As I was making the transition to Brazil, I started seeing a therapist to help with the inevitable challenges I was about to face. In retrospect, I probably should have hired a life coach, because I know now that my perception of a “therapist” is to “fix me” and my concept of “life coach” is a person who tells me to get my head out of my ass and pushes me to “move forward” and “open your eyes” and “try harder!” Could have come in extremely handy when I found myself lost in a tunnel at night in Rio de Janeiro. But. Hey. That’s what life is about, right? Trial and error.
I fired the therapist when I failed to make things work in Brazil. In my mind, she had failed to help me through my challenges. Didn’t matter she had only known me a few months. She was my scapegoat. And I was pissed.
A few months later, after my family, my best friend and my new boss picked me up and out of the gutter, I decided to return to Brazil, on my own terms, to face my fears head on. I called the therapist and asked if we could continue our sessions via Skype. This time, I was ready to take responsibility and explore the emotions I could not seem to manage when I got lost in that Tunnel.
We spoke every week for about 4 months. In the beginning, I asked her to give me homework, and it was amazing how much progress I made. She taught me how to “sit” with my emotions rather than trying to escape them. I was beginning to understand that even though I THOUGHT I was speaking my mind, like the big mouth Nuyorican Princess I was raised to be, I was a deaf-mute in the context of Brazil. My Portuguese improved. I made closer friends. I took responsibility for making my own adventures by traveling sola: to Paraty, where I went paddleboarding on my own and attended an amazing literary festival; to Buenos Aires, where the “Portenpiros” taught me how to tango dance late into the night … the therapist made me feel autonomous again…until I ran out of cash for her.
Therapists, life coaches, investors – all these people who help us to “level up” are freaking expensive. And I still had my film school loans to finish paying so I could no longer justify paying her – nor could I say I was truly autonomous if I continued my co-dependence on her. So, I did what any filmmaker does – I pulled out a camera and talked to it like it was my therapist. Much cheaper and isn’t a therapist essentially a mirror of you? Telling you the things you don’t want to see or hear because you are all up in your head, fantasizing about a reality instead of dealing with actual reality? And once I started going back to church, then I thought – talking to myself on camera is essentially speaking/praying to God. The therapist, the priest, the church counselor – they are all essentially trying to get paid to do what we can already do for free to find sanity in this chaotic world, right?
So, here we are. I’ve been confessing to the camera now for about 3 months. In an effort to help others who might be going through the same, I’ve decided to edit creatively and share. Welcome to the Femmebot subconscious.
Stay tuned for Session 2: