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Julia Revisited - After spending three rather intense years online, an online rebirth was required as things got ugly. I always knew I would change my name, my real name too, at some point. And since Julia is my middle name, I am giving myself a fresh start.


Becoming Empty


I shower every day, but have overtime invented the Showering Ritual, which is something I do at least twice a week - I make time for it. It doesn't just relax, heal and give you time to think, it also helps you pamper and thus love your body.

I do this always in the evenings. Never in the daylight. Make the bathroom nice and warm, warm up the towels on the heater, get some nice and fancy rich products. Do not change the "shower" part into "bath" because this is about the running water, the sound of it, the warm water caressing you.

I take my time under the hot shower to wash and condition my hair and then use a hairmask. Then I scrub my body and afterwards put lotion on it. Take your sweeeeet time. No music, except if it's neutral, Zen music. For the rest of the evening no smoking, no caffeine, no big amounts of sugar. No action films, no studying, no researching, nothing stressful.

Twice a week at least. Get in touch with your body, give yourself time to wind down and "be empty". It works so well.






Haunted


The haunting music sounds in the far background, a soundtrack of my memory, the score to a long past moment, quietly echoing through the house from the kitchen. The piano glides across the melody in a haunting fashion, stealing the light from my now inefficient brain, it sounds almost morbid from such a distance. Caught off guard by my own secret weapon.

Sometimes when the night has stolen the day's time away, and there is nothing but silence ruling the house, I tip-toe to the kitchen and close the door. I open the window and let the freezing air dance through it, dance through the kitchen, as I quietly turn on the cd player and put on CD 2. The songs on it soothe my soul, as if it actually is taking me back to a past that no longer exists, as if the solitude of the moment takes away its surreality and its artificiality. This is not the past, but I light a cigarette as I did then and listen to that piano in the silence, where no-one finds me, no-one looks.

And now my roommate and her boyfriend are cooking in the kitchen and found my cd still in the player, and they play it as I hear it from a distance. To top things, the boyfriend is from the place where those private memories take origin and his accent blends in with this haunting scene so perfectly that I shiver, and decide it is time to fold my laundry. Time to move on. Because time leaves us no choice, and it shouldn't, because the future holds a-plenty.






Wow, that wasn't therapeutic at all.


With a new start comes a new system. I am systematically cleaning out my room, organizing things. I've stocked up on shampoos and whatnot so that I never run out, and I can find everything filed under haircondition, hehe. Priorities, people!

Today my roommate's mother asked me why I am single, "You're such a pretty girl!" she said. I take these compliments with a grain of salt, not because I hate myself, but simply because everyone has different definitions of pretty. And just because one person calls you pretty, doesn't mean the love of your life will think you're interesting in any way. Prettiness is relative, and when I take care of myself with too much shampoo and make-up, it is only as a sort of ritual to reaffirm my confidence and validity as the woman I am.

Why am I single? There are many reasons for it, and it's time I spell every single possible reason out so that I can face the truth. Maybe, who knows, pondering will help in some way. I have a pretty clean cut list of reasons why I am single; vaginismus, self-centered, don't fall in love easily, wrong expectations. There you go, I think that's about it. The minor reasons all fall within or inbetween one of the above four. And it works in that particular order, the order of the four causes is not random. They are all enforced by the fact that I have been single all my life, and no longer take shame in it, as my favourite writer Martin McDonagh says he was an equally late blossomer.

First of all there's the vaginismus, which makes sexual contact difficult for me - it's not because I'm a prude or because I've been through anything, I just have a condition where when nearing intercourse my vagina tenses up and closes shop. Which makes the attempts at intercourse painful, stressful, embarrassing. At my age, 21, men simply expect your vagina to work and at least be open to some serious making of the sweet love. It's their expectations, or the ones I imagine them to have, and my fear of a humiliating situation, that makes it difficult for me to flirt. I don't like lying, I don't like leading men on - you're not gonna get into the Vajayjay. At least not at the pace you're running at. Which makes me close down emotionally as well.

Second, there is the self-centered part. Some girls try men on like they try on jeans at Top Shop. I don't. It's too much time and trouble and energy, all of which I could be spending on getting decent grades (I have mild wordblindness so studying takes up time), seing my friends and family who mean the world to me, or more importantly sleeping, which I don't do enough due to insomnia. When you're madly in love this all comes second, but when you're just trying shit on, why bother if you know that once they try and get into your pants, it'll be like Armageddon?

The third argument is a perfect follow-up to the second; I don't fall in love easily. If you ARE in love, the self-centered part fades away, even with me. When I am in love, I will visit anywhere for any amount of hours to see that person. But as long as I'm not in love, I've got better things to do. And I don't fall in love often. It is not so much that I am high-maintenance. Oh no! I ask no Orlando Bloom, in fact Orlando Bloom wouldn't get me wet if he tried for days. Pretty faces bore me! And I am not just saying that, it's an actual chronic condition! I'm a strong personality - I know what I do and don't want, and I have strong opinions, and a strong passion for life, and I cannot STAND men who have nothing to say. Because they make me feel like a bull in a China shop. And more often than not, pretty faces have very little to say. No, I am not high maintenance, but I do have some expectations. Although love can't be predicted - I have been in love with men that made me go "WHY!?" afterwards. But the chemical reaction is simply rare in my body, probably due to other emotional problems having taken the lead over the past few years. I was my parents' councellor in their divorce, and that's made me a little too sceptic perhaps.

The fourth reason is also a perfect follow-up for number three: I have the wrong expectations. I will happily blame my mother and father for this, because their entire marriage turned out to be a charade, and so basically I have no idea what a good relationship looks like. I want a man who knows what he wants, a man with an opinion, a man with strong passions for the things he loves, a man who wants to make something of his life and see places and accomplish something-anything, and most of all a man who respects a woman as his equal. Yes. That means no "hot bitch" comments or talking to my F-cup boobs. That means I'm a person - surprise. If you look at the list of wishes, it's easy to guess that yes I do tend to go for older men. No daddy issues there, though, my dad is one of my best friends and always has been. But with the older men comes the inevitable one big turn off for me - them seing me as a younger girl. Because I am. And let's face it, plenty of men will treat a younger girl different from a woman their age. I recall a 42 year old Australian I kissed who knocked me over with "You're my little schoolgirl aren't you?" BAM. That could have gotten him killed or at leats neutered! That is NOT respect for an equal. So I want a mature man, but one who doesn't notice that I'm younger than him. Good luck finding that.

And that's why I'm single.

So why not a girl, then? I do fall in love with women, too! Well, here's why no women. The Holebi scene (HOmo-LEsbian-BIsexual) for students is a slutfest. And believe it or not, women would actually want to get near a fanny, too, eventually. So same goes for women alltogether.

Wow, that wasn't therapeutic at all!






All I Want For Christmas Is Brothers


When everything goes back to blissfully normal, I praise my angels and welcome my muses back. The quiet so far, though only a couple of days, has done me a world of good. Absorbed by the life of the moving, rather than distracted by the life of the typing, yesterday was so blissfully average and today is so quietly new.

Let me start with yesterday. Have you ever wondered what a normal day for a uni student who lives in student housing would be like? Well, yesterday was as close to that media-fed image as I've ever gotten. After waking up around 11 AM I started up my computer and permanently changed email addresses, while having a caffeine-nicotine breakfast. Two hours later I threw on some make-up and decent clothing (as opposed to my tracksuit) and walked towards the front door to head for class, only to realize we have a preditor in the house. We have a new roommate, and well, she's a very liberal being. Regularly visited for days by her gay friend, and having three semi-boyfriends coming in and out the house every now and then. The night before, boyfriend number two had arrived and we saw him as we were fixing the washing machine. He was Belgian, and scaringly good looking. When he looked me in the eye while I was trying to fix the washing machine, I got a vibe of sex-on-legs. And as I walked out yesterday to go to class, I heard him and my roommate getting the sex-on-legs on. Well, I do live in student housing, it was bound to happen at some point.

During class I tried hard to keep up with the archeology material, only to find out that I'd been absorbed in a self declared "popular group" - oh god. After the drama I had in the Ancient History department last year, all of my friends (who were all involved) left the department, and so this year I had to make new ones. I instinctively talked to the few faces I'd seen before, but had before always disgusted me because they were so up-your-arse. Now, I had to make friends with them, because I have to go on an archeological trip through Greece with them. When suddenly, during class intermission, the queen bee of the small but safe group declared we were "the popular group". Oh my god, Amber, what are you? Thirteen? But the three of them are all I have to hold on to, and so I accepted my entering in with the "popular students". We're going out for dinner after next week's exam. That'll be a riot.

After that, we celebrated Sinterklaas at home. Sinterklaas is the Dutch origin of Santa Clause, and we celebrate it around the 5th of December. My two roommates and me exchanged gifts, but of course the most spoiled one in the house ended up being my cat Claudius, who got a new bed, new toys, a new collar and a can of tuna. Well, he is the Sultan of the house. I got a poster of my favourite film, and a smaller version of the poster with copied signatures of the leading actors, and there was much rejoicing. Accompanied by giddy Sinterklaas poems (we have to write poems with our gifts) and wine.

Today, this morning, I got an email from my oldest stepbrother. I have four on that side, and they have big issues to work through before they can be a family again, and especially the oldest one kept sort of an emotional distance. But I helped him out, he studies at university in France, and he said he'd be staying with his youngest brother (who's still 24 as opposed to my 21) from next week on, and that we should get a beer with the three of us. I feel like I am getting brothers, and there is not a word that can express my joy.

Because every year when my parents were still together and they'd ask me what I wanted for Sinterklaas, I would say "a brother". Now I got four. Four and a blissfully normal life, "popular friends" (with the EQ of thirteen year olds), and a signed poster of my favourite film. I want nothing more!






New Harbours


I have always wanted so much from life. The best education I could handle and afford, getting to know all kinds of people from all walks of life, seing places, starting over a million times to live and learn. I think today is such a new start. I had ended up in a whirlwind of online chaos after making "the wrong friends", while they were in fact the right friends, and now my old name is worn out and abused. And here I start over, as if the last three years never happened, though I know they did and they will always be in the back of my mind trying to get back to the front of my mind.

It all started with honesty, I suppose. Due to certain events, suddenly I found myself in the spotlight of an online community, and all my past honesties were out on the web, ready to be abused, taken out of context and used against me, while in fact I had done nothing but be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It went up to a point where I feared that I would forget that I am who I am in my life, not what strangers call me online. It's time for a blank sheet to remember who I am.

I am also thinking about changing my e-mail address, though I already did that half a year ago due to other circumstances. Sometimes, you can't just let things roll on their own, sometimes you have to step in and redefine who you are and what your life is. You can't always just take things as they come, because if you do you end up a victim and that's the last thing I want to be. It will be hard to get rid of the old "friends", but more so the memories will always be there and I will have to find a place for them. All I can do is leave the harbour and sail out to find a new one, can't I?









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