Friday, July 31, 2015

Forever and Always

 I’m sitting on a bench outside of my lab and before I even had the thought of writing my blog, I was just sitting here for the past 45 minutes clearing my head.  With the stress of a paper to write, a presentation to give on Tuesday, and a whole two and a half months of experiences and memories to pack for my flight next Thursday, I have found that my happy place is this bench.  I have a view of my building with the golden sun that’s just now fading into the night behind me, and an entire future in front of me.  I wonder if I will ever be back in this place.  I wonder if I will ever sit in this spot and hear nothing but the tires of the onibus, the water from the hose of a woman tending to the flowers, and the un-synchronized songs of the birds above me.  There’s a rare sense of beauty in the chaos of Sao Paulo. It truly gives a transplant a sense of self- awareness. 
I notice that I walk slower, thinking less about myself and clearing my mind to let in my surroundings.  I feel myself smiling more at the people who are truly nothing but friendly.  I recognize the patches of the youth’s expression in the strange graffiti on the back of the engineering buildings.  But mostly I have found that I understand myself more.  The social dynamics, the culture, the non-judgmental people all play a role in the beautiful chaos of Sao Paulo.  In this city, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, or any other thing that people back home give such unnecessary importance to… nothing matters. 
I wonder if this unconditional acceptance and understanding roots from more sincere problems, like the energy and water crisis.  Even the power outages seem to bring out the love of Sao Paulo people.  They sit on the sidewalks and share not only a cup of coffee and bread but also their lives.  The politeness and the sincerity in every Thank You, it makes me wonder why I would live anywhere else when Sao Paulo, Brazil seems to have figured out how to be happy. 
While every person struggles with their own social and economic insecurities, they never fail to go out to just celebrate what they do have: love, a home, friends, an education, or maybe just a ticket for the metro they found at the bottom of their backpack.
These past two months have definitely put my life into perspective.  I worry less about what others think and focus more about doing the things that make me happy.  I've learned that at the end of the day, you should truly feel like every smile you gave to another person came genuinely from your heart. 
I feel more at peace.  I have found that my thoughts have shifted away from I, me, and my.  I feel like my time here has been a cleansing experience.  The detachment from my friends and my family made me learn more about myself.  Maybe because I’ve had the opportunity to find who I am and not the person who is the product of her surroundings and her environment’s expectations…
I feel good.  About myself, about what I believe in, about my goals, about what I look like, about my personal tastes.  I know who I am.  I feel perfect in my own skin.  I have never been so clear about myself.  Thank you Sao Paulo, for the love, for the food, for the acceptance.  
       Most importantly, thank you for the beautiful memories that will always be very close to my heart.
I will always keeping sharing the smile and enthusiasm Sao Paulo gave to me.
Forever and Always.

Much love and a very full heart,

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