Its been a while 😊
Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season like I did! Being home felt like slipping into my favorite pair of shoes, something so accustomed to my body and fit so well on me I didn’t even have to think twice about them. Besides adjusting to the weather, it was virtually seamless jumping back into my old life. I worked, saw my friends, cuddled with my dogs, lived with mom, and drove my old car. I caught up with my important people about their numerous life statuses, and got my heart filled with lots of love!
Last semester I left feeling very ready to go home, one to see family, two to be able to work, and three to just simply feel comfortable again. Everyday was a challenge of facing the fact that there were so many things I didn’t understand about Brazilian culture, but I went out and put myself amidst them anyway. It got a little tiring after a while and so when I got home, I was longing for the comfort and found that in things I didn’t even know I was missing!
As I was prepping to come back, I found myself much in the same mental place as I was coming here the first time. I worried about the new people, my new homestay, the language classes, and if I would feel truly settled in Rio. It was bittersweet to leave and traveling here, I felt in a daze. When I was driving into the city from the airport though, I had waves of affirmation and excitement hit me. I was seeing some of my favorite things again, I was successfully having conversations in Portuguese again, and most of all, I felt like I was returning to a very special place. It was almost like leaving one home to arrive in another.
I am fortunate enough to have a Brazilian friend, Larissa, who is taking me in for ten days before I travel and start classes again. She and her family have already made me feel so comfortable and I’m just so blessed to have them and their hospitality. Not only do I love seeing my friend, but I love being submerged into the language again. The entirety of last semester I played a comparison game to other people in my language ability and oftentimes would be too overwhelmed or intimidated to even try and communicate. But in a mix of English and Portuguese we get our points across and I feel all pressure lifted! I have been so encouraged by the level of Portuguese I’m able to understand even though I’ve taken a two-month break away from it. I genuinely think that a step away was the best thing for me to jump back in feeling re-motivated to learn!
I’ve also been thinking of my new goals for this semester since I met all three of my ones last semester. I was doing some deep-seeded life reflection at home and have decided I need to be more vulnerable, so that’s going to be a continuous prayer journey I think. I also want to bring my language learning up to the forefront and be genuinely engaged instead of just trying to “pick things up” like last semester. I would really love to find a Big Girl Job when I’m here so that I can have something concrete at home to start my post-grad life. Finally, I just want to live in the present and find great friends to help me live a great life! I’m excited to experience new things this semester and see what life throws at me!
As always, thanks for your unwavering support on this journey of mine!
The Halfway Check-in: A Year Abroad