blogging, celibacy, life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

It’s the end of the year

Every year, I like to do this meme. But this time, with a tweak.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Going on holiday alone

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any resolution last year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No

5. What countries did you visit?

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6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?

March 20

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting recognized as an expert in my field.

9. What was your biggest failure?

A friendship lost.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A camera

12. Where did most of your money go?

Traveling

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to New York.

14. What song/album will always remind you of 2012?

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Happier or sadder? Happier.
2. Thinner or fatter? The same.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Traveling, traveling, traveling.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Working.

18. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

B. and my mom.

19. Did you fall in love in 2012?

See n°6.

20. What was your favourite TV programme?

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes.

22. What was the best book(s) you read?

Dormir avec ceux qu’on aime – Gilles Leroy

23. What did you want and get?

An iPad. Twice.

24. What did you want and not get?

My own apartment.

25. What were your favourite films of this year?

If you could go back in time

 

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Going out with friends.

27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A thing called love.

28. What kept you sane?
Friends and family.

29. What political issue stirred you the most?

The political fracture in my country.

30. Who did you miss?

B., my former editor, a friend of mine who moved abroad, all of the journalists I met in New York.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

D.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Never force people to love you.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

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broken heart, life, love, relationships, thoughts, women

The place next to him in society

To accompany your significant other to the party organized by his firm every year has something daunting, especially if it’s a big company where you barely know anyone.

With my ex, every year, I had to accompany him to the Christmas Party his firm organized. And I didn’t enjoy that much those evenings. But luckily, his firm was kind enough to invite a comedian during those nights to entertain us.

Usually, we used to sit at the same table than my ex’s favorite coworkers. But they mostly talked about their job, while their wives were patiently waiting next to them, with not much of conversation. Obviously, they were as happy as I was to be there…

A friend of mine also loathes her man’s New Year work party. “I don’t like his coworkers’wives. None of them is kind. But luckily, my man sticks by my side during those evenings. He doesn’t particularly enjoy his coworkers’ company  either. So we’re equal. Besides, he prefers going to my new year work party. One of my coworkers shares with him the same passion for golf. So, they spend the night talking about their tournaments”  she said.

Another friend of mine told me her experience too in this kind of situation. “My husband spends the night away from me, chatting with everyone. Usually, I sit alone at the table, looking at the other wives present. And from time to time, we chat about our kids, our house, our holidays or the last movie we saw, but I don’t really like them” she admitted.

But what if your significant other likes to show off during those nights?

“My ex was such an asshole during those parties. He wanted me to be at my best, criticizing every of my choice when it came to the dress I would wear or the make-up and hair. He wanted me to drink modestly.  He also told me to be particularly friendly with his boss’s wife, and to avoid speaking to his rival in the company who competed for the same post than he was. And during the night, while I was patiently listening to his boss’s wife problem because she knew I was a psychologist, I was watching my ex flirting with his female coworkers. Usually, at the end of the night, we used to have a huge argument in the car about his behaviors” one of my friends said.

Or worse?

He had a very attractive coworker he stuck like glue during those nights. I watched them laughing, whispering into each other’s ear, talking about their various experiences at work. It was as if I didn’t exist.” one of my friends once told me.

And there are special cases.

My ex was famous. Every time he was invited to a cocktail party, people would flock around him, and I was left on my own”, H.,34, said.

So, how do you cope in those Christmas/ New Year Parties?

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celibacy, holidays, life, miscellaneous, thoughts, women

Traveling alone in India

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIndia has been in the news lately for a tragic event. A 23-year old female student was assaulted by a group of men. She’s still in hospital right now.

Another young Indian woman published a testimony in a Wall Street Journal blog showing that India is still very far from an equality between the sexes.

But I’m not really surprised.

I went to India at the beginning of the year. Alone. My trip was organized. But I had to travel with a driver alone most of the time, even if he was following a group of other people who were never far from our car.

On the road, I met quite a few women traveling on their own. They were French or British. Traveling very low key. Most of the travel guides have various warnings for women traveling alone. And also, when I arrived in India, one guy at the hotel where I was staying handed me a leaflet for the tourists, mentioning about the proper clothes and attitudes we should adopt in the country.

The Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, located in the North of the country, are known for not being that tolerant with tourists, unlike in the South.

The woman conditions in those regions, particularly in the rural villages of Rajasthan, are still very dire.

Once, we stopped on our way to Bikaner to have a rest. And while we were chatting, I could see a man throwing stones on a woman in a field nearby. Around me, I could see men playing cards or discussing or sleeping, while their women were working hard in the field nearby.

In the city of Bikaner, it wasn’t better.

In Jodhpur, I met in the bazaar the only woman who holds a spice shop. She inherited it from her father who died of a heart attack. She told me it was really hard for her when she started to run the shop, because other men didn’t respect her.  But the tourists flock to her shop, where she is more than welcoming and kind to every of her visitors.

In Jaipur, I wanted to walk a bit on my own, much to my driver’s dismay. In the streets, I realized I was the only woman, but no one came bothering me. To be fair, I never left my sunglasses off. I felt much secure having it on my nose during my travel.

I didn’t have the time to visit Delhi before going back to my country. But I could see, near the gate of India, young Indian couples very modern compared to what I just saw in Rajasthan.

Yet, on my way back, I met a filmmaker who was traveling back to New York. She told me she went to see her mom in Delhi. I asked her if she considered living here in Delhi, but she replied she felt much better off in New York. Because of the culture. She was still young, and single. I guess it’s easier to be single in New York than in Delhi.

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The trade off with love

Every choice we make implies a sacrifice. But we decide to choose what’s best for us over what’s not that important. At the cost of regretting it sometime.

Recently, I went to see my young cousin who just started college. He told me he was surprised I knew his math professor in high school. She used to be in my class but we weren’t friends at the time. She was just too focused on her studies at the time, while I was more of a party girl. I used to suck badly at maths (I still do) while she was really good at it.

After our high school, we chose the studies which fitted us the best: civil engineering for her, journalism for me.

She’s now a math teacher, very tough. But my cousin told me he didn’t understand her choice. “She’s brilliant. I don’t understand why she chose such a low key career. She could have reached a higher grade” he said. “But she told me once she liked it this way, because this gives her plenty of time with her young kids” he added.

Back then, in high school, she used to struggle with love. None of our male classmates found her attractive at the time. There was even one who made a bet he would go out with her. And he did. Apart from him, we didn’t see her with any boyfriend. Until she announced to us she was dating a guy she met on the train, who was studying civil engineering.

After her own studies, she married him. And decided it was best to put her career ambitions aside to concentrate on her kids and her family. So, she chose to be a teacher.

Some of my other classmates are teachers too. But there’s one who’s a comedian and a photographer once the class is over. And she’s focusing on her passion. She’s not married yet, and she doesn’t have any kid.

There’s another one who chose to be a teacher. But her path was really clear from the end of our high school, because she chose to study latin philology. In my country, those who take this kind of studies have a high chance to end up as a teacher. But this is what she wanted to do. She’s married now (to the biggest womanizer in my high school…) and has two children.

As if there was a trade off between our personal ambitions and our love life.

We’re both 34. I don’t know yet if their life would change over time. I don’t know how my life will evolve either to be fair.

But at least, everyone of my classmates has a job. We all can count on it if, for a reason, our love life falls apart. So, even my married classmates haven’t completely sacrificed their life for their love life.

For those who choose to be a housewife, this a different story. And laying their destiny on their man’s hand can be hazardous, as it is written here.

I just hope my classmates are all happy with their choice. I’m happy with mine.

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broken heart, celibacy, Christmas, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

The break up before Christmas

According to David MacCandless, a data journalist from the Daily Mail, couples are most likely to break up 2 weeks before Christmas. This is based on an analysis of 10.000 Facebook status updates.

Of course, one might wonder why the period around Christmas is concentrating so many break up. This is also the case for Spring break. But as MacCandless joked in his TED speech, this is a clearing period in the year.

For Christmas, there’s no rational explanation. At this time of the year, people suffer a lot from the lack of lights and are a bit depressed. This may influence a lot our choice, but it’s not the sole factor of break up.

Among my friends, I realized the period around Christmas raises a lot of questions. The main questions people ask around here is where they are going to spend Christmas, and how. A friend of mine told me this year, she won’t make a visit to her father and her mother. She has been loathing this issue for the last two months now. But she only took her decision now.

So, if you have broken up around this period of the year, feel free to explain why below.

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Experiment before settling down

In most Eastern countries, young lovers still need their parents’ approval if they want to get married. And marriage is still the rule.

In Western countries, many of us chose our significant with our heart, without our parents’ approval. Generally, our parents have to adapt to the one we love and want to live with. If they don’t, the lovers just take distance with their family.  I also saw cases where one or both lovers didn’t speak to their parents before meeting each other.

Because we have this freedom to choose whoever we want, we also increase the risk of falling for the wrong person.

Unfortunately, nothing prepares us for our love life. We are not taught in school how to behave and how to know if we have found someone who’s good for us.

That’s why it’s important to be careful before choosing to lay your destiny in someone’s hands.

This is a learning process. We all make mistakes. But it’s important to know quickly why we make such mistakes.

When we are young, some of us already dream about settling down. This wasn’t my case. My mom and my family repeated to me a billion times when I was a teenager that  I shouldn’t get attached to my boyfriends. They told me there was a time to settle down, and that it wasn’t now.

In my school, fortunately, many girls thought the same way as I did. And those who looked for settling down were the ones who needed their parents’ approval. One of my classmates experienced these painful situations where her mother turned down every boyfriend she had back then. She never went against her mother will. And she finally met the man who got her mother’s approval.

For those who didn’t have a collection of boyfriends  or their parent’s approval, the road ahead was tricky.

There was a girl in my high school who was chubby, unloved and not very well integrated with the rest of us. We didn’t know her any boyfriend. After high school, she went to study nursing, where she met a group of people who devoted their time in the Third World country. They often traveled to Mali where they worked for a NGO. She met there a man who asked her to marry him very quickly. He came back with her in our country, with his little kid. He had no job, no skills, so she was the sole money maker in their house. After she gave birth to her second child, he disappeared, leaving her with his kid. She’s now struggling to live with three kids, and a small financial resource.

With the economical crisis we go through, these situations get more and more dramatic. The first people hit with poverty are the single mothers.

So, please be careful.

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