I’m a little late on this post. We arrived in Brazil on September 9, 2011. Somehow I blinked and this year’s September anniversary rolled by. I’ll blame it on the pregnancy, my scapegoat for all things memory-related in 2013.
Last year on my one-year anniversary here I wrote about how life will slip by unless you plan to take advantage of it. Funny how sometimes we don’t always listen to our own advice. Or maybe I was so busy living that blogging got forgotten. I like to think it’ s the latter excuse.
Anniversaries are still a good time to reflect. Here’s a few reflections from this past year:
It’s still the little things. I can’t say that life has been easy. It’s been a lot of hard work and more than a few angstful struggles. What has gotten me through? Life is made of little moments. Some fabulous. Savor them. I mean, really stop and engrave it in your memory. Because some moments are hard. Those, just power through them. And every once in a while be sure to do a headcount just to make sure (and/or remind yourself) that the good ones outnumber the bad! Also, it should give you some extra energy to keep powering through. When I do my personal tally, I can say that in Year 2 our Good:Rough ratio is increasing. Are where we wanted to be when we dreamed of moving back here? Nope. Maybe we’re getting there, though.
Life is rarely what you expect it. Seriously my friends, as we start a new family on the other side of the world, the thought occurs: how the hell did I end up here? And then I trace the steps back and realize that there is very little there that I would have predicted. Would I have imagined as a child that someday I would become fluent in two, now three languages? Nope. That I would come to master one of those languages so much that I would make a career of being an interpreter and translator? Nope, didn’t see that coming (as a kid I dreamed of being a psychiatrist!). That I would marry someone from a different country–incidentally NOT a country that speaks one of the languages that I speak–and move home with him? DEFINITELY didn’t see that one coming. That I would need to find a new career, and would now make a living giving massages to rich ladies and counseling them about weight loss? Not on your life. But here I am.
So when said rich ladies ask me how did I end up here in Brazil, I always wonder how to translate, “I punted.”
Which brings me to my next point: the long view is the best (and hardest) view. It’s easy to sprint to a short-term goal. At least it is for me. But keeping your eyes fixed on the prize for years? That’s tough. So sometimes you gotta just punt that ball as hard as you can towards the goalposts and hope it gets close. If it doesn’t, well, keep playing and pushing forward. The progress is painfully slow at times, and sometimes its the only way to get there.
Home is where the heart is. I realize these days that home is in this strange place where I feel like an outsider more days than not. Home is also in the sea salt spray and rocky shores of my childhood. So what happens when your heart lives in two places? You become this strange hybrid. I want to be here and I want to be there. I go there and I want to be here. The other thing that happens? Your heart grows.