Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

How you livin'?

Have you ever heard of a story about a person who survived an suicide attempt?  They often realize that they wanted to live after all.  Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000 at the age of 19 is part of the less than 1% who jump and have survived this drop since 1937 when the bridge was completed.  He is now an advocate for depression assistance and suicide prevention.  He, like many many others, were in such a desperate place that it felt like he had no other choice but to take his own life in response to the dealing with the difficulties of life.  I've experienced some really difficult times, even to the point where I felt like maybe I'd be okay with not living anymore.  Thankfully, I was never in a place where I felt the only answer (or even just an option) was suicide, even to the point where I would even consider it.  So for someone to be in such a dark place that they feel like there is no other choice, it's remarkable to me that they can so quickly come back from that dark place once they recognize the permanence of suicide while in the midst of the attempt.  Jon Kabat-Zinn, an expert in mindfulness, has explained in his lectures that people who have near-death-experiences often describe the result of it 'waking them up.'  The reality of death has brought these people to the realization of what life is really about.  I'm sure everyone's experience is a little different, but it seems that the common thread is that when someone is forced to move away from focusing on the leaves of our lives (all the little problems, annoyances, and difficulties) we can more clearly see the forest (the overall beauty of being alive and being lucky enough to be living our own unique lives with each other).  I can only really speak from my own experience, but that's the best experience that I've been encountering since I was born 38+ years ago, but working through this in this blog post helps me to remember that those times when I was going through difficult stuff, it was because I was focusing really hard on certain things, like a really rough break-up or difficulties at work.  I really have to work to force myself to step back and see the trees and then the forest to sort of snap out of it.  The really struggle to strive to make this such a strong habit that it becomes more natural to live this way and remember to say close to what's really important in my life.