Monday, September 24, 2012

We are all infinite

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.

The perks of being a wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The book of simples

When I was about twelve or thirteen and about to enter another special level of a complicated existence (those first steps into womanhood) my dad - the ever so blunt person that he is - offered me a book about making daily life simpler. Now this book (whose title in English completely eludes me) became a bible to me. I devoured it page after page, again and again. I underlined it and memorised entire sections of it. It had all sorts of cute little ideas to save money and time and appreciate all the blessings in your life, big and small. And to me, prisoner of my own age, it was like looking through a window into my future life, into all the neat ideas I could incorporate into my mature and independent life (once I had one, that is!). I dreamed of following most of the book's suggestions, as soon as I could manage. All of this - it goes without saying - helped me envision a very wise and practical and independent future me (whom I still waiting to become...) and it became a sort of security blanket. It was alright if something happened to make me cry because I had my book and in the future - in a time when life would truly be my own - I would be that person. As soon as I could have my own place the book would be the first thing to be packed. Or so I thought.

Now, more than a year after I've moved in, I've thought about the book for the very first time in a few years. It wasn't the first thing to be packed nor was it even on the second wave of possessions to arrive chez nous. In fact, it's still in my old bedroom in the country I've left behind. And it amazes me that it never even crossed my mind to bring it. I guess I don't really need it anymore. Because I have new ideas and tips of my own and I have someone else to share everything with. I can still be the person who has a box of tissues full of carrier bags in the car or the person who fills the sink with steaming hot water when entertaining (so that the dirty dishes and pots and pans become easier to clean afterwards) and I still want to bring the book over, it's just not my bible anymore. I'm grateful for what it meant for me (a liferaft to keep me from drowing in the sea of my own despair and misery) but I'm also glad that I didn't even think of it during the whole moving in process (and Lord knows there was loads of time for it to pop into my head... over a year of it, in fact!). And maybe I'm closer to the person I've been wanting (and waiting) to become for such a long, long time. And ain't that a happy thought?

Friday, September 07, 2012

One year and good things in store!

Exactly 15 days ago I celebrated my first year since I moved to the UK. As such an important milestone approached (the first of many anniversaries in the UK, or so I hope) I began to look back at the past year and I'm glad to say I'm proud of what I accomplished. True, I could've done a lot more - as indeed I had planned to - but that's the thing about life; you plan and you plan and you plan and sometimes when it's time to actually start living you realize that your carefully laid out plans simply don't apply anymore. You think of all the things you want to accomplish and then you open the door to the outside world and life kicks you in the nuts. I didn't fully realize the impact that being a foreigner would have on me. I thought I would get over it faster. I thought it wouldn't matter that much if I couldn't see in the sun for a few days. I didn't realize my own brother wouldn't recognize me when I finally went back to Portugal. I gathered recipes for weeks before I first left and it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't be able to make them here for lack of certain ingredients. And so it was that even though I had been preparing for the big move for a year I was caught off guard.

And now a year has gone by and even though I'm not exactly where I started, I'm also not as further along as I wanted to be. And that's fine. I needed more time and I'm at peace with it. And now that I'm back I intend to speed up to cruising speed and get on with my future. I've made my resolutions for my second year as a UK resident and I intend to do my best to make every single one of them come true (or as many as I can). I'm on my way to finding a job, even if it's not the dream job yet. I'm losing weight (at long last). And as soon as that can be granted then heaps of other good things will follow. In the meantime I'm finally taking some pleasure in my yoga practices and I've been doing some different readings that have allowed me to have this sort of yogic peacefulness and mindfulness about my life and future. I think I'm somewhere in a pre-bliss state. And I think I'd like to find out more about it. Anyway, folks, good things ahead!