It's been ages since I have last posted which should be an indicator at how busy I have been with various things, including adjusting to the city life. Between school, homework, church and seeing my friends, I barely have time to read a book for pleasure! Oh how I cannot wait to graduate! May 2011 won't come soon enough.
The city is bigger than I imagined but due to its layout in "bairros" or districts/communities, it has a nice homey feel, at least where I have been frequenting. I live in a really ritzy area of town near one of the chic-est shopping centers, Oscar Freire, and am rubbing shoulders with football (soccer) stars, super rich people and the like. Interestingly, I am paying just a little bit more for rent than my colleagues who live in dorm-style housing with 5+ roomates and I have a great spacious flat with two incredible roomates. The downside is things here are more expensive (coffee, snacks, grocery stores, etc...) because of the type of people who frequent here. Also, I have a maid, who comes twice a month and does all of that awful cleaning stuff that I don't like to do, and I can already tell it is going to be hard going back to not having one in Nashville!!
Classes are going well and most importantly I am growing as a person. As an independent, confident, married woman. This is the part of this trip that I am most appreciative of. As I always say, nothing is coincidental. My roomates and I all seem to be in the same phase of life, facing the same insecurities, same worries and similar desires for ourselves. As a result, we spend hours talking about these issues and through their friendship (and an incredible book) I am now finding great solace not just within myself but also am improving my relationship with my husband, which is ultimately going to lead to a happier, easier, more joy-filled life. I miss my husband, more than anything, but I am turning those saudades into something productive that gives life, spark and joy to our relationship, rather than dragging it through the mud, as I did last semester. Looking back, his unwavering support proves how much he loves and cares for me because I would never have been able to endure what I put him through. Humberto knows when to call my bullshit, can tell when I am upset and doesn't feed into it and when I finally do break down, helps put the pieces back together, but only if I am committed to doing my part. Long distance relationships are difficult but they can also be used to the couple's advantage and in our case, my personal development is paramount to any issue that we will encounter in our life. Through this experience I am learning to deal with issues on my own instead of calling him for his opinion or support. Of course those are both important, but first and foremost I need to be able to depend on myself, stand on my own two feet, before I can help support a family.
As always, I send my love to my friends in PA, TN and FL as well as my family who are spread all over. I miss you all and I will be back in the states sooner than you can imagine!