If I had to describe the experience of being in love in Brazil, I'd sum it up in one word: humbling. It's not so much the place that dictates the nature of the relationship, more like it just happens to be the setting in which I've encountered another person to completely change my conception of life while being in love. But truth be told, this narrative could happen any place in the world, just as long as the elements of fate are aligned correctly.
To recap my situation first arriving to the country, I had just gotten out of a relationship that taught me humbling lessons about love, that the highest form of love is indeed friendship, and that sometimes people hurt you not out of ill-intentions, but out of circumstance. It was quite possibly one of the truest relationships I've ever had the privilege of living, only that I had failed to grasp the reality of what 9 months in Brazil would do to our respective life stages, and the painstakingly obvious fact that in the end, I was the one that left. I was the one who ended the weekends out to the movies, the mid-week phone conversations of where are dreams were headed, the ten-minute morning embrace in bed before she went to work. It was me who ended all of that, not her.
I remember discussing the possibility of a long-distance relationship in which she merely responded, "I think staying together will prevent you from living your life fully over there." While I protested profusely with a stubborn posture, assuring her I was well aware of how to absorb my experience abroad, in the end she was right. And all that I've felt and experienced here so far, I owe to her, for letting me go.
I find myself in a similar situation now, though with less dramatic consequences, and an opportunity to actually make it work. Perhaps it is a mistake to be writing this publicly (the included parties will more than likely be reading this at some point), but the experience thus far has been challenging, at times downright confusing. I will say the person I've met is unlike any force I've encountered before, one that is seemingly my perfect compliment and counterpart. We have similar visions of the world, indulge in the same life pleasantries, just that she sees things in people that my anger often blind me to; that the way someone is, even at their worst, is merely a momentary snapshot of their entirety, and if I am to adhere to what I've come to learn in all my travels, then it is that the core essence of people is that they are good. I guess if I am to write my feelings about her succinctly, it is that she makes me want to be a kinder person to the world.
But to be completely honest, I am not without my doubts. I guess you could attribute this to a cultural particularity or just a difference of personality, but I am often left wondering where she is, sometimes literally where she is, and sometimes in the relationship in general. But the truth is, nobody ever knows where they are headed in life, and that trajectory could change at the drop of dime, so in some ways it is pointless to worry about a future that has no certainty of happening, and the best I can do is to live the present moment as fully as I can. But these temporary lulls of silence has also revealed some deep-seeded insecurities rooted inside of me. Why do I need to hear from her all the time? Why am I in such a desperate need of this constant affirmation that I am loved?
I guess I've learned to accept that the nature of our relationship just isn't meant to be one where we are around each other a lot of the time, but that doesn't diminish the importance of when we are together, in fact it probably enhances it. I've found that in my own pursuits, I too have little time for love, and those few precious moments that I do share with her, they are moments of healing, of rejuvenation to my soul. And I'd like to think that maybe, I'm the same for her. When we see each other now, we sometimes spend hours in a silent embrace, and I am absorbing every morsel of a cure that gives me strength to face the battlefield of life.
I suppose the thing I worry about most is that I have no idea where this is headed, and I sit constantly in the shadow of fear that one day she will leave me, that life will call her upon a path where I am not included in the cast, something that I have done to so many people in the course of my own life. I guess the best that I can do is hope that our paths are headed in the same unknown direction, and to prepare - to train - as hard as I can, that if one day she finds a calling to run ahead without me, I will find the courage to let her go; because someone once did that for me in the past, and it was truly an act of love.