What a year! 2019 was a journey ripe with PLOT TWISTS. I put together a collage you see above as an attempt at sharing a few of the many incredible experiences I am grateful to have lived these last twelve months. Unfortunately, it does not include all of the impactful moments I lived neither all of the people I was fortunate to spend time with. However, this is precisely why I am writing this review.
Yes, this will be a long reflection, but one straight from the heart... And something tells me you'll enjoy it. So grab some popcorn and tag along! 😄🍿
Take a look at the picture. Notice me on the left with my backpack? I had always suspected it, but now I'm sure. That's who I am (aside from the physical appearance, obviously). I'm a traveler, an adventurer, a human who longs to have fun, learn and spread joy along the way!
"Change" is the keyword here.
"Change" is the keyword here. My life took a turn when I decided to move countries. I went from the Atlantic Southeast - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - to the Pacific Northwest - Vancouver, Canada. This was a long term decision committed to internationalizing my career and expanding my personal horizons. However, it had its price and required a good deal of "restarting". It is very challenging... Yet can also be rewarding - if you're willing to face it!
Because of this process, I've lived so much...
- I've left my comfort zone by backpacking solo and I've gone on hilarious road trips with friends.
- I've been to crazy music festivals, hosted lively house parties, danced in the streets, organized bonfires in the woods and even celebrated New Year's Eve at the airport.
- I've made new friends from all over the world, strengthened bonds with old ones (also from all over the world), and savored a wonderful family-vacation among all the chaos.
- I've explored gorgeous lands (from creepy sanctuaries to snowcapped mountains), slept in tiny tents during massive storms, and attended conferences at luxurious hotels.
- I've wrapped up amazing projects (including a VR escape room for Disney with Mickey Mouse), started new ones (including graphic novels based on poems I've written), showcased Sword Legacy: Omen at Reboot Develop in Banff, and brought back a Best Game trophy from Indie X in Lisbon.
In sum, for better and for worse (but mostly for the better), I saw many cycles end. Which, in turn, gave way for new cycles to begin. However, the point here is certainly not to brag. Instead, I believe these adventures are only worthwhile if from them I extract meaning. That's why I want to share what I've learned.
To memorable adventures and adventurous memories!
The saying goes "home is where the heart is" - and it couldn't be more true. I was, am and forever shall be grateful to my family and especially my parents for always supporting me. When the time came to make this impactful decision of radically changing my life, it was no different. It is because of them I hold my core values close to heart. I thank them for making sure I always had a smile on my face and without them I'd never become who I am today. Despite the distance, there is never a day I feel lonely. Quite the contrary, their love is always with me. We might be apart dealing with our busy routines, but when we talk, it's the same smile we share when we're together.
Just as is with the dear friends I said farewell to. We might not have the same face-to-face we had back then, but I'd never be the person who I am proud to be today were it not for the precious life moments we shared - both big and small. All the way from forging the toast "To memorable adventures and adventurous memories", to each of those episodes (and friends) in the picture, and the many others who I treasure so much.
Goodbyes don't need to be sad.
Among many lessons learned, one I consider to be particularly insightful: Goodbyes don't need to be sad. I lived one of the most amazing moments of my life at my "farewell party". From it, I created the "Book of Memories", a memento that will forever shape my being with heartwarming visions of the past - which, in turn, shape the future.
Remember, your past is useless if from it you do not learn. Cherish every single moment because the NOW never returns. And that's good! We need to be conscious of that. We need to be aware that through the joie de vivre, even after the moment is "gone", we can create new and exciting ones by applying our findings from the past. Don't look back. Keep your head straight and know what happened back then (in 2019 or whenever) is the foundation from which you must draw to become better.
If you're not hyped, something ain't right!
Life isn't easy. We all go through troubles. Trust me, though, if you've got a smile, it makes facing all of those problems so much better. That's where my second motto comes in... "If you're not hyped, something ain't right". It doesn't mean you're not allowed to be sad. It simply means that you should always be mindful of your feelings and strive for what makes you happy, eager to enjoy life. Be respectful to others, but also to yourself. Know thyself (sounds cheesy, but really makes a difference) because you'll realize your days are too short to be wasted sulking in darkness. None of this is easy. I know. But I've grown to learn it is worth the effort. We ARE our attitudes and that's why I long to share joy and cherish life as best as possible.
Life doesn't magically change for the better.
The year of 2020 should be as prosperous as all the other years of your life - past and future. This is not a new year's resolution, but rather a reminder that "change" can start at any moment. How about now? This year can be great or awful, it's up to you. Bear in mind, we have little control over the world's timeline and events, but your state of mind and heart reflect the excitement and courage with which you face each day.
Life doesn't magically change for the better. You don't wake up happy out of the blue. It's the other way around. Be proactive. Take the reigns. It will get better. And never hesitate to ask for support. (If I can be of help in any way - it's impressive how much a simple chat can achieve - get in touch with me or whomever you trust and feel comfortable approaching.) Then, when you least expect it, you'll be spreading joy! :)
After all... If you're not hyped, something ain't right. Let us savor life... Now and forever! 😄🎉
This is it. The first post of this blog and 2020 - in case you're curious, my previous one was Vagrant Bard. If you liked what you read, be sure to subscribe and comment because I'll talk about many things here. Expect content all the way from lifetime reflections (such as this one) to musical recommendations, game, and movie reviews; original stories of my own; plus storytelling discussions based on my case studies and professional experiences.