Don’t become smarter, it will break your heart

“You are a fucking human being!”

I laughed when he said that. Couldn’t believe a middle age physiotherapist I met 10 minutes ago would say that to me. It was so fucking relieving to hear someone older and with an established authority saying that to me. I just knew he understands me.

We are intelligent people. We start thinking the moment we wake up and don’t stop until we fall asleep. We don’t know how to be zen because we don’t know how to be. We pick everything apart, examine every single situation and never stop asking why? what? how? Then we drive someone crazy. Someone we love. They have a limited tolerance for a long string of “whys”.

“Are you blonde?”

Yes! I always knew there is something really dumb about my brains. Look at my hair ends, they’re all bright as the sun. ha, ha!

He laughed when I said that. Then he added it’s quite refreshing hearing someone asking silly questions like mine, because “most of the people are just trying to be perfect”.

As quora user, Marcus Geduld said, having knowledge makes us become aware of troubling things about ourselves that we are powerless to improve. That can be super demotivating and will just feed the opposite Dunning-Kruger effects. Thus, if incompetent people suffer from overconfidence because they don’t have the means to realize their relative incompetence compared to others, smart people suffer from the reverse: they tend to wrongfully underestimate their own relative competence because they have the competence to understand the skillfulness of those around them… 💔

We can talk about our feelings, no problem in that. But how do we express them and how much of relief do we actually feel in that? That’s just one common downside for those who thought having more IQ points would make them happier. We think more than we feel and, if that’s not enough, we spend too much time contemplating, analyzing, therefore overthinking things. Because we realize how nothing really means anything and we are desperately searching for meanings. Till it drives us crazy… 💔

We have such a hard time making choices… because we are aware of the possible ramifications of our decisions. Moreover, the more we educate ourselves, the more we can appreciate the limitation of our own cognition. In other words, the more we know, the more we understand how much we don’t know… 💔

And then the voices…

Why are you single? you are smart.

Why can’t you find a job? you are smart.

What else do you need in life? you are smart.

Depression. Difficulty in relating with peers. Getting bored too fast. Hard times making friends/ Pressure on your own self. Self-esteem issues… 💔

Society expects us to be smart and kind, wise and nice, and, “to do something for the human race”. Be all super humans. But how can we do something for a world in which we barely have a handful of friends who are not pressurized by our “smartness”, who do not assume and expect things from us just because we are smart?

Perfect Sunday Morning

She was half asleep when he came with coffee and French croissants, her favorite. It was one of those mornings when she was smiling over a good feeling about life. It was his first time in this apartment, but he knew exactly where the coffee cups are and how to get himself comfortable in the room’s window. She would look at him sunbathing and feel jealous he took her favorite seat. “But he brought croissants. He can sit there”, she was thinking while reaching for the coffee holding the sheet around her.
– Oh, I forgot to ask, how do you like your coffee? He asked with a slight concern she might want sugar…
– Just black. She smiled and took another sip of her coffee.
– Good. So he turned confident and silent into his world by the window.
He didn’t ask anything, nor did he analyzed her anyhow. It was like he wasn’t even there. But then she asked him a million questions to nihilate the awkward silence. So they talked about his passions, her dreams, his travels, her plans, his friends, her dad and his dentist. By the time she got dressed and ready to sit in her usual window spot, he moved on a chair and started looking at her.
– We haven’t seen each other for 1,5 years. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
– I don’t remember, he said.
– It was that day I was smiling with all my sides over some good news and when I heard you’re gonna be at that party, I came to see you.
He moved to bed, needed to stretch.
She stopped talking and started analyzing him. That bright smile, his baby face, messy hair, body, hands… perfect. And he’s so calm, confident, open-minded, steady, impenetrable and wise. Flawless. Out of her world.
– I wanna hold you for a bit, he invited her back into her own bed.
She had no idea what to do, nor what to say. Eventually, she mumbled her first thought:
– I don’t cuddle…I am scared.
He looked at her with his dark empty eyes and smiled like she was talking nonsense.
– Come here.
So she did. And for the next ten minutes, she would let herself feel different waves of energy, think miles away and be proud of overcoming another fear.
Few cuddles later, he said goodbye, and all she could think of was how curious is that this perfect loving man would make her miss the one guy who is completely his opposite.

Dear Mr. B,

When she left the house, she only had in mind one drink and no expectations. She would go to bed early that night and nothing would change in her life. Little did she knew that wasn’t the case…

She was sitting at the bar thinking what to drink when he told her not to worry, he knows exactly what she needs. “Wait a minute”, she said, “you don’t even know what I don’t like”. “Tell me, then”, he said. It almost sounded silly when she said it out loud, but he didn’t seem to care, that wouldn’t change his mind anyway.

He got it right. “He’s good”, she told herself.

A couple hours later, while contemplating if it was the right time for her to go home or if she should stay a little bit longer… he kissed her. His hands found their way through her loose hair, grabbed her neck with a confident force and pulled her lips on top of his with no shame. Yet, that kiss was magical! One of those that hypnotizes one to lose track of time, space and own body.

When she woke up in the morning she looked at him sleeping next to her and wrote him a letter:

Dear Mr. B,

Thank you for tonight. You made me feel nervous and anxious, but also admired and spoiled. The whole setting was romantic and sexy. Those dim lights on the tall walls, the classical music in the background and those lovers in the back, topped with some aphrodisiac in my drinks and the way you looked into my eyes. Oh, man…

I had no expectations when I came to see you, but you managed to create some and exceed them before I even asked. You look sweet and you seem kind, honest and polite. Maybe too much. I know we just met, but I feel comfortable and safe with you. Which is dangerous now, because you are going to travel around the world, learn how to play guitar, make some art and become a better version of you. In a few years, you are going to be exactly the man I foresee in you, and the man I would definitely love right now because that is who I want. Not the boy you are now.

Bummer, you just said something in your sleep and for a second I was afraid you gonna wake up and I wouldn’t know what to do or say to you. On the other hand, I kinda wished you would wake up and kiss me again. But you just turned on the other side just like a baby sleeping in his own bed. Lucky me…

I have no idea if I will see you again, nor how long will you remember me, but I am glad I met you. Yes, everything would have been different if I hadn’t had come to see you tonight, but it’s too late now. You had to kiss me, didn’t you? 🙂

I had an awesome time with you. Please don’t hesitate to call me. In 3 years.

Love,

V.

She left before he woke up. He never tried to find her. They never forgot each other.

Barntender Making a Cocktail Drink

Desperate to Be Happy

You plan everything. Every minute, every day, month and so you know what the whole year is gonna be about. Everything is carefully planned and nothing comes randomly in your life. Therefore, happiness is part of a very strict program which, if you haven’t learned, might cause you some trouble because, in every second, at every corner there she is, the mistress, the lady in red, or even the misses: Depression. Not having a clear schedule, and having too much time to think, has become her favorite setting and you are her favorite soul to embrace. So you need to have a nice place, speak a certain language, read inspirational quotes and modern personal development books and SHARE it with the world. However, it’s absolutely mandatory to look as natural and spontaneous as it can get in all the pictures.

That’s right. Nowadays, happiness has become a defined, clear portrait and a sum of boxes you need to check. It’s a program induced by the world we’re living in that we are self-learning. But this program cannot be sufficient if it’s not exposed. Once you check the house, the job, the partner and all the other accessories, you have to share it with your friends and the rest of the people you might not even know. Because if you say it out loud that you are happy, no one can take it away from you! And you better be the first at it. That will drive the others to follow you and you’ll feel good about yourself, you will have a feeling of belongingness.

After you understand and accept your belonging in the world, there comes the chase. For “quality time”. This is the mother buzzword for the contemporary coinage in communication. So there you are, at your #perfect #workplace, at the #gym #afterwork, having #dinnerWithFriends or with the #fam. We all know and see it, ‘cause you never miss a chance to share it with the most colourful shots. Everything is about quality: the evenings, the weekends, the scrambled eggs, the sun, that new dress, those details on grandma’s old chairs, the memories, nature, oh, them trees… Not to mention the vitally of the city you live in, the windows, the movement, the people, the smiles, the wind, oh the life! Happiness has to be about all of these elements and it’s shown in every photo, album, and social media account of yours. That’s right. What blows your mind in your notion of happiness and what translates for you into “quality time” is definitely on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. Forget that you have the same friends all over, them seeing your story three times will make you look even happier and they surely will look up to you.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 02.03.36.png

You’d think they shouldn’t look nor react to it if they don’t like it. Plus, you know, deep down, that the world would be emptier without your inspirational content. This is how the model works. Happiness is a program you need to learn, follow and share. Otherwise, you will… what? What’s the other option? Being mysterious, private, with yourself, your physical scrapbooks, a pen and a diary, a few people around and hangouts with people you haven’t seen for ages just to replace a Netflix show with some reality where you get to react? What is that, you ask? That could be another way of living the same life in a different dimension where you don’t need to desperately be happy. You just are. 🙂

 

Have a great weekend ahead!

 

Post inspired after reading this Romanian piece of good newspaper.

 

 

My life is like a movie

You’re life sounds like a movie.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, well I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely get extra incentive to think I am being watched. 😀 No, it’s because of the stories I tell. When I was younger I used to make them up, not I just live them (guess I ran out of imagination). I know what you’re thinking, someone should be paying me, but not to worry, that day will come, my friend!

Most of the times I write about myself, but sometimes I describe other characters in a silly way meant to make people smile. That reminds me I should thank again to all my tinder dates who participated in my experiments just to entertain my readers. Well, also to get some – which didn’t really happened as expected… (sad face). There were some people who unfriended me, but hey, if you don’t get my humor, our friendship it’s doomed at my first joke anyway. Therefore, I hope today’s character won’t take it very personally. He actually asked me not to write about him, so I will make it again just about me.

He’s a guy I went on a date with recently. Well, actually there were three dates in one day. I know, right?!! Damn, I am kinda proud of this too. It’s been ages since I got to the second date. So, are you ready to read the script for the next Dafta movie?

It was a Wednesday, January night, almost as dark as this one, but with a less entertained me, so… as any unemployed, single slash hot and pretentious modern girl, I went on the App Store. That’s right. Tinder popped out yelling hard “You, quitter!”. Can’t lie to you, it made me think twice about my adventures there… but how can I go back? I said I won’t do it again – too much history repeating – every time the same shit: “You look hot, I wonder if you’re smart” and then he goes: “Of course my darling, I can be anything you want!”. Bah. Booooooring! next!

So, I didn’t reinstall or create a Tinder profile (for the 7th this time), but then I did remember a friend telling me about this other app which is really accurate and serious: Ok, Cupid! Let’s see what you got.

OkCupid is a dating app which uses “math to find you dates”. So just like other 1M “magic algorithms” that find people I will “actually like”. Haha, so funny. I thought I was the only girl creating a profile that night, but over one million people install it per week. There are 7.3M messages per day and I got 47 guys texting me in less than 24 hours with at least 2 lines of text – that means I contributed…Umm, just about x% to that achievement, Ok Cupid?

“Making the ineffable totally eff-able

When it comes down to it, there are 3 principles that make OkCupid the best dating site on Earth: our love of math, we’re always free, and everyone’s welcome.”

Math, freedom, and…welcomes? Doesn’t make any sense, but I love math. So, back to my experience. I was surfing and could see guys who were online, guys who recently joined or guys who were checking me out – which I don’t appreciate! I mean, I know they are doing it, I don’t need the confirmation of that, ok? (oh, look at that: I grew up!). Then you could just text everyone you want – the match thing is just for this cupid to remind you that this is all a game which you’re playing with real people. Sick! Oh, but the best part of this dating app is the matching percentage. After answering a bunch of questions about yourself, your future relationship and the rest of your ideal daily life, you can see who do you match with from 0 to 100%. I checked out all the guys and the maximum I got was a 78%, which I would say it’s ok for 3 pictures and checking some boxes. The algorithm is using the answers I checked for “him” because every question has the option of your answer but also what you would like your match to answer. In other words, you build your date/SO just like tomorrow’s office look.

I realize now that I developed an interest in exploring this kind of apps; think I should add it as a hobby in my CV? Don’t think I have room for that so I will just increase my level at UX 😉

So, while I was exploring the profiles of those I got high match percentages, guess what? Most of them were fat, ugly or Muslim. I mean seriously?!! What kind of questions did I answer and how come this “Match in the name of love” algorithm can’t tell I fall for hot-fit-agnostic ones? Oh, funny thing: I got a message from a guy I met on Tinder 2 years ago, emphasizing on our situation. Then we did some catch-up, and I have to say that I was a bit jealous when I heard that meanwhile he even had a relationship, broke up and got back on dating apps. Tsk, tsk. Made me wonder: what did I do the past 2 years?? Oh, yeah, that MSc thing, CBS, Australia and the whole contemplation on my life.

But hey, enough with the details, and let’s go back to my date. I liked his profile, don’t remember why, but I just got this feeling it’s a perfect written one and it had such great impact on me I had listened to this guy over and over again. First, when he suggested we should have a date on Skype. Second, when at the second date he made me listen to music so I would just read his lips, and last when I deleted my profile right after our third date – just like he implied I would do. Smart, right? Well, I only date smart guys – unless they are hot and funny. 😀 This guy was 70% perfect for me (according to OkCupid). Too bad I wasn’t (I couldn’t read his lips right when he said he wants to dance with me and I thought he was proposing. Ooopsie).

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-02-47-06

 

 

 

Falling in love (Master Thesis)

[Introduction]

 

When I left Australia I knew I will go back someday and that’s because I fell in love. Some people say I fall in love every day with something or someone, but the way I did it in Australia was absolutely amazing. My experience there reinstalled my belief that I am able to feel things I thought there are only for the fortunate ones. Unfortunately, now I have plenty of unanswered questions about this newly rediscovered phenomenon called “love”. This article aims to answer a few of them.

 

[Literature review]

 

Aron et al. (1997) have made this practical experiment to create closeness between individuals under controlled conditions and illustrated its applicability for testing theoretical issues. The idea behind was to structure self-disclosure between strangers in  only 45 minutes. However, being inspired by the “acquaintance paradigm” of Collins and Miller (1994), the study was meant to develop a temporary feeling of closeness, not an actual going relationship. Closeness is defined as “including other in the self” by Aron et al. (1992) and similar to what researchers call intimacy. “Intimacy is a process in which each feels his or her innermost self validated, understood, and cared for by the other” (Reis & Shaver, 1988). But as you probably agree, there are plenty of other definitions to words like these.

 

Furthermore, to have a better understanding of the closeness study, I will use the more popular and modern love essay written by Mandy Len Catron (2015) called “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This”. She calls the closeness study a success of making two strangers fall in love in the laboratory and demonstrates it with her own. Her experiment was quite like mine in Australia:  I went there to fall in love, but when four months had past and the only one I could feel some kind of closeness was my unattractive roomie, I gave up on men. I was like “damn it, I am incapable of feeling and maybe I will actually ending up marring a friend and not a lover like my roomie”.

 

[methodology]

 

In June I went to see Uluru, the biggest rock in the world. [😃 Sorry, is just I cannot smiling whenever I start this story…] The night before I had a date with a guy that looked just like prince William (for real). Let me explain the correlation. When I saw their picture (Figure 1) in 2014 I just knew I wanna go there. I had no idea why, but I really wanted a picture like that. Additionally, the photo has history (figure 2).

 

article-2609903-1d419d3b00000578-643_964x451
Fig 1

 

5387640-3x2-940x627
Fig 2

 

The day before my trip I went shopping for a similar royal dress. All I could find was one with bears and I didn’t fall with my date William, nor did I take him with me.

 

My trip to Uluru was planned long time before I arrived to Australia, but I didn’t know it until I left there. It was a rainy day and I was one of the 2% lucky tourists to be there when it rains. 3 hours after my arrival I freaked out. The sun was up, I checked everything out but what in the God’s name was I doing there all by myself? It was the first time I went somewhere completely alone without any plans. I think it was minutes later I heard his voice. It wasn’t God, it was the guy that now is part of my “eat, pray, love” story down under.

 

But let’s go back to Catron. Just like myself before Uluru when I said outloud and very serious that I need my love to eat and pray, Catron needed a man to make the love experiment. They knew each other from university and she chose him after just a “glimpse into his days on Instagram” and a few rounds at the gym (fair enough).

 

I explained the study to my university acquaintance. A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. Then they stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.
‘let’s try it’, he said

 

I know, right? this just made you think of that one person you would wanna fall in love with and text them right away. But hold your horses for a second here, will ya?

 

[discussion]

 

Just like so many other people I know, Catron turned to science whilst being in the midst of a breakup “hoping there was a way to love smarter”. With an iPhone and 36 questions, these two “acquaintances” fall in love in a bar that night and they are still together.
I didn’t have to ask my guy too many questions. I just got sucked into his ocean blue eyes, his wide and silly smile, and …ok, can you hear my chuckles now? 😃
Catron (2015) brings upfront how everyone has a narrative of themselves that they offer up to strangers, but Dr. Aron’s 36 questions make it impossible to rely on that narrative. She says that when you are young, it feels natural to get to know someone quickly and it rarely happens in the adult life. I would add to this the fact that we know so little about the world as youngsters and too much about ourselves when we grow up. Please feel free to disagree.

 

[findings]

 

Falling in love in a laboratory is definitely less romantic than in the middle of Australia’s red desert under the starry skies. But getting to know someone, evolving, growing in and out of love, being in a relationship and letting someone to know you, well that’s a successful story.
I’ve skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope, but staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the more thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life. I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to breathe properly. There was a lot of nervous smiling until, eventually, we settled in.
[conclusion]

 

You need to trust yourself and go for what you want with all the patience in the world. Staring into someone eyes might make you the most vulnerable you have ever been. Letting someone to get to know you might be dangerous, but seeing someone seeing you increases way more the level of your vulnerability. Now, my Question #37:
Are you willing to fall in love?

Closuring

Some closures take a few days, other take weeks, months, years or never happen…

Depends on who you love. I would say the smarter and powerful that asshole is, the longer it will take you to get over him. But hey, that’s just me and my latest revelation! Been hanging on to something for too long now and I am happy to say I finally put it to an end. Dunno if I had to move at the end of the world for this to happen, but hey, I am over it 🙂

When you’re caught in something you don’t understand, you’re not allowing  yourself to start anything good. You know those things you think you need and want? Those are just ideas you project instead of digging into the truth. Until one night. One night when you have the same worries and thoughts you had for hundreds of nights and you make some courage in answering the questions!

It wasn’t about him. It wasn’t anything he said or did. It was all about me. We tend to blame other people easier than ourselves and that’s when we get stuck on some fantasies of utopian scenarios with people who have no clue we are actually “bothering” them.

I got my closure now. It took me years to understand it wasn’t anything I ever imagined to be the reason for my restlessness. It was just me being tired of being… him. Because I always wanted to be just him: senseless, care free and confident.

I wanna live a man’s life in a woman’s body. That’s what I said!

The need for closure is the motivation to find an answer to an ambiguous situation. A person with a high need for closure prefers order and predictability, is decisive and closed-minded and uncomfortable with ambiguity.

I wanted this closure. It was uncomfortable for too long even though I was aware of it and letting it hurt. Masochistic. But I am done now. Because now I wanna fall in love again. Because when you fall you fly 🙂

IMG_2167