Monday, 20 July 2015

A Hopeful Wanderer

Dear friends,

I've had one hell of a year. As I sit on my bed on my first day of holidays, with my laptop on my legs, I can't help but to feel like I've changed a lot.

I started this blog, a year ago, in an attempt to document the adventure that was entering college. It was a way to find myself (no pun intended) through writing and sharing details of my life with anyone who was willing to read them.

Even though I ended up not writing as much as I initially intended to, it was a really enriching experience and it helped me figure some things out. For example: I love to write. I love to read other people's blogs and build this invisible connection with them. I grew an immense love for photography.

I love STORIES. I am a story-listener and a story-teller. I build connections based on stories. I may not let people know how much I care about their stories (introvert problems), but I do. I love to write my own stories, and photograph the stories I witness.

There's another thing. I feel like I'm changing seasons. This year was an immense autumn - a season of transition, which just so happens to be my favourite. I lost and found friends, I created new interests, I grew into a completely different person than I was last year. It hurts a lot sometimes that I don't recognize my life anymore. There are days when I wish I could go back and pick my "old" life from where this new one started. There are tears, and heartbreak, and yelling and punching stuff.

Today, I'm glad I changed, because now I feel like I can be myself, no matter what.

After a lot of thought, I decided to re-start my blogging adventure. I have more of a vision now - I want to tell stories, hoping that somewhere, someone will relate to them and let them fill them up with hope. I want to be a hopeful wanderer who finds beauty in the dusty corners of people and the world.

So, if you wish to continue to follow the stories of this 19-year-old mess, you can find me at!

Lots of love,

Monday, 4 May 2015

where am I?

It's been literally AGES since the last time I wrote a post in here. My last one was after my finals, if I remember correctly. Almost a whole semester has gone by ever since. 

I won't have any classes this week because of my city's universitary celebrations, Queima das Fitas (I will talk about that later on!), so it will be a good opportunity to unwind and organize myself before I start hardcore-studying for my finals in June.

It's also a good time to review my first year as a university student - which has flown by - and I am absolutely positive that I'm a whole different person than I was only nine months ago, when I started this blog. 

Finding Mariana seemed a fitting title when I started, because I was only a scared girl who thought she was going to have to become all grown-up and mature in a matter of days. 
I remember my first days at college: I was trying to act all opinionated and adult, in a most ridiculous fashion now that I think of it. I felt really uncomfortable at first, as I'm not a natural extrovert even though I talk a lot! It was really scary, especially because I could see that my high school friends were forming new groups at their schools, and I felt quite alone.

However, the ways of life brought me close to some of the BEST people I could have asked for! I found out that most people in there are really nice. Not only nice, there are no words. People were genuine, friendly, helpful, never denied me some company. I found many friends with similar tastes such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones! It was really different from high school, because there were no "cliques", no "trying to fit in", no "trying to impress". Having lunch with my classmates, studying with "random" people in the library, being in the body of students of my year, chatting during boring classes, lab days, studying Anatomy in despair, Thursday night dinners, even some crazy parties... all those things have brought my love of people to a whole new level. 

High school seems like another life right now. Even more because so many of my closest friends have stepped away from me. It hurts me a lot to see that happen, but... I guess that's life. We're all growing up in different directions and we can't all tangle our lives together. 
I am so. incredibly. thankful, however, for those of my friends who have stayed. It's been an incredible blessing to see our friendships grow despite the physical distance and our different paths. I feel really happy that there are people who care about me, and it's fascinating to see them grow up and build their lives as I am building mine. I am incredibly and extremely proud of my best friends for the people they are becoming.

Through all these changes, my boyfriend has been my biggest support and my anchor. He is always there for me even when I'm grumpy and moody and sad and stressed. We've come so far in the year-and-a-month we have been together, and I couldn't love him more. It's also a blessing to see him grow up with me and I surely hope we can continue to evolve together.

I have grown up so much, and I barely noticed it. It's kinda spooky. I run my errands all by myself now. I manage my own money. I have a way better image now of what I want to do with my life. I want to be around people as much as possible; I want to help improve their health by changing lifestyles. I want to travel the world, and to offer myself to help others, and to research the cure for cancer, and to do surgery on brains and make people happy again.  I want to get married, have a pretty apartment and a dog, I want to be a mother. I want to follow the path God is driving me into. I want to live a life that I'll be proud of when I'm old.

So, this is where I am. Have I found myself? Not completely. But I'm getting there.
Here are some pictures that describe my year:

I discovered the power of sushi... well as Game of Thrones
I spent a whole day in a lab which was a lot of fun!

I love my uni sweater!

Piano - my #1 creative outlet!
I fell even more in love with my city this year!

In this day, two of my new and lovely friends and I shared a vegetarian meal, went by the seaside and rented some bikes!
My boyfriend and I celebrated our First Anniversary on April 4th!
This is a very very happy and hopeful me! I might not be this bubbly all the time, I can be REALLY stressed and moody.
But I'm on my way to happiness!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Back on Track

After SURVIVING my first college exam season, here I am, back on my dusty corner of the Internet!

I'm very happy to announce that I passed all my exams! Even though I lived pretty much isolated from the world for a little over a month, thankfully, it was worth it!

Here are some of the things that have happened while I've been gone:

- Christmas: my FAVOURITE day of the year, and this year was no exception! I got to hang out with my dear family: we sang, ate, talked, drank tea... and my older cousins, my sister and I dressed up as Santa and his reindeer when the time came to give the presents. It was so much fun!

my seat at the Christmas table!

- New Year's Eve was kind of a rough night: it was REALLY cold, and because the transports were a mess, I couldn't arrive downtown in time to give my boyfriend our first new years kiss. It made me really sad that nothing went as planned, but unexpected things happen and we have to bear with them!

- In January we threw a surprise party for my best friend. Her face when she arrived to the restaurant and saw us there with lots of balloons was EPIC!

- I started to take driving lessons and I found out I LOVE to drive. Seriously. I've loved cars ever since I was a kid and I'm very happy to get to drive one!

- After weeks of study I had my exams week: it was nerve-wrecking, but everything turned out just fine!

- Now I'm on holidays and it's a season of rest. Most people are still taking their exams, so I spend most of my time alone watching movies, TV shows (Gilmore Girls being my favourite) and reading books (I'm reading Alan Turing's biography right now).

- However, last week I had a great day! My college buddies and I had lunch at a vegetarian restaurant (which I had never tried) and then rode bikes by the sea. It was amazing and we saw the sunset like I pictured it in the first picture ;)

How have these past few weeks been going for you?


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Celebrating Advent and Christmas

just a detail from my Christmas tree!

This month's prompt for The Peony Project's linkup is Advent.
As I may have mentioned earlier in my blog, Christmas is my absolutely FAVOURITE time of the year! I just love putting up my Christmas tree, curling up by the fireplace watching Love Actually while drinking an enormous cup of tea, and buying presents for the people I love the most.

However, this year, Christmas won't probably be nearly as magical as it usually is. My exams start on the 5th of January and I would really love to pass them... so I won't be able to spend as much time doing that kind of stuff as I always do. Also, money is kind of tight (university life, yay!) so I can't buy as many gifts as I want to.

This has made me think: I haven't been focusing on the right things through all these Christmases (is that a word?). I think it's very easy to forget what Christmas is all about.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, who came to rescue us from our own darkness. It's a celebration of hope for better days, because we are saved - we just have to follow that light. It's also a celebration of love, because there's no bigger love than the love God showed for us by giving his son to the earth. So, instead of focusing on material stuff, we should put ourselves out there and give more this season! I know this sounds kind of 'obvious', but when I look around, it's not obvious.

I must confess that a part of me is sad because I won't get in the 'spirit of Christmas' like I was used to. 
But, if that means I will enjoy my favourite holiday in a more genuine, thankful and generous way, well, that can be a good thing!

I shall end this post with a quote from my favourite Christmas movie, Love Actually:
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed— but I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of those phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love.
If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around."

So, this season, let's spread the love all around! Let's look at the true meaning of Christmas and bring that love and hope to the people around us who need it most.

As I've referred earlier, this post is for The Peony Project's monthly linkup!
The Peony Project is an amazing community of women who love blogging, Jesus and each other. If you are searching for that kind of community, you're always very welcome!

Mariana ♥

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Taking Time

In my actual season of life, it's been really easy for me to feel overwhelmed with anxiety. So much to do and so little time.

The solution I found may seem kind of weird, but it works!
I find it necessary to take more breaks and enjoy the moment. It may sound like a contradiction: 'so you're feeling overwhelmed? taking time for yourself doesn't sound like a wise option'.

But taking a break doesn't necessarily mean procrastinating for an hour, sleeping on top of my books, or lying on my bed staring at the ceiling and wondering what to do with my life.

Here are some of the breaks I get to have, and that make me feel better when I'm feeling stressed or depressed:
- Having lunch with my friends from college at the mall.
- Seeing my high school friends, who are 'the family that I chose and that chose me too'. They can always make me feel like myself again.
- Marveling at nature: near my faculty the trees have such beautiful colours and I can't help staring at them, trying to capture the moment. I also get to see beautiful rainbows sometimes, like in the picture below!

- Fridays, after my WORST class of the week (with my terrible Anatomy teacher who terrorizes me and makes me feel completely anxious and stupid) I have the BEST time of the week with my boyfriend. We get to do lots of fun together and it feels like home to be with him! (I won't get extra cheesy, even though I could)

How do you take time for yourself during stressful times?


Tuesday, 4 November 2014


The prompt for the first Peony Project link-up is Community. It's kind of a 'free' linkup, there aren't many rules, so I will basically start by defining what community means to me.

Community happens when people come together and unite their efforts towards something. It allows us to experience new perspectives, to learn new lessons, and most importantly, to create relationships which will make us feel less lost in this big world.

Friendship, for example, is a form of community - and, now, I will share the story of how finding a group of friends I could relate to changed my life.

I've mentioned that my early teenage years were a difficult time. I spent a lot of that time inside a funk and without considering getting out, but my two best friends kept throwing me a ladder and offering me their help to pull myself together. 

Things changed for the better when I started high school. You know the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower? (It's my favourite of all time, by the way). I was a wallflower myself, but a very lucky one, because, like Charlie, I found the most amazing group of friends ever. 

Even though I already knew some of those people (including my best friends), I finally understood that I was not the only one who was hurting. I started having REAL conversations with them, about the good and the bad, and feeling like somebody thought like me helped me a lot. Despite all the fights and tears, I felt like I belonged somewhere. 
I learned so incredibly much about myself and about the good and the bad there is in people.
I learned to hug and be hugged, to have the courage to express my problems, and to do my best to help out my friends in the hard task that is growing up. 

I am so incredibly grateful for that experience of community.

Now that I'm in college, it's way harder to stay in touch with these incredible people. But it's necessary to me; so I try my best to call and have meals with them whenever I can!

I'm also meeting a lot of new people at school, and I'm starting to form a really nice group of friends. We usually meet at lunchtime and have amazing conversations. Hopefully we'll also be able to form a  lovely community together :)

In the online world, I am also a part of a community! 

"The Peony Project is a community for women who love Jesus, love blogging, and are looking for a common space to share ideas, encourage one another, and make real, honest friendships with one another."

I was barely a blogger when I joined The Peony Project. I'm still a baby blogger, but these ladies have been helping me a lot with making my blog a space to express my thoughts and beliefs! But The Peony Project goes way beyond just blogging: those amazing women pray for each other, share their worries and concerns, and I feel close to their hearts even though I live so far away from them.
If you relate to the sentence above, please click the link and join; I'm sure you won't regret it!

What does community mean to you?


Monday, 20 October 2014

Stuff I'm Thankful For: Strength for Tuesdays

Tuesdays are the hardest days of my week - eleven hours at college, and the only break is lunch time!

(this is my second home right now)

My average Tuesday starts with waking up at 6:40 and rushing to college to start with Anatomy at 8... and it ends at 8 pm, with me landing in bed, exhausted, after my nerve-wracking BIDS class (it's basically building data bases and stuff like that)
It's obviously not my favourite day of the week, and every Monday night all I can think is 'I can't believe I'll go through a Tuesday tomorrow'. But then I remember: that's not good. There are good things in Tuesdays and I know I can make them great days!

Every Tuesday, I'm thankful for:
- another day when I have the chance to study what I love the most. I am so very much in love with my degree, even the hardest parts of it!
- lunchtime, when I get to eat delicious food at the mall nearby and spend two hours hanging out with my new friends! 
- getting to know people at college better. I spend a whole day around my class, so there's a lot of time to figure out those new people!
- going home feeling physically and psychologically drained, and knowing that I'm giving all of me so that I can be a doctor someday and help people.

What makes you thankful in your hardest days?