Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

It’s time to let yourself be happy.

She lay naked, curled up in his arms. Most mornings are like this now and for the first time in as long as she can remember, she is serene in someone else’s embrace. She was getting used to sleeping after so many years of restless nights.

It was quiet outside, too early on a Saturday morning for the excited murmur of kids playing on the street. The gap between the curtains let a beam of morning light stream across the floor.

They wake most Saturday mornings pressed into each other, her into him or him into her. If she wakes…

Change isn’t scary, it’s thinking about it that’s scary.

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I’m 38 years old and unlike most people, change is not a scary thing for me.

I’ve lived in three countries, six cities, eight houses, twelve apartments, two women's shelters and one squat.

I’ve attended four elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school and one university.

I got my first job when I was twelve, baking bread and working the register at a Portuguese bakery. In 26 years of my working life, I’ve worked for sixteen companies (most of which before the age of 24).

For me, change is an everyday part of life and it’s been like that…

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Love is the goal. Love is romance. Love is commitment. Love is marriage. Love is two people together, forever.

What I know of love is bullshit, clearly.

Either we want it, have it or had it. Or maybe we thought we had it. As a social construct, love is what most of us aim for in our lives. It’s what makes us human. What I’ve known to be romantic ‘love’ is what I’ve gleaned from fairytales — in movies, books and music. It’s the idea that as a human, I should strive steadfastly towards that one Big Love. Marriage Love…

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I didn’t tell you that I wanted to be with you, all the time. It was a daily lesson in discipline to not ask to see you.

I didn’t tell you that every notification that wasn’t you was a disappointment.

I didn’t tell you how many times I saw you in strangers passing on the street. I felt you with me all the time.

Sometimes when you spoke, it felt like you were in my head…so many times I stopped myself from saying “me too, I know.”

When I’m in your arms, it feels like everything is okay.

I didn’t…

Every other Sunday morning is the best and the worst part of my month.

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I open the bedroom curtains a bit on Saturday night so the early morning light streams across my bed on Sunday morning. It’s the best kind of alarm clock. I don’t get up when the cool grey light hits my eyes though, I lay for an hour or more curled up under the duvet. I stretch diagonally across and flip the third pillow over for the cold side. I slide my hand under the coolness.

That hour between nine-ish and ten is the best part of my new life as a woman. Just a woman. Not a mom, not a…

I flipped my life upside down at 37. Here’s how I found my footing.

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I am a badass woman, thank you very much.

In the past 18 months, I ended a toxic relationship with a partner of 14 years (father to my six-year-old son), went through a painful eight-month remortgaging (to buy my ex out), saw my best friend/soul mate/platonic life partner move back to the US and I went on stress leave from my job of ten years.

I am walking a financial tightrope, figuring out how to adapt from two salaries to one in the family home.

I am on week six of sick leave from my job. It’s the first time…

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

In the hours between, I think — goodbye.

I’ll never hear from you again.

My trustiest defence mechanism is writing the end before the first chapter begins.

Never have I felt so exposed and scared. And free.

I feel it pulling in my stomach — longing.

I crave your fingers brushing my arm. Your hand around my waist.

I crave your hair between my fingers and that boyish smile, mischievous.

I crave your eyes, not boyish and filled with wisdom older than you.

You never look away.

You untangle me, prodding deep within, tugging at the string that is so…

I’d rather feel the pain after the thrill than no thrill at all.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

“I want us to be fuck buddies,” he said, holding his index finger in the air to physically punctuate the sentence.


I wait.

I look at the paper-thin creases gathered at the corner of his eyes. They arch outwards and down, like a pencil-thin waterfall.

I am so good at keeping my emotions in check, I think.

I sigh. He catches it.

“You sigh a lot,” he told me.

I was never aware of how often I sigh.

I never noticed it until then.

I‘m a deer in headlights when I’m close to him. If the space between us…

I’m 38, look 30(ish) and I’m not afraid to seek what I want.

And, thanks, Emma Watson, for coining a better phrase for singledom.

Google “single” and you’ll find that Ms Watson has made some waves with her new turn of phrase:

She’s right though: “Single” is a shit word.

It means one, lonely, last thing.

If you’re watching your weight, you let yourself have just one single cookie. And if you’re not watching your weight, you cringe when you see just one single cookie in the box.

And when there’s one single glass of wine left in the bottle? Hold me.

We say things like “there’s not one single thing I like about this.”

And, god forbid, you’re a woman approaching 30, 40…

Most leaders don’t. But the ones who do lead innovative teams to achieve great things.

Photo by Leo Manjarrez on Unsplash

For the past fifteen years of my career, I have seen how powerful it can be when staff feel seen and heard. Unfortunately, what most companies with poor leadership have to grapple with is the power that also comes from a workforce that feels invisible and undervalued.

When I first moved to Amsterdam, I worked as an internal communications specialist for a large American telco. We had 1,500 people in our European headquarters coming from all over the world.

As a young woman starting my career in a new country, I felt so very small in that job, so unseen…

Just Call Me Betty

Navigating change fearlessly

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