If I’m going to be completely and utterly honest here (I am), I haven’t been working on the posts from last month. I do have things to share– little anecdotes of my first weeks of school and life here, my day of awesome with Dad in the mountains, interesting things I’ve learned– but I really haven’t been working that hard on drafting the posts that will include such things.
For one thing, yes, I am busy. I do have quite a bit of time off, but I fill the time living (this includes time on the computer, because that’s part of daily life); I may not always be using my time productively, but as with life everywhere else, life here has its “ups and downs.”
Yesterday was definitely one of those days, and I have struggled with similar sentiments periodically since Dad left and throughout the course of this past week. It makes me uncomfortable to admit this, but sometimes I just want to pack up and go home. In those moments, it seems like it would be the easiest solution, but I know (as do you) that it is not. If I come to you in those moments, rant in hand and asking for an internet-hug and tell you that I want to give up, kindly send the hug, listen to the rant, and slap some sense into me.
It’s easy to forget when you are alone in a place you’re not fully comfortable with that you are there for a purpose, and you aren’t as alone as you would like to believe. I have this problem a lot– sometimes, I am paralyzed and tormented by the thought that I don’t really have somebody here that I can completely, effortlessly confide in. I struggle with the separation from people I now realize have been like security blankets: whose company I seek out at any moment when I have a chance, who make me a better person and keep me smiling. This is normal, and I didn’t realize it would be quite like that. That’s the nature of the thing, though, and recognizing that I have to be my own person is vital.
That isn’t to say that I don’t have friends here. People I will push away sometimes, or seek out; these friendships are still in the beginning stages where I still don’t know that much about each individual, but I consider to be friends all the same. The language barrier is a problem; I can’t always understand everything they’re talking about, or the context of the conversation. I can’t always reply and I am, in fact, quite socially awkward, so placed in a situation where I would have to come up with a topic of discussion where I can actively contribute and is interesting for all participants is something I need to work on. I do want to get to know them better, but I fall short of actually accomplishing this.
What I often forget, though, is that the friends I have here may be experiencing the same thing– the awkward getting-to-know-you stage where you may not know quite what to say. Just like anywhere else, it’s impossible to believe that somebody else will make the effort if you, yourself, do not. The people I count as friends appear to honestly want to be my friend (even if I don’t see them all the time)– people like Corentin and Nadia, who take the same bus as me, Laure, Jean-Paul, both Charlottes, Insaf… and more (listing all the names isn’t a good idea, because that’s confusing). They are, as previously mentioned, quite patient with my slow French, which is still scattered with English phrases.
Much to my amusement, some of my English phrases have been adopted. It makes me smile to hear them say “Fail”; today on the bus, Corentin said “epic fail”, and pronounced it “epique faiiil.” Such things make me giggle and want to hug whoever said the phrase because (let’s face it), their accents make English words sound ridiculously cute. Similarly, it seems my accent makes some things sound cute to them, too– I was reading Harry Potter (en français… n’inquiete pas!) very quietly and Insaf informed me of that while Jean-Paul nodded.
I have vacation starting Saturday; lots of French people go skiing, but as far as I know, I’ll be in Fréjus for the duration of the break. I will be taking the initiative and trying to make plans with some friends; maybe some exploring is in order, of places I haven’t been, such as Marseilles.
I didn’t expect for there to be issues within the host family; I didn’t expect this, but I try to take it in stride. I’m not new to handling a similar situation, but I feel as though it’s not my place to interfere. I tread the line between stranger and family, and as a visitor, I don’t want to stir the waters. My issues here (“chez moi”, because this is my “home” here, no matter that I still refer to AEU as “home”) stem from handling a younger brother that is 11 years old. HE IS ELEVEN, you guys. Eleven– and I’m seventeen; this doesn’t make for peace, as I am residing in his room– in “his” house– taking up space he finds familiar and comforting in the same way that I find my space AEU familiar and comforting. Beyond that, the two of us have communication problems as well; he is full of energy and the desire to play that is expected from young boys. I won’t hesitate to tell you that sometimes I do not like the kid at all, but I recognize that he is a KID and the problems I have with him are expected and even normal for a younger “sibling”.
I’d also mention, that like every time I travel, being here has inspired in me a desire to write and create. I can’t face my novel, but I guess nothing will happen to it if I don’t sit down and read it. I can’t just shrug off my moments of inspiration and my desire to write stories; they won’t be written if I don’t write them, and it’s been too long since I’ve made any effort to write stories. I want to get back that. If anything, like this blog, it is an exercise in expression and practice for true writing (I do still dream of being an author).
I know this wasn’t particularly interesting, but there you have it. Life continues.