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.)

 

A real friend knows when it is time to let go of the friendship

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“It takes wisdom to know when to turn the page and courage to know when to close the book. Steve Maraboli

There is a certain inner peace that washes over you the moment you realize you have made the right choice…about anything… about romance, business, family, etc.

That is how I feel at this moment.  At peace with my decision.  Peace came the moment I valued and respected myself.  I am talking about my friend AL (from 2 posts ago).  When I think of him now, about his silence, respecting my wishes; and about my silence remaining strong and not contacting him it just feels right.  Of course there are still moments of missing, longing, and wishing for things to be back to the way they were before.  The choice is hard and painful and I have to keep working on it daily but knowing in my heart it is the right decision changes everything.   At this moment I feel that things are exactly the way they are supposed to be, all is right in my world.

I know he will contact me again, but I also know that I will not respond.  For my sake as well as his.  Letting this friendship die this slow peaceful death is the right thing for me, for us, for everyone involved. I dare say that at this moment I am being a real friend.

I remember my Mom saying that for a cut to heal you have to stop touching it and let it be.  Same thing here.  I need to stop touching it and this is what I have done to help me achieve that:

  • I needed to stop looking at pictures.  I deleted them all.
  • I needed to stop re-reading messages.  All emails and texts deleted. There were almost 5 years worth of emails and to read some of them now was painful and it took all my strength not to keep them.
  • I needed to stop waiting for his texts/phone calls.  I blocked his number, so now even if he calls I don’t see it.  I even removed him from my LinkedIn Network.
  • I needed to stop thinking of him.  This is definetly the right one, but when he does come to mind, I think of him with gratitude and let the memory fade away.  I know that they will eventually stop.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

It takes courage to walk away, it takes courage to be silent…It would be so much easier to reach out or to reply…to just continue as if nothing happened.  I miss the banter, I miss his face, I miss his accent, I miss the pictures he used to send.  I miss it all.

The easier and more fun road would be to continue as is, flirting non-stop, having a drink every now and then and ignoring the huge elephant in the room – his fiancee.  But since when did I start taking the easy road?  Since when is the easy road ever worth taking?

He cares about me, that I have no doubt, but his actions are not saying that.  His actions towards the fiancee feels even worst.  I don’t condone it and I don’t want to be a part of it.  I can’t continue going along with something just because I care about the person.  Love doesn’t excuse or justify bad behavior.   It was foggy before when I was in the middle of it, now that some time and distance has gone by I see his actions clear.  It stinks!

I realized I was not respecting myself when I was allowing myself to be in a situation that does not make me feel valued as a friend, a woman and as a person.  I was enjoying the attention, but is that all I crave?  If I am not treating and giving myself respect, how can I expect it from others?

Truth is, similar to romantic relationships, sometimes friendships do have to come to an end.  It is hard, painful, but necessary.  We can’t start to heal until we let it go completely.

In 2017 I decided to surround myself with good energy and get rid of everything, people included, that is in the way of that.  Letting AL go is a good start.

At this moment I say a silent prayer thanking him for his short, but meaningful presence in my life.  From my every being I wish him nothing but absolute happiness and contentment.  He taught me love, friendship, non-judgment and open-mindedness.  He came at the right time.  He didn’t know that, but he picked me up when thoughts of my ex left me drowning in my tears.  He also taught me self respect and self love and in learning that I have to let him go, or is it in letting him go I learned self respect and self love? A lesson learned through him all the same.  He came for a reason and left for a reason.

This friendship was never meant to be forever.  The best lesson for me here is to make peace with the fact that some things are transient. I have to be okay with goodbyes to be able to truly enjoy the hellos!

Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. – Rumi

 

And the dating continues…

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It has been a little awhile since I have been here so I am about to catch you up on my dating life, but here is what else is going on:

  • Car doubts.  After many car issues, I finally decided I need to get another car.  I am still keeping my 30 year old baby (560SL) but it is about time to get a car that fits more than 2 people and it is good in the winter.  I am not sure if I should buy or lease? I hardly do any driving so I am leaning towards lease.  Any opinions?
  • Tenants/Buildings issues.  I need to learn to not stress over minor maintenance issues. Any time I see the superintendent’s number when my phone rings my heart sinks as I know he is going to mention some problem.   I  need to decide what to do in July when the lease is up.  Do I just sell it or keep it longer? I have time to decide…
  • After 32 years of living apart my identical twin sister and I will have to learn to live together again.  She will be coming to live in USA in the next few months and she will stay with me until she gets settled, a job, etc.  It will be interesting for sure. We would die for each other but after 5 minutes together we are already bickering.
  • Work remains a blessing even though there are some crazy egos and situations I have to navigate through. It makes me stronger and wiser.

Now on to dating:

Regarding the 2 guys I mentioned on this post:  https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2016/12/24/from-feast-to-famine-in-48-hours/

The counselor: After we had those disagreements we started talking again and now we are not only good friends but we are dance partners.  We are taking private Salsa dance lessons together.  We bought a package of 10 lessons.  It has been a lot fun.  He is so funny.

I explained I am no longer interested in romance and he respects that.  We are planning to go to dance clubs once our dancing improves, well mostly his.  I am Brazilian so moving my hips is easy. For him it has been a little more difficult.  But he has so much enthusiasm that it makes up for the lack of rhythm.

The Pharmacist: We started talking again after that day.  And for a second it looked like we could become friends.

One Sunday he asked me what I was going to do that evening and when I said that I was going out to dinner with a friend he volunteered to come with us and pay for dinner. I agreed.

Then he said  he was going to come up to my apartment and watch me get ready.  When I said that it was not going to happen, he said he would sit and wait in the living room.  Again I said: It is not going to happen.  He got upset that he would have to wait outside my apartment and said he was not coming anymore.  I said ok and we haven’t spoken since.

I hate when guys assume that after meeting me once or a couple of times that I am ready to invite them to my apartment.  There is no right time, but it is on my time not on theirs.

***

The construction worker:  I haven’t mentioned him before and I would probably not mention him other for the fact that he invited me to go skiing with him in Big Sky, Montana.  He has a hotel room with 2 beds.  It is very tempting and I even reserved a flight.  United lets you reserve the rate for one week.  I have to decide by tomorrow.  I am dying to go there. I am dying to go skiing.  But, I don’t want to put myself in an uncomfortable situation.  Even though he agrees this would be just friends, I barely know him.  I am so conflicted!!!

***

Online dating can get tiring and frustrating.  It is full of users, losers, jerks and fakes, but among all of that there are still some good guys there.  I have managed to meet some of them.  As always be careful when online dating.  Safety first!

I have met men from all walks of life.  I met computer software designers, all kinds of salesmen, financial guys from banking, insurance, etc, construction workers, lawyers, doctors, musicians,  teachers, etc.   I am thankful for online dating for making it possible for me to meet different people.

The last few dates I had:

  • A businessman in the denim business. I was already picturing all the free jeans I would get 🙂 The date was okay. We spent the whole time talking about online dating. Any time that is the topic of conversation it is a sign things are not going to work. We had only drinks. Yes, he was cheap lol
  • A Retired lawyer that occupies himself with some kind of electronics components distribution. We had dinner at a great restaurant. He seemed excited about me but I am not sure about him. I don’t think it will go anywhere. Funny fact, well funny for me, his children are in boarding school.  I had never met anyone that had kids in boarding school.
  • A South American food importer.  A very nice guy, but every time he spoke he touched my knee.  I know it is the South American familiar way but I didn’t care for that.  Also it was hard to understand him and my Spanish is not great.  I am a talker, so conversation is a big deal for me.  It is not going anywhere.
  • A restaurant owner that was just a bit too old for me.  He is 64.  I am not ageist but it didn’t seem he could keep up with me and I don’t have dreams of retiring in Florida.  Nothing against Florida either.

This week and weekend I have a friend from Brazil staying with me so there was no dates, but next week there will be 3.  Stay tuned, if anything interesting happens you will be the first to know.

You are awesome!  The sooner you realize that the better.  Breath, be happy, be positive, eat chocolate, life is great, no need to stress, everything passes!

Wishing you all a blessed weekend! 🙂

“Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!” – Steve Maraboli

I may have lost a friend when I gained a conscience

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” – Elbert Hubbard

On Christmas Day I lost my best friend.  He got engaged! I know nothing needs to change but everything already did.

Let me explain:

We have known each other for over 5 years now. While this is not a crazy amount of time, in that time we managed to cultivate a very close relationship.  We have a relationship that is completely non-judgmental and honest. We both feel safe with each other to share everything.  So I tell him about my dates and he tells me about his work, daughter and life in general.

I have other friends, but he is actually the one that I tell everything, and that is hard for me to lose.

We dated briefly in the beginning and very soon realized that the age difference (16 years) would be too much to circumvent.   After a couple of months apart we drifted back to each other and managed to become just friends (without benefits).

Our chemistry is undeniably there but other than one tryst ages ago we have remained platonic.   We can never find a convenient time to meet for a drink, so we mostly text with some emails and phone calls in between. The texting has been constant, and so has the flirting.

At one point I did toy with the idea of friends with benefits with him since we have great chemistry but, first, I don’t think I am a “friends with benefits” type of girl and second by the time I was really considering it he had gotten a girlfriend.  The texting, flirting and friendship continued.   The fact that he had a girlfriend never bothered me and I never felt I was doing anything wrong.  I did feel that it would end the day when I got a boyfriend.

It bothered me that he never introduced his girlfriend to me.  He always said he was going to but somehow it never managed to happen, and after awhile I think I knew he never would, and I chose not to care.

“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…” – Pema Chodron

Things changed to me the day after he got engaged. I was aware that he was getting engaged, he showed me the ring and I was happy and excited for him.   The next day we were talking excitedly about his engagement and then the next moment the talk turned to sexual innuendos, just like old times, yet not so old. This time it didn’t feel right. It felt dirty.  I told him we needed to take a break.   He thought I was joking.

While I enjoy the friendship and already miss it, I don’t want to be a hidden friend, a secret.  I realize that he never mentioned me to her, and to mention me at this point may see weird and suspicious.

I would not want my fiancé (if I had one) flirting with a girl. I have been cheated on, I know the pain. How can I cause that on somebody else?  But am I really causing any pain?

He has texted  a few times since then and I haven’t replied, even though it has ben extremely hard to ignore him.  I don’t know what to do. Do I resume speaking to a friend that I care about and accept this friendship as is; or do I continue the silence until he never contacts me again?

I am very conflicted about this. I care for him and it hurts not to have him in my life.  But can we resume talking and never flirt again?  I have a lot of respect for him and yet I don’t respect his actions.  He is serious about this person so he shouldn’t be flirting with anybody else.

What is to be a friend?  It is to accept them completely and make no demands?  It is still loving them even though you don’t accept their actions?  Or is making them accountable and showing them the error of their ways?

“Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.”- Osho

Then again who made me judge and jury?

What is my problem?

  1. Am I jealous of him getting married? I don’t think so.. I could be married by now if I really wanted to.

2) Am I mad he never introduce me to the girlfriend? perhaps.  Why is he hiding me? To be a secret feels dirty, although I do agree it is a bit exciting also.

3) Am I disappointed in myself for flirting with someone that has a girlfriend and considering continuing on? Yes I guess I am.  I don’t have to flirt back.  I can just say we will not continue this line of conversation and he would not do it.  Yet every time he starts I am totally join in.

4) Perhaps I like the flirting when he was “available” and now that he is not I just feel that I am flirting with disaster.

I told a male friend about this situation and he thinks I am making a bid deal out of nothing.  He says that if I enjoy the friendship I should continue and not worry about it.  That is on him to think about his fiancee.  I am tempted.

But for now I am putting in a bit of time and space between us and we will see what happens.  At the end of the day he is not the problem at all.  It is me, I don’t trust myself!

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.” And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed. – Kahlil Gibran