A year ago today I was enjoying one of the happiest days of my life. My two worlds came together, from home and from far away, to celebrate three decades of life on a more than perfect summer day.
Cars travelling from my Lisbon routes were joined by planes flying from Dortmund, Berlin, London and Brussels, filled with French, German, Portuguese, Uruguayan, American, English, Irish and Italian friendship.
For cancerians (and more so for pessimistic ones) it’s difficult to accept full happiness, even if for just one day, as though there would always have to be a trap somewhere. That acceptance is therefore even more amazing as one nervously looks around and doesn’t find any trap at all. Rather, it is about appreciating the cloud under which we lived, making us forget the colours of our childhood, passionate moments, foreign scenes. And so we finally show a genuine smile.
One year ago, after several beers, I was saying thank you to those who almost forced me to celebrate, who helped me organise this day, who provided the space, who surprised me and, of course, who showed up from near and far. Above all, I thanked them for enabling and being part of my globalised life, offering me a home wherever I go.
Well now, one year later, I would like to thank each of my dearest friends for helping me to breathe when London was suffocating; for comforting me over years of anxiety, everywhere from cities to beaches; for accepting, back home, the distress from a distant reality that was unknown to them; for keeping me company when I simply couldn’t leave the house; for accepting my crises without prejudice; for saying “me too”; for making me laugh after I cried; and for doing so much more until they got there and touched me with their huge, deep messages on small pieces of paper.
Why am I sharing this now? Because over this past year as a free 30-year-old, I have consolidated a need that kept growing inside me – a physical need to shout out loud that I, you, they, we are all one body and one mind, together in a oneness that feels so much more than it shows, because of filters strangely imposed by our world. Being reserved and keeping some things to ourselves may be protective, but isn’t it by shouting that we feel relief, and isn’t it relief that we all need?
There’s something I keep saying, and I repeat: pain is less painful when it’s shared. In fact, it was sharing (including by many anonymous voices) that took away the cloud that kept hanging over me for so long. I therefore begin, today, a journey of sharing with you – in a kind of public health mission.
(and for you, my little freckled Jú: I’m beyond happy for seeing you too surrounded by yours, from near and far, together, closeby, for you)