The glass half full*

10245360_10152486109842572_2873249476726703249_n You know how it goes – end of the year: we count our blessings, renew wishes, settle goals for the upcoming year and make final decisions (not so final, most of the times). As far as I´m concerned, every excuse to get ahead in life and be happier is welcome – cliché or not.

December 2014 got me thinking about that story of the glass half full (or empty). You can distinguish the queens and the beggars by the way they talk about life unexpected turn of events. I´m an optimistic – against all odds. Notice something: I said OPTIMISTIC, not stupid. Same confusion with ROMANTICISM. I am a ROMANTIC – not a dumb ass or a matress who enjoys being stepped on.

Get those concepts clear, please!

My glass is permanently half full. This is owed to my optimism but also to my compulsive curiosity for life. I live as much as I observe life from the outside: I´m the actress and the audience of my own theatre play. Having seen the picture from the outside, I can fairly say the so called “rough patches” on the road took me exactly where I was supposed to be.

 I DON´T have a particular taste for tragedy or irony but they´re there, in our daily lives, like it or not: big and small tragedies coated with irony. If there´s a God, It has a twisted sense of humor.

I DO have a taste for learning and being happy. That means paying attention to the chain of events that lead me where my home is. Let me repeat: paying attention. Did you write that down? Good.

I could tell you a hundred real life stories that prove the glass is always half full; here´s just a couple of them to make you all cosy and warm:

The first audition I made in Cairo, Egypt, was a disgrace (as well as the perfect warning of what laid ahead): me, a retired “artistic empresario” who didn´t want to be there, two “pashas” (owners of the place) staring at me and a cold cd player. Ah: the Nile was shinning outside the window but it didn´t seem to add much poetry to the dramatic moment.

All seemed to go well and a contract was on the horizon. I was jumping with excitement, not yet believing how lucky I was to be hired on my first audition in one of the best places in town. Then reality stroke: he wanted the old meat piece.

Shock, tears of disappointment, I told you so from my boyfriend of that time, some heartfelt cursing on the mothers who raise such sub-species of men and, finally, the inevitable decision to breathe, live and move on.

My “almost” sugar daddy felt offended with my refusal to collaborate, as many others would (who the hell does she think she is?!); he also gave me the clue to reach who would become my first boss, my angel and a good friend I keep until now.

– I see you don´t like Egyptians…humgh! (yes: that was the sound the polished cave man did)…maybe you prefer Indian men…there´s a guy managing Oberoi hotels – why don´t you find him? – He suggested, his words filled with spite.

I did. I was paying attention and, if you ARE paying attention, an open door will not pass unnoticed (especially in a world dominated by closed doors). The rest is history, as they say. I reached out for the man who would be the only honest, professional, good man I met in the Oriental Dance business in Egypt. I started performing and being requested and I haven´t stopped climbing ever since.  From Portugal to Egypt; from Egypt to the World. Yeah, baby; thanks, baby!

An event that could be seen as an obstacle – it was, in its own way -, turned out to be a blessing.

***

Fast forward: I was returning from Russia a couple of weeks ago: Petrozavodsk, then St. Petersburg. My flight in St. Petersburg was cancelled. Just what I needed. I was happy but exhausted, I hadn´t slept in 24 hours, I had an important meeting with an editor (for my upcoming book) in Lisbon the next day and another work trip to Greece within two days. Great!

Another flight was provided – I would pass by my favourite city in the world (London), instead of Munich, as it was initially planned. Ok…not so bad. I got to London, made my shopping, dreamt about bumping into Jude Law (again and again) and finally headed to Lisbon.

Once the airplane started to descend, another unexpected turn of events hit me: the airplane started to jump around like a crazy monkey on cocaine. Passengers started to yell; some needed immediate assistance; hysteria arrived and refused to leave. The pilot tried to land, between bumps and jumps and spins that made me consider this might be the last day of my life. Unsuccessful landing. He pulled the plane up in a single flash: full speed, full power, full adrenaline: full shit in the pants of the whole airplane.

I held myself to the sit, searching for solutions in case we had to land on the Atlantic Ocean or evacuate on the air. No doubt I am crazy to think I could survive this one but I did (and I´m proud of myself for having done so).

Second attempt of landing – even more violent than the previous one – failed. Death was starting to smile and wave at us. What if we don´t get back to a safe flying zone? What if the plan doesn´t have enough fuel to reach the nearest airport? What if? 

Strangely calm, I started to manage the chaos (Chaos Manager should be my middle name). Silence – the good kind – came, a strange tranquility covered the fear and the captain of the plain finally talked about the solution:

– We will head to the south of Portugal. We hope we can land safely in Faro. Thanks for your understanding.

Passengers started to complain – I guess they were the real crazy monkeys on cocaine!

-I can´t believe it! Now we´ll not be able to sleep at home…why couldn´t he have landed, despite the storm?

People are funny. Or stupid – plain stupid. The same creatures who were having a heart attack a few minutes ago were now blaiming the pilot for refusing a third landing attempt.

Let me think: should he risk his life – as well as ours – one more time or should we land in another airport? Should we lose a night sleep or the rest of our lives? Hmmm…let me think carefully.

Duh.

I hadn´t slept for more than 24 hours; I was exhausted and stressed about the time I would have left to prepare for my next work trip; I also had to cancel that important meeting with my editor. Still…between living and dying, I´d still choose the first.

Result: we did land in Faro; we were taken to a 5 star hotel with luxurious rooms (that jaccuzzi!), a divine sunrise and a breakfast fit for royalty. We flew back to Lisbon in the morning, inhaled that early morning coffee with our noses intact and got home safely.

What is more: the editor with whom I was supposed to have met (and with whom I had to cancel due to this joyride) turned out to be a bully with whom I refused to work – that refusal took me to the editor I had been dreaming about (with whom I am currently working). There was just enough time to prepare for Greece and I was still alive and in one piece.

Some friends who knew about this troubled trip commented: oh, poor you…such bad luck! 

I don´t think so, dear friends 😉

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