The Wanderer.

In the words of Maria Von Trapp, "Let's start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start."

I had a normal life. Normal. Normal. Normal. I went to normal elementary school and continued on to my normal high school. Upon receiving my normal diploma, I spent three and a half normal years in a normal university.

The last semester of university is where things stopped being so normal.

I spent the last 12 weeks of my college career in Rio de Janeiro, approximately 5,068 miles away from all of my friends and family. All my friends were enjoying senior night at BDubs and our last sorority formal and I was laying on the sunny Copacabana beach sipping coconut water out of an actual coconut. Really.

It was during one of these coconut water sipping trips to the beach when I befriended a complete stranger, yet apparently trusted her enough to pursue a job at a school in Honduras where she had previously taught.

A few weeks and a college diploma later, I found myself accepting my very first teaching job. At this school in Honduras. Which I knew nothing about except what said stranger-turned-friend-who-I-met-on-the-beach had told me.

I stayed in Honduras for TWO YEARS. (Apparently, I'm an excellent judge of character.) My life hasn't been "normal" since my stint in Rio de Janeiro. Not in the conventional sense, but it has become normal. Normal just looks a lot different now than it ever did before.

My new normal includes constantly living in a state of conversion-- Fahrenheit to Celsius, miles to kilometers, Ohio time to Honduras time to Rio time, dollars to lempira to reais, English to Spanish to Portuguese. My new normal means that I don't know what "home" means anymore. My new normal means that some of my closest friends no longer live across the hall-- they don't even live in the same country.

My new normal includes returning to Rio de Janeiro for another adventure.

My new normal means looking (sometimes harder than I'm willing to) for the love that surrounds me each and every day. It's in the laughter from my students, it's in the group chats with friends back in the States, it's in my principal adjusting my bra strap and tucking in my shirt for me (yeah, that really happened), it's in dinner invitations to restaurants where the owners know your name.

That Dove chocolate wrapper wasn't lying. The love is everywhere; whether that be in the States, or in Honduras, or in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Love is literally surrounding you, you just need to open your eyes.

No comments:

Post a Comment