Opinion

OPINIONATED STORYTELLING

As Unhas

- Mas são apenas 2000 mil palavras em cada! Me diziam algumas pessoas sabidas (arrogantes?) demais ou bacanas na tentativa de tranqüilizar, afinal não são as notas que contam, certo? Olhava para os dois reports que precisava escrever em menos de uma semana para o mestrado e ainda não acreditava onde havia me metido.

Em que momento pensei que seria capaz de completar um texto meramente acadêmico? Sabidos, arrogantes e/ou escolares levam grande vantagem nesta tarefa, devo admitir. A prática e o excesso de experiência podem atrapalhar, tenho certeza. Tão mais colorido e irrestrito é o mundo de quem já caminhou algumas léguas a mais. Tão menos conciso, tão menos seguro, tão menos formatado.

Olhei para os dois reports querendo muito acreditar que não me interessavam as notas. O que vale é concluir me diziam os mais pragmáticos. Pensa no título no seu currículo completavam outros de solas de sapato gastas. Fato que não era a nota em si mas o que ela simbolizava: a validação de um aprendizado. Mais um? E precisava da nota? Já não tinha certeza nem do sim nem do não. Ainda não acreditava onde havia me metido.

No dia seguinte, meu filho do alto dos seus cinco anos me pediu que lixasse suas unhas. Estava encantado com as lixas. Batia um solzinho muito mágico na cama recém feita e ali ficamos em mais um momento perfeito entre mãe e filho. No que ele olha pra mim, ainda mais fascinado e pergunta: "Mamãe! Como você aprendeu a lixar unhas?"

Eu queria dizer a ele como é vasto o mundo, como existem muitas coisas pra conhecer, sentir, ver e provar, como o peixe é gostoso no Alaska, como os templos no Cambodia são belos, como existem pessoas maldosas e como existem pessoas bondosas (e como dizer quem é quem). Quero contar das pessoas sonsas (essas sim mais traiçoeiras), quero dizer que ele poderá escolher ser o que quiser (mas que algumas profissões são mais sofridas do que outras), quero contar como é o mundo corporativo (ou talvez não ainda) e como pode ser bom mudar de idéia sobre o que é o trabalho que fazemos todos os dias. Quero dizer que ter um filho é a melhor coisa do mundo. Quero dizer que as notas importam e que às vezes não fazem a menor diferença. Quero dizer que a gente pode ser feliz com menos, mas que algumas coisas boas da vida custam algum dinheiro. Tanta coisa eu quero ensinar.

E ali, naquela pergunta tão doce e tão simples disse apenas: 'Eu já tenho 37 anos, meu filho. Você também vai aprender.' Ele sorri, confiante. E sentindo aquele sol maravilhoso de uma manhã fria penso afinal no que são 4000 palavras quando se sabe lixar unhas.

The Power of Sisterhood

I was lucky to have grown up with a best girlfriend. Having tried to be part of the popular girl squad years before, this girlfriend of mine was just what I needed to understand what was really important during my teen years. She was calm and laid back. Was part of a really loving family that had their own in-house factory of chocolate (seriously?!). Had an amazing sister to whom I credit my first Fleetwood Mac record (bought with my proud coin savings when I was maybe 11?). Had one of the most gentleman I have known in life for a bother (whom I dated for a while before being traded for...

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Occupation: Work.

I just came back from an appointment with the Brazilian Consulate where I had to fill out a form with the yet again field 'Occupation'. I never understood this field and still wonder if all these forms we fill out for different purposes - not even related to what we do - add up to some national/global research to access what people do with their lives. I will assume they have a practical reason considering that the consulate official mockingly said to me...

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She Inspires Me

One of the greatest things about being an ex-pat and part of an international community in an alien city is the people you meet. Specially in my case the other moms who have become my inner circle, my support and safety net, my laughs, my ears for venting and cries. We all have our former backgrounds, our stories, our reasons for being where we are today, supporting our families' life style and moment. I am very grateful that a special one, the one I call 'luminous' has let me be her friend. From the very beginning we were able to share many conversations, many coffees and many stories together. Today, I share her latest story. A beautiful tell of what humans are capable of as long as they know where they are headed. Mostly, when they know where their heart is at.

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The Wait

I am 40 weeks pregnant. And what do 40-week pregnant do: they wait. They wait for a sign that it is time to deliver this baby they've carrying. For. So. Long. Before I proceed let me just say I know it is a blessing to be pregnant, I consider it an amazing gift, I still don't understand how in the world we grow a human being inside of us, I understand it is magical. But, magic aside, on your last weeks of pregnancy all most women I know can think about is: TOO LONG. Too damn long.

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Sorry, not Sorry

I realized I have been saying a lot of sorries these past months.

'Sorry, I will not be joining you to every single tourist spot you want to visit in town' (to guests who expected I would do just that). 

'Sorry I will not make it to central London for a coffee' (when not only I am not drinking coffee but also there are plenty of coffee shops 5 minutes from my house).

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Home and Heart. Heart and Home.

"She zoomed the streets of the island. South to North. Inside the cab that could not care less. Windows down enough to let the cold Feb air touch her rosy Jack Daniels cheeks. It was past 1AM and she briefly thought about the event of a life time she had next morning. Not at all important at that moment. She smiled at the many times she wanted to live there in those streets, the reasons changing as she grew older. Many homes before and after that. One heart in the East Village."

The bonds and what we call home.

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Almost there...

2015 is just around the corner and with it comes the end of my maternity leave.

Am I sad? Yes, very much! 

Have I ever in a million years imagined I would feel this way? Not at all!

2014 presented me with the most amazing gift of them all - my baby boy, TJ. We've spent the best of times together - from waking up with his giggles to feeding solids, what a great time we had, my TJ!

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Now 2015 will bring life changes that I cannot even begin to imagine - the most important of them all will be me having to adapt... not spending 100% of my time with my baby boy.

So far I've been his world, the main character in his brief story, his port. 

How am I suppose to live differently now?

Well, I guess every working mom goes through this at least once in life and now it's my turn.

Wish me luck!

(Advices are always very welcomed!)

xoxo

Post-Pregnancy To Do's

As you most likely know by now, I had my first baby back in May and since then life has changed... a lot. 

I love being a mom, caring for my very own little being, waking up with his giggles, and watching him grow and evolve.

It's truly the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and I often wonder why I waited for so long to experience this... Well, I do know why but this is a subject for a different post :)

Having said all that, I must admit that one thing was really bothering me after I had TJ: baby weight. 

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Building Resilience

I wake up with a body that hurts everywhere, like a truck has run me over. Yesterday was a day of pain, a day of (half) inactivity (after all the house and kids, not to mention your work, still need running), a day when I still had to figure how to get my son to school and back, when I still had to send him to a play date so I could get some middle of the afternoon unexpected rest.

As we were growing up my mom used to say: 'Moms can never get sick.' At that time I thought she meant moms need to be present (like, all the time!). Little did I know she mostly meant she didn't feel entitled.

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Birth.

Giving birth was by far the most amazing experience I've gone through.

Go back a year ago and there I was thinking my wedding day was THE BIZ!!!! 

People ask "But wait? Did you just say 'amazing' to describe birth, natural birth?" and I am like "Hell yeah!".

So today I've decided to share a couple of reasons why I think birth was so COOL! 

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It is Time we Share our Stories

More than 25 years ago I lost my older brother. I still remember phone and intercom calls very early in the morning, hush hush along the corridor at my house, my dad waking us up, on a weekend, to tell us the news. I was 12. I didn't know it yet, but everything in life was going to be different after that weekend. There is not a single a day I don't remember I had a brother, there is not a single day I don't think my mom lost a grown 19 year old son.

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That Old Dilemma and How I am (Really?) Surviving it

I'm a former journalist and I have spent a significant period of my professional life working for Brazilian business outlets, covering careers and human resources. I wrote and discussedknowingly, about the careers of business people and of young talents, and was part of inumerous discussions about women in the workplace. I still didn't have any kids, and without them, everything was different. Back then, I was dealing with the theory.

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Be an Entrepreneur but not a Mom or Dad (at the same time)

Entrepreneur.com is a website that talks about some interesting stuff, seriously. I get them on my Facebook feed and go to the website most times to read through what they are talking about. 

To my surprise they had this post on last week. It took me a while to realize how sad it is to think that 'taking back your mornings' entails (at least from the infographic they had on the post) having a house free of kids, which I will assume (just for the sake of this argument, yeah, right?) some entrepreneurs may have after all. 

I think most parents (who are also executives or entrepreneurs for that matter) could agree that some of the images below can be adapted to your family routine. But, again, how many times can you have mornings free of stress when you are trying to get your kid(s) ready for school? I would know (but maybe haven't tried hard enough). If you can make it work this well, please comment and inspire me!

Take your mornings back infographic

Cuz I'm Just a Mom

When my husband comes home from work he sometimes complains that I have yet to shower (on days I had no time to do so). Most times I want to scream and say: "Yeah, right? Crazy!". Reality though, I have learned to just ignore it, picture my 'calm down' image of feather pillows being torn by a knife, and head upstairs to take the shower I, in my dreams, wished I had had time to take during the day.

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5 Definitive Steps to Conquer Life Balance

What? Are you still with me? Really? I was reading the newspaper this morning and on the “Wellness” section they proudly presented 4 steps to clear your mind. First step: take 5 minutes a day for yourself. If you’re curious about the other three, I’m sorry. I never read them. Because the only 5 minutes I have to myself every day is my shower – does it count?

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The road not taken sometimes comes back

The Talks is a website I always visit. It is impressive to see how many websites are doing a great job profiling famous people in a different way. A few days ago their talk with Isabella Rossellini, the all-time beauty icon and actress, was published.

The news that after all these years Isabella has returned to school to study something she always loved hit close to home. Her attitude going back is so positive and her reasons are so clear that I could only confirm she is indeed a strong woman.

Photo by Andre Rau

Photo by Andre Rau

It also made me think how much we stress about getting old or being too old for something, or thinking about the fact that the years are passing by and we are not doing 'anything'. I am to blame in all of these, I have thought about these things many times (trust me I am not that old!). 

I wonder if women are the only ones to overthink these matters. Maybe we have to drop our careers for a while when the kids are born, maybe we have to understand we cannot do the same things we did before the family with kids was a reality, maybe we are tired to keep re-positioning ourselves. And, reality, maybe we shouldn't worry so much. In time, we may realize we can take similar roads to the ones we thought we had left behind.

Tough? Not to Ms. Rossellini who seems to be living to the fullest. And I am taking notes as I read through and listen to her talk here.