Gisele Bundchen has been at home in Brazil the last few days. She spoke at the VTEX event in Sao Paulo on Monday and reportedly became emotional when talking about the old days, back when she was just a teenager and left home and everything she knew to pursue modelling. 


Per PEOPLE"Gisele teared up on stage when they were talking about her early career,” a source close to Bündchen tells PEOPLE. “She still gets emotional when she thinks about leaving her family and her sisters. She was only 14 years old and she went off to start a new life, a new career. She left everything she knew behind.”

The source continued, “That's something very emotional for her to remember. It's a long path to 40 when you leave at 14-15 years old. It's just emotional reflecting on her younger self."

Gisele of course would go on to become one of the most successful models of her time, one of the most successful models of all time, really, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, now, especially since she now has children of her own who are approaching that age, thinking about how scary it must have been to go into the unknown and see the world on your own, without your people. 


The distant past is a lot to process, but the recent past for Gisele is also a lot to process. Seeing these photos of her at the VTEX event and also another event with Brazilian influencer Silvia Braz today reminded me of what Gisele was doing last June, almost exactly a year ago. Because I posted about it. I posted those photos: it was Gisele with Tom Brady and their family and children on holiday in Italy. They were eating ice cream out of the same cone, they were smiling and hugging and affectionate…

There was NO indication of what was to come just a month after that, when Tom reported to training camp with the Bucs and then just a week into that went on that much-discussed break for eleven days, resulting in endless speculation from NFL insiders about why he needed time off when he’d just returned to practice. We know why now, but at the time, Gisele wasn’t the focus of the story. It was only after Tom returned to camp, two weeks after he left, that news broke that he and Gisele were at an impasse. By fall they had finalised their divorce. 


But to go back to that Italian holiday in June, again a year ago, things seemed to be going OK. Until they weren’t. And Gisele is in resurgence. Not that she was ever not viable, but she did step back for a few years, so it’s kind of a comeback with her Vanity Fair cover story and showing up in Brazil for the festivals and fronting campaigns for major brands, like Louis Vuitton. 


Seriously, with Gisele I can never tell if it’s current or past. Like in her case, the products are the date giveaway, not the model. If you tried to convince me that those ads were from 15 years ago, the only way I could verify would be to check the clothing and the accessories, and not her image. The image is one thing, but the life is another. What will we be saying next June about Gisele? How will her life change in another year?