View from my desk in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Lívia Campos de Menezes.

About a year ago, I made a pact with myself to start writing a blog. At that time, I said that I would create short essays about the shows and films I’m constantly watching (because, yep, I watch A LOT of stuff). Well, in the end, I didn’t follow it through. The blog ended up never happening, and to me, that was a disappointment and a confirmation of failure. For a long time, my pattern has been to fill my schedule with things I do for others, without leaving time to perform tasks that I should do for myself. Having discovered earlier this year that I suffer from anxiety makes me understand this need to escape from myself.

Well, yesterday, I attended a Creative Mornings workshop, where I learned about a writing group that meets every morning. People come together, through Zoom, to push themselves to write. This time together is their accountability to keep up with the work.

I’ve always loved writing. As I grew older, though, my career put me in a space where writing should be precise and concise. As a result, I cut the wings of my imagination. Every time I sat down to write anything, I ended up writing nothing because I kept going back and revising paragraphs, thanks to my struggle with perfectionism and self-criticism.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash.

The first draft always sucks. Although my rationale seems aware of that, I’m constantly afraid of writing something that will be judged as bad, which has paralyzed me. This fear has put me in a state of mind in which I feel comfortable with my safe zone. I often say that I prefer to improve other people’s writings. Which is not a lie, but it’s also half true.

Writing used to be my way of putting ideas out of my head. It helped me to dream about something bigger than my ordinary world.

Now, why I’m not writing in Portuguese since this is my native language? Amazingly, I sometimes feel better when I write in English. Actually, thinking if I should write in English or Portuguese didn’t make me do anything. So, this morning I decided. If it is English that my inspiration comes from now, it is in English that I will write. And you know what? I must write in the language I want, and nobody has anything to do with it.

Then that’s it. This is a bilingual space. I will write about topics that interest me in the language in which it is easier for me to express myself at the moment.

What subjects do I intend to write about? My anxiety, my creative ideas and perceptions, my opinions about movies and TV shows, and, of course, my travel adventures. I intend this to be a fun space for myself and an exercise on my self-exploration. If someone wants to read it, they are free to do so. If no one is interested in that, no problems at all.

So, to start, I want to talk about a show I would like everyone to have the chance to watch.

Taste the Nation, a show hosted by Padma Lakshmi, is an amazing and interesting way to discuss culture and social issues through food. By traveling to several states in the USA, she brilliantly exposes how this country breathes and lives due to the work of its immigrants. It is sweet to see on the screen how this country has a diverse cuisine and how ridiculous it is to try to deny space to the immigrant communities that carry this country on their shoulders.

Photo by Hulu.

In her show, Lakshmi visits the Native American cuisine — the first and only real “Americans” — as she tastes the food and culture of African-American, Indian-American, Chinese-American, and other communities. This is a clever way to work on the program’s thesis that there would be no USA as we know it were it not for the immigrants and refugees that shaped this country.

In a crazy year like 2020, Taste the Nation is a gift. If you want something fun and meaningful to watch these days, look no further. Plus, the show is a wonderful way to celebrate the presidential race’s recent results.
The entire first season is available on Hulu.

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