Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Metric system and Paris: That's just wise

I was reading a fellow blogger's post about what they would tell their 16 yr old self. Forgive me, but I forget who it was. If you know tell me so I can shout out.

Anyway, I can't just talk to my 16 year old because the rebellion started much sooner in my case.  While I don't believe in regret, I do believe that hindsight is 20/20 so here we go.

I'd first go talk to little Miss 3rd grader Rachel.  She refused to memorize the metric system.  I asked my teacher: "Why do I have to learn about meters if I use feet and inches?"  My teacher responded "In case you live somewhere else."  I replied, and I remember the exact moment as I was biting myself in the ass "Why would I live anywhere else?!" Well there you go little Miss 3rd grader Rachel. You live in Brazil. How do you like the metric system now?

Next is Spanish in the 8th grade. I was like, "Whatever. I'm an 8th grader. I'll do what I have to to get by. Why are people trying so hard?!" I got a C. Took me forever to learn crappy Spanish in High School. I didn't have that base for Portuguese. Hello 8th Grade Rachel, any 2nd language would have been awesome. Grow up.

I land in University and have credit to burn. I took 3 dance classes.  I so should have dropped one for a language or a history class. Maybe I could have taken cooking or geography. I don't know but 3 dance classes was a bit excessive, even though I burned so many calories that I could drink like a fish and eat like a sailor.  Hey, it was college.

At one point in University, my roommate bought a ridiculously cheap round trip ticket to Paris with a mutual friend.  It was something like $400 but I didn't have the money. She told me to charge it. I thought that was irresponsible. You know what, I still don't have that money around and I missed a trip to Paris with 2 girlfriends. Should have gone. College Rachel, don't save and go on trips.

Early 20s, I freaked out when I came to Rio and had to stay with my husband's Portuguese only speaking family. I was insecure and used it for evil instead of good. I was afraid that my husband of 6 months would decide we didn't match because I didn't blend right in with everyone and speak their language. To compensate, I shut off, pulled away, and argued with my husband. Yeah, that does not make things easier.  In retrospect I was crazy. At the moment I was just confused, sad, lost, and overly sheltered.  Learning is a bitch sometimes. Best to come into it with an open mind and thicker skin.

I also could have started to blog sooner! I have met so many people in my position now that I have a blog. It also works to start reading blogs. Get out there on the internet.  There are people in your spot, feeling what you are feeling. You just have to find them.

That's pretty much all I have.  I think that for 30 years, it's pretty damn good.  I've obviously made other mistakes in my life but I feel they were necessary. How else does a person learn?

Now the ones above, those were just stupid.  How about you, what stupid choices does your retrospect focus on?


  1. Yes on so much of the above! One other stupid thing I did throughout my teens and twenties...sun worshipping with baby oil (absolultely no sunscreen) and then during the cooler months, tanning salon. Bad, BAD idea. Stupid, stupid. Wish I could undo that one. Hindsight is 20-20.

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  3. talk about hitting the nail on the head.... I pretty much did the same thing. My spanish was terrible and i studied Chinese in college. So the language barrier was pretty intense for me. I shut myself off and started to fight with Ricardo. I didn't really cope, I just existed and let things happen.

    I hope that I become as well adjusted as you. Find more love for this country. I love the people, it's not that. It's foreign state of things for me.

  4. I don't know, while a language class might've been smart, 3 dance classes to allow you to eat and drink whatever you want sounds like a pretty good trade off to me...

  5. Fojoy - I like the way you think!

    Nina - You'll get there!

    Stephanie - I did the same thing! I totally forgot to mention tanning salons. ugggg