Day 16 – Where is the love?

Not every day will be good day, but I wish today wasn’t one of those bad ones.

I was talking to three of my best friends today and somehow, all our conversations ended up in either a fight or us hanging up cold. I called one, and then the other and then it happened again. Was it me or were we all just having bad days? None of the people or conversations were connected. I just needed comfort from my mains, but somehow they all put me in a spot I didn’t want to be in. I had a tough week and I needed to feel at home. I needed to feel at home with these people, my people. But we couldn’t work it out, not today anyway. Continue reading “Day 16 – Where is the love?”

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Day 15 – Sunrise

I woke up this morning to a pink sky wrapped in flames and I was filled with so much wonder. The kind that was bigger than me and my little world. It was so much bigger than me and my problems. It was a reminder of the things that matter and the ones that don’t. It was a reminder from our creator.

One day the sky is filled with darkness and clouds, and the other it is clear and radiates these warm beautiful colours.

Is this what growing up feels like?

I don’t know if I am ready, I don’t know if anyone should ever be. As I sit here in the bus, chasing these skies and wondering what ‘growing up’ means to me, I can’t help but think that it will always only be a part of me. Never all of me. It isn’t an end goal, it should never be.

How do you come to terms with growing up? Is it ever easy? I don’t want to worry for myself, I will always want that comfort from someone else too. But for now, I must.

Just like the skies, I must adapt.

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Today’s tune: Feeling Good by Nina Simone.

Day 15 – 18 May 2017.
351 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 14 – Motherhood V

There is no right time or right age. Motherhood sometimes is the beautiful after you experience because you’re in the right place at the right time with the person you can call your own. There are no ties, bloodlines or obligations, you’re simply brought together by fate to complete each other. In our case, I thank my stars and your gut. Continue reading “Day 14 – Motherhood V”

Day 13 – Motherhood IV

Over the last few months, I have been so lucky to foster and share a beautiful relationship with one of my mum’s friends. Thirty five years of friendship, and one year of unbiased and unconditional motherhood. If anything, this special relationship has taught me that family is not always blood related.

Over the years, I have heard so many stories about Christine (and mum’s other catering college friends). Mum always praised her ambition and dedication to her family and work, and how it was something to strive for. Even though we hadn’t met until last year, I knew enough to know that she was special. Today, I know with certainty, she is more than special.

Part IV: Chris Sr aka Mama Fernandes aka Nan

She exclaims with pride, “I was married at 22, had my first child at 23.” We were watching tv the other day when I asked her if she would’ve done things differently had she been in a similar situation today. Would it be mind over heart? Work over family? I explained how most of my friends today want to wait and would think 23 is too young. At 23, we barely know ourselves. How do you know you’re ready for marriage or children? She didn’t pause, she didn’t think, she just said, “We knew when it was right and saw no point in waiting. I don’t see why anyone would. And even today, I don’t see why one should because you can always have the best of both worlds.”

This is Christine. My foster mom, guide and source of inspiration. My home away from home.

Christine opened her arms, home and heart to me when I first moved to Australia. What at the time was a short-term plan suddenly turned into home (even Christmas apart wasn’t too easy). I have watched family turn on their own so often. Here, I watched a lady who hadn’t even met me, open her doors and trust me. She didn’t have to but she did anyway with no filters or expectations. If this isn’t motherhood, what is?

Christine is a pocketful of sunshine – full of love, light and laughter. Each day in the Fernandes household is a treat – especially watching her go from being hangry to happy, or gutted to giggly (no Xav?). I feel to grateful to have these days and dreams.

I am a strong believer of fate. I believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason. I was meant to meet you and now you’re never allowed to leave. Thank you for sharing even a little bit of your life with me.

Our special relationship has taught me that you can choose your family, and you’re mine.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama (Nan) Fernandes!

Thank you Mama Correia, for your friends who are now family.

Today’s tune: I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.

Day 13 – 16 May 2017.
353 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 12 – Motherhood III

In our culture, when a child is baptised he/she has godparents chosen by their parents. Their purpose is to support the child, and be that unconventional guiding force and friend. When my mum chose my godmother, I wasn’t given someone to be my guardian. My godmother has been my second mother, sister, and girlfriend all wrapped in one.

Part III: Mama Jr aka Fairy Godmother

With Michelle, it wasn’t an obligation but compatibility that made our relationship work so well. She is a lot of things my mother isn’t and that completed us as a family. The three of us bonded like sisters from different generations. And our differences only strengthened our bond and love for each other. My mother is really sensitive and emotional, and I get that from her. My godmother, on the other hand, is the practical one always encouraging me to get out of my comfort zone. While my mum would be protective, my aunt would challenge me to take the leap. Today, this love from two very different yet similar strong women has shaped me.

Thank you for teaching me tough love and responsibility, Mama Jr. You’re the perfect example of how motherhood isn’t something you juggle with other responsibilities, it isn’t a responsibility by birth, and it isn’t something you measure but treasure. Thank you for always loving me as your own (and first baby). I really am the lucky one.

Happy Mother’s Day Michelle. You are my strength and pride.

We all have lessons to learn, people to watch, memories to make, love to share. I have the Noronha sisters, my all in all.

Today’s tune: Everything by Michael Bublé.

Day 12 – 15 May 2017.
354 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 11 – Motherhood II

Today, I kept looking at everyone share so many beautiful thoughts and messages for their mums. Some in spirit and some in the flesh. My heart has been filled with so much love and gratitude. I haven’t felt this happy in a while. Reading every post only made me realise how much unconditional love still exists in the world. There is no love like that of a mother’s. Yet, it felt like I didn’t have the right words to express how I felt.

Part II: Mama Correia aka Supermom aka Best Friend

After my father died, my mother chose to continue living, and with strength and love. She didn’t want to, she didn’t have to, but she chose to. My mother chose my brother and me over grieving and losing her all. Some would say motherhood is a struggle, but I’ve watched my mother embrace it as a privilege. My brother and I could only be ever so lucky − we are the privileged ones.

We celebrated Easter a few weeks ago. A feast where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his sacrifice so we can live. The priest spoke about Jesus’ suffering, and how he became divine so we could be human. He talked about his unconditional and everlasting love for us. Through the Holy Week services, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to actually meet Jesus and experience that kind of love in person. To embrace it in the flesh. The kind of love that is patient, kind, forgiving and powerful. What I didn’t realise then and felt today was that I have had that kind of love with me all along.

My mother is patient, kind, powerful. Her love never fails.

My mother is my faith in the world and everything it holds. She is my strength, grace and guiding force through the good and bad times. She is my good times. She is my mum and my dad. She is my everything. She is my best best friend. Her love is mine and nothing compares.

Happy Mother’s Day mum. Thank you for doing your best.

Your love is like the wildest ocean
Oh nothing else compares
Your love never fails

Today’s tune(s):
Love So Great by Hillsong Worship
Broken Vessels by Hillsong Worship

You’re My Best Friend by Queen

Day 11 – 14 May 2017.
355 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

 

Day 10 – Motherhood I

Tomorrow we all celebrate Mother’s Day to honour that constant force that has been with us since our first heartbeat. What is motherhood to you? For me, motherhood isn’t just a relationship between a mother and her child. It is a way of life, sometimes beyond bloodlines.

This is a series to honour the women that have been an influence in my life. To the women that have taught me how to live, love and laugh.

Part I: Nana Noronha aka Peggy

Mother of six (and two dogs), grandmother of eleven. She was a woman of steel. As the eldest granddaughter, I was lucky to have spent my childhood with her.

Her day always started with mass and a walk around the block. Followed by a trip to the local market, negotiating with the fisher mongers and showering the stray dogs with love (and Parle-G). She powdered daily and wore her dresses without a crease. Her shoulders always sharp and straight, she was always full of energy. She loved to cook but loved to feed us even more. She made a mean Eggflip and her Goan curries were to die for. Her Christmas cake was a family tradition that started months before with the ingredients soaked in rum and ready to be relished come December. She loved her late night Hindi soap operas, and cried for the actors like they were her own. Feni on the rocks was her poison. Her grandkids’ chubby cheeks her pride.

She was one of a kind.

Nana Noronha was strong, through the ups and downs of life. And she had many. She was a self-made woman and taught us all to be no different. No matter the storm, she taught her children to hold on to their faith and fight. Today, I see a little of her in all of them. I see her in and with us. The Noronha siblings are like all five fingers, each different but together form one solid fist.

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Motherhood, for me, is my grandmother.

Hi Peggy,

Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for raising such amazing children. They miss you, I do too. We know you are with us and are always watching over us. You must feel so proud so see how well we all are doing, and how we all take after our grandmother.

Until we meet again.

You’re once
Twice
Three times a lady
And I love you

Today’s tune – Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie.

Day 10 – 13 May 2017.
356 days to go.

Day 9 – Passengers

This morning, I was looking at pictures from my school days. We were a group of girls, inseparable and making life-long promises to each other. Nine years later, we’re all in different parts of the world, doing different things. Some of us stuck to our paths, some of us chose new ones. It’s funny how something that once meant everything now means nothing. But is it that? Nothing?

Not every relationship can be permanent and that’s okay.

Every person we meet has a role to play in our lives. Some to teach us who we are, and some to teach us who we’re not. This one is to all those friends whose lives crossed paths with mine. We may not still be friends but you’ve made a difference in mine, and I hope I did the same for you.

Just because one relationship falls apart, our worlds shouldn’t. We’re lucky to have temporary passengers, giving us memorable experiences and lessons.

Hold on to them, relive them, learn from them.

PS. Shoutout to the girl I shared my first flight to Melbourne with. Once a passenger, now engraved on my heart and life. Happy birthday Rhuta. Thank you for crossing paths.

Today’s tune – Mama by Jonas Blue & William Singe.

Day 9 – 12 May 2017.
357 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 8 – Hero Honda CD 100

I had a dream today.

I was in a daze. I woke up (in my dream), back home in Goa lying on the white mosaic tiles in the living room. I could feel the cold hard tiles against my skin and bones. So I turned over and looked out of the window. I was a child again, and it was as if nothing had changed. I was looking up at the skylight tiles when I heard it. His bike roared in the distance as I rolled on the floor. It had this distinct sound that set it apart from the rest.

So I ran to the door and opened it before he could reach the driveway. I was at the gate in the next minute, unlocking it and waiting for him. I looked up at the mango tree and this summer’s produce and smiled thinking he would love it too. I could hear the bike get closer and I could feel my heart beating to the rhythm of the engine. Fast.

How could this be?

He was coming back after so long. It didn’t make sense, even in the dream. We were used to him being away for nine months, but nine years? None of it mattered though. All that mattered was that he was around the corner, riding his Hero Honda CD 100. I would see him and all would be forgotten. All that mattered was this −

“…he would be cruising on the rocky road, wearing his striped blue Crocodile t-shirt, black shorts, white kicks and bottle green shades. His face clean shaven and his hair well cropped. His Seiko would reflect the light of the sun making his wrist shine. His face would be straight but without a frown, calm and composed. His lips perfectly curved below his salt and pepper moustache. He would soon be in the driveway. He would soon be home.”

Five minutes passed and then ten. My feet started to burn against the tarred road, so I kept shifting from one foot to the other. Ten more minutes passed. Only now, I could hear the engine fading. The softer it got, the harder I tried to listen. Until I couldn’t hear it anymore. So I walked back to the door, suddenly, 20 years older. The wood on the door had aged and the carving had worn out.  Our white walls were covered in moss and the weeds had spread across the balcony. The door was locked and I had no key. Confused and hurting, I turned around, and there it was. His Hero Honda CD 100, still parked in the garage. Rusted and untouched.

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It was only just a dream.

Oh, I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up, but I know
A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved.

You were an angel in the shape of my dad
When I fell down you’d be there holding me up

And when God takes you back we’ll say Hallelujah
You’re home.

Today’s tune – Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran.

Day 8 – 11 May 2017.
358 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 7 – Being Alone

Does doing things on your own make you a strange pea? Does that mean you’re lonely?

Back home, I always had company to do the things I wanted. Whether it was grabbing a coffee, a movie, dinner or drinks, a walk…there was always a friend for comfort and joy. Being alone in a restaurant made me nervous. I had this nagging feeling that I was being watched and that it was awkward.

Who walks in alone to the movies?

This always made me nervous. I was never one to eat out alone or watch a movie that I really wanted to without company. I had voices in my head telling me I was lonely and strange to go out on my own. This post is not about ‘me time’ or being self-sufficient. It is about doing what you want to, with or without someone because it makes you happy.

Last year, around this time I booked tickets to my first ever Australian concert. This was before I had even moved here. My mother was furious, my friends were excited, I was in awe. I booked a ticket to a concert alone. It was either doing something I had on my bucket list or missing out on an opportunity that might not present itself again. Today, I am really glad I did because it turned out to be one of the most memorable nights of my life. I danced with strangers and cried with them too. We made our memories, shared them and put them in our own treasure boxes.

Spending time alone is underrated. 

Spending time alone allows you to introspect and learn. More importantly, it changes you and allows you to change yourself. About a year ago, I was a socially awkward person who wouldn’t get out of her comfort zone (with or without others). Today, I am (more) comfortable with myself in a crowd.

You’re not expected to have fun, you choose to have fun. You’re not expected to walk down iconic streets and statues, you design your own map to follow. You’re not expected to blend, you stand out.

I (you) wander with wonder.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and the company but I’ve also grown to love my own company (some might say too much). You always have to travel to new places or countries. My travel experience in the last year has mostly been to undiscovered places in my own life, body and mind. I have learnt what I like and what I don’t. I’m sure there’s more.

Being alone hasn’t freed my soul in the way books and movies make it out to be. I’m probably still waiting on that Eat Pray Love moment, I don’t know. Do I want that moment? Maybe. Do I need that moment? No. There are days I get lost in city loops (no thanks to Google) and am left anxious. I chase pavements and fight the winds. I run in circles and walk 2 minute routes for 20 minutes but find my way to the destination. And after everything, I find my way back home. That is my moment.

Doing things on your own is uncomfortable and hard work (for the body and mind). And it definitely is not the romantic picture people paint out for you. It is simple, and the truth is you’re alone. Some days, it is me at a coffee shop ordering the wrong coffee and reading my book. At times, it is me at a four-hour concert down two beers and needing to pee right when my favourite song plays. Sometimes, it is me ordering two types of burgers to decide which one I like more. Other times, it is me at new places asking strangers to take photos of me to send my mother hoping they won’t run away with my phone (love you mammma). It is one day at a time towards avoiding all those ‘what if’ moments in your life when you’re 60 and in that rocking chair with your cup of tea.

Most days, it is me a lot less distracted from what I’m supposed to do for validation because I am too busy doing what I want to do for myself.

Being alone doesn’t always have to be a liberating experience. It just needs to be an experience. It needs to be your story to tell, whether big or small. It is your story to tell, failed or successful. We’re all tiny dancers on the world stage, telling our stories through our experiences. I have found my strengths and weaknesses in moments like these. Not everyone enjoys being alone. But if you ever choose to be, know that even in our lonely adventures, we are together.

I know, we’re gonna get it, get it together and float
We’re gonna get it, get it together and go
Up, and up, and up.

Get out to remember, not to forget!

PS. One year later, I am booking tickets to another concert in Australia with some great friends that came to be (in many ways) because of that one concert I chose to do on my own all those months before. Happiest memories, Nicola and Aakansha.

Today’s tune – Up&Up by Coldplay.

Day 7 – 10 May 2017.
359 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.