“ Inside Nanda’s Mind “

 

 

 

            First of all, I know that most of you must already know my whole life and  who I am but just in case you missed something, or in case we have never met before, then, I will add here some life history of mine. I hope that once you got to know me a little better you will be able to understand why I made this website and why I mention certain things here, because in the end it is all about what is ‘Inside Nanda’s Mind’!!!

 

I was born on January 28th in 1983 (yes a true Aquarian) in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was raised there until I was twelve years old. After experiencing a very hard time at the hospital with an appendicitis that was not diagnosed in time and leaded me to risk of life at the age of twelve, my parents decided that life was way too short to spend more time worrying in such a big city like Sao Paulo. At that same year (1995), my parents, my brother (who is 2 years younger than me) and I moved to a small town in the country side of Sao Paulo State called Ourinhos.

 

There, I had freedom to go to school, to play on the streets with my friends, to go to the club to swim and play handball, to go visiting my friends, and every thing else I wanted to do on my own, without having to worry much with violence and all those other things we worried when we lived in one of the largest cities of the world (Sao Paulo).

I do not know if I had stayed in Sao Paulo I would have ever had the opportunity of having such a great teenager hood as I had living in Ourinhos. I figure that I probably would not. There I lived short but still intense five years of my life. I met friends for a life time and I shared memories and experiences that would change my whole life even if at that time I did not imagine it would affect me that much.

 

At the age of fourteen I became a Hanson fan and along with that, I did not only became foolish and spent my free time on spending my parents money with worthless things like buying magazines, merchandise, fan club submissions, internet (to be virtually connected with the Fan community), sound and video equipment to record songs and TV shows with my favourite band on it, and so on. No! In fact I did much more than any other non fan person could have ever imagined of doing. I made new friends (yes real ones), I found out what I was capable of doing and I learned how to go for my dreams. Guess that up until that time I did not know much of life, dreams and how hard it would be to make every one around me believe and support me for whatever I might have wanted, even if that sounded the craziest thing in the world (And well, I guess that being a bit obsessed at the time did not help me much to improve the image I had when I was serious about a goal!!!) . 

Being a Hanson fan made me acquire so much more than a Cd or a new video on Mtv. I acquired knowledge, I learned with every single little thing that was Hanson related. In my imagination I travelled the world with them getting to know every single fact of a place they had visited, I immersed myself in English and American culture, so much that in 2 years I was speaking English fluently and was more than ever obsessed about living in the USA ( I might add I must have gotten this obsession with my uncle in our long time conversations when I lived in Sao Paulo and had no conscience at all about Hanson’s existence. Although I would always hear during my teens and many years later that Hanson and USA dreams were completely related I reassure you that is was not.)

This way I can surely say that there was a Nanda before Hanson and another after. I do not know and I could not ever imagine how my life would have been without Hanson. I probably would have done fine, I would have gone with more difficulty to find out what I wanted to be and study, I would not have as many important memories and experiences that could have affected me spiritually and mentally, saying that I would probably be much weaker  and would not have been able to find my own way through the crowd. But after all, I guess I would have survived just like most people do. That is what they do: they just survive.

 I certainly have not only survived, I loved, I had a wish, I had a lesson about how to live passionately, I suffered but still I compromised, and in the end I know I did the best I could have done and I was able to achieve what I first wished for enjoying the simplest things of life.

 

In 2000, business was not going that well for my family and keeping in mind that in the next year I would be leaving home to attend University, once again, at the age of seventeen I moved out along with my family to a slight bigger city in Parana State called Maringa.

There I finished the last months of high school and successfully passed the test to enrol  Maringa’s State University at a very nice and high classification. I should say that most people in Brazil take many of those tests and fail because of the competition and the high number of people trying to take a place in the Campus.

Right at the beginning of the Year Course, I had the opportunity to enrol in the Aupair program: an intercultural exchange program which consisted in young girls from all over the world with a certain level of education that would be interested in spending one year with an American family receiving board and room, college courses paid and transportation while she would have to baby-sit for the family at a maximum of 45 hours per week. Knowing that I would have done anything to achieve my greatest dream I did not only think once and grabbed this opportunity with all my might. Guess is useless to say that in the next coming months I had to go through all the process to fulfil  the Aupair Program’s need. I had a big hand from my dad with driving lessons and was able to enrol and pass my driving test right when I had turned 18. Everyday for during two months I would go to a childcare place as a volunteer so that I could fulfil the hours and experience with child that was needed (Believe it or not, until that time I had no wish to deal with little kids and was completed uncomfortable around them.).

 English and psychological tests, criminal file, files from college and high school, visa application, letter to my host family, pictures etc… It was a very selective process which took a lot of time and brought me a lot of flutter in the heart every time I stepped forward. Meetings with ex aupairs and the thought of a dream becoming reality was all I lived on that year. Needless to mention that although I was still enjoying every moment of my university status and new lifestyle becoming more and more of an adult than a adolescent, I did not take college as serious as I would have done if I knew I was going to stay and finish the course.

My decision (much influenced by mom) was to go for a year in the USA, take a break and come back to college. Unfortunately things did not go as planed (as usual) and with the Professor’s Strike at the end of that year I was not able to finish my school year which was postponed to a time that I actually should have been in America. So I took a big breath and decided for what was more important to me, which with no doubt, was going to the United States of America!

 

         On January of 2002 I was finally letting myself free of my childish way of living when I got on that airplane at that night. Only now I see why I started to cry as badly when I said goodbye to my mom on the airport: I was not only saying goodbye because we were not going to see each other in the next 13 months, but because on that night I was letting behind Nanda the little girl, the one who lived with her parents needing them for everything. I was stepping in another life, in a far away country with another culture and language (for my choice of course) and for the first time in my life I was alone deciding for myself. It is not like I was completely alone though, I had always my family in my mind and in my heart but I was just there with nobody else around to comfort me and to tell me what to do. So that night, those tears were tears of goodbye for I was changing from a state of spirit that was now evolving, and at the same time were tears of happiness for I was fulfilling my biggest dream. 

 

         Mr. Fate once more made everything right so that I could have met the right people at the right place at a right time, this time, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. I had the best host family I could have ever wished for with two little kids that taught me so much that I swear I loved them (and I still do) as my own children. And in fact, that is what they were, my two adopted American boys: Alex and Noah. As if that was not enough I had the opportunity of making friends from all over the world that would be there for me at every time I needed them, proving to be friends for a life time even and specially after this American experience.

Chicago, in general is an incredible and powerful word to me. It does not only mean the windy city (which is indeed an amazing place to live) is a  way of living, the most precious memories I have collected, my own development into a better person with many internal changes, my experiences and all those things I know that no one will ever be able to take them from me. That is why I am normally so passionate about that city and that is why sparkles in my eyes are the least you can notice every time I recall some of those memories. Funny how dreams normally last just seconds and this one lasted for 13 months. I will never be thankful enough for that and for Hanson in my life.

 

         While I was living in the USA my parents business in Brazil were going worse and worse until it came to a point that they had to do something. They needed to make a hard and very important decision about their lives. Knowing we had basically lost everything (economically) they decided to move and immigrate to another country so that they could still save some money and try a better life. Just by destiny, once more, they ended up in the right place (at least it sounds like it to me) in the south of Italy.

 

         Back in Brazil on February of 2003 I had no doubts my life was going to be hard now that all I had to come back to was a house with my brother. All the sudden it felt really weird coming back to a home where was not like my home anymore and somehow I felt like I had lost my ground.

 I had a very difficult time trying to re-adapt myself into my own culture (See, I had even forgotten my own language: Portuguese). I was really homesick like I was never before but luckily I was able to listen to a very simple, true and deep advice from a person I estimate so much (my English teacher Jennifer). Quoting her ‘all you want/need me to do is to repeat what you have already decided in your heart so that you will know you are not wrong of doing it. You already know what you want!’. She was so right, although I seemed quite lost not knowing what to do, in my heart I had already decided what I wanted to go for. After talking to my parents on the phone and having convinced my brother who lived with me in our house in Brazil, we started to prepare everything for our transfer to Italy too.

 

It took us as quite as seven months but finally on October of 2003 my brother and I were arriving at the Naples airport to meet our parents who were living in Caserta in Campania region somewhere between Rome and Naples. There, we have been living until now (December of 2005). Very many important changes happened here too: I learned one more language and culture, this time the one that I was already supposed to know if my Italian great grand parents had decided to pass their culture to their children. I learned how to re-start again, how to never give up on my dreams, how life is crazy and takes us to the most strangest places and there magical things might happen too (my Meet & Greet with Hanson and the many opportunities I had to meet, talk and see them as I never had before in Brazil or even in their own country in the USA).

 

Sad things happened too, some big changes to our lives, like my parents divorce in 2004. But in the end I guess that all those things were not that bad at all, at least not when we all have learned how to deal with life and its changes. Most of times changing scars us. It is a normal thing being scared of the unknown but once you get there is not that scary anymore and things become just as normal as if nothing had never changed and you feel a bit stupid for being scared of something that in the end was that simple.

Guess that it all depends on how we see life and let time heal our wounds patiently, knowing that one day only scars will be seem and the pain will be gone away.

 

At the end of 2005, dad returns to Brazil as requested of the Italian Federal Police. Knowing our rights, we file a process against my father’s expulsion of the country and win it. At the same year my mom, brother and I make an amazing trip throughout Italy, Spain and France.

 

On January of 2006 my father returns to Italy having the possibility of filing his citizenship papers in Caserta. On March of 2006 destiny helps us again and after so many sacrifices, my dad’s citizenship process is finally over. At the same month, it’s also officialized my parent’s legal separation and on August, my mom, her boyfriend (Vito) and I make a great return trip to Brazil visiting most places where we had lived and I finally get to visit Rio de Janeiro e get to “meet Bela for the first time” .

 

Only in 2007, my brother and I get our italian citizenship being able to go on with our lives and our plans. This year was a year of peace and quiet and reflection. The major thing was the big change in my job where I was offered a place in the office in the new building where we transferred the Headquarters. That was also when I realized that no matter what I’d have done things would never change in south of Italy and that’s when I started to think of moving to the north. In October my mom finally makes the move and goes to Turin. Me, instead try to live my love life and give one more chance to Caserta.

 

In 2008 I get my heart broken again and realize, one more time, that in that town I’d never find love, friendship or a nice job so I finally pick up my mind and decide to move to Turin after reflecting for a couple of months about the person I had become with no life at all and in complete depression. In June I rent my apartment in Turin and tell my bosses that I was about to leave at the end of July. By the end of July I send all my things by mail to Turin and move temporarily to my uncle’s house in San Nicola La Strada.

On August me and my brother depart to the USA in a East to West Coast visit : New York City, Washington Dc, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Long Beach, San Francisco, Chicago and Lindenhurst. There’s no need to say that it was an amazing feeling finally being back in American soil, experiencing for a month days of my present and past and getting to see my favourite places and loved ones. Knowing that my picture hangs in a living room somewhere in Chicagoland, even after so many years have passed by, it makes a huge difference to my life!

Back to Italy in September I pack and move to Turin. It was a long two months waiting but I finally get a job as the receptionist in this two star hotel nearby my house. Though is not the best job in the world for so many small details, still it’s quite a great feeling being able to be in touch with people from all over the world and to finally be able to be in charge of direct something on your own with no Italians around to control or diminish your job as it was in Caserta. On October I also get a new pet: Fluffy, my dwarf habbit!

 

New Year’s Eve of 2009 start way better than most years but still I know it’s a big year to make big decisions… let’s see how everything goes.

 

Obviously this biography comes to and end since I have not gone further in the years, but I am certainly sure that I will still have many more and greater things to accomplish and tell in life. I am not naïve to think that only good moments will come. I know that pain is necessary for our spiritual improvement. I just hope, and I am sure I will try my best, to keep seeing life the same way I see it now, wishing that I will not be alone on the walk and that my loved ones will walk just right beside me until the end and if not next to me, at least in the same direction!

 

So, see you on the long road of life…

 

Nanda Devecchi