Back Soonish

BackSoonAs you guys must’ve known (because you all have the exact same powers of deduction as Sherlock Holmes), I’ve been really busy on various projects lately and haven’t had any time left to spent here. This is a white lie to make you feel less insignificant and me less lazy, because I somehow did find the time to watch all of Borgen and Newsroom and six seasons of the Office.

It is indicative of how I was feeling about this blog though. It was becoming an obligation, and that doesn’t always lead to the best writing. I’d been wanting to change things around on here, but I somehow never really got to it. I’ve been toying with a few ideas of things I want to do, but just couldn’t find the time for it.

That’s why I cleared out this entire space today. It was strange seeing all those old posts, and I do realise how fond I am of this space. For the last two years it has been a strange kind of diary, and I don’t want to lose that. Imagine that next I have to use my actual brain to remember things instead of just jotting them down. No, unacceptable!

So I might be gone for now and I’m won’t promise that I’ll be “Back Soon” and that kind of nonsense. I’m just too busy at the moment… but I know that in a few months from now that’ll be all done and I’ll be craving for a place to spout my usual nonsense (and let’s face it, it’s not like my friends still listen to me).

So for now, I’m sure you’ll survive without me. Generations of people seem to have managed. You can do too!

In case you need to reach me, I’ll be living without a phone for the next week. But I still read twitter, and if not… Well, I think I’ll survive.

J.R.

Advertisements

How to torture your Dog – a.k.a. Shameless Pandering to those who love dressing up their dogs as Yoda.

It’s been a while since I felt the need to Google upside down dogs or smiling llama’s, but I had some time on my hand while listening to Podcasts and I did not want to deprive you of all these wonderful images of these poor tortured dogs.

If you’re actually looking for tips on how to make your dog pant awkwardly and secretly hate you forever, maybe go find a hobby because surely there are better things to do than dress up your most loyal friend like an awkward idiot.

original

cave-man-dog

dog+dressed+as+hot+dog300350-dog-statue-dressed-in-tuxedounnamed

Continue reading

No Place Like Home… —

555746_3526126797117_1371863031_n

They say there is no place like home… but what if you have no clue as to where home is?

It used to be quite simple for me. Home was where my dog was, but due to time, the universe and me all being complete and utter assholes my buddy is no longer with me. She passed away last November, and after that it felt like I could never go home again. (since I’m not really down with suicide and I don’t really think I’m cut out for a quest like Orpheus was)  I had and still have no idea where home is anymore, or even what it is. With my buddy gone, I didn’t want to talk to my friends anymore, I ignored my family, and for the first few days after she died I cared not to get dressed, fed or showered.

From the moment my mom called to tell me she wasn’t there anymore, the flood gates opened. I spend days crying, staying in bed, having Vodka for breakfast and Gin for Lunch. All I could do was shed my tears and watch Community. It wasn’t until the umpteenth day of gut wrenching pain that I finally managed to kick myself out of the house to the coffee shop to do some writing; but instead of putting words on paper I sat behind my computer and wept. The “cool” kids in the coffee shop quietly drifted away as they saw me pour small bottles of Whiskey and Malibu in my coffee and wipe my nose on my sleeve. Clearly there are some car wrecks people don’t care to stare at; one of them is me drinking and crying covered in snot and tears.

Continue reading

Embracing the Messiness — Also, I might have Dissociative Identity Disorder

Endless Rewrite

I don’t have many flaws; I’m beautiful, smart, compassionate, have a massive vocabulary and I can eat a giant bucket of KFC without ever getting sick. People look at me and think: “That girl just has it all. Style, flair, wit and enough sex appeal to make Brad Pitt pick up a phone in the middle of the night and give her a call.” I know this because I can also read people’s mind with surprising accuracy. It’s hard to believe but I really am that amazing.

When you take a minute think about it, you realize how impressive it is that in the face of my own flawless perfection I’ve managed to remain such a humble soul. I’m not a person who writes blogs to tell the entire world how amazing I am, nor do I feel the need to send a dozen tweets into the webosphere every single time I sneeze rainbows and fart roses.

Instead of becoming an intolerable douche bag, I like to think I’ve kept myself grounded, honest and approachable. One of the ways I do that, is by trying to blend in. For instance, sometimes I pretend to make a mistake so everyone else doesn’t feel so intimidated by my greatness. Like this one time when I was six I cut my own hair and let’s just say I could have done a better job at it. And the other day, I pretended to not be able to do maths in my head because I mix up the numbers and they make no sense because who decided 1+1=2 anyway?

Oh, and there was this one time… Never mind, I won’t go into that, because you possibly just had dinner and I don’t want to make you feel sick.

But let’s be honest, for a minute – weren’t you honest already, Janneke. You incredible beacon of humanity, you shining light of perfection, you Goddess of humility and decency?  – First of all, I don’t appreciate your sarcasm. It’s not very becoming on someone who doesn’t really exist and I’m making up as I’m typing this.

What, I meant every single word I said. I’m sure that if you are ever less than perfect, it is only on purpose to make us ‘lesser people’ not feel so insignificant.

Exactly. I’m glad you get me. It’s almost like you are part of me and also read everything I said above.

I did and I am. And I am here to tell you that you have problem and should see a doctor.

Enough about you, let’s talk about me some more.

But if I’m only pretending that I am far from perfect, I am very good at it. I am arrogant, selfish and I don’t think I can actually eat a bucket of KFC without being violently ill. In fact, my own imperfection keeps me up at night. I always feel like I should be better, different, kinder and less guarded. I’m pretty sure there are quite a few indicators in my childhood as to why that is, but that’s not the point right now.

The point it that I constantly have this need to be better. Not so much better than everyone else, because let’s face it, there are few opinions and people I care more about than my own and myself.

No, I feel like I should be better than I am… Which is a fucking pain in my ass. Because I’ll spend forever going over everything I said and did and how I should have said and could’ve done it better. I know this is the same for every person, and it is how we learn. But I have a harder time letting things go. In some cases it will take me years to get over insignificant mistakes. I will feel this dumb shame and doubt in disproportionate amounts long after the fact, which is just silly.

On some levels I guess it makes me actually be a better person and act with some more respect and kindness. Even though I sometimes like to have some peace from myself and my constant feeling I should be better somehow; I don’t think it is always such a bad think to chastise yourself and try to be a better, kinder, more open-minded person.

Except when I’m writing; because all of the sudden the endless analyzing and perfectionism becomes the worst fucking habit to have.

Don’t you think it’s good to be critical and strive for the best, Janneke?

Thanks for interrupting me, you dick. But to answer your question… Sure it is, but it’s just not very helpful to jump right into self-loathing and doubt when you’re just one page in to a story or a script. Things evolve organically after a long process of writing and re-writing, and I sometimes expect things to be perfect right from the start. Which pushes me time and again in the habit to start rewriting when there is barely anything to rewrite. I will start sculpting the fine lines, without ever hewing out the general shape of the thing.

And this is an almost impossible way to work, because without knowing the general shape, how do you know where the fine lines and details actually go? You can’t build a cathedral without first setting up a solid foundation (and everything I do of course has the grandeur and beauty and eternity similar to Cathédrale de Chartres)

So, while you may feel like you are making things better by just jumping in straight away, going back and fixing every single issue, you just end up going in smaller and smaller circles until you run into yourself, screaming and shouting and wondering why you are so incompetent. — Almost as though you are talking to yourself on your own blog? —

Almost like that.

Except here I don’t care. I can do whatever I want. I can talk to myself, I can talk to imaginary readers, I can pretend to be anyone and anything. It doesn’t matter. These blogs help me unwind, that is the only point there is to them. I don’t care too much about them. Here I have nothing to prove, not to myself and not to the world. These posts just exist. I barely rewrite them. I just type, press send and never look back. They are like mindless scribbles and sketches build from words. They are often a mess, either structurally or just poorly worded…and let’s not even start talking about the content… :)

That people enjoy them in spite of that is a giant compliment, and it does give me enormous joy. I’m not being callous when I say that I don’t care about this blog. I mean that I don’t care about it as much as I care about my actual writing projects. But for better or worse, this blog is helping me grow and develop myself. It has helped me find and improve my natural writing voice, taught me how to write jokes and how to come up with better metaphors and mostly it has helped me to not care so much about every single word I write.

Perfection is in the whole, not in every single nuance. You can have some rough edges and poorly structured sentences, as long as it all adds up to something interesting (and if not, at least I have plenty of pictures of upside down dogs and baby pandas to keep you entertained. Because in the end nothing is better than that and cats in cardigans)

So these days, I find it much easier to write on my actual projects, because I just don’t care so much about it being perfect right now. I am more interested in setting up the broad strokes first. In fact, I am much more interested in finishing something for a change, without becoming discouraged or hating myself for being such a failure.

And while I’m now 20,000 words into a story that is barely holding together at the seams; because I’m making things up as I go along, I am desperately trying to accept it the way it is and defy the temptation to rewrite. Every inch of my body and mind is begging me to do it, to just brush up the logical fallacies, I’ll promise to leave the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes aside (some of them are hilarious. I might share them some day), I’m not giving in to the feeling.

Yes, I may have a character recalling something in chapter 1, which is impossible because I kill him off in chapter 3. It doesn’t really matter. Because in the long run, the story isn’t about him. And it’s an easy fix. I know it is there, and once I am done I’ll go back to it and fix it. It’s not part of the narrative, so for now I’m ignoring it and just typing away.

I’m somewhere at a pace between 500 and a 1000 words a day, and so far I’m only speeding up; because I have embraced the messiness, and decided that whatever happens, things will be fine. There will be a rewrite at some point, when I know what the story exactly is. For now, I’ll just let my hands do the typing, write without judgement, and let the words pour out of me.

They might be terrible words, but they aren’t meant to be Shakespeare (because I don’t think I can be both that poetic and boring at the same time). They are rough, ugly and messy, but they are mine.

And if they are anything like me, one day they will pretend to be absolutely perfect.

Ted & Jann — I’ll be watching a TED Talk a Day

TED3

I decided that it was time to do something cool again. By ‘Something Cool’ I mean something dumb and uninteresting that I will totally blow out of proportion and rave about for weeks before realizing it is pretty boring and no one cares and forgetting all about it.

I was thinking about watching every single movie on the Sight & Sound critics list. Which would be fun, but honestly if I have to see Citizen Kane one fucking more time this decade I will kill someone. And mostly I feared it would interfere with my writing (which is going fucking amazing, thank you for asking), so I shelved that idea for a while. I do want to do it at some point, or at least watch a bunch of more classics, because there are so many amazing movies I haven’t seen. Which is fine- you can’t see everything-, but I don’t really know how I can justify not having seen Ran when I have seen about 2 movies starring Paris Hilton. So some day, I shall commit to making myself feel slightly less culturally illiterate.

For now however I have committed to something slightly less time consuming yet equally awesome….

For the next six months I’ll be watching one TED talk a day. Why? I don’t know. Because I can. Because it’s never a bad thing to learn something new. Because there is this large vat of resources I’m leaving untapped. Because I’m too lazy to read a book. Because I have nothing better to do. Because I there is so much stuff out there I don’t know about. Because I think it’ll be fun. Does it matter? I don’t think it does. I’m doing it, and as the self-promoting narcissist I am, I’ll be chronicling it too.

tedandjann.tumblr.com

So swing by there or just the TED website if you have 20 minutes to spare. I’m going to try to have as broad and random a spectrum of topics and not limit myself to shit I find interesting (since I’m pretty sure there are not that many TED talks about Brad Pitt and unicorns out there). But if you don’t, cool too, because I’m not really doing it for you. I’m just sharing it on the off chance you find it interesting too. And I’m completely open for suggestions. So if you feel there is this awesome talk I’m missing, send me a tweet at @JannekeRood. If you don’t have Twitter, you should probably sort your life out because you’re failing at Internet (yea, Grandma I’m looking at you!).

Happy Animals – Happy Sunday

Happy fucking Animals

I took a poll and 100% of the recipients said looking at pictures of happy animals made them feel warm and fuzzy. So since it is snowing like a motherfucker out here, and apparently it feels like it’s minus 24 degrees Celsius in Amsterdam… I figured we could all do with a little warm and fuzzy.

(also, I’m busy today, so I don’t have time to make you feel good about yourself by talking about my pathetic life. ;)

p.txttumblr_liwx6q85721qa9omho1_500

tumblr_mciwejZfqf1r14f5po1_500

tumblr_m0ebpfmAKz1qb6t6wo1_500

Continue reading

I finally figured out what I want to do with my life — and became a Panda Philantropist. (You’re welcome)

You're welcome, Pandas.

You’re welcome, Pandas.

There is a certain kind of melancholy that creeps into your soul when you spend too much time in hospitals and surrounded by sick people.

The colour scheme of hospitals and doctors’ offices is something that just doesn’t make sense on any kind of level. It is cold and clinical, with hints of inappropriate attempts at homeliness. I don’t know who designs hospital rooms for a living, but it must be someone with serious schizophrenic tendencies.

Hospitals are not a place of healing, they are a place of dying where they occasionally manage to successfully re-enact parts of Frankenstein and save a life. And this is strangely enough not something I like to be confronted with all that much. (I know, I’m weird that way) The doctors use language that is designed to feel cold and detached from what’s actually going on. They speak their metaphores, euphemisms and meoisis in calm and soothing voices, taking as the edge off the message whole at the same time telling you absolutely nothing at all. Because in the end, it’s you that gets to make all the tough calls.

I would pay a lot of imaginary money to a doctor that just says things like they are. “Hey mate, you’re going to die. Which is going be tough, but you’re an asshole anyways, and better me than you I guess. But while you’re still alive I shall do my best to sedate all common sense out of you, so the end won’t seem so bad or scary.” or “Well, just so you know… the spider children that have been bred under your skin are going to come out of their eggs and crawl to your heart at a slow but agonizing pace. We will be here every step of the way, but to be honest, there is pretty much fuck all we can do.”

How great would that be?!

Ok. perhaps not. Perhaps sometimes a white lie is better than the truth, at least in life and dead cases. But in my case, where it’s probably not life and dead, -just me having “ordinary” blinding headaches and “casual” small seizures- I just wonder how many ways, shapes and forms they can come up with to tell me I have to be patient and they don’t know anything yet. Because in case you haven’t met me, I’m not the most patient person to begin with. Also, now that I’m writing this I realize that whomever decided on the double meaning to the word patient, had one hell of a sense if irony.

Judging by the pace they are going at, I assume I’m not in any immediate danger of brain damage. I sneakily suspect that I’m fine and they are making me sick by giving me medication just so they can study my awesome brain some bit more. (it’s not delusional when it’s true). But sitting in their fucking depressing waiting rooms, some times it’s hard to not wonder what it would be like if they told you you’re going to die. What would you do, if you knew your time was limited and there was only so much left you can do.

And while contemplating this morbid notion, I realized something truly fundamental and life-altering:

All I really want out of this life is to hug a Panda bear.
Simple as that.

I see myself as a person that has all these goals and things she would like to see and do before she dies. But when I truly think about it, I will die a fucking happy camper if I can just hug a panda bear. There will be no regrets, no complaining. I will have fulfilled my life’s goal.

It looks like the most comfortable, soothing thing in the world. This big, fluffy bear that will put it’s giant paws around you and breathe in your neck. And you just sit there for a few minutes, hugging the goddamn shit out of the bear. If I don’t die from happiness on the spot, I think I would be very tranquil after that. (chances are I will die in the next week after that, being bloody murdered by one of you, fed up with my never ending story about my awesome panda bear hug)

And after our hug we will slide down the slide together and we will have ten thousand kinds of fun. Jokingly I will try to eat a piece of bamboo, but my teeth are totally not made to do that… And we will roll around on the floor, laughing our panda laughs because it is so funny. And I will offer them my Vodka in exchange, but the Pandas will all be like: No dude, we don’t drink. And then I will probably get bored and leave. But not before we all come together in a group (because I will be the Jane Goodall of Pandas at this point except it only takes me an hour because I don’t fancy crapping in a bucket for a year or so and Pandas know I am awesome) and hug our massive panda bear group hug. And we will all be better human beings than before. Except the Pandas, because they are already the best thing on the planet.

I’m willing to overlook the fact that these vegetarian bears probably smell like shit and and that hugging me is probably not their life’s goal- and that it in fact probably annoys the fucking hell out of them…. I won’t care, I will just keep hugging Ling Ling and Yao because let’s face it… this is about me.

Since I have realised how much I want to hug a Panda, I don’t care about my life goals anymore. I don’t care if I ever road trip across the US of A or if I ever ride the trans-siberian railway or if I travel Mongolia on horseback. Do not give a fuck. I hope I finish my novel and screenplay, but if I don’t. Don’t care all that much. I hope I get a cocktail named after me and get married and divorced, but if it never happens. So fucking what?

All I think about is how I just really want to hug a panda bear- everything else has become completely and utterly inconsequential.

Because what can be greater than putting your life and all your sorrows in the hands of this giant happy bear and just sitting there, finally at one with the universe??

I honestly do not know.

Look at that. (If you can think of something that’s better, don’t tell me because I’ll assume you’re a psychopath for not thinking that hugging Panda’s is the greatest goal a human being can ever hope to achieve. )

 

PS.

Also, even though I had zero money this month (or ever), I decided to drink 2 cups of coffee less so I could adopt a fucking Panda. And since none of you gave me anything for my birthday this year (thanks for that), I think you should do the same. Because if Panda’s die before I do, I shall be very upset with you all and I shall haunt you all from beyond the grave.

(How will I do that when I don’t believe in ghosts or the afterlife, you ask?? Well, right now I have a lot of spare time on my hands, and while I could spend that time writing and doing other useful thing such as organizing my sock drawer and googling all the dreadful diseases I potentially have…. I’d rather spend all of that time writing you angry emails that will automatically be send to you at predetermined time after my sad departure, just so all y’all know better than to ignore my birthday wishes)

So be smart and cool, adopt a fucking Panda Bear please. Dickheads.

(UK) https://support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-a-panda

(NL) http://www.wnf.nl/nl/shop_fun/adopteer_een_dier/index.cfm?act=adoptie.dier&dier=77

(US) http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Panda.aspx?sc=AWY1302WC92

The art of moving on

When I was about 8 years old I won a cap from Donald Duck magazine. It was the first thing I ever won, and it was amazing. The cap was Donald’s face, and on it there was this little pouch you could put some money in. When my brothers, my friend Hans and I went to the swimming pool, I had to change in the girls’ locker room all alone. Being a shy and awkward little girl, this threw me off so much, that in my haste to not lose my companions, I left the cap with 10 guilders in it in the locker room.

To this day I still think about this cap with regret.

Recently, my boyfriend upgraded his title to ex-boyfriend. Guess he decided his life was definitely better without me in it. (The joke is on him, because I make everything 16% more awesome by just showing up. Fact!)  I like to say it didn’t hurt, but since I take human stupidity, global warming and what Peter Jackson did to the Hobbit personal, imagine how I feel about someone leaving me I wanted to spend at least some part of my life with.

I don’t just handle it badly, I take it horrifically unwell. If you ever want to lose all you respect you had for me, date me for a while and then break up with me. Rejection is a strange land, and I don’t get the rules.

I know I’m not completely alone in that. Most people don’t handle break-ups very well. Human beings as a species are ill-trained in dealing with loss. Excluding elephants, we are the only species on the planet that create magical ceremonies around the end of things. Just so it makes the passing seem slightly more bearable. I guess it gives us the feeling we have some control over the situation. That life, in itself, is not some uncontrollable force set out to piss on your shoes and laugh whilst doing that.

And while breaking up is merely the death of a relationship, it comes with its own rules and ceremonies as well. And because I am so terrible at getting over shit, I have set up a few ground rules. So, while all my instincts may be wrong, there’s always something to fall back on and I got amazingly great at breakups by the sheer force of my resolve to not give them the enjoyment of my pain.

In fact, I got it down to a science. Or an Art form even..

Is that possible, you ask?

Yes. Do I ever not deliver on my promises? I’m pretty sure I’m a genius, and I’ve seen my own brain now and it’s pretty big….. so listen and learn.

Breakups…. 9 times our of 10, you see them coming. So make sure the other guy gets the rules. Be fucking, gut wrenchingly clear that if shit is going to go down… it will go down your way or the highway (which may be the only time, those two are the exact same thing).

My boyfriend broke up with me over Facebook. I guess he would have liked to have a platform to say how sorry he was. And he could have picked up the phone, but he didn’t. And now I’ve changed my phone number, deleted him from my Facebook, blocked him in whatsapp. In this day and age, that pretty much means he has no way of reaching me. He can try and email me, but all that will happens is that he gets a pointedly worded email as an auto response. His email will directly go into my trash. I don’t care about what he has to say because there’s no point.

Don’t listen to Adele, Duffy or fucking Mumford & sons. Things aren’t that bad. Not so bad you have to go down that road.

-Don’t torture yourself with all the good times. Those are gone. I can spend hours thinking about how he held me in the middle of the street when I couldn’t stop crying because my dog had just died… Or how I woke him after the first night I stayed over, at 6AM because it had been snowing and we took a walk through the empty park. But whatever, those days are long gone.

– So instead, I’m just fucking angry. Remember all the shit they pulled, and then some. Beautiful memories are for later. But for now, just hate them with the fury of a thousand suns. I make fucking lists… Like remember that time he ruined your birthday because he was so fucking depressed he could barely get out of bed. Or that time you nearly drank his pee because he pissed in a bottle rather than like a normal human being and you spend and hour hurling over the sink trying to get the smell of ammonia out of your nose. Remember all the times he could not bother to call you or text you back, but managed to update his Facebook status with some menial comment about whatever made him look cool. Yea, that guy… Not worth your pain.

– Don’t blame yourself. Not yet. You may have been the worst person ever and lessons must be learned. But that’s for later….  for now. You’re not the one doing the breaking up. You are the one being dumped. Which immediately gives you the moral high ground. So, whatever made them decide you are not for them… That’s because there is something wrong with them, not with you.

And since they are wrong and fucked up…Don’t talk to them. Not until you can look them square in the eyes and go… What the fuck did I ever see in you. Which may be quicker than you think. Thanks to the fact that every thing wrong in your life, is now all of the sudden their fault.

– Even if they want to talk to you, remember they have no claim on your time anymore. They lost that the moment they said goodbye. They may want to explain and make themselves feels great about leaving you. Fuck them. Their reasons may be as legit as they come. Not your problem. You don’t need to hear how he met the love of his life 3 days ago, or how his ex really is the one and you just helped him realize that. They don’t get to explain themselves. It doesn’t matter. In the end, what it comes down to is that they don’t want to be with you. Accept that. That is all the reason you need. You don’t need to hear anything to doubt or hate yourself. Trust me. You’re fine.

Don’t cry. — When I was at the height of being sick, I cried over everything. I couldn’t leave the house. Bawling. Couldn’t open a jar. Tear fest. Forgot to charge my phone. End of the world. Then one day, I decided it was silly. I was wasting my tears. (Like baby eggs, you only get so many in a lifetime. Don’t waste them) I made a deal with myself. If it wasn’t as bad as my dog dying of Cancer, it wasn’t worth my tears. And while writing this, I might be fighting them back… But I sure as hell won’t waste one, on a person who can barely do me the honors of breaking up with me. So don’t cry. They’re not crying over you. Smile instead. It feels better.

Stay busy. Sitting at home alone, crawling in bed, stuffing your face with junk food (or in my case, solitary drinking) may seem appealing… But it only leads to self loathing. And you’ll get fat, which means you’ll have to go to the gym… And if there is anything more depressing than going to the gym… I don’t know what it is. So instead, go out. Have fun. Make new friends. Joke around. Life is too fucking short to be sad.

Set a goal, or do something productively with yourself. Get a hobby, go on holiday, make a plan to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Because there’s two ways you can do it, you can get bitter or you can try and make the best of it. You decide which is more awesome.

Take care of yourself. Drinking is always my first escape. Unless when I’m not drinking. Getting high is a great option too. But know when to stop. If you find yourself with a heroin needle stuck in your arm in an alley six months from now, you have gone too far.  Don’t forget to eat and sleep. Because

Know that things will get better some day, and you’ll not remember the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. So hang on to the lists you’ve made. Whenever you think you may want to be friends again. Read those goddamn lists, and decide if they’re worth it. In most cases, they are not. Or you’re just a better person than I am.

Get back all your stuff. It may seem like a tempting option to leave something precious back, so you have to see him one last time. And you’ll end up standing with your crap in front of his house, when he’s all cool and distant because he is fucking over you.

So if I could, I’d take everything that even has a smidgen of my DNA on it with me. I am fucking thorough. Not just your clothes, but letters, presents you gave him, presents he gave you, art work… Anything. Take it all back. Give back what is his as well. You don’t want him to come round knocking for it. Even when you really secretly do want that. Close that door as firmly as possible. Nail it shut, then bolt it, and poor it in cement, then bury it. But definitely make sure you have everything back. Especially the personal stuff. Lock them away in a box, with a note. One day when you’re dead and gone, the curator for the museum dedicated to you will open it up and be all like. Wow… What a treasure. And they will find a letter from you to them, completely tarnishing your ex’s reputation. So he’ll go down in the memory of the planet as a bunch of fucking assholes. He who laughs last is a fucking winner.

Tell your friends. Than shut the fuck up about it. Because you can go on for hours, and days and months about how much you’re hurting and how miserable you feel. But in the end, your ex will still be controlling your life from beyond the metaphorical grave of your relationship. You think they are crying and feeling miserable? No fucking way. So don’t do it. Suck it up. And shut the fuck up. It’ll be over a lot sooner that way.

Oh, but it’s OK to write bitter blog posts about it, Janneke? Yes, because I can do whatever the fuck I want. And if you want to comment or judge, I invite you to start your own blog and piss and whine about it there.

Depending on the Vantage Point — We’re all Assholes

if-assholes-could-flyIt’s been the quarter of inter-personal crises here at Camp Awesome. In the last few weeks and months, I’ve managed to crash and burn more personal relationships than George Lucas has crashed franchises. And usually this would mean that I would spring into self-defense mode, claim the world is an idiot that will never understand my beautiful genius, and finally move on with my life waiting for others to clean up my mess.

But moving to a strange and exotic country (as England -with it’s foreign wildlife and strange cultural rituals- is commonly described) has it’s perks. You get some distance from things. (Or maybe I’m just finally growing up, but let’s not make things worse and more terrifying than they already are.)

So, instead of picking up my war hammer and rallying the troops into action, these days I just rope off the disaster zone and let it sit there while I get ready to inspect it further. I’ll be the first to say that my grasp on reality is flimsy at best, and that this is something I usually only realize in retrospect… When the dust of the battlefield has settled down, and it dawns on me that perhaps that enemy I knifed down was more a case of friendly fire.

Oops.

But when you’ve burned all your ships behind you, it’s really hard to go back again.

So, the last few crises I’ve tried to be more of a detective than a warlord. Of course, it remains difficult for me to look at my own actions with some objectivity. There is always this filter of self-delusional awesomeness covering the lens. I have no problems believing that I am both the worst and the best person on the planet. The self-loathing creep that tells me I’ll never be good enough walks hand in hand with the self-applauding freak that thinks I’m god’s gift to mankind. I guess they are equally true and untrue; that they meet in the middle and I am just as mediocre as every other fuckwit I meet.

But as I write that, I don’t really believe that. I am only saying that to not sound like the Asshole I know I am. And as I write that my entire being defies the notion that I am an Asshole, because I am trying so hard to be a good and kind person and I am really nice sometimes. And as I write that, I know I am an Asshole just for thinking I’m not actually an asshole. (I hope you guys have a lot of spare time on your hands, because this line of reasoning goes on pretty much ad infinitum)

But thanks to me roping off all my personal crises and having a better look at them first, before doing anything with them, I have learned one valuable thing… As much as I hate myself sometimes, everyone else on this godforsaken globe is an Asshole too. (And don’t go” “Ehrm… not me.” Yea! Especially you. And you know it, you fucking asshole) It just depends on the vantage point.

I know this is not some notion that will rock many people’s world; the idea that there is good and bad in every single human being. And I guess I am a horrible writer for only coming to terms with this notion now (Not to mention a horrible human being for caring more about being a horrible writer). Except, I never really understood how actions can be interpreted as both evil and great, depending on from what angle you look at it. And the idea of this, the shifting perspective, it is just too thrilling for me drop without quickly jumping at the opportunity to talk about myself a bit more.

Because I’ve always been more than curious to know how other people see me. Perhaps this stems from the fact that it is impossible for me to have a realistic look at myself -due to my previously discussed self-deluding commitment to only see things how they should be rather than as they are- and me roping off my pain and failures for a later date, perhaps has finally given me some new perspective that was lacking before.

I think today is exactly a year ago that my then-future-boyfriend crouched down beside me, and as per my instructions, asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. He made me actual mixtapes with hidden USB-ports in it, because who has a tape-deck anymore. He made me mohitos when I was sad, because nothing cheers you up like the promise of a massive hangover. We would spend each and every day texting back and forth, to a point where I was developing RSI in my thumbs because our hands have strangely enough not evolved for the sole purpose of typing on iPhones. In short, he promised me wild adventures and other groovy times.

He declared his undying love for me one early morning 3 weeks after we had met. I was completely weirded out by this, but as I hovered in the door opening on my way out, I realized I loved him too so I didn’t care. He found me the most amazing human being on the planet, and I thought he was pretty great too, even if he had hairy feet and weird hands. It took us about a month more to move in together, partly because being apart was almost unbearable (partly, because I was homeless). This may seem pretty fast, but given the fact that we discussed out plans to not have kids together on our first date, I’d say we were right on schedule.

In short, it was the classic tale of boy meets girl and they fall in love… albeit with a few more Batman references.

Flash forward to one year later, where I haven’t seen or spoken to him in over almost 2 months, and the mixtapes and other crap he gave me have been safely boxed away in a cardboard box with ‘Dark and Twisted Memories’ in big black letters on it. (In case I forget what’s in the box that has been wrapped in so much sellotape even a lunatic would find it excessive.)

My ex-boyfriend managed to dump me in 6 poorly written lines via Facebook-mail while he was visiting his ex-girlfriend in New York. It is admittedly a less than classy move, especially when put like that. Everyone immediately declared me better off and him an Asshole for it. I guess he is. He could have been a man about it and have some respect and pick up a phone. So yea, he is definitely the asshole of this tale (except those bits later on in the tale where Darth Vader shows up… But that won’t happen until a few years from now).

But I guess that if he were to tell the tale, it’d start out the exact same way. But then when we get closer and closer to the end, we take a different path, our vantage points more and more dramatically. We get a different perspective on things… Whilst still telling the exact same story, things would be completely different.

In his tale, I’m the bigger asshole. He’s the guy who really struggled to figure out what he wanted, and only could do with some distance. Then I forced him to tell me what was going on, he reluctantly did, expecting to be able to fully explain when things had settled down. Except he found himself cut off from my Facebook, my Twitter. I had changed my phone number and blocked my email account. All of his stuff had been returned and mine had meticulously been removed from his house. All that was left was a shitty note saying goodbye -a thing he never got to say-, please give me back my notebook, and I don’t want to be your friend so don’t bother contacting me.

Yes, I am an asshole in this tale. If a friend would tell me how his ex just cut him out of her life from one day to the next… I’d declare her a fucking asshole. Except that the asshole is me here, and I know precisely every fucked up reason why I’d rather not talk to him. So, will the real asshole please stand up??

Continue reading