Yesterday was my birthday, 30 years. I hope 1/3 of my life.
By this time we often put life in perspective. As we were growing up, this was the age at which our parents had us, it was the age of our teachers, of the people who already had their lives decided and in my view who no longer had decisions to make. Many people get depressed because 30 was that milestone when they would have bought their house, maybe married, or had their first child. At 30 we would be adults!
I never had 30 as a milestone because as I got older I never stopped feeling like a girl, often shy and not taking herself seriously.
I didn't think I was here today, but I couldn't imagine working in an office either. As I grew up, I wanted to have countless professions, but I never wanted to work from 9 to 6. I wanted to be a veterinarian, actress, hostess, war reporter,... I followed a path that was easy for me, that was natural and because I ended up to areas that I really like like fashion and selective perfumery, I had fun and kept going! Until I saw that I was leaving my dream of knowing the world behind, and if it's dreams that have us, as this video says that I love, and I've always been a good girl I had to do what this dream told me.
For me years are not measured in years but in actions, the year 2016 was a stupid year, I remember talking with friends at a Christmas dinner about what this year had brought us and we all agreed that it had been very irrelevant. (Of course there was Pokémon Go, but other than that, nothing more) I've been trying to mark the years for the things I've done. At 17 I entered university, at 20 I went to Barcelona alone, at 21 the road to Santiago, at 22 I returned for good, at 24 I did a postgraduate degree, at 25 I left Salsa that taught me so much, at 26 we went deep at AZ experiences, at 27 I met Ivo, at 28 I embraced a volunteer project created by me and Mel and involved friends and clients, at 29 I consolidated the trip and started and at 30 the reality. It's been 5 months and now it's almost as long to go back home as the time has passed.
I repeat, years are not measured in years but in actions, in experiences, they are measured in the number of times we have a huge stomach ache and leave our comfort zone, they are measured in the risks we take, in the accelerated palpitations, in long kisses and tight hugs, they are measured in long dinners and meaningless conversations, they are measured in the affections we give to others, in the smiles we share, in the times we make someone laugh, they are measured in the joy of buying a gift for no reason for someone we love, they are measured in the tears that teach us that life is unique, that our heart is beating, in the distance calls to know that good news. And that's why I say that I hope I have lived until now only 1/3 of my life.
There were times when I wanted to measure the years in countries visited, for each year a new country, but travel taught me to travel slowly. By telling the experiences that are recorded in me and not the countries, I learned to enjoy a new place where I feel at home like Antigua, to dribble the tradition and madness in New Orleans, discover new forms of entertainment like when we stayed 15 days in Aurora, overcoming myself like the climb to Acatenango, seeing life in full swing on a Nicaraguan beach, crying with emotion when I see the turtles spawning, or laughing with the monkeys of Tikal, thinking about how grateful I am to António for helping us to dig up the car, to remember other past travel experiences such as cooking classes to my palate with the wonderful food of Rio de Janeiro, the slow walks to enter the waters of Croatia since the stones looked like needles in the feet , eating a chocolate cake in Amsterdam and thinking that I would never make it to the hotel, laughing forever with two kids in Venice who even had to stand in line to eat ice cream and shout: tourist maledetti, discovering Paris alone in the some work trips, seeing life in the 50's when traveling to Cuba and so many others....
The other day I was reading a text by Filipe Morato Gomes about counting countries and I had this sentence in my head: But let it be clear: a person who has been to 50 countries is not necessarily more traveled than another who has been to only 20. And like Filipe, I also admire those who return to their places. Going back to a place is courage, with so much world to see, feeling that we have to go back there is something unique. (My country to return to will always be Brazil)
We often hear that we should have made this trip earlier, that now we had to be working, that we're not old enough for these things, we're already in our 30s! But if we had done this sooner would we have had this wander in the trip? Would we have valued the little things as we do now? Or would we go after a party without looking the kids in the eye and trying to get a little bit of their simple understanding of life? Our moment is now! And we still have so much to live for. Ah, I'm so happy with these 30 full of uncertainties, doubts, decisions to be made, full of magic for being able to open a new notebook on the way back and write a new story together, Ivo and I.
At 30, I still see myself as the 10-year-old girl who changed classes and was terrified of going to the big-time school, or the determined 20-year-old who went to Barcelona and cried because she felt alone but didn't I would go back until I could call this city home. At 30 I still don't take myself seriously, I still want to be daddy's girl, Mel's younger sister, mummy's baby, my friends' crybaby, there's no age to stop receiving pampering and I'm glad I have you all. Because even far away I received your delicious affection.
Thank you, these are the 30 I wanted without even knowing it!