I don’t know if you all know this, but I have a big decision to make. In November, I need to tell the school if I’ll be staying on for a third year here. This was on my mind as I sat in the taxi and rounded the corner from Av. Julio de Mesquita onto my street. The temperature here today, this beautiful big sky, the sounds I’m growing used to, the ease of my job…I am confused daily by this choice. I suppose the trip to Ilha do Cardoso made me feel good about being here showing me I know how to get around by myself and have somewhat of a social life here outside of the school. So then it makes me think it’s possible to stay here beyond the terms of my initial contract. Should I choose to stay a third year, or even a fourth, the benefits increase exponentially. But now it’s time for me to make the first of many Pro/Con lists and you, dear Internet, will be the beneficiaries of my thoughts and worries:
First, the pros of staying: Salary increase, paid round-trip ticket home per year, familiarity with the language, more time to travel around, comfort with this curriculum, ease of staying in one place.
Second, the cons of staying: Missing family and friends, potential strain on my long distance relationship, not being in the States for the ’08 election, missing family and friends, missing family and friends, missing family and friends, lots of alone time, no exposure to American clothing stores or Starbucks, needing to change the name of this blog from “A Year Here/A Year There” to “Three Years Here / And Who Knows About the Fourth?”
Pros of going: Being with my family and friends, Starbucks, clothing, the potential of living and working in New York, ability to converse in my own language, starting over again.
Cons of going: Finding a job in the States, the cost of living (especially in New York), finding a place to live (especially in New York), not speaking another language everyday, not being in Brazil anymore, starting over again.
I am sure this is not the last time I’m going to put my thoughts down into words about this. But as the days tick by–it’s almost mid-September already, I mean, come on–I’m going to be fretting. I’m half-way done with my contract and it seems absurd that two months from now I’ll need to make a decision that will lay the grounds for the following 19 months. I foresee a great deal of running and deep breathing in the coming months to assist me in clearing my mind to be able to figure this stuff out.