If this was a cartoon I would begin it with the main character (me?) walking slowly across the screen holding a sign that says "4 Weeks Later" and that little sound effect that goes "wah wah wah"... To more clearly explain myself... It's been four weeks! Almost a month!
That realization is a bit scary to me. I always told myself that once I'd been here for a month everything would start to make sense. That being said, I think that this last month has really been an opportunity for me to realize how wrong I was about everything before I left home. In a lot of ways things made sense on day one, and a lot more things I have worked to understand and which now feel like a victory. But there's also a lot of things that probably still won't click even when I'm stepping back on a plane home at the end of this year.
But this month... This month is about the little victories.
It's about the way it feels to hug someone and know that they, too, have journeyed thousands of miles to be here. It's about the magic of the internet, which allows people 7014.22 miles (I checked) away to talk to you with only a few seconds of lag between parts of the conversation. It's about teaching your host sister to tie her shoe the same way your dad showed you years ago, and dancing awkwardly in your room to a beat only you can hear because you're not playing any music out loud,
It's about carefully planning the way to look least foreign when you're out of the house, and winding up looking totally American in spite of (and perhaps even because of) your best efforts. It's about the rice you eat constantly, the people you meet every day, the hot sun, the late nights, the thoughts that wander through your head even when the lights have been out for hours.
Exchange is never easy. People will tell you that over and over again but it doesn't really click until it's something you are going through yourself. Exchange is never easy, but within the shortest period of time you can feel yourself starting to change - to grow your mind, broaden your horizons, think differently to match the new person you are becoming.
When I left home I had a lot of people tell me "never change" or "stay the same". But that's not really possible. I am still myself in how I approach things, in the way my minds works to understand what is going on, but I hope every day that I am changing because to change would mean to do just one less thing that is oh so very wrong, to make one less social faux pas, to understand one more thing that someone tells me. To sum it up, to change would mean to get the most out of this year abroad.
So, Insha'Allah, when I come home I will be a different person, in the best possible way.
About this song... You never know how perfect Taylor Swift can be until you're smushed into a car with six other people singing at the top of your lungs and feeling like there is no place you'd rather be.
🎶You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift🎶
Hi! My name is Karla Cox. This blog is a compilation of notes, thoughts, and photos from my travels around the world.