They say you learn more about yourself in your time abroad then you ever suspect you would, and that couldn’t be more true. Being abroad has brought more to light stuff in my life I didn’t think I would have to deal with at this point in my life but glad I am because rather now then five years down the line (I guess..). If we remember back to the first post I wrote going abroad, I was completely scared because I was embarking on an adventure totally blind and 100% alone, it turned out that being alone had become my biggest fear and I was totally unaware of it. But going through that realization has changed me into woman I will be proud to be once I leave this study abroad experience.
There are two main lessons I have come to learn through this quarter life crisis:
1) Acceptance of Self
I always have been someone who has been super comfortable with who I am and what I believe but the more I step out of my comfort zone and explore the person I truly am. I realize that I have just started exploring exactly that.
Being abroad, I realized I have developed a fear of being alone. I constantly surround myself with people, and seek to never be alone. It stems from a very personal event that happened over a year ago that occurred because I tried to branch out and be by myself, and it turned completely for the worst. It lead to problems I didn’t realize I had until set into a situation where I was completely alone. That situation: study abroad.
Going abroad I was totally alone. I was living alone, only one from my university and didn’t know anyone at the school I was attending. It was a complete personal shock because I had to adapt to the life of being by myself some of the time and knowing that that is normal.
I don’t want to be this person right now. I don’t want to have to look for people for comfort and always have an anxiety attack when I am alone for longer than 24 hours. But I have learned to accept who I am at this moment, and have become aware of who I am and what I can become out of it. It’s not going to be an easy road, and I have learned that but I have learned you have to accept who you are at every point in your life, even if you are disappointed because it’s still who you are and becoming aware of your issues is just the first step in the right direction to change.
2) Finding that Support
I am crazy and I am a mess. I will be the first to admit that first hand, and I only trust a handful of people with my true deep feelings. Especially being abroad, I have had some meltdowns and the people who have had to witness it have stuck by my side through thick and thin. It’s terrifying to let people in and see your dark side. You get scared that they will after a certain point run away because you are to much to handle, but I have been super fortunate to find the people that have stuck and have yet to run away, and those are the people that one needs to seek and find. Just simply letting people in is the first step to finding that support system and just trust that if they truly love you they won’t run away.
Support is key to getting through a crisis. That support is there when you need them the most. They don’t judge and they love you more for being your true self. And I know learning about who you are as a person is a personal experience, but it’s also an experience that I feel can’t be found alone, and that is where a strong support system comes in.
Just know that
Wow! I have been up to a lot and I sincerely apologize for my not posting. I just have been dealing with so much internally and trying to experience so much externally that I am just trying to figure my life out.
But the things I have been up too..
I have been France for the first time (well I went when I was a baby but that I don’t remember). I went to Strasbourg and it was beautiful. I truly love that city. It’s architecture and culture is just something special. I can’t wait to go to Paris in two weeks!
But I think the most important thing about me visiting France was that I met the parents of my significant other and I was so beyond pleased how it went. I am determined to learn French though, I mean I have the perfect excuse right now so why not!
He also has met my family during this past month and he couldn’t have killed it more. He did a wonderful job but anyone who knows him knows he just is such a wonderful people person.
I also celebrated Halloween in Europe, which I mean I do have to say it is not like the USA but I celebrated it with my friends at a Halloween party that our school put on. This year I decide to be a Zombie. I think my costume turned out well.
I have also attended my winter Prom, which who would have thought I would be attending another prom at age 20 but hey, it was so much fun and alcohol was allowed so I couldn’t complain. Plus, I love dressing up and seeing everyone else dressed up.
Christmas markets have also begun here and they are beautiful! We have on in the city I am in, Reutlingen, and it’s not huge but it’s just small enough to get the christmas feel and enjoy everything this time of year brings.