I haven't quite found my rhythm here yet. Maybe it's because some nights I'm in bed at 11pm and some at 7am. My eating routine is erratic and a large part of my diet has consisted of fried (but yummy) street food. But that's how vacation works sometime, right? Even more noticeable than my scattered schedule is the fact that my brain has been constantly racing here. This trip has so many purposes for me, to hear great music, to play great music, to study with the pros, to find inspiration, to research future job opportunities, to find my life's meaning, to figure out where to go with my music. Inspiration now! No big deal for a three week trip, right? I'm Rio de Janeiro and I am stressed out. Something seems wrong with this picture.
I made two new friends, a Turkish guy and a Polish guy both from Germany. My Turkish friend Emre at one point said "you're a list person, aren't you?" and I asked him how he knew that about me. He replied "you mentioned that Rio is one of the cities on your list of places to live, and you talked about all the things on your list of what you want to accomplish on your visit." While I think it's a good thing that I am beginning to make clear what I want in my life, he brings up a good point that I am micromanaging myself a bit. And he saw that I am in Rio and I'm stressed.
So I am now reminding myself that I am in Rio and should take some advice from the Cariocas. I saw a local in Copacabana with a shirt that had in English "think less, live more." Life has a more relaxed pace here and people don't worry or over analyze things as much as I do. Sometimes people are on time, and sometimes they are late. But it doesn't matter, they just sit and have a beer in the sunshine while they wait and 'fica tranquilo.' In these blocos I've played with I've been stressed that I don't know the breaks or I made a mistake. No one cares. They are all talented musicians but they are drumming for the love of music, not to be perfect.
So the lesson here is to take more deep breaths, feel grateful for the opportunity to be here, think less, and enjoy the ride. Nothing here will go according to my plan and that's how these special moments happen. And when I use the 'ser' instead of 'estar,' the Brazilians know what I mean. When a drummer says "we'll meet somewhere at the end of Leme around lunchtime" I'll just hang out and drink a beer in Leme until I hear drums. It will work out somehow because it always does.
It's time for me to head to Leme and see what happens. I'll be meeting up with my new samba friends from Berlin which just happens to be one of the cities on my list.
Here's a photo of the body wash I picked up at a drugstore here. It makes me smile :)