Many years from now

Sometimes I wanna fast forward life.

It’s not that I don’t wanna enjoy those precious moments yet to come. Their first day of school, putting up the Christmas tree every year, riding our bikes together as a family, while we are still young enough to do it, or the fact that we still have a long way to go before my babies move out  of our house.

The reason why, sometimes, I wanna be in my 70’s is because, by then, I’ll have a different kind of peace.

When I’m 70, my girls will be 40. I know they’ll no longer depend on me. I will not worry about my girls growing up without a mother every-fucking-time there’s a disease outbreak of some sort.

When I’m 70, I’ll know that we’ve made it. I’ll know that we’ve had the most amazing, incredible life and that every single time I felt threatened that someone or something could’ve teared us apart, it was just a false alarm.

I might be able to sleep when I’m 70.

And, yes, I’ll worry about my 40 year old babies just as much as I do now and I’ll be sad at the thought of leaving them… but hopefully I’ll be mostly grateful and I won’t be afraid.

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Do you believe in Smurfs?

I think of myself as sane. For real. No matter how much the psychiatrist is convinced there’s a schizophrenic elf messing up with the circuits of my brain, I find myself to be pretty reasonable.

Yes, sometimes I react strongly to life-threatening situations, whether the situation is a benign mole that could -in about 20 years- turn evil on me or the tiny black lines I found on my children’s poop, (that actually turned out to be banana fibers, in case you mothers are wondering)… but the only reason I do that, is because I wanna make SURE I know what’s going on and fix it. Quickly.

I mean, that’s reasonable, correct?

Fine, there WAS that day when I checked my temperature 40 times, including in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning…

I guess reassuring myself that my body temperature was normal just made me feel less nervous about the disease I never had.

Ok, fine, that’s one point to schizophrenia.

But I’ve got some good, reasonable, sane moments.

Like, the other day, when the psychiatrist asked me if I believed in the devil.

Well, like any sane person, I do not. Not 100%, anyway. But the idea is pretty scary, right? I mean… it’s the freaking devil. So, there is, I guess that 1% chance that the devil could be real and for that reason I try NOT to read much about it or join any satanic cults ’cause I figured that if there’s something there… I wouldn’t really wanna get involved.

Isn’t that what a sane person would answer? I think I was being very, very plausible.

Fine. At one point I also told her I believed in ghosts.

Well, not ghosts per-say, like… Do I believe people have a soul? Yes! That’s still allowed, right? And I also told her I believed that eventually these souls could try to communicate with us, specially the people who were close to us when they were alive, ’cause Stella (our nanny) had talked to me during a dream once. I also told her that I did not feel prepared to interact with those souls and that, again, I was not 100% sure it was real, because that kind or certainty could only come from a real contact.

I swear to God I thought I was being sane, but apparently I very much wasn’t, because based on those answers she popped up the following question:

What else do you believe in? Do you believe in Smurfs?

Yes, you read it correctly! Smurfs! Smurfs:

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At that point, I absolutely thought about answering YES ’cause my sarcastic vein was pulsing SO HARD I had a hard time controlling my mouth.

But instead, I just said: “No, I am not quite at the level yet, but check back in a few months.”

You would think that the person prescribing medication for your brain would know by now, based on your previous answers, that there it’s a long, long road between believing in souls and believing in smurfs.

I guess not.

I wish I believed in smurfs rather than obsessed about rare diseases, though. It sounds like a hell whole lot more fun!

Plus, they are super cute.

 

What are you afraid of?

Some of you are able to answer that question with one word. Clowns, thunderstorms, ghosts…

It is a bit more complex to me.

If I had to answer that question with one word, I’d have to say: “Everything“.

fear

 

I’m afraid of all things, real or not. But, most of all, I am afraid of the possibility.

There’s a possibility something terrible will happen today. Anything. It could be the day I find out me, my husband or my girls are terribly sick. It could be the day they get hit by a car. Today could be the day that meteor finally hits our house, out of all houses in the world.

Sure, the possibilities are small. Until you google them, and those “rare” facts start looking pretty damn popular…

And so it starts. The trigger has been pulled.

If you think about the possibilities, the only choice you’ll have is to go crazy. Trust me.

But that bullet it’s going pretty fast towards the target, at this point.

In real life it means you got so scared you started acting like all that shit you are afraid of is not a possibility anymore. It’s actually happening. You see signs and symptoms everywhere.

How does it feel like? Torture.

Your breaths are short, you can’t eat, nothing is fun or funny anymore… after all, this IS your last day with your loved ones.

As apocalypse settles inside your chest, you still need to function. You still need to go to work, take care of your kids, be there for your husband and answer to your mom’s 37 calls. “Are you ok?” . “Are you ok?”. “Are you ok NOW?”

I have to admit that sometimes I’m actually slightly distracted, until I get a text from her saying “don’t worry”. So, I actually REMEMBER I’m supposed to worry.

So, how exactly do I handle this?

Well, sometimes the fear is so great, it’s exhausting so I just go: “fuck it, if something terrible happens, I’ll just fix it, it’s not going to kill me TODAY, so TODAY I’ll just watch a fucking comedy movie and enjoy my evening.” – That is a lovely way of handling things and I profoundly thank Seth Rogen and James Franco for being so high all the time (maybe only Rogen?) and creating all these movies whose soul purpose are to get me through this.

After I watch my movie and calm down a little bit, I start trying to put my finger on what caused the crisis. See… in order for the trigger to be pulled, there must be a stressful situation going on, whether you’ve noticed it or not.

Once I figure out what that was (sometimes it’s not clear, sometimes it’s RIGHT THERE) I find a solution for that. Once the solution is found, whenever I think about the possibility again I just figure, “ok, THAT is highly unlikely”.

And I breath again.

All the way until my next crisis.

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*Important ps: Finding a solution may involve hours of google search and up to 3 visits to the doctor, it’s not a 5 minute thing… but I’ll get there! 

A story for Riley

Riley asked to hear a story about Brazil. I’m not sure this is a story, but it’s a start…

Countless nights, we would be up at 3a.m. and would all decide to get together so the boys would go kayaking on this lake, or just talk…. maybe fish. I rarely ever made it home before the sun was out. I had no reason, really.

Some other times we’d drive to this very spot just to make fun of the couples who apparently had no private place to go and be “intimate”. You could totally tell what was going on on those shaky and foggy cars.

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Now that I think about it, most of the nights, I was the only girl in the group. No wonder today, I’m the only woman in the office. I’ve been around the guys so much I sometimes forget I am, technically, not really one of them.

My best memories are at night. Me and my friends are all night owls, I’d say.

While all the surfers and the pretty girls would spend the day at the beach, we’d reach it in the middle of the night and watch the sunrise above the rocks. Just a bunch of nerds.

Except for Serginho, the life-guard. Kindest person you’ll meet in this lifetime.

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To this day I am not sure if I was part of the group or if I just tagged along with them randomly from time to time. I know Penna didn’t even like me at all at first, but he was just so unique and cool and admired by the whole group that I wanted to write a book about it. He is the reason why I have a hard time acknowledging that I was as much a part of their lives as they were of mine, since they are the coolest people I have ever met.

This kind of shit makes me miss the old days and it makes me sad that, no matter what I do, I don’t get to go home.

The reason why I can’t go home, even to visit, is because “home” is not there anymore.

The greatest people I’ve ever met, the best group of friends anyone could ask for, they are not down the street like they used to be.

We have all grown up and moved away. All of us. We have become a little buzz on each other’s phones… and boy, how happy that little buzz makes me.

Sometimes I get a little heart from Leandro… ’cause there’s nothing left to say. We have been talking for over 20 years and could talk for a billion more. I’ll tell you a secret, I miss him every day.

Sometimes Guilherme will send me a song, like he did today and make my day. He’ll make my day ’cause his voice feels like home wherever I am. We have been friends since I was 9 years old. He’s the soundtrack of my life. Whenever I feel alone or scared, I look for his voice again and I feel like he’s there, growing, changing, becoming a parent and facing the world with me. And again, I am ready for anything.

There is a chance I’ll see Serginho again. A good chance. A very good chance! He’s the kindest soul I’ve ever met. He’s made me a better person just by being who he is.

And then, there’s Diego. He’s the little piece of me that’s missing right now. I am having a hard time enjoying all these great things without him.

I wish they’d all live down the street again one day…

Ok… but there’s still a lot to go, and this story is quite short. So, I’m gonna show you some pictures now.

This is what the beach looks like during the day, Riley:

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Yes, you can actually drive your car there, which I notice most people find very weird. I was never your beach-girl, but yes, I could walk there for 4 or 5 hours. I’d normally stop because whoever was with me couldn’t keep up. I was a different person. I absolutely miss that person and I wish my girls could play on this sand some day, but the news we get from there are scarier and scarier every day.

And this, Riley, is a ship. It got stuck there (I’m sure there’s a term for this) in the 70’s I think.

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This is what the ship looks like today:

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This is a little bit of home. I have more stories to tell. Too bad it’s such a different place now…

Good night, Riley.

Terrorism

As mothers, all we wanna do is to cuddle with our babies.

When a mother is born, a great fear is born with her. We are afraid of losing our babies and we are also afraid that our babies might lose us way too soon, before they are ready, before they understand what death is.

Death is a big part of the world right now. Therefore, I find myself scared of sending them to school, to concerts, or even to the playground.

Still, this paralyzing fear cannot make me wonder if I should in fact have had children. Nothing could ever change my mind. I was born to be their mom. I knew I’d be afraid. I have always been afraid of everything.

I am a runner who ran away from a place she considered not to be safe for her children. Yet, as I listen to the benefit concert Ariana Grande did for the victims of the attack in Manchester I can’t help but think to myself “is there a safe place”?  If there is, can we call just go there?

I know all of us moms would love to be there. This world is not meant for a mother’s heart.

How does a mother who can’t protect her baby in her arms feel? How does a mother who can’t feed her children feel? How does a mother with a sick child feel?

What the fuck is wrong with this world? Actually, what the fuck is right?

People have “unfriend” me on facebook when I moved to Canada. Out of jealousy, maybe. Not the terrorists, the good people. The people who are supposed to “fight” evil.

This is something I’ve learned from my husband and my amazing best friend. I’ve learned to be tolerant, to give people a chance, to just fucking let them be happy – no matter how stupid their accomplishments might seem to you.

But these people can’t do that.

Unhappy people are unable to just let others be. They want everything to be more miserable than they are. That way, they won’t feel like the most miserable people on Earth.

Some people will just envy you, unfriend you from the stupid facebook. Some people will attack our babies and make every mother’s worst fears come to life.

“Terror”  is, in fact, a good word to describe it, no wonder they use it.

Right now, I am terrified of life and I don’t know where to run.

I’ve watched the interviews where they asked the children at the Manchester benefit concert “why did you come back?” and they said “because you can’t live in fear. you have to live your life”.

They are right. I have lived in fear for months longer than I can count. Every day I waste worrying about something that is not happening, just afraid of the bad stuff that could happen is a day I did not live.

Fear is a powerful thing.

I hope I can teach my children to not be afraid and to live their lives but for that to happen I guess I should learn how to do that myself.

I wish I knew where to start.

 

35

So, it happened. I turned 35 last Saturday.

Five years ago, when I turned 30, I freaked. Well, I am a firm believer that everyone has the poetic license to freak out whenever they reach a milestone.

Back then, my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, asked me “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” .

The childless, single, living-in-Brazil, 30-year-old me replied specifically:

When I am 35 I wanna have 3 children and I wanna be living in a place that’s not New York but would allow me to go there WITHOUT getting on an airplane on a long weekend or whenever I feel like it.

He took a deep breath and said “well, that’s quite hard”.

I just kinda…

Dude… you asked me what I would wish for, if I could wish for anything in the world. I was not being realistic.

Except, it turns out I was.

So, here I am, the 35 year old me. I am short one kid (by choice) and I must say, despite all the fake-confidence I had when I said those words to my husband, I too am very surprised that in 5 years I got myself where I wanted to be.

But apparently, I do have the secret power to attract the things I say and I feel like that’s a power I should use.

So, I’m gonna make a wish for when I’m 40.

When I’m 40… I wanna be really happy. Just like I am now, except, without the panic disorder, which will allow me to actually ENJOY it. I  also want my girls to still be my best friends and still hug me. I want us all to be healthy. I wanna be in love with my city and if it’s not too much to ask… I kinda wanna be working with something fun and maybe be living in my own house?

Here I go again, people… shooting for the stars. And once again, I know I’ll surprise myself.

Letting the memories out

I just realized I had a record. I had a record of shit that’s been going through my head from the moment we knew we were moving to Canada.

So, I imported all my old blog posts to here ‘ cause I wanted to read them again and maybe figure stuff out.

At this point I realize there’s never been anything bad going on with me, yet, I always sound scared. I think it’s about time I control that. I mean, I should be an adult by now, according to my birth certificate.

The last couple of years have been turbulent, though. We’ve moved from Brazil to Canada and we are about to move for the 4th time in Canada already, which is a LOT, considering we have only been here for 1 year and 10 months.

Apparently, I am not that good with changes and I am desperate to go home. Not the home I came from. The new one. The new place that feels like home.

Two weeks ago when we were in Montreal I was sure I had found that place.

Next year, when you read this, I will not sound scared and lost anymore.

That’s a promise.