an exercise for you to really look at why you love the other person, but again it will be a great gift to receive because you’ve made it from scratch.

Great Food/Drink/Dessert Ideas

This one is pretty self-explanatory!

Create a Care Package of Love…

You can fill these bad boys up with anything you like. Sweets, flowers, letters, pressies, or whatever else you can think of! Showing your partner that you made this care box yourself will go down a treat.

Create a Unique Card…

Insert a little poem that you’ve found (or write one yourself), or write a sentimental letter of when you knew the first time you fell in love with them was, or maybe even a little inside joke that only you two share. Just do something more than writing Dear… and Love always…

Create Love Vouchers/Coupons

On top of your other treats, give these out so they can redeem them throughout the year. This will not only aid to your date nights but also spice up your relationship a little.

DIY Boxes and Decorations

You can put paper hearts on the floor for them to follow to their real surprise. Or create DIY boxes to hold your presents in or simply decorate your place with different make-shift trinkets of love.

Have a Painting Session for Two…

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This could be a great way to spend some quality time with someone. Turn off your phones, sip some wine, eat some dessert and laugh at your horrible masterpieces.

Or you could recreate the scene from ‘Ghost’

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Okay maybe you can skip the latter and just watch the movie instead.

Create a Happy Jar…

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Another cute sentimental gift that you can create to make your partner happy throughout the year.

Create Your Very Own Scratch Cards…

This is just the cutest idea! You can’t not do it now!

Leave a Huge Post-It Collage Somewhere…

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You could write what you love about them, or little love quotes or whatever tickles your fancy.

❤ ❤ ❤

All in all, whatever you decide to do, just make it a heartfelt gesture. We have gotten so caught up with quickly buying generic cards and presents that somewhere along the line we forgot to celebrate the person that we’re with. We’ve forgotten to really take a moment and spend good quality time with our significant others. So go all out and be creative. Don’t be lazy bastards and settle for quick fixes. And just remember… if you’re going to do a big shebang on the day, turn off your phones for even a couple of hours and really connect with the person that you love.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day pandas!

*If you want details on all the photos used please check my Pinterest board here…

How Classical Music has Helped With My Anxiety and Life in General

 

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I was never one to fist bump the air with elation every time I was subjected to classical music. In fact I would throw myself a pity party every time my parents would force it upon me. I can remember the uncomfortable car rides when we were living in New York. It was classical music 24/7. I would plead for them to play the country music station but alas, my calls would go unanswered. Yes, you read that right… I was obsessed with country music. I had a cassette tape of  The Judds which I used to play over and over again. My dad would get flustered and eventually snap at me because of my overuse. If it wasn’t classical or Greek music, he didn’t want to know.

When I was old enough to keep concentration for a while my parents enrolled me into a piano class. And when it was time to pick up music at school, the flute became my companion. In between these lessons they would take me to see the New York Philharmonic orchestra, and violin quartets and pianists and let’s not forget the hours worth of opera, ballet and musicals. Throughout my earlier years I saw piano and my classically trained background (I even took music theory and completed grade 5) as simply another shrug of ‘things that looked good on your college application’.

I guess I was so against it when I was younger because it was forced upon me without me having a say-so in the matter. But as I grew up I started to appreciate the fact that I was shown all these different kinds of artistic expressions. And before long I would use my time with the piano as a tool to alleviate stress. I could sit down for hours and play Mozart’s Sonata No.16 in C major over and over again. Because it soothed me. And  of course the most important reason, my brain would cease to spew out chaotic thoughts of the miseries I endured as a teenager. But then my piano playing became few and far between after I went to University. Once I moved to London I only got to play every time I visited my parents back home in Cyprus. Then they moved to another town and my piano went into hibernation. I haven’t played the piano in about 6 years now and throughout this time I have seen myself go through mental, physical and emotional issues without having an outlet to pacify these burdens. I started to get panic attacks, my anxiety was going through the roof. I ended up having a kidney infection and had to stay 2 days in the hospital. Antibiotics were my friend at that time because my kidney issues weren’t getting resolved.Money was (and is) always a struggle. I was exceptionally unhappy with my jobs. The men that I let into my life would seem to be unattainable and left me feeling insecure, vulnerable and unwanted. One, for example, said that they wouldn’t date me because of my weight. A sentence such as that sticks with you. It embeds deep within your psyche, attaching itself to even the most minute particles, where disposing of it seems remote. And I had quite a few of those sentences floating around in my noggin. Then I got IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for which I’m still suffering 10 months later. The latter had deprived me of my simple unfulfilled life completely and my stress levels became fried. Almost as if the neurons short circuited after the amount of anxiety-volts coursed through me. I became depressed. I tried to reach out to people in my own way and they didn’t understand and in turn showed little support. I tried meditation, breathing techniques, therapy, and yoga. My music of Etta James, Little Willie John, Missy Elliot and FKA Twiggs (to name a few) wasn’t cutting it anymore in the relaxation department. And I’d like to add that the sheer thought of travel became unbearable. Which almost made me feel like I was starting to become agoraphobic, seeing as I couldn’t take the underground trains without experiencing panic attacks every single time I would descend the stairs to hell. I literally felt like I was imploding within myself. And then, amongst all this battered chaos, I thought of my piano…

I knew there was no way I could afford to buy one here in London, so I was stuck. Stuck in a place of knowing the cure that could tame the virus yet not having any syringe to dispense it. And then one day I thought, why not listen to my favourite Mozart piano piece and see how I go from there. I put my headphones in, turned the volume up and looked to hope that peace would come. Once the first notes daintily trickled out, I felt as if a gigantic orb of light engulfed me. My muscles relaxed and my brain ceased to churn out thoughts. For those 3 minutes a wave of tranquility washed over me and I knew that I had finally found my saving grace. Next I chose to play Chopin’s Nocturne No. 2 in E flat and that was when my stress melted away. I was smiling in a crammed sardine can without a care in the world. People didn’t bother me. My thoughts weren’t on my IBS. I just floated… on a cloud of calm.

Have you ever noticed, when you’re scurrying around trying to somehow not be associated with the metaphorical ant analogy, people’s faces and sound effects? Every day I would hear the huffing and puffing of wolves trying to blow down a path through the glazed commuter’s programmed route. And every day it would chip away at me. The facial expressions of hatred, annoyance and exasperation filled my view and I couldn’t shake it. Having to deal with that and all my other issues was a nightmare. Because their negativity would rub off on me. Until that is, that  one fateful day Classical music intervened.

I now listen to it everywhere I go, if you can believe that! From the girl whose threshold level for classical music was exceptionally low, this was a major achievement. It has also made me think that I am an old blob but hey, if it works then I will happily embrace becoming an old blob if it means I get to keep my sanity.

Classical music has somehow become my knight in shining armour. It has not only accompanied me on my journeys to and from work but has even caressed my ears while at work. Instead of watching countless hours of TV or waste my brain cells surfing the web, I put on a classical playlist and read a book or write in my journal. 

Before, I used to have a panic attack stepping out of my front door in fear that I would inevitably shit my pants in public due to this whole IBS thing. Because my mind was constantly thinking about all the horrid scenarios that could befall me. Before, my concentration was that of someone who was suffering from ADHD. That’s not a joke by the way. It’s how I was acting. While at work, I would flutter around from task to task, which in turn took longer than it actually should have. Because my brain would be in overdrive. While at home, simple chores became impossible to finish. While grocery shopping, I would hop around missing the essentials. But somehow all this has changed. Before, my brain would be on the go all the time; constantly inventing scenarios, conversation, over-analysing and over thinking. But now I listen to Chopin and Mozart and know that all will be ok. That I can calm myself without having to resort to medication or therapy. That I can concentrate without compromising my time. That I can live a life that’s less stressful. All I can say is….. It feels good! It feels really good.

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

P.S.- I wanted to share this with all the pandas out there who feel like their anxiety, panic attacks and stress are getting the better of them. You are NOT alone. All I can say is to explore every possibility out there. Meditation might not have worked for me, but it might work for you. Or maybe you will find that walking more often might help. Or painting, or using one of those popular colouring books that are out there nowadays. Whatever it may be just do it often to de-stress. Because nothing is more important than the stability of your well-being! If you are unwell then you won’t be able to take care of anything else. So whatever it is, just do it!

❤ Love, Happiness and Laughter always ❤

Weekday Photo Journal: Murals and Wallpaper Galore

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This is how I know I’m a grown up (on certain occasions) when I start getting excited about interior design, architecture, home decor and baking. Now I know what you’re thinking… How can walls get me all hot and bothered. Well, simply put, these are no ordinary walls. These are statements of fantasy and whimsical mastery. Imagine coming home from the harsh bustling city that’s chewed you up and spit you out to find an oasis of wonder, where dreams can be cultivated. I like the thought of that. I like the idea of coming home to your own little sanctuary. A place where you feel like you’ve harnessed the Zen power of the ancient world.  Anyway, I think these murals and wallpaper inspirations do just that.

You might think some are way over the top but that’s why I’ve chosen them. To give inspiration to those who are in need of a change; whether it be big or small. So without further ado, may I present the wonderful world of walls…

❤ ❤ ❤

PS- You can find all the details for each image on my Pinterest board here.