Today, I was faced with the news that my VISA was denied. Yes, my Artist VISA that would allow me to live my dream and stay in America was denied. The moment I got the news I got dizzy, started sweating. But moments after I calmed down, I closed my eyes and started thinking why I was so calm.
In February of this year, I was diagnosed with depression. I have been in treatment for almost seven months. My therapist who is the greatest slowly got rid of any emotional baggage I had from the past.
I have gone to College in America and in College is where signs of my depression started. I had to put on masks, force myself to smile, be ok with what in my head was unfair, deal with hidden relationships and deal with bullying. These episodes started piling up to the point I was awfully miserable my senior year. There were no more good moments. I could not see any brightness and happiness.
I graduated and started working right away. I was part of the best shows I could ever be. I still hold dearly my Singin’ in the Rain cast. I miss the craziness of West Side Story’s choreography. I wanted to be Twice As Strong in Original. I lived the peak of my career in Musical Theatre so far in Empire and Couldn’t be more excited to share the story of Children of Eden. But I, unfortunately, was surrounded by toxic friends. The worst kind. They made me doubt my talent, my looks, my accent, my charisma. Everything about me seemed to be not enough.
“Rodrigo, you are enough! Love yourself. Stay strong and brush the pain away with light.” I used to hear that from my therapist and never understand until I was taken to Church. By that time, I got rid of the toxins in my life but didn’t seem to detach emotionally from them. My journey in Church was relieving and I released all my pain and grew so much as a person. I erased any trace of darkness that was caused, changed my perspective of who I listen to and who should I take advice from. I saw people erasing themselves from my narrative. The sassy, negative, sometimes even evil Rodrigo was not here anymore (Well, the sassy will always be) so a lot of people got distant to the point they disappeared.
But, why am I so calm?? WHY?
I have never gone back home, since I left for College, in a good state of mind. I have never experienced my country, my people, my culture like this. And it excites me. I want to hug my mom every day. Speak my language all the time. Eat the food I used to eat. And be surrounded by the people I love and love me back in return.
Yes, the friends that stay will be missed. The mentors who guided me will still guide me. But even though it wasn’t a choice, God has showed to me, THIS is the time to go home and experience my country.
And seven months after, my therapist says I don’t need her anymore. I am cured from my depression. Fast right? I just have to thank the people that surrounded my daily life and brought my spirit up every single moment they could. You know who you are and I can’t believe I have you in my life. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GIVEN ME!!!
Be right back, America.
From Brasil to the world. Actor, Singer, Dancer, Entrepreneur. Storytelling drives me.