Intransigent (aka To Forgive Or To Forget, That’s The Question)

[adjective; ~ Pronunciation: /in-tran-si-juh nt/]

  • Definition: The incapacity of agreeing on something or finding a compromise. If a person (say, me) is intransigent, it means they are inflexible in one way or another. I am completely and utterly intransigent when it comes to forgetting the harm people caused me, which leads me to be confused: can you forgive someone without forgetting, or is that impossible?
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”Mahatma Gandhi

Last night I had a dream. I was doing a book signing of my first fantasy novel, which was the pure definition of best-seller, mind you, and the line of people waiting to meet me was so long, it ran all the way out of the department store I was in, down the street and around the corner.

“My people”, sitting behind me, told me it was nearly six o’clock and time was up, but I was adamant to sign every single book of everyone who had taken the time to come see me, even if it meant sitting there until midnight. And so I kept shaking hands, taking selfies with fans, and signing books, until I looked up and saw P standing in front of me, holding a copy of my work and smiling at me.

P was my biggest bully in high school. He tormented me for just about every day I went there, for six years straight. Once he let me off the hook for a good two weeks or so, but only after I had broken down and talked to a teacher, who had then ventured out to tell P he would be suspended if the teacher would receive one more complaint from me.

In my dream though, P acted as if we were old high school buddies and nothing bad had ever happened. He told me he bought a copy of my book for his girlfriend, as she was a big fan, and wanted to get it signed to surprise her.

I opened the book and started to flick through the pages, asking P if he’d read it himself. He said no. I continued by nonchalantly telling him how I personally liked the ending the best, as that’s where my talent really pops out. I told P that even during my college years, the final chapter, the conclusion, had always been my strong point. How the coming together of the facts and making the puzzle complete was my favourite part.

I looked up and saw him staring at me with a confused look on his face, unaware I remembered his bad traits more than anything else. I smiled at him, turned the pages of his copy until I got to the “best part of the story”, chuckled as I reminded him that this ending made the book whole. That without it, the story was incomplete. I put my hand on the opened book, softly tapping the printed words with my fingertips.

Then I ripped out the final pages, leaving his copy useless and torn.

When I woke up I had mixed feelings. I was happy about the being a successful writer part (wouldn’t we all?), but felt a bit confused about the demolishing my book part. It left me thinking: what is forgiveness, and is it linked to forgetting or are these two completely different concepts? Can one exist without the other?

I am not a very forgiving person, I admit to that. I thought I’d become better at it over the years, but there’s this thing I call my Defence System and here’s how it works: whenever someone hurts me beyond limits, I cut them off. They’re out of my life, no second (or third) chance, au revoir and enjoy a life without me.

My Defence System works automatically and there’s no manual override available. I’ve softened through time, but the basis of the system remained intact. I always assumed it was fuelled by my lack of forgiveness, but now I think it’s because I can’t forget.

If someone hurts me, I’ll never forget it. Even now, almost fifteen years later, I still remember P’s exact words as he stormed out of his house while I was doing my paper round, laughing and screaming at me: “Shall I kill you off completely? You’re a corpse already, any way!” That moment and those words will never leave my memory, no matter how hard I’ll try.

I understand P had his own life and his own problems and probably took it out on me. Kids, especially teenagers, are cruel. During those years you try to find out who you are while being hit by so many different expectations, problems, growth issues, hormones, and whatever else. I get it, it’s chaos and everyone’s confused. I disapprove of what P (and many others, he wasn’t the only one – *sigh*) did to me, but a big part of me can understand that and is at peace with what happened.

That’s what I think is my forgiveness.

But another part of me cannot forget. Even if I wanted to, my mind won’t let me. Tell me a useless fact and I’ll probably remember it until the day I die, my memory is funny like that. Hurt me and I’ll remember that even after I’ve died, and prepare to be haunted by my spirit seeking revenge (just kidding though – or am I?).

Forgiving and forgetting are two things I can’t rhyme. Do I choose one over the other or am I to opt for a mixture of the two? I am confused and a little upset.

This is where I am intransigent: I’ve decided to be more forgiving, but cannot ever give up my brilliant memory. I won’t. And even if I wanted to, my Defence System won’t allow it.

So if you want to read the ending of my (future?) book, I suggest you better treat me kindly and with respect πŸ˜‰

The same goes for if you want to be able to sleep at night after I’ve died. Just saying…

PS: If you want to know where your soul is located inside your body, listen to the violin at the beginning of the video. Its beautiful sounds will cut right into it.
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Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

Introducing my life’s motto (I didn’t know it was from the Bible! And so we keep on learning):


Funny side-note: in Dutch the saying goes: wat gij niet wilt dat u geshiedt, doe dat ook een ander niet (don’t do to others what you do not wish to happen to yourself). Its meaning is the same, but the negation of the statement differs, even though it’s translated from the same book.

Dutch Comic Con 2016

As a writer I always feel kind of sad whenever someone says that a picture can say more than 1,000 words. But in some cases it’s true, though.

I had a great time at the Dutch Comic Con (DCC) and will definitely try and go there next year (if I end up living anywhere near the Netherlands, that is). I also have decided that if I do, I must dress up more outspokenly than I did last Sunday; I was trying to look like Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory, but there were so many fairies, female characters from the latest Star Wars movie, and even some male unicorns running around, that my subtle floral dress and pink cardigan didn’t really pop. Oh well.

The best part of DCC was the ambience. Everyone was really nice, even after someone bumped into me they said sorry (they NEVER do that in everyday life!), and there was a general feeling of relaxation and happiness. All was very mellow.
Another big plus (for me) was that it wasn’t super big and there weren’t huge crowds roaming the exposition halls. That’s probably because DCC is still growing and gaining popularity, and because me and W went on a Sunday (Easter) and everyone knows Saturdays are the busiest.

So, all in all I had a blast! πŸ˜€ I even encountered a store where they sold (overpriced) Chrono Trigger paintings AND I’ve been reminded there are a Big Bang Theory-version of Clue, and a zombie and vampire version of Munchkin. Must buy those one day (again: totally overpriced at the fair).

To end, I’d like to say that maybe a picture can say more than 1,000 words, but experience is always a million times more valuable than any picture. In other words: me and W were too busy having fun to take more πŸ˜‰

Heart to Post

Monday’s Making Up For A Missed Sunday Summary

(Week 12)

sunday_summary_new“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something”Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So I was too tired yesterday to post my summary in time… Who really cares? We’ve all been busy celebrating Easter and getting high (or at least a little fatter) on chocolate eggs any way! πŸ˜‰

But, a week is a week and a summary is a summary, so here’s what I learned during the past seven days:

  1. Nothing important in life should require money. I was watching TV (like I do anything else – oh right, I work out) and saw a short documentary on child rheumatism. I ended up wondering how it is possible we are living in the twenty-first century and an illness such as this (and many others) are still without a cure. That years and years after my childhood, we still use phrases such as: “We are close to a cure, but we need more money. Please donate and help these poor, innocent children.”
    How come we live in a world were practically everything is possible, even finding a cure for a specific type of lung cancer, but all we focus on is money? The cancer cure I’m talking about was on the news a while back. It’s highly effective and much less heinous than chemo and/or radiation therapy, but the hospitals in the Netherlands can’t afford to buy it because the price is so high. When asked about this, one of the spokespersons said that the research and trouble that went into finding and creating this cure are worth asking so much money for. That this means only filthy rich people can afford it didn’t seem to bother them.
    And so we let people suffer, die even, because money is more important than a human being’s life. Seriously, what’s wrong with us!?
  2. In addition to last week’s summary: you don’t always have to think. Last week I learned it’s okay to be quiet if you feel grumpy or if you simply have nothing to say. This week I learned it’s okay if you don’t have thoughts in your head. It’s very uncommon, though, not thinking. But if you’re stuck with silly, meaningless thoughts that make no sense and are not helpful or informative in any way, it’s okay to shut them down. Focus on what you’re doing at that exact moment (I was brushing my teeth when I started wondering about… I think it was an ex-boyfriend mixed with nightmares I’ve been having about my trip to Canada – I constantly dream I get on the wrong plane!), and your useless thoughts will stop.
  3. The Secret. That’s right. Twenty-two pages into what’s probably going to turn out to be a very strange and over-spiritual (read: head-up-in-the-clouds-never-coming-down-oh-look-everyone-I-quote-agrees-with-me-you-should-too) book, I already learned the secret of life. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant The Secret with capital letters. Are you ready for it? It is: attraction. Apparently, we are all “antennas” in the Universe, and all the thoughts we send out (or up, actually) will become reality. Or reflect onto our life. So thinking you’re the worst person in the world will lead you to be very under-appreciated by others, but thinking about being a rich businessman will lead to great financial gain and power.
    I’ve yet to read the part about where you put in effort to get grade A’s rather than just think about it.
    Also, please note a generous dash of sarcasm sprinkled over this part of the summary. It’s all good and well, visualising good things will happen to you (I do believe in that), but it can’t be the secret of life. Oh, sorry, I meant The Secret with capital letters. Because we all know capital letters make things seem More Important Than They Are.
  4. You don’t always have to explain yourself to others. This is so sad: apparently, four months ago someone contacted me through facebook to ask if she could personally hire me as a cleaner. A little extra info: it was a client I worked for once or twice when her regular help was ill. She’s not old or disabled, but the new regulations mean she can no longer get her help for a cheap price through local governmental institutions. She went through enough trouble to track me down on social media and send me a message asking for my services. A message she sent in December. A message I read last week.
    Unfortunately, because we’re not facebook-friends, her request got stored in a secondary inbox and I didn’t receive a prompt from FB to go check (they send me prompts for just about anything, but not for this). I’m also hardly ever on facebook lately, before last week the last time I logged on was somewhere in November, so I wouldn’t have read it in time any way.
    A part of me felt so bad about this situation, though, I wanted to message her back ASAP and explain why I never responded, but a bigger part of me just wanted to let it go. It’s nothing but a miscommunication and even if she’s upset about not hearing back from me, it’s okay. I don’t need the entire world to like me. Plus, I think I’d only make it more awkward if I’d reply four months late with a lame “I’m sorry, I only just now got your message.” And maybe this is for the best, as I wouldn’t have worked for her any way. Oh well.
  5. I rather be good at driving and bad at parking than the other way around. I can’t park. There, I’ve said it! If it’s just straight up parking, I’m fine, but parallel parking is a whole different story (although last week I had it in one go – not lying!).
    The thing is, I see a spot and I KNOW my car will fit there! I KNOW! But then there’s steering wheel-turning involved, and my car always seems so much bigger from the inside than from the outside, and I’m scared I’ll hit someone else’s vehicle, and then I get nervous… It’s just mayhem. But it’s okay. Because you can’t be good at everything and at least I am a decent driver. So I repeat and rest my case with: I am happy being a good driver and a bad parker.
  6. You can never make tough decisions for someone else. You can only support them. Sometimes I drive myself crazy, always wanting to help people, always feeling like I need to hand them solutions to all their problems, whatever they may be, on a silver platter. Always pretending to be a wise expert on everything. But I’m not. Sometimes I can’t help someone, because the choices they face are tough and life-changing, and me meddling can only do harm. It’s their life and they need to figure it out for themselves. If they ask me for advice I’ll try and help them, but I can’t decide whether or not they should quit their job and go back to school or stay on and climb the career ladder. I can’t break up with their boyfriend for them or decide which house to buy. I simply can’t. What I can and will do is be there for my friends, catch them when things go bad or stand beside them cheering when things go well.
  7. Paperrrrr! This week’s slip reads: You realise you cannot escape your eventual death and that bad behaviour will attract harm in a next life. You will not convert to bad behaviour so as to preserve universal happiness.
    Okay, this is karma spelled differently. I don’t believe I could ever be a bad person (although my sister seems to be convinced her daughter might become a psychopath in later years – she makes great evil noises – and I’ve already said I’ll support her and will team up with my niece when the time is right). Honestly, if I give one plant more water than another, I feel guilty for the rest of the day. I don’t think I have it in me to become evil. Plus, I am never coming back in a next life. Na-ah. I am done after this one. So no preserving universal happiness for me. Sharing happiness with others is what I’m after πŸ™‚

That’s it for this week’s belated summary and this year’s Easter! I hope you all had a great weekend and I wish you a happy week 13!

As usual I’ll leave you with the Earworm Of The Week, and this time it’s nothing less than the Zumba-version of Take On Me! It’s been stuck in my head since Wednesday (Zumba-day), and I actually found a video with the routine!! πŸ˜€

So, so fun!

Cheers! πŸ™‚


Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! πŸ™‚


(Do you think they’ll have Easter Eggs at Comic-Con?)