An update on life

I remember a conversation I had with a mentor a couple of years ago when I still lived in Lisbon, about how some aspects of our personality tend to shift with time, as we grow more experienced. The internal state of turmoil that often accompanies our teenage years and early twenties, tends to fade away to give place to calm and self-assurance.

I find myself slowly becoming more introverted. And although there were signs, like me leaving social media behind, getting a desk to work from home for the first time since the pandemic forced me to, or tending more often to places where I can work from or eat in silence, what gave that conclusion away was an episode that happened the other day at university. While waiting for the elevator, I noticed someone else arriving to the campus lobby. Anticipating an interaction and potential disturbance, I decided to take the stairs, so as to gain or preserve a couple of extra minutes musing on my own.

So, what have I been up to? I'm working on myself. Working on finding balance, finally eating and sleeping enough after twenty-something years of poor sleep hygiene and instant noodles. Flirting with meditation on a weekly basis. Finding a new identity that goes beyond the scope of the work I do and of the impact I want to create around me. I'm internalising that our time is too short to spend time with people who drain our energy out, or to work on something that no one wants, or that anyone else could build. I'm programming every day and following a path I feel proud about. But I'm also learning to work without having to scream for validation. Without having to tell the entire world about the amazing work I'm doing. I'm starting less and finishing more.

I'm happier. Although I still wake up some days, reliving trauma from a past life and grappling with an incessant need to cry, I find myself smiling and thanking the universe for everything it has been providing every waking hour. I appreciate every person I come across on my day to day life, who impart onto me their wisdom and spend more time writing about them.

I'll be spending my birthday week exploring a new place on my own. A tradition I started when I was 22 and that I will keep for as long as I can. This time in Rome. For a change of scenery and pace that may help me get inspiration and a leap forward on my thesis. And of course, to spend more time pondering about the quintessential questions of life. Perhaps even stumble across the answer to everything.

Only you know who you can be