In 2013 when I was planning my trip to come to the US I had a vague idea of how my life would be once I arrived here. Now, after 5 years, I think I can say for sure that it is very, very different than anything I could’ve imagined in Brazil.
On this post and on my Youtube Video, I’ll share with you some of the sour and sweet things about living in the United States.
And the first Sour one is the ….
Loneliness – Choosing to live abroad comes with the fact that you are living away from everything that was once familiar to you, including your supporting system. Sometimes, we just want to be close to the people that we love, and have a shoulder to cry on when sh*t happens. However, this is not usually included in the “immigrant’s package”.
Belonging – I also feel that I don’t belong here, of course, that after five years, a lot of meetings, courses, conversations and errands, I feel very adapted and I call this place my home. However, I don’t recognize myself in the culture, even though I learned how to live in it. Another funny thing that happened after these years living away from my homeland is that when I go back, I have a feeling that I don’t belong there anymore. I don’t know anything about the “novelas”, the new songs, and the daily life subjects that everyone is talking about. The culture is changing all the time, and my Brazilian “software” was updated last time in 2013, so I’m still Brazilian, it’s just that I am an older version of it (lol).
Coming to the Sweet things…. Yummm
Learning/Growth – I’ve grown so much as a person after I became an immigrant. I learned new languages, I traveled, discovered different ways of living and became a more flexible and easy going person. I met the love of my life while I was living here in the US, and besides that, so many possibilities opened up in my life that would probably never open if I was living in Brazil, and I’m very grateful for that.
Acceptance – I also learned how to accept differences between cultures, people and how not to see differences as a negative thing. In the same way, I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin and be proud of my origins and who I am in this culture. I’m an immigrant, a proud one, who learned how to navigate the challenges of living in a different land with humor and ease.
After reflecting about the positive and negative sides of my experience as an immigrant I realized that everything has it positive and negative sides and that we have the power of choice to determine which side we are going to feed and nurture inside ourselves. I’m not saying that we have to be naive and close our eyes to the negative aspects of our lives. In order to grow as a person we have to acknowledge and face our challenges, but it is ultimately our choice to feed the negative thoughts and actions, instead of moving forward with our dreams, aspirations, positive habits….
So please, do a self-reflection, acknowledge all aspects of your life, and make a conscious choice to take daily small actions towards the life you want to have.
Go do what makes you happy!
P.S. Watch also my Video on Youtube talking about this post!