Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Menisculis a nightwaif
So this is something that has come up in my life twice in the last week and it’s bothering me. Both cases are people treating me as an idea not as a person. As if I were some ethereal concept personified through an allegoric quirk of nature. 

The first person said to me “you look frightfully perfect and in control” which is the most sterile thing to say. I don’t consider myself to be those things in the slightest and I am sad that she sees me that way because it means she doesn’t know me at all. It’s our imperfections that make us and how we deal with chaos that shows how we really are. I’ve known her for nearly 2 years now and speak regularly about all aspects of each other’s’ lives and apparently we don’t know each other at all. Either I haven’t communicated properly to her or she hasn’t listened properly to me. Potentially it’s both?

The second person I can’t pick a direct quote because it’s not that sort of thing but he also sees me as something I’m not. I think this version of Deb is more dangerous as it has impossibly high expectations which don't align with who I am. He has this mental picture of how his life should be with his house and his wife (who is only ever described as beautiful and nothing else) and kids and dogs I get the impression that he thinks I would be the missing piece of his puzzle and then the rest would perfectly fall into place. John Green put it brilliantly in his recent blog post: But Did You Read the Book? talking about his book and its film adaption Paper Towns. He said: "there’s a line in the beginning of the novel: “Everyone gets a miracle.” The male narrator of the story believes his miracle is Margo Roth Spiegelman,[....] Later in the book, the boy realizes that Margo is not a miracle, that she is just a person, and that his imagining her as a miracle has been terribly hurtful to them both. [.....] we must see people as people, that we must learn to imagine them complexly instead of idealizing them, that the romantic male gaze is limiting and destructive to women. That’s the whole point of the story to me." 

Well I’m not perfect or in control, and I’m certainly not a miracle. I would unrestrict John’s statement that it isn’t just the romantic male gaze that is limiting and destructive to relationships, but it is symbolically conceptualising people and not seeing them as people regardless of gender or the element of romance. However, it seems difficult to show someone who you are, as it gets filtered and distorted in delivery, then it’s difficult for them to see who you are, as they distort their interpretation of you into what they want to see. So by extension it’s virtually impossible to understand how someone else sees you as it has then gone through three distortions; since you distort their distortions on your original distorted projection. Still with me? Withstanding that grammatical nightmare; isn’t that sad? Does no one see who we really are? Is that why it’s so rare for people to say – they get me – because so few people actually do? Am I (are we all) doomed to be a waif of misconception detached from the human spectrum and forced into a claustrophobic notion? To be eternally a concept and not a person sounds like a perfectly dreadful way to be.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Things in my brain - part 2: safe?

I read this article this week: I’m tired of being kind to creepy men in order to stay safe by Daisy Buchanan. (The columnist not the character Gatsby is in love with)

It's a very thought and discussion provoking article. I posted it on facebook yesterday without caption or tags and very quickly 6 unconnected friends had liked it. 

I guess I have and I haven't thought about the choices I make to ensure my safety. I know I do alter my behaviour to keep myself safe but it never occurred to me that it was such a conceptually unsettling thing to do. I haven't gone as far as Daisy to avoid going dancing and have a curfew but I do have a few behaviours like that:
  • I avoid certain routes when I'm by myself
  • I also always have an exit plan wherever I go 
  • I go everywhere with a sort of emergency survival kit which usually comprises of my phone in my hand not my bag with my ID, a bank card, and an emergency twenty pound note in it so I can ditch everything and just run if needed
  • I have friends that I tell where and when (and most importantly with whom) I go, and get phone calls at strategically placed points throughout the night to check I'm ok
  • I can rattle off a fake name/address/mobile number without a thought
Do we all need a bodyguard?
And it's only because I read that article that it occurred to me that these were odd, not uncommon it seems, but inherently odd. Also for all my protective behaviours things still happen. There's still the random guys who will insist on asking me every question under the sun on the bus, there's still the men who make multiple facebook accounts to talk to me, there's still guys in probably every bar that could take offense and get nasty if I didn't give them 'my number'. I wonder if they realise they are being intimidating? It doesn't excuse the behaviour but I'd be interested to know if it was intentional or not. I'm glad the transport police are taking the issue seriously and I wonder if the 25% increase in sexual offenses this year is reflecting a higher rate of incidences or a higher rate of reporting? The sad thing is that these guys are the minority as well, and most men will be perfectly fine. It's a shame how much a few can spoil everything and cause such protective behaviours to be necessary. 


Things in my brain - part 1: ted

Buffy will become apparent later

So I've been absent again haven't I? I've written a couple of stunning blog posts in my seeming silence but sometimes it's just bad timing so they'll keep.

Firstly I want to tell you about a couple of teds. 

No not that ted. 


Not that one either. 

This ted. 

So I'm currently writing my dissertation for my Masters which is... well in all honesty, taking me far longer than I thought when combined with a full time job. But anyway, as part of it I am looking at different leadership models and I came across this talk by Simon Sinek:  

You can watch it there if you like but it struck me. He says "People don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it" and I think that's a fabulously eloquent way to explain a lot of motivation. Lots of people do the same thing but everyone does it for a slightly different reason. 

He goes on to explain most people problem solve and when think 'What'  'How' 'Why' in that order and that's potentially backwards. What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? Why are you doing it? The latter probably being the least of your concern. Yes you can answer 'Why' superficially with 'to save money', 'to progress with my career', 'to get my name out there' - but why do we want those things? All those reasons feel like something we should want rather than things we actually do. 'To save money to buy my own house and settle in one place' that's a full reason. 'to progress with my career so I can become what I have always wanted to be' that's perfectly acceptable to. But how many people actually are doing those things because of those reasons or are they just going through the motions? (See that's where Buffy comes in). 

If we sorted out why we do things before we think about how or what we might be a lot more motivated and a lot happier along the way!!! So my new goal - work out why before how and what.