Thursday, November 30, 2017

Para Sempre - Parte II

Nota: Versão portuguesa mais abaixo.

When a person dies we usually hear people complain about how sudden and unexpected it all happened, but truth is anticipation doesn’t make it any better. There’s an undeniable blow that strikes you in the gut when you lose someone without a warning, but sensing  death creeping over, having its weight linger on every moment, feeling the pressure of not knowing if the last time you lay eyes on someone will be the last, it’s an extremely heavy burden to carry too.

They say death always comes in threes, I don’t know why, but truth is that’s what happened last time… as if one wasn’t bad enough. That day changed everything… and since then, that fear is here, in the back on my mind, all the time. It weighs on my decisions, even if no-one sees it, because I still remember 10 years ago how I wasted what I didn’t know would be our last time together.

And now we’re here, and the situation couldn’t be more different, because you have known for a while, you have fought, you have survived, you had your share of miracles… and yet it’s impossible not to go back there… I don’t know what it is… if it’s the obvious fact of both of you being such huge part of the group you belonged too, if it’s the fact that you both have these big, supportive families, if it’s because I remember the times she took me on holidays and you’d come visit…

A few months ago, with my family, I stood next to yours, as we watched what those close to you feared was your last concert. You were having a good day, you seemed to be enjoying yourself, it was a good concert and I was so glad I had travelled all those miles to have one more chance to see you all together one last time, to appreciate what I know will never feel the same again (it was never the same after she was gone either). I stood there, our families together, all rooting for you,  happy you could do what you loved at least one more time, and as much as I tried to stay in the moment I kept going back to that concert 10 years ago… the first I watched after she was gone… and now, all I could think is… I don’t believe in afterlife, but if it does exist, it comforts me to know that at least now she won’t be alone, that she’ll have her good friend by her side. 


Quando alguém morre, todos se queixam de como estas coisas acontecem sempre de forma súbita e imprevisível, mas a verdade é que a antecipação não torna nada menos doloroso.

É um choque imenso perder alguém de forma inesperada, mas sentir o peso da morte a cada momento, sentir a pressão de não saber se a última vez que vemos alguém será a última, não é um fardo menos pesado.

Dizem que a morte vem em marés de três, não sei porquê, mas a verdade é que foi isso que aconteceu da última vez... como se uma não fosse suficiente. Naquele dia tudo mudou... e desde então esse medo vive cá dentro, sempre nos meus pensamentos, a toda a hora. Influencia as minhas decisões, mesmo que ninguém se aperceba, porque ainda me lembro de como há 10 anos atrás desperdicei o que não sabia ser a última vez que a via...

E agora aqui estamos novamente. As situações não podiam ser mais diferentes, porque tu já sabias há algum tempo, tu lutaste, tu sobreviveste, tu tiveste os teus milagres... e ainda assim, é impossível não ser transportada para o que aconteceu há 10 anos... não sei o que é... se o facto óbvio de ambos serem partes ENORMES da banda a que pertenciam, se é o facto de ambos terem grandes famílias que vos acompanhavam, se é por me lembrar de todas as vezes que ela me levou de férias e tu nos visitavas...

Há alguns meses atrás, com a minha família, fiquei junto da tua enquanto te víamos actuar naquele que os mais próximos de ti temiam ser o teu último concerto. Estavas a ter um bom dia, parecias estar a divertir-te, foi um bom concerto e estava tão contente por ter feito todos aqueles kilometros para ter a oportunidade de te poder ver pelo menos mais uma vez., para apreciar o que sei que nunca mais será igual (nunca mais foi igual depois dela também...). Ali fiquei, as nossas famílias juntas, todos a torcer por ti, contentes por estares a fazer o que gostavas pelo menos mais uma vez, e por mais que tentasse aproveitar o momento, só conseguia pensar naquele concerto há 10 anos atrás... o primeiro que vi depois da sua morte... e agora, tudo o que consigo pensar é... não acredito na vida depois da morte, mas se isso existir, conforta-me saber que pelo menos agora ela não estará sozinha, que terá o seu grande amigo ao seu lado.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

To us


Just when I had lost all hope you entered my life.
I had reached rock bottom, so for once there was no fear, for once there was nothing holding me back.
Our eyes met for the very first time for a moment, despite your attempts to hide. In a matter of minutes we were all over each other.
We didn’t noticed until it was too late… we were in each other’s hearts.


Things couldn’t be more different this time… There was fear, oh god, there was fear!
I was in a better place, I had the memories, but I also had so much more to lose this time around.
My palms were sweaty, my breath uneven. My smile was showing, but inside my guts were turned.
We were both unsure as we took our first steps, then you took a long glance at me and finally said… I remember you!
Relief washed over both of us as we fell in each other’s arms.


This time everything was easier, little time had gone by.
I had butterflies in my stomach, but I was excited.
I came, we saw, we conquered. The world was ours!
At least until it was time to say goodbye…


Now 4 years had passed. Time had stretched too much.
I was dreaming for the moment I laid eyes on you, and yet there was so much holding me back… I didn’t want to face reality, I didn’t want to burst the bubble.
I kept forcing myself to keep my hopes down. I had once again abandoned you. Half your life had passed without me in it… What could I expect?
I braced myself for rejection as I took the final step and open the door. Before my bum could even reach the car seat I heard your voices echoing my name in a constant and so welcomed melody. I felt home.
We fell so easily into our world, it was hard to believe we had ever been apart.
But there was a new sense of urgency now. More than ever, the awareness that our time was limited. We drank each other desperately, spending every single moment together, unwilling to waste any time. Every single day we were haunted by the clock ticking down. Every hug, every kiss, every touch treasured as it was out last.
The worst part is not walking away, is doing so without ever knowing if or when I will see you again. The worst is wonder if I'll ever feel such sense of gratification. The worst is wonder if I'll ever feel as much at home as I feel when we're together. The worst is wonder if I’ll ever be able to do something as right!

Happy birthday munchkins!

Friday, November 10, 2017


I once read about something called lachesism. They described it as the “desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire – anything that would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other”.  And as I read it, word by word, I realised I’ve been experiencing it for years…

I broke my left wrist when I was 9. When I finally got home from the hospital I remember asking my mother if dreaming about something could make it real. The reason I asked, is because I would often daydream about being hit by a car, and even thought that was not how I got hurt, I wondered, if in a twisted way the universe was hitting me back.  

Looking back to other dreams I created as years went on I realised facing disaster was a common topic. Granted those dreams always involved saving someone and a happy ending, but nevertheless…
There were the occasionally lightweight happy dreams, but they never lasted long, it was almost like the darkness soothed me. I think part of it came from wanting to justify the darkness that always been inside me. Wanting, needing a reason for it.  I’m often ruled by very dark moods that come out of nowhere, waves of anger and panic and utter sadness that come for no reason. I feel them creeping in and yet I do nothing to stop them, sometimes I even feed them, because I’m subdued by this overwhelming need to feel utterly sad. Overtime I’ve learned to dig myself out of that whole, I don’t allow myself to stay longer anymore, but for some reason, I still go there…

Lachesism, this desire to be struck by disaster, doesn’t come only from the need to have a reason for sadness though. Maybe more than anything it comes from the desperate need to feel something, anything at all because even worse than feeling sad is to feel nothing, to feel numb. To feel so empty inside that good or bad you just hope something happens that makes you feel alive. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Lucky 8

8 years ago, on this very day, I was a couple hours away of changing my life forever…

As I sat in my bed, after what was supposed to be a surprise farewell party, luggage ready to go, I just waited for the moment to finally arrive.

I was ready, no, I was eager! I was so eager to leave that I could barely feel guilty for leaving everyone behind…

I guess you are supposed to have mix feelings. Wanting to go, but not wanting to leave… specially me, being such a family person… but I didn’t. Not even when my little sister asked me to stay, not even when my dear friend begged me not to go…

I felt so trapped (I had been for longer than I cared to admit) that I just had to get away. I had lost hope, I had lost purpose, I was lonely, despite being surrounded by people, I felt like a failure even though I had completed my life plan so far, most of all, I felt empty… I was on the verge of breaking, I just couldn’t breathe anymore, an escape route, any escape route, couldn’t come soon enough… And so, in an very unlikely selfish version of me, I just didn’t care about anyone else’s feelings.

I guess you are also supposed to be scared, unsure… specially me, who was always afraid of making the wrong move… but I wasn’t. Not even when it took longer than expected for things to happen, not even when my family questioned my plan… It was odd to be that certain, it was so uncharacteristic of me… I didn’t even recognize myself, I didn’t know who that girl was, ignoring everyone and just following her heart, it was just so unlike me.

What was even stranger was how calm I was… I remember during the whole process, the packing, the goodbyes, the flight to NYC, the training, the flight to Boston, the car ride… I remember thinking “it’s going to hit me at some point… At some point I will freak out”. I mean I know me, most people don’t believe me, but I’m in constant panic mode, I live in constant fear - fear of failing, fear of making a mistake, fear of disappointing others, fear of hurting people, the list goes on and on… so my demeanour just didn’t make sense. I waited and waited, I crossed the ocean and different states, but the panic, the regret, they never came!

In hindsight now I see that more than anything I was running. What I didn’t realise is that you can’t run from things that are inside yourself. You can change the people around you, you can change the scenario, but nothing will change unless you do. So maybe I took on this journey for all the wrong reasons, maybe unconsciously I jumped in on this adventure with selfish goals, but regardless… it worked!

Going away was no magic solution, though at that time I hoped it would be. Being in a new country didn’t suddenly brighten my mind or healed myself, but the whole experience did change everything!

I’m good at doing what I HAVE to do, and that’s what it was all about… being abroad, alone, away from my comfort zone, meant I didn’t have a place to hide.  I couldn’t hide myself in my bubble anymore. I had to challenge myself every single day. It also meant that nobody knew me, that there were no expectations to be reached, I could be whatever I wanted to be. That sense of freedom, was something I didn’t realise I was craving until then.

It doesn’t mean that I went completely 180º, we are who we are for a lot of reasons and my core didn’t change, but having that freedom to become whoever I wanted to be allowed me to try different things and discover new sides of me I had yet to explore.

I spend a lot of time alone during that year. I’d spent all my days alone with the twins (who could barely talk) and on my time off I backpacked around alone too, but somehow I didn’t feel as lonely as before. The kids and I had such an unique connection that until today I can’t explain. It was so natural, from the very beginning, we had such a strong bond… Maybe it was because I knew it was all going to be taken away from me one day, but I remember thinking that I never knew I could love someone that much, to the point that it hurt, not until I met them. When we were alone we were in our own world, nobody could touch us, nobody could burst our bubble, and I never felt lonely there.

Then came the traveling… I had never even considered traveling on my own before, but being away for a whole year and not taking on the opportunity for lack of company seemed ridiculous. So I laid out my plan and off I went on my own, and surprisingly enough, despite being alone, for once loneliness was not my companion. My head was in a better place, so being alone with myself wasn’t scary anymore. There was a new joy inside me, in all fairness because everything was new, so being with my own thoughts for once was enjoyable.

People often ask me if I met a lot of people during my year abroad and the answer is no. I met some people, I got much closer to other people (some that were with me, some that I left in Portugal), but no, I didn’t meet a lot of people… but I met 2 tiny people that changed my life forever and maybe even more important, I met myself, in a light I had never before.

I came back a different person. I don’t know how visible that is to others, because I live behind a mask, but I see it, I feel it. At first I thought it was just the emotion talking. That maybe time would make everything seem a little less important, as it usually does, but every year I look back and every year I’m more certain that that won’t happen, because what I went through, what I experienced during my year in the USA was in fact important, to a degree that can never be ignored. So if there’s one lesson that I’ve learned from all of it, is that sometimes you have to shut everyone else’s opinions out and just do what you have to do.


Há 8 anos, exactamente neste dia, estava a algumas horas de dar o passo que mudaria a minha vida para sempre.

Sentada na cama, depois de uma festa de despedida (supostamente) surpresa, malas prontas, esperei que o momento finalmente chegasse.

Estava pronta, não, estava ansiosa! Estava tão ansiosa para partir que quase não sentia culpa por deixar todos para trás...

Presumo que seja normal ter sentimentos contraditórios nestes momentos. Querer ir, mas não querer partir... principalmente alguém como eu tão ligada à família... mas não os tinha. Nem mesmo quando a minha irmã me pediu que ficasse, nem mesmo quando a minha grande amiga me implorou que não fosse...

Sentia-me tão presa (algo que sentia há mais tempo do que me permitia admitir) que tinha simplesmente de fugir. Tinha perdido a esperança, tinha perdido o propósito, sentia-me só apesar de estar constantemente rodeada de pessoas, sentia-me um fracasso apesar de ter seguido com sucesso e à risca o plano que havia traçado para a minha vida, mas acima de tudo, sentia-me vazia... Estava à beira de um surto, já não conseguia respirar, uma escapatória, qualquer que fosse, era bem-vinda... E assim, numa versão egoísta muito rara em mim, decidi ignorar todas as vozes à minha volta.

Presumo que seja normal ter alguns receios, inseguranças... principalmente alguém como eu, sempre com medo de dar um passo em falso... mas não tinha. Nem mesmo quando as coisas demoraram mais tempo que o esperado para dar certo, nem mesmo quando a minha família questionou os meus planos... Era bizarro sentir-me tão certa, tão insólito para mim... Não me reconhecia, não sabia quem era aquela pessoa capaz de ignorar tudo e todos e simplesmente seguir o seu coração, tudo isso era tão anormal em mim.

Mais estranho ainda era a tranquilidade que sentia... Lembro-me, durante todo o processo – fazer as malas, as despedidas, o voo para Nova Iorque, a formação, o voo para Boston, a viagem de carro... Lembro-me de pensar “a qualquer momento a ficha vai cair... a qualquer momento vou entrar em pânico”. Afinal de contas, eu conheço-me, a maioria das pessoas não acredita, mas eu vivo em modo de pânico constante, vivo em constante medo – medo de falhar, medo de cometer erros, medo de desiludir os outros, medo de magoar alguém, a lista continua... por isso o meu comportamento simplesmente não fazia sentido. Esperei e esperei, atravessei o oceano e diferentes estados sempre à espera que esse momento chegasse, mas o pânico e o arrependimento, nunca chegaram!

Em retrospectiva agora vejo que mais do que tudo, estava a fugir. O que não percebia na altura é que não podemos fugir daquilo que está dentro de nós. Mudam as pessoas que nos rodeiam, muda o cenário, mas nada vai mudar, se nós não mudarmos. Por isso, olhando para trás, talvez tenha embarcado nesta viagem pelas razões erradas, talvez, de forma inconsciente tenha agarrado esta aventura por motivos egoístas, mas independentemente disso... resultou!

Sou boa a fazer o que TENHO de fazer, e era disso que se tratava... viver no estrangeiro, sozinha, longe da minha zona de conforto significava que não tinha onde me esconder. Já não podia ficar na minha bolha. Todos os dias eram um desafio. Mas a verdade é que estar longe também significava que ninguém me conhecia, que não havia expectativas a atingir, que podia ser qualquer coisa, o que eu quisesse. Esse sentimento de liberdade era algo que até então não sabia que ansiava.

Não é que tenha dado uma volta de 180º. Somos o que somos por muitas razões, e o meu cerne não mudou, mas ter a liberdade para me tornar no que quisesse permitiu-me experimentar coisas novas e descobrir facetas minhas que até então não tinha explorado.

Passei muito tempo sozinha durante esse ano. Passava o dia sozinha com os gémeos (que mal sabiam falar) e nos meus tempos livres viajava também sozinha pelas diferentes cidades e estados. Ainda assim não me sentia só como antes. Eu e os miúdos tínhamos uma ligação tão única que até hoje não sei explicar. Era tão genuína, desde o primeiro momento, os laços que criámos eram tão fortes... Não sei se por saber que um dia ia ter de deixar tudo para trás, mas lembro-me de pensar que não sabia ser possível amar tanto assim alguém, ao ponto de doer, até os conhecer. Quando estávamos sozinhos estávamos no nosso mundo, ninguém nos podia tocar, era a nossa bolha mágica, e lá, nunca me sentia só.

Depois havia as viagens... nunca tinha sequer posto a hipótese de viajar sozinha, mas estar longe um ano inteiro e desperdiçar a oportunidade por falta de companhia parecia-me ridículo. Assim, fiz o meu plano e atirei-me à aventura e, surpreendentemente, apesar de estar sozinha, a solidão não era minha companheira. A minha cabeça já não estava no buraco negro de outrora por isso estar sozinha comigo mesma já não era assustador. Havia uma nova alegria dentro de mim, também por ser tudo novidade é um facto, mas isso fazia com que estar sozinha com os meus pensamentos fosse finalmente algo agradável.

Perguntam-me muitas vezes se conheci muita gente durante o ano que estive fora, e a resposta é não. Conheci algumas pessoas, fiquei mais próxima de outras (algumas que estavam comigo, outras que ficaram em Portugal), mas não, não conheci muitas pessoas... Mas conheci 2 pequenas pessoas que mudaram a minha vida para sempre, e mais importante ainda, conheci-me a mim mesma, de uma maneira que nunca antes tinha feito.

Voltei uma pessoa diferente. Não sei se isso é visível para os outros, porque vivo escondida atrás da máscara, mas eu vejo-o, eu sinto-o. Ao início pensei que talvez fosse apenas a emoção a falar. Que talvez o tempo fizesse tudo parecer um pouco menos importante, como normalmente acontece, mas ano após ano olho para trás e com cada ano que passa fico mais certa que isso não vai acontecer. Porque o que eu passei, o que eu vivi durante o meu ano nos EUA foi de facto importante, a um nível que não é possível ignorar. Por isso se houve uma lição que aprendo com tudo isto é que às vezes é mesmo preciso ignorar a opinião de toda a gente e fazer o que temos de fazer.