Wednesday, 31 December 2014

And so it is.

Just like you said it would be. No love, no glory. Just another day of getting up early, putting a brave face on and rolling into everydayness. After doing that for 364 days nothing changes. No big bang at the end, no fireworks (yet) and no miracles. Sometimes I imagine that the love of my life turns up on my doorstep with a bouquet of white roses after realising how much he loves me and asks me to run away together. Oh Disney, what have you done to us... And moreover, poor men... As if they would meet your expectations...

But let's have a look at 2014. What kind of year was it? Good and bad. How cliche. I've had my heart broken, phone calls that were never returned and the ones that I forgot to return accidentally on purpose. I broke someone's heart too, made someone dislike me and temporarily became a person even I didn't like at all. I have made my best friend doubt our friendship. I have realised that, despite our differences, there is a person on this planet that will support me no matter what and not judge me too early. I've managed to pay the first out of thirty years of my mortgage, payed all my council tax instalments in time (and that is a huge success for me). I listened to a lot of men moaning about their wives/girlfriends and still not doing anything to change things. I've watched my family argue, my friends get hurt, my bestie giving birth to a baby boy (not literally) and becoming a mummy. I was proud of my brother who was awarded a PhD.  I have visited Portugal, Croatia, Spain and Poland twice. I ran my first women's 10k with Nike and my first half marathon in just over 2h. I hit 60kg on squats. I became a passionate salsa dancer (and many doubted my grace and balance skills over the years). Got a new tattoo. It's been a rather busy one.

New Year's Resolutions? Not for me. I rarely drink, don't smoke, I work out 6 days a week already. I'm still managing to keep the one from 2 years ago of sorting things out as soon as I think that they need sorting out. I recycle, moisturise after every shower and floss my teeth. no need for change really. Room for improvement? Always. Need to stop checking out my ex on social media but that's not going to happen. Ever. So I guess my NY Resolution could be to not fool myself. Ever again. Look at things as they are and stop starting my sentences with but maybe he... What the last year brought me was a massively important lesson. Not about life and how things click. About myself. I've realised that I am capable of pushing someone to the point where they no longer care. I also realised what I will and will not tolerate. What I want and what I don't want. How much I can take before it makes me lose my mind. I've been constantly pushing myself throughout this year and I pledge to carry on doing so.

I'm not a great fan of saying my thank yous on the forum but there is two fantastic people in my life. People that have always been there for me and supported me in every decision, regardless. People that dare to challenge my beliefs to make me see the other end of the stick and people that taught me how to love (although sometimes I wished they hadn't). My Parents. Thank you guys. You're the best! 

Monday, 29 December 2014

I knew you were trouble.

What do these photos have in common? Clearly me. But apart from that they all mean trouble. Serious drama. The inevitable cramp just below the shoulder blade and the wish you were more flexible. The potential embarrassing and slightly humiliating necessity for saying could you help me with that, please? You know what I'm talking about. You know it very well if your ever bought one. The mighty JUMPSUIT. The one that makes you feel and look oh-so-fabulous and regret the decision to wear it every time you need to... powder one's nose.

All these photos were taken about a year ago and actually show you my black-to-blonde transition but that was also the time when I became obsessed with jumpsuits. I've never been what you (so politically incorrectly) call fat but I have not been on the petite side either since becoming a teenager. I never felt comfortable enough to wear a jumpsuit as it would be definitely highlighting my weak points, e.g. mahoosive thighs. You cannot blame me for getting as many jumpsuits as I could when I finally started looking after my body from the inside and outside by eating well and moving a bit more. I would sleep in one if I could. But that would be technically called a onesie. And I swore to myself that I would never own neither a onesie nor a fluffy bathrobe.

Going back to the matter. Jumpsuits are super elegant. As Solange Knowles was quicker to get married then me (as I am nowhere close) I super envy her wedding jumpsuit! It was actually my idea but who's going to believe me now? Jumpsuits are feminine. They make you stand up straight and require heels - yet another excuse to wear them despite my over-pronating tendencies. I feel like a cross between Kate Middleton and Tilda Swinton when I put one on. But when it comes to jumpsuits there is a major down side. It is also worsened by the fact that alcohol makes you dehydrated. Ladies, you know this, gentlemen, you probably don't but going for a wee in a jumpsuit is a nightmare.

That awkward moment when your housemate/lover/mum/bf isn't around and you cannot possibly reach the zip. I wanted to congratulate Topshop for coming up with the idea of having a long piece of string attached to the zip in one of my dresses but why not transfer this fabulous invention onto your jumpsuits? The problems that arise are numerous: first, you wish you stretched during the PE at school. Second, you wish human beings were actually equipped with a go-go-Gadget-arm. Third, you are more than likely in a desperate position (nobody goes when they just start feeling that the might need to go; there's always a story you need to listen to/tell first for fear of missing out). Also, don't forget how things work in life. And I do have a feeling that designers forget about it. What happens when you put your arms up to reach for the zip? Exactly. The camel toe situation is taken to a completely new level! And a rather uncomfortable one!

I haven't actually told you why I'm raising this issue. The big night of the year is coming: NYE. And like every lady on this planet I'm asking myself the inevitable question: what on Earth am I going to wear? Some of us have already taken advantage of Boxing Day sales. Others wait for the UPS man to deliver the goodies. But remember - time is ticking. It will be 8pm on a Wednesday night before you know it. And the level of drama happening in the ladies is not just up to the women discussing how X shagged Z despite dating Y. It's up to you. Feel good, look stunning and wee happy.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Magic over.

The most unbelievable thought of this evening is the fact that the world will go back to normal tomorrow. I beg to disagree. That cannot just happen. It's not about going back to work. Not at all. I am one of the few lucky people that actually likes her job. It's just that from tomorrow morning the magic will disappear. For another year. The days will start getting longer (not that I'm moaning or anything) and the clothes will be getting thinner (hopefully, so will my body). We will all go back to eating breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Women will wear bras for 16h a day and men will go back to drinking standard whisky on a night out.

How lovely was it to have lunch for breakfast? A slice of cold turkey with cranberry sauce never tasted better between two slices of spelt bread. Having salted caramel cheesecake for lunch was even more magical indeed. This year I have also taken on a challenge of cooking Christmas dinner for 10 of my super hungry friends whose families are far away from where we live and I have succeeded (to be honest I watched Mary Berry do it - how much more British can I possibly become?). A little moment of happiness accompanied by laughter, gossip, almond brussels and sticky carrots glazed in maple syrup (yes, Mary, I added my own twist).

The night before I celebrated Christmas Eve in traditional Polish style - all 12 courses of pescetarian dinner. It took us good 2,5h to march trough it snacking on anything consisting of sauerkraut, mushrooms, fish and wash it down with beetroot soup. You can only imagine the relief when it's over and there's only cake left that you struggle to get in but still refuse to opt for a doggy bag. The best thing about being Polish over Christmas is the fact that we get to open our meticulously wrapped gifts approximately 12h before the rest of the world - on Christmas Eve after dinner. How awesome is that? For some reason it felt like cheating to unwrap pressies form my British friends so this year I saved it for the Christmas morning just to keep the excitement in my veins for a bit longer.

But the best thing about the festive period is the fact that you can feel like you're on top of the world. Not like I need a reason to dress up... but it's so much more special on these few days. And it's perfectly acceptable to wear heels indoors. That is just like another gift itself! It's also ok to be merry. For no reason. With no hidden agenda. And nobody judges you for posting a few selfies a day on Instagram! Well, they probably still do but at least forgive you for doing so. For the last four days (minus first few hours of slight hungover this morning) I did not stop smiling. I'm clearly going to hit the point when Santa brings me collagen-based face creams rather soon! But I do not care.

Over the last few days the outer world didn't exist. There was no reality, no chores, no complaints and no grocery shopping. It was magic. Catching up with a few friends when the bird was in the oven, running on Christmas morning, warm rays of midday sun on my face today, the films I watched and the ones I got away from (it's still Christmas without Home Alone). It's been a bliss. I wish I could stay in this moment for a bit longer. Just linger in between the smell of mulled wine and freshly ground allspice. I don't even feel guilty about a few drunken texts. I've had the best explanation for it on this planet - Hey, it's Chritmas!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Are you ready?

Getting ready for Christmas means different things to all of us. To my mom and dad it normally means baking a poppyseed cake. For my friend's husband it's all about making sure that the traditional fish has been ordered in time. For my friend's daughter it means getting a new iPhone. For me, just in case you ever doubted it, it's all about THE DRESS.

One may think it's completely insignificant or even vain. You couldn't be more wrong. We put so much pressure on ourselves during the festive period. The gifts must be thoughtful (and with a receipt attached just in case it doesn't work out). The cards must be personal (or just signed as the mind-reading message is already inside). The bird must be succulent and juicy, be it goose or turkey (with clear juices coming out, just like when Mary Berry elucidates the word prefect and simultaneously produces a perfect smile on her face). The brussels must be tender and sweet (not like the usual overcooked bitter type that everyone remembers from Christmas before).

But what about ourselves? It we were lucky enough and remembered to make a hairdressers appointment back in August we have the roots sorted. If we focused enough by the end of October we managed to grow our nails by hiring a gorgeous looking teenager from the bottom of the road to do the gardening and adopting the yellow gloves into our family (of course one of them breaks a week before and we need to cut them all off with tears in our eyes and seek for a set of fake ones with loads of glitter). If all that, including loosing a few pounds just to have an excuse to put them back on, is in place and the fridge could not possibly stretch any more here comes the BIG QUESTION: what am I going to wear?

As much as Christmas jumpers are a great excuse to avoid this potentially stressful situation, certain ladies, like myself, like glamming up. Especially for Christmas, as well as for no reason at all. In life you can never be overdressed or overeducated. Since I have two MA degrees I must dress up to the standard, right? Or is this a poor excuse? The hunt for the perfect outfit started back in October. For some reason Topshop and all went all crazy with sequins this year. Maybe it's just me growing up, but I don't fancy looking like a disco ball and make all my guests at the table blink every time I move. I've decided to look for something classy.

As nowadays class is a rare quality to find, it appeared to be even harder to find it on the clothes racks. Dear high street, some of us are neither 4ft tall nor 14 and would like to wear a dress that covers a bit more than the bottom of our knickers. Also, not everyone looks like a boy. Hips. Remember hips? That sexy, curvy part of the female body than men are meant to adore? Yes, some of us still have them and would like to put on a dress that doesn't look like it's about to burst open when we sit down (or not go for 3 sizes up and ruin our self-esteem). Despite the lack of light in the tunnel, I am a woman full of faith and even in the beginning of December I still believed that I was going to find THE ONE.

And so I did. Found it. Right in front of me in the cyber digital world of online shopping. Perfect! I would not even have to leave my desk to get it. I couldn't be more wrong. The dreaded: Out of stock appeared in front of my eyes as they filled with tears. The world stopped for a second. My heartbeat went back to normal when I realised that I'm down in London in a few days for a work thing so I can nip out to this shop and pick it up myself. Ok, no need to panic. It turned out that I could be more wrong. They didn't have it. I had to go to another location to check. Still nothing.

But I finally tried one more shop more locally and, to my surprise, they had the last 2 in stock. I had to wait an hour for them to get it from the stock room, The longest lunch of my life! But finally, we found each other embracing in the changing room. I've found THE ONE and did not let go of it. Literally. All eyes in the queue at the checkout were on me. They were all screaming where did you find this? As proud as I was, the purchase has brought me comfort and piece of mind. I was ready. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the perfect little black dress. I hope you are ready too!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The journey to enlightenment.

I'm sure most of you have seen 'He's just not that into you'. If you're a girl you probably watched it because of Bradley Cooper. If you're a guy, on the other hand, you probably watched it because of a girl. The thing is that women like to complicate their lives. Overthinking is in our nature. As much as our brother, fathers, partners and colleagues cannot understand us, the thing is that we DO NOT understand ourselves either. But shhh... That's meant to be a secret!

When it comes to dating we cannot help but put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Will he like me? Will he like my hair? Do I look fat in these trousers? Do my earrings match my top? Have I got lipstick marks on my teeth? Should I wear high heels? Are jeans too casual? What if he doesn't like my nail varnish? Will he notice the spot on my chin? Will he ask about my natural hair colour? Now, dear ladies, I'm about to reveal another secret: HE DOES NOT CARE. PERIOD.

Ask your boyfriend whether he remembers what were you wearing on your first date. If he does, that's great. But he probably won't. And that's ok too. Whilst you remember every detail of his appearance and what he had for starters, he did not pay attention. All he was interested in was YOU. Not the packaging. Just your company. Simple. He didn't rush home just to look you up on Facebook and send screen shots to his best mates desperately seeking approval and thinking whether your future children will be pretty enough. He did not analyse your friends list or an eight-years-long profile picture history. He just went to sleep.

And how do I know all that? Let me tell you. I might save you all the overthinking for the next few months, if not years. One Friday night/early morning I was coming back from a party in London. On the last train back you normally get a lot of drunks, football fans, blokes dressed up as women and some odd people that do not fit into any category whatsoever. I sat down casually opposite a bloke around my age and next to a couple of older ladies. On the other side of the train there was an elderly couple and two girls coming back from a party as well. Everyone seemed to be minding their own business. Until a certain conversation took place.

The bloke opposite and I started having a chat about how Berocca makes you feel like you've not had a drink the night before. Random. Then he told me all about his travels, parents, his job that he was proud of and the last girlfriend and how he is scared of commitment because of the events in this relationship. The fellow passengers started leaning in casually awaiting further confessions. For the last 12 months I have heard no end of how blokes were 'not ready for a relationship'. My questions was: why on Earth do you date then? Just go for good old one night stands! But then the bloke opposite me answered my question that seemed to be unanswerable.

'I like everything about dating a girl. I like her company. But I do not want to introduce her to my parents'

BOOM! He has given me the answer that would've saved me hours of thinking 'maybe there's something wrong with me?'. Hallelujah! He had no idea how meaningful this was. There's nothing wrong with us, ladies. They just don't want to introduce us to their parents. End of. If things go nowhere (as they do) they do not have to explain to anyone what happened to the cute girl with glasses. They don't have to avoid the answer to 'so what are your plans for the summer?'. They don't have to bring you to the Sunday dinners and cousin's weddings.

Thank you man on the train. Your meaningless confession has brought me relief. As a representative of the female part of the issue, I feel so much better now about all the failed dates, drunk-texting, numerous missed calls at 2am and ignored friends requests. If you're guilty of these crimes, of course.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

'I'm not that kind of guy'

How many times have you heard that? Gazillion. If not more. It's really hard out there for single girls who still believe in love. Yes, we do exist. We refuse to accept the 'everyday reality'. We want more. We want to be swept off our feet, dazzled and mesmerised. We want to be spoilt and adored. Fought for. But you know what... We don't want that every Saturday night. Well we do. But not from a different guy every Saturday night.

The thing is that it always starts the same. You are charming, cute, sweet, funny, witty. We have  a great time, maybe even kiss. Things go the way they go and then boom. Silence. You say you want to meet up in the week but, all of a sudden, you're just too busy. The lack of initiative is killing us so we end up asking you out (idiots!) and then we get a positive response. Ok, we think. Men and women are meant to be equal. That's cool, right? But then the day arrives and you get a 'I was actually seeing someone when we met' text.

I admit that I am not a native speaker of English. As you probably have realised by now. However, the question 'how come you're single?' is giving someone an opportunity to say 'actually I am not', am I right? The answer you normally get from a witty man mentioned before is 'I am too picky', which, I guess, is meant to make us feel even more special. Pathetic. But it works.

It's all good, new, fresh and blah blah. Then the inevitable text kes an appearance so you never meet again. And the more pathetic part about it is that it is normally followed by 'I feel guilty now. I am not the kind of guy who would be seeing two women at the same time'. What a load of rubbish. You that emoji on your iPhone called  a smiling pile of poop (yes, that is its actual name)? It's the first thing that comes to my mind. Of course you're not. You're just the kind of guy that would sleep with two women at the same time. That's oh-so-different, right?

I couldn't help but wonder. Is there anything wrong with me? And at first I think 'no, I am actually perfect'. I come from a good home, I am educated, I have a mortgage, an interesting job, I speak a couple of languages, I am intelligent, I can dance, I am a fantastic cook, I work out and I even lift weights! I am lost. It's time to get the big guns out: when in doubt, watch SATC. It always has an answer to your most nerve-wrecking dilemmas. Remember the episode when Carrie goes to see a shrink? Exactly. Do you know what is wrong with me? I go for the wrong men.