Archives, Culture, Lifestyle

The Halfway Check-in: A Year Abroad

Hello everyone!
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!

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