Family(ar) Territory

Hello hello! Why, what a long time it’s been. Welcome back, everyone. Hope you all had a good time reflecting, pondering, and studying during this time apart. No just kidding, I hope you had a wonderful time with your families and eating lots of holiday food, yay!!

Wow, it has really been a while. I wonder if I still have my blogging chops in me. Well, I guess we will find out! I certainly still have the ability to babble, so we can at least hope that it will be some interesting babbling. Brace yourselves.

This break was particularly special for me because it was essentially the last long period of free time that I will have before graduating, aka before beginning “real life”. I usually go home to Brazil during this period, and come back with a toasty tan (which I love to flaunt to my friends) but this year I took a slight detour north to our friendly neighbor, Canada. So, you know, just a tad colder (*note: switch “a tad” to “tremendously” or, better yet, “horribly”). My parents are currently living there and I was so fortunate to visit for a month, along with my sister, who came all the way from Brazil. So there we were, the fantastic four, reunited once again.

I was back in a family dynamic, which is very different than the position of being on your “own” in college (I placed the quotations because even though we are far away from our homes and our families when we are at school, we have established another form of home here as well, with our friends and activities and all the structure provided by this peculiar environment, which doesn’t replicate to real life). Participating in this dynamic means being 1 of 4 (or of how many people comprise up your family). It means being a part of a group and thus making the compromises necessary to see what is most important to that group. I learned so much about myself during this time because I saw how much I had changed as an individual. I was still able to adapt to this form of “community living” but I was still aware of who I was because I had spent so much time on my own at school discovering what that is.

It also felt good to know that I could be there for my family and help them out with whatever they needed. I was a useful addition to the pack, and this type of “work” is fulfilling when you do it for the ones you love and out of love.

Because of the cold, we spent much time at home and therefore had many great opportunities for bonding experiences, which I terribly missed. These were filled up with time watching movies, playing cards, eating popcorn, baking cookies, and just being beside each other even when we were each doing our separate things. These moments, along with all the “in-betweens” made for episodes of great spontaneous laughter and joy. Some of them even turned into giggling fits, which simultaneously became my moments of ab workout over the break. There’s nothing like a 2-in-1 deal, is there?

These couch-potato days were interspersed with less lazy-days, going out to eat either at the food court at the near-by mall or at our favorite Chinese or Italian restaurant, getting together with an old-time friend some coffee, going boxing day shopping and going to the movie theaters. I think I saw about 4 movies in the cinemas over break, which is a great accomplishment I would have to say! I watched “The Guilt Trip” (so funny and incredibly smart and endearing), “Life of Pi” (so imaginative, spiritual, and breathtaking), “Les Miserables” (which became one of my favorite movies of all time. It was so amazing, no words can describe it. The acting, the music, the directing–the dedication of it all was just so beautiful), and “Gangster Squad” (which was so exciting! So well-made and action-packed. A bit violent, but a great movie nonetheless). I definitely recommend all of these for those of you out there (anyone?).

Also, whoever watched the Golden Globes such as myself got a great ab workout from all of the laughter it caused!!! For whoever did not see it, the hosts were Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and they were just so incredibly funny and witty. Then, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell came up to present one of the awards and they presented a sketch that was to die for where they talked about all of the nominated movies. It was so hilarious!! I suggest all of you (even if you’ve seen it before) to check out some of these clips on youtube.

These moments, along with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and holiday food, made up a wonderful first-half of my break. The second part was filled with job-searching, researching, and networking, which is much more draining than it already sounds. This motivation to prepare for my future came with the fear of the much-dreaded arrival of May 18th (graduation day). In the first couple of days of 2013 I started panicking about facing reality as a graduate and feelings of despair were¬†comforted by the support of my family, who quickly lifted me off the ground with their words of encouragement and their belief in me. It was all I needed. After that, I was determined and focused to make my future happen. As difficult and financially unrewarding as it might be to live your life as a dancer, especially facing the extra barriers that go along with being a foreigner, I know that there is a spark in ¬†me that must not be ignored. Even if I fail, I will be a winner because I will have tried. The fear is still there, but to succumb to it is to shelter myself away from life and to become my own personal enemy. The winning trophy does not lie in the hands of those who always win, but rather of those who always choose to continue even after losing. It’s like how my good friend Churchill said:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.

So don’t ever hesitate about going after your dreams. Just go! I am sure that there will be nothing but gain along the way, even if you happen to lose.


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