Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thirteen Days!

I am leaving Brazil in thirteen days.  What?! I can't really describe how that makes me feel, even with the words I know in two languages.  Strange.  Estranho.  Crazy.  Louco.  Jittery. Nervoso.  Excited. Animado. They just don't cut it.

When I first arrived here about a year ago, I tried to imagine how I would be at the end of this journey.  What would I learn? How well would I know the city? Would I be fluent in Portuguese? Would I have really good friends? Would I be a better dancer? It's strange to be here now, almost at the end, and know the answers to those questions.  The biggest question though, is how will I have changed and in what ways? And I still don't really know the answer to that question, which is a little nerve-racking.  It's strange to know myself, be myself, yet not be able to see and articulate what has changed in me.  I know I've changed.  In any given year, each of us changes, but when it happens in our own language, in our own culture, it is easy to articulate what we have experienced during and after each step or stage.  Here, it's almost like I've been changing behind my own eyes.  I have been doing a beautiful dance behind a big red velvet curtain that even I can't see.  I will arrive home, get a bag of popcorn doused in nutritional yeast, and take a front row seat to my own show.  I will finally get to see my dance from the perspective of my culture, my family, and my friends.  I will undoubtedly look around the theatre and see if anyone else is enjoying the show.  My new movement will surprise even me, only me, or perhaps, everyone but me.

 I did a very good job not having huge expectations about Brazil.  I looked at this year as an adventure and I skillfully prepared myself to be an open book.  Coming home seems so much more scary than going to a new country, with a language I didn't speak well, knowing pretty much no one. Why is that?
There are a few answers to that question that I have been throwing around: I think I feel like I can't remember what's normal in the U.S., I'm afraid I'll hate everything about the U.S. and immediately want to come back, I'm nervous that people I connected with before this trip will not understand me anymore and vice versa, and strangely, I'm also nervous at the thought of just being happy and relieved back in my comfort zone.  I'm so used to being here and I'm really proud of that.  I really did it! I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a year! I will never be the same and that is a beautiful thing.  This year has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my life in some way and I can't wait to see what that is.

Gaaaaaah!

On to the next :) But I'll be back :)

xoxo,
Mariamma

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