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Lar doce lar

1 Jul

I realized the other day that this is the first summer I’ve been in the United States since before I graduated from high school. I missed high school graduation to go to Brazil in 2004 and since then I haven’t been able to sit still long enough to spend an entire summer in this country. This is the first summer I’m not going back to Brazil… I’ve got a lot of mixed emotions about that. I’m excited to actually be here for the 4th of July. I’m happy to be here where a great deal of my friends are. I can’t wait for all the road trips and tiny adventures I have planned with my friends. The bigger part of me is a little heartbroken. I haven’t met my new baby brother back in Piracicaba. He’s about 9 months old now and I’m a terrible sister for not going back. I miss my family there and my old students. I miss the friends that I made over the years. Then I say all those things aloud and I think “poor, deprived Kimberly. Boo-hoo. You didn’t get to go out of the country this year.” I know, I know. Most people my age never even dream of all the traveling I’ve been lucky enough to do. But I’m selfish. I want to go back to Brazil. I want to go back right now.

Every time I leave Brazil, I leave with the belief that I will go back. It isn’t a goodbye, it’s just a see ya later. I know I’ll go back; it’s the not knowing when that bothers me. Goodbyes never get easier either. I cry harder every time I watch Marcia and Paulo and Ian leave me at Guarulhos. I think a little part of me gets left there each time. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s my home sweet home.

Columbus is getting to be my home. I realize more and more that I do like it here. I’m always discovering new places that I’ve never seen before. New restaurants to try and new places to shop. New benches to lounge on and new spots to people watch. And now that it’s getting to feel like home, I’m still being forced to say goodbyes. As I get older I realize that people come and go from our lives so frequently. I don’t talk to the majority of the people I knew in high school. Most of my friends from college could be living in Timbuktu and I wouldn’t know the difference. Of course I’ve met new people and made new friends. Some of them have already left my life even though I wasn’t ready for them to. Some of them stick around even though they’re not really welcome. Others will leave soon and then new people will enter. I hate that cycle. It’s tiring. I hope that the fall brings good people to our department at OSU. It will make that cycle and the transition a little easier though no one could ever replace the people that are missing.

It also hit me today that I’m no longer a student. That’s a scary concept to me. I’ve been a student forever. I don’t know how to not be a student. I’m not sure I’m going to like teaching 3 classes in the fall. Can I be a teacher and nothing else? Do I want to teach? What do I want to do? I’ve been weighing my options so much over the past few weeks and today I did something unexpected. I requested information and applications to culinary schools. I love to bake, which is absolutely no secret to anyone who really knows me. I think I could bake everyday and not tire of it. Two very intelligent friends of mine have told me in the last few days that everyone deserves to do something they want to do for at least a portion of their life. Applying to something never really hurt anyone, right?

In the meantime, I’ll just keep baking because it makes me happy. And hopefully it’ll make other people happy at the same time…