This IS my year

Alondra Quiles - Brazil


March 9, 2017

I can honestly say that I am genuinely happy with myself and where I am in life. A year ago, I wasn’t in a great place. I craved love so deeply that I ended up wounding myself. Settling for anything and everything and making reckless decisions that not only jeopardized my relationship at home, but also affected many friendships. At the same time I was growing close to so many new people and growing further apart from old friends and loved ones.

I had officially reached a point where nothing mattered except distracting myself and forcing myself to “fit in” and have a good time. I began to immerse myself in social gatherings that didn’t even make me happy rather I was miserable deep down and faking interest so that others would like me. I began to slack off in school and skip class just so that I could please those I thought cared about me.

I’m looking at myself now and all I see is growth. I remember being so afraid of embracing change that I always dreading anything that provoked it. I longed for my old life not realizing that I was leading myself into a downward spiral of misery. But now everything is different. I’ve lost friendships and loved ones that I cared about but in the process I have bettered myself.

I admit, I have made some mistakes even during my year in Brazil but I wouldn’t say that I regret them because I don't. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I am changing in ways that I don't even think I can explain to my family and friends back home.

I don’t necessarily like the person that I see in the mirror and my attitude still needs some improvements but at the same time that doesn't really matter because i am satisfied with where my life is taking me. I am beyond ecstatic to go off to college in the fall, to meet my baby nephew Ethan in a couple weeks and to begin my life again in the States. I have goals of finishing college early and moving out and paying my own bills. I am excited about working and hopefully gaining opportunities to apprenticeships and internships that satisfy my major. I am excited about growing older and reaching milestones in life.

Although there have been hard times living in Brazil, I know this was the right decision for me and truth is, I think I needed Brazil more than it needed me.


Alondra Quiles