24 abril 2019

A testimunho da Agnieszka

„We should bathe our destinies as we do our bodies, change our lives just as we change our clothes – not to keep ourselves alive, which is why we eat and sleep, but out of the disinterested respect for ourselves which can be properly called cleanliness” 

- The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa

The „perfect” does not exist 

Lisbon. Quite small and charming capital set picturesque on the hills. Little, narrow houses are whole covered in colorful tiles which gracefully reflect the sun. The city faces the wide Tiber which slowly heads to the Atlantic Ocean. In almost every hidden corner there’s a superb park with plenty of nature which in any other place you can see only inside botanical gardens. On the trees, it’s easy to spot some parrots. Furthermore in Lisbon is rarely raining. People are cheerful, relaxed and most of the time helpful. Over the top, Portugal has one of the best cuisines in the world. Is there anything else you would like in life?

If you put it like that, it seems to be heaven on Earth, and I guess if I would show that description to myself a couple of years ago, my suitcase would be already packed and I would be ready to begin a new chapter of life in Lisbon. 
But well, this time it was not my case.

When I got accepted for my project I had a battle in my head if it’s the right thing to do.
 If I am not too young, not too old if the project will be satisfying if that’s the moment in my life when I should do this. From the beginning, I was overload with emotions and thoughts. 
And it’s nothing extraordinary. Starting a long-term volunteering project is quite a big step in life. And because it’s a „long-term” thing, you don’t want to mess up this decision and what follows - next months or „even” a year of your life.

Go to school, choose the profession, start a university… Most of our childhood and youth we are told what we should do in our lives. Sometimes the roles which are imposed on us by the family, society or the culture becomes ours. We live like there is a right time to do the things. We stop questioning life and accept everything as it is. The voice of the culture transforms into our own – now we want to achieve a professional success before 25, buy a house in the early 30s... Some unwritten manual tells us what is the right thing to do at a certain moment of our lives.

However looking for the ideal circumstances in our life to do the things, is simply wasting our time and potential.
 Because the perfect does not exist.

Looking at the Lisbon as the example – on the surface, it seems to be an amazing city, full of joy and sun. But after some time, when you switch yourself from the tourist mode, you discover also the downsides of this place. You start to see the problems and difficulties which people face here. You will have some rainy days, people being rude to you and even maybe there will be that day when you will have to eat rice with beans to survive till the end of the month.

Although, discovering all those imperfections is the perfect reason to come. Because it shows you what is under the superficial surface. It will destroy the illusion of perfect moments and perfect places.
 Nothing bad will happen if you will go one year later to the university, miss that opportunity in your professional career, or if you will not save enough money to buy yourself a car or an apartment in the future. It is not a race where you have to be the first, it’s not about finding things which are „perfect”, it’s about making all those imperfect happenings meaningful.

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