Getting started

Getting started - student project

I did not complete the challenge in ten days as established. At one point I forgot until I needed my journal to help me clear some things out. The exercise was to help with writer's block, but I used it to help me form a habit of writing down emotions and thoughts I could not get out of my head.


Day 1

Today I noticed that I felt a little too tired just as I woke up. Some days I feel a little drowsy in the morning, but today I just felt tired to my bones. My mind was elsewhere and my muscles did not want to cooperate with me. In the last couple of days I have been exercising and, most mornings after my routine, I would feel energized and happy, but today I could not get up from my bed without a conscious effort.

As of this afternoon, I took a nap and now feel a little bit more alive although my mind is still absent. Silent. Last week I finally got to quiet down my mind. A different quiet than what I feel right now. It felt good.

The constant buzz of negativity quieted down considerably. Although it did want to make a comeback just three days ago. Big dark clouds with the menace of storm settled in my thoughts and my words as I worked my way through a problem quite a personal project. I felt irritation coming in waves of me, my stomach and back tensed. I had to make a last-minute change that would erase half the work I had done already. In the end, I took a deep breath and worked with what I had. It turned out better than I expected.


Day 2

Today I noticed I am accustomed to the sound of the radio when I wake up. Ever since I can remember, my mom turns on the radio first thing in the morning. She always (or most days) wakes up first. Sometimes even before me or my dad if we have to do something very early in the morning, I am talking before-the-sun-has-risen early. It is so usual that, in fact, today I imagined I heard the radio as I went to the bathroom to wash my face. Then, as I dried off I came upon the realization that my other was still asleep - because the radio was not on.

It is always the news, maybe music on the weekends, but mostly the news. Frankly, it is the only time in the day I consume news. It helps me to not feel completely lost in the world around me as I do sometimes when I am alone.

When I did a semester at another college out of town, I got a digital clock that had a radio-alarm. As you would guess, the radio station selected for the alarm was the news. Surprise. I guess that makes me a creature of habit and nostalgia.

Day 3

Today I noticed that I can get upset about starting a new project. Honestly, I do not think any of my peers have gone through this. Maybe they did. Why did they never talk about it? I always feel lost.

It is a report, of my time as an intern. I get irrationally scared of it not being good enough even before starting it. 
What did you contribute? Did you measure your contribution?
No and NO.
I spent most of my time there feeling inadequate for the job. One foot set to leave.
I did leave eventually, although I still miss the people at the office. They were nice, I made friends. However, I still need to come up with something to put in the report other than "I liked it, I made friends" or "I blindingly followed every instruction they gave me because I was scared to do anything wrong".I was such a pioneer.

Now that I have drowned in self-hatred, I need to be able to take a step back and start. How nice.

Day 4

Today I noticed that eating something before a workout makes more energized. The previous days I felt dizzy and exhausted in the middle of them. Today, as an experiment, I ate granola and milk. It made a little gassy afterward, but besides that, I did feel better.

Tomorrow I will have a banana. I read just minutes ago that fruit can be consumed before workouts to get more energy. Let's try it out!

Day 5

Today I noticed that I still love Star Wars as much as before. I watched The Force Awakens on TV and I was captured in heart and soul the entire time. I love it when movies do that.

Films have always been something special to me. It probably has to do with the fact we used to have a special time with my family, on weekends, to watch a new movie. As I grew older, these special viewings have become something of a far in-between event. Sometimes is hard to find a movie that would appease both my parents. See, I have two sides of preferences when it comes to movies. I like adventure movies, that may or may not include action and weapons, although I dislike scenes that enhance the spilling of blood. I enjoy good chasing sequences and epic battles, maybe throw some humor in there. The other side is my undying love for romantic stories. Cheesiness I can tolerate if a degree of humor is thrown in and the characters have good chemistry. Bittersweet romances with a happy ending are always a win. However, I do enjoy a tragedy once in a while, just to make me feel alive.

Rogue One comes to my mind, I still cry every single time.


Day 6

Today I noticed I would like to write this in Spanish, my native language. I feel sometimes English makes me express my thought better, but there is nothing like Spanish to express my feelings. I am currently sitting on my desk watching the corkboard placed on the wall before me. I have English and Spanish words mixed in different papers.

Recently, I have been trying to awaken the little bits of French and Portuguese I know by listening to some podcasts and radio stations from both Brasil and France. I miss almost 80 percent of what I hear but I know I am getting to exercise my focus. English is different though, it is familiar.

I have been exposed to English classes since I was very little. Basic things were taught at school but I mostly learned from a language school. In my country, it is almost mandatory now to know English because we will interact with it in one form or another at work. In my opinion, English is the easiest language to learn because there is just so much varied content to choose from. Most of the TV shows and movies available here have been originally made in English, you just need to adjust the language setting in the TV and boom you are practicing.


Day 7

Today I noticed that I do not have a strong connection with my grandparents. Since my earliest memories, I have always lived only with my parents and brother. On the contrary, most of my cousins have spent a bit of time living with either of my grandparents. I only saw them once a week, on the weekends. It is a one hour ride from my house to my grandparents and it always seemed like a big deal when I was little but now, not so much.

My grandparents were some sort of anchor to the family. On weekends, we would always see my aunts, uncles, and cousins that lived there or came to visit. They were very kind and quiet, I didn't talk much to them because I never knew what to say. I feel I mostly know them through my parent's stories and experiences.

As of now, Grandma Isabel is the only one who is still with us. She has hearing problems and is very stubborn so she won't put her hearing aids and that results in every single one of us yelling just so that she can hear us. I have grown to know her better over the last couple of years, and now that she is starting to have some memory lapses she repeats her favorite stories over and over again. Some of them have stuck in my head.

Somehow this new understanding of my grandmother has evolved with me having to work with really old people at my last job. Some of them could not read nor write so my explanations always had to be simple and my ideas deconstructed so they could understand the documents they were signing. I learned to place my patience on people's interactions, something I have not done until I had that job, so I am grateful for it.

Day 8Today I noticed that I can't sleep with my window closed. It is summer here, and it is HOT. Yesterday I fell asleep just with my pajamas, no bedsheets and I sweated like a roasted pig because I forgot to leave my window open for the night. Waking up feeling sticky all over the place and having my period wasn't exactly the mood booster I needed in the morning.

Summers here are different every year. The heatwave started in March when it would normally start in February. It is not raining here on the coast, like the past years. Although the wind speed is picking up. Let me tell you it is not safe to go in a flowy skirt around here.

My least favorite days are those when the sun is covered by a large cloud that doesn't let you see the sky at all. There is no shadow to try and save you from the heat, everything seems just a little bit paler. It could be much worse and I know it because I have visited other cities where you can't even walk on the street for more than 5 minutes without getting a headache from the heat. I am looking at you, Cartagena.

Day 9

Today I noticed it has been five days since I wrote the last entry. I have not been in the right mind space lately and procrastination seemed like the most likely thing to do. I am re-making my resume, or so is my goal. In reality, I get paralyzed every time I have to write something about what I did before. I cringe and swap windows to watch yet another YouTube video. It is becoming ridiculous hard to just start. And, at the end of the day, I just feel guilty that I didn't get anything done. I keep repeating to myself before bed that tomorrow will be different but nothing changed.

That is why I am picking up this journal now, to vent some of my frustrations. If anyone ever reads this, I hope my thoughts and insecurities don't make you feel sad or disheartened. If anything, be aware that everyone goes through bad days. I know that thought makes me feel less of a failure sometimes.

"Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it, you'll never make it through the night." General Leia Organa - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Day 10

Today I noticed I can communicate well with my father. He can sometimes have enormous patience and sometimes lack all of it. The times that we have difficult conversations is exactly when my father takes the most effort to be patient. I am ashamed I did not want to give him credit for that.

Today we had one of those difficult conversations and I am still under the emotional shock of it all. I will write down two ideas that came from that.

1. I don't need parents to understand all of my decisions, but I would like for my parents to accept them.

2. Whatever I feel wronged by in the past, can't be changed. I can only control how I feel and think about it now.

I need to accept these two new thoughts to move forward despite my insecurities. I am tired of sitting back and feel that I am the victim of circumstances.