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“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Marcel Proust

Busy and Exhausted! That is my status.  Happy too, of course, always happy!   My brother and his girlfriend arrived from Brazil on Friday to spend 20 days.  This is their first time here and they don’t speak a word of English so they rely on me for everything.  On Saturday we went to Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets.  They loved it.  Things such as brand name tennis shoes are very expensive in Brazil so when Brazilians get here they go crazy with the prices and variety of styles.  On Sunday we went to the Statue of Liberty and to the One World Trade Center.  I have never been to either one so it was a great experience.  Being an immigrant myself the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island have an even greater meaning.  At the September 11 Memorial it was profoundly sad to see the names of people I knew personally.  It reminds me to tell people how much they mean to me when I have a chance to because the next moment is never a guarantee.  I will write a future post on 9/11.

There will be much more sightseeing and shopping in store in the next 2 weeks.  Tonight we are going to see The Phantom of The Opera.  This weekend we will probably visit the Museum of Natural History and Central Park, or perhaps we will go to Washington, DC, we are still deciding.  Well I am still deciding.

I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my brother.  I see him every time I go to Brazil but normally he is not the center of attention, it is all either about my Dad, Mom or my twin sister. At any rate it looks like it will not happen here either.  The girlfriend doesn’t leave his side for 5 seconds.  Even to take pictures, it is a tad annoying at times.

***

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” ― Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni

Last weekend I got a call from a cousin that had come to the US to take care of some business here.  I knew he was coming but was told that he was going to stay with friends.  He called me to say hello and he seemed unsure of where he was going to stay so I offered for him to stay at my apartment.  He was supposed to travel back to Brazil on the day that my brother was arriving so it seemed perfect.

It turned out that he had to stay longer.  When I realized that I was going to have 3 people in my apartment I started stressing out.  I started missing my solitude, my privacy, my organized environment.  Then I decided to relax, embrace the uncertainty and go with the flow.  It is amazing that when you just surrender and go with the flow the Universe just takes care of everything and all just works out.

It turned out that having my cousin here this week was a blessing in disguise.  I have been able to work the entire week while my cousin takes them around.  My car is only a 2-seater, so I was stressing out about transportation but for this week I didn’t need to worry about that.

Last night I took everyone to a Japanese Steakhouse to thank him for his help.  Everyone loved it!

“To be happy, make others happy.” ― Stephen Richards

***

An Update on Mr. Almost Perfect for Me (the guy from the last 2 posts)

To recap: I texted him and he replied saying that he was going to call me in the next couple of days.  The following evening he called.  I didn’t see the missed call until much later.  Honestly I am not sure if had I seen the call I would have picked it up.  He left a message saying:  Hi It is ____ I hope you are well, I Just called to say hi.

I didn’t call back, but today, a week later, I changed my mind and sent a quick text saying that I had gotten his message.  We exchanged a few pleasant texts.  I am keeping the lines of communications open.

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw

I don’t foresee any romance as I am not interested in that anymore (with him).  The moment he was silent it seemed that the magic was broken.   I felt disrespected.  I felt I deserved the courtesy of communication.  I know that feelings sometimes betray us and sometimes they are not even factual but until I learn to ignore my feelings that is what I am going by.   They say “it is not what happens to us but how we deal with it”, I believe that a lot times is not what happens to us but how we feel about it.  So I need to look inwards and find the reason why I feel the way I feel sometimes.  I do go overboard sometimes.

Still I see progress.  I realized the need to keep all my feelings in check.  I need to continue to exercise “non-reaction” – take some time to think before reacting.  I am finding a middle ground.  I am loving and respecting myself not to bend backwards to please someone anymore while also not being so hard and shortsighted as to shut somebody down without giving them and myself a fair chance.  I am willing to be his friends, to listen and to learn.  How I felt about how intelligent and inspiring he is hasn’t changed even if I didn’t agree with his attitude.  I am not perfect either, and that is why I am still here, to learn, to get better, to fall, to get up, to try again.

I am also being more aware of my behavior, feelings and expectations.  The moment I saw someone with, what I thought were, the same exact ideas I have about life I immediately started seeing a future with that person…to much too soon…too many expectations.  No matter how many times I try to tell myself I have no expectations I do have them and of course they often lead to disappointment.  I was perhaps a tad too open, too revealing, too excited.  Holding back is good!

I am remaining open to what the Universe has in store for me.  Freedom will be my new word! I will continue giving people freedom to come and go from my life, and giving myself the freedom to make mistakes.  Freedom is when I no longer take other’s action so personally and so painfully. (It looks like I need to read The Four Agreements again)

“Freedom is more than just a patriotic concept; it is the purest intent of our design. Be you. Be free. Be nice.” Steve Maraboli

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