Romance in pop culture sometimes makes me very sad. Every so often, a romance story is about cheating on each other, about jealousy. “How can it be true that you love me if you say “I love you” to someone else?” The stories with this trope often end in break-ups because there can be only one. It makes me sad and I’ll tell you a very personal story to explain why.
Most of you know that I do live roleplay in my free time. A few years ago, after my warrior-woman character died at Maerquin, I started to play a damsel in distress. And I met Nachtvisser, who played the knight who saved me. Our characters fell in love, and frankly so did we.
You know I’m married. Me and my hubbie, we’re a team. I hope to be with him for many years to come, I want to be there to feed him icecream with a teaspoon when we’re both senile and shaky. Nevertheless, I fell in love with Nachtvisser, who has a happy family with two children.
We talked about it. A lot. We resolved that our characters would have their romance and get married, and outside the game we would just be friends. It was an elegant solution.
I am a flutterheart, this was neither the first time, nor the last that another person than my husband made my heart beat faster. A flutter of the heart is no reason to trust each other less, my hubbie said to me. It doesn’t make him jealous and it doesn’t make me unfaithful. Because at the end of the day, he still knows everything about me, he is still the man of my life.
And that is why the “How can it be true that you love me if you say “I love you” to someone else?” -trope makes me sad. Because trust and forgiveness are stronger than jealousy. Because the heart is not a thing made of glass that can be broken, or stolen or given away only once. I believe love is stronger than that.
I really need to stop questioning my decision to write every time I receive a rejection letter. But I can’t help it. I worked so hard on this, and they still don’t want it…
Tell me Mr Gaiman, Ms Rowling, Ms McMaster-Bujold, tell me how to not take rejections personally. Tell me how to continue believing this is still the best book I ever wrote. Tell me how to keep trying instead of retreating into a corner, wallowing in the knowledge that I just suck.
*holds up sign: will write for hugs*
It doesn’t matter how big the obstacles are, if you can conquer the first one, you can conquer them all.
There is this book called Words from the Heart in which the Dalai Lama says something like: “Be kind to others, because they will respect you more, and that will benefit you. Even if you are an egoist, you should at least be an intelligent egoist, and be kind to others.”
I read an article the other day in a Dutch newspaper called NRC about altruism. I was written by a psychiatrist and it argued that altruism is a façade. It doesn’t exist. Charity, health care, family. In the end, we always benefit. She quotes Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and the above quote from the Dalai Lama. It made me think.
If an act benefits us, is automatically a selfish act? I have wondered about this before, a few months ago, I pondered the question: Is the search for enlightenment a selfish quest?
I believe firmly in the Rule of Three: whatever you put out into the world, be it positive or negative, it will return to you, threefold. This one is similar to the idea of karma, or the advice of Confucius to only do onto others what you would have them do to you. Basically, what they’re saying is: be a good person, and you will be rewarded.
Is it selfish to be rewarded? To enjoy the fruits of your labour and the gifts given freely to you? Or is it simply wrong of us to feel guilty about being selfish? Why is selfish a bad word, when it implies taking good care of ourselves? Do other people not benefit when we take good care of ourselves? Is altruism really about destroying oneself for the benefit of others? Because if that’s the case, I prefer to be an intelligent egoist.
I could write down the same thing here every week. I’m still looking for a job, still keeping my house clean, visiting friends from time to time, happy with my Hubbie, trying to get that novel published, excited by some videogame that allows me to make a strong female character, busy with our Lang Leve de Koning! larp plans, thinking too much about the meaning of life and what I am doing here.
A few times I thought about writing something here, and it turned out to be a depressing train of thought, about my outlook on life, or about human nature in general. Once, it turned out to be a very vague story about reiki and the balance of the universe. And I almost wrote a fangirling piece about a game I have already lost interest in again.
I try to think before I post, too many people don’t, and it has happened to me too many times as well. If you have nothing useful to add, better not say anything at all.
I am well, and I am busy.