As I started to write this blog post, I sat in silence and frustration, resenting my inability to understand my host family, disappointed in myself for learning Portuguese at a slower pace than my peers, and afraid of the emotion and internal conflict I am filled with since it is unlike any I have experienced in the past. My thoughts diverge and contradict, leaving my body and head aching, like after eating too many brigadeiros (a Brazilian chocolate from the gods). I soon start to recognize, although I don’t want to admit it, that this feeling, one of which I have never felt consume my soul in such ways, is the feeling of missing home; I am homesick.
I lay back and close my eyes, in hopes that my mind will soon reside in a tranquil slumber. The cool winter Garopaba air tickles my nose, sending shivers through my body. I start to clear my thoughts and begin to think about my training in the Coastal Redwoods and Stanford University. One of the most significant lessons I remember learning was the importance of maintaining one’s physical health, but more vitally, the health of one’s mind. I rest in my bed, isolated from the world around me, time is irrelevant.
The serene state of my mind now encompasses me, but is shorty disrupted by the sound of the beep from my watch. It signals the top of the hour. Ten minutes have passed since I closed my eyes, a mere nothing compared to the hours my mind has traveled since I first closed my eyes. The minutes continue to pass. The clock in my room moves in slow motion. Entire days pass before the gentle tick signifies a second has passed. I slowly open my eyes and the world that I see in front of me continues from where I left it. From my perspective, no time has passed in the physical world, nothing has changed. Only my outlook has been altered and negative thoughts laid to rest in a state of idle relaxation.
Although the emotions of self doubt that filled my body only minutes ago have not vanished, they no longer consume my thoughts. Instead, they reside in the back of my mind, existing only to create a sense of purpose. At this moment, I am freed from self doubt, no longer fearing the unknown that awaits me. I feel a renewed sense of strength to take on the challenges ahead. My mind finds peace within itself.