Seeing growth in yourself is important. And makes you laugh. I highly recommend. In fact, if you even want to comment with your answers to some of these questions, and then check in with me in a year, I would love it.
Where are you living? Almost on the beach. Almost heaven. I share an apartment. We’re three fabulous single ladies in our thirties who spend a lot of time on the sand, on the internet, and looking too good for this world. I have my own bathroom for the first time in my life. I’ve downsized and got rid of a lot of stuff, which I love. Many things have changed but I’ve worn the same mouthguard at night for 16 years, bro. I’m into commitment.
What shoes are you wearing? I know a lot about the importance of proper footwear. There are dips and gravel and holes everywhere, we don’t have cars, we slog all over town. I’m either barefoot at the beach or in sensible, but what I like to think of as “old lady sexy” flats.
What did you last eat? This is kind of embarrassing. Brazilian food is unique. Like 100% I love it. But it’s not spicy, which I miss. So a frequent snack I have is crackers with lite cream cheese doused in rooster sauce. That was my dinner tonight. I also just bought some Cheetos at the gas station, because it’s my birthday eve.
Where do you work? I’m the English Language Developer at a Christian International School with American curriculum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (fancy, no?) I teach 18 students, helping them with English. I’m liberal with stickers and hugs. Most of the kids know what a “unibrow” is so . . . I’m effective.
Where have you traveled this last year? Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia.
When did you last cry? About an hour ago at prayer group I lost it. I always get weepy around my bday, and I’m also in a tremendous amount of physical pain these last few weeks. I have great people who will pray over me and understand when certain songs make me cry so hard I can barely speak. It was cathartic and healing. And now I’m hoping I don’t lose it on a student tomorrow when they wish me a totally friendly happy birthday!
What was the last movie you watched? The Rescuers Down Under. I’m starting a kids’ movie blog for adults.
Favorite TV show of the moment? The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I can’t even begin to describe how much joy this show has given me. Also the 100, Orphan Black, and if it counts, Serial.
Favorite toy of the moment? My Kindle, which was a Christmas gift. Pretty excited about some sparkly bracelets and legit Port wine from Portugal Leana just got me!
When did you last laugh really hard? Probably at some point today when Tess and I made inappropriate comments about something. We tend to bring out the worst/most obnoxious in each other. Or when my first grader tried to convince me he had washed his hands with soap and then I pretended I would lick them and he finally confessed.
What book are you reading right now? The Source by James Michener. I’m obsessed.
What are you most looking forward to right now? Jesus Culture is coming in concert to Rio tomorrow night and I’m going with some great girlfriends. Also I know exactly what food I want to eat, and calories don’t count on your birthday.
What’s your favorite song right now? “You’ve Changed” by Sia. Can’t get over it. “Let it Go” by James Bay.
What’s different about your life from last year? I moved to a different country. I’ve developed an incredible appreciation for certain things about the United States, as well as an incredible appreciation for things about Brazil. I’m learning a new language. I haven’t had a phone in 9 months. I have new friends. I spend more time on the beach. I don’t have a car. Or a tv. My life is simpler. I’m certainly happier than I was last year.
When and what was your last vacation? we actually had last week off…I did nothing. It was glorious. I read a lot, ate too much, worked out sometimes. Occupied the hammock. Listened to all of Serial.
What are you proud of this year? I moved back from living across the country only to move to another country. I am teaching a completely new subject, inventing the curriculum, teaching K-7th grade, being challenged as a teacher. I’m at intermediate Portuguese after six months of study. I’ve traveled a lot and even spent some days alone in Chile and Colombia, which were powerful for me. I’ve lost some weight. I’ve mellowed down. I’ve loved up.
I don’t like my birthday. For someone who covets your attention and love all year long, I get strangely anti-social and want to be in sweatpants in a dark room away from happiness around my birthday. I think too hard about things. I feel too hard about things that probably don’t matter. But I was reminded in prayer group tonight to celebrate me because it only reflects all the goodness that God and the people around me have provided. Even when there are days like today I’ve cried so hard I can barely speak and I’m not sure why, it’s still a good, good life, isn’t it? Here’s to many more. May you all continue to humor me through them.