Changing plans

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from capoeira is how to modify my rolê when life switches up directions on its rabo-de-arraia. Or in other words: sometimes you just have to change plans.

At the end of January, I had decided to work in the U.S. for a while and then return to Brazil. I was happy about that goal and began taking the steps necessary to reach it.

And then I started to have difficulties. First of all, I couldn’t get a short-term job! I applied to 15 or 20 positions (ranging from chemistry lab technician to copy editor to ballroom dance instructor to waitress). Almost no one contacted me. I did get two offers, but I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the salary/hours/commute. It became very frustrating, and I got really anxious to start working and saving already.

Second, my leads in Brazil were leading nowhere. I contacted three promising English-teaching programs, two of which never returned my e-mails and the third I found to be with a slightly shady company. My research on opportunities for study and volunteer work proved similarly unfruitful.

Third, I began to question my reasons for wanting to go back to Brazil right away. It was a long process and there were many factors that I won’t go into… but suffice it to say I didn’t feel at peace about it, and when that happens it definitely raises a warning flag because normally I’m quite secure in my decisions. I’m normally not one to quit when I run into obstacles, but there were so many that I began to think, maybe I’m not meant to go down this path at this moment.

This was my state of mind when I visited a new Brazilian Bible study in my area. At the end they asked if I would like prayer for anything, and I didn’t want to say “nothing,” so I asked them to pray that I found a job (even though I had already sort of accepted a waitressing job 45 minutes away from me) and they did.

A few days later, I got a call out of the blue from a family friend, inviting me to apply for a publications position in his organization. I did, and got it. I debated whether or not to accept, since I knew it was not a short-term type position; taking it would mean putting off Brazil for a while. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like that was where I was meant to be.

I said yes on a Monday and by Wednesday I was working in Manhattan. And everything else is falling into place so beautifully: I found a great deal on an apartment within a week. I hooked up with an awesome capoeira group. The prospect of living in NYC (once totally unappealing to me) is suddenly exciting. I love my job and the people I work with. And one of my best friends might also be moving to the city. Oh… and the manager of the restaurant where I had agreed to work – never called me to start training.

This is so sweet! I feel like the upcoming year will be one of much growth for me, professionally, personally, spiritually, and capoeiristically. The last time I had a hunch like this, that I was on the verge of something big, was just before I went to Brazil in 2005 – and man was that an eye-opening and life-changing 15 months.

I’m even optimistic about relationships. I’ve learned that what I used to call bad luck with men was more due to my bad decisions than anything else. I’ve (finally) learned some lessons and my views on relationships have changed a lot… so I think I’m actually going to handle things much better.

Vamos ver que acontece!