Monday, January 26, 2009


Photosource: Unknown
The wise normally teach their daughters to judge a man’s character by the way he treats his mother.
I’m proud to say that if my man’s character was weighed by this concept, there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind of the amazing man I know him to be!
We tried convincing his dad to take his mother out to a movie she was hoping to see about a fado singer who was a historical icon of their generation.
After failing to do so and knowing she would never go on her own, we decided to treat her to the movie whilst at the same time enlightening our ignorance on the subject.

In the small town cinema, all the old ladies were well dressed and excited to see the movie.
I love to see my mother-in-law smile, she’s so easy to please and I love to see her happy – even if the movie was dreadful, I was happy we’d brought her.

But the movie wasn’t dreadful.
A bit dramatic, I’ll give you that.
But for a Portuguese movie, I thought it was really good.

I didn’t know much about Amália’s life.
I knew very little about her music.
But I normally could tell it was her whenever I heard her singing.
Her voice and spirit are simply unique.

As I heard familiar songs, songs I didn’t even realise that I knew… I began to remember sweet moments long forgotten, that I hadn’t remembered in years:
“Casa Portuguesa”: Countless Portuguese weddings I had attended.
“Cheira Bem, Cheira á Lisboa”: The sound of mom cleaning the house in the morning
“De quem eu gusto, nem ás paredes confesso”: The sound of mom trying to piss dad off
“Barco Negro” The sound of mom’s anguish and depression each time we returned from an overseas trip to see the family.
The sound of “saudade” – missing someone like the deserts miss the rain.
They call “fado” the sound of suffrage.

Sometimes, it’s a bittersweet moment when we’re taken back to the past memory.
My only regret is having my parents too far to take them out to a movie.

Friday, January 16, 2009

There´s a new tanie on the road!

Photosource: Unknown
I did it!!!
I drove on my own!
My heart was pounding madly!
As I put the key in the ignition I said a prayer and asked my guardian angel to keep me focused and safe.
In the 15 minute drive from Vila Nova da Rainha to Castanheira do Ribatejo, I managed to put in 5th gear going 70km/h. I did all my reductions correctly and timely and went at a respectable speed instead of the snail driver I’d started off as a week ago.
I didn’t spook with the rain.
I didn’t panic when I reached the road with all the potholes and realised they were too many to avoid.
Instead, I shifted to first gear and slowly went over all of them.
I must admit, I thanked all the lucky stars for the easy and spacious parking space I found upon reaching my in-laws apartment… where normally you have to drive around a couple of times before you find a tight space in which to squeeze!
Handbrake up, gear in neutral and turn key until the car goes off.
And just before I unbuckle my seatbelt, I put the car in 1st gear for safety reasons.
I’m pretty diggity, dang, dong proud of myself!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seeking Answers

If you had the opportunity to have the questions of your life answered, which would you want to be answered?
Most of us learn to accept and resign ourselves to the fact of life that things happen. Good things, bad things… they happen.
Sometimes, later in life we get the answers to old questions.
We discover why something had to happen, we realise the life’s lessons we learnt from a certain event in our lives and we put our questions to rest.
But then there are those questions we always wonder…

WHY did it happen that way?
WHAT was the decision?
HOW did that happen?
WHERE did that come from?
WHO did that?
WHEN did those feelings begin?

We resign ourselves to the unanswered questions because to most of these, there are no answers. Or are there? What if there was a way of knowing them?

Sometimes it’s best not to have our doubts confirmed.
Often, ignorance is bliss.
There’s a reason we don’t have all the answers and if we did, what would the consequences be? What would we do with them?

I believe that we all live on a need-to-know basis and that under no circumstance will we find out that which we’re not ready to know.
But to find out, to know that behind that door are the answers… it’s a conscious risk you take, knowing that you can’t “unknow” what you discover.
The open mind that expands will forevermore return to its original size

I accept the things which can’t be answered, but only if I come to the end of all attempts of knowing.
One of these days, I’m going to grab that opportunity…
I’m going to experience hypnosis and ask to be taken into the secrets of my unconsciousness.
I know that the choice I make will include the answers I don’t want to know.
But I simply want to know.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Journey of Souls – Michael Newton

Photosource: Unknown

I finally finished it!
This is one of those books that are hard to finish no matter how interested you are. It’s as if you have to keep stopping to reflect upon what you read.
This book concentrates on past life regression written by a hypnotherapist that started off as a skeptic. In this book, he reports 29 cases which demystify reincarnation as a whole.
I’ve read many books on this subject but this is by far the most complete study I’ve read.
I haven’t been this hooked since Dr. Brian Weiss´s – Only Love is Real
Although the book bore very little novelty to my knowledge, there was one particularly interesting aspect that I learnt that made immediate sense in my mind as I read it about it…

The signs.

According to the case studies, when the soul is almost ready to reincarnate, it first undergoes an important meeting with his guide and other souls that will be part of his life.
At this point, the soul has already chosen its life’s course, from the physical aspects to the relationships he’ll make along the way.
It’s important to state that the beauty of reincarnation is free will, which means no matter how hard we work in spirit upon choosing this course: our human nature still has the capacity to screw it up!
Luckily, in this meeting we meet the souls that are going to make the difference in our lives: be they a constant presence or a phase we need to go through.

What was most fascinating to me is how much this meeting reminded me of the one called before each theatrical performance – everyone knows what to do but this is where the fine details are discussed.

And what would you call the fine details of reincarnation? The case study that spoke of this calls it the flags… I call it the signs.
It’s that sensory contact that inexplicably catches your attention.
Some call it the Déjà-vu effect… it’s those moments where if you listen to your heart and you just know…
The author shared his own story of how when he met his wife, he knew right there and then that she would be the one that he married.

Not of all of us are that lucky or that perceptive to have these certainties, but taking a look back in my life I recall certain moments in life that I was so sure of what I was doing that no amount of logic would’ve changed my mind.
I recall the day I decided to leave South Africa – on any other day it would’ve scared the life out of me, but on that day I felt so sure and at peace with that decision as if I’d been preparing for it my whole life for it.
I felt exactly the same way about moving to Lisbon four years later. Even though at the time I was fully aware that my reasons for moving weren’t going to work out – I still felt like it was a move I had to make. Today I know why.
I recall the day my grandfather died. I never meant to stay over that weekend due but when I arrived at my grandmother’s house I just felt I couldn’t leave – I had to stay. I’m so glad that I did.

On the train ride home I recalled so many times in my life where I was lead by my heart: the best decisions I’ve made in my life were those I made on instinct. But the curious ones are the physical signs that this so called meeting defines…

We all have our stories of how we met a special someone… mine is so insanely coincidental that it simply couldn’t have worked with anyone else.
In fact, if there’s one thing my man and I agree on is that if either of us had hesitated at any time in the beginning – things wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have.
Neither of us wanted a serious relationship but we both decided to go with the flow and our hearts decided for us, making moves that were completely out of character.
The signs however, are the kind that I’ll never forget.
It began with a blog… I came across his through a link on someone else’s blog.
It’s not unusual to read a good post and then move on, never return to the person’s blog. But I was captivated by the writing to the point where I kept reading right to the bottom where I saw the sign that made me decide that this was one blog I wanted to follow…
The smiling sweet face of the Rottweiler I most love in the world!
I kept reading for over three months before I finally decided to leave my first comment, it was on a post that specifically spoke of why people keep blogs.
That’s where it began.

It wasn’t all that easy though – I blowed him off on our first encounter and decided to cut the contact… but then I got that sms and I wasn’t supposed to reply to…
I got most of my signs on the night we met.
It was the silver traces in his hair, the warm smile and two words that neither of us will ever forget:
“Promises, promises”
Curiously, just as most case studies report: I too found that there was something in his eyes that made me feel as if we’d met before that made that important connection that’s gotten us this far.
My heart was sealed with what I felt with our first embrace…
I had no clue, but my soul already knew.
These were the signs.

For those of you wondering what to get me for my birthday… Michael Newton has another book out I’d like to read called “Destiny of Souls”

Thanks for Nothing!

Picturesource: Unknown
After passing my driver´s exam on the 4th of December, I´ve been patiently waiting for the temporary permit I need to drive with due to the fact that the actual driver´s licence takes 3 months to be issued.
This permit is sent to the school at which I took lessons and according to them it normally takes a week to arrive.
However due to the holiday season, it took almost a month to arrive!

After calling every day for the last month since my exam, my enthusiasm earned the promise that someone would call me the day it arrived.
And so it happened…
On Friday afternoon at 18pm someone called to me to let me know that it finally arrived and that the school closed at 19pm.

The excitement was such that my man and I got in the car and decided to drive the 100km in order to fetch it… unfortunately we caught traffic and it was 18:57 when we were just exiting the highway – basically we were about 5-10 minutes away.
I decided to call the school, to let them know that I was on my way and ask the secretary to wait for me just a few minutes.
The response I got was short and crisp:
“I´m already closing, tomorrow we open at 9am and close at 13pm”
I was so flabbergasted that I even thanked her before cutting the connection.

No one is obliged to stay beyond their working hours but would five minutes have killed her?!
If she´d refused because she was going to miss her bus, train, plane I would´ve been sad but i´d understood – I believe however that this wasn´t the case.
The bitch simply couldn´t wait five minutes!

As much as this shouldn´t surprise me – this is after all Lisbon… attitudes like these bring out the worst in me.
Today when I go pick up my permit, I´m going to take the time to write a note in the complaints book – not because of this woman´s lack of consideration… I couldn´t do that… but due to the fact that 50 minute lessons only lasted 30 minutes, due to the fact that there was never any solid orientation and even due to the fact that the CD they sold me had many incorrect answers that had to be constantly reviewed with the instructor.

You know what they say: behaviour causes behaviour.

Happy New Year!!!

Photosource: Unknown

More important than setting New Year´s goals is reviewing the year that´s gone past. I begin this by reviewing last year´s resolutions:

1. Get a driver´s licence
2. Save and finance two major holidays
3. Lose weight
4. Settle in my skin
5. Make my man Happy

I´m happy to report that achieved all my goals, including a couple of others that weren´t planned:

1. Be at my mother´s wedding
2. Step up to some professional challenges
3. Overcome an unexpected health crisis

Normally these goals are kept to myself but in order to respond to the challenge I´ve decided to publicly report my resolutions for 2009:

1. Lose some more weight (I want to lose at least one more trouser size!)
2. Save for two major investments in the home (Furniture in Madeira and an Air Conditioner)
3. I want to get a raise (I know this one doesn´t depend on my exclusively but if I don´t get one this year, I´m going to have to make big professional changes. Preferably I want to be where I am, with the challenges I´ve been given – earning more.)
4. Invest more time in writing in my blog (I feel the need to invest more time in my thoughts)
5. Organise and enjoy another intense game of spin the bottle between friends starting from the level we left off last year.
6. Make my man Happy

Someone once told me to only make attainable goals – Every year I set the goals that I know I can and will achieve… I hope next year that along with these I can add a few more achievements along the way.
All I know is if I can successfully reach all these goals – it´s going to be an awesome year!
May all your goals and dreams be attained this year!

Truth Hurts

Photosource: Unknown

Sometimes, when people try to defend you or protect you, they just manage to hurt you even more.
I sat inbetween old friends when he appeared smiling.
We hadn´t spoken in a while and the last few times that we had, the atmosphere of discomfort had been lifted.
Despite the history, we´re still friends – things might not have gone back to the way they were, but we managed to recover enough of the connection to retain the friendship.
More important than who he was, is who he is: my friend.
Upon his arrival, someone decided to come to my “rescue”
“What are you doing here?”
“You shouldn´t be here!”
“You´re the reason she left!”
“She has a real man in here life now… go away!”

Under normal circumstances, I would´ve put a stop to this kind of verbal abuse the moment it began – but I was speechless.
Every word said had been felt by my heart at some point in life…
My defender didn´t know, but it felt like he´d taken the pages of my diary and read them out loud.
I wanted to tell him to stop… but I knew that if I said one word, tears would follow.
So I didn´t… and instead sat silent and listened as my friend was crucified.
He said nothing.
He just kept on greeting the rest of the group as if it had nothing to do with him.

Every word felt like a blow to my soul.
It probably hurt me more than it hurt him.
But I didn´t ask to be “defended” or protected – if that was the case I would´ve stood up for myself.
What was once forgiven has been let go and no one has the right to bring it up all over again.
When I finally found my voice, I demanded that my “defender” stop.
“Don´t defend him when he did what he did to you!”
I tried to deny it, I tried to wave it off but my efforts just made it worse.
It´s as if I was forced to relive it all over again.
I was grateful, when finally someone took me away…

Towards the end of the night, I found my friend.
The event seemed not to have affected him and perhaps I should’ve left it at that.
But I felt that what happened wasn’t right and I felt the obligation to say something.
I apologised for what happened -
No one had the right to judge him.

I´m sorry.

If I could turn back time, if we could do it all over again - maturity tells me we should have done it differently.
But if you ask my heart, it will tell you that it would repeat it all the same…
Because it was the road I needed to take to be with the man that i´m with today.
The experience I needed to be the woman I am today.

I´ve done a lot of things in life that i´m not particularly proud of.
It´s enough that I remember each and every one of them like they happened yesterday, to need someone to remind me of them.
We are already our own harshest critics – no one needs their nose rubbed in their own mistakes and criticism is only welcome when it´s objective is positive reinforcement.
Before making judgement, ask yourself if you too are prepared to be publicly flogged for your sins.
Karma isn´t being punished for the things we do wrong – it´s what we go through in order to avoid making the same mistake twice.

More than the important than the facts is understanding and empathy.
The truth is subjective and harsh when there´s nothing you can do to change it.