It's hard to choose the language I will write in now... My heart knows all the subliminar beauty in Portuguese's melancholic words, but my surroundings have no idea what "saudades" means... And the better I am at explaining things, "saudades" is just too Portuguese to be explained. "Saudades" has a salty taste that interweaves with the tears it breeds and comes with the sound of a good old "Fado Português". "Missing" something doesn't come close to explaining "saudades". We own it.
Choosing the language is maybe the smallest of my choices. Daily choices. "Do I do laundry now or do I sweep the kitchen?"; "Do I buy 'cage free' or 'cage free organic' eggs?"; "Do I hand wash my dishes or use the dishwasher?"; "Coconut or Almond milk on my coffee?" Boring choices my father would not be necessarily proud of...
All I am now is a result of my choices. And I have been very grueling to the feeling that I got to my 40's with no idea of who I really was. This last years have been an almost juvenile amount of crisis rolling around this question that can actually keep you nailed to the same spot until you are too old to figure it out anyways.
So I decided to understand my "uniqueness" through the small choices I make. (No, whether I use fabric softner or vinegar does not belong to this category...) But there's a catch to this. At least for me: these choices that define me, are the ones I make when I'm alone. Sola, allein, sozinha, seul, hitori de, all by myself.
Don't get me wrong, all I do make me, but most of it is related to the people around me. I decide to go early to the gym to be available to my kids later. I watch basketball with my hubbie because he loves it, but I won't watch MMA... I read about good techniques to raise my strong willed daughter, but probably I do so quickly because self help books bore me to death.
I know who I am when I watch a show about politics, or History, or the great mysteries that lie in museums or castles... Perfect Saturday night for me, after putting the kids to bed: A marathon of "Race to the White House" on CNN, followed by "The Tudor castles" in Smithsonian and "Van Gogh and Gaugin: behind the scenes." If I can wrap up the night with "The Golden Lady" on Netflix or "Civil War in colour" I will go to bed smiling. (obviously I never do that, by 10 I am drooling in the sofa while History Channel tries to teach me what might have happened to Hitler had he survived the war...) "Antony Bourdain" or "Chef's Table" make me extremely happy, but only when I have Fernando by my side. He is my chosen travel and dining companion. Hence the necessity of him, so we can dream and possibly decide on our next destination. Or snack....
I know I prefer sparkling wine while I watch all of those presumptuous shows above cited. Rosé is my choice, though, for I won't drink the whole bottle... I'll have grapes to nibble and will end with a small piece of salted chocolate.
I will write while the grapes disappear from the bowl and the words fill my screen, and I will postpone my children's bed time because I don't edit and I will not come back to this piece later. It is what it is. No looking back has place in my writing. Or my life.
I will only read if there is a hint of time travel in the plot. Oh, paradoxal you, what about "there's no looking back bla bla bla?"... Yeah, there's that... The fascination with looking back and imagining how people lived in old times. How they smelled, behaved, ate and loved... Nothing catches more my attention than the possibility of imagining myself in Florence during the Renaissance or in Ireland during the 1930's... ("Angela's Ashes" on my nightstand as we speak...) That very smart look I have in a Museum has nothing to do with a great knowledge of Art Techniques, but is the face of a person trying to set that object in the place and time it was produced.
The only thing I cannot choose is to write. Writing is more that an option, is a necessity. I remember writing letters I would never send, and writing poetry on my journal... If all of you knew Cecilia Meireles I could say that "Eu canto porque o instante existe", but you don't know her.... She taught me that a poet writes because. Just because. If I don't, I choke.
And I don't want to choke anymore.
I choose to breath.
I choose to be me.