Book review

Hello peeps,

I’m in a coffee shop with a steaming hot cappuccino. It’s a foggy morning in Santa Cruz. Any friend will attest to how bonkers I am about fog. I can’t stand fog. I could go on and on and on about my fog grievances but will spare you.

Exciting news: I posted a video in FB about my book stack!! Might not be thrilling to anyone else but talking about my favorite writers made  me happy. If you like books please check it out on FB. I tried to post the video here but it wouldn’t load. Sorry.

Regarding mental struggles and suicide awareness, I’m brainstorming my next steps to continue the dialogue. I’ve made a career out of brainstorming (and procrastinating) so it could take me awhile to figure out. Stay tuned.

Ciao

 

 

University of Colorado

Last week, I flew to Boulder and spent the day with Rick George, the Athletic Director, and his staff. It was exciting to be back at my alma mater and I was given a tour of the many improvements since my time there (many moons ago). Some of the same staff remained and it was fun catching up with old friends and colleagues.

Most importantly, I was really impressed with the efforts of Rick and the Athletic Department to address all of the student athlete’s needs, whether it was to perform athletically and academically during college, or preparation for life afterwards.

On that note, I’m excited to work with the department to help address the mental stability of the student athletes while they’re attending the school. Rick has made emotional health a priority for all his student athlete’s and I commend him and his staff for their efforts.

https://cubuffs.com/news/2018/7/5/general-former-buff-cycling-great-furtado-wants-to-help-cu-student-athletes.aspx

Stay tuned for more updates about that…

 

Bizarre

Hmmm….

I didn’t think through my decision to tell my story very thoroughly. In fact, I didn’t pay much mind to the reaction at all! Impetuous is the word the comes to mind, as I tend to act before thinking.

It’s just starting to dawn on me that people’s perception of me has been altered dramatically, for better or worse. That’s a strange reality for sure.

While I was prepared to tell my story someday, the timing was dictated by outside forces and, honestly, I’m not sure I was ready to tell it.

One thing I want to make clear is that my “breakdown” happened over 3 years ago and I’ve been back to normal (well, more like abnormal!) for awhile now. I’m not sure that distinction is clear in the article, as I haven’t read the story.

(I’ve never read articles written about me in the past and am not going to begin now.)

Anyhow, my rash decision to tell my story seems to have resonated and helped lots of people so perhaps my naitivity was a good thing.

There’s another article arriving shortly so I’d better batten down the hatches!

Juli

 

Boulder

I’m at the end of 3 day stay in Boulder. Lots of memories here! I attended University of Colorado (yes, I did manage to graduate) and lived here for years before and after. Nice to be back.

I spent a day with CU’s athletic director, Rick George, and lots of the athletic staff. It’s unbelievable what the university has built for the student athletes. It appears that every aspect of a student athlete’s needs is addressed, whether it’s world class sport facilities, tutoring, sports medicine, or psychological services. The department sure has changed in the many years since I was a student!

I spoke with Rick about working with the student athlete’s emotional health and stability. We’re in the process of figuring out details but I’m excited to join forces with my alma mater. Feels like coming home.

I also perused the book store and bought a new book, The Wanderers. I’ve started reading but am unsure if I like the book. If I’m still ambivalent with another reading, it’s on to a new book!

After meeting with CU, I had a long interview with Joe from Bicycling. It was fun meeting him and I just rambled on about everything. I’m sick of talking about myself but I’ve only got myself to blame! Sometimes I do things (often actually) without thinking them through and anticipating the result. It’s quite similar to what a child would do. My friends sometimes say “what did you think would happen??!!”

Anyhow, I fly home today. Ciao Colo till next time.

I hope anyone reading this is doing ok this morning. Drink some strong coffee, read, pet at least 1 animal (even if you have to stalk them),  tell your kid/s you love them (if you have offspring), and laugh at something random.

As for me, I’m hoping to avoid being a complete a-hole at any point during travel hassles.  Fingers crossed!

Juli

 

Welcome

This blog has been mostly silent and unknown, per my fickleness. I created this site and wrote sparingly (to put it mildly) until the recent suicides. Even after writing the suicide post, I only showed it to a few friends. Why write something on a blog, meant to be seen, and not want anyone to see it? Welcome to my brain!!

So,  if you’re not my brother Thom or a few other folks, you’re most likely here because of the Dan Brown’s  article in the Mercury News.

Yikes! I was quite frightened to expose so much of my life but decided it was time. Indecision can wreak havoc on my life but I decided, awhile back, that I’d rather regret doing something than regret doing nothing.

How on earth do I follow up after the intensely private article?  Hmmm….

Well, I don’t even know why I started this blog in the first place! So I suppose I’ll keep on writing (a process I loathe) about whatever pops into my head.

Today I’m taking a break from me and serious stuff. Sorry if ya’ll were expecting heaviness and some type of insightful wisdom.

(Note to readers, expect much sarcasm, which is, as defined by Google, the use of irony to mock. I love to direct sarcasm at myself and my assumed powers. However, it can come off as egotistical because, while it’s easy to convey sarcasm and jokes in person, it’s extremely difficult to convey as an amateur writer.)

World Cup? Watching it? I kind of am. The highlights anyway. Pretty amazing stuff. The passion of the fans blows me away. The only time I’ve felt that, the feeling I’m going to die if we don’t win, was when I was attending Univ. of Colo and our football team was contending for the national championship. So all encompassing and thrilling.

Furtado is Portugese so I’m rooting for Portugal. Ronaldo is a master.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I’m pretty sure you can comment and I encourage anyone to share if they feel the need. I promise to read all comments.

Joke will be on me if I still only have 4 friends reading this!! ha

Oh, I have a Twitter thingy. Currently there are 6 followers. Yup. Would be cool if you followed me because I’d like to post random things but am slightly embarrassed to have only 6 people see it, yet alone read it.

@julianaf330

Juli

 

 

 

Suicide

How to start? Just write I suppose.

This picture is, from the right, my sister Gia, mother Nina, and myself. Today, I am the only girl/woman alive. Tragically, my mother and sister both committed suicide.

Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, can speak to what exactly drives a particular person to want to end their lives. All suicides are complex and involve particulars unique to the person suffering some unimaginable pain.

In my own family’s situation, my mother was clearly severally mentally ill. She had tried to kill herself both before and after having children. After one suicide attempt, she threatened to take us children with her and was institutionalized at the notorious Bellevue mental hospital. The trauma of that interminable stay, where my father was unable to get her released for months, lingered the rest of her life and stopped her from seeking proper help.

When my mother finally managed to take her own life, the news wasn’t shocking nor tragic. My mother suffered, most likely, everyday of her life and, while she tried to eke out a manageable existence, the efforts never satisfied and she was finally out of her anguishing pain.

While my sister Gia had a different life than my mother, the outcome ended in the same manner. My lone remaining sibling, my brother Thom, and I don’t have nearly as many answers for Gia’s death. Perhaps the saddest aspect to her death by suicide is that it didn’t come as a complete shock.

During our childhood, our mother had spoken frequently about ending her life and blamed us children for ruining her life and causing her to want to end it. Those “life lessons” from the person whose role is to nurture you doesn’t prepare a child to evolve into a healthy and fully functioning adult.

For myself, after many years of running away from my traumatic childhood,  I suffered a nervous breakdown and almost succumbed to what seemed an inevitable end to the women in our family.

Previously, many tools helped keep me going through the years: books, animals, movies, Seinfeld, outside success, music, and surrogate mothers (thank you Nina Thys and Jane Livran).  However, all those tools were temporary solutions and their usefulness weren’t proper defenses to deep psyche pain. As is patently obvious with the recent “celebrity” suicides that get massive media coverage (unlike the 45,000 per year in the US alone), standard success in the outside world doesn’t necessarily equate to inner emotional stability nor true happiness.

After a few years of rapid deterioration, I was able to get help and finally stopped running from the pain. For better or worse (definitely for the worse sometimes!), I’m an extremely stubborn person, and I was determined to give my son the opportunity to experience a healthy childhood.

While I don’t want to be an expert on suicide, I am.

My next post will be my thoughts about the current discourse regarding suicide prevention. I don’t have definitive answers how to slow down the rapid growth of suicide,  but our current suicide prevention programs aren’t working. I feel uniquely qualified (lucky me!) to offer suggestions, some of which are far outside current proposed responses.

At any rate, this has been a serious post so I want to end on a lighter note. My suggestion  is drink some strong coffee, get some exercise outside, read a good book, watch a funny Seinfeld episode, and laugh at one random thing today!

Juliana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oscars!!!

I love movies and the Oscars represent the best and worst of Hollywood. Truly, the entire evening is about money. Star power. Influence. Marketing campaign.

Still, it’s fun. I’ll never forget sour puss Denzel Washington’s stone face when he was barely made fun off. Buzz kill for that guy. Yuck.

This year, I’m not too excited. Based on critic’s predictions, Three Billboards will win loads of awards. I really liked the movie, although many people took issue with it. I’m not sure why they resented the movie but whatever.

I was so excited to watch the Oscars at a friend’s house but my son made some all-star basketball team and they now have a previously unscheduled practice during Oscars. WTF? When they told me about the practice, I expressed my shock, and said “BUT THAT’S DURING THE OSCARS!”

I said it as if it were the Super Bowl, which I guarantee these males coaches would’ve scheduled around. The Oscars? They looked at me like, who gives a crap?

Seriously, I think any person who has a kid automatically stops going to any movie that doesn’t involve some  inane kid’s theme.

Now, I have big dilemma. At first I said my kid would have to miss practice, which resulted in looks of horror. So that’s not an option. Do I pawn my kid off to another family and go to party alone? That would seriously bum my kid out. Record show and watch at home? That’s what my kid wants but, to me, BORING. Oscar’s are meant to watch with friends. I absolutely adore my kid but, listen, he’s 9 and does he care about making fun of the red carpet shinanagins? Movies about some water creature in love with a mute? Sour puss Denzel? Making dresses?

I think not.

Hmmm. I’m undecided. All options involve some sort of let down.

Damn.

Dumpster

It’s been rough couple days. You know when everything is difficult and it’s really, really hard to feel any happiness and hope is now where to be found?

Sometimes music helps. I often have songs that mirror how I’m feeling at that particular moment. Music has a way of touching the soul and can be so inspiring. Or bring you to your knees weeping. It’s fine line so best be prepared.

It helps when you realize life can be hard for everyone at times. That’s what music helps me realize. I’m so jealous of musicians. I feel their craft is “god” given and is such a gift. My dad was an incredible musician and I often wish I’d excelled in music rather than sports.

I know, I know. You’re thinking “it’s never too late!”

Trust me, I’m WAY too lazy to learn an instrument now. Don’t judge. Just being honest.

Kind of fun writing a blog that might be read by one person…my brother Thom again….and only if I tell him to read it. Ok, that made me laugh.

That’s another useful device to help escape blackness….humor. Thank Baby Jesus I was given ample amount of humor.

I’m going to find my song for the day. Perhaps I’ll share later.

Olympics

Sitting on the couch with my son Wyatt watching Py..C…ng. Does anyone know how to spell the name?

Wyatt and I have decided a few things:

Big air snowboarding is redundant. The  jumps look exactly the same as the event with rails.

99% of the music in skating puts us to sleep

Lindsey Vonn is awesome. Incredible talent combined with genuine sportsmanship.

Team relay short track skating is super confusing. We can’t comprehend how the skaters don’t collide every lap.

Bode Miller is best announcer at the games.

Adam Rippon rocks it.

We LOVE the Olympics!!!!!

Welcome to my musings

Hello all…..which probably only constitutes my brother at this point.

I’ve decided to write a blog that will resemble my brain. What does that mean you ask? Random, seemingly incoherent ideas, opinions, emotions, goals, dreams, politics, sports, tv shows, movies, books…

Better stop. As you can see, the blog will be about whatever strikes my mood.

So stay tuned and visit often if you seek an irreverent view on life and the world.