The other night I indulged in a pity party on my mother-in-law's veranda, a good half hour of hot tears and thick, wailing sobs provoked by the impending sale of the Casa Rosa. I thought about the parties I'd never throw, the atelier I'd never have, the friends I'd never make, the sense of community that would remain forever fleeting. It felt like I'd somehow failed, given up not only on my bohemian dream life in Santa Teresa, but given up on Brazil.
And then, after that good crying session, there was a shift. I was sad, yes, but it was as if a fog had lifted and I could suddenly see the bigger picture. Casa Rosa was but a chapter (and a wonderful one, without question) in a much greater story, one in which I wasn't the lone protagonist but a member of an interconnected cast. Selling the house was a collective decision for a collective good. A shared future. Family.
At the end of the day a house is just a house, no matter how spectacular the salmon pink Neoclassical columns or the crystal chandeliers or the banana grove in the winter garden. It's okay to say goodbye and move on, even if your dreams and plans involved a different ending.
I frequently remind myself that selling the Casa Rosa doesn't mean that I've lost my traveler's spirit, that I've abandoned my international lifestyle, that I've become somehow less special because I don't call Santa Teresa home. A house is not an identity, and if it has become one, priorities should be reexamined. A house is just a house, and it is a welcome feeling of lightness to move on, to simplify, to let go of attachments.
I feel satisfied, centered, at peace. It's not the address or the neighborhood or even the country that matter, it's who you are with. I am looking forward to the next chapter, full of family and friends, at home at Casa Cali or wherever else the story takes us.