It is interesting to me how the New Year can inspire people to reconsider their lives, their dreams, their goals, their choices…their paths. A year ago, I set in my office and I had so many expectations for 2014. I dreamed of a better year, but it was the most difficult and painful one in a long time. The year 2014 was the year I rediscovered an inner strength that was forgotten, a strength that did not come from me. Once again, I was placed in the position of “what if….” Life was not certain. The dreams I had worked so hard to accomplish in the past few years became both a hope and a regret. I hoped to live and become the teacher I dreamed to be, the teacher that is within me. I hoped to be the person who touches the lives of children in poverty—in America and in Brazil. While I feared and I HOPED, I also regretted. I regretted to have spent too many hours working on achieving this dream…the long hours studying, the overachieving assignments, the fixation with a 4.0 GPA, and so much more. I regretted to have succumbed to the routine of life, a fast-pace-beauty robber! It comes day-after-day demanding full commitment. It stills human sensitivity—the awareness of life’s essence. Suddenly, the life I strongly fought for became a day after another day; it became a school project after another, an exam after another exam…. I fought for my life, and I let it go.
Today, I regret not having appreciated the details of life. I regret not have giving my soul what it needs. Writing is my passion…. I have not written in a long long time. I wrote 30 + pages papers for my masters’ classes, but none reflected my own self. I regret having forgotten the lesson from the first cancer—to enjoy life and the company of those who I love, because nothing is for sure…and how painful this lesson was!
The year 2014 was an interesting year, to say the least. There were so many struggles...my son almost died, and I had my share of health issues. I lost part of my lung and part of my uterus (ovary), but it didn't matter. This time, I did not feel the same as I did when I lost my hip. (The fact that this time I was sleeping during the surgery might have something to do with it!) [Smiles.] When I lost my hip, I felt like I was losing a part of me. I had to give up half of my femur in order to prolong life. It was confusing...how life could possibly be a lose-to-win game? It was not a fair exchange. After seven years, however, that exchange does not look as unfair or as difficult and confusing as it did before. A femur and more than a hundred stitches (a scar for a lifetime) in exchange for seven-plus years with my family was not a high price to pay. This year, I was given the choice once again to exchange parts of my body for years of life. Most people do not have to make such choice, but many others have no choice at all, but death. So, is it unfair? Yes, but what else are we suppose to do?
A few months ago, one of the professors in my university told me that my expectations for myself and the expectations of others towards me were too high and difficult to achieve. She really meant they were unachievable for me. She told me that it was not fair that I had to go through cancer and all the pain that 19 surgeries can bring while going to school. She said that I was trying to accomplish what one in a million people could achieve. She said I should reconsider what to do with my degree. She said that my disability was greater than my abilities. She did not know me. She did not even give me a chance. I did not have to defend myself. I just kept being who I am. My other professors, the head of the department, the Dean of Education, and the provost knew my abilities and qualities as a teacher. They stood by me. My response to the professor was, "What am I suppose to do with the circumstances I was presented by life? Should I just give up? Maybe, I am the one among a million people who can achieve what I came here to accomplish.” It does not matter how special or not special I am in her eyes. All I want is to live my life to my full potential. All I want is to be the person who I know I am. I told her, "The day you face death and bounce back, you tell me what I cannot do! The day you fear that you might not see your son grow old, you tell me what is unfair and what to do with ‘unfair!’" I never gave her a reason to doubt. She did not know me; all she saw was her own response to pain and suffering. It was her own inabilities rather than mine.
I might not have a doctorate degree (yet), but I overcame cancer in the first time, I am overcoming my limitations for the second time, and I might have to overcome it one or more times in the future. I do not look for fair. I do not look at pain. I do not look at the impossible. I look for the strength that does not come from me. I look at the hand that holds me and guides my path. I hold on to this hand. This hand is not new to me. It belongs to the One who called me to teach and touch lives—my God. With Him, I hold on to not giving up. I hold on to what I believe—even though, sometimes, it might seem overwhelming. I count on the people around me. I understand that I am not invincible—this is not the point. Sometimes, I do not know how the future looks like. These last few months, I had my future on hold. I did not know if there would be a longer life, but I just knew that I could not give up. I was offered the option of graduating before student teaching; I was honored by the offer, by the expression of care, but I have a dream...and I believe that I can accomplish this dream! I said no. I might not be the one in a million, but it does not matter because I know who I am…and that is all that I need. About the year 2015, it will be my year! Don’t give up, I say to myself.
Arte da escrita e Arte da leitura. Arte da fotografia e Arte da observacao. Arte de ver a beleza no cotidiano e Arte de ser esta beleza. Arte de ser mae e Arte de ser esposa. Arte de ser um eterno aprendiz e Arte de ser um eterno inspirador. Arte da luta pela sobrevivencia e Arte de ter uma vida bem vivida. Arte pela Arte e Arte com propositos. Arte no Brasil e Arte nos Estados Unidos. Arte em Portugues e Arte em Ingles. Arte da linguagem e da expressao. Quero vivenciar e dividir Beleza; Arte.