Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Saudade



Warning: If you are in my group in Sweden, think twice before reading this is if you do not want to think about the time we have left here.


A word that is often in the "top 10 words in any language", but gets thrown around a lot in my native language (Portuguese), thus losing its meaning. If one would look at the definition, it would be something like "the longing feeling you get when you miss something that will never come back". For the longest time I interpreted this word simply as missing something. Not much different than missing a puppet you had in your childhood or any material item you would have. I didn't think there was anything much deeper than that until the last couple of weeks. And even more so today. 

I've been in Sweden for a little longer than seven months now as an exchange student. If I were to look at myself when I first came here, I would not be able to say I am the same person. The exchange does that to you. It has been more than seven months since the last time I saw my family and friends and even though we Skype rather often, it's not the same thing. I've been wanting to go back since January, since January I've felt like I could be more productive if I were in Brazil, I felt like I could be taking different courses, reading more, writing more and being a more effective person in general. But what would be the trade off? Well, if I were to look at myself from January, I would also not be able to tell it's the same person. It's a sort of metamorphosis, and it's wonderful. I've grown so much, I've learned so much, but not through information, which is what I would be doing in Brazil, I've learned from experience, and that is the most valuable of all learning.

But now, back to saudade. Up until this point I was sure I would eventually get back to anything I happened to "leave behind" (even though I dislike this expression). After the 10 months in Sweden I would get back to Brazil and my life would continue normally, going to school, meeting friends, family and everything. But today made me realise something: I'm not getting back to this, right here, right now. Ever. I am a hundred percent sure that after we finish our year, each one is gonna go his or her own way. We are not gonna be able to meet up every week like we do. We are not gonna be able to simply send each other a message and get to a cozy café in the next hour. Talking, laughing and "fikaing". I know it's depressing and I don't like to think about the whole "we only have X months left" thing, but as I found out, it's important to keep it in the back of one's mind at all times.

The reason why people miss the "exchange year" so damn much is because when they are there, they know it's not gonna last forever. They know after one year everybody is going to be back to their lives in their home countries, and because of that, they live with more intensity. They accept any and every invitation, even if it sounds boring, just for the sake of meeting up with people they had no idea existed a year ago. And that's why they feel that longing feeling. They miss living with the intensity. They miss accepting any and everything that might come their way just because they might find out something new. Sadly it's not everyone who realises that. Sadly most of us are just gonna go back in July and have a big hole in their chests, wishing the intensity.

Am I not gonna miss everyone? Of course I'm gonna miss everyone. Of course I'm gonna have a big hole in my chest from not being able to see everyone that made this one of the best years of my life every week. It would be stupid not to miss it. But we will see each other again, just not as often. And out of this whole longing for what is never coming back thing, I can safely say I learned how to live my life. And that, my friends, is the most important thing in the world. Embrace the fact that nothing is forever and you will embrace the fact that each new moment is the most important one in the world. A cliché, I know, but those are just my two cents.