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The choices we make

Decisions-714972Deciding to live in another country is a tough decision. It comes with a price. It’s a decision to leave behind all you ever knew as right, as safe. It’s a decision to be far away from those you grew up with and love. It’s to know not only that you’re now responsible for your own laundry, your own cleaning, your own groceries, your own toilet paper, but also to know that you’re responsible for taking care of yourself when you’re sick, when you’re sad, and when you need to cheer up. You’ll meet new people, that’s true, but it won’t be the same.

Most importantly, to decide to move to a different country by yourself means to accept you’ll always have this voice deep inside of you asking “did I make the right choice?” In good days the voice will be so quiet you’ll forget it’s there. You’ll have moments so full of happiness you’ll think yourself to be a fool for ever wondering if it was right or wrong, and you’ll know in your heart you did the right thing. But there will be bad days, in which the voice will scream so loud you won’t be able to ignore it. You may find yourself stalking your hometown friends on Facebook and even regretting not being there when things happen in their lives. You’ll regret not going to a graduation or to a wedding, not holding someone’s baby in your arms, and not being there to see them attempting to parent said child.

I’ve been living away from home, from my country and the ones I love, for almost 6 years now. It’s been a long journey and things have not turned out as I planned, but for the most part I’m happy with my decision. Sure, there are good and bad days, but the good tends to outweigh the bad. Or so I choose to believe. What other choice do I have? Sit down and regret? Consider what if…? What good will that bring? 

In life we must make choices all the time. And since there’s no way of turning back time to try both decisions first, there’s no way of knowing which one is best. All we can do is trust our guts and hope for the best. After all, all we have is now. So make the best of it. Free yourself from the weight of guilt or regret, and enjoy your choices. Allow yourself to be happy about them, even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would. After all, the choices you make are, at least at the moment you make them, the ones you want.

And when things seem to go wrong, do not waste your energy on what ifs. Allow yourself to say “Oh, well,” smile, and move on.

 

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Letting go

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Just let go…

Why is it so hard to let go of things from our past? And why is it that the hardest things to let go are the ones that hurt us the most? Why can’t we not let go of good things instead? I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I sure wish I did.

Things from our past, especially the painful ones, seem to stay with us longer, and letting go of them seems too hard at times. I don’t get why my brain chooses to remember the painful things. Maybe it’s a lesson I’m supposed to learn. Maybe it’s so I won’t make the same mistakes in the future. Maybe it’s so I learn not to let people treat me the same way ever again. But in the end, the reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is the way we feel when we think about those things.

But now I think I may be learning to let go of some of those things. At least the last time I talked about them, they didn’t hurt the same. It still hurt a little, but not nearly as much. I’m starting to think those things are not influencing me as much. Am I growing up? Or is just that I’ve decided that I won’t let that pain dictates my future?

Hard to say. But whatever it is, I woke up feeling much happier about that.

Photo credit: Sophia “release” by David Hayward. And by the way, if you click on this link you’ll see what the artist wrote about the drawing and it goes pretty well with this post.

 

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Welcome to Monsters University!

Earlier this week I went to see Monsters University. I have to admit I was pretty excited about seeing this movie but also quite a bit worried about it. It’s just that making a prequel is not the same as making a sequel.

In a sequel, things move forward, so almost any action can be justified, since the future has not been determined. It can be a disaster, and fans can be disappointed, but there’s more freedom in them. In a prequel, things need to move toward an established truth. The characters already exist and act a certain way, and the prequel must show the characters as they were but also be true to who they are now. Prequels don’t leave much room to play with the ending, which usually pleases the fans more than sequels, but it also creates a lot of expectations in fans, and when expectations are not met, things can get complicated.

I was relieved when I saw that MU was not at all what I had expected. It was so much better! I was happy with the choices made for how the characters met and how they were in the past, as much as what led them to choose the path they did later in life and how much college life influenced them later on. I was happy to see that Mike and Sulley were not best friends from the start, and that Randy was so insecure. It showed how little experiences and how you deal with them have a huge influence in who you’ll become.

“Just wait, hot-shot. I’m going to scare circles around you this year.” ~ Mike Wazowski

Oh, and before the movie, as it happens with all Pixar movies, there was a short animation film, The Blue Umbrella, which was adorable! I loved it! Here’s a clip of it. I’ll post the full version when available.

 

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Harry Potter in 99 seconds

Another video by Jon Cozart, but this time he’s singing about Harry Potter. And no, I don’t know the kid. Just happened to see one of his videos and thought I’d share them with you.

The best thing in this video, in my opinion, is the way he ends the song. I’ve read all the books and I’ve seen all the movies, but I do know of people who have yet to read and/or watch them (I know, it comes as a shock to me, too).

 

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Here’s what happened after all their dreams came true

Just saw this today and couldn’t resist. I had to post it.

This video, made by the talented Jon Cozart, went viral, with almost 8 million views already. Whether or not you agree with the political views expressed in the song, it’s hard not to be impressed by what he’s doing.

Warning: Not for children! At least not for little ones. After all, he starts by saying, “If you’ve ever wondered why Disney’s tales all end in lies, here’s what happened after all their dreams came true.”

 

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How to defeat your enemies

T-Boy (he likes dinosaurs, that’s why I call him that) was watching a TV show yesterday called Ninjago. Since I don’t know what the show is I should do some research to first get to know the show and then do a brief explanation here, but that would take time. Instead, you’re left with my version of the show: it’s about legos, and they are ninjas, and one of them is the master and the others are learning from the master. That’s it. Kind of a teenage mutant ninja turtles but with less turtles and less pizza.

Anyway, I didn’t really sit there to watch the show, but the little bit I heard was about the ninjas trying to answer some riddle from the master. They’d come with a solution and it was always wrong (of course). Instead of watching the show I tried to distract T-Boy. I was not very successful at that, so I agreed to let him watch the last 5 minutes of the show in peace. He was really invested in it.

At the end the master tells his lego-ninjas: “The secret to defeat your enemies is to become their friend.” T-Boy’s expression was priceless, combined with an “Ah” that I’m sure meant what an interesting concept! Maybe I’ll try that next time. And that’s when I was reminded that as much as we may not like the idea of children watching TV shows all the time, if chosen wisely, they can help us teach them valuable lessons. Not that Ninjago is the best show ever (please, I’ve only watched a few minutes of one show) or that I’m advocating that children should watch more TV (I certainly am not saying that), but there is a team of people working behind TV shows and they do (in some cases) try to send good messages to the children.

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Did you watch Dungeons & Dragons? Boy, that was a fun show!

I remember when I was a child and all the TV shows I used to watch. And boy, did I watch TV! The TV was always on. Always. I watched Thundercats, Dungeons & Dragons, Tom & Jerry, Flintstones, Jetsons, Smurfs, Snorks, and so many others. I remember I used to love play-dough as well, and I’d make things from TV shows for my playmobil, like a tiny shell with tiny colored pencils inside. Well, of course it was tiny, have you seen the size of a playmobil’s hand?

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I had this! This exact one!

Oh, boy, what a sweet childhood I had. Maybe it’s time to get the box of play-dough out. Maybe I’ll make something the legos can use…

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Remember the Snorks?

 

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Easter with a touch of childhood memories.

When I was little Easter was a fun time. I remember following the Easter bunny’s paw prints around the house to find the place where he (you can’t call him it) had hidden my basket. The basket would always have a big chocolate egg. And by that I mean one of those:

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Just a few examples of Easter eggs.

You can find them everywhere in Brazil (yes, I grew up there) and you find them hanging from the ceiling (or a support over your head) in grocery stores. All you have to do is pick the one (or ones) you want and grab them as if you were getting fruit from a tree.

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Easter eggs are expensive, but walking into a supermarket and see all the eggs hanging above your head is priceless.

And if you have never seen the inside of one, they look kind of like this:

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This is a homemade one. Yes, you can get homemade ones and they are simply delicious!

Of course the contents of the eggs differ from one egg to the next, but they are all hollow with candies (and sometimes also toys) inside. The chocolate on the outside of the egg also changes, matching the candy they are based on (some have peanuts mixed with the chocolate, some are white chocolate, etc.).

But they were not the only thing in my basket. There were also smaller eggs and a chocolate bunny. I always got a chocolate bunny. Maybe because when I was little someone stole my bunny, a chocolate one, so my mom decided to give me one every year to compensate. Who knows, the point is, it was magical.

But one thing was even more magical. The decorated egg shells. My mom would start collecting eggshells weeks (maybe months) before Easter  It was a tough job to get them ready. She’d break just a little piece at the bottom of the eggshell, just enough to get the egg out. Then she’d wash the eggshells, let them dry, and store them in an egg carton. Later she’d make sugar peanuts (or Easter peanuts, as we’d call them) and put them inside the eggshells. She’d use a tiny cupcake liner to cover the whole and keep the peanuts inside. Then she’d decorate the shells using watercolors and a paintbrush.

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My mom’s ones had cupcake liners under them instead of egg holders, but they looked just like these ones.

Can we just take a moment to admire the artwork on those? I have to say I admire my mom’s dedication in using a tiny paintbrush to make the tiny details on the eggs. Nowadays with sharpies it would be a much easier job. Yay for that, right?

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Here you can see the peanuts inside and the cupcake liners.

And now I’m a bit nostalgic. Gee, I wonder why, right?

How was Easter for you growing up? What things are part of your fondest memories?

Oh, yeah, and HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE! Hope the Easter bunny leaves you a bunch of good moments to turn into sweet memories one day.

 

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