It’s all a process. My host brother is in a band and I was able to attend one of their rehearsals recently. I’d already been to some of their shows and heard the final product, but that’s not how it starts. Over and over and over again, they play the same song, switching tiny pieces to make the perfect sound. In endless search of perfect harmony, the members play around:listening, laughing, discussing and every once-in-a-while fighting and getting angry.         
Sitting and listening to the Portuguese flow around me, I fall in a trance. I remember how much I love music and how inspired I am by those that put their all into creating a beautiful sound. 
It doesn’t start out perfect, even at the end, someone mentions a mistake they made, a note they should have hit quicker. But the beauty of it all is that it needs not be perfect. No, the cacophony around me makes me smile.
It makes me laugh and makes me feel relaxed. It makes me want to get up and dance, to let the music take over my body.
At the rehearsal is where I suddenly feel calm about what I am doing this year. In an instant, I realize that it’s just another rehearsal. For another show. Whether that show may be coming back to the United States and telling my story or college in the fall or five years from now.
This year is my life now, but it doesn’t stop when I come back: It’s just a rehearsal to smooth out the sound of my life. To add some more notes (people) and maybe even a whole new song (a new experience).