Discover more from Vic Koopmans
I like the view from here. I’ve kind of gotten used to this. The faint sound of samba music and Portuguese words in the background and a city of 6.7 million people behind me. All worrying about matters that eventually will turn out to be irrelevant. Over here, down at this beach, I’m learning to let go of that. Now I need to make sure that I’ll never have to return to the outlook that I had back home.
Life was good and I made it that again. It’s been over seven years since I tripped, fell and smashed my head into that metal fence. That “hangover from hell, that concussion-like feeling that’s accompanied by tensed muscles that makes every movement from the shoulders up feel as if I’m tearing those muscles apart,” that’s a story I know by now. I’m still, and will stay, married to this relentless she-devil and decided to stop talking about it. Because it will continue to try to make my life as miserable as possible and I won’t let it.
I can’t even remember anymore what that first jet lag felt like. It’s been quite some time since touching down. Also, the difference between the three words of Spanish I spoke upon arrival and the current vocabulary is significant.
Decaf coffee, a smelly bed, staring at the ceiling - what I life I used to lead. No more living in crappy neighbourhoods in towns I dislike, no more shaking hands with all doctors and therapists available. I’ve never been one to quit and coming close to do so was a low point.
I recall standing on the Monserrate in Bogotá not being sure if I was happy with not having killed myself. Now I know that I’m overjoyed with that decision. The writing keeps on helping, it’s catharsis. I’ll forever kill time and will fill seconds with valuable experiences and enjoyment. My sanity and yours truly are here to stay.
On the towel at the beach it’s not too bad. I breathe in and breathe out, the continuous warm weather provides me with a dose of serenity.
I vividly remember the look that my reflection gave me before the first flight. I also have accepted that my skull will keep on burning and the mental demons will forever be shouting, but they’re up against a worthy opponent.
When I left my home country my social life laid somewhere on the cemetery. During my time here I have met amazing people from all over the world. In nearly every country in America or Europe I can meet up with a familiar face. I still spend the majority of my time alone. Time that I now cherish and try to spend productively. A process of becoming completely comfortable with oneself.
Who would’ve thought that this would be the outcome when I sat on that plane, numb, overwhelmed by the pain?
I stand up straight, feel the sand between my toes. The sun winks at me and I walk into the ocean. Thoughts of drowning have long gone. I start floating, look at the blue sky and enjoy this life of mine.
I see 2023 nearing, smile and whisper, “I think I just might be alright.”
A tear drops into the sea.
Thank you to everyone that has helped me over this past year. All that took the effort to subscribe and to those that donated. Some I know personally, some I don’t. Know that your generosity and altruism humbles me.
This year I have bonded, parted ways, had to fight both mentally and physically, almost fell in love, laughed, felt horrible, felt tremendous, stood in awe and finally regained my smile.
To all those that have been part of my journey in one way or another: thank you. We’ll keep on going.
When the new year commences and you’re hugging your family and friends, enjoying the fireworks lighting up the sky, know that there will be a man somewhere in Latin America telling himself to hold on and move forward, working on his future. Making sure it will be a future to look forward to.
Happy New Year.
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