Saying goodbye to New York
Before you got a fright: no, I’m not leaving. I don’t know if one day I will want to, but life is full of surprises – that’s why I think “forever” and “never” are words that we should use with care in this life … Today’s post is a testimony from a very special guest, Clarice. Clarice is a blog reader who has become a very dear friend – and, in a few weeks, she will say goodbye to New York. Since we met, we talked a lot about our experiences and stories. It was at one of our meetings that Clarice, who has been here for two years, told me why she was leaving. Yes, Clarice, Brazilian-American, born in the USA, is returning to Brazil, and yes, she is happy with her decision. I always say here that living abroad is not easy and I think it’s interesting to bring someone else’s perspective here. She agreed to share her story and I hope you read and enjoy, without judgments, because each one knows of their pains and their delights …
“Well, let’s start! My name is Clarice, I’m 26 years old and my story with New York begins when I was a kid and my father used to bring me to the city with him. I have these memories very much alive and I never imagined that years later everything would “fit in”. I was born and lived part of my life in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. When I was nine years old, my parents decided to go back to Brazil, and of course, I went along!
Moving forward a few years, I studied journalism in Vitória (ES-Brazil) and, in the meantime, spent three months studying fashion in New York. I returned, worked with TV production, press relations, and, finally, an online newspaper. And it was in this job that things began to change. Do you know that time that you hate your job, regret the professional choice you made, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? Well. In the midst of this confusion, I had only one certainty: I wanted to live and work in the Big Apple! I started to raise money even without knowing for sure when this would happen, or how.
One day, my bosses call me in the conference room and .. I got fired! In time, my world fell. I felt like a failure. But, a few days passed and I start to think about everything that was happening. I believe that everything is meant to be and I took this episode with a: “wake up! The world is out there, waiting for you. ” In college, my favorite subjects were marketing, production, and press relations; I have always liked fashion and I love technology. I gathered all this information and did that in-depth research on the internet. Two months later, on June 14, 2014, I was in New York. I had a paid class in the Digital Marketing specialization at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a rented room with people I did not know and some money in my account. I didn’t have a flight ticket back and could not imagine what was coming, and in reality, I still wasn’t quite sure what I was doing.
I got here thinking I was going to be a success! A curriculum full of cool experiences, fluent English, willingness to learn etc. But the reality was different .. I believe this happens in any country where you go without having everything set. Besides being just one more, you have to start from scratch! You have to learn that in this new place you are nobody and nobody knows who you are.
After a few months, and with the money running out, I had to put my pride aside and went to work in a restaurant. I knew I didn’t want that for my life, but I accepted this moment of transition and did my best. During the almost two years of school, I made few friends and spent much time alone. Yes, the city of millions of people can be very lonely … So, when I finished the classes, I decided to spend a season in Brazil. I needed my parents and friends, I needed to breathe a little … I worked in the family business and learned a lot .. but I had a ticket back to June 2016 and what would a quick trip, became another stay in the city. By then, I already knew what I wanted professionally, but I was still figuring out how to apply it in my life. I went back to living with roommates and working in a restaurant at first, but soon I found a job in my area. Then I fell in love with the profession and felt I was on the right track.
I decided to live this “new” experience in a different way. I wanted to take more chances and I was open for the surprises of life. I made friends, I went out, I met nice people and I enjoyed it a lot. But there was still something that bothered me, and it’s even hard to explain. At one point, I got more excited about the idea of dedicating myself to a personal project than with the job I had … and then I started to find it weird. It took me a while to realize everything that was happening and when I realized .. my world collapsed. It hurt in my soul and it took a lot of patience and faith to put my head / heart in place and evaluate the situation.
That’s how I decided to go back to Brazil. Yes, that’s right. At this moment, I had to evaluate what makes me happy, where I feel peace. I made that choice thinking only and exclusively about myself, in what truly makes my soul vibrate. But I didn’t have a date, and deep down, I hadn’t the courage. For a long time, I felt guilty. I have documentation, completed a specialization in the profession that I love, I work in a fashion office .. everything in the city of a million possibilities, where many people come to get what I had already achieved and, still, I do not feel good?
And here comes the story of “everything is meant to be”, again. With all these confused thoughts, the company that I was working was going through a crisis and I learned in January, but I could not leave because I was participating in a project and I had to complete it. I started looking for jobs, like a Plan B, and in the meantime, I also started to research and dedicate myself even more to my personal project. I set up the whole methodology of the business, published the website and spread it among friends and possible clients. In April, I had to leave the company. Could I keep looking for a job? Yes. But why to continue delaying and deceive my heart, my intuition? It did not make sense. The truth is that living in New York was consuming me too much. And finally, I was able to decide my date of return.
My father always told me that no matter where in the world we are, problems would always exist. I’ve never listened to him, but today, besides, I believe that a lot of the problems are also in us. New York taught me a lot and one of the lessons was: live lightly! Everything can change from day to night. And another: you have to be proud of your choices, regardless of anything. I once read: “Embrace a difficult life, a life with ups and downs, a life with uncertainties, a life with surprises, the one you will remember, the one you love, the one you share.” And that’s it!
Would it be goodbye? I do not think it’ll ever be. I will always come to New York when I can and a part of myself belongs to this place, I have a historya. But I need this time without a return ticket. Work, travel and know other worlds. Other places inside myself … ”
Obrigada, Clarice, por nos presentear com o seu depoimento! Eu te desejo só alegrias nesta nova etapa da sua vida!
Thank you, Clarice, for giving us your testimony! I wish you only joys in this new chapter of your life!
Clarice’s story made me think a lot … and I bring the reflection here. Many people write to me saying that they are tired, frustrated with their lives. Remember that living abroad does not solve problems. You will solve some problems, but you will have others. Do not believe in fairy tales, they do not exist. No one’s life changes magically by stepping on foreign lands, always keep that in mind. Do not condition your happiness to “living abroad” – live today. There are those who condition their life so much to such a change that they forget to live the present …
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.