Life/ Work Update

Life/ Work Update

THROWBACK THURSDAY.pngHello and happy Thursday. I feel like you’re my friends because I let you in on basically every detail of my life, so just like I did with my best friends, I will tell you something that doesn’t make me happy or comfortable in the slightest. I was let go. There, I said it, and even now it still feels odd to say.

I was actually let go a month and a half ago, and I saw it coming. I mean, while some of my colleagues were being interviewed to work the following year as first grade teachers, I was give the cold shoulder by my boss, which isn’t uncommon at all. I even told my psychoanalyst about this, but I think that based on what I’d told her in previous sessions, she kind of sensed that could be an option too.

For those of you who are new or haven’t followed these or my teaching posts, in August 2018 I took a job teaching high school English at a school in Colombia. This happened after months of not working because I was supposed to move to Baltimore. I did go but was overcome with depression and anxiety, so I came back and got the first job I could find. Now I know I shouldn’t have taken a job so soon because I still had a lot of stuff to sort out in terms of my mental health.

From August to mid November I taught ninth and tenth grade English, and I struggled like I’d never before in my life. I actually felt worse than I did my first year as a teacher because I already knew stuff so I couldn’t “blame” my performance on lack of experience. I did feel that wasn’t giving this job my 100% and that I didn’t connect with students or my lessons in the way I would’ve want to.

Now, I was actually going to write two posts, but I thought better of it and decided on just one, in which I tell you that yes, I got let go, but that a week after that I actually found my dream job. See, I still had to go to work for a week after I got the news that I wasn’t going to continue the following year, but I didn’t do much those days, if I’m being honest.

I got a call from a school the day after I was told I’d be let go, and a week later I interviewed with them. In a single day I interviewed with five people and then got an order for a medical examination which new employees are required by law in any company or institution. The following week I got a call to go sign my contract and I’ve been on vacation since.

My dream job is to be a kindergarten teacher. That means I’m in charge of a class as a homeroom teacher, as well as English, Science, Math, and motor skills. The pay is significantly better and so are the conditions, and that obviously excites me a whole lot. For all the teaching-related posts, please check my blog on Saturdays. This life update just felt more appropriate as a throwback Thursday.

Let me know of something you’re looking forward to in your life, whether it’s work related or not.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

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Reading Slump Much?

Reading Slump Much?

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Hello and happy Wednesday. Maybe you don’t notice this because you still get your weekly bookish posts, but I feel that for a few months I’ve slowed down in my reading and that’s not very encouraging.

There was a time in my life, in a not so distant past, when I would read about seventy books per year. Now I think I’ll get to half of that, maybe a little more if I push myself while I’m on vacation. Yes, there was also a time during this year, in an even less distant future, when I was struggling with my mental health and didn’t feel like doing anything. That, obviously, affected my reading rhythm.

I think I’ve already posted about reading slumps, and if I haven’t then I feel that talking about this subject was long overdue. Currently I’m “reading” three books, but we all know that means I’m probably actively reading one and have left the other two for another time. I actually started one of those books about six months ago, but I struggle every time I pick it up, if I do manage to pick it up.

This is not the first time I’ve been in a reading slump and it won’t be the last. Maybe my mood has affected my book selection and that ultimately has left me reading stuff that I don’t enjoy. That happens, right? When we’re happy we sort of attract happy books, but when we’re not, we manage to pick the darkest, gloomiest books.

Now, I feel like I’m overcoming the slump already, and for that I’ll apply a technique that’s worked before. I’ll finish reading the three books I’m supposedly currently reading, and then I’ll use my TBR jar to help me select what I’ll read next. I’ll try to read as many short and bubbly books as I can while I’m on vacation, so that when I get the rhythm back I can make a smooth transition into other books. And I’ll obviously tell you what I think about them right here, so stick around.

How do you deal with a reading slump? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Carnaval de Bahia Makeup

Carnaval de Bahia Makeup

Hello and happy Monday. I could try and write this whole post in Portuguese, since I’m doing a “Carnaval de Bahia” makeup look, but I haven’t have breakfast yet and I have a feeling that might be too exhausting. Anyways, going to Salvador, Bahia for the Carnival in February has been sort of a dream for me, and I know one day it’ll come true, so while it does, I’ll just fill my face with crazy colors and be extra. This is clearly a toned-down version of what I’d wear, but I want to share it with you so that wherever you are, you can share the Bahia spirit with me. Here are the steps I followed to achieve this look:

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Bake
  5. Eyebrows
  6. Matte pink + matte orange (crease)
  7. Rose gold (eyelid)
  8. Matte brown (lower lash line)
  9. Champagne (inner corner)
  10. Mascara
  11. Champagne (brow highlight)
  12. Bronzer
  13. Blush
  14. Matte liquid lipstick
  15. Orange lipgloss

In the comments below tell me about a celebration in a foreign country you’d like to attend.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

L’Occitane Mini Haul

L’Occitane Mini Haul

Hello and happy Sunday. Yes, I’m still doing hauls on what I bought in Spain. Today’s is going to be short and sweet because as the title suggests, it’s a mini haul. I’m actually only going to share two products I bought in L’Occitane while I was in Madrid. Let’s get started, shall we?

The main product of this haul is obviously the Rich Lotion. Its actual name is Moisturizing 15% Shea Butter Ultra-Rich Body Lotion , and trust me, it is all those things and more. I got it because my skin is super sensitive to change, so after a few days of summer, I was experiencing the dryness.

I’ve used this lotion for my hands and didn’t know there was a version for the body, so imagine my surprise and delight when I saw it in the store. You know I’m usually a cheap girl, but when it comes to L’Occitane, I don’t care about prices. This is what I use now every night, and I’m absolutely in love. I got it for $29.25, which I think is a great price for a L’Occitane product.

Now, something I love about going to L’Occitane is that there’s always a special offer. Something I hate about it is the fact that I always fall for it and end up buying more than I intended. In this case, for $7.02 I got this cute metal box with an almond oil duo, so it had the travel size almond oil, and the shower oil. I talked about the shower oil in a previous post because I’d gotten a sample, now I have a mini, and I think that means I’m slowly escalating towards getting the full size version. I use this for shaving and it’s been amazing.

In the comments below tell me about your favorite shower products at the moment.

Happy Saturday!

Love, Miss Camila

Why I’m Back Home

Why I’m Back Home

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Hello and happy Saturday. I interrupt whatever you were doing to bring you massive news: yes, I’m back in Colombia. As I’m typing this, it’s been a week since I came back home, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I’m not going to justify myself here, and I’m not going to try and get your approval or your pity, but I feel that throughout these months I’ve opened up so much about my personal life beyond the makeup, the books, and the teaching, that I sort of *have* to tell you what happened.

Let me backtrack a little bit and give you some context because if you’re new to this blog, you probably are super lost right now. My name is Camila and I’m a school teacher. If all goes right, I’ll soon start my third year. I was born in the States but have lived my entire life in Colombia because that’s where my family is from. In December 2017 I got the news that I’d been selected into a program to get certified as a teacher in Baltimore City. You see, it had been a plan of mine to move to the US in the year 2018. And here I was, making it true.

I quit an awesome job in March of 2018 because although the program wouldn’t start until late June, I had to attend an event in March and then another one in late May. Besides that, I wanted to spend time with my family and best friends, and start getting ready for my big move. I was excited, and I had great expectations for what was to come. I always pictured myself as a happier person living this amazing life, abroad.

Spoiler alert: I wasn’t happy and my life wasn’t amazing.

Now, to some it might be crazy that it only took me ten days to realize that whatever was going on wasn’t really my thing. To some, I might’ve seen like a spoiled brat, or a coward. I truly don’t give a sh*t what people thought (or still think) of my decision. Here’s why: I made a decision in favor of my mental health, and that’s something I will never regret.

On June 26th I got to my Airbnb, a room with a private bathroom in a house located in a pretty odd neighborhood. I say it’s pretty odd because you had this super modern school in front of a nice park, and the cutest houses, and then you walked a block and found that the houses were in horrible conditions, that there was trash in the streets, and that the people stared at you as you walked.

My room was always cold and I could never get to fix the temperature, so instead I slept with two blankets and a sweater. I sort of got used to that; I mean, I was going to stay at that same room for six weeks until I found my own place, so I guess my body adjusted to the low temperature. And yes, that meant the headaches subsided after the second or third day.

The day after I got to Baltimore, I went to a Price Rite (?) and bought what would be the food for at least the first couple of weeks. The food situation was also dreadful. I mean, at school I had free lunches and then at home I either ate whatever my mom bought or made, and at least once a week I’d go out with my best friend. Now here I was, eating peanut butter toast for breakfast, a bagel with cream cheese for lunch, and half a glass of almond milk for dinner. For days I considered just eating at a restaurant, or buying stuff to go, but I had nothing close by. No McDonald’s, no Five Guys, no nothing.

I only had proper meals three days out of the ten I was in Baltimore: one was the lunch I had at the Cheesecake Factory by the Inner Harbor, another was the dinner and lunch my mother’s best friend (who lives in DC) provided me, and the last one was brunch, the one that led me to my decision of going home.

Many little things led me to quit and come back. One was my mom telling me that on her birthday, which she spent alone because my sister was in Europe with my dad and his family, she was walking our dogs and fell down and scratched her face. I immediately thought that nothing would’ve happened had I been there, with her. Another one was the fact that one day a friend’s husband drove me home, and as I was getting out of the car he told me “don’t go out at night.” I wasn’t planning to, but having someone from Baltimore warn me about my home for the summer was plain scary. Then there was that Saturday.

That Saturday I washed my hair because even though I hadn’t been very strict about my beauty routine, I was still only washing my hair on the weekends. I noticed a lot of hair by the drain. Like, a lot of MY hair. I’d just gotten a haircut a few weeks back and knew that my hair was healthy, but I thought “well, maybe it’s because I’m washing it after so many days.” I got out of the shower and brushed it with my Tangle Teezer, and found the brush, again filled with my hair. My. Hair. Was. Falling. Off.

I really tried to ignore that horrible fact, while also trying to justify it. I was under stress due to the program I was in. I was eating badly and not getting the amount of protein I needed. Those were pretty solid reasons, and they were also pretty scary ones. They all led to this even scarier conclusion: I was pretty close to getting ill.

Just like the previous weekend, I went Downtown. I had to send my university transcripts over to an evaluation agency. After that, I went to this cafe called David & Dad’s for brunch. It was around noon and I was eating for the first time that day. It’s not that I hadn’t been hungry, but eating at home was sort of stressing me out. It was not something I enjoyed doing, if I’m being honest, especially not when there was bread for toast, bagels, peanut butter or cream cheese. I’d even ran out of almond milk and was basically stealing from my host, half a glass at a time.

I sat in that cafe and got a huge waffle that tasted like eggs, with salty butter and a jar of Aunt Jemima’s (seriously? That’s what I paid $4?), accompanied by a gross glass mug of hot chocolate. I felt dumb for asking for a hot chocolate and knew I’d regret it as soon as I stepped out onto the street. I also felt overwhelmingly alone. I made a list of my certainties at the moment and realized I only had one: that thing my father had told me about the possibility of coming back.

He’d said it because he sort of had to, but I don’t think he actually thought I’d do it. Hell, I always thought I would go to the States and have this wonderful life and only come back to Colombia for the holidays. But the truth was I missed that home in Colombia more than ever. I missed seeing my parents and grandparents, I missed hanging out with my friends and snuggling with my dogs. I missed speaking my language and I missed the job I’d left behind (which I’m not getting back). I had nothing but a lot of prospects, a lot of hypotheses and what if’s: I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have a permanent home, and I didn’t have any real friends with whom to hang out during the weekends.

So I texted my mom, half of my disgusting hot chocolate still in that gross glass mug. I texted her “I think I’m going back home in a few weeks.” Then it dawned of me. No, my hair was falling off, and I was very close to being ill, to being depressed. I wasn’t coming home in a few weeks. So I gulped the disgusting thing and added. “Maybe I’m coming home sooner.”

Just remembering that moment makes me want to cry, but if you ask me for the reason, I can’t explain it. Maybe I’m still sad about everything I went through, about everything that went through my mind. Maybe I’m relieved about the way things unfolded afterwards. I just know that for ten days I was in emotional hell and I don’t wish that upon anyone.

I’m a crier, but I’m a private crier. I cry watching TV or movies, and sometimes I cry while my best friends or my family are around. But I don’t cry in the middle of the street, and I don’t cry on a bus, at least I didn’t before that Saturday. I paid for my breakfast and then walked to the bus stop, and I was crying. I was wearing sunglasses but I knew some tears slipped. I knew some people noticed but pretended not to. Welcome to America. Welcome to Charm City. Yeah, right.

“I’m going home tomorrow,” I texted my mom. She told me she was out running errands and could she call me later. I told her sure because what else was left to do or say? I got to the house, my room colder than ever, and I just full on cried. I went into the Delta app and found seats for the following day, and I thought “tomorrow this time I’ll be on my way home.”

I talked to my mom, and cried throughout our entire talk. I talked to my dad, and my sister. I talked to my best friend. I made an announcement on Facebook because I wasn’t going to tell the same story to 200 people every time someone asked me what was going on. This is the message I posted:

Ugh, this is awkward and I really don’t *have* to do it but I just don’t want to answer a ton of separate questions and give a whole lot of explanations. Here goes nothing. 
I’d been talking about leaving to the States for years, and I had planned this trip for months. I even quit an awesome job and spent a whole lot of money on it. This was my dream. 
Now ten days after living “the dream,” I decided to go back home. By that I mean I already bought the ticket and will be in Bogota by tomorrow. Why? Because for ten days I’ve cried every time I’m by myself and I’m very close to being depressed and I’m scared. For ten days I’ve had more anxiety than I’d had in my lifetime and I’m just not about sticking around to see if I’ll pull through. 
I’d rather be a happy quitter than a messed up winner, and I’d rather go back to the comfort of my home with the people I love the most than try to be an adventurer all by myself. 
I always thought living in the States was for me, but after that taste I got, I know at least for now, that’s not true.

I made arrangements, packed my bags, and fell asleep. The following day, I woke up at 6 a.m, watched a whole lot of Younger (yes, there’s a post coming), and then got an Uber and left for the airport. I regret nothing.

In the comments below, tell me about a decision you made that you think changed your life for the better.

Happy Saturday!

Love, Miss Camila

To All the Guys I’ve Liked Before

To All the Guys I’ve Liked Before

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Hello and happy Thursday. Sue me, Jenny Han, for plagiarizing your book title for this post. Trust me, I thought of other words to go instead of “guys,” but I decided I should at least try to seem like a respectable woman, for once.

This post isn’t really about those guys I’ve had crushes on that were super intense until they weren’t because even from a young age I discovered I got disenchanted almost as fast as I developed a crush in the first place. This post is about the guys I have already dedicated posts to because if I’ve learned something about blogging, especially now that I have Thursdays to specifically talk about myself and my life, and not the other things that are external to me and that make up the content for all the other days, is that once I’m over something, I feel like talking about it. Maybe it’s the other way around, maybe I don’t write about something because I’m over it. There’s a chance that I write so that I can get over that. Like once the words have been typed, I am free because I got closure.

I know it might be unfair to put all these men in one single box, to strip them from their individuality. I once made a list of them. Then I had to keep modifying the list, adding names I’d forgotten about. Embarrassingly enough, sometimes I had to add “the guy from Tinder who liked football” because I couldn’t remember their names. Are there guys in the list with whom I’d still want to at least have occasional contact? Yes. I know I’ll get a few eyerolls here, but there are guys that are cool, that are good people. Yes, the circumstances for our paths crossing weren’t ideal, but if I were quick to judge them all as trash, then I would have to do the same with myself. And I think I deserve at least the benefit of the doubt.

Deleting Snapchat wasn’t an abrupt thing, you know? I mean, I did tell you about the series of events that got me to decide that. But even after I thought I was done with the app, I downloaded it again and found a couple of messages from guys. And so I was honest with them. I told them I was done the dynamic we were having. I didn’t tell them I was done with them, but I understood if they were done with me. I mean, if you sign up for French classes and in the middle of the course you’re told that you’re not getting any more lessons in French, but you could take German instead, you’d most likely want to quit and go somewhere that offers what you want.

I got surprising reactions from them. The one who I thought would understand got all upset. I thought he was done but then he sent me some weird topless pics. I say weird because he’d never sent me something like that. Two other guys were super cool about it. One was flirty and evoked things from our brief and dirty online past, but in a playful manner. He didn’t send any more pics or asked me. The other guy was kind of concerned because obviously we had had something going on and it was going to change. I told him I didn’t want to lose him and he said he didn’t want to lose me, but it was obvious things wouldn’t be as nice and seamless as they once were. And you know what? I was okay with it.

Yes, I know there are some guys I might not be over, but I’m over the way our…thing started. I’m over that period of my life in which I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about the things I was going through, about what was going on in my mind. And I’ve even been able to open up to one of those guys from the list about the depression and anxiety I was experiencing when he and I started talking. And I think that made him understand at least a tiny bit better why I wanted to change my way of doing things.

If there’s anything you want to give closure to, you can leave it in the comments.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

To All the Fluff I’ve Loved Before

To All the Fluff I’ve Loved Before

Hello and happy Wednesday. Number one, please dear teenagers who love Noah Centineo don’t come at me after reading this post because I was reading this series when you still thought boys were dumb, and number two, isn’t this title genius? Today I’m going to share with you my (probably very controversial) thoughts on Always and Forever, Lara Jean, which is the last book in the To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before series written by Jenny Han.

Right when I started reading this book, I felt like I was reconnecting with an old crush. I mean, I’d read the second book of the series a long while ago and kinda didn’t like it, but I also was expecting to see what happened in this one. I obviously already knew what was going to happen at the end, but I wanted to know how that happened. So, basically, like with an old crush, I felt that the spark was kind of still there, but trying to pick up where we’d left off was awkward.

I guess now I understand more that feeling, and it’s simply that I outgrew the book. I mean yes, I was like twenty or so when I read To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before, but beyond age, I’ve kind of grown cynical when it comes to such fluffy romance-filled stories. I’m still down for some love in my novels, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just not into the rose-tinted, cotton candy world where Lara Jean appears to live. And as sad as I am to say this, I think Peter Kavinsky’s character also got sort of “contaminated” by this fluff. I felt that, yes, I still loved him (like I still do most of my all crushes. No I don’t, I’m just kidding. Honestly.) but that he was just too loving and too caring and too perfect. And that’s fake. That made the conversations between him and Lara Jean just unnatural and scripted, like really the author wasn’t even trying anymore.

So yeah, I was totally disenchanted by this book. If we’re going to continue with the boy analogies, it was like that moment when I realized I no longer had a crush on a guy and all the stuff he did that I thought was cute became annoying. And I really had to make an effort at some point to continue reading, just for all times’ sake and in a way, just to “get it over with” already, but I’m telling you, it was hard. At times I found myself super bored wanting to read something, and I’d see that book and think “please, anything but this.”

One of the things that I maybe was more accepting of in the past but that I couldn’t stand this time was how Lara Jean referred to her mom and dad as “Mommy” and “Daddy.” You’re eighteen years old, woman! Grow up. Call them whatever you want but don’t refer to them like that. Please. And, on that note, I hated how childish she was, and how mean she acted towards Peter sometimes. You’re not in kindergarten, sweetie, you’re a senior in high school.

Also, Miss Han, and this is a favor I ask you on behalf of all the non-American readers you have out there. Please stop referencing Hamilton every two lines. You might get it, but we don’t, and we don’t have the time or energy to google them. Stick to something global, like Harry Potter.

Did you read this book or are you planning to? If/when you do, share your thoughts on it in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila