Monday, October 19, 2009

Realizations--The Life Lesson Kind

Moving to a different country provides a lot of different opportunities for a person to learn and grow. For me, one of the biggest things I learning is about myself. And it's not all roses and sunshine. But let's start with that part anyway.

I have realized my capacity to learn is endless. And I love that. Every day, I learn more words and learn to say different things in portuguese. I am understanding more and more every day as well. I am proud of myself for learning so quickly. Though I am eager to be able to communicate effectively (it's probably one of the biggest things I miss) I am surprised how patient I am. When I don't understand (usually in a big group of people, where conversation moves back and forth rapidly), I don't get upset. I sit, I listen, try to find words and a way to understand what is going on. That is until my brain gets tired, shuts off, and wanders else where. But I try.

Another big thing I am proud of myself for. I am trying all sorts of different things. I have this thing about looking stupid in front of others...yes, yes, I know we all do, but a lot of times it has prevented me from reaching out and trying new things. Here that is not the case. I speak, even though I know I sound like a toddler trying to put sentences together with my limited vocabulary, hoping someome will understand what I am saying. I am trying new foods. I am eating vegetables ( still with me? Take a deep breath, shocking I know) and liking them ('s still me. I promise to call and verify this over skype...aliens have not...nevermind).

While all of these things are great, like I said, not all roses and sunshine. What has really been on my mind lately, and the way I am trying to really grow, is I realized how selfish I am. In fact, it has been on my mind constantly the last week or so. Here, in this family, we share. Everything. Big things, little things, no matter. We share. And the stupid thing is, I am the kind of person that will help you in anyway possible. Truly. I love my family, I love my friends, and I would do anything for them. But please don't ask me to share my THINGS. No, I don't want you to use my computer. No, I don't want to share my candy with you. Our boxes arrived a while ago. My MIL fell in LOVE with one of my blankets. I can't seem to part with it. Don't worry, I packed like four.

And here I am. Living with this family, that has opened their hearts, their homes. They would give me absolutely anything. In fact they have. My SIL especially. She has endlessly helped Sidnei over the years. She is the one that really tries to have a relationship with me. We go to the store on Saturday nights, to prepare for Sunday dinners, we always seem to detour and get ice cream. She always pays. The other day, she brought me home a pair of shoes, just because. She brings chocolate home, she gives some to everyone. She does all the laundry, every Saturday. In fact she spends her entire Saturday washing clothes and then Sunday ironing. Monday through Friday she works 8-7. She always puts her family first, and herself last. Always. She ordered two pizzas the other night for seven people. BIL and wife showed up, right when the pizza arrived. Perfect timing. She literally served everyone else and picked at what was leftover on the box. She gave everyone two pieces, I tried to tell her I only needed one (which was true, eating two whole pieces would be a miracle), but she wouldn't hear it. Not to say she is a saint, she's not. She's bossy and sometimes scary. She is the kind of person where you want to stay on her good side. But she is truly one of the most unselfish people I have ever met. And I truly admire that.

Just so you know, I am not terrible. Promise. I do share. The thing I hate, is the unwillingness I feel to do so. If someone asks to use my computer or camera, I want to say sure, and not think twice about it. Instead I am on the inside saying NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...! And you want to know where it comes from? It comes from having too much. Never having had to share a lot because I've always had my own room, my own toys, pretty much my own everything. (Thanks Mom and Dad, not sarcastically, literally. I'm sorry I was never more grateful)

So I am learning. I learning from people who have enough, but they have enough because they share. I am learning to be the kind of person that recognizes just how blessed I truly was and am. I am in no way suffering by being here. I am just learning the difference between necessity and luxury. I am learning with Sidnei, to start from the bottom and work our way up. I am learning to share the blessings I've been given with others. I want to learn that things, are just that. Things. In the scheme of life, they don't matter. Things do not bring me the happiness I crave. Today I was going to write a post and give you pictures of all the things I was excited about from my boxes. But I realized it didn't matter. It was fleeting happiness.

Because I am realizing that really I am happy when my family is happy and we do this:

(This is everyone minus my SIL and her husband, Sidnei and I..we are behind the camera)
Celebrating my BIL's birthday. We were all sitting around, talking, laughing, having a good time. We didn't have much. We had some meat for churrasco, a couple of sodas, the fire...and eachother. (and rice, there's always rice)

"Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you’ll never find it all
Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she’ll be home"
-Happiness- The Fray


  1. I really enjoyed your post! So profound.... Gives me something to think about. :)

  2. so thought provoking. Good job Steph. Sounds like things are going awesome for you!!