I’m gonna re-write me a love song

In the process of learning to love and appreciate myself I’ve come up with endless ways to make it happen. Some ways stick, others don’t. A favourite of mine is rewriting love songs. Finding the cheesiest love songs and then starting to swap you with me or I.

I do hear you think: that is SO SILLY!

True! But…do you ever really listen to love songs? As in ‘really’, word for word? If you do, you may have noticed that most love songs seem to be about how someone’s happiness and self-confidence depends on the other. It’s always focussed on the other. Never on the person itself. Never on you, your importance, the fact that you are the person you’ll live with your whole life.

So yes, it’s absolutely silly. It will make you laugh out loud at first. But give it a try, ‘cause after a while you’ll notice that the words really reflect with you. And the whole love song gets a different meaning. In fact LOVE gets a different meaning. It starts to become clear that it starts with you!
And here we get to one of my main realisations during my self-love journey. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone else. Not the other is responsible for my happiness, but I am.

I totally understand if you don’t get it right now, if you think I’m nuts – I am – or whatever it is you think. But fact is that this – rewriting love songs – is something that has helped me on my self-love journey. And to help you on your way, here are some examples:
To start, we’ll take one of the neediest songs from the ’90-ies. I need you by T3. If you don’t recall, bear with.

This is the refrain of the above mentioned song:
I need you
And I couldn’t live a day without you
I need you
More than anyone I ever know
I need you
And I wanna build my world around you
I need you
I need you

Yikes.

Now the fun part – rewriting it!

I need ME
And I couldn’t live a day without ME
I need ME
More than anyone I ever know
I need ME
And I wanna build my world around ME
I need ME
I need ME

And there you have it. The essence of life: you need yourself to get through life, you need to take care of yourself and build your world around you (not in a egocentric way, mind) before you can build a life with someone else. That’s the core of what I’m learning, little by little, bit by bit.

Let’s try another song. This Love, This Heart by Phil Collins. This is what it looks like after the formula of self-love:

 
This love, this heart, these arms to hold
So tight to me, I won’t let go
Can this be real, or just some dream that feels so true
I wish myself love, I wish myself more
I’m all that I live for
I’ll never hurt me, believe me
My heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

 
I’ll keep the fire alight for me
Can’t think of nothing else, what can I do
This lonely heart of mine, it only beats for me
It only beats for me
I bring me peace, I make myself smile
I give myself strength and all the while
I ask for nothing, only love
And my heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

I won’t give up, I’ll wait for me
‘Til I come back, it’s all I can do
I’ll be right here, I’m going nowhere without me….!

 
Okay, that one may sound a bit sad. On the other hand, don’t you wish you would tell yourself “I wish myself love” or “I’ll keep the fire alight for me”? Amazing, wishing yourself love! That’s what I’m trying to wish myself and give myself: love. And by singing love songs to myself, literally, it sticks. There you have the whole point of singing them to yourself: it is so funny, that it can’t do much else but stick. And slowly it will start to make sense. These days I can tell myself in the mirror that I love myself.And that’s the best feeling!

 
Save the best for last, Charles Aznavour’s Me, eehm, She:

I may be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years
Me I’ll take my laughter and my tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where I go I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is me

I mean, come on! This is the core of it all. You are the reason you are alive. The one person to take care of is you, in the first place. Why neglect yourself and expect others to do all the caring and loving for you? Why do you think that, if you loathe yourself, you are able to love others? Why expect others to love and adore you and take care of you if all signals you send out are signals of self-hate?

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought…or at least something to smile about ;-)

With love,
Tess

Self-love

Love and music. Essentials.

Jordy is in London.

Jordy sometimes works for the opera in London.
Spending a couple of weeks or months there.
Part of the stage managers team.
London being my most favourite city on planet Earth, I wish I could be Jordy at these moments.
Jordy has just left for London again.
For a month and a half.
And he asked me if I had any tips for him.
Well of course!

Lieve Jordy!

You’re well aware of the saying be careful what you wish for, right? Asking me to write down some tips is such a situation. These are things you really should do in your spare time – if you have any:

You are not too far away from Kew Palace and Gardens I believe? Get a bike and cycle there! Check out the palace and gardens – I’ve never been, but it looks beautiful. Check the opening times as well, though; I believe Kew Palace closes end of September. The gardens don’t.

As a medium rare bookworm I would go to The Chiswick Book Festival and as you’re now officially a Chiswick dandy, so should you.

The Old Cinema. Need your favourite antiques-freak say more? Don’t think so. And yes, absolutely, feel free to buy me a souvenir there. Souvenir hints in your mailbox.

Another place where you are absolutely advised to buy me a souvenir is LASSCO. I’m gonna get married at LASSCO. One day. At LASSCO, you should also go for lunch.

After LASSCO you can go for dinner at the hidden Bonnington Café. You know I love hidden. This one is in my top 10. Bring cash, buy your alcohol beforehand, expect delicious veggie and vegan food for a bargain and a lovely atmosphere. Also cross the road to check out the Italian shop Italo – such a sweet little corner shop.

To stay in the antique-mood a bit longer go and get lost at Alfie’s.

In case you cannot stand anymore opera I advise you to go to my favourite hangout, the Jamboree
and make sure the voice of Whiskey Moon Face singer Louisa sweeps you off your feet. You could also go and enjoy some fine Jazz tunes at the Vortex.

Another must is Nana’s: good food and super Grannies guaranteed!

If you’re really homesick, go hide on this Dutch barge The Tamesis Dock, and sip a Dutch Grolsch (for only £4,00… but thank goodness they’re far more original than just Heineken!). Their website is funny so I have high hopes for the bar.

For a nice little wine you can stay in the hood by the way. Pickwick’s wine bar is said to be exceptionally friendly and according to londontown.com the “live music is of reminiscent of the seventies and eighties – as is the decor.” LOVE!
The address is 13 Devonshire Road, London W4 2EU.

What the Dickens are a set of amazing fellas who prep breakfasts that reach beyond The Breakfast Club. You will find them at my once very local Chatsworth Road market. If you’d go there you’d be killing two birds with one stone. Awesome!

Eat a Dirty Burger! They have more locations but this one near Hampstead Heath is my favourite… I’ve been making Dirty-Burger-Detours for more than a year now – it’s a 15 minute walk from the Heath and even after a day of flying your kite on the Heath or going for a long walk, it’s more than worth the detour. Hidden, which makes it even more fun (well, to me it does…childish mind set, you know I have) and the burgers are a delight! You’re gonna thank me for this one. I know it.

Okay, I’m gonna love you and leave you with this insane list for now. It might be wise to consider a sabbatical! But you asked for it. Promise to come back to us when you’ve ticked off the list. And in case you tick it off within two weeks, check out my other blog about London.
I haven’t posted any new posts up there for a while, but still…you may find some nice finds!

xtx