I hope you’re having a wonderful summer, and that you’re all enjoying the warm days we had (and hopefully will have). In the picture of this post, you can see my dog and I were on one of our weekend adventures! It’s always relaxing to spend some time with him, and forget about everything else.
Now, back to business! So many things have happened since my last blog post… I went to my first conference in Halifax, and although it was a little bit overwhelming and intimidating in the beginning, I was glad I had this opportunity to learn different things (also to see a little bit of that beautiful city, to and get to know a little bit more of Canada!)
Well, I had so much going on in these last two weeks! I’m currently writing this blog post on July 2nd, on the bed of my new apartment (we just moved in yesterday and I’m spending at least ten minutes to remember where my clothes are), after a match between Brazil and Mexico for the World Cup (which I almost ate my fingers watching), trying to make my dog understand that he can’t live in the backyard forever.
Although Canada Day was celebrated yesterday, I celebrate two months from now what I call my Canada year! When I stop and think about everything that happened, it seems the person I was one year ago never existed, which is a very weird feeling. For example, the Juliana from one year ago was wearing two pairs of pants and a hat when the temperature was around 12 °C – that certainly doesn’t happen anymore. So many things learned (and so much to be learned), so many challenges faced, so many different people met, so many inspiring stories heard in this last year! You don’t feel you’re changing until you stop and take a quick look back. It also feels strange to imagine your life without the people you know now.
I was afraid to death of speaking English (mostly on the phone and at Sobeys – what the heck is this “Airsomething” card they keep asking me?), scared of getting lost, terrified of not understanding anything, and horrified of not being understood. It all goes away naturally and it’s amazing how we can adapt to new situations, even if it takes some time.
However, not everything is beautiful and amazing; I still have my bad moments. Since I had left so much behind, all I wanted was to be the best version of myself. Even though I was making everything possible to be the best Juliana, it seemed that wasn’t enough. Between these ups and downs, I came across a video on Facebook that I thought it was really interesting. In summary, it highlights the importance of building our self-esteem in a way that is not connected to the accomplishments we get, but attached to the will of learning and growing. The link is here: https://www.facebook.com/tombilyeu/videos/1765730116873943/, just for you to take a quick look if you’re curious, or if you’ve had this feeling before. I still have a long way to go, but it is already a good start to see things from a different point of view. Besides my new friends, my MUN family, my dog, and my husband, what also helps me to keep it together is my family in Brazil. I always make sure they know I’m OK (even when I’m not), and I make sure they are OK (thank you, technology!). We miss each other very much, and sometimes all I want is to give my mom and my dad the biggest and longest hug ever. I try to keep looking forward, and not to think how I wish they could be here with me; we have each other’s back and we know it.
Nevertheless, all I wanted to say with this more “philosophical post” is that the “International Graduate Student’s Journey” is all about getting to know yourself, understanding your feelings, and dealing with some difficult situations. Although it can be hard, we have to keep in mind that this process of improvement is worth it. The opportunities to change and grow as a person are everywhere, and there’s not a right time to do it. We just have to remember where we came from, put everything we know and everyone we love as our baggage, and go for it!
For those coming to MUN in this Fall Semester, welcome! I hope you have a wonderful time, and make lots of new friends! Enjoy the best moment of your life, and make sure you learn everything you can! Thank you all for reading, and have a lovely summer!