Collecting disappointments, I mean, lessons!

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When you think you have a new friend they show their true colors.  I was happy that I had finally gotten a dance partner.  I had a couple of dates with him, then I felt he was playing games and decided that I was not interested in him romantically. I wrote about him in the past.  Still we decided to became friends and dance partners.

Now I realized that he was never okay with my not wanting to date him.  Last Wednesday after dance class I had agreed to go to dinner with him.  He always wants to go to dinner after class but I often decline.  This time I said yes.

At dinner he was curious to find out about my second date with this one guy I had mentioned to him.  Since we had become friends I thought it was okay to share dating stories with him.  I told him about the date and why there were probably not going to be a third date in the future.  He took that opportunity to tell that I am too hard on people.  That I don’t give men a chance.

From there he proceeded to say what a rude person I was.  He said that he couldnt wait for the classes to be over because I had been rude from day 1.  I was shocked!  For a minute I searched my brain for an instance that I could have been rude to him, and I just couldnt find.

I was so shocked with and how he was telling me that tears started running down my face. He was being so rude and harsh, I should have gotten up and walked away, instead I sat down and cried.

I asked him to tell me of a time where I had been rude and after he searched his brain for awhile he said that I would keep pushing his arm up.  I used to do that to remind him to keep his posture and he never had any problem with that.

From the first dance lesson he has been always apologetic for not keeping up and I always go out of my way to tell him that there is no problem.  That I enjoy going and getting reminded of the dance steps.  I always trying to compliment him and say he is getting better and not to show any disappointment.

For a few minutes I thought to myself: is it possible that I have been this rude and never realized

After a sleepless night I realized that I can be too honest and upfront but I have never been rude to him.  If anything I have been extra nice to him.

I wasted my money on lessons where I learned nothing because it was all focused on him learning to get to my level.

I have bought him 4 books to help him deal with his daughter and life.  I have spent hours after class talking to him, letting him vent and providing advice.  I have been nothing but supportive.  All of a sudden for him to attack me was not only shocking it was uncalled for.  He was the rude one for making me cry and not even apologizing.

After he said what he said he also said that he wants to take the last lesson (we have one left).  I said you can go ahead and take it alone.  If I have been so awful why endure one more lesson.

I told the dance instructor about it. And the first thing she asked was if he was not interested in me.  She also said that perhaps he will call and apologize, which an apology this late in the game is meaningless to me.

I think that he was interested in lessons because he wanted to date me, and since I havent changed my mind and will not change my mind he lashed out on me, on behalf of every guy I turned down before, I guess.

I accept criticism and the truth but in this case there is no truth to it.

I was hurt for a couple of days, but now I am over it.  I will not accept someone disrespecting me and talking to me in such a way.  I deserve better and in my life there is no room for poor treatment.

I am just disappointed that I thought of him as a friend.  And he was just a snake in the grass.  But I am happy that I got to find his true colors now.

Friends may fight, disagree and not see eye to eye, but friends to not go out of their way to hurt you, belittle you, and make you feel insignificant.  That is not a friend, that is an insecure person that to feel good about themselves they need to put another person down. Run. 

 

Birthdays, car choices, honesty and little embarrassments

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“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

Another birthday and a ghost’s visit!

My birthday came and went on March 28, 2017.  It was uneventful.  Cupcakes at work and that is it.  The “that is it” is not disappointment, it is just what it is.  I was going to treat myself to a massage but it was rainy and cold and I got home and got lazy.

Many of my friends didn’t remember it, and really, I am ok with that, but everyone likes to be remembered.   I forget everyone’s birthday so I never expect anyone to remember mine.

Ex, the one that was the cause of this blog starting sent me 2 emails.

He sent me a long one the day before my birthday.  And on the day he sent me a shorter one talking about how we met. Saying how grateful he was that I said yes and he and his son asked me out to lunch.  I would find it poetic if I was not so annoyed at his audacity.

Why? Why? Why?

Of course I didn’t reply and I will not ever.  It is in the past, I have forgiven and moved on.

***

To be or not to be honest

All has been quiet in the dating area.  I have had a date here and there but nothing that I thought it was worth pursuing.

The last guy that asked me on a second date I turned him down even though the first date was a lot fun.   It was days before my birthday and he even bought me a small gift at the gift shop at the Botanical Garden.

When he asked me on a second date I was honest and said he was great but that I didn’t feel there would be any romance in our future.  He never replied.

Should I have gone on a second date knowing that I had no interest in him romantically?  To me that would be deceitful.  But perhaps if I had gone on a second date it would show to him that at least I had made more of an effort.

 

I never want to waste anybody’s time under false pretenses.

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” – Noel Coward

***

Buy or Lease

I am now serious about getting a second car.  I don’t need 2 cars, but for now I don’t want to sell my 30 year old baby (560SL).  I didn’t get a second car yet because I am having trouble locating a garage or parking space to store my current car.

I think I have decided on the Honda HRV (a tad smaller than the CRV).  The other 2 cars in the running were the Subaru Cross-trek and the Jeep Renegade.  The reasons why those were the cars in the running is because I wanted a small (narrow) car that would drive well in the winter.

I can’t decide if I should buy or lease.  Psychologically I always liked the idea of owning things but this time I am thinking of leasing.

The pros for me about leasing:

  • Smaller monthly payments
  • After 3 years return and get a new one, so I don’t have to deal with repairs as a car gets old

The pros for me about buying:

  • After 3 years I don’t have to worry about returning the car and coming up with another down payment for another lease
  • At the end of 5 years or less (if that is how long I finance) the car is mine

Any advice?  Opinions?

***

To tell or not to tell?

The other day I was with a co-worker at the bagel store as a man passed by me I noticed his zipper was open and I mentioned it to him.

My co-worker, who was a male, looked embarrassed and told me that I should have not said anything.  I asked him: If your zipper was open do you want someone to tell you or not and he said no.  I, on the hand, always want someone to tell me if my zipper is open, if I have food on my teeth or any other potentially embarrassing situation.

What at about you?  Do you want someone to tell you or would you rather find out later on your own?

***

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett

 

 

Dating in the age of Google

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“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  – Meister Eckhart

I am excited about someone… and also scared.  Do you know how you have been wanting something for so long and then you get it and you start questioning if you really wanted it in the first place?

I think it is fear creeping in.  My life is good, predictable, comfortable.  My heart is right here where I can guard it.  Do I want to just hand it to someone else?  Do I want to chance it again?  Do I want to risk being cheated on, betrayed, my heart broken and my mind crippled?

I can see I already am in my “let’s find something wrong with this person”mode so that I can continue to be alone.   That involves infinite googling.  And I did. And I found. Not about him, but about a relative.  I decided to relax a bit, to take a day at a time, and not to hold him accountable for the sins of others.

We are from 2 completely different worlds, but it seems that we appreciate some of the same qualities, such as honesty and respect.  Even though I mostly have good to great dates, what made this date amazing was that immediately it was if we have been best friends forever.  Not only that, but there were sparks from the get go.

Our date was yesterday, Friday, St. Patrick’s Day.  We met at the corner of my work and from there we walked to a Korean Restaurant that was awesome.  It had a fun vibe and they had an amazing passion fruit drink.  We had so much fun there that we didn’t want the date to end.

From there we went to his apartment where dropped his bag off.  I never did that before and I don’t recommend it, but I knew this guy enough and knew I would have no issues going into his apartment.  And I didn’t.  We walked in he dropped his bag off, I went to the bathroom, and then we left.  We went to another 2 different bars/pubs and we danced and laughed.  Then he took me to the train station.  We said good bye dying to see each other again.

oh yeah, we kissed and the world seemed to stop.  I can’t wait for the second date.

“Don’t you long for something different to happen, something so exciting and new it carries you along with it like a great tide, something that lets your life blaze and burn so the whole world can see it?”  – JulietMarillier

The above was written the day following that date.  And here, a week later,  the story continues, or should I say, it ends:

After our mutual excitement to see each other he mentioned he would meet at the corner of my work like the first date unless he came up with other plans.

Then on the afternoon of the date he gave me the name of a Pub near my office to meet him.  The place was very loud and busy.  I got there 3 minutes after him and he already had a beer in his hand.  I ordered a drink, but I was thinking that we would eventually leave to go to a restaurant where we didn’t have to yell to talk to each other.

Slowly it dawned on me that this was the date.

Then he makes a point of telling me what a big lunch he had and that he will not eat anything the rest of day/night.   And I thought ours was a dinner date.

The whole vibe was off.  We managed to talk but it was not easy like the first date.

As the evening progressed I knew that was that last time I would see him.  There was a certain sorrow and sadness in that realization, mixed with relief and elation.

I am not sure what had changed, but it did. Perhaps I was already biased by what I found online about his relative (which he confirmed was true).  Perhaps it was the cheap beer and lack of food.  Perhaps because after talking more I realized that we don’t really want the same things in life and have different views about certain subjects.

Perhaps I have too many expectations, but I expected more from a guy that was dying to see me.   Specially after an amazing first date, I thought the second would be even better. I don’t mind cheap places and just meeting for a drink, but let me know that is the plan.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” – Alexander Pope

After being in this bar for over 2 hours, I had 2 small drinks and he had 6 beers.  He walked me to the train station.  We hugged good bye and he said it was an awesome date, and I said:  No it was not.  That seemed to shock him, but it shouldn’t have, after all he was there with me.

Still we have texted niceties since yesterday but that is it.  I had intentions of inviting him to go watch a friend sing tonight, but after last night it seems our worlds are farther apart then I had previously thought.

He is still a great guy, but not for me.  There wasn’t anything horrendous about his actions, and he will probably make another girl very happy. But to me the magic and chemistry was broken and I don’t think we can get it back. It is all about how a person makes you feel, and he made me feel irrelevant.

And then all of a sudden my heart is not going anywhere and I am surrounded by the comfort and safety of being alone again.

And the search continues…

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Back from the cold and into the colder

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The view from my room at the Beaver Run in Breckenridge, CO

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I have been back from my vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado for one week now, but it feels more like an old memory.  Work, family, life takes over immediately.

Before my trip I was not even sure if I was going to be able to ski due to my issues with back, hip and TOS-neck/shoulder/arm pain.  I am glad to say that I skied and took lessons 4 afternoons.

On the last day the instructor took us on blues and I could feel the fear creeping in.  When that happens I lose my form and everything starts hurting.   So later when he decided to go on harder blues I decided that was enough for me.   I just aspire to be more comfortable on skis and go at my own pace.  I really have no desire to do harder blues and blacks at this point, if that happens it happens.  It is not necessary for me to be enjoy skiing.

I love the thrill, the challenge and the freedom of skiing! So just being there on skis is amazing to me.

While there I met with couple of guys that had contacted me through an ad I placed on Craigslist.  And I must stress here that I am extremely safe when being on Craigslist.  I only communicate with people that I can ascertain that they are who they say they are.

I met 3 guys.  Went to dinner with 2 and they were perfect gentlemen.  The third one we had met in the afternoon and were supposed to go to dinner later but I decided not to go through with it as his intentions seemed very different than mine.

The only minor issue I had on the trip was the altitude sickness.  I never felt 100%.  I had some dizziness, headaches and was short of breath daily.  This will make me stay away from Colorado for awhile.

All in all my trip was a success and I was very happy I went!

***

I was back for 2 days, happy to be in my own bed, then storm Stella was making its way to NY and I had to stay in a hotel in NY City to be close to work for 2 nights.   I wasn’t planning on it so I hadn’t packed any clothes or anything.  The only store open was Duane Read, so I had to make do with what they had to sell.  So for 2 days I were men’s undershirt, men’s sock and underwear (women’s) from Duane Read.  I loved the socks.  From now on I may only buy Duane Read’s men’s socks.

***

Now that I am back I am seeing an Eastern Medicine doctor for my issues.  I have seen him twice. He did acupuncture, cupping, a few chiropractic moves and taught me an exercise to do at home.  I see some improvement.  The back and hip are doing great, the collarbone is still protruding, which I don’t expect to go back in place any time soon, and I still have the feeling of the muscles being pulled down and the numbness of the arm at night. I figure it will take time to be 100% again.

***

My dating life has been very active this past week.  I will write about it on my next post.

Everyone please have a wonderful week ahead.  No matter what life throws at you, smile and keep forgiveness and peace in your heart!

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”  – Roman Payne

No Pain, No change, No learning

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“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.” – Kahlil Gibran

After being evaluated by the doctor and doing an X-ray he determined I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).  The x-ray didn’t show any tumors but there is still the possibility I have herniated discs in my neck.  I will need a MRI to determine that, but at this point I will follow the treatment for TOS and if there is no response than I will do an MRI.

TOS is an irritation of blood vessels and muscles behind and around the clavicle bone.   TOS can happen because of injury, bad posture, repetitive movements, stress, a variety of reasons, but often times there is no specific cause.  In my case I know that stress has been a contributing factor.  I have had the pain in the neck shooting down for the past several months, ignoring it was not the best thing to do.  Were not for the bone sticking out and being noticeable I would probably just continue to be in pain and do nothing about it.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin

On Tuesday I went to the doctor for the first treatment, but as faith would have my back and hip was so painful that I chose to address that first.  During the evaluation the doctor had already mentioned that he was more concerned with my hip and back.  I have had herniated discs in back since I was 25 and for the last 4 years I have bursitis and arthritis in my right hip.

My identical twin sister has herniated discs in her neck and in the past 10 days she can barely walk because of her back.  It is interesting that, even though living countries apart, we struggle with the same ailments.  We have always had similar pains at similar times or days apart.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV

All these ailments are putting a damper on my upcoming skiing trip.  I tried to cancel it, but only got the lift tickets and the skiing lessons refunded.  The hotel and flight was non-refundable, which may turn out to be a good thing as I do need to take some time away from everything.

Not skiing is not the end of the world.  I will focus on what I can do and not what I can’t.  I am blessed to be able to take a vacation and go to a beautiful place like Breckenridge. I am not going to dare to complain about a little detail such a not being able to ski.

Today I return to the doctor for another treatment.  Since the back and hip is feeling a little better I will have him focus on the collarbone.

On a side note I went to mass yesterday.  Yes I am all proud of myself!  The sermon was about the fact that God is in control so we have nothing to worry about, and on that note I go on knowing that all is taken care of.  No worries!

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis

Joel Osteen spoke to me!

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When asked about my religion I say I am Catholic.  I had my First communion but besides that I never really went to church.  I was blessed to grow up exposed to all kinds of faiths.  I went to Baptist Bible School.  Once a week I went to Seicho-no-ie meetings.  My mother was heavily into Spiritism and would impart upon us the spiritual teachings.

Some ideas have been ingrained in me since I was a child: The idea of always doing good, helping the less fortunate, doing/ speaking/thinking no evil, the power of positive thinking, the idea of reaping what you sow, karma, etc.  I am grateful for that!  Today I am open minded and believe there is good in any religion;.  I was taught not to believe that one religion is better than the other and to see any kind of fanatical belief as bad.  It was never about the religion itself, but how I chose to behave and act that showed my faith.

Two years ago I had friends spending the weekend at my apartment.  They never miss Sunday Mass so we found a church near my home and I went with them.  Since then I try to go to mass every now and then.  I went 2 weeks ago.  This past Sunday morning at 8am I was still in bed talking to myself about going to mass.  Mass is at 9 and the church is 2 blocks from my home so I had plenty of time to go, but still I debating the idea.

Laziness, or whatever the right word is, won out.  I justified staying at home by telling myself that I don’t need to be in church to pray.  I can just stay at home and watch Joel Osteen’s Sunday sermon.  Lately I have been watching his sermons and I really enjoy them.  I find his messages always positive and uplifting.

On a side note, I mentioned to a friend that I enjoyed him and he pointed out to me that he makes millions of dollars preaching.  I said:  what does that have to do with anything?  I enjoy his message.  How much money he has and what he chooses to do with it is not for me to judge. That is between him and his God.

So I made breakfast and sat at the table and turned on Joel Osteen’s last week’s sermon.  I am always one week behind watching his TV show.

He started speaking and I couldn’t believe my ears.  The message was to me.  The sermon was called: Better Together.

The main idea was the importance of attending a religious service, but I got more than that.  We can pray at home but there is an extra benefit to going to church.  We benefit from being in a community.  Going to a service is not only what it give us but what we give to it, and to others.

The combination of faithful together heals each other.  It recharges us for the week ahead.  Going to church is not because we need something,  we are in pain, we are needy.  Going to church is to give thanks, is to honor a Higher power.   To go to church is to help others, is to lend strength, to emanate positive energy, to bring an uplifting smile, to combine faith, to share your presence with others.

“When 2 or 3 are gathered in the name of Jesus, God is in the midst.”

Joel Osteen was taking about going to a religious service, but the message rang through further than that.  It meant a whole way of looking at my life. The message to me is that we don’t have to do life alone.

I learned early on not to wait for others to do anything I want to do.  I learned not to wait for anyone’s help.  I learned to love being self sufficient, and alone.

I am a loner. I don’t feel lonely, I just value solitude.  I go out with friends and on dates but I love getting back to my quiet dark apartment.  Everywhere I go I cannot wait to get back home.  Even vacations that I love, after a few days I want to go home.

I do online dating not only to look for a partner, but to force myself to dress up and get out of the house. Even great dates have me wanting to go home.

This week alone I met 2 great guys: Without giving too many details, the first one is an adventure writer.  He has lived, and continues to live an amazing life.  He has so many stories to tell.  The second is an international attorney that happens to be the attorney for one of the biggest Brazilian singers.  He took me to an amazing restaurant.  We were actually the last ones to leave the place.  But here is what these 2 dates had in common besides being great: Once I realized how great they were,  I spent the whole time looking for reasons not to see them again.  I wanted them to fail in some way so that I could go back to being alone.

At this point I realize I need to step it up.   I have to pick a guy and date for more than a couple of weeks, and not spend the time looking for flaws.   But I need to do more, make more of an effort to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.  Perhaps church is the beginning.

Life is best when is tempered with things that we must do with things we want do.  Doing only what I want is great, feels indulgent, but it is not the path for the great future that awaits me.

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”  – Vincent Van Gogh

Ignoring pain until a bone stares you in the face.

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I have had back issues (herniated disk, sciatic pain) forever,  and hip pain (a tear, bursitis and arthritis) for the past 4 years.  The last pain that showed up is a pain in my neck that shoots down my arm.  I have a high tolerance for pain so I have been ignoring this pain for almost a year.  My sister has had the same pain for the past 7 years, only getting better after she visited an osteopathic doctor.

Last week in dance class my arm was so painful it was hard to hold position. Even though my partner was holding my arm up it was still painful.  This week in class I looked in the mirror and realized that my collarbone was really visible, I thought it was odd since I didn’t really lose weight.  Since I was in class the thought just came and went.   The following evening after I showered I looked in the mirror and realized that my right collarbone is 3 times larger than the left one.  I panicked.

Immediately I started Googling and, of course, thoughts of tumors and cancer came into my mind making me totally paranoid.  In my mind I am already canceling my skiing trip that is less than 2 weeks away.

On Friday I searched for a doctor.  I called a Orthopedic surgeon but was told that I need to go to a spine doctor first.  My first choice for a spine doctor didn’t take my insurance, my second choice didn’t have an opening until April. Finally I was able to make an appointment with one for Tuesday.  He had awful reviews but I figure I need to see someone asap.

In the meantime I was reminded that we have a Physical Therapy business right in the building I work at.  So I decided to stop by and ask them for a referral for a doctor.  I got there and ended up speaking to a chiropractor/sports medicine doctor. I immediately felt at easy with him.  I canceled the doctor I had on Tuesday and made an appointment with him for Monday for a full evaluation.

Many people I speak with disagree with me and tell me I should see a “real doctor”.  But I am confident in my decision. I feel the whole right side of my body is broken so I like the idea that a doctor will look at my whole body and not just the separate parts.  I can always re-schedule with a “real doctor” later.

Also,  I was very disappointed with the treatment I got for my hip.  After all kinds of tests, MRIs, cortisone shot and physical therapy, the moment that I attempted to take one tennis lesson the pain came back as if had never left.

The protruding clavicle bone is not terrifying me anymore and I am hoping it has only shifted and it didn’t really grow.  But we shall see what the verdict is tomorrow. I decided not to worry until I have to worry.

In the meantime this is a wake up call for me.   I put everyone’s needs before my own. I never want to spend the time or money to take care of myself and that attitude is just dumb.  I have to stop ignoring my body.  I have to get serious about maintaining my weight, taking my vitamins, doing my morning stretches, getting yearly physicals, etc.

“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise” – Steve Maraboli

*****

 

Meet me in Colorado!

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winter_brecktown_mi

“It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.” – Hermann Hesse

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t sure what to do with an offer I had received.  A guy I met on Match is going skiing in Big Sky at the end of the month.  He said his hotel room had 2 beds and he offered me one as a friend.  I was really tempted but in the end I just couldn’t accept it.

I met him in person and we are still exchanging messages and phone calls as friends.  He lives 2 hours away and there wasn’t chemistry enough to bridge that distance for me.  He seems like a great person and adores skiing.

It would have been 7 days with someone I barely know.  It could turn out to be an amazing experience, getting to know someone and getting skiing tips.  But It could turn out unpleasant, uncomfortable, and perhaps even dangerous.

Some may think I sometimes over-think things, but why take a chance of being in a hotel room with somebody I barely know?  I guess I will always err on the side of safety.

I am all about taking chances and expecting miracles, but I also believe in making sure I am doing my part in being safe.  I like to jump and try to fly but all the while having a firm footing.

I very much believe in taking chances and getting out of my comfort zone  but when it involves other people then I have to take a step back, as I never know what people have in their minds and what is their agenda.

“We are our choices.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

I guess I take measured chances.  I research, I process, I take the pros and cons into account and in the end I decide using both my heart and mind.

Big sky will have to wait.  I told him exactly how I feel and even though he didn’t understand it, I am glad that he didn’t try changing my mind.

Since skipping my skiing vacation is not acceptable, I impulsively yet carefully chose a destination.  I have this baseless fear that if I skip skiing one year skiing will be forever over for me.  I am new at it and still struggle and need all the miles on skis I can get.

The chosen destination is Breckenridge, CO.  I chose Breckenridge because of easier access from the Denver airport.

I am going to be there the first week of March.

If you either live there, or will be there at the same time, how about a drink or bite to eat?  I always vacation alone and have no trouble doing that, but lately I miss someone at dinner time.  Food time is more fun when it is shared.

Say hi and let’s meet up!

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Songs and Memories

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“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde

This morning I walked into a coffee shop and I heard the voice of Ray LaMontagne.  He was singing “Hold You In My Arms”.  That sound hit me in the face and AL immediately came to mind.

A couple of weeks ago I would been sad, cry, and probably leave the shop without buying anything.

But not today.  I stopped and took in the moment.  I paused realizing the beauty of memories.  How blessed we are to have them!  As the memories awash over me I feel everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.

There is no sadness and no longer doubt when I think of him.  He was a friend, he is still, in a way, but he no longer plays a role in my life. He is in the past.  He is the past.

Prior to meeting AL I had never heard of Ray LaMontagne.  Of course I had seen the Travelers Insurance commercial (the one with the dog and the bone with the song “Trouble”) but I thought that was a just a commercial jingle and not an actual song.

One evening AL mentioned his name and we checked it online and it was the first time I heard him singing anything other than “Trouble”.

As faith would have, weeks later I found out he was playing a concert not far from my home and I surprised AL with tickets. We had an amazing time.

Memories such as these makes me think of all the marks everyone leaves on our lives.  Everyone leaves something of them behind. Perhaps they introduce us to new interests, or they present us with challenges and new opportunities.   Sometimes they come to teach us a valuable lesson.   They makes us think, laugh, love and sometimes cry.  And always they leave memories, good and bad.

Oftentimes we don’t want people to leave.  We don’t want things to change.  But the only way we grow and become who we are really meant to be is with changes, with discomfort.  Allowing people to come and go when it is time is part of accepting our future..

Not everyone is meant to stay.  We need to allow the wrong people, the people that perhaps felt right at one point but that no longer is nourishing our souls to leave to make room for the right ones to come.

AL left a lot of memories that I will cherish forever or until I remember, as memories do fade with time.  Whenever they come to the surface I send him good thoughts and wishes.  It is my sincerest wish that he is happy but I don’t need to know about it.

And since I am on Al’s memory lane, here is another song that never fails to bring him to mind.  He sang to me one night.  Well it was not really to me, but it was only he and I and he was singing.  I think that counts 😉

 

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  From an Irish headstone”  – Richard Puz

 

I am afraid!

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Talking politics is something I avoid at all costs, but I cannot be silent about my feelings.  This opinion is based on my experience of being a woman and an immigrant.  I don’t expect people to agree or disagree, but I hope that people can respect it.

Right now I am afraid! I am afraid for me.  I am afraid for the future of the USA.  I am afraid for the world.

I am afraid of the President of the United States of America! This is one thing I thought I would never say.

Please step into my shoes for a moment.

Growing up in Brazil, I, and every other Brazilian saw the US, as this incredible, amazing land.  It was paradise, a dream.  The land of the free and of opportunities.  A land where everything is modern and brand new and anything is possible.  A place where there is crime but there is punishment too.  A place where things work well, lines moves, good work gets rewarded.

Now, when I speak to my family and friends still living in Brazil, they express confusion and concern.  They feel a war is brewing, they fear what it is to come.

I was a dreamy and naive 17 years old when I arrived in the US.  Even though I was supposed to stay a short time I am still here (I have been here now for 33 years).  The US is now my chosen home.

I worked as a live-in nanny, well just saying nanny makes it seem that all I did was take care of a child, which is hard work as it is, but I did much more.  I did everything, I cooked, I cleaned, took care of the kids, grocery shopped, anything that was needed in the home I did.  The days were long and at the end of day I would stay up and pour over grammar and vocabulary books.

Nothing was easy or handed free to me.  I was willing to work hard.  I knew that with hard work I could have anything I wanted.  Unlike in Brazil,  where hard work is seldom rewarded.

Eventually I went to school in the evening and learned English in ESL classes.  Then I attended  college in the evenings and on weekends while working various jobs to pay for it.   I graduated with honors and student loans (which have been paid off a long time ago).

I never the typical college experience.  I was never a typical teenager.  Everything was about work and school.  And it was choice to have led such a life.  A choice that today I wear with pride.  Every step was difficult but so well worth!  So celebrated!

I never collected a single day of unemployment or welfare. That is not to say that I don’t agree with people collecting it.  I think that everyone that needs that extra help should use for as long it is available and necessary.  I just want to illustrate that there is another side to immigration.  Not everyone is here illegally and abusing government programs.   Immigrants can be assets.  I am a valuable asset.  I pay more taxes than all my american born friends.  And yet at this point in time I feel picked on.

But even if someone is here illegally, as I was for a few years until my papers were finally approved and I received a green card, they deserve respect as human beings.  That is what we all are.  All humans beings fighting for the same thing:  a better future for our families.  We are all just trying to keep our head above water.  We breath the same air and all aspire love and happiness.

I am in favor of screening people and making sure the country is safe.  I am in favor of protecting borders (but not in favor of a wall).  I think we need an amnesty to legalize undocumented aliens that are already living here for many many years working and raising their families.  I know people that have been here over 20 years undocumented. Legalizing them, making them count and accountable would generate a huge amount in taxes. It would stop many employers from paying their employees under the table.

I don’t have all the answers.  Actually I don’t have any answers.  I have ideas, I have wants, I have choices, I have freedoms, and I want to continue having them.  I choose love and respect always.  For me and for others.  One of my wish for Trump is to choose love and respect.

I, never, in my 32 years here feared the President.  Now I do.  I think we all should.  Too much autonomy and a huge ego is not a good combination.  His actions seem to be more vindictive and vengeful and intent on proving his might than being for the betterment of the country and the population.

When Trump starts picking on segments of people, and banning countries in general I get scared.  When Trump blocks people that have legally applied and waited for years to enter the US and sends them back without any regard to the hardships they have encountered to make such journey something is wrong and needs to be looked at.  We all lose.

My sister has been waiting for her green card for the past 12 years.  Her number has finally reached the front of the line and she should be able to enter the country in a few months.  Of course Brazil is not on the banned list, so many would say I have nothing to worry about it, but still I worry.  She will be another green card holder and perhaps at the mercy of the president’s mood and decision.  What if Zika was still making headlights?

With a moody president that thinks he can do what he pleases no one is safe. I don’t put anything past Trump, and that is what is scary.  This free reign, this ruling with a heavy hand.

When we start generalizing and dividing segments of the population we all lose.  We all as human beings start losing our freedoms. Little by little we have less rights.  Little by little our neighbors become our enemies.  Little by little is okay to discriminate people.  It is divisive!  It gives bullies the green light to do whatever they please.  He is a school bully that has just been handed the keys to the entire school.

Trump running for president: What a funny joke it was. haha look at his ego, like he could ever win.

Then he won!

We fell asleep at the wheel. We let things cloud our vision and all of a sudden here he is: The President of the United States of America. The highest seat in the world. How? Why?  What now?

I am a patriot, I am an eternal hopeful.  I am willing to give him a chance but I am scared.  In fact I am terrified.

Still I firmly believe that with great tragedies come great miracles.  I believe in the power of God, I believe in the goodness of people, I believe in love.

Everything I have I owe to this country, and that I never forget!

I wanted with this post illustrate my feelings and perhaps present a different perspective from someone with a different background.  In the end we all want the same: have our voices heard, our work appreciated, our families safe, our rights respected and our freedoms intact.

If you voted for Trump I understand your frustration, but don’t let that dictate your life.

Love and blessings to all no matter what!

(I am not going to re-read this otherwise I will never publish, but in doing so there will be typos and mistake so please forgive me.)