Ouvi dizer que o amor te tinha levado, e juro, não acreditei. Nem quis acreditar. Até parece que eras fácil de apaixonar. Talvez até sejas e eu é que fui ingénua. Ou cautelosa. Ou talvez demasiado medrosa. Sei lá. Dirias que não vale a pena analisar, que a solução é seguir, aceitar.

Na realidade nem tenho nada para aceitar, nem recusar. Nunca foste uma opção, nunca te toquei muito rente. Ou pelo menos, não o suficiente. Mas é sempre assim, não é? Quando olhamos para trás, o que antes bastava afinal não bastou. São mecanismos de defesa, dirias, meio sério…

People like me, we love in a voluntary confinement and avoidance to verbalize — so we don’t put our hearts on the line, so we minimize risk. But it is because I loved you so quietly that I often judge and hate myself.

self-portrait in Cagliari, Sardegna (2020)

October 9th, 2020

Dear grandma,

I don’t know where you are, but I know I don’t have an address to send you this letter. I don’t know if you can feel anything, but I’ve got to pour my heart out somewhere in hopes that somehow, you can.

I read your letters tirelessly. Sometimes, from start to finish. Sometimes, only my favourite sentences. Sometimes, I can’t even look at them. Sometimes, I want to engrave them on my skin so they never get lost.

I think that I am loved by some, but as you did — no one will ever…

When I heard about domestic violence, I wasn’t told it wouldn’t be painful. I wasn’t told it could make you feel peace and ease. I wasn’t told you would feel like you can finally trust someone and not be misunderstood. I wasn’t told that it would make you feel like in a world of 7 billion people, you are seen.

Self-portrait (2021)

When I heard about domestic violence, I wasn’t told it wouldn’t be painful. I wasn’t told it could make you feel peace and ease. I wasn’t told you would feel like you can finally trust someone and not be misunderstood. I wasn’t told that it would make you feel like in a world of 7 billion people, you are seen. I wasn’t told you would feel accepted and loved. I wasn’t told it could make you feel almost a sense of pity for all the surrounding couples because you are in the most picture-perfect relationship, and they aren’t. I wasn’t…

It was just another weeknight for Jessica. She had finished dinner, and she was getting ready to sit on the couch to watch something, as she always did.


If you’ve been aware of the news lately, you’ve most likely heard of the case of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who disappeared as she was walking home in Brixton, south London on the night of March 3rd.

This story has triggered a movement across all social media, as women raise their voices for safety and share their own stories. Stories of harassment, abuse, threats, stalking, or moments where they felt utterly unsafe at a time when safety should not be an option — it should be a fundamental right.

On March 12th, human remains found in a wooden area…

In a world of 15-second stories and reels, sun-kissed skin filters, one-click-away follows, cryptic emoji combo communication — there is something that makes us human.

Self-portrait (2021)

A few years ago I read an interview about Artificial Intelligence in which Australian anthropologist Genevieve Bell mentioned that “Humanity’s greatest fear is about being irrelevant”. At that moment of my life, I was going through what is popularly known as an existential crisis, so I was highly hypervigilant on all-topics-human-philosophy-and-existentialism. That was most likely the reason why I had even clicked on the link to read it. …

Anniversary Cup of the Portuguese Weightlifting Federation — (9/2019)

January 10th, 2021

I’ve been avoiding. I’ve been resisting the urge to remove myself from the team’s group chat, unfollow athlete friends from social media, or take a quick glimpse at someone lifting a barbell when I walk across the gym. But I’m a liar. Truth is, I’m a little heartbroken.

I’ve opened the drawer to look at my singlet, grabbed my medals and closed my eyes to remember the days that magnified me while simultaneously humbling me. Yet I don’t really feel sad. Or angry. Or frustrated.

People think I do. Because I loved this sport. Because it gave…

self-portrait (2020)

This a letter to those that weren’t there.

I’m not really sure why you weren’t there. If it’s because you just weren’t empathetic enough to, or if I pushed you away because I knew relying on you wouldn’t save me anyway. All I know is that a year later, it has begun to sting.

I can’t look at you the same. At you, at all of you. You knew what had happened, yet in all your glory, you dismissed it like it was nothing.

Deep down, you knew how much I was hurting, how absolutely heartbroken I was behind all…

self-portrait (2020)

October, 2019

I don’t usually write in this language, but I will. Not for who is listening, but for you. It was the language that I used to communicate with you, the language you used to tell me your stories, your lectures, to defend me from my mom countless times, and to protect me from the rebellious things I used to do.

How to describe you in just a sentence? It’s impossible, so I won’t even try. It would be an insult to the incredible person that you were, and that maybe you still are — at least in my…

September 20th, an alternate Mediterranean birthday dive (2020)

to be read with https://youtu.be/P2-ewHrXbHc in the background

Someone once told me: Your best self is yourself, do what you need to do because of how you think about you. Simple words. Anyone could’ve written them at any time. But If I’d read them at any time, maybe they would’ve just been words. Luckily, someone wrote them to me at the right one.

Mid-September. My birthday dinner with friends was scheduled. Good music, laughs, games, wine and beer, and a planned menu that I would be preparing. Homemade lasagna with courgette, and an Oreo-raspberry cheesecake. But those words were in…

Self-portrait, Belmonte (2020)

My birthday’s coming up and this could be a piece about it— I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about how inconvenient I was even before birth? My mother was getting ready to eat pizza, and I was like, not without me and proceeded to popping out a month earlier than planned.

Everything turned out fine —I’m among the most stable people you’ll ever meet, and my body developed pretty well (if you don’t count my mood swings or lack of upper-body assets). But no, this isn’t a story about clementine boobs, or still owing mommy a pizza, 28 years…

Jennifer Santos

Research scientist by day, storyteller by night

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