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.

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.

Reviewing 2015’s resolutions

Hey, guys!

I was going to write today about my 2016’s resolutions, but I had the wonderfully sad idea of looking back at my 2015’s resolutions and seeing if I managed to keep up with them. Wonderful because, well, it’s a good idea, right? Sad because I already know I haven’t done all the resolutions I wrote down. Oh well, life goes on.

Let’s see how I did:

1.Play the piano (learn new songs)

So… yeah, no. I did move the keyboard we have from the office to my room. I also downloaded sheets of songs that I like. But that’s it. I don’t know how to play those songs and now the keyboard is cluttering my room, so I might take it back to the office. I would like to play more the piano this year, but I should probably use the real piano we also have here, not the keyboard. Anyways.

2. Learn how to play the guitar

Yes! Well, not amazingly, but I can play a few songs! They basically have the same chords lol but it’s something. A lot better than the first resolution too.

3. Write more

Nope. Or yes. It depends. From the point of view I first wrote this resolution, no. Because I was planning to, like, write a story, a novel or short stories at least. And what I actually have done is write a whole bunch of essays for universities and essays studying for the SATs and university entrance tests here in Brazil.

4. Lose weight

Can I just ignore this? I hate how I wanted to lose weight so bad. I remember not even wanting to get healthier or wanting to take care of myself. I just wanted to lose weight. I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to lose weight anymore. But I want to do it as a consequence of getting healthier. Furthermore, if getting healthier doesn’t lower my weight, it’s all good.

5. Remember French

I’ll just go hide in that hole, okay? I hate myself for saying another ‘no’.

6. Learn a new language

Byeeeeeeee.

7. Finish one year of the Q&A

Yes! I did it! Although I didn’t write all the answers on their days (like, there was a day when I answered the previous two weeks), I finished it and I’m proud of myself, because I have never finished a journal/diary before.

8. Finish “1 Page at a Time”

Yeah, no. It wasn’t with this journal that I broke my tradition of never finishing a journal. I don’t even think I finished January, to be honest.

9. Save more money

Well, I don’t know exactly what ‘more’ stands for, but I do think I did a decent job at this.

10. Change something in my physical appearance

Yes, I did change my hair! Around October I lightened the ends of my hair. There are no pictures of it here yet. But you’ll see it one day. I first lightened them to blond, then dyed it a red-ish, purple-ish color and now it’s kind of blond again. I want to lighten it more so I can dye it light blue or purple.

11. Read 25 books

No, I didn’t read 25 books because I’m a failure and now I’m sad because I love reading so much and I didn’t make time for it the past year.

12. Find out what I want to do (career/university)

I did, then I didn’t, then I did, then I didn’t. I still don’t know if I know what I want to do.

13. Get into university

Still working on that.

14. Drink more water

I think so. Hopefully.

15. Have a good exercise schedule

I did for the first semester. I was going to the gym three times a week and lifting weight and doing zumba. But then I started to study a lot for the university entrance test and write essays etc, so I kind of put exercise on hold. Which was a bad thing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back at it this year.

16. Study abroad??? Maybe??

I did this! I spent three weeks at University of Pennsylvania last July and it was in-cre-di-ble. Loved it. I’m so so glad I wrote down this resolution and worked towards it.

~*~

Okay. So those were my 2015’s resolutions. I did not do too good at them, I admit. But 2015 is past. Now we focus on the present, on 2016, and on the resolutions I will tell you some other time.

Love,

Dani.