So here's what you missed on G: Rebranding


This post's title is a Glee reference. I don't know how else I can warn you that a mental breakdown is about to come.
Hey everyone, what's up? I know, I know. I'm disappointed at me too. When I first created this blog, I wanted to update everyone monthly and create a considerable reader base. Instead, I've kinda abandoned you when you barely knew me and spent the entire year of 2019 without writing a single personal essay in here. And when I come back, the blog has a new name and I have a bunch a new projects to announce? Who do I think I am?
I'm not trying to justify it but I had a pretty bad 2019. It was definitely good in some aspects but it was bad in everything related to writing (except I published another book that was more successful than I expected it to be, but that's besides the point) and I didn't write nearly as much as I wanted to and definitely not about the things I was hoping to write about. Now my relationship with writing is all screwed up and even though the work on it is making me feel better, it's a whole process.
I started 2019 working on my graduation thesis for my undergrad degree. In Brazil, almost every major asks for a graduation thesis and on my major I had the chance of either going full scientist and writing an academic paper about a journalistic subject or making a journalism related project, and then theorizing about it. I knew since my first semester I'd write a non-fiction book on journalistic style and then theorize about it, but I didn't decide what I would write about until my last year of college. Back in 2017, in the middle of the #MeToo movement explosion, we had a problem with a professor at my school. I ended up in the middle of a committee who was trying to investigate and officially denounce the cases, helping the victims find the right places to tell their stories to and help get the harassers to justice. It was highly stressful. The stories I heard made me so mad, I considered dropping out of school. We couldn't talk about them to anyone else and it was so frustrating to see how slow things were moving. Everyone was talking about it all over school and most of the stories came from the harassers themselves, since the victims weren't talking publicly to preserve their identities. Eventually, the story died out and the victims decided to pull back from talking to the police. I still couldn't tell anyone without it directly affecting the safety of the victims. Since "everyone knew", if I mentioned anything going on behind the scenes, things could get really bad. (For instance, what college student has the money to pay for a defamation lawsuit?). I decided to turn to the only person who it was 100% safe to talk to since she didn't know shit about anyone involved: Kira. She let me vent and scream and just be frustrated and then said it was amazing how I was treating everything professionally irl. That changed everything.
On mid-2018 I finally decided my non-fiction book was going to be a long report about victims of sexual harassment in universities in my hometown. I was supposed to graduate in mid-2019 and the grad thesis has to be presented in April. I started research, started grabbing all the information I could and started putting myself in the middle of situations I probably shouldn't have. I was angry a lot but it was a different kind of anger. It manifested as stress and stress triggers anxiety. I gained a shit ton of weight, my compulsive skin picking went off the roof, I couldn't sleep and then I slept too much. All my relationships were strained to some level and I was projecting a lot. I was terrified on a daily basis. I started officially writing the book in January 2019 and it was hell. I'd sit down and words simply wouldn't come out. I was scared I'd risk the victims lives, I was scared I'd fuck up their story. I would interview them and get my heart broken when they cried and then be scared I'd break their hearts if I didn’t write the perfect book. I was so close to giving up on journalism entirely.
Shit kinda got real in March 2019, when I decided to tweet against a professor who ended the internship project I was a part of in 2017-2018 and then created a new program where the interns didn't get paid. I had been vocal about it before but since this time it was on social media, he decided to create a Twitter account and intentionally misread something I wrote and threaten to sue me. I quickly showed him I didn't say what he was accusing me of saying and he then threaten to sue me for something else (that isn't a rights violation since Brazil was a dictatorship). That fucker still stalks my social media to this day (I blocked his profile but he uses his daughters' and he is such a moron he never hides his tracks) but even though I offered him my information so he could try and sue me, the lawsuit never came. He still sent his army of "I don't need to be paid, I study journalism for love" dumbasses to talk shit about me, so I ended up deleting the posts and making a written deal to never talk about that again until I graduated (which I did, seven months ago). That professor then banded with the professor whose harassment allegations inspired my book to try to fuck all my graduation plans, including try to stop my graduating class to graduate. Up to the day of the graduation, 20 minutes after the ceremony was schedule to begin, I still wasn't sure our graduation would go on. When I saw our diplomas get there, late, I almost cried (and I wish I could say all my fears went away but that's not what happens, is it?).
At the end, I managed to write the book and piss off harassers. I got the people talking about it. The harasser who inspired the book lost a council election e after the allegations showed up again a few weeks ago. The interns are now getting paid (even though it's only the interns the asshole wants). I feel like I did my job and what I wanted to do, but not without fucking up my mental health in the process. I'm now very sensitive to signs that I'm getting bad again and just very traumatized over men yelling at me and calling me bossy.
Last December, I got a good paying job thanks to my therapist, in a different town. The problem: I'd work with politicians. But the pay was so good, I decided to go. I went in with a communications project that was a dream. Complete, beautiful, well based. They said they were happy to work with me; they weren't. From day one, they tried to undermine my job for what they believed communications should be. It became clear they hired someone with a degree just so they could blame someone when shit got illegal. I still wanted to do the job, without letting things get illegal. By December 23rd, only 2 weeks after I started, we had a Christmas break that was supposed to end at January 2nd. The mayor was out of town so there wasn't anything for me to do, and I went to my hometown to spend Christmas and New Years with my family. I told everyone I would be back Jan 2nd and my boss said it was okay. The following Monday, Dec 30th, I got a WhatsApp message asking where I was, and when I replied I was where I said I would be, I got another text saying they wouldn't be moving forward with my contract. Apparently, the Mayor was suddenly in town and I was supposed to guess he’d come back early, and the fact that I didn't guess it, meant I was a bad communications advisor. Now listen, it's not like they wouldn't be renewing my contract or something. I was contracted for year and they decided to end it 3 weeks later because I didn't match their expectations. So you might be asking: is that legal? Yes and no. I haven't decided yet if I'm willing to sue because of the implications of suing a politician (I have 90 days to decide and my contract was cancelled on January 9th). On one hand, it might not lead to anything but an apology and it's a long and stressful process. Besides, they paid for my month of work so it's not like I have a lot of ground to sue. On the other hand, they did a lot of sketchy shit while on the process of letting me go. For one, they shouldn't have told me the contract was cancelled via WhatsApp, but through an official notification. And I was working at the city council and being paid with taxpayer money, but my boss did not like when I told him I ultimately worked for the people, not for him. After I left, they kept doing dumb shit too (I still follow their Facebook page) (I know, I know. I always tell my friends not to follow their exes and then I do this), and this has been having an impact on everyone's political career because they don't know jack shit about communications. So maybe I'll just let karma do its thing and see everyone who wronged me lose their jobs, come local elections this October. Again, I haven't decided.
Even though rationally I knew I didn't do anything wrong and I talked to a lot of people who assured me of that, and that working with politicians just sucks, it was hard not to feel like failure being fired from my first job after college within A MONTH. I felt like a bigger failure after things didn't magically start working out right after. Getting fired kinda woke me up in the sense that I should be doing what I love. If I'm going to struggle then it may as well be doing something I actually enjoy doing, rather than hating waking up in the morning. But then of course, things didn't magically started working out just because I loved them. And there was no switch inside of me that could make me magically ready to write again after how I felt last year. So I couldn't write, all my other plans weren't working out and the plans that depended on writing weren't working out either, because I couldn't write. I didn't write a single word professionally in January and everything was so shitty it started leaking on the other parts of my life too. In late January, I finally had a therapy session, after what felt like forever. We talked and we worked through things and she got me straight. She asked me to not do anything I didn't feel connected with and reminded me to ask myself why I'm doing everything I do. And this is why we'll talk about the good things now:


Keep an eye out for this image, you'll probably see it again later.

In the midst of it all, writing about, to or for Kira is what keeps me grounded. Of course I love writing about the people I stan. It feels natural and fun because it's something I genuinely want to talk about and it's something I know a lot about. Even if I have to do research, I enjoy every part of it. But writing about Kira is on a whole different level. Writing about Kira reminds me of who the fuck I am. There's a reason my own journal is filled with pages of her music, her set lists, theories about her future projects. And there's a reason most of my posts online are about her. Whenever things get confusing or scary, she is what I run to. The world could be ending and you couldn't tell because I would be posting about Kira and everything she deserves. There are levels to this: Obviously that's my idol, the human I stan, my main inspiration. But the way she supports me? I write for all of the times Kira told me "if anyone could do this, it's you"; for when she told all about me to a prospective employer and when I found out, she told me she would always have my back. When I intertwine Kira's career with mine it's because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have finished college or took the steps I've taken to become a music journalist. Because if it wasn't for the way she trusted me when I asked her for a interview two years ago, I wouldn't trust my own gut on things. Having someone you look up to support you is a very underrated feeling. Sometimes I'm still scared to let her down, I'm still scared of not being enough for her. Sometimes I still feel like she'd be better off without me annoying her. But it isn't the paralyzing fear that I have with other things, it's more like the reality of being human. Kira's love and trust doesn't make me feel overwhelmed, the way many things do. She doesn't make me feel like a failure, even if sometimes I do fail and she watches that. So I will never apologize for writing so much about Kira. Specially when writing about Kira grounds me enough to make me feel like a writer (and like an actual person), so I can write about all the other things.
In case you missed it, last August I met my angel of a soulmate while I was in the city of Los Angeles and its county. As scared as I was of that moment and as much as I wanted to throw up the whole time, I was immediately reminded of how real I can be with her. I honestly told her everything that was going on inside my mind on our coffee date and the fact that she is still in my life after that? Makes me happy every single day. 
I also met Natalia and Ruby from Bahari, as well as Sidney, who used to be a member of the band. I didn't write about it nearly as much for a bunch of reasons but mostly because last year half of my timeline decided they were Bahari stans and it made me so fucking jealous of them I simply stopped talking about them altogether. It was selfish as fuck and actually prejudicial for them. When it comes to Bahari it's hard to be okay with all of the people who weren't there on day one. So much has happened since I met them in 2016, so much we've been through and they've been through. And there's a lot I don't want to talk about because I respect them. A few months ago, I did a project with a few Brazilian Bahari fans and the group chat we used for it later became a community. I immediately realized I couldn't stay in the group as the first subjects were immediately things I talked to the girls about IRL and didn't want to talk about to other people. It's a very weird place to be in a fandom. I'm a fan but I actually respect these people as people and not just celebrities, you know? So everything feels like gossip, not a fandom discussion.
I met Ruby and Nat at an ice cream shop in WeHo and for some reason they were the only ones I actually ate around because I was less nervous to meet them. It was two days before the day I was supposed to leave, and I had gone through a lot already, so I was way more chill. Besides they were so sweet the whole time and made time for me on their way to the studio. They're two of the kindest most spontaneous people I've ever met and I was so glad to realize I made a difference in their lives. I refuse to let my pettiness get in the way of their success again. They deserve it too much.
With Sidney it was completely different. I had full blown panic attacks in front of her. Yeah, panic attacks, plural. But I also spent two hours with her and her dog Lemmy and we drove around Venice then walked around Venice Beach and saw and met a bunch of people and talked about everything. It was, and I cannot stress this enough, the best two hours of my entire life. The ways that healed me were so important. I used to think Sidney hated me, and up until the moment we met, I was sure she had several reasons to. But aside fromeverything we talked about, she let me hang out with her dog. If this isn'tproof she doesn't hate me, I don't know what could be. She also made one of my probably biggest dreams come true by giving me a guitar pick from the Revival Tour, one of the very few Bahari things she still had. That's my most sacred and valuable possession forever. As weird as it sounds, considering I had panic attacks during that time, if I could live on those two hours forever, I would.

When Sidney took these pictures she said my boobs looked amazing on them. She didn't lie
Every part of Los Angeles was a dream. And the best dream ever, not the crazy dreams I have all the time. I need some time to properly write about my adventures in the 16 days I spent there. All the amazing and slightly crazy people I met, all the places I went to, all the times I got lost, all the money I spent on ubers and most of all, the time I went to Irvine to see Ra Ra Riot play and almost didn't get back home. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. And even though I'm still paying for this trip and it definitely got me in credit card debt, all the times I freak out about money I ask myself: Was LA worth it? And the answer is and will always be yes.
So when my therapist asked me what made me feel connected, I had two answers: Number one was talking to people, meeting people, watching people, engaging with people. And having the freedom to do it in my own time. Number two was writing. As much as it didn't feel like it in January, as much as I couldn't see myself sitting down to write again, I knew that writing made me feel connected. Made me feel centered. So my therapist told me to do it for this reason, to listen to myself. To write about what I wanted to write and to only write if I was connected to it. At the end of the day, there was no reason for me to pressure myself into writing, if the result of that was nothing. I'd have to trust my gut and feel it for myself. So for February, I went to a completely different route. I listened to myself and took my sweet time writing. On the first day of the month I wrote more than the entire month of January (which was easy because more than nothing is anything), and was proud of myself even if I didn't finish anything. During all of February, it took me longer than I was hoping to finish most of the things I wanted to finish. But I did it. And that is more than I did last month. In the end, it's not how many sparkles there are that matters, it's how much they glow. (Don’t ask me what this metaphor was, I’m just following my gut here).
So I’m using the leap day in February, which means it took longer than I wanted, to introduce two new things: The first is the rebranding of the blog. As much as I loved Raindrop (and I’ll probably still use that name), "Queer and other theories" is a title that I've had in mind for a while and didn't know what to use it in. It feels more in accord with the name of my Portuguese blog "Quebrei a máquina de escrever" (I broke the typewriter, in English), even if both sentences have nothing to do with each other. Queer was the first word I used to describe my sexuality, a while before I was comfortable with bisexual and aromantic. Besides "Queer and other theories" comes off strong and already tells people what to expect (I hope). The second new thing is NEW NEW


INTRODUCING SET LIST
Set List is my new blog, but not a blog blog, a Patreon page. In it you'll find music, album and concert reviews of my favorite artists and also weekly playlists and interviews once I stop being a chicken and just ask said artists to give an interview. I'll be making exclusive content, constantly, all in English and all for you. Today the blog was launched with two posts: The 5 most influential albums of all times (it's not what you're thinking but it's exactly what you would expect) and a tiny review of Kiana Ledé's Mad at Me., which was the song that pushed this Patreon page into existence.

The thing with Set List is that I'm doing it with no big hopes or anything. Yes, I want to do a good job and yes I want to extend this work, but it isn't a page I want to do forever (like I want to do with this blog). It's more like me posting the things I know that have potential and being paid for it, until I can actually stablish my career as a music journalist and get paid for it full time!! This is one of the many things I wouldn't do if it wasn't for Kira’s support and if it wasn't for the way she loves me.
That being said, yes, all the posts are going to be paid for, weekly playlists included. The tiers start at 1 dollar because I know my public, even if Patreon says I should start at 3 dollars. I want you guys to be able to read what I’m writing. And if you don't have the money right now, you can pay for it in the future and it will give you access to all posts. Besides, I won't stop writing here or on The Wild Honey Pie (where a bunch of exciting stuff is about to happen yeee) (by the way, click here to read my only write up so far for them in 2020. There's another one coming next week, so stay tuned) and I will continue to pitch for other music websites. Set List is kinda like my side job and somewhere I am in control of the whole thing. It's going to be fun.
That aside, all that's left to talk about is Kat's Chronicles. In case you missed it, I started to post a translated version of my long story (that I don't really call a book) on Wattpad. I ended up not updating it for four whole months and everyone who was reading it has been so patient with me and I'm so appreciative of every single one of you. If you haven't read it, catch up because I'm coming through with new chapters and a post about the story in here super soon. Not giving dates because I don't want to fail y'all again but I haven't written fiction in a second, so my fiction muscles need some stretching and KC is perfect for it. Be sure to check all my socials (links on top, side and bottom of this page) to make sure you don't miss it.
And that's it. You've been caught up in my life and all the news I have. Any questions? For real, ask them!! I wanna know. If you don't want to do it publicly, email blogs@giuliasantana.com because I need to know. Let me know what you think about everything too! And tell me how you are spending Leap Day!!! I'm clearly doing all the new things.
Talk to you soon,
G.

Giulia Santana is a Brazilian author, journalist, fangirl and activist — but not necessarily on that order.

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