When Has Life Stopped Being Fun?

When was the official end date of your youth?

Araci Almeida

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Photo by the author.

This is me, somewhere in the mountains of Liguria, between two Italian regions. On a border like so many invisible ones. Whenever I feel restless and anxious about life, I dig through my memories and look for my last, truly happy place.

And then, I always go back to the summer of 2016 in Italy.

There will surely be something wrong with me. My happy place is never accompanied, but alone. When I was in Italy in 2016, I was alone, but that was not bad. On the contrary. I was very liberated and with a mind full of dreams.

I see those times as maybe the beginning and end of my youth. Everything was so sudden. I see those moments when I finally started to like myself, to believe in myself, and to know that it was possible to make the life I wanted without having anyone discourage me.

My brain felt that too.

At that moment in my life, I felt like a superheroine. Something in my mind said that I was capable of anything, to fly, even if it was possible. And almost like literally moving mountains.

There was a strange energy of happiness and hope emanating from me. I could do anything. I made challenging trails all by myself. And all alone.

I had nothing. I was broke. I earned 600 euros a month as a babysitter and spent every penny on food, summer concerts, and travel. I was lucky enough to have no rent or bills. A wonder, for sure.

In this picture, however, I was not alone.

I was with Chris, a blond, handsome boy, who took my picture after a genuine attempt by me to make a bigger jump than my person.

He captured the moment when I was coming down to earth. I hung out with him for a few weeks. He was half-Dutch-Italian. A strange mixture. He had the Italian passion but simultaneously the Nordic coldness.

We had nothing to do with each other.

Chris would be someone I would consider ridiculous had I been going about my everyday life.

He wore white pants, colorful sweatshirts, and worse, listened to Latin and reggaeton music, styles of music I had always made fun of. Karma no?

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Araci Almeida

9 Times Top Writer, but it doesn't matter anymore. I write about Portugal, I think.