The men in my life

I have a lot of powerful men in my life – and I don’t just mean powerful in a world sense, although that is part of it; I mean, in personal presence. You notice a shift in the magnetic fields when any one of them walks into the room.

At last count there were eight or ten of them, sometimes on the periphery, some of them constantly central, mostly moving in and out to some extent. Some of them are personal relationships: romantic, friendships, ex-romantic now “just friends”; some of them are primarily work, although with all of them there is crossover – business is personal and work never totally switches off for me. My life is my work – the way I live is how I influence the world, whether in the bedroom, the pub or the boardroom, or sitting at a friend’s kitchen table.

So why so many? I think in this new millennium we are looking for balance, rather than equality. Yin and yang, masculine and feminine, rather than a blending of the two. I’m a strong woman with no past agenda, no idea of blaming men in this moment for crimes or repression of women in the past. They weren’t the perpetrators, I wasn’t the victim, and I’ve done my share of horrible things in my time, too; and in any case, life is now, let’s get on with it, attend to what is in front of us now.

I call forth the best from them, they call forth the best from me. Sometimes we put each other through the wringer, challenging, pushing – they sometimes by hating or denigrating each other, or by behaving badly, or asking more of me than I feel I can give. Me, I’m blunt, forthright. If I don’t get at least one, “Fucking hell, Jennifer!” in a conversation, I don’t feel I’ve lived up to my promise. I ask the hard questions, and I demand acceptance of my actions and words as I continue my life in faith in my destiny.

It’s not easy being around me, most of the time; but there are times, when we’ve lived up to each other, when we’ve done the immediate work, that we coast for a while, laughing, freewheeling – there is a lot of laughter – riding the exhilarating waves of life together.

Then it’s worth it, we know who we are, we’re fulfilling our potential.

Then we are fully free.

(Image: Eve after the Sin, Eugene Delaplanche — at Musée d’Orsay)

Jennifer Manson is the author of Easy – Stories from an effortlessly created life and six novels, all about people discovering and living their dreams.

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