I moved to Berlin four years ago, fleeing from the growing Neofascism in my home country of Brasil. My work as an artist, as well as my livelihood, were no longer supported there. 

In these past four years, I have achieved so much! It’s always felt empty to me, though, how it seems almost impossible to find a long-term partner in this city, where sex and intimacy often do not coincide. 

The truth is, up until very recently, I was entering relationships in which I tried to save people. Little did I know that the person who needed most saving was myself. 

I was so focused on others, and on trying to help people, that I was neglecting myself. This year, I made the vow that I would start being more selfish, and that my acts of love would be smaller and less dramatic than before. 

I got used to being called a “stalker“ , “troublemaker“, “needy” because I was giving so much of myself, that emotionally immature people would not value me and take me for granted. It’s much easier to blame someone else for your shortcomings, than to take responsibility for your actions—as I have done myself before. 

A lot of people have been using terms like “narcissist”, “codependent”, “toxic” very loosely lately. In my own experience, realizing my own toxicity and immaturity has helped inform my decisions, and in surrounding myself with people who support my growth and are aligned with my higher purpose. 

There’s no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but the silver lining is that I’ve been having more genuine and deeper connections with people I care about. In a city like Berlin, it’s easy to feel solitary and helpless. 

But once you start to show up for yourself, there’s no going back. You finally realize that love is all there is…