I can’t believe I have this blog for 5 years already. On the corner of Ashland and Irving Park at Starbucks, the idea of sharing my experiences as immigrant and a creative writer student in a second language came alive.
So many things has changed, thankfully, myself included. The blog helped me to hear the voices in my head, saying I belong in this country too. And I’m not alone. We are all fighting the demons (politicians and blind supporters mostly), as we don’t conform with the statuses given to us.
Live Out Loud Too always meant you are in a safe space for feeling like a misfit. I see you and your struggles and hopefully through my stories, you can relate and see that you are not alone in this madness.
I’ve been through a lot.
I had my Green card stalled because of a family member who thought my marriage was a scheme, even though I knew them for 3 years prior.
I had people at work telling me I had a language barrier, because I made a mistake on the order, that it wasn’t my fault.
I had a roommate telling me she was going to call immigration on me, because I moved apartments without subletting my room, she being from Brazil too was a kick in the gut.
I worked 14 hours a day in the same restaurant that abused me and my mental health, to help my husband during his Chiropractic college days.
I went to bed crying numerous times, scared of never being able to see my mom and dad again, because my expired visa.
I broke my wrist, because I fell on Black ice in Chicago, on the day my visa expired.
I failed my driving test 5 times.
I had family in Brazil telling me hundred of times “you are never going to belong, because this is not your country, this is not your people. It was your choice to be there’
In fact it is. And I’m still here. Looking up for the days ahead and being thankful for what I have now.
For the longest time I was feeling numb, walking through like a zombie, hiding myself in mediocre job positions, because I was always too scared to face reality and be rejected. I had to deal with way too many rejections, so I learned how to play safe.
I hide behind the tree and see other people get successful, get money, get possessions like houses and cars, while I’m here, making 20 bucks per hour, in a job that I feel safe and gives me room to restore my faith in myself.
Its up to me to make a change, but there are days that I’m very tired to even try. I learned that its ok too. You don’t need to be productive and and overachiever every day. We have our ups and downs. Don’t let toxic people tell you what are you doing right or wrong.
This blog came on the right time and me finding a platform that I could talk about whatever I wanted. At the very early days, mostly about movies and tv shows. Then about being an immigrant, while moving to Texas, then about positivity. About feeling like you belong and the problems I had to go through until getting my citizenship last year. Now I’m going to focus on talking about traveling.
And editing the footage of my trips.
This blog is a the diary of immigrant. The evolution of an immigrant mind. The struggles, the joy, the achievements. The battles.
I’m proud of it. Watch me turn into a documentary about the American Dream. Yes, I’m working on that too, I’m going to start filming when I visit Brazil, at some point this year.
Its all because of this blog. I stick to the idea of Living Out loud too. It my motto. One last thing: trust the process. Work hard, but don’t be too exhausted to enjoy whatever is you planting now.
This was a celebratory bonus post 🤣 started with a fFacebook post and now we here.
Here I’m sitting at my desk again, trying to be productive. I got up a few times, I made a few phone calls, I received a few phone calls. Now is almost 2pm and I’m yet to get something done. The thoughts in my brain a 100 miles per hour, I have a lot to think about and to decide what to do first. Are you like that too?
Should I start editing my San Francisco trip video? Should I take classes on how to be a better filmmaker and editor, instead of actually doing it? Maybe I’m going for a walk. Maybe I will meditate. Who am I kidding? The bullet train of thoughts can’t be controlled today.
It always seems like I want to do a lot, but at the same time I can’t do enough. Nothing its ever good enough. I love writing, but its a huge commitment and I’m a little bit taken aback by writing stories in English. I’m very self conscious about it. I loved writing school and I’m great writing scripts instead of long narratives. I was ready for it, but then the pandemic happened, and washed all my hopes and reams away. Did that happed with you?
When I graduated in September of 2019 I was ready to make things happen. Somehow the Pandemic took all my aspirations away. First, because I didn’t know if there were going to be an end to that, if we were going to live the rest of our lives subjected to the virus and how it was managed, and second I keep in the back of my mind that we are going to have another pandemic soon, maybe not just yet, but in a few years something is coming and its going to be another massive disruption. Where the rich gets richer and the poor people either die, or surrender to the rich.
The circle of things I enjoy most in life.
A few years ago, I made a circle of things I love doing and it could give me money. Writing and photography. Right after came traveling and food. Add videography on the list and you will have my now travel channel. I’m finally in my Travel Channel Era. Took my 6 years to get it done. I never gave up entertaining the idea of one day, have youtube channel that would allow me to gather everything I love in one platform. You can do it too! You might not have the funds, but you have a creative mind and hopefully a cellphone, a pen and paper.
Quitting is not an option.
I cannot afford to quit my job yet, but I’m working hard to make the channel happen. Its exhausting, I’m not going to flourish it. And I do a round of stand up applause for people who does all that and yet manage to create new things. Being able to be creative and not only copy content on social media is intense and brave. I would love tobe able to manage my own content the entire time. Just quit and work with what I enjoy. But we all have bills and my dad’s or husbands last name doesnt make my life profitable. Girl gotta work!
We all aspire to do something that is going to make us happy. You can stay at your house all day long playing games and eating trash food, while killing dragons, if that makes you happy, go for it. If you dream travelling the world, start with small trips to near by towns. If you dream about being a chef, be the best chef you can be. Learn everything, about everything. Stop self sabotaging yourself, like I’ve been doing for the past 20 years. Start with a small step today. Be grateful for today.
Be grateful for today.
In 2017 I lost a very dear friend of mine. A childhood and teenage years friend. Always believed in me, when nobody else would. The last time I talked to her, she told me “I would give everything to have the same problems you guys are having.’ What she meant was we complain about a lot of stuff, while people are out there fighting to have some health issues and have a normal life. That was ingrained to my brain and I think about it almost everyday.
Misery loves company. Its much easier for you to get compassion if you are super down, than when things go right. People are fed on other people’s chaotic energy. That’s why what I try with this blog its to keep it positive. If I can live in America and thrive, you can do it from anywhere too. Its just one day after the other. It might take years, but please dont give up. You can always redirect your dreams and goals, I’ve done it plenty of times, but giving up its not an option.
Live Out Loud too is now a small business.
I wrote all that to say that Live Out Loud Too is now made into a company. A small media company and this blog is what started it all. I’m writing my business plans and moving forward with my goals. Again, it took me 7 years to get it done.
Lack of grip, immigration statuses, self sabotage, pandemic, you name it. Welcome to the new era. The Travel Channel era.
Thank you my 3 readers for all the support. You know who you are and if I ever get any money with thes travel channel, I take you on a spin around a rented boat in Miami. Thank you for sticking by.
This month my youtube channel turns 1. Actually almost 2, but I only had the guts to post my first video last May. I’m constantly self-sabotaging myself, and allow this feeling of failure hover over my head for the longest time. I have ideas, I have the time, but I lack organization to execute it. I don’t have confidence.
Do you feel like that sometimes too? There is always someone in social media who does it better, who has more time to spend on the videos, who uses better templates and music, and makes you feel like YOUR creation its never good enough.
I don’t have time to be good enough. It feels like while everyone else has everything together, you are just collecting the pieces and throwing it like confetti. Day after day. It gets harder when you get older. I don’t have time to obsess over my youtube channel. I have a day job that requires me to be up at 5:30 AM, a job that requires me to show up and be present. It takes longer to us, than an 18 year old streamer that plays video game for 16 hours straight.
But I promised myself that I would not give up this time. I have to make this work. Here are the steps I found useful:
1 -Not creating excuses its the first step.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I know its hard, nobody is saying it would be easy. I’m the kind of person who keeps finding excuses to get it done, because I’m too afraid I’m going to fail and never be good enough. I spent years of my life and I mean years, like 15 years or more, thinking that I was a failure, and if I didn’t have the proper camera, the proper light, the all these items people convince us that we need in order to make sale, I would never succeed. I didn’t succeed yet, but at least I started trying to do what I love, with tools that I have.
2- One day at a time.
There will be days when you don’t want to do anything and its ok. The idea of constantly hustle is the most American culture I’ve ever seen. Somehow they convinced you that resting is wrong and are a not getting what you need, because you are not working hard enough. Always remember that its when we are bored to our cores, that we have our best ideas. It forces us to work our imagination. So be bored and see new ideas flushing through. Daydream staring at a wall. Be imaginative. Create.
3- Don’t get overwhelmed by what other show online.
All of us are fighting different battles. We choose what we show online. Our beautiful trips, well behaved kids with matching pijamas, a lovely relationship. It takes me to believe that these people are massively producing lies and we, on the other side of the screen are feeling like we are doing something wrong. We are not. They are the ones selling lies and we are the ones choosing to buy it or not.
I always put a lot on my plate when it comes to do things and it usually something goes awry.
This blog is the perfect example of me trying to do more than I have time for. I love writing and for this type of media, but lately I have been putting all my focus on my channel, since I do everything myself. When I’m not at my day job, I’m working on the channel. Even though I absolutely love it, it feels like I don’t have days off.
Everyone says that you have to attach the blog to the channel, to your social media and I have no time do that and for now its ok. I still need my day job and my sanity. I thought about deleting the blog and start all over with a the same name as the channel, but we have too much history now. Live Out Loud Too is 5 years now and soon it will become a media production company.
It takes time.
I also feels less guilty when I put all my time and effort on the channel since I figured out I’m a visual storyteller. Its easier for me to write scripts than write short stories or books, because since this is my second language I need to be visual in what I want to show. Find out what works better for you. Adapt.
Filming and editing the travel videos are giving me the fulfillment I struggled so hard when only writing the scripts. I don’t mind spend 8 hours putting the footage puzzle together, but if you ask me to write a script for 8 hours straight, I won’t probably make it. It will derail.
Find what brings you joy and stick to it.
It takes time, when you find your voice, hear it. Don’t let anyone think you are being too crazy or too delusional. They know nothing about it. Their opinions don’t matter and they will ask you how you did it after you succeed.
Keep the faith and don’t work yourself to exhaustion. Be happy with little achievements. I celebrate every new subscriber, and I will keep doing it forever. It brings me joy. What brings you joy?
Don’t forget to Live Out Loud Too! Today, tomorrow and all the days. And don’t forget to rest! Here is my channel if you want to see what I’m up to! Happy anniversary for TRVLS AND COMIDA!
After 4 hours flight we arrived. We took a shuttle bus from the airport to the train, to the train to the hotel. As soon as I sat down, I got situated where I landed. This girl seating next to me is talking on the phone with a friend, with a very thick accent and she sounds like she is about to beat somebody.
Her voice was screeching and she was saying that her dumb friend had a baby with this loser and now she is trapped, suffering the consequences. I really wish she was on a speaker so I could heard both sides of the conversation. The girl on the phone was getting more and more aggravated, cussing like she had no mother. I had two realizations at that moment : I had definitely became the aunt and two we had just landed in New York City.
The city is the definition of chaos. The sound, the pollution, the smell and even the crazies make the city what it is. Concrete jungle the dreams are made of. Would I live there? Absolutely yes. For someone who grew up in Rio, New york feels like home. Expensive and abusive with their people. But so is Denver. At this point I dont think there is a cheap place to live anywhere in the planet. Unless you want to live in places like Oklahoma and Alabama, but in those places you also dont make any money. So might as well live in the center of the world.
“I dont want to live in a palace in KoKomo Indiana, I want to live in Manhattan”
I saw a TikTok recently about how people barf on New York apartment prices and they usually state that for that amount of price they could be living in a mansion in Kokomo, Indiana. The person proceeded and I agree. I dont want to live in a mansion in Indiana, I want to live in a trendy place in New York City. Having to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Walmart its not my thing.
New York City is loud.
So loud I could hear the noises from the 30th floor in my hotel room. People cross the street carelessly, walk without stopping, bikers pass by you like a flash of light. According to a local friend, they know if you live in the city or not by the way you cross the street. Or by the way you ignore people offering you touristic stuff on Times Square. Don’t get scammed into taking pictures with characters. Elmo tend to charge a lot.
Times Square is also so bright.
Josh said that if feels like Las Vegas and Chicago had a baby, and New york is their baby. It was his first time visiting and he loved it. The first thing we did when we dropped out bags on the hotel was walk around to find some place to eat. We found a pizza joint a few blocks from us and its cheaper than I expected. At night, we walked to Times Square to see the billboards and the stores, we walked so much to the point I unexpectedly found the McGee Pub, on 52 Street.
McGee was the pub who inspired the bar on How I met your Mother, where Barney and the gang hang out on every episode of the show. As soon as you walk, it makes you feel like you are in the show. Pictures of the cast on the wall, from the show, newspapers with articles about it and the decoration. Its definitely a place to visit, even if you didn’t watch the show.
Everything in the bar feels familiar and if you did watch the show, you will be quoting Barney and Ted’s catchphrases for the time you are there. The menu has dishes referring to episodes/situations from the show and drink menu are also inspired on it. I drank the Robin Sparkles, which is similar to a cosmopolitan. The menu also had Duck tie and the Pinapple incident. Josh even bought a Legen-Dary shirt as a souvenir to bring home. We took some pictures outside and after so much walking, got back to the hotel. I slept for 12 hours.
Central Park, Friends Building, Soho, K-town.
The coolest thing about getting lost in Central Park, is because it always makes you feel like you are in a movie scene. From Made in Manhattan (2003) to Bride Wars (2009), 13 going on 30 (2004) and Down to you (2000), everything makes you feel like you are a character from a movie.
Carriages, musicians playing the Saxphone, people taking photos and locals exercising. Normal life happening. We walked about 20 minutes and we only got to see ⅓ of what the entire area of Central Park really is. We jumped on the train to Greewhich Village to see the Friends building, a very popular place to take photos. Instead of the show’s Central Perk, they have a small bistro restaurant called Little Ow, that it was being remodeled at that moment..
Another train, another neighborhood.
Joe and the juice and their tasteless vegan shake. I tried to be healthy among all the pizza I was eating and I ended up paying a high price for disappointment. Should have just stick to the pizza. The only sweetness from that vegan shake was when I accidentally found pieced of dates. Then I was sad again.
Josh liked his, whic was a strawberry REGULAR shake. We walked around SoHo, visited some stores and head back to the hotel. At night we went to meet our friend Six and Kan, to have hot chocolate at Bryant Park. We walked some more, kept moving to K-town, the Korean neighborhood, with Food Halls and korean restaurants.
New York has everything in a walking distance, and I can prove it. We had a great time with our friends and I wish we could stay, so we could have our own sitcom show. Can you imagine? One Brazilian, one Brazilian/Chinese, a Japanese and a guy from Indiana. Living in New York. That would be a show I would write and watch it.
Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo.
The last part of the map to conquer. If you are going to New York, get yourself a good pair of shoes, because you are going to walk miles without even notice. On the last morning in the city, we decided to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Yes, in January, on a super windy day. The Manhattan skyline from the bridge is amazing. I walked by fast because I hate heights. So even thought it was beautiful to see, I was just rushing throught because it sure freaks me out.
Once we were out of the bridge, we were confused which way was Dumbo.
Left. After the overpass, take a left. Josh loved Brooklyn and so did I. So the conversation started with “do you want to move here?” the real question was “do you think we can afford to live here?” I would love to, but I honestly don’t think we can afford it. At least not yet. Once the youtube channel takes off and we have some passive income (and our regular jobs) we can definitely do it.
We walked to Times Rooftop, located in Dumbo, where there is a food hall, with a lot different options of international food, drinks and of course a rooftop, great for instagram pictures. I was not even hungry, but I decided to have some doughnuts, just for the heck of it. I got hibiscus and Josh got the chocolate one.
surprise on how nice everyone was with us. Like you have their feeling that everyone in New York is just rude all the time, but we got the best of it. I honestly rather have the rudeness of New York than the fakeness of LA.
To complete our day in Brooklyn, we kept walking and I’m pretty sure I saw Dan Humphrey apartment, from Gossip Girl. Like I said, if you are a big movie fan, you will find yourself feeling familiar with a lot of places in New York.
I’m entertaining the idea of eventually move there at some point. I just need the youtube channel to get monetized. Which I still have a long way to go. Slowly, but surely.
If you like travel content, please subscribe and watch a few videos.
Sometimes I looks around and I’m thankful for all I have. Its not the material stuff, it is a story of my achievements. On the wall, on my table, in the small memorabilia I acquired throughout the years. It all takes back to a time when I arrived in this country and all I had was my laptop, a few pieces of clothes and an air mattress.
This year it was the 10th anniversary of me arriving in the USA.
There was a long way and don’t take nothing for granted. My fridge full of food, gas in the car, a warm house and a loving husband. The small things in life should be appreciated. All the small victories should have never been taken for granted. America has changed me a lot.
As I look around the room, the small SheShad that I build, that I like to call my office/ studio, I can see all the progress I made in those years of sweat and tears. I might not have a higher CEO position in a company, I might not have bought a property, I don’t even have a bicycle, but you know what I have? Hope. Joy. Again, pride in my small victories.
Immigrants are ingrained with the moral and social responsibility of succeeding. So we can show our people, who stayed back home, we left for good a reason. We left for a better life, comfort and some more money. That makes them think we are rich. Because we are in America and have the newest IPhones, we are loaded with money.
The better life not always means more money.
Eventually it just means you have the safety you didn’t have in your own country, or that you feel safer to be who you are without being killed. By religion, by society standarts among other things. What people don’t see is, we are probably broken inside, and filled with guilt of leaving everything behind to start over. And most of the times, there are families who stayed back home, are guilt-tripping us into some madness, some psychological warfare. So we find our family members that we choose to put in our lives. Your support system.
We bond over our failures
Your support system are usually other people that has the same struggles as you. Mine are immigrants( and poc, who are indeed immigrants too). All my friends were bonkered (my word of choice for “screwed”) in a different way arriving in this country. We bond over our failures and our achievements. We sit at the bar and we cry because sometimes life sucks.
I look around in my office, full of stuff, I’m taken back to how much I had to get rid off, in order to accomplish everything that hangs on the wall. When my confidence is nowhere to be found, I stay quiet in my chair, look at my pictures, and share some gratitude. I manifest to the universe all the cool thinks that are still to come, how strong I was to get where I’m today and I ask you to do the same.
New year, new me. Not really.
Next week, we enter a new year, and with that all those promises to get better, the lists, the goals comes at you all at once. Keep it simple, I suggest. I’ve been doing it the past couple of years, with just a few items on the list. Going to Therapy is the one I keep dragging to another year. Since I don’t have insurance, the therapy podcasts are doing the dirty job. The second one is to write the script. I have it on a notebook, I wrote a little while I was at work, bored.So now I need to put it on Final Draft to accomplish the goal.
Again, keep it simple.
Want to eat healthier? Start by eating more fruits. Want to have a better and mindful attitude? Take long walks. Do something everyday that makes you happy. That’s been working for me. But there are also days when it doesn’t. So I give myself time and wait for the day to be over. I don’t write, edit, cook, or do anything. I just allowed myself to be away.
I let my mind wander.
My goal’s list are not up for next year yet. The past years the goals had been to intense, so 2023 I’m taking easier, way easier. Goals like citizenship, drivers license, create a youtube channel ( and actually post content) took a big part on my life during the previous years.
2023 I want to take even easier and maintain low expectations. Of course I want a lot, I’m just too scared to write it down.
Have you made your goals for next year yet? Let me know in the comments! Do you dream big, or do you keep on the down low like me? I’m going to work on mine resolutions now and post it here at the beginning of the year.