When It Isn’t You Pushing Yourself

Angus Larsen - Brazil


September 24, 2016

With the inability to communicate (and the lack of people around to communicate with, thereof) comes much time to reflect, observe and eat acai bowls. The change of scenery from Curitiba to Florianopolis, too, holds much to do with this.


The connection I had managed to build in Curitiba during the time I found myself there, proved to be far more valuable that I had truly thought, now that I have the time to reflect. I moved quickly from a family that was very social, outgoing and busy, and a setting that allowed a lot more mobility and possibility for connections, to a more rural area, a house that does not have internet and a family that does not take itself out of the house unless the necessity brings them to do so.


Most notably, I think I underestimated time. Knowing I only had two and a half weeks meant that I did not truly think I would have been able to build such a strong relationship with the place. Yet now as 6 months in this community a little outside of Florianopolis looms beyond me, the thought is scary. I will not be leaving this place for long, and for once in my life, I am staying put, and it is in a place completely different from anything I have ever known. All of this, coupled with the fact my Portuguese remains broken (yet improving) means being alone is a skill I will have to somewhat obtain, especially while I have yet to learn how to make friends and where to find them.


Alone, here in Rio Vermelho, in my first week, has proved to be more mental than it has physical. There is always someone in the house, I have 2 host siblings who incessantly think I am young enough to have the time and will-power to play every time I am not talking to my host parents. Furthermore, there is a job that I will be adjusting to in the coming months, grappling with creating materials for kids to learn English without any internet at home and having college applications right around the corner.


I think I would be lying to you, as well as myself, if I said that I am happy as of present. I am learning to walk to the beat of a new drum, and I have not yet found a beat to which I can walk to. Adjustment takes time, and this sort of adjustment comes in the form of living out of my comfort zone, on a multitude of spheres, that seem to hold the majority. This reality, of not being in my comfort zone in almost everything that I do, for so much of the day, takes a lot of energy. It is a skill I am learning, and will need to continue to do so, because I cannot make the uncomfortable comfortable anymore, it is me that needs to adapt.

Angus Larsen