It was interesting to see Nagasaki and hear Mitsuki’s advices. We saw my university and what was around. I memorized useful shops, places where to fix my camera, good restaurants and so on. It’s interesting to reflect on how I lacked all of this information when I arrived in the Netherlands and how it took me a while to figure out some of it.
I can’t ignore that this year is my third year living abroad, having technically left home at 18. It may sound silly for international people, but this number resonates in me when I remember thinking younger that I wanted to live abroad. It feels like in this aspect, I made it.
Though I have to say, living abroad didn’t solve my problems and it is far from making things easier. But I can’t help thinking: even if I’m sad, at least I’m sad in a foreign country.
Somehow, it makes it better.
It is also becoming clear, talking to so many people during these last weeks about the Future with a capital letter, that I do not plan to come back to France. I realize it’s very idealistic to claim that I’m sufficient enough to keep myself from going back to France (because somehow my passport feels like a magnet pulling me to come back, and I have to apply a constant force to go somewhere else- the weight of administrative and visa duties?) but it’s a will that I have. I’m sorry mom if you’re reading this, you mustn’t be too happy about all of your children ‘running away from home’. Or rather that may be the idea of it that you have, but trust me, the truth is different. I don’t feel like I’m running away from home but rather that I’ve been giving wings and it’d be a waste not to use them and stay at the same place over and over.
Of course, the whole living abroad thing has consequences and it is a harsh reality when comparing it to people who stayed at home. But I like to think we all have different expectations. I know I would not be happy in Lyon. And very sadly, the thought of coming back live in France definitely feels like it would be a failure. I’ve lived so many things far away that coming back where I started sounds like a fateful death.
It sounds to me pretentious as fuck to say that, and I hope I didn’t pris la grosse tête but this is how I feel. I’ve kept it for myself because it feels like I’m not really entitled to say that after only two years and a half and at 20 years old, but I see no good at censuring it either.
When you leave, you can’t come back. I’m stuck abroad, and it’s okay, I’ve chosen it, I’ve wanted it, it’s my will. No regrets.
That said, these ten days are already over and I felt it day by day, that time was passing and there was no way to slow it down. Strangely enough, I’ve come to accept it. Since I’ve first left for exchange, time hasn’t stopped and days, months, come by and flow scarily fast. But I got used to it and do my best to try to appreciate each seconds of it.
I’m not sad to leave because I’m coming back with so much more than when I arrived. I have so much energy, will and enthusiasm deeply engraved in my heart, I feel ready to start back daily routines. The break was needed and satisfactory.
Again, I can’t describe how well I’ve been received to the home of my friends. I can’t wait for the day I’ll return the favour to them, doesn’t matter in which place or country I’ll be in, I’ll make them feel at home too.
There really was no down side to these ten days. I took it easy, no hard plans, no expectations, just being there and enjoying. I’m glad this is something I can do, living day by day, going outside with no idea what to do but figuring out on the way.
It is hard nowadays to do such unprepared and unanticipated plans. At best, one crazy adventure can be to go eat outside at a fancy place (expensive Kenyan food?), bike some hundred of kilometers away on a whim, or buy a train ticket for a day trip somewhere near. But for more ambitious projects, it’s hard to get someone to do that with you and go out of their organized and planned life.
May sound stupid but I’m glad I can do that, I’m glad I have the will to go out of what’s comfortable. I mean, I’m doing it at my level, not going to Ushuaia every week (wouldn’t be against at all though) to sleep in a tent at -10 degrees, but you know, step by step, one makes its way.
As time goes and as I’m more and more responsible for myself, I feel like it’s somethings I can do anyway. I can do what I want, given I’m ready to give myself the means and I’m ready to face the consequences.