Today is kinda special

Today is a big day for me. Not so much because something has happened per se, but in that I achieved something I have been trying to do for years now unsuccessfully. Funny thing is, now it actually happened without me trying.

Last night, right before sleep, me and K watched “The Fluffy Movie”. If you’re not a fan of Gabriel Iglesias, this simply means you have never watched him on stage. Because it’s not possible to have watched him and not be a fan of his. Anyway, Gabriel Iglesias, also known as Fluffy, is (in my humble opinion) one of the best stand-up comedians ever born. And while I don’t pretend to have watched all stand-up comedians or even all popular stand-up comedians, let me tell you this: I know about funny. I know about laughter, I know what it takes to really make people roar with it, I sense in my gut when something is brilliant comedy that will make you laugh for years ahead every time you think of it.

But here’s something I didn’t know and found out last night. And that is that Fluffy can be mighty inspiring for someone going through a tough time in their life. He can be incredibly wise in what he says and knowlingly or not, he can touch the hidden chords in people, who need to let go of something. Now, Fluffy has helped me before – as simple as making me laugh when I’m feeling depressed, which can be a huge deal. He’s helped me forget my worries and enjoy life. And I love laughing. It’s one of my favorite things to do. So he’s kind of my guru in that way. Most of all, I love Fluffy because he can be insanely funny without actually being insulting or offensive or rude. But I get off track.

So last night I watched “The Fluffy Movie” with K. We were lying in the warm bed, it was late, it was just us, the cat and Fluffy, lighting up my laptop. It was a pretty funny movie – we actually had to pause the film at one point, because we were laughing for 5 minutes straight and couldn’t hear what he was saying after the story about the Indian driver and the cow lying on the road.

At some point the stand-up got more serious and personal. Fluffy has talked about his family before, he joked about them a lot, but he never let it get sad before and this time, he did. He talked about how his Dad came back into his life after 30 years of being absent. He never called, he never wrote, he never seemed to want anything to do with his son. Then suddenly, 30 years later, he was there. Fluffy talked about how angry he felt and how he couldn’t find it in his heart to forgive his Dad. How he build up this huge wall and thought for hours (and even rehearsed) how he’s going to angrily let his father know just how much he has hurt him. He wanted to punish his father, make him feel the pain of being a fail as a parent and express the pent up anger, hiding in himself for 30 years.

He described how they met and how it was supposed to be inside a restaurant or something, but they actually met outside, because they both arrived at the same time. And then Fluffy described the image of his father, who stopped stock-still … and just outstretched his arms with his head hanging low.

Fluffy didn’t know what to do. Whether to hug him or punch him. His girlfriend who was accompanying him, helped him through his anger and he actually hugged his Dad, even though he says it was the emptiest hug ever. Then they went inside and talked, Fluffy got to ask all the questions that pained him all these years and his Dad got to answer them as best as he could. And as the evening progressed, all the anger, the contempt, the anguish… just melted away. Maybe not completely, but suddenly… he forgave him.

He forgave the one person who has hurt him the most in his life, who messed him up in ways that remain hidden for everyone but his closest family. He didn’t feel the need to blame anymore. Because he forgave him.

It was one of the moments in the movie that stuck with me the most, but I didn’t know how much yet.

Because after I fell asleep, I had a dream about the one person that has hurt me the most in my life.

She was a girl who five years ago betrayed me in a way that I had seen only in the movies. She had been my friend for years and she showed me what it’s like to be hurt by someone you had completely trusted. Because of what she did to me, I had been unable to have faith, complete faith, in people closest to me. I put up these walls that no one had the right to pass and I let this utter betrayal define me. I went on the path of revenge, I wanted to hurt her. Not physically. I wanted her to feel just the ounce of the agony she put me through. I thought I’d have some closure after that. But it just messed me up even more.

All these years I had been trying to forgive her , unsuccessfully. She seemed unredeemable. She never apologized, on the contrary – she painted herself the victim in all of it, she even tried to make me feel sorry for her after everything was known and she was caught and I had proof. The words “I’m sorry” never left her mouth. I still think she wasn’t sorry. I had build up so much hate for this person. I knew in my heart she was a sociopath, an egotist and a liar. I knew she wasn’t worth it. But I still couldn’t let it go. The beatrayal, the hurt an anguish. The walls. It was all up there, simmering in me even in my happiest moments. And every time I thought about a probable scenario where I meet her on accident, I imagined me snapping at her, taking her down with words, insulting her, giving her the harsh attitude she deserves. I’ve played different scenarios in my head where I meet her and each of them ended badly. For her.

And then funny thing happened. Last night, after watching The Fluffy Movie, I had a dream about her.

I was in unfamiliar setting, sitting on a couch with a mutual friend of me and her. She walked in, holding some papers she had written poems on. And she sat down – not next to me, but next to our friend. Then she tried to talk to me. And I snapped. I yelled at her, told her to get the hell out, that she was nothing and no one and that I didn’t want to ever breathe the same air as her again, because she was poisonous. I pushed the papers from her hands and they scattered on the floor and I remember looking at them and seeing a line from a poem that said something like:

She is my burning fault and bridge, she is regrets
She is the one I failed to protect

I was filled with rage. She got up and for a second it seemed like she was about to leave. But then she turned and came close at me. And she outstretched her arms… to hug me. Her face was sincere and sad. And I froze.

In the dream, as it would have been in real life, my first instinct was to push her away, but in that very second, something shifted in me. Something lifted from me. I broke in tears. And I just hugged her.

And I forgave her.

Suddenly, in my dream, I felt light as a feather. I felt liberated. Free. It was like a huge weight has lifted from me because of that one hug from the person I had told myself I’m never going to talk to again. The feeling was amazing.

I woke up with this feeling and felt completely, utterly happy. I had forgiven. I had let go. I had no more hate, anguish, fear, vengeance in me. And this dream was the simple thing that had helped me achieve it. Her outstretched arms, extended towards my hate for her, were the redeeming part that was always missing from this situation. It was just a dream, but it was enough. After five years of struggling, it was finally over.

To wake up without a shred of hate in you, not for anyone in this world, is heaven.

I don’t know what I would do if I ever meet this person in this life again, but I know what I will feel for her. Peace, forgiveness and a little, just a little pity.
So this is why today is kinda special. I let go of a grudge I had tried to move on from for five long years. I’m back to my old self that hated no one. And I want to say a very special thanks to Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, whose movie triggered in me the realization that if a son can find it in himself to forgive his father for his total abandonment after 30 years, I can very much forgive a woman, who hurt me, because she didn’t grasp the concepts of friendship and loyalty.

So thank you, Mr. Iglesias. For showing me the way.

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Hello, autumn

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I don’t stop here much often anymore. Not because I have nothing to say, I do, but because when I’m in a darker place than usual, I tend to close off to people and that goes for the few readers of this blog, too.

I work, a lot. I meet with people I love, I talk to some of them honestly about how I feel, I let them love on me and tell me it’s going to work out very soon. I listen to songs by Elvis Costello and Matthew Perryman Jones and Jack Johnson, over and over again. I work on a book translation, which is really exciting for me, because it will be printed for real and my name will stand alongside that of the author. In the evenings, me and K snuggle under one blanket, keeping our feet warm together, rubbing noses, laughing about stupid things, teasing the cat, loving on the cat, loving on each other, watching marathons of tv shows and sleeping semi-peacefully in our little bubble we call home. I play my guitar on the weekends mostly. Freya makes us laugh every day and we learn every day that the little gray kitty we took in last year was meant to come to us, specifically to us, to make us better people. It may be funny, but our cat teaches us a lot every day. Patience, mostly. Love. Gentleness. Sense of humour. Goofiness. More love.

I’m trying to disappear since the weather changed. Not in a bad way, just a little, to make myself smaller, stop feeling so much and at the same time, feel everything more closely. It’s autumn now, everything falling asleep and coming alive in a different way. Weather is colder, we wear warm clothes, hats, scarfs and we hug more now. Transitions between seasons always make me a little melancholic, but also make me hopeful that the next one is bringing me closer to my biggest dream…

I very much want my life too to be about the little and beautiful things, about little feet on my hand, pink and blue and white and green shoes and hats, dropped toys everywhere and masterpieces of scribbles on my fridge. But at this point, all I have is the hope that someday, it will be. I have almost nothing left but this hope and I’m not letting go of it.

Will write again soon, I promise… ❤

Un alma que baila

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This is a photo of me and my friend S. , dancng bachata in 2012. I browsed some old “salsa party photos” last night, after I came back home from a party. It was my first for 2014 and we all had great fun (hoping to get my hands on some pictures later). This image is one of my favorites, first of all because we are both unaware we are being photographed and second, because in it, you can clearly see the beauty and charisma of bachata dancing.
On last night’s party there was a woman, who celebrated her birthday, who is a beginner in salsa dancing. When they brought up the cake and after the DJ played this song, she wanted to say a few words. She said “Salsa dancing changed my life. I have been dancing only for a few months and I feel like a new person. I met new, wonderful and exciting people, I enjoy life more, I feel the music everywhere around me. I love it.”
It was a great moment that sent me back to 2010, when I first started dancing and I remembered vividly the feeling. My life changed as well – I became a better person, I found a way to express myself through movement, music and dance and I let art and beauty into my life. Best of all – I healed old wounds and learned to find magic in unexpected places. Salsa, bachata, cha cha cha, kizomba… I am grateful I have them in my life and I hope I continue to dance even when I’m pregnant one day 🙂

Signing off with this personal favorite cha cha cha song…

The day after

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I was browsing randomly through my files on the computer at work and I happened to find this photo. It’s the day after our wedding, on our way out of the hotel where we held the reception and where everybody slept after. My Mom took this photo right before we got into the car and headed home. I love it. I still have my wedding hair, the “wedding sneakers” I had specially made to wear at the party, for when my feet get sore; I’m holding a bunch of flowers (a small portion of all the flowers we got) in one hand and our “wedding painting” in the other. My face is literally lit with happiness and love.
“The wedding painting” was a gift from my friend, Mur (she’s an artist). About two months before the wedding I asked her if she could find me someone who was willing to create for us a piece like that. The idea came, of course, from Pinterest, where I saw that people sometimes used paintings instead of wedding books for the guests to write wishes. People are supposed to write their good wishes directly on the painting, with silver pens and it turns out quite beautiful. Later, the newlyweds can hang the painting somewhere in their home and be reminded of the happiest day of our lives and of the love given to them by their family and friends.
As I knew Mur had a lot going on in her work, I didn’t want to ask her to do the painting herself, but she surprised me and told me she would be happy to do it and it will be her wedding gift to us.
The painting was beautiful, simply gorgeous. A big heart with beautiful nuances of red, pink and crimson and a gentle green background. On the reception, the whole evening, people wrote things on it with the silver pens we have left for them near the painting. Our best friends and our beloved family left their words for us on this amazing piece of art, making it even more unique and inspiring.
This painting now hangs in our bedroom, above the bed and I see it every time I wake up and every time I go to bed. Аnd I’m reminded of the love that surrounds us always, the love that is with us from birth and will stay with us and with our children and grandchildren forever. Because, like art, love echoes through eternity.

Dad

I’m going through something right now that I really don’t want to be talking about, so I try to distract myself with something positive all the time.
A week after my grandmother passed away, we were in the old house with the intention of going though all the old stuff and saving some books for my parents’ library. We also gathered 3 big bags of books to donate to the library in my hometown (my Mom already did it). When we were in the house we found a lot of old pictures and I thought I’d share one of them here. My Dad is 17-18 years old here.

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Dad played in a rock band sometime around 1975-76. He was the drummer of the band, but he could also play guitar and piano (he still can) and sing. I won’t talk about his talents, because for several reasons, he abandoned his dream of being a musician and decided instead to take a more steady job and take care of his family. But I’d like to talk about the fearlessness and fierceness he possesses in this picture. I love the passion on his face, his whole posture, the way he seems so devoted and absorbed in the music, in the moment. Looking at this picture, I can almost hear the song he played with his friends and I can’t help but think… do I still have that? I used to play piano, I loved it, but I hated the long hours of еxhausting practice of the notes, the musical pieces, etc… Lately, though, I have been feeling the old urge to play – just to get my hands on the piano and see what comes out under my fingers. I took out my keyboard, who had been staying peacefully on top of our wardrobe for the last 5 years. And so… I played. And I loved it. (I also realized I’d forgotten everything I’d known and I’m pretty much starting from square one.)
I’m writing all this just to say that people should have dreams… and follow them, one way or another. So what if a dream comes true not exactly the way you have pictured it or it’s not the right time? It’s still your dream and it’s still coming true.
Lately I tend to spend a lot of time being afraid – afraid of the future, of “what if”, of things that have happened to me in the past and I don’t want them ever happening to me again. I’m really tired of being afraid. I’ve always wanted to be more free and abandon my need to plan and control… And lately, I realize that for the first time in my life, I can probably do that. Not plan, not conrol, just… let it be and see what happens. I think the piano helped:) I also think I’m just growing up more fast at this point. Or am I just learning to let it go? Whatever it is, I think I want to hold on to this feeling of freedom and peace for as long as I can – forever, if possible. I love it.

Saying Goodbye

People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.  It is as though they were traveling abroad. 

~Marcel Proust

One year ago today

On this day, exactly one year ago, we got engaged on top of the Eye of London. We will always remember this day when we decided to become a family for real and discover all the wonderful things life has to offer together, always.

It was an amazing day. We arrived in London, the sun was shining and we immediately started exploring. We started at the Queen’s Gallery where we spent about two hours and where I marveled at the art, moving and changing through the centuries. Then we went to the Tower of London – one of the places I’d always wanted to visit, and spent around three hours there, taking pictures, listening to the Yeomen’s stories and just admiring rich history (and me fangirling on Anne Boleyn and silently correcting everything the Yeoman said).

After that we went to the hotel, where I fell asleep almost immediately. It was around 5 pm and about an hour later, K was waking me up – he looked kind of tense but I paid no attention to it. My head hurt and all I wanted was to go back to bed, but hey – we were in London and I was filled with euphoria and admiration. I got dressed and K said to hurry up – he wanted us to go on top of the Eye of London this evening and we had to catch it before it closes.

So we went. Standing under the Eye, we could see how beautiful it was, but when the personnel told us the price per person, I was kind of like “Naah, let’s get out of here, that’s too much.” (Yup, I’m cheap like that). But K was determined we should get tickets and go up. It was weird, because… well he’s afraid of heights 🙂 (sorry, babe!) Nevertheless, I just thought he really wanted to visit one of London’s main attractions.

Aaand we went up. Up, up and up. There were 10-15 people in the cabin altogether. I was circling from one side to the next, admiring the view, taking pictures and just smiling ear to ear, while K was just sitting down on the bench with his hands between his knees, looking nervous. The whole time I just thought he was nervous because of the ever increasing height. (Months later he confessed to me that he did imagine the cabin falling into the river and starting to fill up with water, while we’re trapped inside, not able to get out. Adorable).

When we reached the top, it was amazing. At that point K stood up, took the camera and asked a man to take a picture of us. He did and I thanked him, but then K said “Can you take another one?” The man was like “Sure” and when he lifted the camera, I suddenly realized K was pushing me away (because I was snuggling in him) and falling on one knee.

I froze. I literally stopped breathing for a second and I suddenly was very aware there were all these people staring at us. I was feeling a whole bunch of things at the same time, when he asked me if i wanted to be his wife. His eyes were so big and filled with tears and his voice sounded so nervous. And the moment I said “Yes”, his whole face lit up like a Christmas tree, he put the ring on my finger, stood up and just hugged me. The whole time the man was taking pictures of us and saying “Oh my God, is this really happening?!”, he was almost as excited as we were. Then he turned to everyone in the cabin and said “Hey, this guy just proposed!” and then everyone was clapping, congratulating and cheering us, while the Eye was slowly rotating and our cabin – coming down to the earth again.

Right then, seconds after I said “Yes”,  rain started pouring down out of nowhere – heavy and beautiful, raindrops glistening on the glass of the cabin and we stayed in each others’ arms, watching the river, Tower Bridge and the rain… It was amazing.

It’s a year later now and what a wonderful year it was! I often think of our journey to becoming a family and I ask myself would I change something if I could. But I always tell myself that it is that same journey that brought us to where we are now – and where we are now is happiness, joy and the building of the most awesome life together!