Close to home

From my journal, dated June 15, 2013

I’m so close. At the gate at the airport. It’s unbelievable that I’ll be home tonight. It’s easy enough to understand (/feel like) coming home after the French program, but harder to grasp that this is also my coming home from my year at university. I’m so excited.

The French program was a really great experience in all. It wasn’t like “the time of my life” every day and I didn’t cry when it ended, but it was more of a steady awesomeness. I think my French improved and I learnt lots. The class was probably actually one of my favourite things; every day I learnt a ton, but in a really casual + fun setting, with lots of improv + discussions.

But more than the language skills, I think I learnt the most about Quebec, its culture, and its people. It was just so cool to discover another region of the country, while constantly broadening and adjusting my definition of what Canada is and what it means to be Canadian. The specific region I was in was lovely, and I definitely want to return.

And on a personal level, I continued to have new life experiences. I was quite often, especially in class, pushed out of my comfort zone in a good way. I mean, I wrote and recited a personal poem in French in front of others. And though I didn’t connect with as many other students as other students did, I did make 2 decent friends, and I’m proud of that. Whenever I think that I can’t make friends, I’ll try to remember that. And I even had deep/personal conversations with both of them. I wonder if we’ll stay in touch.

Last night was the final night, and it was a blast. All the students + facilitators went to a billiards bar and there was karaoke too. I would probably consider it my first real time at a bar and at first I was a bit uncomfortable (eg. What to order when you don’t know + have never tried many drinks?). Throughout the night I had 3 drinks and by the end I was out there on the dance floor, giving it my all and singing along. So much fun.

Like I said, I’m really excited to return home, but I’m curious to what it’ll feel like to be back. Will my family and/or our habits have changed? I don’t think they will. But some changes aren’t always bad. There are some things I’d like to work on this summer; I’d really like to nurture my relationships with others. With my family I’d ideally like to be more open and break some of our taboo talking topics (eg. feelings, goals, religion, love, sex) and become closer in that sense. Because as close as I am with my parents, there are still some personal feelings that I haven’t shared with them but have with friends.

And as for with my brother, I’d really like to build and adult-sibling relationship with him. And I’ll try not to do it in a pushy way, like normal, where I tend to enforce family time while asking 100 questions a minute. I’ll try to be conscious of the space I take up in the relationship and be more genuine and casual. Maybe then Adrian could be coaxed out of his shell.

And as for friends, I’m really going to try to take the initiative with building relationships. I am going to call up old high school friends and not shy away from potentially awkward situations. Just because we weren’t/haven’t been that close, doesn’t mean we can’t be now. I’m going to do my best not to be lonely this summer.

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