When Has Life Stopped Being Fun?

When was the official end date of your youth?

Araci Almeida


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?



Araci Almeida

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