I moved here to gain perspective, but I honestly didn’t think I was going to gain so much so fast, and I certainly didn’t think that the perspective I would first gain would be about myself. It seems sort of obvious now, especially given that my big move fell within the same year as my divorce. Hindsight is a funny thing. No matter how much we know, or think we know, we always look back and see things differently. And no matter what we expect to happen in life, it’s rarely even the case that things do happen that way. I can hear my sister now, calling me cryptic, so let me get to what I’ve learned so far in my 45 days in Brazil.
I’ve learned that I’m not very good at being cool. Like, with men. I’ve learned that I’m a little emotionally and communicatively behind when it comes to adult relationships. Now, I’m not in a relationship, but I did meet someone special several months before my move. I felt sad but mature when we agreed to not get too involved or attempt some long distance thing, knowing that many miles and a lot of time was going to come between us. Yet, this man touched my heart in a way it’s never been touched, and although I said I could, I wasn’t able to be the cool, laid back woman who just let things go on as life directed.
I’ve learned that I’m crippled and stifled in my skills at being laid-back. I was in too tense environments and around too many bad relationships, including my own, for too much of my life to just be chill naturally. But I want to be able to chill out more, and my class of 9th graders I think are helping me do this! I’m really glad that I’ve become aware of my “uncoolness” so I can learn how to chill out before I ever think about settling down (again).
So, for example, like NOT email this person I’m giving space to to tell him how much I miss him, then say “I really am living here in the present moment, I just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you” Nope, I’m not going to do that…..again. :-/ I wanted to be able to just be here and not think about him. I wanted that to be true, but I was also sad and lonely and longing for something he got me to believe in again, and I felt more comfortable in that non-reality than I did in my present one.
I SOOOOO clearly wasn’t living in my present. I WAS learning a new city, and a new job, and meeting new people, and focusing on my health, but I wasn’t even close to being present. Even though I wanted to come on this adventure–Hell, it’s one of the only (big) decisions I’ve truly made on my own in my entire adult life–I wasn’t fully ready for it. Then again, are we ever really ready for anything?
So, I wanted to BE here, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. And it isn’t even until now that I can look back on it and go, OH, I was scared. I was in culture shock. I was having a harder time that I let myself admit. So, I did what I always do when times get hard: I fled. I couldn’t flee from my physical environment, so I fled emotionally. I fled from the present moment, my here-and-now mentality.
I think that usually when people emotionally flee they fall back into the warmth of a past moment, a beautiful memory, but I fled to a future longing, to an amazingly peaceful future I dream of having with someone. I burrowed myself into the still-smoldering golden ember of my heart that this someone lit on fire. I absconded into the future of my mind, a place I hope to be one day with someone special, to avoid the challenges of the here and now. But now that I’ve taken the time to think about it, and have let the sadness settle, I know that I was being a little (a lot?!) uncool, and that the timing isn’t right, and that I just need to focus on here and now.
I’ve learned that I need to focus on me and become the best version of myself if I ever want that amazingly peaceful future I dream of to become a reality, and I know that actions speak louder than words, so…..I’m off to work on me. From this day forward I commit to being the best me I can be. I commit to being the best teacher I’ve ever been, creating the most honest artwork and writing I’ve ever created, and loving myself more than I have ever loved anyone. I am going to work day in and day out to become the coolest woman I can be. And in doing so I hope to continue growing my perspective of our world through this amazing place I get to call home for a couple of years.