A friend’s poem

Creative

A friend of mine wrote the following poem for me. I had to take it down from my Facebook, because she has been criticized privately by someone close for it. I won’t comment on that.

First the English translation and below the Portuguese original. Won’t share this post anywhere.

______________________________

Criticism your way

No matter what, it is unsuitable

(Without) Reason not to admire

sometimes a few extra pounds, sometimes some less

What you do is not so good

What you did not do is carelessness

It drains your energy

You talk too much, you’re talking too little

You became pale.

Protest, shine in all shades.

But there is another,

some other bright glow

penetrating you

Vibrant color

Soft voice

Courageous Heart

New angle of failure

Converted to virtue

Before it was difficult, it is irresistible now

The femme now has its fatal

The dilemma now is how not to love you

For all the other reasons that were once hard to accept.

______________________

Críticas ao seu jeito

Não importa qual, não é adequado

(Sem)Razão para não admirar

ora alguns quilos a mais, ora a menos

O que você faz não é tão bom

O que você não fez é displicência

Drena sua energia

Você fala demais, tá falando de menos

Tornou-se pálida

Protesta, Brilhe todos os tons!

Mas há outro

Outro brilho reluzente

Penetrando em você

Cor vibrante

Voz branda

Coração corajoso

Novo ângulo das falhas

Convertido em virtude

Antes difícil, irresistível agora

O femme agora tem seu fatal

Dilema agora como não amar

Por todas as outras razões que antes foram difícil aceitar.

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You learn

Observations

Learning is permanent. It is a way of obstacles the deeper we get into something. I have learned so much about human beings in the past year and my path continues. It is unimaginable how complex, similar and still different people are. Some aspects you can group and still each one is a unique set of characteristics.

I guess, I am becoming smarter when it comes to people while still maintaining my positive view on the world and them. I know that each of us has to work on our own stuff, our character and that everybody, if motivated, can become a better version of themselves.

My life in Berlin has calm and intense phases. I don’t go out much anymore to meet new people but I invest more time in the people I know. That feels good and strengthens our bonds.

Friends are extremely important when it comes to our development. Learning to open up, to share information will show you that most people have something to add to your story that might move you forward. Usually this is the case with me. I love the people who get close to me and I am accepting the time life gives us for the past 3 decades, never expecting more than is there.

One of the things I am working on, is to look into the future. This is very difficult for me. I unlearned to think far ahead, to have objectives and even worse, to have dreams. So, it starts with those little dreams. Like the one I wrote about, to pass next winter working in a warm part of the world. And I mention this frequently in front of friends and acquaintances and it becomes more real. All the rest though are mere ideas, sometimes just wishes, sometimes visions I can’t fully grasp.

My mother told me that it was important to have dreams, otherwise you won’t move in life to achieve something. Now, I need to figure out how to define wishes or goals that make sense to me. The last poem reflects a bit this difficulty. I am such a happy single and enjoy being me and learning. But shouldn’t I take care as well? I might get lost along the track, along the years and I see women seeking for something serious while I at my age just live my life. Do I want another serious relationship? Do I want to have children? A shy voice in me says yes, but I don’t want to ever give up on my freedom of choice again.

The freedom of choice is an essence of life, what makes me being me. I am aware of life passing, I have always been. As a five year old I was philosophizing about what consciousness would be like after death.  But the way I deal with this sure end of my physical and conscious being, changes. I am not sad about it anymore. I start preparing for something that will happen hopefully only in decades from now. It makes me live truer and thus more satisfied. Bit by bit. But what again is it with long term goals? How much sense do they make? That is what I have to figure out and learn to balance.

Good night world!

aerial photo of mountain surrounded by fog

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Thank you 2019

Just Me

2019 is a strange number! Yet I adapted to it very fast. It is also the Chinese Year of the pig, and to summarize the little lazy pig, it still means money. I guess, this is true for many farmers nowadays, too. Well! I will repeat the exercise I did last year about 2018 and imagine that I am writing this post on January 1st of 2020.

2019! You have been wonderful! I had a rich year in experience, learning, travels and friendships. It was incredibly fulfilling.

I had several trips that lead me to different places in the world, starting with Morocco, the Bosnian country side, one other amazing place on another continent, and the most amazing trip of all, which I did in April. My good friend and literature colleague and I went up to the state of Acre in Brazil to live with an Amerindian tribe for two weeks. The people were very receptive and Juan and me produced a lot of poems and collected material for his story telling events. Also we were lucky to have been invited to a traditional Ayahuasca ceremony, which was not only beautiful, but very enlightening. What I learned from that experience was, that I am fine the way I am, that I do not have to try to be someone else and that if I only relax a bit more in life, I can see clearer and advance with my plans. In the end it is all about the true human connection. Since this experience I feel so much more self confident, secure and I can fully live my love for myself and the world. I would not say that my perspective on life has changed but it became clearer and surer.

I developed professionally a lot in the intercultural sector in Berlin and happily close the gap between Brazil, China and Germany in several areas related to immigration and adaption. I have enough clients, so it was possible for me to escape Berlin winter in November this year and I rented a place in Buenos Aires, where I am still now. It helps me to improve my Spanish and get a feeling for another great place in the world. It is a great experience for me! Just wonderful to get to know all those wonderful people. All in all, I gained financial independence, even though I had to be very patient the first months of the year. It all worked out for me and I am happy.

My literary works weren’t few this year. Besides the poetry volume I published with Juan on the lifestyle of the Huni Kuin, I also managed to create my first audio book with a wonderful Italian musician called Vito here in Berlin. We got great resonance and even had papers publishing articles on our collaboration. The audio book sells internationally pretty well for its aesthetic dimension. Another book I finished was the one on Berlin culture for Brazilians which is out and available to all the wonderful people who want to be prepared before moving over to the city.

In terms of love I am still open! I met amazing men and learned a lot from our encounters. My emotions are lively, I am open and I get into honest exchanges which bring growth to both sides. In 2020, there might actually be one person with whom I might get more serious. Opening up is easy, trusting someone again completely takes time but in 2020 I shall be ready to try again.

Thank you 2019! I am healthy, satisfied and self-confident!

 

fuck yeah

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

 

Try now!

Creative, Internet

Sometimes we postpone something because we believe that it is going to be difficult or take up too much time, or even question the sense of our idea. But well! I let myself be motivated today in a short WhatsApp brainstorm with my marketing friend Lilly and here we go! I started my author Instagram and it was pretty fast to start!

So, you may as well try now! You might find out, that all the fear of being overwhelmed by the task was absolutely unnecessary.

 

And those who like to read (in Portuguese & German till now), feel free to follow me there!

https://www.instagram.com/kristina_bodrozic_brnic/

Beijos,

Kris

20190120_112558

A Simple Gentlemen from Méier

Memories

It was in 2016 that I worked during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and I stayed in the neighborhood of Méier, one of the neighborhoods with less violence in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The shops and stores are simple and regular but one afternoon I passed by a small “empório”, a place where you can find imported beer, wine and other products. This was very unusual for the neighborhood and I saw that once a week they invited a food truck to host an evening with them. So I decided to go there. The place soon became my favorite bar, a place to rest after work while still enjoying the heat of the day. Soon I met Kleber, a local banking accountant who regularly met there with his psychologist after their therapy session. Kleber was around 50, never had traveled abroad, not even to another state, but was such a welcoming person. We frequently met and discussed the world and soon another close friend of his, the lawyer joined us. So you can imagine how funny the evenings were: a banker, a psychologist, a lawyer and a crazy world citizen like me. Even though my friends were much older than me and so different from myself, I enjoyed hanging out with them, because I was greeted with pure honesty and friendship.

I found out about Kleber’s cancer only two months ago. Yesterday our psychologist friend informed me about his demise. All I want to say here is that I found a true gentleman in such a simple place as Méier, who had never traveled abroad, who spoke only his mother tongue, a gentleman of a kind we rarely find in our world today. I want to say thank you for all the nice evenings we had together, all the respect and care I received and I want to remind you, dear readers, that the most special people are sometimes those who pass unnoticed by the majority in our society.

 

 

 

 

Thank you 2018!

Memories, Observations

2018 is coming to its end and I am in Svib, Croatia, where I spend the Christmas season with my family. For me Christmas started on the 22nd with the invitation of the father and continued throughout all these days being closer to my family.

In January this year I had written down a post with the title “JANUARY, 1ST, 2019 – WHAT I DID IN 2018“, an exercise to get the things you want to happen in that year and some of them became true, others didn’t. I want to quote the listed objectives of that post and reflect on their fulfillment or non-fulfillment.

Let’s start!

I had a surgery to treat my endometriosis and it went fine. I quickly recovered and had no side effects and my abdominal pain was reduced to almost 0.

The surgery went really well but it was the most painful time of my life. It was not only that a bunch of organic material had been removed but also my intestine had to be scraped clean. The period your intestine needs to get back to function is a challenge, but I managed. The surgery was important in many aspects for me to see life. One is that I believe that my fear in the relationship I had, had caused all these organic materials to grow. But more about that in a later quote.

I have also held some great workshops regarding East Asian cultures and arts which brought me interesting new clients who appreciate my knowledge and which again motivated me to continue broadening my personal knowledge in this field.

I was part of one workshop series about the Chinese New Year and related the Chinese Zodiac to one of artist Ai Weiwei’s works (of course, it had to be intellectual as well). I met interesting colleagues working in related fields but also some of my old and current students attended the workshop and I got to know them better. The beautiful aftermatch was that I managed to get into Ai WW’s project in Trancoso as an interpreter and could observe how a mega art project is actually organized and created which was enrichening for my personal development and understanding of things.

I should not forget to tell you that Carla and me developed a female entrepreneur group in which women learn from each other and gain the right motivation for their own projects.

That was in discussion but did not happen. Carla and me know each other for quite some time now and our friendship, fellowship turns more and more into common business projects. We started “Save Me Teacher BR” on Instagram in November this year, aiming to help those interested in learning Brazilian Portuguese and hoping of course to build up a larger community which will then translate back into language teaching and language solutions.

Also I published three new books, one with my friend Carla on Brazilian culture and another poetry collection, this time in Portuguese. The third book even found a publisher, which is a volume for young Brazilian Chinese learners.

Well! Not exactly but that’s explicable. The projects that survived and are under development needed a certain liberation and maturity from my side. A week ago I published a poetry volume in Brazilian Portuguese named “A Busca Pelas Palavras: Poemas da Minha Alma Brasileira” on Amazon. The book is divided into three phases of my life. The end, the middle and the beginning, covering a time span of 2 1/2 years of my life.

The book for Brazilian kids learning Chinese is half way through and I am looking for investments and publisher (or both in one) to finish it soon. I was very afraid that I might have lost the wonderful person who is illustrating the stories due to the confusions and changes that were going on in my life. But we are still a team and we are going to finish this.

I still want to do the book with Carla!

One new book project, a story about Berlin, is in development. Yes! I am getting there!

Professionally I am pursuing more and more the creative way. I am teaching and translating less and working more and more in the intercultural field, where I can help people more directly with specific problems in their adaption process.

This is actually becoming true! I started calling myself a writer and poet without shame. I still shy away when people give me a compliment because I am only self-published and never sought for a publisher.

Also I believe in all the skills I acquired the last eight years after graduating from university and found a really nice project of learners’ material creation, which again will give me more knowledge to go for my own more contemporary projects in 2019. I started believing in myself again. Isn’t that an amazing feeling?

Our guesthouse Villa Luka also faced a great year. We had many tourists from all over the world and all costs related can be covered easily by the income we have.

Well, we improved by almost 100% but still far away from covering the costs. Estimatedly we’re going to need three more years to record figures in the black.

My relationship is going very smooth and I am happy to say that I am seven months pregnant. Since it is fine for pregnant women to fly I have spend Christmas 2018 with my family in Croatia and we had a great time. Everybody opened up and we strengthened our bonds even tighter.

Well, almost all of you know by now that this did not happen. And you know what? I added this part to my article out of inner guilt. It was my ex’s highest objective to have a child. No matter how our relationship went, no matter how I felt, no matter where I was in my mind. All these years that we had tried and I didn’t manage, I had to listen to his voice accusing me of not wanting to have children. Well, in the end I saw that this was partly true. I was afraid of having children with him, of his teaching methods that I could observe first hand on myself and I could not imagine this to work out. For a while I thought, well, if we have a child and don’t get along, I can still separate from him. But that created other fears, the fear of being controlled for the rest of my life through the bond of a child. It was only during my Trancoso interpreter job that I had managed to be honest towards myself and towards him and I told him that I did not want to have a child with him. In consequence we broke up, smoothly.

About Christmas, I am here. And summer and Christmas strengthened my bonds with my family again. With many of the family members at least. That’s wonderful!

I myself understand life so much better now and really focus on the things that matter to me at the moment. Letting life flow and not being mad about the little things that don’t seem to add up right on the spot, don’t annoy me much and I don’t spend much time thinking about those.

Simply true!

We have moved to a nicer place where we have enough space to be a family and I support my husband in his career as much as he does support mine. He now understands that life is not always a straight red line, that all the things we do can be connected someday and that the experience I have made in all my fields is beneficial for my current and future tasks.

The tension when we actually were working on moving together was so big that I cancelled the whole project. And that was really smart. He soon was not working in that city anymore.

I am sure that my dear ex understands now that life is not a straight line.

And I see that all the experience I made is beneficial to me. Yes, I do!

Thank you 2018! You’ve been wonderful to me!!!

You were! Thank you 2018!

Self Control Through not Buying Goodies

Observations

Most of us have a weakness. To some this is clothes, shoes, accessories and to others it’s electronics, household supplies and others.

On the 13th of December last year, I had decided to not buy clothes and accessories for a whole year. Well, I managed almost seven months until I started a new job and needed some adequate clothing and still these seven months were worth it.

I have this thing that I want things to always match, so you end up buying shoes in a certain color and only use them once a year. Some of you probably know what I mean!

Surprised by myself, I saw that not buying clothes was not a big deal for me, even though I like shopping centers. I didn’t look into the windows with a feeling of longing. In fact, after a very short time I could walk by windows without noticing much the offers. And when I saw some really creative fashion, I was able to simply admire it.

The most positive effect of not buying was for me the simple feeling of gaining more control over my life. I didn’t have the intention to save money since I might have spent only about 600 dollars a year for new clothes, a third of what the average person in developed countries spends. But I just had enough of everything.

Another thing I learned was to have pieces I liked simply fixed. The tailor I selected close to my place fixed and adjusted some of my clothes and the shoemaker was happy about my visits, too.

When you have less, you travel lighter. And to travel light I had to sell and give away still probably about 100 kgs.

The self-control you practice transfers to other areas of your life, bit by bit. I love this exercise.

Now facing the German winter I was stocking up again a bit but it’s December the 14th today and I will go for a second round of regaining self-control.

Just try it! To some it’s easier and to others harder. Once you start, you’ll soon get used to it and see how it changes your mind and your life.

Berlin, my new kind of home

Just Me

And may the future come.

I arrived in Berlin on November, 5th. So it has been a bit more than four weeks by now. And I really don’t know where to start right now.

Maybe with the pre-history. Well, after giving up my art gallerist job on ships and returning to my mum’s home in Croatia, it dawned on me that I was in fact in an ongoing sabbatical year. It started so naturally that I was absolutely not aware of it but it made total sense. And my sabbatical is quite different from those that people plan carefully, those where people already have a vision about how they want to move and learn. Mine started with me leaving Brazil in early July, and being in Berlin now represents the middle.

My cousin offered me some time ago to come to Berlin as an alternative option and while I was not really deeply thinking about it, the idea started to manifest bit by bit after leaving Brazil. In September I was sure that this was what I wanted, since I felt uncomfortable and imprisoned on ships.

A day trip from Warnemunde to Berlin in early September made it possible for me to settle first things. The initial idea was to come somewhen in October or November and stay until the end of the year to figure out whether this place could become a new base.

I had also gotten another invitation to visit my Brazilian friends in Paderno Dugano and relax a bit with them. Therefore I planned a slow trip to arrive at my destination. Maybe a kind of maidentrip, even though by far not as intense as Laura Dekkers experience when crossing the world in a tiny boat at the age of 14. But there was something that had to do with it. A new beginning, the freedom to decide for yourself and learning on the way and somehow learning to grow up a bit maybe. (I still don’t consider myself fully grown-up at the age of 38.)

I met friends in Paderno, Milan, Munich and Nuremberg and then set foot onto the streets of Berlin. Surprisingly, everything went smooth. Here I already knew people whom I had met in different stages of my life. Some from university, different jobs, Brazil. I also have family and it is easy to meet new folks with whom you can connect. It seems to be the place where everybody goes to at some point. A place of re-encounter.

So, right from the start I felt good here but many things were also different or new. Christmas sales were already going on and my eyes in the supermarket were huge when looking at all those tasty chocolates and decorations. You must know that in Brazil Christmas is during summer and that people are not really as crazy about decorating, listening to Christmas songs and all that as we are. There, Christmas is very different.

Also people’s behavior was something very new, different and shocking to me after having lived for seven years in São Paulo. Again, like during my visits, I can see the extreme frustration people throw at each other openly in Europe. This is something I have to get used to again, maybe it was one of the reasons why I never felt like really at home in Germany in the past.

Home. I may not have such a thing right now. There is always my mother and Croatia but that does not feel like home. Berlin sometimes does. It is a big city, there are people, options, opportunities. But also, I may not really be looking for a home right now. Still, I may have found my base.

In my second week I got frustrated for some days. My savings were running out, I could not find ongoing short-term projects to get in and I felt like looking at a huge pile of undoables. Then I realized that I was limiting myself. Half a year ago I had the idea of returning to Brazil in February to settle things there and travel a bit. This idea that it had to be February made it impossible for me to look further. Once I realized that, I simply took out the time limitations from my equation and things started working out bit by bit. I applied for some interesting language projects, found a temporary job to keep myself up for some time (selling chocolates at the Christmas market, yes!!!), finished my soon to be published poetry book (and started working on the next non-fiction novel), and I decided to stay in this city already and therefore started dealing with the annoying bureaucracy of being a citizen of the European Union again. I now feel relieved and smoothly-minded enough to take the right decisions.

The people who invest their time in me now make me feel supported and everything seems easier, because there is always a solution. In fact, there are many and I am learning now and probably also during the second part of my sabbatical to pick wiser.

We shall see!!!