My Biggest Mistake

Using the wrong verb conjugation. Lying to my host mother about my whereabouts to avoid trouble. Not drinking enough water or using enough sunscreen. All mistakes that I made over my bridge year. Misguided judgments are human nature and are bound to happen no matter how perfect we try to be. However, this fact that mistakes are inevitable, but our willpower to learn from these mistakes-and from all experiences we fore take-is not.

My biggest mistake was thinking I had enough time. When I arrived in Brasil, I thought I would have those 261 days to use at my advantage. That seemed to be more than enough time. Yet, whenever you are in another country experiencing so many new things all at once, time still flies. In Brasil, time was a little different for me. Some days time was too long due to grief or other internal struggles. Others were too short because I was busy or rejoicing because I had my first full conversation in Portuguese. But even though these days appeared so different in the moment, now I see my time overall as just being swift. Time is swift like a sharp knife, but also as a leaf soaring away from our grasp before we even have the time to think about it. It is a strange thing for me to even understand the value of time because my mind wants to believe that money is the most valuable possession in the world. Time is free, yet so priceless and I cannot help to think that I took advantage of my time in Brasil. I did many things that I expected to do, like learn Portuguese, travel to Rio de Janeiro, and get face-to-face with a wild monkey. And I failed to do things that I expected to do, like attain Portuguese fluency, go to the amazon rainforest, see a Southern right whale, and more. These things I didn’t accomplish don’t bother me too much anymore because I know that my Brazilian experience, exactly as it was, is something I will hold deep to my heart.

I thought many things coming into Brasil, most thoughts extremely off from reality, but I don’t think I would have learned from the experience in the specific way I did had I not had these notions. If I had come into Brasil believing that I only had 261 days to check off this to-do list then I probably would have been more efficient, but simultaneously lost some part of the experience that was authentic to me. For all these decisions I made, I was my spending my precious time. And although all decisions come with some sacrifice in the end, I think it’s somewhat important to recognize the essentially of time and how we spend it.

Com Amor e saudades do Brasil,