I grew up in a house full of cats. And when I saw full I mean that at some point we had over twenty kittens walking around. Too many? Yes, for sure, way too many cats and we knew that at the time. But it […]
Author: Jules S.
If you follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter, you may have seen me sharing some pictures of a farewell party a couple days ago. And in case that wasn’t clear – since I wrote those captions on a terrible hangover-induced migraine – said farewell was to me. Yours truly, yes.
But Jules, what the hell?
Well, friends… I quit my job and I am moving back to my hometown.
Pause for the gasps.
As much as I’d love to tell you all I’m quitting everything go to pursue life solely as a blogger, this isn’t the case yet. I have a long list of reasons and this post is my way of sharing some of them with you guys. First one goes right with the title: I’ve decided to put myself first. Allow me to explain.
Six years ago I moved from a small, chill coastal town (not my hometown but right next to it) where I went to school in a building with a freaking rain forest as a backyard and a block away from the beach, to São Paulo, one of the biggest cities in the world with twelve billion people to share the subway trains. Back then, living here was my dream. And I’ll be damned if I say those six years were a complete disaster – it was a fucking huge, life changing adventure!
If you knew me before the moving, you can tell I am a completely different person than I was six years ago. I’ve learned things I could never put into words, I’ve been through unimaginable things, I survived a shitload of bad situations, I grew a hundred years in six and I’ve left behind so, so many demons. I’m a wiser person now, I dare say happier, more free than I’ve ever been. Moving to São Paulo turned the teenage Jules into a woman. I owe a lot of who and what I am to this big step I decided to take in 2012.
But those years have also left me severely bruised.
College is a subject I’m saving for a future post, it deserves its own moment to shine here. What I can say is that it was nothing like I expected and it brought out some pretty complicated stuff I had been hiding since I was a kid. The constant hurry in this city, the amount of people everywhere you go, the noise, the lack of sunlight (compared to living on the beach) and nature… It took me a long time to see it, but slowly every little thing started taking its toll. And I was getting sicker by the minute.
I’ve always been a bit of a hypochondriac, inherited it from my grandmother, but what once was just a little kid wanting attention became a very real adult suffering stress related issues she wasn’t supposed to at such a young age. In my first six months here, I remember I had five or six sties in my eyes. I came down with massive flues about ten times in one year. I developed rashes and allergies I never had. In my second year in college, I started therapy after a pretty big breakdown related to my binge eating disorder. In 2015, while I was working as a teacher, I had a nervous breakdown once, after one of my therapy sessions and I remember I started crying while still in there and didn’t stop until I took the road back to my mom’s place about four hours later. In 2016 I didn’t sleep more than four hours a night, not even once. I ended that year finding out about a herniated disc on my lombar region. Last year I was in the hospital four times, one them when I thought I was having a stroke.
In six years I gained 40 kg (88lbs).
Oh yes, and I’ve also acquired a considerable amount in debt.
This isn’t, by no means, a post trying to convince you all to never move out of your parent’s house or never go to a big city – THAT IS NOT MY GOAL HERE. It also isn’t me complaining nonstop, the complaining stops now, I promise. Everything that happened, everything I just listed, it has made me a much stronger woman now. Strong enough to make the decision that living here wasn’t the right thing for me anymore and that I should put my health, both physical and mental, first. I should put myself first.
The other day I saw this youtuber I follow, Nathalie Barros, talking about how us millenials (hate that word, will always hate it and never hide that I do), we are an immensely sick generation. And for some reason we think that’s okay, that it makes us cool or whatever. At the same time we are surrounded by other generations, maybe our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, telling us that what matters is that we have a steady income and pay our bills and nothing else. Don’t get me wrong here, friend. Money is important, unfortunately, and I too pay my bills. But did I not just say I am in debt now? What has all that working like crazy, thinking I absolutely had to be going to two universities at once while still working, brought me? And worst of all: why should I settle for that kind of crazy, hectic life for an ridiculous paycheck just because people would care if I was unemployed or not?
People will always tell you what to do. They’ll always expect you to put them as your top priority, to live for your job even if you hate it, to be silently grateful that you have any income even when you’re being paid way less than you deserve. Hell, my boss looked me as if I was worthy of a straitjacket when I told her I was leaving so I could take care of my health and be closer to my family. Tell them all to fuck off. Maybe not as rudely, I admit, but ignore it. PUT YOURSELF FIRST. I know not everyone is lucky and privileged as I am to have parents that support me so faithfully and sometimes quitting your job isn’t a possibility. But put yourself first. Always.
There is a huge difference between putting yourself first and being selfish. The first means you’re looking inside first, working on what’s necessary so you can emanate good things to others. The latter means thinking you’re the only person in the entire planet worth something. Demand the things you have the right to, know your worth and what you’ve earned. If you think someone is treating you poorly, tell them. If you think there’s something wrong at work that is keeping you from doing your job right, speak up. If you notice a certain situation, or a relationship is making you sick, drained, tired, step out of it. We are better people to ourselves and to others when we feel comfortable, healthy, happier. We work more when we work with people that appreciate us for our hard work, people that recognize our skills instead of treating us like machines. We are better children, friends, lovers to those that cherish our existence. Putting yourself first means taking care of yourself, loving yourself so you can be stronger and capable of loving others with more compassion and empathy.
I am so very grateful for every little thing I went through while living in São Paulo. For every person I met, every friend I made, every bitch I had a fight with. Every single experience I added to my ledger. And I am all the more grateful for how much São Paulo has shown me about the world and about myself. I leave today knowing I am doing something for me, taking better care of myself so I can be a greater friend to my friends, a more loving daughter to my parents, a more comprehensive sister to my brother and yes, a more dedicated professional on my next job.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll come back in a few years, healthier, happier, kicking more asses than ever!
Put yourself first, weirdo. Do not let others decide what your priorities should be, ever.
Stay true, kitten.
PS: This whole thing also means I’m starting to work on my move and that is why posts have been a bit more spaced around here. Hopefully the craziness will end in about three weeks and CBC shall be running better than ever!
This is going to be a big one, so bear with me!
Something quite strange happened the other day: one of my childhood best friends (Raíssa, my queen) messaged me on Facebook telling me about how she was loving the blog, loving my posts, and how she was looking forward to reading more from me. Weird, right?
Before I started the blog I planned content for a while, I have a whole schedule of posts for the next two months, a list of ideas to use whenever something comes up (the Virgo rising in me and my Virgo sun mother would be so very proud). But then last night, as I had just come home last night from a great relaxing weekend with my dad, I simply didn’t want to write about the topic I had picked for today. I tried thinking about other topics and then some others, and then some more. Until I realized I didn’t want to write about anything.
As I was talking to a friend of mine (shout out Marcy, I know you’re reading this), asking her what she wanted to read and topics I could discuss, it hit me why. Because I was doubting my ability to write about anything. My ability to write, period. I kept thinking I haven’t had enough experience to write about stuff, I don’t know enough people, haven’t visited enough places, haven’t had enough problems or overcame enough diseases. Nothing that happened to me yet was enough. Aka I was ran over by a bad case of our friend – the impostor syndrome.
If the name sounds a bit odd, I assure you: you have experienced this before.
But Jules, how would you know?
Because I know, friends. I’m a witch, I know. I am also a freaking millennial, as much as I hate the term. And a woman. And plus size, on top of all that. And, unfortunately, us ladies are still to this very day raised to doubt we can do something other than be mothers and take care of others. As if those were easy tasks, am I right? I’m gonna have my mom come here in the future, tell some people like it really is. In any case… I’m also entering adult life in between a generation that was still being forced into college and into knowing what they wanted to be by the time they were fifteen, and another one that has started careers out of their hobbies so very easily. I was right in the middle, the kid that had to go to college but was also raised by loving parents that understood passion was important. Which let me tell you, helped a great deal. I’d be so much worse if things had been different, you guys. LIKE SO MUCH WORSE.
Once again, I digress.
According to Scientific America, impostor syndrome is “a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary”. You see it now, don’t you? That moment when you doubted yourself even thought everyone was telling you not to? That A you got in a test after studying hard and still kept telling yourself you were just lucky? That job opportunity you dismissed because you were so sure you couldn’t handle what they wanted you to do, that hottie that smiled at you at the bar and you looked away because it simply couldn’t be directed to you… Should I go on?
That message from my old friend kept playing in my head like a broke record and all I could think of was “is she just being nice?”
“What the hell is happening here?”
“This can’t be real.”
And when I thanked her and she complimented me again! What the freak was going on?
Then Marcy complimented me as well. And then one of my best friends (Juquinha, I love you), and then my mom (I know, I know).. And then my dad told me he was even using Google Translate to read my stuff! And a friend today DMed on Instagram just to tell me she was in love with my accent (Yas <3)! And my cousin did too (Carol, shout out to you as well, you’re the bomb!). And one of my oldest friends left me a heartfelt comment on my last post (Bel, you’re such a queen, I miss you)! And trust me, this is not a bragging list. This is a shocked Juliana list.
So I stopped, I read all those comments again and I thought: are they all being nice at the same time or do they genuinely like my work? And you guys know what I realized? The latter was the most probably option.
Sometimes the entire world is going to tell you that you can’t do something, that you’re not enough or that there is someone better already doing it. I mean, sweet Hercules, if I was to quit blogging because there are thousands of other bloggers out there, I wouldn’t even have started CBC! Sometimes you are going to tell yourself that kind of shit, over and over, and you’ll believe what you’re saying. But let me tell you weirdo, if you stop filling your own ears with bullshit you’ll start learning some pretty interesting stuff. Like how other people admire you, how your work changes someone’s life, how you make others laugh or even how, for a moment, you said something that hurt someone initially but that made them learn something new.
If you’re a beach born child like me and you got on the road often, going from high altitudes to low quite frequently, you’re familiar with that “clogged” ears sensation, right? Science world, please come tell me how it is truly called. For now we’re going with clogged ears. But think about that sensation, how you keep opening and closing your mouth, trying to pop your jaw to see if it goes away. How it muffles the sound of other people’s voices and the music in the car’ stereo. Now imagine impostor syndrome as that sensation, that freaking barrier between you and the true form of a beautiful sound. And now picture that DELICIOUS feeling you get when your ear is clean and free and you can hear everything again, how everything sounds much better, how you even get a shiver running down your spine from that freedom such a simple thing bestows upon you. Doesn’t that sounds pretty awesome, my dear weirdo? That is the exact feeling you get when you kick impostor syndrome and self doubt to the curb.
It’s not easy shutting down that inner voice, I know that. But why is listening to it so freaking feasible, so comfortable? If you love something, if you dedicate yourself to it, you are one hundred percent capable of achieving it, even when sometimes you have to adapt a few things.
I have homework for you now, kid. Every time someone compliments you this week you are going to smile, take a deep breath and say a big, reverberating THANK YOU. And believe them! Believe in yourself! And say something nice back!
And if the little voice insists on talking shit in your head, you very politely turn to it and scream FUCK YOU!
Liberating, am I right?
Go into my comments and tell me something everyone always complimented about you and only now you’re starting to believe. And also which tricks to you use to shut down the inner party pooper in your head.