Things That Have Changed

  1. I used to drink soda almost every day. But I’ve only had about three in the 2 ½ weeks I’ve been here.
  2. I now go to bed before midnight on most nights. My roommate of the past two years probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told her this. Unfortunately, I think this new habit will be short-lived. I have the feeling that I’ll be back to going to bed at 2am (on a good night) within a few weeks.
  3. I can no longer say that I’ve never been on an airplane. And I can’t say that I don’t drink. (I can still say that I’ve never been drunk, but I don’t know how long that will last).

I feel like these were things that have defined me in the past (to an extent), and although I am having a great time experiencing this new life, I feel like I’ve lost a part of my identity. In the past, when people asked me to describe myself I could say “I’m a caffeine addict, a night owl, I don’t drink, and I’ve never been on an airplane or travelled much of anywhere” (OK, so I never said that exact sentence, but they are all things that have come up). Now I wonder, who am I? One of my goals in studying abroad is to “find myself” – as cliché as that sounds. Is losing myself part of that process? Or am I just discovering that, at this time in my life, nothing is set in stone?

At a time when everything around me is changing, I can’t help but grasp onto those things which appear to be constant. I may be a million miles away from home, but I know where home is. And I may be a million miles away from who I was three weeks ago, but there are some things which haven’t changed – not yet anyway.

Things That Have Stayed The Same

  1. I still write every single night, without exception.
  2. I still hate being late and make it a point to try to be a few minutes early to all of my classes even though most of my teachers don’t even show up on time.
  3. I hate to cook even more than I thought I did. And my dislike of grocery stores has continued as well.
  4. I’m still shy. This is one thing that I desperately wished would change, I’ve been wishing that for as long as I can remember. But maybe what I need to realize is that there is a part of my temperament and my personality which is shy, and that’s OK. It is nice to know how I will react in a situation, and for the most part I wouldn’t want to react in any other way. So, I’m coming to accept my shyness as something that will never go away, but can adapt to whatever it needs to. I no longer feel like my shyness will keep me from doing things that I really want, and really need to do. After all, I did hop on a plane and fly to a country where I didn’t know a single person. And I’m doing just fine.

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