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The Bulldog and The Little Buddha or About Finding Friends in Unexpected Places

I call this photo “The Bulldog and The Little Buddha”. At first I didn’t want to post it because of my resting b***h face. My friend Levi took it unbeknownst to me and I was horrified to see what I look like when I meditate, when I’m completely relaxed, I had no idea. Especially compared to Bruna who looks like a porcelain doll. But we are who we are and this is what I look like when I meditate. You’re welcome. And you should know that even though I look like I’m mad at the world, inside I feel blissful. And I loved this morning.

In July 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, feeling lonely and heartbroken, I went to a birthday party. I didn’t expect anything. I wasn’t particularly good friends with the birthday girl. She was a friend of Metar’s, who is one of my best friends. Metar and I used to live together as roommates until he moved to Rio de Janeiro when the pandemic started. Karina was one of his friends that I got to inherit after he left. And four months after he left, I received an invite for her birthday party. Like I said, we weren’t particularly good friends. We only knew each other because of Metar and I was a little surprised to be invited to her birthday celebration, but I figured why not, the pandemic had me feeling super lonely, so I went.

I could not have predicted the outcome of this party in a million years. The people I met that weekend became my Brazilian family. We shared a love for music, the same sense of humor and the same idea of what it means to be a friend. We were in the middle of a pandemic, but we would meet up almost every weekend and dance together. We started a WhatsApp group together. They saved my life. Because of them I started learning Portuguese, developed a love for Brazilian funk and learned what a sarrada is. Just to mention a few ways in which they enriched my life.

One of my favorite things to do with them is spend the weekends at Felipe’s in Long Island. He set up his garage as an office, but at night, it turns into a dance hall. Somebody DJs, usually Bruno or Papa, we all come with overnight bags, planning to spend a night or two, and we live communally for the weekend. We dance the night away, go to the beach to watch the sunrise, pack up like sardines and sleep 3-4 people in a bed and on couches around the house, sometimes we barbecue or make a firepit and one of them plays the guitar. We talk and we laugh and we dance and we’re there for each other to celebrate or to cry together or to hug or hear each other out when we need one another. It’s almost been a year of our friendship and our bond growing deeper and I look back at how unassumingly it all started and how much they enriched my life and allowed me to enrich theirs. And my heart fills with gratitude.

This photo is of Felipe’s backyard, maybe 9 or 10 am, I already meditated earlier and was sitting on the veranda writing, when I saw Bruna come out and decided to join her for round two. See how she’s touching the grass with one of her hands to be in touch with the nature? I love that. I love her and her serene energy.

So what’s my point? Nothing, really. I wanted to share how much I love them and how we can form the deepest friendships in the most unexpected places and when we need them the most. My life is richer by a million because of them and I like to think that theirs are too because of me.

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