Saturday, July 28, 2012

An Interim at Home

Now that I've been back in the US for two weeks, I can finally say I'm adjusted. That's not to say I don't miss Brazil. I'm just clearly not in the throws of "reverse culture shock," where Portuguese is spoken by accident instead of English, my stomach adjusts to not eating beans and rice daily, and where I even am curiously shy around my own boyfriend. Glad that's over!

From the time I landed in Atlanta to just a few days ago, I spent all my time with my boyfriend. We were both anxious to spend as much time as possible together since we had been apart two months. We had to get him ready to move to Germany, which he did this past Thursday. We only had a week and a half together, but I'm just thankful we got that much time. With my globetrotting tendencies and his employer being the US Army, it's a rather significant miracle that he didn't leave for Germany while I was still in Brazil. Anyway, it was a nice time, and I miss him terribly.

Now I'm living another transitional period. Daily existence is more about getting ready for the next phase of my life instead of focusing on the here and now. I don't really do anything at the moment besides prepare. I feel constantly restless, assaulted by the phantom to-do list that seems to grow in size everyday. My priority is to compile all the necessary papers, photos, and cash before my Spanish visa appointment in Miami. The required documents aren't difficult to acquire, but the process is pretty tedious. I also am slowly beginning to pack, again. This time for 10ish months. How does a person do that exactly? On a more fun note, I'm planning on visiting a lot of people I haven't seen in awhile. So, maybe I'll get to go to New York, San Francisco, and even Florida a few times.

With all that to do, this month and a half will fly by. I'm leaving for Spain sometime in mid to late September. The lull in activity is a pretty big change though. I always do that, where one minute I'm traveling every other day, and the next minute I'm home, normally sleeping for days on end. When I do finally catch up on sleep, I realize that I'm lonely and pretty uncertain as to what I'm doing with my life. Brazil was such an amazing decision. I learned so much about myself, both professionally and otherwise, I made great friends, and I got to see new parts of the world. It was a dream. But I still have no idea what kind of "career path" I'd want to pursue or even an idea of what to study for a Master's.

Thinking about life in those terms, however, doesn't work for me. I find that they're so overwhelming that my brain just shuts down. I either cry or black out and later find myself playing Skyrim or eating cookies. I'm trying a new tactic where I focus more on the relative present and only do things I really want to do. Sounds like a no brainer, I'm sure, but I've really done a lot of things in my life out of obligation, for a resume boost, or convenience. People just tell me to be happy. Do what makes me happy. Well, I'm going to try and find out what those things are. That's what this whole travel and teach concept was for me last year. Now it's grown to be something much more real. I'm much more aware how challenging the profession and living abroad can be. I also know I'm a great teacher, and I'm also really good at making it in another country, hence me continuing the adventure.
In rewards for reading my post, here are photos from my second photo shoot with Marlan, one of my Brazilian students who is a great makeup artist!





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