Wednesday, November 15, 2017

To us

2009

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.


2012

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.


2013

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…


2017

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

Lachesism

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.


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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.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"I guess we're adults. The question is, when did that happen, and how do we make it stop?"*

Nota: Versão portuguesa mais abaixo.



There aren’t treasure hunts in the morning to find birthday gifts anymore, there aren’t cakes or beautiful crafted invitations, there aren’t big parties with spontaneous (however reoccurring) sleepovers, there isn’t an arc full of dress up clothes in the attic nor embarrassing videos to later laugh about. There aren’t expectations about what skills I will suddenly develop overnight (like when my cousin Miriam promised me I would be able to whistle once I turned 6… biggest disappointment of my life on that early morning of 1993).

A lot has changed since those times when we waited anxiously for the digits to become higher and higher, believing that reaching them would magically make us stronger, wiser, better…

The mystic of birthdays and magic numbers becomes clouded with the arrival of the teenage years. When the once happy, carefree, naïve kid realises there are too many shades of grey in a world she believed was black and white.

It is only natural that as we grow older, it becomes harder to just believe. We become so much more 
aware of ourselves and the world around us that as much as we’d like to go back to the fairytale land we just can’t.

For a while you lose faith, you feel betrayed, not sure by whom, perhaps the whole society that led you to believe the world was always a nice place to be in. You blame those who told you that all you had to do was your best and things would turn out alright, you curse at yourself for being so naïve. Frustration eventually takes over when you realize that trying hard, doing your best, isn’t always enough, when you realize life isn’t fair and perfect people don’t exist. The world tells you that it’s just a phase, that things will get better, that YOU will get better, but waiting for things to change seems such a waste of time!

Until one day you realize that life may get different, but it doesn’t get easier… and somehow that realization frees you, because you realize you don’t have to wait for it to get better, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and live to the best of your abilities. It’s empowering really, because it means YOU are in charge. You don’t need to wait for some predesigned plan to fall into place, You make the plan and YOU remake it as many times as you need until it fits YOU and YOUR life. You take ownership of your own destiny, and it makes you stop running from yourself and your feelings, it makes you stop with the excuses…  Because yes, there are things you can’t control, big, terrible, unfair things you can’t control, but life is so much more than that.

You learn to pick your fights. Not just the world, but with yourself. You reexamine your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. You discover that you can speak softly and still be heard and more importantly you learn to respect and appreciate yourself. A new found peacefulness is discovered, a sense of tranquility that allows you to find your voice, and use it in YOUR own way.

I’ve always have this fear that one day people are going to discover that I'm not as great as they once thought I was, and I’d be lying if I said that was gone. The difference is that it used to consume me, but over time I’ve realized I can’t beat it, I can’t push it away, what I can do is let it drive me to become a better person instead of dragging me back.

And this takes us back to the beginning…

There aren’t huge gatherings of people anymore, nor parties that take longer to plan than the actual event, but what there’s still is is loads of love going around!

Birthdays mean whatever we want them to mean. For some people it’s a time to reflect and make decisions about the future, for others it’s simply about enjoying the moment, some suffer when the numbers start to pile on, others proudly flaunt the experiences they’ve gathered through time… for me birthdays are a nice excuse to take a moment out of our busy lives to appreciate the people we care about.

Albert Pike said “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal” so for me, more than my perception of what I’ve achieved or not I trust on this proclamations of love and friendship to assess what I’m doing with my life. And the feedback is overwhelming. When the love comes from every corner of the world (Poland, USA, Slovakia, UK, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Brazil, Ireland... just to name a few) you got to think you must be doing something right!

So I guess it doesn’t matter how big the numbers are, how many of your wild dreams you’re yet to achieve or how far you are from the life you once thought you would live… what matters is the journey and the lives you’ve touched along the way…. And from where I’m standing it’s looking pretty damn good, so let’s keep them coming!



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“Parece que somos adultos. A questão é, quando é que isso aconteceu e como é que o paramos?”*


Já não há caças ao tesouro de madrugada para procurar os presentes. Já não há bolos de aniversário ou convites feitos à mão. Já não há grandes festas que acabam invariavelmente num molho de gente a dormir no chão. Já não há uma arca de fantasias nem vídeos embaraçosos para mais tarde recordar. Já não há a antecipação de descobrir que “talentos” vamos desenvolver subitamente por ficarmos um ano mais velhos (como quando a minha prima Miriam me disse que quando fizesse 6 anos ia aprender a assobiar... maior desilusão da minha vida essa manhã de 1993). 

Muita coisa mudou desde os tempos em que esperávamos ansiosamente para que os números ficassem cada vez maiores, acreditando que alcançá-los nos tornaria magicamente mais crescidos, espertos, melhores... 

A mística que envolvia os aniversários e a magia dos números começou a desvanecer-se com a chegada da adolescência. Quando a criança outrora inocente e feliz se apercebe que há mais tons no mundo para além do preto e branco. 

É natural, que há medida que crescemos se torne mais difícil de acreditar. Tornamo-nos mais conscientes de nós mesmos e do mundo há nossa volta e por mais que queiramos não conseguimos voltar para a terra dos contos de fadas. 

Por momentos perdes a fé, sentes-te atraiçoado, não sabes bem por quem, talvez pela sociedade no geral, que te levou a acreditar que o mundo era sempre um sítio bom. Culpas aqueles que te disseram que tudo que tinhas de fazer era dar o teu melhor e tudo correria bem, chateias-te contigo mesmo por teres sido tão ingénuo. A frustração acaba por vir ao de cima quando te apercebes que a vida não é justa e que não existem pessoas perfeitas. O mundo diste que tudo não passa de uma fase, que tudo vai ficar bem, que TU vais ficar bem, mas esperar que as coisas mudem parece uma perca de tempo tão grande! 

Até que um dia chegas à conclusão que a vida pode mudar, mas não vai ficar mais fácil... eestranhamente essa conclusão liberta-te, porque percebes que não tens de continuar à espera que a vida melhore, que tens simplesmente de por um pé em frente ao outro e viver o melhor que podes. É refrescante na verdade, porque significa que tu estás no comando! Que não tens de esperar para que um plano divino se concretize, és TU quem faz o plano, e podes refazê-lo quantas vezes sejam precisas para que se adeqúe a ti e à tua vida. Tomas controlo do teu destino, e isso faz com que tenhas de parar de fugir de ti mesmo e dos teus sentimentos, obriga-te a por um fim às desculpas... Porque sim, há coisas que não podes controlar, coisas grandes, terríveis e injustas que não podes controlar, mas a vida é muito mais do que isso. 

Aprendes a escolher as tuas lutas. Não apenas com o mundo, mas contigo mesmo. Reexaminas os teus pontos fracos e transforma-los em pontos forte. Descobres que para ser ouvido não é preciso gritar e mais importante, aprendes a respeitar-te a ti mesmo. Uma paz interior é descoberta, uma sensação de tranquilidade que te ajuda a encontrar a TUA voz, e a usá-la à TUA maneira. 

Sempre tive medo que um dia as pessoas descubram que não sou tão especial como um dia pensaram ser, estaria a mentir se dissesse que venci esse medo. A diferença é que esse pensamento me costumava consumir, com o tempo percebi que não consigo vencê-lo, o que posso fazer é usá-lo como motivação para me tornar uma pessoa melhor, em vez de o deixar limitar-me

E isso traz-nos de volta ao início... 

Já não há ajuntamentos enormes de pessoas, ou festas que demoram mais tempo a planear do que a festa propriamente dita, o que há ainda é muito amor! 

Os aniversários significam aquilo que nós quisermos que signifiquem. Para algumas pessoas é um momento de reflexão e de fazer decisões sobre o futuro, para outras servem simplesmente para aproveitar o momento, alguns sofrem ao ver os números a crescer, outros exibem orgulhosamente as experiências vividas ao longo dos anos... para mim os aniversários são desculpas para tirarmos um momento das nossas vidas ocupadas para darmos valor às pessoas que nos rodeiam e de quem gostamos. 

O Albert Pike disse “o que fazemos por nós morre connosco. O que fazemos pelos outros e pelo mundo fica e é imortal”, por isso para mim, mais do que a minha percepção sobre o que atingi ou não, gosto de usar estes momentos e estas declarações de amizade e carinho para perceber realmente o que tenho andado a fazer com a minha vida. E o feedback tem sido fantástico! Quando o carinho vem de todos os cantos do mundo (Polónia, EUA, Eslováquia, Reino Unido, Moçambique, Sri Lanka, Filipinas, Brasil, Irlanda... apenas para dizer alguns) pensas, devo estar a fazer alguma coisa certa!

Por isso, acho que não interessa se os números são grandes ou pequenos, quantos sonhos extravagantes ainda estão por atingir ou como estás longe da vida que sempre pensaste ter... o que interessa é a viagem e as vidas que tocas pelo caminho... E daqui de onde estou, a vista é óptima, por isso que venham muitos mais!

*(Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey In Grey’s Anatomy s01e05)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Here I go


Here I go again to a place where I’ve been so happy, a place that overwhelmed me with challenges and made me grow more than I could have ever imagined.

Here I go back to the place where I dared to run to despite everyone’s advices, where I learned to trust my instincts.

Here I go again to the place where my heart was stolen by two little innocent souls, where I discovered the meaning of endless love.

Here I go back to where I lived the best experience of my life,  a place that made me cry and laugh, and allowed me to discover my true self.

Here I go again to the only busy, crowded place that somehow brings me peace, where I found my passion for theatre and the art of absorbing your surroundings.

Here I go back to where I discovered that misfortunes can result in lifetime friendships, where I learned that traveling isn’t about locations, but about people.  

Here I go again to the place that became my second home, where despite the distance never feels awkward.

Here I go back to a where I’ve been so many times before, a place I know I’ll fall in love with all over again.

Here I go again to a place where I can be inspired, where I’ll surround myself with people that have their hearts in the right place, that care, that believe and that make me believe we can change the world.

Here I go back to where I know I can’t stay. A place I wish I could fit in my luggage and bring home with me. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Next year


Every year I think, “Maybe next year it will be different, maybe next year I’ll finally forget”, but eventually May rolls in, quickly followed by June, and little by little the darkness starts to crawl back out. A constant reminder hovering over my head about how ephemeral and meaningless life is.
It’s not like I want to forget her, not even close, I just don’t want to be reminded of that day. The day everything changed.

Every year I think it will be the last time I’ll write about it, that I finally used up all the words to try to make sense of what doesn’t make sense at all, apparently I am wrong…

Friday, June 02, 2017

Big little lies


It is said that a friend is someone with whom one can be sincere, have no secrets, show their true self. But trusting is hard, risking exposure with no knowledge of what consequences that will bring is often a reality too frightening to handle.

Despite what we like to believe, we never know anyone 100%. Everyone has their secrets, their dark places where they're drawn to sometimes, a sense of overwhelming loneliness that strikes them from times to times. People pretend well, quite often we live in constant denial, and we go through life side by side with people we care about more than we can ever show, and at the same time we know so little about each other, about what really matters, about the demons that keep them awake at night. I think that was what shocked me the most as I grew up, the realization that people are so much more than what we see beneath the surface, that we are all so much deeper and complex than we pretend to be, how oblivious we can be to someone’s struggles and pain.

We all have secrets, deep dark thoughts we don’t share, fears we don’t want to admit. It’s human nature, to protect ourselves and the things we love, so whether because we don’t want to worry people, because we feel no-one can possibly understand us, because we’re ashamed, afraid, or simply due to an utter inability to open up, we clamp up and we go on with our lives, day after day, with a smile in our face that disguises the agony that we face inside.

Everyone has stories they never tell, and a lot of times they're kept hidden not because they don't trust the ones around them, but because they don't trust themselves. Fear is a force that drives us more than we realize, and the fear of letting people down or being hurt is often behind the reason we keep our secrets so well hidden. And yes, friends should be the ones you trust to support you no matter what, but this fear of disappointment doesn’t usually come from having friends that don't love us enough to accept us, it comes from the fact that we don't  love ourselves enough to believe we are worthy of their love despite our flaws.

We are the ones blocking the trust, we avoid exposure because we see vulnerability as a weakness, thought the reality is that it takes an unmeasurable amount of courage to be comfortable in that place.