Ten years ago, confronted with the premature decline of my production company, due to a false rumor (read post Lies that Destroy); and the fact that without the company I could no longer pay the rent, I got depressed. Not in a had-to-take-pills way, but in that underlying way that makes us uncomfortable enough to not be able to see our future.
When the holidays came, my ex announced that he would keep the girls for New Years’. It would be a first in six years! I immediately started looking for something cool to do. I ended up planning an amazing trip, with my very good friend Lia, to an island called Fernando de Noronha (Northeast of Brazil). Basically, paradise on earth. A cheap and perfect girlfriend getaway.
I needed and deserved it so much, but it would be the first holidays I ever spent away from my girls, and of course that made me feel sick. I had a major vertigo crisis just the night before leaving, my head throbbed as if it would explode with anxiety. Should I just cancel everything and get heavy drugs? Maybe I needed some prescription for my anxiety, after all. But then I thought about the island, the ocean, the sun – what could be better than this?
As I boarded that airplane with everything spinning around, I was already on the verge of throwing up. The flight was terrible, but as soon as I saw, from my small window, the tiny landing strip of the island, surrounded by infinite ocean and shinning sun rays, a sense of peace invaded me.
Wishing, not expecting
After two days in paradise, I was feeling much better. On New Year’s afternoon we decided to take the “last swim of the decade” – it would be 2010 in a few hours.
“Let’s regroup for a moment and reflect upon the last ten years,” I suggested, as we dove into the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
“Wow, ten years, I don’t even remember what I was like ten years ago,” Lia replied, trying to gather her memories.
“Close your eyes, you’ll travel back there. I am sure you will!”
Huh, I immediately knew where I was ten years before. It had been the famous Y2K Bug, and I celebrated at my friend Kana’s, in San Francisco.
“I was in a different incarnation,” she said. “Such a different person from who I am now!”
“That is also so true for me,” I reflected back. “I had no way of predicting that I would be a single mother of two fantastic girls today.”
“But you accomplished so much,” she pointed out.
Aa we sat inside the flat ocean many little fishes surrounded us.
“Indeed, I wrote and published a book – not one, but two; I had kids; I separated from the man I thought would always be there; I moved back to Brazil; I traveled like I had a bug in my pants; what else?”
“You swam with the sharks,” she said, pointing out to a small, cute white shark just by my side.
“Well, let’s see if I survive it to tell the story,” I laughed. The sharks of the island are known for not liking human flesh, since the place is a nature sanctuary with many fishes that are most likely yummier than us. Yet, I tensed up with the white fin almost touching my shoulder.
“How would you like to have the upcoming decade shaped out?”
“That’s a good question! I have an idea. Let’s make a wish. Just one, for the upcoming decade.”
“That this cute shark doesn’t eat me alive?” she joked.
“Oh, please, this puppy! Let’s try to figure out what really matters and how we can put it out there?”
“I know very well what I want. A son,” she said. My dear friend was pushing 40, and single.
“What will be his name?” I asked.
“Joaquim,” she sang, a beautiful melody for a beautiful name. “How about you?”
“I want to write my new novel and get it published!”
“What will be the name of your character?” she righteously asked.
“Joaquim,” I said, not kidding. It was just a crazy coincidence but that was the name I had in mind. And the fact that she chose it only validated my choice. “If you allow me?”
“That will be an honor, my friend,” she replied.
We got out of there safe and sound to join a New Year’s party. Dressed all in white, as the tradition of our country, we danced, hugged and celebrated.
One year later…
On that hot December 31st of 2009, during the hours we spent in the warm tide, our wishes seemed pretty impossible… but we believed, and we put them out there with true and heartfelt intention. We let them fly, no obsessions. We would do our parts, and let the universe perform its huge role.
Fast forward to December 21st, 2010, when I signed the contract to publish my finished epic novel, Book of Joaquim. And to December 31st, 2010, when Lia gave birth to her adorable Joaquim, just minutes before the end of that year.
And yes, those are all real facts.