Women, part 3
*This is part 3 in the series about women. This part is to let the reader know about some of the positive influences women had and have on my life. Some qualities and characteristics in people you are only going to appreciate when they become clear to you. Hopefully this piece can help with that.
When I was 22 years old, I almost finished my first study. I only had to do my last year’s internship. I so badly wanted to graduate. I had been there for four years and I felt lonely and lost. I definitely had some people I would call my friends, such as Victor. But something was missing and out of balance: there were not enough girls. This also caused the atmosphere to be too masculine. In my first year, we started with 150 students of which seven girls and the atmosphere was very competitive and ambitious. Together causing a situation that is difficult for me to handle. I don’t function well if I do not have enough women to spend time with.
The summer before the start of my last year’s internship I met two girls. Who, however you want to put it, changed my life. Together with their (female) friends who I met sometime later (while I was already doing my internship).
‘Change’ is a very vague term and doesn’t say anything about positive or negative. Also, you could say that everyone you meet in life influences you, maybe even in the slightest way. But I am definitely formed strongly by women. Everyone who knows me can see that.
I would like to mention that I felt completely in love with one of the two girls I met that summer (on the night from the 26th to the 27th of June at 1:00 am). And if I say completely, I mean com-plet-ly! I couldn’t function normally when I was not with her. I thought about her all the time. When I woke up, when I went to sleep and many times in between. As you can imagine, this is very troubling if you are trying to succeed in your internship. I still graduated though… There is no-one who I have thought so much about in the last three years. I thought about her everyday for, I think, one and a half/two years in a row. Sometimes five minutes, sometimes longer. Also, I had trouble eating and enjoying things without her. You could say I know what the feeling of ‘being in love’ really means, since I know her. I have written pages and pages of poems for her and I suddenly understood all the (cheesy) love songs. They all seem to be about her.
Spoiler: we aren’t together, since she couldn’t answer my love for her. For this I cried many tears, often even falling asleep with them on my cheeks. Still, I can call her one of my friends. She was the love of my life and she will always be in a way. She is my shadow love: the love that I will always carry with me, but never will be able to ‘grab and hold’ for the rest of my life. In any case, she is a very good example of someone who has (had) a big positive influence on my life. And this influence can for instance be seen in the effect of decreasing one of my strongest, but most tenacious characteristics: my insecurity.
I am very insecure and I was even more insecure. I’ll spare you the long story of my insecurity. I have bothered many people with my insecurities and myself the most. But if people stick with you and keep trying to help you, then you know they care about you. Even if you’re difficult with some of your characteristics. And those relationships, I have with women and men, luckily.
What I can tell you is that this insecurity became the dominating factor in the person who I am during the time I was studying in Delft. During that time I had (too) little contact with women. Spending too little time with women not only makes me insecure, women have also been the ones that worked the hardest on resolving my insecurities and are slowly but steadily succeeding in that.
Let’s be honest, we have to talk about physical beauty if we are talking about the positive influences of women. Because women have a lot of it. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the beauty you are sexually attracted to. I’m talking about the beauty women have, independent from which sexual preference you have and independent of the age of the girl/woman/lady we are talking about. Just the ‘Hey-I-like-to-look-at-you-because-your-cuteness-is-soothing-to-my-soul-beauty’. Yes, of course there are men/boys that have that beauty as well, definitely. But in our species of the animal kingdom, we have to admit that the woman is the prize, when it comes to beauty. If the world is a museum of beauty, then the woman is the greatest piece of art. On the same level as the Mona Lisa, the Night Watch, Las Meninas, works by Picasso, the most beautiful music, nature and the most incredible buildings.
Elegance, style and finesse
Elegance, style and finesse are all terms we could have used in the last paragraph as well. However, they are qualities by themselves that define so many women. How women move through the world, their feeling for (clothing)style, how they execute daily activities and even how they look at you is just something I really can enjoy. There is a certain smoothness and elegance that comes with being a woman. Which I see as something positive.
Now, I know that there are enough women who do not recognise themselves in these terms or not want to be denoted with them. Of course this is completely okay and every woman has the right to identify herself in the way she wants to be. She doesn’t have to conform to what I like to see. Or any other person for that matter. Even stronger, what I most like to see is a woman who acts how she wants to act and someone who dresses how she wants to dress. Both within certain margins of rules and the law of course. But feminine qualities are definitely not things you have to be ashamed of and if they come natural to you, I would take them with open arms. Even if you are a man.
Emotional aspects and way of thinking
The heading above is troubling to a lot of men and gives them headaches more than once.
“Women are incomprehensible!” is what I heard a lot of men say during my lifetime.
That may be the case, but I know women say the same about men. There are fundamental differences between men and women. In our bodies, the way we handle things, how we experience love and how we experience sex. But I think that the biggest difference lies in experiencing emotions and way of thinking. And the stupidest thing you can do is get annoyed by this. Much better is to enjoy it! There is much to learn in the way other people think and how they experience emotions. Just because it is so different! A different view on life that improves its quality and seeing another side of the beauty of the other gender are just two of the advantages. And as a man I can say that a woman’s way of thinking and the emotions they experience can be shockingly intense and intensely beautiful. Sometimes even at the same time. I would say to take your advantage of it.
Effort to understand
I think it’s already difficult enough sometimes to understand yourself. So it’s understandable that men and women often do not understand each other. However, this isn’t a reason not to try and understand the other person. And I have noticed that it is more often the women that take effort in trying to understand men than vice versa. The same goes for trying to understand another individual. I am not always the most easy person to understand, but as all other persons I want to be understood. And since I spent especially the last couple of years a lot of time with many women, I know how it is to experience the comfortable feeling that falls over me like a warm blanket when they try to understand me. Let us try to all give this feeling to others. Just be interested in other people. Then, the ‘trying-to-understand-that-person’ will come by itself and with that the comfortable feeling at the other end.
Satisfaction in life
Although the heading Satisfaction in life is meant as a positive (as all headings in this piece), I can understand that there are women thinking: wait, you can’t state we are satisfied, when many of us are not. Being satisfied with a situation that isn’t satisfying is unnatural and wrong. And being put in that position as well.
What I mean is that girls, women and ladies accept and understand (better than men in general) that life can be a playground, but one that does not give you more than you can have. In other words, women are easier satisfied with life. They need less to be happy. Or better put: it is more clear to them what makes them happy. Especially in the long run. And these are often not things that destroy the world or hurt other people. I, for one, could learn from this; being happy with what I have. I am very privileged. Yes, dissatisfaction with what you have can be the motivation to achieve a better life. To climb the ladder. The problem is that there will never be a height on which you are perfectly satisfied, until you change your perspective. A good example is love. In which I, just as many men as well as women can experience dissatisfaction. Well, there will always be someone smarter, more handsome, better in bed, more fun or more interesting. But ask yourself: is it worth breaking up the love I have with my current partner or friend for that other person? Maybe, but only if you don’t end up at the same crossroad with your next partner.
I’m not saying you should be satisfied with life. I’m just saying that you should, if you can be.
There is only one problem. Women not only understand better they need less in life to be happy, they often also get less…
Of course both men and women can have fun. With other men and also with other women. I don’t think it can be determined if men or women have more fun or how strongly fun is experienced. This is not something objective, but something subjective. Also, fun should be nothing more than a part of life for most of us, but is very often overrated in everyday life, if you ask me. Still, when you can have it next to the development you experience as a person and the interesting life situations you come across, you better take it. So what does this have to do with women? Well, I have more fun with women and spending time with women over men is just a personal preference. Probably because I feel more comfortable amongst women. Of course there are exceptions and everyone can have their own favourite gender they rather spend time with, but this is just me.
All and all, women brought a lot of positives to my life as you can read and I hope many more will follow in the future. Women as well as positives. And although I described the positive influence women had and have on my life, I think it’s fair to say that they have a positive influence on a lot of lives. Definitely the lives that are open for female influence. And I hope that here and there I can return the favour to women.
*It could be that this article is updated from time to time.