Updated: Feb 28, 2020
(Lo siento, muchachos. Esto me salió en inglés y no pienso traducirlo al español. Spanglish content problems.)
There are mornings when you wake up from one of those horrible dreams that are so tense, so vivid, and that cause so much panic in you that when you return to the waking life, you are simply not ready to face the "real world". So you lay there on your bed, not quite awake yet but still under the after shock of what you just lived in the dream. It's almost impossible to accept not only that none of those things actually happened but that there's a Chinese student waiting on your computer screen to teach them English now. Yup. I teach English online as my "side job" in order to pay for the freedom that I need to attend to my most important yet my penniless passion jobs: writing, making a podcast, being a photographer and doing making collage art.
This morning was one of those mornings for me. I woke up and felt exhausted still, even though I had gotten to bed by 10 pm (Woohoo! Success. I'm a night owl and getting to bed early is incredibly hard for me) and was fast asleep in no time. The dream was about the Venezuelan military coming to my house to get one of us to work for them very much the way the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the "People's Army") showed up in Colombian homes to take away their children and convert them into soldiers. I was terrified thinking they were coming to get me. But they weren't. They were coming to get my brother. Pfft. It wasn't ME I had to worry about, it was my brother! Thanks, self conscious, I get it. You think I’m a selfish person. I wondered (not sure if this happened in my waking life or still unconscious one) how many times I have acted this way in real life. Where I’m worried about something happening to me while really, it is happening to someone else. We've all been there.
But deep down I know it's not that. I know a bit about dreams, or at least enough to know that every person that appears in our dreams are just representations, projections, of ourselves. So my brother is actually me in the dream. But that part of me is being represented by my brother. Why? Well, I'd have to ask more questions to investigate and well, this is a blog, not a psychological report, so I'll keep it to the clear notion that I think I am running away from a truth I do not want to face. "So what is that truth?!" Who the fuck knows. Stay tuned I guess! (To be revealed?)
Anyway, I couldn't teach my classes this morning. I’ve been working every single day since December and so I hardly ever have ONE day off to sleep in or to simply have time to MYSELF. Today, I just couldn’t do it. I faked a Teacher IT Issue (Technical problems) class after class, tried not to look at each student’s cute little face of disappointment and hoped to God they rebook me despite my absence. Because when students stop re-booking you, it shows on your bank account.
So I do what every person does when they feel lazy and unmotivated but not tired enough to go back to sleep. I went on IG. And there she was on my feed. The Venezuelan actress and stand up comedian I never got to see, Nina Rancel. (@ninarancel) And there I went down a two hour rabbit hole stalking the bitch. She’s a funny bitch too. I almost wished I had been closer to her age and that when she was starting her stand up stuff I would have been around to go see her and say hi and maybe even have a beer with her.
I would have started that podcast I’ve been so scared to put out into the world and interview her and maybe even do a show with her and ask her questions about how to write for the Caracas Chronicles and you know, maybe even start a book club together. Maybe even be friends. Because turns out we have a few things in common. I wonder if she would find it weird if I fangirl emailed her confessing I went totally "You" on her minus the "I want to fall in love with you and then maybe kill you if you don't love me back part".
But back to the point. The point on why Nina Rancel should be friend. Because if I'm going to go "You" on someone, I'm going to do it right.
1, We’re both flat chested. YES. FINALLY someone here in this country was openly expressing how bloody AWFUL it is to be flat chested in Venezuela. How judged you are. Nina expressed it as an actress which no doubt must have been terrible, but I lived more as a teen which really hurt my confidence around dating and self body image. I still have an aunt tell me, “Tu eres bella. Pero lo único que a ti te faltan son unas teticas.” If your aunt is telling you you need boobs to be beautiful, from a young age, you can imagine how hard it was to feel confident as I became an adult. My dad who is Canadian along with most of my boyfriends always told me the opposite, which helped, but come on. Can you really trust the men who love you the most? (Yes... probably yes. Don't get your boobs done because everyone else is doing it, please. Esta va pa' mis latinas.)
2, Physical traits weren’t the only thing Nina and I had in common. We both also like to read! This is probably the most important one because not only could we relate to each other but we could also DISCUSS books we read. Again, something hard to find in this country. People who read. Led Varela, one of Venezuela's popular comedians (hermano, te amo a ti y tu humor pero coño e' la madre.) made a sad joke on Instagram about how boring reading was which I did find funny because even I have felt that way before. But laughing aside, I felt it encouraged people to go with the usual ‘Yeah, I don’t read much. Reading is boring.’ or ‘if it’s too dense or long, I won’t read it.’ or the worst one yet, 'God I really need to read more..." (yet never does.) SAD SAD SAD. But not Nina. She is open about how much she loves to read and it makes me feel less alone. I wish I could discuss books with her even if we were reading different things!
3. How open she is about who she is, what she’s going through, how she thinks, how she feels… Especially with her whole #RoadtoHollywood hashtag. Now this is something I probably have less in common with her and more of something I wish I had. I'm still finding my own medium.
So - Nina Rancel, even though you bullied me on Twitter once (I deserved it), I hope I’ll get to meet you, interview you, maybe even be your director at an actual Hollywood film and if I'm not too weird for you hopefully be your friend some day because it is great women like you who I’d like to have in my tribe.
Now that that's done and I've officially made myself look like a fangirl stalker, I'll conclude. After I spent the entire early morning stalking this lady, I sat on my bed with my sweet dog by my feet in a fetal position and thought once again: “What the hell am I doing?” I mean really… I am 26 years old. And I’m trying to write a book when no one really reads anymore? And make a podcast when I SUCK at public speaking? And write my own screenplay which I want to be able to direct on Netflix when umm, I have no contacts to even get there? And have my photos and collage work exhibited in art galleries I've never contacted before? AND be a life coach even though I have no idea how to get clients? Being this ambitious and having so many different interests and passions can sometimes get very overwhelming. I wish I could just be ONE damn thing. It’s a big mesh of things and while I have decided that in 2020, I will focus on one thing at a time in order to FINISH my projects… I still wake up thinking, 'WTF am I doing?'
But here I am. Accidentally running into people like Nina Rancel to re-inspire myself and reminding myself that Marie Forleo calls this being a multi-passionate entrepreneur because what else can you do? All you can do is remember that others have been where you are, have felt what you've felt, and with hard work and persistence, those people have made it. And have made it big time.
This whole self doubt wave is part of the creative life that we chose to live and honestly, I'd much rather be suffering over this than suffering at a financially stable job that is doing nothing to help me achieve my goals and dreams. So fuck it. I'll take it.