What doesn’t kill you make you stronger

And here we are. It is 2018! A new year has arrived and nothing has changed for me (yet). Let me just recap, very quickly, my 2017 for you. I started the year being unemployed, did some work for 6 months and I finished the year being unemployed again. It sucks, I know.

When we moved to Malta in October 2016, I have to confess that I had no idea that it would be this hard. I left Ireland with a big fat hope that everything would work out just fine in Malta. I could not wait to experience living abroad again but now as a professional woman who had a career and years of experience working for giant international companies. All I could hear from everyone was “with a CV like yours you will have no problem finding a job!”. I believed them. I also believed in me and what I have done and what I am capable of so I thought that it would be just a matter of time to find a good job.

Oh boy, have I been wrong! I was not prepared for the reality of Malta! All I have always heard about recruiting is not valid over here. I can tell you as a fact that the majority of the companies here do not give a single crap about your skills, past experiences and potential… and I mean it! All they care is how long you’ve been working in the industry they all are in, igaming! Yes, Malta is full of igaming companies (aka gambling providers) so if you don’t have experience working in this industry, good luck to you!

I have applied for so many jobs and all I get is silence or rejection emails. I love how the email says “you don’t have the skills we are looking for” or “we have application from candidates who are a closer match to the skills and experience required for this role”. I mean, I understand other candidates are more suitable for the role and I respect that. But don’t tell me I don’t have the skills you are looking for when I know I do and my CV shows you that too! 98% of the companies also don’t care about sending you a rejection email, they just go silence forever.

At the beginning this really shocked me as I was used to Ireland where companies have to give you a feedback regarding your application within 2 weeks, even if it’s a “no but thanks”. Here, they just don’t bother and that tells me a lot about them and how they work. So I really appreciate and respect the ones who send me emails with the lines I wrote above.

In odd times you do find someone (a recruiter or a hiring manager) who read a CV how it was supposed to and contact you. I had 6 jobs interviews during this 15 months in Malta… yes, 6! One of them was for a company that it’s in the content moderation business and were super excited with the fact that I worked for Facebook doing the same thing, one was for a tech company so my CV was relevant and the other 4 were for igaming companies with foreigner hiring managers that saw my potential and gave me a chance. You all know I was hired by one of them because the hiring manager knows how hiring works… when it’s an entry level you hire the person for the potential! Sadly I left the company 6 months later… for many reasons. After that, I was almost hired again by another igaming company as the hiring manager understood my skills and potentials. Unfortunately, after being the chosen candidate the company had some undisclosed problems internally and decided to pull back the role. Yep… it sucks for me!

Was 2017 good for me? We can all agree that it was NOT! I have never felt so lost in my life! I have never felt so useless and unappreciated like this ever before. Malta was a huge reality check for me. I have always believed in me and in what everyone ever said about my working experiences and ethic. Well, I guess we can all agree that have been worked for one of the biggest companies in the world really doesn’t mean anything once you are in a country that only cares about the industry they care about. I learned the lesson Malta, I learned.

So why am I still here you ask? Because it is not just about me. There is someone else’s career on the line and I am a supportive person. When you love someone and are proud of them then you just stay and support. It has been about me for so long so it’s ok if I am not in the podium this time. I know I will be back up there again in the future.

Life is like this isn’t it? One day you win and another day you lose… and another day you just don’t compete in the race, you take a break. Maybe I should just embrace that I am taking a break. I am tired of losing!

Sometimes I look at myself and I honestly don’t know how I manage to still be so positive about my working situation! How the hell I have not had a horrible meltdown yet it’s beyond me! Wow, this might be the biggest sign of confidence or I am now just 100% sure that I have totally mastered the “fuck this shit” mojo I’ve been living on for so many years! Hey, what doesn’t kill you indeed make you stronger.

But seriously speaking now… My working life has been on hold since October 2016, really. My brain hasn’t really been challenged since and I have not once felt useful, which is a crucial feeling for me to keep motivated and going. But life is not just work, right? Thank God! Apart from work, everything else is going fine…. Well, I don’t have friends in Malta but I still manage to live a happy and positive life. I focus on me, G and my dog and that’s enough for now.

For what is worth, during this past not so great 15 months, I learned that I don’t need much and that once I am strong in the inside the outside cannot and will not break me! I can keep trying and failing but as long as I am true to myself and as long as I don’t let this get into me, I am fine! Acceptance is really a powerful thing. Denial only brings self-doubt, fear and sadness and I don’t want or need this in my life. So I decided I am not competing in this race for the moment but I will keep an eye on the track-field (without any pressure) just because you know… things can change. I know I will have my place in the podium again when the time is right so until then, I better enjoy the sunshine.


It is my Surname or the highway

Yesterday I overheard a conversation between two women that made me think!

Woman 1: Is that really your Surname? It’s so cool!

Woman 2: Yes it is. I love my Surname very much!

Woman 1: Please never change it!

Woman 2 (in an upset tone): But I will have to because my boyfriend said he will only marry me if I take his Surname.

Woman 1: So keep yours and take his too.

Woman 2 (again in an upset tone): No, that’s not an option for him. He wants me to take his Surname only otherwise he won’t marry me.

Isn’t funny (which actually it isn’t but I will use this word until a find a more appropriate one) how women have gone so far to “own” their place in society and be seem as equal and things like this still happen?

For the past few years we have been bombarded with news about woman empowerment and how we are almost there in gender equality (we are not really but hey, we have made amazing progress so far). Women can do whatever they want, when they want and no one has nothing to do with that! Beyonce will tell you that better than me!

But seriously though, this conversation made me think on how some women still get attached to such silly things as taking the future husband’s Surname! It really shocks me to know that some women are so desperate to marry and create a family that they will do anything and marry anyone in order to fulfill this dream.  Of course I am not speaking directly about Woman 2 as I don’t know her relationship with her boyfriend but from this short conversation it’s safe to say that I have a good idea of how it is and honey, it doesn’t sound great!

It’s 2017 people. 2017! Society has made so many adjustments in this department because taking someone’s Surname is an option and not an obligation. Today a woman can keep her Surname, take her husband’s, keep both, add more to her name, the husband can take the woman’s Surname… You can do whatever you want because it’s just a stupid Surname! It’s not a new identity, it’s not a super-hero cape, it’s not an irreversible decision, it is just a name!

I honestly don’t know the history behind this ancient policy about a woman taking her husband’s Surname when marrying but to me, sounds like this was a way of owning the woman since we all know that women for so many years were seen as objects of possession and were not entitled of any civil rights. Some people can also see this as a gesture of love and yes, I get that too. I am all about compromising and I do find endearing to take on your husband’s Surname but hell to the no in giving up your own! And I would NEVER marry a man who would threat not to marry me if I don’t take his Surname and his Surname only like Woman 2 says. Have some respect and love for yourself for the love of God!

To be honest, this thing about erasing your family name from your name when you get married is not something I am familiar with. In Brazil, we are all registered with the mother’s and the father’s Surnames. So the “policy” is when a woman marry she says bye-bye to the mother’s family name, keeps the father’s and takes her husband’s. Yes, it is still sexist but at least you do keep your family name too. So for example, in this rule, once I marry I would no longer be Franca Fiorini but I would be Fiorini  X (enter future husband’s Surname).

But the point is, I can be Franca Fiorini and future husband’s Surname or I can be Franca Fiorini! I don’t need to, I don’t have to and I don’t must to take anyone’s Surname if I don’t want to. In the end of the day it is the woman’s name and she is the one who needs to make the decision. Besides, did you know that is a pain in the ass to change all your documents to your new married name? If you separate and divorce? Well, good luck with more pain in the ass process to reverse the name back! And if you don’t have the strength to do so then live the rest of your life with someone else’s surname.

It is incredible how still up to this date, marriage seems still to be that one thing that every woman is obligated to aspire in life! We women have walked such a long walk to be where we are and still things like this get in the way and some women just can’t let it go! I watch a lot of trash TV (TLC I love you!) and one of these days I watched for the first time (cross my heart) a show called “Baby changes everything”. It’s a very stupid show that follows the life of 5 couples that recently had a baby and as the title says, how their lives changed.

I was up to the roof shocked with this one particular couple. So they were together for maybe 2 years and they have a daughter together and the relationship wasn’t great. They were pretty much in war zone for the last year but the woman wanted to get married no matter what! After all, they have a daughter together and they were together for 2 years so they had to get married. There was no other option in her head. Even though there was pretty much no relationship left to save! So she was torturing the man about getting married and she gave him an ultimatum! He kept saying that he didn’t want to rush anything and that he didn’t think they were in a good place in their relationship so he couldn’t even think about marriage (hello good sense!). Anyway, she goes to a bridal shop with a friend who was getting married and she tries on wedding dresses because the friend convinced her that she should be the one proposing to him and “since we are here try on some dresses so you can visualize things better” (I am having a heart attack!) And so she did! Oh, it was hard to watch! She made a proposal in a restaurant and had a speech and all… The guy was in disbelief and made her stop, said no and she left feeling humiliated.

Do you get my point now? So many women stay in bad relationships because they don’t want to be alone… not judging anyone because I am sure most of us have been there at least once in our lives. And I hope it has been only once because one bad relationship is enough to learn! So many woman follow the “bad with him, worse without him” theory because the bad relationship become poison and as sad as it sounds, it turns to be all you know and you get used to that. The fear of being alone and not finding love again is so terrifying that we rather stay with this one so we have a life to share with someone… after all he is not that bad. No ladies! No!

Yes, we are almost there in gender equality but we still have a long way to go! There’s absolutely nothing wrong in wanting someone to share your life with and I am a strong believer that life is better when you have someone to share with but that doesn’t necessarily means marriage. Sharing your life with someone is beyond a paper and a ceremony. Love is love and that’s it!

Women, love yourselves, respect yourselves, listen to yourselves and have a voice! Mama Ru have been saying this for a long time and it is so true: If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you’re gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen in here? Amen!

Waiting on adulthood

Remember when you were a kid and used to know what you wanted to be when you grow up? Those were the days. You could change your mind every day and everything was fine because you were only dreaming and had not a worry in the world!

From a very young age I knew what I wanted to be but I had not idea that many years later I would not just not be who I thought I would be but I would actually be lost at the age of 33. Shouldn’t we supposed to have life figured out by 30? I always thought that by 30 that would be it. You have a career, you own things, you wake up in the morning and get up from bed with a purpose and passion. You are half way there… whatever “there” is.

Sometimes I stop and ask myself who I am, what I do, what is my passion, what is my purpose in life and shockingly enough, I don’t know or have answers! Isn’t this sad and wrong? I am almost 34 years old and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life! That’s not how life was supposed to be.

Yeah I have been supporting myself since I am 23 years of age and I have a fairly happy life. Definitely cannot complaint about my spiritual life. I have been to places I never imagined I would be, I have met some incredible people that most likely I would never have met if I stayed in Brazil, I have been through some funny, scary and great things that only added up to my life experience on Earth.

But, at the age of 33, shouldn’t I be and feel like an adult? Shouldn’t I own something materialistic? Shouldn’t I have savings? Shouldn’t I have a solid career? Shouldn’t I at least be able to answer in which sector I have been working all this time when asked? God, please help me!

I think my problem is that I live life as it comes. I accept the job that sounds fun and good and that is a step up from what I was doing before but I don’t have long term plans. Thinking about it, I don’t think I have actually ever had a long term plan in life. I am a person who dreams, get my mind into that and try. Then I don’t like it and I give up and move on.

I have been like this since a very young age. I used to drive my mom crazy with all the new things I wanted to try and do and had to convince her that that was it, that was the big deal. Of course less than 6 months later I was over it and had my mind set in a new adventure. I mean, look at this blog for example, I love to write, I really do! But why the hell can I not be 100% committed to it? Why can I not write a post frequently? I am a mess.

When will I grow up and be an adult? Don’t get me wrong though, I do stick to my jobs and I am good in what I do. I have a great work ethic and I give my 100% every time. And this is for anything I have done for a living… I can proudly say that I have made a good impression in all companies I worked and I know most of my previous managers would hire me again. So that’s good but this is not what I am writing about.

I am still looking for my passion and purpose in this world, you know? Are you happy with what you do for a living? Do you get up from bed in the morning excited to go to work? How does that feel like? God, I wish I could know the feeling. Maybe I should have chosen a better profession. One where I am my own asset you know? Like a doctor, a physio, an architect or a hair dresser.

Coincidentally or not, maybe it’s a subconscious decision, I have been watching movies/series about people who are looking for that passion in life so they can turn the corner and be happy! And every time I watch them I switch off the TV at the end of it feeling sad and angry at myself. Why can I not find a passion and follow it? I have so many ideas in my head but for some reason I don’t follow them through and once again I give up. When will I find the courage and money to invest in my ideas and make a happy living for myself?

I don’t know yet what to do but for the past few years I have this urge of having my own business, being my own boss, taking control of my life and have my purpose in life! But then I remember that I need money for this and oh yeah, I don’t have savings or assets at the age of 33… I mean, seriously, the only thing I own in life is a dog! Then people dare to ask me when I will have kids. Well, maybe when I have my life figure out? And I am almost 34 and I am not even close so… there you go.

I guess the solution to my problems is to win the lottery! That is it, from now on I will play it every week… who am I kidding? If you know me you are probably feeling sorry for myself. If you don’t know me I am sure you think I am a nightmare and you are glad you never met me. I promise you I am not this bad, I am just having a though time.

Come on adulthood. I don’t expect you to be just bills to pay! You have to be more than that! Hurry up and enter my life already. And when you come, please be a doll and bring with you the answers to my questions and the passion to my life. I am waiting for you with a cocktail in my hand and a plane ticket to my next holiday.



The Maltese way

Before coming to Malta, I have to be honest and confess that I knew nothing about the country! The first time I’ve heard about it was in the Eurovision when Malta appears in the live voting round to give their points.

When my boyfriend told me about the possibility of coming to Malta I then started to search about the country and everything was sounding appealing to me. What not to like? Nice weather all year round, 3 thousand hours of sunshine a year (!), short winters, it’s in the middle of the Mediterranean, cost of living is cheap. According to many researches, Malta is in the top 10 countries with the best climate in the world. I can definitely live with that!

After living 10 years in rainy Ireland, I must admit that the possibility of living under the sun again was very, very much desired! I was born and raised in Brazil, more specifically in Mato Grosso State which temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius pretty much every day, for at least 9 months of the year. Before moving to Ireland I was used to spend the days outdoors, sleep and live with the aircon on, wear flipflops/sandals everyday, have more summer clothes than winter clothes and overall feel more energized because of the sunshine. Yes, the thought of having this again excited me. Very much!

So here I am. In the small island of Malta! When I got the green light I packed my bags and dog, got ride of things I had for 10 years, quit a job I liked very much, said goodbyes to friends I love and were family to me, bought my ticket and boarded the plane! As simple as that!

As I wrote in my previous post, G was waiting for me in the penthouse we rented! Yes, in Malta we can afford a penthouse, with a terrace. All looked great and all until we started to settle in. The crakes slowly started to show up and what looked amazing turned into not so amazing.

There were wholes in pretty much all windows so the humidity was consistently coming in which turned into mould spreading all over the apartment’s walls. One thing that I didn’t know about Malta is that is a hell of a humid country! With all the sun shine you would think that mould is not a problem but it is! In January I was introduced to this amazing little appliance called dehumidifier and we became best friends for life! I used to turn it on at 7pm and by 6am the 11 litters container was full! Winter was tough!

Apart from the humidity, Maltese constructions don’t have insolation so as you can imagine, it gets pretty cold indoors during winter time. This plus the humidity, winter can be a bit of a pain but luckily winter is very short (January and February really) and a dehumidifier is a must have!

The beauty of living in a new country is to learn something new about it every day. It’s discover the good and bad, be exposed to new experiences and be reminded that we should never take things for granted. I had forgotten this. I was way too comfortable in Ireland and couldn’t see things in a different perspective anymore. It’s amazing though how much Malta reminds me of Brazil! Not just because of the weather and beaches but in some little annoying things that I had completely forgotten about it as they were not part of Ireland.

Maltese people love to use their car horn! It’s used for anything and everything. When coming to a junction for example, the simple rule of respecting the traffic sign of who has the preference to cross is immediately disregarded by just horning to let the other car know that someone is coming. In general, everything related to traffic is bad over here! For such a small country is seems that there are more cars on the streets than people. Traffic can be very bad during rush hours and this is also because of how people deal with it. It’s very common to see someone parking in the middle of the road to run to get something in the shop, or someone stopping in the middle of the road to have a chat with someone. So all of this plus the disregard of traffic signs and you get the picture. Horns, horns, horns all.the.time.

The thing that Malta seems to lack, really, is a proper system or structure or both. Everything seems to be figured as they go and very often you will hear or be told “that this is the Maltese way”. After a while you kind of get used (or have to) to things being slower as they should or disorganized and before you know it you will also be saying “it’s the Maltese way”.

Also, be ready (women) to be harassed in the streets by disgusting man! I actually completely forgot how that felt, thank God! Being raised in Brazil I was constantly hearing “compliments” (it’s not!) from men in the streets, or being looked at in a invasive way, having car horns beeped at me when a man drives by and things like that. I don’t know why this kind of unacceptable behaviour is so common in countries with hot weather. Do not even think about saying that is because women wear less clothes! The way a woman dress will never, ever, justify or define this absolutely repulsive behaviour. The problem lies and always will in the man who commits such atrocity!

To be honest, this (harassment) is a topic that I do want to address but in another post. But getting back to what I was talking about, unfortunately Malta is part of one of the countries that find that they have the right to “compliment” women as they are minding their own business in public. Coming from Ireland, where I can say with conviction that in the past 10 years I cannot recall once being harassed on the streets, it was a shock to come back to this type of culture. Again, I was raised in Brazil so I was born knowing how to deal with this and bounce back. Being “out of the game” for 10 years, I was completely unprepared this time around.

I could go on and on and on about the little things that I am not such a fan of in Malta but I rather focus on the good things… and there are plenty of them! Yes, the weather will always be number one in the list. It will be until I get this out of my system… cut me some slack, I lived in Ireland for the past 10 years! But apart from this is so amazing to be living in a place that is affordable! You can actually live a pretty decent life in a mid range salary and just to know that 60% of my salary is not going towards rent is the most incredible thing! Whoever lives in Dublin knows exactly what I am talking about! Here you can rent an apartment in a good location for around €800 or €1,000 a month. You can even find cheaper depending of the location and condition of the apartment. It can go as cheap as €500 a month!

I love that Malta has a very chilled out and relaxing vibe! Apart from people beeping the car horns all the time, the life style here is pretty laid back. Malta is surrounded by stunning historic buildings and nature so it’s hard to feel stressed out. I LOVE how we can find so many bars that do great cocktails and it doesn’t cost you an arm like in Dublin. Happy hours (2 cocktails for the price of one) are spread all over Malta and it could be hard to pick one spot so we keep trying them out. And of course, how not to love the holiday feeling during the weekends?

Overall, I am very happy with the change we made. Coming to Malta was refreshing and I am sure this country will do me good. Just like Ireland did as well. I am already planting my seeds and little by little collecting rewarding things. Malta already played a huge part in my turning point in life and for that, I am thankful for. I’ve been living a way healthier life style and was able to connected to myself once again.

I look forward to the future here and cannot wait to experience everything life will throw at me. Mela!*


* Maltese people say “mela” in just about every sentence. Used to mean various different things such as “of course”, “ok”, and “alright”; or just a filler in a sentence instead of “umm”. (Urban Dictionary)

The comeback

Has it really been 18 months since the last post? How many times have I promised I wouldn’t give up? How many times have I wrote that I would write frequently? Yes, just like you I’ve lost count. And yet, once again, here I am but this time I won’t give you or myself false hopes. I will write as often as I want and can! So let me just be honest and upfront so no one gets hurt, including me!

So many things have happened in the past 18 months. I wouldn’t even be able to start writing all of it! I don’t even know if I want to write about it… maybe not and that’s why I stayed away from here for the last 18 months. Maybe nothing was that exciting or maybe I just didn’t bother to write. I think it’s the last option, to be honest. But oh well, what’s important is that I am back! Maybe for a while, maybe for a long time… Who knows? I should, since it’s my blog but let’s just wait and see shall we?

Today I thought about my blog and I decided it was time to log in again. I even had to reset my password! I read my previous posts, I selected a new theme for the site and now I am inspired! Going through my old posts I’ve noticed how many times I wrote that “I couldn’t imagine myself leaving Ireland”, that “Ireland is home”, that “maybe the day to leave this country will never come”… So guess what? The day came, I left Ireland and it was not as hard as I’ve ever imagined! Yes, Ireland is still home and honestly, it will always be. If I was certain about this then I am even more certain about it now!

Where am I now you ask? I am in this tiny little island in the middle of the mediterranean called Malta! Never in a million years I’d imagine that I would be living here. But here I am, for the past 6 months and I love to be living under the sun once again! This is the beauty of life I guess, the wonderful twists and unpredictable, unplanned and unimaginable things that sometimes just happen like that!

All started in August 2016 when my boyfriend one day told me “I am going to Malta in 2 weeks for a job interview”! Just like that. Very casual. I didn’t know he was having conversations with a company in Malta but I always knew he wanted to live abroad for a while and that he was opened for new opportunities. Part of me was “shouldn’t we discuss this before you go?” and the other part of me was thinking that a change would be great!

You all know how much I love Ireland etc etc etc but honestly, after 9 and half years I have to say, the bad weather finally got under my skin! I couldn’t believe that I was in favour of leaving but the truth is that the change came in the right time! Things happened quite fast actually. In a time frame period of about 3 weeks I had to get used to the idea that we could leave Ireland, had the confirmation that we would be leaving Ireland, had to break the news to family and friends, had to handle my notice at work and organize the moving. The moving was the hardest! My God, the amount of crap we accumulate throughout the years! Having to get rid of a 9 years life is not easy, but luckily I am a person who is very disattached to material things. 70% of the clothes and shoes in my wardrobe went to charity, 95% of the furniture in my house went to friends (90% of them to a particular one!) and anything else that didn’t make the cut to come to Malta went to the dumpster. I arrived in Ireland in 2007 with one big suitcase only. Now I left Ireland with one big suitcase (actually, the same one from 2007), two medium size suitcase, one cabin suitcase and a dog!

Kaboosh and I left Ireland on October 28, 2016 at 6am. We took a Lufthansa flight, with connection in Frankfurt, and at around 5pm we landed in Malta! G was already here waiting for us in our new 2 bedroom penthouse in Hamrun! Yes, we could afford a penthouse but not because G is swimming in money. The cost of living in Malta is actually cheap! I say penthouse, which sounds so fancy but believe me, it wasn’t really. I have also said Hamrun and unless you have live in Malta you don’t really know what this mean so hold in there… I will write a post about it one day.

From October 29 (my birthday!) all I had to do was to settle down and get to know the place! Since for the first time in my life I had the privilege to be unemployed without having to worry about paying the bills, I took full advantage of it! Kaboosh and I used to spend the whole days together, just walking and exploring new places. We would sit by the sea and contemplate the sun, the warmth and the beautiful surrounding. Life was running on a slow pace and I was soaking up all the joy this new lifestyle was providing me! I can write about the time I lived the life in another post. I actually have a lot to write about Malta and what this place has given me so far!

For now, just be sure that I am fine and that this is my comeback! I will see you soon!

Good things come to the ones who think through

Remember when I told you I had decided to quit my job and take a break? I can’t believe it has been 3 months already! I have to say, that was the best thing I have ever done for myself! Waking up every day without the noise of an alarm and having no plans for the day was truly precious!

During this break I got a lot of laundry and house cleaning done, went to the gym, met a dear friend many afternoons for coffee, read books, went for endless walks on the beach and the park with Kaboosh and had my sisters over for a week. Yes, I could have done so much more with my time but I did what I felt like and I enjoyed my break, a lot! It was really necessary for my  mind and soul and yes, I could do this for longer but everything, eventually, comes to an end. After 3 adorable unemployed months it’s time to go back to work! After all, bills need to be paid and (unfortunately) I am no millionaire (yet!).

When I decided to quit my previous job I had a plan. A very simple one. Quit, live your life, be happy and you’ll find the right job in the right time! I had money for bills for around 3 to 4 months and a lot of confidence in myself that I would get a job! I know that most of the time things don’t go according to the plan but this time, it did! Not just went according to the plan but it turned out to be more than I expected! I truly believe that what is meant to be, will be. As grandma always says, “what’s supposed to be yours nobody will take it from you”… wise words!

A friend called me at the beginning of October telling me a position opened up in his team and that I’d be perfect for it. Honestly, the job really interested me but it didn’t come up in the best time. A lot of things were happening and the future was a bit unsure for me but I decided to go for it, even though I knew I could have to withdraw my application any time.

I had one and then two interviews and confidence was building up on me. I got more and more interested in the job and the thought of having to let this go in case the other things going on would work out scared me! But I carried on with the plan B (or A, not sure) and by the time I went on site for my final interview I was very certain that the job was mine! I say that because I felt good about the answers I gave and was (surprising) not nervous or anxious. If I didn’t get the job after all, it’s because I was just not the kind of person they were looking for. I could not blame my performance.

I left the company’s building and told myself “you’ve got this!”. I received a phone call few days afterwards with a positive feedback and was told I’d actually have another, and final, interview – just when I thought it was over already. At that point, the other things going on in my life didn’t go through so this job turned out to be my plan A again.

I had the final interview with the hiring manager (over Skype) and that was it. Nothing else to do but wait to see if I’d be the chosen one. A week past and I didn’t hear anything from them. Then another week arrived and still no words from them… I confess that at that point I had to accept that the job was not mine, even though I was so certain it was, and move on! I was applying for any job I’d see and desperation started to kick in! I couldn’t believe the plan would not work out! I mean, I was in my third unemployed month and by now I should have something secured. That was the plan!

I applied for 12 different jobs and only got 3 interviews out of it. One I actually had to decline since the job was in Tallaght and I mean, it would probably take me 2 hours to commute, both ways. The second one it took me a week and half to get a confirmation from the recruiter (she was all over the place and very unprofessional) and the third one I had to record videos and answer unusual questions first. It took me 4 hours to go through the first step of the hiring process!

So far I had silence from the company I completed the whole interview process, application rejection emails coming in, new not-very-suitable-jobs-for-me-but-that-will-do becoming available, money in my saving account running low and desperation levels about to hit the red bar!

Just when I was about to truly convince myself that my plan did not work, I received an email from the company that was giving me silence! And that was on a Friday 13th so no bad luck bullshit anymore! The email wasn’t really saying “congratulations the job is yours” but it said “we will have news for you on Monday”. Monday arrived and tah-dah! I got the call with great news. The job was mine! I knew my gut was telling me the truth since the begging and I knew my plan would work out!

Another few days for work references and background check and I got the official job offer. I sat on it for 30 minutes, just so I could analyze the whole package, and happily accepted it! That is it, I can relax now. I got a new job and everything worked out perfectly fine! Good things really come to the ones who think things through!

I am happy that I kept true to myself and got the courage to quit a job I was unhappy with without having anything else next. I am happy I followed my instincts and did what was right for me. I am happy for knowing that I can count on myself and that I am able to go through uncertain times with confidence and a positive attitude. Remember: everything will always turn out alright!

For now I am enjoying my last lazy days to stay in bed till late, read my book in Starbucks, spend the day with Kaboosh, watch crap day-time TV (I will miss you Judge Judy!) and just enjoy the leisure. On Monday everything will be different and excited! I really miss having a job that excites me, that motivates me, that is fun, that makes me jump out of bed with a smile in my face. I know this new job will tick all the boxes (and a lot more) and for that, I cannot wait!

Bring it on Facebook. I am ready!




Angels have four paws

I love dogs. As simple as that. I love them, I’m obsessed with them, I cannot live without them. My dad is also a dog lover and I have to thank him for passing on this passion to me too. My first dog was called Bob. He was a mutt and came home when I was just 2 or 3 years old. Bob changed my life! He showed me that we are never alone when we have a dog and that he would do anything to protect me.

When I was misbehaving and my mom wanted to smack me, I would run to Bob so he would stand in front of me and not let my mom touch me! He was my hero. Bob always knew when it was time for me to come back from school and how nice it was to see him waiting for me at the gate at 12pm. He would walk with me to the front door and lay down at the entrance because he knew he wasn’t allowed to go inside the house.

Bob lived with us for 12 years and sadly we had to put him down. I still remember how hard it was to say good-bye to my first dog. After Bob we had a brown dachshund called Xule, which means smelly feet in Portuguese. Xule was picked by me and I chose him since he was the only puppy of the litter to come to me when I entered the room. We named him “smelly feet” because he used to like to sleep inside of my dad’s runners or lie on our feet. Xule was barky but a very companion dog. He stayed with us for 11 years when once again, we had to put another dog down. You would think I would be able to cope with the pain right? It was as hard as with Bob. Specially because I was no longer living at my parents house so I couldn’t say a proper good-bye.

Xule had another 2 brothers during his 11 years of life: Toy and Preto. Toy was a black dachshund and Preto was a mutt. I didn’t pick Toy but I was the one collecting him once he was ready to go to his permanent home. Such a tinny puppy who almost died in his first night! We let him in a room outside of the house and he got his head stuck in one of the things we used to block the way. Toy was very independent and would only ask for love when he wanted to. He was the one who stayed with us the longer, 14 years.

Preto (black in Portuguese) was giving to us by a man who knew my dad. He was around 4 or 5 months and it was in a horrible state. He was beaten up as a puppy by people and grew up with older dogs who bullied him all the time. When he arrived to our home his face was swollen, he was very skinny and terrified of everything. I was the first to say “let’s keep him!”. My dad was a bit nervous since we already had Xule and Toy and my mom is not a fan of dogs. We all voted yes and Preto stayed.

It was so nice to see that frightened and hurt dog become into a beautiful dog! We could never rehabilitate his traumas though. He was scared of everything and anything: the wind, a noise, a shadow, a broom, a raising hand… But despite all that he was such a big teddy bear. Preto was 10 years old when we discovered a tumor in his leg. Sadly, we had to put him down since he would most likely not survive the surgery due to his age. I cried like a baby when my dad called me to give the bad news. Preto and Xule were put down at the same day.

When I moved away from home to go to colleague in the South of Brazil, I had to live without a dog. It was so strange not having that little furry thing running around, cheering me up. That’s when the obsession of having my own dog started. It took me years until I had my very first one. I would never imagine my first dog would be Irish!

After 2 years in a relationship with G we decided to have a dog. We talked about it for a year and when we knew we were ready, we made the first move. I searched about dog breeds to make sure we would have a dog with a good temperament. Since we were living in an apartment we needed a small to medium dog who preferably, didn’t shed. After reading a lot I found the perfect breed for us: Border Terrier.

I love dogs who look like dogs you know? So when I saw a picture of a Border Terrier I knew, immediately, that that would be my dog! After few months we found a breeder in Norther Ireland and secured a little pup for us. During that time I was getting ready! I bought a book so I could know everything I had to know about raising the perfect puppy. By the time we brought Kaboosh home I was as ready as a turkey on Christmas day!

Kaboosh came home on May 10, 2014. That’s when life changed for better and for good! Even though I always grew up with dogs that was actually the first time I owned one. This one was my responsibility… I thought I was so ready but I was actually scared! Scared because I knew that this time it was not just fun and games, I was actually in charge of training him, minding him, feeding him… basically make sure he would stay alive!

The first two weeks we had to keep him at home since he didn’t have his second vaccination and was not ready yet to go outside. It was the most two intensive weeks of my life!!! That puppy had so much energy! He would run like crazy around the living room non stop. We crate trained him so he was waking up every 3 hours crying to go to the bathroom. Of course I was the one in charge of this! I cannot even tell you how many times he woke up at 3am or 4am full of energy thinking it was play time!

After 2 weeks of no sleep, stress, doubts about having the dog, and not seeing the outside world everything calmed down and I couldn’t be happier. It’s amazing how things have changed since this angel with four paws came into our lives. I can’t even remember how life was before him. It’s weird to say this but it’s true.

Of course sometimes it’s tough. Don’t even let me start talking about hangover days! Hangover and dogs do not go together. Staying home the whole day in pajamas is not an option anymore… You think you can do it, at least once, until you look at that sad/bored face looking as if he was saying “you don’t love me”. It breaks your heart and before you know it you are out the house!

I feel that after this experience, I am actually half way ready to have a baby (in case I ever have one). Ok, I don’t have children and I am sure everything is 100% worse, and also 100% better, but I am sure that dog mothers go through the same kind of responsibilities! In the end of the day, you are the one responsible to keep them alive – every single day!

It’s funny to look back and remember the doubts and fears I had in owning a dog. But I also remember how determined I was to make it happen. I knew I would do whatever it takes to have my own dog and make him the best dog in the world. I have certainly achieved this goal!

I will never regret the day I decided to own a dog because it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! With him I learned that we are all animals because I could kill someone for him. Kaboosh taught me that a bad day ends the moment I see him. He showed us that our relationship could get even stronger and meaningful.

There’s not one dull moment with him and the house is empty and sad if he’s not there. He is my cuddler, my companion, my everything. He is my true and unconditional love!


Life is too short to live miserably

I have been away from my blog for a long time! I cannot believe the last time I wrote was in January… shame on me! How many times have I promised to keep writing no matter what? I know the answer too. I cannot even use the excuse, “I didn’t have time” because I did. The truth is that I just, once again, neglected my blog and didn’t stay true to myself! I won’t make the same mistake, and I can stand by this promise this time. Why? Because now I really have time. I have all the time in the world!

A month ago I made a decision that changed my life. I decided to leave my job and take a break for a while! I have never had time to spend the days with myself, taking care of me, and me only, since I became an adult. I thought about how nice it would be to turn off the alarm and wake up whenever, have time and motivation to go to the gym, spend the days with my dog, take long walks, read a book in the afternoon, watch movies, series or crap TV in the middle of the day…

I have been working for a long time, and I don’t know about you but I have always enjoyed what I did. I am a person that needs to have a reason to wake up in the mornings. There’s nothing better than do what you love. This way is easy to look forward to go to work. That feeling of being helpful, of doing something that is changing the world (even if it’s only my own world) is what drives me. The feeling of satisfaction. As they say, we should work to live and not live to work.

In 2013, I was contacted by a tech giant company for a job position that (apparently) suited my experience. To be honest, I was not looking for a job since I was happy where I was. However, the offer was tempting and indeed would be a step up in my career. The job was interesting and I had my eyes in that company too. I decided to go through the hiring process and few weeks later, the position was mine!

It was a hard decision to leave the company I was but I knew it was something I had to do. I knew it had to be a rational decision and I couldn’t hear my heart. I had to do what was best for my career. I cried a lot on my last day! It was so hard to say good-bye to the wonderful people I worked with for 2.5 years but once again, I knew I was doing what I had to do.

I started in the new company and the job was completely the opposite of what I was doing before. In fact, it was completely the opposite of what I always had done in my life. I thought “Ok, this is different. You just need to be patient and see where this goes. You can learn something new here”. And I did learn something new… for a while. Then the new became ordinary and that little voice in my head started to tell me that maybe I made a mistake.

I shook off and kept going. Now, to be very honest (which I am) I never fell in love with the job. After a month I told my manager at the time that I was not used to that very slow paced enviroonment and I was struggling to keep my days full, busy. She listened very carefully to my concern and told me to find my way. And I did. After a while I just accepted that this is how it would be, it was the nature of the job, that’s it. I had to do thing slowly, manage my time in a different way. Funny because when we talk about time management usually is because we have so much to do that you need to prioritize things in order to get everything done. In this case, I had to manage not to do all projects that had to be finished in a quarter in one month or less!

Despite all that, I did learn new things, I was working with nice people, the work environment was great but the voice in my head was still telling me that I made a mistake. After few months in the job I had to listen to that voice and accept that yes, I did make a mistake. One year in the job I told my manager that I was not motivated and that I truly believed that the job was not for me. I had so much more to offer and unfortunately, that job would never see my full potential. I hate feeling useless! Don’t get me wrong, I did do a good job in there and I always had positive feedback during annual reviews. But I did feel useless because I knew I was not showing what I am really made of. Throw me in a busy/crazy job and you will see what I can handle! I miss that. Very much!

I tried to make things better for myself but it didn’t work. It’s fair to say that for at least 8 months, I just dragged myself in there. Motivation was zero, passion was none and the days were long and sad. It didn’t take much for me to start struggling to wake up in the mornings and go to work. That tells you something right?

Apart from all this, I was still keeping professional and getting things done. The worst that it can happen is to not care anymore about anything and do a crap job! That’s not me! I would not put my reputation on the line. So I sucked and kept doing my job, even though I knew I was not supposed to be there.

Do you know when you look at yourself in the mirror and see someone that you don’t recognize? Well, I saw that stranger in my mirror a lot! Day after day, week after week, month after month. She was a sad little person that didn’t want to do anything anymore… not even her own things! It was then that I decided to ask her what the hell she was doing in my mirror! The truth is that I knew what she was doing there and most importantly, how to make her go away, for good.

I looked at my saving accounts, made few calculations, talked to people who I love and care (and who love and care about me too) and I heard what I wanted and needed to hear: “go ahead and just do it!” So then, in July 31st I came in to work and handled my notice. I had to do it. I had to be honest with myself and release me from that misery. After all, this was just a job (and one that I didn’t love), it was not my life!

I decided to quit and take a break for a while. That job changed who I am and once again, I felt lost and demotivated so I needed a break to connect to my old self again. I need to spend time with me, to figure what I want next and to take care of me and my soul. I have never had the privilege to do this and thank God (and my savings) I am in a position that I can, literately, afford this break.

A job should never change who you are or make you feel unhappy, sad and miserable. Life is way too short to live miserably! I know I did the right decision this time, for real. I am so proud of what I’ve done! I know it takes courage to do this and yes, sometimes I get scared and insecure but I guess this is part of the deal. I know I will find and get a job when I am ready and I know everything will be alright. I know this because everything, one way or another, always turns to be alright. That’s life!

So that’s why I can tell you, I will be writing a post every week from now on. This is my motivation now and will definitely help me to get in touch with the girl I am. The one who loves to write! Maybe now could also be the time to work on that book that I have talked about so many times? We shall wait and see.

You are not good enough

Everybody has the right to have a roof above their head. Some people have a better one than others and some people don’t have any! Well, I was in a hunt for a new place to call home since G and I were forced to move out from the lovely nest we’ve lived for the past 2 years. I say forced because our agency decided to increase the rent by 200 euro a month! I don’t know about you, but I have principles and that includes not accepting this bullshit!

Suddenly daft.ie because my best friend… or should I say obssesion? At first I was checking once a day, taking my time and without noticing my life became this app! We had a little bit more of a month to look at places, plenty of time you’d think, right? I thought so too until I went to the field!

Oh dear, I wasn’t prepared for the tough rental market out there! You go for a viewing with another 20 people behind, beside and in front of you! What happened to private viewings? No one cares anymore! It’s all about bringing as many people interested in the property as possible so they can all kill each other in order to secure the place! You can see the letting agent laughing in the corner, enjoying the war and thinking about the commission!

We had a look at 10 different apartments – 10! We liked many of them and of course, filled in the application. I thought since we both work for good companies and have good salaries we would have this in the bag… I had no idea how wrong I was! Having good references, a stable job and good salary is just not good enough! At some point, you are asked to send an email about yourself and when you realize, you are actually writing a pitch! That’s right. You need to prove that you are a good person, that you can pay the rent, the deposit, 12 months of rent in advance that you can pay more than what they are asking for and anything else you can promise! At some point I was willing to give a sample of my blood too! Just in case you know?

You view the place, you like it, you show your interest, you oversell yourself and then let the judgment game begin! Your faith is in a letting agency’s hand! I would love to know how they chose a tenant. What are the criteria? How good do you need to be? What do you need to have? Well, I can tell you for sure that what you don’t need to have is a dog! Don’t even get me started about the whole dog drama.

Yes, we have a small adorable dog and in some cases, we did have to mention him. You meet the landlord and everything is going great, you are getting along, everybody is laughing, you feel that you’ve got this… until you have to drop the D word! The laugh turns into a serious face and the head starts to nod non stop while you try to, as well, oversell the dog! The moment the word d.o.g is heard the game is over – check mate! Nobody gives you or the dog credit! Nobody wants to know what you have to say about this lovely little creature, which by the way, is the most adorable and behaved dog out there!

With dog or no dog, you are consistently judged and the truth is that you’re just never good enough! After apartment number 9 I was starting to lose hope of living in a nice/decent place. I could picture ourselves living in a shithole with blue carpet, red curtains and green sofa…Yes, those apartments exist and are available in Dublin!

Lucky us, apartment number 10 was the one! I called the agency after the viewing to say we were interested and once the lady behind the phone got to know where we work she says “well, the fact that you both work for very good companies help you a lot”. My thoughts exactly lady, a pity all the others didn’t think the same! And just like that, one week before eviction, we secured this lovely new apartment! Now I know how the other people felt… the ones that got the apartments I liked but I wasn’t picked!

Sadly, some of my war colleagues will have to move into one of the many cold and old apartments with decor from 1920… Oh well, when in a war you fight and only the strong ones leave the field victorious! I guess that one was me.

Throwing the dice

As a Brazilian person, I always liked to spend New Year’s Eve at the beach. We have a whole ritual for luck for the year that’s coming and December 31st is really a day to reflect about the year that is ending and to think about the things you want to accomplish for the next year. NYE is my favorite holidays and I love to follow all the rituals and beliefs the Brazilian culture taught me for this day of the year.

Since I moved to Ireland I had to resign my favorite holidays since I’d look like an idiot by spending NYE on the beach, obviously! In 2013 I was decided to spend December 31st in a warm country so I could do the whole shebang again! And so I did. I saw 2013 turning into 2014 by the beach, wearing a white dress, bare foot on the sand while I watched the fireworks and lanterns in the Cambodian sky at midnight. It was magical once again and since I did all the luck ritual I was convinced that 2014 would be a great year!

Well, I guess I was wrong… I had no idea that 2014 would be as challenging as it was. I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen and to the lessons life would taught me. In 2014 I learned that health is the only thing that matters in life! Without this we can’t achieve happiness, success, peace and all the other things everybody wishes us. But more than health, the most precious thing we all have is FAMILY! Family is really everything and the only thing we have in life!

I have a great relationship with mine and we have always been united but man, I never thought life would test our strength. Actually, I never thought life would test our faith! We are not really a religious family, I have never had a first communion and probably went to mass 2 times in my life against my free will. But what religion has to do with faith you ask? Well, absolutely nothing! It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Protestant or whatever you want to be, what matters is that you believe in something bigger than all of us. This is what faith is!

Faith and hope are really the strongest feelings out there, no doubt about it. I now understand the expression “those who have faith move mountains” and I can tell you that in 2014 my family and I moved a hell of a mountain! We like to joke that God looked at us one day and said “This family is way too happy. Nothing bad happens in their lives so maybe is time to shake things up a bit just to remind them that life isn’t perfect”. But maybe what He wanted was to get us connected to our spiritual side once again… He certainly achieved his goal and I’m thankful for that!

I don’t think we really pay attention to how fragile life is, well I didn’t! Anything can change in a split of a second, for better or for worse. Someone out there rolls the dice on your behalf and whatever they land is what you’ll get. If it lands in the bad side, just remember that faith can move mountains!

Maybe 2014 was not a good year for me in my personal life since I had to deal with some scary and unstable days but I definitely learned that love is the best medicine and that family is what strives me to survive. We can have the whole Atlantic once in between us but that will never, ever, define what we are or separate us! We can go through some dark days or months but in the end, we will always be able to smile again because we have each other.

I hope that 2015 will be full of happiness. No more scary moments, no more being afraid of a phone call in the middle of then night, no more tears. That in 2015 I am able to smile more, laugh louder, achieve my goals and I keep loving and being loved! I have big hopes for this year that rises and I do know that I am the only one who can make it happen. What about the dice? Well, I do hope that they will land in the good side this year and every year.