My Life, My Puzzle by Rose Gracie

My Life, My Puzzle by Rose Gracie

It’s very surreal that as I look back at my life I come to the most insane realization that the pieces will always come together at the end and everything just makes a lot of sense.

I was always very fortunate, very loved, and grew up with quite a bit in Rio de Janeiro. I was always surrounded by friends and family and the variety of life that comes with having such a large family. One of my grandfathers, Carlos Imperial, was a politician, artist, producer, musician, actor, TV personality and anything else he wanted to be in Brazil.  He was, without a doubt, one of the biggest influences in my life if not the biggest.

My Grandfather Carlos never put limits on what could be accomplished.

He always made it very clear that if either my sister or I ever wanted something we could just go out and get it. It was just that simple. It was so simple, in fact, and so real that to question that fact would be a huge mistake. My grandfather was an extremely well accomplished businessman and although he came from a very wealthy background everything he had was attained with his own hard work and sweat. He was extremely intelligent and a very critical thinker. I remember he would host huge and extravagant parties for the who’s who of politics one day and the who’s who of TV personalities another day and the who’s who of musicians on yet another day. To help get me used to talking to anyone, my grandfather always put me in charge of opening the door and greeting all the guests. He was teaching me how to be ready to talk to anyone no matter who they were and how to get what I wanted or at times what he wanted, as I still remember my script when he would see a beautiful young lady that he would like to get to know a bit more. =)

My mom used to always say to me “Rich grandparents, noble children, broke grandchildren” in an attempt to make me understand that I needed to work very hard and not count on money lasting forever. I never questioned her quotes. I believed in what she said wholehearted and that gave me a very good work ethic. While I was still very young my mom became the “godmother” of an orphanage in Rio. One day, my mom and I went to meet some of the kids and visit the place where they were staying.  When we got there, I was mortified by the conditions that those kids were living in. My mom, like most of the ladies in my family, did not waste anytime and started to make changes in those kid’s lives. Inspired by her thoughtfulness, I too wanted to reach out and help in any way that I could. My birthday was coming up and a new theater play was in town. My grandfather bought an entire section of tickets for me to invite my friends. (seriously…who does that? =) My mom suggested to me that we invite some of the kids from the orphanage and I thought that was a great idea. So my mom rented a bus for them so that they could come and watch the play.  We reserved the first few rows of seats just for them so they could feel special. I remember that being my favorite present and by far the highlight of my birthday party because those kids were genuinely appreciative of my generosity.

As a kid, some of my weekends were spent with my Grandfather Helio, from my Dad’s side of the family.  He was a super fun grandpa that always tucked us in at night and always brought us a breakfast smoothie in bed in the morning. His bedtime stories were also the best because he would always fight the bad guy and win! My Grandpa Helio was a wise man and taught me how to shoot a gun when I was about 9 years old. I remember when I was young and my mom was telling my Grandpa Helio about my dance lessons and musical accomplishments and he thought everything was silly. He turned to my mom and said, “The most important lesson she needs to know is that a woman should heat her stomach at the stove and cool it off at the sink.”.  He honestly believed that the “guys were going to lead the way!” Oh boy, if he only knew. I honestly wish he was here now to see that it took a woman to make some changes to something he loved very deeply and to fix it to his liking with hopes that those changes would keep his legacy alive. I think he would have been very proud of me and for that, I am happy.  My Grandpa Helio taught me that nothing in life happens for no reason.  As I continue in the journey to uphold his legacy I realize that he was right all along.

I love and have always loved very deeply. I didn’t really have a lot of boyfriends, but the ones I did have were always very intense and long lasting relationships. I always had a very deep connection with my partners and I still care for all of them and cheer for them in their lives. My relationships were very healthy and for that I am very grateful. My past relationships taught me that people don’t change but their views, goals and dreams do. And when we choose to, at a certain point, walk together on the same path in our lives it doesn’t have to be forever. You may one day realize that your roads are going in different directions and that is ok.  You can part ways and continue on your journey as friends and that should be something positive.

Being the first of an entire generation for all sides of my family was pretty amazing!

I always had a motherly instinct about me; some people are just wired that way I guess. I loved my siblings and younger cousins more than life itself! I was madly in love with them and I couldn’t wait to have kids of my own. Someone once told me that when I had my own kids I would love them more then anything and I did not believe it was possible to love more than I already did.  But after I had my kids I found out that they were right. The connection that you have with your children is different.  It is still amazing to see the kids in my family who have grown up and now having kids of their own. They are having their own moments and forming their own families. Seeing the members of my family mature and grow as individuals has made me realize that the circle of life will continue forever and its a beautiful thing to see.

Nothing happens for no reason. When a friend of mine, who was like a brother to me, invited me to another friend’s birthday I really wanted to go, but I was concerned that I probably wasn’t going to get any sleep for work the next day. I finally decided that I would only go for less than an hour just to say hi and bye. As I was saying my hello’s I all of the sudden noticed this guy walk in.  I noticed there was something about him that I was drawn to.  He was definitely a leader of his pack and was funny and looked at me very differently than anyone had looked at me before. Even inside of the loud club, I was able to communicate with him as if we were the only two people there. I married Javi a short time later and we have now been married for 8 years.  When I said “I do” to him I meant it and knew I was in for the long run. You see marriage is a very difficult thing for everyone and mine was not going to be any different. I have had some major ups, and of course even bigger falls, but when you are really in it for the long run you don’t quit. You find solutions. With Javi I learned that as long as there is communication, respect, trust and love we will stay in this path together till death due us part.

Sometimes in life someone will inspire you.

Sometimes life will make you think, wonder, dream, and even make you question your senses and beliefs to their core. And as much as you think you know and think that you are prepared, life will surprise you. Nothing, I seriously mean NOTHING, could have ever prepared me for the biggest lesson of my life: motherhood. I have three very different and very amazing daughters that are the center of my world. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them and there is not a single thing in this world I wouldn’t do for them. They are without a doubt my biggest life lesson and from them I have learned unconditional love.  A love that you can not measure or explain. I just want to make sure I raise them right, to be well adjusted adults that will work hard, that have a good heart, that will love deeply, but will also know when to let go. I want them to always be aware that no matter what they can accomplish anything and they should never be afraid to question everything.

I was very fortunate to be around so many phenomenal people in this life path and I can see clearly now, more than ever, that life is just a big puzzle. With all my experiences and life lessons I have been able to become wiser and obviously completely insane because I truly believe that I can change anything I want in this world.

You see the cycle of life doesn’t stop it just takes turns like a winding road down the generations. You must learn to respect that force and accept it for whatever it gives to you. All my relationships and life lessons were very important in molding me, but none of them defined me.

At the end you must understand that what really matters in life is the relationship you have with yourself and that “Life doesn’t happen to you, life happens for you.”

Connect with Rose Gracie via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website.

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Written by Rose Gracie

I'm the woman behind the Gracie Nationals and Gracie World Championships, a mother of 3, dedicating my life to making a positive change in other people’s lives.


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