Sunday, August 24, 2014

days > 365 -- blooming

advice for future exchange students #29:
take time to bloom.
seriously. do what makes you happy,
but most importantly,
do what makes you grow and learn and change.
that's what matters.

(yes, i'm skipping ahead about 100 days from my most recent countdown update. explanation below.)

the last 100 days of my exchange were amazing... and i decided to prioritize enjoying my exchange, making memories, spending time with the people i care about, etc. which means that i neglected my blog.
for those of you who keep track of me via this blog, i'm really sorry-- but i did have amazing and wonderful experiences and i WILL share them! only, not exactly in real time. ;)

the sharp pain of goodbyes IS a real thing, and reverse culture shock is ALSO totally a real thing, and secondhomesickness/hostsickness is also a VERY. REAL. THING. but i'm learning, and i'm changing, and i like to believe that this is helping me to grow up. to "bloom", if you want to be super cheesy.

so, here's what Hannah has been doing in the past no-longer-blogging-days: (not chronologically)

  • came home.
  • said a lot of tearful goodbyes. my class, my families, my friends... i'm awful at goodbyes and prolonging them over a few weeks was not the best way to go. also, i cried for one and a half hours in my first flight to the US.
  • saw The Fault In Our Stars in German. still have not seen it in english... hmmm...
  • dreamed and is dreaming in Swiss German. still. :/
  • went to summer camp.
  • celebrated my bestie's birthday.
  • went on a camping trip with my family (a very long one) and realized just how unused i am to road trips. TWO HOURS in the car?!? WHAT???
  • went on an extended-family vacation at the beach. Oregon Coast, i have missed you.
  • spoke Swiss German (hooray!) with the conference speaker at our beach vacation center. it blessed me so much and made me ridiculously happy. 
  • went to my first American Rotary meeting in a year. it was amazing to realize just how much people in this group have invested in me and my exchange, and to get a chance to thank them for that. Rotary has problems sometimes, yes, but overall, it basically rocks.
  • speaking of Rotary, our Rebound (returning exchange student) weekend finished today! I can't believe how much we've changed in the past year, and how much all of us have learned. it's probably one of the weirdest and yet most amazing shifts i've ever seen.
  • and this year no longer terrifies me or worries me as much as it used to. because i am realizing how much more i am capable of.
that's it for now!
love love love,

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