It’s been a long since the last post, but what can I say… it’s been a busy year. I’m not even sure how to really put everything properly into words this time, but after 2 years of the pandemic, of so much uncertainty and feeling like in a limbo reality nonsense, this 2022 has been long, but worth it.
Last year my recap of 2021 was about months or seasons…sort of to say, so I think I will go for it, trying to recap as much as possible.
January- March 2022
These 3 months are normally the most difficult and feel like the long ones at the beginning of a year. It practically feels like you need an extra time holiday, to recover from what the past year and mostly December feels like for a lot of people that we prefer to enjoy time in a more quiet, but more meaningful way.
Beginning of 2022 we were still in pandemic time, it felt like we could get out of this, but I can tell everything felt uncertain. I never felt so much uncertainty in my life as at the beginning of this year. I was hopeful, but I felt a total disconnection from people about life in general. About what we’ve been facing for 2 years, despite feeling tired emotionally (more than physically_). I think I felt like that pretty much the great majority of this year until September, to be really honest. I remember having these kinds of conversations with 2 great friends of mine from uni, Johanna and Daria, about how empty it felt to even make the effort to talk to people and everything around… but let’s face it, by the end of September I also didn’t have any time off or holidays since February, which was my first trip after pandemic to the USA. The last trip I did was actually in December 2019 to NYC. Funny to say this now, but when I have not planned that, it was some kind of “feeling” of “do it now or never, because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow…” sort of thing. It was me listening to my instincts because it was the only way I could stop overthinking doing the things I really wanted, only because of… others? I don’t know.
So back in January – February 2022, I was still working in PR, finishing the last legs of the campaign for West Side Story’s version of Steven Spielberg, which already was collecting nominations for BAFTA’s and OSCARS all around, and in the meantime, my little short-film ‘TO ERR’, was doing it’s first jump to the USA at the Boston Sci-Fi Film festival (one of the longest film festivals in the country, apparently). I got this news actually on the 25th Dec 2021, so it was already my Xmas gift from last year. But I couldn’t start better my year, sort to say. 11 years ago if someone EVER could tell me, I would ever get where I am today, I wouldn’t believe it at all. You’ve to understand one thing for people like me, we live in 2 different worlds. We’ve our own world, the dreams we believe strongly in, the dreams that we really wish can become truth, that we have hopes for until our very last breath… but we are also very aware of the sad reality (world) we live in most of the time. The people that surround us, the lack of faith, the judgment, the unfair competition sometimes, and basically the world we get to deal with nowadays too. It’s interesting when you hear “It will be always difficult for every generation…” possibly yes, but in an “advanced” society we could’ve found in the last 100 years a better balance in between the chaos. Sadly, we haven’t learnt some very old lessons, yet.
I was still feeling like one of the luckiest people at this time, comparing everything that was going on, but at the same time, there was a sense of loneliness and emptiness around me, that I couldn’t explain properly. I felt forced to battle against my own feelings, about how shitty I felt this world was becoming and how hard it was for me to be really happy about what was going on in my life. And the reason is, I couldn’t share my happiness and what it really meant to me, with anyone that could barely understand it. I did never care for the credits, and the sense of recognition society thinks success can bring you. I always cared about inspiring someone out there, sharing a message, values, something that’s not materialistic, but it’s bigger than anything we give value nowadays… a sense of understanding, communication. And that is what my work’s basics are mostly about. That’s what studying theatre and cinema gave me all these years. And it was my safe place to keep going. It’s always the most undervalued and the most difficult career to take as “you want to make a living from it”, because people always going to see it as “it’s a hobby, it’s not real”… the concept we have about what’s real and what’s not, sometimes seems a bit blurry.
So, FEBRUARY 2022… Boston, USA. First trip, post-pandemic times and 2 years of lockdown practically. Travelling for me was one of the things I used to do the most. I basically grew up doing this all my life… and yet, I have never been so anxious doing an 8 hours flight, and it was tough. I was again back to my “life”, but things felt extra difficult because for some reason I didn’t want to be alone that time. But I was doing it alone, and I suck it up. I was going to represent my first professional work, meeting the team and friends that worked and believed in me, so why not?
All said this is a THANK YOU to those who made me feel welcome there as if they knew me all their life. To Liz, Jaclene, Neimar, Anders and well Tony (you don’t count mate, because we are friends from uni, sorry). But to Liz, Jaclene, Neimar (OBRIGADA por todo o seu grande trabalho, pela bem-vinda e a linda familia tb), and Anders for welcoming me to their lives during that week in Boston. You guys were all amazing. I felt very lucky for being able to work with all of you on this first project.
Here are some images of my time and trip in Boston (it’s a slideshow, so go for it!!)
My last day in Boston was probably the saddest one, because not only I had to deal with some issues regarding the screening of my film at the festival, but also the news of the war in Ukraine breaking and feeling the threat not only close to all of us in Europe (let’s all be honest about it), but also because I had close friends I know in the middle of all this chaos breaking. And we are still in the middle of a pandemic, so I woke up that morning crying and feeling hopeless about practically everything. Life couldn’t feel more empty those first weeks of March… it felt like an empty-numb month. I was talking to friends, and trying to help the best I could when it comes to communication, in the meantime, I was becoming jobless again at the end of that month. So honestly, I was trying to figure out some sense in life in general…
April- May 2022
Regarding these 2 months, all I can recall was my personal experience facing the massive impostor syndrome I was carrying with me for more than a year (through the pandemic time working from home, and I guess all my doubts about me being good enough about what I was doing), was literally hitting me deeply. It came to a point I was doubting about every little thing I was doing, and how I forced myself to just not allow anyone to notice what was going on with me was serious… I can say, it was a dangerous act. It was because I had to do 3 months of cognitive therapy, so I can face the reality of what I was inflicting on myself and also allow others (unconsciously) with their own toxicity, to do more damage in my own mind and emotionally speaking. Fortunately, I acknowledge that and took measures to recognise it. And the deal in my life is, if I’m going to be 100% honest about what I do, I’ve first to be within myself if I want to bring some kind of “positive” example out there. Acting through actions, not words only.
So April and May, I spent most of my time, applying for jobs, and doing interviews after interviews (sometimes 3 on the same day) and by the middle end of May, I got an offer for the job I’ve been working until now. During that month, “TO ERR” also had its first screening online for PAUS TV, it was screening in NEVADA, and at the SCI-FI London film festival. And on the weekend I went to my first concert post-pandemic with my brother, I found out my team and I won 2 awards at the film festival in NEVADA, for a best short film of the year and the audience award as well (and this one, really sunk in me as something special).
The film, it has always been my first true love since I was a kid. It’s something that has brought joy, a safe space and happiness to my life. It’s a medium that is mainly praised because of the appearance of glamour for the great majority. I’ve seen it as a place where everyone could be understood and where hidden messages had bigger and true meanings. Where time can be changeable and not a threat, and the same as books if someone would see it… would be like that message inside a bottle that gets lost in the middle of an ocean, and all of a sudden someone will find it.
What people need to understand, is for a filmmaker, the same as for a writer, a painter or a sculpture artist, you need to find your own style and own way to tell your work. Communication it’s very particular, and one thing I’ve learnt from my time in acting is every human being is their “own world” inside themselves. I learnt to appreciate the film in its philosophical style when I was in high school, and I had a lot of thanks to give to my teachers back then. Education, same as health, is a very important base in our existence… and seeing how nowadays society is losing it, it’s scary. Simple as it is. It’s why everything nowadays seems to shift to the extremes, without balance and common sense.
I’m glad a 10-min story, had the power to touch so many people that saw it, and mostly so many women out there ( your feedback and words gave me the power to believe my future projects can continue the journey I always dream to do). Because, as someone that has learnt to study audiences too, to observe how people react and listen to what they can tell you, that it’s the most enormous gift anyone can give you regarding your work. So, I do what I do, not only because I want to make a living for what makes me happy, but because I want to leave my part in this world. My tiny legacy is “I lived, and I did the most of what was given to me” by God, I guess. Because another lesson I’ve been learning all these years is to not take for granted life. And we definitely shouldn’t. We forget that very often, and too quickly… I can tell.
Summertime was what I could call “survival”. got covid-19 (aka the “plague”) during my birthday and basically spent all my 38th in bed and recovering. I was just into my 3rd week of starting the new job, and after Sundance London 2022, I was stuck for 10 days in my bedroom. The worse part was bringing it home to my parents, which was what I tried to avoid the most, but couldn’t.
Honestly? summer time this 2022 went too quick and all I wanted was to stay afloat and carry on until September. I was on period probation, and for as much we are leaving in a society that seems not to care for “their work”, I do care too much about what I do. Call it a sense of responsibility, a sense of ambition, a sense of care… I do (sometimes too much, it’s true). But from where I come from, and the discipline I started to apply for the past 11 years since I moved to the UK is “If I can do better, everyone can”. It’s something that goes within every artist, we always think we “can do better”. Overcoming every challenge, perhaps. It’s what makes some “survive” and others just give up ( I know it sounds rough, but it’s the truth and many of us know this).
So yes, this is what I’ve had to live for most of the time if you ever asked. Not trying to win any pity from it, the less anyone in this position wants, believe me, it’s pity. If you’ve any loved ones in your circle (friends, family, partners…) that are in this industry, all I can tell you is never to give them pity or a sense of “let me help you to shift from it…”. We don’t need that. We want understanding and emotional support only to keep carrying one. Those in this field, the ones that survive, we are able to find a window where doors are closed. We can make it happen, we just need understanding, respect, support and love.
Also, summertime was a way to connect with more true and good friends. Mostly those I’ve shared so much with during my uni time at Cambridge.
I also (FINALLY!!) got my graduation ceremony from my master’s in film distribution. That was very special to me, even if this time I was also alone. But, I can tell for some reason, I felt that I wasn’t.
I’ve seen friends I haven’t seen since 2019 (beginning of 2020), I ended up helping another great friend produce her little film project, and basically unite the “part of the old gang” on doing something fun. So that was summer for me, mostly.
October – December 2022
The last 3 months of this year literally flew. I didn’t have that many expectations tbh, but all I wanted was to take time off from my hard work and go on holidays. I wanted to go back to Portugal badly, because the last time I was there was for a weekend in November of 2019, for a conference about my industry in Lisbon, in which I was invited to participate. That was the last time I was there, and I’d never been apart for so long. My cousin had a girl during those 2 years, that I only saw on facetime once in a while, I had very few friends that I was still speaking with, that I missed and I promised to see them once I got back. So more than a “me time” alone (the usual I used to do, every time I was going to Portugal… our touring friends from other countries around), I just wanted to take my time to be with the people I choose to be with and family. Little did I know…
In November I went to where I grew up in southern Spain, after 11 years without going. The last time I was in Spain was in Madrid in the summer of 2016 and was very brief. And I couldn’t find the proper time (feeling guilty about it) to really pay a visit there. It was in my priorities now and again, and I’ve learnt something I didn’t know… that I was important enough to some of my longtime friends there. That they missed me, that despite me leaving for so long, they didn’t forget about me and that after 20 years, true friendship does exist. I will make sure to will be there for you both more often now girls 🙂
Little did I know, that something that was present in my conversations with 2 friends in the past months (and thoughts) so very often, would become a reality and a true blessing in my life.
This is probably the most vulnerable, but happiest I’ve been in a long time. It’s something I felt to be ready for, after many years alone, not wanting any serious relationship, nor being attached emotionally to anyone only for the “need” of it. I had already my share of disasters and suffering in that field, and my understanding of sharing feelings for someone else, I guess it’s about something that I can feel real enough for me. Honestly, I was quitting in that field… because I didn’t want anyone that could bring drama to my life, break even more my peace of mind, shit on my parade (aka, destroying the very little things that made me happy about myself and my life), and dictating how and what I should do with myself or my life; or feeling a need to “provide” me anything that I can provide to myself alone. And I know this can be understood in very different ways, but one thing I’m done regarding “relationships” (serious or not) is pretending something you are not and full-fill the unrealistic expectations of other people. Sounds very typical, but believe me, once you really grow and stumble a few stones in your life, for your own sake and emotional stability, you MUST cut the crap somewhere. I’ve cut mine in the last few years, just focusing on what I considered important, and YES, I didn’t pay enough attention to other things or people around me. Yes, a few guys and including friends, have dropped the ball on my side, or were enough honest to let me know (which I appreciated always), but I wasn’t ready.
I haven’t been ready to share an important part of myself, my soul and who I really am, with anyone until recently. I wanted that, but I was scared for one side, I was too comfortable being alone as well, and I didn’t want to lose energy and time on people that don’t deserve it. I’m sorry, but in that, I’ve to be honest. If something I was sure about, is I wanted a partner, a friend, and someone I can connect and share with without making a fool of myself and losing who I really am. I wanted only respect, and understanding, someone that cared as much as I do, someone that can really love. And I think, it’s not much to ask in life… I always thought that even if it felt like a lost cause sometimes. And funny enough, for about 6 years it was right in front of me (sort to say), without me realising.
Resuming the story… a lifelong friend (and the son of my mum’s best friend!!) we got together during my time in Lisbon. An afternoon walk, and night out dinner with endless talk hours became another day in the cinema (at this point this kinda became a date almost), and that became another night out for dinner (the proper date, sort to say). That night my overthinking (and one of my biggest fears) was slapping me in the face hard enough. and that 25th October, was the day the rest of my life until now changed completely, for the best.
The story itself (said by good friends of mine) couldn’t be more coming out of a romantic comedy film (here’s where I laugh, because in the end what you want is your life to be “normal”), but what can I say… life happens. And I was blind enough to not see what was there for a long time now. I’ve been trying to understand all of this (typical me LOL), but all I can say for 2 months now is I’m blessed and lucky enough to have him in my life. To share with him all the great moments we’ve been sharing in these last months, for the amount of happiness and greatness we’ve in our lives now. I’m thankful he’s part of my life, and he has been there waiting 6 years for me to “wake the hell up”. I guess, at the very end of all, it was meant to be like this. And yes, I can say you were there for me… but I’ve been wondering this world somehow, to be ready for you too. I’m just glad I finally found you. ❤
Being able to say “love of my life” to someone, has to come with a deep significance for me, and I’ve to be 100% sure of what I feel. And I truly can say that now. Thanks for the first 2 months of happiness and for loving me, Tiago.
And because I left the best part for last, as it should be in every life story, yet to become, this is entirely dedicated to you 🙂
Yours now and always,