Thursday, May 24th: The day of my story. Our story.
Thursday, May 24th: The day of my story. Our story.
Tomás: Aramaic name of Greek origin which means “twin”. I was born on May 24. My Zodiac sign? Gemini. It might be a curious coincidence but I’d rather take it as driving force to leave my human-oriented footprint on society.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Friday was a day where everything went through my head. One year ago I decided to quit my job in pursuit of a happier rewarding life. I didn’t know where to go and how to go but I realized at least that I wasn’t feeling ok with myself. Many lonely walks accompanied my despair of deep human connections that I no longer found at work.
I then took the risk and jumped into the unknown without foreseeing what the future would bring me.
It was a relief… My hunger for people culminated in moving to a Lisbon’s hostel for a weekend and traveling on my own for the first time ever. Those were incredibly enjoyable moments where I never felt alone like I used to. Soon after, life wanted me to encounter human beings whose main interest was to fill their pockets no matter what. I felt like a slave. I worked my ass off for them with no emotional return, something I was really looking for. “Let money talk…” we may wonder. But not for me, not again… In a 4-month period, I had already quit 2 jobs. “Am I normal? Is this world normal?”
A NEW DIRECTION
I was heavily disappointed with current society’s lack of ethics and moral values for the money. It was unbearable for me to work for a multinational company by that time. Given the recent traumatic experiences, I needed to reconsider what to do for the rest of my life. And that’s how writing comes in. I put in words everything happening to me: an empty bank account, a broken family as well as living in a house about to blow up. My life had simply fallen into giant pieces at once…
In this scenario, I lost the fear of becoming vulnerable because that was my day-to-day life.
Fortunately, I ended up finding what I love doing the most: meet new people, talk to them, listen to their stories and perpetuate them on pen and paper. There was and there still is this constant curiosity in knowing who’s next to me regardless of one’s age, gender, status or physical appearance. To give a voice to those who are ignored but most deserve to be heard. I envisioned this as my positive contribution to the world:
“Life is people and I’m the vehicle of their journey” – my life motto.
In the meantime, I enrolled in a social entrepreneurship boot camp hoping to absorb some inspiration and positive energy. The kindness, pure heart, team spirit and empathy surrounding that 4-day event made me believe that we can all be changemakers for a better world. In the following days, I could do anything but writing… It turned out to become as addictive as any another dependency.
However, bills had to be paid and sometimes we didn’t find a way to solve it. We had never undergone so many sacrifices altogether and so my priorities drastically changed. Having a euro for a coffee with a friend was more than enough to put a smile on my face. There were some days where we didn’t know what (and if) we’d be eating.
I took refuge in coffee shops, churches and empty streets expecting them to fill me with the mental strength to chase my way.
This same way knocked on the door of a coffee shop to work as a waiter over the following weekends. With a concluded Master’s degree and former teaching assistant at my university, I was earning 50€ for 2 days and this was the best job experience I’ve ever had in my life. The staff welcomed me with open arms and so I did the same with our customers. Serving coffees provided me with a huge deal of satisfaction in the sense that it brought together everything I needed it along those days: genuine interaction with people.
“How can I help you with? Where are you from? Wow really?”
MOMENT OF TRUTH
I acquired powerful soft skills that no workshop or webinar could ever teach me. 4 months later I felt like it was the right time to move on. There was this project; this idea; this inner drive to tell unique, powerful and inspiring stories. In fact, it became an overwhelming loop in my head from early morning to late-night hours. I thus began to work on my personal brand as well as inviting people on LinkedIn to share their knowledge with me. At some point, I was just an unemployed guy making an effort to keep running against the wall. How will I make a living out of this?
Yet, the pressure to make it happen was so brutal…
But I needed to reinvent myself so as to ensure a balanced, sustainable lifestyle. Again, I embraced talking to people until I could find the light at the end of the tunnel.
These months have indeed been a true roller coaster. One day you feel like you’re going to conquer the world whereas you feel like shit the day after. You’re your own boss and that’s one of the hardest things you can possibly imagine. It demands constant discipline, consistency, motivation, and belief.
Honestly, the journey is the destination itself and I don’t regret it one bit. It takes courage and is frightening at many different levels. Nevertheless, you’ll become much stronger, wiser and owner of your own destiny. Today is the day of my story, your story, our story. Thank you to everyone involved in this incredible journey. You made me believe in the power of human kindness.