Monday, 24 February 2014

20 reasons to love your 20s

“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”
— Kyoko Escamilla


1. You're not a teenager any more - celebrate the fact you're old enough to know better and still young enough not to care.

2. It's never been more socially acceptable to be single - the stigma that used to be attached to being single in your 20s is long gone: hooray!

3. Your parents still want to help you - whether you're living at home, or still going back at weekends to get your washing done, your parents are still keen to keep you as their 'little baby' so take full advantage of this.

4. Your body is at its best in your 20s - everything is perky, nothing sags, your hair still grows, and your muscles want to work.  Take advantage of it, decorate it how you want and flaunt it while you still can!

5. You have plenty of time for test driving - it sometimes takes a lot of flings to find out what you do and don't want.  These flings are, in a lot of ways, what a test drive is to the car buying process.  If you don't like the way something drives, performs, or behaves it helps eliminate those details which put the car in the running in the first place. 

6. The world is your oyster - you're old enough to explore the world and know what you're doing, but young enough to appreciate everything that is out there in the way it was intended.

7. Being 30 is the new 20 - your 20s are a practice run for adulthood; if you make a mistake there's still time to learn from it.

8. Relationships require too much emotional investment, with very little return - be selfish with everything: yourself, your time, and your love.  Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve.

9. You don't have wrinkles - this means more money to spend on clothes and going out and less money to spend on anti-wrinkle cream.

10. Your metabolism is the best it is going to be - make the most of being able to spend all night drinking, eating a pizza on the way home, then spending the next day scoffing McDonald's and carbs.

11. You're still learning - whether it's how spicy you like your curries or what you want to do with the rest of your life, there's plenty of time to figure it all out.  

12. Don't be afraid to take risks - it's better to make wrong choices than to forever wonder 'what if?'

13. Everything is on your terms - this is daunting but liberating.  It's a time to make your own choices and your own decisions.  They may not be the right ones to everyone else, but they'll be the right ones for you.

14. There's no rush to grow up - life expectancy is forever increasing, we should make the most of being in ours 20s and not wish our lives away.  Why should we be in a rush to get that boring, grown up, adult life where all we do is work?  Because once we get there, we will be stuck there for a very long time, wishing we could be back in our 20s to do things differently.

15. Make a mark - this is your time to shine!  By the time we are 30, there will be some hot, new 20-something on the scene making their mark on the world.  Make sure yours is strong enough to stand the test of time.

16. Love yourself - when you settle down, get married, and have kids, you will find it hard to find time for yourself.  Spend your 20s loving yourself, appreciating yourself, and being completely selfish with your time and your feelings because, soon enough, you'll have to be putting other people first.

17. There's always the possibility for greatness and embarrassment - chances are, if you're not willing to be embarrassed then you're not going to be great.  Your 20s are about rolling with the punches and making the best out of bad situations.

18. The grass isn't greener on the other side and if it is, that is only because of all the manure that has been dropped on it - in other words, don't always head for what looks like the better option, because it took an awful lot of shit to make it that great.  

19. It's good to fail - your 20s are the time to make mistakes and learn from them later.  How do you know what not to do until you've done it?

20. As Carrie Bradshaw said: 'The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one your have with yourself.  So enjoy yourself, that's what your 20s are for.  Your 30s are to learn the lessons.  Your 40s are to pay for the drinks.'

12 annoying things people do in the gym

1. Men wearing espadrilles and a vest 
This look is only appropriate if you are parading up and down the strip of some Mediterranean island; and even then it is questionable.



2. Men skipping leg day
Nobody likes a beefcake on top of two matchsticks.


3. Women looking pristine.
If you don't walk out the gym sweaty and looking like shit - you didn't work hard enough.




4. Taking photos 
If you have enough energy to pose for photos mid-workout then you're not working hard enough.




5. Tweeting/Facebooking to tell everyone you're at the gym
If you spent less time on your phone and more time working out, people would be able to tell by looking at you that you went to the gym.



6. Making sex noises while you lift
It's off-putting, annoying, and embarrassing for everyone around you.



7. Spending longer on the sunbeds than the gym floor
A workout for your skin pigments doesn't count.



8. Men wearing short shorts
Nobody wants to see that.


9. Women hogging the mats to have a gossip
Take your gossip and your 'check ins' to Starbucks.


10. Women working out in, pretty much, their underwear
Yes, you have an amazing figure. Yes, every female in here is jealous. And yes, every man in here is looking at you. Don't like it - cover up.


11. People making eye contact when you're working your adductors/abductors
It's awkward for everyone involved.  This machine should always face a wall.


12. When your gym starts letting school kids in
They haven't a clue what they're doing but think they're the best thing since sliced bread.  It's quite funny, really.



Monday, 3 February 2014

Romance, the 'slut', and a loss of faith.

'The commonly held view these days is that people don't write love letters any more, and that email and text messaging are death to romance.  And it does seem unlikely that even the most impassioned lover would today claim, as the playwright Congreve does, that 'nothing but you can lay hold of my mind, and that can lay hold of nothing but you.'

'Perhaps people have grown less romantic and more cynical.  Or perhaps people were less self-conscious than we are today...It is tempting to think that we modern barbarians have lost faith, both in love itself and in the art of its expression.'

There are some excerpts from Ursula Doyle's introduction to her collection of love letters entitled: 'Love Letters of Great Men'.  As many Sex And The City fans will know, this is the book which inspires Mr. Big to win back Carrie - writing her a love letter from the collection everyday.

As I sat reading some of the letters last night I cried, laughed, and learnt something from every letter.  

My first tears were shed while reading Henry VIII's letter to Anne Boleyn as what he wrote rang very true to how I feel right now:


'This brings to my mind a fact in astronomy, which is, that the further the poles are from the sun, notwithstanding, the more scorching is the heat.  Thus it is with our love; absence has placed distance between us, nevertheless fervor increases - at least on my part.  I hope the same from you, assuring you that in my case the anguish of absence is so great that it would be intolerable were it not for the firm hope I have of your indissoluble affection towards me.'

Never in a million years would I have thought that Henry VIII would provide the words that I have struggled to find myself.

Moving through the collection, I laughed when I read a letter sent by Laurence Sterne:

'My dear Kitty, I have arrived safe and sound except for the hole in my heart, which you have made, like a dear, enchanting slut as you are.  And now my dear, dear girl! let me assure you of the truest friendship for you, that ever a man bore towards a woman.  Wherever I am, my heart is warm towards you and ever shall be till it is cold for ever.'

Could you ever imagine, today, the phrase 'enchanting slut' being a positive comment?  Language has changed so much over the years; and that's not the only thing.

As I read on, I realised Ursula Doyle was right - people today are less romantic and much more cynical.  She also hit the nail on the head with her comment that people are more self-conscious.  I am a prime example of this - I hate talking about my feelings and wearing my heart on my sleeve.  A couple of weeks ago I decided I would write down my feelings in a letter, but at the last minute I got 'the fear' and wrote it all out in shorthand (knowing that the recipient would never know what it said).  With this in mind, it would probably be fair to agree with her final point - we have lost faith in love itself and the art of its expression.

I wonder how many people are alone because they were afraid to take a leap and have faith in love?

It makes me really sad to think that there are so few 'great men' around today who would put pen to paper to let someone know how much they mean to them.  Of course, in today's society nobody writes any more so it would be fingers to keyboard or phone.  Emails, texts, Twitter and Facebook have had a huge impact on the decline of romance.  Today, speed takes presidence over sentiment.  Everyone is too rushed and too busy to confront and confess their feelings.

Romantic gestures are few and far between, like the men that carry them out; nobody says how they really feel any more (unless it's a public display of affection to make sure everyone else knows how truly, madly, deeply in love they are); and there is no incentive for men to 'woo' women.

This is for two reasons: 1. most men are lazy and just want as much as they can get with as little work as possible, and 2. women make themselves too easy to obtain, with no need for men to work.  It's for this reason that women are just as guilty as men for the decline in romance.  

It is worth bearing in mind that romance means something different to every person.  The key is knowing your audience.  Some women don't like flowers, or spontaneous surprises, or love letters (note: I like all of the aforementioned).  Some women prefer less obvious, traditional gestures like a statement of intent or an offer to do the housework.

I believe it is unlikely that in one hundred years time there will be a book published which contains collections of love letters by 'great men' of today.  However, I look forward to having the cynic in me proved wrong and my faith in love restored once more.

I will leave you with the humorous words of Mozart, in a letter to his wife:

'I am delighted that you have a good appetite - but whoever gorges a lot, must also shit a lot - no, walk a lot, I mean.  But I should not like you to take 'long walks' without me.  I entreat you to follow my advice exactly, for it comes from my heart.  Adieu - my love - my only one.  Do catch them in the air - those 2999 1/2 little kisses from me which are flying about, waiting for someone to snap them up.'


See, romance isn't always as black and white as it seems, is it?