Friday, August 31, 2012

Same meerkat here

Before deciding to move to the UK I used to dance a lot. And sing a lot. And go out a lot. And two years later it all seems like a lifetime ago. People sometimes look at me funny and ask me why have I stopped doing all those things and say I've become a different person. I beg to differ.

To my great joy (and sometimes misfortune) I have been blessed with an eclectic taste, such as it's impossible to feed appropriately with just 24 hour days. This means that I juggle as many hobbies as I can with whatever amount of free time that I have. During my BA I could have it all, granted that I only saved six hours for sleep each night. During my MA I had to drop most of the dance classes and stop going out altogether or risk failing my exams. And now I've moved to a foreign country.

Right now I'm focusing on gathering everything that I need to succeed professionally and as an emigrant. Until I'm satistied on that respect I have no intention of indulging in dancing or singing. Because I won't settle for what I can scrape by right now. Dancing and singing are my fix and if I can't devote myself as I want to now then I'd rather not have it at all and restart in a few years.

And as I mentioned earlier, I don't exactly lack hobbies, so I'm still very entertained. I've devoted most of last year to my love of cinema and my passion for books. Also I've been doing something I've always wanted to but never had a partner for: card games and board games. And I'm loving it. Also there's still the novelty of having our own place, so all in all I feel pretty busy!

I don't think of myself as a different person (that is if you subtract all the madness that comes with being abroad), I'm just trying to adjust to my new country and trying to settle as best I can. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in life you simply can't have everything and if I can't (or rather won't) have my fix and my old hobbies, then I'll choose to be glad for all the other hobbies and things that I can have. And isn't that the wisest, healthiest approach?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Leaving things behind

Being abroad for so long it's to be expected that whenever I come back to Portugal I stock up on things I don't have in my adopted country. In my case Portuguese books, Portuguese movies, Disney movies (because a bunch of them are childhood classics that I watched ferverously in Portuguese), Portuguese cds and some dry goods, such as certain types of stock, cookies or tea. And then there's also my stuff from my old bedroom. Oh and presents given by friends and family. Now, after an entire month back in the old country it's almost time to go back. And with only three days left I'm starting to think about all the things I can (and will have to) leave behind. From all the movies and books and knick-knacks I purchased or was given what is the priority and what can be left on the old shelves. And even though that's not an easy exercise for me, I'm glad to report that I am getting better. Of course when I first weigh my suitcase the next results may prove to be wildly different, but that's another story. Stay tuned, everyone!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A dream not yet come true

Young women like me have a very similar dream - to have a house of our own (whether to let or buy) that we can decorate to our heart's content. A house spells independence, it means you're living your life on your terms (and budget) and that at the end of the day you have a place to come home to, a place that is yours, that reflects your life style, that is your niche. And it's so heart-warming to see it slowing becoming a functional place and - more importantly - your place. Your furniture, your appliances, your stuff and then all the hundreds of things one has to buy to have a house up and running. To choose the plates, the glasses, the pillows, the shower curtain, the cutlery, the lamps, the duvet cover, the tea towels, etc, etc. Last night I had dinner at a friend's new place. It's only about a third done, but you can already see it's going to look absolutely amazing once she's finished decorating it. And I felt a pang of envy. And I'm ashamed to say I looked back at our place and felt sad it's not as cute and girly and tidy and pretty as I had imagined my own place would be. But then again, if I were to look closer into what my life has turned out to be, I'd see that I'm not meant to have that yet anyway. I have been abroad for only a year, I'm fairly new at my job and I barely have the means to live in a shared place with my boyfriend, let alone start thinking about having my own place and going insane with decorating it until there's nothing left of my savings. With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work in a couple years I'll hopefully be in a position to actively think about getting our own place (where we don't have to have some of the landlord's stuff mingled with ours). Then I'll go bananas with all the cute little things I mentioned in the beginning of the post. In the meantime what I do have is a roof over my head and a boyfriend that I love immensely and who keeps piling his books on the floor to free space on the shelves for my books. And what more can a girl want?