2016 was a complete mess in the grand scheme of things, no doubt, but it was one hell of an amazing year for me.
My master’s was a highlight, no doubt. For all the new skills I’ve learned, all the challenges I faced, the people I met and doing something so out of my comfort zone, I’ll forever keep it near and dear.
This year was also the one I travelled the most and the one that ticked main boxes regarding dream destinations. London was almost a monthly event and it turned into a home away from home; Madrid was an amazing surprise and the amount of museums and art pieces I got to see was insane (Picasso’s Guernica was sublime); Warsaw was a frozen surprise that took my breath away; Thailand was a a somehow unattainable dream of a paradise that I was thrilled to experience and finally, and in this case keeping the best for last, New York City. I sometimes have to pinch myself in order to believe I was actually there, sometimes I feel like a huge piece of me stayed behind and is just waiting for me to come back. It is the “City of Dreams”, every corner we turned, every street we crossed, was full of life and promise. My expectations were going through the roof and were completely exceeded. But more on that will come later…
Every time I reflect on 2016, these are the things that pop up immediately, but it was such a full year all around! My lovely, sweet Grandma turned 90; my dad got his retirement; my boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary; I made some awesome new friends, other bonds grew even stronger; Portugal run on renewable energy for four days straight and that made me super proud of my country, once again… The list goes on, this year seemed the longest yet while I still remember just how excited and eager to go back to England I was one year ago.
It also leaves a bitter sweet taste as once again the future is unclear and I have no certainty about what’s to come, I just know I’m ready for all the changes that are sure to happen.
It feels like a punch in the stomach. The country I so proudly said I fitted right from the bat, where I changed and evolved so so much, where my hopes and dreams lay (or laid?), a country I was so ready to call home, is kicking me out.
I know it’s not black and white, but that’s how it feels. I’m still numb thinking about it. And the part that bothers and saddens me most is that hate, racism and xenophobia were the winning vote.
Are we really moving backwards? Are the fences going up to keep people from “their country”? The island superiority was ever present, but seeing the lengths they’re willing to go for something completely unknown…
Bournemouth, a small little town by the sea, was such an welcoming place and stage for such amazing stories.
London… there was a time I tried to find any excuse to go to London. I love the chaos, the people, such different cultures converge… And now some people are trying to destroy that…
Since the future is a complete unknown and the repercussions of the referendum are anyone’s guess (with hints from everyone), I’m just truly glad I was able to enjoy my year in a country that embraced diversity.
I’m a creep, I know that, let’s move on.
I love observing them.
How they read their books. How they ignore their books, leaving them on top of the table right by their coffee while using their phones.
The newspaper read in the underground, counting the stops left to walk through the door and just get rid of those shoes.
The headphones in place, shutting the whole world off while creating the most intricate scenes.
The occasional writer, looking for his next muse and the strike of inspiration.
Friends meeting in the street, wide smiles and tight hugs being shared.
Children looking at things as if everything is new and exciting.
The frown brow while fighting against the wind, planning what the rest of the day will look like. Or the rest of their life.
I love watching people. I learn more about human nature. I learn more about myself.
Lets call it as it is.
I’m a procrastinator.
Also known as lazy.
Always have been.
Love making excuses for myself about how I work well under pressure. It’s not that I work well, it’s more that I don’t have a choice since I leave everything last minute.
When I say I don´t have time to do something for Uni, it should sound something along the lines of “because I want to watch 10 tv shows at once, there’s 5 new movies on my watch list and I just bought another 3 books despite never finishing the last 2 I got, I don’t have the time to write the mandatory and assessed 250 words news story.” Logic right?
That rings a bell… oh right, I should be writing one for tomorrow!
“I’m going to start a blog when I go to University.” That was six years (six?! how?) ago.
“I’m going to start a blog now that I’ve finished my undergrad and have plenty of time while I look for a job.” The job search was a fail, as was creating the blog.
“Ok if I get in the masters degree I want in the Uk I’ll definitely start the blog!” A little late to the party, yes, but I got here nonetheless.
Should have start it in September but at the time everything was happening at once.
A completely different country I’ve never even been to.
New empty flat that felt cold and claustrophobic.
Every little cell in my body was screaming for me to run back home to the safe and familiar hug of Porto and Viana but somehow along the way that desire to run and hide turned into a need to discover more extraordinary places.
Being away from the place that raised me feels like home.
And now looks like the ideal time to kick start what has been hunting me for so long.
Not because I have the time or because I just moved to another country or any other excuse I was always looking for but just because I want a place to babble on whatever comes to mind.