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Posts Tagged ‘feelings’

What a month!  Just to look back at this month now = awe. It was an array of emotions, some really mixed feelings, and I am going to go into detail of every one of them.

[It has been a while, and I’m throwing you my excuses straight up—my last month in Poland was spent road-tripping and saying goodbyes to family, most of the time without a greater internet connection.] But here we go!

The first feeling was despair. After leaving Kraków, I felt so lost. I loved my life there, I really did, everything about it. To be leaving was signalling the end of that life. Everyone moved on their separate ways, finding jobs here or there, or moving back to their countries and continents. It was over. And I was sad. I mourned, I really did. I didn’t want to accept it, and I didn’t know how to go about leaving. It seems really melodramatic to look back on now but that is honestly what I felt.

The next feeling was a sudden and rapid emotion that took over my depression—longing for home. Now that everyone had got to go home after uni was over (to their homes across Poland or across the world) I was jealous that I couldn’t be experiencing the same thing. It was over 9 months ago, after all, since I had seen everyone last (with the exception of my dad, who came to visit for Christmas). I felt like I was lulling around, homeless in a sense, going from one family home to the next, living out of my suitcase.

I guess I was just sick of goodbyes and I wanted hellos. Not to say though that I didn’t enjoy the month road-tripping across Poland. It was incredible. It was hard to be longing for home but enjoying the travelling at the same time. It made me go through mood swings as fast as weather changes.

My aunt took Dorothy and I on a road trip up north to the sea, which we did swim in, and it was beautiful, so so beautiful. The sandy beaches with squeaky sand, YES squeaky white sand, the fight against giant waves crashing in to you, the tanning, the smell of the sea, the wind, I loved it all. I love salty waters![1] I love vacation! It was relaxation to the max. We even went on a sandy peninsula and walked by beach to the border with Russia! (The border consisted of a fishing net fence, and a sign, ha!). We also spent a day in Gdańsk, an amazing and beautiful city, and went to Malbork, home to the biggest castle in Europe (by surface area) and holder of the largest bricks in Europe! After returning back to Rzeszów and Wrocław, my time was spent saying last goodbyes, meeting family in other towns and villages nearby (ish), soaking up their presence for the last time and them mine. I don’t want to talk too much about it, because it makes me sad to remember. I miss them.

As the days were growing less by what seems an immeasurable speed, I began to feel that I really didn’t want to leave Poland. Leaving was putting a stamp on the end of my life there, on the Europe-life, a final goodbye to friends, an end of the close connections and communications with my family – most of which, as mentioned earlier, don’t have internet and communicate nearly 100% face to face. (I think I’m going to take up letter writing.)

Then the moods reversed. The growing intensity of just wanting to be home and wanting the goodbyes to be over, came back, stronger. Every night I started to dream about home, just being there, doing the simplest of things. I swear I envisioned myself buying a French Vanilla at Tim Hortons or ‘sex in a pan’ at the Elephant Ear cafe, or speaking to the most random people in passing on the street. I missed small town Terrace. I dreamt at night and daydreamed in the day—it was all I could think about. I was beyond ready for hellos.

With this longing for home however, came a mixed feeling of something like nervousness. I was really worried that people had changed. I had heard most of my friend group had split off for various reasons, I heard reviews that some of my friends had drastically changed, and I was worried that things just wouldn’t be the same with those people I didn’t keep in touch with. A lot can change in a year, I kept thinking. And I wasn’t completely lost as to whether or not I had changed.

Lastly I was not keen for the long ordeal/journey home. I usually love flying, I really do. But this time I was nervous, really nervous, which is really abnormal but that’s the truth. I think it just meant more this time, there were so many unanswered hopes and fears that all the nervousness I had been feeling the past couple weeks transformed into a sudden fear of the flight home[2].

Even while writing this, tears come to my eyes. Tears were in my eyes when I left Poland and they were in my eyes when my plane landed in Terrace, BC, home. Leaving and arriving has never been so hard. I didn’t know what was coming when I left last year, I really didn’t. I was ready for the adventure but I did not expect the end to be so fatally emotional.

Right now, I am so so SO happy. Despite the tears—every tear I’ve cried since I’ve returned home has been a tear of joy. I’ve never been so happy in my life. (I’ve never cried this much, Jesus). There are no words to describe how happy I was to see my family and friends, to see that nothing has changed. I was so worried that things would be different but everything fell back into place like I had never left. I feel so loved and happy and just blessed to have all the people in my life that I do.

That’s basically it. We end there. I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this blog. The journey is over. I documented my experiences and feelings as best as I could. And I’m glad I’ll have this all to look back on. Right now, I think I’ll leave the blog be, maybe post a few photos from my road trip once I download them, and go back and post more from the year, or Switzerland, or just keepsakes. When I start off on my Europe trip in six months, I’ll start a new blog. (I really like new blogs for new occasions).

Though I’m not really sure who my random readers from across the world have been, thank you to those who have stuck with me on this escapade from home. Making the move to Poland is something I’ll never forget nor regret—it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Cheers & take care,

Asia

Endnote: There is one more thing I thought of to add to this post. Yesterday I was reading a quote that has been on my fridge for years that I was never really fond of before. “Ships in harbour are safe. But that’s not what ships were built for.” I remember never really liking it, and was never really sure what the author intended. Now though, I can expand. Maybe we feel safest at home, maybe we never want to leave, but humans were made for exploring, to delve in the unknown, to challenge our barriers and perimeters, and I think that anyone who seeks to do that will never be left unsatisfied with the journey that ensues. End sentimental note.


[1] Haha, couldn’t decide if I wanted to say ‘ocean’ or ‘sea’ so I went with ‘salty waters’ lol.

[2] Obviously the fears diminished as soon as I was up in the air—my love of flying will never die.

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A few weeks ago I did something really stupid/terrible/wrong/against instinct, however you want to say it. I didn’t tell anyone because I was really ashamed. It made me feel awful. Not just feel awful but like the awful was me, too.

Mistakes are a human quality. I remember when I used to say I didn’t regret my mistakes because they made me into the person I am today. But the thing is, I just make the same mistake over and over again. And I do regret it.

Anyway, a few weeks past and I moved on fast from this biggest-to-date mistake, really fast. Like I easily adjusted. But I feel better now. Not just feel better but like the better is in me, too. Because I feel a change in my mind, psychologically, like I’ve never been more sure of what I want, never been more sure of myself. I think I tweeted and/or tumbled this, but I’m saying it again: Sometimes you find out what it is you want by doing the exact opposite.

I saw a quote the other day I really liked. “I never change, I simply become more myself.” I do think people are constantly trying to better themselves, maybe not literally every second of the day, but on a whole, we are always striving to be that better person, that person we want to be. Ourselves. But now I realize that person we were five years ago, that person a few weeks ago, is always us, just on the journey. It is a constant. So is change.

We shouldn’t be ashamed of our past because at one point in time, that was us, that was a state of mind, unclear thoughts, delusion, confusion, but whatever it was, it made sense at the time. I came across another quote today (good ol’ Tumblr!) that I also think has some truth in it: “Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.”

My mind feels so opened right now. I’ve been having creative ideas nonstop the past couple weeks. They are literally keeping me from sleeping, coming to me in my most tired moments. But I have learned over the years that you do not ignore that urge to write. You turn on your bedside lamp and scribble down everything on your notepad, then try to decode the scrawling in the morning. The other week, I wrote my first short story in over a year. And I know that sounds like a small accomplishment, but I feel really good about it. I really miss writing. As soon as exams are over, I have two more ideas I would like to get down.

I’m going to make mistakes again. I can hope it’s nothing more than a tragic spelling mistake[1], but life isn’t that easy. I know there will be more. But I am positive it is not going to be a repeat.

 

Joanna


[1] A particularly “tragic” spelling mistake, would be something like definately *cringe* or mischievious *double cringe*

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I’m starting to feel better about things. I know; when did I ever let on that I was feeling not-so-great about things? I sometimes am not honest with myself[1]. That is, I don’t really admit feelings I have. I see two sides to it, and always stick with side one.

1) I am in a completely new place, with new people, new scenery, learning a new language, getting to know my family, my history, in Europe, that thing I’ve always wanted to do. And it’s only been two weeks here, by the time I have to leave, I won’t want to. I’m in another freaking country.

2) I don’t know anyone. The people that I spent 95% of my time with, my friends, aren’t here. Ninety-five percent. Especially towards the end of summer, the time I had to leave, I was constantly out during the day. I felt like my house was for the purpose of sleeping only, and even that wasn’t definite. Basically, it is a little lonely being cooped up in this 9 by 11 room, or whatever it is.

And what side have you heard? Side one. Because that’s all I let myself hear. It’s like, if I admit those negative thoughts are there… it becomes real. So I don’t. I push them away, not so much ignore them, just not accept them[2].  Yeah, it’s probably unhealthy. And better yet, when the feelings I’m ignoring are gone, in this case the negative ones, I can wholly admit they were there in the first place. But only once they’re gone[3]. Yeah, does that ever sound healthy!

Anywho, back to the land of positivity! Basically, I’ve just met some really great people today. And that makes me feel better. Because, so far, the little-over-two-weeks time that I’ve been here… I haven’t really met anyone. And part of me was loving the alone time and finally being able to catch up on all the shows I’ve wanted to watch. But let’s be honest: I’m a people person, and up until now, I haven’t really met anyone that nice, open, friendly… the qualities I kind of thought most university students possessed. Wrong idea? Too optimistic? Anyways, I don’t even know if I’ll hang with these people again, it’s just nice to know that nice people exist. Seriously. I had an awesome evening.

I went to the kitchen to cook some hotdogs…only to discover that the pot—whose residence is strictly the kitchen—was stolen. And even the cutting board! I didn’t bring any cooking utensils or pots with me, I didn’t have the baggage weight to spare. So now how am I supposed to cook dinner for the rest of the year[4]? I asked a couple people moving in and out of the kitchen if they had seen them. Nope. Anyway, one girl offers to lend me her pan, and ta-da! Discussion time. Here are the 5 most popular questions everyone asks everyone in this dormitory:

“Where are you from?”

“What do you speak?”

“What are you studying?

“Why are you studying in Poland?”

Okay so there’s four questions usually asked in either English, Polish, Chinese, Turkish, Belarusian, Ukranian, Russian, and Bulgarian. At question five, people start getting creative.

So she asked me, this complete stranger in the kitchen, to just return her pan when I was done, and she gave me her room number. A half hour passes, I eat my food, wash the pan, and go to return it[5]. Then, on her doorstep, I am offered soup. I step inside, am introduced to her charismatic roommate—who totally reminds me of someone I know, can’t pinpoint who, clashed with a vlogger-personality. That’s the best I could bring it down to. This story is getting boring. Basically I met their two neighbours, the Chinese guy who always cook amazing-looking-food in the kitchen, roommate’s good friend, and others. And eventually, I had a decent conversation with all of them. In English. They all speak excellent English, the slightest of accents, and it’s not anyone’s first language! It felt so nice. Just to converse, naturally, in English, be able to say what I wanted to say, without having to dumb it down for the foreigner[6]. I hope that didn’t come out rude, but since I got here, I’ve met a lot of people who can’t speak Polish; but many of these people know a little bit of English. But in order to communicate, you have to bring down what you want to say to the bare minimum. Think of words you would learn in school, no slang, and speak slowly and clearly. Not my forte.

So, in conclusion. I feel good about things. Contrary to what my great-aunt said, there are some incredibly nice people here and, even though I didn’t earlier mention it, I’m starting to like my teachers more, getting to know my classmates, and I’m even getting used to sharing a bathroom with three other people now[7]. The only difficulty remains in remembering what language everyone speaks. There have been way too many times when I’ve said, “Czesc” to the English-speakers, and “Hi” to the Polish-speakers, among other things.

Asia


[1] I know. That is such a contradiction to what I always say. What the heck.

[2] Never treat people this way.

[3] These feelings are of all varieties. Nope, I’m not angry. What, so not upset with you. No, I do not feel any interest in you whatsoever.  No, it’s fine. [Not so straight up as my examples there… it’s usually like this deep internal battle to deny, deny, deny.] Wow, was that a way too truth-filled footnote or what. This is why you don’t give in to your random writing urges at 1:30am.

[4] You guys know I don’t cook. Hot dogs don’t count, I know. But I had it in my mind to try soup, and chicken breast, and other things. Easy student food.

[5] In between that, I had a very small, but pleasant, conversation with my Polish next door neighbour. This guy I’ve barely talked to, seemed a lot nicer than I thought he was at first. Good realizations.

[6] And be able to use adjectives other than “very” and “really”. Such a good feeling. [See title]

[7] If there’s a chance to use the bathroom, take it.

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