Posts Tagged With: control freak

Seeing without looking

I have always admired security people. They have this strength in their posture, in the way that they carry themselves. They just have this fierce look in their eyes, as if they are prepared for anything and everything at any time. I think this perception of mine has probably something to do with the movie ‘The Bodyguard’. Yes, that very same one you’re thinking of, the one with Kevin Costner and (the late) Whitney Houston. I just remember Kevin Costner being so strong and so controlled.

Control. This is an intrinsic characteristic of security people. They need to be able to control themselves and also others. I admire that. And I admire even more when such security people are the ones in the Olympic games. Have you noticed them throughout the whole thing? There they are, in their coloured jackets, looking at all the spectators, since they are not allowed to turn back and look at the games.

They don’t know who is winning, who is losing. They can only guess. But boy, that must be fun. Imagine being able to observe and analyse people’s reactions – sad or happy,¬†exasperated or relieved – to something without looking too creepy? Imagine that you are allowed to look at them as much as you want when they are lost in the moment. You can notice the crease of the forehead, the narrowing of the eyes, the big smile that unfolds.

The games here in London have been a massive success and these security people have seen it all through a different light. They could not look at the winning moment approaching, the missed throw, the rivalry, the kissing of the floor when it all ends. So they felt it through everyone else’s reactions.

Damm. I wish I had volunteered to be a security person in the Olympic Games. I’m sure I’d have quite a bit to report.


Categories: Olympic Games, Personality traits, Quirky thoughts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Right turn, left turn

Today I got thinking about the choices we make in life. I was thinking about how my life turned out to be in England and not in Brazil. I have said it here before that when people ask me why I live here I don’t even have a plausible answer. I just kind of nod (‘Yep, I’m from Brazil!) and say a few sentences hoping that they will suffice. They never seem to do, though, and the reason for that is because I don’t think my answers are convincing enough. It’s hard to even convince myself sometimes. This got me thinking abot what my life would be like, right now, if I was living in Brazil.

I have discussed this with some fellow migrants before, and the majority of us agree that when we move away from home, we tend to do everything a bit later than everybody else. The process of finding our feet in a completely different country with its own rules and no family around to help takes a little time. So, basically, the time we’d be getting on with the ‘normal process’ of life in our native countries, we are finding out how to register with a doctor, apply for citizenship or how to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Now, I’m not assuming here that life has an order, all I’m saying is that people seem to follow patterns and the majority does things according to some kind of unspoken rule: the rule of ‘society’.

The word society, according to the Oxford English Dictonary, means “the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.” Ah, I see… society means that we have to live with a group of people and follow the same rules. I like that. Rules are necessary when we live in a group. And I like it because in no way, shape or form the statement says that we have to be the same. But how is it that, somehow, we seem to think that being the same is the best?

I seemed to have taken longer to find a job that I love, for example. I tried different things (like accountancy) and after hating one particular thing (accountancy), I decided to go back to what I learnt at uni: good and old marketing. And guess what? It was the right thing to do. Had I stayed in Brazil and lived there my whole life, would I have had many jobs? Would I be in my dream job now? Mmmm… I don’t really know the answer. But I can surely ask the question and spend some afternoons wondering what the answer would be.

I also seemed to have taken a little longer in finding the right person to spend my life with (did I, really?). And, again, I’m not even sure if this IS the right person whith whom I’ll be spending the rest of my life with (who knows, anyway?) but hey, for now it definitely is, so let’s go with that. I wonder if I was in Brazil I’d be married with (and here comes the third of my divagations)… KIDS! Now this is something I’ve talked about many a time before and if you read my blogs you may have already read about it (sorry, but here I go again!). The decision of having kids still doesn’t make much sense in my head. For some bizarre reason, I’m not really maternal and, believe it or not, I still feel like a teenager. I did play with dolls when I was a kid, but it was never to be cuddling them, it was to have some kind of control (now that’s a hard one to admit, give me some credit). I used to play that I was this busy mummy that worked a lot and had this busy life and had to juggle everything. I used to play that I was on my phone trying to organise people, places, ballet classes and christenings. Poor me, little weirdo.

Well, I grew up to be very far from what I maybe imagined I’d be by now. I am quite a placid person who hates confrontation. Yes, I say what I thinkmost of the time, but I’d rather never see you again than to have a full-blown argument. I just hate it. I am still the goofy person of always, though. I especially love making fun of myself. This really is my favourite. I still hate peas, but I no longer think I can live off my written word, as I once dreamt. I quickly realised how impossibly hard that would be.

As for organising everything and everyone, I think this may have been one route, but I see myself slowly moving the other way. I can kind of feel the weight of making all the decisions all the time, it’s exhausting. Let it be, for Christ’s sake! Let go of trying to have control of the controllable and the incontrollable.

I feel quite under pressure sometimes, to be doing what other people expect me to be doing. At my (tender) age of 33, maybe I was supposed to be doing this or that, but hey, I’m not (or maybe I am, who knows?). Still, though, I feel this pressure hanging around, but what annoys me the most is that I actually fall pray of this little machine called society and these unspoken ideas about what I should be doing with my own life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish it didn’t affect me but hey, it does, somehow. And this is what drives me crazy. I wish I didn’t care one bit about what other people think and I wish I didn’t worry about turning right or left and the effects such turns can have in my life.I should go for it a bit more, perhaps, and just see what happens… I shouldn’t worry about pleasing everybody, this is never going to happen anyway.

Ok, rant over! And to end it well, here’s to a life with NO RULES!

PS: right, just for the record, nothing bad happened to me, I just got really carried away with thinking about rules, expectations, ageing and reality. And then I had to share my thoughts here with you, poor reader. ūüėČ


Categories: Babies, Brazil, Dreams, Living away from home | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being brave

This week, I found myself wondering about what being a grown up really means…

I had a bit of an episode, when I got really nervous about something and I think this is what triggered my thinking. You see, I get really nervous around motorways or whenever I’m driving and get lost somehow. I won’t dwell on it on this post (I’ll probably write about this another time), but I just wanted to say that the simple fact of a road diversion can get me all jittery.

This week wasn’t a very stressful one overall, but little things managed to get to me and throw me slightly off balance. When that happens, I usually think “what would the grown ups of my family do?”. These can be my mother, my grandmother, my dad, my stepmother or my stepfather. I have these 5 people on a bit of a pedestal, as they usually have all the answers for me.

I am 33 years old and I still see myself as a teenager most of the time. And then when I do something really grown up, like braving myself through a different route to work, I don’t even remember that no, I don’t really need praise for it. This is what I should be doing all the time at this stage in my life.

The bottom line is that I don’t consider myself a very brave person. You know, like those people that just don’t hesitate to take a risk and just go for things. I need to always have a bit of a plan in place, and when that plan is in place, I always organise a plan B too, just in case. I fear that my very specific approach on taking risks in life means that I’m probably not enjoying it as much as I could. After all, we only live once, don’t we?

When I feel really useless and like a little girl afraid of everything, I try to go through my life and remember some occasions where I did show some sort of bravery. Like, for example, when I moved to a country on the other side of the¬† ocean, miles and miles away from home, all on my own. I should take the credit for that, shouldn’t I? I know that millions and millions of people have done this before, but for a relatively scared person like me, this should count as a bit of a life achievement.

I was also brave when I decided to stay in this country and start a life here for myself. I have had jobs (and now have one I love after one more little act of bravery!), I have new friends, I have a new doctor, I even have a new mechanic for my car. And I found the way to get all of these all on my own. However, there are still areas where I go into panic mode. When I’m driving, for example. Or when I have to make a big decision.

I hate making a decision. I always analyze far to much and then end up confusing myself with all the pros and cons, ifs and maybes… it’s stressful, but I tend to make it even more stressful than it should be, really. My partner Lee, on the other hand, is a very straightforward person. He is quite quick to grasp if something is a good or a bad idea and things are usually quite clear and simple for him. On my side, I sleep on it, I dwell on it, I stress over it and I always end up making a decision that I’m never entirely sure is the best one. I lack on confidence.

To be a grown up, though, you need to be confident, don’t you? You need to be able to deal with so many things at the same time and also try and keep that peace of mind that is so important. For me, getting paranoid over things means that my energy gets drained and I feel powerless. I have to change that.

Although change is necessary, I’m still not quite sure about how to do this. Do I just start being braver in my decisions and going for it, not thinking too much? But then if I do that and things don’t go well, won’t I regret it all and then blame myself for not having taken a more cautious route? It’s hard to change yourself. You know what people say… start as you mean to go on? Well, I believe in that. I’m a great believer that we do things for the sake of it, because we have done it the same way for years and it has become a habit so intrinsict that it becomes almost impossible to change. But I also believe that we have to recognise when something needs changing. We need to recognise when the way we go about things is holding us back instead of taking us forward.

It is a big challenge to make a big change, especially when some of the things we do and the way we do them is connected so closely with our personality. I want to be braver. I want to have the courage to see an opportunity and believe that I can do something about it. I want my belief in myself to drive me forward and I want to stop wasting time making plans and trying to schedule life so much that opportunities just pass me by, waving at me whilst I sit there with my cofffee and my ‘to do’ list .

To make big changes, we have to start somewhere and I know that most people usually get overwhelmed by how big a task it is to change some of our habits. Perhaps if we take it slowly we can achieve more. We have to keep going, slowly but surely. Things won’t change overnight, but we have to start. I have always loved a sentence from that movie “Vanilla Sky” and I think that I’ll use that as my startying point for my change of being braver in life. If we think about change as putting one foot after the other, maybe the whole process will look less scary. The sentence from the movie is: “every passing minute is a another chance to turn it all around”. Let’s grab all those minutes and make them count just as we want them to.

Categories: Personality traits | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tic tac… toc toc toc

And it happens again… Every Sunday night is the same. I watch the clock going… tic tac, tic tac, tic tac, whilst I try to programme my brain to just stop and go to sleep. I know that my habit of sleeping until midday on Sundays doesn’t help my trying to go to bed at a decent time to start the week refreshed and invigorated. Instead, I’m usually dragging myself from bed to work and back home on Mondays, without the energy to do much else.

The problem is, when I’m there, tossing and turning, my brain is working overtime creating all these little situations completely out of the blue, making me end up spending valuable sleep time trying to find solutions for problems that do not even exist in my life. Yes, ok, I have been known for being a bit of a control freak, so I guess I’m just being my usual self. However, when I have meetings on a Monday morning and really could do with a sharp mind, being a control freak doesn’t help me at all!

The rolling in bed whilst trying to shift thoughts out of my head means that I end up thinking about all these horrible scenarios…¬† I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I’m there lying in my bed, happy and thinking that things are actually going quite ok in my life when, all of a sudden, boom! What if this happens? And how about that? Oh, no, and what if this also happens? And what do I do if all of it happens at the same time? And then I have to go and knock on the wood three times every time I think something bad. If anyone¬† is listening, they might think that there is a proper set of drums in my bedroom and I’m practising at 1am!

I like to always be prepared for everything, and I am so used to thinking ahead and planning (this has probably got a lot to do with my job) that I forget that most of what I’m planning for will not even have the decency to happen. So there is me, spending all this time solving some (non-existing) problems not only of my little life but of the whole entire world too! Bloody hell! How am I suppose to ever go to sleep!?

This never happens on any other night apart from Sunday, though, which makes me think that the relaxation of the weekend is what brings it on. When I’m relaxed, happy and carefree, some part of my brain goes: “Oh no, she is in the PRESENT and not looking ahead or planning actions to solve future ‘never-going-to-happen’ problems. Come on! Overwork, overwork, overwork… get her worried about something, you lazy brain!” It’s almost like my own mind is against me, which makes it all very hard to control (haha, the control again, you see?).

I can’t be the only one to suffer from brain overwork on Sunday nights, can I? What do other people do? I try to count sheep, I try to imagine myself calmly walking through a lovely and peaceful meadow, I try to hear the sound of music in my own head and even so, there is always a moment when some stupid nonsense thought comes in and breaks my relaxation in pieces… and then I start worrying again about the most absurd things… as if I had to be prepared for the collapsing of the world the following morning. To top if all off, when one bad thought enters the mind, it is generally followed by a trillion more, like a chain of bad thoughts… one after the other…¬† and then once I’ve solved one problem, my brain kind of acts like the cashier of the bank and shouts: NEXT!

I do feel sorry for myself. And this is only because of the irony of it all. Being the control freak that I am, I feel incapable of controlling my own thoughts… I feel powerless on Sunday nights and I feel my confidence vanishing and my heart pounding because of the frustration that this brings. Ok, you are going to say that I have to relax more. Relaxing has been a work in progress since I was born I think, and I don’t think I’ve ever achieved good marks at it. I keep trying though and I do think that during the week I’m quite good. It’s just the Sundays that throw my efforts out of the window.

It’s a bit sad that I feel the need to worry so much and can’t just shut my brain down and just get on with the snoring. It’s a bit annoying that when I manage to control so much in my life already, I am just incapable of controlling my own little paranoia. I try my best to suss life out every Sunday night, which leads me nowhere, really, because life will do as it pleases anyway. No matter how much I toss and turn, the element of surprise will always be there, and I really really do have to start appreciating the beauty of it.


Categories: Insomnia | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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