Friday, March 29, 2013

My big leap.

   These are my thoughts to Carrie Fletcher's video about taking chances and big risks.

   But I am currently in the midst of preparing to make the biggest leap of my life, so far. I am moving to a different country by myself. I think I've been taking this into baby steps, and this was the next rational action. I have moved around before, I have moved countries with my family, I have moved by myself to a new town. I have traveled abroad by myself before. All in preparation for this.

   Ok, so it's not as immediate as I'm making it out to be, but I know for certain it is the thing I most want to do right now. I have a pretty good job that I've grown to love, I have reconnected with friends I haven't seen in over 8 years and I'm getting closer to my family. But at the same time I am willing to trade that for this move.

  I applied and been accepted to a very prestigious school in England for a master's program and I have no hesitation whatsoever about accepting it. I am going to work as hard as I can to save up some money to pay for it myself without being a strain on my parents, so that is also another sacrifice I am willing to make since I could be using this money for more immediate pleasures. And I know this will be so very worth it.

   I'd love to know what are some big leaps you might have taken, wanted to take, plan on taking. And whatever they are I wish you good luck.



   p.s. no this blog has not become a "I respond to YT videos" thing, it's just I really wanted to write more than the comment section would let me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My happy list.

   It is often pointed out to me how much I complain about things. I like to think that I have been getting better in that sense from a few years ago, although I have a lot of progress yet to make. 

   Inspired by Ze Frank, I decided to make a list of  of the small things that make me happy. I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the hardest things I've had to do in a while. I don't stop to think about these things often enough, and could not come up with a list from the top of my head. I started this post on Saturday (23/03) and could only post it today, after making a conscious effort of noticing what small things in my daily life make me happy.

  • going out of my way to step into puddles when I'm wearing rain boots.
  • warming up my feet under my computer when I'm cold.
  • particularly well worded sentences.
  • hearing that pop of air when you open a vacuum sealed container.
  • smell of new books.
  • Grandma's "bolinhos de chuva"
  • puns
  • being right when you guess the end of a movie/book/tv show
  • being wrong when you guess the end of a movie/book/tv show
  • a new page on a notebook
   It was a fun exercise and I recommend it to anybody who would like to try. What about you, what's on yours list?


p.s. for an explanation about the little blood bag next to the video. Check out the Red Cross' Facebook Page

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Follow your dreams... to where?

   I consider myself to be a very motivated person.  I am not shy about wanting something and going after it with all my might, even if it doesn’t seem logical or healthy at first. A good percentage of my life online is spent reading/watching/following people who are passionate about things and aren’t afraid of pursuing what they love, some of them at a dubiously young age.  When I see those people I think “wow, great! I’m like that! So if I don’t give up I too can be successful!”

   Problem is, I don’t know what I’m passionate about. Or what I want to do. Feels like I’m drawing a bow and aiming really hard, at a target that doesn’t exist. I’m not scared of hard work, I thrive on it in fact, I just don’t know towards what or where to direct that hard work. 

   A few posts ago, I responded to Bryarly Bishop’s post about this sort of thing; what dogoal oriented people do when there is no clear defined goal? And here I am struggling with it over and over again. I have just landed a shiny new job, which on the second day I’ve grown to hate. I don’t make enough money, I don’t feel stimulated intellectually or creatively and yet there’s nothing better on the horizon so I’m gonna stay.

It would be easy for me to leave, look for another job, start my own thing. Pursue the career I’ve always wanted. Except for knowing what that is. If I go back as far as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer, a scientist, a lawyer, a producer, a diplomat amongst many other things. Now at the ripe age of 22 with the world ahead of me, wind beneath my wings and the power of the internet to keep me cruising, I don’t know where I want to go.

It is a little frustrating to see 19 year old YouTubers with defined careers and a growing empire, because they had the guts to do what they wanted and are good enough to make money out of it. Do I want to be a YouTuber then? Not really.

What should be an easy thing becomes so complicated. I should know this. Its a test about me and I don’t have the answers. It's like when people want to give advice about your life and they say "just be yourself", well newsflash if I knew who "myself"was I wouldn't need to ask for your advice! So for now I’ll stick with being an executive assistant and I’ll hate waking up every morning. At some point I’ll figure it out what it is I love to do, right?


Monday, March 18, 2013

I ask strangers to take pictures of me; a memoir of my trip to the UK

  For an extroverted person I enjoy spending a lot of time on my own. I particularly like traveling by myself because it gives me freedom to do whatever I want.

   I can change plans on a whim, lounge around all day and eat whenever I want without having to coordinate with anybody else's schedule.

   It wasn't perfect on my first days in London since the people at the hostel I was staying at kept to themselves and it was hard to make friends when everybody (yours trully included) just sat in the common area with their headphones in staring at their computer/phone/tablet screens. But things eased up. I made friends from a different hostels, and we spent some time together before going on our separate ways. After London I was basically visiting friends in the cities I was going to and that was great as well. Because they were there for only part of the journey, in their home territory so they could show me around the nooks and crannies of the lesser beaten path.

  This trip is exactly what I had romanticized traveling to be like. I went out of my comfort zone. I choked on meeting my idol, I ate haggis, I climbed a mountain, I drank with strangers, and got hit by a car. All stories I'll cherish for the rest of my life, of the time when I could have put this trip off for another year, to wait until I had more money, or more stability on my job... or a job at all to be honest. But no, seeing the UK has been a dream of mine for a very long time and I didn't want it to be my good china.
    I'm not the kind of person who looks at a mountain and says "I'm gonna climb that", what I am though is the kind of person who doesn't deny herself experiences. And I climbed that mountain, figuratively and literally, and it was completely worth it.
view from the top of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Scotland

   Now that I'm back home I have some projects that I want to pick up and work on, hopefully some of them will pan out alright, and the ones that don't will be a good way for me to spend time without feeling like I'm wasting my life.

  Still no progress made on those new years resolutions though.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Social Experiment

   Based on Chris Gillebeau's post, How Can You Help Someone For Free, A Social Experiment I've decided that although I'm not very skilled, artistic or even that resourceful there are two things I can give away for free and that can make at least a little bit of a difference to somebody.

  1st. - I am fluent in Portuguese, so I am offering to anyone who needs translations of anything (into portuguese to english or vice versa) they might need. Transcrips, an article, a love letter. You name it, contact me in the comment section and I'll get it done for you in no later then a week. (provided your document is not absurdly long, that might take some time). I am also willing to offer some portuguese lessons for a month to those interested, just keep in mind I'm not a teacher.

   2nd. - I will talk to anybody who wants to, sometimes you just wish there was another person at the end of that angry tweet, or passive agressive tumblr post. Say anything you want in the comment and I will respond to the best of my ability, and if you're extra cheeky (because I'm still in England) you even get a joke (albeit not a very good one) at the end.

   I also want to encourage everybody who reads this to look at Chris' article and think of one thing you can give that might help somebody, anybody, and try out this social experiment.

   Amanda Palmer gave an amazing TED talk about people helping other people, and their willingness to do so. You just have to ask. I highly recommend her video, but would like to go a little farther and say that people also really want your help, all you have to do is offer.



Saturday, March 9, 2013

Choking up

   So last night I met JK Rowling.

   That's right, I'll let that sink in for a while, since It took me forever to believe it was actually happening. She came to The Forum in Bath to talk about her new book and was every bit as amazing as I expected her to be.

   She's honest, and funny and caring. I could go on and on about what she said or what the book is about but I would not be able to do it justice. Also, being the selfish person that I am, I want to talk about myself.

   After the talk she had agreed to sign a copy of The Casual Vacancy for everybody that wanted one. Being in the farthest rows I was one of the last people to get it. So I had enough time to psyche myself out, to nearly vomit several times, threaten a few heart attacks and convince my friend that I am absolutely bat-shit crazy. When we started lining up I had already decided what I wanted to say to her, it was just simple and I edited in my head a bunch of times so it wouldn't be too long, or not sound rude or anything like that. At the leading up to it I actually rehearsed the line in my head over and over again.

   I finally walked up to the table, looked at her straight in the eyes and couldn't do it. The words didn't come out, and I felt so vulnerable and rushed and confused I couldn't say anything. What I wanted to say was personal, and really important to me, and I couldn't do it in front of a thousand strangers.

  I had one chance and I fucked it up.

  I'm not dwelling on it though. I count myself lucky to have been able to be there, to meet a person I idolize so much that I am actually rendered speechless (for those of you who know me in real life, that is indeed a feat).  It was a once in a life time thing and I although it didn't go as planned I did manage to squeak out a "thank you", and after all that was all I really wanted to say.


Monday, March 4, 2013

My Fish & Chips Adventure!

   I went out with my new friend, Tea With Me, on Thursday to find London's allegedly best fish and chips.
  The destination was the Rock & Sole Plaice in Covent Garden. We got there, eventually.

  The thing is, I am used to New York City where you can literally get anywhere by counting. Now, in London I'm not ashamed to look like a tourist and open up my big ol' map to try to find where I am going (to the side obviously, people do NOT stop in the middle of the sidewalk).

  Thing is, we had two different maps, and iPhone and the maps the city provides (btw, thank you London for those). And we still walked in the wrong direction SEVERAL times, because the streets aren't straight, and they sometimes continue, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they are named, sometimes the names changed but not on the guide.

  Anyhow, as soon as I got to eating I realised I'm not schooled in the art of fish and chips. So although I throughly enjoyed my meal, I'm not qualified to agree with its status of best in all of London.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

So mad at myself I can't even think properly

So I'm not even half way through my trip and I am already 40 pounds short for pure stupidity!

So I was in Oxford this weekend, going to Cardiff today. Bought my ticket ages ago through Megabus (INCLUDE LINK) and was all set to get on my merry way. When my very sensible friend pointed out that I would be getting to Cardiff sort of late and maybe would not be able to check in. I tried calling the hostel but got no answer so I just assumed I couldn't and proceeded to buy a new ticket (for 20 pounds) at an earlier time. I ended up leaving Oxford just five minutes too late and missed the bus by that much.

Once at the bus station, already pissed at myself for my stupidity, I asked the nice lady at the counter when the next bus would be, and that one is already full, so the only available seat is for the bus I already have tickets for. She also mentioned that if by any chance there is a spot free on this earlier bus it costs only 5 pounds (not the 20 I threw away foolishly) to take an earlier one.

Even angrier now, I log online to see FINALLY a response from the hostel saying it is fine if I checked in at a later time.

So the lesson here girls and boys, is PLAN your trips, otherwise you're gonna be so mad at yourself you won't be able to enjoy it.

But these things do happen, what I found to the be best thing is to just take a deep breath, allow yourself to feel all the emotions you need to feel then let it go. If you can't get the money back just make sure you are paying more attention the second time, and don't spoil your trip further by dwelling on it.



p.s. the remaining 20 pounds are for stupidities of different nature, but also just as maddening.