Thursday, May 10, 2012

8 months

Being an exchange student is such a bittersweet thing.

In the beginning it was a different feeling. I wanted to be here because this was what I worked so hard for, because I felt that this was what I wanted from myself and therefore I would stay because I didn't want all of my hard work to go to waste. But I was still out of the crowd; I still hadn't gotten into the swing of things and I was so sick of feeling like such an idiot, so my exchange felt more like a personal obligation than something that I truly wanted.

But at 8 months, having let all the little differences and beautiful aspects of this place in, I'm understanding what I'm going to be missing when I go back.

I'm not saying that my old host family was the source of ALL of my problems, but looking back on the five months I spent there I can now see how unhappy I was. I've been living with my best friend's family for the past few months, and they are all absolutely incredible. I love them all so much, and I wish that I could have been with them since the beginning. Being in such an awful situation at home really stopped me from falling in love with this place, but I stopped myself too.

I guess before I felt like all the things that tied me back to Washington were far more important than the things that tied me to Spain, and my mind was so shipwrecked on my past life that it wouldn't let me embrace my present one. Now I find the situation being completely reversed. I have these random moments when I get this wave of panic and I think 'I'm going to have to leave all of this behind in a little over a month'. Sometimes I have moments with friends when I think about how in such a short amount of time I'm going to have to say goodbye to them, and I won't know if I'll ever see them again. Leaving Washington seemed so permanent and the time, but now I realize that leaving Spain will be so much harder. The life that I have here in Spain is a life that I will never have again, and that kind of permanence looming in the near future is a little terrifying for me.

I hate deadlines. So much.