Thursday, August 28, 2014


You would think I lost my way and needed a map to find my way back to my blog from which I have been away for over a week, but no, it is really just because of work and holidays and art and such. 

Some map I found buried among my Nihongo study materials

This map, I made it for an earlier Nihongo class. It was inspired by Doubutsu No Mori. There is even a place for smuggled goods and such. And gate guards, mind you. 

Speaking of finding one's way, about a couple of months ago I wrote about finding my own way home, particularly in the context of relationships. Apart from learning from this relationship - not just about the other person, but about myself too - I also realise that the things I learned from reading Elizabeth Kantor (The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After) and that I followed are being reiterated to me, or rather, I am actually seeing and experiencing the lessons and their proof and not just reading about them with room for doubt about the existence of such proper, right gentlemen. 

For instance, in my last pseudo-relationship, I could not have Superior Confidence on the man because he was just not quite the person he claimed to be. I mean really, who can actually feel confident about men like that? This time though, I have been finding myself eating better and sleeping better because here is someone for whom I can really have Superior Confidence, and not just Superior Affection. Kantor taught us if we want it the Jane Austen way, we have to make the right choice and recognise the one who is worthy of these superior things. Now, considering that I tend to overthink, I actually find myself being able to relax now and just be able to trust, and find rest, and be truly at home. 

I am totally not gloating as it may seem to some; the truth is, I am somewhat surprised at being able to share that there ARE actually proper gentlemen out there, for whom one can have Superior Affection AND Superior Confidence. Men who, as Kantor described, worthy of being esteemed, admired, respected, and trusted. Of course, I may seem Biased about my own Bingley, but putting my own story aside, perhaps these few things might be good to ponder on when considering a potential relationship or re-evaluating an existing one, apart from the man being worthy of superior confidence, superior affection, being esteemed, being admired, being respected, and being trusted:

  1. Are you both capable of talking about things, and I mean really talking, not arguing or competing or such? Moreover, do you both listen, and I mean really listen to each other?
  2. Do you both feel confident that you can bring up any concern and issue, knowing that the other will not turn it into an argument nor dig up things from the past and hurl it at the other?
  3. Do you make each other feel good about your selves and help in letting go of your hang-ups about your body, your skills, your career, or whatever it is either of you have hang-ups or issues about? Do you support each other and accept each other's nature? 
  4. Are you able to assure each other about being reliable when it comes to practically anything at any time?
  5. Do you share the same values about both the big things and the small things? Do you both help each other grow and evolve given the values that you share? 

I've had good and bad relationships, and I've had really bad ones, fake ones, pathetic almost-ones, and I learned things the hard way, or even the really seriously hard way. I have had my share of bringing up a concern and ending up being the one apologising for feeling hurt about the other's mistake or saying sorry just for saying anything at all. As I grew and evolved, I realised how unfair I have been to myself staying in such relationships and that I just sort of perpetuated the bad way most men treated me. Most of these experiences barely even compared to wading through a knee-deep pool of thick stinky almost-hardening crap, but at least, I managed to get out. I still stumbled many many many times along the way, and even at the last stage I sniffed it at horsesh!t in the form of a decent coffee shop and listened to the-squeal-of-animals-being-slaughtered in the form of kind words, but thankfully, my right time came, and I just sobered up and realised that, wait, I just cannot anymore. And then all the lessons from Austen and Kantor that I pushed aside whenever I chose to be blind came back to me, and have stayed with me since. And now I do not need to push them aside because I can double-check anytime and find them still applicable. Bingley may not be your main hero like Darcy or Tilney, but he is great just the same and meets all those qualities that Kantor and Austen spoke of and wrote about. And my version of Bingley actually allows me to answer all the questions above with yes. A thousand times yes. 

(And this all just started with a drawing of a map for a Japanese class.)

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