The view on my walk home.

The view on my walk home.

Late night rambles.

I’ve grown up a lot in the past year and I think Brazil has played a starring role in it. I’ve always been behind the curve as far as growing up goes. I feel as though I’ve always experienced things later than most and I was always running to catch up to important milestones.

The past year has molded me and taught me many things. One of those things is how easily I trust others. I had always thought I was a shrewd judge of character and didn’t let just anyone into my life. However, I’ve learned that I’m not the best judge of character. At all. I’m actually quite easily swayed. I have been easily deceived by one too many people in this short period of time (most being romantic interludes). I’ve found that this is my kryptonite. On one hand I find myself amazing and crazy awesome and hold myself to the highest esteem. No one can pull me down from this Beyonce type hype that I have for myself. Then on the other hand I constantly seek validation from the opposite sex, as if I’m nothing without someone telling me I’m something. What the hell?

This shakes me to my very core. I hate those people. I hate those girls. I would walk around judging every living thing who is “living” for someone else. But here I am, one of them. Simply wanting someone to acknowledge my presence. For what? For me to feel good. For me to feel worth it.

I put my trust in someone, just because I think I can see who they really are, and then they hurt me. It seems as though I quickly forget that someone can just as easily deceive me. I forget that people can lie, can charm and can say exactly what I want to hear, without meaning it.

I think the main point I’m trying to get across is this: I feel as though I’m constantly being made a fool of in the “love” department. I feel as though I’m fumbling through this like a toddler, consistently mucking things up because of my inexperience or lack of common sense. In these matters of the heart, I’m hopeless.

However, silver lining: After all these thoughts of criticism on my romantic life, I see a better answer. I keep trying. I keep finding beautiful things in other people. Be it a mirage or not, I keep hoping for the best.
If this means I’m to be a fool for the rest of my life, then so be it. I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that being available and being open aren’t bad things. Wanting to show that I’m thinking of a person or wanting to see them isn’t a sin. I shouldn’t feel compelled to play these insignificant games that usually end with someone irreparably hurt. I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting to know someone or be near them.

If being genuine and sincere and always hoping for the best makes me a fool, then I’ll be a fool all my days. Shame on the boys who makes me think otherwise. You’re not worth it.

Busy as a bee.

I feel like lately every time I sit down to write an update I want to start off with, “I’m so incredibly busy”. Then I stop and decide not to write that, because it may seem to some readers that I’m complaining. In this case, it is actually quite the exact opposite.
Sure, I’m a big fan of complaining. In fact, I’d say I’m quite the enthusiast of airing grievances. Anyone who reads Facebook with any sort of frequency can attest to this. But constantly saying, “I’m so busy” really wouldn’t fit in that category right now. Why? Because I’m enjoying the hell out of it!
Being busy here means I have a life here. Being busy means that I have people I want to see and who want to see me. Being busy means that I truly am (slowly but surely) carving out my little corner of Belo Horizonte to call my own. And as most things happening in my life right now, this excites me and terrifies me at the exact same time.
I’m terrified that the people I’ve met in my comings and goings here in BH aren’t going to be fixtures in my life. I’m so very pleased with my friends that I never want them to change or leave. A good group of them are, as I once was, exchange students and they, for a matter of fact, won’t be here with any sort of permanence.
This is also something I’ve had to come to grips with as an adult and I’m not doing it very gracefully. I’m still addicted to the thought that amazing people should be in my life forever and they should never leave or die or fade into something less amazing. I should be graced with their presence at all times and I should never get sick of them or allow their flaws (you know, those things that pesky humans have a ton of?) to affect our relationship in any way. I know how naive that sounds and how childish and easy it is to wish for forever. But there it is, in black and white, for the world to see.
I know that entire list of things is pretty much impossible, even with the best of friends or situations. But I won’t let the idea of impossible ruin my wish for better. Not just better friendships or a better life but better everything. It is always there for you to wish for and I have come a long way to finally believe that I deserve it. I will continue to wish (and work for) the better. What the hell is it all for if we accept the mundane like a tide that washes over every one of us? We can’t always help what happens to us or to our lives, but no one ever said we had to take it lying down. I have to constantly remind myself that better is not only possible, but that I deserve it.

My walkway.
Bairro Gutierrez - Belo Horizonte - MG

My walkway.

Bairro Gutierrez - Belo Horizonte - MG

I’m still alive.

I figured I would set aside some time to give everyone an update since I’ve been MIA recently. I’d like everyone to know I’m alive and well, if not a little worn for wear.
To say I’ve been busy and overwhelmed with work would be an understatement lately, but ask and you shall receive right? I can’t even complain about it because one of my greatest fears about coming here was that I wouldn’t find work or enough work, at that. FEAR NO LONGER, humble friends. I have all the work I can handle (and then some).

I have 3 groups a week and about 8 individual students as well, at every level imaginable. This means I have to prepare classes from about 6/7 different books. Yikes. This has been the most challenging part of the whole thing. I’ve been brushing up on and conquering my English knowledge and feeling confident I can yell “Preposition!” or “Definite article!” at the drop of a hat and know exactly what I should be hearing from these people.

My students ages range from 14 to 65 (ironically these two are in the same class) and overall I enjoy most of them. I have beginners where it is a constant fight in every class for them to not use Portuguese and then on the other end of the spectrum I have a higher level student where we discuss the current political situation in Venezuela, in perfect English. So, you can see how I have my hands full, right?

My coworkers have turned out to be quite lovely people, but out of the 7 teachers I trained with, only 5 remain. The seasoned teachers have come to call me their “Walking Dictionary” and I’m in love with that. The hair-brained 18 year old  American girl is gone and I’m back to my reigning position as #1 American, so I can’t really complain (neither can my ego).

So all in all, I’m in a good place. A tired, exhausted when I get home place, but albeit, a good one.

Everything tastes better in the bottle.

Everything tastes better in the bottle.

I promised honesty, dammit.

I made that promise when I first set my thoughts in writing on this blog over a year ago and I have been trying my best to stay true to it.

I don’t want people to think I don’t have doubts, because I do. Constantly.

Sometimes I wake up and physically ache with homesickness. There are moments in the quiet where I could swear that I’d give anything to be able to just sit with my mom for a minute. Just to be in the same room as her and watch an episode of Law & Order that we’ve already seen about 4 times. Wishing I was under a pile of blankets laughing while we sing along to the opening credits in weird voices.
There are times when I wish I could call my dad to ask if I could swing by the house, just to say hey.
I persistently think about how much I miss my dog and how I just want to run her ears between my fingers as she falls asleep in my lap.

So yes, I definitely have moments where I wonder if it’s all worth it. If these  downcast days are a shadow of something more. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to terms that you have the right to be sad at times.
I have the right to almost mourn my old life, in a way. Because it was the end of a chapter and when I go back (whenever that will be), it will all be different. People will have moved away, changed, or moved on to their next chapters and I’ll have to accept that, just as they accepted my new adventure.
So what I’ve learned is that I can not only accept, but embrace these feelings when they bubble up at (usually the most inopportune) times. I will forever miss these people who were constant anchors in my life and it is perfectly normal to ache for them to be near me.

Being homesick is just realizing that home was an incredible place with irreplaceable people and for that I’m thankful.

If I had a favorite shape, it would be the triangle.
Assembleia - Belo Horizonte - MG

If I had a favorite shape, it would be the triangle.

Assembleia - Belo Horizonte - MG

Tropical city livin’.
Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil

Tropical city livin’.

Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil