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The Year Review


 

So, this year is almost at its end. Like all the years before, it’s my review of the year. Feel free to use the same questions.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? 

A filmed interview, where I was one of the interviewers, in London.

Versailles.

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

Yes. Not more in 2017, but different resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die?  Yes.

5. What countries did you visit?  Spain, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, Austria

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? Peace

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 22: Horrible day for my country. Heartbreaking.

November 29: Placebo

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Gaining maturity

9. What was your biggest failure? It’s not failure, but rejections hurt.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Clothes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Jennifer Aniston, and all the other Hollywood actresses who stood against misogyny.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? extremists of all kinds.

14. Where did most of your money go? travels.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Concerts!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

Dang – MacMiller & Anderson Paak
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Neither thinner nor fatter. Poorer.

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

Being more able to defend myself against critics.

Accepting more invitations.

Traveling more.

Seeing more exhibitions.

Going to lectures and the opera.

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

Spending time to wait for people who don’t give a damn about me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?

Yes.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No

24. What was the best book you read?  

Presence- Amy Cuddy

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?  Ibrahim Maalouf

26. What did you want and get?  Recognition for my work

27. What did you want and not get? A relationship.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?  

Paterson – Jim Jarmusch

 

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

I had a car accident. No one was hurt, thankfully.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?   Luck in love

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Pop the colours…

32. What kept you sane? My friends and family.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

Gaspard Koening

34. What political issue stirred you the most?  The US elections.

35. Who did you miss? T., but I’ll move on.

36. Who was the best new person you met? S.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016. You can’t force people to love you.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Didn’t we have fun?
Don’t say it was all a waste

😉

Happy Holidays

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, Uncategorized

Refriend an ex on Facebook

WillYouBeMyFriend

Is it wise to refriend an  ex you unfriended on Facebook and other social media? This is a difficult question. The one question is why you had to unfriend your ex. Many people who unfriended their ex on Facebook said they had no choice because it hurt them to see how happy their ex was without them. It was a difficult choice because they knew if they kept their ex friends on social media, they will stare at their profile a lot. It doesn’t help to move on and forget about your ex, unfortunately.

In real life, unless you work in the same company or live very close to your ex, you don’t have this ability to stare at your ex’s life. If you live very close to your ex, or work in the same company than your ex, you can always take some time off very far away. One of my friends, who had difficulty to forget his ex, took three months to travel Asia and turned off his phone except for calling his family once in while.  His ex lived only 500 meters from him, and he kept bumping on her in the shopping mall next to their place or only when he was grocery shopping. Three months weren’t not enough for him to forget about her. But it helped him to forget a bit about her, because his travel was a real journey and gave him a new perspective on life. When he came back to his home, he changed his way of living, and it helped him to avoid his ex, who met someone else during his time away.

Facebook doesn’t allow to do this. Yes, there’s an option called unfollow, which prevents you to see what your ex publishes or likes on Facebook. But it’s not enough as I experienced. Because if his new ho  lover tagged him on Facebook while they are holding each other in their arms, or while they looked happy together, you can see that picture, unfortunately. There’s the option of blocking that person. Once you do that, that person can’t contact you anymore. But you can always see that person if your common friends tagged him/her on a picture or a comment. But if you block someone on Facebook,  and change your mind afterwards, you will have to refriend that person. As if you unfriended that person before.

So, why do we need to refriend our ex on Facebook? A first explanation is when your ex does ask you why you unfriended him/her and asks you to refriend him/her. It depends if your ex asked you that in Messenger or another app, or over SMS or email. If you ex asked you that over a coffee or a drink because he/she wanted to talk to you and you accepted to meet in real life, well, you can feel the pressure to do refriend  him/her. Sometimes, communication helps to ease resentful thoughts.  Sometimes, we need to be comforted our ex won’t do us harm, even on Facebook. But if your ex is a pervert and try to use your informations you post on Facebook against you, you should stay unfriended. A friend of mine told me her ex took pictures of her while she was in the shower, and threatens to publish those pictures on Facebook. In that case, yes, it’s necessary to block that a*** and to unfriend him.  And even sue him.

I guess there’s a good reason why you unfriended your ex on Facebook. Even if your ex asked you to refriend him/her, if there’s a good reason you unfriend him/her, it’s wise to stick to your decision.

But what if your ex didn’t notice you unfriend him/her? Or doesn’t react to that? There is no rule. Refriend him/her if you want to. But bear in mind your ex can move on, even marry someone else, start a family, … Do you really want to see that?  Your ex can also live a better life than you, even if it’s just seemingly. Do you really want to see that?

On the other hand, your ex also have a glance on your life thanks to Facebook. He/she can see you have moved on too. Nothing prevents you from living your own life, discover new passions, new hobbies, meet new people, have a good time with your friends,… and publish that on Facebook. That’s the best revenge you can have on your ex.

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Somebody I used to know (unfriend your ex on Facebook)

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Do you unfriend your exes on Facebook, or keep them? Recently, I had to unfriend one of my exes because I was hurt by a picture his new significant other posted on the social media, tagging him and two of their common friends. I just can’t look at this picture, it’s killing me. I did unfollow him, but it wasn’t enough. I still get his updates regardless that option.

Many sites advise to unfriend your ex on Facebook, because you can be miserable looking at your exes’pictures with their new significant other, or just their pictures where he/she looks happy, without you. If you stare at these pictures a lot, it won’t help you to move on.

But it’s difficult to unfriend your ex, because you can  regret your decision sooner or later. One of my friends told me his ex unfriended him on Facebook, only to request him to be friends again after some time away. I also did that with one of my exes, after three months of silent period. It’s like we can’t turn away.

Some people will react if you unfriend them, including your ex. But some people don’t monitor close their list of friends on Facebook and won’t notice if you unfriend them.

But why should we unfriend our ex on Facebook?

Well, if you’re hurt like me when you see a picture of your ex, that’s a good signal you may have to unfriend your ex immediately.

If you’re desperate to have your ex back, and send him/her numerous messages on Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, … It may be wise to unfriend your ex too. Nobody likes someone who’s desperate to have them back. Besides, it may help you to have back your own life.

If your ex hurt you, by cheating on you, or worse, didn’t treat you right, you may also need to unfriend your ex.

The other question here is why do you have to stay friends with you exes? Why do you have them among your list of Facebook friends?

I can’t explain it, as I do have some of my exes as friends on Facebook. Maybe it’s because it’s just Facebook. It’s not like my exes are still in my life. In fact, I don’t see almost anyone of them anymore.

Yet, Facebook makes us have a permanent look at our exes’ life.  If our ex allows us to do it, of course.

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Divorces on the rise

Divorce

Divorce in dictionary

In his book “The End of Power”, Moses Naim indicates even the conservative Persian Gulf States are hit by a rise of divorce rates. It reaches 20 % in Saudi Arabia, to my astonishment, 26% in the United Arab Emirates, and even 37% in Kuwait. According to the author, this higher divorce rate is correlated to education.  In Kuwait, the rate of divorce soars to 47% among couples in which both couples hold a university degree.

That would explain why I do have some readers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and in the United Arab Emirates.This still surprises me.

Here in the West, divorces are holding steady. But this year, three of my friends announced they were getting separated from their significant other. One of them didn’t have the choice, as her husband announced to her he has a new love in his life and wanted to live with her.

In my friends’cases, it was the man who initiated the break up. But generally, women are responsible for the separation, as they don’t accept the social sacrifice of standing behind their husband. We don’t accept to be considered less than our husband. But the same goes for men. One of my male friends who left his relationship this year told me he had enough to be considered as the weakest one in his couple. Contempt is the worst apocalypse of a relationship.

But it is difficult to find our equal. And today, with dating sites, we all get the impression there is somewhere someone who will be our perfect match, even if we’re not perfect ourselves.

But is there a perfect match?

If there was a perfect match, I guess many couples would get divorce right now. With one of my friends, who’s single, we always laugh about those couples we know who are not very well assorted. Yes, look around you. There is always one couple who fall in this category.

One of them did surprise us as we have known each other since high school. I always thought he would be married to a fellow classmate, who’s now a general attorney. But she married someone older than her. He married another classmate, but I would have never bet on their couple. Five years ago, he joined Facebook, and posted lots of pictures of him partying with his friends and coworkers, including pictures of him with women,  but his wife has never appeared on the pictures. Usually, couples do publish pictures of them from time to time on Facebook. I even do it with my lover…

My friend is also surprised by this couple. We have bet it won’t last. Recently, the classmate joined Facebook. I guess it is to watch over her husband. I’ve noticed a friend of mine got the same problem. His significant other joined Facebook years after he first joined, and she’s been frantically liking all of his posts ever since. Because since he joined Facebook, he has been liking a lot of posts from women, especially those where they are hanging in a bikini…

But if you pick a womanizer, chances are your relationship is ill fated.

It seems we’re getting less forgiving than before.

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The year review

So, this year is almost at the end. Like all the years before, it’s my review of the year. Feel free to use the same questions.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? A book signing, at the biggest annual book fair in my country.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  No, because I didn’t make resolutions this year. But I will do for the next year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No

5. What countries did you visit? Iceland, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Great Britain

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Mutual love

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 1: the day of my book signing

May 30:

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November 15: when my little princess was born.

November 18: I was the moderator of a debate where one of the speakers was too afraid to come because of the terrorist attacks in Paris the day before.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My book signing

9. What was your biggest failure? It’s not failure, but rejections hurt.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Chairs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Emma Watson, for her speech at the even UN Women’s HeforShe campaign

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13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? extremists of all kinds.

14. Where did most of your money go? travels.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Iceland. Seeing icebergs for the first time of my life. Expo Milano 2015

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Time – Pink Floyd (because of B.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

Sadder. Neither thinner nor fatter. Richer.

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

Being more able to defend myself against critics.

Accepting more invitations.

Traveling more.

Seeing more exhibitions.

Going to lectures and the opera.

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

Sitting home alone.

Spending time to wait for people who don’t give a damn about me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Yes, with my little niece.

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

24. What was the best book you read?  Swimming with sharks – My journey into the world of the Bankers by the anthropologist  Joris Luyendijk.  I’ve never been so into a non fiction book.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Christine and the Queens

26. What did you want and get? A renewed friendship with a friend I lost.

27. What did you want and not get? A nice place to live. Publicity for my book. A real relationship.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Irrational man

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

Visiting the Expo Milano 2015IMG_0754

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?   Luck in love, for a change

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

It was black, black, black, as one of my coworkers complained. That’s ok, I like this color.

32. What kept you sane? My friends and family.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime minister

34. What political issue stirred you the most?  The rise of nationalism.

35. Who did you miss? some of my friends

36. Who was the best new person you met? X. A great, great, great and kind cook.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. Ask questions, and listen.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

😉

Happy Holidays

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life, love, Uncategorized

Break the silo

19512205.jpg-r_760_x-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxIn her book, “the silo effect”, Gillian Tett warns about silo. Living in silo makes you jealous, critic, and fearful of the others who don’t belong to your circle.

In the light of the recent events in my country and in France, it’s important to remind this message.

Today, one of my coworkers joked about what she would say if a terrorist from the organization I don’t want to name, because they don’t deserve it, was coming into our office and threatened to kill all of us. “I slept with a muslim, do you think it would save me?” she said. Her ex and her broke the silo between them, it’s a good thing. They’re not together anymore, but they remained good friends, she says.

Unfortunately, today, it’s easy to remain trapped in your silo. Part of the explanations is the diversity of communities now, thanks to social medias. You can get the illusion to feel comfortable into a certain community, at the risk of cutting the links with those who don’t belong to that circle.

Meeting people from different circles can open your perspectives, and makes you more tolerant.

But when it comes to love, I believe it’s important to respect the other’s culture, without sacrificing your own beliefs. There’s a balance to find. If your significant forces you to change your behavior, it’s not the sign of a healthy relationship.

My parents are a good example. My mother moved in our country 40 years ago, and she has never forgotten about her culture, while my father accepted her as she was. She didn’t try to change my father too.

Does it mean the younger generation are less tolerant? I don’t think so.

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Love kills

sleeping_with_the_enemy

Today is the international day for the elimination of violence against women. In my country, it is also the lesser know Saint-Catherine, the day for the spinsters. In some parts of the country, this is still celebrated.

Unfortunately, unlike the Saint-Catherine, which is on the decline, violence against women are on the rise, everywhere. Part of the explanations is women are more encouraged to tell about their abuses. Yet, there’s still a minority of women who have the courage to denounce their abusive partner.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than one third of all homicides of women are committed by a current or former partner. Nearly a third of women report having experience violence at some point in their life, at the hands of a partner.

Violence is not isolated among a social class. A friend of mine told me his father, who was a professor of philosophy, used to shout at his mother, saying she wasn’t good enough for him, and used to bring home all of his mistresses, in front of his spouse. She wasn’t allowed to say anything to him. “He would be angry as hell if she dared to try” my friend recalls.

Another friend of mine, who’s a nurse, told me she met once a woman who used to be physically abused by her husband. “She didn’t have any bruises. But her husband tore her hair and dragged her across the room like that” my friend said. “She knew she would have some difficulties to prove she was abused, because she didn’t have any bruise on her body” she added. “Her husband was the CEO of a well-known company”.

It is said an abusive partner isolates you from your relatives and friends. “When I wanted to see my parents, he became violent with me” one of my acquaintances said.

Unfortunately, when you face an abusive partner, the best option is to disappear from his life. But it’s not easy if you have kids. One of my friends, who’s a lawyer, told me she received a bullet in a letter from the husband of one of her clients, who hid from him, and waited for their divorce to be pronounced. “He threatened to kill me, as he threatened to kill her” she said.

In France, there was a case where the spouse was abused for many years, and forced into prostitution by his husband. Once, as he was about to hit her with a knife, she defended herself by pulling the knife into his chest. He died. The court argued it was legitimate defense, and she wasn’t condemned to jail for this.

In any case, it’s important to have the courage to say stop to violence.

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