Category Archives: Professional and Academic Journeys

Finally I feel open…exposed…vulnerable…HUMAN

This is just a reminder to myself that I want to write about another milestone. It was long coming, but still caught me off guard.

More to come. It/he deserves many entries on this blog.

I love you.

Thank you!

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The air is getting less and less rarified (the omnipresent old post)

<I wrote this post for the first time on July 6, 2012. Then I reposted on December 4th, 2012…and now. For some reason I keep coming back to it.>

I’m trying to reach as deep into my diaphragm as I possibly can with each breath I take.

It’s been like this for the past few days. This is self-strangulation from within.

My failed attempts are at reaching that sensation of being calm…of being at peace within oneself.

My thoughts simply don’t want to be silenced. They’re all reminding me that I must now address them, or else…

In its current form, it’s at best, an amalgamation of years of irrational fears, doubts, successes, happiness, warm childhood memories, painful adult realizations, utter inner sadness and emptiness. I’ve been able to lazily peel some of them apart over the years. But they’re very impatient with this phased approach. They’ve been lit to an explosive implosion and I am left with a sense of urgency and self-reformation.

It’s usually easier to anesthetize ourselves by persistently dismissing our thoughts. Everybody is guilty of this crime, and honestly, sometimes it’s the only tool we can use to keep from falling into insanity.

But who wants to live such a dead life?

I have embarked on a journey that has taken me around the universe a few times. Close self-examination is as ghastly as it is awesome. It is very much like the simultaneous loss and gain of innocence and wisdom that results from childhood to adolescence to adulthood to elderhood to death.

I’ve been neglecting some of my most vulnerable thoughts for so long, that it almost feels as if they were revolting against me as I write this.

THE TIME HAS COME! I must pay attention. Process, recycle, trash, and learn. I will only then be able to move forward. It feels incredibly agonizing and enlightening, but I must continue pushing with each contraction as I bring these elder babies to life.

The feeling is overwhelmingly constructive as it feels like I might be finally steering in the right direction. The luffing that existed is now replaced by sails filled with air. Who knows where the winds will take me.

I just have to figure out a way to make this a less rarefied atmosphere.


Three-day kayaking and camping trip! And other BIG things!

Where to start?!

This girl over here is swamped with shit to get done before her big move to Colorado!

I want to write but there’s just no time! 🙂

List of things I want to elaborate:

1- MOVE to Colorado and ALL THE THINGS that come with it (practical, concrete, abstract, and emotional)

2- MY EPIC “Move to Colorado – Go back to school – Birthday” party on August 2nd!

3- Hummm…The fact that I will soon be the owner of investment property! Huh…what? Yes, I decided to rent my condo, instead of the original plan to have my mom move in. With that decision, there is a shit load of crap that I need to get done: 1- refinance to investment property…apparently it’s a different type of mortgage (who knew?); 2- Find people to pay an exorbitantly amount of money for rent in my beautiful and well-located condo (PS: rent was set by company I hired, not me!!!) —> Update: I have found a very nice couple to rent my condo; 3- Pay off the down payment assistance that the City of Somerville loaned me when I first purchased the condo

4- Logistics for move to Colorado: 1- mover’s pod rental; 2- decide on route to Colorado which I’m doing by myself, 3- coordinating my sister and niece to meet me in CO to help me move my entire apartment worth of furniture to my new apartment, 4- set up utility service; 5- PACK PACK AND PACK SOME MORE…the list is too long

5- Going back to school: 1- Decide on academic plan for next 2-3 years of PhD program (DONE); 2- Online orientation (DONE); 3- Register for classes; 4- Find job (DONE DONE DONE!!! And it’s a pretty awesome job too)

All this while also managing to work…because…huh…it’s like…hummm…important!!!

Things unrelated to move to Colorado, but very much in my mind!

1- Try to talk to “Lashes” about things. First attempt failed. He did not respond. I wanted to do this face-to-face, because I owed it to myself. I really wanted to get it out of me and into the world, so I sent him a pretty nice, cute, and funny e-mail last week! July 16th, to be precise! Oh man! I have problems!

2- Plan around the world volunteering and leisure trip which is likely to happen 1 1/2 to 2 years from now. I have already purchased a paper map which I’ll use to lay out the route, and will keep as an awesome reminder of this awesome experience.

The early stages of preparations have started. I have contacted “Doctors Without Borders”, World Health Organization, and have started to make contacts with friends of friends who have volunteered around the world. I will certainly network at the University of Colorado to explore options there as well.

3- Hummmmm…I just returned from a pretty amazing three-day kayaking and camping trip in the San Juan Islands (WA). I saw orcas, seals, sea lions, bald head eagles, and so much nature! I also seriously questioned my fitness! Ah! I guess kayaking 15-17 miles per day, on open waters, against the currents, is much more difficult than I had assumed. I guess the tents and sleeping pads don’t make for an ideal recovering/reenergizing sleeping set up. BUT, all that beautiful nature, and being so close to some pretty amazing BIG orcas is the energizing factor here. Not to mention the company of some pretty awesome new and old friends.

I will stop here for now…but will eventually try to elaborate on each of these items! They’re all pretty big!

 

 


Hablando y aprendiendo Español para callar el silencio

<Driving for several hours through very twisty and narrow mountain roads, followed by hiking for several hours over sharp cliff rocks, sometimes followed by climbing, and then…more driving back home. Sometimes, on our ride back, instead of the usual deafening silence, we’d play the Spanish app. That is, he’d say words in Spanish or English, and I had to say the corresponding word in English or Spanish.>

Lashes: El Conquistador

Sassi: The Conqueror

Lashes: Spell it

Sassi: C – O – N – Q – U – E – R – O – R

Lashes: <somewhat impressed>  Humm…good, that’s right

Calamares a la plancha

Sassi: Grilled calamari

Lashes: Tinto de verano

Sassi: Summer wine? ahahahhaha

Lashes: <impenetrable by my giggling, and very serious> A drink made with red wine and coke

Sassi: What? It’s a Sin to mix red wine with coke. I have never heard of that.

Lashes: El vino tinto

Sassi: Red wine

Lashes: female or male

Sassi: male

Lashes: La conquistadora

Sassi: The conqueress? Is that the right word?

Lashes: Yes, that’s right. “Sassi” la conquistadora. The heartbreaker.

Sassi: What?

<Silence>

Lahes: Computer

Sassi: El ordenador – Male

Lashes: Escritorio

Sassi: <quickly correcting “Lashes” lack of gender assignment to the word> El! Escritorio. Office!

Lashes: Nope! Desk

El Conquistador

Sassi: The conqueror – male

Lashes: Red wine mixed with coke

Sassi: El tinto de verano

Lashes: Uh

Sassi: Uh what?

Lashes: That’s the word

Sassi: Uh…..Uh? What the heck? ahahahhahaha Are you joking?

Lahes: Computer

Sassi: Ordernador

Lashes: El or La

Sassi: El ordenador

Lashes: El matrimonio

Sassi: marriage

Lashes: Air

Sassi: Ar!

Lahses: Aire

Sassi: Oh, so close to Portuguese!

And this went on for 1, 2 hours, as I drove back to our apartment.

This was probably the only few times I felt a connection with this person?

Sometimes. I would come up with words in Spanish that were a poor attempt at converting its close relative, and my Native language, Portuguese, into the word I had just heard in English. This was coupled with exaggerating the “R”, “L”, pronouncing the “C” as if I had a lisp…etc. Result? A complete mess! But so funny!

These attempts were quickly followed by a giggle, laughter,  and a huge smile. Sometimes, by both of us.

At least we could connect on that!

These illustrated our scarce, abbreviated, laid-back instances over a period of 17 days.

At times, it felt more like we were trying to crush some of that cemented silence that seemed to monopolize.

It was unbearable at times.

Only 4 or 5 days in I was thinking “All is fair in love and war…Bring it on!”

 

 

 


Continuing…

Continuing from “Before I forget…” – see preceding post.

1- Me “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but when you talk about your ex-girlfriend, you talk as if you were still together. As if you were here with a friend (male or female) climbing, and hanging out; but you’re still in a relationship with your ex. You keep saying “my girlfriend…” Maybe you guys still have a chance of getting back together, maybe you need to figure out what or how you’re feeling about all that happened….just an observation.” He said “hummmm….I know I don’t love her anymore. I have no desire to talk to her. I have nothing to say. I think she was cheating on me…ah! It doesn’t matter…”

2- He said “You hate me huh? You must think I’m horrible.” (He must have said this a few times) my response “I certainly don’t hate you. I respect that you’re going through a hard time. I probably was where you are about 2 1/2 years ago (not really). It takes time, but you can’t keep ignoring it. You will continue dating all the girls that you’ve mentioned you’ve been dating. You will hurt many of them. You can’t keep using that, and other behaviors, to numb yourself. It will show up elsewhere, trust me. So try to deal with it now.” He said “Yes, you’re right. I’ve been very self-absorbed. I am depressed.” I said “I seriously believe that there are only VERY FEW truly bad/sick people in the world. The likes of Hitler…etc…yes, these people are just straight evil. However, a lot of people who are seemingly ‘bad’ are just going through a hard time, or have a mental health condition, etc. They don’t deliberately mean to hurt people. They just can’t help it.” (I went on to talk about my brother-in-law who struggles with bipolar disorder, and illustrated some examples of how he had been “mean” but how in essence, he is a good human being.)

3- He said “I have been very self-absorbed lately. I’m going through a self-absorbed phase and I need to break it.”

4- He said (with the usual bitter, “poking at me” tone) “I am not used to sharing my things with strangers.”

5- He said “So…is Brazil really more beautiful than this?” I said “It’s like I’ve been saying to you. It’s not more beautiful…not less beautiful. It’s all beautiful. I can’t really decide what is more beautiful. Nature is beautiful. Just like I think Boston is beautiful. The Sierras are beautiful…etc”

6- He said “Maybe I should learn Portuguese. Maybe I will adopt African babies. Like 100 of them! I want a whole village of adopted children, who will be polyglots, educated, awesome. I will need a bigger house, and a system. Maybe our own schooling system. There are towns in Maine that don’t even have a zip code or government because nobody cares about it. Maybe I’ll choose one remote area in Maine and make it my own town! With all my children. Sheez, forget 100, 200 children!” I said “That sounds pretty awesome! Do it!”

7- I said (talking about a common friend of ours) “When I first met him, I could tell he needed to talk. He shared it all. He even mentioned his ADHD and the heavy drugs he needs to take to function. He was saying that when he doesn’t take them, he gets very dysfunctional. He can never leave the house, because he has to do so many things on his way to the door. Feels compulsive…obsessive, and feels a bit paranoid sometimes. It’s sad, but it happens.” He said “No kidding…you’re so right. I used to think he was just an asshole when he would show up late for climbing. I just imagined he woke up whenever, took his time to make breakfast, and didn’t care that we were waiting. But you’re so right…wow…I wish I knew.” (he seemed really surprised by the insight)

I said “Like I said before…very few people are essentially bad. A lot of the things that bother us about others, could just be the biggest struggle. How could not have seen that?”

8- I said (after having just received a text from my high school friend, who is pregnant, and whose “boyfriend” just disappeared because of the pregnancy, and who are both adults!) “There’s something quite shitty about a guy who gets a girl pregnant and then just disappears…” (before I could finish my thought, he VERY quickly said) “Who? Your father?” (almost as if he was somewhat relieved I was saying that about my father) I said calmly “No…not my father…it’s my friend from high school that I’ve mentioned before. So her boyfriend…not boyfriend, the guy who got her pregnant freaked out and disappeared. They were dating before. It’s not like he is a teenager. He is a doctor. I think it sucks. If he doesn’t want to be with her, that’s one thing, but be there for the child! Unacceptable.”

9- He said (multiple times) “I am about to close a big contract. It’ll be a lot of money. People just give me a LOT of money for stuff.”

10- He said “I looked at houses in New Hampshire today. I can buy a 4-bedroom house, and let my sister live in it with her 5 children and husband. She can help pitch in. It’d be very nice for them. They live in a trailer with very little space. They are all so happy. But they might be even happier in their own rooms. It’d be nice to have my own place, even in the basement, where I could just dump my stuff when I travel and do stuff. I also looked at undeveloped land. Just throw a tent, and that’s good enough. My friends would only need to call me to let me know they wanted to use the space, and that’s it. That’d be nice. I also looked at ’round the world airfare with United Airlines. I could visit 5 countries in this program…I also worked.”

These will continue to come back to me.

 


Before I forget…

I probably should forget, but may this serve as a list of why NOT.

These are comments and feedback about me from a person that I had the strangest experience of my life with. Something I have never experienced, that is, in a very negative way. Still perplexed…still baffled.

I think that writing it out will help me process it, because I cannot possibly share all of this with my friends.

1- As I’m trying to cozy up to a guy, he turns to me and says “weren’t you snoring a second ago? I don’t want to have sex everyday. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to have sex all day. Sometimes I don’t want to have sex at all.” This came from a guy who presented himself completely different at first. As in…he seemed quite ecstatic to have met me…cooked for me…said nice things. Then we travel to Mallorca…and BAM! It was a shit show in his head, ghosts from the past…which I had not been privied to unfortunately.

2- You make me feel like I have to qualify and contextualize everything that I say to you. You respond negatively to everything that I say.

3- I just don’t care enough to dissuade you. This came after I tried to ask why things had broken down so fast (3 days into our trip)

4- I’ve had many girls since my break up. They all get clingy, then I have to be the asshole telling them I don’t want anything. To which I responded “Wait, did you think I wanted to have a serious relationship with you? I am moving to Colorado. I just wanted to come here and have fun. You can take that pressure off of your shoulders. I am not clingy at all, to the very contrary. I should be a bit more clingy I guess…” To which he said with wide open eyes “You’re right. You are actually not clingy at all.”

5- You are pretty fantastic.

6- I think I should be having more sex with you.

7- I want to apologize for putting you through this. I didn’t know I was going to feel the way I am feeling right now.

8- I think I am depressed.

9- I think my girlfriend was cheating on me with a firefighter.

10- You are pretty fantastic. Yup…again.

11- You are hot. You’re the hot Brazilian girl.

12- I feel pressured to lead routes for you. I am not a good leader. And that makes me feel pressured to show you a good time climbing.

13- I’m really glad we’re having this conversation.

14- I am depressed.

15- I think I found somebody who smokes and drinks more than me. And I set a pretty high bar.

16- My girlfriend this, my girlfriend that…Barcelona this, Barcelona that…throughout the 2 weeks we spent under the same roof.

17 – I said “I thought you told me that you had just fallen out of love with you ex” (which I didn’t believe for a second, but let it go). He said “Yes…that’s all a lie. I had plans, my life was different…”

<I managed to hang out and just have fun with this person. To the best of my human ability anyways, which is probably why he thought I was “fantastic”>

18- Fuck you and when you say that you’ve had a difficult life when you moved to the US. You have your family. Do you know when was the last time I spoke with my dad for 2 hours? I don’t even remember. But who am I? I have first world problems. Everything that I’ve accomplished, I accomplished on my own.

19- My mom…well I’m pretty drunk right now…but my mom is very foggy.

20- You don’t remember details. I’ve shared quite a bit with you. You don’t seem to remember anything. “Wait…I do remember everything you’ve shared with me. Can you give me an example? I’m usually very good at that. Besides, you haven’t shared a whole lot  yet Does it bother you?.” You don’t remember them. I will not repeat. I know what I have shared. Yes, it bothers me.

21- You saying that, is the same as saying that a black guy cannot do something, but I guess it’s ok, because you’re not talking about a vulnerable group. (this was said in response to my comment on an awesome Spanish guitar player, who I thought was awesome, and thought it was interesting because he was as “white as it gets” which is a comment that I heard from 2 American Caucasian friends. I was just borrowing their words. Well…at this point I thought it was obvious that this person “hated” me for no reason, so I thought it would be a waste of time to try to explain the obvious. So I didn’t. I said “At this point, I don’t care. Just like you said…I don’t care enough to explain to you what I meant with that comment. Think whatever you want to think about me. That I’m racist, prejudiced, etc…I really don’t care to prove you otherwise.”

22- I have every intention of splitting the cost of this apartment rental, and the car rental with you. To which I said “Well…I was quite determined to get back to Boston, and not look for you anymore. I mean…we’ve been having a pretty shitty time with each other here. So I was not going to follow up with you for the money you owe me (about $1,000, for the record). I am not going to be any richer or poorer because of it.”

23- I see you as pretty fearless.

24- I would never buy a condo. (for the record…I have a condo). There’s nothing in Boston that I want. It’d be a waste.

25- I noticed you don’t like “fingering or oral sex”. To which I thought (silently) ahahahhahahahahaha WTF? hummm…I don’t like it…I LOVE it. This was him probably explaining to himself why he sucked in bed so much! I was physically attracted to him…but the sex itself. Well…not great by any accounts. The first time we ever had sex…the guy was limp, even after making out, touching, etc. So we move on to oral sex…humm…still not hard enough for sex. But we tried anyways…it was very strange and I felt a bit bad for him. It took him forever to come, and that is…having sex with a dick that was not all there if you know what I mean. This happened the first few times we had sex. I thought it could be because it was the first few times…but also had a feeling it was something else deeper. And yes! It was! He is depressed.

26- I said “You know what I really want? I’m even afraid to say it to you at this point. But…I want to have sex on the roof deck. I don’t care if people are watching. I just want to have sex. How often do you get to have sex on a roof top in Mallorca.” To which he said “I appreciate your honesty. What I’m about to say is probably wrong, but I’ll say it. For a guy to keep trying to have sex, and to be rejected, is more socially accepted, and expected. I don’t understand why you would keep trying to have sex with me if I have made it clear I am not that interested.  Then I said “Listen…I’m here, you’re here. We’ve had sex already. I want to have sex. I will not go to the street and find some random guy to have sex with. So I just want to have the physical act of sex with you. You’re just one guy…so it doesn’t bother me. Girls like having sex as much as guys do.”

So I walk over, and give him a kiss. He pushes me back and says “I’m quite content just seating here…and doing just that.”

27- Me “You know…I’ve always prided myself in the fact that I can make and keep great friendships with men. Totally devoid of sexual tension. So my experience with you is making me wish we had started out as friends and just kept it that way. I think we’d be better off. Much better.” He said “It’s like India. I went to India, and it was just there. I would never go back to India. But I would not know that unless I had been there.”

28- I said “Oh I’m looking forward to going back to my healthy eating, activities, not smoking, etc. I feel like a need a cleanse after all the abuse I’ve put my body through. I love making soups. But my soups are very elaborate with all the veggies and greens you can imagine.” He said “A simple butternut squash soup is great. I’m not a fan of soups. Simple foods are great too. They don’t have to be complex to be good.” I said “I agree with you. I just like getting creative with how I cook so I don’t get bored. With that said…when I say elaborate, I just mean I try different veggies, etc…it takes me about 15 minutes to cook these ‘elaborate’ things.”

29- You are more like me than you think. You are the female version of me. I can’t imagine anybody loves another person to the point of loving the idea of being just like that person. I said “I agree with you. We’re lot alike. I can be closed off sometimes too. My friends always complain that they share a lot with me, but that I don’t as much. Well…I guess I like to process things on my own. Plus, whenever I share a little bit…I retract right away…I guess I don’t like the idea of coming across…” he finished my sentence “…vulnerable…yup! I can totally relate to that.”

30- I said “So the other day you said your mom is foggy. I know you were drunk, but what did you mean by that?” he said “Well, she forgets details.” I said “Just like I forget details…and that deeply annoys you. Are you saying I’m like your mom?” he said “It’s funny you say that…See? that’s exactly why I don’t talk to you. You make your own conclusions.” I said “You’re right. You don’t give me a lot of material to work with, so I have to extrapolate based on the little you tell me, and your body language. I ask you questions…but you don’t answer them.”

31- He said “So tell me more about what you want to do with your PhD. What do you do now?” I said “As you know…blah blah blah, background in public health, but I believe in a comprehensive approach to increasing the quality of life of people. Social, health, financial, etc…so I’ve been involved in a lot of different things…for instance…immigration policy…blah blah blah, I have some brilliant friends who are undocumented, and it’s hard. But I also have a fair approach…I don’t defend immigrants at all costs…I believe in helping those who need the help. I don’t appreciate the ones who abuse the system…blah blah blah” (at that point, I looked at him, and it seemed he was rolling his eyes and losing interest in the conversation) I continued “I’m sorry…it’s such a different reality for you. Maybe you can’t relate because you don’t have any undocumented friends…I’ve helped youth organize around the Dream Act, etc….but yeah…that’s one of the things that I do…” He said “Yeah…what do I know? I’m just a white guy with first world problems.”

32- He said rather aggressively “It’s a process! Got it!” This was in relation to when we drove the entire day and approached the garage. He would leave the car to open the garage door from the inside. He would somewhat wait until I parked. He would never wait for me to get the stuff from the car. He would just go upstairs to the apartment. And this “not waiting around” was ALL the time. I was left to try to catch up with him. ALWAYS.

33- He said “You pressure me to have sex with you.” I said “Hummm…the only time I tried to have sex with you was that day, and I think I was very decent with you. I didn’t overreact or make you feel bad because you didn’t want to have sex.” He said “Yeah…but you just got up and went outside.” I said “No…no…I waited a little bit. I left the bedroom passively…no drama. I just needed to listen to music and drink some wine. For all I know, I could’ve masturbated, because that’s how much I wanted to have sex. But there was no pressure…no drama. You’re the one who came outside to talk about it. The only other time I tried to have sex with you is now. And you don’t want it…so that’s all…again…no pressure.”

34- He said “Yes, I came here. And then you showed up. I didn’t know I was going to feel like this. I needed more time before you came.” I said “If you had been more honest with yourself, you would’ve told me that to begin with. I have told you that I’d rather somebody be brutally honest with me, even if it hurts a bit, than to do this…because this…is not good.” He said “What if I had told you I’m depressed? Would you have come?” I said “Maybe it…and if I did, I’d be better prepared for this. All of this caught me off guard. I had no clue. See…I can actually be a good friend, so I could support you maybe…Actually, you should have been honest from the start. This sucks! This fucking sucks. It is not fair. We all have our problems. I’ve been pretty patient and decent with you, but you have been really mean. I have free nights with Marriott. So if you want your time, I’ll just get the fucking hotel room and go there. I don’t need this shit! This fucking sucks!” He said “No…you’re overreacting…you don’t need to get a hotel room. Contrary to what you believe…I’ve had fun hanging out.” I said “I have not had fun hanging out with you. I’ve had fun in Mallorca, because I decided I was going to have fun no matter what. I understand and respect that you are going through your problems…but this whole thing has been unnecessary.”

35- My friends are all jealous that i’m in Mallorca with the “hot Brazilian girl”

36- You’re just the girl that showed up with the rope and quick draws.

37- My friends only noticed you because you’re tall and hot. I said “Thank you for the tall and hot. But I’m pretty sure that people notice me for many other more important things. I think I have a bit more to offer than just being ‘tall and hot'”

38- with disdain…”yeah, yeah, yeah…you’re the hot Brazilian girl” He made this comment several times…not as a compliment, but in a very aggressive way.

There is more to this. I will probably add as I remember them. These are not in order by any means.

There’s so much out of it. The context, the body language, the demeanor, tone of voice…It’s like this guy had this absolute aversion to me. Almost a hatred. And trust me…I did nothing. Simply nothing. I’m sure there were things going on in his head that I had no control over or contribution towards.

Again…I have NEVER experienced this with another human being. Wow…

 


Online dating updates— report from the single girl

Huh…I cancelled my profile yesterday! 

More to come on this. My computer decided to NOT WORK, so i will NOT write an entire post on my iPad. 

There is actually a funny story about sending in my computer to my employer IT for some fixing…ahahaha