On Making Tough Decisions

I’ve been putting off this post because I just didn’t want to sit down and write it. You’ll understand better a little later on. Also, I’m not writing this in order to help you make your tough decision, because I am still not sure if I made the right one or if everything is decided yet.

So.

As you might know already, I applied to some universities in the US late last year and found out the results earlier this year. I was accepted to two of those, and also got into two universities here in Brazil (I’ve explained a little bit better the differences between the process of getting into universities in the US and in Brazil in this post, if you want to know).

The first tough decision was in which school in Brazil I was going to spend the first semester studying in. It wasn’t much of a choice actually, because I didn’t consider moving from my city to another (I live in São Paulo, where University of Sao Paulo is located, and the other school is in São Carlos). I didn’t want to the spend my last semester in Brazil away from my friends, so I chose to stay in my city. More than that, in my city I was going to study Chemical Engineering, while, if I moved, I was going to study Biotechnology, which I wasn’t sure if I wanted that at that time, as it is a lot more specific than any Engineering course.

The second decision wasn’t too hard either: discarding one of the US universities I had gotten in. I didn’t really want that school, even applying, it wasn’t the greatest at what I planned on studying and I didn’t get financial aid. So, basically, nothing that held me interested in it.

During the first month and a half at USP (University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil), I was really enjoying the moment. There were moments where I would say “I am not sure if I even want to go study abroad, because I am so happy here. I met so many wonderful people I don’t want to leave, I also have my friends from high school, I found out there is a part to Chemical Engineering that I am really into… I think I’m really happy here”.

During all that bliss, I got the chance to visit that other US university. And I flew there thinking “I am going to visit it as it’s a free trip and it’ll be fun to travel”, but I wasn’t planning on loving the school as I did. I came back wanting to study there so freaking much. I fell in love with the school and everyone here in Brazil could see how much I wanted to go.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out. And giving up on fighting was my third tough decision. A dozen of things came up stopping me from going. From my parents’ uncertainty of what was going to happen if I had to come back to Brazil with the major I was wanting in the US to the financial aspect of studying abroad. This was the hardest decision of all, because I decided to stop fighting against a decision that was already made. Not by me or by anyone, but by life itself. It wasn’t that much of a choice, not really.

I just decided to stop so I wouldn’t feel worse than I was already feeling. It was a hard day, week, month. It’s hard to get what you wanted for so long (I’ve wanted to study abroad for a pretty long time, and worked towards it for months and months) and not be able to fulfill it. I am still not over this, but it’s getting better. The people I know since forever and the people I’ve just met, they’re all helping me a lot, and I am so thankful for them.

Now. It’s getting easier to deal with not being able to go abroad, but it’s getting harder to like what I’m doing right now. I don’t know if I like Chemical Engineering, I don’t know if I want to be a Chemical Engineer, if I can get through five years of studying what I don’t like in a school with a terrible teaching philosophy that makes me zero motivated, if the diploma is worth the suffering… etc. I’m probably more confused now than I was when I had to choose what/where to study for my undergraduate studies.

So, the final decision is still knocking on my door: should I stay where I am right now?

I don’t know. And I don’t know if I want to know. What I do know is that I don’t want to think about it, as much as I have to. If I decide to stay, there are many consequences. If I choose to leave, double the consequences.

I don’t know what to do, and this is why this post isn’t going to help if you are having to make a tough decision too. Sorry.

Love,

Dani.

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My Turquoise Hair

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Hey!

I dyed the ends of my hair turquoise! Or however you call this color. I don’t know for how long I’ve wanted to do this. Probably for over a year. But it started happening around October 2015. I am so so so happy! I am loving how my hair looks now (more pictures as the post goes), but it was definitely a journey to get it to this point. And that is what I am telling you in this post.

So… October 2015. I knew I wanted to dye my hair colorful, but it was the first time I was doing anything like this alone at home, so I didn’t know much about anything. I spent a whole month trying to convince my mom to let me dye my hair, and she finally gave in when I told her that I would dye it and then chop the colorful ends off after a while.

Then the process began. Firstly, I had to discolor/bleach my hair, as I have dark black hair, so no color would show. We went to a small perfumery near our house and bought ‘blue powder’ and developer (se você é do Brasil, eu usei esse pó azul e emulsão reveladora 30 vol. da Acquaflora e segui as instruções para criar o “creme” para descolorir).

The bleaching process was probably the easiest part. I took small pieces of aluminum foil and wrapped small strands of hair in those right after applying the bleach. I think I left my hair like that for around 20 minutes. After that, I opened the foil and applied the bleach again, but this time going up around 2cm more towards the roots and letting it sit for more 20 minutes, so I would end up with a gradient of black to brunette to blond, instead of a line from black to blond. Maybe you can understand better what I did by watching this video (I tried to follow the bleaching part, but I did not dye my hair as she did).

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Well. Remember I said I was waiting for so long to dye my hair and was super excited? That excitement backfired when I didn’t wait around and looked for the best dye for what I wanted. I just bought one I found and hoped for the best. I used one of those red/purple dyes you find on pharmacies. Then, it was no surprise when my hair ended up a dark red color, pretty natural and not what I was looking for.

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From that to now (literally four days ago), I didn’t touch my hair (chemically speaking). It was dry and damaged from the bleaching and the dying, so I decided to let the color fade ’til it got to blond again so I could try again.

So… middle of January. I had my graduation trip to Florianópolis, in Santa Catarina, here in Brazil. As I knew I was going to be exposed to the sun, I decided to use something that would lighten my hair (that was already a dark/strawberry blond). So while I was there – a week – I used the John Frieda Sheer Blond spray. It did work and lightened my hair color, but I don’t know if it was the spray or the chloride of the pool there or the combination of both, but my hair was really dry and damaged. Again. When I got back, I just started using a hair BB Cream from L’Oreal, I think, and it seems to be getting better.

So… four days ago. I went with my mom to another, bigger, perfumery and found the dye my friend had told me about! I was so excited and got right back into the ‘I want to dye my hair’ mentality. This time, I bought a blue/purple ‘cream’ that supposedly takes off the yellow after you bleach your hair and leaves your hair whiter. And, of course, I got the dye (which I’ll be calling dye but it actually more like a toner). It was the Keraton Hard Colors in Diesel Green.

  1. I bleached my hair again. I did the same thing of applying the bleaching, wrapping strands in aluminum foil, letting it sit for 20 minutes, opening the foil, going up with the bleach about 2 cm and letting it sit for more 20 minutes.
  2. I then used the blue ‘cream’ to take off the yellow for around 30 minutes (after I used it for 5 and 15 minutes without noticing a difference). I still don’t know if it did much, but I think there was a little difference. Also it hydrated my hair, which was good.
  3. I finally did the dying! By the way, all of this happened in 4 days, so I didn’t do everything on the same day. And I literally dyed my hair yesterday at 11pm.

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So, the dying part. I think I just followed the instructions on the box. I washed my hair only with shampoo, dried it, applied a small amount first to pre-pigment the hair, dried it again, applied a lot of the dye and let it sit for 40 minutes (instead of 20-30 as suggested in the box). A big plus other than leaving my hair in a pretty color was that the dye hydrated my hair! I then washed it normally and let it air dry because, you know, it is dry and damaged right now – but nothing I can’t deal with.

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I am seriously so happy it worked out! I love this color and I love how it looks and I love everything. I know that it will fade fast, but I am not really caring right now. And I have a lot of the product left, so I can reapply it if I feel like it.

~*~

I think that is it for this post! If you have any doubts please comment them down below and I’ll try my best to answer. As I said, it was the first time doing such a thing, so… yeah.

Love,

Dani.

New Year’s Resolutions: 2016

So, 2016 resolutions. It’s that time of year again (actually, a month ago, but) when we create expectations about the year ahead and promise ourselves that we will be better this time. You can choose to look at resolutions like that or you can try to see them as incentive to actually do something, to actually be better this year.

Even though I like to think about new years and resolutions through the second point of view, I do admit I can create resolutions that I know I won’t be able to follow, but I just can’t help myself. So, this time, I tried ~tried~ to keep them more manageable so I don’t be so disappointed in December when I look back and see that I haven’t done a thing.

1. Put things back where they belong

Okay, pretty self explanatory. But I figured out (I actually already knew this, but ignored it) that the biggest reason my room gets messy is the fact that I take something and never put it back in its place. It just ends up somewhere in my room where I’ll never find it again. So putting things back where they belong will not only keep my room more organized for a longer time, but also help me find things more easily.

2. Apply “less is more” to more areas in life

People say “less is more” in the most various contexts, but I want to apply this to every (okay, not every) context. From Facebook friends, to clothing items, to worrying or planning. “Less is more” is something I want to internalize and I believe it will help me live a happier and simpler life (I don’t know why I’m so into the ‘clean’ and simple look, but yeah).

3. Read

Yes, read. Just read. I wasn’t able to read a lot in 2015 and reading is something I love doing and that I miss when I don’t do it. I feel like it is something I need in order to not alienate myself and freak out all the time. I don’t know, I just love being able to spend hours imagining different worlds, different people, different lives. It’s refreshing and humanizing, and I hope to do it a lot more than last year.

4. Keep in touch with my high school friends

I graduated in the end of 2015 (the Brazilian school year goes from January to December, instead of September to June) and I left the school I’ve been enrolled in for the last 11 years. I started going to that school when I started 1st grade, and now it’s over. I still can’t properly wrap my head around that, but I need to realize I need to move on. I love that school with all my mind and heart, and I’ll miss it. Gosh, I miss it already. But, most of all, I’ll miss all my friends. Okay, I know I’ll keep in touch with a dozen of them, but what about the others 240 in my year? How will it be not seeing them every single day? I admit it’ll be nice not seeing some of them, but, for the majority, I’ll miss them. So, yeah. I just really want to keep in touch with them.

5. Be healthy (not necessarily lose weight)

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love my body. I’m in the process of accepting it though. I really want to deconstruct the way I think to the point where I can realize that wanting to be thin was imposed over me by society. This resolution is not about losing weight. It is about being healthy, even if it means not losing – or even gaining – weight. I want to not be out of breath for running three blocks and not being able to eat certain food because my metabolism can’t take it. I want to treat my body right, so it can be good for me back.

6. Meditate 

I want to meditate at least once a week. I feel like that’s a good step towards meditating everyday, fact I know I wouldn’t be able to follow.

7. Make time for art

And with that I mean make time for artistic activities instead of just doing homework, working or even reading. I want to just sit and let my mind do what it wants in the form it wants, from writing to drawing to dancing.

8. Enjoy the present

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this, but I do hope I am. I can be someone who plans a lot for the future and ends up worrying about it a lot too. I want to enjoy the right now more, just focus on what’s happening at the moment. I want to live the present instead of living what I imagine the future should be like.

9. See the glass as half full, not half empty

Be more positive and force myself to see the good side in every situation. ‘Fake it until you make it’ or whatever the saying is like.

10. Be myself

Oh, big abstract one. While I was writing my essays, I wrote one about gaining confidence and how much that was important to me. I used to restrain myself from doing what I wanted and being who I was because I was worried about what people would think of me. I did come an incredible long way, but there’s still work to do. And I want to be each time more like myself in every situation.

11. Let myself feel pain

2015 was a stressful year (I talked about it here). Many times I was on the edge of bursting into tears, but I held the crying back because I needed to be strong, or at least feel strong. Little did I know crying has nothing to do with being weak. Sometimes you just need to feel the pain and embrace it in order to get over it. Just cry if you need to. I want to believe this and allow myself to cry and feel pain without feeling bad about it.

~*~

These are my resolutions for 2016. I hope to be able to follow them, since I feel they’ll be good to me. We shall see.

Love,

Dani.