Live out Loud Too Blog

You are Enough.

You are enough.

Following the last post about being a failure, this question came to my mind, after listening to a podcast, of the actress/comedian Cristela Alonzo, where she addresses the situation of never being enough. I’m not done listening just yet, but it gives me a great idea to write this post.

The constant feeling of running around the clock, being always good in everything you do, and having great ideas all the time stress us out. Social Media tells us all the time we should get better, either trying to sell us beauty products, weight loss products, and trendy clothes. It’s like we are some sort of experiments for marketers, that gather all of our information, likes and dislikes, to sell us stuff. And make us feel bad. That’s only the portion of beauty standards. There is also the part of success standards.

In my last post, I wrote about how society wants us to be a certain way. Be married by a certain age, have a good job, either have your own company or be a CEO of someone else’s company, have saved money, travel to cool places, drink wine in Italy or Greece and post the sunset picture of these places. It sure feels like you are not doing it enough. We are not Paris Hilton.

It feels like, no matter what you do, you are not doing it enough. Not putting enough hours in your writing, not putting enough hours in your business, not making enough money. While all the worry happens in your brain, you open your IG, and there it is a broker who just sold a million-dollar house, traveling to the Bahamas, with her beautiful family, in a perfect setting. I know I’m not supposed to care about a stranger, but my brain goes to “What am I doing it wrong?’

Being a writer is a long way until you succeed if you ever. Some people are great writers and they can’t get past the fact that they will also have to promote their books, market, network. Unless the person is a personality, who already tackles the fame part. The book is just a bonus for them. I heard many times “Oh you are a writer! Do you have a book yet?” and the common answer is “I’m working on it”. Either on my brain, or I already put some pages out on my computer. Why do I always have to be explaining to look like I have my life on track? The answer is: I don’t.

I keep trying it, but somehow, I always get derailed by some wacky circumstance. Moving, not having enough money to invest in the apps I need to work. Having money to invest in the apps, but then not having the time to work on my projects, since I’m selling my time to a company. It all seems to be working against my projects.

Having to be convinced that all I’m doing is working the way it’s supposed to be, it’s a hard job. We are constantly interrupted by tweets saying “look I have a new amazing job!” or “Travelling around the world and film it to youtube. I already got paid for!” and all you did was eating cookies seating on your couch, while you scroll your phone endlessly. Remember, you are enough.

If eating cookies on your couch while you plan your next move, or dream about what you want next, is enough for now, is all good. Who knows if all that persons posting those photos wishes, were to be seated down, eating cooking while watching random shows on tv, in peace at home. Instead of being frankly posting about their life on the internet to please others.

It’s all about the point of view.

In the age of the internet instant famous people, it feels like you are always behind a new trend. The 30 something age group feels lost and creates animosity against the younger kids, who grew up with a phone in their hands and had plenty of time to learn how to use it. We, the folks that had to work for something, can’t keep up. That makes us feel like we are never doing enough to get the success we are aiming for.

Last year, I stop looking for jobs at LinkedIn. The pressure to succeed is enormous and in that platform, we get one kind of people: The coaches that shove in your face that if you didn’t get what you want, you didn’t work hard enough, woke up early enough, didn’t invest the coffee money. Sometimes you did, and most of still do. Some of us work super hard, but sometimes, we have to do it all alone and it takes longer than someone who had investors. Some of us slept more because we were tired from the day before. Some of us wanted that coffee to have some peace of mind before the day starts.

We are overwhelmed.

Raise your hand if everything was great for you during the pandemic, if you didn’t freak out about having your plans canceled, scared of losing your job, of loved ones getting sick and dying, of never being able to see your friends in person.

My mental health went down the drain and I’m still working to gather all the information we’ve been receiving, with all that happened last year, like a hurricane, spinning the house around and landing on the witch. The witch in this case was the plan I had to keep moving on.

You are not a failure and you are enough. You are doing enough. Don’t let anyone tell you you are not. Get suspicious when you see too much happiness on IG, a nice house and a great job are not always a sign of happiness. Most of the Americans I know are always after assets. These people work their entire life, endless hours, to get a better tv, a better house, a better car, a better education, and so on. The American dream convinces you to work hard to have the best of the best, without measuring the consequences of all this, like the levels of stress and the unhappiness all this pressure can bring. Society makes you feel like you are never doing enough

More! More! Always More.

Work more and show your boss your absolute devotion to a company that is not even his. Make other people feel bad to not work as hard as you. Make them feel behind in life, because your work your butt off, and they didn’t. Life is not always easy, but what everyone forgot is that it might not be easier, because of how you feel about others people’s attitude towards you.

In my culture, we work hard for everything we have, but we also know how to enjoy life the way Americans can’t. We barbecue, we dance, we gather friends and family every time is possible and instead of working hard for stuff, we put it on the credit card and make debt. Just like Americans, but lighter. Josh loves going to Brazil and eat good food and have fun.

We are enough.

You are enough.

Stop for a few minutes and be thankful for just being alive. Make time to appreciate your surrounding.

Thank you for reading it.

I see you around on my social media, while I post pictures of my coffee cup and pie.

JS

All I know so far. How P!nk remains a power house after 22 years, while embracing all the misfits.

 

 

 

 

I watched the new P!nk documentary on Amazon Prime “All I know so Far”. Is easy to see how she remained a powerhouse for the past 22 years. It’s ok to be different, you don’t have to fit in a box.

Yesterday I watched the new P!nk documentary on Amazon Prime “All I know so Far” and even though this is not a review, I’m going to say what it felt like for me, seeing a person that I have followed for the past 20 years, in her deepest fragility and strength P!nk is a powerhouse.

What makes her so great, I think, is the fact she sings for the raging souls, for the mischievous, the outcasts as she embraces everyone, making everyone feel like they are being heard.

The documentary shows her touring stadiums around all over the globe, while taking care of her family, also the relationship with the kids and husband, while managing to play in full arenas. I was awake almost at 1 AM, watching it without blinking. Again, P!nk is such an inspiration and her kids are adorable!

Love the documentary, love the album, love everything!

One of the most emotional moments, spoiler alert, was when she reads a letter from a UK fan, telling P!nk how important her music was and how she saved her life, during the most difficult moments. How her music and her attitude were always inspirational.

The girl also told in the letter she was being bullied at school and the only happy moments were when she arrived back home and put the VHS to watch something on MTV about P!nk. That’s when I started crying and thinking about my teenage years.

I want to be somebody else.

My teenage years were at the beginning of the 2000s. At the time, for role models we had Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, singing about a boy who drives them crazy for whatever reasons or singing “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” in a gorgeous setting, with perfect hair, makeup, and body. In low-rise jeans. I wanted to be like them, so bad. I used to straighten my hair to the point of getting a headache in the morning. I thought that to be accepted, you had to be beautiful.

Living in Rio also burns you into being patronized. You must-have highlights, long hair, nails done, a big butt, and nice clothing. You have to look like the girls on TV. I had nothing of that. So when I was rejected by schoolmates, bullied over my hair or because I wore glasses, or because I was considered too chatty or “too crazy” for their standards, listening to Britney and Christina singing about boys, didn’t make me feel any good. That’s when I found out M!zunderstood, P!nk’s second album.

I’m not that complicated, I’m just misunderstood.

Even though I didn’t understand the lyrics just by listening at that point, I loved the melody and the waves of anger. P!nk was rock and roll, progressive, and ahead of her time from those other girls. She sang about the reality of most of us. She embraced all of us and sang about our broken pieces and our disappointments with life in general.

One particular song of that album, still ingrained in me, on to the deepest levels. If I listen to the first accords, I start crying. “Don’t let me get me” was a reflection of all my teenage years. I was a reject, an outsider, a stranger to myself. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Nobody did. One particular night, on Valentine’s day, when my 13 years old cousin got a gift from a boy she had a crush on, I fell apart listening to this song. Why could nobody like me?

I was already 16 and nobody cared about me, much worse, there was absolutely nothing I could do to make someone like me. What was wrong with me? So I put on my boom box, turned off the living room lights, and stared outside my window. Cars passed and the songs of M!zunderstood cut me deep. So I realize P!nk would be the singer that would bring rough honesty to my life, singing about real problems we all go through and not some made-up shit about being pretty and boys making them wait.

Where I could run, as fast as I can, to the middle of nowhere

When she sang “Just like a pill” I felt like it would be great to run away from all my problems. At that point in my life, my mom was raising me, all by herself, in Rio, with 3 jobs. I used to talk to my dad on the phone every Sunday. Some Sundays he disappeared. He had depression and a drinking problem.

That forced me to grow up much faster than any of my friends, I had to be mature enough to understand why he was never there for me. He was living in a different state and 2002, communication was scattered, we didn’t have cell phones or internet.

Being bullied at school, talking to my dad every other Sunday, and having no perspective of the future, all I had was music and stories I’d write to escape from my reality. Fortunately, the time has passed, my face and my hair fell into line, but my attitude never changed. My essence is still the same. In 2012, when I met my now-husband, P!nk released a song that it felt was written based on my life, again.

No one else can break my heart like you

“True Love”, talks about the turbulences of being with someone you love, at the same time the person annoys the hell out of you. I told Josh, at that time, that this was going to be one of our songs. He didn’t understand, because the song has very sharp words towards a loved one. If he only saw me when I was a teenager, he would get it. Crying in the window while listening to P!nk, made me who I’m today. I’m so thankful for that.

If you are one of my seven readers and something doesn’t feel right in your life, please be patient. The universe always turns everything around. I never thought that when I was gonna have anyone special in my life, heck I never thought I’d have anything at all in my life, at some point.

That’s all I know so far

In my teens, I felt underappreciated and ugly. As time passed and everything got better. My mom says “There is nothing like one day, after another” or “The darkness of the night is here, so we can appreciate when the sunlight arrives”.

I don’t like toxic positivity, where everyone keeps telling you all will be alright if you just get over it, or work hard. I know it sucks but hang in there. It sucks for everyone, they just lie compulsively on social media for likes. P!nk told me that it was ok to be a chaotic mess in my most fragile moments.

I moved on. I’m happily married, to someone that loves me with all my quirkiness and loves my natural hair.

Do you have anyone in your life, like a singer or a writer, someone that inspires you, or help you get by? Please let me know in the comments who is this person in your life. As you can see, I rely heavily on creatives to help me to get over my issues.

XXXJS

The Dreams are Alive!

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I’m a writer. I keep repeating this over and over in my head before I self-sabotage myself again.

I see it already happening. I got a job in a hotel, again, and it’s only a matter of time for me to put everything I’ve been working so hard, like creating content, my blog, and food photography aside, to just be another numbered employee. I have lived like this for the past 15 years.

There are days I freak out and cry thinking about the time I lost. I’m already 35, for God’s sake! How did the time go by so fast and where are all the dreams I had when I was in my 20’s?

Self-sabotaging works together with my lack of confidence in doing anything else that will turn out to be something that brings me fulfillment and joy. I love photography, but I’m too scared of turning my passion into a hobby and end up hating the only thing that makes me happy.

The majority of us can’t afford to live our dream life.

 

Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

As ⅔ of the planet’s population, I cannot just focus on what makes me happy, because I have bills to pay and need food and a place to live. The majority of us can’t afford to live off dreams. I have been using this as an excuse for as long as I can remember.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened to my early 20’s dreams and where did life take the wrong exit. About a month ago, I had one of those epiphany moments where you get yourself thinking about your young adult dreams and what happened to them.

One of those mornings before work, I was listening to a horoscope podcast and I don’t know what kind of sorcery was that, it felt like it was saying directly to me, Joana.

“Good Morning, Libra. Today is the day that you will think about old dreams, and try to restore the passions you didn’t conquer from previous years” That was enough for me to spend the rest of the day thinking about my early 20’s expectations I had for the life ahead of me. I had many dreams and none of them were achieved successfully.

In some of my previous posts, I wrote about being raised by a generation that all they knew was to work and pay bills because that was considered a success. You feed yourself and can pay for the roof on your head, everything else is a given from God.

The podcast awakening

On that morning, that podcast awakens in me, the 20 something that had been put to sleep in 2007. Until that point, I had big dreams for myself, I was only 22 and I wanted to be a travel photographer, while I read the Lonely Planet magazine, I imagined myself writing articles and taking pictures of amazing places. National Geographic would work too, I thought, but let’s start somewhere. Time passed and I replaced that dream with the previous one, move to the United States.

While I’d be working in a hotel, I would be able to do whatever I had planned. What I didn’t know was that hotels would crush your soul and will to work on anything else. That’s where my dream got lost. I started to get tired to keep trying as I would have another 14 hours shifts the next day.

I made it to the United States in 2008. For a short period, the financial crisis sent all the foreigners who were working at the ski resort for the season, back home with canceled visas. I packed my bags and moved back home with my mom and dad, in Brazil.

Sometimes you need a setback in order to move forward.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It was such a huge setback in my life, I put all my hopes and dreams aside and focused on moving to Australia, to do another internship in the hospitality business. My grip to leave Brazil for good was intense. My writing at that point or the dream of writing anything significant had been put in a box, on the back of my closet. So did my photography.

At that point, I was more inclined to learn how to cook, for who knows, maybe one day, become a Food and Beverage Manager or Director. In all reality, I wanted to be like Anthony Bourdain.

Disappointment after disappointment with the restaurant industry made me love food, but hate the way people work. I work relentlessly, hours and hours serving tables, working in different positions, I worked in every single job as the front of the house of the restaurant. Hostess, Busser, Food runner, Bartender, barback, Catering.

None of those fulfilled me or made me feel accomplished on anything. You are nothing but a number, a robot, a rusty machine. As you get older, you start to have pain in places you didn’t even know existed in your body. In 2016, after an acquaintance wrote on Facebook “I’d rather be in Brazil and than being a waitress in someone else’s country” Something hit me differently inside of me.

“Am I only a waitress in someone’s else country?”

The question played on repeat in my head. “Why have I become numb and just a working body?” As Josh was going through chiropractic school and shouting around the house that he was going to be a doctor and I was the only one working, I thought “What am I, but a waitress money-making machine?” It was time for a change. I already had my documents, so I proceed for the first time in 10 years, to create a blog about traveling.

If I only knew about blogging what I know now, it would probably be a different story. The blog was going to focus on showing the international students about life in the United States and how not everything is rainbows and flowers. I would travel to different colleges and universities, like cities that are considered “student towns” to show people how cool and different life in America is.

The only place I wrote about was Chicago and Orlando. I couldn’t afford to travel around, neither I would have the time. After 6 months, I deleted the blog. I felt deep in my heart, like once again, I had no right to dream. I had to start another 12 hours shift soon. I was bitter for the longest time, and my marriage was all over the place. Josh’s school offered some free therapy sessions, counseling for married students, so I ask him to set up an appointment.

You are the only person responsible for your happiness. Period.

My photo from 2010, in Broome, Western Australia.

At that point, I knew I need help. 2016 was an incredibly difficult year and 2017 wouldn’t be different. The devil took his place in the presidency. Josh and his entire family voted for him, my soul was nowhere to be found. So I went to therapy. On the first session, the therapist told me “You are the only person responsible for your happiness”

The next Monday I was slowly coming back to my body, got a phone call from Full Sail, and decided to go for it. That brings us back to today. I became a writer with a Creative Writing degree diploma.

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I would not be writing the way I do today if I had to write 15 years ago. Joana from 15 years ago was naive, inexperienced, has a voice, and learned that sarcasm can take you long away, let me tell you that.

Not all is lost.

Hear me out! This week we are, hopefully purchasing a travel trailer, so I can somehow, make the dream to be a travel writer/photographer out of the box. It takes time, but you will make your dreams come true at some point.

This year, I will “summer” differently. I hope you do too!

Please let me know in the comments what are you working on to live your life to the fullest and how you are building your dreams!

J.S XXX

This is my Meditation Video on my new youtube channel called Mindful Edge! I’ve been testing my video editing skills! Subscribe if you like this type of content.

Things I started paying attention after the pandemic

Can we stop talking about the trainwreck 2020 was? No? Ok. Can we also stop trying to improve other people’s lives with useless tips? Yes, please. Alright, so let’s talk about things I started paying attention to after the pandemic. I promise this isn’t ” You should try it yourself” type of post or “I did much better than you during the pandemic.”

Not at all. I’m constantly writing my struggle to connect with people who are living through the same energy.

That’s why I write this blog.

Life was always busy, running around, planning, executing (sometimes, let’s be honest) trying to hustle and bustle. It seems that the roaring ’20s was about to start and I was ready to step on the gas and let amazing things happen to me. I lived January and February of 2020 with intensity and planning for the rest of the year.

In March, as we all know the hourglass got clogged and stopped, as we were all left wondering what was next, for God only knew how long. We didn’t know when life was going to go back to the normal, matter of fact, I don’t think it ever will. Vaccinations or not, the Pandemic changed everyone’s life. For better or for worse, we all are going to have stories to tell about those months the entire planet was stuck at home, cooking bread.

My stress levels 

I listened to hours and hours of podcasts, about the pandemic and whatnots, meditate, and got myself an apple watch. Even though I think the watch harasses me, telling me what to do, like “breath” “walk more” “get you bums of the couch, lazy bitch, you’ve been in the same position for 3 hours”.

I decided to tag along and just listen to what I think matters, not the passive-aggressive notifications I receive all day long. One good feature of this watch is that it can measure your heartbeats, so if you think you are struggling to control your nerves, you can calm yourself, with breathing techniques.

I learned that your stress levels are entirely up to you. If your mind is spinning out of control, and you feel like passing out, try to manage how you are breathing. You are the only person who can do that, and no one, not a boss, not a friend, not a significant other can do it for you.

My food – Trying to eat healthier

Discovering new ways on how to eat better, without sacrificing my love for chocolate. It’s not the chocolate that makes you sick. It’s all combined. The chocolate, the pizza, the frozen lasagna, the fried chicken.

I’m not an expert on anything, but I decided to give it a try and see how my body feels. I understand that most of the time we don’t have time to eat all the food from the pyramids, green, yellow, orange, red, and so on.

It’s too hard to follow a super healthy diet, so I do what I can. Walking around TJ Maxx, I found some Superfood Green Powder that you can make smoothies with and bought some fruits. Felt like a winner immediately!

 

The alcohol consumption 

Working in restaurants, I had to try different types of drinks and beers constantly, to be able to sell them to my table. I enjoyed it, I learned a lot, but I stopped working in restaurants in December of 2018. As I kept trying to make drinks at home, putting to practice how to mix different liquors, the pandemic hit, and what was a hobby, almost became a problem.

I come from a long line of alcoholics. My grandpa, my dad, my uncle, and some other family members that don’t assume they are, but it’s very clear for the rest of us. If they are happy, they drink, if they are sad, they drink, if it’s hot outside, they drink beer to cool it off, if it’s cold outside, they drink wine to keep warm. As I said, it becomes a problem when it’s constant.

The only stores opened during the pandemic in Austin, were, guess what? The liquor stores. It’s weird for me that a mom-and-pop food truck couldn’t be open, but a large retail alcohol store could. Anyway, so every Friday, I walked myself to the liquor store to get a different liquor to mix the drinks.

I also had some wine.

As we all lost track of what day of the week it was, it becomes more and more normal to drink wines on Monday, Cocktails on Tuesday, beers on Wednesday. After two weeks, I talked to a friend about how all this alcohol intake was coming and we decided together to stop and only drink on Fridays. It worked well until I started working again last month, in a hotel, which debunked everything I have been working towards last year.

Give me a break, I’m trying here.

Be more active

Long walks without destinations are my gem. In Chicago, I used to walk for hours and that kept me active. Living in a city where you are car dependable, makes it harder. Denver has a lot of parks, but to get to the park, you need a car.

There are days when I still walk to Walmart and around the park close to home. I only do that so I can close my exercise ring, on the apple watch. Once again, the watch harasses me if it thinks I’m not doing it enough. It is my day off watch, leave me alone.

Be thankful ( paying attention to small victories)

I learned how to count small blessings during my day and pay attention to what is working. If my remote control works without me having to it against something, it’s a beautiful day. If I can be outside, in a coffee shop, while watching people pass by, something that didn’t happen last year, I’m thankful.

Happiness is made of a fraction of moments. Victories, accomplishments, learning new things, meeting new people. What people get wrong is because they were taught that we have to be happy 100% of the time, if we are not, something is off.

Don’t take sunny days for granted

Photo by Rampal Singh on Unsplash

We live in Colorado. Winters are long, and there is a possibility it might snow in May. Don’t put the snow boots away yet. Wait another week. I was born and raised in Brasil, where we take sunny days for granted.

We don’t have cold seasons. In the United States, I learned that seasons exist and some of them are longer than others. So enjoy the sunny days, wherever you are.

Meditate and learn how to control my emotions 

 

Listening to podcasts like Mindful for beginners or Headspace helped me to center whatever chaos was happening during the Pandemic. I needed to hear myself breathe and make sure I was alive.

I was getting angry with everyone and mad that I couldn’t live my life the way I intended. The internet super-achievers were also not helping. I guess getting away for a few minutes from social media, to reconnect myself, it’s a habit I want to keep forever.

Understanding that other people are struggling too, I don’t reign on the struggle.

Struggle with mental instability is not a privilege of a few. We all got derailed at some point of this lockdown, wanted to leave to a different place, start over, and all these emotions that come when you are removed from your normal daily routine.

Into to the Unknown

The Unknown is scary, unpredictable, and leaves us wondering what is next, it’s not a good feeling. For some people, this is the epicenter of craziness. How dare you act like this with me? Well, we are facing the same type of issues, some on a different level than others.

Some people like to say “we are all in the same boat”. Yes, Kylie Jenner, but your boat has 5 floors and I’m fighting the tide in a little canoe and a broken paddle.

Normal people, not the Hollywood crowd, are struggling to keep their mental health in check. What we have to do now, is have some compassion. Take a deep breath, and remember we are all trying our best. Ok, some more than others. Some people are just mean because they want to be and no pandemic will change that.

All I know is that being stuck at home for over a year, gave me the ability to reinvent myself and do whatever was missing in my life, during the busy days.

I baked, I meditated, I put on 5lbs, I started eating better and paying attention to my mind, body, and emotions. I delayed all my career plans for my writing, I’m doing what I can. One day at a time.

So, what did you change in your life during the pandemic? Let me know in the comments if you got a new hobby or restarted a new old one, you had to put it aside. How are you taking care of your body and mind after this mess?