Enough with the judgements and assumptions about women’s emotions

(Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash)

We can never win, us women. If we’re smiley and friendly, then we’re giving off signals that encourage men’s advances. If we try to protect ourselves from these advances then we’re cold: “bitch” they’ll say. “Up her own arse.” “High and mighty,” “snob.” “Think you’re too good for me, do you?”

Why do I care what these men think of me? Why do I worry about their juvenile response to blunt rejection? It’s taken me a while to realise this, but I don’t. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that a man thinks I’m a cold, nasty snob because…

Mandated face mask wearing is really making me question our ability to think for ourselves.

Photo by Enq 1998 on Unsplash

I live in the Spanish coutryside. My husband and I moved from the city with the intention of escaping, to some degree, the rules and regulations of Covid. Not because we wanted to be rebels, but because it was making us anxious and sad to constantly see the demise of human interaction, the rise of fear, and the nauseating virtue signalling around mask wearing. We’d both lost our jobs in the city because of Covid, and as we were able to subsequently work remotely, there was no reason to stay somewhere that was stressing us out.

But the plan backfires…

Not because I didn’t care. It was just more useful to be pragmatic.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

It is my firm belief that out of darkness comes light. I have to believe that, or I’ll lose my mind.

My story is about how a series of very misfortunate events tested me beyond what I thought I was capable of. “Everything happens for a reason,” and I think I’ve figured out the reason.

It’s globally agreed that 2020 was the pits. Obviously, there was coronavirus — which continues to suck — but apart from that, so many things went wrong: devastating global wildfires, shootings, explosions, volcanoes, floods, and Brexit. Looking back, that biblical style locusts plague in East…

A true story about teenage life in rural England, to the soundtrack of All Saints

(Photo by Hayley Lawrence on Unsplash)

We were sweaty and smiling, either jumping up and down to Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping or dancing choreographed steps to “Backstreet’s Back.” Memory fails me on the song, but not on the feeling of exhilaration and “grownupness” that the Yoxford village hall discos provided.

I spent my early teenage years in rural Suffolk, which not many people outside England, or perhaps even East Anglia, know about. My hometown was Leiston, once an industrial hub, thanks to the Garret family during the 18th and 19th century, but better known, when I lived there, for its proximity to two nuclear power plants, high levels…

Ever think that you might love your dog a little too much? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

A few years ago I was chatting to my sister over skype while we were both at work. She surprised me with a strange question,

“Do you think it’s possible to be in love with life?”

I didn’t know how to answer. There was an awkward cyber silence,

“Wait, what? Sorry I didn’t mean to say ‘life’”

Phew, didn’t sound like my sister, the cynic.

“I mean a dog. Do you think it’s possible to be in love with a dog?”

This wasn’t getting any better, but I wasn’t as shocked. We’d had family dogs since we were babies, we…

You can’t be happy all of the time, and that’s a good thing.

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Upsplash

Of course we want to be happy. We visualise a better future, we meditate, we work our arses off to achieve a dream; we go for walks in nature, buy shoes, eat chocolate because it makes us happy. Yet I don’t believe we should force happiness when it isn’t there. Life is certainly not all sunshine and rainbows, and as much as we may try, sometimes we just can’t, or don’t want to, feel gratitude.

Sometimes life sucks; we’re miserable, we’re resentful, and that’s ok. It is my firm belief that the low times help us to thrive. …

Mary-Anne Slezacek

Reader, writer, teacher

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