Sunday, September 25, 2005


I hate feeling vulnerable; like a turtle without its shell… at times I feel like a fish out of water. It’s not as if I don’t belong… I know I do…
It’s like putting your feet in a pair of high heels you haven’t quite grown into yet…

The thing about feeling fragile isn’t the thoughts that go through your mind… thoughts and fears are so easily camouflaged. The hard part is keeping people away from coming too close, because you know that it only takes one word that might send you spiralling down the emotional rollercoaster.
For this reason, one develops a tendency to avoid sensitive topics and refrain from making new friends.

Every memory, every moment seems to bring with it a reason for a tear to fall. Because I don’t feel safe, because I don’t feel found… even though I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I can’t talk about it… even though there are those willing to listen, those who care about how I feel. It’s as if uttering the words will open a flood gate I’m not sure I can control. And even though I’m aware that talking is the first step to healing, I’m not willing to risk the thin wall between healing and losing all control. And so, I prefer letting it out… little by little; stream by stream, tear by tear rather than trying to control an ocean of sentiment.

Sensitive… Ears attuned to every word; you have to remind yourself not to misinterpret the things you hear.
Jumpy… as if three’s something waiting fall, break or grab you in every corner that you cross.
Frightened… of all the things that might happen and that you can’t control; invoking the desire to run and hide, pull the sheets over your head and never come out again.

I wake up each morning grateful to be alive… a tear might run down my face and yet I wouldn’t want to be anyone else, be anywhere else or live any other life.
I’m vulnerable… adjusting in my skin that belongs to the new life I’ve chosen.
I’m not any weaker, any less strong or insecure…
I’m just trying to find my feet again… trying to keep balance.

Monday, September 12, 2005

There Are No Coincidences.

The hands of Fate draw the world’s portrait – Sunshine.

Four years ago I developed a habit on my daily bus rides to work. Every morning in order to contaminate my mind with positive energy; I look at the people around me and silently wish for good things.

May people tell her how beautiful she looks today…
May that worry be wiped off his brow by lunch…
May she remember everything she learnt in that test she’s studying for…
May his face be imprinted with a permanent smile for the day…
An easy morning…
A sunny day…

I call my blessings according to the energy transmitted by each person I see. There is no formula or any particular criteria, I just look at them and try to imagine the blessing that they need the most.
Sometimes I ask for only one or two people.
Sometimes I get around to asking blessings for everyone in the bus… I like the idea of being an undercover angel and I find that whatever positive energy I send out to these strangers; I always get positive energy in return… even if it’s just to manage a genuine smile, on a particularly difficult morning.

Recently, I connected with a piece of writing about a stranger that the author connected eyes with, leaving a curious air of mystery. The familiarity of this connection made me appreciate even more my daily bus rides and I was surprised to find that my big yellow “limousine” will be among the Madeiran things I’ll miss.
What particularly caught my attention about the piece of writing was the author’s perspective and attention to detail. Even though the details we search for in our strangers differ, we both however try and captivate each individual’s aura or personal energy.
Most people I look at on the bus are so engrossed in their own personal thoughts and problems that many are completely unaware of my analytical eye or just about anyone else on the bus but themselves!
Even though I share my ride with a lot of people, on most mornings, I feel completely alone.
I guess I’ve been so busy watching everyone else, that it never occurred to me that someone might be watching me…

But as my dad would say: there’s always an angel watching!

After moving into my apartment, I’ve been taking a specific bus route for over a year. Considering that there are six busses to choose from, I don’t always go on the same bus and as consequence, nor do I see the same people.
Just two weeks ago, I discovered that a woman that belongs to my Sunday’s meditation group lives close by and even though I thought I recognised her, I much quicker assumed that it must be from some other reincarnation than from the bus stop!
I wasn’t the only one who felt the connection, although neither of us could place each other. It was only when I remarked “I look different without my uniform” that she smiled in recognition. I guessed that she must’ve seen me at work or that I was responsible for her mobile phone contract, it didn’t seem important at the time to ask.

Today as I awaited my turn to be taught my personal mantra by a Philippian monk, I sat and spoke to other women searching for evolution. Having no particular place I had to be afterwards, I volunteered to go last and as one person left after the other I found myself alone with the warm face that I now greet with more than a smile when I see her at the bus stop.
She seemed quite excited to finally catch me alone and told me that she had something she wanted to show me for a really long time. It seemed like the right moment considering how the group had just spoken about there not being any coincidences in life.

She told me that she was studying sketching and that she’d been taught that abstract images hold so much more emotion than a photo. So she took her notebook everywhere with her, drawing the things that caught her attention… She wanted me to see a particular picture she drew some months ago…

I smiled.

There on a yellow drawing pad was a picture of me sitting on the bus on my way to work.
There was no mistaking… that was my hair tied up in an imperfect bun, my small hand holding on to the seat, my jacket, my uniform… it was me!
I didn’t know what was more amazing, the fact that this person had chosen to draw me before she’d even gotten to know me or the fact that I was being watched whilst I was watching everyone else.

It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone…
That there is someone out there trying to connect with you too…
Sometimes, it’s only moments shared by strangers…
Some moments turn into a lifetime connection…
And whether these connections last moments, days, years or even an eternity…
They are to be lived with an open heart and all the intensity of life within them.
It seems that life knows the right moment to introduce us to the right (or wrong) people in our lives and it is what we do with that connection that makes all the difference…

Coincidences?... I don’t believe in them.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Careful Steps...

Stop dancing around me as if you’re dodging eggshells!

This isn’t to say that one shouldn’t think before saying the words, it just goes to say that a truthful opinion needs little or no prior thought.
It comes from the heart… direct and simple… so say it!

If you think it and you feel it… say it!
The painful truth is exactly what person needs to hear… how else can one grow without an honest perspective?

This strange chicken behaviour originates when one person is insecure and begins to worry about the other person’s opinion or reaction to their own.
Suddenly all thoughts and answers are carefully chosen, then actions and behaviour patterns are changed accordingly and before you know it, you’re acting like the idiot you swore you’d never become and wondering what the hell happened to the real you!

You blame me… I blame you and the only steps we take are those of the chicken dance!

One who dances to steps that aren’t his loses the whole concept of dancing.
You may even succeed on avoiding my toes but you’re going to kill the rhythm that made me want to dance with you in the first place!
Its called sincerity… it keeps you from falling on your face!
Dancing is a partnership… you take a step and I take a step.
If you keep dancing around eggshells, soon I’ll be dancing around eggshells too and one of us, if not both of us will end up falling on our faces or quitting..

Loved One… I chose to dance with you for who you are and the way you move, why would I settle for any other than the original?
What good is our dance if you take away the soul?

Don’t say what you think I want to hear, what I want to hear is what you have to say!

Stop It!!!
Kill the music, turn on the lights and look me straight in the eyes!!!
I’m still the same person you were dancing with five minutes ago!
If the steps aren’t smooth it’s because they’re not coming from the heart…
So quit trying to be someone you’re not and attempt the steps that aren’t yours.
Let’s get back to merely dancing; feeling the music for all the reasons we began dancing in the first place! Why dance at all if you’re not enjoying yourself?

The sooner you’re direct and sincere, the quicker we can set things straight!

Who am I writing about?
Is this about someone I know?
Something I saw?
A moment I lived?
It’s about you isn’t it?

…If you stop dancing around eggshells long enough to summon the courage to ask me, you’ll probably find out!!!
So open your mouth and say it as you mean it, so that I respond the same way!

Monday, September 05, 2005

For You… (Dedicated to those who I simply couldn’t do without)

What I am going to do without you?
It is the question I silently ask each time I look into the face of another of my friends.
As time grows shorter, I hear the clock ticking loudly as it reminds me of how few moments I have left with the people that have come to mean so much to me.
I find it strange how my throat tightens in knots each time I tell another client that it won’t be me drawing up their next contract.
Then there’s the shortness in breath when my colleague who left on holiday reminds me that we will no longer be working together…
Small things… small moments that tell me that this Chapter of my life is about to close.
And I can feel the inevitable desire to grab these people and take them with me.

Crouched over a cardboard box, these thoughts began extracting tears even though happiness is in my heart.
About to embark on sob nostalgic trip, I was rescued by one of those friends you know you can count on be it in hell or high waters…
Unable to be serious for more than fifteen minutes, I was glad for the company that wouldn’t let me sit on my pity potty for very long…
Coffee turned into a drive that took us for pizza which we walked off on the promenade at midnight on a hot summer’s evening.
I didn’t feel like going home yet, and so we drove around for a little longer as I surrendered to the image of Madeira by Night.
When would I have the chance to once again take a ride in his 4X4 listening to the great sounds that resounded in my soul, as I stretched my arm out the window, feeling the night air on my face?
Fate has a way of speaking to me with deja vu, unexpected surprises or irony… and this time, two weeks before I leave, I hear the same song I heard two weeks before I left South Africa, four years ago this Friday.
What am I going to do without you, I asked him.
Don’t worry, there will be another Joe on the other side, and wherever you go I’ll still be your friend.

So this is probably the last braai I see you at before you go?
My friend’s question broke my heart as much as it was breaking hers and I had to force a smile while I choked back a tear.
What am I going to do without you?
All of you…
Each and every one of you…
There wasn’t a face present that I wasn’t truly and deeply sad to let go…
And as I left the warm embrace of friendship, I realised how blessed I truly am.

After what must’ve been the most intense meditation I’ve ever gone through, we were read a piece of Buddha’s life in which we are taught to practice detachment from all things, material or otherwise.
Two of the new additions to the group, voiced their opinion about how hard it is to be detached, not so much to things but especially to people.
Although they were merely expressing their thoughts, it felt like they were talking directly to me and inside I found the courage to explain to them my definition of detachment:

Someone recently said to me: “this time around should be easier for you, considering that you’ve done this before and that the distance isn’t as great”.
Not at all, I answered.
This time around, I’ve made triple as many friends as I had. I’m leaving not three family members but around thirty whom I love and cherish. This of course isn’t even counting the new family of colleagues that I’ve adopted at work and not to mention the strangers that I talk to daily which have become a part of my life… the girl that waits with me at the bus stop, the man that squeezes the oranges for my juice in the morning, the lady that cleans up our office and even the old postman that fetches and drops off our express mail each day.
This time around, I opened my heart wider and gave it to so many more people…

The difference is that this time around I will not suffer for their absence…
I will instead feel blessed for the presence that they had in my life and will continue to have…
I will not leave my loved ones behind because I take them with me in my heart.
I will not love them any less or think of them less.
One should rejoice for the love that was given, not hurt because of it.

I refuse to detach myself from the people I love and care about.
I know that when I see them again, be it in a month, in a year or perhaps even a lifetime from now… I will still feel for them in the same intensity that I do today.
Because my heart is big enough for everyone and I’m happiest when I’m undetached.
So if you see me crying… just know the tears are not those of sadness but of pure joy of the opportunity that life has given me to know and love you.

What am I going to do without you?
I will remember you and smile…
And look forward to when we meet again.

No Good-Byes.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Without Expectactions.

I’d like you to look at me with the eyes of someone that feels and expects nothing in return.
Only then will you feel for me what I feel for you.
Because I want you the way you are…
....and want for you to want me the way I am.
Respect, Acceptance and Love…
They exist not because they are expected or asked for...
...but because they’re not.
Joy is found when sadness isn’t felt… and so…
Feel me… not because I ask you to, not because you’re expected to,
but simply because you do.

Await not the hunt, though I’ll be your Seductress.
Don’t treat me like a child, and I’ll be your Baby.
Try not to grab my wings, and I’ll be your Butterfly.
Stop looking for the light, although I am your Sunshine.
Taste not too much sweetness, and I’ll be your Honey.
If you promise not to dress me in pink, I’ll be your Princess.
Expect not pure innocence, even though I am your Angel.
Seek not perfection and I’ll be your woman…

Not because you ask me to,
Not because you want me to,
Not because fate says it’s so…
But simply because I am.

Friday, September 02, 2005


The wise say that one should keep all love letters and throw away old bank statements…

Once again, my life is about to change in such a drastic way that I can only describe it as: a new Chapter to a new volume of my life… and even though I’m about to look forward, I can’t help but look back to the road that has brought me this far to evaluate all that I’ve learnt.

Deciding to leave something special behind for my colleagues, I dug up every photo that I could find linked with the company and its employees and decided to scan all of them onto a compact disc.
Evolution never ceases to amaze, the only thing that you can truly be sure is that things eventually change… nothing truly ever stays the same. Uniforms change, furniture gets replaced, people come and go and most importantly: people and things change.

I’ve always believed in fate… now I simply have more faith in her.

Impatient by nature, it was incomprehensible to me how everything is meant to have timing. Why do tomorrow what you can do now?... Why not today?
To have faith in destiny is to respect her timing and know that she allows things to happen at their right moment with the least of effort… all you need is the courage to make the right change at that opportunity.

To move to Lisbon two years ago, or perhaps even a year ago… would’ve been a mistake. I know this now because I know the difference one year has made to the person I am, the way I think and the goals I’m fighting for... I wouldn’t have said this then, but I can say it now after a year of learning and evolution.

A year makes such a difference, two years, three years… I found an old e-mail on which I denied feelings a year ago that I would be perfectly capable of dealing with today… I needed time… we all need time, to evolve into better people.

Time of wait is a time to reap… my cousin has reminded me a million times that no time is truly stagnant, no matter how slow our pace is, we’re still taking steps… sometimes the most important one’s are those that you take slowly.
Determined to make progress, I never took the time to find the truth in her words… and it’s ironic that now when time is of the essence and I should be working at a fast pace, I finally learn to take things slow and savour every moment.

What’s the rush? Yesterday is gone and Tomorrow Never Comes…
All we really have is now and this moment.