today is a really sunny day

Today is a really sunny day. In many aspects, actually.
I have become so mindful lately that I take note of almost everything I do during the day. It turns the usual and run-down activities that we all take for granted into special rituals with meanings that somehow relate to a more fulfilling life. Just this little change in noticing, just in noticing what I do. Nothing has changed or expected, no action is taken, but the way I measure it, examine it, and ultimately enjoy it. It is a hard thing to do especially if I am overwhelmed with things to be done, or thought through. However, it is ever more rewarding!

I open my eyes and just close them back, still in bed…mentally inspecting my body and if it’s ready to take on the day. Stretch. I get up slowly and just stay sitting on the rim of the bed, looking over the sleeping eyes of someone who will not get up for at least 2 or 3 hours later. I smile. By the time I am in the bathroom my whole body is slowly awakening, my feet touching the carpet and then the cold tiles. I let them be. My favorite part of the morning is making my coffee. I do it slowly as if it is really sacred. It is, in a way, to me. It’s one of those things that I assign meaning to and I depend on, well I let myself depend on. Watching the people walking on the street and taking in the smooth aroma rising from the coffee pot.

Today is a good day. I sat back on the couch. It was 6.30 am and I loved the crispiness of the unfolding sunrise. It is cold, but the room is warm. I have made it a point to get up early and have this me-time, ever since Sami was born. There is nothing like the quietness of the house right before it bursts with the energy of every-dayness that we all bring into the picture. Mornings are the most reflexive part of the day to me. I could look back, look forward and at the same time be present. Here and now.
So today…I looked back to these last few days, felt all kinds of emotions about all the work I did, all the work I didn’t but wished I did, and all the things that made me smile. I noticed getting overwhelmed with feelings about Sami. All bombarding me how I miss him, how I want to stroke his long hair and kiss his gentle forehead, play with him and just squeeze the life out of him. So much pain there, so much…love!
Then I had to make myself refocus on the reasons why…it did make me feel better immediately. I have accumulated a huge pile of knowledge on something that really really REALLY matters to me. I have faced so much insecurities, and my own issues no longer seem so overpowering, as I know they come and go, and new ones take over. But in all this calamity I can remain calm, I can observe and endure. I can wake up, smile and make another cup of coffee. The same cup every day, and I can so enjoy it.

Today is a really sunny day.

on exploring

The last few days have been…well, exhilarating. And as I look back the last few months have been nothing but a crazy mixture of all possible emotions, such as loss, grieve, transformation, adaptation, exploration and a totally new adventure for all three members of our tiny familia. Simply put all of us are doing fine, thanks. It’s just the time and space that have changed for us. Sami is having a blast with his loving grandparents to my complete amazement, as I was expecting him to be throwing fits left and right and not to mention to fully protest once we leave. It’s been ten full days that we haven’t hugged and smooched, but thank goodness for the almighty Skype, so that I can actually see how relaxed and happy he is, even without mommy. As sad as this sometimes makes me feel, I realize that there is nothing better in the whole wide world than the smile of your prodigy. So I take a full breath and remind myself that he is his own person, his own universe and we all are there to support, and sometimes to just sit and watch him develop. I am so sad that we are missing major milestones such as him stringing a whole sentence or just his tender soft and fuzzy skin …Now a whole sea of emotions overwhelms me when I see his cheering face and his constant moving around in front of the web cam.
Enough of that. Already!
Knowing that he is OK we can actually move ahead with other preoccupations such as finding a place to live in here, and all the logistics of moving to a completely new place hardly knowing anyone. Thankfully we found a friend of a friend and he took us in till we find a flat. Such a nice and relaxed guy! Many, many thanks to strangers again! It is so nice to get help like that and hopefully we can pay it all forward one day.
While dealing with institutions we cannot help but explore the city. Because being a real city, it’s everywhere. Should I even dare to compare with Vegas? Little coffee shops, art galleries, parks, cathedrals, book stores, vintage shops, benches where you can just sit and watch the world go by…

I am taking it all in and enjoying every sunny moment we are given…

Vegas, baby, I will miss you!

Spending the most of my 20’s in sin city has been a true roller-coaster. Maybe because it was my 20’s and many things do happen in life while at that age, maybe because it is the city that never sleeps…but by the bags under my eyes you can tell I did live here! Man, the things we went through! I can just spread my mind on a table and start throwing random memories around. Sweet, bitter, sour…all tastes.

I clearly remember the day we arrived. It was dark and we have been driving from LA after 2 days of flying around the globe to get there. Bushes after bushes of thorny desert vegetation and hours of delirious state of mind could not have averted us from being amazed at the grandeur of million bright lights, fusing colors and constant motion. This phase lasted a whole  oblivious month. We surrendered to this amazement that you get when discovering a whole new universe.

*this is our first photo of America, somewhere between LA and Vegas. Let’s see what the last one will be.

Work. Day and night. It totally gave us the independence that comes with having enough money so that you don’t have to worry about your fridge ever being empty. It gave us much more than this. We could travel and explore, and do things we enjoy. We went to New Zealand and we knew that we will be back there. We touched dolphins in Costa Rica. Well, they came because they know when a woman is carrying a baby. It is an old wife’s tale, but I so believed in it. The dolphins knew before I knew.

We devoured the world with eyes wide open. And then it goes…we skydived above lake Taupo, we ate oysters in Huntington beach, we had wine in wineries along California, conceived our son in total bliss, and we welcomed him in absolute amazement; we snorkeled in the turquoise waters of  Jamaica’s beaches; saw and felt the Grand Canyon; got an English bulldog and she slobbered our lives; lay on the beach in Mexico gazing at the pelicans for hours; had sushi at 5 in the morning; went to clubs and concerts; saw “The dark side of the moon” by Roger Waters and did not stop crying during the whole show;  we had the best coffee at New York’s famous Soho; we bowled in the middle of the night in Boston; enjoyed Bellagio’s transfixing fountains whatever chance we had; dined in the most exquisite world renowned restaurants; owned our first home that we adore; slept on an island in Fiji with no electricity, water, and with the door open; had soup in a bread bowl on the pier in San Francisco; saw Sami take his first steps; visited museums, galleries, shops, but mostly restaurants; experienced all kind of exotic cuisines; traded our TV for a fireplace (a great choice); had a couple’s massage in China town, we even had our own garage sale…

We missed Bulgaria tremendously. We cried, we laughed, we mourned. We studied, worked, changed a million diapers, faced the biggest challenge of becoming parents, namely being responsible for another human being. We opened up, we evolved, we regressed. Got sick and then healed. We experienced a hell of a lot and then we got bored. We got anxious, itchy. Ready to move on.

I am so grateful for my life. I am counting my blessings.

p.s. What happens in Vegas, stays in you, for good and for worse. Mostly for good!

packing our troubles away

We got the packing fever. Now that we are only three weeks away from the Big Trip to Varna, I can be reached from under a brown box in the garage or on weekends, covered in to-do-lists. You guessed it, it is a good time in the Wacko’s residence. Lists, boxes, labels, tape, suitcases with items, organized alphabetically, ranked by timetable and cross-referenced. Just the other night, when we were having wine, way past 9.30, hardly keeping our eyes open, after an exhausting water park with “the one we don’t speak of while we have wine at a date night”, I had the brilliant thought of packing cross my mind. Startled by this sudden urge, I had to immediately jump up and scare my half asleep partner in crime. Next thing you know, we are both throwing boxes around in the sweltering heat of the garage. And kicking it!

We got rid of maybe half of our stuff. And we are about to donate the rest. Man, the relief! This felt like discarding a huge load of emotional garbage we unnecessarily have been holding on for ages . The garage is empty. Hearts are full. The flip side is how on earth does one pack seven years in three suitcases? Because the new air regulation allows you to take along only one suitcase with you. One.

Lately, I have been introduced to the great idea of simplifying and living with the minimum of possessions. It is this great blog that I have been following for the past year and I cannot stop recommending it to friends. It does tell you things that you already know in such an awakening way, it’s like a slap on the cheek. And we do need that, living in the most consumer-oriented country in the world we had our fare share of indulgence. I am sure this was a really good lesson in life. Now we know we can manage on so much less, it is actually quite inspiring once you figure that big consumer hoax out. So pack, unpack, but remember “Don’t get attached to anything you can’t walk out on in 15 minutes”. This is the best line in the movie “Heat”.

So Sami, Stoyan, Alex and, oh my god I almost forgot, Memi ( this is Sami’s buddy, his transitional object, if I may) are off to a good start. I wish it was that easy to forget some things in life too…

the A-B-C’s of pleasure

Becoming a mother has changed my core. It needs so much explaining, then again the simplest definition would be that I am a new person. Yes, many of my interests remain the same. Most of my true friends stayed along my toughest moments. And I am still crazy about following my personal legend, as much as loving coffee and traveling the world.

The world, though, will have to wait.

Because mommy is busy with a leviathan (man, the word alone) of agendas these days. The simplest duties of everyday life have such a new significance. Routine rules the tiniest of detail and the pile of laundry looks sometimes harder than the SPSS functional analysis. And all this is nothing, absolutely nothing when it comes to devoting your ego to someone else. I have to say that deciding to have a child IS indeed deciding to have your heart living outside your own body. Before I completely turn all my carefree girlfriends against the mere idea of conceiving a baby, I have to share this: Motherhood is the most unique, inexplicable, challenging, and Wonderful (as full of wonders) experience EVAH! So go ahead. Fear it. Cos, the more the fear the bigger the amazement! When Sami giggles, feels like a shot or exhilaration  goes straight to my blood circulation and spreads love to all my organs right through my pores. Was that too vivid?

OK, back to earth now. I have become addicted to cooking for Sami, my organic baby. For those of you who have known me for a while, this is a big, I mean BIG new thing for me. Growing in a family where food had no major significance, I have never paid any particular  attention to it. Bring on a sandwich with liuteniza (mmm, one of the bestest Bulgarian inventions, right after the computer; it’s a tomato, pepper spicy spread) and I would be the happiest kiddo on the block; I could survive on watermelon alone during the summer… Well, all that changed when I met my food aficionado husband. I don’t know why and how but we no longer can just have a plain sandwich while kicking back on the couch. Everything has to please the eye, then the pallet, then the stomach. And since I am a firm believer that you are what you eat, I try to eat pretty, healthy and happy things. As simple as that.

Sami’s food then, has to be the prettiest, sweetest, cutest, yummiest in the whole wide world, because it is written all over him. Now, this is the drooling mum talking, that I promised myself never to become. Ding! Another novelty. You have been warned.

I realize that I have been blabbering a lot when all I wanted to say is that I cooked an alphabet breakfast for Sami this morning. It took a good hour to feed him, spelling words for him, and now that he is napping, instead of wiping sticky W’s from the kitchen floor, I decided to share this. S-W-E-E-T!

Bon Apetit!

when one will be no more

My father is dying. Out of cancer.

I have been thinking a lot about death. For eight agonizing months…Its palpable presence is on the back of my mind, always. I have been weak, dumbfounded, but mostly I have been trying to take on a deeply philosophical perspective. Today I came upon these truthful words by A. Schopenhauer:

“…besides life must in any case soon end; so that the few years which perhaps one has yet to be vanish entirely before the endless time when one will be no more. Accordingly it appears to reflection even ludicrous to be so anxious about this span of time to tremble so much if our own life or that of another is in danger, and to compose tragedies the horror of which has its strength in the fear of death. That powerful attachment to life is therefore irrational and blind; it can only be explained from the fact that our own inner nature is itself will to live, to which life must appear as the highest good, however embittered, short, and uncertain it may always be.”

And as I sit here, in my quiet living room, I take a stand to make the most of these precious short moments that I have been given. To grow. Experience. Change. Share. To embrace…

amor fati

Fancy title, Alex. I know.

I have realized that I find myself struggling when I try to express something simple. It is quite ironic, since things are what they are, right? But for me it seems like it is easier to go about something instead of giving it its purest and simplest name. This is why I prefer to use the actual iconic language of established concepts. Here I go again..

Amor fati or this-is-the-way-things-are-meant-to-be is Neitzche’s love for one’s faith. I have always struggled with my own fate, until the moment I decided to just accept it and to love it, to squeeze it and embrace it fully. It is a strange, dark, and at the same time quite simple process. It is an actual participation in my own creation. It is a choice that anyone can make. There is such a sense of joy that comes from participation in your own destiny, no matter how slight it is. It does involve, of course a bitter realization of your own limitations, but still so worth it. Just a recommendation, that is…