inspiration

We’re engaged! (aka Fuck You Disney!)

My partner Carl and I have been together for nearly four years. He is my first long term boyfriend (my last relationship lasted just a year!) and we bought a house together in October last year. I guess it was only natural that being a woman, I’d be the one dropping hints about marriage.

We had discussed marriage quite early on in the relationship and agreed that it was something we’d both like to do at some point in the future, but Carl had said that he believes marriage is a religious institution so wasn’t too fussed about it either way.

Unfortunately for me, and most women my age, I’d grown up watching all the Disney ‘happily ever after’ fairy tales where the Prince rescues the Damsel in Distress and they get married and live happily ever after.

It dawned on me very recently, that I’m in a relationship with a man who wasn’t surrounded by the fairy tale romance ideal that is thrown down the throats of us ladies. He’s a man – he doesn’t watch chick flicks obsessively like I do. He doesn’t live vicariously through the Sex and the City crew or the Gilmore Girls like I do.

The ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ idiom is one that is true, at least for me. It was this realisation that made me stop and think ‘no, fuck you Disney, I’m doing this my way’ – So I decided to fuck every fairy tale and chick flick I’d grown up with and decided to move my relationship on myself. I asked Carl to marry me one night as we were sat on the sofa. I instigated ring shopping by saving my favourites to my Etsy account and asking Carl his opinion. When I found the ‘one’ I showed it to him and he gave me his card to buy it.

It wasn’t until we were lying in bed one night and he turns to me and says ‘give me back the ring, I want to do it properly when we’re in Marrakech’ – and he did. He got down on one knee, with the ring, on top of the terrace and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! But, I didn’t NEED him to get down on one knee and propose. I was happy being the instigator in the proposal, but he obviously felt like he wanted to propose to me too and that was lovely.

We’ve had a very egalitarian relationship from the beginning – we both cook, we both clean, we both make financial decisions, we discuss everything together. It seemed that we also managed to have an egalitarian engagement too!

I’m not saying, by any means, that ‘romance is dead’ or that I forced my partner into agreeing to marry me. By telling our story, I’m trying to diffuse the myth that a relationship (or marriage) is all about a man getting down on one knee. It doesn’t have to be that way – FUCK DISNEY, FUCK THE CHICK FLICKS. Also, fuck the ‘leap year’ idea that a woman can only propose to her man during a leap year – how the fuck does that make any difference!? Honestly!

There is no shame in a woman asking a man to marry her. Let’s break down the patriarchal dictatorship that rules our lives and say no to being the damsel in distress. I am not a princess locked in a tower, waiting for a knight in shining armour to save me. I’m a woman, who deeply loves her partner and wants to be legally married to him, to be his wife. Why does the man have to do the asking? In my world, he doesn’t.

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(Photos taken on the roof terrace of Riad Assouel in old town Marrakech, Morocco)

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Beth’s Words of Wisdom

You cannot change someone or will them to grow up. People change with age, they mature at their own rate. You cannot expect to change someone for your own happiness; living on the hope that they will change enough for you to accept them is futile.

Let people grow at their own rate and let them GO if they are not growing at a rate that is compatible to your own life and goals. It hurts, I know. But you have to let people be who they are.

If you can’t accept who they are RIGHT NOW, leave.

Be at peace with yourself.

Just say YES

When I first decided I wanted to start a blog, I didn’t really know which direction to take as to what I wanted to blog about; there are so many facets to my life, I couldn’t narrow it down. I had written a blog a few years ago when I started running a vintage business and had some compliments on my writing style. I don’t know if they were just being polite but nevertheless, it brought about a confidence in me.

I guess most things in adult life are about having the guts to do something you’ve never done before. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ I’m probably paraphrasing but you get what I mean.

I know too many people who do the same thing, day in, day out and complain that their life is unfulfilled. But, they haven’t actually taken the time to really sit and think about WHY their life isn’t what they had imagined it would be. They don’t consider that it is the choices they’ve made that have led them to the place they are now and another few scary but brave decisions may change their life for the better.

I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. But, I do like to think having spent a fair amount of time in an introspective space, I have come out with a clearer knowledge of who I am as a person. As I was going through this period of ‘enlightenment’ (cue the sick noises!) I became much more of a yes person.

Crippled with Social Anxiety throughout my teens and early twenties my natural state was to avoid anything that may cause me embarrassment or even a small amount of attention. It stopped me doing a lot of things and it got so bad I spent 2 years hiding in my house rarely leaving it. I finally had had enough and decided I wanted more for myself, so I tracked down a few self help books on how to overcome social anxiety and even spent time (and a lot of money) having hypnotherapy sessions.

It took a while but I built up more and more confidence. I enrolled in some small adult learning courses and tried my hand at dressmaking and silver smithing. Slowly I came out of my shell and life started to feel a little less daunting.

A good few years have gone by now and while I still have mild social anxiety, it doesn’t rule my life. I took chances, I took risks, I thought ‘what the hell’ and did things I never thought I could do. I’ve walked down a catwalk wearing latex in a fetish club, I’ve talked about myself on the local radio, I’ve been in a tv commercial, I’ve run my own business, I’ve been published as a model, I’ve been immortalised as a comic book character.

All these things happened because I simply said YES.

What have you done lately?

 

 

 

 

Jack of all trades, master of none.

I don’t have a degree. I have a diploma in Makeup Artistry.
I once did a 6 week Silversmithing course.
I then did a 6 week dressmaking course.
I spent 3 years working in an office for a UK Charity as a Data Administrator.
I became an apprentice body piercer.
I ran my own business for two years selling vintage clothing and accessories from the 1940s and 1950s during which time
I became a vintage and pinup model and was signed to a character agency called Ugly Models (the name is ironic!)

I may not have a long list of qualifications, but what I do have, is a rather interesting, eclectic resume.

If I have any advice for my readers, it’s this – try ANYTHING. Don’t be afraid to fail, because if you don’t try, you’ll never know if you kick ass at something. I may not kick ass at sewing a straight line, but I ran a business for two years and absolutely thrived on it.

Take risks, learn a new skill, say yes to opportunity.