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Because we all have stories we’d like to pretend never happened.

The book for intellectual misfits.

Remember when I was so excited because I started reading the book that’s like laughing at a funeral? Well, I just finished reading it. If I were to be honest, I could have finished this book a few days ago, but I wanted to take my time, to savor it. I was never one to enjoy reading something too fast. I believe part of the fun in reading a book is when you catch yourself pausing at a random sentence in the book to think about what’s in there. And this happened a lot when I was reading this book.

No, I never found myself with my arm stuck inside a cow’s vagina, or got a bathtub full of baby raccoons for my birthday, but I had my fair share of embarrassing moments in life. But I think we all do, right? Can’t you think of one single moment of your life that if told someone would make you feel like a weirdo?

I could tell you about the time I was dressed as a homeless person as a child and was blinded by stage lights on someone’s shoulder. I was on that person’s shoulder, not the lights. Why would someone have stage lights on their shoulder? That’s just ridiculous.

Or I could tell you about waking up before the sun to drink carrot juice. Okay, maybe that’s not so insane, but it was this orange thing that had a hard time leaving the glass, since my grandmother refused to add water to it, so it was almost like baby food in a glass. And she’d wait for you to drink it all before she’d let you fall back asleep. My uncles had perfected the skill, and would drink without even waking up. I had to fight the urge to throw up. Fun times.

Or I could tell you about when I ran through a glass door and only realized what had happened when I saw all the blood. Best seventh birthday in the history of ever! It involved broken glass, stitches, a broken key, and popping balloons under my dress while this strange guy fixing our door had birthday cake with us.

Hey, remember how I started talking about a book and all of a sudden changed it to talking about myself? Yeah, that’s how that book goes. Well, it won’t talk about me, but it does talk about the weirdest things and at moments makes you wonder if she’s still talking about the same thing she was in the beginning of the chapter. If you’re ADD you’ll love it! It’s just like an ADD mind works. Or maybe you’ll get even more lost than usual, hard to tell. It worked for me, though.

This book made me laugh so loud my neighbors probably wondered what was wrong with me. Especially when I’d cry a few minutes later reading about how she saved her daughter from being attacked by potentially wild dogs. By the way, that chapter gave me nightmares. I had a dream where my mom was bitten by animals and then they found a tooth inside her foot and I yelled at her for not telling me about it and letting me find out about something like that through my half-brother, who’s not even her son to begin with. Insane! I mean, I’d never yell at my mom. Ever.

Anyway, if you want to laugh, and cry, and basically find out you’re not the weirdest person alive, buy the book! Now! To me, the message of the book is: we all have our own embarrassing stories we’d like to forget about, to erase from our memories, but the truth is, we are who we are because of them. Cherish them, don’t hide them.

 

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A memorable birthday.

My seventh birthday was the most memorable so far. That year my birthday fell on a Sunday, a hot Sunday. I remember we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for lunch, and then there was a birthday party at our apartment. But that was not it, that was not it at all.

After lunch my cousins invited me to play tag with them. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, since I was always too slow and never won any running game. I was the child who never wanted to climb a tree because she was too afraid of falling or getting hurt. I’d do it, but only the low branches. I was always so afraid of hurting myself I’d never dare running any faster or jumping any higher or anything like that. But that day was different. I was seven. I was a whole year more confident and fearless than my old self. (Gosh, I can’t even type that without laughing.)

So I said yes. I was resolved to win. And so I ran. As fast as I could. As fast as my legs would take me. I could see the back of my cousins head, bobbing right in front of me. I just needed to run a bit faster, to force my legs not to feel the pain, to push myself just a bit more. I could feel the sweat on my forehead, the icky, disgusting sweat, but I couldn’t let that slow me down. They were so close. And then they turned.

You don’t know the place, so allow me to explain. We were running on a hallway connecting buildings. At the end of it was a glass door leading outside the building, and to the left of the door, stairs leading to the garage. And that’s the path they had chosen to take, down to the garage. Now, why did that come as a surprise to me, I have no idea. I knew that building like the palm of my hand. If anything, that just shows I wouldn’t recognize my own hands if they were attached to my own arms. And yes, I know how ridiculous that sound.

But regardless of the circumstances, there I was, running too fast to turn on my own, risking falling down the stairs if I didn’t slow down, but not wanting to lose the game yet again. So I did the only logical thing: I used the door to push myself towards the stairs, hoping for all that was sacred I wouldn’t hurt my knees too bad.

Next thing I know I’m on all fours. I get up fast, not entirely sure of my surroundings. They don’t look right. I’m not in the garage. I’m outside. How did I get there? How did I pass through the door? The door was locked. It was always locked. Right?

I turned my head towards the door. There was no door. There was only the trim that used to hold the door in place. Something caused my left eyelid to close. I touched it. It was thick and red. Something on the floor caught my eyes. Shattered shiny pieces all around my feet. A line of the red liquid was running from my right knee to my foot. Little crisscrossed red lines marked my legs.

A scream reached my ears. My own scream.

As I said, a birthday to remember. And that was just the beginning. Then there was the going to a hospital to get stitches for the first time thing. Followed by having to go to my own birthday party with a blood-splattered dress and black lines sprouting from my face and leg. Add that to the fact that my aunt broke the key in the door and everyone had to stay outside, because it was Sunday and it took us forever to get a locksmith. Oh, and did I mention it was hot? Yep, definitely a birthday I won’t forget.

 

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Because life is about learning to dance in unusual places

I was born twenty minutes after the eleventh hour of the eighth day of the third month of a long-ago year. I was an average size baby, I’ve reached my developmental goals as was expected of me, and was a pretty normal child. Let’s just say I didn’t do much damage. And I was even sure I’d never leave my city.

Yep, I was a pretty boring child, and I’m sure my mom would agree with me. She’d tell me to be crazier, that it was okay to be silly sometimes. I remember her dancing around in the middle of the grocery store, swirling her skirt, trying to make me see the joy in being silly in public. I was embarrassed by that when I was little, but I also felt jealous. I wanted to be like her, I wanted to dance and not care if someone would see me or what they would think of me. And as years go by, I try as hard as I can to care less about what others think. It’s not always easy, but I try.

My mother is pretty amazing. I also remember her saying lines she had to memorize with her colleague on the streets. I was mortified, because she’d say things like “he shot himself right here” while sticking her finger in her mouth to show were exactly he had shot himself. I knew it was part of a theater play, but others didn’t, so you can imagine the looks they gave us. To be honest, I never even saw anyone looking at us. I was too busy looking at my feet and blushing three shades of red to notice anything else. But in my head I was sure she was drawing attention to us. And drawing attention was something I dreaded more than anything else in the world. It was worse than getting hurt.

The first time I did draw attention to myself, on purpose I mean, not by accident, was when I shaved my head. I was sixteen at the time. I have to say I was pretty happy with the result. I think it was then that I finally realized I was pretty. I was so afraid people would think I was a boy that I started wearing clothes that would show I was a girl. I started wearing make-up, big earrings, skirts, tights, and even showing some cleavage. Not that I had much to show, but whatever, I had some, and some was better than none. When my hair started growing I decided to give it a bit of a red tone. As time went by I started adding more and more red. It was like a drug, it was never enough. Now my hair has to be apple red for me to be happy. I tried to go back to brown, to even go with blond or black hair, but I always ended up going back to red. Red is my color. Red is me.

After that a lot of things have changed. My life changed quite a bit. I almost got married. I no longer live in the same city. Well, I don’t even live in the same country anymore. I moved to a different country, with a different culture and a different language. And although nothing happened as I expected, I’m glad things happened the way they did. I’m happy with the way things are, although they are so different from the plans I once had for my life.

And from times to times I start dancing in the middle of a grocery store. Just because.

 

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Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Today is Dr. Seuss‘ birthday. He’d be 108, had he not died in 1991. And although I didn’t grow up with his books, I love them. I’ve read different books when I was a child, from Brazilian authors, but that’s a story for another post. Now I read his books all the time to the children I know. And yes, I did go to the movies to watch Horton Hears a Who! and I will watch The Lorax, with or without the company of children, since I have no problem going by myself to enjoy a movie. In fact, it’s even better, because children tend to make comments during the movie and I don’t appreciate the constant interruption.

But back to books. Today I read one of my favorites, Green Eggs and Ham. I can almost recite that book by heart and I always say “You don’t like them, so you say. Eat them, eat them, and you may. Eat them and you may, I say,” every time someone say they don’t like something but don’t even want to try it. I know, I know, who am I to say something when I refuse to eat oysters? But have you seen how gross they look? It’s like eating boogers, the limy kind, from a child who has been sick with a cold and crying so much he has that long line of limy-green, disgusting booger running from his nose, over his lips, passing his chin, and threatening to fall but still hanging by a thread. No, thanks, I’ll pass.

And speaking of quotes, one of my favorites is “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” And I find that lately I’ve been saying this a lot!

I’m always worried about what I say and how I say it. People often say I over-think things and I can’t say they are wrong, but I just can’t help myself. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but I can’t just be quiet about certain things. Can I? Better yet, should I? Should we just not say what we think because of how others may receive the information? Should we be so concerned about what others will think? I don’t want to hurt people, but I feel like I’m still entitled to have my own opinions and to express them, don’t you think?

 

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It’s almost that time of the year again.

No, I’m not talking about Christmas, although that is another that-time-of-the-year-again type of thing. But that’s another story, better told at a different time. Probably closer to Christmas. Or maybe near Easter time. Let’s see how things go.

But no, right now the subject is not a holiday. It’s a more personal occasion, in which I celebrate how many moons ago I made my mom want to climb the walls in pain with no equipment other than her nails. Her words, not mine. She guarantees it was all worth it, although I still have my doubts. And if you’re my mom and you’re reading this, yeah, I know, you don’t need to tell me again. Love you, too.

Now, back to our story. So I came to this world many moons ago. Many, many moons ago. But since I’m not a piece of cheese neither a bottle of wine, I say let’s leave the numbers to the mathematicians. To me, what matters is that I am here. I’m breathing, I’m laughing, I’m alive.

And although life did not turn out the way I had planned, I still get excited to celebrate this not-so-important-to-anyone-but-me occasion. I still start making plans for it months in advance, which always made my mom laugh at me. She used to say I started planning my next birthday right after the previous birthday had ended. What can I say? I was usually still high from the previous celebration. High as in from happiness, since I’m talking about my childhood here. Focus, people. And people say I’m the one with ADD.

Anyway, what was I talking about again? Oh, yes, ADD. Terrible thing. It makes you forget what you’re talking about and start rambling about nothings, like squirrels or TV shows. By the way, I’m right now watching one of my favorite shows, at least at the moment. It cracks me up.

By the way, this post started more than an hour ago. But then I got distracted looking for an answer for something on the internet. Something I ended up deciding not to even include in this post. So, before you get bored and kill me, let me just end up by saying that I’m excited to turn another year older, although I do know I’m only older than I was a second ago.

P.S.: I will make a birthday post on my actual birthday. This is just what was going on in my mind at the moment. Then the ADD hit me and I got lost. But still, the intention is what counts.

 

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