In Portuguese, there exists a word with no direct English equivalent. Ok, there exist many words with no direct English equivalent, but the one that most people seem to hear about is saudade. Often defined as longing or yearning, it’s a rather poetic term that can be seen and heard EVERYWHERE.
Miss someone? Saudade(s)* de você.
Longing to go back to the beach in the middle of winter? Saudade(s) da praia.
*no one can really seem to agree on whether to use saudade or saudades in these situations. The singular is the older, technically correct one. However, as with so many things in Brazil, the word has morphed and changed, and now many people (including myself) use the plural. Check out this article (in Portuguese) if you’re interested in the history of this shift, and if you’re interested in taking sides.
It’s a term that with a quick internet search, any gringo can really understand. It’s not used as poetically anymore as it’s original definition will have you believe, but the feeling is still there. The wistful, longing, missing feeling that everyone experiences.
And among the madness that was my weekend (bars with walls of cachaça, Brazilian “Ikeas”, and great cheeseburgers), I finally bought the desk that I so desperately needed for my room. Upon setting it up (immense thanks to my amazing roommate who tackled it and constructed it for me, without directions) and putting things away, I found the cards that everyone had written to me before I left, including two especially poignant ones from my parents.
Saudades. So many saudades.
And amid my blubbering and crying over the words of my parents, I remembered something:
It’s ok to miss them. It’s ok to miss everyone. It doesn’t change the fact that you love it here, and that you wouldn’t change being here for anything. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re learning and growing exponentially.
I love and miss everyone in the US so much, and am so incredibly thankful that you all are so supportive of me. The strength it gives me is immeasurable.
Saudades de vocês.