After a very unsettled and worrisome 2013 (actually starting on March 25th when I got back to Lisbon from my travels and home visits) now it's time to nurture the relationships I made here so far, create new routines, then look for alternative ways of personal development now that I have a steadier base to start from. Last year was also a time to hold on to myself and my inner balance, in order to face the material uncertainties that have been harassing me. I was lucky enough to meet people helped starting working on myself and who attracted my attention upon my ego-centrism and self-indulgence. All the encounters we make are opportunities to take a closer look at ourselves and try to grow into a better person.
I'm thinking about creating a new routine to myself, sit down once a week and consider what happened throughout those seven days, how did I behave towards others, my emotional and physical reactions, how did I perform under any kind of pressure, dealt with time and money and so on. Probably what triggered it is the critical thinking training I had to take at work, I thought about ways to use in my personal life.
As for today's musings, they turn around the act of giving and receiving. Generosity is not only about giving physical things to show the love: gifts, a place to crush when needed, lending money, treat people to dinner, smile to strangers and so on. It's about taking the time to listen and to understand others' emotions, reactions, motivations, especially when we feel irritated or hurt by it. Many times I don't have patience when it comes to other people expressing themselves. And haven't tried hard enough to look for the subtle signs of expression when they are not obvious. Being so dependable on others and so emotionally vulnerable and responsive, I focus too much on what I feel and what I think. And with this new inner peace I found I guess it's time to move on and learn how to be more understanding, less overwhelming and demanding, either it comes to family, friends, co-workers or romantic interests. And BE there 100% when necessary, and not asking to be there when others are unavailable emotionally as well as physically. Learn to be more self-sufficient and open not only on the outside but also deep down inside.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
One year after being removed under obscure circumstances from my position with the Romanian Cultural Institute, here I am, still in Lisboa, trying to get a life, out of bits and pieces. As always I am surrounded by multicultural friends, my international life-saving angels, and I just moved into a small flat that I can pay doing a sales admin job for a huge IT company. First time that I live alone since I came back to Europe four years ago. Entertaining the sweet illusion of a possible love story is just the fluffy cream on top, but fluffy creams get spoiled so easily, out of carelessness, lack of attention, heat or cold, so I try to take it with a grain of salt. This is the advantage of getting older and supposedly wiser.
So now I can look back at this time in my life that was 2013. Oh, boy! What a sysyphic year 2013 was! Although I took two amazing trips, to Israel/Palestinian Territories and Peru, a country I couldn't help but fall in love with. It was doubly rewarding as I went there to attend a wedding of a dear German friend from Canada and meet our Swedish and Brazilian friends, all together for the same celebration in Lima. Only my mom fell horribly sick and got into the hospital the very same day I was hiking in Machu Picchu. The day after I went walking for 24 kilometers looking for a couple of weavers villages, just to calm down, filling my lungs with pure air and invoking the spirits of the Andes to give me strength so I can send it all to her. When she came out I went to Bucharest for ten days to cheer her up, and it looked like I managed.
By the end of March I got back to Lisboa and started trying to build up a life of my own in the Atlantic garden that's Portugal. Nine long months of moving houses and cherishing vain hopes, delaying my departure week after week and month after month. I spent four of them working in a wine shop, a great opportunity to meet tourists from all over the place, make new friends and learn many things about local wines and spirits, especially Porto and Madeira. I can't say it was easy and the schedule was kind of heavy too, but it allowed me to spend the summer here without spending all my savings. I also experienced dating some Portuguese men, all together just a waste of time, although they seemed good on paper, they had high expectations, little patience and consideration, so I just gave up on it.
In October another wedding brought me back to my beloved Barcelona, where I was received with open arms and started seriously thinking to move back there by the beginning of 2014. Back in Lisbon I suddenly started to have job interviews. I moved four houses in one month while waiting for answers, feeling like a gypsy with my boxes, suitcase and various bags, I still wonder how much can I endure before I break. And after about six weeks the miracle happened and I landed a my actual job, found an acceptable flat downtown, overlooking a garden, and met someone who thought I was special and was hoping to become the same for me. But this is an ongoing wobbly story, and I'm quite eager to see the outcome myself. The interesting part is that everything came towards me, without me looking into that specific direction.
And now I cannot say that 2013 lacked charm and the joy of life. Thanks to my relatives, my friends, complete strangers who treated me gently and offered me moments of happiness and trust in the human beings. Thanks to this sunny country and the Atlantic who offered me its cool waters to refresh my burning thoughts. Thanks to the beautiful city of Lisboa, its colourful houses, cobbled streets, old fashioned manners and old looking shops, charming grocery stores and delicious food. It's true that I feel more at ease now, more confident, but I enjoyed being here nevertheless even during those hardships.
Day after day I learned to enjoy my walks to work, the lunch break reading or listening to music and eating an ice-cream in one of the most spectacular squares I've ever seen: Praça do Comercio.
Be thankful for the flowers, the sun, the people that smiled to me. I realised that the only thing that could make me unhappy is the uncertainty about tomorrow. But I always had food, a roof and warmth around me, plus a little extra for life's little pleasures. I basically didn't miss a thing. I learned to be less dependable on comfort, if I ever was.
Be OPEN and willing to enjoy anything enjoyable, and things will come to you.