Wednesday, November 26, 2008
There’s no translation for it.
It’s the feeling felt when you miss someone, someplace so bad that it tears your heart apart.
Distance is life’s ultimate punishment
Your heart keeps that person close but your arms are too far to reach them.
Last night I went through facebook profiles and photos of people I knew…
The fact that I say I “knew” them in past tense is because distance has made sure that I no longer know who they are.
People change, grow and evolve… if you’re not there during this time, you’ll miss out on who they’ve become.
I sighed in awe as I compared the physical changes in the people I went to school with, some of which I haven’t spoken in years.
Doctors, lawyers… some of them became exactly what they said they would.
Others went in the exact opposite direction.
Nostalgia… the feeling felt on remembering and missing the past.
Nostalgia isn’t Saudade… Saudade is something else, something much deeper.
Saudade is what I felt when I saw my friends in their wedding dresses.
Saudade is what I felt on seeing pictures of their first children.
Saudade is what tore apart my heart at seeing pictures of the moments I said I’d be there for.
Because when you’re young you believe that nothing can tear friendship apart and that you’ll be there for every important moment in your friend’s life… and I wasn’t.
I wasn’t there for them and they haven’t been here for me.
Not that they haven’t been there in heart, I’m sure they were there in spirit…
But nothing takes the place of seeing that smile, hearing those words and feeling that embrace… Saudade.
It’s been a long time since I’ve cried the absence of what I left behind… friends, good friends… amazing people that life gave me the pleasure of meeting and which I left when I moved away.
They say it gets easier, they say you move on…
With the years you miss them less, you think about them less…
But then one night you remember them and your heart breaks as hard as the day you left them behind.
I don’t regret my decisions in life.
I just wish I could keep all my friends close by.
I miss you.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Just because you can, doesn´t mean you should.
I´ve always been a risk taker, but I learnt early on in life to identify my boundaries and when to stick to them.
Know your limits to take conscious risks.
People who keep playing on the edge, eventually fall off.
I was sixteen when my parents allowed me out to a nightclub for the first time.
The rules were simple:
No alcohol or substance abuse
Respect the curfew.
I knew that as long as I kept to these rules, I had freedom.
I also knew, that the day I disrespected these rules, I know longer had this privilege that most of my friends only dreamed of having at that age.
This didn´t mean however that I didn´t push my luck… at least where the drinking went, but I stuck to my limits and made sure I sobered up before going home.
I knew not to ask to go out too often or to stay out too late.
Sometimes I´d ask for an extra hour or two and often I got them, I also learnt that if I took a "no" gracefully then my privileges would probably be lengthened a bit the next time around.
One night I went out with a bunch of friends and was meant to be given a lift home afterwards. The vibe in the club was a bit dead and so we decided to go try another place… we didn´t make it out the parking lot.
The driver decided to show off his skills in spinning his car and ended up embarrassing himself by cracking a hole in the radiator as he spun over a curb.
Immediately there was panic!
Everyone was in fear of the consequences that came with their parents knowing what happened.
I knew however that there was no alternative…
I called my dad.
My friends and I worried that my dad would never let me out with them again and he´d probably tell their parents and that I´d probably never be let out at night ever again…
This was the shortening of my leash…
My dad arrived within minutes. He seemed calm as he took a look at my friend´s car but the fact that he didn´t look in my direction told me that he wasn´t all that happy.
I knew my nightlife freedom would be restricted if not cut completely but any other alternative my friends came up with seemed more irresponsible then asking my dad for help.
He called a tow truck, gave my friend a good mechanic's number and took all my friends home one by one without asking to speak with their parents.
As the last of my friends jumped out the car and we were left alone, I waited for the speech and my prison sentence…
What I got wasn´t what I expected!
My dad put his hand on my leg and thanked me for calling him.
My privileges weren´t limited, in fact two weeks later, I got another extra hour on my curfew.
Today I know that the faith deposited in me was due to the fact that I´d never overstepped my boundaries.
If until that point, I hadn´t earned the trust… my dad´s reaction would have certainly been different.
Oddly enough, with time some of my friends got night privileges from their parents on the condition that they were with me.
As a conscious adult in this day and age, there´s very little that I can´t do…
However I also know I must take the responsibility for my decisions and own up to the risks I take…
Not all the gain is worth the consequence…
Not all risks are worth taking…
Because people get hurt.
Because trust is fragile.
Because your leash will be shortened.
Because there are things you can´t undo.
I take special care to know my boundaries and to stay off the edge.
Just because I can, doesn´t mean I should…
It doesn´t mean I will.
If you keep pushing your luck, one day it will run out.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
If it´s up to me you´ll never know…
Who you were
What I meant to you.
If you don´t remember, I will not tell you.
Because it was in another life…
Because it will no longer make a diference.
If you think you hurt now…
Be grateful that you don´t know…
It´ll hurt so much more.
That´s the beauty of a fresh start
You forget… You move on.
But you haven´t…
At least not as well as you would want to,
As I would want you to.
I so desperately want your happiness
It hurts to watch you...
You don´t know what you want.
Though you may seem to know what you´re doing.
A little boy´s dreams, a prayer and hollow faith.
You never did quite know when to give up.
It´s best you don´t know…
It´s best you never remember…
The best of the secret will keep you warm in your dreams
And i´ll keep you in my prayers.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Fact of life:
Sooner or later people disappoint you.
That means news for those who say:
"I´ve never been disapointed by so-and-so"
YET... because you will be.
Human being are just too imperfect not to botch up sooner or later...
This isn´t the first post where I state my opinion:
Not all fuck ups are intentional and so...
Take in regard the intention at hand and forgive as you would like to be forgiven (tomorrow you might be the one stuffing up).
One of the most important lessons I learned in life is:
People only have the importance that which you give them.
It´s not easy getting to know people.
And so it takes a while to discover the imposters that call themselves your friends.
These are the people you are acquainted with that simply don´t deserve your attention.
After 18, you discover that life is short and time is scarce so you might as well save it to spend with the people that really matter and not waste time with those that don´t.
This doesn´t mean however that you don´t retain your acquaintances (at least those you can´t get rid of - others are just friends who can never be trusted again but who you don´t want to break complete ties with).
You greet them and catch up with them only when your paths cross.
Not to long ago, a bunch of us got stood up by one of our friends that didn´t bother to show up for a gathering that he himself had proposed.
No message, no answering his phone, no callback - in fact no one´s heard from him for over three weeks... we know he´s alive and well though.
What strikes me as interesting, is that of the six people that awaited him: no one was particularly suprised with his absence.
"It´s just one of those things that he does..."
I asked myself if the reason the six friends felt this way is because he´s so good of a friend that this kind of lack of consideration is considered a misdemeanor or if this kind of behaviour is ignored simply because he has already been classified as no more than an acquaintance and therefore his actions have little importance?
Nobody was particularly worried and the gathering simply continued as if the reason we were all there was a gathering of friends and his arrival wasn´t al all expected.
My heart went out to the one person that I know was truly disappointed - even though he wasn´t surprised.
One of these days we´ll hear again from that so called friend, greet him, catch up with what´s been happening and move on...
Maybe someone will mention the gathering he missed... maybe they won´t... all I know is that I won´t bother...
He simply doesn´t hold the importance I consider my friends to have.
Time and distance doesn´t always allow the contact you desire with your friends, however these aren´t the causes for friendship losses. To maintain a true friendship you merely need to treat your friends as you would like to be treated: with sincerity and respect.
My second thought upon reading this sms was:
For guys losing a couple of kilos is easy: they simply cut down on the junkfood.
Soon I´ll be finished with a weight loss program that so far has been working for me at a huge expensive and a hell of a lot of effort and self-control.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Homeless and most likely abandoned, Daisy was found by our local vet hungry and flea infested. Softened by the sweet look in Daisy´s eyes, the vet took her in, fed her and treated her for parasites and the ear infection she had.
It became clear by Daisy´s submissive behaviour, docile nature and incredible desire to please that she´d make a wonderful family pet and it became´s the vet´s mission to find Daisy a home… in the meantime, Daisy was nurtured by foster families…
After much deliberation, we decided that although Daisy was a wonderful pet, we simply didn´t have the space and conditions to adopt her, however after our first encounter with Daisy we understood everyone´s faith in her personality and decided to do our part by fostering Daisy for a week.
Everyone tried to find a home for Daisy, there was an advert placed online, the vet spoke to each one of her clients and we even tried introducing Daisy to a potencial family... everyone was eager to help, but no one was ready to adopt her.
In the week that she stayed with us, she quickly learned the house rules… no climbing on the furniture, no climbing up to the first floor, dogs sleep outside…
It wasn´t hard to educate Daisy, she learnt these rules after two or three reprimands and began to learn other things like sitting and lying down.
It was fulfilling to see her confidence grow and she even began to play with us and Kalash. After merely a week her fur was glowing and she developed meat where once there was just bones – even Kalash put on weight! Competition makes you fat!
The longer we kept her, the more proud and attached we became…
And so it was on a dark Monday when we took her back to the vet after our one week fostering that we discovered that the bump she had her jaw wasn´t an old wound, but a bad break that was going to need to be operated on.
The fact that she hadn´t complained about it when we´d found her led us to believe that it was na old wound that had healed on it´s own. But her bad breath made us take a closer look and that´s when we discovered a splintered bone sticking out her jaw.
The discovery was simply devastating!
Not only was it hard finding Daisy a home, it was going to be even harder finding someone who was willing to spend a fortune on a dog that was going to need an operation – it seemed we had no choice, Daisy was going to have to put down.
Strangely enough, Daisy seemed oblivious of our dark moods looking the happiest we´d seen her since we found her.
Delaying the inevitable and not wanting the vet who found and attached herself to Daisy to put her down, we decided to take her home again to desperately think of alternatives – the most likely being, asking someone else to put her down.
I was angry, upset, disappointed that a creature so sweet had no chance… unresigned with the reality that “You can´t save them all”…
But God hears the prayers of those that can´t speak for themselves and their friends…
Just when we´d just about lost hope there was an answer to the adoption advert on the Internet – someone wanted Daisy – just the way she is.
Everyone explained to Daisy´s owner-to-be of her condition and what it would take to get her well and yet that didn´t sway her – Daisy had a new owner.
Owner and dog clicked at first instant and it was more than clear to us that someone answered our prayers – that God has miracles for all he´s creatures.
All of Daisy´s foster parents are going to help sponsor her operation although her wound seems to be healing on it´s own with the help of antibiotics.
Most importantly, Daisy now has a home and someone that gives her all the tender loving care that she deserves and needs - a miracle everyone of God´s creatures deserve.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The wonderful aspect about a true friendship is that when that person eventually crosses your mind, that phonecall, e-mail and contact is wonderful! And even though there´s plenty to catch up on – the intimacy remains as if no time passed by since the last time you talked.
Recently I got reprimanded for not having included someone in a gathering and my first thought was “Yikes! I didn´t even remember…”
Unfortunately this isn´t the first time I excluded someone from a gathering by mistake.
I also then recalled that this person in particular not only didn´t belong to my social circle as I didn´t so much as even have that person´s phone number.
However the person found it in his right to voice his descontentment seeing as the gathering was organized in honour of a mutual friend.
I felt bad seeing as the person we both knew would´ve probably liked to see the person in question but neither of us remembered.
It isn´t as if the person was excluded on purpose.
What I find annoying is how offended this person was and the way I was attacked as if the exclusion had been intentional.
Curious that even though that person knew about our friend´s presence, he felt that it was my obligation to contact him and didn´t think to call. If he´d called, he most certainly wouldn´t have been forgotten!
Isn´t it strange how friendships and relationships are broken over so little…
Although recent, this isn´t the event that inspired this subject:
I dreamt about someone last night, someone I haven´t spoken to in a really long time. The dream was so intense that I woke up with the sense of the smell of his cologne. On the ride to work I wondered how he was doing and made a mental note to send an e-mail and make that contact…
This mental note slipped seeing as I drowned myself into my work the minute I arrived but just as things began to simmer down I paid attention to the song on the rádio and smiled...
It was the song that linked me directly to the someone in my dreams.
Coincidence?... That not only did I randomly dream about someone I hadn´t remembered in a long time as on the same morning, the radio played an old song that it normally doesn´t play which just happens to link your mind with that same someone.
I don´t believe in coincidences, I believe everything happens for a reason and in this case the result will be in the pleasant contact with an old friend…
Someone once told me that when we have an intense dream, the person on the other side will feel it too. I don´t know if I believe that anymore but it would be nice to know he was thinking of me too. At least I know he will be when he reads my e-mail and in the least, I´m grateful for the universe´s reminder.
What I´m most grateful for though is the fact that distance and time don´t alter true friendships and that I might not always be in touch with the people I care about but that doesn´t mean that they´ve left my heart and that sooner or later they´re thought of with with the tender loving care that I regard them with.
Here´s to remembering and being remembered by friends!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Or worse… before you reached out a hand, you knew that you were going to be slapped in the face and yet you still made the choice to help…
Is knowing that you did the “right thing” any consolation for feeling like a shmuck?
What is supposed to be highest on our list of priorities? Our wellbeing ou a friends?
Recently, someone close to me decided to share his roof with a friend that had just lost his. I was asked to share an opinion and before a decision was made we both agreed that there was a personal loss involved.
Some people are born martyrs… they spend their life looking to be victims os someone else´s needs and whims.
Then there are those that think the world spins around their waist. These people not only think that the world owes them a living, they expect your availability and goodwill whenever they may need it.
So where is the equilibrium? When is it okay to say no and when should you be saying yes? What are the rules for making the “fair decision”. Don´t you sometimes just wish someone gave you the manual.
I reckon that if things were so black and white, no one would have trouble making a decision… that there are no perfect decisions, only perfect intentions – or perspective on which we base our decisions on. Whatever you decide, ultimately the toughest judge to convince will be the reflection in your mirror.
Go with your gut and conscience – that´s the advise I give to those that ask.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I didn´t study the traffic code,
Nor organise those CD´s,
I didn´t bother with my IRS papers,
Or prepare my backpack for the next day´s hydro class…
We ate an early dinner, sat in front of the heater, snuggled up and watched four episodes of Dr. House.
I didn´t look up the university information over the Internet,
Nor water the plants,
I didn´t bother with the basket of clothes that need ironing,
Or prepare my lunch for the next day…
I just sat and ran my fingers through his hair whilst my favourite TV séries showed on the screen.
Monday, March 10, 2008
You´ll probably entertain yourself with a yoyo or a ball for about fifteen minutes before putting it down – but give it to a child and they´ll probably be at it for hours.
It´s more than just an object or a toy, it´s something they give their total attention and dedication to. Children allow themselves to become passionate over the simple stuff.
I spent countless hours on a swing as a kid but it was the box of legos that kept me still for hours on end... I simply couldn´t tear myself away! It was the toy that gave my imagination free reign!
As life´s disappointments start falling on you one by one… one learns to detach themselves from the simple pleasures in order to avoid crashing disappointment.
Then suddenly things start to lose meaning…
Better not get too attached to that jacket… i´ll grow out of it.
Better not get too attached to that watch, it was only a guilt gift.
Don´t expect him to eagerly, he won´t show.
We cut down on our hopes and expectations so that we don´t get disappointed… we even cut down on our dreams.
I finally realised what it is that I lost in the last two years in Lisbon that I most feel robbed of: I lost my dreams.
Not that I ever stopped dreaming… I simply stopped believing that any of them would come true.
To dare to believe…
To dare to dream…
Is to risk tears.
Are tears so bad if they make you feel alive?
I´ve come to appreciate the lyrics of a song recently played on the rádio:
“As long as I´m crying I don´t go blind.”
I lost something important to me…
Something that I gave more meaning to than it´s true meaning when given to me.
I could remind myself what it truly symbolises… tell myself that is merely an object…
Perhaps my heart would hurt a little less…
But in doing so, how many more things do I devalue, take out the meaning and remove the "special" from?
Maturity doesn´t simplify things, it just gives you more ways and reasons to avoid the hurt.
I begin to loathe every white hair that appears on my head and long for my years of simplicity and passion.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Due to temporary deslocation, i´ve been working this week in a different building which results in my taking a shortcut through Curry Cabral Hospital every morning.
The walk implies walking past security, past the emergency entrance and various consulting rooms before walking through a garden and finally walking past security at the exit.
On most mornings, the music from my earphones and random thoughts keep me distracted but this morning time seemed to have slowed down and I became aware of my surroundings:
I walked past a little girl sitting outside the emergency room with a look of all the sadness in the world on her face.
Knowing nothing else to do, I conjured my broadest smile and was relieved when she smiled back.
Smile - the best contagious ailment I know!
The old man in the wheelchair also smiled at me as I walked past the consulting rooms and the old couple in the garden sitting on the benches as well – the lady had a bandage on her hand, she must´ve either sprained or hurt it.
Why is it that I only saw these people today when all week I hadn´t noticed anybody at all…
The sad truth of life is, that we spend a lot of time "not seeing people".
You can´t keep track of everyone in your life however you learn that in life if you don´t appreciate the people that surround you - you´ll only truly "see" them, once they´ve gone.
I decided to give my little brother a call...
Thursday, February 07, 2008
One of the most interesting concepts I learnt in my courses in Reiki is that when you think you´ve overpassed some or other issue in your life – it comes back to haunt you.
Frustrating isn´t it?
That you think you´re over something and then you realise you have to deal with it all over again.
I used to consider this a weakness, regression in growth – a failure in humanity.
As it so happens, and to my relief at the time this shouldn´t be considered as regression but as growth.
Well if you consider that evolution envolves new perspective than the issue you dealt with yesterday is now seen from a different angle… it´s the new angle in an old story that you´re dealing with – or as my instructor lovingly described as another ring in the same onion.
I´ve once again bit the onion and much to my disdain, am having a hard time digesting it. And what brings me to tears isn´t the fact that I have to deal with an old issue, it´s the fact that it redefines who I am and whichever way I choose, I can´t go both ways.
So what´s the issue? Independence.
For those that have been reading, this has to be one of my highest priorities.
It´s not that i´m at risk of losing it but today I deal with it from a different angle…
The turning point of my life was the realization that I depended on me. This knowledge made the absolute difference in every aspect of my life and I gained the courage to take risks… big risks… insane risks because the only person at risk is me… it´s my life, my decisions and my responsibility.
I packed, I moved, I risked and I love the control I have over my life… the fact that I can do with it whatever I please. If tomorrow I decided to become a workaholic student stripper than I could – because it´s my life and because I can.
A bad move accompanied with major disappointment lost me some of my courage to make drastic changes for a while… I become stagnant, resigned to licking my wounds until I decided again what I wanted to do… what kept me going was the knowledge that my life was still in my own hands.
Then there were two…
And everything changes, including your priorities because whatever decision you make affects the other half.
It´s easy to tell each other “I´m happy if you´re happy, so make the decisions that make your happy – i´ll live with whatever you decide”
This works well when choosing clothes, movies, dinner…
But when it comes to more serious decisions it´s limitting… because when you make decisions today with long term effects you have to consider your tomorrow before you make them. Trust me – I´ve bought and abandoned an apartment before and i´m still living with the after affects of a bad decision “If I knew then what I know now…”
So what do you do when you´re in a relationship and you need to make decisions with long term effects?
Do you live as if only today exists and opt not to invest in longterm projects for two because you don´t know if tomorrow things will be different…
Or do you trust in what you have today, believe it will last forever and build on that?
This isn´t to say that things can´t be resolved and divided when two people split up… but how do you build solid decisions on that possibility?
It may be wise to make decisions with a Plan B, but I find it exhausting to look over my shoulder at the possibility that things could go wrong.
I´d like to stick to Plan A and dedicate myself completely to it – if it fails, i´ll make a new Plan A.
In the meantime, I fall into comfortable routines, adopt someone else´s house as my home and fall completely and utterly in love with a family and a dog that I can´t consider mine – because it´s not gauranteed, it´s on loan.
It´s best to chew onions slowly…
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Year after year I hear about New Year’s resolutions that never come to be accomplished. Life as they say, rarely works out the way you want it to. And yet we make New Year’s Resolutions in order to have goals to accomplish.
It's better to fight for an unattainable goal than to have no goal to fight for – goals give us purpose, a reason for existence.
I'm pleased to say that I managed to attain two out of three of last year’s New Year’s resolutions:
- I risked it all
- I was happy despite the challenges – This one wasn’t a particularly easy goal to fulfill…
So which was the goal that once again slipped my fingers?… I didn't lose 20kg.
Don't get me wrong… it’s not that it’s an impossible goal – lets just say it keeps me on the same general level as everyone else when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.
This year my resolutions aren’t nearly half as important as the priorities I've set. Making major readjustments to my perspectives, goals and priorities I've had to make distinctive adjustments to my attitudes as well.
I've always known myself to make deep reflections during this time of year, but this year I'd say is a year which distinguishes most changes. After evaluating what is really important to me, I find that that I cannot longer carry two suitcases on the path I chose to take.
Reflection is the unpacking of two backpacks, letting go of what you no longer need and carefully choosing what you want to take with you.
It's at these crossroads that we define our character by the objects we choose to take with us… too long I've carried heavy lessons that weigh me down in the decisions I make… and so I leave them behind investing in a lighter and brighter future.
So what of my goals for 2008? Among them are:
- Drivers license… and keep the scratches to a minimum of three
for the first time… Ilha Mágica here I come, the limit is until I feel sick! Spain
- Be Happy and Make Happy
Of course there are those that will probably accumulate to 2009, namely the loss of 20kg and the finish of my black and white (to hell with the black and white, they’re 23 shades of grey!) cross-stitch work – I've only been busy with it for three years, hehehe.