Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The End.

Holy crapping hell, I'm leaving Brazil TOMORROW.  Ah, where to start... what to even say!  My journey started nearly three years ago and for so long there was no end in sight.  Well, here we are.  How quickly you have arrived, End. 

Looking back on my first blog, my fears at that time were real and they eventually did come true.  Language barriers, sharing a house with parents, not making friends and so much more that I hadn't even expected... What was most surprising, though, was the joy I would find in overcoming all of those fears. Living with Ro's family for the first year of our life was tough - but without them I wouldn't ever have learned to speak Portuguese (at least at the level I speak it today). I'm so grateful for that experience because it brought me closer to my husband - I was able to understand his family, his upbringing... be an actual part of his family.  It's pretty amazing to have a true second family who think of you in that way too. 

I didn't expect the amazing relationships that would come after the bumpy part of my solitary life.  I needed to experience that time alone so I could appreciate even more when the friends eventually came.  I will miss those friendships incredibly.  Unlike any connection I've had - we bonded over our common experience of being a foreigner.  And then we bonded over deeper things.  We learned to be more open to different people in our lives.  We learned to explore our own cities, and each others' cities, together and venture outside of our comfort zones.  We learned that it's actually not so scary and it's 'cool' to be different. 

What I complained about so much I know is all part of Brazilian 'charm'.  How is it that what you once hate you grow to love? Even 'Brazilian honesty' just became a part of life and in the end, I appreciated it more than the alternative - silent opinions and insincerity.

Today I'm changed. I'm going home the same woman and an entirely different woman.  More love in my heart, eyes much more open to the differences in the world, an incredible appreciation for family and my 'home'.  The truth is I feel like we have two homes now.  I feel a deep need to keep the Brazilian connection strong once we arrive, just as I worked to keep my Canadian one alive during our time here. 

After all, I literally have something that is half Brazilian growing inside of me. 

I guess what I have ultimately learned at the end of this journey is about creating my own happiness.  There are moments (sometimes really really long moments) that seem to just drag you down and work against you.  We all have the strength to get the hard times and the other side is often so much brighter.  I've also learned that despite all of our worrying, things ALWAYS work out. 

Because as the saying goes,
"Everything works out in the end... and if it hasn't worked out yet, then it isn't the end."
Happy travels to you all!  Thank you for all of the love and support each of you has given me.  I couldn't have done it without you. 

.... stay tuned for my new blog 'After Brazil'...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nobody Told Us to Fall in Love...

I just woke up from a distressing dream.  (I'm sick, which is why I'm sleeping at 2pm... just a side note).

In my dream,  I had arrived at home in Canada (without Ro - I think he was coming later) and my sister was going to meet me on a bridge to take me back to our old house (which was actually the first house I ever lived in).  I was really excited and anticipating the moment I would arrive.  When we arrived home we passed some relatives on the stairs on the way into the house.  My aunt commented that my face had changed so much, that she wouldn't have ever recognized me on the street.

After being in the house for a little, I realized I could hear this drilling.  This loud, brain rattling, drilling.  My mom said my dad was scraping something off the walls in the basement.  My first thought was why hasn't my dad stopped his drilling to come say hi to me?

I ran upstairs, trying to get away from this drilling sound.  I closed all the vents and windows, but I couldn't get away from the sound.  I realized it was snowing outside.  I remembered all the times I had said while I was in Brazil that I hated the hot weather and missed the cold winter so much.  As I looked at the snow I felt that deep coldness inside and I thought, but I don't like THIS winter... 

Later, I was in the kitchen with my sister and she brought out a box of desserts.  I said, 'oh great!  I can't wait to eat all of the desserts I couldn't eat while in Brazil!' but when I looked at the dessert in her hand I thought, but I don't like THIS dessert...

Suddenly I heard Ro talking on the phone.  He was talking to someone in Portuguese about the price of some item that we are selling at our house.  He gave the person on the other end our Brazilian address which caught my attention, because we weren't living at that address anymore.  Suddenly I realized that in my anticipation to get home to Canada, I hadn't even 'said goodbye' to our apartment in Brazil.  I felt a deep loss.

I began to feel really alone, really sad that we weren't in Brazil anymore.  I thought to myself We came to have the baby here and that's good.  If we aren't happy we can go back.  I asked Ro (who was suddenly, of course, there with me) 'Did we make a mistake?'

His response in true, logical, dream fashion, 'No, you're just sad that we are living in the suburbs now.'

I woke up suddenly still in my living room in Brazil and felt an enormous sense of relief.  I could still say goodbye to everything here.  But I started to cry when I told Ro about the dream.  I asked him, "Are we making a mistake? I'm worried about how it will be for you... I don't want you to have to 'deal with moving'."

His response in true, logical, Ro fashion, "Nobody told us to fall in love with someone from another country...."

Sigh. Somebody always has to 'deal'. 

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