IV. 17th of January – This is NOT a Romantic or Self-Help Book

We live in a constant dichotomy between the social version of ourselves and the creature encapsulated as a voice inside our head. And, although either of them is totally false nor real, we often struggle to balance both. Like juggling in a thin line where you know you will fall from time to time, no matter how much our social self will strive to hide those tumbles. As the naked eye is not pure and naïve in its perception, you should not trust everything that is seen as clear as virgin water in a crystal glass.

For instance, by observing from the outside, checking my social media profiles, and learning about my situation right now, you would probably think what every social self want people to think: life is good. And, to be honest, for the most part, it also feels great, like floating in a fast speed train rails with destination my goals.

  • You can do this. – I say to myself in the mirror before heading to the gym in the early, cold and awakening morning.

Life rarely comes in a straight and clean line. In my experience for as long as I can remember, it’s quite the opposite: like a curved and twisted trail, often deceiving and frustrating, where balancing one side of your scale means giving up something on the other side. For me, just as I experienced and found the person where I should find all the reasons, the other side of the scale unbalanced by discovering that dark seed growing and destroying me from the inside.

Such is the nature of the social reality we live in, where I feel the biggest challenge I will face in my life is no longer what kind of job I would like to retire in, or finding a wife to raise some children, or buying that new car after I reach my next promotion. I belong to a generation where our struggle is not a biological-based needs one, but a spiritual-based needs search. It is because we have been given all the options to thrive, when we feel we forgot some of the basic fundamentals to pursue that growth. Our battle is an internal one so that we can find meaningful ways to connect and find purpose with the outside.

Because of that we invest in experiences and not in things; we dream about gathering sensations and not objects; our most valued possesions exist inside our minds, in the form of memories shared with someone you connect with, and not measured by the value of your assets. Because the social pressure taking for granted that we should naturally find that meaning, happiness and ultimate answers is so great and unrealistic that we can barely breath sometimes.

  • It’s funny, but after your comment the other day, we had a look at the reports and found a couple of weird deals done. – Francesco said as I walked passed him at the office, totally unaware that there was no coincidence on him finding out, but just revenge to someone I truly care about.

The truth is, my invisible friend, that you can’t really know for certain what’s truly goes on in someone’s life behind curtains. And everything can be redefined in a second of awareness. Just like the people around me cannot realy imagine what is really behind my resolution to run the marathon, or the sickness I am facing; or how not so long ago Quantum Psychology was only a vague concept and cumulate of ideas floating inside my head, until that moment of raw connection started to finally put all the collected pieces together and the first word of this book.

If there is something I have learnt throughout my life, is to not give up, no matter how crazy and bold your ambitions and dreams seems to the rest of the world. I’m just not good at giving up, which is not always a good thing. For better or worse, if I believe in something, there is no force on Earth that will take that idea from my mind, even if that means hitting my head against a wall over and over until I find my self-destruction or the way to continue.

Don’t get me wrong: doubt is always there, like a shadow trying to block your Sun, whispering feasible and reasonable temptations to give into reason; it is up to you if your marvelous madness prevails. Above all madness, it is in the strongest feelings where you will find your most powerful reasons.

  • You seem a bit distracted today. Focus and smash it! – Celeste, sitting just on my right, said as she leans towards me while holding her phone with the other hand.

I will repeat it again, this is NOT a romantic or self-help book where I explain you all the goodness in the world will come to you if you sit tight, stay a “good person” and think positive; where I just say that you can go from point A (whatever is shit in your life) to point B (wherever you think you would need to get to be magically and suddenly happy) by filling you with appealing words such as “realization”, “forgiveness”, “positive thinking”; or the kind of story where boy meets girl, boy loses his head and hides it from girl, until magically all works out for a happy ever after.

Quite the opposite: success and self-growth is a chaotic path with no map to reach your destination. No one can tell you what’s the recipe to achieve you own satisfaction in life anymore than they can tell you the recipe to grow a pair of hawk wings and fly to conquer the sky. However, if you are determined enough, you will find your way to design and create your own robotic wings no matter how senseless it seems to everyone else. And, in order to maximise your chances of fulfilment, you need to be aware of all your available resources, knowing your unique strengths and weakness in the process. That includes Quantum Psychology and the inherent power of your Quantum Self, as we will dig out later.

  • Are you finally going out partying with me this weekend? I really need a good wingman! – Francesco suggested, just as his weekly ritual, approaching me during lunch, and before I refused the invitation aware of his likeliness on parties, just as my weekly ritual.

But make no mistake: everyone who achieved new highs throughout history is remembered for their achievements, even if it is was their ability to cope with failure what took them there. Because, my friend, life is mostly made of failures, doubts, challenges and frustration; but the meaning of your life is hiding in the bright, sporadic and magical moments happening in between and lighted up in a moment of radiant madness. Choosing to stand up after a setback, assuming your own responsibility and planning the next steps to flourish sets in motion a chain of events that connects in ways you can’t imagine. Even if that setback is the real possibility to lose everything you are as a biological being.

This positive perspective is not something given naturally. In fact, it requires a daily introspective fight within to not give up to our natural self-destructiveness. Like training the mental “muscle” of that realistic optimism approach when most things around you are just shadows. Just one bad decision away from falling into that tempting abysm. The choice you to make is simple: strike above and work your way through until you feel indifference for what once hurt you or succumb to those toxic patterns of behaviour and stay passive in the middle of a stormy sea.

  • I can’t wait to get home, sit in the balcony, and smoke and chill. I have been thinking about what we talked the other day too, I want to share it with you! – Peter said from across my table with his calm and deep voice. Suddenly, his proposal felt welcoming and something to look forward.

Sometimes is very difficult to really know what goes on people’s life, even if you are truly close to that person. Because we spend a ton of mental and social resources in showing how well and balanced our life is, trying to hide what goes on behind the curtains, or the inheritent emptiness we all face from time to time. You would do anything to protect and comfort those you care for, even if sometimes they cannot know what you are doing for them in order to protect them.

To me, seeking revenger for Venus at work was a natural and rightful feeling that I executed without hesitation. However, and even none  of the people around me could imagine it, today was also a day of struggle accepting what’s coming: because today I received a call confirming that my plan for revenge came a bit too late… Unveiling the distant noise of the storm to come. How does the first thunder of a violent storm sound? Like the sweetest voice sharing with you great news…

  • I got the job! – Venus said earlier as soon as I picked up the phone.
  • Wow, congrats! That’s so amazing, you deserve it. – I replied with a mixture of excitement and sadness.
  • Thanks! I know you are at work, sorry… But you are the first person I tell! I think the change will be good for me after what happened with my manager.
  • That’s ok, it’s just work and these news are much more important! And don’t worry about your manager, somehow I feel he will get what he deserves for his actions. How is home anyway? We miss you here!
  • Cape Town is great and warm, unlike Prague! Don’t worry, you will all have me around in five days again being annoying.
  • That’s good! I will be going to England a few days after, but we will definitely have time to meet and catch up!
  • To where you used to live, right?
  • Yes, to Brighton. I think you would like the place, although probably not as warm as Cape Town!

Just like that, and when I needed the inspiration only she can give me to fight the battle with my inner darkness, the rules of engagement between us were about to be changed. Venus finding a new job didn’t come as a surprise at all; I saw it coming for over a month. I knew this would happen since before she finally got an offer for a new challenging and rewarding career today; I knew this before she told me with excitement the details of what she will be doing in this new opportunity – and I still remember that shine in her eyes; I knew this would happen before she went for the job interview prior her holidays; I knew this before she told me about this position she had seen and applied for online; I knew this before she applied for the job itself…

Because, after seeing how her manager overused his power to still some of the deals unrightfully, I knew Venus would never settle and look the other way: she is a born warrior. And even if I knew the inevitable denouement, I could not just let that injustice slip away. Revenge had to be served.

I cannot control the way I feel for her, wild and strong like a pack of bufalos running uncontrollably, no matter how unappropriated it may seem because of the social conventionalisms. But she brings the energy I need for my last mission, and I intend to keep bringing value to hers, even if it must be as friends. Yet I cannot speak openly about how I feel with Venus, even if we are both aware of the Giant Elephant in the room after what happened during New Year’s Eve. But openly telling her what I feel would hurt her. Besides, being the reason to make her smile from time to time must be enough to compensate whatever comes, as nothing makes me feel more alive.

  • I know that smile… You spoke with her didn’t you? – Hera asked me as I walked out after having such decesive conversation, always with her soft and comforting voice.
  • I did indeed. She is good, looking forward to be back to this side of the world. – I reply trying to hide my real feelings.
  • She is coming back next week, right? How are you holding on? Because when she does, then…
  • I know what’s coming, but don’t worry I’m ok. It is what it is, and everything will be ok. – I interrupted her knowing far too well I didn’t want to listen to what she was about to say.

For every ying, there must be a yang; for every crazy idea, there must be a counter-force remembering you how insane you are being; for every big and heave secret, there must be a confident able to balance you when you are about to fall from that thin line.When it comes to Venus, to me that person is Hera. She started working at the same time as Venus, back in October, and they became good friends, to the point that they currently live together. She is the kind of person who has the rare ability to positively surprise you when you get to know her. At first sight, you might think of her as someone plain, with an imposing physical appearance that can blurry what lies beyond. Born and raised in Lithuania, she could easily model for a fashion catalogue. Long blonde hair, clean and soft skin, blue pointy eyes, athletic figure and a mouth with the shape of a heart. She is the kind of girl that makes everyone turn their heads as she walks into a bar.

But she is much more than that. Once you dig a little deeper, she is like a caring and warming mum that just happens not to have any child yet. Hera is bright, with a great sense of humour, and with the life experience to have a rich soul. She is ambitious, who chose to nurture and challenge her intellect to cope with her own demons, which I highly respect. She is emotionally intelligent enough to understand and perceive those little details in social interactions that most people cannot.

Hera was the first and only person to whom I have openly confessed how I feel for Venus. It was during the last Christmas Eve, just a week before my life changed forever:

–  You do realise that you two cannot be together, right? – Hera asked me after I confessed her my feelings for Venus, with her natural caring approach.

– I do… it is something that I live with every day. Yet I can’t stop my feelings for her; no matter how wrong they are in the real world, they are just the rightest idea inside my head. Did you know about this? – I replied measuring the weight of each word.

– I did suspect it because obviously I have seen you both together, how you get on with each other, all the time you spend together… – Hera said carefully choosing her words while probably thinking how mad I am for pursuing this dream. – But what about the opportunities you might be losing with other girls because of this?

– There are none to me right now. No one that can match the chemistry I have with Venus, and no one else I can imagine myself with in terms of compatibility or connection. It just feels right for a reason I yet don’t understand why. Being around Venus gives me strength… And I am determined to walk this path to the latest consequences, no matter where it leads me – I assert struggling to omit about my days being counted due to my recently discovered condition.

– But you do know that things are going to change soon, how will you cope with that pain? – She said with her eyes still wide-open staring at me.

– I am aware my beliefs will be tested soon, which is why I am confessing this to you. Because I know the shit storm that is approaching, and I am going to need a confident to rely on if lose my mind; because I need you to be my safety belt in case the situation beats me and I lose her friendship. I need you to be that anchor point for me; because I know she is going to need someone there for her, and if I cannot be that person when the time comes because the situation has overpassed me, I need you to channel the way I care for her.

There is only one thing that I need your word on: Venus mustn’t know about this; about my true feelings; that you are my safety belt if everything goes south between me and her; that you are my confident to help me keep my shit together when the storm comes; Venus cannot know that I will be caring for her in the dark when needs me; she can never find out how much I am going to be suffering, as it would hurt and disappoint her; she cannot know that, if the situation forces us not to be friends anymore, I will still be secretly caring for her through you, helping her when the moment comes… can you do this favour I’m asking you?

– But why are you going to do all this for her without telling her?

– Because she doesn’t need me to be the guy that openly speaks about what I am truly feeling… She has been nothing but a great friend to me who has always made clear she expects the same from me. The way I feel for her is not her fault, but it would force her to stop talking to me even if she didn’t want to, because of the situation. What I care the most about is her happiness and being in peace with myself, and this is the only way to do that. Because the potential she has as a person is bigger than my own feelings and I want to play a role to help her release it, and because seeing her happy must be enough for me to get through this. – I concluded as Hera’s face expression was frozen for a couple of seconds, trying to assimilate the information. Like someone watching a movie where you know the character is doing something stupid you would never do. Maybe in her mind I became only a dramatic fool wasting my time and energy in a lost cause. But she accepted to be my confident and safety belt through the storm.

– Ok, I will do this for you, but please be careful. – Hera finally agreed with calmed hesitation.

Neither of us knew then that only one week later I would have to activate that safety belt way before anticipated. Because, during the events of New Year’s Eve, I found myself texting Hera at 3 am asking her to live up to her word:

– I think you will have to care for her on my behalf from now on Hera.

– Why, what did you do?? – Hera replied while trying to call me to meet up. But I couldn’t, I was in an Uber on my way to another act of bold bravery.

– Somehow I have screwed up, big time… And if it comes to that, please take care of her, I will owe you if you do…

Definitely, this will not be a romantic or self-help story my friend.

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