Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Hallothanksmas!

Wait, I'm confused, is Christmas still on for 25th December? 

Excuse me if the answer to my question is obvious. Last time I checked we were half way through November, making it 38 more sleeps (38!) until then - ok, give or take a few hours depending on what part of the globe you live in. 

Why then have we gone from pumpkins and ghosts only a few days ago, straight into snowmen and and Christmas trees?! No 'in-between' whatsoever to enjoy a consumerism-free November. 

I want in-betweens, I like in-betweens! In-betweens keep me sane. In-betweens act as breathers to help me recover. 

But nope! Instead I have shops with fake snow on its windows and/or Christmas carols playing on the background. Even supermarkets are stocked up with toys, chocolates and 'turrón'. The most astonishing thing is that we don't find this astonishing at all! We happily buy the Christmas tree with all its decorations, we start loading on gold gift wrap, we start planning Christmas dinners and booking friends and family.

How did we allow this to become the new normal? 

Next thing I know I'll start celebrating my next birthday the day after I turn a year older. 

There is a clear conflict between my journey towards inner peace with all my meditation, yoga and whatnot and a world that conspires against my mental sanity. Happiness is found in living in the moment they say, well stop stressing me about future events then!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wedding Planner

I'm hiring a wedding planner.

Hold your horses before jumping into any conclusions: I am not getting married - everything's still good in singlehood -  everyone else around me is. And they all seem to be doing it at the same time! 

That's why I'm on the lookout for a wedding planner. Not your regular one though. To pull me through this wedding season my wedding planner needs to also be a:

1. Stylist
Looking for a dress opens an overwhelming world of infinite options of colours, shapes, lengths...At least the bride knows she'll be wearing white! 

2. Financial advisor
Outfit for the day (dress, jewellery, handbag, shoes, etc.) 
+ gift for the newlyweds 
+ flights and accommodation when needed 
+ hen-do expenses
+ hairdresser 
x by number of weddings 
= I'll let you do the math!

3. Chauffeur
Wedding day: home > ceremony. Ceremony > wedding reception. Wedding reception > home. 
Prior to wedding day: frantic tours around the city in desperate search of a decent dress.

4. Prompter
Weddings bring people together who haven't been so in years. And, although surprisingly good with faces, I'm a complete disaster at remembering names. Having, like political and royalty members do, someone whispering in my ear the name, relationship to the bride/groom and major life events of the person approaching would prevent me from repeating embarrassing experiences.

5. Nutritionist
Traditional Spanish weddings offer a fine selection of small bites prior to a (at least) 4 course dinner. Add the glasses of wine that waiters eagerly keep refilling and the open bar and you easily get yourself into a nutrition bombshell that only a few weeks' detox plan will help your digestive system recover from.

6. My +1
For 2 main reasons:
a) to mitigate seating planning headaches for the bride and groom (tables are normally set for even number of people)
b) to avoid answering for the nth time whether I am with someone at the moment, which normally follows with a pity faced "who knows? you might meet someone today".

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Simple Questions Impossible to Answer

Sometimes the simplest queries are the most difficult to answer. Occasionally I am challenged with questions that, although hide no obscure intentions, leave me answer-less (and that 'am I weird?' feeling).

"Where are you from?"
Both my birth certificate and passport say Spain, but my heart is made of pieces from every different place I've lived in. Pieces small enough that impede me from identifying myself with another nationality, but so big that prevent me from feeling Spanish.

"What do you do at [insert company]?"
When your daily tasks, responsibilities, organisation and focus changes on a daily basis, it is impossible to generalise what you do for a living.

"Why did you leave [insert last city I've lived in]?"
Excellent question that I frequently ask myself as well. And a very personal one. I'm still trying to come up with the perfect answer that will satisfy those looking for an interesting story. In the meantime, I smile and say it was down to 'several things, none in particular'.

"Can you recommend a book?"
I would very much love to, but I need you to guide me here a bit. Reading a book is like listening to a song, the one you choose has to match not only your personal preferences, but also your mood. It will depend on what you are looking to feel when you put the book down.

"Don't you ever feel lonely living on your own?"
The loneliest I remember feeling was during a time I had someone by my side. After then, I stopped believing that the amount of people around you is not a direct indicator of how accompanied someone is.

"How many languages do you speak"
What do you mean by 'speak'? Mam's desperate face when I fail to find the word I'm looking for proves that I sometimes fail to speak my own native one! 

"Are you staying here for good?"
None of us are :P

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heat Wave Alchemy

It turns out that being invisible in not my only superpower!! 

Remember how Obelix gained superhuman strength drinking a magical potion? I'm him! But skinny. And my superpowers are not triggered by some elixir, but rather by extreme heat. And it's not strength I gain but so many other supernatural abilities - ok, I'm nothing like Obelix, but you get the gig. 

As thermometers strike +40 ºC (+104 ºF for my American friends),  brace yourselves: the superwoman is released...

Top 5 Superpowers

1. Melting ice with a glimpse of my eyes
I pour water into a glass, throw in a few ice cubes and the second I turn to put the water jar back into the fridge, all the ice in the glass has disappeared!

2. Sleeping statically
The silhouette drawn on my bed sheets by the sweat cascading from every single little pore in my skin is an exact reflection of my own. Clear proof.

3. Evaporating liquid with the touch of my hand
The five steps from the washing machine to the clothes' rack is all it takes me to get a perfectly dry laundry.

4. Pulling off a permanently wet hairstyle
Not sure when it stops being water from the shower and begins being sweat...

5. Drinking my body weight in water
A glass of water has become an extension of my hand.

I'm beyond ecstatic at this point and I feel that I've only just started this journey of self discovery :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nonsensical Logic

As human beings, we are gifted with the most amazing asset that exists: a limitless mind. It can achieve incredible things if we feed it with the right stimuli (bad TV is not one of them) and train it diligently. I've read about people who have been able to go days and days with no intake of solids or liquids with just the power of the mind and others who claim to have cured from mortal illnesses by using their mind. 
We have the power!
... and yet we (I pledge guilty) waste it in creating some kind of genius nonsensical logic. Don't know what I'm talking about? Read on!

Objective: Save money.
Mind's logic: I need to cut expenses so I'll fit *all* of my groceries in just one plastic bag. 
Reality: I'm saving 5 cents of a plastic bag and risking arriving home with a numb hand and arm from all the lack of circulation. That, if the bag's quality is high enough to bear all the weight, otherwise my shopping can end up scattered in the middle of the street.

Objective: Arrive on time.
Mind's logic: I need to get on that bus, the very one that is on the bus stop on the other side of the three-lane-two-sided road. I'll just ignore the red lights and run as fast as I can dodging the constant flow of cars.
Reality: I'm choosing death before a few minutes delay.

Objective: Eat healthy.
Mind's logic: I'll choose the healthy option and have salad for lunch. With cheese sauce. A lot of it. And croutons. And add a bit of salt. 
Reality: I'm eating the most unhealthy meal in the menu.

For the good of humanity, let's start making better use of our limitless minds!

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are real. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bad Karma

Disclaimer: I do love this city. I'm enchanted with its beauty and I'm keen in making others see it as well :)

Living in a big city is really getting to me. It's draining all of my positive energy. The same one that I've taken years to nurture. It was easier  when I lived in a cute little small city where everyone was full of 'thank you' and 'thanks' and 'grand'.  

Ever since I moved here I sense this pervasive flow of negative energy in the air. We're all exposed to its non-discriminatory force. Once caught it spreads from person to person instantly. The most immediate reaction is the urge to give out. About everything. About anything. Vision and perspective of life is concealed by a dark layer and a strong impulse of sharing it with others grows. Soon those around mimic this attitude and so on and so on.

The lovely warm sun rays become unbearable hot weapons.
The atmosphere cleaning rain confine people between walls and awakes joint pain.
The colourful mood-boosting spring triggers allergies of all sorts.
... And like this with everything. 

I don't want to get caught in this! I'll continue with my fight for immunity, counteracting with smiles, good thoughts and better actions. 

I need however, to be extra careful! Just the other day I caught myself swearing when a car in front of me did a weird turn that forced me to abruptly brake. 

In a jungle of noise, lights, children shouting and grownups rushing around, how does one feed and grow inner peace? I'm determined to find out.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Proud Misfit

I am
  • ... a woman
  • ... self-sufficient
  • ... in my thirties
  • ... single
  • ... left-handed (but that's a story for another day)
Long story short, I am a MISFIT.

Living in a city where I am the living exception to the rule. This fact grants me the privileged position of being the target of awkward (and quite frankly, in many cases rude) comments, questions and moments all around the same theme: 
"What am I doing with my life??"
And although at the beginning all these comments made me want to climb under my duvet and cry myself blind; wisdom (actually, no, not wisdom, but rather, not giving a damn - for the use of a better word) has made me realise that not being like others is what gives me an identity.

I have accepted that I am where I have to be and made my mission to make others accept this too. Listen up:

  • the only babies/toddlers I like are the ones I share some part of DNA with. And even those, I am happy to give back after a while
  • no, I'm not worried about finding someone - last time I checked I hadn't lost anything
  • the time when I felt the loneliest is when I had (the wrong kind of) someone by my side
  • stop asking me whether I have a partner! Not having one does not make me a defective person and it certainly does not define me
  • defining me by my relationship status says more about you than it does about me
  • yes, I might be picky, but shouldn't you be with the person you decide to share your life with?
  • I'm not sure if destiny has something good waiting for me, what I do know is that the best way to predict the future is to create it. I wouldn't be where I am if I had left things to chance instead of working by butt off!
  • in the past 10 years or so I've lived in 5 different cities, met people for more countries that I know existed and seen places I had only dreamed of visiting. No, I don't feel like I'm throwing my life away
  • I've found a passion and I'm pursuing a dream. I'm not trying to get you to follow my dream, so quit trying to single me out for not wanting to follow yours.

This is my life and I am working on being happy to be living it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Everything in Excess

Reality check: Christmas is over, you can resume your normal live.

If you celebrate Christmas you might be like: "What? normal life? but Christmas is part of my life!". 
Well..I see it more as the movie track of your year: everything condensed in a short period of time.

Family: you might not see them in months and then suddenly you're meeting relatives day after day. And the ones you don't meet, you have to call. People you haven't spoke to since last year. It gets to a point that you run of things to talk about! I'm sure I've addressed my cousins by names other than their own in repeated occasions.

Food: you eat normally for over 350 days a year and then inexplicably consume your weight in food in one sitting. Just like that, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Gifts: isn't it a great gesture to have a whole city/country/continent buying things at the same time? The jammed shopping centres, the queues, the traffic jams... And giving presents is the high of my Christmas, but wouldn't it be nicer to give and receive presents evenly throughout the year instead of supporting extreme consumerism in a day?

People in general: there's excess of people everywhere during Christmas. The rest of the year everyone does their own thing, but Christmas is the only time when we all seem to be doing the same things at the same time. I've mentioned about the shopping, but there's so much more... The dining (restaurants are full and service is bad), the strolling (streets and parked packed), the free timing (queues in cinemas)...

Please, don't take this attitude of excess into January by signing up to the gym or going crazy with the sales. Just try to spend more time with your close family and true friends, show them your smile and try to enjoy a moderately happy live.