My modeling years (and shape) are way behind me. 

However, once I needed some extra cash and I started doing some simple modeling gigs in my free time (extra, photoshoots, etc.) in exchange for some additional income. 

Once, I went with a friend to this modeling agency. The lady was so mean with my friend (who is very beautiful) that I was not expecting much for me. What she told me, however, stuck with me ever since. 

"You’re too fat to be a regular model and too thin to be a plus size model", she said. 

Yes, I’m an “average sized woman”. Just that I’m also 5’11”, and that is far from average. 

What place do average women have in this “ideal” frenzy?

The immigrant superhero complex: Time to breathe and embrace “weakness”

I admit it: I’m a workaholic. I love my career, and I feel inspired and alive every time I sit down to work on projects. That’s what we would call a pre-existing condition.

Added to that, I’m an immigrant. And sometimes, we feel this need to prove what we are made of, the need to make it very clear: we can do this, and we can do it hard. 

However, sometimes it goes out of hand. Completely. And that’s when you realize you can’t pretend to be über human. You have to take it down a notch.

And I always used to tease my mom about this: her extremely high tolerance to pain and her constant working schedule. I grew up seeing this, and wanting to emulate it too, I guess, even if I teased her a lot.

I always recommend people, clients or not, to use the social media accountability power: we tell friends we are on a diet, thinking that their help and our accountability in front of them will make us achieve our goal. The same thing happens when you share your goals with your social media entourage: you feel supported, you are held accountable.

This morning, I went to yoga class before starting my daily routine. After half an hour of intense workout, I fainted, I lost complete balance and fell on the floor. Once I was there, I could feel a bunch of tears coming out of my eyes. I wasn’t able to control it.

My yoga instructor asked me what I felt. My answer was: I can’t control my body, I don’t have any control over it. 

I stayed on the floor for a few seconds, came back on my feet and drank a lot of water. All of this while still shaking. This was then described as an anxiety crisis. 

I’ve seen those before. I’ve seen how and why they happen. Yet, I never saw it coming for myself. I questioned my character, my strength. The shaky feeling stuck with me throughout the day, making me clumsy and disoriented, making me fail the most simple tasks, but I wouldn’t dare to talk about it with anyone. I was just too embarrassed to admit it.

Then I stopped being stupid and judging myself, after I saw this from outside, as if it happened to anybody else instead of me. I didn’t talk to anyone about this until I saw my fiance on the metro, when we both coincided on our way home, at the end of the day.

We are our worst judges. We don’t let a single detail of our actions escape without scrutinizing it. This is somehow good, but it can also be terrible.

And why would you tell this to so many people? First of all, because I’m relying on this accountability effect to get me back on track. Second, because I know a lot of people, immigrants or not, are putting a lot of pressure on their backs right now, and judging themselves if or when they collapse and feel their humanity ground them. 

I just want to hold virtual hands with all those who are pushing to the extreme, breathe and move on. Get back on track, keep dreaming, ground myself down on Earth and keep myself in motion while in balance.

We can do it. We will. 

Immigrant communication: The French journey

Recently, I took my Tefaq again as a precaucion suggested by my immigration lawyer after my (excesively) long and bureaucratic journey. My extraofficial half result improved from B2 to C1, which made me happy

However, there’s something about my French level that still frustrates me, specially while living in Montreal: I still don’t feel comfortable writing a blog in French.

I mean, I write in French, and I’ve worked a lot to improve my level. I write texts at the office and I’ve managed social networks in French, but I don’t feel comfortable enough to commit to a weekly scheduled blog as I do in English and Spanish. 

That’s why I came here today to commit, in front of those who read (or might read) this, to start a blog in French a year from now: November 27th, 2014. That’s the date.

For that, I have quite a few things to do:

- Weekly text writing and “Antidote class”
- Written French course next year
- A lot of French blog reading
- Search for a “support group” (or friend) willing to read monthly texts by me and help me improve my written French through “explained proofreading” (ergo, human Antidote) 

What else would you suggest?

More immigrant adaptation: The uncle reminiscence

Yesterday, when I entered the lobby of my building, it smelled like my uncle’s parfum (which, BTW, I don’t particularly like although I don’t hate it either)

He lived with us at my grandma’s appartment until I was 12. Then he moved out and started his family.

Everytime I had to work or study during the weekend and I arrived home in the afternoon, I knew he was visiting us since I arrived to our floor, because I smelled the parfum. 

So, when I entered the lobby, for just a second, I thought “my uncle is home” and set my mind to see him. It took me just a second to realize I wasn’t going to see him and start crying.

I held my tears, went upstairs and entered the appartment. Once I closed the door and sat on the stool right in front to take off my boots, I couldn’t hold it anymore. 

Sometimes, when you move to another country, you wish you could bring some parts of your life that you like with you.

Every second in Montreal, I fall deeply in love with this city, and I feel that one of the best decisions I ever took was coming here.

But I also cry when I smell my uncle’s parfum or when I spend an hour listening to the radio and that set sounding out loud is exactly the same my mom and I listened while getting ready every morning when I was at elementary school.

As I said, as an immigrant, even when you never, ever, regret your decision to leave, sometimes you wish you could bring more than a couple of cases with you.