Friday, 17 January 2014

Blinded by the Light

In life new things happen. Where you’re a Bear Grylls type who spends his days on adventures  and hard physical exercise in a multitude of countries, or a couch potato whose idea of heaven is the Eastenders omnibus…there is always something new going on. Whether it’s a new commercial on ITV2 or an innovative design recently pushed forward by the designers of mountain boots, life will throw new things our way with gleeful abandonment.

Problem is that if  you are lacking certain things, you will then cling to these “new” things as the one thing you need to make your life perfect.

The light of joy that shines from this thing will put you off seeing what it really is and in the end will lead to nothing but abject disappointment. It is ultimately fool’s gold.


Several times in my life I have “fallen in love”. There were 4 occasions in total. In 1995, 2002, 2004 and 2010. Each time I was arse over tit in love with the person I was dating/ sleeping with/ had a crush on, and believed wholeheartedly that they were the ONE.

I was 100%, bona fide, dyed in the wool in lurrrve and believed that my life could never be happier than when I was with this person. They were perfect in every way and they were my soul mate.

Truth was…I was simply very lonely. From childhood I had been unable to make friends easily and due to bad experiences at Secondary school, believed I was ugly and repugnant to women. Finally getting to shag someone who not only had a vagina but was physically attractive, sweet natured AND thought I was rock ‘n’ roll meant I was falling over myself to hold onto the feeling I got when I was around them.

The concept of Love Conquers All is a load of drivel that was invented relatively recently (Romeo and Juliet even points out that love for the sake of it is nothing but vacuous and even strewn with artificially constructed peril). People in countries with unstable economies will still marry for stability and hope for the best (2002 and 2004 from my list of heartbreakers did exactly this. Both are from Moldova in Eastern Europe and both married nice sensible men that would provide children, wouldn’t hit them and were likely to get promoted and bring in a stable income for the next 40 years).

I was so desperate for a sexual and emotional partner that despite all my attempts to emulate my celluloid heroes Max Rockatansky and Snake Plissken (badass loners) I was simply frantic for some TLC and the ego boost of being found sexually interesting and worthy of attention.

If you fuck someone and they not only let you do it, but are plainly enjoying themselves into the bargain, then you feel like a billion dollars.

If someone tells you they are sad when you go away and can’t wait to see you again, you feel wanted and special.

And if they want to spend time with you rather than be with other people, then your ego soars. You are someone who is sexy, likeable and craved.

Now imagine the feelings when that person has gone away.

It sucks.

Being blinded by the light means that you will ignore the negative aspects of what’s happening and focus only on those that make you feel good.

1995 was 16 and I was 26. Her parents had met me when we were simply friends (class mate of a former student of mine) and approved us dating before we actually did it. Together on and off for about 6 years. Sex was fantastic (although I waited 2 years before I took her virginity) and to this day we are still emotionally close although contact is minimal and she is living with someone else now and is aged 33.

Problems were…that I lived in Rome and she lived in Milan. She was so young when we met that her idea of taking a guitar and travelling the world evolved into becoming a manager for a modelling agency. We had wildly different tastes and we didn’t’ get to see each other very often. I had decided she was the one and ignored the blatant flaws in the system as merely things that could be worked out eventually. We broke up and it took me about 10 years to get over her.

2002 was 16 and I was 32. Her step father (same age as me) met me when we were simply friends and approved us dating before we actually did it. Together for one month. One of the best shags I’ve ever had (asked once “do they have schools for this type of thing where you’re from?”). Very intelligent and perceptive and looked about 21. Went home for Xmas and never came back due to her mother and step father separating and her visa then being voided.

Problems were…No compatibility at all beyond intelligence, sex and physical attraction. Hardly any hope that this relationship would survive but I held out hope and in a perverse way was secretly glad that the passport issue had broken us, and not time as this meant it wasn’t my fault but the fault of an unfeeling bureaucracy. Told her I loved her when drunk, she replied in kind while equally drunk. Blinded by the light so much that totally glossed over the virtual impossibility of this becoming a stable relationship and sulked about her for years.

2004. 25 year old student in my class at a TEFL college. Beautiful and sweet natured. Snogged her a few times and made out with her once on a drunken night out. Told myself I was in love with her and 100% believed what I’d said. She made no promises beyond wanting to see me behind her boyfriend’s back occasionally. Was totally besotted and when I drunkenly sent her a sarcastic text message (knowing she was in bed with her boyf) I later sobered up and deleted all possible methods of contacting her again and also all photos I had of her. Sulked on this for about 7 years.

2010…you get the picture.

So I was blinded by the light in each of these situations and believed happiness would prevail eventually.

This is a similar occurrence with jobs. I got a job after 5 months on benefits. The feeling of having more money than just for necessities was wonderful. Problem is that the job’s shit and badly paid and sometimes physically exhausting. I took a manager’s promotion last year and while it was a temporary position it meant more money, more responsibility and the possibility of greater things to come. Reality was that it was boring, hard work and  without being paid correctly nearly every week. It also meant I had to do the work of the level I’d just left due to lack of staff (albeit on the management pay).

Result= same shit, more money, less friends. However I told myself that this was a step up because I was blinded by the light.

In March it will be 2 years since I started Krav Maga. I am now Practioner level 3 (P3) and proudly wear the three barred patch on the left leg of my training trousers. Truth is that while I am competent at the technical side of Krav, I genuinely feel uncomfortable during the combat class we have on Thursdays. I was so blinded by the fact that I'd found something I was good at and that I could grade at successfully, that I overlooked that very obvious reality. I.e. I am not comfortable fighting, but am going twice a week to a class that teaches me how to.

I’m currently reading Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It’s nowhere near as good as the first two books but I keep saying that it must be ace as it’s a Hunger Games book.

Years ago the makes of the James Bond movies were so blinded by the light of the money that Roger Moore’s tenure was bringing in that they failed to see he was  a decrepit old fart pushing 60, when they filmed A View To A Kill in 1985. Austin Powers wouldn’t be remotely as funny were it not for this film.

In short…life for those of us who lack certain fundamentally needed aspects, can be lonely and depressing. 

The light of joy floods in when something good happens to us. Be it a lover, a good novel or our favourite actor playing our favourite hero.

The quandary is that this light blinds us to some very obvious truths.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...sounds like you had a case of serial 'One-itis' - can be very damaging until you understand the nature of female hypergamy.


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