Monday, August 30, 2004
There are nights when a girl just doesn’t want to go out. Like the world would be a perfect place when on looked from bed in a big t-shirt. I spent most of the afternoon thinking about things that I couldn’t resolve just yet, and clutching to my stomach swearing at Mother Nature for having made me a girl. Not wanting to disappoint my friends nor waste €10, I made an effort to get dressed for the much awaited night out. The desire to do so was at an all time low, and the best I could manage was to dress in black with red lips and nails to go with that particular time of the month. Inspecting myself in the mirror, I decided that red was definitely a colour I should wear more often.
Male cooked meal…
It’s not everyday that you have a man cooking a gourmet meal for you! The oldest member of our Scandinavian group of friends had decided to experiment in the kitchen and we became his willing guinea pigs. Baked pears stuffed with melted cheese and nuts started off an amazingly delicious meal. Green pasta was covered by an exotic mixture: my taste buds identified: chicken pieces, peanuts, mushrooms, peas, red, green and red peppers and crab sticks. Space simply had to be made for a typical Thai desert. My taste buds delved into the tropical ice cream that was served in a pineapple and contained pineapple and walnut pieces. And just to push pleasure to the limits, the meal ended with another Thai dish, coconut rice covered with Mango pieces and condensed milk. My compliments to chef who continued to dazzle his guests with talk of all the foreign countries he’d visited. I was particularly taken by his story of his pet monkey that he had back in Hong Kong.
Fate gives you a push in the right direction with destiny to help guide you…
Meeting two new members of the Scandinavian group, I discovered that they were both from Finland and had a lot to tell me about the country that destiny seems to be pushing me towards. The things I discovered fed my hunger for change and Fate made sure that I already made contacts for the future. A country serious about it’s business, Finland like most it’s Scandinavian counterparts, is a country with honest people trying to make an honest living. So honest are they that I was informed that men are supposed to be direct with their intentions, it should be nothing unusual for a guy to come up to you and say “I wanna fuck you” - and he should be taken seriously. Listening carefully, I began feeling guilty for not taking one or two approaches are seriously and turning them into a joke. This is why, not knowing a different culture can lead to bad misunderstandings! However, easy sex wasn’t on my agenda and I lead the conversation back to my ambition… my career! Impressed with all I heard, it deeply pleased me to hear that out there only your skills helped you climb the corporate ladder. It isn’t who you know or what family you come from, but what you’re capable of doing. The only two glitches were 1. It’s a damn cold country with temperatures that can drop to –50degrees and 2. The men. (I’ve never really been into blond blue-eyed boys and to add to them being way too easy, Scandinavians have no Ass!). My small Finish friend had no idea the frustration she helped build in my already desperate-to-escape-the-island mind. Before throwing up in the pot plant next to me, she still managed to take my face in her hands and say: “Aww my honey, you in Finland are going to end up a happily married woman” I didn’t know whether to laugh or to puke with her!
Nelly Furtado put on quite a show! We managed to push our way to the front so that we had centre, front row view of the whole stage! Being the official photographer, I mastered the art of photo taking and dancing at the same time… and although some photos didn’t come out that good, most of them looked great! Nelly’s music seeped right into my soul. If it wasn’t bad enough that I had thoughts of the future in my head, memories of the past were brought on by my new Pommy friend from Brighton who was the splitting image of the ex-boyfriend whose tattoo I designed one week before leaving South Africa. I sang along with Nelly and the crowd, the beat was so intense that it felt like it had taken control of my heartbeat. “I’m like a bird” took me back to my best friend’s house in Randhart where I had seen the video for the first time on MTV. “Say what you want” was a description to all my present thoughts. But it was “I try” that threatened tears to my eyes… “And I see you standing there, wanting more from me, and all I can do is try… and you continue standing there, I’m all I’ll ever be, and all I can do is try.” I’d been pushing myself very hard lately and this night out was supposed to be the break from the stress.
Once the fireworks were over and the crowd began dispersing we all met at the local pub for drinks. Photos and jokes were passed around and I began thanking my stars for being alive. Moving on to another club, as the alcohol flowed, tongues and intentions began to loosen and I found myself becoming the promiscuity cop.
Girls just wanna have fun…
Yes they do! I laughed as I watched two of my friends take photos of their asses and breasts in the bathroom. The lucky owner of the camera was sure in for a surprise later on! Kisses and caresses that meant nothing were passed around. A group with cultures varying from Scandinavian to Brazilian and British somehow meshed very well. I carefully declined all the passes made at me but continued to torture onlookers with my flirty dancing. Even when it wasn’t in the clubs, it was to the drums being played on the street, dancing is the closest I came to losing myself in bliss.
Being the promiscuity police isn’t easy, you spend most of your time reminding your friends how much they love their boyfriends knowing they’ll hate you then and only thank you in the morning. While everyone else trades saliva and caresses you end up wishing you were a little less old fashioned but try drowning out the thoughts in the music. This time when I was grabbed, it was my ex-colleague I hadn’t seen in a while. He’d just gotten a girl-with-girl hip show, which resulted on more male attempts which I declined with a smile.
“I see you’re still the amazing woman I know”
“Or incredibly stupid, I’m probably the only one not getting laid tonight”
“We both know you’re worth a whole lot more.”
Some people just have the ability to look at you and see you for who you really are – Thank-You.
Just as you run into people you like, you also run into people you don’t. Not that I didn’t like the other ex-colleague that I ran into but besides being incredibly hairy, he had already been chasing after me since he’s seen me out dancing for the first time. I felt like a ping-pong ball as I was pulled to one side and another by two of my ex-colleagues. The one wanted my beef and the other was trying to protect me from the scavenger. I’ve always said that where you earn your bread, you don’t eat the meat. But although my colleague wasn’t bad looking, it just seemed… pointless.
Let’s get wet!
The music was pumping, the room was full and my body was sweating. Sex was on everybody’s mind and I knew that I was going to fail as the promiscuity police if I didn’t do something quick to cool down the tension… so like most of my insane ideas, it drew at the spur of the moment. At 6am in the morning, just before the sun came up, we all went swimming in our underwear! The water was fantastic and the view incredible! The moon and stars made a reflection like tiny crystals on the water’s surface and I closed my eyes wishing I could share that moment with somebody special.
“I won’t give up on you Sunshine! I’ve been eying you out since we began working for the same company! You will eventually give in to me because I refuse to let go!”
How long did this speech last? Barely a few hours, when I looked over my shoulder, the bobbing of his head told me that he was trying perhaps his first saltwater sexual experience. Annoyed that I had one loss on the faithfulness patrol, I was at least relieved I’d gotten rid of Mr. Insistent and concentrated on splashing around with the two other friends who were enjoying the water as much as I was. We got out of the water just as the sun was rising and for the second time that morning; I thanked God for being alive,
Faithfulness patrol wasn’t a complete failure, I was impressed to see that at least one person was doing his best not to cheat even though temptation was dressed only in her underwear, sitting on his lap and sucking his ear. I believe she went home that morning with her ego extremely low for not making her conquest. I wasn’t that lucky with Mr. I-simply-don’t-give-up, who although was quite aware I’d seen him screw my friend, still insisted on wrapping me with a towel.
Breakfast with a hangover is a good way to start a Sunday morning. Although I’d only had two drinks, I felt drunk from exhaustion and not even food compelled as much as my duvet at that moment. Instead, I fed the pigeons just before joining my friends in singing “Words don’t come easy”… Two professional singers with a shower singer (that’s me!) caused quite a stare early in the morning at the café that applauded once we’d finished in perfect accord. Onto the 9pm show we were giving onlookers and the applause we got simply encouraged us to sing more.
Good, loud music with the windows open and my hand out the window only feels ecstatically good when combined with fast, crazy driving. The corners we cut and the S´s we made on the road only helped pump whatever adrenalin we had left. It seems that once again what started off as a crappy evening proved to be an amazing night out.
“You’re crazy, but you’re not crazy… do you know what I mean? You’re such a good girl, but you’re also not! Am I making any sense?”
Although he wasn’t, I understood what it is he meant to say and I sent him home to go sleep, disappointing him with lack of invitation to my house. It seems like he was “Serious” about not giving up on winning my affections (or female services).
Standing under a hot shower, I began searching for sense to write about in my column. But the best I could come up with is that every night out should end with a swim and every swim with a hot shower! Once again I’ve learnt nothing new. I already know how amazingly wonderful it is to be impulsive and how things seem to turn out for the best when they start off bad. Be it the hormones or the pent up frustration, I rediscovered how difficult it is to resist temptation, how to say “no thanks” and turn your head away from a kiss when all you want to do is grab someone and heavily make out with them. Why suffer such torture?
Besides deserving better, decisions like those come with consequences like “I really regret what I did” from my friend who, besides underwater experience had kissed four guys and one girl (at least under my supervision). I do not criticise her behaviour, I do not praise nor condone it. We’re all free to create our reality as we see fit. However if you plan on being adventures, take conscious decisions… only you become responsible for them and their consequences.
Writing this entry gave my hair enough time to dry a little before I retire to my comfy, sweet smelling bed… I might not have gotten “laid” tonight but only I know the true reward of knowing that I won’t wake up with anyone in my bed or a stranger in my mirror.
Friday, August 27, 2004
The Wedding Song.
This morning when opening my e-mail, I was faced with a challenge. A good friend of mine sent me the lyrics to a song titled “Don’t marry her, fuck me”. Along with these lyrics was a challenge to write a blog on the subject. Frustrated, my answer was simply to reply that I try no to be judgemental and accept people for who they are and the choices they make. However, I reckon that a man who cheats on his wife/girlfriend is a coward who doesn’t have the balls to make a commitment to one woman and will forever be looking over his neighbours fence… if he’s unhappy well tough shit, let him find the courage to grow up and be happy. A woman, who is in a relationship/marriage, knows she’s being cheated on and accepts it, gets the same kind of sympathy from me as the man who’s cheating on her. If you don’t have the courage to get out, move on and be happy, then you’ve only got yourself to blame for the misery. Lastly, as for the third corner of a triangle, I don’t consider these women whores or sluts, I simply think that a woman who is satisfied with only half a man also gets exactly what she wants.
I’ve never known a love story that wasn’t complicated! Yes, there are relationships that don’t work out and marriages that fall apart but for God’s sake! Let the one you hold be the one you want!
There was a corny song playing on the radio this afternoon, the lyrics went something like “Life is so different from your dreams”.
Of course it is! In your dreams you control every action and reaction… in reality, everyone follows their own cue. You can’t control nor predict other peoples feelings and reactions, and there will be times when opinions and plans will clash. But that’s where communication comes in! People then talk and explain their intentions. Understanding then takes place and your discover that love is an eternal feeling! Love isn’t all about getting. It isn’t all about what he/she can do for you… have you ever asked yourself what you can do for him?
I’ve lost count of the relationships that have been saved with the little things in life! I’m not just talking about those surprise handcuffs and whipped cream… I’m talking about calling him up just to tell him you thought of him, maybe surprise him with an ice cream. Kidnap him for a day… plan a picnic… cook him a special dinner… watch of his favourite movies… even a night bowling has magic in it! These aren’t considered sacrifices when you do it with love and an open heart. It’s that tiny kiss in the morning that makes the day start off well, or the smile just before driving off, even the teenager wise enough to give his seat in the bus for his girlfriend is capable of winning her over with such a gesture. Personally I miss having someone to massage, to whisper to and to write columns about.
But this is what this column is really about, the song the wedding singer sang to his woman:
I wanna make you smile, whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad,
Oh all I want to do is grow old with you
I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches,
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you.
I’ll miss you, kiss you,
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you, Feed you
And even let you hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink
Oh I could be the man, to grow old with you.
I want to grow old with you.
There is no conclusion to this entry. Instead, I’ve decided to comment to my own words in a song from my new cd:
Eamon – Fuck, I don’t want you back. (The explicit version)
See I don’t know why I liked you so much,
I gave you all of my trust
I told you, I loved you.
Now that’s all down the drain
You put me through pain
I want you to let you know how I feel:
Fuck what I said, it don’t mean shit now
Fuck your presents, you might as well throw them out,
Fuck all those kisses, they didn’t mean jack,
Fuck you, you ´ho, I don’t want you back (X2)
You thought, you could keep this shit from me
You burn bitch, I heard the story
You played me, you even gave him head
Now you’re asking for me back
You’re just another hag
Look elsewhere, ´coz you’re done with me
You question, if I care
You could ask anyone,
I even said you were my great one
Now it’s over, but I do mean it upset
It hurts real bad I can’t take swear it back
because I loved that ho
(Chorus) until fade.
Bitter? Nah… it’s just the song playing in my head. Besides, it’s not what he’s saying that touches me, but the way he says it. The question really lies in: What will you be singing at your wedding? Or better yet… what is the song being played in your relationship at this moment? Are you still drugged on a Celine Dion melody or lately have you caught yourself humming “I want to break free”. Perhaps you need to change the music channel. Hopefully we’ll all be more careful with the music we choose to listen to in future.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
I cannot fully express the importance of letting go of yourself in a world that demands complete control of your actions and reactions. Although I’ve already written about a night out with the girls, I simply cannot let this go unwritten.
Responsibility is what makes us think twice about our words and actions. The modern career demands professionalism and some of us probably end answering our private phonecalls unawares with “Hello, Sunshine speaking, how may I help you?”. This is a systematic disease that infiltrates our brains forcing our personalities to behave in the perimeters that are acceptable and expected from society. As much as I would love to turn up the radio and dance on my desk when my favourite song comes on, I bet that such behaviour would result in my immediate dismissal, or worse… incarceration to the nearest loony bin!
However, ever just so often… it is necessary to take the foot off the brakes and let go.
Tension, it builds up on your shoulders, stiffens your neck and pulls at your tendons. Daily stress is unavoidable and a condition that simply cannot be rid of permanently. How you get rid of it, depends entirely up to you. Yoga, gym, jogging, meditation, massages… the treatments are endless and although I find that music and a good shower works for me, I’ve also discovered that after a while these methods become useless if I don’t let go!
The white uniform party.
Whilst desperately trying to calculate the credit that needed to be applied to my client’s billing, I was rudely interrupted with a note put in front of my nose. And this? Two tickets for Friday night’s white uniform party at Copacabana. Rolling my eyes, I thought of all the sleep I could be catching up on instead of joining my colleagues at a party wearing a colour that makes me look three times larger than I already am! Financially, this was probably something I could avoid, however I’m not sure if it was the insistent whining, the voice within or Usher on the radio that made me change my mind and by the end of the day I convinced my mate to come with me.
Wardrobe was made easier since I only had one colour to choose from… although I still required my friend to help me rummage through my cupboard. After a couple of changes of attire, we eventually agreed on the right top and all that was missing was to put on my shoes. I’ve come to realise in my life that there are two ways to cure a woman’s spirit… let her hibernate in her pyjamas or let her dress to kill. Any woman will agree with me, when I say that there’s nothing like wearing a new pair of pants to boost your ego.
Living on a small island, you can count on running into people that you know. If it isn’t your neighbour than it’s your schoolmate or work colleague. Running into my group of colleagues and their friends wasn’t surprising and you don’t know whether to feel good or frustrated that walking across the room involves greeting a dozen faces that you know. Having quite enough of groups and gangs, my mate and I decided not to dance in any of them and danced in our space, our way. Opening the dance floor, I knew that my “courage” would be Monday’s topic of conversation. It would probably last all the way until lunch and who knows, if nothing else juicy happened during the weekend, it could last until midweek. Aren’t I lucky that my personal policy means I don’t worry about what other people think? If I did, I would not be able to do what I had gone to do…
To let go…
No need of alcohol, no drugs, no psychological preparation… When you hear the music and let it seep into yourself, you almost immediately fall into a natural high. The beat sets your heart’s pace, the rhythm takes over your soul and your body responds to every note in the song. Blocking the gazers, watchers and observers around me, I concentrated on the music and felt the tension leaving my body.
Show me how you dance and I’ll tell you, your capacity to let go…
When eventually two of my colleagues came to join us, they brought some of their friends with them who were more than interested in dancing to our moves. At one stage I counted nine guys and on one particular song, we looked like a groupie with them copying all our moves. I silently wondered how many of them were married or had girlfriend waiting for them back home. Those that I knew behaved themselves and as the evening wore on, one of them became our bodyguard to help keep the more alcoholically influenced in their places. Gone are the days where telling a guy your have a boyfriend put him off. No matter how many times I insisted, there was one particularly persistent boy who simply would not take no for an answer. Trying not to be rude, I still got taken in for a dance but venturing hands drove me to having to be more direct. I truly wonder what the confessed girlfriend would say to him asking me for my number and inviting me out to coffee. Another guy’s phone number we left under the windscreen of a car on our way out. You could call it heartless, but I call it saving time. You don’t waste his time and he doesn’t waste yours on finding out there the road leads to nowhere. How do I know he wasn’t my soul mate? Well, let’s just say my man knows better than to approach me that way.
A shower and change of clothes later, sleep is finally kicking in. Today’s plans involve going to the beach and catching some rays. Swimming and tanning are the in the doctor’s prescription and by Sunday there’s not a doubt in my mind that stress is a forgotten illness (at least until Monday). Yet, a whole weak of going to the beach could not relieve that one night of singing and dancing can do my soul.
To prevent madness… one requires letting go, every now and again.
Monday, August 16, 2004
USA or UK?
Actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about Canada and about a week ago someone suggested Germany, after an intensive search I also discovered that the “forgotten” continent Australia also has a lot to offer in terms of technology advances in my field.
These are the thoughts that have been going through my head through the last two months. Needless to say, living on an island is very limiting. What bothers me isn’t so much the lack of choices - adapting is practically my middle name. Limiting is the mentalities that I come across. This doesn’t mean I haven’t met intelligent, cultural and extremely interesting people; this means that the general mentality itself creates day-to-day obstacles. There’s an old saying that goes “If you can’t beat them, join them”. On an island where gossip is second nature and success depends more on who you know rather than what you’re capable of, the general mentality leaves a lot to be desired. Fighting this mentality becomes tedious and exhausting and considering that I have no wish to become a part of it, this leaves me the only choice of leaving. Now that I’ve realised I what I want to do, the question becomes… where to?
It took me five minutes to make the decision that I want to leave, but it will take me between five to seven months to make the move. I have no idea where I will go, but I know that I will know when the time comes, until then I prepare the terrain.
USA? UK? Canada? Australia? Hell why not Cuba, I always wanted to perfect the salsa and meringue!
These where the thoughts that sat on my shoulder, tensing every tendon that exists in my neck. The beach is one of the most relaxing places to go when one wants to unwind and here I was contemplating an uncertain future! I know what I want out of life, I just don’t know which route to choose on getting there! I lay on my towel and closed my eyes, hoping that the answers would come to me or that I could at least stop thinking long enough to relax! Around me, the visual assault just helped to muddle my thoughts even more. There were couples spread all over; some were conversing, others simply soaking the sun but almost all of them were sending each other secret love messages that only the other person could understand. Next to us was a lady under an umbrella with a giggling little baby in her arms, the gurgling sounds it made kept me smiling until my attention was caught my a woman who obviously took her career very seriously. She paced from one side of the pool to the other talking into thin air while she listened from the earpiece attached to the latest Nokia cell phone.
Timing is everything; and my friend had it spot on when she suggested we go for a swim. Before my thoughts caused smoke to come out my ears, I decided to put out the fire being created in my brain with a swim in the ocean. Without much thought, I jumped in and allowed the waves to welcome me.
Powerful and majestic, it feeds and protects the underwater life that flourishes in its depths. It guides those whom wish to travel upon it and connects every continent on this planet. The vastest natural resource, perhaps the oldest, the ocean commands and demands respect. Just as its waters can be calm and soothing, they also become angry and unmerciful.
Mother Ocean enveloped me in her waves and I allowed every thought to leave my head as the waves taught my body how to move freely and without restraint. As I awaited my friend to jump in behind me, I swam to the floating blocks that people could rest upon and waited for her looking onto the horizon. Many times when I wanted to run or escape I would look so deep into the horizon that I could swear I could almost see land somewhere far out of focus. But which land? What did I see in that horizon, where was the ocean going to take me? Why couldn’t I simply close my eyes and only open them again when I reached a different shore? I would’ve continued the dead man’s lie if it didn’t occur to me that my friend was taking too long to join me. Looking back I realised that she was still on the rocks… waiting to find the courage to jump.
Jump! Just jump! I edged her on for a good fifteen minutes until I realised that she wasn’t listening to a word I was saying and that if she were going to jump, it would have to be on her own. Jumping from right next to her didn’t do much convincing either, so I took a deep breath and took my second jump from a diving board hoping that it would give her the courage to jump from where she was. Heights and I have never been good friends but I’ve always been one to try and do the things that I’m most afraid of. When I came up for air from my third jump, the sight of the highest diving board left a dare in the back of my mind.
Looking down from a really high diving board is not recommended to someone who actually intends on jumping! Your vision becomes blurry, your knees become weak and the air becomes much cooler around you. Looking down, you see the ocean churning and the breeze that suddenly becomes a wind, entices you to fall right in. Panic runs through as you try to remember why the hell you decided to climb up there in the first place! With nothing to prove and the only person daring me was myself, I still had a chance to turn back while there was no one behind me to force me to jump. Muddled thoughts of all the current challenges in my life made my heart race even more, and I was two steps on turning back… until I remembered that I’m not a quitter. Breathing deep, I remembered all the relaxing ways of clearing my mind that I learnt from yoga classes. Suddenly I thought no more and it seemed just natural to lean forward and let go… the fall seems to be an eternal moment, and when finally you’re swallowed by the ocean, it pulls you down forcing you struggle to come up again. Finally managing to come up, I gasped to breathe again, opened my eyes, looked up and realised… I did it! I jumped!
If I did it once I could do it again and the second time although scary… was much easier than the first but I managed to jump anyway.
USA? UK? Canada? Australia? Brazil?
I don’t know, the wind hasn’t blown me there yet. However, the tension left my neck for good when I jumped Lido’s highest diving board. Success is doing the things we think we can’t. When you’re ready, your instincts will take you to the diving board and then it’s left up to you to take the leap of faith.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
“Life has a funny way of creeping up on you when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right; and life has a funny way of helping you out when think everything’s gone and everything blows up in your face” Ironic – Allanis Morissette
Once again my life and emotions were under my complete control. My manager’s vacation had put a pause on my career’s frustrations; my mother’s good behaviour released some of the pent up tension and I was finally beginning to pay the deserved attention to my little brother and my friends. For over two weeks I’ve been looking over my shoulder, expecting something to go wrong and just as I let my guard down… I get mail!
“He commented on almost all my entries, you’ll recognise his opinions as the longest ones posted… we’ve been chatting a lot lately, I know you’ll just love to meet him”
Oh yeah! Here we go again! Another wise ass internet surfer who knows how to copy-paste good writing from the books on Amazon and spends his time “rescuing” the women who spend their time on the Internet because they have no one else to spend their time with…
No thanks! One xciting adventure is enough in a girl’s lifetime! I especially don’t like making the same mistake twice. But being as stubborn as my good friend is, it didn’t surprise me that I got mail from you. What did surprise me though, is what kept me from replying a quick “hi, hello, I’m busy, thanks for writing, but my friend has probably more time for you than I do”.
Sent: lksbdklijdhs kdvs
Oh great! Another virus! How is that I receive one of these at least twice a day?
With a devilish grin, it occurred to me that a virus might just be the solution to the mountain of paperwork that needed filing. But I shook that idea when I realised that the work that required a functioning computer was of a much higher priority. It was the subject line that kept me from pressing the delete button: Hello Sunshine.
You described yourself as someone who had no shame in sending a stranger an e-mail two pages long as an introductory. The fact that you’d written to me listening to an old but really great song intrigued me. However, it was when you began referring to my column that my attention focused completely on your words.
When there are few of them, you find it hard to believe that they exist… emotionally intelligent people! The kind that you pray will cross your path and share opinions and ideas with you. It isn’t bad enough that there are so few of these men, but most of them are just bags of hot air. They repeat the words that they know will obtain the desired results from the person they’re trying to convince, of emotions they wish they could feel but haven’t the courage to assume. Most intelligent men don’t have the courage of their convictions and this was one of the insinuations I sent you on reply.
Expecting fierce denial or perhaps a whole analyses declaring that I was anti-male and needed to trust more in people; you took me once again by surprise when you thanked me for not generalising and giving you the benefit of the doubt.
Impressed couldn’t describe how you left me with the reply mail you sent me. The careful attention you had obviously given to reading the entries my friend and I and wrote and the compliments you paid us would without a doubt make you the highest paid tutor if men around the world knew that you found the secret to understanding a woman. You managed to discover more about me from a couple of e-mails than some of my closest friends who still have a lot to learn about what makes me tick. Leaving me feeling emotionally violated, I couldn’t help but make it quite clear than neither my friend nor I needed any “rescuing” and concluded that focusing on emotional soft spots was your battle technique. But as if you’d read my mind, you quickly explained that defenceless females were far from the picture you painted of us and the mere idea was exhausting and unattractive.
I couldn’t hide my smile after hearing your voice and admitting that curiosity got the better of me, I ignored my better judgement and added you on my MSN. The planned 15 minutes extended to two hours and probably would’ve extended longer if the both of us didn’t have to leave. Your picture couldn’t hide the piercing eyes I knew you’d have. Cautiousness reminded me that I could already place a face and a voice to your name. Intuition told me that you probably would become another of those good friends that I could always be direct and sincere with. On a second window I updated my best friend on the last three days:
“I met my twin! He thinks just like me… is there something you and mom want to tell me?”
“LOL, don’t look at me! But maybe you should ask your mother!”
“Hahahaha… very funny Dad! But seriously, it’s refreshing to exchange ideas with someone who’s on the same wavelength. Or at least he seems to be, so far there’s no ancestry link to Casanova or xcyte. I’m having a really hard time trying to find a reason to log off and block his address.
“I give him another 5 minutes”
“LOL, thanks Dad, but I sense this one will take a bit longer to disappoint me”
“In that case, tell me about it in about two or three weeks.”
Experience reassured my abilities on keeping you behind the screen and so I switched off the computer content that I’d made another amazing addition to my list of special friends. I didn’t think about you again until after I watered my aunt’s plants and sat down to dinner. Wrapping my legs beneath me, I picked at my food with one hand whilst I held the 5-page story you mailed me in the other. Promising to send you my honest opinion, I read it with my full concentration. My hand began to shake before I got through the first page. The story seemed to have been stolen from one of my many daydreams; the words you used were identical to my vocabulary and if it had been written in English, I would’ve sworn that it had been something that I wrote.
The description, the emotions, the vocabulary and even the style called out to me. Before I’d even turned the page, I dropped the pages, stood up and circled the table like someone who had lost her mind, never taking my eyes off the black ink. Insane! If every book had this reaction on me, I would need therapy each time I bought a new one! Summoning the courage and slapping myself out the trance, I began reading more of the text. Instinctually one hand covered my mouth whilst the other ran through the paragraphs. I tried not to feel ashamed when a tear rolled down my face. Everything and nothing made sense once I got to the end of the story. Shock was followed by panic and I couldn’t resist finding out how much of the truth was in that story.
“So where were you until this hour”
“Take a wild guess”
“On the pier again huh? You know you really shouldn’t be out there until this hour on your own!”
“There were plenty of tourists sitting at the coffee shops! Besides I wasn’t alone, I was talking to the ocean. The onlookers either thought I was crazy or I was in with the latest in blue tooth wireless phone technology”
“Hahaha, you must’ve had a lot on your mind then!”
“Yes I did, I met someone captivated my attention and got me thinking”
“Seriously? Is there finally someone who stands a chance with you?”
“Hahaha… nope, lives too far away and met him over the Internet. But if destiny is kind, I’ll probably have a great friend for life”
“You sure? Planes and cars make the world small these days”
“I’m certain. Things only go as far as people allow them to.”
When you least expect it, the winds of fate introduce you to people who renovate your ideas and change your life. My job flew in a cowboy, which made me dance with a Chronis, who inspired a Clairvoyant to send me mail. Before I fall asleep tonight, I will thank my guardian angels for my family, my friends and all the special people who have crossed my path. I take this opportunity to remind my readers that the Olympics would be pointless if no one was watching and cheering the Athletes on. Although I overcame life’s obstacles on my own, there was always a friend on the sideline with a redbull, giving me my wings when I thought that I was no longer able to get over another hurdle. Consider this my thanks for the advice, the hand or the shoulder offered; may this column do the same for you. And to those of you who still haven’t understood this entry, please go check your mail.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Whilst sitting at an outside coffee shop with a huge helium balloon at my back and an amazing ocean view, I stared at the girl-shaped sandcastle and drew conclusions from the conversation I was having. My good friend was telling me that when she returned to her home country on vacation, one of her plans was on having a mature conversation with her ex-boyfriend. My heart broke for her when I remembered a similar desire I’d had years ago with an ex-boyfriend and that had ended bitterly simply because he could not add to anything I already new. He simply had no answer for me. I tried to warn her that sometimes people don’t have the answers we need; we can’t expect from other people what they’re not able to give. It’s not that I doubt that she’ll obtain her answers, it’s that I know that they don’t always come from where we’re expecting them to come.
On going home, I asked deeply analysed this desire. Lately, I’ve found myself feeling slightly nervous about-facing some of the faces I haven’t seen in almost three years and somehow I knew that this desire was linked with my friend’s. Answers aren’t exactly what I’m fearing and although I argued that three years has turned me into a different person, it isn’t that person that I’m afraid of introducing to my friends. If anything, I’m proud to show them who I’ve become… the same Sunshine with improvements! It wasn’t until I saw him that it finally hit me…
Being an Indigo, not only am I stubborn and headstrong, I’m also in fine-tune with myself. This means that I usually know exactly what I want and how I want it and from early on in life I knew what my life’s mission was. I was born to make people happy. My mission is bring something positive to every person I meet. Although it sounds impossible, I would like to die knowing that people remember me with a genuine smile. My little brother calls me his angel for fixing his computer, but I’d like to be considered to be everybody’s angel, even if just for a moment in their lives when I gave them a hand, my shoulder or sincere advice.
I began thinking that I’d failed my mission whilst discussing online the end of a friendship that had barely begun. The friend I was typing to, insisted that the person in question certainly missed the companionship we once shared. Actions speaking louder than words, I thanked her attempts to make me feel better about the matter, but deep down knew that my name would be just a whisper at the back of his mind and my face a bleak memory of a time when he just needed someone to share a coffee with. It saddened me to think that many times in life, we don’t mean half as much to a person as they mean to us. I began recalling all the names of the people who meant something to me and questioned with each one of them if I’d meant the same to them. The old neighbour next door who gave me apricots whenever I went to visit him and his dog Shaka, or my best friend in South Africa who I always considered to be the sister I never had but never writes me an e-mail or sends me an SMS. More and more names ran through my mind and I wondered if maybe I don’t “over”care about people. When I think someone is fantastic do they respond with “she’s nice?”. Do I simply feel too much or am I too demanding in wanting people to care as much about me as I do about them?
We all get those e-mails that say that at least one person on this planet really loves us and is thinking about us that second and would die for us… I got on the bus wondering if I was the exception to the rule. As I walked home from the bus stop, I began believing that T.S Eliot was closer to the truth when he said that we are all imprisoned to solitary confinement within our own skins, and began wondering if we’re really capable of touching each other’s souls. Just as I began asking myself about the hearts that I’d left an impression on, he appeared as if summoned…
On the glorious night that Portugal beat England in the worlds best played soccer game, Madeira Island celebrated in unison and I went home early. In the entrance to my apartment, a large dog surprised me with a jump. The owner clearly distressed immediately grabbed back and repeatedly told me that he didn’t bite. From the complaints of scared neighbours of mine that had described the dog at the last apartment meetings, I concluded that this was the big dog that had scared the old lady in Block A who on seeing the him, dropped all her groceries and ran down the stairs into the garages. Having two massive Labradors back home, “Dog” (yes that’s his name), didn’t scare me and the owner couldn’t believe that I simply grabbed the dogs face and started petting him. I congratulated him on his furry friend and told him about the two I’d left back home. I couldn’t resist accepting his invitation and joined him in taking Dog for a walk. Whilst Dog took the both of us for a walk, conversation swayed from the soccer game to dogs, the weather, music and eventually conversation became more focused on each other.
There are people that you acquaint with for years, but never become someone you could consider as “special”. Then there are people that become a priceless memory within minutes of meeting them. That night I sat together with a stranger and a dog until four in the morning talking about each other. We swapped the scarves the each of us wore and only ended our conversation because both of us had work the next day. Although we did not exchange phone numbers we both expressed the will to see each other once more even though it would have to be the work of fate for our paths to cross once again considering he was walking Dog for a friend on vacation. Being married to a jealous wife, I was asked to feign recognising him, should we ever see each other on the street and even though I live on an island, I wasn’t expecting to ever run into him again.
I ran into him last week after an unpleasant visit to the bank. I ran into the nearest coffee shop and asked for a quick sandwich. Distracted as I am, it’s a surprise when I actually notice someone I know walk by me so it was amazing that I recognised the face that walked out the coffee place as the face that introduced me to Dog. Remembering his request I walked past and winked thinking that he’d probably not remember my face after almost two months since our encounter. The expression on his face was priceless: from the doubtful look, to the registering on his face and then to a smile that stretched from ear to ear. I knew that he recognised me for sure and although he couldn’t greet me whilst surrounded by his friends, I knew that his attention span belonged solely to me as I ate my lunch.
“It’s you! I can’t believe it’s you! I’m so happy it’s you! Do you have any idea how much I wanted it to be you!”. I tried to put my thoughts in order whilst being tightly hugged. It seemed my guardian angel had heard the doubts in my heart and had placed the right person in my path to give me some answers. I listened as he spilled his heart in a speech that had obviously been repeated in his mind many times in the last two months. “You gave me so much to think about that night we met… you made such a big change in my life… gave me the courage… encouraged me to believe in myself… do you realise how much you mean to me?…” I stared opened-mouthed listening to the things I’d always wanted someone to say to me. Like any other human being, it is very important to me to know what I mean or meant to someone else and we always hope for a positive and meaningful answer. I can’t say that I did or said anything out of the ordinary that night that I met him to have him feel the way he does and it amazed me that just as I’d touched his life that night, he touched mine by sharing that knowledge with me. It occurred me that we often make the mistake of thinking that another person knows how we feel about them without us telling them, and only by telling them do we truly connect to their souls. For those who are curious, I didn’t give him my number and we might not cross paths again but I kept my only promise I made to him when we met… he asked me not to forget his name.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
There are mornings that I fall out of bed and wake up in a panic. I’m late for school, the test is today and I overslept; I didn’t study as much as I should’ve; I can’t remember where I left my fluffy hair band and I better hurry if I want to get to class on time to score a seat next to the gorgeous stud I’ve been eyeing for the last two years. My eyes blink insistently until I focus the unfamiliar walls and only then does my mind register… I passed the exam; the guy I thought was a babe turned out to be nothing special; I stopped wearing those kind of hair bands over four years ago and the only thing I’ll be late for if I don’t pick myself off the floor will be the job I’d been dreaming whilst writing that exam.
Who the hell pressed the fast forward button?
Here I am, the woman I hoped I’d be when I was younger. Confident, witty and sharp-tongued. Not only do I have a career with a future but I also have my own apartment, a self-chosen wardrobe and the independence to go with it. Whilst the rest of the world analysed, compared and criticised me, shaping me into the person they wanted me to be… I dreamt of being old enough to stand up for myself and simply be myself… I wanted to be a bitch and today I proudly am a:
The first night I entered a club, my best friend and I hid behind my mother hoping that no one would notice that we were underage. After my mother had left, we relied on two shots of Sambuca (liquorice flavour, for any of you wondering) just to find the courage to take our jackets off. Once the alcohol eventually kicked in, we worked up the courage to get on the dance floor. We danced, we sang, we had an amazing time and when clock hit three we called my dad to come pick us up. Arriving to cold pizza and sprite, we ended up talking ourselves to sleep with 5fm playing in the background. Back then; our dreams were of being successful career women, confident and independent with cars, a sexy wardrobe and every guy drooling over us. We would have time and money to go out every night and live our lives to the fullest. Things would be different as soon as we had control of our own lives.
“Be careful what you wish for… it just might come true”
These were the words written in my yearbook by my classmate Louisa. I can’t remember her surname anymore, but I’ll never forget her face as she said those words to me. I’ve never forgotten them, especially since I’ve discovered that most of the things you want out of life, don’t really make you as happy as you thought they would. Confident career girl, I am the woman I always dreamed of becoming. Independent and self-supportive; I am capable of making a success of any project I set my mind to and it’s been a long time since my throat hurt from not being able to express myself with words. I learnt to relate to different kinds of people and discovered the fun in flirting. I pay my own bills, wear what I choose and get to put whatever I choose into my shopping trolley… I am responsible for myself… responsibility… the high price you pay for independence.
I’m not a girl… not yet a woman.
Time will pass and things will change but no matter how much I evolve, a part of me will never grow up. At times I feel like anytime soon the alarm clock will ring and I’ll be waking up in my room, finding out that all of this is just another one of my impossible dreams. Living in my apartment at times feels like I’m playing house like I used to with my childhood friend Stacey in my back yard. The last time I saw her, she had turned gothic and had a boyfriend that resembled Count Dracula on Speed. There are mornings that I look at my desk, my computer and my phone ringing and feel like I’m just fooling myself and everyone else around me into believing that I’m capable of the responsible career I’m building, Beneath the make-up, the uniform and the high heels is just a girl and at times I feel like the only person who can see her is my boss who still treats me as a little girl.
Insecure? No… not really. If need be, the strong Arian woman in me comes out and takes control. However, more often than not… I feel the need to drop the “mask” and be my childish, happy self. I can now stick my hand out the car window without having my parents reprimand me. When I’m at the office alone, I put the music on loud and spin around on my chair. I can have ice-cream whenever I feel like it, watch TV until I fall asleep on the couch and paint my nails in whatever tone I choose. I jump, I climb, I skate and I pull my tongue at little kids in the bus. Has anyone noticed this little girl pretending to be an adult? Do any of the other people my age feel the same way? Perhaps the reason that a friend of mine goes for older women is that he wants to feel like a the rebellious guy that gets lucky the way other boys only dream of. Some friends of mine have forgotten their childhood completely, refusing to wear anything else but a suit and tie and others are eternally stuck in puberty where their objective in life is to drink and get laid.
Stuck somewhere in-between.
I’m fortunate to say that I’ve evolved a lot in merely a year of my life. Looking even further back, I’d say that I’m nowhere close to the girl I was and much closer to the woman I’ve always dreamed of being. Close but not quite there yet, I still have moments of fear and insecurity. Being loud and social, no one would guess that the girl who is able to begin a conversation with anyone in the street still feels butterflies when a man looks her deeps in the eyes, blushes and feels shy around someone she’s interested and feels nervous about hitting second base. Many people rely on me for support and advice and I wonder if they realise that the reason I give such good advice is because I still think like a kid. Possessing the maturity of many reincarnations, I discovered that the secret of preserving your spirit, is never allowing the child within to die. I still call daddy for advice, sleep in a t-shirt and fall asleep holding on to my pillow. Once I finish saving this column, I think I’ll have a glass of milk, sing to my hairbrush my favourite Backstreet Boys song; jump on my bed and pretend it’s my stage pretend that my audience consists of an ocean of fans that love my new album. I’ll snuggle in bed and thank God for being so lucky in getting this far and for succeeding in being so happy. My last thought before falling asleep will be that this girl is in no hurry to grow up.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
They say that having a child fall asleep in your arms is the deepest calm that a human being can feel. They’re usually right about these things.
Kayla is the most recent addition to my friend list, she also happens to be the youngest. At almost one week old, she has captivated everyone that lays eyes on her. It’s impossible to stay indifferent around her and the only worry you might have is how on earth to hold her! Being as tiny and fragile as she is, you end up doubting your grip and become afraid of dropping her. But once you have her in your arms… it’s a whole different kind of feeling.
A colleague of mine who was a young mother at 17 told me that newborn babies aren’t very exciting and that you can’t call them cute until they’re about six months or so. Mother and baby links are things that are built with time and she explained to me that it would take a while for the two to get used to each other.
Frankly, I think it’s been too long since she last had a baby!
I’ve never seen my buddy have such a knack for anything or anyone like she has with Kayla. Honestly! She has a special way of holding and looking at her that it seems like the two have known each other for ages (not counting the nine months they were stuck together). I’m beginning to believe that the bond begins at conception and that link only grows stronger with time. Even animals grow links from the beginning; I believe it’s called maternal instinct. As for the love, I’m not sure where it got a start but it sure is there in her eyes when she looks down at baby.
So she probably will grow up into a stunner and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that she’s going to grow up into a good-looking, bubbly toddler, but once again I think my colleague has a bad conception of cute… Kayla is right down adorable! Sure she might not be able to giggle or respond yet but if you’re patient, you will catch a smile in between all the faces she makes at you… looking at her becomes incredibly addictive!
Before holding her, I tried to imagine myself as a pregnant mum-to-be… the thought scared me so much that I was glad that it was my friend who had to wake up in the middle of the night for breastfeeding and not me. I reminded myself of the wonderful freedom that I have, being able to go anywhere I please at whatever time and take only fifteen minutes to get ready to go. My career also reminded me of the extra time and effort that I wouldn’t be able to put in if I suddenly had a family to maintain. I silently thanked God once again for my independence and my heart broke for the friend who would no longer suggest Daim Mcflurry´s. I didn’t have the heart to tell her, but I sure miss the free time we spent together walking around together.
A radical change is what turned my friend into a mommy. Not mentioning the obvious changes, the ones that are more invisible to the eye have to do with the way she carries herself, her interests and her maturity. I stopped feeling sorry for her when I realised the good that motherhood does for her. Gone is the insecure girl I knew and in her place is a woman with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Being calmer has contributed to her deeper maturity and her eyes seem to hold all the answers to life’s questions. The change is uncanny and yet she’s still the same person simply living a new chapter in her life.
The only opinion that I agreed on with my colleague about babies is that they bring out a maternal instinct from you whether you like it or not. Just when you’re telling yourself “Hell no, I’m not made for this”. A miracle like Kayla is put in your arms and suddenly you begin to rethink the whole pregnancy thing and actually consider going through the torture of labour. It isn’t an immediate feeling; it’s something that begins to infect your senses slowly. First it’s that baby odour that permeates into your nostrils. Then the feeling of that tiny warm body wriggling in your embrace. The faces she makes slam down any walls you can possibly build around your heart and you’re as good as caught when you see something resembling a smile.
Having a little brother at eleven, made burping Kayla something of a refresh of memory for me and putting her to sleep was no novelty (nor a challenge considering it was mostly what she wanted to do!). But what I wasn’t expecting was to fight back this amazingly strong desire to have a baby myself. Of course this did not make me want to go out and grab the first fertile male I saw, but it sure left me with an empty feeling in my heart. I guess would be easier if I could imagine a baby as something I could plan into my future with someone. But being single means that you imagine pregnancy as being more of a nightmare than the actual miracle that it is.
My colleague has said that if you wait for the right conditions you will never have a child. I suppose I partially agree with her especially if we’re looking at things from a financial point of view… no one has ever said that they’re financially secure… at least not anyone earning my salary! But to me, basic needs require something more important that money… Love. Little Kayla taught me a lesson quite early in her young life; today I realised that the reason babies and pregnancy scare me so much is because I’m not willing to deal with one on my own. I’m not saying I couldn’t cope, being as independent as I am and having the great friends that I do, I’m sure both baby and mother would survive just fine. However, a mother needs and wants more for her baby. She wants a secure and loving home and the promise of a happy life, the kind that takes two to build. Perhaps if there were someone special that I could imagine a future with, I’d feel better about the whole idea. An ocean away I remembered an unborn baby whose father plans on being present for his/her birth and most of her life but won’t be ending his evenings with his/her mother. I have always been of a very strong opinion that a baby isn’t a good enough reason to keep two people together but I can’t help but feel sorry for a woman who won’t have her man to kiss her forehead after the baby’s just fallen asleep in her arms. This shows me of the importance of finding the right person and once again I’m inclined to believe that Kayla is one of the first of many of my friends babies that are born whilst I age single.
Ambition holds me to my career. The love of life and freedom holds me to my independence but I cannot deny that my female instincts makes a part of me willing to sacrifice all of that for a little bundle of joy. I suppose it’s all about priorities and a sacrifice that demands immense responsibility, the kind that turns your life. It’s bad enough that you have to dodge life’s curveballs; you end up responsible for helping someone else over their obstacles too. That personality will depend a lot on the influence you represent. Looking at Kayla, my biggest wish is that life will be kind to her and her obstacles few. Looking at Kayla’s mommy, admiration mixed with instinctive relief tells me Kayla will always be one very loved and happy baby.