Very interesting point. I have a few buddies who seem to be somewhat comfortable with showing emotions (at least every now and then) and I like them a lot – and I love hanging out with them just talking heart to heart and playfully pushing each other or eating chocolate. I surely wouldn’t mind if more guys were comfortable with expressing their emotions and having meaningful nonsexual relationships, regardless of their sexual orientation. I don’t live in America, but still our culture is somewhat similar when it comes to what is expected from men.
After talking about attractiveness, clothes, and other weird stuff with one of my guy friends I was left wondering
- why I don’t feel attractive in cute dresses in which I’m supposed to feel attractive/beautiful/feminine
- why I look weird in overly feminine clothes
- whether I’m the only one who doesn’t like to feel sexy etc. all the time
I googled “I don’t want to feel sexy” and “why don’t I feel attractive in dresses?” – and all the results I got were along the lines of “9 steps to feel sexy again” or “how to help your wife to get her sexy back”. WTF? Obviously the Internet is full of desired sexiness and of no help to me. At least on the surface.
A while ago I started reading blogs/boards from the asexual community and found their views on relationships (including friendship) and body image highly fascinating. So there must be stuff on the internet about not wanting to feel sexy all the time (or at all).
No answer about the unattractiveness of female me in dresses, though. I think it has something to do with proportions – weird distribution of body mass between upper and lower body, as in big bottom but otherwise a little on the androgynous side -, a not exactly delicate, feminine way of moving, and the stark clash between a flowery, frilly-girly sundress and not-so-girly Starfish. When a dress is way more feminine than me it makes my lack of femininity more obvious, I guess? I feel most comfortable in rather neutral clothes. Long, comfortable and rather plain dresses with broad straps look and feel much better than cute and girly dresses, but still are for days with really good mood. I’ve been called “plain” before, time to own it! I’ve never really been a traditionally cute/pretty teenage girl anyway. Now that I’m in my mid-twenties and sport the first grey strands while trying to become more athletic, looking girly isn’t even a real option anymore – and I’m sort of glad about that. Now when I buy new clothes they have to
- be of a colour that really suits me and makes me feel good
- fit my body and feel comfortable while making me look the way I like
- allow a wide range of movements (no dainty sitting around while sipping tea all day)
because seriously, dressing in a way others are supposed to find attractive while making me miserable is stupid. I want to be liked for feeling comfortable in my own skin (and clothes) and giving off positive vibes or whatever you want to call it, so I better get started on that. Many guys I talk to prefer a positive aura over tons of make-up.
Over the course of the weekend (which for me included headaches, panic-mode, and generally feeling stressed out and tired) I decided to convert the stuffed corner behind my desk into a place for contemplation/prayer/calm-down. I need a place without chaos, without technology, without distraction.
- the corner should feel airy, but separate form the surrounding space
- keyword: sensory deprivation. I even joked about getting myself a huge cardboard box from the attic to climb into when the world is too full of sounds and visual input; but I decided to go with white and just keep it simple.
- no additional purchases (in the beginning I had planned to get things from Ikea, bad me) – I want a place to get away from hoarded stuff, so buying new things would be counterproductive
- working title of the project: “warrior’s retreat” – I want to become stronger in mind, soul, and body, while learning to relax, to focus, to relearn stillness and mindfulness, and to be angry or stressed out less often
- I’d like to spend at least ten minutes each day in my tiny retreat and allow my mind to wander a little, maybe read a bit … ideal would be ten minutes in the morning plus ten minutes before going to bed, but I’ll take small steps for now
- I turned around my art supply shelf to add a third wall (not very high, but high enough for when sitting close to the floor, see next item) and to keep the area closer to the empty stretch of wall and away from my desk at the opposite wall
- a surplus palette (left over from replacing our sofa with palettes and beanbag chairs) is stored in the attic and will become a slightly elevated, airy “floor” – we have a slight problems with cold drafts here and a bit of elevation will make it feel more like a proper separate sitting area while retaining the feeling of being close to the ground by sitting on a flat surface
- to provide a softer ceiling and the illusion of a fourth wall I salvaged my old bed canopy aka cheap mosquito net from of the get-rid-of-this-stuff box (instead some other items ended up in that box) and hung it from the overhead wall shelf by digging up one of the adhesive hooks I had bought for the bathroom some time ago
- our old sofa throw (something between off-white, beige, and pastel yellow) will become the first layer on top of the palette
- an old woven rug (mostly red, white, and a little black) my mother gave me for my first apartment will be either folded as a cushion or just run across the whole palette, depends on what I like better in the end
- one of the Ikea “Skurar” plant pots which had served as a candle holders on our wedding day will be repurposed to hold a pen, a small notepad, and maybe a feather plus some fragrance (e.g. a single star anise from my stash in the kitchen)
- one or two books; currently I think I’ll put my study bible and a capoeira book inside
- a glass tumbler of fresh, cold water
- maybe one of our small white or grey metal lanterns (also wedding decoration) will be added for soothing light and to focus on to calm down
Do you have a place in your home for contemplation and/or calming down? I’d like to hear about it and maybe see pictures :)
Wide awake behind closed eyelids, the passion of rapidly firing neurons, flashes of thunderstorm-like consciousness, falling backwards into habits of uneasy dreams at the cutting edge of spiralling hummingbird thoughts and cherry blossoms settling down like moths at sunrise, the sweltering heat of a body-warmed woolen cocoon less comforting than the cold morning air creeping between layers of blankets and skin tingling with electricity.
Sparks of knowledge singing along the wires of nerves and peeling tree bark away until the raw bone-marrow becomes one with sleepy feet retracing icy lines of fleeting sun light, wandering low over the mind’s horizon – stillness of birds on telegraph wires between rooftops, whirring blue sparks recreating whole galaxies at the speed of light multiplied by pi and unfolding into one dimension for every constant and factor ever thought of.
Point of origin, branching out in the shape of a platypus; bloom and sun and winter all at once curling up in twisted ropes of chimney smoke, sky-bound paper ships attracted by singularities, a tidal wave of black holes at the bottom of a mind’s deep ocean, sea-turtle green and lagoon blue, the colours of the spectrum defining speed and amplitude, longitude being as uncertain as flight patterns of mosquitos and latitude as fleeting as bookpages turned, absentmindedly over a long cold cup of coffee.
After weeks of sugary food and lots of stress I felt like treating myself with a “real” lunch today – normally I dislike cooking something more complex than only rice or only veggies just for myself (and most of the time I just use comfort food – pizza or something from a can). But after buying some new chopsticks yesterday I decided to make delicious onigiri with a mix of vegetables and chicken. Finally my onigiri start to look like onigiri! Still working on the size though. Note: forming hot rice with bare hands is slightly masochistic. Proceed at your own risk.
Step 1: make onigiri (you can add nori/seaweed, but I prefer to omit that)
Step 2: fry vegetables and chicken (I used a box of frozen, chopped vegetables with seasoned butter as well as pre-fried stripes of chicken breast), take blurry picture …
Step 3: put everything in a bowl and add chopsticks.
Enjoy your lunch :)
As you might know already I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I own a few basic items, but to be honest I tend to loose track of how often I use these. I think on average I use some make-up stuff about once per month. Most days I just stick to oil and homemade lip-balm. Nothing better than sesame or coconut oil for skin and hair.
So by the end of each month I’ll try to list make-up use in terms of occasions and the products used.
I’ve already made it half-way through April without any decorative cosmetics in my face (doodling on my hand with eye-liner doesn’t count), and as there are no upcoming events for this month it might stay this way. May and June should be more interesting because of some weddings etc., though even for these I plan to go with even more minimal make-up this year because even toxin-free powder causes me to break out. I’d rather be a little shiny than having to deal with an itchy face during a celebration.
My goal is to use as little make-up as possible in the future – it’s not good for my skin, and I don’t like giving in to the pressure of society. When I want to wear some eyeshadow or lipstick for my own amusement, fine, but as soon as someone will comment on how I should wear MORE make-up I’ll wipe everything from my face and tell them to shut up.
It’s my choice
- when and in what amount to wear make-up
- how much and what to eat
- when to wear dresses or other flowy stuff.
I decided to put being active and healthy first. And you know what? Even while I was writing my master’s thesis, stuffed my face with sweets, and didn’t exercise as often as the months before I didn’t gain weight or break out a lot. As long as I listen to my body I’m fine, obviously. When I feel good I sometimes feel like wearing my hair down or putting on a dress, but when I’m cranky this would just backfire. As would wearing itchy make-up on a moody day. Give me music, sun, and some chocolate cake, and you’ll see me wearing my prettiest, happiest bare face.
Slipping into familiarity
like the copper evening sun
pouring out long forgotten warmth
into open hands, beneath cracked winter skin.
Relaxed stance, standing side by side to watch
we are not young anymore
attentive inside, silent counsel
we are alive between worlds.
Wordlessly, invisibly calling me over
because these are familiar grounds
tiny habits, a place carved into this world
finding comfort in knowing for once what to do.
Walking in the copper sun
that evening, a singularity of happiness
content with life and the present moment
feeling almost at home.