This is a follow-up to my previous post, so if you haven’t read that one yet, here it is:
I was so grateful for all the replies, both here and on Facebook, about my dilemma of whether or not I should return to the USA. Funny how things can turn around in one’s mind in a matter of days…or even hours.
I’m not usually the sort to seek out other people’s advice about decisions…I guess you could say I’m more of a pray-er. I listen for inner inspiration and guidance, as a general rule. But who’s to say that intuition can’t come through someone or something else? A casual word from a friend, a passage in a book, a remark overheard in the street, even the flight of a bird can suddenly spark something within, and then there’s no more doubt.
I’m especially grateful to two friends: Merrilee Trost and David Brown, who nudged my thinking into new directions, and wittingly or not, helped me make my decision.
Dave saw my previous blog, and simply said: “You should stay in Rio.” He pointed out that he sensed no real desire in me to move to St. Petersburg.
Merrilee also felt strongly that I should stay here. She commented on my blog: “I’ve thought many times about moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to some place where my money would go further. And then…the same thing…I see a commercial on TV with the Golden Gate Bridge…and I think…how would I feel in Kansas or Missouri looking at that commercial? And that settles it, I would shrivel up and die.”
That really hit me in the gut. I remembered when I spent a year in the states in 2007 and every time I’d see or hear anything even faintly Brazilian, I’d be absolutely overcome with that feeling that we describe here as “saudades.” It’s more than missing, more than nostalgia—it’s a tugging of the heart that’s often too profound to describe.
The first thing that hit me after reading and digesting all the comments was that fear of not having enough money was just a bad reason for leaving Rio…prices could go down, and there are always ways of earning more money. It was as if I were waking up…I remembered when I used to spend a month in the USA every year, and I thought…why, I could do that again! That would resolve any cravings I might have for things American, such as quality international foods, seeing old friends and family, and so on. Why had I forgotten that? I don’t know. I simply got caught up in the thought “I have to leave.”
To tell the truth, “leaving,” or “running away” is an old, bad habit of mine, and I saw that this situation was an opportunity to stop doing that (anyone who has read my book knows about my habit of fleeing to “solve” things). Whatever needs to be worked out I can do right where I am.
So now I don’t have to tuck Rio in my heart and take it with me. I have no idea what will happen in the future, but for now I’ve decided to stay in my beloved Rio de Janeiro.