Sunday, May 27, 2012

3 Years

Today marks 3 years that I have been in Brazil. I didn't realize it was my day until about an hour ago. The past two years, Sidnei and I went out and celebrated my Braziliversary (as coined by Danielle). So I feel a little deflated that I just let this day "passa branco"* but also proud, because I can use expressions like that now. (meaning, in case it's not obvious, I didn't do anything special) I can only assume that this means I am not constantly counting the number of days I have been in Brazil (though I am pretty much asked all the time, so it's not that hard to forgot) and life here is "normal". (although, I say that, and laugh. I need bigger quotation marks for that word.)

It's interesting how time changes things. (Or how things change over time?) In any case, life truly is feeling more like life. I work too much, I have a set of friends I really adore. I don't think there's anything that I can't/won't do. I can say pretty much anything I want to say. That does NOT mean I am fluent. Far, far from it. But I communicate well. Things would vastly improve if I took a Portuguese class. (Speaking of, can anyone recommend a good book for Portuguese classes...anyone use one they liked?)

To make a long post long, I am proud of myself. I have accomplished a lot. I have learned a lot. About this country, about the culture, and of course, most importantly, about me. I feel like I have discovered more about me in the past 3 years than I knew my whole life. And all at the same time, some days I feel like I have changed so much, I barely recognize myself. I'm good with that, I'm good with me. I like where I am. That is to say, personally. I could use a little work in the geographical department. (I kid, I kid...sort of)

As far as "home" is concerned...when I say home, it means two things and changes only in context. Home is here, in Brazil. And it will be for the next few years. I can't say for sure how long. In all honesty, I still hope for sooner rather than later. I have grown to love Brazil, but "home" always beckons to me. For now, we are here. And we are living life as if we will always be here. But we both hope to come "home" one day.

3 years. (That should have an echo) It feels so LONG and so short all in one space. After all I've said, I have to say this: It has been hard. It has been wonderful. I am grateful for every adventure, even the wrong turns. Our journey is still in the beginning. There are some good things in work for the future. I hope I can share it with you soon (one of the reasons I have been crazy busy and absent). For now, thanks for the 3 years of sharing with me. Thanks for all the guidance, advice, and love shown. Seriously, I would have never made it the first couple of years without you. (I really tell people that all the time. Expats get it, Brazilians kind of don't. You know, since you all are imaginary people in my computer)

(Thanks for putting up with all my parenthesis...I was feeling the love today)
* I say passa branco...but maybe it's passa branca? I said I could use the expression, I didn't say I used it right. Masculine and feminine stuff is hard, okay?

Also: A picture for  you. Sidnei and I took pictures for our anniversary. I feel I should include it, since I would not be here were it not for us.
I am totally having this made into a "banner" (as they say here) for our house. 


17 comments:

Ballerina Girl said...

Congratulations Stephanie!
You sound like a true expat...no more newbie for you ;)

This is a beautiful picture. You seem like you are coming into the joys of living away from the US...it is hard, it will always be home and it will always beckon...but we learn so much, and appreciate things so much more when you live away for awhile...or forever!

Who knows where the adventures will lead us!

BG

rach said...

congrats on your third year! I know how tough its been and you have come really far- and lasted a lot longer down there than I know I would! I personally think living overseas, while an adventure, kinda stinks. But its good for the soul in a way...it either makes or breaks a person and it has made you :) love you seester!

Jim said...

Congrats on your Brazilaversay!

If you are planning a return to the States some time in the future... is Sydnei learning Engish...

Betty WSch. said...

What a special picture! You look happy together! I'm so proud of you Steph. You have come to love a place you didn't even know 3 years ago or expect to live in. THAT is a mayor accomplishment. And you stuck to your man. Some people would not have made the move, but you have shown it can be done. I'm sure you have lost many a tear along the way, but it will be worth it in the end.
Happy Braziliversary! And may your wish to go home come true some day!

Danielle said...

Congrats! :D

This post was so beautiful and well written. You sound really 'resolvida' and at peace with things.

I'm gonna send you a link to Portuguese material.

xoxo

Mexi-can Me. said...

Happy 3 years! I love your blog, but realized I have never posted on it. Its nice how you made the best of a situation that was very difficult at first to accept.

All the best,

Milena

Amanda X said...

Holy Cow. I can't believe you have been there for 3 years. That means I haven't seen you in like 5! I am glad it is feeling more like home there. (But also that you know that 'home' is over here) You look amazing, that picture of the 2 of you is adorable. Sounds like you are keeping a secret. (could it be similar to your sister's secret?)

I love you and miss you so much. You are amazing and you seriously inspire me. You are one of the strongest women I know.

xoxo

Lisa n Javi said...

cute photo. sounds like you are really enjoying life and who you have become on the journey.

Stephanie G said...

HAppy 3 years tocaya!! I don't know if that is said the same in Portuguese as in Spanish, but it means that we have the same name.

Stephanie said...

BG, Thank you!! Your support and advice has always been great :)

Rach- Thanks, I love you too :)

Jim- Sidnei and I only speak in English, at least a majority of the time. His English isn't perfect, but it has improved greatly since we have gotten here...oddly enough :) We do have plans for him to start school though, where I work next semester!

Betty- Thank you so much :) You are so sweet and I have always enjoyed reading your blog and your positive spirit!!

Danielle- As I'm sure you know the wave of peace comes and goes, ebbs and flows...I'm rhyming, you like? But for the most part, I do feel more or less 'resolvida'...life is much easier to live that way.

Amanda- I MISS YOU!!!! It has been too long since we've seen eachother! I hope I can fix that one day soon!!!

Lisa, Thank you!!!

Stephanie-- Tocaya, I dont know if there is a similar word in portugues, but something tugging at my memory tells me there is! I will find out and let you know! Thank you!!!

Peg said...

Happy Brazilaversary! I've been reading since just after your wedding, and I'm glad to see that you're doing so much better now. You may not have chosen your circumstances, but you've certainly risen to them.

I hope it all goes much more smoothly for the next few years. Do you have to wait ten years before Sydnei can return to the US? We have a good friend in Rio das Ostras who came back to Brazil under similar circumstances and that's what she was told.

Wishing you all the luck and peace you need. Keep writing, please!

Peg

Amanda said...

First of all I want to say I still read your posts often I just don't comment as much as I should.

Now.. sigh.. Thank you so much for this post. When I first saw the title and the first paragraph I thought I was going to feel bad after reading it. You see we have recently decided to start looking into Immigrating to Canada. Mainly because like you said we would like to make it "home" some day.

But instead of making me feel petty you helped me to see that there really are people who can understand that you can love somewhere very much and that you can make it there and still want to leave at the same time.

Your post brought me to tears just knowing how much you can feel my heart.

Again thanks for the post and congrats on surviving the third year. I still say my first two were the hardest. Not to say that it was easy after that but... well.. you know.

Lovely Light said...

First off, that picture is really beautiful! Congrats on your TWO anniversaries! I passed my first year in SA in Feb. and I wonder how I'll feel about it in two more! I don't have a language issue here (English is a primary language here), but I can only imagine how much you've learned! Kudos on the positive attitude!

susanaroundtheworld said...

Congratulations on your anniversaries and thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts! Moving abroad is tough and so emotionally draining under any circumstances. The fact that you've made it work under your circumstances is beautiful and inspiring. I love reading your blog. Keep blogging please! I really enjoy your writing style and learning about my country and Brazil through your unique experience.

Shannon said...

Beautiful pic of you two! Glad you are feeling "normal" there, but I know what you mean about getting home. While IL does not compare to Brazil, I always lived waiting to get back "home" to SC...and now I've been here (SC) 11 years and wonder where all the time went!

Eve Stein said...

Wow - time has really flown by! I know I'm super late in my congratulations, so consider this an early congrats for your fourth year! Lol. ;)

Anne said...

You asked about a good Portuguese book. But you might want to check out Duolingo on the web. My daughter, whose husband is also Brazilian, has been using it to build her vocabulary.

Good luck to you and your husband!