To Change (Mudar)
In the last few days the verb “mudar”, in its most varied forms and times, has occupied my mind.
The Portuguese language itself (along with Spanish) has two different verbs, “ser” and “estar”, to express what in English, French, German, Dutch and several other languages is translated by a single verb. What distinguishes them is the permanent or temporary state of what they refer to. The name, for example, is a permanent condition. We apply the verb “ser” because it is not expected that someone will change their name. I “am Ana” and I will be like this forever. If I get sick, I will say “eu estou doente” because I hope it will be a temporary thing.
But if I stop thinking about the things that give me stability, because I know that they will always be the ones that shape the world as I know it, I have to leave the comfort zone and look the unknown in the eye. I have to trade the right for the uncertain. Scary or challenging?
A house is a house, my children are my children, the sea is the sea, countries are countries and a person is a person. But what about the life that happens within all things without giving a break? I am almost tempted to say that the only permanent thing is change. How many types of houses are there? How many changes have my children’s lives gone through since they were born? Even the sea is changing due to the action of man.
Some changes are voluntary, easy or difficult, happy or sad, but they happen in response to our will, they are part of the path we have set out to reach our goals. Others appear to surprise us with moments of happiness. But what about those that come out of nowhere, that hit us like a punch in the stomach, that throw pillars that support us and dreams that make us fly?
The truth is that time, in addition to being therapeutic, is an excellent teacher. Life experiences, good or bad, give us resistance and the ability to put things in perspective, in addition to having the enormous merit of reminding us that we have already gone through sad, challenging, traumatic situations and not only survived, but also stood up off the floor and we started dancing in the dust again. After the storm comes the calm.
Life is the greatest gift that has been offered to us and showing our thanks means embracing it without fear, intensely, even when it takes us to the dark side, in the certainty that the night does not last forever and the sun will shine again.
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