Tempus Fugit



I have changed my way of thinking 180º in some years. Some years ago I was unable to really make the best out of the experiences I lived. I always wanted to live “something more” than other people. A bit extra. A bit better. A bit crazier. I wanted to spice up my life to always have something to tell…time was running out anyway…right?


Years ago in Cantabria

I mean, think about it. This second. THIS ONE. The one that just passed. You will NEVER EVER live it again. This minute, this hour, today…this age whatever. It´s once and it´s over. No re-spawn counter strike style. It´s over! Whatever you missed you would not live later, at least, in that exact moment and exact situation anymore. The people you didn´t talk to, the crazy idea you just had, even though it sounds stupid…a kiss you didn´t dare to give…

Back then I was horrified with all this. Time goes by. You can´t stop it AND in any moment…BOOM…it´s over. Forever. It really stressed me out. I hated thinking “shit. Now Im 19…I´ll never again be 18 ever again. The friends I didn´t use my time with now…I might not be able to do it in the future…” and similar thoughts.


the pocket version of me. 18 years ago

Of course this hardly helped me. It only made me envious of others who lived experiences I hadn´t(yet?), made me stressed out when I went out to party and nothing “epic” happened that night, or when I missed something awesome because of choosing another plan… I really wasn´t really satisfied with what I was doing. No wrong ideas. I wasn´t a sad, un-understood, suicidal young guy…but I wasn´t making the best of life. I was continuosly stressed out with the idea of time passing by..


In the last years I have changed a whole deal! How did it start? I guess my Erasmus changed me quite much. During my erasmus I also met someone who maybe has triggered the biggest changes in my life yet. I started to see that what I was living was actually epic in every way because…wtf…I´m alive and healthy(although I was quite fat. Too much Bier and Schnitzel. Not a good diet), I have friends and a great family, I´m living/partying abroad and doing many things I wanted to…


Istambul! With the crazy Serbians!

And around that time…I read two books… “El Monje que vendió su Ferrari”(The Monk who sold his Ferrari. I think that´s the name in English) and The Alchemist. The second one really dug deep in me and put me into the “let´s make a huge life change here”  mindset. The first one helped give me ideas of how to do it in a realistic way!

It wasn´t a one-day-to-another change in which I went to sleep and next day I changed my lifestyle 180º. Not at all. Slow steps. One at a time. Give myself more time to relax and think about my life. I read books and watch movies that inspire me and put me in that mindset of..”who am I and who do I actually WANT to be”. And specially, start to notice those “small things”. If you are always looking for the big epic things, like I did, it´ll be difficult to live happy unless you are a guy like George Clooney or Brad Pitt whose whole life has to be 360º 24 hours a day 7 days a week EPIC!

Step by step I started to change. I put more effort into AEGEE, which gave me so many chances to do awesome things and talk to the most incredible people. I started to work on my will-power, which I´m sure is the main pillar FOR becoming a happy person. I started to care less of what people thought of me and started giving more credit to what I thought of myself. I started putting more time into the things I really wanted to do. I wrote a bucket-list(makes me think, should I write it into the blog?) and started to write once in a while about how I felt and how life was going. I started to try to be the guy I really want to be. A difficult alchemic mixture between a crazy party animal and a taklative head in the clouds dreamer.

I decided to put more effort into finding things I might like but I hadn´t tried out yet like meditation, blogging(that´s just very recent), trying to travel like I dreamed, play an instrument, learn cooking, learn how to stitch and repair clothes, push against buying more unnecessary shit, hitch-hiking, couch-surfing, random solidary acts in the streets, etc

And, although some I haven´t achieved, I have tried all of them. I have really tried to do what I wanted to. I haven´t let shame or fear pull me down.

There are things I kind of regret. Thing´s I didn´t do well. But nothing that I would change. I´ve been a horrible student in the University and fucked up my study with some HUGE bad decisions the first two years. But I don´t regret it. I might not have known the people I met, lived what I lived, or even fallen into this process of slef-developement! I smile when thinking of my past(except for when I remember what kind of retarded shit I sometimes do on the Weekends thanks to my great friend: Vodka energy).

Just to name some movies that have helped me to keep motivation up:  Into the Wild(surprise surprise hahah), Up, On the Road(in a very weird way), Di que si, the Bucket-list, Fight club(don´t worry I´m not thinking of bombing anything!)

Some books: EL recurso de Método, Practical Ethics, The life you can save, the 100 Thing Challenge, Do travel writers go to hell?, Indignaos!,..


Now I consider myself 99,99% happy and tons better off than years ago. I´m living true to my ideas. I´m still not the hippy van guy who lives traveling and  inspiring others but for the moment I´m going in the right direction. I´m not scared of new beginings and I try to find the beautiful moments in those “small things” that happen every day…

I have met other people with the same toubles and ideas. People who are also thinking about this and always teach you one extra thing you never thought about and will help you take that one little step forward where you were actually stuck on, like Dawid, Eveli, Drew, Marcin on a bike, Evil-Ivo-Pivo, Martijn, Magie, Krum, Caroline, Raphael, my cousin Fale, Pichi,  and many many more.

I guess it´s just a process everybody goes through until they find what kind of person they really want to be. It took me time…and it´s a continual learning process. If I keep this mindset(which I´m sure won´t leave me in a looong time) I won´t stop learning and adapting and changing until the day I draw my last breath.

Tempus fugit…yeah…true…but the journey is fucking awesome!


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9 Responses to Tempus Fugit

  1. Liina Helme says:

    You had me nailed to the screen 😉 And Rafa, you are such an inspiration…sending some love your way, cause that’s what your post charged me with!!

  2. rafavoa says:

    “You had me nailed to the screen”. That´s what she said xDxD

    Thanks for the kind words! I´d love to read you talk about how you got into this mindset. I´m sure your story is quite fucking epic!


  3. Pingback: Reader of the Month: Rafa Van Oppen | Project Light to Life

  4. Truly inspirational. You mentioned some books that I have been wanting to read, now I’m going to have to read them lol. I always “Stop and smell the roses” thing and yeah, I get some looks but I don’t care because I want to do it. I’m not hurting anyone. Such a great story, thank you so much for posting it. You truly are an inspiration and a blessing :-X

  5. Pingback: Living for now | Nani ke Ola

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