There’s some famous clichés that come with studying abroad.
“It’ll be one of the best experiences of your life!”
“You won’t come back the same person!”
If you were one of the individuals who said something of the latter I likely rolled my eyes, laughed it off, or even held back vomit.
However you might be wondering at this point, as it is my last day on these islands, whether my opinions have changed on the matter.
To the first statement, I learned here not to label life in such a way.
To designate a period of life as “A Golden Age” is asinine to say the least, and serves no further purpose than to live a life in the past.
If you have read any other blog post of mine you would know that I’ve dwelled far too much into the past to the point of becoming stuck in a mass paradox of nostalgia and regret.
Coming here was the end of that era. I had found myself.
As in, let’s rock and roll baby, and for once focus solely on healing and blossoming the wild spirit I started to let come out.
I crossed the line of childhood, traveling across the world where I didn’t know a damn soul for 6 months.
Who really am I before I let the world in?
When it was about me growing on my own. Not at the pace of my family, my friends, my neighbors, or my peers.
My time here was nothing short of an extraordinary dive into new waters.
Where I wasn’t afraid to say goodbye,
Rather I was dying for a nice swim knowing full well that life is a journey,
That there would be hard moments,
And aware I would not be the same person when I reemerged
Because how could I be?
So yes, the second cliché, is correct.
To live a comfortable life, where you feel safe but not your best self, is a life lived in a world of doubt.
So Chicago, I’m coming back a person who is chill with both my gifts and inner demons.
Someone who stands up for herself to any who may come and try to make me uncomfortable with that person.
It’s time to go home and love my family and city in ways I have forgotten.
In the short term, enjoy an amazing Christmas, get into the GRE/internship business, and bloody drive more often.
In the periods closer than they seem, finish my bachelor’s, choose a grad school, get my two kitten babies, and
Sorry, for as sappy as you may see that, humans are not a solitary species.
Can’t say the last thoughts before bed don’t linger on a desire to understand someone’s heart.
All in all, that’s the life. That’s the dream.