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Anniversary


There are days in a year or years when much of what has been is concentrated together and memories come back and emotions rage within. There are those days when something in one's heart beats to the rhythm of some past events, moments that seem to be trapped in time capsules formed as invisible balloons that float between the conscious and the subconscious.


Like several lives lived in one, like something so real, tangible, alive and yet surreal and far, far away... Like someone else's life unfolding on a movie screen.


And then carried away by the vivid emotions and images that appear and disappear, I write retrospections…


In less than a week, our oldest daughter will be 10 years old - a decade later, that is, a decade ago, a young woman sits in a purple dress bought in a fine shop, her short brown hair is secured with a pair of bobby pins above her ear. She smiles as she eats tapas at one of her favorite restaurants, her stomach visibly tightened, not by the food, but by the life growing inside her. If only she knew then that everything in that life would grow and grow from both her and everything she was and believed up until that moment, and it would happen only days after that image from her memory. She is becoming a mother for the first time – something she has dreamed about since she remembers the dreams and wishes she had as a little girl with the same short hair as the day before she was due to give birth.

She will have no idea where life will take her, where she will be thrown, broken and picked up again.

And even if she had known, she wouldn't have believed most of it at the time.

Let her rest in peace and keep the sparkle in her eyes as she counts the last moments until that event.

10 years, Ivana. All the life of a girl full of dreams like you used to have.


But I am not only counting the days since that moment 10 years ago, but also almost 15 years since I met him with whom I will embark on this adventure that is still going on. 15 years ago on an August evening, I saw a pair of the most blue eyes in which I wanted to drown so many times that in their reflection I would see again and again the reflection of myself: the best version that we all strive for. With him by the sound of a river that had never given me anything memorable until that moment, I suddenly lived a thousand lives. And that night a new door opened and we walked through it not knowing where it led us.


And there are thousands, millions of such doors... all the opportunities that life gives and takes away from us, to which we consciously and unconsciously say "yes" or (it seems to me more often) "no".


3 years ago, such a door will open, as so many times before, but if I slam it hard and do not look behind me, I will slowly, carefully and curiously begin to open more and more of them.

3 years ago at this time, I get to sit on the floor of the house that my husband designed and created to be our new "forever" home, the last late summer sun breaks through the large glass panels and I feel the warmth of my cheeks mixed with the tears that unstoppably washes my cheeks one by one.

I am listening to an episode of a podcast that I found by accident (today I believe that nothing is accidental). And I hear the man say words that will sink into my heart and echo in me for days after.


"I don't want to live the life I live when I'm on vacation, I want to live a life where every day is like I'm on vacation." That was roughly how he shaped it, I became aware of it during our three-month stay that spring in Mauritius. I knew then what I would soon say in a conversation: Mauritius for us was not an adventure of a lifetime that might happen once, for most never. For us, Mauritius was not only a memory of the days of freedom, it was a reminder of the freedom that we wished for every day for the rest of this life. "I don't want Mauritius just once, I want to live every day as if we were in Mauritius" - was my response to that thought from the podcast.

I want to be free to be independent of norms, expectations, standards,...I want to be free to be nothing and everything I want and feel: every day, again and again. So on the floor of the house we're going to sell just a month later, I'll ask hundreds of questions in my head, and I won't be able to answer any of them, but I'll keep asking them to myself and others, until in their echo I recognise the contours of the answers that will become what I live today: boundless freedom and gratitude for every pore, every atom of my being, living this life - unconventional, but authentic.


I who humiliated myself for so many years, I who suffered myself for so many years, I - a provincial girl who wore stars in her eyes and every year lost more and more of her joys and dreams, I who could so much and almost nothing, I stand today looking at all the open doors, all the possibilities that I finally said "yes".


Me for 15 and 10 years ago, even me just 3 years ago, had so much she longed for and so much she regretted. Now I know for myself that there was a time for everything: to become someone's love, someone's mother, someone's inspiration... There is a moment when we have all the trump cards to turn them into the reality of what our soul calls and invokes from the moment it finds itself shaped into life.


And here I am, a provincial woman, so far from myself 3, 10 and 15 years ago. Me who cried all day yesterday out of gratitude for what is and what I live. Here I am writing this in the Mexican sunshine after a year and a half of living the life I dreamed of 3 years ago, on the floor of a house that will show me that nothing is "forever" and that anything can turn into reality. Only three years, 3 years where everything that man from the podcast said in just 55 minutes that ultimately sealed in me the will to live my own version of that story: with those who embarked on that adventure.


"Dreaming life or living dreams" - I recently wrote in an Insta post. And I still ask myself the same question, because the volume and the strength of what I carry inside me cannot and I do not know how to put it into words. But I want to tell everyone, loudly and again: that dreams can be lived, even when life is "just" life, and when we live every day as if it were our best annual vacation.

With stars in my eyes and a heart overflowing with gratitude, I open the door every day as if it were my first and last.


"Viva la vida" - shouts another young man at a ceremony over Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. He shouts and laughs in the sincere way from the depths of his stomach in the psychedelic delirium of the universe poured into one moment.


Live the life that someone gave us, live each day saying "yes" to it and smiling and embracing all that life is.


If I can do it, so can you – when the moment is right.

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