Monday, May 27, 2013

This is the story of my first kiss

"At the moment, it seemed like a good idea".
This is a sentence that comes up often when I have to tell what happened, or why did I behave a certain way about it. At the moment, back then, it seemed like the only thing to do, or the best behaviour to keep.

It was about a month ago, at a party... I hadn't exactly crashed it, I had been officially invited. Only, to actually explain how I ended up at that disco pub, it's a really long story.
I wasn't even drunk (which may actually come as a surprise, given my latest tendencies when it comes to drinking alcohol. Although, I'd like to stress, I never seem to manage to actually get drunk. I only drink a lot, become quite giddy for 30 to 40 minutes, and need to pee constantly. That's cider for you.)
So, I was not drunk, somehow on a party and (this is even more improbable, I reckon) on the dance floor.
And there he was.

When he asked me [yes, he actually asked for permission! And say all you want, I think it was cute. Also, he may have gotten kicked in the nuts otherwise, I am extremely jumpy. And especially clueless when it come to romantic moves. I had no idea.] "Can I kiss you?" I said (nodded? Did I even answer?) "Yes."

Again, at the moment it seemed like a good idea (Not that I regret it now, or ever).
And the rest of the night is gone in a sort of haze, and I don't remember anything.
Ok, ok. "The rest of the night" is probably around 2 hours, because they shut the place around 5- but still. I know we spent a good part (if not all) of those two hours happily making out. But that's pretty much it.
And then, since I am really awkward, we had to leave and I didn't know how.
He had made very clear he wished to leave together, my place or his place it didn't matter. I made just as clear it wasn't going to happen. But it would have been awkward if we were to go away from there at the same time but not together; right?! So I signalled my friend "We have to go - now!" - and we left.
And here's the awkward(-est) part.
Again, I don't remember much but I'm pretty sure it went something like this...

(I had been trying to leave for a bit, but every time I mentioned going he kissed me again and... well, I got distracted. Eventually, I managed - but it's not like we actually talked, and I really didn't know what to say...! And I guess I hate confrontations and I have terrible social skills. But still, I feel pangs of guilt at the thought.)
"Well, thanks for tonight, it was very nice."
And I walk away.

I am a terrible terrible person!
At the moment it seemed like a good idea. The only possible move, really.
What do you say to someone with whom you've basically eaten each other's faces' off for the last hour and a half, and had a probably 2min long conversation?
"Thanks" is just polite, really. And it had been (very) nice.
"Do you want to do this again sometimes soon?" - I couldn't possibly say that.
 Besides, I wasn't sure I wanted to sleep with him - certainly not that night, but maybe not ever.
What if I gave him my number? Then I'd be just a booty call.
What if we'd go out together? What if I didn't like him? That would be awkward.
What if I decided that no, I didn't want to have sex with him after all?
I didn't (don't) want to be a tease.

It's better left it like that.

(Then I spent something like 10 minutes looking for the friend that invited me to said party to say "hi", and I swear I couldn't find her anywhere; just when all I wanted was just to disappear, and feeling his eyes on my back all the time. Great.)

I don't even regret acting that way.
Yes, I wish I actually had some way to get in touch, but I still see why I acted that way. It made sense, it makes sense even now.
But, oh! I'm obsessing about it now.

Not about what happened - no (although, I think about it both often and fondly). About what didn't happen. I keep thinking about how it would be to have sex with him. And knowing that he's here, somewhere in this city; so there's the technical possibility of running into him... it's driving me nuts.
Because, you see, the possibility of course exists, but it's so remote it doesn't even makes sense mentioning. Stockholm is mcuh smaller than London or New York or New Delhi or even Rome; but it's still a capital. Yes, I know which metro line he lives on, but does he uses it? When? Going to o coming from where? The chances of meeting are minimal.
And then, even if we met...?
Would he recognize me? Still care? What does he even think of me (after leaving like that)?

Two (stupid ass) movie titles keep chasing each other in my head-
He's just not that into you.
He didn't ask for my number (I know why I didn't ask for his. But why didn't he ask for mine?), so maybe he doesn't care - maybe he even forgot at all about me.
But then I have my friends, to whom I turn for advice, that tell me either "just forget about him already", or "It's impossible that he has forgot about you, you don't make out with someone for over an hour without breaks and the forget about it. Besides, he had a stupid ass smile on his face when you left, he was clearly happy. Maybe too stuck to actually being able to ask you anything."

Which is not really helpful. 
At the same time, if it's "destiny" that we meet, it will happen. You can't force fate and blah blah blah. But it doesn't help that I have to use that same goddamn metro line to go to work every day! (Of course, at times when normal people are already at work for hours, just so the chances of actually meeting are even scarcer. I know, just my luck). 
Recipe for disaster. Or, at least, sleepless night - spent remembering the feeling of his hands on my body, and imagining him beside me, solid and warm; so I could just reach out and...

(I know what's the problem, I'm way too horny. But then again, what's the solution to that...? Exactly, it's a vicious circle.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

On body image

When I am home alone, I like to walk around naked.

It's not like I actually do it on purpose - "Oops, everyone's out! Let's take off all my clothes!" - it just sort of... happens. Like I am getting dressed or undressed, and I just ...stay naked for a while in between. Unless it's summer, and it's really really hot, and then it's on purpose, because I can't stand the feeling of anything but my panties on (and even that, only because I don't really want to sit anywhere without panties on).
I used to do it in Italy too, but there I had very noisy neighbours (not that I care much about it anyway); and it was actually quite difficult ever to be alone. Whereas now, living in a quite tall building, and with basically nothing but woods around (that I can see from my windows at least); I do it quite often.
And I just installed a mirror in my corridor, just outside my bathroom.

This is to say, I walk in front of it pretty much all the time- dressed, naked, and in between.
At first, I was quite concerned, I really didn't want a mirror there at all - the initial idea was to put it on the opposite wall, exactly because so I wouldn't have had to see myself all the time - but it wasn't possible; so there it is.
I previously had a very ... difficult experience with a mirror like that before. I was living in Ireland at the time, and in my student apartment there was a sadistic mirror right beside my desk. That is, I would be sitting there, studying (or more like it, browsing the internet), and I couldn't help but glance myself in the mirror - I mean, it was right there, even if I didn't want to, it was just inside my rear view. I couldn't unsee it. Of course I tried and, as everybody knows, the more you try to ignore something, the more impossible it becomes to do so. Every. Single. Day.
Also as possibly everyone knows, sitting down is not exactly the most flattering pose to look at yourself; especially if you're bent down on the books. You're tummy is (quite naturally, actually) rolling, and your bum looks larger. A nightmare, that is.
I hated it. And myself.
(Yeah, it was a dark time, that one).

Now it's much better, but that's not really what I wanted to say... well, that too; but not primarily.
What I actually wanted to say is: people actually look at themselves in mirrors? Like, the whole of them? Undressed? Look at their bodies?
Sometimes for me is difficult to understand what people do, sometimes you just take something for granted because that's what you do, and then you go like "...wait, are you telling me that you don't do that?!" - not because it's wrong, you just ...take it a bit for granted, I guess; we all expect everyone to do what we do. Don't we? (I don't think well of myself; I don't see myself as pretty; I'm not a nice person, I'm not sociable or I feel awkward or whatever it is... and we assume that everyone thinks the same of us. Naa-aah. Not true.)
I remember I was watching a tv-program... you know, it was just a silly thing, but I liked it. It was one of those program where they get these stilish personal shoppers persons and they get random people from the streets that clearly have no sense of style, and they give them a makeover. (I know, I know; my taste in tv programs is terrible. What can I say, I don't watch much tv). And this one here, I remember they also give them a psychological sort of makeover, telling them things like ... "you have to learn to love yourself" or "beauty comes in every size" or "you have a beautiful body, just like it is" (yeah, that's the reason why I watched them in first place. I get positive feedback from wherever I can get it).
And I remember this one time, they were encouraging thig woman to look herself in the mirror. Actually look at herself. Because she'd never done it before.
I couldn't believe it! Is there someone that never took a proper look at themselves?
I guess there is, because lots of people apparently never took a look inside themselves either (yeah, that came as a surprise too) (I am talking psychologically and spiritually of course. Not surgery-like. Just though I'd specify).
I'll admit, I am not the best at self-loving, I really need some improvements on the matter but. At least I know how I am. It's not ... obsessively concentrating on my defects either. It's just part of... knowing yourself I guess. 
It's hard to think that people can be so... undetached? I don't even know the words to say it.

Anyway, I walk up and down my mirror everyday and, for the first time in a ... long, long time (first time ever?) I like what I see.
I don't think I've improved much either, I just... improved my acceptance. 

It's damn hard to love yourself and like yourself when all you get is negative feedback.
And, yeah, that's all I ever got. Or at least that was the feeling.
Now, I don't want to hear the usual bullshit about how "that's just not possible!" and "but you're an amazing person!". Please.
First of all, how I am inside is not the point here. Second of all, of course it had happened that... say, someone honked at me, of wolf whisked at me down the street (yeah, growing up in Italy is fun). Once, I was at the disco (Me! I never go dancing.) and a guy approached me:
"Hello boobs."
Charming, wasn't he?! Now I'm not even a body - a piece of meat - anymore. I am just a part of that body, like can be a picture on a porn magazine. That was so degrading. (See, there's a reason why I never go dancing).

Again, I know Sweden (Stockholm) is not paradise on earth. But add this to the list of reasons why my life here is so much better:
I feel better about myself, I love myself.
I know how it's like, you have to like yourself for others to like you, and it's what's inside that matters and blah blah blah.
First of all, I like the inside-me a lot, thank you very much.
And I know that probably part of this new self love is due to the fact that here I just feel so much more at ease and comfortable - with myself and others and hence, with my body too.
But. It's also true the other way round
I feel more appreciated here, so I feel also more at ease inside of this body of mine, and therefore I behave more comfortably... it's a virtuous circle (sometimes, they also happen!)

It could be that here I am less exposed to the media-bombing about the ideal female body image (although I didn't watch much tv in Italy either, and I possibly spend even more time on the internet here lol) but I think that the most of it comes from different sources.
For one, I find clothes my size here. [ok, let's make this explicit - I am a curvy (being nice) lady. Loooots of curves] I can't find a bra that fit me to pay for it (of course you pay for your shopping, it's a figure of speech). Most times, a size L just don't cover enough of me - will be tight on the chest (guess why...?) and possibly shoulders, the sleeves way too short. Don't even get me started on the jeans.
Now, finally, I find clothes that fit me. It's like, here, a woman my size is actually considered. I would go as far as to say, they have clothes for real women.
Here's how it works:
In Italy, you're supposed to be a certain size. So, they make clothes up to that size and no more. You don't fit? Well, clearly you're the problem, and you're supposed to ... shrink and lose weight until you do. Same goes for the expectation that people have. Everyone judges you - males, females, friends, family; ugly, handsome, in betweens... everyone. What the heck, you also judge others! And you're supposed to fit into that image. You don't? Well, you're just not attractive, or plain wrong.
Now, I'm not just curvy. I am tall too (not freaklish tall, here I'm practically short, 170cm). My legs are long, my shoulders quite broad and my hips... don't even get me started. Let's say I am a good breeder, was I born in the medieval time I probably would have been perfect.
I just don't fit!
Here, you see woman of all sizes. And - surprise surprise - it's okay. They actually like you

The first times, it came as a complete shock: "no no no no, you can't be looking at me! You can't be seriously be hitting on me. She's much prettier than I am! The room is full with prettier girls that me. They're all blonder, and taller, and thinner." (yeah, I know. Told you I don't fit)
Nope, that actually happens.
Again, this is not utopia: for once, everyone's obsessed with sports and active life, but more for the sake of it than to actually lose weight or look better. And you'll always get the person that discriminates, or is obsessed with image, or that plainly doesn't find you attractive. But - and that's the thing - not only those.
And, believe me, I am completely and absolutely clueless when it comes to flirting. You basically need to give me light signals like the ones they use to aid pilots land planes, before I understand your moves. I am that bad. So they have to be quite obvious to get through. I imagine there's a whole bunch I actually missed.
Also, I can go out dressed however I like.
That is, also, a first.
See, here people are actually respectful (read: clueless, when it's me trying to get messages through. I told you I fit perfectly). So, all those bunch of fun tops and dresses that were just lying in my closet, that I never dared wear before (something that's meant as "flirtly revealing" can sometimes become "borderline porn" when I put it on. What can I say, not my fault) are becoming my battle horse outfits.
I got random drink offers, quite some stares (one epic night, I was bored and I counted them. Fifteen different people! Ok, it was a pub and the women percentage was possibly below 1%) but not one "hello boobs"!

To sum it up:
I am finally starting to love my body. Here's ok to be shapely, and you're not judged (fail!) for it, but actually appreciated. This makes you feel more comfortable inside your own skin, and that also makes you more at ease when dealing with others. That makes you more comfortable with yourself and the virtuous circle begins.
To hell with "it's cold in Scandinavia", I dress less here than I ever did in the Mediterranean!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life in Querencia

So, what's about this blog and me writing in it?
I think a bit of background may be necessary.

Without going too much into details, I never felt fitting. Ever.
I've always felt like, for some reason, I didn't belong.
I don't intend to give away a sense of tragedy; I've lead a very happy life and I've been truly lucky, in every possible way. No reasons to complain, indeed. But. Like any of these actually make you happy.
I love to travel, I always did. See new places, meet new people (no, let's not joke: I am terribly awkward at actually meeting people. It's more like "staring in silence and see how they behave". You get the gist). I've always imagined to be somewhere else. Somewhere people didn't know me, where they didn't compare me, where I could be someone different - because, clearly, who I am ain't any good.
I even had the chance to do so - maybe one day I'll talk about it. I've lived abroad and in different cities. 

Do people actually consider how many chances are they given to start from scratch?

We may actually not realize it, but everytime you go to a different place - say a new school, or a new place on holiday, even a new hangout by night. Every person we meet, even by chance, on the street. We have the possibility to be someone different. Someone nicer, someone bolder, someone braver. Anyone. Do we actually take this chance? Of course now. Which is a pity, given how much we complain to be restrained and not free. Anyway, I did the same; so I really shouldn't preach.

But this time, I changed.
I don't even know what happened to me. I am actually realizing now that there's been a change!

You know how sometime you need to see yourself through someone else's eyes and blah blah blah?
A couple of friends came to visit me in my new home abroad; and they were a bit ... surprised to see what they'd found! I always look the same, maybe lost a bit of weight; still the same defects and possibly merits but I'm different. So different. 
It's like I'm shining through.
And I see this! I know! And I am so proud of myself. 
Sometimes it's even frustrating, when people (new "friends" and so) tell me "...but you're not shy!!"
Honey, believe me, I am. I am also working my ass off to actually starting interacting with others; but thank you.
I also don't give a f*ck anymore. That's also incredibly liberating! It's not like I've stopped caring - I will always care, way too much, for people that don't deserve it. But I'm also starting to see that, and letting go.

Moving was the best decision I ever took in my life.
There was nothing in Italy for me anyway, and packing my bags and leaving behind old clothes and fripperies that I didn't need, I also left anguish and remorse and guilt. And relations that didn't give me anything anymore, that didn't deserve the title of friendship, where I spent half of the time pretending anyway.
Hella, moving to the other side of Europe really show you the ones that care - that actually make the effort to keep in touch. (Turns out, not that many)

Living in Stockholm...
I don't want to be cheesy
, it's like the puzzle piece that never fit, and now it's finally in place.

Of course not everything here is perfect, of course not everything works (although, a surprising amount actually does), of course you'll get tears, and sadness, and days where nothing goes right and everything goes wrong. It's not Shangrila. No place is! (And thankfully, do you have any idea of how boring would that be?!)  
But - basically, the good things here are just so much better.

As I said, I've been lucky. I am lucky. I get the greatest pleasures from the smallest things. They actually do mean a lot to me.
The colour of the sky.
The feel of the spring grass under your feet.
The touch of the sun on your cheek, of the rain on your brow.
Ice cream.
The smell of wet earth after it rained (turns out, this actually had a word: petrichor. The English language sometimes is really surprising). Well, the petrichor in Sweden is all particular and perfect. It's actually one of my favourite smells, and it's amazing. That alone could have been for me reason enough to move here. It's wet, and rich, feels like moss and bark and underwood and I love it. It makes you want to kick off your shoes and just wander in the forest. Until you step on a pine cone and bitterly regret your decision, which is why being spontaneous is good; but carefully plan is better.

So, there you have it. The smell after the rain here is delicious; and it's good, because it rains a lot. That is, in a nutshell, why I moved here. That, and strawberry cider; which I can hardly ever get enough of, I love that stuff.
Here even the smallest things make me happy; and there's tons of little things that I love, which translates in pretty much a ton of happiness.
And I am finally trying to get drunk (turns out, not that easy: my resilience for alchool is surprising. I clearly need to apply more).

About Querencia

This is my blog -

Sometimes we have thoughts that need to be written down, to be given more concrete form. Sometimes, writing even helps you forming these thoughts. 
It's more some sort of selfish relief than actual want or need to share. I don't expect anyone to actually ever read this.

But there it is.
So, what's Querencia? (let it be known, I speak no Spanish; so I am fully aware of possible mistakes and misinterpretations, and I apologize in advance).
Querencia is "a place from which one's strenght is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self".
I am looking for that place, and I think I may have just found it.

I moved from Italy to Stockholm almost 9 months ago now, and for the first time in my life I am truly happy and I feel like I belong where I am.
For the first time, the inner me is coming out; and I am slowly relehasing my inhibitions.

This is the story of how that goes.