Day 195 – Amazing day

Last night, after finishing up a story and going to bed at 3 am, I had a feeling today was going to be amazing. With only four hours of sleep, I stumbled into the kitchen this morning planning to have breakfast before going to work. My plan kind of failed, because the only thing my body was able to do, was to remain numb on the chair, thinking that if maybe he would stay still long enough, I would give up and get it back into the comfort of the bed. Though luck, I pushed my limbs forward and had to grab a doughnut as breakfast from the bar, which made me loose my bus. So, because of all those things and also falling asleep on the bus twice, I said to myself how can I possibly think this day is going to be amazing?

Well, it was. As soon as I started teaching my first class, I felt this wave of energy invading me and I played with the kids in my class for two hours straight. We almost missed the break at some point, being so focused on playing and building good stories together and I bet they had so much fun today that they will wish for me to be sleepy on every Saturday morning from now on.

After a very nice lunch in a new place, having nice company and a pleasant catching up conversation, I had to convince my body to stay alive for a little longer, in order to get through the next four hours of work. I had to explain to it over and over again, that today is not about getting through the working hours, but about trying to have as much fun as possible while working, so we can make it until tonight. It was all about tonight.

Tonight was to be our first outing together without Ephia, among good friends and good food. It was to be about holding hands and not think of anything else, about spending two hours away from ourselves, but within everything else. I had so much fun tonight and although now my eyes are desperately trying to stop my hands from moving back and forward on the keyboard, I think it was all worth it. Have an amazing weekend and a lazy Sunday. :)

Day 194 – Friday, free day

I’ve always loved Fridays. Ever since I was little I used to believe that Friday is my lucky day. I can’t remember the reason why, but I must have had a really good one back then .

Because of that, Fridays for me were free days, days in which I wasn’t suppose to do anything that didn’t imply fun or relaxation and if anyone is wondering, yes I skipped school a lot on Fridays when I was a kid and work too for that matter, later on when I was supposedly an adult. Today I did an unusual thing for me to do on such a day: I woke up very early in the morning and got out of the house to have a friendly coffee/herbal tea and although while waiting for the bus I kept touching my cold nose, thinking of my warm blanket and my comfy giant bed, it turned out to be a lot of fun, not to mention I got some insightful ideas on top of it all. So, while riding the tram back home, I realized something about myself. I never like to get out of my comfort zone and although I never say a word about it, I complain a lot inside my thick skull and try to avoid and to resist anything that implies me leaving that safety area, whether it  is something as simple as leaving my bed on a cold morning, or needing to face serious shit going on around me. Luckly for me, despite all my complaining and resisting, I always choose to give up my comfort (whatever that means) and congratulate me later for it, but believe me, it’s a constant battle.

Sometimes I think I was designed to sleep on fluffy pillows all day long, covered with fluffy blankets and read about how to dismiss all the fluffiness around me. Such a fluffy dream. And this is one of the main reasons for which Fridays can only mean a fun and free day for me: my imaginations is filled with fluffy things and feelings. That would be a great title for a short story: A fluffy tale by the Friday girl.

 

Day 193 – Children – friendship versus care

In my book there is a huge difference between raising a child and just taking care of one. I have always been judged for my methods and behavior around children and it all started fourteen years ago when my nephew was born and I became his full time babysitter for the first three years of his life. It’s gotten even worse when I had my daughter.

People get scared when I use the word friendship when speaking about the relationship I have with the children close to me and especially when it comes to Ephia. I have said this many times: I do not believe our children belong to us, but to themselves. Our only job is to guide them on their way to happiness even if that means we have to face a way that we would never choose for ourselves. Also children have to wish for you to be their friend, you can’t choose it or wish it for them. There is a very fine line between parenting and being a friend to your child and that line is dangerous to cross, which ever side you cross it to.

Being a stay at home mom or dad with no grandparents or family around to help, you have to be very careful about that line and in my opinion mutual respect is very important in any kind of relationship especially when it comes to children. I sometimes hear parents say: “How can you show respect to a two year old, are you crazy?” or ” I wash him, feed him, offer him all he can possibly want and still he needs something more from me?”. Of course you can show respect to children all ages, because it’s the same thing you are demanding from them. Children are not pets and I know it sounds harsh, but there are so many parents out there who treat their kids that way, who think that if they play the “I took care of you” card, their children should be devoted to them forever. I know it’s hard and sometimes it’s almost impossible to do everything around the house, take care of the baby and also think about your career or have a job, but your children will help you if only you would allow them too.

Whenever I have a bad day, when Ephia is moody, the house is a mess and nothing works the way it’s suppose to, I hit the pause button for five minutes. It’s okay to be exhausted, it’s okay to be worn out and even mad, it’s okay to feel like crap and it’s best to take a break from yourself. Sometimes I even scream silently in my brain and bury my head into my hands, but after those five minutes I smile, because almost always my daughter takes my hands into hers, looks into my eyes and says: “Huc!” (hug). We then try to help each other. She runs or plays around me while I clean up yesterdays mess, we have lunch together and we reserve a whole hour only for ourselves.

For me, you cannot be a parent if your main concern are only the visible parts of your child. He is as much as you a person and he demands his rights, maybe too loud sometimes, or maybe too annoying for us to understand, but the main thing is they are as much frustrated because of us, as we get because of them. So stop, listen and huc. 

Day 192 – Opportunities and damaging thoughts

I have always been a lucky person, or at least that’s how I like to see things, although if someone would look into my past or present they would say I am very unfortunate, but have always managed somehow to struggle and get myself out of trouble.

This also goes for the opportunities that have reached my hand over the years and I have either managed to choose the wrong one, or most of the times by mistake, I took in my hands the good one and after doing that, of course all hell broke loose on other aspects of my life. Because of all these facts, I have become over the years, very suspicious of every good thing that is promised, given or awarded to me. It doesn’t matter how hard I have worked to achieve that outcome, I simply cannot accept that anything good can happen without another horrible one on its way to my doorsteps. Lately, I have come across all these amazing opportunities for me. I have taken them all on and  after some struggles, I’ve managed to put everything on the right path. But, of course there’s a trick to it and this year has showed me that in all its splendor.

The one thing I have never been able to sacrifice in my life was love. I would fight for the love I believe in even if this means for me to be left with nothing, even if it means I should stop existing for a while; I am a love freak. Ever since my daughter has been born this love addiction I have, has spread even more and its tentacles grab my body, my mind, my soul. Opportunities don’t exist if that means sacrificing this small little thing and the more I think about it the more I understand… I am not damaged, but I am the product of my past projected onto the faces of my loved ones.

Day 191 – What is happiness?

This clicheic question has been bugging me ever since I am aware of my own existence. Time and happiness have always been my best friends and my worst enemies and the irony of it is that both of them are impossible to define.

In the last couple of years my life has changed completely and unfortunately it took as many good turns as it did bad ones. I used to think that a happy person is always happy and nothing could trouble the little bubble he or she was living in, but now I know better. The so called happiness you feel sometimes, drags behind it a circle of blackness and despair and throws it at you once in a while, forcing you to do dance a sad, horrible even, hula hoop. Don’t you just love ups and downs? The minute you catch the smile of your soul, at the other end of the rope a fuse is lit and it’s only a matter of time until that flame will burn your smile away. So, do you run? Do you stay and watch the show or do you feel so incredibly brave that you will try to melt the ashes of the rope, making a new, stronger one? Happiness doesn’t exist if your been hasn’t experienced sorrow. The greater the holes of your soul, the greater the feeling of happiness will be when it hits. Sometimes you don’t even get the chance to sniff that feeling, either because your body will just decide to give up, or because depression will kill your spirit and will no longer recognize your true purpose into this world.

What is our purpose? Can we be only a different, more evolved, monster looking, species of ants? Or what if the ants are more evolved than us? Are they happy? Do they measure time? Do they even care? I can almost see the tiny clocks hung on the walls of their  subterranean nests and leafy looking computers for them to communicate their thoughts with other ants from different colonies. I am sure that it’s best for me and the population of ants around the world if I stop my babbling about happiness and sorrow here. But just think about it: are you ever truly happy? And if you are with what cost?

 

Day 190 – Brain storming

I have my brain wrapped up around four different things I am suppose to do soon and fast. I think I am also under some kind of delusional spell, because although it’s poring outside and everything is gray and ugly, I am looking out the window and smile like it’s the most beautiful, sunny day. Who says it’s suppose to be sunny in order to have a beautiful day? The sun is overrated.

Tonight I am officially relaunching the sleepless nights for a while. I was starting to get used to this very strict and organized schedule I have created for myself in the last couple of weeks, but as good as it’s been, I need to work in my own way for some time and unfortunately that means I need the silence and the darkness that only nights can provide me with. It’s interesting to see how a small habit from childhood, like reading more at night, which could easily be cut out from our lives, gets stuck into our routine by our own choice. You can call it a vice, addiction or any other way, but in the end you are just manipulating yourself into thinking you can’t do it otherwise.

Thus, I will answer the calling of my working at night vice, and for the next couple of weeks I will be brain storming, writing like crazy and finishing some things that got left behind. Let the countdown begin! What better night to start than Monday night, right after the writers group meeting. ;)

P.S. Here is a song that never fails to help me stay focused and inspired.

Day 189 – Sunday and just us girls

I think my daughter is reading my blog behind my back. Yesterday I was talking about my lonely mornings and how I would wish to have breakfast with her and D sometimes and today she woke up early and automatically granted my wish. Oh, the joy! It was even more wonderful than I imagined it, her talking to me and explaining perhaps the dreams she had over night and me looking at her nodding, completely agreeing with her point of view.

With a big, dumb smile on my face, feeling refreshed and content, I remembered I had promised her we would go for some cake and tea this morning to the pastry shop I keep bragging about. From behind the curtains, rain drops were smiling at me, so a quick new plan was in order. We put on our rainy coats and decided to go for stroll in the rain. Imagine the joy on Ephia’s face seeing all the puddles she could play in and the giggles she shared with me every time a rain drop touched her nose. We walked like that for a while, with no destination in mind, humming happily in the rain and her laughing at me because I too had my hood on.

After such a quiet and beautiful morning, the rest of my day is not even worth mentioning anymore, but I will tell you this: rain or no rain, tonight we are going for the good stuff, cakes and tea, because when I promise something I never go back on my word hahaha, especially when there is cake involved. Have a beautiful Sunday!

Day 188 – Rainy Saturday and my lonely breakfasts

It’s been a rainy day in Florence and by the looks of the rain drops that keep falling and falling, no evening walk for us tonight. It has also been a long day and like all my Saturdays for some time now, it’s my busiest day of the week. While others sleep until 10 am on weekends, I wake up at 7 am and run to teach my first class until midday, break time for about an hour and then run to F.E.S.T.A for rehearsals. I am not complaining dough, I too sleep until 10, 30 am everyday while other people work their ass off by that time.

One of the old, but new things I introduced in my life lately is breakfast. Breakfast has become a really pleasant routine for me all of a sudden. As a child, we used to have breakfast everyday in a very organized way. We had to wake up, wash and dress really fast, then we were expected in the kitchen to be fed. Breakfast was a huge deal when I was growing up and under no circumstances you could have skipped that meal, which by the way was also a very substantial one. We use to have eggs, bread, butter, jam, honey, all kinds of cold cuts, cheese… should I go on? I’d better not. It all faded away over the years and by the time I was a teenager, like all teenagers I preferred my sleep more than eating in the morning. By the time I went to the University, I realized that when you wake up at 3 pm, anything you eat at that point, can’t be called breakfast anymore as the others around you are already getting ready to have dinner. Thus, the importance of breakfast and having it was completely lost from my daily routine, being replaced with a cappuccino or good case scenario something sweet. I have always lectured D about trying to eat our meals together as a family more often and that breakfast should take its rightful place into our lives, but, we had always agreed on it and then just forget all about it by the next morning. Last week dough, I have decided. I woke up early in the morning and had a nice breakfast alone (I tried to wake them up but all I got were some grunts); not like the breakfasts I used to as a kid, but God forbid I would eat that much s..t in the morning anymore. The first morning I felt awful , alone in the kitchen, with nothing to do but to stare at the walls and chew, but after a few days I started loving it and use it as my time alone to do anything I want; so now breakfast means time to read for my pleasure only.

This morning, while holding my piece of bread in one hand and turning the pages of my book with the other, I scolded myself for not doing this sooner. Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks I will also convince the other two lazy housemates I have, to join me and we will each enjoy our books or newspapers.

Meanwhile, Florence is under bad weather arrest and there is nothing more I would like right now than an apple and cinnamon tea, a midget next to me in bed, both cuddling under the blanket and a nice book of children stories to read to her. Except for the tea I have it all at the reach of my finger tips, so why waste anymore time: it’s cuddling in bed and reading time for us!

Day 187 – Other people’s stories

Having a day off and nothing to do but house chores and playing with Ephia, my brain started working on its own as usual, looking for ideas, while washing the dishes, while cooking, while eating… it’s a good thing that my mind doesn’t wonder off when I am speaking to my daughter; imagine the mess that could be created.

Anyway, usually when this free time comes along, I slowly organize the things I have to write next, and besides the new interviews coming up, I have to make up an introduction for The human behind the artist, so today my thoughts were only about that. This will go back to stories and storytelling, but I have all these artists, their voices, their stories, their feelings and their art. Although these are not my stories, I feel the need to protect and treat them better than my own sometimes. Other people’s stories are precious and there is a great privilege to have someone grant you their most important memories and let you play with them. Did I say play? No, we are not just playing, we are building a small part of history and I like to think that whenever someone creates something he believes in, it’s like a child playing. Children too get excited while building something new with their cubes, but they also get really frustrated when they are half way through and everything seems to be falling apart, just like grown ups and their own toys, called projects or in this case, my case, other people’s stories.

I spent the entire day frantically searching for the perfect beginning phrase to introduce them, the perfect sentence, the perfect first word and until now nothing seemed worthy of the stories they’ve trusted me with. I have given myself a two days deadline for the first draft and although I think I am just babbling around it, I have a feeling I will nail it by Monday morning.

Meanwhile, stay close, I feel great things are about to happen around here. ;)

Day 186 – Did you know I live in Florence?

I sometimes forget the city I live in. I often ignore it while passing through by bus, burring my eyes into a book or just day dreaming, I don’t salute the castles anymore like I used to and I even forget about the Porcellino, which I absolutely adore and often use as one of my lucky charms.

Most people ask me if I will ever leave Florence? Do I really think that this is the best place in the world to live in? Is Florence that great? Maybe not and I can’t say I won’t ever leave this place, but this city is definitely the city for me now and maybe for many years to come. Florence has saved my life in so many ways and even if there will come a time for us to move on, it will still hold a special place in my heart. We have a history of sharing experiences and feelings together and the story of how we’ve met… well, that just adds more spices to our relationship.

I walked the streets of Florence for a while today, looking at the old buildings, caressing Porcellino’s nose, getting lost in some of the antique shops, just to get a little taste of everything until next time. I had a wonderful day and most of all I feel like my forced break is finally over and I can come back with a better and much more organized self.

And for all those who don’t love Florence or claim there are many more wonderful places in the world: I agree and I can only say there is a time and place for everyone and everything. Someone else’s choice may never be the right one for you. Florence is my choice.