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:

Ver‹o Numa Boa

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.