The biggest failures of 2020

We are finally on the last day of the year! And what year 2020 was! This morning I woke up thanking God that we got to this point safely. No big issues with Covid, we managed to have food and shelter, my parents are safe at home in Brazil. 

It’s was terrible. I don’t know what the universe was thinking, but it sure decided to kick over half of the people on the planet to the curb(no pun intended). But it sure did and besides people saying you should keep planning, my brain staggered like when you give Windows too many tasks and it can’t process fast enough. For the last post of the years, I decided to go over some of the plans I had and had to put aside for the time being, while I watched TikTok and Reels distract myself. 

Taking Writing for TV workshop in LA

At the beginning of the year, we went to LA for a short visit. It has been my dream since I was 12 years old. Meaning, I obsessed with something for over 20 years and I finally made it through. The trip was great, and just saying that I was in LA felt like I was on Selling Sunset. I hiked the Hollywood sign trail, we visited The Groove, walked around Rodeo Drive, like Pretty Woman, got some fake money that was thrown in the air by someone in a fancy car (probably a music video shooting), and visited the Hollywood walk of fame stars.

Little Joana had a piece of paper from a magazine in her closet, to tell the universe she would go to Hollywood someday.

The most important part of the trip was, being able to visit the New York Film Academy and talk with one of the school’s directors. Mr. Devine was on point and very straight forward when it comes to the industry. I think everyone considering getting into the screenwriting path, should hear what I heard from him.

It was only a 15-minute conversation about the industry, he asked me a few questions, I answered and with that, I had the best TedTalk of my life. I left that school sure I was coming back in a few months for the workshop. 

You can read more about my LA trip in this post :

Make a YouTube channel for my comedy sketches . 

I don’t think I’m funny, but people say I’m. I’m very observant, and I grew up with a very sarcastic mom. I think funny moments come when you are not expecting them, or when you see that person that you thought had it all together, lose it. I love to make people laugh, and I don’t care if I’m roasting myself. 

As you can see I’m constantly posting pictures about myself when I was younger, if thats not roasting myself, I don’t know what it is.

I had this idea of creating this youtube channel to make fun of the simple things in life, but it was entirely my fault I didn’t. I gave all my time to learn about blogging and how could I write more and more. Because that’s also what I like to do, writing. If i put the same intent I put on writing my blog posts on a book, I would have the book by now.

Traveling. 

I made plans with a long-time friend to meet her at Disney, in April. She would come from Brazil and we would meet in Orlando. Renata is my friend since we were 15, we went to the same school, but we met outside, at the English classes we took at the same place. Life took a different direction, but our friendship was always there. I think real friends don’t need to be checking on you constantly, because you know when you text them, they will reply back, no matter what. With the same enthusiasm, like they saw you yesterday. 

Seeing my friend and taking my annual trip to Disney is what I really wanted.. This one would be even more special, because I would bring out the 15 years old in me, and show people from my high school, that follows her, that I win in life too. Throw some shade it’s what I do best. 

My mom and my dad also had plans to come to visit in May. I guess that hurt even more than me not being able to go to Disney. The covid situation got me on my nerves because my mom and dad are in the risk group. My mom takes care of herself, but my dad is stubborn. I’m glad they are fine and soon enough I will be able to go see them. 

Learn more about Food Photography and started as a side gig. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I started photographing food in June when my friend and Chef invited me to work as her assistant on her events. I love food and working with her was a blessing. We had events almost every week, and besides some ups and downs, we made it through due to her grip. We had plenty of bachelorette events to work in the middle of the pandemic, always wearing our masks and gloves, showing up on time. 

Have always loved photography, I never specialized in anything. It’s been about 14 years that I mess around with my camera and gadgets without getting anything done. My Flickr account is gone. I didn’t want to work with people. For example, I can’t work with newborn photography or wedding photography. I’m too scared of butchering someone’s dream or make the baby look ugly. It’s hard to mess up when it comes to food, you just have to master it. 

Writing the second episode of my show “Larry”

In July, I spend the entire month working on two scripts for the nickelodeon writing program contest. I didn’t place it, but what I learned was, writing for tv is what I really want to do. The first script was a spec of Pen15, about 30 pages and the second could be a pilot of my own creation. So I wrote a story based on my own life, about an immigrant, who moved to America to take English classes and fell in love with her teacher.

The biggest problem she would find is his extremely conservative family, trump voters, poor white America (who actually believed that Trump could do something). In the first episode, she is introduced to the family, and we start seeing how thin the line is between “Love Thy Neighbor” – unless the neighbor wasn’t born in America.  

It’s based on my own life and my struggles. I heard stuff about other people coming from them, you can’t even imagine. God Bless my husband for calling them out. 

The second episode is still cooking in my head. Once I have about 10 episodes, I will try to find investors to film.   

I still have dreams besides the covid curtain being shut on my face. 

If you are alive and healthy, even if you are not, you can still dream. You have to dream. Even though I think 2021 will be chaotic for a little longer, we eventually will come out of this mess. Somehow we always do. And we gonna have an entire year of planning to put into work.  

Now the vaccine is here, I’m warming up my engines like a 1970 beetle, I will eventually drive for a while, and if I’m lucky, it will keep running.

Before I let go, I would like to tell you to watch out for the end of the year big achievers. It was a pandemic years, and it is ok if you just survived. It’s ok if you didn’t read 120 books, wrote 2 books, got book deals or made a major sale. Most of us didn’t. We thrived different ways.

I wish all the people that read my blog a happy and incredible new year! Might 2021 will be a year of pursuing and conquering all your dreams. I’m thankful for all of you, six people, that are constantly booting me up to keep moving. 

Thank you for holding my imaginary hands throughout this crazy year. 

Cheers to you! 

Moving during the Corona Virus.

We decided to move away from Texas, amidst all the Corona Virus trouble.

November flew by. I was not expecting to go that fast. I hoped it was going to be a quick month, as with all the move from Austin, while staying a whole month at the Airbnb, I expected the days to drag. It was the opposite. 

We arrived Denver on November 7th, exhausted after driving from Texas, which is about 18 hours total coming from Austin. We did a few stops because Josh was the only one driving the truck, with all of our stuff and energy inside of it. Including his 500 lbs motorcycle and dolly pulling the car. I did the entire trip looking at my mirror, making sure the car was still there. Like if it wasn’t, I could just yell “Stop the truck! We need to rescue our car!” I was tense in every turn, and parking the vehicle was another nightmare. 

Amarillo, Texas

On our first stop in Amarillo, after 8 hours of driving, we couldn’t find a place to eat, I’m not sure if its because of Corona, or because Amarillo is the type of town where everything close early, no matter what. The open places, we didn’t have a place to park. I hangry, nervous and a bit scared, if I dare to say. Everything in Amarillo felt kinds of eerie.

Being the writer I’m, I immediately started plotting about possible ghosts and creepy stories. We ate at Sonic. You know when you are so hungry, if you bite a rock, it probably tastes good? Same with that food. 

It’s like a movie that last 8 hours.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The next day we continue our trip to Colorado Springs, our second stop. Fewer hours on the road, a better hotel. We were finally out of Texas! Texas is such a big state that, depending on where you at, it takes you 10 hours to go across the state line.

A front desk crew told us about the Indian Restaurant, super popular among the hotel guests. It was about 2 minutes of walking. Look, I love food and talking about food, so this might be long paragraphs. It might make you hungry too. 

Josh was voted the favorite doctor of the place he works, The Joint Chiropractic, so we decided to celebrate. Usually, to save some money, we get a plate and an appetizer and share.

This time I had a few reasons to celebrate: Josh is the favorite doctor, among all the doctors from the entire country among The Joint Chiropractic clinics. Second: we were out of Texas! And three we finally have a decent place to eat! That’s a reason to celebrate! At least for me! 

Indian Cuisine? Yes, please!

Urban Tandoor Colorado Springs

I went all in, I got the naan bread,  the lamb chop curry, the beer, and Josh got the curry.  I was eating for an hour after he was done. I eat slowly, so I can eat more. I take breaks, drink the beer, talk, talk some more. Having dinner with me is an experience and a test for your patience. 

The restaurant is super cool and it was empty. We sat facing the kitchen and we could see the kebabs stick as it was prepared. At the same time, I enjoy it, it gives me a little bit of anxiety, as I was previously a food ambassador (Server). I love Indian cuisine, because of all the spices and herbs they use to season their food. It feels authentic and full of flavor, so I took my time eating. 

Every time the server passed by the table, I informed him I was still working on it. I worked on my food for a good two hours. I had to go for a walk after eating, so we walked around to the mall about 10 minutes away from the hotel. 

Denver!

Our last part of the trip was the shortest. Colorado Springs is only one hour and a half away from Denver. I guess the worst part was yet to come: moving all of our stuff into the storage unit and head over to the Airbnb.

It took us about 4 hours to unload everything and we left the motorcycle inside, as we had to drop off the truck in a different location. Josh forgot the motorcycle keys, inside of the car, who was parked in the drop-off location. A whole mess and I don’t remember exactly how it happened.

After getting to the Airbnb we went to a Korean BBq called DaaGee, close to the house. They were measuring everyone’s temperature, you were not allowed to take your makes if you were not eating and you could only stay for two hours. Uh oh.

Daa Gee – Denver https://www.daegee.com/

Since I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, so I went full-on. Again. This time I stopped before Josh, I guess I was too tired to focus on my food. 

Welcome to the new normal

Denver has been great so far. The Airbnb is located close to Regis University and it is closed to all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and bars. I went to Downtown Denver, on the coldest day so far, with the wrong coat and it only took me 30 minutes to get there. It fell much longer because I was freezing at the bus stop.

A few days ago it snowed and I had a blast. I’m from Brazil and we don’t have snow there, so every time I get a chance I incorporate Elsa and let it go. I made some videos of my 35 years old silly face playing around like a child. 

I’m weird and I own it. Too old to pretend.

Next week we move to the apartment. We are downgrading from what we had in Austin, to a 1 bedroom apartment. Why would I pay for amenities I won’t be able to use, like the pool, the Gym, and the entertainment center? Also, because here in Denver the same size apartment with 2 bed/2 baths would cost us about 1.800 plus utilities. At this time, I rather have comfort of paying less over any luxury.

I’m grateful for having a place to live. Go back a few posts and read about my struggle a couple of weeks ago, when I realized I was blacklisted from one of the apartment complexes I lived in in 2016, which would not allow me to rent in some places here in Colorado.  Three weeks before moving here. You can read it more here “Dear 2020,I had enough!”

For the last week on the Airbnb, I will be cleaning, moving, and organizing the new place before we move there. The organizing part of it, I project will be the most difficult one, since I will need to find a spot to work and write. Maybe I will fit on the linen closet.

If you have any organizations tips, please let me know in the comments! I would love some help!

See you in a few days!

J.G.Snelly

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