Clarification: When I write, I don't prepare or organize my ideas, I just write what I would say if I was talking to you in person, so sometimes my blogs end up a little messy. I don't even proof-read what I write before posting it so you may find grammatical mistakes and poorly written sentences. Sometimes I'll read my blogs a day or two after publishing them and I may re-write things that weren't too clear and any embarrassing grammatical mistake. Also, English is not my first language, so I apologize if reading my blogs become a struggle. Of course, if this is the case, I would imagine you wouldn't continue reading.

Jun 29, 2010

I Want To Live Too

A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with one of my new cyber-friends, the young and very talented Venezuelan photographer ZS, also known as the controversial MR. She's in Venezuela right now, but she's doing everything she can to relocate to Madrid, Spain, because the situation in Venezuela has deteriorated to a ridiculous point. I know at this moment things are bad, really bad over there, and they are going to get worse, much worse. Z has lived in Spain for a few months a couple of times before, so she knows the place quite well and has made a many friends over there.

During the conversation I asked if she ever considered moving to America, and she said she has, but that it was way more difficult and expensive. She has an American brother, and she's actually lived in America, in Houston, of all cities, so she also has a fairly good idea of how life is here. We talked a little bit about the pros and cons of both places, and we both agreed that due to economic reasons living here is easier.

But then she proceeded to remind me of something I've always known, but that I try not to think about, maybe because I know it's the truth. She said that while Americans live their lives around money, work, time, schedules, rules, deadlines, etc, Europeans dedicate their lives to one thing: enjoying life. She said Spaniards were really laid back, always happy and never have too much to worry about weather they are rich or poor. She described Madrid as a city where everyone walks the streets at night to go to places or to meet with others and that you might even meet with people you know even when you were not expecting it. There's always something to do, something to see, and even if you get bored you always have the choice to take the train to another country without having to spend a fortune. I've been to Barcelona, and I have many friends who live in Spain, so I knew all this, but she made me feel a little bit of envy when she reminded me of it.

When I asked her about her career plans, she just said something like "I don't know, I don't care. I don't care if I become the photographer for a famous magazine, or if I wash dishes at a restaurant. I don't care if I make a fortune or if I'm poor all my life. As long as I have my camera and I take my pictures, I don't care about anything else, I just want to live."

That last sentence hit me hard, "I just want to live". I knew what she meant, I knew she wasn't talking about just being alive or about making a living or having a career. I knew she wasn't talking about surviving, which is something way too many people that I know here, including myself, do. I can almost see the colors and smell the scent of that sentence, "I just want to live", and it makes me a little sad, because that's what I've always wanted to do, yet it's something I rarely do.

At the moment there's nothing I can really do about this new feeling I have in my heart. That spark that happened during my conversation with Z has ignited a little fire, another one, and I'm sure I'm going to be thinking about this a lot in the near future, because now I remember that I want to live too.

Edit: The name of the person was edited to ZS and MR as requested by the person in question.


JT said...

Cesar: This is deep & rich on many levels, but mostly, it's appealing because it's simple.

One thing I've grappled with is that you can be passionate, excellent, and unique without making a zillion dollars, or spending undue time getting it done. For example, I am NOT BT. Yet, via certain simple accomplishments & routines, I can be smashingly satisfied with kicking ass on my own terms, be it music, blogging, or cooking dinner for my wife.

Always love & appreciate your thoughts, your willingness to fight with bare knuckles and tell the truth.


Lara Uster said...

OHHHHHHHHHHHH que bello! prrrr me encanta como escribes además, que lindo! miau miauu!!!! <3333 demasiado pro!!! <333

Lara Uster said...

Cuando quieras vivir aventuras conmigo aqui estaré :)

CE54R said...

One person who commented on the Facebook link for this blog said:

"I will never forget something an older gentleman told me when I was living in Italy and I joked about how store/bakery/butcher/etc. hours were more like guidelines than rules. He said (I wish I could type in his accent), "You Americans... You live to work... We? We work to live... If lunch takes an hour longer than we thought, well ... See Moreso be it!" We then had a long conversation, me with my broken Italian, he with his broken English, in which we talked about how important it is to remember that life is not about how many hours you put in or how big your house/car/whatever are, but that it's about LIFE and living it and enjoying it. "How can you enjoy this life when you work 80 hours a week in an office job?" he asked."

I think she know exactly what I'm talking about.

Unknown said...

Oh Cesar, this blog is one of your very best! Honestly, 2 years ago, I would have never been able to relate to what you and Miss Silva talked about, but now, living in Europe myself, I have come to appreciate life so much more! I admit, sometimes its hard, I get impatient with the slower lifestyle, but my stress levels have decreased so much, I sometimes feel like I've been given a gift by being here. It's true, us Americans do live to work and strangely we are totally fine with only having 2 weeks of vacation a year (and that is only the lucky ones, most people only get 1 week!).....if you tried to tell a German that they were only getting 2 weeks a year, they'd think you were joking! I hope your friend is able to live out her dreams in Spain, she sounds like she really knows what life is all about! I miss you Cesar!

CE54R said...

Yay, it finally showed up! I miss you too, Shawna. Now I need to figure out what's wrong with the FB Like button. I doubt I'm really that popular.