The year of the dog

It’s the end of a Carnival holiday here in Brazil. While most people had a 5 day off to party out, I actually had 3 days off – which is actually good, considering I’ve been feeling I can’t rest much, since months ago. Well, this is a problem, actually. I take days off, but I don’t feel rested, do you know? I don’t feel relief.

Instead, I get anxious about all the workload I will have when I come back, and that horrible feeling of not wanting to go to bed so I won’t have to wake up to another day and have to go back to work.

These past weeks I have been thinking about my past, this February we had a traditional celebration to toss “beans” as a symbol of bringing in good fortune for the year, and those who threw the beans were of the year of the Dog, according to the Chinese zodiac. Well, I am of the year of the Dog, and so it happens that from 12 to 12 years, it’s “my year”. So I was thinking back. Like, when I was 12 years old, how was it? My life, I mean. And at 24? I’ll be 36 this year and it should be a good year, if I am to compare.

At 12 years-old, I fell in love for the first time. Also, it was the year I changed schools, I “met” Leo for the first time. What else? I don’t know why, but I have the heart-memory that it was a good year. Then, in 2006, I started out in Disney World (I was working there at the time), the fireworks were beautiful. I got a new boyfriend, and I really thought he was the one. I thought I would have to go to Japan, but fortunately I got a new job, in a field I was expecting to find work (translation, at the time). I went to Japan. It was a nice year.

Now… Ellen DeGeneres is 60, oh my. I once believed I was going to make movies with Spielberg, but he’s old too. And so am I.

Oh, yes, I’ve read about your new model and the DaVinci movie. That’s nice. The DaVinci movie, I mean.

Last week I made a small trip and I had one of those L&D moments. I also watched a movie, Hungarian contender this year for the Academy Awards, called “On body and soul”. I once had a thought for a movie that it was like that: two strangers having the same dream. Of course, my story would play out differently than it was this one. But I guess, in that hotel room, that morning, I just remembered I would still like to do a movie about this.

This year I’ll be 36 and not at all where I dreamed I would be at. I would be having kids by now. I would have won Oscars by now. So at which point of my past would I return and change it all? This morning I was wondering.

However, I can’t change the past, and this is the life I have now.

At 12, I was at a new school, I found an important love for my life. At 24, I was at a new job, I found an important love for my life. This is the year of the dog. It should bring changes, it should be good for my love life. Well? How is it going to be? I guess it depends on me. It depended on me to live love. To go and not be afraid of the challenges, get some things new into my life. Let’s see.


It’s Sunday afternoon

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve asked for a day off today. I had a pretty full month of December, then we started out this period of training (and we’re still in the middle period), then I had two days off. But I still wanted more. In fact, I wanted everyday to be a Sunday afternoon.

The Academy Awards nominees were announced last Jan. 23 and I’ve began my annual routine of trying to watch all the movies at least nominated for best picture. Why do I still do this? Why do I do it at all? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the time of the year when I will most certainly watch films that are good, with some rare exception, and I’ll be forgetting a little about my petty life.

And maybe I could even wonder about the movies I myself could make, or help to see it through. Yesterday I went for “Coco” which is just a sweet thing and I was wondering today that I would be happy, even if it was a job only to paint a little part of one sequence of this amazing movie. I think I’m getting old and more and more I want less. Like, I really would be happy just doing that. When I was on my twenties, I would probably want to do this and that movie, I would want to change the world. Now? I could only be a part of this great universe and do something simple and just content myself with this.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons I still wanna quit my current job. It’s too much psychological pressure, it’s such a responsibility and so much we should respond to, it’s so many headaches and hurt pride, and embarrassment and feelings of being a weak person – like a very bad episode of “Black Mirror”. That feeling.

Now, at this point of my life, I just wanted it simpler. I could sell coconut water at the beach and that would be ok.

I was also reading today about this family who lives with almost no generation of garbage, and that would be so great! Less consumption, less damage to the planet, a simpler way of life. I wanted that too.

I honestly think that we human beings had complicated it too much. Do we really need to work that much? Do we really need to be so fast and furious? Why can’t we just live healthly?

For the past 8 years I almost had no free Sundays. How would it be my Sunday, even if I was living with Leo? I would probably want to lazily wake up to the sun, have a walk outside, write a friend or two, have coconut water, read something good, write a little, play some ukulele, play with the pets, hug my partner, say hi to my mom, have a tasty dinner, watch a nice movie, take a nice shower, breathe in deeply with satisfaction and go to bed.

How can I reach everyday Sunday?

Low maintenance

So December was a month with a load of work, hardly any time to rest, I couldn’t get a break. In came 2018, and only now when I have time to stop and breathe in and out… do my resolutions continue to be the same as the previous few years? Let’s see.

Well, last year I was able to finish off a debt relating to that last university course I took (and did only half of it), which was mainly my number one and only goal. So, for this year, I was thinking in one big goal which is… play the ukulele. I know, it seems so easy and trivial, but I’ve been postponing it for some time already and I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, I need to have a new hobbie in my life and it may also help me when I’m down and depressed. By the end of December I’ve watched this swell movie, Sing Street, by John Carney, and I’ve renewed the wish to include more music in my life.

I actually like the thought that I could live by the beach, have more coconut water and fish in my diet (which are very good for a diabetic diet), maybe open a place and sing to guests once in a while. This is actually my retirement thoughts, but… oh, I wish I could trade my current life.

Yeah, another goal for my life this year is to lower the glucose level in my blood, keep it stable – and that is only possible with a controlled diet and some physical exercises.

In my imagined reality with L, one of his friends would actually call me a low maintenance girl. Asked by a curious reporter or journalist, he would describe me as a “spiritual guide”, and that I have not many material attachments. Like I don’t care about brands, expensive cars or fashion items. I wouldn’t wear much jewelry, and I would prefer to live in a small place, which would be easier to clean up. I would wear simple, organic or recycled clothes, and I wouldn’t need many different clothes, accessories, I wouldn’t wear makeup and neither would I need hair products.

So it’s not like Leo would spend too much on me, however, he would have offered me enough so I didn’t need to work with whatever just for keeps, enough to live the rest of my (low maintenance) life, that is, an opportunity to finally be free to do what I really wanted. In turn, I would help out making him having a more fulfilling life, to be more content.

Yesterday I’ve just lent an amount to my parents, who seem to be always in debt. But it’s ok, this year I will wear simple clothes, study at home, exercise at home, learn how to play the uke by YouTube videos, eat more vegetables and fruits (less fast food and restaurants), and gather money for a trip. What else?

Come to think of it, I still got like 25 years before retirement… I mean I never wanted to live that much, but let’s say I’ve got about that. When I was 20 years-old, I was so sure, so certain of what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. It’s very weird to now don’t know anything. I don’t know if I really want to be married and have kids. I’ve never wanted that, like many girls dream of. But I don’t know really what the next step is going to be. What can 2018 bring to me? Can I quit that job finally and move on to the next part of my life? Let’s stick with the ukulele for now.

October 23 and Blake’s

When I was 12 years old, I fell in love for the first time (in real life). He was a blond, thin little guy and his birthday was on October 23. I was too shy by then and I never got the guts to tell him I was in love with him, and after a year in our school, he went to study some place else, then I’ve never met him again.

Yesterday I’ve noticed that it was Ryan Reynold’s birthday and he is now happily married to Blake Lively, whose birth date I share. It got me thinking… would things have been different if I had the guts by that time to speak out and we could have been together, maybe my first boyfriend?

That year in 1994 was also when I first saw you in a magazine, and I also fell for you at first sight. I remember for some time I thought that my destiny was to be with a Scorpio, since then I’ve had a Scorpio boyfriend and fell for other Scorpios too. Now there are rumors out there you and Toni may be together and I learned she is a Cancer, as Gisele, the one and only gal you took to the Oscar red carpet in your arms. Do you think you are destined for Cancer?

I know you have dated Blake for a while too and I wonder how good was it? Well, sure, horoscope don’t make the same people, there are just a few traits we would share. But my husband is a Tiger in Chinese horoscope, as you are. But he is Aquarius. And sure there is the environment, how we were raised, what we believe and want out of life, what kind of problems we’ve had to face throughout our lives…

The day before yesterday I was too tired at night and I ended up watching Shutter Island, which was on TV. I remember the first time I’ve watched this movie, how I was impressed by the scene when your character is holding his wife, and he really don’t want to let her go, but she vanishes only for him to wake up. In another scene they both repeat “I love you, I love you so much”. And it was just like that in our “mystical” encounters (I’ll just call it like this from now on). Of course in the movie the background story was so much more sad, with death, crime, craziness, her driving him mad. And right by the end, we wonder: maybe he just choose to continue believing in the story he created, which was better to him than reality.

In that order, I feel like writing here. An imagined story, imagined scenes. I didn’t keep any records of the life we’ve lived in my imagination while I was living in Japan, from 1997 to 1999. This was when Titanic came and I thought Gisele was the one, and I gave up. But I can create a new story now, and I don’t know how long it will last, but I’ll write. If this will give me more joy while living my “real life”. It will be under the category “My life with LD”.


What were we talking about really?

I’ve recently erased a blog where I used to write about things I usually can’t talk about with anybody, and it was mainly about romantic afflictions, hurt and pain, sorrow and dreamy smiles. I thought “this is it”, now it’s another time of my life. I got married and so a new time, when I have to think of other things – a house, kids…

And then… what were we talking about yesterday? As usual, I guess we were talking about nothing. And it was such a long time we had one of these conversations, right? I mean, it can last just a few minutes, but it is one of the rare moments in this life of mine when I get my heart touched deep inside. Perhaps when I’m essentially me, only this.

I don’t know. I guess I am again going through this moment when I keep thinking that this is not the life I was supposed to be living. While I should be grateful, for everything. For having a nice husband, currently we don’t have money problems, I’m healthy enough to go to work, and I can actually do different things at work that once I wanted to do (like video editing, for example). But I don’t feel it. I don’t know why. I wish I could just don’t care about anything else and that I could simply feel happy. But I don’t.

Is it the movies? Because I always wanted to do this and I ended up not doing anything about it. Like I was watching Rocky (1976) the other day. He is a fighter and he tried to have a small living, but he just couldn’t be too far away from that world.

Is it Leo? I’ve completely given up, and the other day I was watching Your name (2016), about the crossing of time and space and love that surpasses it all.

I don’t know. I’ve been struggling with diabetes, trying to have a better diet. I keep telling myself I should study Japanese and try my hand at an instrument. But it doesn’t matter how many diversions I try to impose myself, I can’t get rid of the feeling I don’t want to continue working at the temple anymore. I wanted to do something else. It’s been 7 years I’ve been at this work, and from time to time I just keep thinking I just can’t, I just don’t wanna do it anymore. I can’t have days off, because this is the only thought that crosses my mind. And then what, I will quit and do what? I was re-reading some posts here and it seems nothing changed since last year.

Today I’ve read some of your news. The Theodore Roosevelt project, the fundraising because of hurricanes, you and Kate at St Tropez, you and Toni back together?, your statement about the recent news of sexual harassment on Weistein.

And I was reminded that it’s been a while since I last wrote here, and last read some of your news. On my birthday, August this year, I was finally able to watch Before the flood – I was all alone for my birthday this year, with a pizza. It was cool, I actually enjoyed it. Watching you on screen, meeting those important people and places, and it even gave out some tips on what we regular people could do (like eating less red meat 😉

So the past months I’ve been reading a lot about diabetes and trying to control it better. And did I tell you that my husband is also a Tiger in Chinese horoscope? So sometimes I think “would Leo do that too?”. But I wouldn’t want to exchange places with you like in Your name. I’d just like to live some things with you. I wonder if this would make me feel less unhappy? Probably not.

Maybe if I could write everyday about something good. Write about movies to get people inspired? Maybe if I could travel the world and share experiences and thoughts? Maybe if I could write songs?

It’s really hard to be content. In the beginning of last year I decided that “that was it” for the movies in my life. That I had to work hard and be content and satisfied with what life gave me. And I’ve been trying. To just let it be lived. This life of mine.

I had so many dreams that never came true. But is it really what I want? This job, a house, kids? I guess having erased that other blog, this is my new place to just talk randomly. But sometimes we don’t really need everything to make sense, do we? We just need to talk about nothing.

Work less

My back hurts. I’ve been working like crazy in this beginning of year, and I didn’t get a break until yesterday (that is 10 days in a row without a day off). My whole body was in pain, I woke up and moved like a zombie, trying to do my best so to make everything ready to go – every beginning of year we have this training and I must worry about video editing, making dvd copies, packing up stuff to go out to other South American countries and to distribute materials to local hosts. This year was harder because I didn’t really have much help with editing and the original material (from which we translate into Portuguese) got to us kind of late. There were other concerns too, they’ve created this “incentive” group which turned out to be one more thing on our plate to handle.

I don’t think I can really leave the temple out of nowhere like that, there is nobody else to do certain things and we may actually lose this temple – they would have to hire more employees or have more people to help out. I also have some bills to pay, so I have been considering to stay for a little while more. However, I really don’t know how I can handle it, I’m over exhausted and I don’t want to deal with any of this anymore. I mean, I had yesterday and today off, but only the thought of coming back tomorrow is distressful. My mother insists that I need a month of vacation, but what am I going to do with that? It’s not like I have money to spent and travel somewhere to be reclusive there for a month. And when I come back, all the troubles will be here waiting for me.

I do want to go back to my reduced hour shift, and I really think I should do more exercises. More walking, some training, perhaps take hydro gymnastics classes after I finish the installments of my computer. I do want to eat better, eggs in the morning, nuts, salad and fish, less carbohydrates (this is due to my diabetes of course, no aesthetic reason). And have more music in my life, get the uke’s dust off. If possible, I even would like to add more nature, do some trails or something.

So much for resolutions! They seem to repeat every year. But I am not expecting much of this 2017, so maybe it will turn out a good year after all. It’s usually like that, the years I expected nothing were surprisingly good.

And you didn’t come to Brazil after all, eh! We were deceived by a look-alike. I wanted you to have done the French accent to say the name of Isabelle Huppert at the Golden Globes (call me crazy but I actually like the way they say even names with accent). I kind of admired Merryl for her speech too, she’s a public person and she has something to say, she made herself heard, it was her night, what else. Like the awards to “La la land” showed, we need a renewed upbeat feeling after such a depressive and sad year that was 2016 (well, at least I am one who share this).

I wanna work less and love more. Take better care of my heart and soul. And have more smiles. Do you know, I really think we should only work 4 hours a day. And have more time to family and friends, to do what we love. That would certainly be healthier. I could develop more on that, but right now I should get some sleep.

New Year’s in Brazil?

Dear L,

so you’re coming to Brazil for the New Year’s? I’ve heard you’ve rented a house in Bahia! Yeah, this passage from one year to another is really a celebration in Brazil, everybody party together with family and friends, there are fireworks, many gather at the beach or even on a city street.

And right now, oh boy, how I wish I could evade and go live by the beach for some time, perhaps if I was in Bahia I could even get a chance to see you from far away, ehe. But there’s lot of work for me here and I’m going nowhere, translations to check, voice over to do, videos to edit in the first week of the year. Well, I actually like video editing, but it’s pretty hard in a tight schedule and so many details to think about, last year I’ve made mistakes and nobody really knows how hard is to get all the DVDs ready to ship so the videos arrive in time (and we ship to other South American countries, as Argentina, Chile, Peru). That is, work, work, work for me. And before this time I already was in such a need of some vacations… oh, how the idea of spending a few days by the sea, under the sun, not a worry in the world, is glistering at this time to me.

Well, I wish you a great time (I wonder if you ever don’t?) this year end, this holidays season. For this year we will not do anything tonight, so I’ll be watching some Christmas movie on Netflix and tomorrow we have a family gathering for a late lunch. This afternoon I was actually taking a look at old notes and my journal on how this year has been. And I got to the conclusion that this year you had been my refuge – and some other occasions too. Yep, do you know? Like, I’ve felt miserable about my life many times this year, while you are there, living these great moments (met the Pope, Obama, UN stuff, docs and all), so my escape valve from this exhausting reality that’s been consuming me up and bogging me down this year was basically… you. To imagine how we could do good things together, travel the world, make movies.

Ok, I know I have this real life boyfriend now, but it was just part of this real world I wanted to run away from and didn’t bring me much excitement. Sorry, but nobody really reads this blog, so I can chest off.

So, once again, I guess I just wanna say “thank you” for saving me from my own life. About twenty years ago you also saved me when I was living in Japan – and I also wanted to go up to Tokyo for the “Titanic” world premiere after a year daydreaming; like now I really wanted to go to Bahia, just throw everything away, blow it all up, change my life completely to live in a sunnier landscape, near nature, live of coconut water. Nah. It doesn’t need to be that extreme either. Like Buddha said, the Middle Way.

But I don’t want to wait until next year for new resolutions. I want a new life, now. I’ve been saying for years that I wanna do things and I never get to do it. Well, at least I’m hopeful for 2017. The change of year is a great invention, it’s great to be able to renew ourselves and get hopes up again.

Anyways… I wish you well, love you still. I guess I always will. “Cast away” was the movie of the year for me, it touched and made me cry, sometimes I feel I’ve been away, even being here. But thanks for being my haven, from time to time, it’s all I need.