Enrico Sposato vs. The Brazilian Army (A.K.A. The Fall and Rebirth of my Hair)

Have you ever looked at something and thought to yourself “Man I really did made the right choice”? Recently I’ve been looking at myself and thinking this exact thing, my hair has been growing probably since September, I wanted to let it grow for quite some time now but sadly couldn’t do it because I had “military duties” I had to attend.
So on today’s post I’ll talk about my army enlisting experience and the story of the fall and rebirth of my hair.

Enlisting in the army isn’t a military duty Enrico, what are you talking about?

Well my dear non-Brazilian reader, here in Brazil it’s mandatory for every Brazilian men to enlist in either the national army, the navy or air force on the year of their 18th birthday, If you don’t there are a few consequences attached to it, like not being able to get a passport, In most cases people who don’t want to join the one of those divisions are discharged on their first interview, I had to cut my hair and shave so that my forehead, neck and chin are visible, and I really, REALLY hate having short hair.

What’s so bad about having short hair? It’s such a popular hair style with guys nowadays.

I don’t have anything against short hair, I know people that look great with it, but here’s the thing, I don’t feel comfortable with it and I definitely don’t look good with it, especially when combined with a clean shave, it feels weird, people who wear glasses regularly may relate to this, it’s kinda like when you take your glasses off and you,or someone, thinks you look a bit off without them, I feel exactly how I feel having short hair.

I still remember the initial reactions towards my haircut, my girlfriend at the time did her best to cheer me up even though we both didn’t liked the way it looked, one of my friends took a few minutes to find me in the school’s hall even though I was sitting really close to him and my other friends were a bit shocked by the difference.

I wasn’t discharged on the first interview, months passed and they kept pushing me towards the other phases until I ended up on the selection phase, I was getting a bit worried, most of my friends were discharged already and my other friend, who actually wanted to join the army, told me that it was going to be pretty though, without other options I had another haircut as I waited for my fate to be revealed.

The day was dark and it was drizzling outside, I was afraid of the unknown,
thankfully my experience in there was quite pleasant, I only saw one case of soldiers being rough to a guy but it was because he failed to follow orders without complaining.

The soldiers were friendly towards me, only instructing me on where to go and explaining how the process would work, when it came to the selection itself I got discharged during the medical exam, they asked me if I had any sort of handicap, though I wasn’t sure if it would be considered one or not, I told them about surgery I’ve had in both hands and showed it to them, after a few looks they asked me if I wanted to join the army, I said no, after that they lead me through the steps of being discharged, on the outside I was emotionless, but on the inside I was filled with joy.

I went to the stadium that they asked me to go and was assigned a line to wait on, after what I think it was an hour we entered the stadium and sat down, we only had to sing the national anthem and make a vow that we would always protect our country and never betray it, the usual pleadging alliance stuff you expect.

After all that was done, I made a promise to myself, I promised the next time I went to a barbershop I would only shorten my bangs, the year passed, I graduated from high school, my girlfriend broke up with me and I was down emotionally for probably 2 months until I’ve recovered it, the special event I keep mentioning over and over was just an idea brewing on my mind, I was still at the process of getting my drivers licence while still letting my hair grow.

It was probably on may that I finally went to the barber, my bangs were already covering my eyes and it was really annoying to live with, after I think it was the first time in many, MANY years that I was actually happy about the final result.

Currently my hair is slightly short on the front and while the back and top are full of hair, before this I think I’ve only heard a single compliment about my hair, but now I got lots of it, people really liked the way it looks now, but what’s more important, I like the way it is.

Conclusion

It was quite a journey to finally get the hair I’ve always wanted, it really sucks that military service is mandatory in Brazil, it will probably stay this way for a while now, still, I’m glad it’s over now.

Was it worth going through all that and finally let my hair grow?

Good question, and I shall answer it in two parts.

Was it worth going through the whole enlisting process? Well it’s mandatory here so I didn’t have much of a choice on the matter, if it wasn’t mandatory I definitely wouldn’t bother going through all this, but since I was discharged I won’t complain.

Was it worth making this change? Absolutely, my change definitely wasn’t a common one, usually when you hear people making changes to their hair they usually mean dyeing it,let their natural curly hair grow, shaving it and so on, I wasn’t sure if mine was worth mentioning, I was afraid people may think the post is boring, but I did it anyway…

Why is that?

Because I know there’s someone out there who wants to make a change to their life and may be afraid of it due to some challenges in their path, whether it is because their parents are opposed to the idea, being afraid of the reaction others will have to it, a military obligation similar to my case, or some other thing, before going through this change one thing must be on your mind, the final result. Is this change going to be healthy for your life? Do you think this change will make you happier? If both answers are yes, you should definitely give it a try, maybe your new look will grow on people similar to what happened with me, maybe it won’t, what truly matters is that you’re happy with it.

 

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A letter to my future self.

What’s this post all about Enrico?

Just me wanting to get somethings off my chest, it ain’t nothing too silly or too serious either, I just wanted to do something different for a change, but considering this blog is too random I’m not sure if this would be different or something to be expected honestly.

Since I really can’t guide my past self through life, I might ask to my future self what’s up and try to give myself a motivational speech or something similar.


Hello Enrico, it’s me, you, well actually a younger version of yourself but I’m sure you understood that on the first attempt, how are you doing today? hopefully you’re doing fine, I’m doing quite well, I have a driving exam and preparations for August are almost over.

By the time you’re reading this the big event is already a pleasant memory of the past, We both know how excited you were for it, I really hope it as wonderful as you wished it would be, after all you’ve been dreaming about that moment for so many years.

Are you still calling yourself Slayer? If so we can safely say some habits never truly die, they only evolve, whether it’s for the best or for the worst we’re the ones who can truly say so, did you finally built project Dominique? we both know how much you wanted to play on something better than the fucked up Vostro 5470 you’re using right now.

How was college life? what course did you study? Was it the ones you wanted since the beginning or did you decided to study something else? regardless of what you picked, I’m sure you gave your best shot and will nail it, if you’re reading this before you completed it, be strong, I know it’ll be tough but you can do it.

Hopefully your lazy ass start posting more often on the blog, you really wanted to do this but the lack of content really consumed you at times, but i think by now you probably have a lot more to say about your life and stuff.

I wonder how much did we changed from one another, we’ve been always changing after events in our lives, mostly because of the people we’ve met, they can really change our perspective on things, whether it’s a good thing or a bad one it’s up for debate, change is inevitable after all.

Well I don’t really know what else to say to you, because, well, you know I’m more of a listener rather than a speaker, hopefully this changes over time. anyway, don’t let life run you over, greatness awaits us, at least I hope it does, but I’m sure you’ll make the best out of any situation life throws at you, and I truly hope you’re happy wherever you are.

I expect an answer 5 to 10 years from now.

Dreams

My dreams can be compared to a cartoon or a tv series with no inter-arching plot and completely different genres of episodes throughout its run, from ones I’m flying by doing a front crawl swimming motion, to running away from a demonic Barney the Dinosaur and killing it with a shotgun.

This post will be about 5 strange reoccurring things that happens in my unconscious mind.

1. Tasting dream food.

I don’t remember how many times this happened before, but I’m sure it was more than once, I can recall what probably was the first time this happened to me, I was a little kid I had a dream that I was on the back of my mom’s car with her and my grandma, she went on a McDonald’s and got me some Chicken McNuggets, I have no clue why I was able to taste it, and even less of a clue on why they ordered Chicken McNuggets considering I liked their french fries better at that age.

I think the same thing might have happened a few years ago when I dreamed about eating some pepperoni pizza, and woke up craving for some, which kinda sucks because pepperoni pizza is probably on of the most expensive flavors in our local pizzerias.

2. Weird ways of waking up.

Sometimes my dreams have an ending scene, even rarer are the endings that I wake myself up

I remember waking up on many different ways over the years, I already slapped myself awake from a nightmare, screamed at my brain to wake me up, running and jumping on my bed and merging with another version of me that’s sleeping in it, zooming out of the scene, slowly waking up by the alarm clock music intruding my dream, crying myself awake, killing whatever monster my brain put me against this dream, so on.

3. The dream within a dream.

You remember when you have the wonderful dream and someone or something woke you up? It sucks right? what’s going to happen in the love story that your dream set you up? what was that one character going to say to you before you woke up?

What if you could go back to sleep and dream about the ending of that story? what if you never woke up? Yes you never woke up, your brain just put you in a dream where you woke up from another dream, how cool is that? not at all? yeah I agree with you.

Oddly enough the Chicken McNugget dream was a dream within a dream, other cases usually involve me waking up but I see myself in third person and I don’t realize I’m in a dream until I wake up for good.

4. Dream’s locations

This one is, rather weird, when I’m sleeping at someone’s house there’s a huge chance that good portion of my dream would take place in that house.

When I was studying, i used to dream a lot about vacations and just simply being outside of school, while when I was on my summer vacation I had dreams that mostly took place in one of the many classrooms I’ve studied over the years.

Sometimes my dream can be kinda like the Black Ops III zombie maps Revelations, because there are so many unrelated locations linked together by a strange reason.

5. Lucid Dreams

Being in control of your dreams is something rather rare, but fun to do once you realize you’re actually dreaming.

I once read that sometimes you’ll look different in your dream so try to look out for a defining feature everytime, usually for me it works the best when I look at my hand, in real life i have scars in both of them, so often when I’m dreaming, there will be no scars.

But even though I’m in control sometimes things aren’t as awesome as they can be, no no no, sometimes instead of just ending my suffering from a nightmare I try to defeat whatever haunts it with my new found powers, sometimes you’ll defeat it, other times you won’t be able to scratch it because the creature is too powerful.

I remember one time being “stucked” on a lucid dream, you know you’re there, you’re in a bad situation you try to get out and nothing works, you try to get an escape to a better realm in your subconscious world, try to get a weapon to defeat what torments, but whatever you do nothing works.

Kinda odd that most of my lucid dreams are nightmares, but at least is nice to take control of it every now and agaim and save yourself from trouble.

In conclusion:

Our brains can be pretty fucked up when it comes to dreams, they can give us something fun, something sexy, something messed up, something completely nonsensical, these things being based on the things you love, the things you fear and the things your brain said it should happen like:

“Wouldn’t it be funny if you were scare you by waking you up in your house but instead of your family you saw people with purple sandwiches for a head? Because that’s what’s going to happen!” Enrico’s brain on what was probably his first nightmare ever.

Most of the dreams and nightmares i mentioned in this post were real, although in real life i wouldn’t be afraid of the source material, they somehow ended up being terrifying when I went to bed…

Sweet dreams!

Self-taught English.

If you know me in person you may know the fact that I’ve never went to any English school in my whole life, I never actually planned any method of study, I just did what I normally do to have fun and learned it in the progress.

So, how did you do it and how long was the whole process?

Self-teaching in my experience was quite easy, it worked out just fine to me, I’ll tell 3 little stories of my experience throughout the years.

The first contact

I first had contact with the language when I was very little, I remember going to the american Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network websites to play games, even though I didn’t understood anything I was still there exploring, I also remember doing something very stupid when I was little, My family had two of those satellite TV boxes at home, one for my bedroom and the other one at the living room, I used to turn on both TVS at the same channel to watch the same cartoon, one playing the original English version and the other one playing the Brazilian Portuguese version, So I kept running from room to room trying to understand what the characters were saying, the only cartoon I remember doing this to was Bob the Builder, yes this strategy was very stupid, but considering the simplicity of the whole show, it worked great, I got a few words out of it and never really used them at that point in life because no one I knew spoke English.
Meanwhile at pre-school we used to learn simple words in English, you know things like animals, fruits and some objects. At that point English was something new to me so I was as dumb as every other student in class.

The second phase

My passion for games increased with every passing day, on 2006’s Christmas I got a PS2 as a gift from my family, it was my second console ever but for a while I considered it the first one, The PS2, while being is kind a few years old, is still a big thing here thanks to piracy, you could get a game or more for R$ 10.00, compared to an original that can cost from a minimum of R$ 70.00 and a maximum of R$ 200.00, I had a variety of games for my console thanks to that, but I was still young so I mostly had games based on cartoons and movies, that is until I’ve got a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, yes I was younger than the target audience, but I knew the difference of what’s right and what’s wrong and the difference between game and reality so I went on ahead and started playing it, thankfully the game contained Portuguese subtitles, and with that the second phase begun, paying attention to the game’s audio and the subtitles, after that game was over, I started playing the other ones with English subtitles and two handy tools by my side if I ever needed them, a translator website and a dictionary.

The third strike

After many years of doing the previously stated procedure to movies, games, cartoons and websites, I finally began to understand more of the language without the need of subtitles, I could watch a video online and understand it just fine, everything is going great.
2011’s came and I got a PS3 from my mom, I still remember my first 2 games for the system, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record and Call of Duty Black Ops, I got both games because of the passion I have for zombie games, I played a lot of it, had tons of fun, Then one day, one of the guys I met online convinced me to get a Bluetooth headphone so we could chat while we play without pausing or anything, sure, I thought to myself, a few weeks later I went shopping with my family and I picked up one along with a HDMI cable, a few hours past and I got it working, it might have been the first time I ever spoke English, and it was pretty good, the guy could understand me just fine and we had a blast playing.
I’ve met a lot of international players on my gameplay sessions, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Mexicans and many other people from different places, I practiced my English more and more with every match we had, a few of them even thought I was American because of my accent, looking back at that memory, I smile every time, meaning all the time I spent having fun, I’ve learned something useful with it and didn’t just waste it.

The Conclusion

Well that’s about it for my story, would I recommend this learning method? Well if you’re up for the challenge I don’t see why not, as long as you pay attention to every small detail, leave no stone unturned on your quest, read all the books you can, play any game you can, watch the things you love in another language, yes it may take a while, a LONG while in fact but if you think you can handle the heat, go for it, a new world awaits you.