I came back from China, in broken pieces scattered on a serpentine path and without the slightest idea of how and where to start reconstructing myself. I have been away for the past 10 years and I was always on a journey filled with struggles, derived from my attempts to find a purpose in life, a meaning to exist, a place to call home, a man to call my lover and a career that I would find exciting and rewarding.
Needless to say, I have not managed to find any of that and the troubles that ate at me daily, forced me to flee inumerable times from cities, countries, jobs, relationships.
The only constant in my life is that I often feel lost, lonely and without a sense of belonging. The tendency, so far, has been to fill the void with my insatiable desire to find love and a man that can love me so much it hurts. I never experienced intense love and at the same time, healthy and uplifting. The more I couldn’t have it, the more I longed for it and created a whole fantasy of love inside my head. The reason for that might be that I am an incurable romantic. Ever since I was a teenager I felt like part of my fulfillment and my happiness was a man, another human being to make me whole.
I idealized the notion of love to such an extent that I almost served myself on a silver platter to numerous men that only intended to use me. I was constantly dreaming about longing for someone, for anyone that could make me feel awe, immense admiration and absolute, fucking, intense love.
After my 5 years relationship, the loss of love, no matter how much of a routine or just a comfortable prison it had become towards the end, I returned to my beloved home country, Romania.
Instead of focusing on healing and self-development, I denied my pain, I externalized my thoughts of failing in every single domain of my life and unconsciously, I decided that I am not worth being loved and treated with respect by men.
So, guess what? During the pandemic, I went for the easiest and fastest way to meet guys or “to have a chance at love” and that happened to be Tinder.
Tinder was like looking for the needle in a haystack, looking for a decent guy that matches me,that can give me that unconditional love and care I was yearning for, and who could ,at the same time, enjoy the same things I do: reading, art, exploring off the beaten track places, mystery, deep emotions…And I was kind of aware that I would have to sort through so many people that don’t even come close to what I really wanted, but still, I kept going and I allowed myself to be disrespected, humilliated, dominated…as if I was punishing myself for being a failure, for not being good enough, for not deserving to be loved.
During the first few months of 2021, I was marked by a painful duality, the naive desire that I could find someone to treat me right and care about me on Tinder, and the burning tendency to swallow every bit of rubbish that came my way, to self-flagellate by allowing men to treat me worse than I deserved. It all happend because I was in transition and because my suffering was clogged deep inside and on the surface I was, and to be honest, I still am, numb and frozen. I am still at the self-discovery stage and how erroneous it was to think that fulfillment comes with a partner that supports you and helps you develop.
The only thing that I have learnt is that when you are deliberately and desperately searching for love, you won’t find it.
Inner peace and happiness do not depend on a romantic partner.
I am glad I got to the stage of saying no, of stopping my desperate searches and my exhausting, repetive dates.
I had all these ideas in my mind about what I want and I met guys who were just selfish and in it for their own pleasure. They were exactly the accumulation of all the things I despised. They weren’t capable of giving residues of care, respect and kindness or of even being grateful for receiving. I do not blame them because I was attracting exactly what I thought I deserved, men for whom I was never enough, because I wasn’t enough for myself.
How did the dating stories go?
I met a few guys that were decent, and kind of compatible in terms of personality and values, but I didn’t really feel physically attracted to them.
On the other side, I encountered a few handsome men, whose behaviours, arrogance, selfishness and past traumas warned of difficulties and screamed “Stay way”. Did I listen to my intuition? Did I protect myself and love myself enough to refuse everything I didn’t really need or want? No, I kept walking on the path of longing, of painful, superficial, empty and aggressive sex on floors covered in wine, cigarettes and bites.
There was “The Viking”. I went up to him in a teahouse and started a conversation. I was superficially attracted to his looks. However, once I realised he sweats too much in bed and I can’t handle that smell and that behind his image of a strong, muscular guy there is negligence and a soft belly I started liking him less. Those things together with the fact that he was younger than me and sexually inexperienced, completely annihilated my shallow emotions. I led him on, got him to be into me, just to realise that he can’t satisfy me in bed and that he is not sophisticated enough in his way of being and in his way of expressing himself. His jokes about vomit, shit and boogers disgusted me.
There was Mihai, the 45 years old guy, good looking, kind of spiritual, but too sexually-focused, and with a huge package from his past. He was the way I used to see myself, smart, curious, with adventure in his blood, sexually-open to new experiences and not too fond of monogamy. But the fact that he was way too similar to myself challenged me and made me ask myself how far I’d be willing to go. It felt like it’s all about sex and sensual pleasure with him, nothing about emotions, empathy and affection. The little, vulnerable girl inside of myself wanted to be showered with care and undivided attention.
There was Razvan, too short and not consistent enough when interacting with me and way too humorous for my taste. Nothing was a normal conversation about deep, philosophical subjects, and all was about trivial shit and bad jokes memorised from the internet. He was smart enough, but in order to make up for his height he pretended to be too self-confident and took evertything as a joke.
There was Siri, the bistro guy, a blonde hottie suffering from exhaustion, a gambling addiction and a severe depression wrapped up in wit and bursts of maniacal energy. Deep inside, he is an emotionally sensitive guy who has been burnt too many times and wants to present himself as a tough guy in order to protect himself. He made it clear from the beginning that we are too different and we won’t be more than fuck buddies. Due to the fact that it was kind of a challenge for me, I started for an instant to think and fantasize about wanting more from him, but he was absolutely right, a potential relationship would have been disastrous. It became a sort of routine to meet biweekly for sex, even though the sex wasn’t even great or satisfying. He started telling me stuff about his interactions with other women, and when I started doing the same, I felt he doesn’t want to hear that. Wtf?
There was Cristian, a kind of a smart guy, but too selfish and with out of this world expectations from a woman. He boasted he is great with his communication skills, but he was awful at seeing things from another’s perspective and everytime I’d say something that wasn’t going down well with his perspective, his blood would start to boil and he’d start shouting. He was selfish in sex and too cold when out in society together.
Meeting all these men and dealing with all their shit, with their past baggage and expectations, all their self-focus made me long for an idealized past.
And then I realized that I have to stop searching and that I have to focus on myself and end this downfall of disappointments, of being used and abused and of making compromises just to feel less lonely.
From now on, it’s all going to be about me, about self-love and improvement. If anything else comes up on this path, I will be open for it, but I will not make it my purpose in life any longer. It’s time to heal!
Waking up in the morning to the sound of a ‘meow’, to a wet nose, to a lick on your face or hand or to any kind of greeting from your non-human friend can be an amazing way to start the day. The relationship between a person and his or her furry friend goes both ways, it is a relationship of mutual benefit and equal bonding. If you ask me, I also consider that human and non-human animals have equal rights on Earth and should be regarded as having an equal status and the same importance as a human being. Nowadays, domesticated non-human animals rely on their human friends for food, water, shelter and welfare. On the other side, people also gain a wide range of benefits from their companion animals, such as lowering blood pressure, alleviating the overpowering feeling of loneliness, reducing stress, raising blood oxytocin levels and sometimes, even reducing direct physical pain.
How far does the connection between people and their furry companions go? To start with, we know for sure that dogs were domesticated twice, once in Europe, about 16 000 years ago and once in Asia, 14 000 years ago, from two distinct wolf lineages. The purpose of domesticating dogs was for hunting and protection purposes. Another interesting fact that showcases the connection between dogs, cats and humans is that as far back as 12 000 years ago, human and non-human animals were burried together. Approximately 8000 years ago, when humans transitioned from nomadic hunters to settled farmers in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, cats became increasingly useful for dealing with rodents and other troublesome pests.
In ancient Greece, dogs were believed to ward off or prevent death and in many cases they were kept around temples and used as co-therapists because of their perceived ability to cure sickness. Pet ownership might go as far back as ancient Egypt, where pharaos were depicted in murals together with their animal companions. Scientific research does not show with certainty when non-human animals started to be kept as pets and became our closest friends and companions.
The truth of the matter is, that non-human animals have always played a significant role in our lives and archaeological findings are proof of that. These days, our furry friends might live in our houses, at farms or gardens, but regardless of their contribution to our society, they mean us no harm and they surround us with love. Thus, we owe them protection and respect.
The most foreward regions of the world to come up with animal protection laws, were Ireland in 1635, that sought to regulate the treatment of sheep, and Massachusetts Bay Colony, which regulated against cruelty towards domestic animals. In 1992, Switzerland becomes the first country that includes the protection of animals in its constitution. Five years later, in 1997, the European Union adds to the European Community Treaty an appendix on the Protocol of Animal Protection. The international law for the treatment and rights of animals has evolved considerably, and even though it varies from country to country, non-human animals have started to be protected against cruel lab experiments, cosmetic testing, direct physical violence, the sale and manufacturing of fur, depriving animals of freedom for shows and touristic purposes, caging and breeding animals, etc. The reality that each and every one of us should acknowledge is that non-human beings are sentient beings that deserve to live amongst us as equal beings, protected and loved.
Now, let’s direct our attention to Romania and to the defective system of animal protection. First of all, the laws are only valid for and refer to abandoned and stray DOGS, without any of mention of other stray animals. Secondly, up until this year, there was no specific authority for the protection of our companions, cases of cruelty and mistreatment of animals being directed to the local police force. Needless to say, fining or punishing the psychopaths or the careless individuals that hurt animals in any way whatsoever, is not a priority or never happens at all. Apparently, a separate Animal Police Force has been officialy established, but until we can rely on them,we should all do our best for the animals on the street and for all the animals that we come in contact with. I mean, how can two veterinarians in the police force manage all cases of animal cruelty and mistreatment in one entire county? That’s if they have the intention of doing their job at all. Meanwhile, stay strong animal lovers! For the others, let’s solve the problem of stray dogs and cats, neuter our furry friends, cooperate with legit NGOs (do your research beforehand), work with fellow animal lovers, be kind to animals and help those in need find a forever home. If you can’t or won’t do any of the above, at least don’t do any harm to non-human animals, who have been our companions for millenia.
Respect and love animals, save animals and in order to decrease the number of stray animals, neuter, neuter, neuter!
Note to self: The more I age, the more I feel lost and unequipped to live in the world. When I was a kid I ran around and chased after butterflies. I used to be idealistic and I think that is what was exceptionally beautiful about myself and about the imaginary world in which I have lived for a considerable period of time.
The universe that I have been inhabiting for the past 5 years has completely vanished: a strong relationship, that in my mind was a future marriage, a possible career start, a country of my choice for settling down. All of a sudden, I found myself without a relationship, in a country I wanted to escape from and with no career. Where am I now? In my home country, Romania, a place I keep coming back to as a refuge, but maybe I should start considering it as part of the solution and as a possible key to moving on. I am lonely and alone because my spirit has been murdered. My inner child has forgotten how to feel happiness, enthusiasm, bursts of energy and passion. I feel vulnerable, dependent, immature, malfunctioning, unequiped to live in a world of adults, in a society that demands only reasonable acts and logical, smart decisions….In the past, I made choices by following my heart and I was deceived. I chose to bounce from domain to domain in my career and from study to study. It was a rewarding and an intellectually challenging experience, but one that delayed or entirely interfered with the evolution of my career. And while I pour my heart out as in a personal diary, I am trying to take a baby step to heal, because I am hurt.
I am 30 years old and up until this moment I felt like I have nothing, no job, no career, no relationship, no material possessions, no clue about my future path. I am still a child who doesn’t know, where and when, her most valuable posession, her spirit, has been lost…and more importantly I don’t know how to listen to myself, how to recover from the pile of ashes I have become.
As the nursery song ‘Ring around the rosie’ might actually come from the terrible period of the Black Death in London in 1665, I also feel like me and all my possible selves, might all fall down. Apparently, this soft-sounding nursery song should calm babies and put them to sleep. On the surface, I have a shred of hope or belief that I might fall asleep peacefully when listening to ‘Ring around the rosie’, but deep down, the dark undertones of the song comfort my extinguished soul…I see myself in the ashes, in the darkness, in the fog, reaching out for other miserable souls…misery loves company, after all.