What (not) to say to your unemployed friend: 5 do’s & don’ts

Good evening and welcome to today’s helpful advice on “What to say – or better yet: not to say – when your friend is unemployed”. Given that I have been on the job market for a couple of weeks now and have come to the stark realisation that my industry isn’t in the best of shapes – thank you Brexit – I thought it was time for me to write a post I never wanted to have the knowledge to write. Alas, we don’t always get what we want. Me sitting on the couch all day is a stellar case in point. But at least it provided me with some inspiration, yes? Right, so let’s dive right in:

1. DON’T

Ask how the job hunt is going?
Trust me, if your unemployed friend had good news to share about her incessant search for work, she would have definitely already told you. Most likely she would have hired a blimp with a massive “I’VE GOT A JOB!” printed on it to scour the sky in the area of where you live. There’d be no way you’d ever miss that news, trust me. And if there was any other update to share, like, say, she scored an interview? You will have been notified far in advance, so you could root for her when she went. Even bad updates about failed interviews will be shared – if she wants to. Just… Don’t ask for them, okay?

1. DO

Talk about what is going on with you!
Your friend is, most likely, living a pretty bleak existence right now. If she had the money to spare, she would probably pay you to talk to her about anything other than her own sad reality right now! So have at it, tell her what you’re doing these days, what you’re up to over the weekend, what your significant other is planning for your birthday… It can even be OK to talk about something great you’ve done at work. Just because she’s unemployed, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to share in her friend’s great achievements. If she has a problem listening to your success, then I can tell you right now: that’s not a true friend.

2. DON’T

Be jealous of “all the free time” you’d love to have!
I don’t care whether you’re my bitch or not, I’m about to smack. You. UP! Say that and it’s very likely your friend is doing her best not to punch you in the face right now. You’re being a brat. Because guess what? She’d give a-ny-thing not to be at home all the time. Spending time on the couch is fun for… About a week. Max two. After that it becomes boring and with every passing day, your friend is probably just feeling like more and more of a loser. So don’t be jealous. Don’t even pretend to be jealous. Otherwise any teeth you’ll be missing are of your own doing.

2. DO

Ask what she had for dinner last night?
Did she read a good book maybe? What about a movie? Like it or not, your friend has got a lot of free time right now. You can’t spend ev-er-y waking moment applying for jobs. So odds are your friend is able to Netflix away for a day and picked up on this amazing show she’d love to talk to you about. Take an interest in her life without having what can only be described as “laser focus” on her current work status. She’ll be happy to talk to you about anything and everything, just not her job hunt – capiche?

3. DON’T

Give advice.
This one is simple. Yes, she is applying for jobs online. Yes, she has updated her LinkedIn profile. Yes, she is sending out her resume to various recruitment agencies. Yes, she is personalising emails to people in the business. Yes, she is trying to use the full extent of her network. Yes. Yes. YES! Whatever advice you’ve got: 9 times out of 10, the answer is “Yes, I’ve done that” and you implying otherwise is not only condescending, but patronising and be-yond annoying. Don’t do it. Unless you’re in HR yourself and you actually have valid advice on your friend’s resume, cover letter, upcoming interview (or anything similar), then please keep your comments to yourself.

3. DO

Talk about any job opportunities you’ve come across.
If you know what your friend is looking for and you’ve heard of a job opportunity that really matches her skill set, then of course, tell her about it!!! What are you waiting for?! Any kind of lead like that will be most welcomed! You’ll probably even win “Best Friend” Award of the Year if it pans out. If not, for sure you’ll receive an honourable mention. Either way, your help and thoughtfulness will be most appreciated. Even just knowing that you’re keeping an eye out for her means a lot. You go Glen Coco!

4. DON’T

Suggest any kind of outing.
Going to the movies. Going for dinner. Taking a spa day. Going on holiday. Going partying. The list can go on. Do you know what those suggestions all have in common? They cost money. Do you know what your friend doesn’t have at the minute? An income. Do you know what does still come in though? Bills. So no, your friend can’t go out clubbing with you to take the edge off. And dinner at that nice restaurant is going to have to wait. Anything that entails spending money is most likely going to be off-limits right now. So don’t even go there, because while you think you are taking her mind off things, you’re actually making her feel even more miserable. Trust me, she’s got enough to feel depressed about already. There’s no need for you to help with that.

4. DO

Surprise her with a bag full of food you are going to cook for her!
Or just spontaneously show up with a bunch of dvd’s and demand a movie night! Or maybe you feel like you’d like some company on a walk through the local park?! Any activity not costing money and designed to hang out – without strings attached – is absolutely amazing. Like a breath of fresh air, she’ll be pleased at how considerate you are. Being unemployed can leave your friend feeling isolated, because there’s so many activities she suddenly can’t participate in. By surprising her with your (free) company, she’ll get the benefit of your friendship without that pesky financial cost. Bliss! And also eternal gratitude.
Oh, and if you’re trying to circumvent the “cost” issue by offering to pay for her? Be careful with that one. A nice treat is fine and truly generous, but don’t overdo it or she’ll start feeling like a charity case. Even if she kind of is one right now, there’s no reason she should feel like one.

5. DON’T

Talk about your friend of a friend of your brother who’s in the same position as she is.
Great. What the fuck do I care? Is this helpful information? Is it going to make your friend feel better? Do you really think your friend is going to be pleased to hear that other people are also having a hard time with finding a job? I’m sure you think it’s going to make her feel less alone and therefore less of a failure, but you thought wrong. Instead, it’s just going to convince her that the market is absolutely horrendous and her next opportunity for a job might not be weeks, but months away. She probably already knew that, but you confirming it really adds on the pressure. Thanks for that.

5. DO

Say that you believe in her.
All she really needs from you is support. Belief that she can do this. She may not always believe it herself, so therefore your relentless encouragement is key. There will always be days when it seems hopeless and on those days it means the absolute world that her best friends are rooting for her. You may not be able to supply her with a job. You may not be able to give her advice. You may not be able to show up on her doorstep with a collection of chickflick movies. But you can show support by simply saying that you believe in her. You believe in her skills. You believe that, despite that this is a rough patch she is experiencing, she will get through it. Do that and you are already the best friend she could ever have. Word.

Voilà. And there you have it folks: some insight into what it’s like being unemployed and how to talk to someone who is – i.e. me. Of course, anyone who’s ever had an unemployed friend and now realises that they may have done some of the aforementioned “don’ts”: don’t worry. We, the unemployed friends, know you mean well. We’re not here to bite your head off and discount you as “unfeeling idiots”. On the contrary! We know that you’re trying to be a good friend, but you’re not entirely sure how that works in this new situation. And that isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s simply “uncharted territory” for your friendship. We I would never hold that against you.

Though, now that you understand my situation a bit more, I will no longer make apologies for any grunts, eye rolls, yawns or potential walk-outs you may encounter if you fail to comply with the above. Not to be mean, but you have been forewarned, so no calling me out on being “grumpy”. Because until you wear a robe more often than you wear jeans, you haven’t even begun to understand the meaning of the word.


– Your couch potato





The awakening.

In those days, he often had trouble sleeping. He’d wake up, toss, turn and most times if he did it long enough, he would find sleep again. Not this night though. This night would turn out to be a night he’d remember.

His throat was parched and he decided to go downstairs for a glass of water. Getting ready for the long trek towards the kitchen, he threw off his Spiderman-patterned covers and tapped his feet on the floor, trying to find his slippers. Then he slowly opened his bedroom door, trying to minimise the creaking noise so as not to wake up his parents. Their bedroom was located opposite his. Most nights the door was open just a crack. Tonight though, it was wide open. He shuffled through his doorway and found himself on the upstairs landing, staring into his parents’ bedroom. There was no one there.

Did they go out tonight? Sometimes they would go out to dinner parties with old college friends. He was such a good kid and they trusted him implicitly, he usually didn’t have a babysitter anymore. Only if they’d be gone for a full night, then they would call on the girl down the street to sit with him. He vehemently disliked her. She never paid him any mind and spent her time talking to her boyfriend on the phone, yammering about how much she loved him and didn’t he love her just as much? Thanks, but no thanks. He preferred his evenings all to himself, if that was going to be the case. But tonight, there was no babysitter. Did they go out? He couldn’t be sure. Then he yawned and decided it didn’t matter. He was thirsty.

As he walked down the stairs, he again noticed something odd in his sleep-deprived mind. There were voices. Hushed voices coming from the kitchen. He took a moment and realised they were his parents’ voices, sounding panicked. What could they be arguing about at this time of the night? Even at the ripe old age of 11 years old, he knew that 3am in the morning wasn’t a normal time for his folks to be up, arguing about God knows what. They rarely ever argued to begin with, so this scene was strange indeed.

He silently stalked towards the kitchen door, which connected to the hallway he now found himself in. From there he was able to make out his mother’s anguished voice and his father’s controlled rage towards her. He stopped his quest for water and stood still, trying to make out the words.

“You know it is the only way, Beatrice! We have to put a stop to this, right now.”
“And then what?”, his mother pleaded. “How will we face every day beyond that, knowing what we know, having done what we did?”
“It doesn’t matter! I will not let you bring us all down. You are out of control. I have been more than patient. All this time, I have been waiting, hoping, even praying that you would come to your senses yourself, but tonight was the last time I stood by you. If you are adamant to continue down this path, be warned, my darling, that you will be going down it, alone.”
“Please Patrick, please understand. Everything I have done, I did for us. For you and for Michael, for all of us. I would never willingly…”
“Stop. Just… Stop.” His dad sighed. “I don’t care anymore what you willingly did or didn’t do. The fact is that it’s done. And it can never, ever happen again. You have to stop. We have to stop. Do you understand that?”

A long silence followed.
Then her voice was soft, so soft, like the caress of a whisper across damp skin. Like a promise unspoken, but powerful nonetheless.
“OK. I, uhh, yes, I know. I know it can’t continue. I wish I could take it all back. I never wanted you to be involved in any of this, in any of my… Pursuits. If I could do it all over again, you know I would spare you any connection to this. You know that, right?”

His father took a few paces towards the hallway, away from his mother and closer to where he was standing. He held his breath as he waited for his father to come out of the kitchen and discover him standing there in the middle of the hallway, lurking like a common thief. Instead, he turned back to his wife: “Maybe one day I would have. But now… I don’t know anymore.”
“Please, Patrick, please I need you to believe me. I know I screwed up, OK? I know. I’ll do anything. For you. For Michael. If you can believe one thing, will you believe that?” She sobbed.

One sob, actually. It wasn’t long or drawn out like he’d seen those women do on the reality tv shows his babysitter liked so much. It wasn’t loud either. But he still heard it, that sob. It felt like it came down from deep within his mother’s inner crevices, spilled out for his father to hear. For his father to forgive her, whatever it was that needed to be forgiven. He couldn’t understand much of what was going on, but he knew that at least.

“Fine. Yes. Yes, I do know that. But never again, you hear me? After tonight, we never speak of this ever again! If you so much as even breathe in the direction of… We are done. And I will take Michael with me. You hear me, Beatrice? I will take our son. So you better be damned sure that you can do this. Starting now, you get what I’m saying?” The anger had left his father’s voice. He sounded like a kid who had lost all of his former bluster, who was once the greatest bully on the playground, but then got his ass kicked so badly that he was forever doomed to be but a mere fly on the wall. And without that anger, he just sounded… Scared. Terrified, even. As if his mother’s answer would determine the rest of their lives, which, he supposed, it would. Michael held his breath, not knowing what he’d want her to say next. He was too young to comprehend the scene behind the kitchen door. They were his parents. He loved them both equally. What were they talking about? He waited.

After a long time, his mother finally inhaled deeply, as if to get ready for speech: “We will never speak of this again. And it will never happen again. I promise you. On our son, I promise you.”

His father let go of the breath he was holding. Deflated, Patrick put his arms around her and together they staid like that. He didn’t know how long it lasted, maybe long after he’d snuck back into his room. Maybe long after he fell back asleep, dreaming about what this unspeakable truth was his parents so anxiously discussed late into the night. All he knew was he never found them like that again. He never heard them pass so much as an angry word between them. For the rest of his childhood, they would be his parents who would lovingly kiss when they thought he wasn’t looking. They would take him on holiday and try to teach him the value of culture over videogames. They would sigh when he would break curfew after he’d try to sneak in, like the typical teenager that he was. Their lives returned to normal. For all intents and purposes, their lives would always be normal.

Until today. And despite how he still remembered that night, never in a million years did he see it coming.

The curse and blessing that is YOLO

Decisions. For some reason people around the world struggle with them. I do too. They’re like blank pages we feel like we need to conquer. But how to get those first words onto the page? How to know they are the right words? Decisions very much feel like that. You toss and you turn and you hope that when you do decide, it will be the right decision.

“Yes, he is the guy you will be able to spend your life with, happily ever after.”
“No, that is not the right place for you to move to, far removed from what brings you joy.”
“Perhaps, maybe this job opportunity is the right one, but how to know for sure…?”

If any of this sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve all been there before.

The problem is that making decisions is hard. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how wise you might be, they’re always hard. Because the uncertainty of making the wrong move is a fearful task. More so even in this world than a world of years ago. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am overjoyed by the opportunities screaming at my generation to get noticed, to be our roads less travelled by our ancestors. Growing up in today’s day and age is a privilege, if nothing else. But let’s face it, in a way, things were “easier” way back when.

I use that term loosely, “easy”, as I don’t want you to mistake it for “better”. What I am aiming for is that, once upon a time, you were born and depending on which family you came from, which gender you were etc., life was almost “pre-decided” for you. It may not have suited you perhaps, but in a way, you knew what to do. You knew how far you could go and what limitations life held. While I’d never want to go back to a world like that, I do confess it sounds appealing in a “Gosh-how-amazing-would-it-be-to-not-have-to-make-such-important-life-altering-decisions-all-the-time.” I mean, hell, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this?

In my opinion, a lot of people make choices nowadays out of fear for going into the golden years with too many regrets. It’s what my generation, the #YOLO-generation is all about: You Only Live Once. And that belief, that fear that you only live once, well it means that you have to carpe the hell out of that diem, doesn’t it? It means you can’t let any kind of chance of greatness go to waste, or you’ll be the fool who let it all slip through his/her fingers. There’s pressure behind making decisions now, not just because life is no longer “pre-decided” and you actually control your own fate (for which I’m sure you’ll all say with me: Halleluja!) but if you make the wrong one, you’re not living up to your YOLO-potential. Shame on you!

Let’s be honest: I have felt that pressure massively as well. Who doesn’t? But the absence of said pressure can have negative consequences too, I feel. Say you find yourself in a life you didn’t specifically ask for, you never really wanted, never truly dreamed of in the way that you’re experiencing it, yet… You can see it being stable, presenting you with a future where you know what to expect. Finally, the pressure is off! And you can rest a little easier. You can breathe more carefree, even as the days, weeks and months pass by and you have to admit to yourself, that while you’re not unhappy, you’re not exactly happy either. The relief of knowing what’s coming next keeps you tied to your present state.

As this is my first day where I am truly no longer employed, the pressure is back on in a major way. While it’s an added weight to carry, in a way I welcome it back with open arms. Finally I have the power to make decisions again! Who’d-a-thunk I’d be glad to feel that stress?! Ha, I genuinely am though. To be honest, I always had the power to make my own decisions – of course I did. But my carefree state made me unwilling to change. Now though, I’m ready for something different. So with that in mind, I’ve made two decisions:

  1. I am starting an online copywriting course at the College of Media & Publishing. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve got a solid background in marketing, it’ll be awesome to truly combine the two and see how I do. I have the time nowadays anyways, so why not? Sitting at home day after day just doesn’t interest me – now that I have the opportunity, I want to make the most of it and learn about something that interests me greatly!
  2. This Saturday I’m attending a Creative Writing course at the Faber Academy in London. Not sure what to expect from it, I’ve only been told to “bring my favourite novel”. But I’m definitely so looking forward to it! This course to me is not about learning per se, like the CMP online course is. It’s not about helping me look for the next opportunity in my life… This one just tugs at my heartstrings. This one… Is just for me. :-) And I can’t wait!

I’ll keep you updated on how it all pans out. In the meantime, I’d just like to stimulate each and every one of you to never lose that pressure. Never lose that feeling where life has no more different stories to offer you, because everything is simply going full steam ahead towards the predictable end. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: life is unpredictable. And that can be such an amazing thing to experience! I’d hate for you to lose that excitement, to lose that joyous buoyant feeling of being deliciously alive. Stop being content if you’re not, not truly anyways. Change it. You have the power to make that decision. I encourage you to do so.

From: Invictus, by William Ernest Henley (1888)

Life is unpredictable. Expect that.

The other day I was chatting with one my BFFs – yes, I know, what a cheesy way to describe someone, but in my defence: I did grow up in the age of “BFF” and “NWLY” and “ILY”, also known as the MSN-generation. And there’s simply no better way to describe this particular foxy lady. Anyways, I digress: we were talking boys, as us girls tend to do. And in the midst of it, I was advising her to not have too many expectations of how life was supposed to be. Especially not in the love department.

Why? Well, a lot of us – and with “us” I mean “girls” – grow up thinking that we need to find the right man. And once we do, we need to make that relationship a top priority in our lives together, so that when a sufficient amount of time has passed, it will have become appropriate for us to move in together with said man. After which another period needs to pass, so that it will become acceptable for the man to propose to us and we can finally start our “happily ever after”.

Simultaneously though, we are also expected to work on our self-actualisation and be our own woman. To go out and enjoy a movie, you don’t need a man. Same goes for dinner and every other activity you’d often need a partner to “enjoy”. We are told we don’t need a man to feel worthy of love, to feel worthy – period. Which, in my opinion, is so true! But I find it to be a conflicting message, because if we can enjoy our lives on our own, then why can we not have a happily ever after without that other person?

One of my dear friends is a stunning woman. She was married. It didn’t work out. All of her friends have gotten married, started on kids and look at her with that look of pity – because “her plans” didn’t pan out. And it’s heart-breaking. Because her life is freakin’ fabulous. She does what makes her happy. And sure, she’d love to meet a great man and maybe have kids with him. But it’s not going to define her. Instead, she just landed a job abroad and she’s going to be kick-ass amazing at it. I’ve not been this proud of someone in a long time, because – while she doesn’t know it – it gives me hope for my own future. That I can be me and chase after my own dreams, the way she has done no matter what happened.

She’s taught me this: I can be my own woman. And that will already be enough. The rest of it… Will sort itself out, I hope. But I’m not counting on it. I don’t need to follow that “traditional roadmap” in order to achieve happiness. Because even when you do, my friend’s story proves that it doesn’t necessarily mean happily ever after. Expecting that everything will be miraculously wonderful once you’ve got a ring on it, well it just ain’t realistic.

Which brings me to my point, something I’m taking a long time to get to – I know. But as I was talking to my friend who was having all these expectations about how her relationship was “supposed to go”, as us young women have always been unconsciously taught to have, I told her to stop having them altogether. Because life is totally unpredictable. And while I understand that human beings don’t do well with insecurity, it’s madness to think that there’s only one way your life can go, one plan that will deliver happiness. Because that’s not real life.

So I told my friend: Life is unpredictable. Expect that.

A year ago I didn’t expect to be out of a job right now. I didn’t expect I would have moved out from my place, a flat I’d only just moved into at the time. I didn’t expect to have lost a lot of my self-worth in the months past. I didn’t expect to have to do all of this rebuilding on my own self right now. I didn’t expect a lot of things. But I did expect that nothing would happen according to planBecause it wouldn’t happen that way. Because it hasn’t been happening that way for years.

From the moment I applied to business school – something that would never have occurred to me in a million years in the years preceding that decision – I threw everything out the window. My plans I’d had. My future I’d always seen so clearly. I threw it all away. Because what’s the point? Life doesn’t work out that way. And while it was hard at first, somehow I ended up in another country. And then I started building a life here, somewhere I’d never envisioned living – besides in my wildest dreams. Clearly not everything has been smooth sailing, but is that what I did it for? To lead a charmed life? Or is it more interesting to lead a life, experiencing both the good and the bad – whatever it likes to throw at you and see how you do?

I still haven’t got a plan. I have no idea what I am going to do. But I’m sure I’ll find out. As time moves forward, I am totally confident I will at least find out. It’d be awesome to have a bit of certainty, but since it’s been uncertainty that has brought me here… Even through the bad, I’m actually OK living my life this way. As the unpredictable mess that it is. I’ve come to expect it. More even: I’ve come to love it.


How good is your swipe?

As any singleton living in London, I am all too familiar with the dating world. Or, better yet, the dating hell that is Tinder, Happn, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel – man, the list of dating apps is endless. Sadly, it’s not made it much easier than in the times before mobile phones were even a thing, which you would think is the case. Let me temper your expectations straight away: it’s really really not.

It’s almost a joke to think that in the 21st century – with all its progress and advancements – dating is still as difficult as always. But alas, while we may use dating apps now – which are indeed wonderfully convenient – I cannot begin to tell you how unbelievably impersonal it is! More even: because it’s so impersonal, more often than not the actual date doesn’t even happen. You’re lucky if you even get a decent conversation – let alone a nice evening out on the town. *insert audible groan here*

Ah well, luckily for you, I am in a sharing mood and today I’d like to take you through some enjoyable Tinder conversations I’ve had, because while it’s perceptibly painful, it can also be totally hilarious. Now, if you’re a guy, this may actually help you! Because genuinely, I am not just commemorating the worst offenders here. No, in fact, I am just creating like a hall of fame of “Things shitloads of guys do on Tinder that we – us with the boobs – really wish they didn’t”. And with that introduction, let’s start with this poor lad here, who came up with the cheesiest pick-up line in history:

Tinder 2

I mean… What is up with that? You think that’s going to make me intrigued at your noticeable lack of wit? To be honest, I did laugh, but at the guy, not with, which is an important distinction. Safe to say: this dude is still waiting for me to reply. And he’ll be waiting for a loooong time.

Another hilarious thing that will happen whilst you’re swiping away: these Christian Grey-induced dudes, thinking they’re “tha shiznit” and believing this is totally something that will sweep us ladies off our feet. Like… Really? Seriously, guys complain all the time that the Christian Grey bonanza has set unrealistic relationship goals for women and we now all want mentally scarred billionaires tying us up to get ready for a good spank. Let me tell you now, once and for all: this is not the case!!!

Suffice it to say that, whenever I encounter these idiots, a swipe left occurs immediately. Well, after I’ve taken a print screen, obviously. Because oh yeah, this is beautiful material to share with the girls as we commiserate with each other on the sad desert that represents our love lives.

But I confess, I do feel for some of these guys though. Sometimes it happens that we swipe right and then we match and it’s like… “Ah. Oy, uhh… Well, to be honest I’m not into this guy, now that I’ve thought about it.” But alas, the guy immediately starts making contact! To be fair: it doesn’t happen often that they’ll keep trying after that first unanswered text, but you do have those who are persistent, like this guy who matched my friend the other day:
IMG_3925I mean, if it wasn’t so funny, I would probably think it was sad. As for my friend: she’s not replying in a bid to find out how many more days he can keep this up for. Because, let’s face it, this is entertaining stuff to share!

Sometimes though, miracles do happen and you start a conversation, which is – low and behold – actually enjoyable. Finally, it’s a guy who’s not immediately asking for naked pictures, it’s not a guy in a “happy, open relationship who’s just looking for a bang” and he’s also not going straight for the meet-up, but wanting to get to know you before he’s interested in going for a coffee… I know, after all the depressing madness, you’d started to think these nice guys didn’t exist? Ha!

It doesn’t happen often, but when you do find someone willing to get to know you, there’s only a few things that can derail a great conversation. Sadly though, the following two lads – especially the latter – really couldn’t keep up with me. Maybe I’m asking for a bit much, but I really enjoy intelligent conversation. And while I’m totes happy talking about TV shows, favourite foods and other simple topics, it’s kind of an epic fail if you can’t even keep up with those easy conversation starters.

This first guy here is a classic example: he asked me about my favourite show – which I am super happy to talk about! Obviously at the moment I am all about UnReal, a show I’ve discussed at length on my blog here before. It’s a brilliant sTinder 4how and I cannot stop talking about it, it’s just so good. Unfortunately, this lovely Scot had no idea what “meta” was and figured it was something “highbrow”. I mean… Sure, I’m a literature student and perhaps it is highbrow – you tell me? – but in any case… Given that this is my favourite show right now, it’d be good if you’d at least “pretended” that you understood what I was saying? Oy oy oy! I totally get that not everyone has the same interests and therefore not the same knowledge, but Google is your friend, darlings! So when you are chatting someone up, this is just NOT how you impress someone. I’ll always take “Intelligence for 500, Bob!” Meet me halfway, will ya?

Alas, this other dude also TOTALLY failed at proving he was intelligent. We were talking about speaking different languages and considering my Belgian background, he wondered whether I could speak AND Flemish AND Dutch??? Clearly, he must also believe that Belgium is the capital of Brussels, as that’s the level of his question right there. Major face palming over at my end of the phone, as I audibly groaned while I – once again – wondered whether true love is really a major scam and all my happy couply friends are totally doing me over with this massive joke.

Tinder 5

It’s a depressing world out there, the dating world. I don’t know anyone who enjoys it all that much, as it’s ridiculously embarrassing and increasingly hopeless. And yet… Us singletons persevere in the hopes of one day finding that one person to be with and share our lives with. A feat that many of my friends have succeeded in, yet I am somehow not able to accomplish. But oh well, since fortune favours the brave and all that, I do keep trying. And let’s be honest: there’s a lot to smile about too. Because yes, dear gents, if you embarrass yourselves online, we will share with our girlfriends. And we will laugh.

My personal Beerxit

Last Friday was a momentous day in the history of Great Britain. After months of following the different  campaigns – and reading The Economist to the point where it became my new religion – I thought it was totally clear: the issues the UK is facing have little to nothing to do with its membership to the EU. Most of the problems are the byproduct of several years of austerity and a government that does not seem to be able to tackle issues, such as insecurity and equality. Don’t believe me? Please read this article from an expert – and please, don’t be so stupid as to think you know better than the experts. Because we all know what happens when you do that and no, you shouldn’t be proud of it.

Alas, Britain has voted for Brexit to go ahead, even though it’s become abundantly clear that there is no plan for the future whatsoever. There’s no clear successor to become Prime Minister, Labour is in tatters as Corbyn has just lost a massive no-confidence vote after an already staggering 30+ resignations over the weekend, the pound has fallen to a 30+ years low with but a small recuperation today and the European Union…? Well they’re done with playing nice. They just want Article 50 to be actioned, so they can get on with it. And to be honest: as painful as it’s going to be for both parties, I want them to.

I don’t want all this instability affecting the EU any more than it already has. Literally, I feel this entire business is just a matter of an insipid kid not being able to pass a test and as he goes home to his parents, he exclaims that the teacher never called on him in class during “Show & Tell” – which has absolutely nothing to do with passing the test, mind you. So please, just shut up and get on with it: you’ve pointed the finger at someone else for no other reason than that you dare not take on responsibility for major problems you have not been able to solve – now go lie in the grave you’ve dug yourself. Because the EU deserves better than that, even if I do agree the EU needs to think more on what should be included in its remit and what – inevitably – should remain within the sovereignty of the nations.

As far as Brexit goes though, I had my own personal version of Beerxit last Friday, having handed in my resignation at the company I used to work for about an hour after David Cameron said he’d be resigning. As I’m sure it was for the Prime Minister, it  was a big decision for me as well. Yet in the end, for me, the need for happiness won out. Life is too short to be unhappy. And it is far too short to be investing time and effort into a place that makes you feel like you don’t belong.

To be honest, I think I always knew I didn’t really belong. I’m part of the creative mindset, all about writing, thinking outside of the box, singing at the top of my lungs right after a major dance session. Also I believe in unicorns and I’ll be damned if I ever found someone there who did too… While I’ve always appreciated the strategic thinking of such a major corporation and definitely enjoyed getting to know so many talented people, I always felt like I was missing out: the parts of the business that I was most interested in developing, we kept outsourcing to agencies. Again, I completely understood this, but it means that while I learned a ton of new things and developed skills I will always be lucky to have, I was never able to progress certain aspects that I really wanted to as well.

So now I am like the Leave-campaigners: no clear plan on what is going to come next, though I am developing it in my minds’ eye. In real life, it basically looks like a major calendar on an A2-poster with shitloads of post-its where I am trying to figure out what my next step is going to be. For those of you who know me, I’m sure you can already picture it!

Now, while it is crazy scary, I’ve not slept better in months. While I am definitely worried, I also have not felt more relaxed in what feels like ages. And while it’s been a blow to my self-confidence, I can’t shake this optimistic feeling I’ve got that’s making me smile and look forward to what the future might have in store for me.

Sometimes you have to make a change. And contrary to the Leave-campaign, I knew that remaining a part of that company was not going to help me become a happier, more in-love-with-life type of person. So I jumped off the cliff and while I don’t know what’s at the bottom yet – a hard fall or sweet, blissful water that’ll envelop me back to the surface – I can’t wait to find out. Because at least, when I find out, it’ll be me who will discover what’s next. It won’t be some corporate junkie who’s lost all sense of self. It won’t be a miserable piece of human being with a fake smile permanently plastered on her face. It will be me. And that’s the key.

A yoga-lovin’, crazy-dancin’, unicorn-drawin’ and always-writin’ me.

UnReal is B.A.C.K!

Who cannot remember the ah-mazing tv show from last year’s summer season that made the once “single sad female” network Lifetime famous for something other than its C-rated movies of women in peril? Think abusive husbands and anorexic storylines. No? It’s not ringing any bells? Maybe that’s because the show is a bit off the grid because of its network, however it doesn’t mean that it’s not got a following. Even if a major voice in that following is just… Little old me.

UnReal is back for this year’s summer and the first 3 episodes of the season are IN. Let’s talk about them, shall we? I know it’s mandatory to warn you about spoilers and stuff, but like… If that’s something that’s on your mind, then please, go home and beg for yo momma for all the fucks I don’t give about that. I’m just going to go ahead and dig in!

Things I am already loving as much as I love cake:

  1. The suitor is BLACK! And the show is actually saying it means something real. Given the racial issues in the States over the past few months/years, I find this such a bold choice and definitely a sign pointing to the right direction, the right direction being “we are ALL people and we are ALL equally good/bad”. Skin colour, hair colour, straight teeth or no, none of that has anything to do with who we are as people and whether we love unicorns or not. I am firmly in the “love-unicorns” camp, but I would never not allow anyone entrance into my camp because of the colour of their skin! Now if they were wearing a t-shirt that said “Death to all unicorns” I might feel differently. But surely hair colour won’t have anything to do with coming into my camp.
    What I’m trying to say is: so far, I am loving the black suitor! He’s cute, he’s got a wicked smile and I genuinely love how the show is – in its own meta thinking – turning it into a big deal. Because… It IS a big fucking deal! So yay show!
  2. Rachel is still crazy. So cray cray, in fact, that she got like these weird tattoos together with Quinn at the beginning of the show? Literally they tattooed the words “Money Dick Power” onto their wrists. I’m guessing it’s to show some kind of ya-ya sisterhood thing, but clearly that didn’t last long. Rachel went behind Quinn’s back in zero point three seconds. Who doesn’t love a bit of backstabbing on this show? In any case, Rachel definitely still has the crazy eyes happening and I cannot wait what trouble that’ll cause her next!
  3. The Hot Guy. I’ve already forgotten what his name is, to be honest, but that doesn’t matter, as we will simply always refer to him as the hot guy. For those of you who do actually want to know who I’m talking about: it’s the guy who gets introduced in episode two at the very end. Basically Rachel’s backstabbing was meant so that she would be able to take over the showrunning of Everlasting, though you know what they say about the best laid plans… Instead, Gary brings in The Hot Guy to run the show and man, am I being serious when I’m telling you he’s hot! Also, I am loving the chemistry with Rachel. I wish they would have let it simmer a bit more before moving on to some of the more physical kissing bits, but I guess that’s what you get when shows only receive about 10 episodes a season. Things just move a hella lot faster.
  4. The manipulation. Oh god, it’s so awful to watch and yet it’s so friggin’ good! I do wonder whether it’s close to reality, as obviously one of the main creators of the show used to work on The Bachelor. So clearly she’s used a lot of her real life experience and worked that into the show, it’s just a matter of how much “artistic license” is being used here. In a way, I don’t know what I’d like better: for it to be wholly unreal – thus making the title of the show very correct indeed – or to be so close to reality, that we’d all have to face facts and remember that things like The Bachelor are all staged and thus – you feelin’ me already? – unreal! God I love this show and how meta it is. It’s like candy for my brain!

Things I am pretty dispassionate about, kind of like that feeling of “Oh that movie is on that I used to love as a kid, but then watched so often it got predictable and it’s now pretty nostalgic still, but also I’d be better off reading a good book… Hmm I’ll watch it, it’s fine enough. Also the remote is far away.”

  1. Chet is still around for some reason. He doesn’t look like a washed out loser anymore, as the actor has clearly lost a lot of that overflow fat – good for you! – but alas… He still plays such a loser character? He wants his kingdom back after spending time with some kind of woodlands tribe? How unreal is that? A little too much for me, to be honest. And then he wants bikini babes and slo-mo boobs instead of… The usual Everlasting crap? I mean, both are crap and very disrespectful of human beings, but at least the usual crap is disrespectful to all people, whereas Chet’s notions are only respectful to us with the boobs. The latter being discrimination. I’m not a fan. Also what’s up with the baby? When did he get born? Did I miss the part where he lost custody? Why is the baby even still a storyline? I thought Cynthia divorced him? Why am I supposed to care about this? Meh.
  2. That girl who got promoted after giving Chet a blowjob last season. I can’t remember her name anymore, I’m also not going to make an effort to care. I think she looks really weak and her response to Rachel helping her in her ear while talking to one of the candidates… Oh puh-lease, go away and never come back. I’m annoyed at her presence in the scenes. Is it the pig tails? It might be. They sure don’t help.
  3. Another suitor trying to clean up his image. Obviously, we now have a black suitor in comparison to last year, however this is the second guy who’s only signed up in order to clean up his image – be the gentleman. I get the precipice, but it means that straight from the start you basically have a dick on your hands. A lot of the early scenes with the candidates on the Everlasting show are all staged, all fake, because that’s just what he’s gotta do in order to make the show work for him. But I guess, I don’t know, it’d be a lot more interesting to have a suitor who actually wants to be there??? Is that crazy? Did that ever happen on The Bachelor? I don’t know guys, I think it’d make for an interesting dynamic, because currently it’s the women who are falling head over heals in love with “tha man” and it’s “tha man” who gets his pick of the crop and he doesn’t even care… It makes the feminist in me look sad, maybe?

There might be a few other things, but I’ll save that for some other time. I’m just wondering: are you guys watching, yes, no? What’d you think? How meta – and unreal – is this thing? I cannot wait for next week yo!