miscasted | ramblings

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I’m waiting for a colleague to pick me up, we’re going to small work gathering and I keep thinking how the hell did I got myself into this. Not in a bad way, I really don’t understand how in the world I can fit into this equation. If you were to tell me three years ago, that I would end up going out to have dinner with this set of people, purposefully, I would have laughed out loud.

These two fools at work like me. I have no idea why, but I know they do. Or maybe they don’t, and they’re just pretending they do, if that’s the case, props to them, making me believe someone actually likes me is an achievement on it’s own.

Either way, I know they do. Maybe it’s because they’ve gotten to know me, maybe it’s because they don’t know me well enough. It’s actually not fair to say they don’t know me well enough, since I’ve shared with them some things that I never taught I could share with anyone. I really dislike myself when I’m stressed and when I mess up, they’ve seen me at both and chose to like me either way, so I guess I can’t be that hopeless after all. There are some people who question their liking for me, I’m right there with them. Hey, I hear you, this is nuts. But I guess a couple paragraphs into this and we already came to the conclusion that there’s nothing either of us can do to change it. Move past it.

There are a few more people at work that kinda like me. I think they have their days with me, sometimes they’ll like me, sometimes they’ll tolerate me. That’s fine, most of the days I don’t have a heart, so I can’t say it affects me much. But when I forget to leave my feelings at home, it gets to me a bit and sometimes it get to me a lot, and when it does, I’m a crying mess at work. Which is never fun. What can I say, I wanna be liked. I wanna be perfect in what I do, and when I’m not, I cry. Yes, I’m adulting like that. Don’t judge me.

I guess I’ll be second guessing my place in this cast the entire evening, it’s just something that I do. People haven’t been really this inviting towards me, well, ever. It might be because I’m really not accessible to begin with, I don’t talk much and I’ll often refrain from being part of a conversation. I swear, these two idiots in particular really insist. I have no idea why. But they ended up getting to me. And now I like them. Ugh.

I don’t really wanna go anywhere anymore, although I fail to comprehend how, truth is I feel like I belong. Most importantly, I don’t feel like a broken dish anymore. I’m whole, still split, but whole. It’s confusing I know, but it’s just a side effect of life.

I still can’t help to feel a bit miscasted. Like I’m sort of a fraud and there are at least 20 other people who could do my job and be more pleasant to be around with. Being a better company than me is not a difficult task whatsoever. And I think there’s a chance they’ll still realize this before it’s too late. I wish they don’t, I’m kinda of attached to this two fools now.

 

Twelve | ramblings

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My cousin’s daughter is 12 years old. She’s this sweet tiny girly girl that moves with caution at all times and bates her eyelashes a lot when she’s confused. She giggles loudly and gets embarrassed easily. She has an easy smile and it’s quite a pleasant girl, it’s nice to be in her company, she’ll talk a lot about her pre adolescent adventures when she’s comfortable. I like her a lot. I want the world to be kind to her. But twelve is a weird age to have. You’ll start to become aware of yourself; start to feel the need to be a bit more independent; and your friends opinions will become more important than your parents.

I remember being twelve. I was quiet, tall and skinny, had very long hair and was cute enough. That’s a fair description. My friend group consisted of loud, pretty, popular girls, who were all in the gymnastics team, so throughout my teens I would never be exactly in the shadows. Never really stood out on my own either, but was always a part of the group that did.

I remember the first time I caught a boy’s attention, it was also the first time I was told I wasn’t pretty enough.

I felt this boy’s gaze on me while I ordered my lunch at the cafe, it made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t uncomfortable because he was staring at me, it was uncomfortable because he was cute. Later that day he asked a common friend if she could ask me if he could have my number (if is sounds complicated, it’s because we were twelve). She was very excited about it when she told me and teased me a bit for it. I taught it was funny and cute, it was my first teenage love affair, and I dared to dream a little. That dream must have lasted ten whole seconds. Another girl in the friend group would quickly shatter my dreams of living a high school musical romance with a nasty comment about my appearance. It made me feel like he must have been mistaken, it wasn’t really me he was interested in, no one could ever be interested in the boring plain Mariana.

The worst part wasn’t that she said it. The worst part was how she said it so surely that it made me believe it. Girls learn to be merciless at a very young age. I know now that it came from a place of jealously, it wasn’t really felt or even thought off. But it stayed with me nonetheless. We were all dealing with first periods and unexpected boob growth and to make it even worse, the boy craze fever will never be as high as when you’re a teen. Twelve years old girls go through a lot, they often say and do things they’ll regret later in life. So, I don’t really hold her accountable for it, I never could. Karma was on my side, the boy went on to become my first kiss and we dated for a whole two weeks before summer break, so the joke’s on her really. Specially because a couple years later I would level up to her in meaness. It’s important to say I’m not proud of it. I wasn’t the nicest teenager, being a part of a group brings you a certain type of confidence that can easily become cockiness. From twelve to sixteen I did a lot of things with my girl friends that don’t really match up to my branding today.

I’m a firm believer that the devil is a teenage girl. And I once embodied it.

All that to say that I can’t bring myself to look at my cousin’s kid and see how she could ever relate to my experience at twelve. She’s so innocent and cute, how could she even dare to kiss a boy at such a young age? And her friends, I hope they are nothing but nice to her, she doesn’t have a bad bone in her and it would pain me to know that someone could ever comment on her appearance in an unkindly way. I hope she’s alright, kids nowadays either grow up too fast or are too sheltered. I hope she takes her time with the  boy fever. And that she won’t carry words that were said to her today to the rest of her life.

my hero

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I’ve never met any of grandfathers, they both passed way before I was born. I don’t know much about them, only that they were loved and missed. It’s interesting to me that both my parents have a much sweeter image of their fathers than their mothers. But understanding the reasoning behind that is none of my business.

At 11 my father was left fatherless. He stopped being a child on that day. I can see the impact it had on him on his actions today.

My favourite thing I ever discovered about my father came to me a few years ago, on a Christmas Eve afternoon, while we all baked in the kitchen. He told me about how when he was a child, every Christmas, his father would buy a straw mattress and they would all sleep in the kitchen on Christmas night, surrounded by the empty wrappers of little chocolate cars. My father was the oldest boy of 7 children, but never went unnoticed on his own fathers eyes.

I was lucky enough to be his only child.

Growing up I was always told I looked like my father. I took that with pride, being compared to him was my greatest achievement, and to think I only had to be born to accomplish that. We were always similar on our lack of social abilities, I remember how every sunday we would go and visit family, due to my mothers insistence, and while she shared a cup of tea with her sister on the kitchen table, my father and I would wander off to wherever it was that the people weren’t. He would teach me words in French, talk about life before me and ask me questions about my own struggles. He always had a very subtle way to approach me and he’s one of the few people in the world that managed to poke my brain successfully.

The reason why he was ever able to do that, probably comes from the fact that we are too similar. Like me, he also fails to voice what he feels. It’s interesting to me that my father is the one who doesn’t truly seem in contact with his emotions and yet, out of the two, he was always the most affectionate. He will often put himself on hold just so that others can have enough room to feel whatever it is that they are feeling. He doesn’t need to have the loudest voice in the room, and if he can go on without having to do any small talk, he will.

He always did what it was required of him to do. Looking back, I realize that he spent an awful amount of time working far away from home. I didn’t really notice it growing up, guess he was really good at being present when he was indeed home. I remember being half asleep when he came into my room early in the morning and kissed my forehead before heading out to work. I remember him shaking my foot to annoy me wake me up when I would refuse to get out of bed to go to church, every sunday morning. I remember him, seating on the edge of my bed on a very dark sunday morning, and breaking some terrible news to me. I remember how he stumbled on his words and told me that I could lay in bed for a little longer if I wanted to.

My father never asked for more of me than what he knew I could give.

He had to grow up quickly but independence didn’t quite came with it, so he had to fight for it. In his early twenties he would follow is big sister’s footsteps and move abroad. She was always the one he admired the most, that ended up rubbing of on me, she would go from his favourite sister to my favourite aunt. I don’t think we should be admitting to that, but it’s only true.

My second favourite thing about my father that I ever discovered, was how he would write my mother a love letter every week while he lived abroad. You could argue they were just letters, but my father does not write without love. I got that from him without even knowing it. I recall being very good at essays in school way before I ever found out he wrote as well. He once told me that he wished I could fulfill his dream and become a writer myself.

Writing too much and photographing too much are two of his traits that I was lucky enough to inherit. There always had to be a camera on our household and I was one of the few in my class that would be allowed to take the photography camera on a school trip. Way before me, my father would photograph weddings. My mother says he was good at it, she also say he lost his business for being too kind hearted. I can see that happening. My father doesn’t really bother to see the evil in the world, he’ll see them in movies and laugh at their stupidity, but somehow has a blindside for them in real life. So he’ll just live his life never truly believing someone can be out there with nothing but his best interest at heart. Never really believing he is relevant enough for someone else to try and take his place. While being absolutely indispensable.

He was always the first one I would fight with and, simultaneously, the first one I would agree with. I remember being very little and hearing my mother say that I got my bad temper from my father. I get it now. We argue in a very specific way. We both hate confrontation, so we’ll just give up on the fight while sticking to our argument and it somehow looks like we don’t care while inside we are cracking to cope with how we feel. Don’t quite know a lot of people like us. Thankfully for the world. I can see why my mother would frequently get frustrated in our household.

He was always the one to encourage my independence and always made sure I had a stable safety net. He would kick me out the window and be right on the floor to catch me if I failed to fly. But he always made sure I knew how to fly first. My father knows that we can love from afar. And doesn’t take my emotional distance as a personal offense – like my mother often does – somehow, he understands me. I must have been made in his own image, carved from inside out with his features. He’s always been kind to me and showed me the most love when I least deserved it.

He turns 54 today and I think he deserves a break. I’ve always been very protective of my father. Do you know how often girls will seek protection in their fathers arms? I’ve always wanted to be the one person who would give him a break. Life wasn’t easy on him, from losing his own hero at a very young age to being separated from the one’s he loved the most several times in is life, I’m one to think it’s about time he catches a breath.

I could write about him for hours. But I probably should stop writing and give him a call instead.

Happy birthday dad, you will always be my hero.

Flowers in the winter | ramblings

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From little bulbs they’ll sprout, daring to bloom in the winter. If flowers can blossom in the cold and be as beautiful as they are, how can you ever believe opening up your heart is an ugly thing to do?

I’ve always been one to think that flowers that blossom in winter are the best type of flowers. As fragile as they seem to be, to open up in the cold dimming light of winter, is a defying act. They dare to be beautiful even when the rain pours heavily, threatening to harm them. I’m not one to know much about gardening or flowers in general to be quite honest, but I know beauty and I tend to collect beautiful concepts.

Some people are just like flowers in the winter. They’ll open up during dark times and bring beauty to your gray days. It is in the unflattering cold tones of winter that we can truly see – the sun can’t blind us like in the summertime. To be able to show beauty in a hostile environment is quite a virtue. Not many can do it, in fact, very rarely will someone do so.

As someone with a tendency to shut down when the environment isn’t familiar, I must say I appreciate the effort someone will put in opening their hearts when life seems to be a winter day. To show kindness and delicacy to someone who isn’t being deserving of it is an act of rebellion in a society that encourages obnoxious behavior.

I don’t know many people who have mastered this art. I try to follow the examples of those that I know who practice this. But there are times when I get it all wrong. My attempt at being understanding will often come of as a lack on interest all together, and I do seem to chose the worst moments to open up my heart. And I don’t ever want to be seen as something ugly.

It is important to keep trying and to keep praising those who dare to be the beauty in cold winter days. Their work is well cut out for them.

clever girl | ramblings

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I was once told I was emotionally smart. That’s the most foolish thing I’ve heard. I have a colossal lack of understanding when it comes to my own feelings. I can’t voice them, I can’t comprehend them and I certainly cannot manage them well. I either feel them all at once, or not a all. Sometimes I can’t even be aware of what I’m feeling until someone points it out. Way too often I don’t know if a certain sentiment is there out of suggestion or if I was blocking it out. Either way, me and my feelings don’t keep a close relationship, how can that be smart?

I used to believe I was empty. As if you would go on for twenty something years in this world and simply run out of emotions one day. That’s a stupid thing I used to belive in. I belive in a lot of silly things, since I normally keep them to myself, no one ever has the opportunity to tell me I’m being an idiot. And I go on with my life, being an absolute fool because no one gets close enough to call me out. Again, not the smartest thing.

I still think I can be a bit empty at times. That’s what saddens me the most, how detached I can get from my own life and just exist as a bystander. Does everyone goes through that? It feel as if I’m hollow. Do you know the sound you get when you knock on an empty wooden box? I feel like that sometimes. Someone will knock, and all they get is a muffled sound… they are searching for some sort of an emotional response and I fail to deliver. Way too many times. I can’t help it though. Emotion is not something I can show instantly.

Thinking about it, it’s not that I fail to deliver, I’ll just take a while. I’ll fell a rush of things all at once, they come like tsunamis, out of no where. And when I feel something, I can’t deal with it properly, it’s just too much. So I’ll just malfunction altogether. For a few minutes, then on with the day I’ll go. Until the next overcharge.

I’ve been told – and it’s true – I’m very passive. You have to try really hard to get me so mad that I’ll say something. If I feel like there’s a chance I’ll regret what I say, then I simply keep it to myself. It’s just easier to handle. But by avoiding conflict, I’ve became a very conflicted person. That’s not smart whatsoever. I think healthy people are supposed to share emotions and not bottle them up. It’s a very dumb thing to do and I have no clue how to stop it. Truth be told, I’m not sure I want to stop it. That’s even dumber.

I guess I can be consider smart because I can call out my own bullshit. I know exactly what is I’m doing wrong. But what’s the point of that? I’ll only assume my wrong doings when I’m the only one listening. So how could that even count?

I’ve been told a great deal of things about myself through the years, some I believed in, some I didn’t. The fact that I can be consider emotionally smart is truly baffling to me.

 

A little french | ramblings

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She is very tiny. And skinny. Looks somewhat fragile, however, she moves with purpose, clarity, with a certain aggressive intent. As if she’s proving a point. ‘I look fragil, but I’m actually made of steel‘. She has that parisian charm, a thick french accent and embodies la vie en rose. I’ve always admired her careful carefree posture. It’s a trait I’d like to inherit, the art of carrying yourself easily, so freely, you’d intimidate the fools. She always had a pack of cigarettes in sight – she doesn’t anymore – but never smelled of smoke. She taught me the importance of a good perfume, she liked hers strong, intense, woody. I remember her telling me about her all time favourite and describing it as the perfum a prostitute would wear. I decided then, I would find a perfume like that, and whenever something important came up, I too, would smell like a french hooker. My mum would laugh at this, I taught it was a goal to achieve. A strong, unberarably intense perfume is like a good sensual fuck you to the world.

She is not someone who is particularly looking to be liked, yet she rarely fails to do so. Always becoming too much of a strong presence that cannot be erased. She is kind. So kind. Wears her heart on her sleeve and isn’t afraid of giving, however, she’s very aware of whom to trust at the same time. She found the balance I wish I had. She knows people, knows intentions, life taught her good and bad lessons, and she learned them all. You can’t fool her easily, yet, there are those to whom she’ll give the food in her plate. Even if they don’t deserve it. Specially when they don’t deserve it. She acts out of love, at all times.

I’ve gotten drunk on her stories before, she has so many to tell and they are all full of adventure. She tells them with a certain lightness, as if she was reading them from a book, yet it feels so passionate at the same time. She likes good books, good poetry, and is immensely interested by the matters of one’s soul. She reads cards, owns a spell book and most importantly, has faith. Real faith. The type of faith that would make a priest self conscious. Her faith comes from within, she believes in herself, in taking matters by hand when destiny goes south. She believes God acts by the hands of people, and that is the only way I can understand believing in a greater power.

In her story she is never a victim, she owns up to her mistakes and naivety. She takes pride in her experience and wears it as a shield. Her insecurities will come out, every once in a while, and she’ll own up to them. It would always pain me to hear her talk about her weigh, her figure, her hair. I always believed she was perfect. Some taller, skinnier woman with long wavy hair would never have her charm.

The greatest thing the Parisians taught me was that you don’t have to be in trend to be stylish and you don’t have to be perfect to be charming. It’s quite the opposite actually. People stand out for their little quirks. I know that now. I think she knows it too. That’s probably why, even in her darker days, she’ll carry herself in a mesmerazing carefree manner. By observing her, I would always be inspired to carry myself like I own no apologies to the world.

Growing up, she was always the example I’d like to follow. Her endless kindness and undeniable strength are the two traits I will always wish I can develop. As well as her independence. Everyone would rely on her, but she was always cautious with whom she picked to confess her sins. She never told a story without a purpose. She shared bits of herself to give advice, to keep the conversation going, not quite because she wanted to share them. It’s not often that she calls to talk about her struggles. It’s always someone else’s she shares first. But when she does, when she shares her fears and frustrations, it breaks me. To see her struggle shreds my heart. I would always think of her as someone to whom the world was in great debt with – I still do. To see that someone would dare to be anything less that loving towards her makes me frustrated to the core. To see that the world would dare to be cruel to her makes me question the existence of any sort of greater power.

She is never shy to say she loves me. At home we were never vocal like that, we’re family, loving each other is implicit in our circumstance. So she is the first person, that I recall, to let me know that she loved me. With actual words, not gestures or actions. I remember being a kid and not quite understanding how someone so far away could love me. And yet she would. I was too small to understand that. I know now that loving is just part of who she is. She loves with intent, firmly, undoubtedly. But rarely. You’d have to be lucky to be on that list. I guess I hit the jackpot.

I just wish I could bring her luck when she needs it the most. But all I can carry in my arms is love and hope. Can only hope that’s enough.

book-ish confessions | ramblings

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There aren’t enough books in the world. 

I’ve came to this realization the other day and it stings. There aren’t enough books in the world and it’s quite dramatic.

On the other hand, there are too many. But none of those out there can ever be good enough. 

People write about love, friendship, adventures, misadventures, grief and lost. They’ll write letters, poems, prose and fiction. There is a sea of books and if you put your hand out there enough, I’ll end up bitten by one of them. I like to read books that bite, but even more importantly, I like to gift books that bite.

Now, I don’t like buying books for others, I see it as quite a personal thing, that you have to do yourself – like buying underwear. But when I think of a perfect gift, a book always comes to mind. To purchase someone a journey from their own couch can be quite a bargain. To have someone find themselves in written words and cure them from loneliness is priceless. We often give people gifts in hope that they’ll enjoy them, but the most precious gifts we can give is something we’ve enjoyed ourselves. It’s like earring someone’s favorite song, you get to know them a little better. Giving books we’ve found ourselves in before is giving a little bit of ourselves in it.
That’s why I believe it is pointless to buy books for others that you have no recollection of.

I like to walk around bookshops, I like the endless possibilities there. Way to often I’ll find books that I’d like to read, but quite rarely do I find something I’d like to offer.

The other day, at one of my favourite spots, while wandering alone in the poetry section, my fingers stumbled upon a poetry book that made me think of someone dear. I sat on the couch, and made my way though the pages. It didn’t took too long before finding out I’d be taking it with me.

We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the starts. (Oscar Wilde)

Something I’ve read once and treasured dearly ever since.

I decided to give a little bit of myself, the book was just collateral damage. Because the truth there aren’t enough books in the world. Not when you want to gift someone you care for.