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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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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❤ ❤ ❤

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 ❤

When Monday Motivational Quotes Don’t Do The Trick… (battling with depression, anxiety and panic attacks)

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So my little pandas, I’m going to try and talk about depression, panic/anxiety attacks in the lightest way possible. Key word being… try, because quite frankly I don’t want to get myself worked up again to the point where funny gifs won’t be able to do their job anymore.

Lately I have been suffering from a load of shit. Some of it literal and others being more metaphorical. Long story short I was having major tummy issues (see my previous post). It has been reoccurring since end of May. Right after my stomach went all Mt. Vesuvius I was also about to start a new job. Let me tell you, having to juggle the mental acrobatics of trying to coax yourself out of distress in fear of shitting your pants in public and learning the ropes of a new job really took a toll. I started to crumble. There were days where I would only eat like 2 bananas and some strawberries in fear that I would loose the battle with my bowel. I figured the less I had to eat the less times I would have to be in the bathroom. Throughout this time I lost my appetite completely. Now, I would like to inform you all that I’m a gal that loves food. So for that simple pleasure to be ripped away from me didn’t help me mentally. On top of all this I was also worried about money, the quality of my life here in London, being a hermit, not having any friends around, not having someone to come home to, not starting a family and my parents.  You see, because I was at such a low point I brought all these other things into my head. I started collecting all my failures one by one and lined them up solemnly.

I swear the brain is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes circuits get re-wired, re-programming takes effect and for a short while you turn into a person that is just not you. You are floating in the distance looking down at this destructive blob that has taken over your body and you can’t do anything about it. You just watch, saying ‘Hey, that’s not me! I don’t think things are so bad!’ But it can’t hear you, for the Pandora’s box of negativity has opened and it’s nothing but a downward spiral from here on out.  There are bouts of sanity however, that may filter through. Where thoughts pop into your head like “I know this is nothing. People are going through much worse things. What you’re going through will pass. Stop being so negative.” But then, your brain switches and you are back into the deepest abyss. It’s a sense that you will never get through this. A sense of despair. As if you were drowning. Or sinking into quicksand.

My stomach caused me to have more anxiety. I would be anxious to leave the house. I was in constant fear that I would have an accident in public. Anxiety turned into panic attacks where I would self-destruct. I hated everything that I was. Everything that I achieved was meaningless because I was convinced I was a failure at life. I called up my mom, who is from an era that never really talked about mental health, even though her sister was a social worker. The compassion, understanding gene of mental health must have skipped my mom. However, I don’t blame her really. She just never was around it. Therefore, everything that she was saying made me revert into an even worse place. So I was screwed with no outlet to vent. I thought of going to see a psychologist but then became even more depressed when I realised I couldn’t afford it.

It’s a very hard thing to explain to someone who doesn’t get panic/anxiety attacks or depression. You eventually end up sugar-coating it. You don’t want to say to people that you don’t see the point in living anymore. That maybe you should just throw in the towel and call it a day. Because sometimes dark thoughts manifest so much so that you can’t control it. Fortunately for me, mine are just thoughts. Because I know that with each battle won, I’m strong enough to face another episode if/when it happens. But at the time it’s all I would think of. That I am a failure and everything in my life has been a consistent pile of shit that magically increases in the amount of shit with every year that goes by.

Yet, somehow the storm passes and I continue to chug along. I continue to stay afloat. Sometimes in that moment you feel like you are the only one in that black hole and once you escape you can’t help but rejoice fighting off your arch-nemesis.

This wasn’t a post about me complaining about what I’m going through. The message of this post was to simply say… you are not alone. And besides, it’s better to get it out than to hold it in.

Here are somethings that can help: (I am no expert, but these are some things that have helped me) 

  1. Make sure to surround yourself with people who understand. In this instance, people who are prone to dishing out tough love are not the kind of people you should be around at the moment.
  2. Look at old photos (or any photos) that show some happier times. For me, my brain starts recalling those memories in detail and for a time it forgets what sadness you might be going through. It lessen the load.
  3. Write down everything you’re feeling in a journal. Here is where you can be the most candid. So let it all out.
  4. Go for walks and take in as much fresh air as possible.
  5. Get a lot of sleep. For me, when I stress my brain doesn’t turn off, even when I sleep. I even have extremely vivid dreams of me constantly battling something, getting killed, you know the usual! So it’s important to try and get as much sleep as possible. That way when your sleep becomes interrupted you can add in a couple more hours in there.
  6. Soak in a bath. Unfortunately my tiny studio doesn’t permit a normal bath (it’s just a shower) so the next best thing is for me to sit on my couch and soak my feet. Improvisation is key people!!
  7. Eat as healthy as possible. I know booooooo to this! But sugars don’t help panic/anxiety. I know they say it’s part of comfort food but it does more damage in the long run.
  8. Ok this one is something that I do…. I put on some music and dance and sing until I get tired. I feel sorry for my neighbours.
  9. When things get really bad, it’s ok to curl up in bed and do nothing. You are allowed!
  10. Watch youtube videos of fluffy baby pandas. This one never does me wrong! It always makes me smile!

❤ ❤ ❤

Wishing you all the happiness, health love and laughter in the world…

PS- I know, this wasn’t such a light post… Sorry! ❤ D

Why Mom Was Right About Not Writing Things Down…


My mom wasn’t the most open about many a things when I was growing up. Most things were learnt from friends and my grandma (maternal side who I called Baba). Baba would teach me invaluable things like ‘Washing dishes makes your hands and nails beautiful’ and ‘Don’t sit with your legs up and spread apart while wearing a skirt so everyone can see your underwear’. Of course I can’t forget the one about ‘I must learn to cook because how else will I become a good housewife’. Afterall the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach right? Well, I later found out that washing dishes by hand ruins your nails, and if I wore shorts under my skirt I avoided people seeing my underwear, and I learnt to cook for myself and not because I was going to get married. Anyway, besides all that, being an only child didn’t help my situation either. So growing up wasn’t an easy task to conquer. With my mom’s limited hands-on, in depth talks and my friends telling me wrong things I was a hopeless case. However with that being said my momma did instill one tidbit of information that has stuck with me throughout my  life…And that is to never write anything down that you don’t want others to see. Because if it happened to fall into the wrong hands, it would ruin you.

At the time my momma instilled these words of wisdom to me, I was in the 7th grade and still living in New York. One day I came home from school and my Ma was waiting for me in the living room. I always knew when she was in crouching tiger mode ready to pounce into a lecture with how she said my full name…. “Alexandra….” Which was also said in a stern tone. Oh lord, here we go. “What Ma?!” I was an annoying, impatient kid to her. Now that I’m older I do appreciate the patience she must have had. “I found this note in your room” (she went snooping). “Maaaaaa, why are you going through my STUFF!!!!” Her face showed that she wasn’t having my attitude that day. “I wasn’t snooping, I found it on the floor.” She unfolded the wrinkled note. “I’m going to tell you something Alexandra and do with it what you may. What if this note fell into the wrong hands?” I just looked at her. Inside my brain was working out the damage that it would have actually caused had it really fallen into the wrong hands. And the outcome? Was not a favourable one. “Alexandra, what if your friend kept this and decided after to share it with people?” She starred into my face to see if she was getting through. “What I’m trying to say is, never write anything down that could compromise you as a person. You never want people to not respect you  or to take your words and use them against you.” This made sense to me. I mean it really made sense. But all I said was “Gaaaaaaaaawwwdddd, maaaaaaaaaa, FINE!” And I stormed out the room.

Ever since that day, I never wrote anything that could put me in jeopardy. Nowadays I internally become so thankful that I did not follow those unfortunate folks who had not gotten this piece of advice. The one’s who’s naked photos fall into the hands of jealous ex’s. The one’s that decide to become amateur porn stars and then their significant other leaks the video. The one’s that write mean text messages about others only to have the receiver take a screen shot and post it around. I’m glad I’m not in this group. And I might have been, had my momma never actually said anything.

Now, I’m not trying to preach or act like I’ve never done anything that could compromise me as a person, because I have!  I’ll have you know that I have done a couple of sex videos and taken photos in my underwear. But my boyfriends at the time, were never allowed to keep the videos. I was the only one who had access to them. And as a double precaution, they were kept in password protected files on my computer, or locked away in a drawer. The photos that I would send were never of my face or things that could identify me, like my tattoos for example. They were snippets of skin,lace, straps. I would also never send a full body image of myself. When it came to notes or texts, I wouldn’t write anything important in them. In actuality, the only time to be vigilant about writing everything down is when it comes to business.  That’s when you make sure you get agreements down on paper. A good old hand shaking while verbally agreeing to something does not make for a good idea.

Anyway, the reason I decided to actually listen to my momma was because I found out that people can be mean, vindictive and down right nasty, even in the 7th grade and even despite how nice you were to them. So if they don’t have anything on you, you’re smooth sailing from here on out.

Despite my Ma not being the best at communicating when it came to boys, sex, girl things (like periods) and other vital pieces of information, she was at least forthcoming on one thing. So kudos to you momma for sharing that with me. I have appreciated it every since!

💜💜💜

10 Random Thursday Thoughts…

Thursday Thoughts

My thoughts of the day…

  • People should really listen to classical music more. (I get more writing done and my anxiety is kept at bay)
  • They should bring back I Love Lucy
  • There should be classes on dating
  • Isn’t it about time that we revamped speed-dating?
  • Will we learn to stop hate?
  • Painting nails is therapeutic
  • Love needs to be cherished more
  • Pasta should be revered
  • We should do more analog photography
  • Men and women need to sit down and write a collective book on how to work together better, along with sharing all the secrets of the opposite sex.

❤ ❤ ❤