The Island’s Red Shoes

Maria was only 9 years old when her father bough her the most beautiful red shoes in the  whole island. She would wear the shinny red shoes to church where she would notice glares and giggles from the little kids but she would always have her head high with pride. Maria came from a wealthy but humble family in the island where most could not afford to wear shoes not to mention fancy, shinny shoes that came all the way from Europe.

Maria’s father was a business man with vast amounts of acres of land filled with prosperous resources. He was very much involved in politics and spent most time either working on land or engaged with political aspirations that were shacking up the island’s quiet atmosphere. The whole island knew Maria’s father as the man who had helped build the first public transportation from distinct rural areas to the main city and port. Although, she would notice the kids often whispering regards about her, they would not dare to approach her with any comments. There was once a boy at Maria’s school who used to make fun of her florescent backpack and left Maria with an obnoxious cry. The teachers came rushing towards her to find what had happened and Maria would have only pointed her fingers at the boy, that was sufficient to whisk him away. Since that incident, the boy never dared to look at Maria and she would never acknowledge his presence of being important.

Maria’s mother came from a very wealthy and educated family on the contrary to her father, who never saw the importance of school, he believed that one can achieve success through the hard work of his bare hands. Her father also blamed education for corrupting the mind of young man who wanted to rebel against the treatment of the colonial power.He was not a man that would waste his time talking about ideologies as his wife’s brothers would do but he believe firmly in the act of doing. He was a visionary, whatever he would put his mind and hands to it he would surely achieve at great success.

Maria was very much spoiled by her father, she had a maid all to her self who was infatuated with dressing Maria like a doll. Joana, the young maid was the daughter of Paula, the main maid of the house whom had lived with Maria’s family for a very long time. Although Maria’s father was barely at home expect for lunch time, he insisted that her daughter would be beautifully dressed and presentable. This was very hard job for Joana as she was always finding that Maria was often dirty from her mysterious and imaginary plays. Secretly, Joana loved finding Maria unkempt, being a perfect excuse to play dress up with the most beautiful closet she had ever seen, filled with dresses and shoes bought from abroad.

Maria had 4 brothers who were not spoiled like her, they were free to do and play as they like and were not expected to be tidy at all times. Maria’s brother knew that she had great expectations laid by their parents so they would use this to their advantage. Often times, you would see the brothers teasing, fighting and confiscating Maria’s journal and running around while reading some of her poems. This would irritate Maria very much, she would cry and beg hysterically for them to stop. By the time Maria’s mother would notice the incident, she would find Maria laying on the floor with her brothers fighting like a professional wrestler. The brothers, who would always start the fights, would never get in trouble, however Maria would get sent to her room where she was not allowed to leave unless told so. The punishment would not brother her, as she could spend ours in the widow sill of her room writing poems  and plays made up with her imaginary friends.

Mafalda, was a very curious imaginary friend, she always wanted to know what Maria would write on her journal.

“What are you writing about this time Maria?”.

” My feelings towards people on this island.”

“What are your thoughts about the people?”

“I don’t know, I can’t understand why I have all these nice things and the kids in my school do not”.

“So, you want the Portuguese to be overthrown, you are in favor of independence?” Mafalda was a clever little imaginary friend, she was informed about everything.

“I don’t know, Papa tells me that the Portuguese are our friends and the rebels will sink our country towards misery, I heard him say that on the phone.”

“Do you think that’s true?”asked Mafalda.

“I am not sure, I just wish that all the kids could afford to wear shoes so they could leave mine alone.” Maria laid her head on the window sill with bewilderment over her feelings and continue saying to Mafalda. “I wish, I didn’t have all of these things so that all the kids in my school would treat me normal.”

There was a knock on Maria’s door and Mafalda quickly evaporated into thin area.

“Maria, you didn’t change into your knew dress, we are running late to the school’s play.” Joana said it with an almost whispering tune so not to let anyone hear the reason for their tardiness. “No, wear those shiny red shoes, your father bought you from Portugal.”

Maria hated those red shoes. Every time she would wear it all she could see were people whispering to each other ears with comments that she knew where about her. But Maria didn’t have time to think, she was late and she was the main act of her school Christmas play. She loved to sing and be on the stage, it was her world of wonderland. When she was on stage she would dose off where she would imagine floating in the clouds way up high and the people on stage would shortly seem like ants down bellow.

Everyone had clapped and stood up by her performance which seemed to be one of her best, marked in people’s memory. As she rushed from the stage towards her father that was sitting with the audience, Maria’s shoes got stuck on a crack of the stare case where she bumped her head so violently that she lost consciousness for a little moment. Maria had woken up from a dark dream and with confusion saw everyone gathered around her, making sure she was fine. Maria, immediately looked down towards her shoes with great hatred. Since, that bare moment she never laid her eye on those red shoes where she had hid it in the darkest corner of her closet. From that day, it was said that Maria had lost her ability to sing. Since then, something had changed in her, her imaginary friend had moved on to another innocent child. Maria would pass most her times writing about  her emotions and finding out what to make of them .

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A New Year 2018

Dear Me,

You know you are not one to commemorate anything and the New Years is not an exemption. However, this year was a very challenging one and lot of self-reflection and growth happened. I am finding myself deeper in my thoughts and reflecting very hard on my personal growth and barriers I had to overcome.

I am not one to make new years resolution and I am not here to write a list of what I would like to accomplish in 2018. It’s time to make goals and set time lines. To leave behind the negativity and move forward. To stop making excuses and just do the things I most fear. Mostly, I want to live in the moment, to cherish everything around, to leave a little bit of goodness every day.

This letter is not to set up expectations and looking to fulfill them in a time span. It is not to accomplish all my dreams, goals, obstacles and fears in a the year to come. Rather, it is a time to pause and reflect on how far I reached within a year. To look at my blessings and downfalls.

Most importantly, when you look back remember there is no such thing as “failure”. When you wake up every day and try again and didn’t succeed, you didn’t fail. When you try new things and it did not go as planned, you didn’t fail. When life takes its own course instead of yours, you didn’t fail. What’s more important is what you learned from all that God had planned for you.

Now, read this post and reflect all the personal growth and blessings that have occurred within a year and don’t worry about what people think you should be doing or where you should be.

Don’t be delusional, don’t fall into trend, there is no such thing as happiness. There is however, a sense of peace knowing that you will embrace whatever comes or does not come your way. Not only embrace, face it, conquer it and gain the most expensive gift in life, “patience”.

Look at your daughters and see how much they have grown, hug them and tell them you “love them”. Pray for all the blessings that God has bestowed. If you cried a lot, it is time to smile. If you smiled a lot, it is time to help others who have cried. If you have gained, it is time to give. If you have lost, it is time to accept. If you loved than love even harder. Know that all your prayers are not answer in this life. Ameen.

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30 Things I’ve learned in 30 years

My birthday is coming up very soon and since I’ve been having lots of contractions on and off , I don’t think I will last until my due day month of August. I thought I would share what I’ve learned in my 30 years. It will not be in any order, it will be just random thoughts that pop into my head as I write. I just hope I can think of 30 things. Here we go!

  1. My mamma always told me in Portuguese, “You catch bees with honey.” This saying has many interpretations but what I took from it is, to be kind, it will take your further than rudeness.
  2. Being patient does not mean you sit around waiting for something to happen. You have to work hard even if it means waiting forever to see the outcome of your hard work.
  3. Crying and letting your emotions out does not mean you are weak, it means you have courage to deal and confront with your problems and emotions.
  4. Mothers are always right! My mamma told me I will understand her when I have kids of my own and oh boy was she right about that!
  5. My crown is my hijab. I wear my faith on my head and there is nothing more powerful than that. It keeps me in check and conscious of my every action.
  6. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. First impressions are not the most important at all. Great people can pass right by you because of misjudging at first glance.
  7. Everyone has a story worthy of telling. Worldly problems can be solved through story telling, we would soon discover how similar we are than different.
  8. You can’t change the world but you can work in changing yourself and hopefully something good will come out of it.
  9. Things never happen according to our plans. It doesn’t mean we can’t work hard towards our goals and dreams. But I strongly believe that God has a better plan than we do. There are things that we want right now that can actually harm us, if our plans are shifted by God’s will it’s for a purpose.
  10. If something is meant to cross your journey it will and if it is not meant it will not.
  11. Never assume! So much negativity comes out from assuming something of someone or situation. The truth is only God knows our true intentions and if we don’t ask because we assume we know everything than we stay in a stage of ignorance.
  12. The best stories come from our elderly friends. Truly they are like libraries, if we do not communicate with them, we miss out on a lot of experiences, expertise and knowledge.
  13. To take care of your health. Health is best richness we will ever have. Health is worth more than money. We shouldn’t take health for granted and try to take care our body, mind and soul as much as we can.
  14. Society has undertaken the value of a mother. Being a stay at home mother is viewed as a failure in life and a waste of time. Stay at home mothers don’t get the same respect as a women who establishes her career and is aggressive in the workforce.
  15. Societies that value and support motherhood are overall a more successful society. Take some European countries as an example, such as, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands ect. look at their crime rates and quality of life.
  16. Peace and tranquility lies in the remembrance of God and not in beautiful island far away.
  17. Men and women are not created equal that doesn’t mean we are not equally important and valued. I should not strive to be the same as men nor should I want to strive to be like a men for the sake of his manhood but for his motives and accomplishments. Giving men the standard of what a women should strive for is just reiterating that women are inferior and to be superior like them, we should work to be the same as them.
  18. A person’s self value does not come by the things one has or achievements but rather by ones intentions and good action.
  19. What use does knowledge have if one uses for evil?
  20. Knowledge is everywhere it is not restricted by standard education.
  21. You may look to your right and find someone who is in much better situation than you but if you look to your left you will find someone else in a worst situation. Be grateful.
  22. Look for the things that you do have and not what you don’t have.
  23. Don’t take your mood out on people. This is actually very hard for me because I can’t control my emotions very well, whether its anger, sadness or happiness so I tend to act the way I feel but the reality is, no one deserves to be treated unkindly only because we are not having a good day.
  24. Everything has it’s time. Another one that is hard for me as well. We might see everyone else successful around us while we are stuck in a puddle but we don’t know what the future has installed for us.
  25. There is no such thing as a picture perfect. What we see in the exterior might not be what we really think it is. Doesn’t mean someone that looks happy in the exterior is actually in a stage of contentment.
  26. This wordily life is not meant to find happiness it is meant to find God and our purpose in this life.
  27. Kids are not a burden they are a blessing. I am tired of hearing how expensive and time consuming kids are. There is nothing more worthy in this world than passing along your legacy and hard work that one puts towards raising your kids.
  28. Let go a bit! I used to pride myself of being spontaneous and going with the flow. Now, I feel I am very controlling and have to organize my time. Although, I believe it is good to have some sort of organization in your life, it is important to let go of things and try to enjoy unpredictable moments.
  29. Traveling is the most enlightening experience in the world.
  30. Spend your money wisely. Oh how I wish I could take my own advise!

Wow, I can’t believe I made it to number 30 and I can’t wait to have 60/70/80 and 90 more tricks under my sleeve. Let me know what were some of your life’s biggest lessons. I would love to learn from you.

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