It’s hard to deal with all those butterflies in the stomach. It is strange to live this mixture of joy and fear. Some moments I think I’m ready and safe, others just one look and one request and I change everything again.
After long 15 months- which easily were like 5 intense years- I can say that I exceeded expectations that were not in the ‘luggage’. Some will come with me, for they have become good lessons worthy of sharing with the world. Others, I threw it around the corner. Gone with the wind. Recycled. It made me lighter.
On the last day of work in the restaurant- 10 hours shift- I did not feel pain or tiredness. I missed it already. I missed the repeated songs we never got tired of and the little snacks we used to have hidden in the kitchen. The moments Of cigarette leaks – who smokes- and smiles disguising a problem. Our tricks to escape the heavy and the confidence between each other to be less tiring. And how this routine changed my life.
Observing, I remembered what slipped through my hands and what I simply gave up. How it hurt to deal with consequences of own choices and, at the same time, how satisfying it was. My passion for autumn became even greater, but winter showed me a side that I did not need to know. The excess cold saddens and ages. I need light. I need colors.
I found myself fat, before the mirror, and then thinner. Now I’ve grown fat again. But I’ve always seen a woman. Something I could not see before. I criticized myself and admired myself. I faced my frailties. The human frailties we all have. As we need attention, we are devoid of voices, of presence, of care. This kind of independence, “leave me alone ‘cause I know how to live alone”, is not that simple, no matter how old you are. We know how, of course we do. But it is not always nice. In my case, I discovered that is almost never. Although I did very well on the mission.
In this emptiness of emotion and search for comfort, I surrendered myself. When I surrendered, I fell in love. I’m not sure what I got back, but it made me feel good. Still do. I made friends for a lifetime. I felt too old and too young. Courageous and the owner of the world. Tracing new paths, but willing to stay. Not to leave. Just a look. Just a request.
Hard to leave now. Hard to break and “lose”. Afraid to let change one more time. Joy mixed with sadness. The bags. Everything that fits and what will remain. Physical and emotional. Something always stays, to make us come back. And even if that’s true, crossing the ocean is not light. It seems we are crossing Narnia and its enchanted world. More or less, by the way. I will leave the cold of the Queen’s land for my São Paulo. Another mayor. Summer. No car. Not that bad. Married friends, kids, a few who have also changed places. A country trying to recover from politics and disasters. It’s mine. But I think I’ve forgotten the streets. And the feeling of belonging to ‘the space’ I think I lost. Or it’s stored in some corner of the chest.
I grew up. Oh, I did! I learned how to save money and go straight through the shop windows. Buying only the necessary (almost nothing, I realized that we can live with much less). I traveled! Because that’s the best money spent! I had lap and hugs from friends and I missed my parents, a need of them that is almost childish. And I’m already 30 (yes, I ignore the other ‘one’)! And when you survived such a feeling…Yes, you grow!
When I least expected it, I adapted. Today, I call home what once seemed a punishment. And it’s not just London, it’s the inside. I’m at home, because I’m fine with myself. The more European I feel, the more Latin I realize that I am. This blood and heat from the veins will not change. There is no citizenship that changes who you are and where you come from. The magic is you know how to adapt, see the good and allow yourself to live intensely. Being an immigrant is not easy, dealing with differences and having to face cultural barriers even less. But life demands change, it is more than our yard. My need was more and I respected the inner request. It passed quickly. Look at Christmas and I, here again. But now I know who I am and where I am. Glad we changed. Worth it.
In this second I cannot wait to get in Brazil. But the butterflies do not leave me unharmed. I do not know if I want to pack, maybe just board. Let life happen. As it will be. Just one thought as I write: 7 days. One week. And everything will be new again. For a month, two, until I come back and here, start over. But then, it will be another season.
London, you look beautiful and I love when you look at me like that.