I’ve dated a lot this year, there was one person I even considered for real, but I think in my heart I have decided to spend the year alone. There is a question that my relationship with JJ brought home to me and I have felt like I needed to take time to really think about it. That question is, has anyone ever really loved me for me? He certainly didn’t. I knew that from the start. I had hope that being from a culture where arranged marriage are still common that he would have had some understanding of the value of getting to know some one and letting love grow. I thought he wouldn’t make that oh-so-western mistake of taking me for an image of his ideal and depend only on that first blush of hormonal love. I was wrong.
B never really loved me for me. At least he was honest about it. He told me years later that if he could have ever found it in himself to love anyone else he would have chosen me. In his fifty years of life he has not found it in himself to love anyone at all. JJ was somewhat honest, boarding school scars, he said. He had no interest in being a part of someone else’s life. Was that really the truth or was it just mine he had no interest in? I don’t know. All I really do know is that he did not love me for who I am, he only cared when he thought I was who he wanted me to be.
I could tell he hated my difference of opinion, my vulnerability, he hated any need that I had, he hated any tears that I cried. He wanted a Hanna, he wanted to go to Turin, he wanted someone to lead him, he wanted someone beautiful and young with the mind of a sage. He never knew my life at all, how could he have ever loved me? I would have taken him the way he is. But maybe I’m not really sure about that either, to be honest. I guess the question is not whether I would take him, but if I would love him, as he is.
It’s a vicious cycle, if we don’t give we don’t get. If we do not accept, we will not be accept. Maybe it’s one person who starts out selfish and another generous, maybe it’s both who are selfish. It doesn’t really matter, either way it turns out the same. Pop-cultural psychology always tells us, don’t be afraid to be yourself – this is the sign of a truly confident individual. What I don’t hear often is don’t be afraid to love someone as they are – to my mind this is a sign of a truly confident individual. In order to do that one would have to let themselves be vulnerable.
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability – To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle
Mango and Passion Fruit Roulade (VG, GF) from BBC Good Food
- 3 large egg whites
- 6 oz caster sugar
- 1 level tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp malt vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- icing sugar, to dust
- 8 oz fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled, stoned and diced
- 4 passion fruits, pulp only
- icing sugar (optional) and a few physalis, to decorate
- raspberry sauce, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150C/ gas 2/fan 130C. Line a 33x23cm swiss roll tin with non-stick baking parchment. Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until frothy and doubled in bulk. Slowly whisk in the caster sugar until thick and shiny. Mix the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract, then whisk into the egg whites.
- Spoon into the tin and level the surface carefully, so you don’t push out the air. Bake for 30 minutes until the meringue surface is just firm.
- Remove from the oven and cover with damp greaseproof paper for 10 minutes. Dust another sheet of greaseproof paper with icing sugar. Discard the damp paper and turn the meringue out on to the sugarcoated paper. Peel off the lining paper, then spread yogurt over the meringue and scatter with mango and passion fruit. Use the paper to roll up the roulade from one short end. Keep the join underneath. Sift a little icing sugar on top if you like, decorate with physalis and serve with raspberry sauce.