These things we should stop confining ourselves to (men, women, penguins or jelly fish included)

I had a really nice 2020.

Yes, I swear.

This could sound weird, knowing all the upheaval we’ve been through. However, it seems that the early stages of the end of the world are giving me wings (I officially allow people who would like to process to throw buckets of virtual poop at my face. I can assure you, this could be a liberating process, if you need to).

I had the luck to get confined in Barcelona with quality people:

  1. A very hairy cat, who knew that having more people at home would mean to be given more nice things to eat.
  2. Quality roomies (who won’t get offended to be mentioned at the second place only, because they know who was the true ruler of the hearts in our modest kingdom ), with impeccable taste (do you know a lot of people truly gifted when it comes to organise movie nights with home made cookies, songwriting about pizza with anchovies, or memorable chocolate eggs’ hunt ?)
  3. A terrace that was at the center of our attentions (essential for our last hangover pre-confinement)
  4. An avocado called Norbrt (I’m quite proud knowing that this was my first experience to bring life to this world).

This year gave rise to deep transformations and unexpected reconnections (going from creative, professional and emotional refocuses, to the confection of bread with sunflower seeds. Yes, I belong to this crowd, but for my defence, I have to say that I was doing yoga before the pandemic).

But who knows why, this fateful month of January 2021 opened the gates to the exploration of new shades of being bloody sick about things… Going from vivid moments of absurdity, to different tones of despair regarding the state of the world, without forgetting a simple gradient from enough is enough to fuck it, for fuck sake.

Aside an over exposition to the news of my homeland (the one where if lights cannot be seen at the end of the tunnel, we can still try to enjoy the pleasures of a nice cheese with a glass of wine, while contemplating the depth and the darkness of the black pit in front of us ), I had wishes. A lot of wishes.

The first one was to isolate myself, with my family, in lamasery, far from this modern Hydra of Lerna : the one trying peacefully to devour your brain, while moving her gross and slimy scales, with blood-curdling squeals (a mix of: « I’m pro-mask! », « Not me, this is a scam! », « Bill Gates want to inject chips in our brains !!! « !, « Long live the vaccines! « , « Down with the fake vaccines ! »).

The others were belonging to this era which, for the first time, seemed to inexorably drift away. The one of the travels of the World Before:


1. High fiving squirrels in Hyde Park and indulging myself in Katsu curry from Wagamama. 🐿️
2. Contemplating the splendour of athenians ruines, and losing myself in the softness of a moussaka from Gostijo. 🇬🇷
3. Assembling Lego somewhere in Copenhagen and savoring the best carrot cake of my life. 🍰
4. Chasing soap bubbles in the streets of Amsterdam and almost dying from diabetes due to a sugar orgy.🧼
5. Realising that the rain miraculously stopped 5 minutes ago while on the road in the heart of Connemara, enjoying the break to immortalize the moment, having the rain back again, and going for a memorable cheesecake next to the Kylemore Abbey.🐑
6. Making pictures with the Emperor Trajan in Bucarest, realising that for a weird reason, the sculptor had been shy about some details but not about the tits of his she-wolf, walking in the streets, a delicious gogosi in hand.🍆
7. Almost losing a finger due to the cold, taking myself for a viking, and discovering wafles that would make you fall on your knees in Oslo. ⛵

But like Arya Stark getting asked: « What do we say to the God of Death? », my tearful spirit, when asked: « What do we say to the God of depression today? », rebelled itself and answered:

That’s the reason why I have decided to share with you these few thoughts, which, as a human being (but who knows, maybe an otter getting lost on these pages might find here some room for entertainment, while scratching her soft belly) could give you some positive kick.

I’m certainly not pretending that I have all the answers, but these considerations helped me at some point. Might they be useful for you (otherwise, you can still consult these recipes from Tasty for healthy snacking time).

Ok, here we are…

This is not because things were not working in 2019 that these things should go on in 2021….

Let’s say that if you’re trapped in a relationship that does not work as it used to be, that your work drains every drop of your energy, that you’re creatively blocked or can barely see what future holds for you, you should not use 2021 as an excuse not to do anything about it. There are so many things out of your control in this life, but on the other hands so many where you can gain some: more precisely when it comes to all these things you’re inflicting to yourself, more or less consciously.

I understand that neither the context, nor your specific situation, allows you to leave everything behind and go for a mystic spiritual trip in the heart of the Amazonian forest to find yourself again, living happily, only wearing a loincloth and eating delicious roasted larvae.

There is this flat you can’t leave from one day to the next, small human beings who can depend on you, this ungrateful cat or this dog asking for his food to be served every day.

But if 2020 should serve as a lesson to the humanity, the honesty we owe to ourselves, individually, should be the main point to keep.

Maybe, we’re living the end of a world, of an era.

Maybe, we’re living in the possibility of a new one, a new chance.

(And maybe, some cheese could be added in these healthy snacks???)


1. MY RELATIONSHIP IS DYING /I’M HERE BECAUSE I HAVE TO / THIS IS NOT THE BIG LOVE BUT.

So…

Are you afraid of being lonely, the lack of the other person, what people will think, the difficult logistic when it comes to moving to another flat ?

I won’t hide the fact that frolicking on Tinder or the magic of encounters is not the best thing to do, right now,

Maybe it’s time to know how to feel good by yourself. To step back and deeply analysing what you’re expecting from yourself before imposing to someone else to fill the gaps, or worst, to take into account the public opinion.

You would have like for someone to tell you, back in 2018, that he/she liked you, because you’re like one of this soft Ikea couch, so worn out but so familiar at the same time ? For god sake, you would have been a one-eyed hamster with three legs, I would have not say anything, but you have to admit that, Covid or not, this does not smell that good.

If your current love situations leads to choices where you’re feeling trapped, think about what you would have done in the World Before to find a solution (which will have to exclude, unfortunately, a pub crawl with you pals to try to figure it out).

For the rest, a lot of single persons took this time to focus on themselves (and masturbate. A lot.), others on the verge to split realised what really matters, and decided to start again (And getting happily engaged in mutual masturbation). And break ups and love stories happened even during war times or even within concentration camp. So, imagine….



2. I HATE MY JOB… BUT COVID, YOU KNOW….

Your professional situation makes you want to swallow bags of nails? You would prefer to be rolled over by a tank instead of going through another day of doing what you’re doing?

Maybe the world situation sucks enough? So no need to add a bit more fuel to the fire…

2020 et 2021 potentially served you a lot of bitter pills to swallow, but under the cover of dung (aka social limitation), it could be that they offered you the ultimate gift: the one of time. And god knows confinement and curfew are full of it. If you’re still lacking some, it might be the propre moment to eliminate some non-essential activities.

Being born and having grown up during an era without Internet (but some of my countrymen were equipped with this french specificity called Minitel), having access to top notch content and various types of tutorials have been a real revolution. From knowing how to do your own dried duck fillet ham, to sew your own socks, perfecting your insults in English (excuse my French nasty spirit), or how to take care of a squirrel, Internet has certainly something for you. You just need to know what to ask and avoid the dangers of an umpteenth video of cute cats (I’m not judging here. Videos of cute dogs are the honey of my life):

a. Tranfrome your social networks in something uself and not something disrupting your existence : Do you really need to receive the notifications of this group of palm tree lovers? Or from another shop of vegetal shoes? And if you were forcing yourself to turn off your phone for one hour per day or even more (maybe, the last GIF sent by your friend Roger can wait. Except if Roger is about to die but why would he send a pic of a dancing cactus ??). And what about learning how to disconnect in another way ? Because yes, after a day of work, time dedicated to take care of the others, and not to be devoured by the stress, your mind might need some time to rest. So feed it with quality one. Just to be able to be focus afterwards on productive things.

b. Free your stress from the tyranny of stress and professional: The first thing to do is to step back. For the professional world, you’re dispensable. Workers came before you. Plenty of others will come after you. Even if you’re a brilliant inventor, an outstanding creative, the employee or the manager of the month, the world is already giving birth to someone with as many skills and expertise as you have. So, breathe, it will be OK. Do your work, do it well, but don’t think that the world will stop if you’re moving to something else.

c. Enjoy this unique time in the human kind history to create true connection. Even in a professional context: For a long time, I have admired from far the work of artists, creators, writers from different background. I told myself that I would never contact them to share my feelings towards creation, asked for advices on how to survive to creative blockage, to failure, and plenty of other things. If it’s your case, and for having made the leap, know that it works. Just keep in mind that:

  1. These people have the same intestinal system as yours. They are humans, before all.
  2. They can have the same life as an amoeba from the woods in these weird times, and as well, they are submitted to the same restrictions as your are : this means that they have time to fill, and time to connect. for REAL connections.
  3. If your attempts of contact are coming to nought, please know that you won’t die (go and make yourself some peanut butter toast, and hop, here you go again).

And what better source of informations could be than the one from people already doing what you love to try doing?

3. I NEED TO BE A MAN, A REAL ONE.

It’s quite striking to see what kind of reproaches could be done to our fellows equipped with a penis (I do not like the word dick to be honest), these soulless thugs with their conquering sex, detached from their emotions, without respect for the poor enamoured creatures crossing their path… versus what’s asked from our society, which is: conquering the world armed with their penis and axe, being strong under any circumstances (because it’s not with emotions that they will earn more stock options), to have crunchy abs, beautiful cars, and the biggest salary at home, to make sure that their virility is intact.

Dear penises, good news: you can join the dark side… Because life is not about perpetually racing for the golden onion, where bigger is your watch, bigger your sex will be. You’re entitled to vulnerability too, to the right to ask for a shoulder to cry on, to receive a compliment (a consented one) about your bottom. your lovely hard or soft belly. Your body has the right too to be celebrated in another way than a machine to punch or to give orgasms. You have the right not to be asked to do the first step, to be immediately solicited to light a barbecue, a fire, change a wheel, opening a jar of marmalade, repairing a sink, or offering to dive into delicious intercourses. You have the right to play the starfish if you want to. To cover yourself with cream. To get your feet massaged. To wear pink, long hair, or bobby pins, if you like it.

And dear penises, you have equally the right to be raised as modern persons. We know that your hormones and penises can be hard to control as soon as a bit of skin can be visible. As far as everything remains in your pants, we won’t get offended with another erection. We know that you’re not all rapists, but we love for you to be taught properly how to keep your boner, your dirty looks and jokes for yourself, instead of teaching to your sisters how to cover themselves, in order not to  »provoke » the awakening of the penis. The troubles.

And yes, you have the right to know what a clitoris, a menstrual cycle, or papillomavirus are (because, you know what, papillomavirus likes you as well…). You can ask, you known it’s always a pleasure to share knowledge, and as well the responsibility of procreation, the risks of pregnancy, and diseases.

You don’t have to be what’s expected of you. If the other like you strong, virile, always perfectly dressed up and perfect 24h/24 and 7d/7, this is a just a question of taste. And no one should impose as universal something that concerns the area of a particular preference.


4. I HAVE TO BE A WOMAN, A REAL ONE.

It’s crazy to see how many things can be reproached to the fellows equipped with a vagina, these fragile little flowers, so skilled when it comes to use a mascara or a milk bottle, to wear a Basque or a nice schoolgirl uniform, these creatures full of emotions, and abundant menstruations, with their frail and delicate little fingers…. versus what’s asked from the society and what they are asking from themselves : being the soul of the house, performing not only in bed, but at the office as well, or when it comes to iron the clothes of the little ones.

The one who is strong outside, but needs to be reassuringly soft inside, because difficult girls are the ones turning in one of these evil witches of fairytales. The one who needs to have kids, a husband, or anyway, someone in her life, because we all know that she cannot be all self-sufficient. The one who should not play to be Indiana Jones, because adventure is for penises. The ones who has to wear heels, not wear long short or hoodie, because she needs to still look like a lady (except that if you observe a lady in her natural habitat, there is 99% of chance that most of the time, she is not hanging around in her sexy night gown and magnificent shoes).

The one who has to carry in her bag everything that could prevent any catastrophe to happen (tissues for the nose of the whole universe, something to eat, a mirror, something to matify brilliant, something to write, something in case of unplanned periods, something to be able to live in Lapland).

Dear vaginas, good news: you can join the dark side… Because life is not about perpetually racing for the golden onion, where softer is your smile, more charming you will be, and bigger your aura will expand. You have the right to use your hands to something that is not considered as delicate as well. You have the right as well to wear short hair, to have a sportive, no boobs, no bottom, or a body with a lot of boobs and a large bottom. You have the right to have a body that is yours. You have equally the right to be strong, to speak up, to cross your legs while your feet is resting on your knees, to do the first move. You have the right to wear hoodies, to lead a raid against orcs in WOW, not to wear makeup, to crave for sex, like now, right now, to walk in whatever streets you want, dressed the way that you want, without fear. You too, you have the right to write, lead, decide.

And dear vaginas you have equally the right to be raised as modern persons. To look at your sisters with kindness, to know how to desexualise your body, to see beyond what you were raised to be. To learn how to disassemble cupboards, to open jars, to leave backpacking, and to consider your face, unvarnished, as it is: yours, fully. Forever.

And yes, you have the right not to expect that a penis will know your body by heart, intuitively. You can show, guide, ask, it’s nice to share knowledge, you now. And you have the right to be heard if you want to, and most important, to say no.

You don’t have to be what’s expected of you. If the other like you soft and sweet, always impeccably dressed up and perfect 24h/24 and 7d/7, this is a just a question of taste. And no one should impose as universal something that concerns the area of a particular preference.


5. I NEED TO SUCCEED TO BE A HUMAN BEING, A REAL ONE.

On your deathbed, it’s quite unlikely that you will think about the last  »deal » you have to close before the end of the last quarter. About your honorific mention at your graduation. If your legs were waxed or not on the 7th of January 2020. The poem that your kid never learnt by heart when he/she was in second grade. Or the perfect Instagram story you posted once on holidays.

When the time of my last breath will come, I will certainly regret not to be able to have a last waffle in Oslo, not to be able to babble about my day, my head resting in the soft spot of a shoulder smelling a perfume that I love, not having a last giggle with my mum (last one being by the way about the anal PCR test) a last discussion about the recipe of chicken/coconut milk with my dad, a last glass of wine, a last dance until the early morning with my friends. But I hope that I will be in peace with all of this, without any major regret.Ç

And for this, I hope that I won’t be afraid to try new things, to confront my fears, fears of not being able to do things, of not understanding why things did not work. I hope that I will have success, but loads of things that went wrong as well.

During my French confinement this time, a friend living in the land of caribous gave me the advice to watch this documentary about beautiful losers, the wonderful Anvil! The Story of Anvil :

It does not matter if you do not like the music if these guys or not. I think that this documentary should be mandatory to watche for young, and less younger people, all around the world.

Because life is not the one you are given to watch on the impeccable Instagram posts (I don’t teach you anything there, even my brilliant skin is automatically retouched by my phone, even if I did not ask for it). It’s not the success story of these persons endeavouring to achieve what they want so much, and who, at the end of the road, are automatically rewarded. It’s not neither these people obtaining glory, beauty and eternal life in a finger snap (even Highlander had to behead people, or Dracula to drink blood, to make it…).


Once again, I don’t know everything, I’m so far from it. The only thing that I know, and to conclude about all this, is that if people remember me as someone nice, honest with herself and the others, and loving cakes… well, I will consider my life as a success beyond all expectations (Special note: I hope that no one will remember the splendour if my lists… Although…..)

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