Hey Lane – ur book took some of my carioca time, and it’s perfectly fine, ty ty!

Hey Lane,

I really liked your book, “How to be alone“. I would give you tons of reasons and explanations on why I enjoyed this work of yours, but I’d rather tell you what happened to me yesterday. Then you’ll get the rest.

Yesterday I spent my full last 24 hours in Rio de Janeiro. I mean, my last hours in terra brasilis for this year. I’m planning to come back soon to this heavenly hell of a town, this tropical gem, this colourful cosmo of music, dances, and rhythms.

My name is Giulia Baldini – I’m currently pursuing a BA in Journalism and Creative Writing at Hofstra University – I’d like to get some experience and expand my writing skills – here are my samples – hope you like them – looking forward to reading from you soon – thanks (and I really mean it) in advance for your attention – best regards“. This is my life, Lane. Those are the common words that show up on the screen while typing an internship/job e-mail request. You might say “You’re just supposed to do that Giulia, you’re in college and you’re 21”, but honestly Lane. Every time I am looking for an internship I feel terrible/hopeful/dreadful and it all makes me…wonder my worth. Like, what the f*** am I doing? Why didn’t I just stay in Florence? I keep being rejected, rejected, rejected.

Rejection is not only at school. Oh no. It’s with those “friends” who only look out for me when I’m good. Those “friends” who enjoy seeing me being sad so that they can help and feel better for themselves. Those “friends” who see me “too white’, “too black”, or “not black enough”  or simply “not enough”. I guess I’ll never be enough, Lane.

So yesterday morning I woke up feeling all of this, because I was already thinking to get back to New York, to school, on campus, cold weather… I can’ stand the cold with no one next to me. Americans are so cold, Lane. I’m an afro-latina, Italian-Brazilian. We kiss, we hug, we cuddle. It’s in our DNA. And when you romantically love someone? We get touchy.  I do this thing called nose-nose, cause I always get my nose cold. And I love cafune’. But people just like sex at my age.

So yesterday morning, after my daily internship/job hunt, I cried. I cried because tomorrow I’ll be back to a place where there’s no family for me. It’s cold. People at my age just want to have sex, casual sex, the more the better, the more history you got, the cooler you are. Do you smoke? Do you act? Oh, you live in Brooklyn. Wow, you’re an artist. Hey, that’s a talent. Everybody is cool in New York. I am not, Lane. I am, but I’m not. Whatever, I’m cool af, cause I got my stories. Very dope and spontaneous ones. It’s me we are talking about, come on now. Is it ok to feel “ugh” sometimes?

My mom saw me crying. She hugged me. My mom loves me, Lane. I love her, Lane.

I told my mom the reasons I was crying for. I keep being rejected from jobs, people, and love, mom. I should kill myself. What if my friends don’t love me, what’s wrong with me? She hugged me again. She said my love is unique. My dedication and ethics are admirable. I’m super unique and I should suffer for that. Then I showed her for the first time a plan I got in my mind that I’d like to do after my graduation if money and luck and God wants. A relocation, an unfinished dream, a new scenario. She loves the way I love, as a woman, not as a mother. I started to calm down. I thanked her a lot, Lane. I do that in my prayers. I pray a lot. I pray for the people I love.

We went outside. We had a mani and pedi, and she dyed her hair. She looks cool now. My mom is cool, Lane.

After that, we went to Shopping da Gavea where we met my favourite fashion Parisian-Brazilian journalist’s mother. Oh Lane, she’s such a nice lady! We had such a nice time. My heart was so full! She gave me a book too! I was over the moon.

Then we visited the Instituto Moreira Salles. Such a beautiful space up there, Lane. So green! I have a thing for botanical gardens, outdoor museums, libraries… it reminded me of Miami I don’t know why… maybe it was the sun and the palms?

I thought about your book. “How to be alone: if you want to, and even if you don’t“. I don’t know you, Lane. Honestly, you might end up being a disappointment to me, who knows? I’ve been meeting so many fake people in New York, whose social media looks fine af but in reality, they are just snobbish, uncultured, and so full of themselves (not all of them. I’ve been meeting a good number of people who really are inspirational and smooth af). I’ve been reading your book like I’ve been dealing with my love/friendship/parental life: no attachment. I kept reading your book and I remember crying twice. 1. when I started it since I was on campus alone and hungry and I couldn’t get up from my bed and my roommate was in the room doing some noises and I just wanted to cry out loud. 2. when I read your vision and thoughts about love.

Lane, I’m a romantic bitch too. I like being taken care of, even though I know perfectly how to look out for myself. Yes, I get jealous if a friend replaces me or I genuinely miss my boyfriend if he’s away from me even if I know he’s good. Again Lane, I come from Italy and we’re sensitive. I got Brazilian genes, we’re dramatic. I enjoy myself as weird as it might sound. I also love taking care of people for love’s sake. I love without attachment, I want to see people happy. But I get sad when I know that they’re happy without me. Cause I feel terrible. I feel like I did something wrong. Then two seconds later I look at myself and say: no, I’m ok, I love to love and love loves me. I was born on Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’m cupid and I never knew it.

However, tomorrow I’ll be back in New York and I don’t know what I’ll feel. Definitely cold, which I won’t like it. But I’ll be back with another energy. And soo tanned (lol).

I’ll be back with another knowledge. I know that I will probably never be loved the way I’d like to be loved (so simple, but maybe it’s hard for people nowadays in a world full of sex, casualties, and not wanting to explore the world together) but I should keep living this life in order to see my dreams come true: me, my dog and my adopted daughter in a sunny home. Sure I would love to be loved by a man, but I will never (highkey) be loved by a man (or a woman). I will never be loved by lots of people (and that’s good, cause otherwise, I would be too fake. I’m selective, I get the best). I will never be perfect. I will never be just white or just black. But if I’m alone and I know how to be such, I know I will do what I most like to do: write, travel, live, and love – freely and unconditionally. So thank you, Lane. Your views, experiences, and feelings found a space in my spirit. My heart got full because yes! someone might be on my same page, wants to be loved in the right away, wishes the best for people, and writes, and loves love, and is weirdo and yeah, can you see my smile through these lines? 🙂

I must keep being my awesome self for my future child, the future love of my life,


PS: I’ve been hanging out and babysitting with tons of kids and toddlers. Aren’t they the love of their life, no matter what? I think that having and loving a child is such a beautiful thing. Children will love you as long as they are respected and taken care of. They love you with no attachment, they are free, they cuddle, they do nose-nose, they remind me of… me. I’m such a child,


PSS: After the Instituto Moreira Salles, my mom, aunt and I went to a Gin Tonic festival and danced a lot: fun fun! I lowkey love life, eh!,



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