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

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?

What makes you feel alive?

Coming out of the situation we were all put in last year, a few of these habits had the power to make me feel alive. Especially on those days, you had nothing to look for or any idea how long this situation would last for.

How long are we going to be in lockdown? How long are we only going to visit the supermarket and drugstore for fun? Thoughts like “will my life become entirely digital, without any other human contact, smile, or even facial recognition because we are all be wearing masks for the rest of our lives?”

There were so many questions I couldn’t find the answer at that time, and the only way out was to find things that made me feel alive. Felling alive and blessed for having a healthy strong system, enough to keep me safe during the pandemic, while a lot of people struggle, was a plus.

That led me to think and evaluate the true thing that keeps me alive and happy. Whatever brings a smile to my face or a giggle while walking around.

What makes you feel alive? Here are a few things that make me dance around.

The bright sun in the sky

At this point in my life in the United States, I’m somehow used to long winters. I lived in Chicago two different times and I know how dragging arctic winters can mess up with your mood, leading to seasonal depression.

I’m so thankful I was in Texas when the pandemic started because just imagining being cooped up in a tiny apartment for months, drops my mood to the ground.

I grew up in Brazil and we have the sun almost all year round, so when I had to deal with drag, short days, getting dark at 4 PM, that was it for me. Living in Colorado is also cold, but they have a lot of sunny days here, and that helps me to smile more. I love opening my window and see the light shining bright, it pushes me forward to keep moving.

Everyone looks happier when the spring and the summer start.

Dogs

Dogs are my kryptonite. I love dogs and I just want to be around them. I had two dogs before of my own, one we adopted and another one we foster at the beginning of quarantine. There is no greater love than the love of a dog, they want nothing in exchange, they just want love and treats, and that I have an abundance of. My parents adopted a stray dog, while I was visiting them in Brazil, last March.

Baby Kiara, the stray dog who won my heart <3

Baby Kiara is about three months old and she was found at the veterinarian clinic by the vet. She is the most adorable thing, but she is in trouble, because she looks like a little rat, running around the house, and sometimes we trip on her. She also bit the walls, everyone’s feet and she barks at an empty bottle filled with rice grains my mom gave to her. This time was especially hard to come back home because I got used to her. I hope she remembers me when I go back next year.

Walking around without a destination.

Usually, I put on my favorite playlist, something from the late ’90s or early 2000s, like Nsync or Britney Spears, and march away. Sometimes I walked so far, I had to take the bus back. That used to happen in Chicago a lot.

I used to live in Lakeview East, close to the Wrigley Field Stadium. Summertime comes around and I walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Had to take the bus back. On one of these random walks, I was listening to Beyonce and almost got hit by a car, because I was distracted and didn’t pay attention while crossing the street.

Listen to my favorite song.

Having a very peculiar taste in music, so depends on the day, I can go from Katy Perry to David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac in an instant. I traveled through decades and my playlist is adaptable. If I want to be happy in an instant, I will listen to Mariah Carey. I recently bought a karaoke mic and I’m driving my neighbors up a wall while singing “Emotions”. At least they stopped stomping in my head at 6 AM.

Food ( either cooking or eating it)

I get hanger. I don’t know how to deal with the feeling of being hungry. It puts me on a spiral of emotions and drama, I overreact to simple things, and have I mentioned drama? I love food. That’s a given and I also love cooking. I’m constantly checking for recipes and trying new ways to improve my meals. We don’t allow mac’n’cheese or frozen lasagna in this house. The joy of serving other people also makes me feel alive. For me, the act of cooking for someone else shows great compassion and caring for others. Food is energy and if you have good energy, it should be shared.

Observe the nature around me

Great things happen when you are not being distracted by your phone. A walk in the park can be refreshing and you can observe different scenarios every time you are out. Living in Colorado, I can see the front range mountains and it looks like a painting on the wall. Hiking gives you another sense of adventure and you can listen to nature and relaxing with the quietness, even though most of the time Mariah is singing her jams rent-free in my head.

Visiting my family in Brazil.

That’s the one thing that brings me the most peace and keeps me centered. Living in the United States, makes me feel I’m losing my identity, little by little. I know who I’m, but my life fluctuates between two different cultures.

My past and my present collide, sometimes I question my choices. When I’m in Brazil, I have all the love from my family, my food, my music, my tv shows. When I’m in America I have financial stability, some sense of security, and all the makeup Mac can make, that back home would cost me an eye and a leg. Life choices, am I right?

That’s how I see myself living in America.

I don’t regret living here, but I would like to go back to visit more often. My parents are getting old and I haven’t been there enough. Do you know that “missing hug people” you felt the entire last year? I have been in this situation for years

Find whatever makes you happy.

I read once that happiness is a feeling and not a constant state. That made a lot of difference in how I pursue things in my life. Gratitude and the simple things I can achieve helps me to move forward in life, without being so hard on myself.

That’s my list of what makes me feel alive. What’s on your list? Dogs, cats? Ice cream, traveling? Let me know in the comments!

XXX

J.Snelly