Highs and lows.

This type of post it’s usually written when the year is coming to a close but i’m in favour of dedicating December to Christmas and Christmas only. So, November will have to suffice to summarize the highs and lows of 2018 in the life of Santiago Roque.

The thing is, is not really easy to pick one or the other. 2018 was sort of, i don’t know, bland? The good parts were great, the bad ones were horrible. But since i’m all in about getting out the best of any situation, i suppose even the horrible nuances of 2018 were positive in the most skewed perspectives. I’ve always believed in balance, there is this part of me, no matter how small it is, that acknowledges this. So for every high, there should be a low. And the opposite as well. Generally speaking, that is how life has been for me. Whenever i find myself in this great high with life, a low follows. It isn’t something really disturbing or menacing, it is just life and its balance. I accept this as it is. I’ve had (and hopefully will continue to have) this amazing life. I’m really not one to complain. I’ve come to the conclusion that i am in fact “blessed” (as an atheist in training, this is confusing) to have what i have. Despite the lows that life has thrown at me, and counting the biggest loss anyone can have, i still maintain this as a truth. One loss gave me an incredible strength that i never thought was at my reach. Gave me this incredible connection with my brother and sister. Gave me the notion that having siblings is more than having company as a kid. It is having someone to understand you, someone who you can look at and not talk and yet, have a full conversation. Is having yourself divided in three equal parts because you can’t really function without the wellbeing of any of them. But mostly is having them, having your mirrored experience in 3rd person perspective.

  • LOWS

The loss of control. I fucked up and it caught up to me. This overwhelming sensation that everything around you is crashing hit me suddenly and it broke me. 2018 took a little bit of myself. I came face to face with my frailty, my faults and it took over me. Took a while to get back on my feet, to accept help and just be myself again. It is okay to be helped instead of helping sometimes. I needed this reality check. I’m no superman and got the message harshly.

The notion that sometimes you can’t do shit for the ones you care the most. The worst sensation of all is to see someone you love go through a traumatic experience and you can’t do shit to help. I lost believe because of that. This kind soul, the purest of all, going through the most excruciating, emotional and physical, pain is just a slap in the face of humanity. Twice now, i found myself wanting so bad to be me instead of them. It doesn’t work that way.

The acceptance that not everything goes according to plan. That’s right, forget everything you’ve planned, everything you thought you had controlled. You don’t. Life happens. And shit too.

  • HiGHS

The fight in others. I will never cease to be amazed by the strength that i witnessed this past year. I shouldn’t really be surprised, she takes after her mom. The struggle, pain, suffering paid off and today she is safer and healthier than she was in the beginning. She will tell you the fight is constant but she is prepared to go all the way. Any means necessary. I have two heroes now, two versions of the same spirit. I love her.

My better half. I am still dumbfounded that she loves me especially for who i am. It isn’t easy to deal with stupid all day long. But it is part of my charm and she does it gracefully. And most importantly, with a lot of patience. My father told me that as long as you keep your mouth shut in the right moments, you can be pretty stupid the rest of time. Solid advice.

(New) friendships. As i get older, the notion of everlasting friendships fades away. Life has a tendency to set people apart from each other. I’ve got a handful of friends that i’ve known for almost 30 years. Those i carry with me. There is this one specifically that holds a special place with me. We met through work but it feels like we’ve known each other forever. It is scary how much our life events look alike. She knows it but i’ll tell once more: i love her. For everything, for nothing, for just being her, for being my anything when i’m in need. But making new friends that have an impact in your life wasn’t something that i thought possible anymore. I’m grateful for it, though. All in all, i wouldn’t trade it for anything or change any aspect of it. It carried me some days, it still does. It made me happier than i ever thought. I’ll cherish it for as long as i’m allowed. In case it runs away from me, i might just chase it. That’s how much i care.

My fucking club won this year! Shit, i know people don’t really care about this, but fuck, it is an important event in my life! If you know me just a bit, you know how important it is to me. #azulebrancoéocoração💙

So, that was my 2018 up until today. Highs and lows, all mixed up. Always one to look forward for what comes next, 2019 should be fucking awesome!

Be happy. And Merry Christmas !

Santiago Roque

Ooh, i hate it!

I hate hospitals. I guess no one loves hospitals but i really, really hate hospitals. I don’t know if it is the colors or smell or people walking around in scrubs and knockoff crocs but I absolutely hate hospitals. I’m starting to hate the word itself. Hospitals, blarghh !

I found myself in one today. I became queasy as soon i stepped in. I don’t know, maybe it’s the people but something gets to me. I don’t feel like myself. Maybe the memories are to blame. Shit, just talking about it makes me uncomfortable!

Or maybe it is just me. But fuck, i really hate it.

I got lost in one once. It all began when my girlfriend had this problem and we had to rush to the hospital. We had gone away for the week so we were out of town. We get to this local hospital, she has to do a bunch of exams and after what seemed like endless hours, they tell us she has to stay the night. Well, this is not fun, i think. So they take her to a room and i tag along. As we go up, we notice everything looks empty. I ask why. They tells us the hospital is being renovated so they moved most of the people to outside units. Only emergency cases are able to make use of that wing of the hospital.

So, okay. Seems legit. We get to the room, they prepare their shit and they tell me i have a few minutes with her but then i have to leave. They tell me to take the stairs and exit on the first floor. There should be a security guy to open the access door to the emergency room and from there i’m able to get out.

I don’t know where i got it wrong but i got fucking lost. And everything was dark and empty and i’ve seen my fair share of scary movies to guess that this isn’t looking great for me. I panic a little, maybe have a run just because. I get to this door and it’s locked. I look out the window, i feel like I could do this jump. But i don’t, i decide to take another turn. So I go down a floor, turn this way, that way and get to ground floor. I look around for the door and it’s locked. I’m a relaxed dude, i don’t lose my shit easily but i’m about to. How the fuck can’t i find an unlocked door? I get nervous, very nervous. I start to think i might spend the night here. I don’t even know how to get back to the room, that’s how lost i am! I walk around the floor till i get to another door. Locked! I just knock on it, hard in case someone close by can hear it. I see the window, take a peek and think “I’m gonna break this shit”. So now i’m thinking how to break a glass window. There is nothing around. I might just cry, i’m stuck! But then the fucking security guy doing rounds opens the fucking door and i have to explain myself and i’m good to go.

So yeah, i fucking hate hospitals.

Santiago Roque

All on her.

Her name was Elisabeth. Or Elizabeth. I don’t know how to spell it right but the first girl that dumped me and it mattered was her. Some people called her Liz, others Beth, i just called her Elisabeth/Elizabeth. I don’t know how 14 year old me ended up in a “relationship” with her but it lasted for 3, maybe 4 weeks. We went to an international school so we had people from everywhere there.  She was this cool girl, very british and slightly awkward. I never met her father but her mother was very nice too. I have no idea what they did but now i guess they were sort of diplomats or something similar.

She just broke it off one day. She just said it, pretty clear: “It’s over, okay? But it was so nice to know you, really”. And that was it. Not long after that, she was already with someone else. The part that crushed me wasn’t the fact that she broke up with me, no, that part i could handle. I don’t think i ever did like her like that anyway. But being traded for another person, well that got 14 year old me crushed. I was begining to feel like i was this hella cute, charming, all-around nice fellow. And that break-up almost broke me. I really felt betrayed, like we had something real between us and yet, i don’t think i really liked her. But just the same. She, along with a perfectly timed advise, was the starting point that mold me into becoming this laid back, confident, “don’t give a fuck” type of guy. The slight arrogance came with it.

The next year i started a new school so i lost track of her. Which is regretful because i wanted the new me to have a go at her. To break her a little bit to be honest. What can i say, i was resentful back then! Luckily for her and me too, i guess, i never saw her again. Somewhere, there is a girl that, unbeknownst to her, helped mold my personality when i was just a small boy by breaking up with me. It gave me the nerve that i lacked.

More people came, i had my break-ups but none mattered as much as that one. It was the last time sweet boy version of me had any interaction. I became someone else, thankfully. I guess, part of me was always supposed to be this laid back, no stress, arrogant to a point kind of guy. She just helped accelerate the process.

I’ve had bad break ups, good break ups. There was yelling, crying, laughing… I had someone break up with me because of my music preferences, go figure!

But that girl, that first one almost got me. So, if any of my bad break ups end up reading this, you should thank Elisabeth/Elizabeth for anything mean i might have said or done. It’s all on her, i tell you!

And maybe, just a little bit on me too!

Santiago Roque

Life was so simple yesterday.

I wrote this piece a while ago about not being as nice as i thought i was. I didn’t post it because it didn’t feel appropriate at the time. I’m not a bad person but i’m not really that good of a guy either. Not as good as I thought, at least. And i’m not saying it to fish out compliments. No. I believe it to be true.

It took me a while to get it but i did. I’ve had a rollercoaster of emotions, contradictory feelings, the last few years. My reality shifted abruptly and it made me realize that perhaps not everything goes according to plan. I don’t know if it changed me or if it made me adapt to circumstance but i no longer felt comfortable with my surroundings. I felt a bit lost.

I still do sometimes. It’s hard to keep going when sometimes all you want to do is lay down your head and stop. Just put life on pause. Just for a bit.

I was talking with a friend and it just came to me, out of the blue. I’m not a good person as i thought. But i’m a better friend. That is enough, i suppose. I’ve been behaving very child-like, see it, grab-it type of behavior. And that’s not me and it’s not right. Stepping up and taking responsibility is what i should be doing.

I kept throwing responsibility off. Life has been hard enough for some already without having me around. I should’ve never had the right to put something like this on someone else. So i won’t. Not anymore.

I don’t promise just for the sake of it. I promise and take it seriously. I intend on keeping my promises even though i’d rather not.

All of this makes me doubt my intentions. A good person wouldn’t have these issues. Obviously, i do and obviously, i’m not.

And the cold mister mister
He has got me in his sights
If he shoots me down
He has every right

As promised.

Santiago Roque

The grey (area).

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I read recently that when someone close to you dies, they get to know your darkest secrets. It’s hilarious, the things people say nowadays! I wonder how much research they had to put into it to come to this conclusion. I wouldn’t like any of my dead relatives to have access to that part of me. In fact, anyone, living or dead. Baby Jesus, just no!

The human nature allows for compatibility between dishonesty and happiness. I’ve read this too. I tend to believe it to be true. You see, depending on perspective, i don’t really lie to anyone but i might just keep somethings to myself. There are somethings that i can’t explain properly and therefore, i don’t tell. I do not disclose it. It’s not lack of honesty, i think.

But keeping (a) secret(s) may not be as bad as you think. But that also depends on the type of secret you’re keeping. And from whom. I am married and i don’t lie to my wife. Well, i try not to. But if she doesn’t ask the right question, i won’t give her the proper answer. There are certain subjects that we do not see eye-to-eye. And that’s okay. I call this the grey area. It is not a dark secret, something that may change how people see me but it’s neither that innocent. So it’s in the grey.

I’ve carried a secret for a while. I kept it in the dark from everyone and thought that i could really deal with it by myself. Slowly, but surely, it made me become a mess in disguise. Looking back, i really don’t know if telling anyone seemed an option to me. It should have been, you know. You just get caught up in what people say, i guess. I was the rock, the thread that kept everything together. I couldn’t come clean to them if the risk was them losing it. I had to keep my shit together, as promised. And i really thought i had everything in control. But I didn’t. I don’t regret not telling, i regret thinking i had no one to tell.

All i’m really saying is, you don’t need to disclose everything you do or feel to anyone. That’s the grey. But it helps. Thinking you need to keep it all to yourself may prove disastrous. I know. But i also agree that you might keep some of it from others. There is just a few things that people wouldn’t really understand about me. Not now, at least.

There is this great song from Queens of the Stone Age that goes:

Well I’ve got a secret, I cannot say
Blame all the movement to give it away
You’ve got somethin’, I understand
Holding it tightly, caught on command
Leap of faith, do you doubt?
Cut you in, I just cut you out

It’s actually about fucking, as said by the man himself which takes a whole new meaning but nonetheless, the lyrics are very smart.

Santiago Roque

Sorry for the inconvenience.

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You never know how lucky it is to sleep a full night till you can’t sleep for days! I’ve had a few rough days because of severe lack of sleep. Maybe not severe, but close-ish. But yesterday, finally, i was able to sleep a full night. I’ve been told i become irritable, too cranky. Well, maybe, just maybe, not sleeping doesn’t fucking help, dear wife of mine! It is all fun and games till you can’t have some shut-eye.

I stayed awake just thinking about random shit. I wrote a fucking book in my mind. Well, not really but you get the point. I guess i slept about maybe 6/7 hours in the last few days. And it is true, i do became easily irritated by my surroundings. I need to focus a lot more just to be the minimally enjoyable to be around. I get this tendency to pick fights, just to make things interesting. And spend money! Yeah, that is a thing. Not sure if it is related to sleep deprivation but fuck, i’ve spend more money this last week than i did the last 6 months! And i haven’t got my computer back. So yeah, i am cranky.

The worst part of not sleeping is everyone else sleeping. So picture this: i am awake or not sleeping but i get to endure my dog snoring. It seems like it does it on purpose, i swear! So i just lay there, just thinking. I become philosophical, the stupid type. Like, who invented dinosaurs sounds? What genius came up with the idea of toast? Bread sure is fine but lets burn it. When bald people wash their face, how far up do they go? And you get epiphanies too like, you never stop clapping once you begin, the intervals just get longer. Well, this last one is a joke i heard. This too, comes to mind when you can’t fall asleep. I start recalling jokes i heard.

You also begin to think about life. That is never good, i guess. It’s weird but i get this clarity about certain memories. Things that i’ve forgotten. The last time i spoke with this or that person. I recall the entire conversation. It is strange. Or my top 5 cringiest moments on loop. You know, that one time that you thought you were being this cool guy and shit and the girl was just making fun of you? Yeah, ON LOOP! Ego deflating in 5,4,3…

I’m starting to resent my wife for sleeping. That’s how bad it’s getting. I told her the other day that i hadn’t slept well. She goes “me too!”. What the fuck?! Woman, we must have different ways to assess sleep deprivation because you’ve slept the whole fucking night! How do i know? Because i didn’t! That is how i know.

The nerve of some people.

Santiago Roque

She.

She always has a comment, a thing to say. Every time i post online, she replies with a heartwarming silly thing. She’ll call me the man of her life. Or one of them. She knows I have a soft spot for her, it’s always been that way.

The first time i met her, i didn’t even know what that meant. I felt different, I didn’t know why. She brought me happiness that i wasn’t aware of. She changed everything. For the better.

I changed my whole life for her. She asked me to and i was happy to oblige. And that’s love, the kind that molds you. I hate when we argue, even if i am right, I always feel like i lose. One of her favorite days is coming. She always texts me to say something about it.

She’ll call me just to see if i’m well like that is her responsibility. She always laughs at my jokes, no matter how stupid they are. She has the greatest laugh! She is the most genuine person i know.

She has this capacity to be poetic in the most perfect moments. She is stubborn but holds no grudges. Not anymore. She is lovely and lively. She knows adversity and she isn’t afraid to be bold. She loves and she’s loved.

She deserved better but made do with what she got. She struggled and she survived. More than once. She is a fighter. And she is so patient! For the better and worse.

She is the type of person that you must share. She is wild in spirit, quiet in mind. She has absolute no hate in her. She is incapable of feeling that. She knows the flip side of life and yet is thankful for everything.

I don’t know what life is without her nor do i wish to know. I would gladly take her place if i could even though i could never be as strong. She praises me for who i am yet i am not complete without her.

She has my love, the type of love only she gets to have. She will always be the extension of my biggest love and loss.

She is all that and she loves me too.

❤️

Santiago Roque