Being back in the States is such a strange feeling. It seems all study abroad experiences end just as you're really starting to settle into things. Leaving Brazil was an experience filled with mixed emotions of relief, sadness, and honestly, not really knowing what to expect once I got back home. My life back in the States had been on pause for four months, and although facebook, tumblr, and instagram definitely aided in keeping friends and family up to date, those social media sites could not possibly capture the type of internal challenges and growth I have been and still am undergoing...
One day I am Brazil, I closed my eyes, and bam! I was back in my city. There is little time to actually prepare for that process no matter how hard you try. A 9 hour plane ride does no justice to four months worth of countless experiences, obstacles, victories, smiles, and tears. There is just too much to process. I have spent the last week or so, preparing for my summer research, but in between those professional expectations, I have made time to practice breathing, to journal, to talk through my experiences outloud, to think through my feelings, to listen to music and just jam out, and countless other little practices. To some these might seem like normal or even arbitrary things to do, but to me they provide "me time." They give me the space to think or not think about Brazil. They allow me to be honest with myself about the difficulties and familiarities of moving from one place to another with little emotional preparation.
So they say home is where the heart is, and the truth is, I left a tiny piece of my heart and self in Rio so in some way I left a home. I am continuing to give myself space and time to come back wholly to my other home, but I am eternally grateful to have studied abroad in Brazil.
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<div>I'm a student, a friend, a naturalista, a budding activist, a writer, a wom@nist/feminist, an intellectual, a Tupac-lover, a New Yorker, and a person in process all wrapped in one. I'm living on the hyphen of many identities that allow me to see the world in a critical, refreshing way; and at the intersections of many struggles and journeys that I would love for you to join me on. :)</div>