Updated: Nov 6, 2018
As mentioned on my previous post, i´ve spent some time in uppsala, sweden, while working on a research to finish my degree. This was a very important time in my life. I´ve seen the world from a different angle, and met inspiring people.
We were roughly the same age, all studying abroad, away from family and friends, all committed to make the best of our time and to make new friends. For me, this had been a huge step, to go on my own to another country, as I was doing it for the first time. And thought it was amazing. It was, for me. All depends on the perspective as we all know, and I know it better now. Then I met students my age, who had been taking every year abroad, since they started their studies. And I thought, wow! Now that´s something, brave and adventurous. Never even thought of that, and yes, it´s possible, and yes, it´s only difficult to do it for the first time. I was dazzled.
My time there was not a game changer because of all parties, fun, and popular Erasmus atmosphere that we are all aware of. It was a game changer for something deeper than that. For the first time I felt I was independent, I had the choice of doing and going whatever and wherever I wished. That all in my life was up to me.
That I should not get stuck to society´s picture of what one´s life should be like, and the path you should take, and be truthful to myself, follow my instincts, my heart and my wishes. That it´s ok if you don´t feel like marrying at the expected age, that you don´t feel like settling down before trying to follow your dreams, and that the world is a mindblowing place with way too much to see and do, with too many people and places who might be happy for having you around, meeting you. And that you can actually be useful in so many unexpected ways if you put yourself in the situations for it.
So, first time my mind was providing me with these thoughts, I was studying abroad, and this is why I feel so grateful and lucky for it. Ironically, I forgot about these thoughts when I got back to Portugal, had an opportunity of a great job and did settle down for 5 years... I think it´s pretty easy to get carried away with daily life. To push away our deep thoughts and post-pone our calls. I was happy while settled down though. And very full filled that I had the chance of being part of so many children´s lives, and their families, contributing to make their days a bit better. Along with their contribution toward my life, that I will never forget.
Why is this important for CW? Because I have been avoiding new items for several years, buying only second hand, and organizing swapping dinners with my friends. And for quite a while now I have the dream of spreading this mindset, and get everyone on board. Been getting inspiration from so many organizations, individuals, projects, that have the same mission. And the seed that is responsible for making me believe it´s possible to give an active contribution comes from way back. From there, in Sweden. It has evolved, and got some more roots now, but the seed was planted there.
So here´s a big thank you to my mother, who was the most important person in the process of me actually going abroad. And to make me see that it´s always great to try, it´s always great to succeed, and it´s still great to fail.