By Marina Alves
What’s the most interesting place you have ever lived in?
Japan because I went there when I was very young, I had just graduated university and it was a) an escape from my life b) it was just so different. It was fascinating because you could either master Japan or Japan mastered you. It was that kind of place; it either broke you and you went home hating it or you figured it out and stayed and loved it.
Japan was kind of my grown up test: (…) repackaging and representing of myself. And that’s why I moved so far away from home because you go far away and you can change it all. And the most interesting thing was very internal for me. People didn’t know me, people didn’t know my background or my traditions and suddenly I could just change everything. I could be whoever I decided to design myself to be. And it was interesting to see how far I could push that. And I pushed it pretty far.
What was your most interesting experience?
Repackaging and representing of myself. And that’s why I moved so far away from home because you go far away and you can change it all. And the most interesting thing was very internal for me. People didn’t know me, people didn’t know my background or my traditions and suddenly I could just change everything. I could be whoever I decided to design myself to be. And it was interesting to see how far I could push that. And I pushed it pretty far. And that was fascinating like things that you know my old friends or my family would never believe I would do or try or say or be, I did most of them. And that was fascinating. It wasn’t just one experience, it was more internal.
What have you learned experiences?
Being true to yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It comes at a price and for a long time I was very accommodating to other people and what people expected from me. And I was always a very nice and sustaining young man. Then when I started to be otherwise, my reputation was “tarnished” so to speak. And I had to learn to live with that. I had to learn with people saying “oh you’re not as nice as you used to be,” those kinds of comments. Because I wasn’t.
Because once you sort of break free of certain things, then you just kind of say “well I’m going to do what I need to do for me” and that was liberating and lonely at the same time. And there were family members I didn’t speak to for a long time, and lots of other things because of that price. But I made peace with paying it.
So that for me was the most interesting, like to be the version of yourself that you’re trying to create is not free. And anyone who tells you that it is has not tried it because to do it means some amount of defiance- you’re going to defy somebody.
Parents, some old friends, I lost some friends because I think they’re small minded or they’re boring or they’re just not very engaged with their life. I realize sometimes when I visit them that we have nothing to talk about. Our worlds start to feel very small, it starts to feel like I’m bragging but I’m not bragging, I’m just talking about my life and their life is kind of static and mine is not. So we just stopped being friends and I used to feel bad about it but now I’m like I don’t dislike them… were just different. I think you can either have a really dynamic and interesting life or you can have a stable quiet life. And everything comes at a price. People always say “oh your life is so exciting” but I have to move every year and make new friends. I lose some stability and security and there’s a lot of issues with having a transient life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything… but it has some challenges.