Embracing my genius

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It’s everything that doesn’t quite fit in the box, whether it seems good or bad. I have thought that business school and the depression that took root at that point broke me, when actually it is what opened me up to life and made me real. The masks I’ve worn consciously have exposed those that I didn’t even know were there, so that a lie told on purpose revealed a greater truth.

I don’t want to go back to my pre-Fall self, when I was a holy angel who didn’t make big mistakes. I learned things in moments of darkness I could never have walking in the light, suffused with my own smugness and self satisfaction.

This self feels much more vulnerable and more deeply lovable and loving. The cracks, the scars, are rivers of compassion and mercy.  I feel real, like the Velveteen Rabbit that went from an idealized plush to a truly breathing living thing. I am loved, even if my eye has fallen off and some stuffing is sticking out,and the stitching shows signs of wear. I feel aged and yet more childlike than I did as a child.  I feel that by fucking up royally, I finally gave myself some permission to color outside the lines, and that’s a grand thing.

But the biggest thing I have learned is the smallest- that there is no revolution, no epiphany, no fabulous journey, no eat pray love moment, no paradigm shift, that saves you. Redemption, or rather, reinvention, is a choice made in small moments rather than tremendous choices. It is daily boring nurture rather than a grand adventure, and it leaves you vulnerable to the power of what’s already surrounding you, rather than waiting for tomorrow or to find some mystic land beyond the western sun.

And that’s a very scary thing, to think that’s it’s all here and now and has always been waiting for you, whether you were ready or not. It’s a little sad to think you’ve been passing by all kinds of wonders, and also that it was not one tragic choice, but a series of everyday decisions, that have brought you and kept you where you are. And yet, there is something so wonderful about being able to spend the day without getting dressed watching Netflix till five pm.

Sometimes, it’s when you are meant to be getting ready for a party, and you’ve thrown in a load of wash finally, and you feel ready to attack the kitchen and the bathroom and all that jazz, that of a sudden, your soul starts calling, saying, listen I’ve been here all along…

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That moment when…

You’re lonely

You wish your search was over but it’s not

You feel that happy sweet ache f missing a beloved friend

You go to the movies to avoid dealing with all your shit

You realize you spend all your free alone time either in moveies or traveling

Or sometimes walking.

 

The moemnt you realize, you aren’t the person you thought you would be, and if you let yourself, you can be a million times better.

Fillefrancofun is not just a phase Part II

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I don’t know if I will ever leave Paris, she says again to herself. I am happy here. Maybe I could be happy somewhere else.

But when I’m not happy here, I’m happy to be far far away. Paris is where I learned of my love of travel. Paris is where I figured out that my home is in the adventure. Paris is when my life stopped being about waiting for love and normalcy and realizing it’s all about me, here, this, now, and some conflicts will either fade or force the creation of a new self.

I had thought my desire to own a piece of Paris had faded, and then shifted to the suburbs, and then now I odn’t know.

And then I realized maybe I could go live in Dubai or something and then get paid $$$$$.

 

And then I realized maybe I can find a way to make the whole travel writer/adventure tourism thing work, maybe?

And then maybe the point is just to find happiness within.

 

Which might include madmitting you will never be normal and you do have ADD and it’s a real thing and a lot of grown up things are going to be hard, even if you are motivated and not depressed. And you will always feela bit extra and do more to try and cover it up and get depressed that you aren’t perfect or normal and life will be a glorious adventure or nothing at all.

Bu tyeah, I’ll be nearly 30 it’s hard to imagine taking care of a small person and all the routine that would go into it, I know I could do it, but I don’t know if I am willing to sacrifice everything for another person be it mqan or baby, so I”m not sven sure I want or deserve those things.

Although I’m pretty sure men don’t ask themselves that question.

 

I’ve caleldmyself a feminist my whole life, but I’ve only truly been one recently. I always thought finding the ONe would be a crowning achievement, and if I as on the right track he would find me, or if I was on the wrong track he would save me , or more than likely, he would be on the wrong track and I owuld save him. Bu tyeah, that’s not my current situation.

I am afraid of myself, of my explorer, of my rebel, of my ridiculously sle fassured impulsve charismatic crazy chick. Who can’t bear to live a lie and would nevertheless prefer it to a sterile truth.

The truth is , I am Lara Croft Tomb Raider. I am Diana princess of the Amazons and daughter of Hippoltya. and all of this has been an elaborate ruse by my soub and sometiems not ttso sub comnscious to be something I elt more confortable with and that others owuld find themselves mroe comfortable with.

Maybe I will be that journalist or that whatever who rolls around the world sometimes in iffy place going to share a truth with the world, not worrying if she meets Mr Right in time or has a kid.

Or maybe she does care btutr trusts the universe.

It’s hard, to trust theniverse.

But I do.

Fillefrancofun is not just a phase Part I

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Today I watched Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Don’t worry he wont’ get far by foot. I realized that I am covering my pain and with it my gift with so many false identities.

Sure there is no fixed self and we are always changing, but despite the fact I’ve fallen out of love with Paris a lot recently, and my MBA self has been scoring points against my bohemian self, it’s my “gypsy” self that always wins. All I really want to do is be a gentlewoman explorer. I think that’s my real calling, and I’m afraid of it.

I’m afraid to be my real self with the world, to be so intimate as to take off my masks. I am afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve, and make love without labeling as either marriage or a one night stand. I’m afraid to live with “feeling,” to let my intuition, and not my fear and practicality and the voice of conventional wisdom win.

I don’t know if I will ever really be done living in Paris. Each time I get bored and think there’s nothing new left for me, the city shows me a different world which embraces me more tightly.  Just when I thought it was time to move out to the suburbs, and who knows, maybe I still will, I went to a club I actually enjoyed. And while I was dancing with one guy, another looked at me with what I thought was envy for my partner, but I realized as I was passing him in the cloakroom that it was actually me that he was sad to see me in the arms of another. Sometimes I feel my beauty like a radiant light.  I feel humility at the gift.

I have an intimate friend now, who knows all about me and my ADD and my messy room and many flaws, and he still loves me anyway. He’s not my boyfriend, and this is the experience that has taught me not to put too many labels on things. I don’t love him like I would hope to someday love my husband, but I am happy to be with him and I miss him when I don’t see him. And that my friends is a blessing.

I was filled with fervor to write  a post about meeting almost the French guy of my dreams, and then realizing I don’t want almost anything and I don’t actually want a boyfriend that badly, and I don’t want to organize my life around the hope of being a wife and mother and the hope that this will fulfill me.

Recently I’ve been going through what might be a phase of wishing I was a calm and controlled person and thinking if I changed my location that would fix me, or if I changed my field, or any number of other things.

The truth is that , adult life I think is always going to be hard for me. That’s just the way it is. And I’ve been trying to fit a circle into a square, and most of life is super square, and since I’m intelligent and have so much potential and everything I’ve always felt like I should be the squarest of squares, but as per a private reference between me and my friend about our teacher who would purposefully choose to cut out cloud shapes from construction paper making every one unique so she wouldn’t make a mistake. Mening we are all perfect as we are and God makes no mistakes like Lady Gaga says.

This isn’t just a phase. THis is the real me. I’m not going to wake up one day and finally be a good adult. My shit will not come together and then leave me in a much better situation. I do think I will get better at coping and managing.

Also i don’t think I’m going to stop liking or valuing travel, or that it will become less important to me than creating wealth or building my career. At least my current career, and any career I do should have travel and international stuff in it.

I”m ready to stop bullshitting myself and really take inventory. Instead of being disappointed at where I am now as opposed to wear I thought I should be and wanted to be at 30, look where I am.

I’m not killing it in the ways I thought I should be in the career or money department, but I do have a very good and steady job and even if I’m still finding myself professionally, I’ve learned a lot about myself and have really grown as a professional. I’ve visited 45 countries. I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m hopefully not going to get knocked up in the near future, but I have had a lot of wonderful men in my life, even if things didn’t work out in such a way that I got a ring on it. And being honest, there’s no one I truly knew well and wantedto p t aring on it. Bu tI’m convinced he’s out there.

 

 

 

 

Leavin’ Las Vegas/that Paris or bust state of mind

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Sometimes it takes breaking one’s 3 month travel fast two weeks earlier to go to a war-torn Middle Eastern country rife with sectarian divisions to realize that Paris is not the navel of the world, and it doesn’t have to be the center of my life, or its constant either.

I don’t plan to physically leave Paris in the immediate future except for travelling, but I might move out of the city for the suburbs (strong possibility of that actually), and I might someday leave the country for some new expatriation.

Yes, France is my home away from home, but I was right to leave all those years ago when I feared I would never find my way back and it was just my fear and coldhearted calculation that stopped me from following my dream to Paris. And yet, like my friend at the time who was Paris or bust and who also read the Alchemist and has since become pretty much my best friend in Paris told me, Paris, and France, weren’t always my clear cut dreams, and I should continue on my program, suck it up, and come back if I still wanted it. I came back, I complained and complained better than a French person, I adjusted, and I started thinking that yes, this is it, Paris and its environs for life. Not to mention my vacation days and all that jazz. I called a mortgage broker, thinking despite the fact I wasn’t exactly ideally financially placed to do it, it couldn’t hurt to move to the suburbs to an area I could eventually afford to buy, man or no, and buy that apartment on my own in the ultimate act of woman taking charge of her destiny #feministmanifesto .

In fact, as men are concerned, I have finally accepted with some grief that no man is ever going to make up for anything I”m missing inside of me. Being in a relationship, while it might meet some intimacy needs that are hard to scratch with just friends and lovers, won’t fundamentally improve my day to day quality of life outside of the initial passion and validation part. It won’t give me purpose. IT will just be another ting to make it harder to find my way towards myself. Just another constraint , though potentially also a source of support, like marrying Paris. I believed so strongly just a few weeks ago, that this was my great love, and I wanted to get married- to Paris, to France, to something.

And then, in an act which may have set my budget back a bit but also saved me countless amounts of time, money, and misery in the future, I took off for a new world, for the Middle East, and I fell in love with Lebanon. Where there are more Mexican restaurants, friendly people, and attractive men than in all of Paris.

The answer of course, isn’t just to abscond to Lebanon, tempting as it was to consider just buying another ticket and prolonging my stay despite my responsibilities at work and the fact I have to find a new place to live in 2 months and all the other adulting stuff that lies ahead of me. Just two more days in the sunshine.

I kind of like being a mess, to be honest. I am glad I am not the straight jacked straight laced self I have always inspired to become. I love my crazy, my fire, my genius that won’t let me what I feel like “they ” have always wanted from me.

My depresion can be explained somewhat thusly: I tried to lobotomize myself, and just be all that is good and innocent and sweet. I couldn’t admit , couldn’t allow my ambition, my desire for more, and that part of me that wants to step up and take control and make decisions based off my own good sense instead of what I should do. There is a long road from an english teacher to an MBA, and I felt icky about my participation in a wicked and corrupt system, and turned my hatred of the system on myself.

I tried to stop all hint of superficiality and materiality, and just concentrate on being deep and moral and good. But in doing so, I broke the boundaries self love would have wisely maintained. I wallowed in guilt and shame, unable to wake up from the cycle.

I haven’t done the minimal things to help myself out because I was afraid of making choices from a place of freedom, afraid to take responsibility for myself.

But yes, romantic ideals like “paris or bust” and that having a man or baby or four walls of a home will give some meaning to my life have fallen like the walls of troy.

Maybe it’s ok to be a bit more of a fighter, a bit more pushy, and it’s ok that I’ll never eb truly French.

Maybe it’s not about choosing a new culture but about making one’s own lifestyle.

I’ve spent too much of my life looking for a place to fit in, and not enough time accepting myself.  I do have a conscious community that does surround and support me everywhere I go.

Paris was not my dream- traveling and writing and leadership is.

 

 

Maybe I don’t have to own a piece of Paris. Maybe it’s enough to have lived here for a time, and maybe I will even continue living here.

It feels very sad to have lost faith in this dream, and to realize I have grown out of it in some way.

I prayed so hard that finally I would get everything I wanted, and I got most of it, and it still didnt’ feel enough.

I prayed that Paris owuld be my true home where I could stay forever, and now I recognize it is not.

As Paulo Coelho says, life is the train, not the station.

So today I am hanging around not getting dressed, watching TV, not doing anything of great help to myself for the moment, and just being.

I have a big week coming up, and a lot of things to think about.

or feel about rather.

My depression has lifted even more than before. Happiness came not from getting what I wanted, but from realizing my freedom.

I am a gypsy. I have feared this would make me unlovable, and I would never find someone as a result, and so I tried to plan myself in Paris, and I have blossomed.

Bu tI will bloom again.

 

Things I’ve tried to deny

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When I think about becoming a mother, I think about losing everything I am and ever could be. I think about the loss of my freedom and my body. If I had to choose between never traveling again and never having a carefree day in my life, I don’t think I would choose to be a mother. Being a mother is different than being a father. You are on the hook in so many ways. I don’t think I need to have a child to give my life meaning. I think adventure, exploration, the search for truth might be the meaning of my life. I know I want to experience great love, but this is also something I may only want because of rumors I’ve heard about how great it is. To be perfectly honest I kind of love the way my life is now. I don’t need a steady partner, and I’m far from ready to be a mother. There is so much more world out there to see. I’ve been seeing the world in a frenzy thinking of the day I would have to make some choices based off biology and circumstance and in my mind, if I had a child I would have to give up traveling. Financially, that would be the case if it happened tomorrow, and that’s not something I want. I know that theoretically, hopefully, there would be someone there to bear the burden with me, but honestly, I have absolutely no interest in having a child if I don’t have the support of another parent. I am not someone who would use a donor or go to some other somewhat extreme to get pregnant without a life partner. I love babies, and I love children, but besides biological urge, it’s hard to picture myself doing the day in day out work of being a parent without regretting it. I have the image from my mom that being a mother is constant drudgery. And i don’t think sacrifice is the only meaning of life either. I’m not a martyr, and I don’t want to become one. I know that a fair amount of people manage to travel and do interesting stuff even while having multiple kids, but no matter what, your life is different and your resources of time, money, and energy, sometimes even health, are diverted from yourself necessarily, and you no longer get to be your own first priority. Maybe reproduction only works by ruse. If you had a completely fulfilled and happy life, why would you want to turn it upside down by having a child? Right now I can’t picture either having the kind of partner that would make me want to take that leap into the unknown. I guess another way of thinking is that everything you gain you do so for your children and it takes on new meaning, and I’m sure it does, but honestly I think it’s ok to just consume what you manifest yourself and leave a bit to nourish the world, right? I don’t tink I’m against having children, although I know I’m perfectly against having children with a partner. I don’t know if life has begun to or will one day begin to feel repetitive without having a child and having that greatest adventure of self sacrifice and love and responsibility, but at the moment I can’t contemplate having a cat or buying a car or even leasing an apartment for three years. I know if I had a kid, I would raise to the occassion and really love it. But I don’t think I will ever need it, and I don’t know if I will ever want it enough to disturb all that I’ve got going on now. My logical hunch is that having a kid never really makes sense in the long run, although I’m sure you do get to grow as a person in new ways. I doubt that having a kid is ever “worth it” for the mother if she’s already fulfilled in her life. And yet, I know a lot of women who seem pretty happy and still decide to have kids, so maybe there’s something about being with the right guy that changes things. I’m so enjoy my Aprodite and Artemis archetypes that being a mother feels like it would be sacrificing literally everything I am. I feel like I’ve got it in me, and my body is begging for it, but besides taking care of another person to avoid confronting life, the universe, and everything I’ve got going on within myself, I don’t see the point. Maybe this is the dirty little secret of feminism, and why European birth rates are so low. Or maybe there will be a day when love will win over reason, and somehow it won’t need to make sense anymore. But it would have to be a great love, and even greater trust.

As for men, it’s true, I theoretically want to have kids some day, and more to the point for these days, I do think I want to be in a relationship. But again, why risk having someone break your heart, or even more painful, breaking theirs, if you can get along just fine on your own? If I struggle to imagine owning an apartment (mind you, an apartment and not a goddamn house with a lawn, etc to maintain) because I might have to give up a trip because something needed a repair, how hard is it to imagine genuinely sharing your life with another person, and how many goddamn vacation days you would spend visiting their family when you already don’t exactly begrudge but are a little stingy with the time you accord your own, because you would rather be off adventuring, most of the time?

The real thing that kind of made me start wondering if it would be worth it is thinking about having less passion potentially over time, no matter how creative and romantic you are (also look at what science says having kids does to your relationship), and if you already have respectful and happy relationships in your life, and deep friendships, and high quality lover (s), what can a man really add without taking away quite a whole lot? Would the benefit ever be worth the risk? I’m not afraid of going to quite a lot of countries a lot of tourists shy away from, but I am terrified of choosing the wrong person, and being hurt again, and probably even more terrified of doing the hurting. I want to know or at least have the strongest possible feeling it will work out and that it’s worth it come what may, but I don’t think you “just know” all that very often. And I have fooled myself into just thinking I “just knew” enough times that I know how little my mind can be trusted. Also how much do I actually want love versus just the validation of having someone? To what extent is it lazy to go with being a relationship as the main form of companionship versus cultivating others if in the end, you aren’t sure if you are biting off far more than you can chew?

I am not in a relationship not because I don’t love myself, but because I am terribly terribly afraid of them. I want to come close to the fire without burning myself. I am chicken of all chickenshit because I don’t want to take emotional risks. I may have been to my fair share of therapy, but I don’t want another person in my life to disappoint or hurt or be disapporoved of. I know my family loves me as I am, and they ahve come to accept my role as a wanderer, but damn.

The truth is that I have very rarely, and pretty much never without shame, really let myself be who I wanted to be. And having a man or baby seem like a perfect way to put a muzzle on my soul, toss it in a box, and throw away the key. Fuck you, Personal Legend, put a bun in the oven, get back in the kitchen and take off those shoes! Not to mention a house. The homeowner dream in lieu of the man/baby dream, whether it’s a McMansion in in the burbs or a Hausmanien dream in the City of Light, while it might seem appealing at times to have one’s own “home,” the sky is already all mine.  The road belongs to no one, and yet, by naming myself for the wanderer that I am, I claim every mile for me, and me for myself.

Is it really a new adventure to truly love someone? Is it really so much of a great new world to have a child? Is it childish and selfish not to jump on board for these commitments and the life experiences they offer? Is it silly to even think like that, and to realize you bear children for the human race or your community or to propagate your own genes, and any satisfaction you get is a side effect of that?

When the world loves you without asking for anything back, is it not silly to put your heart in fickle human hands?

Whetther I ever love a man or have a baby, I love myself, and I love this world. I need no other justification or joy.

I love my fire. Fire might consume nearly everything it touches, but it also brings light and heat to the world. I love my fire.

The Day of Liberation is at hand

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Today I realized I could be perfectly happy without a husband or children.

I also realized that my peak experiences in life hadn’t come at work, even if I am quite grateful for my job that I like at least 60-70% percent of the time.

And i don’t need to leave Paris for ambitious reasons, I want to be here, I want to grow even deeper roots here, I want to bloom here, I want my fruit to be born here.

I’ve never felt so happy in my entire life, really that my life could be so free of conditions.

I feel genuine joy.

I do want to buy an apartment with my name on the deed, even if it’s no bigger than what I need for my own basic needs.

Happiness can be sort of unconditional, assuming some basic needs are met.

And they don’t have to be met in the way you expect.

I feel like I may not have performed as well as I might have for a consulting interview yesterday, but I did realize a lot about myself and what’s most important to me.

I’ve never felt so free,   I feel like the fourth and fifth and sixth walls have been broken and I’m living in a seventh dimension of expansive freedom.

I don’t need to be a wife and mother!

I don’t need a man and babies!

I don’t need a million dollars or a fancy title!

I don’t need to be the CEO or the greatest or the best!

I am myself, and that’s more than enough, and always has been.

Paris, je t’aime.

I am so happy right now, it feels like a dirty secret to not need all those things to be happy I always thought I should be pursuing frantically and diligently. But no, no need.

I don’t even need an apartment, but I want one.

I am a free spirit.

Let freedom ring!

 

Almost turning 30 might be one of the best things that have ever happened to me so far. Life has not turned out anything like I planned, and it’s absolutely fabulous!

I am richer than Midas, and my wealth is too big for just this world to contain.

 

I’m free, I’m free, I feel like the Genie in Aladinn when his cosmic powers can finally put to his own use.

Blessings be upon you, my friends.

Namaste.

Thanks for coming along on this ride.

Self Love is not just a means to an end, it’s the whole point of the journey.

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I didn’t realize that the journey to realizing my desires- both in the sense of realizing what they are and making them reality in common parlance- would be a journey in learning to love myself. This has completely blindsided me.

I had so completely bought into the logic that I was nothing more or less than my achievements, however defined, hook line and sinker that the idea of doing anything other than achieving more to feel happy could never have occurred to me.

I was aware that I had hit a wall in my development because I lived in shame, self-doubt, guilt, and anxiety, that made it difficult for me to funciton. And the more harshly I judged myself, the worse my behavior and outcomes became.

I probably could have gone for decades, or at least years, without realizing that the core problem is not that I haven’t achieved every single goal, or that my happiness is contingent if not on actually getting the things I say I want, at least on giving my absolute all to get them. And then I realized, maybe happiness doesn’t actually come from things after all, and getting the things that I want is just an adventure that comes and goes.

I don’t think that real happiness is conditional on me getting everything I think I want today.

And I definitely don’t think that real happiness requires me to follow all my plans and schemes to a T, to make my bed every morning and live life with the drill sergeant of my ego constantly shouting in my ear- you suck if you do this, you suck if you don’t, whatever you do is never good enough, you suck until you achieve this goal. And then I achieve the goal, and then it’s never enough, and the vicious cycle starts over again. I’ve been wasting too much of my life in it. Not just in terms of years of happiness I didn’t get to live because I was busy playing the shame game, but literally not being conscious of life as it passes by because I am too caught up in these painful thoughts that turn even the sunniest day and the world’s greatest wonders and most simple, profound pleasures into eternal 40 degrees, gray and raining, with all hope or memory of spring or winter or fall or summer completely forgotten, just a bleak wasteland where seeds drown in sorrow and there will never be any fruit.

If I start from a place of loving myself, and that I already am enough, do my goals actually change? What a goal oriented thing to ask.

If you already are enough and have enough, what do you truly desire?

If life is already peachy, what is all the fuss about?

I think that self care is being your own best friend even to the point of forgiving yourself for years of being your own worst enemy. I don’t think it’s necessarily about doing a certain number of sun salutations in the morning or eating your vegetables or saving your pennies for a rainy day.  It’s about having the self love to do those things, to want what’s best for yourself, instead of giving into often consciously self destructive impulses.

It’s about having the courage to climb up the mountain of mindfulness where the air is clear, and leaving the storm clouds of shame and guilt behind.

It’s about realizing that punishing yourself serves no purpose- you did the best you knew how to do at the time. if you had known better, you would surely have done better. And if loving yourself doesn’t come easy, you aren’t to blame.

So do I still want a baller job, an amazing salary, an apartment in or near Paris, a handsome prince, a baby, a trip around the world, to be a respected travel and photo journalist, to learn Russian, crochet, and bellydancing, to go to South America, to do the banana pancake backpack trail, to hike Nepal, and write my memoir that will be an overnight sensation like Eat Pray Love? Yes Yes Yes Yes YEs YES YES YESY EYS

but I am going to transform the world from a place of love and abundance, not lack and hate. I am going to embody the love that everyone in this world needs, starting with myself. The rest is just details.

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It’s not everyday you get to have a genuine little crush on someone, and I am trying to be greatful for this unlooked for little flutter of warmth which has raised my standards and reminded me of what it means to be intimate.

Yes, it is the French lover sailor guy, the one that wasn’t at all what I was looking for, and I was afraid would mean settling if I were to go with its flow, becuse he didn’t check every box and yes, he’s on a ship far away a good portion of the year.

But truth be told, I am really kind of excited abou thim, because he is easy to be with, and I wonder if the reason I barricaded myself in an apartment to dirty to court suitors and didn’t open up to anyone else for a long time despite having such a clear picture what I wanted and trying hard to find it was that I didn’t know what I wanted until I received it.

I”m sure there are other people that could be for me, that would make love just as well and have many interests in common and with whom things would be easy.

But for the moment, I like him, and I will try to live with the mystery of that. I like him. I like him, I like him, and I do believe that he likes me too.

And that’s pretty nice for now.