Since mid-august 2013 I've been living as a exchange student on Den Haag, Netherlands.
For one year I studied in the KABK Art Academy on the same city.
Coming from home to a totally different culture is as scary and exciting as it seems.
I remember leaving Brazil with one goal in mind: To find my own path.
My objective was to come and understand my place in the world and in my creations.
I wished to discover in what I am good at, through which vehicle i would be able to express myself.
I came here looking for answers, and its really funny how I became a collector of questions. But that is good, I discovered that it is much more interesting to live a life always in questions - and not in doubts, I should say - than to live a life based on radical answers. What happened is that instead of getting the answers of those close minded questions I had, I started to understand the world is simply much bigger. We start to focus little on the answers and notice that what matters is to make the right questions.
Now that the exchange ended I tried to organize my life on a video, gathering small takes I filmed through all the exchange. I figured out that nothing would really keep up to my expectations, but the video came out pretty honest and sincere.
This year has been a huge leap for me. I mean, when one is outside having all this experiences, being completely out of one's comfort zone, one MUST grow. We have no choice. Of course, in growth there is pain and struggle, as Henry Miller said, and I can tell I am still in the process, as an Artist an as a person. But I do know that I've also never experienced joy as much as I have this year. I've never felt so much. Felt everything. I've felt a lot! A lot of love, a lot of fear, a lot of doubts, a lot of insecurity, a lot of joy and all that. But I guess it is better to live like this than to be always stuck on security.
Sometimes I dwell on desires of being perfect all the time. But if I really think it straight, what good would it be? I would be forever the same. And one thing I discovered about my work: It is about sharing beliefs. So what good are beliefs that are not tested out? Over and over ? The trials are hard, but otherwise they would be play-time, right? I've got tired of complaining about how hard things are, and started to face life how life is, with an open heart (at least trying to). And man, how life is wise and sublime. We must only be open to it. Let it be and let it go. I wish I could somehow talk to myself from one year ago just so you guys could watch, I imagine how much I've changed or developed. Well, I can try, right?
With that in mind, I wrote a small letter to my past self from one year ago, and I feel moved to share it with you guys:
"Firstly, you should really take your mustache off. You are gonna thank me later on.
Secondly, dude, you seriously need to control your expectations. I mean, it is gonna be a huge experience, and great and fantastic, but you are putting a lot of weight on yourself and on this exchange. It is gonna change you, if you want it or not. Don't expect to win over ALL your demons on this year, you have your whole life for that. But of course, you must find and learn ways to fight it. But let the fight be as it is. Don't try to run ahead of your feet. Have patience with yourself.
At some point you are gonna realize this, but get out of your house and go meet people. There are amazing people here. And something you are gonna learn this year is that everyone is on the same boat. No one is better or worse than anyone, and most people are really open to meet you if you just open yourself enough, they will open back in a HUGE way. In a beautiful way.
You are gonna have some disappointments. But mainly because your expectation of everything - and specially about yourself - is just so huge. But we talked about that already.
Even though you have a lot of dark times, everyone will see you as that very positive guy who is always up-beat! There is nothing wrong in that, but you need to learn how to express sadness and anger openly, that mustn't make good to your health.
Also, you need to lose weight. Biking is good.
Remember you are the only one responsible for your happiness. And also for your sorrow. Don't blame your feelings on other people and things. The dark and bright feelings are all your own creations
The most important thing I can tell you is: Life is the greatest teacher. So go live a bit. Suffer a bit, love a bit, learn and fall with your face on the floor until you have a purple eye, thats life. It happens, let it happen.
We are just passing by. So better to do it with a smile. But I think you know that already, so don't forget it again."
Leaf House - Animal Collective