Distracted Thoughts

Steven Schwab - Brazil


September 6, 2015

8/17/2015
As the days of my summer dwindle and my suitcase sits agape in my basement, longing to be filled with the clothes strewn about my bedroom, I can’t help but lounge in my living room not quite believing that I’m going to Brazil in a little over two weeks. I know the facts: I’ll be in Santa Catarina for eight months with a one month in-country-orientation, a host family, and an apprenticeship. I know it will be the experience of a lifetime and it will open doors that I never considered had handles or knobs for that matter. But, right now, those facts are nothing more than words I’ve typed lazily.
I guess I haven’t yet come to terms with or fathomed fully the endeavor I am undertaking. I know what the logistics are and how I’m expected to overcome some of the challenges I face but it’s hard to envision what an eight-month journey to beautiful and diverse Brazil will entail. I don’t really think the world can expect that of me anyways:  I’ve never been on a plane for longer than three hours and I’ve never left home for more than two weeks. The only time I was in a foreign country, I was an addled middle school student ready to confine the beauty of Quebec into a dozen or so low-quality, haphazard photographs taken on a relic of a cell phone. Now, I’m expected to  or, more accurately I expect myself to be able to, easily hop on a plane and act like I know exactly what I’m going to be doing in Brazil, a country with a language that I don’t yet fully understand.
I honestly haven’t accepted the notion that I’ll be “living abroad” for eight months in Santa Catarina, a region that I know only to be diverse and beautiful as the description I read when I applied in May said it was (I’d use other words to describe it but I don’t yet have the experience to decide how to describe what I have yet to experience). It’s not that I haven’t accepted the idea because I find myself frightened or lack an imagination;  I’ve just been distracted by the daily occurrences and worries that won’t matter in the slightest in a few weeks.
That being said, It’s more of a concern to me that my friend receive the gift I’ve been excitedly harping about for months than it is for me to pack my suitcase. At the moment, I find it more exciting and invigorating to wake up at seven in the morning and go water tubing with friends than imagining where I’ll be sitting and typing another post in a month.  I suppose I live in the present: I’m more enraptured by what I can feel, sense, experience in the moment than what I can in a few weeks or months.
Yet, this isn’t a problem. Better yet, it’s a tremendous positive!  It means that when I do experience the sensation of “living abroad” and I’m transplanted to a country on a different continent, my emotions and reactions will be fresh and new. They won’t be diluted or contorted by past experience. But now, rather than go on and on, I think I better finish packing!



Steven Schwab