Oh, how I hated the “eat pray love” lady.

I have always hated the girl from “Eat Pray Love” because I thought she was so ungrateful. She was a healthy well established woman who could just chose to not work for a year and go to the end of the world to find out what the hell it was that was missing in her life. She was doing all these amazing things but she still had the saddest narrative … like it was all so empty and pointless just because she didn’t have the right men next to her or whatever , while the rest of the women in the world, possibly with real problems, had no choice but to suck it up and get to work.

Yes, she made me angry back in the day. But I kinda get her now. A little bit.

Despite the drama and the fact that I still do think she’s ungrateful, I realized, as I come closer and close to turning 35 that I too had the luxury to make some important choices in my life.

I wanted to live in a city I absolutely loved, like I mentioned before and that was important to me. That was settled.

I also wanted to not wanna kill myself every Sunday night because the next morning I’d have to get up and go to work.

You’d think, though, that after 34 years of living inside my head I’d know myself enough to have a proper answer to the question ” what do you wanna do when you grow up” , correct?

Yeah, well, me too.

But it turns out I don’t.

If I were ever to pick the thing that I love the most and never-ever get tired of doing, the answer would be “decorating”. It’s fun, colorful, dynamic, there’s always something different… In fact, it was such a great concept that I absolutely bought it. I picked it. I became an architect.

 

And then reality came.

It turns out I liked decorating for ME and doing things I thought were pretty. Decorating for other people kinda sucked. I can’t handle people.

Ok, let’s put a big “NO-NO”  in every existing job involving clients so I can go on finding out what I wanna be.

I figured I could engage on teaching. So, I tried it.

A teacher is like an actor. I had to put on a show every time I was in front of the class to make sure I was being interesting enough that they would learn from me (and not fall asleep). I was totally fine with that part.

The problem with teaching is that some days I was tired. Sometimes I wanted to go to the bathroom, sometimes I was very hungry and sometimes I wanted to check my phone (’cause I’m a paranoid person with 2 kids)!

So, by the time I quit teaching,  I knew  wanted something that :

  1. Would allow me to take a 5 minute break whenever I needed one!
  2. Had no clients.
  3. Was more mechanical than creative (’cause I am not creative under pressure).
  4. Had flexible hours in case I slept in or the phone didn’t ring.
  5. That paid decently. Kinda.

 

So, I got my current job… which surprisingly checked all the requirements on my list and also allowed us to move from Ajax – a place I couldn’t see myself growing old in.

Isn’t life just great? Am I happy enough now, or am I the bitch from “eat, pray, love” ?

Yeah, I’ll be the bitch from the book.

I wanna add things to my list and I hope that’s not a crime. I mean, I hope that’s not me being ungrateful for the things I have.

By the time this project is done and I’m off job-hunting I’ll look for something exciting, life-changing, world-changing, I’ll design video-games and have time to paint!

Yeah, bad example. I still don’t know what my awesome job will be. But if I showed you that list above just 2 years ago when I was living in Brazil and added “live in a first world country”  to it… you’d also say I’m a dreamer.

It turns out I don’t hate the ” eat  pray  love ” lady. It turns out I too am her. In my very own version… and I cannot wait to read my book!

juliaroberts

The kid that figured out the puzzle

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When I was 20, I pictured the 40 year old me. The ” life” ? Well, that’d be all figured out.
The mystery of “who is the person I’ll marry and how many kids we’ll have” ? Also solved.
And I’d just sit back on my fluffy couch and stare at my accomplishments. Life would be good!
By the time I hit 34, I had my routine. I was so lucky to have my girls, to have moved to Canada, to have found a good job.

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

But, even though luck was a great thing, it’s not enough if you don’t really live it. I started to feel like every day without laughter was a waste of life.
A psychologist once told me that I had an urge to live. Could be. I DO get bored quite easily and the responsibilities of adult life had taken me to a place where I couldn’t remember how to enjoy things anymore.
I’ve mentioned this here before. Everything was at it’s place, yet, something was missing.

And then, the other day, I met a kid.

The kid had this thing inside him, an attitude towards people, that no matter how exhaustive the training we were participating on was, he’d always find an excuse to laugh. Make a joke. As if he was not standing on that same office I was, which was filled with computers, and learning about programs most people wouldn’t want to get involved with. While all of us, old people, could barely find the strength to smile at his jokes.
He made me wonder when exactly do we lose that enthusiasm? When do things stop being funny? Or was I the only one losing it at all?

Even though I was the luckiest person on the planet, I still couldn’t laugh. And I missed it so much. I’ve never missed being 20 ’cause I believe right-now is the best part of my life. This is not what this is about. But I realized missed having friends. The friends that would fill out the time while I stared at my accomplishments with their silly text messages and youtube videos. It didn’t sound like much… but I still couldn’t have it.

The cliche was right. It IS in fact all about the people around you rather than the things you have or the place you are (even though, the concept of ” PLACE” is important for me).
So, yeah, that kid’s changed me. For once, he made me realize that even the longest meetings may have funny moments if I change the way I look at things. Just as in life.
The other change was that he made me believe there’s a chance I’ll have a new gang here one day. Because I might still have the ability to make friends. Not everyone in this country is necessarily so different from me that we can’t relate, like I thought. I am guessing there are probably 5 bearable people around here somewhere… And there’s a chance we’ll bump into one another other one day and end up playing video games together (as if I could actually play videogames).
The kid got the puzzle together for me. Showed me what I was missing – and it was not setraline pills.
As it turns out, the mysteries of my life are not yet solved. I was wrong.  I’ve still got plenty to find out.

Thanks, kid. Really, thank you.

For making me realize those things and for making me laugh again. I absolutely missed that. I absolutely missed being me.
Please note that I do not indent to sound like a creepy old lady. I just realized we can learn and recapture important lessons from the youngsters too. Unlike that popular belief that says that only our gamma’s know it all!
You can have your mom call me at anytime!