It's pretty interesting...I was talking to my friend the other day about my emotional connection to St. Louis, seeing it as home, yet that I'm glad I've been able to build character through my travels away from it. He noticed and pointed out to me about about the fact that I seem to mention these two things a lot. At first when I heard this, I felt kind of bad and self conscious, like...oh gosh, am I just totally redundant? Who wants to listen to my whining anyway? He assured me he didn't mean it in this way and I'm sure he didn't, but it was enough to make me think (oh no, everybody watch out...me thinking?! Could be dangerous ;).
After rolling it over a few times in my mind, I decided this: to just give myself a break. After all, I think that it's pretty hard for most people to realize or relate to what I've been going through this summer. First, I leave Korea after having been there an entire year to come back to a place that I have never known in my entire life, with only 1/2 my family there 1/2 the time (dad is still going back and forth to St. Louis for work). This is also a place where I have, let me tell you, zero friends my age, and the ones my age I have made haven't exactly been fabulous. Nobody's fault; if I had more time, I'd be trying harder, but I'm not really. It is in this place that I am to prepare myself for another massive adventure abroad, which includes me visiting and living in three different countries in the span of about three months, plus then being another 9 months abroad in (I'm not exactly sure which) country.
Look, I don't mean to complain. I don't mean to say that I am not happy about being here or that I didn't ask for this upcoming adventure (because I am and I did), but I do think that these few months have seriously been a time of trial for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I've learned to internalize my emotions, almost too well, and sometimes I don't even realize when things have seriously affected me. I think it's safe to say that this is where some of the 'redundancy' in expressing these recurring themes comes from...and you know what? It's okay. I'm allowing myself to feel whatever I want to about this stuff, because it's how I'm coping with it all. Addressing these things through talking or blogging (even over and over), is just how I personally deal. Feel free not to read if it bores you. :)
Other than mulling over that, I have been really trying to mentally/physically prepare myself for the travels. I know there is a part of me that is drawn to this traveling thing (thanks to Kate for expressing it to me that way:) but I do get jitters before I go. Mainly they're about things like taking public transport/getting lost (still seem to have a random, inexplicable fear of this), making sure I have all of my travel docs, making sure my luggage isn't overweight, making sure I have contact info for people I'm meeting there, plus maps, language books, professional docs, etc. Might I add, thank you RyanAir for allowing only ONE piece of luggage up to 20 kg for an extra $40...total rip. That's about 46.5 pounds, people, not to mention that I'm leaving to travel for a YEAR, and the cost of international shipping is murderous. So, even though I am trying to look at the positives of getting there and doing the things that I truly love, the actual logistics of traveling to me are really stressful. This morning, I couldn't remember where I put my passports (yes, 2-France and US), and I spent half an hour tearing my room apart like a madwoman, only to finally discover them in the suitcase I left outside in the garage (smooth move, ex-lax)...at that point I was near hyperventalation and surrounded by a white squall of random papers, which I spent the rest of the day trying to rearrange (rather unsuccessfully).
I also get a little nervous about meeting new people (I know, gasp). I really love it, but there is that little ego voice that sometimes says "you'll be the oldest one there", or "what if I don't like the people, or the people and I don't get along?" Now you and I know that both of these things are ridiculous, but I hear the voices nonetheless. For one, even if I were the oldest one, who really cares? I know that just a few years ago when I was in my early 20s, I wouldn't have counted someone out as a friend who was a few years older than me. So, this notion is really stupid. Then, the not liking the people thing...umm, there are over 180 tutors going to the camp in Italy...if I don't find at least one person I like amongst them, there is seriously something wrong with me. And if none of the 180 people like me, then there is seriously something wrong with me. Or them. Eh, probably me, but it's not gonna happen!
Anyway...so I feel since this post has mostly been more on the negative side, I should cheer it up a bit, and cheer myself up a bit, by looking at the positives of what's going on. I'll soon be enjoying gorgeous landscapes and fun new places and languages, eating gelato and awesome pizza, having small parties on the beach late at night in San Remo, talking about the world with new people and gaining new perspective, having picnics in the piazza (my FAVE!). I get to eat Jamon Iberico, drink Sangria, and dance on the street at night in Madrid, not to mention see my good friend Paul. I get to hang out in England, see Windsor Castle and meet up with my dear friend Caroline. I also get to return to Paris for a few days and see my cousin Diane, which is never disappointing. I get to celebrate my Grandma's 100th birthday in France with my French family. Life is good!! So, need to stop my worrying. Everything has always worked out well on my trips, and the things that I've worried about have never been as horrible as they seem even if they do happen...so, worrying is a fruitless activity.
Well..thanks for enjoying me on my journey of a post. I wasn't sure what I was going to write about when I sat down, but things have all come out, in my opinion, for the best. :)
Love you all,
Anna <3 :)