Chapter 57 – Who I Am?

 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016.

 

Dichotomy.

 

Not the sun – just thy moon?

I’m a lover – I’m beloved.

I am fun, I am old.

Woman, sister, mom and daughter,

I am scared, I am bold.

 

 

I’m not bitter, I am sweet!

I’m a lady,

Bittersweet.

I’m determined, I am flawed,

I am awed by thee.

 

I’m his Ex, I am deep,

I am active, I’m asleep.

I am happy, ugly, heavy.

I just want to leave.

 

I am light, I am dark,

I am gracious, I am marred.

I’m a birdie, I am barred.

I am patient, restless, pretty –

Just thy wild card.

 

North and south,

Kind and blind.

Just a girl,

I’m a friend.

I’m just tired –

I will end.

 

I am loyal, I betray:

I’m a sinner, I’m a saint –

I’m forgiving, I’m forgiven,

Though now drained.

 

Hot and cold (not really)

I’m a teacher, so silly!

I’m a playful mystery…

I am strong, I give up,

Direly need thy hugs.

 

I am human – there you go.

You won’t judge me,

So I’m told.

 

I am crazy, I am biased.

Fired up,

Wise, wired and hooked.

I am Tinderella Anna.

I’m thy secret, open book.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 59 of who am I’s?

 

 

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Chapter 56 – Uh-Tinder Date #13

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016.

 

Still Day 58

 

The Canadian and Anna sit at a café in Ruoholahti and try to chat. She is good with words and can talk to just about anybody about a thousand things, but somehow it feels these two have nothing to say to each other.

Real awkward silences fill their uh-awkward attempts.

They sip their tea and look around.

 

Uh… he looked a little chubbier in his pictures and where has his lovely beard disappeared to? Hmm.

This thin man’s face is clean-shaved. Are they even one and the same guy? Haha.

He tells her his daughter and his motorbike live in England. Uh… He himself owns a business in Hakaniemi. Uh… Would she like to ride his motorbike back from England with him.

Uh… Not sure! Well, at least we wouldn’t have to chat.

Uh… would she like to go to the movies with him after his England trip?

“Uh… Maybe, let’s see.”

 

Even looking at each other feels oddly awkward. Uh… Maybe Anna’s just sleepy and not feeling like her normal self today. She’s too much inside her mind, too little in her heart?

He seems like a perfectly nice guy – minus the sparks. Where are the sparks? Where are the sparks?

Finnair-flying here from Germany soon?

Ding! Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

 

After she thanks him and leaves, she sits in her car in Citymarket’s parking lot and thinks about everything.

Ah, it’s kind of cool to go on all these dates. (I don’t know where people get the idea that Tinder is promiscuous. Well, I guess it depends on how one uses it)… Meeting new people and finding out who’s out there…

People are curiously fascinating. Ha! It’s like conducting my own field work in social studies/divorce-and-back-to-dating-in-your-forties research.

Well, as long as there’s respect and honesty, no waste of time.

Humpf.

#12 was a waste!

 

She reads Christian’s messages and then calls her mom.

 

18:33   Hello! Been in bed all day. 😊 Just got up. Feeling a bit better, thankfully! Plenty of water, hot drinks and paracetamol for me tonight. Hope you had a nice day.

Thanks for the pictures. I love Helsinki. It’s the perfect-sized city – you can walk everywhere. Never seen that cottage though. Love nature. Especially covered in snow! 😊

18:43   😊😊 Calling my mom now. Maybe I’ll talk to you later?

 

“So… how have this week’s dates been going?” Riittaa inquires happily even before saying hello.

Come to think of it, mom hardly ever says hello – jumping right into the matter at hand.

“Oh, mom. So interesting! Blah, blah, blah…

“…But I can’t help but feel quite excited with the Englishman I’m going to meet on Sunday. He seems to be well-mannered and smart. But not in a boring way… Blah, Blah….

“You know, today I told him I don’t know if I’m ready for dating yet. And he had such a respectful, mature response. Blah, blah…

“He’s always like that. Blah, blah, haha.”

“Yeah, I have a good feeling about this Englishman, too.” Riitta is a woman of straight-to-the-point-just-the-necessary amount of words.

Quite a character – I just love her – funny and devoted and 100% her sui-generis self.

“Though he sent a horrible selfie today! Haha. But I don’t care. All the men I’ve met so far have turned out to be quite different in person, anyway.”

10 years older, 10 kg heavier, 10kg thinner, no beard, no smiles, no normal eye-to-eye contact, nicer clothes, shorter, you name it. 

“I’m starting to think this gender is just not into their looks – to them, the world of selfies is from another universe – at least the men from my generation.”

“Yeah, meet him in person and then you’ll see.” mama agrees.

.

,
21:01   Hello. Cough cough splutter. 😊  Hope you are keeping healthy. Maybe I should have been a teacher and eaten lots of apples?? I went back to bed. This is my first cold in ages. Hopefully a long sleep and I’ll be back to normal.

Hope you had a nice call with your mum. Does she live nearby? Wish I had the energy to write act III of that story we started. The cottage gave me some good ideas.

And your nice pictures. 😊

21:21   Hi, yes. I had a great chat with mom. She lives in Tampere, about 180km from here. Comes to Helsinki once a month. Dad, less often.

So sorry you’re feeling worse. 🤒🤧 Just stay in bed from now till Sunday morning and you should feel better. 😊

Unless you need antibiotics. Sometimes it’s good to check that it’s not angina, right? Look into your throat and see if there are any white spots around. If there are, you’re only getting better on meds.

21:27   Happy you liked Helsinki! And it’s not even my favorite city in Finland… Tampere, Oulu and Jyväskylä are better in some ways.

21:31   I hope you’re sleeping to recover. And if you do recover enough to come to Helsinki…

…we can just play a game at my place – do something non-tiring. Maybe I’ll let you lie under a cover to watch a movie and just take it easy. Let’s see.

21:36   Ahhh, that’s very kind. I am very much looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be fit and well by then. 😊  Movie, games. Sounds like a good day! Nice and relaxing.

22:02   😊

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. End of Day 58 feeling curious and reassured.

 

 

Chapter 35 – Saturday Blues

 

Saturday, 6 February 2016.

 

Day 48

 

Morning comes and she’s feeling blue. Anna just needs some answers.

 

Who am I??

                              What do I want now?

What am I seeking?

Why am I doing this again??

Yes, do tell me!

What the heck is the hurry, huh??

            What is wrong with you???

 

Tears are rolling down like a river, as she lies in the darkness of her bed.

 

She calls Mr. Ex.

Not concerning them, no!

I hang on to people, but then, when I move on, I really move on.

Not concerning him. Just about herself. Who am I? What’s going on?

Pedro and Anna have spent over half her life together. He may not love her as his wife anymore, but she knows he cares about her as a friend and the mother of his children. She has no doubt that he wants the best for her, too.

Just not with him.

He listens in no hurry, feels her pain, comforts her. Tells her it will be alright. Talking with him is so easy.

 

She feels better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 48 since moving out of Mr. Ex’s home – their last home together.

 

 

Chapter 31 – Just a Nice Intermission

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

Nothing much.

It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it turns out.

We’re too different. Apparently he needs to sleep early and I go to bed late…?

Anna’s looking beautiful as she turns the key and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy and frustrating expectations.

 🎵 I was going out tonight, still feeling alright…🎶

OK, I practiced some dating skills. Not a complete waste… Nice guy – this Riku.

 

Yes, it’s been only a month of Tindering and she’s already been on 8 dates.

Forty-six days since moving out, since the separation. Hmm… Out of their last home together… It’s just Mr. Ex’s now. And the teens’. And God knows who else’s?

Oh, cringe!

Hurtful bleeding bloody ouch.

 

Stop.

That’s a ridiculous understatement. Unacceptably grotesque.

Absolutely ridiculous.

 

How about this? From last June to January, Anna has at times felt lunged at, knocked down, assaulted by fate. Stabbed with a knife that life has “thrust, jabbed and skewered” her lovable heart with – until near death.

And you still wonder why she avoids thinking about it, huh?

Cool.

 

Well, I’ll tell you this. If you ever find yourself in this same interesting predicament, there’s just one thing you should do. One.

Forgive.

Now.

Full stop. Categorically.

Move on. Just move on.

Bless him; wish him well – you won’t regret it. For the teens. Co-parent like Mary Poppins would.

Don’t you dare dwell on loss. Onward march! You deserve it. Be really happy. Abundantly. Survive at all costs. Stay resilient. Think selfishly of yourself too, now. Have loads of fun. As much as you can. Look at the bright side, at all the perks. Raise that dopamine, but be safe. Don’t be alone. DO NOT ISOLATE YOUR SOUL. Hug all your friends and relatives. Let them splash their affection over you. Take care of your kids. Love them with all your being. Let the tears roll sometimes. But laugh out loud much, much more. Infinitely more. Watch lots of comedies. New hobbies? More volleyball please. More jogging. New friends? Please, do find a good guy. Believe he’s out there. Someone who desires you. Wants you, needs you. Sees you. A great person. A powerful healing embrace. Chemistry. Just do it, come on. Postpone the frightening mourning, the deathly grief. Quick!

Urgently.

Suffer later.

L-a-t-e-r.

When you’re stronger.

That’s what Anna’s doing, anyways.

And the only way to go if you’re sane.

 

Sigh.

This whole separation thing is so very recent.

Deep in her heart, Anna has no doubt – whatsoever – that it’s for the best. The very fairy best.

It will most certainly turn out to be a super clear, mega blessing in disguise – eventually. There were just too many things they couldn’t take anymore. Hurt. No attraction. No romance. Twenty more years of friendship? Nobody deserves that. To please society?? Don’t you want more? 

One

Life

To

Live.

They were over each other. Entirely.

 

It’s not that…

So, what is it, then?

What is there to be sad about? Why can’t Anna just enjoy a peaceful pleasant home-alone Thursday evening?

 

Well, fathom this for a second.

Your recent home – now previous…. The place where your teens are spending this very evening with their father… The place that you’ve recently redecorated in style and with the loving work of your hands…

Where you hung the curtains you’d just sewed… The place you cleaned and decorated for Christmas just fifty days ago…

The place where your youngest child is probably devastated, hurting, missing you – feeling “Where the heck is mom and why isn’t she here?” …Trying to be brave to pull through… The place your own family lives two weeks a month…

Oh my God.

After two decades of making a house a home – with love, with passion. With joy. And lots of human imperfection… History. That place…

…Is a place where you’re no longer expected. You’re not really welcome there anymore.

 

So… nothing much.

Just that.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Still day 46 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 22 – Tinder Date #7

 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016. –> And we’re back to the past.

 

Day 44

 

Diary Dear,

My quest goes on in the treacherous seas of the Isle of Tinder-Cinders.

When I arrive at the Little Big Café, André is almost done munching his croissant and gulping away. I smile as I walk up to him. Holding up two fingers, he complains I’m 2 minutes late.

Cool guy.

He asks me if I’d like coffee and when I nod, he adds, “Go buy one then”.

Sweet.

His pics on Tinder are quite nice. Suit and all. How come he looks as though he went to bed in old clothes, got up, slipped his feet into no-lace boots, put on his oldest winter coat (nothing’s matching), and came to meet me on a bad hair day?

Whatever. I know I can just dump him, but humor him with me.

 If nothing else, stories to tell my grand-kids one day?

He then proceeds to chatter. 20 minutes on global warming. According to him, the firm he owns is building huge projects in Vantaa, but – he protests – what’s the use of it if all Africa is going to invade Europe by the millions?

Anyway, fifteen minutes, that’s it – no more (thank God), and we leave. His SUV is parked outside and he commands, “Get in the car. I’ll take you home now.”

I just bid him farewell/no thanks and know that I’ve had my first nutjob date.


 

Diary… Mom called from Tampere this afternoon to check up on me. I shared a little, mentioned Ex and Newbie’s Bahamas pics on FB. What a pain… but no comments. 

Rage. Sigh.

“Anna, I don’t understand how come you’re so calm. Why don’t you hate him?? It’s been really hard on us, your father and me.”

“Really, mom? I know…

“But, you’re the one who did all those daily devotionals with us kids. Reading the whole Bible, cover to cover. You had us memorize those verses about not judging others, loving your neighbor… Forgiving 70×7. Ring any bells?

“Remember the little song you made out of that verse for us to sing: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yes do!’

“Your fault, mom. And…

Thanks.☺️” — I really am deeply grateful. Mom has always been incredible. A Rock and a steadfast friend.

“Yes, but…”

 

I change subjects and tell her the hot gossip. You know. Tinder, me. The whole concept had to be explained to her.

Her reaction? Out of the roof. Ha-ha. She wants updates. 😄

We agreed not to tell dad just yet. Don’t know if he’d understand…


 

As for other news… the teens are fine. With their father this week, so I have another date booked. 😆

#incorrigibleme

The guy looks good in his photos – like a Norwegian god. Bold smile. Blond, nicely trimmed beard. His pics are artistic, cropped to show only half his face.

His chats are a bit slow, though. IT engineer. Nokia.

Talking of which, the Englishman (Christian) has been writing avidly. As nicely as ever. Is he really visiting Finland this month, you think?

Ah, come on doubting Thomas… sooner or later I’ll have to score. I’ve got enough match cards up my sleeve. I just know it. 

Get me a winning ticket, will you? Please. God?

 

As hard as it is, people find love and passion every day. It’s been like this for centuries, I think. 🤔 Since the beginning of times, maybe? That’s just the nature of things. Love Actually. Love is in the air. Everywhere. 

If even Mr. Ex is happy with Ms. Newbie…

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 44 since moving out.

Chapter 21 – Anniversary

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that both in words and action.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017.

 

Day – Does it Matter? Love stops time.

 

It’s our one-year anniversary and he’s promised to call a little later.

Anna is looking out the window of the cottage she adores so much. The sun appeared from behind the heavy clouds just now, as if to celebrate their special occasion. Its rays are resting over the cleanest of snows. And when you live in Finland, you value each second of sunshine, isn’t it true?

 

Some friends were here with Anna over the weekend, but had to go back to work in Helsinki. Spring break from school, 9 days off for ‘hiihtoloma’.

Since we can’t be together today, that’s how I’ve planned it: I want to be alone!

Alone. To feel. To reflect. She needs to reminisce, in order to continue writing the book she’s recently begun.


 

Omar and Anna chatted on Messenger earlier. He’s been reviewing her first drafts and has some constructive criticism.

“Anna, there in Chapter 2 where you say you like practical gifts. I’m not quite buying it. Nobody’s that pragmatic. Come on!

“Gifts make one feel seen… It’s about feeling valued and important to others at the end of the day. But OK, the socks are nice. Romantic.

“Amiga, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that you’re anonymous? Be fully honest with yourself, tell the reader everything. You’re an Alias, it’s a diary. It’s safe to pour your heart out. And we’re curious.” 🙂

 

The next few days are going to be her first holidays alone. Ever. Anna had been afraid to be here like this, in such secluded surroundings. The jet-black darkness of night. Well, she’s been locking all doors, even though you don’t really need to do that in the middle of the forest in Finland.

Mostly, she had been afraid of feeling lonely out here without him – every corner of the place bursting with memories.

So far so good.

Always face your fears! Don’t run away from them. And… solitude and loneliness are different things.

This is solitude.

And what a wondrous place this is.


 

Back to work then, Chapter 2, where did it end?

Ah, here it is… Eggs, Light Coke, Diesel, Lindt. She is reading over her Ray Ban glasses.

Socks. Yes!! Socks… Someday I’ll share my life closely with somebody again (but it will have to be someone as special as me), and we’ll give each other good socks for every birthday and every Christmas. One pair each. And sometimes on a normal day too, just to be romantic. ❤️‍😍”

I’m changing the verb tense. There. This sounds better: “And we’re wearing them all.”


 

My, how could I be any clearer? Hope Mr. One takes the hint. Hmm. Mmm.

OK Anna, challenge of the day: be honest with yourself. Think of this whole situation. The whole mess. Dreams, frustrations, the longing. Everything you and he shared in a year.

She leans back on the couch and is suddenly in far-away-heartland. For a long time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away:

 

Dearest Diary,

P.S.

Remember when I wrote about what I think of gifts (29 December 2015)?

🤐 

OK, I’ll give you the whoooole truth.
Honestly? 😬😁

I want you to give me socks and a wild flower, a jar with stones from a beach we visit, a little note, or a snowball on my head. A drawing and a napkin.

I want hugs for no reason. Lots of them. Firm – like you want to grab me. (Just saying, Finnish guys out there, learn! Fica a dica).

And hot kisses – touches.

 

At this point, Anna is sobbing noisily. She looks funny and can barely see the laptop screen as she pours her soul onto the keyboard. But OK, OK, keep tryping –  cryping  – Oh, typos! Dry your tears, Anna. Here we go: t – y – p – i – n – g. There. Typing.

 

A handwritten card with words that you really mean. Chemistry – gosh, that goes without saying.

Take me to KFC, my favorite junk food joint. And always wear a nice shirt for our dates if  you want me weak at the knees.

I want eyes caressing my body and trying to pierce my very soul, while music whose lyrics you want me to hear is playing in the background. A romantic get-away in nature. Like here. With frequent little favors.

I am a strong and capable woman, but I want to feel my fragile and feminine side when I’m with you.

I wish you to want to play board games and… Don’t let me win! Invite me to dance, even if we suck. Let’s play a little volleyball together at the beach, just to make me as excited as a child – up for it?

Send me pictures of anything that belongs to your normal life. Selfies, please?

🎼 Detalhes tão pequenos de nós dois…
Oh, do think about me and miss me, too.

I want you to listen to me while I read you something deep; to watch movies and series together, asking why I’m crying as we eat creative ice cream mixes I’ve come up with. Skin on skin.

Tell me when I’m wrong – you can tease me a little. I even miss someone to fight with. God! Can you believe it?

My patience is real, but don’t let it fool you: I am very demanding. Let’s expect nothing but the best we can give each other at any given point and time.

 

Ah. I want you to try to write me poetry, the result being really bad (but you presenting it to me anyway). What really matters are your intentions, the emotions shared, your honest attempt.

Tell a good friend about me? Small surprises. Yes. A surprise visit. Why don’t you? Call me from the airport.😏

I desire your confusion, your excitement, a little fear of loss.

Long, brisk walks and talks. For you to tell me what you are really thinking. What are you going through, my love? Your doubts, your dreams, your longings, your hurt, your fears. Even your BS, any addictions? Give me your tears.

Give me your jokes, your smiles. Make me laugh. What do you yearn for, what makes you excited, what can I do to make your world stop for a moment in time? Not all the time.

Scarcity and distance inflate desire, so there’s a limit – let’s not go clingy.

Above all, I desire your true self and the spontaneity of your being. Don’t do everything I want. Of course not. And it’s not about me. Not everything. I’m just a part.

Experience special moments with me, will you darling? Another first. And tell me good things, from time to time? 🐦

I’ll gladly take your little efforts sometimes.

Give me affection and attention in a variety of small ways. Make it count. Send me lots of emojis with your messages? Don’t be sparing.

🦅

At this point in the text, my reader, please leave your answer in the comment section on your left. Are you thinking:

(a) Eurgh, all this girly mushy talk.

(b) I can totally relate.

(c) Yes, and I can add my own dreams to the list! Maybe write one of my own?

 

As the author, perhaps I’m leaning towards, hm, female readers will relate… And male readers are almost asleep?

Well, what if I tell you the aforementioned is all based in real life events? It really happened guys. I just miss it. Every day I do.

My son hates it when I say women are more emotional than men. OK. Maybe it’s not about gender, but about your personality. Are you a hopeless romantic, too? I’d love to know. But some opposites attract…

Alright. I’ll just wrap it up now.

🦉

 

Let’s choose each other.

I’m challenging you. Solve your problems! And be aware that I’m independent – I won’t need you to survive…

…No!

Just to be much, much happier than I already am. And life more beautiful. Meaningful. Really full.

I know what long-suffering is – I can take it. I’m tough. I need to focus on my life too right now. But then someday…

…Someday when I’m ready, I’ll want your best for me. Just like I want to give you mine. We have the know-how.  It was great. We’ve tried it.

There’s a time for everything under the sun, but life is for living, not just for sacrificing. YOLO. One life, don’t forget.

There’s an impending time for turning tables. For being happy and having someone to share that with. For daring to dream and to pursue your goals.

 

Many things are not under our control, but we should do our foremost about the things that are. Expect and accept. And hope for the best.

I’m fine alone, but if you turn out to be the One, you’ll have the power to make it all a hell of a ride better, you see?

So.

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that you do, both in words and in action. Looking into my eyes.

I like your vulnerable and your self-confident sides equally. So, I’m asking for the sincerity of your heart, your truth, the abundant affection, the generous spirit, the earnest loyalty and the courage it will take you to find yourself, be your deepest self and live it all out.

With me, who else?

Forget the price tag.

 

And the phone starts ringing.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 428 – but love does stop time!