One Day or Day 1. You choose.
Back in July 2019, I was feeling miserable about life. I had graduated, and as an expat not so confident with her English, I wasn’t confident at all to get what you’d call a “proper” job. I still had one more month of University work, but I’d need to do something to get me out of that hole. So I started a personal challenge after coming across a quote on Google Images “One day or Day one. You decide”. I had watched enough motivational YouTube videos but nothing had hit me as that quote. It came at the perfect time I guess. I then decided to use “One Day or Day 1. You choose” as the title of my challenge. “You choose” would resonate more with me than deciding. I’m quite an undecided person, but I knew I just had to do something.
At the time I was using Twitter and on the first day of the month starting after August, I would pin 4 to 6 short sentences stating what I wanted to achieve during that month. This could be “learning to make gnocchi”, “read one book”, “get a job”, “learn how to code”, etc. Incredibly, I had found this highly motivating, and from August to December, I had managed to achieve most of the quests, enrolled in a Code First: Girls workshop learning the basics of HTML and CSS, started painting, and even exercising. By December, I got my first “proper job” after spending the summer washing plates and collecting rubbish at stadiums on a casual 9 to 11 hour shifts basis. At night, I would paint, read or work on my portfolio.
As I'm learning to leave the past behind, let's just say by the end of 2019 I embarked on a crazy emotional rollercoaster till 2020. The pandemic didn't help much either, but by the spring of 2021, I re-started some of my hobbies and re-structured my online space here.
All about my quests for each month used to be written online but I decided to delete them and rather keep them for myself. Starting September 2022, I made my goals public again, and re-started my “One Day or Day 1, you choose” challenge. Once again I pinned them on Twitter but due the platform’s uncertainty, decided to move them here to my personal space.
One Day or Day 1. You choose.
- get a job
- meditate every day with Calm
- start yoga with Yoga with Adriene
- finish PM Course by Cursos PM3
- read at least 2 books
- play more games
- subscribe to Spotify 3 months Premium for free
- get a job
- follow a 21-Day Challenge
- create a simple game with friend
- finish Python friends
- start using Linux
- start using HelloTalkApp
- get a job
- volunteer at cool events
- Publish 4 articles
- Finish the beginner Blender donut
- Get weight gain nutrition advice
- Code more
- get a job
- start an advent candle tradition
- go to Cirque du Soleil Crystal
21-Day-Challenge aka Start Building Habits
On September 6th, 2022, I’ve started a 21 day checklist challenge to finish up tasks and achieve certain goals. I’m ticking the days off here on Google Sheets.
- For me, a meal plan is one of the easiest “habits” to build and follow. Mostly because I enjoy having planned meals, a routine around it, and don’t mind repeating the same dishes. Because my finances are tight, I rely on prepared meals like quiche and lasagna. Having lived in the UK and the Netherlands, I don’t eat much fish nor tasty fruit as I’d like to.
- My 2022 goal is to start taking collagen.
- I exercise everyday for about 30 minutes. I got my favorite workouts from YouTube back in 2019: Johanna Devries aka growwithjo and Pamela Reif because they actually work (for me), and I can see changes in a space of a month. For that I created the workout playlist GYM77 (77 for good vibrations) alongside a GYM77 workout playlist on Spotify. Some other day laziness (or that time of the month) kicks in and I decrease on the workout intensity, but don’t let it go down to 0. #atomichabits
- My 2022 goals are to gain weight and focus on aerobic exercises.
- In 2023, I aim to focus on cardio and build muscle mass.
- I practiced swimming for 10 years and have started to miss it a lot. Hopefully when the pandemic is better, I’ll get back to it again.
This has been the hardest habit to keep up with. I’ll use the Skincare heading for any habit that helps skin integrity and enhances its appearance (hair, body, and face).
🥰 On Face,
- After going for a couple of facial cleansings, I’ve got some tips and tricks and got to know you don’t need tons of (usually expensive) products to keep a clean and healthy skin. Also, that you should apply sunscreen EVERYDAY, clean in the morning and hydrate and night, and DRINK lots of WATER. My face routine as of now consists of:
- Morning: Wash face with soap and apply sunscreen;
- Night: Wash face with soap, apply Vitamin C, and apply an hydrating cream.
- Sundays and Wednesdays: Exfoliate skin with Neutrogena Deep clean, apply a face mask, and use sunscreen.
💃 On Body,
- They’re a bit expensive but good quality, I use Neutrogena to hydrate after shower:
- I’ve started using Gehwol Leg vitality - it’s vegan, and refreshing for bad blood circulation;
- I LOVE vaseline - I use it around my nails, and apply it on my lips and eyelashes.
💇♀️ On Hair,
- I love using UniqOne from Revlon, it’s the only product I use for my hair besides shampoo and coconut oil (rarely for hair masks) - it’s great after washing your hair to untangle, when it’s dry or when you just feel like giving an extra boost of hydration. It smells great.
- Since December 2021, I’ve ditched regular shampoos after a botox treatment - you shouldn’t use shampoos with sulfates afterwards to maximize the treatment effect. My sister who had done it before gave me two slices of her shampoo bar from Lush - the avocado co-wash. It was my first time using a shampoo bar (better for our skin and better for the environment). For me, this one didn’t make so much foam as a regular shampoo and acted more as a conditioner. I was okay with it, and did notice my hair was getting very oily after washing because it was suffering from the sulfate → no sulfate transition (regular sulfate shampoos take away your natural oils and that’s why you need to keep washing your hair). By the end of January, hair oiliness started to stabilize and I could keep my twice a week hair washing routine.
- Those pieces of shampoo lasted until mid-February 2022, and I went on to buy a new bar, the Angel Hair also from Lush after chatting with the lady in the store. It’s always best to explain what you’re looking for/how your body reacts to certain elements so you can get the best advice on what products to try next. This one still has sodium coco sulfate, but I’ll see how it goes. (Feb 15 - May 29)
- Price-wise, branded shampoo bars are more expensive at first glance, but they end up lasting you longer and are way more beneficial both for you and the environment, so I don’t think I’ll keep buying plastic bottles filled with sulfates for the next years.
- I do feel the biggest thing that helps me to maintain a healthy mind, is to exercise and meditate. To exercise above all. Whether I’m swimming or sweating on the floor, I feel incredibly free and relaxed.
- “Bad emotions are like guests in your house. You need to entertain them for a while but you know they’ll end up leaving when it’s time, so don’t worry, they don’t last forever.” Since I learned about this way of thinking on a Brazilian podcast called “Autoconsciente”, my perspective towards feeling low/bad/almost depressive has massively changed. I started to accept when I’m feeling low and I just stay low. I feel there’s so much pressure when you feel bad or low to “just cheer up”, “go out for a walk”, “you don’t have reasons to be sad”. But only ourselves know thyselves and we need to see what is best for us. Maybe going for a walk will help you more (I do agree being surrounded by Nature is always the best), but also maybe just staying home for the day will do. The problem comes when you don’t see feeling low or bad as an emotion but believe that’s how you are and it becomes a persisting feeling.
- Meditation has helped me with the last point: feeling numb vs feeling present. For the past year of 2021 I lived in automatic, feeling numb, and without anything to aspire for. I started using Calm, and found a daily external voice that gives me that morning motivation. I read reviews about the app before subscribing, and subscribed to it mainly to see if it worked for me.
I believe in energy and life signs. I used to write down my dreams when I was younger but one day I stopped. Lately, I’ve been noting them down again.
Dates and Dreams
- June 14th, 2022 - Opened a small fake fireplace door and there was a passage to some stairs leading to a witch room. The walls had leaflets stating rules and there were amulets and magic books everywhere. They said 3 witches used to live there and we couldn’t take anything.
- June 18th, 2022 - Was inside a cooking contest, had a limited time to look for the ingredients around supermarket-alike long shelves. I was making a salad, heating up those pre-made burgers on the microwave and wanted to add a chocolate on the side. The time was almost up.
- 20th June, 2022 - Had been catfished and ran away, the person came after me but i hid in a building.
- 08th September, 2022 - Was with two other persons choosing glassware at an open fair. A random woman offered me 10 glass cups and said goodbye: one of the cups was pink/purple and tall like those ones for beer but with a pudding shaped top.
- 14th September, 2022 - Went to Argos for a job interview, and saw an ice curling broom and disk (i love curling). The person was late so they said be back in 10-20min. I went out for a train ride, crossed a bridge and an old friend from school shows up. He didn’t say much but we laughed.
- 15th September, 2022 - A place where to behave well was imperative, the outliers were sent to prison. There was a dinner party in prison with rich people and some sports team, no one went to the dinner, all was empty. I was handcuffed and needed to look for the principal to take off.
- 03rd October, 2022 - Super weird dream, first met Thomas Caraberto (?) on a train that felt like the inside of a plane. A packed long train stopping in many places. Then I was at the beach with my mother and sister. There were food stands in the water and people walking by speaking French.
- 08th October, 2022 - Went to the finals of some “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” show for youngsters. I arrived late at the group final stage because I went to play with my dog during the break, there was a question about Brazilian folclore and an old angel man. It didn’t matter I lost.
- 08th October, 2022 - Was at a beach and there were a lot of turtles in the water. Something related to turtles.
I’ve been unsure on writing about love for some time but I decided it might be a good exercise for my future me.
I don’t feel to have ever fell in love with someone. I had many crushes but no one in special who I felt to be “the one”. Bluntly, I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe we choose who to give our love to. I believe we can choose to “block” people to not “fall in love with” and we can choose to open ourselves up to different people we don’t even have any expectations with.
I feel ready for a romantic relationship. I feel ready to give my love to someone and to water it every day with that someone. I feel ready to be loved and cherished, and to be surprised with what comes out of being in love.
But I feel I’m just unlucky. I’ve thought of so many things throughout my 25 years. Am I unworthy of love? Am I too ugly for love? Or even, am I still too innocent to love? Why can my friends switch boyfriends every couple of months and I can’t even grab anyone’s attention? Am I really that boring? Are my standards that high?
When I see couples holding hands, it truly fills my heart with happiness. I imagine what could be their stories about and how good it should feel to feel each other’s skin.
I love romance. I love to surprise people and do my best so they feel good. I would like to feel what cheesy romance is. I never got any flowers nor was asked out on a date. I wonder what it feels like to be appreciated and looked at from eyes that are in love. I wonder what it feels like to date a Prince Charming (hey I know what year we’re in, but I believe good men still exist).
All my attempts so far with my crushes have led me to end up with my heart in pieces. They reveal their true selves, and whatever was happening ends quickly, and most of the times I’m ghosted. I prefer it that way, as being fooled and cheated on in the long-term leads to what happens to most of the couples these days: breakup and divorce. Or a toxic relationship. Please to anyone reading this, never ever give up on getting out of a toxic /or abusive relationship. I know what is like and what can happen if you let things go to far. Please find a way to talk to someone and keep an emergency number with you.
I know single people usually say being single is great, and from someone single her whole life, I do agree. But is it that bad to ask for someone to share and build your life with? I for one, feel lonely sometimes. I want to wake up next to someone, to try different things when it comes to sex, and most of all, get a partner to hold hands with while we walk this journey we call life (you know I had to add some clichê sentence somewhere right?).
I know I am enough. I only wished I was already enough to someone.
In case you need it, created this playlist to not forget that we only deserve the best.
Follow What Works For You
Like many, I also fell in the trap of following what articles say to be the best, or what “generally balanced people do”. But at the end of the day, you got to discover what works for you.
Physical: I’m a low maintenance type of woman, but have some rituals from time to time including: eyelash perm every couple of months, have my nails done with gel every couple of months, cut my hair twice a year, and monthly hair laser removal. I’ve learned to do lymphatic self-massages but still would like to try it with a professional. I don’t wear make-up because it’s too heavy for my skin, so I go for natural alternatives instead or little glow-up tricks that make the difference. I try to exercise everyday and drink lots of water. Food and nutrition is still a WIP.
on self-esteem: only now after my 25s i am feeling naturally pretty, and comfortable on my skin. I still continue to be non-photogenic and not wearing make-up, and that's okay. I wish I could tell my younger self to just have patience and enjoy the metamorphosis. Tbh, health is something I usually neglect until the last minute. I'm currently having a weird issue on my feet, they are purple and look burned for almost 3 years now. I always feel ashamed of using sandals during summer, but I hope to know what this is very soon. What usually sucks is not having money to go after these things. Three years ago I couldn't afford so many appointments, and just hoped it would get "naturally" solved. It turned out I had to take out a vein last year due to bad blood circulation, and only god knows what's up now. Another reason is the health system, I think. I feel back in England and here in The Netherlands you need to exaggerate your symptoms to get referrals or more attention to the issue, although the health system is said to be better. I personally like and miss Portugal's much more. Overall, one lesson I learned is: if something doesn't feel right, most likely it isn't right. We know our bodies better than anyone else, doctors are not gods, and we can't give up on going after diagnosis and second opinions. It's tiring and costs money, but that's how life is.