20 years ago today I was landing in Manchester to study then moved up to Yorkshire to build and develop partnerships between Brazil and the UK. I had plans to stay for a couple of years max then move over to the continent.
Time flies… As I prepare to finally transition this year I would have never thought or imagined Britain would be coming out of the EU. Who would have thought of that 20 years ago (apart from Mr. Farage and his circus friends 🤡)?
I still remember what the immigration official asked me when interviewing me for the visa: _’Are you sure you want to come to this country? Have you seen the weather outside?’ Yes, it was one of those horrible Mancunian days. I still don’t know if I have ever been sure, to be honest… joking!
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
The weather does play an important role in shaping our mood and emotions when you live in the British Islands, however, it is just one variable in the equation. There’s has been many more factors at play that have shaped who I have become in the past 20 years. I’m so grateful for the number of amazing people the Universe brought into my life. Life is never a straight line and God only knows how hard the journey had been many times (some of my closest friends can testify to that). Nevertheless, I’m blessed with the gift of stubbornness, so I’m still here, pushing forward, enriched by the love and warm welcome I had in the British Islands and purposeful as ever.
I’m indebted to all the friends I got along the way from many different nations from around the world for the loving support, partnership and for believing in me. I love you all and have cherished all these last 20 years. I think I can say without hesitation I’m a proud BBB – Brazilian Born British. I was born in Rio but surely I have got a Yorkshire heart. “I’m chuffed t’bits wi’ that.”
I’m humbled today and have my 💓 filled with gratitude, great ride, amazing folks, deep learning, opportunities for growth, some bad moves and few falls, new starts, few great hits, isn’t what life is all about after all? For the future, while I’m still around, as Mr Young once sang, gonna “Keep on Rockin’ in the free world! 🎤🎸🎶
The key when embracing a new culture is the identification without the loss of your own cultural identity, embrace the new and retain the old, adapt, change but keep true to yourself. Seek to help others along the way and exchange value, as you enrich other you are enriched back.
No man can become rich without himself enriching others
Creed also had a 1999 hit that speaks to me as this is the dream of all of us who wants a better Earth for all to live, those who want to leave a dent in the universe as Jobs once put it.
“Although I would like our world to change
It helps me to appreciate
Those nights and those dreams
But, my friend, I’d sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate
So let’s go there
Let’s make our escape
Come on, let’s go there
Let’s ask can we stay?” Creed, Higher